BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 16

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This game was the last of our team escalation league. This time, both players were allowed to bring 1250 points apiece. Due to goofiness of whatever, we wound up playing the same people we had played three games ago.

THE CHALLENGERS: Heresy me once, shame on you. Heresy me twice...

Chaos Space Marines
1250 pts.

Lash prince
10 Mark of Slaanesh marines in a rhino
10 raptors

16 khorne berzerkers
3 obliterators

Space Marines
1250 pts.

Chaplain

2 tac squads
10 combi-melta sternguard in a drop pod

Land Raider Crusader

THE DEFENDERS: The hammer of the emperor, and the... hammer of the emperor

Space Marines (spiky wolves)
1250 pts.

Grimnar

4 terminators
Land Raider

5 terminators in a drop pod
1 very expensive dreadnought in a drop pod

Imperial Guard
1250 pts.

4x melta CCS
flamer PCS
melta PCS
melta PCS (al'rahem)

2 priestly 20-man power blobs
1 priestly 30-man power blob (with al'rahem)

2 hydras

The mission this game was "zombies". Basically, it was an annihilation game, except you got some power tokens ("suggestion points" or something). What you could do was to spend 1 of them to reroll any failed morale test. However, if you failed a morale test (which was very likely to be after a reroll), your opponent could spend one token per model you had remaining in the squad to make you take another leadership test at -1 per token. If they failed that test, they turned into a "zombie", whereby they gave up their KP, and then switched over to the other side, but suffered perpetually from the "rage" special rule.

Needless to say, the combination of fearless and stubborn and mech armies, and that you were only likely to make a zombie after a squad took only minimal casualties and then failed two morale checks in a row, made it so that only a single unit was zombified in the store that evening.

As such, this was basically just an annihilation mission. My opponents rolled "pitched battle". I rolled for first turn and decided to take it. They fail to seize.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

Basically, the plan was to spread out in the hopes of getting our opponent to spread out. Our side has a lot more mobility than theirs does. Thankfully, they took the bait and had a long line of lascannon marines and obliterators that our opponents would undoubtedly sit still (or shoot while moving at twitchey obliterator speeds) to shoot their heavy weapons.

With our opponent's main mobility in the form of vehicles on the left side, the plan will be to focus everything over there, stranding the rest of their forces.


TURN 1

Raust Melios Carissander - Commissar, Daxos Group

For the past month, the forces of marshal Clinton had been stalled in an endless set of feeble and pathetic attacks in a misguided flanking action of the nearby city. He slathered on pathetic excuses about the weather and "personal dampness" as the cause of his cowardice. Despite weeks of pouring through protocol manuals, I was unable to find any clause that allowed me to perform a summary execution on grounds of "just because, dammit".

The situation was becoming so ludicrous that our lines had extended to a landing pad fort several miles away from our intended objective. The great Clinton decided that he needed to extend the flank out even FARTHER in order to capture the port. Then he would be able to grovel for reinforcements who would be able to do the job his miserable guts weren't able to do himself.

With a few days of calm in the rainy season, the marshal was given assurances that if he captured a secure zone for reinforcements to be dropped in, they would be forthcoming. At the discovery that necessary supplies like his bath oils would come in with the reinforcements, Clinton finally decided to grow a pair and lead the assault himself.

I took the liberty of collecting some extra men for my personal assault. Undoubtedly, they would be needed.

The game began with my partner's dread drop podding in. As it was primarily a close combat dread, he wisely decided against dropping it in front of everything, or way over on the right. The pod scattered over towards one of the nearby flak towers and the dread got out.

I didn't actually have a copy of my opponents' lists before the game, so I didn't know there would be a pair of combimelta sternguard squads deciding to pick up a couple of free KP early on. As such, we still do the general leftward shift, but I do it in such a way to provide some degree of castling for my hydras. My partner's land raider moves over and he gets ready to pop off a lascannon and a heavy bolter shot into the nearby tac squad, but he instead heeds my advice and pops smoke instead. With only one attack, he lets a heavy bolter burst out killing a marine.

The rest of the army runs or pops smoke.

