Lanterns (Space Marine) Forces: Meliadus
Ork Forces: Badelaire
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.
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.
|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|
|Command Squad (5)||131|
|Tactical Squad (1st Squad) (10)||156|
|Tactical Squad (2nd Squad) (10)||156|
|Tactical Squad (3rd Squad) (10)||156|
|Tactical Squad (4th Squad) (10)||156|
|Assault Squad (8)||244|
|Bike Squadron (6)||222|
|Attack Bikes (2)||130|
The Ork left flank, with an objective in the foregroundOpposite 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 BikesThe 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.
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.
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 bikesThe 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 OrksOn 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.
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 surroundedThe ‘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.
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 2The 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.
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 marineThe 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 objectiveFinally, 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:
Space Marines: 1722
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.
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.