BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 21

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The 1850 pt. league continued with me facing off against the eldar player from game 5.

THE CHALLENGER: You can't shoot me if I'm not there!
1807 pts.

Autarch with fusion pistol, wings
Autarch with fusion pistol, wings

Swooping Hawks, exarch with "bounce"
Swooping Hawks, exarch with "bounce"
Swooping Hawks, exarch with "bounce"

Avengers with bladestorm
- in serpent with shuricannons
Avengers with bladestorm
- in serpent with shuricannons
Avengers with bladestorm
- in serpent with shuricannons

Nightspinner
Nightspinner
Nightspinner

Needless to say, my opponent made up his list at the table before the game began. After spending a few minutes trying to figure out how to fill in the last points, my opponent decided to just play underpointed.

THE DEFENDER: Brown and white, take the fight!
1850 pts.

CCS 4x melta
Lord Commissar, carapace, fist
3 priests

Zonhaim Assassin (marbo)
6 Ogryn

Rhamael Theleos (Al'Rahem) 4x melta
4 PISs, flamers, power weapons, meltabombs, 2 commissars, power weapons

PCS 3x melta, meltabombs
2 PISs, flamer, power weapons, meltabombs, commissar, power weapon
HWS, 3x missile launchers

PCS 4x sniper rifles
2 PISs, flamer, power weapons, meltabombs, commissar, power weapon
HWS, 3x missile launchers

On the one hand, I've been frustrated with Straken's lack of awesomeness, and on the other, I've been frustrated with my ogryn running off the table the first chance they get. The answer was a lord commissar. The rest was filler. Note that the role of LC tonight will still be played by Melchoir (who was previously being used as Straken).

The mission was Annihilation, the deployment was dawn of war. My opponent won the roll to go first and gave it to me.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

Knowing that he would be arriving en masse on turn 2 or 3, I had to carefully pick my deployment. On the one hand, I could have deployed almost all of my army straight away into the ruins. That would have been an invitation to get swooping hawked legbombed and nightspinner shredded straight out of the gate. Plus, I'd have started far enough forward that my opponent could have just sauntered on and bladestormed with ease. Cover only goes SO far after all.

Instead, I chose a more defensive deployment. Just a couple squads up front to establish field presence, and then I'd run my squads up from reserve and make it half into the rubble (for cover), while still being spread out. Hopefully, my opponent would make a concentrated attack in just one area, at which point I could crush him between Al'Rahem and my power blobs in the center.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 21 Gemeos
Daxos Line

After months of dauntless effort on behalf of all who proudly struggle in the Emperor's gracious name, my forces had finally broken through into the city. A week ago, my line lead a daring breakthrough straight into the enemy's command structure, resulting in the ultimate ruin of so much of our enemy's strategic planning capabilities. Naturally, without their leadership firmly in place, the enemy has, as of late, begun to panic and run rampant like the clueless rabble that they have otherwise always been.

With my forces deep behind enemy lines, that which has remained sober in the enemy's plans has taken it upon themselves to attack our positions relentlessly. Not only have we effected a partial encirclement of our opponent's forces, and they greatly desire to effect a breakout to safety, but they also correctly appreciated the intenability of our positions, being so far removed from support.

Within a few days, our encirclement became itself encircled. We have spent the past few nights listening to the pounding of our own guns on nearby positions, hoping that reinforcements will be able to break through to relieve our current situation. Every night and day sees new attacks, spread randomly across my tightly-knight band of soldiers.

Uncertain if my superiors even had yet been made aware of my desperate state, I took it upon myself to attempt to break through the enemy's siege to get word out to the others. Marshal Melchoir, having long since found himself bereaved of any men whatsoever, all of which having fallen valiantly against implacable foes in our advance and subsequent defense, volunteered to personally deliver the message, in escort of several of my remaining Grunnoi warriors.

At a great amount of offense to my senses, my encircled position has left me without proper officerly amenities. The only thing worse of going without caviar has been going without proper hygiene equipment for my Grunnoi. It has proved difficult enough to maintain a sufficiently soldierly appearance with regard to these otherwise meanest of brutes, and without proper deodorizers, their stench has become a source of great consternation to my person.

