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Campaigns
Summer in the City
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Final Thoughts

Summer in the City--Battle #1  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore 
(“Domination”; 2500 points each)

“Domination” is a scenario from Codex: Cities of Death. The objective is simple, really: he who occupies the most buildings at the end of the game is the winner. We played this mission at the Omega level, meaning that each player would have three cityfighting strategems and the special rules Random Game Length and Dusk and Dawn would be in effect.

“The Empire” (2495 points of Daemonhunters)  by Patrick Eibel
My army is a Star Wars-themed collection that I’ve had for a few years. It started out as a straight Daemonhunters army, but I’ve expanded it to include Imperial Guard and Witch Hunters. For this battle, I brought my core DH units (including lots of daemon-killing Grey Knights) and a few WH allies.

  • Grey Knight Hero w/ Sacred Incense, Holy Relic, Icon of the Just, Destroy Daemon (141 points)
  • Grey Knight Retinue. Four Terminators, including one w/ incinerator (199 points)
  • Inquisitor Lord Vader w/ artificer armor, anointed weapon, storm shield, Emperor’s Tarot, frag grenades, psychic hood, Scourging (146 points). Retinue of two Acolytes, two Mystics, one Sage, two Hierophants, one Warrior w/ plasma gun, one Warrior w/ melta gun, one Familiar (100 points)
  • Priest (Witch Hunter ally) w/ plasma gun (56 points)
  • Six Arcoflagellants (Witch Hunter ally; 210 points)
  • Vindicare Assassin Boba Fett (110 points)
  • Five Grey Knights, including two w/ psycannons; Justicar has auspex (202 points)
  • Five Grey Knights, including two w/ psycannons; Justicar has auspex (202 points)
  • Five Grey Knights, including two w/ psycannons; Justicar has auspex (202 points)
  • Eight Grey Knights, including two w/ incinerators; Justicar has auspex (247 points)
  • Inquisitorial Storm Troopers. Sergeant w/ close combat weapon; seven w/ hellguns; two w/ flamers (121 points)
  • Inquisitorial Storm Troopers (Witch Hunter ally). Sergeant w/ close combat weapon and auspex; seven w/ hellguns; two w/ grenade launchers (133 points)
  • Grey Knight Land Raider w/ extra armor, smoke launchers, pintle-mounted storm bolter, psycannon bolts (278 points)
  • Grey Knight Dreadnought w/ extra armor, smoke launchers, missile launcher, twin-linked lascannon (148 points)



Above: Inquisitor Lord Vader, in pursuit of the renegade Shamshir Talatra

“Fearful Symmetry” (2500 points of Chaos Space Marines)  by Kenton Kilgore
This army is led by Shamshir Talatra, formerly commander of half the Fighting Tigers of Veda, who was removed from office (as chronicled in the story Traveller of Both Time and Space). Shamshir Talatra has built up a force of tiger-armored Space Marines (which allows me to use figures from my Fighting Tigers army) and is served by numerous rakshasas, demons from Hindu mythology.

  • Shamshir Talatra. Chaos Lord w/ Space Marine bike, Mark of Chaos Undivided, darkblade, personal icon, daemonic strength, four Chaos Hounds, frag grenades and melta bombs (194 points)
  • Five Chosen w/ Mark of Chaos Undivided, Infiltrate veteran skill, bolt pistols and close combat weapons. One has a flamer; one is an Aspiring Champion w/ a power fist;  One is an Aspiring Champion w/ a power weapon, personal icon, sorcerer ability, familiar, Wind of Chaos, and Doombolt (211 points)
  • Ten Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) (150 points)
  • Ten Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) (150 points)
  • Ten Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) (150 points)
  • Ten Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) (150 points)
  • Seven Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters) (182 points)
  • Seven Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters) (182 points)
  • Ten Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds) (210 points)
  • Five Raptors, including one w/ flamer; all have Infiltrate and Furious Charge veteran abilities  (181 points)
  • Ten Havocs, including four w/ flamers; all have Infiltrate and Move Through Cover abilities (220 points)
  • Ten Havocs, including two w/ melta guns and two w/ plasma guns; all have Infiltrate and Move Through Cover abilities (240 points)
  • Ten Havocs, including four w/ missile launchers; all have Infiltrate and Tank Hunter veteran abilities (280 points)

