BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 25

To view the Blood Conquers registry, click here.

As the windchill brought the temperature outside down to zero (that's -18C for my British and Continental colleagues), it was time for a bit of disorganized 40k action. We discussed the next league, which will likely be an escalation league starting at the beginning of next year.

This game was against El Cheezus, who I had been meaning to play for a couple of weeks now, but the league competition required play against only other league members in order to count. Without the burden of particular opponents to win a league, we finally got a game in.

THE CHALLENGER: guard on guard action...
1850 pts.

CCS
- 3x melta, astropath
5 Grey Knight Terminators

5 stormies
- 2x melta
5 stormies
- 2x melta
Marbo

Veterans
- 3x plasma, chimera
Veterans
- 3x plasma, chimera
Veterans
- 3x plasma, chimera
Penal Legion Squad

Vendetta
Vendetta
Hellhound

Demolisher
- Heavy bolters, HLC

THE DEFENDER: ...that's how they get 'ya
1850 pts.

CCS (Daxos)
- 3x melta, astropath
Lord Commissar (Caspar)
- carapace, power fist
Eviscerator Priest
Eviscerator Priest

5 ogryn

PCS
- Al'Rahem (Rhamael), 3x melta
PIS
- power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS
- power weapon, flamer
PIS
- power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS
- power weapon, flamer

PCS
- 3x melta
PIS
- power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS
- power weapon, flamer
PIS
- power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS
- power weapon, flamer

Exterminator
- HHB
Exterminator
- HHB
Exterminator
- HHB

For this game, we played from the "Rules of Engagement" book. Deployment was "flank march", which was basically a diagonal stripe of no man's land running down the middle with whatever was left being deployment zones. My primary mission was to have more units in my deployment zone than my opponent with a secondary of holding one of my objectives. My opponent's primary mission was to destroy my objectives (by having a unit (not locked in assault) in base contact with them at the end of his player turn), with a secondary of holding one of his own objectives.

I won the roll to go first and, wanting to ensure my reserves came in after his, gave the first turn to my opponent.

At deployment, the field looked like this:


(my opponent's two objectives are in pink, while mine are in blue).

My opponent deployed with the CCS in a vendetta and one of his plasma vets in the other, allowing a free chimera for the terminators to ride in.

In response, I don't really know how to deploy. Clearly, I'm going to be on the defensive this game. Furthermore, with no meltabombs in my squads, I was going to have to lure him in close with meltaguns, lest I risk the meltagunners getting chewed up before they got to their targets. Really, I was going to have to rely on Al'Rahem and my exterminators to do the heavy lifting this game. As such, I deploy my infantry out on the palisade as a screen while I hide my meltaguns behind, and my ogryn out of LOS altogether (I really don't want them to get demolishered), with my right side sealing off the board edge against outflanking penal legionnaires (who rolled gunslingers for this game).

My plan is basically going to revolve around focusing fire on the most dangerous units and trying to get a huge horde stuck in, at which point I'll probably win. My opponent's highly eclectic list selection was going to make target prioritization slightly difficult.

My opponent took his scout move with his vendettas and the game began when I failed to seize.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 25 Fongos
Daxos Line

The Dawn of the 25th drew cool and exceedingly crisp. On my own special order, I had an extra ration of tea sent out to the men to keep them warm. Since we had finally broken out of the city, such necessities were finally appropriately effortless to obtain.

In a single, great thrust, the enemy had been dislodged completely from the city. Victory was most exceedingly total. Our mission now was to hold off any enemy counter attacks until such time as we could be relieved by another Imperial Guard division, allowing all of the Foleran forces (including my own line) to be withdrawn and properly recuperated. Casualties had been maniacal over the preceding months, and all were in great need of civilization for the restoration of morale.

My line, along with that of CmdMsh. Drogevar were assigned to hold a long stretch of highway that passed along the eastern edge of the city. Its ditches and towers made it an ideal place for defense, but its exposed position with regards to the rest of the Foleran forces made it a likely candidate for an enemy assault. I spread my various groups out in defensive positions and, due to lack of manpower, was required to place my personal group on the front line.

It was very likely that the sound beating of our enemy had left them unable to mount a proper counter-attack against our well-fortified positions.

The game begins with the CCS vendetta turbo-boosting over to the right side of the board, along with the hellhound moving fast in the same direction. With the other vendetta moving down, he now has my forces sealed in with a ring of armor. The termies get in a chimera, and the treaded part of his list moves cautiously forward.

Movement keeps my opponent's shooting to a minimum, with only a single lascannon from the bottom vendetta hitting my front exterminator only to have the shot bounce off its front armor (AV14, what?). That and one of the chimeras was able to draw a bead with it's multilaser, killing a guardsman. Nothing else was in range.

After this point, the field looked like this:

And then, as if out of nowhere, there they were! An armored spearhead was launching a full assault against my positions!

As the steel wave began to pick up steam, I scrambled to my micro-bead. As promptly and politely as I was able, I immediately called in for reinforcements. Until such a time as sufficient force could be brought to bare, I ordered my outer perimeter to be brought in. It was clear that the road and the palisade would be unable to hold against such a mighty blow.

My forces could consolidate, but under no circumstances could they retreat. Were the enemy to break through, they would once again have free access to the city behind us. Whatever came, we must hold. They could not pass!

In response, I find myself in an awkward position of my own design. Having placed weaker units out in front, I now have nothing that can seriously challenge his armor. The best I can do is horribly overwhelm him with frag grenades, or wait for some of the transports to start popping and then mob them once my troops have safe passage to his forces. As such, I order a general withdraw, with everything moving back in and then running even closer. My only plan now is to collapse around the building and have that anchor one side of the line (and protect the objective), while Rhamael outflanks with a huge pile of dudes and takes the other side. Once enough casualties are done, the two will join together to crush whatever is left.

... I hope.

As far as I can tell, the vendettas are my primary targets. Not only are they the most dangerous thing to my exterminators (which I'd like to open the transports), but, more importantly, they're the only vehicles that are going to be able to quickly deliver units to my lines. If Marbo, both stormies, and two vendettas+squads all appear out of nowhere on turn two, this could get ugly, and in a hurry.

While one exterminator does nothing to the top side vendetta, the second sneaks in a pen under SMF, for an immobilized result, which destroys the vehicle (piling the command squad out, which failed its pinning test). Meanwhile, the other exterminator glances the other vendetta for a shaken result.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

And then, as if at once, the enemy was everywhere. From up the road, a squad of garish brutes arrived to reinforce their downed craft.

All the while, enemy infiltrators sprung forward right next to my command structure.

I turned to register my displeasure at these events. It was only then that I realised that my orderly wasn't my regular orderly. In fact, he was an enemy agent, and he was RIGHT BEHIND ME!

What? What?!

Turn two sees my opponent roll in everything except for a stormie squad from reserves. First came the penal legionnaires who outflanked, thankfully far away due to my edge protection. Then his stormies came in danger close with airborne assault and landed smack in front of my left side exterminator.

Then my opponent reached into his bag of tricks an pulled out Marbo. He had wanted to just place it in base contact with my reserved objective and get a free kill, making it so he only needed to destroy the one out in front, but, thanks to accidental cleverness, he wasn't able to place Marbo in base contact AND outside of 1" away from my models (thank you Ogryn, for that one). As such, he decides to place Marbo in the building with my command squad. I scoff. He pulls out the tape measure.

This time, Marbo literally was right behind me.

Meanwhile, his armored column continues its slow, crushing advance, while the vets in the vendetta decide that they're close enough, and get out.

Shooting starts with the hellhound opening up against my right-side blob, but thanks to distance and proper spacing, the inferno cannon only manages an abysmal 2 hits. This is followed up by the penal legionnaires, who do assorted damage with lasguns.

Then the stormies open up on the exterminator for a pen and a glance, neither of which are stopped by cover (the squad right in front of them) for a stunned and a weapon destroyed result.

The rest of shooting is kept to a minimum as my retreat last turn has kept stuff predominantly out of range yet again.

The turn ends with Marbo being so stealthy, that my opponent forgets to do anything with him.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I'm so ready to spring my trap. Rhamael was all ready to come in and kick ass... except I rolled a 1 for him to arrive.

Without the hammer, I'm stuck with what to do with my anvil. No longer needing to protect my right side against outflankers, I move my right blob up to kill some penal legionnaires. I might as well soften that side up in preparation for Rhamael. It will give me that much more of a punch when he arrives in glory.

Everything else, well, continues to fall back on the objective.

Shooting sees my command squad HORRIBLY flub its melta and pistol shots against Marbo, leaving the enemy agent unscathed. As such, the nearby exterminator needs to bail them out, throwing a metal storm against him, wiping him out. Meanwhile, the other executioner takes particular offense to the idea of the hellhound approaching my clustering infantry and throws down a penetrating hit for an immobilized result. Good enough, I suppose.

The turn ends with the right side blob flamering a lot of penal legionnaires and following up with a rerollable power weapon charge which simply causes it to cease to exist. I consolidate well, allowing me to space out against the still-potent hellhound. I will look forward to eviscerating it next turn.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

I looked around me in shock. The enemy was continuing to pour in from everywhere. Enemy infantry had breached the parapet and the enemy armored column was crashing down on us. Where were my reinforcements?

Steeling my grit, I ordered my men to take cover and, at all costs, to hold this position. The magnificent lord commissar below relayed my orders via megaphone.

Things were about to get most unsavory.

The top of three sees my opponent get his last group of stormies in. He places them in such a way where, if he rolls a "hit", he can claim a free objective destroyed. Despite this genius move, the stormies aren't able to draw a "hit" on either dice, scattering off of the objective slightly.

Meanwhile, everything on the left continues its implacable advance, creating a steel wall of anger.

Shooting sees the hellhound again with a poor shot, but 5 nearby BS4 meltaguns along with some hellguns do some unkind things to the right side blob, basically ripping it down to the essentials. Meanwhile, on the left, the only target which is in LOS and in range is a lone meltagunner which I tragically forgot to run the turn before. Cover is useful, but the end result sees the PCS whittled down to just a pair of meltagunners.

The right-side blob tries to break and run against the multitude of enemy violence, but the commissar makes short work of this lapse of discipline.

After this point, the field looked like this:

With the enemy upon us and our status most dire, I walked from the observation deck of my command post downstairs. I took congress with Lord Commissar Caspar with regard to the plan for action.

With reinforcements forsaken, we now no longer had a choice but to fall back or to fight to the absolutely bitter last. The commissar was convincing in his rhetoric: Here we would stand and fight. I had all thoughts of further withdraw purged from my mind, and at once. The great point to remember was that we were here on this battlefield to finish off with our most cheeky of adversaries once and for all. Caspar was right, it would be easy. All we needed to do was to show them the resolve of a true servant of the Emperor. Of a true gentleman.

Yes, this would be the hour for valor most prolific!

My turn begins with Al'Rahem coming in from reserves...

... ON THE WRONG SIDE!

I suppose even with the reroll, this event happens roughly one in nine times, and I guess I was due. As you can imagne, this changed EVERYTHING, and in a hurry. Now instead of launching a grand assault, I was now stuck with all of my opponent bearing down against just a mangled part of my army. Because they waited until turn 3 to arrive, it was dubious that they would be able to clear the entire board in time to bail out their buddies.

Now it really was up to my beleaguered right side to fend for itself. Come what may!

As such, I have little choice but to continue to consolidate my right behind the lone piece of cover. I can't reach out and touch the chimeras with melta yet, and he still has to come towards me not only to get into my deployment zone, but to have any hope of destroying my refused objective. The only exception to this is my right side blob. They have little hope of surviving against hellgun and demolisher cannon fire all the way back into safety. Having given up any hope of survival, they instigated a last, desperate charge to hack their way out, and defend the upper objective with pure grit if needed.

Shooting saw one of the exterminators wheeling around to shoot at one of the chimeras yielding a stunned result, while the other exterminator shot at the vendetta, immobilizing it.

Ripper guns saw me JUST in range of the vets, and pinged one of them, while Rhamael and his horde began their long trudge from the opposite side of the board with some really good run rolls.

Close combat saw a charging eviscerator priest and a couple of power sword wielding maniacs carve the stormies into lunchmeat and poorly consolidate on the top of the palisade/objective.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

My opponent continues his implacable advance, crashing through my outer perimiter with his sheet of steel.

Even his top closes in on my brave remnants of the right side blob...

Shooting begins with storm bolters, multilasers, and vendetta lascannons/heavy bolters shooting into my ogryn, and I can't make a cover save for the life of me. Plasma also puts down more wounds. When the dust clears, my 5 ogryn have become 2 ogryn and a third with just one wound left.

Meanwhile, the cursed hellhound flames my right side blob for a third time, leaving only the priest alive, who is drug down by plasma and lasgun fire from the vet squad that had jumped out of its transport.

The demolisher FINALLY had range on something, which he used to target the front corner of my top exterminator. The shot went grossly wide, 8", straight back onto my troops in the building! Once again, cover was less than kind.

After this point, the field looked like this:

With the decision made, Lord Commissar Caspar turned towards his broken and bleeding retinue and shouted his men into action, most politely. Inspired by such an act of bravery, I had no choice but to follow his example. Gathering my wits about me, I charged forward from the command point and met my enemy face to face!

After four turns of waiting, I finally have something in melta range. Ideally, I'd wait it out a little longer so that I can get two chimeras, but with everything closing in on me so quickly, I really didn't have any choice but to rush out with what little attacking power I had left. It was all or nothing now! For wrath, for ruin!

Both meltagun squads charged forward and I ponder how to dissect the nearby chimera. I decide that 3 BiD melta would probably be enough from Daxos, so I use the order on himself, counting on the other two meltaguns to do some damage to the terminators.

Once that happened, I'd send the ogryn in a multi-assault against his veterans and his terminators. The wounds done to the vets would help me win combat against the termies who would be taking hopefully a pile of no retreat! saves.

Shooting begins with Daxos BiDing the nearby chimera and, as predicted, horribly exploding it. The explosion was gravely unkind to the passengers, but, very tragically, it completely wiped out the squad with the two meltaguns!

While the exterminators tried to eek out assorted casualties, the ogryn shot ripper guns at the vets. As they're basically full strength, and my ogryn count has gotten a little low, I figure I need to soften them up a bit. I pick up the dice to shoot with my ripper gun, and I hit with EVERY SHOT. The bloodbath leaves only a single veteran surviving, who fails his morale check and runs away.

... leaving me absolutely stranded right in front of the terminators...

That... wasn't supposed to happen...

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

My opponent continues to press in his implacable advance. With the exception of a squad of vets who saunters off to claim one of his objectives for a secondary, everything else moves in. The CCS that had piled out of the wrecked vendetta makes it on to my objective unopposed to destroy it.

Shooting sees more firepower poured on my ogryn, bringing the number remaining down to two. Meanwhile, everything else around shoots at Daxos, and while the officer is seriously injured, the squad survives with the senior officer and a lone meltagunner.

The demolisher targeted my top side exterminator again and rolled a hit. The penetration threw down a snake eye, shaking the vehicle.

Then came the assault:

So, we learned from a few games ago that ogryn are better than terminators. What I didn't know, was that they're not better than GREY KNIGHT terminators. With regular terminators, they have to wound on 5's, or go at I1, after I've had a chance to make them fail a couple of armor saves. Grey knights, on the other hand, hit on 3's with their enormous weapon skill, and, due to their extra strength power weapons also wound on 3's, AND they strike at initiative. My opponent put down exactly enough wounds as was required to put down the ogryn. The lord commissar replies by missing with all 3 of his power fist attacks.

Things were about to get ugly for the lord commissar...

After this point, the field looked like this:

Now that things are engaged at close range, I'm finally in my element.

Movement begins with Rhamael continuing to run up the road while what little is left is sent in against their targets.

Then I look at my poor, shaken Exterminator. What to do? What indeed?

RAMMING TIME!

The mighty leman russ revvs up its engine, rolls a 4 for lumbering behemoth, and just BARELY is in range for a ram! The battle tank crashes into the side armor at full speed, sending out a shower of sparks and screeching steel!

The hit penetrates, and rolls an immobilized result. Not what I wanted, but still awesome!

Shooting starts with Daxos BiDing himself again. His adjunct meltagunner easily hits and equally easily penetrates the vehicle's side armor. I roll for damage and roll a 1. Bother!

I continue by unloading my one good exterminator against the chimera that was holding the terminators. Due to the oblique angle and excess of LOS-blocking terrain (much less other vehicles), this was one of those rare moments where I actually had to shoot at the side armor with a 3+ cover save. In the end, all four shots hit for a ludicrous 3 pens. Cover is ineffective, and the vehicle is unspectacularly wrecked.

Assault starts with my lone blob squad rushing in to bail out the lord commissar:

The termies put down a bunch of power weapon attacks on the lord commissar for a few wounds. I make a few refractor field saves and he's fine... except that grey knight termies are S6, so he's instaglibbed. Man, grey knights are mean!

The rest of the squad puts down 2 wounds on the termies, both of which are bounced off of 5++'s.

Also, I figure that the chimera I just rammed is now immobilized... so...

Having charged out into my enemy, I was immediately thrown in front of a wall of steel and spinning tread. Under my careful direction, my retinue caused the nearest one to explode in a great fireball, injuring me with shrapnel.

Wounded, there was still a great cacophony of action all about. This was surely a time for undaunt, if ever there was one! I turned and saw another metal giant crashing down on my position. I ordered an attack through a hail of gunfire. My meltagunner opened fire against the monstrous beast, but was distracted as, from out of nowhere, one of my very own pieces of armor came charging around the corner and collided full-speed with our target!

The crunching and grinding of metal brought upon our hapless foe at the hands of my valiant tank crews was most grand! Hurrah!

With emboldened spirit, I took it upon myself to charge the beleaguered vehicle. I nodded at my adjunct and he pulled out a fragmentation grenade. I followed by producing one of my own.

This was the first time in my life I had ever actually drawn a hand grenade from my belt. I took a moment amidst the carnage to consider the use thereof. Eventually settling on the use of grenades being a task too undignified for a man of my status, I handed the weapon over to the enlisted man next to me. Under my careful supervision, he threw the explosives directly at the front of the tank. Both of them bounced off the hull into the air and exploded to no effect.

Hope against hope, I charged in with assault grenades and got two auto-hits. Neither of them successfully glanced the armor.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent rolls to continue and we don't.


FINAL RESULTS

Believe it or not, my opponent had only a half-strength vet squad, a severely mangled chimera and a squad of grey knights in my deployment zone. Meanwhile, I still had my CCS, a blob, and 3 vehicles left, and that's before you count the other three from Rhamael making it into the narrow corner of my deployment zone. My opponent, on the other hand, was able to only destroy one of my two objectives. I guess that means I won.

- So that was pretty epic. I'm not going to lie, the particular combination of missions we rolled for was going to make it tough for my opponent to win this one, but he certainly put in a hell of a fight.

At first, my opponent's leisurely saunter towards my lines confused me, as with my temperament I probably would have driven forward 12", popped smoke, and then moved 12" again, disgorged my passengers and had the chimeras turn on blaring hard rock music. Perhaps this is why I'm not a mechanized commander...

In the end, my opponent revealed that he didn't want to get TOO close right away, lest he get Al'Rahemed, and he also kept his forces spread out in an attempt to get me to spread my forces out. Unfortunately for him, this wasn't terribly likely to succeed against me. Yes, he did draw out a power blob, which was nearly half of my infantry available at the time, but the end result actually backfired as he spent 795 points to draw out and destroy 230 of mine, while making it so that none of the top units actually wound up in my deployment zone.

