BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 33

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As the Rules of Engagement league continued, it was time to play against our league's youngest player, outfitted with a variant on his ass-kicking chaos list.

THE CHALLENGER: FZORGLE!
1250 pts.

Demon prince
- wings, lash of submission
Demon prince
- wings, lash of submission

CSM
- 2x plasma guns, Mark of Khorne
- Rhino with havoc launcher
CSM
- 2x plasma guns
- Rhino with havoc launcher

Obliterators (2)
Obliterators (2)
Defiler

THE DEFENDER: Must resist... explosive... hedonism...
1250 pts.

CCS
- Master of Ordnance, lascannon, sniper rifle, regimental standard

Stormtroopers (5)
- 2x plasma gun, plasma pistol
Stormtroopers (5)
- 2x plasma gun, plasma pistol

PCS
- Lascannon
21-dude power blob
- 2x meltaguns
21-dude power blob
- 2x meltaguns

PCS
- Lascannon
21-dude power blob
- 2x meltaguns
HWS
- 3x autocannons
HWS
- 3x autocannons
HWS
- 3x autocannons

This time, my opponent's mission was "take and hold", which was basically table quarters, with a secondary of having at least one infantry (or two vehicle) units in my deployment zone. For my mission, I got to choose whichever one I wanted. Knowing that there would be demon princes in some incarnation, I seriously considered "assassination" so as to get him to hide one of them. I also considered taking my opponent's mission, as that would be brutally straightforward. After much hemming and hawing, I took the conservative route, and picked what I knew. In the end, I chose "stand your ground", which meant that I had to have more units in my deployment zone than my opponent, with a second of holding onto one of my objectives (the blue ones).

My opponent rolled to go first and took it.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

My opponent used our goofy, L-shaped deployment zones to get a solid start on his table quarters mission, controlling 2 and contesting 1. Instead of huddling on the other side of the board, I decided to meet him straight on. Fzorgle be damned! After all, I nearly have more CSs and HWSs than he has units (not to mention blobs), which means that once I kill a couple, it's going to be very difficult for my opponent to prevent my primary. Plus, I want my opponent running across open ground if possible, especially with those demon princes.

I rolled to seize the initiative and failed.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 21 Basilos
Daxos Line

In the preceding days, after careful planning, I was finally ready to undertake our long-awaited goal: the storming of the summit of Mt. Cos. Our enemy was well-prepared, and had fortified the mountaintop to the best of his nefarious abilities. There could be no other choice about it, I had no option but to send all of my groups in a mass charge all at once. The enemy had to be weak somewhere, and once the heights were seized, the enemy would face opposition from all sides, and must surely abandon their positions.

The morning of the 21st drew clear and cold. I was forced to send out orderlies three different times in order to refresh my morning bath with sufficiently heated water. Only at great peril would I even dare to speak of the deplorable state of my silk bath towels, now nearly warn to tatters by constant use and the occasional enemy harassment of my personal supply train.

The assault took place shortly after a very early lunch and things quickly got bloody. From their commanding position on the heights, the enemy poured down fire, in certain cases, most literal, upon my largely exposed enlisted men. Both sides rushed in reserves, and progress was slow, and less than certain. It was by the late afternoon that I was approached by a runner with news that the Theleos (Rhamael) group had engaged in an outflanking maneuver up a treacherous ravine into a weak point in our enemy's defenses. Just then they had attacked the enemy from behind and opened a small gap in the fortifications. I immediately drew up my personal group, it being the only one not yet committed, and bravely stormed the now-vacant ramparts.

Having punched through, I sent Marshal Theleos down the mountain to begin to expand the shoulders of our breakthrough while I stormed the summit of the mountain with my group.

We were scarcely there when we were met with resistance on the heights.

The game begins with my opponent moving everything slightly forward, except for the princes, who bold forward on their wings.

Shooting started with a lash. A terrible, terrible lash...

So, I thought I'd positioned that blob far enough away to avoid this on turn 1, but I was wrong by about 2". My opponent rolled an 8 for movement, and everybody decided to have a little huddle as they discussed the pros and cons of explosive hedonism.

Shooting then saw a pair of obliterators open up with plasma cannons right into that little pack of guys. One way-off missed, and one hit, packing it in on 7 dudes. I immediately go to ground, and a 3+ save is actually kind this game (I should take this moment to point out that El Cheezus had lent me his dice before the game began. They will be used for the entire game). My opponent then opens up with a havoc launcher from one of his rhinos and the shot hits, but without being able to target the absolute center of the blob, he only gets 5 hits, and once again, 3+ cover save works, reducing it to one casualty.

My opponent then, thankfully (but probably smartly, given that the squad that was lashed was now pinned) decided to shift his focus to other units. The other havoc launcher tossed a mini-pie at an HWS, killing one, while the defiler shot its battlecannon at the center HWS. The shot scattered, but still nailed one, while the autocannon offed a second. I thought I'd placed the squad within 12" of the standard, but I was just shy, letting the HWS break and run.

The only other shooting was against my PCS on the far right, but range kept the number of shots to 2, and crappy rolling kept the damage to nothing.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, my first taste of lash wasn't that bad, but I can see things going downhill, and in a hurry. I've got a couple of options.

The first is to focus my firepower on the demon princes (especially the one that's all up in my grill), and try and shut down his lashing. The problem with this is that all his firepower will still be on the table, allowing him to soften me up with battle and plasma cannon before I eat khorne flakes. Plus, I might not even be able to down the princes quickly enough.

The second solution was to focus on the long-range firepower. If I could silence the battlecannon and the plasma cannons, then he could lash me anywhere he wanted, and I wouldn't be taking extraneous damage. Worst case, he snags a power blob in close combat, but he can chew on one of those for a turn or two and I'll be fine... assuming I can do something to slow the khorne berzerkers. After all, it won't matter much that he doesn't have battlecannons if he's got his entire army in close combat.

The third option is to focus on his rhinos and delay their advancement into my lines. My whole army can probably handle a couple of demon princes, and if I've got enough left over after that, I'll be able to handle what hits my lines circa turn 5. Of course, if he continues to lash me into little balls and then blast me, there might not be enough left to resist, even at the end of the game.

In the end, I chose the second option. I put my faith in my blobs, that they could handle anything given enough numbers, so keeping their numbers up was going to be my biggest imperative. Plus, I've got these stormies coming in at some point, and they'll probably do a lot more to demon princes and obliterators than to defilers or rhinos.

I raced up into a ruin just off of the rocky top of the mountain. I quickly surveyed the area. I felt a lump of forbearance in my heart as I looked down onto a great demon rushing towards the summit. Had we come across the enemy's headquarters, or merely an elite guard? I could not tell.

My focus was only diverted by a huge mechanized monstrosity, as amazing as it was appalling. It clattered on large mechanical feet and spewed fire out of its smoke stacks. I immediately ordered my staff to open fire. My attendant artilleryman quickly snapped off co-ordinates. The basilista team took to my orders at once, and with a great shot blasted the hulking creature in half at its weak point, causing a great plume of fire and explosiveness to shoot up into the air!

I took a moment to smartly address orders to the rest of my men, who were seemed to be congregating on the summit for some reason. I then waited for the glorious sound of artillery fire, but moments passed with none to be heard nor seen.

I gave a curious glance at my attendant. He returned a blank stare, only to look at his map. Sheepishly, he turned the map around in his hands, right side up.

The bottom of one started with enacting my plan. Everything shifted slightly right and forwards.

For orders, I naturally want to "get back in the fight!" my power blob, but I simply don't have enough firepower to take down all of my targets at once. For now, they'll have to eat fzorgle pie, and like it. The first order goes on an autocannon team, but they fail. The second goes on my CCS. Bid sees me put the defiler square between my sights and a misssed lascannon become a hit lascannon while my MoO shoots and scatters 9" off. Swarthily, I pick up the die and try again. The scatter die rolled a miss, and the 3D6 pulled up a 17. That sucker went straight backwards off the board and a good deal towards the board behind my opponent. The lascannon's hit, though, penned, scoring me a rare vehicle destroyed result.

The prime target down, it was now down to secondary targets. On the right, my blob meltaguns were in range, and one of them aced an obliterator, while the PCSs combined and aced the second in the same squad. This just left the autocannons. I now felt so reasonably assured that my plan had succeeded, I targeted them at my second-tier priority: the demon princes. 5 autocannons put out a hell of a show, but demon princes have their 3+ armor, and what my cover was doing before, so my opponent's armor did now. The end result was only a single wound dinged off of a now exceedingly pissed off demon prince.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

My opponent replies with a copy of his movement from the last turn. Rhinos move 6" forward while the princes move 12. The only deviation is the obliterators who move and then run backwards out of melta range and into cover.

My focus then turned towards the great demon approaching my men and I. It was hideous, yet somehow attractive. Terrifying, yet somehow beautiful.

Then it spoke in a voice that was both grating and orgasmic. "All ye have been had, suckas!" It bellowed with a voice like all colors of the rainbow. "You chumps ain't no thang! I, lord of Slaanesh, have hella bling! Come ye hither and I will totally pimp you OUT!"

"Don't listen! Move back!" I shouted through my micro bead. The sergeants and commissar, already sufficiently bedecked with bling obeyed. My efforts were in waste on those whose flavor is restricted by regulation. My deluded troops abandoned their positions and gathered around the demon in vain hope of swag.

In what has to be a textbook use of lash of submission, my opponent drags forward my left side power blob, while simultaneously pushing the commissar and sergeants WAY back.

Meanwhile, the left side sees another lash successfully pull in the left side HWS, while the havoc launchers throw down more hurt on my center blob. I'm going to need both my orders AND for that blob to be able to rush in to bail out the other blob, so I decide not to go to ground. Against bunched up troops, the hurts is real.

Then, of course, comes the charge:

Damage is inflicted, but despite 12" of movement, I can't get all my power weapons within 2" of someone in base contact. I at least left a hole in the side for my other power blob to charge in from.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I roll up for reserves and, unfortunately, neither arrives.

I take a moment to take stock of the situation. With one demon prince stuck in close combat, and the other far away, I no longer really need to deal with the lash anymore, especially since there is now only the havoc launchers and obliterators that can take advantage of bunching me up. Also, as mentioned, one of the demon princes is now, for the moment at least, tarpitted, while the other is far away. This leaves the rhinos. Things are going well, but they could still be hampered by an inopportune berzerker charge. My fear of this is waning, however, as my opponent has used his first two turns driving slowly with them so as to shoot havoc launchers. Hopefully this trend will continue.

Shooting starts with the nearby autocannon team failing BiD, but the officer passes and throws down some shooting on the khorne rhino. This time, the scatter die are more favorable, and the reroll gets me a 3" scatter. Unfortunately, this isn't quite enough to land on the rhino. The lascannon hit and glanced. The glance immobilized the khorne rhino.

Figuring this was good enough, I then shot my other heavy weapons at the demon prince. A lascannon and 5 autocannons put down a reasonable enough 2 wounds.

Close combat sees the demon prince go to town, with my couple of power weapons vainly searching for that 1 in 18 chance of landing a wound on the prince. Unfortunately, realising that their promises of fat loots, was, indeed a ruse, the squad tries to break and run, forcing the commissar to gun down one of my sergeants.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

My opponent begins his turn by moving up on his wings. He moves in his other rhino to be next to his other rhino.

With no particularly choice targets to shoot havoc launchers at and fearing stormtroopers arriving next turn, his rhinos pop smoke.

Meanwhile, his obliterators move forward and double-blast twin-linked flamers. I believe my response was something to the effect of "ow, ow! ow!" I could have taken the models at the front, but he looked a ways away from a charge, and he needed to roll difficult terrain. Plus, the guys at the front were meltagunners. I had no doubts about beating the obliterators sooner or later in close combat, but I needed those meltaguns when things got dicey later.

In assault, his left-side prince makes BDSM toys out of my autocannon HWS while his obliterators only roll a 2 for difficult terrain, putting them well out of reach of my power blob. In the middle his demon prince flubs its rolls, but I still can't manage a 6 with any of my hits against him.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, I get both of my stormtroopers in. On the left, I deepstrike aggressively and once again deepstrike off the board, but aerial assault picks up a hit, and I've got plasma death on target to his left side demon.

Because my opponent smoked his rhinos, I've got low confidence in my ability to crack open his rhinos and plasma the goo inside. As such, I settle for the obliterators. They scatter, but not onto anything, so I keep the first roll.

Meanwhile, my right also continues forward, while everything else stays put.

Now that I've gotten my opponent's demon princes and firepower pretty well squared away, I can finally turn my attention to the unfortunately smoked rhinos. I throw down FoMT on my autocannoners. They pass and shoot at the non-MoK rhino. 3 hits yield a pen and a glance. Both are stopped by cover, and only the glance is let through after the reroll. The end result is a second immobilized rhino. Daxos then FoMTs himself and passes. The lascannon hits the MoK rhino while the MoO misses. He scatters towards the other rhino, though, and I greedily anticipate two vehicle kills from one unit. Despite having LOS, the shot manages to scatter 13", OVER the other rhino, missing it altogether. The lascannon shot goes through cover for a pen, which scores a weapon destroyed result, losing the rhino its havoc launcher.

Then on the left, my stormies unload 5 BS4 plasma shots into the demon prince and he drops. The same thing happens against the obliterators, but they had cover and more wounds, the end result of which was a 1-wound obliterator. I then shot both lascannons and both nearby meltaguns at it, but couldn't get a hit out of the 4 of them. Thankfully I had a backup plan. Forced to use power fists, the last wound of the obliterator was taken down by Raust's power blob without injury, allowing them to consolidate onto the palisade.

In close combat, the demon prince munches more, dining his way past the halfway mark on my guardsmen. Even more attacks and I finally pick up a 6 with a regular chump's attack, but he passes armor against it.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

With nothing to move, my opponent skips on to the shooting phase.

The havoc rhino shot at my stormies on the left, but missed both times, while the other rhino attempted to repair itself.

Then the demon prince downs another fistful of guardsmen. By now, I'm getting pretty sick of this endless charade of trying to get 6's. I'm going to stand a better shot with just shooting him next turn. For the first time ever, I choose to break a power blob, assigning one of the wounds to the commissar prematurely. The rest of the guys don't do anything and the squad easily fails morale. It being a demon prince of slaanesh, they do not avoid a sweeping advance.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent now has just two units stuck on the other side of the board that aren't going to be able to do anything this late in the game. This frees up all of my resources for my opponent's remaining legitimate threat - this obnoxious demon prince.

Everything converges on it except for my left side stormies (I have a 24" shot or two I can take) and the heavy weapons.

Assuming that all of the plasma and melta I have in the area can take down a single, wounded demon prince (my center blob prepares to charge it if it doesn't), I throw down BiD on both the autocannoners and the CCS itself. Both pass. The autocannons put down 4 hits on the non-MoK rhino for 2 glances. Nothing more than vehicle shakens result. Meanwhile, the CCSs lascannon manages a glance, which once again blows off a weapon, leaving a husked box on the field while the MoO scatters surprisingly far away again. This tragedy is only ended with my PCS lascannons, one of which hits and glances. An immobilized result FINALLY destroys the vehicle.

Then it was down to clearing off the demon prince. The blob squad in front put down 2 hits with its meltaguns for only one wound, which was stopped by an invul save. To balance this out, the demon prince failed an armor save against the commissar's bolt pistol. Then Raust and his boys open up from the right. Both meltaguns are in range and one hits, bringing the demon prince down to one wound. This wound is removed by double-tapping plasma (only one of the guns was in range, but that didn't stop the sarge from killing himself with an overheat).

The main menace finally ended, my stormies on the left run over behind the building on the objective.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

With one immobilized rhino, and a bunch of MoK marines that don't want to cross no man's land, my opponent unloads some plasma and boltguns from his stockade, killing a couple of guardsmen.

After this point the field looked like this:

At this point, my opponent conceded.


FINAL RESULTS

My opponent had solid control over one table quarter, while he contested a second with my stormies, while I controlled 2, meaning my opponent did not achieve his primary. Likewise, he had no units in my deployment zone, for no secondary. Meanwhile, I had more units in my deployment zone than my opponent and I also held one of my objectives for an Imperial Guard victory.

- So this was my first experience with the dual lash, and yeah, it's pretty obnoxious. It definitely is more difficult to plan things out when your troops get two movement phases, and one of them you can't control. The death of half of my original blobsmen was directly attributable to a combination of lash and long-range blast weapons.

I think the key weakness to this, however, is its price. When you throw down 4 obliterators, 2 lash princes, and a defiler, you're looking at no small chunk of points. So much was spent, in fact, that my opponent had to nearly minimize his troops choices in order to be able to afford it. Once the fzorgle death machine was eventually dismantled, there really wasn't that much left over to deal with. It didn't hurt that my opponent decided to shoot with his rhinos either, causing roughly a quarter of his list to do nothing for almost the entire game.

In the end, I just had too much stuff. I can see how this strategy would be deadlier against certain other armies, though.

- I have now shot 96 autocannon shots against AV10/11 without a single vehicle destroyed result. Seriously.

- On the plus side, the meltaguns I put in my squads were definitely worth it. Taking a wound off the demon prince at the end, and helping clear away the obliterators at the beginning was definitely worth it, even with mediocre luck.

MVP: Without a doubt, this goes to the left side blob. My army has lots of nasty weapons, but my opponent had a lot of nasty units. By tarpitting one of them, they bought valuable time for my shooting to finish off everything else. By the time the center demon prince got out of close combat, it was already over.

Hero of the Game: This one's going to go to the left-side stormtrooper squad. They deepstruck PERILOUSLY close to a wounded and enraged demon prince. Unsupported, they handled the threat and neutralized, then held a flank. Cool like only a storm trooper...

The enemy princes of darkness thrown down upon the mountainside, I quickly reorganized my forces in defense of the summit. Enemy reinforcements did not seem fast in coming, but I was likewise completely wanting of reserves. The breakthrough was made and the bridgehead established, but could my forces actually exploit our marvelous new advantage?

I sent orders down with the few runners I had and, with an excellent view of over half of the fighting below me, I set about calling down artillery fire to the support of my men. Things seemed to hang by a thread. If only my men could hold out and press on. As darkness began to fall over the battlefield, I took a moment of silent prayer amidst the ruckus. Whatever the outcome, it was likely hours, if not days, of hard fighting ahead of us all.

In grateful service,

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