Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

Image result for adeptus mechanicus symbol

My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

Featured Post

Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Deathwatch in progress, Raven Guard complete!

I managed to finish assembling my Deathwatch Kill Team today. Or yesterday, given how I'm writing on Monday morning instead of Sunday night. Sorry, I dozed off before I could finish writing this post. My bad. I have failed the Emperor.

Death Reapers (tentative - might be Death Dragons soon) army almost complete
Anyway, if you recall, on Saturday I finished assembling my "Raven Guard" Company Veterans with plasma guns and 5 Deathwatch Veterans with storm bolters. Yeah, 5 guys with storm bolters, while the Sergeant gets a combat shield. I gave all of them chainswords too because chainswords are free. Today - or rather, yesterday (Sunday), I started on my actual Deathwatch models (since the storm bolter guys are Mark III Marines that I kitbashed) and I built a Sergeant with a storm shield and a xenophase blade while giving everyone else a Deathwatch frag cannon. With the spare leftover Mark III Marine I had remaining yesterday, I decided to use the spare bits to upgrade him into a Deathwatch Veteran with an Infernus heavy bolter, because why the hell not?

Deathwatch Company

Deathwatch Veterans with Deathwatch fag cannons
After that, because I had some time remaining, I bought and built a Primaris Captain with master-crafted stalker bolt rifle. So now the only models I need for my Deathwatch army (or allies) are Intercessors, which I'll get soon. And a Corvus Blackstar. For now my "Raven Guard" Spearhead detachment is complete. They are the survivors of the Death Reapers Chapter, and have been reinforced with Primaris Marines, and half of them have decided to dedicate themselves to learning the Deathwatch tactics and allying themselves with a forge world (Draconis IV!) for Deathwatch equipment and armaments. Yay. The Intercessors, for example, are often armed with Hellfire rounds for their stalker bolt rifles, whereas the ones with vanilla bolt rifles can swap between Hellfire rounds, Vengeance rounds and Kraken bolts. The storm bolter Veterans, particularly, makes good use of Hellfire rounds. And we still have a bunch of actual Deathwatch dudes with Deathwatch frag cannons! Cool!

Deathwatch Veterans with storm bolters. Sergeant has a Xenophase blade and storm shield.
The remaining Death Reaper guys are grouped into a mechanized company with automata. That's where all the Contemptor Dreadnoughts and Deredeo Dreadnought comes in. For ranged mechanized support. I'm wondering if I should change the name from Death Reapers to Death Dragons. Or Dark Dragons. Or Death Shadows. Or Shadow Dragons. We'll see. Anyway, that's what I have for now.

The mechanized company of the Death Reapers, with all the automata

Primaris Watch Captain reinforcing the beleaguered Deathwatch Company of the decimated Death Reapers
Oh, and I already have a Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor to lead the mechanized forces. That will make him more survivable, and allow him to pack a punch in case anyone comes near my gunline.

Primaris Captain in gravis armor leading the mechanized Death Reaper Company

Full Death Reaper Battalion of 2 Companies (minus the Intercessors and Corvus Blackstar)
Finally, I'm going to kitbash more Inquisitors for my Ordo Xenos list, but I still have no idea what else to do.

Ordo Xenos Inquisitorial Army

Inquisition Supreme Command

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with incinerator and power maul
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with incinerator and power maul
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with storm bolter and power sword

Inquisitorial Stormtrooper Retinue (Battalion)

Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestus command squad with 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad with 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad with 4 meltaguns
5 Militarum Tempestus Scions with 2 plasma guns
5 Militarum Tempestus Scions with 2 plasma guns
10 Kasrkins
Valkyrie with multiple rocket pods, lascannon and heavy bolters

Deathwatch (Death Reapers specialized) Battalion:

Watch Captain with master-crafted boltgun and relic blade
Primaris Watch Captain with master-crafted stalker bolt rifle and power sword
5 Veterans with storm bolters and chainswords - Sergeant with combat shield
5 Veterans, Sergeant with xenophase blade and storm shield, 4 Veterans with Deathwatch frag cannons
5 Intercessors with bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
5 Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
Corvus Blackstar with Blackstar rocket launcher, twin lascannon and auspex array

This at least gives me a Command Point instead of deducting 1 Command Point away from me. And I get 3 Psykers while at it. I am tempted to drop one Tempestus command squad for an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in Terminator armor, but after considering how this is Ordo Xenos and I want a fluffy list, I decided against it. Ugh. The other option is to swap 2 plasma guns for 2 hot-shot volley guns for one of my Inquisitorial Stormtrooper squads, and then bring in "Acolytes" - so 3 guys with a plasma gun, and a single guy with a storm bolter. Or 6 guys with storm bolters. All of them have free bolt pistols, which is better than a laspistol. Apparently. Anyway, I'll see. I have a few weeks to continue experimenting around with the Inquisition.

The Heavy Support of the Mechanized Death Reapers Company

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Deathwatch and Raven Guard

So I decided to start on a small new project today. Well, to be honest, I kind of pondered on the decision for a little over a week now. I had been fluctuating back and forth on what to do with my Havocs/Devastators and the Contemptor and Deredeo Dreadnoughts that I have that weren't a fit for my Thousand Sons.

Deathwatch Kill Team with 5 storm bolters, 5 chainswords and a combat shield!
If you've been following my posts so far, you might probably know that I originally bought the MKIII Marines to build a bunch of Alpha Legion Havocs to ally with my Thousand Sons, particularly because my Thousand Sons seriously lacked anti-tank and anti-vehicle firepower. It worked for a bit, especially since I could do a Battalion Detachment with Alpha Legion Guardsmen (Cultists), the Havocs with 4 lascannons and a combi-plasma, and putting the Contemptor Dreadnought with two twin lascannons (which I proxied as butcher cannons beccause I didn't have the correct model, and for some inane reason Chaos couldn't take any twin lascannons for their Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnoughts...go figure) and the Deredeo Dreadnought in the Alpha Legion Detachment to improve their survivability. Needless to say, I always forgot about the -1 penalty to hit rolls for my enemies' shooting units over 12" away. Furthermore, dedicating a big chunk of points to an Alpha Legion Battalion meant that I was forced to remove psykers from my list, which was painful, and also reduced the number of Sorcerers I could take, since a single Thousand Sons Battalion only allowed me to take 3 HQ - and I was taking about 4 HQ (Ahzek Ahriman, Daemon Prince of Tzeentch, an Exalted Sorcerer on disc that wielded dual power swords, and an Exalted Sorcerer on foot) whenever I took pure Thousand Sons. The Alpha Legion allies just sucked too much of my favorite psychic stuff from my Thousand Sons, and let's be serious. I play Thousand Sons for the psychic phase and all the cool sorcerery and stuff. Forcing an Alpha Legion ally just to take care of tanks like a Baneblade, or Knights, or Land Raiders, or other high Toughness, excellent armor save vehicles just sucked the fun out of my list and reduced its psychic potential. Furthermore, I got sick of tagging an Alpha Legion ally along for the sake of anti-tank, and I wanted more psychic spells. So in the end I took the Havocs out and left the Dreadnoughts in my pure Thousand Sons list. Pure Thousand Sons with psychic firepower was a lot more fun than Chaos Soup that forced me to tailor my list to deal with my opponent's tanks. Ugh. Furthermore, I wanted to get a proper Thousand Sons Contemptor Dreadnought instead of proxying a Contemptor Dreadnought with 2 twin lascannons as butcher cannons, as it didn't really fit aesthetically wise. As an aside, the base for the Horus Heresy Ahriman was too big, and I didn't feel comfortable using him as an Aspiring Sorcerer. So I bought another Aspiring Sorcerer. Well, actually, I bought a single Rubric Marine, a force stave, and then used my spare parts (Aspiring Sorcerer head and inferno bolt pistol) to turn him into an Aspiring Sorcerer. Now the base is the right side, and he looks more natural alongside them than 30K Ahriman.

