We decided to play an objective mission, with my opponent suggesting that I forge a narrative. So I quickly thought of one. Since we're an Explorator fleet, what else can we do but go in search of STCs and archeotech? However, my opponent uses Space Marines, particularly Space Wolves. Hmm...so why would the Adeptus Mechanicus come into conflict with the Adeptus Astartes? They're trying to recover a lost xenos archeotech, and the Space Marines see that as HERESY. So they're ordered by the Inquisition to exterminate the heretic Adeptus Mechanicus, who obviously don't see themselves as heretics but are furthering the cause of the Omnissiah - the gathering of knowledge.
Anyway, I went with my Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation. The list went roughly like this:
Tech-priest Dominus, Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land, conversion field, macrostubber, volkite blaster.
3 Kataphron Destroyers with plasma culverins and cognis flamers
3 Kataphron Destroyers with plasma culverins and cognis flamers
2 Kastelan Robots with twin-linked heavy phosphor blasters and carapace heavy phosphor blaster, Cybernetica Datasmith with Raiment of the Technomartyrs, conversion field
10 Skitarii Vanguard, omnispex, 3 plasma calivers, Alpha with conversion field, arc maul and Pater Radium.
6 Skitarii Rangers. Omnispex, 2 arc rifles, Alpha with conversion field and arc maul.
5 Sicarian Ruststalkers with transonic razors, chordclaws, prehensile dataspike and the Omniscient Mask
5 Sicarian Infiltrators with flechette blasters, taser goads and the Phase Taser
1 Ironstrider Ballistarius with twin-linked cognis lascannon
3 Onager Dunecrawlers with neutron lasers, Cognis heavy stubber and Cognis Manipulator
1 Knight Crusader with rapid-fire battle cannon and stormspear rocket pod
|Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation in its full glory!|
My opponent had Space Wolves, about 7 Thunderwolves (I think), including 1 Wolf Lord (his Warlord), a stormshield guy and something. He added an allied Space Marine Librarian on a jetbike to the Thunderwolves. He had 2 heavy weapons squads, 5 guys with plasma cannons and 10 guys with missile launchers. 5 Tactical squads in drop pods (I think 2 of them were Space Marine allied troops) and 1 Stormfang gunship. Needless to say...OUCH.
In other words, this is an Adeptus Mechanicus versus Space Wolves (with Ultramarines allies) battle report.
Anyway, I rolled and we had nightfighting, which meant all our units have Shrouded and Stealth. Okay. Weird. I got a higher roll and I went first. My opponent tried to seize the initiative and fortunately for me, he rolled a 5. I would hate to think what would happen had he rolled a 6. I would have been wiped out in my first turn.
The xenos relic was placed in the center of the map, guarded by 5 daemons - we used Bloodletters, ha ha. So the objective was to seize and secure the relic.
I placed my Knight Crusader at the corner of the table as he had the greatest range. 3 Kataphron Destroyers in front of him, the Skitarii Vanguard hidden inside the building beside him. The Sicarian Ruststalkers were in front of the Vanguard, and with Dunestrider, they can move. I hid my Ironstrider, Rangers, Dominus and his attached Kataphron Destroyers inside another building on the other side, flanking it with my 3 Onager Dunecrawlers and my Kastelan Robots were right behind the Dunecrawlers.
My opponent placed his Thunderwolves in the corner directly opposite my Knight Crusader, and his heavy weapons squad inside the building next to them. My Infiltrators then infiltrated right in front of the building. Muahahaha.
So the battle begins.
With Nightfighting in place, I had no use for the Canticle that gives me Shroud and Stealth, so I used the Benediction of the Omnissiah to re-roll hits.
I heard a lot about the Adeptus Mechanicus's terrifying Alpha Strike and it was satisfying to actually use it myself. My Infiltrators opened fire with 25 shots from their flechette blasters, and despite being S2 AP-, they basically wiped out all but 1 Space Marine with the plasma cannons. 4 Space Marines down! Wow. That was just awesome.
