Monday, 30 October 2017

Heresy Of The Highest Order!

Still stationed on the temperate yet eventful Hemmerdale, Farg Woolstrop's command received orders to rendezvous with elements of the 420th Suhnnidayl Shithawks regiment and secure an important artifact from the vicinity. He was perplexed to find the commander of the 420th was a highly intoxicated and abusive Ursakar Creed. Recent intel had surmised that Creed was missing, presumed dead following the destruction of Cadia, and that this particular version of Creed was swilling a malt based liquor which was causing him to issue orders that were both senseless and contradictory. The artifact was supposed to be set in a solid gold copy of The Thumb Of The Emperor, an object d'art that had presumably mystical properties that ensured citizen obedience and loyalty. Further information had led to surmise that Tau from the Pur'la Sept had allied with renegade Astartes to take the relic for their own purposes. When the order to move was issued Farg was once again horrified to see the so called renegades were from the Ultramarines chapter and led by none other than Rouboute Gullimann! Never one to shirk his duty he ordered his force into suppression formation and prepared to take the relic....

Hot on the heels of last weeks defeat against the Ruinous Powers comes this battle report. As our gaming group in Cavan is undergoing a bit of a revival due mainly to the new 40K this game is another 4 player battle. 1500 points per person. This time it was the valiant Krablokistan 47th, Stuart's 420th Suhnnidayl Shithawks (Astra Militarum) vs Billy's Ultramarines and Aaron's Tau (of the Pur'la Sept).

The Forces

My army contained a commander, a Tempestor Prime, 3 infantry squads (2 chimera transports), a Master of Ordinance, 2 Leman Russ,  a Basilisk, a Hellhound, Autocannon heavy weapon squad, ratlings. Stuart had Creed as general, a Commissar Lord, a couple of platoon commanders, 3 Leman Russ, a Basilisk as well, 3 infantry squads, 3 heavy weapons squads (lascannons,autocannons and missile launchers I think). All in all we had loads of orders to bandy about. Creed was nominated as overall general as he's the man.

Billy's army contained Rouboute Gulliman, his usual hangers on (minstrel,valet, personal life coach) and some Terminators and various burly marine types. A venerable Dreadnaught as well. Aaron took lots of big shooty things including a Riptide, Devilfish, Hammerhead, some Stealth suits and lots of Tau is battlesuits that I'm not completely au fait with.

The scenario was The Relic whereby two forces try to grab a holy artifact in the centre of the table, in this case it is The Thumb of The Emperor some art deco originally displayed at the bottom of hive Primus on Necromunda  but currently getting relocated. Now for some unknown reason Gulliman has sided with the xenos and as luck would have Ursakar Creed rocks up to take control of Farg Woolstrop's command. this is probably a good thing as he is getting confused by the love hate relationship he's having with the Ultramarines currently.

Ye Olde Battlefield. Note how the bulk of the Ultramarines are using Tau as shields. There doesn't appear to be many tiny alien flying insects on Rouboute Gulliman.

As the forces of purebred humanity (not the bioengineered, steroid swilling, pompous so called saviors of the Imperium) had many more units to drop than the unholy alliance it was a pretty safe bet that we'd be going second. Unless I can roll a 6 to steal initiative? Drum roll please.......

A 6 was duly rolled.

This is the third game against Aaron and the third time  I stole initiative, he's starting to believe I have loaded dice. Now the game started with an awful lot of big guns going off and detonating over on the other side of the table. I didn't take many pictures for some reason but the main occurance was very nearly destroying the Hammerhead first turn. Some Stealthsuit wearing asshats proved to be very awkward due to some negative modifiers. Negative modifiers are really unfair as Astra Militarum training forbids the use of targeting equipment due to it 'not being financially viable'. Or something.

The Ratlings are about to receive a shitstorm of bullets and they will fail to see the second turn again.

Who said the Astra militarum aren't a mobile force? I can see at least 3 units that have used an order other than "Stay Here And Shoot For The Emperor". The was a logistical SNAFU though, a dedicated transport hadn't received the proper paperwork to advance and therefore had to park up behind the Leman Russes.

It's a stirring sight to see this many heavy weapons pointed towards the other side of the table! The Master of Ordinance stands between a pair of Basilisks.

Meanwhile on the right flank my Hellhound/Chimera formation sets fire to a big xenos walking around thing. Apologies if I'm getting too technical.


The big walking around alien battlesuit thing has taken some damage, as has the Hellhound. Fear not, six (6) brave guardsmen armed with lasguns and meltaguns are there to assist with the general xenos slaughtering.

The now familiar Ultramarine swarm formation is in effect. The Hammerhead stubbornly clings to life and refuses to blow up killing any smurfs that are too close.


At this point the special weapons squad dispatch the big battlesuit. Now they need the rest of the Tautramarine army to leave them alone.

