Big Mek W/ KFF
Warboss on Warbike - Da Killa Klaw, Brutal But Kunnin
Weird Boy - Da Jump, Warpath
2x30 Boyz - Nob with Big Choppa
3x Megatrak Scrapjets - Korkscrew
3x Shokkjump Dragsta’s - Gyroscopic Whirligig
7x Smasha Gunz
Primaris Chaplain on Bike - Wise Orator, Beacon Angelis, Catechism of Fire, Recitation of Focus
Captain on Bike - Storm Shield, Power Fist, Dominus Aegis
Jump Librarian - Premorphic Resonance, Fortified with Contempt
Dominatus Indomitor Killteam - 5x Hellstorm Intercessors, 3x Flamestorm Aggressors, 2x Plasma Inceptors
Venator Fortis Killteam - 5x ABR Intercessors, 5x Assault Hellblasters
Proteus Killteam - 5x Deathwatch Veterans, 3x Veteran Bikers, 2x THSS Terminators
5x Boltstorm Aggressors
Primaris Apothecary - Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Tome of the Ectoclades
2x Company Veterans
Judiciar - Paragon of Their Chapter: Oathkeeper
6x Vanguard Veterans - 1x Heavy Thunder Hammer, 5x LCSS
Firstly, before we get down to the brass tacks, I’d like to take a moment to just say that David has an absolutely amazing board. Not only does it look amazing, but thanks to the size of the hills in the four corners, and the ruins in the centre, it actually makes a fairly functional battlefield as well. It was a pleasure to play on this board, and I really look forward to doing so again!
So, pregame thoughts… That’s a lot of Mek-Guns… I’ve played more in the past, but they’re so exceptionally swingy that they are only beaten by the Shokk Attack Gun for their feast or famine playstyle. I knew they were going to be a key target, and with the amount of vehicles in David’s list, Bring It Down was an obvious pick. Along with that I went with my two normal picks of To the Last (All Three Killteam) and Raise the Banners. The plan? March, seize the midground and hide from the Mek Guns… Easy, right?
On David’s side from speaking to him before, during and after he went with Assassinate… easy option when I have 5 characters! Engage on All Fronts because of teleporting buggies and Da Jump’ing Boyz, and finally Raise the Banners for the same reason as me - three easy objectives within turn 1 reach.
Chapter Approved 2021
11. Retrieval Mission
Turn 1 goes to... Orks!
Well, off to a great start. As you can see by my deployment, my Gravis team are set up in the middle, ready to receive an Ork charge. Of all the units that were going to get run into by the sheer weight of Buggies and Da Jumping Boyz, it was them who could weather it the best.
Predictably, the Buggies ran up in like with the ruin in front of me, and the Boyz dropped down in the same place. This was the first big mistake that might have ended up winning me the game as they blocked one of the Buggies, assuming they would make their 8’’ rerollable charge. Secondly, the Burnabomber zoomed across the map to drop bombs on the Gravis and Proteus teams… Unfortunately, David’s rolling wasn’t too hot here and he managed only 3 mortal wounds between both squads… So the plane promptly nosedived into the ground and did 3 mortal wounds to… Well, pretty much everything in my army. It was a great start for his Assassinate, leaving a lot of my characters on 2 or 3 wounds.
Shooting went… Well, for the Orks. With the number of flat 3 damage shots the Buggies can put out and some liberal use of Dakka, Dakka, Dakka on the Mek-Guns meant that my poor Gravis team were in for a bad day. The toughness beating mechanic of the Smasha gun is actually immensely effective against T5 Transhuman as… Well, they just ignore it. By the time all was said and done, I had lost 7 of the 10 Gravis Marines, thanks to some terrible rolling on my 5++’s!
It came to the charge phase and I have to say I completely lucked out here. The Boyz failed their charge, meaning one of the two Buggies was blocked in place. The Warboss elected not to charge as it would leave him very exposed. The lone Scrapjet however revved it’s engine and charged into the remaining Gravis killteam. Fortunately, Oathkeeper kicked in on my Judiciar and he hit him with a helping of fight last. With defenders priority thanks to the new FAQ on fighting order, the Judicar fought first and effortlessly dispatched the Buggy in one shot thanks to rolling three 6’s for mortal wounds! (Watch this space, this won’t be the only time this happens).
