BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 18

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Between bouts of jury duty and the endless drive to finish my ogryn, the 1850 point BRB league continues.

THE CHALLENGER: Gunlines on my shoulders makes me happy...
1850 pts.

Chapter master
- orbital bombardment
Techmarine
- thunderfire cannon

2x tac squads with las/plas
2x tac squads with ML/flamer

Land Raider Crusader
Whirlwind


3x TLLC/ML dakkanoughts.
2 2x HF speeders

THE DEFENDER: Tonight's secret ingredient ... is DEATH!
1850 pts.

I used list 5-1850-c, same as last time. 4 angry power blobs, 3 shooting hydras, 2 special characters and an ogryn squad in a pear tree.

The mission tonight was seize ground, with 5 being the number of the objectives. Deployment was pitched. My opponent won to go first and I failed to seize.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

I won the roll to start placing objectives first, and it was obviously in my best interest to keep two of them close together and in cover, resulting in the pair on the left (note that after several turns, the furthest objective on the left was actually moved in from the board edge slightly, once we realised it was illegally placed). My opponent, being filled to the brim with dakka likewise wanted to keep his objectives in close.

With the last objective, I carefully weighed putting my third objective near my other two. That way I would be able to snag all three of my objectives with a single infantry squad, leaving the maximum number of forces to assault his positions. Instead, I decide to put it way over on the right. That way, on the slim chance that Rhamael shows up from the wrong board edge, at least there will be something for him to do. Plus, it put fewer eggs in the same basket.

My opponent decided to castle up on his base two objectives, and probably beat me to a bloody pulp with all his ranged fire power (whirlwind+crusader=pain). If he attacks me, I could easily fall back onto my three objectives and then play my Rhamael trump card as needed. If he decided to sit back, then the whole point would be to secure my objectives with as few men as possible, and then instigate a mass charge. It would be bloody and probably fruitless, but if I could get him penned into his little fortress, then I'd be all but assured a victory. Plus, I might even be able to contest something.


TURN 1

Raust Melios Carissander - Commissar, Theleos Group

Having breached the outer ring of fortifications, it was now time to launch our assault on the outer line of defense itself. Our slow outflanking maneuver was now drawing enemy forces from elsewhere in the city in order to defend against our now legitimate threat. I seethed in sour onions that the enemy had decided to prevent me from being the first to enter the city's square as the conquering hero, though I relished the challenge of bloody combat with our putrid foes, even though we needed to catch up with the gains our fellow soldiers down the front had managed to muster. Lunch that day was hot dogs.

At my personal insistence, the blithe marshal Clinton cowed to my demands for a multi-wave full-frontal assault of the enemy's positions. Due to recent successes, he assigned marshal Theleos to lead the charge, and I instantly jumped at the chance to commandeer his forces to lead the assault in myself. Daxos, of course, had decided he would be in the third and final wave to charge the positions.

We were staked out in the middle of the first wave against a long line of stockades. The enemy knew we were coming, and I was going to make them shout my name before I was done bringing them to their knees. Marshal Theleos was finishing up a pre-packed roast beef sandwich, of which he appears to be so fond, when Daxos blew his whistle for the assault to begin.

I ran forward, leading the way, dragging the marshal behind me as he finished his lunch. Some say that he only knows two facts about ducks, and that both of them are wrong. Wildlife sciences or not, the marshal seemed to be cut from an entirely different uniform than Daxos, and I was beginning to develop, dare I say it, a faint sense of respect for the commanding officer.

With a loud shout, our forces rushed forward, the piercing whistle barely audible through my personal advance. Cowards that the enemy were, they had no choice but to sit there and take it.

Not knowing whether he was going to attack me with a LR+dreadnought rush and it was time to form a defens, or whether I would be slogging it towards him was the big question, and the answer of which was some slight consolation for going second.

My opponent chose to remain static, and unloaded everything on my troops.

The whirlwind shot was actually just out of range, but the 4 LCs, and the 5 missile launchers went to town. Lots of good rolls to hit, and EVERYTHING rolled to penetrate. I only manage to pass about 1 cover save (I've now found a new use for ogryn), and the end result is my left side hydras all but destroyed, with several stunned, weapon destroyed, and immobilizations to go around. The only vehicle that remained relatively unscathed was the right side hydra, who was merely immobilized and had one if it's autocannons blown off. At least it would still be able to shoot.

