Or.. . Bringing a Knife to a Tank Fight.
This game was played at the Sudbury and District Wargames Club on 13th February. The picture taking is… sporadic and can be disrupted by things like tiredness, excitement, forgetfulness and the need to buy chocolate.
My opponent was my good Gallic chum Lionel whom I have known for ten years. He has always played Chaos and has some lovely old school models and conversions but the current Chaos Codex had left him cold. The new Traitor Legions codex supplement by Games Workshop had fired his love for them once more. He went with vehicle-heavy Iron Warriors which immediately worried me as I’d chosen to go with what looked good.
Thankfully the Lord of Skulls was only there for the yearly painting competition (which it won). Two Soul Grinders, a Maulerfiend and a Landraider, two Obliterators, two small squads of marines and Termie command squad were deployed against me.
I didn’t take a photo of my lot which is appropriate as they barely turned up. A command squad, Leman Russ Demolisher, two Armoured Sentinels, two units of veterans, 5 Bullgryns with priest, Valkyrie, Taurox Prime and a platoon of Tempestus Scions. Not much in the way of high-strength, vehicle-killing goodness.
I got the choice of deployment zone (long edges) and picked the one that allowed Lionel to stay in the warmth of the heater and prevent him moaning about the English weather. This is very often the single biggest factor in our Deployment at the club – Sun Tzu we ain’t.
Other than the Bullgryns, Taurox and the other Sentinel, this was my army on turn one; everything else was in reserve. My Russ rolled forward and immediately immobilised itself on the terrain. My opening shots managed to take a hull point of the Maulerfiend though.
We use small plastic washers as wound markers rather than dice thus avoiding the counting up or counting down question. They’re also less likely to get picked up by accident.
His turn one saw his Termies advance and (bravely, I thought) disembark in front of the Russ and Plasma Cannon-wielding Sentinel.
My turn two saw all my Reserves come in: squad of nine Tempestus Scions in the Valkyrie and a Deep-Striking squad of eight. The Bullgryns and priest went to meet the Soulcrushers with the Taurox trying to get a shot or two in as well. The Scions scattered more in to the open than I’d have liked (top left) but still in range of the squad of traitor marines. At this point the Guard decided this was training exercise as all their shots either scattered wide or missed. Only the Valkyrie saved face by managing to lascannon a Termie.
The red Soul Grinder took exception to the Taurox and squared up to charge it. A second squad of marines used the large crate as cover whilst they fired at the Bullgryns with supporting battle-cannon fire from the blue Soul Grinder. Through a combination of Look Out Sir, Toughness 5 and sheer luck on invulnerable saves, only one Bullgryn was wounded.
The cluster of Scions looked on in horror as the marine squad shrugged off almost all their shots and turned to engage them.
Meanwhile, the other squad decided that I couldn’t hit for toffee and paraded in front of my Veterans and Bullgryns.
The War Hymns of the priest kept the Bullgryns ploughing forwards but the blue Soul Grinder had ideas about that…
A quick blast from the Battle Cannon and the mutated Soul Grinder charged in (scene missing owing to the trauma of losing my favourite unit). The Bullgryns did knock a hull point off but the priest had a faith crisis and failed all his Leadership tests for the hymns.
On the lower left side of the board, the old school Termie squad had been whittled further down. The floating skull is a scratch-built Cranium Malevolus which inflicts Haywire hits within 2D6″. Lionel and I concluded that although he hadn’t rolled much for it, its ‘fluff’ effect had been responsible for the various weapon guidance failures and plasma overloads on that side of the board. This made me feel better about my appalling dice rolls.
The Landraider advanced, determined to take out the only remaining threat on that side: the Leman Russ Demolisher. The lascannons managed knock a single hull point off but I had a more pressing worry…
My turn three saw the embarrassment of all shooting going to pot again with the exception of the missile launcher team who took out two Termies with a frag round! Undeterred, the Chaos Lord and cyber-skull monstrosity pressed on.
The red Soul Grinder, having made short work of the Taurox Prime, turned his attention to my remaining Armoured Sentinel. The Scion command squad could only look on helplessly as the beast ripped the Sentinel apart.
The Squats… er vertically challenged Astra Militarum… had managed to knock out another Traitor. The abominations advanced anyway and now they could be clearly seen to belong to the Iron Warriors Legion. Some lovely conversions there.
Lionel’s turn three and the writing wasn’t so much on the wall as carved into the hearts of the remaining Guardsmen.
The Colonel’s Refractor field managed to take a few hits before overloading, killing both him and the adjacent trooper. The remainder fled.
Anxious not to miss out on the killing, the blue Soul Grinder jumped in front of the marines intent on destroying the tank.
My turn four was an attempt to salvage some self-respect from this debacle. The remaining Scions dropped out of the Valkyrie in the Traitor’s backfield and successfully wiped out the marine squad that had killed their brothers-in-arms.
Lionel’s turn four was the last. The Chaos Lord laughed off the overwatch from the veterans and slew the whole unit.
The Soul Grinder charged the Demolisher and blew it up, the resulting explosion taking out more of Squad B’zugda-hiara. The Forward Sentries upgrade had really paid off though as the +1 to cover rolls had kept them all alive far longer than they had a right to expect.
At this point I conceded, as I had barely any units left. As always with Lionel, it had been a great game full of laughs and cinematic moments. I won’t forget that Cranium Malevolus in a hurry either. Or the need to bring ordnance.