My opponent this game played an army from the Grey Knights codex... he had told me that prior to our game, so I prepared to face force weapons and terminators.
Imagine my surprise when instead of a conventional GK force, I instead see 8 Chimeras lined up at my opponent's table edge, and he informs me that each one has 5 Jokaero Weaponsmiths inside... And there are two Inquisitors as HQs... Oh, and he also had 3 Servo Skulls deployed that prevented my scouts from infiltrating within 12" of them.
I scratched my head at this... Monkeys? Ok...
I read the internet, I even snuck a look at the new codex, so I know that they have access to the variable weapon loadout, but I wondered what I was missing here.
Well, those monkeys can really pack a punch sometimes...
The game was pitched battle with one center objective, so I deployed my troops in their usual transports, and made sure they all had as much cover as possible. One twist this game is that I combat squadded my 2 10-man squads, and placed 4 bolters and a heavy weapons marine on the right flank and in the rear-center in cover.. I placed my Vindicators up front and two Dreads F&C (front and center, but it saves time to say F&C instead). My Devastators found a nice high perch on my left flank, and my scouts infiltrated in just about the only spot available.
I had first turn, so I started targeting each Chimera individually trying to pop them and expose the troops inside. I blew up the command tank, and destroyed 2 weapons on other tanks with my heavy weapons and Razorbacks, and I moved everything else up the middle to try and crowd the objective.
Then I saw the logic behind my opponent's list. 5 lascannon shots from the monkeys inside each tank, plus multilaser shots from each intact Chimera. Ouch!
Sheer volume of fire made my Vindicators screech to a halt and the one on my left flank was blown up, and the one on the right was immobilized. Both of my Dreadnoughts were immobilized, 6" from the objective.
Turn 2 saw my assault squad come in, since I had held them in reserve, and they deployed on the enemies' left flank via deep strike, they scattered a little bit, but they were still in a good spot, or so I thought.
My immobilized Vindy blew up another Chimera, and the troops out of the command Chimera were mowed down by some fancy missile launcher fire. Some crew shaken results ensured that the multilaser fire was diminished, but it was quickly obvious that I needed to crack all of the tanks and get the Jokaeros out in the open. Easier said than done.
I moved my assault squad up close to assault a tank, but was not within range, and they ended up getting slaughtered by 5 heavy flamers. The only survivor was the Flamer marine, who would make the enemy pay dearly.
Turn 3 saw me trying to get my remaining transports into cover, and blowing smoke on all of my immobilized vehicles (the dreads ended up being effectively neutered). The flamer assault marine rolled up the enemy's flank and mopped up two squads of Jokaeros with flamer shots and assaults, but met his demise from a lone Jokearo who popped him with a close range Lascannon blast.
By turn 4, my opponent rushed his 5 remaining Chimeras forward towards the objective, and I realized I was out of position to block him or stop all of them.
I did destroy 2 more Chimeras, on turn my turn 5, but he managed to get his 3 remaining tanks into a "triangle" around the objective.
The game continued to turn 6, and I popped all of his blocking tanks, and killed one of the squads that bailed out, but it was too little, too late. He managed to shoot my squads up some on his turn 6, and the game ended at that point.
I was pretty confident that had the game gone on to turn 7, I could have probably pushed him off of the objective with the 2 tactical squads that were close (but not close enough to contest).
In the end, my opponent had a victory, but I did manage to outscore him on kill points 11 to7.
All in all, it was a very fun game. My guys performed very well, and I felt there was a little more cohesiveness and effectiveness to my list. I'm learning the rules more and more each game, and I've gotten better at knowing all of the rules for my units. My opponent was a lot of fun to play with, he's quite a bit more experienced than me, but was very helpful in making sure I was remembering all the rules. I was nowhere near as clueless this time, and he also pointed out mistakes I had made along the way in a very constructive manner. I know I will run into a jerk player at some point, but so far I have been very lucky to play class opponents.
I learned 2 things from this game, which for me is a victory of sorts:
- Assault troops can't assault after deep striking, so they have to be protected a little better.
- If you can rush an objective and force your opponent to have to push you off, then do so.
With everything I'm learning, I'm looking forward to my next game!