Above: Shamshir Talatra and Panja, his tiger companion (representing Daemonic Strength)

Setting Up
We played at Pat’s house. Per the guidelines in Codex: Cities of Death for an Omega-level mission, we played on a 4' x 6' table with as much urban terrain as Pat had. We consulted the Dusk and Dawn condition, rolled, and determined that the battle was beginning at dusk and that the Night Fighting rule would be in effect starting on Turn 6.

Also per Codex: CoD, we declared our cityfighting strategems. Pat chose Infiltrate, Master Sniper, and Power Plant; I chose Infiltrate, Combat Engineers, and Demolition. I would have loved to have planted the demolition charges in the huge building in the center of the table, but as about half of it was in Pat’s deployment zone (and the Demolition stratagem cannot be used in the opponent’s deployment zone), I wrote down that the demolition charges were planted in a building on Pat’s side of the table, right outside his deployment zone. I also wrote down that the charges would go off at the start of my Turn 3. 

Because Pat had set up the scenery, I chose the deployment zones, and claimed the one with the most open space, so as to deny him plum firing lanes. As my whole army could either Infiltrate or was in Reserves, Pat set up first, separating his forces into several buildings in his deployment zone, and he placed his Vindicare Assassin in the big building in the center of the board. I put my Havocs with missile launchers in my deployment zone, across from his Dreadnought and two squads of Grey Knights, and set up the rest of my army outside my deployment zone, about 18" away from his troops.

Pat had outfitted many of his squads with auspexes (auspecies?—whatever), but none of them had enough range to detect my guys. Pat used the Emperor’s Tarot to win the roll to go first, and this little dust-em-up began!


Left: Havocs deploy across from the Dreadnought.  Right: Heaps of Grey (and Red) Knights
Click on the thumbnails for close-up views


Left: Inquisitor Vader and his retinue deploy.  Right: The Fearful Symmetry Chaos Marines
Click on the thumbnails for close-up views

Turn 1
On Pat’s first turn, both Stormtrooper units and the Arcoflagellants advanced. One group of Grey Knights (okay, “Red Knights,” as that was the color they wore), moved into the building that I had secretly planned to demolish. The Land Raider moved forward 12" and discharged the Grey Knight Hero and his Terminator retinue—all within striking distance of Shamshir Talatra! The rest of the Grey Knights held their ground, readying their psycannons.


Fearful Symmetry
Click on the thumbnail for close-up view

In the Shooting Phase, Pat let it rip. His Grey Knight Termies unloaded on Shamshir Talatra, killing his four Chaos Hounds. The Vindicare Assassin hit Shamshir Talatra with a Hellfire round, wounding him. The rest of Pat’s army either didn’t have range or line of sight or were otherwise ineffective (for example, the Dreadnought’s lascannon hit one of the Havocs with missile launchers, but the Havoc made his cover save). 

In the Assault Phase, the Grey Knight Hero and his Termies attacked Shamshir Talatra, wounding him again. He failed his Morale Check and fell back 7"; the Hero and his companions consolidated into cover.

Reeling from this startling turn of events, I advanced most of my Chaos Marines and returned fire. The Havocs with the missile launchers glanced and destroyed the Grey Knight Dreadnought. The bolt pistols of the Raptors knocked one Wound off the Vindicare. The Havocs with the melta guns and plasma guns nuked three GK Terminators, and Shamshir Talatra’s bike-mounted combi-bolter bagged another, leaving only the GK Hero left at that end of the board. Take that, Imperial do-gooders!


