Tuesday 15 September 2015

GW Aberdeen Doubles Tournament- Game 2

This is part 2 of my battle reports at Clan Clash, organised by Games Workshop Aberdeen.
Our second game of the day was a mission called Cataclysm. This was a really interesting mission, the goal of which was to get units in your opponent's table half. Each unit of Troops or Elites above 5 models in your opponent's deployment zone at the end of your turn after turn 2 scored you a victory point. In addition, any units of Troops or their dedicated transport that is destroyed get to come back into reserve the following turn.
This sounded like a fantastic mission to play and one very suited to my army. I liked the meatgrinder aspect, meaning that you could throw your Troops units into the enemy army without caring for their demise, as long as they scored you victory points.

The battle begins.
The scenario.
As a reminder, my army consisted of:
Captain- Space Marine Bike, Power fist, Storm Shield
5 Bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant with Meltabombs
5 Bikers- 2 Grav guns, sergeant with Meltabombs
5 Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, sergeant with Meltabombs
5 Sternguard Veterans- 3 with combi-meltas in drop pod
In this game, I was paired up with Scott and his Tau army, consisting of:
Two units of Fire warriors
One unit of Sniper drones
One unit of Stealth suits
We were going up against Steve (Adeptus Mechanicus) and JK (Imperial Guard), their army consisting of:
Four units of 4 Kataphron Battle Servitors- Grav cannons
Pask in Leman Russ Punisher and Leman Russ Executioner
3 Wyverns
Two units of 10 Veterans
A really tough army, the Battle Servitors will make a mess of any unit, so fortunately for us we get to recycle our units in the game. The enemy army only had two units that could score any points in this scenario, the two units of Veterans, so we had to make sure to keep them units below 5 models and away from our table half. Before the battle started, JK casually plonked a trophy for "Best Guard Player" at Rapid Fire on one of the ruins in his deployment zone, no doubt to try and intimidate us for the forthcoming battle. We'd just need to see what happened in the game.
For our special cards this game, Scott and I chose the Dirty Trick cards that allowed us to put an opponent's unit in reserve and the card that made their weapons "Get's Hot" for a single turn. We also took the seize on a 2+ benevolence card. We thought that the massed fire of the Mechanicus and Punisher would cause a few casualties for Get's Hot and putting the Wyverns in reserve would severely diminish the enemy firepower. We also really wanted the first turn to try and deal with the enemy army.
We won the roll for table edge and chose the side with the large line of sight blocking tower. We also won the roll for deployment and allowed our opponents to go first (on the very good chance that we could seize). They deployed the wyverns to the front of their deployments zone, screened by the two units of veterans. Pask's unit was deployed to the right and the Mechanicus units were deployed to the left.

We deployed our units to the left of the board, most of them behind the tower, the bikers ready to move forward and the Tau in cover.

The Guard and Mechanicus. The Wyverns were removed shortly after.

Before the game started, we used our Dirty Trick card to put the Wyverns in reserve. Steve and JK used the same Dirty Trick to put the Captain and his grav bike unit in reserve too. We used our benevolence card to seize the initiative and got the first turn.

Steve and JK used another Dirty Trick as the game started to limit our movement to 6" for each unit this turn and make all our weapons fire have the "Get's Hot" rule.
White Scars/Tau- Turn 1.

With a scream of descent thrusters, the drop pod came crashing to the ground in amongst the enemy lines, the Sternguard disembarking to face the Leman Russ tanks (putting the Wyverns in reserve opened a hole in the Guard lines that was perfect for the drop pod). In our deployment zone, our units slowly advanced, getting into the cover of the tower.
The Sternguard arrive on target.

In the shooting phase, the Sternguard opened up with their combi-melta guns on the Leman Russ squadron. All three shots were on target, the Executioner exploded and Pask's own tank was immobilised and Stunned, leaving it on one hull point. The drop pod fired at the nearby veterans, but they went to ground and no wounds were caused. With no other units in range, our turn was over.
The combi-meltas make short work of the Battle Tanks.

Guard/Mechanicus- Turn 1.

In Steve and JK's first turn, one unit of Veterans advanced and the Mechanicus units advanced towards the Sternguard. The Servitors opened fire on the Sternguard and Drop Pod, easily wiping them out with their massed Grav firepower to give them first blood.

Scars/Tau- 0
Guard/Mechanicus- 1

White Scars/Tau- Turn 2.

Our turn began with the two units of White Scars bikers first moving, then turbo-boosting to get into the enemy table half. The Tau units also moved forward to cover their advance.

There was little shooting this turn, only the front unit of Veterans were targeted by the Tau, killing 7 of them. They passed their morale check and fought on. The two units of bikers in the enemy table half scored us two points this turn.

At the start of their second turn, we used the "Get's Hot" Dirty Trick card on Steve and JK to make their shooting more perilous. The Veteran units advanced slowly while the Mechanicus units moved towards the White Scars bikers.
Guard/Mechanicus- Turn 2.

In the shooting phase, the Veterans opened fire on one unit of bikers and managed to kill one of them. The rearmost unit of Servitors opened fire on the same unit, killing three of the bikers for the loss of one of their own due to Get's Hot rolls. Pask fired his Heavy Bolters at the last member of the unit, killing him off.

Another unit of Servitors fired at the second bike unit, killing two White Scars, but taking three wounds in the process thanks to "Get's Hot" rolls. The bikers failed their morale check and fled 14" back towards their board edge.

Scars/Tau- 2
Guard/Mechanicus- 1

White Scars/Tau- Turn 3.

Turn 3 began with the meltagun biker unit arriving from reserve and speeding towards the enemy deployment zone. The Tau continued their advance, running forwards to get in to the enemy table half. They used the Ethereal's special rule to allow them to snap fire after running to pick off one of the Mechanicus Servitors in front of them, wiping out the unit.

