The second Tier of our campaign has commenced, and the 3 of us have progressed on nicely playing the mission and deployment type: Seize Ground & Dawn of War, at 800 point each, and took along our Veterans from the previous tier in the ongoing battle of Wotan’s Night.
Here were our army rosters:
Laur has gone for long and short-range punch, investing in 2no. Lascannon-wielding Predators, and a pumped-up Sternguard squad with Cassius at the helm, with a minimum 2no. troops for scoring purposes.
Shiny happy Sternguard
Dougie has gone for armoured might, with his dominating Landraider to carry his HQ and a retinue of troops to make them scoring.
I’ve opted to max. out as many scoring units as I could to negate a natural weakness of GK's, that being lack of bodies. I enlisted a cheap Psycannon Inquisitor for my HQ, and keeping the now-relentless veteran Purgation squad from my last tier.
I was up against Chaos first, followed by a Space Marine Chaos game, and the final battle was played between GK and Marines.
Here were the following results:
2nd TIER – BATTLE 01
Grey Knights Vs. Chaos Space Marines: Chaos had the 1st go, result was a tie (1 Objective each). Due to campaign rules, we rolled off and I won the Dice roll, counting as a Victory.
Summary: Chaos had a good start by seizing the initiative and blowing up my lascannonback on the first go, but the obscene torrent of dakkadakka spewed out by my Inquisitor, Purgation Squad, 2 Psybacks and a GK Strike force chewed their way through 2 Rhinos full of Chaos Marines each. All this despite a surprise outflank from plasma-gun totin’ Chosen specialists that failed to do any real damage.
Veteran Purgation Squad = Astral Aim + Relentless + Tank Hunters = FTW. In this battle I combo’ed the Purgator’s Astral Aim with the Inquisitor to max. out my Psycannon shots, it tore up a Rhino and a squad of 6 Chaos Marines with ease. However, in this battle the squad went under half-strength and lost their Tank Hunters vet ability as a result.
Doug was also unlucky in that his Landraider was crippled, then wrecked by Psycannon rending shots (‘Spawny!’ as he describes them), but eventually his Chaos HQ and retinue slaughtered the Grey Knights holding one objective, but not without Halberdiers taking out his HQ first. If the game had continued a further turn, Doug would’ve definitely been wiped out but as the draw stood, we rolled off for campaign purposes.
2nd TIER – BATTLE 02
Chaos Space Marines Vs. Ultramarines: Chaos had the 1st go, result was a victory to the Space Marines (2 objectives to none).
Summary: In a game in which Dougie would rather forget, bad dice rolls and poor strategy resulted in a devastating loss for the forces of Chaos.
Apologies for blurry photos. New camera's fault!
Highlights include a yet-again outflanking Chosen squad that did no damage and was eventually cut down in a quagmire of assault, the Landraider getting stuck on difficult terrain rendering it useless, and Rhinos and Chaos marines being chewed up by long-range and bolter dakka dakka.
Almost very roll to hit for Dougie was a miss or a mere scratch, while every shot of Laur hit the bulls-eye. The Space Marines only lost 2no. men in total, while Chaos was left with their HQ and a squad of men huddling in the wreckage of their Landraider. Thankfully for Doug the game ended in the 5th turn, otherwise (again) it would’ve been a wipeout.
2nd TIER – BATTLE 03
Grey Knights Vs. Ultramarines: Grey Knights had the 1st turn, the result was a victory to the Grey Knights (1 objective to none)
Summary: An interesting, increasingly tactical and considered game was played by all, but ultimately victory was ensured by the GK’s after applying growing amounts of pressure towards the increasingly besieged Ultra’s.
Nobody deployed at all during the DoW setup, hence GK’s came up the middle in a guarded, turtle convoy. Laur proceeded to setup his men all castled in a corner, relying on his superior long range to win the day. Unfortunately he also decided to clump his scoring units in the corner as well congregated around a single objective, despite multiple objectives spread throughout the board and i would consider this an act of painting oneself into a corner, trading a sense of security for (possibly) the greater advantage of flexibility. This error, coupled with his hesitation in commiting his Sternguard unit into action (they stayed away the max. 30” shooting Kraken bolts, not doing much) proved to be his undoing.
Carry-on' corner camping
Certainly there was an opportunity for the game to be a draw at the end of turn 6, but by turn 7 Laur threw in the towel as all his scoring units were shot to pieces by the bendy mind bullets of the Relentless Purgation squad.
Highlights include all my Razorbacks being busted up and rendered ineffective by long range shots, an attempt by Chaplain Cassius and a 5-men tac squad to pursue an objective grab (and killing 8 GK’s in the process), and my Purgationeers destroying said Chaplain, his squad, a Rhino, and another tac. Squad all in quick succession.
All in all, I had learnt my lesson with my last tangle with Chaos. Grey Knights work better in fire teams supporting one another, being in close proximity. I bunched them together as a convoy, but as soon as I could camp into objectives I ensured my squads were flexible enough to provide manoeuvring room for their transports but also give firing cover to one another.
My armoured convor / 'movable wall cover' tactic.
Oh, and Laur now thinks my Relentless Purgationeers are absolutely Overpowered, disgusting, and would rather not play against them in future games.
I recalled back in the days of playing Imperial Guard (4th edition), that I had similar feelings about Drop pods and melta-totin’ Sternguard. Admittedly, the act of putting the Relentless USR has made my Purgation squad totally a real Shredding Machine of a unit, but such is campaign life!
All one can really do is shrug me shoulders, say find a way to kill such an uber-unit next time, and look forward to future games NOT in campaign mode where reality is restored and Relentless Bendy Mind Bullets no longer exist.
Overall rewards as follows:
Space Marines – Predator (Ability to ignore Shaken results), Predator (AV + 1 upgrade to all sides)
Grey Knights – Purgation Squad (Tank Hunters, again hooray!), Laserback (ignore Shaken results)
Chaos Space Marines – Chaos Space Marine squad (to be confirmed*)
*Dougie has yet to roll for his veteran ability upgrade, something he’ll do in the next tier.
As a result, GK’s are now top of the Tier, followed by Ultramarines, with Chaos at the last. In terms of campaign rewards, the GK’s receive ‘Final Twist’ (which will affect a future Tier), the Ultramarines have Camouflage as a strategic asset for the next tier (auto 5+ cover save in the open on enemy’s first turn) and Chaos have Recon (ability to re-roll all difficult and dangerous terrain through the entire game). Onwards to the 1250 point match!
To be continued...