Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never Get Out of the Tank!

Ahhhhhhhhhh! It was a much better game tonight vs. Farmpunk's Witch Hunter List. Farmpunk won it, 7 KP to my 6, but it was a very near thing. A couple of different die rolls could have easily sent it the other way. I took much satisfaction in having sent lone Sisters screaming into windowless corners of buildings just to deny me kill points. Particularly since he used this same list to wipe the floor with me back in August when I was just returning to the game. We've only played twice since then (including tonight), largely because of the inferiority complex that first game with him gave me. Now I'm really eager for a rematch. It was the kind of game that had us both wishing we'd brought a camera along.

My New List

After last week's complete and utter thrashing of my converted-to-5th list by Protem, I decided that it would be better to design a new force around the strengths of the new codex rather than try and convert my old army over to the new book. Since the Chimera and LRBT have been nicely boosted in the new codex, I decided to dust off some old models (old pic, top) that have been sitting the shelf for most of 5th and try a force with more armor in it.

1500 Pt. Guard Army (13 KP)

Company Command Squad w/Regimental Standard, 3 x Melta

Sly Marbo (I used the crazy looking Amero-Indian dude from the Last Chancer set.)

Veteran Squad w/Lascannon, 3 x Plasma
Veteran Squad w/Lascannon, 3 x Plasma
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera
Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera

Fast Attack
7 Rough Riders w/Melta Bombs for Sgt., Flamer
3 x Scout Sentinels w/Autocannons

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Demolisher w/Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Lascannon
Leman Russ Exterminator w/Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Lascannon

The Game

Like I said, we forgot to take pictures, so the map and everything else is from memory. I'm also not intimately familiar with the Witch Hunters codex, so I'm not exactly sure who was who on his side.


Farmpunk won the deployment and (wisely) chose to go first. He set up his Exorcists in his right rear, with 1 Rhino with Hflamer/flamer and Seraphim as far up as they could go, The Inquisitor Lord Squad (psycannon, Plasma cannon, 2Heavy Bolters) in the Center in some rubble. A rhino with Hflamer/flamer and a rhino with SoB's with dual melta behind it on the left flank as far up as they could go, with the jumpy cannoness nestled between them. Shelia the Callidus was in reserve. (farmpunk found later he shouldn't have had the 2 Heavy bolters, and should read his list more carefully.)
I set up my Demolisher and Exterminator back a bit so that they could hit anything coming around the corner of the building to my right without exposing themselves too much. I put one unit of Lascannon/Plasma vets on my right flank behind the tanks in a position to fire out between the building and the Exterminator at the Exorcist I could see there (That or any Rhinos that might pop around the corner.). The other Las/Plas squad was put into cover on a bit of ruin to the left of my Demolisher where it could get some good shots at his Rhinos.

Up behind the fuel tank on my left flank I put the sponsonless Russ on far flank with the 2 Chimeras beside it. My plan was to hold the bottom of the board with the Demolisher and Exterminator, while running the Russ and the 2 Chimeras on my left up to the top of the table to threaten his right flank.

Turn 1

Farmpunk was VERY happy when I didn't seize the intiative. I don't blame him with all the gun barrels he was running into. He ran one Exorcist behind the building at the top of the table so it could shoot through some windows (ineffectively) at my Russ. The other pretty much stayed still and failed to do anything while he ran his Rhinos 12" forward. The Seraphim squad jumped into the wreckage in the middle of the table, daring me to shoot at them. While the 2 Rhinos to my right moved up as well. The 2 Hflamer/flamer SoB Rhinos popped smoke.

It was during his shooting phase that Farmpunk got some luck amongst his spate of bad die rolls (Not as bad as mine last game, but bad.). He managed to immobilize the Chimera I had in cover behind the Fuel tank with a lucky hit from his =I= Lord. This meant that the second Chimera was blocked from moving up the table to his right flank, leaving the Russ to attack on it's own. So instead I moved the bottom Chimera forward to support the line.

On my turn I moved the Russ up 6" and took aim at the topmost Rhino, stunning it, while my line opened up on the HQ that was taunting it by moving out from behind the wreckage in the middle of the table. Bad move! They may have had a nice 3+ invulnerable save, but no amount of faith can save you from the autocannon and bolter dakka of a Leman Russ Exterminator in full bloom. The amount of fire coming from the Exterminator and the Vet squads was just withering. An Inferno Pistol was the last to fall, to a humble multilaser salvo from the trapped Chimera.

While all this goodness was going on, I made my first big mistake. The topmost flamer Rhino had moved up next to the wreckage pile, and I wanted to nail it with some melta love. So I disembarked the Vets I had in the immobilized Chimera and moved them forward. I managed to immobilize it, but they were now wide open to flamer template counter fire from the squad inside it. Doh!

On the right, I managed to stun and knock the storm bolter off one of the 2 approaching Rhinos with the Demolisher.

Turn 2

No Sheila.

The flamer girls get out of the immobilized Rhino and promptly fried every one of my Vets in front of the immobilized Chimera. We figured the Chimera driver probably took pity on them and finished off a few of his friends with his pistol as an act of mercy as they lay writhing in agony. Of course we also imagined that he was a Commissar in training who was executing them for stop, drop, and rolling AWAY from the enemy. Cowards!


