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Counter Offensive 4
Introduction <> BigDAWG Battles <> Bloodbaths <> The X(eno) Files <> Spreading the Word <> Photos

Counter Offensive 4: Bloodbaths  by Mike Somerville 
Editor’s Note: My friend Mike “Angel of Blood” Somerville is not only one of the best 40K players I have ever met, but he is also a colossally good sport and a lot of fun to game with. Here, he shares his experiences with a variety of his armies at CO4. 

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.


Mike Somerville at Counter Offensive 4.  Photo by Rob Gutkowski

Blood Angels (1500 points)

  • Sanguinary High Priest Corbulo (100 points) 
  • Five Death Company, w/ jump packs (25 points)
  • Tactical Squad. Ten Space Marines, including missile launcher, plasma gun, and power weapon (230 points)
  • Tactical Squad. Ten Space Marines, including missile launcher, flamer, and power weapon (220 points)
  • Tactical Squad. Ten Space Marines, including lascannon and plasma gun (225 points)
  • Three Attack Bikes w/ heavy bolters (150 points)
  • Devastator Squad. Ten Space Marines, including a missile launcher, heavy bolter, and two plasma cannons (275 points)
  • Devastator Squad. Ten Space Marines, including a missile launcher, heavy bolter, and two plasma cannons (275 points)
Blood Angels, Game 1
I played a lad (a lad with a full beard) named Chris, who had Tyranids. Chris’ army consisted of the following: 
  • Hive Tyrant, winged, warp fielded and warp blasted.
  • Broodlord w/InfiltratingGenestealers.
  • Three Tyranid Warriors
  • Two broods of Termagants (12-strong)
  • Brood of Hormagaunts (12-strong)
  • Two broods of Genestealers (10-strong)
  • Carnifex
  • Ravenor
  • Lictor
  • Biovore
The mission was “Seek and Destroy,” Gamma level. I received first turn and noticed the extreme lack of Synapse. I started by killing three Tyranid warriors, a brood of Genestealers, and the Broodlord’s retinue (but not the Broodlord himself). I also wounded the flying Tyrant. During Chris’ turn, the Hormagaunts not in Synapse range opted to Lurk (a good move, considering their Ld of 5). The rest of his units moved towards me.

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
This was, unbeknownst to me, my opponent’s fifth game ever playing 40K. He had Black Templars:

  • Three 7-man units, two with heavy bolters, one with a missile launcher
  • Land Raider filled with three Independent Characters (Emperor’s Champion, Chapter Master, and Chaplain) and Sword Brethren
  • Five jump pack Marines
The mission was an Omega “Take and Hold.” I went first, and had my entire army (except Death Company and Attack Bikes, which weren’t on the board) strike, killing about six of his guys. One of his squads broke, fell back, and subsequently rallied. He returned fire, doing little damage.

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)

  • Chaos Lord w/ Mark of Tzeentch, dreadaxe, talisman of Tzeentch, Wind of Chaos, close combat weapon, daemonic stature, daemonic flight, daemonic strength, and daemonic aura (181 points)
  • Thousand Sons Squad. Aspiring Champion w/ Mark of Tzeentch, power weapon, daemonic strength, Twisting Path, three thrall wizards; nine Chaos Space Marines w/ Mark of Tzeentch (261 points)
  • Thousand Sons Squad. Aspiring Champion w/ Mark of Tzeentch, power weapon, daemonic strength, Doombolt, three thrall wizards; nine Chaos Space Marines w/ Mark of Tzeentch (261 points)
  • Thousand Sons Squad. Aspiring Champion w/ Mark of Tzeentch, power weapon, daemonic strength, Doombolt, three thrall wizards; nine Chaos Space Marines w/ Mark of Tzeentch (261 points)
  • Predator w/ autocannon, lascannon sponsons, mutated hull, daemonic possession (175 points)
  • Defiler w/ mutated hull (180 points)
  • Defiler w/ mutated hull (180 points)
Thousand Sons, Game 1
I played against Patrick Eibel and his Tau. From what I recall, they looked like this:
  • Commander
  • Three Crisis Suits
  • Five squads of 12 Fire warriors each.
  • Two Sniper Drone Squads
  • Two Broadsides 
  • Hammerhead w/ railgun
The mission was a Gamma-level “Recon.” Fortune smiled upon Pat, as he got first turn. His Broadsides demolished my Predator via a penetrating hit on the side. The rest of his army combined to kill four Thousand Sons and wound another. I luckily destroyed one of his Broadsides. I also ordnanced and boltgunned away one of the Sniper units.(Str 6 AP 3, ouch!)

