Friday, 20 July 2018

Warhammer World GT: Game 5- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Astra Militarum

The final game of the tournament would see my Deathwatch/Astra Militarum force take on Paul's Astra Militarum army in the Frontline Warfare Eternal War Mission. 

At this stage, I was sitting on one win, one loss and two draws. I was hoping to get a win from this game to end the weekend ahead in my performance. The one benefit was that the objectives in the centre and opponent's deployment zone were worth more points, so it would pay to be aggressive. Against a Guard army that was more comfortable sitting back and shooting, I may be able to control the board a bit better. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear (WM)
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield (WC)
Kill Team 1: Watch Sergeant and 9 Veterans- 10 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, 8 Chainswords (KT1)
Kill Team 2: Intercessor Sergeant and 9 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (KT2)
Kill Team 3: Watch Sergeant and 4 Veterans- 2 Frag Cannons, Storm Shield, 3 Shotguns, 2 Chainswords (KT3). 5 Vanguard Veterans- 4 Bolt Pistols, 3 Chainswords, Storm Shield, Pair of Lightning Claws (VV)
Rhino- 2 Storm Bolters (R)
Kill Team 4: Watch Sergeant and 4 Veterans- 3 Combi-Meltas, 2 Bolters, Storm Shield, 4 Chainswords (KT4)
Razorback- Twin Lascannons, Storm Bolter (Rz)

Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum, Cadian)
Company Commander- Plasma Pistol, Chainsword, Grand Strategist Warlord Trait, Kurov's Aquila (CC1)
Company Commander- Laspistol, Chainsword (CC2)
Infantry Squad- Lascannon, Grenade Launcher (IS1)
Infantry Squad- Lascannon, Grenade Launcher (IS2)
Infantry Squad- Lascannon (IS3)
30 Conscripts- Lasguns (C)

Auxiliary Detachment (Assassins)
Culexus Assassin (A)

Paul's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum, Cadian)
Company Commander- Laspistol, Power Maul, Kurov's Aquila (Relic), Grand Strategist Warlord Trait (CC1)
Company Commander- Laspistol, Power Sword (CC2)
Primaris Psyker- Force Stave (P)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Sniper Rifle, Lascannon (IS1)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Sniper Rifle, Lascannon (IS2)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Sniper Rifle, Lascannon (IS3)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Plasma Gun (IS4)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns (IS5)
Astropath- Laspistol (A1)
Heavy Weapons Team- Mortars (HWT)
Basilisk- Earthshaker Cannon, Heavy Bolter (B1)
Basilisk- Earthshaker Cannon, Heavy Bolter (B2)

Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum, Cadian)
Tank Commander- Leman Russ with Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons (TC)
Company Commander- Lasgun, Chainsword (CC3)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Plasma Gun, Heavy Bolter (IS6)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Plasma Gun, Heavy Bolter (IS7)
Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Plasma Gun, Heavy Bolter (IS8)
Leman Russ Annihilator- Twin Lascannon, Lascannon (LR1)
Leman Russ Battle Tank- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons (LR2)
Leman Russ Battle Tank- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons (LR3)

Auxiliary Detachment (Assassins)
Callidus Assassin- Neural Shredder, Phase Sword, Poison Blades (A2)

An infantry-heavy Guard army with a lot of armour backing them up. I didn't have much to deal with the tanks in the shooting phase, so would have to hope I could tie them up in combat to stop them from shooting at me.
As I said above, this army doesn't appear to want to move much, so hopefully I could withstand the firepower and grab the central objectives to win the game.

We rolled for deployment and got Spearhead Assault (again!). This would be the third time I used this deployment type, though it could be a bonus in this game. Paul chose the deployment zone and took the side with the big building in the centre. This gave me some good line of sight blocking options for my forces. We placed the objectives as shown below:

We then deployed our forces.

