However, I wasn't about to give up. I knew I still have 5 games to go and I wasn't about to go 0-8 for the tournament. That would give me a very bad reputation, one that I didn't want. It would be especially detrimental to those who come looking for advice on Implausible Nature, as no one wants to listen to someone who can't win a game. I had the opportunity to sit down and think about how I wanted to run my army and what would have helped me win in previous games. After doing so, I decided to hell with it and do what I needed to be done to give me the best chance at victory, even if it meant breaking out of my list's game plan.
My next match up came against a gentleman named Kevin Genson, who was playing Chaos Space Marines. He was wearing one of the black shirts marking out Nova Open staff and I was told he was one of the 40k Invitational judges, as well as one of the judges for the painting competition. He noted that while he wasn't out late the previous night, he had already been through several days of gaming and was running low on energy reserves. Sandwyrm and Kevin were playing to the board to my left in Game Three, so I had an opportunity to at least see a little bit of his army beforehand. I found out later that he was essentially a ringer army, as MVB needed even numbers to start the tournament off right.
Kevin mentioned that he had a couple of armies, but the only one that could field anywhere close to a decent list was his Chaos army. Even then, he admitted that they weren't all that great. Because of this, he opted for more of a fluffy list. Still, even fluffy lists have the potential to win games, so I wasn't going to drop my guard. I needed a win and this could be what the doctor ordered.
Game Four -- Kevin Genson
* Fabius Bile. 
* Chosen: 5 Chosen w/ 4 Plasmaguns and 5 Bolt Pistols & Close Combat Weapons. Mounted in a Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers, Extra Armor, and Searchlights. 
* Chaos Space Marines: 9 Chaos Space Marines w/ 2 Meltaguns, 7 Bolters, Icon of Nurgle, and Mark of Nurgle; 1 Aspiring Champion w/ Powerfist and Bolt Pistol. 
* Chaos Space Marines: 9 Chaos Space Marines w/ 2 Plasmaguns, 7 Bolters, Icon of Nurgle, and Mark of Nurgle; 1 Aspiring Champion w/ Powerfist and Bolt Pistol. Mounted in a Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers, Extra Armor, and Searchlights. 
* Chaos Space Marines: 9 Chaos Space Marines w/ 2 Flamers, 7 Bolters, Icon of Nurgle, and Mark of Nurgle; 1 Aspiring Champion w/ Powerfist and Bolt Pistol. Mounted in a Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers, Extra Armor, and Searchlights. 
* Vindicator w/ Dozer Blade, Smoke Launchers, and Searchlights. 
* Obliterators (3). 
* Obliterators (3). 
S) Table Quarters
T) Kill Points
Deployment was Spearhead.
We roll to see who goes first and Kevin wins the roll. He chooses to go first and starts deploying. As he has Fabius Bile, he rolls for each unit to find out what his benefits are. The two Rhino based units get upgrades that didn't come into play (forgot to write down which ones they were) during the game, but the footbased squad got hit with the upgrade that kills a dude a turn. On the other hand, they gained +1 to several stats.
Right off the bat Kevin declares that he's going to be deep striking an Obliterator squad to change things up. He also keeps his Vindicator in reserve. Sounds like he's trying to pull off a nasty Alpha Strike on my forces, but I know better having played dozens of games with drop pod Templars. As you will note by the picture below, he places one of his Rhino CSM squads into his back objective, which is located in a ruin, with the Rhino slightly off to the side. Unfortunately for me, this ruin has a big wall that blocks line of sight to his rhino. I remember thinking that I was going to have to be extremely careful with my Land Speeders, as I would need them to contest that objective later on. His other Rhino CSM deploys very close to the far objective on my side of the board. The footbased CSM deploy in the terrain piece in the middle of the board next to his board edge, with the Rhino filled with Chosen to their left. Finally, he places his remaining Obliterator squad on top of BLOS wall, which gives him excellent LOS to the whole board.
For my deployment, I tried to take advantage of what little LOS was to be had. I placed one Crusader squad (with EC) on the objective, with Terminators directly in front of them to help prevent ill-timed advances on my objective. The other Terminator squad deployed in a crater on my far left flank, near the middle of the board. My Predators were placed directly in front and right of the big hill in my deployment zone, with the Typhoons taking their places behind them for cover. Three of the Razorbacks with guys still in them deployed behind the hill, to prevent them from getting killed on the first turn. The empty Razorback deployed to my far right flank beside the Predators and behind the Terminators for cover.
He begins his turn by moving his Fabius-led CSM unit through the terrain towards his far objective. Unfortunately, he rolls poorly and doesn't move very far. However, his Rhino filled with Chosen advance full speed ahead, disembarking, and hiding behind the center hill. On my right flank, he moves his left most Rhino directly onto my far objective (after passing difficult terrain) and claims it. Because his home objective CSM squad had already been disembarked, he moves the rhino towards the foot slogging CSM squad in the terrain. If he has another poor turn of terrain movement, he should be in range to pick them up. His shooting doesn't go very well. Not that he had much to shoot. His Obliterators morph into lascannons (I think that is what it was), shoot at my right-most Predator, and fail miserably. And that is all he has. I know right? Heavy mechanization isn't happy for an army with only two units with reliable long range firepower!
