Monday, February 24, 2014

Escalation Batrep: IG w/Warhound vs Space Marines 2000pts

I have a Titan!!  My awesome brother go this for me as a wedding gift.  I am the proud owner of a Lucius (jackal) pattern Warhound Titan.   It is armed with a Plasma Blastgun and a Double Barreled turbo laser destructor.   I went with Legio Invicta (from Titanicus) as my parent legion, mainly because I really like the color scheme and I love the book Titanicus and Invicta was a bunch of BA's in it.  Titan does not have an official name yet, but its nick name right now is Te Ipsum.

Which means go fuck yourself :).  I will post a more hobby oriented post on the model later, this will be all about the action and some solid D.  As you can see above that is a platoon of guardsmen heroically charging forward under the guns of the Titan.  I got the titan a week ago, and my brother and I spent the whole week cleaning and building and painting.  Through some coercion I was able to convince my brother to do the initial base painting and detail.  Thank you!  I built it and got it board ready.  Still has a lot of work to get it where I want it to me, but my brother def saved me a lot of time painting, to be fair though I had work this week and he had very little, he had to do something ;).

On to the battle!  So I completely surprised my buddy, I managed to keep it a secret from him all week and we met up yesterday to game.  I brought it in a cardboard box (it had wrap and stuffing) as I had nothing else to fit it in.  We were BSing and I managed to pull the damn thing out of the box and placed it behind my army transport case without him noticing somehow.  He was showing me a really cool app called Adjutant or something similar.  Basically its a scorekeeper, you enter what mission you are doing, it pulls up a page that has all the objectives, including secondary, and as you go you keep score.  Its really cool, especially sicne you can import your army lists and lets say your warlord dies, you scroll over and tap him and it marks him dead and it gives your opponent slay the warlord(if you haven't killed his already).  Its really cool.  But anyways, after he showed me that, I asked him if he wanted to see something cool and I slide my army transport to the side and revealed my titan. :). 

Lets just say he was happy and not at the same time.  It was kinda dick to ambush him with it, but I wasn't going to force him to play against it.  Though I would have of course called him names for being too scared to face it had he not :p.  He was a good sport and set about making a list to take on the Warhound while I taunted him with its awesomeness.

We ended up doing a 2000pt double FoC, anything goes all rules etc, game.  He ended up bringing the Stormwing formation with a land raider, las pred, thunderfire, full 10 termie squad with termie captain, two riflemen dreads, one in drop pod, and two tac squads with no bells and whistles, one in drop one in rhino.  I ended up bringing creed with full support command squad (advisers etc), marbo, Primaris, inquisitor, platoon of 20 with axes, krak grenades, vet squad with plasma guns, vete squad with meltas and heavy flamers and vendetta. 

We rolled crusade for mission, got four objectives and they were each placed in a ruin around the board, with one each in our deployment zones and two in no mans land.  I won the roll off and placed first.  I scouted my vendetta, as I thought it would be a little harsh to scout the titan with creed.  Inquisitor took prescience and was the warlord and got the pass or fail morale checks trait.  Buddy rolled on marine and I believe it was the furious charge trait for one combat (not bad if he could get the termies to assault the titan).  I will say the apoc blast template is fucking massive, it is not joke a blue pizza.

Titan serving some blue pizza
He deployed his troops, thunderfire, and dread behind terrain, and his land raider and pred on his flank to shoot at the titan.  After facing D weapons, realised you really have to hide if not going first.  He was really hoping for the seize but unfortunately did not happen.

So here we are after deployment, guardsmen blob in front building with the inquisitor and the rest are in the back building.  I will say, when playing with titans or D weapons in general, terrain is very important.  You need good LoS blocking terrain that things like land raiders can actually hide behind.  You have to force maneuver on the titan or other superheavies, if you don't then one side is really just target practice for the D weapons.  Had he hidden his predator and land raider, I prob would not have done the damage I did turn 1.

first turn I move the titan up, ordered incoming on my troops and brought it down on the rhino with the MoO.  He just missed, oh well.  The only thing that did damage was the titan, but the psychological damage was huge.  It fired its D at the Pred, attempting to double shot the pred and land raider.  With scatter only one blast hit and it only got the land raider.  But I rolled a 3 so it just exploded.  Man that is a brutal way to lose something.  But as much as it sucks, it was the only thing i touched turn 1.  I fired the plasma blastgun, but he rolled 4+ cover save like it was hot and nothing died :(.  We discussed it during game and it def is not as bad with non D weapons, with D you just have to play a very different game against the titan.

