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Return to Auros IX
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts

Return to Auros IX: Battle #2  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore

Sho T. BigHed and the other leaders of his warband stood in a circle as the suns rose over the horizon of Auros IX.  Around Sho T. were the two Meks Speedo and Sprokkits, the Underboss Moe Z., and Mad Doc Kev Orky ‘un.  The Weirdboy Dr. Jeep should have been there, but he had gone wandering off and no one wanted to get zapped if they found him in a mood. 

Sho T. reached down and grabbed a Grot by the ankles.  Holding the Grot like a pointer, he scratched lines in the dirt with the creature’s nose.

“Okay, yuseLissen up.  Da ‘umies are fixin’ ta take us by suhprize, but we’ze too smaht fuh dat.” He scratched out a location a few miles from their current position. “Moz, you take a lotta da boyz ovuh ‘ere and get stuck in.  Speedo, yuze take da Kult over to dat old fort da ‘umies left behind.  I’ll stay ‘ere and give a good olOrky welcome to duh mooks dat pop up ‘ere.  Now, get yer arses in gear, cuz doze Beaky Boyz may be  ‘ere any minnut.””

With that, Sho T.  threw the Grot to the ground, and the abused Gretchin staggered around dazedly for a few minutes trying to clear its head.  The Orks broke their circle and each started barking orders at whatever flunkies were nearby. 

At this point, Dr. Hoojee Bob Jeep wandered into the middle of camp with little crackles of electricity radiating from his head.   He spun around twice, burped, and passed out.  Moe looked over at  Sho T.  “I hope dat ain’t a sign from Gork and Mork,” Moe said. “I gotta bad feelink ‘bout dis.””

After our first game (a nice warm-up for the campaign), Pat came up with the way-cool idea to treat the next three battles as occurring simultaneously, with the Tigers launching an all-out, make-or-break blitzkrieg on the greenskins to wrench Auros IX from their grip. Thus, units used in one game cannot be used in another. As Pat and I have massively-overlarge armies (I’m up to 11K points of Tigers), that’s not a problem for either of us. This game’s mission was “Planetfall,””from the Planetstrike supplement, and would feature 3,000 points of Space Marines in Stripes vs. an equal amount of the most badass Blood Axes around. 

Sho-T’s Blood Axes (3000 points)   by Patrick Eibel
I recently made some trades that resulted in me getting a lot of new Ork figures that I wanted to try out. Here’s what I brought:

  • Warboss Sho T. BigHed  w/ mega-armor, cybork body, bosspole, attack squig
  • Big Mek Sprokkits  w/ kustom force field, ‘eavy armor, power klaw
  • 19 Ard Boyz  w/ slugga and choppa, two have rokkit launchas; led by Nob w/ ‘eavy armor, bosspole, and power klaw
  • 29 Shoota Boyz w/ three big shootas; led by Nob w/ ‘eavy armor, bosspole, and power klaw
  • 29 Shoota Boyz w/ three big shootas; led by Nob with ‘eavy armor, bosspole, and power klaw
  • 30 Gretchin led by three Runtherds
  • Deff Dread R2 Ork2  w/ 2 rokkit launchas, grot rigger, armor plates (counts as Troops)
  • 6 Nob Bikers, consisting of one w/ power klaw, one w/ Waaaugh Banner, one w/ ‘uge choppa, a  Painboy, and two w/ choppas
  • 3 squads of 8 Warbikes.  Two squads led by a Nob w/ power klaw, one led by Nob w/ ‘uge choppa
  • 3 Killa Kans w/ rokkit launchas
  • 3 Killa Kans w/ big shootas
  • Deff Dread w/ big shoota and extra weapon

This list was designed to have big, globby shooting squads, some speed in the bikes, and some counterassault with the  Ard Boyz, Sho T. and Sprokkits hanging together.  I was hoping to soften the Tigers up with some shooty shooty before the inevitable Assault Phase.  Kenton, of course, had other plans.