Death Reapers (using Raven Guard Chapter Tactics) Devastators and Havocs
So what do I do with my former Alpha Legion Havocs? I dunno. What do I do with my two twin lascannon Contemptor Dreadnought? I have no idea either. I basically made use of the units I had to build a Spearhead Detachment by changing my Havocs' allegiance to Loyalists, and turning them into Devastators. So now they're Loyalists, and I chose the Raven Guard Chapter Tactic for them because it seemed the most suitable for shooty Dreadnoughts. Fortunately, unlike the Chaos dudes, the Loyalists had access not only to Contemptor Dreadnoughts with 2 twin lascannons, they were in the Heavy Support slot and didn't count as Relic - they were called Contemptor Mortis Dreadnoughts. Having ordered a Contemptor Dreadnought that possessed dual twin autocannons so that it could better represent the butcher cannons, I decided to put him with the other Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought with dual twin lascannons instead, and with the Devastators and the Captain with a combi-plasma and Iron Halo, I ended up with a Spearhead Detachment. Yay!

Aspiring Sorcerer and Watch Captain with Relic Blade and Master-crafted boltgun. Probably over did the master-crafted though. Should trim away some parts for the gun to be visible.
So now that I had a Spearhead Detachment of Raven Guard Dreadnoughts and Devastators, what was the next step? The Raven Guard dudes provided anti-tank firepower. Unfortunately, my Imperial Guard didn't need anti-tank firepower - the Astra Militarum was already capable of spamming lascannons and lots of anti-tank weaponry. The Raven Guard dudes would be redundant there. No, I needed to find a faction that lacked anti-tank weaponry, but could kill non-vehicle units pretty well.
That's where the Deathwatch comes in.

If you remember, a few months ago - during summer - I was seriously considering building a Deathwatch army. And now's my chance to do so. Yay! So I bought another box of Mark III Space Marines, procured a bunch of bits to customize my Deathwatch army. Basically, I bought 5 inferno combi-bolters from the Scarab Occult Terminators to serve as storm bolters for my Deathwatch Kill Team. The remaining models were turned into plasma guys, so that I could have a squad of Company Veterans all sporting plasma guns. This was handed over to the Raven Guard Detachment in order to unlock an Elite slot for the Relic Deredeo Dreadnought. All the automata were in my Raven Guard Spearhead Detachment, and being Dreadnoughts, they receive the Chapter Tactics (-1 penalty to hit rolls for enemy units shooting at them from over 12" away), thus increasing their survivability. Awesome. I also obtained a Primaris Captain in gravis armor, but for some weird reason Deathwatch can't take Captain in gravis armor (what the hell?! Why?!), so I've to slot him into the Raven Guard Detachment instead. Makes no sense, but whatever. Rules are rules.

Deathwatch Kill Team with 5 storm bolters!
As for my Deathwatch, I didn't intend to create a pure Deathwatch army anyway. I only wanted a handful of Kill Teams to build a pretty fluffy list. So my Deathwatch actually acts more like saviors who plunged into a world teeming with xenos life and reinforce Imperial forces on the verge of being overrun by hostile xenos. So like my Imperial Guard. I always wanted to ally my Imperial Guard with Deathwatch Kill Teams and all the cool gear they get. It makes for an awesome, thematic, fluffy list! A regiment of Imperial Guard attempting to hold the line against overwhelming waves of xenos, using their infantry and tanks (lots of tanks), and the Deathwatch shows up, performs surgical strikes to decapitate the leadership or whatever serves as the brain/commander of the xenos, and the surviving Astra Militarum armor would smash the beleaguered and confused xenos remainders into oblivion with their sheer firepower. That was also why I got another bunch of Deathwatch frag cannons, so that I can create a Kill Team that packs nothing but Deathwatch frag cannons! And the Corvus Blackstar is also something I always wanted to get my hands on. Using Intercessors to make up the rest of the Troops requirements, I would get a Battalion of Deathwatch with all that cool gear and stuff!

So now my current list looks like this:

Deathwatch (Death Reapers specialized) Battalion:

Watch Captain with master-crafted boltgun and relic blade
Primaris Watch Captain with master-crafted stalker bolt rifle and power sword
5 Veterans with storm bolters and chainswords - Sergeant with combat shield
5 Veterans, Sergeant with xenophase blade and storm shield, 4 Veterans with Deathwatch frag cannons
5 Intercessors with bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
5 Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
Corvus Blackstar with Blackstar rocket launcher, twin lascannon and auspex array

Raven Guard (Death Reapers) Spearhead:

Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor
5 Company Veterans with combi-plasma, 4 plasma guns and 5 chainswords
Relic Deredeo Dreadnought with Anvilus autocannon battery and Aiolos missile launcher
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought with two twin lascannons
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought with two twin autocannons
Devastators with 4 lascannons

That should be enough for a 2,000-point list, and unlike Thousand Sons, I don't intend on playing a full or pure Deathwatch list. The reason why I play Deathwatch is for the Special Issue Ammunition and the cool gadgets and weapons and toys (Deathwatch frag cannons, Corvus Blackstar), but I don't intend to spam them the way I did psychic powers. Psychic powers are more...flexible, fun and spammable, but I prefer to have a variety of models - hence my Thousand Sons have 4 different types of Sorcerers (one of whom is a Daemon Prince). Plus the Aspiring Sorcerers and Scarab Occult Terminator can take whatever psychic power they want. But I sure as hell don't intend to spam storm bolters or Deathwatch frag cannons.

Company Veterans all equipped with plasma guns! Sergeant gets a combi-plasma instead.
An alternative list to this, if I don't need that much anti-tank and lascannons, would be a more fluffy list where I ally my Deathwatch to my Imperial Guard. That's the whole reason why I'm getting a small Deathwatch force in the first place - to see how else they synergize with the Astra Militarum, and I want to weave thematic narratives of the Imperial Guard attempting to hold the line against impossible odds, only for the Deathwatch to deliver a surgical strike to a strategic target so that the Astra Militarum armor can turn the tide and hammer the confused and beleaguered foe into oblivion after their command is disrupted. Yay.

So it'll look like this:

Deathwatch (Death Reapers specialized) Battalion:

Watch Captain with master-crafted boltgun and relic blade
Primaris Watch Captain with master-crafted stalker bolt rifle and power sword
5 Veterans with storm bolters and chainswords - Sergeant with combat shield
5 Veterans, Sergeant with xenophase blade and storm shield, 4 Veterans with Deathwatch frag cannons
5 Intercessors with bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
5 Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
Corvus Blackstar with Blackstar rocket launcher, twin lascannon and auspex array

Astra Militarum (Draconian Infantry Defenders) Battalion:

Company Commander with plasma pistol
Company Commander with plasma pistol
Infantry squad with 1 plasma gun
Infantry squad with 1 plasma gun
Infantry squad with 1 plasma gun

Astra Militarum (Draconian Armored Defenders) Spearhead:

Tank Commander in Leman Russ main battle tank with lascannon and heavy flamers
Leman Russ Executioner tank with lascannon and plasma cannons
Leman Russ Executioner tank with lascannon and plasma cannons
Leman Russ Annihilator tank with lascannon and plasma cannons

Now this is more like it! This is quite a fluffy and thematic list, where the Imperial Guard armored regiment is holed up in a fortress and defending against waves after waves of xenos, only for the Deathwatch Kill Teams to race forward in their Corvus Blackstar or teleport behind enemy lines to perform surgical strikes on key enemy units and commanders, or reinforce weakening portions of the Astra Militarum defense and also raising morale while delivering death to the enemies of the Emperor. And I love Leman Russ tanks, so I'm pretty pleased to see so many of them here! YAY! For the Emperor!

The final Deathwatch list that I have in mind is also a super-fluffy one. The Ordo Xenos version - so basically an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with his retinue of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers making up the numbers to reinforce a Deathwatch platoon that lacks bodies. So it'll look something like this.

