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

Summer in the City--Battle 3  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore 
(“The Gauntlet”; 1500 points each)

“The Gauntlet” was to be our last mission for this campaign. As detailed in Codex: Cities of Death, one player was the Attacker, trying to move as much of his army as possible off the board; the other player was the Defender, trying to stop the other guy in his tracks. Pat and I decided that it made more sense from a narrative perspective if I was the Attacker and he was the Defender.  Reeling from the casualties they had suffered, my Chaos Marines were trying to flee the city, while Pat’s Daemonhunters were determined to wipe out the heretics. 

Like the other games in this campaign, we played this at the Omega level, meaning that the Random Game Length and Dusk and Dawn conditions would be in effect, and that each of us would have three cityfighting strategems at our disposal.

“The Empire” (1501 points of Daemonhunters)  by Patrick Eibel
In keeping with the rules of the campaign, I nominated Inquisitor Lord Vader and his Retinue as the Most Valuable Players from the previous battle: they had held off swarms of daemons long enough to force a tie. We rolled randomly for their Battle Honor and came up with “Street Fighters,” which allowed Vader and crew to re-roll difficult terrain checks. Not too shabby!

The campaign rules state that I had to bring the Game 1 MVPs (Grey Knight Squad 3, with the randomly-rolled Tank Hunter ability that was worthless against Kenton’s vehicle-free army) and the Game 2 MVPs (Vader and Friends). So I did, as you see below:

  • Inquisitor Lord Vader w/ artificer armor, anointed weapon, storm shield, Emperor’s Tarot, frag grenades, psychic hood, consecrated scrolls, purity seals, Scourging, Destroy Daemon (171 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)
  • Grey Knight Squad 1. Justicar w/ auspex, four Grey Knights (two have psycannons) (202 points)
  • Grey Knight Squad 2. Justicar w/ auspex, four Grey Knights (two have psycannons) (202 points)
  • Grey Knight Squad 3. Justicar w/ auspex, four Grey Knights (two have psycannons) (202 points)
  • Allied Imperial Guard Platoon 1. Command Squad w/ Junior Officer, autocannon, and plasma gun (73 points). Two Infantry Squads w/ heavy bolters and plasma guns (80 points each)
  • Allied Imperial Guard Platoon 2. Command Squad w/ Junior Officer, lascannon, and grenade launcher (73 points). Two Infantry Squads w/ missile launchers and grenade launchers (83 points each)
  • Leman Russ Battle Tank w/ heavy bolters in hull-mount and sponsons, extra armor (160 points) 
To stop Kenton, I would need to spread out across the board, and to do that, I would need bodies. Hence the allied Imperial Guard, with lots of guns. We’d see if the Bad Ol’ Puddytats could get through my line….

“Fearful Symmetry” (1500 points of Chaos Space Marines)  by Kenton Kilgore
For blowing up Pat’s Dreadnought in the previous battle, Lesser Rakshasa Pack #1 (actually 10 Daemonettes) were my MVPs for Game 2. I rolled for their Battle Honor and got the one where they could re-roll difficult terrain checks—the same ability as enjoyed by my Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds), my MVPs for Game 1. As this mission stressed mobility, I was well pleased.

I brought:

  • Shamshir Talatra. Chaos Lord w/ bike, Mark of Chaos Undivided, darkblade, personal icon, daemonic strength, krak grenades, two Chaos Hounds (166 points)
  • Lesser Rakshasa Pack 0. Ten Daemonettes (150 points) 
  • Lesser Rakshasa Pack 1. Ten Daemonettes (150 points)
  • Greater Rakshasa Pack 1. Seven Bloodletters (182 points)
  • Greater Rakshasa Pack 2. Seven Bloodletters (182 points)
  • Ghost Tygers. Ten Flesh Hounds (210 points)
  • Havoc Squad 1. One has Icon; four have flamers; all have Infiltrate veteran skill and Mark of Chaos Undivided (220 points)
  • Havoc Squad 2. One has Icon; two have plasma guns; two have melta guns; all have Infiltrate veteran skill and Mark of Chaos Undivided (240 points)
With the daemons starting off the board and my ability to infiltrate the Havocs close to the opposite table edge, I was confident that I could start the game in good position. Now I just had to avoid all of Pat’s bug guns….

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 dawn and that the Night Fighting rule would be in effect for Turn 1. 

Also per Codex: CoD, we declared our cityfighting strategems. I chose Infiltrate, Demolition, and Combat Engineers. Pat chose Ammo Store, Booby Traps, and Demolition

We had left the terrain the same as the previous game. Pat spread his army across the table in a long line. From my left to right, it was Grey Knight Squad 3, Infantry Platoon 1, Infantry Platoon 2 (in the building with the Ammo Store), Vader and Retinue, Grey Knight Squads 1 and 2, and the Leman Russ. I deployed my two squads of Havocs all the way on my left, about halfway up the board, in and behind cover, of course. Shamshir Talatra, who could not infiltrate (a fact I had forgotten about in previous battles), would came on the board on my left flank. 

