Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The nuances of 40k part II: Greed is bad

Here is part II of my series on how small mistakes cost you games.

I played in the Nova Invitational last September and my very first game was against a Deathwing army played by Alex “The Everliving” Fennel. Alex is a member of the England ETC team and a very good player. I played him a few years ago at Adepticon and I get a lucky break and managed to beat him.

Here are the units in play:
5 Terminators w/Cyclone Missile Launcher
Various Ravenwing bikes.

Grey Knights
Paladin w/Psycannon, Sword
Paladin w/Psycannon, Halberd
Paladin w/Sword
Paladin w/Halberd
Paladin w/Demonhammer

The set up
So I was pushing Draigo and 5 paladins up a flank and rolling him back. He reserved his Ravenwing bike squad and he outflanked with them and came in from the side with Draigo. He took some shots at my paladin squad and he manages to wound my paladin with a psycannon. Draigo splits off to take care of the bikes while the paladins continue to punish his deathwing terminators. Draigo kills the bikes, and rushes to join back up with his squad stringing them out and keeping Draigo in the rear.
Here is Draigo on the left taking care of business with the ravenwing bikes, and the paladins in the middle.
The unstoppable force vs. the immovable object
The paladins have a deathwing squad that they have knocked down to only 3 models in front of them and they charge! With all of these power weapon attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 2s they should go down pretty quick. Well, I did about 6 to 7 wounds and they made all of their 3+ invulnerable saves but 1. They strike back and does 1 wound in return. Since it is with a thunderhammer it will insta-kill a paladin.
Here I am before I shot and killed the missile launcher, and before I went in for the kill!

The dilemma
I have 2 choices:
#1. Put the wound on my wounded psycannon and even if I fail the save the combat will be tied, but I will lose a valuable psycannon.
#2. Put the wound on the paladin with a sword giving me a 4+ save, but if I fail the save I will lose a model that is expendable but I will have to take a leadership check because I lost the combat. 

So what did I do?
I put the wounds on the sword and I failed my save. I lost combat by 1 and I had to take a morale roll and I rolled an 11 and fell back. He then followed up keeping me within 6”. I kept falling back for the next 3 turns and never re-grouped. With that blow he neutralized 600 points (over 1/3 of my army), and I lost the game.
Here I am running away.

Lessons learned
At the point where I took the morale roll the game was well in hand and I was rolling up the flank. Draigo would have been in combat the next round and he and the paladins would have dispatched the 2 remaining terminators without too much of a problem. I should not have taken the chance on a morale roll because although psycannon would have been useful, it was not worth the risk of losing the game if I failed my save and my morale roll.  

Lesson: Never take a morale roll unless it is critical to winning the game. The risk/reward of failing a leadership check is devastating to such an expensive unit.


  1. It's a game of dice and you never really know how they will behave. Besides, since the Paladin unit was a complex unit, shouldn't the insta death wound be allocated to an unwounded model anyways?

  2. That's what I was going to point out. If the wound had been allocated to the wounded psycannon model, it would have been an illegal move.

  3. You guys are wrong on the rules. If all of the paladins are unique, you can allocate the wound onto an already wounded paladin. This point is even covered in the BRB FAQ.

  4. Unknown is correct.

    You would be right if they all had the same profiles, but since each one of them are unique I get to choose which model takes the wound. So I can apply it to which ever model I want to.

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