The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

27Jan/150

Gothic Time at Highland!

Some people bring the mountain to Mohammed.  I brought the Gothic to the Highland Library.  Ian and Sean had my classic demo game, here are some highlights:

The setup: a classic Cruiser Clash.

First blood to Sean: the Imperials let loose a wave of torpedoes!

The ordered battle lines descend into a furball.

Ian gambles and loses: the Carnage class cruiser with the Chaos Lord stays too long after being crippled, and explodes!

Ian's Chaos gets a thrashing, and withdraws; victory to Sean and the Imperium!

...while they were experiencing Gothic for the first time, Rob and I played Space Marines vs. Tau Kor'or'vesh.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mission: The Bait

Location: Outer Reaches

Pursuers: Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra shield

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra shield

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra shield

Pursued: Rob - Tau Kor'or'vesh Shan'al Shi'ur Commerce Protection Fleet

-T'au Lar'shi'vre Shi Kais "Protector" class cruiser, T'olku configuration (PURSUED SHIP)

-T'au Lar'shi'vre Aloh Shoka "Protector" class cruiser, Vior'la configuration

-T'au Il'porrui Sh've Mont're "Emmisary" class light cruiser, Sa'cea configuration

-T'au Il'porrui M'yen Lar'shi "Emmisary" class light cruiser, Sa'cea configuration

-J'karra La'rua, "Mirror squadron" consisting of 2 Kir'shashvre "Castellan" escorts

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Setup:

Turn 1 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

The Shi Kais turns and launches fighters and missiles.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

All three Strike Cruisers go on All Ahead Full, launch Thunderhawk gunships.

Turn 2 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

A squadron of the Protector Aloh Shoka and Emmisary Sh've Mont're comes on from the board edge, launches fighters and missiles.  A lucky shot removes a wave of Thunderhawks.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Sacrifice Reloads Ordnance while Vigilance and Duty go on All Ahead Full again.

Turn 3 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

The newly arrived squadron takes up station by the small planet.  Failure to reload prevents more launching.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Vigilance boards Shi Kais while the other strike cruisers provide support fire.  Despite help, a poor boarding roll loses the fight, as Tau Battlesuits storm the Vigilance, doing one damage.

Turn 4 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

Emmisary cruiser M'yen Lar'shi and J'karra La'rua Castellan Squadron arrive, damaging Duty.  Squadron by the planet damages Vigilance with battery and lance fire.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Duty lines up and boards Shi Kais.  Despite poor support from the other strike cruisers, a good roll causes four damage, crippling Shi Kais.

Turn 5 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

Shi Kais disengages.  The rest of the fleet damages Duty and cripples it.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Duty disengages.  Vigilance reloads ordnance and severely damages M'yen Larshi with an amazing torpedo roll.  Sacrifice boards the Sh've Mont're and causes one damage.

Turn 6 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

Unable to get targets in their sight if they move, the Castellan Squadron goes on Burn Retros and turns on a dime.  M'yen Lar'shi disengages.  The capital ship squadron damages Vigilance, causing a Bridge Smashed result!  Turn not pictured.

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

Sacrifice Reloads Ordnance and blows up the Castellan squadron.  Vigilance tried to disengage, but fails.

Turn 7 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

The capital ship squadron tries to finish Vigilance, but Vigilance barely survives.

Turn 7 - Azure Flames

Vigilance disenages.  Sacrifice reloads ordnance and smashes the Sh've Mont're with torpedoes and Thunderhawks.  Poor torpedo rolls spare the Aloh Sho'ka.

Turn 8 - Tau Shan'al Shi'ur

Squadron, having braced for impact, can't damage the Sacrifice.

Turn 8 - Azure Flames

Sacrifice reloads again.  Torpedoes and Thunderhawks cripple the Aloh Sho'ka, and fire from batteries and Bombardment Cannons reduce Sh've Mont're to a drifting hulk.  Game ceded.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stay tuned next week, as more players have requested Gothic!  Plus, stay tuned for more Tau ships painted!

26Jan/150

T’au Il’porrui Lynu Kar’tyr “Emmisary” class light cruiser

One more light cruiser to go, and then it's on to the escorts!  Next: BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC AT HIGHLAND!

14Jan/150

T’au Il’porrui M’yen Lar’shi Emmisary Class Light Cruiser

In truth this was 95% done, but I was too busy (and lazy) to put the finishing touches on tonight.  On another important note, Testors brand matte varnish will "dry" to a shine at 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and then become matte when warmed to room temperature.  Fun fact!

