Friday, 25 September 2009

"Down to the wire" Guard versus Guard 1500 pts

MEN v TANKS: who will win?


Goran 'Lideye' Ludnick, First Sergeant of the Kochi Irregulars, glared up from the details of his command plate. In a brief and disjointed circle about him ranged the key squad leaders and tank bosses for this hotchpotch command he'd been handed. He cleared his throat.

"Looks like we've been given a job to do. Word is that some of these rotting bastard traitor guard are holed up in a position two klicks south. Kochi Command have agreed that these bastards are a good test for their new shiny toy. Us." Quick grins flashed around the circle as the First Sergeant continued.

"These whory sons have got a couple of Bassies up there and they been playing havoc along the supplies lines of Duckta valley. We got the nod from Munk himself that he wants us in there fast. Some of my Irregulars have been scouting the area and they've got themselves a Russ and plenty of heavy weapons parked up there. We're gonna set up the mortars and then go in hot with everything, neutralise the threat and claim that hill - understood?" A chorus of affirmative announcements met his announcement.

"Let's go people ... my eyeballs are itching, I wanna shoot something."


Mark, a regular at Giftsforgeeks, agreed to a 1500 pts Guard v Guard battle. I've played against and alongside Mark multiple times in Apocalypse games and have always been impressed by his well painted and commanded force. I knew this was going to be a difficult battle and a fair amount of planning went into it. On first glance at the army lists below, this looks like this battle is about to be wrapped up in the army lists - and its a credit to Mark that he kept fighting til the end and produced a nail-biting three turn cliffhanger.

Army Lists

Kochi VIII "Mobile Infantry" (1500):
This is a new concept I've been trialing lately for the doubles tournament. I was very heartened to see that the recent winner of the 'Ardboys tournament had a similar (although seriously buffed) concept. The idea with this force is to provide significant indirect harrassment from the mortars and Bassie, while the armoured fist charges into heavy flamer range and clears objectives. By choosing either indirect or tanks I felt confident that I would deny shooting to a significant proportion of Marks army either way.

HQ: Primaris Psyker
Troops: Infantry Platoon
Platoon HQ: 4GL's and a Chimera (ML/HF)
Squad #1: GL and a Chimera (ML/HF)
Squad #2: GL and a Chimera (ML/HF)
Mortar HWT #1
Mortar HWT #2
Hellhound #1: Multimelta/Extra Armour/Smoke
Hellhound #2: Heavy Bolter/Extra Armour/Smoke
Basilisk: Heavy Flamer
Leman Russ: Lascannon
Leman Russ: 3 HB
Leman Russ Demolisher: 2 HB, Lascannon

Marks of the Traitor: Mark admitted that he'd simply recycled his army from a close fight against Orks. On first glance, Marks infantry heavy list looks very overawed by the armour above, but some very clever play by Mark evened the score.

Cmd HQ: Meltagun, Regimental standard, Medic
10 Ratling Snipers
Troops: Infantry Platoon
Plt Cmd: lasguns and a prayer.
Squad 1-6: lasguns and a prayer.
Lascannon HWT
Autocannon HWT
Missile Launcher HWT
Veteran Squad: Powerfist, 2 Meltaguns, Plasmaguns and Carapace Armour (in the Vendetta)
Vendetta: extra armour
Leman Russ: battle cannon and flamer
Basilisk #1
Basilisk #2


The battlefield is dominated by four large bastions running across the centre, with defendable terrain at either end.

Luckily for me I won the first turn AND the right to choose the side. This meant that I could pick my 'run-up' to the opposition. The deployment roll went for 'spearhead' and 'capture and control' ... so I had the opportunity to get my Hellhounds reasonably close for a quick 18" move and smoke pop in turn one.

Not trusting that I had all the angles covered I decided to keep the Primaris in Reserve with a infantry squad and Chimera. I might need to mount a last minute charge or reclaim my own objective after all.

Mark decided to focus on banking his tanks behind his heavy weapons which in turn would cower behind his legion of disposible troops. I was a little bewieldered by this tactic, since the troops were clearly standing around in the open in front of a lot of fire power...

Call me bemused.

