Monday, March 31, 2008

Tankards & Broadswords

A friend of mine recently began his own blog, Tankards & Broadswords. The blog primarily concerns his musings on various RPGs, and designing his own RPG systems. He also collaborates with me on creating the many battle reports that are on my blog. So feel free to stop by and check it out.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Tau Cleanse (Part 2)

Scenario: Cleanse
Imperial Guard Forces: Darkwing
Tau Forces: Badelaire

The Scenario
We intended this battle to be an immediate follow-up to the previous battle in which the Imperial Guard infantry forces were decimated by the Tau. In this battle, the Imperial Guard would be sending in an Armored Company to deal with the Tau Force--the same Tau force, holding the same ground. The scenario would remain Cleanse, fought on a battlefield with identical terrain to the previous battle, and both sides would take the same table quarters that they had occupied in the previous battle.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Tau Cleanse

Scenario: Cleanse
Imperial Guard Forces: Darkwing
Tau Forces: Badelaire

The Scenario
In this mission, the scenario was determined randomly at the time of the battle, and after both players had made their army lists. The random scenario was determined to be Cleanse.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Battle Report: Orks vs. Tau Seek & Destroy

Scenario: Seek and Destroy
Ork Forces: Badelaire
Tau Forces: Darkwing

The Scenario
In this mission, the scenario was determined randomly at the time of the battle, and after both players had made their army lists. The random scenario was determined to be Seek and Destroy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Battle Report: Space Wolves vs. Tyranids Secure & Control

Scenario: Secure and Control
Tyranid Forces: Meliadus
Space Wolves Forces: The D
The Scenario
To keep things interesting, we decided to roll a D6 just before the battle to determine who would be the attacker and who the defender. After that, we also rolled a D6 to determine which board edge would become the attacker's. This would force us to think on the fly, and more importantly, force us to choose more balanced armies before the game, rather than focusing all of our efforts into optimizing the army for the role that it was going to play.

Space Wolves Briefing
The D: This is my first time playing against Tyranids. Having been warned not to get into combat with them, I chose to bring my most long-range units to this battle. The Predator Annihilator, equipped with heavy bolters and pintle storm bolter, seems ideal for dealing with swarms of insects, while my landspeeders and bike pack allow for me to swoop in wherever needed to support my troops.

I also fielded two minimum-sized units of Blood Claws, basically to serve as a speedbump/meatshield for units with longer range firepower. I did not intend to get my Gray Hunters into combat if I could help it, so I only gave them bolters.

Tyranid Briefing
Meliadus: I've never played Tyranids before, and as of this writing, the Tyranid codex will be changing drastically in another month or two. With these facts in mind, I've decided to create a mutation-free "early stage" infestation force. This will allow me to test the limits of synapse control, and give me a feel for how the many rumors I've heard about the new Tyranid codex might alter the core infantry units of the army list.

I toyed with adding Zoanthropes, Ripper Swarms, or a Hive Tyrant to my force. In the end, I decided to go for numbers: nothing but Genestealers, Gaunts, and Warriors (and one Lictor for flavor). This list would have a distinct lack of antitank capability; a little worrying, given that I know my opponent has a Predator. I'd just have to hope that, with as many units as I'm fielding, I'll be able to flank any vehicles with some Genestealers or Venom Cannon-toting Warriors.

If escalation rules get used, my Hormugaunts are the only units that will start in reserve, interestingly enough. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, given that they can fleet-of-claw into position fairly rapidly (though it will be tactically interesting having my core asasult troops as the BACK of my lines, rather than the front).

The Forces
Tyranid ForcesPoints
Warrior Brood (Rending Claws) (Left) (3) 99
Warrior Brood (Mixed, 1 with Venom Cannon, 2 with Deathspitters) (3) 121
Warrior Brood (Mixed, 1 with Venom Cannon, 2 with Deathspitters) (3)121
Lictor (1) 80
Genestealers (Left) (10) 160
Genestealers (Right) (10) 160
Hormagaunt Brood (15) 150
Hormagaunt Brood (15) 150
Termagant Brood (15) 105
Termagant Brood (15) 105
Total Points: 1251
Space Wolves ForcesPoints
Wolf Lord (1) 113
Wolf Guard Battle Leader (1)80
Dreadnought 115
Predator Annihilator 140
Blood Claws Bike Pack (6) 180
Grey Hunters (Blue Squad) (7) 126
Grey Hunters (Green Squad) (6) 108
Blood Claws (Red Squad) (8) 112
Blood Claws (Yellow Squad) (8) 124
Landspeeder Tornado 80
Landspeeder Typhoon 70
Total Points:1248

Turn 1
The Tyranids were massed in the woods, while the Space Wolves lay opposite them, taking cover behind the rocky ridgeline. At some alien signal, the Tyranids advanced forwards, streaming through gaps in the trees towards the Space Wolves. The Space Wolves responded by redeploying their forces.

Turn 2
The Termagants advanced through the woods, while the Hormagaunts arrived on the battlefield, leaping forward. None of the Tyranids bothered shooting, as they all focused on advancing at the fastest possible speed. The Genestealers in particular were getting close to the Space Wolf lines.

Genestealers infiltrate close to the ridge
On the Space Wolf side, the Predator and Landspeeder Tornado arrived on the extreme left flank, while the Dreadnought arrived in the center, near the Grey Hunters of Green Squad, while the Blood Claws Bike Pack arrived on the right flank, on the other side of the large rock formation near an objective.

On the center right, the Grey Hunters of Blue Squad advanced past the ridgeline, heading towards an objective, essentially unopposed.

