Ok....ouch. I just got mauled by a BA Drop Pod & AV13 list.
I got a chance to jump to 1,500pts tonight so I ran:
Lord: mark of slan, lightning claw, aura of darkness, bike
5 Noise Marines: blastmaster
5 Noise Marines: blastmaster
5 Noise Marines: blastmaster
8 Noise Marines: doom siren, meltabomb, x8 extra ccw
5 Bikers: power ax, meltabomb, x2 meltaguns
2 Obliterators: mark of nurgle
2 Obliterators: mark of nurgle
Herald of Slaanesh: greater gift, lesser gift, locus of beguilement, steed of slaanesh
18 Daemonettes: alluress, lesser gift
6 Seekers: heartseeker
He ran BA:
Captain: thunder hammer, storm shield
Furioso: frag cannon, heavy flamer
10 Assault Marines: x2 melta, combat shield, power weapon
9 Death Company: x2 power fist, infernus pistol, bolters & ccws (Joined by Captain)
Death Company Dread: blood talons, melta
Baal Pred: assault cannon
Baal Pred: assault cannon
This type of list is the rock to my scissors. It's fast and in my face turn 1 & 2, so no time for blastmasters to shave the enemy down. Has more and better ranged dakka than me, which means I'm not dictating the course of the battle. Has mostly tanks which really limit the effect of blastmasters. Has beastly CC walkers which I can't really hurt. Basically he does everything better than me. My only advantage is numbers and playing towards objectives while his list is mostly geared towards tabling me by turn 3.
Big Guns Never Tire, Dawn of War Deployment
There isn't a lot of LoS blocking terrain on the board, mostly just ruins and a couple small rocky hills. Five objectives are placed, 3 of them roughly in a triangle in the center of the board. Another is in the right hand corner of my deployment zone, the final is in the left corner of his.
He deploys his Preds and Vindicators along the center in pairs with the Preds masking the Vindis (great, someone who knows how to play armor...the hits just keep comming). I spread my 3 MSU blastmasters out along my deployment zone. The center and right units are in cover just behind objectives, the left is behind a building but has a good fire lane. Doom siren squad goes in the same central ruin that holds the middle blastmaster squad. Daemonettes deploy behind the central ruin (I'm trying to bunker up and crowd out any pods from droping behind me or on the flanks of my central ruin). Bikes + Lord go behind the rocky hill that the right hand blastmasters are on. Herald + Seekers went on the left hand behind the same building hiding the left MSU squad. Oblits go to the far left and the far right next to the Bikers and the Seekers respectively. My basic setup is three bunkers centered on the three pieces of cover on my side of the board.
Turn 1 Him: He pods both his dreads in focusing on the center bunker with the Nettes, Doom, and Blastmaster squads. The Furioso ends up right in from of everyone with ideal template positioning. The Death Dred scatters left and ends up between my center and left hand bunkers in ideal position to charge either way. Pred/Vindi pairs move forward 12" towards my center bunker. The Furiosos frag cannon and heavy flamer kill 6 Noise Marines out of the doom siren squad, one out of the blastmaster squad, and two Nettes (they were all decently spread out, but three templates makes for a lot of wounds and I rolled total crap on my armor saves). Death dread kills a Noise Marines out of the left hand blastmaster squad. Left Vindicator kills about 5 nettes. Left Pred kills another 2 Noise Marines out of the left hand squad. Right Vindi misses. Right Pred pulls three Noise Marines out of the right hand squad. At this point I'm reeling. All my Noise Marine units have been reduced to two or three models on the the first turn. I still have all the important weapons, but the ablative wounds are gone and he still has two more pods to bring in starting the next turn. It also doesn't help that my dice are killing me. I can't make a 3+ save for the life of me.
