Sunday 28 January 2018

Power Armoured Paint: First Contact with the Enemy

Greetings Commanders! Today's post comes hot on the heels of my first game with the Space Sharks. I had the opportunity to play test one of the possible missions for the upcoming Mayhem Tournament, and play test my army at the same time. 

My army list has been written to make use of the Strike from the Shadows Stratagem to get the Carcharodons into early contact with the opposition. Did it work? Kind of...

I fielded the following Carcharodons Astra force:

  • Jump Pack Captain aka Captain Smashy (Combi Melta, Thunder Hammer)
  • Jump Pack Librarian (Force Axe)
  • 3 Squads of Scouts
  • 10 Vanguard Veterans (all armed with 2 Lightning Claws)
  • 6 Primaris Aggressors
  • Squad of Devestators armed with Heavy Bolters
  • Squad of Devestators armed with Multi Meltas and Combi Melta

I am running the Carcharodons as a Raven Guard successor Chapter, allowing access to the Ninja Marines Chapter's Tactics and Stratagems; unfortunately I don't get access to their Warlord Trait and Relic (both of which are very useful), but there are decent alternatives. 

Strike from the Shadows (here after StfS) is a Raven Guard Stratagem allows me to deploy some of my units out of the ordinary deployment sequence placing them on the battle field just before the first turn begins. This is really useful as you can position units to exploit gaps in your opponents deployment. Or just deploy an alpha strike!

I'm squared off against Dave's shiny new Dark Angel list, and we are playing a very cool dual aspect mission, combining a traditional Maelstrom game with a "home objective" which we are aiming to control at the end of the game. The opponents home objective is worth 7VP, so well worth taking.

The Dark Angels deployed on a broad front; (their objective is hiding under one of the Primaris Marines on the right side of the picture). I won the roll for the first turn and made an aggressive play right from the outset:

The Vanguard Vets deployed via StfS to the left of the hill using then skirted round, eyeing up the Ravenwing bikers. The Aggressors and Smashy also appeared using StfS; the Captain moving up to assault the Intercessors, whilst the Aggressors were perfectly positioned to open up with their super bolters.

The Librarian (just behind the Aggressors) came on via regular Deep Strike, then failed to cast Veil of Time on the Aggressors (he failed to cast it all game!)

You can see how I've tried to hit the flank of the Dark Angel's broad line below:

The Aggressors unloaded over 100 shots into the Primaris. Who tanked most of them!  Undettered the Sharks went into hand to hand combat. Smashy and the Aggressors waded into the Intercessors, whilst the Vanguard Veterans surrounded the Bikers, and made a cheeky Pile In move into the tank.

Assault was more successful; Smashy and his colleagues took out the Primaris Marines. And the Lightning Claw wielding loons over killed the Bikers. Seriously over killed the Bikers, dealing something like 18 wounds to the Ravenwing.

I wasn't hopeful of the Veterans hiding in combat during the Dark Angels turn, but I had expected to at least deny the Razorback's shooting as it fell back. No such luck as the Dark Angels declared a Stratagem which allowed the tank to shoot regardless.  To no one's surprise this left the Jump Troopers hanging out to dry:

And they disappeared under a hail of gun fire as the First Legion punished them for their rudeness.

Time for a quick tangent; the Dark Angels have two characters in the picture above; Sammael on the Jet Bike, and the Land Speeder itself. 2 mobile HQ choices with heavy weapons which can't be easily targetted due to the 8th ed Character rules.  If you are building a competitive list these sorts of characters are worth looking for (like Chaos Daemon Princes hiding behind a small screen of Nurglings). If GW are going to publish stupid rules, we might as well make use of them!

I took this picture a couple of turns later, but the distinct lack of Vanguard Veterans is still readily apparent.

So there are a few valuable points to take away from this gambit:

  • Strike from the Shadows is really useful and very flexible; you can use it for aggressive positioning, or to access a valuable location. The Aggressors held the Dark Angels home objective for the whole game.
  • The Vanguard Veterans should probably be a smaller squad; they are expensive and I didn't need all that killing power; in the end I gave points away with them.
  • StfS is invaluable on the Aggressors; they are short range and don't really want to move to far, so the Stratagem is excellent for getting them where you need them to be.
Elsewhere on the battlefield I had set the Devestators to defend my home objective; the Heavy Bolters were to provide some long range fire power, whilst the Multi Meltas could pop out to gun down anything scary that got too close.

However, as you can see from the shot below, the Ravenwing did a number on them! (Did I mention invisible heavy weapon platforms).

We ended up trading home objectives! In the final reckoning the Dark Angels won with a final cheeky Maelstrom card as Sammael hacked the Carcharodon Librarian apart to claim Kill the Witch.

It was a cracking game; loads of fun and the mission is a great twist on the usual Eternal War and Maelstrom scenarios. I'd be more than happy to play this again at Mayhem.

And importantly I've gathered a load of Intel on how the Space Shark list plays and where I can make improvements! I hope you've enjoyed this report and tactical waffling; there will be plenty more as the Sharks get tournament ready.

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