I shan't be wont of them when they leave with the good marshal. I only hope they have time to be properly manicured before they are returned to my custody.

Turn 1 began with me moving the bulk of my forces out onto the field.

The shooting phase starts with an ill omen as one of the junior officers causes a mass communication breakdown when he tries to get the ogryn to run.

At this point, the field looked like this:

Having carefully selected the site from which to make my breakthrough back to friendly lines, I lead the covering forces and Melchoir himself up to the ramparts. We would begin our assault through a ruined building which had been made into a hard point.

The nervous sentries were only too glad to see us. Morale had been tragically dwindling as our perimeter was being reduced due to casualties. As the troops continued to rally in preparation of our attack, I took a moment to personally instill in them the meaning and purpose of honor and duty to their king and Emperor-God.

My opponent... well...

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 0 Me: 0


TURN 2

Now prepared in our defensive position, I took stock of my forces. I drew my whistle from my belt pouch and prepared to sound the general advance.

My men quivered in excitement like so many individual portions of gelatin wriggling in the spoon.

I pick up my dice and roll for reserves. Miracle against miracle, Rhamael DOESN'T show up! I move my forces up to complete their defensive position as my Zonhaim assassin quietly takes the field.

After this point, the field looked like this:

The whistle pursed to my lips, the air suddenly erupted in a great bombast of explosions. From all directions, a great multitude of enemy munitions alighted on my positions. I worked quickly to calm the panic of the men, with great help from local commissars and priests.

Within moments, it had become clear that we were on the receiving end of sudden eldar advance.

My opponent begins by asking if I have an officer of the fleet, and when I reply to the negative, he decided to turn on both his autarchs. With one exception, my opponent passed all of his reserve rolls and entered play. Wave serpents powered up on the left while the night spinners hung out in the center rear.

The carnage began with three swooping hawks which landed basically where he put them, and then bounced back off the table. The grenade packs caused assorted casualties. Then his night spinners opened up with their twin-linked large blasts and caused more casualties, including some instant-deaths on my missile launcher teams. More importantly, nearly everything found itself under the mesh web.

The lord commissar near to everything helped insure that the troops stay stalwart in the face of pinning weapons.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 0 Me: 0


TURN 3

The enemy, in his vile cunning, had pre-empted our strike by breaking into my perimeter. Now that combat was joined, there could be no alternative. I immediately sent out orders over my micro-vox for reinforcements and blew fantastically on my whistle.

With reckless abandon, my troops threw off their magic webbing and charged in!

The top of turn three saw Rhamael arriving, set up to take advantage of the juicy targets offered nearby.

Meanwhile, I take some casualties bringing my right side blob in, while the ogryn escape from destruction.

Shooting begins with Bring it Down! on some melta guns, but cover persists and I roll poorly on my damage rolls even when I penetrate, causing the right side serpent to get away with a "stun" as it's worst result. This is followed up by Rhamael and three BiD meltaguns into the rear armor of the middle sepent. It did not survive. His other order was expended on giving the 44-dude power blob a measly 1" fleet.

Missile launchers then chimed in on his other serpent, but rolling saw only 1 pen, which turned up a "shaken" result.

Then came the mass charge:

A rerollable eviscerator and a rerollable meltabomb put 3 penetrating hits on the night spinner on top, but holofields reduced the damage to two shaken results and an immobilization. Meanwhile, on the other serpent 3 rerollable eviscerator hits and 2 rerollable meltabombs only snag 1 hit. On the penetration, I once again roll a 1 for damage...

In the center, I charge the avengers. Rather than making me roll my 17 rerollable power weapon attacks and like 50 rerollable regular attacks, he saves the bother by just removing them from play.

Once the carnage is over, I get a good roll for consolidation with the blob and spread out for impending carnage next turn...

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return for all the 1's rolled on the damage charts against his vehicles, my opponent rolls a 1 for two of his swooping hawks, keeping them off the board this turn.

While the last night spinner moves onto the field, the forces on the left get ready for a bladestorm...

...or two.

