BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 12

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Our random team escalation league comes to an end with both players bringing 1250 points to the table. After this, it's going to be an apocalypse game followed by another team escalation league, except with fixed teams.

THE CHALLENGERS: smackdown, CMYK-style
Space Marines 1250 points

Libby
MoF with Thunderfire Cannon

2 full-strength tac squads with lascannon, flamers, fists
1 half-strength sternguard with lascannon
1 full-strength sternguard with combi-meltas in drop pod

Whirlwind

Dark Eldar
1250 pts.

Haemonculus

5 raider squads
wyches in a raider

3 DL ravagers

THE DEFENDERS: My partner doesn't play space marines...

Imperial Guard (me)
1250 pts

CCS with plasma
2 priests

3 power blobs (PCS with melta, 1 is al'rahem)

3 hydras

Space Marines
1250 pts.

MoF with conversion beamer

2 tiny tac squads
2x HB speeder

SIX DREADNOUGHTS!!!
- with assorted gear

So, I was told by one of my opponents before the game that my partner didn't play space marines, he plays dreadnoughts. No frikkin' kidding! I don't remember what all everything had, but I know there were lots of assault cannons and DCCWs of various sorts.

The mission this time was a variant on kill points. In fact, it WAS an annihilation game, except that each team had two players, a "first wave" and a "second wave". The first wave player played as normal, except every one of their units came with:

- preferred enemy
- fleet
- move through cover
- feel no pain

The "second wave" player was forced to place everything in reserve. In addition, every one of the units got:

- deepstrike
- twin linked
- assault out of deepstrike
- rapid fire

What "rapid fire" meant was that every one of their weapons changed to rapid fire. Thus, a Heavy 3 weapon became a Rapid Fire 3 weapon (fires three shots out to range, and fires 6 shots within 12"). Basically, this was going to be an annihilation mission that was designed to be a BLOODBATH.

Needless to say, I snatched up "first wave" as fast as it was read (80+ FNP guardsmen, WAH!) and my partner was only too glad to take an all-deepstriking dread army. On the other side, the space marine player took "first wave" leaving the DE player with his twin linked double-shot deepstriking darklances off the table.

We rolled for spearhead. I won the roll for first turn. It seemed to me, especially because we had an astropath and they didn't, that we'd want to go second to help alleviate this disadvantage. Yeah, I'm going to eat whirlwind etc. for a turn, but I mortgage my guard's durability for some greater smackiness later on. At deployment, the field looked like this:


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: Ocheian 2
Daxos Line

The first day of Ocheian brought with it a cool, dare I even say cold, humid air with it. Our newfound dankness was of great relief as it pushed away the endless dry and blowing dust and detritus from which our men so valiantly suffered over the past many days. With new clarity in the air, I took stock of my line's positions. The blowing dust had been used to good effect by both my army and the enemy. All up and down our positions, including the place held by my line was perforated with endless breakthroughs in the storms, but due to communications problems prevented a full development by any particular force in the area.

As such, it was seen fit by my commanders to reform our lines and consolidate any gains which had been made over the weeks of chaos and disruption. No doubt, our enemies would be attempting the same.

As part of my morning constitutional on the 2nd of the month, I took it upon myself to personally reform my various groups into positions. My men were greatly enheartened by my presence among the common enlisted man and petty officer alike. Nothing brings confidence to a man like his superior brandishing a sportly swagger hither and thence.

It had not yet reached the time of day for my second morning tea and palomino sandwichettes before my men found the enemy upon them. More of the endless heretical teal marines had attempted to take my hard-won positions by force of arms. Due to the gravity of the attack being centered on my own personal group of the line, and with the troops not under the direction of a man who had yet taken his brunch, I was forced to retire my personal staff and adjunct group to our secondary defensive positions.

From here, after quick refreshment, I plotted with my wretched sorcerer the plan for attack. With a great effort of contrivance on his part along with a variety of inhuman screaming and secretion of many a form of bodily fluids, my astropath lead me to hatch a brilliant plan. With my other troops still in position, and with only myself having retired, the enemy had fallen in to being surrounded on three sides by my forces. Reinforcements from a local astartes chapter had been placed on reserve. This was a day for the grandest of ambuscade! Hurrah!

The game begins with his space marines preparing their forces to accept the inevitable angry guardsmen charge.

In the center, he moved his troops forward to secure the building in the middle, while he drop pod assaults his libby plus a bunch of sternguard dangerously close to everything (including the board edge), and rolls a hit for the scatter.

