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1Sep/180

Azure Flames vs. Blood Angels – 1200 pts Secure and Control

Here's another Batrep with the incomparable AFK Games staffer Chris and his Blood Angels.  This time, the stoic Azure Flames go toe-to-toe with none other than Dante, Lord of the Blood Angels.  A thousand year old pseudo-vampire Chapter Master with the agility of an Angel and the wrath to match.  Let's dive right in!

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Bozeman - Azure Flames

Battalion Detachment

  • Captain Khalil on Bike, The Shield Eternal, Thunder Hammer, Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve
  • Librarian, Force Staff
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Plasma, Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Plasma, Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Dreadnought, Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon
  • Company Ancient, Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, Bolter
  • Apothecary
  • Devastators x5, Combi-Grav, 4x Missile Launcher, Armourium Cherub
  • Thunderfire Cannon

Chris - Blood Angels

Battalion Detachment

  • Dante, Lord of the Blood Angels
  • 4x Sanguinary Guard, 2x Power Fist, 2x Blood Angel themed Power Axe
  • Captain, Power Sword, Plasma Pistol
  • Scout Squad x5, 4x Sniper Rifle, Missile Launcher, Camo Cloaks
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Razorback, Lascannon and Twin Plasma Gun
  • Baal Predator, Twin Assault Cannon, 2x Heavy Bolter
  • Predator, Predator Autocannon, 2x Lascannon
  • Assault Squad x 10, Power Sword, Plasma Gun, Flamer

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Mission: Secure and Control - Each player places an objective in their Deployment Zone worth 3VPs

Deployment: Search and Destroy - Players have opposing board quarters, except for a 9" radius from the board center.

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Turn 1 - Blood Angels

5 man tactical squad moves up behind cover of the central rock formation.  Baal Predator moves up.  The Azure Flames squad holding the crater is removed down to the Sergeant, and the Devastators lose 3 missile launchers.  However, return fire from the dead Devastators thanks to the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant does 6 damage to the regular Predator before it can fire!  One lascannon does 3 damage to the Dreadnought.

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Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Apothecary revives a Devastator.  Las and Missile fire bust open the wounded Predator.  Librarian casts Might of Heroes on Captain Khalil, who charges the Scouts in the ruins.  Blood Angels Captain makes a Heroic Intervention, but can't stop Khalil from killing all 5 Scouts.  He consolidates into the side of the Baal Predator.  Other shots damage the 5 man squad hiding by the rocks.

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Turn 2 - Blood Angels

The legendary Blood Angels earn their name, as the Assault Squad, Sanguinary Guard, and Dante swoop in from the sky!  Baal Predator falls back from combat to allow charge lanes.  I spent 2CP for Auspex Scan to shoot the Assault Squad, killing four.  The Assault Squad charges a Tactical Squad in the yellow ruins, and consolidates into the Company Ancient and the Techmarine Gunner.  They are reduced to 4 men and kill 2 Tactical marines in turn.  Both Dante and the Sanguinary Guard fail a charge, leaving Khalil alone against the Captain and a second Tactical Squad that charged from the Razorback.  Khalil kills four of the Tactical Squad, taking two wounds in return.

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Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Continuing Combat in the Yellow Ruins kills all but the Assault Sergeant.  Khalil turns his bitter attentions to the Captain, killing him.  Missiles and Lascannons smite the Baal Predator and two Sanguinary Guard.  Although the Techmarine Gunner is in combat, the Thunderfire Cannon is not, and so it kills the last two Tactical marines behind the rock.

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Turn 3 - Blood Angels

Dante and the Sanguinary Guard charge Khalil, as does the Assault Sergeant who uses 2CP to re-deep strike!  All of their attacks do one wound to Khalil, who strikes down Dante in return!  Game Ceded.

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The Salamanders Standard-Apothecary castle is quite a brutal thing to go up against, especially if you have to go get them.  Khalil is also a beast.  He needs to get painted SOON.

I made a tactical error occupying the crater.  I was INCREDIBLY lucky not to give Chris First Blood.  I picked board setup and honestly I should have picked Chris' side.  It was much better suited to my castle theme.

Part of me thinks Chris should have had Dante, his posse, and the Assault Marines on the board turn 1, and tried to get turn 1 charges, plus advance the Razorback and move up the Predators.  Overwhelm me with options.  Unsupported, the Assault Marines weren't great against 2/3 of my entire army.

I also think Dante might be a bit much.  Khalil was only as beastly as he was with Might of Heroes on him all game.  With a Librarian Dreadnought for Deny the Witch rolls and some serious threat range thanks to Wings of Sanguinius, it would have made a formidable target for me to ignore at my own peril.

It took me a while to write this because I'm painting again!  Hope to show pics soon!

12Aug/180

Azure Flames vs. Cadians – 1200pts Retrieval Mission

Another great game with Nathan!  Let's skip the formalities and get right into it.

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Bozeman - Azure Flames

Battalion Detachment

  • Captain Khalil on Bike, The Shield Eternal, Thunder Hammer, Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve
  • Librarian, Force Staff
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Plasma, Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Plasma, Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Dreadnought, Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon
  • Company Ancient, Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, Bolter
  • Apothecary
  • Devastators x5, Storm Bolter, 4x Lascannon, Armourium Cherub
  • Thunderfire Cannon

Nathan - Cadians

Battalion Detachment

  • Tank Commander Leman Russ
  • Company Commander
  • Primaris Psyker
  • Infantry Squad, Lascannon
  • Infantry Squad, Autocannon
  • Infantry Squad, Autocannon
  • Infantry Squad, Autocannon
  • Leman Russ Punisher x2
  • Wyvern x2
  • Basilisk

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Retrieval Mission - 4 objectives, 3VP each

Setup:

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Before turn 1, the Cadians unleash a preliminary bombardment!  A tactical marine bites the dust, and the Dreadnought takes a wound.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Captain Khalil advances right at the enemy, daring them to shoot him!  Librarian casts Might of Heroes to keep him a bit more protected.  Abysmal rolls from the lascannons do some serious damage to only one of the Leman Russes.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 1 - Cadians

A hail of fire smashes Khalil, and poor armor save rolls make him lose 4 of his 7 wounds!  Other shooting does some damage to the squads on the right side of the board.

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Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Slightly better shooting ends one of the Russes and damages another.  Khalil charges one of the Wyverns, and only hits twice, even after several re-rolls!  He's down to one wound thanks to overwatch!

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Turn 2 - Cadians

Shots from several sources eliminate 3 of the 4 lascannon Devastators, but thanks to the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, they take parting shots and eliminate the wounded Russ!  Khalil finishes the Wyvern in close combat.

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Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Khalil charges the other Wyvern, and once again rolls poorly for only 6 damage.  Lascannons remove the Tank Commander.

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Turn 3 - Cadians

Wyvern drives away from Khalil and a Cadian squad charges, managing to do one final wound!  Basilisk finishes the Thunderfire cannon, leaving the gunner.

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Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Heavy Bolter squad rushes from teh building to grab the objective in the crater.  Librarian joins the Techmarine Gunner to hold the objective.

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Turn 4 - Cadians

Squad on the right side breaks cover along with the Primaris Psyker.  Other fire is ineffective.

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Turn 5 - Azure Flames

A few lascannons harm the Basilisk.  Other fire kills a few Guardsmen.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 5 - Cadians

The Wyverns and some overcharged plasma kill the two squads holding the objective on the right.  Other squads move into shooting position.

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Turn 6 - Azure Flames

Techmarine advances to try to take back the objective.  He gets Might of Heroes.  More Cadians bite the dust from Heavy Bolter fire.  Basilisk is removed by lascannons.

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Turn 6 - Cadians

Primaris Psyker advances to claim the objective!  He tries to Smite the Techmarine, but the Librarian Denies the Witch!  Squad falls back to claim the abandoned objective by the dead Basilisk.  Game ends.

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Azure Flames: 6 plus Slay the Warlord and First Blood = 8

Cadians: 6 plus Slay the Warlord = 7

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Close!  Had Nathan's Primaris Psyker advanced on turn 5 more than 2" and then moved to within 3" of the objectve but within 12" of the board edge, he would have scored Linebreaker for a tie.

Khalil on a bike is fun, but he can die easily to massed fire.  He'd REALLY be broken in a smaller points game.  As it is, he needs a bit of a shield to protect him from at least one turn of shooting to get into charge range.

Next: more games and painting!

3Aug/180

Azure Flames vs. Sisters of Battle – Secure and Control 52 PL

Once again, a battle report thanks to AFK Games in Holt.  This game was against Andrew's Sisters of Battle.  Due to my old-man constitution and day-shift sleep schedule, plus a late dinner, Andrew and I decided on a smaller game (nominally 50 PL but we both went 2 over).  We played Secure and Control.  Here's how it went!

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Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders)

Battalion Detachment

  • Captain Khalil of the 7th Company on Bike, The Shield Eternal, Thunder Hammer, Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve
  • Librarian on Bike, Force Axe, Bolter, The Salamander Mantle, Smite, Might of Heroes, Null Zone
  • Tactical Squad x5, Bolter-Melta, Missile Launcher
  • Tactical Squad x5, Bolter-Melta, Missile Launcher
  • Tactical Squad x5, Bolter-Flamer, Missile Launcher
  • Tactical Squad x5, Bolter-Flamer, Missile Launcher
  • Bike Squad x5 + Attack Bike, Power Fist, 2x Meltagun, Multi-Melta
  • Thunderfire Cannon

Andrew - Sisters of Battle

Patrol Detachment

  • Canoness
  • Ministorum Priest
  • Battle Sister Squad, Meltagun, Power Mace
  • Repentia Squad x10
  • Mistress of Repentance
  • Penitent Engines x2
  • Immolator, Heavy Flamer
  • Immolator, Heavy Flamer
  • Death Cult Assassins x2

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Mission: Secure and Control: Each player gets one Objective, worth 3VP in their own deployment zone.  First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker.

Deployment: Search and Destroy (Players deploy in opposite board quarters, but cannot deploy within 9" of the center of the board)  To make the smaller game work, we played on a 4x4' surface.

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Setup

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Turn 1 - Sisters of Battle

Immolators back off, hiding so that the Space Marines have to come get them!

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Turn 1 - Azure Flames

A few missiles get lucky shots at a tiny piece of one of the Immolators, doing 7 total wounds.  The Bikes and Characters advance along the right side of the board.  Librarian casts Might of Heroes on the bikes.

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Turn 2 - Sisters of Battle

Immolators back up again to deny line of sight.

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Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Bikes move into position.  Multi-Melta does 6 wounds to a Penitent Engine, and Captain Khalil's Bike-mounted Boltguns do onefinal unsaved wound! Tremor Shells slow the other Penitent Engine.

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Turn 3 - Sisters of Battle

Battle Sisters, Canonness, and Priest pile out of the Immolator to hold the objective.  Immolator moves to be a wall between the bikes and the army, and it pops smoke.

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Turn 3 - Azure Flames

All fire on the smoked Immolator proves completely ineffective!  Thunderfire Cannon assassinates the Death Cult Assassins.  Bikes and Captain Khalil charge the Immolator, destroying it.  Thunderfire Cannon kills a few Battle Sisters.

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Turn 4 - Sisters of Battle

Penitent Engine charges the bikes, but whiffs, killing one bike and damaging the Attack Bike.  Sisters Repentia try to charge but fail.

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Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Bikes fall back.  Missiles finish the Penitent Engine.  Librarian casts Might of Heroes on Khalil.  Captain Khalil charges the Ministorum Priest, killing him.  Canonness performs Heroic Intervention but does no damage.

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Turn 5 - Sisters of Battle

Battle Sisters charge Khalil, but he kills them.  Canonness puts one wound on Khalil.  Sisters Repentia charge the Bike remnants and kill them, then consolidate into the Librarian who kills three.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Frag Missile fire finishes off the Sisters Repentia.  Khalil does 3 wounds to the Canonness.

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Turn 6 - Sisters of Battle

Mistress of Repentance charges the Librarian, doing 1 wound and then dying.  Khalil kills the Canonness.  Game ceded.

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Andrew wanted to try a list with Repentia and Penitent Engines.  Sadly the mission did not favor him, as it forced him to try to counter-charge an intransigent Salamanders MSU Gunline with Bike Support.  I think Andrew should have charged forward and popped smoke on turn 1, shielding the Penitent Engines with Immolators.  I would have probably killed one Immolator, and set him up for a possible turn 2 charge.

Star of the battle goes to my super-Captain Khalil, who was designed to stare down Knight Titans.

Next: more painting, gaming, and building!

31Jul/180

2000 pts. Azure Flames vs. Imperial Guard, Brigade on Brigade action!

After colds, family crises and impromptu Magic tournaments eating up my opponents, I finally got in another game.  Nathan, longtime opponent on fourstrands, brought a Brigade of Cadians!  Not to be outdone, I crammed a brigade into 2000 points.  Here are the results!

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Mission: No Mercy.

Destroyed units give one victory point.

Additional victory points for Slay the Warlord, First Blood, and Linebreaker

Setup: Dawn of War (long table edges, 12" deployment)

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Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders)

Brigade Detachment

  • Captain, Combi-Melta, Power Fist, The Salamander's Mantle, Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve
  • Librarian, Force Staff
  • Lieutenant, Bolter, Power Fist
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Melta, Power Fist, Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x5, Combi-Melta, Power Fist, Lascannon
  • Apothecary
  • Chapter Ancient, Power Sword, Standard of the Emperor Ascendant
  • Dreadnought, Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer
  • Attack Bike, Multi-Melta
  • Attack Bike, Multi-Melta
  • Attack Bike, Multi-Melta
  • Devastator Squad x5, Lascannon x4, Armourium Cherub
  • Devastator Squad x5, Missile Launcher x4, Armourium Cherub
  • Thunderfire Cannon

Nathan - Cadians

Brigade Detatchments

  • Company Commander
  • Primaris Psyker
  • Primaris Psyker
  • Infantry Squad
  • Infantry Squad
  • Infantry Squad
  • Infantry Squad
  • Infantry Squad
  • Infantry Squad
  • Commander
  • Astropath
  • Command Squad
  • Tech Priest Enginseer
  • Devil Dog x2
  • Armoured Sentinel
  • Armoured Sentinel
  • Armoured Sentinel
  • Heavy Weapons Squad
  • Heavy Weapons Squad
  • Leman Russ x3
  • Manticore
  • Chimera
  • Chimera
  • Chimera

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Setup

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Pre-Game: Nathan spent 2CP to activate a preliminary bombardment!  An Armourium Cherub bites the dust, the Chapter Ancient and a Rhino take a wound apiece.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

First Blood as a Leman Russ explodes, damaging several units nearby!  Several guardsmen are blasted by the Thunderfire's arcing shots from teh safety of the ruins, and the squad is finished off by Heavy Bolters.  Attack Bikes move up with one of the Rhinos carrying a flamer squad on the right side of the board.

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Turn 1 - Cadians

Tanks and Sentinels firing plasma on high power wipe out the lascannon squad and do a few wounds to squads here and there.  Chimera units move up to where they can do some good.  Manticore fires a rocket at the Thunderfire Cannon, doing two wounds.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Two Attack Bikes fire on a sentinel, obliterating it, then charge a Chimera.  Some bad rolls do some serious damage to Leman Russes, but cause no casualties.  Dreadnought moves up.  Rhino moves up on the left side, popping smoke and hiding behind a stone formation.  Other Rhino on the right side advances.

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Turn 2 - Cadians

Devils Dogs move up and severely damage the Rhino and kill the Dreadnought.  More fire damages the Missile Devastators.  The Chimera disengages from one Attack Bike, but not another to tie it up.  The newly unengaged bike is mowed down by several Guard Squads.   Guardsmen assault one of the remaining Attack Bikes and the Rhino on the right, doing one wound to the Attack Bike.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Flamer squad disembarks, fails dismally to shoot the Primaris Psyker in the ruins, but charge and kill him in close combat!  They consolidate into the abandoned Chimera.  The other Flamer squad disembarks their injured Rhino, bakes half a squad, and charges the Devil Dog, killing it.

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Turn 3 - Cadians

Fire reduces the Flamer squad on the left to the Sergeant.  He is charged by the Primaris Psyker and the Techpriest Enginseer, who both miss spectacularly.  He kills the Primaris Psyker, leaving him in combat with the Techpriest.  A wave of fire blasts the remaining two Missile launchers, leaving one lucky survivor.  The Tactical squad continues their rampage on the right side of the board as the Infantry squad puts two more wounds on the Attack bike, losing several more of their numbers!

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Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Apothecary, after trying and failing all game, resurrects a Tactical marine with a Lascannon, and he wreaks holy vengeance on a Leman Russ, doing 6 wounds!  Sergeant finishes off the Techpriest.  Fight with the Attack Bike, Rhino, and Cadian squad continues without casualties.

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Turn 4 - Cadians

Another huge wave of fire is aimed squarely at the lone missile devatator, who shrugs it off like nothing!  A stray shot takes out the nrely resurrected Lascannon marine, who takes a parting shot thanks to the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant!  His final shot kills the tank that killed him!  Chimera pulls away from the Tactical marines assaulting it before it can be destroyed.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Captain and Librarian put the hurt on a stray Chimera.  The squad inside loses 4 people when it is destroyed.  The Attack Bike and Rhino fall back from the Cadians, as the Tactical Squad approaches from behind, giving them a fiery death!

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Turn 5 - Cadians

Fire puts 3 total wounds on the Captain.  The squad in the Chimera charges him, dies to the Sergeant, who flees!  The Manticore and Chimera Charge, to no avail.  Game ends.

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Final score:

Azure Flames: 14 plus First Blood and Linebreaker = 16

Cadians: 9

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For most of this game I was taking it on the chin.  Indeed, during the first turn, I completely forgot the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, depriving me of several free lascannon shots!  Ultimately, both players did a lot of damage, leaving little alive on either side.  How did I win?

I took a Brigade, which is a minimum of 18 units, plus I took 2 Rhinos, and the Thunderfire counts as two for a total of 21 targets.  Nathan took 18 plus another Heavy Support, Devil dogs, Three Leman Russes, three Chimeras, and another Elite slot for 26.  Nathan's targets are a bit... softer, especially medium vehicles like Chimeras and Sentinels.  Lascannons and Smite took care of several of these vehicles, and the Thunderfire Cannon took out some of the softer targets.  In the end, the toughness of the Space Marines, combined with some tactically timed armour save re-rolls kept a few key units alive.  Several of my units had one wound or model left, and had they died earlier they wouldn't have made the differences they had.

So, in the end, a Salamander MSU gunline is a pretty mean thing, going toe to toe with one of the top tier lists in the game.

Coming up next: a special surprise!

 

 

 

1Jul/180

Big Game VI – Battle Report

So, that happened.

If you check for yourself here, the pre-battle storyline for Big Game VI was finished the night before (at 10:57 PM to be precise), and I finished the Armourium Cherubs not long after that (11:21 PM).  Then I tried to sleep but was awakened by warring cats.

After 6 hours of sleep, I took 400mg of caffeine and headed out for the MSU Union.  Scott, Brian, and I arrived just before 8am, and Andy arrived with Joe and Miles, and we brought the boards up to the 3rd floor, Lake Huron Room.

After about an hour of board setup, everyone had arrived.  Each Person brought 100 Power Level, except Matt T who brought 200.  Here's a brief roster of the players:

  • Order Players
    • Eric, Defense Force, Commander - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)
    • Joe, Defense Force - Angels Sacrosanct (Blood Angels)
    • Scott, Defense Force - Cadian 401st.
    • Alex, Relief Force - Eldar
    • Jake, Relief Force - Eldar
    • Miles, Combined Ynnari, Eldar, Harlequins, and Dark Eldar
      • Additional Forces - Knight Titan
  • Disorder Players
    • Brian, Commander - Sicarii (Chaos Space Marines Black Legion rules, Word Bearers style)
    • Matt B - Chaos Space Marines Iron Warriors
    • Matt T - Chaos Space Marine Renegades (200 PL)
    • John - Tyranids (Hive Fleet Jormugandr rules)
    • Andy - Necrons (Sautekh Dynasty)
      • Additional Forces - Baneblade

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If you want to see the rules, check this convenient post.

Here's the board setup:

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Scott's guard set up mostly on the west and north of the Citadel, occupying bunkers, while the Azure Flames secured the southwest corner, and the Angels Sacrosanct were to the east.  The forces of disorder refused the entire western flank, with Sicarii and Iron Warriors to the south, and all other forces to the east.  Andy's Necrons set up farther east as a speedbump.  The three Eldar players split between the far east and northeast.

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Turn 1 - Order

Despite a wealth of weaponry, the Order Alpha Strike is somewhat ineffective.  One Iron Warriors Rhino was destroyed, as well as a few Renegade Rhinos.  The western Guard and the Knight move to reposition themselves.  The Eldar aircraft swoop in and smash a few things.  Eldar and Ynnari clash with Necrons.  Azure Flames Thunderfire Cannon uses a Tremor Shell against a wall of 30 Hormagaunts, halving their movement and trapping the forces behind them.

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Turn 1 - Disorder

The Necrons strike back against the Ynnari, which proves frustrating as they get free actions when you kill their units!  Renegade Demon Princes move up and slay a few infiltrators.  Chaos to the south moves up.

