Welcome welcome welcome once more to another battle report by yours truly, the one and only Burning Eye. I've just taken up a role as a circus ringmaster can you tell?
Ok, on to the serious stuff! A couple of weeks ago I tested out my new bike list using the White Scars traits, detachment and formations etc, so I thought I'd bring you a report detailing how the game went! Fittingly given my opponent I can promise you it was bloody!
So, first up let's have a look at lists!
I've set out my white scars list before but this is the first battle report I've done with them so I'll go over things again. I'm using the scarblade detachment from the White Scars codex, plus a floating formation from the Raven Guard version, all of which are detailed in the Kauyon campaign book.
Captain on bike, Scimitar (ok, massive chainsword) of the Great Khan and Hunter's Eye.
Chaplain on bike
Command squad on bikes, banner of the eagle, 2 power swords, 2 power axes, apothecary.
Attack bike squad, 2 with multi meltas
Melta bike squad, 2 melta guns, combi melta and multi melta attack bike
Plasma bike squad, 2 plasma guns, combi plasma and two normal bikers
Scout bike squad, 7 bikers including 2 grenade launchers
Speartip Strike formation
Landspeeder with multi melta and typhoon missile launcher
Grav bike squad with 2 grav guns, combi grav and 2 normal bikers
Bolter bike squad with 3 normal bikers and heavy bolter attack bike.
Stormbringer Squadron formation
Landspeeder with 2 heavy flamers
5 Scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks
Landspeeder storm with cerberus launcher and heavy flamer
Raptor Wing formation
Landspeeder with multi melta and typhoon missile launcher
2 Storm Talons with twin linked assault cannons and typhoon missile launchers.
The basic plan is to put the captain with the plasma bikes to give them ignores cover early on, then switch him across to the command squad to boost their combat capabilities. The scout bikes can be a nuisance early on, particularly with the astartes grenade launchers, which provide a pretty high strength shooting option. The plasma and melta bikes sit in the hunting force so I can designate priority targets for them to get re-rolls, same with the attack bike squad.
The speartip strike is in there to pin enemy units down, whilst the stormbringer squadron gives me good offense against hordes plus an obsec unit that can hunker down in cover.
The Raptor wing is purely there to give me an anti-air option, but it's also a good excuse to get a pair of storm talons on the table, as they're one of my favourite units (and models) in the game at the moment.
My opponent went with a fairly rounded blood angels force, led by a librarian with a pair of tactical squads in drop pods, an assault squad with jump packs, a devastator squad and a storm raven carrying 10 death company, Astorath the Grim and a furioso dread.
I rolled on the tactical table and got to re-roll any D3 result for multi-point objectives, whilst my opponent got two, one being having 3 units infiltrate and the other being +1 initiative.
We played the maelstrom mission where you can score your opponent's secure objective cards.
Objective Cards: Hungry for glory, Decapitating Strike, Behind Enemy Lines
Annoyingly the Blood Angels got the jump on me in this game, taking the first turn, though they had deployed only a few units, keeping back the big hitters in reserve. The tactical squad in the drop pod came in this turn, slamming to the ground just in front of Hiro Sakai and the plasma gun bike squad, the squad within fanning out to lay down suppressive fire. The assault squad in the ruins on my left flank boosted forwards to support the tactical marines. The Blood Angels Librarian entered into a trance and attempted to harness the powers of the warp to his cause, but failed in his task (I denied one power and the other failed). The razorback opened fire with its lascannons, stunning the landspeeder on my left, and the devastator squad capitalised on the opportunity and finished it off. The assault squad and tactical squad combined their firepower to focus on Hiro Sakai and the plasma bikes, killing three. I then watched in horror as Sakai failed his morale check and left the board. I'm sure he'd had a report of something more important he needed to be doing rather than just running away, but it gave my opponent First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Decapitating Strike all in one hit! He also picked up behind enemy lines, from the tactical squad, and discarded Hungry for Glory.
Objective Cards: Psychological Warfare, Hungry for Glory, Objective 4
Wow, after a brutal first turn by the boys in red I needed to hit back hard. As you can see from the map the majority of my force gunned their engines and raced forwards, to either get in range of their guns or just to take advantage of the fact that I didn't have to take dangerous terrain tests, I can be whimsical sometimes!
The attack bike squad opened my account, firing at the razorback and immobilising it and blowing the lascannons off the roof. Not to be outdone, the scout bikers opened fire on the devastators sheltering the librarian, managing somehow to kill all five of the squad, leaving the librarian looking pretty lost and alone. The remaining bike squads on my left flank focused on the tactical squad, killing five and forcing them to fail their morale check. I think here I made a mistake and charged in the scout bikes at the warlord - I can't remember now whether they had scouted/infiltrated or not so I may owe Dave an apology, especially as they killed the librarian with their hammer of wrath attacks before he even got the chance to strike. I scored Slay the Warlord, Psychological Warfare and Objective 4, and discarded Hungry for Glory
Score Iron Fists 3 - Blood Angels 4
Objective Cards: Scour the Skies, Objective 6, Recon
Dave failed his reserve rolls this turn, which didn't help him one bit, and so the assault squad went after the melta bike squad. They failed to wound anything with their shooting, and so both squads on the table charged into combat, the assault marines into the melta bikes and the tactical squad into the bolter bikes.