My Kataphron Destroyers did quite a bit of damage, throwing 6 plasma blasts down on the Thunderwolves, but my opponent made most of his saves and only 1 Thunderwolf died. My Imperial Knight didn't do much, his Avenger Gatling cannon wounding BUT my opponent made all his saves. The same happened with the Stormspear rocket pod. Sigh. He fired 2 large blasts from his battle cannon at the missile launcher guys but they made their saves too. Oh well. At least the plasma squad is almost wiped out.
I think I fired my Dunecrawlers' neutron laser on the Thunderwolves, but again they made their saves. I supposed I had one or two wounds on them, but that's about it. Damn invulnerable saves. Ironstrider fired, both twin-linked shots at BS4 missed (or Benediction of Omnissiah). What the hell.
On the other hand, combined plasma culverin shooting from my 2nd squad of Kataphron destroyers and Dominus, galvanic rifles and arc rifles from Rangers and heavy phosphor blaster shots from my Kastelan robots wiped out the daemons. Yay.
My turn ended without much incident.
My opponent, as expected, landed 3 drop pods right in front of my main force, the Onager Dunecrawlers. Combined fire from his melta squads melted one of my poor Dunecrawler to slag despite the Emanatus forcefield saves (NOOO!), and a few of them took out 2 of my Rangers. I failed my Feel No Pain and cover saves. Sigh.
|Let the slaughter commence!|
His remaining plasma squad fired on my Vanguard and I made all my cover saves, thanks to having a 2+ save from the Nightfighting and taking cover in ruins. The missile squads fired and took out I think 2 of my Infiltrators. I failed my saves.
His Thunderwolves, having moved earlier in the movement phase, charged and ripped apart my poor Kataphron Destroyers in front of my Knight Crusader. The poor battle servitors never stood a chance.
Nightfighting was over so I used the Shrouded and Stealth canticle and Conqueror Skitarii doctrina to increase my WS by 1.
Retaliation time. My Infiltrators moved up, as did my Onager Dunecrawlers and Kastelan robots so that I can charge the dropped Space Marines if necessary.
My Infiltrators fired, but I think I didn't wound any of the Space Marines. My Knight Crusader fired and once again, did no damage thanks to their ridiculous saves. As did my Vanguard and Ironstrider, but again the saves were all made. I forgot to throw the mindscrambler grenades from my Ruststalkers, how stupid of me. Sigh.
|The poor Space Marines being crushed by the wrath of the Onager Dunecrawlers.|
My Infiltrators charged and 1 died to overwatch. Argh. The remaining two apparently tore a hole in the 5 missile launcher dudes and took out 2, I think. One died in combat, leaving just one Infiltrator left.
My Ruststalkers charged the Thunderwolves and for a 160-point unit, they actually did some damage, killing two of the Thunderwolves and wounding the Wolf Lord down to 2 wounds before getting annihilated. My Princeps had to answer a challenge from the Thunderwolf sergeant, but sad to say he did nothing. Huh. But I reduced my opponents' Thunderwolves calvary down to just 4! A 160-point squad (plus my Kataphron Destroyers) dealing terrible, terrible damage to a unit costing over 700 points. Not bad, I must say.
|The Thunderwolves, fresh from their victory against the poor Sicarian Ruststalkers|
My opponent then dropped his 2 remaining drop pods down in front of me, and called in his Stormwolf. The Stormwolf almost wrecked my poor Dunecrawlers, taking it down to 2 hull points as I managed to make some cover saves. Phew. However a penetrating hit result saw my cognis heavy stubber destroyed. On the other side, the melta squad penetrated my Dunecrawler and took 2 hull points off it while destroying its neutron laser. OUCH. The remaining squad (I think it was combat-squadded) fired at my Kastelan Robots and failed to wound the Toughness 7 guy. Meanwhile, the other drop pod landed on the objective and the 5-man squad poured out and grabbed the archeotech. NOOO!
