Hi everyone, Corrm here with a written battle report. This week, my Astra Militarum army take on Raymond’s Adeptus Mechanicus and Skitarii force. For more battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
My army consisted of:
- Company Command Squad- Vox, Astropath, Master of Ordnance, Medic, Regimental Standard (CC)
- Tank Command Pask- Punisher tank, Punisher cannon, heavy bolter, heavy bolter sponsons (P1)
- Punisher Tank- Punisher cannon, heavy bolter, heavy bolter sponsons (P2)
- Priest (with PC1)
- Priest (with I2A)
- Commissar (with HBT)
- Commissar (with LCT)
- Commissar (with PC2)
- Primaris Psyker- mastery level 2 (with I1A)
- Platoon Command 1- Vox, 2 grenade launchers (PC1)
- Infantry Squad 1A- Vox, Autocannon (I1A)
- Infantry Squad 1B- Vox, Autocannon (I1B)
- Infantry Squad 1C- Autocannon (I1C)
- Platoon Command – Vox, 2 plasma guns (PC2)
- Infantry Squad 2A- Vox, Flamer (I2A)
- Infantry Squad 2B- Vox, Flamer (I2A, combined squad)
- Infantry Squad 2C- Flamer (I2C)
- Heavy Weapons Team- Heavy Bolters (HBT)
- Heavy Weapons Team- Missile Launchers (MLT)
- Heavy Weapons Team- Lascannons (LT)
- 10 Veterans- 3 Meltaguns (V)
- Chimera- Extra Armour, Dozer Blades (C)
- Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons (LR)
- Wyvern (W1)
- Wyvern (W2)
- Aegis Defence Line
The letters in brackets next to each unit correspond to their unit assignments on the maps below.
My warlord trait gave me Voice of Command, giving me an extra order on my command squad. For my psychic powers, the Astropath got Hallucination and Psychic Shriek, the Primaris Psyker got Misfortune, Perfect Timing and Prescience.
Raymond’s army consisted of:
- Sydonian Dragoon- Broad spectrum data-tether (D)
- Onager Dunecrawler- Broad spectrum data-tether, Emanatus force field (DC)
- 5 Sicarian Infiltrators- Infiltrator Princeps, stubcarbines and power swords (I)
- 5 Sicarian Ruststalkers- Ruststalker Princeps, transonic razor, chordclaw, mindscrambler grenades (R1)
- 5 Skitarii Rangers- Ranger Alpha, 2 Plasma Caliver, Galvanic rifles (R2)
- 10 Skitarii Vanguard- 2 Plasma Calivers, radium carbine (V)
- Tech Priest Dominus- Artificer armour, conversion field, Erradication ray, infoslave skull, Macrostubber, Mechadendrite harness, power axe, Raiment of the Technomartyr, Scryerskull (with D1)
- 3 Kataphron Destroyers- Plasma Culverins, phosphor blaster (D1)
- 3 Kataphron Destroyers- Plasma Culverins, phosphor blaster (D2)
- Knight Paladin- Stormshear rocket pod, Reaper Chainsword, 2 heavy stubbers, Rapid Fire Battle Cannon (KP)
- Cerastus Knight Atropos- Graviton Singularity Cannon, Atropos Lascutter, Ionic Flare Shield, Occular ogmetics (CK)
- Raymond’s warlord trait gave him the Canticles for all his units.
Two Knights! Two! I think I would struggle to deal with just one of those monstrosities, so would be interested to see how my Guard fared against two such beasts.
We rolled for mission on the Eternal War chart and got Crusade with 5 objectives.
I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I set up the bulk of my army on the right flank. The Aegis line ran along the edge of my deployment zone, with the infantry squads from the first platoon, the Lascannon heavy weapons team, Heavy Bolter heavy weapons team and Company Command behind the line, along with the Leman Russ. One Wyvern went on the left flank, with the other on the right flank.
