Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Rapid Strike Tournament: Game 1- Deathwatch vs Astra Militarum

The first 40k battle report from Rapid Strike 3.1 saw my Deathwatch take on James' Astra Militarum army in the Cleanse and Capture maelstrom of war mission. This was the standard 3 cards per turn maelstrom mission. 

My army consisted of:
Patrol Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol, Castellan of the Black Vault, The Beacon Angelis
Kill Team- 7 Veterans with Storm Bolters, Chainswords and 2 Storm Shields, Terminator with Storm Bolter and Power Fist, Vanguard Veteran with Storm Shield and Bolt Pistol, Biker with Twin Boltgun. 
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Vanguard Veterans- Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Hand Flamer
6 Bikers- Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Twin Bolters, Chainswords
Razorback- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter

James' army consisted of:
Patrol Detachment (Astra Militarum, Cadian)
Vigilus Defiant Emperor's First Tank Company
Tank Commander- Battle Cannon, 3 Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubber, Old Grudges (warlord trait), Hammer of Sunderance (Relic)
Tempestor Prime- Chainsword, Command Rod
Infantry Squad- Mortar, Lasguns
Tempestus Scions- 4 Plasma Guns, Hotshot Lasguns
Tempestus Command Squad- 4 Plasma Guns
Hellhound- Heavy Flamer
Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, 3 Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubber
Wyvern- Stormshard Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter
Taurox Prime- Taurox Gatling Cannon, 2 Autocannons

A vehicle-heavy army for my first game, not what I was looking for! This could be a tough contest, as I didn't have a lot of firepower to take on the Leman russ tanks. Hopefully, I could hide from their firepower for a while and take on the weaker infantry elements. The Tempestus units could also be a problem, with a lot of Plasma firepower to take out my Marines.

We deployed the objectives as shown below:

James chose the table side and we deployed our forces in alternating fashion. I put a unit of Bikers and the Watch Captain on my left flank, opposite the enemy armour. The Intercessors went in combat squads and deployed in the ruins in the centre and the right flank, out of line of sight in case I did not get the first turn. I put the Razorback on the left and the second unit of Bikers on the right. The rest of my forces went in reserve, leaving me with 4 CP for the game.

James put the Hellhound on his left, with the Infantry Squad forming a buffering screen in front of the army. The Tank Commander and Leman Russ went in the centre, with the Wyvern and Taurox on the right flank. As expected, the Tempestus units went in reserve to deploy later in the game.

I finished deploying first and chose to take the first turn. James failed to seize the initiative.

In my first turn, I drew Secure Obejctive 4, Secure Objective 5 and Secure Objective 6. My mission tactics were Troops choices. A good set of cards, as I would be able to get two of them with ease, and could hopefully get first blood as well.

The Bikers moved up towards the enemy forces, the Watch Captain moving up to support the Bikers on the left flank. The two units of Intercessors moved up the ruins to get line of sight on the enemy army. The Razorback moved up to secure the objective.

The two Intercessors units fired on the Infantry Squad, James using the Take Cover stratagem to help shield them. The combined firepower of the two units slew four of the squad. The central Biker unit fired on the Infantry with their Kraken Bolts, killing four more. The final Biker squad fired on the unit, wiping them out and scoring me First Blood.

The Razorback fired on the Tank Commander, the Lascannons getting one wound through and causing 5 damage.

The Bikers on the left attempted to charge the Taurox, losing one to overwatch fire. I rolled a 9" charge, needing a ten to get in. I decided not to use a CP re-roll at this stage to get them in.

At the end of my turn, I scored First Blood, Secure Objective 4 and Secure Objective 6 for 3 points. I discarded Secure Objective 5.

In his first turn, James drew Advance, Secure Objective 3 and Secure Objective 4.

The tank forces of the Imperial Guard remained in place to turn their firepower on the enemy army. James used the Jury Rigged stratagem to heal the Tank Commander one wound.

In the shooting phase, the Tank Commander ordered himself and the Leman Russ to Pound them to Dust.
The Hellhound fired on the central Bikers, hitting them 9 times and killing one. The Tank Commander fired on the Razorback, doing 8 wounds on it with his Battle Cannon. The Heavy Bolters fired at the central Bikers, wounding them once.

