BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 28

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This game begins our Rules of Engagement escalation league. The person I drew for my game this time was the one that I played against last time.

THE CHALLENGER: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD ANGELS!
750 pts.

Reclusiarch with inferno pistol

Assault Marines (5) with meltagun, power fist
Death Company (9) with 3x power fists

Storm Raven with extra armor, TL multimelta, TL plasma cannon

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

CCS with autocannon

Stormtroopers (5), with 2x melta

PCS with autocannon
PIS with power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS with power weapon
HWS with 3x missile launchers

PCS with grenade launcher
PIS with power weapon, commissar with power weapon
PIS with power weapon
HWS with 3x missile launchers

There are a few things I'm doing with this list that will unfold over the course of the next several games. The first is to try out a more "conventional" guard list. The math isn't necessarily all there, but I want to be able to say I've done it, and it will be able to be done in such a way to help my second goal. Namely, I want to try out a bunch of things to come up with a way of plugging a couple of key holes in my lists at higher points values. It seems like escalation is the time to do this. Finally, in the spirit of an escalation league, I'm going to use this opportunity to try some different stuff out. I've actually been able to work my way through a pretty decent size chunk of the codex already, and I'm going to continue with this somewhat in the future.

The deployment for this game was the RoE version of spearhead. My opponent's primary objective was to kill my HQ unit with a secondary of holding one of my objectives. My primary objective was to end the game with two units in my opponent's deployment zone with a secondary of holding one of his objectives. I won the roll to go first and took it so that I could snag a choice piece of real estate. I regretted taking first in my previous game for the same reason, but this time, the deployment zone is choicer, and, now that I have some long-range killing power and my opponent isn't just full of tanks, I don't have to be so timid with my advance.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

Deployment for me was pretty straightforward. My heavy weapons teams got the piece of terrain I wanted with a good view of most of the battlefield. The rest was deploying a thick mat of guardsmen in front of Daxos, who was very conveniently placed out of LOS entirely on the bottom floor. Needless to say, my CCS was going to be safe for at least the first few turns, if not the whole game. My opponent replied by putting his Reclusiarch and 9 death company in his stormraven, which took the field in a position to get as much cover as possible from my missile launcher teams.

My strategy was going to be pretty straightforward. I only needed to end the game with two units in his deployment zone, and he only had three units. Once the storm raven was taken down, he literally wouldn't have enough different units to be able to chase down and tackle all of my troops at once. More importantly, if I could get his death company bogged down, my opponent simply wouldn't have had enough time to reach my CCS, much less kill it.

The key to my strategy was getting rid of the storm raven. If I could engage my opponent way over in his table quarter, not only would it even further insure that my CCS wouldn't get engaged, but it would also give me time to get into his deployment zone, which might be difficult given this unflattering deployment type.

Thankfully I have 6 missile launchers and a couple of autocannons just for this kind of purpose...


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 10 Theos
Daxos Line

After our successful extraction from our previous mission, what was left of my line got a full week to recouperate. Surviving enlisted men were promoted to non-commissioned officers, whole new groups were added in fresh from training, and I finally got the time to pen some reasonable poetry for a change.

Due to slow progress in our great planetary crusade, the commander of all imperial forces on the planet was replaced. Supreme Lord Marshal Clarchos was replaced by a foreign commander - Master General Zogfeldt. With a Foleran out of the captain's chair, we immediately saw a reorganization of the Foleran segment of the forces. Our lines were now reorganized as "regiments" and our groups as "companies". Furthermore, the great injustice of a mere number was forced on my men. The official documents may read my line as the "124th Foleran Infantry Regiment", but all concerned know that it's the Daxos Line, and the Daxos Line it shall remain.

More important than merely the nationality of the overall commander was a change in strategy. Instead of drawing our opponents into carefully prepared positions, we were now going to hit our enemy in force, wherever he may be found. Casualties would be high, but we would finally be able to gain some momentum in this campaign!

