Monday, March 4, 2013

An Aegis Line too Far...

After suffering a close defeat by the Ultrmarines, Duke Sliscus had merciously tortured Haud Dico for his failure.  The Archon now not only wanted revenge on the Ultramarines, but also sought a way to acquire additional strength to strike back at his master.  One of his most loyal spies had managed to find a lead to a fragment of the lost relic that had once served as a weapon of unimaginable power.  As far as the Duke was concerned, Haud Dico would simply be going on a raiding mission to take out his frustrations on the planet's populace.  In actuality, Haud Dico had much bigger plans in mind...
The battle for Angamar had spread the Ultramarine forces across the surface of the planet in search and destroy missions against the xenos.  Calgar had withdrawn to the Battle Barge Octavious in order to direct the full campaign.  Captain Tragan had been given elements of the Second Company along with a contingent of Calgar's personal Honor Guard to pursue the Dark Eldar.  Reports indicated that the normally mobile Dark Eldar had momentarily paused near the site of one of the many ruins that dotted the planet's landscape.  For the Dark Eldar to remain in one place too long meant they were searching for somthing either very valuable or very, very dangerous...
2000 Grey Knights/SM vs 2150 Dark Eldar
Bob vs Ned (Written by Ned)
With the campaign rules, Grey Knights got +1 to deployment rolls and 3 USRs. They made two of the rolls for USRs and took night vision on a dread and FNP on a squad. Because the Grey Knights are so far ahead in tiles DE got 150 points which was spent on a defense line and quad gun, then a blaster to the archon, scissor hands to the haemonculus. I can’t remember what, if anything else.

I got as close as I could in the report from memory, we got caught up in the game and forgot to take pictures as we went along.

The armies:
Archon: Huskblade, soul trap, HWG, Combat Drugs, Blaster, Shadow field
Haemonculus: LG, Scissor Hands

9 Wyches: RF in a Raider with DL, NS, Haemonculus starts here
10 Warriors: SC in a Raider with DL, NS Haemonculus starts here
5 Wracks, LG in a Venom with SC X 2, NS
5 Wyches, RF, Venom with SC X2, NS
5 Warriors, Venom with SC X2, NS

4 Incubi, SC X 2, NS

6 Reavers with 2 HL
6 Reavers with 2 HL
Beast Pack: 4 Masters, Clawed Fiend, 5 khymera, 4 razorwing flocks

Ravager NS
Ravager NS
Razorwing, 2 DL, FF, NS

Grey Knights
Ordo Malleus Inquisittor in Terminator Armour: Servo skulls, Psyker upgrade,
Space Marine Librarian in power armor with Null Zone/Avenger
Grey Knight Strike Squad: Justicar, 2 psycannons with Psyback
Grey Knight Strike Squad: Justicar, 2 psycannons with Psyback
Tactical squad in two 5 man combat teams: flamer, missile launcher with Rhino
Tactical squad in two 5 man combat teams: flamer, missile launcher with Rhino

Stormraven Gunship: Twin linked multimelta, fortitude
Stormtalon gunship: skyhammer missile launcher

Heavy Support
Dreadnaught: Psybolt ammo, searchlight, Twin-linked autocannon X2
Dreadnaught: Psybolt ammo, searchlight, Twin-linked autocannon X2
Thunderfire Cannon 

Mission: The Scouring (We played it as the Flyers could not score)
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

Special Issues: Mysterious objectives: only the sabotage one on the volcano had any meaning.
Warlord Traits: We both rolled for night fighting he rolled first and said no, I rolled second and said yes.

Terrain: See diagram and picture, I couldn’t put the lava rivers on the diagram so use your imagination.
Ability rolls: I rolled for combat drugs and got +1 to WS. He got prescience for his power
Night Fighting: Yes
We placed the objectives and then when we flipped, I (Ned) got lucky and the two 3’s and the 4 were in the dark eldar area. This completely reversed my strategy, because he had to come to me with this objective spread.

Deployment: Grey Knights won the roll off. They deployed their armor up front, putting dreads in cover and the cannon way in the back. They put one combat squad on the objective on the big volcano.  (Bob's note: This was my biggest mistake of the game!  I normally take second turn, but did not want to get hammered by DE in a Night Fight situation, especially as I needed all the tie-breaker points I could get.  I really, really, really should have went second and relied on my shooting to keep at least one of his objectives clear at the bottom of each turn.  THAT could have been a winning strategy.)

DE then got as much in cover and as far back as they could with more weighted to the left to increase the range just a little more. The reavers were left in reserve.

DE did not try to steal the initiative.