So, with my forces weakened in the centre but my flanks mostly untouched, it’s time to go for an encirclement. Chaplain pop’s the Litany of Hate, and most of my army shuffles just up enough to remain hidden from the Mek-Guns, but unleash the Emperor's fury on the Buggies. On the left flank, my Aggressors push up hard to threaten his flank, and the Vanguard Veterans run towards the two Shokkjump Dragstas who threaten my right flank. If I can knock out the Buggies I should be able to play threat management with the Mek-Guns… Well, that’s the plan anyway. My righthand objective is lost for the time being, but I do Raise Banners on the other two with some Company Veterans, and the remains of the Gravis Team. Finally, the Apothecary heals himself back up to full wounds suffered by the Flyin’ ‘Eadbutt, and then brings back another Aggressor.
My Psychic phase, I put Premorphic Resonance on the Vanguard Veterans for +1 to hit, and the 5+++ on my Hellblaster unit.
The shooting of the Deathwatch opens up… And has an equally impressive turn as the Orks. The Hellblasters rip apart another Buggy and put a dent into the 30 Ork Boyz who moved up, not enough though for him to Green Tide. The Aggressors on my left flank took aim at some Boyz who were fumbling with something vaguely resembling a Banner, and then tore them apart. My centre is still fairly exposed, held together by some Company Veterans and a few Gravis Marines, but the push on the right flank is on.
Charge phase, my Vanguard Veterans charge both Shokkjump Dragstas along with the Chaplain. Popping Death To The Xenos I put the hammer and one claw into one, and the other four claws into the other. The hammer high rolls and deals 12 damage to the first, sending it flying, then the remaining claws with 6 attacks each, only manage 6 wounds to the vehicle despite rerolling everything. It’s fine, as the Chaplain easily finishes him off, and is protected by the Vanguard Veterans who are only really threatened by two Smasha Guns and a horde of Boyz who really have more important jobs than dealing with a trading unit with a 2+.
On balance, I would say turn 1 probably went to the Deathwatch, knocking out a frankly ridiculous 6 vehicles in the first turn (2 Shokkjump Dragstas, Burna Bomber, 1 Mek-Gun and 2 Scrapjets) was always going to be big… However it was still all to play for on both sides.
The Orks knew this was something of a make or break turn and pushed hard. The Warboss on Bike ran towards my back objective, positioning himself to shoot my Company Veterans off the banner and then knock it down, before charging into my character bubble. The remaining Shokkjump Dragsta, having watched all his friends die, decided that he didn’t want to be there anymore and teleported back to David’s backfield to deny deepstrike. The Boyz in the centre shuffled to secure the objective on my right flank, hidden behind the cave from most of my fire on the left flank. The remaining Scrapjet moved into position to try and finish off the four remaining Gravis who were standing resolutely on a hill.
Psychic, and David doesn’t do much. He keeps his second blob of 30 Boyz in reserve, casting Warpath on the ones he does already have in my face and taking a ‘Eadache for his trouble although the power goes off.
Shooting, the Scrapjet fires off some shots into the Gravis, killing one of them. The Mek-guns take aim and thanks to some (finally!) good saves and rolls, I only lose one more Gravis marine.
With a not great shooting phase, Orks move into the charge phase. The Warboss decides to stay where he is to score engage, and the Scrapjet decides not to charge. David was hoping to knock out the extra Aggressor in shooting, but he doesn’t fancy being made to fight last again, and knocked out by the Aggressor.
David’s second turn was a lot less worrying for me than his first. As I mentioned before, this was a famine turn for the Mek-Guns and he didn’t really manage to knock out anything of note, leaving me free to snatch up my side of the board again.
Chaplain recited the Litany of Hate and then zoomed back over to sit on my central objective, along with my Proteus Killteam. The Gravis Killteam moved onto the left objective in full, healed and revived by the Apothecary again. The Aggressors advanced up and took David’s left most objective, putting some real pressure on now. Judiciar, still elated from his thorough killing of the buggy, set his sights on the Warboss. My Vanguard Veterans become White Scars for a turn and advanced, rolling a 4 and getting 16’’ up the board, just in range to threaten two Mek-Guns with an easy 6’’ charge.
To get my psychic powers off, I had to be a bit risky with my Librarian, but managed to find a spot to hide him on top of a hill where nothing could see or easily reach him, but still let him put Premorphic Resonance on my Vanguard Veterans, and Fortified with Contempt on the Hellblasters.
