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Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion

 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:03 am 
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I played a game yesterday with the War Gryphons 3.06 against Mephiston?s Steel Legion. It was a cool game, I enjoyed it a lot.

Sorry there are no photos at the moment, but we might be able to do some diagrams. I?ll post these at a later date, so it?s just words at the mo.

Anyway, onto the lists?

War Gryphons

Warlord Titan Black Prince
2 x Apocalypse Missile Launcher
2 x Gatling blaster
Legate

Reaver Titan Fiore Dei Liberi
2 x Laser Burner
Plasma Destructor

Warhound Titan Pack (Sandor and Gregor)
Vulcan megabolter each
Plasma blastgun each

Ordinatus Minoris with support missile (barrage)

Ordinatus Minoris with volcano cannon

Skitarii demi-century with transports

Sentinels


Steel Legion

Regimental HQ with hydra
Mechanised infantry with hydra
Tank company with hydra
Deathstrike battery
Artillery battery (Manticores)
Shadowsword
Shadowsword
Vulture squadron
Thunderbolts

You?ll probably notice that Mephiston has quite a few tasty anti-titan tools there. But I stress that these weren?t picked just because I was playing with Titans ? this is Mephiston?s normal tournament list with the Guard, so things were nice and fair.

Rules used included new errata.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:04 am 
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Set up and evil plans

Both blitz objectives were placed pretty centrally, behind cover. Mephiston placed his take and holds wide left and right, to take advantage of his extra manoeuvrability and flexibility. My take and holds, on the other hand, were close together and both reasonably near the blitz on Mephiston?s base line. The Fiore was going to get in amongst those three objectives and take on all comers. Or so I hoped.

My Reaver and Warhounds set up slightly right of centre, skulking out of line of sight of as many nasty weapons as possible. I wanted to try using my Reaver with the laser burners to run forward and grab objectives, engaging or supporting other engagements with those 12 FF attacks. So I also placed the Skitarii on the right as well, and hoped that these three mobile formations would spearhead my attack and help each other out.

The Black Prince deployed in the centre, shunning cover, as is only proper.

The sentinels headed for the left to try to get in the way of whatever swept down that side. The volcano ordinatus also took the left, as there was a hill there that he could use to get a better line of sight. The barrage ordinatus sat behind a building, right of centre.

Looking across the table, Mephiston?s set-up frightened me a bit. He seemed to have a hell of a lot of models for a start! Mind you, I had titans.

The Vultures garrisoned behind a building to my right, poised to take on the Reaver or Warhounds, if they could get a line of sight. The HQ deployed far to my left, looking set to sweep down the flank with little except poor sentinels to stop it. The other mech company was pretty near the HQ, to left of centre (as I look).

The two shadowswords and the tank company were placed right of centre, set for a head on confrontation with my Reaver, Warhounds and Skitarii. Suddenly the corridor between a hill and some buildings I planned to head for with that little lot didn?t look so inviting, what with two volcano cannons pointed straight at it.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:05 am 
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Turn 1
The Steel Legion won the strategy roll and I resigned myself to pain.

Mephiston had plenty of juicy toys to pick from, but really there could only be one choice.

The deathstrikes activated and fired both missiles at the Fiore Dei Liberi.

2 hits.

11 (yes 11!) damage points, and the proud Reaver crumpled and fell, its shields stripped and its body broken.

Oh dear.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:06 am 
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Mephiston smelled blood (or at least scorched, twisted metal). He retained with the garrisoned vultures and slipped them round the side of a building (advance) so that they could draw a bead on my Warhound pack. All 8 hellstrikes fired.

8 hits. The first hound (Sandor) had his shields stripped but he did very well and saved all three remaining hits. The second dog did less well. It lost its shields and a wound, despite only being hit three times.

At last the onslaught was over. For the time being, anyway.

Time for the vengeance of the War Grypons. I sustained with the barrage ordinatus and fired my 10BP disrupt missile at the Regimental HQ in the back left corner. I?ve wanted to see one of these beauties in action since the moment I saw it on the list. Now was the time.

The three templates covered about 13 or 14 units. When the dust settled from the huge explosion 5 infantry and 2 chimeras were dead, and the formation had 10 blast markers. Satisfying, but the formation was still in tact and not too close to breaking.

What you really need is TWO barrage missiles!


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:08 am 
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Time for me to brace myself again. The Manticores sustained and fired all 6BP at the Skitarii. Thank the Emperor for those 5+ saves. Three Skitarii were hit and all survived! Mind you, the barrage still left 5 blast markers, though it caused no damage.

Things had been somewhat static so far, as we traded massive firepower from the back lines. But still it was too early to send the heavy hitters forward. I activated the sentinels on the left and they doubled up behind a building, trying to hug the cover to keep themselves alive for as long as possible. The only purpose of this activation really was to delay committing the bug guys, in the hope that some more tempting targets might emerge.

The Steel Legion scorned my pathetic sentinels; Mephiston activated his Thunderbolts and killed them all (Thunderbolts are awesome against light vehicles!). Foolishly, I had taken no flak cover and so could not retaliate.

I decided to move the battered Warhounds forward next. Unfortunately, they couldn?t move as aggressively as I would have liked, as in their current state they would have been ripped apart by the Shadowswords if they showed themselves. So they took an advance action up behind a building, from where they could return fire sideways at the Vultures who had moved up on the right. I agonised over how many blastgun shots to use and eventually plumped for two, along with all the megabolter rounds.

4 AT hits, 1 macro hit. 3 dead vultures. Formation broken, but the commissar survives (curses!). He doesn?t retreat much, just slinks behind a hill wide on the right flank.

A shadowsword activates. There aren?t too many targets for him, so he doubles behind the hill in the centre of the table and shoots at the Skitarii. He misses.

My volcano minoris on the left flank is on a hill but has no good targets at all, and none are likely to emerge if I wait longer. He can only shoot the mech company opposite him. Killing one infantry unit (albeit with a massive explosion) is not very exciting. Also, shortly a mech company and the HQ will be sweeping towards him and he will be swamped. So he decides to march diagonally forward and towards the centre of the table (behind the central hill), so that future turns might prove more fruitful.

The second shadowsword fails to activate and removes the resulting blast marker.

Next it was time for the Skitarii to get themselves going. What they really wanted to do was race forward and get stuck in, but with 6 blast markers and a tank company opposite yet to move, they thought better of it. They marshalled, removing all blast markers, and advanced forward towards the hill in front of them, to harass the broken vulture hovering on the other side of it and make it harder for him to rally.

At last it was time for the Leman Russ company to rumble into action. They doubled, swept down the right flank to the right of some buildings and suddenly could bring their guns to bear on the cowering, unshielded Warhounds.

4 hits. Sandor saves again and remains unhurt, but Gregor takes another wound.

It?s a critical! And as he?s standing right next to a building, things look dicey. But luckily he only staggers 1 cm into his brother and survives.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:09 am 
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Finally, my last activation. The Black Prince.

Mephiston has done a fine job of denying him targets. I could have picked away at the mech company at long range, but I thought there was little point. So the Warlord followed the example of the volcano minoris and marched towards the centre of the table, behind the central hill, with the Leman Russ company to his right and a shadowsword just over the brow of the hill. He WILL NOT be denied.

Mephiston finished off the turn by sweeping his mech company right across the board in a 90cm march to threaten my blitz. He then marshals the damaged HQ in the corner and removes 5 of the 10 blast markers, edging them forwards.


End of the turn, and what a destructive turn it has been! My War Gryphons have dealt out some punishment, but essentially lie in tatters. Not to worry, the Black Prince still stands.

The Regimental HQ rallies and removes all its remaining blast markers, with the help of two leaders. The warhounds recover some shields and shed some blast markers. They have two left. The broken vulture rallies on a 5+ and I groan. He?s bound to be a thorn in my side.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Turn 2

The Steel Legion wins the initiative again and the Leman Russ company continues its relentless drive into my territory. With a single move it brings all its weapons into range of the Warhound pack (only the battle cannons had been in range last turn) and rips them apart, utterly destroying both Hounds.

I activate the volcano minoris behind the central hill and blow up a Leman Russ. It wasn?t a brilliant move, picking on something that had already activated, but I wanted to make sure I used the minoris before the mech company jumped on it, and it had no better targets.

Also, I wanted to see one of those tanks die! The tank company was the BTS and I had (somewhat modest) plans for it.

Mephiston activated the single vulture and marched him onto the blitz, in cover of some trees. I told you that thing would prove annoying!

