Overwatch and I took advantage of some mutual freedom over this last weekend and finally put together our table for home games, and inaugurated it with a 1500 point skirmish between my Orks and his Blood Angels. It was a post-Christmas red v. green smash, and it was a nail-biter all the way through.
This will begin a series of battle reports documenting a mini-campaign between Overwatch and I in which he will lead the forces of the Imperium against the Ork Hordes of Ghagkull Thraka on the planet of Armaggedon. The Blood Angels and Salamander Space Marine Chapters will be featured mostly by OW
. The series will utilize the 4 most popular 40k
mission systems: Battle Missions, Planetstrike, the normal missions form the BRB
, and the whole series will culminate in an Apocalypse game. This battle represents a small skirmish over the Averneas Forge complex, a critical Chimera production facility near Hades Hive. So without further prattle:
Honor Guard w/ Powerfist, Power weapon, 2x Meltagun, Sanguinary Novitiate, Rhino
Sanguinary Priest w/ Jump Pack and Power Weapon
Assault Squad w/ flamer, meltagun, powerfist
Assault Squad w/ flamer, meltagun, powerfist, Rhino (no JPs
Sanguinary Guard w/ Inferno pistol, Banner, Power fist
Sanguinary Guard w/ 2x Power fists
1500 Points / 4 Scoring Units / 9 Kill Points
Blood Angels Army Overview
I wanted to play a fun 1500 point list that also utilized my Sanguinary Guard. I think the Sanguinary Guard models are amazing plus they are a pretty good unit too, and I took Dante because I didn't want to only have 2 scoring units. Overall the list isn't very optimized, but with two fast Rhinos I have the mobile wall I need to hide the Sanguinary Guard and Jump Pack Assault Squad behind. That's the basic strategy here, Rhino Wall up, move up behind it to assault my enemy.
11 Burna Boyz
30 Boyz w/ Nob, Power Klaw, Bosspole
30 Boyz w/ Nob, Power Klaw, Bosspole
30 Boyz w/ Nob, Power Klaw, Bosspole
Battlewagon w/ Grot Rigger, Red Paint Job, 4x Big Shoota
*Special last-minute pinch-hitter: My list originally included 3 Killa Kans with Armor Plates and Grotzookas, but the week got so busy I was unable to finish them in time for the battle, so I had to sub in...
10 Stormboyz w/ Nob, ‘Eavy Armor, Power Klaw, Bosspole
1500 points / 3 Scoring Units / 8 Kill Points
Ork Army Overview
I haven't played a lot of 1500 lately, so I'm going with a pared-down version of what I know best here: lots of Boyz backed up by Lootas and a Battlewagon. The Stormboyz are far from optimal, but my beloved Killa Kans didn't make the painting cut, so they surfed the bench this time. I know OW
's list has lots of fast elements, so I'm just hoping the Boyz (storm and otherwise) can bog them down enough for the rest of the army to do its work.
Mission and Deployment
We rolled up what promised to be a quick and dirty Annihilation mission with Spearhead deployment. With two furious charge melee armies squaring off, I got the feeling this wouldn’t take long!
The Battlefield was an overgrown Imperial settlement, clearly the victim of ravenous Ork predations and due for the Blood Angels to bring some order to the chaos. A ring of ruined structures, two Manufactorums to the west and two Ecclesiarchal buildings to the east, were interspersed with some hills, patches of forest, and low walls.
Overwatch won the roll for deployment and took it, setting up the whole of his very compact and elite force around the red Manufactorum in the center-west. I held the two 29-model Boyz mobs in reserve, and set up the rest on the table, bunkered around an the smaller of the two Ecclesiarchy buildings in the center-east.
Blood Angels Plan:
You should all know by now that I like simple plans to accompany my simple lists. Over thinking things is a quick path to personal destruction in 40k
. Rhino wall moves FAST with the hammer following behind. Simple, yet effective... I hope.
