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Title: Counterstrike at Marrianna City
Description: Epic battle report from Ullanor Campaign

Apologist - May 2, 2011 05:55 PM (GMT)
I promised you all a battle report, so I present Counterstrike at Marrianna City. The game turned out to be a textbook example of how Epic works, with a few complex effects illustrated nicely, and a few good lessons in tactics and strategy learnt by both sides!

Each activation is separated by the '+++' symbol. Anything in italics is background, while the roman text explains what happened and analyses a few of the more complex bits.

I hope you enjoy it! I'll post it turn by turn for space, so feel free to ask for any clarifications on anything that I haven't explained properly.

I'd welcome any comments, and I'd be interested to see if anyone can guess the final result :)

Counterstrike at Marrianna City
Ultramarines XIX Company [Apologist] vs. Waa! Nuzzgrond [Bob Hunk]

On the night-side of Ullanor, Lucretius Corvo, Captain of the Ultramarines, had pushed forward with elements of XXIX Company into Marrianna City, a crucial lynchpin of the Imperial assault. Having driven the orks before them in a tough prosecution, the XXIX had followed the ork’s surprisingly swift retreat. Pulled down the highway, Sergeant Communus astoundedly reported the discovery of an immense Cathedral - seemingly pre-dating the orks’ arrival.

As the depleted XXIX advanced to investigate the Cathedral, they came under sustained artillery assault. Acting quickly to escape the ambush, Corvo rallied his stretched forces outside the city limits, regrouping in some defensible terrain while the city shook. His force’s transports were scattered across the city, and he voxed in support, keen to preserve the secure strategic position the Cathedral presented as a defensible command post for the Imperial Army units to whom it would fall to hold the city.

Captain Aethon of XIX, the nearest Ultramarine force; was prosecuting an advance across the moors of Sectus. Unable to respond personally, he diverted a mounted spearhead under Lieutenant Marius to reinforce Corvo. Marius curtly acknowledged the order over the vox, and his troops peeled away from the main force, heading with all speed for Marrianna City.

Nuzzgrond, Scourge of Ullanor Secundus, Grand Git of Marrianna and general all-round no-good, had no intention whatsoever of ceding his control of the urban area. With a cunning curl in his green upper lip, he ordered his greenskinned force to cease their feigned retreat, and ordered their return to Marrianna City. He had enjoyed this new beakie-headed foe, and fancied a few new heads for his bosspole...

Rules Used
Epic Update 2008
NetEA Recommendations
NetEA Codex Astartes Final, from NetEA Space Marines v1.1
NetEA Ghazgkhull’s War Horde

All of these are available on the Tactical Command forum, and represent clarifications and minor tweaks to points values in the lists.

3500pts Tournament Scenario - you can find this in the main rulebook pp124-125

Armies Used
Ultramarines, XIX Aethon Company
XIX Company Ultramarines under Lieutenant Marius [CLICKY]
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(Bob Hunk asked for an expansion to 3500pts, so a Terminator detachment and the Starfire Skybears - two Thunderbolts under Sky-Captain Tmoro - joined the XIX.)

Waa! Nuzzgrond, Scourge of Ullanor Secundus
Nuzzgrond's Shooty Boyz [CLICKY]
Reports are innaccurate on the exact composition of the enemy force, but the army was built around three Big Warbands, two Big Blitz brigades and a Gargant.

6 x 4ft
Imperial objectives are marked in blue, Xeno objectives in red.
Blitzkrieg objectives are circles, others are triangles.
Faded colours indicate the objective is behind terrain, out of sight of pict-capture records,
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With the terrain set up, Bob Hunk picked the long edge, near the Cathedral. This will be referred to as the north edge.

The Imperial Blitzkrieg objective was set on the south-east at the end of the road, and the two other objectives were deep in the north-west. They were represented with some spare Rhinos - obviously Captain Corvo’s damaged but repairable transports. The Xeno objectives were strung along a broad front, near the centre; and their Blitzkrieg was set up in the shadow of the Cathedral.

