Monday, 8 April 2013

The Doom of Varantis Prime

Ron’s defeat made me quite anxious about my upcoming fight against Peter, I’d lost the first scenario against him so he could pick the scenario as well, but since I managed to win the kill team battle I could force three of his units into reserve, hopefully disrupting his heavy support.

I used the patrol mission force as a base, adding a unit of immortals as troops, two tomb spiders with accompanying scarab swarms (one of which had preferred enemy due to surviving the patrol mission). A unit of destroyers and a sprinkling of crypteks saw my overlords forces completed.

Peter enlarged his platoon with more infantry and a lascannon squad. To support his troops he selected a griffon and a manticore missile launcher. Some penal troops and a sturdy defence line rounded out the force commanded by his chimera mounted company commander.
The guard deploy behind their aegislines in defence of Varantis Prime
Peter chose the Crusade mission, placing his two force field objectives well inside the perimeter of his defence line. He gathered his forces within and around this defensive position, leaving a few units (amongst which the infamous snipers from the patrol) out to his left flank to distract my forces. I forced the Manticore, the mortar squad and his company command in reserve, depriving him from a lot of artillery blasts for the first few turns.
Peter's deployment, with the bulk of his forces within the dfenceline near the arbitus precinct (black building)

the infamous snipers, hidden beneath a small walkway
I placed my in a long stretched line, with the swarms and tomb spiders taking the centre and the destroyers out on my right flank. The plan was to send the scarabs forward towards the defence line in an attempt to keep those units occupied while my destroyers and a teleporting squad of immortals accompanied by my lord would attempt a flanking manoeuvre through the ruins.

My Thin Blue Line aka the Storm of Scarabs
Peter’s first turn saw some sporadic casualties, but most of my troops survived because of the blinding artificial sunlight that one of my Crypteks cast across the battlefield. My lord seised the opportunity to teleport his squad to peters flank and clearly suffered from a distraction during phase out, and thus lingered in reserve for another turn. My scarabs however were able to advance on and assault peters knifewielding penal legionaires and wiped them out in a single round, clearly benefitting from the experience of the  earlier encounter with the humans stored in their combat protocols.

The game winning scarabs hide form return-fire after wiping out the penal legionaires
The next few turns Peter’s troops desperately loosed volley after volley in the advancing necrons, but some spatial distortion obviously scrambled their aim, as only one squad of warriors was seriously damaged, and many of his blastmarkers scattering of target or failing to kill the metal Xenos. In the mean time my destroyers scattered the few units opposite of them and advanced towards the defence line, where whole swarms of scarabs had swarmed over the defences and assaulted the defending guardsmen.
Destroyers advance towards the aegis line

While the scarabs chew through the guardsmen the necron overlord and his immortals phase in again and advance

In the struggle to take the Aegis line my scarabs eventually proved victorious, after which they swept over the remaining defenders reducing the Griffon heavy mortar and manticore to shrapnel. Following the scarabs the destroyers and immortals crossed the lines and wiped out the remaining defenders, leaving the Necrons advancing victoriously to the centre of doomed capital...

The victorious scarabs advance to destroy the imperial armour, hile the Lord duels with a guard lieutenant
Necrons converge on the last remaining guardsmen: the company commander and his orderly
Peter’s friendly army selection saw him try a more defensive army setup that clearly didn’t pay off.  His Hellhound flame tank and Marbo would have been a far more valuable addition to his force than the lascannons and snipers proved to be. That combined with the mistake of deploying the penaltroopers in sight of the scarabs cost him dearly.

All that remains now is to come up with a new mini campaign, perhaps an revenge assault of the Imperium against the Necron Tombworld?

The Battle of Varantis Prime

The last few weeks I played the final battle of the Death of Varantes mini-campaign twice. Once as the imperial guard defender of Varantis and once as it’s Necron nemesis. Both battles turned out to be a fun and fitting end of the mini campaigns and have given me inspiration for a continuation of the story line.

My battle as a guard player against Ron’s Necron hordes was an uphill struggle. I had lost both skirmishes leading up to the big battle, so Ron had the advantage of choosing the scenario and selecting the nature of any objectives in his own deployment zone. I used the Valhallan guard army featured in a number of my previous posts and build up around the patrol, fielded in the First mission. Ron expanded his force’s with some wraiths, a large unit of immortals, some scarabs and destroyers, all led by a Necron overlord joining the immortals.
The battlefield, with the lone unclaimed objective in no-man's land in the top crater
 The table was nearly identical in both battles: a ;long road crossing the table marking the edge of the city ruins, with some craters and defence lines in no-man’s-land giving cover to the advancing alien menace.

Ron picked the Scouring scenario; giving the objectives a random value and making fast attack units scoring. He got to deploy First, placing two  of his troops on home objectives, selecting one to be a force field(increased cover) and the other a targeting matrix(rerolls to hit). His assault troops were gathered on his right flank were he could easily reach the cover of the city edge.
Ron's assault troops, a small unit of necron warriors and the scarabs are advancing beyond the building on the right
I deployed my units in the centre of the ruins, with most of my armour on the right flank, as far away from the fast attacking, armour stripping scarabs and wraiths as possible, and with their sights on the one remaining uncontested objective.
My central defensive position, the large guard squad in front was eventually whitled down to only a few survivors
The battle began with Ron’s fast attack units advancing towards the objective(which turned out to be another force field) on my left flank, guarded by an infantry squad and a special weapon team equipped with a demo charge. Ron’s units advanced into a withering hail of fire, but the surviving models managed to wipe out the Imperial guard defender to a man, a single phasing necron wraith the sole survivor of the battle.
Ron's scarabs secure the objective after a succesfull assault, only to be vapourised by a democharge seconds later
On the right flank my armoured units, supported by a mortar squad managed to stall the Necrons advancing towards the uncontested objective. The destroyers sallied forth to destroy my armour, but failed to notice the five brave roughriders hiding in the shadows of the arbitus precinct house, and where duly cut down by a glorious cavalry charge (Ron really had forgotten about them because he couldn’t see them from his side of the table).
Ron's destroyers, lured close by the PCS Chimera, just before their destruction by the cavalry

Seeing his assault falter and having the troops on his home objective come under heavy fire from my armour and airunits decided to take the gamble and advance with his immortals, but it was too few too late. The battle ended with the guard infantry clinging to their objective’s, securing the city and forcing the lord to phase out back to his Tomb...
Ron's immortals advance for a last attempt to contest the central objective,
while the guard armour secures the objective on the rightflank
All in all the battle went pretty much above expectations for me. In Ron’s defence it must be said that he was suffering from one hell of a headache when he decided on the scenario, and some mistakes in army selection (no transports) and objective placement saw him fighting an uphill battle. Because his assaults came in piecemeal I could defeat them one at a time and keep firing at his remaining troops.