Back on the table again, and another 40k game against James P, this time with the Orks! 2000 points, playing the Priority Target from the Grand Tournament pack - five objectives, one central, the players get to move the corner objectives 6 inches.
I took what I intended to be a fairly strong list, focused on a big load of boyz and some hard hitting specialist units. I took a Feral Orks battalion (3d6 pick the highest advance and 6 inch pile in) and a Boomboyz patrol (+1 Strength and AP to rokkit and other explosive weapons). I also spend a few CP on upgrading characters and the Battlewagon, though I got one back for my warlord trait. For my secondaries I picked the obligatory Bring it Down and Thin Their Ranks, and the mission specific secondary - Priority Targets. This would give me points for holding one or both of the priority objectives - secretly chosen by the players from the ones that end up in their deployment zones. As long as I held mine I'd be getting 3 points a turn, so seemed a good pick.
HQ: Warboss (kombi-skorcha, Da Killa Klaw, Da Biggest Boss, Follow Me Lads!), Weirdboy (Warphead, Da Jump, Warpath)
Troops: 2x 30 Boyz (Powerklaw), 2x 10 Boyz (Powerklaw)
Elites: Nob with WAAAGH Banner, 9 Nobz (8 big choppas, pair of killsaws)
HQ: Big Mek with Kustom Force Field
Troops: 2x 10 Boyz (Shootas, powerklaw, big shoota)
Elites: 12 Tankbustas
Fast Attack: 3 Deffkoptas (3 twin rokkits)
Heavy Support: Battlewagon (Kill kannon, 4 big shootas, Kustom Job: Forktress)
JP took a similar core to his list as last time, swapping out some ranged firepower for board control elements. Still plenty of gun though! Custom regiment rules same as before: +6 inches on heavy weapons and reroll a dice for number of shots). He also took two tank aces, to make his Basilisk a flat 3 damage and the Punisher cannon -1 AP. His secondaries were Thin Their Ranks (naturally), Engage on All Fronts and Deploy Scramblers (from the tournament pack - you have to perform an action with an infantry unit in your deployment zone, no man's land, and your enemy's deployment zone).
HQ: Tank Commander (Demolisher, lascannon, plasma cannons), Tank Commander (Punisher cannon, 3 heavy bolters, Tank Ace)
Troops: 2x20 Conscripts, 4x10 Guardsmen
Elites: 8 Bullgryns, Priest, Astropath (Psychic Barrier), Platoon Commander (Kurov's Aquila)
Fast Attack: 2x Hellhound (heavy flamer)
Heavy Support: Wyvern (heavy bolter, hunter killer), Basilisk (Tank Ace, heavy bolter, hunter killer)
Transports: 2x Chimera (heavy bolter, heavy flamer)
I think that's it? They might all be in the right slots as well!
Deployment done, I opted to have everything on the table, with the Nobz in the Trukk and the Tankbustas in their wagon. Tried to hide units where possible but I was covering most of my deployment zone. James had a couple of guardsmen squads loaded up in the Chimeras, and had a couple of Hellhounds behind the hill on the right of the board. We rolled off, and the Guard won first turn. I splurged 3 CP on increasing my force field range to 18 inches, covering almost my entire army.
The Astra Militarum rolled out, Chimeras on the left flank and Hellhounds on the right moving up to cover objectives and screen out some ground, with the Bullgryns charging up the centre, supported by the Priest and Astropath. Then shooting happened, and I braced myself. Though I wasn't able to completely hide from the tanks, the terrain did mean James didn't have all the optimal firing lines. The Demolisher nuked my Trukk, and a few Nobz died on the way out. They looted their ride for +1 save, but still lost more due to fire from a Hellhound and elsewhere. The Basilisk targeted the Battlewagon, and reduced it to it's middle bracket, along with the secondary guns from the Demolisher. The Wyvern and the Punisher targeted my two 30-man squads, and due to some fairly poor rolling, only managed to kill 8 and 9 Boyz respectively. I was very surprised to have weathered the storm!
Orks turn one, and da boyz were on the move! I mobbed up the pink squad on the flank with the 10 blue boyz, making a unit of 32 with two power klaws, advancing up the field toward the centre. The white ones ran up towards a Chimera (which got blown up by the Tankbustas in the wagon). The Deffkoptas zoomed up the left flank to deny an objective and get some (ineffective) shots at the Punisher. I considered for a long time disembarking the Tankbustas and using Da Jump to get them in range to fire at the Punisher, but after measuring and remeasuring, I found, thanks to the Chimeras moving forward, I could have got a single Ork in range, so didn't bother. I did however put Warpath on the big mobbed up Boyz squad.
In the charge phase, the Nobz made it into the Hellhound, and the Boyz charged the Bullgryns. The Guardsmen in the Chimera that got busted wisely got out of the back and out of charge range. I managed to bring down a couple of the Bullgryns and damage the Hellhound heavily, more importantly getting in range of the central objective to deny points.
In Guard turn 2, they picked up 10 points for the Primaries, then got into position to do more damage. Two of the Koptas fell, as did the Nobz to the Hellhound in combat. The other Hellhound rolled up and roasted my 10 strong Boyz mob holding my priority objective, though luckily I still had a character nearby. The Punisher and Wyvern teamed up to cull most of the white unit of Boyz, leaving a few left. The Demolisher opted not to fire at them, instead finishing off the Battlewagon, one of the Tankbustas getting caught in the wreckage.
