Gunum Presents: Hear Me Out, Cyle! The Outer Circle

It’s Hip to be Square

Hey team! Gunum here, and man, can I just say how much I’ve missed you guys? Cause I’ve missed all of you. 2020 has been a big year for everyone on the planet, and I am no exception to that. I’ve started college a second time, going hard at multiple jobs and just trying to avoid getting any kind of sickness at all. Since early this year, I have been unable to get an in-person game in, so I hope you all can forgive the huge absence. There have been so many releases over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been having a hard time even deciding what army to explore. The Harlequins are rocking the table right now, which you love to see. However, with the Space Marine Indexes being released there was a clear winner on what army would finally pull me out of the list building mists to restart my beloved process.

For those of you who are new here, let’s dive into this once again: The way I’ll do this is that I’ll start with a unit or idea that I think has some real Gold-Star potential that you could bring to any competitive event and have a real shot at doing well, and then build a list around it. Hopefully, through my painful and sort-of methodical thought process, you’ll be able to glean some insight about how, even if some units or even ideas are bad, you can still take a battle plan to an event and see it through. These lists will be primarily Dark Angels focused, but I play a wide variety of armies and will explore this format often.

This will be a list run through the filter of my partner in Hog-crime, Cyle “Naramyth” Thompson. Cyle is one of the best — and most boring — players that I know, and he has been suffering through my focus on “Bad” units and ideas throughout our entire friendship. Cyle plays very meta-focused lists, sometimes even trying to craft that meta himself. Ideally, by the end of this, I’ll be able to pull him over to my side of thinking and sell my list idea as the new meta-list I know it can be.

Cyle: +++Help. I’m tired, and I want to go home.+++

So. What could I have possibly chosen for HMO’s glorious return? I needed it to be something substantial. Something that my Goonhammer boys, our Patrons, my ITC team, and Cyle himself would balk at the sheer genius of.

I’ll let a gentleman by the name of Innes lead us into the list section:

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, for the first HMO of the year, I’m taking my Dark Angels down a road that few would dare travel. I present to you my Outer Circle.

~Dark Angel Successors~

The List

Hear Me Out, Cyle! - Click to expand

12CP –  Extra Warlord Trait [-2CP] Extra Relic x2 [-2CP] – 8CP

Successors

Warded(5++ FNP versus Mortal Wounds), Whirlwind of Rage (Natural 6s cause an additional hit in close combat)

HQ
Primaris Bike Chaplain, Warlord Trait- Rites of War (6″ Obsec Bubble) (+2 Charge / Reroll  Hits) Armor Indomitus 115
Ravenwing Talon Master, (-1)CP Warlord- Outrider (Move 12 before the first turn begins for a Ravenwing unit and this model!) 160

Troops
15x Infiltrators w/ x3 Adept Helix’s (Magic Medic Sticks) 390

Elites
Chapter Deathwing Ancient in Termie Armor w/x2 Lighting Claws -1 CP for Feel-no-pain flag 115
10x Deathwing Terminators 4x Storm Shield/ThunderHammer 6x Powerfist/Storm Bolter 380
Chief Ravenwing Apothecary (-1 CP) Selfless Healer 115 W/ Plasma Talon 115
Deathwing Knights x5 235

Fast Attack
Land Speeder Vengeance 120
Land Speeder Vengeance 120
5x Plasma-ceptors 250

2000pts

The Tactics

So right away, we’re going to address the massive, gigantic, the unignorable elephant in the room. I don’t have two very key special rules for the Dark Angels, Inner Circle, or Jink. Why don’t I have these things? Since I’ve chosen to use some of the new rules provided to us by the new Space Marine Codex, I cannot benefit from these iconic rules. They make a particular call out that Dark Angel armies only benefiting from these if the army comprises 100%, pure cool kids. These rules shook the internet’s very fabric as they were revealed in the new Index updates, created to complement the releasing Space Marine codex. Let’s check out the key parts of this rule before moving on.

Okay. So, understandably this special rule is a huge thing to give up. Having the ability for some of the most durable units of the game to only be wounded on a roll of a 4+ is nearly game-breaking. Luckily for the community, this is mostly restricted to slow-ish Terminators and to some infantry characters who really would like to avoid close combat where possible. Now, I was just as impressed by this addition to my favorite green marines as anyone; Dark Angels finally getting something good? Maybe even making them actually competitive? Heck, even having it benefit the faction as a mono-build buff to avoid abuse in Imperium lists? What’s not to love here? GW finally knocking a rule out of the park that is fluffy and good.

