Tuesday 14 April 2015

Epic 4K: Feral Orks vs Death Guard

Glyn from the UK has been visiting New Zealand for a time, but is flying back to the UK tomorrow. We managed to get in one more game before he left, with Glyn using my Death Guard, while I used my Feral Orks. 

Here's the Feral Ork horde I used:

Snagga-Snagga's Feral Orks (NetEA Army Compendium v20120208)

3 Steam Gargant

2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, Orkeosaurus, Warlord, Wyrdboy

2 Nobz, 3 Two Wildboyz Units, Orkeosaurus, Wyrdboy

2 Nobz, 3 Two Wildboyz Units, Orkeosaurus, Wyrdboy

2 Nobz, 3 Two Wildboyz Units, Orkeosaurus, Wyrdboy

2 Nobz, 3 Two Wildboyz Units, Orkeosaurus, Wyrdboy

Junka Trukks, 6 Boyz, Wyrdboy, Nobz

Junka Trukks, 6 Boyz, Nobz

2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, Wyrdboy, 3 Squig Katapult

2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, 3 Squig Katapult, Wyrdboy

11 Madboyz

10 Boarboyz

10 Boarboyz

Here is Glyn's Death Guard List.  The Plague Towers were also costed at 325 in this game rather than 300, hence the slight difference in points total listed below. In addition a few models were proxied as I haven't got them painted yet. These included the Plague Reapers (Death Wheels used), Chaos Spawn (Lictors used), and Havocs (Terminators used).

Death Guard (NetEA V0.2)

7 Plague Marines, 2 Chaos Spawn, Nurgle Daemon Prince (Supreme Commander), Daemonic Pact (includes 1 Plaguebearer), Chaos Champion

Plague Lord, Chaos Spawn, 4 Plague Marines, 3 Havoc, Contagion Engine

Plague Lord, Chaos Spawn, Contagion Engine, 4 Plague Marines, 3 Havoc

 (+25 cost for plague tower so 400)
Plague Tower, Desecrator

PLAGUE TOWER [375]  (+25 cost for plague tower so 400)
Plague Tower, Desecrator

3 Nurgle Predator, Nurgle Land Raider

2 Death Guard Desecrator, 2 Death Guard Plague Hulk





Great Unclean one


The Battlefield had a central town area surrounded by some woods and hills. Glyn garrisoned the town area, while the two Ork Catapult mobs held the two woods on their own side of the table. Most of the Ork heavy units were on the right flank, including the three Steam Gargants and four of the five Orkeosauruses. The two Chaos objectives were in the town area, the two Ork ones on the extreme flanks.

A look at Chaos garrisons.

The Chaos war engines get ready to roll.

As do the ork ones!

Chaos win the Strategy Roll. The Plague Ship flies overhead and unleashes a tremendous bombardment near the Ork Blitz, hitting one of the Catapult mobs and the Mad Boyz.  The Mad Boyz break but stay where they are, while the Catapult Mob comes close to breaking. Three small hordes of Plague Zombies also appear around these units!

The Chaos war engines rumble forward on the other flank, a Great Unclean one also being summoned to lead them forwards! The Orkeosauruses thunder forward too, while the Steam Gargants stay stationary and blast one of the garrisoned Chaos infantry units, killing a single unit.

On the other flank the Orks gradually batter down the Zombies, and both sides advance on each other. Here one of my Orkeosauruses eyes the oncoming pestilent clawed monstrosities (Desecrators and Plague Hulks), and decides to act rather unorkily, sustaining fire rather than advancing! One of the Desecrators is destroyed.

The Ork Catapult mob also fires on the garrisoned chaos retinue formation on the ork right flank, killing another unit.

End of turn one, and here is the overall situation. Chaos press forward in the centre, while the orks are more cautious, probing on the flanks. Shooting from both sides is pretty ineffective for the most part, as it is mostly normal or disrupt attacks rather than Macro and Titan Killer weaponary, and Feral Ork shooting sucks anyway, and both sides are heavily armoured. 

