Early Turns (1-2):
On the first Turn, Abaddon (The Despoiler counts as) and two squads of Berzerkers showed up. For his part, The Despoiler despoiled, by charging headfirst into the nearest Bastion, rolling a 6 for his Daemon Weapon, and tearing three guns off the frontage. That’s one tough dude.
The Berzerkers slid up either side, and I was relieved to see Pitmann take the bait on the east end of the table. Sure, I’d given up an early objective, but 10 Berzerkers were tied to that end of the table, with none of my soft Scouts to menace.
The other squad of Berzerkers was staring directly at two Dreadnoughts, so I felt reasonably comfortable about that situation. I shouldn’t have. They charged the first and took both his arms off before he could even manage a proper response.
As a bonus from last game, Pitmann’s complimentary Zombies (apologies for the "zed word") appeared and deep struck near the center objective.
Hmm. The situation was already looking a bit tricky.
Abaddon was my real concern, and so I didn’t waste any time getting stuck in. My Libby with Terminator escort dove in the deep end of it all… The Despoiler rolled miserably for his Daemon Weapon, and the TH/SS Terminators made him suffer for it. As genuinely pleased as I was to see Abaddon leave the table on my first turn, I suddenly realized that I had left those poor Terminator fellows dangling out in the breeze. I’m not sure what I would have done differently, apart from perhaps position the LRC a bit more carefully. Therein lies the subtle art of this wonderful game we play. Still learning. Still learning.
Well, my Hammer and Anvil models were dreadfully exposed.
And of course, Pitmann nailed me for it. The Right and Honorable Ref P pinched the Libby and TH Termies between his DP and an extra squad of Berzerkers. It didn’t end well, but looked like it might: from something like 36 hits, the Terminators passed seven armor saves and two invulnerable saves, taking only one casualty. Likewise, the Librarian picked up a wound from Pitmann’s DP. I lost combat by one and immediately broke, double sixes. The whole crowd was then ruthlessly cut down by the DP.
I was stunned.
My boys were on the shelf next to Abadon much sooner than I ever would have liked and/or anticipated. Suddenly, the wind was out of my sails and I was staring at a lonely table and a very tricky game.
The Final squad of Berzerkers appeared with an eye to menace the northwest side of the table, and placed themselves in an ideal position to help either the DP or the Berzerkers, who finished wrestling with my Dreadnought under the Landing Pad.
The Zombies attached themselves to the Scouts on the Central Objective, and paid significantly for it, but their fearlessness kept them in the muss. Alas. Zombies.
Middle Turns (3-4):
At this point, the Daemon Prince began to demonstrate why he was blessed with the rank. He charged the Scouts that were otherwise glued to the Zombies and claimed his second unit in as many turns. There was no contest to speak of, just Scout limbs flying this way and that.
The Berzerkers in the northwest covered the Landing Pad objective, forcing me to act.
The Venerable Dreanought hopped up on the Platform with an idea about incinerating Berzerkers with his Plasma Cannon -4 fell cleanly yet this was never going to be enough. I needed something decisive, but simply lacked the ability to make it happen.
The LRC admirably thinned the Berzerkers that had savaged my Termies, and the unit holding the Bastion jumped down to finish the work. Once done, they snuck back into the Bastion just as quickly not only to hold the objective, but also to avoid the unwanted attention of the remaining bands of Berzerkers.
The lone Scouts in the southeast had a thought about helping out their comrades in the west and began a long trek across the table. In the next turn, Pitmann’s DP left the Zombies to babysit the middle objective (they couldn’t actually claim it), and flew over and decimated the Scouts for their effort… 3 units in 3 turns. If he weren’t already damned.
The Dread on the Landing Pad was stuck in another spinning melee with Berzerkers that was both bothersome and ineffectual; he managed to take one or two each assault phase, but he wasn’t going anywhere quickly enough. This always seems to happen to my Dreads. I’ve a serious need to rethink them.
End Game (5):
Pitmann threw another unit of Berzerkers into the Dreadnought melee, and lost another two for the effort. Still, nothing of interest was going to happen and he was implicitly already collecting the objective. ah. Planetstrike.
In what, by now, must seem an almost inevitable move, Pitmann’s DP flew over to the ruins of the southwest Bastion and took the heads of yet another entire unit –this time the Tactical Squad that at least wounded the DP a few times in return. Still, what a legend: 4 units. 4 turns.
Once more, I was stunned.
Mercifully, the game ended there. I had one Tactical Squad claiming the north Bastion. Pitmann claimed three. I sincerely felt that, given another run of luck or two, the game could have been a bit closer. I suppose I could say that about most games I lose.
In all, as far as introductory games go, this one was “one to grow on,” and I expect to produce better results in the games to come. Are you reading this Ref Pitmann? Berzerkers be damned. And that Daemon Prince too.