Hi everyone, Michael here with the third battle report from a recent 40k tournament. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
The third game of the tournament say my White Scars Space Marines taken on the forces of the Ultramarines, led by Guilliman himself (commanded by Nick).
This game was an ETC-style mission, with Scorched Earth as the Eternal War mission and Tactical Escalation as the Maelstrom of War mission. We would also be using Hammer and Anvil deployment.
This game was re-published from my own blog, St Andrews Wargaming. If you like the battle reports, be sure to check it out for many more and some regular, great hobby content (if I do say so myself!). You can also join the St Andrews Wargaming Facebook page to keep up to date on all the latest content.
My army consisted of:
- Captain- Bike, Thunder Hammer, Shield Eternal, Imperium’s Sword Warlord Trait (C1)
- Lieutenant- Jump Pack, Power Axe, Master-crafted Bolter (L1)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters (S1)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters (S2)
- 5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols, Combat Knives (S3)
- 5 Tactical Marines- Heavy Bolter (TS1)
- 10 Vanguard Veterans- 5 with Plasma Pistols and Chainswords, 5 with two Chainswords (VV)
- 10 Sternguard Veterans- Special Issue Bolters (SV)
- Stormraven Gunship- Twin Assault Cannons, Twin Heavy Bolters, Two Stormstrike Missiles, two Hurricane Bolters (SG)
- Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Combi-Melta (C2)
- 3 Bike Squad- Twin Bolters, 2 Meltaguns (B)
- 3 Scout Bikers- Twin Bolters, Shotguns (SB1)
- 3 Scout Bikers- Twin Bolters, Shotguns (SB2)
- Lieutenant- Master-crafted Bolter, Chainsword (L2)
- 5 Devastators- 2 Missile Launchers, Lascannon (D1)
- 5 Devastators- 2 Heavy Bolters (D2)
- Thunderfire Cannon (TC)
- Techmarine Gunner- Flamer, Plasma Cutter, two Servo-arms (T)
Nick’s army consisted of:
- Roboute Guilliman (G)
- Tigurius- Veil of Time, Might of Heroes, Null Zone (T)
- Librarian- Might of Heroes, Null Zone (L)
- Ancient- Standard of the Emperor Ascendent (A)
- 5 Tactical Squad- Bolters, Lascannon (TS1)
- 5 Tactical Squad- Bolters, Lascannon (TS2)
- 5 Tactical Squad- Bolters, Lascannon (TS3)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (S1)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (S2)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters, Missile Launcher (S3)
- 6 Inceptors- 2 Assault Bolters each (I)
- 7 Hellblasters- Plasma Incinerators (H1)
- 5 Hellblasters- Plasma Incinerators (H2)
- 5 Hellblasters- Plasma Incinerators (H3)
I’m not sure of some of the specific wargear and detachments, as Nick didn’t provide an army list for the game.
The board was not great for me for this game. There was not a single piece of feasible line of sight blocking terrain piece on the board. There were a few pillar spires that could maybe hide one model, but not much. This was going to be a tough game for me, I think, as there was nowhere to hide my units and most of the enemy army would be getting full re-rolls to hit and to wound. We set up the objectives as shown below:
We then deployed our forces as shown below:
I won the roll for deployment and put one unit of Scouts across the middle to block some access for the enemy Scouts. I put two of the Scout units towards the centre of the board, with the one unit on the right having to deploy a bit further back thanks to the enemy Scouts. The rest of my army spread out over the deployment zone and holding the objectives. I combat squad the Vanguard Veterans (no kill points in this game) and put all the Jump Pack units in reserve.
In reply, Nick put a couple of units of Tactical Squads in the backfield. The rest of the Hellblasters and characters went in the centre of the field, benefitting from the re-roll bubbles. The Scouts spread out across the deployment zone.
I failed to win the roll for first turn and also failed to seize the initiative, meaning the Ultramarines would take the first turn.
TURN 1- ULTRAMARINES
In his first turn, Nick drew Supremacy (hold three objectives).
The main body of the Ultramarines moved up on the enemy lines. The Hellblasters and characters moved up the centre of the battlefield.
At the end of the phase, the Inceptors arrived, landing on the right flank, pushed back slightly by the White Scars Scouts.
The Ultramarines psykers unleashed their powers, casting Might of Heroes and Veil of Time on Guilliman. Tigurius then cast Smite, killing one of the Scouts. The Librarian cast Smite, killing two more Scouts.
In the shooting phase, the Inceptors opened fire on the two units of Scouts on the right flank, wiping out both squads.