My turn proceeds apace. I advance as planned towards Kevin's far objective, with me deciding to take one of those squads back around towards my far objective which he is now holding. Both of my Terminator squads move towards the middle of the board, hoping to get some clear shots to the stuff on the other side. The rest of my stuff stays pretty stationary, only really adjusting to get the best shots off on Kevin's units. My shooting, however, goes decently well. I guess that is what happens when you have 28 AP 2/3 weapons at your disposal. I'm able to wipe his Obliterators off the board, as he simply couldn't make all of those cover saves. In addition, I blow up the CSM Rhino on my far objective. With the remainder of my shots, I shoot at the only other thing I can see: the CSM squad on my objective and ping a dude. Turn one is finished!
On his turn, he rolls well on his reserves and gets both his Obliterators and his Vindicator. As expected, he drops his Obliterators in the corner, behind the hill where my troops are. The vindicator comes onto the board between the ruins where Kevin's far objective is and where the Fabius CSM squad is. He's got good LOS on one of my Terminator squads, so I begin to worry a little bit. Unfortunately for him, he rolls pretty poorly again for his difficult terrain test, so his foot CSM squad is really starting to annoy him a little bit. Kevin comments about how he probably shouldn't have put them in cover when I didn't have shots on that portion of the board anyway. Oh well. Surprisingly, he only repositions his remaining CSM rhino a little bit, but its nowhere near the walking Fabius-led CSM unit. The Chosen's Rhino moves to block the way for my terminators, which are very close to taking the hill in the center. The Chosen climb the hill first, however, move into position to unleash some plasma. He also repositions the CSM unit on my far objective, as he's now afraid of me pinging him down and off the objective. Now he's mostly out of LOS, but I still have some shots. Unfortunately, it moves him off the objective, but it would be easy to simply move them back later.
This turn's shooting goes much better for Kevin, with his Obliterators blowing up my rear Razorback on my left flank and my Crusader squad failed the pinning test. Ouch. The already mentioned Chosen unit does, in fact, fire their double tap plasma into the Terminator squad on the left. It hurts. I'm only able to save one of them, as they were out in the open. But it wouldn't last long. His Vindicator takes a shot at the full Terminator squad, but deviates onto the solo remaining terminator (but clips one terminator in the other unit). Splat. Both fail their invulnerable saves. That's what I get for walking out in the open. Kevin then proceeds to charge the pinned Crusader squad, but is only able to kill two members. My guys weren't able to put any wounds on the Obliterators in return. This is unfortunate, as this allows him to remain safe from shooting for a turn while he kills off the rest of my squad.
My turn arrives! Time for vengeance! It is this turn that I'm starting to move towards the objectives with my vehicles, as remember, I needed to react quicker in order to win these games. Thus, one of my Predators start moving forward towards Kevin's home objective. In addition, I start moving one of the Typhoons and the far right Razorbacks towards my far objective. My remaining terminators continue advancing towards the center terrain piece, more specifically, towards those Chosen. Then my left flank Razorback finishes moving onto my opponent's far objective after passing its difficult terrain test. Play the mission! The rest of my stuff adjusts for optimal shooting. First up, is my terminator's shooting. They unleash everything they have into the chosen and only kill three after Kevin makes some nice cover saves. No worries, I'll get them during the assault phase. Then my Predators start blasting that Vindicator and manage to wreck it. The Crusader squad sitting on my objective takes a pot shot at the Fabius-led CSM unit and doesn't wound them. The rest of my shooting pings another dude off of the CSM squad on my far objective. In the assault phase, the Obliterators kill two more dudes, with me putting a wound on one of them in return. Gah! Still won't die. That is problematic. However, I am able to charge into the Chosen and kill the remaining guys off. I choose not to consolidate, so I'm still in cover.
Anyway, on to turn three. Kevin began by moving his Chosen out of the terrain and closed into melta range of my Crusader squad sitting on the objective. He also completed the move of his rhino to block the gap between the center hill and the ruins. That pretty much finished up his movement. His shooting from the Fabius-led CSM squad blows the Razorback up. I pass the subsequent pinning test. He, however, is close enough to where he might be able to charge them. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to reach my guys due to a failed difficult terrain test so they sit where they are. His Obliterators finally finish off my Crusader squad and consolidate into the hill terrain. That is no good.
My turn rolls around and I've taken very little in the way of losses. I continue my movement towards contesting things, with everything but my Crusader squads on objectives moving. Knowing that I'd need another objective because Kevin's CSM will likely contest mine, I divert the Razorback on the right flank with troops still embarked towards the middle objective. By the next turn, it'll reach the objective unless Kevin is able to wipe them out (very, very unlikely with what is left on the board). My empty Razorback and the Typhoon are very close to that far objective now and will be able to contest at anytime. However, I moved them slow enough to be able to shoot at that CSM unit in hopes that I'd be able to kill them off instead. My shooting starts and I try to ping a few guys off that CSM squad, successfully bringing two down. Then I fire at the Obliterators with my Land Speeder, but it doesn't do any damage. My remaining terminators and the Crusader squad start firing into the foot CSM that is threatening the objective I'm holding on the other side of the board and take two down, plus doing a wound to Fabius with a storm bolter. Nothing else in my army has a shot because they are either blocked by terrain or moved too far.
