Friday, February 22, 2008

Battle Report: Orks vs. Space Wolves Cityfight: Meeting Engagement

Scenario: Cityfight: Meeting Engagement
Ork Forces: Badelaire
Space Wolf Forces: The D
This was our first attempt at actually using Cityfight, so we kept it to a 1000 point battle. Meeting Engagement seemed to be the simplest of the missions, which would allow us to play with a minimum of fuss and figure out the new rules. All in all, it resulted in a close and exciting game, which we completed in about four hours. (And that's with me taking notes and pictures all the time so I could make the battle report)

The Forces
Ork ForcesPoints
Warboss Gorgrim Skulkraka (1)86
Stormboyz with Nob (9)146
Burnaboyz with Mekboy (11)139
Shoota Boyz with Nob (17)195
Pigface's Mob: Slugga Boyz with Nob (19)226
Klawfreek's Mob: Slugga Boyz with Nob (16)208
Total Points:1000
Space Wolves ForcesPoints
Wolf Guard Battle Leader (1)95
Wolf Guard Battle Leader (1)95
Grey Hunters (Blue Squad) (6)124
Grey Hunters (Green Squad) (6)129
Blood Claws (Red Squad) (11)182
Blood Claws (Yellow Squad) (11)182
Total Points:997
Turn 1
Warboss Gorgrim Skulkraka arrayed his forces in and around the church, looking across the streets and spotted the grey power armored Space Marines taking up positions in the ruined building on the other side of the intersection. Yelling and cursing, Gorgrim got them moving towards their enemies, moving out of the courtyard and into the street. The Shootaboyz stayed in the church. The Orks in Klawfreek's Slugga Mob fired their Rokkits at Blue Squad, but missed with all three shots. The Shoota Boyz fared better with their massed shootas and four big shootas, killing at pair of the Space Wolves.

The Grey Hunters watch the approaching tide of Orks
On the Space Wolf right flank, the Blood Claws' Red Squad advanced in close order up the side street, followed by the Landspeeder. Opposite them on the left flank, the Blood Claws' Yellow Squad did the same, with the Dreadnought following close behind. Moving into the open, the Dreadnought slewed its torso to the right, aiming down the street towards Pigface's Slugga boyz. The frag missile from the Dread's missile launcher was off target, but the Assault Cannon did better, killing two Orks. The Grey Hunters of Blue Squad opened fire with their bolters, killing two more Orks in Klawfreek's Slugga mob. The Landspeeder sideslipped into the street and opened fire with its heavy bolter, killing one more. One of the Wolf Guard Battle Leaders also fired on the Slugga mob with his Storm Bolter, but failed to kill any of them.

Turn 2
The Orks continued their advance, spreading out. Warboss Gorgrim found himself yelling and cursing so much that he was lagging behind the mobs. Klawfreek's Rokkits opened fire on the Grey Hunters again, and the Orks let out a raucous cheer when they saw one hit home, but the cheers turned to curses when the Grey Hunter emerged unscathed by the blast. The Big Shootas showed them how to do it when they emptied hundreds of big shoota rounds at the same Grey Hunters, killing one of them.
Klawfreek's mob crosses the street

On the flanks both squads of Blood Claws continued their advance up the side streets. The Dreadnought took a few steps after them, then turned to fire on Pigface's mob again, killing one of the Slugga Boyz with its Assault Cannon. Both Blue Squad and the Landspeeder opened fire on Klawfreek's mob, but failed to kill anyone. The two Wolf Guard Battle Leaders opened fire on Klawfreek's mob and made up for the shortfall, killing three of them. The Mob passed its morale check and kept on coming.

Turn 3
While Pigface's mob moved into the rubble of a building, the Stormboyz went airborne and landed on the roof of an adjacent building. Klawfreek's mob and the Burna Boyz kept trudging forward. The Rokkits fired at the Landspeeder, and not surprisingly they all missed. The Shoota Boyz fired at Blue Squad again, killing one of the Grey Hunters and forcing them to fall back.
The Stormboyz jump onto the roof
The Blood Claws of Red Squad moved into a building, taking up positions to defend the building against Pigface's advancing mob. Red Squad opened fire with their pistols, killing three of them, but the green tide advanced unchecked. Blue Squad regrouped and fired at Klawfreek's mob, killing one of them, while the Dreadnought connected with a frag missile, killing one more. The Landspeeder boosted itself onto the roof, directly in front of the Stormboyz. The Stormboyz jeered at the Landspeeder, assuming that they could easily weather the Landspeeder's Heavy Bolter fire. But their jeers died on their lips when the Landspeeder unloaded its Heavy Flamer at point blank range, followed up by the Heavy Bolter. When the dust cleared, a pair of Orks were riddled with fist-sized holes in them, and four more were turned to charcoal. The three surviving Stormboyz held their ground.

