Sunday, February 28, 2010

Working on a lot of different things at once...

I haven't had that much time to paint recently (usually on the weekends), but I've managed to finish a few sundry miniatures. To keep things fresh I've been working on a variety of miniatures.

First is my first Salamander ever. I think he came out pretty decently. And after enough bad experiences with trying to get decals on curved shoulder pads, I was resigned to freehanding the chapter symbol, which came out pretty well I think.

Next is a pair of Middle-Earth Rangers.

And then a selection of three marines from three different chapters: Brazen Claw, Salamander, and Raven Guard.

Next is my first Deffkopta. Boy, do those things have a lot of details! Anyway, after painting this one up, I've decided that my Deffkopta Skwadron will be known as the "Tusky Airboyz".

And finally, some Middle-Earth Orc Black Guard. They'll form part of the command group for my Orc Army, which is rapidly nearing completion.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Battle Report: The Arduen Campaign, Part Four

Mad Dok Grotsnik leads da Boyz across the river

The planet Arduen is a small, sparsely inhabited world in the Arcadia Sector. The people of the planet live a mostly idyllic existence, as far as such things can go in the Imperium. Due to the large expanses of wilderness on the planet, the Imperial Guard frequently uses the planet as a training ground for its newly raised regiments.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Battle Report: The Arduen Campaign, Part Three

The assembled Ork mechanized force, with Imperial Guardsmen preparing to ambush their flank
The planet Arduen is a small, sparsely inhabited world in the Arcadia Sector. The people of the planet live a mostly idyllic existence, as far as such things can go in the Imperium. Due to the large expanses of wilderness on the planet, the Imperial Guard frequently uses the planet as a training ground for its newly raised regiments.

The planet's idyllic existence was for the moment over, as Ork Warlord Gorgash Gutmuncha and his horde of maruading Freebooters arrived in orbit and began landing on the planet. After destroying some Imperial patrols and an ill-advised raid on an Imperial outpost, Big Mek Grotsmaka began to muster his boyz into a sizable force to take on the Imperials and wipe out their forces on the planet.

Unfortunately for him, Imperial scouts on the planet had discovered one of Grotsmaka's staging areas, and responding quickly, a pair of infantry platoons and an armor platoon was quickly dispatched to take it out before it was completely organized.

The Company Command Squad, between the two Hellhounds, ready to begin the attack
Imperial Guard Attack Force
Company Command Squad (6)125
Special Forces
SFC Grant (1)65
1st Infantry Platoon
Command Squad (5)90
Infantry Squad 1 (10)57
Infantry Squad 2 (10)55
Weapons Squad (Missile Launchers)90
2nd Infantry Platoon
Command Squad (5)47
Infantry Squad 1 (10)55
Infantry Squad 2 (10)55
Weapons Squad (Missile Launchers)90
Assault Section
Armor Section
Leman Russ Vanquisher200
Leman Russ Squadron555

The Leman Russ Squadron prepare to meet the Orks head on

Imperial Guard Briefing
Darkwing: Since my Imperial Guardsmen drove off the Ork attackers in the last battle, that gave me an advantage (well, story-wise) in this battle. Here I would be assaulting the Ork staging area in an attempt to attrit their forces as they muster for a major assault on the major Imperial settlements on the planet. I knew right off the bat I wanted some armor, so I immediately took a squadron of Leman Russes, and I also took a pair of Hellhounds to provide some ork-killing inferno cannons. I had wanted to load up on the tanks and include both my Leman Russ Vanquisher and Leman Russ Demolisher, but in the end I didn't have the points so I had to settle for just one--the Vanquisher. I figured its Vanquisher cannon could easily deal with whatever vehicles that the Orks could bring to the battle.

For infantry I got the obligatory Infantry Platoon, with two regular squads and one flexible missile launcher squad. For the second troops choice I considered just getting a single veterans squad, in the hopes that I would be able to free up some points for more armor. In the end I went for a second infantry platoon, almost identical to the first except in the case of special weapons.