Cyle: +++They won’t let me out of the Goonhammer offices until I hear Chase out (guys, there is a pandemic. We shouldn’t even be here). Yes. Jink and Inner Circle are good and are build around abilities. I can see a world where taking a DA successor could happen since Talonmasters can come in. But the best tools of DA are in the strats. I’d talk about it more, but Chase is coming back around the corner, and he has that look…++

Now, as you may not have known about the Hear Me Out column, I’m not afraid at all of ruining a good thing. Of course, I played multiple games with this new rule, using things from Deathwing Knight spam to mixing Deathwing Terminators with codex-Marine Terminator units. It’s good. Real good. Being able just to laugh off strength 8 attacks while your Deathwing Terminator squad is standing in cover for a powerful 0+ save, well, it’s the very vision of what durable means. Death Guard players may start thinking they are the wrong shade of green at this point. Now, some people like to say I like to balk at things when they become “Good,” but really, I just have an aversion to things that people consider to be hard-auto-takes. Things can be awesome, absolutely, I’ll even play awesome things when I design lists for GTs and the like. But when I’m list building, I love to exhaust options and not be blinded by what may seem like the clear winner.

Now, that leads us into why I picked what I did in the above list of mine. A successor chapter removes the Inner Circle buff from my Deathwing units, which can be perceived as a bad thing to… well, literally everyone. When I started playing games using this rule, I realized that some key things were missing from these Deathwing units that could really make them worth every single point. First off, they may be durable, but they are 100% weak to mortal wounds. Sure, without Inner Circle weight of fire may still tear down these guys when they are in cover, but having a 1+ save innately is still -very- powerful, and I think is enough for the durability side of things. Next, the number of attacks they had just didn’t measure up to their Primaris brethren. Two attacks a model, three on the charge? Only hitting on 4s with those power fists? The math to kill anything substantial just never felt like it was there. Not only that, but if we looked at the mirror match, all of those fists and hammers would all only be wounding on fours anyway, so having a high number of attacks was something I had felt was something that needed to happen. Cue my two chapter tactics of choice. With Warded, I now have that coverage to give every unit I have an out from the mortals that could sneak by the improved armor save. With Whirlwind of Rage mixed with one of our Dark Angel stratagems, Combined Assault, I can guarantee that lethality delivery that I deeply crave. Deathwing Termies where I want them, fisting heretics and Fallen like a one-sided heavyweight boxing match. Not only this but with the warlord trait on my Chaplain, the entire Deathwing unit in my list will be obsec as well!

Cyle: +++Ok, he has gone off to find some models off the office shelf, muttering about paint requirements. This is what I was going to get at; Combined Assault is the best part of the DA book, and building around it is the reason to wear this flavor of green. However, the requirements are a Deathwing unit coming down next to a Ravenwing Biker and not just any Ravenwing unit. I had some moments in the List Building Broom Closet where speeders were a bigger part of my idea of how this list should work until I was told that was “Mega Cheating” and “Cheating is in fact not winning”  Because of that, I think the successor thing is a mistake. Jink is what makes RW playable, and therefore making Combined Assault playable. This Inner Circle stuff is almost a sideshow. ++

Sidenote of personal Gunum Victory here: In a roundabout way, Cyle totally agrees with me that Inner Circle is a sideshow trait. Gunum is already one point up!

Cyle: ++You should write attack ads.++

Now one of the choices I’ve made in this list that I have gotten some internal questions about is the warlord trait for my Talon Master. Let’s check out the new and improved Talon Master and the warlord trait real quick.

This guy got some brand new tricks to go along with the brand new index. The two biggest changes right away are the new Big Guns Never Tire Rule that causes his heavy weapons to no longer be -1 to hit from his movement. Next, his movement gained 2″ more inches making him a truly speedy boy. On top of gaining 2 wounds to put him to a respectable 8, the man is everything the Talonmaster of the last edition wished he could be. He now has the new and improved Heavy Bolter with its respectable 2D. Things aren’t all sunshine and ravens in Talonmaster land, though. One of the reasons people take these guys is their amazing ignore the cover rule that used to apply to all Ravenwing. Now? He works as a bit of a support unit for core units, giving things like Ravenwing Bikers ignore cover for their mass boltguns or even multi-meltas off attack bikes. Not as cool as it no longer applies to characters, but it is relatively unchanged.