My opponent finished the turn with a TFC shot in earthquake mode straight at my center blob. Difficult terrain rolls for everybody!

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well that was it, he was going to camp. Victory could now be mine if I just kept him busy massacring my infantry - so busy that he wasn't able to attack my superior number of objectives. In this game, I was literally going to be exchanging blood for time.

Marshal Theleos started to shout orders when he choked on the last bit of his lunch. He waved for an aide to bring him some water, but his waving merely sent confusing signals to the men. In the confusion and panic, I was only barely able to retain enough control over the men to keep some semblance of forward movement. I wasn't about to let a reuben call off my assault!

I start by moving my giant distraction forward. I then heat up my dice in preparation for a whole lot of "go go go!"ing. I start with Melchoir shouting at the ogryn... and roll boxcars...

Stuck with regular running, I still press forward, but can't manage to roll higher than a 2 with any of my run rolls...

Shooting sees my poor beleaguered hydra against an awful lot of targets. With no DCCW's, I figure I stand a reasonable chance taking down his dreadnoughts in close when he decides to engage them. As such, I pick out the one real thorn in my plan that the hydra can actually do anything about. 2 shots land an un-cover-saved shot on the TFC, which puts it out of commission. At least there will be no more earthquake bombing.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Turn two starts out with my opponent getting one of his heavy flamer speeders in from reserve. He deepstrikes it EXTREMELY aggressively (which I suppose you would have to if you're deepstriking flamers). The speeder scatters straight onto my troops. The mishap sees me pick up the speeder and place it just outside of 8" away from my ogryn. Not only are the flamers out of range, but I anticipate using the vehicle as a consolidation slingshot for my ogryn.

As for the rest, my opponent decides to make a counterattack with a LRC full of tac marines, moving over toward the right, defending my poorly-held flank objective. He PotMS the assault cannon on my local powerfist PCS and kills several.

Meanwhile, the rest of his army opened up. My opponent had decided to move his whirlwind, and then try and fire it in barrage mode with armor-save-ignore shot. I correct his misunderstanding of barrage, and let him switch over to the cover-save-ignoring shot instead. The shot scatters, and I make a few armor saves.

Then his S8/9 mostly twin-linked barrage of DOOM opens up. Once again, almost all shots hit and almost all shots penetrate (rolled a lot of 5s and 6s for armor penetration). Once again, cover largely fails me, and my two left side hydras are drug down by the long range barrage. At least my right side hydra was merely stunned.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My turn begins with Rhamael showing up, and starting with a roll off the right side of the board. I take a moment to ponder my options. On the one hand, if I went for a reroll to come in off the left, his left side would be screwed. On the other hand, there's a land raider full of tac marines bearing down on my bait objective - kill that, and my opponent's entire army is rendered basically immobile. I decide to keep the die roll (why bother putting an objective over where Rhamael could get to it if Rhamael doesn't go for it?), and let my left side forces twist in the wind:

Meanwhile, the other side moves up, solidifying its control over my two objectives on the left.

Orders start with Malchoir using the go code on Raust's power blob. Unfortunately, no one can hear the order over Raust's cursing. As such, I'm now left with a blob squad that's rolling a single die for running again. This means there's a pretty decent chance that my left isn't going to get engaged with his forces next turn. Not wanting to unduly strand my ogryn, I decide to make sure that the speeder I had placed in front of them was gone.

This was accomplished by "Bring it Down!" and 6 ripper guns... against an AV10 vehicle ("that's 'binnit down' to you, SAH!"). I don't think I've ever gotten to many armor penetrations on a single vehicle at one time before. The resulting explosion lightly peppers the ogryn, whose thick and surly demeanor bounces the shrapnel away.

I then go over towards Rhamael. I plan doing some fleeting with my eviscerators or possibly going for a long shot BiD on the raider. I prep my first order and roll boxcars. It was a really bad day for the Theleos brothers, I guess.

At least my decision to hold back the ogryn for another round found itself justified as raust's power blob rolls a 1 for his run distance. Then again, so did both of Rhamael's power blobs...

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

My opponent begins his turn by playing the last few cards in his hand. The other speeder shows up, and deepstrikes extremely aggressively, and rolls a hit on the scatter die, threatening my control over my left hand objectives.

Then, the party wagon drives up 6" and turns on the jacuzzi:

And then the shooting begins...

Things start off with the speeder heavy flamering my melta PCS down to just two meltagunners, taking a couple of the 10-man power blob down with it. Then the whirlwind opens up on the densely packed Rhamael squad on top. I was counting on being so close to the edge of the board so as to hope for it to scatter off. It didn't. The result was a lot of dead guardsmen. Just to add insult to injury, the tac squad decided to light them up as well. Shooting goes rather poorly, and in the end, the squad is down to just under half strength.

Meanwhile, the crusader opens up with its hurricane bolters, but finds himself JUST out of double tap range. The single shots still leave their mark, though, in conjunction with the assault cannon. While the top blob is fine, the troops facing off against the crusader decide it might be time for a strategic withdraw. A few rounds out of a bolt pistol set to "extra loud" set the men straight.

Then the center opens up with bolters against my power blob. Thankfully, most of them are out of double tap, but I can't sacrifice the front guys, or there is a serious chance I won't get into close combat next turn. With no choice, I let Raust eat bolter fire.

The one spark of hope in this otherwise massacring of my forces was the 3x dread barrage against my hydra, which finally decided to stop rolling 5 or higher on armor pen rolls (and didn't hit with almost all its shots either). In the end, the vehicle escapes injury altogether!

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, I was fighting a shooty gunline army, and last turn I definitely took a lot of gun shooting. I would have been more concerned over the wellbeing of my soldiers, were there any point whatsoever in preserving them. Movement begins with me launching my assault on basically all of his forces.

On the left, I consolidate my forces around the speeder in order to stop it. Then, I run my blob in forward and follow it up by a rudely low difficult terrain roll for my ogryn. At least their stockades had finally been breached:

Meanwhile, my flock of surviving angry outflanking priestly power blobs descends onto his raider:

Shooting begins with BiD on the two left-side meltaguns in melta range which are only able to immobilize and stun the speeder, while one of Melchoir's meltaguns takes off it's pintle flamer. Even the hydra chimes in with a penetrating hit, which also stuns the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Rhamael used BiD on himself against the raider in melta range. Three hits only manage to put down a single immobilized result. At least his other order let me fleet in my lower power blob with a 6, allowing me to reposition the eviscerator into range...

Figuring that the ogryn will never make it into close combat now, I decide to run them, and they finally get a good roll, racing right up to the enemy terrain. Then came close combat.

I was really, really banking on being able to get Raust's power blob into close combat, wiping something with a furious charge preferred enemy power weapon of doom-fest and then going in with the ogryn the next turn and wiping everything else off the objective (or at least tying it up for the rest of the game). Unfortunately, the dice don't give me a 4 or better on my difficult terrain roll, leaving them stranded and huddled out of close combat...

Meanwhile, my right side moved in:

The space marines put up a desperate defense, killing only one of my blobsmen, whose 5 rerollable power weapons go to town. In the end, with the help of bayonets, I put down 8 of the 10 marines. Needless to say, having lost combat by 7, the marines break and run. I catch them in a sweeping advance, and the two don't survive being drug down by fearless saves. The combat ended with the eviscerator priest putting down 3 hits for 2 pens. I throw down a stunned and weapon destroyed result, allowing me to knock off the hurricane bolter that's sitting directly in front of my troops. The squads then consolidate a pathetic 1 and 2", respectively.

The turn ends with me assaulting his speeder in an act of desperation:

The meltabomb hits, but only throws down a stunned result.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

With my poor, slowly running infantry literally right on top of him, he decides to bring the hammer down, yet again.

