My first game was against Ian's Dark Angels. It was going to be interesting as both being marines we would be fairly similar and I had no idea what I would be facing. It turned out there were two elements to his force, 3 units of Deathwing lead by Belial, and 3 tactical squads led by a chaplain with his command squad, supported by scouts and a vindicator.
I finally decided to deploy some of my army on the table as we played a capture and control mission with spearhead deployment. I started with two assault squads, both with a sanguinary priest and supported by a land speeder on table, with the plan to launch them in opposite directions using the terrain to cover them before they could assault, avoiding the giant shell from the vindicator.
My squads bonded forward, coming under some desultory fire from the scouts and one of the tactical squads, but mostly staying out of sight. My deep striking reserves then arrived with the help of descent of angels. The veterans arrived immediately behind the enemy objective, declaring a heroic intervention to charge the terminators defending it, while the two death company units spread out to support them.
Here is where I took my first serious set-back. Both the chaplain with his combi-melta and the land speeder with the multi-melta missed the vindicator, leaving it free to fire accurately at Astorath and his Death company killing all but the Blood Angel hero and one of his crazed companions, while the chaplain and his squad came under fire from Belial and his escorts and a tactical squad and were also reduced to the chaplain and 1 death company.
Fortunately it wasn't all going against me. I had run one assault squad away from the enemy chaplain when I realised they were too far away to assault, and the other squad was working its way through a terminator squad, despite the re-enforcement of a tactical squad. And the veterans were having more success. Another tactical squad had hurried in to support the terminators that had been their initial target, but having lost the combat, the tactical squad fled from the combat with such speed they left the table.
The land speeder then moved around the rear of the vindicator and destroyed it, while the final assault squad had dropped in ready to support the other assault squads while the chaplain and his companion proved no match for Belial and his terminators, but Astorath and his survivor demonstrated how terrifying a full squad would have been by destroying the scouts in a single combat.
Almost all my unit were now in combat, with one assault squad reducing the command squad to just the Interrogator chaplain, and the other two combining to destroy the terminators and all but one tactical marine who stubbornly held on, while I moved the other units around to avoid Belial until I could launch a co-ordinated attack, but luckily my heavy flamer managed to kill two of them.
I finished off the survivors and moved my assault squads and surviving veterans into a position to attack Belial and his Deathwing, while one assault squad hurried back to claim my own objective. I then launched my final assault and took down Belial by sheer number and some poor armour saves.
I had managed to claim a total victory by wiping out the enemy, but I had learnt a lot. The death company can still get killed by massed small arms fire, and their pistol fire is better to sacrifice in place of a run when they deep strike to spread out so they are not as vulnerable to template weapons. Ian's army was good, but he needed to be more aggressive, probably by deep striking his terminators, and maybe in the longer term getting some Rhinos for his other marines. But at least I managed to start this league with a victory, lets see if I can maintain my momentum.