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Turn 2 - Order

Eldar deep strikers arrive.  The Visarch arrives in a raider with some Harlequins.  Warp Spiders erase some poxwalkers guarding the Sicarii Dark Apostle.  Eldar and Ynnari to the east continue to fight the Necrons.  Striking Scorpions and Swooping Hawks harass the Tyranids.  Hormagaunts are Tremor Shelled again.  Eldar aircraft cripples Gorath's Land Raider.

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Turn 2 - Disorder

Sicarii Dark Apsotle charges the Warp Spiders.  Fire kills the Ynnari Raider, allowing the Harlequins inside to charge!  Massive fire from Tyranid Gaunts erase several Eldar units.  The wall of Chaos and Nids in the east moves up.  Mass Lascannons finish the Knight.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 3 - Order

Warp Spiders jump away from the Dark Apostle, and the Azure Flames kill him, forcing him to drop his Virus Node!  Blood Angel Librarian Dreadnought charges with Wings of Sangunius.  Eldar continue to struggle with Necrons.  Harlequins confound the Sicarii Dreadnought. The Eldar from the northeast pull up behind the Renegades, including the Avatar of Khaine!  Azure Flames bikes charge Sicarii Plague Marines.

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Turn 3 - Disorder

Gorath and some lascannons delete the Librarian Dreadnought.  Tyranids arrive in the west, along with a few cultists.  Nids charge some bunkers and the cultists charge a Blood Angels Dreadnought.  Fighting continues as the Azure Flames bikes spill into the enemy deployment zone!

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After turn 3, we had less than an hour to vacate the room, preventing another full game turn.  Game ended in a draw.

What Worked

The Chase mechanic worked quite well.  Eldar forces were well suited to the task of pursuing the enemy.  Setup gave a huge amount of options for both sides, forcing them to be tactical.  The rules were very explicit on how the Order players should construct their lists.  Order was also able to bubble wrap the Citadel effectively.

What Didn't

Disorder players seemed to have trouble breaking into the citadel.  In playtests, the attackers would penetrate the Citadel from turn 3 onward.  Logistically, the Disorder players would have arrived closer to turns 4 and 5.  Disorder players were also discouraged from dedicating an entire player to being a speedbump, as Andy's Necrons did with aplomb.  This hurt them, as there were 3 fewer Nodes to get to the Citadel.  There was also a stark disparity in the presence of Aircraft; Order had 4x the number of units that use the Flyer slot.  Order also did not even use 1/2 of their points alloted to defenses, as we had no models other than bunkers!

Changes I'd Make

Less points for Order for defenses.  Disorder should have the same number of Virus Nodes, but the Disorder Commander should allot them after setup, perhaps with limits on how many units/player can have them (perhaps 6 max per player?).  Relief deployment zones should also be rebalanced to make the east side of the board less appealing.  Disorder should have had a strategem that favored deploying in the open (dug in to gain cover?) and one to allow more turn one charges (which were surprisingly absent for the most part).

One other change I'd make would be some pre-games the previous day at a Local Game Store.  Of the 11 players, 6 had played less than ten games of 8th edition, and Big Game VI was the first game of 8th Ed for FOUR PLAYERS!  Some warmup games the day before would have made us play faster and get to know army strengths and weaknesses a bit better.

Next: Epilogue Stories for Big Game VI and some painting!

5May/180

Big Game VI – The Battle for the Omega Station v1.6 (Official Release)

index

For those few readers who don't know, I have the best friends in the world.  We bonded over 40K back in my college days, and Big Game VI isn't just about having an Apocalypse game, it's about getting the band back together.

Sadly, these fine people have been scattered to the four winds by the cruel tempests of fate.  As such, even though BG6 is more than a month away, I am releasing the current version of the mission for download by any and all parties.

This will allow out-of-state individuals to plan a list, gather and paint the models therein, and package them for transport across an unforgiving continent.  It would be impossible for so many people from so far away to bring their entire collection.

However, I am reluctant to call this the FINAL version.  We may make minor tweaks for balance, based on input from various parties, but the soul of the mission should remain the same, and any list made to fill a role in this mission should still be valid.

...so here we go:

Big Game VI - The Battle for the Omega Station v1.6

EDIT: Changes made to v 1.5

  • Titanic models are now allowed.
  • Lord of War selections are disallowed, but clarified that these models will be included free to improve balance and make the game bigger.
  • Order Strategem "In the Last Lorn Fight ‘gainst the long fall of Night…" altered to make it more like a rescue instead of a "hey fight this guy instead" option.

EDIT: Changes made to v 1.6

  • Order forces altered to allow Dark Eldar as part of a combined Ynnari force.
  • Models with Instinctive Behavior may now hold Virus Nodes.
  • Deployment changed to force regular deployment first, then any alternate deployment such as Scouts, etc.
  • Virus Nodes are no longer destroyed, except by being lost in the citadel.
  • Virus Nodes held by a slain Destruction model in the Citadel now go to the Order character, unless they already have a Virus Node, in which case the Node is lost.
  • Victory conditions are now for 1/2 or more of the Virus Nodes, and do not depend on a Die Roll.
  • Order Strategem "…and the Dead shall be ward, for the Grave is no bar to my call." altered to specify that Lost and the Damned models cannot deploy outside normal Deployment Zones on turn 1.
Filed under: Gaming No Comments
5May/180

Big Game VI trial 1.3 – Turning the Tables

Last week was a bust (Magic the Gathering was too popular and consumed all my would-be opponents) but this week Chris was more than happy to let me try the newest iteration of my mission for Big Game VI.  At his suggestion, I took on the role of the Destruction forces, so that I could better get a feel for how their mission played out!

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Big Game VI Demo

Forces

Both players make a list using 100 Power Level, with a maximum of one Batallion, Outrider, Spearhead, or Vanguard detachment, and optionally one Patrol or Auxiliary detachment.

The Order player must designate no more than 50% of their forces as the Defense force.  This force must contain no units with the Flyer battlefield role, and cannot contain any units that are forced to deploy alternately such as Drop Pods.  The other half of their forces are the Relief force, and have no such restrictions.

Further, the Order player may, if they wish, designate one character.  This character may deploy inside the Power Station.  They may not leave (as they are busy coordinating the defense against infiltrators!)

Finally, the Order player receives fortifications, at no cost to their army list.

The Destruction player has no restrictions, other than needing units that can hold Virus Nodes.  See below.

Setup and Deployment

Centered, 6" from one short board edge, is a 12x12" structure, the Power Station.  Each side of the Power Station has an entrance at tits center.  See the below map for deployment zones.  The Order player deploys their Defense force within the Order Defense deployment zone.  Units that deploy alternately may be held in reserve.  The Disorder player may then deploy all of their units, including those that deploy alternately.  The Order player then deploys their Relief force in the Relief deployment zone, as well as any units from the Defense force that may deploy alternately, such as Scouts.

2P Board 1.1

Virus Nodes

The Destruction force must contain at least four units that do not have the Vehicle, Chariot, Biker, Swarm, Beast, Servitor, Drone, Spirit Host, Gretchin, or Monster keyword.  These four units hold the Virus Nodes; handheld computers designed to take control of the Power Station.

At the end of any Disorder phase, if a Disorder model with a Virus Node is within 3" of an entrance to the Power Station, the unit may be removed from the board.