For my HQ I got the standard Company Command Squad, relatively bare bones except that I added a Master of Ordnance--I've been itching to give him a try for a long time, and now I'd be able to get the chance.

And how could I forget? I also included Guardsman Marbo (or his alter-ego in my army: SFC "Roughshod" Grant). I figure he could deliver a timely demolition charge during the battle, and I was eager to see him at work.

With that, I hoped to hit the orks hard and fast, blowing up their vehicles early with my armor and my missile launchers (and a four meltagun Platoon Command Squad), and then mopping up with my hellhounds and infantry (and the Leman Russes, of course!).

Ork Mechanized Force:
Ork Big Mek Grotsmaka w/ KFF
Ork Nobs Mob (7 nobs) w/ PK, Big Choppa, and Painboy,
plus Battlewagon w/ Lobba and Big Shoota
Gold Deff Dread with 2 Big Shootas
Pigface's 'Ard Boyz (x19) w/ Rokkit, Nob w/ PK
Bokebreaka's Trukk Boyz (x12) w/ Rokkit, Nob w/ PK, Trukk w/ Rokkit
Redbonce's Trukk Boyz (x12) w/ Big Shoota, Nob w/ PK, Trukk w/ Big Shoota
Fast Attack
3 Dethkoptas w/ TL Rokkits
5 Biker boyz, Nob w/ PK
Heavy Support
Battlewagon with 3 Big Shootas
Silver Deff Dread w/ 2 Big Shootas
3 Killa Kans w/ Rokkits
Total: 1750
2nd Platoon's Command Squad, ready to spring the trap
Ork Briefing
Badelaire: I was unceremoniously pummeled in the last battle, using lots of small, elite units and light fast vehicles. This time around, while I was going all mechanized, I would also be fielding two battlewagons, two dreads, and a trio of killa kans, as well as some nobs, 'ard boys, and some deffkoptas. The list, while lacking a prodigious number of bodies, was still fairly large, and I had no less than five PKs in the list, along with a fair number of rokkits.

However, my biggest hurdle would be Darkwing's armor. Leman Russ tanks are tough nuts to crack; even though a PK will tear them open with ease if I'm able to charge and hit, it's the charging that's going to be the hard part. I knew he'd probably have at least one squadron of tanks, and that meant three ordnance templates, lascannons, and a bucketload of heavy bolter dice coming at my units every turn until I could crack open those tanks.

My initial hope would be that my Kans and my Koptas could get flanking shots on the slightly weaker Russ' side armor, and the higher ballistic skill of the grot-piloted kans, as well as the twin-linking of the dethkopta's rokkits, meant that I had a better than usual chance of connecting. In addition, since all my mobs of boys were either mounted on vehicles or riding bikes, they would have considerable speed to their advantage when trying to get within assault range of the heavy armor. Like some sort of Napoleonic cavalry charge, it would be a matter of whether or not I could make it to his lines, through the murderous hail of his guns, in sufficient numbers to do the necessary punishment needed to break his army.

*Note: I apologize that the maps don't have a key to explain the various symbols--I'm working on that. Hopefully the context is good enough to make them clear enough to follow the action. Also, north is to the right in all the maps.Scenario
The battle was fought on a 9' x 5' table, with a ring of terrain surrounding the ork staging area. The orks could deploy anywhere on the table more than 18" from a table edge (except for the northern table edge, where the limit was 24"). The Imperial Guard could deploy anywhere on the table at least 6" outside the Ork deployment zone. The Orks deployed first, followed by the Imperial Guard (who had the advantage since they were springing an ambush), and the players rolled off to determine the who got the first turn. Other than that, the object was just to annihilate the enemy!
Turn 1
As the ork forces warmed their engines in preparation to leave and join the rest of the massing ork forces, Captain Wright settled his command staff into position in the tall grass, just to the south of the Ork vehicles. On either side of him, out of line of sight of the orks ahead, was a pair of hellhounds, the Clamor Necis to his left, and the Mors Crucians to his right. Lieutenant Roberts, the unit's Fire Support Officer, studied the Ork position through his binoculars, getting ready to call down the artillery strike to begin the attack. The bulk of 1st and 2nd platoon was maneuvering behind a ridgeline to the east to get into position, while their two heavy weapons squads, each armed with a trio of missile launchers, were setting up in firing positions to the southeast and west. Off beyond the orks to the north, a Armor Platoon of Charlie Company, consisting of three Leman Russes, accompanied by Charlie 6, the Company Commander in his Leman Russ Vanquisher, prepared to strike from the north. Everything was coming together and soon the trap would be sprung. That is, until a green private in 2nd platoon tripped, discharging his lasgun and giving away his unit's position...

