This is a part of the author's "Public Game" series. To view other battle reports in the series, click here.

This game comes at the near end of the escalation league which has now spanned an entire set. Unfortunately, as I will be out of the state for the last game of the league, these two reports will have to tide you over the extended Christmas break.

THE CHALLENGER: Iron Hands, Lead Feet

Moderately tooled up HQ (Chaplain)

5-man tac squad with missile launcher
5-man tac squad with lascannon
5-man tac squad with flamer and something else

2x 5-man dev squads (with infiltration)
- one with 2x plasma cannons, missile launcher, multimelta
- one with 2x heavy bolters, missile launcher, lascannon

Land Speeder with assault cannon, heavy bolter

THE DEFENDER: If by "hands" you mean "vehicles", then I think I qualify.

I used list 3g, like last time.

We rolled "Take and Hold" on gamma. He won deployment, I won sides and first turn. At deployment, the field looked like this:

My whole strategy here is "divide and conquer". Using the tower to shiled LOS for most of my force from his forces on the right, I would flush his devastators out, and hopefully splat any foolish attempt at his HQ storming across the field out in the open. Then, with whatever I had left, I would focus on his right side.

To help instigate this plan, I threw an infantry squad way over to the right to act as a distraction. Give the 4+ save of the rubble, I figured it would take about 3 turns for them to finally be crushed. Hopefully by that time, I would have accomplished my task on the left.


"Squad beta in position. We're all ready to go, sir."

Melchoir closed his eyes to collect his thoughts. If there was one thing that Melchoir did better than clear small openings, it was killing space marines. This task, then, seemed to be the ideal fit. The officer had been coaxed into taking this assignment on the promise of something unusual: reinforcements.

The space ahead of them was one of the few in the city that was large enough for reliable deepstriking. The deal was that if he could clear the drop zone, he would be reinforced immediately. There was only one catch: He needed to flush the shootiest space marine chapter out of well-fortified positions overlooking the drop zone.

Thank goodness Felix had done some serious scouting of the area. Melchoir now had a plan...

In my turn, I start movement by doing some slight deployment adjusting, including bringing my russ out (I think I can weather a single missile launcher) and pulling my platoon HQ up to present some non-tank targets. As well, I move my veterans up, but roll terribly for my difficult terrain roll. Thankfully, I don't really need that much.

Shooting starts with my basilisk attacking the big mass of troops hidden behind the building on the right. I scatter several inches, but with that much around, it's hard to miss. In this case, the scatter direction was excellent, netting me 3 hits and two partials on one of the squads. After hitting both partials, the five man tac squad simply ceases to exist.

Then my plasma gunners, all of whom are just barely within 12", open up. 6 shots yield a predictable 4 hits and 2 overheats. All four plasma shots wound, and he makes all four cover saves. Both of my overheats kill their gunners.


Then the rest opens up. I decided to try and use the russ' heavy bolters, so as to avoid a 6" scatter somewhere. After the hail of gunfire, no devastators are hurt after three passed armor saves. The chimera, a lascannon and a missile launcher then shoot at the devastators and, after passing all of his cover saves, finally fails an armor save against a heavy bolter shot.

God, I hate devastators in cover.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his movement phase, he begins by wheeling some stuff around on the right side. He's then stuck with what to do with his HQ. I try to be nice, and tell him what's likely to happen to him if I ever get LOS onto his command squad, and advise that he just tries to save the victory points. After all, there are some times where some units just aren't useful in a game (like my command squad was likely to be in this game).

Shooting begins with his devestators (now sans multi-melta) attacking my veterans. One of the plasma cannons misses, but the other hits, catching two in the blast. The shoe of 4+ cover fits on the other foot, though, and, despite a few more wounds from a krak missile, my cover saves result in only one dead veteran.

Shooting continues with the devestators on the other side putting out the worst showing that I've ever seen from a devestator squad. Of six heavy bolter shots, I think only two hit, and, after one failed to wound, I made a cover save. After making more saves from the landspeeder (whose assault cannon was thankfully out of range), I wind up losing two from the lascannon in the dev squad and the lascannon in the squad in the middle.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Wow, now that two of the shootiest forces in 40k managed to do virtually nothing to each other, there's little I can do but keep shooting and hope for better.

