Monday 8 June 2015

Battle Report 6- White Scars vs. Astra Militarum

This week at Dundee Wargames Club, I played a battle against Pete's Astra Militarum army. I had previously played Pete's Harlequin army, so it would be interesting to see how the Guard fared against the White Scars. We played 1500 pts on a 4 foot by 4 foot board and rolled up Emperor's Will for the mission (one objective in each of our deployment zones). This would be my last game before blog wars, so I wanted to run my White Scars again for the game. After blog wars, I think I will run a different army for a while, maybe my Orks or Guard (or even get the Vampires out for some fantasy gaming).
The battlefield had a trench line running along the centre, with some ruins in each deployment zone and one in the middle besides the trenches. There were a few craters scattered around the board. The set up looked interesting, some cover for the shooting elements of our armies but plenty of open space to manoeuvre and for gun lines.

The game in full swing.

My army consisted of:
Chapter Master- Bike, Power fist, Artificer Armour, Shield Eternal, Auspex (CM)
5 Bikers- 2 Grav guns, Sergeant with Meltabombs (B1)
5 Bikers- 2 Grav guns, Sergeant with Meltabombs (B2)
5 Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant with Meltabombs (B3)
Attack Bike- Multimelta (AB1)
Attack Bike- Multimelta (AB2)
3 Centurions- Grav cannons and grav amps (C)
10 Devastators- 4 Missile launchers (D) with Rhino (R)
10 Tactical Marines- Meltagun, sergeant with combi-melta and melta bombs (TM) in drop pod (I forgot to include this when making up the maps).
My warlord rolled on the Personal table and got the one which gives an extra victory point for each enemy character slain in a challenge (very useful with all the sergeants running around). My plan was to take the first turn or two to focus on the enemy armour and eliminate it. I know how much damage Guard tanks can do to marines. With the armour out of the way, I could hopefully rely on the toughness of the bikes to take out the guardsmen and hold the objective in the enemy's deployment zone. I would definitely be outnumbered, but with any luck, my tougher troops could hold out against the massed guard firepower.
Pete's Guard army was very much styled like my own; massed infantry with a some supporting tanks and units to buff the individual squads. The army consisted of:
Company Command- Astropath, Master of Ordnance, Company Standard, joined by Commissar Lord (CC)
Platoon Command- 2 Meltaguns (PC)
3 Infantry Squad- Grenade Launchers (I1-I3)
3 Veteran Squads- Grenade Lauchers (V1-V3)
50 Conscripts (C)- Led by Commissar (Com)
Tank Commander in Leman Russ Executioner (LRE) with Leman Russ (LR2)
Leman Russ tank (LR1)
Wyvern (W)
Primaris Psyker (U)
Pete's warlord trait gave him +1 to seize the initiative and reserve re-rolls. His psychic powers were:
Astropath- Hallucination, Psychic Shriek
Primaris Psyker- Assail, Levitation, Telekine Dome.
Pete won the roll to deploy and chose to go first. He deployed his forces across the board edge (he didn't really have much choice!) with the conscript block on one flank and the tank commander on the right flank. The company command took cover in the ruins beside the objective, supported by two squads of veterans. The rest of the infantry deployed in front of the ruins, with the Leman Russ and Wyvern to their left. The Primaris Psyker took position besides the conscripts.

Army deployment. The shields represent the objectives.

Massed guardsmen supported by tanks.

That's a lot of conscripts.
The Company Commander guards the objective.

I deployed the Devastators in the ruins to my right, directly opposite the conscripts with good line of sight to the enemy tanks. The grav gun bikers (one unit led by the Chapter Master) deployed on the left flank, supported by the attack bikes. The centurions deployed in the centre, partially in cover of the ruins and the meltagun squad took position in the centre of the field (I was worried about bunching all the bikes together with so many large blast and blast weapons in the opposing army).

Bikers ready to advance.

The Devastators hold the objective.
I failed to get night fighting for the first turn and failed to seize the initiative, so Pete was able to open up the hostilities.
AM Turn 1- Opening Salvo.
In a surprising turn of events, the entire front line of the guard army advanced towards the White Scars. On the left flank, the Leman Russ squadron trundled forward to get a better shot on the enemy targets.
Squad! Forward!

