All Scars 2016 Tournament – round 2 v Ultramarines

60030102012_BlackLegionENG01Today saw me playing my second round game in the All Scars 2016 “Classic” Tournament, this time around facing one of my favourite opponents, Dave Clarke, with his Ultramarines army.

The mission would be the second Maelstrom mission “Contact Lost”, we rolled for deployment styles and got Hammer & Wrath so would be fighting end to end on the table, not a major issue with both armies being pretty mobile. Dave won the roll and decided to deploy and (unless I could seize) go first.

We rolled for Warlord traits and psychic powers. I got the Eye of the Gods from the Legion book, letting my warlord re-roll any Chaos Boon rolls during the battle. For Psychic powers I had my standard Force, Nurgles Rot and Sunburst (from the Eye) and rolled for one Nurgle and two Biomancy powers – getting Weapon Virus, Iron Arm and Life Leech – oh this was going to be nasty. Dave’s warlord was Tigurius so had a specific trait and chose his powers from the new Marines Technomancy (I think that’s what they’re called).

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I rolled to seize but failed, so with shake of hands Dave began. His vanguard unit embarked on an empty rhino and then all four rhinos advanced down the streets along side the contemptor dreads. Tigurius psychically enhanced the devastators he and the techmarine had joined in the tower (which the Techy had reinforced), giving them T5 and a 2+/5++ save, but managed to peril when doing so and took a wound. The devastators fired their rocket launchers at the bastion (after which the squad within wondered if it had begun raining outside). That pretty much was it for his turn one, though he did score one of his TO cards.

My turn! My rhino edged forward to claim an objective, the bikers tore forward and everyone else stayed put. My psychic phase was a little more involved that the Smurf’s one. Unsa flexed his mental muscles, putting a Weapon Virus on the nearest Contemptor (but perilling in the process and taking a wound), he then used Life Leech to blast a rhino. He then activated his Force staff and Iron Arm power (in readiness for what was to come). Shooting proved as effective, the squad in the bastion targeting the rhino that vanguard marines had gotten in with a plasma gun, heavy bolter and the quad gun from the roof (snap firing as it was a ground target) and managed to wreck it, leaving the marines to slog it on foot. The bikes opened fire with meltas, exploding the rhino nearest to them (and hitting Jaxxon with shrapnel, oops sorry boss). The marines inside were unphased though as they stood in the wreckage but the bikes charged into them. Eager to impress his warlord Aspiring Champion Jooz challenged the marine sergeant, quickly cutting him down with his power sword (and gaining the Shield of Force boon – Shrouded). The rest of the bikers tore into the marines with abandon killing more and making the remainder flee.

I got First Blood for the Rhino but none of my cards (as usual) – round one score 1-1.

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Round two and the smurfs continued to advance, aside from the virused contemptor who couldn’t quite worked out how to push past the wrecked rhino. Another rhino sped towards my bikes and disembarked another tactical squad, the ones that fled had rallied (they know no fear but they will learn a damn close facsimile). Tigurius once again used his power. Shooting was a little better for them, though the devastators still failed to dent the bastion (maybe not raining, could be hail).  The contemptor that wasn’t virused fired at the one marine he spotted at the edge of the ruined gun emplacement and killed him (which happened to be the squads plasma gunner, bad deployment on my part) and one of his buddies, while the other dread fired at my rhino. It caused a pair of glancing hits but thanks to Papa Nurgle’s gift managed to lose one of its own hull points due to overheating. A pair of marines popped the hatch on his other rhino and fired a melta and heavy bolter at my rhino but thankfully got nothing for their trouble. The marines nearest my bikes opened fire on them but with the power of nurgle pulsing through them (and jinking) they proved ineffective. With no assaults  Dave scored two more cards and was done.

I rolled for my reserves, the proteus didn’t come on but the heldrake did. Vector striking the rhino in front of the bastion and scoring a hull point. The remainder of the squad behind the gun emplacement moved round towards the alley by the bastion while my rhino swung around to stop any more cheeky shots at its rear while still hanging on to its objective. Jaxxon’s bikers moved up a little closer to the marines, eager for further bloodshed. My psychic phase went pretty much the same as last time, though I didn’t peril, and Life Leech killed a marine (using his soul energy to heal Jaxxon of his wound). As it had worked before I put Weapon Virus back on the dread and powered up Iron Arm and the Force Staff. My shooting was a mixed bag, my two remaining plasma gunners both managing to immolate themselves with misfires, but the quad gun snap-fired another hull point from the dread in front of it.. Gemma, the heldrake, turned her baleflamer on the vanguard marines and not even their storm shields could save all of them and so they were wreathed in soulblaze! Jaxxon’s bikes fired at the newly disembarked marines whittling them down (the sergeant having to use Look out Sir!) before assaulting them. This time Jaxxon wanted to blood his blade and challenged the sergeant, the brave marine accepted and was summarily cut down, while Unsa and Jooz slew the remainder of the squad. Jaxxon rolled on the boon table, getting Warp Claws (shred) so chose not to use his trait to re-roll. The vanguard failed to put out the soulblaze and another died from it. I only managed to score one of my cards this time.

round two score – 3-2 to Dave!

