Game Two -- Joseph Metcalf
* Captain w/ Bike, Lightning Claw, Artificer Armor, and Meltabombs; Command squad w/ Apothecary, Champion, and 3x Plasmaguns. 
* Chaplain w/ Bike, Rosarius, Crozius Arcanum. 
* Ironclad Dreadnought w/ Heavy Flamer. Mounted in a Drop Pod. 
* Dreadnought w/ TL-Lascannon and Missile Launcher. 
* Dreadnought w/ 2x TL-Autocannons. 
* Bikers (5) w/ 1x Plasmagun, 1x Meltagun; Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta. 
* Bikers (8) w/ 1x Plasmagun, 1x Meltagun; Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta. 
* Scouts (10) w/ Sgt Telion upgrade, 8x Sniper Rifles, and 1x Missile Launcher. 
* Vindicator. 
* Vindicator. 
P) Table Quarters
T) Kill Points
Deployment was Spearhead.
On our first turn, Joseph spends several minutes trying to figure out a good place for this Ironclad because I effectively killed his attempt at an Alpha Strike. In the end, he places it directly in front of my Predator on the very left side of the board. In his movement phase, he moves everything forward except for the smaller troop bike squad, which continues to hide behind the terrain claiming his objective. On part of the combat squad bike squad heads towards his right in an attempt to flank me and get some shots off. His shooting phase is actually quite effective, with him taking down 4 terminators from one unit and 3 from the other one. His meltagun shot from his Ironclad fails to hit and I couldn't help but chuckle at his awesome "Alpha Strike" attempt. :D
My turn comes and I get to work as best as I can. Because of the small size of the bikes, shooting is not exactly optimal. I shoot at what I can see, which isn't a whole lot. The Vindicator is first amongst them, as it reaped a nice tally of terminators on the first turn. However, when half of my army fails to do anything to it, I decide to hell with it and went for other targets. So I shoot down the Drop Pod (which explodes), stunned his shooty Dreadnought, and blew up the Rifleman. Not bad, though I really wished I had at least shaken the Vindicator. In the assault phase, I charge forward with my terminators into combat with the Ironclad in hopes that I can get another kill. Unfortunately, he manages to kill one of the terminators and the final one can't seal the deal.
In my turn, I knew I had to do something relatively soon, or else I would lose as he held most of the objectives at this point in the game. So I start chugging my remaining Razorback on my right flank towards the middle objective slow enough to shoot, knowing that I had time to get there. Plus, it gave me an amazing side shot at his vindicator. The last remaining terminator on the board started walking through the terrain towards the Scouts, in the hope that I could eventually dislodge them. Likewise, the shot up Crusader squad also started marching forward to play ball. The rest of my movement phase was spent repositioning my forces so I could either get better fire lanes or to line up a possible contesting move later in the game. My shooting phase didn't go so hot, unfortunately. The Razorback who had the shot into the Vindicator's side armor only managed to shake it. My terminator shot successfully into the Scouts, only to have them make their cover saves. Most of the left flank stuff fired into either the Ironclad or the biker unit, but I only did damage to the biker squad, killing two. What was left of my shooting shot at the Vindicators unsuccessfully. Fortunately for me, they didn't do much the rest of the game.
On his turn three, he moved his left Vindicator forward to allow the bikers to get into position to fire their weapons at my right flank forces (turbo-boosting IIRC). His shooting took down the other two Land Speeders but didn't do much else. Finally, the Ironclad charged the immobilized Razorback and blew it up, killing several marines in the process. Besides killing one more Razorback, this would be the last of the meaningful damage he would do (ended up being meaningful because it went down to KP).
I was losing my mobility and guns, so I needed to act. Over the course of the next couple turns, we shuffled a little bit around the board to gain position, both of us had marginal shooting at best. I managed to kill his two advanced biker units and the Ironclad, but it took nearly all my shooting to accomplish it. Try as I might, I just couldn't kill his Vindicators. It got so humorous that we jokingly referred to them as invulnerable. I had continued to advance on the Scout held objective, as well as going for the center one. He consolidated towards the middle, but was a good ways away from the center objective.
When the judges called time on our game, it was the start of my turn 5 (bottom of 5). I needed two things to happen, as we were tied on quarters. First, I simply needed my Razorback to successfully pass his difficult terrain test and not get immobilized so they would claim the center objective. Second, I needed to contest one of Joseph's objectives. To do this, I managed to line up a charge with my terminator which would pull his scout squad away from the objective they were holding, as their numbers were seriously thinned out from shooting. Unfortunately for me, those scouts were making Moral Check after Moral Check on these guys and I couldn't get them to budge.
As luck would have it, my Razorback failed the ensuing terrain check and was immobilized just outside of range of the objective (yes, I disembarked to try and claim but I was out of reach). Going ahead with the game, knowing I had lost at this point but wanting to see what would have happened, I charged my terminator into the scouts. I needed a 3 to make it there, as it was through difficult terrain. I rolled a four, successfully accomplishing my goal. But in the end, it didn't matter because I failed to reach the center objective with my Razorback.
We added up the final tally, with us tying on the Primary (2-2) and Secondary (1-1). However, Joseph had the slight edge on me in kill points, taking a total of 8 while I had 5. This game was really enjoyable for me. Joseph and I joked around quite a bit in this game and there was pretty much zero stress throughout the game. Even though I was annoyed with all of the BLOS terrain and the resulting cover saves, I never got angry about the whole situation because of my awesome opponent. He took his army and used it very well with the terrain he was given. As much as I'd like to say I could have won, I didn't. So props to Joseph for holding off my late game march. :)
Looking back, there were several things I probably should have done initially. First, I was far too content relying on my shooting even with Joseph getting lots of cover saves on what limited few things I could see. I spent far too much time trying to kill those Vindicators, but I think part of that came down to my frustration at their refusal to die. This is something I corrected in later games, but it hurt me here. I should have advanced much sooner towards both my right objective where the Scouts were and my opponent's right objective. I waited too long and it basically cost me the battle. My deployment was close to flawless in my opinion, but I didn't take advantage of it. When I saw that the terrain would hurt me, I should have gone to Plan B -- Mobility. Because I sat around for a couple turns, he was able to get stuff around on the flanks and prevent this movement. He also had time to shoot down critical pieces of my army. So it really came down to me not realizing soon enough the futility of shooting and being more aggressive pushing forward.
On Joseph's end, I thought he definitely should have gotten that Command Bike squad in the fray. His deployment essentially neutralized his rock unit and I didn't even need to worry about it all game. I also believe he pushed a tiny bit too far towards me without proper support. It gave me side shots at his vindicators, while I couldn't capitalize on them, the game could have gone much different had I been able to. In addition, when I'm packing so many instant-death AP2/3 weapons, don't drive your bikes out where I can see them. Those bikes could have easily been used to claim his right objective and make an attempt at the middle.
In the end, I had two close games against fun guys, with both losses coming down to the final die rolls of the game. I couldn't ask for more! Well, perhaps a win...because at this point, I started getting worried about how I would finish... ;)