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Pat's army massed for Battle #2

Fighting Tigers of Veda (3000 points)   by Kenton Kilgore
As the Attacker in “Planetfall,” I was allowed to bring up to 6 Elite units and up to 6 Fast Attack units. In “Planetfall,” most units can Deep Strike, even if they normally can’t, and those that already were able to Deep Strike (such as Assault Marines and Terminators) may assault on the turn they arrive. One of my mottos in gaming (and real life) is “Run with what they give you,” so I loaded up guys that can bring the hurt quickly and in abundance.

  • Tiger of Varuna Anhurada Chawla.  Chaplain w/ Terminator armor, storm bolter, rosarius, and crozius arcanum
  • Tigers of Indra, Squad One (5 Terminators). Sergeant w/ storm bolter and power sword; one w/ storm bolter and power fist; two w/ storm bolters and chainfists; one w/ assault cannon and power fist
  • Tigers of Indra, Squad Two (6 Assault Terminators) w/ lightning claws
  • Tigers of Indra, Squad Three (7 Terminators). Sergeant w/ storm bolter and power sword; three w/ storm bolters and power fists; two w/ storm bolters and chainfists; one w/ heavy flamer and power fist
  • Tigers of Indra, Squad Four (5 Sternguard). Sergeant w/ lightning claw, combi-flamer; one w/ flamer; one w/ combi-flamer; one w/ heavy flamer; one w/ bolter
  • Tiger Eternal Shiva the Destroyer. Venerable Dreadnought w/ assault cannon, heavy flamer, Dreadnought close combat weapon, extra armor. Drop Pod w/ locator beacon and deathwind launcher
  • Tiger Eternal Shrendi Vashtar. Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, heavy flamer, Dreadnought close combat weapon, extra armor. Drop Pod w/ locator beacon and deathwind launcher
  • Tigers of Kali, Squad One (10 Assault Marines). Sergeant w/ power fist; seven w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two w/ flamers
  • Tigers of Kali, Squad Two (10 Assault Marines). Sergeant w/ power fist; seven w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two w/ flamers
  • Flying Tigers Squadron. Three Land Speeder Tornadoes w/ assault cannons and heavy bolters
  • Flying Tigers II Squadron. Two Land Speeder Tornadoes w/ assault cannons and heavy bolters
  • Tiger Sharks Squadron. Three Land Speeder Tornadoes w/ assault cannons and heavy bolters
  • Maruti Squadron. Two Land Speeder Tornadoes w/ assault cannons and heavy bolters

At first glance, this appears to be an unabashedly cheesedick power-gaming list; atypically for me, it has no Troop choices (“Planetfall” does not require the Attacker to take Troops). While it is clearly designed to kill lots of Orks all at once (all those flamers and assault cannons!), bear in mind three things:


1.      My guys would be dropping down right in the Orks’ faces, not a good position for any army besides Orks or Tyranids to start in;

2.      It does not have a whole lot of staying power (not many bodies, and those Speeders aren’t cheap); and,

3.      In all the fiction pieces that Games Workshop writes, it’s the Dreads, the Termies, and the Assault Marines leading planetary invasions, so it felt properly “fluffy” to bring lots of them for this game.


Astute visitors will also note a paucity of anti-tank capability, aside from the unreliable Rending of the assault cannons and the gotta-get-in-close-to-use-them power fists. A trademark of my Fighting Tigers, this was to become an issue late in the game….

Setting Up by Kenton Kilgore
We played at Pat’s house, on the 4' x 8' Blood Deserts boards that we used for much of the first Auros campaign.  As per the rules for the Defender in “Planetfall,””Pat set up the scenery, put down the objectives, and deployed first. He stashed one Loota Mob atop a fortress (the Interceptor Gun of which was an objective), put the second bunch of Lootas outside in front of them, then bubble-wrapped them in Shoota Boyz and Gretchin. He put more Shoota Boyz on a hill, holding another objective, and crowded his bikes, Dreads/Kans, and Sho-T + ‘Ard Boyz in his backfield, ready to counterattack. I was required to start the game with all my units off the board. 

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Pat's deployment. The sparkly pipe cleaners strung at the edge are to mark the Las Maze defensive strategem

Like Cities of Death, Planetstrike uses strategems: each player receives one stratagem point per objective, and strategems cost various points. I chose Scorched Skies and Laserburn; Pat chose Ammo Store, Power Generator, Krak Attack, Las Maze, and Escape Hatch. With that, the invasion of Auros IX began!