The Landspeeder tornado fired on its assault cannon on the right brood of Genestealers, killing two, while its Heavy Bolter failed to add any more casualties. The Predator opened up on the same brood, killing three Genestealers with its Heavy Bolters, while the Lascannon shot bounced off of rocks and failed to kill any more. The Genestealers had enough casualties to force them to fall back. The Space Wolf Dreadnought fired its missile launcher on left unit of Warriors, killing one of them with a Krak Missile.

Turn 3
The Genestealers regrouped and consolidated their position. The rest of the Tyranids advanced, crossing the center of the battlefield. The center brood of Tyranid Warriors fired a Venom Cannon shot at the Blood Claws of Yellow Squad, but the only wounded marine made his armor save.

The Blood Claw bikes advanced through the stone arch, on their way to one of the objectives. The Grey Hunters of Blue Squad advanced in the same direction. Both Red Squad and Yellow Squad advanced as well.
Gaunts swarm through the woods
On the Space Wolf left flank, the Predator fired its Lascannon on the Warriors in the center, killing one. The Landspeeder Tornado fired its assault cannon on the Warriors on the right, wounding one, and then managing to finish that one off with its heavy bolter. Yellow Squad fired on the left brood of Genestealers, killing two of them, not nearly enough to blunt the charge that was surely coming. The Dreadnought fired on the left brood of Termagants, killing three with its assault cannon. Its frag missile, while on target, failed to wound any of the Tyranid beasts.

Turn 4
One brood of Genestealers and the two broods of Termagants were getting awfully close to the Space Wolves. The Tyranid Warriors on the right fired their venom cannon on the Landspeeder Tornado, delivering one glancing hit that managed to destroy it. One Termagant brood fired their fleshborers on Red Squad, while the other fired on Yellow Squad, but despite the weight of their fire, not a single Blood Claw went down. Until the Genestealers attacked. In a flurry of Rending Claws, the Genestealers charged the Blood Claws of Yellow Squad, auto-killing three of them and tearing apart two more. In retaliation, the Blood Claw Sergeant managed to kill a single Genestealer with his power fist.
 The Genestealers assault Yellow Squad
Red Squad advanced to give support to Yellow Squad. The Blood Claw Bike Pack and Blue Squad advanced closer to an objective.

The Predator opened fire on the right brood of Genestealers, killing four with its heavy bolters, and killing the last survivor with its storm bolter. The Dreadnought fired its weapons at the left brood of Termagants, killing four of them. The Blood Claw Bike Pack, now in range of the Hormagaunts, fired and killed four of them with their twin-linked bolters.

Red Squad’s Blood Claws charged into the combat between Yellow Squad and the Genestealers. Even so, the Genestealers struck first. They killed one from Yellow Squad and auto-killed a pair from Red Squad. The Blood Claws struck back, however, killing four of the Genestealers. Apparently Red Squad’s charge was fierce enough to cause the Genestealers to lose heart, as they broke and ran, only to be chased down and slaughtered by the vengeful Space Wolves.

Turn 5

The Termagants moved away from the Dreadnought and Green Squad and more towards Red and Yellow Squads, moving behind the cover of the rocks. The Hormagaunts continued their advance. Both of the Venom Cannons in two separate Warrior Broods opened fire on the Predator, but both failed to damage it.
 Lurking Termagants
The Landspeeder Typhoon finally arrived, far on the Space Wolf right flank. The majority of the Space Wolves advanced. Red Squad, emboldened by their victory over the Genestealers, moved up to face whatever the Tyranids could throw at them. Green Squad, the Dreadnought, and the Predator did the same.

The Predator fired on the Warriors, killing one of them with its heavy bolters. The Blood Claw bikes fired on the left brood of Hormagaunts, killing three of them. The Landspeeder Typhoon fired its Typhoon Missiles on the other Hormagaunt Brood, killing three. The Dreadnought fired its assault cannon on the left brood of Warriors, killing both of them. Yellow Squad, now consisting of solely the Blood Claw Sergeant, boldly charged a squad of Termagants. The Termagants struck first, however, and tore the Sergeant to the ground before he could strike, and then consolidated.

Turn 6

Out of synapse range, the left brood of Hormagaunts fell back towards the nearest synapse creature, essentially collapsing the Tyranid left flank. As if in response to this new danger to the Tyranid plan, the Lictor appeared out of hiding in the woods and charged the Blood Claw Bike Pack. Surprised, the bikes could do nothing but watch as the Lictor ripped one of the bikers to shreds.

The Landspeeder Typhoon moved onto the objective on the far side of the large rock formation and set its engine to idle, as it planned to just sit there and keep it occupied. On the other flank, the Predator also moved to claim an objective. In the center the Dreadnought advanced. The Predator opened fire on the right Termagant brood, massing in front of it. The Lascannon missed, while the heavy bolters and storm bolter killed four of them. Red Squad then fired their bolt pistols at the same brood, killing two of them. The Dreadnought fired its missile launcher on the center Warriors, killing one of them. The Wolf Lord fired on the right Hormagaunt brood, killing two of them.
 The Lictor bursts from the trees and attacks the Blood Claw Bike Pack
In the assault, the Lictor rent another bike apart mercilessly. While two of the bikers hit, only one wounded, and that was saved by the Lictor’s chitin armor. In a frenzy now and getting desperate, the bikers held their ground and prepared to face the Lictor to the end.

Turn 7

The Hormagaunts advanced, desperate to get into contact with the Space Wolves, while the Warriors converged on their center, trying both to protect themselves as well as provide synapse coverage for the Tyranid army. The left brood of Termagants advanced on Red Squad. Both Venom Cannons fired at the Dreadnought, but neither one was able to penetrate its armor. The Termagants fired on Red Squad, but were not able to hit with many shots, and those shots failed to wound.

