BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 10

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The random team escalation continued with both players bringing 750 points to the table. Oddly enough, the random team generator (an octahedron with numbers) made it so that the same 4 people were playing in every game, except with the team combos jumbled. My team was myself and the dark eldar player who was my opponent last game against the same imperial guard player with the same space marine player who was my partner last game.

THE CHALLENGERS: The Imperium's Most Heretical

Space Marines
750 pts.

Librarian
- Storm Sheild, vortex of doom
2x 10-man tac squads
- flamers, fists, lascannons
Whirlwind
- with cover-ignoring ammo
Techpriest
- with thunderfire cannon


Imperial Guard
750 pts.

CCS
-Master of Ordnance, 2x grenade launchers, lascannon

PCS
- commissar with fist, 4x flamers, 20-dude power blob
- 2x melta, 2x autocannons

Vets with 3x melta, grenadiers, demolitions
- with chimera, heavy stubber.

Colossus


THE DEFENDERS: Because who said slavery is heresy?

Dark Eldar
750 pts.

Raider squad with Haemonculus

Raider squad with Haemonculus

Raider squad

3x Ravagers


Imperial Guard
750 pts.

CCS - 3x plasma

PCS - 3x melta 20-dude power blob - flamer

PCS - 3x melta 20-dude power blob - flamer

PCS - 2x flamers 20-dude power blob - flamer


The mission for the evening was called "ward". Basically, it was kill points, with a twist. Each team had a "warded", and a "warder". The warded was normal, but the warder's units didn't count for KP when killed, and all their units got both scouts and preferred enemy.

After careful thought (including the thought of 83 guardsmen outflanking and rerolling to hit in close combat with all those power weapons), we decided that I should be the warded. My partner brought an awful lot of flimsy units whereas I brought power blobs. Plus, my parter actually had more KP to spare than did I.

Unsurprisingly, our opponents had come to a relatively similar conclusion, and elected for their guard player to hold onto their team's KP.

We rolled for dawn of war, and got first turn. I gladly snatched it. At deployment, the field looked like this:

It didn't take more than a cursory look at our opponent's list to realise that they were going to be trying to castle in a corner with their artillery. Given that our opponents were probably going to play static, thereby basically just handing us most of the field, my plan was to threaten one of the corners at deployment to get them to deploy into the other, which I would then hit with everything I had. The mobility of my troops and that of my partner's skimmers would hopefully allow us to browbeat our opponents into the corner for the ultimate victory.

With "rush them" as our overall strategy, I asked my partner to handle the vehicles with his huge pile of dark lances (hopefully by the time I was starting to consolidate out of my inevitable close combats), while I handled their infantry by making them choke to death on stubborn guardsmen.


TURN 1

Raust Melios Carissander - Commissar, Daxos Group

The past twelve hours had seen all units in the area completely paralyzed by a fierce dust storm. Blasting clouds of sand and grit heavily obscured everything, and made men cower in their trenches, specifically men who weren't me.

The astropath had wisely instructed Marshal Clinton to attack with the sandstorm as it began to clear. With the blessings of the almighty Emperor, our opponents - traitors to his holy name - would still be shut down by the blowing sand, allowing us to hit their lines just as the dust lifted. Only I could have come up with a plan more cunning than this.

As the sun sank late into the day it finally began to break through the thick dust clouds, signifying that the storm was coming to an end. With Marshal Clinton in the lead, our forces began their attack on the enemy's well-fortified position, only to find it temporarily abandoned. It seemed that the Emperor, blessings and honor unto his name, had decided in his righteousness to permit our plan to succeed as written.

Just as I begun my advance, I could hear the sound of engines riding up behind us. In the still-swirling grit, I couldn't make out the source or their type. In the blink of an eye, a vehicle of indeterminable make suddenly shot over our lines from behind us.

I love how much field coverage you get out of just 750 points of guardsmen.

The game begins with all of us basically piling everything onto the field. Thankfully our opponents had decided to deploy into the opposite corner, allowing me to be able to deploy most of my force directly across from them.

My partner decides to throw a couple of ravagers in with my dudes and then take the rest of his forces on a HUGE outflanking action of the enemy.

Shooting sees the ravagers pick off a couple of marines that had been deployed far forward of the rest of the forces on the right.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, our opponents send their vehicles onto the field along with the thunderfire cannon. The librarian and the other half of the marines were in reserve.

In shooting, the colossus can't shoot, having moved, but the rest of their army has enough gumption to put down both ravagers (note that everybody at the table forgot that dawn of war conferred night fighting rules to turn 1). Both ravagers exploded, catching some hapless guardsmen nearby in the blasts.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Our turn begins with the left side moving into position, charging out of the sandstorm at our hapless foes:

Meanwhile, everything in the center and right also booked it forward.