Ordo Xenos Inquisitorial Army

Inquisition Auxiliary

Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with incinerator and power maul

Inquisitorial Stormtrooper Retinue (Battalion)

Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestor Prime with Tempestus command rod
Tempestus command squad with 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad with 4 plasma guns
Tempestus command squad with 4 meltaguns
5 Militarum Tempestus Scions with 2 plasma guns
5 Militarum Tempestus Scions with 2 plasma guns
10 Kasrkins with 4 hot-shot volley guns
Taurox Prime with Taurox gatling cannon, 2 hot-shot volley guns and storm bolter
Valkyrie with multiple rocket pods, lascannon and heavy bolters

Deathwatch (Death Reapers specialized) Battalion:

Watch Captain with master-crafted boltgun and relic blade
Primaris Watch Captain with master-crafted stalker bolt rifle and power sword
5 Veterans with storm bolters and chainswords - Sergeant with combat shield
5 Veterans, Sergeant with xenophase blade and storm shield, 4 Veterans with Deathwatch frag cannons
5 Intercessors with bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
5 Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles and auxiliary grenade launcher, Sergeant with power sword
Corvus Blackstar with Blackstar rocket launcher, twin lascannon and auspex array

This is my favorite thematic army, for everything is Ordo Xenos. Everything. Awesome, right? If only I can take the Ordo Xenos Inquisitor as part of my Inquisitorial Stormtrooper detachment instead of taking him as an auxiliary...ugh. Oh well. At least I tried. Anyway, this is the plan I have in mind, so until next time!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Battle Report 29

I was volunteering at the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs for 2 days straight - Friday and Saturday - so I wasn't able to go to Dreamers Vault on Saturday. Nonetheless, it was totally worth it. I learned a lot of stuff and met a lot of professors from universities all over the country. It was a really fruiful session!

Fortunately, I managed to get a game yesterday (Sunday). So yay! I guess? Anyway, I went down to Dreamers Vault yesterday, thanks to my friend (thank you for picking me up and sending me there and back!), and had a great game with him.

Draconian Armored Defenders reporting for battle! 74th Armored Company, consisting of 2 Leman Russ Executioner tanks, 2 Leman Russ Annihilator tanks, a single Super-heavy Shadowsword, with accompanying Armored infantry and Storm Troopers in Valkyrie Assault Carrier.
 My friend wanted to test a new list, and I was more than happy to oblige him. We were playing a 2,000-point game, and my friend brought an Imperial Soup list of Imperial Knights, Imperial Guard and Adeptus Mechanicus. His Knights was a Super-heavy Detachment that had a Knight Paladin, which was his Warlord that had the Ion Bulwark Warlord Trait and Ravager Relic, a Knight Errant Freeblade, and a single Armiger Helverin with a meltagun. Other than the Freeblade, the others were House Raven, though we forgot about that and treated his Freeblade as House Raven while forgetting to roll to see if he suffered his burdens every turn. His Adeptus Mechanicus was the Tech-priest Dominus with Autocadeus of Arkhan Land or something, 3 squads of 5 Corpuscarii Electro-priests and 2 Onager Dunecrawlers with neutron lasers. He spent a Command Point for that. Then he brought in a Battalion of Imperial Guard, which included 2 Tempestors Prime, 2 squads of 7 Tempestus Scions each (a Tempestor, 4 Tempestus Scions with hot-shot lasguns and 2 Tempestus Scions with plasma guns), a single infantry squad, and a Commissar - which he kitbashed using a cool female Commissar. Awesome. They were Cadian. Yeah. I think that's it.
Adeptus Mechanicus (Dark Mechanicum?!) forces from the Forge World Lucifer, with their Knightly allies.
As for me, to stand a fighting chance against his Knights, I brought my Shadowsword. I probably did not use an optimized list - should have brought a Brigade and a Shadowsword, but never mind. Anyway, I brought a Battalion of Cadian (Draconian) infantry - 2 Company Commanders with bolt pistols, 3 infantry squads with a plasma gun each, a heavy weapon squad equipped with 3 lascannons and a Valkyrie to cart them around. I love my Valkyrie. Then a Spearhead Detachment of 4 Leman Russ tanks - a Tank Commander in a Leman Russ Executioner, another Leman Russ Executioner, and 2 Leman Russ Annihilator tanks. Yeah, I'm heaping up on lascannons, that's for sure! Lastly, I brought a Supreme Command Detachment of 2 Primaris Psykers, a Tempestor Prime with plasma pistol, a plasma Tempestus command squad and a Shadowsword. My Warlord was a Company Commander with Kurov's Aquila, but since we had the FAQ nerfing our Command Points refund ability, I chose Old Grudges as his Warlord Trait, and nominated my opponent's Warlord Knight as the target for my Cadian (Draconian) units within 6" of my Warlord to re-roll failed wound rolls against him. Oh boy, that looks like a mean list! I should have brought a Brigade and a Shadowsword instead, but this list actually worked out pretty well for me! Yay!

Well, as it turns out, this list worked out wonderfully for me.
We played Retrieval Mission, and my friend chose the deployment zone Vanguard Strike. The weird one where we were using diagonal deployment zones or something. Then we began to deploy. I put my Company Commander and one infantry squad inside the Valkyrie so that my gunship could zip around and drop them on any of the far objectives if necessary. For the first time ever, I ended up finishing my deployment of my Astra Militarum units before my opponent. For the first time ever (other than the times I played Imperial Knights against the T'au fella), I got to add +1 to my roll to decide who goes first. Even though I was bringing quite some infantry...but most of my army constituted of tanks and a gunship - particularly the Shadowsword, which took up a lot of points. So I guess that's probably why. In any case, we rolled off, and I got to go first! My opponent rolled to seize the initiative, and he failed.

Turn 1

I had parked my line of tanks on one of the objectives, along with my Shadowsword. My infantry moved and advanced to capture 2 more objectives that were just outside my deployment zone. My Valkyrie went into hover mode, so that I could shoot with +1 to my BS. That was all for movement. My Primaris Psykers successfully cast Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud on my Shadowsword, to increase its durability and survivability - a priority, especially since my opponent had two Knights and 2 Onager Dunecrawlers equipped with neutron lasers.

Then the shooting began.

The heavy armor and tanks of the Astra Militarum against the Electro-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus and their Knightly Allies.
My Shadowsword took 9 wounds off the Knight Errant, despite the dude using Rotate Ion Shields to bring his invulnerable save up to 4++. I wasn't rolling very hot for my poor Shadowsword. He also decimated the infantry squad hidden in cover, killing 6 of them with his twin heavy bolters. Between my lascannon heavy weapons squad - which received the Take Aim! order, and one of my Leman Russ Annihilator tanks, I took another 9 wounds off my opponent's Warlord Knight. 4++ invulnerable save with Ion Bulwark is really impressive. On the other side of my table, the other Leman Russ Annihilator, the Valkyrie with his lascannon, and the 2 Leman Russ Executioner tanks with their lascannons combined fire and brought the Knight Errant to just 3 wounds, putting him in his last tier of degradation, but failed to kill him off. Ouch. Fortunately, the Leman Russ Executioner tanks supercharged their plasma cannons and Executioner plasma cannons and destroyed the nearest Onager Dunecrawler with neutron laser, earning me first blood and helping relieve some of the firepower that would come my way. The decimated infantry squad passed morale because they had the Leadership of 8 thanks to the lady Commissar beside them, but otherwise nothing of note happened. At least I earned a Victory Point with First Blood.

My opponent then had his Knight Errant move and Advanced back (by this point we ignored the Freeblade thing and treated him as House Raven so that he can Advance and shoot despite being in his last tier). His Knight Paladin stomped toward my hapless Guardsmen on the right, while three squads of Corpuscarii Electo-priests moved and advanced toward my Guardsmen on the left flank. The Armiger Helverin proceeded forward, to the center of the map. The Tech-priest Dominus advanced forward to repair the wounded Knight Errant, and used the Tech-Adept Stratagem to repair him again, bringing him up to 5 wounds and lifting him out of his last tier. He opened fire with his Knight Paladin and remaining Onager Dunecrawler, and between the two of them, destroyed one of my Leman Russ Annihilator. Ouch. The Knight Errant fired, but either because it missed or failed to wound, or I made my saves, and he did no damage. On the other side, the Armiger Helverin opened fire on my surviving Leman Russ Annihilator, but only did 3 damage to the poor guy, with me making one save and him not wounding much. Phew.

From my (the Astra Militarum's) point of view. Vanguard Strike!
Unfortunately, the Knight Paladin charged my infantry squad, took no damage, and then promptly wiped them out with his Titanic Feet. He killed like 7 or 8 of them, and the rest fled due to morale. No way they would pass morale from that!

Turn 2

I used Jury Rigged to repair my wounded Leman Russ Annihilator. Then I moved my infantry squad on the left flank to hide inside the building - not that it would do them much help. On the other side, right in my opponent's deployment zone where he was holding an objective, I Deep Struck my Tempestor Prime with plasma pistol and Tempestus Command squad with 4 plasma guns. Again, during my psychic phase, I cast Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud on my Shadowsword, and succeeded again. Guess all my time playing Thousand Sons is really paying off! My Primaris Psykers are learning a thing or two from those Loyalist pretending-to-be-Chaos Sorcerers! I then fired upon him. The Valkyrie and Leman Russ Executioner fired on the Knight Errant, and between the two of them, finished him off. Well, the Leman Russ Executioner fired his plasma cannon sponsons on the Corpuscarii Electo-priests and killed only one of them. Thankfully (for my opponent), he did not blow up. On the other side of the map, my Shadowsword, Leman Russ Annihilator and heavy weapons squad fired everything they had on the Knight Paladin Warlord, but he survived with just one wound remaining. Ouch. I still failed to kill him. NO! My Tempestus Command squad fired and took out 10 wounds from the Onager Dunecrawler, leaving him with just 1, but again failed to kill him. Ouch. Again. Damn it. Anyway, what was next? Ah, right. My tank commander fired his plasma cannons on the Corpuscarii Electro-priests and wiped out one squad. Yay. Oh, and the Shadowsword's twin heavy bolters killed another 2 Guardsmen - my opponent made a lot of his armor saves this time, and he had 2 guys left in the squad, who passed morale because of the Commissar.

Knight makes Right!
My opponent then moved his Tech-priest Dominus back to repair his Onager Dunecrawlers and brought him back up to 5 wounds using the Tech-Adept Stratagem (repaired 2 wounds each time - and used the Autocadeus to re-roll one of the D3 rolls which gave him a 1). One of the two remaining squads of the Corpuscarii Electro-priests moved back, toward my Tempestus Command squad, while the other moved toward my infantry squad cowering in the left building to grab the objective. The Knight Paladin stomped forward, Advancing because he's House Raven, and so did the Armiger Helverin. Then he Deep Struck both Tempestus Scion squads in front of my Shadowsword, while he put one Tempestor Prime with them, and the other arrived back with the decimated infantry squad. I wasn't sure if Tempestor Prime could issue orders to infantry squads since they did not have the Regiment Keyword (they only have the Militarum Tempestus keyword), but for the purpose of this game I just let him do it. I mean...he was already behind, and it was a friendly game, so who cares, right?

His Knight Paladin Warlord used the House Raven Stratagem to re-roll all ones. He fired everything into my Shadowsword, but didn't do anything. Well, to be fair, he's on his last wound, and was hitting on 5+s, so...and even with the few wounds he made with the rapid-fire battle cannon, between cover and Psychic Barrier giving me +2 to my saves, I negated the AP -2 of his battle cannon and still had a 3+ armor save. Hell, actually, he should be hitting on 6+s because of Nightshroud. Whoops. I forgot about that. The Armiger Helverin killed a single lascannon team with his meltagun, and then did another 3 wounds to my poor Leman Russ Annihilator, bringing him down to 7 wounds. The Corpuscarii Electro-priests absolutely wiped out my infantry squad on the left - even if all that shooting didn't kill them, I think the survivors - maybe 1 or 2, ran away from morale. On the other side, my opponent used Wrath of Mars and wiped out the Tempestus plasma command squad with mortal wounds even before I could make my saves. Why did he do that? A waste of Command Points, truly. The two Guardsmen then fired on my Tempestor Prime, and I failed my armor saves despite having 4+ against AP0, and he took 2 wounds. The wounded Onager Dunecrawler fired on my Shadowsword, but this time I remembered the Nightshroud, so he was still hitting on 5+s despite being back up to 5 wounds. Consequently, he only hit and wounded once, and I failed my 6+ save (Psychic Barrier), which meant he took a minimum of 3 damage (he rolled a 2 for damage, but it counts as 3 because of the neutron laser special rule). After all that shooting, my Shadowsword still had 23 wounds remaining. YAY! On the other hand, he killed a single lascannon team with his cognis heavy stubbers, leaving just one guy remaining, and I had to spend a Command Point to reroll morale to keep them in the fight. Their leadership was only 6, after all. No Sergeant and all that. Ugh. The Tempestus Scions also fired their plasma guns and hot-shot lasguns, and for some reason he elected to use the First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! to increase his hot-shot lasguns to Rapid Fire 2. Didn't wound, and with the -1 penalty, well....nothing happened. He failed to wound with the hot-shot lasguns, one of the plasmagunners were slain due to an overheating plasma gun that exploded when he supercharged it, and the others missed (Nightshroud) and didn't wound or I made my 5+ save against them with Psychic Barrier still in effect. Phew.

Point of view from my opponent...well, obviously this isn't in chronological order because by then the Knight on the right had been blasted to atoms by lascannons.

Turn 3

First, I repaired my Leman Russ Annihilator with Jury Rigged and brought him up to 8 wounds. I moved my Primaris Psykers toward the Armiger Helverin, and then cast Smite and Psychic Maelstrom. Smite only did 1 mortal wound. Ouch. On the other hand, I was rolling funnily for Psychic Maelstrom. I accidentally Perils with 2 6s, and my Primaris Psyker sufered a mortal wound for his troubles. Ouch. Funnily enough, I rolled a 2, then a 3, then a 4 to inflict 3 mortal wounds on the Armiger Helverin. Laughing, I was half-expecting to roll a 5, but I didn't, so the Armiger Helverin only took 4 mortal wounds. Heh.

Shooting phase was brutal. My Warlord Leman Russ Executioner retaliated and wiped out the Corpuscarii Electro-priests who massacred my poor infantry squad on the left flank, taking revenge for the murdered Draconian infantry. Yay! On the other side, my remaining lascannon team fired upon the Knight Paladin Warlord, and he had to spend a Command Point to re-roll his failed Ion Shield save. Growing desperate, I had my Leman Russ Executioner fire his main plasma executioner cannon and lascannon at the Knight Paladin, and he eventually went down from the supercharged plasma, thus earning me Slay the Warlord. Awesome! I finally killed both Knights after 3 turns! The plasma cannon sponsons didn't do as well, I think I only killed 2 or 3 more in the squad where one of the plasma gunners were slain by his exploding plasma gun, this leaving about 3 Tempestus Scions in the squad. Without a Knight to shoot, my Shadowsword fired his volcano cannon on the Armiger Helverin, and needless to say, it was overkill. Too much overkill, in fact...since the Armiger Helverin blew up from the destruction, dishing out two mortal wounds to my opponent's Tempestor Prime, 2 mortal wounds to my remaining lascannon team and wiping out the heavy weapons squad, and 2 mortal wounds to my Primaris Psyker who cast Smite on him. Whoops. The Shadowsword then opened up with his twin heavy bolters and annihilated one Tempestus Scions squad - the unscathed one, which had all 7 still alive. Well, now they're all dead. The Leman Russ Annihilator then fired and destroyed the Onager Dunecrawler with his lascannons.

That Knight was destroyed a few seconds after I took this photograph. Poor dude.
At that point of the game, my opponent called it. I was well on my way to tabling him, and I could clearly grab the other 2 Objectives within reach while he was in danger of losing that one Objective he was holding onto. By the 3rd turn - and it wasn't even his turn yet - he had lost almost everything and only had a single squad of 5 Corpuscarii Electro-priests, 2 Guardsmen in a decimated infantry squad, a Tech-priest Dominus, a lady Commissar, 2 Tempestors Prime and a decimated squad of 3 stormtroopers left. Yeah, that's it. Nothing else. Most of his heavy firepower had been cleaned out by my tanks and heavy weapon squad, and he could do little against my Shadowsword. His remaining stormtroopers would definitely be wiped out next turn, and there was little they could do against my tanks, Primaris Psykers. In contrast, I only lost a single Leman Russ Annihilator and most of my infantry. Sure, 2 infantry squads were obliterated, but I still had a single full infantry squad and a Company Commander embarked upon my unscathed Valkyrie, which was ready to swoop across the table and Grav-chute them onto any objective. 3 Leman Russ tanks, still at their highest tier (the 2 Leman Russ Executioners completely undamaged), awaited, along with my Shadowsword that had only taken 3 wounds so far. My Primaris Psykers were still around, ready to Smite the Tempestus Scions, along with my Warlord Company Commander hiding and standing on the objective beside a Leman Russ Annihilator tank with Objective Secured. Most likely he would kill my Tempestor Prime in his turn, but that was all he could do. He didn't have the firepower left to kill anything else, or the numbers to capture and hold Objectives. I did.

