Friday, August 13, 2010

AstroPeg 2010 Day Two: Game Four - X-Factor

Overview: The wind howls like the souls of the damned, filling the air with sand, grit and death. The sandstorm blew up unexpectedly as you approached and now your troops stagger forward, bent double against the powerful winds and scything grit. You know others also seek the base but you cannot see them through the brown murk of the storm. A shot rings out, and those nearby duck as a trooper falls. So - someone is here already. Someone who can see through the storm; an X-Factor in what should have been a simple equation...

The game was against DaveS and his Chaos Space Marines force, "The Skin Thieves":


- Daemon Prince, "Pollux the Blighted", w/ wings, Lash, Mark of Slaanesh
- Summoned Greater Daemon, "Korasch T'Kalth"
- 7 x Plague Marines, w/ Meltagun, Plasmagun
- 7 x Plague Marines, w/ Meltagun, Plasmagun
- 10 x Summoned Lesser Daemons
- 7 x Chaos Terminators, w/ 6 x Combi-Plasma, Heavy Flamer
- Dreadnought, w/ TLLC, DCCW, TLB
- Blight Drone
- Defiler, w/ BC, 2 x DCCW, RAC, Possession

Objective: You must control more Table Quarters than you opponent at the end of the game to win.

Several special rules applied. Because a sandstorm covered the entire table, accurate firing was limited to only 12"; beyond that you needed a "6" to hit, regardless of the firer's Ballistic Skill. All movement in the sandstorm counted as difficult terrain. Skimmers ignored that penalty, but on a roll of "1" on a D^ skimmers would be blown up to 3D6" in a random direction. This last one was very bad for all those Eldar skimmers - if a skimmer was blown off the table, it and its contents would be counted as destroyed!

To top it all off, a Vindicare Assassin was in the base at the centre of the table, as a third party. He could see through the sandstorm and fire special ammo. Each turn the players would roll off to see who controlled this sniper. In the photo below, the Vindicare can be see taking up a firing position.


The Eldar only had two scoring units. The plan would be to keep them alive until the end of the game, and try to maintain control of either the southwest or southeast table quarters, contesting the remainder. This would be a hard fight. DaveS is a skilled opponent, and his forces were very resilient.

I won the roll and went second. Deployment was in opposite table quarters. The Chaos forces deployed in the northeast table quarter. One squad of Plague Marines set up in the northernmost bastion, the other just to the southeast of them. The Dreadnought was set up to the east of the central bastion. The Daemon Prince and the Defiler deployed near the bastion. The Blight Drone deployed near the centre of the northern table edge.

The Night Spinner deployed in the southwest quarter.


As the game started, the Vindicare tried a shot at the Daemon Prince, but he missed.

The Blight Drone moved Flat Out into the northwest table quarter. The Daemon Prince, realizing that the Vindicare was the greatest current threat, flew onto the base and charged the Vindicare. The photo below shows the outcome of that fight.


The Eldar received the bulk of their reserves. Two Dragon Serpents, one Avenger Serpent, and the Vypers moved into the southeast quarter. An Avenger Serpent can be seen in the bottom right of the photo below, shielded by the bulk of the Dragons' tanks. The second Avenger Serpent skimmed Flat Out onto the southwest table quarter, hugging the western table edge.


The Night Spinner targeted the Plague Marines out in the open. Its twin-linked gun made up for the bad visibility, and three of the Chaos Marines were rended away.

A pack of Daemons was summoned by the northernmost Plague Marines. In the Southeast, the Chaos forces summoned the Greater Daemon and teleported in the Terminators, to try and deal with the threats posed by the Eldar skimmers. The left Dragon Serpent was Stunned, the right Dragon Serpent was Immobilized.


To the east, both Dragon squads dismounted to give fire. Concentrated Eldar fire gunned down both the Daemon Prince and the Greater Daemon. The Night Spinner, shooting like Daniel Boone, killed more Plague Marines, and even put down a couple of Terminators.


Meanwhile, the Farseer and the Warp Spiders had moved onto the southwest table quarter, and began a cautious advance northward. The storm blew the western Avenger Serpent towards the southeast. They were lucky not to be blown off the table. A lucky shot exploded the Blight Drone in a spray of acidic goo.


The Chaos Dreadnought destroyed the Stunned Wave Serpent. The Terminators followed up and wiped out a squad of Fire Dragons. Below can be seen the wreckage of the Wave Serpent and the crater left by its explosion.


The other Fire Dragons and the Vypers gunned down the surviving Terminators. The Bright Lance armed Avenger Serpent skimmed to the eastern table edge.


The Defiler killed some Warp Spiders, whose morale held.

The Night Spinner moved up as a speed bump for the Defiler. The Vypers were blown north by the sandstorm. The Autarch finally appeared, and moved north towards the action.


The Chaos Dreadnought blew up the Lance-armed Serpent. Four Avengers survived and hunkered down. In response, the Autarch moved up and blew away the Dread with a meltagun shot.


In the centre, the Defiler destroyed the Night Spinner, but could only contest the southwest quarter.

The game ended with the Farseer in the northwest quarter, contesting it. She stood off out of range of the Plague Marines in the base. The Autarch and the Vypers had moved north to contest the northeast quarter. The surviving Dire Avengers held the southeast quarter.

In the photo below, Dave poses just after the game ended.


Result: Eldar Win

Losing the two big Daemons early was a serious blow to the Chaos forces. More aggressive movement on the part of the Lesser Daemons might have resulted in a draw, but they faced the firepower of the Vypers and a potential charge by the Autarch. The game MVP award goes to the Night Spinner, whose cannily accurate fire killed more Chaos Marines and Terminators than could reasonably have been expected.

Please click here for Game Five - Sulfur Flats.

No comments: