So a battle against my friend Matt at the club was on the cards tonight, with both of us eager to test out our 1750 point Tournament List ready for "The Longest Day" at the end of the month in Bristol.

In the picture (left) you can see we had a Spearhead setup and the mission type was Seize Ground (with the minimum three objectives). The picture shows Matt's setup and the silver crate is one of the objectives. He assigned the task of looking after this point to one of his tactical squads which meant I had one less unit to worry about heading my way. Armed with a Multi-Melta and Meltagun, they were no real threat from range to the rest of my army for much of the game. In hindsight, if Matt had placed them into his Land Raider instead of the Plasma Cannon and Plasmagun tactical squad he could have done much better on the right side of the battlefield. He also held his main Hammer squad in reserve which was TH/SS Belial, a termie Chaplain, a TH/SS termie squad with Standard Bearer and Apothecary. A nasty unit, but one I was hopeful I could still bring down through weight of fire.

As for my setup, I was able to get a good vantage point for the Thunderfire Cannon as well as the two combat squads with Lascannon's. I deliberately left the Command Squad central to the setup so they could react to whichever of the other two objectives Matt went after in force. I split the tanks up with a Vindicator escort for each Razorback. I was planning on using the left razorback to push for the objective in Matt's area with the combat squad in the woods making a late game break for the nearest objective (just at the edge of the picture, the large marine statue). The terminators and dreadnought were there to give presence to the centre of my lines and act as a bit of a tempting target. In hindsight with Matt holding his terminators in reserve, I probably should have done too as they could then have better reacted to the unfolding game. I had the first turn, but could have probably made better progress if I'd gone second, sadly Matt failed to get the initiative so the game began!

As the game began, I got some initial shooting off but mostly spent time getting closer to Matt's army. For his part he sent his Vindicator and Land Raider to the right. In an unusual move, he jumped his tacticals out and crowded them behind the ruins, whereas I would have expected him to keep going right and capture the right objective, which would have been difficult to shift. To the left of the board he moved his bikers down and teleported in his terminators when they came in turn 2 via locator beacon.

I managed to wipe out a fair number of tacticals with the Thunderfire Cannon, but in a silly move I ran my terminators rather than fire with them (I could have moved/charged on the next turn without a run) which could have made a difference. Still, some bad rolls of a 1 lost me a few guys (I always fail 2+ saves, which is why I swapped out the TH/SS guys as they die just fine from failing 2+ saves... *sigh*).

I got quite lucky with bikers in that they went after the Vindicator with krak grenades and meltabombs and only succeeded in stopping it from firing for a turn. This left the bikers out in the open and my command squad sped over and jumped out hosing most of them down with Plasma fire and leaving the final two to be killed by the dreadnought.

Needless to say the TH/SS termie squad of doom did for the dreadnought but didn't assault the vindicator leaving it intact to fire at them again in subsequent turns. Their target was the objective (with the command squad standing nearby) and despite the sheer amount of plasma available to them, I managed to successfully roll 1's and 2's like it was going out of fashion. All my guys saved, but it made little difference as they were overrun by the terminators.

I should point out that the common theme of the game was Matt passing just about every save asked of him from 2+, 3+ to 3++ and beyond. Cover saves saved his Land Raider first turn from two penetrating assault cannon shots... *sigh* so I could see how the game was going.

In the end, through weight of fire I brought down the tactical squad guarding the objective in his area (charged with a combat squad and beat them in the end before they got Belial'd into the bargain...). His Land Raider ended up immobilised with the remaining two tacticals from the other squad hiding inside), whilst the Vindicator was blown up by my Vindicator.

At the very end with him having only one terminator left on the table capturing the middle objective I pushed my Vindicator in to contest it. Sadly after a lucky immobilise roll, his remaining TH/SS guy wrecked the tank.

With that it ended a draw (top right objective was held by a combat squad in a razorback).

It was a good game, but in hindsight I should have teleported the terminators. On top of that I should perhaps have tried to kite the terminator squad with the command squad a bit and lead them on a merry chase. Even so, Matt's saves were top drawer even though he lost almost everything by the end. With a bit more luck I could have wiped his last terminator out and won the game - or contested with my tank and won the game - either way a win would have been on the cards.

Still, I was happy with the performance of the army, I just need to consider my tactics slightly more and make sure I don't make simple mistakes.