If there is an Order character in the station, and they are not engaged by a Destruction unit, the Destruction unit engages the Order character.  They count as being 6" from the Order character.  They may use psychic powers, shoot, and charge as normal.

If the Order character is slain, the unit implants its Virus Node.  The Virus Node is also implanted if there is no Order Character, or if they are already engaged.

Turn Order and Game Length

Order has the first turn.  The game lasts for 6 turns.  After turn 6, the Destruction player may choose to play a 7th turn on a D6 roll of 4+.  A command point may be spent to re-roll this result if it fails.

Victory Conditions

If 0-1 Virus Nodes are implanted, the Order forces win.  If 2 are implanted, it is a draw.  If 3+ are implanted, Destruction wins.

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Bozeman - Azure Flames (Destruction Forces)

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Captain, Jump Pack, 2x Lightning Claws, Melta Bombs, The Salamander Mantle, Warlord - Iron Resolve (VIRUS NODE)
    • Librarian, Jump Pack, Force Axe, Smite, Veil of Time, Might of Heroes
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer (VIRUS NODE)
    • Razorback, Lascannon and Twin Plasma Gun
    • Razorback, Lascannon and Twin Plasma Gun
    • Rhino
    • Assault Squad x10, Power Fist, 2x Flamer (VIRUS NODE)
    • Assault Squad x10, Power Fist, 2x Flamer
    • Terminator Assault Squad x10, 10x THSS (VIRUS NODE)
    • Terminator Squad x5, Assault Cannon

Chris - Blood Angels (Order Forces)

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Captain, Power Sword, Plasma Pistol (IN POWER STATION)
    • Mephiston, the Lord of Death
    • Scouts x5, 4x Sniper, Missile Launcher
    • Tactical Squad x5, Heavy Bolter, Storm Bolter
    • Intercessor Squad x10, Assault Bolters
    • Baal Predator
    • Baal Predator
    • Sanguinary Priest, Jump Pack
    • Furioso Dreadnought
    • Terminator Squad x5, Assault Cannon
    • Razorback, Lascannon and Twin Plasma Gun
    • Razorback, Lascannon and Twin Plasma Gun
    • Assault Squad, Power Sword, Plasma Pistol, 2x Flamer
  • Fortification Detachment (no points cost to Order player)
    • Aegis Shieldwall, Quad Gun

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Setup

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Turn 1 - Order

Fire from various sources damages the rightmost Razorback, but a re-rolled save keeps it in pretty good condition.  The Relief force moves up and shoots, but only manages to slay 2 Assault Marines.  A sniper shot does one wound to the Librarian.

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Turn 1 - Destruction

All jump pack troops advance.  Transports move up.  Horrible rolls from the Razorbacks result in only two wounds on the Furioso Dreadnought.  Rhino carrying Virus Node pops smoke.

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Turn 2 - Order

Rightmost Razorback is killed by lascannons, and I roll three "1's," killing 3/5 of the inhabitants!  Furioso charges the left Razorback, doing 6 damage.  Mephiston casts Wings of Sanguinius to move up and Shield of Sanguinius to give the Furioso a 5+ invul.

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Turn 2 - Destruction

Thunder Hammer Terminators combat-squad.  The squad with the Sergeant teleports next to a Power Station door, and they enter the Power Station with their virus node!  They charge the Blood Angel Captain and slay him, implanting the node!  Using 3CP to invoke the custom strategem Death Shall Sow and Bodies Reap, I then place them at one of the other doors to the Power Station.

Two tactical squads with Melta weapons position themselves in Mephiston's face, and melt him to death.  The Rhino carrying the Virus Node races forward!  Other units charge the Baal Predator, doing 5 damage.

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Turn 3 - Order

Fire from the Terminators and Razorback eliminates the rightmost assault squad with the Virus Node!  I use the strategem What Hand Shelters, What Hand Slays? to transfer it to the other Assault Squad.  The Blood Angels assault squad charges this last squad with the Virus Node... and the Sergeant BARELY survives.  Terminators charge the Assault Terminators that came out of the Power Station.  Furioso charges and does 6 damage to the Rhino with the Virus Node inside. Massive fire from the Relief force into my Jump Pack Captain has no effect, thanks to his 6+ feel no pain!

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Turn 3 - Destruction

Assault Sergeant gets into the Power Station and implants his virus node!  Flamer squad with the Virus node piles out of their damaged Rhino and charges the damaged Baal Predator.  Along with other attackers, the Baal Predator is destroyed, and the Flamer squad consolidates close enough to the building to enter.  Game over.

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WOW OK, a turn 3 win... yeah...

I reworked this to be more fair to the Destruction side.  It seems I swung the pendulum too far.  The 18" no man's land was easily traversable, even by Rhino Rush units.  Furthermore, the strategems make the Disorder side hard to beat.  I have to either tone down their power or make them more expensive.

However, despite the Blood Angel's captain dying instantly, I still think the duel mechanic is better than the older mechanic where the invader fights infinite defenders.  It's more cinematic to have a last stand like that.

So, the final version of Big Game VI's scenario will be coming up this weekend.  However, this will be a minor refinement, so let's talk STRATEGY!

Order Strategies

  • Having some sort of ungodly beatstick in the Citadel should hopefully hold off the enemy for a turn.  Failing that, forget putting your character in there.  If they die in one turn, it was a waste of points.
  • BUBBLEWRAP is the word of the day.  During the previous playtest, I carefully protected the Power Station with units, creating a somewhat intact bubble through which the enemy couldn't teleport.  Chris failed to do so, and the Terminators got in on turn 2!  Spread out units to create a field of fire that prevents deep strikers.
  • The Relief force needs SPEED.  In both games Chris relied on footsloggers to try to keep up by running.  He was successful in the first game because the Tau left a speedbump unit.  However, they were a bit useless in this game because they just couldn't catch me.

Destruction Strategies

  • Save CP.  I might have lost the game without strategems.
  • Don't take only the minimum number of Virus Node units; take a lot more.  Keep the enemy guessing.  I disguised my Tactical Squad Virus Node as a less appealing Rhino in a line of Razorbacks.  Chris had too many targets to pick effectively.
  • To speedbump or not to speedbump?  I guess it depends on your army.  A slow force like the Tau in the first game needs a speedbump to slow the Relief forces to buy them time.  A fast force might be able to leave the Relief force in the dust.

Expect the final version as a download on this site soon!

22Apr/180

Big Game VI Mission Trial v1.0 – Fight for the Omega Station Power Control

Big Game VI is right around the corner, and I have been tasked with creating the scenario.  I have a version, but it's impossibl eto test without 10 people or more and terrain and boards I don't have...

Luckily there are boards and ample terrain at AFK Games in Holt, and some regular players who are more than helpful!  Chris, who I played against last week, brought his two sons, Kyle and Connor, who all helped me test a modified version of the Big Game VI scenario.

Incidentally, the modified version was a one-on-one, and I modified it on the fly to accomodate Chris' sons who were more than eager to help!

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Little Big Game VI - Fight for the Omega Station Power Control (v1.0)

The Armies

Two players are the forces of Order, while two are the forces of Disorder.  All four players build a list using 50 power, limited to one Battalion, Spearhead, Outrider, or Vanguard detatchment, and, optionally, one additional Patrol or Auxilliary Support detachment.  No model may have the Primarch characteristic.

One order player is the Defence force, while the other is the Relief force.  The Relief force has no restrictions.  The Defence force cannot contain any models that Fly, and cannot have any models that are forced to deploy alternately (such as Drop Pods or Daemons).

The Battlefield

Terrain must be appropriate to the desolate rocky exterior of the Omega Station.  a 1'x1' terrain feature is placed 6" from the Defence Force's short table edge, centered between the long edges.  This structure is the elevator entrance to the Omega Station's Power Control, and is impassible, and lines of sight cannot be drawn across it.  This structure must have one clearly defined entrance on each side.  See map below for deployment zones.

2P Board 1.0

Deployment

The Order player who controls the Defence force deploys first.  Units that are held in reserve to deploy alternately (such as Terminators) may not be held in reserve; they MUST set up in the deployment zone.

Both Disorder players may then deploy within the designated zone.  Units able to deploy alternately may do so, but may not deploy within Order deployment zones.

Finally, the Order player who controls the Relief force deploys within the secondary deployment zone.  This player may hold units in reserve, as normal.

Virus Nodes

Each Disorder player secretly nominates two models within their forces to hold Virus Nodes; handheld computers supplied by Genestealer Cult infiltrators that can seize control of Omega Station computer systems.  These models have many restrictions, but must be a model that could reasonably walk through a tight corridor (so no Bikes, Monstrous Creatures, swarms, etc.).

If a model with a Virus Node is slain, the Disorder player controlling it has two options:

  1. Remove the model.  The Virus Node is destroyed.
  2. Replace the model with a marker for the Virus Node.  Any model that moves over the marker takes it with them.  The marker stays with this model, and cannot be dropped, transferred, or re-hidden.

Note that Order players can (and should!) pick up Virus Nodes.

If a model with a Virus Node moves to within 3" of an entrance to the Power Station Elevator, the model and its entire unit may be removed from the board; they have infiltrated the Power Station with help from Genestealer Cult infiltrators!

Fighting within the Power Station

Units within the Power Station may choose to shoot or fight.

Units that choose to shoot may, in the Disorder shooting phase, shoot all of their weapons at an infinite number of Imperial Navy Ratings, with the standard statline of an Imperial Guardsman.  During the Order shooting phase, 2D6 Ratings shoot the unit with lasguns.

Units that choose to fight may, in either Fight phase, fight using all attacks as if in base contact with infinite Navy Ratings.  2D6 Ratings attack back.

If the unit is killed, the Virus Node is destroyed.

If the unit kills 10 or more Ratings, they have fought hard enough to reach a terminal and implant the Virus Node!  They continue ot fight inside the Power Station, but are ignored for the rest of the game (they've done their job).

Genestealer Cult Infiltrators prevent Order units from entering the Power Station.

Victory Conditions

Take the number of successfully implanted Virus Nodes, and subtract the number of Virus Nodes held by Order forces.  If this number is 0 or less, the forces of Order win.  If the number is 2 or more, the forces of Disorder win.  Any other result is a draw.

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FORCES OF ORDER

Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders) Defence force

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Captain Edgard of the 3rd Company, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Salamander Mantle, Rites of War
    • Librarian, Force Staff, Might of Heroes, Veil of Time
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Lascannon
    • Tactical Squad x5, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Lascannon
    • Scouts x10, Camo Cloaks, 9x Sniper Rifle, 1x Missile Launcher
    • Thunderfire Cannon
    • Dreadnought, Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon
    • Devastators x10, Storm Bolter, 4x Missile Launcher

Chris - Blood Angels Relief Force

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Captain in Terminator Armour, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Teleport Homer
    • Lieutenant, Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Plasma Pistol
    • Intercessors x10
    • Scouts x5, Camo Cloaks, Missile Launcher, 4x Sniper
    • Tactical Squad x5, Storm Bolter, Heavy Bolter
      • Razorback, Lacannon with Twin Plasma Gun
    • Assault Squad x10, Power Sword, 2x Flamer
    • Baal Predator

FORCES OF DISORDER

Kyle - Dark Eldar

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Archon (VIRUS NODE)
    • Archon
    • Warrior x5, Blaster
      • Venom
    • Warrior x5, Blaster
      • Venom
    • Warrior x5, Blaster
      • Venom
    • Ravager
    • Incubus x5
  • Patrol Detachment
    • Succubus (VIRUS NODE)
    • Wyches x9
    • Raider

Connor - Tau

  • Battalion Detachment
    • Longstrike in Hammerhead
    • Cadre Fireblade (VIRUS NODE)
    • Fire Warriors x10
      • Devilfish
    • Fire Warriors x5
    • Pathfinders x5
    • Stealth Suits x3 (VIRUS NODE)
    • Piranha
    • Piranha
    • Hammerhead

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Setup

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Kyle's Dark Eldar characters "replaced" a member of the Warrior squads, reducing them to below their starting size.  After setup, the Disorder players spent 4 CP to try to seize the initiative.  I spent 4/8 of my own command points to reduce their efforts.  They failed on a roll of a 1, so I didn't really have to spend any...

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Turn 1 - Order

Missile Devastators destroy Longstrike Hammerhead. A few lascannons kill one of the Venoms near the center of the board.  The Blood Angels move up and pepper the Dark Eldar.

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Turn 1 - Disorder

Ravager and Venoms blast the Tactical Squad near the Librarian in the forward crater.  Hammerhead kills the Thunderfire Cannon, leaving the Techmarine behind.  Tau fire kills the Baal Predator and the Razorback.

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Turn 2 - Order

Blood Angels Assault Squad and Lieutenant arrive.  Azure Flames Librarian casts Might of Heroes on the Assault Squad, and they charge!  Azure Flames Dreadnought rolls boxcars and charges the Wyches, but a MIRACULOUS roll to ignore wounds makes only one die, and the Dreadnought loses 6 wounds... Intercessors manage to catch the Tau and assault them.

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Turn 2 - Disorder

Incubi deep strike and charge the Librarian and Blood Angel Lieutenant.  Command Point spent by Chris lets the Lieutenant swing first, killing 3 Incubi!  Wyches spend CP to retreat from the Dreadnought and charge the Assault Squad.  Dreadnought is shot to death.  Horrible wound and damage rolls by the Ravager does only 1 wound to the Techmarine.  Tau try to gain extra movement distance by charging two surviving Scouts, both of whom survive!

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Turn 3 - Order

Scouts disengage from the Tau fight, and Devastators, Techmarine, and Captain wipe the Piranhas, Hammerhead, and Fire Warriors.  Intercessors continue to slay the Stealth Suits.  Librarian casts Veil of Time on the Blood Angel Lieutenant, and they charge and do very little, taking wounds in return.

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Turn 3 - Disorder

All Dark Eldar infantry disengages from the Marine Characters, and the characters are shot to death.  Devilfish disgorges 10 Fire Warriors, who bubble wrap the last Stealth Suit. Tau fire kills the Techmarine.

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Turn 4 - Order

Blood Angel Terminator Captain uses Teleport Homer to arrive on the other side of the board!  Captain roasts the last Stealth Suit, forcing it to destroy its Virus Node!  Captain and Intercessors battle the Fire Warriors and Cadre Fireblade.

