IG vs. Daemonkin (1850 Points)

Santa Clara Sector, Mountain View: March 17, 2017

Commissar Alex and I played the Warp Rift scenario for the first time.  We used the Rift Gate as well as the Tactics and Mystics (maelstrom cards) optional rules.  My army was 1850 points of Khorne Daemonkin.  I ran a Blood Host Detachment with a Slaughter Cult formation, as well as a CAD.  Alex, playing Imperial Guard, ran a CAD with an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company formation.

Commissar Alex wrote the summary for our game or rather the good General Nesson did.  I’m not revealing how I got my hands on it, though rest assured I have my sources!

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The blue boxes were the objective markers.  The warp rift is the tower.

The forces of chaos struck once again against the Imperium, attacking an imperial planet in the Segmentum Ultima.  [Name and location of planet withheld under security edicts.] The local planetary defense forces were no match for the traitors and after just a few months the planetary defense force had no presence outside of a few major cities.

After several more months the Imperial navy arrived, bringing with it the forces of the Imperial Guard. After a few weeks the traitors were driven back towards the equator by our numerically superior forces.

However the deaths from all the fighting caught Khorne’s attention and the vales between realities weakened. Using this to their advantage, the forces of chaos enacted obscene rituals and the sacrifice of an entire village to break open a warp rift, which allowed daemons into material space.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Synchronized Bloodletters and Demolisher

Synchronized Summoning ought to be an olympic sport!

The ritual was successful but only allowed for a few daemons to come at a time; however the deaths of guardsmen and traitors fueled the warp rift and soon the trickle became a stream. As the rift grew our commanders realized that if they wanted to have any hope of preventing [name of system redacted] from becoming a daemon world they would need to seal the rift before it enveloped the entire planet.

In a desperate gamble they headed directly towards the rift hoping either the priests or sanctioned psykers attached to the regiments could find a way to close the rift before it was too late.  As they approached it reality began to distort and madness reigned.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Vendetta

Vendetta on an attack run against a Chaos Space Marine rhino.

While the exact events are unknown what is undeniable is that the imperial guard forces failed to seal the breach. After a few hours the rift began to grow rapidly and soon enveloped the planet in just a few days. Imperial command on the planet sent reports to orbital assets for as long as they could but the last transmissions degenerated into gunfire and maddening screams. The planet in question is currently under quarantine by the Imperial navy.

— Administratum Summary based off the final reports of Imperial General Asher Nesson

IG bullet point graphic

As a sort of post script, we found this scenario gave a bit of an advantage to the assault-based army, all other things being equal.  I have to say this was not unexpected.  So we came up with the following optional rules and I added it to the scenario page.

Superior Reconnaissance:  The daemon player’s board edge for purposes of moving reserves onto the battlefield must be the same as the board edge she picked for deployment on turn one.  This is to help balance the scenario, since assault armies seem to be advantaged over shooting armies, all other things being equal.  If further balancing is needed, the daemon player must declare her board edge before the enemy player deploys.

The Emperor’s Tarot:  This is used with the Tactics and Mystics optional rule to help balance the scenario, if needed.  The enemy player deploys and draws his tactical objective cards before the daemon player deploys.  The enemy player may then decide to roll off to see who takes the first turn if he likes the look of his cards, or if both players agree the enemy player can take the first turn without a roll.  Note there is no Seize the Initiative rule in this scenario.

Scarbag’s Saga: Curse of the Red Git!

Santa Cruz Sector, December 2016.

Senior Lieutenant Scarbag Flashboy was given the mission of helping by dropping his stormboyz into the front lines and attacking heavy support targets of opportunity in one of the many battles in the Santa Cruz Sector against the Imperium.  In the target rich environment of a general Imperial Guard advance, the target in question turned out to be a manticore.

Everything went according to plan.  Their air assault went perfectly.  Actually it was 11 inches off target and another half inch would have dropped the entire squad into no man’s land, but it all worked out so that is what counts.

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Death and rude gestures from above courtesy of the semi-mysterious Red Git!