I really didn?t have too much left to move now. The Warlord, the Skitarii and the empty minoris. Mephiston still had 6 activations. Hmmm.

Time to move the Skitarii. They were still pretty near my back line, behind a hill in the right corner, with the tank company just the other side. My Warlord was in the centre of the table, so I saw a nice opportunity to get a crossfire on the Russes by advancing the Skitarii to the right of the tanks so the titan could pound them from the left.

Unfortunately, this would leave a very open path for the tanks to move onto my blitz in the next turn, so I wanted to use the Skitarii to get in their way. In the end I took a double move and went for a weird (and maybe foolish) strung out formation which blocked the route of the Russes and also used the speed of the Chimeras to get around the flank of the tanks to set up the crossfire for the Warlord.

Unfortunately, it meant the infantry were no longer in the cover of the Chimeras and, when they wanted to move next turn, the Chimeras would have to spend ages driving round picking up all the idiots. Oh well.

6 hits on the Russes from the Skitarii. Dead hydra and dead commissar tank. Not bad.

Next Mephiston tried to activate his empty Deathstrikes, but failed.

So now it was time for the Black Prince to take advantage of the crossfire the Skitarri had set up for him. Unfortunately, I?d made a bit of a hash of it and it wasn?t possible to get close enough for the crossfire without doubling.

So I sent the Warlord doubling forward, round the central hill into a gap between the hill and some buildings. He was now directly in the sights of two Shadowswords, but he didn?t care. He was also within grasping distance of the two take and holds in Mephiston?s half.

He turned back towards the Leman Russes and crossfired them.

2 hits and no kills. Hmm. The tanks now had 7 blast markers and 8 units. Drat!!


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:12 pm 
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The thunderbolts screamed in and stripped the shields from the empty minoris, placing a blast marker. The minoris then failed to activate and broke himself. He used the Supreme Commander re-roll and failed again. He legged it towards my blitz to try and contest it next turn, though it would make it harder for him to rally as that vulture was pretty close.

The Steel Legion Regimental HQ swept down the left flank (with the help of a re-roll) and captured the take and hold on the far left flank. Nothing opposes it.

Though I?m on the receiving end, it is a fine sight to see two mechanised companies turn a flank, capturing objectives and sweeping deep into enemy territory.

The shadowsword towards the back picked off a Chimera from the Skitarii, annoyingly leaving them without enough transport.

Mephiston then cooked up a devious and inspired plan. The mechanised company on the left advanced and pounded the volcano minoris (who you may remember is in the middle, just behind the central hill).

No hits are scored. But the blast marker is all he needs. There is a shadowsword on the other side of the central hill, and it has been playing cat and mouse with the Minoris for much of the battle. Mephiston declares an assault with the Shadowsword and aims to charge over the brow of the hill at the Minoris.

Charging into combat with a Shadowsword you say? Yes. With the blast markers, outnumbering and the commissar, the Shadowsword is +4.

The activation fails. I?m almost sad to see the unconventional little plan fail, but hey ho. The Shadowsword takes a single move and crests the hill, freezing as it faces off directly against the Minoris , the two behemoths only centimetres apart.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:14 pm 
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It?s the end of turn two, and things are looking pretty bad. I?m playing for glory now, not victory (that was probably true from the very first activation of the game to be honest, when the Fiore went down). But there is still some glory to be had. Oh yes.

The deathstrikes rally, but the Shadowsword and Minoris on the hill in the middle fail to shed their blast markers as they stare at each other.

The other Minoris who broke himself by failing his activation does no better when it comes to rallying and remains broken.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Turn 3

The War Gryphons win initiative. The Black Prince activates and now, thank the Emperor, the crossfire can really get down to business. He sustains on the Leman Russes, crossfiring with the Skitarri.

7 hits. 4 Russes dead. The formation has four tanks left, it breaks and flees towards the back right corner. Hooray!

I decide to retain with the volcano minoris, though it needs a 4+ to do so (it has a BM). He?s going to win this odd little duel with the Shadowsword on the hill if it kills him.

Heroically he rolls a 6 to activate and advances to capture the take and hold objective next to the hill. He then shoots the Shadowsword with his volcano cannon.

It hits, but only causes one wound. Nevertheless, the super-heavy tank breaks and retreats from the hard-contested central hill.

