Thursday, April 30, 2009

Major Bluff's Outflanking, Palm Reading Circus: After Action Report

Looking over my list now, I can see that putting the psykers in was a mistake, as I thought. The Primaris was a complete let down- his shooting attack rolled for 2 attacks that missed and the nightshroud never came into use thanks to the huge amounts of synapse and the 0 Tau that were around to shoot my guys. It didn’t help that I forgot to activate his power about half the time, but he just didn’t feel like 70 points and an HQ slot. He might have been better if the infantry had gotten to shoot more stuff, but as he was he just kind of… lacked power. I’ll probably try him again at some point as he seems really cool, but I’ll have to make sure that the list includes him in a better capacity than this one.

The psyker battle squad was probably used incorrectly by me during the game which hampered it a lot. The PBS is meant to be used with snipers, artillery, and forces that can pick off one or two or half a squad and let the leadership reduction do its work. My force was too much of a sledge hammer, smashing entire units at a time with concentrated firepower. What I should have done was use it in combination with the Marines to break some units, but then there was the fact that the Tau were mostly mechanized and the Tyranids were mostly in synapse. The large blast was pretty awesome and took out a lot of guys, but the randomness of the AP hurt it a bit (but not much). It also made the squad a HUGE target, much bigger than I thought it was going to be. If I had realized I probably would have incorporated it more into my strategy, using the squad to lure enemy fire away from our other troops while doing all sorts of psychic nastiness. The psykers also must ALWAYS either be in a chimera or cover, preferably the former, as they fall like… well, guardsmen when fired upon. Their abilities are assault, so they can move and shoot with the chimera, which was very helpful.

Another of my problems with the psykers was leadership 9. I guess I’m too used to farseers on ld 10 from my Eldar days, but my units seemed to fail psychic tests far too many times. I guess a Commissar Lord could solve that problem, but at that point it’s kind of not worth it.

My troop choices, on the other hand, were amazing and earned their points many times over. Slowly driving up with the chimeras for cover and an endless black hole of guardsmen bodies to soak up shots proved to be a winning combination. Seriously, I think I lost all but 2 of my regular guardsmen, and that was ok, as I still had (most) of my sergeants, my HWS, my flamers and my commissar. The latter, by the way? Totally worth his points over and over again. Re-rollable leadership 9 is amazing and helped make sure that my squad didn’t flee off the board. One thing I would leave at home next time would be the priest. The guard aren’t meant to get into combat, at least not with this list. Flamering and lasgunning? Yes. Charging? No sir. It was a good bit of carnifex protection, but I should have realized that 6 melta guns would be plenty to take out one of the big monsters, and if genestealers had attacked the priest’s abilities would have been useless.

Thanks to the astropath, all of my units outflanked on the same side, allowing me to bring all of my guns to bear and methodically wipe out any and all opposition. As for my Al’Rahem stand in and Sgt. Harker, the main point of their point cost increase is the outflanking. For Al’Rahem I forgot to use his orders the first few rounds, and even then they weren’t really necessary. I only had one applicable infantry squad to target and they were always right next to the PCS chimera. The only order that I might have used would be “Like the Wind!” and “Bring it Down!”, but the former proved unnecessary and the latter would have been better placed on my well protected chimeras. Harker is pretty good, but his heavy bolter never saw play, probably because the targets I was shooting at were out of its class. Still, both were definitely worth their points and made for a very effective tag team.

The command chimera was also woefully out of relevance in this list. The plasma guns got to fire twice as they were out of range or stunned for most of the game. I would probably take them again in this list, just make sure that they would be able to make more of a difference.

The scout sentinels did their job but failed to impress. The lascannons missed most of the time and their assault abilities are mediocre at best. Because one squad managed to take out a broadside team and hold up some crisis suits in combat meant that they were worth it, but the fact that they managed to survive mostly intact is a miracle. I would probably switch out at least one of the squads or drop the squads to two per and squeeze in another infantry squad in a chimera armed with a melta or flamer.

Another note on outflanking: this led to some awesome tactical misinformation. During the second turn I kept on asking how far the crisis suits were from one side of the battlefield, fully intending to outflank on that side and take out the flyrant, broadsides and take the objective. But since the enemy redeployed their forces to cover that side better, I switched my plan and moved in from the opposite flank where they were exposed and weak. It’s an incredibly effective strategy and can cause inexperienced opponents to make all sorts of mistakes.

Some tactical decisions I need to work on: knowing when and where to reserve forces, figuring out the correct times to shoot with my melta chimeras and when to launch into the fray, and remembering to use orders. Also, since I’m doing multiplayer, how to best coordinate attacks with my teammate (case in point: the psyker battle squad).

I’m a bit busy at work nowadays, so I my updating might become a bit sporadic. But still, look out for my next crazy poll-based army list, as well as the fruits of a shopping spree that I feel coming on this weekend. Gee, I wonder why THAT’s happening…

And of course, any comments, criticisms, etc. are always welcome.

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