Steel Legion & Officio Assassinorum vs. Orks

The orks have seen a lot of battles versus the Imperial Guard, especially lately, though this is the first time we’ve lined up against this particular officer.  We played 1500 points and decided upon the “Big Guns Never Tire” scenario from the Eternal War series.  The goal here was to hold objectives at the end of the game and destroy your opponent’s heavy support units while preserving your own.

He had two battle tanks as his heavy support.  Other vehicles included four or five chimera and a valkyrie gunship with embarked storm troopers.  His troops were all (or at least mostly) veterans with those scary-looking german helmets and gas masks.  (We imagined that our battle was a small part of what happened during the Third War for Armageddon.  Perhaps the vindicare assassin was dispatched to kill Ghazghkull Thraka, who apparently was elsewhere.) The orks opted for a slight variation on Colonel Fixit’s Command Group list.

orks vs. IG amp Assassin July 9 2015

Early Game: The orks had more than their share of luck in the beginning stages, which sort of set the tone for the evening. They charged ahead and despite a hail of battle cannon shells, laser fire, and volleys of grenades all of the ork vehicles were still rolling.  No one was more surprised by this than the greenskins.

Guard tanks exchanged fire with ork artillery, causing light casualties among the zzap guns.  The humans maneuvered, stacking their armor and mechanized infantry on their right flank to meet both advancing squads of trukk boyz.

orks vs. IG amp Assassin 03 July 9 2015

Mid-Game: The imperial right flank crumbled with surprisingly light ork casualties.  By the time the greenskin troopers were a spent force, they had broken through and wrecked the command chimera, Den Mother.

A valkyrie gunship reinforced the battle and along with the assassin tried to stop the nobz battlewagon rolling down the center of the field.  The half track shrugged off multiple lascannon hits, but a turbopenetrator round finally blew off a wheel and temporarily stopped the wagon.

Meanwhile a strike squad of ork jump infantry rocketed into the fray, surrounding the assassin. The assault sergeant popped a red flare and called in an air strike.  Captain Daniel, the Steel Legion company commander, ordered a nearby squad of veterans to focus fire on the stormboyz and eliminated this distraction, though the storm nob took cover and guided in the aircraft for as long as he could. The assassin, laying on his back behind some 50 gallon drums, managed to score a perfect if unlikely shot right into the MIG 15’s engine as it flew over him. Trailing oil and black smoke, the pilot returned to base his strike mission (as far as he was concerned) completed.

End Game: Despite the heroics of the vindicare assassin, a late gravchute insertion attempt by the storm troopers, and the coolness under fire of Captain Daniel, there was no stopping the orks this time.  The ork big guns fell silent.  Artillery goblins watched through periscopes and field glasses, chattering excitedly back and forth on their radios, as a greenskin ring of infantry closed around the remaining imperial platoon.  In the end the assassin spent his seventh life and died to a stray nob shoota bullet as he bravely held his position awaiting an extraction order, which never came.  Someone at the Office of Assassins will want answers to some hard questions!

orks vs. IG amp Assassin 02 July 9 2015

We ended the game with the orks in possession of five of the six objectives and both Steel Legion heavy support tanks were burning hulks.  Hopefully the rest of the Third War for Armageddon doesn’t go as badly for the Imperium as it did here today.  Otherwise Commissar Yarrick is not going to be pleased!

Orks vs. Adepta Sororitas: 1500 Pts (May 2015)

Imperial forces have invaded an ork-held system in the Santa Cruz sector and for this battle our company level microscope focuses in on a fuel dump/refinery garrisoned by a big mek.  Lots of walkers, a couple of trukks of boyz, some grots, and a big unit of artillery made up my starting forces.

This was a surprise attack by the Sisters, so I started more forces in reserve.  These represented whatever assets the orks could scrape together and get to the battle in a timely response to the mek’s frantic pleas for reinforcements.  So I chose accordingly from my collection:  A single outflanking deffkopta, a warboss (more of an under-boss really) on a bike accompanied by a few nobz, and a dakkajet.

The Adepta player’s forces were in his words “a typical list” and I have to agree though I haven’t played against Sisters since 5th edition.  A couple of exorcist tanks, which he had converted to look like missile tanks, and a couple of immolators formed the core of his armored forces.  A bunker with lots of heavy bolter-armed infantry.  They had the usual troops with plenty of melta and flamers, and jump infantry. St. Celestine put in an appearance though his warlord was a priest.

The mission was the Maelstrom mission, “Deadlock,” where each side starts out with six tactical objective cards and the number decreases by one each turn until turn seven where each side can only have one card.

Armored orks on the rampage.

Early Game: Although the orks knew there was jump infantry facing them, I guess they were used to seeing those bulky Astartes jump packs.  They completely missed the fact that the seraphim were threatening their right flank and consequently the artillery.  The walkers, which should have been protecting the right flank were merrily off chasing tactical objective points mid-board instead.

The Sisters’ troops took fairly heavy casualties early from the artillery and especially the big mek’s shokk attack gun.  By turn two, however, the jump infantry had rolled up the ork artillery, along with the big mek.  Other ork forces tried to stem the tide as best they could.  A sergeant tried to hussle his grots into some semblance of a screening line, but the goblins were having none of that.  They tough but not suicidal!  A truckful of boyz arrived just in time to get mopped up themselves.  Although the seraphim lost their lives to a woman, and St. Celestine spent one of her lives taking a rokkit to the back of the head, their spearhead cleared the way for the priest and his large force of battle sisters to crush the ork right flank.

