BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 36

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This game started with an invite from Dakkaite ArtfcllyFlvrd. The store at which he plays is up in Bloomington, which is a roughly 45 minute drive from where I live. With nothing better to do on a Friday night, I took a drive up through pouring rain to get a game in somewhere new.

The place was Gryfalia's:

Which had a nice little back room for 40k:

The game I played was against ArtfcllyFlvrd himself with his beautifully painted mech traitor guard army.

THE CHALLENGER: AV12 for the AV12 god!
1500 pts.

CCS, 4x plasma, plasma pistol
- chimera

Vets, 3xmelta
- chimera

PCS, 4x flamers (erroneously marked as VETS below)
- chimera
PIS, autocannon, flamer
- chimera
PIS, autocannon, flamer
- chimera
SWS, flamer, 2x melta
(riding in vendetta)
SWS, flamer, 2x melta
(riding in vendetta)

Vendetta
Vendetta

Medusa
Manticore
2x Hydras

THE DEFENDER: Boots for the Boot throne?
1500 pts.

CCS, MoO, lascannon

PIS, lascannon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun, commissar w/power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun
PIS, power weapon, meltagun, commissar w/power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun

PIS, lascannon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun, commissar w/power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun
PIS, power weapon, meltagun, commissar w/power weapon
PIS, power weapon, meltagun

LR Vanquisher, hull lascannon, sponson heavy bolters
LR Exterminator, hull lascannon, sponson heavy bolters
LR Exterminator, hull lascannon, sponson heavy bolters

For missions, we played one of the upcoming Adepticon sets. Deployment was pitched with three objectives. Whoever had the most of them won. The three objectives were "seize ground" with five objectives, kill points, and "whoever could have more units within 12" of the center".

I won the roll to go first and took it.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

Looking at the missions, I've got a pretty solid hold on KP, given that my opponent is offering like twice as many. This means I've got to win on either "more units in the center" or "more objectives held". Given that this board has less like 1/4 terrain and more like 1/8 terrain and that the middle is in the center of a big open space, I don't know how doable that one's going to be. As such, I'm instead going to focus on capturing objectives as my other main thrust.

The strategy for this one would be pretty straightforward. My opponent only brought three units that can seriously challenge my Leman Russes, and all of them are on AV12. With all the twin-linked autocannons and lascannons, I should be able to put a very serious dent in my opponent's anti-AV14, if not wipe it out entirely. Once that happens, my russes will be able to crack open his flimsy vehicles and the power blobs will horribly mob over anything that survives.

My opponent castles up and does his scout moves (already pictured), and attempts to seize the initiative, but fails.


TURN 1

Report concerning the action on: 15 Hydros
Daxos Line

My assault on Mt. Cos, and the recapture of the shrine of St. Eusebius had transpired most excellently, with the enemy's salient utterly removed. Flush with success, the chain of command saw it fit to rush my line into a hellish battle that had been taking place since long before I arrived planetside at a place called "The Aerie". Attack and counterattack over this broad valley had claimed millions of souls on both sides, with little territorial or strategic gain to be had.

Now it was my turn to set loose my crack troops against the grinding gears of the perpetual battle. Certainly, men of such altogether soldierly quality as my own would no doubt be the determining factor in this otherwise intractable situation. I gathered together the survivors of the battle for Mt. Cos, and saw them air-lifted to the battle. It was not long before my line was to be put into a massed charge of the enemy.

The morning of the 15th drew very hot and very dry, as is customary for this climate during this part of the year. Being a man of sufficient rank, I was able to acquire a sufficient quantity of bubbling mineral water to keep myself adequately refreshed before the battle. Shortly before noon, the general order was given to advance.

It was not long before we made contact with the enemy.

I begin the game with a general advance with the left acting as a hinge. There is more cover on the right, so it all feels somewhat less suicidal.

It's then pretty quickly off to shooting. Needless to say, I'm looking for a strong alpha strike so that I can get turn after turn of pounding on his chimeras later. Everything starts by opening up on his vendettas. I shoot a vanquisher cannon, a master of ordnance, the equivalent of 6 autocannon shots, and 5 lascannons (one of which was BS 4). The end result? I don't even scratch the paint...