After this point, the field looked like this:

From ahead of me, I could see an enemy land raider roar into gear and start its charge towards the rest of the group. I didn't care how large the war machine was, nothing can escape my clenching grasp! I called my men forward and started to lead the charge towards the fray. It looked like marshal Clinton would need to be rescued by my personal destructive impulses yet again.

At the start of their turn, all hell breaks loose. It starts with the sternguard dropping into a hole created between my forces and my partner's land raider when he had twisted the vehicle to shoot the heavy bolter. Then his raptors flew into range of the raider on the right while 16 khorne berzerkers in a land raider drive forward and pile out in a bloody mist of pure rage:

Meanwhile, the demon prince flew forward and the slaanesh rhino jazzed up and popped smoke.

In shooting, the first combat squad of sternguard fires at Grimnar's raider. 5 shots yield 2 pens and a glance. Unfortunately, my partner's smoke lets a penetrating shot through for a wrecked result. The other sternguard squad followed up this good shooting with some rather poor combi-meltaing of the terminators. It didn't help that the termies got cover due to the other sternguard squad being in between.

The rest of the shooting saw their raider's multimelta missing the nearby dread and assorted obliterator and lascannon fire killing a couple of my guardsmen.

In assault, tragically my left side blob squad is JUST in range of the charge from the berzerkers. Huge mistake on my part.

The charge sees the 16 berzerkers doing what 16 berzerkers do best, nearly annihilating my guard squad (in fact, he caused so many wounds on the charge that, due to wound wrapping, I had to place a single wound on every model in the squad). The dread (also included in the combat) takes down a couple, and my eviscerator actually does its job, but the champion's powerfist ends the fight by knocking out the dreadnought.

In a very understandable panic, my guardsmen begin to break and flee, but the commissar restores order at the last minute with a few well-placed bolt pistol shots applied to the one remaining sergeant. With the survivors now in the personal command of the commissar, they decide to stick it out. When you have something scary at the front...

Meanwhile, on the right, the raptors charge grimnar and his boys.

Grimnar puts on his shades of awesome +9 and takes down 5 of the chaos marines with whatever that beefy man axe thing that he has is. The rest of the combat sees a big pile of attacks sneak through a really unfortunate number of termie saves, as the end result of combat sees the squad whittled down to just Grimnar and an attache. Before they go down, though, a bunch of simultaneous attacks wipes out the rest of the raptors, leaving just the chaplain. Being fearless, and having lost combat by 7, he succumbs to a cluster of fearless wounds.

The remaining terminators consolidate towards the sternguard.

After this point, the field looked like this:

US: 2 THEM: 2


TURN 2

Needless to say, that did not go well for us. Instead of getting the drop on a big pile of berzerkers, I made a serious movement mistake and got them charged instead. In this turn I've got to undo the damage.

Thankfully, it begins with the cavalry arriving:

Faced with the prospect of the berzerkers winning combat and then charging AGAIN into my other blob squad, I send reinforcements. Now that the charge is over, and their numbers are thinned down to reasonable levels, I know that a power blob will have a reasonable chance of defeating them through pure attrition, especially while there are still priests in the action.

The rest of my troops advance towards the sternguard. It's total commitment of my troops now.

Shooting starts on the right where Rhamael with BiD and 3 meltaguns and shoot at the rhino, but cover blocks all 3 hits. The nearby hydra chimes in, but it is similarly rebuffed. Then I remember that Rhamael has a plasma pistol and my opponent lets me fire it. The resulting explosion kills several guardsmen, but only manages to wound a single chaos marine inside, who at least failed his armor save. Now out of their metal box, the deathreaper missile on the drop pod (or whatever it's called), fires and hits dead on, killing a couple more. Then a flamer shoots, hitting all cargo and killing another couple. By the time the assorted pistol fire dies down, half of the squad is dead.

On the right, the carnage starts with Daxos using BiD on his 4x melta squad and making very, very short work of the drop pod. Thankfully casualties from the resulting explosion were pretty light and the sternguard lost at least one guy. With that out of the way, my 2x flamer PCS puts 9 hits on both combat squads. Two marines from both squads are downed. For the first time in 16 games, that squad finally made its points back. This is followed up by 3 guardsmen with meltaguns tagging two more and Grimnar's storm bolter taking out a dude. I unload with a murderous barrage of hydra fire, but lots of armor saves are passed and only a single marine is down.

The drop pod terminators decided to shoot, their two storm bolters and an assault cannon snuck in a single wound on the nearby obliterator with a rending hit.

Then it was time for assault:

I charged in from out of nowhere, leading my men from the front. I called out for the rhino to be destroyed. It very quickly was. When I point my finger, it gets done.

We then fell upon the wretched traitors as they stumbled out of the wreckage. Despite horrible, yet beautiful screams of "not the face!" , we hacked their carcasses until there was nothing left but a writhing mass of pulpified meat. Victory was extremely mine.

The slaanesh marines tagged a couple of guardsmen, and then were slaughtered horribly by 16 rerollable power weapon attacks.

Meanwhile, on the right Grimnar pounds the lone sternguard sergeant into silly putty while my center blob squad charges in to help their beleaguered brothers. Unfortunately, I rolled somewhat poorly with 12 rerollable power weapon attacks, 3 regular power attacks, and 2 eviscerator swipes with a pile of extra rerollable attacks only taking down 4 berzerkers. THe berzerkers, on the other hand, had an absolute field day, killing the original squad's priest and the rest of it down to the commissar and a single dude while gutting at least half of the newly-arrived power blob.

After this point, the field looked like this:

With their right side failed (dead or sitting in the background plinking as hoped), and their center bogged down to an uncertain end, our opponents decide to take the already considerable slaughter up to new heights on the left.

Their turn begins with their obliterator showing up from reserves, deepstriking near the land raider, but scattering back towards the spaceport. Meanwhile, the lash prince flies up, the tac squad charges in, and the land raider crusader pivots on the spot and trains its hurricane bolters on Raust's power blob.

Shooting began with an ungodly fusillade of gunfire pouring on my troops. In the end, 10 guardsmen are wounded by the land raider. I ponder going to ground for a moment, but decide against it. If I go to ground, I'm going to be striking last against the marines charging in (yeah, not well thought through), and I remove myself as a threat for charging in next turn, which will both prevent me from eviscerating his motionless land raider, and also allow them to start throwing lots of 2+ saves against my opponent. In a bid to help my partner, and also due to a thought process similar to "well, I brought 10 extra guys this time, so I can lose these 10 right here and come out no further behind than usual", I decide to man up and just take it standing.

The demon prince then warms up a lash and targets Rhamael, who is just in range. They want to lash them forward about 6"-8" so that the marines can charge Rhamael, thus preventing me from BiD meltaing his raider. The power goes off, but the lash rolls snakeyes for distance. As moving them forward a couple of inches would be futile, he decides to just scoot them back away from the raider.

With this, my opponent snaps off some bolt pistols into my guardsmen and charges in:

With my unrivaled dispatch of the filth in front of me, I lead my men around the tower. Our enemies would be viciously hacked and shredded like a pristine field of wildflowers gently swaying in the wind before my dull and rusty lawnmower.

It was then that we met the full force of our enemy. Seeing us as the clearly superior threat that I am, our rotting blister of an enemy unloaded into us with an unimaginable curtain of bolt fire. I watched as my men were literally pulverized into a red vapor by the concussive blasts of exploding shells. I discharged my bolt pistol at many of them myself in order to encourage them to continue the advance.

It was not long into our charge before we were met by the enemy. Surprised by my bravery against overwhelming odds, the marines quickly found themselves face to face with none other than me, myself.

On the left, because his squad had been so spread out, only a few marines make it in. Most importantly, the fist is on the wrong side of the squad. The marines manage to make a kill or two before 4 power weapons and eviscerator go to town, wrecking a healthy dose of tac marines.

In the center, my opponent flubs his attacks. A handful of guardsmen and a priest die, but only just as my other priest enters the fight. The inevitable grind of all of my power attacks continues, leaving the khorne squad in dire straights.

