Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Crusade Battle Report - Adeptus Mechanicus (and Imperial Knight) vs Genestealer Cults


Here's what turned out to be my last game in the Grim Dice Crusade League, where 100 power level of Ryza Ad Mech, ably assisted by Lady Helena of House Taranis in the Knight Valiant 'The Defiant Flame' took on Ben and his Genestealer Cult. The battlefield was on a world or red sands and partially buried technology, so Helena presumably felt right at home as the Helios Explorator Fleet aimed to purge the xenos taint from this holy place - obviously this was what this Crusade was leading up to! 

The mission was Tech Recovery from the Plague Purge mission pack, a mission in which there are six 'covered' objectives, of which two are fake blips and four are valuable technology. Points are available for uncovering the objectives with an action and holding the tech once it has been found.

My force now consisted of units of Kataphron Breachers and Destroyers, Skitarii Rangers, Vanguard (10 of them), Rust Stalkers, Sulphurhounds (6 of them), two units of Sterylizors, Kastelan Robots and an Archaeopter Fusilave. They were led by a Dominus, Manipulus and a Cybernetica Datasmith, and as mentioned, accompanied by the Knight Valiant.

The Genestealer Cult forces were led by a Patriarch and pretty much one each of the other characters, and had a selection of Acolyte and Neophyte units, a mob of Aberrants, a full brood of Purestrain Genestealers, two units of Atalan bikers, a trio of Ridge Runners, a truck and a Rockgrinder. Their cult creed meant they could reroll charges and had a bonus for using mining weapons. That Rockgrinder was important, because I took the Tech Scavengers agenda so I'd have to kill it and then loot the wreckage for archeotech.

Deployment against GSC - the auspexes were pinging away with all sorts of crazy blips out there! I got first turn so the AdMech forces moved up to uncover some objectives.

Movement and Genestealer Cult Deployment done! Thanks to the terrain I didn't have that many shooting options - the Valiant was largely out of range, but the Destroyers backing it up could get at the Ridge Runners.

With uncharacteristic effectiveness, they killed off two in one volley! A good start that probably meant the Valiant would remain unmolested for the game.

Genestealer turn one, they largely ignored the objectives, uncovering one to my two. Instead they instigated an assault on the oppressors, swinging round on the flank to light up my Rust Stalkers with a truck full of hand flamers, and chip away at my Breachers with the bikes.

On the other flank the mining lasers took down one of the Robots, while the Patriarch made a bold charge in, reducing the other down to a single wound. However his quickness at dodging the power fists meant he survived the return attacks.

Admech turn two, time for some purging! Waiting for the opposition reserves, the Pteraxii stayed in the skies, but the Serberys Sulphurhounds sallied forth to engage the bikers on an objective. The Fusilave flew over and between it's bombs and stubbers nuked a bunch of cultists, with the Sulphurhounds mostly finishing the job - their particular brand of high volume fire coming in handy. Elsewhere shooting chipped wounds off the trucks and the Valiant finished the last Ridge Runner, while the Breachers killed off the last of the bikers on the left flank in melee. However the Patriarch managed to survive another round of combat, splitting his own attacks and reducing both the repaired robot and the Datasmith to one wound!

Time for the jaws of the trap to close on my poor Ad Mech! GSC turn two saw most of the reserves coming in behind, while the flamer unit dropped out of the truck to claim an objective and incinerate some Rangers in the process. Shots rang out from all around, and then the charges came in - the Aberrants making it into the Dominus, Eldane Katronosa, and dropping them, piling in to the remaining Vanguard. The Patriarch finally did the deed and killed off the Robot.

Elsewhere the damaged Rockgrinder, holding that vital archeotech, charged the Breachers. I interrupted to try and finish it off, but reduced it to a single wound, in exchange for two of the Kataphrons over the turn.

It was a hard counter punch, but those cultists are just flesh and blood, unlike us...

Flappy boy time! The Pteraxii descended from the skies to incinerate a chunk of the cultists, while the Fusilave went into hover mode and started gunning down characters, starting with the Nexus.

Then the cavalry unloaded, before charging in behind a wall of flame! They took out the Patriarch, though their shooting didn't finish off the Aberrants. This move at least denied the objective to the GSC at least.

On the other flank the Pteraxii made it into melee to kill off the remaining Cultists, though not before they interrupted and cut down a couple. Elsewhere amusingly the Destroyers made a charge and finished off a depleted Acolyte unit.

A decent counter-counter attack! However with both sides only picking up a single objective here and there, the score was still pretty close, with me in the lead after having uncovered two in turn one.

GSC turn three saw the Purestrains arrive and charge into the Sulphurhounds, but thanks to their rad-saturation reducing their strength (and some abysmal dice), 50 attacks translated into a single wound. The Aberrants did finish the Vanguard though to contest that objective, while the Kellermorph killed off a unit of Steryizors.

In my turn four the bomber flew over and killed off some Genestealers, while the Sulphur-breath burned a chunk more. I also had my last Pteraxii leave combat with the Truck to charge the damaged Rockgrinder, losing two more to it's attacks, the lone Alpha finally killed it!

This meant he was left standing over the Archeotech marker - which I thought I'd be able to grab in turn five, but re-reading the agenda I discovered the action finished in my next command phase! So once again denied some Archeotech by game length!

In the last couple of turns the remaining GSC units brawled with my Sulphurhounds, eventually killing them and having enough time to go flip one last objective. This left the final score close, but a win to the AdMech, 26-23!

Awesome, bloodbath of a game. Great to finish the Crusade League off on a high of course, but I'm bitterly disappointed to have missed out on that sweet Archeotech loot! I did get a bunch of XP though, and thanks to winning I got a free weapon enhancement - which I used to buff a Kataphron Destroyer Plasma Culverin. The destroyers got the MFG XP as well since they were actually good this game, eventually finishing off the Goliath truck in melee to cap things off!

Since the league used 'artificial' escalation I've now spent some requisition to go up to 65 supply limit, and removed a couple of units that were putting me over. Sadly that means Lady Helena is out of the Crusade once again, though I would one day like to include her again!

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe!

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Crusade Battle Report - Tyranids vs Aeldari


As you may have seen recently, I've been enjoying getting the Tyranids back onto the table (they're a bit good!) - but so far it's been matched play, and as cool as that is, the Crusade section of the book has got me quite excited. So I was pretty happy to have the opportunity for a Crusade game against Sharpy and his Aeldari. (I also borrowed some of his pics for this report!)

Now firstly, before a Tyranid Crusade force takes to the field, you need to generate a planet to eat. I rolled up a Hive World, and the various amounts of Biomass and Crushed Resistance I'd need to acquire in order to gobble it up. The process is split into three sections, Invasion, Predation and Consumption, each of which with a bonus stratagem and some changes to the 'thanks for playing' experience points to encourage certain units. For instance in the Invasion stage I got additional XP for Genestealers, Endless Multitude units (in this case Gargoyles) and the Hive Crone, while if I'd taken any Hive Tyrants or Tyrannofexes, for example, they'd not get the free XP at all! I think the intent is that as you go though your Crusade you cycle out units that haven't gained much XP or picked up battle scars for new ones that benefit from the next stage. I'm sure I'll get the chance to go through it in a lot of detail on an episode of the Narrative Wargamer Podcast, but for now what you need to know is that I've taken a very fluffy early stage invasion Tyranid list, that is also appropriately rewarded in the Crusade system.

So my initial 50 power level Crusade consisted of a unit of Warriors, a full unit of ten Genestealers, three broods of Gargoyles, a trio of Raveners, a big old Hive Crone with the Dermic Symbiosis upgrade, and led by a Broodlord with the Ymgarl Factor and a Tyranid Prime with Direct Guidance. Hive Fleet Goliath is a Behemoth splinter fleet, so I used their rules.

Sharpy's Eldar leaned heavily into Aspect Warriors, with units of Dire Avengers, Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders, Fire Dragons and Howling Banshees. Two units of Guardians and some Windriders filled out the core of the force, led by a Farseer with a couple of Warlocks and a kitted out Autarch as the warlord. They are a custom Craftworld using the traits for sixes to hit are auto wounds on shuriken, and a 6+ invulnerable on everyone, plus some mortal wound protection. I'm not entirely sure how their Crusade rules work, but apparently the Dire Avengers were on the Path of the Warrior, so would get points for killing stuff or something. He was also looking to upgrade some Guardians to Wraith units at some point if they took enough punishment.

For the mission, we played The Relic from the main rulebook. Nice and simple, one central objective to pick up and walk off with - if you can. For my agendas I picked Infest the Prey World, which gives Biomass and Crushed Resistance points for having Endless Multitude units in quarters of the board, and then XP for having units in the opponent's deployment zone at the end. I paired it with Breakthrough - more XP for being in the opponent's zone. The Aeldari went for a codex agenda to pick up the spirit stones of fallen units, and the classic Reaper for some nearly guaranteed, zero thought XP.

Deployment - the Fire Dragons went into the Webway, while the Raveners were digging underground. We'd both deployed taking advantage of the forests, while I forward deployed the Genestealers and Broodlord onto the 'safest' flank to do some sneaky stuff. I won the roll for first turn, and opted to give it to the Eldar, since I didn't fancy a turn of just shooting through the woods.

The Craftworlders took advantage with their movement to pop the Dire Avengers on the Relic, while they combined with the Swooping Hawks to cut through most of the Genestealers, leaving only two remaining. On the other flank the bikers cut down a few Gargoyles.

Tyranid turn one and it was time for a bit of a counter attack. The Crone flew into the centre to dish out some damage - killing off three Banshees and a couple of Avengers and Jetbikes. Gargoyles moved up into the woods with the Broodlord to pepper the remaining Avengers, while the Warriors finished the job. Another Gargoyle unit moved up to harass the Swooping Hawks - swarming them in melee for minimal damage. The third unit flew up to Encircle the Prey, while the last couple of Genestealers made a break for the Eldar deployment zone, putting as much ground and terrain between them and the space elf guns - obviously off to go find some undefended genes!

It was a reasonable counter attack, clearing the objective, but neither of us had lost that much yet.

Turn two, and the Eldar counter-counter attacked! The Fire Dragons stepped out of the webway to melt the Hive Crone out of the sky. The Hawks jumped out of combat to allow the Warp Spiders to make an absolute mess out of those Gargoyles. One of the Guardian units, supported by the last couple of Banshees, stepped out of cover onto the objective to blaze away at the unit of Gargoyles with the Broodlord, but thanks to Catalyst they just about hung on.

With my biggest model down, it looked like the Aeldari were back on top, but then it came time for the jaws of the trap to close...

The third Gargoyle unit dropped in behind the Guardians, while the Raveners dug up to flank the Fire Dragons. The Warriors moved up to get some melee going. Thanks to being an Endless Swarm, the damaged Gargoyle brood went back up almost to full. Shots fired all over, killing a bunch of Guardians but not totally removing them, and the Warriors killed a couple of Warp Spiders. I also shot a cheeky shot from the Prime into the Fire Dragons to activate Shard Lure and give the Raveners an easier charge - which they made.

In melee most of my units got stuck in. The Raveners killed all but the Exarch of the Dragons, while the Warriors went into Guardians to make a mess of them, tagging the Spiders as well. The Gargoyles and Broodlord swarmed the centre, killing off the last of the Banshees and leaving a single Guardian to flee the scene. Finally the Prime made a charge on the Swooping Hawks, cutting down enough of them for their leader to fail morale and flee the scene.

A brutal turn for the Nids, leaving only Eldar characters and a few remnants of units. But of course Eldar psychic powers are a thing and those Spiders were still active...

Into Eldar turn three and a valiant effort saw the three remaining Warp Spiders shred the blue winged Gargoyles, while the Autarch shot and then charged the Prime to kill it. The Seers though whiffed somewhat against the Warriors, killing one and then eventually another, while getting cut down by the boneswords over the next few phases.

Tyranid turn three was spent turning the screws and finishing off some odd one man units, but the Warp Spiders jumped out of a charge from the Broodlord to keep the fight just about alive.

Turn four saw the Spiders make a dent in the Raveners, the Farseer having a smite denied to kill the last warrior (and then falling to it) and the Autarch bravely going toe to toe with the Broodlord. The big genestealer dodged the fusion blast and survived the melee, to strike back and bring down the enemy warlord.

With that, the last couple of turns were just clear up for the Nids, removing the last Aeldari, the Broodlord grabbing the relic and then the Genestealers, Raveners and remaining, red-winged Gargoyles hanging in the Eldar deployment zone for experience.

In the end a comfortable victory for the Tyranids, but it certainly didn't look that one sided in turn one and two!

Another great game, Sharpy always sets out an excellent table so it looked great, and was fun for us to both make our first steps on the Crusade with our new books. After that the Broodlord claimed the relic, earning a free Crusade Relic - I chose the Spirit-Leech Cortex, which gives him the ability to regain wounds and increase his strength for dishing out mortal wounds in the psychic phase - feels appropriate for some kind of aeldari soul-gem relic!

With those pesky Aeldari sent packing back to the Webway, the Nids picked up two each of the Biomass and Crushed Resistance points, which is half way to completing the Invasion stage. I also got enough XP for upgrades on the red-winged Gargoyles and the Genestealers thanks to the stacking agendas and their XP for taking part bonus. They got Fleet of Claw (advance and charge dice are minimum 3) and Ranged Resistance (+1 save vs shooting) respectively. For the Aeldari, the Warp Spiders really outdid themselves, going up to Blooded rank and becoming Headhunters (+1 to hit and wound vs characters).

Anyway, that was fun! There will be more Crusade content coming soon as the AdMech will be back in action again, but until then, thanks for reading and stay safe out there!

Friday, 27 May 2022

Tempest of War Battle Report - Orks vs Orks


I recently took a trip down to Warhammer World to play a game on their Warlord Titan board with my Orks vs... my Orks ! Orks vs Orks is always a bit of a wild ride, so it was bound to be a bloody one! My opponent was Grijbog (another member of the Old Wolves group) over here on holiday from Australia. As such, he didn't have an army with him so I lent him one, and we decided Orks vs Orks would happen.

We played with the Tempest of War cards, but rather than randomly choosing a primary mission we picked some appropriate cards. We went for a classic 'dawn of war' deployment, a twist to have an additional objective marker - placing all four no man's land ones around the fallen titan, and the mission Priority Targets - giving 5 points for holding an objective, 5 for holding more than your opponent, and up to 20 at the end of the game for holding objectives. It felt appropriate that the game would likely be decided by who held the massive loot pile at the end!

The armies were both Snakebite Battalions with Super Heavy Auxiliaries. In a battle of squigs vs steel, Warboss Redtoof took the Stompa and other armoured elements vs Beastboss Redtoof with Nipper and a load of Beast Snaggas. Redtoof had a couple of Big Meks, two lots of 20 Shoota Boyz, some Grots, Burna Boyz, Meganobz, five Killa Kans and a Deff-rolla Battlewagon in addition to da Toof-Krusha. On the other side, Redtoof brought Durrork the Weirdboy, 20 Beast Snaggas, two lots of 20 Slugga Boyz, ten Nobz with big choppas, Squighog Boyz, a Nob on Smasha Squig, decent sized mobs of Kommandos and Tankbustas, and of course the Gargantuan Squiggoth.

We rolled to see who was controlling what, and I ended up with the Beastsnagga/Squiggoth faction.

Deployment saw the Tankbustas get on the back of Nipper's howdah, while the Stompa got filled with Boyz and the Burnas plus Warboss and Big Mek jumped in the wagon. The Meganobz got themselves a spot on the tellyporta. The Kommandos forward deployed into cover by the Warlord's head.

The dice were rolled, and Grijbog's Redtoof was going first. Movement happened, and then the Stompa opened up. All the anti-infantry fire blitzed the Kommandos before they could do anything, but the big guns whiffed against Nipper, only taking a couple of wounds off in the end.

In response, my Redtoof ordered the boyz forward, with Nipper shuffling slightly cautiously. Tankbustas and the Squiggoth's Super Kannon blasted a couple of Killa Kans to bits, and the Squighogs got a big charge against the Battlewagon, doing a bit of damage but between overwatch and the roller they all perished.

I think we both picked up a 'hold your own objective' card so grabbed some secondary points but after turn one I had more of the objectives.