 

This warlord trait is currently where it is at for me. There is a Phobos warlord trait called Master of Deceit that used to do something along these lines, but it has been nerfed a bit as you have to redeploy before you know who is going first. Not with this trait! What I have been finding some great use with is taking my Ravenwing Chaplain and slingshotting him up the table to get much better positioning for my turn 2 drops with Combined Assault. Movement is King in this game right now, and having a reactionary ability to who goes first could even save a misplaced Land Speeder Vengeance or get a better sightline for our own first turn!

Finally, as I’ve totally bragged up this unit in the past, I really wanted to talk about it just a little bit since it got some great buffs in this new edition.

THAT’S RIGHT! The Land Speeder Vengeance. I think this unit is under costed by around 20 points, as its damage output has increased significantly, as well as its survivability. The changes to how vehicles and heavy weapons work? Priceless for them. Not to mention the change to their Supercharged plasma storm battery. Before, being it was only d6 shots, rolling low for its shots was a real feel bad moment. Who wants to blast somebody at S9 only one time? With the shooting profile changing to 2d3, we always have a minimum of 2 shots, and I’ve found so much utility with these guys. Also, as a successor chapter, I lose the special rule Jink, which would normally give these a 5++ invulnerable save when they move. Thankfully, since they still retain the Ravenwing keyword, I can use the stratagem High-Speed Focus to give one a 4++ invulnerable save if things start to look bad. At 120 points, these are a steal, and if you’re playing Dark Angels, I highly recommend taking these mobile gun platforms if you haven’t given them a second look already.

Cyle: +++Talonmasters got worse as they are not core, do not get their own rerolls or ignore cover, but are still a unique character-based shooting platform. I think the Land Speeder Vengeance is also a solid pick. 120 points for T6 9W on a large model that get an invuln if you are real DA is honestly pretty good for holding down the backfield while participating with some good shooting. The real business that Chase is on is the scout move with the Outrider warlord trait. Being able to go and take over a corner of the map and threatening a big turn one charge with, say, a Chaplain on a bike and his Ravenwing Knight buddies can really force your opponent to make some weird deployment decisions. With that, here is my take on Dark Angels+++

Staying inside the lines

Dark Angels Battalion
2000 points, 9CP

HQ
Primaris Bike Chaplain, Self Buff, Relic Hammer, Outrider 115 -2CP
Captain on Bike, Stormshield, Teeth of Terra, Obsec Aura, Warlord 110

Troops
5x Incursor 105
5x Incursor 105
5x Tactical Marines 90

Elites
5x Deathwing Terminators 165
5x Deathwing Terminators 165
5x Terminators, Teleport Homer 170
3x Black Knights, Hammers 135
3x Black Knights 120
Ravenwing Apothecary, Chief Apothecary, FNP aura 120 -1CP

Fast Attack
Land Speeder Vengeance 120
Land Speeder Vengeance 120
Land Speeder Vengeance 120

Heavy Support
3x Eradicators 120
3x Eradicators 120

+++This revolves around using Combined Assault twice with the 5 biker units providing deep striking points for those 2 squads of Terminators. I kept the Terminators stock with storm bolters and fists as having some chaff killing is important, and power fists are strong enough to threaten most things in the game. I prefer this to a large brick of 10 as that will probably overkill whatever they touch then be stuck in an inconvenient spot on the board, whereas even a single termi is a real threat to some backlines if they’re more spread out. I am keeping one non-DW termi squad on the table to provide a counter charge unit in the middle of the board, some chaff killing, and a teleport homer, so if the action is happening downfield or they are stuck in with a unit that they don’t want to stay in with they can just leave and come back elsewhere to be a threat or drop a scrambler or something.

I see the Chaplain taking the squad of Black Knights with hammers up to some cover to threaten any scouts/nurglings chaff in a table quarter or going for a turn one charge if the opponent made a critical deployment mistake. The second squad, captain, and apothecary hang out with the onboard termis and eradicators, providing a longer charge threat and Combined Assault platforms. 

The secondaries are the standard 9th edition picks: Engage on all Fronts, Deploy Scramblers (but sometimes Raise the Banners) and whatever kill secondary your opponent gives you or the mission as your third. There can be some feels bad moments when Terminators or Eradicators might have to take a knee for a scrambler or be in a screening/Engage position, but that’s the life you live with an elite army. I can see a world where I would aggressively move the apothecary, have the Deathwing Termis come in breaking the 9″ bubble, and then immediately drop a scrambler and just kind of stand there to lock up Deploy Scramblers.