With the objectives placed, the Imperials deloyed first (they had a higher strategy rating, and the orks had picked the deployment area). I took advantage of the Space Marine transport rule to garrison Tactical formation 2 (representing Captain Corvo's remaining battered force) on the ork’s western-most objective. The Space Marine transport rule makes marines flexible: they get to choose whether to use free transport vehicles, or to abandon them and deploy further forward. A formation is only allowed to garrison if they have no more than one unit with a speed over 15cm. In this case, Tactical 2 had just one Hunter - a good way to get an AA umbrella started and to cover an advance on the West from aircraft. user posted image

We took it in turn to deploy the remaining non-garrisoned formations. I deployed a large armoured spearhead on the southwest, consisting of the Predators, Land Raiders, Sabres (represented by Predator Annihilators for the moment) and Tactical formation 1, which included a second Hunter to ward off ork fighta-bombers.
Imperial deployment: Southwest
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Meanwhile, Lieutenant Marius led a Devastator formation, an Assault formation and the feared Whirlwinds on the southeast.
Imperial deployment: Southeast
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In response, the orks deployed in a broad line across the north side. Three formations, including Nuzzgrond’s household formation and the Gargant Ragnaork appeared on the northeast, in the shadow of the Cathedral. They grabbed the North exit to the road (the ork Blitz).
Ork deployment: Northeast
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A cloud of dust heralded the arrival of an armoured ork contingent made up of three formations on the northwest, opposing the Ultramarine’s spearhead, threatening Corvo and claiming the most distant Imperial objective.
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The Ultramarines had set up aggressively on the west, with a formation dug in to the ruins and many fast, powerful formations in support. The open ground in the centre was left free, and Lieutenant Marius' remaining Ultramarines deployed a smaller force defensively on the southeast.

In contrast, the orks had deployed in a long, broad line across the entire length of the table. This meant they could strike anywhere at all - and their mobile formations could quickly redeploy to where the fighting thickened.

Marius narrowed his eyes. This had become more than a reinforcement of Corvo’s position: this was an ambush. He snorted through his nostrils - a typically unsubtle ambush: clearly the orks here were spoiling for a fight.
No matter. The Ultramarines of XIX would engage and destroy this stubborn ork warlord and stamp Imperial compliance on this backwater township...

Turn 1
Hunkering down in the outlying ruins, Corvo grimly ordered his battered Honour Guard to set overwatch. The Ultramarine tactical formations, resplendent in Corvo’s distinctive quartered livery, dug in. Resting their boltguns on the rubble of a once-proud civilisation, the battered Ultramarines trained their eyes on the road approach.

The Ultramarines won the initiative (they have a strategy roll of 5 to the ork’s 3; which is added to a D6 roll to determine initiative). The Overwatch order allows a formation to interrupt and shoot at an enemy action after one of their moves is complete. It’s very useful to ward off enemy forces, and provides something for holding formations to do.

On the Northeast, Bogrot’s Blasta Boyz doubled forwards, their Stompas peering over the intervening terrain, eager to get to grips with this new, excitingly tough, enemy. Down the road, Astartes spotters voxed range coordinates to their comrades...

Orks have a fairly poor 3+ initiative, meaning that they have to roll a 3+ to perform an action. If they fail, they may only perform a Hold action (one move, or one shoot at -1 to hit). However, the Waaagh! rule means they get a +2 modifier to the roll if they attempt a Double or Engage action - this makes them perform best if you are aggressive with them.

Far away, the Thunderbolts of the grittyStarfire Skybears spooled up their engines and made for the front lines...
Aircraft have different set of orders to regular troops, and the Thunderbolt formation declared an Intercept action, which meant they were deployed on the edge of the board, but did not yet attack. When (and if) enemy aircraft appeared, the Skybears could interrupt and attack them - a bit like the Overwatch action for ground troops.

With a grumble of immense engines, the ground shook as the immense Ragnaork began to lumber forwards, gathering pace with each step.

War Engines like ork Gargants operate much like other ground forces - and in this case, benefit from Waaagh!, making it easier for the Gargant to double forward.

Sergeant Achillon vox-clicked the order to Heartbreaker squadron, and with a series of well-oiled sweeps, the Whirlwind’s turrets swept around, sending a cloud of missiles streaking up and out of the ruins, impacting on the distant Blasta Boyz as they came into range. Broken greenskin bodies and tanks flew up into the air.
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Whirlwinds can fire an indirect barrage, which means they double their range and benefit from the Sustained fire rule, which adds +1 to hit. Barrages place a marker the same size as a 40k small blast template, and everything underneath is hit. You add up the number of Barrage Points [BP] and refer to the table on p21 of the rulebook. Whirlwinds have 1 each for a total of 4; which adds a second blast template, damages enemy infantry on a 4+ and enemy vehicles on 5+. These were adjusted to 3+ and 4+ respectively for the sustained rule, and resulted in five casualties, placing six blast markers on Bogrot’s Blasta Boyz (one for each casualty and one for coming under fire).

Grinning as the enemy expended their artillery on Bogrot - an ork Nuzzgrond had always regarded as a bit too ambitious by half - the Warlord pulled the hatch on his gunwagon down and bellowed the order to double forward to the crossroads.

Nuzzgrond’s household doubled down the far eastern side towards the central ruins and captured the objective on the T-junction

Seeing an opportunity to decapitate the ork leadership early on, Lieutenant Marius ordered Chaplain Remor and his Assault formation to cut off the Warlord’s retreat. Voxing sceptical acknowledgement, the young Chaplain and his men appeared on plumes of jump pack wash from behind the ruins and plunged towards the ork advance. It was an uncharacteristic gamble, but perhaps Marius could gain some glory for the Ultramarines...
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The assault marines doubled forward and sat to the flank of Nuzzgrond’s Household formation.

Arriving on spirals of smoky contrail, a flight of four fighta-bommerz appeared over the horizon, the crazed ork pilots gunning for Corvo’s isolated Tactical formation. A streaking Hunter missile from the Hyperios Anti-Air vehicle blew one of them out of sky in a pyrokinetic blast just as two Thunderbolts pounced from out of the sky, sending a second spiralling to the floor. Corvo’s expression turned grim as the two surviving fighta-bommerz homed in on the isolated Hyperios and reduced it to scrap.
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Flyers move quickly. To represent this, activated aircraft are placed at the edge of the table, then are moved directly forwards in an approach move. They then make their attack, and at the end of the turn, make their disengagement move. They are restricted in their turns - one turn (ninety degrees for fighters, forty-five for bombers) for every 30cm they move. This means their flight path must be carefully considered to avoid too much anti-air fire. I’ve added a second picture below to illustrate the result of this complex action, which nicely illustrates the lightning-quick changes of dogfighting aircraft over anti-air units.

The Fighta-bomma squadron launched a ground attack action on the Tacticals, and made their approach move. This activated the Hunter (anti-air units can make a special flak attack which interrupts the flyers when they come within range) and shot down a flyer. This placed two blast markers (one for coming under fire and one for the casualty).

At this point, the Thunderbolts declared their Intercept, and made their own approach move towards the fighta-bommerz, shooting down a second, but suffering a casualty in return (aircraft can make their own flak attacks, which activated when the Thunderbolts foolishly got too close).

Finally, the Fighta-bommas launched their ground attack and destroyed the Hunter (note that Squiggles and his squadron had sustained three blast markers, which would normally have supressed both remaining units, but aircraft use different blast marker rules).
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Veteran Sergeant Orison ordered his Tactical formation forward, gunning their engines to relieve Corvo’s troops.
Tactical 1 performed a Double action, driving forward in their Rhinos towards the western ruins.

Corvo’s attention turned from the burning hunter as he heard his sergeants ordering the Ultramarines to open fire on the approaching vehicles of Wazdakka’s Blitz Brigade. With disciplined fire, two gunwagons and a warbuggy detonated or slewed to a halt as bolt fire and missiles detonated amongst them. Reloading, the first line of Ultramarines dropped to the ground, and the second line opened up as the ork vehicle’s own weapons belched in return, sending a handful of Astartes slumping to the ground.
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The ork Blitz Brigade declared a Double action, meaning they could make two full moves and then shoot with a -1 modifier. As they completed their first move, Tactical 2 declared Overwatch, interrupting the orks before they began their shooting. Some lucky rolls resulted in the five Marine stands hitting and destroying three units before the orks could return fire. As well as reducing the amount of vehicles shooting, the four blast markers placed (one for coming under fire and three for the casualties) meant that the rearmost four ork units were suppressed, preventing those from units firing at all.

Results of the overwatch fire:
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Note that only five marine stands fired because one was supressed - there were two blast markers from the Fighta Bommerz on the Tactical formation. A Space Marine unit is only suppressed for every two blast markers (rather than one, as is usually the case), a special rule which represents their elite states and helps their small formations remain useful. Also, because the Marines opted to fire their weaponry with the AT (anti-tank) mode, only the vehicles and light vehicles were eligible targets - hence the warbikes survived.

Once the overwatch fire was worked out, the orks completed their second move and shot at the Tactical formation, killing one Tactical stand.

The Predators and Vindicators of Compliance squadron roared along the dirt road towards Tactical 2, their guns spitting long-range death at Wazdakka’s still-advancing Blitz Brigade. Their heavy bolters and autocannons proved deadly, blasting the ork vehicles into scrap. Broken, the orks drew to a halt, then began to withdraw to the cheers of the embattled Ultramarines.
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The Predator Destructors performed an Advance action (one move, then shoot with no modifiers). The fire proved accurate despite firing through the ruins, which give a -1 modifier to the dice, and destroyed two skorchas, two warbuggies and two warbike stands. The resultant blast markers now outnumbered the remaining units in the formation, which means that the formation is Broken. The blast markers are all removed, and a broken marker placed (we use a big blast marker and one of the Epic 40k order dice). Broken formations get two special Withdraw moves, which helps them get out of danger. The orks retreated to the distant objective on the northwest crossroad.

The orks withdraw
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Seeing Wazdakka’s vehicles explodingand retreating, Grimtuff’s Dakka Boyz mounted up in their battlewagons, eager to engage the beekies in the ruins and their flash wagons. Nuzzgrond had other ideas, and ordered Grimtuff to lead his forces with all speed to the eastern flank and the outskirts of Marrianna City. With a resigned sigh of disappointment, and a few cracks around the heads of the orks foolish enough to grumble too loud, Grimtuff waved his tank column away from the fight.
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Grimtuff’s warband performed a march action (three moves). They got into their transports on the first move - in Epic, vehicles can simply ‘drive over’ infantry to pick them up - and disembarked near the city ruins at the end of their third move.

’Advance! Aim for those exposed vehicles on the right flank!’ ordered Lieutenant Marius over the vox, intent on killing the opposing Commander. Marius’ heart leapt as he saw the unmistakable face of Nuzzgrond himself emerge from the rightmost vehicle’s turret, and he fired a burst of boltgun fire at the ork. A flash of some conversion field lit up the turret. Startled, Nuzzgrond snarled and dropped back into the gunwagon.

Scant seconds after his Devastators had decamped into the ruins, their weapons began barking. Marius’ brow wrinkled in concern. Even with Remor’s assault troops lending support in a crossfire, little damage was being caused. With the arrival of a new formation of mounted orks to the Devastator’s left flank, Marius swallowed hard as he realised he had over-committed the Ultramarines...

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The Devastators performed an advance action, and claimed the south-east ruins in front of the Whirlwinds. Because they could now draw a 45cm line to a friendly unit (the assault marines) through the ork formation, the Marines could claim a Crossfire. This meant that the orks suffered -1 to their saves, and would have taken an extra blast marker for the first casualty they took. however, a slew of poor rolls and good saves meant that no casualties were caused. This was particularly heartbreaking, as one of the few visible targets was Nuzzgrond himself, who survived on the 6+ invulnerable save granted by his status as Supreme Commander!

Bristling and snarling in rage, Nuzzgrond slammed back into his command chair and barked orders down the shouting tube to Dregkart. He scowled around the cabin, and the sniggering crew quickly busied themselves with other duties.
Dregkart hung up the speaker, and twirled a gnarled finger into his aching ear while he led his tanks to the road into the city, drawing his gunwagons and buggies into a circling defensive position to close off the northern entrance to Marrianna City.

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The orks’ remaining Blitz brigade doubled away from the centre to the orks’ Blitz objective, safely out of sight behind the Cathedral. They can just be seen at the top of the picture, which illustrates how quickly the ork forces had redeployed to mass in Marrianna City,

Their engines screaming, the Sabres pursued the fleeing remnants of Wazdakka’s Blitz Brigade, their laser cannons tearing apart the fleeing vehicles and leaving nothing but smoking wreckage. The sergeant-in-charge reported a complete success, and also voxed in the capture of the final objective on the western flank
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The Sabres (temporarily represented by Predator Annhililator models and rules) doubled forward to within 15cm of the crossroads objective and pounced on the broken ork formation. Even with the -1 on their shooting from the Double order, enough shots hit to destroy everything. Broken formations don’t get their saving throw - any hit is a kill - so it is good practise to hit them before they can rally.

Note that the Sabres only have anti-tank capability, so they would not normally have been able to destroy the warbikes (which are infantry with the Mounted special rule). However, firing at a formation causes the placement of a blast marker, which counts as a hit. Since the warbikes were the closest enemy unit, they were hit and killed.