Turn 1 Grey Knights:
He moved his razorback forward and his rhinos a bit, along with his other razorback. They could only reach the quad gun with his searchlights, so once he lit that up, he put everything he had on it. Once the gun was lit, he targeted it with the cannon, killing 4 of the five warriors, who made leadership. The quad gun was destroyed, giving him first blood


Turn 1 DE:
I decided to take a shot and moved my ravager on the right up to get a shot at his dreadnaught (those autocannons ate my lunch last game). The other ravager and two raiders moved to get shots at the rhinos. The venoms moved a bit to keep jink, but had no targets to go after.

In the shooting phase the ravager completely whiffed against the dreadnaught failing to even hit. The other ravager managed to put a hull point on a rhino. The two raiders both whiffed, as well.


Turn 2 Grey Knights:
The stormraven came in, but the talon did not. Everything started moving forward, but stayed buttoned up in the vehicles.

In the shooting phase fire was massed on the ravager on the right, but due to night shields and jink it only took a hull point, but got a stunned. The gunship hit the venom in the back corner, but only managed a glance. The Thunderfire Cannon then dropped it’s five S5 blasts on the beasts, causing 7 or 8 wounds, but the Khymerea up front managed to save most with their invulnerable saves before succumbing. The Rhino on the left managed a glance on the kabalite warrior raider.


Turn 2: DE
In the movement phase the ravager moved to get a shot at the rhino, the raiders moved up. The Jet fighter aimed at the quad gun and combat squad. The venom down a hull point moved into cover. The other venoms continued to move to block line of sight from the dreadnaughts and stay out of range as much as possible. The quad gun hit the fighter, putting it in velocity lock.

In the shooting phase the reavers turbo boosted across the short end of the board behind the building to keep the 3+ save. The jetfighter dropped two missiles and two dark lances into the quadgun managing to kill two marines. Both DLs failed to damage the quad gun. The ravager managed to stun the rhino and a raider took a hull point from the dreadnaught on the left, stunning him-but he used fortitude, so it basically became a glance. There were still no warm bodies to shoot at.

Turn 3 Grey Knights:
The stormtalon failed to arrive. The Stormraven moved towards the jetfighter. Everything else positioned to take out the vehicles with dark lances. The strike squad and HQ jumped out of the storm raven.

Shooting: The Stormraven made short work of the razorwing jetfighter who crashed straight down, not hitting anyone. The kabalite warrior raider exploded in a spectacular fashion, killing five of the warriors on board. More attacks on the beasts from the cover removing another couple of beasts. Psycannon and bolter fire was soaked up by the clawed fiend. Bolter fire took out the one warrior leaving the objective open. The ravager on the right took its second hit and became immobilized.

(Bob's note: This was probably my second biggest mistake.  I should have shoved the Raven into the far corner behind the ruins.  Then the next turn I could have pummelled everything behind the Aegis and made a serious play for the objectives.  Instead, I got too conservative and went after the Razorwing and had to drop my Warlord and GKSS way too far away.  The beasts had me spooked and I was afraid the jet fighter would be able to clear off my objective.  I simply got flustered by the Stormtalon refusing to come in.)

Turn 3 Dark Eldar:
The second group of reavers came on  right behind the first. The first group then moved up to get in range of a razorback. The wrack venom moved behind the building by the objective. The warriors moved into the building. The wych raider and venom both moved up and the raider discharged its wyches and the haemonculus. The mobile ravager moved to get a shot at a dreadnaught.

In the shooting phase the reavers that just arrived turbo boosted over the squad of five marines, killing two and got in place to go after the dreadnaught next turn. The immobilized ravager took a hull point off the razorback and the reavers managed to explode the rhino.  No one was killed or pinned in the explosion. The venoms killed a couple of grey knights. The other venom managed another. Over on the other side of the field the wyches threw a haywire grenade glancing the rhino. The ravager then managed to explode it. The raider then took a shot at the dreadnaught and took off an autocannon. The warriors then fired into the grey knights and killed one.

In the assault phase, the reavers moved back behind the building. The wyches declared an assault on the knights. Over watch killed the haemonculus and two wyches. Then the wyches rolled six inches and needed seven, failing to charge. Could not use fleet as the haemonculus was in the group (before he died).

The mysterious objective up on the volcano finally exploded, killing one marine. 



And yes, I flip flopped a rhino and a razorback on the report map, on the lower side.

Turn 4 Grey Knights
In the movement phase the talon and raven got in position to go after the ravagers and venoms. The knights moved to good shooting position. One group headed back to deal with the reavers who now were in position to hold linebreaker and an objective. The others moved forward to go after objectives and the beasts.

