BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 11

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The random team escalation league continued, this time with each player bringing 1000 points. The teams this time were the dark eldar player featured in the past couple of games with a chaos player against me and a kid (literally, the son of the aforementioned dark eldar player) who usually plays eldar, but this time showed up with some space marines.

THE CHALLENGERS: Join Chaos. We have cookies.

Dark Eldar
1000 pts

haemonculus
2 raider squads with night shields
3 ravagers with night shields
wyches in a raider


Chaos
1000 pts

2x greater demons, one with MoT
1 squad of CSM
1 squad of 1k sons
1 squad of havocs with assorted weapons
1 obliterator

I don't know exactly what they had, as I had no printed lists to look at, but you get the gist.

THE DEFENDERS: The Imperium's finest blend, aged 18 millenia.

Imperial Guard (me)
1000 pts.

Melta officers (CCS with astropath), 3 power blobs (one with al'rahem), 2 priests

My partner showed me his space marine list which was basically 2 full-strength tac squads, a libby and a land raider. Fearing instant annihilation of my partner at the hands of dark lances and wyches, I pulled out all of what little I know about space marines to at least give us a fighting chance.

Space Marines
1000 pts.

Libby with storm shield
sternguard with a heaping helping of combi-plasma in a pod
2 full tac squad with las/plas. Plas squads in pods

We probably could have done better, but this was the best I could help with given models available and what little I've gleaned of SM from forums.

The mission was a variant on seize ground. Instead of a random number of objectives placed wherever, there were 6, each at the exact center of their table sixth. Furthermore, at least half of each player's army needed to go into "special reserves" whereby they could only enter the board by showing up within 6" of a friendly unit (something I wasn't quite clear on, unfortunately). These units just popped up out of nowhere and got to shoot and assault as normal.

We roll for dawn of war deployment. We get first turn, and I give it to our opponents. I want our stuff to magically appear out of nowhere AFTER their stuff does.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

So I'll be pretty good for sitting on a few objectives. Really, the only thing I'm afraid of is late game raider shenanigans. As such, I gave my partner one objective: handle the raiders. Note that all the plasma I convinced him to put into his list was targeted towards this end. If we were able to stop this, power blobs should be able to hold enough stuff to at least force a draw, especially since there was nothing in the chaos list that was particularly frightening.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 19 Treiuas
Daxos Line

The weather of the last few weeks has been frightfully distressing. Endless blowing wind and sand have tried the most dauntless of spirits, including my own. Progress through the incessant blowing dust has been slow, and I have personally had quite enough of it all. Not only has the enemy been difficult to gain a hold of, but so has been everything else due to disruptions in logistics. I haven't had sparkling wine in hours! I can only sympathize with my brave young men who have had to likewise go without food or water for days.

In an attempt to shrug off the doldrums of blasting sand, I sent my men forward into the storm in an attempt to seize a nearby defensive line. Such actions in the past have been successful as of late due to the guiding influence of my personal sorcerer. This time, however, my troops became hopelessly lost and disengaged in the vortex. Not one to let a compromised plan run me afoul, I immediately hunkered down once separated from my men and waited for them to set their affairs in order and regroup like proper soldiers.

After several hours of bravely holding the line, I could hear a commotion ahead of me. Perhaps it was my own troops. Perhaps it was an enemy presence that had been confused by the dust cloud. Thankfully, I knew exactly where I was.

None of us really have any clue what's going on. Both sides have regular reserves. Both sides have special reserves. With so little out on the field, our opponents don't do much other than creep the center squad of 1k sons forward and move the havocs on the field in an attempt to get them up into the building.

In shooting, nothing can see anything.

After this point, the field looked like this:

From nearby, I could hear gunfire break out. Peering as hard as I could through my field glasses, I saw that a local astartes detachment had gotten as lost in the storm as had our invisible enemy.

With the greatest of desires to aid them in whatever way I could, I stayed still, firm as a rock, to anchor down their right flank to prevent sudden attack. I took the time to personally congratulate my cohort on their forbearance.

In our turn, my partner's free drop pod assault comes crashing down onto the field.

One of them unloads with a plasma and a combi-plasma onto the empty raider (whose cargo was up in the building to the left) and downs it, while the other blows apart the havocs who weren't able to make it into cover the previous turn. So far so good.

Other shooting sees a couple of lascannons and some bolters putting down a couple of 1k sons.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Our opponents react by moving what they had on the field to counter the SM threat.

On the top of the center, a ravager showed up from reserves and, along with the nearby havocs, dropped a duce on one of the combat squads. My opponent opts to fail his morale check so that he can put some distance between him and the nastiness.