The Wyvern fired at the Biker squad in front of it, getting 19 shots and 15 hits with its Stormshard Missiles, four wounds getting through their armour. I used a CP re-roll to keep one Biker alive on the ruins to stop the Taurox from being able to target the Watch Captain.

The second Leman Russ fired at shots at the lone Biker on the right flank, causing two wounds, but I made both armour saves. The Battle Cannon targeted the Razorback, destroying it. Finally, the Taurox targeted both Biker units, killing off one squad and killing a Marine in the central squad.

At the end of the turn, James scored Secure Objective 3 and discarded Advance.

Deathwatch- 3
Astra Militarum- 1

In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Defend Objective 4 and Blood and Guts.

The Watch Captain moved up on the Taurox, while the lone Biker moved up on the Leman Russ tanks. The Intercessor squads moved back into cover to shield themselves from the enemy firepower. At the end of the phase, the Veterans and Watch Master landed in front of the enemy warlord.

At the start of the shooting phase, I used the Purgatus Doctrine (+1 to wound on HQ units) and Decapitation Doctrine (re-rolls to wound on enemy warlord) on the Veterans to target the Tank Commander. The squad opened fire with the Kraken Bolts, to do 17 wounds on the enemy warlord and destroy the tank.

The Watch Captain threw a Krak grenade at the Taurox, hitting but failing to wound. The Watch Master and Biker fired on the Taurox, but did no damage.

In the charge phase, the Watch Captain assaulted the Taurox, taking two wounds from overwatch fire. The lone Biker charged the second Leman Russ, surviving the fire to make it in.

The Captain struck at the Taurox with his Thunder Hammer, only managing to wound it twice and taking 8 damage from it. The Biker and Leman Russ struck at one another, but did no damage. I was hoping the Captain could take out the Taurox to score me Blood and Guts and Secure Objective 1.

At the end of my turn, I scored Slay the Warlord and discarded Blood and Guts.

In his second turn, James drew Secure Objective 4, Defend Objective 5 and Defend Objective 6.

The Taurox and Leman Russ fell back from combat with the Deathwatch, the Hellhound moving up to target the Veterans. The reinforcements arrived on the field. The Command Squad landed on the right flank near the Captain, while the Scions landed near the Veterans, the Tempestus Prime landed in between them to order them.

In the shooting phase, the Command Squad overcharged their Plasma Guns and fired at the Watch Captain, hitting and wounding four times. The Storm Shield blocked three of the shots to leave him on a single wound.

The Tempestus Scions fired at the Veteran Squad, overcharging their Plasma Guns. Five of the Veterans perished to the volley, including the two Storm Shields. The Hellhound added its firepower, wounding the squad four times. I failed all four 4+ saves to leave only the Terminator and Vanguard Veteran.

The Wyvern fired its Stormshard at the Watch Captain and Heavy Bolter at the lone Biker. The Missiles did 7 wounds on the Captain, but I made all my saves. The Biker also survived the volley of fire.

At the end of his turn, James scored no points and discarded Defend Objective 6. I scored Defend Objective 4.

Deathwatch- 6
Astra Militarum- 1

Things were looking good for the Deathwatch. I was ahead on points and much of the enemy army had been struck down.

In my third turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Hold the Line and Overwhelming Firepower.

The lone Biker, Veterans and Watch Master moved up on the Tempestus Scions. The Watch Captain moved up on the Taurox. I landed the Vanguard Veterans in my deployment zone to have enough units to get Hold the Line.

In the shooting phase, the Biker, Veterans and Watch Master fired on the Tempestus Scions, wiping out the squad. The Watch Captain threw a krak grenade at the Taurox, but failed to do any damage.

In the charge phase, the Watch Captain assaulted the Taurox, taking three wounds in overwatch, but saving them all. The lone Biker assaulted the Tempestus Prime, the Veteran squad failing to join him.

The Watch Captain finally slew the Taurox. The Biker put two wounds on the Tempestus Prime for no damage in reply.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 1, Hold the Line and Overwhelming Firepower.

In his third turn, James drew Defend Objective 4 to go with Secure Objective 4 and Defend Objective 5.