The conscripts begin their march.

In the psychic phase, the power of the warp swelled (Pete rolled a 6 for the warp charge dice) and the Primaris cast Telekine Dome to protect the nearby troops. The power was too much for the fragile mind of the psyker and he suffered a wound after periling.
The massed shooting began with the Tank squadron aiming at the bikes being led by the Chapter Master. The battle cannon hit square on target, causing 6 wounds. The Chapter Master took the brunt of the force (with his 2+ save) and only suffered a single wound. Outraged by this, the Leman Russ snap fired its Lascannon and succeeded in taking another wound from the mighty warrior (taking him down to 2). The Leman Russ Executioner fired at the other bike squad, their Jink saves resulted in the loss of only 2 bikers.
Bikers die.

The infantry squads that had advanced took aim at the Centurions. Despite needing 6's to wound, the massed fire of two squads resulted in the death of one of the Centurions as his armour failed him. Unnerved by the fusillade, the Centurions failed their morale check and fell back 5".
The Centurions come under heavy fire.

The wyvern fired at the Meltagun bikers, wounding one which was saved. The second Leman Russ added its firepower, but the mighty battle cannon shot scattered off of the bikers. However, the Lascannon snap fired and killed a biker. Spurned on by the orders of the platoon command (first rank fire, second rank fire), the conscript squad fired at the meltagun bikers, causing 4 wounds and killing another two and I failed yet more saves.
The Master of Ordnance fired at the bikers, but the shot scattered off target.

White Scars Turn 1- The advance begins.

On the left flank, the bikes, attack bikes and centurions advanced towards the enemy lines, while the remainder of the meltagun bike squad retreated to the left flank.
Bikes and Centurions advance.
In the shooting phase, the guns were levelled at the enemy armour. The Centurions fired at the lead Russ, causing 1 hull point (HP) and immobilising it. A unit of grav bikers then finished off the Russ, leaving the Tank Commander. The attack bikes attempted to finish off the Tank Commander, but only one of the multimeltas hit and it failed to glance the Russ. The Chapter Master's squad fired at the closest infantry squad, killing three. The squad passed their morale check thanks to the re-roll from the Company Standard. The Devastators fired at the Wyvern, scoring 2 HP damage and immobilising the vehicle.
In the assault phase, I attempted an assault on the infantry squad with the Chapter Master's squad, needing a 10" move. Luckily, I rolled an 11 and the squad made it in. The squad easily slaughter all but one of the guardsmen, who fled from the combat, outpacing the attacking bikers.
The Chapter Master leads his squad to victory.

AM Turn 2- Counter attack.

The fleeing lone guard fled off the board, despite threats of retribution from the Lord Commissar. The conscripts continued to advance towards the Devastators, while in the centre, one infantry squad advanced into the trench and the other squads advanced on the Chapter Master's squad.
The Conscripts continue to advance on the Devastators.

In the psychic phase, the warp power continued to surge (Pete rolled another 6 for warp charge). Hallucination was successfully cast on the Chapter Master' squad, who were temporarily dazed by the pretty lights dancing in front of them. The Primaris failed to manifest Telekine Dome and the Astropath failed to manifest Psychic Shriek.

The Executioner fired at the bike squad directly in front of it, the heavy flamer and multimelta killing one a piece. The main plasma gun killed another two bikers (I managed to fail 4 of 9 saves from this tank). The nearby infantry squad used the First rank fire, second rank fire to kill the last biker, leaving only the Chapter Master. A Veteran squad fired at the other grav biker squad, killing one with massed lasgun fire.
Guns are trained on the bikers.

The conscripts fired at the Devastators, but failed to cause any damage to the stalwart warriors. The Leman Russ fired at the squad too, but the battle cannon shot scattered off of the marines. Finally, the wyvern fired at the Devastators, causing 7 wounds, of which I failed 4 saves. I passed all my morale checks and was eager to exact retribution on the enemy armour.

