Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Black and White and Red all over? Battle Report: Scythiak vs. Black Templars

In the second of my games at our local Games Day, I played Alex and his Black Templars, always a fun and tough opponent.  We rolled up a five-objective Seize Ground with Pitched Battle deployment.  With only two troops choices, could the Templars stem the Scythiak tide of bodies?

The field of battle.  Poker chips are the objectives.

1850 pts. Templars set up first.  From top left of pic, ten man assault squad fist/flamer/plasma pistol, tri-las predator, and 5 or 6-man squad with las/plas cover his right flank, lascannon/stormbolter dread and multimelta speeder in the middle, close combat squad with Emperor's Champion in a Rhino, assault terminator squad in Land Raider Crusader and two assault cannon terminator squad on his left flank. 

Scythiak set up second.  Techno-barbarian platoon and Ogryn w/Sorcerer (primaris pysker) and priest with eviscerator set up on the left, with a heavy bolter squad.  Missiles, mortars, psyker squad and a cultist screen in the middle, lascannons and more cultists on the right.

Scythiak reserves.  Outlfanking spawn riders (sentinels), Khonan/Marbo, Rough Riders, Leman Russ, and Vet squad with three meltaguns and powerfist.

Templars surge forward, clustering around one objective.

Moving up on the other side too.  Templar fire routs both the missile launcher and lascannon squads, seriously hurting the Scythiak's long ranged AT fire.

Heavy bolters down the speeder, and fire takes out all but one trooper from the small squad.

Rhino and termies charge forward.  The Raider immobilizes itself, and the assault termies follow their brothers on foot.

Assault squad jumps out, gambling that other units' fire will clear a path through the cultist screen to the Ogryn for them.  A number fall, but the path is still blocked.

Templars storm through the gap in the middle, right into Khonan's cunning trap.  Now only if the meltagunner will play his part...

He does!  The melta-armed cultist explodes the Rhino.  Shrapnel kills one cultist and wounds Khonan as he flings his demo charge into the clustered marines.  The charge kills the Emperor's Champion and all but one of the marines.

Cultists move over to try to screen the dread while the Ogryn deal with the assault squad.

Russ rolls on and shoots at the predator to no effect.

The dread sidesteps the cultists to get at the big boys.  Spawn riders come on and engage in a duel with the predator, with help from the cultists who start to swarm all over it looking for places to attach frag grenades.  Eventually one spawn rider is down but the pred is left immobilized and weaponless.

Terminators move up to engage various foes, while the rhino's crater mysteriously moves out of their way.  Hmmm....


Meanwhile the surviving Initiate charges into the remaining psykers, vowing to avenge the Champion.

The cultist screen can't move up far enough and the Ogryn get pulled over too far in their assault on the jump pack squad.  The dread manages to make it to the Ogryn, and the squishing begins.  They have a priest with an eviscerator for just such an emergency, but being an independent character she is the first to go.  Now it's just a matter of how long the Ogryn can delay the dread, as they no longer have any way to hurt it.

Rough riders arrive.  They leave the wizards to their fate and prepare to charge into the terminators instead.

They kill a few terminators but  are routed.

On the right cultists slink up the side to repeatedly meltagun the land raider, while Khonan meltabombs it on the other side.  Various weapons get taken off, but the behemoth survives.

Crunch all you want.

Termies move to aid their entombed brother.  Papa JJ pulls down one with his powerfist but cannot stem the tide.

Not trusting scatter, the mortar squad snatches up their entrenching tools and charges the remaining Initiate, hoping to wipe out one of the Templars' Troops choices.


Stubborn eventually fails and the dread finishes off the Ogryn, and turns to finish off some techno-barbarians, but not before the other lone Initiate is killed.

 My veterans came on turn 5 and shot up some terminators that were covering an objective, but failed to kill them all.  I took some pictures of the action there but they don't seem to have made it off the camera...


 Despite repeated poundings, the Land Raider won't die.  The game ends here at the end of turn five.  If the raider had died or the Ogryn could have held up the dread longer I could have pulled out a win, but as it was we ended up with a 0-0 tie.  Very much a nail biter!

 I think that Alex made his big mistakes in the early game, committing his Troops too early.  One lascannon shot isn't worth risking that small squad in this type of game, and while you want the Champion and friends beating face, again it's kind of risky shoving them forward so early.  I think that he could have done better with consolidating more early, using the jump packs/transports to concentrate more on one area while the small squad hung back with the dread protecting them.  Use the termies to clear things away and contest, and zip troops out to claim a couple in the late game.

For my own mistakes I think that while I wanted the threat to the LR if it ventured close to my board edge, I think I may have been better off with the meltavets on the table lurking somewhere.  They certainly would have been useful against that dread, which would have allowed me to roll over that side of the board.  I also committed the Ogryn too far forward, letting the dread get them.  I should have kept them back instead and used the Russ to shoot at the assault squad instead of the predator.  Combined with the ripper guns and other fire they should have been able to take out the assault squad and kept the Ogryn safe.

As always with Alex, a very fun and tough game!  At some point I need to get slaughtered by his Dark Eldar, but I always enjoy fighting the BT.  Till next time!

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