When Bob and I agreed to finally play a game together, we decided to play 40K as his Dark Angels haven't hit a gaming table in many moons. I was going to play the same list that I used against Bryan's khorne Daemonkin but after some consideration, I thought it might be a lot of fun to finally play a game with Cypher. I painted Cypher way back in '99 and even entered him the Golden Daemon painting competition that year (none of my models made the first cut, but it was still very fun!). So he was over-due to see action. After reviewing the Dataslate, and making the adjustments to my list, I was ready to give Bob a game we would both remember.
|The field is set, the zones divided.|
When I told Bob that he was going to be facing Cypher, he was very excited! It would be a game his Dark Angels were destined to play! So we set up the table and then rolled on the Cypher Dataslate's Alter of War table. We got the mission A Hidden Presence. In this mission Cypher begins the game hidden in one of my Troops units. There are three Primary Objective markers, one in the middle, one in the two opposing zones opposite of our deployment areas. My mission is to get Cypher off of the enemy board edge. After we rolled off, Bob chose the zone with the trench line, which Cypher would have to cross to escape.
This was not going to be easy!
I deployed Cypher (secretly) in with the Black Legion unit that I placed in the ruins (behind the Land Raider in the pic below).
While the rest of my army will be focused on taking the other two objectives and meeting the Dark Angels head-on. That's how it was going to work in my head anyway...
|Dark Angels deploy, Deathwing wait in Reserve.|
|Eye-balling each other through 'No-man's land'.|
Getting the first turn, Bob rushed the Ravenwing straight at his closest objective.
However his first turn shooting didn't net any casualties. This was good for the Chaos ego as my first turn began. I moved the Landraider out and took some shots at the squad on top of the bunker killing at least one of them. I rushed the chaos bikes at the Ravenwing, unloading everything I had, however that effort failed to kill anything. My vindicator on the other hand pasted one of them. They were too far for me to declare any charges.
Turn 2 begins, and woe, the Deathwing arrived! The DW Knights, thankfully, scattered and landed on the bunker, one squad had a mishap and went back into reserve while another squad landed on an objective on my side of the board.
After all the fire-power they sent at me, I managed to only lose one Black Legionnaire, but my Warlord in terminator armor, who was striding out in front, took a wound.
|"We have arrived!"|
However, after declaring a charge, they rolled snake-eyes on their charge distance! Oops!
On my Turn 2, I closed the gap with my bikers and whittled the Ravenwing down a bit more, before charging into the fray.
...however they used Hit and Run to back up and set up another round of shooting and assault against my unit, which was now down to just two models, having just lost the champion!
Meanwhile, on the other front, I was making a series of critical errors that would cost me the game. I moved the Land Raider up to be within Dirge Caster range of the Deathwing. Only that I chose to keep the Khorne Berserkers at bay within the Land Raider. I knew another Deathwing Squad was due to show up next round and those DW Knights (the Sgt of whom, along with another knight, I just killed with a well placed Vindicator shot!) all had the fire power to cut down my Berserkers from afar. So I moved the Black Legion up to shoot up the Deathwing. I also revealed Cypher so that I could use his firepower. The mistake here wasn't the reveal of Cypher, or leaving him in the unit, it was using Rapid Fire on a unit I had intended to charge! I didn't realize my mistake until the assault phase, and by then it was just too late!
Turn 3, and the Ravenwing, which I had done a great job chewing down, finally vanquished the Chaos Bikers, and they were now looking down the field at my Vindicator's rear side!
|Time to die...|
|The 2nd DW squad arrives, the knights set up their charge...|
|"It's like cracking open an egg!"|
You might also be able to tell that my Black Legion unit, featuring Cypher, was shot up really good by the other Deathwing squad, who was also joined by the 2nd Deathwing squad. The Deathwing have the Fallen in their sights, and it was now a very determined battle to catch Cypher!
On my Turn 3, I decided the biggest threat were those Deathwing Knights. Ignoring the Ravenwing bikers I fired the Vindicator at them, as well as had the Mark of Slaanesh Chaos Space Marines fire on them,
Cypher, making his escape, also fired into the unit as did the Berserkers. So by the time my whole freaking army pretty much opened up on those three knights, my Berserkers only had two that they had to kill in close combat!
|And killing is what they did!|
The other close combat involved my Warlord and the remaining Black Legion. In the previous assault my Warlord killed the Deathwing Sgt with the Murdersword and received the Chaos Gift that makes him poisonous. That last DW terminator just wasn't going down easily however, and this combat would last for a few player turns.
Turn 4, and Cypher was now quite exposed. The Dark Angels all left their cover and made their move towards him, with one unit working their way towards the Chaos Marines in the middle of the board.
As predicted the Ravenwing shot the Vindicator in the ass, blowing it up like a fireworks display.
|"And it was good!" -The Bob|
On my turn, the Chaos Marines shot and charged the marines in the ruins. I managed to kill a few, but the Dark Angels held firm, and wiped out the Chaos Marines.
Meanwhile the Warlord and Khorne Apsiring Champion tried to support the Khorne berserkers but it was a fruitless effort. The Berkserkers were smashed by the fury of the DW powerfists.
On turn Five, the Dark Angels on the hill took the objective, and the other unit sought to gun down Cypher. Combined with the Ravenwing, they actually managed to knock 2 wounds off of him! I had to get Cypher to that trenchline as soon as possible!
|The noose tightens...|
The Chaos Warlord, now standing alone against a Deathwing Sgt and Deathwing Terminator, unfortunately had his luck run out and was defeated.
If you're keeping count, you'll notice that I am effectively tabled at this point. I only have Cypher left!
Only the Ravenwing and those 2 Deathwing Terminators could shoot at Cypher, and they did, and he was fine. They then charged. The Deathwing Shrugged off the Overwatch shots, but the DW Sgt was brought down by Cypher's plasma pistol in combat. The Ravenwing didn't take him out, but the surviving Deathwing Terminator did, and with a zealous fury, caught the accursed Fallen!!!
|No where to run!|
Yeah, I was tabled, but I had so much fun with this game that I didn't care about whether I won or lost. Just trying to get Cypher off the table was the trick, and it was a tough trick to pull off. Even if I had escaped that close combat, there was a squad of Dark Angels now in the way...
I like how the Dark Angels get 'Zealot' when they face Cypher, and it really does make them a vastly superior fighting force than when you face them under normal circumstances.
Cypher looks great on paper, but in practice, not having an invulnerable save make him easy to catch. Despite what he can dish out in combat, it's best to keep him away from an assault. Yeah, he's Shrouded from shooting, and that helps.
What might have helped me would be if I had remembered that my vehicles have Warpflame Gargoyles! Yes, my face-palm could be heard in three States when I realized this earlier as I was typing all this up! LOL -All well, it didn't matter at all in the last game I had them anyway. Perhaps it's time for me to invest in some of those cool flame counters that I see people using?
So again, we both had a blast, and with Bob heading overseas for a few months this game should serve as a grand send-off for him. I hope when he returns we can find time to play another Cypher scenario!
Check out Bob's take on this event here: