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Return to Auros IX
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts

Return to Auros IX: Battle #4  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore
We had tied the first game, Kenton had won  the second,  and I had won the third. On, then, to the fourth. Remember, we are considering the battles of Games 2, 3 and 4 to be happening more or less simultaneously, so units used in one game cannot be used in another. The mission for Game #4 was “Stranglehold” from the Planetstrike book, pitting 4000 points of Orks vs. 4000 points of Space Marines. 

Sho-T’s Blood Axes (4000 points)  by Patrick Eibel
While this list does represent most of the figures that remain in my army, it is not necessarily made up of odds and ends I never use.  At the start of the campaign, I divided the army into three lists and tried to make each one equally effective.  This list, which takes up two detachments, ended up having some of the more expensive units (Nobs, Kommandos) simply because the point value could accommodate them. 

  • Underboss Moe Zee Bopp  w/ ‘eavy armor, bosspole, attack squig, power claw, cybork body
  • Dr. Jeep: Warphead
  • Underboss’ Nobz Mob: 2 with klaws, 3 with big choppas, 4 with slugga and choppa, 1 with Waaaugh banner, 1 Painboy; all with cybork body; transported in Trukk with big shoota, armor plates
  • 15 Kommandos  includes 1 burna, 1 big shoota, and Nob with power klaw, ‘eavy armor, and bosspole
  • 15 Kommandos as above
  • 14 Burna Boyz  includes 1 Mek with big shoota
  • Warphead’s Nobz Mob: same as Nobz mob above
  • 20 Slugga Boyz  includes 2 with rokkit launchas and Nob with klaw and ‘eavy armor
  • 20 Slugga Boyz  as above
  • 30 Shoota Boyz  includes 3 big shootas and Nob with klaw and armor
  • 12 Trukk Boyz  includes 1 with rokkit launcha and Nob with armor and klaw; transported in Trukk with big shoota
  • 12 Trukk Boyz  as above
  • 12 Trukk Boyz  as above
  • 18 Stormboyz including Nob with klaw, ‘eavy armor, and bosspole
  • 3 Deff Koptas with twin-linked rokkit launchas
  • 3 Deff Koptas as above
  • 3 War Buggies with twin-linked rokkit launchas
  • 3 Wartrakks: 2 with twin-linked big shootas, 1 with skorcha
  • Big Gunz Battery with 3 kannon, 3 extra crew, 3 ammo runts, and Runtherd
  • Battlewagon with grot riggers, stikkbomb chukka, and armor plates
  • Battlewagon with grot riggers, stikkbomb chukka, armor plates, and deff rolla
  • Battlewagon with grot riggers, stikkbomb chukka, armor plates, deff rolla, and 2 big shootas

My strategy was to have the rideless units start on the board (and hopefully survive the preliminary barrage), while everything else came in from reserve.

Fighting Tigers of Veda (3995 points)  by Kenton Kilgore
I had a feeling that I would need a lot of bodies, so I saved most of my Tactical Squads for this game.  Stranglehold”gives free melta bombs to all of the Attacker’s infantry, which suited me fine, as I’ve found that bastions hold up really well to heavy weapons. The high point value for this game afforded me the opportunity to field some higher-priced units that I normally eschew. I brought two detachments, as follows:

  • Raja Khandar Madu. Space Marine Chapter Master w/ lightning claws, artificer armor
  • Tiger of Brihaspati Zaghnal Maratha. Epistolary Librarian w/ jump pack, Smite, Null Zone
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 1. 10 Tactical Marines, including Sergeant w/ power fist; one w/ melta gun
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 2. As above.
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 3. As above.
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 4. Ten Tactical Marines, including Sergeant w/ power fist and combi-flamer;  one w/ plasma gun
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 5. Ten Tactical Marines, including Sergeant w/ power fist and combi-flamer;  one w/ melta gun
  • Tigers of Rudra Squad 6. Ten Tactical Marines, including Sergeant w/ power weapon and plasma pistol; one w/ flamer
  • Tigers of Puchan Squad 1. Ten “tactical” Scouts, including Scout Sergeant w/ combi-flamer; one w/ missile launcher
  • Tigers of Puchan Squad 2. Ten “assault” Scouts, including Scout Sergeant w/ combi-flamer
  • Tiger Eternal Surya Ashoka. Dreadnought w/ extra armor, missile launcher, twin-linked lascannons
  • Tigers of Indra Squad 1. Five Sternguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ power weapon and combi-flamer; one w/ flamer; one w/ heavy flamer 
  • Tigers of Indra Squad 2. Five Sternguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ power weapon; one w/ storm bolter; two w/ plasma guns
  • Tigers of Indra Squad 3. Five Sternguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ lightning claw and combi-flamer; one w/ flamer; one w/ heavy flamer; one w/ combi-melta
  • Tigers of Indra Squad 4. Five Sternguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ power fist; two w/ storm bolters; two w/ plasma guns
  • Tigers of Indra Squad 5. Ten Vanguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ relic blade; one w/ power fist; all w/ jump packs
  • Fighting Tiger Black Ops. 5 Vanguard Veterans, including Sergeant w/ power fist and storm shield; one w/ twin lightning claws
  • Tigers of Agni Squad 1. Five Devastator Marines, including four w/ heavy bolters 
  • Tigers of Agni Squad 2. Five Devastator Marines, including two w/ missile launchers; one w/ lascannons
  • Tiger Claw. Vindicator w/ extra armor, hunter-killer missile
  • White Tiger II. Land Raider Crusader w/ extra armor, storm bolter, multi-melta

My plan was simple: concentrate my forces, make for the objectives, gun down Orks with mass firepower, and blow them up the bastions. Easy as breakfast.

Setting Up  by Kenton Kilgore
We played at Pat’s house, on the 4' x 8' Blood Deserts boards that we used for much of the first Auros campaign.  As per the rules for the Defender, Pat set up the scenery, with three large bastions (complete with automated heavy weapons) as the objectives. 


We each received 3 stratagem points. I spent 2 on Scorched Skies, giving me 2d6+3 large blast templates to drop on Pat’s greenies during the pre-game Firestorm. I spent my last point on Deathstorm, as I had in the last game, in the hope of catching a lot of his guys out in the open. Yes, I knew that it could backfire and take out some of my guys, but the Deathstorm could easily be interpreted as a sudden sandstorm, which was totally fitting for the campaign. With his 3 strategem points, Pat brought Fortified Stronghold for the Bunker that had the Grot battery, as it was sure to be a target at some point.

Learning from previous games, Pat kept most of his forces off the board, in reserves. The Big Gunz held one bastion; Kommandos lurking within held the other two; Shoota Boyz had the fortified causeway between the two Kommando bastions. 

With that, it was time to get it on.

Turn 1  by Kenton Kilgore
Planetstrike games allow the attacker to launch a Firestorm at the beginning of the game: I dropped 13 templates on the Shoota Boyz, killing 15 of them. Not that impressive. Planetstrike also uses a sped-up Reserves rule that allows each unit to show up on the first turn if they roll a 3+. Four Tac Squads, both tanks, the Dreadnought, the jump-pack Vanguard, and a Sternguard unit showed up. 

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4a.jpg
At the start of Turn One, the Fighting Tigers begin to arrive

In prior games, I’d been burned by Deep Striking mishaps, so to limit those, I took advantage of the mission’s Total Envelopment rule, which let me pick where my guys wanted to come in. Most of my guys walked or drove on from a long board edge not far from two of the three objectives. One Sternguard squad (with flamers), the larger Vanguard squad (with jump packs), and the “assault” Scouts dropped onto the board: the first two squads came down okay, but the Scouts deviated onto a bastion and were destroyed. 