Da Cunnin’ Plan:
Despite outnumbering the red Marines nearly three to one, we had almost equivalent Kill Points in our lists, so it wasn’t going to be a game where I could simply toss away my boyz. I’m feeling a tiny bit pinched at 1500 points, and I’m missing my comfort-zone Nobz squad on a Battlewagon. Regardless, the general idea is to hit hard out of the gate and try to eat some of his squishier KPs
in the form of the Rhinos and ICs
. I know he’s going to come charging in, so I won’t have to worry about nimmying around before we start fighting.
I’m going to use the building the Lootas are in as an anchor for my battleline, with the intent that he’ll be coming after them and therefore my reserve mobs won’t be walking on with no one to fight.
The Assault Squad in Rhino and the squad of Sanguinary Guard accompanying Dante both roll a 1 and get the Black Rage!
The Sons of Sanguinius cautiously advance, closing the gap between the two armies almost immediately, and using the Rhinos as a mobile wall to screen the more valuable assault elements behind.
Orks: Respond in kind; the Boyz mob advances and spreads out to ensure they’re the first contact. The Battlewagon with Ghaz and the Burnas moves up behind keeping a respectable distance. The Stormboyz roll a 5 for their Rokkit Packs and get in position to start the party with Dante and his Sanguinary Guard. Lootas blast away but fail to stick any significant damage to the Rhino screening Dante, and the Stormboyz charge in! But, they are only Stormboyz. Six fall to Dante and his elite, before making a swing, and the remainder are unable to push any wounds through the golden Blood Angels. They lose, break, and are cut down as they flee. Dante and his men consolidate toward the Lootas.
Turn 1 Kill Point Review
Turn 1 Thoughts – Overwatch
I play close range or assault oriented armies almost exclusively, my new guard project excepted, so I almost always find the first turn a bit boring. Luckily we both are playing close quarters armies and Dis got the first turn charge with his Stormboyz. Dante and his squad of Sanguinary Guard are just an awesome unit. I feel pretty confident after turn 1 about my armies abilities despite its small size.
Turn 1 Thoughts –Dis
A fittingly ignominious end to my pinch-hitters. The Stormboyz have done me well in other games, but I think we won't be seeing much more of them in this little campaign until the Apocalypse game when they've got Zagstruk at the helm. Regardless of their failure, the rest of the plan is moving along as expected. I had hoped for a quick, first-turn wreck on one of the Rhinos, but the best thing about Lootas is that I never count on them for anything, so whenever they actually do something cool, it is shockingly awesome. OW
is running full steam at my poor Boyz, the engines are revving, and the pilot lights on all those Burnas are lit and hissing. Let's hope the rest of my fights don't end like the Stormboyz.
Full advance this turn, sending Dante and his unit toward the Lootas, the Jump-pack Assault squad and the Honor Guard toward the Ork front line, and the Rhinos into support positions. The vanguard elements crash into the Boyz mob on the front line, annihilating them with little reprisal, and cutting down the last few as they broke and fled. Dante and his men fell victim to the dangers of assaulting foes on higher ground, rolling too low on their difficult terrain to make both the vertical and horizontal distance needed to get into base contact. Lootas inhale.
Orks: One of the two Boyz mobs in reserve shows up right behind the building the Lootas are bunkered in. Lootas exhale a sigh of relief. The Battlewagon rolls up, Ghaz gets out and prepares to get ill. With the pressure off, the Lootas open up and wreck the Rhino that had been screening Dante. The Burnas blast away from the Battlewagon, laying some serious heat on both the Honor Guard and the Assault squad, but a nearby Sanguinary Novitiate ran around, frantically administering burn salve and cool, damp hand towels to the Blood Angels, negating most of the wounds on the Assault Squad. The Burnas wound the Assault squad twelve times and only kill the sarge with the Powerfist, and wound the Honor Guard twenty-one times only killing two of them! Ghazgkull bellows his Waaagh! and charges in along with the reserve Boyz. Ghaz makes short work of the remaining Assault Marines and consolidates toward the final Rhino to put a large roadblock between it and the Battlewagon; the reserve Boyz die in droves to Dante’s men but manage to drop two of the Sanguinary Guard while the Powerklaw mulches Dante.
Turn 2 Kill Point Review
Turn 2 Thoughts – Overwatch
Well, Dis has pulled ahead of me in the KP
category. I was hoping Dante would be better than I had heard he was but such is life. Ghaz mopping up the 4 remaining Assault Marines hurt but his Waagh is gone now so perhaps I will have a better chance of bringing him down in subsequent turns. Usually when I face Ghaz I take him down with a round of massed shooting, that won't be possible with this list and he is just so good in CC
that I am quite worried about him eating my whole army. I need the Sanguinary Guard to get out of combat with the Boyz Mob so I can utilize them elsewhere before 30 more Boyz come in from the table edge! I have a plan going forward but I don't think it is going to get things done.
Turn 2 Thoughts –Dis
Dante's squad falling short on the charge really opened up some breathing room; I probably still would have gotten the Boyz in reserve to them on Ghaz' Waaagh! turn, but the fact that the Lootas are still there is a big help, since my army doesn't have any other significant gunz! By the way, to hell with FNP
Those Sanguinary Priests are giving me a rash. My only eyebrow raise at this point is the direction I sent Ghaz after the fight. It was a toss-up: block the Rhino or threaten the Sanguinary Guard. I'm not sure if I made the right call. Ghaz went after the Rhino because it's an equivalent KP
target and less able to kill him after his 2+ invulnerable wears off, further, if the other unit of Sanguinary Guard get free, Ghaz is probably hamburger if he's over there next to both squads. However, he's my best fighter right now and I just sent him away from the fight...
The remaining Honor Guard move to shore up the combat in the center-east between the Sanguinary Guard and the reserve Boyz (and get into the safety of combat, away from the Lootas and their Deffgunz!), and the footslogging Assault Squad disembarks from their Rhino and moves toward Ghaz and the Battlewagon along with the second wave of Sanguinary Guard with their attendant Priest. Melta fire flies wide against the Battlewagon, and the theme of the game continues: Charge! The Honor Guard weave into the combat below the Lootas and continue to murder Orks; the Sanguinary Guard hit the Battlewagon, and the Assault squad hits both Ghaz and the Battlewagon. The Wagon explodes under the onslaught, sending a shower of debris over everyone in the vicinity and killing half of the Burnas still inside. Ghazgkull crushes some of his foolish antagonists, and laughs off their pitiful attacks, swathed in his invulnerability. The reserve Boyz finally buckle under the attacks of both the Sanguinary Guard and the Honor Guard. They break, and are cut down. The Sanguinary Guard and Honor Guard are too tired to move far and jostle about wondering where all the Orks went.
Like Irish conscripts in Braveheart, the third wave of Boyz arrive in the bootprints of their predecessors and square off against the remnants of the Sanguinary Guard and Honor Guard. The last of the Burnas arrange themselves to get the best effect from their weapons on the nicely-arranged Sanguinary Guard. Lootas blast off some uninspired shooting that still manages to drop one of the Powerfists from the Sanguinary Guard squaring off against the Burnas. The Burnas fire as well, but fail to get any damage past the watchful eyes and ready gauze of the Sanguinary Priest. The third-wave Boyz charge in to exasperated eye rolls all around from the Blood Angels, they manage to take down the Sanguinary Novitiate and a Sanguinary Guard leaving them without the benefits of FNP
. Ghaz takes a wound from the powerfist of the Assault Squad, and mulches some more red Marines. The Burnas make their last-ditch assault on the Sanguinary Guard in an attempt to tie them down long enough for Ghazgkull to get free, and are met with the expected death. But, bolstered by the presence of the Ork Warlord, they pass their morale test and stick in the fight!
