Another action packed week! Sadly our new players did not show, but veteran player Josh played as the defender in a Planetary Assault mission! We had 1000 points, and Josh got 30 extra points for defences.
Bozeman – Azure Flames Space Marines
-Battle Barge His Hammer II, Admiral Piers (Ld9, 3 re-rolls), Terminator Boarding Party, Honour Guard
-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: Automatically pass one Leadership test per game
-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Shield, Refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full
-Strike Cruiser Honor, Extra Shield, Refit: No speed penalty for blast markers.
Josh – Tau Shan’al Shi’ur (Kor’or’vesh)
-Or’es El’leath “Custodian” class Battleship, Admiral (Ld9, 2 re-rolls)
-Lar’shi’vre “Protector” class Cruiser, Vior’la configuration
-Il’porrui “Emissary” class light Cruiser, Sa’cea configuration
-Squadron of 3 Kir’la “Warden” and 2 Kir’shashvre “Castellan” escorts
-Kor Caste Orbital City
Our planet was a Large planet (in this case the Planetary Edge is the edge of the cloud barrier, along which several antigrav mining platforms float. Otherwise this mission would make no sense.) It had gas and dust cloud rings, and one moon. Josh set up all of his fleet on “standby” so they had to be set up within 30cm of the planet.
Radiation Burst causes -1 Ld!
Turn 1 – Azure Flames Space Marines
The Battle Barge went on All Ahead Full. All ships with Launch Bays launched Thunderhawks. 1/2 of the Thunderhawks from the Strike Cruisers go on CAP with the Transports, while the others CAP their home vessel. The Battlebarge’s 3 Thunderhawks CAP with it.
Turn 1 – Tau Shan’al Shi’ur
Custodian goes on Burn Retros. Launch bays for the entire fleet launch Fighters to mitigate the Thunderhawk CAP and also fire Tau Missiles.
Radiation Burst causes -1 Ld!
Turn 2 – Azure Flames Space Marines
Thanks to a re-roll, the Battlebarge and all 3 Strike Cruisers go on All Ahead Full. The Strike Cruisers fire normal torpedoes at the gap between asteroids near the Tau escort squadron. Bombardment cannon fire destroys the worst of the incoming Tau missiles. Turn not pictured.
Turn 2 – Tau Shan’al Shi’ur
All of the Tau ships (not the station) go on Reload Ordnance. More ordnance is fired, doing one damage to the Battlebarge. Fire brings down the shields. Tau fighters remove the CAP Thunderhawks. Escorts must make a right turn as they come out of the asteroids to avoid the torpedoes. Torpedoes self destruct due to running into asteroids and/or each other.
Turn 3 – Azure Flames Space Marines
Battlebarge and Strike Cruisers Reload Ordnance. Boarding Torpedoes and Thunderhawks from the Battlebarge cripple the Port and Starboard weapons on the Custodian, and also start a fire. Batteries and Bombardment Cannons take down the shields on the Protector and do one damage, starting a fire. Torpedoes and Bombardment Cannons from the Strike Cruisers kill two Wardens in the escort squadron. Escorts Brace for Impact. Tau fighters remove the CAP on the Transports.
Turn 3 – Tau Shan’al Shi’ur
Battery fire against the Battlebarge is lackluster, but Tau Missiles do two more damage. Emmisary goes after the Strike Cruisers, and the Escorts on Brace fire missiles, but to little effect. Tau missiles close in on the Transports.
Radiation Burst causes -4 Ld!
Turn 4 – Azure Flames Space Marines
Battlebarge boards the Custodian. Fire from the Strike Crusiers, as well as other factors cause the Custodian to lose by 5. Brace saves two for a total of 3 damage, and a Fire critical. Strike Cruisers wipe out the Tau escorts. Transports bunch up for safety.
Turn 4 – Tau Shan’al Shi’ur
The Emmisary chases after the Strike Cruisers, but fails to damage. Tau missiles kill three of the Transports because they fail to Brace several times. Against all odds, the Battlebarge braces, saving it from damage!
Turn 5 – Azure Flames Space Marines
Battlebarge disengages. Strike Cruisers make it to the Low Orbit table. Game ceded.
Space Marines are better than the internet led me to believe. Other than my first game in which I had bad luck disengaging, I have been doing quite well. Thunderhawk gunships are terrifyingly powerful, and the ability to fire critical-guaranteed Boarding Torpedoes or regular ones is a great boon. Marines have to get up close and personal and really slug it out.
Next: the Gothic campaign continues! Hopefully we will see more rookie players!