12 September 2011

Deep in Enemy Territory (Invasion 2011 - Mission 5)

With the Invasion 2011 tournament drawing nearer, Trond and I wanted to play through another one of the missions we'd be seeing there. We let the dice decide, as usual, and ended up playing the fifth scenario: "Deep in Enemy Territory"

In this scenario the Alpha mission is to control five objectives, Beta is Kill Points and the Gamma mission is to be the first to kill the opponent's most expensive unit. (The Chaos Land Raider and Eldar Warp Spiders, respectively.)

Deployment differs quite a bit from the three usual set-ups. You measure 54" along your long table edge and 30" along one of the short ones, and draw a diagonal line between these two points. The deployment zones are behind these diagonal lines, in opposite corners.

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Eldar Army

1 Farseer (Doom, Fortune, Ghosthelm, Rune Armour, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade)
5 Fire Dragons in Wave Serpent (TL Bright Lances)
7 Harlequins plus Shadowseer and Troupe Master
5 Pathfinders
5 Dire Avengers
5 Dire Avengers
4 Guardian Jetbikes (1 Shuriken Cannon)
10 Warp Spiders plus Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2 Death Spinners)
3 War Walkers (2 Scatter Lasers each)
1 Falcon (Holo-Field, Spirit Stones, Starcannon, TL Shuriken Catapults, Pulse Laser)
1 Falcon (Holo-Field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, TL Shuriken Catapults, Pulse Laser)

1749 points, 12 kill points, 44 models and 6 vehicles.

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CSM Word Bearers Army "Architecture of Aggression"

1 Kratos Drak'ftae, The Living Icon (Kharn the Betrayer counts-as)
8 Berzerkers plus Skull Champion (Power Fist)
9 CSM (Icon of Chaos' Glory, 2 Melta guns) plus Aspiring Champion (Power Fist) in Rhino (Dozer Blade)
9 CSM (Icon of Chaos' Glory, 2 Plasma guns) plus Aspiring Champion (Power Fist) in Rhino (Dozer Blade)
10 Summoned Lesser Daemons
1 Land Raider (Extra Armour)
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators

1739 points, 10 kill points, 46 models and 3 vehicles.

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Jørn wins the roll-off to start placing objectives, but Trond gets to choose Deployment Zone and elect to set up in the south-east corner. Each of the Dire Avenger squads start in one of the two Falcons and the Fire dragons in their Wave Serpent. Trond reserves the Warp Spiders (Deep Strike) and War Walkers (Outflank), and eventually Infiltrates his Pathfinders a couple of feet north of the rest of his army (out of the frame to the left in the picture below).

Jørn spreads his Word Bearers out along the forward edge of his Deployment Zone, Land Raider with Kratos and the Berzerkers in the centre and a Rhino and a squad of Obliterators on each flank. The plasma squad takes the northern flank and the melta squad takes the on to the south. The Daemons are kept in Reserve, as per their rules.

Turn 1
The Farseer casts Fortune on the Jetbike squadron, who then Turbo Boosts forward behind the central ruin. The Wave Serpent moves forward to draw a bead on the Land Raider while the Falcons move a little further out on each flank. The Falcon to the north kills an Obliterator but the other two grav tanks misses their targets. The Pathfinders also fires on the northernmost Obliterator squad, made two AP1 hits and another two regular ones but fails to wound on all but one regular hit - easily saved with 2+ armour.

The Rhino with the Melta squad moves up 12" beside the central ruin and pops smoke. The Obliterators behind it move 6" toward the Eldar lines. All three of their Lascannon shots miss the southernmost Falcon. The Land Raider moves forward just a little and hits the Wave Serpent with a twin-linked Lascannon shot. Unfortunately, it fails to penetrate. The Plasma squad's Rhino immobilizes itself as it tries to speed out of the ruin it had been deployed into. (I rushed things a bit there! A 6" move would have been sufficient - and allowed a reroll on the terrain check.) The Obliterators on the south flank also move 6" and fires two Lascannon shots at the Falcon they could see. Two hits, one penetration and a failed cover save. Then a six and a one on the damage table - and the falcon is Shaken for a turn.

Turn 2
None of the Eldar reserves arrives. The Farseer casts Fortune on the Shaken Falcon before it speeds over to the south flank. The rest of the Eldar force pulls back behind the rock formations in the Eldar deployment zone. The Falcon that started on the south flank and the Wave Serpent both fire at the closest squad of Obliterators, but the cover they're in shields them from harm. The Pathfinders fire on the two remaining Obliterators closing in on them on the other flank, scoring one wound.

No reinforcements for the Word Bearers either. The Rhino with the melta squad advances 6" into position behind a ruined wall. The Obliterators next to it continue their advance, firing another three Lascannon shots at the non-Fortuned Falcon. Three hits, three Penetrating hits and one of the damage rolls come up double sixes! The Dire Avengers embarked in the Falcon lose a couple of members and fail their Pinning check. The Land Raider moves 12" forward into more or less the position just vacated by the melta squad Rhino, popping smoke. The crew of the Plasma squad Rhino manage to repair the Immobilized result, while the embarked squad find themselves to be just over 24" away from the Pathfinders. The two nearby Obliterators are just outside 12" themselves, and settles for one Plasma shot each. Two hits, two wounds and two successfull 2+ Cover saves.

