Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tyrannic Invasion!

With the new codex coming out our local Nids player is looking to get as many games in with the 4th ed codex as possible. So this past weekend we decided to play a game of Planetstrike, a format that neither of us had much experience with. We rolled up mission number 2, Desperate Assault, with the dastardly Nids as the attacker and my brave Fortunan 24th as the defender.

In Desperate Assault the attacker has succeeded in establishing a beachhead on the planet and is attempting to seize additional ground to land even more forces. To represent this the Attacker gets a bastion of his very own on the battlefield and deploy some units without deep striking them. In addition, the preliminary assault blasts are strength 10 and due to the ferocity of the assault the defenders units are at -2 leadership for the first turn. Not all is downside for the defender, however, as he only needs to hold 1 objective to claim victory.

If you are interested in a full battle report, click on the link below:

Click me to read spoilers

I set up my defenses with little cover on the field. There were three of my bastions and one of the attackers (in the picture below shown as a forest, though this was later replaced with a more suitable building). I also activated two of my assets: extra ammunition for the central bastion, and Force Pylons guarding the front of the bastion on my left flank. Force Pylons are great buys against Tyranids because only vehicles and units with assault grenades can cross them, meaning that the only unit I had to worry about from my friend were his genestealers.

The Nids player soon revealed that he had chosen the asset that allows him to roll 2d6 for preliminary bombardment strikes and set about smashing my defenses. With 10 blasts he shattered my central bastion and began his assault.

My force pylon guarded bastion had survived with little damage, but a problem arose that I had not considered before- I had no one in either of my remaining bastions! Most of my army outflanks due to Al'Rahem, so I actually had no one in either bastion, meaning I needed my reserves to come in quick in order to seize some ground!

Turn 1 most of his force deep struck except for the gaunts, Broodlord and Carnifex already on the board. The hordes came on, breaking the lone veteran squad that was in the central bunker while a Zoanthrope destroyed the force pylon bastion. The fleeing Harker and Psyker Primaris would prove to be very useful to my forces even if they were gutless bastards...

My turn 1 my reserve rolls failed for the most part, though Marbo and Al'Rahem's platoon managed to find their way to the board. FRFSRF destroyed a squad of genestealers while Al'Rahem's command squad destroyed a Carnifex that was threatening to destroy my last remaining bastion. Marbo showed up and squashed most of the Broodlord's retinue before being slaughtered in turn.

The next turn's reserve rolls both went well and poorly for the 'Nids, with the rest of his forces coming in. Unfortunately one of his Carnifexes landed in my massed infantry platoon and promptly died, while his Tyrant landed on top of my bastion. We weren't sure how to rule this as I had no units in the bastion yet, so we decided to say that he was standing pretty on it (though he lost a wound to Dangerous Terrain test).

Nid shooting decimated my infantry who were standing around without cover. He also revealed his second asset: Supply Drop, granting his Gaunts offensive and defensive grenades and meltabombs. They made short work of Al'Rahem's chimera even though my Minefield asset managed to kill fully half their number.

Shooting on my turn brought the Tyrant down to 2 wounds and eliminated his guards, while my Leman Russes and my Commander in a Chimera came on from my left flank (though they failed to do anything important like killing).

Turn three saw my infantry decimated even more on the right flank while accurate Zoanthrope fire on the left flank stunned my command Chimera. Al'Rahem was assaulted by Gaunts but barely managed to hold them off. My turn three saw my few remaining guardsmen run desperately for the safety of the bastion, but failed to make it thanks to a pair of sergeants stuck in barbed wire. More infantry ran to support Al'rahem, defeating the bugs with bayonet and power swords.

Turn 4 saw desperate battles on both sides of the board. Genestealers flung themselves at the Commander's chimera but were unable to stop him from breaking through and onto the objective. On the other flank a lucky scatter from one of the Tyranid Warrior blasts took a wound off the Tyrant, allowing Al'Rahem to finish it off with a plasma pistol shot.

My commander and his retinue disembarked on turn 4, slaughtering another genestealer brood, leaving two zoanthropes and the Brood lord as possible threats.

Meanwhile, my Psyker Primaris was slaughtering squads left and right, surviving endless amounts of high strength shots thanks to his refraction field. In the end massed shooting from gaunts brought his reign of terror to an end. This would come to be a theme with me, with Al'Rahem bravely surviving many shots that should have killed him many times over, only falling to multiple hits from Warrior shots.

Turn 5 passed and we moved to turn 6. In a key moment the wounded Zoanthrope contesting the objective fried its brain rolling boxcars for a focused Warp Blast to get around my FNP. My commander then proceeded to down the Broodlord on Turn 7, having outlived all the other members of his squad through sheer luck and determination, leaving me in sole control of the left objective. A zoanthrope, unable to get through the force pylons looked on miserably.

For those of you who don't like battle reports, here's a summary of the badass moments that you missed:

Thoughts on the Battle
Al'Rahem, while seemingly not a great commander for Planetstrike defense proved to be very useful as I had bastions on both table edges to take advantage of his outflanking. Knowing exactly where he was coming from helped coordinate my defenses greatly, and if necessary I am sure that I could have supported his offensive easily with the rest of my reserves. He just happened to serve a much better purpose as a distraction to my sneaky offensive from the other side of the board.

I also saw both the good side and bad side of plasma weapons, as at one point a squad of stormtroopers self destructed and ran thanks to poor rolls for plasma weaponry while at others I was plugging MCs and heavy infantry left and right. Still, very, very useful against the bugs and something that I am not likely to leave home without for a while.

Another MVP were the Force Pylons. While useless against many armies, against Tyranids they are a godsend. Without them I don't know if I would have been able to hold out against the horde.

As always, praise the Emperor for victory and pass the ammunition!


jabberjabber said...

I like the replacement of the original central bastion with the ruins from the bombardment! It was a great write up and enjoyable to read - well done on the victory!

Max said...