Fate’s Angels Squeek Out a Win

With ‘ard Boyz being next month everyone at the shop is getting ready for it, well except for a few of us. So, I’ve been showing up with 2,500 point lists to play against those who are going to enter. Last night I got to play Brian, an Ultramarine player, who wanted to play test a list of his. His list was:

Assault Termies x 5
Sternguard x 10 w/Pod
Sternguard x 5
Tacts x 10 w/Pod
Tacts x 10 w/Pod
Tacts x 10 w/Rhino
Tacts x 10 w/Rhino
Tacts x 10 w/Razorback

I had seen him post this up on B&C (Bolter & Chainsword), and thought to myself how in the hell would I face this down? As fate would have it, this was the list he brought and who I faced.

My list was:

Command Squad x 5 w/Razorback
Sternguard x 8 w/Pod
Termies x 10
Ironclad w/Pod
Tacts x 10 w/Pod
Tacts x 10 w/Rhino
Scouts x 5 w/Land Speeder Storm
Scouts x 5 (snipers)
Assault Marines x 10

This was a test list of mine, not for ‘ard Boyz, but my attempt to find a style I like with my Marines. I like that Khan let’s me outflank with most anything and the rest of the list is built to be in your face.

We played a Battle Mission, Vanguard, so he deployed first in one half of the board with 2 objectives placed. One objective was in the center of the board and the other center but on his deployment edge. Once he deployed I got to place a third in his deployment zone so I put it close to a short edge. I had to then come in off my long edge, nothing deployed to start. My advantage in this was that any of my infantry counted as scoring in this mission.

His deployment was a bit spread out over the entire deployment zone and he had three pods and Termies to arrive. I left my Assault Squad to outflank as well as my close combat Scouts in the Storm. I then arrived using a refused flank on my left. I figured with his army spread as it was that I could get him to waste time moving it to get to me or sit there useless. To support the refused flank I fired the Ironclad and Sternguard to the left in his back field. Then it got ugly…

The first three turns of the game were more or less him and I firing off our pods down where I began my dropping mine. Brian was tearing me apart with Tigurius and his Sternguard. My Sternguard and Ironclad were quickly removed. My drop pod Tact Squad showed up, shot a bit then Tigurius and buddies destroyed them in one round of shooting after (avenger is brutal). My Assault Squad arrived, outflanked and charged into his Tact Squad with Calgar. I eventually lost that combat and left him with Calgar and one Marine.

It wasn’t looking good for me. My attempts to clear out the left were not faring well at all. I had five Tacts left in a Rhino who were moving to secure an objective and too many threats to safely claim it. My Termies had shown up and I put them center of the board between two objectives hoping to be able to claim one of them. I didn’t have much left to work with. Then my luck changed.

My outflanking Scouts in the Storm arrived to the left and I threw them at a full Tact Squad he had there. Between shooting and the assault I left him with 3 Marines and I lost no Scouts. Calgar had joined the Assault Termies and was moving to deal with either my Rhino’d Tact Squad or the Scouts and in doing so left a Tact Squad unsupported near the board center, the opening I needed. My Command Squad who I had been holding back I moved forward and charged the Tact Squad who podded in. I won the combat but his squad held out. The ensuing Scout combat I eventually lost and left him with 2 Tacts.

We were now on the bottom of the turn, his turn and the final turn. My Termies were now holding an objective and Brian held one after taking out my Rhino’d Tact Squad with Assault Termies and then running two beat down Tact Squads to the objective. My Command Squad with Khan killed a few more without any losses but Calgar lets his army choose to pass or fail morale tests so he passes of course. Khan has hit and run so I use it, manage to break off and get a good enough roll to grab the center objective to win the game.

Wow! The game came down to a single dice roll and I pulled it out of my ass. I had little hope of winning this game. His shooting was brutal and effective. By the end of turn #2 most of what I put down on the left flank was destroyed. The arrival of my Scouts and effective assault changed the game for me. He was afraid I’d win the combat, jump back into my Storm and land on an objective so he had to move out to prevent that. That gave me that opening for my Command Squad and the use of hit and run being the game winner.

I think I found a style I like with my Marines. One of the things I wanted with this list was uncertainty for my opponent because of outflanking and my drop pods. By the same token it’s uncertain for me, the dice rolls can go against me. I tried to build out the list to help deal with some of the uncertainty so I’m not completely reliant on things coming in where I want them and on the turns I want them but you can only do so much. However that uncertainty kept it interesting and fun for me and one unit changed the entire game for me, well two really. I’ll have to work on refining it and working on my approach. I rarely ever play the same list more than once, I enjoy making lists too much, but at least now I have a direction for making those lists.

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