Battle Report: Astra Militarum & Skitarii vs. Orkz & Khorne Daemonkin (2,000 pts)

Been a long time since I rocked a battle report.  …How does this work again?

This game was a pick-up match as I walked into the shop with a 2,000 point list ready to go.  Also happened to be one of the best (and closest) games I’ve played in a long time.  Hope you all enjoy!

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum & Skitarii (2,000 pts)

  • Knight Commander Pask – LR Punisher, Heavy Bolter & Multi-meltas
    • LR MBT Bro
  • Company Command Squad – Carapace Armour, 2x Plasma & Lascannon, Officer of the Fleet, Chimera
  • Techpriest Engineseer
  • Veterans – 2x Meltaguns, Flamer, Chimera
  • Infantry Platoon
    • PCS – 3x Flamer, Heavy Flamer
    • Infantry Squad – Krak Grenades
    • Infantry Squad – Krak Grenades
    • Infantry Squad – Krak Grenades
    • Commissar
  • Vendetta
  • 2x Armoured Sentinels – Plasma Cannons
  • Wyvern
  • Manticore
  • Basilisk – Covered Crew Compartment
  • 5x Skitarii Vanguard – Arc Rifle, Arc Pistol, Taser Goad
  • 5x Skitarii Rangers – Transuranic Arquebus, Omnispex
  • Sydonian Dragoon (x1)
  • Onager Dunecrawler – Neutron Laser & Heavy Stubber, Pintle Heavy Stubber

The idea here being that you have some mobile elements with the potential for Reserves Manipulation for added ‘certainty’.  Stompies were going to be the objective grabbers / tarpits, while the infantry and artillery were to sit-at-home and camp our own objectives.

Not really a heavily optimised list at all (this game was obviously before Mont’ka dropped, so didn’t have the option of making the Artillery section that formation).  I more just wanted to see how the Skits did on the tabletop complementing the Guard.

Orkz & Khorne Daemonkin (2,000 pts)

  • Warboss – Powerklaw, ‘Eavy Armour, Da Lucky Stikk
  • 3 Meganobz – 1x Killsaws, Trukk
  • Tankbustas (x10) – Nob, Trukk (some Squig-bombs in here too)
  • Boyz (x20) – Nob w/ Powerklaw, Bosspole, Slugga/Choppas all ’round otherwise
  • Gretchin (x10)
  • Gretchin (x10)
  • Deffkopta (x1)
  • Battlewagon – Rokkit
  • Morkanaut – Kustom Force Field
  • Lootas (x15) – w/ Mek
  • FORMATION – GOREPACK:
    • Khorne Bikers (x3) – 2x Meltaguns
    • Khorne Bikers (x3) – 2x Meltaguns
    • Fleshounds (x7)
    • Fleshounds (x7)
    • Fleshounds (x7)
    • Fleshounds (x7)

This list scared the crap out of me.  If there’s one thing a Guard player doesn’t like, it’s something that can be in your face quickly, rending and tearing at important elements.  Not particularly heavy in shooting, I could match-up my Russes against the Lootas and mostly ignore the Morkanaut.  I really doubted my ability to deal with 6-10 units that could potentially be on my doorstep as of Turn 1.

(for those not aware, Fleshounds are Beasts, thus can move 12″, ignoring all terrain including dangerous.  They can also make a scout move, making them hideously mobile and superb for board control.)

The Mission:  Contact Lost

This is the Maelstrom mission where you need to stand on an objective to generate an objective.  This is my favourite mission to play, as it requires foresight in order to benefit from the dumb stupid luck that is often the tactical deck.

Unfortunately, the Guard lost the toss and had to take second turn.

Deployment:

2015-11-22 15.00.34.jpg
This is following the gore-packs scout moves.  They advanced in a broad front in order to put the pressure on the whole of my line.  The heavy-armour stared down the Lootas, while the vulnerable artillery was deployed opposite.  Infantry filled the gaps, with walkers running interference for the CCS and arty.  The rangers were deployed to the front line, while the Vendetta and Vanguard were left in reserve.  For the Orkz, you’ll notice the Warboss and his boyz loaded up in the battlewagon on the right, with grotz to hold the back objectives.  Bikes occupied the left and centre.  The two trukks with Meganobz and tankbustas were left-centre in front of the KFF wielding Morkanaut.

The Guard fail to seize the initiative, and with that, Turn 1 begins…

2015-11-22 15.01.13.jpg
Cue suitably tense music…
2015-11-22 15.01.06.jpg
Battle is joined!

Turn 1: Orkz & Korne Daemonkin

I’ll let the picture say it for me:

2015-11-22 15.16.54.jpg
OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD

Casualties were relatively minor.  2 Hullpoints were knocked off of the Dunecrawler by the Lootas and their 45 Deffgun shots (I keep forgetting that AV12 is very susceptible to S7).  Some hot rolling on the 5+ cover saves really saved his bacon.  Otherwise, casualties were minor.

2015-11-22 15.05.58.jpg
Yet the Orkz & Demons take the lead on the merits of taking Objective 5.

Turn 1: Astra Militarum & Skitarii

The longest turn of the game, the Guardsmen needed to prioritize their fire very carefully in order to make sure priority units remained protected while enemy casualties are maximized.

2015-11-22 15.56.47.jpg
Knight Commander Pask cleaned his own front doorstep, wiping out the Demon doggies, while the MBT used PotMS from a nearby Engineseer to knock out 2 of the Bikes.  Note the Meganobz lurking around the corner.  They were flamed with extreme prejudice by the Platoon Command unit (NO ESCAPE!), but inflicted zero casualties, or hullpoints on the trukk.
2015-11-22 15.56.56.jpg
Massed lasgun fire, supported by Artillery mopped up the Fleshounds that were centre-right, at the expense of killing the dogs centre-left (which are off-screen).  The Manticore completely whiffed on his shot, but the Basilisk reaped a bloody toll.  The final dog was sniped off by a plasma cannon from the Stompies, which was actually targeting the bikers, who miserably failed both their jink tests, the survivor running off screaming.
2015-11-22 15.57.11.jpg
The Sydonian Dragoon made the best use of its Taser Lance, doubling out 4 of the Demon-dogs on the charge.  He connected on 5 of his 4 attacks (TASER!), the demons’ invulnerable save coming up once shy of empty on the charge.  The doggies are fearless, and Strength 4 base, so they’re locked in combat with the dragoon for the rest of the battle, or until they die, whichever comes first.  The dragoon won’t have S8 after this first round of combat however, and will be fighting an uphill battle.
2015-11-22 15.58.26.jpg
The aforementioned left-centre, which was largely left alone to minimize the number of units on the charge.  The Chimera had its turret knocked off by the Tankbustas earlier, hence the topless pic (teehee).

Astra Militarum score first blood plus an objective to take a 2-1 lead after one full turn.

Turn 2:  Orkz & Khorne Daemonkin

Left somewhat reeling from the horrific casualties absorbed during the Guardsmen’s shooting phase, their Warboss is non-plussed, he still has many assets left on the table to keep the pressure on.

2015-11-22 16.38.15.jpg
Meganobz tear the Hand of Steel and the other Russ without consequence, while Lootas riddle the Dunecrawler with rounds from their deffguns.  There’s a few less of them than there were before (Wyvern’d in the turn previous) but still enough to knock the final hullpoint off.  The Crawler couldn’t quite make its way back around the corner.  This was a problem with respect to my deployment, and something I’ll be better on in the future.
2015-11-22 16.39.09.jpg
The platoon command squad could only look on and watch as the Nobz rip and tear their way into the Hand of Steel, as Pask slips quietly out an escape hatch in the bottom of the tank.

Battle is joined along the rest of the battle-lines, with the Infantry platoon absorbing the charge of the last un-engaged dog unit as well as the Deff-kopta which took the wound in overwatch.  The Warboss hopped out of his battle-wagon and made a hefty-multi charge, assaulting the Company Command Squad’s Chimera (WREKT), the Rangers (RAN AWAY) and the Dragoon (NOW VERY, VERY ALONE).

The Orkz grab the Warlord plus another victory point to take a 3-2 lead over the Guard, going into the bottom of Turn 2.

Turn 2: Astra Militarum & Skitarii

 

With several elements of their gun-line now engaged in what could be deemed as perpetual combat (the Infantry platoon were being led by a ruthless Commissar, who had already claimed the life of one cowardly guardsman for insubordination), the artillery elements continued to rain death from above, aided by timely reinforcements.

2015-11-22 17.03.00.jpg
The Vendetta’s strafing run knocks out two of the Meganobz, the meltaguns from the veterans claiming the third, not wanting to leave his demise to chance.  The trukk is still very much active at this point however…
2015-11-22 17.03.06.jpg
Combat drags on at the front lines, but the Demons seem to be losing their head of steam.  There’s only so much killing that can be done before their numbers are whittled down by the bayonets of these inspired* Heroes** of the Imperium (*more scared of Commissar than Demons – **Meatslabs)
2015-11-22 17.03.12.jpg
Despite his best efforts, Mr. Stompy couldn’t make a 4″ charge on these grotz.  His unit had taken quite a pounding from the Tank Bustas in the turn previous, but escaped the Warboss’ charge.
2015-11-22 17.03.18.jpg
The Dragoon gets his reprieve, as the power-klaws aren’t quite in-range in order to do what power-klaws generally do to armoured things.  This combat remains on-going.

