Archive for Battle Report

All Quiet on the Martian Front – First games!

Posted in Battle Report, Games, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 25, 2014 by stingersix

Finally got to play this tonight with my friend Stephen. We decided to do the intro scenario, where you basically just beat each other senseless without the fancy rules for hidden movement and ambushes and whatnot.

The board has some Flames of War buildings on it. Not quite in scale but not too far off – all good.image

In this scenario, you just fight until the other guy loses half his units and breaks. The humans and Martians went at it hammer and tongs!

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This tripod scooted up the road and then showed why it’s a good idea to spread out and avoid the nasty sweep template of the Martian heat ray!

 

 

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Despite their power and durability, the tripods can only take so much. This guy is steadily losing his armor and taking more and more damage. Critical hits had him moving out of control and losing control of his weapons, and the game has a fun way of handling this (you dice off with your opponent).

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The Doughboys are most effective against the Martians in assault, but this is also the most dangerous way to attack the aliens! A squad hurls itself into action!

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They knocked off a couple more points of armor, and the ‘Pod actually retreated! But on it’s next movement, Stephen won the roll to control it, and the Martian warmachine staggered back in among a horde of enemies! Both infantry squads in the picture there assaulted (after the MG squad and the tank softened it up a bit more. However, if you roll well enough when you damage a Tripod, it can explode…

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Before…

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After…

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Yes, the explosion of the destroyed ‘pod’s reactor took out all of the human units around it (everything within 6″ takes hits)! This actually broke both our forces at the same time! The humans and Martians both pulled back from the carnage with a bloody tie!

For the second game we got a little more involved and the Martians had to cross the board lengthwise and exit as many pods as they could off the opposite table edge. The humans had to stop them. This time we tried hidden movement, ambushes and some Martian special weaponry (Green Gas). Stephen deployed almost all his infantry hidden in the farm compound. His MG squad is in ambush, somewhere in his deployment zone. His MkIII tanks are in reserve.

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The Martians have at most, seven turns to get across the board, most likely six. Moving their full distance every turn, they could just make it if they didn’t slow down for anything or spend too much time picking their way through difficult terrain. They reached the road as the human tanks fired away and the infantry scrambled to redploy to the center. The Rough Rider motorcyclists are moving in.

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Just as the humans’ best armor is lining up their shots, Martian heat rays deal out death, routing tanks and infantry moving in to assault.

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As the terrified infantry flees for the rear, the human MG team waiting in ambush in the cornfield finally opens up at nearly point blank range…and destroys a Tripod with a lucky shot! The alien machine crashes to the ground.

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The humans mount a desperate last-ditch assault, but fail to stop the Tripod, which routs and destroys them, and then does the same to the retreating MkIII unit.

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We called it there, as the human army had been broken. But, had the game continued, I would not have been able to get more than one Tripod off the board, even had the game gone to Turn 6.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. It played better than I thought it would. I first thought the Martians would easily sweep aside the humans but that was not the case. I can see that with some shrewd tactics and effective use of the weapons available, the U.S. Army can definitely turn back the Martian tide. There is some complexity, but the basic die rolling mechanics are very simple and go really fast. There is little to no chart referencing during play, and once you get the basic systems down, I can see where this game plays quickly compared to many other minis games.

I really want to get some of the Forlorn Hope minis for the U.S. Army – they’re a couple of figures dangling from a rope and you can hook them on to a Tripod so it looks like they’re climbing up. The Forlorn Hope is an upgrade for infantry squads and they pop out when assaulting Tripods, climbing up to plant TNT and grenades. They’re a one use thing (they’re assumed to die in the assault) but they give a hefty bonus to the infantry’s assault roll.

I also like the look of the Martian Scout Tripods, and I’d like to get some Lobototons (lobotomized human captives made into mindless slaves for the Martians).

So far, I haven’t seen anything about All Quiet on the Martian Front I don’t like. I have a couple more games planned next week and I’m looking forward to them!

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Dropzone Commander Battle Report – Operation Cyan Rapier: Phase 2

Posted in Battle Report, Dropzone Commander, Games with tags , , on August 15, 2014 by stingersix

My buddy Stephen and I played our second game of the campaign we have going “Operation Cyan Rapier.” I’ll talk about Phase (game) 1 later, but today’s game was the follow-on from that game in which the UCM managed to successfully extract a Praetorian insertion team that had gone into enemy territory to link up with local Resistance forces. The mission was (barely) successful and victory was won at great cost to the UCM Praetorians. So, here is the preamble to Phase 2:

Operation Cyan Rapier – Phase 2 – Decapitation

After the successful (but costly) recovery of the Praetorian insertion teams from Estrella del Mar, UCM command gives the go-ahead for Phase 2, a strike at the Scourge command elements in the area of operations. With the Praetorians taken out of the line to recover, UCM General Magday reluctantly decides to commit his heavy assets, hoping to deal the Scourge a knockout blow before the main landing operation. This is a risky and controversial strategy, as the relatively small UCM task force assigned to this operation cannot afford many losses. Nevertheless, the UCM forces once again prepare for battle.

Unbeknownst to the UCM planners, the Scourge have more reserves than originally thought, and have managed to keep them hidden even from the Resistance spies. As a result, their defenses near their headquarters complex will be at full strength to face the coming assault!

 It was a modified version of the Decapitation scenario in the main rulebook. 1750 points for both of us, and Stephen got an extra 350 point battle group to represent the unknown reserves (which would start rolling for entry on turn 3). I do a lot of my own scenario design and a favorite method is to take an existing scenario and tweak it in interesting ways. You’ll see more of this when I talk about the Snipers a bit later on.

In this campaign I am also making an effort to do more rural and less heavily urban terrain. This scenario thus featured fully half the board as hills and wooded areas, and the other half a mostly open landing field. It makes for a very different feel than the usual tight cityscape we most often play in.

So, was the UCM able to take out the Scourge Overseer? Read on!

Here’s the battlefield. Pretty long sight lines. In that regard it favors the UCM, but, the UCM has to attack and close the distance in this mission and the Scourge has to defend, so perhaps both sides’ favored roles are switched up? Definitely a challenge for us both. The idea was the UCM was attacking the local Scourge command base, which was established in an old air/spaceport (you can see the runway there). The walled off area was the command center, and there are two bunkers. A string of fighting positions lined the edge of the airfield. Off in the rough, there are a couple of wooded hills, some abandoned huts and a few fading craters leftover from the Scourge invasion centuries ago.

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In the Decapitation scenario, the Defender sets up inside a fortified area. The Scourge used the old human terminal as their base. Each wall section and turret is Hardened with 10DP. Steve had a bit of trouble figuring out his list and didn’t have enough AA initially (extremely important in this scenario since keeping his Command unit alive was the key to victory), but we re-jiggered his list a bit and got it straightened out. Here, his Reapers form up around the Overseer (UCM codename: Broken Tower) with a squad of Hunters ready to burst out of the gate. Warriors line the parapets.

Taking out Broken Tower was my objective. Steve’s objective was avoid losing his Commander, or at least make any UCM victory as costly as possible. This position seems a tough nut to crack – indeed although I had 2 squads of 2 Archangels each, going into that AA bubble was a frightening prospect!photo 4

A bit hard to see here but there are 5 Possible Objective markers. These represented possible hidden locations of my Praetorian Sniper squad. Until the actual squad was revealed, these markers all had the Scout ability, representing remote sensing equipment and digital ghillies set up by the Snipers who had infiltrated the are before the battle. If fired at, they could only be hit on a natural 6 but if the snipers were actually there, they would take damage, otherwise the marker would be removed. If a Scourge unit moved into base contact, they would also be instantly removed and the snipers revealed if they were there. I borrowed on the Infiltration rule from 40K, allowing me to place a marker in cover as close as 12″ from an enemy, and no closer than 24″ if out in the open.photo 5

At the end of T1, the UCM forces are surging on to the battlefield. I have a big tank blob of 6 Sabers and 3 Rapiers in the Albatross. You can see my Longbows down and deployed near the huts. The Ferrum has launched its flight of drones and the Legionnaires and Heavy Ordnance battle groups are going in. My command Kodiak is out of the frame at the bottom left. Steve has raced forward with a squad of Hunters, driving them into one of the fighting positions with the use of a Command Card (Overdrive??) I lucked out and got one squad of Archangels out of Reserve on T1, but they failed to arrive for an attack run. No biggie.photo 6 photo 7

Warriors deploy into the bunker on the right.photo 8 photo 9

Turn 2 action: Scourge Corsairs sweep in on an attack run against the fully loaded Albatross, the big fat transport making a terrific target! I committed both my FM squads to intercept. The flight leader went in screaming “EARF!” at the top of his lungs but in his excitement he and his wingman both missed! The second squad zoomed in from the opposite vector and managed to splash one Corsair, but only one! The survivor opened up on the Albatross but missed, his aim disturbed, no doubt, by his over-enthusiastic enemies! After this, the Albatross pilot moved forward as close as he dared and dropped the tanks into the fray!photo 10

 

Turn 3 and the game develops! The Armor battle group rolls forward, hammering shots into the base fortifications. If I could take down a wall, I could possibly start picking off Reapers and clear the way for some Archangel runs on the Desolater. But I couldn’t bring the wall down. Steve began to threaten my Kodiak with his Prowlers and Reavers so I loosed off a hail of fire with my Rapiers, downing a fully loaded Invader and a Reaver. The Prowlers survived the crash, and with a mass of tanks nearby, turned their attention to a more inviting target. They couldn’t attack this turn, but if Steve won the next Initiative roll, my tanks were in trouble!photo 11 photo 12 photo 13

My Archangels squads had until now been busy elsewhere on the battlefield. This turn it was up to my drones to try and crack the AA bubble and get some fire on the Desolater. The drones swarmed in and the Reapers began reaction firing. The dice did not go the Scourge’s way – even with the Reaction Fire penalty, he should have been hitting half the time. Even the Warriors on the walls blasted away to no effect. In the end, I lost only 2 drones out of 8. They lined up on the Desolator and did 4 points of damage! With the Scourge AA Reaction Fire exhausted, the Archangel squads rolled in on the Desolator and blew it out of the sky! Mission accomplished?photo 14

I revealed the Snipers’ position. The Scourge Warriors in that bunker downrange were definitely scoring hits! An earlier volley of AA fire from the troops on the walls had destroyed an inbound Condor and a mounted squad of Legionnaires. The Praetorians synched their cybernetic ballistic targeting computers together and ranged in on the Warriors in the bunker. Their combined fire sounded like one single shot…photo 15

Seven points of damage on the Warriors! The Snipers managed one more shot later in the game, resulting in a total wipe-out of the Warriors!

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The Scourge have lost their Overseer, and now enraged, seek to do as much damage to the humans as they can before they escape. As the UCM frantically tries to withdraw from the fight, the Prowlers leap onto the Sabers and Rapiers for a hot plasma injection!photo 17 photo 18

Not much left of my armor! The tanks slam into reverse and pull back, shaking off a few Prowlers. Hoping to both pick up its tanks and kill their tormentors, the Albatross swings around bringing all its guns to bear! The tanks also unleash heavy machine gun fire at the walkers, while also taking down the fortress wall with a few shots from their railguns.photo 19

The fight on the runway has been close and deadly, leaving the field covered in burning wrecks! photo 21

With an untouched Scourge battle group now entering the fight, the UCM forces mount up and firewall their throttles to escape!

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Final positions at the end of Turn 6. Most of my units have exited the board. Steve made a desperate push to catch up and was closing in on the Ferrum. The Legionnaire-carrying Condor was shot down, but the Bear and the troops inside survived the crash, but were still on the board. The Praetorian Snipers, their mission complete, activated their therm-optic camouflage and crept carefully away from their hide-site. They knew they would be walking home…photo 24

In the end, a Strategic Victory for the UCM. In our next game and for the rest of the campaign, the Scourge cannot have a Commander higher than an Overlord (Lvl5) since Broken Tower was killed. We took a look at UCM losses to see at what cost victory was won for the UCM – I lost my entire armor battle group except the Albatross, plus a few other units, but it all came out to about 25% of my force. Acceptable losses.

It was a great game. Had Steve’s dice been better when he was rolling for Reaction Fire against the drones it could have been a much different game – I would have had to risk the Reaper AA bubble with the Archangels.

So now we’re talking about where our campaign goes next. In Phase 1, the UCM recovered vital info on the Scourge, allowing them to progress to Phase 2, which was a strike against the Scourge command. With success for the UCM so far, we think General Magaday is going to commit his forces to an operation to establish a secure beachhead, so we’re looking at a straight-up clash of forces, probably with the Bridgehead scenario. Focal point missions are always a scrum!

Thanks to Steve for a great game!