One brood of Hormagaunts, now finally within range, assaulted Red Squad, while the other assaulted Green Squad. The Hormagaunts attacking Red Squad delivered 30 attacks, 13 hits, 5 wounds, and caused one casualty, while Red Squad retaliated, killing no less than four Hormagaunts, and proceeded to pile in. The Hormagaunts attacking Green Squad delivered 24 attacks, 16 hits, 6 wounds, and caused three casualties. Green Squad retaliated and killed four Hormagaunts. This brood was now out of synapse range, and proceeded to fall back out of range of the Space Wolves.

The Hormagaunts assault Green Squad and Red Squad
The Lictor continued to make minced meat out of the Blood Claw Bike Pack, killing no less than three of them in the close combat while sustaining no wounds itself.

The Dreadnought and Green Squad advanced, while the Landspeeder Typhoon sideslipped and fired missiles on a Hormagaunt brood, killing three of them, leaving only a single Hormagaunt in the brood alive. The Wolf Lord fired on it, only to miss, as did all of Green Squad, also ineffectively. The Predator fired on the right Tyranid Warrior, killing it with the Lascannon. The Dreadnought aimed at the last synapse creature, the warrior in the center, and killed it with its missile launcher.

In the Assault, the Wolf Guard Battle Leader charged the Lictor, delivering one wound to the creature, while the Lictor responded and delivered one wound back. The last bike didn’t manage to do anything worthwhile.
 The Lictor makes its final charge towards Blue Squad
The second Hormagaunt brood continued their attack on Red Squad, but failed to kill any of the marines, while Red Squad killed three of the Hormagaunts. With no synapse creatures left, the Hormagaunts moved to flee, only to be wiped out by the Blood Claws. Red Squad, following their momentum, consolidated into a Termagant brood.

Turn 8
With no synapse creatures left to the Tyranids, the horde was in serious trouble. One brood of termagants was locked in assault, but the right Hormagaunt brood fell back, while the other Termagant brood lurked towards the nearest woods.

The Lictor, which did not need direction from any synapse creatures, continued to fight against the last Blood Claw biker and the Wolf Guard Battle Leader. The Lictor struck quickly, auto-killing the Battle Leader with its rending claws, while the lone biker failed to injure the Lictor.

Red Squad continued to fight the termagants, killing three of them while suffering no casualties in return. The Termagants, without the support of any synapse creatures, fell back.

Red Squad moved towards the second Termagant brood, but fired on the first, killing one of them with their bolt pistols. The Predator fired on the second Termagant brood, killing five with its heavy bolters, and one more with its storm bolter. The Dreadnought fired a frag grenade on the same brood, killing one more. The Wolf Lord fired his storm bolter on the last Hormagaunt, killing it.

Red Squad assaulted the last three Termagants of the first brood, withstood their attacks, and wiped them out.

The Lictor, apparently tired out from killing the Wolf Guard Battle Leader, failed to kill the last biker, who by now was getting used to completely missing the Lictor.

Turn 9

It was a foregone conclusion that Red Squad was going to catch up to the remnants of the last Termagant Squad and mop them up. The Lictor, however, had some fight left in it, and killed the remaining biker. As it charged towards the Grey Hunters of Blue Squad, they opened up at close range with their bolters, finally bringing it down. The battle was over, and there was not a Tyranid left on the field…

Space Wolves Debriefing
The D: Before this battle began, my intention was to occupy a defensive position and allow Meliadus to attack me, ideally across a large killing field. When we rolled Secure and Control, I was somewhat apprehensive, because it would force me to expose myself to take objectives. I decided to stand my ground and sweep up any remaining objectives with the bike pack and landspeeders.

This was yet another battle that reaffirmed my appreciation of Blood Claws. Although the Yellow Squad got ripped to shreds by the Genestealers, the Red Squad performed admirably thereafter, taking out the remaining Genestealers as well as a brood of Hormagaunts and a brood of Termagants, and ending up taking an objective marker.

As usual, my Gray Hunters were fairly useless throughout the battle, except on the last turn when Blue Squad killed the Lictor, which was quite a threat. I was very lucky to be able to shoot him with bolters at such close range, because none of my troops had any power weapons (except one unit of Blood Claws, who had a power fist). This was a mistake, and I am lucky that a single Lictor is the worst that Meliadus brought that day.

Tyranid Debriefing
Meliadus: Yikes! I was expecting mass casualties, but this! It looks like the loudest complaints I've heard about 'nids have some merit. Fragile warriors...fragile Genestealers...fragile everything, really. I'm not terribly hung up about this, though, as rumors I've heard suggest some of this fragility will be going away in a few months. We'll see.

Having the game continue for 9 turns made a big difference in the eventual outcome; I think a standard length game would have been much closer.

Taking a Monstrous Creature or two definitely would have changed the flow of the battle, I think. I also might have been more aggressive with my Genestealers; holding them back just allowed the Predator to roll in and halve their numbers.

I've heard many opinions about the Lictor. My own first experience with the Lictor was golden -- it was easily the star of the game. There's only one thing I would have done differently with it: I completely neglected its Hit and Run ability. Once I'd whittled down the bikes and taken out that Battle Leader, I should have Hit and Run the Lictor into the nearby squad of Gray Hunters -- I MIGHT have hurt them enough to take them below being a scoring unit, and thus denied the Wolves another objective marker. (Granted, this wouldn't have really affected the overall outcome of the game, but it would have been a nice moral victory, and might have hurt the Wolves a little bit more in the overall campaign.)