In the end, this totally felt like the Kursk mission from Call of Duty: United Offensive (or the pegasus bridge mission from the regular Call of Duty). "They've broken through our lines, commrade! Take out those tanks!"

- I kept my ogryn in deep reserve, using them as a final line of defense against anything that stood a chance to make it to my flag (a task they generally do quite well). I was desperate to avoid getting them hit by the demolisher, but I deeply underestimated the killing power of plasma guns and grey knight terminators against my linebacker squad. This lesson will not soon be forgotten. It's unfortunate that I needed to reduce the number of ogryn to 5 in order to fit in the exterminators, given that my opponent did only exactly enough damage to kill them. The extra one would have helped this game.

- Speaking of exterminators, they didn't do too shabby this game. 450 VPs of tanks took out 545 VPs of stuff, littering the field with wrecked and immobilized vehicles. That said, this was basically the perfect test case for them, as they were up against an AV12-heavy army with rather limited long-range anti tank. That they were only able to somewhat outpreform their cost in damage in this ideal circumstance gives me dim hopes that they will keep up the damage going into the future.

- So, I consider myself a pretty cool cat, as far as generalmanship is concerned. I keep a steady mind and an even keel when things start going wrong, and I think that's saved me in several a game. That said, even I was phased by my opponent's massive special maneuvers attack in turn 2. I knew that things would be popping up to say hello, but I didn't expect to suddenly get attacked everywhere at once. Needless to say, this focused my energies on said units, ultimately giving my opponent some initiative. While the ogryn had no trouble dispatching the first stormie squad, Marbo took a round of exterminator fire while the penal legionnaires (which are some of the most awesome models ever. Construction orange steel legion FTW!) successfully drew my right side blob out of hiding, to its ultimate destruction.

The purpose of the List 6 series was to support infantry with harrassing units. Having never been on the receiving end, I didn't fully appreciate their power. While my opponent's advance was slow enough that the free turn he bought with his harassers wound up being mostly wasted, I can imagine what a coordinated attack with blobs AND stormies/marbo/Al'Rahem might be able to accomplish. Perhaps if the exterminators don't work out...

- I got to ram a vehicle. Heh, heh...

MVP: This one is actually a little tough to decide, as the damage was fairly spread out. I guess it would have to go to the top-side exterminator, who was involved in the shooting at the vendetta turn one, strafing a vet squad down to half health and immobilizing both the hellhound and a chimera. Would Rhamael have arrived on the appropriate side, these measures would have been rather unecessary, but as he didn't, this vehicle's supressing fire wound up having a much greater impact than anticipated.

Hero of the Game: This award goes to two units this time. The first goes to the right side blob squad, who bravely held the parapet long after it had been abandoned by every one else, and bravely charged through murderous casualties to keep the objective clear of the enemy, while providing a useful distraction until their death. The second goes to Daxos' squad. Would YOU charge out into the open between a squad of terminators and two tanks bearing down on you? He kept at it to the end, dealing damage to the last.

Suddenly, the fire began to die down. I peered around the vehicle and could see the scattered remnants of the enemy running away! Hope against hope!

I turned to see what was the cause of my foe's scrambling retreat. Then, from up the road, there they were: Rhamael and his men running down the highway as fast as they could. Praise the Emperor! Reinforcements had arrived! And not a moment too soon...

With a loud war cry, my beleaguered forces mopped up their foes, and my junior officer arrived just as the last fragments of the enemy had fled. He bore news: Up and down the highway, Foleran forces had sustained a massive armored assault. Despite overwhelming odds, the line had held to the last - the city was safe. To my deep regret and dismay, Marshal Drogevar was killed in the fighting, leaving me in sole command of the forces defending the flank.

With our enemy so thoroughly repulsed, I had little doubt that we would see any more action for the remainder of the day. I took this opportunity to reorganize my men and bolster the defenses with spade and plank, while I soothed my nerves with a tumbler of cool triple-malt and a long listen through my gramophone collection. A rest well deserved for a battle hard fought.

In grateful service,

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