First and foremost the game was a tactical objectives game with objectives numbered 1-6 scattered around the table. We played 1500 points of which the armies were picked to the theme of the army. The Blood angels were fast moving units with jump packs, drop pods and a baal predator and very assault orientated while the chaos nurgle army was a plague zombie army with lots and lots of zombies and a few plague marines and champions thrown in for good measure.
Effectively could the Blood Angels charge the Chaos acolytes and hit hard enough before being swamped and overrun by zombies?
Flesh Tearers army
2 units of DC
2 Assault squads
2 tactical squads - 1 with a drop pod
Initial Deployment and tactics
The Flesh Tearers deployed first and deployed mainly on the left side of the battlefield to hopefuly hit hard into the chaos right flank. The plan was to smash one side and remove the zombie cultists with shooting from the tactical squad in drop pod before charging into the marines behind the screen with assault squads and death company. Then work down the line to wipe them out.
The Nurgle chaos army deployed second and spread out with a rotten meat shield in front of the juicy marines and champions behind. This would give many options to hold objectives indefinitely and where needed to earn points throughout the battle.
The Flesh Tearers had come to hit hard, destroy and grab points late on while the chaos army had come to take and hold objectives early and endure the onslaught.
The Flesh Tearers dropped in and hosed the zombie marines before realising that the tactics were somewhat flawed. Now the tactical squad was stuck on its own as the rest of the army could not get across the battlefield - oops!
Turn 2 is where I made my second mistake as I set up my DC marines and assault marines to assault into the plague marines and champion at the back of the chaos lines. Unfortunately the shooting I had did not wipe out the zombie cultists acting as a meat shield for them (Damn they are tough for such squishy little things!). I was now stuck in the middle of the field with nothing left to do except assault the cultists with my elite troops and then suffer a counter charge by the marines behind next turn - Gah! I knew at this point I was going to struggle as I need the charging bonuses of extra attacks and furious charge to get through the plague marines which I now wasn't going to get.
So what have I learned?
- My army is very themed to what a Blood Angels army should look like - everything fast moving and assault orientated. Unfortunately this is not particularly competitive as assault marines are fairly weak in combat - particularly after the initial charge - this allowed the chaos fiends to soak up the damage and then slowly whittle me down.
- Small squads just don't cut it. I have 2 death company squads of 5. This just isn't enough to do enough damage on that all important first turn of combat. If I roll badly or am outnumbered enough the death company get swallowed up over a few rounds of combat.
- I isolated some of my army. The drop pod came down but was unsupported as nothing else could get there fast enough. I need something else to be with the forward units in turn 1.
- There are not enough 'buffs' in my army. All of the units just do what they do. I see other armies getting bonuses from special rules, psychic powers or characters and the Blood Angels don't seem to offer that - or I need to research a little more to get an edge in a game.
- I need to play more. Some total misjudgments of how much damage my army can do and how far my units can move left my ass hanging in the wind and ruined my chances of winning this game.
- They are hard work to take down! Extra toughness on some units and feel no pain all over the place is a real nightmare even with a bunch of attacks on the charge.
- The champion provided some great buffs to units in the army. To be able to regenerate zombie cultists and give them outflank is amazing! The game ended with only 3 nurgle models (not units) dead!!!
- Typhus isn't so bad! He launched into combat but actually isn't such a bad boy. A powerfist or two soon sorted him out.
- They are rubbish in combat but strength in numbers will eventually grind you down as they just won't die.
- Big numbers of zombie cultists are amazing. They can soak up massive amounts of damage and are incredibly cheap points wise.
- I need to reconsider the number of marines in my Blood Angel units and re-equip my death company with more potent weapons - some infernus pistols and more power weapons in bigger squads would work.
- Guns, we need guns! With almost no shooting in the Blood Angel army the meat shield tactic won the game for chaos - I need to be able to remove this before the assault troops arrive. I either need to time my assaults better, play the objectives rather than focus on killing chaos cultists (let them come to me) or let the Astra Militarum handle things.....there's a good idea, Commissar! I have a job for you....
Hope you enjoyed my comment on a battle. If you have any advice for me please let me know in the comments.
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