On the left, the Tactical Squad fired at the Bikers, but failed to do any harm. The squad fired the Lascannon at the Stormraven, using a single command point re-roll to do 5 damage on the enemy flyer.
The Scout squad on the right flank used the Scions of Guilliman and Flakk Missile stratagem to fire at the Stormraven, doing 3 mortal wounds on the flyer. The central Scout unit fired their Heavy Bolter at the Stormraven, using the Hellfire Shells stratagem to do a further 2 mortal wounds on it.
The third Scout unit fired at the Scout Bikers, killing one of the squad. The first Hellblaster unit fired on the Bike squad, overcharging their fire and wiping them out. The second Hellblaster unit overcharged their shots at the Scout Bikers on the left flank, wiping them out. The third unit fired at the Heavy Bolter Devastators, also wiping out the unit.
At the end of his turn, Nick scored Supremacy (2 points), 3 objectives and First Blood for 6 points in total.
Those Hellblasters with full re-rolls to hit and to wound were brutal. They were pretty much deleting a unit a turn. Good thing this mission didn’t use kill points, as he would be well ahead in points after his first turn.
TURN 1- WHITE SCARS
In my first turn, I drew Priority Orders Received (Secure Objective 6).
The Biker Captain moved back to secure the objective. The Scout Bikers on the left flank used the Born in the Saddle stratagem to move up on the Scouts in the jungle. The Stormraven moved up the right flank, joined by the Scouts who moved up. At the end of the phase, I brought the Lieutenant in to secure an objective.
In the shooting phase, the Scout Bikers fired at the Scouts, but only managed to kill a single model. The remaining Devastators fired at the Inceptors, only scoring a single hit and wound with the Lascannon, but Nick made his save on a 6+. The Jump Pack Lieutenant fired at the Scouts, killing one more.
The Stormraven fired at the Scouts behind it, wiping them out. It also fired on the Devastators in front of the flyer, killing three of the squad. The Stormstrike Missiles fired at the Inceptors, killing one of them. The Ancient resurrected the Inceptor and allowed it to fire on the Scout Bikers. Some great rolling caused 6 wounds and killed two of the Bikers!
The Thunderfire Cannon fired on the Scouts on the left flank, killing two of the squad.
The last surviving Scout Biker assaulted the last Scout in the jungle, slaying him in combat and grabbing the objective.
At the end of my turn, I destroyed objective 5 for 2 points, scored 4 more objective points and Priority Orders Received (for 3 points).
White Scars- 9
A good first turn has seen me take an early lead. However, I had lost a lot of my units so far and wasn’t sure if I would survive to the end of the game.
TURN 2- ULTRAMARINES
In his second turn, Nick drew Defend Objective 1 and Defend Objective 6.
The central Ultramarines force continued to move up towards the White Scars lines. The Inceptors moved up on the Lieutenant holding the objective.
In the psychic phase, Tigurius cast Veil of Time on Guilliman. The Librarian tried to cast Might of Heroes, but failed in the attempt. He then cast Smite on the Stormraven, causing one mortal wound. He used a command point re-roll, but rolled another one mortal wound, leaving it on two wounds.
In the shooting phase, the Scouts fired at the White Scars Scout squad, killing two of the squad. The Heavy Bolter in the squad targeted the Stormraven with its Hellfire Shells stratagem, but failed to hit, even with Guilliman’s re-roll.
The Hellblasters fired at the Stormraven and Scout Biker, destroying the Stormraven and killing the Biker. Two of the Sternguard Veterans were killed in the crash.
The second squad of Hellblasters fired at the Sternguard, killing four of the squad. The two Tactical Squads on the left flank fired at the Sternguard, killing one more. The third unit of Hellblasters fired at the Scouts and Sternguard Veterans, killing two of the Scouts and wiping out the Sternguard Veterans.
The Inceptors fired at the Lieutenant, killing him with their Assault Bolters.
At the end of his turn, Nick scored 2 objective points and discarded Defend Objective 6.
TURN 2- WHITE SCARS
In my second turn, I drew Behind Enemy Lines and Secure Objective 3.
The White Scars lines moved back, the Tactical Squad moving backwards. At the end of the phase, the Vanguard Veterans and Captain landed on the right flank, landing in the woods besides the Tactical Squad.
Nick used the Auspex Scan stratagem to fire on Vanguard Veterans with the Tactical Squad, but failed to do any damage.
One unit of Vanguard Veterans overcharged their Plasma Pistols at the Tactical Squad, killing three of the squad. The Thunderfire Cannon fired at the squad, wiping out the rest of the unit.
The Devastators fired at the Inceptors, getting three wounds with one command point and killing two of the squad. The Tactical Squad used the Hellfire Stratagem on the Hellblasters, doing one mortal wound on the squad.
