Again, the descriptions will be rough at times.
My army list (aka the "this is what I own" or the "walking marines" list)
Captain with terminator armor and relic blade
Assault Canon Dread
Tac Squad with power fist, heavy bolter, and flamer
Scout Squad with sniper rifles
Devastator Squad with three missile launchers and a lascannon
The BT army list
Marshall with terminator armor and twin lightning claws
large tac squad with noviates or whatever they are called
5 man tac squad with plasma gun and lascannon (see earlier comment)
Land speeder with missile launcher
Land Raider Crusader
I deployed my forces with the two scout squads on one side with the multimelta dread, the termies and the assault dread in the middle, and the tac squad on the other side. The devastators were in the back on a hill.
Sam stole the initiative and ran his bikes towards my two scout squads. He settled his land speeders along the back of his deployment zone, where they took out the melta dread with missiles. The land raider plowed towards my tac squad. Aside from the dread, his shooting was abyssmal and my armor saves downright impressive, as they would be for most of the game.
On my turn I moved my termies to back up the inevitable assault on my tac squad, while my non-sniper scouts rushed to engage the bikes. The sniper scouts shot and but failed to do anything against the 5-man tac squad, which would be how they spent the rest of the game. My librarian hit a glancing blow on the Crusader with "Machine Curse" and got "can not shoot" at which point Sam said the Crusader had a Machine Spirit that allows it to shoot once even thought it got a "can not shoot" meaning it was still going to run up on me while shooting so thanks for playing. That was a classic example of the rules/counter-rules quality of 40K that makes me dislike the game some times. My devastators were useless against the front armor of the Crusader.
The Crusader deployed its units, the large BT tac squad going against my librarian and tac squad while the Marshall and Emperor's Champion went up against my terminators and Captain. This proved to be a mistake: the termies and Captain rolled over the two independent characters in a flurry of power fists and invulnerable saves. Over on the other side my scout squad took out the five-marine bike squad, but sustained heavy casualties.
Sam threw his Crusader into reverse (causing me to make the "BEEP BEEP" noise that garbage trucks make while backing up) and essentially moved backwards for the rest of the game, all the while shelling my tac squad and terminator squad. It was a cycle. My guys would move up, make glancing blows on the Crusader which half the time would be negated by the Machine Spirit, while he would take out a couple of guys with the Crusader's guns. My devastators must have loaded up on nerf missiles that day, because they were completely ineffectual against the Crusader's armor.
All the while this is happening, the two BT land speeders slowly dissected my army from 48" away: first the assault dread, then the devastators, then the sniper scouts, and finally on turn six the last of the terminators. My only high point was the single scout sergeant made his way to the very back of the board, assaulted the mini-tac unit, and ran them off the board all on his lonesome. His unit must have worked extra-hard because I had finally painted them.
At the end of turn six Sam still had both land speeders, and a dinged-up but functioning Crusader. I had two miniatures--the power fist-wielding sergeant from the tac squad and the scout sergeant. I called the game in his favor.
What I learned:
- At some point, I just should have given up using the devastators on the Crusader and turned them on the land speeders instead. It's hard to ignore ~300 pts. on the battlefield, but the land speeders did far more damage than the tank did.
- My own psychological weapon was the terminators, against whom Sam threw so much ammunition I was surprised if they had any paint left on their armor. They just couldn't fail an armor save, even the 5+ invul save.
- I love my assault scouts, which proved once again how poor SM bikes are in the assault phase. Without a power fist for their sergeant they would've been wiped out by the dreadnaught if the scouts hadn't torn them apart first. I've got my own bike squad on the workbench, but I'm definitely going to use them as tank hunters.
- Speaking of tanks, I need to think about investing in one, or at least a transport vehicle.
I asked Sam not to go easy on me, which he didn't. There's no point in getting a false idea about how effective or ineffective your army is. I did buy a new unit of sniper scouts (the ones I used were borrowed) on the way out the door. I think my order of purchases for the army will go as follows:
- Command Squad
- Two rhinos (for the two tactical squads)
I'll save my internal debate regarding what configuration to use for the predator for another post.