Next: another Tau light cruiser, and the Battlefleet Gothic stuff in action at Highland!

31Dec/140

The Sharpest Weapon: a short story followed by a battle report.

A low growl emitted from the Chaos Lord's axe.  The Daemon within had not tasted blood in quite some time.  He felt a pull on his emotions, but brushed the sensation aside.

Soon, my pet the Chaos Lord thought.  Hearing this, the axe increased the sensations of hunger.  The Lord once again crushed the sensation, but the axe continued to growl.  The growling increased as a Herald of Tzeentch approached.  The axe shifted and twisted in his hand.  He tightened his grip.

"You seek the artifact, mortal?" It spoke.  It's voice was both melodic and grating.  Worse, it could not maintain eye contact.  The eyes kept growing, moving, and disappearing.  One even went down the creature's gullet.

"I seek many things, servant of the Shaper of Ways.  This artifact is but one."

The Herald emitted a sound that may have been laughter.  "The artifact is sought by many.  Slaves to He Whose Light Brings Pain come.  Few in number but with a resolve to match your own."  The Herald's mouth twisted into a spiral grin.  "Astartes."

"Children."  The Lord answered.  "I have fought the Long War for ten millennia.  What have these lapdogs to the False Emperor ever accomplished?  All they have built will be dust.  I will stoop to honoring them by adding their skulls to the Skull Throne.  Then I shall take the artifact."

"Taking for you, yes, but secrets the artifact holds.  Dark secrets that bind this world."  The Demon's eyes became big, like a child full of hope.  "Perhaps you would share them?  I can be of much use."

"Enough prattle." The Lord swung his axe, pointing the head at the Daemon.  "Serve me and I will consider your request.  Cross me and my pet will feast on your essence for a thousand years."

The Herald grew a beard made of green fire.  It stroked the beard with a gnarled, clawed hand.  Thoughtfully.  Twice.

"Acceptable."  It gurgled.

"Good.  Show me where these Astartes are."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Advance patrol to His Hammer II."

"This is Captain Leonidas.  Go ahead."

"We have found the Archeotech.  The signal has led us to a ruined manufactorum.  However, there are Traitors here from the XII Legion.  They outnumber us two to one and are aided by foul demons."

"World Eaters?  Engage them at once.  The Emperor will be your shield, and I will personally come to your aid."

"Sir?"

"The World Eaters have taken many good friends from me.  I intend to pay them pack in kind.  One last order, Sergeant."

"Yes, my lord?"

"Make them mad."

"...am I to understand that you want us to anger them, my lord?"

"You heard me.  Taunt them.  Make them unable to see the visors over their own eyes.  This is not a request."

"...I think I have just the thing, sir.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Smoke plumes from loyalist Rhinos approached.  Now was the time.  The Chaos Lord began to broadcast, as he had done so many times before, the last thing the loyalists would hear.

"Servants of the False Emperor!  Rejoice this day, for you shall find the greatest glory you have ever known.  Your blood will be spilled in glorious battle and your skulls will be placed upon the throne of Khorne.  For eternity, your skulls will join with the honored slain.  Come!  Spill blood with us!  Exult in the worship of Khorne!"

The Chaos Lord had given this speech to hundreds of thousands of opponents, adversaries, and victims.  He had been met with defiance, zeal, terror, and occasionally, delight.

He had never heard such derisive laughter.

Man and daemon screamed as one, creating an unearthly howl that would deafen a god.  The axe in his hand came alive with rage, and shook violently in his hand.

"CHARGE THEM!" He bellowed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

-Captain Leonidas of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'Stan)

-Command Squad, Company Standard, Apothecary, Company Champion, Power Axe, Flamer, Meltagun

--Drop Pod

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer, Multi-Melta

--Rhino, Extra Armor

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Flamer, Multi-Melta

--Rhino, Extra Armor

-Ironclad Dreadnought, Ironclad Launchers, Chainfist

--Drop Pod

-Land Speeder x3, 3x Multi-Melta

-Stormtalon Gunship, Typhoon Missile Launcher

-Bike Squadron x3, 2x Meltagun

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kyle - World Eaters with Chaos Daemon Allies

-Chaos Lord, Axe of Blind Fury, Blood Crusher, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Bloodcrushers x3

