Ok so here goes, my first attempt at a battle report (so be gentle). I must apologise for the lack of photos, I’ll try to explain it as best I can.
The basic idea is that you have a square table (we used nine smaller tables in a 3x3 layout, but that’s just cos we had them available at our club, you could use an ordinary 6’x4’ just as easily) and each of the armies deploys in one of the four corners. The objective (worth 2D6 victory points) sits in the centre of the table, in our case at the centre of a skyshield landing pad.
We rolled off for deployment, with the lowest score going first.
Our four players brought along the following forces
Me: Raven Guard Space Marines (I brought my crazy list, 13 assault terminators, 8 Vanguard Veterans with twin lightning claws with Shrike, a tactical squad and a scout squad)
Tim: Chaos Marines (Some kind of Chaos Lord, two Helbrutes, a Predator, Land Raider, one squad of thousand sons, one of ‘normal’ (or possibly, beserkers, I can’t remember now) and a havoc squad.
Jack: Eldar (Eldrad, two mini squads of dire avengers, some dark reapers, banshees and fire dragons (both in transports). Oh, and a fortress of redemption!!!
Ryan: Salamanders Space Marines with Imperial Guard allies (4 multi melta bikes, couple of drop pod squads, Vulkan, some autocannon teams and a fair few guardsmen.
Needless to say, the Eldar sat and cowered in their fortress, hoping to sit there nice and safe until later in the game when they could jump on the objective in the centre.
My deployment was fairly minimal, my tactical squad deploying behind a large piece of cover so they couldn’t be seen, and my scouts infiltrated a bit onto the board (yes, I could have placed them on the skyshield, but after thinking long and hard I decided that was a bit beardy). The Terminators, and veterans waited off table to deep strike later.
Chaos Marines deployed their havocs on the top of a bastion (scenery, not part of their list) with everything else inside their transports and the Helbrutes to the fore.
Salamanders stayed in their drop pods, and the guard deployed in area terrain within their deployment zone, the attack bikes deployed to be aggressive in the first turn, looking to take down some armour early on.
Salamanders seemed to take exception to the Eldar’s cowardice, and the first drop pod rocketed down right outside the fortress of redemption, with a melta-based squad deploying to attack the walls. Similarly, two of the attack bikes raced forwards to try and do some damage. The melta weaponry did its work, causing some damage to the structure of the main building (which housed the door!) and lowering the AV for the rest of the game. The other attack bikes and the autocannon teams concentrated on pouring fire into the Helbrutes, and between them managed to take both of them down.
The Eldar were frustrated in their attempts to deal any damage, as night fighting was in effect. Most of the squads were inside the fortress with no apparent fire points, and the icarus lascannon had been demolished by one of the multi meltas. That left the missile silo, however the only squad within night fighting range was also within the minimum range of the weapon so the fortress remained silent and grim.
My first turn was, brief, to say the least. The tactical squad advancing towards the centre of the board. I had intended to run to the next piece of cover but rolled a 1 for their run distance, getting a second 1 with the re-roll allowed by Shrike’s chapter tactics.
The Chaos Marine turn was similarly brief, their transports moving out from their deployment, and the havocs failing to do any damage to the attack bikes.
Night fighting ended, and the Salamanders kept knocking on the door of the fortress of redemption. Their persistence paid off this turn, wrecking the central section of the fortress and preventing any of the models inside from leaving unless they fancied jumping off the battlements! Vulkan arrived in his drop pod, which crashed down onto the skyshield just off-centre, right on top of the hatchway nearest my deployment zone (grrr, this would become important later). They disembarked to claim the objective, which turned out to be both a comms relay that granted +1 to hit for shooting, and a force field generator that granted exactly the same save as the skyshield itself. The remainder of their shooting took down four of my scouts, forcing them to fall back. Sly Marbo also came onto the board behind the fortress of redemption, trying to take out the eldar transports and stranding them in their corner, but he only managed to shake it with his demo charge.
Again, the eldar achieved very little in their turn, they could now see the guard and loosed off a missile in their direction, but the targeting systems must have been damaged by a melta blast, as all they succeeded in doing was leaving a large crater in a patch of empty ground. Eldrad did manage to dispatch Marbo in combat though.