At the start of my Shooting Phase, I rolled to see if the Deathstorm would strike, and it did. Few of Pat’s guys were exposed, and many of mine were. After all the dice rolling was over, Pat had lost exactly 0 Orks, while I had lost two Tactical Marines and a Vanguard Vet. At this point, the idea began to percolate in the back of my mind that really, after all these years, I f*****g hate 40K.

On to the shooty-shoot action. The Sternguard flamed Bastion #1, killing 6 Kommandoes inside. The squad’s combi-melta also shook the building. Heavy weapons fire from my Dreadnought, Vindicator, and Land Raider Crusader shook Bastion #2.  In the Assault Phase, the Vanguard failed a difficult terrain check and couldn’t charge the Shoota Boyz that they had plopped down in front of.

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Ork reinforcements appear a lot faster--and a lot closer--than the Tigers expected

Pat rolled for his reserves at the start of his first turn. The Nobz Mobz with Underboss Moe Zee Bopp came on, as did the Burna Boyz, all three units of Trukk Boyz, both units of Dethkoptas, and the Warbuggies. According to the Planetstrike rules, Pat had to roll randomly to see from which board edges the units came on, and again struck gold, with most of his guys showing up near mine. Suddenly, I had Orks all over me.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4c.jpg
The (unpainted) Nobz appear behind the Tigers as the Burna Boyz also arrive on the scene 

The Kommandoes emerged from the bastions to deal with the encroaching Tigers and opened fire, killing one Sternguard Veteran; Shoota Boyz gunned down two Vanguard. The Vannies opted (Combat Tactics) to voluntarily fall back 7" away from the oncoming Orks. The Kannons and Dethkoptas fired, shaking Surya, my Dread. Trukk Boyz shot one member of each of my Devastator units, and the Nobz blasted a nearby Tactical Marine. 

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4d.jpg
As the Vanguard Veterans (in the foreground) struggle to come to grip with their foes, 
the Devastators (in the background) are bushwacked by Trukk Boyz

In the Assault Phase, the Trukk Boyz rushed my Devs, wiping out Agni 2 and taking Agni 1 down to a man. More Trukk Boyz and Nobz assaulted a Tactical Squad, taking down all of them. 

Despite their fallback move, the Vanguard Vets got jumped by Shoota Boyz, with each unit losing two and the Nob being wounded. The Vanguard attempted to voluntarily fall back, failed to beat the Orks’ Initiative roll, and lost another Tiger for their troubles. Nearby, the Kommandos charged the Sternguard, with three of each unit getting whacked. The Sternguard successfully fell back 7".

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4e.jpg
Ork Shoota Boyz bring the fight to the the Vanguard Veterans while Kommandos spill all over the Sternguard

Turn 2
Being in hand-to-hand combat with Orks on Turn 1 is not a good way to start the game, and it didn’t get any better. Pressed because Orks were still within 6" of them, the Sternguard continued to fall back and fell off the board (well, not literally, but you get the idea). All of the rest of my reserve units except for the “tactical” Scouts came on, and I threw them at the Nobz’s general direction, hoping to take down the Feel No Pain, multi-Wound close-combat monsters with a whole mess of firepower. Sure enough, that is mostly what happened. Sternguard and Tactical Squads poured bolter rounds, plasma blasts, and flame bursts all over the Nobz until only Underboss Moe, the Painboy, and one Nob (with a power klaw) were left. 

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4g.jpg
Fighting Tiger reinforcements arrive to hopefully gun down the Orks

At that point, Raja Khandar Madu (my Chapter Master) and the Fighting Tiger Black Ops (Vanguard Veterans) charged the survivors. The Redhead and friends dropped the Warboss, but the Bad Dok and the Nob lived on, wiping out the Black Ops. Khandar Madu failed her Morale check and was forced to fall back. At this point, I seriously began to consider that maybe, after all these years, I f*****g hate 40K.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4h.jpg
Raja Khandar Madu engages Underboss Moe Zee Bopp

Elsewhere, my Vanguard killed four Shoota Boyz, but because of the scenario’s special rules, Pat’s Orks were Fearless, so the greenies were not going anywhere. The last Devastator managed to bash out an Ork’s brains, but his Trukk Boy chums took down my guy, and with that, several hundred points of heavy weapons were out of the fight without ever firing a shot.

