A week or two ago, I managed to get back into going down to Dark Sphere to get some 40K going again. Our local Ravenwing player was (as far as I remember) basically undefeated at this point, so I decided to see how bad it was.
The slow grow was up to 1,000 points at this point. His list consisted of Sammael, a Ravenwing Command Squad with the banner of giving bolters Salvo, a few Ravenwing squads, and an allied contingent of Mephiston and five Blood Angels assault marines with practically no kit.
We got the fortress board for our game, which was build for an apocalypse game at Dark Sphere. It is wired for its street lights to turn on, but we decided that was a bit much. Since the apocalypse game, a few more walkways and stairs have been added to improve the ability to move about it, although these are still in need of painting. We also added a bit more scatter terrain of barricades and similar.
We got diagonal deployment and two objectives, one in each deployment zone. You may just be able to pick out mine in the first photo, if you look above the weapon team next to the Chimera.
My list was a lightly equipped command squad, basic infantry platoon with the command squad in a Chimera, the Demo-Vets, a Hydra, a Demolisher and my Hellhound proxying at being a Bane Wolf to see how well that does against Space Marines. I held a few Storm Troopers in reserve.
The battle opened with the Ravenwing gunning my commander down to get First Blood and Slay the Warlord. In response, I helpfully threw a demolition charge at Sammael, along with an assortment of other pie plates and brutal shooting.
This caused significantly more casualties than expected, and hilariously led to some of the Ravenwing breaking and running due to my opponent's inability to roll anything under 11.
Unfortunately the counter attack was brutal. Mephiston charged across the bridge to slaughter the Veterans.
While a Ravenwing squad charged the troops in the underpass.
The slaughter was massive, as they broke, run, and were cut down.
The Storm Troopers arrived, and, to their credit, gunned down a Ravenwing squad in revenge.
Although they were rather exposed due to their deep strike scatter.
The Bane Wolf demonstrated to the Blood Angels why hiding in a line behind cover doesn't work when people have AP3 template weapons that ignore cover...
And then gleefully ran over Mephiston in a tank shock as my opponent, now sure of victory, decided that it was worth trying to go for Death or Glory for the amusement value if nothing else.
We called it at this point after a couple more rounds of me shooting Sammael, as the Ravenwing had 2 Victory points already, I could only get 1 for Slay the Warlord, and in end game he'd be able to move Ravenwing up onto his objective and weather a bit of fire from the tanks.
- Don't deploy your Warlord anywhere that your opponent can comfortably gain two victory points from you in the first turn
- Ravenwing are really, really fast. Don't deploy in such a way that they can pick you off a unit at a time.
- Guard can't do close combat. That does mean that if your opponent can he will try and get into close combat. Plan for that, and don't look surprised when you get assaulted.
- Sammael tanking for a Ravenwing squad is a valid tactic and does work. Either limit his movement through board denial, and concentrate on the other squads, or find some firepower that will murder him dead.
A lot of this does sound pretty basic, but I've not been playing in over a month, so clearly I needed to start at those basics and work up...
(And yes, Mephiston and Sammael in a buddy-cop army list is horrific, but the player did have an alternative, softer list and I did say I didn't mind him going for this option. Don't internet hate him too much...)