Friday, 15 July 2016

The Long War Battle 5

The Battle of the Boltgun 


Mission Source: Battle Missions
Mission: Cut and Run (Orks)
Points: 2000
Armies: Emperor's Shields Sternhammer Detachment / Tzeentch CAD

Following Ahriman's trouncing of the Librarian Conclave, an almost recovered Captain Lysander orders 3rd Company, with Dreadnought and 1st Company support, to take control of the battlefield, recover the bodies of the fallen Conclave and their bodyguard, and to capture Ahriman so that he can face justice for ten thousand years of treason.


Ahriman and his badly wounded protege had pilfered through the items of the fallen Librarians. They were both keen to explore the mysteries of the Bones of Osrak, but they knew that would have to wait when they watched a new wave misguided brethren disembarking from Thunderhawks and advancing on their position. The fools would never learn.

This mission is kill points, with Troops and Dedicated Transports worth 1 point, HQ 3 points, and everything else 2 points. We rolled randomly for the mission, since we had already done two of the Marine missions, and the last one is their Attack mission.

Emperor's Shields (Sternhammer IF Detachment) [Core]

Captain w/ Artificer Armour, Power Axe, Combi-melta
3 Dreadnoughts w/ Heavy Flamer, Assault Cannon
Tactical Squad 1 w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher
Tactical Squad 2 w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher
Tactical Squad 3 w/ Flamer, Missile Launcher
Assault Marine Squad, Power Sword, 2 x Flamer
Devastator Squad w/ 4 Plasma Cannons

1st Company Task Force [Auxilliary]

Vanguard Veterans, Power Sword
9 x Sternguard 1
9 x Sternguard 2


Tzeentch Combined Arms Detachment [Black Legion]

HQ
Ahriman
Sorcerer
T
Chosen w/ 4 Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Rhino
Chosen w/ 4 Plasma Guns, Plasma Pistol, Rhino
Thousand Sons Squad 1 (9 strong), Rhino
Thousand Sons Squad 2 (9 strong), Rhino
Thousand Sons Squad 3 (9 strong), Rhino
Thousand Sons Squad 4 (9 strong), Rhino


Setup

Mechanized line vs Infantry line.

Both Chosen squads Infiltrate thanks to Ahriman.

4 squads of 9 Thousand Sons in their rhinos ready to deliver some AP3 bolter rounds to their mortal enemies.



The Emperor's Shields Sternhammer Detachment takes cover among the many rock outcroppings.

The temporary Captain is ready to lead the Vanguard in a counter attack, Sternguard lurking nearby.

Assault Marines letting the Dreadnoughts lead the way into battle.

With an even chance of going first, both sides form into their respective lines, mechanized and infantry, but it's the Marines who win the initiative and get to strike first. Missiles spear out of the Marine lines, and the roar of assault cannons drowns out the popping of boltguns as the opening volley tears into the rhinos of the Thousand Sons. The opening salvo of the battle erupted during the pre-dawn gloom, enhancing the usefulness of cover.

Turn 1 Marines

First Blood is scored as a Rhino is wrecked, and Thousand Sons squad 1 ravaged by Hellfire rounds.

Assault Marines wreck another Rhino, pinning the unfortunate Chosen squad.

Smoke fills the sky early in the battle.

The Dreadnoughts lead the way forward, trying to forge a safe path for their brethren to follow in.

Dreadnoughts and Missile Launcher teams enjoy the smoke rising from the 
friuts of their labours, while they eye their next target.

3 Missile Launchers and 3 Assault Cannons combine to just wreck a Thousand Sons rhino. The Sternguard unload some Hellfire ammunition into the heretics. Being Fearless ensures the survivors aren't going anywhere except forward.

The Assault squad pulls off a 10” charge after throwing a krak grenade for a glance, hitting the as yet not moving rhino automatically with another krak grenade in the assault, and then tearing it into a wreck with the shriek of roaring chainsaws. The Chosen of Tzeentch pile out of their wrecked ride, fingering their plasma guns and pistols, but the speed and ferocity of the Marine assault, not to mention trying to extricate themselves from the wreckage of their trusty rhino, finds them Pinned for the time being.

