Saturday, 3 August 2019

Luna Assault - Thule Ultima narrative battle 1


Points: 1500.
Mission: Only War.
Deployment: Dawn of War.

Thule Ultima is a shield world protecting the approach to Holy Terra from the horrors of the Warp that spill forth from the ruins of Cadia. Garrisoned by over a dozen full regiments of the Astra Militarum. Thule Ultima stands as the greatest bulwark against the advance of Abaddon and his legions of chaos space marines.

Recently agents of the Ordos Xenos seized control of a rogue trader vessel suspected of engaging in illegal activities with alien species. On board they found a nest of genestealers and cultists. Records indicated that the ship had come from Thule Ultima, and psychic interrogation of the ship's crew revealed that the shield world had fallen to a genestealer cult calling itself The Cult of the Faithful. 

Aware that the Dark Angel battle barge - the Spear of Truth - was returning from a conflict in the Hera system, the Ordos Xenos asked them to investigate. The space marines translated in system and made for Solaris, the moon of Thule Ultima. A small strike force was deployed to catch the cult unaware and prevent them raising the alarm.

---

This game started off simply as a means of crossing the Dark Angels off my list of armies I wanted to play against. I only know of two people who play Dark Angels, my nephew and my friend Joel. Joel hasn't played a game of 8th edition to my knowledge so it seemed like a good way to bring back into the hobby.

After our match I had the idea of getting some more games in with him and his Dark Angels, and the idea of a narrative campaign separate the club's Vigilus games seemed like a fun way to do it. Hopefully it will make for some interesting battle reports.

---

The introductory mission seemed like a good way to get Joel back into the game easily and I quite enjoy the simplicity of it. We set up the four objectives up in a roughly T shape centrally, and then Joel decided on the classic Dawn of War deployment. Joel set most of his army up on the right flank of the table with some deathwing terminators and a terminator librarian in deep strike aboard his battle barge.  What worried me most though was his flyer, which I had no real defence against. Most of my army was deployed as blips which was unexpected by my opponent. My patriarch, primus, hybrids and genestealers waited in reserve, deep in the tunnels beneath the lunar surface.


We then rolled for the actual mission and it was the Relic special. The objective on my left flank turned out to be the one we needed - presumably the communications console to warn the surface. Joel had nothing deployed near it and I was going to have to use some stratagems if I wanted to ensure it remained safely in cult hands. Joel then infiltrated some scouts into a ruin across from the objective. All very sneaky.

I had the first turn. On my left flank I moved my rockgrinder forward towards his scouts. Next turn I wanted to burn them down with my clearance incinerator. One unit of brood brothers advanced behind it. The idea being to get them onto the objective as quickly as possible. My magus moved that way as well but only because I didn't really have a plan for what to do with him. Nothing else moved and I kept focused on the approaching ravenwing bikers.


First shot of the game and my second brood brother squad managed to take some wounds off of Joel's Nephilim jetfigher with their lascannon, although I used the free re-roll the mission gave me to increase the damage from 2 to 3. A good shot but I would have liked more. The cult leman russ tank got a good number of battle cannon shots into one biker squad dealing a good amount of damage and turning my opponent's ire upon it. My Astra Militarum leman russ executioner however did the opposite and I'm not even sure now that it inflicted any wounds.

On Joel's first turn he zoomed the two bike squads forwards, and even restored one to the living with his apothecary. He brought the nephilim swooping forward so that it was the facing the brood brother squad I had advanced towards the objective. His shooting decimated that squad, killing them to a man. The bike squads opened fire with their plasma weapons into my cult leman russ and although the recently restored battle brother blew himself up, they destroyed my tank with ease.

Turn two and my neophyte hybrids used a stratagem to vanish back into the tunnels. I decided to keep everything else on my right flank to occupy the Ravenwing bikers and the predator tank that Joel had hidden up on his corner of the table. I also used a statagem to have my acolyte hybrids pop up right next to Joel's scouts and burn most of them down with hand flamers. I managed to drop a couple more bikers and knock some wounds off of the nephilim as well, but I was having a hard time hitting that as it flew past.

Joel's turn two was fairly simple too. The Ravenwing bikers sped forward spitting fire into my troops and the executioner. A well placed high damage shot from his predator destroyed my executioner, which was disappointing as I had hopes for that taking out the rest of his Ravenwing.


Turn 3 and I dropped in my neophyte hybrids almost on top of the objective. I made sure they were close enough to be able to snag it if needed but within range of the surviving scouts. My primus scrambled up from the tunnels next to the objective so at least it was mine for the time being. Across the table I brought in my patriarch and his genestealers. The hope being to get into combat and tear through a few. I turned the rockgrinder towards a 5 man tactical squad that was inching forward up the table. The shooting phase saw my neophytes drop the last scouts and the rockgrinder dropped all but a couple of the tactical squad. Come the assault phase, I lost two or three genestealers to the bikers and then failed the charges of both the 'stealers and the patriarch.

Joel's turn 3 and down came his reinforcements - a 5 man deathwing terminator squad and a teminator librarian. Both came down on my left flank just able to deploy beyond the objective and my primus. He attempted to smite my primus but inflicted only a single wound. Unfortunately due to deathwing assault and an excellent shooting phase, the terminators decimated both my primus and the neophytes but it meant that no one held the objective.


And there we had to end the match as the venue was closing at the end of the evening. Although had the game continued Joel would have won because of his terminators, as they would have walked forward and pressed the off button. We both agreed however, that calling his first 8th edition game a draw was a fair and reasonable outcome given that neither of us held the objective at the end. We both had fun and I think joel learned a lot about the new edition.

After a long and hard fought battle, the Dark Angels had lost the element of surprise and the alarm had been sent to Thule Ultima. The Cult of the Faithful began to arm itself and prepare to the face the wrath of the space marines!

Dark Angels: 0.
Genestealer Cult 0.

Friday, 2 August 2019

OPTV battle 1


Some friends at our club have started their own 40K battle report youtube channel. This is their first one. Unfortunately it looks like Youtube messed up the formatting a little but hopefully the next one will be better quality.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Battle of Blood River - Vigilus

The battle of Blood River was an engagement fought between the the Genestealer Cult and a force of Khorne Daemons. The Cult was marching forth to engage the forces of the Imperium when they were set upon a sudden manifestation of daemons. The daemonic incursion cut off and surrounded the Cult, leaving them fighting for their lives.

1750 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Chaos Daemons (Khorne).
Mission: Scorched Earth.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.
Battle Zone: None.


This battle was played as game #2 of our day event a couple months ago. With that in mind my memory maybe a little rusty so please bear with me.

This game was against Jon's impressive khorne daemons army. I had been looking forward to this game as I don't get to face off against daemons all that often. We rolled off for deployment and faced each other across the table old skool style. From what I recall Jon set up about half of his army in battle lines across from me and ready to march into battle.

The game was soon down to combat regardless of the mission. Despite blasting many of the infernal horrors into dust Jon kept bringing a few back and deepstriking those he had in reserve. I didn;t do too badly to start with as even my cultists were able to take many down with massed firepower and the fortifications did me well too. But once they reached my lines things changed for the worse.

Once again my forces proved incapable of handling a dedicated assault based army. We did end up with an awkward situation where we did have a small but friendly argument as to how something worked and in the end we went with Jon's interpretation (although I still think I'm right :p ). It did't matter though as it wasn't a situation that would have changed the outcome of the game.

The game went quite quickly but with an expected outcome and I believe that Jon's daemons were very through in tabling my forces. They even tore down my fortifications in close combat.

I wish I could remember more of the details as it was a good fun game. It was probably the game out of the three that day that I had better chance at winning but it wasn't in my favour. My dice that day were fairly pants.

Victory to the khornate daemons.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Summer Update

I have been fairly quiet again lately unfortunately. Real life issues and training for a new promotion at work have kept me quite busy. I haven't even had much opportunity for painting lately. I'm hoping that as the summer progresses I can get back to painting and catching up on my battle reports.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Bloodbath - Vigilus

Having sustained numerous losses since the war on Vigilus began, the cult needed to secure at least a small victory to ensure their survival. A weapons depot in the wastelands was picked as a target as it was expected to be lightly defended while the major battles took place elsewhere. The cult made it's way through the badlands only to find that their expectations were very wrong. A detachment of Custodes lay in wait, having expected just such an attack from one of the Imperium's many foes on Vigilus.

1750 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Adeptus Custodes.
Mission: The Scouring.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.
Battle Zone: None.

This was a battle that took place as part of a small day's gaming back in April and not part of the club's ongoing narrative campaign. The details will be sketchy but hopefully you'll get the idea of how the game went.

The first game of the day was against my friend Dan who had brought his Adeptus Custodes army to the table. I have only defeated Custodes once and back then I was playing Death Guard with Mortarion. I was going to do the best that I could here but without sounding too negative, I was fully expecting to get wiped out with my poor cult.

The six objectives were set up fairly evenly across the table and we rolled Hammer and Anvil deployment, which at the time I thought was going to be good for me. I figured as most of Dan's army was walking across the table I might be able to do something before he got too close to me. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way as you have probably expected.

Dan's forces started walking up the table, snatching claim on objectives as they went along. Knowing that I didn't want to get into assault too soon, I elected to stay put and pour as much small arms fire into his troops as they came forward. In theory I should have been able to whittle a few of them down but as is always the case with me, my dice didn't want to play. It wasn't his troops that were the problem though. Dan had brought a venerable contemptor dreadnought, some vertus preator jetbikes and a caladius grav tank. He was able to put a lot of firepower into me before I could do much damage back.

From what I recall, I did managed to strip a few wounds and kill a handful of his troops, but I couldn't do much more than that before he was in my lines with the jetbikes. With some of my cult tied up, the rest of his army had little to slow their advance up the lines. Nothing I had stopped him. I think the game got to turn 4 before he had annihilated me.

It was a good game but considering deployment was more in my favour than Dan's I felt I should have been more effective with my shooting. It wasn't a failing in target priority but just a mixture of bad dice rolls and a tougher army than mine.

Monday, 15 April 2019

The Drona Steppes - Vigilus

The battle of the Drona Steppes followed the Imperial attack on Mount Drona. The Black Templars, led by High Marshal Helbrecht and Grimaldus, a counter attack against the cultists pouring from the tunnels beneath the local industrial buildings. Although outnumbered, the space marines fought through to the heart of the Cult in the region.

1500 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Space Marines (Black Templars).
Mission: Strategic Gambit.
Deployment: Search and Destroy.
Battle Zone: None.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Jamie challenged me to a game and brought along his Black Templars space marines. I was really pleased by this as I didn't think we had anyone at the club who played this specific chapter. To make things even better for me, Jamie included both Helbrecht and Grimaldus in his list.

At this time I had not had an opportunity to play any of the missions from Chapter Approved 2018 so Jamie picked one that he thought sounded good. We rolled Search and Destroy as our deployment which I thought considering the amount of LOS blocking terrain would actually do me good. Unfortunately the Space Marines got the first turn and I was extremely surprised at how quickly they got around the cover to be able to get some shots off at me. Once again I really found myself locked into my own deployment zone. Unless the dice gods were with me I would fighting to just hold my position.

As the first few turns progressed, the Templars charged down my right flank and assaulted the rockgrinder trundling towards them. They did some damage but the sturdy construction managed to absorb more wounds than the odds would have allowed. It didn't stop them bringing it down soon after though and although I used a stratagem to detonate the bombs on board it only succeeded in killing one marine.

On my left flank the main body of the space marine force was advancing forwards under cover of fire from a land raider crusader. That beast of a tank was decimating my brood brothers like they were nothing. Where the Templars charged my poor forces were cut down with ease.

Once I had the opportunity to bring in some reinforcements I figured I could at least do some damage even if the game was in the hands of a superior opponent. The genestealers, patriarch and primus clawed their way out of the sands behind his marines on the left flank although in an awkward position, and using a stratagem I popped up my hybrids 4 inches behind Helbrect, with their hand flamers pointed directly at him.

Molten premotheium poured from the hand flamers at the leader of the Black Templars. I rolled 21 wounds and even though Helbrecht has a 2+ armour save I expected to do something. Instead he passed every single one. In retaliation the mighty space marine commander sliced them down in assault. The genestealers did not fair much better. I charged but I could not make much in the way of saves and a handful fell on the way in. I did well in cut down a few marines but their attacks back decimated the genestealers and then the space marines turned all their firepower onto the remaining primus and patriarch.

Victory to the Black Templars.

---

It was a good game but I don't think I really got to explore the mission as I was too busy fending off brutal assaults. This was another game where my dice let me down so many times while my opponent's dice were working entirely in their favour. It's hard to do anything when the game is against you like that. Even so, it was really good to play against Black Templars again - the last time was under 4th edition!

Saturday, 6 April 2019

The Drona Conflict - Vigilus

The Drona conflict was a military campaign fought by the Imperium against the uprising Genestealer Cults. It took place around the industrial sites at the base of Mount Drona. 
The Imperium initially launched a series of artillery attacks against the Cult's fortified positions before sending in a large tank formation.

1300 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Astra Militarum (Catachan).
Mission: Cleanse and Capture.
Deployment: Dawn of War.
Battle Zone: None. 



I this battle faced the might of Charlie and .. well, at the time I wasn't sure what he was going to be bringing to the tabletop. In the end I was surprised by a rather unusual Catachan tank detachment. Not at all what I was expecting.

Deployment was along the long sides of the table facing one another. I let Charlie have the first turn as I wanted to know where he was looking to move his horde of tanks and I wasn't 100% confident on where I had placed my blip tokens. I had deployed my vengeance weapon platforms on either side of my side of the table to cover whichever way Charlie came at me but he was focused on one side of the table only. Charlie did put firepower into one of my weapon platforms reducing it down a little bit. I lost a handful of models as well but not as badly as I first feared.

On my turn I was able to take out one hellhound by a mixture of shooting and ramming it with my rockgrinder. A few wounds where taken off a couple of his tanks but I didn't have the means to much more than that. This turn I wasn't in a position to move forwards either which didn't help. Like most of my recent games I have been forced to remain locked largely in my own deployment zone.

The next couple turns were largely the same with Charlie blasting my weapon platforms into dust and just burning out my troops from their positions. When I did bring my hybrids and genestealers in I was able to finally do something. The hybrids just drew fire but the genestealers and patriarch tore through a couple of tanks before they inevitably went down to massed firepower.

I think by turn 4 I had been decimated to the point of not being able to continue so the survivours fled back into the sewers and I conceded the match.

---

First off, apologies for the shortness of this report. It was three weeks ago and I've just had chance to sit down and try to recall it. Had two other games since then and things are a bit fuzzy.

It was a good game and gave me the opportunity to see how I would or wouldn't handle a mechanized list. I guess I knew that I couldn't handle it but the fun came from seeing how well I could do it. I just could not do enough damage nor could I get out of my deployment zone to do anything else.

I'd really like to play a proper Catachan list. One more infantry based though as Charlie's list to me, wasn't all that fluffy. But as everyone else around here plays Cadian regiment I was happy.

---




Friday, 29 March 2019

Friendly grumbles about GSC

I'm really not having a lot of luck with my Genestealer Cult. It is to be expected though. I'm used to how MEQ armies play, due to finances I only have what I have, and I really need to get my head around how they play. However, I really would have thought that I'd have won one game already since the codex dropped a few weeks ago.

I keep reading about how great GSC are and how they can do all manner of twinky stuff but I'm just not seeing it.

I use Brood Brother squads as my default troop options as I want the heavy weapons - one with lascannon to deal with tanks and one with heavy bolter to mow down the infantry. The problem is that they don't have great saves and are easy to gun down with massed firepower. They never last long.

Genestealers and Acolyte Hybrids are my pop up units but neither are very good. The Genestealers pop up, charge and can usually decimate a unit but then everyone around them turns about and they get cut down by that massed firepower again. Likewise, I tend to use the stratagem that lets a unit pop up 3'' from the enemy with the Acolyte Hybrids so they can pour their hand flamers into them. But I only have five Hybrids and four of them have hand flamers. They do something, and then, they too become targets for enemy fire.

It gets really frustrating that I cannot get this army to deploy and act as a functional force. Obviously I need more units (thanks to my generous club mates, I do now have a Baneblade and Lemun Russ ready to go, and a Atalan Jackels box and Ridgerunner waiting to be built) but until such time as my financial situation improves this is what I am lumbered with.

I feel that I need more infantry but then I am concerned that I'll end up being very static and I want an army that will move about the table capturing objectives and doing something. Genestealers just don't seem worth the effort for what they are and how easily they die. I remember Genestealers being horrendous in previous editions (for Tyranids admittedly) but for GSC they seem like a one shot pony that dies after doing what you wanted it to.

To show you how badly I am doing a few weeks back I played against a CSM army that was two daemon princes, three chaos cultist squads and two summoned daemons (one unit of bloodletters and one unit of pink horrors)... and they tabled me basically. This was an opposing list that I should have just hammered into pink mist and I didn't. We had a great game but boy is it getting frustrating.

I'm throwing this out to you, my audience, what can you suggest that I do to increase my chances of actually winning a game or coming closer to it?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Vigilus campaign update


Our club's Vigilus campaign is going along nice and happy (if you call ducking incoming artillery happy). We're just about this week to complete the third round of the campaign and as I have been lax in posting up since the first round here is where we stand as of today.

We've made two small changes since it started. As the campaign is going to be running for a couple of years at least we have decided that players can play whichever faction they want each game to prevent boredom and it keep it interesting. We've also decided that rather than reward for just playing the suggested scenarios each round, that the 16/6 victory points will apply regardless of which mission is played.

Total Control:

326 campaign points - Imperium.
142 campaign points - Orks.
100 campaign points - Drukhari.
97 campaign points - Tyranids.
43 campaign points - Aeldari.
36 campaign points - Chaos.
22 campaign points - Tau Empire
22 campaign points - Necrons.

