Hi everyone, Michael here with another written battle report. My White Scars take on the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
This week’s battle report sees my White Scars tournament army take on Stu’s Adeptus Mechanicus army in the Targets of Opportunity Maelstrom of war mission.
I was continuing my practice with my new White Scars tournament list. After last week’s crushing defeat to the Daemons, I was hoping to put some of those lessons into practice in this game.
My army consisted of:
- Captain on Bike- Thunder Hammer, The Shield Eternal, Twin Boltgun, Iron Resolve Warlord Trait (C1)
- Captain with Jump Pack- Lightning Claw, Combi-Melta (C2)
- Librarian with Jump Pack- Force Stave, Boltgun, Null Zone, Psychic Fortress (L2)
- Lieutenant with Jump Pack- Power Axe, Master-Crafted Boltgun, Bolt Pistol (L1)
- 5 Scouts- Boltguns (S1)
- 5 Scouts- Boltguns, Sergeant has Bolt Pistol and Combat Knife (S2)
- 5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols and Combat Knives (S3)
- 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (TS1)
- 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (TS2)
- 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Missile Launcher (TS3)
- Company Ancient- Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, Chainsword (A)
- 5 Vanguard Veterans- Jump Packs, 5 Pairs of Lightning Claws (VV1)
- 5 Vanguard Veterans- Jump Packs, 2 Chainswords each (VV2)
- 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Plasma Pistol (AS1)
- 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Power Fist and Meltabombs (AS2)
- 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Power Sword (AS3)
- 6 Scout Bikers- Twin Boltguns, Astartes Shotguns, Combat Knives (SB)
- Thunderfire Cannon. Techmarine Gunner (T) with 2 Servo-arms, Plasma Cutter, Flamer, Bolt Pistol (TC)
- 5 Devastator Marines- 2 Heavy Bolters, Plasma Cannon, Bolters (D1)
- 5 Devastator Marines- 3 Missile Launchers, Bolters (D2)
The army has a lot of fast moving and reserves elements, as well as a solid firebase to trouble the Mechanicus forces. The Librarian’s psychic powers were not optimal for this opponent, but those were the powers I was taking to cover a range of opponents, so decided to keep them to see how I would fare.
Stu’s army consisted of:
- Belisarius Cawl- warlord (C)
- Tech Priest Dominus (TP1)
- Tech Priest Dominus (TP2)
- Datasmith (Da)
- 10 Skitarri Vanguard- 2 Snipers (SV1)
- 10 Skitarri Vanguard- 2 Snipers (SV2)
- 6 Destroyers- Heavy Grav Cannons, 3 Flamers, 3 Phosphor Blasters (Dt)
- 2 Castellan Robots (CR)
- Onager Dunecrawler (DC)
- Dunestrider (DS)
- 5 Infiltrators (I1)
- 5 Infiltrators (I2)
- Vindicare Assassin (V)
Apologies for the loose army list. I forgot to take note of his army on the night, so only have the photos to go by with no wargear options. Cawl was his warlord, his trait allowing him to get +1 or -1 on the Canticles of the Omnissiah table. He was using a Mars army.
We were playing the Targets of Opportunity maelstrom mission. This is the one where you get three cards per turn, but only have a single battle round to try and achieve the cards, drawing new cards at the start of your turn.
We placed the objectives as shown below:
We rolled for deployment and got the Spearhead deployment type. Quite good for me, it would prevent Stu from spreading his forces out too much across the board and would not give me as much of a distance to cover to get into assault.
We then set up our forces.
I used the Scouts, Tactical Squads and Assault Marines to set up my board control elements early. In my last game, I put the Scouts too far forwards and they were easily assaulted and killed in turn 1. In this game, I still set them up forward, but made sure they were out of rapid fire range of most of the Mechanicus forces. It was actually better for me to try and get up close and tie up the high firepower units early on.
I put the Scout Bikers forward, ready to go after the enemy army, and used the terrain to keep some of my elements out of sight of the powerful Destroyers and Castellan Robots.
I kept the Librarian, Jump Pack Captain and two Vanguard Veterans units in reserve.
Stu set up his units pretty far forward in reply. The two Vanguard units went in the ruins in his deployment zone, with the bulk of his forces going on his left flank. The Dunestrider and Tech Priest Dominus held the right flank.
I had set up my infantry units to block his Infiltrators (both in reserve) from getting too close to my lines, as these could cause havoc if they could get to my Devastators and Thunderfire Cannon.
I won the roll for first turn and chose to go first. However, Stu managed to seize the initiative! Hopefully, my army could withstand the firepower of the Mechanicus army.
