Ibushi back from the webway with Game 2 of the Corsair Raiding Party at Foodhammer. This time against the recently released and formidable forces of the Deathwatch. Read on to find out whether the Xenos were indeed hunted down, or did the hunters become the hunted?
Game 2 vs. Deathwatch with Chapter Ancients
Deathwatch CAD –
Watch Captain – Storm Shield and Power Fist kit
4x 5 Veterans – 2x frag cannons + shotguns, storm shields and things
5x Veterans – stalker bolters
Garran Branatar aka the Burninator
2x 1 Terminators – cyclone missiles
2x 1 Bikers – power mauls, melta bombs
Blood Angel Chapter Ancients –
3x Furioso Dreadnoughts – frag cannons, melta guns, magna grapples
3x Lucius Drop Pods
Mission was Cloak & Shadows on Dawn of War, Deathwatch deploys first in a line of Rhinos from left to right, opting to go first to deliver a massive Alpha to the space pirates. This is the first time I’m facing Deathwatch, and it’s really exciting! Those frag cannons and shotguns look amazing, not to mention the special ammo and then just the new models, love them. Always been a big fan of shotguns for some reason, but the rules have not been so great until now. Naturally the Furioso dreadnoughts in this army are all DW dreads too, so the aesthetic is spot-on. From a power perspective, personally it feels like going all-Drop Pod would have been stronger, but in a Maelstrom game I can see why Rhinos may be a strategic choice. From a tactical perspective, I was worried the DW would make Corsairs deploy first then do a hard counter-deploy directly across the table, but by deploying first and spreading out this game may have shifted its advantage to the pointy ears.
The Corsairs think about null deploying as best they can, but figure the likelihood of just getting tabled by the Furiosos is still pretty high. Better to castle up with everything on the board and just look to see how hard these Astartes can party. The Croneworld pirates bunch up in the rightmost corner, castling under the void shields with characters attached to jetbikes, the Falcon up front, and the Warp Hunter and Hornet as far back as possible. One unit of Warp Spiders deploys off in the leftmost table corner out of LOS, looking to troll around a bit and hopefully score some points, while the Rangers infiltrate into the front arc of the void shield, filling up that annoying gap in the shields that happens in Dawn of War and is otherwise the perfect parking spot for Drop Pods. Turn 1 the DW will probably not be able to get any models inside the shields, which means a lot of those s6 Furioso cannons should be wasted trying to glance down the av12 protection. As the ancient Eldar adage goes: “Always bring protection to a Maiden world!”
Also for Psychic Powers the Farseer again went Divination, rolling up Scrier’s Gaze which is fantastic in Maelstrom games, while the Void Dreamer again rolled up Warp Blink – hopefully she gets to use it this time! Love this power.
Turn 1 and sure enough the 3 dreadnoughts come hurtling down danger close, two scattering slightly backwards, and one managing to squeeze inside the void shield on the right board edge after a ballsy drop. Rhinos move up and then also Flat Out, two of them making it to on top of the Lucius pod doors. Apparently this also grants those models Shrouded? Amazing! We may have been playing that slightly wrong, but so it goes. Also the Dreadnoughts naturally did not disembark, opting to rain fragmentation from within their Lucius hideouts, fair play.
Dreadnoughts arriving centre-board, to the left of the Corsair Castle
One dreadnought squeezes inside the Void Shields, risking a mishap to do it — Corsair Castle suddenly feels very exposed…
With all its shooting, the dreadnought is only able to kill 2 jetbikers, and the survivors pass morale. Meanwhile the two Deathwatch bikes also move up, one sitting at centre board, and one looking for a 9” charge into the Rangers.The DW biker does make it into assault with the Rangers, easily beating two Eldar to death with his power maul, but then the Rangers shockingly pass Morale on the button with a 5, denying First Blood and locking the biker in combat. Prince is happy! Even so, the Rhinos with their payloads of elite warriors move and flat-out forwards to put pressure on the Corsairs, setting up for a massive turn 2 punch:
Turn 1 Corsairs
Relatively unmolested, and presented with a myriad of targets, the Corsairs then do what they do best – the Warp Hunter drops a D-flamer template on the rightmost Lucius Pod with dreadnought, inflicting 5x Wall of Death hits at Strength: DESTROYER. The Deathwatch player did not see that one coming and it was a nasty surprise. Fortunately for him the drop pod and dreadnought both explode, dealing 10 wounds to the Corsair Prince and his Malevolents hah. Malevolents are tough old birds, so only one goes down, then the Prince proceeds to assault and kill the nearby Deathwatch biker to hold the right flank convincingly.
Dropping in front of the Warp Hunter and Corsair Prince may have been a mistake…
On the left side of the void shield, splinter bikes kill the second Watch biker through his cover saves while the Lucius drop pods and Rhinos with Shrouded were too tough to destroy, but the Void Dreamer did use Warp Blink to send one dreadnought+drop pod spinning 8” backwards towards the Deathwatch DZ, which was hilarious. This did incite a fairly vigorous rules dispute over the legality of using Warp Blink to move an immobile Drop Pod, which raises an interesting question – when something seems so obviously allowed, and the opponent asks you to dice off for it, what is the more sportsmanlike play? Calling the TO over to shut down a discussion often is a bit of a mood killer, but in any event sometimes necessary. In this instance we resolved the 8” movement (also with Warp Blinking a vehicle, I would assume the facing must stay the same, same as Deep Strike scatter), taking the Dreadnought out of threat range of the key Corsair units for next turn:
See the Drop Pod behind the ruin? Then the jetpack Corsairs all bounce back out of assault range.