Can I go home now? It’s getting dark and plaguey out there.+++

Looking at Cyle’s list is kind of interesting to me; since it isn’t a successor list and falls out of theme, it’s clear immediately disqualified of any real consideration. Things that I think are worth totally-not-stealing in future iterations are the Tac-marines and the Codex Terminators. A big difference this edition has been bringing us is the extra wounds on these smaller units, the Tactical Marines in particular. Sure, they were outclassed when the Intercessors were released; now, it’s starting to feel a bit like the opposite. Tactical Marines have a ton of weapon options and should start to be taken seriously.

Regular* Terminators versus Deathwing Terminators is also interesting,  as the regular Terminators have access to the Teleport Homer. That’s a nice tactical choice to splash alongside the Deathwing Terminators, where one can benefit from the Inner Circle special rule and be a downtown threat while being complemented by the pseudo-mobility of the codex Terminators.

Okay, with all of that out of the way, I think it’s time to dive into this game’s objectives and talk about some of the things this list can do well.

When I was thinking about what objectives would do the best for my list, I figured the best steps were to focus on what really stood out the most. First off, I had a pretty small yet hard-hitting unit count. With that in mind, Grind Them Down is an elementary go-to secondary for me. The Dark Angels of today and the future may be a meager model count army that is killing more than it is losing every turn. Next, board control is incredibly important. Using the Terminators mixed with the support of the Land Speeders to cover as much ground as possible, Engage on All Fronts felt like an easy placement. For most game types, I don’t see these two choices being any different, almost regardless of matchup. Finally, and as a good lead-in on the game itself, I took Priority Targets as my final objective. As a general rule for all game types, always keep an eye out for the mission unique secondary. Some are terrible, some are great, but they are always an interesting option if you feel like you don’t have any other options to take (Corrode: if you’ve read our meta articles, you’ll note that Priority Targets was the single highest-scoring secondary in the game).When you see my opponent’s list for this Hear Me Out next, you’ll wonder why I didn’t take something more….vehicle focused.

Well, I forgot that it was an option. This was my first game in person since 2020 started.

I’m just a man.

The Field Test

The Outer Circle

For this game, I called upon one of my local gamers. He’s a part of no club, he’s no WAAC player, but the gentleman can sure paint. He’s been a bit of an artist in our area, and when I put a call out for someone to dive into my zany world, he responded right away. “I’ve always wanted to play you Warhog guys I’ve heard so much about. I’m looking to see what a competitive game really looks like.”

I loved the energy and attitude, so I scheduled the game. I had only seen his expertly painted Death Guard, so I had gone into this game with the expectation of the servants of Nurgle to crash my loyal sons of the Lion against.

Upon arrival, I found out quickly that I was in for a completely different game altogether.

Sneeds Merge Conflict

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [38 PL, 12CP, 555pts] ++
Forge World Choice
. Custom: Data-Hoard Forge World: Magnabond Alloys, Trans-node Power Cores
+ HQ [8 PL, 135pts] +
Daedalosus [3 PL, 55pts]: Eradication pistol, Servo claw
Tech-Priest Dominus [5 PL, 80pts]: Macrostubber, Omnissian Axe, Volkite Blaster [5pts], Warlord, Warlord Trait (Engine War): Learnings of the Genetor
+ Troops [30 PL, 420pts] +
Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 140pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 140pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 140pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]
++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [69 PL, -2CP, 1,442pts] ++
Detachment CP [-2CP]
Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Mars: Dogma: Glory to the Omnissiah
+ HQ [10 PL, 200pts] +
Belisarius Cawl [10 PL, 200pts]: Arc Scourge, Mechadendrite Hive, Omnissian Axe, Solar Atomiser
+ Troops [3 PL, 70pts] +
Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 70pts]: Omnispex [5pts]
. 2x Skitarii Vanguard [18pts]: 2x Radium Carbine
. 2x Skitarii Vanguard (Plasma Caliver) [38pts]: 2x Plasma Caliver [20pts]
. Vanguard Alpha [9pts]: Radium Carbine
+ Elites [12 PL, 280pts] +
Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 140pts]
. 10x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest [140pts]: 10x Electrostatic Gauntlets
Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 140pts]
. 10x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest [140pts]: 10x Electrostatic Gauntlets
+ Heavy Support [30 PL, 620pts] +
Kastelan Robots [24 PL, 500pts]
. Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts]
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts]
. Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts]
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts]
. Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts]
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts]
. Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts]
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts]
Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 120pts]: Cognis Heavy Stubber [5pts], Icarus Array, Smoke Launchers
+ Dedicated Transport [14 PL, 272pts] +
Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [7 PL, 136pts]: Melta cutter, Termite Drill
. Storm Bolters [6pts]: 2x Storm bolter [6pts]
Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [7 PL, 136pts]: Melta cutter, Termite Drill
. Storm Bolters [6pts]: 2x Storm bolter [6pts]
++ Total: [107 PL, 10CP, 1,997pts] ++