Turn 1 Me: Bikes + Lord come out of cover in position to shoot/charge the right hand pred or the Furioso depending on who lives through my shooting. Seekers + Herald come around the corner of the building they were hiding behind for a long charge at the left hand Pred. Both Oblit squads walk out from behind cover to get LoS on the armor. Left MSU blastmaster misses the left Vindicator. Center MSU blastmaster misses the Furioso 4" in front of them. Right MSU blastmaster misses the right hand Vindicator. Left Oblits miss the left Pred with Lascannons. Right Oblits fail to pen the right Pred with lascanons. Bikers fail to pen the Pred with meltas. Doom siren squad commits suicide by charging the Furioso to try and use their meltabomb (I failed three 3+ saves and gave my opponent First Blood). Bikes + Lord fail their charge against the right hand Pred. Seekers + Herald make an 11" charge against the left Pred, shred it with rending and lose 5 Seekers in the explosion, leaving on the Herald and the Heartseeker alive. All of my charges were stupid, but the desperation of a horrible turn of shooting forced my hand. At this point I'm certain the game is over and I'll be tabled by turn three.
Turn 2 Him: Only his Assault squad pod comes in. He drops it near the objective in his zone with my Herald and last Seeker within about 6" and in plain sight. Furioso moves towards my Bikers who are hanging in the breeze. Death Dread moves towards my Nettes. Left Vindi moves away from the Herald, still keeping LoS on my left Oblits. Right Vindi and Pred back up slightly with the Pred still covering the Vindi. Left Vindi hits both left Oblits but I make one 5+ to keep the unit partially alive. Right Vindi misses. Right Pred hits right blastmaster squad but only kills one. The Assault squad shoots two meltas and all their pistols at the Herald and Heartseeker, but I save everything except for one wound on the Herald. Death Dread charges Nettes and takes a glancing hit from the Corrosive Breath I rolled for my lesser gift and then loses two more hull points to rending, getting wrecked before he can even swing. Furioso pulps 2 Bikers in CC, the Sarg was too far away to use his meltabombs in this round. I made some key saves and the Nettes killed the DCD, but I'm still hurting bad.
Turn 2 Me: Nettes spread out behind their ruin again. Herald and Heartseeker move closer to the Assault squad. Left blastmaster or the last left Oblit blow the cannon off of the left hand Vindi. Center and right blasmasters and right Oblit squad manage to kill the right hand Pred and shake/stun the right hand Vindi (I hit with everything but seriously can't catch a break on rolling pens.) Herald and Heartseeker charge the Assault squad with the Heartseeker eating it from overwatch. More bikers get mulched before the sarg kills the Furioso with his meltabomb but sadly the blast kills the Sarg, leaving me the Lord and one meltabike. The Herald kills five Assault Marines and takes nothing in return. This turn felt better. I still couldn't pen his AV to save my life but at least he was down to one functional Vindi, his pods, the Assault squad in combat with the Herald and the yet to arrive Death company + Captain.
Turn 3 Him: Death Company pod comes in, dropping between my center and right bunkers and right behind my bikers. Left Vindi backs up now that it has no cannon, trying to get away from my left blastmaster and left Oblit. Right Vindi is stuck from shaken/stunned. Death Company double tap my bikers, killing the meltabike and wounding my Lord once. Herald kills four more Assault Marines but gets killed by the lone Sarg who consolidates into cover near the objective on his side of the board.
Turn 3 Me: Right hand Oblits and Nettes move to pincer the Death Company. Lord rides his bike around the the back side of the Vindi. Left Oblit moves forward towards the retreating left Vindi. Left blastmaster and Oblit take a hull point off of the left Vindi. Center blastmaster can draw LoS to the Assault Sarg hiding in cover on his objective, takes the shot...and kills the Sarg. Right blastmaster kills three death company who are in front of them. Right Oblits double tap plasma into the death company killing three more. Lord throws a krak grenade at the rear of the Vindi and misses. Nettes and Oblits charge the Death Company. Netts and Oblits kill remaining death company while the Alures locks in challenge with the Captain, causing one wound and taking none. Captain breaks and is caught by Nettes so combat resumes. Lord charges the Vindi and shakes it with a krak. I'm feeling good now, with some good rolls I should have a shot.
