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

I almost forget how to write these things now!  Where to begin…?

Referring to my previous post, I had a pair of friends over in which we had 3 games.  I had the motivation to take enough pictures to document the first game we played in the afternoon.  I used the same list that drew the Eldar with the Wave Serpents and all kinds of nastiness around a month ago, thinking I had something good going.  A potential tourney list!

Anyhoo, without further ado, here are the combatants:

Astra Militarum:

Full Army List

  • Knight Commander Pask in Punisher Russ, Plasma Sponsons, Hull Lascannon
  • Vanquisher Russ, Plasma Sponsons, Hull Lascannon
  • Enginseer (proxied by Ulmar (the Incompetent))
  • Veterans, 2x Meltagun, Flamer, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer
  • Veterans, 2x Meltagun, Flamer, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer
  • Veterans, 2x Plasmagun, Flamer, Chimera w/ Hull Heavy Flamer
  • 3x Armoured Sentinels, 2x Rocket Launchers, Lascannon, 3x HK Missiles
  • Vendetta Gunship
  • Manticore
  • Wyvern

Space Marines (Salamander Chapter Tactics)

  • Terminator Chapter Master
  • Terminators (x5), Cyclone Missile Launcher
  • Tactical Squad (x7), Grav Gun w/ Vet Sarge, Power Fist in Rhino
  • Tactical Squad (x7), Flamer w/ Vet Sarge, Power Fist in Rhino
  • Tactical Squad (x10), Meltagun, Multimelta, w/ Vet Sarge, Combi-Melta in Drop Pod
  • Assault Marines (x10), 2x Plasma Pistol, w/ Vet Sarge, Plasma Pistol & Power Fist
  • Land Raider Redeemer

Mission & Deployment:

We rolled up the Stalemate Maelstrom mission (which features the declining Tactical Objectives).  Guard won deployment:

Kept the Russes front and Centre with support vets dismounted around the back, behind the armour, to prevent Drop-Pod Shenanigans.  Artillery is well back, behind cover.  Sentinels to protect the flank, and shoot across the table.
Kept the Russes front and Centre with support vets dismounted around the back, behind the armour, to prevent Drop-Pod Shenanigans. Artillery is well back, behind cover. Sentinels to protect the flank, and shoot across the table.
The Marines took cover, anticipating some hefty shooting from the gun-line.  That Rhino formation is begging for a Storm-Eagle however...
The Marines took cover, anticipating some hefty shooting from the gun-line. That Rhino formation is begging for a Storm-Eagle however…
Marines seize the initiative.  There goes that.
Marines seize the initiative. There goes that.

Space Marine Turn 1:

Wha - What's going on here guys?
Wha – What’s going on here guys?
*KABOOM*  Pask dies turn 1 to 2 melta hits on the front arc.  Some phenominal dice rolling makes the drop pod assault pay off for the Marines.
*KABOOM* Pask dies turn 1 to 2 melta hits on the front arc. Some phenomenal dice rolling makes the drop pod assault pay off for the Marines.

Per above, Pask obviously went up in a ball of smoke to 2 melta rounds on the frontal arc, requiring well above average rolling to do so.  Had the Marines not seized, the Vanquisher would have been up front, ready to tank those hits, with the Chimera blocking Pask’s right flank.  You live, you learn I suppose.  I’m never going to suggest that Pask didn’t have this coming…

All hands for the Marines jump forwards, and in the excitement they actually over-shoot their maelstrom objectives.  They had 2 VP for taking one of their own back-field objectives.  Oh well.

The Rhinos and Redeemer advance post-haste.
The Rhinos and Redeemer advance post-haste.
Assault Marines advance behind cover, but decline to capture the objective worth 2 VP.
Assault Marines advance behind cover, but decline to capture the objective worth 2 VP.

Marines shoot ahead 1-0 on Slay the Warlord, but not first blood (because he needed to have also killed the Vanquisher for that).

Astra Militarum Turn 1:

Swallowing hard after the death of the Knight Commander, the Guard kick their engines into gear to deal with what’s arrived on their doorstep.

Pask destroyed, there is no reason for the Melta Veterans to be on foot any more.  They mount up, and take a few pot-shots out of the top hatch, killing a few Marines.  The Vanquisher runs back, knocks out a bunch more.  When the dust settles, only 3 Marines remain from the drop-pod squad.

A torrent of plasma, melta, and tank shells pummels the squad which so nonchalantly vaporized Pask in the first turn.
A torrent of plasma, melta, and tank shells pummels the squad which so nonchalantly vaporized Pask in the first turn.

A Manticore missile knocks a pair of hullpoints off of one Rhino, and one off the other.  The Sentinels helped with this, using all of their Hunter-Killer missiles in the effort.  One is stunned, the other shaken.  Wyvern contributes to the effort by thinning out the assault marines, killing around 3.

Regardless, the Guard cannot equalize in points, and First Blood is still out there.

Space Marine Turn 2:

Undaunted by the Guard’s response, the Marines press their advantage, bringing assault marines onto an objective and achieving 3 Victory points (it’s not clear to me where the Marine player was hiding that damned horse-shoe).

Assault Marines in the open...
Assault Marines in the open…

Damaged, but not broken, the not-stunned Rhino rams 2 Sentinels, shaking one, and stunning the other.  In the collision, the Rhino is destroyed.  This Rhino collision actually represents first blood for the Guard!  One of the Sentinels is polished off by a thrown krak grenade, needing a 6 to cause a glancing hit on the frontal arc (sigh, it’s been that kind of game).

