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DAWGfight at Dream
Kenton Kilgore and Brian Collett
I’ve been to Dream Wizards a few times, notably for a tournament that I won and for a tournament where I got my pimply bottom handed to me. In victory or defeat, it’s always been a pleasure to go there, largely because the regulars are such cool people.
So I was thrilled when Brian Collett, president and founder of DAWG, invited me to a members-only, after-hours gaming session in Rockville on the night before Thanksgiving. Brian had seen my Fighting Tigers there at the store and wanted his Orks to mambo with them. It had been quite a while since I had last played (Labor Day’s Fall From Grace IV in Greenville, South Carolina), and even longer since I had faced off against greenskins. You better believe I was there!
“In this corner:
‘Ardgitz Dakka Ladz…”
in this corner: the Fighting Tiger ‘Anti-Horde’ Army….”
When first putting together this list, I thought of doing something different and using Rama, my Emperor’s Champion, as my HQ unit. But a quick re-reading of Codex: Space Marines pointed out that the EC does not use up an HQ “slots,” so he can’t be used as the sole HQ for an army. So at the last second I swapped out him for Jirbu Ghosh and an extra Land Speeder. A pity, because I was looking forward to having Rama and Brian’s Warboss square off.
Though I didn’t know ahead of time what missions I’d be playing or exactly what Brian’s Ork army would be like, I drafted up a Battle Plan Sheet and filled in what I did know or could guess.
The 10-man Tactical Squads, the five-man Tac Squad with the heavy bolter, the Land Speeders, the Devastator Squad with the heavy bolters, and the Whirlwind would target Ork infantry. I assigned the task of hunting vehicles to the Scout Squads, the Devastator Squad with the missile launchers and the plasma cannon, and the Razorbacks.
The five-man Tactical Squads with missile launchers would target infantry or vehicles as needed. Jirbu Ghosh would hang out with the big Tactical Squads and lend a hand when the inevitable close combat occurred.
for first game
The cold rain began seeping into Broadpaunch’s rusty mega armor, even as his Grot servants struggled to lift the mighty Bad Moon Warboss into his battle trukk. Tiny muscles bulging, the Grots were using poles to lift and load the precious cargo, despite the mud and torrential rain. Even as the Warboss rose once again to the lip of the trukk, the poles slipped and the Warboss fell forward into the morass with a slash! Face dripping with mud, the angry Warboss struggled to get upright as the Grots swarmed forward to aid Broadpaunch in gaining his feet. With a great heave, the Grots finally got the Warboss into his trukk, even as the shocks groaned and adjusted to the extra weight. Scanning the assembled mob of Bad Moon Ork mobs, Broadpaunch bellowed his rage at the assembled masses.
Brian: The mission we generated was the “Take and Hold” scenario. Great start as my heavy hitters, the HQ and the Trukk Boyz, were kept in reserves. The rest of my boyz set up as close to the Tiger deployment zone and within 12" of the totem objective. The Kans and Old Git in a Kan lumbered towards the front of the horde and awaited the Tigers’ approach. The wait wasn’t long!
Kenton: I had won the Strategy Ratings roll and elected to be the Attacker, as I try to avoid subjecting myself to the capriciousness of Reserve rolls, with which the Defender of “Take and Hold” is saddled. Given all the heavy weapons I had, it was a colossally dumb decision, as it kept my Whirlwind, my Devastator Squads, and my Tactical Squads from firing on my first turn.
Brian: On Turn One, The Tigers roared onto the board with transports, Land Speeders, and a Whirlwind. The already-deployed Scouts began raining autocannon death on the gathered Orks while the Razorback vaporized a Kan right off the bat. When the smoke cleared, only a few Boyz were gone, a Kan destroyed, and the Old Git in a Kan was immobilized. The Orks struck back with a rain of dakka fire, removing several Scouts, a newly arrived Tactical Marine, and a single Land Speeder.
Kenton: I managed to get my head together and deployed as far away as possible from the Orks. Then I carefully began selecting targets for the units that could shoot: my Land Speeders, my Scouts (who, being Infiltrators, started off on the board), and my Razorbacks (who only moved 6" as they came onto the board). Not too shabby.
Brian: On Turn Two, blasts from the Tac Squads, Devastator Squads and Whirlwind tore into the entrenched Orks. Due to poor rolling on Kenton’s part and the Mekboyz force field, very few Orks were slain. The remaining Kans lumbered towards the Tactical squads while the Mek attempted some battlefield repairs on the Old Git in a Kan.
The Ork HQ and Trukk boyz entered the field as fast as possible, barreling across the stream in the center of the board. The Lootas killed a Scout and an Ork, while the boyz felled a few Marines.
