The Dark Angels are licking their wounds after another defeat by Nurgle. Much closer this time and as usual much to learn.
I took the Aegis Defence Lines and lots of troops with the big old Quad-gun, Venerable Dreadnought, Vindicator, Rhino, Razorback and a couple of land speeders.
Aegis Defence Lines - This was my first time using them and what I have learned is that the set-up is very important!! Lets face it they can't be moved. Also just because you have the defence lines - don't think statically. Its important to maintain fluidity of thought and look for the best possible sight lines.
We rolled for the battle and got Vanguard Strike which meant we were playing corner to corner. This picture is the view The Dark Templar had from his deployment zone. The big thing here is the fact that there was lots of cover on the left due to the fact that we had a large wooded area and then we rolled for night fighting - yes indeed a dawn raid by Nurgle so the Dark Angels couldn't see for the first turn. I started to get a bad feeling.
However I also made a big mistake. I recognised the threat. Nurgle would come crashing through the wood and be on me before I could make use of my fire base. I should have placed the Aegis Defence Lines as far away from the wood as I could but I didn't.
I compounded the problem by placing the quad-gun in the worst place possible, right beside the wood. I also placed the Aegis Defence Lines in a straight line. The impact of this was that once battle was joined I had no line of fire. Note to self - make a 'V' shape to create supporting lines of fire and anchor the ends with a big old threat!
I also learned that 10 man squads can be broken down into 5 man 'combat squads'. I discovered this in the after match review. The problem with 10 man squads is that they have to shoot at the same thing and sometimes you need more agility. I could have sent the 5 man units out to slow the Nurgle advance. Anything to give me firing time.
I held a tactical unit in a rhino in reserve. I put the Devastators up high. Tactical squad and Command Squad on the right and then the Vindicator and Speeders to the left. I knew the direction of travel for Nurgle and wanted to give myself line of sight to the Rhinos.
Basically I put myself in a knot.
What I should have done was slide away from this position during turn one and move away from the wood into the far corner. Lets face it I couldn't see anything because of the night fighting. But I didn't.
The battle itself was a blast and had its moments.
The Dark Templar set-up as close to the wood as the deployment zone would allow and we were off. The chequered flag was lowered and engines revved as the vehicles sped off to the safety of the wood. I moved the speeders and vindicators out and turn one was finished.
Then the fun started as two of the Rhinos got stuck in the wood (not part of the great plan) and then the 14 demons and the Great Unclean One arrived from reserve. The Dark Templar really wanted to apply the pressure and took a risk to get the Big Boy in close. However there was a big scatter which resulted in me being able to place him anywhere I wanted on the board. - lol - hoots of laughter and joy.
Lets face it I put him along way from the Dark Angels army (right in the far corner of the board) and then shot him with the Quad-gun. It was sooooo funny!!
Then things got serious as the Nurgle forces arrived as expected. The leadership squad crashed into the Aegis Defence Lines - but then didn't get out of the Rhino! Huge mistake. If I could surround it and blow it up they would all be dead and I would have a winning position.
But where are those dice rolls when you need them? My tactical squad rolled low for moving through difficult terrain which was not a disaster as my Venerable Dread was also at hand but it too rolled really low and only moved 2 inches.
I destroyed the Rhino and everyone got out into the wreckage and the battle was truly joined. The 14 demons arrived and survived the first round of shooting. I knew what was coming next. They charged the devastators and rolled 24 dice to hit with rerolls to wound. Incredibly only five hit!! Another laughter moment. However they hacked their way through my ranks for the next couple of turns.
The long slog of hand to hand then followed with the second and third units of Nurgle arriving together with the Nurgle Dread. I did take down the leader with his snazzy 'force stave'. I can't wait to see how this guy will turn out after painting. The Dark Templar has some cool ideas for him.
In the end I was beaten.
There were so many 'what if' moments and lots to be learned from both sides. A really enjoyable afternoon and a lot to think about. Thank you Dark Templar.