The Battle For Fire-Detector Spire Delta-6:
Apparently something of value was stashed nearby, long ago. Both the Blood Angels and Mechanicus see it of value, and need to capture it for their own respective nebulous self-interest…
The mission itself was drawn out of the Open War cards, which tends to set up some pretty cinematic games. Supply Cache starts off with 6 objectives, but each is identified at the start of each player’s turn. Once a 6 is rolled, that objective must be camped by one side or the other by the end of Turn 5 for the win. Simple enough right?
The objectives were deployed, Admech focusing largely on keeping the objectives clumped up and in the open, to negate the Blood Angels Speed advantage and allow the big guns be brought to bear. Blood Angels deployed in cover accordingly, attempting to not get shot off the table by the end of Turn 2.
Blood Angels Battalion (+5CP):
- Captain Scipio – Angel’s Wing, Thunderhammer, Storm Shield, Gift of Foresight, Death Visions
- Sanguinary Priest
- 5x Scoots (bolters)
- 5x Scoots (bolters)
- 5x Tactical Marines
- 5x Tactical Marines
Blood Angels Vanguard (+1CP):
- Company Veterans x4 – Jump Packs, bolt pistol and chainswords
- Company Veterans x4 – Jump Packs, bolt pistol and chainswords
- Death Company x8 – Jump Packs, 3x Thunder Hammers, 4x plasma pistols
Not much that’s subtle about this one. Scoots and Tacticals for objective camping, jump packs for mobility, Mephiston, Hammer Captain and Death Company for busting heads. Sanguinary Priest and Veterans to keep them busting heads.
Ryza Adeptus Mechanicus Battalion (+5CP):
- Tech Priest Dominus – Volkite and Macrostubber
- Tech Priest Engineseer – Omniscient Mask
- Vanguard x 9 – Arc Rifle
- Rangers x 6 – 2x Transuranic Arquebii
- Kataphron Destroyers x3 – Heavy Grav, 2x Cognis Flamers, 1x Phosphor Blaster
- Sicarian Ruststalkers – Razors & Claws
- Sicarian Infiltrators – Flechette Blasters & Taser Goads
- Onager Dunecrawler – Neutron Laser & 2x Cognis Heavy Stubbers
Officio Assassinorum Auxiliary Detachment (-1CP):
- Vindicare Assasssin
The idea here was to try and keep the Blood Angels strong characters in check, or at least thinking about their mortality. In previous rounds I had been completely run over by a flying hammer captain, then Mephiston and now both apparently, being kept alive by another very viable character, the humble Sanguinary Priest. Mowing down mooks by the dozens is something that Destroyers and Infiltrators do particularly well so I wasn’t as concerned about that.
The gamesmanship began with the objective markers. The admech player focused on keeping the objectives clumped up on one side of the Board, limiting the potential for the Blood Angels to use their superior mobility scramble across the table in a late-game objective grab, and potentially keep them bottled up and shot at, instead of smashing robot limbs.
The nature of the mission had the Blood Angels deploying the entirety of their force first. They did so strongly on the objectives, scouts and tactical squads behind held back while the Mephiston and Scipio took shelter behind the central ‘pillar’.
The Mechanicus then deployed in full. Reluctant to split his forces, the Admech player opted to take advantage of a building to get over-top of some of the line of sight blocking terrain with the Transuranic Arquebii. The lone operator on the other flank was the Vindicare; hoping to draw a reaction and keep a cross-fire going with the snipers. If one could go down early it could significantly impact the outcome of the match…
Blood Angels Turn 1:
Lacking much in the way of shooting, the Blood Angels content themselves by looking for the supply cache. Rolling 3 times, they fail to hit the 6 to identify the appropriate objective…
Mephiston attempts to protect the excavation with the Shield of Sanguinius, only to find the warp tearing at his mind… He takes 3 mortal wounds but saves 2 with his feel-no-pain!
Two tactical marines take pot-shots at a black shadow camped over in the bunker, but the shadow doesn’t respond…
Adeptus Mechanicus Turn 1:
Until it does! With a crack the shield-breaker round glances off the Sanguinary Priests’ pauldron. Chapter veterans swarm around the command retinue, when a sniper’s round claims two veterans and grievously wounds the priest.
Guided by the Dominus, the Kataphron destroyers turn a unit of scouts into a red paste, while the Onager picks off a pair of tactical marines with its neutron laser.
(If the Priest had failed its remaining 6+ armour save from the Vindicare’s Exitus rifle he would have croaked for sure. Rolling damage after the fact – I’m masochistic like this – I hit *another* 3 on the D3 for damage. The save was made however and the Priest survived…)
Following the first battleround, the Shroudpsalm breaks in favour of the Benediction of the Omnissiah…
Blood Angels Turn 2:
Rolling 3 times once more for the supply cache, this time the tactical squad that took some heat from the Neutron Laser discovers the hidden supply cache! He who controls this at the end of the match wins the game! Meanwhile the Sanguinary Priest performs some triage on himself, healing back both wounds lost from the sniper fire earlier.