Mid Game: The orks did try and make a battle of it, doing their best to throw back the advancing imperial forces.  The right flank, near the fuel tanks, belonged to the Sisters the entire battle, despite a counter-attack by boyz supported by a ground attack fighter.

A biker boss on the left flank did manage to cause some concern, when he motored up to a bunker an Adepta heavy bolter squad was using as a strongpoint.  He smashed out one side of the building in a brutal charge.  The remaining sisters conducted a fighting retreat, in accordance with orders, since overall there seemed no reason to sacrifice themselves with things otherwise going so well.

Sisters charge ork artillery on the right flank.

End Game: With the right flank secure, the imperial forces were able to concentrate their fire on the threatening bikers along with a group of armored boyz, backed by a deff dread.  The deff dread originally was the leader of a large group of killa kanz, but over the course of the fighting they had done little more than soak up missile fire while running back and forth, occasionally taking an ineffectual pot shot here and there.  The walker did manage to crush an immolator, before it could toast the armored orks, only to fall before a criss-crossing white web of meltagun fire.

When the dust settled at the end of turn seven, the only orks remaining was the armored orks trukk that had gotten its rear axle hung up in a ruin and immobilized itself.  They gamely shot targets of opportunity with their heavy machine gun until they looked around and realized they were alone.  The driver and gunner looked at each other and jumped out opposite sides of their trukk screaming, “Leeegggg itttt!” As they dodged their way through the ruin, one of them turned as their trukk exploded.

Post Script: The orks are going to have to remember next time that not all jump infantry look like assault marines, and deploy accordingly.  With the loss of their fuel depot, this will hamper their offensive efforts greatly, forcing them to adopt a siege mentality against the invading imperial forces.  The Adepta forces were well led and competent.  Throwing them back will take all of the cunning and focus the orks can muster if they are to be successful in the future.

Still, there was one bright spot for the orks in the battle.  The actions of the assault ork sergeant, Scarbag Flashboy, were of a character to mark him a hero and thus worthy of his own Saga, which will be my next blog post.

The Emperor’s Shield

“Captains!  Another centennial contest is upon us, and we shall once again determine who is best suited to be the Emperor’s Shield.  The Lords of Terra welcome you to Olympus IV to test your mettle against your fellow Adeptus Astartes.  These battle exercises help to hone the skills of all our chapters for their eternal war against the xenos pestilence and the scourge of Chaos.”

I recently participated in a mirror list tournament at Endgame in Oakland, CA.  Thank you very much to TO Adan for organizing and running the event.  Also, thanks to First Captain Reuben of the Mythic Angels for tactical advice, loan of a squad of his honored and ancient assault marines, as well as logistical support transporting my chapter to the Alameda Sector.

The list everyone played was:

Headquarters
Captain in power armor with power sword and bolt pistol.
Librarian in power armor with force staff and bolt pistol. He was level 2 and his powers were Iron Arm, Endurance, and Smite.

Troops
Two units of ten tactical marines. The sergeant had a chainsword and bolt pistol. Special weapons were a flamer and missile launcher. Each squad had a rhino with a dozer blade as a dedicated transport.

Elite
Dreadnought with an assault cannon and power fist with a built-in storm bolter.

Heavy Support
Predator with auto-cannon turret and lascannon sponsons.

Fast Attack
Land Speeder with heavy flamer and multi-melta.
Five assault marines. The sergeant had a plasma pistol.

Game One: Assaulting the Green Marines’ right flank.

Adan assigned chapter tactics and the first game was Ultramarines. We were also allowed to pick warlord traits, but we could only use a specific trait for one game. I picked Master of Ambush and used this to concentrate my forces somewhat on my opponent’s right flank. This was the only game where the trait had much of an effect on the battle.

The idea was to take one of his backfield objectives, which was behind good cover, and have one of my combat squads with the missile launcher hold this strong position and blast away. I’d have threats coming from my own side of the board as well so I could swing around and subject whoever was in the center of the board holding the important objective there to a (hopefully) withering crossfire.

Things worked out but not nearly as well I hoped. My opponent did have to direct a goodly number of his forces to react to the outflank, but it turned into a bloody stalemate. I did win the game decisively, but mostly because of Chapter Tactics: Good Luck. For example, my assault marines deep struck but ended up in a bad position where they got tied up by a dreadnought. They lost a couple of marines, failed their morale check and promptly ended up 16″ back where they were in prime position to kill a land speeder threatening my forces. After that they joined in on the final attack on the center position. My predator won the tank duel that lasted three turns, and so on.

Still, sometimes as the saying goes it is better to be lucky than good and I had my share of it in this tournament. In any case, it was a very fun game and I hope to play the Green Marines again someday soon.

Game Two: Close quarters in the Zone Mortalis Light!

The board for this match was very interesting in that it was what Adan called “Zone Mortalis Light” in the middle, surrounded by thick ruins. Again we were fighting for objectives and I believe we were Raven Guard. The rules for the ZML were no vehicles except the dreadnought could enter and the walls went up to “infinity” so you couldn’t shoot or move over them. Also, our flamers were twin-linked against any unit inside the zone.

As might be expected this was a very tactical game inside the zone. Both sides were doing their best to maneuver so they got to be the ones charging. Outside the zone it was a bit more of a free for all with my rhinos tank shocking all over the place and our heavy units trading fire. My opponent pulled off a great move when he blocked off one of the entrance to the ZML with both of his rhinos. Right in the face of my advancing forces! He also pulled off some late game unlikely but exciting charges against my tactical marines covering one of the ZML entrances.

