Last Thursday I played a fun game against one of the store clerks, Matt (I think...maybe Mike?). He was playing Chaos Demons, a very close-combat oriented army. An interesting match-up, since my army is pretty close-combat oriented also. He won the roll for going first, but elected to let me do it (since this actually denies me a turn of shooting because demons all deep-strike). So here is what my deployment looked like:
Essentially, a big "turtle" formation surrounding my dreadnoughts and death company with tanks. This was my first big mistake. Having played most recently against Tau and Eldar, with all of their fancy guns, I deployed in a way to try to protect my most potent assault units from shooting. However, demons don't do a lot of shooting and have problems penetrating armor anyway. So rather than protecting my good units, I have boxed them in.
Here is a picture of the demons after they materialized on the battlefield:
Luckily, they couldn't do anything on the turn they arrived, except take a a few ineffective shots at me. In my second turn, I did manage to gun down the Lord of Change, that big blue-winged guy. Hooray! However, I also immobilized my command rhino trying to drive it through the woods. In the next turn, the demons were upon me:
The Bloodthirster, that big red-winged demon, knocked out one of my dreadnoughts, and the lesser demons all scuttled up and began bashing on my tanks. My dreadnought on the right side of the picture couldn't fit through the gaps in my units and his, to get out and start smashing the weaker demons, so I charged the bloodthirster...also a mistake, as the greater demon first immobilized and then destroyed it. My final dreadnought was heading over to crush those flamer demons (the blue guys on the left), but due to the special powers of a certain demon called "The Changeling", my opponent got to fire one of my tanks instead of me, and he used it to immobilize the final dreadnought. I also made the mistake of committing Dante and the death company too early, where some terrible dice rolling on my part led them to an early demise. As things were rapidly going bad for me, I threw common sense to the wind and started to dismount my infantry, trying to kill smaller units of demons while I had the chance:
Unfortunately, after taking down their targets, my infantry were wide open to getting swamped, which is exactly what happened to these guys and basically the entire army. Once the "blood-crushers", the demons riding "juggernauts of Khorne" made it into my lines, I was finished:
So another defeat for me. I need to remember that different enemy armies will play differently. There was really no reason for me to "turtle up" like I did; it only kept my dreadnoughts out of the fight. Also, with a few wiser choices during the game and some better dice-rolling, I really could have pulled out a draw, as most of the demons spent literally the entire game bashing on my tanks, not bringing them down until the final turn. I really shouldn't have gotten greedy and dismounted my infantry, but given the situation, it was the only chance I had to take a few more demon units with me. Actually, more individual demons were killed by the tanks they were bashing on exploding than by me shooting or assaulting them. That is pretty sad. But oh well, you live and you learn!