Sunday, 1 May 2016

Mission Review/Battle Report: Maelstrom of War - Cleanse & Control

So Dad James and I have played three games recently and we are working these up into a bit of a narrative campaign with a thread flowing throughout. Basic storyline is that during the Heresy a force of Blood Angels break away from the Legion naming themselves the Flesh Tearers. They are considered to be traitors by a force of loyalist Imperial Fists and well you can guess the rest!

First a bit of narrative...
Battle of Phater Minor (made up name and made up mission!)

Early on in this expanding campaign a heretical splinter group of Flesh Tearers took the opportunity of easy prey and attacked a landing zone where the remains of a downed Imperial Fist starship lay. Their mission was to recover as much information as possible through accessing computer data from working machines that lay strewn across the crash site. The Imperial Fists responded deploying a force into the now wrecked city but the Flesh Tearers beat the VIIth Legion back and drained the recovered hard drives of all data including sensitive information and codes.
Flesh Tearers won this one.

Conclave of the Lost (Legendary Mission HH Book 6)

Using this info the traitors masqueraded as a loyal chapter using official codes and channels and lured two Imperial Fist officers into a temple separating the hierarchy from their support troops. This was an effective ambush as the Flesh Tearers pounced leaving the 2 commanders isolated. Fortunately even though 1 commander died the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful as the assassination of the loyalists officers was thwarted by dogged resistance and the rogue marines were almost wiped out. During this battle a traitor was captured and mind-swept which revealed where the traitors had set up their base. It also turns out that an Astra Militarum (I know we are mixing 40k and 30k a lot here!) regiment had turned with the Tearers calling themselves the Emperors Feth.

Imperial Fists win this one

Battle of the Fort of Nine Towers (Maelstrom of War Cleanse & Control Mission)With the planetary base known to the IF an old fort town was identified as being a suitable place to plant a stronghold in order to mount a suitable invasion to wipe the heresy from the Galaxy. In this town several places were marked for the IF to secure such as an infirmary, communications station etc. Resistance was expected and encountered through the AM splinter group commanded by a Sanguinary Priest and his retinue of terminators. In the end the IF were beaten back and withdrew from the area taking heavy casualties but not before securing vital information regarding further landing areas and another group of astartes who seem to be tangled in this web of heresy....

Mission Review - Cleanse & Control

I have to say this mission is one of the best I have tried. The Primary Objective is to build up your Victory Points by securing objectives each game turn. There is a D100 list of objectives and at the start of the game you roll off with two dice to get yourself 3 of these objectives.

You must always have three objectives and once you have achieved one it is discarded and another drawn at the next turn. You may also discard objectives at the start of you turn and draw new ones if you don't think they are achievable.

 The objectives include some to hold an objective point so we laid out 6 of these at the start of the game, randomly numbered. Other objectives were things like 'wipe out 3 units in one turn for a point', 'take down a flyer for a point' etc in addition to plenty of 'hold objective number 3 this turn for a point'.

This made for a really interesting game and the changing and unpredictable objectives made for a battle that swung in each armies favour until the last turn.

Now some will find this annoying because the randomness of the objectives can negate great generalship. So if you are an uber completive player this probably isn't the game for you. Nevertheless both armies have to cope with the randomness and are faced with the ongoing tactical decisions as to whether or not to blow stuff up or go for objectives.
We had a blast playing this mission and it was enormous fun. I would well recommend trying it out.
Battle Report

So onto the battle itself...
The armies:

Imperial Fists - this force was lead by Sigismund himself. Joining him were ...

- 5 THSS Terminators
- Spartan
- Primus Medicae
- 15 Boarding Marines
- 10 Boarding Marines
 - 7 Lascannon Heavy Squad
 - Sicarian
- Contemptor Mortis
- Leviathan (Storm & Grav)

Flesh Tearers & IG

5 Termies PF/Bolter
Drop Pod w Tac Squad
Company Com'd Squad (in Chimera)
Platoon Cmd Squad w Plasma (in Chimera)
20man blob w commissar
Lots of Lascannon and auto-cannon squads
 Leman Russ Punisher
Leman Russ Demolisher
Leman Russ Executioner

Boarding marines awaiting the onslaught

Playing these rules meant we had to remain flexible so we both positioned near to objectives expecting we might capitalise in turn 1. James won the roll-off for first turn. However, the dice gods corrected this anomaly (James never goes first agaisnst me!) by allowing me to seize the initiative - Imperial Fists to attack first!

Turn 1

We both used forward a little, not much happening and I set up my Spartan to charge into the centre of his line. I take out a chimera and claim first blood!

James drops his Drop Pod tight next to my Lascannon team, an act that would see the Lascannons pretty much tied up all game - boo!

Turn 2 

My Spartan unloads its cargo of Sigismund and Terminators and destroys the Leman Russ Executioner. I take a pop at his other units with everything else and manage to immobilise another Leman Russ with the Graviton Pulse.
James manages to knock out my Sicarian and shoots every other gun in his army at my Terminators. One falls down laughing cos it tickles but that is all!
I am holding a couple of scoring Objs and get another couple of points 3-0 at this point to IF!

Turn 3
This turn I knock out another Leman Russ, Knight Commander Pask shows his true colours and hits reverse! James's Imperial Guard shoot everything again at my terminators and I am reduced to 1 Termie, Primus Medicae and Signismund...

I manage to grab another obj, and so does James. 4-1 to the VIIth Legion!

Turn 4
James wipes out my Lascannon Squad with his marines, I foolishly engage them with my Mortis Contemptor and get stuck in combat all game. James also kills my last termie, and Primus Medicae. Sigismund charges into his Blob Squad and starts scything through them. The vendettas take out my Leviathan too.

James is making a comeback and he has the lead 5-4 at this point.

Turn 5

Flesh Tearers Termies plough into the combat with Sigismund and kill him - boo! The Imperial Fists are reduced to just the Boarding Marines now but I am scoring still. 7-6 to James.

Turn 6

No more killing but James takes another couple of Obj's and its game over. 

Flesh Tearers for the win at 9-6!

Post-battle de-briefing

This was a fun game so I wasn't playing too tactical. Nevertheless there were some take-home points for me:

1. Protect the Sicilian - thats two games in a row I have left it exposed and lost it early on, needs careful placement in future.

2. When a challenge is refused, if there is another IC in a squad Sigismund (or any challenger) can choose to fight them instead.

In summary, great game and great mission. I can't recommend the tactical objectives enough.

Happy gaming...

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