I put the Vanguard Veterans and Watch Captain at the front of my deployment zone, behind the ruins. This would give me a good chance of a first turn charge thanks to the short distance between the armies, as well as keeping them out of sight if I did not get first turn. I put the three Infantry Squads at the back to hold the objective, spreading out to limit where the Assassin could come in. This would probably make their Lascannons a bit useless during the game. I put the Razorback and Rhino on the left flank, using the terrain to block sight to them. I put the Conscripts on the right flank, with the rest of my forces in reserve. 

As expected, Paul deployed his Tanks and Artillery deep in his deployment zone, screened by the Infantry squads. The Mortars went on the objective, along with the Primaris Psyker and Company Commander Warlord. The Leman Russ tanks went on his right flank, while the two Basilisks went on the left flank. 

I got the +1 to go first and fortunately got the first turn (for the first time in the tournament). Paul failed to seize the initiative.

Before the game began, we both used the Orbital Bombardment stratagem for the Astra Militarum. In this, you roll a D6 for each unit on the board and on a 6, they take a mortal wound. I rolled pretty well, getting 5 in total (one on a Basilisk and four on Infantry Squads), while Paul managed to put a wound on the Watch Captain and Razorback. 


To start the game, I chose the Troops Mission Tactics.

The Vanguard Veterans and Watch Captain leapt over the ruins, speeding towards the enemy lines, while to the South, the Conscripts and Company Commander advanced on the objective. The Razorback moved into the cover of the ruins, while the Rhino advanced up the left flank.

In the shooting phase, both transport vehicles used their Smoke Launchers. The line of sight from the enemy army was reduced, but the Basilisks could still target them wherever they were on the battlefield.

The Commander ordered himself and the Conscripts to Move, Move, Move to advance on the objective.

The Vanguard Veterans and Commander fired at the front Infantry Squad, killing four of the squad.

The Infantry Squads fired their Lascannons at the Guard in front of them, but both shots missed. The rest of the shooting was out of range.

In the charge phase, the Vanguard Veterans launched themselves at the front enemy Infantry Squad, Company Commander and Astropath, losing one Veteran to overwatch fire. The Watch Captain joined them.

The Vanguard Veterans and Watch Captain struck at the enemy, killing the Astropath and Infantry Squad, consolidating around the enemy Company Commander to lock him in combat.

At the end of my turn, I scored First Blood.


The Infantry Squads moved up on the enemy lines, while the Tech Priest Enginseer moved towards the damaged Basilisk, repairing the minor damage on the vehicle.

In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Nightshroud on the Tank Commander.

The shooting phase began with the Astra Militarum orders. The Tank Commander ordered the Gunners to fire on target (re-roll 1's to hit), while ordering a nearby Leman Russ to Pound them to Dust (re-roll number of shots on main gun).

The Company Commanders ordered the nearby units to fire on their target, while the unit in combat was ordered to Fix Bayonets (fight again).

The Tank Commander fired at the enemy Infantry Squad in front of him, killing 7 of the Guardsmen. The Basilisk on the left flank fired at the Razorback, taking one wound from it, while the Heavy Bolter killed one Conscript.

He then used the Overlapping Fields of Fire stratagem on the Razorback. The second Basilisk fired at the transport vehicle, wounding it once more.

One of the Infantry Squad on the ruins fired its Lascannon at the Rhino, hitting and wounding and doing 2 damage. Paul used a command point re-roll and rolled another 2 for damage. The second squad fired its Lascannon at the Rhino, hitting and wounding, but I made my 6+ armour save. The Sniper Rifle fired at the Company Commander, doing one mortal wound on him.

One of the Leman Russ tanks fired at the Rhino, destroying it with the Battle Cannon and killing one Veteran in the destruction. Another Leman Russ fired at the Infantry squad on the right flank, wiping them out.

The Heavy Weapons Team fired their Mortars at the Conscripts, killing 2 of them. The two Infantry Squads on the left added their firepower, killing 5 more.

The Infantry Squad in combat with the Deathwatch were then able to attack thanks to Fix Bayonets, wounding one of the Vanguard Veterans. I used a command point re-roll to block the damage.

