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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Apocalypse! Space Marines vs. Orks

Long time no see!

I've been very busy getting ready to go back to school, and have compiled a lot of source material for new posts this month (1 Product review, a Step By Step tutorial, Hobby Update), and the current post, an Apoc Battle Report! As a primer, visit the Games Workshop website and read up on the Rynn's World Disaster campaign that they wrote many years ago.

This will be a bit more informal than I'd like, since I'm missing the full list of forces that we both lead onto the battlefield. My friend Kyle and I are slowly working our way through the Rynn's World Campaign, re-fighting it the way my army, the Dragon Knights, would have fought it. Thus far, we've got a 3-0 Winning streak in my favour; the Waaagh! was effectively diverted at Goodlanding (Player's Privilege!) to land on the planet of New Rynndar. This was a planet that was once home to a long forgotten Space Marine chapter that suddenly disappeared, leaving their fortress monastery the Absolution of Justice, to rot in disrepair.

The Abandoned Fortress Monastery... In Progress, but a great battlefield!



Lead by the Hero Commander of the Dragon Knights, Terragon the Warrior (Widely believed by members of the inquisition to possibly be one of the rumoured lost Primarchs, deleted from Imperial Records eons ago), the forces of the Dragon Knights have set up a resistance force within the perimeter of the old and damaged fortress, hoping to stop the Orks of Waaaaagh! Ghazkhull Mad Uruk Thraka, that struck on one of his off periods from invading Armageddon.

The Forces of the Imperium! 3000pts of Codex Units +1000pts of Apocalypse



Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Dragon Knights at this battlefield was Commissar Yarrick who (For the sake of fluff and fun) took command of the Icestorm, a Baneblade that had been retrofitted for the coming battle. Eager to get to grips with his adversary, he was prepared to dive off the side of the tank into the melee when the Ork tide came crashing over the hill!

The Horde of Ghazzy! 3000pts of Codex Units +1000pts of Apocalypse



Now then, to start off, we had looked at the scenario and weren't certain if it was truly fair to the Orks. The Imperial Player (IN ADDITION TO HIS NORMAL FORCES), gets a Planetary Defence Laser, and three strategic assets [Precision Strike, Orbital Bombardment, and Scheduled Bombardment]. This seemed a little lopsided, in addition to gaining an additional 1 asset per player (Working out to one each, since it was only the two of us.) Lastly, the Ork Player gets one less asset than the Imperial Player, since I won the last game in the Campaign, meaning he would regularly have a big ZERO assets. So, we made the following Modifications to the scenario to make things more fair;

1. Ork Player gets 3 Strategic Assets + 1 per player +/- 1 depending on the last mission.
2. All models on the table may take a cover save from the explosion of the monastery when the rogue missile strikes, provided that at least 50% of the unit or model in the case of vehicles, is covered by something else. We ruled that all terrain would be destroyable as well, on a 3+ for barricades and a 5+ for anything not packing an armor value. This gives the Orks (Who it's assumed would be farther from the explosion than the marines), would then have a greater chance of surviving over and above the marines stationed around the base of the building.
3. The Planetary Defense Laser's Minimum Range was Reduced to 24" due to the size of our table. (Later thoughts: I would also remove the Strength D if we did that again, as balance).

Our table ran 8 feet by 6 feet; a great size for our game.



So with a beautiful day (And over 12 hours to play), plenty of coke and Pizza, we set about preparing for the game. Kyle Picked out his strategic assets, choosing:

1. Reinforcements
2. Force Field
3. Rok 'em Boyz!

I went with the three that were given in the campaign (Which we decided to alter after the game), plus my one that we get arbitrarily. I chose the Legion Relic, allowing me to finally assemble my Primarch in all his glory. Based off Lysander's profile, with the Legion Relic, and granted 1 Veteran Skill (Feel no Pain!), Kyle and I decided to replace Bolster Defences with Holocaust from the Daemonhunter's Codex, and grant him a Storm Bolter (Since the model has one).

I bid 7 minutes setup time, and won first turn because of it.



I scheduled my bombardments secretly, and marked down the cluster mine location for my 3 scout bikes on a crude map, strung out across the center barricades. My setup was confined mostly to vehicles and telling Kyle what buildings held what; we decided the lascannons on top of the bunkers were still in working order, but not the heavy bolters.

Deployment items of note: On the far left I deployed a Land Raider Redeemer with 6 Thunderhammer Terminators, and on the far right the stand in for the Fortress of Arrogance; The former was an unexpected blessing, while the latter turned out a bit disappointing later on in the game. I left my scout bikes and close combat scouts in reserve early on, along with a 10 man terminator squad and my Primarch in reserve for a late game counter punch. The building on the far right held a full assault squad with chaplain, while SGT Telion held the far left. Strung out along the middle was my meager display of vehicles.

Kyle bid 15 minutes, and clustered unexpectedly into the opposite corner from where I expected.



The Orks landed in the narrower corner of his deployment zone, his Stompa nearly opposite my Thunderhammer Terminators. With 2-1 Superheavies on the table (The other being a Skullhamma), I was a little concerned that my highly elite force wouldn't be able to stand up to the ork hordes facing me. Kyle clustered most of his boyz within 12 inches of that Force Field, which grants a 4+ INVULNERABLE save to whatever units are within that 24 inch circle, as long as they're not vehicular.

That meant even if I managed to score a direct hit with my ground mulching Defence laser, he would still get a 50% chance to save each boy hit. Also, strung out amongst the vehicles on the far side, was a battlewagon with a big mek in it, granting a 4+ cover save to any vehicle within 6 inches... this included the Stompa, a Deff Dread, and a Trukk loaded with Nobz. The stompa also carried 20 boyz, while the Skullhamma protected another 30 from fire.

The armies face off... entirely too close for Marine Comfort.



Turn 1: Marine Movement

As this is fifth edition, I allowed Kyle to roll for stealing the initiative. With a 5, he nearly snagged it! Fortunate for me! So, after appraising the board (And cursing myself for sticking the Fortress of Arrogance so far from the action!), I decided that the best way to play this would be balls out and bold. First though, came my Scheduled Bombardment; I had expected Kyle to deploy at least a superheavy or a squad back in amongst those buildings, so I selected the cluster of 3 buildings as my first drop point. Unfortunately, the only things within that area were the 8 Deffkoptas Kyle took, so they took a brutal slamming and lost half their number... promptly breaking and flying away.

Plowing through the forest in front of it, the Terminators Disembark.



Having read the profile on the Supa Gattler, I was determined to at least hammer the Stompa once and see if I could stop it. As such, the Land Raider and a Melta equipped rhino plowed through the forest right into the Ork's maw; I was sweating as I rolled that difficult terrain test, praying for anything but a 1!

My remaining movements were fairly rudimentary; shifting vehicles a little so they counted as moved, forcing the Fortress up 6 inches, and lining up my targets for the first round of shooting.

Forcefields Protectin' Da Boyz!



Turn 1: Marine Shooting

My first turn of shooting was interesting and unexpected. My orbital bombardment didn't come in, and most of my big guns did little to nothing; the Baneblade slew a single warbiker with its heavy bolters and missed with both Lascannons. However, with its main cannon it managed to strike a unit of boyz clustered up near their force field. Kyle was magic with saves though, and only lost ten. They didn't do so well, however, when my Thunderfire cannon opened up on the trukk beside them; it scattered onto them all four times, causing another 15 dead orks!

The rest was a bit more satisfying; the Whirlwind took out 5 Stormboyz, and the smaller guns across my army managed to immobilize both Battlewagons (Missile Launchers on a 6!), blow up the Deff Dread, and cause something to go KERUNCH! on a Trukk. As the orks jumped out, the planetary laser swung around to force feed them a round of molten fire, that promptly scattered off them and back onto the lineup of vehicles, destroying a wagon and the deff dread. Man of the match went to the Dreadnought; after only shaking the main gun on the Skullhamma with his TL Lascannon, his rogue Missile Launcher managed to damage its drive!

A Tempting target... will the orks bite?



Turn 1: Marines Assault... ORKS??

Believing their sacrifice to be worth it if they somehow scored a big enough chain reaction to kill it, the Terminators charge the Stompa. What they achieve, however, is 7 shaken results... 4 of which I applied to the main gun, and the other 3 I placed on the Supa Rockets. Kyle rolled his saves for the main gun, and only made half of them (To be expected). The Main gun on the Stompa was out of the game... this turn. In return he stepped on a Terminator in retaliation.

The Terminators Charge an adversary 10X their size.



Turn 1: Orks Movement

After a long period of removing models from the table, Kyle finally got the chance to surge forward like the green tide he was playing. The Koptaz also managed to regroup, moving into the farthest back building. He pulled everything else forward 6 inches (And rolling his run rolls in as well, since we knew they wouldn't be doing anything else), and the orks hot footed it across the table with a wave of 5's and 6's! The Big mek in the wrecked battlewagon approached the surviving Terminators as the Stompa Stepped over them to engage the Land Raider, and the boyz inside its armored hide bailed out the first chance they got.

The Orks Charge forward...



The nobs from the back trukk with their warboss also tried to get to the Terminators, but rolled a 1 for their run; if all went well, they'd be the ones on the receiving end of a charge. Ghazkhull moved from the smoking pit that had been his battlewagon, and urged the boyz onward as they sprinted (Biked, and rolled in the case of the Skullhamma) towards my defense line. The remaining Nob-trukk also sprinted forward, gunning for my Artillery emplacement with the Whirlwind.

Turn 1: Ork Shooting

While not famed for their shooting, the orks certainly can pour out a decent amount of firepower. The trouble though really came from the Skullhamma, however. Even with the main gun shaken, the big shootas and kannon on the thing were more than enough to slaughter 3 marines on top of the nearest bunker, and shake it around enough to stop the top gun from firing. The squad inside the Stompa also opened up with their shootas, killing another Terminator.

Sergeant Telion surveys the massive blast crater from an orbital Rokking.



Last, however, Kyle decided to drop the bomb... er, rok, on me as Ghazkhull shouted "Rok 'em Boyz!!", pointing vaguely towards the defense laser. Now, as anyone whose faced this before knows, the scatter on the Rok is measured in FEET, not inches, and if a direct hit is rolled, it scatters one less foot in the direction of the little arrow on the bulls eye. As such, he rolled a 6 foot scatter, but a direct hit, so it travelled 5 feet to the edge of the board, slamming down next to the bunker with SGT Telion in it, and obliterating the defense line beside it. Not a single model was harmed, but it was still funny enough to stop the game for about 10 minutes!

Turn 1: Ork Assault

The orks charged forward in the lower corner of the board, the Big Mek swinging his power Klaw wildly at the Terminators, the Warboss and nobz stepping up to the 3 man squad of tactical marines (Who had lost 2 of their number when the defense laser fired), and the Stompa engaging the Land Raider as it hurtled past. It was a 2-1 split in favour of the orks; The Stompa skewered the Land Raider and blew it apart despite needing 6's to hit (Strength D, after all!), and the Nobz chowed down on the squad, who only killed a single nob in return. The one moral victory for the Dragon Knights was for the Terminators who squashed the Big Mek out of hand. Not really an epic win, but still.

The Sun goes down on the first turn... and blood already bathes the ground.




Turn 2: Marine Movement

The fortress let loose another barrage of missiles into the skies, and struck down incoming ork drop ships left right and center; the ancient battery didn't malfunction, as Kyle rolled under the 5+ required to cause the catastrophic explosion that would obliterate most of the battlefield. My movement began with a second shelling on cue from my scheduled bombardment; I had chosen the city, again, hoping the unit I'd pounded first turn would be ready to give up the ghost, and was able to catch another pair of deffkoptas.

Hit the deck!!



My scout bikes and Scouts came on, but not where I wanted at all; the close combat scouts took the far board edge, where their combi-flamer would do no good. I got the choice for the Scout Bikes, however, and chose to put them in the same place; I figured the Skullhamma would be a decent target if I managed to destroy it this turn, and the boyz inside would be packed together for my locator beacon guided terminators to attack as well. The fortress lumbered up another 6 inches, and the Thunderhammer Terminators turned to face the oncoming nobz. Other than that, stationary again were my forces.

Turn 2: Marine Shooting

I could see Ghazkhull clearing his throat, ready to signal the mighty WAAAAAAGH! that would descend upon my small force and crush them, so I took the opportunity to soften up the Orks as much as I could. The Fortress of Arrogance targeted the squad of Ork Boyz charging up the hill, tearing through them and the unit behind them, and forcing morale checks now that they were under 11 models. They pressed on, however, though the bikers fell back in the face of Heavy Bolter Fire from the tank. The Lascannons stripped a pair of structure points from the Skullhamma, and with a high pitched whistling, the ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT came from above, and Immobilized it!

The Icestorm, at Yarricks Behest, pounds the living daylights out of the Skullhamma.



Then, in a true display of what a superheavy is capable of, the Stompa proceeded to absorb the rest of my army's shooting; all but the whirlwind (Which destroyed another 4 Stormboyz, making them run) fired at it, trying to bring it down in a PRECISION STRIKE. While we were hitting on 2's, that armor thirteen seemed blessed by Gork... or possibly Mork. An entire 3000 points of shooting only managed to damage the drive. The Defense laser warmed up again, ratcheting around on decrepit mounts, to pump another round into the behemoth; it scored a direct hit, slaying all but 7 of the boys that had piled out... and shaking the main gun on the Stompa. Turn 2 without the Super Gatla! Woohoo!

Turn 2: Marine Assaults

I only had one unit brave (Or stupid enough) to charge headlong into the Orks, and that was the Terminator squad charging the Warboss and his 3 remaining nobz. They slugged it out heavily, the Orks killing 2 more Terminators while they retaliated by squashing another nob, and wounding the Warboss once. One more Terminator was crunched into nothingness by the warboss' Power Klaw, leaving the Sergeant valiantly trying to hold them off all by himself.

There's an epic combat... wayyyy over there!




Turn 2: Ork Movement

A thousand Greenskin voices (Writer's license again!) raised in a mighty WAAAAAAGH! as Ghazkhull Mad Uruk Thraka called forth a thunderous charge right into the enemy lines. Orks lost what little sense they had and began dashing furiously forward towards my lines, approaching with the speed of... well, a chargine ork! All three units falling back kept going, however, though the rest of Kyle's army lunged forwards. Also, the 30 boyz inside the Skullhamma bailed out of thier stuck ride, anticipating the charge and wanting to be away what could soon become an armored coffin.

Highlights include Ghazkhull leaping up onto the parapet across from where one of my rhinos was parked, and the nob trukk smashing through a set of barricades to wedge itself between that rhino and my whirlwind. The Stompa, servos grinding in protest, also continued, approaching charging range (6-8 inches, we weren't sure) of the scout's bunker. Things were looking grim indeed!

Let the good times WAAAAAAAGH! Crazy Drivers!




Turn 2: Ork Shooting

As is ork tradition, when Ghazzy roars, you drop your gunz and charge forward! Kyle had next to no shooting, but plenty of dashing forward a full 6 inches. The boyz from inside the Skullhamma were first across the defense line, and BANGBANGBANG went the cluster mines. Unfortunately, the orks were moving so fast that only three were perforated by the claymores. The rest of the boyz charged through the opening, getting into position to charge my rhino, the bunker with the assault squad in it, the Skyshield landing pad, and my stationary whirlwind.

WARNING: walls may be mined.



Since each of these units, Ghazkhull with his 2+ invulnerable save among them, all had power Klaws, I was looking at a lot of dead vehicles and buildings this turn unless a miracle occured. Some good luck did occur, however, in that the Stompa unleashed all 3 of its supa rockets at once; one bounced off the bunker in front of it, and the other two merely shook the Whirlwind, for all the good it would do me.

Turn 2: Ork Assaults

With a scream, a belch and a whoop, Kyle charged. Going left to right across the field, the 30 boy mob attacking the bunker did little more than shake it, despite autohitting. My rhino went up in a brilliant explosion, killing 1 nob and a couple boyz. So too went the Skyshield, wounding another nob, and letting the explosion from the whirlwind... also detonating, kill a second. Finally, after squashing two nobs all by himself, the last Thunderhammer Terminator finally was laid low by the Warboss, leaving him and a buddy standing way out in left field watching a squad of boyz run the other way. (They must have known what was coming next!)

Klaws open cans to get to the meat inside.




Turn 3: There she blows!!

Describing a graceful arc into the sky, a single missile deviated from its course as Kyle rolled a 6, and fell back towards the ancient monastary. It slammed home with crippling force, detonating the old ammunition stockpile and turning the hillside into a liquid inferno. We resolved the S10 AP1 hits in concentric 1 foot deep arcs from the fortress, so as to imitate the explosion sweeping outward and destroying everything in its path. The Death Toll mounted like crazy; the Thunderfire cannon was blown away, leaving the techmarine alive. Two full combat squads were incinerated on the spot, and the razorback and Dreadnought were immobilized. My scout bikers and all but three of my scouts died horribly, immolated alive. The fortress was untouched, as was the skullhamma.

Nearly 30 orks were removed from the table as the fortress went, leaving two partial ork squads, Ghazkhull (Who with his invul passed easily), 2 nobz, and an immobilized trukk behind. All but SGT Telion on top of the close bunker died as well, and both bunkers were shaken heavily, thier occupants unable to fire out unless they piled out. By my estimate, both Kyle's and my forces were instantly whittled down to a 3rd of thier remaining strength, and most of my men were in the open. It would come down to the Terminators and Assault squad to carry the day.

As the dust settles, the cries of wounded can be heard.




Turn 3: Marine Movement

With my last reserves arriving, I deepstruck close to the table edge with my Terminators, hoping to scatter into the Stompa's back arc. A direct hit was rolled, however, and my 10 armor clad Tactical Dreads landed with a thump. Behind Ghazkhull, a rift in the warp opened and Terragon stepped out, his armored bulk nearly the size of a Terminator himself, his flame wreathed sword cutting a firey contrail through the air.

Where did everyone go?



Other than that, little else moved, as the 3 remaining scouts leapt on the farthest back objective, and the 1 marine from on top of the fortress headed for the rear objective, in case the Techmarine fell. The assault squad left thier bunker, twin flamers at the fore to engage the nearest ork boyz, and the combat squad in the razorback piled out to face another small unit of them. Lastly, my third scheduled bombardment fell, clipping the side of the Skullhamma and striking another structure point off.

Turn 3: Marine Shooting

The shooting was more a series of mop-ups, wiping out the nobz and boyz in the open before the remnants of the fortress. The Fortress even forwent shooting at the Skullhamma in front of it with its main gun, opting instead to fire on the Stompa. It was slightly out of range, which left SGT Telion to try to slowly crank the decrepit Lascannon around as the clanking behemoth approached. Aiming quickly, he snapped off a shot, and against all odds, immobilized it just out of charging range!

Apocalyptic EXPLOSION!!



The Terminators pelted it with Missiles as well, but woe betide the Marines, for the Deth Cannon and Supa Gattla made thier saves! The last shooting I had was my pair of lascannons on the Baneblade; they opened up on the Skullhamma, and sent it skyrocketing into a massive 18 inch template that blew a gigantic crater into the turf.

Turn 3: Marine Assaults

There wasn't really much left on the board now, so Kyle and I decided we'd run one more turn, just to see what would happen. I only made the one charge with my Assault Marines, wiping out the last 10 boyz not fleeing on the table, and then we moved to the Orks last turn.

Victory...?




Turn 3: Orks Movement

At this stage, all that really could move was Ghazkhull, so for honours sake, he turned around and charged towards the Dragon Knight, who waved his fellows away, choosing to take on the greenskinned lummox himself, alone. Kyle's REINFORCEMENTS werent an issue anymore; he chose to forgo thier return to finish the game quickly; I agreed, mainly because anything he brought back would take so much fire first turn that it'd probably just die arbitrarily.

Turn 3: Orks Shooting

The Stompa took aim; we were both ready and waiting for what this thing would do. The only gun it had was the Supa Gattla and Deth Kannon, but damned if they couldn't wipe me right outta the game. So it came to this gun, and what damage it can do. He rolled to hit, and scored 12 shots on the first unit (a 4 man combat squad), and wiped it out. Then he moved onto another 5 man squad, and knocked them down to 2 men. Then he turned to the assault squad, and unfortunately rolled doubles. However, the deth kannon still got to fire at the last unit, slaying those last two marines.

DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA!BOOM!




THE FINAL ASSAULT!

This was what we'd all been waiting for; the showdown between Ghazkhull, and Terragon the Warrior. While objectives would decide the game, this fight would tell the moral victory (And also decide whether or not the vaunted Primarch would be able to return in the Battle of Jadeberry Hill). The Warboss charged headlong into the Lord of Dragons, meeting his Sword with Klaw and Headbutt. On the charge, Thraka has 7 attacks at Strength 10, striking at I1. Terragon, using Lysander's profile with the Legion Relic, Strikes 6 times at Initiative 5, S10, and with a successful psychic test can cast Holocaust which scores an additional S5 AP- hit.

They were VERY evenly matched, Terragon's Feel No Pain useless, and both of them Eternal Warriors. Terragon swung 6 times, hitting 4 and wounding twice, hacking away at the enraged warboss. Ghazkhull headbutted the valiant Dragon Knight (causing a wound), and grabbed him with his giant claws, cutting deep into his armor and flesh (and another!). Terragon Unleashed a mighty bellow and the air around him burst into flame, sending the Warboss reeling (And delivering a third wound on a failed armor save!).

Clash of the Titans!



At this stage, the game had ended, but we decided on one last assault phase to decide the combat. Terragon swung, connected twice, and a single wound snuck through, striking Ghazkhull down. However, as the warboss, nose bloodied and a horn missing, stumbled backwards, he grinned maniacally and flipped open a contraption on his suit of mega-armor and activated his hidden Telly-porta, disappearing from the battlefield, leaving Yarrick frustrated again as his tank finally rumbled up beside the wounded Dragon Knight.

GAME OVER!

The Game ended in a resounding victory for the Dragon Knights, as we held two objectives to the orks Nil. We could have fought it out to bring in Kyle's Skullhamma again through reserves, but it was getting late and it was a very long shot in his favour.

As the mountain blazed away in the background, bodies slowly being devoured by the rushing lava, the surviving marines scatter to the four winds, each drawing away elements of the ork force as more greenskins make planetfall. The next battle will be starring my Pedro Kantor standin, but until then, this mission is over!

Bring out ya dead, Bring out ya dead!




FINAL THOUGHTS:

As you can see from the dead pile above the game was very bloody, and very devastating. However, I still believe that the scenario was a little too fair to the Imperial Players. From now on, I think I may make some modifications to the scenario to alter how it plays. My thoughts are as such:

1. The Imperial Player gets the Defense Laser free. On a larger table I would simply choose that the Imperial Player MUST purchase the Defense laser, and gets the missile bank from the Fortress of Redemption for free. This soaks up 350pts of the Imperial Player's reserves, and allows the orks to outnumber them more. I felt it was slightly unbalancing and very deadly on a smaller table though, so with the shortened 24 inch minimum range I'd have it cost 500pts instead of 350.

2. The strategems that the Imperial Player gets arbitrarily are all well and good, but they a) feel like they're designed to pound orks, with multiple large blast templates, and b) don't fit the scenario very well. I personally don't believe that the Imperials, on a mountain fortress, would be using orbital weapons on the position due to error causing friendly casualties. As such, when next I run this mission, I'll suggest that the Imperial Player instead take:

- Bunkers
- Obstacles
- Supreme Command Headquarters

+1 per player

That makes them have to play more defensively, and gives the ork player a chance to move up with more boyz. Plus, I would keep the ork player getting an equal number of toys, +1 per player, and +/- 1 depending on the outcome of the previous game.

All in all, it was a blast (No pun intended), and the game was fun and really cinematic. Next time I feel it'll be a bit more fair, and hopefully a little more challengeing. Kudos to my buddy Kyle for being a great sport even while I was pounding the crap out of him, and well done for the tactically crazy (But very orky) charge he pulled off turn two... it was devastating!

Played an amazing game of Apoc lately? I'd love to hear about it... leave a comment! Follow this blog for more batreps like this one... comments and critiques welcome!

3 comments:

  1. Ho-lee-kow! That was an awesome BatRep DK! Super fun top read, entertaining and concise without being overwhelming. I enjoyed the heck out of it! I can't wait to hear about the Apoc Rematch!

    ReplyDelete
  2. THOROUGHLY enjoyed this! Read through the whole thing without getting disinterested or bored at all! Fantastic battle report overall

    ReplyDelete
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