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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” 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
(2500 points of Chaos Space Marines) by
Above: Shamshir Talatra and Panja, his tiger companion (representing Daemonic Strength)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We rolled to see if the game continued, and Pat’s Loyal Green Die ™ said, “Play on!”
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.
Once again, we rolled the Loyal Green Die ™ and once again, it compelled us to keep going!
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.
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.
by Patrick Eibel
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.
by Kenton Kilgore
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!
Posted: June 2007
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