All Quiet on the Martian Front – U.S. Army

Posted in Minis, WIP with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by stingersix

Once I got going on the U.S. Army units in the AQoMF starter box, I knew they wouldn’t take too long. Minis at this scale (18mm) go much faster than 28s. Also, I had promised myself that when I finished them, I would paint the Martian Tripods. I’ve painted I don’t know how many G.I.s and Doughboys over the years – a lot. But I have never painted a Martian Tripod, and I am now really looking forward to it. That and getting some games in when I finish!

Here are the Rough Riders I finished today. These guys are like a suicide squad – they race into contact with the Tripods, fire those grappling hook guns and then ride around the ‘pods playing out a cable to tangle up their legs and bring the alien war machines down! Awesome!

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And here’s the painted U.S. Army force that comes in the starter set.

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Now, on to the Martian menace!

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Chain of Command

Posted in Games, Historical, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 28, 2014 by stingersix

Played my first game of Chain of Command today. Finally got to use those G.I.s I painted a few months ago. Bit of a learning curve but a fun and interesting game. My Yanks vs. Chris’ Krauts. The pre-game positioning and movement to contact is very unique and cool. I like the way this game does deployment.

Started off with a couple squads in the woods there. Another squad is in the back out of the frame. This was a basic patrol clash. I had three rifle squads and a 60mm mortar. Chris had the same plus a halftrack.

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These Germans here shot the hell out of me the first few phases, but  I gradually wore them down with mortar and rifle fire til they broke at the end of the game.

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A lot of the game was a medium range shootout between these squads here in the woods and the Germans. The Jerries and their MG42s put out ungodly amounts of fire. This was really hammering my squads here until my Lieutenant showed up to bolster their morale and keep them shooting. Think of the scene in Band of Brothers where Winters and his men are at Carentan and have to hold off the German assault, and Winters was yelling at his men to keep firing. Like that.

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This halftrack rolled up and started spraying my G.I.s with bullets.

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My mortar team is in the ruins back there. It did good work, and I kept it focused on the central German squad. The rifle squad there made it into that house, exhorted on by Sgt. Savales.image

The filthy Nazi commander shows up with his briefcase full of god knows what and keeps his men fighting. The mortars managed to knock him down wounded for a few phases.image

 

I eventually got these guys into a full firing line and began trading shots with the Krauts in the roadhouse.

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The halftrack passes the roadhouse. The other German MG squad I was tradinf fire with the whole game is in that building.

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The guy in the knit cap there with the grease gun is Sgt. Telly Savales. He had to boot these grunts in the ass to get them going, and they got going!image

Cinematic moment here. The bazooka team took three shots at the advancing halftrack, narrowly escaped a bunch of fire thrown at them, and then had to rummage around looking for more bazooka rounds. Finally knocked out the halftrack on their fourth shot!

 

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The Jerries that were here finally had enough and bugged out!image

It was good to finally get a game in of this. The historicals crew has been playing for a while and their games always look pretty good. It was the first WW2 minis game I’ve played at 28mm scale and I did enjoy it.

 

 

DZC Lessons Learned

Posted in Dropzone Commander with tags , , , on January 8, 2014 by stingersix

Had another great game of Dropzone Commander with Stephen Bajza last night. As I get more games under my belt, I’m feeling more confident with the rules and understanding the tactics and flow of the game. It really is a good game that sets up a lot of tense situations. Steve called it ‘structured chaos’ I think was what he said. Because the initiative can shift each turn, and with the alternating turn order, things on the table are constantly changing and you have to stay on your toes, prioritizing your moves and targets.

A few general things I’m getting so far:

  • If you win the first initiative roll, letting your opponent go first allows you to see where the focus of his effort will be, and lets you deploy your infantry last (and hopefully outside his AA envelope). There is something to be said for going first on T1 though, especially if you’re the Scourge, because it is often possible for you to be inside a target building on T1. There’s a lot to be said for making your opponent react to you with an aggressive move that is hard to counter.
  • UCM in general don’t need to close with the enemy. They out-range the Scourge with almost every weapon they have. They are slower though, and need to watch out for fast-moving enemy.
  • Scourge want to do the opposite and close as fast as possible. If you’re going to do this, go in with numbers to present your opponent with multiple targets to spread his fire. Attacking with massed forces in general is a good idea.
  • Don’t forget you do an extra damage point if you roll 2 better than you need on the damage roll!
  • If you find yourself spread out too much, or out of position, call for dustoff, get the dropships in, and move them. You can wrongfoot an opponent that isn’t expecting you to pick up a whole battlegroup and move it. This is one of the main features of DZC in my opinion – the ability to rapidly redirect the direction and focus of your maneuver is powerful and an awesome part of the game!
  • Protect your dropships and transports! You’re utterly crawling without them. That said, once the units they transport are gone, that orphaned dropship can at least put fire on enemy units (unless you need to keep it alive to save kill points). Flying on the deck when you move isn’t as risky as it sounds I think (this coming from the guy who rolls 1’s like a champ), and protects from potential reaction AA fire.
  • Infantry in buildings can be dug in like Alabama ticks. But if they move to the windows to fire at you, fire back! Most infantry have no countermeasures so you’re at full range – even machine guns can do damage in this case, so light ’em up! You’ll need 5’s and 6’s because of soft and body cover, but if you’re volleying a whole squad, that’s a lot of dice.
  • If you’re going to try to take down a building, you’ve got to mean it, since they’re usually pretty tough, so if you haven’t got any better target, hit a structure. They have no countermeasures and so you can shoot at full range and always hit on a 2+. You should have a decent chance of doing Falling Masonry damage to infantry cowering inside. Scourge players! Don’t forget your MBTs have the Demolisher special rule! Nasty!
  • If you’re doing an objective search with infantry, keep your APC and dropship nearby and hidden. Ideally, you don’t want to have to move either the APC or the dropship toward the infantry they’re picking up. The grunts should be able to pile straight out of the building into the APC, which rolls right into the dropship, which punches it and hightails it for the board edge.
  • When it looks like you’re gonna have to engage in CQB, try to outnumber the enemy. This is not new news! One-to-one fights are going to come down to who rolls better. Bring numbers, quality or preferably both.

I’ve only played with the units and the scenario in the starter set so far, so I expect things to change as I expand my familiarity with the game, but these things seem to be decent basic strategies to stand on.

How to lose at Dropzone Commander!

Posted in Battle Report, Dropzone Commander with tags , on January 4, 2014 by stingersix

Had my first game of 2014 the other day. I played Dropzone Commander with Chris R. It was a real cock-up of a game for me, as far as playing goes. I dunno where my head was at (up my backside apparently) but while I very effectively showed Chris how to play the game, he showed me how to play the game.

Starter set scenario, starter set forces. Chris is the UCM, I’m the Scourge (first time for me playing the Scourge). Here’s the table after T1. Chris has wisely deployed all his armor, with the AA tanks up top and Sabers in the middle. His infantry are still mounted up and driving for the central objective building.  I have only deployed my infantry into the objective building at the bottom (see the second pic – I couldn’t get the whole board in the frame). My Hunters are still embarked in the Maruader behind the building. My AA Reapers are in the Marauder at the top there. Do you see the glaring mistake I made?

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This is what happens when you run your fully-loaded dropship into range and LOS of the enemy AA tanks… You see ’em back there?
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Yep, lost the entire battlegroup in one go. Chris got 8 hits, IIRC, and then rolled 6 damage (plus whatever extra for high rolls – it was awful). Then he rolled a 6 on the Destroyed Aircraft Table. Boom!

Then, mesmerized by the flickering flames of my crashed dropship (and caught in the grip of stupidity), I disembarked the Hunters and drove them into the position you see below. Of course, they couldn’t fire because they’d unloaded.

Before…

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After.

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Hey, where’d my tanks go? Ooohh, dey gone! Chris duly smoked them with his Sabers. You will also note that he has begun working over the building where my infantry are hiding. I did find my objective though, and have already trucked it off the board at this point. Then we spent the next couple turns in a firefight with the infantry I did have left. The building they were in was worked over with railguns, machine guns and missiles, and my infantry we getting whittled away.

20140102_153200Although I was getting massacred, I was still winning by T4, with one objective removed. But on T4, Chris’ infantry found their objective and legged it, getting it off the board on T5. We were then tied and Chris was clearly going to win the tie on kill points, so we were both angling for the last remaining objective. All I had left was a Marauder and couldn’t stop him, but he also couldn’t get into the building to search it in time. So, game end with a tie on VPs, soundly broken in favor of the UCM on kill points.

Hats off to Chris for the win and a fun game regardless! I played terribly though I was using the Scourge for the first time, and they are very different from the UCM. We’re going to have a rematch this Sunday and see if I can’t remove my head from my backside!