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A closer look at both mobs of Lootas, the Interceptor Gun, and the fortress that was to be the center of the fighting

Turn 1  by Kenton Kilgore
Because we had five objectives and I had taken the Scorched Skies stratagem, I dropped 13 pre-game bombardment templates on the Orks. Thanks to cover saves, not as many greenskins died as I would have liked, but I still bagged 5 Lootas (and pinned one mob),  a total of 18 Shoota Boyz from the two mobs (and pinned one mob),  3 ‘Ard Boyz, 4 Bikers (pinning one mob), and 3 Gretchin (pinning them, too). Pat was, shall we say, not too pleased.

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Fighting Tigers drop in unannounced--RUDE!--on the Orks

Planetstrike uses a sped-up Reserves rule that starts on the first turn. Needing a 3+ for each unit, almost all of my army arrived at the start of Turn 1 (the only stragglers were Maruti Squadron). While it was nice that the Reserve rolls were favorable, actually getting my guys down where they would do the most good was problematic. 

Pat had bunched up his guys pretty well, forcing me to spread out a bit more than I would have liked. I also had two Deep Strike mishaps from my squads deviating onto Orks: Indra One was delayed, and Indra Four wound up (Pat’s choice) at the other end of the table, waaaaaaay out of the action: they would spend the rest of the game running for (and obtaining) an objective towards the middle of the table. In addition, I lost an Assault Terminator to Pat’s Krak Attack, and two Assault Marines from landing in difficult terrain.

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Tornadoes and Assault Marines landing near Ork Bikers and Gretchin 

With most of my Tigers deployed, it was time to start the shooty-shoot part of the show. I unleashed the Laserburn stratagem, targeting a nice line of Ork Warbikers. The ‘burn deviated, going through my Assault Terminators and killing one of them. Nice

In happier news for Our Stripy Heroes, the two Assault Marine squads combined their fire (four flamer bursts!) on another mob of Bikers, killing all of them but the Nob, who lost his nerve and fell back off the board. The Flying Tiger Speeders wounded a Warbike Nob (curse that Feel No Pain nonsense!), and the Tiger Sharks killed one of the un-pinned Lootas (curse those 3+ cover saves for the fortress they were atop!). Shiva the Destroyer trundled out of his Drop Pod and his heavy flamer bathed the pinned Shoota Boyz, killing four. 

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These Shoota Boyz had taken several hits during the initial bombardment, and then Shiva the Destroyer showed up

Taking full advantage of the Planetstrike rules regarding Deep Striking and charging, Chaplain Anhurada and the Assault Terminators sliced their way through 10 of the un-pinned Shoota Boyz, losing none of their own. The Boyz then lost another 10 due to being Fearless because of mob size.  Indra Three charged a mob of Killa Kans. The Kans went first, killing one Termie, but the Tigers hit hard, destroying two, shaking and immobilizing the third. An exploding Kan took out another Terminator, and it was Pat’s turn.

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Chaplain Anhurada (in brown and white) and the Assault Terminators of Squad Indra Two charge Shoota Boyz

Most of the Orks who weren’t pinned moved up; the Lootas atop the fortress held their position. The Deff Dread R2Ork2 waddled into position to get a shot at Shiva with his rokkit launchas and scored a “Weapon Destroyed” result. Foolishly, I gambled on Shiva’s Venerable ability to re-roll damage, hoping to knock it down to “Shaken,” but the die instead came up with “Wrecked.” A colossally stupid and unnecessary blunder on my part. 

The Nobz on Warbikes fired their dakkaguns on Kali Squad One, killing three Marines and forcing a Morale test, which I chose to voluntarily fail, thanks to the Space Marine rule Combat Tactics (easily my favorite thing about the current SM codex). The Assault Marines were now safely out of the Nobs’ charge range, and would regroup on my turn. The other Bike Mob shot at my other Assault Marines, killing two of them. 