The last remaining exterminator throws down on the manticore for 4 glances, 3 of which are stopped by cover. The result of the glance? An immobilized result... on a vehicle that was NEVER going to move.

The turn ends with my infantry running.

After this point, the field looked like this:

As far as I'm concerned, a 700 point Imperial Guard alpha strike just did literally nothing. I can only hope my opponent's 700 point alpha strike will do just as little.

Movement is decidedly limited.

He then starts shooting by opening up with his vendettas and manticore against my russes. The first vendetta throws down 3 hits for an astonishing 2 pens and a glance for a wrecked russ. The manticore shoots 2 shots, one of which hits the vanquisher for a pen for a second vehicle down. The third vendetta throws down 3 hits for a pair of glances thankfully just shaking the vehicle.

Then the rest of his army opens up. 18 multilaser shots put down approximately 16 hits for several dead guardsmen, including a PCS, and almost wiping out my CCS, which was forced to go to ground. Even his hydras did well, and the medusa hit dead on.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Well, it looks like astonishingly bad luck on my first turn and astonishingly good luck on my opponent's first turn has seen my alpha strike do nearly as little as it is possible to do, and my opponent doing nearly as much as it is possible to do.

I'm still cool, though, because my army does not need to have a strong alpha strike to be able to win. After all, I've got melta power blobs with the 50% of my forces that WASN'T neutralized in a single round of shooting. The game may be 800 points vs 1500, but I've still got a backup plan.

After all, my troops have meltaguns, which means they have plenty of chimera-cracking power of their own, and my opponent still has worthless troops choices that I can easily wipe out with power weapons.

Turn 2 starts with my moving my forces up. All I've got to do is to get my men across the field in a timely fashion, and I'm still in this fight. I roll difficult terrain for all my infantry (except for the rightmost, which didn't have to). No squad manages to move forward more than 3"... Meanwhile, the surviving russ pops smoke.

So, things could have gone better, but I still get to run. I roll for running, and with the three difficult terrain squads don't manage higher than a 3 AGAIN. The blob one in from the right rolled snakeyes for his difficult terrain roll, and then rolled a 1 for a run giving him a whopping 2" movement this phase.

The only shooting is from my PCS on the right, which failed to hit.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Okay, so really bad luck killed my plan. MORE really bad luck killed my backup plan. Luckily, I have a BACKUP backup plan.

My troops don't need to get there fast, necessarily, because they're so durable. I've just got so many guys, that even if I show up more like eventually and less like on time, I'll STILL have meltaguns and power weapons in my opponent's face. All I need to do is have only reasonable casualties, which is practically ensured, given that everything was able to find cover.

My opponent starts his turn 2 with little movement.

Then my opponent starts his shooting. Average rolling on his part and cover should keep me relatively safe.

Shooting starts with his 2 hydras which hit with EVERY SHOT, and only failed to wound with one of them. The manticore throws down 2 shots and hits with the leading shot. The multilasers once again almost fail to roll a miss. Against this kind of rolling, cover can only do so much, and my forces are horribly racked over.

The battle had gotten quite hot almost as soon as it had begun. Machine guns, auto-lasers, and heavy weapons of all kind were fired with sniper-like proficiency. No more quickly had I taken to my command post than it had been caught in a great torrent of fire. I ducked down momentarily to let the horrendous malice pass. Seeing my troops confused and not moving forward to their utmost, I stood up to shout orders at them.

Just then, a round caught my refractor field causing it to short and explode, sending me to the ground most unconscious.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

So, I just had two turns of nearly the worst rolling possible, while my opponent just had two turns of nearly the best rolling possible. Luck has killed my plan of winning the alpha strike and collapsing his forces. Luck has killed my backup plan of getting in swiftly with my power blobs before they take too many casualties. Luck has killed my backup backup plan of outlasting my opponent.

But all is still not necessarily lost! I still have a backup backup backup plan. Even if my forces arrive late, against an uninjured opponent after taking undue casualties, I can still rely on the fact that my most precious weapons are hidden, and so long as those hidden weapons survive, my troops choices will still outclass my opponent's stuff.