Shooting begins with my basilisk returning to it's good old self by scattering 6" off the board. At least my sentinel was able to hit his speeder. The resulting glance knocked off a weapon. So long assault cannon.

Meanwhile, the whole rest of my force continues its task of getting a single 5-man squad out of a building.

My battlecannon starts the shooting by scattering about 3" in a poor direction. The resulting partial has a cover save made against it. Shooting continues with my lone plasma gunner vet scoring two hits. This time, the devastators only make one cover save. Vindication!

The rest of my army unloads with a barrage of weapons. This time, his cover saves aren't so insane, resulting in two more devastators falling. The lone devastator then fails his morale check. To my dissapointment, it only runs 6", which gets cut to 3 due to terrain. At least he wasn't on the top floor anymore...

After this point, the field looked like this:

Given that the only thing threatening a majority of his remaining force is a lascannon sentinel and a depleted infantry squad, he rightly decides to continue his aggressive posture.

In shooting his devastators finally start pulling their weight a little with 3 heavy bolter kills. The lascannon and missile launcher, however don't do anything against my cover saves. The land speeder did kill another, though. I swear, if that thing gets any closer I'm gonna flick it's ear.

"The remainging devastator is beginning to pull back, sir."

"Good," Melchoir replied, "Left flank, prepare to move forwards to engage the enemy on the right. Daxos, how are you doing?" He asked, in reference to the sergeant of the right flank squad.

"It's getting mighty hot, sir!"

"Don't worry, we'll be there soon."

After this point, the field looked like this:


Feeling that the situation on the left was now under control, it was now time to start rolling things up to the right.

In movement, I charge a sentinel both of my command squads forwards (the sentinel and nearby terrain blocking LOS to my army HQ). As well, I pivot my russ around to get a shot off at the middle squad.

The only exception to this general rule is my vets. Faced with the likelihood that the plasma gunner would fry himself, and that I'd need to make last man standing checks for the rest of the game, I decide to use alternate means to handle the lone devastator, and bring the vets behind cover.

Shooting begins with a pair of missile launchers, a lascannon, and two heavy bolters finally finishing off the last devastator. Shooting continues with my leman russ scattering a few inches away. It's able to get at least a couple of partials, but both of them are saved by the cover in front of them. Thankfully, my russ' luck had actually just transfered to my basilisk who lands a shot right on the money. This time, he gets no cover saves 8)

After this point, the field looked like this:

In retaliation, he moves his skimmer towards the middle of the field.

In shooting, my cover saves fail me, and his devastators + Land speeder clean out my right side squad with shots to spare. Meanwhile, his missile launcher tac squad takes aim at my platoon HQ. He makes both partials, and wounds with all three frag shots. I, to my great surprise, fail every armor save. Ouch.

My platoon commander decides to start chickening out, but then looks at the glorious standard of Folera gleaming at him. Then he looked down at Sanario, who revved his eviscerator.

Maybe it would be better if he stuck around after all.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Now, I feel it's time to put my grand plan into action. Basically, what I would do is have the two tanks provide cover fire while the chimera gunned it forwards. Using the decent quality front armor (plus smoke grenades), I would have the chimera use it's bulk to block LOS. Behind it, I would move in my command squad, a sentinel, and, of course, my dragoons, and sit it pretty on the objective for the rest of the game.

The chimera begins movement by trying to scoot 6" over the size 1 rubble in front of it. It is promptly immobilized. Well, there goes my plan...

As my dragoons would no longer be able to make it to the objective, and there wouldn't be an LOS blocker, the rest of my movement revolves around going for the victory point win.

In shooting, my basilisk scatters far away, but this time it's my russ' turn to hit. Of the 5 hits, though, two fail to wound, and two more are saved by cover. Behold the mighty battle cannon! The combined firepower of the rest of my army only manages to kill one more. At least the speeder is immobilized by my lascannon sentinel.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My opponent's turn begins with his lone lascannoneer finally failing a last man standing test and starting to creep it back towards the board edge.

In shooting, his devastators target the sentinel with the remaining missile launcher and two heavy bolters. They are able to easily down the vehicle (thankfully without an explosion).

