Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Orks (1,500 pts)

Big day out at the shop, and got in a big match against the Waaaaagh, trying out the new Maelstrom missions as presented in 7th Edition.  Shopkeep was gracious enough to lend me his deck of Tactical Objectives cards.

The combatants:

ASTRA MILITARUM (1489pts)

Pask Punisher: Punisher Cannon, 3x Heavy Bolters, Camo Netting
Demolisher Russ: Hull Heavy Bolter, Camo Netting
==> 430 pts

Primaris Psyker: ML1 ==> 50pts

Platoon Command Squad: 2x Sniper Rifles, Lascannon
Infantry Blob Squad: 3x Autocannons
==> 234 pts

Vet Squad 1: 2x Melta, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer
==> 145pts

Vet Squad 2: 2x Melta, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer
==> 145pts

Vet Squad 3: 2x Plasma, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer & Heavy Stubber
==> 160pts

Hellhound: Hull Heavy Flamer ==> 125pts

Armoured Sentinels: 3x Plasma Cannons ==> 150pts

Aegis Line ==> 50pts

DA ORKZ (1484pts – or so)

Warboss: Power Klaw, TL Shoota, ‘Eavy Armour, Cybork Body, Bosspole ==> 110pts

Big Mek: Burna, Kustom Force Field, ‘Eavy Armour
==> 110pts

15 Kommandos: 2x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour & Bosspole

30 Choppa Boyz: 3x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole ==> 240pts

30 Choppa Boyz: 3x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole ==> 240pts

30 Shoota Boyz: 3x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Power Klaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Bosspole ==> 240pts

Dakkajet: 3 TL Supa Shootas ==> 120pts

Dakkajet: 3 TL Supa Shootas ==> 120pts

Big Gunz: 3x Zzap Guns & 3x Ammo Runts ==> 99pts


 

We rolled up Cloak and Shadows, and used Vanguard Strike deployment.  Astra Militarum deployed first, and opted to take first turn also.

Vets on either flank, Hellhound supporting Pask and his Leman Russ squad on the left flank.
Redz up front with Warboss, Pirates in middle, Shootas at the far side near Hellhound Rock.  Big Mek is lodged in Pirate squad, with the Zzap guns positioned on Murder Hill.
Redz up front with Warboss, Pirates in middle, Shootas at the far side near Hellhound Rock. Big Mek is lodged in Pirate squad, with the Zzap guns positioned on Murder Hill.

Astra Turn 1:

It was realized fairly quickly I may have been better served by allowing the Ork tide roll into the Leman Russ guns on the first turn, as Pask rolls forwards and perforates two (2!) Ork boyz with a Heavy 20, Rending weapon, as that was all that was in range.  Heavy bolter fire did more damage, dropping a few more.  Autocannon fire and the Demolisher Russ bring the Ork death toll to 11 in turn one, not a bad start, but not a GREAT start.  Hoo-boy.  The WAAGH is coming on.

Pask’s bold advance onto one of the objectives yields an early victory point, if not first blood.

First experience with the psychic phase goes off without a hitch, with the Primaris Psyker lending his aid with the autocannons with the Blob Squad.

Ork Turn 1:

Not surprisingly, most of the Orkz are finely tuned KRUMPING machines, so all hands advance in a linear manner towards the first object that needs an attitude adjustment.  Red squad on Mike’s left flank makes for the two chimeras with the Wardreadnought (he’s *THAT* big) in tow.  Pirate mob advances straight up the center at Pask and the Demolisher Russ taking the right path around Murder-Hill.  Shootas go right, around the cliff and taking advantage of cover behind the cliff.

All hands run, where applicable, and the Zzap guns haven’t been fully charged yet (apparently), whiffing on the strength roll to do any real damage to Pask or the Russes.

The shootas are rewarded for their strong cardio skills, and are awarded a victory point for their trouble.

After Turn 1, the game is tied 1 all.

Astra Turn 2:

Pask’s favourite song must have been on the radio, because he tears a gaping hole into the orkish offensive, Punisher cannon whining.  Calls of “Dat’s some serious dakka” could be heard from across the lines.  Approximately 20 orkz fall from Pirate boyz, including Big Mek, which is good for the all important First Blood.  Hellhound also makes his presence felt here, cooking a few more medium-well.

Veterans and the infantry horde on the right flank continue to rake down the Reds, dropping another 10 Orkz from that squad, but not quite getting to the Warboss who is stomping around impatiently inside the mob.  The Redz were definitely missing their cover-save provided from the Mek, who died with a majority of the Pirates.

Ork Turn 2:

Oof.  That’s a lotta dakka.  The Greenskins call in their air support, the first of two Dakkajets arriving on the scene, blowing away one (and a half!) of the plasma sentinels who started making a run at one of the central objectives.  Kommandos outflank, but rolled the wrong table edge, arriving just behind the Shootas occupying the cliff.  The Zzap guns sitting on Murder Hill take aim at the Hellhound, but fail to get enough power into the shot to do any damage.  Deez grotz iz a buncha wimps.

The Warboss signal the Waaaghh, and all units advance.  Tragically, many units are no longer within charge distance, with the Pirates having been mauled by Pask, and the Redz being forced to assault through cover.  The shootas on the right flank attempt to charge the hellhound, but fail twice due to the quirk in 7th of having the -2″ modifier.  In hindsight, he probably would have needed boxcars in order to have successfully made the charge.

The Redz on the right secure an objective, good for another two victory points (due to a warlord trait).  The Orkz pull in front 3-2 after 2 turns, still anyone’s game.

Fight Dakka with Dakka?
Fight Dakka with Dakka?

Astra Turn 3:

Clearly not pleased with the ‘limited’ damage output, Pask sets out to annihilate the Pirate mob advancing on the center, and kills all but the heroic Pirate Nob, who survives to fight another day.  Demolisher Russ hit the Zzap battery (it’s only a matter of time before they heat up), but fail to actually do any damage.  Those grotz picked a nice bit of cover, clearly…

The left flank is holding, albeit barely, with the shootas *effectively* untouched and the Kommandos coming up behind.  Hellhound and Pask are going to need to get busy…

The Platoon Lieutenant brings order back to the troops and they open up with lasguns and autocannons blazing, dropping a total of 6 orkz to lasgun fire, and 4 to the heavy weapons.  The Reds on the right are reeling, but pass their morale with 3-4 bodies left, including a very pissed off Warboss.

2 Objectives secured during this turn, one for removing a unit from play, the other for controlling the mid-field objective (Plasma Senties gettin’ ‘er done!)

Orkz Turn 3:

The zzap guns are proving to be of little service in this particular battle, but manage to knock a hull point of the chimera impeding the progress of the Kommandos.  The Redz on the right dust themselves off, and prepare to charge the aegis line.  The charge ultimately fails, losing 2 wounds to over-watch fire.  Similarly, the shootas attempt to charge the Hellhound again, and fail a 4″ charge, because the majority of the unit is crawling over the cliff.  The kommandos attempt to charge the veteran’s chimera, requiring some super-orky charging, but come up short, and earn a melta-overwatch to the face for their trouble.

So close....
So close….
2014-06-01 16.04.54
Yet so far…

The lone pirate Nob, now alone, summons a rope in a Spiderman like-manner (where the hell did that rope come from???) in order to get to the top of a cliff-overlooking the Hellhound.  Pirate Nob is not one to question the source of seemingly miraculous ropes, at least not now.

The dakkajet continues through and strafes the gun-line a bit though, knocking out an autocannon team and 4 guardsmen in the process.

2014-06-01 16.00.41
Aegis Lines and cliffs, saving the Guard’s ass again…

Despite this, the orks score one victory point for the Kommandos and Shootas behind the cliffs, now dubbed Hellhound Rock (see Turn 4…)

Game remains tied after 3 at 4 Victory Points apiece.

Astra Turn 4:

The Hellhound proceeds to wreak havoc on the poor Shoota mob who are left caught in the open after failing their charge.  8 die in the fire-storm.

Pask opens fire at the Zzap guns, and tragically the whole attack is completely whiffed… The first and only time Pask is denied in the whole battle and its by a batch of cunning gretchin…

Left open in the breeze, the Warbosses unit are wiped out by combined autocannon & lasgun fire.  The Warboss simply wouldn’t die, and it took a Lascannon to finally set him down from the Platoon Command Unit.  If the grunts can’t get the job done… may as well do it yourself…

The veterans on the right flank advance towards murder-hill.  Two objectives secured this turn, one along the right flank, and the other for wiping out a unit.  Plus Slay the Warlord.

Ork Turn 4:

The last Dakka Jet flies onto the Board and manages to catch one of the Plasma Sentinels napping, hitting him from the rear.  Efforts are concentrated on the left flank now, with the Warboss and the Redz on the right.  Finally the charge is made and the Hellhound is brought down.  Approximately 13 of the Shoota mob remain.  Kommandos attempt another charge on the Chimera, fail, and get another melta gun to the face for their trouble.

Hilariously, the remaining pirate Nob attempts to descend from his lofty heights, but does so the fast way.  Apparently that rope wasn’t as sturdy as it was when he pirate-swung is way up there.  *KRUNCH*.  He’s removed as a casualty, with full marks for making a very dramatic exit from the mortal plane.

Objective-wise, the game is still very much wide-open, with a very productive Turn 4 from both sides, although the Astra is piling Ork bodies very high, and starting to run up the Objectives.  Astra lead 7-6 after 4 Turns.

Astra Turn 5:

Avenging the death of the glorious Hellhound, who shall be enshrined in the Emprah’s hallowed halls forever more, the adjacent Chimera rolls up with heavy flamers and kills 7.  Pask and Demolisher Russ wound a further 5, and the unit falls back, 3 orkz remaining in the mob.

Sergeant Jimmy valiantly lost an arm ascending Murder Hill after running out of his transport.  He is rewarded for his efforts (posthumously) with a purple heart and special commendation for his particularly good cardio (as well as another victory point).  2 other points are secured for a mammoth 3 VP’s achieved this turn.

Sergeant “One-Arm” Jimmy earns his knickname capturing Murder Hill.

Ork Turn 5:

The deathtoll is rising, but there are still options on the table to achieve victory!  The Kommandos were sadly bystanders when the Chimera cooked their shoota comrades in a torrent of promethium, and exacted vengeance on them, assaulting and destroying their transport.

The Zzap guns opened up and ripped the multilaser off of the Chimera assaulting Murder Hill, while the Dakka Jet strafed the veterans, and sadly killed valiant Sergeant Jim, whose arm will be preserved and displayed at a museum to be gawked at by many school children.

The Orkz achieve some aspect of revenge by blowing up Sergeant Jim and the Melta Veteran's transport.
The Orkz achieve some aspect of revenge by blowing up Sergeant Jim and the Melta Veteran’s transport.

Orkz score one VP, but the Astra pull ahead 10-7.  The game continues into Turn 6…

Astra Turn 6:

Pask, the veterans, demolisher, and Plasma Sentinel light up the remaining commandos and wipe out the squad, while their commander reveals that a further 2 Victory Points will be scored this turn due to the tactical objectives picked up….  Handshakes all around, and a battle well fought.

Final score was Astra 12, Orks 7, with the guard having picked up First Blood and Slay the Warlord.


Debrief:

Pask is a stone cold killer.  Big gold star next to his prodigious Dakka.  Another gold star is well deserved by the Hellhound, who simply did work the whole game.

Tactical Objectives are damn cool, and the maelstrom mission can shaft you just as easily as it could make your day.  The key for success in these missions is to remain flexible, and be aggressive moving your troops around the table.

The orkz fully capitalized on Objective 1 (near Hellhound Rock), drawing that card 3 times over the course of the game.  The momentum can shift very quickly at any time, and the key is to continue to score victory points.  Once you start flying through your Tactical Objective deck you can stack up the points quickly.

To this end, I feel the Ork list may have benefited from including a pair of Trukkz or something to keep their velocity higher than foot-slogging.  Charge rolls were not his ally in this game, and if those had worked out a bit differently this would be a very different battle report.  Despite this, he was right in it for the duration of the game because he was controlling all the right objectives!

Shoot them off of Victory Points whenever possible, you never know if they’ll pick up that card in their next turn!

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4 Replies to “Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Orks (1,500 pts)”

  1. Just out of curiousity, if you knew you were facing orks, and thus very probably a horde, why didn’t you take a ton of artillery, in particular the new mortar tank?

    1. Congratulations on being my first Commenter!!!!!

      The short answer is that I don’t have any artillery tank models (but believe me, they’re on my shopping list).

      The longer answer is that I had this list prepared well in advance of me knowing who I was facing, and I was determined to see how Pask would function as a Warlord, Commander, etc.

      What would you have scrapped for artillery? Pask, or a squad of Chimera Vets?

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