My forces were sent far north to a low mountain range, dominated by Mount Cos. At the top was a shrine of St. Eusebius. Our enemy had been doggedly defending the heights, which had formed a salient in our positions over the preceding months. It was determined that they would be able to be swept out of their position only by a massive, persistent and heroic assault. I was called on for my extensive expereince as an assault officer.

The morning of the tenth saw my new "regiment" slowly gathering near the base of the mountain. If a single determined attack was all that was needed, then I'd try my hand at it myself. After crossing the narrow Censa River, I personally led a group to the outer perimeter of the mountains.

It was not long before we found a scouting party of the enemy.

The game begins with me moving my infantry over to the left. The left side stuff already threatens his deployment zone, while the right side didn't move forward AS aggressively, spending some of its movement to shield my SO. My SO moves out slightly so that he can get a line of sight on the storm raven.

I then throw down orders. I use BiD on one of the missile launcher teams, which passes its orders only to roll 3 hits anyways. Of the three hits, only one manages to roll at least a 4, but the shot is stopped by cover. I then use FoMT on the other missile launcher team, which rolls only one hit. The hit penetrates and FoMT turns a passed cover save into a failed one. The result is a weapon destroyed, which rips off a plasma cannon. Whoop dee doo. The JO to the officer's right then politely instructs the SO to get back into cover with the run command before failing to even hit the storm raven with its autocannon.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent takes his lone unit and glides him over 24" to block off my advance on the left.

PotMS shot a missile at my missile launcher team, but missed.

With my army properly resupplied after weeks in the field, I finally had some heavy weapons at my disposal. I ordered my men to fire on the traitorous enemy craft, and with great gusto.

Despite my firm yet polite urgings, my men seemed to suffer from poorer training than I had thought, with my heavy weapons firing to little effect. I emerged from safety, bravely forbearing anything my enemy may send against my person. After a great deal of calling out targets, I took the advice of one of my officers, and regained a position of safety.

A great deal more firepower was levied against the mechanical foe, but to little, if any, apparent effect.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Turn 2 begins with my stormtroopers showing up. I place them behind the storm raven and scatter 6" somewhere still acceptable (I only needed to be within 12" due to the storm raven goofy rule). I then move a power blob and my PCS up.

Basically, things are going exactly according to plan. All I need to do is bust open the storm raven and I get to charge him with my power blob. Assuming reasonable luck, my second power blob will arrive just in time to destroy him, or, given that they have neither jump packs nor fleet, simply dance around his deployment zone. Best case, my second power blob charges in to relieve the first, and I've got a very comfortable position. All I needed to do was to crack open that Storm Raven.

Shooting begins with a Fomt on one missile launcher squad that fails, but one that succeeds on the other. The successful FoMT rolled to hit, and missed with all three shots. The other missile launcher team hit once, and failed to even glance. The PCS shot its grenade launcher at the beast from point blank range and missed. The nearby stormies open up with both meltaguns. One of them missed, the other hit, but failed to even glance. I follow it up with 4 autocannon shots. One hit. It did nothing.

That's right, all I needed for my strategy to work was to was take down a single AV12 vehicle with 8 S8 weapons and 2 autocannons... and I didn't even leave a scratch...

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent starts out by dropping in his assault marines. After this, his unscathed forces are free to descend on my guys at will:

Shooting begins with a PotMS missile missing again while light bolt pistoling downs a stormie (I get an armor save!).

Then, thanks to the miracle of assault ramps, my opponent plows into my left side power blob:

The three powerfists and a power weapon run through my troops with brutal efficiency. Almost all of the squad is killed. I seriously considered just dropping the commissar, as my squad would then be all but guaranteed to break and run. I'd be able to shoot missiles and lasguns at him next turn, but I decide against it. After all, I'm still going to be shooting missiles at that accursed storm raven (lest the death company mount back up and utterly obliterate my HQ), and I want my opponent's death company to stay tied up as long as possible so that it will take him longer to get to my HQ.

Thus committed, while the chumps in the blob fall like flies, I roll 9 power weapon attacks, and fail to kill a single space marine...

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

With my blob on the left tragically neutralized, I'm still stuck with what my opponent is going to do. Since I dont' know if he'll be playing for a draw, or playing for a win, I move my blob over and in to prepare for an assault on my HQ. Everything else moves forward. I'm going to hope that through sheer MSU-ness, I can still overwhelm my opponent's ability to prevent me from getting two units into his deployment zone. Things are actually looking rather well on that regard. I already have two units in there, and the only serious challenge I have is 5 space marines, and they're up against a heap of low AP weapons.

Unable to control myself, I once again leapt out of my positions and took personal command of the battle. I shouted orders to my men most vigorously, insisting that they bring down the enemy vehicle once and for all.

My exhorts were met with more lackluster competence, as missile began flying everywhere. Only as the ammunition began to run low did one of them finally crash through the canopy of the flying monstrosity, causing a great explosion. I could only barely manage to suppress a cheer of delight as the flaming wreck cascaded to the ground.

In shooting, both missile launcher teams get BiD (he didn't have SMF this turn, after all). Both of them pass. The top missile launcher team misses with all of its shots, and then only picks up one hit on the reroll, which, yet again, fails to roll a 4 or better. Meanwhile, the other missile launcher team put down two hits. One of the shots yet again failed to damage, while the other rolled a penetrating hit. 18 twin linked missile shots, and I finally manage to explode the AV12 vehicle...

This accomplished, I turn my attention to the assault marines. I've got enough firepower nearby to seriously injure the squad. I figure my stormies can probably handle a single space marine charging them.

I turn on the magic. The grenade launcher fires at his tightly clustered group of marines, but scatters away, followed by all the lasguns missing. I then unload with a pair of hellguns, which kill their one. I rev up the meltaguns, and BOTH of them miss...

Close combat sees the death company turn the remnants of my blob squad into a bloody gruel. Then comes the moment of truth. Would he go for my command squad, or would he go for the draw? He rolls a 5 for consolidation, and books it towards my PCS.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent begins his response by closing in on my pair of units in his deployment zone.

Shooting sees some bolt pistol fire take down a stormie, but then its straight into assault

The enemy vehicle finally destroyed, I searched in vain for the platoon I sent in to break through the enemy's position. I could hear the sounds of fighting break out in the enemy ramparts. As my missile launcher teams opened up new crates of munitions, I prepared my second wave for the attack.

Close combat starts with his death company curb-stomping my PCS with no damage and a great consolidation roll.

The combat with the assault marines saw no damage from a handful of chainsword swings while the stormies take down an assault marine. Unfortunately, my bad luck meant that the sergeant had survived, allowing him to punch out a pair of stormies. My brave stormtrooper commander decides that now is the time to be a coward and breaks, but is clotheslined by a power fist on his way out.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

I had been able to realise my plan to get into his deployment zone with two viable units, and my plan to tie up my opponent's death company in his deployment zone. Unfortunately, a string of bad luck caused it to fall flat on its ass.

All was not lost, though. By retreating with his death company to handle my PCS, he had forfeited any chance of a victory. Now, it was time to enact plan B. With my opponent's storm raven down, I still had a chance to simply overwhelm him with my multiple small units.

As such, I peel off a missile launcher team, and attack from the left, while the PCS and blob attacks from the right. I leave a missile launcher squad just in case I need to shield the CCS after all, and, more importantly, to soften up (if not just take down) that obnoxious assault marine squad. With only a single unit left on the board, my opponent isn't going to be able to stop everything thrown at him at once, especially if he gets tied down by a power blob.

Removing my whistle from its holster, I gave my men instructions for how the second wave would attempt its breakthrough. Once the commands were issued, and I was certain that they were understood, I gave my whistle a long, sharp blast.

The men duly obeyed and began their assault.

Shooting was mostly absorbed by running (the bottom missile launcher squad passing a run order, but still only running 2"...), and the stationary missile team failing a FoMT order against the death company (the only target in LOS). The CCS autocannon hit twice, but predictably did nothing, while the missile launcher team hit twice, only to have one of the shots fail to wound, and the other stopped by cover.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent shifts everything over to the right. Clearly, he's intent on blocking off my right-side charge.

In shooting, everything runs.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

In my turn, I continue with my plan. The only caveat is the PCS doesn't move. I very much need those assault marines dead, or at least ACTUALLY depleted this time. With any luck, I'll be able to get a slingshot consolidate off of the assault marines next turn.

Shooting sees my missile launcher team in the building pass FoMT, but only hitting once, and my opponent successfully making both cover saves anyways. I get a pair of hits with the PCS autocannon, and both wound, but both are stopped by armor.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent continues his basic plan from last turn and moves forward.

His death company shoots my guardsmen and puts down a surprising 6 of them.

His STILL mostly in tact assault squad then charges the PCS:

The PCS flubbs all of its attacks, and, in my only turn of good luck this entire game, the PCS, despite a -3 penalty, decides to stick it out in close combat.

After this point, the field looked like this:

I roll the die to continue, and, true to form this game, flip a 1.


FINAL RESULTS

My opponent did not kill my HQ, and I did not end the game with two units in my opponent's deployment zone. Neither of us had claimed an opponent's objective. The end result was a draw.

- These two missions on this deployment type was going to be tough to pull a win out for either of us. When my opponent decided to go for the draw, it only got tougher. I had a plan, and backup plan, but luck punished my scheming mind nearly as much as it could have. All of that combined, and the end result was all but guaranteed.

- I took this list with my usual power blob core, but instead of taking more blobs and then one support option, I took less blob so that I could try out two. The idea, of course, is that a little play testing would help me decide where to go from here. Unfortunately, my luck was SO bad with both sets of my support units, that this didn't really tell me anything about anything. As such, I have little choice but to try this again next week...

- There is one change, however, that I'm interested in making, and that is adding conscripts. Basically, my army style has two things that it has a hard time with: skimmers at long range, and close combat specialists that are faster than my guardsmen. Clearly, the missile launchers are designed to handle the former (if they can actually HIT THEIR TARGETS), while the ogryn used to be around to handle the latter. Ogryn, though, are expensive, so I can't include them for awhile, thus the conscripts. If the dice would have rolled anywhere near normal, my opponent would have seen his death company walking at least by turn 2. This meant I could have positioned a squad of conscripts in such a way where my opponent would have had little choice but to attack a worthless meat shield, thus denying his extra mobility. While it wasn't AS important once the storm raven went down, it would have possibly saved my power blob when it didn't. In the worst case, it still would have been an MSU for my opponent to deal with.

Other than artillery and ogryn, I'm starting to lose faith that armies which get free lots of extra assault range can be handled any other way...

MVP: As truly sad as this sounds, this has to go to Daxos and his command squad. They were the only one of my squads that actually contributed to the final outcome of the game

Hero of the Game: My non-autocannon PCS. Hey, look, there's a storm raven full of 9 death company and a death company chaplain, and all you've got is a single grenade launcher? CHARGE!

As my second wave of troops clashed gallantly with the enemy, I advanced from the field rearwardsly in order to collect more troops. After all, there was no point in establishing a breakthrough if there was insufficient force to exploit it.

Upon my arrival, I found that no forces were to be had. The hasty departure from our previous segment of imperial positions to these apparently saw my newly acquired forces spread out over a great distance. Do my great dismay, it might take as long as days for my forces to finally catch up with me.

In the meantime, I will have no choice but to at least claim the outer perimeter seized, even if a breakthrough did not occur.

In grateful service,

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