Tactical Command

The battle for Muckville
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Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

This was the follow up battle to my last game against the Marines, secured by an Ogryn charge on Turn 4.

This time a similar army of IG was tasked with defending a Collective farm community- a pleasant community mixing the aroma of high yield fertilisers with the convenience of low story tenement living. Then again  compared to life on a Hive world it is probably a paradise, and when the wind is in the right quarter the hills on the other side of the ford no doubt made for a happy picnic or too.

But the collective is quiet now, the women and children in refugee camps and the men drafted into the 4th Coy, tacticals, to bulk them up to strength after a recent run in with an Eldar raiding party.

The Marines, narrowly beaten last time, are trying a new line of attack to continue their purging of the disloyal guard. This is the preferred spin put on it by my opponent, and I guess if you're fighting blue marines you've probably taken a wrong turning somewhere on the road to Imperial loyalty...

The terrain is a disbursed settlement, with several high yield fields of bog/paddy. The river is crossable only by the ford next to the main part of Muckville (as the troops christened it), while across the river there is a crescent shaped hill, thickly wooded.

Behind Muckville on the other side of the river there are a series of  wooded hills and on the far North, two more. The river valley is bereft of cover for most of its length.

Photo shows Muckville, taken from the South east (position of the ratlings- more anon).

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

another photo, showing the crescent hill on the Marine side of the river, with the road bisecting the woods.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

The marines fielded:

Devestator Company
Land raider Company
2 Terminator detachments
Tactical Platoon
2 Thunderhawks

The IG fielded

Tactical Coy
Gorgon Assault coy
Bike Coy

Plus the following detachments
Rough Riders
Hell hounds

Marines deployed with 2 detachments of Land raiders on the far side of the River (the Marine left flank) and shored up their extreme flank with the tactical platoon, covering a small wood and deployed within it. Their main force deployed along the main hill, with terminator Land raiders on the left, the terminators themselves in reserve in the woods behind, then the Devestators along the rest. The remaining CHQ Land raider and detachment 3 set up on the road ready for a blitzkrieg on Muckville.

IG deployed the (fresh off ebay) Gorgons in the centre, with the Bombards and Rough Rider screen to their rear. To their right, on the far side of the hill deployed the bikes and the Thunderbolts, and to their left deployed in front of Muckville main was the 4th Coy Tacticals, supported by the Hellhounds and Ogryns.

Out on the IG far left were the Ratlings, just mooching about in the wooded cliff overlooking the river.

Photo shows the Marine lines.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Photo shows the IG right flank, a mix of robots, bikes and Thunderbolts.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Shows the bulk of 4th Coy, getting ready to wade into the fields.

"It smells real bad Sir!"

"I know son, but it'll give -1 cover so stop bitching Ok?"

Author:  Legion 4 [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

WOW !!  BIg Board !!!   :agree:

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

The Plan

The objectives sit 6 on the IG side and 2 on the marine’s side of the river. A plan forms. Capture the six objectives on my side, kill everything this side of the river (land raiders x 6, tech marine and tacticals) = 40 odd points. Easy peasy- with victory in Turn 3 probably..

Everything else is a distraction so the plan becomes to ignore his entire army on the far side of the river. 4th Coy’s job is to block the river, soak up losses and perhaps force a diversion across it, while everything else secures the rest. By the time the marines are across the ford the game will be over.

I become convinced of the plan’s innate brilliance (it is a step forward to actually have a plan so this probably confuses me as to its merit) and I suborn all other considerations to it.

As with all these things my plan failed to take into account my opponent’s plan.

Turn 1

The IG wins initiative and the marines roll forward into the wood. Detachment after detachment takes up position on advance orders. The Company HQ land raider drives up to the ford. The land raiders on the far bank advance forward, supported by the techmarine. Overhead the Thunderhawks speed in to strafe the Bombards and the 4th Coy.

The IG bikes stream forward on the far right, setting for a swamping move against the Tactical platoon shoring up the marine left flank. My thunderbolts scream over the hill and line up the first LR detachment and the tech for flank fire…

The Gorgons charge forward and disburse assault platoons, one into the building, one into the dried out field, and the third onto the hill in support of the bikes (the bike mounted commissar stands behind them to issue orders in Turn 2.

At Muckville, A platoon 4th coy wades into the boggy field. B platoon backed by the hell hounds and Ogryns charges into the centre of town.

Overhead the Thunderhawks speed in to strafe the Bombards and the 4th Coy.

Photo shows a Thunderhawk about to hose 4th Coy. In the background you can see the LR advance lined up by Thunderbolts. In shooting the TH killed some guardsmen, no Ogryns and a hell hound.

My fire concentrates on the land raiders and a hail of shots hit armour, and bounce off or are repaired by the tech. All 6s and 5s for saves or repairs and the tanks lose nothing.

End phase turn 1. IG have lost 9 stands tactical, 3 stands assault guard, 2 ratlings, a hell hound and a bombard. The Marines have lost nothing. Not a single stand.

The plan is a turn behind schedule...