It was a rough game, very brutal for my opponent. Maybe next time I'll drop the Shadowsword and bring a friendlier list. In fact, I offered to bring my Thousand Sons and play against his Knights and Onager Dunecrawlers with Thousand Sons, and we were about to do that, but last-minute stuff happened and we had to postpone that game to another day. Still looking forward to it!

What do you guys think about the game? What could my friend have done to prevent such a one-sided, crushing defeat? I suspect it's his target prority, and I did try to advise him against some of his decisions, such as orders, or shooting the wrong targets, etc., but...oh well. Can you guys think of anything else? And what would you advise that I bring to prevent such one-sided games? Thanks in advance.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Battle Report 28

I managed to get a great game yesterday, and it was really fun, fluffy and thematic! After meeting up with my opponent, I realized that he plays Tyranids. I couldn't help but field my Astra Militarum army against Tyranids in what would be a classic matchup! I mean, come on! If you've been reading Ciaphas Cain or Imperial Guard novels like me, you would know that Imperial Guard versus Tyranids is one hell of a classic matchup that no one can resist!

An extremely beautiful Tyranid army!
My opponent brought a Battalion and a Vanguard Detachment, I believe. If I recall correctly, he had 2 Flying Hive Tyrants (oh boy), a Neurothrope, a bunch of Zoanthropes, a Tyranid Warrior Prime, 9 Tyranid Warriors, a Ripper Swarm, 20 Genestealers, 3 Carnifexes, a bunch of Hive Guard, and a Lictor. Something like that, yeah. As for me, I brought my usual Imperial Guard BRIGADE! For the sweet 12 Command Points! And a Spearhead Detachment. Hmm, I believe my forces were a Company Commander, 2 Tempestors Prime, a command squad with heavy flamer and 3 flamers, 2 Tempestus Command squads with 4 plasma guns each, 2 Stormtrooper squads with 2 plasma guns each, a Stormtrooper squad with 2 hot-shot volley guns, 3 infantry squads with flamers, a heavy weapons squad with 3 mortars, a heavy weapons squad with 3 lascannons, 2 Armored Sentinels with lascannons, an Armored Sentinel with a plasma cannon, and a Leman Russ Annihilator. Separate from that was a Spearhead Detachment with my Warlord Tank Commander in a Leman Russ Punisher with 3 heavy bolters (I gave him the Warlord Trait to give extra tank orders), a Leman Russ main battle tank with a lascannon and heavy flamers, and 2 Leman Russ Executioner tanks with plasma cannon sponsons and lascannons. So those 4 Leman Russ tanks have Objective Secured, and I have 5 Leman Russ tanks in total. Cool!

And against the hordes of Tyranids, we have the armored might of the Draconian Armored Defenders! Let's see if they can defend against the Tyranid onslaught...
We played Maelstrom, and the mission was Targets of Opportunity. So we only have a turn or battle round to achieve our objective, otherwise we'll have to discard whatever unachieved objectives we have at the start of our next turn. Oh boy...or at least that's what I want to say, but...

We rolled off, had Dawn of War deployment, and my opponent finally won the roll to go first after we hilariously tied 3 or 4 times (despite him having a +1 to his roll since he finished deploying first - man, my Imperial Guard actually outnumbers his Tyranids in terms of model and unit count - we are the true horde here!!!!).

Turn 1

My opponent moved and advanced his Genestealers and melee Carnifex, and the Zoanthropes and Neurothropes, but his 2 shooty Carnifexes merely moved. He had placed his Hive Tyrants and Ripper Swarms off the table, presumably to avoid getting them shot down when they arrive or something. The damned Neurothropes and Zoanthropes did Smite and Psychic Scream on my Warlord Leman Russ Punisher and basically brought him down to 1 wound. Damn, I made a terrible mistake in putting him right in front to absorb those shots. Utterly stupid of me. Anyway, he fired with his Hive Guard, Tyranid Warriors and shooty Carnifexes and killed my Warlord and another Leman Russ Executioner tank. He gained 4 victory points, which included Slay the Warlord and First Blood, and achieved 2 Objectives. OUCH. Oh, I think he shot a few Guardsmen with his Tyranid Warriors, but most of them survived since the majority of the firepower was focused on my tanks.

During my turn, I moved my heavy flamer and 3 flamers command squad up to roast the approaching Genestealers, as did my Leman Russ tank with heavy flamers. I also moved and advanced a single infantry squad to grab Objective 4, the objective in the center, as I had drawn Supremacy and needed to control at least 3 Objectives. My mortar squad fired and killed a bunch of Genestealers, as did my flamer command squad and the Leman Russ main battle tank. The remaining Leman Russ Executioner, Leman Russ Annihilator and the lascannon heavy weapon squad fired and killed the melee Carnifex, but failed to kill the other two Carnifexes. I'll say it right here, my dice rolls for this game was just horrible. I kept failing my saves, I rolled 1 or 2 for D6 damage weapons (lascannons) or missed outright, or just couldn't wound. My Armored Sentinels didn't do much, but I think my plasma cannon Armored Sentinel at least did 2 damage to one Tyranid Warrior, but missed his other shot, failing to kill it. Funnily enough, despite my terrible shooting and failure to retaliate, I did manage to get 4 Victory Points, with Supremacy netting me an extray Victory Point since I managed to get 3 Objectives after clearing the Genestealers off Objective 4. There were only 4 of them left.

Turn 2

My opponent continued moving his Genestealers forward (only 4 of them left), and his Tyranid Warriors forward as well. I can't remember what happened, but I think he moved his Carnifexes forward as well. Oh, and his Zoanthropes and Neurothrope also moved forward. At the end of the movement phase, the 2 Flying Hive Tyrants appeared in my right flank, bearing down on an infantry squad or something. The Lictor appeared on my left flank, also looking at another infantry squad. The Rippers jumped onto an Objective to capture it. I think that's it. Hive Tyrant Warlord cast Horror on my Leman Russ Annihilator, but failed Catalyst, or something. I can't remember. I believe this was where he periled and his Warlord Hive Tyrant ate a mortal wound, but I could be mistaken. The Zoanthropes and Neurothropes did some mortal wounds to my tank or infantry squad, but it was the shooting from the Hive Guard, Carnifexes and Tyranid Warriors that killed my Leman Russ Executioner and about 3 Guardsmen on the left flank. The Genestealers and Carnifexes charged into the infantry squad in the center, because my opponent was trying to score an Objective where he has to kill an enemy unit with either a unit of 10 or more models, or with a Monstrous Creature (Crush!). So the Carnifex wiped out my infantry squad, netting him that. The Hive Tyrants failed their charges, as did the Lictor, but funnily enough the Lictor ate 2 lasgun shots in overwatch. I can't remember, but if the Warlord Hive Tyrant didn't get a mortal wound from perils earlier, then he probably took a wound from a lasgun shot. I just knew he had taken a wound by the end of my opponent's turn. Anyway, my opponent moved up to 7 or 8  Victory Points.

I can't remember what happened, but I think I had drawn Hold the Line, and an Objective that required me to hold it for 2 consecutive turns (we agreed that for the purpose of Targets of Opportunity, it's not 2 of my turns, but 2 consecutive turns - my turn, my opponent's turn, then I earn it before I discard it at the start of my next turn). And Scour the Skies. So I really, really wanted to kill at least one Flying Hive Tyrant. I failed. Before I get too ahead of myself, let's just say I moved and advanced my Armored Sentinel up to Objective 4 to capture it, and apparently I would gain D3 victory points if I snatched it from my opponent who had been controlling it at the start of my turn. Was it Critical Objective? Anyway, I deep struck my Storm Troopers right in front of the 2 Hive Tyrants so that I could unload my plasma on them. I stupidly put a single Stormtrooper squad (the one with 2 hot-shot volley guns) at the back of my opponent's deployment zone, in hopes of capturing that objective and perhaps sniping the Tyranid Warrior Prime. Again, I failed to do even a wound to that fella. Anyway, I succeeded in killing both Carnifexes with my Leman Russ Annihilator and Leman Russ main battle tank, who also wiped out the remaining 4 Genestealers with his heavy flamer. Or actually, he didn't. He killed maybe 2 or so, and my mortar squad rained down shells to kill the other 2, and thus my Armored Sentinel captured the objective, uncontested. On the other side, despite unloading all my plasma into the non-Warlord Hive Tyrant (because the other Hive Tyrant had a -1 to hit penalty Warlord Trait and would have killed my plasma guys), I only did 10 or so wounds to the bastard. 4++ invulnerable saves are so unfair for a Monster. Ugh. And that's not even a Stratagem or relic! Damn it! And so I didn't get Scour the Skies, but I managed to get another 4 Victory Points to level the game on 8 each (or 7 for my opponent, I can't remember). To add insult to injury, I couldn't even deal a single wound to the Lictor despite shooting it with a flamer and 5 lasguns.

