Monday, 16 January 2017

091. Battle Report - Ghaz wants his Boy back (Pic Heavy)...

This past Saturday, Ray (Col. Ackland) and I kicked off our first battle of 2017, playing out the final game of our trilogy of linked matches featuring Rays Praetorians, led by the esteemable Sharpe, and my Orks.  In this, the final round, (see HERE for game one and HERE for game two), we stepped up to a full on, 2,000 point bash.  I pulled out the big boy himself, Ghaz, with a bevvy of Boys, attempting to fight back at the last and recover the fallen Warlord from Game One, who had failed to be retaken in the night raid of Game Two.

My force (near 100% painted too!) featured:
- Ghaz as the Warlord he so mightily is, along with 10 Nobs with a mix of Klaws and Big Choppers
- two mobs of Boys (23 each)
- 10 Lootas
- 6 Burnas
- 6 Storm Boys
- 3 Warbikes
- 5 Deff Koptas
- 3 Mek Guns (2 Kannons and a Lobba)

Ray had a mixed Army of the Imperium featuring:
- Sharpe and his band of tooled up Veterans
- 5 Rough Riders (using Death Korp of Krieg Death Rider rules)
- A Demolisher
- A platoon of Praetorians comprised Command heavy with Grenade Launchers, two Squads of 10, and a squad of 6 Specialists with Grenade Launchers
- A Heavy Weapons Team toting Lascannons
- Blood Angel Terminator Captain
- Blood Angel Tactical Squad
- Blood Angel Baal Predator (the Blood Angels were in some kind of Detachment)
- An Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with warband including Priest, Death Cult Assassins, Tech Priest, Acolytes kitted out with all kinds of gear, rolling about in a Chimera
- An Eversor and a Vindicare Assassin
- A Vengeance Weapon Battery toting a Battle Cannon

As an aside, I found a free online army builder that I used to help build the list for this game.  It was easy enough to use and appears up to date with the latest unit entries from the current crop of books.  For anyone interested it is called Warhammer 40,000 List Builder and can be located HERE.

Ray had set up the board long ways with all but his Praetorian Platoon and Lascannons down one short end (his start line); with the Platoon, Lascannons and Vengeance Battery up the other in the notional headquarters base.  He had placed the Eversor midway up the board on one of the mesa's, with the Vindicare on one of the buildings on the start line with a clear line of sight up the game board, perfectly placed to take advantage of the 72" range of his rifle.  The Inquisitor held my Warboss in his Chimera and his aim was to get the convoy down the board to the base.  Holding the Warboss at the end of the game would gain Ray one Victory Point.
Ray's start line - L-R: Sharpe and his Vets, Death Riders, Demolisher, Chimera, Baal Predator, Terminator Captain and Tactical Squad.  On the Fire Base roof is the Vindicare Assassin (looking around the corner) and the Inquisitor and Retinue who are embarked in the Chimera
Ray's destination - the main base - L-R: Lascannons at the rear, Squad with Command behind, Vengeance Battery, Squad with Specialist Squad behind.  various random NPC minis were placed on the battlements to observe the carnage.
I would come on from the two flanks, roughly centre of each long edge, and my goal was to get my Warboss back.  If I held him at the end of the game I got 2 Victory Points.  I also got first turn, and during deployment, when it became obvious all my Boys were not going to fit and I was going to end up bunched up in a pile waiting for blast templates to smash my army to pieces, Ray agreed to allow me to have first turn charges in an attempt to disburse my forces.  I still ended up having to hold one Mob of Boys in reserve for lack of space.

