Thursday, 10 June 2021

Battle Report - Orks vs Astra Militarum


Back again with another report with the Orks, taking on another Dan with some high flying air cavalry Imperial Guard. To keep it simple we decided to play the standard Only War mission from the 9th edition core rules, so that's four objectives, a point for each you control at the start of the turn and a bonus point for the classic slay the warlord! We were at the amusingly named Hull's Angels gaming club in Hull, and Dan picked out a suitably thematic board for us, obviously the Astra Militarum were performing an air strike on the Ork settlement.

I, somewhat lazily, took the exact same list as the last game against the Aeldari. A Snakebite battalion with some tough, stompy elements and 5 command points immediately sunk into upgrades:

HQ: Warboss (kombi-skorcha, Surly as a Squiggoth, Da Killa Klaw, Da Biggest Boss), Weirdboy (Warphead, Warpath, Da Jump), Big Mek with Kustom Force Field (Brogg's Buzzbomb)

Troops: 2x 30 Boyz (Powerklaw), 10 Boyz (Powerklaw)

Elites: WAAAGH! Banner Nob, 3 Meganobs, 10 Tankbustas

Heavy Support: Gorkanaut (Slug Gubbin), Squiggoth, 5 Killa Kans (Klaws, rokkit launchas, Dirty Gubbinz)

Dan's Air Cav had a load of flyers, obviously, and Tempestus Scions to jump out and cause some damage. They were Kappic Eagles, so would be getting +1 to hit when they jumped out, and there was also an upgrade on the Valkyries to keep the -1 to hit while in hover mode. He'd also taken a cheeky Ordo Xenos Inquisitor and her faithful cyber-mastiff (a Commissar). I don't know the exact composition of the list or all the upgrades, but it was something like this: 

HQ: Tempestor Prime (Warlord - Master Vox), Tempestor Prime (Old Grudges), Ordo Xenos Inquisitor (psyker, inferno pistol, force sword), Commissar Doggo (plasma pistol, power fist) 

Troops: 3x 10 Scions (4 plasma guns, plasma pistol), 10 Scions (4 volley guns)

Elites: 2x 4 Command Squad Scions (4 Meltaguns), 4 Bullgryns, 2x Officer of the Fleet

Flyers: 3 Valkyries (heavy bolters, rocket pods, multilasers), 2x Vendetta (all the lascannons, heavy bolters) 

Deployment - everything on the Guard side was either in a plane or in the sky (melta squads dropping in from above). I had the boyz ready to push up and jump, and the 'ard stuff all clustered on the left flank under the force field and supervised by the Warboss and banner Nob. Once again the Tankbustas were on the back of the Squiggoth and the Meganobz were in the belly of the Gorkanaut.

Turn one went to the Astra Militarum, who immediately slammed on the air brakes into hover mode across the army. One squad of Scions and an Officer of the Fleet (who called an air strike on the Gorkanaut) deployed out of a forward Valkyrie onto an objective, while the rest held back. Then there was a lot of gunfire. The white Boyz were focused on by the Valkyries, while the Vendettas and Scions shot up the Squiggoth and Gorkanaut. The Boyz survived with a handful of models, while I got pretty lucky to only take 8 damage from four lascannon wounds on Nipper Jr, and the 'naut made it through relatively well also.

My turn, and the Orks surged forward. The white ones ran away, to be replaced by an Unstoppable Green Tide of additional Boyz (onto an objective), while the pink ones did Da Jump to get to a central position. The small purple squad hung back on an objective, while the Killa Kans claimed the one on my left flank. Firepower from the Gorkanaut, Kans and Tankbustas damaged a Vendetta, but the real damage would come from melee...

The Gorkanaut and Boyz charged the very low flying Valkyrie, grabbing it out of the sky, as well as clearing up the Scion squad and the Fleet officer. This move left my Boyz somewhat exposed, but I was claiming all four objectives.

Turn two, the Astra Militarum scored zero points for holding objectives, but were fully in operation: kill the Orks. Everyone disembarked and formed up into a firing line, orders going across the line to reroll ones to hit. One flyer zoomed over to drop off the Inquisitor and her Commissar dog behind my characters, while the melta squads dropped in as well! There was a lot of bang bang. Warboss Redtoof and Big Mek Gubbinz both fell to meltaguns, while the Valkyrie finished off the banner Nob. Lascannons blasted the Gorkanaut, causing the Meganobs to tumble out onto the objective, ready to get charged by Bullgryns. Combined fire from multiple Scion squads and Valkyries completely wiped out the pink mob and reduced the white ones down to a mere 5 models after morale. Ouch!

The Inquisitor successfully charged Nipper Jr, reducing him down to 5 wounds with her 'wounds anything that's not a vehicle on 2+' relic. However in return the big Squig sat on her and she died. Elsewhere the Bullgryns charged the Meganobz, but good saves from both sides meant neither of us lost a model. A brutal turn of killing (in two turns Dan had effectively killed around 75 boyz!) and a point scored for Slay the Warlord.

Ork turn two, the Guard had pushed us off a couple of objectives, but we still held the ones on our half of the table, so two points and into the lead. I'd lost a lot of Orks, but against puny oomies, even a few boyz can do some real damage. I lined up to take back the lost objectives with the white mob remnants on the right flank and a Killa Kan charge into the Bullgryns on the left. First though, the Weirdboy teleported himself to a slightly safer position near the Squiggoth, leaving the small Boyz mob alone to guard the back field. Smite cleared a Bullgryn, before kans and Tankbustas downed the damaged Vendetta and hurting the other. Three planes left.

The charges were successful, Kans removed the Bullgryns and the Boyz reduced the Scion squad to a mere two models, taking that objective back. A successful counter punch, but there were plenty more oomies kicking about in our village!

Guard turn three, and once again no objectives held. One of the Scion units popped into the Vendetta, which zoomed over to harass the Weirdboy and Squiggoth, while the Valkyrie and melta troopers went hunting my objective holding purple squad. Shooting reduced the purple mob to just the nob, killed off two meganobz (taking them off an objective), and removed the white mob - though some strong Snakebite saves made it more of a challenge than it should have been. Thanks to previous damage the Vendetta failed to kill the Weirdboy or the Squiggoth.

Looking to secure an objective and remove the last model, the command Scions charged the purple Nob, but he survived on one would and killed three of them! Happy with his haul of dead oomies, he then ran off.

Orks turn three, I'd been shifted off three objectives but still held one, so up to 3 points. The Kans clanked onto an objective, looking pretty solid to hold it this time. Nipper Jr moved around to get the Tankbustas a shot at the couple of Scions that held the objective the white Mob died for. That was about it for things I could move! The Weirdboy then cracked his knuckles, and Jumped the lone Meganob over to face the lone melta gunner on my backfield objective. He followed it up with a super Smite on the Vendetta, destroying it utterly! Four of the scions died on the way out, and were looking like a tasty charge for Nipper Jr. Tankbustas only managed to frag one Scion, so that left them safe on at least one objective.

However both the charges were successful, the Squiggoth plowing into the Scions and goring a load more to death, while the Meganob pulped the melta gunner.

Going into guard turn four and Dan was suddenly also lacking in assets. He did pick up a point for an objective to make it 2-3 to me. The Meganob got melted and the Weirdboy got mauled to death by the 'commissar', I think, but otherwise not much could happen. At this point it was pretty clear the Guard didn't have the board presence to get back into the game, though the warlord's plane did move up to help clear an objective and present the opportunity of him falling out onto it if I blew up his ride!

Turn four, Kans held an objective, making it 4-2, and they went and murdered some Scions. With just the one objective safely held by the Guard for turn 5, I could just sit back and do nothing for the last couple of turns. But I decided it would be much more fun and Orky if I could blow up that plane and slay the warlord!

Nipper Jr got into position, alongside the Tankbustas who disembarked so they could get better shots at the flying tank. Using More Dakka they downed it, leaving the Tempestor Prime to parachute onto the objective...

And promptly be eaten by a big old squig. Going into turn five I was on 5 points with Slay the Warlord to 3, so there wasn't much to play for other than revenge...

The angry Commissar doggo charged the Squiggoth, enraged at the undignified death of it's master. It took a chunk out of the blue beast with it's powerfist/jaw, but it was then crunched up by Nipper Jr's big yellow teef.

Final score would be 6-3, a bloody but in the end convincing win for the Orks! WAAAGH!!!

That was an awesome game, so much fun seeing the guard zip all over the board and having little skirmishes everywhere. I was expecting my big stuff to die quickly, but I didn't quite anticipate the amount of dakka the Scions and their planes could put out to remove boyz! Still my tougher units managed to hold on to give me some tools to use at the end. Ultimately though, this game was won on objectives, as is so often the case with 9th edition.

Nipper Jr once again did me proud by surviving to the end. He and his Tankbustas did some real work this game, but I'm tempted to say the key unit was the Weirdboy. Da Jump got me units into positions to clear off objectives, and his mind bullets shot down a plane! Similarly to the last game, the Killa Kans were also unsung heroes, coming in under the radar to avoid being targeted and grabbing objectives. It's always a great game when both sides can point to a bunch of units that performed well - I think the Valkyries and various Scion infantry squads were the stars for the Imperials for sure.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading, and stay safe.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Cursed City - Done!


So I was one of the lucky ones who managed to get a copy of Cursed City on pre-order, before the apparently real world curse that GW can't talk about meant that it was taken off the shelves before it even went on them. With that in mind, I became especially committed to getting it all painted and actually playing the damn thing. We have managed to get in one session so far, which was pretty fun though a bit slow as we were learning the game, and I have now managed to finish off all the minis!

I decided that I wanted the set to come out a bit dark and spooky, but not too colourless and importantly, without putting too much actual work into it! I settled on going for a style inspired by Darkest Dungeon, slightly cartoony and with everything wreathed in black shadows.

My method for all the models was pretty similar. After building and adding a bit of detail to the bases (plasticard for some broken paving stones, sand for the rest), they get sprayed black (naturally), then drybrushed fairly heavily in grey. I used that grey to guide what areas of the model got painted and what was left black. There were some additional washes or layers for some colours, but most of it was a single coat over the grey. The whole miniature then got lathered in nuln oil, before some particularly important highlights were once again picked out (e.g. edges and creases of robes, edges of swords etc).

I used standard metallics for most of the metal sections, but the final highlights were often non metallic - as was the case for the skeletons above. I felt this gave it that slightly cartoony look to hint back to the inspiration.

Anyway, let's have a look at the individual minis in the light box...

The various markers from the game, gravestones, mysterious objects, weird zombie cats and greedy little gargoyle things. 

Some spooky bats and rats. Nothing too exciting, but I think the swarms are quite clever in how they are scultped.

The Ulfenwatch. These guys are some super cool skeletons, and I'm especially pleased with how they came out.

These zombies are great sculpts, full of cool little details (my favourite is the crow with an eyeball!) - I think this was the longest batch to paint of the lot! I went for mostly earthy tones for this lot since they've obviously been underground for a while.

The Vyrkos Blood-born are fun models, feral, bestial, kind of ghoulish vampires, but quite hard to take photos of. Their scheme was a fairly direct copy of the ghouls in Darkest Dungeon and I'm pretty happy with the result.

The Vargskyr was one of the last models I painted in the set, so I had a bit of fun going 'off brief'' from the box. This was again heavily inspired by a specific DD monster, in this case the Shrieker.

The Kosargi Nightguard were painted pretty similar to the standard scheme, though I did decide to give them white cuffs and insides of their coats rather than just more black. This had the unintended effect of making them look like zombie Santa. Ho ho ho!

Radukar's top three men, Torgillius, Halgrim and Gorslav. All very cool models, but Torgillius in particular was a bit of a slog, with a lot of details that I, perhaps foolishly, decided would all be various shades of brown. I did like doing his weird dog thing as a dirty old urban fox though.

Radukar the Wolf himself. The big boss was the final mini I painted of the batch, so I think I'd got the style down pretty well by this point. He should probably get a new sword though, that thing looks like it's seen better days!

Glaurio ven Alten III - seems like a bit of a fancy dresser, so I gave him a purple jacket to go with his shiny mirror.

Qulathis the Exile - I'm not usually a fan of elves, but this one came out really well I think. She looks like a proper warrior in darker tones and with a cheeky bit of Hellion warpaint.

Dagnai Holdenstock - there's something about this model that didn't really grab me. I really like a lot of the elements of it, but all together just feels a bit uninspiring. Oh well, he's done!

Octren Glimscry - this is the hero I was running during our game, he feels like he'll be pretty handy to have around when fighting bosses and the like, with lots of abilities to give out status effects. I took quite a departure from the official scheme for him, going for more of a creepy old hobo vibe.

Cleona Zeitengale - another model that didn't really excite me, so I did a relatively minimalist version of her scheme. 

Jelsen Darrock - one mean vampire hunter! He got a very muted scheme with almost everything just black or brown - but I think it really works on this mini. I particularly like the stakes, with the sharpened ends just about the brightest part of the model.

Emelda Braskov - aka Not-Brienne. More of a veteran crusader than a knight in shining armour in my version. Another that I'm particularly pleased with.

Finally, Brutogg Corpse-Eater - the hungry hungry Ogre was particularly nice to paint, being all big and chunky rather than thin and spindly like some of the others. I'm particularly happy with his shoulder bad and 'angry gammon' skin tone.

So there we have it, Cursed City done! Hope you enjoyed checking these out, and stay safe out there!