At the end of my turn, I scored Behind Enemy Lines (2 points) and two objective points. I discarded Secure Objective 3.
White Scars- 13
TURN 3- ULTRAMARINES
In his third turn, Nick drew Defend Objective 3 and Area Denial, and still had Defend Objective 1.
Tigurius and the Librarian led a unit of Hellblasters back towards the Vanguard Veterans. The rest of the forces moved up on the surviving White Scars. The Inceptors continued to move towards the Devastators.
The Librarian cast Smite, killing three of the Vanguard Veterans. Tigurius then cast Smite, killing one more. Nick used a command point re-roll and was able to get two mortal wounds, killing the squad.
The central Scouts fired their Heavy Bolter at the Thunderfire Cannon, causing three mortal wounds with the Hellfire Shells stratagem.
The Hellblasters fired at the Thunderfire Cannon, destroying it. Another unit of Hellblasters fired at the Devastators, killing two of the squad. The Inceptors fired at the remaining Devastators, using the Scions of Guilliman and killing two more of the squad.
The Tactical Squad in the backfield fired on the Vanguard Veterans, but failed to do any damage. The other Tactical Squad fired at the Jump Pack Captain with their Lascannon, hitting and wounding. I failed my invulnerable save, using a command point re-roll, but still failing the save. The Lascannon did four wounds on the Captain.
The final unit of Hellblasters split their fire between the Vanguard Veterans and Captain, killing two of the Veterans and slaying the Jump Pack Captain.
In the morale phase, I used two Command Points to pass my morale test on the Vanguard Veterans. I didn’t want to risk their loss.
At the end of the turn, Nick scored one objective point and Area Denial for 2 points.
TURN 3- WHITE SCARS
In my third turn, I drew Secure Objective 5, Mission Critical Objective (Objective 3) and Hold the Line.
The Vanguard Veterans moved up on the objective in the enemy deployment zone. The Biker Captain advanced towards the Tactical Squad (I wanted to get him out of range of some of the Hellblasters).
In the shooting phase, the Vanguard Veterans fired at the Hellblasters, killing two of the squad with their overcharged Plasma Pistols.
The lone Devastator fired his Lascannon at the Inceptors, killing one. The Lieutenant fired at the squad and managed to kill another one.
At the end of my (very quick) turn, I destroyed the enemy objective for 2 points, scored 2 objective points and Hold the line for 2 points. I discarded Secure Objective 5. Nick scored Defend Objective 3.
White Scars- 19
At the end of the third turn, I had built up quite a lead in the victory points. However, I only had 12 models left on the board, with most of the enemy army coming after them.
TURN 4- ULTRAMARINES
This turn, Nick drew Defend Objective 2, Secure Objective 6 and Advance, to go with Defend Objective 1.
Tigurius and the Librarian moved up on the Vanguard Veterans. The rest of the forces moved towards the enemy deployment zone. The Scouts used a command point re-roll to advance on the objective. Some of the Hellblasters also advanced to try and get into range of the enemy army in the following turn.
Tigirius cast Smite, killing two of the Vanguard Veterans. He then cast Might of Heroes on himself. The Librarian tried to cast Smite, but failed in the attempt.
In the shooting phase, the last Inceptor fired at the Devastator, wounding him four times, but I made all my armour saves. The Tactical Squad fired at the last Vanguard Veteran, killing him with their Lascannon.
One unit of Hellblasters fired at the Devastator, killing him. Another unit fired on the Tactical Squad, wounding them 5 times. I made three of my 6+ saves, keeping the unit alive.
At the end of his turn, Nick scored two objective points and discarded Advance.
TURN 4- WHITE SCARS
In my fourth turn, I drew Overwhelming Firepower, Assassinate, Secure Objective 3 and Area Denial.
The Biker Captain used the Born in the Saddle stratagem to advance on the Inceptor, the Lieutenant also moving up to secure the objective.
The Lieutenant and Captain fired at the Inceptor, but failed to do any damage.
The Captain charged the Inceptor, easily killing him with his Thunder Hammer.
At the end of my turn, I scored two objectives and discarded Area Denial. Nick also scored Defend Objective 1.
White Scars- 21
At the end of the fourth turn, I was still ahead on points but had only 6 models left now. We had plenty of time left to get a few more turns, so I was unlikely to survive to the end of the battle.
TURN 5- ULTRAMARINES
In his fifth turn, Nick drew Master the Warp, Defend Objective 2, Defend Objective 4, Secure Objective 6 and No Prisoners
The Hellblasters moved up on the Captain and Tactical Squad.
In the psychic phase, Tigurius cast Might of Heroes and Veil of Time on himself. The other Librarian failed to cast Null Zone.
The Hellblasters fired at the Tactical Squad, wiping them out. The other squad fired at the Techmarine, killing him. They split their fire at the Biker Captain, wounding him once.
The Scouts fired their Heavy Bolter at him, taking one more wound. I used a command point re-roll, but failed the save once more, leaving him on four wounds.
Guilliman fired on the Captain, wounding him once more. The third unit of Hellblasters fired at the Captain, wounding him five times. I took one wound and the Captain was left on two wounds.
Without the Shield Eternal, the Captain would have been slain thanks to the overcharged shots, but the Relic allowed him to survive.
At the end of his turn, Nick scored one objective point, Master the Warp, No Prisoners and Discarded Defend Objective 6.
TURN 5- WHITE SCARS
In my fifth turn, I drew Blood and Guts and Secure Objective 5 to go with Overwhelming Firepower, Assassinate and Secure Objective 3.
I had a dilemna in this turn. I could either advance with the Captain to grab the objective and score three points for this turn, or I could move him to the left corner of my deployment zone. If I did this, it would limit the number of units that could fire at him and he may survive to the end of the game.
I decided to go for it. There was little chance I would not be tabled if the game went on to turn 6, so decided to get as many points as possible.
The Captain advanced on to the objective. There was no shooting from me, so a very quick turn ended.
At the end of my turn, I scored two objective points and Secure Objective 3. I discarded Blood and Guts. Nick scored Defend Objective 4.
White Scars- 24
As he went first, Nick rolled to see if the game would end. He rolled a 2 and the game did end. The White Scars had managed to snatch victory from almost certain defeat!
That was an intense and incredibly tough game. I think we were both surprised that I had managed to get the win in the end.
After the game ended and I had won, Nick actually said that he could have won had just a few more rolls gone his way. I had to laugh at this. With most of his army getting full re-rolls to hit and to wound, the Hellblasters and Scouts were getting around a 100% success rate with their shots. I’m not sure how you can do better than this for your rolls. I know Guilliman is incredibly powerful, but getting over 100% wounds would be a bit too much, even for him!
I like missions like this that don’t use Kill Points. For me, it gives any army a chance at winning the game, regardless of their opponent through tactics and luck with the cards. Had this been any one of the other missions on the day (that all used kill points), it would have been over after turn 1 or 2, with a serious defeat for me.
There were actually several points in the game where Nick could have advanced units to go after the objectives, but chose not to to be able to shoot at my army. Had he gone after the objectives in these turns, he would have easily won the game.
The battlefield did not help me one bit either. Having no line of sight blocking terrain in 8th edition makes for a seriously poor game, especially against a Guilliman gunline army. I actually spoke with the organiser about this after the game. He agreed that the table set up was not for the best and retired the table after our game.
Tactically, there is not much I could have done differently to be honest. I was lucky to draw Priority Orders Received on turn 1, with Objective 6. My Captain was easily able to score it and get me the three points. Had I not drawn this, odds are I would have rushed the Captain forward to take on the enemy Hellblasters. He might have seriously hurt or wiped out a unit, but would likely have died in the following turn to the enemy firepower.
As it was, I was forced to keep him out of the battle for a while and he was key to me winning the game in the end.
Another possible change that would have benefitted me would have been to target the Hellblasters with the Stormraven in turn 1. I didn’t target them due to the Ancient being nearby. The Stormraven only had a few wounds left and I figured that killing some Hellblasters would have meant losing the Stormraven to the return fire thanks to the Ancient.
However, this would have actually been beneficial to me. If the Stormraven was destroyed in my turn, it would have allowed me to deploy the Sternguard Veterans and actually have them shoot in my first turn, potentially taking out more Hellblasters and giving me a fighting chance in the game. As it was, Nick blew up the Stormraven in my turn and wiped out the Sternguard Veterans before they got a chance to fire a single shot.
Drawing Behind Enemy Lines in turn 2 could have gone either way. My plan was to bring the reserves in on turn 3, hoping they would survive as long as possible. With an extra turn with Nick moving his units forward, this would have left the Vanguard Veterans and Captain free to go after the two Tactical Squads in his deployment zone, possibly holding the objective for several turns to score more points. The Ultramarines forces may not have got back in time to stop them.
Overall, I was glad to get a win from this game. On paper, it should have been an easy win for the Ultramarines, and it almost was. With three games down, there was still one more to go in the day, and I was pretty wiped out as it was!
I hope you enjoyed the battle report. Remember, you can join the St Andrews Wargaming Facebook page to keep up to date on all information on the blog.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!