Counter Offensive 8: Battle Summaries, Part 1 by Kenton Kilgore
I had built four armies to “win with style,” mixing competitiveness with fluff to strike what I had hoped would be a perfect balance. So how did each one do? Let’s go to the tape….
Fighting Tigers of Veda
Set-Up. My first battle of CO8 was against Number 1 Fangirl Jennifer Burdoo (who built her own FToV army) and her Imperial Guard, the 28th RCT. Jen’s army was a little light on infantry: a Command Squad, a Heavy Weapons Squad, two Infantry Squads and two Veteran Squads. However, it did have some formidable tanks: a Vanquisher, a Thunderer (a Forgeworld variant), and—oh, by the way—a squadron of two Executioners.
We rolled and came up with a Seize Ground mission with Pitched Deployment. We placed four objectives and I stashed most of my army behind a huge rock formation, conveniently in front of one such objective. I gave my Librarian, Chandramatie Bahl, the Force Dome and Machine Curse powers. I split my Tactical Squads into combat squads, putting one in a Rhino, two in each of the Devastators’ Razorbacks (along with Bahl), and sending one on foot to grab the easy objective.
Fighting Tigers move up the field while the Imperial Guard open fire
What happened? Jen deployed most of her infantry and kept her tanks in reserve, then successfully stole the initiative—which was probably not what she wanted to do, but the dice said so. Jen’s heavy weapons opened up on the Razorback bearing Bahl, but cover saves kept my tank intact. On my turn, my tanks advanced, the lead ones popping smoke to cover the ones behind. Meanwhile, my Devastator Squads went to work shooting at Jen’s infantry.
On Turn Two, the Vanquisher and the Exterminators came on along on Jen’s right flank, and the fun really started. My Attack Bikes changed direction to deal with the heavy armor threat. On Turn Three, Jen’s Thunderer came on, and the game was one of Jen’s tanks shooting at my Rhinos and Razors, hoping to stop my squads’ advance, while I kept plugging forward, returning as much fire as I could to shut down the IG’s vehicles.
For the first few turns of the game, the dice were clearly on Jen’s side, with her shots landing more or less on target and me bricking cover saves for men and vehicles while rolling poorly for my own shooting. For example, my Predator came on from reserves, managed to merely shake an Executioner (despite me having three lascannons—one twin-linked—and Jen’s tanks not having extra armor), then got destroyed on Jen’s next turn—despite being in cover—by fire from the Vanquisher. I lost Attack Bikes despite having 3+ invulnerable saves for turbo-boosting. My Librarian missed hitting a tank with a Machine Curse. And so on. Ugh.
Fighting Tigers skirt the 28th RCT infantry to take an objective
I hung in there, though, by sheer cussedness, and eventually the dice turned my way. I was able to get some transports in close, tank-shocking IG infantry away from objectives, and I racked up enough hits with the few big guns I had left to shake or stun Jen’s tanks, silencing her firing. One of my Rhinos even survived unscathed being rammed by the Thunderer. In the end, the Tigers had three objectives, the 28th RCT had none, and one was unclaimed. A solid win for the Stripeypants!
Go mech or go home: Tigers roll onto the objectives and over the Guard to take the game
Post-game analysis. As I wrote many, many moons ago, if you’re going to play Marines vs. Guard, you have to get up in their face pronto to win, and you’re just going to have to suck down the [poop]storm of fire—and the massive casualties—that that you’ll receive until you get where you need to be. I think I played this game about as well as I could, though I wish the Attack Bikes (which spent the game zooming towards the tanks, only to get nuked before they could fire) and Predator had been more effective.
Attack Bikes: now you see them, now you don’t
As for Jen, she should have had extra armor on those tanks, and should have been more aggressive with them, rolling forward to keep my guys away from objectives. She deployed all the tanks on one flank, basically capitulating two objectives to me, and did not block my advance to a third: while she managed to immobilize the Rhino I was sending at that objective, she didn’t manage to do so until after it was parked right on the objective. When she rammed it with the Thunderer, she should not have backed up the Thunderer to shoot at the Rhino, but kept it there to contest the objective.
The white Rhino got immobilized on top of an objective, and even a ramming from the Thunderer wouldn’t get it off
One odd note about this game: there was no close combat at all, despite the fact that I drove my Marines right into the IG lines. Weird.
Set-up. My next game was against Ken “Fabulous Orcboy” Lacy. I’ve known Ken for a long time and really like him, but it’s a little intimidating playing against him because 1) he’s literally the smartest person I know; 2) he’s one of the best, if not the best, 40K player I’ve ever met; 3) he’s trashed whatever armies I’ve thrown at him over the years. In one game, he tabled me—wiping out every figure—in two turns. Seriously. He’s that good.
I had played my Dvergar against him before, two years ago, and his Tau shot the Steeljacks full of holes. This time, however, my guys were better equipped (all those battlewagons!) and he was playing his latest army, the “Techno-Recidivists,” aka proxied Chaos Daemons with an anime theme.
We used the Battle Missions book and rolled up “Fight to the Death,” which has a very simple premise: the game goes on until one side is wiped out. Ok, then. Ken started with what he calls “the sucky half” of his army plopping randomly onto the board: Plaguebearers, Flamers and Heralds of Tzeentch, and Bloodletters. I kept my Dvergar in reserve, so nothing much occurred until the bottom of Turn Two.
After the “Daemons” deploy, the Dvergar smash into a tower and assault the fellows within
What happened? The first of my units to arrive was the Warboss + Nobz in their Battlewagon, which immediately rammed a tower, wrecking it and exposing the soft, squishy Flamers inside, which my guys promptly trampled under their steel boots. After that, Ken’s reserves and mine came on fairly quickly, and because our armies are best at close-range fighting, the rest of the game was sort of tit-for-tat: a unit would maneuver to encounter an enemy unit, smoosh it, then get slapped down in the next turn by an oncoming enemy unit, which would get waxed in the next turn by another unit, and so on.
“I kill you!” “No, I kill you!” “No, I kill YOU!”
Ken used his superior firepower to immobilize or destroy my Battlewagons, but fortunately for me, Chaos Daemons need to be up-close-and-personal anyway. At one point, a Battlewagon of 10 proxied Burna Boyz zipped up alongside a bunker where 10 Plaguebearers were fusterclucked together, resulting in 100 hits from burnas, 33 wounds, 10 dead ‘bearers; all statistically average.
“Foop” is the sound a flamer makes when it goes off. Can you say “foop?” Can you say it ten times, really fast?
Elsewhere, his Bloodletters charged some of my regular Boyz, carving them up: my ‘Ard Boyz came to the rescue but did their job a little too well, dropping so many ‘letters that they were exposed to Flamers on Ken’s next turn. The Flamers, of course, do what they do best, which is incinerate great swaths of infantry at a time. That was the play that broke the back of the Dvergar—after that, I started quickly running out of bodies—and the Techno-Recidivists whittled down the rest of my guys over several more turns. A hard-fought loss for the Steeljacks against a great foe and a great army.
‘Ard Boyz (those fellows standing around) pound Bloodletters, then get dropped by Flamers (top of photo).
Meanwhile, Heralds (those flying-majiggie things) attack Battlewagons
Post-game analysis. I hate losing when I get blown out or make stupid mistakes: neither applies in this case, so I don’t feel bad. I think the game could have gone either way. I concentrated my forces, kept out of the claws of the Soulgrinders (until late in the game), and was able to get into close combat, where my guys excel. Ken was able to take away my mobility, though, so I wound up reacting to what he threw at me instead of being able to inflict my will on his dudes.
Ken’s proxied “Soulgrinders” are from the AT-43 game and came pre-painted.
What’s not to like?
Despite losing, I really enjoyed this game, and it was probably the best I’ve ever done against Ken. His Techno-Recidivists are, in my opinion, a perfect example of “winning with style.” The army uses a codex that most hyper-competitive gamers consider trash, and it’s composed of non-GW models with an East Asian motif (the “Plaguebearers, for example, look like sumo wrestlers with gasmasks). I can’t wait to see this army painted.
Proxied Warboss and Nobz slap around proxied Flamers of Tzeentch
Posted September 2011