Thursday, 26 December 2019

Damocles Crusade Campaign Battle 1

Maelstrom of War - Kill Confirmed

Mission Source: Chapter Approved 2017
Mission: Maelstrom of War - Kill Confirmed
Points: 2000
Armies: Imperial Fists / Tau Empire

The forces of the Imperium are determined to reclaim the worlds lost to the ever encroaching Tau Empire on the Imperium side of the Damocles Gulf. Leading one of the strike forces is Captain Hektor, recently promoted to lead the third company when Lysander was promoted to be Captain of the First. Upon making planetfall, they find themselves face to face with Commander Shadowsun, and her minions.




Army Lists

Space Marines - Imperial Fists - 111 PL - 2000 points
Imperial Fists Battalion
HQ Chaplain Krysaor, Bolter, Crozius Arcanum, Rosarius, Catechism of Fire, Litany of Hate
HQ Chapter Master Hektor, Grav Pistol, Relic Blade, Iron Halo

T Tactical Squad - 5 Marines, Melta Bombs, Gravgun
T Tactical Squad - 5 Marines, Melta Bombs, Gravgun
T Tactical Squad - 5 Marines, Melta Bombs

EL Relic Deredeo Dreadnought, Anvillus AC, Twin Heavy Bolters, Aiolos Missiles
EL Venerable Dreadnought, Assault Cannon, Dreadnought CCW, Storm Bolter

Imperial Fists Spearhead
HQ Librarian Xenocrates, Bolt Pistol, Force Stave, Wrack & Ruin, Chasm, Smite
HQ Master of the Forge Dexomenon, Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Servo-arm
       The Eye of Hypnoth <WARLORD>

Devastator Squad, 3 Heavy Bolters, Missile Launcher, Armorium Cherub
Land Raider Achilles, Quad Launcher, 2 Twin Multi-meltas
Land Raider Crusader, 2 Hurricane Bolters, Twin Assault Cannon, Multi-Melta, Storm Bolter
Predator, Twin Lascannon, 2 Heavy Bolters, Storm Bolter, Hunter Killer Missile
Predator, Twin Lascannon, 2 Heavy Bolters, Storm Bolter, Hunter Killer Missile
Thunderfire Cannon
Imperial Fists Mechanized Task Force


Tau Empire - Tau Sept - 120 PL - 1998 points
Tau Brigade
HQ Commander Shadowsun, 2 Fusion Blasters <WARLORD>
HQ Darkstrider, Markerlight, Pulse Carbine
HQ Longstrike, Smart Missile System (SMS), Ion Cannon, 2 Seeker Missiles

T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles
T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles
T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles
T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles
T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles
T  Strike Team (Shas'ui w/ Markerlight, Pulse Rifle, 5 Fire Warriors w/ Pulse Rifles

EL Dahyak Grekh
EL Firesight Marksman, Markerlight
EL Firesight Marksman, Markerlight
EL Firesight Marksman, Markerlight

FA Pathfinder Team (10 Pathfinders, Pulse Carbine, Markerlight)
FA Piranha Squadron (4 Piranhas, Fusion Blaster, 2 Gun Drones, 2 Seeker Missiles)
FA Tactical Drones (5 Gun Drones)

HS Hammerhead, Railgun, SMS, 2 Seeker Missiles
HS Hammerhead, Railgun, SMS, 2 Seeker Missiles
HS Hammerhead, Railgun, SMS, 2 Seeker Missiles

DT Devilfish, Burst Cannon, 2 Gun Drones
DT Devilfish, Burst Cannon, 2 Gun Drones
DT Devilfish, Burst Cannon, 2 Gun Drones


Tau Sept Mechanized Quick Response Cadre



Pregame

Warlord Traits
Imperial Fists - Master of the Machine: +1 to hit for VEHICLES within 6"
Tau Sept - Exemplar of the Kauyon: WL re-roll failed hits when immobile

Psyker Powers
Librarian Xenocrates: Wrack and Ruin, Chasm, Smite



Deployment

The battlefield (not completely finished yet)

Imperial Fists finish deploying first, with most infantry units
embarked in their transports.