 

Fight hard, die well

Posted in 40K, Battle Report with tags , on December 12, 2013 by stingersix

I seem to have a lot of glamor shots of my Space Marines but not many in-game pics. So, to remedy that, here are a few from a game I played earlier in the week against Stephen Bazja’s Voidwalker CSM. It was one of the better games I have had in a long time. Real back and forth the whole time, with control of the game in question literally until the very last move of the (7-turn) game!

This game was part of the current campaign we have going at the store. It was a Cities of Death game so there were lots of ruins and obstacles. The mission was The Relic, which represented an ancient datacore exposed in the ruins by all the bombardments going on. Each side had to try and get a unit to the datacore and download whatever info they could find. It was a 1500-pt game and I chose to run a variant of my “Tanksgiving” list, with two Land Raiders (one was a Redeemer). I had three combat squads in Rhinos for objective grabbing, and the heavy hitters would be my full Sternguard squad, a Command squad fully armed with plasma guns, and a Bike squad, led by Captain Ojin on his brand new ride.

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The Voidwalkers also rolled up with a Land Raider, stuffed full of Chaos Terminators, and a Rhino with a Slaanesh marked CSM squad in trail. Regular CSM troops and Stephen’s cultists rounded out his Troops choices. The cultists are a hoot, and we agreed that the cultist champion should have a bandolier of beer cans modeled on (get to work, Steve!). The Tzeentchian sorcerer, Nameless, was leading the host.20131210_195359 20131210_195423

Steve likes his Obliterators, so they were there of course. And yeah, he had a Heldrake.

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My  plan was to drive up on the objective and clear it with the Sternguard coming out of the Redeemer, and then rush the Tac squads in to grab the damned thing. The Land Raider would provide long range fire support, and Ojin and his bikers a mobile strike unit to go after high threat targets. Naturally, things went wrong from the very first die roll – Steve seized the initiative!

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OK, so that sucked. But it was an indication of how hard fought and close this game would be! I took a hull point on the Land Raider which got into a long range gun duel with its Chaos counterpart. There were a few more shots fired but as with most games, T1 was about positioning and Steve moved his CSM up. I took a few shots in my turn after mounting up all the troops in their vehicles and moving out, knowing that the Heldrake was inbound.

We forgot to launch my preliminary bombardment on T1, so we did it on T2. It missed everything except the one building where the CSM had set up, and collapsed it. But, only two traitors got crushed so on we went.

Then, like an unwanted pigeon (that shits napalm), the Heldrake zoomed in on T2.20131210_202216 20131210_202507Another variant of my list didn’t have bikers, and I knew the Hel-turkey would go after them since all the rest of my troops were inside the (relative) safety of their transports. Sure enough, I lost 3 bikes (out of 6) to the damned thing (including Captain Ojin getting toasted and taking a wound). I took a few ineffective pot shots at it but they all missed and that point I decided to just try to ignore it, stay buttoned up if possible and keep going forward. I had a thought to put Flakk missiles on my MLs in the Rhinos and use them as ghetto flak positions but decided to spend the points elsewhere.

Though the objective was in the center of the table, the objective was walled off by debris and the tank traps Stephen had placed nearby (which also affected him of course). This was going to force me to unload the Sternguard early, and with Heldrake around, I knew that was going to suck, but, no choice. I jumped a combat squad out and went in while the Redeemer and the rest of the Sternguard went right. The Command squad also moved up, flanked by the bikes going all-out, full-tilt boogie toward the right flank (holy Emperor, I love White Scars Chapter Tactics) where the Obliterators were walking up the street like a couple of outlaws in a western. These two mugs got some solid hits on the Redeemer but the Command Squad fed them some hot plasma death.

In response, the Voidwalker warlord, Nameless, turned all his cultists invisible and formed them into a gunline in the ruins of the cathedral. They let loose a huge volley of fire that took out two more bikers, leaving Ojin with just one more outrider. Did I mention, Nameless turned his cultists invisible?! It was fun to imagine the incoming Space Marines switching to thermal imaging to try and spot the cultists!

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Well, I wasn’t going to let that go unanswered! I set off my Demolitions Charge (Cities of Death, woot!) and if it went off, the cathedral was packed with cultists and CSM, not to mention Nameless and Captain Ojin (who was gunning straight for the aforementioned Chaos sorcerer). But! The charge failed to go off! Emperor’s teeth! We both thought it would have been awesome if it had, but, oh well, drive on!

