BATTLE REPORTS - BLOOD CONQUERS ALL - 8

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After the tournament last week, the next game day was set aside to determining the next league and to do a little bit of free play. After deciding to do a team escalation league next, I played a pickup game with a young kid who basically had an AoBR army that he was intending to make into ultramarines. He offered to cram his list full of upgrades to bring the points up, but I declined, knowing that a bloated ultramarines list in the hands of a teenager would pretty much only end him in ruin.

As such, we decided on a 620 point game.

THE CHALLENGER: ULTRA!
620 pts.

Captain on bike
Captain with power weapon

5 terminators (PF+SB, one had a PW, one had a heavy flamer)
Dreadnought (multimelta, DCCW)

10 tac marines (missile launcher, flamer)


THE DEFENDER: SUPER!
620 pts.

I basically took a really scaled down version of my list. To give my opponent a fighting chance, I didn't include either Al'Rahem or a basilisk.

As such, I took 2 power blobs, a melta PCS, a plasma PCS, a melta SWS and a 4x melta CCS.

We rolled for spearhead deployment. The mission was annihilation. My opponent rolled to go first.

At deployment, the field looked like this:


TURN 1

Raust Melios Carissander - Commissar, Daxos Group

Despite his lack of initiative and poor strategic planning (much less allowing a near-heretical laxity of protocol enforcement in his lines), Magistrate Marshal Clinton took a rare opportunity to demonstrate that he was not entirely devoid of character. Having been informed of a traitorous group of space marines in the area, he took it upon himself personally to sweep the area with his forces.

I felt called by the Emperor to accompany the marshal on this mission, as SOMEONE needed to be present to think tactically and ensure discipline. With victory, rather than certain defeat assured, we continued on to our action point. Sure enough, we found the loathsome enemy. Once they spotted our forces, they immediately advanced, without pausing to question their disloyalty to the great Star God.

I love how many dudes the guard can put down, even at 600 points. The best part is, I could have brought even more guys if I'd taken out the priests.

Anyways, the game begins with him moving his forces towards me. Due to poor deployment, I find that his terminators have storm bolter range on my center blob. Several are raked by gunfire.

Everything else ran forward.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In response, I scoot my guys back away from his terminators a bit. Everything repositions in such a way where it gets closer to cover. I've got to be able to preserve my force as best I can before I spring it on my opponent.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 2

Showing surprising guile for a new player, my opponent keeps his forces together and moves everything over towards the injured center force.

In shooting, his missile launcher attacks my bunched up blob but scatters way away, killing a meltagunner from the CCS instead.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Once the iron was stuck in the fire, however, the marshal showed his truer colors. Panicking at casualties, he began to separate his forces and personally attempt to get into cover and hide from the enemy. I was out of range to simply summarily execute him, so I did the next best thing. I took control of local forces myself and lead them into a charge towards the enemy.

Only an ideal soldier is able to put forth the correct plans under pressure and make sure the plans are followed. It was very fortunate indeed that Clinton had me nearby.

In my turn, I bunch up my dudes on the right a little more to continue to deny LOS to my opponent. Meanwhile, I move my left up so that my opponent will be just too far away to charge me, but I'll be able to get the charge in on him next turn if he moves towards me (which he probably would, given that that combat squad had the flamer).

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 3

My opponent then begins his turn by preparing a jaws of death on my troops. He moves a dread around one side and his terminators around to get some shots off while his combat squad on the left side flips around to unload on them from the other side.

In shooting, he is thankfully JUST out of flamer range, but his boltguns chew through some of my guys. Thank the emperor for cover. Meanwhile, his dread was comically placed to deny a whole bunch of storm bolter shots. Due to my troop placement, I also got cover against these as well. My blob was starting to show signs of thinning, though, and there was a whole lot of hurt on the other side of that building...

After this point, the field looked like this:

With the real risk that his forces might wander away from my coiling spring on the right, I have no choice but to commit my forces.

Moving starts with a painfully low difficult terrain roll to get to his marines on the left (who were about 8" away), and the rest of my army charges in valiantly.

A couple of meltas are in range of his dread, but do nothing. Likewise, I throw 6 plasma gun shots at his bike dude for 1 burn and 1 wound, which is saved by cover (the burn guy took it to the bank, though. I'm really sick of these plasma volleys that only do damage to my own guys).

Then came the assault phase. Disastrously, I only manage to roll a 3 for difficult terrain on the assault. Meanwhile, the right side rolled in:

So, at this point, I should mention that I just got new dice, because my old ones were SO consistently unlucky. This time, I charge in with 36 rerollable regular attacks and 12 rerollable power weapon attacks and I get... one wound... which is stopped by his invul save. But luck wasn't done yet! He turns around with 5 power weapon attacks and 8 powerfist shots and somehow manages to kill ONE guardsman. Will the insanity ever end!?

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 4

Needless to say, my grand assault did FAR less than planned. My opponent decides to enact some wrath before it's too late.