VPs- by securing 4 of the 6 objectives on my side of the river the IG have 20 points. The Marines have 15.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Next pic- second thunderhawk coming up on my bombards… It looks sneakier than it is, actually it was flying high, though it was unlucky and hit only 1 bombard.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Next pic- the Devastators deploy- action pic- slightly blurry (taken by Stuart). From here they commanded the entire valley floor.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Next pic – company HQ land raider leads from the front- and reaches the ford. In the shooting phase ratling snipers hit it in the flank but it saves- they lose 2 stands in the return fire.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Turn 2

The Bike coy hits the Marine tacticals in the woods. They’re spaced out and hard to double up on, so they won’t be wiped out this turn. The Thunderbolts whiz behind the stationary Land raiders and line up for a rear shot (-3 can’t miss surely). Other LR detachment clatters towards the IG and the Gorgons.

The Marines on the hills have a target rich environment with nothing able to hit back for range. So the hill is lit with orange flashes from first fire counters being revealed. The thunderhawks shift to continue strafing. My Rough riders flee into the woods to avoid being shot up (abandoning the doomed gunners) and my tacticals snap at the other T hawk as it shifts position, score two hits and these are both saved.

The ratlings hit the HQ landraider and this time it fails. Marine first fire mulches all save the section HQ from A platoon, 4th coy and wipes out the last ratlings. Ogryns have shifted into a building and by judicious use of a little publicised technique known as “coweringâ€Â

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Turn 3

Time to win the game (according to the plan…)

IG win initiative. I need to close the ford, so charge my cavalry out towards the crossing. He charges his Tacticals in the woods and my bikes and assault get double ups on every thing he has.

I ignore the broken land raiders (save my robots who knock one out from long range).

Not realising the danger the marines only advance with their untouched land raider detachment and it fails to reach the 15cm limit to contest my side of the river. But in amongst the Marine woods terminators are moving and loading up and will no doubt not make the same mistake next time.

The T-hawks move into position to shoot up my Gorgons from the rear, and I am left with a dilemma as to what to do with my Thunderbolts. They have strafe orders so cannot engage the T-hawks (as they would dearly love to do as they are getting very annoying – about the only thing that can hurt them from the ground- the ratlings are long dead.) So they fire after burners and careen back along the river, I am mindful that the plan is not working, or rather has not been properly fulfilled as they fly over the broken land raider and when they reach Muckville, because they have avoided the devastators on overwatch they are now not in range to engage anything.

In the key turn of the battle they achieve nothing.

The devastators run out of targets (though they pick off some fleeing guardsmen) and much of the marines side of the river quietens as the shots echo away.

On my right the Bikes and my assault platoon wipe out the marines in a bloody fight,  save one marine stand that survives, passes morale and so denies me the objective.

The T-hawks shoot up more Assault stands but miss my Gorgons (with -4 saves Stuart curses his luck).

The end phase is not kind. All my bikes run away. The Gorgon Assault are close to breaking. The ray of light is that C platoon (green group) rally and re-enter the field. The ford defence force is now made up of them, the command team, some Ogryns and the rapidly tearing down Rough Riders. In reserve I have a commissar and his Rhino.

My plan to ignore the marines is running out of time. I have few troops and with the exception of the CHQ land raider they lost in Turn 2, the entire enemy army on the far side of the river is undamaged.

VPs are good though- I have 5 objectives, plus LRs (8), Tech (1) and tacticals (3)= 37. Marine has added bikes to take him to 25 VP.

Ics shows the ridge alive with devastator fire- lit by orange first fire flashes.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

The waste- Thunderbolts arrive in Muckville and achieve nothing. Behind them the rough riders are at full tilt for the crossing. And behind them the T-hawks are killing more assault guard. Note judicious cowering by the Ogryns...

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

The Bike company flees on the IG right flank. Commissar and some assault hold the line- end phase Turn 3.

Author:  Madollin [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  The battle for Muckville

Turn 4

Time to try and win the battle again. I lose initiative. He makes me move first and I pin his T-hawks in a dogfight (I know they can’t do this now- a mistake). His first re-deployed terminators reach the ford. My rough riders engage them with just the lead elements (the only ones that can reach).

On my right flank the gorgons drive forward trying to engage the last Land raider on my side of the river. They are too slow and just succeed in scattering across the plain. My assault engage and kill the last marine but the land raider has escaped behind the woods, so continues to contest the objective….

In the close combat my T-bolts kill the T-Hawks (yay). At the ford my rough riders lose out to the terminators (woo), and in the advance firing phase the rest are gunned down to the last (double woo).

In the end phase I get some bikes recover morale. But the Assaults are broken and lose the ones that had cleared out the marine. I also lose the CHQ gorgon, which leaves my remaining superheavies parked out as they had fanned out to try and pursue across the plain.

Worse- the VPs are getting ugly. He has contested the one closest to the river in Muckville and still contests the one on his far left flank (with that bloody rallied land raider), so I hold 20 clear. I have broken the two T-hawks and so gain an extra couple of points. This takes me to 34.  

But the marine holds 2 objectives and has added the Gorgon Assault coy (6) and the Rough Riders (not so much broken as exterminated-2).  

Pic shows the empty terrain att he ford, cleared (cleaned) of the rough riders.

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