On the left flank, the Catapult mob is down to a single ork unit, which nonetheless rallies. The Zombies have been mostly eliminated by the orks for little loss in return. The few remaining zombies have retreated to the town.

On the right flank, the war machines face off...

...while Ork Junka Trukks race around the flank.

Last of the Plague Zombies lurk in the town, still broken.

The Chaos War Engines advancing past the town and looking fearsome.

Turn 2

Feral Orks win the Strategy Roll. First activation is an assault by the Boarboyz on the left flank against the Chaos armoured company. Two Predators and two Boarboyz are lost and both formations break and both head towards the Chaos side of the table. The Steam Gargants then bombard the Chaos centre killing some infantry and placing blast markers.

A Chaos Plague Reaper doubles and kills three Junka Trukks and their boyz.

The Repugnant Titan advances on the Orkeosaurus, but fails to damage it.

The Warlords Orkeosaurus shoots and breaks the garrisoned infantry retinue, and then the Ork Junka Trukks assault the Plague Reaper, doing two damage and breaking it, but breaking in turn themselves. 

The Orks decide to move away from the Repugnant Titan feeling it is too much to handle for now. The large Chaos Retinue firefights an Orkeosaurus but gets unlucky and loses, and the Great Unclean One is lost! The Orkeosaurus is wounded though and stampedes away from them.

The lone ork unit surviving from the Catapult mob sneaks forward and destroys the last of the Armoured company, which had just lost another unit to Orkeosaurus fire.

End of turn two. Chaos still hold the centre, while Orks advance around the flanks. All Chaos units have rallied except for a Plague Reaper in the upper right, and the Plague Zombies. All Orks have rallied except for remains of a Boarboy mob behind the woods in top left centre, and remains of a Junka Trukk mob behind the hill top right centre.

Orkeosauruses advancing on the right flank.

Junka Trukks racing around the left flank.

Turn 3

Feral Orks win Strategy Roll again! The heroic lone ork unit from the decimated Catapult mob doubles over and shoots the Plague Hulks, which only needed one blast marker to break and do so. The Steam Gargants again sustain fire against the Chaos centre, only killing a single unit.

The Chaos infantry on their left flank has rallied and assaults an Orkeosaurus with firefight support from a Plague Tower, while the Warlords Orkeosaurus also provides some firefight support for the orks. However the Chaos lose and fall back.  The Repugnant Titan fails its activation roll and shoots ineffectually at the Steam Gargants.

Another Orkeosaurus sustains fire again, the Wyrdboy hitting and killing the Chaos Daemon Prince!

An Orkeosaurus fresh from it's success against Chaos infantry rumbles forward, but it is firefighted in and killed by another Chaos retinue from the town, though it takes three furious rounds of combat as the first two rounds are draws!

A Plague Tower unit rumbles back to defend the Chaos blitz. The Chaos Supreme Commander formation is finally broken by Catapult mob fire, but moves towards the Ork blitz anyway.

The Ork Warlords Orkeosaurus claims a Take and Hold Objective.

The Chaos have left their other Take and Hold objective exposed and the Ork Junka Trukks rush in to claim that too. Chaos are out of activations.

The Orks move to secure their own three objectives and so have achieved 'Take and Hold' and 'Defend the Flag" Victory Conditions. Orks win 2-0!


Well another interesting game, with quite different tactics used by the Feral Orks this time! The Death Guard are slow but well armoured, and quite fearsome in close assault. Also even to orks these plague creatures smell bad! Hence I decided to stay away from the enemy a lot more than I usually would with Feral Orks, concentrating instead on shooting them up and suppressing them even if I couldn't kill them, and destroying the weaker formations when opportunity arose. The Death Guard struggled to impact the armour of the Orkeosauruses and Steam Gargants, and ended up being too few in number to hold objectives in the end. And the one surviving Ork unit from the Catapult Mob deserves some sort of reward for service to the cause!

Another interesting game with yet another novel tactical challenge involved! Thanks Glyn, been great having you here and good luck for your new ventures in the UK.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Epic 4K: Steel Legion vs Vior'la Tau

A couple of games were played at the local wargames club in the weekend. Here's the first between Glyn borrowing my Steel Legion, and Andrew using his mighty Tau. Andrew again contributed a great report. A few pictures were taken and I've added them as best I could to the narrative!

An Imperial Mechanized Infantry force moved to block the Colonial Tau attempts to clear the Eastern Continent, Woolstonia, of the alien incursion. A space mobileKavaal [lit. Strike Group] was deployed to intercept them. The newly available Moray support craft were attached to Tio’ve Eoro [lit. Group, To Guide] control for the duration of the battle. Orbital fire support and light fighter cover was provided by other Kor’elan elements.

Vior’la Force

Crisis Cadre, 4 Battlesuits + Shas’o [325]
Vior’la FW Cadre, 6 Fire Warriors + Ethereal, 3 Devilfish, Skyray [375]
Manta [650, air third]

Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish [200]
Recon Group, 3 Tetra, 2 Piranha [150]
Moray [300]

Pathfinder Group, 4 Pathfinders, 2 Devilfish [200]
Recon Group, 3 Tetra, 2 Piranha [150]
Moray [300]

Protector Spacecraft [200, air third]
Fighters, 2 Barracudas [150, air third]

Imperial Guard Force, Estimated from Tau Recon Sweep

Regimental HQ
Mechanized Infantry Company, Hydra, Griffons
Mechanized Infantry Company, Hydra, Griffons
Super-Heavy Shadowsword Company, Ogryn support [BTS]

Manticore Artillery Battery
Sentinel Squadron
Rough Rider Platoon
Rough Rider Platoon

Thunderbolt Squadron
Thunderbolt Squadron

Initial reports of a unit of Storm Troopers in Valkyries did not appear on the field of battle.
(Also Glyn had to use some artillery pieces as Chimeras as I didn't have enough painted up!)


Objectives were concentrated on the southern part of the battlefield with mutual lines of supply [blitz] established in or beside woods.  Guard bunkers [Tau T&H] were placed directly forward to protect the line of supply.  Tau gun towers [Guard T&H, Tau DtF] were placed to cover flank approaches to the rear areas.

Guard forces deployed Rough Riders and Sentinels in forward screening positions.  The rest of the army deployed in a compact band centred on the southern supply line.

Tau Pathfinders were deployed forward, in over-watch positions.  The Tetra/Piranha recon groups were deployed on the flanks in reserve positions directly supporting the two Moray Support Craft.  The Crisis and FW Cadres remained aboard the centrally positioned Manta to protect them from Guard artillery fire and to provide an early heavy coordinated fire mission.

Initial Contact [Turn One]

The orbital re-deployment of the Tau Colonial Kavaal allowed the Gue’la [lit. Lowest Beings, i.e., Imperial Humans] sufficient time to ambush the Manta before it could engage [Glyn, Imperial won the Strategy Roll].  The Imperial Super-Heavy Tank Company appeared over the crest of the hill and scored four [TK(4)] hits on the Manta.  The deflector screens performed valiantly reducing the damage but were knocked off-line by a critical hit. A follow up barrage by the Manticores punched a further hole in the fuselage [5 hits on the DC8 war-engine, no deflector screen, 7 Blast Markers, and no activations from the Tau yet, . . .].

The Manta advanced [doubled] through the storm of fire to directly retaliate.  Ion Cannon and Guided Missile fire caused a critical explosion on the lead Shadowsword, and the Heavy Railcannon fire destroyed a second tank outright.  The FW Cadre which dismounted into supporting positions behind the Manta helped thicken the Guided Missile fire.  The Crisis Suits deployed to add their missile fire but re-boarded using their jet-packs [Tau Jet-Pack move].

[Commentary:  I wanted to move the Fearless FW unit forward to deploy them holding/contesting T&H objectives. Having them in the Manta protected them from early long range artillery fire.  The only way I’ve managed to get value from Crisis Suits is in combination with the heavy battle taxi aspect of the Manta.  I’ll keep trying other methods, . . .  After taking the initial firestorm from the Shadowswords I could not combine a Marshall move with getting the troops out and firing.  There was too much in the Manta to leave it there (doing nothing rather than in danger of being destroyed) and getting out and not firing with the three formations (if Marshall with a move) seemed too weak in the face of Glyn’s two opening activations.  Was having them all in the Manta a mistake??  I definitely thought so at the time.  Probably still do.  I will try it again, . . . , well, yes!!??].