In shooting, 5 combi-meltas open up with an awful round of shooting. 5 meltagun attacks score 3 hits, which scores 2 pens, which he rolls snakeyes for, doing nothing more than stunning the top hydra. Meanwhile, instead of targeting the bottom hydra with his other meltas, he targets the nearby blob squad. The librarian's crazy flamer goes off, and lots of special ammo is dumped into my guys. And then, something strange to me happens. I get a feel no pain roll, which I pass several of, turning catastrophic casualty to merely severe casualty.

Likewise, the whirlwind and TFC shoot at my troops, but proper spacing minimizes casualties, and once FNP saves are taken, I nearly come out without a scratch!

After this point, the field looked like this:

In their assault on my group, our foe had overextended himself. Now was the time to beset upon him with great valor and gallantry. With quick thought and quick action, I called in for my reinforcements. With a prayer on my lips I pulled out my whistle and blew as hard as I could. A great mass of my men sprang forward bravely from their position, moving in angry clouds like a disturbed hive greatly filled with so many angry bees.

Now that it appears conflict is on me, I commit all available forces to throttle my marine opponent. On the left, I close in with my power blob, 2 melta officer squads, and a plasma officer squad. On the right, I charge into the marine mass in the center.

In shooting, I carefully mull my options. On the one hand, I want my 3 meltaguns to shoot into his space marines to thin them out. On the other hand, I wanted the stupid drop pod dead, lest it bring in more stuff with locator beacons (which he didn't have, because he didn't have anything else to deepstrike...). In the end, I accept possible casualties on my melta squad from space marine fire, and BiD on the melta squad against the pod. 3 meltaguns score 3 penetrating hits from about 1" away. Unfortunately, the drop pod explodes! 2 from the meltagun squad (including the officer) are killed, while another handful of guardsmen from the blob go down. I flub the rolls against the marines, and they don't even need to make a single armor save.

Despite this unfortunate turn, I now realize I was more clever than I thought. With the drop pod out of the way, I now have the ability to do a multi-assault with my left side blob. After a little more shooting (my CCS tagged a wound on the libby with a plasma gun, and the hydra put down 3 hits on the MoF, all of which landed on the artillery piece, easily taking it out), I decide to do just that:

Personally directing the covering fire, my men charged towards the enemy who had jabbed his wicked thorn into our side. I even took it upon myself to relieve my sidearm of ammunition. I issued many an order, to both left and right. Nothing is so invigorating than being an officer on command!

Fire was only abated once my men charged into our foe, great zeal inspired my men. "Forward, forward!" the priest shouted. "Not one step back!" shouted the commissar. Thus inspired, my men fell upon their targets.

The close combat proved to be exciting, given that everyone had preferred enemy. For every extra attack we got, though, was an attack that was stopped by FNP, so the end result was in the range of normal. Unfortunately, normal for me wasn't going to go so well as my power weapons were stuck on the other side of the blob. With some good rolling on my opponent's part and bad rolling on mine, my opponent basically just ate half of what was left of my blob with virtually no damage done by bayonet in return. After the carnage, the libby uses his power to escape with his combat squad from combat.

Meanwhile, in the center, my charge went much better. I couldn't make a FNP save to save my life, but I also actually did some reasonable damage with the power weapons, negating his. In the end, I chopped his marines down to just a single dude.

After this point, the field looked like this:

us: 1 them: 0


TURN 2

Their turn begins with 5 of their 9 skimmers showing up from reserve. With reasonable scattering, the board is now choked full of twin linked darklance skimmers. Things are suddenly looking starkly uncomfortable for my lone power blob in the middle of the board...

Shooting begins with his lots of dark lances targeting my hydras (obviously). Against the top hydra, dark lances drop down for three of penetrating hits. Two of them turn up "weapon destroyed" knocking off the hydra battery, while the third stuns the vehicle. Meanwhile, the darklances shooting at the other hydra horribly fail their to-hit rolls, even with twin linking, and roll really low against the AV12 front armor.

Then to assault. On the left side, now that I had my power weapons and eviscerator in play, his non-libby combat squad on the left gets chopped to 1 marine, who flees (I think voluntarily). My blob tries to consolidate around to try and get a combi-assault in the next turn:

Meanwhile, in the middle, he charges in with his MoF and another combat squad. I arrange things so that I get one power weapon on each group. On the left side of the combat, I put down an astonishing two wounds with the commissar while I get one through on his lone center squad guy. The group of dudes attacking the MoF can't manage a wound, though. Power fists then turn around and do TERRIBLE carnage to my guardsmen. Stubborn does it's job, though, and they stick around.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Battle whirled all around me, I felt giddy and aroused by the multitudes of combat and destruction afoot. My men had broken out of their swirling melee, victorious to the last, while I commanded my men to unload holy vengeance into our foes. Just then my micro bead sprang into action. It was men from one of my nearby groups. They had made their way into position from the front line and were prepared for their ambush attack.

