Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Chaos Space Marines (1,500 pts)

Abaddon continues his 13th Black Crusade on Cadia.  Knight Commander Pask answers the call.  Punisher vs. Despoiler: who will prevail?

The Combatants:

 Astra Militarum (1,500 pts)

Leman Russ Punisher: Hull Lascannon, Multi-Melta Sponsons, Knight Commander Pask (240 pts)
Leman Russ Vanquisher: Hull Lascannon, Multi-Melta Sponsons (165 pts)

Company Command Squad: Master of Ordinance, Vox Caster, Lascannon (105 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

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

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

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

Hellhound: Hull Heavy Flamer (125 pts)

Vendetta Gunship: (170 pts)

Armoured Sentinels: 3x Plasma Cannons (150 pts)

Aegis Defense Line: (50 pts)

Chaos Space Marines – Black Legion (1,500 pts)
(Double FOC)

Entire Army has Veteran of the Long War

Abaddon the Despoiler (265 pts)

Sorcerer: Spell Familiar (75 pts)

Cultists: Flamer, 4x Autoguns (59 pts)

Cultists: Heavy Stubber, 4x Autoguns (59 pts)

Chaos Space Marines (x5) (75 pts)
Rhino: Havoc Launcher? (47 pts)

Chaos Space Marines (x5) (75 pts)

Obliterators (x2): Mark of Nurgle (152 pts)

Havocs (x6): 4x Lascannons (~170 pts)

Havocs (x5): 4x Heavy Bolters (115 pts)

Havocs (x5): 4x Autocannons (115 pts)

Chaos Land Raider: Combi-bolter, Havoc Launcher, Dozer Blade? (252 pts)


Mission Type & Deployment:

We rolled up the mission on the Maelstrom table, and wound up with Tactical Escalation ( Max # of Tac Objectives = Turn #).  The table was set up such that the Guard would be defending the city outskirts, which had already been shelled.  (Think Carentan).  Chaos would be advancing through largely open ground, with some hills providing cover, plus a few defence lines.  Hammer and Anvil type board edge deployment.

Astra won the dice roll, but opted to let Chaos deploy first (although I neglected to take a photo, because I’m stoopid like that sometimes)

The guard then deployed:

Chimera Veterans guard the edges.  Plasma vets occupy the building at the back of the Board near an objective), while the Chimera mounted Command Squad guards another objective near the right flank.  Pask and the Leman Russes will prowl the middle of the Board, with Sentinels as blocking support.
Chimera Veterans guard the edges. Plasma vets occupy the building at the back of the Board near an objective), while the Chimera mounted Command Squad guards another objective near the right flank. Pask and the Leman Russes will prowl the middle of the Board, with Sentinels as blocking support.  Hellhound was deployed to counter the cultists on the Guard left flank.  Most of the soft(er) stuff (AV12) was deployed hidden from the Lascannon Havocs, but everything had a 4+ cover save turn 1.

Guard attempt to seize the initiative this time, sensing an opportunity to get first blood and do some damage on the first turn.

Who ever enjoyed holding the line anyway?
Who ever enjoyed holding the line anyway?

Astra Turn 1:

Pask’s driver kicks the Leman Russ into gear; all other AFV’s on the front line follow suit, with the exception of the Veterans on the right flank, who are staring directly at a Land Raider.  The Hellhound and Veterans on the left flank are particularly aggressive, moving flat-out to close the gap and potentially deny the objective in front of the trench-line mid-field.

Pask’s opening volley ventilates the Obliterators occupying the mid-field, who go down for first blood.

The remaining Guard do not appear to have been prepared to Carpe Diem to the same degree as their Knight Commander, and fail to cause any significant damage (in fact, most shots miss, including some particularly egregious shooting from the Vanquisher, who whiffed on *everything* going at the Landraider.

Regardless, the Guard take first blood on the merits of the Obliterated.

Chaos Turn 1:

The vanguard advances under the covering fire from the Havocs.  The heavy bolters are not in a position to do any damage (everything they’re looking at is AV12+), so they run forwards in their shooting phase.

Landraider picks a nice piece of cover to hide behind, out of view from the prowling Leman-Russes mid-field.

The cultists advance into the rock formation along the Guard’s left flank, staring a Hellhound right in the face.  One wonders what the Chaos gods are promising these souls for advancing on that tank…

The Chaos Rhino advances the furthest, moving flat out to plant itself over the mid-field objective at the trench line, in support of the cultists on foot.

Astra Turn 2:

The Guard Commander measures the Chaos advance, and orders a tactical withdrawal in the face of the what is rumoured to be Abaddon’s personal Landraider, which is about to breach the Aegis Line.  Sensing an opportunity to continue the advances made in Turn 1, he orders the left flank to press the attack, with the Veterans on point.

The Veterans continue their advance, and cause catastrophic damage to the Rhino with their Meltaguns, firing from the back hatch.  One chaos marine does not survive the explosion, one more is gunned down by lasgun fire from the Chimera's arrays as he tries to escape the wreckage.
The Veterans continue their advance, and cause catastrophic damage to the Rhino with their Meltaguns, firing from the back hatch. One traitor marine does not survive the explosion, one more is gunned down by lasgun fire from the Chimera’s arrays as he tries to escape the wreckage.
The Chimera crew slams their transport in reverse to yield ground to Abaddon.  The Sentinels receive their orders, and move to support the Leman Russes.
The Chimera crew slams their transport in reverse to yield ground to Abaddon. The Sentinels receive their orders, and move to support the Leman Russes.  Pask guns down the Havocs advancing through mid-field, annihilating the unit.

By the end of the turn, 3 of the Chaos champions have been killed, good for D3 victory points.  Unfortunately for the Guard, D3 turned out to be 1.

Chaos Turn 2:

Now short two units, the Chaos blunt the guard advance by destroying the lead Chimera using heavy Autocannon fire.  The final blow is landed by a thrown krak grenade from the traitor marines who have now removed themselves from the wreckage of the Rhino.  The Veterans bail out of the back of the Chimera without incident.

Lascannon fire also immobilizes the Hellhound, which was lurking behind the lead Chimera.

Abaddon meanwhile, is extremely anxious to get into the thick of things and orders the Landraider through the Aegis Line, moving flat out in the process.

The Don goes hooning in a Landraider.
The Don goes hooning in a Landraider.

By the end of the turn, the forces of Choas secure 3 Victory Points, one of them through Supremacy (controlling 4 VP’s to my 2), and the other for controlling the trench-line in mid-field.

After 2 turns, Chaos lead the Guard 3-2.

Astra Turn 3:

The Guard prepare for Abaddon’s arrival, and harden their defense.  The Vendetta gunship is ordered to hover behind their own lines, while Pask turns the Leman Russ squadron to face the Chaos Landraider.  The Chimera crew gives zero F*@$’s and guns it head-long for the evil war-machine.

The Guard's defense hardens, and prepares to receive Abaddon and his Retinue.
The Guard’s defense hardens, and prepares to receive Abaddon and his Retinue.
The Leman Russes bring down the Landraider, The Vanquisher Shell causing a catastrophic explosion.
The Leman Russes bring down the Landraider, The Vanquisher Shell causing a catastrophic explosion.

Combined fire from the Plasma Veterans in the ruined building, a strafing run from the Vendetta, Multi-laser & Lasgun fire from the adjacent Chimeras, and a Lascannon from the Command Squad combine in killing the Sorcerer, two marines, and grievously wound Abaddon, but can’t manage to put the final wound on him.

The Sentinels attempt to charge him, but are unable to make the charge distance, which all but seals Pask’s fate.  Pask slowly removes his harness from his position in the Commander’s Cupola and moves calmly towards the emergency exit…

Meanwhile, on the left flank, the Veterans advance on the trench-line, and purify two tainted marines with melta guns.  The lone survivor flees.

The Guard are unable to achieve any of their objectives this turn, one of which was killing Abaddon (worth D3 VP!)  His time will come!

Chaos Turn 3:

The Guard’s left flank is relatively unsupported, with all the attention going towards Abaddon and his Retinue.  The cultists take advantage, and flame down 5 of the Veterans that hit the marines.  The Vets are then wiped out on the charge.  Cultists doing work!

Abaddon charges and tears apart Pask’s Punisher, and gets the work started on the Vanquisher, shaking the crew.  Pask narrowly escapes the turning of his face into a mask for Abaddon to wear process by slipping out the escape hatch of the bottom of the Russ.  His day will come!