As a quick shout out - here's some shots of Rays awesome terrain that was scattered on the board.  He's got himself a foam cutter and last year set about making a load of rock formation and tableaus.  My favourites are the two stepped ones which allowed us to climb up and around them.  We house rule the terrain so we don't need to roll difficult terrain all the time (the first game we did that I crawled over it one inch at a time); instead, moving the standard 6 inches but deducting the distance travelled vertically as well as horizontally.
Basic rock formation
A formation of a phallic kind
Another nice line of sight blocking piece
My favourite playable piece
One of the more playable pieces - the Eversor lurked in this one
Ray wasn't able to steal the initiative so I started my movement by coming onto the board.  I leapt the Storm Boys over one of the terrain features and lined them up to assault the Tactical Squad.  I whipped the Bikes up around the same terrain piece to follow on the assault.  The Mek Guns were placed on the same flank - Ray had graciously conceded I would be able to shoot them this turn, ignoring the fact they had moved by moving onto the board (we played it as if we had been set up in ambush ready to spring the trap on the convoy - Ghaz's mate Snikrot having done for any Praetorian perimeter guards in the dead of night).  Also turning up on that flank were the Lootas who set up next to the big guns, behind the cover of another rick outcrop, away from the eyes of the Lascannons and Praetorians stationed at the main base.  Some Burna Boys also ran forward and straddled the space infornt of the Mek Guns and Lootas, ready to push onto the convoy and roast some 'Oomies.  Lastly on the flank, the first Mob of Boys ran forward and spread out in the centre of that flank.
Warbikes streak around the rock formations (top left) while the Mek Guns and Lootas form a gun line looking for low value side and rear armour.  Burnas set up in front of the Mek guns in a line and the Boys mill about as a straggling mob in front of the Lootas
On my other flank I pushed on the Kans and Deff Dread, with the Deff Koptas zipping in front of them ready to harass the Cavalry and side armour of any Tank they could hit.  Ghaz also ambled forward with his Nob guard; however, a poor run roll meant, between them and the Kans/Dread, there was no further room to deploy my last Mob of Boys - they'd be held in reserve and come on from the side deemed most in need later on.
Kans and Deff Dread stomp on behind the Deff Koptas and Ghaz and his Nobs complete the flank
Ork shooting is mediocre and with most of the Mobs running when they could, or being out of range, there wasn't much to do.  I did get some shots off at Sharpes squad of vets with my Mek Guns, putting the squad below half strength, and the Lootas and Koptas managed to take down a Death Rider, and strip a wound from another.  I'd only managed to roll a one for the Lootas Deffguns and the rubbish Ork Ballistic Skill meant more shots missed than hit.

First turn charges came next.  I leapt in with glee with my Storm Boys, slamming them home into the Tactical Squad.  In my exuberance, I completely forgot to declare a charge with my Bikes who could have threatened the Chimera or Demolisher with a pesky Power Klaw to the rear armour. I also forgot to charge my Deff Koptas!

The Tactical Squad braced itself after spotting the plumes of smoke belching from the Jump Packs strapped to my Orks and under the steady gaze of their Captain, and gruff commands of their Sergeant, they opened up in Overwatch with their Bolters, Flamer and Heavy Bolter, dropping four of the six Storm Boys.  
The curse of the newly painted strikes again
The Captain then called out a challenge to the Nob (Ray had to explain this to me - I'm so many editions behind and thought challenges only existed in Fantasy! We don't normally use this rule seeing as Rays characters are invariably of the squishy Guard kind, not likely to be interested in going toe to toe with an Ork Nob).  The Captain set about with his Power Sword and stripped the Nob of a Wound.  In return, the Nob crunched the Captain with his Power Klaw and Ray fluffed his Invulnerable save.  First Blood to the Orks and one precious Victory point for me
Combat is joined between the Blood Angel Captain and the Storm Boys Nob (Zagstrukk has been demoted it seems!)
The Tactical Marines then smashed the last Ork.  Orks are awesome on the charge, especially when it's their initiative step.  However, being Initiative 2 means nearly everything goes before them in combat.  With Overwatch thinning most charges out before they hit home, and poor armour saves contributing to more losses, it's so important that Mobs have enough bodies in them to actually have someone left to actually attack with.  In this case, the six Storm Boys were never going to be enough - the Mob needs to grow to something like 15 models I think to be able to be really useful.  In the end, the Tactical Squad won the combat and swept my Nob who failed his Morale Check.  The Marines had struck back for the loss of their Captain (although in my book I was still ahead - that captain cost twice the points of the Storm Boys mob!).

In Rays turn he pushed Sharpe and his Veterans towards the flanking mesa and pulled his Demolisher out of line so it could get a shot off on the Kans.  The Death Riders rode forward to engage the Deff Koptas and the Chimera shot up the centre, the Fast Predator pulling onto its other flank and lining up its turrets on the massed Orks.  Ray completely forgot about his Assassins this turn, as well as the Praetorians at the main base so these units missed out on a turn of moving and shooting!  
So you forget to shoot with me, but do remember to take a photo!  Oh, you're not actually taking a photo of me; you're taking a photo of the cool old skool card terrain!?
His Vengeance Battery got off a round which destroyed one of my Kannons, as well as killing a couple of crew and two Burna boys.  The Demolisher also got a shot off which stripped a hull point of the Deff Dread, as well as stunned one fo the Kans so that it couldn't move and shoot in the following turn.  It also dropped one of the Deff Koptas. The gatt Predator blew away the Warbikers on the other flank.

