Hi everyone, Michael here with a tournament battle report when my White Scars take on a mixed Astra Militarum and Deathwatch. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
Welcome to my first battle report from the recent Warfare 2019 tournament held in Reading. In this tournament, I was taking my White Scars once more. I was still modifying the army after some tournament performances, so was interested to see if the changes would help to improve the Marines further.
The first mission of the day was Strategic Gamble maelstrom mission using Dawn of War deployment. In this game, I would be facing off against Arran and his Astra Militarum and Deathwatch forces.
My army consisted of:
Captain on Bike- Twin Bolter, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Chogorian Storm, Master of Snares, Wrath of the Heavens
Librarian- Jump Pack, Force Stave, Mantle of the Stormseer, Ride the Winds, Storm-wreathed
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Scouts Bikers- Twin Bolters, Shotguns, Combat Knives
Captain- Jump Pack, Master-crafted Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield
Lieutenant- Jump Pack, Power Axe, MC Bolter
5 Scouts- Bolters
5 Scouts- Bolters
5 Scouts- Bolt Pistol, Combat Knives
Chaplain- Jump Pack, Crozius Arcanum, Bolt Pistol, Litan of Hate
10 Vanguard Veterans- 5 with 2 Chainswords, 5 with two Lightning Claws
5 Vanguard Veterans- Chainswords and Plasma Pistols
5 Devastators- Bolters, 2 Missile Launchers, Heavy Bolter
5 Devastators- Bolters, 2 Missile Launchers
Thunderfire Cannon- Techmarine Gunner with Flamer, Plasma Cutter, 2 Servo-arms
To start with, I swapped the Khan on Bike for a Captain with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield to give him extra offensive and defensive capabilities. His warlord traits and Relic were unchanged, as this combination worked very well for me in the past.
I also took three units of Intercessors with Bolt Rifles. I decided to try these out over the Tactical Marines, to see if the extra durability and firepower would prove to be useful in the list. I kept the Scout Bikers to accompany the Captain, but dropped the Biker squad, as I didn’t find the so effective in the previous tournament.
For the second Battalion, I took another Captain, this time with a Jump Pack, Master-crafted Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield for some more powerful combat ability. The Lieutenant and Scouts were the same as in the previous list.
I also added a Spearhead Detachment, which was led by a Chaplain. This was my first trial of the Chaplain and I wanted to see what his abilities would bring to the army. He knows the standard Litany, allowing you to re-roll hit rolls within 6″ in combat, which should pair well with the Devastating Charge ability. He also took the litany of Hate, which gives one unit +2 to the charge and the ability to consolidate up to 6″. Great for getting another unit into combat, along with the Ride the Winds psychic power.
I also took a couple of units of Devastators with some Missile Launchers for some more long-ranged firepower support, something my last list was missing. I took the ever useful Thunderfire Cannon and a couple of units of Vanguard Veterans to make use of their combat ability once more.
Arran’s army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Captain- Jump pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Bolter
Watch Master- Guardian Spear, The Tome of Ectoclades, Lord of Hidden Knowledge
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
Kill Team 1- 6 Veterans with Storm Bolters and Storm Shields, Sergeant with Power Axe, Blackshield with Power Sword, Vanguard Veteran Hand Flamer, Terminator with Power Sword and Storm Bolter
Kill Team 2- 6 Veterans with Storm Bolters and Storm Shields, Frag Cannon, Sergeant with Power Axe, Blackshield with Power Sword, Vanguard Veteran Hand Flamer, Terminator with Power Sword and Storm Bolter
5 Veterans- Storm Bolter, Storm Shield, Bolters
Venerable Dreadnought- Assault Cannon
3 Bikers- Power Sword, Twin Bolters
Battalion Detachment (Astra Militarum)
Company Commander- Laspistol, Chainsword
Knight Commander Pask- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Stubber
Tank Commander- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Stubber
Infantry Squad- Lasguns
Infantry Squad- Lasguns
Infantry Squad- Lasguns
Command Squad- 3 Sniper Rifles
Basilisk- Earthshaker Cannon, Heavy Bolter
A mixed force with a lot of firepower. I know how well the Deathwatch and Astra Militarum can do against Marines, and would need to watch out for all the Storm Bolter fire they could provide. The Astra Militarum tanks were also a worry, as their firepower could shred my army very quickly.
We set up the objectives as shown below:
Arran won the roll off for table side and I deployed first. I put two units of Intercessors and a Devastator squad on the left flank. The Bikers and the bulk of my characters went in the centre, with the second Devastator squad on the Bastion and the Thunderfire Cannon behind it. Another unit of Intercessors went in cover on the right. I put the Scout Squads ahead of the army, ready to move up and engage the enemy forces quickly.
Arran deployed the bulk of his forces on his left flank, with the Basilisk and Tanks at the backfield. The Deathwatch Intercessors went on top of the Bastion, with an Infantry squad inside it. Another Infantry squad and Veteran squad went in front of the tanks. On the right flank, another unit of Veterans went on top of the Bastion, with another squad inside it. The Bikers went behind it. Arran spent 2CP on the Teleportarium, putting in the Kill Team with Frag Cannon and Dreadnought, while the Captain also went in reserve.
I chose to take the first turn, but Arran managed to seize the iniative! This was tricky, as there was little line of sight blocking terrain on the table. I spent 2CP on the Prepared Positions stratagem.
TURN 1- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
In his first turn, Arran drew Area Denial, Secure Objective 2 and Secure Objective 4. He chose to discard the two secure objectives and drew Defend Objective 2. For his Mission Tactics, he chose Troops. My Chaplain was able to activate the Litany of Hate.
On the right flank, the Bikers moved up on the Scouts in front of them, while on the other flank, the Kill Team moved up to the barricades.
In the shooting phase, the Snipers opened fire on the Devastators in the Bastion, wounding them once. I failed my 2+ save, not an auspicious start!
Pask fired at the Scout Bikers and Devastators. The Battle Cannon did 6 wounds on the Bikers. I failed 5 saves, but only two of the Bikers fell after some poor damage rolls, and killing one Devastator with the Lascannon. The Tank Commander fired at the Devastators and Intercessors, killing the Devastator squad and one Intercessor. So far, I had only made two out of 12 4+ saves. This was going to be a quick game if this continued!
On the right flank, the Veterans fired at the Scouts with Vengeance shells, killing one of the squad. The Bikers, fired at the Intercessor squad, but failed to do any damage. The forces on the left flank fired at the Scouts, killing all but one of one of the squads and doing a couple of wounds on the far Intercessor squad. The Basilisk fired at an Intercessor squad, killing three of them.
In the charge phase, the Bikers assaulted the Scouts, while the Kill Team failed a charge on the lone Scout. In the fight phase, the Bikers were able to kill two more Scouts. The Scouts put one wound on the Bikers in reply.
In the morale phase, one more Scout fled the field. Arran scored First Strike and 2 points for Area Denial. He discarded Defend Objective 2.
That was brutal! Arran rolled really hot since he seized the initiative, and I seemed incapable of making a save. I was definitely on the back foot, as I had lost a lot of my infantry squads on the table. I would need to shut down some enemy firepower quickly in my turn if I had any hope of surviving.
TURN 1- WHITE SCARS
In my turn, I drew Secure Objective 2, Overwhelming Firepower and Behind Enemy Lines. A pretty decent draw to give me a chance to get in the game.
The Scout Bikers and Captain advanced towards the enemy lines. I used Born in the Saddle on the Scout Bikers to allow them to fire. The Librarian and Chaplain advanced towards the centre of the battlefield. On the left flank, the Intercessor squads moved up on the Bikers, while the Scout fell back towards the Bastion. The other lone Scout moved up on the Basilisk.
In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Storm Wreathed on the Biker Captain, then cast Ride the Winds on the Bikers.
The Thunderfire Cannon fired at the Command Squad, killing them. The two units of Intercessors fired at the Bikers, killing two of the squad. The Devastators managed to kill the last Biker.
The Scout Bikers fired at the Infantry squad, but only managed to kill three. The Intercessors on the right fired at the Veterans, hitting four times but failing to wound.
I spent 2CP to fire the Thunderfire Cannon at the Infantry Squad that had 7 Guardsmen remaining. If I could kill the unit, I would get three kills for overwhelming firepower. I rolled 7 shots and got seven hits and wounds. Annoyingly, Arran saved one wound and the squad survived.
In the charge phase, the Captain assaulted the Infantry squad and Pask, getting in with a CP re-roll, aided by the Litany of Hate. The Scout Bikers charged the Infantry Squad, while the Chaplain managed a long charge on the Infantry Squad. On each flank, one lone Scout charged the Infantry Squad in the Bastion, while the other charged the Basilisk.
In the fight phase, the Chaplain killed one of the Guardsmen, while the Scout Bikers killed three more. The Captain struck at Pask, doing two wounds and 6 damage on him. On the left flank, the Scout Sergeant did four wounds on the Infantry Squad, but only one Guardsman fell. The other Scout failed to damage the Basilisk, but was able to tie it up to stop it from firing, which was the important role.
The Guardsmen struck back. The Infantry squad actually managed four wounds on the Scout Bikers, killing one. Both Scouts survived the enemy attacks, while Pask failed to damage the Captain.
At the end of my turn, I scored First Strike, Secure Objective 2, Overwhelming Firepower and got 1 point on the D3 for Behind Enemy Lines.
White Scars- 4
A good start for the White Scars. I was able to do a lot of damage to the Guardsmen and shut down some of their firepower to help my forces in the following turn.
TURN 2- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
In his turn, Arran drew Secure Objective 3, Defend Objective 5 and Kill Team Strike (kill an enemy unit).
Commander Pask fell back from combat, as the Captain failed to keep him locked in combat with his Master of Snares ability (even with a CP re-roll), but did keep the Infantry Squad locked in combat. The Kill Team moved up on the Chaplain.
At the end of the phase, the reserves came in. The Dreadnought landed near the Captain, while the second kill team and Watch Captain landed on the right flank.
The Tank Commander fired on the Devastators, killing three of the squad. The Kill Team fired at the Chaplain, killing him in a hail of fire. The Dreadnought could not fire at the Librarian due to the Scout Bikers blocking him from targeting the enemy character, while he was out of range of any other targets.
The two Veteran squads on the right fired at the enemy Intercessors, killing one squad and one Marine from the other. The Frag Cannon targeted the Devastators, killing one more.
In the charge phase, the Dreadnought made his charge on the Captain and Scout Bikers. On the right flank, the Veterans failed their charge on the Intercessors.
The Dreadnought struck at the Biker Captain, wounding him twice, but I made both saves with a CP re-roll. The Infantry Squad attacked the Scout Bikers, but failed to do any damage.
In reply, the Captain struck at the Dreadnought, smashing it to pieces with his Thunder Hammer after all five wounds went through. The Infantry squad managed to kill the lone Scout Sergeant, while the Scout Biker took down one of the infantry squad. The other Scout did one wound on the Basilisk.
At the end of his turn, Arran scored Secure Objective 3 and one point for Kill Team Strike, taking him to 5 points.
TURN 2- WHITE SCARS
In my turn, I drew Defend Objective 6, Defend Objective 3 and Priority Orders (Assassinate). I discarded the Defend Objectives and drew Secure Objective 4 as my double points card. I switched to the Tactical Doctrine.
The Jump Pack Captain and Lieutenant advanced towards the Kill Team, while the Intercessors and Librarian moved up. The two Intercessors on the right advanced into the Bastion. The Captain and Scout Bikers fell back towards Commander Pask. I brought in the Vanguard Veterans near the Veterans. Arran used Auspex Scan, killing two of the squad with the Plasma Pistols.
In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Storm Wreathed on the Intercessors, then cast Ride the Winds on the combat Vanguard Veterans.
The Thunderfire Cannon opened fire on the Veterans, doing 8 wounds but only killing one Storm Shield Veterans. The Intercessors opened fire on the squad, killing three of the Storm Shield Veterans with their Bolt Rifles. The Vanguard Veterans fired their Plasma Pistols at the squad, wounding twice, but failing to get past their armour. The Devastators managed to kill one more of the squad.
In the charge phase, the Scout Bikers charged Pask, who used the Defensive Gunners stratagem, but failed to kill any in overwatch. The Biker Captain also charged in. The Intercessors and Librarian charged the Veterans, followed by the Vanguard Veterans. The Lieutenant made the charge, but the Captain failed. The Watch Captain then heroically intervened on the Vanguard Veterans.
The Vanguard Veterans attacked first. The Chainsword Veterans did 7 wounds, but the Terminator blocked all the wounds. The Lightning Claw Veterans then attacked, doing 14 wounds. The Storm Shield blocked 8 of the wounds before falling, but the Terminator then blocked the other 3! This was not going well.
Things turned around when the Lieutenant killed the Terminator and two more Veterans, while the Intercessors finished off the squad.
The Captain attacked Commander Pask, doing three wounds and killing him, then consolidating into the Tank Commander, who did not damage with his attacks. The Watch Captain then slew three of the Vanguard Veterans.
At the end of my turn, I scored Priority Orders Received for four points and Secure Objective 4 for two points.
White Scars- 10
A great round of cards for my on turn 2 had seen me take a good lead on the Deathwatch.
TURN 3- DEATHWATCH/ASTRA MILITARUM
In his third turn, Arran drew Kingslayer, Hold the Line and Defend Objective 5. I also changed to the Assault Doctrine.
I used my last CP to keep the Commander locked in combat with his Master of Snares ability. The Infantry squad on the right moved out of the Bastion and up to support the Watch Captain. On the left, the Deathwatch Intercessors moved out of the Bastion and up to engage the lone Scout.
The Veterans on the right fired at the Intercessors, killing them.
In the charge phase, the Kill Team assaulted the Captain and Scout Bikers, getting in with a CP re-roll, joined by the Watch Master. The Intercessors assaulted the Scout.
The Intercessors killed the lone Scout. The Kill Team only managed to kill one Scout Biker with their attacks. The rest of the attacks went in to the Captain, doing 8 wounds on him. I failed 5 of my saves to keep him alive on one! The Watch Master killed the Scout Bikers.
The Watch Captain managed to kill two more Vanguard Veterans, who then brought him down with their attacks. My Captain managed to put 6 wounds on the Tank Commander.
At the end of his turn, Arran scored no points.
TURN 3- WHITE SCARS
In my turn, I drew Secure Objective 3, Defend Objective 3 and Secure Objective 5. I discarded the two objective 3 cards and drew Defend Objective 5.
We were running low on time at this point. The Biker Captain fell back from combat. The Captain secured objective 5.
At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 5 and Linebreaker.
White Scars- 12
A win for the White Scars.
That game was a lot closer than the score would suggest. Thanks to Arran for a fun and tactical game.
I thought I was in serious trouble after he seized the initiative. There was little line of sight blocking terrain on the board (an issue with a lot of the Warfare boards), so my forces were pretty much at the mercy of the first shooting phase.
My first save of the game was a 2+ on my Devastators, which I promptly failed. That set the tone for the first shooting phase, as I seemed incapable of making a 4+ save with any of my units! I lost most of my Scout units, a unit of Devastators, several Scout Bikers and a few Intercessors. Almost half my army on the table was gone after Arran’s first turn.
This put me on the back foot for my turn, knowing I would have to do well to bring things back and not getting a crushing defeat in my first game. Fortunately, I had a decent first turn. Keeping one Scout alive on the right was a big boost, as it allowed me to charge in to the Basilisk and keep it tied in combat for much of the game.
Again, the Biker Captain with the relic jetbike was great in the game. He was able to get into cobmat on turn 1, then use his Master of Snares ability to keep enemy units locked in combat and save himself and the Scout Bikers from the enemy firepower. The Chaplain did not fare as well, getting obliterated by the enemy firepower in turn 2.
I thought I was in big trouble with the second Deathwatch Veteran squad in combat. The lone Storm Shield Veteran and Terminator were able to tank almost all of the wounds caused by the Vanguard Veterans in combat. Fortunately, the intervention of my characters into the combat allowed them to take out the Veterans, otherwise I might have been in big trouble.
Overall, a good start to the day. Unfortunately, we didn’t get past turn 3. My opponent was a bit rusty with the rules, he said, so took some time with his turns to get things right. Had the game gone on, I still think I was in a good position to win. I was ahead on points and still had a number of powerful units and long range firepower left on the board to deal with the remaining enemy forces.
So with one win in hand, my next game would see me take on the might of the Drukhari.
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