I've also heard much debate on whether small squad sizes are better to take in 40K, or larger squad sizes. For Tyranids, at least, I'd have to say larger squad sizes are better -- if my Gaunt squads had been any smaller, they would have been wiped out that much sooner, giving my opponent more time to focus on killing my slower-moving synapse creatures later. If anything, I'd be tempted to make even larger Gaunt squads in the future.

For all the complaints I've heard, maintaining synapse was the smallest of my problems (at least until the very end). I actually found this army fun to maneuver -- it really does have a very swarmy/flocking feel to it. That new codex might be worth a look....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Battle Report: Lanterns vs. Orks Secure & Control

Scenario: Secure & Control
Lanterns (Space Marine) Forces: Meliadus
Ork Forces: Badelaire
The Scenario
In this mission, the scenario was determined randomly at the time of the battle, and after both players had made their army lists. The random scenario was determined to be Secure & Control, and the D6 roll resulted in five objectives for the battle.
Lanterns (Space Marine) Briefing
Meliadus: This is the first battle I've fought with my Space Marines in a long time. It's also shaping up to be one of the largest I've ever participated in. To top everything off, it will be a randomly decided fight, so I have no idea what sort of mission I'll end up playing! To get used to playing Marines again, and to better familiarize myself with the new rules changes, I decided I would build a balanced, straight-Codex list. (Well, "balanced" with a skew towards the highly mobile fighting style I've been trying to cultivate.)

HQ - The new "Rites of Battle" ability makes the basic Space Marine Commander a nice command choice. I'll stick with him, and leave my Chaplain and Librarian home (for now).

I have a Razorback model just itching to be baptized by fire. Ditto my shiny new Command Squad. This will be a large enough game points-wise that I won't feel too uncomfortable fielding an expensive HQ, and the Razorback will certainly help on the fast-and-shooty department.

The Razorback itself won't need much upgrading. The standard twin-linked heavy bolters, plus a storm bolter and extra armor should suffice.

I just painted my Company Champion earlier this week. A very nice model, so he's a shoo-in for inclusion in the Command Squad. I don't have my Standard Bearer finished yet, so he's out for now. A Veteran Sergeant would be helpful; to keep things interesting, I think I'll give him a combi-flamer for wargear. That should help thin out the Ork's ranks on a charge!

For the Command Squad's special weapons, I'll go with a flamer and a meltagun. The flamer, along with the Sergeant's combi-flamer, should help put a dent in any Ork troops. The meltagun should give the squad some hope of surviving contact with anything heavier. (I already lost one Command Squad to an Ork Dreadnaught in a previous fight; the squad had nothing that could hurt the thing, and they got stomped.)

ELITES - Although it's tempting to put of my bike units here using the "Be Swift As The Wind" trait, I'll hold off on that for now, and stick with my trusty Dreadnaught. I'll give him a missile launcher and use him as the core of my firebase. With proper support from the troops, he should fare reasonably well.

TROOPS - I have four Tactical Squads ready to go. I'll kit up two of them for anti-vehicle work (1 lascannon, 1 plasma gun each); these guys will hang back with the Dreadnaught as my firebase. Any rokkits that get close enough to hurt my Dreadnaught will have to face some pretty heavy supporting fire.

The other two squads I'll kit up for anti-infantry work (1 heavy bolter, 1 flamer each) and put in Rhinos. Using the transports will be a tricky business under the new rules -- we'll see how they fare. At the very least, they should draw some heavy fire away from my other scoring units, acting as a good mobile screen.

FAST ATTACK - A full Bike Squadron with attached Attack Bike should be enough to ruin an Ork's day. They're in.

I'm feeling a bit light on the antitank side of things, so I'll take a pair of Attack Bikes with multimeltas. This should scare the pants off of the Dreadnaughts I suspect my opponent will field.

A small Assault Marine squad rounds things out nicely. I'm looking forward to running these guys with a pair of flamers; the plasma pistols have been nothing but a pain for me in the past. The deep striking ability might be useful too, if the mission allows it.

HEAVY SUPPORT - For the first time, I'll be able to field an all-mechanized heavy support selection. Nice.

Of my vehicle choices, the Predator Destructor is a no-brainer. It's well armored and an excellent light vehicle/infantry killer.

Dice willing, a pair of Whirlwinds should be devastating against Orks. For variety's sake, I'll give one Vengance missiles, and the other Castellan missiles. Minefields should make things interesting....

TACTICS - If escalation gets used, this list might hurt. The only true infantry models I have here are the two lascannon-toting Tactical Squads. Hopefully, they'll have enough firepower to stay alive long enough for the cavalry to arrive.

Ork Briefing
Badelaire: Well, time to face my old foes the Space Marines again. This time, rather than going against the assault-oriented Space Wolves, I'm going to be facing the much more shooting-oriented Lanterns chapter. What's worse is that I won't even know what mission we'll be playing, never mind whether I'll be the attacker or the defender. It'll also be a big mission at two thousand points apiece, so at least I'll be able to fit in enough goodies to hopefully cover whatever situation arises.

Heading my list will be my good buddy Gorgash Gutmuncha. My warboss with the kustom shoota and slugga will tag along with whichever unit needs a little extra punch, but as usual I don't really expect him to do a whole lot. We shall see.

Beyond my warboss, my army is going to have a dual-role core of four large mobs. My slugga boyz and my hard boyz will be packing rockets and a power klaw in the slugga mob, ready to get close and personal with the beakies and do some blastin' and choppin'. At the other end of the spectrum I have my flash gitz and my shoota boyz, both kitted out fully with big shootas and another big shoota with the flash gitz nob (my old comrade DakkaBoss). They'll work to peck away at the marines from a distance, trying to whittle down the numbers a little or perhaps knock down a land speeder or shoot up some bikes or rhinos. To round off the big squads I've got two units of twenty grots, each led by a rokkit and choppa-toting slaver followed around with a squighound. Every so often these little buggers manage to pull a suprise out of their bums and even if they don't do all that much in the end, they at least soak up dice that could be going towards killing something worthwhile the rokkits also help, since they let me sneak in an occasional lucky shot, and against marines I know there will be plenty of that light-to-medium level armor (rhinos, dreads, speeders) waiting to be popped.