In the charge phase, two of the Infantry Squads charged the Vanguard Veterans. The Guardsmen attacked the Veterans, wounding twice, but failing to get past their armour. The Deathwatch struck back, killing 6 of the Infantry Squad.
The other Infantry Squad killed one Vanguard Veteran. The Watch Captain attacked the Company Commander, killing him.

In the morale phase, Paul used two command points on Insane Bravery to keep the Infantry Squad alive and in combat.


The Vanguard Veterans fell back from combat towards the objective, while the Conscripts on the right flank moved up on the enemy Infantry Squads. On the left flank, the Deathwatch Veterans moved behind the ruins, out of line of sight of the enemy tanks.

At the end of the phase, the Intercessors and Watch Master arrived, landing on the right flank near the Basilisks.

In the shooting phase, the Company Commander ordered the Conscripts to Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire, and they targeted the Infantry Squad in front of them, killing 7. The Vanguard Veterans added their firepower, killing one more.

The Intercessors used the Malleus Doctrine and targeted the Basilisk. They used the Kraken Bolts to get into rapid fire range, wounding it 6 times in total. I used the Tempest Shells stratagem to target the tank, but missed the shot, even with the Watch Master's re-rolls.

In the charge phase, the Intercessors charged the Infantry Squad in front of them, using a command point re-roll.

In the fight phase, the Intercessors struck at the Infantry Squad, wiping them out and they consolidated towards the Basilisk.

The Watch Captain struck at the Infantry Squad he was in combat with, hitting three times. Despite wounding on a 2+ re-rollable, I only made a single wound, killing one Guardsman.

I used the Honour the Chapter stratagem to fight with the Intercessors once more. They moved up on the two Basilisks, unable to do any harm, but blocking them both from shooting the following turn.

Paul used the Insane Bravery stratagem to keep the Heavy Bolter Infantry Squad alive.

At the end of my second turn, I was in a good position. I had cut down a lot of the enemy firepower, tying up the Basilisks and keeping the Leman Russ tanks out of line of sight of most of my army.


The Basilisks fell back from combat with the Deathwatch, while the Enginseer moved up on one of them. The Infantry Squads moved up towards the Deathwatch lines.

In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Smite, wiping out the Vanguard Veterans.

The Company Commander ordered the Infantry Squad to Fix Bayonets and attack the Watch Captain, wounding him once, but failing to get past his armour.

The Tank Commander fired at the Intercessors, killing 5 in total. Paul then used the Overlapping Fields of Fire stratagem on the Intercessors. A second Leman Russ fired at the Primaris Marines, killing two more. The Leman Russ with Lascannons fired at the Intercessors, but only managed a single hit and wound, killing one.
The final Leman Russ fired at the last remaining Intercessor. The Battle Cannon managed three wounds, but I made all three armour saves with one command point re-roll. The Heavy Bolters managed a single wound.

The Infantry Squad fired at the Intercessor, the Lascannon hitting and wounding, but I rolled a 6+ save. However, the Lasguns of the squad managed to finally take him down.

The Mortar Teams fired at the Conscripts. I used the Take Cover stratagem, three of the Guardsmen falling to the firepower. The remaining Infantry Squads fired at the Conscripts, killing 6 more in total.

The Guardsmen struck at the Watch Captain in the fight phase, but failed to do any damage. The Deathwatch character attacked back, killing off one of the Infantry Squads.


The Watch Captain fell back from combat into the ruins. My plan was to go after the enemy warlord and objective in the following turn. The Conscripts advanced on the Guard lines. To the left flank, the Frag Cannon Kill Team moved up towards the enemy army.

On the right, the Combi-Melta Veterans disembarked and moved towards the objective, the Razorback moved in front of them to cover them from the enemy firepower.

In the backfield, the Infantry Squads moved to surround the Company Commander holding the objective. This was to block the enemy Assassin from deploying to steal my objective.

At the end of the phase, the Assassin arrived on the left flank to hold the objective. The Storm Bolter Kill Team landed on the right flank, out of sight of the enemy Leman Russ tanks.

I was looking towards the end game. The Infantry Squads were blocking my home objective, while the Conscripts were moving up on the enemy objective.