In melee the Boyz and Bullgryns continued to butt heads, reducing the Boyz to below 20 in exchange for a couple more 'gryns. I made a hefty mistake here, I could have used my 6 inch pile in to get boyz around the front of that Hellhound to claim the central objective!
The remnants of the white mob were looking at a failed morale check, but thinks to the extended aura range of the Warboss he was able to Break 'Eads and cause d3 mortal wounds instead, leaving them in place. Though he would then tell them to go away and get more Boyz, because at the start of my turn it was time for an Unstoppable Green Tide!
Da Boyz ran on to cover my flank from that nasty Hellhound. I would have liked to get them further up the field to do some real damage, but again the forward push from the guard tanks stopped me. It did mean I was pretty secure on my priority objective though. In the psychic phase the Weirdboy managed to cast Warpath on the boyz and not kill himself, despite rolling two perils. I got the 10 points for two objectives, keeping it close, before the Tankbustas opened up. A cheeky Tankbusta bomb polished off the central Hellhound, and the rest of them lit up the Demolisher. The Boomboyz buff really helped out, killing the command tank with relative ease. With Bring it Down, I'd now gone into the lead!
In the charge phase my lone Deffkopta charged the Punisher to force it's target priority, just about surviving the overwatch. The new white mob charged the Hellhound (and made a meal out of killing it over the next few phases), but the Warboss, who had moved up to the centre, failed the charge on the Bullgryns! The mixed Boyz mob still did good work on them, but it left Redtoof himself badly exposed, and I think his attacks in there might have been vital for the next turn.
Guard turn 3, more forward movement from the remaining (now damaged) Chimera, heading towards my deployment zone and for it's squad to deploy scanners. The squad in the other one moved up to claim the objective, while the two characters supporting the Bullgryns advanced onto the central objective opposed by the Warboss.
Shooting from the Punisher finished off the Deffkopta and the little purple mob, removing my presence on the left flank. The Wyvern obliterated the Tankbustas, thanks to them only losing one member when they got out of their ride, leaving them on 11 models. (Note to self - take them in units of 10!) Then the basilisk fired at the Warboss, since he was no longer within 3 inches of anything. Two hits and wounds with the flat 3 damage Earthshaker cannon, and thanks to being Da Biggest Boss, he survived on one wound!
At this stage I was about to fall behind on points and was running out of bodies, but the Boyz fought hard, nearly killing the Bullgryns, but for a CP reroll on a failed save. In my turn 3 I only picked up 5 for the primary, putting me firmly on the back foot. I tried to use the Weirdboy to smite the last Bullgryn, but he rolled a third perils and exploded. He was close enough to kill the Bullgryn, but also hit the one wound Warboss, giving him an ignoble end!
The Boyz, free from the Bullgryns, managed a charge onto the conscripts on the hill, and the other priority objective. However without the movement they would have had if they had killed the Bullgryn, they were unable to get enough up the hill to claim it.
Guard turn 4 was mostly mopping up and moving out. The big white mob that finally killed the Hellhound was removed, as were a few more boyz here and there. I was left with enough boyz however to claim my objective and for them to finally take control of the hill to get the 5 points at the end of my turn for holding both priority objectives!
I wasn't expecting to have a turn 5, but due to some slightly lax target priority (which was fair enough, the guard were definitely ahead) I actually had a few boyz left and was holding two objectives for a cheeky 10 points!
Final scores, with painting included, 91 to the Guard, 72 the the Orks. A loss, but a much closer game from the last one, and I think one which hinged on a few key points. It was a fun, but exhausting game, with over 200 models on the table between us! I think if I were to take Orks like this to a tournament, I'd have to grab a dice app, because my hands were struggling with all the attacks from even a fraction of a Boyz mob!
We spoke at length about where the game was won and lost (among many other things), and I think the key element was the effective screening out of my ability to target the Punisher with the Tankbustas. If I had first turn perhaps I could busted it, instead of the Demolisher, which isn't nearly as scary for my Boyz. I think also the Warboss failing the charge, and then the Bullgryns sticking around an extra turn was quite big. Without them holding the line I might have had Boyz all over the guard flank, might have secured the other objective earlier, and might have shut down the Wyvern. Even though the guns were scary, the game was really won by the forward elements keeping me away from them. James spoke about how in 9th the static gunline doesn't work for various reasons, and how it's much more fun as a guard player to be actually moving around the board.
We also spoke about the terrain, and how much of a difference it makes now. It was a very nice looking board, but also very functional with lots of obscuring and some dense terrain. It didn't stop him shooting all his guns, but it stopped him from focusing fire effectively, splitting damage between my units and giving me a shot at this game when going second.
I've been thinking about how my army performed and what I would do or take differently. Other than dropping two tankbustas, I'm not really sure. Most of it did more or less what it was supposed to (apart from the Warboss failing to get into combat), and I was definitely in the game, being ahead after turn 2, so all in all I'm pretty happy with it. I think an army like this is a bit of a hard counter to my horde preferences, there are definitely some lists out there that just won't have the rate of fire to remove them, or their specialist units to do so will be harder to protect (e.g. Aggressors are shorter ranged and quite vulnerable to rokkit fire). Perhaps the Nobz are the weakest link in the list, but they are set up to kill marines really, though perhaps I need to squeeze in some ammo runts to die in the Trukk wreckage! I'm not for a minute saying this a tournament winning list, but I definitely think it's a good strong core for a semi-competitive game.
Anyway, we both had fun, and the game looked cool for the all important Instagram phase. Hope you enjoyed the read, feel free to let me know what you think, and stay safe!