This was a hard-fought game where by the end our captains ended up dueling each other to a draw. However, my land speeder, despite immediately immobilizing itself in a ruin when it deep struck, did manage to cripple both Adan’s predator and his dreadnought. More good luck. This allowed my dreadnought to pick his way unopposed into the ZML, where he did good work supporting my infantry and holding the central objective.

Game Three: Imperial Fists assault marine on the attack!

The last game was a first for me: I’ve never played on the top table at a tournament before. The terrain was fairly sparse and we were fighting for kill points. A couple of forests and several large hills. We were Imperial Fists this time, which suited my opponent because that was his preferred chapter!

The early fighting mostly came down to a long-ranged battle to control a long firing lane between two hills. My opponent won the roll off for table sides and wisely deployed his predator in a forest at his end of this lane. This allowed him to control the action there, supported by both his missile launchers. My response was to use the hills for cover as best I could and counter-attack. We both tried to turn each others’ forces around a plateau on my far left flank. This ended up in a somewhat bloody draw. He had a small advantage in the fighting, but I got first blood when his deep striking speeder landed too close to my forces.

My opponent had the early advantage overall mainly because he had control of the firing lane. My speeder was able to pull off a very risky drop right behind his predator. I hoped to destroy it with my multi-melta but had to settle for shearing off one of its lascannons.

This was a very close game that came down to the final turn. Things were looking bad when his assault marines drove back my supporting infantry and stunned the walker with a lucky plasma pistol shot. His librarian jumped alone into an empty rhino and moved flat out toward the fighting to help finish them off. If he succeeded my opponent would cement his victory.

Instead, my other, less harried missile launcher squad managed to wreck the rhino as it moved across the contested firing lane. From there the librarian jumped out and continued on his way. My dreadnought recovered and pushed back the assault marines, despite being covered in krak grenades. Another shot, either by my predator or a missile launcher (I forget) and the librarian was dead. With time running out I was up by one kill point. Tough game against a very good opponent. Honestly, I felt like I was fighting off balance for most of the game.

A memento for the chapter’s trophy room.

First place was the plaque seen above and a nice gift certificate, which I used toward buying a new predator. Although the ancient predator I now possess, pulled from a lake by orks and then rescued by the Space Wolves or Ultramarines (depending upon who you ask) has given me good service, it has burned far too long in the crucible of war. Its machine spirit deserves an honorable retirement or at least a good, long rest.

So, all that remains now is to add a gold ribbon to my Wolf Standard and go back to fighting all of that xeno pestilence and Chaos scourge!

Battle of Bald Mountain

I was cleaning out some pictures from my cell phone, when I ran across a couple of photos from a six or eight player game of Muskets & Tomahawks I had the pleasure of playing in some time ago.  Muskets & Tomahawks bills itself as a game of “skirmishes in North America during the 18th century.” I enjoy the game not only for how it plays, but because I have an interest in the French and Indian Wars.  .

Thank you very much to Gamemaster Nick of the South Bay Game Club of Saratoga, CA for putting together and running this game.

The scenario we played was one where a group of British regulars were tasked with moving up cannon and shelling a French fort.  They were supported in this by a group of rangers and a sizable war party of Mohawks.  I tend to favor the native warriors, so I played the Mohawk contingent.

Fight for the village.

We first encountered the French native allies, who took up positions on the mountain and brought our columns under fire.  As might be expected, the natives in Muskets & Tomahawks are experts in making use of terrain when they fight.  The British column continued toward the fort while the rangers spent much of the rest of the battle skirmishing with the French native allies.

My Mohawks broke into two groups.  The first, led by a very aggressive, young chief, who wanted to make a name for himself, charged down the hill into the village.  He and his men made quite a terrifying and colorful spectacle whooping and waving their clubs and axes.  A sharp battle took place in the village, which included fighting inside the wigwams and long houses.

The Mohawk chief was killed, which took the fight out of his warriors.  They torched a couple of buildings and fled in all directions, melting back into the forest and taking no further part in the battle.

Game Master Nick certainly puts together some nice battlefields!

Now the other Mohawks, led no doubt by an older and wiser warrior, took up firing positions overlooking the village.  They were quite successful keeping the remaining native warriors pinned down inside their longhouse and killing any who tried to venture outside to put out the fires.  They also drove away a group of native reinforcements from the fort, who were trying to use their canoes to flank the British.

The battle ended with a British victory.  At the end, my fierce and perspicacious fighting men sat and ate some deer jerky and cornbread, enjoying the spectacle of their European allies driving off the French, who sallied from the fort, and then taking it under fire.  As the sun went down they began creeping toward the burning remains of the abandoned French position to take advantage of the opportunity for loot and perhaps captives….

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day Two): “Return of the Space Communists”

So with new pilots recruited, more piles of scrap cobbled back together as horrible travesties of wheeled vehicles, and blue skins flocking to the glorious banner of the Greater Good, we returned once again to the crucible of war for a second day of gaming in the Sacramento Sector.

The traditional post battle snap shot for the folks back home.

Game Four: The Greater Infestation

We woke bright and early, coffee mug in one hand and shoota/pulse rifle in the other, only to see what appeared to be a gene stealer cult right in the middle of our beloved Greater Good.  Some of the orks thought the tyranids had mutated their wings into a mockery of our revered red and yellow battle flag, but this proved an optical illusion.  Their wings were merely painted orange as tribute to the usual tau camo scheme.  (Orks aren’t especially known for their keen eyesight.)  Our fourth game of the tournament was against a team of tau and tyranids.