In the shooting phase, the Conscripts were able to move again, advancing into the ruins.

The Kill Team on the left fired their Frag Cannons and Shotguns at the Infantry in front of them, wiping out the squad. The Razorback fired at one of the Basilisks, wounding once and doing 3 damage (with a command point re-roll).

The Watch Master fired on the wounded Basilisk with the Tempest Shells stratagem, taking two mortal wounds from the tank and leaving it on one.

The Storm Bolter Kill Team fired at the two Infantry Squads in the ruins, using the Furor Doctrine to wound on a 2+ with their Kraken Bolts. Paul used the Take Cover stratagem on the top squad. The firepower killed 7 of one squad, the other killing the second squad.

The Kill Team on the left charged the Company Commander, killing him. Paul used the Insane Bravery stratagem to keep the Infantry Squad on top of the ruins alive.


The Infantry Squads moved up on the enemy units encroaching on their lines. Paul spent one command point on Jury Rigging to heal the Basilisk and bring it up to the top tier once more.

At the end of the phase, the Callidus Assassin arrived next to the Storm Bolter Kill Team. I used the Auspex Scan stratagem and the Assassin was obliterated in a hail of Bolter fire.

In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Smite, killing 2 Conscripts.

The Tank Commander fired at the Frag Cannon Kill Team, wiping out the unit. The Mortar Squad fired at the Conscripts. I used the Take Cover stratagem, only one of the squad perished thanks to their boosted save.

A Basilisk fired at the Storm Bolter Kill Team, slaying one of the Deathwatch. The second Basilisk fired at the squad, failing to do any damage.

A Leman Russ fired at the Razorback, destroying it in a hail of fire. The transport vehicle exploded, killing three of the Kill Team sheltering behind it. The final Leman Russ fired at the now exposed Kill Team, the Storm Shield Veteran blocking five wounds before finally succumbing to the firepower.
Finally, the Infantry Squad on top of the ruins fired at the last surviving member of the Kill Team, killing him with the Lascannon.

With that, we ran out of time for the game. I had done just enough to win the game, but felt I was in a really good position if the game was to go on.

Deathwatch/Astra Militarum- 5 (two objectives, First Blood, Linebreaker).
Astra Militarum- 1 (one objective).
End of the game.

A win for the Deathwatch.

Thanks to Paul for the game. It was a tough one and a real tactical challenge.

The game started out as a tense affair. In his first turn, I reminded Paul that the Arial Spotter stratagem had to be used at the start of the shooting phase when he tried to use it in the middle of his shooting phase. He replied with "if that's the kind of game you want to play, we can play it that way". I had no problem with him using it, but wanted to remind him for future turns. He did choose not to use it, but things got a bit awkward after that.

I think my plan worked well overall. I was able to keep Paul's forces in his deployment zone, allowing me to grab the objectives in the centre of the battlefield and win the game. I think I ended the game in a very strong position, so don't think playing more turns would have made much of a difference to the result.

In my fourth turn, the Conscripts would have moved to the edge of the ruins to grab the enemy objective from the safety of the ruins. The Watch Captain would have gone after the enemy warlord, most likely killing him and consolidating into the Tank Commander.

The Watch Master and Kill Team would have targeted the Basilisks and Primaris Psyker, hopefully taking care of one flank, while staying out of line of sight of the Leman Russ tanks.

Getting first turn was a big boost in this game. It allowed me to engage the Guard with my Vanguard Veterans and get first blood, as well as being a big threat to the enemy army. It also allowed me to get my transport vehicles into better positions; the Razorback out of line of sight, the Rhino out of sight of a number of the enemy tanks.

At the end of the weekend, I was on two wins, two draws and one loss. Unfortunately, this was not enough to qualify for the Grand Final. One of the reasons for this was I picked up very few secondary points for painting or best game.

I didn't get a single best game vote from any of my opponents, but I did get two best painted army (of your 5 opponents). The lack of best game votes was a bit of a blow, as I thought my games were a lot of fun, with two very close fought draws that were a lot of fun to play.

