Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Stronghold V Battle Report 1- White Scars vs White Scars/Mechanicus

This is my first battle report from the recent Stronghold V tournament that I attended in Glasgow. This tournament was for 1250 pts made up of a Combined Arms Detachment (with optional allied detachment) and would be played out over 4 different missions. I have previously discussed some of the rules of the tournament and my initial list for my White Scars.

The first mission of the day was the Contact Lost maelstrom mission. This mission allows you to draw a card for each objective that you hold at the start of the turn, so it is important to try and hold the objectives while also scoring your maelstrom cards. I was hopeful that my fast moving, objective secured army would do well in this mission.
My army consisted of:
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs (with CS or L)
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and 2 with meltabombs (CS)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS1)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs (S)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher (LS)
Drop Pod- storm bolter (DP)
3 Scout Bikers- One grenade launcher, sergeant with meltabombs and locator beacon (SB)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher (ST)
Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricaine bolters (C)

For my warlord trait, I rolled on the tactical deck and got Master of Fate, allowing me to re-roll the victory points result for a maelstrom card where a random number of points is required. I liked this as it can be annoying to constantly roll a 1 on all your D3 victory points re-rolls for maelstrom cards. My Librarian got Psychic Shriek and Prescience for his psychic powers.

My first opponent of the day was Innes who attends Dundee Wargames Club. We played each other in a practice game a few weeks ago where I defeated his combination White Scars/Dark Angels list. As a result of this, Innes dramatically changed his list several times in the intervening weeks before the tournament. As a result, his army consisted of:

Terminator Captain- Cataphractii terminator armour, Power sword, Shield Eternal (C)
Librarian- Master level 2, Force Stave, Bolt Pistol, The Hunter's Eye (L)
Ironclad Dreadnought- Power fist, Chainfist, Two heavy flamers (ID)
Drop Pod (DP1)
5 Scouts- Boltguns (S)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Flamer (LS)
5 Scouts- Sniper rifles and camo cloaks (SS)
5 Devastators- 4 multimeltas (D)
Drop Pod (DP2)
Stalker (ST)
Wall of Martyrs Bunker- Escape Hatch (WoM)

Tech Priest Dominus- Volkite Blaster, Macrostubber, Refraction Field, Raiment of the Technomartyr (with KD)
Kataphron Destroyers- Heavy Grav cannons, Phosphor blasters (KD)

A very different army to the last force that I faced, with a lot of interesting and powerful units. His warlord trait was Princepts of Deceit (useless for my bikers) and his Librarian got Psychic Shriek, Terrify and Shrouding.
The Destroyers (with the Librarian and Hunter's Eye) will be very tough and will go through most units of my army. Innes also got a ruling that the Shield Eternal and Cataphractii terminator armour would give him a 3+ invulnerable save with a re-roll of 1's, making the Captain a very tough prospect. I assumed he would be added to the Devastators to give them slow and purposeful.

Our table featured a very large industrial complex on the centre of the board and little cover elsewhere. We placed the objectives as shown below:
Placement of objectives.

I won the roll for deployment zone and chose the side with the large platform. I figured this would allow me to hide a unit behind them and give me some other areas to hide my units behind and out of sight of the heavy grav cannons.

Innes won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. He deployed the Wall of Martyrs on his right flank, with the escape hatch on the top of the industrial complex. The Destroyers and Librarian went in the wall of martyrs. The sniper Scouts went in the middle of the complex and the Stalker deployed beside objective 3 on the left flank.

I set up one unit of bikers out of line of sight on my left flank near the objective, the other two bike units went on the right with the landspeeder storm. I infiltrated the Scout Bikers in front of the Stalker, then scouted them forward to get within 12" of it (I wanted to take this out before my Stormtalon arrived).
Deployment. The Scout Bikers scouted forward.

I failed to seize and Innes got the first turn.

In the first turn, Innes drew Objective 3, Objective 4 and Objective 6.

The drop pod carrying the Dreadnought crashed onto the platform holding objective 6, the Dreadnought moving out to engage the Scouts (the pod failed its dangerous terrain test and lost two hull points in the first turn). The Destroyers and Librarian climbed out of the escape hatch onto the industrial complex to target the enemy White Scars. The Stalker retreated away from the Scout Bikers.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Shrouding on the Destroyers to protect them from harm.

The sniper scouts opened fire on the Landspeeder storm, but failed to harm the jinking speeder. The Stalker fired on the Landspeeder too, penetrating it twice, but both shots were saved by the jinking speeder. The Dreadnought turned both its flamers on the bike squad beneath the platform, wounding them 5 times but failing to get past the armour of the bikers.

The Destroyers opened fire on the closest bike squad, easily wiping them out with their heavy grav cannons.