Ah, man.

ADMECH?! Come on. This is the army of the oppressor. Cyle.

Cyle is like, the king of Admech in my eyes after his awe-inspiring run last year. My Dark Angels were very practiced at fighting these crazed Techno Zealots, though the list he brought was quite a bit different than what I’ve played against in the past. The transports were only drills, not the crazy cyborg-hillbilly-yacht club of Cyle’s. Finally, the other big difference that I ran into was the Kastelan Robots that I believe, with the big change of vehicles being able to shoot into combat, have gotten quite the large buff, especially when they are taken in a Mars detachment, some mighty mortal wound output there. If only my Terminators didn’t have Inner Circle and had some kind of trait to protect from that.

OH WAIT, THEY DO. 

The Pre-Game Show

As we do here at “Hear me out, Cyle!” for those of you who might not know. I like to ask my partner in crime to give his view of the game before the game.

Just looking at the lists, how do you think this is going to go?

Cyle: +++I don’t love the admech list, but I don’t love most admech lists in 9th. I think the arc exploding breachers are cute but can be tied up in melee as they are mainly a shooting platform but they aren’t vehicles. Double drill to drop in priests is cute but I think the new jumpy bois are just better for a Wrath of Mars target. A brick of Mars Kastellans is real-life but feels like it can be outmaneuvered and tagged to force them to shoot at a sacrificial target. Finally no doggos to screen is a crime. I think your speeders will help a lot with their flat 3 damage lining up well against the robots and breachers. Otherwise it’s going to be hang on through the mortals and tag what you can while playing the mission.+++

That’s what I’m thinking too. I really got to watch out for my sightlines here and not get nuked off the table via a ton of bullets. The crazy thing is those robots are vehicles and can shoot me into little pieces in CC. It’s crazy you can’t tie those up any more.

The Mission

We rolled for the mission from the Grand Tournament Book and got number #33, Priority Objectives.

ATTACKER-DEFENDER ROLL: Sneed “won” the attacker/defender roll, choosing defender.  I got the red Deployment zone, and Mr. Sneed got the Blue one.

Our local game store owner-built our board. A very balanced set of ruins, craters, and forests that felt pretty good. Not only that, but he had the head to place these pieces of terrain in ways that there wasn’t a real sightline you could shoot down without having a -1 to hit applied if you were going coast to coast with those shots.

Our map, starring the Iron Halo objectives.

Pregame choicecs

We went through picking our secondaries, and as planned, I picked my aforementioned secondaries, and I really wasn’t that surprised by what my opponent had chosen.

His choices made plenty of sense. Priority Targets is effortless to score, and I do have plenty of characters for Assassinate. The choice of Engage On All Fronts seemed like an odd choice because he would have to be challenging me on that very secondary. He has some units to be able to fight for those quarters, but I’ll also want to be in them as well. That secondary choice foretold this to be a major bloodbath before we even began.

RESERVES: I started all of my Termies and my Inceptors off of the table. My opponent started a single drill full of his lighting hand priests off of the table.

Waiting in the (Death) wings.

GUNUM’S DEPLOYMENT:

Deployment for this game was very straight forward. He had chosen the area that was much better set up for having a shooting base, whereas I was graciously given an L blocker to hide all my squishy bits from his endless lightning bullets. To pressure the middle, I used two Infiltrator units to lock down the NW and SE objectives. Having a unit that can scout deploy, as we’ve all seen this edition, is really good. I placed my Ravenwing Chaplain to be protected on the side there, as it’s always important to try and set up for if you’re going second.

Brave Not Dark Angel deployment.

