Thursday, 28 July 2016
Battle Report: Death from the Skies, Astra Militarum vs Grey Knights, 1750 points
Playing Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum is not necessarily "easy mode". For starters, you end up having to lug cases like this through the London rush hour to get to your games. One of my old regular opponents from when I was playing 40K more regularly laid down a challenge, and who was I to turn away from a challenge?
We decided to go up to 1,750 points to fit in a few more toys, and to make sure we had some flyers. I wanted to try out these new "Death from the Skies" rules, and my opponent was kind enough to agree. The mission ended up being lengthwise deployment, card missions, the one where you don't know what your opponent has.
Two teleporting Dreadknights and a Land Raider full of Purifiers? Lovely. Also, there were some deep striking terminators and two Storm Ravens. Ooh! Both of the Dreadknights could teleport. This wasn't going to go well...
The first new thing Death from the Skies introduces is a new "Dogfight" phase for flyers in reserve. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, and if one person wants to avoid a dogfight, then they can roll to try and get out of it. You both select one of three moves to work out distance, work out facing, and work out who gets to shoot by reading off a little table.
First dogfight, and I got the drop on the Storm Raven, and my Vendetta put a glancing hit onto it. My opponent was certainly looking a little nervous as I opened up with three twin linked lascannons!
Then, in came the Grey Knight Terminators and Librarian, teleporting in under the Skyshield Landing pad I'd deployed by conscripts on.
The Dreadknights did their teleport shunt trick, with one moving to deal with the Praetorians.
The other Dreadknight dropped in at the centre of the line to try and carve it's way through to the Hydra.
The radical Xenos Inquisitor leading the Praetorians, my army Warlord, was charged by the Dreadknight. To give the Praetorians some credit, they and the Inquisitor managed to hold the blasted thing up for ages, dying in droves, bayonetting it for a wound, and generally tying it up for most of the battle.
Dogfight number two. It, erm, didn't go so well. Roundly outmanoeuvred, I ended up with the blasted thing right on my tail and within optimal multi-melta range. Unsurprisingly, the Vendetta did not survive the experience...
The Grey Knight Land Raider tried to fit through a narrow gap between the bunker and the wood. It proceeded to get jammed in among the trees, and unable to move.
Some revenge was had - the Leman Russ Executioner and Demolisher opened fire on the Grey Knights, along with the Heavy Plasma Cannon Sentinels... The Grey Knight Librarian evaporated, along with all but one of the squad, cowering behind a pillar where the last of the crossfire couldn't quite see him.
The Dreadknight jumped across, peppering the side of the Hydra with shots to try and make the sky safe for the Grey Knight flyers.
But it was the Grey Knight Terminator charging in who finished it off.
The Vendetta gone, the Storm Ravens raced onto the field, ramjets screaming.
The Purifiers disembarked from the damaged Land Raider, closing with the nearby Guardsmen and their associated witch.
The powers of their Cleansing Flame obliterated the psyker, and many of his bodyguard.
It was starting to not look good for the Astra Militarum.
The flyers assisted with the mop up operation, wiping out the conscripts.
While the Dreadknight took revenge on the Sentinels.
Finally, to smoking Leman Russes, both barely held together, was all that was left of the proud Astra Militarum...
The Grey Knights have a policy of no witnesses. While the rogue Inquisitor and his pet witch were dead, none would carry word of their activities back to the Imperium.