Saturday, July 08, 2017

Battle Report: Heretic's Ambush - 2000pts (8th edition)

It seems with a lack of Xenos and Chaos in the sector, the high command has taken its normal political maneuvering and escalated it to pitting imperial forces against each other in their bids to assume supreme command of the sector.

This report was compiled from Colonel Trakken and the other officers of the 83rd Catachan regiment.

(please accept our apologies for the unpainted minis- we're working on it.)

The aerial reconnaissance images came in, and Colonel Trakken noted "Just as I expected, the Valhallan's act as escorts for these so called heretics."

"Even so, it is of little matter.  Our forces are positioned and it is too late to shift them."

Colonel Trakken had positioned the Captain Logan's Patrol with its Le'Montre tank and his cavalry known as Mike's Maurauders (Rough Riders) to attack the rear of the enemy column. 

Captain Logan's forces wait for the order to attack.

The rest of his vehicles and his veterans were placed to the right oblique of the approaching force.  Lieutenant Turner was placed to observe the veterans, and direct them in this battle.  

Major Helstrom took his 3 squads and command squad and assumed a blocking position in the escape path of the column.

Colonel Trakken and MGySgt Payne held the left oblique and were positioned to keep an eye on the mortar squads.

MGySgt Payne, counting as a commissar and in the white hat, keeps discipline as the enemy approaches.

Colonel Trakken gave the order to fire.  The patrol's Le'Monstre tank crew couldn't hit a single thing.  And many of the patrols weapons were mostly ineffective.  Captain Logan let his forces get strung out and had difficulty issuing orders.  As Mike's Maurauders prepared to charge, the enemy revealed a stratagem and returned fire with its artillery.

This is going to hurt.

One of the horsemen was vaporized but the other escaped unscathed, other than the loss of some loot obtained from foraging in the locals' dwellings.

The Hover-Tauroxes and Gator-Chimeras mostly got in each others way, but the Hell-Roller Hellhound was able to cremate two Primaris Space Marines. 

The heroes of the first round were the 5 mortar squads.  With 15d6 shots, they finished off nearly all of the Valhallan infantry screening the main force.

As the enemy returned fire, it was clear that this was going to be a bloody battle.  The Hell-Roller exploded and although it killed a few of the enemy, it caused serious damage to friendly forces as well.  All vehicles were ordered to spread out after this, and infantry warned to keep their distance.

The enemy taurox prime sprinted forward and cut down several troops from 5th squad.  That same squad would be cut down to a single man when they charged the vehicle.  Although, that distraction allowed 4th squad to charge and arrive unscathed.

Prior to that assault on the taurox prime, it showed its ability to survive a withering hail of poorly aimed fire.

The patrol continued to attack the rear of the column and an accurately tossed frag grenade was able to silence the artillery.

The vehicles spread out and one of the damaged gator-chimeras charged an enemy infantry squad in hopes of delaying them long enough to prevent their escape.

It was at this time, after weathering another round of fire from the heretics, that Colonel Trakken signaled the withdrawal.  Perhaps he knew that the enemy forces were loyal, perhaps he didn't want to risk any more of his men, but the outcome was as high command had dictated, the enemy had been stopped, if not destroyed.   The mortars laid down a pre-planned smoke barrage, the vehicles activated smoke launchers, and infantry tossed smoke grenades.  This, combined with the burning wreckage of the Hell-Roller, allowed the Catachan's to withdraw in good order and claim a resounding victory.  

 My thoughts:

This could be a fun mission, but I don't think it can work without adjustment.  To score, the defender must escape by getting forces completely off the table edge.  Any forces walking will have to endure 3 rounds of shooting at least to get the 36" to the board edge.

I think that the mission may need to give the defender more points or PL.  Perhaps the ongoing reserves rule where destroyed units are replaced?  I'm not sure, but in this case, you must concentrate on movement, movement, movement.  You may need to sacrifice a unit or two to distract the attacker, but the main part of your force will be advancing every turn.

  • My veterans underperformed.
  • Heavy weapons make you want to park your vehicles and not move, robbing you of mobility.
  • My opponent's commissars did an excellent job managing his losses from morale.
  • Primaris Marines are formidable opponents.  That 30" range and -1 AP matters more than you think.
  • By not putting heavy weapons in my infantry squads, I wasn't hesitant to move them.
  • Vox coverage was great, but my characters and rough riders need to stay in command and buffing bubbles.
  • The Mortars were awesome, and are well worth their points.
  • Medipacks are unreliable and overcosted, unless you keep them next to expensive characters.

 Thanks for reading, and perhaps I'll be able to post the report form my opponent's point of view.

Edit: You can find my opponent's report here!

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