Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 4 Campaign Battle - 3rd Company vs Grogswillas Kult of Speed

Warboss Grogswilla was feeling really good.  As an Ork warboss he had already exceeded all the other Orks in the tribe in terms of toughness and combat skills, but it seemed that over the past month, to his good fortune, he was almost growing tougher and bigger every day!  “Herr herrr herrr” he chuckled.  At the moment, his grot attendants were running all over the encampment, bringing messages for all his Nobz to assemble.  His Kult of Speed bikers had observed “bloo armored oomans” at the site of the prior encampment.  The biker mob had been sent back to recover some important scrap and tek that his favorite Mek, Kevmek da Red, had left behind below the floorboards of his shack.  It was likely the oomans’ had recovered the scrap, and Grogswilla was looking for a fight!

Continuation of Campaign.  Standard deployment, 1500 points.  Campaign Mission #4 – escape with the prize.  In this special mission, each player starts with a score of 10 points.  3 points are earned for every unit (that qualified as a kill point) exists the opponents table edge.  2 points are earned for every kill point taken from your opponent.  1 point is lost for every kill point you yield to your opponent.  5 points are earned for having your warlord exit the table.  Units can only exit the table for bonus points in the movement phase.
 Campaign notes: 
Players had to maintain their warlord and one troop choice for all 4 weeks of the campaign.  Each week, the warlord would get +1 to either WS, BS, T, or I.  At the end of week 2 would get +1 W.  At the end of week 2, the troop choice would get +1 to either WS, BS, T, or I.

Battlefield terrain: 
Volcanic rift valley.  Cracks filled with lava are dangerous and difficult terrain.  Cinder cones are impassable terrain.

OPFOR:  Cult of Speed Grogswilla
Warboss Grogswilla: +3 to Toughness, +1W, +1WS.  Mega armor, ammo runt, big shoota, powerclaw
Grogswilla’s Cohort: 5 meganobz, powerclaws, shootas
Grogswilla’s Big Rod:  Battlewagon, red paint job, cannon, 4 big shootas
The WannaBeez:  10 Nobz, 9 Big Choppas, 1 powerclaw, Shootas
WB’z Trukk: Big Shootas, red paint job
GoldenNutz: 10 Flash Gitz
GN’s Ride: Looted Wagon, red paint job, big shootas
KevMeks Biker Mob:  10 Bikes, twin linked big shootas, nobz, painboy, powerclaw, big choppas, etc., +1T

3rd Company Ultramarines Plus 1st Company Support:
Librarian Arcadius, TDA, Stormshield, Psychic Scream, +2WS, +2T, +1W
Tactical Squad Ovatius (2nd Squad), 10 marines, CPG, PG, ML , +1T
Tactical Squad Theta (4th Squad), 10 marines, CGG, GG, ML
Drop Pod
Command Squad Tacitus, 5 marines, Apothecary, company champion, 3 PGs
Drop Pod
Sternguard Squad Titus, 10 marines, 2 MG, 3 CMG, LC
Drop Pod
Tactical Terminator Squad, 5 marines, 1 CML
Landspeeder Squadron Hexus, 2 landspeeder typhoons, HB/CML

Pre-Battle Assessment:
Everyone knows I hate Orks!  And here it was, the last battle of the campaign, and I’d be playing them!  And not your normal orks – every ork in the opponent’s list was a nob equivalent. The orks had about 9 “regular kill points” on the table.  I could expand out to about 14.  The mission was interesting – if we both ignored each other, and just crossed the table, I would win.  The only way the orks could win was to kill off about 7 of my units (+/- with the scoring math above).  The orks were to deploy and go first, and it was daylight.

After watching the orks deploy along their deployment zone – foot orks were in their three vehicles, and the bikes were on the far left, I decided that I’d sacrifice a combat squad (plasma half of Ovatius) and their rhino to my far left as bait, while the rest of my force that needed to be deployed (landspeeders, ML half of Ovatius) would deploy in cover on my right.  The goal would be to drop my pods in the upper right and as each unit arrived exit the table.  The Librarian and terminators would arrive from reserves and either drop near the exit edge or if needed rescue / distract my opponent.  There were flaws in that thinking, but the nob bikers (now toughness 6 because of the campaign effects) were very mobile and needed to be dealt with.  Also in part was the decision by the CO to order that units could only score if departing during a movement phase, which meant that marines arriving in pods could not immediately exit the table the turn they arrived unless they dropped within 6 inches of an edge and walked off after the pod hit the table as part of their disembark.  Also a consideration was that the Trukk and Looted Wagon were used by the ork player to bubblewrap the battlewagon, making it difficult for me to get an alpha strike on it with either the sternguard or the command squad.    The ork player had already determined that the ork strategy lay only in getting as many kill points as possible.

Turn 1:
The ork bikers and vehicles all advance forward, with the Trukk and looted wagon heading toward my right (Ovatius Beta), bikers towards the left (Ovatius Alpha), and the Battlewagon toward the center.  The looted wagon crossed a lava crack and immediately suffered an immobilized result.  In shooting, the Rhino became wrecked and Ovatius Alpha dismounted behind it for cover.  Ovatius Beta took two casualties from the flash gitz’ special weapons fire and mounted big shootas.

In response, the sternguard pod dropped down in the upper right, about 30 inches from the battlewagon and 8 inches from the table edge.  Then the command squad pod dropped down, but deviated towards the table center, to be about 26 inches from the battlewagon, on a lava crack!  The command squad dismounted and the lava caused no casualties.  The sternguard squad split into a meltagun half (Beta) and the half with the sergeant (alpha).  Ovatius Beta moved slightly for better cover, and Ovatius Alpha moved to get LOS on the ork bikers.  Hexus moved to get LOS on the Trukk.  In shooting, the trukk was destroyed, and one or two Wannabeez were casualties.  

Score:  Ultras 11, Orks: 11 (remember we both start with 10 points)

Turn 2:
The orks warboss decides this turn requires a Waaaaghh!

Wannabeez (on foot) and GoldenNutz (on foot) move towards Ovatius Beta and Hexus while the bikers move towards Ovatius Alpha.  Grogswilla’s battlewagon moves towards the drop pods, the orks dismount, and move forward to prepare to charge on the space marines.  In shooting, the biker mob finishes off Ovatius Alpha with their twin linked big shootas.  The Wannabeez fail to injure Beta, and the GoldenNutz only take a hull point off Hexus.  In assault, the distance is too great for Grogswilla to assault the command squad, GoldenNutz fails their assault on the Landspeeders, but the Wannabeez make their charge on Beta.   Beta (at three marines) puts a wound or two on the Wannabeez, but are then wiped out.

The reserve rolls are not kind to the marines.  Only squad Theta arrives from reserves, and their drop pod deviates towards the warboss.  I decide that there is a chance worth trying to get wounds on the warboss and his retinue – after all I have about 25 marines in 5 firing groups in that table quadrant.  Hexus moves further towards the left to bait the nob bikers and line up shots on the immobilized looted wagon.  In shooting, the looted wagon is wrecked. After shooting all of the marines and pods at the ork warboss and retinue, 2 meganobz are eliminated, and that is about all.

Score: Ultras: 11, Orks: 14

Turn 3: 
Well, the Waaaaghh! Was not as successful as it could have been!

The Wannabeez now turn their attention to Hexus, located about 17 inches away.  The GoldenNutz also shhot at Hexus but fail to cause any damage.  The The bikers now begin zooming towards the podded marines far away, but they can see their warboss advancing!  Grogswilla splits from his retinue – after all, he is now a whopping T8, WS6, 5 or so wound Monster in mega armor (+/- an invulnerable save).  He moves after a combat squad from Theta, and the meganobz move after the other half.  In shooting, 2 marines from Theta are downed.  In assault, the Wannabeez fail their charge on the landpeeders.  The meganobz roll difficult and dangerous charge results, but make it into assault with one combat squad, BUT Grotswilla fails his charge, AND is stopped cold in the lava, taking a wound!  In assault, the meganobz wipe out the remnants of the combat squad (Theta Alpha).

The Librarian and terminators arrive from reserves.  They decide to drop right behind the T6 ork bikers, thinking they can wreck them.  Hexus moves away from the wannabeez, to a position where they can shoot at the GoldenNutz.  Theta (beta) and Sternguard (alpha) decide to leave the table, to get away from the warboss and clear the fire lanes for the meltagun sternguard and plasma command squad!  In shooting, the Librarian Arcadius casts Psychic scream on the nob bikers, but with three dice rolls a 5!  Not enough and a dismal failure!  Between the terminators and Landspeeders, just two bikers are eliminated.  The sternguard and command squad fire up the meltaguns and plasma, and have enough firepower to take on the three remaining meganobz and eliminates them!

Score:  Ultras: 18 Orks: 14

Turn 4:
The sole survivor of the GoldenNutz is picked up by the battlewagon for safety!  The bikers continue on their movement towards the remaining Ultramarines and drop pods in the upper right.  The Battlewagon heads back in that direction as well, keeping its front arc pointed towards Hexus.  The WannaBeez walk off the table!  Warboss Grogswilla moves behind a drop pod, deciding it is a good source of scrap!  In shooting from the nob bikers, battlewagon, and surviving flashgitz, the combat squad of Sternguard are dispatched.  In assault, Grogswilla explodes a drop pod, and calmly walks towards the other two.

Librarian Arcadius and the terminators walk towards the Ork table edge at an angle to just get within 12 inches of the retreating bikers.  The command squad move off the table for points.  Hexus moves to a position where it can again fire on the nob bikers.  In shooting, again, Arcadius calls on the Psychic Scream power and with three dice rolls a 6...failing again to cause any damage to the bikers.  In shooting from the Terminator and Hexus, the nob bikers take a few wounds, and lose just one bike.  T6 bikers are very hard to damage, especially with a save and a FNP save!

Score: Ultras: 19 Orks: 21 

Turn 5:
Grogswilla now turns his attention to the other two drop pods, stomping across a lava bed in their direction.  The Nob Biker mob and battlewagon turn their attention to the Librarian and terminators!  In shooting, a terminator is dropped, and the bikers charge the Ultramarines!  The Orks are challenged by the Terminator Sergeant, and the matchup is with the Painboy.  They both fail to harm each other.  In the meantime, the Librarian and other terminators fail to significantly damage the other bikers at all and one terminator fails his save to the Powerclaw.  While this is going on, the Warboss double charges the two remaining drop pods, wrecking both to scrap!

On the Ultramarine turn the sole sergeant continues his battle with the Painboy.  The Librarian and remaining terminators are eliminated by rolling a bunch of 1s and 2s.

Score: Ultras: 16 Orks: 27

Turn 6:  
The ork warboss is picked up by the nearby Battlewagon and he zooms off towards the Bikers!  Hexus is ignored.  In assault, the Painboy and Ultramarine Sergeant continue to fight with the other bikers cheering on!

On the Ultramarines turn, Hexus zooms forward and eventually turbo-boosts towards the table edge.  The sergeant and Painboy continue slugging it out.

Score: Ultras 16 Orks 27

Turn 7:
The battlewagon moves forward a bit and the warboss dismounts, he wants to get in on the scrap vs the remaining Ultramarine!  He is able to charge in, and he throws the Painboy out of the way!  With a sweep of his powerclaw, the last Ultramarine terminator is dispatched.

Landspeeder Squadron Hexus moves off the table.

Final Score: Ultramarines: 18 Orks 29

I lost by going off-plan!  There was the opportunity, for all the good they did in the game, for the Librarian and terminators to deep strike in off in a corner somewhere and leave the battlefield before the end of Turn 4 for bonus points.  The failure for that to happen cost the Ultramarines 8 points towards victory, and instead yielded 4 points to the orks at a cost of 2 points for a 6 point swing.  In addition, the loss of the sternguard combat squad was a waste of points.  Taking down the meganobs gained me 2 points, a loss of a point for the orks, but then I gave it right back!  Going off the table instead, to leave the meganobz in the backfield, would have had no impact on the game for me.  Certainly, the meganobz could have rejoined the warboss, or tried to footslog to my table edge, but they were, in retrospect, too far back to have scored.  Instead, the orks gained points for every mistake I made.

Most disappointing was Arcadius.  He arrived late, and even then failed to cause meaningful damage to the orks.  I also made a few mistakes there as well - it would have been better for Arcadius to challenge the Orks!  That way he would have overcome some of the issues of a character fighting in a mob – I would have had a WS7 T6 Librarian with a 3++ fighting a WS5T6 painboy ork or powerclaw nob on a bike (rather than the my terminator sergeant)!  Even if the pairing had been vs the Powerclaw ork it would have been better!

Overall, I think I gained only 3 actual KP units vs the orks (2 vehicles and the meganobz), vs losing 10.  Remember, I had the larger number of KPs and thus units to score with by moving off the ork table edge (although three were the immobile pods).

Overall, kudos to my opponent.  My orky opponents in the past had all been with horde-type lists, and this all nob-equivalent list proved to be a tough matchup!  He played a great game and his list was as hard as a rock for this matchup.

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