Hi all, it's very late here but I want to get this battle report written before I go to sleep and forget bits. Today I took on the black Legion, led by George, one of our club regulars, using my Iron Fists list explained here
George deployed first, but I failed to steal the initiative. On turn 1, his HQ jumped forward, joined by his spawn, while the rest of the army took aim. The Forgefiend killed one of my command squad, a pair of obliterators fired at my centurions, but despite the low AP weapons they used, the cover they were standing in saved them. The only other casualty was from my 5 man bike squad, one falling to the havoc launcher on a Rhino (this was definitely a theme, minor shooting caused plenty of wounds in this game).
In response my bikes surged forwards, the Command Squad being blessed with invisibility by Epistolary Noboru in the centre of the table, before charging the Chaos Lord and his retinue of Spawn. The Stalker, not having any fliers to shoot at, took aim at the Obliterators, causing a wound, and the Centurions took a hull point from the forgefiend (yup, I was very disappointed by this, I was expecting it to die to three twin linked lascannons and three krak missiles!). The command squad made it into combat, killing the spawn easily, though the Chaos Lord challenged my Captain, who accepted. This combat would run and run, really tying up a lot of my points as the casualty caused earlier meant there were only 4 veterans supporting in the challenge, not enough to grant me a re-roll, which might have helped me finish things quicker.
Turn 2 and the obliterator and heldrake both failed to arrive. The chosen unit shown above advanced from the objective towards my bikes, and the Forgefiend, Cultists and Rhino all repositioned themselves. The obliterators moved towards the combat, but then opened fire on the melta bike squad, failing to do any damage thanks to their jink save. The cultists and Forgefiend also both fired at this unit, but causing two wounds but failing to break them. The central chosen squad took aim at my tactical squad with their quad gun and heavy bolter, killing three. The other chosen squad fired at the large bike squad, their plasma guns killing two, and the combat between the warlords resulted in me failing a save and the following feel no pain roll.
In my turn 2, my bikes advanced again. The plasma cannon fired on the obliterators, but failed its gets hot roll and the resulting armour save. The melta bikes opened fire on the forgefiend, wrecking it, and the centurions split their fire, taking two hull points and the havoc launcher off the rhino, with the other two killing an obliterator, despite them going to ground. The large bike squad shot the chosen squad, killing one before charging in. Overwatch fire killed one biker, before hammer of wrath and my own attacks killed two of the chaos marines, who caused a wound on the attack bike in return.
Turn 3 the obliterator and heldrake still didn't turn up, not aiding the chaos cause. The Rhino disgorged its cargo, though they were limited to snap shots due to the damage caused in the previous turn. The Rhino, its former passengers and the cultists all shot at the melta bikes, causing just a single wound that was saved by the armoured carapace of the bike. The grounded obliterator missed with its shooting, but the chosen squad manning the quad gun made up for it, the emplacement and the heavy bolter wiping out the four remaining bikers in the centre of the table (i had to make five saves, and failed them all). The Warlords failed to hurt each other, and though my bike squad killed another chosen for no casualties in return, the traitors held their ground.
In return, the centurions split their fire again, 1 wounding the obliterator and the others killing 3 chosen from the Rhino in conjunction with the melta bikes. This time, both combats were drawn.
On turn 4, the obliterator deep struck next to the stalker, and the heldrake arrived on my right flank, gunning for the melta bikes. The Chosen re-boarded the Rhino, and the cultists fell back into the building. The Heldrake opened fire on the bikes, inevitably causing two wounds, though the attack bike survived until the cultist's heavy stubber opened fire on it. The deep striking obliterator predictably destroyed the stalker, meaning I'd have limited scope to take down the heldrake. In combat, my captain caused another wound on the Chaos Lord, leaving him with just one left, and no wounds were caused in the bike vs chosen combat.
In my turn 4, the Librarian made the Captain invisible for the third time out of four, though the combat remained tied with neither being able to wound the other. The centurions were singularly disappointing this turn, firing everything at the heldrake but not managing to roll a single 6 for their snap shots.
On turn 5, the heldrake flew over to the squad in the centre of the table, killing three with its baleflamer. The chosen disembarked from Rhino and shot at the centurions, causing a wound, though the central obliterator and the cultists both failed to hit the heavy infantry. The deep striking obliterator shot the tactical squad in the centre of the table, killing two of them, though the one remaining model and the Librarian passed their break test. The two combats raging finally ended this turn, with the Captain killing the Chaos Lord and the bike squad running down the chosen.
In response, my Librarian used smite to kill the two chosen holding the centre objective, and the centurions managed to hit the heldrake, taking a hull point and preventing it from firing next turn. The command squad, now free of their job standing around watching the Captain fight the Chaos Lord, charged the cultists, wiping them out and consolidating into the ruins. The bolter bike squad shot at the second unit of chosen, who'd moved from the quad gun to claim the corner objective, though they failed to get through their armour. The following charge saw two chosen run down, but again they held their ground.
On turn 6, both remaining Obliterators shot at the librarian, having been a thorn in the side of the black legion all game, though thankfully, one failed to hit and the other failed to wound, despite using lascannons. My bike squad lost the combat and fled, though that worked in my favour as i got to shoot and charge in again, killing one of the two remaining chosen. This turn, my centurions shot the flamer off the Heldrake, neutering it given its position and facing. The Captain left the command squad and charged the Rhino, leaving the veterans to secure the victory point for claiming linebreaker.
In the final turn, the Heldake gave up the fight and flew off, unable to affect the combat, though the obliterators had more success, one killing the librarian and the second wounding the captain. The combat between the bikes and the chosen finally ended in my turn, allowing the bikes to claim the objective, and the centurions killed the central obliterator.
And with that, the battle ended, the Black Legion reduced to a single obliterator with the departure of the Heldrake, my forces cut down substantially, with my captain and most of his command squad, half a unit of bikes and the centurions surveying the wreckage.
This was a really enjoyable game, played in a good spirit between us, and around turn four when the Heldrake arrived and I failed to hurt it I really did think the game was up, but the pressure finally told on the Black Legion and they ran out of Troops units, meaning the First Blood point I'd scored really meant George needed to hold more objectives than me. Pushing to claim them spread his forces out, allowing me to destroy them piecemeal. Were I in his shoes, the big difference I'd have made would have been to charge the Obliterators into the command squad instead of shooting at my bike squad, who had a 4+ jink save thanks to them turbo boosting the previous turn. The power fists the Obliterators could have brought would almost certainly have turned the tide against the command squad. Similarly, I think I'd have supported the Chosen in combat with the bike squad earlier, the chosen's high number of attacks in combat could have turned that fight, preventing me from getting linebreaker and the corner objective.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing though, and only the first point is one I actually thought about at the time. Still, it's a win in the column for the Iron Fists, and after the last two games both ending up tied, I'm really pleased to boost my win percentage again with them.
I think I may make some alterations to the list for next time, in the games I've used them the command squad don't seem to do quite enough damage for the points investment they represent, and I've a few ideas as to what might help instead.
Till next time, ta taa.