The game times were as follows:
Deployment- 20 mins
DW Turn 1- 20 mins
AM Turn 1- 25 mins
DW Turn 2- 24 mins
AM Turn 2- 26 mins
DW Turn 3- 12 mins
AM Turn 3- 20 mins

Next week, I'll be posting the best army photos, along with some photos of the exhibition hall and my review of my tournament army. I hope you enjoyed the battle reports.

Warhammer World GT Heat 1
Game 1- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Astra Militarum/Adeptus Custodes/Imperial Knights
Game 2- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Imperial Knights
Game 3- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Deathwatch
Game 4- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Necrons
Game 5- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum vs Astra Militarum


  1. I think that your opponent made a few mistakes during his game. If his intention was to sit back, he should not have pushed the infantry squads in the middle forward, keeping them back and thickening the screens in front of his tanks. This would have forced you to come further forward and probably prevented a first turn charge. However, with the range of the basilisks, I would have put them behind the LRBT's, forcing you to have to deal with them first or he should have deployed as he did and been more aggressive with the LRBT'S, moving them forward every turn, again forcing you to have to deal with them and potential saving his infantry and basilisks.

    1. Deploying further back with the infantry would have helped a lot. It would have potentially stopped a first turn charge and left my units in the open if I wanted to engage.

      Hiding the Basilisks behind the other tanks is also a good shout. I was pretty much able to ignore them for the game, thanks to the deployment and terrain.

    2. Alternatively, as the basilisks don't need line of sight, they could have been placed behind the ruins in the center. Castle up in the centre.

      To me, this is more of a hammer and anvil style list, with the basilisks and infantry forming the anvil and the LRBT's forming the hammer.

  2. Agreed on the poor positioning of his central infantry, dangerously close to the enemy for an army that should be expecting to be at a disadvantage for the first turn roll off...

    The aerial spotters has GOT to be used at the start of a shooting phase, he had no right to get shitty with you. I've paid the CP to use it when I wanted to make sure something died, and then found that other units shooting (that I had perhaps expected to chip away at the target slightly) has been more effective than expected and the critical unit is dead... meaning I've effectively wasted CP as now I don't need to have the rerolls. I'll still use them somewhere else so it isn't a COMPLETE waste, but still... waiting to see how effective other shooting is before deciding if you need a little more "oomph" is too strong, hence why the card is quite specific. There are plenty of strats that are just whenever you like, this one isn't, I assume the reason is balance. And besides, you were at a tournament... of course it's THAT kind of game. Although i'd do the same thing you did for a beer and pretzels game so...

    1. Yeah, I do it myself all the time, forgetting to use stratagems at the right time and being reminded by my opponent. Personally, I don't think the stratagem is so overpowered that it could not be used at any point (especially on a Wyvern), but it can make a big difference on a Basilisk.

      I don't know if it was down to having a good first turn, or playing to keep my Vanguard Veterans locked in combat and denying them being shot at that made him get tetchy with me.

      It's similar to Auspex scan. This must be used whenever the unit is deployed if you want to shoot at them. You cannot wait for your opponent to deploy all their units and then simply choose which unit you wish to target.

  3. Your Deathwatch reports are always a great read, allowing me to learn about one of my favorite factions that I don't get to play with as often as I'd like. Thanks, Mike!

    1. Thanks for your comment Thalenchar! Always good to know that people are enjoying the reports.

  4. Well played! In addition to the points noted by others, I'd like to call out your use of Honour the Chapter to tie up the Basilisks for Turn 2 as a great move. 2CP to not actually make any Attacks wouldn't seem like a good idea to a lot of people, but it clearly threw a spanner in your opponent's plans here, and took a lot of pressure off the Units you had slogging up the board.

    1. It's 3CP to fight again, but worth it in my opinion. Plus, I had good odds of getting at least one CP back with my warlord trait. If I hadn't tied up the Basilisks, it would have allowed them to target and destroy at least one other unit and allowed the Leman Russ tanks to split fire elsewhere.

    2. I think I got it mixed up with one for a different Army that's 2CP to fight again. Still, an excellent move.