Deploying a Brigade, even with infantry mounted in transports,
the Tau accept they usually will not get the +1 bonus. 

An overview of the faceoff.

Imperial Fists and Tau Sept tied on the roll off, but the +1 for finishing deploying first gave the Imperial Fists the edge they needed to strike the first blow!

Seize the Initiative
The Tau Sept, under the brilliant leadership of Commander Shadowsun, steal the initiative, and prepare to launch a crippling alpha strike.


Turn 1 - Tau Sept

Commander Shadowsun declares Kauyon, granting re-rolls on to hit rolls to all units within 6".

At least the Tau can score two of the obj's...

...since they are deployed on Obj 1...

...and Obj 3.

Darkstrider Markerlights the Crusader on a 2+, and 1 CP
adds 3 more ML hits. 


The Firesight Marksmen added 1 ML hits to the Crusader,
while the Pathfinders put 5 ML hits on the Achilles.
Longstrike then puts 11 wounds on the Crusader, and it is
wrecked by Hammerhead 1. Hammerhead 2 and 3 fail
to do any damage to the Achilles at all.
Just for reference, 5 Markerlight hits is the prime number, past that there is no further bonus. But 5 hits gives you re-roll 1's to hit, fire Seeker Missiles at BS (including modifiers), Ignore Cover, No penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons or Advancing and firing Assault weapons, and +1 to hit. Yeah, pretty sweet.



After Devilfish 1 fires its' 2 Seeker missiles into the Achilles,
causing 6 W, Focused Fire adds +1 to wound.

And when something really needs to die, you need to
re-roll failed wounds. Especially when you unload 8 seeker
missiles from Piranhas into an Achilles. They wrecked it
in spectacular fashion, it did not explode, and then 3 Devastators
 died trying to get out of the burning twisted wreckage.

The results of the Tau alpha strike. It could have been worse.
Those infantry were out of range of almost 75 S5 shots on
the Tau vehicles. The Deredeo also ate 4 Seeker missiles
from Devilfish 2 and 3 for 6 W.

Score
Tau Sept:        3 (2 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles), First Strike)
Imperial Fists: 0

Tau Sept discarded Blood and Guts Tactical Objective.


Turn 1 - Imperial Fists

Chaplain Krysaor's Catechism of Fire is inspiring.

Shoot stuff, and capture two objectives...

For Disciplined Firepower, the Imperial Fists choose 3 targets to kill to maximize their points.

...this one...

...and this one. At least both sides are drawing evenly.

The infantry, tanks and heroes all advance, determined to
close with and destroy the foul Xeno filth infesting this world.

The Thunderfire Cannon (TFC) starts by lobbing anti-tank
rounds at Longstrike...

...twice, causing 10 wounds. Hitting on 2+, wounding on 4+
at AP -2 with 8d3 shots should hurt most things.

Taking careful aim at Longstrike with his Twin Lascannon and
Hunter Killer missile...

...turns a hero of the fire caste...

...into a small mushroom cloud which doles out some
collateral damage.

The Deredeo, 2 Predators and Venerable Dread combined
 their fire to wreck 2 Devilfish, one Hammerhead, killing 4 Fire Warriors,
and the Tac Marines combined to kill 7 Pathfinders, and the surviving
3 fled in the Morale phase.


Score
Tau Sept:          3 (2 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles), First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 11 (5 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike)
                             (5 Obj Points (3 for Killing 3 units, Secure Obj 5, Secure Obj 6)
                             (First Strike)



Turn 2 - Tau

Get Marines to charge. Easy. Claim two objectives they are
already on. Doable.

Tau sweep forward, just begging the Fists to try to charge them.

5 Gun Drones drop in to harass the TFC. They manage 1
 wound.


That Devilfish assaulted Chapter Master Hektor, took 3 W
and then Consolidated into the two remaining TAC marines
while claiming the objective..

