Sunday, 28 October 2018

Shadow War - Blood Enemies

For the first time in the campaign, Loyalist Space Marines faced Traitors as the Blood Angel Scouts fought the Plague Marines. The scenario was a straightforward Kill Team Fight. Both Kill Teams would try to break the other, with the first to bottle lose. The Blood Angels were one man down as Novice Marco's old battle wound kept him out of the fight.

The Blood Angels deployment made best possible use of cover....

...while the Plague Marines advanced through relatively open terrain relying on their superior toughness and armour to keep them going.

In fact, this proved unnecessary as both sides shooting bounced ineffectively off each other's armour.

The Plague Marine's implacable advance continued until they reached the Promethium Refinery in the centre.

The Blood Angels were pressed hard on both flanks.

But the Plague Marines still struggled to bring any scouts down, simply pinning them behind cover.

On their right flank, the Blood Angels held up, despite concerted fire by the Plague Marine Champion.
But on their left flank, the Scouts started to push back hard.


The Scouts right flank started to give, although they made the Plague Marines pay for each inch of ground.

But on the Scouts right flank pushed back hard as first one...

...then two fell in close combat. The fight seemed to be turning the Scout's way only for them to suddenly fail a bottle test. The Plague Marines had won the day.

This was a quick and dirty fight in which neither side had a clear advantage. Both sides were pretty level until the end when things started to look up for the Blood Angels, but with both sides having lost enough troops to bottle it was just as likely that either side would fail.

Despite winning, the Plague Marines only won one Data Cache, which seemed only fair given the narrow victory. The Scouts suffered no serious casualties, while Brothers Pox and Rancid were left with old battle wounds and Brother Legionela “suffered” Horrible Scars (causes Fear). For the next round the Scouts recruited a Space Marine Veteran and the Plague Marines a Chaos Terminator.

This fight marked the end of Round Four and at the end of the round, the results looked like this:

Kill Team
Data Caches
Wins
Losses
Team Rating
Adeptus Sororitas
9
3
1
2257
Orks
8
3
1
2064
Tau
7
2
2
1697
Dark Eldar
7
1
3
1805
Space Marine Scouts
7
1
3
1730
Chaos Space Marines
6
2
2
1881

The Adeptus Soritas still held the field, with the Orks snapping up behind them, though the Dark Eldar had leaped ahead leaving the Plague Marines trailing.

According to the official rules, Shadow War campaigns are supposed to be played until a Kill Team gets 15 Promethium Caches. I had originally planned to reduce this number to 8, but decided to go to 10 as this would leave one more round and mean every team would have faced every other. Round Five would be the final round and would see the following line ups:

Adeptus Sororitas vs Dark Eldar
Orks vs Chaos Space Marines
Tau vs Space Marine Scouts

Although Round 5 would be the regular round, but I still have something special in mind to finish off the campaign.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Shadow War - Turning it around

Sorry, I'm not getting any better at getting these Shadow War updates out there. I'm still playing the games, but lagging behind on editing the pictures and writing them up.

This fight was always likely to be "interesting" in that it saw the Tau, one of the most successful kill-teams going up against the Dark Eldar, who were pretty much the worst. After the Tau's last impressive, but really rather boring, victory I was worried this was going to turn into a massacre. Suffice it to say, things didn't pan out as I feared.

The scenario was Scavenger, meaning that both teams would be competing to secure loot counters scattered about the field. This actually favoured the Dark Eldar a little, as the Tau couldn't simply sit back and open fire. The Tau rolled "hidden cache" which meant the winners would get an extra 100 credits to spend at the end of the mission and the Dark Eldar rolled "Toxic Ash" meaning injured fighters were more likely to go out of action if they were down at the end of the game.




The Dark Eldar deployed mostly in a group, as much for lack of space as anything else. While the Tau tried to take up a strong firing position.


Pathfinder Uk'alt, a Tau with the infiltrate skill, opened proceedings but darting foward to secure the first loot counter.


Only to find himself swarmed by Dark Eldar. With the Tau's marker lights eliminating the effect of cover, there was little point in the Dark Eldar being cautious. Instead they ran forward on mass, hoping that sheer numbers and the -1 to hit effect caused by their running would blunt the Tau's effectiveness of the Tau's shooting.



It was a risky, but largely effective strategy. Tau firepower forced the Dark Eldar to disperse, but not before securing most of the loot and taking few casualties.


Uk'alt, the only Tau with a loot counter, quickly found himself taking on two Dark Eldar in hand to hand combat.


While the Dark Eldar Heskar, escaped with the first loot counter.



The Tau kept up the pressure, with Shas'ui Tas'vou leading a flanking manoeuvre that caught the Dark Eldar in a crossfire.



The Dark Eldar took some casualties, but unencumbered team members acting as fire shields and a ruthless willingness to leave the injured behind allowed them to secure all four counters.



The Tau maintained the pressure, but it was to no avail and the Dark Eldar escaped with the loot.

Casualties were heavy. Four Dark Eldar went down thanks to toxic ash and suffered a series of lasting injuries. But they secure four data caches, three for winning and another from the loot, putting them on seven, level pegging with the Tau and only two behind the Adeptus Sororitas, the current leaders.

The Tau  suffered fewer casualties in total, but Pathfinder Net'ra died from his injuries. The Tau were forced to spend their credits to recruit a new cadet Kel'zar, who was sure to experience a baptism of fire. With a full roster and no shortage of gear, the Dark Eldar had nothing to spend their credits on put recruiting a special operative (which they were allowed to do as per my campaign house rules). They recruited an Homunculus and, as they had a bonus 100 credits, I decided they could have her for two games.

Having looked at the Homunculus rules, I realised that I had been missing a special rule for the entire campaign. The Dark Eldar had been entitled to roll on the combat drugs table at the start of every mission and I hadn't been doing it. Given their stunning victory in this round, it can't have been the sole cause of their poor performance, but it certainly couldn't have helped.

In fact, it was only in this game that I figured out how to use the properly. I had panicked after round 1 in which the Blood Angels shot them to pieces, but actually, running forward as fast as possible is the best way to use them. I just had to use weaker members of the team to screen the stronger and make sure they ran to gain the -1 to hit penalty. It will be interesting to see how they get on now that I've figured that out and they have their combat drugs (and the Homunculus bonus).


Sunday, 26 August 2018

Shadow War - Slugfest

The first game of round four of the campaign saw two of the most successful Kill-teams go head to head, Sergeant Bogrot's Blood Axes and Sister Superior Winnifred's Sisters of Battle. The Sisters were still smarting from their frustrating loss to the Tau and ready to prove their mettle, while the Orks were keen to hold their position as campaign leaders and the only undefeated team.

The scenario: a straight forward Kill-Team fight. Do as much damage to your opponent as possible without losing too many of your own.



Sheer numbers more or less forced the Orks to divide into two groups, with the slightly larger of two moving through the cover of the Promethium refinery. While Sergeant Bogrot lead the other group on a flank attack towards the Sister's left.


The Sisters focused their attention on the central group, moving into firing positions


A firefight quickly broke out. For the second game in the row, Fuzzle made the first shot of the game, hit his target and immediately ran out of ammo. A crack shot who only remembers to load one bullet into his gun.


Despite Fuzzle's excellent opening shot, the Orks took the worst of the fire, though they could afford some losses.


Meanwhile, Sergeant Bogrot's group continued their steady advance down the Sister's left flank.


In the centre, co-ordinated fire from the Sisters was starting to tell. The Sister's shots were finding their mark, while the Orks were struggling to hit anything. Weight of numbers was not helping.



Sergerant Bogrot's forces were finally getting into position.


With no more ammunition, Fuzzle threw himself into a death or glory charge against Sister Superior Winnifred, hoping to delay her and split the Sisters.


Unfortunately for the Orks, the Sisters manoeuvred too quickly for them and the Orks trap failed to spring.



Even in close combat the Orks couldn't find their mark.


Orks were going down in droves. Ultimately, seven went down to only one Sister (Sister Ursula).


A last minute surge by the Orks wasn't enough to turn the tide. They bottle, giving the Sisters the field and tasting their first defeat.

