Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Dark Angels (1,000 pts)

My best man showed up on my doorstep to play his first game of 7th Edition, so we tailored smaller lists to showcase the new Psychic phase ( *jazz hands* ) and Maelstrom missions.

It was a beautiful day, so we set up shop in my backyard on a 4×4 (ish) piece of chip board and my own ghetto styrofoam terrain that has been in service for the past 15 years, hoping a strong wind didn’t pick up to send our mans flying.

Without further ado…

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum (1,000 pts)

Company Command Squad: Flamer, Vox Caster (70 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Ulmar the Incompetent: Mastery Level 2 (75 pts)

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

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

Veterans: 3x Plasma, Lascannon, Vox Caster, Forward Sentries (140 pts)

Hellhound: Hull Heavy Flamer (125 pts)

Leman Russ Executioner: Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Hull Heavy Bolter (185 pts)

Aegis Defense Line (50 pts)

Dark Angels (~1,005 pts)

Librarian: Mastery Level 2 (100 pts)

Tactical Squad (10 man): Plasma Gun, Veteran Sergeant: Plasma Pistol, Power Fist (205 pts)

Tactical Squad (10 man): Plasma Gun, Veteran Sergeant: Plasma Pistol, CCW (180 pts)
Rhino: (35 pts)

Land Raider: (250 pts)

Predator Annihilator: Heavy Bolter Sponsons (120 pts)

Predator Destructor: Lascannon Sponsons (115 pts)

Mission & Deployment:

We agreed to go for for a Cleanse & Control mission using Tactical Objectives, and Dark Angels won the deployment roll.

Both troops squads deploy on Dark Angels right flank (Astra left) while Predators prowl the left (Astra right).
Both troop squads deploy on Dark Angels right flank (Astra left) while Predators prowl the left (Astra right).
Chimera mounted veterans deploy to counter the Landraider and troop deployments, while the Camouflaged Veterans and Executioner deploy to deny mid-field objectives.
Chimera mounted veterans deploy to counter the Landraider and troop deployments, while the Camouflaged Veterans and Executioner deploy to deny mid-field objectives.

Everything in place, the Dark Angels opt to take Turn 1, and Astra decline to Seize the initiative…

Dark Angels Turn 1:

Landraider and Rhino roll forward, nothing really happens except a hull point is stripped off the Hellhound by the Landraider, and a camo-vet is *zotted* by the lascannon on the predator.

A brave camo-vet bites it after failing a 3+ cover save to a lascannon, the first real casualty of the battle goes down in style!
A brave camo-vet bites it after failing a 3+ cover save to a lascannon, the first real casualty of the battle goes down in style!

Landraider earns a VP for taking an objective in the Dark Angels back-field for an early lead.

Astra Turn 1:

Astra break up the castle, with the Hellhound cowering behind cover and the AV 12 wall up front.  Multi-laser fire strips a hull point and shakes the Rhino.

Executioner over-heats for a single hullpoint, but fails to actually connect on the front armour of the predator.

Ulmar the Incompetent completely whiffs on Prescience, having thrown 5 dice at it.  This will become a trend…

Dark Angels Turn 2:

All hands press forwards, the Rhino disgorges in the Chimeras face.   Landraider was snap-firing one of its lascannons, and connected on both tearing off the heavy flamer and stunning the crew.  Plasma weaponry immobilizes the second Chimera.

The armour is starting to take a beating.  Chimera on the left is immobilized, while heavy flamer is torn off of the one on the right.
The armour is starting to take a beating. Chimera on the left is immobilized, while heavy flamer is torn off of the one on the right.

Astra Turn 2:

I had considered tank-shocking the unit off the board per the photo above.  The Hellhound could have moved forward until all of the units were killed, but with the one chimera immobilized I couldn’t  close the door on the trap, there was just enough wiggle room for marines to slip through.  Given that this would open up the door to the side-armour on the chimeras, and prevent me from shooting effectively, I opted to introduce this particular tactical squad to Fire.

First blood to the Astra.  Hellhound and 2 units of mounted veterans effectively mop up a full tactical squad and their ride.
First blood to the Astra. Hellhound and 2 units of mounted veterans effectively mop up a full tactical squad and their ride.

The first volley of meltaguns destroyed the Rhino, while fire, multilaser, and second volley of meltaguns kill 9 marines.  This move leaves the Hellhound shooting the breeze however, with the rear arc exposed to all kinds of nastiness.

Ulmar the Incompetent attempted to cast prescience again, and failed.  Par for the course, but all the more infuriating because I drew a “Manifest a Psychic Power” tactical objective!!!!

Executioner fires on and ‘shakes’ the Predator Destructor, which is presently in the process of moving into a better firing position to hit the Hellhound.

Killing the Rhino is good for first blood, as well as a ‘destroy an enemy unit with shooting’ objective, Astra lead 2-1 after 2 turns.

Dark Angels Turn 3:

Destructor moves up and snap-fires on the Hellhound’s rear, but this doesn’t resolve anything.  Librarian, in the process of charging out of the Landraider, cast Flame Shield on the Destructor, good for a 4+ cover save.

Landraider knocks another hull point off of the immobilized Chimera, and the Veteran Sergeant (who rallied) exacts his revenge, removing the final hull point.  The melta veterans bail out the back without incident.

Revenge is a dish best served with plasma.
Revenge is a dish best served with plasma.

The Librarian and accompanying tactical squad shoot and assault the Hellhound but the veteran sergeant with the power fist over-heats his plasma pistol and explodes.  Krak grenades find their mark, removing the last two hullpoints.

Astra Turn 3:

This turn was highlighted by some interesting 7th edition things…  before the turn started, I drew the “Blood and Guts” Tactical objective, which involves destroying a unit in the assault phase.  I didn’t really like my chances of doing that, despite the one Marine Vet sarge staring a full squad of veterans in the face…

I opted instead to use Scrier’s Gaze, to discard and immediately replace that tactical objective.  Which proved awesome, because I was able to achieve 3 Victory Points on this turn, 1 for the Psychic Power, and 2 for holding objectives.

The remaining shooting phase was fairly uneventful, with a general shuffling around of Chimeras, a vaporizing of the lone vet-sarge via melta-gun, and the Destructor was Destructed by an angry Leman Russ Executioner (which lost its second hull point to over-heating…)

*ZOT*  The Executioner gets the better of the side armour on the Destructor.
*ZOT* The Executioner gets the better of the side armour on the Destructor.

After 3, the Astra lead the game 5-1.

Dark Angels Turn 4:

A few things happened here, but most notably was the Librarian and his cohort assaulting, and destroying the second Veteran Squad’s Chimera.  This isn’t before a heroic Meltavet kills another marine in overwatch BEASTMODERY.  Landraider moved up to provide close-in support.

The Chimera graveyard is taking shape...
The Chimera graveyard is taking shape…

This seemingly minor move was good for 2 Victory Points, achieving Blood & Guts for destroying a unit in close combat, as well as capturing the point both of the Chimeras were parked on top of.

Dark Angels right back in it!

Astra Turn 4:

Ulmar the Incompetent is right back at it, hoping to cast Prescience in on the Executioner, to prevent a seemingly inevitable self inflicted death.  Throwing 5 dice at the power, Ulmar finds a way to fail.  The Executioner, which takes aim at the Assaulting Librarian and his unit, promptly over-heats for his final hull point.

Rethinking this whole plasma thing...
Rethinking this whole plasma thing…

The Command squad tells the Aegis Veterans to take aim, hoping to pick out the Librarian in his unit.  The Plasma Veterans respond by overheating once (ERGH!) and achieving 2 precision shots (!!!)  The Librarian is killed, but all but one of the other Marines are in good shape.  They still find a way to fail their morale check, and fall back towards one of the mid-field objectives.

Veterans take aim and pick out the Librarian with some precision plasma fire, to really show up the Executioner, which is now in flames behind them.
Veterans take aim and pick out the Librarian with some precision plasma fire, to really show up the Executioner, which is now in flames behind them.

Slaying the Warlord and recapturing the point under the Chimera Graveyard is worth 2 Victory points.  Astra lead 7-3 after 4.

Dark Angels Turn 5:

More 7th edition magic, this turn sees the Dark Angels pick up another awesome tactical objective.  Using the movement phase to its full effect, the commander blows the veterans off of the Chimera graveyard point and plants the landraider there instead for one objective, runs the tactical marines onto another ojective, and still maintains the third objective with the Annihilators, good for D3 Victory Points, which turned out to be 2.  Holding another objective is good for 3 VP…

Not a huge turn in terms of inflicting casualties, but they’re still very much in the game…

Astra Turn 5:

The Astra, by comparison, seem to have run out of luck.  They draw Objective 4 for a victory point, but can’t clamber over the aegis wall to run onto this point.  Shooting only strips one more hullpoint off of the Landraider, but is otherwise ineffective.

Astra Lead 7-6 after 5, but the game continues…

Turn 6:

Combining the two turns into one, the Dark Angels achieve another Victory points by drawing another objective they were sitting on top of in the mid-field (TO TIE THE GAME!!!!), but fail to inflict sufficient casualties to the Veterans, as they walk onto another mid-field objective (TO UN-TIE THE GAME!!!!).

Final board disposition, with the Vets holding the final mid-field objective in a walk-off victory for the Astra.
Final board disposition, with the Vets holding the final mid-field objective in a walk-off victory for the Astra.

Astra win 8-7, but it was certainly a nail biter, particularly at the end when both players were focusing on taking objectives and winning the game.

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