Then I decide to play a little risky in the effort to make the game closer (as mentioned). Kevin is getting visibly down as he sees the noose closing around his army's neck. You can tell he's getting annoyed at a dude dying each turn when they aren't doing anything. I know that the Fabius-led CSM squad is much better in CC due to their upgrade, so I wanted him to be actually able to use them before the upgrade pings them all down or I shoot them to death. Ultimately, it wouldn't have an effect on the game either way. So I declare that my terminators are going to charge into those CSM. Haha. And they get slaughtered before they can strike back. This probably wouldn't have happened normally, but I rolled 7 ones for my armor saves (out of 7). I yelled Yazee really loud after that, making several tables look my way, but it had its intended affect on Kevin. This cheered him up quite a bit and proceeded to consolidate right outside of the ruins. ;)
Turn four rolls around and there isn't much left for Kevin to do. He moves his Fabius-led CSM squad fully into the ruins so they charge the Crusader squad there. Next, he moves the Obliterators a little bit more towards my home objective, but doesn't get a very good difficult terrain roll, leaving them out of charge range. However, they are in LOS now. His shooting doesn't do anything of consequence. The only charge he could pull off was the one with Fabius Bile and his CSM squad into my Crusader squad. They manage to kill 2 guys and I ping off a wound on Fabius.
My turn's movement has my vehicles advancing to their positions to contest. The far objective on my side of the board gets contested by my Typhoon and the empty Razorback. I advance one of my other Typhoons towards Kevin's home objective after moving flat out. Then I moved the Razorback with the Crusader squad embarked onto the middle objective. My remaining Typhoon decides he wants to mess around and flat outs into the middle hill fails the difficult terrain test, which kills him. Its funny, because I had originally wanted to wrap around the backside of Kevin's far objective to contest just in case my Crusader squad didn't hold out. But he made a comment that wouldn't it be funny if it if it died moving. I'm like, sure, I can go the more difficult route if you want. Then it did die, so I got a good chuckle out it.
Anyway, I also moved my Crusader squad on my home objective in such a way where I'd get a charge off on the Obliterators, as well as repositioning my Predators to be able to shoot at the now exposed Oblits. My shooting was pretty decent. The Razorback on middle objective fires at the empty Rhino that was just sitting around doing nothing and blows it up. My predators fire at the Obliterators and instantly kill two of them. Assault phase. I charge my EC-led Crusader squad into the Obliterators and the EC smokes the last one. They consolidate back onto the objective, though I still claimed it had I not consolidated. Just insurance. In the other combat, the CSM kill one more crusader and again I'm not able to do any damage. *sigh* Its okay, the game is pretty much won provided I don't fail ANOTHER difficult terrain test.
I move my Predators forward towards the three objectives, just incase. My Typhoon completes its move into Kevin's home objective and actually passed the difficult terrain test! I was actually amazed. At this time, the judges call the 15 minute time and not to start any more turns. Which is fine for me. The game would have ended the same if it went on anyway. The remaining combat sees the end of my last initiate on that objective, so he claims it for himself. Game over. I took Objectives 2-1. We tied on Table Quarters 2-2, because my left-most predator was slightly more in my home quarter, rather than in the top left quarter. The Kill Points ended up 8-8, with me taking the Victory points 1275-1099.
So I'm not really sure what to say about this game. I clearly had the game in hand by the end of turn two, with me making questionable tactical decisions in my effort to make things more interesting and fun for Kevin. I even let him decide what to do with my Typhoon, but only because it didn't make a difference in the game. Had I been serious, I'd not have charged my Terminators into the Fabius-led CSM squad. I'd have simply moved them closer to that objective, continued shooting, and charged if needed. By which point, they'd have had damage. Then again, even I hadn't predicted rolling 7 ones for my armor saves. lol! There wouldn't have been any way for me to kill those two CSM squads on those objectives (one of which was seriously diminished), but other than those two units, I pretty much dominated Kevin's list. He had very few Kill Points and I got almost all of them.
Kevin did do a few things wrong. First, he shouldn't have deep struck his second Obliterator squad. Yes, it gave me pause and he ended up killing a couple units with them. But he would have gotten much more use of them by putting them in cover and shooting at my light armor. That ended up costing him the game. If he'd shot my Typhoons and/or Razorbacks from the beginning, I'd have much less opportunity to contest. In addition, he should have kept his Vindicator on the board. He could have been able to use his Daemonic Possession to his advantage, hiding behind terrain, and come out blasting when the situation begins. As it stood, without having those Obliterators and Vindicators on the board, my targeting choices were real easy. But alas, that is the issues you have with a fluff-based army. Still, Kevin was an excellent and fun opponent. :)