-Land Raider, Combi-bolter, Combi-plasma

-Khorne Berzerkers x10, Power Sword, Chaos Gift

-Khorne Berzerkers x5, Chaos Gift

--Rhino, Dirge Caster

-Hellbrute, Multi-melta

-Cultists x20, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Dark Apostle, Sigil of Chaos, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Pink Horrors x11

-Herald of Tzeentch, Psyker Mastery 3, Disc of Tzeentch.  Psychic Powers: Mental Fortitude, Invisibility, Hallucination, Psychic Shriek

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mission: The Relic

Points: 1500

Board Setup

Forces Set Up

Cultists in the Forest for first turn protection, ten Berzerkers in the Land Raider.

Lord with Bloodcrushers central, 5 Berzerkers in Rhino, Horrors hiding behind terrain.

Bikes on my right (picture left), Tatsquad with combi-flamer in Rhino, Tatsquad with combi-melta in ruins.

Land Speeders on the right, opposite enemy forces.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turn 1 - Chaos

Lord and Bloodcrushers charge forward, bypassing the main objective.  Land Raider and Rhino move flat out.  Hellbrute moves up right side.  Cultists run after the Land Raider.  Herald advances and casts Invisibility on the Rhino and Mental Fortitude on the Lord and Bloodcrushers.

SKULLS FOR KHORNE!

A wall of hate advances.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Land Speeders pop out and explode the Land Raider, killing one Berzerker and five cultists.  Ironclad Dreadnought arrives via Drop Pod.  Melta and bolter fire kill the Bloodcrushers escorting the Chaos Lord.  Bikes move up and cause one penetrating hit on the Hellbrute, stunning it.

Pop goes the Raider!

The Lord gets a new friend!

Turn 2 - Chaos

Cultists and Berzerkers charge and destroy the Land Speeders.  Chaos Lord charges the Ironclad, causing two glancing results, but is killed outright in the process.  Five man Berzerker squad and Rhino take lucky bolter shots and kill the two Bikes with meltaguns. The Tzeench Herald fails to cast Invisibility on the Lord.

Land Speeders are chopped to bits!

The Dreadnought played too rough with his new friend, and so goes looking for new ones.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Command Squad arrive by Drop Pod and bake a few Berzerkers and Cultists.  Ironclad kills a Berzerker with a melta shot, then charges and whiffs all his attacks.  Lone bike glances the Chaos Rhino with a Krak Grenade.  Tactical Squad in the ruins advances on the objective.  Stormtalon arrives from reserves and kills the Herald of Tzeentch. Multi-melta firing from Rhino Hatch explodes the Hellbrute.

Leonidas gets into the thick of it.

The Ironclad treats these new friends with care.  He doesn't kill a single one!

The Herald dead, the Objective is clear.

Turn 3 - Chaos

The Berzerkers and Cultists charge Leonidas and the command squad.  UNBELIEVEABLE overwatch kills 5 of the 9 Berzerkers.  Sub par attacks and amazing armor save and feel no pain rolls save all but one Command Squad member, and kill about a third of the Cultists.  Rhino backs up to menace the objective.  Ironclad kills one Berzerker.

CHAAAAAARGE!  ...wait, uh oh...

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP...

Oops!  One friend down...

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Combat rages as Leonidas kills several Berzerkers.  Tactial squad in Rhino moves up.  Tactical squad by objective secures the objective, and pops the Chaos Rhino.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 4 - Chaos

The Pink Horrors emerge to try to get the objective.  Ironclad kills another Berzerker.  The fight with Leonidas continues, as more Berzerkers and cultists die.

Horrors, AWAY!

MOAR HUGS!

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the squad finish the Bererkers and cultists.  Tatsquad and Stormtalon finish the Pink Horrors.  Ironclad finishes the Berzerkers.  Tabled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Post Game Analysis: I haven't had a victory this one-sided since the old days of Mary Mayo when playing against Lexington's Orks.  Kyle had an ABYSMAL time on the left side of the board.  He should have been able to kill Leonidas and the Command Squad, and then menace the Tactical Squad as they holed up in their Rhino (that was my plan).  Instead, the Command Squad broke the Khornate wave and survived with one casualty.  I also got lucky when Invisibility failed, making the Khorne Lord actually killable by the Ironclad.  The only thing Kyle should have changed is that the Pink Horrors should have been right behind the Lord to go get the Relic.