Shooting starts with more nightspinnering and a swooping hawk hit. He then empties his dice bag in preparation of blade storming.

The end result, needless to say, hurt. At least I had cover against one of the blade storms (the one on the right, on account of my squad being spread out behind two big pieces of terrain), and the end result, though painful, was pretty much right on what was expected.

Two dozen dead guardsmen later, and I take a morale check, which I fail. I then gun down a sergeant and try again, and fail AGAIN! My invincible power blob that was going to EAT his entire army for a possible wipe decides instead to run away!

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 0 Me: 2


TURN 4

Tragedy of tragedies! I was looking to pick up 5 more KP this turn and reduce my opponent down to just two death spinners and his hawks. Instead, I've got to seriously rearrange my plans.

With renewed fervor, I rush in my forces to bail out my left. The only hope I have is to bring my officer over to "get back in the fight!" my uber blob before it runs straight off the table. Unfortunately, a rotten difficult terrain movement sees the officer JUST out of orders range of the blob.

Orders then see a lone bring it down on the melta PCS against the one unhurt serpent. Three hits only yield a single glance, which once again merely shakes the vehicle.

The other serpents sees 2 missile launcher hits and 2 meltaguns going straight into the rear. The end result is only two pens, and even with AP1, I don't manage better than an immobilization of the vehicle. To boot, Rhamael burns himself with his plasma pistol...

Meanwhile, the blob takes some parting shots at the left side avenger squad, including a decent flamer hit. The end result sees about half the squad gone, but they pass morale. As for the other squad of avengers, they eat a frag missile and then a FRF, which has astounding luck, killing most of the squad. The last remnants are picked off the table by break-action hand cannons from the ogryn.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent picked up his avengers into the last mobile serpent and flies away.

Shooting sees two night spinners and three swooping hawks throw a big can of hurt down onto the retreating power blob and nearby PCS. I make sure to remove casualties from the troops nearest the board edge (this winds up including a commissar). If my guys can manage to stay on the field, I get to bring them back in the fight with the officer and hopefully save the three KP running away. The PCS, on the other hand, is tragically wiped out.

With great gusto, the clash of wills continued. My men died by the rank as they implacably advanced on our foes, who in turn crumpled to our might. Soon, however, I heard a great deal of commotion over the micro bead. Beyond belief, my reinforcements were retreating! Even the commissars had turned coward and were making a desperate plea to return to the fortifications.

The hour had now grown dark. The outcome of the battle was no longer certain. I turned and looked at Melchoir. He returned a knowing nod.

All my might would now be required to open up a hole for long enough for Melchoir to escape. I was told that he was once in an ork biker gang. He'd need that same rough demeanor to effect his escape.

With a stiffened upper lip, I charged into the fray.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 1 Me: 3


TURN 5

Turn five saw me advancing with everything, except for my sniper PCS, which I withdrew deeper into cover, and my retreating power blob.

In the beginning of the shooting phase, I measure the distance from Daxos to my retreating blob and find them easily within 12". The blob may have failed 2 Ld9 checks in a row, but third time's a charm. I roll for "Get back in the fight!" and FAIL AGAIN!!! For reference, the odds of failing 3 Ld9 checks in a row are less than 0.5%

The rest of shooting sees more melta straight into the rear of the wave serpent Rhamael shot at last turn and this time brings up the highly predictable result of a vehicle wiped off the board.

I strode over to my men and ordered them to get back into the fight. I shouted at great volume and blew many a sharp blast on my whistle, but my men simply would not listen, nor heed my command to rally. I have never felt so deeply betrayed by my soldiers before. I reluctantly admit that my emotions began to take the better of me, and I began to blow my whistle ferociously, now merely out of spite at their insubordination.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent begins his turn by deepstriking in his swooping hawks much more aggressively than he had before. He explained that his hawks would count as free KP for me if they were still in reserve at the end of the game - a fact that I didn't fully appreciate.

His dangerous deepstriking saw one of his hawk squads with autarch mishap towards the ogryn, but just barely miss - instead landing right on Rhamael. While I really could have gone for any of the mishaps at this point (two of them would see me getting free KP while the other would give my power blob in the center something to do), my opponent rolls a 2, and the squad is simply wiped, straight away.

