Hi everyone, Michael here with my first battle report from the recent Warhammer World GT. My Deathwatch and Astra Militarum take on a force of Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
Welcome to the first battle report from my recent trip to the Warhammer World Grand Tournament (Heat 1). I was taking a mixed Deathwatch and Astra Militarum list. You can find the army list and my thoughts on it in a previous post.
The tournament consisted of 5 Eternal War missions from Chapter Approved 2018, straight out of the rulebook.
The first mission of the day saw me square off against Rob and his mixed force of Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus and Imperial Knights. Rob runs the Honest Wargamer, so check it out. For game 1, the randomly determined mission was Dominate and Destroy. In this mission, you get one victory point for each objective you hold at the end of your turn, as well as a victory point for each enemy unit destroyed.
My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Deathwatch)
- Watch Master- Guardian Spear (WM)
- Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield (WC)
- Kill Team 1: Watch Sergeant and 9 Veterans- 10 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, 8 Chainswords (KT1)
- Kill Team 2: Intercessor Sergeant and 9 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (KT2)
- Kill Team 3: Watch Sergeant and 4 Veterans- 2 Frag Cannons, Storm Shield, 3 Shotguns, 2 Chainswords (KT3). 5 Vanguard Veterans- 4 Bolt Pistols, 3 Chainswords, Storm Shield, Pair of Lightning Claws (VV)
- Rhino- 2 Storm Bolters (R)
- Kill Team 4: Watch Sergeant and 4 Veterans- 3 Combi-Meltas, 2 Bolters, Storm Shield, 4 Chainswords (KT4)
- Razorback- Twin Lascannons, Storm Bolter (Rz)
Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum, Cadian)
- Company Commander- Plasma Pistol, Chainsword, Grand Strategist Warlord Trait, Kurov’s Aquila (CC1)
- Company Commander- Laspistol, Chainsword (CC2)
- Infantry Squad- Lascannon, Grenade Launcher (IS1)
- Infantry Squad- Lascannon, Grenade Launcher (IS2)
- Infantry Squad- Lascannon (IS3)
- 30 Conscripts- Lasguns (C)
Auxiliary Detachment (Assassins)
- Culexus Assassin (A)
Rob’s army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum, Vostroyan)
- Company Commander- Chainsword, Laspistol, Grand Strategist Warlord Trait, Kurov’s Aquila (CC)
- Primaris Psyker- Force Stave, Nightshroud, Psychic Barrier (PP)
- 20 Conscripts (C)
- Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Flamer, Vox-caster (IS1)
- Infantry Squad- Lasguns, Vox-caster (IS2)
- 9 Bullgryns- 4 Brute Shields, 5 Slabshields, Bullgryn Mauls (B)
Superheavy Detachment (Imperial Knights, House Mortan)
- Armiger Helverin- Heavy Stubber, two Armiger Autocannons (A1)
- Armiger Helverin- Heavy Stubber, two Armiger Autocannons (A2)
- Armiger Helverin- Heavy Stubber, two Armiger Autocannons (A3)
Outrider Detachment (Adeptus Mechanicus, Stygies VIII Forgeworld)
- Tech-Priest Enginseer- Omnissian Axe, Servo-arm (TP)
- Sydonian Dragoon- Taser Lance (D1)
- Sydonian Dragoon- Taser Lance (D2)
- 6 Sydonian Dragoons- Taser Lances (D3)
A mixed force of Imperial units. The Guard section would give him the same command point “farm” that I had, allowing him to get a lot of command points potentially. The large Bullgryn unit could be troublesome if they get boosted with the Psyker, giving them a 2+ invulnerable save! This unit would be very hard to take down.
I hadn’t faced the new Armiger Helverins yet, but knew they were fast and could put out a lot of high damage firepower. I hoped my Lascannons would be enough to deal with them. The Mechanicus contingent consisted of a lot of tough, fast and hard-hitting Dragoon units. He also had a stratagem to re-deploy the Dragoons before the first turn, deploying anywhere 9″ away from an enemy unit, so they would be right on me from turn 1.
This would be a tough game and I was looking forward to seeing how it went.