The cultists got a full serving of Sternguard Special Cover-Ignoring Dragonfire Rounds ™ followed by more hot plasma death from the nearby Command squad. After this, they decided they didn’t want any more and turned to watch their boss get friendly with Captain Ojin. Nameless went invisible, giving him his best chance of killing Captain Ojin on his charge. The sorcerer’s force staff crackled with warp energy, but the Emperor was with Captain Ojin and his Iron Halo deflected the killing blow. Ojin struck back with his power fist, but trying to hit a thermal blur proved challenging, and the Dark Gods protected their servant for the moment. This was turning into an epic duel!20131210_214806

Elsewhere, the Heldrake burned down a combat squad that had to bail out of their cored Rhino. With no other targets along its flight path, it flew off the board to set up for another run. Two Marines managed to survive but were soon picked off by long-range bolter fire from the advancing CSM. By this point the CSM Land Raider had been immobilized and the Rhino as well, throwing a track as it tried to smash through the cathedral wall. In this game, both of us found our immobilized heavy tanks to be a real hindrance to our maneuvering, once they had been stuck where they were. My Redeemer flailed away with its weapons but their short-ranged nature made them largely ineffective. The Voidwalker Terminators unloaded as well, and began marching toward the Sternguard I had near the objective. All the CSM infantry were boiling forward, determined to overrun the Rising Sun battle brothers!20131210_222049

Back inside the cathedral ruin Captain Ojin and Nameless were locked in deadly battle. With his cultists looking on in amusement (“Yeah, yeah, get ‘im boss. Glad that ain’t me.”) Nameless invoked the Ruinous Powers again. And again, Captain Ojin was saved by the will of the Emperor (and his 4++ save). Spinning his bike around, Captain Ojin hammered his powerfist into the sorcerer, who went down in a bright flash of light. The cultists briefly contemplated charging the Captain, then decided they didn’t want any of that mess and headed off the other direction. Cultists who later picked up Nameless’ armor said they found no trace of the sorcerer’s body inside…

As Captain Ojin and his last bike trooper roared away, the battle outside heated up! The Chaos Terminators crushed the Sternguard, sweeping them away from the objective. The Slaanesh marked CSM also made short work of the second Sternguard squad. At this point I had only two scoring units left! A combat squad of Tactical Marines that had just been blown out of their Rhino, and the single biker riding alongside Captain Ojin! But, only in death does duty end!20131210_222558

The Command squad got their sights on the Slaaneshi freaks and gunned them down. I was desperately looking for a way to protect my last squad of Tacticals from the Heldrake that had just shown up again, so they dove into the last mobile Rhino on the board. Denied that target, the Heldrake washed the Rhino in fire but did no damage. Meanwhile, Captain Ojin was roaring around the rear of the CSM positions. A quick strike on the Chaos Land Raider did nothing, but did set him up to charge the objective!

The center of the board was slick with blood and ash as the Chaos Terminators fell to plasma gun fire. With the Captain on the objective, the Heldrake hovered around to try and burn him down. Ojin survived only to see the cultists charging him. It was a one-sided fight as Ojin smashed a few and their morale crumbled and they were swept.

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With the objective clear, the Heldrake had another shot at Captain Ojin, and this time, the heroic Astartes Captain finally went down in a fiery blast. Surviving Chaos Space Marines stomped over the broken cultist bodies to claim the objective. But…!

I still had a combat squad in a Rhino nearby. They couldn’t charge the CSM on the objective but they could roll up and disembark close enough to contest, so that’s what I did, and if I could shoot the remaining CSM off the objective it wouldn’t just be contested, it would be mine! It was the bottom of T7 and this was it. I got a great shooting roll with enough hits to wipe them out, and…

All but one Traitor was left standing. Would he break and run? No! The objective was contested!

The Heldrake flew off in search of fuel as the CSM sounded their recall and withdrew, leaving the bloody field to the Rising Sun.

The final score was 2-1. We both had Slay the Warlord and I had First Blood, and that alone gave me the win.

Man, what a game! Many thanks to Steve for making it such a close game and giving me a hell of a fight. The game had some truly stand-out cinematic moments and was easily one of my favorites!

Fight hard, die well!