Using the L blocker was a clear choice, as my units already have enough movement to jump over the L without any issues. I felt really good at going first or second by the time we were all done deploying. Not only that, but by using the Outrider warlord trait, I did get my free 12″ move to react to anything crazy.

SNEED’S DEPLOYMENT:

My opponent has a straightforward deployment. Get his guys in Cawl’s aura, line up the shots and make sure I lose as many models as possible. Robots were in the middle, and the Kataphron Breachers filled the center and a ruin.

Simple. Deadly. Robots.

Cyle: +++The cowardly not even real Dark Angels hiding like cowards against the big and beautiful robits.+++

Yeah. They have literal lightning guns and hands of lead-fire power. I’m being -sneaky- not cowardly. Rude.

FIRST TURN ROLL: We tossed, and I got the ever-important first turn roll. I took the first turn and prepared to unleash my plans!

GUNUM TURN ONE:

So I knew that this was going to be a shooting match from the get-go. Admech is always tricky since it gets that Shroudpsalm right away, providing it with that crazy cover save. So as the game began, I started it off with the most exciting thing ever when facing a shooting castle like this, the new and improved* Orbital Bombardment. Get on the hype train. Those of you who don’t know how the new Bombardment works, let me quickly break it down for you.

Here, I thought I could shift his entire firebase to avoid being hit by all the free damage. Not only that but if he kept units near the center of the point, I even threatened to punk out a Robot if I lucked out. I think with all of his multi-wound models, even a little bit of extra damage could help a lot. Also, you’ll notice all of his units are set up perfectly for him not to move and to shoot away. Again, I think shifting the firebase was a great play, even if it was for just a little damage.

I moved both of my Land Speeders Vengeances up and over my L-blocker to line up my 3dmg S9 plasma shots on the drill he started on the table that was threatening the SE objective. Next, I lined up my Talon master to start pouring shots into his firebase. I respected the number of shots those Breachers could put out, so I couldn’t just ignore them when it came to shooting.  The movement phase was simple, just moving into terrain and making sure if he could shoot me back, it would always be at the -1 to hit. Next, I made sure that my Infiltrators were blocking off as much of the table as possible to push his drill back as far as possible. Being able to control the reserves is so important right now -always- make sure you’re keeping an eye out for your 9″ bubbles.

Protect us, sacred crater.

When a clear sightline is all you need

The end of my shooting phase was pretty straightforward. I didn’t kill any whole unit, but I felt like I had done some extreme damage, knocking down a robot as well as some Breachers. Due to some bad rolls, I only got six damage onto the drill, but I was sitting on 3 objectives, and I was in a great position for the next turn. The only guys I was apprehensive about were the poor Infiltrators who were holding the line versus the drill.

Think of the mission, boys!

GUNUM: 3pts

SNEED TURN ONE:

Sneed’s turn one went about how I expected it go. Using the robots, he pushed up hard onto the objectives. The lone survivor of one of his units pushed up and snagged the middle of the table, the objective I just couldn’t dare touch without getting blown to bits.

Run from the Space Laser!

As expected, the SE objective gets swarmed by a drill and the firepower of the Breachers that were nearby. He held the objective with the unit, and my Infiltrators were all murdered. The only unit he killed was those guys. I had killed nothing.

SNEED: 3 pts

GUNUM TURN TWO:

At the top of 2, I only get 10 for holding two objectives. The laser from space comes down and does about 5 total mortal wounds spread out among all of those units. Everything I was looking at here was about to swing the game, though, due to all of his units moving forward. To capitalize on this, here came the heroes of the Imperium – the Terminators and my beloved Plasma Inceptors. Having set my Bike Chaplain up to do a wonderful Combined Assault, I was going to take Sneed’s entire firebase from him. Take the Priority Objective from him. Just take the entire game.

Combined Assault in action.

Also, I knew this was going to be the time when those Plasma Inceptors would need to do their work, to pour fire into those big robots in hopes to tear them down to reduce the number of shots coming into my termies.

“IT’S PLASMA TIME!”

Okay. Everything is going according to plan, time to kill som-

Wait…

Okay, so I killed a single robot. And uh…. that second Inceptor died to some kind of reflective shield? Leaving a single Inceptor left. The rest of my shooting phase went fine. I killed more Breachers. I knocked down the drill, releasing the lighting handed men to cover that SE objective.

Well, here comes that 6″ charge I need! Let’s WIN THIS GAM-

…wait…

Charges fail every day. And with them, our dreams. I rolled a 3 for my charge, followed by a 2. Look how close I am to victory. To sweet obsec power! Ugh.

ANOTHER HMO ENDING IN FAILURE!!!

Gunum: 15 pts

SNEED’S TURN TWO:

Only getting 10 points, Sneed did the reasonable thing and put all of his firepower into the terminator unit. Now, I want to remind everyone. I don’t have Inner Circle, so the firepower here was still very intense. Popping Wrath of Mars would have been the game over for them, but thanks to a built-in 5+++, my units were being saved from his incidental mortal wounds all over the table.

Sneed had moved up the closest breachers unit to charge my termies and hold them there as long as he could. He brought his drill up to threaten my Talon master and the infiltrators that were there. They had lost a couple of models to his shooting, and my Apothecary was taking care of those boys over there.  That was about the end of it, though. I had pushed him off of the objectives, so I felt like the mission was accomplished.

Sneed: 23 pts

~Fast-forward Sounds~

The Terminators, protected by their holy 5+++, keeping up the pressure and taking everything.

Wrath of Mars + Auspex Scan was Brutal to my five-man here.  But Warded kept them alive.

Deathwing Knights taking ground for the holy Gunum.

Everywhere I went, my guys were Electromancered or Wrath of Marsed. I hadn’t expected to see so many mortals going into this game, but man, was I glad to see my chapter tactics REALLY getting a workout. The exploding 6’s were -brutal- from my Knight captain, killing 8 out of 10 priests in just his combat alone.

Game-changing choices were being made by both of us, as we threatened and pushed to hold ground to edge out the primary points when our secondaries were neck and neck the entire game.

To Charge and take the objective, or shoot and deny the objective?

SHOOT HIM! …. Wait, we have to hold that?

As the game progressed, it was trading haymakers and fighting for every point for each of us. Honestly, I really feel the cobwebs shaking off as the game progressed. Though a hobbyist at heart, Sneed was really willing to make hard calls to try and fight me on every point. I was making backward calls, and I was putting my units into danger where they didn’t need to be.

When the smoke cleared, the Dark Angel bodies littered the ground. Toasters and their worshipers were rightly unplugged.

~The Winner~

CYLE AGAIN!!! IJUS…..

WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~The ACTUAL Winner!~

CHASE! GUNUM 2020!!!!!

THIS GAME WAS AMAZING. Going into this game, I was so intimidated by his army. The number of shots, the extra damage that Mars can put out. The damage reduction was provided to him by his custom IT team. I wasn’t sure if I had enough damage to get through.

Not only that but going into the game, I truly thought I was going to be playing Death Guard, so I didn’t think my warded ability was going to be worth anything at all. It ended up being massive and saving my expensive units from just getting deleted. A 1+ save only goes so far when people ignore your save altogether. The exploding sixes only really came into play when the Knights were trying to fight off the Electropriests from my backfield, as my Terminators were just in constant combat, so I wasn’t able to use that more.

The new and improved Land Speeder Vengeance always fights hard to keep a place on my list. The minimum 2 shots are always better than the big fat one. Also, avoiding gets hot and blowing the guns off the poor guy? So good.  The vehicle change to ignore heavy has been a -blessing-. If you haven’t checked out the new Talonmaster yet, I cannot recommend it enough. And extra 2″ of movement, extra two wounds, and the heavy bolter upgrade? Let’s ride this train!

The list played well, great. Failing that charge sucked, but terminators are still plenty durable with the extra wound. The new storm shield change? Excellent on terminators. Essentially ignoring -1 makes me feel like they are blessed with even more unseen buffs I can’t wait to try out.

The big question of the article, though? Inner Circle. Did I miss it? At the end of the day, I didn’t. YES, it’s good. Yes, it keeps your models powerfully alive.If your opponent doesn’t roll under fours to wound anyway, you won’t notice it is missing. As his robots shot into my Terminators, his dice were always rolling 4s or higher anyway, so having the 5+++ as a backup was incredible.

I was happy with my secondary choices. Going first is always -so- good, and I had a great opponent. For my first win ever in a Hear Me Out, Cyle! I couldn’t have asked for a better game.

Cyle: ++++++You should have taken Bring Them Down as the robots are vehicles. Otherwise good job on your dumb trait lining up on exactly the only army that does a ton of mortals any more. I’m not mad, you are mad.++++++

Mad like a FOX!

Good Game.

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