On the left, his forces throw down a flamer and some bolt pistols. Thanks to good placement, the flamer does a lot less damage than it could have from 4" away. Meanwhile, he moves his dread closer to my platoon commander, which it proceeds to heavy flame for all but 1 dead.

In assault, HE fails to make it in on the left. On the right his dread charges in and turns my lone PCS meltagunner into hamburger.

In the middle, my power weapons finally manage a wound which stuck on a terminator. Then, to make up for last round, the rest of the goober pile put down 3 wounds, two of which he failed TWO 2++s on.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I develop my poorly-executed thrust. I brought plasma gunners and meltagunners into the middle while a 6 on difficult terrain took my badly mangled blob squad on the left completely out of that accursed cover.

In shooting, a plasma gun tags the biker while 6 meltaguns throw down on the dread, knocking off its flamer+DCCW arm and immobilizing it. Then came the assault phase.

Having struggled to get my men forward fast enough, due to their trepidation in terrain, I forced them all out into the open at gunpoint. With the enemy so near, I issued the immediate order to charge.

I was pleased to see that my methods were finally beginning to have an effect on my men. With fire in their hearts, they appropriately encouraged each other not to run away. I'll make commissars out of the lot of them yet.

Meanwhile, the traitorous captain made his last stand against our troops who, up until that point had been cowering behind the bushes. What was once a most heroic individual could not use heroism to prevent the ultimate end to all who disgrace the name of the Emperor.

With a flamer hit and assorted pistol fire thinning out his combat squad on the left, my ragged power blob was able to put down the marines. Unfortunately, I was now nearly out of abblative wounds. Meanwhile, my dice suddenly started to work like magic. I would throw down 10 dice that needed 4+ to hit, and I'd hit with 5 of them. I needed a 2+ to wound, and I wounded with two of them. In fact, for the rest of the game, my dice would surprisingly closely match what was statistically predicted. I really hope this trend continues.

As such, I whittled a couple more terminators down with power weapons, and boiled the fight down to just the commander.

After this point, the field looked like this:


TURN 5

Running low on resources, my opponent's turn runs fast.

Basically, he shot a multimelta at a guardsman and missed, and fired a missile at my blob squad, forcing the blob down to just the commissar, priest, and power weapon sergeants.

In close combat, I finish off his HQ dude. Unfortunately, I only get a 1" consolidation.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In my turn, I scoot back my meltagunners, to make it less likely they'll be caught in an explosion, while the CCS moves closer with theirs.

The left side blob decides to run around the wall, out of LOS, while the center blob charges forward:

In shooting, my meltagunners throw down 2 penetrating hits at melta range for an explosion, which unfortunately goes 5" away and blows away a guardsman. Meanwhile, because my squad has cover and I'm probably close enough to charge him next turn anyways, rather than sprinting I decide to actually shoot lasguns at my opponent. Somehow 8 las shots manage to take down 2 tac marines while the commissar (the same one who put a wound on a demon prince in the last game of the tournament) aces another with his bolt pistol.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent rolled to continue and threw out a 2, ending the game.


FINAL RESULTS:

My opponent killed one of my PCSs for 1 KP. I killed everything but a combat squad for 5 KP for an Imperial Guard victory.

- While I nearly tabled my opponent, and while he would probably have been better off sitting behind the palisade and just shooting my guardsmen as they approached, I really have to give my opponent props on this one. My opponent was roughly 14 years old and playing with starter set marines, but he played pretty shrewdly. He kept his forces together, he knew to charge in his dread, and he actually did a pretty decent bout of movement with regards to crushing my left side force. I definitely got the feeling of being in hot water several more times than I'd thought.

In the end, his pincer attack was stopped by my pincer attack, but I almost lost a blob, and only had one unit that didn't take serious casualties that game. I was expecting a rollover, but there were several times when things could have gone differently. This kid definitely has potential.

- This game also shows me the weakness of unsupported blob squads. I nearly lost 1 blob to a couple rounds of a pretty low number of bolter shots. Likewise, my blob came out fighting, but heavily mangled from the run-in with the terminator. Only the special weapons squads nearby prevented the utter ruin of my forces by his dreadnought, but even that wasn't assured if he'd have charged that into the melee. I think this is just about the limit of what I can do with a single blob squad alone.

MVP: The melta SWS. Things could have been uncomfortable if he had been able to just rampage that dread around. Even though it took them a couple of turns, it really put an end to his threat to my center.

Hero of the Game: Raust's power blob. Guardsmen charging their roughly equal number in space marines? There must be a commissar in there somewhere...

Having secured a nearby building, I found that the remainder of our forces had cleared away what filth was left on the field. I have no doubt that the textbook assault I led on the traitor's flank was ultimately the reason for victory. Having discovered that I had run out of ammunition in the fighting, I was unable to enact my earlier resolution to summarily execute marshal Clinton for his otherwise poorly-managed assault on the enemy.

Unfortunately, by the time I was able to procure more, the statute of limitation for summary judgement had elapsed. Protocol must always reflect reality, just as reality must always reflect protocol. As such, he was spared, this time.

I eagerly await my next assignment. In faith,

-Raust Melios Carissander, Imperial Commissar