"Where in the hell is that chimera?" Melchoir shouted into his vox.

"It appears we're hung up on something, sir!"

"Oh you have got to be kidding me."

Suddenly, the sentinel in front of them burst into flames. The sentinel pilot dropped out of his vehicle and ran away screaming as his asbestos jacket smoldered a thin trail of smoke into the air.

Melchoir sighed.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Now it's time to try and hammer their forces flat with my remaining couple of turns.

There isn't really any movement, as I want everything to be more accurate. The only exceptions are my platoon HQ, who got closer to try and kill the immobilized speeder, and my dragoons, who got out just for the hell of it.

In shooting, my chimera and a missile launcher shoot at the lascannon guy who ran last turn, finishing it off. Then my basilisk shoots at his out-of-cover tac squad.

At this point, history is made. The basilisk scatters, and for the first time ever, in nearly 50 games, the earthshaker round scatters 1". Wow.

The resulting explosion vaporizes the tac squad.

A heavy bolter barrage from my russ, though, doesn't manage to hurt any devastators, and, though my platoon command's meltagun hit the speeder, it only managed to stun it.

After this point, the field looked like this:

With his army broken, there isn't much more that his army can do other than shoot his devastators, which he does at my platoon HQ, wiping it out.

"Stips!" Melchoir shouted, "Get to cover!"

Either the junior officer couldn't hear him, or chose not to. The devastators opened up on the two soldiers.

Melchoir couldn't bear to watch.

After this point, the field looked like this:


In my turn, nothing moves.

In shooting, my sentinel shoots at his Land Speeder, FINALLY destroying the vehicle. The rest of my guns open up on his devastators. In the end, I am only able to kill 1.

He then failed his morale check, but rolled snakeyes for how far, so he sort of just twitched violently on the top floor of the building.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In return, his missile launcher hits my russ, but fails do do much more than scratch the paint.


He killed a sentinel, an infantry squad, my platoon HQ, and half of my veterans for a total of 201 points. I killed everything but half a devastator squad, and his HQ for 658 points for a +457 for a very solid victory.

- I hate devastators in cover. Over all of this time, I still haven't found a reliable way to beat them. Either you throw good firepower at them, and they get a 4+, or you throw worse long range firepower at them, and they get a 3+. These guys are as hard to kill as a squad of guardsmen, except they have half the numbers and get to shoot a lot of scary weapons. Someday, I'll crack the code...

- This was the first time that I had gone up against an honest-to-goodness shooty space marine army. The end result, I suppose, was to be expected in this case. It's kind of odd that the space marine's strength is it's shooting (both with devastators, vehicles, and their excellent small arm), while at the same time getting hosed by an army that does it better. I mean, in the end I brought more high strength, long range guns than he did (actually, heavy weapons in general), except I did it with 5 vehicles to his 1, and with 50% more guys to boot.

MVP: The Basilisk. After SO many games of chronic underpreformance, it's nice to see that this tank brought up to normal shooting again. In this case, it was also obviously helpful as his devastators took up all of the good terrain, leaving his tac squads out in the open. In the end, tac squads killed a combined ~5 imperial guardsmen, and the basilisk wiped all 300 points of them straight off the table.

Hero of the Game: My brave right side squad. Though their mission could be described as suicidal, if one were painting the rosiest picture possible for the purpose of getting volunteers, they bravely held up a majority of the enemy's shooting for half the game. This gave me the time that I needed to clean out the rest of their army, and have my little strategy work well.

Melchoir flipped the little switch on the crude radio emitter. Reinforcements would now have at least a vague guide to the area, and the open space should give any pilots the right idea after that.

"Allright, men," Melchoir said, addressing the nearby guardsmen "We're going to need to secure this perimeter and wait for reinforcements to arrive. I want a spread line. Scout and secure, you know the drill."

"What are we going to do?" Sanario asked, gesturing towards the rest of the command squad.

"We, my good friend, are going to play in the dirt."

Sanario didn't quite get it, but he could tell by the officer's menacing smile that whatever it was was going to involve a shovel, and the priest would have to be the one using it. The priest tried frantically to remember the liturgy of "We are Refined by our Hard Labors in His Eyes". He was about to need it.