Two of the squads from platoon two were combined and set up in the centre next to the two Punisher tanks. My plan was to advance them on the central objective. I set up the Veteran’s Chimera besides the Punisher tanks. The Missile launcher heavy weapons team went on the left flank in the ruins, with an infantry squad and platoon command squad beside them, ready to advance on the objective.
Raymond set up his two Knights on his right flank, with the Destroyers on the bunker on the right and the Ruststalkers behind the bunker. The Rangers and second unit of Destroyers (joined by the Dominus) deployed in the centre, while the Vanguard, Dragoon and Dunecrawler deployed on the left flank. Raymond infiltrated the Infiltrators on his left flank, in front of my Wyvern.
Raymond failed to seize and I took the first turn.
Deployment of the armies. The shields represent the objectives in the game.
TURN 1- ASTRA MILITARUM
Infantry Squad 2C and platoon command 1 advanced on the Knight Paladin, the Veteran’s Chimera advancing at full speed to block the advance of the Knight. Pask led his Punisher tanks forward to support the advance of the combined Infantry squad.
In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Prescience on the Lascannon team to aid them in targeting their foe.
In the shooting phase, the Company Command ordered the Lascannon team to bring down the Atropos Knight. Two of the Lascannons hit, causing one glancing hit and one penetrating hit, but the Knight’s shield saved both the shots.
One of the Wyverns fired at the Rangers, the explosive shells killing 6 of the unit. Pask ordered his unit to split fire, his own tank targeting the Destroyer unit and killing two of the squad, the second Punisher killing two of the Rangers. Infantry Squad 2A were ordered to fire on the Rangers and then advance, they killed one of the squad and ran towards the middle objective. The Rangers passed their morale check, but the single Destroyer failed his morale check and fled.
Infantry Squads 1A and 1B fired on the Destroyers, but failed to cause any damage. The Heavy Bolter Team fired on the Destroyers, wounding them twice.
The second Wyvern fired on the Infiltrators, all four shots landing on target and killing two of the squad.
TURN 1- MECHANICUS/SKITARII
The Tech Priest Dominus activated the blessing of the machine god this turn, giving the forces Stealth and Shrouded and boosting the ballistic skill of the Mechanicus forces.
The lone Destroyer failed to rally, fleeing off the board. The Paladin Knight and Ruststalkers advanced on the Veteran’s Chimera, while the Dragoon and Infiltators moved up to engage the Infantry squad in front of them.
The Dunecrawler fired at an Infantry squad behind the Aegis Line, the squad went to ground to protect themselves. The Dunecrawler’s cannon wounded two of the guardsmen and I managed to fail both 2+ cover saves! The heavy stubbers accounted for one more casualty (I failed 3 of my seven 2+ saves this turn). The Destroyers and Dominus fired on the Heavy Bolter weapons team, but the squad went to ground and suffered no casualties.
The Rangers fired at the combined infantry squad advancing on their position, killing one of them.
On the right flank, the Mechanicus forces opened fire on the guard in front of them. The Paladin Knight fired at the infantry squad in front of them, killing 7 of the squad with its battle cannon. The heavy stubber killed the remains of the squad. It then fired its second heavy stubber at the missile launcher team, killing one of the squad. It’s missiles launched at Pask’s Punisher, but failed to find a weakness in the Leman Russ’ mighty armour.
The Cerastus fired at Pask’s unit, but failed to glance his vehicle. He then fired his D weapon at the Chimera, wrecking the vehicle and forcing the Veterans to disembark.
Seeing the Veterans emerge from their destroyed transport, the Ruststalkers moved to engage them in combat. The Veterans fired their well-drilled overwatch shots, killing two of the Ruststalkers outright with their meltagun blasts. The Ruststalkers failed the charge as a result.
The Infiltrators attempted to charge the Infantry squad on the left flank, but they too failed the charge.
