Friday, July 25, 2014

40K Friday - Return to Tranicos: Against the Stompa!

Back in early 2013 I came up with a loose background for what I thought would be an ongoing series of 40K games. As it turned out we played a few and then it fizzled out. The two I did write up are here and here. The idea was to do an escalation-type series of battles with more points each week to give us time (and incentive) to get stuff painted. It didn't stick and so we have just been playing one-off battles for the last year and a half.

The new edition of the rules stirred things back up for us, and the new Ork Codex added to the frenzy. Apprentice Red decided that he needed a Stompa since they are now in the codex so he ordered one and built it over two days. Then of course he needed to try it out. It just so happened that I had a day off from work and Apprentice Blaster was around too so on a rainy Thursday we returned to the disputed planet of Tranicos where the Crimson Fists are trying to reclaim what was once theirs. Clearly the campaign has had mixed results at best as some ork has had enough time to build a stompa, but it's time to fix that problem.

This was 3000 points per side, one of our bigger battles. Red fielded the Ork army (including one Stompa!) and Blaster and I combined his Space Wolves and my Crimson Fists at 1500 each.

The only annoying thing here is that I have been focused on my Chaos Space Marine force for 2014 trying to get it organized and painted up and as complete as any 40K army can be. I haven't looked at a loyalist marine codex in quite a while, yet that's what I was going to have to play to make any sense of this. I briefly considered deploying the Deathwing, but a) it's hard to make a DW army at 1500 that I like as part of a combined arms force and b)  I figured 20 terminators might get swallowed up too easily in a 3000 point ork army. The Crimson Fists made a lot more sense. My final force is below:

Crimson Fists1500 Pts  -   Space Marines:  Imperial Fists Army

1 Pedro Kantor (HQ) @ 185 Pts
     Warlord Trait: Iron Resolve; #Iron Halo; #Dorn's Arrow; Power Armour;Power Fist; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Warlord

1 Librarian (HQ) @ 90 Pts
     Infantry; (character); ATSKNF; Chapter Tactics; Independent Character;Psyker (Mastery Level 2); #Psychic Hood; Power Armour; Force Weapon; FragGrenades; Krak Grenades; Bolt Pistol

9 Tactical Squad (Troops) @ 235 Pts
     Infantry; ATSKNF; Chapter Tactics; Combat Squads; Combat Squads; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Multi-Melta; Flamer; Frag Grenades;Krak Grenades

     1 Veteran Sergeant @ [59] Pts
          (character); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades; Power Fist (x1);Combi-Flamer (x1)

     1 Rhino @ [35] Pts
          Vehicle (Tank, Transport); Capacity: 10; Fire Points: 2; Access Points: 3; Repair; #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter

9 Tactical Squad (Troops) @ 210 Pts
     Infantry; ATSKNF; Chapter Tactics; Combat Squads; Combat Squads; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Missile Launcher; Flamer; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Veteran Sergeant @ [29] Pts
          (character); Melta Bombs; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Rhino @ [35] Pts
          Vehicle (Tank, Transport); Capacity: 10; Fire Points: 2; Access Points: 3; Repair; #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter

9 Tactical Squad (Troops) @ 210 Pts
     Infantry; ATSKNF; Chapter Tactics; Combat Squads; Combat Squads; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x9); Bolter (x7); Missile Launcher; Flamer; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Veteran Sergeant @ [29] Pts
          (character); Melta Bombs; Bolt Pistol; Bolter; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Rhino @ [35] Pts
          Vehicle (Tank, Transport); Capacity: 10; Fire Points: 2; Access Points: 3; Repair; #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; Storm Bolter

1 Predator (Heavy Support) @ 115 Pts
     #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; 2 Sponson Lascannon; Turret Autocannon

1 Predator (Heavy Support) @ 140 Pts
     #Searchlight; #Smoke Launchers; 2 Sponson Lascannon; Turret TL Lascannons

5 Devastator Squad (Heavy Support) @ 144 Pts
     Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x5); Bolter (x1); Missile Launcher (x4); Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Space Marine Sergeant @ [14] Pts
          (character); #Signum; Bolt Pistol; Bolter; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

0 Land Speeder Squadron (Fast Attack) @ 170 Pts

     1 Land Speeder Typhoon @ [85] Pts
          Multi-Melta; Typhoon Missile Launcher

     1 Land Speeder Typhoon #1 @ [85] Pts
          Multi-Melta; Typhoon Missile Launcher

Models in Army: 45

Total Army Cost: 1499

Blaster took his usual core of 15 Blood Claws + Wolf Priest in a Land Raider Crusader, plus Long Fangs, plus a unit of Grey Hunters, some bikers, and a triple-lascanon predator. He also had a squad of Grey hunters and a Multi-Melta Dreadnought in drop pods. 