The Sisters won a total of three data caches. Two for the victory and a third for taking out three times as many enemies as they lost. With the Orks only winning one, this left the Sisters as campaign leaders. The Orks were fairly lucky, no deaths and four of the seven Orks made full recoveries. Only Sergeant Bogrot and Snagrip were left with old battle wounds and Molk lost an eye. The Orks spent their credits re-equipping and making sure Fuzzle had an ammo reload, while the Sisters recruited two new troopers, Sisters Hildegarde and Anastasia.

Things were looking good for the Sisters, with nine data caches, to the Orks eight. It would take a pretty impressive performance from one of the other teams to catch up with them in this round.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Shadow War - Hit and Stumble

I've been building up a bit of a backlog of these Shadow War campaign reports. Not intentionally, I've just been playing games, taking pictures and forgetting about the next step. Plus, getting distracted by chronic racism and sexism in the wargaming community hasn't helped.

 Deployment

Anyway, after the last, slightly frustrating, encounter between the Sisters of Battle and the Tau, round 3 ended on a high note with a classic confrontation between Space Marines and Orks. The Mission was a Hit and Run with the Orks attacking and aiming to steal the Space Marines loot. The Orks have a major advantage in this scenario as they're allowed to bring an extra 3 team members when attacking. The Space Marines, for there part, were spectacularly unlucky rolling only two defenders to start the game. They went with Brothers Raphael and Michael because they were armed with Bolters and had a longer range.

Ambush

The Orks drew first blood, when Fuzzle took out Brother Michael with the first shot of the game. He then immediately failed his ammo roll. Presumably he just emptied his entire clip until he hit something.

 Move out

One down

Brother Raphael proved to be made of sterner stuff. Fragrap flamed him (also running out of ammo) and Sergeant Bogrot hurled a stikkbomb at him before Fragrap finally finished him off in hand to hand.

Fire in the Hole

By this point reinforcements were arriving. Unfortunately for the Space Marines, they were arriving on entirely the wrong side of the battlefield.



Giving Molk ample opportunity to make off with the loot.


The Orks took the opportunity to make a "Taktikul Wivdrawal" and it looked like they might make it off the table and win the day without another shot being fired.


But at the last moment, Novices Sebastiano and Niccolo ambushed the Orks from their own table edge.


Molk was taken down, forcing Sergeant Bogrot to grab the loot. Meanwhile, the rest of the Space Marines were catching up. Forcing Razan to act a rearguard.


But in the end, Novice Sebastiano was taken down, and a wounded Sergeant Bogrot made it off the table with the loot.


This was an enormously fun game that ended on a knife-edge, after initially looking like the Orks would walk it. The Space Marines were pretty unlucky at the start, first with only two defenders and then with all their reinforcements turning up in the wrong place, but Novices Sebastiano and Niccolo timely arrival almost swung things. If it weren't for Sergeant Bogrot's two wounds, it's unlikely the Orks would have won.

In the event, the Orks victory didn't make much difference. Both sides came away with only 1 data cache, though this put the Orks on 7, leading the campaign. They recruited Grob and Skym, an Ork boy and a Yoof respectively. While the Space Marines recruited Novice Angelo, taking them to 9.

With round 3 complete, it felt like a good time to check out the campaign scores.

Kill Team
Data Caches
Wins
Losses
Team Rating
Orks
7
3
0
1896
Adeptus Sororitas
6
2
1
1871
Tau
6
2
1
1693
Space Marine Scouts
6
1
2
1638
Chaos Space Marines
5
1
2
1813
Dark Eldar
3
0
3
1748

Sergeant Bogrot's lads remain the only undefeated Kill-Team, though their first victory was largely down to good luck. They were also winning on Data Caches, though the Tau, Sisters and Space Marines were just behind them. While the poor Dark Eldar were stuck at the bottom, seemingly unable to catch a break.

A Shadow War campaign is supposed to run until one side has 15 Promethium Caches. My original plan was to adjust that to 10, but add in a final, big battle to round everything off. Given that, if the Orks got lucky they could trigger the end game after round 4.

As I wrote at the start, I have a backlog of these to write up so, hopefully, I will let you know soon who things went.