Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bash From the Past: 40K Escalation Tourney, Sci-Fi-Genre

Escalation Tournament report + fluff 8/18/07, Sci-Fi Genre

(With my old haunt closing down soon, With my backup site closing soon, I'm re-posting a number of my old Batreps here, hope you enjoy. Keep in mind when reading that some of the games were under old editions/codexes.)
August 2007

Got back from a tournament down the road (in Durham, NC at Sci-Fi Genre). Interesting setup, did it as an ‘escalation’ tournament, with points building each round. First two battles were 500pt Combat Patrols, then a 750pt regular game, then 1000 and finally 1500. Everything in your earlier lists had to be carried over.

I felt it was an interesting way to do it and led to some interesting choices and the armies you ended up seeing at the higher points weren’t typical 1000 or 1500pt tourney armies as a result. As an additional plus, the smaller early games meant we were able to get lots of games in, 5 vs the normal 3 – and since one of the reasons I make the trek out is to meet & play with new folks, that’s a good thing for me. If you get the opportunity with your own local groups, I definitely recommend giving something like this system a try.

There were I believe ten players – me (IG), one Marine, two Eldar, two Tau, two Orks, and I believe a Witchhunter and Daemonhunter.

Below is my attempt to weave the fights I was in into a linked narrative, along with comments.

Eldrad Ulthran had seen the strands of fate. There was a tangle here, a knot that led to great misfortune for the Eldar. Left unchecked, the building Ork Waaagh would consume a number of Maiden Worlds and draw in irreplaceable troops from several Craftworlds just when they would be needed to protect the Webway from another threat. The Waagh must be stopped. Or perhaps…redirected?

+++During the campaign on Derrhamm III, there were a series of unusual engagements in what was previously a quiet sector that dramatically changed the course of the war and led to the local Ork Waaagh taking a new course…+++

Game One – 500pt Combat Patrol vs. Orks (Nate)

+++Cavalry patrols detected a buildup of Ork activity in the recently quiet sector SFG-27707. Major Anderson of the 906th Hesperax Hellcats rapidly gathers what he can of his 1st Platoon and takes them to hold the line until further reserves can be brought up.+++

500pt Combat Patrol
Senior Officer (Major Anderson)
Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol
Vet with Company Standard, Laspistol/CCW
Grenade Launcher
Fire Support Squad (3xHeavy Bolters)

Platoon HQ (Lt. Hershey)
Junior Officer
Power Weapon/Laspistol
Grenade Launcher

Squad 1 / 1
Missile Launcher
Plasma Gun
Sgt w/Laspistol/CCW

Squad 1 / 2
Missile Launcher
Grenade Launcher
Sgt. w/Laspistol/CCW

Fast Attack
10xRough Riders
8xHunting Lances
(116pts) --- 497pts total

The Orks were Deathskulls, with a Kannon, two Killer Kans, and two units of Lootas – one with Heavy Bolters and another with Autocannons. Fully painted, looked nice.

Luck was with me and the IG, and I managed to wipe out the Orks. Some good rolls for me combined with some bad rolls for the Lootas made the difference. Both Kans got destroyed, one unit of Lootas got shot up, the other one and the Kannon got overrun by the Rough Riders.

Shooty Orks can be challenging enough (as my own Bad Moon record can attest…), but I think there were other factors as well. The low points level forced the mobs to be small, which hurts Mob size checks and limits your ability to ignore casualties. Crucially though, I think giving the Lootas multiple shot weapons like that is a mistake. It sounds good in theory to help counteract the BS2 by having more shots, but with Lootas it just means more chances to roll 1’s and shoot yourself. Probably a third to half of the Lootas killed each other off. I think they’d be better off as just Shoota Boyz with ‘looted’ HBs and ACs counting-as Big Shootas and Rokkits.

The knot grew tighter. It needed to be cut, to allow the strands to reform in a more pleasing fashion. The mon-keigh victory seemed to have stopped the Greenskin advance in that area. It must be made to look weaker in order to tempt the Ork leaders into the cauldron. The call went out, and the forces of the Eldar danced out to attempt to alter fate…

+++Shortly after securing sector SFG-27707 from the Orks, attack came again, this time from an unexpected quarter, the treacherous Eldar. How obvious that all these Xenos are in collaboration.+++

Game Two – 500pt Combat Patrol vs. Hans (Eldar)

He had a unit of Harlies with Shadowseer and Death Jester, a unit of Dark Reapers and Guardians with Starcannon + Conceal Warlock. Fully painted, Harlies weren’t the normal wild frenzy of patterns and colors, were tied together.