The manticore blissfully continued to fire its gigantic storm eagle missiles at distant ork units as the stormboyz prepared for their attack.  Bundles of grenades were checked, rokkit packs dialed to full throttle red line, and Scarboy himself produced a steel bar to jam into the tank’s track.

A few guardmen ran in their general direction but they were apparently retreating from general ork mayhem and soon disappeared in the fire and smoke.

Suddenly a deffkopta roared overhead in a red streak, spewing oil, gears, and stikbombs in its wake.  The ground vibrated under the stormboyz’ feet.  As they stood watching aghast, their now useless weapons falling from their hands, the deffkopta pilot corkscrewed a pair of rokkits into the missile tank.  The remaining two storm eagles detonated in a hellish fireball.  All that was left of the manticore was a burning crater.

Naturally Lieutenant Scarboy found himself stand alone, dumbfounded and patting out flames on his uniform, with all of his boyz laying dead around him.  Those who hadn’t been vaporized of course.

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The distinct red deffkopta flew back and hovered over Scarboy.  It was shedding even more parts than before after being damaged in the explosion. Clearly the only thing keeping the increasingly grotesque machine in the air was the pilot’s invincible belief in his own airmanship.

‘You! Ya you, da stoopid grot dat be on fire. Zog off an’ die, mate, cause I’m da bestestz an’ I’m da fastestz too!  ‘Cause I’m da Red Git!’ the pilot screamed.

‘Wot?’ The stormboy looked up.

The pilot replied with a rude gesture and tossed a ticking melta bomb at Scarbag’s feet.  He zoomed off cackling into the sunset.

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‘We need ta talk,’ the drone said.

Lieutenant Flashboy became introspective as the ebb of battle drifted away from him.  He woke up when the melta bomb laying in a nearby puddle of mud and fuel misfired with a depressing fizzle rather than the usual white hot boom of coruscating light.  The ork sighed and kicked some muck onto his now smoldering boots.

A universal drone trundled up to him on squeaking treads.  Waaagh! Hungry has always made good use of the ubiquitous drones as ammo carriers, mobile bombs, soldiers (remote-controlled or sporting a primitive AI), and especially for recon.

A tinny voice come from a crackling speaker on top of the drone.  “My name iz Big Mek Fixxit an’ we need ta talk if yer lookin’ fer revenge.”

‘Revenge?’ Flashboy asked.  The drone had his full attention.

Imperial Guard vs. Orks (1500 Points)

Santa Cruz Sector, December 14, 2016.

So I played my first game of 40K recently at Mythic Games in after taking well over a year off.  It was Guard versus Orks. Eternal War Scenario: Big Guns Never Tire.  Some pictures from our game:

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Manticores deliver an interesting and indisputable form of Detante.

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Boyz piling out of their wrecked trukk: a pretty common sight for these guys.

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Outflanking mechanized infantry on the attack.

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Tearing the turrets off of APC’s and throwing them with lethal effect at the disembarking infantry.

Orks vs. Orks: Archeotech Hunt

Ethereal Mark and I decided to play the Archeotech Hunt Scenario with 1000 point ork lists.  The idea was that two big meks belonging to the same Waaagh! heard about an area rich in exotic technology ripe for the plucking.  So both meks gathered together their henchmen and snuck off … only to find their hated rival staring across at them!

We implemented a number of rules specifically for this game:

  • The warlord must be a big mek.
  • A warboss cannot be fielded by either army.
  • Big Meks and meks have the Objective Secured rule themselves, but they do not confer OS onto other members of their unit.

The boyz clash early in the fighting.

Early Game: Ethereal (or Big Mek, rather) Mark’s tankbustas sped their trukk into a ruin and blazed away at my battlewagon and deff dread.  He also began tightening a circle around my army with large numbers of boyz to my left and skorcha buggies backed up by a squadron of deffkoptas to my right.

My plan was to counter attack with the force field-protected battlewagon full of boyz supported by my walker, cut down his bold encirclement, barrage his large troop concentrations with my heavy mortars and carry off all the archeotech, then lord it over all of the other big meks … especially my rival with his fancy, yellow mega armor!  Unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite that way.