The 4 Thunderwolves, fresh from their victory against the poor Ruststalkers, split into 2 squads, 2 against my Knight Crusader and 2 against my cowering Vanguard. Funnily enough, even without the Destroyer close combat weapon, my Knight Crusader actually did very well in combat, his Hammer of Wrath and 3 S10 AP2 (Smash attacks because Super-heavy walker, remember?) killing one of the Thunderwolves. Unfortunately, the Wolf Lord destroyed my poor Knight Crusader in combat - and my apocalyptic explosion scattered over the 3 remaining Thunderwolves. HA HA HA! They actually missed my Vanguard by a few millimeters! Can you believe it? Praise the Omnissiah!
The Wolf Lord went poof, the Destroyer hit at the center taking him out. Ouch. I have Slay the Warlord! The remaining 2 Thunderwolves only suffered 1 wound or so, or made their saves. They charged, killed 3 of my Vanguard, or 2, actually, as my Alpha made his save. Conversion field is so convenient. Anyway, I fought back, but NONE of my attacks wounded the dudes.
However, my Pater Radium forced them to take toughness tests, and they failed it. Which meant D6 wounds without any kind of armor saves. With his Wolf Lord gone, there are no more invulnerable saves, so the 2 Thunderwolves died. Yes, they died in combat against VANGUARD. Fortunately, my Rad Saturation helped, which lowered their toughness so they kind of died to that toughness test. HA HA HA HA!
With the second-biggest threat gone, the only thing I had to worry about was his stupid Stormfang. Sigh.
Funnily enough, the combat with my surviving Infiltrator continued. 3 guys against 1 Infiltrator and they only did 1 wound (thanks to armor saves and Feel No Pain!) on him. And my Infiltrator prodded one of them to death with his taser goad. Hooray! That Infiltrator should be so proud of himself!
The imperative doctrina of increasing WS really worked here!
This time, I used the Skitarii imperative doctrina for increasing BS while repeating the canticle for shroud and stealth for the last time. Don't forget, the Cult Mechanicus Battle Congregation allows me to re-use the canticles, but only once!
Needless to say, I pretty much wiped out the tactical squads in front of my Dunecrawlers. Combined fire from my Rangers and Kataphron Destroyers wiped out the remaining 10-men tactical squad and I think glanced quite a few hull points away from the 4 drop pods. The Kastelan Robots and Ironstrider fired at the Stormfang, but did absolutely nothing. Bloody hell. I should have gone with the Icarus Array, maybe. ARGH.
|The heroic Sicarian Infiltrator faces off against 3 Space Marines by himself! Survives and kills one!|
The Dunecrawlers fired with the remaining neutron laser and Cognis heavy stubber and actually wiped out 3 of the missile guys on top and 1 of the missile guys at the bottom that was engaging my infiltrator. Unfortunately, the blast meant my Infiltrator also got caught in it and he...needless to say, died. My heroic Infiltrator, killed by friendly fire. WHAT THE HELL!? Sorry, dude. The Cognis heavy stubber actually killed 1 more guy, so my opponent had 1 plasma guy, 2 missile guys (out of an original 10) left. Wow, not bad.
By the way, they all passed their leadership. Freaking hell.
Okay. My opponent's turn. He had his tactical squad jump off the table and run away with the relic. He failed to kill my Vanguard with his plasma cannon, but his missile launchers and Stormfang combined to wreck my 2 surviving Dunecrawlers. Using Power of the Machine Spirit, he fired at the poor Kastelan Robot, but his multimelta was deflected by my Repulsor Grid! Unfortunately, I rolled a freaking 1 and did absolutely no damage to his Stormfang. His Hellfrost wounded, I passed my Feel No Pain and he didn't get injured but I was forced to take an initiative test and I failed. A toughness 7, 3-wound Kastelan Robot was removed from play just like that. WHAT?!
With nothing much left on the table except the tactical squad with the relic and remnants of his heavy weapons squad and that irritating flyer, the turn ended.
As I would lose if my opponent made away with the relic, I was forced to move my Ironstrider up to chase them. Desperate, I threw all my poor Vanguard into the open (a bad mistake). I also began moving my remaining Kastelan Robot up.
