Tournament Battle Report- White Scars vs Astra Militarum

Hi everyone, Mike here with another tournament battle report, where my White Scars take on the Tallarn forces. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

The fourth game of Warfare 2019 would see my White Scars take on Mike’s Astra Militarum Tallarn army in the Narrow the Search eternal war mission. 

My army consisted of:

Battalion Detachment

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

Battalion Detachment

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

Spearhead Detachment

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

Mike’s army consisted of:

Battalion Detachment (Tallarn, Astra Militarum)

Emperor’s Blade Assault Company

Company Commander- Laspistol, Chainsword, Old Grudges (Warlord Trait)

Company Commander- Laspistol, Chainsword, Dagger of Tu’Sakh

Infantry Squad- Lasguns

Infantry Squad- Lasguns

Infantry Squad- Lasguns

Command Squad- 3 Plasma Guns, Sniper Rifle

Special Weapons Squad- 3 Demo Charges, Lasguns

Chimera- 2 Heavy Bolters

Chimera- 2 Heavy Bolters


Outrider Detachment (Tallarn, Astra Militarum)

Primaris Psyker- Mental Fortitude, Psychic Barrier

Hellhound- Inferno Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Track Guards

Hellhound- Inferno Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Track Guards

5 Rough Riders- Hunting Lances

5 Rough Riders- Hunting Lances, 2 Meltaguns

10 Rough Riders- Hunting Lances, Grenade Launcher

Spearhead Detachment (Tallarn, Astra Militarum)

Emperor’s Fist Tank Company

Tank Commander- Hammer of Sundrance (Relic battle cannon), Lascannon, Hunter Killer Missile

Tank Commander- Demolisher Cannon, Lascannon, 2 Plasma Cannon Sponsons

Leman Russ Conqueror- Conqueror Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter

Leman Russ Conqueror- Conqueror Battle Cannon, Lascannon

Basilisk- Earthshaker Cannon, Heavy Bolter

A tank-heavy army that my White Scars would struggle to deal with at range. Not a huge amount of infantry to deal with, as my Bolters on my squads could make a mess of them. I would need to get in close to the tanks to tie them up in combat and try and take them out with my character attacks.

There was one objective in the centre of the board, and we were using Frontline Assault deployment.

I set up my army first. I deployed aggressively with my army, putting two Scout units up front and another hidden in a set of ruins. I deployed most of the army centrally to get them into range of the objective, putting the Bikers and characters at the front. I combat squad my Vanguard Veterans and put all three units in reserve.

Mike put most of his tanks at the centre and left flank at the very back of his deployment zone. He then used the three units of Rough Riders in front of his tanks to screen them out. He put one Company Commander in reserve, while the other characters hid behind the Rough Riders.

I chose to take the first turn and Mike failed to seize the initiative. It might be better to get the second turn to jump on the objective, but I had very little line of sight blocking terrain to keep my units safe from the enemy firepower for one turn and wanted to try and shut down the enemy firepower on my first turn. Mike used Prepared Positions to shield his units from my firepower.


TURN 1- WHITE SCARS

I used the Canticle of Hate on the Chaplain to give a bonus to charging units.

The White Scars characters and Scout Bikers advanced up the centre of the battlefield towards the Rough Riders. I used Born in the Saddle on the Scout Bikers to allow them to fire. The Scout squads also moved up on the Rough Riders. One unit of Intercessors also moved up into the ruins.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Storm-wreathed on the Scouts on the left. My plan was to charge the two Hellhounds to stop them from firing on the first turn and didn’t want to suffer the auto hits from the flamers on the charge. He then cast Smite, killing one of the Rough Riders.

The Scouts opened fire on the Infantry Squad, killing nine of them with their Bolter rounds. The firepower on the left flank targeted the Rough Riders, killing five of the squad. The Thunderfire opened up on the Rough Riders, killing two. I spent the 2CP to fire again, but only did a single wound.

The Devastators fired at the Tank Commander, but I rolled a double 1 to hit.

In the charge phase, the Scout squad assaulted the Rough Riders and both Hellhounds, but I only rolled high enough to get close to one of them. The combat Scouts on the left failed to make the charge. In the centre, both Captains and the Lieutenant charged in, along with the Scouts and Scout Bikers. The Primaris Psyker heroically intervened to tag the Jump Pack Captain in combat.

In the fight phase, the Biker Captain slew the remaining Rough Riders. I then used the stratagem to consolidate D6+6″ to contact the second unit of Rough Riders and the Company Commander.

Mike then spent 2CP to interrupt with the Hellhound. He moved it to contact the nearby Scouts to prevent them from piling in to the second Hellhound in combat. The vehicle did no damage, but had fulfilled its role.

The second Captain slew the Infantry Squad, while the rest of the squads had no targets left to fight. The attacks back on the White Scars killed one Scout Biker and two Scouts on the right, as well as wounding the Captain once.

At the end of my turn, I scored First Strike.

TURN 1- ASTRA MILITARUM

The White Scars Captain stopped the Rough Riders from falling back with his Master of Snares ability. The Company Commander was able to fall back. I decided not to use a CP re-roll to keep him locked in combat (this would come back to haunt me!). The Primaris Psyker also fell back.

On the right flank, the Command Squad and Special Weapons Squad disembarked from the Chimera, moving up on the Scouts. The Infantry Squad also disembarked, moving up on the enemy Scouts, supported by a push from the Hellhound.

On the left flank, the Infantry Squad fell back from combat with the Scouts, as the Tallarn Tanks moved up.

In the psychic phase, the powers of the Primaris Psyker were shut down by the Librarian.

In the shooting phase, the Guardsmen that fell back were ordered to fire on the Scouts, killing one. The Hellhound fired at the Scouts on the right flank, killing the squad.

Mike then targeted the Scouts on the left flank, as they were stopping him from shooting at my unengaged characters. The Basilisk was able to finish them off, opening up the White Scars characters.

The Leman Russ Demolisher fired at the Jump Pack Captain, killing him. The second Demolisher killed the Lieutenant, while its Lascannon killed one Intercessor. The rest of the Tanks fired on the Devastators and Intercessors, killing four of the Devastators.

In the charge phase, the Leman Russ Demolisher and Tank Commander assaulted the White Scars Captain, while the Command Squad and Special Weapons Squad charged the Scouts.

Mike then used the Steel Phalanx Vigilus stratagem on the Tanks, allowing them to do D3 mortal wounds on the charge on a 4+. Only one of the tanks managed to cause the damage (with a CP re-roll), doing three mortal wounds on the Captain. The Leman Russ then attacked, doing one more wound on the Captain with the Crush Them stratagem.

I spent 2CP to interrupt and attacked the Tank Commander. However, the T8 helped it out and the tank only took 6 damage. The second Tank attacked the Captain, but failed to do any damage. The Rough Riders then attacked the Captain and managed to take his final wound, from one of the horses!

My shout of dismay and Mike’s cry of joy brought several people to the table to find out my warlord had been killed by a horse.

I spent my last 2CP on Only in Death to attack with the Captain into the Tank Commander, but only did three damage.

The Scout Bikers managed to take out one Rough Rider, and the Scouts killed three of the Command Squad.

At the end of the turn, Mike scored First Strike and Slay the Warlord, while I scored the objective point this turn.

VICTORY POINTS:

White Scars- 2

Astra Militarum- 2

The game was a draw after turn 1, but a lot had happened. We had both spent all our CP on turn 1 to try and kill my Captain and keep him alive and attacking. That had been a brutal first turn and had swung the game both ways. With most of my hard hitting combat units gone, it would be difficult to shut down his tanks with my firepower. Annoyingly, had I kept the Company Commander locked in combat, I would probably have killed him in the fight phase, as well as preventing the Leman Russ tanks from charging him.

I wasn’t aware of that mortal wounds stratagem, and would probably have tried to stop the Commander from falling back had I known about it to help save my Captain.

TURN 2- WHITE SCARS

I switched to the Tactical Doctrine and the Chaplain used his re-roll to hit Litany.

The Scout Bikers fell back from combat, moving towards the enemy Tank Commander, while the Chaplain and Librarian moved up on the main line.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian attempted to manifest Storm-wreathed, but perilled and took 3 mortal wounds. I chose not to cast a second power.

In the shooting phase, the Intercessors opened fire on the Infantry Squad, killing only three after some horrendous rolls. The Thunderfire Cannon was able to kill six more. The other squads fired Frag Missiles at the Infantry Squads, killing 5 more of them.

The Scouts Bikers charged the Tank Commander, this time remembering to contact him to stop him from heroically intervening and blocking my attempts to wrap the vehicle. The Chaplain and Librarian charged the two Leman Russ tanks, suffering no damage in overwatch thanks to manifesting the power earlier.

The Scouts took out the last of the Rough Riders, while the Chaplain and Librarian were unable to finish off the wounded Leman Russ.

In the morale phase, one of the Infantry Squads fled the field.

TURN 2- ASTRA MILITARUM

The Hellhound moved up on the Scouts, while the two Leman Russ tanks and remnants of the special weapons team fell back. The Infantry Squad, Primaris Psyker and Company Commander moved up on the Scout Bikers. The second Company Commander came in from reserve on the right flank.

The Primaris Psyker failed to cast Smite on the Scout BIkers.

The lone member of the Special Weapons Team threw a demo charge at the Chaplain, wounding him once, but I made my Rosarius save.

The Chimera fired on the Scouts, killing the squad. The Leman Russ Demolisher fired at the Whtie Scars, killing three Intercessors and the lone Devastator. The Demolisher Cannon fired at the Chaplain, killing him. The Hellhound fired at the Librarian, killing him.

The Basilisk fired at the Thunderfire Cannon, wounding it three times. I only failed one save and the cannon took two wounds.

In the charge phase, the Infantry Squad, Commander and Psyker charged the Scout Bikers. The Infantry squad managed to kill one Biker, while the Primaris Psyker was able to kill the last two Bikers.

At the end of the turn, I scored one point for having more models near the objective.

VICTORY POINTS:

White Scars- 3

Astra Militarum- 2

TURN 3- WHITE SCARS

At the start of my third turn, I activated the Assault Doctrine.

The Techmarine healed the Thunderfire Cannon. Two units of Intercessors moved up on the objective, while one squad moved towards the enemy vehicles. The Vanguard Veterans arrived, deploying to target the enemy tanks on the left flank.

The Intercessors fired at the Infantry Squad, killing them. The Vanguard Veterans fired their Plasma Pistols at the Hellhound, taking three wounds from it.

The Intercessors charged the Chimera, while the Vanguard Veterans charged the Chimera. The other two squads both failed their charges (both on an 8, to rub it in!).

The Intercessors, managed to do 6 wounds on the Chimera, while the Vanguard Veterans did two more wounds. They were able to consolidate into the two Hellhounds to stop them from firing.

TURN 3- ASTRA MILITARUM

The Tanks fell back from combat, while the other battle tanks moved up on the enemy forces. The Psyker cast Smite, doing three mortal wounds on the Intercessors.

The Tanks opened fire on the Intercessors, killing the three squads with their firepower, as well as the Vanguard Veterans in the open. The Basilisk fired at the Thunderfire Cannon, doing two damage once more.

At the end of the turn, Mike had enough tanks in range to score the objective.

VICTORY POINTS:

White Scars- 3

Astra Militarum- 3

At the end of turn 3, things were continuing to go well for the Astra Militarum. They had taken out much of the enemy army and still had plenty of tanks operational to finish off the remaining squads.

TURN 4- WHITE SCARS

One squad of Vanguard Veterans moved up on the damaged Chimera, while the other squad went after the Company Commander.

The Thunderfire Cannon fired at the Hellhound, but failed to do any damage. In the charge phase, the Vanguard Veterans charged the Chimera and Company Commander, killing both units.

TURN 4- ASTRA MILITARUM

The two Hellhounds moved up on the Vanguard Veterans, while the rest of the army moved up on the Devastators.

The Primaris Psyker cast Smite, killing three Devastators. The Tanks fired at the White Scars, killing the Thunderfire Cannon, Devastators, three Veterans from one squad and two from the other squad of Vanguard Veterans.

At the end of the turn, Mike scored the objective point.

VICTORY POINTS:

White Scars- 3

Astra Militarum- 4

TURN 5- WHITE SCARS

The Techmarine moved up on the Tank Commander, while the Vanguard Veterans moved up on the Hellhounds.

The Techmarine fired at the Tank Commander, doing one wound with his Flamer. The Techmarine charged the Tank Commander, while the Vanguard Veteran assaulted the Hellhound.

The Techmarine struck at the Tank Commander, but rolled a double 3 to hit with the Servo-arms. The Vanguard Veterans were able to kill one Hellhound. The remaining tank hit back, managing to kill two of the Vanguard Veterans.

TURN 5- ASTRA MILITARUM

The Primaris Psyker cast Smite, doing three mortal wounds on the Techmarine. He then fired his Laspistol, doing one wound and I failed my save.

The Leman Russ fired at the Vanguard Veterans, killing one squad. The Command Squad survivor fired at the Vanguard Veteran, killing one. He then assaulted the Vanguard Veteran, failing to kill him, but was cut down in reply.

At the end of his turn, Mike scored the objective point. The game ended and we both scored Linebreaker.

VICTORY POINTS:

White Scars- 4

Astra Militarum- 6

A win for the Astra Militarum.

AFTER-BATTLE THOUGHTS

Thanks to Mike for a fun and tactical game. I always learn something new when I play against him.

I thought my first turn went really well. I hit the screen hard, taking down a number of the enemy units and getting into a good position for my second turn. Mike used the Primaris Psyker to heroically intervene and tie up my Jump Pack Captain to stop him from moving up and tagging the Leman Russ in combat. He was just out of range of me to declare him a target of the charge, so I was unable to attack him.

I was also able to tie up the Rough Riders and Company Commander in combat. I should have used a CP re-roll to try and stop the warlord from falling back. Had I locked him in combat, the two tanks would not have been able to charge my warlord and contribute towards killing him.

Another smart move was interrupting with the Hellhound to tag my Scouts in combat. If he had not done so, I would have been able to pile in to the second Hellhound and stop it from firing in his first turn. As he was able to interrupt and get into base contact, I was unable to move up my Scouts to get both vehicles in combat.

After his first turn, I think the game was decided. Mike was able to take out many of my combat characters, meaning I had little that could take them out in combat with the remainder of my force’s firepower.

It might have been better to take the second turn to get a jump on the objective, as it was scored at the end of the turn. However, there was little line of sight blocking terrain on the table due to the open windows on the ruins (another reason I like the ITC terrain rules). This meant that giving up the first turn would have allowed Mike to target a lot of firepower at my army and potentially do a lot of damage on his first turn. In addition, that would have allowed him to push his screen out to the objective and make it very difficult for me to tag his tanks in combat on my second turn.

I think it also might have been better to start with the Vanguard Veterans on the board. I was wanting to keep them in reserve until later in the game to put them on the objective and use the Assault Doctrine to go after the vehicles with the increased damage of their attacks. However, I think it would have been better using them to strike at Mike with overwhelming force. I may have been able to get a couple of charges off on them on turn 1 if I had had some decent advance rolls.

Even if I had not got the first turn charge, I would have given him three more units to have to deal with on his first turn. This may have saved some of my backfield units, or some of my characters, as the Vanguard Veterans would most likely have gone up the right hand side of the board and may have been closer to the enemy vehicles than my Captain or Lieutenant.

Had any of the units survived, they would have been in good position to assault his infantry or vehicles on turn 2. I wouldn’t have destroyed them, but just tagging them in combat to shut down their firepower each turn would have been more than enough to maybe swing the game in my favour.

Despite the loss, this was a fun game. The horse killing my Captain was the highlight of the game, and a pretty funny moment. Mike’s Primaris Psyker was also on top form. I think he got three mortal wounds in every single smite he cast, while my own Librarian struggle to get off many powers, almost killing himself with a perils.

Sometimes it is good to lose games like these. I think you learn a lot more from a loss than a win in most cases, looking back on how you could have adapted your tactics differently to pull out the win.

With four games down, I was on three wins and one loss, going into a good position for game 5. 

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

secondhandhsop

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

2 Responses to “Tournament Battle Report- White Scars vs Astra Militarum”

  1. Avatar
    Conor Lobb December 30, 2019 4:54 pm #

    Nice! I like your tactical overlays a lot.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr December 31, 2019 4:09 am #

      Thanks! I enjoy reading your reports too, it’s rare to find written one these days.

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