Thursday, October 4, 2012

Astartes vs. Orks Lessons Learned

The weekend before last, Carl, Jon and I got together for some Astartes-vs-greenskins action. Carl and I each brought 1000 points of Grey Knights and Ultramarines, respectively, while Jon fielded 2000 points of Orks. The game was pretty long and I was too tired to remember it well enough to recount it with my usual level of detail, so I'll simply put down what we got out of it.

The game was pretty much a wholesale slaughter and we called it at around 12:30 AM. A quick count showed that, cumulatively, Carl and I had about 500 points on the table compared to Jon's 600 points. Although Jon had more points left, it was hard to declare anybody the winner or even to guess what would have happened if we had time for one or two more turns. Most of Jon's remaining points were in two Loota Squads and his Blitza-Bommer. At the time we called the game, Carl's remaining Grey Knight troops and my undamaged multi-melta Dreadnought were one turn away from engaging the Lootas. Meanwhile, my fully intact 5 man Scout Squad was taking potshots at them. On the other hand, the Marines were limited in what they could do to the Bommer thanks to the range of the weapons they had left. The only option for a Marine victory would have been to wipe out the units on the table and to wait until the Bommer ran out of room and had to leave.

"I Lost as Soon as I Made My List"
Well, the subheading is probably an exaggeration, but I wasn't too pleased with my list when I finally got to the table. For starters, I brought my lascannon Razorback. This is typically a decent choice and a good way to bring a twin-linked lascannon to the table. However, I only had 1000 points to play with and I knew that I would be facing Orks. You don't need a 40 point vehicle with a 35 point lascannon to take down Ork armor when much cheaper missile launchers will easily pop a Killa Kan. Heck, now that troops can land grenades on walkers based on their weapon skill, I could easily have brought down Jon's Killa Kans by assaulting them with Tactical Squads. The 75 points I spent on the Razorback would have been better spent elsewhere.

I also brought a five man Tactical Squad to increase the number of bolters on the table. Given that a standard bolter round needs a 4+ to wound even Boyz, I clearly should have skipped the Razorback and the small Tactical Squad and rolled the points into a stand-in Sternguard Squad (the Cabal is pretty forgiving of substitutions). Hellfire rounds would have made short work of Jon's mobs. Similarly, I skimped on my Captain by giving him a power sword rather than a relic blade. A Space Marine Captain's stats may be pretty good, but when his strength 4 means that he needs a 4+ to wound lowly Ork Boyz, he's going to be overwhelmed pretty quickly. I lost 13% of my total army when the Captain fell. He probably would have lived longer if I had spent 15 more points for a strength 6 attack.

Carl's list was a bit more effective. He skipped on the Terminators to be able to put more troops on the board. His Interceptor Squad was able to neutralize one of Jon's three Loota squads by teleporting immediately behind them and dismantling the mob within a couple turns. Carl's only regret was that he didn't have ten Interceptor troops so he could combat squad them and really give Jon a hard time.

Wrong Airplane
Jon has built his Ork flyer so he can play it as a Dakkajet or a Blitza-Bommer. He's often tempted to play it as a Blitza-Bommer so he can drop a bomb during the movement phase and then turn his guns on something during the shooting phase. Unfortunately, he has rarely been able to pull this off effectively. In fact, I can't remember his Bommer killing a single model that night. Jon regretted not bringing the Dakkajet for this game.

Astartes that Stay Together, Slay Together
Carl and I had won the roll-off for first turn, so I spread the two Combat Squads formed from my 10 man Tactical Squad and the troops in my five man Tactical Squad across my half of our deployment area with the intention of making any approaching mobs take heavy fire during the entirety of their march. Unfortunately, Jon successfully seized the initiative and was able to get two mobs of Boyz a respectable distance across the table before even taking a casualty. A nagging voice in my head said that I should consolidate my Marines and that I should concentrate my fire on the nearest mob while slowly retreating from the farther group. Ideally, this would neutralize the closest mob and keep my troops at full strength for the inevitable assault by the second mob.

Instead of paying attention to that voice, I divided my fire between the two mobs in the hopes that I would wear each one down enough to survive close combat. Some less than stellar dice rolls combined with the swiftness of the Ork's approach meant that each squad was quickly swamped. Jon took heavy losses, but my Marines were decimated.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...