White Scars Turn 2- thinning the herd.

The drop pod arrived, crashing to the ground in front of the ruins the command squad were sheltering in (I forgot to place the pod in the first turn, Pete was kind enough to allow me to deploy it in turn 2). The rest of the bikers and centurions continued to advance on the enemy army. The Chapter Master joined the newly arrived tactical marines.
The drop pod arrives and the Chapter Master joins the squad.

Attack Bikes advance on the enemy armour.

The Centurions seek cover.

The drop pod fired at the nearby veteran squad, killing three. The attack bike fired its multimelta at the Executioner, blowing the command tank up, the resulting explosion killing three tactical marines (including both meltaguns). The other bikers fired at the infantry squad, killing 4, while the Centurions killed two more guardsmen. The Devastators fired at the damaged Wyvern, despite hitting three times, they failed to remove the final hull point (I was unable to roll of 4+ on three dice).
Finally, the Chapter Master and Tactical Marines fired at the Company Command squad. Despite causing 8 wounds, Pete managed to make seven 4+ saves, resulting in one wound on the Lord Commissar.
There were no assault this turn, it was time to see if the remaining White Scars could survive the enemy firepower.

AM Turn 3- Fortunes turn.

Once again, the Conscripts continued their charge towards the enemy guns. The rest of the army turned towards the enemy forces in their deployment zone.
The psychic phase gave 4 dice this turn, the Primaris failed to manifest Assail while the Astropath manifested Psychic Shriek on the tactical marines, but failed to hit the unit.
For the Emperor!

Man the trenches.

In the shooting phase, the Conscript squad fired at the Devastators. Despite 34 shots, Pete only scored 6 hits, of which only one devastator marine died. Despite only killing one marine, the Devastators failed their moral check and fled a massive 12" off the board.
The Leman Russ and Infantry in the trench fired at the closest attack bike, causing a couple of wounds that were saved by armour and Jink saves. The Wyvern fired at the lone biker sergeant, but failed to kill him. The Meltagun veterans fired at the drop pod, but failed to hit (rolling a double 1). The remaining infantry squad and veterans fired at the bikers, but failed to cause any wounds. The Company Command and two veteran squads in the ruins fired at the tactical marines. Despite over 50 shots fired (with orders) at the unit, only 3 tactical marines were slain, leaving the Chapter Master and 4 tactical marines.
Target the bikes!

What should have been the death blow for the White Scars army was far less impactful thanks to some terrible luck from Pete.

White Scars Turn 3- Seizing the reprieve.

The remaining bikers gunned their engines and moved up to the infantry squads opposing them.

The two meltagun bikers fired at the Primaris, but both failed to hit the Psyker (another double 1 to hit roll!). The other bikers killed three guardsmen, while the Centurions killed another two veterans.
Shots are readied.

In the assault phase, one attack bike assaulted the platoon command and the other assaulted the remaining 3 veterans. Both attack bikes fail to wound the squad, but were unharmed in return, locking all four units in combat.
The biker squad kills 3 of the guardsmen facing off against them for no loss in return. The squad flees from combat and once again outruns the pursuing bikers.
The remaining bikers crash into the guard lines.

Finally, the Chapter Master led the tactical squad in a charge against the Company Command, the space marine hero bellowing out a challenge that the Lord Commissar answered. The tactical squad caused 5 wounds on the charge, four of which were saved by the armour of the veterans. The command squad fought back, but were unable to penetrate the armour of the marines. In reply, the Chapter Master easily batted aside the impudent Commissar and slaughtered the rest of the command squad.
A challenge is issued.

AM Turn 4

The conscripts continued their long slog towards the objective, spurned on by the Commissar in their rear rank. The Leman Russ turned on the remaining bikes, while the Primaris advanced on the meltagun bikers.
Conscripts advance on the solitary Rhino.

As he advanced, the Psyker cast Assail on the bikers, but failed to wound them.
The Psyker moves up to slay the marines.