Once I have my big mobs figured out, I decided to throw in some smaller, more specialized mobs. I'll bring a full unit of burna boyz with two burnas and a kustom force field. It's hard to find a "perfect" role for these guys, but the KFF is always good to have on the field, and they might do well to plug a gap in my lines as a reserve force. In a similar vein, I'll be taking a unit of trukk boyz and a power-klaw packing nob (my new painboss model in disguise), riding a brand-new trukk. I've wanted to field a fully effective trukk boyz mob for a while, and now we'll see how well it'll work. For further fast-moving assaults, I've got a unit of nine stormboyz, who should be good at both objective claiming and counter-assaulting those pesky marine squads that just don't know when to quit.

And finally, I'll be taking three big shoota trakks for some long-range sniping against some beakie squads, a rokkit buggy for a little flanking anti-tank action, and a pair of dreads with big shootas and skorchas. All these vehicles will either act as fire-soaks, flanking units, or (in the case of the dreads) serious assault-smashers if given the right chance to strike at a lucky moment.

Tactics-wise, I'm not all that sure how I want to play this. I know Meliadus doesn't usually "toll out" his armies, so I'm not terribly worried about some super-death squad tearing through everything unopposed. What I'm mostly worried about is not being able to soften up his squads enough to make them break when my boyz finally (and hopefully) get to them. I just don't want to face a wall of bolters and heavy weapons for four turns, only to have him launch some nasty assaults and wipe me out before I have a chance to do anything up close and personal. Beyond that, without a mission determined ahead of time, I'm just going to have to play this one fast, loose, and try and keep up with Meliadus and pull off a win somehow.

The Forces
Ork Forces Points
Warboss (Gorgash Gutmuncha) (1) 84
'Ardboyz with Nob (Pigface's Mob) (20) 286
Flash Gitz with Nob (Dakkaboss' Mob) (15)15
Stormboyz with Nob (9) 146
Shoota Boyz with Nob (Blackhorn's Mob) (19) 179
Burna Boyz with Mekboy (11)133
Slugga Boyz with Nob (Klawfreek's Mob) (22) 270
Trukk Boyz with Nob (11) 180
Gretchin with Slaver and Squighound (22) 84
Gretchin with Slaver and Squighound (22)84
Wartraks (3) 138
Warbuggy (1) 51
Dreadnought (1)83
Dreadnought (1)83
Total Points:2002
Lanterns ForcesPoints
Commander (1) 91
Command Squad (5)131
Razorback 85
Dreadnought (1) 120
Tactical Squad (1st Squad) (10) 156
Tactical Squad (2nd Squad) (10) 156
Tactical Squad (3rd Squad) (10) 156
Tactical Squad (4th Squad) (10) 156
Whirlwind 85
Whirlwind 85
Predator Destructor 125
Assault Squad (8) 244
Bike Squadron (6) 222
Attack Bikes (2) 130
Total Points:2000
Turn 1
The Orks massed on the battlefield. Its right flank consisted of a rokkit warbuggy on the extreme flank, with Pigface’s ‘Ardboyz and Klawfreek’s Sluggaboyz each being screened by a unit of Grots. The Ork center was anchored by the Gold Dreadnought and a unit of Stormboyz. The Ork left flank consisted of Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz, Dakkaboss’ Flash Gitz, the Silver Dreadnought, the Burnaboyz, the Trukkboyz, and the Warboss.
The Ork left flank, with an objective in the foreground
Opposite them, the Lanterns’ left flank consisted of a phalanx of vehicles: two Rhinos, each holding a Tactical Squad, a Razorback holding the Command Squad, and a Predator Destructor. The center was held by a Whirlwind armed with Castellan missiles, safely in cover. On the Space Marine right flank lay Tactical Squads 3 and 4, supported by a Dreadnought. On the extreme right flank were a Bike Squadron supported by an Attack Bike Squadron, and a Whirlwind armed with Vengeance Missiles.

The entire Ork army advanced, eager to take the battle to the enemy. Not much was in range yet, and Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz fired on Tactical Squad 3 with their big shootas, but failed to cause any casualties. Dakkaboss’ Flash Gitz did better, and killed a single member of Tactical Squad 4.

Space Marine Bikes
The Space Marines responded and drove forward to meet the threat. The bikes advanced on the right flank, while the vehicles advanced on the left, and Tactical Squad 1 disembarked from its Rhino. The Castellan armed Whirlwind fired a salvo of mines, landing them directly in front of Hornhead’s Gretchin Mob. The Vengeance Missile armed Whirlwind fired a salvo on the Flash Gitz, but failed to kill any of them. Tactical Squad 3’s Lascannon fired on the Shootaboyz, but missed. Tactical Squad 4’s Lascannon fired on the Silver Dreadnought, and connected, but failed to penetrate the walker’s armor. The Space Marine Dreadnought then fired with its missile launcher at the ork dreadnought, hitting and destroying the big shoota and stunning the crew.

Turn 2
The Orks continued to advance, with the trukk and the Wartraks far out to the Ork left flank. The Wartraks fired their big shootas on the Vengeance Whirlwind, shaking the crew. Dakkaboss’ Flash Gitz fired on the Space Marine Bikes cresting the hill ahead, but failed to kill any of them. Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz fired on Tactical Squad 3, killing one of them. On the right flank, Snaggletooth missed with his rokkit launcher on a Rhino, while Pigface’s Mob’s three rokkits did not do any better.

