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With the Eye of Terror campaign looming, and my local club planning a campaign of our own through it, there were all sorts of ideas circling when my opponent and I sat down and tried to work out what sort of battle to fight. At length, we picked a nice, simple Frontal Assault, with the following theme to it:
As reports grew of trouble brewing in the Eye of Terror, Forces of the Emperor dispatched forces to help halt any Chaos invasion. Summoned from their previous assignment - a lightning raid to slay a Genestealer Patriarch - Chaplain Marius' detachment was sped through the Warp to the Cadian Sector. Upon arrival, they were immediately ordered to investigate the silence of a Guard listening post. Spotting an alien ship (a Manta Missile Destroyer) in orbit, their ship immediately launched drop-ships to the planet's surface, sending the Detachment in a lightning-fast assault to clear the Tau from the area of the outpost - then launching an attack on the Missile Destroyer. Their ship out-gunned, it is essential that the Blood Angels manage to take the outpost before their ship can be driven off - only inside the outpost itself can they survive a bombardment - and besides, it is from there that the orbital defence lasers can be controlled.
So... yes. With this out of the way, it was time to arrange the table - with the neat 'outpost' piece of scenery he'd made in pride of place - and some scattered rock outcroppings poking up out of the desert sands... and we're ready!
Time to Deploy... well, by the mission guidelines (that I was reading as we went along), I had to deploy first, with a 24" deployment zone from one short edge of the table. Well, strangely enough I lurked *way* back at the back of there. If he was launching a 'lightning raid', I had no intention of being any closer than I had to be - let him run the gauntlet first With two fire-teams of fire-warriors (one of them led by An'shi - a fire warrior of mine who tends to survive and do heroic things for some reason. If any of you have read the Fire from the Heavens report I did, he's the one who somehow managed to penetrate the Rhino) lined up along the top of the outpost wall, three one-suit Broadside teams set up atop the tower behind them, O'Forann's team hiding behind a rock out-cropping near where my other crisis team hid and my Stealth suits doing their tempting stand out in the open about thirty inches from the front of his deployment zone, I was well and truly ready for anything he could throw at me. He could Black Rage all he wanted - no way would he reach my lines before the Manta Destroyer came back.
Then he produced his forces from their case. Ah. Two tactical squads, one in a Rhino, one in a Razorback, the famous Chaplain Marius with a jump-pack, a menacing-looking Dreadnaught and an ominously lascannon-heavy nine-man Devastator Squad.
Then things got worse - showing me the Death Company rules, he began to roll... his Chaplain coming away with six Death Company... to whom he added three more, all from Tac squads (rolling a 4, 6, 4 and 1). All with jump packs. For free. :blink:
Unsurprisingly, Chaplain Marius opted to Deep Strike, while the Devastator Squad set up behind some rocks - all four Lascannon primed. The transports set up at the front of their deployment zones, while the Dreadnaught stood in between them, practically daring the Tau firepower.
Then another addition to what was looking increasingly like a massacre. Apparently in a Frontal Assault, the Blood Angel player always goes first... :unsure:
First turn for the Blood Angels, and both tanks roared forwards at full speed towards my lines, the Dreadnaught bellowing out his fury as he black-raged... another three inches. Well, every little bit counts.
Coming around to Shooting, the Devastator squad opted to open fire on a few shadowy forms they could almost glimpse, around thirty inches away... and rolled eleven. 33". In. Things were getting worse and worse...
Thankfully, two of the lascannon-wielding marines managed to miss, but the other two blew away a stealth suit each - leaving a surprisingly brave (although chastened) Stealth Team Leader to plot his revenge.
Tau turn one, and already first blood to the Blood Angels. Great. Crisis Suits and O'Forann's squad bounced forward over the wall, firing off a volley of plasma-fire at the approaching tanks - but failing to roll five or six on the three hits they jointly managed, simply made ominous 'thumping' noised on the front. Maybe ruined the paint-job a little. Somewhat embarassed, they hid back behind the wall. 'Missed shots? What missed shots? We've been here all along...' The stealth-suit drew a bead... and fired his marker-light, successfully placing a cute little red dot on the front of the razor-back.
"Uh-oh..." <Blood Angel Commander>
Well... the Broadsides just wouldn't be Broadsides if they didn't take advantage of *that*... Railguns whirred, and the Razorback blew sky-high (2+ to hit, reroll misses, glance on a 1?). Six of the eight marines inside survived the flaming wreck, piling out to stand under the harsh desert sun. The next suit lined up on the Rhino... and *naturally* managed to miss with both attempts. The third Broadside managed to avenge him, obliterating the Rhino in a dazzling cloud of sixes that sent a massive gout of flame out across the dreadnaught onto the three marines from the reduced squad closest... but stubbornly enough, all three (and the nine from inside the tank) passed their armour saves with a depressingly large number of threes... :blink:
Have I ever mentioned I just *hate* power armour? <_<
Up on the outpost wall, the Fire Warriors opened up on the larger squad, but twelve plumes of sand later had spectacularly failed to hit *anything*. :o
Turn Two, and... apparently Chaplain Marius and his friendly Death Company had other things to do than actually come down and fight. Things are looking promising...