The battle intensified in a narrow corridor between the two supply lines as the Imperial Guard moved Mechanized Infantry Companies up into close range of the ailing Manta.  Phenomenally accurate sniper fire killed the supreme commander early in the process [Guard re-roll already used for that turn].  Moving through the forest disabled one Hydra and missile fire accounted for a second during the Imperial approach moves. 

Concern over an engage move by the Rough Rider platoons with supporting fire from two full Mechanized Infantry Companies shaped the usual courageous actions by the Pathfinder Groups, Tau’va [lit. for the Greater Good].  Moving forward into flanking positions to support these troops, attain crossfire and to provide AA fire on the Thunderbolt exit flight paths brought the Morays unexpectedly close to enemy forces [only need to get within 60 cm to shoot at ground forces].  The light rail guns on these units were surprisingly defective throughout the battle [in all three turns only two hits achieved, despite markerlights and MW3+] but the overall destructive effect was a satisfying reflection on Kor’vre marksmanship.  The orbital support from the heavy rail guns of the Protector destroyed the final Shadowsword and accounted for its accompanying infantry [BTS to the Tau].

A final long range volley from the Imperial Guard’s right flank Mechanized Infantry Company, as it doubled into a central firing position, caused the Manta to retire.  The Shas’o disembarked during this move to take up positions to support the advanced formations on the Tau left flank.  The Manta recovered control of its on-board systems [rallied in the end phase, Init 1+, broken -2, with an unused re-roll, not needed].   The broken Imperial formations failed to rally.

Enveloping Fire [Turn Two]

With the initiative moving towards the Tau [won the strategy roll] the Manta and right flank Moray took advantage of crossfire opportunities to further degrade the Infantry companies.  Enemy fire broke the right flank pathfinder group and the remaining Devilfish advanced [broke and retreated forward!] to constrict Imperial retreat lines, Tau’va.

The Ethereal’s FW Cadre moved forward into pulse carbine range, occupying the ruined cathedral complex, and breaking another enemy company.  The Shas’o doubled forward to ensure the crisis suit fusion blaster weapons had the range to hit the rapidly reloading Manticores.   

The Imperial Navy Thunderbolts continued to harass the Tau forward scouting elements.  Both formations, now down to 3 aircraft, managed to return for follow up strikes and eventually broke the southern Pathfinder Group [activation rolls of 6 and 5, just making it in each case].  The pathfinders retreated to cover objectives on that flank.  Suppression of the only remaining Imperial AA [7 BMs on the formation] allowed the Barracuda Flight to close on the tails of the Thunderbolts but again none were shot down in the dogfight; clearly elite Imperial navy units. 

The far right, northern, Imperial company rallied but otherwise the loss of the supreme commander continued to hamper the Guard formations [4 broken formations remaining].  The remaining Pathfinder Group rallied on the southern objectives.

Mont’ka [lit. Killing Blow] (Turn Three)

Despite the increasing disintegration of the Imperial Guard command and communications structure individual initiative from Company commanders saw Mechanized Infantry formations launch successful local counter-attacks.  On the northern flank one company broke the Moray which re-grouped forward towards the Imperial Blitz [being fearless and only having taken one hit].  The remaining company close assaulted the crisis suits and cut them down.  Once again the Colony salutes the sacrifice of our Battle Suit leaders, Tau’va.

The FW Cadre continued its move to secure the northern defense tower [Defend the Flag Objective] and, again at pulse carbine range, wiped out the Sentinels in the ruins to the west of the cathedral complex. 

At this stage the senior surviving Imperial commander ordered wholesale retreat.  With the Manta, a Moray and several supporting Tau formations still poised to move forward the decision was acknowledged with Honour [BTS, T&H, DtF, TSNP, and likely to take the Blitz].