Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Battle Report: 28mm In the Emperor's Name Pt I

Last night, in preparation for the upcoming G3 campaign for "In the Emperor's Name" George and I played a game. My Guard versus his Harlequins. Damn. Talk about wargaming history's Greatest Comeback! We played a quick second game afterwords when other members of the Club wanted to join in to try out the rules, so I broke out my Space Marine and Arbiter retinues and put my DM hat on. Alas, with only an hour to go before closing, there was no time to stop for pictures of this second game. So please enjoy the first.

The Glorious Imperial Guard: 426th Arcturus Regiment.

1x Officer (Lt Kole Hellstrom): 
Grit 3+, Fighting Value (FV) +2, Shooting Value (SV) +3, Speed (SPD) +0.
Skills: Leader, Gun Kata (fires twice if knocks down or kills first target)
Gear: Flak Armour (Armour 6), Lasgun, Bolt-Pistol, Dagger, Grenade.
Points: 39

1x Veteran ( Cpl "Headshot" Voltstraad)
Grit 4+, FV +2, SV +3, Spd +0,
Skills: Sniper (ignores armour bonus for cover if remains still)
Gear: Flak (Armour 6), Cameoleoine Cloak (+1 armour bonus from cover), Sniper Rifle, Bayonet, Grenade
Points: 30 pts.

2x Veterans (L/Cpl Horriker and L/Cpl Safferkad)
Grit: 4+. FV +2, SV +3, Spd +0
Skills: Gun Kata (fires twice if knocks down or kills first target)
Gear: Flak (Armour 6), Bayonet, Heavy Stubber.
PV: 48 pts

7x Guardsmen (at the time I couldn't figure out why I could afford 7. Normally I can only field 5 with this list. This will be important later).
Grit: 4+ FV+1 SV+1 Spd +0
Gear: Flak (Armour 6), Lasgun, Dagger
PV: 81 points

I neglected to grab a copy of George's list but from memory he had:
 1 Troupe Leader with Plasma Pistol and Power Sword
3 Troupers with Shuriken Pistols and Chainswords
1 Death Jester with a horrible screaming death Shuriken Cannon thing.

George would like me to point out that he's had those Harlequin figures since he was just a very little sprog. Which certainly  explains the paint job on some of them, but doesn't explain why the rest still need painting. Eh? Eh? Then again, 20 years is about as long it takes me to paint some of my figures as well.



I won initiative (for very nearly the only time in the game) and forced George to set up first. As I expected, he pretty much ignored his open flank (my left) and only positioned one Trouper there. He set up his Death Jester by the window of a ruined building (soft cover) in the centre of the board with a good commanding view. The remainder of his band also set up in the centre, but would later concentrate on making their way down my right flank.

I positioned my sniper in a good elevated position on the left flank where he essentially had an excellent view of everything on the board except for the extreme right flank, where some taller fallen pillars blocked his LOS. The remainder of my squad deployed in the centre, with two Guardsmen lurking behind a fallen pillar towards the right flank.

Turn One
I won initiative for the second and last time in the entire game ( Initiative is determined by rolling D6 and adding the highest speed value in your retinue to the result. With a highest speed of zero against George's common speed bonus of +2, it was a pretty forgone conclusion that I'd be going second each turn).

All my guys  stayed put, except Sniper Headshot who moved an inch forward so he could peer out the window.

George moved his lone trouper on my left flank forward into cover with frightening speed. The Death Jester stayed put. The other three began a wide flanking manoeuvre down my right flank.
With a speed of +2 giving an 8" movement and their Eldar Flip Belts allowing them to ignore terrain penalties, those Harlequins moved damn fast.

It didn't save them though. In the very first turn of shooting, Head-Shot lived up to his name. Despite needing 9 to hit (Harlequins protective force fields give them an armour 7 of seven plus 2 for hard cover) and not being able to use his Sniper ability (because he'd moved) ol' Headshot hit the mark. The sniper rifle has no Grit Penalties (just an obscene range by the standards of this game) so the Harlequins just needed to roll his Grit value or higher to survive. George rolled a one. First blood (and first kill) to the righteous forces of the Imperium. This initial success was quickly followed up by the female Stub Gunner who knocked down the Troupe Leader with a burst of fire (when a model rolls it's exact Grit value when making a save it is knocked down). Using the Gun Kata skill (which allows her to shoot twice if her first shot knocks down or kills her target) she then fired again at the Death Jester and knocked him down as well. She couldn't shoot the fallen Troupe Leader again because he'd fallen down behind some barrels, meaning she could no longer see him.

Her first shot (against the Troupe Leader) had benefited from the Torrent of Fire rule, wherein any ally within 2" of the shooter who has LOS and range to the target can forgo shooting in order to add +1 to the shooters Shoot Value. The main shooter also contributes an additional +1 to this "Torrent of Fire". It represents miniatures coordinating their fire to "bracket" an enemy. With enough miniatures, even a humble guardsman with a lasgun can overwhelm the armour of a Chaos Terminator. Making the lowly Imperial Guard (with their comparatively large retinue's) a very dangerous shooty army indeed.

There was no close combat, so on to Turn 2.

Turns 2-4:
The next few turns largely consisted of the surviving Harlequin Troupers and Troupe Leader moving down the right flank with my Guard repositioning to meet them with a volley or two on the way. George's Death Jester kept managing to get back up despite the weight of his armour (standing up requires a Grit roll modified by the weight of armour worn) only to be knocked over again by my Sniper. In fact, this Jack-In-The-Box routine would continue for the rest of the game, with the Death Jester getting off only a single shot -in turn 4- and what a shot it was.
The Stub Gunner is vaporised by the Shuirken Cannon.
The Death Jester sends a stream of whirling razor sharp shuriken into the female Stub Gunner, splattering every other Guardsman (including the officer with the blond hair) with gooey bits of stringy intestine and brain matter in the process. Because of this weapons special rules, every one of my guardsmen within 6" had to take a Terror test or run D6" away from the dead guardswoman. Only the officer and one other  passed the Grit roll. The other two scarpered. Lucky for them I didn't fork out for a Commissar! Lucky for me the Terror effect only lasts one round (it counts as their move for next turn) and there's no rules for fleeing models leaving the board.
We're not runnin sir, it's a retrograde advance.
Turn 5
Sorry mate, we don't dance with poncy Eldar.
In turn 4, I'd manoeuvred my two lads out on the right flank away from the oncoming Harlequin Trouper in order to take him out with a torrent of fire. Alas, I misjudged it and the Harlequin, with his insane speed and ability to ignore terrain, charged right in. Oh dear. How unfortunate.

Ooops, let me just help you up - with my bayonet.
For the Harlequin. George's crappy dice rolling continued, costing him his second casualty of the game.
But then, I made the fatal error of letting him use my dice.......

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