The early stages of the battle saw three groups of gene stealers advancing on the three objectives in the middle of the board, one in each sector.  The bugs made an early surge into our center, trying to annihilate our tau (otherwise known as “the good tau”), but we were able to put them back with ork mortar fire and the timely arrival of both our aircraft, who annihilated a hive tyrant poised upon inflicting devastation.

This threat parried we went on the attack.  The nobz, led by my mighty warboss in his custom suit of mega-armor incorporating a void shield (lucky stikk, actually) proved an irresistible force against everything that was thrown at him.  Anything he wasn’t irresistible against, he parried by using a nearby nob as a meat shield.  Before long he was in the traitor tau lines re-educating them with his power klaw.

My partner and I each received a special dice bag!

Meanwhile, the boyz were doing good work on the other side of the battle suppressing a huge flock of gargoyles.  The good tau were providing fire support everywhere, and things were looking as they should.  The one thorn in our side was the few remaining gene stealers hiding behind tall rock pillars near each objective.  The early accuracy of our mortars gave way to goblins gone wild, who couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat to quote the immortal Tommy Lasorda.  Despite our dominance of the battlefield, those few, cowering bugs proved our undoing.

With time running out, the stealers made a sudden dash and pounced upon the objectives.  We did our best to eliminate them or at least drive them back, but it was not to be.  It is some time since the tournament that I am writing this, but I believe only one stealer was left on the objective and this was enough when we calculated things that Hive Fleet Tau won by one victory point.

Naturally, no pictures of this battle can be released because of the political ramifications within our Empire if news of Tau cooperating with tyranids were to get out.  In any case, I think their Shadow of the Warp affected my cell phone camera, because all of the pictures were even blurrier than usual.

Game Five: Blue Harleys Run Amok

This battle featured Eldar allied with an army of space marine bikers.  Despite the blue paint, I think they were White Scars, but writing this as I am a couple of months after the event who knows?  Either, way I believe this team either won the entire event or placed highly, but I’m not entirely sure.

Blue beakies getting some pay back.

I think this would have been a bit of a blood bath not in our favor if the marine reserves had actually come on in a timely fashion.  Instead the showed up in dribs and drabs, and in a couple of cases we were able to eliminate marines as they were arriving at the battle.  Even so, their wraith knight did a good job, anchoring the middle of the battle for them, trading fire for most of the game with our riptide.  A lone nob with a power klaw did manage to cause the giant elf construct some problems and almost finished it off until their warlord zoomed over on his jet bike and lent it a hand.  As usual we didn’t really have an answer against the ubiquitous wave serpent.

Despite the reserve snafu, which kept the game close, in the end we again lost a very close game.  At the end of the battle, with both sides depleted, they remained a more mobile army than we and were able to place themselves where they need to be in order to win.  Still, we made a good effort against a very powerful team and I think my boyz managed to grab a couple of scrap bikes as well as blue helmets, which are much in demand with my forces as trukk radiator caps.

Game Six: “Hold until Relieved.”

Elf Guard on the move.

Our final game of the tournament was against Eldar allied with Imperial Guard.  Although the battlefield didn’t have a lot of terrain on it, it did have several very tall towers.  The battle raged around these towers, which served well to block line of sight and as fire platforms.

The initial tone of the battle had the orks closing the distance against an enemy, who held their positions and punished the greenskin advance.  My partner focused on providing fire support and grabbing objectives.  Our opponent’s devastator did good work blowing up ork vehicles before it fell to a nob with a giant can opener.

Most of the battle took place on our opponents’ side of the board with humans and elves alike trying to beat back the orks.  They were largely unsuccessful in this, due mainly to horrible shooting on the part of the guard and truth to tell the warboss in his void shield mega-armor was all but unstoppable, if painfully slow.

Still, the enemy did have a late game trick up their sleeve.  A squad of storm troopers deep struck behind our lines next to the fire warriors, who were keeping their heads down and defending an objective.  Further, the elf warlord on a jet bike, who had a nasty habit of repeatedly turning up in our battles over the past two days, made a last minute objective grab, nullifying the objective our riptide had defended the whole game.

So, despite the untouchable warboss leading his ravening horde of nobz, our irresistible guardian riptide, our air force and many other glory boys, it all came down to a single fire warrior.  He was the last, heroic survivor of his squad, who after the dust cleared was still holding the objective.

We won the game by a single point.

Sportsmanship certificates.

So we were 2-4, winning the first and last games, getting crushed in one and having extremely close games in the other cases.  Both Ethereal Mark and myself were pleased with our showing and decided we had indeed brought the light of the Greater Good to the Sacramento Sector as planned.

There were many awards given out, for painting, best generalmanship of course, and sportsmanship.  We were very happy to again win a second place sportsmanship award.  A munificent award indeed, consisting as it did of the approbation of our dread enemies, as well as commemorative certificates and dice pouches.  We also split a nice gift certificate from Great Escape Games, which we used to bolster our ranks with some meganobz!

Back of the dice pouches we received.

All in all it was a well run tournament and a lot of fun.  The TO Mark B. obviously put a lot of thought into his event, and both he and his volunteer staff worked hard to make their event memorable and fun.  I’m looking forward to participating in the first event of the 2015 Twin Linked Tournament season on March 1st, again, in the Sacramento Sector.  This time I’ll be on the look out for those perfidious gene stealers, and sneaky White Scars trying to fool people into thinking they are Ultramarines just minding their own business!