On Pat’s turn, all of the rest of his guys except the Wartrakks and Stormboyz came on. Pat rolled well again for where they came on, with most of them arriving near my already embattled guys. Kannons again shook Surya, the Orks did that “WAAAAUGH!” thing they do, and the choppy-chop part of the show continued much as it had in the previous turn.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4i.jpg
More Orks pour onto the board, way too close to the Tigers' line

The Kommandoes that had chased off the Sternguard now rushed to get in the Shoota Boy/Vanguard Vet scrum. The last two Vets dropped two Kommies, but both got guished and that was the end of another high-priced Marine unit. Newly-arriving Slugga Boyz jumped another Tactical Squad, killing all but one Stripeypants (who then ran off the board), and losing 2 out of 20 of their own. 

The other set of Kommandoes attacked another Tactical Squad, taking four Tiger pelts and losing three greenies. Burna Boyz attacked my Librarian and the Tactical Squad he was with, killing all the grunts and chasing Zaghnal off the board, while losing only three guys.


At this point, I was sure: I really f*****g hate 40K.

Turn 3
My last unit—the “tactical” Scouts--came on, while the Redhead continued to fall back--off the board--because so many Orks were still up my tailpipe. I moved up White Tiger II, my Land Raider Crusader, and had its multi-melta shoot at Bastion #1, on the far side of the board. Miss with a “1.” Tiger Claw, my Vindicator, fired at Bastion #2: a hit, but all I did was knock the automated lascannons off the building. 

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4j.jpg
Fighting Tiger "tactical" Scouts arrive to lend their firepower

My Sternguard units showered the nearby Orks with ranged-fire love, wiping out the Burna Boyz, dropping one Dethkopta and knocking a Wound off another. The newly-arrived Scouts shot the Pain Boy dead, and a Tactical Squad finished off the last Nob.

Another of my Tactical Squads unloaded on the Slugga Boyz, the Sergeant’s combi-flamer hitting 9 of them--and only killing one due to crappy “to wound” rolls. Another Sternguard unit (one with storm bolters) backed them up, dropping--but not eliminating--the Slugga Boyz. Because, as I mentioned, Pat’s Orks were Fearless for this game, the survivors just kept on keepin’ on.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4k.jpg
A Tactical Squad and a Sternguard Squad combine fire against the oncoming Orks 

In the Tactical Squad/Kommando fracas near my end of the board, the Stripes lost three, Team Green lost one, and the donnybrook continued. 

At the start of Pat’s turn, the rest of his guys came on the board, near mine again. Ork shooting was not good: the Wartrakks didn’t take down a single Tactical Marine, the Deffkoptas and Kannons didn’t even scratch Surya’s paint, and only one Sterner, one Tac guy, and one Scout were taken out by fire from various mobz and the bastions’ auto-weapons.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4l.jpg

However, the Shooting Phase is not where Orks make their money. In the Assault Phase, some Trukk Boyz swarmed the Vindicator (which I had stupidly not moved) and wrecked it. The remaining Slugga Boyz jumped the Sternguard who had fired on them, wiping them out: the Stern Sarge’s power weapon did not even hit, and the Sluggaz only lost two of their own. The Kommandoes polished off the Tac guys they had been cavorting with, losing only a single Slinky Ork. The fact that some Shoota Boyz assaulted White Tiger II and failed to do skadoosh did not comfort me in the slightest. 

Turn 4
WT II, my Land Raider Crusader, moved up again at cruising speed, squishing a foolhardy Shoota Boy Nob who tried, with his power klaw, to “death-or-glory” my Mobile Temple of Stripeyness. Using the Machine Spirit, the LRC fired its multi-melta again at Bastion #1, this time within the 12" range that would surely rock the tower’s world. I rolled a “1” again to hit. 