Turn 3
This turn the Warp Spiders show up. Trond placed the first model out on the north flank only to have it scatter straight towards the two Obliterators. A lucky (!?) dice roll later, they were back in Reserve. The main Eldar force continues to pull back into their deployment zone. The Pathfinders shot at the Obliterators again, killing the one wounded last turn. The Wave Serpent hits the Land Raider again but fail to penetrate - again. The remaining Falcon fires at the three Obliterators on the south flank. Four shots, two Starcannon hits, two wounds and one failed cover save means another wounded Obliterator.

The Daemons arrives just outside the behind the plasma squad's Rhino and runs into cover (taking control over the objective in that ruin) after the Rhino has moved (at Combat Speed!!!) out of the ruin. The last Obliterator on the north flank moves into the crater next to the Pathfinders' position and flame one of them, while on the other flank the other three Obliterators shot the Pulse Laser off of the Falcon in addition to Shaking it. The Land Raider fires both Lascannons on the Wave Serpent and finally Shakes and Immobilized it with one Glancing and one Penetrating hit. The melta squad and their Rhino fires at the three Pinned Dire Avengers, but with their noses in the dust they have plenty of cover.

Turn 4
Both the War Walkers and the Warp Spiders arrive this turn. The latter Deep Striking without incident close to the same spot as last round, while the former moves in from the short table edge behind them. The Falcon speeds over the rock formation, while the Jet Bikes boost towards the central ruin again. The small Dire Avenger squad moved out of the wreck of their Falcon, but are just out of range of the three Obliterators responsible for their recent losses. On the other flank the four remaining Pathfinders only manage to take a single wound off of the single Obliterator. Fortunately for them, the Warp Spiders are there to finish the job. (22 shots, 15 hits, 11 wounds and only 3 failed 2+ saves.) The War Walkers hit the plasma squad Rhino ten times with their twenty four shots but only manages two Glancing hits, shaking the crew a little.

The Summoned Lesser Daemons spread out and move further into the ruin with the objective they’re claiming. The Shaken plasma squad Rhino moves up to claim the objective in the central ruin and pop its smoke canisters. The Land Raider turns 45° to the left and moves straight through the big ruin, to deposited Kratos (Kharn) and the Berzerkers close to the Jetbike squadron. The remaining Obliterator squad fire at the stationary Wave Serpent and Wreck it. The Fire Dragons forced to disembark pass their Pinning check. The melta squad and their Rhino shoot and kill one of the Dire Avengers on the south flank, but they too pass their Leadership test. The Berzerkers assault the Jetbikes while Kratos and the Skull Champion go for the nearby Falcon. Kratos hit four times, twice on the Falcon and twice on the Berzerker squad. Both Berzerkers die. Both hits on the Falcon penetrate its armour and cause the Eldar tank to explode. The 6" explosion kills a Jetbike as well as two of the Harlequins lurking between the rocks. The two Berzerkers that are wounded make their saves. One of the Avengers from the Falcon itself also dies in the explosion, but the squad makes their Pinning check with ease. Before the Assault phase ends, the Berzerkers kill one more Jetbike rider but loses another squad member themselves. Having lost the close combat by one, the Berzerkers promptly fail the Armour Save and another head rolls away from the carnage. (We couldn't find anything about hits on regular vehicles affecting the Combat Result.)

Turn 5
The Warp Spiders jump towards the daemons holding the objective in the ruin and send four of them back to the Aether. The War Walkers move towards the Chaos deployment zone and fire at the plasma squad Rhino, but only manages to shake it again. The Pathfinders move and runs toward the objective closest to the Eldar table edge, in the middle of the road next to the central ruin. Both remaining Dire Averger squads as well as the Fire Dragons, coming from their wrecked Wave Serpent, hurry toward the southeast objective. After having cast Fortune on the Harlequins and Doom on the Berzerkers, the Farseer leaves the Harlequin squad and heads for the Land Raider. In the Assault phase he hits it once but fails to penetrate the thick armour. The Harlequin squad assaults Kratos and the Berzerkers locked in combat with the Jetbike squadron. Before the combat is over all the Berzerkers save the Skull Champion are dead, but not before killing the last two Jetbike Guardians and one of the Harlequins.