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Turn 4 - Disorder

Archon and last Wych charge the Devastator Bolters near the Power Station and wipe them.  Last Tau infantry makes a break for it.

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Turn 5 - Order

Blood Angels captain charges the Archon, but can't get the job done!  Devastators missile the hell out of the Succubus, killing her and forcing her to drop her Virus Node!  Azure Flames Captain slays the Cadre Fireblade, destroying his Virus Node!

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Turn 5 - Disorder

Archon disengages and enters the Power Station with his Virus Node!  He scores 4 kills.  Terminator Captain is shot to death.  Warriors pick up the fallen Virus Node.  Tau are tabled.

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Turn 6 - Order

Devastators blast the Warriors with the Virus Node, killing them all and dropping it again!  Archon inside kills 4 more Ratings.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 6 - Disorder

Archon implants his Virus Node!  Other Archon picks up the dropped Virus Node, but is too far from the building to get it there next turn.  Disorder spends all remaining command points to guarantee a turn 7.

Turn 7 - Order

Fire is ineffective.

Turn 7 - Disorder

No more Virus Nodes are implanted.  Game Over.

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Final Score: 1 Virus Node Implanted - DRAW!

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The Aftermath

The actual Big Game VI scenario that I wrote has victory conditions with Virus Nodes = 2* Disorder players for a win.  I felt that was unfair to this scenario, so I made it to be 1 for a tie, 2 for a win.  This was left unmodified when the one Disorder player was shoehorned into two.  All in all this was a good experience, but it all comes down to two things:

What Worked

*imitates Rockapella* OOOOOOOOOHHH... THE CHAAAAAAAASE!

Seriously, both Disorder characters LOVED running both TOWARD and AWAY from something simultaneously.  Chris' army could have been better at chasing.  After all, a footslog isn't exactly a compelling chase against Hover vehicles.  But it still worked.  Several Tau and Dark Eldar units spent valuable time delaying the Blood Angels.  There was a ticking clock.

Virus Nodes were also a big win before the Node entered the structure.  Kyle wisely brought a lot of units that could hold nodes and was cryptic about which unit had what goal.  This was EXACTLY what I was going for when I designed the scenario.  His brother Connor chose... less mobile units that were a bit more obvious, but still were able to contribute to the battle while advancing.

The Setup with a big well defended area, a no-man's-land, and a rearguard was fantastic.

What Didn't

Even an army as fast as the Dark Eldar couldn't get their Node in the building until the bottom of turn 5.  Consider at least five players teaming up on the defenders; would they be able to get there with slower armies?  Even at all?  No-man's-land was 24" and the defenders got 18" after that to the leading edge of the structure.  That's quite a lot of ground to cover.  I'm going to do another version of this scenario with an 18" no-man's-land.  Bonus: this will give the Relief force more than 6" to deploy.

Fighting in the Citadel was boring.  I originally wanted to avoid a separate inside board due to board and terrain constraints, and also because an abstraction would be faster and easier.  But fighting infinite invisible enemies with dice is... boring.

Perhaps I can have the Order side set aside points for a defense force inside.  Or, perhaps a champion.  A dueling mechanic would not only be more interesting, but hearken back to Big Game 2, where Angmar and Victor Kalan slew each other in a final cinematic bout.

Finally, the defenders need fortifications.  I eschewed them for the stripped down scenario to try to make it more fair.  After all there are no titans or other superheavies to deal with pesky fortifications.  But, despite the relief force, the defenders are outnumbered 2 to 1.  They need an edge.

Next: More Big Game VI prep including the return of some old friends!  Stay tuned!

14Apr/180

100 Power Big Guns Never Tire vs. Blood Angels

In all of the games of 8th edition I've played, I've used points.  They're familiar, but Games Workshop's new design philosopy hasn't made it easy.  Chris brought his Blood Angels again, and suggested that we give Power Levels a try to make army selection easier.  We decided on the Eternal War mission: Big Guns Never Tire at 100 Power Level.  I decided on an... unorthodox list.  See below!

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Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders)

  • Techmarine on Bike with Conversion Beamer, Thunder Hammer
  • Land Raider
  • Land Raider Crusader
  • Land Raider Redeemer
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Vindicator
  • Ironclad Dreadnought
  • Servitors, 2x Heavy Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun

Chris - Blood Angels

  • Captain, Power Sword, Plasma Pistol
  • Librarian in Terminator Armor
  • Tactical Squad x5, Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun
  • Tactical Squad x5, Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun
  • Scouts x5, 4x Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks, Missile Launcher
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Baal Predator, Flamestorm Cannon, Heavy Flamers
  • Land Raider
  • Terminators x5, Assault Cannon
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons

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Mission - Big Guns Never Tire

  • Four objectives, each worth 3 victory points
    • Heavy Support choices holding objectives ignore enemy non-Heavy Support choices
  • Destroyed enemy Heavy Support choices are worth one victory point
  • Slay the Warlord: 1 victory point
  • First Blood: 1 victory point
  • Linebreaker: 1 victory point

Setup: Chris chose the Spearhead Assault deployment.

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Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Crusader and Redeemer move up and pop smoke.  Other tanks advance, firing.  The Blood Angel Lascannon Predator is destroyed, and one of the Razorbacks is damaged.

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Turn 1 - Blood Angels

The Baal Predator charges forward, popping smoke.  Vindicators fire on the Land Raider, doing 7 wounds!  The Terminator Librarian deep strikes behind the Azure Flames.  He casts Bloodlance, which is ineffective, but suffers a Perils of the Warp and takes a wound!

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Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Servitors pile out of the Razorback, scale the ruined fortress, and charge the Terminator Librarian!  He cuts two of them down, but the other two tie him up.  Most other tanks move up.  Lascannon fire kills one Vindicator and wounds the second.  The Crusader and Redeemer do a few wounds to the Land Raider, and their regular guns kill all the Scouts except the missile launcher.  The Vindicator fires on the Baal Predator, doing 10 of its 11 wounds with the cannon, and then does one more wound with its Storm Bolter!

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Turn 2 - Blood Angels

The Librarian cleaves another Servitor in half.  Land Raider moves up and causes 6 wounds to the Crusader.  Furioso Dreadnought moves up to fire its Meltagun at the Land Raider, but misses.  Other fire is ineffective.

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Turn 3 - Azure Flames

The Ironclad charges the Furioso, annihilating it in one burst of attacks!  The Land Raider finishes the Vindicator.  Combined fire from the rest of the army kills the Land Raider, but the Terminators inside are unharmed.  Techmarine approaches to help the last Servitor, but rolls a 4 to charge when he needed a 5!  The Librarian has worse luck, failing to kill the Servitor!  The last scout falls to some fire from the Land Raiders.

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Turn 3 - Blood Angels

Terminators charge the Crusader, reducing it to 5 wounds.  A stray lascannon puts one wound on the Redeemer.  The Librarian finishes the Servitor and moves to exactly 1" away from the Techmarine, daring him to charge.

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Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Techmarine shoots the Librarian to no effect, but kills him on the charge.  The entire rest of the army fire on the Terminators and the tactical squad hiding in the ruins, killing them.  Game ceded.