The Tempestus Prime fell back from combat towards the Command Squad. The Hellhound moved up to secure the objective in front of it.

The Scions fired at the Watch Captain, overcharging their Plasma Guns and slaying him for one loss in reply.
The Hellhound fired at the Watch Master, hitting him 9 times, one of which got through his armour.

The Wyvern fired at the Veterans, but failed to do any damage. The Leman Russ fired at the Veterans and Watch Master, killing the Vanguard Veteran and taking four wounds from the Watch Master, leaving him on a single wound.

At the end of his turn, James scored no points.

Deathwatch- 9
Astra Militarum- 1

In my fourth turn, I drew Assassinate, Behind Enemy Lines and Mission Critical Objective (objective 5).

The Vanguard Veterans moved up on the objective in front of them. The Watch Master, Terminator and Biker moved behind the enemy lines.

The Terminator and Biker fired on the Tempestus Command Squad, wiping them out.

At the end of my turn, I scored Behind Enemy Lines for 3 points. James scored Defend Objective 5.

In his turn, James drew Defend Objective 6 to go with Secure Objective 4 and Defend Objective 4.

The Astra Militarum Tanks remained in place to target the enemy forces.

The Hellhound fired on the Watch Master, killing him. The Wyvern fired at the Vanguard Veterans and Terminator, killing two of the Vanguard.

The Leman Russ fired at the Vanguard Veterans and lone Biker, wounding the Biker once and killing two more of the Veterans.

At the end of his turn, James scored no points.

With that, we ran out of time and the game ended. I scored Linebreaker.

Deathwatch- 10
Astra Militarum- 3
End of the game. 

A win for the Deathwatch.

Thanks to James for a fun game, the cards were not fortunate to him.

I think the game went well for me overall. I was able to focus on achieving the cards I drew each turn, getting a number of points over the course of the game.

I think there were a few places where James could have played a little differently to gain more maelstrom points. On his second turn, I would have sent the Tempestus reserves after the Intercessors on my back line. The Plasma guns would likely have taken care of the Intercessors holding objective 4 and possibly even dealt with the central unit, possibly with the support of the Wyvern. This would have stopped me from scoring Defend Objective 4 and he might have been able to grab it the following turn to get Secure Objective 4.

James couldn't have known it at the time, but this would have put him in great position for his future drawn cards, as he got a lot of Defend Objectives in my deployment zone, as well as denying me a number of objectives later on.

I understand the desire to deal with the Veterans and Watch Captain, as they were doing a lot of damage. However, as I was out of command points, the Veterans would have had trouble dealing with the enemy vehicles with just their Bolters. Realistically, it would have taken a couple of turns for the Watch Captain to take out each vehicle, time I simply didn't have in the game.

In addition, in his final turn, I would have focused on killing the units in James' deployment zone to deny me Linebreaker. There was little reason to target the Vanguard Veterans, as turn 4 was likely to be the final turn in the game.

Target Priority was also an issue, as he split the fire of his tanks several times. Focusing on the Bikers would have allowed the Taurox to target and most likely kill the Watch Captain, keeping him from doing damage later in the game. The Razorback was a threat to the enemy tanks, but he could have dealt with this later, perhaps.

The Vanguard Veterans didn't do much, but keeping them in reserve till turn 3 allowed me to put them where they were needed to score points. In this case, bringing them in to support my back line and score Hold the Line.

Overall, a good game for me. The army worked well on going after the maelstrom objectives, and I was able to focus on these to score as many points as possible.

Rapid Strike 2019
Game 1- Deathwatch vs Astra Militarum
Game 2- Deathwatch vs Black Legion Chaos Space Marines
Game 3- Deathwatch vs Drukhari
Game 4- Deathwatch vs Black Templars Space Marines
Game 5- Deathwatch vs T'au


  1. Well done Mike. This looks like a fun format to play, any idea when the tournament will run next?

    1. I think it is only once a year, so sometime next May would be the next one I imagine.

  2. Well played! Yeah, you got a bit of the luck in your favour, but as you mention at the end, you also outplayed him significantly, both in focusing fire and in working toward your Objectives.