The Battle Of Sugden; A Tale Of Two Bombardments.
As there are regularly four players in my cold garage these days I've taken steps to expand my table. A long time ago we put lino in the bathroom and the excess was not thrown out like most people, it was just put in my loft. the reason for this was it had little squares on it that at the time I thought looked like flagstones (or would do when painted) 7 or 8 years later I have sprayed them black and done some rudimentary drybrushing to make an nice little urban area to butt up against my rural battle mat. Now I have a 9' x 4' gaming table! With this in mind I will make some specific terrain for it, but that's another blog post.
Set Up And Other Jiggery Pokery
The initial deployment shows the Ultramarine Tau alliance are a lot thinner on the ground than the true protectors of humanity. For anyone interested the two pairs of legs in the picture are Billy's and Aaron's. To maintain an air of mystery I won't say who's is who. Incidentally I deployed the Cadian unit at the bottom of the picture there to stop any Drop Pod/ Deepstrike nonsense over there.
My main deployment area is quite tranquill looking. I'm not a big fan of not going first and I think I will house rule it so that I don't go second ever again.As you can see a Piranha swoops forward to provide moral support to the Ghostkeel. The Drop Pods passengers form an orderly queue to attack loyal marines while consorting with xenos! This part of the battlefield is the unfinished lino that I have to dirty up. But it looks pretty ok to me already.In our turn there was not much movement. The Chimera and Hellhound moved forward on my right and the Crimson Fist Contemptor and Ancient moved to slap about the Tau battlesuits. My Astropath Nightshrouded the Ratlings (I was hoping they'd get more than one shooting phase). The return fire was satisfactorily effective, wiping out the tactical squad shielding Gullimann and leaving him exposed in the Hollywood director way which could well lead to criminal charges if he keeps it up. So if nothing else our side definitely got First Blood. Also of note was the Space Marine Scouts, they were proving to be an irritating thorn in our opponents side as they had cameoline and cover giving them a very good armour save.In this picture a Centurion and squad of marines are missing due to some pinpoint Astra Militarum gunnery. Following their awful first turn shooting they had jumped up from threat level; unknown, to threat level; I hate those guys! I also put Nightshroud on the Ratlings to give them a bit more longevity.The brave Astra Militarum guys advance forward with the certainty that their futile sacrifice might help keep my tanks around a bit longer.The Contemptor decides to kick some alien arse with his little mate.From this angle we can see the Ghostkeel has either a) taken four wounds or b) has four wounds left. I think the former but without taking detailed notes I'm really not certain.The Contemptor's arm has fallen off, a testimony to the ferocity of the battle. The fact that they are in combat is a damning indictment of Tau marksmanship (or at least Aaron's ability to roll 6's).
My Leman Russ carks it. Billy has gone to extreme measures in killing my favourite unit. Actually buying Marines in armour who then put on another suit of armour, and proceed to blow the shit out of my beloved tanks. He was also using other underhand tactics like healing wounds on them and bringing a Centurion back from the dead! Disgraceful. The Tau and Ultramarine evil alliance kill the Predator (but mainly the Tau) and have severely thinned out the Primaris Marines. Two lieutenants attempt to take on the Ghostkeel in hand to hand combat. Probably because it looks drunk at the moment. It's stuff like that that makes Crimson Fists some of the most joked about chapters in the Imperium. This cheeky cloud of smoke notes the Chimera finally destroyed. This brave vehicle is vital in the ferrying of troops around the battlefield. It blew up unfulfilled as all it ever wanted was to do it's bit. I was hoping to exact bloody revenge in my turn.After dropping off the veterans the Chimera goes round the corner to play peek-a-boo with the Ultramarines. This provided a bit of a quandary on my part through the pub and weather a charge from the Ultramarines, or skulk round the side and hope that they wouldn't leave the safety of Gullimann's loving gaze. I chose the more wishy washy option (skulk). Dylan uses a screw he found in my garage to signify a Crimson Fist barrage. I think it killed at least one Centurion and gave Gullimann a bit of a fright. The annoying Apothecary at the back was unscathed though. Dylan plays a stratagem called Orbital Bombardment and it causes some mortal wounds all over the place (Centurions and Gullimann). A lot more shooting from the guardsmen on the building get rid of the other two Centurions. Thankfully I have one operational Leman Russ left (albeit badly crocked). The Battlesuit/Contemptor scrap over in the corner rages on I think without photographic evidence.In this image a lone Ultramarine hides under the jails balcony. My infantry squad opened up on him leaving him pretty much unscathed. Three meltangun armed guardsmen prepare to microwave the Devilfish but a severe bout on inaccuracy stuffed up that plan. Not this time guys. ?? The Chimera made his suicidal attack and failed to blow up. The Hellhound now has a clear view of it's prey. The Razorback trundles off to shoot things eastwards. My Cadians jog forward with fake enthusiasm. As do the Primaris.Over on the left the Ghostkeel continues to fight the Primaris Lieutenants totally forgetting it can fly. The Leman Russ is about to open up on the Tau Breacher Team. The infantry squad that was there a few pictures ago made a worthless sacrifice in true astra Militarum fashion. The meltaguns are gone too. Just leaving a Company Commander, a Commissar and a Leman Russ to show those marines how real soldiers do it!As the hour was getting late we decided to end the game on turn four I think. The Tau/Ultramarines advanced up on the jail but failed to evict it's occupants. My plan to steal the Ultramarine objective was as cunning as it was reliant on Gullimann (the greatest hero in the galaxy) failing a lot. The plan was scoot round with the Hellhound kill as many Smurfs as possible shoot Gullimann, hope he fails loads of saves and then charge in killing him and gaining the objective and also pints in Ye Olde Shielde. Simples. Had I paid for a few Vox the plan would have been simpler, more cunning and successfuller. The Hellhound did it's part by actually wiping out the Ultramarine unit with some help from a single Primaris Marine who could see one. Then shooting failed to do anything to Gullimann and I ill-advisedly charged him. What with overwatch and him being redonkulous in combat I lost the entire squad. With a Vox I could've just Move! Move! Move!ed the vets onto the objective leaving RG clutching his over sized weapon in his hands. So the game ended and victory points were totted up. Both sides held an objective, neither side had killed the opponents warlord and both had linebreaker. The tiebreaker was first blood. So, the Crimson Fists and Astra Militarum had defeated the Ultramarines and Tau by a single VP . A really close game that was suitably bloody and heroic.This is the first time a Ratling has survived a battle for me. A suitable medal will have to be painted on there.