Below that, the winged tzeench demon prince flew over and psychic flamered a combat squad and charged into combat, horribly flubbing it and leaving one marine alive.

In the bottom of the board, relentless tzeench bolters throw down on a lascannon tac squad. My partner fails an astonishing number of cover saves. The lone lascannoner fails his morale check and scoots 11" off the board.

So long, partner.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In our turn, the lone running marine still on the board is forced to keep running, due to a terrible flee roll the turn before keeping him too close to the havocs. Thankfully, Rhamael decides not to show up, even with the astropath on the table.

In assault, the demon prince finishes eating his marines.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

As the sand began to clear with the influx of a dustless breeze, I took a moment to thank the emperor for his good graciousness. My complexion couldn't have stood another moment of the onslaught.

In the clearing of the dust, I continued to search for signs of action on the field, but there was nothing in sight of my fortified position. Perhaps the enemy had realised the futility of attacking my men and had decided to thus turn his attention elsewhere.

In our opponents' turn, the havocs make it up to the top floor while the 1k sons start moving towards the last bastion of space marine-ness on the field. Another raider shows up.

Greatly desiring to stop big swaths of our army from suddenly appearing next to a drop pod, our opponents focus most of their attention on them. Unfortunately for our opponents, some TERRIBLE rolling on the part of the DE vehicles leaves one pod alive, while the demon goes and eats the other one.

After this point, the field looked like this:

From my commanding view of the battle, I surveyed the first of my troops finally making their way out of the sand storm. They charged quickly and neatly out of the dust, as if they were unphased by the malevolent atmosphere which had so oppressed us.

In my turn, Rhamael shows up:

Now, even if the drop pods get destroyed, we have a solid position on the right side of the board.

Otherwise, the rest of our turn is consumed by my partner's lone marine up at the top regrouping and then hiding out of LOS of anything.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

In our opponent's turn, all abso-frigging-lute hell breaks out. Almost everything that wasn't on the board before enters onto the board. Raiders, ravagers, more CSM. More depressingly, the wyches come out. The vehicle counted as moving, but with open top and the 1k sons being nearby...

In shooting, lots of stuff unloads on the blob squad, but we're talking about a blob in cover here, so the casualties are acceptable.

In assault, our opponents charge their wyches in. If they are able to wipe out the squad to the man, I can't send reinforcements over that way. It is around this time that I learn that reinforcements can't just walk in off the board edge, and panic takes over.

Thankfully, with some lackluster rolling and my partner finally rolling some decent saves, a single dude is left over at the end of the combat.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In our turn, I immediately take full advantage over the last guy available to bring in any forces outside of the right side of the board. I basically dump a blob straight onto his wyches. This was pretty much THE reason I elected to go second this game.

As for the rest of our stuff, the drop pod with the sternguard came in as close to all the DE nonsense as he could. I also call in a couple of platoon command squads to help out with objectives. The only thing off the board now is the librarian and a blob squad. I decide to keep the blob off the board so that I can develop whatever my first left-side blob started.

In shooting, his stern guard combat squadded out and made swiss cheese out of the two nearby ravagers while my meltagunners tagged the obliterator in the building.

And then I heard it, the shouts of my own men, now from the left. Unable to see them, I could not but utter words of praise to their undoubted unswerving devotion to duty. The sounds of close combat rang out in the air.

Through the careful placement of my troops, I was able to throw down a triple charge. The priest went in and got two hits with his eviscerator for two penetrating hits. I roll for damage and roll... snakeyes...

Meanwhile, the rest of the dudes show a degree of competence, taking down a couple wyches and a handful of 1k sons with power weapons.

This was what I was hoping for all along. With my opponent's forces tied up in blob combat, I should be able to contest enough of the rest of the field in order to pull a victory out of all of this. At 2-0 in our favor, things were looking favorably, and since nothing had shown up until turn 4, and I still had a power blob as an ace in the hole, the odds of him killing all of my guardsmen were pretty low.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

In our opponent's turn, they throw down the last of their reserves into the swirling melee on the left:

And then comes the great left-side bum rush. Remember those raiders I was worried about before deployment? They moved way over and unloaded both raider squads. Otherwise, the only movement was the winged demon prince, who was already hungry for more space marine flesh after it's first course turn 2.

In shooting, the tzeench psychic flamer decimates the sternguard (which is promptly assaulted), and a ravager finally picks off the lone space marine that had been chilling out before.