Shooting begins with him finally remembering that he has orbital bombardment (I'd also forgotten). To make up for the previous 3 turns of not shooting, the shot scatters only 3". The end result is two insta-killed ogryn, and a handful of guardsmen. His whirlwind also shoots at the left side blob and also hits, taking down several more. Even the dreadnoughts got in on the action, adding missile launcher and lascannon shots to the sporadic bolter fire. The end result was a starkly thinned power blob. Pretty much the only thing that didn't shoot at Raust was some of the marines, who emptied a double-tap of bolter fire into my ogryn, netting two wounds (how do YOU like wounding on 5's?), and the crusader, who PotMSed the remaining hurricane bolter rack into my squad hiding on the objective in front of it. That and one of the dreads decided it was time to re-stun my hydra.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I finally get to do what 4 agonizing turns trying to run a mere 24" has failed to achieve: I finally come to grips with my opponent.

The right side starts by moving up. I want to start to threaten his right side objective with what's left of Rhamael. The left gets in real nice and cozy with my opponents.

Shooting begins with a pair of meltaguns finally landing a solid hit on the threatening speeder, blowing it to kindgom come, killing the other meltagunner in the squad. At the same time, BiD melta from Rhamael finally scores a wrecked result on the raider. The other order fleeted one of the power blobs forward a great distance, getting them into close combat range with the whirlwind.

Firepower! Everywhere there was enemy firepower! Lascannons, cursed bolter rounds, even the heavens themselves opened up for the traitors, blasting my forces from above. Splats of writhing meat that were once my underlings pulsed and quivered as the ground shook and heaved from the immense blasts.

With a sneer on my lip and a curse on my breath, I charged forward. For the Emperor!

Though nearly depleted of manpower, 12 rerollable S4 I4 power weapon attacks sunk their teeth in like dogs on a hot ham. Meanwhile, the ogryn put down a RUDE number of armor saves on the marines. The marines managed to kill one guardsman, with lots of attacks bouncing harmlessly off of ogryn. When it was done, the lone marine lost combat by 8 and fled. We both rolled poorly for sweeping advance, but my 2 beat his 1. Needless to say, the one remaining guy did not pass all 8 of his fearless saves.

The forces then charged boldly up the hill:

Meanwhile, the other side did, indeed get in with eviscerators. My poor luck against vehicles continued as 3 frag grenade hits, and 5 meltabomb hits manage to shake and stun the vehicle several times with only a weapon destroyed and immobilized to show for it. Good enough, I suppose.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

Beset on both sides, my opponent gears up to make his last stand.

On the right, he moves his tac squad up and unloads with double-tap bolters. Cover only does so much, and the bottom outflanking blob squad is seriously hurt. At this point, of the 3 power blobs I fielded, none of them had more than 6 guys left in them.

With undending hacking and slashing, I ripped apart my traitorous enemy like a puppy hit by a lawn mower. The enemy tried vainly and stupidly to stop me from tearing them apart piece by gruesome, gruesome piece.

It was during this time that I was taken down by a near-miss by a bolt slug that wasn't as near of a miss as I would have liked. Still keeping my manly gravitas, I was forced to go to ground. The blood loss was extraordinary!

On the left, what bolters there are left sneak just enough shots through cover to end Raust's blob.

Then, he charged into my ogryn with a dreadnought. Without the DCCW, he still managed three wounds on my ogryn, all of which stuck. I pick up the die to make a stubborn morale check and fail it. Unfortunately, in order to give BiD to the meltaguns on the speeders, Melchoir and his standard had been abandoned upfield. This time it was my opponent's turn to win a sweeping advance, chasing the hapless, frightened ogryn off the table.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, that's it. Poor rolling, and some purposeful tactical decisions on my part saw the end to my one-blob charge across no man's land. The right is similarly in tatters, but still has a reasonable chance to contest or possibly even capture my opponent's right side objective, depending on what he does.

As such, I decide to go all-in on the right. The haggard remanants of two PCSs and two power blobs descends on the right-side tac squad:

Not fearing abandonment out of close combat, I shoot everything I've got. 3 meltaguns followed by 2 flamers getting 6 hits apiece along with assorted lasfire kills a healthy dose of them. Even Rhamael tagged one with his plasma pistol. Then came the charge. 5 rerollable power weapons and a rerollable fist mean that I don't need to hope for a sweeping advance to finish off the tac squad this time.