In the shooting phase both ravagers were destroyed and the remaining raider, leaving no dark lances. The beasts took another couple of casualties and the clawed fiend finally died. The tunderfire cannon took out four of the reavers, negating their jink, then the strike squad failed to take them out with mass of fire. The wyches who failed their charge took a bunch of losses, ending up with three, but made leadership. Without the FNP they would have all been lost. Last, the venom with the 5 wyches exploded, killing 4, but passed pinning and leadership.

In the assault phase, the reavers were just outmatched and died a heroic, yet gruesome death.
Turn 4 DE
Without much left to move, the DE wyches moved towards the knights. The reavers moved up 12 inches. The beasts spread out some, while the lone wych moved and then ran to get next to the objective and behind the defense line. The wrack venom moved behind the building next to an objective. The venom with the archon continued to play duck and cover to say out of line of sight of things.

In shooting the venoms fired at what they could killing two more knights. The reavers then turbo boosted into the back corner hoping to survive the next turn and then turbo boost to contest the objective in the far end of the board.

The wyches managed to assault without losing anyone to over watch and then killed on knight and lost none.

Turn 5 Grey Knights
The raven went into hover mode since there were no lances left and headed towards my reavers and venoms. The talon followed. The infantry focused on the beasts. At the back of the board the troops headed towards the back objective and over on the back right the tactical marines joined the fight with the wyches.

In the shooting phase everything was focused on the reavers with the stormtalon and raven managing to kill four. The cannon went after the beasts, aiming by the wych but the scatter went against and it only managed to take out one beast. (Bob's note: My initial shot placement covered the Wych and a Beast, but scattered too much.  I caught the Wych only one ignore cover wound, but she passed her armor!  That one will haunt me for a while!) The dreadnaught aimed it’s one autocannon at the wych who went to ground on the objective and managed to survive. The quad gun took out the venom on the roof and the dreadnaught on the right took out the venom with the wracks in it, with one wrack getting killed in the explosion. No one could see the archon’s venom. Fire from the infantry took out two more beasts forcing a leadership. The beasts passed but the reavers rolled double sixes, running off the board.

In the assault phase the wyches failed to do anything. The knights failed to kill them, but the tactical squad crushed them.

Turn 5 DE
In the movement, it was clear that another turn would be the end of the DE, so the moves to take objectives were made. The wracks held fast. The venom with the archon came out to get a blaster shot at the storm raven. The beasts moved over to the middle objective, leaving the wych on the one to the left.

In the shooting phase, the beasts and the venom shot at the tactical squad killing one. Marines elected to fail leadership to make get out of assault range of the beasts, but ended up rolling an 11 which was much farther than they wanted. The blaster shot was a one, so no good. The warriors took some more shots with their splinter rifles to no effect.

The roll for continuation was a one. Game over. DE victory.

Grey Knights: objectives 5 points, first blood, line breaker (Marines fell back across the line), 2 fast attack kills=8 victory points

Dark Eldar: Objectives 10 points=10 victory points.

Ned's Comments: It was a blast. And overall it was very close with both of us having stretches of bad rolls and good rolls. When my 8 DL shots the first turn yielded just a glance, I thought I would be out by the end of turn two. Turn 3 I made a ton of saves, but turn four, everything blew up. Just how it goes.

Bob's Comments: Ned played a heck of a game!  He played strictly to the mission, while I let myself get a little distracted in the mid-game.  He also did a great job of using the long board and nightshields to his advantage.  Ned knows his army very well and did an awesome job of using their speed and range to his full advantage.  It also didn't help that almost every single one of his models was scoring!  This is a game I'd love to have back, but I will just have to console myself with the fact that I still managed to hold my own in a very lopsided deployment type/mission scenario.  I just needed one more turn, but that's how it goes sometimes.
The Ultramarines plunged recklessly into the Dark Eldar lines, driving back the fiendish xenos with torrents of bolter fire.  For each Dark Eldar that the bolt shells ripped apart, it seemed as two more immediately took their place.  As Captain Tragan pushed forward and unleashed his assault cannon into a mass of nightmarish beasts, a flicker of movement caught his eye.  A Dark Eldar Wych carrying a large crystal sprinted away from the battle and swung onto the back of a Venom as it screamed mere feet above the ground.  The Venom immediately swung hard about and blasted into the ash clouds.  Tragan could almost make out the sound of manical laughter as the rest of the Dark Eldar withdrew into the night.

As Haud Dico and his Incubi bodyguard zoomed away from the battle, he chuckled at the futility of the Space Marine assault.  He had simply fed members of the kabal with suspect loyalties into the meat-grinder of the battle, letting his enemies kill each other.  While the Ultramarines purged the traitors from his ranks, he had managed to recover a large piece of the ancient artifact rumored to be on the planet.  His plan was coming to fruition, and soon it might just be the Duke that would need to be watching his back for traitors...

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