On the right, I couldn't roll a 6 for difficult terrain which meant there was no way I'd be able to get into close combat with Raust's blob against the space marines in the fortifications. As such, a nearby officer threw down FRFSRF on them, but thy failed the order. A handful of lasguns and a bolt pistol managed to put 2 wounds down, though, causing him to lose that combat squad's flamer.

Also, my opponent kills the whirlwind. So far, so good.

Due to the nature of this deployment type, our forces were only required to be 18" away, which allowed me to theoretically get a 2nd turn charge in with my guardsmen...

...which I did. Unfortunately, my power weapon attacks hideously flub it, killing only a couple of his dudes. The commissar's power fist kills a couple in return.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Their turn sees the librarian come in from reserve. He books it towards my partner's big old blob of vehicles. Meanwhile, the guard player outflanks his sentinel.

In the rest of movement, my space marine opponent throws his tac marines in as a screen for the guardsmen. One combat squad scoots over to literally stand in front of the blob while the depleted one charges in towards Raust's blob.

Shooting sees my CCS and PCS on the right getting absolutely shredded by a perfect 2" scatter from the master of ordnance. He then targets my senior officer with the colossus and hits dead on, taking him off the table.

Meanwhile the thunderfire cannon and assorted other badness (including the outflanking sentinel's heavy flamer) pound on Raust's blob. I made sure to remove casualties away from the sentinel first so as to avoid it getting stuck in close combat for awhile.

The librarian attempts vortex of doom, but he fails with perils. The invul save does its job, though.

In close combat, the few remainders of the marine squad up front charge Raust's squad and 9 power weapon attacks only put down a single wound. Meanwhile, in the fight in the center, my 9 power weapon attacks put down a healthy dose of hits, but fail to wound ANY of them, despite attacking T3 models. A regular dude partially mitigates this terrible luck by killing a dude, leaving just the commissar left, who puts a beating on my troops. I was really hoping to finish off this squad now so that I could charge into his power blob or CCS, but luck would suppress this desire.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

Turn three starts with my PCSs playing a dance where the left one moves in to throw some meltaguns at the librarian while the flamer and meltagun one on the right attempt to swap positions (but really just collide with each other due to poor run rolls).

Meanwhile, everything else continues their charge as best they can.

In shooting, my opponent offs the techmarine with dark lances, and, even though my meltas missed his librarian, lots of other stuff over there was able to kill it off.

In assault, my left blob finally rolls properly with its power weapons, turning the enemy commissar into hamburger. Likewise, I am able to chew through his remaining marines.

My squad was caught flat-footed by the charge of the traitorous marines. One such as myself can not be caught off guard forever, or even really at all. With a great stroke of my power sword I personally stabbed one in the throat. I kicked his writhing body off my blade.

With a brief moment to collect my troops and to scowl at them fiercely, I turned and resumed the attack on my enemy. Foleran forces were crashing against the enemy like a battle tank against hapless infantrymen. I couldn't live with myself if I were to fall behind. With a loud shout, my men joined the charge, eager to rip our targets into a bloody pulp.

Raust consolidated 2", but my star-crossed left blob thankfully scooted 6", allowing me to spread them out, and, more importantly, allowing me to get cover saves against pretty much everybody.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In our opponent's turn, the rest of the marines make it in from reserve, choosing to outflank with the mission's special rules. Very unfortunately for them, they came out on the wrong side:

Meanwhile the guard drove up with his mechvets and unloaded them on my left side blob.

Shooting begins with the colossus shooting a second time and again hitting dead on. This time, several members of both PCSs chilling out in the backfield are wiped out. Furthermore, a lone officer gets pinned. Shooting continues with pretty much everything unloading into my left side blob. Lots of dakka is thrown down, but lots of cover saves are made. In the end, the otherwise terrible casualties are, well, still terrible, but within the guard range of acceptable.

In close combat, our opponents finish closing the trap sprung on the left and right by charging my center blob squad in the middle.

9 power weapon attacks score several hits, but make NO wounds, yet again. The marines do some serious thumping, but my regular dudes were able to at least kill a couple tac marines in the sea of bayonets. This isn't too bad, as he only had 3 marines left. So long as I got out in time to join the assault on his remaining power blob, things would be fine.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

My troops stormed across the field. At my personal direction, we vaulted over the enemy embankments and charged across the open field towards their waiting lines.

Our turn begins with my infantry closing on in their throats while my partner leans in and starts his charge from the left.