Turn 4 Him: Left Vindi drives around a hill, hiding from my left blastmaster and oblit. Right Vindi drives away from my biker Lord. Pod shooting kills my center blastmaster squad, leaving me with nothing to take the center objective. Captain beats down the Alures, killing more Nettes in the moral check and breaking the Oblits who run towards my board edge. And it goes to pot. I can't take the center objective, his lord and vindi threaten my right objective, and my left blastmaster squad is way out of position to take an objective. If he kills my right blastmaster squad and it goes to secondary objectives he has me beat.
Turn 4 Me: Oblits continue to run, stopping 1" short of the edge. Biker Lord moves behind the Vindi with 1 hull point. Left blastmaster squad runs toward the center objective. Unless I move 12" in turn 5 I wont make it. Right blastmaster shoots at the unharmed Vindi but fails to pen. Lord throws a krak grenade at the rear of the 1 HP Vindi, doing nothing. Left Oblit shoots at a nearby pod and smokes it. Nettes and Captain do nothing in combat. Lord can't pen the rear of the Vindi with a Krak in CC. It's all up in the air now.
Turn 5 Him: Pod and Vindi shooting does nothing. Captain takes another wound from the Nettes but kills two in return. A terrible instability test makes the last five Nettes vanish in a puff of smoke. Captain consolidates closer to the right hand blastmaster squad (who is holding my only objective).
Turn 5 Me: Right oblits rally. Right blastmaster squad steps forward to take the nearby objective. Left blastmaster squad fails to make it to the center objective. Lord moves behind the 1 HP Vindi...again. Right oblits snap shoot lascannons at the 1 HP Vindi, hit, pen....and the vindi makes its cover save. Lord misses with his krak grenade in shooting and CC.
I roll a 1 and the game ends. I win 3 to 2 (objective vs first blood, line breaker)
In the end I got a victory, but I got a mauling and played most of the game reeling from the destruction of turn 1. My opponent was a solid player with a brutal AV list but in spite of my generally crap rolling, I made two key rolls that won me the game. #1. I magically kept the Herald alive to slaughter all but one guy is his only scoring unit. #2. I landed a lucky blastmaster shot on the surviving sarg which prevented him from holding an objective I could have never pushed him off of otherwise (nobody but that 1 blastmaster had LoS). Without those two lucky happenings I would have lost the game. Honestly, my rolling was so terrible that I'm not sure what lessons can be taken from this game. It wasn't skill so much as luck that won me the game.
Lessons maybe learned:
#1. This game was my first use of the new Daemons as allies and boy did I lean on them hard. I rolled bad for both of my Herald gifts but subbed them out for a regular and a greater aetherblade which made for a deadly combo. I also got lucky in rolling Corrosive Breath on my Nette squad which didn't get used much, but the overwatch + rending did kill the DCD. The Herald + seekers destroyed a Pred and the Herald almost solo'd an entire Assault squad which was awesome (note to self: don't use seekers to tank hunt unless you want to watch them die in the explosion). The Nettes killed the DCD, a bunch of death company, and put two wounds on the Captain before I rolled so badly for instability. All in all I would say it was a stellar performance for the CC side of my list which has always been limited to the bikes.
#2. The Bikes + Lord did diddly outside of killing the Furioso. Bad rolls plagued this unit the whole game. The Lord is getting the black mace period. I need a weapon with better strength so I can at least threaten tanks. In hind sight they did ok in killing the Furioso, basically trading point for point in the exchange. I really needed them for busting tanks and they just were not there to do it.
#3. Oblits....couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but I wouldn't have done much of anything without them.
#4. MSU blastmasters should have done ok at anti-tank work but I could not roll pens even when hitting side armor. Less a problem with the unit and more so with my rolling.
#5. Doom siren squad sang its swan song today. Nettes do more/better in CC and move faster to get there.
#6. Herald of Slaanesh: MVP. That is one killer CC powerhouse, and the speed of Slaanesh cavalry is astounding.
I'll pick this up tomorrow. I hope to have some basic photoshop diagrams made so these battle reports start making more sense for the readers. Let me know what you think.