Mark’s tankbusta trukk barely weathered the fire from my battle wagon and other assets.  This allowed him to go on the attack and assault my wagon, blowing it up.  I had a bit of luck in that only a couple of the 20 choppa boyz were killed. The tank killer orks were not done yet and managed to immobilize my walker and then rushed in to finish it off, only to fall victim to its huge, snapping claws.  Still, they did finish off the dread but were now a spent force.  They had done very well all things considered!

Mark’s tankbustas had seized the initiative, throwing my forces on the defensive from which they never truly recovered despite some last ditch attempts at heroics.

Mid Game: Despite the efforts of my mortar goblins Mark’s circle was tightening.  My single deep striking deff kopta and small squad of jump orks did manage to rocket into a good position behind his forces.  As Mark later pointed out, this caused a delay while he secured the objectives in his rear area, thus slowing down the encirclement of my forces, which allowed my big mek to lead a brave counter-attack!

A meganob, looking victorious in yellow.

End Game: My warlord, seeing that all was nearly lost and that the bravest greenskins in his miserable warband were a bunch of goblins, decided to force the issue.  Leading a still large force of shoota and choppa boyz, they climbed over the smoking wrecks of enemy skorcha buggies and picked through ruins toward Mark’s advancing big mek with his boyz.  Mark’s big mek oozed confidence and was resplendent in yellow mega armor.

My leader tuned his force field to Waaagh!, raised his lucky red wrench on high, and called for the charge.  Although my boyz did inflict decent casualties among the enemy orcs with their dakka, the ruins and distance were too much and the charge failed.  The Mega Mek’s forces held despite losses and advanced into the ruins firing their weapons and building up for a counter-attack.

My brave mek made a sudden decision.  Despite still having a goodly number of willing fighters around him not to mention a enraged nob with a power klaw, he suddenly threw the whole thing up and ran from the battlefield before either group could get stuck in.

That pretty much put paid to the battle with Mark’s mega mek firmly in charge of the archeotech site and his rivals either dead or fleeing.  He won a resounding victory!  My cowardly big mek was never seen again.  Rumor has it that the aforementioned nob krumped him later or possibly my ork engineer hightailed it to parts unknown.

Happier Days, Circa 2013: Deploying into Anti-Air Formation

As a bit of a post script, the heroes of my army, the plucky artillery goblins, spiked their guns and hopped down escape tunnels that they learned how to construct from the artillery mice.  Better to live to fight another day rather than end up some nob’s lunch!

Steel Legion & Officio Assassinorum vs. Orks

The orks have seen a lot of battles versus the Imperial Guard, especially lately, though this is the first time we’ve lined up against this particular officer.  We played 1500 points and decided upon the “Big Guns Never Tire” scenario from the Eternal War series.  The goal here was to hold objectives at the end of the game and destroy your opponent’s heavy support units while preserving your own.

He had two battle tanks as his heavy support.  Other vehicles included four or five chimera and a valkyrie gunship with embarked storm troopers.  His troops were all (or at least mostly) veterans with those scary-looking german helmets and gas masks.  (We imagined that our battle was a small part of what happened during the Third War for Armageddon.  Perhaps the vindicare assassin was dispatched to kill Ghazghkull Thraka, who apparently was elsewhere.) The orks opted for a slight variation on Colonel Fixit’s Command Group list.

An ork rok hurtling in for a landing accounts for the over exposure in this picture.

Early Game: The orks had more than their share of luck in the beginning stages, which sort of set the tone for the evening. They charged ahead and despite a hail of battle cannon shells, laser fire, and volleys of grenades all of the ork vehicles were still rolling.  No one was more surprised by this than the greenskins.

Guard tanks exchanged fire with ork artillery, causing light casualties among the zzap guns.  The humans maneuvered, stacking their armor and mechanized infantry on their right flank to meet both advancing squads of trukk boyz.

Things look bad for the Vindicare Assassin but he’s all right … for now.