With the western flank scoured completely clean of the orks, and Corvo’s formation drawn back into the army, the Land Raiders responded to a curt distress signal from Lieutenant Marius. The squadron wheeled about, and lanced over open ground towards the Cathedral in pursuit. Long-range fire at the ork warband that had recently turned east detonated a battlewagon, but the orks had long-since deployed - such a loss was little more than an inconvenience to the Xenos, who had smelt blood...

The Land Raider formation wheeled to the east and shot at Grimtuff’s Dakka Boyz, wrecking a battlewagon and placing two blast markers.

With all the formations having activated, the End Phase began. Each formation tested to rally - an initiative test modified by -1 for the enemy being within 30cm, and by -2 if the rallying formation being broken. If it is successful, half the blast markers on the formation are removed.

With an initiative of 1+, and with no affected formations being anywhere near the enemy all the Ultramarines easily rallied, removing half of the blast markers on each formation, and then an additional blast marker for Leaders in the appropriate formations. This meant that the only Imperial formation starting turn 2 with a disruptive blast marker was Corvo’s Tactical 2, who had taken four over the course of the turn (two were removed for a successful rally, and one for Captain Corvo having Leader).

The orks have a fairly poor initiative of 3+, but they have a special rule called Mob Rule, which adds +1 to the rally test if there are more than five units (not including gretchin), and +2 if there are more than ten such units left. In addition, each Nobz stand has the Leader special rule, which removes an extra blast marker on a successful rally. Despite the negative effect of the Assault formation being nearby several affected formations, they all rallied - the orks would begin Turn 2 with no blast markers at all on them, proving Bob Hunk’s good army choice in having large but not unwieldy formations with plenty of Nobz.


The first part of the Astartes’ plan had worked perfectly, the Ultramarines having claimed two objectives on the western flank, wiping out a complete ork tank formation and halving the orks’ air cover for the loss of one tactical stand, a Hunter and a Thunderbolt.

Both sides held their Blitz objectives, and the Astartes on the East hadn’t taken a single casualty. However, Lieutenant Marius’ Ultramarines had failed to cause telling damage on the enemy in the east, and the the orks had driven deep into the city, even now spreading through cover.

It was clear that the Ultramarines would have to draw forces from the west - but they had to be careful not to abandon the objectives they had claimed.

Ilmarinen - May 3, 2011 08:26 AM (GMT)
Fantastic batrep - thanks for posting this. :)

Really useful to see how things work in a game. Looking forward to the rest of it! :D

Still need to get my head around all the different objectives.

In other news, a lot of my epic stuff has now arrived, so I can get started on my army this week! Woohoo! B)

Oh, and where did you get the little blast markers from?

Whitehorn - May 3, 2011 08:47 AM (GMT)
Card makers came with Epic40k (which you now have).

The plastic markers I'm not sure, you can get something similar from or

Excellent battle report. Hoping to get some more action in against Eldar this weekend :)

Apologist - May 3, 2011 09:03 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Ilmarinen)
Fantastic batrep - thanks for posting this.  
Really useful to see how things work in a game. Looking forward to the rest of it!

No worries – I certainly got confused for our first couple of games, and these days it's hard to find someone to teach you first-hand :(
Fortunately, we've now got the noosphere internet, so I hope it proves useful and helps you avoid the pitfalls we had! :)
I'm aiming to get turn 2 posted this evening.

QUOTE (Ilmarinen)
Oh, and where did you get the little blast markers from?

They're small Artillery Strike Markers from Litko Aerosystems. They also do some other styles (found here), and lots of other natty little bits like bases and customisable tokens. Very cool, but unfortunately the P&P is high to the UK.

S6 Engineering
[CLICKY] is a UK company that does a similar blast marker, but these are flat round counters. If you add a note to your order, he'll throw in the inside blast bit; so you can use the inside explosion shapes for single blast markers and the actual round markers for five, or a Broken marker.

That S6 page also has cool Counter Bases. The 60mm ones are perfect for Battle-class Titans, and the smaller ones for Scout-class. They come with little magnets to hold them, and I've found them a brilliant way to track Void Shields, which go up and down and can be awkward to track with dice alongside Damage Capacity.

S6 also did the roads that I use: S6 small-scale terrain, and I'd thoroughly recommend them. The chap's very nice, the orders get turned around quickly, and the terrain is very sturdy.