Shooting wise, nothing much. The Ironstrider killed a single guy with his lascannon, but that's about it. I had used Benediction of the Omnissiah, which allowed me to re-roll misses. The Kastelan Robot fired everything he had on the Stormfang, but once again he failed to even glance it. I did switch to Protector Protocols after that. My Kataphron Destroyers fired on the drop pods as I had nothing else to fire on and I only destroyed one drop pod. Oh well.
My defeat was imminent. My opponent maximized his advantage by running his tactical squad further away. He compounded my misery by destroying my Ironstrider with his missile launcher guys, and wiped out 6 guys from my Vanguard with a single shot from his plasma cannon. Not a good idea to move them into the open, but I had no choice. I would lose either way. Fortunately, the 2 remaining Vanguard passed their leadership test.
On the other hand, the Stormfang blitzed my Kataphron Destroyers and killed one of them. Here is the ridiculous part. On rolling leadership test for my Warlord and his surviving Destroyers, I rolled a freaking 12 - two sixes - how unlucky can I get?! And my Warlord Dominus and Destroyers ran off the table. Thanks to that my opponent had a free Slay The Warlord. What the hell!?
My defeat impending, my opponent asked if I wanted to call the game. I decided to continue to see what I can salvage from it.
And what do you know, I actually did salvage something from it. I used the Skitarii Protector Imperative Doctrina, the one that upped my BS by 3 and reduce my WS by 2. Since there was absolutely nothing to charge or assault, with only 3 guys at the far end and a single flyer flying off the board, I might as well go for broke.
My two Vanguard moved up and killed one Space Marine. My Rangers moved out of the ruins and fired upon the Space Marines and killed one. With Protector Protocols on, my Kastelan Robot fired 9 shots and managed to kill the remaining Space Marines. With the tactical squad eliminated, the relic fell on the table, with absolutely nobody to collect it. Woohoo! Nice going!
My opponent ended the game on his turn. Obviously his 3 Space Marines couldn't go pick the relic up, his Stormfang was flying off the table so he had nothing to do. I doubt I would be able to pick them up as his plasma cannon was pretty deadly and would have wiped out my forces if the game continued, not to mention his Stormfang would return. But it was a very close game, much closer than my past games, and I had dealt terrible, terrible damage to my opponent's army while denying him an outright victory. It felt like a draw, to be honest. If I can't have the relic, I made sure my opponent wasn't getting it either.
Well, apparently my opponent won by victory points. We both had Slay the Warlord (damn you, unlucky dice roll for a leadership 9 test!!!!), I had First Blood, he had Linebreaker, but it seemed that killing my Imperial Knight offered him 2 extra VPs because...well, super-heavy. So he won by 2 victory points. A very, very close game where I denied him outright victory at the last turn and at least got something out of it, so it felt more like a draw than anything else. Wow. That was a really good game. I'm impressed with this army. It did so much more than my army of 3 or 4 Imperial Knights, it performed much better than my Imperial Guard army (my Leman Russ Executioners got wrecked within 2 turns!), and the Skitarii infantry are much more efficient and powerful than my Guardsmen. Even if they are Veterans, they couldn't do anything against drop pod Space Marines, but my Skitarii and Mechanicus not only held out against them but even overwhelmed them in terms of sheer firepower. I should balance stuff to maybe have more anti-air in the game or something.
Well, we'll see. I had tons of fun in this game, much more than in my previous games (barring my Cult Mechanicus game, but this game was more fun than even that). It didn't feel like a defeat, I ran so close and I forced it into a draw, only for that stupid super-heavy rule to bite me. But it felt like a draw, and I enjoyed myself tremendously, which is the most important thing.
I look forward to playing more games with my Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation in future! Man, I'm thinking of just selling my Imperial Guard army and playing only Adeptus Mechanicus! I'll probably experiment with future builds, like maybe I'll swap an Onager Dunecrawler and my Ironstrider for 3 Sydonian Dragoons because it seems worth it to go into assault. Or maybe I'll swap my Kastelan Robots out for 3 Ironstrider Ballistarii and 4 Sicarian Infiltrators. Or Ironstrider Ballistarius and Kastelan Robots for 4 Sicarian Ruststalkers and 5 Sydonian Dragoons. I don't know. We'll see.
For now I'll wait and see and hope for the best!