Saturday, 23 July 2011

6k Big Game : Orks & Guard v's Marines & Eldar

A couple of weekends ago, saw the Gent's piling into a mass cargo conveyance for another gaming trip up to Warhammer World in Nottingham; that said conveyance was piloted by our resident Ork player Pestie should have given us pause, but when you're handed the chance of not having to be at the wheel when navigating the Black Hole that is the Catthorpe Interchange (where time stands still and even light has to apply the handbrake) you take it.

Onboard with Pestie and I were Bish with his ragtag army of Chapters 'R' Uss, Will with his Eldar and Danny with his only recently blooded Imperial Guard; Pestie had his awesomely painted Orks and I as usual was fielding the Blood Drinkers, Tomo who was meeting us in Notts would complete the forces with more Guard.

Currently when we play a big game, we run 1000-2000pts per player, 3000-6000pts a side. Standard Force Organisation applies, but the compulsory slots can be spread amongst the army as the players see fit. So far our games had seen the Evil League of Evil (Pestie and Tomo) losing twice to the Gang of Good Guys (Bish,Will and I) both annihilation missions the first of which you can read about here.

The second report got lost in the Warp, but basically saw me mount a kamikaze road block of drop pod Dreadnoughts to hold up Pesties Chaos Marine armoured column, whilst Bish's Marines and Will's Eldar sat on the back line and systematically chewed up Tomo's Dark Eldar as they arrived piecemeal from reserve. The plan was bold and left of field but worked a treat.

Danny would be joining the ELoE for this final game before mixing up the sides and once again the Good Guys were placing all bets on a daring but risky tactic to catch the enemy off guard, could we make it three wins in a row?

Spirits were high and the journey was progressing well, our sling shot around the interchange had gone without a hitch and now we had two Humpback Whales onboard, it was time to return to the 23rd Century...ah no, wrong mission. Anyhow, we were making good time when suddenly...

A tyre blew out! As Pestie nursed our rapidly failing transport to the hard shoulder he cursed the less than reliable Mek he had paid good teef to. We bailed out and had to offload the precious cargo of carrying cases in search of a spare; mercifully there was one and we set out to test the theory of how many 40k players it takes to change a tyre, whilst fighting off legions of mutated giant ants that erupted from the ground intent on devouring our stranded party.

The tyre replaced and promises made that one of us had remembered to put the wheel nuts back on, though no one was sure who, we fled the mandibles of the ants and made the rest of the trip without incident.

Tomo had reserved for us the Tau Table which, as you can see from Dannys photos of the day, looked absolutely stunning. What follows is a very potted account of what happened (mostly from my perspective) as I was having far too much fun to make notes this time round.

We rolled for initiative, which the Good Guys won choosing to go 2nd then deployed, well the ELoE boys deployed; our tactic was revealed, we were deepstriking and reserving our entire army save a squad of Eldar scouts. This achieved our first aim as I think it is fair to say it took our opponents by surprise.

What a limitless budget can do for your gaming table!

So the first turn saw the Traitor Imperial Guard throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Wills Scouts whilst the Orks roared around on their bikes cursing 'Dem cowudz Beakies' for not 'Fightin Proppa'. Amazingly enough, despite their pummeling, some of the scouts made it through to turn two!


Turn 2
With their attention focused on putting the hurt on the scouts, the boys made IMO a crucial mistake. Despite now knowing what we were planning, they still continued to advance their forces, including tanks; thus opening up their back line for use as landing zones.

Most of Bish's mix of Deathwing Terminators and Skyclaws also made it in and his Rune Priests reserved in on the table edge to snipe with Living Lightning at the Guard vehicles.

Lucky for us the Malcador,Infernus & Crassus are just counts as.

Descent of Angels proved its worth despite the modifier for the Guards Officer of the Fleet, a squad of Vanguard Veterans and a regular Assault Squad with Chaplain, Priest and Librarian in tow (a full 50% of my forces) dropped in bang on target. The RAS targeting a cluster of Imperial armour as was the plan, but the VV's in the grip of the Red Thirst following some very lucky rolling at the start of the game charged into the Ork Nobz biker squad in a desperate attempt to pin them in place until more of our guns could be brought to bear.

The RAS + Character entourage, tooled up with Melta's and Infernus Pistols made short work of the of the Leman Vanquisher they had landed to the rear of and the VV's made a dent in the Ork Biker Nobz by killing their two independent characters and wounding a couple of other boyz. However the Pain Boy within their ranks lived up to his name, the Feel no Pain buff and +5 Inv save from Cybork Bodies granted by his presence limited my Marines impact and the answering Big Choppa's all but destroyed the squad. Still my last few Marines weren't going anywhere and it meant that these tough bunches of Green Skins were stuck in place for another turn.

Turn 3
Despite our luck at getting much of our force on the field, we hadn't done as much damage as we had hoped in our first strike. A full platoon lead by Captain Al'Rahem outflanked us on our right but this arrival was limited in it's effect as we didn't have much to be flanked. More dangerous was a Storm Trooper squad arriving from Deep Strike to the rear of our Assault Marines with Plasma Guns charged and ready; but the dice can be cruel. In a reverse of our Deep Strike success, Tomo's Storm Troopers scattered off the table edge, rolling a mishap their grav-chutes failed to open and the unit became a collection of bloody smears across Terra Firma.