In shooting, my partner aces his chimera with a darklance volley. This time, it's time for THEIR stuff to explode, killing a couple veterans. Assorted shooting by the rest of the force whittles their numbers down to half their original number.

With loud shouts and liberal use of profanity, I threw my men into the enemy. Shouts could be heard all around. From the parapet, the enemy was being slaughtered from their positions. From the flank, our forces dealt bloodily with their astartes foes. Shouts of panic could be heard from the other side as our enemy stood helpless as we ripped apart their comrades flesh from bone like a kitten thrown into a blender set to frappe.

With brutal effectiveness, two half-strength power blobs crashed into his company command squad. AGAIN my power weapons horribly failed their to-wound rolls, but the sheer weight of soldiers caused enough wounds for me to win by a couple. Without a commissar, the lascannoner and senior officer break and flee, and are trampled over in a sweeping advance.

Meanwhile, in the center 9 power weapon attacks fail to put a single wound on the space marines (notice a pattern, here?), while a bayonet takes one down. The marine's powerfist nails a couple and I lose combat. I then fail my morale check. The commissar makes swift work of one of my useless, useless powersword wielders and the squad sticks around.

After this point, the field looked like this:

For their part, our opponents move things in to consolidate more, hoping now to kill enough of my points-wielding guardsmen before it's too late.

In shooting, his sentinel heavy flamer just BARELY has range to one of my PCS meltagunners. Deciding to take the Ld hit, I lose the officer. There's going to be nothing doing if I can't score a hit on his sentinel, and I need meltagunners for that.

Meanwhile, his vets unload into my left blob, but cover does its job. Then his full-strength power blob OPENS UP into my squad with lasguns.

Lasfire suddenly erupted from our accursed foes throwing an endless sheet of firepower into my men. Swiftly, they began to fall to shooting casualties.

I turned to my men and ordered them forward into the hail of lethal shots. I could sense a moment of hesitation from my sergeants. I immediately leveled my bolt pistol at the nearest one and shot him in the head, causing brain and bits of face to explode out like an over-ripe melon. A second shot to the groin focused the loyalty of the few remaining remnants of my men.

Without FRFSRF, it's just a regular round of lasgun fire. While the melta and autocannon do some unfortunate things to the squad, the lasguns roll really poorly, leaving me with survivors.

Of course, the squad fails its morale check, but Raust is right on top of that type of seditious behavior...

In close combat, I throw 6 power weapon attacks and 9 regular attacks against the space marines, and do... nothing...

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

Turn five begins with me engaging in a battle to the death with the heavy flamer sentinel.

As for the rest of my forces, I'm actually really concerned. I had planned to slam into his lines with all of my forces, but because 24 power weapon attacks and 31 regular attacks couldn't kill 5 measly marines, I'm now in a dire position. Instead of attacking with 24 guardsmen, I'm now stuck with attacking with two very hurt squads for a total of 9. Against his 21-man strong power blob, this was looking pretty grim.

Just then, the cavalry arrived!

Opening several cans of whoop-ass at once, the darklance firing squad takes down the colossus while a haemunculus with one squad vaporises the remaining vets. Another squad charges straight into the power blob! Yay!

My left power blob joins the fray.

While my men held the enemy's attention with blood and bravery, men from another squad crashed into the enemy.

It was then that I saw something I did not expect. Black Eldar witches suddenly appeared from behind them, content to tear into my very own target. With flabbergastation I pondered whether the enemy of my enemy was my friend (or also my enemy), or whether I should open up a broad new assault on this surprising new foe.

While attempting to interpret Imperial protocol, I took the opportunity to take general command of the melee, insuring that our soldiers fought their hardest.

With their higher initiative and charge bonus, the dark eldar warriors with preferred enemy put down a SERIOUS amount of hurt. My guardsmen added to the carnage - power swords actually killing a nearly statistically appropriate amount of guardsmen.

And then, in the center, my power weapons FINALLY do something, finishing off the tac marines in the middle, if a little too late.

All our forces piled in. A mass of brightly colored uniforms ground down in the brutal melee while a staggeringly high concentration of commissars kept everyone in line on both sides.

Oh, and the two meltagunners shot at the sentinel. One missed, but the other hit. The shot caused an easy penetration. I rolled a 2 for damage, which became a 4, for an immobilized result. He was immobilized... with his heavy flamer pointed directly at my meltagunners...

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my opponents turn, some tac marines move up on the left while the other combat squad tries to lascannon something.

The heavy flamer shoots at my desperately unlucky meltagunners and the heavy flamer equally unluckily failed to wound with one of its hits.

