Sunday, February 17, 2013


While initial reports had indicated that Mephiston's force of Blood Angels had been utterly destroyed, remnants of the battered and broken half-company had been able to fight their way free of the ambush.  Even, Mephiston, who had been laid low by dark lances, had managed to survive the battle with timely ministrations from the Sanguinary Priests.  He awoke from his recovery to a waiting transmission from the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines who desired to meet and formulate a combined battle strategy to liberate the planet...

Marneus Calgar and a small contingent of Honor Guard supported by elements of the Second Company had taken up positions in the ruins surrounding the Droman manufactorum.  The Ultramarines had initially moved to shore up the manufactorum's defenses while the Blood Angels had been fighting in the western desert, and Calgar anxiously awaited the return of Mephiston and the Blood Angels to coordinate the counter-offensive against the xenos forces.  With the a thundering roar of its enginges, the Blood Angels Thunderhawk 'Sanguine Fury' swung low over the landscape and disgorged Mephiston and his strike force across the small valley from the Ultramarines.  As Calgar and his retinue of Honor Guard began marching across the valley to meet his allies, Librarian Muran continued his investigation of the shards recovered from the Eldar.  The pieces appeared to be the shattered remnants of a very large crystal.  It was obvious that while many fit together, an even larger number were still missing.  Muran picked up two pieces that appeared like they should fit and lifted them towards the light to examine their edges.  As he brought them close together, the pieces suddenly leapt from his hands and snapped together, releasing a shockwave across the valley...

Calgar watched as the shockwave raced across the valley and through the ranks of the approaching Blood Angels.  It was not strong enough to unsteady the footing of him or his retinue, but the Blood Angels were visibly shaken by it.  The slow, measured steps of the Assault Marines picked up speed and the orderly march quickly accelerated.  Had they been an adversary, Calgar would have sworn that approaching Marines were beginning to charge.  Before he could dismiss the thought, the unmistakable cries of "For Sanguinius! For the Emperor!", rolled across the valley.  His mind racing, Calgar bellowed, "Ultramarines!  Defend yourselves!" and stepped forward to meet the incoming threat...

Opponents: Bob (GK/SM) versus Jeff (Blood Angels) - Written by Bob

GK/SM List
Ordo Malleus Inq with TDA, Prescience, Psycannon, and 3 Servo Skulls (Captain Tragan)
5 GKSS (Honorguard) with Psycannon, Psyback with SL
5 GKTs (TDA Honorguard) with Halberd x4, DH, and Pyscannon
Stormraven with MM, AC, Hurricane Bolters, Pysbolts, and SL (Tank Hunter)
Dread Calgar
Aegis Line with Quad Gun

Libby (Null Zone/Avenger)
Tactical Squad with Flamer, ML, and Rhino
Tactical Squad with Flamer, ML, and Rhino
Stormtalon with TML

Eldar List
8 Death Company with one PF
10 Assault Marines with Plasma x2
10 Assault Marines with Flamer x2
10 Assault Marines with Plasma x2
1 HB Attack Bike
1 HB Attack Bike
5 Devestators with 3 ML and 1 LC
5 Devestators with 3 ML and 1 LC

Deployment: Vanguard
Game-type: 4 Objectives
Warlord Traits: Bob (Redeploy), Jeff (+1 to charge distance)
Assets: Bob (Triple Bastions=3 USRs chosen with Warlord Traits and more Power Stations (+1 to go first) - Calgar received Eternal Warrior and the TDA Honor Guard received FNP
Noah (Triple Manufactorums = +150 points)

Game Summary:  Going into this game, I (Bob) knew I was facing an uphill battle.  Mephiston is one nasty character and can solo whole armies if given the chance.  I did not have a lot of AP2 shooting, so would have to rely on CC with my Dreadknight and Terminators or lots and lots of small arms fire to take him down.  Having run a DK for a while, I know that unloading bolters into a T6, 2+ creature never really works out well. 

I had two objectives on my side of the board, with one more in the center of the table, and one near the BA deployment zone.  I won the roll to go first, so I hoped that I could get First Blood and try to force the tie on everything else.  If I could kill the thirty scoring Marines and not give up Warlord AND Linebreaker, I would be in good shape.

I deployed in a castle with my Tactical Marines back behind Calgar and the TDA Honor Guard.  I planned to use those tougher units to conduct a fighting withdrawl and absorb the brunt of the BA attacks.  There was a pretty large piece of LOS-blocking terrain in the center, so I could not count on long-range firepower to completely get the job done.
Ultramarine Deployment (most of my pictures didn't turn out)
He deployed almost directly opposite of me with one set of Devestators in the ruins, one set on my far right, and Mephiston and DC safely out of sight behind the wicker terrain.  He held the plamsa Assault Marines in reserve to deepstrike.  I used my warlord trait to shift my TFC and Techmarine around for better LOS, the Razor for better cover, and a Rhino to get it across the Aegis.  He was unable to sieze.

BA Deployment

Turn 1
The Inquistor cast Prescience every turn.  I moved Calgar and the TDA Honor Guard towards the center in an attempt to slow down the BA.  I brought the Librarian and a Combat Squad along to help support.  I mistakenly thought that the Attack Bikes were one squad, or I would have went after one of those for an assured First Blood.  However, my shooting was able to kill off the Devestators in the ruins anyway. 

Blood Angels bearing down on Calgar

Jeff kept the DC back out of LOS for a turn and moved forward with everything else.  The BA Assault Marines surged forward, one squad setting up behind the center terrain and the directly towards Calgar.  The HB Attack Bikes attempted to screen the melta Assault Marines from a counter charge from Calgar.  Shooting stripped two wounds from Calgar.