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day One): “Return of the Space Communists”

Back in December, I once again made the drive to Sacramento with Mark of the Farsight Enclaves to fight for the Greater Good in the Twin Linked Grand Tournament.  This is a six game, two-day end-of-year team tournament that is a sort of final exclamation point for the team tournaments of 2014.  It is run by Mark Broughton along with many volunteers, and I have to say they all put a lot of thought and effort into making it a fun experience.

Each player fields a 1000 point army with various restrictions from a single codex.  So each team of two players, who are always “allies of convenience” has a 2000 point force, which cannot change for the entire tournament.  Each battle is a custom affair, very different than the usual rules book missions.

Game One: Trying to Bring the Greater Good to Tau and Dark Angels

We all loved the flat-topped, hovering hills in game one.  The goblin artillerists particularly so!

The early stages of the battle featured a close range clash in front of our opponent’s aegis line between the orks and the Dark Angels, who trundled out to meet them.  The orks got the better of the engagement after a couple turns of hard fighting.  The goblin’s mortar fire may not have decided the issue, but it was extremely accurate and helped our cause quite a bit.  We were hoping our two aircraft would also provide further support, but these were neutralized fairly effectively by the marine’s anti-aircraft dreadnought.

Toward the end of the game there was something you don’t see very often:  two riptides fighting it out against each other in close combat.  Not surprisingly to a draw.  (Sadly the picture didn’t come out.)  We ended up winning that battle when time ran out after five turns, and moved on to the next round.

Game Two: It’s a Trap!

The Air Force of the Greater Good has its Great Moment!

This time we faced a Space Wolf & Eldar force that featured three drop pods of infantry on turn one with Eldar fire support provided by a wraith knight and those hated wave serpents, which would be so ubiquitous through the rest of the tournament.

Although our forces tried to bring the much-needed Light of Reason and Culture to our opponents and we fought valiantly, unfortunately this was a tough match-up for us.  Most of the Space Wolves did give their lives in the early going, but by the end of the battle all what was left was our riptide in a corner making a last stand against overwhelming odds.  With his loss all that was left to do was call in for reinforcements and prepare for the next battle of the day.

Game Three: Communists versus Pirates

Right before impact!

Our opponents for the last game of the day were a father/son team of Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively.  This was an interesting game for me because it was the first time either Farsight Mark or myself had faced the new Dark Eldar codex.

This was a hard fought game with both sides taking heavy casualties.  There were a couple of funny moments during the game.  One was when the Eldar shot down our sun shark bomber.  The pilot decided to sacrifice himself for the Greater Good and plowed right into a space dark elf jet fighter and blew it up in a gigantic ball of fire and melted plastic.

Then there was the invincible squiggoth, who the nobz tamed and brought along as a transport instead of their usual but much abused battle wagon.  Their simple strategy was pretty much, “Melta this, hoomies!”  I guess they didn’t count on poisoned weapons though or tremendous volleys from wave serpents.  The beast pretty much shuffled around the board first in one direction and then the other for the entire tournament, not really wanting to get in anyone’s way or cause any trouble, which generally can’t be said for battle wagons.

Super Squiggoth is much friendlier than he looks.

Despite having every poisoned weapon in the world thrown at him, he was the “Squiggoth Who Would Not Die,” even if he ended the fight with only one wound left.

Still, even with the amazing Super Squiggoth and our friend the kamikaze Tau, we still ended up losing a close game.  We had no way to catch or kill the wave serpents arrayed against us, and by the end our opponents were much more mobile than we were and able to position themselves for the win when time ran out.

Next Time: This was a two day tournament so we rested up, consoled ourselves with steak at the local Outback, complained about wave serpents, fed the squiggoth from the in-hotel buffet (no squiggoths allowed at Outback as it turned out), recruited a new Tau pilot, harvested ork spores so we’d have more boyz, and bribed our meks into throwing together more shockingly disposable trukks in preparations for fresh glories on Sunday.

In my next battle report, I’ll write about the second half of the tournament and how we did in spreading the Greater Good throughout the Sacramento Sector.  For the Motherland!

Day Two of the Twin-Linked Tourney is here.

Orks Versus Grey Knights: “Uh, Sir, that’s a little too close.”

As if the Grey Knights didn’t have enough trouble.  They semi-successfully defended “the relic” from a covetous space marine chapter, when a bunch of orks rumbled onto the very same battlefield twenty minutes later.  Almost makes one feel bad for the boys from Titan, except there is no pity in the 41st millennium.

The mission was “Cleanse & Control” and we played 1500 points.  As far as I could tell there were four units of knights in power armor.  Most of them seemed to be interceptors, but how is an ork to tell?  One group sat out the entire game sheltered inside a ruin guarding an objective and presumably trying not to get shot up.  (I imagine those were not interceptors!)  Lord Draigo also graced the battle with his presence.  He was accompanied by a librarian and a host of terminators.  Rounding out the marine forces was a dread knight.

Early stages of the battle: The storm trooper sergeant’s head on a stick.

The orks figured they were going to sneak in right before dawn, after the beakies finished beating the crap out of each other, bundle the shiny relic into a trukk and high tail it for home before anyone knew what they were about.  Consequently it was the Too Many Chiefs detachment from page 102 of the codex.  Pretty much everyone important wanted in on the glory.  Two warbosses showed up, one on an enormous motorcycle and another (Warboss Hungry) in a battle wagon lording it over a gaggle of nobz.  Then there was the jump infantry commander — some junior lieutenant who happened to be borrowing Zagstruk’s stat line.  The less said about him the better.  Otherwise, pretty much any ork who could find a ride showed up.  I’m not sure who the mortar battery hitched a ride with, but goblins are nothing if not resourceful.

