Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Campaign Battle Report: Road to Glory Battle 4

With Mission 5 of the Road to Glory campaign coming up soon it's high time I got the battle report for mission 4 done. By the book battle 4 is called "Beginning of the End," but in this case it might more appropriate to call it "Turning of the Tide." In this engagement, each side is trying to gain the upper hand in preparation for the final showdown.

The Chaos army list was in this post.

Ork Army List
  • Ghazghkull Thrakka (225)
  • Warboss with warbike, cybork, power-klaw and bosspole (140)
  • 20 Boyz led by a nob with power-klaw and bosspole (160)
  • Trukk (35)
  • Battle Wagon with deff-rolla (110)
  • 5 Mega Nobz (200)
  • 5 Nob Bikerz with 2 power-klaws (275)
  • 7 Lootas (105)

The Mission was Capture and Control with Spearhead Deployment. The sneaky orks placed landmines around the battlefield. Chaos won the die roll for choosing first turn and decided to take the initiative this battle.

Turn 1
Chaos' first turn sees a little bit of jockeying for position, but not much overall advancement. Everything that could shoot unloaded on the orks and managed to destroy the trukk and kill a nob biker. The orks mostly moved in their phase, rushing forwards to come to grips with the marauding chaos marines. The lootaz bounced their shots off the defiler and the footslogging meganobz jumped into a crater in front of them.

Turn 2
Chaos brought the fight to the enemy this turn. The defiler and chaos marines shot at and assaulted the nob bikerz, killing a couple, losing a few in return, and ending the assault with a tie. The big disappointment was Abaddon jumping out of his land raider and assaulting the battlewagon. Zero attacks from the big guy and the battlewagon was set for deff-rolla action in the ork turn. The meganobz piled out of their crater and joined the bikerz in close combat. The boyz jumped out of the trukk and gave the evil eye to Abaddon. The battlewagon surged forward, slamming its deff-rolla into the land raider, tearing off a couple of weapons and immobilizing it. At the end of the shooting and assault phase all the chaos marines were dead, the defiler was destroyed, and Abaddon had taken a couple of wounds and given nothing in return, being too busy wrestling with his sword's bound demon.

Turn 3
The chaos bikers siezed the opportunity to meltagun the battlewagon, wrecking it for good. The rhino moved in an attempt to block the chaos bikers from being assaulted by the meganobz. Abaddon finally gets his sword under control and kills a fistful of boyz, but they still have numbers enough to be fearless. In the ork turn the lootaz shoot the chaos bikers, leaving naught but spinning tires and broken ceramite. This left the meganobz to assault the rhino, tearing off its bolter and leaving it immobilized. Abaddon killed another fistful of orks but they stood strong and the embedded nob managed to take off one more of abaddon's wounds.

Turn 4
Seeing the end in sight, the Thousand Sons left the land raider and began their movement towards the objective in the chaos deployment zone. The rhino managed to repair itself. If the Thousand Sons could make it to their objective and Abaddon and the rhino could keep the bikes and meganobz busy chaos might be able to pull out a win. In the assault phase, Abaddon finally managed to kill enough boyz to rout them. In their turn, the orks press their advantage. The bikerz finished off the immobilized land raider and the meganobz destroyed the rhino once and for all.

Turn 5
Abaddon muscled his way through the intertwined wreckage of the land raider and battlewagon, emerging on the other side to rush into an assault on the nob bikerz. The Thousand Sons moved and ran, trying to put distance between themselves and the orks hot on their trail. The assault phase went to the orks, with all of Abaddon's attacks either missing or bouncing off their cybork bodies and a host of power klaws removing the last wound from the chosen of the chaos gods. In the ork turn there was little left to do except kill the remaining Thousand Sons in a combined biker and meganob assault.

With all the forces of chaos destroyed, the Orks are declared the winner.

Final Thoughts
See. Abaddon isn' t so tough after all. A big squad of boyz is a huge tarpit for a lone model to get through. Chaos' mistake was not having a support unit to take some of the pressure off their general. The orks capitalized on this by throwing away a cheap unit as a tarpit and applying the rest of their force against a smaller portion of the chaos army, slowly chewing through them in bite-sized morsels.

Here's the campaign map at the end of battle 4.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Campaign Battle Report: Road to Glory Battle 3

The third battle in the Roady to Glory campaign is supposed to represent the attacker's attempt to break through the defender's front lines. In probably the shortest battle report I have ever written, here are the results.

The chaos army list can be found in this post.

Ork Army List
  • Warboss with mega-armor, cybork and power klaw (135)
  • Warboss with warbike, cybork and power klaw (135)
  • 20 Boyz led by nob with power klaw and bosspole (160)
  • Trukk (35)
  • Battle Wagon with deff-rolla (110)
  • 5 Mega Nobz (200)
  • 5 Nob Bikerz (225)
The game was Capture and Control with Pitched Battle deployment. As the winner of the last game, chaos was able to decide that the orks got the first turn.

Turn 1
The orks gave it everything they had. Abandoning their defence lines, they raced forward to get to grips with the chaos interlopers as quickly as possible. Chaos rose to the challenge on their turn. Everyone got out of the land raider, which focused all it's armament on the trukk, destroying it. After the Thousand sons poured fire into the bikerz, Abaddon and the defiler charged into them. One quick but vicious assault round later, some bikerz and the warboss were dead, and the defiler had exploded. Fearing the continued attentions of Abaddon, the bikerz fled.

Turn 2
The battlewagon raced forward to get its boyz into combat, but with a loud ker-chunk, immobilized itself on a piece of terrain. The boyz piled out anyways and sort of jogged towards the melee in the middle. Seeing Abaddon standing out in the open all alone, the meganobz shot at and assaulted him. Luck was not on their side and Abaddon handily won that combat as well, killing the warboss and sending the one surviving nob fleeing for his life. In the chaos turn, the rhino moved towards an objective, but it turned out to be unnecessary. The Thousand Sons and Abaddon shot down a few boyz, then Abaddon charged in, killed half of the remainder and sent the rest fleeing.

With all the orks units fleeing from the table with no chance of rallying, we called the game. Chaos Wins.

Final Thoughts
Abaddon cleaned up. This strikeds a chord with a post on From the Warp about the unbalancing power of some special characters in games. Abaddon certainly unbalanced this game, but as we'll see in Battle 4, there are things that an opponent can do, even in lower point games, to deal with overpowered characters.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Road To Glory: Army Lists for Battles 3 and 4

Tonight we get down and dirty with Missions 3 of the Road to Glory campaign. If we have time we're going to attempt to do mission 4 as well.

Here are the army lists I'll be using.
  • Abaddon (275)
  • 5 Chaos Marines in a rhino champion with power fist (150)
  • 5 Thousand Sons & Sorceror with doombolt (185)
  • Defiler (150)
  • Land Raider possessed (240)
Both missions are objective based, and I'm going a little bit light on scoring units. Compared to last week I'm a bit more mobile and everything has an armored shell around it. This could be good or bad since I'm sure the ork mechaniks have been hard at work fitting deffrollas to everything. Abaddon and the thousand sons are tasked with bringing the pain and securing a remote objective. The chaos marines will secure their own objective and act as a delaying force/bait. The Defiler is in charge of objective denial and artillery.

If we have time we're going to go on and play the fourth mission. Here's the list I'll be using for that.
  • Same as above (1000)
  • 3 Bikes champion with power fist and two meltas (159)
  • 5 more chaos marines and plasma gun (90)
Same objectives as the first list. The addition of the bikes will give me some fast anti vehicle, allow me to contest late in the game or finish off a unit in assault.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Campaign Battle Report: Road to Glory Battle 2

The second battle in the Road to Glory campaign is the battle to determine who is the attacker and who is the defender. It's also the first battle that has an effect on the next battle. Chaos and Orks were both taking this seriously and bringing their game face.

For those of you just joining us, here's the initial post on the campaign (including the chaos army list used), the battle report for mission 1 and the ork writeup.

I've also updated the campaign map to the right. Warning that it contains spoilers regarding the battle report below.

Ork Army List
  • Warboss mega armor and boss pole (105)
  • 4 Mega-Nobz with a deff rolla battle wagon (270)
  • 12 Boyz in a trukk with a nob carrying a power-klaw and boss-pole (147)
  • 5 Nob Bikerz (225)

Mission two was Capture and Control with Dawn of War deployment. We used the same board setup as the first mission. This time we had an objective in my deployment zone on the left flank and one on the right in the ork deployment zone. The bold orks deployed in the center and sneaky chaos refused to deploy anything.

