He had three units of two Hydras with Heavy Bolters and Heavy Stubbers: Str6 Twin-Linked, Str5, Str4... and separated across each third of the board. Most of the game they pivoted and fired, pivoted and fired. And that's just a portion of the army - you can see the rest in the picture.
|I didn't get my preferred wave. No alpha strike. I dumped my Fiends on one flank and landed my Icon in the middle of the board.|
I normally split my drops evenly, but here the strategy was different: I loaded my shooting in the preferred wave and my Fiends and Troops in the secondary. I wanted my Heralds and Princes on the board, softening up the armor long before my Troops hit the field. This was an objective based game - there was never a doubt in my mind he'd go after my Horrors in the worst way.
|I used cover to block as much of the shooting as possible, then started launching assaults.|
I went to ground over and over with the Horrors in the first three turns; to my mind, one of the most underused rules in the game.
|Notice the Fiends in the center? They multi-charged two Chimeras. That's how to deal with Mech Walls. The resulting explosions can potentially devastate the Vets ('cause it's always Vets!) inside, but I usually hope for a Pinned result.|
|I'm pretty sure I lost my Icon by this point, but the Horrors going to ground in cover soaked a lot of shooting.|
|Not much left, and the Master of the Fleet means my reserves plain aren't coming in.|
|I never will hit the Hydras on my extreme right flank with Fiends - that's too much board to cover, even with Beasts. Still, they take out 3.5 of 6 units. I can live with that.|
Here's something to consider though: in the scenario, it was important to get units into your enemy's deployment zone. You'll notice I end up moving units inside toward the end.
|Bolt, Breath, and Gaze; the latter (Str5) can still take out armor with rear shots.|
|This was taken from the extreme left board edge. I control more space, but the Vendettas are a primary target now. I can't have them swooping in to steal my objectives, nor tie me out with the deployment scenario.|
|A Daemon Prince lands here and shoots down one Vendetta. Notice the lone Fiend, hiding. I'm not giving up easy Kill Points!|
|I chase this model around the board before finally destroying it.|
My opponent was a great player who knew how to play his army... the advantage I had was the countless games I played against Evil Homer's Mech Guard. This isn't a fluke - I usually beat Mech Guard. (The games are here if you want to hit the labels on the right.)
And it usually surprises them. One advantage of playing a lesser known build is opponents are often under-practiced against your army... plus, there's a tendency to underestimate you. (Space Wolves players have loaded the board with Thunderwolf calvary then called this army cheesy after the game.)
This was a tough army to face... but actually Game 3 was the toughest I'd face in my first 4 games...
(That's foreshadowing, by the way.)