Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Only Good Lash Prince is a Dead Lash Prince

Last night I got to play Bob Kelley, a name that is known to quite a few folks who play in the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern Canada. Bob has been associated with many things in his illustrious and often outspoken hobbyist span, but the one thing that I always associate him with is quality. Quality play, painting, and armies. And then, to be able to play at his house, with his stuff, meant quality table and terrain as well. He didn't disappoint. I should offer fair warning that is a long entry, with a lot of pics.

From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog

The Armies
My army:
1500 Pts - Tau Empire Roster - Halcyon Week 7-8

HQ: Commander Shas'o (1#, 127 pts)
1 Commander Shas'o @ 127 pts (Airbursting Fragmentation Projector; Hard-wired Multi-tracker; Missile Pod; Positional Relay)

Troops: Fire Warrior (13#, 210 pts)
9 Fire Warrior @ 210 pts (Add Shas'ui; Pulse Rifle x9)
1 Devilfish (Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker)
2 Gun Drones (Twin Linked Pulse Carbines)
1 Shas'ui (Bonding Knife; Pulse Rifle)

Troops: Kroot Carnivore Squad (18#, 139 pts)
9 Kroot Carnivore Squad @ 139 pts (Add Kroot Shaper; Add Kroot Hounds; Kroot Rifle x9)
1 Kroot Shaper (Kroot Rifle)
8 Kroot Hounds

Fast Attack: Pathfinder (8#, 155 pts)
4 Pathfinder @ 155 pts (Add Shas'ui; Markerlight x4; Pulse Carbine x4)
1 Shas'ui (Bonding Knife; Markerlight; Pulse Carbine)
1 Devilfish (Burst Cannon; Gun Drones; Marker Beacon; Landing Gear)
2 Gun Drones (Twin Linked Pulse Carbines)

Heavy Support: Hammerhead Gunship (1#, 175 pts)
1 Hammerhead Gunship @ 175 pts (Railgun; Smart Missile System; Targeting Array; Disruption Pod; Landing Gear; Multi-Tracker)

Fast Attack: Piranha Light Skimmer (4#, 155 pts)
2 Piranha Light Skimmer @ 155 pts (Fusion Blaster x2; Gun Drones x4; Disruption Pod x2; Target Lock x1; Targeting Array x2)
2 Gun Drones (Twin Linked Pulse Carbines)

Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (2#, 100 pts)
2 Crisis Battlesuit @ 100 pts (Burst Cannon; Missile Pod; Multi-Tracker)

Elite: Stealthsuits (5#, 160 pts)
2 Stealthsuits @ 160 pts (Add Team Leader; Burst Cannon x2)
1 Team Leader (Bonding Knife; Burst Cannon; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Marker Drone; Marker Drone)
1 Marker Drone (Networked Markerlight; Targeting Array)
1 Marker Drone (Networked Markerlight; Targeting Array)

Troops: Fire Warrior (10#, 115 pts)
9 Fire Warrior @ 115 pts (Add Shas'ui; Pulse Rifle x9)
1 Shas'ui (Bonding Knife; Pulse Rifle)

Heavy Support: Broadside Battlesuit (2#, 105 pts)
1 Broadside Battlesuit @ 105 pts (Team Leader; Twin linked Railgun; Smart Missile System; Bonding Knife; Hard-wired Drone Controller; Shield Drone; Advanced Stabilisation System)
1 Shield Drone (Shield Generator)

Elite: Crisis Battlesuit (1#, 53 pts)
1 Crisis Battlesuit @ 53 pts (Twin Linked Fusion Blaster; Targeting Array)

Total Roster Cost: 1494

Bob was playing Chaos Space Marines which, if you know him, should come as no shock. Bob has a had a few armies before CSM but he fell to Chaos sometime ago and has not since come back. Chaos is lucky to have him too, as he does their miniatures a great deal of justice. As to his exact list, I gave it a cursory glance, so I can not speak to it exactly.

HQ: Lash Prince with wings (The guy that is dead up top there, and the MVP of the match.)
Elites: 10 man Chosen squad in a rhino with a couple of melta guns, Infiltrators.
Troops: 10 man Khorne Berserkers, aspiring champ had a fist. 10 man Plague Marines with a couple of plasma guns and a Rhino. 16 man Chaos Space Marine squad with the mark of undivided. They had a lascannon and maybe some other stuff, though I am not sure as these guys didn't really come into play in this game. And lastly, a 10 man squad of summoned demons.
Fast Attack: I don't think any.
Heavy Support: I don't think any of that either.

The Deck
From Mars Project Blog

This thing is really awesome, and when bestowed upon Bob there where apparently only two in existence. The guys who are responsible for, or very active in (Not quite sure) Astronomicon, made this deck for determining games. Basically you can draw deployment, scenario, set-up cards, all kinds of crazy shit. Each player starts with two objectives and then you draw to see what happens from there. I was all over this.

The deployment drawn was this crazy kind I have never played before. Basically you draw an "X" through the middle of the table (A line from the top left short edge corner to the bottom right short edge corner, another from the bottom left short edge corner to the top right short edge corner.) and then mark the center of the board. Your deployment zone is the triangle formed along the long board edge, however you can not be within 12" of the center of the board, and you have to be more than 18" away from an enemy unit.

Once we had our deployment zones we set up our objectives, the only rule being one had to be in your deployment zone and one had to be outside of either deployment zone.
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog
From Mars Project Blog

We drew out setup next, which was some crazy thing called "Fully Committed" or something like that. It broke down to being that all special rules were over ridden when it came to reserve. All your shit had to be down, in your deployment zone, at the start of the game. Infiltrators couldn't infiltrate, but you could set them up last.

Obviously, with my dropping kamikaze melta suit, out flanking kroot, etc this was a little bit of a bummer. Bob felt the sting too as his Chosen squad, for this game, was just expensive Chaos Marines. I should note that, reading the card in retrospect, Bob's demons probably should have started on the board as well. At the time we didn't even think about it, so if you are wondering why/how he summons in his demons in Turn 2, that's why.

Either before, or after the setup we drew another card to see what was happening on the table during the fight. The card we drew had warp energy running rampant through our battlefield, so any psychic check made that was doubles caused the psyker to suffer Perils of the Warp. If the check was less than or equal to their leadership the power went off still, so like rolling double "1's" normally. Bob had a lash prince, I had Tau. So I caught a break on this one.

So then, and this was the part that I really dug, we each drew an objective. I really liked the idea of us not having the same objective in the game. Bob drew a card that made it so that his primary victory condition was to kill my highest point valued unit, in this case my Hammerhead. His secondary victory condition was to hold two of the objectives we placed earlier.

My objective was a rescue mission. You have to select 1d3+2 models and have them be wounded ( I had 3.). You and your opponent take turns placing the models, they can't be within 6" of a board edge or 12" of my deployment zone. A wounded model can be captured if there is a non-vehicle model within base to base (friend or foe) at the end of the movement phase. If you have a wounded guy you always move as if in difficult terrain and the guy holding him cannot shoot, run assault, or be pinned without releasing the wounded model. If the wounded models were not held in base to base they could move d6" during your movement phase. My primary victory condition was to rescue more guys than my opponent did. My secondary victory condition was to hold one of the objectives placed earlier. I picked a fire warrior, a kroot, and a stealth suit to be wounded. This is one of those examples of how I handicap myself with the idea of something being cool, as I should have just had three wounded kroot hounds.