TURN 1- ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
In his first turn, Stu drew Overwhelming Firepower (kill an enemy unit in the shooting phase), Secure Objective 3 and Secure Objective 4. Overwhelming firepower should be pretty easy for the Mechanicus to get, but the objectives would be next to impossible, as they were in my deployment zone. For his Canticles, Stu got +1S in assault and re-roll of failed morale tests.
The Mechanicus forces moved up slightly towards the enemy army, eager to bring their firepower to bear. The Infiltrators decided it was not yet time to strike, wanting the rest of the forces to clear out some of the Scout screening units first. The Vindicare Assassin revealed his position, appearing in the central ruins besides the Skitarri Vanguard.
The shooting phase began with the Dunestrider targeting the Thunderfire Cannon. One shot hit and wounded, but only managed a single damage point against the enemy artillery piece. The nearby Tech Priest fired at the Scouts in front of him, killing one of the squad.
In the central ruins, the Vanguard Snipers targeted the Space Marine Captain, wounding him twice, but failing to get past his Storm Shield. The rest of the squad targeted the Scouts in front of them, killing two of the squad. The Vindicare fired at the Biker Captain, hitting but failing to wound.
The Destroyers opened fire on the Scout Bikers, easily wiping them out with their Heavy Grav Cannons and scoring Stu First Blood. The Phosphor Blasters targeted the nearby Scout unit, wounding them once but failing to get past their armour.
The Dunecrawler split its fire between the Scouts and central Assault Squad, killing only one of the Assault Marines. The Castellan Robots split their fire between the two Scout units closest to them, wounding each unit 9 times and wiping them out.
Finally, the backfield Vanguard squad fired at the Assault Marines on the right flank, killing one of the squad.
At the end of his turn, Stu scored First Blood and Overwhelming Firepower for 2 points, giving him three in total.
TURN 1- WHITE SCARS
In my first turn, I drew Secure Objective 3, Secure Objective 6 and Defend Objective 2. Not a bad set of cards for my mobile force
On the right flank, the Biker Captain and Lieutenant moved up on the Mechanicus Destroyers, while the nearby Assault Squad advanced into the ruins in front of them. In the centre of the battlefield, the Assault Squad moved up towards the ruins. On the left flank, the Scouts and Assault Marines moved up on the objective, the Assault Squad advancing into range.
The White Scars reserves arrived, the Lightning Claw Vanguard Veterans, Captain and Librarian landing behind the Castellan Robots, while the other unit of Vanguard Veterans arrived to support the Assault Marines in the centre.
My plan was to assault the Robots and Destroyers. Even if I couldn’t destroy them, I could shut down their firepower for at least a turn to allow my other assault units time to move up the board.
In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Smite. I rolled an 11 for the test and managed to put 4 wounds on one of the Robots. He then managed to cast Null Zone.
In the shooting phase, the Thunderfire Cannon targeted the Dunestrider with its Tremor Shells stratagem, failing to harm the enemy walker, but slowing its progress considerably.
The Librarian and Jump Pack Captain fired their Bolters at the nearby Vanguard unit in the ruins, but failed to do any damage. I could have probably taken out one of the Robots with the Captain’s Meltagun, but that would have increased my charge range to around 11″, so didn’t want to risk a failed charge, I needed to shut down their incredible firepower.
The Biker Captain fired at the Destroyers, but failed to do any damage. The Devastators fired on the squad, wounding them twice with their Heavy Bolters and killing one with the Plasma Cannon. The other Devastator squad fired at the Onager Dunecrawler, one of the Krak missiles wounding at causing 6 damage. The nearby Tactical Squad fired its Missile Launcher at the Dunecrawler, but failed to do any damage. The other Tactical Squad fired at the Dunecrawler, the Heavy Bolter using the Hellfire Shells stratagem to do 2 mortal wounds (after a command point re-roll).
In the charge phase, the Jump Pack Captain assaulted the Castellan Robots, suffering one wound in overwatch fire and failing the charge. The Vanguard Veterans attempted to assault the Robots, scoring 7 hits with their 18 shots and three of the squad perishing. The remaining Veterans made it into combat, and were joined by the Librarian (who needed a command point re-roll to make it in.
In the centre of the battlefield, the Assault Marines and Vanguard Veterans charged the Skitarri Vanguard in the ruins. The Biker Captain assaulted the Destroyers, taking two wounds from the overwatch fire.
The Biker Captain struck at the Destroyers, hitting four times but only managing a single wound, killing one of the Mechanicus Destroyers.
In the centre of the battlefield, the Assault Marines and Vanguard Veterans managed to take down 7 of the Skitarri Vanguard. The Assault Marines then consolidated into the Dunecrawler.
The Librarian struck at the wounded Robot, killing one with his Force Stave (thanks to a command point re-roll). The Vanguard Veterans struck at the other Robot, wounding it once.
The Mechanicus forces then attacked back. The Destroyers put a wound on the Captain, while the Castellan Robots killed one of the Vanguard Veterans. In the central ruins, the Skitarri Vanguard were unable to cause any damage to the White Scars units.
In the morale phase, two of the Skitarri Vanguard in the centre fled the battlefield. At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 3 and Secure Objective 6.
Adeptus Mechanicus- 3
White Scars- 2
TURN 2- ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
In his second turn, Stu drew Supremacy (hold 3 objectives), Secure Objective 1 and Secure Objective 2. For his Canticles, he got re-roll failed morale tests and Litany of the Electrocutioner. He used a command point to try and wound the Biker Captain with the Canticle, but failed.
The Castellan Robots, Dunecrawler and Destroyers fell back from combat. The Dunestrider moved up on the Scouts in the ruins.
At the end of the phase, the two units of Infiltrators arrived on the right flank between the Tactical Squads and Scouts. I used the Auspex Scan stratagem to fire on the right unit with the Tactical Squad and was able to kill off two of the unit. Cawl was able to heal the one wound on the Dunecrawler.
The Dunestrider fired on the Thunderfire Cannon, but failed to score any hits. The nearby Tech Priest Dominus fired on the Scouts, wounding them once, but failing to get past their armour.
The Datasmith fired on the Vanguard Veterans in the ruins with the Librarian. He needed to kill off the last Veteran so that he could target the Biker Captain with his other shooting. He managed to wound the Veteran, but I made my 6+ armour save!
The backfield Skitarri Vanguard split their fire between the Lieutenant and Vanguard Veteran. The Vanguard fired at the White Scars Veteran, wounding him 5 times, but I made all my armour saves. The Snipers fired at the Lieutenant, hitting twice but Stu rolled a double 1 to wound! He used a command point re-roll to wound and the Lieutenant took 3 damage from the shot.
The Tech Priest Dominus fired at the lone Vanguard Veteran, wounding him once. I failed my save, but used a Command Point re-roll to pass it. This would stop Cawl and the Dunecrawler from firing at my warlord Captain.
Cawl fired at the Assault Marines in the ruins to his right, killing one of the Marines. The Vindicare Assassin fired at the Biker Captain, hitting and wounding him on a 6 (to cause D6 wounds). The Captain took 5 wounds, but managed to make two FNP saves, leaving him on a single wound.
In the White Scars deployment zone, the Infiltrators fired on the Tactical Squad in the ruins, killing two of them. The other squad of Infiltrators fired at the Scouts in the ruins, killing one.
In the charge phase, the Datasmith assaulted the Librarian. The White Scars Psyker threw a grenade at the Mechanicus agent, but failed to do any harm. The two Infiltrator units tried to charge the Scouts and Tactical Squad, but both failed to make the distance. Belisarius Cawl and the Tech Priest charged the Biker Captain, hoping to finish the enemy warlord.
The Datasmith struck at the Librarian, wounding him once. Cawl then struck at the Biker Captain, easily slaying him. I used 2 command points to use the Only in Death Does Duty End stratagem, allowing the Captain to attack. He struck at Cawl, hitting 4 times and wounding three times. Cawl passed two of his 5+ invulnerable saves, so took 3 damage from the attack.
The Vanguard Veterans struck at the last surviving Skitarri Vanguard and were able to slay him.
At the end of the turn, Stu scored Slay the Warlord. I also scored Defend Objective 2.
TURN 2- WHITE SCARS
In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 2, Secure Objective 4 and Blood and Guts (kill an enemy unit in the assault phase).
An Assault Squad moved up on one objective, while the Vanguard Veterans moved up on the Skitarri Vanguard. The Jump Pack Captain, Librarian, Lieutenant and two Assault Squads moved up on Cawl and the Mechanicus forces.
In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Smite, taking three wounds from Cawl. He was then able to cast Null Zone to weaken the nearby forces.
In the shooting phase, the Captain fired his Combi-Melta at Cawl, slaying the Mechanicus warlord. The nearby Assault Squad fired their overcharging Plasma Pistols at the Destroyers, killing one of them. The other Assault Squad fired their overcharged Plasma Pistols at the Castellan Robot, wounding him four times. The Librarian fired his pistol at the Robot, but failed to wound.
The backfield White Scars then turned their attention on the Mechanicus forces. The Heavy Bolter Devastators fired at the Destroyers, killing one more of the squad. The Tactical Squad fired its Missile Launcher at the Robot, but failed to hit. The second Devastator Squad fired their missiles at the Castellan Robot, destroying it. Stu used a command point re-roll to try and make it explode, but failed in his attempt.
The Tactical Squads on the left flank fired at the Infiltrators, killing two of the squad with their combined firepower. The Thunderfire Cannon fired at the unit, wounding them three times, but they passed all three 5+ armour saves.
In the charge phase, the Vanguard Veterans assaulted the Skitarri Vanguard, one of the White Scars perishing to the overwatch fire. The White Scars on the right flank all charged the Tech Priest Dominus.
The Vanguard Veterans attacked the Skitarri, killing six of them. The Captain attacked the Dominus, wounding him three times with his Lightning Claw. The Librarian struck at the Dominus, wounding twice, but failing to get past his armour.
The Assault Squads attacked the Dominus, wounding him 8 times with their combined attacks, but Stu made all his armour saves. The Sergeant struck with his Power Fist, wounding 3 times, one of which got past his armour save. The attack only did a single wound, leaving the Dominus on one wound. The Lieutenant then struck and was able to slay the Tech Priest.
The Skitarri Vanguard struck back, but were unable to harm the White Scars. The squad lost three more members to a failed morale test.
At the end of my turn, I scored all three objective and Slay the Warlord.
Adeptus Mechanicus- 4
White Scars- 8
TURN 3- ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
In his third turn, Stu drew Quest for Knowledge, Machine Eternal and Will of the Omnissiah. For his canticles, he got re-roll morale tests and cover saves for his unit (Shroudpsalm).
The Skitarri Vanguard fell back from combat, while the Tech Priest and Dunestrider moved up on the Assault Squad holding the objective. The Infiltrators moved up on the Scouts and Tactical Squads in the ruins.
The Infiltrators opened fire on the Scouts, wounding them three times, but I made all my saves. The other Infiltrator squad fired at the Tactical Squad, wounding twice, but failing to get past their armour.
The Dunestrider fired at the Scouts, killing one of them. The Tech Priest fired at the Assault Marines, wounding twice and killing two.
Stu exploited an error in my model placement and targeted the Captain with the Dunecrawler. The Heavy Stubber wounded twice and I failed both saves. Fortunately for me, the main gun failed to hit. The Vindicare fired at the Captain, hitting but failing to wound. Stu used a command point re-roll and did 1 damage, leaving the Captain on 2 wounds.
The Destroyers fired on the Assault Squad, killing three of them.
In the charge phase, one unit of Infiltrators charged the Scout Squad, while the other charged the Tactical Squad. The Dunestrider charged the Assault Squad, taking a wound from a Plasma Pistol in overwatch, and failing the charge. The Tech Priest was able to make the charge. The Datasmith charged the Lieutenant, the Captain was able to make a heroic intervention.
The Infiltators struck at the Tactical Squad, wounding them four times and slaying three. The other Squad struck at the Scouts, but only managed to kill one of them. The Dominus attacked the Assault Squad, wounding once, but I made my save. In reply, the Sergeant was able to wound the Tech Priest with his Power Sword.
The Datasmith was able to slay the Lieutenant. The Captain struck at the Datasmith, wounding him three times.
At the end of his turn, Stu scored three points for Quest for Knowledge and Will of the Omnissiah to draw the game.
TURN 3- WHITE SCARS
This turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Assassinate and Psychological Warfare. Unfortunately, we were running low on time, so this would be a quick turn for me.
The Assault Squad moved to secure the objective. The Librarian cast Smite, killing the Datasmith.
I ended my turn there, scoring Secure Objective 1 and Assassinate. We both scored Linebreaker.
Adeptus Mechanicus- 9
White Scars- 11
A win for the White Scars.
Thanks to Stu for a great game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to play beyond turn 3.
Looking at the board as the game ended, I was pretty confident in winning. I had a lot of my forces left and would probably have killed much of Stu’s remaining forces had I taken a full turn. However, it all depends on the cards you draw.
Overall, I think the game went well. I’m getting more of a feel for the power of the army with each game I play. The force gives me a lot of board control and has some decent firepower and combat ability in the army. I think I am still learning how to get the best of each unit in the force, but I was feeling much more confident about the tournament at this stage.
I think my plan worked pretty well. I was able to use my deployment to control pretty much half the board. This forced Stu to delay deploying his Infiltrators until he could deal with the Scouts and get them closer to my backline.
I think going after the Destroyers and Robots was a good call. Even if I couldn’t kill them, I was at least able to shut down their firepower for a turn. Given how brutal these units can be, it was well worth the losses.
So with a win and a loss with the practice games, I was feeling better about the tournament. Even a few games had given me some insight into how the army plays and an idea of what errors I was making with the White Scars.
I hope you enjoyed the report. I’ve set up a Facebook group for my own blog, St Andrews Wargaming. You can follow it if you want to keep up to date on my hobby progress and the latest battle reports.
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