Big Battle Report – Mechanicus, Skitarii, Inquisition, Space Wolves vs Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Inquisition, Assassins! 3,500 points!


I had a game of 40k after a quite hiatus the other day. There’s a campaign brewing over on BIG’s forums, and I want to get used to how to actually play the game before I get stuck in. The campaign looks fun, though perhaps a bit admin heavy, but hopefully the organiser can handle it. If he can run an independent wargaming store/venue, he’s proven himself more than capable!

Speaking of the venue – I had the privilege of gaming at Bristol Independent Gaming, or BIG. What they’ve done there is incredible. Huge amounts of space across two floors, lovely and airy, great atmosphere, loads of terrain and tables. In short, a perfect wargaming club. They ask for £3.50 on the door, but that’s more than reasonable I would say. Firestorm in Cardiff ask for more but they’ve got couches and a bar, and a more central location, so fair enough. That £3.50 gets you acess all day, as many games as you want, and the owners will stay open as long as you need (within reason) once you’re there. We turned up at 7pm and left at around midnight, and the owner patiently let us play.

So my opponent this time was a gent by the name of Mark. I’d never met him, but we both discovered through messaging that we like the larger games. I’m not much of a tactician, I just like the models, so bigger games are more fun for me. Plus I get to use my big toys!

The points limit was originally 3k, but I couldn’t decide which Assassin to take, so Mark agreed to up it to 3,500 so I could take all four. Hehehe…

Cloak and Daggers, 3,500 points, Dawn of War. Opponent: Mark_T Location: Bristol Independent Gaming

So, the lists.

Trumpkin’s List

In no particular order (and done roughly to save space) I had:

  • All 4 Assassins in their Warlord-killing formation
  • Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor
  • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor
  • LOTS of guardsmen
  • Shadowsword
  • Stormlord
  • Couple of Leman Russes
  • Hammernators
  • Scouts
  • Hydra

So as you can see, quite an all-over-the-place list! All four assassins in the formation that means they can killify Warlords better, two super heavies, Space Marines, Inquisition. I didn’t really have a particular tactic in mind. Basically, blow stuff up and shoot stuff and punch stuff.

p.s., ALWAYS buy dozer blades. ALWAYS. Throughout the game, I used the Dozer blade reroll three times. Well worth 5 points a vehicle.

Mark’s List

From what I can remember:

  • Skitarii rangers
  • Skitarii Rustcrawlers
  • Aydonian Dragoon
  • Imperial Knight with Battle Cannon
  • Coteaz with henchmen
  • Ordo Malleus Inquisitor and henchmen
  • Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor and more henchmen!
  • Kataphron Battle Servitors
  • Kastelan Robots
  • Vindicare
  • Techpriest with Conversion Beamer
  • A large chappy on a crazy doctor octopus style getup (I can’t remember his name!) (this guy)

I was hugely unfamiliar with most of Mark’s stuff, but he patiently explained it to me, even going to far as to basically say ‘These are shooty, don’t charge these, stay more than 30″ from these..’ which helped no end!

Lot of new models, some Skitarii, some Cult Mechanicus, a Knight, lots of Inquisition stuff, Coteaz… Plenty here to be scared of, particularly the mass of Grav and Hayware. Ulp. Still, someone else with a similar list to mine would be an interesting matchup. It’s not often I bump into more Inquisition/Space Marines/Assassins/craziness.

On with the game!



I won the rolloff to choose the side, so I just chose the one I was next to. Mark won the rolloff to go first, and chose to go first. I had the assassin that lets me reroll Steal the Initiative rolls, but Mark had Coteaz, who can force your opponent to reroll successful steal the initiative rolls, so we were unsure of what would happen if I was successful. Thankfully, I failed so it didn’t matter.

Deployment:

It was such a big game we’d pushed two tables together for a huge 8′ x 6′ board. Mark deployed and put most of his heavy hitters in melee on my left flank. He placed his Knight (a wicked non-official model) on the right flank, with his inquisitors in the middle. We’d stuck two tables together as this was a huge game, so the objectives were quite far apart. Coteaz took one, some Kastelan bots took another, and the last on Marks side was held by Skitarii troopers.

I stuck my Terminators and Malleus Inquisitor in the Stormlord facing the melee units, with my Shadowsword slap bang in the centre. Most of my armour was on the right flank hoping to face off against Mark’s heavy shooters. I blobbed some of my infantry into one 30-man blob, one 20 man blob and two 10 man blobs. I think. It’s hard to keep track. My Callidus assassin infiltrated right behind Mark’s army, not really for any tactical advantage, but just because she could!

 

Also, sunset makes for cool lighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Turn 1 CM: First things first, Mark dropped his Legion Of The Damned in via deep strike right next to my Shadowsword. It was some pretty ballsy placement, as almost any scatter would result in a mishap. Hooray for millions of bodies! The first squad landed without a hitch, but the second scattered, mishapped, then mysteriously vanished into the warp, never to be seen again. Whoops. First Blood for me, though, despite not actually doing anything! The Space Wolves plopped down too, and despite scattering landed close enough to threaten my superheavy.

YnOOQvpThe majority of Mark’s forces moved towards me, but some of them heldwVOVIyl objectives in the back field. Coteaz’s Inquisitorial Retinute casually wiped out my Callidus. The one disadvantage of Assassins is how easy it is to insta-splat them. One krak missile is all it takes, one melta, one power fist and boom. One of the Jokaero had given his squad the range upgrade, meaning that the multimelta’s had a range of 36″… scary.

The LotD and SW proceeded to bring the pain in the form of meltas and combi-meltas. They managed to strip the Shadowsword of 5 of its hull points, but thankfully (for me) it survived. Mark said each of those units had either a meltabomb or a powerfist, and so the threat was still ripe. Also, the Techmarine sniped across the board with his S10 AP1 blast Conversion beamer… scary again.

The Scouts was totally destroyed too by the Knight and his battlecannon. Basically, if I hadn’t had First Blood from the mishap, Mark would have definitely swiped it!

Some random guardsmen were toasted, too. That’s a running theme. Having so many makes it hard to differentiate, so unless specified, just assume some random guardsmen were toasted every turn. No assaults as Mark had scouted his whole army due some machiney roboty formation tomfoolery, so it was on to my turn 1. It also meant his entire army had a 4+ cover save in turn 1, which was also horrific for a shooty army like me. Still, with enough concentrated firepower, I was sure to triumph! Right? Right..?

 

Turn 1 IG:

I went from being miles away from any threats to suddenly being swarmed by them. My platoon command on one flank was staring at a squad of nasty robos, my Shadowsword was surrounded by meltas and had a Knight on the way. Time for some tactical prowess!

And by that I mean I sort of just shimmied everyone forwards and hoped for the best.

My termies disembarked to meet the cyber ninja threat, and my Eversor Assassin ran up to take out the bots on the right. I love the Eversor so much…

In shooting, my second order was an incompetent command, so that cut that short! Still, a huge amount of lasgun fire blasted the LotD and SW, managing to almost wipe them out. I love lasguns. Plus, I’d cursed them last turn with the spell that makes them reroll successful saves, so that helped too (just a bit)!

Both the Stormlord and the Shadowsword failed to do anything good with their main guns. The Stormlord’s S6AP3 shots were nullified by Mark’s units having Stealth and Shrouded due to roboty shenanigans, and that neutered the Shadowsword as well. In the old days, Strength D didn’t give a snuff, but nowadays it does (unless you roll a 6). Ho well. The Shadowsword arrogantly killed Mark’s Vindicare though with a casual lascannon on the off chance, which actually worked. This was not a good day to be an assassin.

All of my assaults failed, which was a bit poo. Silly Eversor and his 3d6 charge range. No good if you still roll a 5, is it? Though the terminators only have themselves to blame. They’d managed to kill in the shooting phase their target, meaning they had nothing to charge. D’oh!



 

Turn 2 CM: Mark continued the pressure, using the doctrine that means his units get extra BS at the cost of WS.

In the shooting phase we made quite a grievous error which may have had an impact, but which probably didn’t. The squad of three Kataphron Battle Servitors each had Grav Cannons and Grav Amps. Now, Grav weapons normally affect vehicles thusly: roll a d6. on a 1-5, nothing happens. On a 6, the vehicles suffers an Immobilies results, losing a hull point in the process. We were both a bit rusty and thought they worked the same way as Haywire guns, which is that on a 1 nothing happens, 2-5 a glancing hit, and on a 6 a penetrating hit. Quite the difference as you can see!!

What basically happened is these three models alone inflicted 15 Hull Points in damage to my Stormlord in one round of combat, utterly destroying it! Which made me a sad panda. Oh well, next time we know!

Across the board, my 30 man super-blob, complete with Priest, Hereticus Inquisitor and Librarian, suddenly became the focus of everything on he board, and were wiped out to a man. It was quite funny, because literally every model died except the Inquisitor, who was just standing there wondering where all his mooks had gone. He wasn’t wondering for long, though, as the nearby Knight promptly inflicted about a billion wounds on him. So long Inky!

This used to be a 33 man blob.

 

The cyber ninjas charged my terminators, and what a combat that was. Two incredibly powerful melee units, one very quick, one very durable. I had help on my side, though, in the form of a Priest and a Psyker/Inquisitor. Despite each model having something like 5 S6 Ap2 I6 attacks on the charge, my Terminators came out on top, leaving just 1 ninja chappy left. Which was a bit rubbish for me, because it tied up my squad next turn. Rackumfrackum…

Turn 2 IG: My turn now, and I started by running up my Culexis assassin to cause mayhem. I wasn’t expecting him to achieve much, but you never know. I swarmed- well, they were hardly a swarm now- the remainder of my dudes towards any objectives they could reach.

In the shooting phase (notice I’ve skipped the psychic phase each time because not a lot happened – well, that’s not true. Mark managed to peril twice with Coteaz, but literally nothing bad happened to him), I was able to finish off the Space Wolves threatening my Shadowsword and destroy the Assault cannons of the recently entered Stormtalon gunship. The Shadowsword, shamed after his earlier failure, decided to make it up to me by utterly destroying the Imperial Knight in a single hit. He rolled a 6 on the Destroyer table, so that was bye bye knight! That’s what the specialist tank is for.

I finished off the ninjas in assault, which meant I was wide open for blasting… Uh oh… In better news, the Eversor finally charged the bots, which was nice. He killed a few, too. There’s something about 8 S5 AP3 attacks on the charge that fills me with warmth. The Culexis assassin failed his charge. Uh oh.



 

Turn 3 CM: Mark continued taking on prisoners and aimed his swathe of destruction at my backfield… The Dreadnought and Stormtalon, as well as the Kastelan bots, all aimed at my Shadowsword, but only managed to bring it down to 2HP. Hooray! …until I realised he still had his squad of hayfire weapons… Uh oh. As you can guess, it died fairly easily! Ouch!

The Grav Weapons that had obliterated my Stormlord then turned their barrels to the Terminators, killing all but one of them. The Inquisitor and the Priest sill lived, though, which was nice. Never underestimate the power of a Storm Shield!

Oh, and the Culexis assassin was killed, but you guessed that already, right?

Turn 3 IG: My options were getting thin on the ground. With no super heavies, almost no characters, and most of my infantry in the backfield, I was in a bad way. I scrabbled for what objectives I could, but the cards I had drawn insisted I take the objectives Coteaz was guarding. Hmm, not going to happen. I almost killed Coteaz with my Vindicare though, but he survived with a single wound. So close!

My Eversor “Gets-Shit-Done” Assassin carried on kicking ass and taking names. He beat the bots in combat caused them to flee, then wiped them out. Nice.

I wanted to use my Warlord trait, as it was the coolest one you can get. We’d both made inquisitors our warlords, and I got the one that lets you use an orbital bombardment, which I did. Unfortunately, it killed a few models, meaning I was out of range. Still, it felt cool.

We realised that we’d been going for about 4 hours, and considering we started at 7pm, we agreed the next turn would be the last.



 

Turn 4 CM: With time a constraint, Mark only moved and used models that could impact the game. He roasted some catachans who were lurking near an objective, and blasted my Warlord inquisitor into next year. Turns out, without Storm Shield Terminators to protect him, T3 inquisitors tend to go squish. His dreadnought also popped my Vindicare with a Krak missile to stop any more cheeky warlord sniping shenanigans.

Turn 4 IG: Nothing really happened on my turn, I was unable to claim any objectives, so I moved a few dudes, destroyed a Stormtalon in vengeance, then ended my turn. We tallied up the objectives, and Mark had won by a clear 7 points, at 18 to 11. I was surprised to have so many points! We’d added some extra objectives, like you get a point for every Inquisitor you can kill.

 



Helluva match! Both of us had lost big units in single blasts (Stormlord and Knight), both of us had fought gruelling melees, but in the end Mark out shot and outmanoeuvred me. A few of the mistakes I made were to do with mobility. I was too happy to stay at the back, but I was outranged, so I couldn’t put up a good enough fight, plus my rubbish mobility left me high and dry for objectives.

Here go the questions!

Mark_T:

1. Who was your man of the match?
 2. Who was your flop of the match?
3. Favourite moment?
4. If there was one d6 you could force to be rerolled, which would it have been (even if it was rerolling a reroll?)
5. Anything you would have done differently?
6. What would you have taken with another 500 points?
7. Are you ashamed of hiding Coteaz like a coward way backfield in cover like a tiny crying girl?

 

Trumpkin:

1. Who was your man of the match?

Either the Eversor or the Shadowsword. There’s something about being able to take down a titan in a single hit that makes me feel happy. Though the Eversor just delivered the goods, so fair play to him.
 2. Who was your flop of the match?

Probably all of the other assassins! No, actually it was the Stormlord. He didn’t kill anything in the whole game. Fail!
 3. Favourite moment?

When the Shadowsword rolled a 6 on his Destroyer weapon damage chart. Feels good man.
4. If there was one d6 you could force to be rerolled, which would it have been (even if it was rerolling a reroll?)

I can’t think of a single d6 that would have made a difference. maybe the first melta on the Shadowsword, the one that cause a total of 4 HP in one hit. That can could have been rerolled.
5. Anything you would have done differently?

Been bolder with movement. Stuff the Stormlord full of guard and charge them up the field. Spit them out and run them all over the place.

 6. What would you have taken with another 500 points?

Probably a couple of Land Raiders. More armour!!

 

All in all, a great game with a sporting opponent. And I’ve learned about skitarii/mechanicus models: they hurt.

“Uh, maybe we should just quietly move away…”

 

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