Turn three begins with my troops advancing. Three turns of movement, no matter how poor, finally see my troops getting into 12" with their meltaguns.

Shooting starts with my now un-shaken exterminator shooting at the manticore. It's already too late to stop the end of the russes, while the manticore is still the greatest threat within LOS for the tank. The lascannon misses, and, even after rerolls, I only get 2 hits on the autocannon, neither of which even glance.

Meanwhile, my left-side blob shoots at the nearby chimera hitting with both meltaguns and surprisingly penning it twice. Of course, the damage rolls throw down a pair of 2's. On the right, my power blob gets 1 meltagun hit on the vendetta, which also pens, this time destroying the vehicle. The left-center blob also shot, but wasn't able to do anything while the right-center blob ran.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, my opponent holds fast in the face of my charging human wave:

The only movement is a couple chimeras wiggling to get some heavy flamer/12" lasgun fire off, and a slight correction by the vendetta.

Shooting starts with the right hydras and armored fist on the right. The equivalent of 12 autocannon and 12 heavy bolter shots slam into my guardsmen, who go to ground. 24 shots kill TWELVE guardsmen. I'll let you work out how many of those shots need to roll a hit in order for that to be possible.

Elsewhere, the shooting is no less ludicrous, seeing such atrocities as 9 plasma shots throwing down 8 hits (the other one wasn't a burn), and the manticore shooting 3 shots. Even the vendetta, managed to immobilize and stun the russ.

Just to frost the cake, a commissar had to shoot a sergeant to keep morale.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

Despite being on the receiving end of three as-if-weighted-dice rounds of shooting, I have no choice but to press on. The only damage I can do now is in close, which is where my troops move up to be.

Shooting on the left sees two meltaguns in melta range wreck a chimera, while the center-left blob achieves the same. The center-right blob wasn't quite in melta range, but still immobilized a third chimera.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Now that my forces have arrived late and seriously under-manned, my opponent makes a cautious advance against them.

Shooting FINALLY sees my opponent's dice cool from "disco inferno!" down to merely "good". While his CCS put down another 7 hits out of 9 shots with no overheats or 1's to wound, the rest of his shooting is actually merely average.

By now, he had some heavy flamers into my troops, which, as per my placement, only hit like 2 or 3 guys per blast, but because of his shooting the previous turns, those casualties became starkly unsustainable.

In the end, my left-center blob was down to just the commissar and a sergeant, while the right commissar was down to just Raust:

Who had managed to survive with a successful armor save.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

It may have taken all the way until turn 5, but I've now finally got my opponent in my grasp.

I throw in the rest of what I have.

On the left, my blob moves in to charge his CCS, while the center-left blob charges in against the PIS that was dismounted. The center-right blob moves up and takes aim at the nearby chimera while Raust leads a 1-man charge into the SWS on the right.

In shooting, my center-right blob easily breaks open its chimera, while, miracle of miracles, my Lascannon PCS scores a hit that manages to penetrate AV12. The damage result is a shaken result...

Close combat sees me charging in with my left side blob and doing very lackluster damage. Very little damage is done in return, but my opponent passes morale. In the center left, despite hitting on 3's, my commissar only manages to put down 1 hit, which fails to wound. It's up to my sergeant, who also rolled poorly, to down a single guardsmen. In return, my opponent's PIS puts down a pair of wounds, seeing the commissar pass an armor save. On the far right, Raust charges the 4 survivors of the SWS and dispatches 2, who manage to put a wound down on Raust, who miraculously makes his second armor save in a row. The SWS, though, rolls very well for morale and sticks around.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, my opponent plays his late-game hand. The left side vendetta moves up to score with its SWS while the left-side chimeras roll towards the center of the board.

In shooting, most of the stuff he wants to target is in close combat with the rest in cover. With an average bout of rolling, I finally get the casualty levels I'd been expecting this whole time. Of course, by now they're utterly unsustainable, seeing the center right side blob brought down to just a guardsman, a sergeant, and the commissar

In close combat, the power blob on the left manages ONE kill with a power weapon for a drawn combat, while the commissar in the center left utterly fails, seeing him get drug down after having to make a surprising three armor saves. Meanwhile, the three SWSers fail to wound Raust, who gets three hits for zero wounds...

