Wow what a game! I wrote last week about a game that was less than amazing. It didn't even reach turn three! There really wasn't much in the way of war gaming nourishment to be had from an experience like that. I'm happy to say that THIS weekend's game was quite the opposite.
I lined up a game with a friend from work. We had agreed on 1850 for the points level. He's still very new to the hobby, so I told him that he shouldn't stretch out his army to reach the agreed value, as it usually just ends up creating a frustratingly bad army. He reminded me that he was planning on using allied Grey Knights, and there's no question that he would be able to reach that mark. Those units can soak up some points. Usually it's not for the best, either.
We decided to try a game from the Battle Missions. We rolled off, and came up with a Chaos Space Marine's mission called "Black Crusade." This was basically an annihilation game type with one MAJOR special rule: all non-vehicle units, once completely destroyed enter your reserves and can come back in. This turned our 1850 point game into something much larger. As a result, this game lasted nearly four hours!
This was only his third game playing his Sisters of Battle (first time playing Grey Knights) and my third game playing my Blood Angels variant list. This didn't help us speed up play, but the biggest part of the problem was the units just constantly re-entering the fray. Most of the fighting was focused on the middle third of the table. It became a real meat grinder in there. He was able to deep strike his once dead units back on the table, and usually with some pretty good success. This meant more assaults, more shooting, and obviously more time!
You might think that I'm complaining about this. Nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoyed this game immensely. I found the match-up profoundly interesting. He made some mistakes (namely he forgot to use his faith abilities), but I think he made some pretty solid tactical choices. I was playing my Blood Angels much better than I had before. I had really thought through some of my previous horrible tactical blunders and was able to foresee those problems before they occurred in this game.
I ended up winning the game by a substantial margin. It was something like 12 kill points to three. The major reason for this was my Honour Guard. I haven't really talked about them on this blog, but I have to say that they are by far the most under-valued and overlooked units in the Blood Angels codex, and if used properly, can be one of the most amazing hammer units on the table. I'll have to talk about that unit in more detail in the future. I still need to finish painting them, so perhaps when I'm done, I'll do a little write-up.
The picture at the top is from my newly assembled Hell Hound. I've started my Guard army, and I've got a few pics to show for it. I'm trying to be a little bit more involved in my basing for this army. The theme is more urban, and thus I've decided to put a bit more effort and time in making these things. I'm quite happy with my first batch. Here is a pic for ya: