Saturday, 8 March 2014

It's War - Phase 3 (the final)

Hi all, so today I've got a battle report for you, the final games of the It's War campaign I've been running at our club with the assistance of Frank over at 'The Eternal Wargamer'.

The final matches are two doubles games using 1500 points per player. I'm teaming up with Andy's Imperial Guard to take on Frank's Dark Eldar and MJ's Tau. We've added a little twist to the last games, allowing players to swap 500 points of their list.

Pre-game briefing

So what does that mean for the Iron Fists? Well, Andy is bringing a fortress of redemption so the stalker is gone (realistically we're not likely to be facing an overdose of flyers given the armies we're facing) along with the command squad, the captain's teeth of terra and some equipment from the tactical squad.

In their place comes a whirlwind (should be dynamite against these particular armies), a land raider and the burning blade. These last two choices are really meant to address one particular concern, the first two games saw MJ bringing two riptides. When you combine the firepower however of the land raider, the centurions, the fortress and two Leman Russ tanks with hull mounted lascannons we should be packing enough heavy firepower to be safe, and those lascannons can also split their fire between the dark eldar transports, which should see that part of the enemy hampered from the start. If the riptides survive that, my captain will charge in and being S7 AP2 thanks to the burning blade, the riptides should have something else to be scared of.

Oh and I forgot to mention, of the game bonuses from the first two rounds, our team won seven of the eight available. Which means that D3 of my Iron Fists units have scout, and Andy's units become stubborn if they're holding an objective. We'll also get a share of D3 orbital bombardments and can force one enemy unit to deploy in reserve (though our opponents will be able to modify their reserve rolls by +1/-1 anyway).

With the firepower and protection we've got, I'm very confident of being able to pull off the win tonight, the after game report follows!

Post-game report

And it's a win for the forces of order!

This game was a real bloodbath, I finished with just two tactical marines (more on that later), the storm talon and land raider, and Andy had an infantry squad, Valkyrie, Leman Russ some ratlings, a missile launcher squad and his hq. Our opponents however were wiped out, leaving us with a 5-1 victory. Over on the other table, the forces of order (ironically bolstered by tyranids) also pulled off the win, 7-1 in their case.

So what happened in the game? Well to start, I only managed to get the scout rule on a single unit, so my large bike squad boosted forwards towards the relic. Our opponents had the first turn and shot everything they could, but the bikes came through comparatively unscathed. First blood would not be heading out opponents way. The raiders boosted forwards as expected.

Our turn saw a withering hail of firepower stun the ravager and either wreck or destroy the three raiders, pinning the large squad that disembarked from one. It also saw a battle cannon shot take down two broadsides despite the energy field from the skyshield landing pad protecting them.
Importantly, the Tau army we were facing had dropped one of the two riptides they'd brought previously, and the number of lascannons we'd brought to the table (11 by my reckoning) meant that the single one available wasn't risking getting caught in the open.

The Dark Eldar units that had been forcibly disembarked from their transports ripped apart a guard squad, then the wyches took out both a leman russ and the whirlwind over successive turns, though Malys and her Incubi bodyguard came under heavy fire from the tactical squad on the battlements of the fortress, gradually whittling down their numbers and eventually taking down the dark eldar warlord. In the final turns, the wych squad had made their way round the back of the fortress, hell bent on claiming the point for linebreaker, but we were having none of that, both the storm talon and the tactical squad targeting the unit. In the end, I had to jump my tactical squad down from the building to target the wyches, and despite only needing to roll 3+ to survive the drop I managed to kill three of the marines!
In the centre of the table, things were also in the balance, my bikes were taking a serious hammering, though they were shielding the guard units behind them admirably, and the centurions pulled off the upset of the game when they were charged by the Talos, stripping it of its final wound in exchange for one of their own.

The left flank was mine however, almost nothing dared show its face in front of the land raider, and its lascannons started to take their toll, stripping wounds off the riptide slowly but surely, despite it nova charging its invulnerable save fortuitously on two occasions (technically the original dice rolls were cocked, but would definitely have resulted in a wound if it weren't for the scenery in the way!). The Tau crisis team did drop in to say hi to the melta bikes, but amazingly despite all the plasma weaponry aimed their way, only one fell, and the return fire and follow up charge sent the technologically advanced suits crashing to the ground. Similarly, my Captain charged a unit of Fire Warriors, and though they held their ground for two combat turns, he eventually ran them down before being killed by a storm of fire from the Tau Warlord and the second Fire Warrior unit.

In the centre, the Storm Talon arrived, fire whickering into the Tau units, eventually mounting the skyshield landing pad and engulfing the Ethereal in a storm of assault cannon rounds that none could survive.

The final turns saw the last Fire Warrior squad claim the relic along with the warlord, but a flurry of fire from guard squads, storm talon, the last remaining bike and the ratlings took out the only troops left to the forces of order and gained us victory via wipeout.

Things had gone similarly well on the other table, with the Tyranid monstruous creatures forming enough of a focal point for the firepower of the guard to take its toll on the evil alliance facing them.

So there you have it, a campaign over three phases that was dominated in terms of results by the forces of order. Next up is the first Dirty Sevens event of the year (kill team) and then I think some bloodbowl is in order!

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