We placed the objectives as shown below:
Rob then rolled for deployment type and we got Spearhead Assault (short table edge arrow). Rob got to choose the deployment zone and took the one on his right. This gave him most of the cover and the ruins, leaving me with very little cover. I did have a couple of big line of sight blocking pieces in the middle though to help me out.
I deployed two Infantry squad on my right flank, with the warlord Company Commander. The other Infantry Squad and Commander went on the left. I put the Watch Captain in the middle to block the Dragoons. I put the Rhino and Razorback in the centre, behind the large terrain piece. The Frag Cannon squad went in the Rhino, while the Combi-Melta Kill Team went in the Razorback. I put the Conscripts in a line across the front of the deployment zone, ready to block the move of the enemy army. I put the Vanguard Veterans and Assassin in reserve. I also used 3 command points to put the Watch Master, Storm Bolter Kill Team and Intercessors in reserve with the Teleportarium Stratagem.
Rob deployed his conscripts along the board edge of his deployment zone to block my reserves, I presume. One Infantry squad went on each flank, with the Company Commander on the right and the Tech-Priest on the left. The three Knights went towards the back, with the Dragoon units on the right flank as well. The Bullgryns and Psyker went in the centre of the field, behind the ruins.
Rob got the +1 to go first and won the roll off. I failed to seize the initiative.
TURN 1- ASTRA MILITARUM/ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
On the right flank, the two Dragoons moved up on the enemy army, while the Knight Armigers also moved up to target the enemy forces. The Conscripts also moved off the back line, while the Primaris Psyker and Bullgryns advanced into the ruins. Rob then used a stratagem to redeploy the unit of 6 Dragoons. He deployed them at least 21″ from my Razorback, so that the Combi-Meltas would not be in range on my first turn.
In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker tried to cast Nightshroud, but failed to do so. Rob used a command point to re-roll and pass it. He then cast Psychic Barrier on the Bullgryns. This unit were now buffed up, with -1 to hit and a 2+ invulnerable save!
In the shooting phase, one Armiger Helverin targeted the Razorback with its Autocannons, wounding twice, but I made both armour saves. Another Armiger fired at the Razorback, wounding it three times, but I made all my saves once more! The third Armiger fired at the Conscripts, wounding them five times, but I made three out of five 6+ saves! I was hoping my armour saves would continue this trend for the whole game.
In the morale phase, four more of the conscripts fled the field.
At the end of his turn, Rob scored 3 points for holding three objectives.
TURN 1- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
In my first turn, I used the Fast Attack Mission Tactics to target the Dragoons.
At the start of the movement phase, the conscripts advanced towards the enemy army. The Rhino moved to the left to secure an objective, while the Watch Captain moved up beside the Razorback. I then used the Combined Squads stratagem to combine the two Infantry squads on the right flank. This would deny Rob a kill point for one of the units.
In the shooting phase, the Company Commander ordered the Conscripts to Move, Move, Move. I failed the roll for the order, using a command point re-roll to pass it. I moved the Conscript unit up to just over an inch away from the Dragoons and Bullgryns to grab the objective. This would also stop the two key units from moving more than a couple of inches in Rob’s turn.
At the end of the phase, I brought in the Assassin in the centre of the field. I wanted to make it more difficult for the Primaris Psyker to get his powers cast.
The Assassin fired at the Bullgryns, taking one wound from them. The Company Commander ordered the Infantry Squad to fire on the Armiger. The Lascannons scored two wounds on the Knight, Rob passing one save with a single command point re-roll. The successful wound took 6 damage from the Armiger Helverin on the right flank.
The Infantry squad on the left fired at the front Dragoon, hitting and wounding once. I rolled a 1 for the damage, electing to use a command point re-roll and get another 1 (typical!). I had yet to regain any command points so far in the game. The Razorback then fired at another Knight Armiger, hitting and wounding twice and taking 7 damage from it. The Rhino used its smoke launchers to keep it safe from the enemy fire.
At the end of my turn, I scored 4 points for holding four objectives. Neither side had scored any kill points yet and first blood was still up for grabs, much to my surprise.
- Astra Militarum/Adeptus Mechanicus- 3
- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum- 4
TURN 2- ASTRA MILITARUM/ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
The Dragoons on each flank and the Bullgryns moved up to the line of Conscripts. The damaged Armiger Knights moved out of line of sight of the Infantry squads, while the Conscripts continued to move up.
In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker attempted to cast Psychic Barrier, but failed to manifest the power thanks to the nearby Cullexus Assassin. He then tried to cast Nightshroud, but failed. He used a command point re-roll, but still failed to manifest the power. However, we both got the command points back.
In the shooting phase, the Armiger fired at the Infantry Squad on the left, killing one of the squad. Another fired on the Infantry squad on the right, killing 5 of the squad. The third Armiger fired at the backfield Infantry squad, wiping them out and getting first blood (as well as a kill point).
The Bullgryn used the Grenadiers stratagem and fired at the Conscripts. The unit got 39 grenade shots, killing 12 of the Conscripts. I pulled the casualties from my right flank to increase the charge range for the large Dragoon unit.
In the charge phase, the two Dragoons on the right flank assaulted the Conscripts, one of them taking a single wound from the Lasgun fire. The Bullgryns managed to make a long charge on the Assassin with a single command point re-roll.
In the fight phase, the Bullgryns attacked the Culexus Assassin. The squad got three hits and two wounds. I passed one with one command point re-roll, so the Assassin took two damage.
One of the Dragoons used a stratagem to give it +2 to hit. This was useful, as each 6 to hit got them an extra 2 hits, which he would now get on a 4+. The Dragoon was able to kill 7 of the Conscripts. However, I was able to pull the casualties away from the second Dragoon to stop it from attacking and most likely wiping out the squad.
In the morale phase, I used two command points on Insane Bravery to keep the conscripts alive and deny Rob from scoring an objective.
At the end of the turn, rob scored one kill point, First Blood and 3 objectives to take him to 8 victory points.
TURN 2- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
The Frag Cannon Kill Team disembarked from the Rhino, moving up on one of the Dragoons. The Watch Captain also moved up to support them. The Conscripts fell back from combat onto the objective. The Company Commander on the left flank moved up towards the Rhino. I left the Assassin in combat, hoping that he could survive for a further turn to keep the Bullgryn tied up.
On the right flank, the Combi-Melta Kill Team disembarked and moved up on the Dragoons. At the end of the phase, the Kill Team, Watch Master and Intercessors arrived, landing on the right flank in front of the Dragoons. I was hoping to deploy further towards the enemy army, but Rob had done a great job of blocking spaces for me to deploy.
The Kill Team on the left fired their Frag Cannons at the Dragoon, wounding it 9 times and slaying it.
The Intercessors fired at the Dragoons , using a Doctrine to give them +1 to wound with their Vengeance Bolts, causing 7 wounds on the unit. The Storm Bolter Veterans fired at the large Dragoon unit, wounding them 10 times with the Kraken Bolts. Rob failed all 10 saves and two Dragoons perished.
The nearby Kill Team fired their Combi-Meltas at the Dragoons, killing one and putting three wounds on another. The Infantry squad fired their Lascannons at the Sydonian Dragoons. Despite needing 6’s to hit, both Lascannons found their mark, killing one more of the squad and leaving only one left. The Razorback fired at the last Dragoon in the squad, but failed to hit.
That was a great round of shooting for me, as I did not expect to be able to kill most of the unit, as they were on -1 or -2 to hit.
In the charge phase, the Intercessors and Combi-Melta Kill Team were able to make a charge on the last Sydonian Dragoon. The Watch Captain assaulted the Bullgryns.
The Intercessors attacked the Dragoon, using the Doctrine once more to get +1 to wound. They put 11 wounds on the Dragoon, the enemy vehicle taking four.
Rob then used two command points to interrupt with the Bullgryns. They split their attacks between the Watch Captain and Assassin. The might Ogryns were able to kill the Watch Captain before he could strike, and wound the Assassin twice. I made both invulnerable saves with one command point re-roll to keep the Assassin alive and keep the Bullgryns locked up in combat.
The Kill Team then attacked the Dragoon, wounding it four times. The Dragoon only took a single wound, leaving it on one. I was able to consolidate round the enemy vehicle to prevent it from falling back and keeping my units safe from the enemy firepower.
The Assassin attacked the Bullgryns, putting one wound on them. The Dunestrider attacked, using the +2 to hit stratagem once more. It put 6 wounds on the Intercessors, hoping to clear a path to fall back, but only one Intercessor fell.
At the end of my turn, I scored one kill point and three objective points. Rob also scored one kill point.
- Astra Militarum/Adeptus Mechanicus- 9
- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum- 8
At the end of turn 2, things were pretty close. Rob was ahead by one point, but I had almost completely taken out his big Dragoon squad and tied up the Bullgryns in combat. The Knights had also been a lot less effective than I was expecting so far. At the end of turn 2, I had seven command points left, while Rob was down to one.
TURN 3- ASTRA MILITARUM/ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
The Infantry Squads on both sides moved up, supported by the Conscripts. The Knights moved towards the right flank, while the Dragoon moved up on the surviving enemy Conscripts.
In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker managed to cast both Nightshroud and Psychic Barrier on the Bullgryn, despite needing an 8+ thanks to the Cullexus.
In the shooting phase, the Armiger fired at the Conscripts and Frag Cannon Kill Team. The Autocannons were unable to harm the Kill Team once more and the Stubber could not harm the Guardsmen.
Another Armiger fired at the Razorback, wounding it three times, but I made all three saves again. The Razorback was yet to fail a save from the Knights.
The third Armiger fired at the Kill Team and Conscripts, killing one Guardsman, but failing to do any damage on the Deathwatch.
In the charge phase, the Dragoon charged the Conscript squad. The Sydonian Dragoon struck at the Conscripts, wounding them twice. I made both 6+ saves and the Conscripts survived!
The Bullgryns then attacked the Assassin, wounding him 6 times and finally killing him. I then attacked the Dragoon with the Intercessors, wounding it 6 times. Rob passed 5 saves, but it was enough to kill the Dragoon and the Intercessors consolidated towards the Infantry Squad in front of them.
At the end of his turn, Rob scored three objectives and one kill point, taking him to 13. I also scored a kill point.
TURN 3- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
The Intercessors moved up into the ruins to target the Infantry Squad, while the rest of the Deathwatch on the right flank moved to target the Bullgryns. The Razorback moved away from the rampaging Bullgryns.
On the left flank, the surviving Conscripts fell back, while the Frag Cannon Kill Team moved up on the last Dragoon.
In the shooting phase, the Frag Cannon Kill Team fired on the Dragoon, wounding it 11 times and killing it. The Intercessors fired at the Guardsmen, killing 8 of the squad.
The Combi-Melta on the right flank, the Infantry Squad, Razorback and Watch Master poured their firepower into the Bullgryns. Rob used the Take Cover stratagem and I failed to do any damage to the squad.
The Storm Bolter Kill Team were able to target the wounded Knight Armiger through a window in the ruins. It was pointless shooting at the Bullgryns, their defences were simply too good. I use the Doctrine on the squads and managed to do 7 wounds on the enemy vehicle. It took 3, leaving it on a single wound.
The Intecessors charged the Guardsmen and Tech-Priest, using one command point to get in. They wiped out the Infantry squad and put two wounds on the Mechanicus Character. The Tech-Priest struck back, killing one Intercessor.
I used Honour the Chapter to fight with the Intercessors once more. This allowed me to wrap around the Tech-Priest and keep him locked in combat, but failed to do any damage to him.
At the end of my turn, I scored two kill points and 5 objective points.
- Astra Militarum/Adeptus Mechanicus- 13
- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum- 16
For the first time in the game, I had taken the lead. The Intercessors were safe, but the rest of the Deathwatch were in trouble. The Bullgryns would be able to charge the squads on my right flank, while the squad on the left would suffer the firepower of the rest of the enemy army. With a good next turn, Rob could swing the game back in his favour.
TURN 4- ASTRA MILITARUM/ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
The Bullgryn moved up on the Deathwatch, while an Armiger and the Primaris Psyker moved up on the last Conscript.
In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Smite, killing the last of the Conscripts. He then failed to cast Psychic Barrier on the Bullgryns.
In the shooting phase, Rob used his last command point on Grenadiers for the Bullgryns, targeting the Combi-Melta Kill Team. The squad did only 3 wounds, but failed to get past the armour of the Deathwatch.
Two of the Armigers fired on the Razorback. Finally, one was able to get a wound on the vehicle, taking three damage from it.
In the charge phase, the Bullgryns assaulted the two Kill Teams and Watch Master in front of them. The Bullgyns took 16 wounds from the overwatch fire, but none managed to get past their armour save.
The Bullgryns attacked the Deathwatch, but only managed to do 2 wounds on the Watch Master after some horrendous rolling from Rob. The Deathwatch attacked back, killing three of the Bullgryn with their combined attacks.
At the end of his turn, Rob scored one kill point and 2 objective points, taking him to 16 points.
At this stage, we were running out of time. Rob decided to concede the game. In my final turn, I would scored at least 4 or 5 objective points, linebreaker and maybe a couple of kill points to give me the win.
- Astra Militarum/Adeptus Mechanicus- 16
- Deathwatch/Astra Militarum- 21
A win for the Deathwatch/Astra Militarum
Thanks to Rob for a fun and tactical game.
It wasn’t until writing this up that I noticed that the Primaris Psyker was casting two powers per turn, when he is only allowed to cast one. It didn’t really make much difference on the game, as I wasn’t really targeting the Bullgryn anyway.
I normally complain about my bad luck in games, but I was having some great rolls in this battle. My armour saves for the Razorback were brilliant, only failing one 4+ save in about 8 for the Razorback against the Armigers. In addition, I think just about every Lascannon I had hit and wounded on my first turn.
Charging and failing to kill the last Dragoon with the Deathwatch was also a big boost. This kept two units locked in combat and stopped them from being shot at in Rob’s turn. This allowed me to push up on the enemy army in my turn and take on the right flank.
I think that my overall plan worked. I was able to push the Conscripts up to block the move of the Bullgryns and Dragoons, as well as scoring a couple of the objectives. When Rob targeted them, I was able to pull the casualties from the right, stopping the large unit of Dragoons from charging and getting closer to my army.
The Bullgryns charging the Assassin was a surprise, and I think an error on Rob’s part. The way he was situated between the terrain, only a few of the Bullgryns could get to attack him. Needing 6’s to hit, they were unable to cause enough wounds to take him out for several rounds of combat.
Charging the Bullgryns with the Watch Captain may have also been a mistake on my part. He was easily slain by the Bullgryn before he could attack. However, it did split the attacks between the Assassin and the Captain and kept the Bullgryn tied up for another turn. Had they got to my main lines, they could have caused a big mess on my army.
In Rob’s fourth turn, I fully expected the Bullgryns to take out both Kill Teams and the Watch Master, as well as consolidating into the Razorback. This would have given him another 3 kill points and seriously diminished my strength. I may have struggled to come back from that, being forced to kill a couple of units to make up the points.
I also completely forgot about deploying my Vanguard Veterans on turn 3! At least would remember and not make that mistake in my subsequent games (I hoped!).
The game times were as follows:
- Deployment- 15 mins
- AM/AM Turn 1- 13 mins
- DW/AM Turn 1- 18 mins
- AM/AM Turn 2- 19 mins
- DW/AM Turn 2- 29 mins
- AM/AM Turn 3- 16 mins
- DW/AM Turn 3- 20 mins
- AM/AM Turn 4- 12 mins
So Rob’s turns took 60 mins, while my turns took 67 minutes, so about average between us (though, Rob had an extra turn over my timings). My second turn was the longest by far, with the reserves coming in and the combat various combats. Rob’s turns were very quick, as he actually had very little shooting, with only the Armigers firing each turn.
Overall, it was a good start to the tournament. A win for me and a hard-fought game. The rest of the games are due to go up this week on the blog. Be sure to join the Facebook group to keep up to date on all the reports.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!