In the Combat phase the Death Riders charged my Deff Koptas and killed them all, consolidating back towards the Demolisher.
Ork reinforcements arrive in Turn 2 with the Second Mob of Orks coming on behind Ghaz and his Nobs
With the board looking crammed with Orks rushing in towards the Chimera holding the Warboss, it seemed inevitable that this turn I'd be able to crush the Chimera and the 'Oomies hiding inside and make off with my prize.  With thoughts of murder and mayhem running through his mind, Ghaz bellowed a mighty WAAAGH and the lads lurched forward (while in the background those fickle dice gods laughed at his impudence).
The Orks slowly start to spread out over the battlespace
Once again my run rolls were woeful.  My Burnas made it to the Chimera, but the Boys that were following languished in the midfield.  Ghaz and his Nobs made it a whole 7 inches forward after a run roll of one.  He could still make a charge but it would be a big ask and those dice gods seemed to have deserted him.  The Kans walked around their stricken colleague with the Deff Dread in tow.  In the space opened up by everyone shuffling forward, my second Mob of Boys came onto the table.  I now had nearly 60 Orks on the board clamouring and clashing, and most of them were out fo range at the critical time.
The Burnas are able to run to the Chimera
The Kans were able to smash the Death Riders with their guns and the Mek Guns dropped Sharpes squad down to Sharpe, the Priest accompanying him and two of his Melta Vets.  My shooting elsewhere was rubbish.  The Burnas successfully charged (being able to run and charge in the same turn due to the mighty Waagh call), but everyone else fluffed it.  In Combat the Burnas managed to glance the Chimera stripping a hull point, as well as stunning it so it would not be able to move or shoot next turn.