The Lootas fired uselessly on my other Dreadnought, Shrendi Vashtar, but his reprieve was short-lived. Planetstrike grants the Defender free heavy weapons, and Pat fired off his Interceptor gun (a lascannons-thingy) to fry Shrendi as he lurked by his Drop Pod. A mob of Grot Kans near the back of the table fired on the Tiger Shark Speeder Squadron, knocking the assault cannon off one and shaking another. 

The bikers that had shot at Kali Squad Two charged them, and received some bolt pistol-and-chainsword loving, losing two of their own and killing no Marines. The greenies got skeered and fell back off the table--who said bikers were tough guys?

Chaplain Anhurada and the Assault Terminators finished off the Shoota Boyz and moved in on the pinned Lootas. The ‘Ard Boyz and another Deff Dread charged the Terminators already mamboing with the Killa Kans. The Dread whiffed with all five of its attacks, the ‘Ard Boyz killed one Termie, and my guys took out an ‘Ard Boy and exploded the last Kan (alas, killing no Orks). The ‘Ard Boyz and the Terminators formed up into each other to continue the scrap. 

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R2Ork2 (that little fellow in white and blue) lights up Shiva while 'Ard Boyz and another Dread bum-rushes Indra Three

Turn 2
Reserve rolls said that Indra Squad One and the Maruti Land Speeders could come on, but they deviated again onto Orks: this time, the Termies would have been destroyed and the Speeders would again have been delayed. Arrrgh!

But wait! I had forgotten that both my Drop Pods had locators beacons, meaning that the sensible thing to do would be to have both units come in--with no chance of deviation--near the Drop Pods. In an act of supreme coolness, Pat let me re-do my botched Deep Striking, and both units touched down safely. Let me give Pat a very big, public “Thank you” for being such a good sport: certainly, it would have been in his best interests (and well within his rights) not to let me do that, but he doesn’t just talk the talk about friendly, casual gaming being better than hyper-competitiveness, he walks the walk too.

As mentioned, my rallying Assault Marines joined their sisters in advancing on the suddenly-vulnerable Nobz on Bikes, and the Flying Tiger II squadron swung their guns that way, too. All three units opened up with flame, heavy bolters, assault cannons, and bolt pistols, and two Nobz dropped, but held their nerve. 

The first Flying Tiger squadron drifted forward 6" and let the Lootas atop the fortress have 9 heavy bolter rounds and 12 assault cannon shots, bagging three Lootas (damn those 3+ saves!). The newly-arrived Indra One Terminators shot 7 Gretchin, and the Maruti squadron waxed 3 Shoota Boyz. The Deathwind launcher on Shiva’s Drop Pod kakked four more from the same mob, and the boyz decided they had had enough, falling back 9".

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It's almost unsportsmanlike to charge Gretchin with Terminators

Again using Planetstrike’s Shock Tactics rule that lets Deep Strikers charge when they arrive, I had Indra One hit the Gretchin like NFL linebackers smashing into Brownie Scouts, killing 12 wee ones. The remaining Gretchin wisely fell back 7", and the Termies lumbered after them. Not far away, Chaplain Anhurada and her Assault Terminators hack-and-slashed their way through the Lootas who were on the ground. 

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Like the tight-ass fluff Nazis out there, the biker Nobz object vehemently to my female Marines.
For all the good that does them...

Both Assault Marine units charged the Nobz on bikes, losing three Marines but killing two Nobz and running down the lone survivor as he tried to flee. That whole “chase-down-the-fleeing-squad-and-wipe-them-out-with-a-single-die-roll” has to be the part of 40K that Pat hates most. In happier news for Pat, Sho-T, the ‘Ard Boyz, and the Dread easily overwhelmed Indra Three before the Terminators could cock back a power fist.

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Sho-T (with his blue Attack Squig) and his ladz give the Terminators of Indra Three wut-fer

On Pat’s turn, Sho-T and his ‘Ard Boyz came Waaaughing! over a hill towards the Fighting Tigers. The Shoota Boyz and Gretchin continued to fall back, firing on Indra One and killing two Terminators. R2Ork2 shook one Speeder from the Maruti squadron, and the other Grot Kan unit fired on Kali Two, killing one Assault Marine. 

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"Hang on, ladz, we'ze comin'!" Sho-T and the 'Ard Boyz leg it into the teeth of the Tigers' attack

Bikers looped around the fortress and the Lootas poked their guns over the side, both mobs letting Anhurada and the Assault Terminators have it, killing two and wounding the Chaplain. The bikers charged, losing one to a difficult terrain check, and the Terminators ripped them to pieces. Nearby, Sho-T and his lads assaulted the Maruti squadron, wrecking both Speeders.

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While pondering how to get at the Lootas, Chaplain Anhurada and the Assault Terminators fend off some Ork Bikers

Turn 3 
In life, there are few hard and fast rules, but one of them is that if, during a game of 40K, a honked-off Warboss and a whole mess of Ork boyz are barreling towards your army, you must—MUST--stop whatever else you’re doing and unload every gun you have at them until they are All Gone.  So that’s pretty much what I did. My Drop Pods, Indra One, and every squadron of Land Speeders fired everything they had at Sho-T and crew, dropping 16 of them. Nevertheless, the Orks kept on coming.

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The Lootas are finally dispatched, but here comes Sho-T!

Tiring of the Loota’s nonsense, I bounded one of my Assault Squads onto the roof of their fortress and flamed them, killing them. So much for them!

On Pat’s turn, the Shoota Boyz and Gretchin continued to fall back towards the edge of the board. The Killa Kans that had been skulking about behind the fortress used the Escape Hatch stratagem to move atop its roof, near my Assault Marines. R2Ork2, the other Deff Dread, and the falling-back Shoota Boyz fired on Indra One, killing a Terminator. 

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The Assault Marines wonder in the heck THESE guys came from all of a sudden

The Kans fired at the Assault Marines, to no effect, then charged, killing one. The Sergeant’s power fist wrecked one Kan, and my guys fell back 16" in a “Whoa-what-was-THAT?” moment. Sho-T came up short on a difficult terrain roll and failed to charge the Assault Terminators.

Turn 4
Realizing that there is no way on Earth (or any other planet) that a Terminator is going to run away from a Warboss, I moved my Chaplain and Assault Termies towards Sho-T. Alas, I only made it 2" through difficult terrain. I also moved up Kali Two to help with the impending charge. All of that maneuvering was unnecessary, though, as shooting brought down da BigHed and the remnants of his followers. Shooting also shook one of the Kans atop the fortress.

Pat moved R2Ork2 near an objective and planted his other Dread atop another one: combined with the Kans at the fortress, he was now holding three out of five (I had the other two thanks to the Sternguard--remember them?--and Indra Squad One). The Shoota Boyz and Gretchin finally fell back off the board, excusing themselves from the rest of the fight. R2Ork2 shot dead a Terminator from Indra One--man, I thought Ork shooting was supposed to suck! Yet so far, R2Ork2 was earning himself a marksman’s medal….

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Despite all the casualties he had taken, Pat was in a good position to win as Turn 5 unfolded

Turn 5
Theoretically, the game could end on this turn, so I flew my Speeders flat out to contest the objectives held by Pat’s two Dreads. I also bounced some Assault Marines back onto the fortress to take down the Kans, and had the Assault Termies (who couldn’t hurt the Kans) climb up there, too, to contest. 

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Tigers of Kali try--unsuccessfully--to knock over some Kans

The Kali Kids shook one Kan, then took casualties, tried to fall back, and got caught by the Kans--and here I totally forgot the “And They Shall Know No Fear” rule and pulled them off the board. Another dumb error, this time brought by fatigue (we had been playing for about 7 hours by now, broken only by a half-hour dinner of 5 Guys burgers).  Yes, I know that Space Marines are never caught and destroyed when they fall back: don’t e-mail me. I promise it’ll never happen again….

Pat had his Kans fire at the Assault Termies; they missed. The Kans charged and killed one, but the Termies were Fearless (thanks to the Chaplain) and stayed. R2Ork2 shot my Tiger Shark squadron, wrecking one (again with his damned accuracy!), then charged, wrecking another, though he needed “6’s” to hit. That is one awesome Ork Dread--the little bastard.

Pat rolled The Loyal Green Die ™ and the game, of course, continued.

Turn 6
My Speeders flew onto the objectives, raking the Dreads with fire, shaking the other one (R2Ork2, curse him, was fine). My Assault Terminators successfully dodged the swinging arms and snapping power klaws of the Killa Kans. On Pat’s turn, R2Ork2 shot my surviving Tiger Shark Speeder, but I made the Obscure save for being behind cover. His other Dread charged the Speeders on his objective, but failed to hit.

I really, really needed the game to end now. Of course, because it belongs to Pat, The Loyal Green Die ™ denied me. And to think that I used to own that die, before it sided with Pat back in the original Auros IX campaign. Little traitor.

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The formidable R2Ork2 says, "Beedeebeedeebeedeebee--you're goin' down, Space Marines!"

Turn 7
R2Ork2 could not possibly reach my sole Tiger Shark Speeder, which was perched on the objective, high atop a tower, so I kept my Speeder right where it was. If I kept my other Speeders on the other objective, Pat’s Dread would hit and penetrate them automatically (no roll “to hit” needed, and S10). For some reason (again, I blame the lateness of the hour), I conceded the objective and moved the Speeders out of charge range, shooting at Pat’s Dread, in the hope of killing it. Instead, I immobilized and shook it. 

R2Ork2 missed my other Speeder, my Termies continued to evade the Killa Kans in close combat, and when the game mercifully ended, the Tigers had 4 objectives and the Orks had 1.

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
Going into this battle, with this army list, my thought was that I needed to dish out a lot of hard hits and knock the Orks out of the game early, or else my guys would get ground down. While the first part of that was true, it turned out that the Orks nearly won not on numbers, but on toughness. While the Orks didn’t have as many boots on the ground as I thought they would, my Tigers seemingly ran into a steel wall as they tried to take out the Dreds and Kans late in the game. 

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Ferocious shooting on the first turn of the game whittled down the Orks to a manageable number

Technically, I could have made the argument that the Dreds and Kans shouldn’t have gotten cover saves for being atop the fortress or the hill, as none of the models were actually 50% covered.* However, Pat had been very gracious in letting me hit the “Undo” button on some stupid moves I had made in Turn 2, so why nitpick? When you regularly game with someone, you have to cut each other some slack.

*It turns out that I’m wrong about that, too. See Pat’s response, below.

Almost any game with Orks will involve your guys getting up-close-and-personal with them at some point, and I was pleased that the Tigers, for the most part, handled themselves well in close combat, especially against the Nobz on bikes. I stupidly muffed the “And They Shall Know No Fear” rule when my Assault Marines were trying to fall back against the Kans, but that was mitigated by the luck my Chaplain and Assault Termies had in dodging/making invulnerable saves against the same Kans.

Over to Pat.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros2b.jpg Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros2a.jpg
Wearing the army colors: Kenton (left) and Patrick (right)

Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
In preparing for this battle, I had made a loose plan to set up a firebase with the shooty units, seize objectives with the bikes, and use the Kans, Dreads, and ‘Ard Boyz for counter assault punch. I did not expect Kenton to drop Termies on me, and I did a poor job revising my plan to respond to his tactics. 

The game went awry from the beginning, when Team Green was literally bombarded into submission by 13 templates. While Kenton was unhappy with the number of kills he got, the attack managed to splinter the Ork response to all of the units he was dropping into their deployment zone. 

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Sho-T (far left) was out of the thick of the fight, and became the target of all those Speeders

I also made one huge mistake over the course of the game by sending Sho-T. and the ‘Ard Boyz to the far right flank.  They ended up too far out of position and fell to the superior firepower of the Marines. 

As to Kenton’s suggestion that the Kans were getting an undo save, I learned at Counter Offensive that the Kans would merely have their cover save reduced by one to a 4+.  Quibbling (and losing) aside, the game was very casual (now almost a dirty word on some sites) and lots of fun.  I now have to get in the win column or the campaign will rapidly get out of reach.

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Mass carnage--and this was only at the bottom of Turn 1


Results as of Game #2
Campaign Points for Kenton: 4
Campaign Points for Pat: 1


Return to Auros IX
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts


Posted October 2010



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