QUOTE (Ilmarinen)
Still need to get my head around all the different objectives.

In other news, a lot of my epic stuff has now arrived, so I can get started on my army this week! Woohoo!

Brilliant news – any chance of some pics? :)
Did you mention you were after the Land Raiders from the Epic 40k box, by the way? I've got some (four?) hanging around if you're interested.

Apologist - May 5, 2011 10:42 PM (GMT)

Turn 2
With a hard bang of displaced air and a roiling cloud of dust, First Company Cataphracts appeared in their unfamiliar exo-armour amongst the ruins in the southeast. Slightly disorientated by a minor miscalculation, the Ultramarine veterans made a brief roll-call before reporting in.

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Teleporting troops are placed anywhere on the table before rolling for inititative. A D6 is rolled for each unit teleported in the formation, and a blast marker is placed for each ‘1’ rolled. The Ultramarines deployed their Terminator stands in front of the Devastators to reinforce the southeast, and received a single blast marker.

The Ultramarines won the initiative for a second turn running (their strategy rating of 5 to the ork’s 3, added to a D6 roll, means that Space Marines are consistently likely to win. However, on turns after you win, the opponent wins draws, so the odds were slightly closer)..

Hunkering down, the Devastators opened up on Nuzzgrond’s Household formation with a roaring rush of firepower. Amidst the splintering ruins, blasts and clouds of smoke, a mere one gunwagon was reduced to scrap.

A Sustained action means a formation cannot move, but adds +1 to all its shooting rolls. However, since only one unit was in the open, the formation elected to shoot at those in cover (if you elect to shoot at parts of a formation in the open, they gain no cover save, and you are unaffected by the -1 modifier for cover; but only those units in the open are eligible to be removed as casualties). With the two modifiers (+1 for sustained, -1 for cover) cancelling out, this meant that each stand of the Devastators had two AT shots at 6+. Only one casualty was scored.

With the fight in the balance, Lieutenant Marius ordered the assault marines to engage. The brave Astartes launched high into the air and assaulted the armoured detachment, lashing out at tracks and vulnerable portions of the crude tanks as they rumbled forward. It wasn’t enough - the Marines were gradually picked off or crushed as the convoy rolled on.
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Once per turn, you are allowed to retain the initiative. This means you can capitalise on a hole you have broken, or patch a weak spot in your lines, but it uses up a precious activation, handing the initiative to your opponent later in the turn. In addition, the action roll for the retained check is made at -1. The Ultramarines threw their Assault formation into Nuzzgrond’s mounted household. I’d hoped to cause more damage with the Devastators, but at least the Terminators would be able to support them.

When performing an Engage action, a formation makes a single move, and at least one unit must end up within 15cm of an enemy unit. The enemy can then make a counter-charge move of 5cm (if they are slow) or 10cm (if their movement is sufficiently high). Units use their close combat value only if they are in base contact, and their firefight value if within 15cm. Since assault marines have a 3+ combat and a 5+ firefight, and battlewagons have a higher firefight than assault value, it made sense to get close. However, the orks could deploy, and their close combat value is 4+, very good for such cheap numerous troops.
The Assault Marines were wiped out, for the cost of a flak wagon, a battlewagon and a stand of gretchin - a poor trade!
Since the Terminators were within 15cm, they got to lend supporting fire, and accounted for a second flakwagon and a gunwagon. Despite the Marines having caused more casualties overall (5 to 4), the Engaging formation was wiped out, so the Marines lost. This placed a second blast marker on the Terminators, representing them being shaken by seeing their comrades wiped out. The orks then received four blast markers (gretchin don’t cause blast markers to be placed, as orks don’t care about their death!) Note that an assault can result in both formations becoming broken if sufficient casualties are caused.
As the air clears, the Terminators start to look concerned.
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Grinning as his forces smashed aside the beekie attack and rumbled onwards, Nuzzgrond ordered his formation towards the ruins, where he’d spotted muzzle flashes. These ones were even bigger and tougher looking - perhaps they’d offer a better fight...
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Nuzzgrond’s household surrounded the Terminator’s position and began to pour through the cover, launching an Engage action of their own. The Cataphracts, pride of the Ultramarines, were wiped out, but were furious in their defeat - pulling down enough orks with them to break Nuzzgrond’s formation! With too few vehicles remaining to carry the battle-worn orks, Nuzzgrond reluctantly ordered a retreat, making a withdraw back towards his own lines.