After this point, the field looked like this:

US: 7 THEM: 3


TURN 3

Our opponents are now in a pretty tenuous position. That said, with a lot of injured squads on my part, there's still no guarantee of victory. As such, I start a grand roll-up from the center to the left. The only exception is Grimnar and his buddy who decide to be more menacing towards the center.

Shoooting begins with me ordering fleet on the terminators on the left. With my eviscerator locked in close combat and the terminators having a dude with a chainfist, I need some sort of backup for if Rhamael can't manage to take down the land raider (this particular teal land raider being the bane of my existence).

Basically, there are four juicy targets nearby for the terminators to eat for breakfast. I decide to throw down some firepower to soften things up for him, just in case.. Shooting begins with my hydra opening up a full barrage on the far side obliterator. Taking several wounds, he manages to put down a 1, and the hulking demon dropped.

Then I used BiD on Rhamael. 3 rerollable meltaguns in melta range put down a single penetrating hit. Thanks to AP1, the end result is a wreck.

Then I turn my other hydra at the demon prince. I figure I'll put down a wound or two on the thing and then it should pretty handily lose a game of super punch-out against a bunch of terminators. I roll the dice and come up with a better than average 5 wounds. He then picks up the dice and fails FOUR of his 3+ saves, taking the demon out alltogether.

We look on, stunned for a moment. So stunned, in fact, that my partner forgot to run Grimnar.

After an appropriate amount of groaning, we moved on to assault. Instead of the terminators needing to take out the raider, or needing to punch the prince's lights out this turn and then save Raust's power blob the second, he has the opportunity to just charge into the space marines now.

The combat ground down to a bloody and, dare I say, thick and chunky beef stew, and we were all eating it. I hacked and slashed endlessly, taking down one traitor and then another with my powersword, taking moments apart to make sure my men were still staying focused on the task at hand. My band of men were succumbing to cowardice, a fact that was clearly demonstrated by how few I had remaining.

After dispatching one of my foes, I looked up and saw a massive hulk appear behind him. The traitor turned just in time to be raked nearly in half by a wolf claw. Finally someone other than me shows a little competence!

With the timely yet ultimately unnecessary aid of our ally, I set about my gruesome task with particular glee.

Combat on the left began with my opponent putting down inhuman carnage with regular marine attacks, killing my guardsmen down to a precious few, including bagging one of my sergeants. In return, my partner rolls really poorly and is only able to kill off 3 marines, while my now seriously mangled power blob puts down 2 more.

Meanwhile, in the center, the khorne berzerkers kill off the other priest before being drug down by yet another wave of power weapon attacks.

I consolidate and have a look at the damage. For my mistake of letting the blob get charged, the original left side blob squad is now literally down to just the commissar as the sole survivor. For their part in the rescue of the first blob, the 22 men of the center blob now numbered 10 and were without the priest. In the end, though, my forces had prevailed the fight.

After this point, the field looked like this:

By now, after two full turns of brutal fighting, our opponents are now left with nearly nothing left on the table.

For whatever reason (probably to be epic), our opponents finally decide to take that useless right wing of their army and actually move them, even though it's now too late to make a difference.

In shooting, the left side obliterator shoots a lascannon at my one remaining commissar, who passes a cover save. The other obliterator shoots a lascannon at my right side hydra but fails to penetrate the front armor.

In close combat, we easily finish off the tac marine sergeant before he gets his powerfist attack in.

After this point, the field looked like this:

US: 12 THEM: 4


TURN 4

With our foes now vanquished, we go into mop-up mode. Small and injured units from the fighting take cover behind various things on the left while everything with some degree of combat power makes a great shift right towards the remainder of their forces. Given how early it is, there is plenty of possibility for a massacre.

Shooting sees everything on the left unload on the nearby obliterator. In a fit of vengeance over the demon prince, it bounces 3 meltagun hits off its invul save and then eats assorted storm bolter and pistol fire without a scratch. Unfortunately, instead of running Grimnar towards the enemy in the shooting phase, he decided to sit still to shoot his storm bolter, which did nothing (unfortunately, as he was in terrain and just out of 12", so our opponent could have given Grimnar two full turns of bolter/lascannon fire hoping for a couple of 1's).