Turn 3

My memory's getting fuzzy. I honestly don't remember what happened here, except that my opponent destroyed my Leman Russ main battle tank and 1 of my Sentinels. He thought he could table me, so he abandoned his Objectives and moved his Tyranid Hive Guard forward. I think he killed my Stormtrooper squad in the back with his Tyranid Warriors and Prime. His Zoanthropes and Neurothrope moved forward to put mortal wounds on either my lascannon squad or the Sentinel in the center, while his Lictor charged into my Guardsmen, and saved all his wounds against the flamer. The Flying Hive Tyrant cast Catalyst and Horror again, successfully. Oh, and his Tyranid Warriors put 2 wounds on my plasma cannon Armored Sentinel in the left. Or something. His Flying Hive Tyrant failed to kill any of my Storm Troopers in their carapace armor with their AP 0 guns, I can't believe I made all those saves! But anyway, it was melee that did them in. Or something. Uh...he decimated one plasma squad, took out 3 guys from another normal squad, and that's about it, I believe? I can't remember. He didn't get any victory points this turn. Funnily enough, even though the Lictor charged into my Guardsmen on the left flank, my Sergeant, one more dude and flamer guy - the only survivors of that squad - killed it. Yeah, my Guardmen killed a Lictor with a chainsword. A frakking chainsword. After all that shooting that failed to kill it, it was a chainsword - not a lasgun, not a flamer, but a bloody chainsword that slew the frakking beast. I can't believe it. Funnily enough, the other dude ran away because of morale, leaving just the Sergeant and the flamer guy there.

As for me, I spent 2 Command Points to keep Scour the Skies, and drew another 3 Objectives. I managed to get something but I can't remember, but I did kill the wounded Flying Hive Tyrant. At last! I tried to shoot the Zoanthropes, but the bloody things just won't die because of their annoying 3++ invulnerable saves. Ugh. I think that was all I could do, sadly. But I succeeded in defending my Objective and I managed to get 3 victory points, which brought me to 11 or something. I can't remember.

Turn 4

Nothing much to say, except that the Warlord Hive Tyrant charged into my infantry squad in the right. The Tyranid Warriors flushed out the Sergeant and flamer guy on the left, and destroyed the wounded Armored Sentinel. The Zoanthropes and Neurothropes piled more mortal wounds on my lascannon heavy weapon squad, then charged as well, but did nothing. Funnily enough, between my lascannon Armored Sentinel, the lascannon heavy weapon squad (only one guy was left) and Leman Russ Annihilator, we managed to put 1 or 2 wounds on the Zoanthropes in melee despite them failing to wound any of my guys. Huh. My opponent, thanks to him trying to table me, was still stuck on 8 or so victory points, I believe, having abandoned the Objectives, or perhaps he couldn't take them. I can't remember. The Flying Hive Tyrant killed another plasma command squad, taking revenge for its fallen brother that they killed last turn, and further reducing my firepower. I think it succeeded in casting Catalyst and Horror again. It did roll a double 6 on perils and took a few mortal wounds, though. Heh. But other than that, he probably earned a Command Point or zero, so maybe either 9 or 8. I can't remember.

As for me, I continued to play for Objectives despite my dwindling Guardsmen, who were getting beaten up. As in the previous turn, I had my Stormtroopers who were locked in combat fall back so that I could shoot the damned Flying Hive Tyrant. I managed to bring it down to 4 wounds, but it was otherwise making all its saves. Ugh!!!! I left my Armored Sentinel, lascannon team and Leman Russ tank locked in combat with the Zoanthropes, but this time we didn't do any damage to each other. Unfortunately I couldn't achieve any of the Objectives, and one of them was Defend Objective I, which was the Objective my infantry squad on the right - the sole, last, remaining infantry squad - was securing.

Turn 5

The battle was growing more intense. My opponent had his Zoanthropes fall back so that he could shoot my tank with his Hive Guard, but his Tyranid Warriors remained out of range, sadly. He put about 2 wounds on my Leman Russ Annihilator, but that's all he could do. I think he wiped out my lascannon team with Smite, and put a few mortal wounds on my Armored Sentinel, but didn't kill him. His Flying Hive Tyrant then charged into my infantry squad that was securing Objective I to deny me that Objective. Unfortunately, he was on his last bracket, so he failed to massacre the Guardsmen, and he even ended up taking a wound from one of my brave Guardsmen with bayonets! Heh! That left him on 3 wounds! The Zoanthropes charged my Company Commander and put a mortal wound on him, but otherwise failed to wound him in combat. I think. I struck back with my Company Commander and my Leman Russ Annihilator and Armored Sentinel, but this time I didn't do any damage to them either. My opponent managed to get another Victory Point with his Hive Guard securing an Objective, bringing him up to 10.

I spent 2 Command Points (I still had a lot of Command Points - 8 at this point, maybe 6 after I spent those 2) to auto-pass Morale for my Guardsmen and held Objective I for 2 precious Victory Points. Unfortunately, I drew No Prisoners and Kingslayer, so I pathetically tried to lock the Hive Tyrant Warlord in combat with my Tempestors Prime, Guardsmen, etc. and had them Fix Bayonets. I couldn't even do a single wound - not 1. That really sucks. The Flying Hive Tyrant retaliated in combat and killed one Tempestor Prime. Ouch. Oh well, I tried. So in the end I only got those 2 Victory Points that took me to 13.

My opponent then rolled to see if the game continued, and he rolled a 2. Nope, the game ended there and then. With Linebreaker, First Blood and Slay the Warlord, my opponent had a total of 11 Victory Points. I had 13, and just managed to edge him out, barely. Final score: Tyranids 11 Astra Militarum 13.

Yeah...I was absolutely stunned. I was dying. I had not much left, except a decimated infantry squad, a Tempestor Prime. I think all my Tempestus command squads were dead. My Leman Russ Annihilator still had 9 wounds left, but it was stuck in combat and couldn't do much. My Company Commander was locked in combat, as was my Armored Sentinel. Only the mortar squad hidden at the back remained unscathed, but that was all I had. In contrast, my opponent still had 9 Tyranid Warriors, a Tyranid Warrior Prime, all his Zoanthropes, his Neurothrope, his full squad of Hive Guard, and a Flying Hive Tyrant with 3 wounds left. He was winning. He was utterly crushing and destroying me. Yet I somehow managed to inch away with a victory. That was...just impossible. As they say, the Emperor protects. I was rolling so horribly, failing my armor saves, failing many of my hit and wound rolls, screwing up my D6 damage rolls, and my opponent was making most of his invulnerable saves while utterly destroying my units...and it came down to just that one roll. Just that single roll to continue the game...and he lost because of that one single roll. Holy Terra! How in the warp did that happen!?

If my opponent had gone for Objectives instead of trying to table me, he might have won or at least tied the game. If the game had gone on, my opponent might have won. If...if...if...there were a lot of possibilities, but what mattered was that despite suffering horrendous casualties and being on the verge of annihilation, the Imperial Guard determinedly hung on and secured their objectives, thus earning them a valuable and hard-fought victory.

The game was so close and drawn right down to the wire that it clearly could have gone either way. No, actually, it would most likely have been a Tyranid victory in most other scenarios, but...I guess the Emperor was watching over his brave Guardsmen today. Wow. Just...wow.