From above, the sky produced machines of war from the astartes to rain down onto the earth, made so fertile by the spilling of blood, traitor and xeno alike. I gave the order "attack, attack, and again attack!" The swirling feat of arms found me aglow and nearly in a stupor, what a grand day for a fight to the death!

Feeling myself become a touch faint, I took it upon myself to sit down for a moment as my retinue pounded the enemy with so many glowing plasma bolts.

Our turn begins with a timely entrance of Rhamael in the enemy's rear.

How prompt.

Meanwhile, my partner gets about half his stuff in. A dread catastrophically scatters onto a raider, and the mishap result ends in it's destruction! Meanwhile, another dread landed straight on target near a raider. His HB skimmer also showed up, along with one of his tac squads.

The rest of movement for our team includes me moving stuff on the left for cleanup duty.

In shooting, my meltagun PCS that had taken down the drop pod now finished off the last dude of the combat squad that had run away with a meltagun. Meanwhile, plasma and melta make short work of the libby and his attendants. I didn't even need to make it into close combat with the power blob. Also on the left, I tried to get a barrage of plasma on the nearby raider to take it down, but night shields foil the attempt.

In the center, my hydra returns the favor of not getting killed by horribly flubbing its own attacks. 4 TL autocannon shots and a heavy bolter only manage a glance, which plinks off a darklance. Also in the center, the dread that had landed unloads 8 assault cannon shots into the raider and easily takes it down. On the right, Rhamael uses bring it down on the skimmer to explode it. The resulting explosion kills a chump with a chainsword in Rhamael's squad.

Despite only a 1" fleet roll, the new power blob to the field rolls well on it's difficult terrain test and charges murderously into combat.

12 rerollable power weapon attacks put down 3 marines, and the rest drag the other two goons down.

In the middle, I'm once again not able to land a wound with a power weapon, despite 9 rerollable attacks. At least my regular guys are able to drag down a couple of marine before they are almost all beaten to a pulp by another phenominal round of powerfisting (power fists and preferred enemy is a mean combination). Meanwhile, the newly arrived combat squad charges in against the haemonculus and a raider squad, killing several.

After this point, the field looked like this:

us: 8 them: 1


TURN 3

Turn three begins with the DE player's heavy hitters entering the field: the wyches.

Otherwise, the rest of their movement is basically slightly repositioning their skimmers.

In shooting, my blob, having actually killed it's target on the charge is now out in the open to gunfire. Thankfully, I passed a huge number of my FNP checks, to keep the damage down.

Elsewhere, a TL dark lance shot blows the assault cannon off of the center dread while the right side 2x DL barrage blows up my partner's skimmer. Meanwhile, round 2 of 3 TL dark lances v. my top side hydra continues. Once again, there are 2 pens. This time, I'm immobilized and lose the pintle heavy stubber I brought on it, leaving a charred and blackened Heavy bolter pillbox on the field.

In assault, his wyches charge in with reckless abandon:

The wyches do what wyches do, throwing down a huge number of attacks and killing about 8 guys (FNP didn't work so well that time). In return, I HORRIBLY flub 6 power weapon and 2 eviscerator attacks. Despite hitting with almost all of them, thanks to rerolls, I fail to cause a single wound... Not even the regular guys did anything...

Meanwhile, in the middle, he charges a handful of warriors in:

As you can see, things were starting to get a little dicey with my center squad, what with it suffering terribly from the "fail to wound" curse. While the warriors only managed to off one guy (the flamer dude), my power weapons go into high gear. After having had 18 rerollable attacks thrown at him, the master of the forge finally takes a wound and collapses to the ground. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about my commissar... At least this time my opponent has a bad round of close combat, and his marine power fist does nothing.

Finally, in the fight in the middle between a haemonculus and a warrior against 4 space marines with a power weapon... nobody does anything! That's right, not a single wound was scored. Wet noodle fight!

After this point, the field looked like this:

In our turn, my partner gets his butt on the field, getting everything but his MoF with conversion beamer out. Basically, what DE did last turn, my partner does this turn:

Unfortunately, the hammer time dread got in the way of my third hydra which came on the field this turn as well.

Shooting sees the game quickly devolve into a turkey shoot. My bottom hydra unloads on the ravager it shot at last turn and downs it while the center dread walks over to the whirlwind and DCCW's it into oblivion (3 auto-hits followed by 3 auto-pens does unkind thinkgs). The hammer-time dreadnought blocks my hydra that rolled in. The hydra scored a glance and a pen with its single round of shooting, but the dread blocked it. Of course, the hammer-time dread assulted out of deepstriking, and made it very dead. The raider I tried to shoot at with my plasma last turn is unceremoniosly blown to smithereens by a rapid fire twin linked autocannon from another deepstriking dreadnought.

Meanwhile, Rhamael charges in against the wych raider:

Bring it down + 3 meltas and a plasma pistol puts 3 pens on the vehicle, which causes it to explode... 6 inches. The blast hits a marine, 5 wyches and 14 guardsmen! The marine is fine, but a couple of wyches are lost. Every single explosion hit wounds my blob, and I fail every single FNP roll, losing 10 men from my blob!

In close combat, the center-board clusterparty continues with extra marines and a dread coming in to save the day! The dread squishes a couple of warriors, which are cleaned up by my power weapons. The tac marines horribly fail everything, but their luck was transferred to the commissar, who dispatched the last sergeant with the power fist. Meanwhile, AGAIN the left-of-center close combat ends in a draw when neither side does any damage.

On the right, it's the wyches turn to horribly fail in close combat, causing my boys to win combat by 2. The wyches break and run. At less than half strength, within 6" of my dudes, and within about 2" of the board edge, they are counted as lost.

After this point, the field looked like this:

us:16 them:2

You will notice from the last picture that some of my partner's models are conspicuously absent. This is because the game started late and the turns were as slow as they were bloody. He quickly and quietly packed up and left.

This left us with a quandary with what to do. The DE player still had 3 raider squads off the table that could be brought into deepstrike and kill stuff. On the other hand, my partner still had a conversion beamer and another assault cannon dreadnought. Should his army just count as a forfeit and continue playing?

In the end, though, nothing could change the fact that once we killed off those pesky two DE infantry models in the center, we were just a single 5-man squad or downed raider from having already collected as many kill points from them as we brought ourselves in the first place. The only way they could have possibly turned a loss into a win was by wiping my army, which, needless to say, was highly unlikely.

In the end, my opponents chose the path of honor.


FINAL RESULTS

It was agreed that the end result was an Imperial Guard and Space Marine victory.

- what a bloodbath. The stuff that was left on the field at the end of turn 3 was reminiscent of the amount left on at the end of turn 6. It was fun getting to play guardsmen that behaved like plague marines. Not enough to get me to actually PLAY them, mind you, but interesting none the less.

- transport armies obviously carry a certain liability in KP games. In this case, it was an open topped AV10 liability. Normally, of course, there wouldn't be stuff randomly deepstriking in, but this only exacerbated a problem that already existed. In this case, the DE player alone brought nearly as many KP as our two armies combined. I wish I could offer advice to transport-heavy armies out there, but not being able to crack this nugget was one of the things which drove me to blob infantry in the first place.

- have people had much success with librarians? I've seen them on the other side of the field a lot, using a variety of powers, and they don't seem to do anything more then just get killed after using a psychic power to little effect. Perhaps they've just been played wrong before my eyes, but I really can't see ever using one myself.

MVP: The center blob. Despite some terrible rolling and needing a little help at the end from a well-timed save by my partner, the center blob claimed 4 KP without giving up its own. Of course, the commissar was killed, but he gets the medal posthumously.

Hero of the Game: Rhamael's squad. After getting horribly wracked with exploding shrapnel of it's first kill, it bravely advanced and got even more horribly wracked with shrapnel from it's second. Good thing those other raiders never showed up, or they might have wiped themselves off the board due to their bravery...

Then, as soon as my reinforcements from astartes had arrived, they left. Other parts of the line had fallen into crisis and needed reinforcing themselves. With a grin to outshine the planet's moons itself, I gathered my men together. They had fought hard and brave and had most excellently rebuffed our enemy in such a fashion to be the very ideal of soldiery.

Medals and accommodations were given out liberally for the day's fighting in as much pomp as we were able to muster in our meagre defenses. All this was accomplished with sufficient expedience for me to take my lunch on time and uninterrupted. The rest of the day was quiet and devoted to entrenching by the common footman and to a poetry recitation by one of our staff officers more skilled in verse.

Attached is an appendix of the awards given to me, my officers, and my men.

In grateful service,

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