Turn 3 Kill Point Review
Turn 3 Thoughts – Overwatch
While I have pulled ahead in the KP
section I am not very excited. The Sanguinary Guard /Honor Guard assault is crumbling. I really needed them to get further from the table edge and avoid that next charge; there are just too few of them now to mow through the 30 boyz. It is going to be an uphill struggle from here on out.
Turn 3 Thoughts –Dis
Dakkagunz cost money; the dead, cost nothing!
I don't have any turncoat nobles to ride away with smirks of derision, but I do have a bunch of chumps, and lots of chumps beat a handful of elite troopers any day of the week. Ghaz' side of the fight went about as poorly as possible; he's still away from the fighting and the Assault Marines got where they were headed regardless of him being there! Losing the Wagon was expected, losing half the Burnas hurt but was also expected. The grind in by the Lootas is on auto-play at this point, I just have to hope my buckets of bad dice do the trick! Yet again, though, I was faced with a rough choice: use the Burnas as flamers followed by a charge, or simply charge, and hope for power weapons to cut through the gold Angels. I went with the 'more dice on target' approach and flamed first before the charge, hoping to soften the enemy up a bit first, since I don't expect much out of the Burnas in CC
, power weapons or not. It didn't pan out, thanks to the damn Priest, but I think I made the right call.
Everything’s stuck in now except the last Rhino, which beats a hasty KP
-denying retreat behind the larger of the two Manufactorum buildings, never to be seen again. The fight beneath the Lootas continues, and Ghaz kills the tenacious Assault Squad down to a single Powerfist-armed model, taking another wound in the process. The stalwart Burnas are cut down by the Sanguinary Guard but take the Priest with them. The fight beneath the Lootas grinds on, seeing the final Honor Guard finally fall and leaving only the Sanguinary Priest with the Chapter banner to fight on.
Orks: The Lootas put some fire on the Sanguinary Guard facing down Ghaz, dropping one of them. Ghaz finishes off the last Assault Marine and emerges from the long fight wounded but alive, consolidating toward the Sanguinary Guard. The Sanguinary Guard Standard bearer remains in the fight in the shadow of the Ecclesiarchal buildings, cutting through the seemingly endless tide of Orks.
Turn 4 Kill Point Review
Turn 4 Thoughts – Overwatch
With all of my Sanguinary Priests/Novitiates dead and only two small squads of Sanguinary Guard and the last member of the Honor Guard left there is little I can do except charge in and hope for a glorious death!
Turn 4 Thoughts –Dis
We're in the home stretch now, and one way or the other, this game is not going on much longer. We're all tied up in KPs
, but I'm not going to start the double-handshakes and rainbows just yet. Ghaz can easily die to some Furious Charging Sanguinary Guard with his token 5+ invulnerable save, and in that scenario, it may not matter that my Boyz are doing exemplary at being fodder. If Ghaz can snip the wings on those last two angels, I think I've got it. If not, there's not much left to keep them from killing the rest of my army, even if there are only two of them!
The Sanguinary Guard open fire on Ghaz but their bolts clatter harmlessly off his armor, then they charge.
*Cue epic, tragic music, like from the end of Gladiator*
The golden angels swing in, the single Glaive Encarmine slamming into Ghazgkull’s Mega Armor but failing to penetrate the Ork’s iron hide. The Power Fist slams into the Ork Warlord, but the extensive Cybernetics in Ghaz’ body kept him from harm, and his massive, smoke-belching Klaw wrecked the finely-wrought armor of the last of the Sanguinary Guard. Elsewhere on the battlefield, with the skulls of Imperial saints staring down, the Standard Bearer of the Sanguinary Guard finally falls beneath the flurry of green and rusted iron.