His first turn he brought a drop pod in and went after my platoon.  We ruled that all the terrain was ruins, the bases were cosmetic and not area terrain.  Sorry for me its stupid that you make a large base far larger then the actual terrain and then someone puts their toe on it and says they have a cover save.  We played that you actually needed to be obscured model to model, not have your toes touching bases.  As a result his marines got some shots at my guardsmen in the back, but luckily I had ordered them down so they had a 2+ to there cover save (which made it a 4+ as the ruins weren't providing any cover from that angle).  He killed about 4/5 guardsmen. 

Land raider shot at

Land raider gone
 I was a little worried as the drop pod had a locator beacon, so I knew his plan was to go for the soft guardsmen.  The rest of his army shot at the titan, but he was only able to bring down its void shields and not able to get any HP damage on it.  I was impressed at how much damage the void shields could soak.  End of turn 1 I was a head, but turn two was coming and he had a foot hold in my deployment zone.  My plan was to shore to focus my guard on the drop pod and tacs, and push the titan up aggressively and have it soak as much shots as it could. 

Turn 2 I moved up the titan, and precsienced the blob with my inquisitor and ordered everything down back in the fight.  The shot my MoO at the Tacs, as they were just in range of a skull, sadly though I was unable to get the drop pod as was my true goal.  I killed 4 marines though so not a bad thing at all.  My blob shot and as able to bring down two more and bring him down to 4 Tacs.  My plasma vets shot the drop pod, but whiffed completely.  We both were having trouble with making armor pens (minus the titan).  The titan was great and dropped the pred with its turbo and this time killed the thunderfire with its plasma, the thunder fire itself made the cover save but his techmarine did not so they were gone.  My vendetta came on and knocked a hull point off the rhino.

Bad Pred
He rolled for reserves and got nothing on.  My Officer of the fleet made his money there.  At this point it was now pretty much game.  He played his turn though and moved his dread to try and kill the vendetta, his tacs charged my blob, they killed 3 but fell to all the return attacks from the inquisitor and power axes, unfortunately psychotoroke did not give me a useful roll, but it wasn't needed.

My third turn marbo came on and I moved around and at this point we pretty much called it.  I had everything on board and was in position to pretty much table him at this point.  The tacs in the building took a demo charge and plus the vets with meltas popping out of the vedetta, they were toast.  The Dread and rhino would die to the titan and vedetta, then everything in the back field would kill the drop pod.  Maybe a tac or two would survive in the ruin, but then he would be down half his army with nearly all of mine to kill and take an objective with no troops left.  I wanted to keep playing but he was done and I understood, it was brutal so no need to push things and we were having fun anyways.

I don't know what the points were but yeah I won.  The Titan is awesome, but it is super powerful.  I don't think it is overpowered, I did not bring double D weapons so the plasma at least meant he could still get cover and acted like a normal weapon. 

Notes on the Titan, it is really fast.  It moves 12, shoots and then runs.  I got 18" and 17" respectively each time I did that.  That is a scary thing to face rushing at you.  Its big, but not as big as you would think and as long as you have decently high cover, you can still get behind LoS of it.  You are really relying on it killing stuff fast as the rest of your army is far more small and fragile.  You have to force it to maneuver, you can't be in the open and expect to live. 

It was a huge learning experience for both of us and it was a lot of fun.  I know he is going to be building some nasty lists and I'm sure once those knights come out, my titan is going to need to be staying out of combat with those D swords :(.  Tactics are a huge thing, with D weapons there is no room for error as if you get touched your dead 9/10.  Terrain is the number one factor to having a good game with these guys.  The little guys and vehicles need to be able to hide from it.  One it gives you a chance against D weapons, Two it forces the titan to maneuver closer where a CC unit can blow it to pieces.  An assault squad with melta bombs would wreck its day no problem, or any other squad with similar weapons.  Haywire and lance weapons still work against it so those are other options to use against it. 

There are two (maybe three) ways to deal with a titan/superheavy.  The first is simply to ignore it and go for the rest of the army, you have the advantage of massing more troops and fire onto them and if you can kill it quickly, then hide from the titan as it tries to win the game on its own by wiping you out as that's all it can do at that point.  Two is to play cat and mouse and force the titan out into a position were you can reliably kill it.  The easiest way is in CC with melta bombs or power/chain fists and the like.  The titan only has one attack and stomp which needs a 6 to be a D and is only small blast.  Placing your assaulter right will minimize damage back.   Throw stuff out each turn to hurt it and drop HPs from it and then move in with the kill unit once its moved up and whittled down. You are going to have to sacrifice a few units, but by turn 3/4 you can have it dead if you maneuver right.
The last way is the balls to the wall bum rush tactic.  Get everything close to either his troops or the titan itself, you get in there and it can't use its weapons if they touch friendly or will risk killing his own units with D.  This can be done well with fast armies like eldar and DE, Drop pod and bike marines.  Flyers work well in all of these and are a huge asset to killing titans and superheavies. 