Sensing the danger the snipers represent, Captain Scipio activates the “Upon Wings of Fire” stratagem to get in the face of the Vindicare. He is joined by the second unit of veterans from Reserve. The Vindicare’s position becomes… tenuous, at best.
Failing his first charge, and only achieving a successful charge on the re-roll, Captain Scipio quickly pummels the Vindicare into submission.
The remainder of the Blood Angels consolidated their position on or around the objectives and taking cover from sniper-fire.
Adeptus Mechanicus Turn 2:
Continuing a string of all-or-nothing shooting rolls, the Kataphron Destroyers hose down a unit of marines near the objective with heavy grav cannon fire. The unit is wiped out with 4 wounds to spare. There’s not much else doing at this point, as the Neutron Laser and Snipers are ineffective this turn most of the units are either well back or otherwise in an unfavourable position for shooting, particularly with the Death Company due to arrive during the next half turn.
Blood Angels Turn 3:
Activating “Upon Wings of Fire” once more, Captain Scipio closes to 9″ of the Onager Dunecrawler, as the Death Company plunges down in front of the Kataphron Destroyers. Spreading out from behind the fire detector spire, Mephiston casts Quickening on Scipio, and smites 3 Vanguard.
Activating an Infoslave skull, the Destroyers fire their grav cannons at the Death Company, only connecting twice on 5+ ‘to hit’. One of the death company perishes. Using Descent of Angels, the Death Company proceeds to murder the destroyers, consolidating into the tech priest behind, who claims one more.
Captain Scipio meanwhile, absolutely ravages the Onager Dunecrawler. Seeking revenge, its machine spirit overcooks its reactor causing a massive explosion, killing a nearby Ruststalker, taking two wounds off of the Tech Priest, and failing to do any damage to the Death Company. Scipio takes 3 wounds, but saves 2 of them via the Feel no Pain.
Adeptus Mechanicus Turn 3:
The excitement at the front lines opened an opportunity for the infiltrators to reveal their position. Coming from an open flank, they use their flechette blasters to clear the marines off of the supply cache. A weakness has been revealed in the Blood Angels back line!
Startled into action, the Ruststalkers charge Captain Scipio with claw and blade, hacking him down in unexpected fury. Meanwhile, the Death Company finish off the Dominus and consolidate into the back of the stalkers.
Blood Angels Turn 4:
Trying to buy some time for other units to reinforce the all important objective, the scouts loitering in the backfield make an 11″ charge into the infiltrators, though pay for it dearly losing 60% of their number, and claiming none. The Death Company meanwhile continue their rampage through the front line, killing 2 of the Rust Stalkers, but taking 3 casualties in return. (aside: these Ruststalkers are plucky bastards when they’re not shot off the table in the first turn, I like them!)
Adeptus Mechanicus Turn 4:
Rather than risking the assault phase, the infiltrators opt to use their flechette blasters to murder the remainder of the Scouts in the shooting phase.
Sensing a diminishing opportunity to win the game, the Ruststalkers flee the Death Company in order to attempt to secure the supply cache. Covering their retreat the 7 Rangers lay down a withering fusillade and kill…. One more of the black clad lunatics… Hoping for a miracle, the lone Engineseer charges, Omnissian axe raised – only to eat a thunder hammer and die screaming. *OOF*
Blood Angels Turn 5:
In the final turn, the Angels are left without a troops choice left on the table. Instead Mephiston and the Sanguinary Priest take up a position on the objective, while the Veterans that had previously dropped on the Vindicare finally rally back to viciously murder the Infiltrators, rolling exceptionally well. Meanwhile, the two remaining Death Company make short work of the Rust Stalkers, swinging thunder-hammers at what amount to water-striders (*SPLAT*).
Adeptus Mechanicus Final Turn:
The game effectively hinged on everything going right at this stage. You’ll notice above that the priest and mephiston are on the Mechanicus side of the objective – the Vanguard had largely played the match very cagey, not wanting to get shredded by the Lord of Death. But if they managed to get an 11″ charge in on the Priest, kill him, and consolidate into Mephiston, the game would be won for the Mechanicus (my inner techpriest dictates this has an 8% chance of occuring).
It was not to be however, and the Blood Angels leave the field victorious.
But not before the Rangers unleash another WITHERING fusilade and completely fail to remove the final two Death Company, who rolled box-cars on their 2x 6+ FNP rolls.
Goddamn they wouldn’t die.
What a game! Afterwards I got a bit existential about things – but if a single dice roll had gone in either direction it would have put things on its head. Like what would have happened if that Sanguinary priest dropped to snipers in the first round? Or what would have happened if the Destroyers rolled hot during overwatch or with the infoslave skull?
Meanwhile, the Blood Angels player was reflecting on the value of Line of Sight blocking terrain. After turn 1, the snipers didn’t have that much in the way of targets. He kept them well stowed behind the spire at the center of the table.
Anyways, always a hoot playing with this fellow, looking forward to the next one.