Bring on the bad guys!
Click on the thumbnail for close-up view

Turn 2
In the Movement Phase, the Stormtroopers and Arcoflagellants continued to advance and the Red Knights continued to slip into the building that I planned on destroying next turn. The GK Hero left cover to face the Havoc squad that had just devastated his retinue. 

Pat’s second firing phase was not as good as he had hoped. My Chosen squad made their armor saves against six psycannon and storm bolter Wounds from Grey Knights. One of the Stormtroopers fired on the Chosen as well and had no success, and the Land Raider only managed to kill one, with a lascannon shot. Worse, Boba Fett the Vindicare missed Shamshir Talatra with a Turbo Penetrator round. On the other hand, the Grey Knight Hero shot dead one Havoc and the other Stormtrooper squad shot two Raptors and forced the other three to retreat 7".

The Grey Knight Hero charged the Havocs with plasma and melta guns, killing three of them. They broke and fell back and he consolidated towards them to keep them running next round. 

On my turn, that Havoc squad and the Raptors continued to fall back and went off the board. Happily, the Chosen summoned a pack of Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) and a pack of Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters). My Shooting Phase was even less spectacular than Pat’s, as my Havocs with the missile launchers failed to spot the Vindicare and also failed to spot the nearest bunch of Grey Knights (thanks to the Shrouding ability). 

In my Assault Phase, the Lesser Rakshasas bricked a difficult terrain check and failed to reach the nearest Stormtroopers. The Chosen charged the Land Raider, but the Aspiring Champion’s powerfist didn’t damage the tank. My Greater Rakshasas charged the Grey Knight Hero: he killed two with Destroy Daemon before they hacked him to pieces and swept towards the Stormtroopers the other Rakshasas hadn’t been able to get. 

Sheesh.


Greater Rakshasas vs. Grey Knight Hero
Click on the thumbnail for close-up view

Turn 3
The Land Raider backed up 6" and the Stormtroopers, led by the Priest, moved forward, as did Inquisitor Lord Vader and his retinue. Thanks to whatever combat meds they take, the Arcoflagellants moved forward a whopping 12" but lost one of their number as he overdosed. 


Daemonhunters go to town on my guys
Click on the thumbnail for close-up view

Pat unleashed a whole lotta shooty love at my guys. The Stormtroopers with the Priest were forced (by his special rule) not to use their Hellfire guns (or the Priest’s plasma gun) as they had to charge this turn, but they did let off two krak grenades at my Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters). Alas for Pat, I made my armor save. Boba Fett fired on my Aspiring Champion with the personal icon, but missed with a “1.” Fortunately, the other Stormtroopers killed two Chosen and Grey Knights with psycannons polished off the rest. Other Grey Knights and the Land Raider combined their fire to take down six Lesser Rakshasas, who lost another one to a failed Daemonic Instability test. Ouch. 

As mentioned, the Priest and Stormtroopers charged the Greater Rakshasas and managed to kill two. The Rakshasas wiped them out, however, and swept 3" closer to the Daemonhunter lines.

At the start of my turn, the demo charge went off as planned, destroying the building across the table and killing two Red Knights within. Booyah! Shamshir Talatra summoned a pack of Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes), a pack of Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters) and a pack of Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds). 

I endured supreme frustration in the Shooting Phase, as the squad of Havocs with missile launchers could see 36" to spot Boba Fett, but the actual missile launchers themselves were outside 36". So the guys with bolters could see him, but the dudes with the long-range weapons couldn’t. The fact that my other Havocs (the ones with flamers) advanced and burned seven Stormtroopers to a crisp did not assuage my anger, especially after poor difficult terrain and Fleet of Claw rolls resulted in my Ghost Tygers (normally very speedy) moving all of 4" this turn and failing to assault the Stormtroopers. In my Assault Phase, the first pack of Lesser Daemonettes charged the Land Raider, but failed to rend it with their Daemonic Talons. It was definitely turning into one of those days.


