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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Battle Report: Astra Militarum & Tyranids vs. Black Templars & Knights


I recently attended a small invitational tournament with an unusual format: each player had to bring both a 1000 pts and 2000 pts army list with the same Primary Faction, and each game was a three-player battle with a single 2000 pts player battling two 1000 pts players. Read on for the first of three battle reports for this event.

Army List

I built a reasonably good 1000 pts Astra list for this event, and crammed in an extra 1000 pts of filler to hit the 2000 pts level (I have sold a lot of models recently and have a much more limited selection available). Luckily for me, I ended up using my 1000 pts list with a partner in all three rounds of the tournament, so I got to use my better list:

Combined Arms Detachment: Astra Militarum
HQ
Plasma Command Squad in Chimera
Troops
Plasma Veteran Squad in Chimera
Melta Veteran Squad in Chimera
Melta Veteran Squad in Taurox
Fast Attack
Hellhound
Heavy Support
Punisher
Fortification
Void Shield Generator

I would have preferred to mount both Melta squads in Taurox, and swapped the Punisher for an Exterminator, but I made the best of my available painted models. I really had no idea going in how powerful the opposing lists would be, but since this was pitched as an 'anything goes' tournament I decided the Void Shield Generator would be a worthwhile inclusion.

Mission

The same mission was played in each round: six Objectives were placed, three in each long-edge deployment zone, and these Objectives were worth VP at the end of the game only (1VP each for own-zone, 3VP each for enemy-zone). This was not great mission design since it heavily biased aggressive lists over midfield or backfield lists, but neither was it unplayable.

Round One: Black Templars

My first game of the tournament saw me buddied-up with Nids and pitted against Black Templars with a Knight.

The Nid list was fairly nasty for 1000 pts, including no less than three Flyrants! The rest of the list was a Tyrannocyte full of Devilgaunts and a handful of Mucolids.

The Templar list comprised an inefficient deathstar of Chapter Master + Emperor's Champion + Assault Terminators, two Crusader squads in Pods, two Devastator squads behind an Aegis line, a Vindicator, a Predator, and a Knight Paladin.

Objectives were placed strung-out along the forward edge of each deployment zone. The Flyrants deployed on our left flank and I deployed all my armour and loaded transports in the centre clustered around the VSG. Our opponent deployed his Devastators behind their Aegis line in a central ruin, and his armour and Knight on his right flank.

We went first and our Flyrants quickly took to the skies and moved aggressively against the Devastators and their dangerous Quad-Gun. A bucket of dice later and the Flyrants had killed most of the Devastators, and some long-ranged shots from the Imperial transports picked off the stragglers.


The Templars responded by Podding-in a Crusader squad in front of my parking lot—but outside the VSG bubble. The Knight, Predator and Vindicator advanced into midfield firing positions. All the enemy firepower stripped my Void Shields and took a couple of HP off different vehicles.

The Crusaders were swiftly answered by a dismounting Plasma Veteran squad and a horde of Devilgaunts.


A Melta Veteran squad attempted to halt the advancing Knight Paladin, but after failing their Tank Hunters Order then subsequently missing with all three of their Meltaguns, they deserved their impending doom!! The Flyrants redeemed the Veterans' failure by Haywiring a couple of HP from the Knight.


Unfortunately for our opponent, neither of his Reserved units arrived this turn. As expected, the Knight made very short work of the Veterans and their Chimera, but he had nothing to answer the Flyrants or regenerating Void Shields.


Our combined firepower finished off the Knight, Vindicator and Predator, leaving our opponent at risk of tabling if his Reserves failed to arrive again. One of my Veteran squads remounted and drove into the enemy zone to grab Objectives.

The second Crusader squad and the deathstar both arrived to an otherwise empty Templar board. The Crusaders Podded-in to the VSG bubble but unluckily failed to crack open the Taurox. The Terminators simply ran to disperse their formation.


My Veterans and Command squad dismounted, and my Hellhound swung in to torch the Crusaders, but failed to wipe them out. The Punisher moved to block the Terminators from my squishy Guardsmen. The Flyrants managed to shoot dead a few of the elite marines through simple weight of dice.


The surviving Crusaders charged and slaughtered my Command squad, earning Slay the Warlord, but the one surviving Hammernator fluffed his rolls and his S4 brethren were ineffectual against the rear AV11 of the Punisher.


The game was in the bag for us by this stage, with a Veteran squad and their Chimera holding a pair of enemy-zone Objectives, and all our own-zone Objectives were safe thanks to Objective Secured. We called it with the rampaging Terminator deathstar numerically unable to swing the game to the Templars.


This round was a fairly one-sided battle; the mobile firepower of the Astra and Flyrants trumped the mostly static Templars that deployed, and the delayed arrival of a fairly weak (though tough) deathstar sealed the deal.

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