My Raven Guard arrived en-masse this turn, with all my three squads passing their reserve rolls. Both terminator units deployed around the base of the skyshield, with the vanguards dropping in the chaos zone and declaring a heroic intervention against the predator. I now realise they shouldn’t actually have been able to do this as Shrike was with them, but we didn’t remember at the time. Both terminator units ran towards the nearest hatchways onto the skyshield, surrounding it on two sides. The veterans krak grenades made short work of the predator (I’d promised myself I would take it out early, as Tim made the mistake of uttering those fateful words before the game started – ‘maybe it’ll survive past turn two this time.’ Sorry Tim). Also this turn, a missile from the tactical squad immobilised the thousand sons rhino,
In the Chaos turn, the thousand sons disembarked and fired on the Raven Guard tactical squad, causing a couple of casualties (damn their AP3 bolters!) but failed to do any significant damage to the squad on the objective. The land raider rolled forward towards the raven guard terminators and the skyshield.
Vulkan surprised almost everyone this turn by taking his squad down off the skyshield to face the lightning claw terminators, whilst the imperial guard fired on the 7 thunder hammer armed warriors heading for the skyshield. They must have been using overcharged powerpacks in their lasguns as a single squad managed to cause 8 wounds on the terminators. I picked up the dice, confident of my elites wading through that sort of fusillade without taking much damage, and watched with horror as six of them came up ones. I had to laugh to be honest, everyone else was! It got worse, with the remaining thunder hammernator and two of my lightning claw armed guys falling to multi-melta/autocannon fire.
The Eldar continued to cower, once again leaving a gaping crater in the earth having failed to hit the massive blob of guardsmen in the corner.
The Raven Guard were in tatters, any realistic thoughts of taking the game lying in a cratered mess around the base of the skyshield (remember that drop pod that landed on the hatch? Were it not for that, the terminators would have been out of sight of the guard squad! All that remained therefore was to cause as much damage as I could with my veterans. At least I could rely on them to mince almost anything they went up against with their twin lightning claws. In a wanton display of overkill therefore I threw them against the attack bikes (I wasn’t going to charge that guard squad, they were obviously crack shots! Plus they were out of range). Unsurprisingly all that was left when they were done was some carved up pieces of armoured plate and a few stringy bits of flesh scraps. The Lightning claw terminators also decided to take some measure of revenge, charging Vulkan and his supporting squad. Unfortunately there were a lot of flamers in the squad (think they might have been sternguard) and another two of the hulking warriors fell to the fires of overwatch. They did manage to kill a few in return though, ignoring the futile attempts of their opponents to batter through their armour (this combat would run and run, Vulkan and his support squad failing to find a weak spot until the final turn).
Chaos kept advancing towards the objective with their ominous land raider full of troops, this turn managing to cause a few casualties among the raven guard tactical squad and the salamanders, this time setting some of the salamanders on fire to boot (not sure they were all that bothered by it though, it went out quick enough). Unfortunately at the end of that turn, the Chaos Lord lost his nerve and called his forces off (ok, so Tim had to leave, I think it was his bedtime or something).
Vulkan still couldn’t kill the two terminators in combat, the remaining salamander tactical squad and some of the guard units moved towards the objective in order to claim it the following turn. Fire from the remaining guard units (ok, a lot of fire) took the vanguard veteran unit down to about four members, and left shrike on one wound.
The Eldar finally decided to come out of hiding, their wave serpents skimming over the broken down walls of the fortress of redemption. We’d decided to allow shooting into close combats in this game, provided the player doing the shooting didn’t also have anyone in the combat, and the fire of the wave serpents into the raven guard/salamander combat resulted in to shuriken hits on the salamanders saved, and one bright lance shot killing one of the remaining terminators (seriously, who knew terminators were this fragile???).
The Raven guard tactical squad moved towards the objective again, now it wasn’t taking fire from the thousand sons, with the veterans hopping up onto the skyshield and charging the salamander combat squad at the top. Yup, you guessed it, messy again, though overwatch once again took its toll. Vulkan’s rubber halberd still couldn’t find a way to damage the assault terminator, and another marine fell to his claws (I’ve since promoted him to sergeant).
A guard squad took control of the objective, with some shooting at the eldar (ok, my recall is getting hazy at this point, I think I was concentrating on packing up my casualties!).
The eldar dropped of the fire dragons at the base of the skyshield, and they ran up to contest the objective (they’d rolled Eldrad as a scoring unit for their warlord trait).
By this point, there were three tactical marines left and (I think) one scout, plus Shrike and one veteran. I charged the eldar and lo and behold, shrike was brought low by fusion gun overwatch. The remaining veteran never even got the chance to swing, Eldrad taking him down as he charged in.
Game ends, victory going to the Salamanders/Imperial Guard who were closer to the objective than Eldrad by about half an inch. All in all I felt it was a fun game, with only my appalling saves preventing me from getting my terminators onto the objective to allow my tactical squad to claim it later. Curse that drop pod – on such things are wars won and lost!