*KERRRUNCH*.  In total 3 hullpoints are lost in this collision, with the Rhino being a total write-off.  I hope the Marines are well-ensured.
*KERRRUNCH*. In total 3 hullpoints are lost in this collision, with the Rhino being a total write-off. I hope the Marines are well-ensured.

Landraider gonna landraid.  He’s makin’ a bee-line for the Guard artillery.

I have many pictures of Landraiders hooning.  This one is pretty badass.
I have many pictures of Landraiders hooning. This one is pretty badass.  He just needs to paint the damn thing!

Scoring 3 objectives, but giving up first blood means the Marines are in front 4-1.

Astra Militarum Turn 2:

The right flank now crumbling, the Guard pull the veterans the heck out of there, and try to make a break for it with the Manticore before they get… terminated.  All hope is already lost for the Wyvern, so it stays put to get another full round of shooting in.

Errrrrr.... This isn't good.
Errrrrr…. This isn’t good.

Multi-laser fire knocks out the second Rhino (woot!) and melta guns effectively knock out the drop pod in the Guard deployment zone, which is pretty much sitting on-top of the objective I need to capture.  I capture it, bringing me one point closer.

Chimera gets the kill-shot on the remaining Rhino.
Chimera gets the kill-shot on the remaining Rhino.

The assault marines, in the open, are reduced to 2 men by the combined fire of the Vendetta (which comes on dramatically), and the Vanquisher (spewing MOAR plasma).  The assault marines fall back, and the Vanquisher’s delicious rear armour is safe for at least another turn.

Hilariously, the two plasmagunners performing a double-tap-drive-by on some of the Marines over-heat and kill themselves, but also kill two of the marines.

After 2 turns, The Guard have clawed their way back into it (kind of), now only losing 4-2.

Space Marine Turn 3:

Again, undaunted by ANYTHING, the Space Marines are now running amok in the backfield.

The various tacticals polish off the remaining 2 Sentinels by throwing krak grenades at them, and shooting bolters at them on the side arcs.  This is the first time someone has thought to do this, instead of simply trying their luck in assault (charging with the sentinels wasn’t really an option for me the turn prior, because one of them was stunned.)

The Manticore is redeemed by the twin-linked assault cannon (oof), and the Manticore goes down with 2 missiles still on the rack.  The Wyvern suffers a similar fate, blown up by bolters from the terminators on the side arc, and the cyclone missile launcher.

The other marines shuffle around a bit to capture objectives.  Because they hold 3 objectives, they score D3 victory points.  Because they killed 3 of my units during their turn, they score a further D3 victory points.  Plus a few extra.

At this point, I’ve lost track of the score.  But it’s certainly LOTS of VP’s for the Marines, not so many for the Guard.

Astra Militarum Turn 3:

Now short artillery, it’s up to the Vanquisher and Vendetta to pull the weight.

Vanquisher lays into the tactical squad in the open, combined with multi-laser fire from the chimeras, all but two are now dead.

Vanquisher and Multi-laser fire thins the unit in mid-field.
Vanquisher and Multi-laser fire thins the unit in mid-field.
While the techpriest and a group of melta veterans hope to catch the tacticals napping in mid-field.  In hindsight, they should have moved flat-out towards the smaller tac in mid-field.
While the techpriest and a group of melta veterans hope to catch the tacticals napping in mid-field. In hindsight, they should have moved flat-out towards the smaller tac in mid-field.

The Vendetta is clearly not done with the assault marines, chases down and kills the remaining 2 with some impressively accurate lascannon fire.

That’s about it.  Full retreat in the face of the terminators is now in force.  In order to remotely have an opportunity to win this game, the Guard need to control 3 of the objectives, while holding the Marines to only 1.  This would bring the score back to almost level.  The odds of this happening however, are excruciatingly slim.

Score is now 10-3.

Space Marine Turn 4:

The tacticals mid-field swarm the Chimera featuring the Enginseer.  It blows up spectacularly, but the veterans and techpriest bail out with no problems.  The terminators are going Vanquisher hunting, and have re-mounted and advanced as far as they can.

Astra Militarum Turn 4:

Now being limited to 3 tactical objectives and needing 7 VP to catch up, the guard need a miracle to pull out a win.  The Landraider, which includes the Warlord, is the last key to this puzzle.

Everything misses.  The Vanquisher, the meltaguns, EVERYTHING.  The landraider lives, and the Guard commander capitulates.  The next turn I’d be down to 2 objectives, thus limiting the potential to achieve.

Space Marines are victorious in the end, 11-3 (because line-breaker).

A great game, and the first time Pask has died due to the alpha strike.

I played this guy in a re-match later in the afternoon, and he used a very similar list, I used the same one. In a close, pitched battle I squeaked out a win.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Being seized on sucks, but good, conservative deployment makes all the difference in the world.  Not having the Vanquisher 1″ further up really made the difference in this game.

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3 thoughts on “Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Space Marines (1,500 pts)”

    1. Yeah, I wanted to see if I could recover. It was the first time he’s gone down so fast.

      The Maelstrom objectives were actively screwing me too, so it was kind of the perfect fecal hurricane. The points didn’t really reflect what was going on on the table, I still had 2 full units of meltavets (except for a pair of DERP plasmagunners), the Vanquisher, and the Vendetta running around. He had about 10 tactical marines, a landraider, and 5 termies and his Cap which could have been largely out-maneuvered.

      I just ran out of time. 😦

      Chalk this up to experience. 😀

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