Turn 1

The meganobz in battlewagon took off for the objective on the left flank and the trukk hung out in the center waiting for the chaos forces to arrive. The nob bikerz entered the board and moved up behind the trukk. In the chaos turn, everything came in on the right flank, with the defiler more towards the center and the prince and rhino on the right. The rhino popped smoke and the defiler bounced some rounds off the trukk. The thousand sons stayed off board, biding their time.

Turn 2

The ork battlewagon made it to the left flank objective and everyone inside settled in for a nice long lurk. The trukk popped over to the right flank, the boyz piled out, declaredwaaugh and ran. Not quite far enough to get to the demon prince. They did get to the rhino but nothing managed to damage it. The bikerz turbo boosted, lurking menacingly while watching the action. In the chaos turn the demon prince and marines in rhino ignored the boyz and rolled up on the bikerz, shooting and assaulting them, but not killing them all. The defiler walked up a hill and poured hot promethium and autocannon rounds into the boyz squad, killing everyone except the nob. The thousand sons stayed off board, biding their time.

Turn 3

In the ork turn the trukk retreated, setting up for late game objective contention. The last biker held out against the demon prince, keeping him locked in combat for the chaos turn. The meganobz turned on the battlewagon television, continuing to lurk in the trees by their objective. The lone nob is forgotten and unloved. In the chaos turn the prince and marines finally brought down the last biker. The marines consolidated towards the trukk and the prince started to move to the left flank.. The defiler also turned its attention towards the left flank, and knowing that it had a ways to go, started running. The thousand sons stayed off board, biding their time.

Turn 4

The trukk continued to lurk, looking for a position far enough away from the demon prince. The television turned out to be boring so the meganobz disembarked hoping to find something interesting to do near their objective. The lone nob remained forgotten and unloved. The chaos marines downed the trukk with concentrated plasma fire, sending it careening into a nearby forest where it exploded. The rest of the chaos forces moved as fast as possible towards the left flank where the thousand sons finally made their triumphant appearance.

Turn 5

The battlewagon tank shocks the thousand sons, crushing two under its deffrolla. The lone nob got remembered and manages to assault the chaos marines, pulling them away from their objective. The chaos marines fail to kill him in the ork turn, but do finish him off in the chaos turn, although they are unable to consolidate far enough to grab their objective. The thousand sons advanced and the demon prince moved up to contest the meganob held objective.

At the end of turn five no one has an uncontested objective. We roll for the end of game and it's over. Tie! Which is boring. So...

Turn 6

The battlewagon hit the demon prince with its deffrolla who met it head on with a death or glory attack. The battlewagon exploded but the prince took some wounds in the process. The meganobz danced and hooted when they finished him off with their shootas. In the chaos turn the marines finally got to their objective, the thousand sons ran to contest the meganob objective with the rhino in hot pursuit. The defiler assaulted the meganobz and smashed the warboss to paste before being pulled down by massed powerklaws.

With the right flank objective firmly under chaos control and the left flank objective in hot contention we ended the game with chaos winning, one objective to zero. Chaos has been declared the attacker for the Road to Glory campaign. They'll also get to choose who goes first in the next battle.

Final Thoughts

Deffrollas are probably nastier against vehicle armies. But against armored troops d6 S10 AP- hits isn't so bad. Sure it's S10 but if you've got 3+ armor you're not going to get too hurt. As for the current "controversy," I don't think it's unfair for the orks to have deffrollas as anti-vehicle. The ork codex doesn't have melta and most of its long range shooting is low powered. As an ork it's hard to get the S9 or S10 attacks that you need to nuke a land raider.

I'm enjoying making the map. The overall layout is similar to the campaign map in the main rulebook, but I've started from scratch using Inkscape. I've been drawing inspiration from the Battle Missions book for ways to better the map's look and feel.

