Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Grey Knights (500 pts)

Just a quick and dirty 500 point battle between the Guard and Grey Knights — I had commitments in the afternoon and couldn’t commit to a larger game.

We rolled up Tactical Escalation (Maelstrom of War #3), and seeing as how our board was 4’x4′ we just decided to have at it ‘regularly’.  Generally 2 objectives in the mid-field, and 2 in either deployment zone.

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum (499pts):

Company Command Squad: 2x Sniper Rifles, Lascannon (84 pts)

Veterans: 2x Meltaguns (80 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Veterans: 2x Meltaguns (80 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Veterans: 3x Plasmaguns, Lascannon (125 pts)

Grey Knights (~475 pts):

Librarian: Terminator Armour, ML 2 – Pyromancy Focus (150 pts)

Strike Squad (x5): Vanilla? (100 pts)

Terminators (x5): Psycannon (225 pts)

Grey Knights deployed first, and allowed the Guard privilege of first turn.

Deployment:  Terminators are hiding behind the cliff on the right flank, strike squad are taking cover in the ruins on the left.  Melta Veterans on the left and middle, firebase on the right, with the Command Squad in the middle.
Deployment: Terminators are hiding behind the cliff on the right flank, strike squad are taking cover in the ruins on the left. Melta Veterans on the left and middle, firebase on the right, with the Command Squad in the middle.

Astra Turn 1:

Because this is a tactical Escalation, the Guard only draw 1 tactical objective this turn, which is the one in the open field on the right flank.  If the Chimera were to move flat-out, then capturing it might be inside the realm of possibility, but with a bunch of angry terminators lurking well inside a fairly modest charge range the Guard opted to play it cautiously, and hold onto that objective until later in the game.  More objectives are coming, no sense sacrificing the troops just yet!

Chimeras move fowards, and blaze away at the Strike Squad in cover on the left flank, knocking out two.  The firebase on the right flank was actually out of range, and lacking LOS due to some poor deployment of the lascannon behind a chest-high wall.  Woops.

Company Command squad also vaporizes the psycannon terminator, making full use of the “Fire on My Target”, ignoring his ample cover.

A productive first turn, but not one in terms of victory points.

Grey Knights Turn 1:

Shaken, but not overly disturbed by the Multi-laser fire, the strike squad moves further into ruins, having found that their objective is actually sabotaged!

The terminators behind the cliff were deployed in a great spot, and the tactical objectives rewards their commander for 1 Victory Point, although their shooting was generally not in range.  Psychic powers do get off, casting Fire Shield on the Strike Squad and takes a Fiery Form.

After 1 Turn, Grey Knights lead 1-0.

Astra Turn 2:

The Melta Veterans kick the Chimera into high gear, and capture the open field objective on the right flank for a Victory Point.  The other moves forward and takes some pot-shots at the Terminators to no avail.

Firebase and CCS move forward further into cover in order to achieve a better firing position, but cannot otherwise cause any damage with snap-fire covering their advance.  Plasma Veterans on the point capture another tactical objective, for 2 VP on the turn.

Grey Knights Turn 2:

The Grey Knights start their advance into the middle of the board.
The Grey Knights start their advance into the middle of the board.

The Strike Squad runs forward to close the distance, and pours some fire into the Command Squad, who goes to ground for a 4+ cover save.  The cover is effective, and the snipers keep their heads down.

Due to LOS restrictions, the Librarian is not able to provide the Fire Shield to the Strike Squad as they continue their advance.  The terminators assault and destroy the Chimera on the right flank.  The Melta veterans bail out the back while the terminators dismantle their ride.

Hammerhanded Terminators tear apart a Chimera (Veterans yet to flee the wreckage).
Hammerhanded Terminators tear apart a Chimera (Veterans yet to flee the wreckage).

While no tactical objectives are achieved this turn by the Grey Knights, the scrap heap of a Chimera is good enough for First Blood.

After 2 Turns, the game is tied at 2 Victory Points apiece.

Astra Turn 3:

The now dismounted veteran squad, un-phased by having their ride thoroughly trashed, turn around and give 2 of the Terminators a melta-makeover.  The squad is left shooting a breeze though, and are not feeling good about their chances in the next turn……..

*ZOT* - 2 Terminators go up to the Meltavets (they're hiding behind the Chimera).
*ZOT* – 2 Terminators go up to the Meltavets (they’re hiding behind the Chimera).

The combined firepower of the rest of the force destroys the remaining 3 Strike Squad members, who are advancing into the open field.  Perhaps hilariously, one of the members eats a double melta-snap-shot-driveby from the cruising Chimera.  The final member goes down to a rending sniper’s bullet.

Where there were once 3, now are none.  The last Strike Squad member goes down to a sniper's bullet.
Where there were once 3, now are none. The last Strike Squad member goes down to a sniper’s bullet.

Destroying a unit entirely and controlling the ruins where the Strike Squad deployed is worth 3 Victory Points, per the tactical objectives picked up earlier this turn.

Grey Knights Turn 3:

The Librarian and his cohort (now numbering 2) shoot and charge the dismounted melta veterans, killing 6, and causing them to flee.  Unable to achieve any further Victory Points this turn, the 3 Terminators turn to look at the backs of the so-called “Veterans” as they flee back to their gunline.  Just as the melta-vets pass the gunline….

(Astra Lead 5-2 after 3)

Astra Turn 4:

The field erupts in laser and plasma fire, incinerating the remaining Grey Knights (…and one of the Plasma Veterans [totally worth it]).  The Guard carry the day largely because of numbers, and overwhelming firepower.

...and then there were none.
…and then there were none.

Debrief:

Another experiment with the new Maelstrom missions, It seems like the game favours those with more units on the table.  This is a chronic problem for uber-marine lists, including Grey Knights, which was exacerbated by the low pointage of the game.  I imagine that the game would have been more balanced at 1,000+ points.

Overall an entertaining game, it didn’t really feel like this one was slipping into the Guard’s favour until the 3rd turn.  I’d definitely play another game against this fellow’s Grey Knights, or against the Eldar that he’s just started putting together!

Aside:

The Morkanaut looks BADASS.  One took to the adjacent table in a battle against Chaos Space Marines, although I wasn’t able to stick around to see how it went.

Morkanaut and Co.  (or is it Gorkanaut and Co.?)
Morkanaut and Co. (or is it Gorkanaut and Co.?)
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