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Counter Offensive 4
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by Mike Somerville
I was fortunate enough to be able to play six games at Counter Offensive 4. I brought Blood Angels, Thousand Sons, Witch Hunters, and Imperial Guard.
Blood Angels (1500 points)
I played a lad (a lad with a full beard) named Chris, who had Tyranids. Chris’ army consisted of the following:
On Turn 2, I destroyed both Termagant broods and most of the remaining Genestealers (only four were left after I was done firing). Chris’ Lictor comes in, stands around in terrain. His Genestealers assault some marines, kill two, lose two—the combat was a tie! His Tyrant rolls into combat, and kills two Marines, but my guys stay in the fight.
During Turn 3, I applied massed firepower and killed the Broodlord. My Death Company slaughters the Hive Tyrant, but not before he kills three of them. At this point, all the Synapse creatures are dead. The Lictor charges, kills no one, and gets killed. The Carnifex charges, whiffs, and kills no one. The rest of his units flee off the board.
On Turn 4, the Death Company wipe the Carnifex off the face of the Emperor’s green earth. The game is effectively over, except Chris’ Termagants have “Without Number.” His units arrived on board, failed their test due to no Synapse, and fell right back off. A crushing victory for the Blood Angels.
Blood Angels, Game 2
On Turn 2, one of my Attack Bikes showed up. I continue firing with everything I had, reducing all three of his squads below half. Two broke and rallied, another moved forward. His Land Raider full of guys and the Assault Squad showed up and moved forward, LR in front, Assault Squad behind.
Turn 3 saw another Attack Bike and my Death Company show up from reserves. My DC waited in the backfield, with Corbulo. My Attack Bikes and assorted units fired at the Templar Assault Squad, killing three.
My opponent assaulted with the Emperor’s Champion, the Chaplain, the Chapter Master, and seven Sword Brethren, as well as the two remaining Assault Marines. I lost 7 out of a 10 man squad, but passed my break test.
On Turn 4, my Death Company and three other units assault. While not actually getting into assault, Corbulo nevertheless moves up so that my units benefit from Furious Charge. The Templars’ Chapter Master dies and the Sword Brethren are reduced to below half. My losses are minimal (four Marines). I win combat, but the Templars are Fearless. The tarpit continues.
During Turns 5 and 6, Corbulo charges,
and all but the Templar Chaplain are killed. One of my units moves towards
the objective. And takes it, winning the game for me.
Thousand Sons (1499 points)
I played against Patrick Eibel and his Tau. From what I recall, they looked like this:
On Turn 2, Pat’s railguns shake a Defiler, who ignores it, daemon-style. The rest of the army accounts for a few more Thousand Son deaths. My army opens fire. I cause the minimum casualties necessary to force break tests, because I know the Tau aren’t strong on Leadership. Only one unit fails, but since they are still above half, they rally during Pat’s next turn.
The next turn, Pat’s railguns shake the Defiler, and he again ignores it. Tau units move forward to rapid-fire the Thousand Sons. More death ensues: one of my units is basically just a Sorcerer, another is hurting, but above half. Gambling time. I move my Daemon Prince out of cover, directly toward the Tau battle lines. I rapid-fire back, killing a bunch of Tau, causing some tests. One Fire Warrior unit flees, runs off the board. My Defiler kills a Crisis Suit. They fail their Morale test on a 10, run off the board.
At the start of Turn 4, Pat has a huge decision: fire his railguns at the Defiler, which has caused a decent amount of carnage, or shoot the winged Daemon Prince, who has thus far done nothing of consequence. Pat fires at the Defiler: two penetrating hits. I roll them down to glancing, which shakes and stuns the Defiler. The Defiler removes the words “shaken” and “stunned” from his dictionary, and edits their Wikipedia entries to something vulgar, daemon-style. The remaining Tau units move up, rapid-fire, and finally remove an entire Thousand Son unit.
The Daemon Prince and the Thousand Sons assault the Tau lines. In my mind, the game is effectively over, as the Tau are no match for even Ksons in close combat. I win both combats. One unit is wiped out by the Ksons, who consolidate into another. The squad fighting the Daemon Prince chooses to hang out and continue fighting for the Greater Good, I assume.
On Turn 5, the last remaining Broadside finally manages to destroy the Defiler, after four turns of shooting. The Daemon Prince and the Kson unit in close combat mops up the units they are fighting. During my turn, the Prince assaults the Broadside and the Ksons move towards the final Tau unit. Pat concedes.
I liked Pat’s army list, but the Tau have VERY few weapons of Str 8 or higher. The railguns, in my opinion, should have focused on eliminating Thousand Sons, where two would die nearly every turn. I also thought Pat’s decision to not target the Daemon Prince with a Str 10 weapon was incorrect; he later revealed that he did not know that the Prince would have been instant-killed by the weapon. Also, Pat’s shoulder-to-shoulder deployment did not help against the ordnance from my other Defiler.
Thousand Sons, Game 2
We set up on opposite corners. Rob deployed his units, Demolisher up front...yikes. He wisely deployed his infantry outside of their vehicles, so they could skirt up the table edges and claim some quarters.
My target priorities were based on my units’ strengths. I decided to use my Predator and Defilers to kill the tanks, use my Ksons to wreck infantry (especially by using Doombolt), and spring my Daemon Prince from cover at the opportune time.