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4m.jpg
Another "1" from the multi-melta. As my friend Ken likes to sarcastically say in such situations, "Nice shooting, Tex."

The Scouts’ frag missile went wide and the rest of them only shot dead two of the Trukk Boyz who had taken out my Vindicator. Finally able to shoot again, Surya’s twin lascannons penetrated Bastion #2, shaking it. 

The rest of my shooting turned much better, with Tac Squads dropping four Kommandoes and wounding their Nob, as well as bagging four Slugga Boyz. Two of my surviving Sternguard units combined fire to vaporize 10 Stormboyz. Ordinarily, this might be enough to cause mass panic and have Orks rabbiting away, but because of the special Backs to the Walls rule for the scenario, Pat’s guys were Fearless, and blah blah blah

On Pat’s turn, his second Nobz mob got out of their ride (which I had failed to notice coming) right up in my lines. Realizing that I had no hope of winning, and deciding that this nonsense had gone on long enough, I conceded.

Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel

"You could be a meteorologist all your life... and never see something like this. 
It would be a disaster of epic proportions. It would be... the perfect storm."
--TV Meteorologist in the movie The Perfect Storm

Every 40K player likes to think that they have a shot to win in any game they play. Sometimes, however, you face an opponent you have no chance against. Sometimes the parameters of the mission don’t favor the army list you have written up. Sometimes every dice roll you need to work, fails in epic proportions.  And sometimes you get a “perfect storm” where you get all three.

I would like to claim some kind of tactical brilliance in winning this game, but the truth is that making Orks Fearless makes them ridiculously good. I did bring a pretty effective list and used it well within the context of the mission, but the mission favored me and I suspect that if the table was reversed, I would have been on the end of the beat stick. 

I have had my fair share of meltdowns during a 40k game, so I empathize with Kenton. In the heat of the moment, you begin to wonder why you continue to invest time and money on this stupid game. Usually after a few days (and perhaps a win with a different army) I begin to feel better and start planning for my next game. I hope that Kenton will feel this way soon. Otherwise, I am going to have a lot of figures to put up on eBay.

Description: C:\Users\Keeg\Desktop\Kenton's files\The Jungle\website\auros4f.jpg
Devastator Marines overrun by Orks

Post-Game Analysis   by Kenton Kilgore
As I write this now, a few days after the game, I have calmed down and gotten over myself. Understand, first off, that none of my ire was directed at Pat: he planned better, played better, and was very patient with me as I pitched a hissy fit during the game. He certainly deserved to win, and I apologize to him for having such a piss-poor attitude. 

I agree with his assessment that letting Orks be Fearless is just ridiculous. I also agree with his post-game recommendation to me that bringing Rhinos would have vastly improved my chances. In retrospect, I didn’t think this one out very well: why did I imagine that slogging across a board to reach the bastions was better than driving? I could have cut the superfluous Scout squads and bought plenty of transports, which the Orks would have had problems dealing with. 

Research has shown that getting angry temporarily drops one’s IQ, and it showed in this game. Once I let my own poor planning, Pat’s good fortune with dice rolls, and my misfortune get under my skin, I started making stupid mistakes. For example, I didn’t move the Vindicator on Turn 3, though I saw the Trukk Boyz (with their power-klawed Nob) approaching. I forgot about the Black Op Sergeant’s storm shield: she might have made an invulnerable save and stayed in the fight. I totally lost of track of the Warphead’s Nobz mob. And so on.

The next game will be an Apocalypse mega-battle, and I need to scrape my act together and up my game if I want to win it and the campaign. No more whining: time to fight like a tiger.
 
 

Results as of Game #4
Campaign Points for Pat: 7
Campaign Points for Kenton: 4

 

 

Return to Auros IX
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts

 

Posted December 2010
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle