Battle For Salvation tournament report: Get him a body bag!

Hey Folks.  So the BFS tournament went down this last weekend.  I brought my 2k point Nova army prepared to throw down and compete for the top!  But it seems fate can be cruel.  And no, there is no video. I don't shoot video at tournaments any more for a number of reasons.

To cut to the chase, I went 1 and 3 on Saturday.  Thats right, the opposite record I scored at the Nova open.  What happened?  I dunno.  Things just went the other way!  All four games were tough fights. A lot of times wins or losses are determined by the smallest of details.  I could have very easily gone 0-4, and frankly, 4-0!

Game One:
I found myself up against James Dean and a salamander army.  The game was for Victory points and Dawn of War.  I came onto the table and had a fantastic round of shooting!  Almost all of my guns actually drew range through the darkness and I did some damage.  But quickly the game bogged down into a predictable slug match.  The crucial failure of the game for me was when he deepstriked a squad of hammer termies with libby close to my line. I assaulted the squad, with my termy death squad, and he wiped me out!  Well, not really, my priest survived the fight.  But it was not a good trade for me.  The combat lasted the whole game. He jumped in with a dread and I piled on 3 assault squads trying to save the priest. The priest actually failed leadership when I lost combat, fell back and rallied the next turn.  It was a messy affair with 14 assault marines trying to glance a dread to death with krak grenades.  Guh.

The highlight of the game for me was a tankshock against Vulkan. He and his squad faild their test and fell back. I chased them to the edge of the board with the Razor, but James managed to kill it with his last krak grenade on my assault turn after two and a half turns of trying.  Vulkan survived.

The game ended with me having a 60 point advantage in Victory Points. That was not enough for the win, so we went to tie breakers. Kill points and table quarters were the next margin.  I won by controlling more quarters.

Game Two:
Stelek.  I found myself 1-0 and matched up against Stelek's wolves.  It was an objective game.  I went first and deployed in the center, and he deployed his three squads of missile launchers as far from my guns as he could. He began to try to mix them all up so that they would give each other cover saves in the open, but stopped when I pointed out that all 15 of the models looked exactlly the same.  There was literally no way to tell one squad from the next, and once they started taking casualties, it would be impossible to keep the units straight. He mercifully kept them in an organized line. He reserved the rest. Then he seized the initiative, and my luck for the rest of the day was gone.

This was one of those games where every thing just goes poorly.  I made two major mistakes.  One was to divide my forces. I should have kept my guys massed and assaulted in force. Instead I tried to take on his wolf guard with single assault squads.  I charged a group with my termies, but lost them all to plasma fire and his counter assault.  Another mistake was when I beat a squad in combat and they fell back. As they were falling back I assaulted them.  They beat that assalter squad then went on to take out another. I should have just chased them off the table with a razor.

The tale of the game though was simply the dice. Stelek's tactics were sound. I could have been better. but it did not help that on his first round of shooting he exploded two of my predators with single missiles each. He fired a dev squad at a tank, penned it's front armor with one missile, I failed cover save, and he exploded it. This happened twice this turn.  The next turn he would fire a single las at my Land Raider from a razorback. Hit, failed cover save, penetration and destroyed result.  C'est la vie!

So he went on to nearly table me.  Thats ok though!  I took it on the chin and kept pluggin away.  The game ended with one of my speeders trying to stay away from him and one or two shell shocked assault marines drinking beers with the wolves.  It was  fun game none the less and I can say that things could have definitely gone better.  Not quite the showing I was hoping to have against Stelek.  Oh well, maybe Fritz and I will make a trip out there and encounter him again.  Thanks for coming out man!

Game Three:

I found myself up against one of the dudes from Brother's Grim.  He had a very different Ork list then what I am used to. No battle wagons!  three large groups of lootas, three grot squads with heavy guns, 3 squads of buggies with missiles and 5 or 6 truks with two force field mechs.  I opened up with the guns and had a great first round.  His right flank took a beating as I blew up all of the truks and did some wounds from the explosions on his grots and lootas.  I am embarrassed to say that at this point I had the game bagged!  Then I went for the kill on his right flank.  I moved up the LRC and disembarked my death squad.  I had three squads of boys lined up for the kill.  I was going to perform a classic multiple assault furious charge.  My guns did their jobs by cracking open the transports, all I had to do was roll higher than 2 on two dice for difficult terrain on the charge.  They were just over two inches away... about 2 and a quarter.  Sadly, I failed.  My guys did not get into assault  because I rolled two 2s.  I did not get my charge bonus to attack. I did not get to reroll misses.  Instead of dealing 22+ wounds to his orks, killing over a dozen and watching them all run off the table...  my termies sat dead in their tracks.  Ouch. On his turn he made me pay.  He ate me up with his guns, then assaulted me with three squads including 5 or  6 claws.  I survived the initial charge, and even managed to get another assault squad in to try to save them, but it was over.  His flank held and my line crumbled.