Mid-Game: The imperial right flank crumbled with surprisingly light ork casualties.  By the time the greenskin troopers were a spent force, they had broken through and wrecked the command chimera, Den Mother.

A valkyrie gunship reinforced the battle and along with the assassin tried to stop the nobz battlewagon rolling down the center of the field.  The half track shrugged off multiple lascannon hits, but a turbopenetrator round finally blew off a wheel and temporarily stopped the wagon.

Meanwhile a strike squad of ork jump infantry rocketed into the fray, surrounding the assassin. The assault sergeant popped a red flare and called in an air strike.  Captain Daniel, the Steel Legion company commander, ordered a nearby squad of veterans to focus fire on the stormboyz and eliminated this distraction, though the storm nob took cover and guided in the aircraft for as long as he could. The assassin, laying on his back behind some 50 gallon drums, managed to score a perfect if unlikely shot right into the MIG 15’s engine as it flew over him. Trailing oil and black smoke, the pilot returned to base his strike mission (as far as he was concerned) completed.

Looks cool but the real reason is I forgot to pack my flight stand. 😦

End Game: Despite the heroics of the vindicare assassin, a late gravchute insertion attempt by the storm troopers, and the coolness under fire of Captain Daniel, there was no stopping the orks this time.  The ork big guns fell silent.  Artillery goblins watched through periscopes and field glasses, chattering excitedly back and forth on their radios, as a greenskin ring of infantry closed around the remaining imperial platoon.  In the end the assassin spent his seventh life and died to a stray nob shoota bullet as he bravely held his position awaiting an extraction order, which never came.  Someone at the Office of Assassins will want answers to some hard questions!

We ended the game with the orks in possession of five of the six objectives and both Steel Legion heavy support tanks were burning hulks.  Hopefully the rest of the Third War for Armageddon doesn’t go as badly for the Imperium as it did here today.  Otherwise Commissar Yarrick is not going to be pleased!

Orks vs. Adepta Sororitas: 1500 Pts (May 2015)

Imperial forces have invaded an ork-held system in the Santa Cruz sector and for this battle our company level microscope focuses in on a fuel dump/refinery garrisoned by a big mek.  Lots of walkers, a couple of trukks of boyz, some grots, and a big unit of artillery made up my starting forces.

This was a surprise attack by the Sisters, so I started more forces in reserve.  These represented whatever assets the orks could scrape together and get to the battle in a timely response to the mek’s frantic pleas for reinforcements.  So I chose accordingly from my collection:  A single outflanking deffkopta, a warboss (more of an under-boss really) on a bike accompanied by a few nobz, and a dakkajet.

The Adepta player’s forces were in his words “a typical list” and I have to agree though I haven’t played against Sisters since 5th edition.  A couple of exorcist tanks, which he had converted to look like missile tanks, and a couple of immolators formed the core of his armored forces.  A bunker with lots of heavy bolter-armed infantry.  They had the usual troops with plenty of melta and flamers, and jump infantry. St. Celestine put in an appearance though his warlord was a priest.

The mission was the Maelstrom mission, “Deadlock,” where each side starts out with six tactical objective cards and the number decreases by one each turn until turn seven where each side can only have one card.

Armored orks on the rampage.

Early Game: Although the orks knew there was jump infantry facing them, I guess they were used to seeing those bulky Astartes jump packs.  They completely missed the fact that the seraphim were threatening their right flank and consequently the artillery.  The walkers, which should have been protecting the right flank were merrily off chasing tactical objective points mid-board instead.

The Sisters’ troops took fairly heavy casualties early from the artillery and especially the big mek’s shokk attack gun.  By turn two, however, the jump infantry had rolled up the ork artillery, along with the big mek.  Other ork forces tried to stem the tide as best they could.  A sergeant tried to hussle his grots into some semblance of a screening line, but the goblins were having none of that.  They tough but not suicidal!  A truckful of boyz arrived just in time to get mopped up themselves.  Although the seraphim lost their lives to a woman, and St. Celestine spent one of her lives taking a rokkit to the back of the head, their spearhead cleared the way for the priest and his large force of battle sisters to crush the ork right flank.

