1500 Deathwatch Vs Orks: Targets of Opportunity
The dramatic vignette will come at the end of this piece, I promise. My steady ork opponent, Roboknee, and I continued our long-running narrative/ladder campaign on Orthos IV
with this mission, which represents the newly arrived Deathwatch seeking to decimate the ork presence on the planet while the Vostroyans face tech-heresy.
Here are the lists:Deathwatch BattalionHQ
Watch Master Raziel (Warlord: Lord of Hidden Knowledge)
Watch Captain w/Jump Pack, Relic Blade, Stormbolter (Bane Bolts of Eryxia)Troops
Primaris Kill Team w/5x Intercessors (Sarge w/Chainsword), 3x Hellblasters (Plasma Incinerators)
Primaris Kill Team w/5x Intercessors (Sarge w/Power Fist), 2x Aggressors (Boltstorm Gauntlets)
Veteran Kill Team w/Sarge (Stormbolter, Chainsword), 2x Stormbolter/Chainsword, 2x Frag CannonElites
Venerable Dreadnought w/Twin-linked Lascannon, Missile LauncherFast Attack
3x Inceptors w/Plasma ExterminatorsTransports
Razorback w/Twin Lascannon
Razorback w/Twin LascannonFlyer
Corvus Blackstar w/Blackstar Rockets, Hurricane Bolter, Twin Assault Cannon, Auspex ArrayOrk RearguardBad Moon BattalionHQ
Warboss w/Killa Klaw, Kustom Shoota, Attack Squig (Warlord: Invul Save Thing)
Big Mek w/Kustom Force Field
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota BoyzElites
5 Kommandos, 1x Tankbusta BombHeavy Support
2 Smasha Gunz
2 Smasha Gunz
15 LootasBad Moon BattalionHQ
Warphead (Da Jump)
10 GrotsMission, Terrain, and Deployment
The mission was from the 2017 Chapter Approved--a Maelstrom mission called Targets of Opportunity. Basically we drew 3 strategic objective each turn, but those objectives were all discarded at the end of the turn, whether they were achieved or not, unless you spent CP to keep them. Spoiler alert: we NEVER spent CP to keep them.
The terrain was supposed to be "wilderness" so I put a waterfall at about the center of the board with two rivers winding in a SW direction. There was a bridge over the northern spur of that river system, which was placed in the middle of a forest. In the NE corner was a large hill with some rocks, the SE corner had a ruin, and the south and southwest corners had smaller hills. There was a small forest just to the south of the big northern hill, and a variety of ridges and rocky outcroppings scattered around.
The objectives were as follows: #1 on the bridge, #2 atop the waterfall, #3 atop the big north hill, #4 in the ruin, #5 on the south central hill, and #6 sort of in the middle of the SW quadrant.
Deployment was Vanguard Strike and I won the roll-off. Since there was the greater concentration of objectives in the SW, I picked that corner, giving my opponent the big mountain to deploy his guns on. I held the Inceptors and the Watch Captain in reserve to drop in later and then placed the two Razorbacks at the edge of the forest with the Dreadnought. The Watch Master deployed between them and the Hellblaster Kill Team held down the west flank while the Aggressor Kill Team held down the east one, also sheltering behind the waterfall to keep his artillery from blowing them away right off. The Blackstar, with Veteran Kill Team aboard, deployed front and center in the DZ. My mission tactics were Malleus, to help take out his Smasha Guns and his Lootas.
My opponent stacked his big shoota mobs on the eastern edge of his DZ. Two Smasha Guns went on the big hill and two others crouched on the west flank, exposed but for a thin grot screen. The Lootas deployed on the western edge of the big hill, giving them a good view. Grot screens guarded the Lootas and the Smasha Gunz on the hill, too. The command group (Warboss, Painboy, and both psykers) sort of deployed in the middle of the giant horde, while the Big Mek sheltered the western guns and the Lootas with his shield.
DeploymentThe Thin Black LineUsing the Forest to my AdvantageA LOT of OrksTurn 1
The roll for first turn, despite my getting a +1 to the roll for finishing my deployment first, went the Orks way. My opponent celebrated for precisely 2.5 seconds before I rolled to seize and immediately got a 6. So I went first, as the Emperor intended all along.
My first three objectives were Kingslayer (which was obviously impossible this turn), Hold the Line (which was pathetically easy to accomplish), and Overwhelming Firepower. That last one would give me a point if I killed one unit (which, given all the grot screens, was a basic guarantee) and a d3 points if I killed 3 units (which, again, given all the GROTS shouldn't be that hard, but I'd need about average dice to do it).
My first strategic goal was to damage/neutralize the Lootas, followed by taking out the Smasha Gunz. I was not overly concerned about his 90 shoota boyz, since I've seen how *ridiculously* fast Hellfire ammunition can eat Ork boyz. In fact, other than the fact that the grot screens and the Kustom Force Field would be *irritating*, I was reasonably sure once the Lootas and Smashas were dealt with, the rest of the game would be relatively easy.
