3 Apothocaries (Artificer, PW)
Breacher Squad (20, 3 Grav 1 flamer)
Tactical Squad (20)
Tactical Support (10, Volkite Calviers)
Spartan (dozer, Ceremite)
Joe brought a Chaos/Black Legion force based on a Rhino Rush strategy:
Chaos Lord (jump pack, Axe of rage, burning blade?, Khorne mark)
Raptors (10, 2 melta, few other upgrades)
3 Rhinos with a Squad each (Melta/Flamer in each Squad, PF/PW champ)
Chaos Chaplain equivalent (BL)
Chosen Squad (loads of upgrades, in Rhino)
He went first, loaded up his Left flank with 3 Rhinos full and the Jump Squad, leaving a single Rhino on the Right for himself. I set up in a few ruins, one had the Quad Mortar one the Support Squad and one the Tac Squad from my Left to Center. I left my Right empty, keeping the Spartan in Reserve with the Breacher Squad in as bait for the Objective there. Siege Breaker with the Support Squad (my Warlord) and the Vigilator with the Tac Squad to give them better cover and use his Sniper abilities. This I think is where I made my major mistake. Had I simply fielded the Spartan ON the Objective and dared them to come and get me I would have been in a far better position late game. As it was, nothing game breaking, we ended up with a draw as we both killed a lot of the other side and had units locked in Assault when time expired... I got First Blood from a Rhino kill, he got Line Breaker by being in my DZ for the bulk of the game :-)... We both found that the big 20 man Squads with FnP and 2-3 2+ Armor guys in them were annoyingly difficult to kill off. I did not actually lose any of my Squads entirely by the game end, but I also failed to kill off enough of his to keep an Objective clear....
So, what I learned:
- Big Squads are good, especially the Breacher Squad. The Blast/Template re-rolls and FnP meant that bunching up coming out of the Spartan wasn't a big deal. Also, ALL of them having a 5++ and FnP in Assault was huge. This will I think become a standard setup piece for my lists. Some of the lads are inbound now, guessing I'll be sculpting/casting shields to mod more of my ancient earlier MK armors to be a full Squad...
- While it was GREAT having Apothecaries in each Squad, I need to tool out the SGT and likely have a more HtH focused IC in each big Squad to actually be a credible threat and actually keep my lads alive when they get hit.
- Tac Support Squad with the Volkite thing... It was "eh"... A minor threat to the Rhinos. But really? I think Flamers in a Rhino will be more the norm. Keep it in Reserve maybe and roll on to flambe a Unit that is threatening my backfield... Plasma or Melta are options, but 30/Marine is a lot of points... Not seeing enough Deep Strikers to say that a unit of all Plasma and Intercept would be worth the points. Might run the Volkite thing one more time, but 3+, even in cover is just not that great anymore...
- The Siege Breaker and Vigilator were both pretty "eh" at best. What I REALLY needed was more HtH power, the Sniper stuff just wasn't worth the points, nor was the Tank Hunter ability really. SB needs to be in a list with more actual Artillery and more folks with the Comm Units to abuse LoS. Camo cloak and Specialist Ammo was completely worthless in this case.
- I brought a few "let's try this" sort of things... A single Artillery piece that was no real threat to Marines, the single AA DN, etc... The DN might stay, but even so, that was 135 points wasted I felt. The Artillery I have to either commit to bringing a LOT in the form of actual Arty or even 3 Mortars or not at all. Basilisk is an option, and 2 of them with the LoS abuse possible would be brutal. So more focused list building needed.
- ATSKNF... Not having it SUCKS. I got way too spoiled playing modern Marine armies for so long that I did not realize how often it might well be REALLY important to have.
So, more focused lists... That was the big thing I learned. Thinking the Praetor with the Armored Spearhead will be the next list. Though I AM looking forward to fielding some Cataphractii Terminators... Just that they do not normally HAVE the Deep Strike option and so need the 250 point Land Raider bringing the 5 man Squad cost to 440. The Centurion upgrades I brought were also a "that looks neat" thing, but I think they really brought nothing useful to my list as unfocused as it was. The Praetor will be different I think. Fewer bodies, but more focus on doing what I think must be done.
All in all though, I think it was a good, fun game... Looking forward to seeing what else I can bring to the table...