Stay tuned! The next stage in the campaign should be played out tomorrow evening.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Battle Report: Road to Glory Battle 1 - Orks

My orky opponent for the Road to Glory Campaign was kind enough to do a writeup of the first battle as seen from his side of the table. I think it's important to analyze the battles you lose even more than the battles you win. It's also interesting for me to see what my opponent's plan was and what they think the major turning points in the battle were.

So without further ado, here's the message of the day from the orks.

Pre-Battle Thoughts

My plan was to have superior mobility and use that to mass my forces on the enemy’s flank. In a 500 point game, if you can kill even one unit without many losses to yourself, that can stack things against your opponent in a way that’s very hard to fight back from. I ended up deploying first and was able to put my entire army on, despite Dawn of War deployment restrictions. I placed everything in the center, as close to the opposing table edge as possible. My vehicles were close enough for the opponent to be able to walk on and shoot at them, but Mega-Nobz and a 12-man Boyz unit would not make it across the board if they were forced to walk from further away, so I just hoped that the Battle-Wagon at least would resist the first turn salvo. After that, rush toward whatever’s toughest, kill it early and hope that my opponent has a harder time whittling away my forces without their ace unit.

Then the battle happened.

Post-Battle Thoughts

Drat. Both vehicles were stunned on the first turn; no moving or shooting, so my slow-and-purposeful Mega-Nobz and small Boyz mob would have to walk from the half-way point. Fortunately, it was turn two so the waaagh helped me get some of them across. I prioritized the Daemon Prince because of its deadliness and mobility. I did manage to kill it, though my Boyz were also killed. With just Mega-Nobz left, chaos had no problem out-pacing me. The Mega-Nobz did survive a lot of shooting, but this wasn’t a kill-point game. I think if I was to summarize my mistakes, it would be that I was trying to play a 500 pt Objectives match as though it were 1500 pts. With so few units, running away or at least keeping 50% of my forces back should’ve ranked higher on my battle strategy list. Instead I attacked like an Ork ought to, and the Chaos Space Marines were all-too-ready.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Battle Report: Road to Glory Battle 1

My buddy and I started off the Road to Glory campaign this week. You can see the campaign map and chaos army list in the initial post.

The first battle was a hard fought mission with lots of jockeying for position.

First the ork army list:
  • Warboss in mega-armor (100)
  • 4 Mega-Nobz with Battle Wagon (250)
  • 12 Boyz in a trukk with a nob carrying a power-klaw and boss-pole (147)

We set up a nice looking board with some snowy terrain and forests. The mission was seize ground and we ended up with three objectives. One was placed one near the center and the other two ended up on the left flank. The orks deployed everything in their transports in the center of the table and chaos declined to deploy anything.

Turn 1

The orks advanced full speed into the chaos deployment zone but with the enemy nowhere in sight had nothing else to do. The chaos defiler came in on the right and the rest of the army piled in on the left. The chaos marines on foot opened fire at the trukk, stunning it, and the defiler leveled it's autocannon at the battlewagon, leaving it stunned as well. The picture shows the disposition of forces and objectives at the end of turn two. Not shown is the defiler just out of frame on the right.

Turn 2

The warboss and meganobz abandoned the stunned battlewagon and began a long footslog across the board to the left flank. Similarly, the boyz abandoned their trukk, shout out a mighty waaugh and rush the demon prince and rhino. Having made a full move the previous turn, the rhino was safe, but the demon prince ended up taking some wounds and killing of a couple boyz. In the chaos turn both marine squads joined the demon prince against the hapless ork boyz. Between them they managed to beat the greenskins and catch them in a sweeping advance but not before the nob took the last wound off the demon prince. The picture shows the left flank at the end of turn two.

Turn 3

The warboss and meganobz continued towards the action on the left flank and the trukk moved to try to box in the rhino and keep the left flank objective contested. One of the space marine squads piled into the rhino which high tailed it through a forest. The second squad shifted into cover near the objective and shot up the trukk, destroying it. Over on the right flank the defiler began to chase after the meganobz, shooting at them but missing.

Turn 4

The meganobz continued their slow and purposeful advance. The defiler charged the forgotten and unloved battlewagon, handily destroying it. The rhino and marine squads secured the left flank objective in the ork deployment zone. The other space marine squad poured fire into the meganobz but only managed one wound.