The other two hawks land dead on, as do their grenade packs, which kill a few more guardsmen.

Meanwhile, his recharged avenger squad decides to charge in for another bladestorm:

He bladestorms my CCS, but with reduced numbers, and with me in cover, the predicted result yields an underwhelming number of them killed. The process, once again, decided to include a gross violation of the laws of physics:

Meanwhile the lasblasters on the hawks open up. One of them downs Rhamael (he would have survived if not for his plasma pistol burn from earlier), and the other cleans away one of my missile launcher squads. Nightspinners rain down on my other missile launcher squad, but one of the blasts fails to wound and the other is stopped by the lone heavy weapons team going to ground in the ruins.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 3 Me: 5

Needless to say, things are looking pretty rough for my opponent, and considers conceding, given the large gap that he has in the score thus far.

Of course, he was at least going to roll the die to see if we were going to continue... and we did. Shucks.


TURN 6

Turn 6 starts with my left-side blob running off the table, nearly equalizing the KPs on both sides.

With the rest, I throw almost everything into the fray on the left. This is probably my only chance to break his army in order to still pick up a clear win from this.

Shooting begins with Daxos BiDing on himself. 2 meltaguns finally delivers a killing blow to the last serpent. The explosion took down the rest of Daxos' squad, but failed to hurt any of the avengers. Then my dark and secretive Zonhaim assassin finally creeps out of the shadows with his severed head full of explosives...

The shot unfortunately scatters towards the upper range of how far off a BS5 model can throw the charge. It still manages to take out a couple of avengers, though. Then I open up with lasguns. The fusilade from both squads is unfortunately not quite enough to end the squad, leaving the exarch. I mull shooting the ogryn at him, but they have more important work to do:

Charging in with the ogryn saw a relatively lackluster performance as far as their whomping power was concerned, but in return, they only took a single wound. Despite having lost combat by two, the hawks stick around.

Then I line up to take out the last exarch. It is vitally important that he gets killed. Both Raust and the assassin attempt to charge, but neither of them is able to roll a 4 or higher on their difficult terrain tests...

After this point, the field looked like this:

The enemy had advanced on my personal position, and in a terrible fusilade of fire downed many in my squad. I shouted at them to restore order, and to open fire on the enemy transport. At least my personal retinue still listens to me. With keen smartness, one of my gunners returned fire and blew up the vehicle in a great explosion.

While the rest of my forces laid down a curtain of fire, the leader of the assailed forces had the wherewithal to attack me, personally!

In my opponent's turn, he throws in the remains of his forces.

Shooting begins with a nightspinner again hitting dead on. While my missile launcher goes to ground again and easily passes his cover save, my assassin goes to ground but only rolls a 2, taking him off the board.Then, practically the first time that a nightspinner has actually scattered this game, the shot veered off course, causing the targeted shot to go straight onto my senior officer and the exarch. The exarch passes his 4+. I fail my 5+.

This left the exarch to attack a different target...

Without the assassin in the way, the exarch charged into the missile launcher. The guardsmen did nothing to the exarch, who did one wound in return. With my lord commissar now JUST out of 12" thanks to the combat with the hawks, I take a Ld check at a 6 and fail. So afraid was he of the exarch, that he managed to avoid getting swept. So afraid was he, that he ran 11", almost all the way off the board!

Meanwhile, the other hawks got into my other PCS.

The PCS put down a hawk, which in return put down two guardsmen. I take a Ld check on a 7 and AGAIN fail. This time, they get caught in a sweeping advance.

Finally, on the top, the ogryn do a pretty poor job, but manage to beat up the rest of the hawks leaving the autarch to make a morale check on an 8, which he passes.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 9 Me: 8

And that's it. That's how I just lost a game that I dominated the whole time right up to the end. Knowing that the first thing to happen will be for my missile launcher to walk off the table, I don't see any way to win this. I prepare to concede the game.

Of course, I'm still going to roll the die to see if we continue... and we do!


TURN 7

In my turn, I send Raust in. There's nothing really left to do, while my missile launcher dude easily makes it off the table.