The Exorcists fired again and failed to do much of anything. Which is pretty much what they did for the rest of the game. My Sentinels outflanked onto the top left of the board and took some ineffective shots at the nearest Exorcist with their autocannons. In hindsight, I should have charged the Inquisitor's squad instead. I was careful to bring them in behind the ruins in the top-right to give them cover from it. But I underestimated just how much Dakka that Inquisitor and his lousy henchmen could put out. Plus, I know from my first game with Farmpunk that even a single sentinel can tie them up in close combat pretty easily. But no, my walkers would spend the next 3 turns getting whittled down while being unable to shoot back due to stunned and/or shaken results. I did manage to kill the sisters who flamed my vets with a nicely aimed battlecannon round from the Russ, which I backed up with some multilaser salvos and a few melta shots.

On the bottom line Farmpunk managed to get another sister squad out of it's Rhino and flame my Vets that were sitting on the corner ruin. They were finished off by the Inquisitor squad. His melta sisters shot the Demolisher but failed to glance or penetrate. The Rough Riders charged in and killed 3 sisters with their flamer before killing 4 more with lances. We managed a draw for combat. That flamer was a last minute addition just because I had 5 points left and I could do it with a conversion I already had. But it did actually do some damage.

Turn 3

Sheila the assassin finally (and predicatably) appeared next to my Company Command and prompty hit them with her template-o-death. Something must have been off with her though. Because she only killed 2 of my guys with it. Although she did manage to stun the Demolisher, allowing the melta squad to finally finish it off during HTH. And then she managed to MISS WITH ALL FIVE of her attacks in HTH!!! HAHAHAHA!!! And then she missed with her poisoned attack. Wow! Not that I did anything at all to her in return, but Wow! Farmpunk started asking if they made a cure for dice herpes. Time to throw those dice away and get new ones. I still maintain that dice have an expiration date. :)

Marbo showed up and I placed him up between the Excorcists. He managed to shake the Exorcist on the right with his demo charge, but he couldn't finish it off with his meltabombs during HTH. And here, I made ANOTHER big mistake. I forgot that he can disengage from HTH at the end of the assault phase and immediately move 3D6 inches in any direction. That could have easily put him into the building ruin where he could have continued to threaten the Exorcists or maybe slit the throat of the sole surviving flamer sister who took cover in a windowless corner of that building on turn 5. Instead, he just sat in the open as the Exorcists moved away, exposing him to fire from the aforementioned fleeing flamer sisters. Who BBQed him with a side of bolter.


By the end of my shooting, those 3 flamer sisters running for their table edge were reduced to just one by the Russ, who failed to wound the last girl with it's battlecannon (Gar!). The sole survivor screamed like a heretic and jumped through a window in the upper building so that she could hide in the windowless corner. Where's a Commissar when you need one?

The Exterminator chewed up the melta sisters in front of it, but still left 3 melta girls intact. Sheila finally managed to kill off my command squad during my turn's HTH, but only consolidated one inch, which left her dangerously out in the open.

The Rest Gets a Bit Hazy

Farmpunk managed to jump-assault the Cannoness from her hiding place in the windowless corner of the lower building over to the still-mobile Chimera, blowing it up and losing a wound in the process. She would lose the other wound to melta fire from that squad during my shooting phase.

Sheila took a face full of Heavy Bolter fire from the Exterminator during my shooting as it tried to back away from the surviving melta sisters. Easy kill point. It's at times like those that I imagine that guy in the Akira anime getting shredded by the massed small arms of some soldiers. Somewhere in there I backed the Exterminator up 11" to try and get away from the melta girls, but forgot to pop smoke. Which allowed them to take out my autocannons with melta fire. Later, they would run up to the Exterminator's side and take out the heavy bolter sponson on that side in addition to immobilizing it, which meant that the Exterminator had to just sit there helpless on my last turn while they just smiled coyly at the driver. With smoke, I might have had my turret weapon or the bolter left to shoot them with.

The Russ by now had utter contempt for the Exorcist in the upper-left corner and gave it his backside in order to kill the immobilized Rhino with a lascannon and battlecannon combo to the rear. The Exorcist saw this and confirmed the Russ's low opinion of them by rolling a single missile attack that missed the Russ entirely. My dismounted melta vets ran up and melted the storm bolter off one of the two surviving Rhinos in a last ditch effort for another KP. We called the game at the end of turn 5 as it was 10pm and my wife was waiting for me out in the parking lot.

In the end, I still had the immobilized Chimera, the Russ, the Exterminator, and the dismounted melta vets. Giving him 7 KPs to my 6.


Vets are a wonderful thing! I could really get used to hitting on 3's. I've mentioned my big mistakes already. I also have to remember in the future that my officers come with refractor fields (5+ Inv) as standard. Which might have helped a bit against Sheila. One thing that did stand out was the nastiness of the sponson-less Russ with it's hull lascannon and battlecannon. The new rules allow you to fire both while moving up to 6". Which proved to be a surprisingly effective combo for tank hunting. I had intended to replace that Russ with a Hellhound once I model one up. But I'm tempted now to replace the Exterminator instead.

Once again, the effect of orders was marginal. I got a round of "Bring it Down!" on both vet squads before they were engaged and destroyed. Of much more value was the abilty to shoot 5 models out of a Chimera without becoming open-topped. Or the ability to fire all of a Leman Russ's sponsons along with the battlecannon when standing still. Or Marbo's ability to put a large blast template wherever you need one with an average scatter of only 3".

Anyways, it was a very good game. And hey! I actually had fun with an Annihilation mission!

FOR THE EMPEROR!!!... and good night!

1 comment:

  1. Useful thoughts and comments, mate: thanks!

    I want my codex already.



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