Welcome back readers, here is the battle report from the Fate of Konor week 1 campaign. This past weekend was also the release of the new Space Marine codex so I busted out the Sunbreakers (Salamanders) for a debut into 8th Ed. The Chapter tactics are pretty cool so wanted to try it out.
I will preface this article to say that overall the weekend was great fun (I had a second game on Sunday at a friends). So many small moments that could have changed the results of both battles. The luck was fairly average so if I seem like I am complaining, its more because those tended to be clutch moments. Furthermore I only wanted to use painted models this weekend, which was a self-imposed list building restriction I had on myself.
Fate of Konor;
Harajuku store in Tokyo saw the opening of the Fate of Konor campaign for the Sunbreakers. With roughly 1000 pts I rolled up with clear eyes and a full heart, to make things better I would be teaming up with an Cult Mech player to take on Necrons and Tau. Daniel, the store manager, suggested I give the Redemptor Dreadnought a shot, so it bumped up the 2000 pts battle to about 2500 pts per side as we all scrambled to add a couple things.
On the side of the Xenos was Pham (Tau) and James (Necrons), with some tasty units- definitely pretty tough together. Their army had roughly the following; (Pham) 3 commanders, Longstrike, 1 unit of Pathfinders, 2/3 units of Fire Warriors and 2 Devilfish transports. James had Nightbrighter, a Lord, unit of 20 warriors, 10 Immortals, Ghost Ark, Stalker thing and a 2 units of Scarabs.
Cult Mech (Jon) had Cawl (overall Warlord for the Imperium), a Datasmith, 2 units of 2 Robots, 2 units of Vanguard, and 2 of the tank walker guys.
The Sunbreakers consisted of a battalion detachment (6 CP);
Captain with TH/SS
Lieutenant with combi-flamer and PF
Tact squad (5) with a flamer and combi-flamer
Tact squad (5) with a flamer and combi-flamer
Tact squad (5) with meltagun and combi-melta
Razorback with twin lascannon
Dreadnought with AC and PF w/ HF
Ironclad with 2 heavy flamers
Redemptor Dreadnought with a bucketload of stuff
The campaign had a set scenario in which the Imperium are set as the defenders, and Chaos, or Xenos are the attackers. The defenders score points by killing enemy units, and the attackers score by having units in the defenders deployment zone at the end of the game. Hammer and Anvil was chosen (?) as the deployment type, and there was plenty of line of sight blocking terrain for the Xenos to approach our lines intact. Furthermore, the scenario also stipulated that the attackers are to go first unless the defenders can Seize the initiative (I think). This meant I was perhaps a little too defensive with my deployment as I kept my units hidden as much as possible down the right flank. Jon had set the robots up midfield surrounded by Cawl and the Datasmith, with a couple units sprinkled down the left flank.
One thing I will say is that the Imperium forces did not really combine that well. The Cult Mech force was very elite, and I had a force better suited to a 4’x4′ table, which I thought was going to be the case for several 1000 pt games. It felt we didn’t quite have the mobility to really put pressure on what was a lot of infantry models. Anyway, I was there for a good time so onto the game.
Turn 1 for the Xenos; they moved, or shuffled up some units closer to the Imperial deployment zone. The shooting phase saw the Xenos load up the blank shells causing very little damage to the Imperial Forces, with the exception of a Dunecrawler that survived on 1 wound. The Ironclad took a few wounds from the right flank by an approaching Devilfish.
We had a large debate about Line of Sight. Does this affect individual models or whole units? I think on reflection James was right, if a model can’t see a target then it can’t shoot. We played that if a model in a unit can see then another model that can not see is ok to shoot. I would have this clarified by Dan the next day. I don’t think this error affected the result of this game, but important to clarify during the infancy of 8th Ed.
Imperium turn one saw us draw first blood (but didn’t score a point as per mission rules) by wrecking a Devilfish, then proceeded to wreck another Devilfish- one by the Ironclad in combat. The Ironclads rules, and Salamanders chapter tactics (CT) were key in this combat. I rolled 1, 1, 2, 2 to hit, Ironclad rules let me re-roll 1’s as I had two combat weapons, and CT lets me roll another- now I had 3 hits. CT secured me 3 wounds, and at 3 damage each the Devilfish was no more. Awesome! A few Firewarriors perished along with the vehicles, but overall the Xenos came out of the turn ok.
Xenos turn two saw the arrival of the third general. Some guy (who was known in the store) began to coach the Xenos players for every shooting attack, order by which they should occur etc. This dramatically increased the length of the turn, changed how James and Pham were going to play, and so the outcome of the turn. This guy, although very nice, ruined the flow of the battle. Several times Jon and I encouraged James and Pham to just play the game. I get that doing things correctly is important, but tactical mistakes and target priority is often how games of 40k are won. If the players cannot see that, then it is their mistake.
At the end of the turn both Robot squads had been nerfed, including 1 Robot blowing up causing a bunch of wounds to the surrounding units. The Dunecrawler was finally taken down, and the Ironclad dragged down thanks to more shooting, and then the Scarabs dragged it down in combat (although they took a beating from Overwatch).
The Imperium was in a tough spot as the large amount of Dakka we had was now gone. The Redemptor dreadnought was not having a great day, some of our damage rolls were terrible, and we still had the unkillable phalanx of Necrons bearing down, Tau commanders to drop in and Longstrike chucking out chunks of damage. We managed to clean up more Scarab bases including a beastly overwatch from the Ironclad, and kill off more Fire Warriors.
Xenos turn 3 saw the Commanders come down and compound our misery. More wounds going in on the final Robot, the other Dreadnought was hurt, the Redemptors bad day got worse, and the Necrons were now coming into rapid fire distance to heap more shots onto anything within range. Our rebutal was swift; we hurt the C’Tan with Lascannon shots from the Razorback, killed a few drones with bolters and 1 Commander in the backfield was hurt.
Turn 4 saw the Xenos really swing the game as they finished of both remaining Dreadnoughts, killed the Datasmith, killed a bunch of Vanguard and moved into scoring positions. Jon and I knew we had kill as many units as possible to give ourselves a chance to draw, or steal a win. We finally killed the Commnader in the backfield, killed the C’Tan, killed more small units like Drones or Fire Warriors. At the end of the turn we didn’t have much left but we had about 8/9 points to a maximum potential of 11 including Slay the Warlord for the Xenos.
At this point the details are hazy, and this post is becoming very long so I will wrap up now. The Xenos had 10 units at the beginning of our turn 5, so we have to try to kill two units to draw it up, 3 would give us 11 points. We managed to kill 2, Jon got unlucky with his damage rolls vs another Commander with Cawls meltagun thing. Instead of the game ending on a draw, it continued with the Xenos managing to kill Cawl for the decisive point. 11-10 to the Xenos.
Overall, it was a good game. Plenty of fun, and cool things happened from a narrative point of view. Everybody had a good time and I enjoyed using the new Salamanders Chapter tactics, they helped a lot without feeling overpowered. I know my army was limited by mobility, something I have to address by painting more, but it was fun nonetheless. I didn’t make use of the buffs the Captain etc gave as much as I should- something I have to work on tactically in the future. Perhaps I will detail more about tactics in another post but for now that’s me signing off, hope you enjoyed reading this.