Friday, 7 February 2014

Iron fists vs renegade guard

Hi all, here's my latest battle report, and the first of the It's War campaign my club is running over the next few weeks.

I was assigned to the Emperors Fist mission, from the space marine altar of war pack, so there were three objectives on the table, and only fast attack choices could start on the board. Fortunately to make up for this, we'd be rolling for reserves from turn 1.

The mission states that I would go first unless my opponent could steal the initiative, so I deployed the only unit I could, my melta heavy bike squad, accompanied by my captain to make them a bit more survivable if my opponent did get the drop on me.

I'd be facing off against guard, using a style I've not encountered before, two leman Russ demolishers, two bane wolves (nasty marine killers if ever I saw them) a pair of lascannon sentinels, a lascannon heavy weapon team, a few guard squads, big conscript squad and an aegis with quad gun.

My opponent didn't steal the initiative so I began rolling for my reserves. Suffice to say I did well, as my command squad, big bike squad, little bike squad, centurions and storm talon all arrived, in fact the only things that didn't were the stalker, which would be largely ineffective against my opponent without flyers anyway, and my small tactical squad, which was only really there to claim home objectives. 

The centurions split their fire successfully, first immobilising one bane wolf, which blocked the second from advancing without a significant detour, and the sergeant blasting apart a sentinel. I was left with a choice therefore, did I sacrifice the storm talon in an effort to gain first blood, knowing that the quad gun would almost certainly be manned in the next turn, or did I keep it away on the other side of the board.

Not being one to shy from the big decisions I threw everything into the ring, and the typhoon launcher took down the second sentinel without needing any help from the twin assault cannons, first blood to me. With that many reserves, my captain also split from the melta bike squad.

As expected, return fire saw the quad gun bring down the storm talon, and I lost a bike from the big squad due to a lascannon shot from an arriving demolisher.

My turn 2 saw the centurions take a couple of hull points from the demolisher and limit it to snap shooting only in its turn 2. The big bike squad shot a few conscripts and the captain managed to wound one of the lascannon team operators. I forgot to roll for my reserves this turn so they’d have to wait until turn three. In my opponent’s turn the second demolisher failed to arrive, though everything else came on, guard and platoon command squads moving to support the lascannon teams. Combined fire saw the Captain lose a wound, pesky plasma gunners exposing my frailties at passing one dice saves (or any saves at all, come to think of it).

Turn 3 and the Captain advanced again, charging the guard squad on his flank. Guess what, he took another wound from overwatch fire, down to 1, and he only went and killed five guardsmen, running down the rest in a sweeping advance that left him exposed in front of a trio of lascannons next turn.

Elsewhere the melta bike squad got close enough to the side armour of the demolisher to put a multi melta shot through it, setting off the ammo store, which killed a few conscripts in the explosion. More conscripts were mown down by the big bike squad, and the little bike squad who’d emerged from their trip round the biggest piece of scenery at the club to claim the third objective. My stalker and tactical squad also both arrived this turn, the infantry running 6” to get as close as possible to claiming the second objective. My opponent’s turn saw the second demolisher cannon speak, evaporating the majority of my command squad, leaving me with a solitary veteran, and the lascannon team inevitably killed the Captain. The second Banewolf appeared again next to where the destroyed demolisher would have been, but was out of range with its template cannon this turn. I lost a centurion around this point, but can’t remember what killed it. The conscripts attempted to charge the melta bike squad, but failed to roll high enough and took a fair few casualties for their troubles, though there were still plenty left.

Turn 4 saw the death of the second Banewolf, the Centurions once again doing me proud splitting their fire to also finish off the first, as despite being immobilised its weapons were covering the centre of the table quite nicely. The melta bike squad headed towards the second demolisher. The two bike squads once again targeted the conscript squad and though they caused plenty of casualties, the commissar ensured they stayed in the fight.

In my opponent’s turn the conscripts charged the big bike squad, though I rolled poorly for damage and the commissar managed to tie the combat through his powerfist, though their numbers were reduced. I forgot here that as I was using White Scars Chapter tactics I could have hit and run with this squad, allowing me to shoot and then charge  in again in the next turn, and that cost me, as the commissar was once again able to cause casualties and keep my big unit tied up.

Turn 5 killed the second demolisher as the multi melta bike got close enough to take the final hull point, and really this was when the game was up, the next few turns saw the commissar bring the bike squad down to a few members, who this time remembered to hit and run, executing the rogue leader in an efficient display of shooting, the melta bike squad also hit and run in the final turn, getting away from combat enough to gain me linebreaker, and the tactical squad kept out of things long enough to reach the second objective.

Final score then and I had picked up First Blood, Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord along with 2 objectives for 9 points to my opponent’s 1 for Slaying my Warlord.

In the other games, Ryan’s Guard eventually ran out 9-1 winners in Crusade against MJ’s twin riptide list, despite neither side causing a single casualty in the first turn. Jon picked up a 4-0 win against Andy’s Guard playing Capture the Relic, and Cal’s Tau put down Frank’s Dark Eldar for the second time in succession, though it took a final turn Warlord kill to secure the win 7-6.

A good night for the forces of order then, winning three of the games and securing themselves D3 infiltrators from Cal’s win (though this will transfer to Martin’s Tyranids, who will be taking over later on), D3 scouts from my bike army, and a 150 point unit or vehicle recycle from Ryan’s force. Jon’s solitary win for the forces of disorder gains their entire team +1/-1 to their reserve rolls in the final game, which will make things interesting, and just about guarantee his twin Heldrakes will turn up exactly when he wants them to (damn!).

Looking forward to phase 2 when the war of attrition begins in earnest!