In the shooting phase, a slew of guns were aimed at the tactical squad cornering the objective. The Veterans in the ruins managed to slay the tactical marines, leaving only the Chapter Master remaining. The Guardsmen in the trench fired at the bikers, killing one and leaving a lone sergeant. The Wyvern fired at the biker sergeant, causing one wound, which was saved. The Leman Russ also fired at the sergeant, but the battle cannon shot scattered off of the biker. Despite surviving, the sergeant failed his morale check and fled 16" towards his own deployment zone.
In the assault phase, blows were exchanged between the attack bikes and guardsmen, but no damage was caused. The attack bikes were able to hit and run out of combat, advancing on the remaining enemy armour.

White Scars Turn 4.

The two meltagun bikers raced to the rear of the ruins, to secure the objective, while the Chapter Master advanced on the veteran squads above him. The attack bikes split off, one advancing on the Wyvern, the other on the Leman russ.
The carnage began with the Drop pod, despite many hits, only one veteran in the ruin died due to the large blast. The Centurions fired at the veterans, killing four of them, while the bikers killed another veteran. One of the attack bikes succeeded in blowing up the Leman Russ, while the other failed to hit the Wyvern.
The biker sergeant assaulted the guardsmen in the trench, killing one for no damage. The guard held their nerve, however, and locked the bike in combat.
Into the trenches.

The attack bike assaulted the Wyvern and was able to destroy it with krak grenades, succeeding where the shooting attack failed. The Chapter Master assaulted the Veterans in the ruin, taking a massive 7 hits on overwatch, one of which wounded the hero, leaving him on 1 wound. The Chapter Master challenged the sergeant, but the mighty hero was slain before he had a chance to strike.
The Chapter Master's follhardy charge.

AM Turn 5.

The Conscripts ran the last stretch to reach the enemy objective, their long journey finally over. All other units stayed put, ready to fire at the enemy aggressors.
The veterans fired at the bike squad, killing one of them. The other units fired at the attack bikes, but failed to wound them.

In the combat phase, the primaris charged the biker sergeant, but failed to wound him. His attention distracted, the remaining guardsmen were able to pull down the sergeant and slay him.

White Scars Turn 5.

With very few units remaining, the mobile elements advanced on the enemy objective.
The drop pod fired its Deathwind launcher at the veterans, killing 3. The Centurions killed another 2 with their grav cannons. The attack bikes added their firepower, killing two more and leaving only three remaining.
In the assault phase, the attack bikes assaulted the veterans in the ruins, killing two with hammer of wrath attacks. Both sides struck out, but were unable to wound one another. The veterans failed their morale check and were run down by the attack bikes.

Pete rolled for the final turn, it came up a 2, the game was over!

Totalling up the victory points:
PETE: 5 VP (3 for objective, 1 for Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker)
MIKE: 7 VP (3 for objective, 1 for Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker and First Blood. One for challenge VP warlord trait).
So, a very tense victory for the White Scars.

I did not deserve to win that battle.

My victory was more due to Pete's abysmal luck in the third turn than any sort of generalship on my part. During the first two turns, I lost a lot of bikers thanks to the massed firepower of the guardsmen and battle tanks. I had managed to kill of one squad of guardsmen and two of the tanks on my left flank. I had a lot of misfortune in rolling my armour and jink saves in the first two turns, so had lost a few units. Turn three should have been the finishing move from the guard; my Chapter Master was facing most of the enemy guns, I only had a few units left to damage the enemy.
Then Pete started his third turn and everything changed. His massed firepower finally failed to cause the massed damage that it had in the previous turns. His entire army managed only 4 unsaved wounds on marines (3 tacticals and 1 devastator). I don't think his battle cannon scored a single direct hit after turn 2 and the normally laser-guided Wyvern struggled to hit anything, those that it did hit failed to wound.
That poor turn's shooting (and subsequent poor turns) essentially kept me in the game. My units were able to stay alive long enough to grab the objective at the end of the game, and with first blood and the challenge VP, I was able to get the win.

One glaring error from this game was that I totally forgot about my drop pod and tactical marines until turn 2. Will need to try and fix this from now on!

Thanks again to Pete for a great game, he was a great opponent, even though he was robbed.

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