Turn 2
The Stormtalon did not come in.  Calgar moved due north to attempt to charge the Assault Squad near the center piece of terrain.  I also pulled back with the Librarian and combat squad.  My shooting did not due much other than kill an Attack Bike and kill some Assault Marines from the melta squad.  Calgar was able to get a charge off against the Assault Marines and pulped the Sarge in a challenge.

Calgar charging into the fray

His reserved unit did not come in either, even with rerolls.  He moved the unengaged Assault Squad and DC to charge Calgar.  Mephiston stayed out of LOS behind the center terrain.  Shooting killed off the DH Terminator (ouch!).  His charges were successful and Calgar popped 2 more Marines before he went down.  Jeff consolidated forward.

Turn 3
Still no Stormtalon.  I moved the TDA Honor Guard forward to distance them from my firebase.  Combined firepower from the TFC, Honor Guard, and Tacticals was able to eliminate the melta Assault Marine Squad and all but one DC.  The TDA Honor Guard were not in charge range. 

The plasma Assault Squad came in from reserve and combat-squadded on both sides of the TDA.  I think this might have been a mistake on Jeff's part.  Had he put one of the combat squads on the objective in his deployment zone out of LOS, I would have had a hard time clearing/contesting it before the game ended.  I would have to been much more aggressive to ensure I could get line-breaker or another objective.  Mephiston, the remaining Assault Squad, and the lone DC moved to charge the TDA.  Shooting dropped the TDA to Tragan, the Chapter Champion (Justicar), and the Psycannon TDA.  In the resulting charge, Mephiston and the Chapter Champ flailed at each other ineffectively while Tragan pulped a couple of Assault Marines and the Sang Priest (failed his 2+ lookout sir).  The Blood Angels killed the Pyscannon TDA.  Everyone stuck.

Attempting to hold back the tide...
Turn 4
I needed to counter attack before my firebase was overrun.  I moved a combat squad to charge one of the Assault Marine combat squads.  The PA Honor Guard planned to countercharge into the TDA melee.  Shooting eliminated the unengaged Assault Marines, leaving only the Devestators, Mephiston, the lone DC, and 8 Assault Marines.  I had a glorious plan of charging 4" with the PA Honor Guard and using their psychout grenades to force Mephiston to I1 and then attempt to have Tragan intervene and FW Mephiston.  I rolled my charge distance and... snake-eyes!  Rats!  The Chapter Champion managed to hold off Mephiston while Tragan popped three Marines.  Mephiston and the Assault Marines both promptly failed their leadership and the lone DC kept the TDA locked.  Not good!

Jeff had an opening at this point.  Mephiston and the newly freed Assault Marines could charge their choice of targets.  Depending on whether they stuck combats, it could have been very tough for me to kill them with shooting before they took my objectives.  His shooting took out a Rhino with combat squad and Librarian that I had been shuffling towards the center of the table.  Mephiston charged the PA Honor Guard and killed the Sarge in a challenge, but they stuck.  The Assault Marines charged a nearby combat squad and killed 2-3 of them.  Luckily, they were able to use combat tactics to get away. 

Tragan smushed the last DC and left me with a choice.  I could have used them to counter-charge Mephiston and attempt to kill him, or I could have consolidated towards the center objective.  I decided that going against Mephiston had the potential to end very badly, so I went with the conservative route and moved towards the center objective.  At the time I had forgotten that GKTs have grenades, so I thought Tragan would have to weather Mephiston's attacks before he could strike back.  Had I remembered the grenades I would have went ahead and charged.

Turn 5
The TDA Honor Guard moved onto the center objective, leaving me with two objectives and First Blood and Jeff with no objectives and Linebreaker.  All of my firepower went into his last 4-5 Assault Marines and killed them, eliminating his last scoring units.  With scoring units on the objective under the Quad Gun and the center objective, and him having very little options to take them both out, I pretty much had the game won.  Mephiston wiped out the remaining PA Honor Guard and went after the center objective.
Mephiston charged the center objective and neither of were able to do anything.  Lucky for me, the game ended with the two locked in combat.

Mephiston versus the Honor Guard...
Result: Win for Bob (One objective, First Blood)

Bob's Highlight: The moment that stood out for me was when my TDA Inquisitor and TDA Justicar managed to break both Mephiston and the remnants of an Assault Squad.  It was actually a terrible moment, as it allowed both of them to break free and attack my units the next turn.

Jeff's Highlight: Jeff's highlight was using the combined forces of two Assault Squads and the Death Company to completely pulp Calgar.  However, the PF-wielding DC was able to do the job completely by himself.

Notes for future games: I need to really watch the FNP rules a lot closer.  We both forgot about being able to activate FWs to bypass FNP and I might have taken some FNP saves on Tragan when I shouldn't have (his unit had it... not him though).  It's hard to say how these would have affected the game.  Also, I REALLY need to remember that GKTs have psychout (anti-psyker) grenades!

Calgar's titanic form had been pulled down by the weight of the mob of Blood Angels.  The frenzied Marines attempted to pull him apart piece by piece, but a hail of bolter and assault cannon fire shredded his would-be killers.  His Honor Guard, unable to keep up with his initial charge, had arrived and strode straight into the mass of crazed Blood Angels.  They hacked and cleaved their way towards the unconcious form of their Chapter Master, driving back the tide at a great cost.  By the time they reached Calgar, only Captain Tragan and Chapter Champion Kurnen were still standing.  As they called for extraction, the two could only wonder at what madness had befallen their brethren and they prayed to the Emperor that it would not claim them too...

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