Daemonkin vs. IG, Dark Angels & Officio Assassinorum (2000 points)

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017

Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system.  Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages.  There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror.  Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines.  This is one of many desperate actions.

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Imperial armored forces cautiously take up positions surrounding the warp rift.

Captain L. Danielus  and I played the Warp Rift scenario.  This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule.  As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.

The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment.  In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though).  The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain.  An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces.  Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.

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It isn’t too active now, but soon deamons will come screaming from the living stone!

The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium.  A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions.  Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys!  Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.

Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae.  Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.

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Dark Angel devastators take aim.

Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible.  Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator.  Blessings to the Strong!

Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field.  Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second.  As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand.  A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter.  He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.

The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help.  They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn.  It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.

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Death Wing terminators teleport in to challenge the deamonkin terminators.

Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin.  In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective.  He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin.  A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective.  To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?

The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number.  The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun.  Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight.  He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation.  The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.

Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire.  Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.

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Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective.  It exploded like a malevolent volcano.  Marines were thrown back in all directions.  The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later.  The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.

So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium.  The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved.  Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured!  Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.

The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

Let Hate and a halfway decent set of abs be our armor!

Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for.  Who knows where he will strike next?

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Mystery of the Mega Mek Armor: 1 of 4

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: February 17, 2017

We played a 1500 point Orks versus Orks game where as it turned out my opponent’s warlord was the mega-warboss-with-the-lucky-stikk or MWLS for short.  We both ran a single Combined Arms Detachment.  My opponent convinced me to also include a Painmob formation since I had included the models for it.  Rather sporting, I must say.

The mission was Maelstrom War: Deadlock, which is the one where each player gets less cards with each passing turn.

What started out as a seemingly typical ork brawl between elements of Waaagh: Hungry and Waaagh: Derrius ended in something far different as we’ll see.

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Early stages from the fight.  I like how the white lines neatly mark our deployment zones.

My forces got out to an early lead, taking key positions in an effort to break the tactical stalemate.  The other (bad) Orks countered by blunting a slow motion Charge of the Light Walkers up the center.  Still, Waaagh: Hungry built up a big lead that was going to be hard to beat, especially given the nature of our mission where each side relied on dwindling supplies.

My nobz attacked on the left flank and were stopped by an impossibly strong, giant ork in a strangely cobbled together suit of heavy mek armor.  He pretty much was able to take on all eleven nobz by himself and easily win.  What few survivors there were left had no choice but to run for it or die uselessly.  Our left flank crumbled.

Fortunately, crack Hungarian artillery kept our positions from being completely overrun.  Mortars pounded infantry bunched up in the aftermath of close assaults, while supremely heroic goblin kannoneers punished cautious meganobz, all the while dueling Derrius’s keen-eyed flashgitz.

Still, the situation was fast deteriorating and becoming desperate.

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One sneaky git tries to ambush another.

With the enemy warboss rampaging toward our lines, someone had to do something.  No one was exactly volunteering to confront this seemingly invincible titan, so Lieutenant Scarbag Flashboy, the last survivor of his squad as usual, knew he had to act.

The situation was all confusion, smoke and screams.  Flashboy knew the most important thing at the moment was information.  He shrugged off his crippled rokkit pack and concentrated on remotely piloting a drone carrier ahead into the fiery chaos.  It was rigged with a camera and piled high with explosives.

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Cautious meganobz pick their way forward.  A feller could get hurt out there!

Flashboy was astounded by what he saw in his video screen from the drone’s vantage point.  The enemy warboss’s suit was obviously a cobbled together abomination of corrupted Tau technical genius and evil mek madness!

Pistons shrieked with each of the mega armored boss’s steps.  Shoota fire pattered against his armor like light hail.  Even direct artillery hits ricochetted harmlessly, though this did put paid to more than a few of his boyz, much to the behemoth’s amusement.  Even energy weapons fire was absorbed by a sparking electric field.  This only seemed to make him stronger.

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Flashgitz turn the center of the battlefield into a walker scrapyard.

The lieutenant tapped a few keys with a shaking head, sending a video capture to higher headquarters.  He’d done has much as he could for now.  It was time to look to his own precious lilly green hide.

