It is summer at last, and so the weekly games in the garden have resumed. The first event was a wash (really, it rained!), but we did manage to squeeze in a game last Sunday, before the mandatory evening drizzle.
The game was Imperial Knights allied with Chaos, against Necrons.
Although I thought we’d agreed on a 2,000 points game, my opponent showed up with 2,500. In a rush, I simply added the Nightbringer and a Transcendent C’tan to my carefully crafted list (ahem), which originally was:
- Reclamation Legion with Overlord, 2 units of 5 Immortals in Nightscythes, 3 units of 10 Warriors & one Ghost Ark, 1 unit of 4 Tomb Blades
- Destroyer cult: Destroyer Lord with Voidreaper, 2 units of 4 Destroyers (including 1 Heavy), 1 unit of 3 Destroyers (inc. 1 Heavy), 1 unit of 3 Heavy Destroyers
My opponent, who we shall call the Taminator for convenience (if that one sticks I’m a dead man) brought 3 Imperial Knights, supported by 2 Landraiders, a Dreadnought, a unit of Terminators, a unit of Bikes, a unit of Marines, and a batch of Cultists (sorry, I am not very up to date with all the fancy Chaos units).
Wanting to play a Maelstrom of War mission, we rolled Cleanse and Control. We did stick to our usual long-side deployment however, creatures of habit that we are.
I lost the deployment roll but managed to steal the initiative, and off we went.
The Tomb Blades advanced a bit and made short work of the Cultists hidden in the woods. Cultists no like templates with no cover saves, they routed and gave me First Blood. I also managed two of my three tactical objectives (hold objective and kill a character – I believe this was the sergeant in the unit of Cultists). The Taminator was not so lucky, managing only one tactical objective.
End of Turn 1: Knights 1 - Necrons 3.
During the second Turn I concentrated on the Knights, felling the one with mounted AA in order to protect my incoming Nightscythes. The Taminator gained one point as one of my units failed a morale test (yes, my morale 10 Necrons fled, the silly things).
End of Turn 2: Knights 2 - Necrons 3.
Turn 3 was when I managed to kill both other Knights. This gave me Slay the Warlord, which was nice. One one the tactical objectives was to issue a challenge, so I charged the Nightbringer into the Terminators, but stupidly forgot to issue the challenge. The Taminator gleefully rubbed it in by challenging the Nightbringer back. So it was one point for tactical objectives for me, whereas the (now gone) Knights managed to get 2.
One of those was for wiping out one of my units. This was achieved twice in that turn, both times in most infamous ways. First, one of the Landraiders shot its lascannons at my first Nightscythe, failing to hit on the original roll but then with twin-linked goodness getting a double six to hit! Boom. Then, my souped-up Destroyer Lord (engaged in combat with the Terminators) rolled two ones and one two To Hit, losing the combat by one Wound. It followed with rolling an 11 for morale, then lost the sweeping advance roll and got wiped out. I realised much later that the thing had probably committed suicide after deciding that it could not deal with an owner stupid enough to forget both its preferred enemy rules (re-roll those ones) and Voidreaper (re-roll that two). Argh.
End of Turn 3: Knights 5 - Necrons 5.
We realised then we would not have time to finish the game, so agreed to end after Turn 4.
My tactical objectives at that stage were not helping me: I had to either hold an objective that was both completely out of range and threatened by the Bikes; or control all all three even objectives (the ones circled in the picture above). I tried, I really did. I held onto two of them, but could not manage to blow up the Landraider that was contesting the last one. Rotten luck with the dice meant I could only remove two of its four hull points.
The Taminator’s Terminators (see what I did there?) managed to get Line Breaker by charging a unit of Destroyers, wiping them out and consolidating within just 12” of my side. As this happened to also be one of her tactical objectives, this gave her 2 more points.
Final score: Victory for the Knights (7-5).
A few more quick thoughts to conclude:
- these Maelstrom of War missions remain as fun as ever, the randomness means that the balance of the game can change quickly and pretty much ensures that concentrating on just killing enemies will result in defeat.
- the Nightbringer’s gaze of death is a pretty horrible thing.
- I have never rolled so many 2s to hit with my Destroyers. When your dice hate you, they really do.