Mephiston?s manticores are now back in action at full effect and they pound the Skitarii. Only 1 dies, but 4 blast markers leaves them in pretty deep trouble.

Mephiston retains with the unbroken Shadowsword and blows up another Chimera from the Skitarii. They aren?t going far in a hurry.

I only have the Skitarii left to move now. What they really want to do is go forward, hurt the broken Russes, hopefully destroy them all with blast markers and get the BTS.

But it?s never going to happen. What they have to do instead is make a desperate attempt to contest my blitz that is currently held by the vulture (and being threatened by the mech company).

Unfortunately, due to Mephiston?s clever sniping at Chimeras, they don?t have enough tanks to carry the men. I consider leaving three men behind, but this would break the formation with blast markers (by one).

So the men walk towards the blitz objective and the tanks race ahead to get within 15cm, creating a pathetic chain of units. By the end of the move I have one tank contesting the objective. The formation is so heavily suppressed I can?t even muster the one shot necessary to break that damn vulture that?s sitting on the objective! I hate him!


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:17 pm 
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Alas, the Thunderbolts aren?t impressed by my valiant attempt to contest the blitz; they promptly scream in and blow the contesting Chimera to smithereens.

And that?s GAME OVER. 2-0 to the Steel Legion. Blitz and Take & Hold, at the end of turn 3.

I had captured one objective in Mephiston?s half, as well as badly damaging and breaking the BTS. But let?s face it, I got ripped apart. The Steel Legion had loads of stuff left to run about with.

Mind you, at the end of the battle, the Black Prince still stood proud at the centre of the field.

He just had no army left, that?s all  :D


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Thoughts

This game was great fun. Playing with titans just is fun, and I love being able to tweak the weapon configurations and point values.

Mephiston is an excellent player and I think he played a pretty much faultless game. There were some full-blooded exchanges, and I think I put up a reasonable fight, but the result was never really in doubt.

I could have picked a better list (partly because I don?t know what I?m doing with the AMTL yet, and partly cos I just wanted to try stuff out). But once the game got going I don?t think there was too much more I could have done really. I don?t think I made any huge howlers, and after the Reaver went down in the very first activation, it was a case of damage limitation.


Thoughts on the list

I think that, even when the list is finished and as balanced as we can make it, the Titans are never going to be a consistent army. Against certain opponents, on an open field where they can get good lines of sight, they could easily dominate. But against other armies with lots of titan-killing tools, they might always struggle. They are a bit more ?all or nothing? than most armies I reckon.

Not sure taking sentinels to boost activations is a brilliant idea; they?ll only get picked on and killed straight away.

Mephiston thinks Thunderbolts are crucial for AMTL and I agree. It gives you a cheap activation (or several), some air cover, and a way to hit threatening things (like Deathstrikes) anywhere on the board. I?ll take some next time.

Skitarii are nice. Not sure if they should be more points (when you give them Chimeras) than a Steel Legion mech company? They are better at shooting and have a great save, but they have 5 fewer units, which counts for a lot in assaults and when you?re trying to break them. Not sure. Don?t think the points are far off, anyway.

I loved the barrage missile! I want another one. But though it was satisfying to fire, it wasn?t really decisive. You probably need to combine it with another attack at the same time.

We talked about it after the game and it seemed that one way to really test the list would be to take loads of Warhounds. Three packs and three individuals for instance. This would give you a decent number of activations, as well as loads of speed and pretty good toughness/shootiness. Battle titans are great, but they?re always going to limit your options a bit if you?re trying to make a very competitive list.

I quite like the idea of a huge pack of Warhounds charging about for the occasional game, but wouldn?t want it to be the no-brainer choice for competition games. But artificial limitations would be a bit lame as well.

It?d be good to see someone test a Warhound heavy list.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this game, and I like the way the list is looking.


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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:25 pm 
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Thanks very much for the detailed report Gary!

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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:38 pm 
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Enjoyable read :)

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 Post subject: Titans (3.06) versus Steel Legion
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:15 pm 
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(Gary @ Mar. 21 2008,14:21)
QUOTE
Mephiston is an excellent player

I can see this coming back to haunt him  :D

Great report & I look forward to more.

From my testing so far I can but agree with your sentiments, although I would still keep Sentinels. Any thoughts on the Ordinatus. I like them, although they are so easy to break.

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