Deployment. Imperial forces spread across the table to block routes of escape; 
Fearful Symmetry Chaos Marines cluster on one flank, hoping to break through

None of Pat’s auspexes spotted my guys, so there was no pre-game shooting. The mission dictated that the Attacker (me) went first, so I did. 

Turn 1
The two Havoc Squads advanced through the building they had chosen for cover, the scanners and jammers they carried (as part of the Combat Engineers stratagem) preventing the two Booby Traps Pat had set from detonating. Shamshir Talatra gunned the motor on his bike and roared 24" onto the board, following them into the building. The Fearful Symmetry’s guns were out of range, so I had no firing.

Fearful Symmetry Marines (with tiger miniatures representing Chaos Icons) ignore the Booby Traps (grey discs)

Pat shifted Vader, his crew, Grey Knight Squads 1 and 2, and the Leman Russ towards his right flank (my left) to deal with my army. The Night Fight conditions prevented the Leman Russ from having any shots. Grey Knight Squad 3 fired on Havoc Squad 1, scoring seven Wounds but only one kill. The Imperial Guard platoons had more luck, bringing down two more Chaos Marines from that squad. 

The Empire waits patiently for the enemy to walk into the kill zone

Turn 2
On the start of my turn, my MVPs (Lesser Rakshasa Pack 1 [Daemonettes] and the Ghost Tygers [Flesh Hounds]) appeared on the board, summoned by the icons carried by the Havoc Squads. Also on Turn 2, my Demolition charge went off, collapsing the building that IG Platoon 1 was in, killing a total of four guys from all three squads. Meh.*

*As we only discovered after the game, this situation shouldn’t have happened, as the Demolition stratagem can only be used on buildings outside your opponent’s deployment zone. But who said the forces of Chaos ever played by the rules, anyway?

Chaos Marines advance, summon daemons, and blow up the building next to the
Grey Knights. Do you think the Knights are impressed? No, they are not. 

Both Havoc Squads fired on Grey Knight Squad 3, killing four out of five of them. The Ghost Tygers charged the IG in the collapsed building: the good guys swung first (as they were in cover), killing one stripey Flesh Hound wanna-be. The Tygers wiped out the Command Squad, killed one guy in an Infantry squad, and forced that squad to break. With their superior Initiative, the Ghost Tygers caught that squad, wiped it out, and swept into the other Infantry Squad in that platoon. See why those guys are MVPs?

"Gotcha!" Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds in stripes) charge the Guardsmen in the collapsed building

Pat was less than enchanted by this turn of events, and directed his Leman Russ to demonstrate his displeasure. A battle cannon shot landed right on both my Havoc Squads, killing three from the guys with flamers and one from the guys with plasma and melta guns. Ouch! The last member of Grey Knight Squad 3 unloaded his psycannon, killing a Daemonette, and the unengaged IG Infantry Squads dropped another Daemonette. The lascannon in the other IG Command Squad bagged another member of Havoc Squad 1. So there!
In the Assault Phase, the Ghost Tygers ate three Guardsmen, but the good guys’ nerve held, and the fight continued. 

Turn 3
The rest of my daemons came on the board, appearing off the icons carried by the Havocs and Shamshir Talatra. Everyone not already in hand-to-hand combat advanced, of course. It was here that we stumbled upon a silly situation: according to a strict reading of the Codex: Cities of Death rules, it seemed that Shamshir Talatra should be able to drive his bike 12" forward and 12" up into a building in the same turn, which would allow him to easily charge the last member of Grey Knight Squad 3. Pat and I agreed that this seemed excessively lenient and unrealistic, so we compromised: Shamshir could drive 12" forward with no problem, but would need to make a difficult terrain check similar to a charging Beast (2d6, double the highest number rolled) to move up into a building.*

*If someone who knows C: COD better than us would like to earn the amorous physical attentions of millions of attractive, nubile female Jungle fans, please let us know the correct ruling; e-mail us here

Fearful Symmetry keeps on keepin' on, blasting Grey Knight Squad 3 out of their way

It turns out that we needn’t have worried about all that, as the Havocs shot the poor Grey Knight dead. The Ghost Tygers wiped out the IG squad they had been dancing with, then swept on (as Khorne-pokes do) towards the other IG Platoon. 

On his turn, Pat blew up the huge building in the middle of the board: he had thought that perhaps my forces would come that way. The Leman Russ fired its battle cannon again, killing two Daemonettes from Pack 0 and the last three members of Havoc Squad 1. Imperial Guardsmen fired on the Daemonettes of Pack 1, killing four and causing another two to go “poof” after they failed an Instability test. 

A photo right before the Leman Russ (background) blows another big hole through the bad guys' army

Inquisitor Lord Vader attempted to cast Scourging at the on-coming Ghost Tygers (Flesh Hounds), but they negated the psychic powers with their Collars. The two plasma gunners from Vader’s retinue fired as well: one fried himself when his weapon overheated, while the other one failed to wound. Fortunately, the IG and the Grey Knights picked up the slack for Pat, combining fire to drop the rest of the Ghost Tygers before they could get into hand-to-hand combat. 

Turn 4
My lord, do I love that Sustained Attack rule that applies to daemons (including daemonic beasts) when fighting Grey Knights. I brought my Ghost Tygers back onto the board, this time at the opposite end of Pat’s deployment zone. While Shamshir Talatra zipped off the board and the rest of my army moved between two buildings (and thus, out of the line of fire for the rest of Pat’s army), the Ghost Tygers charged the rear of the Leman Russ, destroying it. At that point, Pat admitted that there was no way he could stop my guys from getting off the board, and conceded the game.

Ghost Tygers show their worth again, destroying the Leman Russ with a sneak attack from behind

Campaign Points Earned, Game 3
Fearful Symmetry: 16
The Empire: 6

Campaign Points Earned, Games 1-3
The Empire: 32
Fearful Symmetry: 32

Campaign Result: Tie

Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
Looking back on this battle, I am impressed I even got a tie. The scenario is tough to begin with, as the Defender has to cover the entire board to make sure the Attacker doesn’t have a free lane of exit, but there were many things that made me scratch my head at what GW was thinking, or if we were just playing wrong.

First off, "The Gauntlet" is one of the special scenarios in the back of Codex: Cities of Death, so it has unusual set-up conditions, with the Attacker moving on his force at one point on their side of the board. However, if your opponent takes the Infiltrate stratagem, that part of the set-up is pretty much negated, as your opponent will start with units on the board. Why is this a big deal? It basically halved the distance Kenton’s army had to travel to get off the board. Because I had to spread out my units to cover the entire board, I just ran out of time to maneuver units into position to try and stop him. I think that for this scenario, none of the deployment stratagems should be available for use.

The other really wonky bit we came across was having an Independent Character on a bike being able to go a total of 30" and still charge. Going by the letter of the rules, the character can move horizontally 12", vertically 12" and then assault 6", and all he need do is make Dangerous Terrain rolls every six inches, which, as an Independent Character, he can re-roll. I know that you are not supposed to compare the GW environment to the “real world,” as it is only a game and you have to sacrifice some reality for playability, but the idea that a person on a motorcycle would be able to climb a building that easily is simply ridiculous. The rules for bike-mounted units have always been a little fuzzy—“they’re like infantry, but with special rules”—so you would think GW would have done a better job of clarifying how they would work in a city environment.

I am happy that I brought the Imperial Guard units, and in particular the Leman Russ (which, I suppose, would be my MVP for Game 3—not that it matters). As my right flank fell, the battle cannon was the only thing that kept me in the game. When I was planning for the game, I realized that I would need all of that extra firepower to even have a chance, and while it was not enough to win the game, I did manage to keep the campaign a tie.

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
As Pat mentioned in his analysis, being able to infiltrate halfway onto the board was a huge advantage for me, and I agree with him that perhaps in this mission, Infiltrate should not be allowed. If I had been in his shoes, I would have tried to save some points and brought some Fast Attack units (Hellhounds, preferably, but Sentinels would have been good, too): according to the set-up rules, the Defender’s Fast Attack units start in Reserve, which he could have used to respond to my path of attack. But the situation of Me Infiltrating + Him Having to Stretch Out Across The Board certainly put him in a tight spot. 

All in all, I think my army did well. I was pleased to get some return on investment for Havoc Squad 2, whose plasma guns and melta guns incinerated Grey Knight Squad 3 and cleared the way for the rest of the army: Havoc Squad 2 would be my MVPs. Havoc Squad 1, alas, never got to use those four lovely flamers: mostly, they just sucked down battle cannon fire. Shamshir Talatra didn’t do anything, but at least I didn’t get him killed. And I continue to love the speed and ferocity of the Flesh Hounds—if they had not already been my Game 1 MVPs, I would have nominated them again for this game.

On a somber note, I feel bad that I inadvertently cheated and blew up a building in Pat’s deployment zone at the start of Turn 2. I didn’t mean to break the rule, but neither Pat nor I remembered that Demolition can only be used outside the enemy deployment zone. By the time I did remember, I was on my way home from Pat’s house. I offered to re-play the game, or to disqualify myself and declare Pat the winner of the game and the campaign, but he graciously agreed to let the results stand. So much for his often-repeated assertions that he is a poor sport; Pat, you have a lot of class.

The roof literally falls in on the Guardsmen as the Chaos Marines demolish their building; Ghost Tygers pounce on the survivors

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

Posted: August 2007


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