The plasma squad disembarks from their Rhino and moves into the central ruin, controlling the objective just outside without running the risk of getting gunned down by the War Walkers or Warp Spiders that is sure to drop in on them pretty soon. Their Rhino Tank Shocks the Pathfinders, pushing them off their objective even if it can’t make them run. The Land Raider moves up to the side of the Rhino and pretty much parks on the objective, swinging one twin-lascannon around and blows the Farseer’s head off. The melta squad finally leaves their Rhino, keeping the two meltagunners back to keep control over the objective while moving the rest up to shoot at the squad of four Dire Avengers. Only four Chaos Marines make it to within Rapid Fire range, and only manage to kill two of the Aspect Warriors. Their Rhino moves forward (Again, at Combat Speed!) out of the ruin to contest the objective in case the game ends now. The Obliterators roll uncharacteristically low on their Difficult Terrain test and only two makes it within 12" of the other Dire Avenger squad, leaving a couple still alive. Naturally, both squads pass their Break tests. The Skull Champion barely has time to call out to Khorne before he's cut down by the harlequins, who sweeps 5" towards the melta squad. (It was close though! The Harlequins missed with almost half their attacks and only wounded four times - even with rerolls because of Doom. The Skull Champion then made three out of four saves.)

Turn 6
The War Walkers move further west towards the ruin with the daemons and finally get within the rear arc of the plasma squad Rhino. It's Wrecked within moments. The Warp Spiders move on foot into the ruin with the Daemons and shot the last of them, clearing that objective. The Harlequins keep moving towards the melta squad, but fails to roll high enough in the Shooting phase to make it to within charge range. (Nice try, cheeky bastards!!!) The Dire Avengers back up a little into some cover by the foot of the rock formation while the Fire Dragons manages to get two models within 6" of the melta squad Rhino, penetrating it three times and blowing it sky high.

The plasma gun squad moves a little further towards the objective under the Land Raider. The Land Raider turns around and fires a Lascannon as well as the Heavy Bolter at the single Dire Avenger from one of the squads, while the melta squad moves all but four Chaos Marines into Rapid Fire Range of the Harlequin squad. The Land Raider fails to hit anything but dirt, but the Marines gun down all but one of the Harlequins. The Obliterators fire six twin linked plasma shots at the Fire Dragons, hitting with every shot but rolling two ones to wound. Again, both squads (what little is left of them) pass their Break tests.

Turn 7
The war Walkers moves still further down towards the Chaos deployment zone, and finally manages to draw lines of sight to one meltagunner just within range. The following firestorm sees four marines laid low, but they too make their Break test. The last Fire Dragon moves to within six inches of the Land Raider, hitting with his one shot and finally destroying it. The resulting explosion kills one of the four remaining Pathfinders, but they easily pass their break test. The Dire Avengers fail to damage the melta squad, but the last Harlequin assaults them and kills just one before being pulled apart himself. The Warp Spiders jump out of the ruin up next to the ruin with the plasma squad. In the ensuing assault they loose three warriors to the Chaos Marines' two, and finally Trond fails a Leadership check. Adding insult to injury, the Marines catches the Spiders as they try to run and sweeps up to the objective being held by the Pathfinders.

The Obliterators move back towards their own deployment zone for the first time during the game, and shoot at the War Walkers as a bit of a late vengeance. Two out of three shots hit, Penetrating and Wrecking one while the other Glances and Immobilize another. (...destroying it, as it's part of a squadron.) The plasma squad moves out of the central ruin to maximize the number of shots against the Pathfinders while still maintaining control of their objective. They kill two out of the three but fail to capture both objectives, as the last Pathfinder refuses to run. The five Marines left in the melta squad multi-assaults the three Dire Avengers and the last Fire Dragon. The Aspect warriors all miss or fail to wound, and looses both single-warrior squads in return. The two Dire Avengers fails their Break test and promptly faints next to the objective and the melta squad.

The Eldar army is down to a War Walker and a Pathfinder, while Chaos has one and a half Chaos Space marine squad and a squad of latter Obliterators.

Alpha: Chaos holds two objectives and contests Eldar's single one.
Beta: Chaos took ten Kill Points to Eldar's seven.
Gamma: The last Fire Dragon destroyed the Chaos Land Raider just moments before the Warp Spiders were wiped out in close combat.


  1. Nice to read a battle report on TSB again! It has been a while since someone has written one, although there have been plenty of battles fought. As soon I am settled in my new apartment, I will commence with both gaming and hobby activities, trying to post as done in the past.

    Anyway; this most have been a nail biting game, plagued with some pretty odd dice rolling from time to time (but that makes it all the more interesting). Funny to see Trond fails a deep strike with his Warp Spiders, in all the games I can remember he is either scoring a hit or scatters a short distance. Interesting to see both of your new army builds. They seem pretty hard. Jørn – do you find the plasma squad efficient? Currently my own build uses meltaguns, but with points left over it is certainly something I will consider.

    7 turns – and a very good narrative (report). This certainly aspires me to start gaming again ☺


  2. Yeah... Odd dice rolls indeed. I do seem to hit most of the time but penetrarion rolls are just out the window. It was indeed nail biting and really came down to the bones with both armies. Normally my eldar tends to miss their ld test which I find very very strange. All my troops except my jetbikes has ld 9, so in this game that paid off - except with my spiders in cc.

    I find my army lacking serious punch agianst armour 14 not taking my fire dragons into account


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