On our left the brave but ultimately ineffectual Eldar Scouts were overwhelmed as Danny's Guardsmen deployed on mass from their Vendetta Transports, supported by a Vulture Gunship.
In the centre Tomo's luck with dice remained elusive as both his command squad veterans armed with plasma guns deployed from their Chimera to face the Marine threat and promptly blew themselves up with Gets Hot rolls; his Leman Russ Executioner fared a little better, it's pulsed Plasma bursts atomising several of my RAS. Tomo then charged what remained of the squad with his Enginseer and Servitors to try and prevent their advance on the rest of his mechanised core.

See you after the war...

Pestie's Ork Nobz slaughtered what remained of my VV's for only one more loss of their own and another of his Mobz began to press Bish's Dark Angels, their power klaws making short work of even the much vaunted Terminator armour. The Orks really were presenting a problem to our plan, with only limited resources and all kitted out to do maximum damage to a mechanised force, we didn't have much to take on the armoured mass of the Green Skin tide.

With that in mind we decided to go all out for Tomo and Danny's Guard in an attempt to gain as many Victory points we could before Pesties Orks cleaned up.

The Die is cast...

My second VV and RAS squad dropped in behind Danny's air cavalry, the RAS shoot down a Vendetta and the VV's assault and destroy the Vulture. Leaving one Vendetta already damaged by Bish's Rune Priests. The main bulk of Will's Eldar arrive from reserve, his Prism Cannon taking the armoured scalp of another Russ and his Warp Spiders, despite a mishap that sends half their number in the wrong direction, engage and destroy the Ork Shokk Attack Gun.

With Tomo's Enginseer slaughtered before he could raise a servo arm, I split what remained of my first RAS, the Independent Character buffs no longer required due to my losses. My Librarian lined himself up to use his psychic power of The Blood Lance against as many vehicles as possible (three in this case) the lance was fantastic, destroying a Chimera and a Medusa and immobilising the Executioner, which I think was promptly overrun and destroyed by Bish's Skyclaws.

Meanwhile my Chaplain,Priest and remaining RAS Sergeant shoot and destroy the command Chimera and then charge into the Command Squad as they stood about the burning wreckage, cutting them to pieces despite their valiant last stand.

Turn 4
The Guard gain some revenge on a Wave Serpent that had tank shocked them last turn, popping it and frying the Banshee squad inside. The Orks flood into the center and end our reign of destruction there, overwhelming the small force of Marines left, our fight to the bitter end claims a couple more Nobz and Bish takes twenty of the Boyz mega Mob with him.

We need to invest in some wreck markers.

Tomo and Danny's now grounded airborne units shoot it out with Bish's and I, scoring a few fatal hits on our Marine squads before their positions are overrun.

Will's Wave Serpent with Fire Dragons on board pop's a Chimera belonging to Al'Rahem's platoon as the Eldar mass to do battle with this large force.

Turn 5
The Orks begin to swarm across the table towards the remaining Marine forces on our left flank, it will take them a while but we know with deadly certainty that when they reach us no power in the verse is going to stop them.

The Fire Dragons Wave Serpent is destroyed by a Guard Melta Squad, the Dragons (miffed that they will now have to walk home) repay the insult in kind. The full force of Warp Spiders strike Al'Rahem's platoon cutting their massed ranks down to just twelve men after shooting, the Exarchs follow up assault kills the rest.

With the end of this turn we call it a day, we have given the Guard a hammering but they have the numbers to soak punishment up, meanwhile the Orks seem barely scratched and the dominant force left on the field, have we done enough?

Victory Points

Evil League of Evil (Orks & Guard): 18

Gang of Good Guys (Marines & Eldar): 22

Final thoughts, the plan worked...just. We had fielded a one trick pony designed to punish a mechanised Guard army and in that respect we had succeeded; the opposing team had not expected the type of force we brought to the table, nor the risky tactic we employed.

But in doing so we had gambled on the luck of the dice and put all our eggs in one basket so to speak.

Will's Eldar did sterling work grinding down Al'Rahem's platoon, but I think the tactic we employed hampered them somewhat and took a slight edge off their effectiveness. The tactic also forced Bish to field Deathwing rather than his own Wolf Guard (due to them not being able to teleport) which was something I at least had overlooked in our planning.

Fortunately for us the dice were fairly kind and we got our troops where we wanted them and doing the damage they were designed to do (in my case laden down with Melta Guns / Bombs, Infernus Pistols and Power Fists). The Blood Lance is an awesome tank killer if you get behind them and that one psychic shot alone was one of the big turning points for the battle.

But it could have so easily been different, Tomo is new to playing Guard and Danny is new to the whole game, so their unfamiliarity was an advantage to us. Pesties Orks were a big headache and in all honesty we had not planned for them well enough, we really didn't have much to counter them.

My thanks to all the Gents for a great game, lots of fun and as always lots of learning; some would call the win luck, but in my experience, there is no such thing as luck. ;o)


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