My friend Dave and I arranged to meet up at Game Kastle tonight. They have a pretty good game area, lots of terrain and it's relatively close to work and home for both of us. Unfortunately, I was detained at work so I showed up late, but luckily for me Dave is an easy-going guy (wonder if I'll be that lucky next week, hmmm Dave?).
As you may know, I've been wanting to prep for Kublacon and had settled on a list that frankly seems a bit, er, vanilla:
- Jetbike Seer council: Singing Spears all around, Guide/Fortune, 3x destructor,1 x embolden and one warlock with no powers.
- 2x 5 fire dragons in wave serpents sporting starcannons, spirit stones and star engines
- 2x 5 dire avengers in wave serpents sporting brightlances, spirit stones and star engines
- 2x Fire Prisms with Spirit stones
- 3x war walkers with starcannons
I arrived about 7:45 and we got right to it. We were lucky enough to pick up a game at a table where the current occupants were finishing up. We rolled scenarios out of the book and ended up with Annihilation and Pitched Battle. Lovely. Dave took first turn, which I was happy to give him. My goal was to keep everything in reserve and let him decide whether to cluster up or spread out, then try to come in on the weak side and pick up easy points.
Dave's list was a little intimidating, but unusual. Two battlewagons, six deffkoptas and mad doc Grotsnik accompanied by 29 foot-slogging, fearless, raging boyz, plus 3 killa kans and the contents of a wartrukk. I forget the particulars but it was light on the heavy armored boyz/nobz to make room for lots of rokkits.
As usual, I began making mistakes during deployment. Eager to get my psychic powers up fast, I started with my seer council on the board alone, partially hidden by the small but plentiful terrain. This was a mistake because Dave was able to rush up on turn 1 and unload quite a bit of firepower into my seer council, killing 3 warlocks pretty much right off the bat.
I compounded my folly during the bottom of turn 1 by rolling 3 natural 6s on the psychic test for Guide, followed by a 2 for Ghosthelm and a 1 for the farseer's invuln save. Things were off to a bad start. I was worried about Dave's line, which was spread across the board. I moved my remaining seers up and threw fruitless singing spears at his advancing deffkoptas.
|"I know you can read the weave of the tangled skein of fate and all, but are you SURE this was a good idea?"|
This was partly an attempt to get him to converge on my left, toward the seer council, which he did. The top of turn 2 he moved his entire army forward towards the remaining 3 seers. After another round of shooting, another warlock fell, and the noose tightened... (ah but for whom, eh?)
At the bottom of turn 2 all but one of my fire dragon units came on from reserve. To make a long story short, my shooting was disappointing nearly across the board, with my prism cannon shots scattering into no-man's-land and my wave serpent weapons ricocheting harmlessly off his vehicles... except for my last starcannon shot, which popped his wartrukk! First kill point!
My walkers outflanked on the left, and came in behind the advancing battlewagon full of boyz and a warboss, unloading into the rear armor they blew it sky high, killing 8 boyz in the resulting explosion. -You know, I always do this, I always put my walkers too close. Why? I have 36" on those guns, I can afford to stay way back and fire! Duh!
We got to the top of turn 3 (I figured I'd let Dave get an extra turn in since he'd been stuck there waiting for me for an hour), me with 2 kill points and Dave with zero, but I'd left my walkers too close and the boss and boyz assaulted them into oblivion. With the rest of his shooting he'd managed to knock the weapons off of one wave serpent and immobilize another. He assaulted the toothless serpent but unfortunately was not able to destroy it in close combat.
The store closed at this point and we had to pack up, resolving to meet again next week. Earlier.
After the game, I started thinking about that Seer Council. It's an awful lot of points I'm spending on something that seems to die pretty easily in scenarios like the above, rarely making its points back although it does draw an awful lot of enemy fire.
Maybe I should drop the seer council entirely and just replace it with regular jetbike squads, plus an autarch or a farseer? Why not? More scoring units for the enemy to worry about, and they are pretty hardy, for a bunch of pointy-eared bikers. This would be more of an "adapt-your-army-to-fit-your-style" move than for any real game/metagame advantage.
I'm also considering dumping the starcannons on my war walkers. If I switch back to scatter lasers, then I get another 60 points to play with. That's 2+ jetbikes, or two holo fields for my fire prisms. I'll consider it.
What would you do?