Thursday, June 23, 2016

BERP's first Bike Week

Techpriest Enginseer BERP (Basic Engineering Repair Protocol) was now a veteran, having completed his second battle.   He stood on the blasted plain, his red cloak moving in the wind.  His bionic eye focusing on distant wrecked structures.  His one good, human eye, tired and bloodshot from the dust and smoke.

BERP had accompanied the Cadian 555th Company to this distant world just this week.  Assigned as per the prior protocols to an attached Artillery Company, with vehicles similar to before.  As programmed, BERP was initially deployed with the Manticore, his cables connected to the tank, monitoring its systems and prepared to fire it should the crew fail to follow orders.  The enemy, he was briefed, were renegade Space marines, all mounted on bikes or jump packs, perfect for this open, dusty environment.  Bike mounted marines were not, however, an enemy BERP had much dealing with.  A good radio net was established between formation commands, to improve the accuracy and efficacy of the artillery.

The battle was to begin with the artillery opening up as before, once the bikers were detected.  BERP saw that everything was in order, and the enemy was not in sight.  That changed in a split second, when an a giant beam of energy lanced downward towards the 555th from the skies above and erupted into a devastating conflagration.  The beam, probably from a space-borne system, lanced between the Manticore and nearby basilisk, and in an instant, both exploded and were destroyed. BERP momentarily lost his own function, but in an instant his training and programming had him looking for other vehicles to support as he disentangled from the debris.  The Omnisiah Protects its own.

Already, the bikers were swiftly approaching.  Shooting of energy and mass-reactive weapons erupted all across the 555th's gun line.  BERP saw the Banewolf shudder under a multimelta impact, and runes flashed that the damaged vehicle was already immobilized.  BERP moved in that direction, which would also be the center of the 555th's line.

Fighting continued.  On the right, the Wyvern battery and Ordnance officer and mortar team ignored the oncoming renegade flanking force, and instead supported the Imperial left.  It was a gambit to try to cause as much damage as they could, ignoring their own personal danger.  Damage was done, ordnance raining down, but was woefully inaccurate.  The artillery missed the front lines of the marines and instead pummeled the second wave - jump pack assault marines...

As he moved to the left, BERP sorted through the incoming communications and data, recognizing that as the biker renegades assaulted the 555th from the front, the stronger renegade command was flanking the line on the right.  BERP reached the damaged Banewolf and attempted repairs.  On the right flank, he could see that the renegades were breaking through that flank, and BERP received the order from the Artillery Company commander that he was now to report to the 555th directly.  Soon the Wyvern, security force, and Artillery Company command were engulfed in short, brutal fighting with the bikers.

The supporting Vendetta flashed overhead, heading left.  The goal seemed to be to breach the renegade biker lines and allow the 555th to advance away from its crumbling right flank.

Before BERP could be successful in his repairs, the Banewolf was wrecked by bikers advancing up the flank.  The Commander of the 555th's Chimera now also began to smoke, and commander dismounted, power sword in hand.  The battle quickly devolved into a rout, the 555th moving left, away from the renegade biker command, their gambit to destroy the units before them a hard fought success. At one point the Company Commander with BERP in tow, looked to assault an attack bike squad that was looking for them in the dust and smoke of the battler, but the bikers moved away before contact.

As the smoke and dust continued to clear, the Vendetta provided air cover for the dismounted survivors.  The renegade marines did not pursue.

BERP was saddened by the loss of equipment.  In part, he felt that the battlefield was just no place for the vehicles under his charge.  Soon he would be arriving back at the force's depot, and start the process over...there was more fighting coming.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Taumorrow Comes

Techpriest Enginseer BERP (Basic Engineering Repair Protocol) was distracted.  Assigned to the artillery company of the 555th Regiment, Cadia, he was in his first major battle.  His dendrite connector cords sniffed the air around him, the air palpable with the distinct odor of ozone - the remnants of the plasma blast that had only moments below erupted on the Manticore before him and had nearly thrown him to the ground.

Behind him, a Wyvern issued another four satisfying krumps in rapid succession, sending the blessed explosive shells of destruction downrange to the enemy positions.  BERP strove to reawaken the Manticore's engine, his mind reaching out for the Manticore's spirit for guidance.  It could, he see, keep firing, it just could not move.  Some sort of electrical discharge from the blast had immobilized the vehicle.  BERP barely cringed as another large blast from the Tau hit the Command Chimera nearby - and with smoke pouring up from that vehicle, the command squad of the artillery company exited the vehicle and sheltered behind it.  The Wyvern behind him was also damaged in that same blast and it now called for attention.  BERP moved over to it and connected to the Wyvern.  His mind now reached into the stricken vehicle and he attempted another repair.  The Manticore fired another large artillry rocket at the enemy off in the distance.

Nothing seemed to work right under these conditions thought BERP. Another plasma blast now bloomed overhead, showering BERP with debris.  The Wyvern itself stopped all functions.  BERP looked at the open firing platform and saw the crew were all dead or on fire.  BERP frowned, wrinkling his one remaining eyebrow.  Whith what passed for a sigh, he disconnected from the wrecked Wyvern and turned his attention back to the Manticore.  It, at least, was still capable of firing, thought BERP.  He observed it had one missile left in its racks.  Soon, BERP would move to the next artillery piece.  Servitors and a recovery vehicle were ordered with the mere thought, to come forward and recover the Manticore for repair and rearming.  

Nearby, the Artillery Company Commander and his subbordinates were all yelling into different communications systems, and the battle was continuing. BERP was somewhat grateful for his location behind as solid concrete structure.  On one hand, he wanted to collect data on this enemy, the Tau.  On the other hand, his program was to see to and repair the artillery throughout the battle.  BERP mused that in due time, with Victory won, we could be afforded the chance to collect data on the Tau's military technology. Until then, he would perform his function.

(yes, in part due to the attached Artillery Company Formation, the 555th beat a Tau force at 1750 points. It was fun...)


Friday, June 3, 2016

The Sun Will Be Out...Taumorrow'

For the greater good, I played a 1750 game this week vs Tau.  Of course I did not get time (yet) to update a better Astra Militarum list, so I took one of my prior lists (1650), carved off a 100 point vet squad, and cobbled in a Vendetta with door gunners, and added another flamer to another squad.  Pretty much dealt with it, but meant I had one formation (Emperor's assault company) and a bucket of unbound stuff (or allied formation, as it were).

Overall, it was a very close game, and I lost, 4-3.  Very low scoring, Contact Lost mission.  The battle hinged around a Shadowsun-led, suit blob, that apparently could spit fire to multiple units, had preferred enemy, tank hunter, AP2 weapons, ignores cover...

Due to time constraints and a late start, we could only get four turns in.

I used the Cadian tactical cards deck and WL traits, staying true to the fluff of the 555th "Triple Nickels".  The best part was drawing the WL trait that allowed me to ignore morale checks from shooting casualties.  The worst part was drawing cards Turn 1 and 2 that were half about either assaulting the enemy or being in the enemy deployment zone.

It was still a fun game. Any game is fun.

My opponent BTW was either just being nice, or not to aggressive.  His game plane really just hinged on his central deathstar playing in the center.  He clearly could have sent his Riptide, Longstreet, and other units out to capture more objectives.  It's another reason the game was close.  I think I drew cards 1:3:2:2; he drew 1:2:2:3.  I think he clearly could have drawn 1:3:3:3 with very minor movements.  In fact, I think I spent more time watching what he was doing than playing my own game...

Things I need to address (won't be playing for the next two weeks):

1.  Get the Emperor's Wrath artillery company built.  Overall, I need to have orders for artillery to just make them better.

2.  Drop the officer of the ordnance.  Won't need him with a better artillery formation.

3.  Possibly drop the Cadian' mechanized formation for a CAD.  That way even the Vet's Chimera's stay as obsec, although I lose the bonuses for shooting enemies near objectives (which I forget in turns 1 and 3 of this game). It also allows me to squeeze in a Primaris Psycher, to attach to the artillery for Prescience.

4.  Other stuff.  Need to always squeak in a flyer or two...the CAD allows that easily.

I'll get a revised list up for comment someplace...maybe at Frontline to see what Frankie and Reece think.  Then here. Or both at once.  Somehow, I have just two more months in this gaming year to finally get the Astra Militarum figured out!

All for now, enjoy the weekend!



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Miss me?

I have been really busy on stuff all Spring...but I'm hoping to get back in here on a more regular basis!

Overall, I'm getting ready (mentally) to switch back to Ultramarines.  As you can see in my records for this gaming year - using just Astra Militarum and Blood Angels has not been a source of success, although they have been challenging to play!

Tonight is a 1750 point game night at the FLGS, and although I'm heading over to look for a game, I'm not ready.  Have not touched Army Builder in weeks!  I'll probably just take the last 1500 point list and edit it to 1750 by either adding in more ground units and an aegis line / quad gun, or add in flyers and more death company.  All in all, by now I'd hoped to be playing a list regularly led by Mephiston, but that model still sits in the blister pack.

Challenges abound!

Two weeks ago I played a game where my opponents wanted to include both the rough draft FAQs and the new flyers supplement.  I opted to allow the supplement, but not the FAQs, as they were not the finals, just rough drafts looking for comments (and apparently still are).

Last week I missed playing in the Fratris Salutem. Vacation got in the way!

Anyway, all for now...