Tactical Squad 2 disembarked from their Rhino, as did the Command Squad from their Razorback. The bikes fired on the Wartraks and scored a glancing hit with the heavy bolter on the squad's attack bike, shaking the crew of one of the Wartraks. The attack bikes then fired their multimeltas, which both missed. Tactical Squad 4’s Lascannon missed the Silver Dreadnought, as did the Dreadnought’s missile launcher, and to add insult to injury, Tactical Squad 3’s Lascannon missed Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz. The Castellan Whirlwind landed a minefield directly on top of Klawfreek’s Sluggaboyz. The Predator unleashed its fire onto Klawfreek’s mob, and while two orks died, three grots in the screening squad heroically gave their lives to save their larger brethren. Tactical Squad 1 rapid fired at Snaggletooth’s Grots ahead, killing no less than seven of them. They promptly failed their break test and went to ground.
Turn 3

The Wartraks continued up the flank, while the trukk moved out from behind it and disembarked its trukk boyz in front of the Space Marine Bikes. The Flash Gitz moved into some woods. On the right flank, Snaggletooth rustled his Grots back into action. Klawfreek’s mob moved through the newly laid minefield, and two of the Orks suffered hits from the mines, but both of them were saved by their armor.

The Trukkboyz move to assault the bikes
The Wartraks and the trukk fired their weapons at the Space Marine Attack bikes, delivering one wound to one of them. The Trukkboyz fired their pistols at the bikes ahead of them, but failed to kill any of them. The Flash Gitz, also targeting the bikes, fared no better. Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz fired on Tactical Squad 3, killing a single marine. Snaggletooth’s Grots fired on Tactical Squad 1, failing to kill any of them, but Pigface’s ‘Ardboyz did better, with a rokkit killing one of the marines. Hornhead fired his rokkit at Tactical Squad 2’s Rhino, immobilizing it. Hoping to capitalize on his success, Klawfreek’s rokkitboyz fired their three rokkits at the same Rhino, but all of them missed. Finally the Gold Dreadnought fired on Tactical Squad 2’s Rhino, but its big shoota failed to damage it.

The Trukkboyz plowed into the Space Marine Bikes. The bikers killed three of the orks on the way in, while the orks, who outnumbered the bikers, failed to kill a single marine in return. That is, until Bonebreaka the nob arrived with his power klaw. He proceeded to snip three of the marines off their bikes, allowing the combat to end in a draw.

The Space Marine Assault Squad arrived on the scene, landed from their Deep Strike behind the Flash Gitz, unsupported and alone. However, they landed slightly too close to the Flash Gitz, and one was killed on landing. The rest of the Space Marines advanced. The Castellan Whirlwind landed another minefield in the midst of Klawfreek’s Sluggaboyz. The Vengeance Whirlwind fired on the Shootaboyz, killing one of them. One more of the shootas was killed by the Dreadnought’s frag missile. The attack bikes, having weathered the fire from the Wartraks, opened fire with their multimeltas on them, immobilizing one vehicle and stunning the crew. The Assault Squad unloaded on the Flash Gitz with their flamers and bolt pistols, killing a total of six Flash Gitz.
 The Space Marines disembark in the face of the advancing Orks
On the Space Marine left flank, the Predator unleashed hell on Klawfreek’s slugga boyz, killing eight of them in a mass of autocannon, heavy bolter, and storm bolter fire. The Razorback and Tactical Squad 2 fired on Hornhead’s Grot Mob, killing seven of them. Tactical Squad 1 fired on Snaggletooth’s Grot Mob, killing five and forcing them to again go to ground.

In the assault, the bikers killed a pair of orks, while the boyz again killed no one. And again Bonebreaka did better than his boyz, killing one of the marines.

Turn 4

Snaggletooth one again whipped his Grots back into action. Klawfreek’s mob moved, and one of the Sluggaboyz was killed in a minefield. On the Ork left flank, the Wartraks and trukk fired again on the attack bikes, killing one of them. The Flash Gitz fired on the Assault Squad that had landed behind them, killing two. The Stormboyz, who had ventured near, fired their pistols ineffectively. The Silver Dreadnought fired its Skorcha at the Assault Squad, but their power armor was too powerful for the flames. Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz fired on Tactical Squad 3, killing one. On the Ork right flank, the rokkit warbuggy, until now hiding behind cover, dashed out and fired at the nearest Rhino, shaking up the crew. Snaggletooth fired his rokkit at the same Rhino but missed. Hornhead aimed his rokkit at Tactical Squad 2 and missed, while Klawfreek’s Mob’s rokkits both hit the Rhino, but failed to penetrate. After a disappointing round of rokkit fire, it was up to the Grots to pick up the slack with their blastas. As it turned out, most of them missed, and those that hit failed to wound.

The Assault Marines are surrounded
The ‘Ardboyz assaulted Tactical Squad 1, just barely getting into contact. The marines failed to kill any of the orks, while the Orks managed to kill a single marine. The marines fell back from the assault, while the Orks consolidated. Hornhead’s Grots assaulted Tactical Squad 2, and were slaughtered for their trouble. Seven Grots were killed and the survivors fled while the marines consolidated. The Silver Dreadnought assaulted the Assault Squad, killing two of the three who were left, and the last survivor jumped away and fled, unable to retaliate. Finally, the Space Marine bikers killed another Ork, while the orks and their nob failed to do anything in return. The indecisive fight continued.

The lone assault marine continued to fall back, as did Tactical Squad 1, who was too close to the Orks to regroup. The Command Squad advanced into the woods, preparing to deal some serious damage to either the nearly Ork Dreadnought or Klawfreek’s dwindling mob.

The Vengeance Whirlwind fired on the Shootaboyz again, and failed to kill any of them. The Castellan Whirlwind fired a minefield on top of the ‘Ardboyz. The last Attack Bike fired its multimelta on the Wartraks, finally destroying the one it had already immobilized. The Space Marine Dreadnought, now in range with its assault cannon, opened fire on the Shootaboyz, killing five of them. The Predator fired at the approaching Gold Dreadnought, as did the Command Squad, but despite scoring multiple hits, they all failed to penetrate the Dreadnought’s armor. The Razorback, Tactical Squad 2, and Tactical Squad 2’s Rhino all fired on Klawfreek’s mob of Sluggaboyz, killing no less than eight Sluggaboyz, plus three Grots who were unfortunate enough to get in the way.

In the assault with the Space Marine bikes and the Trukkboyz, something had to give. The bikes failed to kill any of the orks, and the Trukkboyz finally overwhelmed them, killing the last two. The Orks consolidated back towards their trukk.
Turn 5
The Trukkboyz embarked onto the trukk, and together with the Wartraks, backed off somewhat from the Space Marine forces. The Flash Gitz, Shootaboyz and Burnaboyz moved forward, however. The Stormboyz jumped onto one of the objectives. The Gold Dreadnought moved towards the Predator, while Klawfreek and the remnants of his Sluggas moved towards the Razorback. The ‘Ardboyz advanced on Tactical Squad 2, one of them dying in a minefield. The warbuggy gleefully chased after Tactical Squad 1 in order to prevent them from regrouping.

The Wartraks fired on the attack bike, to no result. The Shootaboyz were equally unlucky, failing to kill any members of Tactical Squad 3. Hornhead fired his rokkit at the Rhino ahead, hit, penetrated, and destroyed it. Snaggletooth hit the other Rhino, but failed to penetrate. Klawfreek’s two rokkit boyz, making up for their earlier misses, both hit the Razorback and penetrated its armor, destroying it. The ‘Ardboyz fired on Tactical Squad 2, killing one of them.
The 'Ardboyz charge Tactical Squad 2
The Dreadnought proceeded to assault the Predator, and scored a glancing blow, shaking up its crew. The ‘Ardboyz charged Tactical Squad 2. The orks killed three of the marines while suffering no casualties of their own, and the marines fell back while the Orks consolidated.

The Attack Bike elected to stay and fight, and the lone assault marine did the same. Tactical Squad 3 and the Dreadnought moved forward to the center objective, lying under the arch of the large rock formation. On the Space Marine left flank, Tactical Squads 1 and 2 both continued to fall back. Tactical Squad 1’s Rhino gunned its engine and drove right through the ‘Ardboyz, who all scrambled to get out of its way. The Rhino stopped against the wreck of the other Rhino, and now it had placed itself between the ‘Ardboyz and one of the objectives.

The Command Squad moved forward out of the woods, flanking the Gold Dreadnought, and the meltagun armed marine blew it up with a well placed shot on its rear armor. The Predator drove away from the Dreadnought and onto the center objective. Fire from Tactical Squad 1 and their Rhino was ineffective, as was the Attack Bike’s shot at the Wartraks. The last assault marine fired his flamer on the Flash Gitz, killing two of them. The Dreadnought fired on the Shootaboyz, killing none with his frag missile, but ripping apart two of them with his assault cannon. Tactical Squad 3, in close range with the Shootaboyz, killed four of them with massed bolter fire. The Castellan Whirlwind laid another minefield about the ‘Ardboyz, while the Vengeance Whirlwind fired at the Burnaboyz, killing one.

Determined to avenge his dead comrades, the last assault marine charged the Flash Gitz, killing one of them, who were unable to reply. The Flash Gitz piled in, surrounding the marine.

Turn 6

Hornhead began to fall back, leaving the fighting to the rest of the orks. The Warboss and Shootas moved towards Tactical Squad 3, while the Burnaboyz advanced towards the objective, and the Predator sitting on top of it. The warbuggy, its driver having the time of his life, plowed into the Space Marines, sending them diving out of the way. He fired his rokkit launcha on the way by, but completely missed.

The Ork Dreadnought makes minced meat out of the last assault marine
The Wartraks fired on and wounded the Attack Bike. The trukk, the Warboss, and the Shootaboyz fired at Tactical Squad 3, killing a pair of marines and forcing the rest to fall back. Snaggletooth fired his rokkit at Tactical Squad 1’s Rhino, destroying its stormbolter and stunning the crew. The ‘Ardboyz fired at the Command Squad, killing one of the marines. Klawfreek’s rokkit boyz spied the vulnerable rear armor of the Predator, and fired their rokkits at it. One of the shots hit and penetrated, detonating the tanks magazine and turning it into a fire ball. No less than three Burnaboyz on the other side were killed in the explosion.

The Silver Dreadnought charged the lone assault marine, locked in combat with the Flash Gitz. The Dreadnought reached out with its power claw and buzzsaw, and just like that, it was all over for the marine.

The Attack Bike and the Vengeance Whirlwind desperately drove towards the objective on the hill, but the Wartraks would prove to be closer. The Attack Bike’s attempt to shoot at the Dreadnought fizzled. Tactical Squad 4 fired on the Wartraks, destroying one of them with their plasma gun, but that would not be enough. Tactical Squad 3 fired on the Blackhorn’s Shootaboyz, wounding Blackhorn himself, but the plasma gun overheated, killing the marine. The Dreadnought fired on the Burnaboyz, killing four of them with its assault cannon. Tactical Squad 1, scattered by the rokkit buggy, concentrated their fire on it and destroyed it. The Command Squad fired on Klawfreek’s mob, killing three of the Orks. Klawfreek decided that it was time to run and fight another day, and began to flee.
 The Dreadnought and Command Squad close on the objective
Finally, the Dreadnought assaulted the Burnaboyz, killing one of them and forcing them to flee, leaving the center objective firmly within Space Marine hands.