The orks responded blindingly fast. They had thought that they had to meet up with the rest of the boyz to get into the fight, but fortunately, there was a fight right here!

Most of the Ork army headed east at a breakneck pace to engage the Imperial Guard infantry platoons. Redbonce's trukkboyz drove up to 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, disembarked, fired their sluggas and killed four members of the squad, causing the rest to break and flee the battlefield.

Pigface's 'Ardboyz drove towards 1st Squad, 1st Platoon in their Battlewagon, disembarked and fired their sluggas. Two guardsmen were killed, while the rest prepared for the inevitable charge. The 'Ardboyz plowed into them, one of the orks dying to a desperate lasgun shot at the last second, but then the 'Ardboyz tore apart the squad, killing the remaining eight, leaving no survivors.

The Ork bikers rode further north and opened fire on Command Squad, 1st Platoon with their big shootas, killing all five members without any problems. Aside from its supporting heavy weapons squad, 1st Platoon was all but annihilated.

The Nobz' battlewagon drove towards 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, disembarked and charged the stunned guardsmen and killed all ten without breaking a sweat.

Bonebreaka's trukk gunned its engine, heading flat out north to deal with the rest of 2nd Platoon.

While the Silver Deff Dread headed east to provide unnecessary support to the boyz, the Gold Deff Dread headed south. Spotting members of the Command HQ Squad it fired its big shootas. The shoota shells smashed into the squad, and decapitating one guardsman and disembowling another. Two more were severely wounded, but the quick reactions of Medic Schmidt saved their lives and allowed them to continue to fight.

The Imperial Guard reeled under the ork assault, having lost nearly all of their infantry. Command Squad, 2nd Platoon moved into cover in the woods, while 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon, backed up and formed a firing line, hoping to take out some Nobz. 2nd Platoon's command ordered them to First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire! and the unit unleashed a fusillade on the Nobs, killing one and wounding another. It would not be nearly enough to stop them, however. The Command Squad then fired their grenades launchers at the approaching bikers to no effect.

The Hellhound Mors Crucians drove forward and fired its inferno cannon on Redbonce's boyz, killing seven of them. The other Hellhound, the Clamor Necis, fired its heavy bolter on them, killing two more. The survivors, although scorched and smoking, decided to stick around to get their revenge.
The Mors Crucians prepares to bathe the Orks in promethium

Missile Launcher Team 1 dished out small amount of payback for the destruction of the rest of their platoon by hitting the Gold Deff Dread with a pair of krak missiles, wrecking it. Missile Launcher Team 2, to the west, fired its krak missiles at the 'Ard Boyz, but Mekboy Skullface's Kustom Force Field deflected the shots.

The Imperial Guard Armor, heading in from the north, rumbled slowly closer and opened fire. The Vanquisher missed its target, but the Leman Russ Squadron connected with the Killa Kans, exploding one and immobilizing a second.

Finally, Master of Ordnance Roberts called down an artillery strike on the 'Ardboyz. His coordinates proved accurate and the shots killed five orks, but did not damage their battlewagon.

Turn 2
The Ork Deff Kopta squadron, returning from a preliminary patrol, showed up directly behind the Leman Russes, and threw themselves into the action. The Ork bikes also sped in that direction, attacking them from the front. The Deff Koptas opened fire with their rokkits at close range, shaking up one of the Leman Russes but not doing any further damage.
The Deff Koptas strike the Leman Russes from the rear

Redbonce's boyz and Pigface's 'Ardboyz embarked on their vehicles and headed off in search of more guardsmen to kill, both vehicles heading towards the Hellhounds and Company Command Squad. Bonebreaka's trukk headed north to go after the Command Squad, 2nd Platoon in the woods. The Nobz parted ways with their Battlewagon, heading towards 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon, while the Battlewagon headed south with the others. The Nobz plowed into the infantry squad, killing nine and leaving the sergeant as the sole survivor, who wisely took to the hills.