Then the roll for Black Rage - and the Dreadnaught doesn't go beserk at all. Instead, everyone else does - the Devastator Squad managing a six-inch beserk charge, immediately followed up by a six-inch dart forward into cover. The Tactical Squads hot-legged it across the sands, each mysteriously winding up in cover at the end of its movement - as you do in a nice, cover-poor desert with a Tau Cadre shooting at you from pretty much the only good cover there is...
The Dreadnaught kept on plodding forwards - still out of range of any of his weapons. A trend that carried over into the rest of the army, since for some reason only the Stealth suit was in range of the twelve-inch bolters... or rather *a* bolter. Not only that, but somehow the commander managed to roll a three for seeing them - only fitting when you consider the devastation of the turn before.
Then things moved on to the Tau second turn, with O'Forann and friends leaping back across the wall to successfully annihilate the six-marine squad, the Fire warriors picking off one from the larger squad, while the Stealth suit hung around just long enough to mow down one more before jumping away as fast as his suit could carry him (failed his Last Man Standing test, and couldn't rally, broke five). The Broadsides leaned down over the wall, and lined up their massive twin rail-guns on the Dreadnaught, firing off three shots... one of them missing for the second turn in a row, while the other two manage a pair of glancing hits on the Furioso's front (since he managed to be hull-down behind some rocks) - first managing to disable his ambulator, leaving him frozen in his tracks... then obliterating his stormbolter, on the grounds of range. Lesson 1 - Never try walking across open ground into the teeth of a Tau heavy-weapon-heavy army. Thy armour shallt not save thee.
Cycling back to the depleted Blood Angels, another roll... and the surviving Blood Angel tactical squad charged a total of 8", taking them into assault range! :ph34r:
"For Sanguinius!" <Blood Angel Commander>
To make matters worse - <cue Ride of the Valkyries music> - Chaplain Marius made his appearance, Deep-Striking into the courtyard of the outpost itself, bare inches away from the hiding Crisis Suited Tau. Feeling *extremely* grateful that they couldn't charge, O'Forann eyed them nervously... and the turn went on. The Devastator Squad openned up, managing to wound one of the Broadsides twice - one of which got through his shielding and punched a smoking hole straight through his armoured corpse. The Death Company opened up on the closest Crisis Suits (not O'Forann's group) with a total of ten bolt-pistols, evil fate - or Sanguinius' Will - dealing out a total of seven wounds, five of which punched through shielding and armour to leave one battered Crisis suit on his feet - who heroically refused to run, devoting his snake-eyed self to the Greater Good. :blink:
The Tactical Squad out front chose to save its shots for bonus attacks, launching a screaming charge at the Fire Warriors atop the wall... only to roll a pair of twos for their difficult terrain, leaving them at the wall's base - six very nervous-looking Fire Warriors peering over its edge.
Well... that wasn't nice at all. O'Forann unleashed his vengeance, leaping over the wall - Blood Angels and all - with the other crisis suits to unleash shooty death on the now-surrounded Tactical Squad, leaving two survivors who were soon smitten by rapid-firing pulse rifles from above their heads. *That* was close... The Broadsides fired down into the Death Company, pulverising two of them with their railguns, and wounding another four with Smart Missiles. Two of which got through their power-armour - although one such struck incredibly kept standing even with a missile sticking through him. :blink: Death Company are... IRRITATING !
"I'm going to convert him to have a missile end poking out of his chest now!" <Blood Angel Commander, rather pleased with himself>
Still, at least this cut the Death Company down to six and the Chaplain... on the other hand, they *are* Death Company... Still more than a little wary of them, the Crisis suits bounced away from the wall and the Black-armoured avatars of close-combatty death, while the Fire Warriors and Broadsides trusted to their height to keep them safe (and the fact that they couldn't really shoot if they ran). :unsure:
Blood Angel Fourth Turn
With a *very* smug smile on his face, Blood Angel Commander rolled on the Black Rage table... and failed for the Dreadnaught. Failed for the Devastators... and rolled a 1 for his Death Company. And then a two.
The Devastators unleashed another hail of Lascannon-fire, punching a pair of double-fist-sized-holes in the armour of yet another Broadside, leaving one last one-suit squad standing up there on the tower...
The Dreadnaught fired his heavy flamer... and much to both our surprise, could *just* cover a teeny-tiny bit of the battered Crisis suit.
"Oh come on, that's barely anything. No way is that half the model."
"It doesn't need to be - the rules say *any* of the model - even the guns."
"Ah. Okay... roll for partial hit then?"
"No..." <grinning evilly> "...if they hit anything, they hit it all."
"Let me see that!"
He showed me... and he was right. Yet another of these rules I either didn't know or didn't remember...