Well, since my guns were Strength 9 lascannons, I was able to overpower the Leman Russes. Once I immobilized tanks, I left them alone, as they didn’t count anymore as scoring units. I did this to the Demolisher and the Exterminator, until at the end a unit of Ksons was able to move up and Doombolt the rear armor. The Guard infantry units died fast, especially when I was throwing out six Str 5 AP 4 shots per turn, plus boltguns. At the end of the game, Rob had one scoring unit, a Guard squad that had hidden the entire game. I had three scoring units: the Pred, some Ksons to contest the corner Rob was in, and a Defiler in his deployment zone. All the Chimeras were intact, but I still had the win.
Witch Hunters (1499 points)
The mission was to be an Alpha-level “Cleanse.” We deployed opposite each other, and I made the best I could of the terrain. I went first, and I knew that I would need to be ultra-aggressive to win this battle. I moved everything except the Retributors and the Canoness on foot 12" toward the Guard. Rhinos popped smoke. The Retributors managed to kill some Guard with their heavy bolter fire. Jen moved perhaps two units forward, and everything else fired. I used two Faith Points to make my Seraphim Squads invulnerable. It did little good, as I bricked a load of saves. One Seraphim unit was bought to one lone Sister; the other took 1 or 2 casualties.
I knew that Turn 2 would decide the game. If I could get deep into the IG’s lines, I could mount an assault and hopefully tarpit the day away. The Exorcist tank-shocked some Guard (the more falling back, the better), but the unit held firm, and melta’d my Exorcist away with a penetrating “6.” Five Guardsmen also died. I sent one Rhino into Jen’s left flank, one Rhino down the middle, and my more-or-less intact Seraphim Squad to the right flank. My lone Seraphim warrior flamed and then assaulted a heavy weapon team. Each squad wiped out a unit of Guardsmen (flame will do that), and the Seraphim were locked in combat.
Jen moved her units forward and assaulted the Sisters en masse. She bought a large amount of power weapon to bear. I used another two Faith Points to make my units invulnerable, and the tar pit began.
On Turn 3, we traded a bit of fire at each other. I again used Faith Points to make the units that were in close combat invulnerable, so as to minimize power weapon attacks. As I recall, one of my squads had three power weapons against it at one time.
Jen moved some units forward. One unit got within 12" of my jump pack Canoness and caused four Wounds from lasguns. No problem right? Wrong! I bricked three armor saves: dead Canoness. Crap! Luckily, I was able to use her two Faith Points to further make my girls invulnerable.
During Turn 4, we traded fire and played some more in the tarpit. On Turn 5, my other Exorcist fired at a command unit: six shots, five hits, five Wounds, all dead. The tarpit thinned and my units were able to move and fire.
On Turn 6, I killed what was left
and moved my remaining scoring units so that I had three board quarters.
Jen had one quarter. A win for the Sisters!
Imperial Guard (1497 points)
I deployed along my board edge. Bryan deployed to my left flank. There was some good covering terrain on that side. I got first turn and let loose the cannons of hell. I managed to penetrate the Defiler, but only rolled a “1” on the damage table, which, of course, his Defiler could ignore, daemonic style. My mortars actually killed a crapload of Marines (like 4 or 5). Bryan advanced. The Defiler killed four dudes from one of my missile teams and I failed the pin test (Crap.) Bryan’s kids dismounted from their Rhino. His Havocs rocked a couple of Guard from one of my auto/plaz squads to death, but because of their faith in the Emperor, they held firm.
On Turn 2, firepower hell again struck. My mortars rose to the challenge: between them and my frag missiles (that’s right, frag) I managed to send 6-7 of the Emperor’s sworn enemies straight to meet the Chaos god of their choosing. The survivors passed their pin test (damn, high Leadership!). I picked off a few more guys in the woods and moved a couple of guys up to prepare for the coming onslaught.
Bryan rolled for reserves and the Daemonettes heeded his call. They got a very good scatter, and they assaulted. His Defiler fired and pinned another squad down range (Crap). His Havocs wrecked another one of my auto/plaz squads; that’s a lot of squads below half. The Daemonettes murdered Guardsmen in close combat, crushing an entire squad, but leaving themselves out in the open…and it was my turn, next.
As Turn 3 began, I decided that the Daemonettes must die. I moved a squad into the woods to shoot melta guns and demolition charges at the Dreadnought. I managed to destroy the Dread with a very lucky melta hit. I de-gunned and immobilized the Rhino (Tank shock? I do not want). I also obliterated the Daemonette unit, in the name of the Emperor, of course.
More daemons arrived on the board: Bloodletters, this time. The two remaining Word Bearers and the Dark Apostle joined in on the assault fun. The Bloodletters, of course, wiped out the squad they were assaulting. The two Word Bearers killed one of my officers, but lost one of their own. The Apostle slaughtered some Guard and my guys fled.
The rest of the game was me trying to stave off the Dark Apostle and the Bloodletters as they chewed through my guys. In the end, I had seven scoring units to Bryan’s two. Bryan killed 12 of my scoring units: a very good job by him, considering how the mission was definitely against him. He played very well and his army looked fantastic.
And that was CO4 for me. I’m looking forward to next year.
Posted September 2007
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