After carrying around a big box of models during my teaching course today, the stage was set for a Deathwing battle at the local GW in Cambridge. I got the impression fairly quickly that most people there were playing fairly unfocused lists so I was a bit worried I'd be seen as a power gamer, but I figured that the disparity in codex age between me and my opponent (Space Wolves) should even things out.
We played pitched battle annihilation and my army was simple.
Belial, Librarian, Command Assault squad (with apothecary), 2 assault squads, 2 shooty squads.
My opponent brought (roughly):
- Wolf Lord with wolf claw and storm bolter
- Rune priest (jaws and living lightning)
- 5 Wolf guard in terminator armour, 2 wolf claws, 2 power fists, 1 thunder hammer, assault cannon
- Venerable Dread (AC)
- 10 Grey hunters
- 15(?) Blood Claws led by a Wolf Guard w/ PF
- 5 Wolf Scouts (sniper rifles and missile)
- 5 Long Fangs (Multi-melta, heavy bolter, plasma cannon, lascannon)
I knew from his armaments that he hadn't really put together the list for killiness, but figured it would be a good first game for the Deathwing anyway. I won the dice off and gave him first turn. He deployed fairly evenly with Grey Hunters and Long Fangs on one flank, Vindicator, WG and Lord in the centre, then Dread and Blood Claws with Rune priest on the other flank. He reserved the scouts for outflanking. This seemed a waste to me since they had heavy weapons but hey ho.
To counter this, I deployed one shooty squad with the Librarian on the flank table edge facing his Dread and Blood Claws. All other squads were deep striking.
His turn 1 had nothing much since he had no targets. He moved forwards with everything but left the vindicator sitting, now separated from his mini-deathstar of lord and WG. My turn 1 brought in Belial and the command squad, and another assault squad. Belial et al. set up in my opponent's rear corner with LOS to, but out of charge range of, the dread. The other squad landed between two buildings with LOS to the Vindicator's flank. A few missiles later and I'd stunned the dread and blown up the tank. My shooty squad also killed some Blood Claws.
Turn 2 he continues to move forward on his right flank, which seemed a waste since my entire force thus far was on his left. His Wolf Guard wheeled around to advance on my guys and the Blood Claws elected to shoot rather than charge Belial's squad. Terminator armour and FNP saved them and the Librarian stopped Jaws being cast. My turn 2 gave me the second shooty squad who I deepstruck in place to block and shoot the wolf guard. I once again stunned the dread and charged the Blood Claws with Belial's squad. He took two wounds and we lost one terminator, but stomped the Claws, making them run, only the WG and Priest still alive. I consolidated so that they would be within 6" and unable to rally next turn
Turn 3 puts his fleeing units almost off the table. He gets to charge the shooty squad with his Wolf Guard though and with some good shooting and wolf claws, pulls them apart before I could fight back. I get my last squad and strike them to the flank I'm rapidly taking. I stun the dread again (damnit, just die), move Belial to escort the fleeing models off the board and get my power hitters in position to counter assault the WG if they get into combat with the assault squad near them. The WG are very killy, but I've got a huge amount of hitting power on offer to overwhelm them if I concentrate it.
Turn 4 lets him just get the charge on one of my assault squads, but the lord and one WG aren't close enough to strike. I get some good rolls with my lightning claws and tear up three of his guys, then the hammers/fists come into play and we're reduced to the cyclone guy on my side, his lord and AC on his side. I then shoot the DCCW off his dread, letting me charge it and PF it to death then my command squad assaults in to kill the lord and remaining Wolf Guard, their 3+ Storm Shields (thanks FAQ) saving them from the wolf claws.
He has 1 kill point (shooty squad), and has killed 10 terminators. I have 6 kills points (7 if the WG leader of the Blood Claws count) and we call the game as it's getting late.
Now clearly my opponent made some major errors and didn't correct them later. The wolf scouts should have been on the table in turn 1 to use their guns, the devastators (whose loadout would benefit from less diversity) needed to be better placed from the start and, when it was clear I was hitting just one flank, should have been moved to counter on turn 1. Instead they holed up in a building with great LOS to my flank that had no models on it. The end result was that I took on around 1000pts of Wolves with my whole army and mashed them. Good opponent though and kept smiling through to the end. If we'd had time I'd have danced out of his range and kept throwing missiles at his remaining troops. Or if I decided to be more casual I would have footslogged over to his scouts, hunters and fangs who'd hunkered down in a few buildings and tried to fight them out, just for kicks.
The Deathwing are nice, no question, but very different to play with. You have to use deepstriking (with Deathwing Assault) in many cases because you can't risk a long range gunfight against most foes. With that in mind, I can see that picking the DS locations can make or break your game from the start. I think this army is going to be very tactical to play and a real challenge when facing a less casual player, or even one who realises I might DS and castles up. Deathwing also suffer a problem of cracking Mech, especially walkers. Against vehicles I have hammers, fists and some chainfists but I have to think twice when facing a Dread that can pulp me pretty badly.
Overall I had a blast playing my new army and the GW store here is really cool. The staff were excited about Finecast but didn't try to sell me anything and just loved to talk about the hobby. It made me feel like I was in the GW that I grew into the hobby with and not some of the more sales-focused ones I've been to recently.
Thanks for reading all.
To finish off we have poetry.....it's good for you
I think this is my favourite poem I've yet read. It was shown to me be someone who I was close with and resonated with me deeply then, and still does as I look back on things. I hope you enjoy the flow, words and emotions too.
I'll culture you gamers yet ;-)
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.