So, last night, JY, JS and JY's brother, OY, came round for a game of Warhammer 40K. Up to this point, we had failed to actually finish a game completely - that is, although we had called games, and in one case got to a point where it was impossible for me to win, we hadn't actually played a game through from first turn to last turn. Last night was going to be different. We were going to play until we were finished no matter what, damnit!
We ended up playing the Ork scenario Waaagh! from the Battle Missions book. Each side was comprised of a team of two players, each of which would have a 1500 point army:
JY (Dark Angels):
HQ - Azrael
Troops 1 - Terminators (assault cannon, chainfists)
Troops 2 - Terminators (assault cannon, chainfists)
Troops 3 - Assault Terminators (3x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield, 2x Lightning Claws
Heavy Support 1: Landspeeder Vengeance
Heavy Support 2: Predator Annihilator (lascannons! Lascannons everywhere!)
Heavy Support 3: Land Raider
HQ1 - Ghazgkull
HQ2 - Big Mek with Shokk Attak Gun
HQ3 - Warboss (we allowed JS to field three HQs because he asked nicely)
Elites 1 - Ork Nob Squad
Troops 1 - Three Meganobs in a Trukk
Troops 2 - Ork Boy Squad
Fast Attack 1 - 5 Stormboyz and Boss Zagstrukk
Fast Attack 2 - Warbuggy
Heavy Support 1 - Zzap Gun
OY (Imperial Guard):
HQ1 - Company Command Squad with Master of Ordnance in a Chimera
Troops 1 - 10 Veterans with Carapace armour and 3 plasma guns in a Chimera
Troops 2 - 10 Veterans with Carapace armour and 3 meltaguns in a Chimera
Troops 3 - 10 Veterans with Carapace armour, 3 grenade launchers and a heavy bolter in a Chimera
Heavy Support 1 - Leman Russ Demolisher
Heavy Support 2 - Leman Russ Demolisher
Heavy Support 3 - Griffon Troop (two Griffons)
Me (Imperial Guard):
HQ1 - Primaris Psyker
Troops 1 - Platoon HQ, 30-man Combined Squad with Commissar, plasma guns, and heavy bolters.
Troops 2 - Platoon HQ, three 10-man Infantry Squads with rocket launchers and flamers.
Fast Attack 1 - Armoured Sentinel Troop (three Sentinels with autocannons)
Heavy Support 1 - Leman Russ Vanquisher (Captain Count Geranium of Bigbush and Littletree)
Heavy Support 2 - Leman Russ Troop (two Leman Russ MBTs)
Objectives: bunker entrance between trenches, ammo dump just visible top right of the grey and brown ruin in the middle foreground, and injured soldier between shop and house top right.
We rolled off to see who was deploying where, with the Ork-Dark Angel alliance (JY and JS) wanting to win and get the side with the three ruins. They lost, and the Guard (OY and myself) deployed there instead. Due to the scenario rules, the Orks and Dark Angels would deploy first, and almost certainly go first too.
The Ork and Dark Angel force then won the roll to go first - "anything but a one!" and they got a six - and pretty much surged forwards en masse. Terminator weapons fire killed eight Guardsmen - including a plasma gunner - from the platoon in the right-hand ruin, the Vengeance stunned the crew of the green Chimera between the leftmost and central ruin, while Ork shooting from their Killa Kans killed six Veteran Guardsmen - including all three plasma gunners, the Sergeant, and radioman - from the most forward squad in the central ruin; the Shokk Attak Gun closed affairs by killing one Guardsman from a squad on the right flank.
Return fire from the Guard badly damaged the Land Raider, but didn't destroy it (this was Bad News), smashed apart most of the big Ork Boy squad advancing in the centre, wrecked the Ork Trukk (pinning the Meganobs in the process), destroyed the Landspeeder Vengeance, killed three Terminators, and blew up a Killa Kan.
In turn two, after killing a few Guarsdmen from shooting, the Orks and Dark Angels got into combat. That was painful. The Assault Terminators poured out of their Land Raider, and assaulted everyone in the central ruin, killing or breaking 14 men for the loss of one... leaving the Terminators consolidated into a huddle in the middle of the ruin, hoping that cover and invulnerable saves would protect them through the Guard's return fire. The Ork boys got stuck into the combined Guard squad, and killed off the last two plasma gunners and the heavy bolter teams, but lost two boys and couldn't break the Guard thanks, I suspect, to the Commissar (though he didn't have to shoot anyone, most disappointing). Ghazgkull's Waaagh! got him to within charge range of the Sentinels, and I mentally said goodbye; but he rolled very low and couldn't engage.
The Guard, for their part, pulled their socks up, and opened fire. The Sentinels wrecked the remaining Killa Kan. Meanwhile, Captain Count Geranium of Bigbush and Littletree failed - despite hitting square on with both shots - to penetrate or indeed even glance the Land Raider, which shook off his lascannon blast and high-velocity armour-piercing shell as though it were nothing. The Assault Terminators were hit by a storm of fire from everything that could shoot at them, wiping them out. The Griffons, Sentinels and the right flank platoon plus the Veterans in the woods fired at Ghazgkull's Nobs, killing several and wounding three more. Over in the right-hand ruin, the Guard combined squad killed the Nob and another Ork, but combat continued nonetheless.
In the next Ork and Dark Angel turn, shooting from the Shokk Attak Gun and Terminators killed all of the Veterans in the woods on the right flank, and reduced the depleted right flank squad to just a few men. Then Ghazgkull's Nobs got into combat with the Sentinels, destroying all of them in short order (two exploded, but they didn't do any damage to the tough Orks). Azrael and his Terminators got into combat with the camouflaged Chimera and Azrael destroyed it all by himself! The combat in the right hand ruin continued again, with another Ork dying and the Guard refusing, still, to run away.
OY's command squad beat a hasty retreat to the nearby ruin, and then the shooting commenced. The Land Raider was again inconvenienced by the Vanquisher, but one of OY's Demolishers did the job instead, using a really really big high explosive shell to wreck the damn thing. More fire was poured onto Ghazgkull's Nob mob, because it was becoming apparent that it was extremely threatening and had to be stopped. One or two Orks were killed as I recall - the combination of 5+ invulnerable and 5+ Feel No Pain saves made them very tough indeed.
In turn four, the Orks and Dark Angels failed to do much - desultory shooting killed a couple of Guardsmen and took a hull point off a Leman Russ, while Azrael's men failed to charge the swirling combat in the right hand ruin, and it continued.
However, the Imperial Guard killed three of Azrael's Terminators, all the remaining Ork Nobs with Ghazgkull, and Captain Count Geranium of Bigbush and Littletree made up for his three previous turns of nothing by destroying the Predator (and gaining a kill ring in the process). The right-hand ruin now contained one Ork, still grimly fighting on.
With little left, turn five opened quietly. The Shokk Attak Gun killed a guardsman or two from the last full-strength infantry squad, while the two Terminators on the right flank killed and then broke the platoon command squad behind them - they ran off the board. Assaults were inevitable - Ghazgkull smashed aside the infantry in front of him, while Azrael and Chums assaulted the remnants of the platoon in the right hand ruin. The platoon took casualties, but killed the last Ork and refused to run away. At this point Zagstruk and Stormboyz arrived, tried to destroy a Demolisher and a Griffon, and failed to do anything.
For the Guard's part, the remaining platoon command squad moved as fast as they could in the direction of the bunker entrance, and the last intact Guard squad moved up to try and contest the ammo dump. Meanwhile tank fire from the Leman Russ troop not only wiped out the two remaining unengaged Terminators, but a stray battlecannon shell landed on the melee in the ruin, killing several Guardsmen and a Terminator! Over on the left flank, some judicious tank-based redeployment meant that Zagstruk and friends were all killed. In the assault phase, more Guardsmen died. The combat... continued.
At this point, I had to roll to see if the game ended or not. It didn't.
Turn six! There was no seriously effective Ork shooting, although a flamethrower operator was killed by the Zzap gun. Ghazgkull charged the last mainly intact Guard squad and smashed them to bits. Azrael and the Terminator killed all bar the Psyker (who hung grimly on).
The platoon command squad legged it to the safety of the wrecked Land Raider, and incidentally claimed the bunker entrance objective. Captain Count Geranium of Bigbush and Littletree shot the Big Mek off his perch on the tower, while a Demolisher destroyed the Zzap gun. Griffon and Leman Russ fire failed to kill any Meganobs, but did wound a few. At this stage, all the Orks had left were a Warboss, Ghazgkull, three Meganobs and a warbuggy. The Dark Angels had Azrael and a Terminator, who handily despatched the Psyker and consolidated towards the Vanquisher in hopes of killing it next turn.
But - lo - there was no next turn. The game ended and OY and I had won!
I'd love to say tactics and strategy won this game, but beyond the initial refused flank our strategy was basically "shoot them until they die, then shoot them some more" and it worked because our opponents did not have a list capable of taking on such an armour-heavy list. Although they had some bad luck - the Predator in particular did nothing at all all game despite its three lascannons!
So Victor's Laurels to OY and myself, then!