The Plasma Cannon Devastators targeted a third Rhino, but not only did their shots scatter badly, but one of their weapons overheated, wounding 1 Marine.


Emperor's Shields: 3 (2 x Rhino, First Blood)
Tzeentch: 0


Turn 1 Tzeentch


So right here is where we definitely got some things wrong. The biggest thing we made a mistake on in this battle was during Turn 1 Ttzeentch rolled to manifest Doombolt (correctly), rolled to hit (incorrectly) and Marines rolled to Deny (correctly) and Cover Saves (correctly), where applicable. During this Psychic phase, of the 6 Doombolts cast, 2 failed to manifest, 3 failed to hit (incorrectly), and the remaining 1 power that got through only glanced. We are pretty sure the course of this battle was altered fairly severely at this point. And it wasn't until Turn 2 Tzeentch Psychic phase we realized our mistake. So, keep that in mind as you continue reading. Trust us, we won't make that mistake again!

That's a lot of AP3 bolters, and a lot of gone to ground Marines.

Doombolts and AP3 bolter rounds light up the early morning darkness.

The Thousand Sons thin the front line some, but Doombolt didn't stop the Dreads.

9 Plasma shots only kills 4 Assault Marines, but they do break.

The view from the attic of the bombed out Temple.

The three remaining rhinos full of Thousand Sons advance and the passengers disembark, readying their lethal boltguns. The Thousand Sons who lost their ride also advance, readying a Doombolt for the Dread that help cripple their Transport. Both Ahriman and the Sorceror prepared to Doombolt their own Dreads.

Thousand Sons squad 1, with their ride gone, advanced and tried to Doombolt the Dread, and missed(incorrectly.) Ahriman cast Doombolt 3 times at Dread 3, failed to cast once, missed once, and the Dread made the last Cover save. He also cast Tzeentch Firestorm at the Plasma Cannon Devastators and killed 4 of them, with some help from the rhinos. Thousand Sons squad 2 targeted Tac Team 3b (w/ Missile Launcher), they went to ground, only losing 1. Thousand Sons squad 3 fired at Tac Team 2a, who went to ground, losing 2. Thousand Sons squad 4 fired at Tac Team 1a, who went to ground, but lost 3. At this point, Ahriman was not pleased. With the mass Doombolt's failing, none of the marine squads wiped out and three functional Dreads about to charge and tie up his Thousand squads in close combat, things were not going as planned.

Ahriman was pleased that the Captain, initially worried about the Infiltrating Chosen on his flank, had moved that way with the Vanguard Veterans. It was about the only thing going well.

On the Tzeentch left flank, the Pinned Chosen (Purple) tried to fire at the Assault Marines, but only managed to lose one of their own as his ancient plasma gun exploded on him. The other Chosen (Green) fired their plasma guns and pistols into the Assault Marines, killing4 and making the survivors fall back.


Emperor's Shields: 3 (2 x Rhino, First Blood)
Tzeentch: 0


Turn 2 Marines


With the Tzeentch force disembarked and the two firing lines only meters apart, the Emperor's Shields took careful aim and let loose their own bolter volley in the now early, though smoky morning sun.

Bolter fire crisscrosses the battlefield.

The three Sorcerers are feeling kind of lonely with out their automatons.

Auto-rallying and avoiding plasma Overwatch, the Assault Marines wipe out the Green Chosen squad.

The survivors of Tac Team 1a and 2a snap fired at Thousand Sons squad 4, along with Dread 1 firing his Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer, and Tac Team 1b joing ing as well, killing 2.
Dread 2 fired his Assault Cannon and Heavy Flamer at Thousand Sons squad 3, killing 1.
Dread 1 fired at Thousand Sons squad 2, killing 3.
Tac Team 3a and Sternguard 2 fired at Thousand Sons squad 1, killing 4, leaving just the Aspiring Sorceror.
The Captain and Vanguard Veterans, seeing that the Assault Marines were holding the flank, moved back toward the Thousand Sons firing line and Ahriman.

On the Tzeentch left flank, the Assault Marines auto-rally, hit the Chosen (Green) with a flamer and 5 bolt pistol shots, charge and wipe them out, including the Veteran Sergeant who gladly accepted the Challenge made by the Power Axe weilding Chosen Champion and then cut him down with his Power Sword. They consolidated up to the rock outcrop to get some protection from the now un-Pinned Chosen(Purple) squad.

Dread 1 and 2 both failed to charge into their respective targets, leaving them rather ripe Doombolt targets. Not being able to reliably make 4" charges is becoming rather annoying.


Emperor's Shields: 4 (2 x Rhino, First Blood, Green Chosen)
Tzeentch: 0

Turn 2 Tzeentch


This turn we did some reading, that we should have done the previous turn to determine exactly how beams worked, since it seemed pretty obvious upon reading the Tzeentch powers that Doombolt was the Go To power for dealing wirh light and medium armour. 25 minuted later, we commenced upon the second Psychic phase, though it didn't go much better, but at least we got the rules right.

Ahriman moves up to support the front line, but his (properly cast) Doombolts can't penetrate the ruins, even though the gloom has faded.

Brutal short ranged firefight, with Doombolts and Tzeentch Firestorms for additional awesomeness.

A different view of the action.

Marines making the best use of cover to draw fire.

Over on the Tzeentch left flank, the remaining Chosen move into position and unload their Plasma guns at the Assault Marines, but fail to kill any.

Aspiring Champion right where he wants to be. Safe from shooting for the moment, but within striking distance of Sternguard.

Ahriman is somewhat distressed as the Marine firing line is still intact and advancing.

Ahriman was getting concerned at the rate with which he was losing Thousand Sons warriors. The three Dreadnoughts chewing through his followers kept him in their sights. Ahriman could feel his focus slipping, as he felt the power of the Warp ebb out of him momentarily. (rolled a 2 for Psychic phase)
Ahriman fired 2 Doombolts at Dread 1, finally exploding him 2D6”, cast his third Doombolt at Dread 2, who made his Cover save. He also cast Tzeentch Firestorm at Tac Team 2b, killing 3, which also hit the last Plasma Devastator, but he made his save.
The Sorceror cast Tzeentch Firestorm at Sternguard 2, killing 1.
The solo Aspiring Sorceror from Thousand Sons squad 1 fired Doombolt at Tac Team 3a, and then charged them through the resulting Overwatch.
Between the exploding Dread 1, the rhino combi-bolter fire and Thousand Sons squad 3, the previously injured Tac Teams 1a and 2a were wiped out.


Emperor's Shields: 4 (2 x Rhino, First Blood, Green Chosen)
Tzeentch: 4 (Dread 1, Tac 1a, Tac 2a)


Turn 3 Marines


Smoke columns indicate an imminent Astartes victory as the Thousand Sons battleline is disintegrating.

Rhino trying to hem in a rampaging Dreadnought, and protect the infantry.


The Captain and Vanguard are not sure where they should be.


Thousand Sons apparently don't get issued krak grenades. Who knew?

Assault Marines look for another target amid the smoke and wreckage.

Dreadnoughts do not fear AP3 bolters, or infantry without krak grenades.

Sternguard 2 loaded Hellfire rounds again,and downed the Sorceror, his Terminator armour not enough to save him.
Sternguard 1 threw a krak grenade at the orange rhino, which did nothing, then assaulted it, using another krak grenade, and finishing it off with their gauntlet-clad hands.
The Plasma Cannon Devastator combined with the remnants of Tac Team 2b below him to hammer the rhino before them with a krak grenade, krak missile and plasma blast, which was enough to destroy it, sending yet another pillar of smoke into the bruised sky.
Dread 2 fired into Thousand Sons squad 3, then waded into the survivors, but even his Power Fist couldn't get past their psychic save.
The 2 members left from Tac Team 1b fired their pistols at Thousand Sons squad 4, then charged in. Overwatch fire of AP3 dropped the missile launcher, but the last marine made it, swinging his bolter.
On the far flank, the Assault Marines jumped up, hit the Chosen with a Flamer and 5 Bolt Pistol shots, then charged through Overwatching Plasma to annihilate the unit.