The remainder of Abaddon’s retinue charges the Sentinels, wrecking one with krak grenades.  This combat will last the rest of the game, a duel between Chaos’ chosen, and a awkward armoured walker armed with a Plasma Cannon.

Chaos get the Warlord and two other objectives, good for 3 VP and a 6-2 lead over the forces of the Imperium!

Astra Turn 4:

Abaddon might have ripped Pask’s Punisher apart, but the Guard still have plenty of firepower at their disposal to remove him from the board.  The Vanquisher is snap-shooting, and whiffs all his shots.  It’s alright, that was worth a try anyways.  I really thought the job would be done by the Plasma Veterans who are well within rapid-fire range…

..........DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT.
……….DAMMIT (x4).  One plasmagunner survives the mass-suicide.  The Don winds up tanking ~7-9 armour saves and 4x 4++.  Absolute insanity from the Chaos god of dice.

Unfortunately, the pilot of the Vendetta gunship thought his services would no longer be required, so he turns his attention on the Autocannon Havocs positioned on the back hill, vaporizing two.

The cultists that got the better of the Veterans on the left flank, and reap what they sowed, being completely wiped out by the immobilized Hellhound.

Somehow, the Guard are somehow able to capture two more objectives, keeping pace somewhat, to bring their total to 4 VP.

Chaos Turn 4:

The Don now turns his attention towards the Vanquisher, and rips it apart.  The vaunted armour of the Imperial Guard is no match for Chaos!

The Havocs force the Vendetta to Jink, but it makes all saves required.

The epic combat between Sentinel and Chaos Marine Continues, but really no significant damage is being done there.

Chaos take two more VP, and go up 8-4 after 4 turns.

Astra Turn 5:

Abaddon finally goes down, to the lone surviving Plasma Veteran.  The possessed yellow dice of ass kicking finally rolled less than a 4 on the invulnerable save.

The Don finally kicks it, eating a plasma round for a 4 VP swing.
The Don finally kicks it, eating a plasma round for a 4 VP swing.

The Chimeras kick it into over-drive and advance on two more Victory Points, resulting in an extremely productive turn for the Guard.  Guard lead as of Turn 5, 10-8.

Chaos Turn 5 to the End Game:

The game at this point devolves into a objective-grab, with the Escalation missions really stacking on the Tactical Objectives at the end of the game.  Astra continue to have the advantage through the merit of having more units on the table in the end-game.

The on-going combat between the Sentinels and 3 Chaos Marines lasts the entire game, but eventually the Veterans charge in and make things interesting.  This assault between the marines and the sentinels has actually contested the objective in front of the building!  The assault rages, with the fate of the game in the balance.

The Chaos Champion challenges the Veterans, and eviscerates him in a short, bloody affair.  The boon from the Chaos gods is the ability to inflict Instant Death on his foes, which would be great, if Sentinels were Monstrous Creatures...
The Chaos Champion challenges the Veterans, and eviscerates the Sergeant in a short, bloody affair. The boon from the Chaos gods is the ability to inflict Instant Death on his foes, which would be great, if Sentinels were Monstrous Creatures…
The combat eventually whittles down to Turn 7 to these two eternal warriors, neither of whom can seem to land the final blow.  Heroic Plasma Veteran had previously fled the combat.
The combat eventually whittles down to Turn 7 between these two eternal warriors, neither of whom can seem to land the final blow. Heroic Plasma Veteran had previously fled the combat.  Through the hustle and bustle of the combat, the marines contesting the objective are actually destroyed, though the stubborn Champion remains >3″ away from the objective marker (albeit by about 1/8″).  He continues duking it out with Stompy, the determined Sentinel.
The carnage in the end-game.  The Veterans and Chimera crew occupy the trench-line, while the Command Squad and transport occupy another two points in the Guard backfield.
The carnage in the end-game. The Veterans and Chimera crew occupy the trench-line, while the Command Squad and transport occupy another two points in the Guard backfield.

With the number of Guard units occupying the points, and the nature of the Escalating number of tactical objectives, the Guard are able to pile on more VP’s in the end game.

By the end of turn 7, the Guard have prevailed narrowly, 15-12.  Both armies have line breaker (The Vendetta dropped into hover at the end of the game), both have Warlord, and the Guard have first blood.

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