Shooting phase opened up and it was a big one. Apothecary had popped his Tome of the Ectoclades to give full rerolls to Mek-Guns. The remaining Gravis team were in range of 2 Mek-Guns but focused their fire and killed 1. The Hellblasters put their plasma into another two and knocked out both, whilst their 15 boltgun shots went into the Warboss on Bike… And did 4 wounds somehow, with the Judiciar’s Krak Grenade chipping away another two.
In the charge phase, my Gravis team ran down off the hill into the remaining buggy, the Judiciar into the Warboss and the Vanguard Veterans into two Mek-Guns. Opening with the Gravis marines into the Scrapjet… I didn’t expect him to one shot the injured vehicle, leaving my Hellblasters free to consolidate towards cover. The Judiciar brought his relic blade crashing down onto the Warboss’ bike and cut him in half, but not before Orks is Never Beaten let him strike back and cleave the plucky Judiciar into equal sections… Personally? I’ll take that trade. Finally the Vanguard Veterans were able to easily dispatch two Mek-Guns, although leaving themselves right in the firing line for the remaining three.
By this point, whilst David had a sizable points lead, it was the game of, can he hold me back for long enough for it to matter? One of the Mek-Guns uses it’s mighty 3’’ move to get line of sight on my exposed Vanguard Veterans, whilst the remaining 30 Boyz make their play to secure my right flank.
His Mek-Gunz open up and manage to chip my Vanguard Veterans down to two models remaining thanks to some lucky storm shield saves. However, one Mek-Gun does manage to pop a shot into my exposed Apothecary and ends him instantly with a damage roll of a 6! Moving quickly into the charge phase, his Boyz charge my exposed Chaplain and kill him, remaining where they are for Engage on All Fronts.
Coming into my turn, I’m starting to run out of steam everywhere. My Vanguard Veterans move forward again with a 2’’ charge to threaten the two remaining Mek-Guns on that flank. My Hellblaster killteam advances on the mass of Boyz and opens fire, hosing them down with some help from the Aggressors who have scooted across to get three models in range.
Then it comes to the charge phase and my two Vanguard Veterans declare the remaining Mek-Guns as targets… David elects to Overwatch, rolls 2 shots… One is a 6, meaning a hit and a Dakka, Dakka! Which hits again! Both shots wound and both punch straight through the storm shields, annihilating the two Vanguard Veterans! That was a bit of a blow!
David really only has 3 Mek-Guns left to dictate the games flow with. All three of them pile into my remaining Proteus killteam and deny me To the Last points, whilst getting himself 10 primary. His remaining Shokkjump Dragsta teleports into my backlines and secures some points for Engage on All Fronts, whilst firing some hopeful shots into my exposed Captain… And braining him, knocking out a lot of my buffs.
On my turn 4, I push up as hard as I can, Hellblasters taking aim at the remaining Ork Boyz and cutting them down, finally clearing all my objectives. The Aggressors push even harder, getting sight on the Mek-Gun on the hill and knocking it out of action despite hitting on 4’s.
With two Mek-Guns remaining along with 10 Boyz on an objective, David’s turn amounts to him taking out an Intercessor from the Hellblaster team, and scoring 5 more primary to get himself up to 40.
In return I push hard, killing the last remaining Mek-Gun to max Bring it Down whilst planting Banners in as many places as I can. Thanks to the To the Last swing, and scoring primary at the end of the turn, my turn 5 is a big swing and pushes me back into the lead and clear by ten points!
Well! After an explosive opening turn from us both, I was expecting this to be an uphill battle, and it was (quite literally in fact!). I think the dice really went in my favour at a couple of key points such as the turn 1 Boyz charge, and my Hellblasters firing on overcharge every turn, and only rolling a single 1 across 75 shots…
My MvP was two fold. The Judiciar for his insane rolling, and for tactical impact? Absolutely the Vanguard Veterans. For a (relatively) cheap throwaway unit to pick up two buggy’s, two Mek-Guns and a Weirdboy, I wasn’t expecting that!
On David’s side, I think the unit that hurt me the most was the Mek-Guns… They high-rolled and they low-rolled, but overall it just comes out as consistent, terrifying damage that ignores Transhuman… Marine killers through and through.
Honestly the Aggressors got lucky and were always the less threatening of two targets, managing to hose down a few small targets with weight of dice. I’m still not sure they’re worth their current price-tag though and I would probably do a straight swap out for Inceptors next time! (I just didn’t have them painted!)
Again I would like to thank David for hosting and look forward to playing him again, especially when Orks get all their new tricks in the 9th edition codex!