Early Battle: The orks spread out all over the field.  They wanted to control the objectives early and take advantage of their mobility before the marines blew up all of their lovely transports.  The assault lieutenant drove his large squad of jump troops down the middle of the field.  He wanted to impress both warbosses.  Further it didn’t occur to him that a small squad of marines would dare bring the fight to him.  But bring it they did.  A group of five or six marines charged guns blazing into three times their number of orks.  When the dust settled all of the orks were dead or routed, including the green lieutenant.  Just as well.  Saved higher command the trouble of executing him for being an incompetent git!

Otherwise the ork plan seemed to be working.  They were recovering valuable archeo-technology out from under the very beakies of the grey beakies!  “Fer da Greata Gud an’ da Revulushun!”

The Junior Assault Lieutenant puts some of his men through their paces in happier days.

Mid-Battle: The goblin mortar battery, for which the orks are (in)famous, was placing accurate hits on strike and interceptor squads.  They weren’t doing much against power armor-clad troops, but this heavy shelling could not be allowed to go unchallenged.  The marine commander ordered his dreadknight to teleport in on the ork right flank.  The artillerymen took one look at that ugly, giant walker shimmering into existence ten feet from their position and high tailed it back to base.  This allowed the Grey Knights to secure an objective valuable both for its skyfire potential and as a treasure trove of hidden supplies, i.e. victory points.

The battle raged back and forth with both sides exchanging small arms fire.  Neither could be said to control the situation.  Despite the early surprise by the orks, the Grey Knights were able to re-secure much of what they had originally lost.  Lord Draigo teleported in with a large squad of terminators, though due to some garbled communications he almost materialized directly inside the strike squad corporal, who was fumbling with a particularly high-strung teleporter beacon.  Still, all turned out well.  The terminators withstood a powerful ork air strike with minimal casualties, and anchored their lines with a force the orks had no means to approach head-on, sideways or any way whatsoever.

Late Battle: The orks did meet dread knight threat.  General Hungry ordered his battle wagon to proceed at top speed toward the ork right flank.  He radioed the bike squad leader to back up his efforts and engage a supporting interceptor squad.  The ork bikers took more casualties from riding at top speed directly through the walls of a ruin than they did from the fight itself.

“Furst man ta krump dat fing gets ta be boss nob!” he bellowed, standing on the cab of his wagon waving his klaw.  Hungry mentally congratulated himself for speaking in orky pidgin, then promptly tumbled off accidentally on purpose with all of the frantic klaw-waving.  He almost got left behind.  Three nobz killed each other in their zeal to reach the dread knight.  Another nob or two died shrieking beneath the walker’s huge blade.  In the end they ate the grey knight driver and spent the rest of the battle fighting over who would get to pilot the new “dread”.

The remaining bikers dismounted and stood in a circle around their leader’s motorcycle, trying to figure out how to get a suit of power armor untangled from his forks.

Meanwhile, Hungry received a communication from the battle analysts aboard his command strike cruiser.  They had determined that the orks had achieved as much as they could possibly expect in their opportunistic raid.  Any further indulgence in battle would most likely only serve the ends of the Grey Knights.  So he sent up the red flare and as one the orks rolled, ran, flew, crawled and swam for home, leaving the marines scratching their heads and wondering what the hell just happened.  Theories included that Tigurius from the last battle summoned the orks using some “unknown and possibly broken” summoning spell.  (Wouldn’t it be typical of Roboute Guilliman to pull something like that?)

In any case, the game ended in a draw.  Happily, I achieved style points by having Hungry fulfill his Saga of the Cowardly Warboss by not putting himself in a situation where he had a good chance of dying. (See post-script.)

Saga of Wat? Yooz can’t do dat in 40K!

Post Script:  As has been mentioned before in the dim recesses of the past, Warboss Hungry (so named because of his appetites for goblin flesh) is rather unusual as ork warbosses go because he believes in using guile, tactics, and intelligence over strength and brute force.  In fact he is secretly a coward, though he goes to great lengths to not appear so.  In fact he is quite well-spoken, speaks several languages fluently and is an avid reader on a variety of subjects.  Shockingly, he is capable of loyalty and friendship, and has close ties with non-orks on many different worlds, especially amongst the Tau.  If he has a failing with his men, it is in the heat of battle he sometimes forgets to “speak orky” and the boyz don’t understand a word he is saying.

The upshot of all of this is Warboss Hungry must be fielded with the “Finking Cap” upgrade to account for his intellect.  He also has the “Saga of the Cowardly Warboss” though if he knew that his reality were in fact a 40K game he’d prefer to call it the “Saga of the Tactical Super Genius.”  Those of you who are familiar with the concept of sagas from the old Space Wolves codex know that the idea is to gain style points by winning the game while playing your character the way your saga says you are supposed to.  If you don’t, then you have to redeem your honor the next time around!

So Hungry’s saga requires that he not subject his person to anything where he has a good chance of getting killed.  Charging a dread knight with a squad of ten nobz?  Send in some “boss nob” mook for the challenge, let the rest of the nobz do the hard work and take credit at the end.  He gets word his powerful nob bodyguard is staging a revolt to replace him as chief.  Does he reassert his authority by fighting it out with the alpha-nob?  No, he “agrees” fresh blood is needed, steps down as boss and then manipulates the nobz into multi-charging three squads of terminators led by Logan Grimnar the next battle and letting nature take its course.  So, you get the idea.