The aftermath
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With Nuzzgrond barking orders to engage the enemy and hold them from pursuing his regrouping troops, Grimtuff led his Dakka Ladz forward in a barrelling charge on Marius and the entrenched Devastators. The firing was more enthusiastic than effective, but Marius’ frown deepened as the orks swept around the T-junction objective. His position was looking untenable
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The orks retained the initiative this time, and Grimtuff’s Dakka Ladz performed a double down the road, deploying in range of the Devastators and capturing an objective. Shooting from a Double action is subject to a -1 modifier, and a further -1 was applied as the orks targeted the Devastators in the ruins. This meant the orks needed 8s to hit (6, followed by 5+), and no casualties were caused.
As the bullets shrieked past and burst amongst his position, Marius furiously ordered Heartbreaker squadron to flatten the fleeing Warlord - he wouldn’t get away with this outrage. The Devastators looked up at the twirling contrails of the Whirlwind missiles, and heard the distant angry crack-thump of explosions.

The Whirlwinds launched a Sustained indirect barrage at Nuzzgrond’s retreating formation. With each hit causing an automatic kill, the Whirlwinds picked off another six units, reducing Nuzzgrond’s command to a tiny husk. Nuzzgrond himself made another 6+ invulnerable to stay in the fight, to the groan of the Ultramarine commanders.

With an bellowing amplified cry from its crude warhorns, the mighty Gargant Ragnaork emerged from behind the mysterious Cathedral. Picking up speed with every earth-shaking footfall, the War Engine launched an all-out assault at the Land Raider formation streaking across the plain.

Ragnaork Doubled to the Land Raiders, but a series of unfortunate rolls and the Land Raiders sturdy reinforced armour meant that no casualties were caused.

With a crackle, Tmoro of the Skybears reported in. Corvo’s Lyman’s Ear picked up the slightly strained tone in the Ace pilot’s cheery demeanour, and he nodded inwardly at the human’s courage as the Sky Captain reassured the Ultramarines he would remain providing air cover.
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The remaining Thunderbolt in the squadron launched an Intercept manoeuvre again, despite the blast markers remaining (aircraft deal with blast markers in a markedly different manner to ground troops; building them up and either removing them all or keeping them from turn to turn, which makes them progressively more unlikely to be available for support).

More orks moved in around the southeast ruins, the fire intensifying on Marius’ position. As his men started to drop, Marius reluctantly came to the conclusion the position was untenable. The Devastators nodded assent, and began to pick their way back through cover in good order.
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Bogrot’s Blasta Boyz doubled in and attacked. Despite needing 7s and 8s, such was the weight of fire that the Devastators lost a stand.

The Land Raiders roared their defiance at the attacking Ragnaork, their incandescent Godhammer lascannons pounding at the Ork War Engine’s power fields, which began to crackle and fail.
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The Land Raiders performed a Sustained action, their AT weaponry stripping all of the Gargant’s six power fields and inflicting two damage points.
When a War Engine suffers damage, it loses a damage point, and the attacker rolls a D6. On a 6, the damage is critical, and causes a special effect. Imperial Titans can suffer an explosive meltdown as their plasma reactor erupts, but Gargants are less reliant on a single power source. Their critical causes fires, which cause more damage, and can spread. This makes Ork War Engines very hard to kill; requiring lots of sustained firepower rather than a single lucky hit.
In this case, no critical was caused, but each hit placed a blast marker, for a total of three (one for coming under attack. No blast markers are caused by destroying void or power fields).

Far away, Squiggles booted his fighta-bomma in frustration. Despite the ministrations of his ground team, the bullet-riddled heap would not be flying immediately.
The fighta-bomma squadron, having built up a lot of blast markers, failed to activate.
This ultimately meant that the Thunderbolt’s activation was wasted, as there was now no potential target to intercept - an important consideration if there aren’t many enemy flyers: perhaps your aircraft would be better launching ground attacks.

The assault on Ragnaork continued, the Sabres darting forward. At extreme range, their lances went wide or, with the wrenching screech of tortured metal, caused superficial damage on already wrecked areas.
The Sabres doubled forward, being careful to remain within 15cm of the objective. No damage was caused, those shots that hit being absorbed by the reinforced armour. Reinforced armour allows a unit to reroll failed saves. With such a good save anyway (4+), it was unlikely the Sabres would have caused much damage, but they did place a fourth blast marker.