Round 3 (March 4th to April 1st).
Unwilling to sit back and watch their plans for Vigilus to come to naught, the Genestealer Cult rises up across the surface of the planet. Espionage and acts of terrorism force the Hivesprawls to close their borders and look to their own defences.

By the end of the third month the Imperium was in a much superior position than it had been in since the start of the conflict. The arrival of Aeldari forces and the approach of a Tyranid fleet assaulting the outer worlds however, have given the Imperial commanders pause for concern.

110 points: Imperium.
32 points: Aeldari.
24 points: Tyranids.
22 points: Necrons.
16 points: Chaos
12 points: Drukhari.
6 points: Orks.


Round 2 (February 4th to March 4th 2019):
Orks and other Xenos forces fall upon the vital supply convoys that run between the great hive cities, stealing resources and slaves. The Astra Militarum respond swiftly, engaging in running tank battles.
Meanwhile the Drukhari take the chaos of the sudden war to engage in slave raids and to sow confusion among the various combatants.

By the end of the second month the Imperium had begun to seriously fight back, seizing victory in a number of key sectors. The Ork and Drukhari menace were the biggest threats that the planetary defenders had to deal with and their numbers were growing. At the close of the month, rumours began to emerge about sightings of Aeldari forces in the wastelands, and it would lead the defenders to worry whether they were unexpected allies or another opponent to be slain.

1st place: Imperium.
2nd place: Orks and Drukhari
3rd place: Tyranids.
4th place: Tau
5th place: Chaos.
6th place: Aeldari.

Round 1 (January 7th to February 4th 2019):
In round 1, the mighty Ork forces make planetfall on Vigilus and immediately begin to assault the nearest hive cities. The Imperial defenders fall to political infighting in their futile attempts to organize a hasty defence.

By the end of the first month, the Imperial forces had turned their in-fighting around and were concentrating all firepower upon the alien aggressors arrayed before them. The Orks had secured a number of vital locations, constructed scrap towns and seized vital supply points. The emerging Genestealer Cult, Drukhari raiders and Chaos presences were for the moment largely ignored and underestimated however.

1st place:  Imperium.
2nd place: Orks.
3rd place: Tyranids.
4th place: Drukhari.
5th place: Chaos and Tau Empire.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Convoy Ambush - Vigilus

Imperial strategy was at present winning them the war for Vigilus. Their enemies although many had been forced into defensive positions. Even so, they suffered frequent and devastating assaults by Orks and Drukhari, and with the Genestealer Cults rising from the shadows, it was decided that the various hive city leaders should be brought together and protected. The Genestealer Cult had expected and prepared for just such a move...

1300 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Space Marines (Salamanders).
Mission: Behead the Viper.
Deployment: Special.
Battle Zone: None. 

I had not played against Alex and his Salamanders for probably the better part of a year so a rematch was long overdue. Back then I was playing Death Guard and this time around I knew I was going to get a pasting. Alex wanted to play Behead the Viper from the first Vigilus book and we agreed it made sense for my Genestealer Cult to be the attacking force looking to capture and infect some high ranking politicians.

I pretty much had what I had but I did make one small error which was to not read exactly how things set up and I included my vengeance weapon platforms but we agreed that they should be set up as part of the terrain so Alex knew where they where. Didn't really make too much difference though to the game.

Alex set up his forces at opposite corners of the board. One lot of marines guarding the entrance to the hive city and the other escorting a rhino with the dignitaries on board. I tried to set up using the blips as normal but it didn't really help with this mission if I'm honest. He knew where things were going to be and was prepared for them.

In fact it went really badly for me as his primaris marines just burnt down one brood brothers squad and shortly after, the second. I was able to swiftly immobilize the rhino meaning he couldn't get it to safety so I had high hopes even with the casualties. Alex barely had to move his marines as everything I had was in range of something and he even burnt down the two vengeance platforms with a mixture of heavy weapons and plasma incinerators.

When my reserves arrived they didn't do much. The hybrids popped up a few inches from his scouts using a stratgem and flamed all but one down, which then died in combat. But return fire decimated that unit. The genestealers didn't fare much better. They did their job taking down a lot of primaris marines and two characters, and were closest to the disabled rhino but their weakness to massed firepower reduced them all down.

The game ended turn 4 if I remember right with my army tabled once again. It was a fun game even though I think my army was absolutely terrible this game. Only the genestealers and the patriarch did anything worthwhile. Alex's army was really good and more than capable of stopping me.


Luna Assault - Thule Ultima narrative battle 1

Points: 1500. Mission: Only War. Deployment: Dawn of War. Thule Ultima is a shield world protecting the approach to Holy Terra from t...