The Dark Angels have had a few games this week with mixed results (a loss to Chaos Space Marines that left them with just one man standing, two wins and an unfinished game against that we called a draw against their Astartes brothers, the Blood Angels. Here's a report from the first battle with the Blood Angels.
Techmarine Power field generator
Command Squad (5) Banner of devastation, Storm shield, powerfist, apothecary
Tactical Squad (10) power fist, plasma gun, Missile launcher
Tactical Squad (10) plasma pistol, Plasma gun, Missile Launcher)
Tactical Squad (10) Plasma Gun Missile Launcher
Scouts (5) 2 sniper rifles, Hvy Bolter
Assault Squad (6) 2 Plasma Pistols
Landraider Crusader (Multimelta)
Devastator Squad (5) Lascannon, 2 Plasma Cannon
Librarian, Terminator armou, Storm shield.
Sanguinary Guard (5)
Terminator (5) Hvy flamer
Deathguard (10), Rhino
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon, Meltagun
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon Meltagun
Tactical Squad (10), Lascannon Meltagun
Death Company Dreadnought
Devastators (10) 2 lascannons, 2 hvy bolters
The mission was Crusade and there were three objectives (the two central ruins and one between the two woods).
Both armies set up their devastators in central buildings (both were the locations of primary objectives) with a squad of Marines on each side. Off the board are a unit of deep striking Sanguinary Guard and a squad of outflanking Dark Angel scouts. The DA Techmarine reinforced the central building in their deployment zone.
The Blood Angels took the first turn and their attention was clearly on removing the DA's big guns to give their Dreadnought and Rhino the best possible chance of getting across no-man's land. To this end their librarian used prescience to boost the skills of Devastators and with the result that three of the Dark Angels Devastators were gone (leaving just two). That was my first lesson of the match: small units of Devastators are vulnerable (they need some sacrificial marines) and prescience + Devs is a very handy combo. Aside from this the Death Co. Dred ran forwards on the BA's right flank, the Terminators advanced on the central objective (looking like being a nasty denial unit - it'd turn out that my opponent had forgotten they weren't a scoring unit at this point) and the Rhino (full of Death Co.) rushed forwards 12".
In response the Dark Angels fixated on the Rhino, firing everything they had at it resulting in one glancing hit. Not a very dramatic start...
|The Sanguinary Guard arrive deep in Dark Angels' territory.|
The Scout squad came on the DA's right flank with the intention of hiding and later snagging the central objective (I'd hoped they'd come on later). The only major bit of movement saw the Assault Marines head towards the Death Company. Then the Dark Angels laid down some serious fire with the Landraider's multimelta wrecking the Rhino (sending the Death Company behind it for cover), and the remainder of the marines killing all five of the Sanguinary guard (first blood) and four of the sheltering Death Company. Finally, the Assault Marines charged the Death Company and the combat was drawn at a casualty each.
|The start of the third turn|
|Surviving against the odds...|
The Dreadnought continued his run down the right flank getting ever nearer to the Dark Angels' line. The Terminators noticed the Scout squad and redirected their attentions, moving to intercept them and taking one down with their storm bolters. The Devastators took down another DA Devastator (leaving just one) and a Lascannon from a Tactical Squad took managed a penetrating hit on the Landraider leaving it shaken. The Death Company took the Assault Squad down to one man.
In the DA turn nothing much happened with the exception of the fact that miraculously the single Assault Marine held off the Death Company!
|Start of turn four|
The Death Company, now not protected by combat, and perilously close to the DA line, were promptly shot to pieces.
|The Terminators Assault.|
The Terminators charge the Landraider and manage two glancing hits which it then saves thanks to the Techmarine's Power Field Generator.
In the Dark Angels' turn the Landraider tank shocks the Terminators (who sensibly get out of the way) before unloading its shooting at the devastator squad in the central building who are wiped out. The DC Dreadnought is shot down having turned his back on the tactical squad on the Dark Angels' left flank while three of the Terminators fall to sustained bolter fire.
And with that the game ended. The score-line was 5-1 (both had Linebreaker, while the Dark Angels held a primary objective and first blood). It was an oddly abrupt end and had things gone on another turn as we both expected the score would likely have been much closer. As it was both of the Blood Angels tactical squads were just out of reach of the objectives but that could easily have been fixed had the game continued.
All in all I was pleased with how the list fared, it was fun to play and thankfully we'd brought armies that seemed to be roughly of the same power level so it always felt like the game could go either way. As a gunline the Banner of Devastation + Tactical Squads + Prescience is a pretty horrific thing to face if you have to get near to it. Outflanking scouts, a new addition to the list, worked well as a cheap scoring unit able to get the drop on the enemy - in the second game they'd co-ordinate with deep striking assault marines to do some more serious damage by getting behind the Death Company Dreadnought. And the Landraider, with a Techmarine inside and the banner of Devastation boosting its guns was truly horrific, and extremely resilient, and really came into its own when played aggressively (something I failed to do in this game) - that said it died to the second shot of the game in our final battle! Less successful were the devastators who were too small a unit to survive (more bodies need adding) and I know that this list lacks any defence against fliers (defence line + flakk missiles need to go in there somehow).