The Kochi Deploy in an aggressive 'BlitzKrieg' combined arms formation, ready to weather a first turn barrage to come to terms with Marks hunkered guard.

In a less surprising move the Vendetta deployed and then shunted at for speed (36") into my deployment zone using its scout move. This would mean that a 3+ cover save flyer full of ... veterans with plasma, melta and a powerfist (Mark admitted under interrogation) ... were within a turn of charging my mortars with a instantkill power weapon. Doh! That gotta die!

The Vendetta hurtles across the battlefield to flank the incoming tank column.

To top it all off, Mark positioned a group of 10 ratlings off to my right. While these guys wouldn't cause much of a threat, they would be able to challenge my tanks with some potential rending shots.

Turn 1: Kochi VIII "Charge of the Smokers"

Leading tanks pop smoke as the rest surge forwards. Meanwhile the Demolisher breaks off to engage the Vendetta.

Mark failed to seize the initative and my tanks surged forwards. The Hellhounds decided that they could reach the opposition easily next turn and therefore the multimelta hellhound (sheltering behind the model popping smoke) decided to take a pop at the Vendetta. It missed.

The Chimeras snake towards their target

Next up the demolisher focused on the same target. A Lascannon and Demolisher shell later and I'd achieved an earth shattering 'shaken' roll - Woophee! The Vendetta couldn't shoot (which is really good), but it could still drop those Vets... would they go for the objective or melta my rear armour - or both?!?

The Leman Russes on the other side were equally ineffective, managing to scatter off the board with one shot on the Basilisk. The other shot ended up killing one of the HQ command and 3 other men from two other squads. Such blatant overkill resulted in one pinning (despite the leadership reroll on the regimental banner). The Chimera foresook their shooting to move 12" and pop smoke. To top this all off the Bassie in the rear managed to scatter off the board... was this a sign?

'Plastic bag' smokers defend the tanks behind.

The mortars were slightly more effective, wounding one lascannon crew (Mark was surprised to learn that they did not have a cover save from indirect (behind only behind barracades). The other mortar team targets the ratlings and achieves a single wound. Unluckily for me both team pass their Leadership rolls for pinning (even on a ratling meagre six!).

Turn 1: Marks of the Traitor "Bring it down! No quicker ... I said bring it down NOW damn you!"

Mark throws everything he has at the incoming tanks...

With my luck in the hands of the Emporer I had to trust that my Smoke would be enough ... should have I bought camo too? First up Mark passed around some commands. Now mobile infantry isn't really the home for commands, as it requires the troops recieving to be outside a vehicle - and to quote interstate 76 "Never leave your car!"

Mark passed both his "Bring it Down!" rolls on the Lascannons and Autocannons. Suddenly my poor Hellhound was facing a barrage of incoming fire. Only two lascannons hit however, and then Mark rolled a 1 and 2! From the Autocannons the hits were higher, but the cmoke confounded the gunners aim and misdirected two penetrating hits!

Strangely (to me at least), the whole cadre of 6 vanilla infantry squads marched forward to form a line in front of my men. My thinking ran like this ... "That's a bit weird, I can just tank shock them and they've only got S3 weapons - they cannot hurt me!" Anyone notice the flaw in this thinking?!?

Meanwhile the two Basilisks decide to target their opposite number away down the board. Two shots later and my Basilisk is a hole in the ground - so much for that idea!

The Platoon Command Squad yells "Get back in the fight" to the pinned troop squad out front and they regather themselves. The Missile launchers target the lead Chimera and managed to knock out its heavy flamer. Bother! The Ratling are less lucky, failing to get a penetration on the second 'command' Chug.

Finally the Vendetta makes its move. Boosting another 24", it tries to deepstrike its Vets directly behind my Demolisher! How bloody rude! Unluckily for Mark (this turn was VERY unlucky for Mark) they scatter directly into an adjacent bastion and end up repositioned by me! Scanning the board, I decide that hiding behind the ratlings is the best position as it puts them safety out of harms way!

Turn 2: Kochi VIII "Disabled that Flyer!"

The Vendetta goes down as the hellhounds hit.

My reserve tank didn't arrive - but that didn't worry me.