To Flashboy’s horror he saw the warboss point a snapping power klaw at him.  Zog!  He had thought himself well concealed.  His drone was still on the move, though it was taking sporadic hits from cowering shoota boyz, as well as being rocked by friendly mortar fire coming from who knew where.  It’s left tread was damaged and looked in danger of coming apart at any moment.

He punched the drone’s Self Destruct on Impact button and sent it trundling directly at the warboss’s back.  It was a sort of slow motion race as the damaged probe struggled to catch up with its ungainly target.

Flashboy rolled out from the shell crater and hustled behind a friendly battlewagon-turned-pillbox, which had lost its front axle.  Its crew opened up on the advancing warboss.  Their chattering machine guns made a lot of noise but had little other effect.

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Mortars taking the measure of distant infantry.

There was a massive explosion.  The boss had torn the battlewagon in half with his dizzying collection of power weapons, and some sort of short ranged plasma cutter array.  Predatory growls boomed from his vox caster.  Flashboy was thrown clear.  Dazed, he crawled under some of the burning wreckage.  Ammunition from the destroyed APC cooked off in the heat and flames.  Everything was obscured by thick smoke.  His titan opponent was surrounded by the gleaming nimbus of his force field.  Without this protection nothing could stand in the midst of this atomic wreckage and live.

The boss’s laughter stopped.  There was an explosion, even larger than the first, and screams.  Scarbag Flashboy had no idea what happened or how he later found himself in a ship’s medical bay, agreeing to give a painboy most of his teef to sew his legs and part of his left arm back on.  A young tau nurse shook her head and silently busied herself with the needless task of sterilizing a hacksaw.

Perhaps the drone had done its job after all?

Of the enemy warboss and his strange battle suit there was no sign.  Other than the lieutenant’s video capture, of course.  One thing was for sure, he knew that Warboss Hungry, as a close ally of the Greater Good and honorary Shas’O, would not stop until he solved the mystery of the mega mek armor.

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Mega Mek Warboss and boyz surge over a hedgerow.  Note Flashboy’s drone scout.

So the MWLS gave me an idea.  Why not take advantage of him unexpectedly turning up into a sort of four game narrative campaign of sorts instead of just a one shot deal?  I’ll put the campaign up in a future post and link it is this one, which will be the first game of the series.

It was a good fight and a close one.  A battle that definitely highlights the maxim of never giving up.  Especially with the Maelstrom missions.  Although my opponent rolled double 1’s with his lucky stikk and killed off his own warboss inches from my deployment zone, which was unquestionably the high point of our game,  he did manage to squeak out a 13-12 victory point win despite my achieving the all important First Blood in addition to the aforementioned seemingly insurmountable early  battle lead!

Still, thanks to the indomitable senior lieutenant, higher command is in possession of some very interesting intelligence.  One wonders what the Earth Caste will have to say about all of this?  As Warboss Hungry likes to say, “Wot’s all dis den?”

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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.

“Break Their Will” Scenario

Aerial view of trench bombardment.

I first saw this scenario at Mythic Games in Santa Cruz, California.  It was their 40K “Scenario of the Week” at the time.  I liked it because while fairly simple, it promoted a style of play that was a little different than the classic Eternal War or Maelstrom missions.

Set up is as per a standard game of 40K.  There are no secondary objectives, nor are any objective markers placed on the board. Night Fighting wasn’t listed either, though I suppose if both sides agreed you could include that rule. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Players achieve victory points by meeting the following conditions:

  • One victory point for each enemy unit reduced to half strength or below.
  • Two victory points for each enemy independent character killed.
  • One victory point for each challenge won.
  • One victory point for each of your units over half strength in the enemy deployment zone at the end of the game.

Our “Break Their Will” Battles

Khorne Daemonkin, Orks, and Necrons vs. Orks (1000 points, August 2015).  A hard fought battle on both sides with many failed charges by the orks on both sides with the end game turning into a bit of a swirling battle of annihilation in the center of the board.  The mixed forces won a solid but by no means overwhelming victory.

  Ultramarines vs. Space Wolves (1250 points, Spring 2015).  A tough “war game” battle between two chapters honing their tactics.  The Space Wolves were aggressive, especially their chaplain, but what these men of the Fang had going for them in ferocity they lacked in experience.  The war games were close but in the end the Ultramarines, led by a highly experienced Captain Reuben, taught the new comers some valuable lessons they won’t forget when they battle the enemies of Mankind.

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!