Our forces then charge in to handle this pesky obliterator:

And somewhere in all those power attacks, it went down. We all consolidate to the right.

After this turn, the field looked like this:

In their last act of defiance, the remaining tac squad charged forwards:

After a quick bout of pistol fire, the marines charge in. Grimnar, who had still not taken off his sunglasses of +9 BAMFdom threw down 5 marines while the other guy flubbed it and was taken down by a pistol whip to the face.

Having lost combat by a healthy margin, the tac squad failed morale. My opponent spends one of his mission points to reroll the test. He fails it again. We spend 5 of our points to make him take a Ld 5 test, which they failed a third time, causing the enemy marines to fall to the persuasive power of Grimnar.

After this point, the field looked like this:

US: 14 THEM: 5


TURN 5

In our turn, we rush forwards towards his last oblit. I'm actually kind of frustrated that the space marines flipped. We were going to annihilate them between Grimnar and the power blob any way, except now I didn't get to get a free consolidation slingshot towards the obliterator.

Once again, instead of running, Grimnar pauses to snap off a couple of storm bolter rounds which do nothing.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Our opponent's remaining model slowly, yet very purposefully retreats. He tries to shoot at Grimnar, but can't beat the invul save.

After this point, the field looked like this:

US: 14 THEM: 5

Our opponents roll to continue, and it comes up a 4.


TURN 6

The lone terminator makes a valiant last stand against our onrushing forces:

I move my troops around, preparing to hose the obliterator down with FRF and melta from the CCS and a barrage of hydra fire. In all that preparing, my partner aces the obliterator with an assault cannon and some storm bolters.


FINAL RESULTS

We wiped their army off the board for a massacre.

- Despite making some mistakes early on (such as letting their entire frigging army assault us on turn 1), I think we rallied really well. The right units were brought to the right place at the right time, and the end result wound up with us beating them everywhere at once. Yes, we had some mild luck on our side, but once they had committed their forces, I don't know what else our opponents could have done to prevent the ultimate result of this game.

- I think this game is proof that even in normal circumstances, depending on the army matchup, it's not just automatically better to go first. We probably would have been even better off if I had decided to give them first turn (although then perhaps they might not have spread their forces out so thin).

- This was my first attempt at playing with 30-man power blobs. In the end, it prevented the utter annihilation of the blob. Of course, I don't usually face off against hurricane bolters either, so I'm not sure how good of a test this is. Points permitting, I'll keep on trying out the 30-man blob here and there as I am able.

MVP: As tempted as I am to give this to Grimnar, who held down the right side like a steel brick, I'm actually going to give this to Rhamael's platoon. At the end of turn one, things were pretty dicey on the left side. With the dread gone and the berzerkers having nearly eaten an entire blob in one go, a concentrated effort with the slaanesh marines and the demon prince along with a couple of oblits and the crusader could have caused our flank to fold and fold hard. Their timely charge blunted our opponent's strength right when they needed it the most, buying time for the combats in the center to come to their natural conclusions.

Hero of the Game: The commissar in the left side blob. He will have to give out the awards to the other 21 brave victims of the khorne charge posthumously.

By late afternoon, the spaceport and all the surrounding flak towers and redoubts were utterly cleared of the enemy.

It appeared that during the fighting Grimnar had been able to win some of the astartes back from their heresy into the fold of the emperor's light. As soon as they were asleep, I dutifully slit their throats. Once a traitor, always a traitor.

I took the rest of the evening off to clean off the thick cake of gore off of my face, hands and eyebrows, and out of my uniform. By the time I was back in blacks, darkness had completely fallen and reinforcements were already starting to arrive on the landing pad. I expect a big push back towards the city will be made shortly, that is, if Clinton has large enough genetalia to actually use them (which he doesn't. They're very small).

I eagerly await my next assignment. In faith,

-Raust Melios Carissander, Imperial Commissar