That and I had my top-blob multi-assault the whirlwind. The eviscerator threw down 3 penetrating hits for two "shaken" results and a "weapon destroyed". The whirlwind becomes a wreck, on account of not having a pintle storm bolter.

So far, the strategy of delay with blood while holding with boot has worked. My only hope for the most optimal victory is if things don't continue on much longer. My opponent rolls to continue and flips a 4.


TURN 6

My opponent lines up, forming his last defense against my forces. Of course, his "last defense" happens to include some angry dreadnoughts:

In shooting, his techmarine tags one of Melchoir's men with a plasma gun. He then opens up with bolters. With it being down to Melchoir and his standard bearer, the squad gets T4, which helps a great deal to keep wounds down. In the end, the standard bearer gets horribly splatted, while Melchoir pings a few bolter wounds off of his 3+, leaving him only somewhat injured.

In close combat, the three dreads charge in and paste the remainder of the lower outflanking blob. He has the choice of either consolidating towards the BiD meltaguns and eviscerators, or away from them. He chooses the latter.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, alone but undeterred, Melchoir storms up onto my opponent's left objective. He snaps off a plasma pistol shot against the techmarine that does nothing but burn him, bringing him down to just one wound.

On the right, BiD meltagunning immobilizes one of the three dreads, while the lonely hydra manages to put down two glances on another, but rolls snakeyes for damage.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent picks up the die and rolls to continue, throwing down a 1.


FINAL RESULTS

I controlled 4 of the field's objectives, while the other 1 of them was contested for an imperial guard victory.

- So, this game was another proof of concept for me. My opponent brought a LOT of firepower in his list, and the end result was, by wounds, 83% casualties. In the end, though, taking a static list, no matter how much firepower, simply cannot prevail on objectives-based missions. Yes, there was some mobility in there (the raider), but it was a token force that I was able to counter in an overall immobile list.

Even with leaving nearly a quarter of my infantry in the backfield, and with the slowest walk across no man's land ever, my opponent was able to just barely wipe most of my attacking forces in time. All of that carnage, though not strictly speaking necessary (I could have hid in cover on all three of my objectives all game, but where would be the fun in that?), was still unable to adequately stave off what is a fundamental weakness in static lists.

- I feel kind of bad for my hydras. I seriously considered leaving them off the board and then arriving on turns 2 and 3. At least then they would have been able to get SOME shooting off. I guess I wasn't certain of if my opponent was going to charge me or not. Poorly played on my part. At least they gave the dreads something to do...

- Likewise, I feel kind of bad for horribly abandoning my left side. With an extra 200% killing power, they undoubtedly would have swept across the board left to right. In the end, though, there would have been a land raider crusader on the loose, and the end result probably would have been poorer off for me.

- As can be blatantly seen from this game, I still don't have a solid idea for how to use straken and ogryn. Were this a KP game (which, despite having been played for an objectives mission, we interestingly tied on), I would have obviously had him charging up the fore. As it was, though, he needed to use meltaguns to put out fires elsewhere, thus lacking synergy, the ogryn picked a bad time to run away like little (well... big) girls. At least this time I got a powered furious charge.

MVP: This one goes to Rhamael for not only bailing out the one right side objective, but for going above and beyond and actually capturing a second. That he was the only viable force left on the board at the end didn't hurt much either.

Hero of the Game: This one is going to Raust. Leading a one-blob charge nearly unsupported over no-man's land into a vastly superior force. The guy's got it where it counts.

As my vision began to blur, I could just make out Melchoir charging up the hill. All alone, he was leading a one-man charge of the last of us: himself - and straight into the enemy. I have never seen such bravery in any man before who wasn't me.

Soon, my vision went the color of my greatcoat, and I re-awoke in a medicae facility. I was told, by no more than two sources, that Melchoir had single-handedly beaten the remainder of our treacherous foes, and that whatever was left disposed of the war machines while the officer planted his bloody standard on the rampart.

The attack was a complete success. I could not be more proud.

I eagerly await my next assignment. In faith,

-Raust Melios Carissander, Imperial Commissar