Turn Three saw the Tigers’ Land Speeders begin a flanking maneuver while the rain of fire continued, breaking and scattering a Mob of Shoota Boyz, leaving only the Nob to mob up with Shoota Boyz behind him. More of the Burna Boyz fell to combined fire, despite the trenches they were hiding in! Another Kan was destroyed by the Razorback, again!
The Orks tried to mount a counterattack, the Kan shaking a Land Speeder and more Scouts being riddled with dakka shells. The HQ and Trukk Boyz hurtled towards the right flank, while the Mek failed to get the Old Git in a Kan running yet. The remaining Killer Kan charged into close combat with the nearest Tactical squad and proceeded to kill three Marines in the assault! The Marines made their break check and started trying to find a weakness in the clanking Ork machine. At least it was safe from the incoming firepower!
Kenton: I continued to spit lots of fire into the Ork infantry, which was beginning to nicely thin their numbers. If I could somehow manage to rid myself of the Killer Kan that was already stuck in....
Brian: Turn Four was was the turning point, I think. The firepower on the right flank nuked the Ork HQ Trukk, while the Scouts destroyed the Trukk Boyz trukk. Several of the boyz were killed, despite needing 6’s to even be affected by the exploding trukk! The boyz came under serious fire and when all was said and done, none of the Trukk boyz were left! The HQ suffered a similar fate, as all the Nobz were killed by Marine fire from the four heavy Bolters of a Devastator Squad. Too many bullets ripped my boyz to pieces. Only Broadpaunch was left alive and he was all alone on the flank!
Making the most of it, Broadpaunch lumbered forward towards the nearest Scout squad. The remaining Shoota Boyz fired at the wall of Marines and managed to kill a few more of them. The Kan continued to butcher the Marines in close combat, breaking the squad and chasing them off the board edge. Broadpaunch charged the Scouts and, not surprisingly, killed the remaining three newbies before consolidating behind the hill on the flank. And the Mek finally got the Old Git in a Kan running again! Hurrah!
Kenton: Realizing that at any moment, the game could end, Brian began to pull his boyz (and his Dread) back toward the objective (a cool Orky totem pole he had made) while sending Broadpaunch ‘Ardgit to “lern dem Scouts a ting or two.”
Brian: By Turn Five, the Tigers were running out of targets! The remaining Lootas were gunned down, save for their Nob, and the remaining Kan was shot unceremoniously in the back by a plasma pistol (which exploded in flames, taking out Jirbu Ghosh). The remaining firepower from the Tigers did for the remaining Burna Boyz and Shoota Boyz, while a Razorback sighted up on Broadpaunch and vaped the Warboss with a single blast of lascannon fire!
The remaining Orks (two Mega Nobz and the Old Git in a Kan), tried to save the day. Of course both the Nobz failed their Last Man Standing rolls and began falling back! The Old Git in a Kan trudged back towards the totem, shooting down a Marine as he fell back. Now came the all-important roll for Random Game Length. A roll of “1”’ here and the Old Git in the Kan would win the day! Of course, Kenton rolled a 3 and the game went on.
Kenton: Realizing that I was running out of time and that I would not be able to move close enough to the objective, I tried, on Turn 6, to simply kill the remainder of his Orks: Brian couldn’t win if he didn’t have anything on the board, right?
Brian: On Turn Six, the Tigers set about trying to destroy the Old Git in a Kan. Any and all Marines on the board lit up the Old Git in a Kan like a rusty Christmas tree! When the smoke cleared, the Old Git was immobilized, shaken, weaponless, but still standing. Small consolation, as my army was in pieces even as I rolled a “2” which ended the game!
Kenton: At first we thought that Brian had won the game; later, I re-read the mission objectives for “Take and Hold,” which state:
The player that controls the objective at the end of the game wins the battle.
Above: Only two Nobz and an immoblized Dread are left; the Tigers win!
Outcome: Tigers win.
Brian: This was not really the army to take for the scenario, in my opinion. All my hard hitters were left out of the game for three turns, and when they did get close, the Marines picked them apart with firepower. I needed bigger mobs I think, but I don’t know that would have helped. Kenton had a great deployment and his weapons were keen to kill some Orks!
Losing the HQ broke the back for me. They could have run amok on the right flank and removed a lot of the firepower that proved my undoing. All in all, a great time and if only the Old Git in a Kan had lost more weapons and not been immobilized, he would have been standing tall at the end!
Thanks, Kenton, for a great battle and I am looking forward to crossing swords again, anytime! It was an honor to face the Tigers on the field of battle.
Kenton: We both had a really good time, and I, for one, am looking forward to a re-match!
for second game
Cleanse (page 139 of the main rulebook)
What happened? Dave deployed first, and I set up one Tigers of Agni squad (the ones with the missile launchers and the plasma cannon) about 19" away so as to “push” the rest of his units back. As with the game against Brian, my goal was to maintain as much distance as possible.