TURN 2- ASTRA MILITARUM
On the left flank, the Veterans and Platoon Command advanced on the Ruststalkers. In the centre, the Priest led his combined squad onwards to the communications array in the centre of the battlefield.
The Primaris attempted to guide the Lascannon team once more, but the fickle powers of the warp failed him (I failed to cast Prescience on 6 dice, only rolling a single 4+!).
Pask ordered his unit to split fire as he turned his attention towards the Ruststalkers. The Punisher cannon and Heavy Bolters spat out their fire, killing one of the squad. The other Punisher tank fired at the Rangers, easily felling the remnants of the unit.
The missile launcher team fired at the Paladin, but both shots missed. The nearby Wyvern opened fire on the Ruststalkers, wounding the unit 3 times, but their armour and feel no pain saves were too good and none fell. The Platoon Command ordered the Veterans to increase their rate of fire on the Ruststalkers (First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire) and one of the enemy warriors was slain. The Platoon Command added their firepower, but could not fell any of the Mechanicus constructs.
The Lascannon team fired at the Cerastus, but once again failed to penetrate its shield.
The Heavy Bolter team opened fire on the Destroyers, wounding the Dominus once. The nearby Infantry Squad fired at the Dunecrawler, wounding it twice, but failing to get past its cover save. The infantry squad in the ruins to the right fired at the Infiltrators (using the Ignores Cover order), but failed to wound any. The Wyvern opened fire on the Vanguard, but the shells scattered significantly and only two of the squad were slain.
In the centre of the battlefield, the combined squad fired at the Dominus, but failed to get past his cover save.
TURN 2- MECHANICUS/SKITARII
Raymond used his Canticles to once again Stealth and Shroud his forces.
The Dragoon and Infiltrators advanced on the Infantry Squad and Wyvern on the left flank. The Ruststalkers advanced on the Veterans.
The Cerastus took a hull point trying to vortex his main weapon. The shot hit the Punisher tank accompanying Pask, immobilising it. The Knight Paladin fired its missiles at Pask’s tank, glancing it, but the cover saved it from harm. The Knight then fired its Battle Cannon at the Veterans, but the shot scattered onto the last Ruststalker and killed him. The second shot hit the Veterans, killing two of them.
The Destroyers fired at the Infantry squad in the centre, killing 4. The Dunecrawler fired at the Company Command Squad, but the shot scattered off the unit and failed to cause any harm.
The Dragoon and Infiltrators fired at the Infantry squad, killing two of the unit. The Infiltrators then charged in, wiping out the squad in combat.
The Knight charged the Veterans. One meltagun hit the approaching walker in overwatch, but failed to wound (after rolling a double 1 for AP). The Knight then failed to hit with all 4 attacks! His Stomp attacks took out 4 of the veterans. The squad lost combat, falling back 2″ from the Knight.
TURN 3- ASTRA MILITARUM
The Platoon Command moved up towards the objective on the left flank, while the central squad secured their position on the objective. The Veterans continued to fall back from the Knight.
The Primaris Psyker cast Prescience on the Lascannon. The Astropath attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the Infiltrators, but the attempt was blocked.
The Lascannon team fired on the Dragoon, the order to bring it down was successful and the squad penetrated the walker and destroyed one of its weapons (I meant to order the squad to ignore cover as the Dragoon had a 2+ cover save thanks to the Canticles, but I forgot about this. Fortunately, one of the shots got past the cover save!). The Autocannon team in front of the Lascannon team also opened fire on the Dragoon, destroying it thanks to the orders of the Company Command squad (I did use ignores cover this time).
The second Infantry squad and Heavy Bolter weapons team fired at the Infiltrators, wounding the squad once.
The Wyvern opened fire on the Vanguard, causing 12 wounds with its blasts, but only killing 3 of the squad after some great saves and FNP rolls from Raymond. The Leman Russ opened fire on the unit, killing one of the squad. The bombardment was too much for them and they fell back 5″ towards their lines.
Pask ordered his unit to split fire once more. He turned his attention to the approaching Knight. The Punisher cannon barked at the superheavy walker, hitting it 18 times, but I only made a single rending wound that bounced off the Ion Shield. The missile launcher team fired at the Knight, but their nerve was shaken seeing the monstrosity come towards them and they did not hit with any of their shots.
The second Punisher fired at the Destroyer unit. The Punisher cannon struck the Tech Priest, wounding him 3 times. Raymond then failed all three 2+ cover saves and the Dominus perished. The Heavy Bolters of the tank killed the last destroyer in the unit to wipe them out.
TURN 3- MECHANICUS/SKITARII
The Vanguard rallied, halting in their retreat. The Infiltrators moved up on the Lascannon team, while on the other flank, the Knight Paladin advanced on the Guard lines. The Cerastus Knight advanced on the Platoon Command that were hoping to grab the objective.
The Cerastus opened fire on Pask’s unit, penetrating the accompanying tank. The hit came up immobilised once more and the tank was wrecked. It then fired at the Platoon Command, killing one of the squad with its D weapon.
The other Knight opened fire on the troops on the right flank. One Heavy Stubber fired at the Veterans, killing one of the squad. The Battle Cannon and second heavy stubber opened fire at Infantry Squad 2A in the centre of the battlefield, killing 6 of the squad. Finally, it fired its missiles at the Wyvern, glancing the vehicle once.
On the other flank, the Infiltrators fired at the Lascannon team, killing one of the squad. They then performed a disordered charge on the Lascannon team and Company Command squad. The Infiltrators killed the Lascannon team, the Company Command striking back and killing one of the Infiltrators. The Command squad failed their morale check and were slain as they tried to flee.
The Cerastus charged the Platoon Command, the Knight slaying all but the Priest in combat. The lone survivor committed his soul to the God-Emperor and prepared to meet his doom.
TURN 4- ASTRA MILITARUM
The fleeing Veteran squad rallied. Nearby, Commander Pask moved his tank up to catch the side armour of the mighty Imperial Knight, immobilising himself on an upturned tree root as he advanced.
Infantry squad 1A turned their attention to the Infiltrators, increasing their rate of fire thanks to the orders of the nearby Platoon Command. The hail of lasfire was enough to finish off the unit. The second Infantry squad fired at the Dunecrawler, the Autocannon glancing the enemy vehicle. The Leman Russ fired at the Dunecrawler, the battle cannon penetrating it and stunning it.
The Wyvern opened fire on the Vanguard, killing 2 of the squad.
On the other flank, the Veterans snap fired at the Imperial Knight. The last meltagun managed to hit (on a 6) and penetrated the walker (on a double 6!), but it only took a single hull point. The missile launcher team fired at the walker, taking another hull point from it.
Pask fired his Punisher Cannon at the Imperial Knight, but was unable to harm it (I didn’t roll a single 6 to wound out of 18 hits of the Punisher cannon).
In the assault phase, in the most one-sided combat possible, the Cerastus Knight killed the Priest.
TURN 4- MECHANICUS/SKITARII
The Vanguard advanced on the objective once more, while the Knights moved to engage the remaining Guard troops.
The Cerastus fired at Pask’s Punisher, but failed to hit with its D weapon. The other Knight fired at the Veterans, wiping the unit out. It also launched its battle cannon rounds at the central Infantry squad, killing 7 of the unit. Its Heavy Stubbers fired at the missile launcher team, wounding them once.
The Knight then charged the Missile Launcher team, wiping them out easily.
TURN 5- ASTRA MILITARUM
Seeing his one chance, the Primaris Psyker advanced on the Imperial Knight, while the squads in the centre of the battlefield moved to secure the objective.
The Psyker cast Misfortune on the Knight, hoping to fell the Superheavy walker with the combined firepower of the Imperial army.