Mid Game: The orks did try and make a battle of it, doing their best to throw back the advancing imperial forces.  The right flank, near the fuel tanks, belonged to the Sisters the entire battle, despite a counter-attack by boyz supported by a ground attack fighter.

A biker boss on the left flank did manage to cause some concern, when he motored up to a bunker an Adepta heavy bolter squad was using as a strongpoint.  He smashed out one side of the building in a brutal charge.  The remaining sisters conducted a fighting retreat, in accordance with orders, since overall there seemed no reason to sacrifice themselves with things otherwise going so well.

Sisters charge ork artillery on the right flank.

End Game: With the right flank secure, the imperial forces were able to concentrate their fire on the threatening bikers along with a group of armored boyz, backed by a deff dread.  The deff dread originally was the leader of a large group of killa kanz, but over the course of the fighting they had done little more than soak up missile fire while running back and forth, occasionally taking an ineffectual pot shot here and there.  The walker did manage to crush an immolator, before it could toast the armored orks, only to fall before a criss-crossing white web of meltagun fire.

When the dust settled at the end of turn seven, the only orks remaining was the armored orks trukk that had gotten its rear axle hung up in a ruin and immobilized itself.  They gamely shot targets of opportunity with their heavy machine gun until they looked around and realized they were alone.  The driver and gunner looked at each other and jumped out opposite sides of their trukk screaming, “Leeegggg itttt!” As they dodged their way through the ruin, one of them turned as their trukk exploded.

Post Script: The orks are going to have to remember next time that not all jump infantry look like assault marines, and deploy accordingly.  With the loss of their fuel depot, this will hamper their offensive efforts greatly, forcing them to adopt a siege mentality against the invading imperial forces.  The Adepta forces were well led and competent.  Throwing them back will take all of the cunning and focus the orks can muster if they are to be successful in the future.

Still, there was one bright spot for the orks in the battle.  The actions of the assault ork sergeant, Scarbag Flashboy, were of a character to mark him a hero and thus worthy of his own Saga, which will be my next blog post.

The Emperor’s Shield

“Captains!  Another centennial contest is upon us, and we shall once again determine who is best suited to be the Emperor’s Shield.  The Lords of Terra welcome you to Olympus IV to test your mettle against your fellow Adeptus Astartes.  These battle exercises help to hone the skills of all our chapters for their eternal war against the xenos pestilence and the scourge of Chaos.”

I recently participated in a mirror list tournament at Endgame in Oakland, CA.  Thank you very much to TO Adan for organizing and running the event.  Also, thanks to First Captain Reuben of the Mythic Angels for tactical advice, loan of a squad of his honored and ancient assault marines, as well as logistical support transporting my chapter to the Alameda Sector.

The list everyone played was:

Headquarters
Captain in power armor with power sword and bolt pistol.
Librarian in power armor with force staff and bolt pistol. He was level 2 and his powers were Iron Arm, Endurance, and Smite.

Troops
Two units of ten tactical marines. The sergeant had a chainsword and bolt pistol. Special weapons were a flamer and missile launcher. Each squad had a rhino with a dozer blade as a dedicated transport.

Elite
Dreadnought with an assault cannon and power fist with a built-in storm bolter.

Heavy Support
Predator with auto-cannon turret and lascannon sponsons.

Fast Attack
Land Speeder with heavy flamer and multi-melta.
Five assault marines. The sergeant had a plasma pistol.

Game One: Assaulting the Green Marines’ right flank.

Adan assigned chapter tactics and the first game was Ultramarines. We were also allowed to pick warlord traits, but we could only use a specific trait for one game. I picked Master of Ambush and used this to concentrate my forces somewhat on my opponent’s right flank. This was the only game where the trait had much of an effect on the battle.

The idea was to take one of his backfield objectives, which was behind good cover, and have one of my combat squads with the missile launcher hold this strong position and blast away. I’d have threats coming from my own side of the board as well so I could swing around and subject whoever was in the center of the board holding the important objective there to a (hopefully) withering crossfire.