When playing “Cleanse,” I operate by a saying I heard once on how to win this mission: “Hold two, contest one.” That is, if you can hold two table quarters and contest a third, you win. I was pretty confident that I had enough units to hold my quarter; the Whirlwind, both Devastator Squads, and both 5-man Tactical Squads were just going to sit and shoot. I placed the Scouts and one Razorback on the edges of my quarter, in and behind the cover of some very large rocks, so as to sneak them across the line and grab the adjacent quarter. Both of my Razors have dozer blades, which would help them keep from being immobilized while driving across the rocks, and Scouts are allowed to roll an extra die when moving through difficult terrain.
Should everything go my way, those units would “hold two.” To “contest one,” I lined both full squads of Tactical Marines (as well as Jirbu Ghosh) on the other end of my deployment zone, with their orders being to walk into that territory and cause problems for any Orks there. I also kept them as far away from the Orks lined up at the edge of Dave’s quarter. My Tactical Marines would be hard pressed to “contest one” if they got caught in hand-to-hand combat in my deployment zone.
(Of course, that is exactly what happened. More about that later.)
In hindsight, perhaps I should have deployed the Speeders with the full Tactical Squads to back them up, but there was no cover for them at the start of the game, and I had already learned that the Orks had heaps of big shootas and weren’t afraid to use them. So I deployed the Speeders behind my tanks, near the rocks on the other side of my quarter, and off we went.
Dave won the right to go first and did. The Shoota and Burna Boyz followed the Dread and Kans forward, toward my quarter. The Trukks swung to my left into the quarter where I had planned to march my full Tac Squads. The Lootas stayed put, well back behind the rest of the Boyz, and fired, blowing up one of my Razorbacks. Ouch. One weakness of my list is that it is light on anti-armor weaponry, and now I had just lost a twin-linked lascannon without firing a shot.
On my turn, I predictably stood still and unloaded fire into the Ork horde marching toward me. Well, that’s not entirely true—I moved up a 5-man Tactical Squad to screen the first Devastator unit I had put down (who were a bit close to the Orks). And the Land Speeders swung into the quarter across from me and shot up five Shoota Boyz. As planned, my heavier weapons went after vehicles; the Scouts took out two Kans and the surviving Razorback stunned the Trukk Boyz (who were right in front of the Warboss’ ride, curse them). Not bad, but I had been hoping to destroy at least one Trukk.
With the Trukks practically breathing down my neck, I was in no hurry to move the full Tactical Squads towards them, so the Tac guys pivoted and unloaded into the central mass of Orks. Heaps of greenies went down.
Dave must study at the same school of 40K that I do, because he did his best to take out my mobility, his Lootas stunning one Speeder and his Dread shooting down another. I responded with—guess what?—more fire, lobbing Whirlwind barrages into his massed infantry, Tactical Marines rapid-firing bolters, heavy bolters chewing up Orks left and right. The closest Shootas lost their nerve—hurrah!—and fell back 9". In better news, my Scouts immobilized the Dreadnought. But still, I couldn’t take out the Trukks, which Dave had moved behind the shelter of some trees. I knew that eventually, I would pay for that failure.
Payday for Dave was Turn 3, when Broadpaunch’s Trukk pulled into my quarter and he and his Nobz attacked both full Tactical Squads simultaneously. The Trukk Boyz followed Broadpaunch’s Trukk but didn’t dismount out of their ride. But before that, the squad screening my Devastator Squad with the missile launchers was wiped out by shooting. Swell. The Lobbas dropped two of my Speeders (leaving one left) and his Mekboy re-mobilized the Dread. Damn! Broadgit and his ladz chewed up eight Tactical Marines (out of 21); Jirbu Ghosh and both squads fell back.
I kept firing on the Ork tide. My Whirlwind pinned the Burna Boyz, who had threatened to join Broadpaunch in melee with my Marines. My Scouts dropped the last Killer Kan. More Shoota Boyz fell like flies. Yet my Devastator Squads and my Razorback could do nothing more to the Trukk Boyz than rack up several meaningless “Weapon Destroyed” results. What I really needed to do was blow up their ride and start shooting at them before they got into hand-to-hand combat.
On Turn 4, the Lootas shook Man-eater V, leaving me with no lascannon for my next Shooting phase. Even better, the Trukk Boyz charged a Devastator Squad and the Land Speeder next to it. Fortunately, the Trukk Boyz only managed to kill two members of Squad Agni (the Sergeant and the bolterman, of course, as the Trial Assault Rules let the owning player pick who dies), and the remaining Devastators fell back out of their clutches.