Turn 5 Kill Point Review
Final Thoughts – Overwatch
What a slug fest! I really enjoyed the game despite feeling like I was rolling a rock up hill the whole time. I know the list I took is no where near optimal and that was the point. I wanted to just use models that look cool and have neat rules and leave the uber competitive stuff at home. Blood Angels are really fun; I never thought I would play or even like them despite having the army built and painted. I should have played a little less gung-ho and tried for my standard "refused flank" tactic, isolating either the Lootas or Ghaz and the Burnas whilst keeping far away from the table edge so Dis couldn't bring his reserves right on and assault me. Such is life and for my first game playing Blood Angels I was really very happy with the results. Up next for my BA
? Astorath and a bunch of Death Company!
Final Thoughts – Disdainful
I'm a firm believer that if you win, you don't get to complain about anything, so I won't!
Plan was a good'un from the start, and I stuck to it throughout. I like the 1500-point level for the quicker games, and less brain-busting trying to fill points. There's not room for a lot of shenanigans here, so you've got to go with what works. I'm happy with the performance of all my models (except the Stormboyz!), and look forward to some more games with the Green Tide. I will say, however, that I'm not a fan of boss Special Characters like Ghazgkull at this level; they're the focal point and the lynchpin of the army and at every turn I knew that if Ghaz fell I was done for. Similarly, the dude Road-Warriored his way out of that Wagon and set to cracking heads all by himself with little fear of reprisal. It is for this reason that Ghaz probably won't be popping up in my lists for this campaign until we get closer to the Apocalypse finale. You can bet, though, that there will be some Kans and Big Meks on the field soon (how soon!? VERY SOON!!
)! All told, this was a great game and I had a blast, Overwatch is always a fantastic opponent and we never fail to have a good time.
Final Grades – Blood Angels
He died fast, and his ability to make Sanguinary Guard scoring (the reason I took him) was utterly useless in this mission.
Honor Guard: B
They lasted a while and the Sanguinary Novitiate was priceless. Having now played with Feel no Pain rather than just against it has made me truly appreciate how good it is.
Sanguinary Priest w/ Jump Pack: C+
I love the FNP
, I hate the easy KP
Assault Squad: C
They're just Marines with 2 attacks and jump packs.
Assault Squad in Rhino: C
See the above, minus the bit about Jump Packs.
Sanguinary Guard w/ Inferno pistol, Banner, Power fist: A
These guys are awesome, I love the way they look and the way they work on the table top. I know against an army with lots of AP1/2 and Power weapons they suffer but not here.
Sanguinary Guard w/ 2x Power fists: A
See the above!
Final Grades – Orks
Ghazgkull Mag Uruk Thraka, Prophet of the Waagh: A
Dude is a beast, and I've already discussed why he's not coming back for a while.
The got a grade up for holding their ground against the Sanguinary Guard. Otherwise, the awesome power of multiple flamer templates from an open-topped vehicle was stymied by the Sanguinary Priests.
Not dying by inches helped their game a lot, and they picked up an early KP
as well as being a nuisance and softening up those Sanguinary Guard so they didn't kill Ghaz.
The ladz did what they were tasked with: tie up the enemy army so it couldn't respond to my moves, not die (too much), and crump some hedz, in that order! They earned me as many KPs
Killa Kans, anyone?
It got Ghaz to the fight and let the Burnas have their chance at glory, then exploded and killed most of them. Just like an Ork vehicle should.
Man of the Match – Blood Angels
Sanguinary Guard with Chapter Banner! He cleaved through more Orks than any other member of his squad and the +1 attack he gave out really helped me win combat over and over.
Man of the Match – Orks
*sigh* Ghazgkull. I'd like to give it to the Boyz, but they just don't have the presence that Ghaz does. In this match, against such small, elite units, his melee ability could not be denied. Against a more numerous foe, Ghaz can play a different role, but this time he was a paragon, and no mistake.
And that’s it for this one, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. We've got more fully-painted battlereports and further 40k
and Warmachine content on our blog:
Stay tuned for the next installment!