The Battlewagon, Stompa and Kans rumbled up into range for charges, while the Burna Boyz got out to do some burning. Lots of firepower blazed out, killing off a whole bunch of boyz and Beastsnaggas (I ended up spending CP to keep the last few Snaggas around on an objective for points in my turn).

The charges all got in, putting the Squig side under a fair bit of pressure! The Wagon went first to try and deal with the kitted out Smasha Squig Nob, but left him on a single wound. Nipper interrupted to gouge a chunk out of the Stompa, though not enough to save him from the nasty 9 damage choppa! Nipper did manage to thrash out as he fell, killing off a couple more Kans and some of my Boyz.

I got very unlucky with the Tankbusats falling off the Howdah, losing five of them in the fall then a couple more from morale. A rough turn for my Redtoof! As a bonus though the last Killa Kan failed morale and klanked off.

Going into my turn two, the secondary cards weren't helping much but I did pick up the full 10 points for primary. Having lost quite a chunk of my force it was time to go all in and get rid of the Stompa, plus as much as I could on the right flank with the Battlewagon.

The big unit of Nobz managed to finish off the Wagon after the Smasha Squig had done some damage, while my remnants of a Boyz unit there were slowly overcoming the burnas.

Against the Stompa though it was anything but slow going - Beastboss Redtoof, having declared a WAAAGH!, buffed up with Fists of Gork, armed with the Beasthide Mantle and being a Big-Killa Boss, absolutely smashed his way through the big beast!

A big mob of shootas came tumbling out, forming up into a sort of firing line against my blue Boyz.

It was a strong counter punch, but the fresh Boyz mob and a teleporting unit of Meganobz might give us some issues.

The Shokk Attack gun Big Mek for the 'stompa' side had been having a quiet game so far, and that continued as he watched on to see the shootas pour fire into the blue Boyz and only felling one of them.

The Meganobz dropped in, skorching the last of the Beast Snaggas, but failed to charge in an assassination attempt against my Redtoof.

Most of the action this turn revolved around the big foot, where the two characters had some tough decisions about who to shoot and charge. The Boyz got pretty much removed to enable some shots on the Smasha Squig, but the firepower was ineffective. The Big Mek made it into melee and finished the job with his choppa, while Warboss Redtoof charged the Nobz Mob, got interrupted on, and cut down under a flurry of big choppas.

That actually turned out to be a good turn for me, though with not many units left I'd have to make the most of them. Going into my turn three I got a couple of secondary objectives that might be achievable if I pressed forward - to get into the opponent's deployment zone and to control their objective.

With really just a couple of significant units and characters, I decided to abandon my objectives and go full Waaagh! to try and claim the ones on the other side. The Boyz and Bosses powered through the shoota Boyz by the top of the Titan, while the Nobz chop their way through the other unit of Boyz, but leaving enough of them alive that they still held the objective.

After a big comeback for the Squigs in turn three, the Stompa side were suddenly on the back foot. They did however find themselves holding more objectives, putting the score pretty close. The Meganobz moved in to hold an objective and skorch Durrork the Weirdboy away. The last of the shoota boyz fell back from the Nobz, in order to give them a bit of a choice in my next turn about which objective to go for. That Shokk Attack gun Mek fired a token shot over at the Nobz. Just a casual strength 11, 6 shots! That means in addition to being super deadly in it's profile the SAG dished out a bunch of mortal wounds, reducing the Nobz to a mere two models. Who them promptly fled to morale!

That was another huge swing, removing one of my few units left - remember, we've both been missing a lot of secondary points but there's a lot on offer for holding objectives at the end of the game.

With not much left to do, Beastboss Redtoof and his Boyz pile into the Meganobz. They grind away in the last couple of turns but Redtoof finishes them on my turn five, leaving him the last boss standing, claiming an objective.

However, with a unit of sneaky grots and the remains of the yellow Shoota Boyz mob both holding objectives, the 'stompa' Snakebites took the win, 50 - 45! Orks win!

While technically I lost, my Redtoof was the last one standing, and more importantly, there was a big fight, so everyone's a winner! This was a real spectacle of a battle with that fallen titan in the middle of the board - though there wasn't much left at the end to loot it! In any case, an awesome fun game and part of a nice trip to Warhammer World where we also took a visit to the exhibition and had a tasty burger and a pint in Bugman's! Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there.