Turn 4
Eager to escape the attentions of the Landspeeder, but under the guise of searching for new prey, the Stormboyz boosted off the roof tops and back into the streets, just outside the building where the Red Squad of Blood Claws had taken up position. By this time Pigface's mob showed up, and the mob's burna boyz jammed their burnas into the windows and doorways of the building and unleashed hell on the Blood Claws inside. Adding to the flame the Slugga Boyz and Stormboyz opened fire with their Sluggas as well. Inside the building, the Blood Claws proved remarkably resilient, as only two fell to the burnas, and one more to the sluggas.

On the other flank, Klawfreek's Rokkits all fired at the Dreadnought, and all missed. The Slugga boyz fired on Blue Squad, killing one. The Shoota Boyz turned their attention to the Landspeeder, now flying above everything, and the four Big Shootas pounded through its armor, causing the Landspeeder to explode into smithereens.

A battle hungry burna boy looks out the window
The Stormboyz and Pigface's Slugga mob charged the building, and the Blood Claws met the challenge. Four Slugga Boyz fell to Red Squad's chainswords. Pigface plowed through the doorway, and raised his choppa to inflict death upon his enemies, but his choppa got stuck in the ceiling and he hit precisely nothing. The Stormboyz Nob killed one of the Blood Claws, while the rest of the boyz killed four more. The Blood Claws fell back out of the building, while the Orks consolidated.

For the Space Wolves, Klawfreek's mob was the target of priority. Everything that could shoot at them did so. The Wolf Guard Battle Leader, the Dreadnought and Blue Squad each killed one. Green Squad moved into position close enough to fire at the Orks, and killed four with their bolters. Undaunted, the Orks continued to advance.

Turn 5
The Stormboyz advanced out of the building in pursuit of the Blood Claws, while Pigface's mob continued to plow into the building. The Big Shootas opened fire on Green Squad, killing one of them. The Stormboyz and Pigface's mob opened fire on the Blood Claws, and all missed, but then proceeded to charge them. Pigface failed to wound, but the Blood Claws themselves didn't hit anything either. Then the rest of the boyz swung all those choppas, killing all three remaining Blood Claws.

The Wolf Guard Battle Leader, overwhelmed by Orks
The remnants of Klawfreek's mob assaulted the Dreadnought. The Dreadnought killed one ork and wounded Klawfreek, and Klawfreek failed to do anything in return, and the Dreadnought stomped him to pulp as Klawfreek turned to run. The Burna Boyz, led by their Mekboy, assaulted a Wolf Guard Battle Leader. The Wolf Guard Battle Leader killed a single ork, but he couldn't stand up to all of the burnas, which penetrated his terminator armor and killed him.

The Dreadnought, fresh from killing the Nob, found that Warboss Gorgrim was standing in the middle of the street, dead ahead, with his back to it. The Dreadnought waited patiently for the targetter to lock on, and fired a krak missile which screamed the short distance, thudding into the Warboss' back. Gorgrim didn't even know what hit him when all of his body parts ended up splattered all over the street.

The Yellow Blood Claws, now in a building spied the Shoota Boyz ahead, and fired their bolt pistols, killing one of them.

The Orks had consolidated into combat with the other Wolf Guard Battle Leader, and now the Grey Hunters of Blue and Green Squads charged into the fray. The Wolf Guard Battle Leader killed a pair of Slugga Boyz, while the Grey Hunters killed one more. The choppas of the Orks did very little, while the burnas did better, killing two members of Green Squad. Then the Grey Hunter from Green Squad with a power fist struck down one more ork. The Orks stood their ground, and the fight continued.

Turn 6
The Shoota boyz now aimed their guns down the street at the Yellow Squad of Blood Claws. 24 Shoota shots resulted in two kills, while the Blood Claws' power armor protected them from the heavier Big Shootas.