The Wyvern on the right flank fired at the Vanguard, killing the last survivors of the squad.
Pask fired his Punisher cannon at the Knight, glancing and penetrating it once and leaving it on 2 hull points. The Heavy Bolter team fired at the Knight, penetrating it 3 times (thanks to Misfortune), but the Knight’s Ion Shield saved all three hits. The two Autocannons fired at the Knight, but were unable to harm it.
The Leman Russ fired its Battle Cannon at the Dunecrawler, penetrating it once. Raymond made his 6+ invulnerable to save his walker.
TURN 5- MECHANICUS/SKITARII
The Knights re-positioned to grab the objectives.
The Cerastus fired at the central squad. His blast weapon finally rolled a 6 to go Vortex, but in a cruel twist of fate, it scattered off of the squad and caused no damage.
The Knight Paladin fired its Battle Cannon at the middle squad, killing one from each. It’s missiles fired at the Wyvern, but failed to cause any damage.
In the assault phase, the Knight charged the Wyvern, easily wrecking the vehicle and claiming the objective.
With that, the game ended. We each controlled two objectives and had two secondary’s making the game a draw!
Astra Militarum- 8 (2 objectives, First Blood and Slay the Warlord)
Mechanicus/Skitarii- 8 (2 objectives, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker)
Thanks to Raymond for a very close and entertaining game, it actually went a lot better than I thought it was going to go (just wish I could have taken out one of those Knights!). Raymond actually informed me a few days later that his list was missing a Dragoon (he should have fielded two). I’d be interested in how much of a difference that may have made to the game.
The game was very close and could have gone either way. Looking over the game and how I played it, there are a few things I would change to hopefully get a victory.
DEPLOYMENT- I think that deploying the bulk of my army more centrally would have been a better move. I deployed the bulk of my army towards my right flank behind the Aegis line. This prevented my Lascannons from getting into range of the Knight Paladin and limited the usefulness of my heavy bolter teams and Autocannons. Deploying more centrally might have enabled me to focus my firepower on the Knight Paladin, possibly allowing me to kill it.
INFILTRATORS- I should have focused the Wyvern on the right flank on targeting the Infiltrators unit until it was dead. I targeted the Vanguard as I assumed that the Infantry squads behind the Aegis line would be able to deal with the Infiltrators. This cost me the Lascannon team and Company Command squad, as the Infiltrators were able to get into combat and wipe them out. After the Infiltrators were dealt with, I could have focused on the Vanguard, who were really not a threat during the game.
VETERANS- I think sending the Veteran’s Chimera to block the advance of the Knight Paladin was the right move. This stopped it from getting to my lines earlier and wreaking havoc with the Astra Militarum infantry.
IMPERIAL KNIGHTS- I figured that I would have trouble dealing with the two Knights from before the game even started. This proved to be true and I struggled to make a big dent in them. Had Raymond been more aggressive with the Knights, I think I would have had a real problem. In his position, I would have sent the Cerastus after the central Infantry squad. A couple of turns of combat and some stomps would have seen the unit disappear. It could also have gone after the Punisher tanks and taken them out earlier, as these caused a fair amount of damage during the game.
PASK- I have not played with my Astra Militarum in a while. As a result, I forgot that Pask gets re-rolls for armour penetration. What an idiot! This may have helped me to take out one at least one of the Knights with his Punisher cannon. I will definitely remember this for the future.
My main areas of weakness:
Deployment wasn’t great. I should have swapped the vanguard and rangers around to benefit their weapons. Instead of the missing/forgotten Dragoon, an Imperial bunker would’ve been beneficial least to keep the Destroyers on the table for longer. Overall, a much more balanced game but in hindsight I should have been more aggressive with my knights and bum rushed them in.
Awful dice rolls….so many ones!
Thanks to Raymond again for a great game. I look forward to the next time we clash on the battlefield.
For more battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner and my blog, St Andrews Wargaming.
And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!
You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!