Ghost Tygers can't get 'Troopers
Click on the...you know the drill

Turn 4
In Pat’s turn, his Inquisitor and the Arcoflagathingies moved up, the Land Raider pulled back, and the fun continued. Boba Fett used his Master Sniper stratagem to put a round through Shamshir Talatra, and in addition to losing my leader, I had two Daemon packs that could not be summoned onto the board for the rest of the game. Ducky. Just ducky. Pat’s remaining Stormtroopers killed the first batch of Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) summoned back on Turn 2, and the Grey Knights and the Land Raider went after the Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds), bagging six before I lost another due to Daemonic Instability. 

In the Assault Phase, Pat’s Arcowhojeezies charged my Havocs with the flamers, killing five Chaos Marines and losing one of their own. In a rare display of bravery, my dudes decided to hang in there and fight another round instead of running away as the Raptors and the other Havocs had done. 

On my turn, the Ghost Tygers finally found their footing, raced across the field, and climbed up a building to go after some Grey Knights—about damn time, I must say! They whiffed against the good guys however, losing one of their own and another two from Instability and going “poof” back into the Warp. The second pack of Greater Rakshasas charged the Arcoflagemabobbers, killing one and losing three Daemons (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?) while the Havocs killed one more Arco and the fight continued. 

More entertaining (for me, anyway) was the Grey Knight Sustained Attack rule that allowed me to recycle my recently-deceased pack of Daemonettes (thanks, Stormtroopers) and sic them on the Red Knights that just had a building fall on them. I lost four and Pat lost four, but my Daemons could keep coming back, while his Knights couldn’t. If I could just keep hammering him with recycled Rakshasas, I had a chance.


Maybe recycling isn't a good thing:
Lesser Rakshasas attack Red Knights

Turn 5
Remembering that the goal of the game was to occupy buildings, Pat retreated his Inquisitor and Retinue back to where they started. The surviving Stormtroopers also moved back, into the central building where the thrice-damned Vindicare still held ground. Pat’s Shooting Phase brought down one Greater Rakshasa (Bloodletter) with a lascannon blast from the Land Raider and three Lesser Rakshasas (Daemonettes) from Grey Knights guns. The aforementioned Vindicare, by the way, rolled his third “1” of the game, missing a Lesser Rakshasa, whereupon Pat announced that Boba Fett would NOT be back for the next game.

In the Assault Phase, my recycled pack of Lesser Rakshasas wiped out the Red Knights that had had the roof literally fall in on them. The Greater Rakshasas and the Havoc Squad with the flamers wiped out the Arcoflagellants. 

Sustained Attack brought back the Ghost Tygers, this time on Pat’s side of the board to assault the Grey Knights at the verrrrrrrrry top of a three-story building. Each side lost two and the melee continued. The Greater Rakshasas that had worn down the Arcoflagellants rushed the last Stormtroopers and ripped them into moist bits. RARRGH!


Ghost Tygers go up top 

Turn 6
Darkness fell—for the rest of the game, we’d be operating under the Night Fighting rules, which, I had to hope, would hinder Pat more than me. Pat didn’t seem to be hurting too bad when his Land Raider moved up and plinked off two from my Havoc Squad with flamers. Boba Fett took down another dude in that squad, and the two guys left were no longer a scoring unit, even under the generous rules of Codex: Cities of Death. Ducky. 

Grey Knights fired on my Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters), taking down one, then one squad of Knights charged, losing two Good Guys and wiping out the three remaining Bad Dudes in that pack. Atop the skyscraper in Pat’s deployment zone, the Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds) killed one Grey Knight, lost two of their own, and another one was lost to the failed Instability check. 

