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Fall From Grace
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Fall From Grace:
Fighting Tiger Battle Summaries
To get warmed up, the very first game I played at Borderlands was Battle #12 of the Blood Deserts of Auros IX Campaign. After that, I got down to the REAL action! My next game was a 4-player, 2-on-2 game.
What happened? I built my army list to address the difficulties of moving and fighting in the jungle against opponents much more used to it. I knew that jungles limit my troops' sight to 6", which meant that when the fighting started, the enemy would be up close and personal. I also knew that jungle is difficult terrain, slowing down foot troops and rough on vehicles. Bearing all that in mind, I mustered this army:
With all the points I saved by not taking vehicles, I could indulge myself on two expensive units good at close quarters fighting: Raja Khandar (and her bodyguards) and Terminators.
My ally, Aaron, brought his Jade Dragons, Space Marines with a Chinese theme, that use the rules from Codex: Dark Angels. He too took a lot of infantry, but included bikes and Land Speeders, which (under the Ravenwing rules) would be able to reroll terrain tests.
Rob and Micah took a very typical Catachan force: lots of guys (including a unit of Ogryns), a few Sentinels, and quite a few demoliton charges, booby traps, and dangerous plants (the rules for which are found in White Dwarf #242). They also had Sly Marbo and the Last Chancers on their side, but as I follow the axiom of Don't sweat the big guns, sweat the little guys, I wasn't too worried about them. I bagged old Sly with some dakka from a Tactical Squad and the Last Chancers came on the board so late in the game that they weren't a factor.
The Marine plan was fairly simple: trudge along through the underbrush until we got in close; ignore the booby traps, snipers, and man-eating plants; blast the Catachans at point-blank range; then assault them. And it worked!
Outcome: Marines win (1785 Victory Points to 1057 Victory Points).
by the River
What happened? Dwayne's Oktober Guard Space Marines (a sort of Soviet-style variant of the White Scars) used a lot of tanks. So bearing in mind the overall toughness of Space Marines, the mission parameters, and what I knew about Dwayne's forces, I assembled the following army:
Dwayne had a monster of an army light on troops but heavy on vehicles, including two Land Raiders and a Predator Annihilator. My only comfort was that his army looked a bit "top heavy," with several small, very expensive units that I hoped I could knock out before they did any real damage. Ordinarily I say Don't sweat the big guns, sweat the little guys, but in this case there were so many "big guns" that they got top priority.
I decided very quickly that my Predator, my Land Raider, and Raja Khandar Madu (in her Razorback) were going to move into the quarter directly across the river, secure it in the name of all that was stripey, and hopefully distract Dwayne while my Land Speeders hunted down his tanks and my Tactical Marines grabbed table quarters.
And you know what? It worked. While Raja Khandar and her squad didn't kill as many points as they cost, they nevertheless kept five units--Dwayne's Hero (and his bodyguard), the Emperor's Champion, the Callidus, the Assault Squad, and the Scouts--busy for several turns. By the time they got done taking out her and her bodyguard, they were in no position to help out with the rest of the battle, where the real fighting was going on.
In the flat open area on the left side of the table, the Oktober Guard stormed across the river and met the bulk of the Tiger force head-on. I concentrated my firepower, sending all six Land Speeders and both Rhinos (with their 20 Marines), and got lucky. I managed to immobilize the Oktober Guard Rhino on the other bridge, creating a traffic jam; when Dwayne tried to ford the river, one of his Land Raiders got stuck. Though his Terminators took out some of the Speeders, I had enough left to vaporize his Dreadnought and the stricken Land Raider while my Tactical Squads took out his Terminators, his Tactical Squad, and the Typhoon. I even managed to get three of my Assault Terminators into his deployment zone to contest that quarter.
I never did take out the other Land Raider, but it turns out I didn't have to. At the end, the Tigers held three quarters and the fourth was contested.
Outcome: Tigers win
Battle on a Snowy
What happened? Rob and I didn't get much of a chance to fight each other in the jungle fight we had the day before (most of his troops went after Aaron's, and Micah was determined to get his commander into hand-to-hand combat with Raja Khandar Madu--which I was more than happy to accomodate), so we had a one-on-one battle. For a change of pace, we didn't use the jungle fighting rules and played the game on Borderlands' winter scene table, which allowed us to field tanks.
I was happy to be able to use a larger force than I normally do (about half my total army), but not really wild about the amount of firepower that 3000 points would buy Rob. Still, I stuck to the axiom of Don't sweat the big guns (getting tired of reading that yet?) and concentrated on my objective, which was destroying the bunker in his deployment zone. I set up my army list to deal with the numerous Imperial Guard I anticipated.
Despite some setbacks, my plan worked fairly well. My Marines moved across the board, engaged the Catachans at close range and assaulted them, wiping out most of them by the end of Turn 4. The Land Speeders vaporized the bunker on Turn 2, but I still had some serious fighting to do to hang on.
Outcome: Tigers win (1318 Victory Points to 998 Victory Points). However, I feel I owe Rob a rematch. The table we were playing on was a bit small for such a large battle (meaning that it was fairly easy to get my troops into hand-to-hand combat) and we only got to play four turns instead of the usual six. Rob also had a bit of bad luck with his Reserve rolls: none of his big tanks came on the board until Turn 3.
Why did we stop playing? Because the mega-battle was starting!
Our team won handily! For their part, the Tigers boldly occupied a central building and repulsed the Oktober Guard, breaking them in close combat and forcing them to flee the building. With some help from John's Eldar, the Tigers also kicked out Ted's Catachans--the lads from Veda had had enough of those jungle boys for one weekend!
Yes, all was going well for our heroes--until they were jumped by Ma'ire's Sons of Eriu. Ma'ire had read Pat's Themed Army Idea and given it a try--and they certainly gave my Tigers a kick in the stripey pants! The Sons whacked about half of my Tigers in hand-to-hand combat and showed no signs of slowing down--fortunately, the game ended before my boys became extinct.
And that was Fall From Grace! I went back to Greenville in April 2001 for Borderlands' Spring Offensive, and FFG itself became an annual tradition. If you can make it, you owe it to yourself to go, because Pat and I had a blast!
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© Copyright Kenton
Kilgore, September 2000
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