Though battered and injured, my impressive physique had kept me alive. I had found myself covered in a thick mesh of razor wire. I had seen such gruesome casualties before among my men in the recent days. Horrifically they had lopped off their own limbs struggling against the wire. With a clear head, I had remained completely immobile on the ground once hit with the stuff.

Bravely, I forebore the stinging pain to all of my limbs. To twitch even slightly would be my doom. Imprisoned in my gossamer sarcophagus, I could vaguely make out my commissar Raust Carissander bravely charging towards my rescue.

Seeing my opponent butchered before me, I shall not lie, was a source of comfort to me through the stinging pain. I tried to shout for rescue from Carissander, but my crumpled state allowed only the shallowest of breathing, and righting myself for a proper bellow would have only severed my head from the rest of my body. Deciding perseverance the greater path, I watched my troops continue.

At the edges of my vision, I saw a sight to fill my strangled heart with joy. Melchoir, it seemed, had broken through! My forces were on the move!

Shooting with lasguns saw me throw down a couple of casualties on the right-side hawks while Raust charged in and made creamed corn out of the exarch. Meanwhile, with my lord commissar finally in the fight, the autarch turned his fury on him, but was unable to land a clean blow while the ogryn and power fist were clubbing him like a baby seal.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, his forces do light damage as everything goes to ground.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Him: 10 Me: 10


FINAL RESULTS:

We both bagged 10 KP apiece for a draw.

- This game saw me lose Straken, and, honestly, I didn't really miss him. While on the one hand, I would have been spared a couple of KP lost at the end, while on the other I may not have made as many back against the hawks, as, in all likelihood, the ogryn would likely have spent a turn pinned, and thus wouldn't have reached their target in time. Meanwhile, the leqadership boost helped me early on in the game while Straken's buffs would have only worked once on someone who wasn't straken (giving the lone missile launcher dude countercharge). More importantly, with the lord commissar...

- My ogryn stayed on the table! All 6 of them! Unfortunately, a game full of rotten run rolls and difficult terrain checks (except at the very end) saw them do little, the whole package (including the lord commissar) cost me 349 points, but 20% of my points were ultimately responsible for 20% of my KP earned. Plus, they saved my infantry from an entire turn of bizzarly accurate nightspinner fire. Earning back roughly their points, while taking heat off my little dudes? Sounds pretty much the exact reason I've been taking them.

- I think the key tactical mistake I made was failing to appreciate that the hawks would have to eventually actually land towards the end of the game. Had I understood this better, I would have brought my right-side PCS in CLOSER to the power blob instead of digging them in further away. Leaving them out and exposed gave up a KP that wasn't avengeable too late in the game. I'm actually thinking of cleaning up my list to drop a PCS all together, and running 4 blobs in only 2 troops choices. That way I can throw down 2 fewer KP while only losing a single extra run order a turn.

MVP: As they were responsible (directly or otherwise) for 4 of my 10 KP, this award goes to Rhamael and his melta-toting retinue. That dude seriously wrecks stuff. Maybe I should give him a fourth meltagun or something.

Hero of the Game: This award goes to Sir Daxos P. Clinton III. Despite being horribly bladestormed, he still got his squad to blow up a wave serpent and stare down an exarch all by himself (after all, he didn't lose close combat to it...)

After spending more time to clean up the remnants of our foe's ill-fated assault, I was finally able to get help freeing myself from the tangled weave which had greatly worn out my affections therefor. Working carefully, so as not to damage my uniform or perfectly-sculpted hair, it took several hours to completely free me from the mass. Over the course of the day, we spent time liberating a few other soldiers from the awful mess of it all.

Evening was met by a performance by the lone surviving member of the line's string quartet, but the one-bass concert left much to be desired. Shortly before I retired for the evening, we engaged in another bloody battle as the confused and raging, and in all other ways utterly disorganized enemy forces slammed into our stalwart lines. Having already changed into my pajamas, I saw little need to attend the battle personally.

I most sincerely hope that Melchoir was able to find his way through the lines, and will reinforce us soon.

In grateful service,

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