Stay tuned: there will be painting done soon, as well as (hopefully) batreps from AFK.  Keep an eye out next month, as I'm going back to Highland for BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC!  You heard right!  See you then!

30Dec/140

Highland Library 40K Campaign

Visited my peeps at the Highland Library.  A battle report to follow, but I thought I'd do a separate post to highlight the fantastic games going on during their Planetary Empires campaign.  But first, a former colleague of mine, Dominic brought Space Hulk 4th Edition.  Four new missions, a better hourglass, and other extras!

Here, Dominic engages in a Marine vs. Marine 3500 point battle with the same player he played in Space Hulk above.

Chaos clashed with Blood Angels in a huge melee.

Finally, all of the other members of the club got into a multi-player frenzy with at least six players!  It started at 1pm and showed no signs of stopping at 6:30!

Next: a battle report for my game at Highland, complete with fluff!  Stay tuned!

Filed under: Gaming, Space Hulk No Comments
27Dec/140

Ups and downs, strikes and gutters.

Haven't been updating, but I want to take this opportunity to turn that around.  New year's resolution: at least one update every two weeks.  Battle reports are going to be sparse, but I'm hoping to have a big one after this Tuesday when I'll be going back to my old stomping grounds: the Highland Library.

But, anyway, here's what I've been up to.  Had some games at AFK, lost both, and lost the pics for the second one.  I'm a bit out of the 40K meta.  Here are some highlights of me getting my ass kicked by the Space Wolves.

This Ironclad Dreadnought got immobilized with a lucky shot and stood still, ignored, all game.

Thunderwolves are basically unstoppable.  A full team of Sternguard unloaded their Grav shots on them, killed one and wounded two.

Five Terminators got whittled down to two by a Tactical squad.  My librarian charged them in a futile effort to take them out.  It turns out Power axes go last.

The whole game went like that.  For some reason I don't even have a picture of the boat of an aircraft that popped all my Rhinos and blew up half my troops.  It was a good game though.

Anyway, I've got games at Highland coming up, gonna get back to work on my Tau fleet, and a HUGE update to the Gothic guide!

25Sep/142

On my plate 9/26/14: Distracted Edition

Things are not going great, but it's high time for me to stop letting life get in the way and do some hardcore hobby action!  All three of my readers demand it!  Well, truth be told, they've been a bit silent, but I can feel it in their hearts.  My hobby bones are rumbling.

Bones rumble, don't they?

Battlefleet Gothic Tau - As my Tau player dropped out during our campaign I sort of lost interest in painting this fleet.  However it's about 1/3 done and I want to finish it so it should be my primary goal.  Other projects should jump in.  Status: 3 more capital ships, a large selection of escorts, and some defences left to do.  I also have to pick a scheme for the Nicassar.  Perhaps earth tones?  Or go super extravagant with gold?

Azure Flames - I need to finish my Grav Sternguard.  Next, a 5 man non-jump-pack assault squad with 2 flamers.  Finally, I need to make some new sergeants with power swords.  I have been getting MURDERED in challenges with Power Fists.  I also need Centurions, a Hunter/Stalker, and a Stormraven.

Orks - MORE LADZ!  I also need to buy some Fighta-bommaz and perhaps some new Big Gunz.

Battlefleet Gothic Eldar - I purchased a pre-painted Eldar fleet, but it had no light cruisers.  I won one of each light cruiser in an auction and I need to strip them and try to match the paint scheme of my new fleet.

Battlefleet Gothic Necrons - I need a paint scheme and I need to get painting.  They are the last thing for Gothic.  Until I buy a new fleet NO BAD BOZEMAN!

Blood Bowl Orcs - I need to make four Cheerleader goblins, and then paint them as well as my four Assistant Coach goblins and the team coach, Warboss Grimfang da Lotz.

Epic Orks - Gotta finish that 3000pt teaching list.

Epic Eldar - Gotta make a 3000 pt teaching list and build it and paint it as the Yme-Loc craftworld (gray and orange with white details)

Epic Lost and the Damned - 3000pt teaching list and paint it.

Necromunda - Paint my Escher gang, Razor and the Scumettes.

Epic Space Marines - Finish painting a whole chapter so I can say "I have painted a whole chapter of Space Marines."

Space Hulk - Wait for an ebay auction for the new mission book and rulebook, and the new tiles.  Also "acquire" the expansions. *looks innocent*

23Aug/140

Gothic Campaign – Finale

Liam Perseus, Chapter Master of the Azure Flames, strode onto the bridge of His Hammer II with a look of disgust on his face.  In a rare display, Admiral Piers looked up from the monitors surrounding his command throne.