Despite claiming this objective, the Space Marines controlled only two to the Orks’ three. Now to count the cost…

Victory Point Totals:
Orks: 2129.5
Space Marines: 1722

Ork Debriefing
Badelaire: Well, I guess that went all right, everything considered. Meliadus' list was a little different than I had originally thought - I hadn't expected the predator or a second Whirlwind (although I figured he'd probably have one of them). I had also expected a bigger assault marine squad and at least one land speeder, and perhaps a second dreadnought. Also, considering the Lanterns are a Librarian-heavy chapter and the new Marine codex has greatly expanded the abilities of Marine psykers, I figured some nasty anti-ork powers would have been present.

As for the fight itself...I'm not sure what to think. I'm glad that I technically won the battle, but if things had gone on for a few more turns I could easily see Meliadus taking the field. All I really managed to do was bloody his nose and force him back from the objectives, and at a considerable cost to my own forces. Meliadus tends towards a more cautious playing style, which with the Marine's shooting abilities isn't really a bad thing. I think if he had been much more aggressive in his movements early on in the game, he might have taken some early casualties, but in the end I'm not entirely sure that I could have rooted out his Lanterns from the objectives while still having sufficient numbers to withstand the forthcoming counter-attack. As it played out we both advanced on the objectives at about the same pace, and when I got to them I managed a couple of lucky assault wins in order to push him off the objectives. However, if Meliadus had claimed the objectives a turn or so earlier and dug himself in a little more securely, he might have had time to keep me back further or perhaps even have driven me away from the targets entirely.

Finally, a word about the terrain. Meliadus and I both noticed as soon as we set up that we were going to be essentially fighting two separate battles on the table. If the forces that we deployed had set up on "the flip side", or if we had opposed each other with the other half of our army (i.e., my sluggas and 'ard boyz against his bikes), I'm sure the battle would have been 100% different. The outcome is impossible to guess, but I'm sure the fight would have been just as interesting.

Lanterns Debriefing
Meliadus: I still think my "winged" deployment was a good idea; unfortunately, the way the terrain was set up kept my wings from supporting each other, which hurt me in the long run. I was originally tempted to set everything up on one flank; if I had run with that setup, this would have been a very different game.

My center (the Dreadnought and two Tac Squads) might have started moving earlier -- they probably should have started moving right after stunning that Ork Dreadnought on the first turn. I was too overcautious in the face of Ork shooting, and wound up spending too much time in a foolish lascannon duel with big shootas.

My Whirlwinds' performance was less than stellar, but again, they weren't really working in tandem as they should have been. Perhaps if they had been deployed together (and ideally on my left flank) they would have fared better.

On the whole, my fast-attack section performed abysmally. The attack bikes completely failed in their anti-vehicle role, only taking down one Wartrak (which had already been immobilized anyway, and whose removal actually helped the Orks by allowing the wartrak squadron to move again). My regular bikes also strayed from their anti-infantry role, and got hammered for it -- that power-klawed Nob in the trukk was a nasty surprise. I placed the Assault Marines a little too aggressively, and were cut down for their efforts. (Kudos to that last flamer-wielding marine, though, and his last-ditch efforts against the Flash Gitz.)

Note to self: relying on 6's to score hits is a bad idea. Especially with Marines, who can't put out as great a volume of firepower as other armies.

I've heard it said that in 40K, mechanized armies fare better on larger tables with lots of terrain. I think this battle demonstrated how this can be the case. My "armored column" actually survived quite a while, and managed to get a good number of troops up to the front lines quickly. When they were eventually wrecked, the transports formed a pretty effective barrier against the Orks claiming a fourth objective. (Smoke launchers might have boosted my transports' survivability even more.) My Predator didn't do much, but it had a lot of potential -- this might have been exploited more effectively with better positioning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Orks Hold at All Costs

Scenario: Hold At All Costs
Imperial Guard Forces: Darkwing
Ork Forces: Badelaire
The Scenario
To keep things interesting, we decided to roll a D6 just before the battle to determine who would be the attacker and who the defender. After that, we also rolled a D6 to determine which board edge would become the attacker's. This would force us to think on the fly, and more importantly, force us to choose more balanced armies before the game, rather than focusing all of our efforts into optimizing the army for the role that it was going to play.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Tyranid Cityfight: Meeting Engagement

Scenario: Cityfight: Meeting Engagement

Note: As part of a campaign where the Tyranids attacked a fortified city held by the Imperial Guard, the Guard were allowed 4D6 x 10 points of items from the Defender's Armory for the battle. They chose one Bunker, a Plasma Mine (in 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, and a Twin-linked Lascannon Sentry Gun in Point Defense mode.

Imperial Guard Forces: Darkwing
Tyranid Forces: Tyrant

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Eldar Fleet

Here are some pictures of the Eldar Fleet:
Void Stalker Class Battleship
Eclipse Class Cruiser
Shadow Class Cruiser

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Battle Report: Eldar vs. Tyranid Cityfight: Meeting Engagement

Scenario: Cityfight: Meeting Engagement
Eldar Forces: Darkwing
Tyranid Forces: Tyrant
This was our fourth Cityfight battle, at 1200 points. To keep things simple we stuck to the Meeting Engagement scenario.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Battlefleet Arcadia

Here are some pictures of my Imperial Fleet:
Emperor Class Battleship
Sword Class Frigates
Sword Class Frigates