Before Hellhounds

Moving the Chimeras forward to engage the guardsmen at point blank range (I was still assuming I was pretty indestructable), the Chimeras and Squads inside start picking at the incoming squads, the first Chimera kills 5 out of 10 guardsmen with multilaser and lasguns rounds. Meanwhile the command Chimera lines up 4 grenade launchers and a multilaser on the Missile Launcher heavy weapon team located on the bastion roof. It suddenly occurs to Mark that he's facing 7 instantkill shots. Luckily for him only 3 hit their target, but its still enough to kill one missile team after shooting. The Missile team fail their pinning test (despite the standard below them) and cowered behind the battlements.

After Hellhounds (one round of shooting)

Meanwhile the two hellhound ramp up to 12" and then fire their inferno cannons into the horde of guard in front of them. Three things are a shock to Mark (Hellhounds are about the only thing he doesn't have in his army) that a hellhound can move 12" and fire, that the inferno cannon S6 and that the inferno cannon fires 12" and is placed at my discretion! One hellhound targets the Lascannons and instantkills all three lascannons. The other hellhound has a tricky choice ... does it target the command squad with the meltagun or the three autocannons.

Deciding that the meltagun is outside 12" (and therefore unlikely to get 2D6 after a move) he shoots the Autocannon AND the platoon command squad behind. Despite plenty of prayers, I roll not a single one this turn and all 8 bases are removed. Between the Hellhounds and the command Chug all the infantry threat to my tanks is gone - or so I thought.

Next up, the Demolisher does a 180 degree turn and targets the Vendettas rear armour, the lascannon misses (when do lascannons ever hit?), but the Demolisher is smack on target - giving me an autopentrating hit. Hoping and praying to the dice gods I roll... and score an immobilised result (boo), but he turbo boosted last turn so he crashes and burns (yeah) and he fails his turbo save (double yeah) - the Vendetta is history!

After this, my luck runs out as the mortars fail to wound either the vets or the infantry squads due to scatter and my two leman russes are stunningly rubbish at killing the Basilisk, despite a hit - I fail to penetrate its armour 12 on 2D6 - what's this thing got, forcefields?

Turn 2: Marks of the Traitor "What have we got to lose men? CHARRRGE!"

Mark take me by surprised as 5 infantry squads charge my tanks!

By the start of turn two I was feeling pretty cocky. The hellhounds had performed brillantly. I was within a turn of cleaning up on the final heavy weapons team and I had three leamn Russes and a multimelta hellhound pointing at the enemies ordinance. All that stood between me and victory were a bunch of S3 guardsmen randomly knocking about.

Then those S3 guardsmen charged my tanks.... of course I know guard all have frag grenades now (which is nice), what I'd forgotten was that offensive grenades supply a S4 attack on vehicles.

Suddenly my Chugs, Hellhounds and Russes were crawling with fanatic guardsmen trying to shove pineapples through my portholes (If you'll excuse the crude analogy!). Despite this, the damage was actually quite light, with only two tanks succumbing to a 'hit'. The heavy bolter leman russ got a lucky double strike 6 on it and suffered a crew stunned result. The lead Chug also suffered the same (thank goodness they could only glance).

As some of you might have noticed, I stupidly placed my lascannon Leman Russ behind my heavy bolter russ - resulting in two turns of non-shooting on the Basalisk. To make matters worse, the Ratling pinged its rear armour with some remarkable shooting, clearly sniping a spare wiget on the tracks and immobilising the tank! DAMN YOU EXPOSED TRACK DESIGN!

To add insult to injury, the basilisks targetted my Mortar squad in an attempt to chase them off my home objective (fairly likely), killed a squad but the other two units remained strong!

Turn 3: Kochi VIII "Tank shock for EVERYONE!"

The tanks plow through the traitorous defenders

In revenge, I felt it was about time to clean up house! Heavy Bolter Russ put his foot to the floor and flattened a brave soul on his way towards the enemy. After moving 6" hie targetted the squad that had been shunted aside by the lead Chimera and some quick Boom ... dakkadakkadakka later ... only the Sergeant survived (who subsequently legged it for the 'bastion' and hid out until the show down in turn 6!). My command Chimera (still with its heavy flamer attached) reversed course and hosed down a 10 men squad attacking the Russ, the sergeant staggered out of the fire pit ony to be hosed down by krak grenades from the command squad.

