It's been a while since I lasted posted on here so I thought that I would write a small battle report trying out the new sixth edition rules that GW released whilst I was serving with the Army in Afghanistan. I found a willing opponent in the form of my best mate who is currently on leave from the Navy.
We decided to kick off with a small 800 point battle on my 5 x 4 foot table (normally we use my 6 x 4 urban battlefield, but today I couldn't be arsed to dig out all my stuff so we went for a more limited battlefield).
In this game I decided to field a strike force from my Crimson Fists Space Marines whilst my opponent deployed a tank heavy Imperial Guard Force. The force composition was roughly as follows:
Crimson Fists Chaplain: Plasma Pistol, Melta Bombs
Tactical Squad 1: Missile Launcher, Flamer, Sgt w/melta bombs
Tactical Squad 2: Missile Launcher, Flamer, Sgt w/melta bombs & Power Axe
Rhino: Extra Armour
Razor Back: Heavy Bolters
Land Raider: Storm Bolter
I know this seems a fairly small battle for a Land Raider to be deployed in, but my fantastic girlfriend purchased me the Pre-Heresy Land Raider from Forge World for Xmas and I have only just finished painting it....so it was definitely being deployed come-what may!
Imperial Guard Company Command Squad
Leman Russ Vanquisher
There were a healthy splattering of Heavy Weapons throughout this mighty force enabling it to deal with space marine infantry or armour as the situation demanded.
We then rolled for the mission that our forces would be undertaking. We rolled up the Purge the Alien Mission, which is basically a fight to the death with both generals trying to kill as many of the enemy force as possible by the end of the game. We used a modified Dawn of War setup (to account for the smaller board and force sizes) with our troops facing off against each other across the board.
It was then time to generate our character's Warlord traits, my Chaplain got Master of Defence on the Personal Traits Table, giving him some benefits (counter-attack,etc) whilst in his own table half...to be fair this was a pretty useless trait for such a mobile strike force. The Guard Commander however managed to gain Inspiring Presence from the Command Traits table, which did prove quite useful as it allowed all units within 12" to use his leadership characteristic; something he put to good effect when it came to the issuing of orders later in the game.
My opponent set up first, placing his Griffon on the far left flank with one of the Leman Russ tanks and the Vanquisher nearby. Towards the centre of his line he fielded all of the Imperial Guard infantry behind cover but well within the command radius of his Warlord. Finally on his far right the last Leman Russ rolled into position.
In response to this set-up I deployed one of my tactical squads on the left flank safely inside the Rhino APC, whilst the second squad was deployed with the Chaplain inside the Land Raider which was then placed in the middle of the board. The (empty) Razorback was deployed slightly to the right of the Land Raider.
The Space Marines then tried to seize the intiative....but rolled a four and failed; so the first turn went to the Guard.
Unsurprsingly there was minimal movement bar the Leman Russ on the right flank which manouvered in order to get Line of Sight to my Rhino. After this small amount of movement the guard unleashed everything they had at my tanks and the battlefield was enveloped in a cloud of heavy dust and debris. After the smoke had lifted the empty Razorback was immobilised and down to 2 Hull Points (HP) whilst the Rhino had suffered a glancing hit and had been reduced to 2 HP.
The Space Marines then responded by having the Rhino and Land Raider speed forward towards the Imperial Guard battleline. The Rhino moved flat out and so was unable to fire it's weapons whilst the mighty Land Raider moved at Crusing Speed allowing it to fire its weapons as Snap Shots culling some guardsmen in the process.
The damaged Razorback also let rip with its twin heavy bolters trying to cut down those hapless guardsmen that it was able to see.
Realising that their doom was rapidly approaching their position clad in cobalt plate the Guard threw everything they could at the transports, knocking a HP from the 10,000 year old Land Raider and destroying the Rhino. This explosion was so poweful that it boiled three of the Space Marines that were being transported within the APCs mighty chassis. The surviving seven marines hunkered down in the resulting crater and then weathered a storm of lasfire from the mortal infantry entrenched behind a nearby wall.
Now that the distance had been closed the Imperium's Angels of Death showed why their names are feared by aliens and heretics across the galaxy. The Marines whose Rhino had been destroyed ran forwards towards the large combined squad firing their pistols as they moved, before charging into close combat with the mortals and ignoring the meagre laser blasts that were bouncing from their power armour.
The Land Raider then cut down further Guardsmen with its twin heavy bolters as the hydraulic assault ramp slammed into the muddy earth and its cargo of genetically enhanced Super-Humans thundered out. The emerging tactical squad vaulted the nearby wall and ploughed into the Imperial Guard veteran squad whilst the sable-clad Chaplain detached himself and sprinted towards the waiting tanks on the left.
The veteran squad were gutted alive by the Marines just as their counterparts in the combined infantry platoon were also flayed upon the Astartes mono-molecular combat blades by the other squad.
However, the Space Marines celebrations were cut short as one of the Leman Russ commaders traversed his vehicle's turret in the direction of the tactical squad that had so recently butchered the guard veterans. Before the Astartes sergeant could order his men into cover the tank had already fired its giant battle cannon. The sergeant staggered to his feet covered in the blood of his battle-brothers and took in the scene of carnage that now surrounded him. Shock formed into sheer horror as he realised that eight of his men had been vapourised in the explosion, their power armour tearing like paper in the force of the blast. Putting his disbelief aside he rallied his last trooper and set off towards the enemy tanks in order to avenge his dead comrades.
Meanwhile the Chaplain unclipped the Melta Bombs from his belt and within a few moments had destroyed one of the Leman Russ battle tanks and the Griffon Armoured Mortar. Off on the other side of the battlefield the second tactical squad were heavily wounded by the remaining Leman Russ's multiple heavy weapons, before it too was obliterated by the Land Raider's mighty Lascannons.
In a suitably cinematic conclusion to the battle the Crimson Fist Veteran Sergeant whose men had died in the battle-cannon blast earlier activated the energy field on his power axe and with Rogal Dorn's name upon his lips he charged into the Imperial Guard Commander's retinue. All of the bodyguard's were torn asunder by the enraged Astartes before he turned his murderous attentions upon the cowering Colonel. The mortal raised his sword to defend himself, but the fight slipped from his body as he realised that the space marines weapon was already embedded deep within his shattered ribcage. With a moan he slid from the Space Marine's blade, listening in horror as his blood fizzled and boiled upon the power weapon's shimmering axe head.
With the last of the enemy dead or dying the Space Marine sergeant turned and walked back towards the red-lit interior of the waiting Land Raider; although a victory had been won here today the cost had been far too high with many of the Chapter's brothers slain. Shaking his head he activated his vox-link, "Strike Cruiser Rynn's Repreive, this is Segeant Ortiz of squad Epsilon; all enemy forces have been slain and area Omega Five Delta is now secure. I require the company apothecary at this location in order to recover our brother's geneseed." He awaited confirmation before securing his weapons and dropping to his knees in prayer to the Emperor and the Primarch.
Overall this was a really good game to trial the new rules. The victory went to the Space Marines as all Guard forces were eliminated by the Imperial Astartes. Despite this feat it was nonetheless a pretty hard-fought fight and could easily have gone either way at a number of points. For me the Land Raider was an excellent asset and not only dished out a massive quantity of punishment with its vast assortment of weapons, but also weathered a storm of shots thus allowing its passengers to reach the Guard lines unharmed. My opponent has decided that in future he will not face Space Marines without his beloved Executioner Pattern Leman Russ. I am personally very much looking forward to our next engagement.