This was a pretty action packed round, did not keep track of how many points were scored – Corsairs definitely got First Blood though!
Deathwatch keep pushing the offensive as best they can – one Veteran unit disembarks and gets inside the shield, opening up with frag cannons and obliterating the Void Dreamer and most of the fusion Reaver unit (14 wounds, 10x 2++ saves passed, 4 models die… not bad!), but the 2 fusion gun models survive thanks to the Dreamer tanking so many wounds. The rest of the DW shooting is absorbed by Warp Spiders or bounces off the void shields though, as there just is not enough firepower to take all three shields down.
On the right side the Warp Blink Dreadnought does pull a sneaky move and disembarks to pull off a charge on the flanking Falcon, easily destroying it in a bout of furious fisting.
Unfortunately Garran Branatar did not join the battle in his Drop Pod this turn to take a shot at the Corsair Castle. There is a solid chance that he would have neutralized the Warp Hunter, so this was a bit of a blow for the Deathwatch.
Turn 2 Corsairs
Rolling into Corsairs turn 2 and the space pirates are not liking the way the Deathwatch party – it’s time to shut these upstarts down.
The Warp Hunter moves up and once again unleashes a truly horrific Rift attack through the Deathwatch lines, catching 4 of the Veterans, their Rhino, and the Furioso behind them, easily destroying all but the Rhino (rolled a 1 for HPs), ouch. Fusion Reavers also move up, eyeing up the nearby Watch Captain’s Rhino, while the Hemlock and Phoenix both come screaming on to stare down this same target – the fusion guns open up, exploding the exposed Rhino with ease, then the Hemlock sends heavy D-scythe hits arcing through the unit, scoring 7 hits. After tanking several hits on the Watch Captain’s storm shield, the Warlord finally falls thanks to rolling D3 wounds per failed save. The Phoenix then opens up and just utterly destroys the remaining Veterans in a mist of shattered flesh and armour. Lastly the Hornet and jetbikes open up on straggling models such as the Terminators, while the Prince and Malevolents charge into the last veteran and Rhino left over from the Warp Hunter, quickly dispatching both. What a brutal turn. To add insult to injury, two of the Maelstrom cards for the Corsairs this turn were Overwhelming Firepower and No Prisoners, both of which got maxed out thanks to no less than 7 units being destroyed in one player turn. Corsairs have something like 12 Maelstrom points already now – Xenos Hunters have become the Hunted, clearly.
Where once there were two units of Deathwatch, two Rhinos, a Dreadnought, and the Watch Captain, now there are but death and silence…
Turn 3 Deathwatch
Garran Branatar arrives, dropping inside the void shields into the midst of the Corsair Castle, sending a mastercrafted melta shot through the Void Shield Generator itself… (the structure the Hornet is perched on)
The brute rolls a 6 on the penetration chart and explodes the structure, also causing 2D6 hits on the rear armour of the Hornet on the battlements, bringing the weak xenos skimmer crashing to the ground in a scorching wreck. What a glorious moment for the Deathwatch!
Next up the surviving Furioso Dreadnought, and bane of Corsair vehicles, moves over from his last crushed and burning victim towards his next: the fell Warp Hunter! With a decent long charge thanks to Magna grapples, the Furioso crashes into the Warp Hunter and splits the vehicle in two with massive thrusting fists, oh the power of the Astartes! Another truly glorious moment in this most brutal of games.
Even after all this destruction, the Corsairs are ready to bring the Deathwatch to their knees on the next turn, so the DW player has had enough and calls it — we head to the bar for lunch. Corsairs win 13-4!
An absolute bloodbath of Distort destruction where the Deathwatch walked into a trap they weren’t expecting and were just taken apart. Again had the DW gone with Drop Pods instead of Rhinos I think the result would have been quite different. It was going to be a tough game playing with Rhinos, as even if the DW could counter-deploy an Eldar forced flank position, the bunched up vehicles would suffer horribly to Destroyer barrage blasts, and still don’t really have the tools to take void shields down until turn 2 when the frag cannons get into 12” s9 solid shot range. Those frag cannons coming down alongside Furiosos in Drop Pods though, that would likely have brought so much carnage to the pirates turn 1 that they just couldn’t get back into the game. Something to think about for future lists.
MVP in this game goes to the Warp Hunter for sheer destruction, and also for going out in a spectacular fashion, way to go old Warpy. What a beast.
On the Deathwatch side that last Dreadnought was a badass! Despite getting Warp Blinked back across No Man’s Land, he took it in stride and pounded out both prized Corsair vehicles in style. Well done sir, we raise our eye patches to you and your cold sarcophagus, may the fluids ever be fresh and the brain cables well fastened. Garran Branatar did also bring a solid boost in morale to the Deathwatch, what a baller, dropping in hot and letting one rip on the Corsair castle.
Next up we have the 3rd and final game in the event, and usually my favourite, as each proves to be the nemesis you’ve been fearing on those sleepless painting marathons as you prepare for the event, or else is the final hurdle to domination of this small corner of the Galaxy and a crown of twisted shuriken to announce your glory to the Mon Keigh!
Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!