Meanwhile, the artillery had succeeded in bringing down the Tank-busta’s trukk.  Not relenting, the barrage continued until only the Nob was left standing.  Attacking from the back-forwards, the Wyvern continued to pound the Ork positions, this time wiping out a unit of Grotz that were busy looting one of the objectives.  They went to ground, but the storm of shrapnel found them all the same.

Unfortunately I kind of lost track of what the objectives were like at this point, but if I recall I might have only tied the game, so lets call it 3-3.

Turn 3: Orkz & Khorne Daemonkin

Again, not many of the Orkz & Daemonkin remain unengaged.

The final sentinel is knocked out with a bomb-squig from the Tankbusta Nob, and the Morkanaut blows open the Wyvern in a pronounced explosion, taking a few guardsmen with it.

The combat with the fleshounds and the infantry platoon continued, with neither side really gaining much traction.

Finally, the Warboss and Nob get their klaws within range of the dragoon, ripping it apart in a gory fashion.  Unfortunately for the Warboss, this leaves him and his boyz staring some pretty impressive firepower in the face…

Orkz score a few more objectives, taking a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of 3…  Another bloodbath is truly unfolding…

Turn 3: Astra Militarum & Skitarii

With the Ork Warboss left exposed following the (timely) demise of the Dragoon, the Skitarii deploy from the Vendetta, taking advantage of the positive topographical anomaly to wreak havoc on the mob.  Rather than lobbing another Manticore Missile across the table at a target of lesser value, the artillery surges forwards unexpectedly, adding a heavy flamer to the Carnage.

Terrible casualties are inflicted on the Boyz, despite the surprisingly heavy armour sported by the Warboss (8 consecutive successful 4+ armour saves against a hot-rolling Vanguard).  When the dust clears, the Warboss looks around, and realizes that his boyz have gone and runnoft.  He’s forced to chase after them to try and get them back into the fight.

2015-11-22 17.43.29.jpg
The Warboss and his retinue fall-back in the face of superior firepower, despite the boss-pole, and leadership 9.  The objective falls into the hands of the Adeptus Mechanicus, resulting in a 2-point swing.

The battle continues to swirl around at the other locations; Veterans mounted up to protect them against the on-coming Morkanaut, and achieve a better firing position.  The combat at the middle of the table between the infantry platoon and fleshounds is starting to wind down, with only 6-8 guardsmen remaining, but the dogs are now down to their last 2 bases…

At the end of 3 turns, the Guard pull even at 5-5.

2015-11-22 17.44.59.jpg
Table status following 3 turns.  The pile of the dead continues to grow at the back of the table…

Turn 4: Orkz & Khorne Daemonkin

To begin the turn, the Warboss attempts to rally the troops:  “OI LADS. THE FIGHTAN IZ DAT WAY!”

No avail.  The boyz continue to leg it, the Warboss in hot pursuit.

The battle continues to swirl.  The Morkanaut knocks out the Veteran’s Chimera with some accurate rokkit-fire, while the rallying Khorne biker makes a bee-line for the Manticore.  Failing to knock it out with the melta-gun, the 3 remaining Fleshounds line up to make the charge, but succeed only in removing 2 hullpoints via glancing hits.  The Manticore survives, and is ready to open up again.

At the end of the Turn, the Orkz have failed to achieve any of their objectives, and the game remains tied at 3.

… And that’s when the game ends.  Alotted time has expired, but the Warboss concedes his blitz didn’t work as planned, and the Guard have achieved victory if only through the virtues of surviving the onslaught.

Final tally would be 5+ to 5 in favour of the Astra Militarum and Skitarii.

Debrief:

I’m actually shocked I was able to survive until turn 2.  Staring down that many demons literally knocking on your doorstep before you’ve had enough time to pick up your lasgun.  Man, that was some kind of Orkish Cunning Brutality.

Big things I was very thankful for in this game:

  • Morale Control – That Commissar was well worth the 25 points.
  • Artillery – I took more of it than usual, and what’s more is that I was able to protect it adequately.
  • Target Prioritization – Things died when I needed them to, and when combat was entered it was under my own terms.
  • Quick-moving reserves – I might need a second Valk / Vendetta.
  • Skitarii – holy crap these guys kicked out some absolutely scary firepower.  The diversity of platforms made it a bit more complicated for my opponent to prioritize targets also.

Anyways, that’s about it for this one.  Cheers guys, have a great week (if I don’t post again before that).

 

 

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