On my turn, my original pack of Greater Rakshasas charged the Grey Knights near the center of the board (the same fellows who had originally killed my Ghost Tygers) and got smacked down for their efforts, wiping out THAT patch of daemons as if they were bugs. I recycled my other unit of Greater Rakshasas onto Pat’s side of the board, in hopes of taking down his Inquisitor. Meanwhile, the Ghost Tygers finally took out the last two Grey Knights atop their building, despite losing three of their own.


Greater Rakshasas against Grey Knights
in the middle of the board

We rolled to see if the game continued, and Pat’s Loyal Green Die ™ said, “Play on!”

Turn 7
The darkness finally hampered Pat’s ability to shoot, as a squad of Grey Knights and the Land Raider were unable to find targets. Inquisitor Lord Vader unleashed Scourging on the two approaching Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds). Smugly, I announced to Pat that Flesh Hounds bear Collars of Khorne, and I would be negating his happy little power on a 2+. Two “1’s” later, both Ghost Tygers were destroyed, and I could not believe my eyes. In addition, Boba Fett picked off a Havoc; Grey Knight fire dropped a Daemonette and I lost another to Instability. 

On my turn, I recycled the Ghost Tygers for the second time and recycled the Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters) that Pat had gunned down the turn before. The Ghost Tygers went after more Grey Knights, mauling one and losing three of their own. It was definitely a war of attrition, but I wasn’t sure, even with Sustained Attack, that I was winning it. 


Ghost Tygers try to take down the GK's in the 
middle of the board. The good guys would not die!

Once again, we rolled the Loyal Green Die ™ and once again, it compelled us to keep going!

Turn 8
Pat’s shooting dropped a Lesser Rakshasa (Daemonette) and the last Havoc. Inquisitor Lord Vader unleashed Scourging at the approaching Greater Rakshasas (Bloodletters), slaying one, but the rest of that pack shrugged off the combined fire of Vader’s retinue. In the Assault Phase, the Grey Knights killed another Ghost Tyger (Flesh Hound). 

On my turn, a pack of recycled Lesser Rakshasas charged a group of Grey Knights, killing one. The Ghost Tygers killed a Grey Knight and lost two of their own. My Greater Rakshasas charged Vader and his crew: out of 15 dice I rolled, I came up with six “1’s” and five “2’s.” Nevertheless, I managed to kill two members of the retinue and only lost one. As an Inquisitor Lord, Vader opted to fall back, moving 4" out of the clutches of the Rakshasas. 


Greater Rakshasas charge Vader

The Loyal Green Die ™ had wearied of this, however, and decided that the game was over. Because my recycled daemons did not count as scoring units, Pat held three buildings to my two, and the battle belonged to the Daemonhunters.
 


Campaign Points Earned
The Empire: 17 
Fearful Symmetry: 5


Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
I knew that a battle between Chaos and Daemonhunters was going to be bloody, but this game surpassed expectations. In my Legionis Tacticum article on Daemonhunters, I suggested that an allied DH/Imperial Guard force was the most viable. I should have tacked on “--against all armies other than Chaos.” In most games, the additional firepower and cheap troops provided by allied Imperial Guard help to offset the expensive cost of your Gray Knights. When you know you are fighting Chaos, however, all those neat toys the DH get that warrant their high cost make them a much better option. In particular, you cannot beat the psycannon: a heavy bolter that ignores armor saves and acts as an assault weapon within 18"? Are frickin’ kidding me? 

In building my army, I knew I wanted three squads that had psycannons to pound his daemons into warp dust. Add to that the units I already had – the Grey Knights with incinerators, the Terminators and Hero, the Dreadnought, and the Inquisitor Lord and retinue – and my core force was really taking shape. I usually teleport the unit with the incinerators for a little surprise, but I didn’t want to spend a stratagem just on them. Instead, I got a stratagem (Master Sniper) just for my Vindicare Assassin, who then proceeded to brick his “to hit” rolls for three rounds. Nice going, mon frere. I brought the Land Raider for a little mobility, which the army was sorely lacking, and rounded things out with some Stormtroopers (soooooo not worth the points). With points still left to spend, I attached a unit of Arcoflagellants, which can actually handle their end of close combat versus Bloodletters. This meant I had to take a Priest (thankfully, he does not use up an HQ slot) and I attached him to a unit of Stormtroopers; since the Witch Hunter and Daemonhunter Stormtroopers are exactly the same, I just switched them to the appropriate codex.

