Combat patrol tournament: Evaluation.

I won’t be posting a report of the last game. My opponent had brought an Eldar army that had pretty much maxed out the cheese available within the restrictions of the tournament:

  • 4 scatter bikes
  • 3 scatter bikes
  • 5 Warp Spiders with Exarch
  • 5 Warp Spiders with Exarch

Even he agreed it was a bit too much.

Suffice to say: My Whirlwinds got one good shot in, and for the rest my force was unable to shoot due to warp jumps and jetbike moves, while the insane firepower put out by 7 scatter bikes and the warp spiders removed about two units each turn. I don’t even remember the scenario, it was over that quickly.

Instead, I’ll use this post to evaluate my performance and strategy in each of the games.

Game 1: Eldar

The battle report can be found here.

This game ended a lot better than I expected after the first turn. I have a fierce hatred of scatter bikes (In my opinion, the scatter lasers should be limited to one for every three models, like last edition), and the first round confirmed that hatred. But the failed panic test for the guardians and their subsequent 10″ flee move certainly levelled the field. At that point, I’d been debating whether to target the Guardians, which were the biggest blob, or to go after the bikes, which, being only three models, and having a better save, would have been a harder target. Looks like I made the right choice.

The destruction of the Vyper was helped by the fact that my enemy didn’t move it as far away after the first combat as he could have, which meant I could charge it again. The bikes destroying the Reapers was nice, but not entirely unexpected, considering Reapers are a ranged unit and were wounding on 6s.

Finally, I was really lucky that the last penetration roll came up a `Shaken’, not a `Stunned’ or `Immobilized’, since this meant I could grab the objective, making my win a lot more solid.

Game 2: Dark Angels

The battle report can be found here.

Here the biggest weakness of my army shone through: Lack of ranged anti-tank weapons. The only weapon I had that could reliably destroy the two transports was the melta bomb on my scouts. Since the scenario meant I had to get across the table, I wrongly chose to outflank them. If I had kept the scouts with my Whirlwinds, I would have been able to assault the tacticals as they left their transport, giving me more of a fighting chance. The snipers also performed badly, failing their 3+ cover saves en-masse, and failing to hit anything. My decision to fire my first Whirlwind salvo at the Razorback was a mistake as well. If I’d shot at the devastators, I might have given the snipers chance at a second shot. My opponent was clearly the better player, and my lack of experience led to some bad decisions.

Game 3: Sisters of Battle

The battle report can be found here.

Here my opponent was the one with the bad rolls. He failed more armour saves per turn than I failed during the entire battle. He also forgot that Immolators aren’t assault vehicles, so after disembarking the Battle Sisters, they were sitting ducks for my Whirlwinds (nicely clustered together as well). His Dominions made mincemeat of my Whirlwinds (as expected), but the lower stat lines of Sisters really showed in close combat with the scouts. In the end, I made the right choices in my movement, and kept my eye on the objectives, while remembering that I had to survive the game first.

Game 4: Tyranids

The battle report can be found here.

This was possibly the most favourable match-up for my force I could have wished for. My opponent was limited in that the only synapse creatures he had access to were the Warriors, while Whirlwinds absolutely love Tyranids. As I said in the battle report, I made one big mistake in forgetting to turbo-boost the bikes back towards my table edge. But looking back, doing that might have made it a lot easier for his force to get to me, while the T5 bikes were a tough nut for his Gargoyles to crack.

My opponent’s biggest mistake was his hesistancy in moving the Warriors forward, meaning he was occasionally out of synapse range. He also made limited use of the mobility of the Gargoyles, instead piling them into the bikes, giving my Whirlwinds a target it couldn’t really miss.

Game 5: Eldar

What can I say? Scatter bikes are insane, and Warp Spiders even more so. My biggest mistake was moving my scouts forward, hoping to get into combat. This gave the Warp Spiders a chance to get within the (short) range of their weapons. It also put them in charge range, which in turn meant they were so close they could Warp Jump out if LOS of my snipers the next turn.

Overall

Overall, I didn’t do too badly. I placed fourth out of fourteen players (and second for painting), won three games decisively. Both my losses were against people with a lot of high-tier tournament experience and with well thought-out armies.

My force performed pretty well, but had some serious weaknesses. Snipers are nice, but are an easy target in such a small force, and are really dependent on their to-hit rolls. The Whirlwinds were nice, as Combat Patrol sees a lot of infantry, but with indirect fire they can easily spend a turn missing everything. I was lucky that I only faced one Space Marine player, and there they clearly showed their weakness. However, the melta bombs on my scout sergeant, originally chosen as a points filler, was more effective than expected. I had debated between that or a flamer on my Ravenwing, but this was clearly the better choice. My Whirlwinds already provided me with enough horde-murdering templates, while the bombs gave me some much-needed anti-tank power.

My decision to make my sniper the Warlord proved a mistake. I only got the right Warlord trait twice, and even then it didn’t do a lot. With the snipers being a prime target, it also often meant it gave my enemy Slay The Warlord. In the future, I’d probably go for the Ravenwing sergeant instead, and choose the Trait table based on my opponent and the terrain.

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