This shooting phase was a mess. Fire Warrior Shas'ui's firing markerlights, their troops rapid firing into marine power armour, Smart Missiles from Hammerheads ripping up power armour and Railguns and Fusion Blasters tagging Predators. The order in which a Tau shooting phase is executed is SOOOOO damn important, you can win or lose games by how well you do it.

Anyway, two dead TAC squads and a dead Predator later, the score is closer.

Score
Tau Sept:          8 (5 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1)
                             (2 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2)
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 11 (5 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike)
                             (5 Obj Points (3 for Killing 3 units, Secure Obj 5, Secure Obj 6)
                             (First Strike)





Turn 2 - Imperial Fists

Get 3 Infantry units in Cover. Doable. Don't Fall Back. Doable.
Defend the objective in the intersection. Difficult.

That's a lot of stuff to try to sweep off an objective with
rapidly diminishing resources.

First things first. Three Infantry units in Cover. Librarian,
 Chaplain, Techmarine. Done. Standing on yellow gives
 Infantry a Cover save in my city. All yellow counts a Ruins.

TFC doing his thing again, targeting a Hammerhead. And
he fails utterly doing no damage. Unfortunate.

The Venerable Dread rounds the corner and lights up the
Piranhas with his Assault Cannon...

...then charges in...

...manages to only kill one Piranha, and Consolidates
 into the nearest unit of Fire Warriors.

Between the Deredeo, the remaining Predator, the TFC
(which did nothing), and the two surviving Heavy Bolter
Dev's, they manage to finish off the two Hammerheads,
 but no explosions. Also, Chapter Master Hektor put another
 5 W on the Devilfish, but the Fists couldn't clear objective 2.


Score
Tau Sept:          8 (5 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1)
                             (2 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2)
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 14 (7 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                  2 Hammerheads)
                             (6 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover),)
                             (First Strike)





Turn 3 - Tau

Kill something that charged. Possible. Secure Obj 6 (TFC)
 Possible. Secure Obj D6 = 1. Doable.

Secure Objective 1 completed.

Favorite picture from this game. Piranha's swoop
 into attack position of the Predator.

The Tau advance.

Gun Drones Advance onto Obj 6.

An EMP grenade, Shadownsun and some pulse rifle fire take down the
Venerable Dreadnought.


Score
Tau Sept:          13 (7 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 1 TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1, Ven                                                               Dread)
                             (5 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2, The Lure, Sec Obj 6, Sec Obj 1)
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 14 (7 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                  2 Hammerheads)
                             (6 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover), )
                             (First Strike)





Turn 3 - Imperial Fists

Chaplain Krysaor's Litany of Hate is Inspiring.

Pick 3 Obj and hold them for two turns. Possible.
Still can't Fall Back. Possible.
Defend Obj 2. Possible.

Marine heroes prepare to save the day.

Master of the Forge staying within 6" and staying out of
Line of Sight, allowing the Deredeo and the Pred to kill a
Piranha and the last Devilfish. Various other shooting killed
the Drones on Obj 6 and some Fire Warriors. Also, the Librarian
wiped a 6 man Strike Team via Psychic powers alone.

Chaplain Krysaor, leading by example, charges into three
teams worth of Overwatch, and goes down uttering litanies of hate.

Chapter Master Hektor is wounded twice while flanking the Strike Team
on his charge...

...and he makes them pay for their audacity with his Relic
blade, claiming Obj 2. Now he has to hold it for a turn.


Score
Tau Sept:          13 (7 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 1 TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1, Ven                                                               Dread)
                             (5 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2, The Lure, Sec Obj 6, Sec Obj 1)
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 18 (10 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                   2 Hammerheads, FW 1, FW 2, Drones)
                             (7 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover), 
                                                    Death Before Dishonour)
                             (First Strike)





Turn 4 - Tau

Kill the enemy. Check. Kill the Warlord. Difficult (Master of the
Forge). Secure 3 Obj. Done.