At the end of his turn, Innes scored Objective 3 and First Blood.

At the start of my turn, I drew Objective 1 and Supremacy (control at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent). Innes currently held 2 objectives, so I would need to control 4 objectives or wrest control of some of them from him.

The drop pod carrying the Centurions arrived, homing in on the beacon carried by the Scout Bikers to target the Stalker (I planned to take out the stalker and grab objective 3 with the Centurions). The Scout Bikers then advanced to support them.

The Landspeeder Storm moved up to the complex to grab an objective, while the Command Squad moved towards the Destroyers.

There was no psychic phase, as I had nothing in range to use psychic shriek or to shoot at to use prescience.

The Centurions fired at the Stalker, but only managed to take a single hull point from it after some terrible rolling from me. The Scout Bikers fired at the Stalker, but failed to cause any damage.

The bikers on the left flank fired on the Dreadnought, taking a hull point and immobilising it.

A very quick turn for me. My inability to destroy the Stalker with my 15 grav cannon shots had denied me the chance to score this turn. I discarded Objective 1 to try and draw another card I could score next turn.

White Scars/Mechanicus- 2
White Scars- 0

This turn, Innes drew Kingslayer (kill the enemy warlord) to go with Objective 4 and Objective 6.

There was no movement from the White Scars or Mechanicus this turn and the reserves did not arrive.

The Librarian attempted to cast Shrouding, but I was able to block it.

The Dreadnought opened fire on the bikers once more, finally managing to kill one with its heavy flamers (my saving throws for this unit in the last two turns had been amazing). The sniper scouts fired at the Command Squad (Innes trying to take out the Apothecary with precision shots), wounding them once, but failing to get past their armour. The Destroyers opened fire on the Command Squad, only killing two of the veterans after some brilliant saves from me once again. The Command Squad passed their morale check.

The Stalker fired at the Landspeeder storm, penetrating the jinking flyer once and shaking it.

At the end of the turn, Innes scored no points.

This turn, I drew Objective 3 and Demolitions to go with Supremacy from last turn. If my Centurions could take care of business this turn, I would be able to get Objective 3 and Supremacy. Demolitions would be a hard task for this turn (or any subsequent turns).

The Stormtalon arrived, moving on the left flank to target the Destroyers and ensuring that I kept out of range of the Stalker (who has interceptor). The Scouts disembarked from their transport to grab objective 2, while the Landspeeder Storm moved to cover objective 4 to allow the Command squad to advance on the Destroyers once more.

On the right flank, the Centurions moved up to engage the Stalker, while the Scout Bikers made their way to the rear of the enemy tank.

The Librarian cast Prescience on his own squad to boost the firepower of the grav guns wielded by the veterans.

In the shooting phase, the bike squad on the left fired on the Dreadnought, wrecking the walker with their grav guns.

The Command Squad opened fire on the Destroyers, wounding the Dominus twice as the closet model. The Landspeeder Storm then snap fired on the unit and managed to get past the 2+ armour save of the Dominus to slay him. The Stormtalon fired on the Destroyers, but failed to cause any damage to the shrouded unit.

The Centurions fired at the Stalker and finally managed to wreck the enemy tank this turn.

At the end of my turn, I scored objective 3 and Supremacy for 2 points (thanks to my warlord trait re-roll) for 3 points this turn. I discarded Demolitions.

White Scars/Mechanicus- 2
White Scars- 3

This turn, Innes had Objective 2, Objective 4, Objective 6 and Kingslayer

The second drop pod crashed to earth beside the enemy command squad, the Terminator Captain leading the Devastators out to target the enemy bikers. The Kataphron Destroyers retreated to the safety of the bunker, leaving the Librarian alone on the gantry.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek and Terrify on the enemy Command Squad, but his attempts were all blocked thanks to the presence of my own White Scars Librarian (who was denying on a 4+).

The Destroyers began the phase by opening fire on the Stormtalon, glancing the flyer once, but the damage was saved by the jinking flyer.

The rest of the army opened fire on the Command Squad. Both drop pods fired on the bikers, but failed to caused any damage. The sniper scouts fired on the Command Squad, their precision shots once again hitting the Apothecary, but failing to wound the medic. The Devastators turned their powerful Multimelta shots on the White Scar veterans, but their Storm Shields and Apothecary once again saved them from harm.

At the end of the turn, Innes scored no points.

This turn I drew Objective 2, Objective 3, Objective 4 and Ascendency (score any 3 objectives). A great round of cards for me as I could achieve them all already.

The Stormtalon turned towards the Devastators and moved up on the unit, while the Command Squad advanced on the Scout snipers behind the Devastators. The Centurions and Scout Bikers moved towards the centre of the industrial complex.

The Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the Devastators, but the attack was blocked (thanks in part to the Adamantium Will of the Captain).

The Centurions fired at the Devastators, slaying four of the squad with their grav cannons (who went to ground to get a better cover save). The Command Squad opened fire on the unit, killing another one of the Devastators.

The Bikers on my left flank fired at the drop pod, wrecking the enemy vehicle. The Scout bikers fired on the sniper scouts, but failed to get past their cover saves.

At the end of my turn, I scored all four of my maelstrom cards, scoring two points for Ascendency.

White Scars/Mechanicus- 2
White Scars- 8

This turn, Innes drew No Prisoners (destroy an enemy unit) to go along with Kingslayer, Objective 2, Objective 4 and Objective 6.

The Landspeeder Storm arrived, moving on the left flank to advance on objective 2 and my own Scouts. The Destroyers moved out of the bunker onto the gantry of the complex once more, joining the Librarian once again.

The Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the Command Squad, but the attack was blocked once again.

The sniper scouts opened fire on the Command Squad, causing one wound that was saved by their armour. The Destroyers targeted the Command Squad too, causing 5 wounds that were once again saved by the Storm Shields of the veterans.

The Devastators snap fired at the Stormtalon, causing no hits but forcing the flyer to jink. The Landspeeder Storm fired its heavy flamer at the Scouts, killing three of them. They squad failed their morale check and fell back 7".

Innes scored objective 2 this turn thanks to the scouts falling back, and discarded Objective 6.

This turn, I drew Objective 2, Witchhunter (destroy an enemy psyker) and Behind Enemy Lines (have units in the enemy deployment zone).

The Stormtalon turned to the enemy deployment zone and gunned its engines. The Command Squad turned towards the sniper scouts, the Librarian peeling off to join the advancing Centurions. The Scout Bikers moved up towards the centre of the enemy deployment zone, while the Landspeeder Storm headed for the enemy deployment zone, turbo-boosting to get into range of objective 3. The Scouts rallied, moving back up towards objective 2.

The Librarian tried to cast Shriek on the Scouts, but failed to manifest it on 3 dice. He then failed to cast Prescience on the Centurions.

The Centurions opened fire on the Destroyers. The more nimble Librarian leapt out of the way, the slower Destroyers were annihilated by the grav cannon fire. The Stormtalon snap fired its assault cannon at the Librarian, but failed to cause any damage. The Command Squad fired its grav guns at the Librarian, finally managing to kill the enemy psyker.

The Scout Bikers fired at the sniper scouts, killing one of the squad, who failed their morale check and fell back. 

 At the end of my turn, I scored Witchhunter and 2 points for Behind Enemy Lines.

White Scars/Mechanicus- 3
White Scars- 11
Innes drew Hungry for Glory (issue a challenge) to go with No Prisoners, Kingslayer and Objective 4.

The Scouts disembarked from their transport, the Landspeeder Storm moving off to capture Objective 4. The Terminator Captain and Sniper scouts moved up on the Command Squad.

The Scouts on the gantry opened fire on their enemy counterparts, their boltguns finishing off the two survivors of the squad.

The other unit of scouts fired their bolt pistols at the Command Squad, killing one of the veterans. The squad passed their morale check.
The Scouts charged the Command Squad, one of the squad perishing to the overwatch fire and failing the charge. The Terminator Captain charged into the command squad and issued a challenge. He hit the Apothecary with 4 of his attacks, but failed to cause any wounds. The Command Squad failed to cause any damage to the Terminator Captain in return. The Command Squad then hit and ran out of combat.
Innes scored Hungry for Glory, No Prisoners and Objective 4.
This turn I drew Objective 2 and Hungry for Glory (issue a challenge) to go with Objective 2 from last turn.

The Centurions, Scout Bikers and Landspeeder Storm moved up on the Scouts holding objective 2. The Command Squad advanced on the Terminator Captain, while the Stormtalon moved towards the enemy bunker.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Psychic Shriek on the Scouts but then failed to hit with the attack (despite needing a 2+).
The Centurions fired at the Scouts, killing 4 of the squad. The Scout Bikers fired on the unit, but failed to kill the last survivor. The Command Squad fired at the Terminator Captain, but failed to cause any damage. The Landspeeder Storm turbo-boosted back to the objective (you could score victory points for objectives at the end of the game). I had planned to use the speeder to claim objective 2 if the scouts were all killed, but moved it to secure objective 3 instead.
The Command Squad assaulted the Terminator Captain, the Apothecary issuing a challenge. Both sides struck at one another, but failed to cause any damage on their opponents. The Command Squad hit and ran back to the enemy deployment zone to claim Linebreaker.
At the end of the turn, I score Hungry for Glory.
White Scars/Mechanicus- 6
White Scars- 12
We rolled to see if the game continued and it did not. We both scored Linebreaker at the end of the game, I held 3 objectives, while Innes held 2 objectives.

End of the game.
White Scars/Mechanicus- 7 (+6 for 2 objectives)
White Scars- 13 (+9 for objectives)
Thanks to Innes for another great battle.

Overall, I think my plan worked pretty well. I used my mobility to focus on the objectives rather than trying to kill the enemy army (though I gave this a decent shot too). This allowed me to pull quite far ahead on the maelstrom points going into turn 3 and made things a bit easier in the final two turns.

I did start to worry on my first turn when the Centurions failed to take out the Stalker with their grav cannons. This stopped me from scoring Objective 3 and Ascendency on the first turn (though I scored them in the subsequent turn).

What definitely helped in this game was my amazing luck with my saving throws. This is normally an area where I suffer in most games, but even I couldn't believe my rolling this game. The Dreadnought must have caused about a dozen wounds on my bike squad and I only failed a single save. Equally, my Command Squad seemed incapable of failing an invulnerable save or feel no pain roll.

Innes and I both agreed that the placement of his bunker was an error. By placing it on one flank, I was able to essentially negate it by keeping my units away or out of line of sight. This prevented the Destroyers using the safety of the bunker to hide themselves from my grav shots. Placing it more centrally would have enabled a greater range of fire on my army and given the Destroyers more safety.

A good start to the day for me with a first win. I was eager to see who I would be facing in the next mission.

Army Thoughts
Game 1- White Scars vs White Scars/Mechanicus
Game 2- White Scars vs Eldar
Game 3- White Scars vs Daemons
Game 4- White Scars vs Eldar
Army Review
Armies on Display


  1. Thanks for the great batrep! Nice to see that your Grav Cents finally survived a battle :D

    Overall I got the feeling that your battle plan was a lot more structured and solid - your opponent seemed to flunder around a bit, but thats just from reading this report. His list also seems a bit of an odd mix of different units - you don't get the feeling that there's a clear direction imo.

    Congrats on the win!

    PS: the other side of your saving throws coin must've been your libby - did he even manifest one power all game?

    1. Cheers Chris, I figured you would enjoy this run of White Scars battle reports. My Centurions were as surprised as anyone to survive a battle.

      He did manage to manifest a few powers, but they kept getting blocked. The one time he did manage Psychic Shriek, he missed with the shot.

    2. I absolutely do! Can't wait for the next one, I hope you stomped some dirty eldar and tau there, too!

      Poor librarian, hopefully he did better in the other games!

  2. Nice report again pal, I think your placement of the centurions was much better this time around, and as a result they seemed to have a much bigger impact throughout the game (particularly once you shifted the Hunter's Eye into the unit).

    1. Cheers Nick, I was much happier with their placement this game.

      Innes suggested that I would have been better putting them near the command squad in the first turn. This would have allowed the Librarian to join them and then target the Destroyers in the first turn. I was pretty happy with where they went as I was going after the objectives. Just a shame they fluffed their rolls on the first turn and failed to take out the Stalker.

    2. I think it was important that you kept them away from the Kataphrons to be honest. If you'd fluffed those rolls then they would have paid for it significantly in return fire. I like the placement of them on the flank to then roll in to the centre as the return fire weakens. I'm struggling to think how I can achieve something similar without the assistance of the drop pod to allow use of the Sternhammer Strike Force, but in some respects I think normal devastators may be a better choice.

    3. The ability to take a Cataphractii Terminator Captain a couple of different ways in the SternHammer makes regular Grav Devs in a Pod a much more attractive option than normally.

      Your only other real option is to fish around for one of the Psychic Powers that will give you extra movement one way or another, but that's pretty hit or miss unless you take a big Librarius Conclave.

  3. this was a strange report.

    i thought you were done for when he took out the bikes on turn 1. i also thought using the grav to take out the stalker was always going to be relying on better than average dice (15 shots 3s to hit, 6s to glance would give 1.66) that you got 2 was about right. it was probably the right plan as it would have made a mess of your talon when it turned up.

    over all i liked the game as i could see the tactics being used rather than the old editions "kill what you can then grab an objective"

    as mentioned in other posts i'm not sure you opponents army had particular synergy. and his deployment and not very mobile army hampered what he could do.

    a win is a win as they say. i am quite jealous about how many games you get to play and write up about.

    1. The Grav cannon centurions get re-rolls thanks to the grav amps. On average they should do just over 3 "wounds" against a tank and will only need 2 to take out a 3 HP tank, so I was playing the odds, just got unlucky in this instance.

      Yeah, I am quite fortunate to get to play as much as I do and that I enjoy writing them up for you lovely people to read!