Emperor's Shields: 10 (4 x Rhino, First Blood, 2 x Chosen, Sorcerer)
Tzeentch: 4 (Dread 1, Tac 1a, Tac 2a)


Turn 3 Tzeentch




Ahriman begins his fighting withdrawl.

Thousand Sons squad 4 kill the remaining Marine, only to see the Captain and Vanguard trotting towards them.

Between Hellfire rounds and krak grenades, Sternguard are dominating this battlefield.

Assault Marines finish off the Purple Chosen squad, again avoiding Overwatch casualties.

Astartes overrunning the Thousand Sons battle line.

The smoke from so many destroyed vehicles darkens the sky once more.

Ahriman knew the battle was lost. Making a fighting withdrawl, he fired Doombolts at the nearest Dread 3 to keep it suppressed, but could only glance it. In a final attempt at retribution, he manifest Tzeentch Firestorm at Sternguard 1, but only managed to kill 1 Marine.


Emperor's Shields: 10 (4 x Rhino, First Blood, 2 x Chosen, Sorcerer)
Tzeentch: 5 (Dread 1, Tac 1a, Tac 1b, Tac 2a)


Turn 4 Marines


Dreads 2 & 3 want revenge for their fallen brother.

One unit wrecking crew, Assault Marines continue crushing all resistance single-handedly on their flank.

While hard to tell from this vantage point, the Captain and Vanguard veterans, in the upper part of the picture, killed 3 of the 4 remaining Thousand Sons right on the board edge with their pistols, leaving only the Aspiring Sorcerer.

Emperor's Shields advancing to capture Ahriman before he can escape.
Dread 3 crashed through the ruins that had sheltered him from the Doombolts, and swept into the rear of the Thousand Sons fighting Dread 2. With his sensors tracking Ahriman backing his way off the field, he was urgent to dispatch the mystic warriors, but time and again their armour held as he tried to crush them in the maw of his powerfist.

The Assault Marines, having dealt with 2 different 5 man Chosen of Tzeentch squads and 1 Rhino, turn their attention to the last enemy on this flank, throwing a krak grenade at it, hitting it with another in the assault, and finishing it off with the sound of rending metal as their chainswords gashed through the exterior adamantium into the engine compartment.


Emperor's Shields: 11 (5 x Rhino, First Blood, 2 x Chosen, Sorcerer)
Tzeentch: 5 (Dread 1, Tac 1a, Tac 1b, Tac 2a)


Turn 4 Tzeentch


Ahriman psychically called to his last disciple, ordering him to bring the last Rhino so they could remove themselves from the battlefield. While those fools would call this a victory, he knew better. The Bones of Osrak talisman was safely ensconced under his armour. It would not take him long to discover its' secrets, and its use. He would return, more powerful than before. 

But before he could make good his escape, he found himself looking down the barrels of a squad of Sternguard as they racked the bolts back on their bolters, mags full of hellfire rounds. Round after round richoceted off his armour, but some did get through. He felt pain sear in his arm, and one of his legs. He realized he was lying on the ground, alarms ringing in his ancient armour indicating multiple breaches. 

As the last Aspiring Sorcerer loaded him into the rhino, through the haze and pain of being near dead, Ahriman realized the talisman was lying in the rubble where he had fallen. The ultimate punishment his brothers could unleash on him was the denial of new knowledge. He would have his revenge, what was left of his soul burned for it.

Emperor's Shields: 19 (Rhino x 5, First Blood, Slay the Warlord, 2x Thousand Sons squads, 2 x Tzeentch Chosen squads, Sorcerer, Ahriman)
Tzeentch: 5 (Dread 1, Tac 1a, Tac 1b, Tac 2a)

Summary

What a brutal fight that turned out to be. It's rare to see short ranged firefights turn after turn. And I don't think I've ever seen Assault Marines perform that well. Someone is getting a promotion!!

The Chaos Codex is starting to show it's age, as the new Sternhammer Detachment, with re-rolling all bolter To Hit rolls, allows for a steady rate of attrition on enemy infantry.

Next time, the Marines face a tough challenge, as they have to launch a full scale assault deep into the enemy territory, with the Vanguard Assault mission. The forces of papa Nurgle stand in their way!!

No comments:

Post a comment