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture for after this phase.

We roll to continue, and we do.


TURN 6

And that's it, I'm utterly spent. While my meltaguns did some reasonable damage, my power weapons utterly failed me. Luck has seen my backup backup backup plan shot through. With fewer than a dozen infantry models on the field and a single partially disabled vehicle, my tattered army is very nearly wiped. There is no backup backup backup backup plan.

Shooting sees a rare ability for the exterminator to shoot, unloading autocannons on the center chimera. This time he only has to mess up AV10. 4 TLAC shots later, and the vehicle is still on the table... On the other hand, the PCSs lascannon finally did its job with a lascannon hit acing a chimera.

Close combat sees Raust unable to make 3 armor saves in a row, and unable to finish off the last of the SWS, leaving a lone survivor to consolidate back towards the objectives. On the left, once again a half dozen power weapons go down, once again for no damage. It's up to the bayonetts to do anything. In the center, my troops actually figure out what the "power" in power weapon is supposed to mean, with 6 attacks putting down 3 dead guardsmen for only two casualties in return. Finally, my opponent fails a leadership test, and my one, furious commissar angrily sweeps them down in a fit of rage.

All he has to do is to be able to consolidate out of flamer range, and he has a chance at surviving. I pick up the die and roll a 1.

After this point, the field looked like this:

The bottom of 6 sees my opponent consolidating on the objectives.

Shooting sees my last commissar from the center wiped out by a flamer and the PCS nearly cleared off.

Close combat sees me win again against his CCS, and after 4 rounds of losing combat without stubborn, the CCS finally breaks. The blob fails to catch, but the senior officer is finished off by a difficult terrain test.

After this point, the field looked like this:

I roll the die to continue, and we do not.


FINAL RESULTS

My opponent had more objectives than I had, and also more units in the center than I had, and beat me on kill points by 1, for a victory for my opponent.

- In case you missed it, luck was SERIOUSLY against me this game. Possibly more than in any other I've played. Due to little more than dice, all four of my plans were nearly fruitless. In the case of such wanton rolling, strategy is worthless.

- That said, despite the fact that I lost, and was nearly wiped, I'm really proud of how things went, especially with how well my list held up. They only had one turn of doing much of anything, but they did quite a bit with what little they were given.

In the end, the game boiled down to the effect of my opponent bringing twice as many points of guardsmen who were BS5 against my troops slowly trudging out in the open with malfunctioning weapons. Given that all of this was true, and I was still only two good vehicle damage results away from a draw, I take away great deal of pride and strong sense of competitiveness with regards to my list. I have high hopes for how this will behave over the next league. If only I could get a game in with my opponent's dice ;)

- Maybe it was the particulars of this game, but it really felt like this time I wasn't playing against my opponent, I was playing against the dice. Perhaps it's simply a truism of 40k that with two good players with strong lists, 40k really isn't a strategy game, but really a complicated game of Yahtzee with pretty models. Assuming a basic level of competence with your particular list, I'm starting to feel more and more that there really isn't a strong tactical component to this game, as once I thought.

After a few moments, I found myself being taken away by a guardsmen back into the rear. Once he had brought me to a medicae staff, he turned and boldly returned to the line.

At the medicae, I was cleaned up, and found to be in more or less top shape. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for my refractor field, which must now be replaced at great personal cost. It shall be missed.

By evening, I was made aware of the fate of the rest of my line. The bloody charge had cost me nearly 95% casualties, of which most were soldiers killed, as medical attention was unable to be rushed forward until after the enemy had been beaten back, at which point it was too late for most of my men. The only soldiers who had fared reasonably well were those who were brought out of the combat earlier than later, and several of the more enterprising members of my commissariat.

Through sheer force of presence, I was able to have my doctor prescribe caviar and yeti pate for dinner. The meal went well with my complimentary cherry-flavored gelatin cup. The next day I was informed that my line was to be removed from the front, and that new soldiers from new regiments had already taken our place. Before we were moved back to a medicae far behind the lies, I heard news that our replacements had suffered similar casualties.

Certainly, such a noble cause is worth such noble sacrifice.

In grateful service,

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