Hopefully I'll have more stuff up next week, but since I have a conference next Saturday in St. Paul, I doubt it. It's the Midwest Asian Studies conference thing, so I've to go for that. Most likely I won't be able to have a game next week, but we'll see.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Battle Report 27

Yesterday, I managed to test my Thousand Sons out against Space Wolves. YAY! Vengeance for Prospero! Anyway, since I...am severely lacking money these months, I couldn't afford to add anything to my Thousand Sons list, so I went with my usual. My opponent brough a bunch of Space Wolves, and I think he brought 1 Battalion and 1 Vanguard or Outrider or something. I'm not sure. I just know he had about 10 Command Points or so.

The Space Wolves consisted of one Rune Priest named Character (the guy who could cast 2 psychic spells, deny 2 psychic spells and add 1 to his cast and deny the witch rolls), some Wolf Lord - can't remember if he's Ragnar or something, probably not -, another Character with Deep Striking Capability and has 2 Fenrisian Wolves as bodyguards, 3 Inceptors with plasma exterminators, 10 Sky Claws, Blood Claws inside a Stormwolf, 2 squads of Intercessors (I think), a bunch of Wulfen, a Murderfang, Longfangs with 2 lascannons and 2 missile launchers, and...I think that's about it. I don't remember anything else, so that really should be it.

Thousand Sons mustering for war
My Thousand Sons list is a Daemon Prince, Ahzek Ahriman, Exalted Sorcerer on disc, Exalted Sorcerer on foot, 2 squads of 5 Rubric Marines, a squad of 10 Rubric Marines with warpflamers inside a Chaos Rhino, 3 squads of 10 Traitor Guardsmen...cough, Cultists, 5 Scarab Occult Terminators, a Deredeo Dreadnought and a Contemptor Dreadnought. That's it, I believe. That looks pretty weak, to be honest. I'm such a rubbish Thousand Sons player. People will criticize and reprimand me for not using Tzaangors at all, for not spamming Daemon Princes, and for including Scarab Occult Terminators and Rubric Marines in my list. I can already see the hate, flames and criticisms. Oh well, whatever. I will play whatever I want. And since I like Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators, that's what I'm going to play. HMPH!

The mission was the relic, which meant we had a single objective marker in the center of the table to represent the relic. Narrative-wise, you could see it as Ahriman and the Thousand Sons wanting to grab a relic to gain forbidden knowledge - probably to undo the Rubric and restore their brothers' bodies from dust. The Space Wolves, led by a Rune Priest, seess this in a vision and race to deny them the relic. For they are mortal enemies and the Space Wolves are still burning with a desire to avenge the destruction wrought upon Fenris a few years ago.

We rolled off, and my opponent got first turn. I failed to seize the initiative. That's that, I suppose. I had deployed everything in cover except the Rhino, and put the Scarab Occult Terminators in Deep Strike (my opponent did the same for the Character with Fenrisian Wolves bodyguards, Sky Claws and Inceptors). So I was gearing up for a brutal onslaught from the Wolves.

Turn 1

The Rune Priest named Character cast a couple of psychic spells. I think he failed the first and passed the second or something, but the thing is that he succeeded in casting a psychic spell, so my opponent spent 3 Command Points to use Cloak of the Storm or something, so that all units within 6" of the Rune Priest Character are shielded - any enemy units targeting them during the shooting phase deduct 1 from their hit rolls. Ugh. The Stormwolf opened fire and reduced my Rhino to just 1 wound, despite firing everything it had upon the Rhino. Poor Rhino. But my Rhino hung on and survived with just 1 wound remaining. That was hilarious. Everyone just moved and Advanced, except maybe the Intercessors, who opened fire and killed 6 Traitor Guardsmen. Despite being Traitor Guardsmen, I had to use the datasheet of Cultists for them, and their poor leadership saw 1 running away, leaving 3 survivors. Oh well. That sucked. But other than that, he failed to kill a single unit. It didn't matter anyway, since there was no First Blood in the Victory Conditions. Oh, the Intercessors fired their auxiliary grenade launchers (krak) at the Rhino, but failed to wound him, so he survived again. Maybe I made one save. Can't remember. As for the Long Fangs, they fired their lascannons into my Contemptor Dreadnought, but I rolled 2 5+s and made my invulnerable saves. Lucky! The missile launchers failed to hit the Rhino, which survived.

During my turn, I had my Deredeo Dreadnought stay still so that he can use Helical Targeting Array. Meanwhile Ahriman moved and advanced, and snatched the Relic...or tried to, but couldn't because he's Calvary and lost the Infantry Keyword. Big derp and mistake on my part there. My Daemon Prince and Exalted Sorcerer on disc also moved up. My wounded Rhino crawled 3" and advanced another 1" or something. The Rune Priest Character denied Ahriman's Warptime, and perhaps one of the Smites. But Ahriman used Doombolt and Smite, the Exalted Sorcerer also used Smite and Tzeentch's Firestorm, and the Daemon Prince also used Smite and Gaze of Fate, and they piled the mortal wounds atop the Stormwolf. The Deredeo Dreadnought then opened up and destroyed the Stormwolf with his Butcher Array cannons, and maybe fired his Greater Havoc Launcher somewhere (I can't remember), but probably failed to wound or something. He was hitting on 3+ because of the Cloak of the Storm and the Stormwolf's Hard to Hit giving him a -2 to his hit rolls, but his Helical Targeting Array gave him +1 to hit against units with Fly. The Contemptor Dreadnought fired on the Murderfang and took him down to 2 wounds. I think that was it, as everyone was out of range of my Rubric Marines. Oh well. Oh, and one Blood Claw died as he crashed out of the Stormwolf, but otherwise the rest survived.

The VIPs of the game - Contemptor Dreadnought and Deredeo Dreadnought
Turn 2

This was where everything went bad for me. I made a terrible mistake in moving Ahriman and the Exalted Sorcerer forward. In any case, my opponent moved the Murderfang and everyone toward Ahriman, with only the Wulfen barreling toward my Exalted Sorcerer on disc. Meanwhile, the Longfangs stayed still. The Inceptors, Sky Claws and Deep Striking guy with 2 Fenrisian Wolves Deep Struck 9" away from my wounded Chaos Rhino and another squad of Rubric Marines.

I can't remember, but I don't think he succeeded in casting his psychic spells this turn, or I denied him.

Everyone fired upon Ahriman, and despite all the shooting, he weathered the assault with his 3++ invulnerable save and took only a single wound from that. The Longfangs fired all their lascannons on the Chaos Rhino and finally destroyed him. I think they fired their missile launchers on my Contemptor Dreadnought, but missed. Or I made a save. I can't remember. I just know my Contemptor Dreadnought just didn't take any damage whatsoever. The Inceptors fired and wiped out my poor Rubric Marines, taking out all but 2 guys. The Sky Claws tried to fire on the remaining 2 Rubric Marines, but with All is Dust, they weathered all the shots and survived with 2+ saves against AP 0 weapons. I think that was it for shooting.

The charge and assault phases were brutal. First, he charged my squad of 10 Rubric Marines that had disembarked from the destroyed Rhino - and I didn't roll a single 1, so none of them died - with his Inceptors, Sky Claws, and named Character with 2 Fenrisian Wolves. The 10 Rubric Marines opened up with their warpflamers and killed all 3 Inceptors, all 10 Sky Claws, and the named Character and his Fenrisian Wolves. They got to fire Overwatch 3 times as each charger tried to charge them and failed. That hurt. That really hurt. As for how my Rubric Marines could fire their 8" warpflamers in overwatch...well, they disembarked 3" away from the destroyed Rhino and thus were about 6" (or 7" or 6.1") away from the charging units who Deep Struck 9" away from the Rhino.

On the other hand, the Murderfang, Rune Priest, Wolf Lord, Blood Claws all charged into Ahriman, and the Murderfang murdered Ahriman with his Damage D6 weapon despite Ahriman making all but one invulnerable saves. That single failed invulnerable save meant that the Murderfang's attack went through, and did Damage D6 - and he rolled a 4. With the 1 wound Ahriman suffered earlier, it meant that he died. Ouch. Across from that battle, the Wulfen charged into the Exalted Sorcerer on disc, howling in joy, and ripped him apart with their Lightning Claws. Double Ouch. They then consolidated into my Daemon Prince.