"How went the Exterminatus of the Kutner system, my lord?" Piers asked before turning his attention back to orchestrating the machinations of his Battle Barge.

"It was unnecessary.  The Necrons are gone." Perseus spat.

Piers raised one eyebrow.  "You sound disappointed."

"Wouldn't you be?" Perseus shot back. "The filthy xenos don't have the stomach for a fight.  I wanted to cleanse that world of them, but it seems that they have done so for us."

"Their disappearance allows me to proceed with the final phase of this crusade."  Piers began typing almost too fast for Perseus to follow.  "Brother O'Brien, open a channel to all Imperial ships, Emerald encryption."  Piers waited for confirmation before beginning.  " Attention Imperial Navy vessels.  This is Admiral Piers in command of the Azure Flames fleet.  Although you refuse to submit to our authority, we do have a common enemy.  We move to chase the Tau who fled this sector to preserve their homeworld.  You would be welcome in cleansing this xenos scum alongside us.  In the Emperor's name."  Piers ended the transmission.  "Brother, dispatch orders to Flame, Wrath, and Blade squadrons to begin warp translation and pursue the Tau fleet."

"You have no intention of chasing the Tau all the way back to the Damocles Gulf."  Perseus stated in a flat, emotionless cadence.

"Of course not, my lord." Piers replied.

"...and the Imperials know that Emerald level encryption has been broken by the cowardly aliens?" Perseus continued in the same tone.

In the most blase voice possible, Piers answered "They remain unaware.  The Tau will decipher that message within minutes."

"So," Perseus yelled, his voice growing to a shout, "You have just informed the Traitors that we will leave Laurie's Hope undefended, and allowed the aliens to KNOW?  The Tau will double their retreat, forever preventing us from crushing them, and the Imperials WILL THROW EVERYTHING THEY HAVE AT US!"

Piers turned and looked Perseus directly in the eye, and smiled.  "Yes my lord.  They most certainly will."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the final game of the campaign, Nathaniel, the only other surviving opponent played a winner-take all Planetary Assault against the Hive World of Laurie's Hope!  Will the Space Marines be able to defend this prize, or will the Imperials take it away from them?

Planetary Assault - 1500pts

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nathaniel - Imperial Navy

-Emperor Battleship Thor's Gaze, Shark Assault Boats

-Retribution Battleship Nieman Lion

-Mars Battlecruiser Saratoga, third turret, Flagship, Admiral Ld8 with one Re-roll

-Overlord Battlecruiser Centaur, third turret, left shift on batteries

-Cobra Squadron x4 Exemplar Squadron

-Two Transports

-Two Transports

-Heavy Transport Argosy

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines

-Battle Barge His Hammer II, Honour Guard, Terminator Boarding Parties, Flagship: Ranidan Piers, Admiral (Ld10) 3 re-rolls, Crew Skill: Extra re-roll for this ship

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Shield, Refit: +1Ld for Reload Ordnance

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: Pass one Leadership check automatically, Refit: +2 Hull Points, -5cm Speed

-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: Re-roll x2, Refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra Shield, Refit: +1D6 for Critical Repairs

-Strike Cruiser Honor, Extra Shield, Crew Skill: +1Ld for Lock on, Refit: Suffer no movement penalty for Blast Markers

-Minefield (15cm x 15cm)

-Minefield (15cm x 10cm)

-Orbital Mine

-Orbital Defence Platform (batteries)

-Ground Laser Battery x4

-Ground Air Base x2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Setup:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Fleet advances.

Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

Every ship in the fleet except the two Battlecrusiers goes on All Ahead Full.  The Mars uses Come to a New Heading to maneuver to get line of sight for the Nova Cannon and the Overlord fails.  Wild scatter on the Nova Cannon does no damage. Emperor fires 2 Fighters and 6 Bombers, while Mars fires 4 Bombers.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Fleet advances.  Bombers launched by the Mars are lost in an asteroid field.

Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze goes on All Ahead Full, but other ships fail.  Cobra squadron fires a Strength 8 torpedo wave.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

The Courage and Sacrifice fire torpedoes, Thunderhawks, and Bombardment cannons which annihilate the Cobra Squadron.  Bombardment Canons from Honor and Vigilance take out the bomber wave, while their torpedoes and Thunderhawks fly directly into the path of the Retribution Battleship.  Duty's Thunderhawks move in front of the Emperor Battleship.

Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

The Retribution braces against the Space Marine ordnance.  Poor torpedo roll does no damage, but Thunderhawk Gunships take out the dorsal lances.  The Emperor's turrets make mincemeat out of the Thunderhawks, but a poor leadership test does 3 damage from asteroids.  Nova Cannon from the Mars glances the Duty, lowering one shield.  5 torpedoes from the Retribution ignore the Duty and move past it.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Torpedoes and Thunderhawks cause the Mars to brace, barely saving it from being crippled.  Broadsides pound the Heavy Transport.  His Hammer II boards Thor's Gaze and does 2 damage, starts 2 fires, and damages the starboard weapons.  Broadside fire kills 2 transports, and torpedoes kill another.  A good brace save protects the last transport and the Overlord Battlecruiser from harm.

Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Mars moves up and fires the Nova Cannon at the asteroids hoping for a lucky scatter.  Fortune is fickle, and the template scatters onto BOTH His Hammer II AND the Neiman Lion, lowering one shield each.  Thor's Gaze runs through the asteroids, taking one damage from an unrepaired Fire.  Torpedoes from the Overlord miss His Hammer II.  In a gutsy move, the Nieman Lion boards the Strike Cruiser Duty, and in a double surprise the action is a TIE!

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Honor and Vigilance board the Mars, crippling it.  Despite brace saves, the Heavy Transport explodes, the last escort class transport is killed, and the Overlord battlecruiser is crippled.  An Orbital Mine from the Minefield hits Thor's Gaze, causing 3 more Fire effects!  Duty and the Nieman Lion fight another boarding action, and it is another tie!  DOUBLE TIE!

Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

Crippled and on fire, Thor's Gaze disengages.  The crippled Overlord fails to navigate the asteroids and is destroyed.  The Mars, crippled and braced, lowers a shield on the Duty.  Finally, the boarding fight between the Duty and the Nieman Lion is decisive: 7 damage to the Nieman Lion, crippling it.  Critical damage finishes off the Nieman Lion, leaving it a drifting hulk.

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

All nearby ships Lock On and destroy the Mars.  Turn not pictured.  Game over.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT A SLAUGHTER!  Nathaniel had some bad luck, but mostly he let the Space Marines get close.  He would have done better with Dauntless cruisers with lances and a mix of boats with balanced weapons.  Some more Nova Cannons would not have hurt either.

This concludes the Battlefleet Gothic Campaign for the summer!  Stay tuned for more fluff to wrap up the story, including a surprise guest!

17Aug/140

Gothic Campaign Week 10 – The Cost of Valor

Ramping up to the second to last week, Nathaniel's Imperial Navy defended the HO-53 system from my encroaching Space Marines in a Fleet Engagement!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Fleet Engagement 1500pts (Imperial Navy as defenders had 1400 because the system was uninhabited)

Space Marines choose Sphere, Imperial Navy chose Sphere.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines

-Battle Barge His Hammer II, Fleet Admiral Ranidan Piers 39 Renown, 3 Re-rolls, Honour Guard, Terminator Boarding Parties

-Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Sheild, Refit: +1Ld to Reload Ordnance Checks

-Strike Cruiser Duty, Extra Sheild, Crew Skill: auto pass one leadership test, Refit: +2 Hull points, -5cm speed

-Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Sheild, Refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full, Crew Skill: re-roll x2

-Strike Cruiser Sacrifice, Extra Sheild, Refit: +1D6 for critical effect repairs

-Nova Destroyer x6, Flame Squadron

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Nathaniel - Imperial Navy

-Retribution Battleship Nieman Lion

-Mars Battlecruiser Saratoga, Admiral 3 Renown, 1 re-roll, Third Turret

-Lunar Cruiser True Heart, Power Ram

-Tyrant Cruiser Belligerent, extra range on batteries

-Dominator Cruiser Kar Duniash

-Dauntless Light Cruiser Kestrel, Lances

-Dauntless Light Cruiser Roanoke, Lances

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Setup

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Imperial Navy - Turn 1

The whole fleet moves up.  The Tyrant flanks the squadron of Dauntless Light Cruisers.  The Retribution and the Dominator move up the center.  The Lunar and Mars go up the right side.  Mars launches 4 fighters, on CAP.  Tyrant fires torpedoes.

