The Secret of Orthis IV: Hunting the HereticThe Iron Hands, arriving in orbit aboard the Strike Cruiser Adamant with the approval of the Imperial Blockade, find a planet torn by war. But whither the heresy? Ignoring the calls for aid from the Astra Militarum, the marines focus their scans on any AdMech signals and home in on them. They have to capture one of these rogue elements and put him to the question. Then they will know more.
Location: Temperate zone, cratered battlefield
Strategic Objective: Identify and secure Adeptus Mechanicus outposts and interrogate survivors.
Round 1: Outpost Alpha
Point Level: 500
Scenario: Vanguard Strike /The Scouring
Terrain: Blasted WastelandForcesIron Hands
Techmarine on bike
2 x tactical squads
Dreadnought Adeptus Mechanicus (Forge World: Mars)
Tech Priest Dominus with eradication ray, macrostubber, Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land, Necromechanic WT
10 x Skitarii vanguard with 2 x plasma calivers, enhanced data tether
5 x Skitarii rangers
5 x skitarii rangers with 2 x transuranic arquebii, omnispex
Onager Dunecrawlerr with neutron laser and heavy stubber, broad spectrum data tetherBoard Setup and Deployment
The battlefield consisted of a cratered landscape with some scattered hills and trees, as well as an abandoned cathedral and some stone ruins. We set up the objectives, and I followed a general strategy of placing objectives out in the open, where they could be controlled by long range firepower. The superior objective winds up being in the open; the inferior is on a hillside near some woods.
Mechanicus forces castled up in some ruins while their iron clad brethren strategically deploy behind the cathedral, out of the line of sight.Round One
The Iron Hands, detecting the whiff of heresy in the air, roll out towards the superior objective, using the cathedral to block LOS.
Mechanicus forces, unable to convince their cousins that the smell is actually a proprietary synthetic Martian oil blend, resign themselves to proving their innocence through trial by combat. They open fire on the rhino with the dunecrawler and rangers, inflicting only three wounds.Round Two
The Iron Hands continue their steady advance across the board towards Mechanicus forces. The Rhino successfully self repairs,and the Tech Marine invokes the Blessings of the Omnissiah, bringing the vehicle back to full strength. Contact will obviously occur next round.
The skitarii scoot forward for a preemptive strike and steel themselves (get it?) for what promises to be a crushing assault. I choose Shroudpsalm as their canticle for the round.
Uploading their protector doctrines, the vanguard flip the overload switches on their plasma calivers and open fire on the Dreadnought. The dunecraweler levels its neutron laser to add to the barrage, rolls a one for the number of shots, and then scores three shots after a command re roll. Not a bad investment. Only of the shots hits, though, and the dreadnought still stands with a single wound. The Flesh is Weak! In a failed attempt at a coup de grace, the tech priest misses it and the rangers similarly fail to puncture its armor with their arquebii.
Contact. The Iron Hands move in on the dunecrawler, and the techmarine’s blessings only repair one wound to the dreadnought, despite a reroll. The Astartes then proceed to open fire with everything they have on the dunecrawler. It proves to be a true shrine to the Omnissiah, shrugging off most of the damage. During assault, it continues to take shots like a champ. The marines charge it, but the tank’s armor holds. The dreadnought pummels it in close combat, but the armor holds. The tech marine lands several blows with his servo arm but...the armor holds. After all's said and done, it still has four wounds.
In response, AdMech forces send one squad of rangers towards the inferior objective while the dunecrawler and tech priest fall back and the vanguard move up to intercept.
The tech priest unleashes the terrifying close range firepower of the martian rad ray on the tech marine, reducing him to a single wound. He’s then felled by shots from the snipers, scoring both first blood and kingslayer for the Mechanicus.
The vanguard try again to drop the dreadnought with plasma fire but fail. The stubborn thing still stands with a single wound. The Flesh is Weak! Again! The tech priest buzzes out an order over the datastream to the vanguard: charge the dreadnought. The skitarii look confused for a moment at such a suicidal order and then, figuring they only have toasters for brains anyway, commend their souls to the Machine Guard and engage. Four get blown away from overwatch, but their comrades successfully come to grips with the iron behemoth. Somehow, they manage to inflict the final necessary wound to scrap it. It, thankfully, does not explode. Their morale holds at the end of the round.Round Four
IH squad one wish their buddies luck, hop into the rhino, and speed off towards the superior objective. Squad two charge the vanguard, and there's some spirited clunking and clanking noises, but they fail to cause any damage. The vanguard fight back, wounding a single marine who remains standing because, well, you know. The Flesh is Weak.
Skitarii rangers claim the inferior objective, the vanguard fall back from combat, and the TP repairs the dunecrawler. During shooting, both squads of rangers chip away at the now exposed squad of marines, dropping a few.Round Five
Mechanicus forces currently have the lead, with two points from Kingslayer and First Blood, one point from the inferior objective, and two points for the objective from which they just repelled the Hands. There's still a chance for the marines to steal the win, though.
The tactical squad claims the superior objective while the rhino rushes back to contest the other objective. (Post game thought...this may not have made a difference, due to the vanguard troops having Objective Secured).
In response, AdMech forces pour fire into the rhino, the plasma vanguard finally succeeding in melting themselves to slag in the process. In close combat, the tech priest manages to carve open the transport and destroy it.Final Score = AdMech 5 / Iron Hands 4
Post Game Analysis
I was happy with the snipers' performance this game. Up until now the only things they've done are whiff clutch rolls and get either shot or stomped to pieces. The dunecrawler, as always, is a beast. It's been the only thing left standing, aside from the Dominus, in each of my games. Regarding post mortem analysis, the only thought that came` to mind is that although tying up the dunecrawler in close combat was a good idea, redirecting some of that firepower towards the sniper squad could have changed things. Some rapid fire bolters and a heavy bolter would probably have neutralized them. Similarly, sending the tech marine to engage the vanguard instead of the dunecrawler may have also been more productive.
All in all, both my opponent and I had a good time. We're planning on 1000 points for our next engagement.