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Friday, July 29, 2011

Deathwing vs. Guard Battle Report

I played Guard at 1500 points last night. This was my first game using the Deathwing that wasn't NOVA focused. My opponent wanted to do a smaller game so I pared my list down and went for it.

The first thing I noticed was that my army is actually competitive at that level. I didn't think that it would scale well, but it remained quite effective. I fielded Belial, an upgraded terminator squad with an apothecary (minus the +1 attack banner that I usually take), four standard thunderhammer storm shield terminator squads each with a cyclone missile launcher, and two Landspeeder Typhoons. My opponent had a Leman Russ Executioner, manticore, four troop squads in Chimeras, a vet squad in a Chimera, and an empty Vendetta. I think all of his troop squads had las cannons and melta guns. 

The second thing that I noticed was that thunderhammer storm shield terminators are quite good at surviving shooting that is designed to kill marines, and are equally skilled at wrecking vehicles. Go figure.

Mission and Deployment. Capture and control (five objectives), pitched battle. He won the roll off and deployed about a foot out from his table edge. Most of his force was concentrated near the center, with the Executioner on the far left, and the Manticore in the far right corner. My squads were spread out in a line as far forward as possible, and the speeders were reserved. The five objectives were placed around the center of the board, with three closer to his table edge and two near mine.

Turns one and two. I stole the initiative and started running my terminators across the board, not bothering to shoot missiles. My plan was to put thunderhammer to vehicle as quickly as possible. One speeder came in on turn two and stunned the Vendetta, which was hanging out on the left side of the board. His turn one shooting killed two or three terminators. Turn two he whittled another squad down to one model.

Turn Three. My terminators got to his lines, and started walking through his vehicles like they were made of wet paper. Belial and the command squad multi-assaulted two Chimeras at the center of his lines, wrecking both, sending one squad fleeing off the board, and making the other fall back close to his table edge. My opponent learned that he had to take pinning checks for his exploding vehicle, and still had to take morale at the end of the phase for casualties from the same explosion. My speeders stunned the Vendetta again, and took the main gun off the Executioner. His shooting was ineffective, and I think I only lost a single model.

Turn four. The Executioner ate it to thunderhammers, Belial and the remnant of his squad chased down a Chimera and Vendetta, crushing the latter, and causing a nearby squad that had been falling back to run off the table. He charged his leftmost Chimera forward, past Belial and associates, and took an objective near the center of the table. Belial and his squad took shots from the veteran and troop Chimeras that rushed in from the right to greet them, and lost a few guys, reducing them to two (Belial and missile launcher).

Turn five. Belial and friend each assaulted a Chimera, killing the one with the troops, who then ran to a nearby objective. The other dumped its vets, who assaulted, lost combat, and fell back. On the other side of the board the squad that killed the Executioner, and a single (cyclone missile wielding) survivor from another squad, wrecked the troops that had run to the objective the previous turn. 

Turn six. I did some shooting reducing his remaining squad down to around five models, and we decided to call it. I had one objective, and he had another, but Belial his buddy were about to assault, and and I would have very likely won, or stayed in combat and contested. 

Analysis. Thunderhammer storm shield terminators are good at wrecking vehicles and surviving shooting. I should have been more attentive to objective placement; putting mine closer to his table edge could have helped to secure a more solid win, rather than a last minute steal. He could have moved his vehicles to deny auto-hitting thunderhammers (although it would have cut down on his shooting). I think it would have helped if he deployed closer to his table edge, shot for another full turn, and then moved away as I got close. Objectives in either table corner would have helped him; he could have retreated to the board edges, which would have forced me to split my force and taken advantage of my lack of mobility and my small numbers.

Speeders in reserve was definitely the way to go in this game. They would have been toasted early on if they started on the table, instead they charged in and did damage later in the game, at a time when killing terminators was more of a concern.

Interestingly, my opponent (and pretty much every stranger that I play) assumed that I would deep strike.  I think this influenced his deployment, and objective placement. I assume this is just basic unfamiliarity with Deathwing, an advantage that I should not count on, especially in a tournament setting.


  1. Next time I'm in Boston we'll have to get a game in, your fancy pants terminators vs. my new DE.

  2. I'd love to! I may try to play in a tournament run by the guys from The 11th Company in November. I believe its in Myrtle Beach SC, so I'm pretty sure my girlfriend will allow it. Maybe we can meet up there.

  3. SC would work for me, think I might even be able to drive. Think the DE are going to be too big to fit in a carry-on.