Having played with a titan, I would say that this can be used in tournaments with a few caveats.  The first is terrain, it just has to be there and has to provide the LoS blocking that is needed to give a chance.  Also I would argue a limit on amount of D weapons you can bring, prob only one.  I can see a dual turbo laser warhound and the oft mentioned revenant being brutal.  That being said there are counters with void shields to soak D weapons and the AV 12 is harder than it seems to bring down.  The thing that's hard with these two is that they pack a huge amount of firepower (4 D LBlasts) and are very mobile.  The revenant has a ridiculous 36" movement and the Warhound can run after shooting, letting it move out shoot and then run back behind cover and hide or move even closer. 

I will be honest, I think these can be a part of tournaments and be fine.  Will the first few of these prob be a little painful for some, yeah of course.   But like anything it comes down to experience.  A big thing here is almost no one has really played against them on a regular basis so when you face one its really hardd to figure out what to do.  It takes a couple of games to figure out lists and tactics. 

However if tournaments want to impose a limit on superheavies and lords of war that's fine but then you have the knights, which are not Lords of War and just a plain codex faction.  Banning a codex is not the answer.  If you are so opposed to it, then fine we are going are separate ways.  I'll go to the places and events that allow them, and you are more than free to go to the ones that don't.  The tournament scene is likely to fracture and have more niche events.  So you'll have the Comp 40k event, then the escalation/stronghold allowed event, then the gladiator, team etc etc.  And that's not really a bad thing.  We have gotten to the point where the game has matured to a point of being more than one single defining event.   Me I will be happy to play with and against superheavies, its fun and you know what, winning is ok, but having fun is more important.

I want to play with my titan more, but I'm not going to force it on anyone that doesn't want it.  When my buddy wants a rematch, I'll be happy to give him one.  Hopefully some of the locals will play, but they are a not so escalation happy bunch so we will see.  D weapons are powerful, but large blasts are not that big and scatter, so while you have to be cognizant of your spacing and tactics, they do not end the game.

I see hop for 40k.  6 months ago I could not have played this game without a finagling of the rules or playing Apoc.  Its a solid way to play and the game is balanced with superheavies giving up points for hurting them and the other advantages the defender gets.  Most important of all it allows you to play with your models that you have spend money and time on and have fun with them, which is what this is about.  And why shouldn't you, they're your models, why shouldn't you be allowed to play with them.  This is a hobby and yes there is an advantage to spending more money on it and you know what, there should be.  Its a hobby, you get more if you put more into it. 

So having played with some D, I will say it is hard, but not impossible to beat.  The game is still fun, its all about YOUR attitude when playing.  Have fun and don't be an asshole, if your buddy doesn't want to play it don't force him.  Or people yo don't know for that matter.  Its no different then if someone wants to play his seerstar.  Its ok if you don't want to play him, don't be an ass about it either though.  Most people are ok to change their lists if you don't want to play it, and you should be too.

Have a good week and more to follow on the Titan :).



  1. The only problem I have with super heavies is that it feels like list building towards a certain enemy to me,like bringing three Punnisher Russes when you know you will be facing a Tyranid Carpet list.I feel it is a giant distraction to people and they won't be able to concentrate on anything else in the game. Super Heavies were designed for Apocalypse and thats where they should stay,but i have no problem with a pre planned Escalation game,also grats on your marriage :D

    1. Thanks. I would agree in some respects. i like not having to do an Apoc game though to play with the big toys. Its fun and doesn't take 9 hours to play, so I am a fan of escalation. Its good fun.

      Most superheavies are still tough enough that list building against them is still not a guaranteed win. Its fun and while certainly not for every game, good to play

  2. The titan looks awesome, but I think playing with 4 d weapons would be a bit op and probably quite boring. Would be interesting to play against the elder thing though, 4 d each, and prob not much left at the end.

    1. Yeah, congrats on the marriage, some how overlooked that first time round! My one bit of advice, if your planning on kids, buy as many models as you can now, cos they may be small but they have magical powers that cause all your money to disappears!

    2. I will try, luckily I have a lot already, so expansions to the collection is minor. Thanks for the wishes.

      Yeah 4 D would be really hard to go against as there really is no chance. Thats why I have the plasma blastgun, its powerful but you still get cover and invul saves from it. I really want to take on another titan now, it would be a lot of fun.

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    1. Quiet you, get back to your hole and keep painting