Tau Sept controlling Obj's 1, 3 and 4.

After watching Librarian Xenocrates vaporize 6 of her Fire Warriors, Shadowsun shoots him in the face with a Fusion Blaster. Twice. Just returning the vaporization present.

In a desperate attempt to keep the Imperial Fists off the objectives, the Fire Warriors assault...

...and assault some more, but missed with the EMP grenade.


Score
Tau Sept:         19 (9 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 1 TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1, Ven                                                               Dread, Chapter Master, Librarian)
                             (9 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2, The Lure, Sec Obj 6, Sec Obj 1)
                                                     1 (Overwhelming Firepower), 3 (Supremacy))
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 18 (10 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                   2 Hammerheads, FW 1, FW 2, Drones)
                             (7 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover), 
                                                    1 (Death Before Dishonour))
                             (First Strike)





Turn 4 - Imperial Fists

Possibly a lot of points for holding Obj 2, 5 and 6.
And two objectives the Fists can't obtain.

The Master of the Forge prepares his power axe...

...but the Deredeo kills 2 Strike Teams and the last Piranha
before assaulting the last surviving Fire Warrior, whom he
 did not manage to kill.

An overview of the seriously depleted forces of both sides.

The Tau have been decimated even worse than the Fists.


Score
Tau Sept:          19 (9 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 1 TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1, Ven                                                               Dread, Chapter Master, Librarian)
                             (10 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2, The Lure, Sec Obj 6, Sec Obj 1)
                                                     1 (Overwhelming Firepower), 3 (Supremacy))
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 26 (13 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                   2 Hammerheads, FW 1, FW 2, FW 3, FW 4, Pirnahas,                                                             Drones)
                             (12 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover), 
                                                      Death Before Dishonour, 5 (Indomitable Defense)
                             (First Strike)





Turn 5 - Tau

With so few resources left of the battlefield, the Tau draw their three objectives to see if they can close the points gap, but alas, it was not to be.

Defend Obj 2. Unlikely to last two turns.
Drones and fast vehicles already dead, unlikely to get into Fists deployment zone.
Master of the Forge hiding, and like to remain doing so.


And so the Tau tap out. Shadowsun, greived by the days losses order the (few) survivirs to fall back to attend to their wounded and revise engagement strategy.


Score
Tau Sept:          19 (9 Kill Points (Crusader, Achilles, TAC 1 TAC 2, TAC 3, Pred 1, Ven                                                               Dread, Chapter Master, Librarian)
                             (10 Obj Points (Def Obj 1, Def Obj 2, The Lure, Sec Obj 6, Sec Obj 1)
                                                     1 (Overwhelming Firepower), 3 (Supremacy))
                             (First Strike)

Imperial Fists: 26 (13 Kill Points (2 Devilfish, Hammerhead, Pathfinders, Longstrike,                                                                   2 Hammerheads, FW 1, FW 2, FW 3, FW 4, Pirnahas,                                                             Drones)
                             (12 Obj Points (3 (Kill 3 units), Sec Obj 5, Sec Obj 6, 1 (3 in Cover), 
                                                      Death Before Dishonour, 5 (Indomitable Defense)
                             (First Strike)





Summary

Holy hell, what a fight. At the end of the first turn, when the Fists jumped out to an 11-3 lead, I thought it was game over. When the Tau stole the Initiative and killed the two Land Raiders, I thought they had it in the bag. The the response of 11 points swung it the other way. Then the Tau slowly fought their way back, closing the points gap, only to be utterly crushed Turn 4 by an 8 point turn which they could not match.

If every Maeltrom game was this fun, I would be more inclined to play Maelstrom more often. Usually, one side is getting screwed by their objective draws, and the game is over by the end of turn 2. This was a lot of fun, and there will be more Maelstrom when the Chapter Approved 2019 decides to arrive. Yay for Christmas messing up delivery times!

Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year!

Until next time, happy gaming!

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