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.


Mike's Thousand Sons take on Rob and his Imperial Guard
Photo by Rob Gutkowski

Thousand Sons, Game 2
In this game, I faced RobVan Pelt and mechanized Imperial Guard:

  • Command squad, lascannon, plasma gun, in Chimera
  • Grenadiers w/ two melta guns, in Chimera
  • Grenadiers w/ two flamers, in Chimera
  • Grenadiers w/ two plasma guns, in Chimera
  • Leman Russ Demolisher
  • Leman Russ main battle tank
  • Leman Russ Exterminator
The mission was a Gamma-level “Cleanse.” The first thing I noticed was that Rob had 7 scoring units, and I only had 6. I made the decision right there to not fire at the Chimeras (which don’t count as scoring units) until nothing else was left.

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. 


Hockey fans will recognize that Mike's Daemon Prince is from Detroit. I'm here all week, folks. Try the veal.
Photo by Patrick Eibel
 



Witch Hunters (1499 points)

  • Canoness w/ Book of St. Lucius, eviscerator, Cloak of St. Apsira, frag grenades (96 points)
  • Canoness w/ blessed weapon, frag grenades, jump pack, Book of St. Lucius (101 points)
  • Sisters of Battle Squad. Vet Sister Superior and eight Sisters w/ bolters; one Sister w/ flamer; one Sister w/ heavy flamer (142 points). Rhino w/ extra armor and smoke launchers (58 points)
  • Sisters of Battle Squad. Vet Sister Superior and eight Sisters w/ bolters; one Sister w/ flamer; one Sister w/ heavy flamer (142 points). Rhino w/ extra armor and smoke launchers (58 points)
  • Seraphim. Veterans Sister Superior w/ eviscerator; five Seraphim w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two Seraphim w/ twin hand flamers (225 points)
  • Seraphim. Veterans Sister Superior w/ eviscerator; five Seraphim w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two Seraphim w/ twin hand flamers (225 points)
  • Exorcist w/ extra armor (140 points)
  • Exorcist w/ extra armor (140 points)
  • Retributors. Veteran Sister Superior and four Sisters w/ bolters; four Sisters w/ heavy bolters (172 points)
I played against Jennifer Burdoo and her all-infantry Imperial Guard, which had a relatively large amount of power weapons. There were also some Veteran Squads that included BS4 plasma guns (ouch.)

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)

  • Command Platoon. Senior Officer w/ Iron Discipline, power first; Medic, Standard Bearer; two Veterans (102 points). Two Special Weapons Squads, each w/ demolition charge, two melta guns (75 points each). Two Anti-Tank Squads, each w/ three missile launchers (95 points each). Fire Support Squad w/ three heavy bolters (80 points)
  • Infantry Platoon. Command Squad w/ mortar, led by Junior Officer w/ Iron Discipline (55 points). Two Infantry Squads, each w/ plasma gun and autocannon (85 points each). Two Infantry Squads w/ missile launchers (75 points each).
  • Infantry Platoon. Command Squad w/ mortar, led by Junior Officer w/ Iron Discipline (55 points). Two Infantry Squads, each w/ plasma gun and autocannon (85 points each). Two Infantry Squads w/ missile launchers (75 points each).
  • Heavy Weapon Platoon. Command Squad w/ two plasma guns, led by Junior Officer w/ Iron Discipline, storm bolter (65 points). Two Mortar Squads (80 points each).
  • Doctrines: Iron Discipline, Drop Troops, Special Weapon Squads, Heavy Weapon Platoons, Close-Order Drill
I fought Bryan Layton and his WordBearers, in an Alpha-level “Seek and Destroy.” Bryan brought:
  • Dark Apostle (Chaos Lord with accursed crozius)
  • Eight InfiltratingChaos Marines
  • Seven or Eight Chaos Havocs
  • A Rhino full of Marines
  • Twelve Daemonettes
  • Eight Bloodletters
  • Dreadnought
  • Defiler
Right away, you can see the problem Bryan was facing: I had almost 20 scoring units, while he started with five and could get a max of seven. Quite an uphill battle for him.

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.


Bryan and Mike take a well-deserved break at Counter Offensive 4
Photo by Jennifer Burdoo

And that was CO4 for me. I’m looking forward to next year. 

Counter Offensive 4
Introduction <> BigDAWG Battles <> Bloodbaths <> The X(eno) Files <> Spreading the Word <> Photos


 

Related Pages 
Other Counter Offensives

Posted September 2007
 

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Fighting Tigers:
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