Blood Angels vs. Steel Legion – An Epic Armageddon Battle Report

Hello!  Here we are with a battle report from out Los Angeles Epic League 2014.  The Steel Legion army is not completely painted unfortunately.  Ordinarily I am reluctant to make a batrep unless the armies are 100% painted, but, in the interest of gathering playtest data, here it is.

The lists:

Steel Legion Ducal Guard

REGIMENTAL HQ [500]
Supreme Commander, 12 Infantry, 7 ChimeraINFANTRY COMPANY [275]
Commander, 12 Infantry, 1 SniperTANK COMPANY [825]
10 Leman Russ, Tank Squadron (3 Leman Russ)SUPER-HEAVY TANK COMPANY [500]
3 BanebladeSUPER-HEAVY TANK PLATOON [200]
Shadowsword

SUPER-HEAVY TANK PLATOON [200]
Shadowsword

FLAK BATTERY [150]
3 Hydra

SENTINEL SQUADRON [100]
4 Sentinels

SENTINEL SQUADRON [100]
4 Sentinels

THUNDERBOLT FIGHTERS [150]
2 Thunderbolts

Blood Angels

DEATH COMPANY [450]
Chaplain, 4 Assault Death Company Units, 2 Furioso Dreadnought

THUNDERHAWK [200]

SPACECRAFT [200]
Strike Cruiser

TACTICAL DETACHMENT [275]
6 Tacticals

TACTICAL DETACHMENT [275]
6 Tacticals

SCOUT DETACHMENT [150]
4 Scouts

DEVASTATOR DETACHMENT [275]
4 Devastators, Blood Angels TL Lascannon Razorback

DEVASTATOR DETACHMENT [275]
4 Devastators, Blood Angels TL Lascannon Razorback

LAND SPEEDERS [200]
5 Land Speeder

PREDATORS [300]
4 Baal Predator

ASSAULT DETACHMENT [250]
6 Assault Units

THUNDERBOLT FIGHTERS [175]
2 Thunderbolts

The Battlefield and Deployment

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Blood Angels win the strategy roll and force the Steel Legion to go first.

Steel Legion places Thunderbolts on Combat Air Patrol

Space Marines double with their scouts and occupy the buildings on their left flank
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A Steel Legion Shadowsword advances and vaporizes a Baal Predator
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Blood Angel Land Speeders push forward and hide behind the building that the scouts have occupied
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Steel Legion Attack Buggies (counts-as Sentinels) advance and fire on the scouts, but do no damage
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Blood Angel Devastators double and fire on the Leman Russ Tank Company
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Baneblades retaliate, killing 3 stands of devastators and their Razorback
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The second formation of Devastators doubles and fires at the Baneblades, but do no damageImage

Shadowsord advances and fires on the damaged Devastator squad, killing the marines and breaking the formation.  It flees back towards its deployment zone
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Assault Marines double along the right flank
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The Regimental HQ advances and fires upon the Assault Marines, killing two stands
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Baal Predators double, but only inflict two casualtiesImage

Steel Legion Hydra Battery advances and fires on the Devastators, killing one stand
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Thunderhawk Assault!  Steel Legion Thunderbolts attempt to intercept, but do no damage.  Death Company assaults, supported by the Baal Predators, and breaks the Regimental HQ
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The garrisoned Infantry Platoon on the left flank opens fire on the scouts, but inflicts no kills
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Space Marine Drop Pods arrive.  This was a pivotal issue in the game – The Steel Legion commander had correctly predicted the location of the Space Marine drop in the center of his own deployment zone, and set his forces up to pincer the dropping marine forces.  The Marines tried to alter their drop zone as far as possible from the Leman Russ Company hoping to establish a beachhead on the right flank, but were still left exposed and in poor position.

One Tactical Squad opened fire on the broken Regimental HQ, killing all but two stands.
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The vengeance of the Leman Russ Company is swift and furious.  They double, open fire on the other Tactical Squad and break it.  The Tac Squd retreats to nearby ruins.
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The end of Turn 1
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After some suppressing fire from the Tactical Squad, Space Marine Devastators Launch a valiant assault against the Leman Russ Company
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The Devastators manage to force three rounds of combat!  Alas, the Russes are just too strong.  But the Marines manage to take three tanks with them.
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The Baal Predators advance and fire on the Buggies in terrain, but only kill one.  The Steel Legion Baneblades advance and open fire on the Tactical Squad, killing one stand
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The Attack Buggies and Infantry Company fire at the Scout Squad, breaking it
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Land Speeders advance and break the Attack Buggies
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Stormsword advances, fires on the Tac Squad, killing one stand
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Blood Angel Thunderbolts ground attack the Attack Buggies, breaking them
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The Death Company Thunderhawk Assault goes horribly wrong.  Despite only needing to roll a 3 to tie the assault or a 4+ to win, the dice come up double-twos, and they lose.
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The Hydra Battery advances and breaks the Tactical Squad
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Steel Legion Thunderbolts ground attack, killing two Land Speeders
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In the Rally Phase, the only Blood Angel formation that manages to rally is the Death Company, who, of course, cannot capture objectives.  At top of 3, the Angels only have four unbroken formations left (one of which cannot score).
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Infantry Company opens fire on the Land Speeders, breaking them.  Down to three unbroken formations
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The Baal Predators attempt to march to take a Defend the Flag objective, and fail activation on a 1
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The Leman Russ Company opens fire on the Death Company and destroys it, sealing victory with Break Their Spirit and Defend the Flag.  The Blood Angels do not have enough unbroken formations to contest or take any objectives with.
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Victory Steel Legion.

Game called middle of Turn 3
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Post-game thoughts –

1. First of all, kudos to the Steel Legion commander for setting up that drop zone trap.  And shame on me for falling for it.  That was a huge blunder that was difficult to recover from.  Ordinarily, however, I don’t think it would have necessarily been a fatal mistake, but several other factors combined to make victory very difficult for me.

2. Blood Angels have no anti-tank.  There is basically no way I could have dealt with that huge 13-strong Leman Russ Company.  I did get close to breaking it in assault, but, with so many tanks, any given Space Marine formation is likely to be outnumbered, sometimes even 2-to-1 just going in.  In the way of anti-tank shooting, I only had the Razorbacks and missile launchers, which needed 7s most of the time.  There just is no way for this list to deal with Baneblades and Russes short of assault.

3.  Bad dice-rolling.  Couldn’t rally any units, failed a bunch of activation checks, etc.  I feel like BA dice-rolls need to be on point going up against a bad matchup for the army such as Steel Legion, and the dice just weren’t there for me.  Perhaps it is a reflection of a weakness in the list that there is no room for bad dice rolls.

4. Furioso dreadnoughts are not worth 75 points.  For what they bring to the table, I can’t see why they are so expensive.  At 50, they might be worthwhile – I could have had two additional LasCan Razorbacks with those additional points.  But even at 50 they are far from “auto take”.  Seems better to load the Thunderhawk up with Death Company and a Devastator formation.

5. I think Stormravens could have helped against Steel Legion with their AT missiles and alpha strike abilities.  Unfortunately, however, I have pledged all painted for this league, and I didn’t have my Stormraven models painted up yet.

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