In assault, an injured wych squad, 10 warriors with a haemonculus, a handful of 1k sons with sorcerer, and a greater demon SLAM into my blob. As a minor miracle of the emperor (well, and the priest's rosarius field actually working), the blob survives with the commissar and priest left.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Things are now looking pretty hairy. Despite being on the field for such a short period of time, I'm already losing guardsmen at an unsustainable rate. Power blobs are great, but a single 180 point squad can only hold off SO long against roughly a thousand points of determined foe. But I still have the ace up my sleeve: my last power blob.

I carefully deliberate where to put it. On the one hand, I had the idea to put them up on top with the first dude near Rhamael and then forming a conga line out onto the upper middle objective. I figured that this would be too easily ensnared by the demon nearby, and the end result would be a 3-2 loss. Alternately, I could have done the same with the lower part of the board. The problem, of course, was those damnable raiders. This left me with no other choice but to reinforce the left. If I played things right, I would be able to delay my opponents' armies and play for a 2-2 draw on turn 6. Of course, right now we were 2-1, which meant that if the game ended at the end of turn 5, my master plan would succeed for a win.

Thus resolved, I threw down my last power blob:

Other than that, my partner puts down his librarian. As a single unit can only bring 1 special reserves unit a turn, this leaves my partner with few options. He chooses for the libby to go towards the upper left in an attempt to contest the objective against the warriors who were making their way down the building.

In shooting, a couple of meltagunners put some miracle shots on the otherwise worthless havocs, finishing them off. Also my power blob heavy flamer makes an awful mess of the wyches.

In assault, his demon finishes off the sternguard. Meanwhile on the other side of the board...

Through the swirling and brutal melee, my forces manage to put a couple of wounds down, including killing off the sybarite. Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish off the warriors, netting me an uncontested obejctive.

As for the other power blob, let's just say that the commissar and priest did not survive. Most unfortunately, the warriors rolled a 6 for their consolidation, bringing the haemonculus onto the objective with enough left over to strike a pose:

After this point, the field looked like this:

Right now, we were tied 2-2. With my partner tabled and my own deteriorating condition looming, I desperately hope for an early end. My partner rolls, and gets a 4.


TURN 6

In turn 6, the DE player scoots his warriors onto the top middle objective. Meanwhile, having finished a 3-course meal of space marine, the demon decides to sneak up on his dessert:

He did some sort of shooting attack that put 3 wounds on the libby. My partner failed two of his three 2+ saves, booting him off the table completely.

They also charge into my power blob on the left, taking it down by a big chunk.

I look at the situation and realise that we've lost. I go on to the bottom of 6 so that I can sneak up on his demon. With a 5-meltagun barrage with BiD, I avenge the librarian by sending it back to the warp.

After this display of shooting prowess, I concede for our team.


FINAL RESULTS:

Our opponents had 3 objectives, while I had 2 with 1 contested for a dark eldar and chaos victory.

- So I can't harp on my partner too much, as he's young, and inexperienced with space marines with a list that I, a non-marine player helped create (he had never played with drop pods before). That and his dad would kick my ass ;)

That said, it's a little frustrating that 2 of the last 3 games featured me and a space marine player where my marine ally was swiftly thrown off the table, leaving me to fend for myself against a majority of my opponents' forces.

- That said, I'm proud of how my blobs held up this game. For being less than half my army, the two blobs on the left took a hell of a pounding and kept on going. Now all I need is for them to stop getting targeted by all of my opponent's forces, and they might live for more than 2 turns.

- I know it's been the (un)luck of the draw, but I'm starting to get sick of raider spam. I just might put my rough riders project on hold and convert up some hydras if this continues...

- This was the 4th time in 11 games that I've had a win or a draw turn into a loss due to the last turn roll going wrong. It's highly frustrating to have all of one's hard work snatched away due to a single die roll, especially when it happens about a third of the time. If I had access to an advisor that allowed me a modifier to my last turn roll, I'd take it every game...

MVP: I don't usually do this, but this game's MVP goes to the chaos demon prince, for basically eating the ENTIRETY of my partner's forces aside from a couple of combat squads and a drop pod. NOM NOM

Hero of the Game: This is a tough one, given the many acts of heroism, but it's going to have to go to the first left-side power blob. Medals will be awarded posthumously.

Despite having briefly left my command position in an attempt to see the enemy, no sighting of him could be made. Thus determining the area clear of hostile forces, I warmly greeted my retinue with accolades all around.

It was at this time that the wind shifted again, threatening yet another bout of inclimate climate. As the dust began to pour in again, I took personal command of what infantry I could find and personally lead the way out of the area to safer shelter, confident in a job well done.

In grateful service,

Sir Daxos P. Clinton III - KAP, EKS, ICM - Foleran Armies in his Majesty's Royal Dictate.
Blood Conquers All