I placed my first wounded guy on the other side of the cathedral shown earlier. We were playing that as intact building and I had doors in my deployment zone. The other side of the cathedral was far enough off that I could place the wounded kroot about 5" off the door and still meet the criteria for him being more than 12" from my deployment zone.
From Mars Project Blog

Bob stuck my fire warrior in the building in his deployment zone.
From Mars Project Blog

I placed my wounded stealth suit about about 6" off his deployment zone, near the where the kroot was, in a ruin. My thinking was that I would force him to commit at least something to the far side in order to capture one of my guys, and if he didn't I would just run a squad of drones or something up there and start pulling him back. With something committed to the far right of the board, I would come in on the left and try to eliminate one of his units from most of the fight.
From Mars Project Blog

The last cards we drew were just quirky stuff we had or could do during the game. Bob drew a card that said that he had whatever I got from drawing. My card allowed for myself and Bob to select one of our HQ's who gained USR Eternal Warrior. I only had the Shas'o so he got it. Bob's only HQ was his lash prince, who already had it, so he got it again, and then one more time because his card that said he copied my card. So, in all, his lash prince was Eternal Warrior x3! That should have been an indication there as to the havoc he would wreak.

With the cards drawn it was "game on". I should say quickly that it took three times as long to explain the set-up here as to actually do it. The drawing is super fast, the instructions on the cards are easy to read, clear, and concise. All in all, it is a great way to play 40k casually, especially if you are burned out on the standard missions. Should these decks ever go into mass production I am friggin' on it! I would recommend folks do the same.

Bob is going first, and the first thing he asked is why I put the wounded stealth suit where he could get it first turn? I knew my plan had worked, too bad it was a crap plan.

Bob deploys the Deathgaurd in their rhino near the wounded suit. His giant CSM squad holds down the right side to middle. Lash prince and Berserkers in rhino are at the fore, and then his Chosen rhino was on the left side of his deployment zone, close to the wounded fire warrior.
From Mars Project Blog

I figured I had the wounded kroot with my kroot so there was 1 wounded model. The wounded stealth suit was written off immediately, for the greater good. My plan was to send all the guns blazing at the anything around the my wounded fire warrior in Bob's deployment zone, scoop in and pick him up with some fire warriors and a fish, and evac. I put my kroot in the cathedral, as planned, so that they would be able to grab the wounded kroot first turn. I also put my two piranhas behind the kroot occupied cathedral in case I need to drop the Deathguard rhino. I couldn't really let him get his foot sloggers too close. Conveniently the objective in my deployment zone was behind the cathedral as well. So one squad of kroot could grab the wounded kroot and then fall back to the objective helping to complete the primary and secondary victory conditions. The cathedral was on the far right side of the board.
From Mars Project Blog

Everything else I stacked on the left side, as close to the wounded fire warrior as I could get. I would need all the fire power I could get to pull of my gambit.
From Mars Project Blog

Turn 1
Bob goes to roll out with his Deathguard rhino from the ruin it is in and rolls a "1" immobilizing it. The Deatguard are forced to pile out. They then rolled a difficult terrain test and came up short of capturing the wounded stealth suit. Lucky day for me. Though in retrospect I don't think they should have been able to, as even though the vehicle immobilized itself before it was able to go anywhere, it still counted as moving, so the guys inside could only disembark. If I am right, oh well, hind sight is 20/20. If I am wrong, we did it right! Chosen pile out of their rhino and go grab the wounded fire warrior. The Berserker rhino and lash prince move forward. The big CSM squad had to move to give the lascannon a shot on my Hammerhead next turn. The Lascannon was really the only thing in his army that could drop my Hammerhead (Bob's primary victory condition.) from any kind of range. After Bob's movement was over he had captured my wounded fire warrior. In his shooting phase he lashed my Shas'o towards him.
From Mars Project Blog

My turn 1 rolls around. the wounded kroot rolls a "4" so helps me out. I pop the kroot squad out of the cathedral and grab him. The wounded stealth suit rolls a "1". Bob had wisely surrounded him which meant the only way he could go was off the ledge he was on, which we had stated took 2" off movement to go up or down before the game had started. He is stuck, unable to capitalize on Bob's misfortune. My tanks and APC's swing right, making a beeline for the wounded fire warrior. He bring everything to bear, immobilizing the Chosen rhino to prevent them from loading up and melta gunning my Hammerhead. At the end of turn 1, he has one of my wounded, I have one of my wounded, and one is looking like he is about to hang with the stinky kids.
From Mars Project Blog

Turn 2
The Deathgaurd move up and claim my wounded stealth suit. Berserkers get out of their rhino that I stunned the turn before with missiles, after summoning in the daemons. The lash prince knows that is the place to be so he hangs out with them. The Chosen start to make off with my wounded fire warrior.

In the shooting phase my Shas'o gets lashed to prince and summoned daemon assault range...yay. Lascannon takes a shot at the Hammerhead by my Disruption Pod lets me jink it. Plague marines drop a piranha and stun another with plasma.
From Mars Project Blog

My turn 2 I start pulling the wounded kroot around the the cathedral to the objective and roll horribly, it will take four turns for me to get the wounded kroot to safety, not that it mattered because even this early on Bob had already written that kroot off. I zip closer to where my wounded fire warrior is being held captive and unleash hell on the squad of Chosen holding him. I get them all but 1.
From Mars Project Blog

Turn 2 ends and Bob has two of my wounded. I still have my Hammerhead alive though.

Turn 3
Bob backs up slowly with the Deathgurd and opens my other piranha. His lash prince flies up near my stealth suits and you can guess what happens next. The Berserkers hop back into their rhino and head towards where the inevitable through down is gonna be for the wounded fire warrior. A lash happens, some stealth suits die and the remaining Chosen takes my wounded guy around the side of a building.

I tell myself the lash prince has to die. I set up enough fire power to drop him. Move a Devilfish up and drop off a squad of fire warriors to kill the one Chosen holding my wounded fire warrior. They accomplish the task put before them. Now here is what is weird, I suddenly decide that the Khorne Berserkers need to die because they can assault my fire warriors who are trying to capture the wounded fire warrior.

I open up the Berserkers Rhino and then dump all my shots that were supposed to be into the lash prince into the Berserker squad accomplishing very little. Me losing sight of my goal gave Bob a great opportunity.
From Mars Project Blog

Turn 4
This happens:
From Mars Project Blog

With a flap of his daemonic wings, lash prince gets into assault range with the Hammerhead. Turns out, he rips it up. Bob has just achieved his primary victory condition. The Berserkers that I just liberated from the confines of their rhino tear through my fire warriors forcing the remaining two to fall back.

My turn, my hope is to get the wounded fire warrior far away from the Berserkers and around the back of the building so I can pick him up with my other fire warrior squad. I roll for the wounded fire warrior's movement and..."1" FML! My Devilfish moves behind the building that the wounded fire warrior, Bob, and myself are now dancing around. After that I unload into the Berserkers with everything I can, and amazingly enough get them all. The lash prince shrugs off a fusion blaster shot and a couple of smart missiles. He can't die yet, he still has to 'eff me harder. I get so excited that the Berserkers get obliterated that I completely forget to jet pack anything. This wasn't really a factor, but it could have been.

Turn 5
The fuggin' lash prince, still alive and kicking, hops to the back side of the building and pulls my remaining fire warrior squad to him. Wiping them in an assault. My wounded fire warrior is now no where near anything that can capture him, mine or Bob's. Bob moves his remaining stuff into good firing position on anything that could maybe make it the wounded fire warrior, including his huge CSM squad.

I kill the lash prince out of spite, and cause there is crap else better to do. Moral victory!
From Mars Project Blog

I rush a couple of drones as close to the wounded fire warrior as possible. They are about the only thing that has a chance of claiming him. It doesn't matter, as the turn concludes we roll, it is a "2", game over.

From Mars Project Blog

Behold the victor's crotch! Bob wins the day having accomplished both his primary victory condition (Killing of my Hammerhead) and his secondary (Holding two objectives). I had one of my wounded, Bob had the other, and one was unclaimed. I failed my primary victory condition, though I did manage to obtain my secondary by holding an objective.

This game was a lot of fun. I made a mistake, but I was pretty soundly out played the whole time. The deck added an insanely fun dimension to the night only made better by a quality experience. A quality made possible by Bob's talent, smarts, determination, and a love for his hobby.

Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. Hail to the victors crotch!

    Nice battle report. Everytime I lost focus on what I was attemptig to do has cost me the game.

    Focus Focus