The Dice-gods were incredibly fickle - he hit, wounded... and the poor Crisis suit was baked in the very armour that failed to save him. :unsure:
Then the Death Company leapt up atop the Wall, and charged into one of my Fire-teams... annihilating it in a flurry of blades and a spray of blood, and overrunning (I know that rule now! a total of ten inches, into the other Fire Team.
The outpost was starting to look a little... insecure.
Circling back around to my turn, O'Forann's team started jumping out towards the Devastator unit, plasma rifles blowing two of them off their feet. The Last Broadside in turn leaned down over the wall, and fired at the Furioso Dreadnaught. Hit. Penetrated... and the Blood Angel Dreadnaught blew sky-high, wreckage scattering on towards the wall before finally grinding to a halt almost at its base. Very nice...
In the somewhat unbalanced combat on the wall, the Death Company tore through another unit of Tau. And... overran again, down into the courtyard. The last Tau in the Outpost - in his Broadside suit - was beginning to feel a little nervous... :unsure:
Up in space, the battle continued, the Manta Missile Destroyer firing off another volley from its launch-tubes into the Light Transport, which shook under the impact, but held together. (He rolled a three for Random Game Length).
Meanwhile, back at Ground Zero the battle continues. Not one Marine fell victim to the Black Rage, the Devastators firing off a volley at O'Forann's Suit Team - their attention well and truly drawn from the lone Broadside in the outpost. One bolter hit that failed to wound, four Lascannon wounds and three Shield-saves later, a single Bodyguard fell to the ground. The Death Company leapt high into the air, landing on the roof of the Tower and taking their difficult-terrain tests - failed by one marine, and none other than Chaplain Marius himself...
"D@mn!" <Blood Angel Commander>
The other five Death Company - now without a power weapon <much laughter from the Tau side of the board> charged into the lone Broadside, who spun around to meet them, railguns sliding back into carry-position. Ten attacks, eight hits, and five wounds later, it came down to the crunch. The Rolling Of The Saves. 4. 3. 6. 4. 2. A broad grin shows on the face of Chaplain Marius' second-in-command.
"Um... you *do* know he has a 2+ save, right?"
Incredibly enough, the Broadside managed to pulverise one of the Black-armoured Marines in turn, failing both his saves and leaving him outnumbered only 4-to-1.
Rolling back around to the Tau Fifth Turn, O'Forann and his sole surviving friend took a flying leap towards the Devastator Squad, slipping into rapid-fire range and mowing down the sergeant, both bolter marines and a las-cannon marine... and watching with amusement as the other three actually broke, running nine inches away. Still, they were careful not to pursue, instead darting into the nearest cover.
Back on the Tower of Terror, the Death Company actually managed to take a wound - but the Tau Commander grinned evilly and just put a dice with one pip upmost at his suit's base.
"It has *two* wounds?"
The Broadside seemed to have missed his vocation, squashing another Death Marine between his massive arms. On the roll for moral-high-ground, the Broadside won... and the fearless three Death Company were going *nowhere*.
Up in Space, the battle came to a rousing conclusion with a smoking wreck drifting away as the Manta returned to the planet (Rolled a 2 for Random Length).
The Battle was over... but who'd actually won, or after all that was it a draw? There was much tallying of victory points, much examining of Mission Special Rules, but in the end it came to this conclusion.
Chaplain Marius' Detachment: 1300.5 VP
O'Forann's Cadre: 1274 VP
Given the difference is less than 50 VP...
We've decided we're going to play a rematch at some stage next week (exams permitting) - and this time, I'm putting my Stealth suits behind cover. And being positively *paranoid* of his Death Company the turn it shows up. Two attacks each, with Jump-pack, two saves, a power-weaponed character among them and the whole lot fearless?
Good job! You pulled off a tie against Blood Angels in the end.
I don't really like Blood Angels. I did actually won against them in a tourny on Saturday! Those Death Company sure do take a lot to kill.
<nodnods...> :blink:Those Death Company sure do take a lot to kill.
Those things are *incredibly* dangerous.
If I could do one thing differently, I'd have put all my firepower into them the turn they dropped in, and risked the tactical squad below the wall. After all, I *would* have a 1 in 4 chance of them not being able to assault me... 0
i think there a bit biased as well but still nice game
i just creamed 1500 of ultra marines with only 750 lost max
yea BA really do rule i always get 12 death company i get good rolls i have not played a game where my chaplain has not gotten 6 death company
Excellant battle report, well written, and a good game.
Deah Company is one of the stupidest units in the game, and killing them should be no minor feat.
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Wait, you mean that optimism isn't fashionable anymore?!
Lord of Smart-ass Youthimizzles.
Soup's up, bitches!
That's a kind of an oxymoron, isn't it....Originally posted by jolly death@Feb 11 2004, 02:29
not only are they completly fair but they are impossible to kill
Anyway, good job!
A simply amazing battle report! A joy to read! hope to see more like this in the future!
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