Counter Offensive 9: Battle Summaries, Part 1
The first game of CO 9 came Friday evening, August 24 at Chateau Eibel, the ancestral manse of Jungle Guide Patrick Eibel. Millenium Gate regulars Ken (“Fabulous Orcboy”) Lacy, Bryon (“Justicar”) Layton, Michael (“Ryjak”) Lietzke, and I arrived and after dinner, we repaired to the Patcave for some brutality.
Each of us had prepared 1750-point lists for the weekend’s festivities, but as there were five of us all eager to play, I suggested that Pat double his army and he team with Ken against Bryan, Michael, and me. Pat chose to use his Orks, Ken fielded his Tau; Bryan picked Imperial Guard, Michael had his Vindicator Space Marines, and I unpacked the Fighting Tigers.
We rolled randomly for mission (“Purge the Alien”) and deployment (“Hammer and Anvil”) and Pat and Ken won the roll to set up and go first. With 3500 points at his disposal, Pat brought not just a “green tide,” but a veritable ocean of Orks, almost all on foot: Shoota Boyz, Stormboyz, Burnas, Nobz, Grotz, Lootas, Kannons, Killa Kans, and Deff Dreads. They were shielded by a Big Mek with a Kustom Force Field, and ably led by the indomitable Warboss Sho-T BigHed. The only non-infantry model was a Dakkajet.
That right there is a whole lot of xenos filth that needs to be purged...
As he is wont to do, the wily Mr. Lacy provided the shooty-shooty component of the grand force: Fire Warriors, of course, but also Crisis Suits and Broadsides a-plenty. Ken mingled most of his army amongst Pat’s, but hung the Broadsides far back, well out of range of most of our fire but not, of course, out of range for him.
Bryan had several squads of regular Guardsmen, four Heavy Weapon Squads, some Veterans, three Chimeras—and, more importantly, a Leman Russ, a Manticore, a Hydra, and two Vendettas. Michael brought two of his signature Vindicator tanks, plus a Predator, Tactical Squads (of course), and Sternguard (two heavy weapons) in lascannons-Razorbacks. I brought the units I list here. Tiger of Varuna Daksha Ram was named our force’s Warlord, and he received the Strategic Genius ability. Sho-T BigHed was, of course, the other Warlord, and he had an Inspiring Presence.
Unsuccessful in our attempt to seize the initiative, Bryan, Michael, and I gritted our teeth and awaited the Tau fire as the Ork Ocean stamped forward, Dreads and Kans trampling trees underfoot. I deploy about as well as Munchkins play basketball, and had left my Land Raider White Tiger out in the open. Ken paid me for my stupidity by targeting it with one of his Broadsides, and faster than you can say, “knife,” 265 points of my Heavy Support vanished from the board.
Bryan’s Manticore returned fire, nuking a Crisis Suit, 9 Stormboyz, 4 Grots, but no Nobz (they made 5 saves). A blast form a Vindicator killed another 7 Stormboyz, and autocannon fire from Bryan’s Heavy Weapon teams took out two Killa Kans.
On Turn 2, Ken Deep Struck two Stealth Teams with fusion blasters near the Manticore and a Vindicator, taking out both tanks. A Broadside took out the Leman Russ, while another mercifully whiffed against my Land Raider Crusader, which was moving up to deal with Orks. Stormboyz charged the Sternguard I had disgorged from the White Tiger II on the turn before, but Overwatch fire, I4 and 2 Attacks on my Vets, and the Sergeant’s power fist won the day, the Stormies inflicting no casualties, then breaking and getting gunned down.
Bryan's Vendettas appear behind enemy lines to target the Broadside Suits
On Xenos Turn 3, Lootas shot down one Vendetta and Broadsides killed the Assault Squad (who rolled six “1’s” in a row for armor saves). A Crisis Suit vaporized one of Michael’s Razorbacks. On our turn, our Tactical Squads moved up and dismounted, firing into the Orks (with the help of the Land Raider Crusader). While we killed a few, we should have killed many more: chalk it up to poor dice and Pat’s accidentally thinking the Kustom Force Field gave a 4+ Invulnerable Save instead of a 5+. We’ll call that “home field advantage” and cut him some slack…. The surviving Vendetta again did nada against the Broadsides.
Fighting Tiger and Vindicator Tactical Squads and support vehicles fire on the advancing Orks
At that point, it was late and we retired for the night, leaving the models where they were and intending to finish the game the next night. The next day, Bryan, Michael and I realized where this was going and conceded the game so that we could move on to another contests (more about that later).
We had several things working against us, even disregarding Pat’s error (which we compensated for at the end of Turn 3 by removing half of the models that had made their save against our fire in that turn). First and foremost was that the best way to deal with Tau shootiness is to run up and punch them in their skinny faces, but there was, as I mentioned, an OCEAN of Orks between our guys and the Tau. Furthermore, the Tau units doing the shooting were tough (for Tau)—Crisis Suits and Broadsides—and could largely shrug off what fire we could muster at them.
Ken has every right to look smug as the Tau and the Orks pick apart the Imperial forces
Two, Ken is no dummy, and he wisely took out most of our long-ranged firepower early in the game: my Land Raider, Bryan’s Manticore and Leman Russ, etc. Third, my army was mostly intended to take out Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines, and didn’t have a lot of template or blast weapons to contribute. Poor Bryan and Michael had to do the brunt of the fighting while I maneuvered into position.
Finally, Ken and Pat were able to mount a cohesive threat right from the get-go: one couldn’t ignore either the Tau shooting or the oncoming Orks. In contrast, our forces struck piecemeal, and were much more ineffective.
Posted September 2012