At this point no one has attempted to pick up the relic. In defense of AM tactics, I'm sure no-one received the correct Esoteric Item Of Unknown Origins Requisition Form 7B from Adeptus Munitorum therefore holding up the show. I don't know what the Tau and Ultramarines excuse is, other than the five (5) Leman Russ waiting like playful puppies for so target practise.

Another sideways on view of the battle.

The venerable dreadnought took a direct hit from the Basilisk on the other side of the table -I shot at it as the Master of Ordinance will only help if the target is over 36" away (anything less and it's not worth his while getting his binoculars out for). The smoke effect was courtesy of Dealz cotton wool.

The Riptide also bought the farm this turn. Despite the Piranha trying to distract the guardsmen. This army was used to the wiles of filthy xenos and didn't take the bait. Apologies for the blurry picture, I was excited.

Shit was getting incredibly real! The Hammerhead also dies. Sadly I don't recall swathes of Ultramarines taking mortal wounds so it must have made the sound of a brick falling on grass.

The required paperwork arrived and the Chimera whizzed forward to engage the now much depleted enemy. The Devilfish is in a bad way judging by the wound counters (dice) on it. A lone guardsman stands by the Relic wondering how he's supposed to move it. 

Over on the left flank, the Terminators battle one of the Basilisks while the Piranha combats the Master of Ordinance, this obviously takes him by surprise as all he's armed with is a laspistol - something totally unsuited to bringing down flying fish named vehicles. On the plus side, Tau aren't suited to fighting either so the combat drags on a bit. Also of note was the meltagun armed guardsman that killed a Tau commander jumped back into the Chimera and managed to operate two rows of lasguns. He received a gold star for his book and was also issued extra rations for his dedication.

At this point Rouboute Gulliman grabs the relic as only a 9 foot test tube baby can, and in his best Hulk voice smashes the Chimera consolidating into the guardsmen. The guardsmen however do not want any part of the combat and fall back, leaving an awful lot of ordinance trained on the Emperor's right hand Primarch. 

Although technically Gullimann didn't blow up, the redonkulous amount of firepower that was aimed at him probably caused a crater 10 metres wide. He was killed by many Imperial Guard weapons and he failed his 4+ regeneration roll. I'm fairly certain he'll be back though. 

The last picture of the game was a guardsman taking the last wound from the Devilfish causing it to die. In the background you can see a single guardsman meltagun operator spinning about in a Chimera after he toasted a Venerable Dreadnaught. Also in this pic is my second in command (so by a process of retro engineering the command structure, probably third or even fourth in command). Plus a female Commissar.
So with the demise of Rouboute Gulliman the game was called a draw. More due to time constraints than by anything else. Had we played another turn or two the Astra Militarum may have been able to make off with the relic, thus proving that consorting with aliens is bad policy. 

Debreifing

Well the game was enjoyable (for the IG at least). I must admit that after both sides had deployed I saw a slight disparity in the firepower stakes. Five Leman Russ, two Basilisks and two Chimeras. This all led to a lot of 3+ save T6,7 or 8 vehicles that are no easier to hit than T3 grunts with a 5+ save. The upshot was Billy's virtually heavy weaponless force was in difficulty and by stealing initiative again, we dropped both the Hammerhead and Riptide down damage levels giving our tanks much better survival prospects. To be honest most of our armies just sat there shooting all game long with the exception of some squads of infantry who were sent forward to fertilise the ground around the relic. There were a few heroic guardsman, namely an unnamed Cadian who shot down a Devilfish with his lasgun. Another guardsman with a meltagun slew a Tau Commander then jumped back into a Chimera, managing to operate all six lasguns at once to give the Tau the impression there was a full squad in there. On the opposite side of heroism was the unheroic. I wasted the Scions coming on to the table late, shooting a few marines but achieving little (hence they weren't mentioned all game). I think my ratlings placement was not woeful, but they all died first turn again. Also worth noting was the Tau ethereal that sat in his motorised potty at the back all game.I had originally intended on sending in the Scions to execute said xenos but in the end found a more important target. This is the last batrep before the new Astra Militarum Codex hits so there could be some large scale changes to be made. All that's left for me is to thanks my opponents and ally for an enjoyable game, and write some post game fluff/gibberish.


Despite virtually annihilating their enemy, the mission was a failure the relic had not been retrieved and the man claiming to be Ursakar Creed had proven to be a drunken bully. In fact, Woolstrop was convinced that he was an impostor, but as his orders were to follow his orders until the Relic was in Imperial custody, he may be forced to continue to abet this sot. He was also concerned by the  420th Suhnnidayl behavior after the battle as like their leader they were fighting over the spoils of the battlefield. Farg decided to set up a separate camp to his allies as the raucous singing was starting to irritate him. Hopefully High command would redeply his force soon...


Thanks For Reading.  
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