Monday, 27 April 2015

SABRE apocalypse battle report- fourth turn and lessons learnt

The final part of our club's apocalypse game.

The final battlefield.

In the sober light of morning, the battle looked lost for the defenders. Even though we were currently winning, the end of turn 4 would most likely see the attackers controlling all six objectives, for a massive 36 victory points. This was an insurmountable points difference, as we had very few units left that could contest or control them. We decided that the game was the attackers, but decided to play a final turn and see if we could create some fun match ups.

Endgame overview.

The attackers ready to assault Yarrick's platoon.
Superheavy Slam!
In the centre of the battlefield, the eldar titan turned towards the imperial knight, ready for an epic clash of the titans! The titan fired its D weapons at the knight from scarcely inches away, eager to pummel his foe. Four of the shots rang true, and the damage rolls were made. If the Knight was lucky, his invulnerable save would stop the damage, allowing the Knight to charge the titan and most likely kill it. Unfortunately, one of the rolls came up a 6, no saves allowed and stripped the undamaged knight of all its hull points in one fell swoop. However, one of the shots fired by the titan had scattered back onto itself. The damage roll was made, and……another 6! The titan was utterly destroyed, along with is hated foe in two enormous explosions.
The other fight was between the two supreme commanders; Mortarion and the Great Unclean one. Mortarion was not having a great game. Twice the primarch had attempted to deep strike in to the battle and twice he had suffered a mishap, going back into reserve both times. He finally arrived and charged the greater daemon. At first sight, it should have been an easy win for the Primarch. However, the Greater Daemon kept getting buffed by his Biomancy powers, constantly gaining increased toughness (to 10!) and eternal warrior, preventing the Primarch from causing carnage. As it was, the Great Unclean One came out ahead in a war of attrition, slowly whittling down the mighty Primarch’s wounds and emerged victorious.

Mortarion vs a very classy Great Unclean One (top hat and all). 
The wraithlord, two units of screamers and Defiler advanced on Yarrick’s squad. All the massed flame attacks resulted in the loss of most of the 40 strong squad, leaving only four remaining. We never fought that combat, but it wouldn’t have gone well for the Hero of Hades Hive.
Now you see them.....

....and now you don't.
At the end of the game, the attackers held 5 objectives, while Yarrick managed to hold the objective in the centre of the wall.
Strategic Victory Points:
Attacker- 55
Defender- 37
 A decisive win for the attackers.
It was a great game that sadly went away from us in the final turns, well done to our opponents for enacting such a good battle plan and keeping us on the ropes from the start.
We made quite a few tactical errors in both deployment and during the game that they were able to exploit, while they made very few.
Ranged D weaponry is incredibly powerful in the game. The titan was able to remove pretty much whatever it shot at. As we had no ranged D weapons, it was very hard to counter the titan. A large number of shots were levelled at it throughout the game and it still had 2 hull points remaining at the end of the game. It didn’t help that the hollowfield meant that about half of our hits were discarded. Our best hope of killing it reliably was the Imperial Knight in combat. However, with a 36” move and still being able to fire all four destroyer shots (from 2 weapons), this would never happen unless our opponents allowed it.
Of the three stragetic assets we chose, two were pretty useless. The minefield, while thematic, actually did very little damage to the enemy, maybe causing a dozen wounds over the four turns. Equally, the orbital bombardment was not too effective, the cover saves of the eldar and daemons preventing a lot of damage from being caused. The attackers could actually use a bombardment every turn for the cost of a strategic victory point, but after seeing the effect of ours, never chose to use it. The flank march worked well, allowing our fast reserves to destroy or damage many of the enemy skimmers. Perhaps a better use of assets would have been the smoke screen and shield generator. The smoke screen could have shielded most of the defenders on the wall for the first turn of shooting, allowing them to better address the approaching enemy. The shield generator could have been used on the guardsmen in the centre of the battlefield, preventing them from being shot at and forcing the enemy to assault them to clear them. As it was, these troops were easily destroyed by the mass ignores cover of the Tau, the aegis line proving useless.
As for deployment, the objectives were placed late, after we had deployed most of our troops. As a result, the objective in front of the wall on the west flank was captured quite easily and was never contested once during the game. If we had deployed the central guard in front of the wall, this may have forced a more difficult fight on the west flank.
A better deployment may have been a thin line of sacrificial guardsmen along the central line of the table. This would have limited how far forward the attackers could deploy and may have prevented the very effective refused flank deployment that they used. With the refused flank deployment used, they were able to neutralise many of our units on the east flank as they were simply too slow to be able to effectively redeploy, something that was no problem to the Eldar skimmers we faced.
We considered the reserves arriving on the west flank. This would have allowed them to focus on the eldar and daemons on that flank and seize the objective in front of the wall. This may have forced the attackers to split their forces to death with the Ravenwing on one flank and Death Guard on the other. It may also have helped Typhus and his terminators to survive as the firepower of the flank would have more targets to focus on.
Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.
Oddly enough, we jokingly rolled to see if we could seize the initiative at the start of the game. Of course, the die roll came up a 6.
In the end though, it was a great game. Lots of fun and lots of destruction. Thanks to my teammate Jamie and our opponents Alastair, Greg and Rian.
I was happy to see my vast wall get some use and to have a nice battlefield to fight over. We were winning up till the final turn, when it was cruelly snatched away by the superior side (also, Jamie and I thought we should get bonus victory points for fielding a fully painted 11,000 points, just enough to make us win I think!). The highlight for me was Yarrick finishing off the bloodthirster.
Hope you enjoyed the battle report, I certainly had a lot of fun taking part in it. Have you taken part in any apocalypse battles recently? Any highlights?

The rest of the battle:

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