Next Time: My impressions about playing in my third “Twin-Linked” tournament up in Sacramento with my charismatic partner, General Mark, of the Farsight Enclaves.

Charge of the Light Briga– … er Wolves!

I’ve been working on my Space Wolves for several months now, and decided to play them in a live game for the first time, with liberal amounts of my husband’s Ultramarines sprinkled in as “counts as” Space Wolves.  So I took a few pictures with my cell phone.  I was originally attracted to painting the Wolves because of the canines in the army, but I’m finding I like how they play as well with their balance of capabilities between shooting and assault.  They’ll make a nice change from my orks.

Land Speeder Pattern “Confused”

I had the speeder kit laying around for a couple of years, purchased back when my husband was playing the game.  I ended up playing in a marine tournament where we all had to bring the same list and this was one of the units, so I built it with the weapons the tournament called for.  I had misgivings about not specializing, but after playing it (unpainted) in Ultramarine armies a few times, I find I like the general utility given my play style is to generally show up not necessarily knowing what I’m playing against.  Plus sometimes it has survived long enough to destroy a vehicle and later in the game torch an infantry squad.  Being over-specialized can be a problem if you are fielded as a suicide unit but end up not dying as planned!

Charge of the Light Wolves!

The fenrisian wolves charge down the field, bravely ignoring the mega-armored warboss.  The giant ork is a rock in a snarling river of brown and tan fur.  The wolf guard battle leader, “Thor who rides the thunderwolf,” says it is because they wanted to destroy the enemy’s battlewagon.  I think the truth is they knew they couldn’t do much to the warboss between his armor and that lucky stick thing, so they figured on leaving that particular headache to what was left of the terminator squad.

Strangely, my Space Wolves don’t have last names.  They are known as “Thor who rides the thunderwolf,” and “Terminator Thor,” “Henpecked Harald” and so on.  I guess it isn’t so strange since space marines usually leave their past lives behind them when they join the Adeptus Astartes.

Those sneaky gitz!

Here we have Snigrot, his nob lieutenant (“Power Klaw Pete?”) sneaking his boyz right through the middle of the Space Wolf table edge.  I thought their grass camo cloaks were a very nice touch!  They chased my whirlwind around for awhile.  It shot a lot of missiles but never really hit much.  Then an outflanking squad of grey hunters showed up and got massacred by the greenskins, who then went back to chasing the whirlwind around some more.  They also paused to throw rotten fruit at some long fangs, who were too busy with their own troubles to do much about it.  I don’t think anything in general got them, just attrition from running around attacking everything in sight.

It is pretty keen how Snigrot lets his guys come in from any board edge.  I really wish they hadn’t taken that away from wolf scouts.  I guess despite the keen senses and hunter’s instincts of the Space Wolves, there is still a thing or two they could learn from that wily old ork!

Twin-Linked Tournament: “The Space Communists”

We made the drive up from Santa Cruz to Sacramento on Sunday to participate as “The Space Communists” in the Twin Linked Tournament, which is basically a doubles format where each player fields 1000 points.  My team partner, Mark, played Tau and I played Orks.  His was a rather eclectic group of blueskins, featuring a little bit of everything and almost none of what people expect, i.e. no riptide, plasma/melta spam etc.  Even his fire warriors were armed with pulse cabines instead of the usual rifles.  The greenskins were pretty standard, three trucks full of boyz, a battlewagon commandeered by the warboss with his nob retinue.  The grots managed to drag three lobbas to the edge of each battle.  They entrenched themselves wherever they could find a good spot to hide so they could be left in peace to mortar both sides indiscriminately.

Game one featured a drop pod army of Ultramarines led by Tigurius allied with Space Wolves.  All I can say about this is that we had two Great Moments early in the game.  First, Longstrike managed to one shot kill their Sicaran battle tank on turn one.  Second, my nobz handily defeated an advancing squad of terminators.

The Tau made some good shots and all of my orks managed to get into close combat.  But the ork boyz couldn’t really shift the advancing grey hunters and it didn’t help that Tigurius was able to keep his squad invisible for the entire battle.  Theirs was a very powerful army and we never really had much of a chance.  We held on until (I think) turn five and were tabled.  The only survivors of the orks were the gretchin mortar team, who legged it because Tigurius frightened them with his scary magic and outrageously long horns.  I believe this team ended up either winning the tournament or taking a close second place.

Even though we got tabled we still had fun.  I certainly got a few list building ideas for the Space Wolves I’m painting, and I’m definitely going to try for Invisibility when I play a psyker who can roll on the Telepathy table.  That is one mean spell!.

Game Two was against another drop pod-heavy army.  This time Salamanders and Dark Angels.  Unlike the first scenario, this was a hard fought game from beginning to end.  The marines were able to come in and do a lot of damage with their flame throwers and other weapons, but not being particularly good in assault we were able to deal with them fairly well once we weathered their initial fire.  Unfortunately they were able to deal with his fairly well too with their dakka.

They had another Sicaran battle tank and again Longstrike blew it up before the beakies knew what they were about.  For the Greater Good!

There was a lot of end-game maneuvering with each side trying to score points by taking table quarters.  The main thing that kept us in this game was the Tau commander.  He sat on one of the objectives and scored points each turn while the orks fought off multiple attempts by the marines to drive him away.  Besides the points, it was a skyfire objective and the enemy feared for their Fire Raptor Gunship.  They didn’t really need to.  Worry more about the nob hiding a power claw up his commissar’s great coat when you go into hover mode!  All of Mark’s crisis suit bodyguards nobly gave their lives but between their firepower and wall of greenskins he was able to score five of the eleven points we accumulated during the game.

When the smoke cleared and the accountants worked their magic, it was an 11-11 tie.  We shook hands and everyone was all smiles.  A great game!

Game Three was against Grey Knights and Orks.  The main unit of the ork army that interested me was a squad of 30 ‘ard boyz led by Mad Doc Grotsnik.  Heavy armor, Feels No Pain, and Fearless made them hard to shift while Rampage made them potentially even more dangerous in close combat.

We were able to kill this unit though it wasn’t easy.  My mortars took their bloody due as Grotsnik’s boys advanced and the kroot took them under fire from their woodland fighting positions on our right flank.  I ended up engaging them with all three units of boyz as well as my nobz, though one unit had to charge sans their trukk.  Dang those Grey Knight back shooters!  Although the combat only lasted for our turn my hands were tired after finishing dicing it out.  I don’t think I would have won without using all four of my squads, as well as thinning them out beforehand with a little help from the kroot.  When the dust settled Grotsnik and his charges were all dead.

The Grey Knights consisted of two large squads of terminators and they did good work in our backfield, though the main battle happened mostly in the center of the board.

This time there was no Sicaran for Longstrike to kill and he ended up dueling a battle wagon full of lootas to a draw for four turns.  Finally some deffkoptas came in out of nowhere and put an end to mighty Longstrike’s reign of terror.  Then my warboss called a Waaagh!, charged about twenty inches with his remaining nobz and blew up our opponent’s battlewagon, taking out about half the lootas as well as all of his own squad and almost himself in the bargain.  Ignominiously he was finished off by some gretchin, who spend most of the battle hiding in reserves only to come in at the last moment to lord it over my warboss!

Another hard-fought game, but as the Grey Knight player pointed out, being a kill point mission this was a tough one for us to win.  The Grey Knight player only had three kill points in his entire force whereas I had four points just in my vehicles alone, and that was what the game came down to.  We were pretty even in terms of scoring points for board control and other things but they were able to score points killing my trukks with easy psycannon shots.  I think they got the fire warrior’s devilfish as well.

Still, I had a rare victory of sorts in that all three of my boyz squads managed to survive the game in one form or another, including one squad of shoota boyz that kited one of the terminator squads for most of them game sniping at them.  “How come you don’t just charge me?” he asked.  “Boss sez use taktics an’ stuff,” my nob yelled back.  In reality they just didn’t want to get within chopping distance of those halberds.

Mark and I were fortunate enough to be voted second place winners in the sportsmanship category, which was fun.  We are hoping to play in the next tournament in December.  Thank you to all of our opponents for fun games, and to the TO Mark Broughton.  Also thank you to Great Escape Games in Sacramento for hosting and the fancy tournament discount.  I was able to score a cheap Space Wolf dreadnought for my collection!

Swords Against Tanks!

I played my orks in a three player game recently.  My friend played Imperial Fists, who were my allies, and together we took on a mechanized Guard player.  There were ruins in each of our deployment zones but otherwise a featureless board in no-man’s land. The mission was a custom one featuring victory points for controlling table quarters, so we had to spread our forces out a bit.

The Guard sent their battle tanks to deal with the space marines and earmarked two veteran squads in chimeras and two devil dogs (fast melta tanks) to roll up the orks on their right flank. After a couple of turns of maneuvering and counter-maneuvering, the Guard managed to blow up both of my battle wagons. The one with 20 boyz ended up taking no wounds.  Pretty surprising to be sure.  Although none of the boyz were injured they were plenty agitated!

This game the boyz acted like they had Preferred Enemy: Unpainted Models!

The boyz charged both of the devil dogs and beat them to death with their swords, axes, and clubs. (Never had to use the power klaw, which was good because I was hoping to avoid having my boyz climb all over tanks and then have them blow up.) They received a bit of an assist from a couple of nobz with great axes on the devil dogs, but otherwise the nob squad and warboss were only a small factor in the coming onslaught.  It was as if the nobz and boyz had sort of traded places.

One of the chimera trundled up, unloaded their veterans and shot a few orks dead. Then the boyz got together and turned their vehicle upside down and ran off what few veterans remained. The nobz finished off the survivors, apparently taking care of the boyz’ light work.

Not a spent force yet, they then ran over to the second chimera pictured in the far right corner of the picture and beat it to death with their swords too. The boyz soon finished off those veterans as well, but suffered heavy losses to flame throwers. So one squad of 20 boyz settled the hash of the entire Guard right flank and now the remaining boyz set their sights on a leeman russ squadron that was dueling a couple of razorbacks entrenched behind some ruins.

It was not meant to be for the boyz. Their beautiful Waaagh! dream was just about over. They finally bit off more than they could chew and were obliterated three battle cannon shots, along with a little supporting fire, later. Still, the sole survivor was the nob, who sheltered behind a ruin in the Guard deployment zone and scored at the end of the game for line breaker and also victory points for the scenario we were doing.

Pretty fine work for a squad of ork boyz. I think that nob deserves a promotion or least an assignment to another squad of boyz he can lord it over. For what it is worth we scored a resounding victory, which was good because we were otherwise 0-2 in the tournament. Going home 1-2 is a lot better than 0-3!