Redbonce's Trukk and the Silver Dreadnought both fired their multitude of Big Shootas at the Command HQ squad. The four surviving members of the squad hugged the earth, and tried to make themselves as small as possible, but the big shootas delivered five wounds to the squad. Doc Schmidt showed his worth and through heroic application of his medical skills he negated all five wounds, leaving the ork gunners roaring in frustration. "If we survive this, you're getting a medal," Captain Wright muttered grimly to the medic.

The Vanquisher turned to face the Deff Koptas and fired all of its weapons at them, killing one and wounding another. The Leman Russes all fired at the bikers zooming towards them, killing three and forcing the rest to turn tail and run.
The Orks prepare to take on both Hellhounds
The two Hellhounds fired on Redbonce's trukk, and while their inferno cannons did nothing, a heavy bolter shot slammed into the vehicle's transmission, causing it to careen directly towards the Command HQ squad, stopping just short of them and exploding. Redbonce and three of his boyz climbed out of the wreck, eager to dish out some pain on the Command HQ squad.
Redbonce prepares to take out his anger on the Company Command Squad
Suddenly a pair of krak missiles from one of the missile launcher squads rocketed into the bodies of two of the boyz, causing them to explode into gloppy green and red gunk. Undaunted, Redbonce continued towards the HQ squad. Captain Wright and Lt. Roberts exchanged a look, and in unison they drew their laspistols and killed the nob leader with two well placed shots.

SFC Grant appears and prepares to set off his demo charge
In the woods on the eastern flank, the Command Squad of 2nd Platoon found themselves between a rock and a hard place--Bonebreaka's trukkboyz were approaching from one direction, while in another the Nobz had just annihilated one of their squads and were heading their way. Suddenly a trememdous explosion engulfed the Nobz, killing four of their number and leaving the Nob Boss and Painboy staggering but alive. The Painboy started to run, but the Nob Boss bashed him over the head, wounding him. "We ain't leaving," he growled. The Painboy shook his head. "Screw 'dat!" he yelled, and took off. The Nob Boss gave a rueful look to the woods ahead and followed the Painboy in his flight. From his hide within the woods, SFC Grant took his thumb off the detonator switch and smiled grimly.
The Nob and Painboy head for the hills, as SFC Grant watches them run

Turn 3
The Ork Bikers continued to flee, while the Deff Koptas fired on the Leman Russ Squadron again, stunning one of the tanks.

The Silver Deff Dread fired on the eastern Missile Launcher team, killing three of the guardsmen. The Nobz' Battlewagon then fired its lobba at the survivors, killing one more and causing the two survivors to flee the battle.

Bonebreaka's trukk boyz disembarked and charged into the woods to assault the Command Squad of 2nd Platoon, killing all five guardsmen easily.
Bonebreaka's trukk boyz contemplate assaulting SFC Grant

Pigface and his boyz disembarked from the Battlewagon and charged one of the Hellhounds, while Big Mek Grotsmaka disembarked and charged the other. Grotsmaka wrecked one of the Hellhounds while Pigface detonated the fuel tanks of the other. The Orks were inundated with promethium, burning four of the 'Ardboyz alive, while the other orks in the mob laughed uproariously at their fate.
The Ork Boyz take out both Hellhounds

The Leman Russes continued to advance towards the center of the battlefield. SFC Grant left his position in the woods and headed south, moving away from Bonebreaka's boyz. The western Missile Launcher team fired their missiles on the Nobz' Battlewagon, but were unable to damage it.

Master of Ordnance Roberts called down an artillery barrage on Pigface's Ardboyz, but it was slightly off target and killed only a single boy. From across the battlefield, the Leman Russ Squadron fired on the Ardboyz as well, killing three of them with their battlecannons. Pigface's boyz decided that they had had enough at this point and began to run.

The Vanquisher shot down one of the Deff Koptas, leaving one left.

Turn 4
Big Mek Grotsmaka embarked on the Battlewagon. The Silver Deff Dread advanced to get a line of sight on the Command HQ Squad. Both the Battlewagon and the Deff Dread fired on the HQ Squad with their big shootas.

Again the Command Squad hugged the ground as the big shoota rounds tore up the earth, and each member of the squad was hit at least once--even Captain Wright's Refractor field couldn't help him. Yet despite this, Medic Schmidt performed some truly herculean efforts and negated all five wounds.
The few remaining Orks decide they've had enough for one day
After the dust settled, Captain Wright saw Grotsmaka's Battlewagon rocked with a pair of explosions, wrecking it, and in the distance the Vanquisher shoot down the last Deff Kopta. Big Mek Grotsmaka pulled himself from the wreckage of his battlewagon and decided to leave the battlefield. The rest of the orks were already fleeing, or independently decided that now was the time to leave. Captain Wright looked at Medic Schmidt again and put a hand on his shoulder. "Looks like you're getting that medal after all," he said.

Imperial Guard Debriefing
Darkwing: When we were planning this scenario, we decided that we needed to give the Imperial Guard a advantage since they had won the previous battle. Once we had set up the table, however, we quickly realized that if the Imperial Guard got the first turn, the Orks were going to have a very bad day. After the Orks won the roll off for the first turn, the tables were completely turned, since the Imperial Guard Infantry was within easy charge range of most of the Ork army. Once I saw that I realized that it was the Imperial Gurd that was in deep trouble.

Still, it was a day of heroics for the Imperial Guard. For most of the guardsman, it was par for the course--the infantry died in droves, armor sections did what was expected of them, SFC Grant (aka Marbo) performed as advertised (which was very cool)...but the hero of the game was undoutedly my Command Squad's medic. He went 12 for 14 in Feel No Pain saves, which was simply incredible. I wasn't kidding when I said I'd give him a medal--I'm going to give the model a new paintjob and think of some way to adorn him to properly recognize his achievement. Any ideas?
Medic Schmidt, hero of the battle

Tactics-wise, there's not too much for me to say, as for the most part I simply reacted to the orks and fired at targets of opportunity. The next battle is Apocalypse fight, and I'm definiltely looking forward to that...

Ork Debriefing
Badelaire: While my initial successes in wiping out most of Darkwing's infantry were a little comforting, I knew right from the beginning that this was going to be a desperate fight. The two Hellhounds, while not unexpected, were dangerous targets to my Orks, and I knew that leaving them alive would be the end of any infantry or Trukks I had on the field. However, killing them wouldn't stop the four heavy tanks rumbling up the backfield, killing mercilessly as they approached. I wasn't thrilled about my Kan's chances, and knew they would suffer badly before the tanks got within range.

In addition, even though I was able to bring my Dethkoptas in on the Russ' rear armor, they were't able to deliver the killing blows I was really, really hoping for. In addition, I made the big mistake of forgetting that, not only could they fire on the tank's rear armor, they could deliver St 4 charges as well - 9 St 4 attacks against the AV 10 of the Russ's rear could have delivererd just as many glancing hits as the rokkits, and could very well have done a lot to limit the firepower of Darkwing's armor.

Ultimately, I did about as well as I could. There weren't actually that many IG units left on the table; the four tanks, a heavy weapons team, the command squad, and the Marbo clone. Unfortunately, by the end of Turn 4, I knew I had almost nothing left to counter them with; one lone Deff Dread, a Big Mek, one Trukk of boys, and a lone Battlewagon that'd have to get close enough to ram in order to do a tank any harm. Rather than play out the last two turns, Darkwing and I agreed to call it a game.

Next up is the Apocalypse game, and I'm looking forward to it. There's going to be over six thousand points of Orks taking the field - over 300 of the little buggers, by my best estimation. If nothing else, it's going to be a hell of a Waaagh!