Azure Flames - Turn 1

Vigilance takes the extreme left, Courage, Duty, Sacrifice, and Flame Squadron go up the center, His Hammer II is on the right side.  Every ship with bays launches Thunderhawks.  The CAP for the Mars splits in two.

Imperial Navy - Turn 2

Tyrant reloads and fires torpedoes at the Novas, but lucky brace saves prevent any from dying.  Lances from the Dauntlesses whiff.  Retribution takes down a shield on the Sacrifice.  Dominator's Nova Cannon misses His Hammer II.

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Novas go right past the Tyrant.  The four Strike Cruisers gang up on the right side, unleashing a barrage of torpedoes and Thunderhawks.  The Tyrant's prow torpedoes are disabled.  His Hammer II reloads, fires Boarding Torpedoes at the Retribution and causes Port and Prow weapons to be disabled.

Imperial Navy - Turn 3

Heavily damaged, the Dauntlesses disengage.  The Tyrant takes down the Vigilance's shields with starboard guns and the Sacrifice's with port.  His Hammer II braces for impact as the Dominator's Nova Cannon causes 6 hits!  Brace fails to protect against one.  Lunar comes to a new heading.  Boarding Torpedoes that missed the Retribution go after the Dominator, which braces.  None of the torpedoes hit anyway.

Azure Flames - Turn 3

His Hammer II moves up, but braced guns are ineffective.  Vigilance moves up to board the Tyrant.  The other Strike Cruisers and Novas blast the Tyrant which refuses to brace.  The Tyrant is crippled. Subsequent boarding action does 4 more damage, turning the Tyrant into a drifting hulk.

Imperial Navy - Turn 4

Mars fires Nova Cannon at the Battle Barge, which takes 2 damage.  A critical effect collapses the Battle Barge's shields!  Lunar fires torpedoes, but they come up a bit short.

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Battle Barge disengages.  The rest of the fleet moves out towards the Imperial Navy.  Lance fire at the Dominator takes down shields.

Imperial Navy - Turn 5

Fire kills one Nova escort after they brace.  Mars reloads and launches four bombers.

Azure Flames - Turn 5

Mixed results on Reload Ordnance leaves some Strike Cruisers without torpedoes.  The ones that do fire on the Dominator.  One wave gets through to the Lunar which causes a critical Fire!  The Dominator refuses to brace for incoming Bombardment Cannon fire and a critical hit causes a Hull Breach that takes the last point of damage, turning the Dominator into a Blazing Hulk!

Imperial Navy - Turn 6

The Blazing Hulk Dominator moves forward, and explodes!  The Lunar is lucky, only loses one shield, but several Thunderhawk flights are not so lucky.  The Lunar's guns fire unbelievably well and kill three of the Novas after the Mars' Nova Cannon takes down their shields. Retribution forces a brace on one of the Strike Cruisers.

Azure Flames - Turn 6

The Novas disengage.  The Courage moves up to board the Lunar.  Boarding action does only one damage.

Imperial Navy - Turn 7

Fire from the Lunar and Retribution cripple the Vigilance.  Mars' Nova Cannon forces a brace on the Duty.

Azure Flames - Turn 7

Courage moves up to board the Mars.  Fire from the other Strike Cruisers cause a Hull breach which does two extra damage.  Boarding action does 5 damage, hulking the Mars.

Imperial Navy - Turn 8

Lunar disengages.  Retribution fails to disengage, even on leadership 10!

Azure Flames - Turn 8

Reloads and launches all around.

Imperial Navy - Turn 9

Retribution disengages.  Mars is left as a hulk.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

This battle looks bad.  It is.  Nathan refused to Brace for Impact in almost every situation.  Bracing in the wrong situation can tie your hands behind your back, but NOT bracing can blow your arms off.

Next week: Last week of the campaign!  I'm so excited!

BONUS: Former Tau player Josh dropped out to start a Warhammer Fantasy campaign!  Here's their second game (the first was too short for me to document), a blazing two-on-two with Brettonians and Lizardmen vs. Tomb Kings and Warriors of Chaos!

9Aug/141

Gothic Campaign Week 9 – Wheat and Chaff

Major shakeup: our Tau player dropped out, leaving his systems completely undefended!  Our part-time Imperial Navy player, Nathaniel, took advantage of this and launched an attack on the coveted Epps system.  Can the Space Marines prevent the Imperial Navy from expanding their sphere of influence?

