Ed: Any Zombies out there?
Shaun: Don't say that!
Shaun: The zed-word. Don't say it!
Ed: Why not?
Shaun: Because it's ridiculous!
- Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Wednesday's Games Night! It came, it went. The Scouring of Boros campaign continued as Ultramarines (led by Lysander?) with everyone's favourite Zombie Marines, the Legion of the Damned (LotD) fought an uphill battle against the Orks. Their mission? To contest every bastion held by Orks. If they failed to do so, the Orks win. So...
Dowel rod & balsa quad interceptor gun. The height of Imperial technology!
How well did they do?
From last week's post, I discussed that L (Marine player) should have taken more accurately deepstriking LotD units based on the mission fluff, objectives, stackable bonuses (e.g. all Lotd come in on a single reserves roll, every melta and flamer weapon goes Vulkan Hestan for the first turn the Lotd arrive, etc), but instead an emphasis on survivable termies weas pursued, with 2no. combat squads assault marines with jet packs for mobility, and 2no. combat squads Lotd.
Against a lot of Orks.
The proxy Legion of the Damned believe in affirmative action.
It certainly doesn't help that by the beginning of turn 2, all of L's jetpack marines were decimated, his termies were going to be bogged down in combat or shot to pieces, and IMHO poor placement of deepstriking Lotd (one squad of which was going to be assaulted by Snikrot), the other squad had a mishap, and is placed by D (Ork player) at the far corner of the table to sulk. Onwards to the highlights!
Turn 2 Orks:
1. Orks shoot with everything they've got. Lysander takes a wound, the Dread is shaken, 2 termies are taken down, and Snikrot arrives with his Kommandos. The Legion of the damned look worried..
Ork plastic surgery is so advanced these days. Those Kommandos look just like S.A.S!
2. And they should be. Losing a Kommando, Snikrot wipes out a LoTd combat squad (+ sarge) on the charge. Meanwhile, the mob in the ruins of the bastion-fortress attacks and kills off the Chaplain, leaving the Termies.
Pile in! There's plenty of room!
3. Lastly, 30 Orks pile out of the far right corner bastion, charging 4no. Termies. They lose 2 of their own, killing 3 termies. Sweet hot! dice rollin', and now the blue cheese stands alone.
Party like it's 2nd Edition, baby!
Turn 3 Marines:
When reminded over how long L took (2 hours) to play his last turn, and that things should be hurried up, the response was: " I will take as long as I want to take."
Note to self: Will remember that quote the next time L disallows me to fire a pie plate from a basilisk because I ran out of time, due to L stalling over time calculating and re-calculating to hit ratios, to wound ratios, and armour saves during my turn of shooting.
1. L takes his shots. Bang bang bang! Even with multiple blast plate hits, only 5 Orks die.
2. Everyone advances. Termies charge the Orks in the ruins, reducing 13no. Orks to 8, who break and run. They lose 1 of their own, leaving 3 left.
3. The lone termie and 30 Orks (with Nob) hit each other but nothing happens. Stalemate!
Turn 3 Orks:
1. Lootas fire their Deffguns, 39 shots, at Lysander. He saves them all. Meanwhile, Orks in the Fortress fire at the group of Termies in the ruins, killing 2, and leaving 1 left.
2. Meanwhile, the 2no. Ork dreads (proxied as show in photo below) charge Lysander and the lone Cyclone..
Fire da Giant Tape Measurah!
Combat ensues. Lysander puts the smack down on the Dread, though the Cyclone Missle launcher is lost.
Why hello there big boy!
3. Lone termie mobbed by the Orks is killed, Orks get back into the bastion.
Turn 4 Marines:
1. The Marine forces are looking thin, but yet again they advance, and run towards their targets. They must contest! Or at least try to. The lone termie in the ruin hides against the fortress, in order to contest it by being in base-to-base contact.
2. Devastators fire away at Snikrot, killing the all the Kommandos. Snikrot himself runs off the board.
3. Lysander and Ork Dread remain locked in combat, failing to wound each other.
We are the Men in Black.
Turn 4 Orks:
1. Orks fire everything they can at the 5no. LotD squad shambling their way towards the far left corner bastion. 3 fail their 3+ invulnerable saves, leaving only 2no. LotD, carrying the meltagun and multi-melta.
2. Grots pile out of the middle bastion to crowd around the fortress entryway.
3. Lysander and the Dread are still locked in combat, at one point the fist of dorn rolls triple ones! Oh wait, it's master-crafted, you get to re-roll one result. *rolls* Another 1. Orks cheer and jeer while somewhere quiet, a Marine player's heart shatters into a million pieces.
Turn 5 Marines:
1. Everything continues moving and running towards their designated bastions, the idea being hopefullt the Lotd and Lysander can take the far left, the Dread takes the far right, and the lone remaining Termie will hopefully take on and break the group of grots, thus contesting the remains of the fortress. It's a long shot.
2. Grot weaponry is taken out by automated heavy bolter fire. Wazdakka takes 1 wound from intense firing by the Devastator squad.
3. The Termie charges the group of grots, hoping ot take out enough. It isn't, and mob rules allows them to hold their ground, preventing L from contesting the final piece of the puzzle he needs.
Turn 5 Orks:
1. D, realises that the Marines are going for the long shot, piles out his guys from the far right bastion to screen it (he still holds it if one of his boyz are in base-to-base contact with it).
Now you don't see them..
Now you do.
2. D manouevres his Orks and Wazdakka (proxied by a Chaos biker above) and gets shoots it, glances and shakes it, then gets stuck in. The group of Killa Kans (proxied by Sentinels above) damages it and blows it up on a 6.
3. The lone termie stuck into the group of grots kills a couple more, but it's not enough.
It's pretty much game over for the Marines as they have not enough to contest, but a 4 is rolled and Turn 6 is played, "just to see what happens".
Turn 6 Marines:
1. The Lotd finally get to be in sufficient range to shoot their multi-melta, bringing the far-left corner bastion down.
Now you see it.
Now you don't
2. Lysander runs up to contest the ruin, but with nothing to contest the far right bastion, the game is definitely over and L calls it quites.
Amazingly, those past 8 turns of gaming, took only 3 hours to play! Amazing how fast one can play once list building, terrain set-up, and deployment has finished.
All in all I stand by my observations: The game is already stacked against the Marines, but the game objectives and stackable bonuses as mentioned before help balance the scenario. However, an emphasis on using Termies instead of Lotd, mistakes (shuffling in a Dread from table egde instead of another LotD squad), poor placement of deep strikers (placing 2 squads close between 3 bastions and proceeding to mishap one of them as it 'lands' on an enemy unit on it's re-roll), and unlucky dice rolling, meant L did the best he could with what he was given, but even with lucky dice rolling I don't think it would have been possible for him to win.
D, on the other hand, had an easy ride. His survivable, hardy & numerous boyz stayed in the Armour 14 bastions and kept them in, he had plenty of skirmishers to tie up any Marine elements running on the ground (wazdakka, battlewagon, dreads, killa kans). The only mistake he made was forgetting to bring deffkoptas, so he had to take grot cannons instead. If he did have deffkoptas, L would have even had more of a beating, I reckon!
It would seem to me, that in the Planetstrike-esque games and missions, melta AND flamers are certainly king. It is my opinion that, in this mission, the Marine player should choose as many Lotd options, AND as many meltas and flamers as he can.
So, anyone else had go at The Scouring of Boros, or any similar tales involving Planetstrike games?
More list & match analysis come the next Wednesday Games Night!