Turn 5

Huffing and puffing from exertion, the meganobz finally reached the left objective and sat down for a rest. Fearing that the game would end in a tie, the chaos marines near them charged, drawing the orks away from the objective. By the end of the assault only one marine was left, but this was enough to force the meganobz to pile in even further away from their objective.

A final die roll decided the game was over on turn five and chaos won, one objective to zero.

Final Thoughts

Meganobz are tough nuts to crack in a low point game. Despite lots of shooting I didn't kill a single one. Instead, I had to use luring and containment to keep them ineffective for most of the game. As for the plan I laid out in the first post, some things worked and some didn't. The rhino with marines grabbed an objective in the back like I had planned, but the demon prince didn't really get to choose his own target. This was my fault for getting him an inch or so too close to the trukk. The defiler didn't end up being a major player, either. His task was to camp an objective and provide fire support but there were very few objectives and not many targets suitable for a battle cannon. If the game had ended up going longer the defiler would have come back into play on turn six or seven by contesting the meganob objective.

The other thing is Dawn of War deployment seems to do a role reversal, putting whoever goes first on the defensive. When you have the second turn there's little incentive to start with anything on the board. Denying your opponent an entire round of shooting, taking away any chance of a turn one assault, and being able to choose your initial deployment after seeing how your opponent is situated are very valuable advantages that I have a hard time giving up.

Stay tuned for the results of mission 2 and an updated campaign map.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Campaign: Road to Glory

Tonight marks the beginning of the Road to Glory campaign with Orks taking on Chaos. The two armies have been staring at each other across no man's land for some time now and soon one side will be making a push to bring this confrontation to an end. I've started a campaign map to chronicle events. We plan on playing the first two battles tonight so those are already on the map (I realized today that I mislabeled the second battle). Depending on the outcome I'll add in ork and chaos symbols, and maybe switch the arrow colors depending on who ends up the attacker.

We're playing the campaign escalation style starting at 500 points and increasing by 250 each game. Here's the chaos army list for the first battle:
  • Demon Prince wings, khorne (140)
  • 5 Chaos Space Marines plasma gun (90)
  • 5 Chaos Space Marines flamer, rhino w/extra bolter (120)
  • Defiler (150)
Everything in the list has a job. The khorne prince's aim is to move fast and take out any troops or fast units, preventing the orks from grabbing objectives or contesting late in the game. The chaos marines in the rhino will move and take a mid-field objective while the other marine squad will hold an objective in my deployment zone (preferably in cover) and provide fire support. The Defiler will move up and guard an objective mid-field while shelling large groups of orks.

The list for the second game is 250 points bigger but identical in purpose. The chaos marines have been combined into one squad and given some heavy hitting plasma weapons. Deployment zone objective duties go to the slow and purposeful thousand sons whose armor piercing fire will provide valuable support. The second game is capture and control so the khorne prince will follow the marines in the rhino to the ork objective and wipe up any opposition.
  • Demon Prince wings, khorne (140)
  • 10 Chaos Space Marines 2 plasma guns, champ w/power fist & combi-weapon, icon of chaos glory, rhino (275)
  • 5 Thousand Sons & Sorceror w/doombolt (185)
  • Defiler (150)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Battle Report: Chaos Marines vs. Orks

I recently got a game in against a buddy of mine. He'd just picked up some new models for his ork army, including a battlewagon (sadly no deffrolla). I brought my chaos marines since I have enough of them painted now that I was able to field an all painted army, something I haven't been able to do in years.

We both brought along 1750 points of our respective armies. Terrain placed, we rolled up a Capture and Control mission with Dawn of War deployment. Orks deployed and moved first.

Here are the army lists. Chaos is accurate and the Ork list is from memory.

Chaos Marines
  • Tzeentch Demon Prince wings, warptime, wind of chaos
  • Tzeentch Demon Prince wings, warptime, wind of chaos
  • 9 Chaos Marines khorne icon, 2 plasma guns, champion with power fist and combi plasma
  • 8 Thousand Sons and Sorceror icon, wind of chaos, meltabombs
  • 4 Bikers khorne icon, 2 plasma guns, champion with power fist
  • 7 lesser demons
  • 6 lesser demons
  • Defiler
  • Land Raider possessed, havok launcher
  • Gazhgull Thrakka
  • Warboss on bike
  • 7 Nobs on bikes
  • Squad of meganobz in battlewagon
  • Large squad of boyz
  • Large squad of boyz
  • 3 Deffkoptas
  • 3 Deffkoptas
  • 5 Lootaz in Trukk

The cunning chaos plan going in would be to come in on the flank opposite from the battlewagon, delaying when Gazhgull and his meganobz would be able to get stuck in and start killing things. The land raider would carry the thousand sons in an attempt to push through to the ork objective and the defiler would advance, shelling the large squads of boyz. Bikes, chaos marines and lesser demons were in charge of securing an objective leaving the demon princes to troubleshoot.

Turn 1: Orks took first turn and chaos refused to deploy anything during setup. Orks advanced and chaos spun onto the left flank, leaving the bikes and lesser demons in reserve. The defiler took out a big chunk of the boyz sitting in center field.

Turn 2: Orks continued their advance, wheeling to come to bear on the left flank. The lootaz jumped out of their wagon and holed up in the crater in the center. A few koptas trained their mega-blastaz on the chaos marines taking out most of the squad despite their going to ground. Chaos took some baby steps forward with the demon princes taking on the bikerz and warboss, killing many but staying locked in combat, the thousand sons piled out of the land raider and wiped out the deffkoptas. Lastly the defiler picked up a few more boyz.

Turn 3: The battlewagon raced over, dumped gazhgull and his meganobz, waaghed and ate the thousand sons for a tasty mid-game snack. The demon princes finished off the biker nobz and consolidated to the warboss, remaining locked in combat on their turn. The boyz in the center charged the last of thechaos marines and sent them to their reward. In the chaos turn the demon princes finished off the warboss and consolidated towards the squad of boyz in the back and away from Gazhgull. The land raider immobilized the battle wagon and the demon princes finish off the warboss. The bikes move on and meltagun the trukk but all the lesser demons stayed home. Good thing too since at the start of the turn there were no iconn the table for the lesser demons to use.

Turn 4: Slow and purposeful slowed Gazhgull down so he and his meganobz take some pot shots at a wounded demon prince to no effect. The lootaz poured fire into the defiler but the demon within ingored their glancing hits. However, the big 'un in the boyz squad walked over and tore the tracks off the land raider with his power klaw. The Demon princes took wing, racing towards the ork boyz edging up to the rear objective. The defiler shelled the same mob of boyz, causing them to run towards their table edge, but ending their movement standing on top of the objective, lucky them. The lesser demons finally came in and used the bike squad's icon to land within striking distance of the forward objective. The bikes raced ahead of the demons and destroyed the koptas lurking around the forward objective. Finally, the land raider ignored the power klaw stuck in its drive train and wrecks the battlewagon sitting in front of it.

Turn 5: With no other targets, Gazhgull decided to show the lootaz how its done and kicked the teeth out of the defiler. The rear boyz squad continued to flee, but did not get to the table edge or off the back objective. As a final play the lesser demons consolidated onto the forward objective and the bikes turbo-boosted over to the back objective, contesting it, which proved unnecessary as the demon princes made it to the boyz squad, pounded most of them into green paste and sweeping advanced the remnants.


Chaos wins with one objective controlled at the end of turn 5. The cunning chaos plan to punch through the ork lines didn't work perfectly. The land raider and defiler got stalled by the orks moving up the center. Still, the setup allowed me to adapt and still accomplish most of what the original plan intended. The bulk of my force stalled his army near my table edge and away from his objectives. I managed to roll up the left ork flank before the midpoint of the game and instead of the thousand sons in the land raider pushing to the rear objective the demon princes took up the slack and made it there on the last turn. Some lucky reserves rolls meant my bikes were able to put the lesser demons right where I needed them in order to secure the game winning objective. Biggest mistake of the game goes to the thousand sons who I thought were going to be screened from Gazhgull by the land raider, but I misjudged the battlewagon's threat range by a couple inches and the sneaky gits got to me. MVP goes to the tandem demon princes for taking out the nob bikers, pulling ork boyz off the rear objective and soaking tons of orky firepower.

We're planning on starting the Road To Glory campaign from the main rulebook next week, so keep an eye out for that!