Not far away, Broadpaunch and his guys crashed into my retreating Tactical Squads, wiping out one (and taking the Speeder with them) and consolidating into Jirbu Ghosh and the other formerly-full Tac Squad. I had a golden opportunity to blow away the Trukk Boyz, but it wouldn’t amount to much if I couldn’t stop the Warboss and his pals. Despite the fact that I had picked off a Nob or two, the Orks were plenty strong enough to go galloping through my quarter and take it for their own.
On my turn, the Scouts and Devastators with the heavy bolters fired on the Trukk Boyz. Twelve Strength 5 shots from the Devastators softened them up nicely, and the autocannons and bolters polished them off; not one remained alive. The other Devastator Squad, having escaped the Trukk Boyz with all their heavy weapons intact, immobilized the Dreadnought (again), keeping it out of melee.
I had no hope of defeating Broadpaunch in hand-to-hand, so I threw both my 5-man Tactical Squads into the melee to slow down him and his Nobz. The Orks killed two men from one half-strength Tac Squad and they fell back, but the others held—at least for another round.
On Turn 5, Dave’s Trukks tried to tank shock some of my guys with their stikkbomb chukkas and succeeded in chasing the fleeing Tactical Squad back another 9"—this actually worked to my advantage, because it got me far enough away that I could regroup them on my turn. Jirbu Ghosh and the Tactical Marines killed two Nobz, the Orks killed four Marines, and Our Stripey Heroes fell back 7".
It was time to wrap things up, for good or ill. My Razorback and one Scout unit moved into the adjacent quarter, as planned, to hold it. There were no Shoota Boyz left and the Burna Boyz were below half strength anyway, so the Whirlwind started lobbing shells at the Lootas. Everyone else—even the Razorback—fired at the Nobz mob, wiping out the bodyguard and pasting a Wound on Broadpaunch. That unit wouldn’t be able to contest my quarter, but the Warboss was still dangerous and could cause a lot of damage before the game was over.
On Dave’s last turn, Broadpaunch charged the Devastator Squad with the missile launchers and the plasma cannon and killed all three men. Having no targets nearby, he stood over his kills and snarled in defiance. Meanwhile, the Mekboy Fixitgit managed to re-mobilize the Dreadnought—again! If I didn’t take out the Dread, it would be able to contest my quarter.
Jirbu Ghosh coolly rapid-fired her plasma pistol, sending Broadpaunch to the tender embrace of Gork or Mork. My Razors and Scouts failed to kill or immobilize the Dreadnought. But my Whirlwind’s shot deviated, killing two Lootas and leaving the rest out of coherency. It was the shot that won the game. The Lootas counted as broken and could not hold their quarter. The Tigers held one quarter (the one with the Razorback and the Scouts), one was contested, and two were empty.
Outcome: Tigers win.
Two hard-fought games against two excellent gamers. Broadpaunch’s army is very solid; I think its only weakness is that it could use a Gretchin screen or two. Although it’s hard to discount the Warboss and his Nobz, I would say that probably the most valuable player in that army is the Mekboy. His Kustom Force Field kept quite a few Boyz alive longer and his ability to kick-start the Dread whenever it was immobilized meant I had to pour even more fire into it to slow it down. And the more fire I threw at the Dread and the Kans, the less I could spare for the Trukks.
As for my army, I think it performed well—very well. I’ve never thought it took a lot of brains to play a “sit-back-and-shoot” army, but I had to plan my fire very carefully to counter all of the units that swarmed me. My Scouts and 5-man squads with missile launchers were “swing” units, able to target infantry or vehicles; my Razorbacks were dedicated to killing vehicles, and all the other units were dedicated to killing infantry. Oftentimes, I was forced to hold the fire of the “swing” units until I saw how effective the “dedicated” units had been in a particular round. If the “swing” units couldn’t take down the biggest threat, then I could only hope that the beatdown from the Orks wouldn’t be too severe….
My commander, Jirbu Ghosh, did great, gunning down Killer Kans and Broadpaunch himself. As I mentioned before, I had really wanted to use Rama, but hadn’t realized when drawing up my list that one can’t choose the Emperor’s Champion as one’s sole HQ unit.
Choosing Jirbu Ghosh was a snap decision that, although sensible, I nevertheless regret. I’ve fallen into the habit of taking Jirbu Ghosh as my “default” HQ unit for most games under 2000 points, and I’m beginning to get tired of her. It’s time to give her a rest—she’s certainly deserved it!
The next time I run this list, I’ll take Talwar Chakram, my Chaplain in Terminator armor, whom I haven’t used in quite some time. I doubt Talwar Chakram would have been nearly as effective as Jirbu Ghosh in these two battles, but it definitely would have been more interesting.
It was a good session and a lot of fun. Thanks again to Brian for the invite and thanks to Brian and Dave for some great gaming.
Posted December 2003
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