Day 2, Game 5: Daemons vs Guard

This was a put up or shut up game, from my point of view.  I've talked plenty of times about my win record against the local Imperial Guard, ably lead by Evil Homer.  My contention has been simple; Guard armies in the current meta don't have quantity shots, they have quality shots... so what happens when the Guard run into Daemons with their Eternal Guard and Invulnerable Saves?

What happens is I usually win.  I know how good Evil Homer is (as in, very) so I felt plenty prepared when I saw my opponent for Round 5. 

As it turns out, Paul was the only Guard player I'd face that weekend, but he made up the lack with a subtle leadership of his plastic toys which lead to a barnburner of a game... and it came down to the last dice in the last assault.

Company Command with a Master of the Fleet
Psyker Battle Squad, Chimera
Veterans, Chimera x4
Veterans x2 (rides in the Vendettas)
Vendetta x2
Demolisher x2

All in all, this was a solid list.  I'm used to seeing artillery pieces rather than Leman Russes, but truth be told I think Leman Russes are a better choice against me.  Why?  Rear armor 11.  That sucked!  He also used the Master of the Fleet, another choice which I'd generally consider subpar but works wonders for screwing up my game.  That sucked, too!

The game was a Dawn of War fight over 3 objectives.  Paul forced me to take the first turn, then kept everything off the table.  He brought most of it on Turn 1 but outflanked the Vendettas. 

Here's my standard deployment on an open field.  I've got my Fiends in the backfield, far enough away to avoid the worst of enemy fire but close enough for a Turn 2 assault.  My Daemon Princes are front and center, ready to block shots with their bodies, and lastly my Heralds are on the flanks.  They've got the movement to reposition as needed, such as if my opponent plays a refused flank.  Paul is deciding how to bring his army on.

I hit him like a ton of bricks.  It was glorious!  I destroy the Chimera his Psyker Battle squad was driving round in then said, "Boo!" and ran 'em off the board.  My fiends on the right destroy another Chimera and run off a group of Veterans.  The only real luck Paul had was my Fiends on the left whiffed pretty bad; had they rolled well, I could have stolen the game earlier.  As it was, and I'm guessing because certainly Paul didn't say anything, I think this Turn 2 brutalizing surprised the hell out of him.  You can't see it from the picture, but on the far right flank, behind a hill, was the Command Chimera and the Griffon.  I sent a Herald to play with them for a bit.

The game continues.  The Plaguebearers on the left are holding an objective and the Plaguebearers in the center are waiting to spring on the center objective.  Paul counterattacks, putting on a clinic in splitting the enemy and stalling out an attack.

Paul's Vendettas come on, one on each side.  In hindsight, as I review these pictures, I spent too many resources on the Command Chimera and the Griffon.  Ultimately I sent a Fiends unit over and they cracked both tanks... but how important was that?  I'll only have so many assaults in one game and I need to utilize those wisely.  Better would have been assisting the scrum in the center and letting the Griffon rain down its shots.  It wasn't hurting me.

The combat in the middle stalled out.  Paul recovered from a rocky start and played beautifully.  As I write this, I'm only able to concentrate on my mistakes - and all that's easy with the benefit of a week or two's reflection.  I know I played well and pushed hard too.

On Turn 4, Paul played a move I thought was a mistake but turned out to have been masterful - a real example of someone who knows his army.  His Vendettas had only been on a turn and we all know what kind of firepower they can throw out.  I expected him to move 6-inches and shoot up a unit with each, instead he turbo-boosted both units toward the center.  Obviously that made it harder to bring down in close assault, just as obviously he's aiming at the objectives.

See how out of position I am?  It's from a combination of factors, including a Mishap and a late arrival forced by the Master of the Fleet, but also due to my decision to send my only strong Fiends unit in to the corner.  Still and again, much of this is hindsight.  I played the game as it presented itself to me on the board and I still had a strong position.

Here's a gem of a fight... his Master of the Fleet, the last survivor of the Fiends rampage in the corner, versus the Herald I sent to kill him!  It should have been no problem, but the MotF had other ideas.  He ninja kicked my Herald in the face then curb-stomped him back to the Warp!  Ironically, the Master's failure to die cost Paul a point in the Tertiary Objectives - sometimes Fate's a bitch.

Let's go ahead and wrap this thing up!  It was a great game and the most documented of the 7 I played at WarGames Con, but all the fighting came down to a few key factors and a fight for the center.

The Vendetta that outflanked on the left dropped its compliment of Veterans near the leftmost objective, where my Plaguebearers had camped the entire game.  The Vets locked and loaded their shotguns and blasted away before charging the objective.  I'll admit, when the dust cleared I was a bit surprised to find the Vets had destroyed my unit... and so easily!  I guess those dudes were dedicated Daemon killers!

That made the center objective vital, since I owned the rightmost and Paul had just stolen the leftmost.  His Birds converged and his last unit of Vets were preparing to charge my position.  There was some last minute jockeying and I brought down the Vendetta mere moments after it unloaded its troops!  In a game wrought with irony, this last was almost too much to bear, because the wreck ended up stopping the Fiends from participating in the final showdown in the center!

Paul's Veterans charged my Plaguebearers and we fought over two turns, my Turn 6 and his... to a standstill.  Game over, and we'd drawn the Primary Objective.

It was a well-fought draw... and what a game!  Ultimately I would have won handily if it had been Victory Points - but that wasn't the mission; grabbing objectives was, and Paul did a masterful job of making sure his resources were in place and mine weren't.  Needless to say, I was really impressed with his skill and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Keep in mind, at this point of the day I'm playing for pride.  I had no idea how well I was doing in the Day 2 RTT... in fact, I didn't know I was in the Day 2 RTT!  While Paul and I had a draw in the Primary Objective I still scored quite a number of points in the Secondary and Tertiary Objectives, so I moved steadily up the tables.


Granesh said...

Ah good to see the guard hold out against the forces of EVIL!!! By the way, any chance we could get a better picture of Evil Homer's Griffon conversion? Using the new Manticore never occursed to me...

jabberjabber said...

Nice battle report! Always good to hear about how a fellow daemons player works their army against solid competition.

The_King_Elessar said...

Good report, looks a good game...surprised the IG player didn't seem to consider Bubblewrap though.

Brent said...

Granesh: I think you mean Paul's Griffon - he was my opponent in this game. Evil Homer is my nemesis, one of my regular opponents at the FLGS.

I'll look through my pictures and try to find some conversion shots for you.

Speaking of EH, I think he may have converted a Griffon too - I'll ask.

Evil Homer said...

no Griffon, I did Colossus the str6 ap3. I just cut the barrel of a bassie to make it look a little shorter and thicker.


Granesh said...

Ah oops, should have read more carefully...I'd definitely appreciate the pictures though Brent!

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