The assault marines lost one model to overwatch fire, and killed on bike in the resulting combat, whilst the other combat was bloodless. Both my units hit and run out of contact.
The Blood Angels scored objective 6 and Recon this turn, keeping hold of scour the skies.
Objective Cards: Supremacy, Kingslayer, Objective 4
I was behind in the game at this point, so needed to keep working my opponent hard, particularly since he was short on numbers at present but had some big hitters to come in later. Thanks to their formation rules, my Raptor Wing came in automatically!
The melta bike squad wrecked the drop pod, and my sniper scouts took down three of the assault marines. I took the tactical squad down to a single man, and the command squad charged into the assault marines, wiping the remainder of the unit.
I scored supremacy and kingslayer for two points each, and took another point for objective 4 (the second time I'd drawn that objective!).
Score Iron Fists 8 - Blood Angels 6
Objective Cards: Objective 1, Hold the Line, Scour the Skies
This turn the Storm Raven arrived, screaming into the middle of the table and painting a massive target on itself with only a single tactical marine on the board aside from it.
In an effort to score scour the skies, it fired on the nearest Storm Talon, but only glanced it once thanks to jink saves.
Without the ability to charge this turn, Dave elected to keep everything on board the Storm Raven in the hopes of making things more difficult to kill. He discarded Hold the Line.
Objective Cards: Hold the Line, Behind Enemy Lines, Recon
The Raptor Wing landspeeder killed the solitary tactical marine this turn, whilst everything else that had a chance of doing something fired at the Storm Raven. The Storm Talons took off two hull points, and destroyed one of its missiles, and somehow the Attack Bikes managed to glance it twice from the ground, but it passed both jink saves.
I scored Hold the Line, Behind Enemy Lines and Recon, plus I also scored objective 1 from Dave's hand.
Score Iron Fists 12 - Blood Angels 6
Objective Cards: Supremacy, Domination, Scour the Skies
The second assault squad arrived this turn, combat squadding as they left their drop pod, and the occupants of the Storm Raven disembarked as it chose to hover.
The Death Company targeted the Command Squad whilst the Dreadnought flamed the sniper scouts into oblivion. The Storm Raven fired its lascannons at the Storm Raven, which jinked to save a penetrating hit that would have seen it come crashing to the ground, but the remaining weaponry failed to hurt the bike squads. The Death Company failed to hurt the Command Squad with their shooting, so charged in and wiped them out, taking just a single casualty in return (I5 had a huge impact here).
Dave failed to score his objective cards this turn and discarded domination as he no longer had enough units to be able to achieve it.
Objective Cards: Objective 3, Objective 6, No prisoners
The attack bikes took out the Storm Raven this turn, and the grav bikers finally got in on the action, immobilising the furioso dread, neutering it in game terms. Everything else shot at either the death company, some of whom survived, or the two assault squads, which got wiped out.
In terms of objective cards I scored objective 3, objective 6 and no prisoners. I seem to recall at this point I actually held all six objective too, which made the fact I didn't have domination rather frustrating as I've never scored it before!
Score Iron Fists 15 - Blood Angels 6
Objective Cards: Objective 5, Supremacy, Scour the Skies
Nothing much happened this turn for the Blood Angels, the Death Company failed their charge.
Understandably therefore Dave failed to score any of his cards.
Objective Cards: Ascendency, Overwhelming Firepower, Blood & Guts
To be honest this was really a case of mopping up now, and in a hail of fire everything bar Astorath fell to the guns of my bikes.
I scored ascendancy for 2pts and overwhelming firepower, plus objective 5 from Dave's hand.
At that point Dave conceded, figuring that even Astorath wouldn't be able to pull things round from here.
Final Score Iron Fists 20 - Blood Angels 6
Wow that was brutal - I though I'd be up against it after the first turn losing my captain, but the boys pulled things round remarkably quickly. I think the relatively high number of special weapons I could bring to bear really helped, with every single unit bringing something worthwhile to the overall army.
The formation benefits really make combats a viable way of cleaning up for the force, with even the scout bikers being a viable threat given the sheer amount of damage they can put out through double hammer of wrath hits at S5 with the potential to re-roll failed wounds from them.
I felt sorry for Dave as he really did keep the best part of his army in reserve and his dice deserted him when he really needed them to come in as early as possible. By contrast, guaranteeing my Storm Talons on turn 2 is fantastic, and the landspeeder really doesn't count as a tax to my mind.
I think this army is probably best left out of genuinely friendly games, but against more competitive opponents and in tournaments, I really like how it works. My only tweaks might be to look at boosting the unit sizes to make the most of double hammer of wrath hits, but that means losing the stormbringer squadron or the speartip strike, both of which bring different things to the table so I'll probably leave it as it is for now.
Next week will see the return of the Kabal of the Burning Eye to my battle reports as I take on a new club member who hasn't played in ages and is bringing daemons. I'll try to be nice...
Till next time,