Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Escalation League Battle Report

I had my first taste of an actual battle this weekend, and I must say I really enjoyed it. I still have much to learn in terms of fighting rules and especially tactics, but it was a good run through for me and a chance for Genesis to flex their muscles.

I went down to Macon, GA, where my brother Chris lives, mainly to watch some league play and chronicle his first battles with his Thousand Sons. He has always loved the Thousand Sons, and he had some great kit bashing ideas and conversions to make his army fit the fluff (which I totally support). He worked really hard to get his army finished, but time was against him. He joined the escalation league in the middle of the war so to speak, so he needed 1,000 points in 2 weeks basically. An impossible task if you want all your units painted.

So on Sunday we both decided to take our other forces and assemble a conglomerate force to get to 1k points. He already had a 490 point detachment of Imperial Fists, and I have 300 pts of Genesis Space Marines. 3 or 4 years ago we built a Dark Angels Devastator Squad that rounded the force out to 1k points, or pretty close. I had an epic fail and left my Space Marine codex at home in Snellville, GA (I will be doing a penance crusade no doubt) so I couldn't be sure of the point value.

Anyway, we packed up our minis and headed out to seek a proper battlefield. When we arrived, a few battles were already underway. Unfortunately there was a low turn out for the escalation league, just one Warhammer Fantasy battle between Lizardmen and Dwarves. Fellow gamer Kit, was also there with his army of pro painted Necrons playing a training match with another gamer. Maybe 12 to 15 players had signed up for the escalation league at Comics Plus, so I don't know where the rest of them were, but we still got into a good fight. I am a beginner when it comes to the tabletop side of things, so if you are an expert at rolling dice this post may seem basic to you.

At one of the other tables an epic 3,000 pt clash between Tyranids and Chaos Space Marines was just starting. I took just a few pictures throughout the battle.

Chaos forces ready to attack.
Tyranid player started cautiously, which I didn't quite understand, but obviously I don't have the experience to really critique. He inched forward on his opening turn but waited to receive the Chaos charge.With 'Nids I thought you just chuck them at the enemy until everything is dead, but this player didn't.

Lying in wait.

The Chaos forces surged across the battlefield in one turn and assaulted, crashing through the 'Nid line for the most part. Bugs against a Land Raider only has one outcome.

The 'Nids turned the Chaos flank; though, and got in behind. When we left this battle was still in turn 3, so a long way to go.

Once Kit finished his training match with another gamer, we gathered our resources for a battle of our own. Kit was a huge help to my brother and I, showing us tactics and strategies as well as having detailed knowledge of all the rules. I am at the point where I know how everything works, but I still have to look up the numbers. I forgot to take pictures of the deployment for both armies, but it's pretty obvious what we did.

The two armies had the following lineups:

Space Marines
Primary Detachment--Imperial Fists

Chaplain with jump pack, crozius and bolt pistol

Tactical Squad (10x) split into

  • 5 man combat squad
    • Sergeant with Powerfist
    • Flamer
  • 5 man combat squad
    • Missile Launcher
Fast Attack
Land Speeder with multi-melta and heavy flamer

Assault Squad (5x) including Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and plasma pistol

The Chaplain was attached to the Assault Squad.

Space Marines
Allied Detachment--Genesis Chapter

Tactical Squad (10x) split into

  • 5 man combat squad
    • Flamer
  • 5 man combat squad
    • Missile Launcher
Fast Attack
Assault Squad (5x) including Sergeant with combat shield and power sword

I also had a Rhino as a dedicated transport for one of the combat squads.

My brother and I also had the random Dev squad of Dark Angels which included 2 lascannons, a plasma cannon, and a missile launcher. I don't know how that effects the detachment rules in 7th edition, but as this was more of a training match, we didn't worry about the particulars.

The Necron force which seemed a shade over 1,000 pts, but they might have been cheaper than I thought included the following:

Necron Lord

1 squad of Necron warriors (11x)
2 squads of Immortals (10x each)

Fast Attack
4 Canoptek Wraiths
5 Scarabs

Heavy Support
2 Annihilation Barges

From the beginning we knew we were at an inherent disadvantage because of the limited army list. The Imperial Fists force and Genesis squads were never intended to fight alongside each other. Heavy in troop support and fast attack with no heavy support and elites. These are literally all the units we had to get to 1,000 pts. You can look at my 1,000 army list here that I intend to do with Genesis, which is more balanced. So essentially we were using two incomplete merged lists to fight a very complete, constructed Necron list. But it was a good learning experience in terms of coming to grips with the details of the game.

Turn 1
Chris and I deployed on the left and right side of the table respectively. I put the Combat Squad with the flamer in the Rhino with the Assault Squad behind the vehicle. I placed the DA dev squad in the upper levels of the building, mainly to get a clear view of the battlefield. My remaining Combat Squad with the missile launcher set up shop on the bottom level of the building.

The Fists on the left made similar moves, aiming for the relative safety of the center terrain piece. If we could hold the center we could stage counter assaults from a somewhat concealed location.

We went first, so I moved my Rhino and Assault Squad toward the middle piece of terrain to try to stay out of the Necron Barge's line of fire. My Assault Squad only rolled a 2 on the D6 roll during the shooting phase, so they didn't quite get as far north as I wanted, but it wasn't a big deal. Rhino moved 12 inches flat out.

Storm bolter on the rhino picked off an Immortal.

The immortals and scarabs charged up the middle as well. Everyone jostling for position in the first turn.

The Necron warriors in the back right corner deployed directly behind the building and tried to run through it but got caught by difficult terrain and took nearly 3 turns to get out. So for now a non factor.
The barge came out and started hitting my dev squad. For now, everyone made their armor saves, but the building was becoming a tough spot to be in.
The danger lurking on my right. I should have attacked them from the beginning of the game.
Turn 2
Both the Fists and Genesis Marines consolidated nicely in the middle. My goal was to get my powerful Assault Squad into hand-to-hand. Close combat is their purpose obviously, but if I could lock up another Necron unit, I could also use them as a shield, since units locked in combat cannot be fired upon. For now though the barge was blocking my path to a clear target.

The Fists' Land Speeder was in a rather one sided duel with the other barge in a noble attempt to hold the left flank.

Kit kept his Necrons pretty balanced. One barge on each side dealing out the damage, but keeping his immortals free and their guns ready. Not much shooting in this phase, but my missile launcher on the ground floor of the back building took a hull point off the barge. My devs were decent against the Wraiths, scoring a killing blow on one of the machines. However, the gamer playing alongside Kit, rolled what in my opinion was a bad roll. The die got wedged between other die and the building terrain at an angle, which should have counted as a cocked die and warranted a re-roll. He needed a 5+ invulnerable save and I was sitting down and could see the 5 side facing me clearly, as I said it was cocked. He picked up the die and turned it so the 5 was facing up as he declared that he rolled a 5 and made the save. I didn't say anything but I should have, as a destroyed Wraith would have been huge. In the Necron turn the Wraiths ate up the distance and closed on the devs.

Now the Necrons began to surge forward, their warriors finally getting through the building. Now I had the target I wanted.
Kit threw his scarabs out in front as a shield against the Fists, but he also edged his immortals forward, not shying away from the fight. I believe in this turn the Land Speeder was destroyed by the barge, which was a bad setback considering the heavy weapons the Speeder was carrying.
My devs also began to suffer underneath the wrath of the other barge. Nowhere to hide and they had to face the wraiths, so not a lot they could for them to do to survive.

Turn 3
Now the battle got serious. My Assault Marines revved their chainswords in eager bloodlust (codex approved of course) as they rushed toward the warriors. I used their jumpacks in the movement phase to get a 12 inch move to ensure (for the most part) that they should make their charge.
The Fists swung around the corner as well, the Assault Squad going for the immortals while the Combat Squad dealt with the scarabs.
No time for fear now. Only duty remains.

I was really excited about this move and how it turned out. Under Kit's direction, I moved the Rhino just 6 inches so my combat squad could deploy 6 inches from the doors, essentially a 12 inch move. Now my flamer could burn the foe with the Emperor's fire, bolters could rapid fire and my Assault Squad could clean up what was left.
Flamer in the front, bolters blazing, and Sergeant Leandros leads his men forward. FOR THE EMPEROR!
The lack of Elites or reliable heavy support was telling. Although I was pressing the attack I had no answer to the barge or the waiting immortals. The counterblow was coming and I could nothing about it.

The chaplain reminds the Assault Squad that the Emperor and Dorn will not tolerate defeat.
Chris's combined fire from the two combat squads wrecked the scarabs. His missile launcher instant killed an entire base, and his power first wielding Sergeant crushed the metal beetles into powder.
A good attack from the tac squad. The flamer hit 8 with the template and only took down 3 warriors, but his brethren shot down another 2, so 5 warriors in total. 2 Necrons passed their reanimation protocols and stood back up to fight again, but 3 were out of the fight for good.
Extremely disappointing sequence from the remaining devs here. They could simple not roll to wound. I found the devs ineffective for the entire game.
Charging in.

Sergeant Octavius lost a man to overwatch fire from the Necrons, which was disappointing because he had to roll a 6, get that and wound me and then I had to fail my armor save which I managed to do as well. Anyway, my Assault Squad made the charge to launch 8 or 9 attacks, can't remember which. For all their fury they only struck down one Necron, but it proved to be enough. The Necrons failed to wound any of my marines and lost the combat. They failed their leadership test, and then failed the initiative test with me as well and got caught in a sweeping advance and were totally destroyed, no reanimation protocols are available when as unit gets destroyed as a whole. So in one turn the warriors had been annihilated, and they hadn't even fired a shot. It was a good sequence.

The Fists didn't fare so well. The Necron lord challenged the Fist chaplain, who of course accepted while the assault marines slammed into the immortals. While the Fists took several Necrons down, only one stayed down for good. A frustrating experience with the reanimation protocols. The Necrons lost the combat but passed their leadership test.
The chaplain actually fought very well. He inflicted 3 wounds with his 5 attacks, but the Necron lord's 2+ armor save shrugged them aside. The Chaplain only suffered one wound with a high AP weapon that denied his armor save, but his invul save kept him alive. Faith is indeed his shield.

The combat began to turn against the Fists.

Although my Assault Squad had performed admirably, they were caught out in the open now.
Brace yourselves and trust your armor.

The Necrons began their turn and lashed out at the Fists. The numbers began to take their toll on the Sons of Dorn.
Kit backed his barge up to open a clear lane of fire. Throne of Terra.
After a withering barrage of fire, only 2 Assault Marines remained and even that was an amazing result. Sergeant Octavius successfully made an incredible 7 saves. 7! Leading by example as the codex requires.
The Devs number was up. The Wraiths made the charge and defeated them in hand to hand. I really misplayed my combat squad on the ground floor. I should have moved them out of the building to shoot at the Wraiths coming in. With a missile launcher and bolters on rapid fire, surely we could have knocked down 1 or 2.
Now is a very good time to leave.

The Fists started to fall, and there was no getting up this time. As Turn 3 ended, the Space Marines were hard pressed to get a victory.

We were out of time unfortunately, so this is as far as the battle progressed. But Chris and I knew we would be fighting a losing battle. The left flank was collapsing, Wraiths had broken our line on the right, and both of the Necron barges were still fighting. The immortals were relatively unscathed, and soon the Necrons would sweep over the battlefield.

I really enjoyed the experience of fighting this first battle, even if it wasn't complete. I learned so much about the game and scratched the surface a bit in tactics. This battle is what my blog is all about, my journey as I build and hone Genesis into an elite fighting force. A special thanks to Kit for taking the time to play with rookies and showing us the ropes.

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