Far from the battle, Dregkart’s Tank Korps sat idle, the guntrukk drivers picking their noses while the bikers wheeled around the roadway objective.
The orks performed a Hold action. Every formation must take an action - even if it’s tactically sensible for them to do nothing. This is because there is always the risk of a failed activation (and the blast marker this places); a mechanic that represents the fog of war.

The Predators doubled forward, lending their support to the assault on the towering Gargant. Even the Predators’ heavy calibre shells struck off armour-plating, but the Vindicators’ heavy siege shells tore a new hole in the groaning Engine’s torso, which began to emit plumes of oily black smoke.
A further formation lends fire to the Gargant, causing another damage point and placing two blast markers.

With nothing left from the orks’ forces, the Ultramarines of Tactical 1 began to push out from the east. They cautiously advanced, and their missile launchers barked at the Gargant. With an alarming groan, a spotting tower sheared from its mighty shoulder, the smoke thickened and a low siren began to wail - an eerie cry of alien pain and despair. The War Engine ponderously turned its undamaged flank to the Ultramarines’ firepower, and began to fall back to the cover of the Cathedral.
Even Titans need friends. A lucky shot from the Tactical marines caused a fourth damage point, which added two blast markers to the engine. The number of blast markers now exceeded the Gargant’s starting Damage Points, which breaks the War Engine. This meant that it would now take automatic damage from hits (no save), and could not fire - a very dangerous situation. However, like a normal formation, the Gargant got two withdraw moves, so escaped behind the Cathedral.

The Ultramarines were battered and exhausted by this point anyway, so had little that could have persecuted the Gargant - but this shows why it is good to have more formations that the enemy: it gives you late-turn options to which your opponent cannot respond: the so-called ‘Activation advantage’.

Captain Corvo watched the battered Gargant withdraw with hatred in his eyes for the Xenos abomination. Nevertheless, he breathed an inward sigh of relief - his battered forces were in no shape to take the fight to the enemy. He ordered his troops to dig in and reload.
The final Tactical formation performed a Marshal action, which allows a single move or shooting at -1, in addition to a rally check to remove blast markers. The check was successful and the formation removed its last blast marker before spreading out from the ruins towards the objective on the fork of the road.

All of the Astartes formations rallied, again starting the turn in good order with no blast markers. Ragnaork also rallied, removing half of the blast markers on it, and making itself once more a threat. Nuzzgrond tried in vain to rally his few remaining troops, but remained broken.

The orks were now in possession of the two objectives in the southeast ruins; only the Imperial Blitz was still in blue-gauntleted hands on this flank, defended by the Devastators and Whirlwinds. On the west and centre, the orks were conspicuously absent: the Astartes enjoyed an uncontested flank and were well-placed to capture all three objectives.

Ilmarinen - May 6, 2011 07:19 AM (GMT)
Tense stuff! I see what everyone means about being a more tactical game. Fantastic! :)

Can't wait to see what happens in Turn 3.

Doghouse - May 6, 2011 01:42 PM (GMT)
Great battle report mate. :)

I'm still waiting for some bits from GW, which appear to have been delayed for some reason, before I start posting my stuff though but itching to get started. My first edition predators arrived today so I'm going to strip them down and clean them up a bit but they are really nice little models. The Storm Bird is coming along nicely as well.

So far I've got two tactical detachments, one mechanised and the other with dreadnoughts, a land raider squadron, predator destructor squadron, primarch with terminator honour guard and a couple of detachments of assault and devastator detachments.
On top of that I've got various sabre, spartan and vindicator conversions to go with them. I'm a couple of plastic whirlwinds short of a squadron of them so I'll probably use them as hunters.

Titan-wise I've got about half a dozen or so of the plastic warlords, two reavers, two warhounds and an Emperor titan.

Apologist - May 6, 2011 03:26 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Doghouse)
Great battle report mate. :)

Ta – a bit more to come, hopefully over the weekend :)

I'm still waiting for some bits from GW, which appear to have been delayed for some reason, before I start posting my stuff though but itching to get started. My first edition predators arrived today so I'm going to strip them down and clean them up a bit but they are really nice little models. The Storm Bird is coming along nicely as well.

Are you still going for Sons of Horus? You mentioned were struggling with the paint scheme, but I'm sure you've found a cool way to do it :)

Intrigued by the Primarch conversion, so looking forward to seeing some pics posted!

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