I had hoped to swoop my Blackstar over the heads of some of the screening units and squeeze it into his backfield somewhere, but it wasn't to be--I could fit, but not with 1" on all sides, no matter how I finagled it. Resigning to the fact that, then, that the Blackstar would be shot down, I parked it just north of a defensive ridge, so that if (*when*) it was shot down, my Vets would have some cover to grab after they bailed out. I had to leave both Razorbacks and the Dread in my DZ to claim "Hold the Line," but I had planned to do that anyway, so no big loss. Both Primaris Squads moved forward--the Hellblasters went into the forest, the Aggressor Kill Team Advanced into the river, shielded by the waterfall from enemy fire. In shooting, I used those same Kill Teams to destroy the grot screen in front of the Smasha Gunz in the west and then kill about *half* the grot screen blocking the Lootas. Each Razorback made short work of the two exposed smasha gunz and then the Dread forced the Grot Screen Stratagem by aiming at the Lootas, killing one and wiping three more grots. Finally, the Blackstar chewed up 4 more Lootas and finally destroyed their grot screen, too. That meant that by the end of the turn I'd killed two Smasha gunz and two grot screens and also got rid of about a third of the Lootas--not bad. I rolled for Overwhelming Firepower and got 3 VPs!Current Score:
Deathwatch 5, Orks 0
Top of Turn 1The Ork West Flank crumbles!
In my opponent's turn, he drew two easy objectives - one for casting some psychic powers and one for advancing at least three units. There was no doubt he'd fulfill both of those. There was a lot of unit shuffling that happened among the orks - the last grot screen ran as fast as they could and *almost* covered the Lootas. The Big Mek retreated to allow his shield to better protect the units nearby, but was still exposed from the west. One group of Shoota boyz moved west towards my main thrust, the other two advanced south and west as fast as they could, but wouldn't get in range of anything this turn.
Between his psykers throwing Smites (I tried Armor of Contempt - it only saved 2 out of 7 potential wounds) and the Lootas firing 30 shots with More Dakka (for a total of 11 wounding hits!), the Blackstar met its predicted fate as a 220 point Flyer that never lives more than 1 turn. To add insult to injury, 3 (THREE!) Vets died in the crash, despite my using a command re-roll on one. That left only the two frag cannons hunkering behind the ridgeline, hoping for revenge.
The Lootas then used the Showin' Off Stratagem to fire again and pelted the Dreadnought and one Razorback, for negligible damage. One remaining Smasha gun tried the same and took 2 wounds off the Venerable. The other Smasha Gun killed one Intercessor from the Hellblaster Team. Current Score:
Deathwatch 5, Orks 2
Bottom of Turn 1"Hey, Frank - we ever been in a Blackstar that *didn't* crash?"Turn 2
In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 6 (easy enough, as I was already sitting on it), Master the Warp (impossible--no Psychics), and Defend Objective 4 which, even if I *could* get over to #4, I'd have to spend 2 CP to claim it. Blech.
The attack plan marched on. The Inceptors dropped in along the weakened ork flank from an orientation that would make it impossible for their shots to be grot shielded. They focused fire on the Lootas and killed five of them (curse you Kustom Force Field and Dok's Tools!), but two more ran away in Morale. The Watch Captain landed in front of the Inceptors and shot at the Big Mek. He would have scored two wounds but, again, for the Kustom Force Field, which was really pulling its weight this game. The Watch Captain shrugged, knowing he had a more important role--to charge the Mek, kill him, and then use Honor the Chapter to consolidate into and attack the Lootas...except he rolled double 1s for his charge and just sat there on his hands and even took 2 wounds from the Lootas' overwatch, too. Boo.
The two frag cannons along with the advancing Aggressors proceeded to obliterate the closest group of 30 shoota boyz. The Hellblaster Kill Team tried to wipe out another grot screen, but left enough of the little bastards to foil most of my shooting at the Smasha Gunz on the hill thanks, again, to that damned Grot Screen stratagem. One lascannon shot from a Razorback got through, taking 5 wounds off the thing--not enough, but it was better than nothing.
Finally, the Frag Cannons, in an effort to provide some cover for the now-exposed Watch Captain, pulled off a miraculous charge against the remaining 4 grots in the grot screen, killing 1 and taking no wounds in return. Then those grots popped in the morale phase. Current Score:
Deathwatch 6, Orks 2
Top of Turn 2 I press my advantageStomping Grots, Like a Boss
In the bottom of the turn, I forget exactly which objective my opponent drew, but one of them was a point for killing an enemy character. He kept trying to pincer me, though, using Da Jump to warp one mob of boyz to my east flank (their shooting killed 1 intercessor from the aggressor squad), but kept themselves far enough away to avoid being hit by an Auspex Scan (my God, that stratagem pays for itself even if I never use it!) while a second group of shoota boyz advanced as close as they could from the NE, but just weren't close enough to charge.
The Big Mek retreated to repair the damaged smasha gun while the Weirdboy and Warphead obliterated the Frag Cannons with two smites. The Mek Gunz then killed the Captain in short order, earning the orks a VP, and the advancing shoota boyz fired on the Inceptors, doing one wound only. Current Score:
Deathwatch 6, Orks 3
Bottom of Turn 2An Ork-y Surprise!