Fleet Engagement - 800 pts

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bozeman - Azure Flames

-Battlebarge His Anvil (refit: Left Shift)

-Strike Cruiser Courage (refit: +2D6 on All Ahead Full, Crew Skills: re-roll x2)

-Strike Cruiser Honor (refit: does not suffer speed penalty for blast markers)

Nathaniel - Imperial Navy

-Emperor class Battleship Thor's Gaze, with Shark Assault Boats

-Sword Frigates x6 Hellfire Squadron

-Cobra Destroyers x4 Deathbringer Squadron

-Cobra Destroyers x4 Exemplar Squadron

(Note: both fleets totaled exactly 800pts)

Setup:

-----------------------------------------------------------

Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

Escort squadrons move forward to engage, while the Emperor fires 4 fighters and 4 bombers.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

All ships launch Thunderhawks, which either form CAPs or try to mitigate enemy ordnance.

Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

Torpedoes fired by both Cobra squadrons do no damage.  Remaining attack craft put themselves right in the path of the Battle Barge.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

His Anvil and Honor Reload Ordnance, but Courage fails to do so.  His Anvil kills two of the four Cobras near it, and combined fire from the Strike Cruisers kill three of the four of the others. All Imperial escort squadrons Brace for Impact.

Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

Braced Firestorms fire on Strike Cruiser Courage, but roll poorly.  Lone Cobra fails to disengage.  Thor's Gaze moves up through the asteroids to shield it from the Battle Barge, and reloads.  However, it fails to navigate the asteroids and takes two damage!

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

His Anvil fails to navigate the asteroids, leaving it down one damage point, and unable to fire on Thor's GazeHonor rolls poorly to kill the lone Cobra.  Fire from Courage forces a Brace on the Firestorms, but no casualties.

Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze fires on His Anvil point blank, causing two damage and a Brace.  Cobras disengage.  Firestorms go for Honor, but fail to do damage.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

His Anvil escapes through the Asteroid field.  Combined fire from the Strike Cruisers kills two Firestorms who decline to brace.

Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze launches 2 fighters and 6 Bombers.  Firestorms cause 2 damage to Honor.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Courage and Honor reload, and fire on the Firestorms, reducing them to 1.  Bombers force a Brace on Courage, causing 1 damage.  His Anvil begins the long turnaround.

Turn 6 - Imperial Navy

Lone Firestorm disengages.  Thor's Gaze reloads, launches again.  Fire brings down Honor's shields.

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

The Strike Cruisers remove the ordnance with their Bombardment Cannons.  Courage uses Lock On to do so better.

Turn 7 - Imperial Navy

Reload, 2 fighters 6 bombers.

Turn 7 - Azure Flames

Bombardment Cannons blast the ordnance again.

Turn 8 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze uses Lock On and cripples Honor.

Turn 8 - Azure Flames

Courage disengages as Honor tries to swing around an asteroid field to get behind Thor's Gaze.  His Anvil finally comes around.

Turn 9 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze reloads, launches, turns toward asteroids.

Turn 9 - Azure Flames

Honor launches a CAP and fails to shoot down the ordnance.

Turn 10 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze reloads and the bombers cripple Honor.

Turn 10 - Azure Flames

Honor disengages.  His Anvil fires Boarding Torpedoes at Thor's Gaze, disabling the port guns and starting a fire.

Turn 11 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze fails to lock on, does not damage His Anvil, but repairs its critical effects.

Turn 11 - Azure Flames

His Anvil boards Thor's Gaze, and causes 4 damage, an Engine Room result (one more damage) and another Fire.  Thor's Gaze is crippled with 4 damage left.

Turn 12 - Imperial Navy

Crippled, Thor's Gaze locks on and despite a Brace, His Anvil is crippled.  Thor's Gaze takes one damage from the fire.

Turn 12 - Azure Flames

Shooting is ineffective.

Turn 13 - Imperial Navy

Thor's Gaze disengages.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Imperial Navy: 200 Victory points

Azure Flames: 200 Victory points

Result: A TIE?????!!!!???!!!

-----------------------------------------------------------------

UNBELIEVABLE!  I've never seen a tie in Gothic like this!  We both took fleets of EXACTLY 800pts and all of our fleets were crippled, so we both got 25% of each others fleet!  Weird.  Oh well, the campaign continues!  Tune in next week for more Gothic!