With no idea what to do and my 2 most potent psykers dead, I was pretty much in trouble. The relic had fallen into the hands of the Space Wolves, and they were decimating my lines. On the bright side, the surviving 2 Rubric Marines passed their morale and didn't lose anyone.

During my turn, I completely forgot to Deep Strike my Scarab Occult Terminators. Stupid, bloody mistake there. I am so dumb. I am a total disgrace to all Thousand Sons players, and bring them huge shame, not only because I don't play Tzaangors, but also because I forgot to Deep Strike the very Scarab Occult Terminators that are supposedly trash and I'm not allowed by the Thousand Sons community to field them.

Anyway, I only moved my Rubric Marines forward, except the single squad who was still in cover. 10 Traitor Guardsmen fixed bayonets and moved forward to support the Daemon Prince locked in combat with the Wulfen. I can't remember what I did, but I basically used Smite to whittle down the Intercessors, while the Rune Priest denied a few of them. So only 1 Intercessor died from the Smites Then in shooting, I killed 3 Intercessors in one squad and all the surviving Blood Claws (4 of them) with the Warpflamer Rubric Marines after using Veterans of the Long War Stratagem. The Deredeo Dreadnought finished off the wounded Murderfang with his Butcher Array cannons, and wounded an Intercessor in another squad. I think. The Contemptor Dreadnought fired upon the Longfangs and killed only 2 of them. I then charged the 10 Warpflamer Rubric Marines into the sole surviving Intercessor and the Rune Priest, but I don't think I managed to wound them. In return, they killed a couple of Rubric Marines in combat, especially since the Wolf Priest did a Heroic Intervention - but I made my 4++ Invulnerable saves against his D1 sword because of All is Dust. Meanwhile my Daemon Prince killed about 2 or 3 Wulfen, while my Guardsmen did...absolutely nothing. Well, they actually did a few wounds, but the Wulfen were making their 5+ Feel No Pain saves like crazy and didn't take any damage from the Guardsmen's bayonets. 2 or 3 of them got ripped apart by the Daemon Prince, though. In return, they did 7 wounds to him, leaving him with just 1 wound left after he made quite a few 4++ invulnerable saves. Ugh.

The Relic was still in Space Wolves hands. Or should I say paws? Or claws?

Turn 3

The Wolf Lord, Rune Priest and Lone Intercessor remained locked in combat with my warpflamer Rubric Marines. My opponent used the Lone Wolf Stratagem for the sole surviving Intercessor and turned him into a Character with 4 Wounds. Ugh. His Intercessors fired and killed 1 Rubric Marine in the squad of 2. His Longfangs fired and I rolled 2 5++ invulnerable saves for my Contemptor Dreadnought again. That thing just refused to take any damage. Awesome! The Intercessors charged my warpflamer Rubric Marines, but only the Rune Priest and Wolf Lord could do any damage against their All is Dust rule and 2+ save (which became 4++ against the Wolf Lord and 4+ against the Rune Priest), and I lost a few more Rubric Marines. But I spent 2 Command Points and used the Counteroffensive Stratagem for my Daemon Prince to attack the Wulfen first, and I managed to kill another 2. The remaining 3 or 4 Wulfen killed my Daemon Prince, and split their attacks to kill 6 Traitor Guardsmen. Ouch.

Then came my turn. I had my Traitor Guardsmen fall back - and I completely forgot to do morale for them. Not that it would have mattered - whether they were wiped out or not, they were completely useless for the rest of the game. My fresh squad of 10 Traitor Guardsmen stomped out from behind cover to fire upon the remaining Wulfen with their lasguns, while the Rubric Marines with warpflamers fell back - I think by then, I only had 2 or 4 of them left. I can't remember. Maybe 2. The single Aspiring Sorcerer also moved closer. This time, I remembered to Deep Strike my Scarab Occult Terminators. They appeared on my opponent's side of the table, about 9" away from the Rune Priest and Lone Wolf Intercessor, cutting off their path of retreat (since they were hemmed in by my Aspiring Sorcerer, warpflamer Rubric Marines and the rest of my army). I had the 3 Guardsmen from the decimated first squad descend, and my 5 Rubric Marines - their squad completely untouched - moved out into the open.

Yup, I killed all those poor Space Wolves. That's why the table is so empty.
Anyway, I did a bunch of Smites and maybe killed 1 Intercessors when the Rune Priest failed to deny the witch. On the other side, my sole surviving Exalted Sorcerer, and the 3rd Aspiring Sorcerer killed either 1 or 2 Wulfen with Smites. I know, by the end of the psychic phase, there were only 2 Wulfen left - and one of them had taken 1 wound.

During the shooting phase, my Traitor Guardsmen fired their lasguns on the 2 remaining Wulfen and slew them. Yeah. Traitor Guardsmen killed 2 Wulfen with lasguns. I could hardly believe it. The Contemptor Dreadnought fired and killed the remaining Longfangs. Yes! Between the Deredeo Dreadnought and the fresh squad of Rubric Marines, they massacred the 2nd squad of Intercessors, and I didn't even get to roll for the Greater Havoc Launcher. With only 3 Characters left and no other models - yeah, at this point, my opponent literally had only 3 models on the table - my Scarab Occult Terminators had their pick, and I split their fire. Their inferno combibolters, Soul Reaper Cannon and Hellfyre missile rack didn't do much...the Lone Wolf Intercessor made most of his saves, and I think he only took maybe 1 or 2 damage? The Rune Priest also only took 1 damage, or maybe none at all. The Wolf Lord, who was still holding the Relic, also didn't sustain any damage, or none that I can remember. I charged, and...failed the charge. Oh, well.

Turn 4

Time was slowing running out. The three Characters moved up toward the Scarab Occult Terminators, and between their shooting and combat, they managed to kill 1 Scarab Occult Terminator and put 1 wound on another. I tried to fight back, but I only succeeded in putting a single wound on the Rune Priest and failed to kill him.

During my turn, I had the Scarab Occult Terminators. Then, between a few Smites, inferno combibolters, 2 Butcher Array Cannons, a Greater Havoc Launcher, and a couple of warpflamers, I massacred all 3 Characters, and the Relic fell to me, allowing me to pick it up with my Aspiring Sorcerer and warpflamer Rubric Marine. There was nothing else for me to say. I had tabled my opponent, and the Relic was in the warlocks' hands. The Thousand Sons have achieved vengeance for Prospero yet again!

THE THOUSAND SONS ARE AWESOME!

Admittedly, my opponent committed the biggest blunder by charging a significant portion of his army - 3 units, which consisted of 3 Inceptors with plasma exterminators, 10 Sky Claws, 1 Character with Fenrisian Wolves - into my warpflamer Rubric Marines and got totally wiped out. He had no idea that my warpflamers had AP -2, and thought he would be able to make the 3+ armor saves necessary to brave through the flames. Don't mess with the Thousand Sons! Underestimate them, and boom! While the Thousand Sons certainly dominate the psychic phase, they have pretty strong shooting too, especially against Marine equivalents and armies relying on 3+ armor saves to tank damage.

And so the Thousand Sons escape with the Relic after slaughtering the hapless Space Wolves who foolishly thought they could stand in our way of our quest for knowledge. They paid for their folly with their lives, and even now, their tortured souls scream and writhe within Tzeentch's ever-changing cage...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Da Regimentul Bosspole

Uh oh. Looks like the Orks looted our Regimental Standard and turned it into Da Regimentul Bosspole.



That ain't good...

On the bright side, we get to read massive insights into the Orks' psychology and learn their brutal tactics and how they fight. What's that, Commissar? We're not allowed to read this? But 'em Orks are krumpin' us humies into bits! With their choppas and looted chainswords!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Prepare for Waaagh!

Get ready, fellow Guardsmen! We're going to have to prepare for a massive Waaagh!



Orktober is upon us, and we are going to have to gird ourselves, dig in and defend against an incoming invasion of Orks. They look like they're going to be an extremely powerful army this edition. My Guardsmen have been wiped out by Orks (though they get exterminated by my Leman Russ tanks in return), so I'm kind of worried. No, no. That's a good thing. More variety is better for the game. And I can't keep winning against Orks all the time. It's time they get a great codex too!

You can find out more about Orks in the Warhammer Community website.