In assault, our forces continue to grind down theirs. A few warriors are killed while the power blob is ground down to jus the commissar and a sergeant.

After this point, the field looked like this:

One of our opponents rolls for continuance and throws a 4.


TURN 6

In our turn, my partner flips around with his vehicles to go attack the space marines (except for the ravager, which had managed to immobilize itself). I, on the other hand, continue to hide my PCSs on the left while the remaining meltagunner on the right moves so that he's no longer in the front arc of the sentinel. I could have just run him out of heavy flamer range, but that wouldn't be nearly epic enough.

In shooting, the pile 'o skimmers nearly wipes out a tac squad while my poor meltagunner misses (I was really hoping for a kill on the sentinel that resulted in an explosion. Epic!)

In assault, our mass of infantry easily finishes off the guard player.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Our opponents take a pot-shot at a raider with a lascannon and wreck it, and then promptly concede the fight.


FINAL RESULTS

We all but wiped their guard player off the board for 6 points. Despite killing 62 of my infantrymen, and with 4 squads left with three dudes in them or less, he only managed to actually kill only one of my squads (the CCS) for 1 point, for a dark eldar and imperial guard victory.

- So this game went pretty much as planned. With my opponent having deftly taken out our opponent's most potent firepower before it had a chance to do too much damage, and with me outnumbering my guard counterpart nearly 2:1, we basically just ran in and crushed them. Many thanks to my partner for his efforts.

- I think this was another proof of concept game for my guard army. With the exception of the couple of raiders at the beginning and a couple of warriors at the end, I was basically the exclusive recipient of my opponents' firepower (justly so, as only my units scored). While I was definitely feeling thin at the end, my huge charging blob army of doom made it all the way across the board against an opponent who castled up, and survived all the way through to the end.

Not only is this personally enheartening, but it also adds credibility to my many arguments made against playing static guard armies. The other guard player had a lot more long range firepower, but I brought more guys than his ability to kill them as they crossed the field (despite getting hung up on tac squads). I may have lost twice as many infantrymen as my guard opponent brought in the first place, but I still had half as many as he brought left on the table at the end, and that was WITH my power weapons horribly failing everything.

- I think I did a pretty stellar job preserving my KP this game. It does, however, raise an ominous omen. In order to keep my KP losses down, I left my small squads behind. In higher point games, my power blobs all get meltabombs, but I was definitely relying on my partner to clear off his vehicles. I know outflanking helps immeasurably with this problem, but I might want to consider taking steps to give my power blobs a little more anti-tank punch.

- This match also shows the limitations of artillery in KP games. Yes, it really didn't help that his colossus couldn't attack turn 1, but it more than made up with that with the number of direct hits it rolled. In any case, rolling 1's to wound is inevitable (if you don't believe me just read my public game series), which means that artillery has this nasty tendency to leave stragglers. Were it not for a couple of lucky shots early on with the MoO and the colossus, it is entirely probable that our opponents wouldn't have been able to actually claim a single KP.

- You have to be careful with shooting things that you want to assault. In this case, my opponent's vets and outflanking sentinel were in a good position to tie up my guardsmen at an inconvenient time with a charge, but both times casualties were carefully selected in such a way where they were left out of range, making their only contribution the few guys they killed in that shooting phase.

- Yes, I know we could have played this game much more conservatively. After all, if I would have just sat in the backfield and spread way out so as to avoid undue ordnance fire (you will notice the big rings of infantry in some of the above pictures), my partner could have just darklance charged his vehicles and we would have won 2 or 3 to 0. In this case, my draw toward the epic charge sucked me in. Hopefully you, the reader, haven't been too disappointed with my choice.

MVP: The left side power blob. Turn 2 it charged and ate the PCS. Turn 4 it charged and ate the CCS. Turn 5 it charged and chewed through nearly half a power blob. Along with my opponent successfully destroying all of our opponent's vehicles, it was getting in fast and hard with this squad that really put a downer on our opponent's plans to survive. Just one too many blob squads for the tac marines to handle...

Hero of the Game: The right side PCS meltagunners. Despite terrible injury and casualty, and despite ultimately failing to bag their quarry for a total wipe of the guard player, their epic heroism and stick-to-it-iveness should be an inspiration to us all.

And then, just as I was able to take control of the situation, the dark foe seemed to simply disappear before our very eyes, leaving only the bloodied and ruined carcasses of our foes before us.

What their purpose was, I do not know. If I will meet them again, I can not say. The sun set shortly after our skirmish, leaving us to set up camp in our newly-acquired position in the darkness.

I eagerly await my next assignment. In faith,

-Raust Melios Carissander, Imperial Commissar