This marked the trend of the day for me. Three games in a row and three assaults where my usually uber effective death squad got quagmired and killed after I tried to bail it out, losing not only the termies, but a troop squad not meant to go toe to toe with the enemies best.

The game was a kill point mission. He picked 5 of my units and had to kill them, vice versa.  I picked three of his truks and 2 boys squads. He picked three of my razors, my speeders and a troops squad.  On the last turn I had all five of his KP dead and he had 4 of mine. One las razor survived.  On my top of 7 I moved the razor behind two predator tanks so it was blocked completely from LoS. He had to shoot and explode my predators to get to the razor. Game Set Match? Not so fast!  Some truly inspired ork buggies moved up and opened up on the predators, penetrating, and exploding one of them.  Ugh.  It all came down to a single big shoota, now able to fire on the razor.  It hit, glanced and immobilized it to death.  Draw.  My win turned into a tie instead.

The tie breakers would be busted out and this one was tight.  It came down to overall victory points, which he won.  Great game!  You cant ask for a closer affair and he was a fun opponent to play.  Always a pleasure to play against our brothers from Grim!

Game Four:
At this point I have been beat down and the day has been long.  I am 1-2 and smarting from two tough losses.  What do I see before me? Mech Guard.  Oh boy.  Without getting too into it you can imagine how this one went for me.  I moved up and lined up my termies for a fantastic assault. All I had to do was pop a couple of transports with 4 or 5 melta shots, 9 Las cannon shots, 6 auto cannon shots and a couple of plasmas.  On my assault how many men did my termies get to grips with? Zero.  Instead they found themselves assaulting and destroying three heavily damaged chimeras.  In a risky tactical move I detached my libby and sent him after a squad of vets alone. He shined and wiped them out, but the rest of my squad failed. They died the next turn to a heavy volley of shots and concentrated assault from Strakken and vets.

At this point it was late in the day, about 8:30 pm. My opponent held or was about to hold 3 of the five objectives, and there was no way what I had left on the table was going to survive.  Plus, my buddy who was in town for the weekend just sent me a text picture of his frosty and enticing beer from the pub he was at.  So I threw in the towel on the last two turns and gave him the result he would have probably gotten any way.

Jawaballs goes down in a burning heap, 1-3.  Tactically I did nothing different from The Nova.  If any thing, the changes I made in my tactics were even stronger with some gambles that worked out.  The difference was in the things that usually are instant wins for me, like my terminator squad wiping out whatever it hits, failing in all four games.  My army is designed to make up for poor dice luck with consistent redundancy.  Failing redundancy coupled with poor luck, makes it hard to come back from major set backs.

So there you have it!  Like Danial Laruso, I limped off the floor.  I could almost hear the echoes of the snide combatants from the Kai Dojo laughing in my ears.  Only there would be no hot 80s blonde and cool 50s pickup waiting for me.  Just the sweet, sweet embrace of frosty IPA and a 12 year old scotch.

Time to put BFS behind me and get regrouped for The Warstore Weekend!

More to come.



Old Shatter Hands said...

Rough! That's 40k though, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Maybe you just need to spam out more razorbacks with 5-man assault teams... that seems to be the big thing these days, no matter whether your're playing SWs or BAs...Better luck next time.

DaveHowitzer said...

Sounds like you could use a cocktail Jawa

Jawaballs said...

Oh believe me, I had several that night. And razor spam is not the answer for Blood Angels. As I have said before, at first instinct it is a strong army... but I think razor spam is a knee jerk response with the BA codex. The problem is that the wolves can do it cheaper and better. For less points they can field a las plas razor with a squad inside that is stronger. I need to go what I said I would do 6 months ago and go back to the drawing board and really flush out the strengths of the BA codex. My army is competitive, but I can do better!

matrent89 said...