Things worked out but not nearly as well I hoped. My opponent did have to direct a goodly number of his forces to react to the outflank, but it turned into a bloody stalemate. I did win the game decisively, but mostly because of Chapter Tactics: Good Luck. For example, my assault marines deep struck but ended up in a bad position where they got tied up by a dreadnought. They lost a couple of marines, failed their morale check and promptly ended up 16″ back where they were in prime position to kill a land speeder threatening my forces. After that they joined in on the final attack on the center position. My predator won the tank duel that lasted three turns, and so on.

Still, sometimes as the saying goes it is better to be lucky than good and I had my share of it in this tournament. In any case, it was a very fun game and I hope to play the Green Marines again someday soon.

Game Two: Close quarters in the Zone Mortalis Light!

The board for this match was very interesting in that it was what Adan called “Zone Mortalis Light” in the middle, surrounded by thick ruins. Again we were fighting for objectives and I believe we were Raven Guard. The rules for the ZML were no vehicles except the dreadnought could enter and the walls went up to “infinity” so you couldn’t shoot or move over them. Also, our flamers were twin-linked against any unit inside the zone.

As might be expected this was a very tactical game inside the zone. Both sides were doing their best to maneuver so they got to be the ones charging. Outside the zone it was a bit more of a free for all with my rhinos tank shocking all over the place and our heavy units trading fire. My opponent pulled off a great move when he blocked off one of the entrance to the ZML with both of his rhinos. Right in the face of my advancing forces! He also pulled off some late game unlikely but exciting charges against my tactical marines covering one of the ZML entrances.

This was a hard-fought game where by the end our captains ended up dueling each other to a draw. However, my land speeder, despite immediately immobilizing itself in a ruin when it deep struck, did manage to cripple both Adan’s predator and his dreadnought. More good luck. This allowed my dreadnought to pick his way unopposed into the ZML, where he did good work supporting my infantry and holding the central objective.

Game Three: Imperial Fists assault marine on the attack!

The last game was a first for me: I’ve never played on the top table at a tournament before. The terrain was fairly sparse and we were fighting for kill points. A couple of forests and several large hills. We were Imperial Fists this time, which suited my opponent because that was his preferred chapter!

The early fighting mostly came down to a long-ranged battle to control a long firing lane between two hills. My opponent won the roll off for table sides and wisely deployed his predator in a forest at his end of this lane. This allowed him to control the action there, supported by both his missile launchers. My response was to use the hills for cover as best I could and counter-attack. We both tried to turn each others’ forces around a plateau on my far left flank. This ended up in a somewhat bloody draw. He had a small advantage in the fighting, but I got first blood when his deep striking speeder landed too close to my forces.

My opponent had the early advantage overall mainly because he had control of the firing lane. My speeder was able to pull off a very risky drop right behind his predator. I hoped to destroy it with my multi-melta but had to settle for shearing off one of its lascannons.

This was a very close game that came down to the final turn. Things were looking bad when his assault marines drove back my supporting infantry and stunned the walker with a lucky plasma pistol shot. His librarian jumped alone into an empty rhino and moved flat out toward the fighting to help finish them off. If he succeeded my opponent would cement his victory.

Instead, my other, less harried missile launcher squad managed to wreck the rhino as it moved across the contested firing lane. From there the librarian jumped out and continued on his way. My dreadnought recovered and pushed back the assault marines, despite being covered in krak grenades. Another shot, either by my predator or a missile launcher (I forget) and the librarian was dead. With time running out I was up by one kill point. Tough game against a very good opponent. Honestly, I felt like I was fighting off balance for most of the game.

A memento for the chapter’s trophy room.

First place was the plaque seen above and a nice gift certificate, which I used toward buying a new predator. Although the ancient predator I now possess, pulled from a lake by orks and then rescued by the Space Wolves or Ultramarines (depending upon who you ask) has given me good service, it has burned far too long in the crucible of war. Its machine spirit deserves an honorable retirement or at least a good, long rest.

So, all that remains now is to add a gold ribbon to my Wolf Standard and go back to fighting all of that xeno pestilence and Chaos scourge!