With no other effective shooting, we ended our turn gaining a further two points for the two Fire warrior units.

Guard/Mechanicus- Turn 3.

Turn 3 began for Steve and JK with the arrival of the Wyverns and a fresh four-man Servitor unit. The newly arrived Servitor unit fired at the three-man bike squad, but were unable to get past the Jinking of the Bikers. The Magos showed them how it was done, wiping out the three White Scars with his firepower.
The Wyverns arrive.

The bikers are soon overwhelmed by the enemy firepower.

The rest of the Mechanicus targeted the Meltagun bikers, but only managed to kill one of them. Still, it was enough to stop them scoring next turn.

The newly arrived Wyverns fired at the sniper drones, their shells obliterating the enemy unit easily. Pask then turned his attention to the Fire warriors in front of him, once again, the Tau were slaughtered to a man. The two remaining veterans attempted to assault the second unit of fire warriors, but were cut down by overwatch fire.

Scars/Tau- 4
Guard/Mechanicus- 1

White Scars/Tau- Turn 4.

The unit that had just been destroyed returned to the battlefield and the Captain's bike unit finally arrived, the Fire warriors moving into cover, while the Bikers turbo-boosted forward once again. The Meltagun bikers fired at the Servitors in front of them, but were unable to wound any of the Mechanicus warriors.

The Fire warriors opened fire at the Magos in front of them. Despite wounding 15 times, the Magos did not suffer a single unsaved wound! The Stealth suits fared a little better, killing 6 of the veterans in the woods.

At the end of turn 4, we scored another point for the fire warriors in the enemy deployment zone.

Guard/Mechanicus- Turn 4.

At the start of their fourth turn, the Mechanicus and veterans continued to advance on the enemy army.
The Wyverns fired at the Bike squad led by the Captain and managed to get the Ethereal in the blast (getting 2 victory points for slaying him). The bikers suffered 17 hits, causing 9 wounds and wiping out the bikers (but not the Captain) and also managed to kill the Ethereal. Pask then targeted the Meltagun bikers, easily wiping them out in a hail of Punisher Cannon fire. The Mechanicus Servitors targeted the Fire Warriors and wiped out the unit with their grav weapons.

We ran out of time at the end of turn 4 and the final score was:

Scars/Tau- 5
Guard/Mechanicus- 3

A win for the Dundee team!

That was a really fun scenario that our army was very well suited for. I didn't actually do a whole lot in that game. Apart from shooting with one unit in one of our turns, all I did was move my units and take Jink saves, but that is what was needed in this game. I had to move my units as fast as possible towards the enemy and hope they would survive the firestorm next turn.

There were a few factors that I think contributed to our win:
1. The Dirty Tricks cards were essential in this game. Being able to put the Wyverns in reserve took them out of the game for two turns and allowed our units to make use of the cover to advance into the enemy deployment zone, without fear of being targeted when out of line of sight.
The Seize the initiative card was also essential, allowing my Sternguard to alpha strike Pask's squadron meant that we destroyed one Russ and severely crippled the Punisher tank, it's just a shame we could not finish him off for that extra victory point. I knew that the Sternguard would be quickly eliminated after, but it was well worth the trade off in my opinion.

2. I think the restricted movement card played against us actually helped us out more than hindered us. By restricting our movement to 6", we were unable to advance into the range of the Mechanicus guns, so the unit strength of my bikers could not be brought below 5. This allowed me to turbo-boost into the enemy deployment zone in the following turn and start to score points.

3. The composition of the enemy army was definitely to our advantage in this scenario. Having only two units that could score and these units being guardsmen on foot, meant that we could reduce their numbers to make them non-scoring quite quickly. Had the Servitors been present as two units of 8 (and therefore scoring), I think we would have really struggled to cause enough damage to make them non-scoring and they could have swept across the board to our table half.

4. Again, I really wish I had taken Khan instead of the Captain. Had I known about the scenarios beforehand, I definitely would have taken him. Khan's ability to grant the bikers Scout, and therefore Outflank, would have been extremely useful in this game. Having the bikes return on the flank in the enemy table half each turn would have meant they would instantly score at the end of their turn rather than have to take a turn to move up to the enemy table half. In this scenario, I wouldn't have even bothered trying to Jink, I would just let the unit get wiped out and bring them back next turn for another victory point. In addition, I might have been able to take out Pask and the Wyverns with my grav and melta guns on the bikers.

5. The Meatgrinder rule allowing troops units to return was also key in this game. Our opponents were unlucky. In any of the other games in the tournament, they would have tabled us easily and probably won the game. As it was, being able to keep recycling our White Scars bike and Fire Warriors units meant that we had more and more bodies to throw at the enemy to try and score.

Cataclysm was a really unusual and interesting scenario that added a lot to the tournament and added a different challenge to my usual play style. In a standard tournament scenario, we wouldn't have stood a chance against the Astra Militarum/Mechanicus army we face, but were able to get a win thanks to the correct choice of Dirty Tricks and the mobility of our army.


  1. Interesting. I was thinking that Khan wouldn't help as much here, because you can't Outflank from Ongoing Reserves, but the Scenario doesn't put the recycled Units into Ongoing Reserves, but regular Reserves, so he would, in fact, be awesome here.

    1. I wasn't aware that ongoing reserves does not allow outflanking. I guess it would only really apply to flyers in most games and they don't generally have Scout.

      Yeah, I was kicking myself not taking him in all three battles. Had I known the missions beforehand, I would have definitely included him.

    2. I think that's a change from 6th to 7th. Not sure, tho, it's pretty rare that anything with Outflank ends up in Ongoing Reserves. It's tucked away somewhere in the Outflank Rule.