Hey Jawa, when ever your get a chance could you post your 2k army you use? I've been working on redoing my army and would love to be able to look at what you use and work from there.

Killswitch said...

Yeh you really need to ditch the raider. i think its ust too many pts into a deathstar which doesnt work at 2kpts. Either go with 2 raiders backed up by mephiston, a proper assault unit, or go hybrid.

I suggest taking this:


5 Assault Termies (3 TH/SS)
Redeemer with Ex.Armour & MM.

5 Assault Termies (3 TH/SS)
Redeemer with Ex.Armour & MM.

3 priests
1 with Jump pack.

10 Assault Marines
2 Meltaguns, Lightning claw.

10 Assault Marines
2 Meltaguns, Lightning claw.

5 Assault marines
Meltagun. Las/plas razor.

Sorrowshard said...

Man , I go through periods like this with gaming, the worm will turn :o)

YsambartCourtin said...

Good stuff for a full report on a day where it didn't go well. Very few 40k bloggers seem honest enough to write up their bad days, and we all have them. All the best with your list re-write.

At my informal count, internet 40k players would have a 200-1 win ratio :)

Dalinair said...

I ended up dropping razorbacks too, dropped the land raider as well and i have gone back to jump pack squads, with the only mech support being the odd baal, so far its working fairly well, the 1d6 scatter, landing with plasma or melta guns from deep strike and 12" movement after is in my oppinion how blood angels are meant to be played.

Khornatedemon said...

the land raider death star is going to be boned even more when dark eldar start showing up. Have you tried the all jp DoA army yet? There's a version of it floating around thats has 3 dev squads and the rest jp'ers and it looks pretty solid.

Marshal Wilhelm said...

Just in case you haven't checked it out, 3++ has a few BA variants.

Not that you need to ape them, but sometimes it helps to get the cheese melted and flowing :D

Khornatedemon said...

Honestly even looking at what I think your trying to do with the list you posted on BoLS today (putting marines on the table) I think you'd be better served with guys with jump packs instead of metal boxes, although I think going with rhino's instead of razors might be more your style since its more in your face.

Dont count out fire support though. I feel you'd be better served with long range fire over drop podding melta. Your troops carry lots of melta and smart opponents can and will castle against pods to reduce their effectiveness and after they slag maybe one tank on the drop they are easy to mop up next turn for your opponent.

While not as good as long fangs BA dev's are still pretty decent. If you fill out the squad you pretty much can get split fire by combat squad-ding and you get the signum for BS5. Baby sit them with a SP in cover and they will be hard to remove with shooting.

Anyways, just some ideas Mr. Balls

SandWyrm said...

Sounds like you need to "SWEEP THE LEG!!!"

Seriously though, lose the Raider and the Termies. In the current metagame, they're more of a liability than a strength. Whenever I see termies or Land Raiders across the board, my IG and even my Sang Guard laugh like little girls.

Gonewild said...

"No Mercy". I love the idea of Termies and even the Land Raider, but they are serious point syncs that could be allocated toward Blood Angel-centric units.

The Kurb said...

Jawa please! please! find a way to end the Razor spam!

40k Junkie said...

Not wanting to sound like a jerk to those giving advice, but I have learned from both sides, the last thing a guy wants after a bad round or event is advice.

Jawaballs is a good player and I am confident he will use this to improve the list. Once he post the list, that is the time for constructed criticism.

Jawaballs said...

Thats ok Junkie. No one is being nasty or rude so I welcome all suggestions and input.

Doc Railgun said...

I still think Razorspam is a good list, so far it's still working at least. Those Fast vehicles are also amazing in Apocalypse (where I can turn my Razorbacks into naked Predators).
Sure, DE will make people footslog, but we knew that was going to happen anyway. People would get tired of getting their vehicles blasted by Fast Predators/Razorbacks/Vindicators and go to footsloggers, and then the BA lists would go to Assault squads... and so the cycle will continue. I'm planning my own Assault list as well to counter DEs, of course.

It'll probably be something like 5 full Assault squads (with only 1 melta and a PF each), a Jump Librarian, 5 jump Priests, and 0-2 Whirlwinds depending on points. I could include 2 Baals by dropping an Assault squad, but I'm not sure if that's totally worth it.

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