Lessons learned from this battle: 1) Give the Dreadnought "Blessed": losing it on Turn 2 was inexcusable; 2) Grey Knights really rock against daemons (errr, duh); 3) You’d think with a 2+ chance to hit, the Vindicare would be more effective (still, I am not unhappy I brought him, as he did what I wanted eventually and stranded two units of daemons in the Warp); 4) the Sustained Attack rule really blows when you have Random Game Length (thank God we didn’t play one more turn or I am sure I was done for).

All in all, a great beginning to the campaign! With the rules for attrition and battle honors we’ll be using, the next one should prove to be just as tense and exciting to the very end. See y’all next month.

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
In this game, I made too many errors, and if it wasn’t for the Sustained Attack rule, this game would have been effectively over midway through Turn Four. My first error—a huge one—was to limit my army to only having two icons, one carried by Shamshir Talatra, the other carried by the Aspiring Champion Sorcerer. I did this for various fluff reasons, but it was an easily exploitable Achilles heel and a stupid risk to take, as I knew Pat was bringing a Vindicare Assassin (we exchange lists several days before each battle) and I correctly guessed that he would take the Master Sniper stratagem. My overconfidence got my icon bearers killed and kept two daemon packs out of the game. Lesson learned: stop trying to be cute and fluffy and add some more icons to the army. 

Another big error was in placing the Havoc Squad with missile launchers where I did. Oh sure, they managed to bag the Dreadnought and they occupied a building, but they cost 280 points that could have been better spent some other way and they were out of position for almost the entire game. They couldn’t even get a bead on the Vindicare (and to compound my error, I didn’t move them forward after I discovered that the missile launchers were juuuuuuust out of range of Boba Fett). Lesson learned: drop these guys, as they cost too much and are too limited in the crowded confines of a cityfight. 

What else? I started Shamshir Talatra too far forward, giving Boba Fett an unobstructed shot at him and allowing the Grey Knight Hero and the Termies to assault him on Turn 1 (I had not been paying attention during Pat’s set-up and hadn’t noticed that the GKH and his pals were in the Land Raider). I put the Chosen out in front of the Havoc squad with flamers, which allowed Pat to fire at them without making any kind of Leadership checks and prevented the Havocs from using their flamers. I also ran the Chosen up the middle of the board, in an area of little cover, where they were exposed to all kinds of fire. I didn’t give my Marines Mark of Chaos Undivided, so they bricked a lot of Morale checks and ran like girly-girls after the first punch in the nose.

I know everyone who loses a 40K game likes to blame their dice, but really, I had some horrible, horrible rolls—and so did Pat. Examples: the Flesh Hounds moved 4" total (when they have Fleet of Claw and a 12" charge) in Turn 3 and rolled two “1’s” for their Collars of Khorne in Turn 7; the Bloodletters rolled six “1’s” and five “2’s” out of 15 dice in Turn 8; Pat’s Vindicare rolled three “1’s” throughout the game. 

Before this game, I was skeptical about claims I’ve read that standard gaming dice (with rounded corners and drilled-out number pips) tended to roll more “1’s” and “2’s” than “casino dice” with square corners and printed number pips. After this game, I’m willing to buy some casino dice and see if they perform any better. 

As with the last campaign, I’m down early in the contest, but there’s still plenty more football to be played. The next battle has to go better than this one did!

Summer in the City
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Final Thoughts

Posted: June 2007
 

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Fighting Tigers:
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Other Pages:
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