Ray remembered all his units this turn.  He pushed Sharpe higher onto the mesa, Sharpe striking a pose against the backlighting of the sun, while his Melta Vet set himself up in position, having a promising view of the Kans and Dread below.  
I've wandered about a bit, but now I thnk I'll settle here and strike a suitably inspiring pose for the lads
Suitably inspiring, backlit Sharpe ahoy
The Eversor started his climb down from his vantage point, his eyes locked onto Ghaz.  The Baal Predator moved forwards again, pushing up against the side of a towering rock formation, the driver easily passing over the difficult terrain, and getting his gunners in prime position to gatt some Orks in the shooting phase.  
Ray crammed 3 tanks and a Tactical Squad into a tight pararde formation called "All the guns"
The tactical Squad pushed up behind the Predator, lining up the four Burnas left out in the open after failing to pop the Chimera.  The Demolisher pivoted on the spot to get a clearer view fo the Orks arrayed in front of it.  Somewhat unexpectedly, Captain Caine behind the barricades at the main base gave the call for his men to leap the barricades and push out into the open, the better to aid the Iniquisitor in his efforts and proved volley fire to the Ork rear.
Someone forgot to tell the lads that Guard don't advance from behind their cover!
The shooting lit off with the Tactical Squad wiping out the Burnas, and more crew and the second Kannon falling to the Predator.  The Vengeance Battery dropped five of the Nobs to a shell from its Battle Cannon.  The Lascannons dropped some more and then the Vindicare got a wound onto Ghaz, punching through his Invulnerable save with a Turbo Penetrator round.  It was now even more imperative that I crack that Chimera open!  
Some interesting driving there by the Baal Predator
The Eversor peppered the Nobs with his Needle gun, and then after reading his actual rules and realising he had a massive potential 18 inch charge range, Ray rolled some dice to see if the Assassin could make it into combat with the big man himself.  Ray needed 12 or more on three dice.  The dice tumbled to a stop, 3-2-6 - not enough.
Sneaky Sneaky - The Eversor that everyone forgot in turn one
He needed 12 on three dice - this is not 12
Oh the frustration
Turn three - I had to get into combat this turn - being out in the open was starting to cost me too many bodies, and as my experience with the Storm Boys had shown in turn one, I need the bodies to succeed in the assault!
Orks, Orks as far as the eye can see
I pushed towards the Chimera with Ghaz and the Boys Mob who had been milling in the centre.  I pushed the newly arrived Boys Mob off towards the Eversor and the squads of praetorians who had come out into the open.  I was hoping to try and gatt the Eversor or at least force him to swing wide around the Boys if he wanted to get into combat with Ghaz, hopefully delaying him further.  I pushed the Kans forward, with the potential open to me to get them into combat with the Chimera and its occupants, or the Demolisher.  The Dredd lumbered towards the Mesa and Sharpe.
Lootas provide support fire - Dakka Dakka Dakka
My shooting remained the mixed bag it always seems to be with Orks - unpredictability married with their poor Ballistic Skill leading to odd outcomes.  The Lobba failed to do anything this turn while the Dread only managed to roast one Veteran with his Scorcha thanks to the Invulnerable saves possessed by Sharpe and the Priest.  Then I rolled the dice for the Lootas and ended up with the maximum of three shots for each Deffgun - with 10 Lootas that meant a massive 30 Strength 7 AP 4 shots.  Knowing most would go astray due to the poor Ballistic Skill of the Orks, I settled my sights on the Chimera and opened up.  The Dice Gods finally showed me some favour and with the last dice I was able to crack the Chimera open and out spilt the Inquisitor and his retinue, including my struggling Warboss!  In my excitement, I forgot to shoot with my Kans.
After being forced from the wrecked Chimera Ray debarks his Inquisitor and retinue
Now the important part - Combat.  Ghaz had his sights set on the Inquisitor.  He needed an 8 to get into combat.  The dice were rolled - 2-3 - again he was short!  Although Ghaz fluffed his charge, the Warband was still able to Overwatch him.  Another two Nobs dropped to the Meltas of the Acolytes.  At this rate Ghaz would be left bereft of bodyguards or dead himself before he even saw combat!
The Warboss is now in play!
Ghaz has his grumpy face on and is itching for a fight - now if only those 'Oomies would co-operate and come closer
In lieu of Ghaz, the Kans charged the Inquisitor and made it in.  Unfortunately, while Kans look imposing, they are still only piloted by Gretchin!  The Warbands mix of power weapons meant that all but one Kan were destroyed, with the last one also losing its Klaw.   The Inquisitor was still locked in combat but it didn't look good for my Orks.
The Kans wade in and are promptly messed up by the Inquisitor and their friends
On the mesa the Deff Dread bellowed through its warhorn and charged at Sharpe.  Overwatch was ineffective, and Sharpe had to resort to Krak Grenades to be able to damage the Armour 12 Dread.  He and his vets were unable to scratch the Dread, and in return, the Vet and the Priest were killed, but Sharpe was able to hold out for another round.
Sharpe and the Dread go toe-to-toe
Rays turn saw the Praetorians push further up the board towards the Orks, with the Eversor climbing down the cliff face towards the Orks at its base.  The Demolisher edged sideways while the Tactical Squad swept around the back of the Combat between the Inquisitor and the Kan.  The Baal Predator did a fast reverse, giving itself a nice clear field of view to the Ork Mob in the centre.
Those Praetorians are pushing even further up the field of battle - crazy red coats
The Baal starts its delicate ballet - first you advance and gatt, then you advance in tactical reverse and gatt 
Shooting this turn was lackluster with only a few boys falling in each of the Boys Mobs, as well as a few of the Lootas to the Praetorian Grenade Launchers which had now found their range.  The Eversor leapt into combat with the Ork Boys and the Tactical Marines also launched into Combat with the Kan.  While the Eversor managed to kill 5 boys, weight of numbers counted against him when I struck back, and he fell to the Power Klaw of the Nob.  He took a few more Boys down with his Bio-Melt Down attack on his death but I still had a chunk of Boys left to threaten the Praetorians next turn.  The Marines made short work of the Kan and they and the Inquisitors Warband consolidated behind the wrecked Chimera.  Sharpe again failed to make a dent in the Dread and the Dread fluffed its return swipe.
The Marines wade into combqt to lend a hand
The Dreads been knocked down a peg or two but Sharpes still been unable to crack that casing
Turn 4 would prove to be the final turn as the hour was getting late.  Ghaz moved forward - this turn surely he would be able to make it into combat.  The Boys in the central Mob also surged forward, ready to charge into the Inquisitor and his retinue.  After seeing off the Eversor, the other Mob of Boys pushed further around the mesa and lined up for a charge on the Praetorians.  My shooting was mainly a side show to the main combat event, but the Lobba and Lootas were able to take down three Praetorians from the squad in their half of the board.
The old Ork 1-2 pincer move around the wrecked Chimera and into a wall of Overwatching gatt - haven't tried that in a while
Combat came around and the Boys in the centre made a successful charge into the Inquisitor and his retinue, losing only a single Boy to Overwatch.  Ghaz finally made a successful charge roll and ploughed into the Tactical Squad, losing the last Nob to Overwatch,  Between the Nobs and the wounds he had lost to the Vindicares shooting, Ghaz had notionally taken 22 wounds to get him to this point of the game and victory was still not yet assured!  The other Mob of Boys rolled for its charge against the Praetorians and fluffed it, losing two more Boys to Overwatch.
So close, and yet so far according to the dice gods (I only wish that dice pile had been my dice roll!)
Fighting the combats, the Inquisitor and his allies claimed three Ork Boys for four of their own.  The combat remained locked.  Sharpe was unable to damage the Dread, but in return, the Dread was finally able to get past Sharpes invulnerable save and mulch him. 
Waagh combat - finally!
Then the Big Boy stepped up.  Or more correctly he bellowed, inviting the puny armoured red boys to do their best while he waited for his initiative step.  The Marines weren't able to get past his 2+ armour save and when the Power Fist wielding Sergeant stepped forward he baulked at the last and missed.  Ghaz struck back and reduced the squad by five, including the Sergeant.  The Marines were made of stern stuff though and stood their ground.
Ghaz says hello - with a Power Klaw to the face!
In Rays final turn, he used his orders on the Praetorians to First Rank Fire-Second Rank Fire, but dud shooting saw him only knock a few down.  The Baal Predator had pushed forward once again but it was unable to finish off enough of the gun crew to destroy the Lobba.
And once more we advance and gatt
The final combat came around and was anti-climatic.  The Inquisitor saw off more of the Orks and caused them to flee but was unable to catch them so was left loitering behind the wrecked Chimera.  Ghaz killed anther two Marines for no wounds in return.  The Marines broke from combat but Ghaz, being the hefty lad that he is, was unable to pursue them.
Run you pesky 'Oomies!
The game had ended in a stale mate - one victory point to me for first blood, and one to Ray for holding the Warboss.
The lonely Dredd watched over the battlefield, alone with his thoughts...
We notionally played on with just Ghaz and the Inquisitors retinue to see how a final mighty combat would have gone.  With the number of combat attacks the retinue could bring, enough wounds got passed Ghaz's armour to remove his final two wounds before he would have gotten chance to fight back!

We had an absolute blast playing and nattering on.  The game was a great way to kick off our gaming for 2017 and a fine way for me to see out my last days of my holidays.  As always Ray was a gent when it came to rules queries/disagreements, with the humble D6 arbitrating our dispute at one point over me claiming a cheeky 5+ cover save!

Not sure whats next for this series of games.  Ghaz has given up on retaking his Warboss (he didn't consider it a rescue, more an opportunity to enact some discipline on the Boss who was weak enough to get himself captured in the first place).  Going forward we'll need a new story arc to work through.  I'm sure that wasn't the last of Sharpe though, he has a way of coming back from each fight.

Cheers all,



  1. No time to read the full report now but I raise my cap to your fine collection of 2nd Ed card and Necromunda bulkhead scenery.

    I love my IG Command Tower!

    1. It appears Ray has the whole collection of card scenery. It really is a treat to play with.

    2. Thanks Ady, I am a sucker for old 40k. I think I have them all but I don't want to check because if I don't I'll have to try and find the one that I'm missing!

  2. Excellent stuff ! "After seeing off the Eversor" needs a little more detail. And where the heck did the BA come from ?!?! Is Ray now claiming that anyone wearing red is in his army ?!?! Who next ? Santa Claus ? (Although you were using kans, so I suppose tinned goods all round is fair)

    1. The paragraph prior explains what happened! I basically swamped him and messed him up with my power klaw. The Assassin only had a 4+ invulnerable and the dice gods deserted him when he needed them. We nattered a bit about the model and where he might excel and were left scratching our heads.

      Rays collection is seriously impressive. There's more there than even he recalls i suspect.

  3. Awesome! Looks like it was a heck of a game!

    1. It was brilliantly good fun. Ray is a great opponent to play with and the narrative of the games adds to the fun.

  4. I love Ray's terrain collection - those rocky outcrops are masterfully done.

    Very fun AAR to read and epic, as I'd hoped upon reading the intro. Glad that you got to play such a fun sounding game so early in the year - here's to more of that in the future!

    1. The terrain is masterful - really adds that extra pow to a game.

    2. Oh thanks guys. I'm so glad that Liam found the time to write this one up. My poor blog has been rather neglected lately.

  5. What an incredible battle report, some fantastically-painted minis on both sides and that terrain is really impressive.