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The rhino nearest the bikers backed up to claim obj 6 and reveal its contents (a skyfire nexus ha!) while the other remaining rhino also backed up and disgorged its cargo of marines. The virused dread finally pushed its way through the wreckage of the rhino before it and lined up at my own rhino. The still burning vanguard clambered over the barricade and the other dread chased around the emplacement claiming the vacated objective. The psychic phase was pivotal, Tigurius again empowering the devastators, well tried to. He got the power off but perilled doing so and leaving him on a single wound ( I thought he was the uber-wizard? More Rincewind than Radaghast then) which Unsa then denied (getting four sixes on his eight dice!). Shooting was better for them, with the newly disembarked tactical marines managing to wreck the heldrake! The virused dread fired at my rhino wrecking it but again got hot and failed its invulnerable save wrecking itself in the process (bwah ha ha). The devastators were a let down again and the vanguard ran to claim the obj my rhino had been on, giving Dave five out of six of the obj’s. The remaining three marines in front of the bikes decided it was better to charge than be charged, they were wrong and Jaxxon’s blade cut them to shreds. They continued to burn from soulblaze but nobody died. Dave score another couple of cards.

The proteus still refused to appear. The marines in the alley moved forward through the drake wreckage and the bikes advanced towards the devastators and Tigurius in the tower. Psychic phase proved pivotal as Unsa struck with Life Leech and I watched with joy as Dave rolled for which model was affected, getting Tigurius and then got a one for his Look Out Sir! roll. Unsa sucked the last bit of life from the smurf-wizard and used it to once again heal his Lord. He also Weapon Virused the devastators and empowered his force staff and Iron Arm. Shooting saw my marines fire at his tactical squad ineffectually, the bastion squad fired them too with minimal results. The marine squad on my right took potshots at the vanguard but their storm shields held. It was down to the bikes, blasting meltas and bolters up at the devastators, obliterating them until only the techmarine stood. I managed a better haul on my cards this time.

Round three scores – 8-5 to me (woohoo).

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Round four and Dave knew he had to go for it. The contemptor moved around and fired its cannon at the bastion while the nearby rhino drove round to cover the obj. The other rhino scuttled back into his deployment zone (take secure another TO card before my Proteus came on. His shooting phase was brief and unmemorable but the dread then assaulted the bastion and glanced a hull point off of it. Dave did net a good haul of cards, tipping him slightly into the lead before I had my turn.

The proteus finally arrived, rolling for outflank and coming on behind the building and disembarking the Chosen. The bikes roared up to the foot of the tower (prompting a brief rules query/discussion which I’ll cover below), while the remaining trio of marines in the drake wreckage chased after the other rhino. The squad in the bastion filed out and prepared to face the dread. Psychic was a less than productive with only Weapon Virus, Force and Iron Arm coming off. Shooting proved another fun one, the trio of marines lobbed a krak grenade at the rhino taking its second hull point away, while the bikes let rip at the techmarine and caused a single unsaved wound on him. Then it was time for the Johnny-come-lately, the proteus fired a twin linked lascannon, then snap fired its heavy bolter and pintle-multimelta at the recently reversed rhino and destroyed it, while the Chosen fired bolters, plasma pistol and meltas in to the nearby marines, killing a few of them. In the assault phase the trio marines charged the rhino with the champions meltabomb taking its final hull point, and the bastion squad danced through the dreads overwatch, losing a man to its powerful claw but managing to take one of its hull points with another well placed meltabomb. I only scored one of my two cards, would it be enough.

Time had beaten us though as there was only 15 minutes until closing time so we agreed to call it there, with both of us getting linebreaker, the final scores were – 10-10, an epically deserved draw.

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A fitting end to a fantastic game with a worthy opponent. Some truly excellent banter and hilarious moments. Thanks Dave.

The rules query we had was whether or not my bikes could make it up the tower to get to the techmarine, at the time we decided whatever the actual rules it would feel ridiculous so they stayed below, since then though it seems that it is indeed allowable as they ignore difficult terrain (rolling instead a dangerous terrain test) but with the grav-wave generator on the roof I would have needed one hell of a charge roll.

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