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Iron Warriors v3.1 vs. AMTL (5000pts)

 Post subject: Iron Warriors v3.1 vs. AMTL (5000pts)
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 7:07 pm 
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So some of the Adeptus Ineptus got together on Saturday for a little gaming, and I took advantage of it to get a playtest in. We had an odd number because of a no-show, so we kicked off a little late and ended up running a 2v1 - my Iron Warriors vs. Tim's Legio Astraman and Karl's Legio Gryphonicus.

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So I'd played a bunch of turn one teleport/drop assaults my last few outings with the IW, and I deliberately chose not to repeat that this time in order to explore a few other build designs. This led me to take a pair of garrisonable infantry formations loaded up with dreadnoughts & AA, a Reaver, and an Ordinatus Medrengard.

If I wanted to ensure I had a win, that was definitely a mistake - a turn one ship barrage, backed up by a swarm of drop pods full of dreadnoughts and chosen would have forced the Titans onto the defensive, and probably solved my "how to maneuver around indirect fire quake cannons?" question from the start of the game. Sure, swarming key Reavers on turn one with a face-full of Terminators and Dreadnoughts raining from the heavens would have sacrificed ~1500 points to kill probably 2000, but would have also removed key assets from the game and left me tactically flexible to roll up the rest. Then again, I did that that last time I played Karl during Cold Wars, and it wouldn't have been all that fun to repeat the Lilliputian murder mob on him again. As much as I want to go into detail here about how and why I think I lost the game in list-building & deployment, I'll include those observations where relevant below.

=====================================================================

ARMIES

IRON WARRIORS v3.1 - 4995 pts

Iron Warriors Company - 500 pts
- 6x Chaos Space Marines & 2 Havocs
- Iron Warriors Lord
- 3x Chaos Dreadnought
- 1x Stalker

Iron Warriors Company - 500 pts
- 6x Chaos Space Marines & 2 Havocs
- Iron Warriors Lord
- 3x Chaos Dreadnought
- 1x Stalker

Defiler Assault Pack - 425 pts
- 6x Defilers

Defiler Assault Pack - 425 pts
- 6x Defilers

Artillery Battery - 400 pts
- 4x Chaos Basilisks
- 1x Stalker
- Emplacements

Artillery Battery - 400 pts
- 4x Chaos Basilisks
- 1x Stalker
- Emplacements

Dreadnought Assault Pack - 325 pts
- 5x Chaos Dreadnoughts
- Dreadnought Warsmith (Supreme Commander)

Iron Warrior Terminators - 395 pts
- 6x Iron Warriors Terminators
- Iron Warriors Lord

Chosen - 125 pts
- 4x Chaos Space Marine Scouts

Helltalon Flight - 225 pts
- 2x Helltalon Fighter Bombers

Ravager Titan - 650 pts (BTS)

Ordinatus Medrengard - 625 pts

LEGIO ASTRAMAN - 2500 pts

Reaver Titan - 800 pts

- Carapace Landing Pad
- 2x Quake Cannon
- Carapace Multilasers
- Legate

Reaver Titan - 650 pts
- Laser Burner
- 2x Laser Blaster

Warhound Titan - 300 pts
- 2x Inferno Gun
- Single Weapon Surcharge

Warhound Titan - 300 pts
- 2x Inferno Gun
- Single Weapon Surcharge

Warhound Titan - 300 pts
- Vulcan Megabolter
- Turbo-laser Destructor

Thunderbolt Squadron - 150 pts
- 2x Thunderbolts

LEGIO GRYPHONICUS - 2500 pts

Reaver Titan - 650 pts
- Apocalypse Missile Launcher
- Close Combat Weapon
- Laser Blaster

Reaver Titan - 650 pts
- Turbo-laser Destructor
- Laser Blaster
- Plasma Cannon

Warhound Titan Pack - 500 pts
- 2x Inferno Gun
- 2x Vulcan Megabolter

Warhound Titan Pack - 550 pts
- 2x Vulcan Megabolter
- 2x Turbo-laser Destructor

Thunderbolt Squadron - 150 pts
- 2x Thunderbolts

=====================================================================

PREGAME DEPLOYMENT

Iron Warriors:

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So my working plan had been to forward deploy two large companies of infantry supported by dreadnoughts and stalkers on overwatch, ideally in some cover and use that to channel the Titans into an artillery killbox where the Defilers could easily engage and rip apart a few Reavers in supported assaults. While that looked wonderful on paper (and might have still worked on a terrain-choked city board), Tim & Karl saw that coming a mile away and set up their objectives off to one side, way in the open, well within the reach of Tim's dual quake artillery Reaver. Yeah, no, not sure I want to set up a 500pt formation just so it can get shot off the board on Turn One. End result? Scout screen formations jumping off from my deployment zone and basically doing nothing except soaking bullets all game. I would have been better off taking Rhinos for mobility and replacing the Chosen with a big Raptors formation to make up for it. So yeah, this is where I probably lost the game in list design & deployment. Painful lesson learned.

Instead, I opted to push up my right flank for the T&H objectives, knowing that my Reaver in the middle would draw a heck of a lot of fire... but hopefully use cover and my opponent's early game double activations to mitigate incoming damage.

Astraman & Gryphonicus

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My opponents used a pretty standard envelopment strategy - Warhounds held the flanks (Gryphonicus' Inferno/Vulcan pack on their left, three Astraman singletons on their right), with the Reavers holding the center, supported by the Turbo/Vulcan pack. Not going to lie, this was going to be ugly. At 3K, Titans are badly out-activated. At 5K, there's enough redundancy among threat vectors that the opponent pretty much has to decide which flank they're going to let crumple, and which flank they're going to try to destroy. Unless you're Eldar, it's a lot like watching Greek phalanxes collide - both in terms of maneuver and sheer bloodshed.

=====================================================================

TURN ONE

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Aside from the Iron Warriors' dreadnought formation on Overwatch, no units were garrisoned at the start of the game. Astraman & Gryphonicus took the initiative on the first turn, and promptly put a squadron of Thunderbolts on CAP. The Iron Warriors responded by having a Basilisk battery light up Gryphonicus' turbo/vulcan Warhound pack, which promptly failed its marshal order on its next activation. The second Basilisk battery followed up, stripping three shields off the same formation. The second Thunderbolt squadon failed its CAP orders, and the Ordinatus Medrengard promptly dumped another round of fire on the turbo/vulcan Warhounds, putting another 4 blast markers on them.

In response, Gryphonicus' inferno/vulcan Warhound pack doubled up and took the right flank Defilers under fire, killing one. The Iron Warriors infantry company on the right flank marched forward, preparing to set up a crossfire and/or supported engagement on the inferno/vulcan Warhounds, only to take heavy fire from the Gryphonicus plasma Reaver, killing 2 infantry formations. The injured Defilers marshalled and took the inferno/vulcan Warhounds under fire, but failed to do any damage.

On the Iron Warriors' left flank, the Astraman dual inferno gun Warhound stalked forward on a double along the far left, skirting a massive crater and preparing to pounce the following turn. Risking everything, the Iron Warriors' Helltalons dove to attack the inferno/vulcan Warhounds, pulling the CAP and getting ripped from the skies by the Thunderbolts. One of Astraman's turbo/vulcan Warhounds stalked forward, covering the dedicated inferno gun platform. In response, the Defilers on the left flank doubled around the rock formation they'd been sheltering behind, taking the turbo/vulcan Warhound under fire and knocking off a hull point. In response, Astraman's dual laser blaster Reaver advanced, capacitors fully charged, and shredded two of the offending Defilers. Watching this unfold on the left flank, the Chosen marched forward, sprinting through the streets of the deserted settlement to set up a screen on the outskirts of the town, looking to provide cover for the Suturvora Reaver's response.

Astraman's second dual inferno Warhound charged up the middle, pouring fire into the stricken Defilers and knocking out two more of the demonic machines and breaking them. Watching the left flank crumple, the Iron Warriors infantry company holding the side chose to dig in on Overwatch, rather than march into the kill zone. In response, Astraman's dual quake Reaver locked in a firing solution on the Chosen pack, wiping out two units and driving them back. The Iron Warriors Warsmith made a decision, watching the left flank under siege but seeing opportunities to threaten the Warhounds on the right flank, and marched his Dreadnought retinue forward and across to shore up the right flank. Perhaps he could turn the tide there before returning to the left and fending off the singleton Warhounds. Sounding its warhorns, the Gryphonicus Reaver brandished its power fist and doubled forward, but given its fire angles and options, it laid into the left flank's Basilisk battery, shaking the tanks and destroying the Stalker AA platform. Finally, the Suturvora Reaver ground into action, picking its targets and doubling to reinforce the right flank, taking Gryphonicus' plasma-armed Reaver under fire and stripping off two of its shields.

The turn ended with the Iron Warriors' left flank crumbling and right flank gearing up for some significant assaults. Hedging his bets, the Warsmith chose to call his Terminators down on the Astraman legate in his dual quake cannon Reaver, hoping the elite warriors could lay the war engine low and distract or turn the left flank.

=====================================================================

TURN TWO

Image


In what might have been an actual first to me, I managed to get 6 units of terminators down to the surface without a single blast marker. The Iron Warriors won the initiative, and we were off to the races.

The Iron Warriors' left flank Basilisk battery took the Astraman Legate's Reaver under fire, ensuring a blast marker disruption advantage in the Terminator assault party's favor as they retained the initiative and charged into combat. The Terminators inflicted three telling blows on the dual quake Reaver while managing to avoid its return blows, forcing the Legate to break & flee for support on the Titans' left flank.

In retaliation, the Titans surged forward, laying into the Suturvora Reaver. First, Gryphonicus' turbo/vulcan Warhound pack bracketed the Reaver, burning off its shields and scoring a solid hit. Then Astraman's laser blaster Reaver laid in, burning two more holes through the Chaos Reaver's hull and even penetrating its reactor. Staggering under the incoming fire, the Suturvora Reaver marshalled, clawing back its void shields and pouring fire into the nearest Reaver, the Gryphonicus engine brandishing its plasma cannon. Shields failed under the hail of shell fire, and the Doomburner struck true, scoring three solid hits on the Gryphonicus engine but not breaking it. Rallying to the Reaver's defense, the Warsmith and his Dreadnought cadre advanced and laid in additional fire, breaking the Gryphonicus engine and driving it back.

Gryphonicus surged forward in response, the inferno/vulcan Warhound pack turning on the Iron Warriors infantry company covering the Suturvora engine and pouring fire into them, wiping out all but the Stalker AA tank and two Dreadnoughts. The left flank Iron Warrior Infantry Company marched, sprinting through the city streets and positioning itself to cut off the Astraman & Gryphonicus Reavers' assault lane to the stricken Suturvora engine, and the Defiler pack on the left flank advanced to take one of the Astraman turbo/vulcan Warhounds under fire, burning off shields but failing to score any solid hits.

Image


The turn ended in a flurry of attacks from war engines. Thunderbolts came back around for another pass to strip shields off the Suturvora Reaver, while the left flank Defilers fired on the Gryphonicus inferno/vulcan Warhounds on their flank without effect. The Ordinatus Medrengard spoke finally, scoring another penetrating hit on the Astraman Legate. Then the Astraman Warhounds pounced. The dual inferno gun Warhound and one turbo/vulcan Warhound poured fire into the blocking Infantry Company, wiping out six squads combined and breaking the company. The third Warhound doubled back to cover the Blitz objective, pouring fire into the Terminators without scoring any kills. Finally, the power fist-armed Gryphonicus Reaver advanced on the Suturvora Reaver and poured fire into it, scoring another penetrating hit and breaking it.

At the end of the turn the Astraman Legate rallied as well as all of the Iron Warriors forces. The Suturvora Reaver also took a hit from its unstable reactor.

=====================================================================

TURN THREE

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The Iron Warriors took the initiative once more on the third turn.

The Suturvora Reaver marshalled, bringing its shields back up to full once more and pouring fire into the oncoming power fist-wielding Gryphonicus Reaver, stripping shields. The Ordinatus Medrengard reloaded and fired once more, pouring fire onto the Astraman Legate's Reaver but failing to score any hits. In response, the Astraman laser blaster Reaver sustained and poured fire into the wounded Suturvora engine, blasting through the remaining armor and sending it toppling to the ground. Capitalizing on that success, Astraman retained the initiative and the Legate bracketed the Terminator force that had injured his Reaver earlier, blasting apart two squads and breaking the formation.

Reeling, the Iron Warriors sought to claim at least one objective, dumping two batteries of Basilisks into the Astraman Legate, burning off his shields and inflicting one more solid hit on him (2 remaining). The Gryphonicus inferno/vulcan Warhound pack advanced on the left flank Defilers once more, destroying four of the remaining five and breaking the unit. In response, the Iron Warriors' Chosen and the Warsmith's Dreadnought cadre poured fire into the power fist Reaver, dropping its void shields and scoring a solid hit. The plasma cannon Reaver responded by advancing back into the fight and opening fire on the Warsmith. When the dust settled, not a single Dreadnought remained to carry on the fight.

The two Dreadnoughts and the Stalker remaining from one Infantry Company marched to try to contest their T&H objectives, only to be destroyed by Gryphonicus' turbo/vulcan Warhounds. As a last hurrah, the left flank Iron Warriors Infantry Company similarly marched to contest the Titans' T&H objectives... only to take fire from a Thunderbolt squadron (one failed to activate) and an Astraman turbo/vulcan Warhound, breaking them. The other turbo/vulcan Warhound poured fire into the broken Terminators, killing another squad, and Gryphonicus' power fist Reaver engaged the two chosen in midfield, taking out them and the building in which they sheltered in a glorious display of overkill.

Image


As twilight set in, the remnants of the Iron Warriors ceded the field to the Astraman and Gryphonicus engines. At the end, the Titans held BTS (the Suturvora Reaver), Defend the Flag, and Take & Hold for a 3-0 win.

====================================================================

ENDGAME & PARTING THOUGHTS

So at 5,000 points, AMTL has enough room in the list to build a well-rounded take all comers list that can effectively tackle both infantry and armor.

I definitely didn't take a competitive enough list, experimenting as I was with foot sloggers. Sure, loading up with lots of melee macro looked good on paper, but without advantageous deployment options, those formations just weren't mobile enough to bring their attacks to bear. I would have been much better served with a mechanized Infantry Company, a cheap Vindicator squadron, and then a brutal steel rain of Dreadnoughts in Dreadclaws. Defilers were a way of getting both ranged firepower and threatening MW CC attacks into a list... but of course my opponents knew that and did everything they could to stay out of 50cm engage range and/or shut the crabs down. If I'd been able to roll up hard on them with mechanized infantry backed up by the Defilers, it would have worked better.

Killing Reavers isn't easy as Iron Warriors, at least not from shooting. Early in the second turn I managed to separately burn the BTS Reaver (dual quakes + legate) AND the plasma cannon Reaver down to half health. Wonderful, but there wasn't enough in range to really finish off the BTS, and there were a multiplicity of targets backing up the plasma cannon Reaver. Thing is, if you're halfway through a BTS Reaver... yeah you kinda have to keep going at it... only the Terminators were the closest reasonable unit to finish it, and the Astraman player knew it (and laid in the fire to ensure they were pinned down).

Also, if you're going to try to kill a Reaver... it needs to be overkill. That thing needs to die in a single assault; letting one limp away crippled just doesn't work unless you have an overwhelming amount of firepower lined up on it to activate next. Definitely sticking with the Dreadnought drop assault formations in a list against AMTL.

The big takeaway I have is that groundpounding infantry just isn't worth it in the list (certainly not if you have MW artillery ranged in on you), and it's a little tough that the only Dreadclaw-capable infantry formation is the throwaway Forelorn Hope company in the Elites section - particularly because it competes with both Dreadnought and Terminator formations for the 1:1 Core selection slot there. Iron Warriors need to get across the table and into their opponents' faces early in the game, abusing the combo of artillery and drop assault (although the artillery is less effective against an all-war engine army where you need good sightlines to be able to use direct fire). I lost this one in list design, but it was still a fun game that had some good moments, and it's always fun going up against Tim & Karl.

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors v3.1 vs. AMTL (5000pts)
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Those 6 strong dreadnought formations get me everytime. Glad to see they get some love in this list.

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 Post subject: Re: Iron Warriors v3.1 vs. AMTL (5000pts)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:27 am 
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I almost always enjoy playing megabattles, especially ones that involve a lot of Titans. Karl and I have had good success teaming up with our respective titan legions. Surprisingly Brad had only 1 more activation than us. Overall it was a fun game.

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