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When I made this list, it was for fun.  It was also with the very real fear of being tabled in a few turns by opportune lascannons and melta weaponry.  A land raider is worth 1.5-2 Tactical Squads, which are much more durable to extreme fire.  However Chris' dice betrayed him once again, so badly in fact that he purchased brand new dice from AFK games MID BATTLE!  The new dice have flat edges, no pips (printed blood drops) and no rounded corners.  They performed a bit better late battle.

Chris also correctly concluded that the Terminators should have been held in reserve with the Librarian and thrown at my backfield.  The Librarian was ineffective because of poor rolls and annoying servitors tying him up.  Had five more Terminators shown up, I would have had to divert significant resources to dealing with them, probably man of the lascannons that were meant for enemy tanks!

Finally, I'd like to address the elephant in the room: power level.

Not really mentioned in the battle above (because they did an incidental number of wounds) was the fact that ALL of Chris' tanks had Hunter Killer Missiles!  I chose not to do this (except for the Ironclad) because I did not have them modeled and wanted to be WYSIWYG.  This incurred no addition to the power levels of his tanks.  Is this important?  I'm not sure.

What I do know is that a 19 power Land Raider in a 100 power list is 19% of the list, whereas a 378 point Land Raider in a 2000 point list is closer to 17%.  It's actually CHEAPER in points, in a way! (assuming that 100 power = 2000 points)

To this end, I'm not sure Power is as game breaking as I've heard.  Some units are made to abuse it (such as Ork Nobs who can all take Power Klaws and Kombi-weapons) but because of the new minimalist design philosophy there's not a huge amount of units that can be very different.

The Predator is an exception.  The four-lascannon predators we took are the same power as a sponson-free Autocannon Predator.  My suggestion is to lower the power of a Predator by two, and make adding Sponsons +2 power.  However this could lead to sponsonless Predator spam, flooding the board with a bunch of wounds that block line of sight.

I am now seriously considering suggesting that Big Game 6 use power instead of points.  We have a lot of old dogs who are used to points, but because they have no experience in 8th ed, Power would not be much of a jump, especially because it's so easy.

Next: more games!

6Apr/180

1500 Blitz vs. Blood Angels

Another action packed batrep from AFK Games!  Tonight, Chris brought his Blood Angels and we played a good old fashioned Blitz!

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Mission - Blitz

The attacker gets 18" in from a short board edge.  The Defender sets up secretly on the other table half.  The attacker gets 1 victory point at the end of the game if a unit has at least 1 model within 36" of the opponent's board edge, or 2 victory points if within 18".  The attacker gets a Preliminary Bombardment.

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Bozeman - Azure Flames (Salamanders) (Attacker)

  • Captain Valerien, Combi Melta, Power Axe, Rites of War
  • Ory-Hara, Chief Librarian of the Azure Flames, Force Sword, Plasma Pistol, Salamander Mantle, Smite, Veil of Time, Might of Heroes
  • Tactical Squad x10, Combi Melta, Power Fist, Meltagun, Lascannon
    • Razorback, Twin Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x10, Combi Melta, Power Fist, Meltagun, Lascannon
    • Razorback, Twin Lascannon
  • Tactical Squad x10, Combi Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer, Heavy Bolter
    • Rhino
  • Bikes x8 + Attack Bike, Power Fist, 2x Meltaguns, Multi-Melta
  • Land Speeder, Multi-Melta

Chris - Blood Angels (Defender)

  • Librarian in Terminator Armour, Force Axe, Storm Bolter
  • Sanguinary Priest, Inferno Pistol, Chainsword
  • Tactical Squad x5, Heavy Bolter
  • Tactical Squad x5, Heavy Bolter
  • Scout Squad x5, 4x Sniper Rifle, Missile Launcher, Camo Cloaks
  • Furioso Dreadnought
  • Baal Predator, Twin Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons
  • Baal Predator, Twin Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons
  • Land Raider (Phobos Pattern, 2x Twin Lascannon, Twin Heavy Bolter)
  • Terminators x5, Assault Cannon

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Setup

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As you can see, the attacker's board edge (left) was sparse while the defender (right) had lots of fortifications. (the guns on the building are decorative)

Chris set up secretly, then I deployed my army.  My preliminary bombardment clipped his Librarian, doing one wound, but it also killed 4 of 5 men in one of the Tactical Squads, and put 6 wounds on the Furioso!

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Turn 1 - Azure Flames

The Bikes surged forward!  The lone Blood Angel that survived the Bombardment died, and so did two of the other Tactical Squad.  The Rhino and Razorbacks moved up and their fire finished off the Furioso Dreadnought, which exploded, but did not harm anyone.  The Bikes then charged the Tactical Squad, bringing their numbers down to two!

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Turn 1 - Blood Angels

Terminators disembarked from the Land Raider, and fired on the combat squad in the Rhino Ruin, killing two.  ABYSMAL roll from the Land Raider only does 4 wounds to the Librarian's Razorback!  Tactical Squad falls back from the Bikes so that the Baal Predators can shoot, but they only do one wound to the Bikes.

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Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Melta Weapons and Lascannons remove one of the Baal Predators and severely damage the second.  Transports disgorge three Tactical Squads, then move up and pop smoke.  Combat squads in the backfield snipe two Terminators with lascannons.  Bikes charge the wounded Predator and the Sanguinary Priest.  Bad wound rolls get the Priest only one wound.

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Turn 2 - Blood Angels

Even with the -1 to hit, the Land Raider takes out the wounded Razorback.  The Predator retreats, leaving the Sanguinary Priest to absorb another wound.  Scouts try to snipe the Librarian, but roll awfully.

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Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Backfield Lascannons snipe two more Terminators, leaving the sergeant alone!  Bikes finish the Sanguinary Priest and consolidate into the ruins.  Everyone moves forward.

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Turn 3 - Blood Angels

Once again the Scouts roll poorly, as does the Land Raider which only does 4 wounds to the vulnerable Land Speeder.

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Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Bikes move up and shoot the Scouts, then try to charge 10" with Veil of Time.  Sadly, they don't make it.

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Turn 4 - Blood Angels

Librarian casts Blood Boil and PERILS causes 6 wounds to the Bikes, leaving the sergeant with 1 wound, and the Librarian with 1 wound!  Scouts and Land Raider try to pop the Rhino, but don't.  Game ceded.

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Well, that was interesting.  I didn't get a chance to recycle any units.  To be fair, Chris lost this game mainly because of rolls.  The Land Raider SHOULD have been popping a transport a turn (possibly with help from the Scout Missile Launcher).  However, he was routinely rolling 2-3 misses per turn on a 3+, and always failing to wound on one roll.

I also rolled somewhat poorly but this was offset by the AMAZING Salamanders doctrine!  It feels just like the good old days of 3rd edition: Salamanders Heavy Weapons are guaranteed to hit or your pizza is free.

Also, I guess the Rhino Rush is back.  Razorbacks are fantastic, and turn 1 charges seem to be the order of the day.

Finally, I'd like to say that Chris' list had a centerpiece of the Land Raider stuffed with Terminators.  He sadly kept them off to the right side of the board as a firebase.  They are a big, scary unit!  They should have been more aggressive, stalling my rush by plugging the hole in the middle of the fortification wall.  As it stood, the Terminators killed two bolter marines, and the Land Raider blasted a few vehicles, but did nothing to stall the advance of my army.

Next: hopefully some painting!

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