I managed to kill half the Reapers and send the others packing, cutting down on the incoming fire. The Rough Riders were the only unit that stood a chance against the Harlies, but the way it was looking I didn’t think I could get the drop on them. I would love to have been able to move up and double-flamer them, but from the board the only way I could get close enough would be to fleet, and if I did that I couldn’t shoot, so it wouldn’t work. Assaulting them would be suicide, as even with the lances the Harlies would attack first at I6. I had to draw them off from the rest of my force though.

So, the Rough Riders went up the right flank, in theory threatening the remaining Reapers. The Harlies took the bait and moved over and slaughtered the poor cavalrymen and doubtless did depraved things to the mounts. However, this left them too far away to safely cover the distance in one turn to the rest of the IG, so they spent the rest of the game in cover plinking away with the Death Jester. Meanwhile, I managed to finish off the Reapers as well as the Guardians. With my only VP-relevant losses being the Rough Riders, win for the IG.

The loss of the warriors is unfortunate, but their sacrifice is necessary for the larger pattern. Emboldened by their apparent victory, the mon-keigh will slaver at the prospect of further barbaric slaughter and will push their apparent advantage. But they are not the only ones drawn to smoke and blood…the one we seek shall come too, and the knot may be undone. Eldrad himself shall supervise the laying of the trap.

Game 3 – 750pts, vs Eldar (Rupert)

+++Responding to calls for reinforcements in sector SFG-27707 to exploit Xenos weakness, elements of the 34th Air-mobile Battalion (“Airborne Avengers”) are re-routed and dropped off by Valkyrie transports. The units under the highly-decorated veteran Captain Rogers are temporarily seconded to Major Anderson while in-sector.+++

Platoon HQ
Junior Officer (Captain Rogers)
Honorifica Imperialis
Bolt Pistol/CCW
Grenade Launcher

Squad 2/1
Missile Launcher

Squad 2/2
(85pts) ---747pts total

He had Eldrad, 3-walker warwalker squadron with two EMLs each, two squads of guardians with Starcannons, and a five-man Banshee squad. Nicely painted and converted to a Japanese/Samurai theme.

The Rough Riders again proved their worth, managing to get a first-turn charge off on the Warwalkers who obligingly had Scout-moved forward. The S5 lances against the AV10 walkers was bad news for the Eldar. One walker destroyed outright, one immobilized with one weapon gone, the last immobilized with both weapons gone. The Eldar would have their revenge though, as the Banshees moved up and annihilated the RR’s. Meanwhile, the Heavy Bolters ran one Guardian squad off the table, only to be destroyed themselves by massive Eldritch Storms brought down by Eldrad.

The 2nd platoon dropped in. One scattered off table (off exact edge spot the Guardians fled off of…obviously they went in pursuit…), but the other two landed to confront the Banshees and Eldrad.

Mistake. In the end the Banshees were down to two models and Eldrad was down to one wound, but the drop-troops were toast.

The big E continued to be the man of the match, repeatedly pummeling the IG from safety out of LOS. S3 AP ‘-‘ may not seem like much to MEQs, but to guard it’s brutal.

In the end I had killed two out of the three warwalkers, had run off the one unit of guardians, and got half points for the Banshees and Eldrad. But half-points weren’t enough compared to the multiple fully-destroyed squads of IG. Eldar victory.

The mon-keigh put their hand in the fire and have been burned. They must be kept off balance for now, but we must involve another pawn to do so, lest the loss of Eldar life prove too great. Eldrad, gravely wounded in the last encounter, must rest before taking to the field again – he cannot be risked. False signals have drawn a small Tau exploratory fleet in, they shall suffer the wrath of the mon-keigh in our stead…

Game Four, 1000pts, vs. Stuart (Tau)

+++Catching up from their back area rotation, 3rd Squad of 1st Platoon, 906th Rgt. links up with fast response units heading for the embattled sector. They arrive in time to lend their aid in the next engagement against the Xenos. +++

add to First Platoon
Squad 1 / 3
Missile Launcher
Grenade Launcher

Fast Attack
Hellhound “Ace of Flames”
Extra Armor

Fast Attack
Sentinel -Autocannon
(50pts) ---1000pts total

Stuart had two single broadsides with two shield drones each, CO suit with lots of bling and two shield drones, single Crisis with two drones, two teams of two Crisis suits, two six-man firewarrior squads and an eight-man FW squad with carbines. Some of the suits and the drones were unpainted, but what was painted was nicely done, with a sort of deep reddish-brown look.

As is to be expected, the IG light armor didn’t last long in the face of Tau firepower, both went up in smoke in short order. The RRs got wiped out by dedicated smart missile, missile pod, and Plasmagun fire. One unit of FWs were run off by the Heavy Bolters, and both Broadsides fell back after the loss of their drones, though one managed to stay in the fight while he was falling back. The two solo Crisis suits deepstruck in, the Elite slot one getting killed by massive firepower. The CO suit got caught in combat with 1st Platoon’s Command Squad, but the Tau proved victorious – drones stripped and one wound left, but alive. Terrain was too broken up for the IG to really manage to bring concentrated fire to bear anywhere, especially after the quick loss of the mobile elements. End result Tau victory.

The Tau have since evacuated the planet, but they have served our purpose, in holding the mon-keigh in place in battle long enough to draw the attention of the Ork Warlord. He descends upon the field, and his fate shall determine our own…

Game Five – 1500pts, vs. Cory (Orks)

+++As the battle in sector SFG-27707 becomes more pitched, command dispatches a Leman Russ platoon to finish off the enemy. Implacable, Invincible, and Indomitable respond.+++


Heavy Support
Leman Russ Implacable
Hull Lascannon
Extra Armor

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Invincible
Hull Lascannon
Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Extra Armor

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Indomitable
Hull Lascannon
Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Extra Armor
(170pts) ---1500pts total

Big guns never tire, and it’s a good thing. Heavy armor is just what the Farseer ordered for this last battle.

The Orks had: Warboss, Painboss+Cyborks in Trukk, Trukk boyz, Tankbustas, Burna boyz, Sluggas, two grot mobs, looted basilisk, two solo ‘cover’ buggies, solo Killer Kan with scorcha, two KKs with Rokkits. Fully and nicely painted, with some entertaining conversions.

The Trukk boyz and Cyborks (with Warboss tagging along too) surged forward, with terrain and sacrificial buggies blocking LOS from the masses of IG heavy weapons. The footsloggers started to push forward as well, and the basilisk (direct fire) ranged in on one of the Leman Russes.

Then it went downhill for the Orks, though there were some bright moments. The Trukk boyz made contact and wiped out one squad in the center, but were in turn destroyed by the Rough Riders. Through a series of lucky rolls, the Cybork trukk’s coverbuggy was blown up, leaving the truck exposed…and one penetrating ordnance hit later, the truck…and all the cyborks…and the painboss…and the warboss…were all gone. Had they survived it would have been a MUCH different game. The tankbustas had their revenge though, and killed the offending Leman Russ the following turn.

The Rough Riders continued to perform well, wiping out a grot squad (scaring the grots off with flamers and laspistols, then charging and killing the surprised slaver, and consolidating into the Tankbustas. They and the Burnas managed to finish off the RRs, but were significantly weakened. One of the Kans managed to close and wipe out a squad and had a crack at CC with one of the Russes, but poor luck on the Ork’s part saved the Imperial tank.

In the end I had lost the one Russ and a number of squads, but the Orks were worse off. Both trucks and passengers gone. Buggies gone. Basilisk destroyed. Two kans destroyed, third stuck immobilized in middle of battlefield. Grots gone, Orks basically gone. End result, IG victory.

Ended up 3-2 for the tourney, with 3rd place. IIRC, Hans, the Eldar player I defeated in round 2, ended up winning 1st. Cory, the round 5 Ork player, won best painted.

The knot is cut, the strands reform into a more pleasing pattern. With their Warlord dead, the Orks will find a new leader. One that will continue the fight against the mon-keigh, instead of turning towards Eldar worlds. The dance continues…

Oi! You dere! Get dem Stompas runnin! These ummies can give a good krump, but we’re gonna show em what real krumpin’s like! If we’re lucky maybe we’ll even get to krump some beakies! WAAAAAAGGGHHH!!!


+++Under new leadership, the revitalized Ork forces continued their assault on Derrhamm as more and more Orks flocked to the system, somehow drawn to the…+++

The better pics, from the last battle. Most of the others were taken from too far away to be of much use.

"Back up faster! Back up faster!"

"Sarge? That thing's getting pretty close..."

Rough Riders to the rescue!

The Warboss avenged.
Trukk boyz pile out.

Round 5 setup.


The Rough Riders were definitely the MVPs overall. They almost always died horribly, but usually they performed a useful task first. The Heavy Bolters performed well throughout as well. If I were to change anything, I think swapping the 1/3 squad out for a mortar unit could have helped in round 4, and would have continued to be useful in round 5. Of course, the game I really could have used them in would have been round 3, and I don't think there's anything I could really drop to make room for them and stay legal other than the HB's, which were good throughout. Decisions, decisions. ;)

The army breakdowns really surprised me. Only one marine army! No Chaos, even though this would be the last hurrah of the outgoing codex. I guess their local hard-core folks are mostly Xenos adherents.

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