The other Chug pushed forwards, punching 12" towards the enemies objective (it was shaken anyhow) ... and the two hellhounds decided to crush their enemies. Chug one (heavy bolter) crushed his 'death or glory' candidate while Mark scored two sixes in a row to DoG my hellhound (If you'll excuse the pun). The result was a 'shaken' and yet another of my tanks couldn't fire ... grrrr.

The hellhound that could fire however made short work of polishing off the command squad. The Inferno Cannon was proving the bane of Imperial Guard armies as it double tapped W3 heroes, weapons teams and ignore stealth cover saves, carapace armour and even 'feel no pain'. Effectively two hellhounds had chewed through the enemies entire command structure.

For starters, my reserves arrived. Looking acorss the board, I assessed that my objective was relatively secure and that the Basalisks would die soon (oh ... the optimism) and so I concentrated my new arrived Chimera on the Ratlings and Veterans in the building. The Mortar team and Immobilised Leman Russ joined in, and for a while everything was good. Between them they downed three carapace armoured vets.

Editors Note: Some of the more attentive readers will have noticed that I bought 4 Heavy support vehicles. The two Leam Russes were in a squadron - hence the immobilised Russ should have been made a casualty sooner. Being new to squadrons, I missed this. It should be also noted that we only worked out that there was a leadership test with tank-shock after the tank-shocks had occurred. As the tank shocks were more damaging to my tanks than Mark troops I think that these two points balance eachother out ... but that's 40k for you!

Turn 3: Marks of the Traitor "Hit 'em with everything we got!"

Mark quickly evens the odds with some startingly accurate attacks

The Leman Russ targetted the lead hellhound and managed to immobilise it, squad one recharged the hellhound, but failed to damage it further. Squad two were in a similar position with hellhound two (and after reading the 'tank shock' rules) decided to charge it in the side to minimise the 'run!' factor! Despite a valiant effort their attack failed.

The Primaris Psyker and Sergeant cower dehind their destroyed Chimera as the Traitor Vets make a break for a stake in the battle.

In an amazing turn of events, my rearguard was turned into a catastophe. 9 Guardsmen had Harkers own luck and spiked the gun on the immobilised Leman Russ. Meanwhile my valiant reserves are met by devastatingly accurate Basilisk fire which destroys my brand new painted Chug and then kills all except one guardsmen, the Sergeant and the Primaris Psyker. Thanks to the Psykers improved Leadership, they hold their nerve despite having two members picked off by Sniper fire.

Into this maelstrom, the Veterans stride out to sow yet more havoc!

Turn 4: Kochi VII "We end this now!"

The Kochi go overkill as Flamers, battlecannons and demolisher cannons target the troops.

Last turn had left me reeling. With only half his army left, Mark had managed to even the odds on my boys. Now its my turn.

The first order of the day is to finish off the veterans and nullify the 'trooper threat' around my tanks. The rearward Mortar squad, and the the Primaris Psyker focus all their firepower on the seven exposed vets. The combined firepower proves more than a match for the 4+ armour saves of the traitors and they go down. Next up the command chimera makes short work of the squad which spiked the Leman Russ last turn. Reducing their numbers to a single guard sergeant. He however holds his nerve (Mark is very good at rolling low when it counts!)

On the other side of the board, the Multimelta hellhound makes a rush at the Leman Russ, but in spectacular guard fashion, he manages to miss completely. The other Chimera manages its dangerous terrain roll and scrambled over the cover to come within 3" of the objective. The other, immobilised Hellhound tried to take out both the missile launcher teams behind them, but one survives.

Meanwhile, the Demolisher (now hopelessly out of range) decides to sit pretty and unload everything on the squad left behind by the multimelta hellhound. One Demolisher shot later and the two survivors are gunned down with heavy bolter and lascannon shots, accomplishing the biggest 'overkill' barrage of the game.

Turn 4: Marks of the Traitor "Desparate times lead to desparate actions..."

"Charging tanks again Mark, that won't work..."
Famous last words...

The Ratlings go after my Command chimera and managed to blow it up with two penetrating hits! The best anti tank weapon on the board so far - sniper rifles?! The resulting explosion kills three grenade launcher toting guardsmen and the squad fails its morale test and legs it for the hills ... great!

My Primaris Psyker and Sergeant were shocked to find themselves charged by a sergeant from Marks 'Leman Demolition' crew and soon an assault was underway. Despite multiple hits on both side, the flak armour took the blows and the combat was a draw!

The remaining missile launcher targets my Chimeras rear armour and rolls a 2 ... the Leman Russ Battle Cannon fires at point blank range into the cab and fails to penetrate. Meanwhile the squad (S1) of guardsmen leave the immobilised Hellhound and run full pelt for the lead Chimera contesting the objective. Despite needing a double six, and two immobilised, the guardsmen manage to blow up the chimera.

All but the sergeant of my Squad 1 and two guardsmen are killed in the ensuing maelstrom. The S3 blast outside kills half their squad too. My remaining guardsmen can be placed anywhere within 2" of the Chimera - IE: right on top of the objective ... if only we can roll a 1 or 2 to finish. A five.

Turn 5: Kochi VIII "Block and tackle"

Clinging onto the objectives...
I currently had both objectives in my hands and I intended to keep it that way. The immobilised Hellhound fired on the remaining (and slightly toasted) Missile launcher team and finally put them out of their misery, meanwhile the Demolisher and hellhound focused their attrition on the heavy flamer armed Leman Russ. Again the multimelta proved to most inaccurate weapon in the game (I'm yet to kill anything with it over two games). The mortars on the left and the remnant squad target the larger traitor squad challenging the target and manage to whittle their numbers down to just a sergeant (ruddy sergeants!)

'Chop him up, chop him up!' said the Primaris Psyker in a moments personality change.

The mortars on the right fail to hit their ratling targets. With a tremedous effort the Primaris Psyker and sergeant stick it to their attacking sergeant.

Turn 5: Marks of the Traitor "Blood for the Blood god ... Urrk?!?"

My valiant objective grabbers are rudely attacked in mid-victory dance ... how bloody rude!

Mark's Leman Russ backed up to give the Hellhound a taste of its own medicine ... and fails! The Basilisks were equally ineffective at scoring a wound on the mortar team on my objective. But hang on, but I suddenly realised just how precarious my 'victory' was. All Mark needed to do was hit my mortars with enought S9 fire and i'd be dead or running... ooo gamble gamble!

Meanwhile over at the enemy objective... two guardsmen and a sergeant prepare to hold.

Down to the wire

Bloody Sergeants everywhere ... and not the time to think!

Sergeant Moor wiped the sweat from his eyes and checked the power reading on his laspistol. He'd barely got a shot off all battle... he glanced guiltily at the sordid remains of his own squad. Men he'd trained.

All the 'replacements' had been killed when that damn frag grenade had come through the side of their Chimera. Johnson hadn't followed orders, not closed his gunnery plate and it had cost his life, the Chugs crew and six others.

Polson, Rassurgen and Moor had scrambled from the Chug. Polson lugging the heavy grenade launcher before him like a shield. Moor had scrambled into the cover, and then directed his men to target the Chug. Beyond the smoke and sparks he could hear the cheers and cursing of their assailants, maybe a full squad. Moor would make them pay. He quietly opened his commlink and contacted the Kochi regulars hidden at their rear.

'Pitcher team two, this is Echo One, status?" he whispered. Morr noted out of the corner of his eye Rassurgen peep his head up towards the now quieting Chimera. He ducked down quickly and flashed a full open hand followed by four fingers at Moor. Moor nodded.

'Echo One, this is pitcher two, primed and ready, what's your target." the call from the Mortar team crackled in his ear. He opened the bead again, he could now hear quiet scuffing of approaching men over the crackle of static and flames.

'Pitcher Two, fire for effect, target Chug One. 9 targets, minimum spread." He grated into the commlink. 'Understood, Emperor's Blessing!' a brief pause, then 'Fire, Fire!'

The whistle of the mortar was barely noticeable over the crackle of the burning Chimera. If Moor hadn't had his face neatly buried in the dirt he would have noticed how the enemy Sergeant cocked his ear and dove forward, how two traitor guardsmen, armour smeered with arcane and lurid symbols, glanced skyward before the mortar struck.

They'd been accurate shots.

Moor was on his feet even as the second blast richochets around the bastion they held, Polson followed Rassurgen quickly. Before them dust filled the scene between them and the dismembered Chimera.

Suddenly three men staggered form that gloom. Moors pistol stitched a line across a guardsmens armour plate as Rassurgens lasgun took the leader in the face. Then Polsons frag grenade hit the second soldier and the three bodies were thrown out at angles as the shrapnel grenade shattered their already bewieldered forms.

Moor ducked back behind the cover as Polson ans Rassurgen continued to scan for any more survivors. He quickly opened his dataslab and checked his location. They'd achieved their target - the enemy bunker. Hope swelled in him as he heard the chew of the Hellhounds gears beside the intermittent blast of the duel Basilisks.
Now all they needed to do was silence those guns. Moor stuffed the dataslate back in his pack and picked up his laspistol. Rassurgen ducked down beside him.

'We nearly there sir?' he asked.

'We're there already, soldier.' He stood slowly, feeling his back creak as the adrenaline waned. He looked over at Gunny Polson.

'Quit waving that damn 'launcher around Gunny. They're dead already.' Polson grinned and looked up. His flash of a smile was accompanied by another flash within his mouth as Polson's eyes went blank and his mouth exploded scarlet vicsera at his two colleagues.

As the gunners knees buckled, Moor saw the reason. A grimy sergeant was lowering his aim withn a skeletal grin. Blackened wounds covered half his upper torso and face and he was bleeding from his ears, but the signs on his chest glowed iridescent as he tipped back his head and howled.

As Moor and Rassurgen stumbled to their feet, the insane traitor charged. In the cramped conditions, Moor couldn't get past Rassurgen. The guardsman was far too occupied fending off the insane strikes of the traitor NCO.

With a grunt, Rassurgen pushed the traitors rusted ceremonial sword aside and sank his bayonet into the gut of his adversary. The Sergeant howled and raised his laspistol, blowing a gaping hole in Rassurgens neck.

Staggering back slightly, Moor jumped past his mortally wounded squadman and hacked into the neck of the traitor guardsmen. The body crumpled.

Moor approached the body and made sure it was dead with a quick pistol shot. As he did so he was suddenly sturck from behind. Another attacker had leapt from the top of the Chimera at him. Caught from behind, he quikly dropped both his laspistol and chainsword and grasped at the autopistol pushed against his temple. He managed to shunt it forward just as the pistol exploded into life. The roar of the weapon at such close range was deafening. He felt hot cartridges scorch his face as the weapon discharged.
He sank an elbow into his attackers stomach and was surprised to find no resistance as his strike winded his opponent. The spent pistol clattered to the floor. Spinning round he scrambled for his combat knife.

The lasgun shot was barely a whisper and the unarmoured officers chest exploded. Moor stared in disbelief as his assailant crumpled. Looking over he saw Rassurgens pallid features behind the stock of his MkII Lasgun. The trooper glanced briefly at his NCO before the weapon dropped. Moor rushed to his compatriots side. The wound in his neck was leaking slowly now, Rassurgens head lagged. Moor reached for his medpack. A deathly hand rested like ice over his shaking furtive fingers.

'Doesn't matter now, Serg' whispered Rassurgen. 'I'm just glad to have helped ... tell 'em how I died Serg' he gulped 'Tell 'em I died good, yeah.'
He closed his eyes.

Moor stared dumbly at his last troopers corpse.
'Sorry lad,' he whispered. 'I can't hear a damn thing...' Moor looked up for the last time as the hulk of a traitorous Leman Russ shook to a halt. Behind the sigils and the heavy flamer sponson, Moor could make out the glinting eyes of the gunner.

Death was in those eyes.
'Didn't matter any ...'


With Moor still alive, victory is in the hand of the loyal Kochi. But we roll for turn six.

Turn Six: Kochi VIII "Bringing it home"

Still Clinging On ... to both objectives ... just

The two Hellhounds and the Demolisher (with its lascannon) throw everything at the Bassies and Leman Russ and failed again. Meanwhile the Primaris Psyker throws on a 'leadership cloaking device' and attmepts to move out towards the home objective.

The two mortars finally respond to the barrage of basilisk rounds and regroup. Unfortunately, the unharmed mortar team need a 5 or 6 to get within 3" and only manage a 4.

This means that only Sergeant Moor and Pitcher Two stand between victory and a hard fought draw.

Turn Six: Marks of the Traitor 'Fire in the hole!'

All I can say is ... the bastard.

Mark moves his traitor russ forward and incinerates Moor. The ratling pass their 'can't shoot me' leadership test and kill the arrogant Primaris Psyker. Now it's all down to the Bassies shooting at two mortars. Stupidly, when I repositioned the mortars, they were repositioned to get two hits from a Bassie.

Mark rolls. The first bassie misses spectacularly! The second shot is however a direct hit. Two hits, but MArk rolls a 1! Only one 4+ saving throw stands between victory and a draw...

I roll a three.

Down to one mortar team, my boys take an against the odds roll of less than 6 on 2D6. I roll a 5.


Marks game:
Hats off to Mark for fighting hard on a poor hand and nearly pulling off a draw. His charge took me completely by surprise, and is one to remember as a couple of 6's across 10 models is quite easy. He was very unlucky with the Vets as they scattered. They could have destroyed the Demolisher and taken my objective. This didn't worry me overly as I had a Chimera (with heavy flamer) in reserve for just such an eventuality. Thanks to his bad luck (and risky strategy) he lost both his Vendetta, and effectively his Vets. If the Vendetta had survived, I would have been hard pressed with 3 twin-linked lascannon shots in the rear of my tanks per turn.

With his vets team, I've actually modified one of my Veteran Sergeant to field a power fist and plasma pistol. While pricey - being on the (potential) receiving end of this unit worried me more than expected. The vets were a lethal crew (and I'm glad they didn't really get a chance!)

The Ratlings played well, and although I didn't want to spend any more resources attacking them than I had committed, they weren't strategically imporant to the game. In deploying out the way they were a consistent threat (destroying two tanks) but their fear of the hellhounds/chimera meant they weren't going anywhere.

Kochi Performance: This is the first time I've used Hellhounds on mass and I was very impressed. The hellhound inferno cannon seems custom made for killing its own guardsmen - ironically... and the ability to place the template means that targetting individual squads is no defence. Where the hellhound falls down is in killing single models - as it seems such a waste.

I'm definitely considering swapping to both heavy flamers on my hellhounds. The multimelta was a waste of points, and it would probably have been more salient to have a couple of meltaguns in my armoured fist squads. Additionally, having all heavy flamers doesn't increase the 'heat' of the unit, but seriously increased the point blank carnage it can commit. It would have been considerably useful against the massed 'charging' troops. The ability to move 12" and fire is genius as it means the Hellhound only gets hit on a 6, this (combined with smoke) makes the hellhound a really durable close support tank.

Over all I felt the 'mobile infantry' list was very effective. Perhaps if I'd paid more attention to the ratlings, I could have flamered them to death sooner. I was unlucky to take them with the reserved Chimera thanks to some spectacularly effective Basilisks.

As for my Basilisk? I'm unimpressed. Although I didn't have the antitank option with the Mortars - I'm seriously considering replacing the Bassie with two more mortar teams. They proved very useful obejctive 'holding' units ... and with the mortar having no 'minimum range' they are effective three frag missiles against anyone brave enough to flank or deepstrike them. Four mortar teams, spread out would have been difficult to winkle out (as proven by the result).

The ability to hold and defend objectives and contribute enormously to the battle makes them a must for me! 4 mortars would drop 12 S4 hits a turn. Against Guard, Orks, Nids or Tau this is a lethal barrage.

I hope you enjoyed this battle report ... and my artistic additions. Let me know.

Lastly - does this work?

I'm undecided if this is a useful tool for encapsulating the battle in one go... let me know...