Red took the Stompa, a unit of 10 nob bikers (his other new favorite toy), 10 burnas in a trukk, 20 boys on foot with a big mek w/KFF, 20 more boys with a weirdboy (in the stompa), 10 nobs on foot with the warboss, a flyer, a big unit of deffkoptas, and 15 lootas with a mek with the Shokk Attack Gun. He went unbound for this one, our first experiment with that. I suspect he could have fit this into a normal set of force orgs but he went the other direction.

We ended up with lots of heavy stuff on the right side, less on the left. We all wanted to use the Maelstrom Missions so we went with the "hand of 3" type and started the game. Red had first turn.

Turn 1
On the left there was some movement, but not a lot of firing.

Our goal was to secure the bridge objective then head across to take the other objective in the woods. Between the Long Fangs, Predator, and speeders we had lots of firepower but only one tactical squad to maneuver so we were going to have to be cautious here. Red's foot nobs moved up to take the woods objective.

In the center the LRC moved up to block the truck and the foot boyz from coming between the storage tank and the river. This would drive them towards our heavier concentration on the right. That's pretty much what happened.

Pedro and the boys hang out in their rhinos as the fight begins
Over on the far right Blaster decided to bubble-wrap my rhinos with his bikes - actually I think he was just hugging the cover but it was funny. With the Stompa, and nob bikers rapidly advancing covered by the lootas this was going to get ugly quick. We had a lot of trouble sorting out who was going to move where on this side and it never really sorted out in the early turns.

Red managed to blow a side lascannon off of the wolf predator, and strip a hull point off of the fist predator. We blasted 3 hull points off of the stompa and that was about it for turn 1.

Score: Orks 0, Marines 2 (first blood, #55 psych warfare (making a psych test)

Turn 2
 On the right: 

The nob warbikers come roaring in and kill a few more grey hunters. The deffkoptas move up. The foot boys and the trukk burnas swing around the storage tank hotly pursued by the LRC full of blood claws. 

The Lootas kill my predator, the stompa shoots up some stuff and it's generally unpleasant for us but manageable. Then we get to shoot and the nob warbikers take fire from all over the board - both remaining predators, the devastators, the grey hunters, the wolf bikers, and more. The Wolf bikers charge what's left, wiping them out - ten nob bikers dead by turn 2!

On the left: 

The foot nobz claim the objective and the ork fighta-bomma flies on.

Everything the orks have shoots at the pair of land speeders. One dies, but the second defies all attempts and lives on with a single hull point. The fight for the wooded objective is shaping up to be pretty nasty. The rhino moves up and deploys the squad while the speeder screams over to support.

Score: Orks 1 (#53 killing units, he almost had 3 of them for a D3 VP's), Marines 2 ( #31 Obj #1, 26 Obj #6 ) Totals = Orks 1- Marines 4

Turn 3

On the right: 
Everything moves up. The stompa is getting very close to our back objective in the woods and he has a lot of help on the way, plus the lootas are blasting stuff pretty handily. The fists are forced to deploy from their rhinos to ensure we don't lose this one, instead of zooming across the table to take one from the orks. It's a traffic jam in our backfield, despite ork efforts to help clear things up.

End of Ork Turn 3

Behind the storage tank the Crusader moves up and unleashes the blood claws on the foot boys with the KFF 

The poor wolf bikers, left out in the open after crushing their ork opponents, are gunned down mercilessly by the greenskins. In something of a repeat of last turn, the deffkoptas are targeted by multiple units, thinned,  then charged by the grey hunter squad and defeated. They flee back towards the ork backfield. The burna trukk is blown up and the surviving burnas spill out. 

In Orbit: 
Apprentice Blaster realizes he has two drop pods waiting to come on and manages to bring in the one full of grey hunters. Following the plan he drops them nearly on top of the Lootas. They emerge from the pod and with flamer and bolter do a number on the ork heavy weapons specialists. This solves a lot of problems.
The drop pod is borrowed from my old Howling Griffons army.
It's a relic from the time before, as in "the time before there was an official drop pod".
(End of Marine Turn 3) 

On the left

There's not a lot of movement.

The orks take a few more shots at the speeder and kill one tac marine. The ork plane drops a big bomb on bridge, killing two marines and causing them to flee the objective.

The stompa, seeing exposed marines, launches one of his big stupid rockets of doom and lands it perfectly - Str 8 AP 3, no cover save, large blast. Instead of nine marines I now have one. It is the one with the missile launcher, but he's no longer an objective-taking force - he's going to sit there and fire missiles as long as he can.

Massed fire has slowly cut the ork nobz down to the warboss and one nob. There aren't many bodies left over here.

Score: Orks 0, Marines 3 ( #56 Harness the warp (casting a power) Obj #1, 24 & 34 Obj #4 ) Totals = Orks 1- Marines 7

Turn 4
There is a general feeling that this is the headed for the finale. We've whittled the stompa down to about half of his hull points but the thing is right up on our main group of units right and something is going to have to give.

On the right:
The Stompa deploys his passenger boys mob (and weirdboy). shoots the grey hunters off the table, and moves to assault the Crimson Fists who are now in the wood.  This squad is lead by the librarian and has the multi-melta so I need it to live. Fortunately the librarian manged to cast invisibility on them on the previous turn. This helps keep them safe although the Stomp attack does not roll to hit and so does not care if you're invisible or not. The marines take a couple of casualties but hold.

(Unfortunately this means the stompa is locked in combat with them and we cannot shoot him! I'm sure there's a rule somewhere but we couldn't find it and what we did find had no special exception for super-heavy walkers  that keeps them from being locked up so that's how we played it. This was worrisome because in melee i have one sergeant with a powerfist that has a chance of hurting the thing and that's all. With no lascannon/missile launcher/multi-melta help he's probably not going down.)

The blood claws, having won their fight, load back up into the Crusader and rumble towards the main arena. The Grey Hunters blow away the remaining deffkoptas and take the ruins objective while their drop pod claims the hill objective which are both now free of orks.

On the left - things pretty much stay as-is. We did manage to gun down the warboss as he was all by his lonesome. Regardless, this fight will be decided on the right.

Score: Orks 1 ( #56 Harness the warp (casting a power), Marines 7 ( Slay the Warlord, #44 Ascendancy (control multiple objectives - gave us 2 points ) 52 blood and guts for killing a unit, 53 no prisoners for killing multiple units gave us 3) Totals = Orks 2- Marines 14

End of Ork Turn 5

Turn 5

The ork plane bombs my devastators but we only lose one.

The stompa pounds on the invisible marines some more, stomps a couple and they break! Hallelujah! They run back a bit but not far.

Pedro Kantor takes a charge (with 5 tac marines) from the boyz behind the stompa and wins the fight, barely - but the orks stay put. On the marine turn, Kanto's squad gets the invisibility.

The last drop pod slams down behind the Stompa and a dreadnought with a multi-melta steps out.

As the marine shooting phase begins the big target is the smoking stompa. He takes lascannon fire from the predator, and multi melta shots from the Crusader, the tac squad, and the dreadnought and explodes! Fortunately most of the blast goes upwards and only a few of the foot orks and the drop pod are hit.

End of the line for the Stompa and the rest of the ork army

We called it here as he had a couple of boyz a weirdboy, and a plane left on the table and was losing pretty badly in VP's.  It was a great game, we spent probably six hours playing it, and though Red felt a little bad he still had a lot of fun too.

Parting Thoughts:

  • The Stompa is extremely nasty. There's a reason it's 800 points. I think he would have been better off loading it up with his nobz foot mob instead of the boys. He could have moved up, dropped them out, then charged into the land raider and the hunters on the ruin objective to try and change things up. 
  • He set his lootas up in the open and that was bad. Even then they were fine until the drop pod landed as we had bigger targets to worry about with the bikers and the big guy moving up on us. 
  • You have to play to the cards. Red and Blaster are both learning this. We had two cards for objective #4 by Turn 3 and Blaster wanted to discard them as it was "too hard". We didn't, and  a turn later we scored both of them because we sent a unit after it. The cards are supposed to represent incoming orders and that's exactly how to play them - look at card, then do what it says on this turn, or set it up so you can achieve that goal next turn. It's not always going to be easy and it may cost you a unit, but that's how you win! There are no VP's for units left on the table sitting in safety at the end of the game. Red had cards for killing our leader (Pedro) and a psyker (my librarian) and he would have gotten Slay the Warlord as well and he was right there on them at the end of the game, he just ran out of time, so he was almost there.   
Hopefully we will get the chance to do another of these big battles before summer is over and schedules get complicated again.

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