The Blood Claws and Dreadnought maul the Shoota Boyz
The assault was looking grim for the Space Wolves in the center, as the remnants of Green Squad, Blue Squad, and a single Wolf Guard Battle Leader faced what seemed to be an endless tide of greenskins. The Stormboyz charged in on their rear, making the situation even worse. The Stormboyz Nob struck first due to his Power of the Waaagh!, wounded twice, but the marines' power armor saved them. Then the Wolf Guard Battle Leader struck down a pair of orks, while the Mekboy Nob killed one of the Grey Hunters. The rest of the combat was a flurry of hits, but no kills. Still, the fury of the Space Wolves had its effect on the Orks, who all broke from the combat, only to be run down by the Space Wolves! What had begun as an apparent hopeless situation for the marines had turned into victory.

The Dreadnought and Blood Claws turned their attention to the Shoota Boyz ahead. The Dreadnought accounted for four of them, while the Blood Claws killed three more. Then they both charged the Orks--accompanied by the Wolf Guard Battle Leader, who found himself near enough to add his weight to the fight. The Wolf Guard Battle Leader killed one ork, while the Dreadnought killed one more. The Blood Claws themselves killed another two. The orks killed a pair of Blood Claws in return, and the fight continued.

At this point the Orks decided to call it a day. Their attack, which had been going so well, had hit a brick wall. Retreating to their lines, the orks decided to settle for a draw.

Ork Debriefing
Badelaire: This was a roller-coaster battle if I ever saw one. Many times through the whole affair I would think a unit was either golden or lost, and the exact reverse would happen. For example, I was amazed that my Stormboyz managed to survive the punishment delivered to them by the Speeder's flamer, only to be snuffed out in a pitiful failed assault several turns later in what was to be the decisive battle of the game.

Looking over that battle again, I think I was far too concerned with taking the fight to the enemy and not paying as much attention to getting into buildings and hunkering down. While my Mek's KFF was a life-saver, and easily earned it's points back, Getting Klawfreek's mob into a building early on would have kept them alive a lot longer. I think part of the problem was remembering that one could enter and exit or fire out of / into buildings at any point; I never went into the building in the far southwest quadrant even though doing so would have granted my boyz the 4+ cover save, much equalizing their durability against the Space Wolves' minimal shooting. In fact, I'd say that in terms of long-range firepower, our two armes were fairly equal, and if it had come down to our two forces encamped in buildings and exchanging fire, I might have had the upper hand with my greater numbers.

Of course, The D would never have let that happen, and would have assaulted me in my buildings. Thanks to the cover, even with his frag grenades, I would have at least have had more models around to absorb the assaults than I did in our fight, and models are the key - Orks need numbers, numbers, numbers! Everything in the Ork army works better when there's simply *more*. Next time, I'll probably either ditch the three rokkits and take three more big shootas, or I'll ditch all the big shootas and go with two squads of rokkits. Piddling around with a couple of big shootas here and a couple of rokkits there just doesn't seem to cut it for me.

As for CityFight in general, I really liked it - perhaps even more so than normal terrain boards. Part of that was, of course, that I'm playing an army that loves cover saves, but its also got a great feel to it. Dan's cityfight board is also fantastic, and that helps make it a more interesting experience, but all in all I think that it's just taking a lot of the 40K elements and intensifying them due to the more close-up and brutal nature of urban combat. I don't think I'd want to play CityFight every game, or even every other game, but I certainly wouldn't mind it being a regular part of my gaming experiences.

Space Wolves Debriefing
The D: Despite certain tactical, uh, indiscretions, I have to say I did better than I deserved to. My biggest error was being over-cautious. What I should have done, and what I would do if I were to refight this battle, is head straight for the orks and engage them before they could scatter into every building. However, both Badelaire and I seem to have switched roles. It was a stroke of luck that he was concentrating on me rather than occupying buildings.

I felt the Tornado earned its keep, the heavy bolter/heavy flamer combo was a perfect fit at least in the one round in which it killed stuff. My Red Squad of Blood Claws certainly got the shaft, moving too slowly through a building in turn 3 and missing the charge by less than inch. They paid for their sloth.

I was happy with the dreadnought, although in a rematch I would probably take the Venerable. I would have been able to give one of my infantry squads a Wolf Guard, rather than having two WG Battle Leaders. Also, with the Venerable’s old and wise ability I might just have gone first.

In conclusion, I was lucky to have drawn. If Gorgrim had just sauntered into that one piece of real estate in the bottom left, it would have been a different story. This battle was a good lesson at least, and a reminder that I went with Space Wolves to charge the cannons, not to hide behind walls.

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