Oh deary me, I'm late with my weekly battle report!
My scheduled opponent couldn't make the game, so I subbed in a game with the Commissar running the slow grow. He was also running an Astra Militarum force, but with a very different set of army selection choices to me - infantry squads with heavy weapons, a veteran squad with a Lascannon, Commissar Yarrick, and a much bigger Conscript squad - and no tanks!
So, firstly, no, I haven't bought a Skyshield Landing Pad. This was one of the store ones and we set it up in the middle, assuming a straight battle, then rolled the sideways deployment. I rolled the Warlord trait which grants Outflank, and sent the Veterans and the command squad in the Chimera off to reserves to do something sneaky.
The Lascannon in the veteran squad was a big contribution to the decision to reserve the Chimera. While it's got a solid armour value, it's a much more inviting target than the Russ, and has the extra benefit of forcing the short ranged squad inside to walk. The Veterans ended up behind the Aegis line on his right flank - aware of the risk of outflanking, he put his Aegis line into a circle at the end to protect them.
We were doing the tactical objectives mission where the number of cards you draw increases as the game goes on. I started off with a careful advance, making sure the Leman Russ stayed out of the way of the Lascannon until I had it neutralised.
A battle cannon shell hit the roof of a building, taking out the Heavy Bolter which was overlooking my advance.
On turn two, my Veterans arrived from outflank. You'll notice that I position them so the closest model was the Commissar, so he was going to be rolling a lot of "Look out Sir" checks.
With the Chimera, I stuffed up. I should have moved it on six and used the heavy flamer on the Veterans. As it was, I moved it on 12, leaving it with much reduced shooting.
The Veterans opened up very effectively, although the Fire Shield from his psyker had killed one of the flamers and the sergeant! I still had the demo charge, though, and it was brutally effective on the closely packed conscripts.
With the death of the Commissar, the leadership of the psyker wasn't enough to keep the conscripts on the field and they fled! This was pretty lucky for me as it meant the Veterans weren't going to be annihilated in response - there were still enough conscripts for weight of fire to be very damaging.
Fire from the roof of the building still reduced the hits, though.
The return fire on the Chimera was unlucky, leaving it only Shaken. Still, that meant the Heavy Flamer was getting another turn without firing.
Lacking the flamer, I decided to use my turn 3 to Tank Shock the Veterans to force them out of their Aegis line and into some fire lanes. Sadly for me, the Death or Glory was successful and immobilised the Chimera.
Still, the shooting left the platoon commander fleeing and Yarrick on a single wound.
The squad on the roof were finally cleared off with concentrated fire.
The Chimera, unsurprisingly, didn't last the following turn...
And Yarrick charged into combat.
A plucky Guardsman survived!
But chose, perhaps wisely, to flee.
Meanwhile, my squads converged on an objective I needed to score.
Fleeing into the open, my Guardsman had the unlucky situation of the Commissar drawing a mission card to wipe out an enemy unit in close combat. He rallied to face the Platoon Commander running him down...
To no avail, as he was cut down. Unfortunately for the Platoon Commander, he'd been left too far in the open to get back to his lines, and he was shot down in revenge in the following turn.
The Veterans claimed a stray objective, proving they were useful.
And a few of the conscripts bravely advanced off the landing pad to grab another objective I needed to score.
The Leman Russ had come forward to find more targets, and my concern about the Lascannon was proved correct - he was left immobilised from a long ranged shot!
While the conscripts who held the objective didn't make it, the game was over, with a win for me - the first win of the slow grow!
I was quite pleased with how this one went, with me only making a couple of tactical mistakes and generally getting my target priority right. While I claimed a lot of victory points towards the end, this is part of the mission design, and reflected how much of the board I was controlling compared to my opponent, now pushed back into a single corner.
Still, an excellent game, and I'm finally off "zero points"!