Thursday, 19 October 2017

Some Fishy Characters & An Eldar Chorus line

Some more models have been completed! As the Warhammer 40K train trundles along I'm making progress. As is unusual in the male dominated 41st millennium there are more female models painted this week than male. Some will be getting stuck in to 40k ASAP and the others will wend their way onto the gaming table via a more narrative route. So anyhow, bring out the lead!

Blind Beggar Fish People

I've been a fan of Blind Beggar Miniatures for a while now and I have finished some more from a couple of kickstarters. Immediately below is one from the Mother Hydra campaign - some amphibious aliens who have made contact with various people of Farpoint IIRC. First up in the Mother Hydra diplomat. A nice sculpt which I plan to use as an npc in my games and possibly a hugely powerful alien psyker to boot. I tried to make the waistcoat look like coral and experimented with citadel technical paint with the eyes and gemstones (at least that's what I thought they were) on the aforementioned piece of xenos apparel.


"In my culture glazed eyes are a sign of attentiveness".
 Next is a virtually identical model from the Deep Ones kickstarter, a Call of Cthulu type deal that I bought into without any intention of playing that kind of game. These were bought as extras in any fish orientated dioramas I may or may not be planning. This particular model can be used as the above models wife (or husband), stunt double or valet. I'm even think of employing him as the proprietor of a mammal and chip shop that is undergoing construction.

"Salt and vinegar on your primate burger mate?"
 Next up is the technician for Mother Hydra and I think this model sold me on the range. If there's one thing I like it's a model who looks like he's not afraid of a bit of arguing. This model has union rep written all over him. I'm sure any industrial action or grievance procedures on the alien craft, this model is, if not the cause, a contributing factor.

"that's not my job mate"
 The next two models are Cthuluish deep ones but I painted them up as missionaries on a remote outpost where humans and xenos coexist on semi peaceful terms. The white and blue robes are supposed to denote peace and tolerance (something that is definitely lacking in the Imperium) and I'm pleased how they turned out. If I ever get round to it a missionary building might be a cool centrepiece for my games as lascivious imperial guardsmen attempt to pillage said outpost. 

Sister Mary Guppy

Sister Assumpta Squiddly


Eldar Howling Banshees

For a long time my favourite Eldar unit has been these ladies. After 20+ years of lying around my abode I finally got them finished. The craftworld I am intending to theme my army as is Ulthwé. Simply because I have an Eldrad Ulthan model and the colours are mainly black and therefore quick to paint. As Banshees are predominantly white I gave the loincloths and weapons a black and grey paintjob with a Nuln Oil wash after. Both the red and blue technical paints were applied to gemstones on their weapons and suits respectively.

Big Bad Bertha the Exarch

Sadly I only have two poses for my Banshees.

This is the other one.
So that's my sudden burst of creativity spent. I'm currently painting some Dire Avengers to accompany these ladies and as the Eldar Craftworld Codex will very soon be available, expect to see plenty more where this lot came from.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Chaos Vs UltraKrablokistanmarines

Following their skirmish with Ultramarines where (sub)Commander Bolshoy Bartlett was attacked and possibly killed (the body had been removed the Astartes), Commander Farg Woolstrop was surprised to receive orders to bolster Ultramarine forces that had become bogged down fighting rebels that had declared the entirety of Hemmerdale's second largest continent - Brearley - Imperium free. As had recently occurred several times in the recent past Woolstrop was half expecting the Ultramarines to immediately open fire as soon as they came within bolter range. But as was so often the case with the seemingly last minute orders he had been receiving from High Command lately no sooner had the Astra militarum deployed then the rebels came capering across to engage and the foul sight of the Traitor Legions could be seen behind them. On the plus side, the Ultramarines were holed up in an old jail and, for now at least, not shooting at him.....

Another Day, Another Batrep.

Welcome! Last week I participated in a game of 40K where my most recent enemy was now my ally. Yes that's right Billy's Ultramarines and my Astra Militarum have apparently patched up their differences in an adult fashion and smoked the pipe of peace. Not a moment too soon as the Ruinous Powers have landed on the beleaguered planet Hemmerdale intent on fomenting rebellion and nailing good honest imperial folk up on walls and using them as hood ornaments. We arranged for a 3000 point a side battle with Shane, Billy, myself and Aaron. Sadly Lord Nurgle infected the Tau force with Galloping Flatulence and they couldn't attend. Luckily Shane brought more than enough Chaos models to make up the shortfall. As I don't have either Shane's or Billy's army list, all I will say is Shane took 3 grands worth of Chaos and Billy took half that in Ultramarines. I brought my Imperial Guard that included 3 infantry squads, a unit of heavily tooled up Scions, a Leman Russ, Hellhound and Chimera, a meltagun special weapon squad and 2 heavy weapons squads (mortars and autocannons), the obligatory ratlings and sundry characters made up my force. The mission was the one where at the end of each battle turn each of the four objectives scores 2 VPs, it's called Only War. A simple mission that proved to be a lot of fun.

The Game

I have been working on my deployment and more specifically how to get first turn (first turn is a big thing for the guard) so crowding units into transports and the like is one way to do it. The various putting of things inside other things like Russian dolls was made inconsequential as it was a matter of the army with the lower power level goes first. Luckily for us it was the Imperium. By a fair bit I might add. So as underdogs we started but as first turn shooting phases go, it was pretty lacklustre. I think this game due to the amount of deepstriking units, it would have suited us to take second turn and shot up some 2+ armoured spawn of the Debel rather than cultists.

A large gaggle of cultists deploy ready to take an objective, whilst a Rhino is parked in front of the Predator in some sort of ablative army type way. Yes, all the models on the blue part of the table are deepstriking later.

To the west of the cultists are some more Rhinos full to the brim with deranged Traitor marines. 

Many guardsmen prepare to take objective three and also one. SPOILER ALERT! The Leman Russ won't move very much this game. 
The revolutionary beehive Ultramarine formation, at the centre queen bee Rouboute Gullimann. My guardsmen during deployment gave them plenty of room. Seems they didn't need it.

Turn one and my Hellhound handbrake turns into the building (as line of sight or aesthetics were not considerations) also my Chimera moved up into a selfless T7 shield for the beehive, er marines. Also guardsmen take objective 3. 

Meanwhile on the interfering with holographs of Adeptus Sorritas side of the table the freaky deaky cultists grab an objective.

My new least favourite Chaos Space Marine unit is Obliterators. Well armoured and unpleasant to receive their weaponry, these buggers teleported into my face without a by your leave stealing objective one. Well what do you know, my Ratlings are gone again.

Objective two however was literally crawling with Ultramarines. No they didn't move this turn. just buzzed around their queen doing that peculiar shakey dance to tell the rest of the drones where the best flowers to make honey are. Also the Chimera has taken 7 wounds.
A unit of Chaos Marines disembark from the Rhino and some Terminators teleport onto the grey building. Not pictured is also some more Terminators to the left of the cultists above.


A brief summary of turn one. I poured a lot of Imperial low level ordinance at the only viable target - the cultists only to find they wouldn't flee due to their Daemon Prince carer by their side. On humanity's side all that was lost was my ratlings again, even though I had placed a commissar close enough to bolster morale/shoot one if they tried anything cowardly. The Ultramarines held and objective as did a squad of guardsmen, the followers of chaos also held two objectives. 

End Of Turn One; The Imperium 2 Chaos 2


A tactic I'm having mixed results from is the aerially insert some Scions in to your enemy's rear. It helps when you remember to give the "Take Aim" order.

The followers of the ruinous powers have some very strange ideas about parking. Also some Terminators and a Daemon Prince won't play fair and use cover like sneaky Grotz!


Whittling down Obliterators is a much harder task than you'd think. My now damaged Hellhound presents it's rear to the Obliteratii as it doesn't make any difference. Ah, 40K designers, you are a fickle bunch.

The Hive starts to move. A unit of guardsmen in the Chimera (denoted by the sergeant standing on top) sit inside waiting for humanity's finest to actually do something heroic rather than let ill educated grunts take chaos tainted bullets for them.

That escalated quickly. The plume of smoke is the Hellhound. It sold it's life dearly, very nearly killing the Daemon Prince with overwatching Inferno Cannon and heavy Flamer. Shane's face was a picture when I informed him the Inferno cannon does 2 wounds per hit. Also a Commissar and Farg Woolstrop himself have to get their hands dirty against an Obliterator each.

Luckily for Woolstrop the Daemon Prince doesn't consolidate into him as his saga would be finished I reckon. My army list building has now called into question the wisdom of not giving my best fighters close combat weapons. The Obliterators armour is proving problematic.

Meanwhile on the other side of the table Chaos Space Marines assault my Chimera, cue nervous glances within the vehicle waiting for the galaxy's greatest hero to shuffle over and save the day.



Some heretical shooting later, my Scions are all gone bar the Tempestor. Armed with a plasma pistol he will endeavour to storm the objective kill the Obliterators, Rhinos and Marines, saving the day and winning him another medal. Or will he?


The Commissar & Commander back up leaving both the Obliterator and Daemon Prince ripe for Imperial Aggression.

Seeing his commander retreat over the other side of the table the Chimera does the same, allowing the Ultramarine to wipe out the nearby Marines after they had softened them up.

This slightly blurry picture shows both my Cadian squad and Tallarn heavy weapons are gone. As is the Commissar and the Tempestor. There is also rather a lot of chaos Space Marines on my half of the table.

Some effective Chaos shooting leaves Gulliman with very few worker drones to protect him. 
This turn had me desperately trying to deal with Obliterators and a Daemon Prince. I failed to dislodge a unit of them from objective 3 with my Scions and they got creamed by the return fire. Best moment of the game for me was when the Daemon Prince was very nearly incinerated by the Hellhound he charged. Left on 2 wounds I even used a command point to reroll the Hellhound blowing up but it was not to be. The Ultramarines moved up to crush some Chaos Marines but some Renegade Terminators  were lethal returning fire. On the subject of the Ultramarines they very nearly stole the glory of killing the severely damaged Daemon Prince with his special weapons but justice prevailed when my Leman Russ finished it off. Shane's forces blew away my main hope of destroying the Obliterators, a unit of guardsmen with meltaguns. They also stole the objective from under my guardsmen noses giving them a 3 to 1 score for the turn and therefore putting them in a rather tasty position. Also this turn two Rhinos worth of marines jumped out and made the taking of objective one a forlorn hope.

The End Of Turn Two; The Imperium 3 Chaos 5

This turn the Ultramarines kicked arse. I also tried to retake objective one with my own special character Farg Woolstrop. Gullimann with his homies advanced on objective two. The Imperial shooting phase was pretty good, killing a great many Traitor Terminators and  cultists. The Ultramarines then piled in to objective 1 wiping out said cultists and daring the remaining terminators in the old grey building to come out and fight them in a heroic manner. The Leman Russ killed the final Obliterator (I think) by objective 3 leaving Farg to (hopefully) hold it. In the Chaos turn enough marines got within 3" to retake the objective and Shane dutifully tried to assault Rouboute Gulliman off objective 4. The Primarch proved to be silly good in combat and caused mayhem leaving the forces of Chaos unable to retake it.

 The Ultramarines go over and take the objective from the cultists. Supported by the Chimera. The guardsmen finally leave their ride and go frollicking in the toxic goo. in fact most games this unit end up there, must start calling them the Slimetrotters.

Farg Woolstrop contests the objective but is outnumbered. The Leman Russ (once again) is pretty much unscathed.
By the end of this turn the guard were nearly all gone - the weedy foot soldiers were anyway. The Leman Russ, Mortars and Farg Woolstrop on one side, a beat up Chimera and infantry squad on the other. Rouboute Gulliman was happily kicking the shit out of chaos Terminators and two five man Marines were still giving it large as well. The Chaos side had a fair bit of stuff left but time constraints meant we had to call it at the end of turn three.

Final Score ; The Imperium 4 Chaos 8


Conclusion

It's a pity we didn't get 5 turns in this game as I think it still could've gone either way. It was a brilliantly enjoyable game with ups and downs right through it. If I have any regrets for my army list it was taking a special weapons team instead of putting 2 plasma cannons instead of heavy bolters on the sponsons of the Leman Russ. I seem to remember the Obliterators making quite a few saving throws from them and the difference between -1 and -3 on the AP could have cleared them away. Another unit of footsloggers to bolster my left would have helped also. Apart from that my plan went ok. I think Billy could have used his marines a bit more aggressively but considering the mayhem from the Terminators he may have been right (I'm always far too eager to run forward and lose too many men when caution is a better move). Shane played well (that wasn't his first rodeo) and his army list was solid. As a scenario Only War is cracking good fun and tricky enough to win as well. So all that's left for me is to thank the lads for playing and write a little bit of fluffy toss to maintain the narrative;


Despite taking heavy casualties the Krablokistan 47th had given a good account of themselves. What had initially seemed like a badly organised rabble of insurgents had revealed themselves to be well armed and allied to Ruinous Powers. Farg Woolstrop knew that the inevitable debrief would highlight Astra Militarum shortcomings and skim over the bravery of his men to the benefit of the Ultramarines. What was worse was, he would have to explain to his men why many of the survivors would have to undergo painful taint analysis before they were allowed to return to active duty. This posting on Hemmerdale was proving to be far too eventful for his liking and as if matters couldn't get worse several times he noticed several Ultramarines staring at him, and even though they were wearing their helmets he couldn't shake the feeling that they were staring at him with animosity. Then almost without even a cursory acknowledgement of the part his force played in the battle, the Ultramarines were gone. In a galaxy as huge as this the chances of continually meeting, and surviving meetings with Rouboute Gulliman seems extraordinary. Woolstrop mused, how much longer will his luck last.......


Thanks for reading.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Xenos Stranglers, an Insidious Evil & Camp Followers

More Gear Painted!

That's right some more models have moved from the unpainted part of my loft to the painted *bookcase. Following recent defeats anti armour is what my Imperial Guard army is lacking, so I have gone some way to alleviate that.

Xenos Stranglers

First up is my Cadian Heavy Bolter Squad. Heavy bolters are fairly cheap anti infantry guns that can harm vehicles too, not as good at it as Autocannons, but better that Mortars. One thing I will say for the designers (Perry twins I think) they know how to sculpt big scary hands. I imagine that the Heavy bolters buck like a traumatised Grox judging by the hugeness of the fists. They  must also come in handy when they're throttling Tau or the odd unsuspecting Grot. The models below are painted in my Krablokistan 47th colours. I like the feature of rolled up sleeves, it gives a certain I-don't-live-in-a-toxic-environment feel to the models.

Last years final of the Krablokistan Mental Trauma Caused by Xenos Interaction Imaginary Chimera Demolition Derby was a dead heat.

All three finalists were awarded Alien Filth Appreciation Chairs.
The loaders have more conventional sized hands. They are also a bit more modest as their sleeves are firmly Astra Militarum regulation length. Hoping these guys will be featuring in a battle report near you in the not too distant future, preferably on a temperate paradise planet with plenty of recreational  opportunities.

Their carers were awarded Alien Filth Appreciation Chairs power packs.

Trooper Noggins & Commissar Crush

Next up is Valhallan who got onto my painting table on his lonesome and Commissar Crush. The former is a meltagun operator so I am sure he will sneak his way onto the battlefield soon enough. Say what you like about meltaguns, they melt things, and they're guns. Also the commissar got finished as he was on my to finish list for a while now and he's armed with something that I really could have done with last game, a powerfist! There wouldn't have been half as many one wound Dreadnaughts wandering around stealing objectives if I'd had this bloke to smash it's face in! Ah well you live and learn.

Two anti-dreadnaught models for next time! Mwahahahahaha!

Tallarn Special Weapon Squads

Remember the painted up Valhallan in the above picture? I now recall why he wandered onto the painting table. As I only had two Tallarn meltas I was going to throw him into the unit making it five Tallarns and a **Valhallan. But then it would ruin the look of the unit so a meltangun was born onto my all time favourite Tallarn desert Fighter model. A big muzzle with heat vents(!?) in it and a length of vaccuum  cleaner hose attached to the little red canister at the front gives the appearance of another meltagun, with only an hours swearing. fiddling, and getting fingerprints on the muzzle because I'm a cacky fingered twat who can't let the greenstuff harden before I pick it up again! Despite that, Im very happy with how they all came out. I think they're great models with tons of character, and the red headscarf's came out pretty well.

Ready to melt the enemies of the Imperium's vehicles.

Hiss Baby, Hiss!

A Much Less Wholesome Chap

I managed to finish this Genestealer Magus for the army. Nice sculpt that is supposed to be whispering in the hearing organ of a Patriarch. Unfortunarely this will probably never happen as the Genestealer on the throne is one of those models I'd love to get, but it's unlikely due to crazeBay prices, He will though, whisper a lot to no one in particular in 'Stealer batreps coming to ***cinemas near you.

The Lord Baelish of the 41st Millenium.

Blind Beggar Adeptus Mechanicus

From Blind Beggar Miniatures comes this bounty hunter model, from the Outlanders kickstarter. I have yet to finish his tarpaulin covered quadruped animal but that's nice too. Originally I was going to paint him in desert hues to match the desert theme of the campaign but then thought he would make a very passable AdMech machine wrangler. I modified his hand into tendrils to interface with robots and computers private areas giving him full administrator privileges. He will be repairing Leman Russesfor many battle reports to come I bet.

"No one expects the Adeptus Mechanicus!"

The Camp Followers

I've also just finished a few fantasy noncoms that have been lurking on my painting table. This one is a woman holding a goose but as she is one of those people who make money by being in close proximity to squaddies,  you know a squaddie gooser. A lady of the night and poultry minder. She's mainly a plot device rather than a combatant but one less model to stare at me accusingly during the long winter nights .

Fancy a threesome luvvy?

The soldiery of Krablokistan have a well founded reputation for being mothered. And this camp follower reinforces the stereotype. Cretchin is a camp nag, she (?) wanders in and around the camp haranguing guardsmen for being untidy, not sending letters home to parents and fornicating too much. Always willing to help out with a genuine Krablokistan sweeping brush to assist 'good boys' in the regiment, breaking up fights and verbally abusing sergeants, the position of camp nag is a busy one and has been part of the Krablokistan military establishment for thousands of years. Of course, if certain senior officers wish to avail of more personal services, then a bargain can be struck.....

The model is actually a Black Tree Designs witch from the fantasy range. Quite a nice sculpt but the hands are a bit crap. the more models I paint the more I see the importance of hands on a model. too small, or big and it looks strange or worse, if a hand's thumb is on the wrong side it makes for some awkward questions in the genetic purity meetings that are becoming the new craze on Imperial planets.

Cretchin - Camp Nag
So that's all for this update, tune in next week (possibly) when I write up an Imperial battle against the forces of chaos. It seems the Ultramarines have forgiven Farg Woolstrop for his previous behavior and have allowed the 47th to join them killing heretics. Happy Days!

*A painted model bookcase is similar to an ordianary bookcase, only with far less books in it.
**Apparently this is a very popular sitcom on the Astra Militarum Sanctioned Video Channel.
***By cinema I mean PCs, laptops, tablets and phones. At least until I get my big break anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Ultramarines Pick On The Astra Militarum

Commander Woolstrop had for a while now been concerned about (sub)commander Bolshoy Bartlet. Nothing he could specifically put his finger on, but an oddness in his mannerisms. This 'oddness' had gotten worse since the Sisters Of Battle attacks some weeks ago, almost as if  their attacks had targeted him and his resulting survival had triggered a mental metamorphosis. Woolstrop had decided that after this patrol duty Bartlet would be sent to HQ for full mental, biological and chemical screening to get to the bottom of the strange behavior. But first, orders came in to meet a force of Ultramarines at a small inconsequential hab slum to go through a plan of attack over rebel held positions in the settlement a few clicks away. Just as long as Bartlet doesn't do anything to jeopardise the mission........


For those out there actually reading more than one of my batreps I've decided to try to forge a narrative. Farg Woolstrop and parts of the Krablokistan 47th has been stationed on Hemmerdale for some months now a routine patrol resulted in his force being attacked by Convent Of The Vengeful Scold a small Sisters Of Battle enclave on the planet. Having survived two attacks from them, there seemed to be relative peace and quiet until a force of Tau attacked them. The Tau were defeated but Commander Woolstrop was getting the feeling that these attacks were seemingly connected as in each case (sub)Commander Bolshoy Bartlet seemed to attract more than his fair share of attention. Woolstrop was returning to Hemmerdale's communications hub - Granada when he was rerouted to meet a force of Ultramarines to assist in an attack a force of suspected rebels. No sooner had the Imperial Guard arrived, the units under direct supervision of Bartlet opened fire. The Ultramarines returned fire and battle was joined. Again!

A New Opponent!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a fellow human asking about 40K. His name was (and still is) Billy. Emails and *whatsapps were exchanged and a game was arranged. This is that game. Billy is getting back into 40K after a few years (aren't we all) so he brought what he had - Space Marines of the Ultramarines chapter. The game was originally 1000 points but as at the last minute brought up to 1500 points as Billy wanted to field his newly acquired Rouboute Guilliman model. Me being the nice guy that I am agreed and chucked some extra tanks into the list. 

The Krablokistan 47th

HQ;  Commander Farg Woolstrop,
(sub)Commander Bolshoy Bartlet
Troops: 3x Infantry Squads, 10 Man Scion squad with 3 plasmaguns and a Hot Shot Volley Gun.
Elites; 10 x Ratlings, 2 x Special Weapons Squads (Meltaguns & Grenade Launchers), Commissar, Astropath.

Heavy Support; 2 x Leman Russ (plasma cannons, lascannon, battle cannon, stormbolter), Basilisk, heavy weapons team (**Mortars).
Fast Attack; Hellhound.
Designated Trasports; 2 x Chimeras, (Heavy bolters, stormbolter).


The Ultramarine Attack Team 'Bully'

HQ; Rouboute Guilliman, Marneus Calgar.
Troops; Not 100% sure but I think some tactical marines.
Elites; Some Sternguard and a couple of bodyguards for Guilliman.
Heavy Support; 2 Dreadnaughts.
Fast Attack; none.
Designated Transports; none.


The eastern half of my deployment, left to right, Mortars, Ratlings, Chimera with special weapons, Leman Russ, infantry, another Leman Russ, Chimera with lots of characters, more infantry.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Krablokistan 47th Strikes Again!

More Carnage

My enthusiasm for 40K continues apace (but Necromunda is looming on the horizon so who knows) so I'm trying to maintain momentum by playing as much as possible. This week was Aaron's turn to feel the sting of lasgun fire upon his armoured Tau warriors. My first game of the new 40K was against Aaron and that went pretty well so I was hoping for more of the same. We've both had a couple more games and presumably as the games didn't kill us, they made us stronger.

The Big Guns Never Tire - Or Do They?

We rolled  for a scenario and got Big Guns Never Tire  as I hadn't played it I was eager to have a lash. For the uninitiated this scenario has 4 objectives that are worth 1 VP for the most models nearest to them at the end of the game. A heavy support unit trumps any other unit so 3 mortar weapons teams would gain 1 VP even if there was 35 Ork boyz. Extra VPs were for first blood, killing the general, linebreaking and addition enemy heavy support units destroyed. A nice simple mission for my old brain.
Set up was pretty unimaginative for me. I clumped all my infantry around the left hand side of the table with only the Hellhound & Leman Russ over on the right. A unit of infantry were ensconced in the inn named Ye Olde Shielde although I may be giving it the unofficial moniker The Lazy Guardsman. I used a unit of Scions this game and they began the game up in the atmosphere of this planet. My mortar teams were in their usual place, hidden behind a hill. Aaron placed a couple of units of  battlesuits also in the skies but luckily neither unit met up there as it would be a nightmare to work out charge distances. His boots on the ground consisted of 2 units of Fire Warriors, a battlesuited Tau, Also my ratlings bundled in around the three unfinished craters near the centre of the table where an objective lay. My plan (if such could be said about the vague idea behind deployment) was advance on the left secure two objectives there. Using extreme prejudice destroy any xenos that got in the way. Minimising my own losses was if anything going against the plan.

The table before any turns were taken just after the ratlings appear (as if by magic) in front of the Tau soldiers (if you can call them that).

The Armies

The Krablokistan 47th

HQ;Commander Farg Woolstrop
(sub)Commander Bolshoy Bartlet
Troops: 3x Infantry Squads, !0 Man Scion squad with 3 plasmaguns and a Hot Shot Volley Gun.
Elites; 10 x Ratlings, 2 x Special Weapons Squads (Meltaguns & Grenade Launchers).
Heavy Support; 2 x Heavy weapons Squads (Mortars & Autocannons), Leman Russ with Plasma Cannons, Battle Cannon, Lascannon & Stormbolter).
Fast Attack; Hellhound, Heavy Flamer, Inferno Cannon.
Dedicated Transport; Chimera with 2 heavy bolters and a stormbolter.


The Space Jehovah's

HQ: 2 x Commanders  (Fusion Blaster & Plasma Rifle plus drones coming out of their wazoos)
Troops: A Breacher Team,2 x  Strike Team.
Elites; 3 x XV8 Crisis Battlesuits
Heavy Support; TX7 Hammerhead
Dedicated Transport; Devilfish (transport for the Breacher Team)

The list seems quite small but there is lots of shootiness there.


The Game

The game started well when I stole initiative from Aaron again. That makes it 2-0 in the queue jumping stakes. A pained expression from my opponent was reward enough (almost), but there was the added bonus of giving the foul aliens a good dose of Astra Militarum firepower. The Chimera advanced with it's special weapon troopers on board. the Hellhound moved forward and the Scions deployed behind enemy lines just behind the Fire Warriors on the left. They would have deployed as close to the Tau Ethereal as possible but he wasn't there so they had to make do. I hadn't taken a Psyker this game as fitting a unit of 10 Scions with a Hotshot Hellblaster gun thing and 3 Plasma guns eat into your frivolous spending budget. So no Psychic phase then. Shooting went well. The mortars fired first killing the five Fire Warriors next to the Scions. First blood to me then. The Leman Russ opened up on the Hammerhead as did the autocannons, they didn't wreck it totally, but took a goodly amount of wounds from it reducing it's BS*. the Scions opened up on the battlesuit wearing Tau dropping him down to 3 or 4 wounds. They would regret not killing him (her, it). It had also shot some wounds off the Devilfish with the plasma cannon sponsons as the Hammerhead was 2" out of range of that.
  

Dodgy close up shot of my now painted up for about 24 years Catachan Squad, who, incidentally are from the Krablokistan 47th.

A tranquil looking table. 

Sneaky Scions couldn't kill the Ethereal (didn't bother to show up) so they vented their righteous alien hating fury on the Fire Warriors, scoring me the first blood victory point. Had they survived to the end of the game, (SPOILER ALERT - they didn't) they would have tried to grab that objective.
Aaron insisted on having a turn next (very inconsiderate of him I thought). This is where many guardsmen started regretting life in the military. Firstly both his commander and battlesuits arrived, the commander landed next to the Hammerhead, the battlesuits to the left of the big hill on my left. Either by luck or judgement I had advanced my Chimera just enough to mean the battlesuits couldn't deploy where he wanted and I hadn't left any room for a sneaky back door invasion type situation. His shooting was effective 4 or 5 Scions removed, a similar amount of ratlings and a wrecked Chimera. Only one guardsman out of the dozen failed to leave the flaming pile of scrap. The Hammerhead started dueling with the Leman Russ but thankfully my initial salvo had done just enough to affect its shooting ability. The Tau commander that had been shot up by the Scions then assaulted them (no overwatch hits, grrrrrr) and battered them like lumps of cod. The morale phase made both Ratlings and Scions depart.

The end of turn one. Two special weapons squads jump out of a now expired Chimera. Their mission, should they accept it is to kill the battlesuits to the left while at the same time grab objective 1 to their right. 

I was fairly hopeful of wiping out the Battlesuits but there were a lot of annoying Drones to get through as well.

In my turn there was a rather alarming threat next to my left flank, the battlesuits. As luck would have it the weapons most suited to taking them out were in range. I moved the Hellhound round to toast some fire Warriors as I reasoned that the now damaged Hammerhead would die to autocannon/missile launcher fire so the Leman Russ could concentrate on the Devilfish. the two infantry squads would move into firing positions to hopefully help kill off the Battlesuits. That was my plan for turn two, and I thought rather snazzy.

The Hellhound and the Devilfish play peek-a-boo. 
It didn't happen exactly like that. The mortars, infantry and special weapons poured fire into the Battlesuits leaving all but one dead. My shooting further damaged the Hammerhead but not enough to destroy it. The Hellhound spewed flame all over the Fire warriors WITHOUT KILLING A SINGLE ONE! So at the end of my turn three meltagun operators were standing perilously close to an angry alien with many horrible weapons.
Two Battlesuits and their annoying drones are gone. All I need now is the last Tau to cock up his shooting and he gets meltaed to death! 

Aaron's force advanced, the fire warriors moved to shoot at the 6 guardsmen huddled in a crater. The Crisis Battlesuit shot up the special weapons squad, leaving a solitary meltagun technician there. Aaron's luck was pretty poor in the shooting department all game. What he did hit he failed to wound so his luck was severely hampering him. He shot then assaulted the special weapons troops in the crater and assaulted my last remaining meltangun with the Crisis Suit. In a game defining roll for overwatch the proud guardsman hit and killed the big asexual alien killing him and subsequently ran off following the morale **roll. The Tau Fire Warriors assaulted the Guardsmen and it quickly became apparent why neither troop types are renowned for their combat prowess around the galaxy. Lots of ineffectual striking left no one even a bit injured in the Crater of Effort. The turn ended with Aaron's forces largely neutralised by his own dice.

Part of my static defense line. The guardsmen in the pub do not really contribute to the war effort except by holding the objective 3. The autocannons and Leman Russ keep shooting the Hammerhead & Devilfish.

I like to think the last thought of the battlesuit wearing Tau that died to an overwatching meltagun to the face was "Greater good, my arse!". By the way the smoke isn't photoshopped.
The final turn of the game saw the demise of both Tau Battlesuit commanders and the Hammerhead.  In my enthusiasm for shooting I completely forgot to assault the Fire Warriors in the crater with the Cadian squad that had advanced up for that very purpose. Luckily both groups of protagonists were actually terrible at hand to hand fighting and no one ***died. Aaron only had a damaged Devilfish with a unit of breachers in it left and four Fire Warriors so called it. A solid victory for the Imperium. Mainly due to some crucially good rolls at inopertune times (for Aaron).

How many humanoids can you fit in one crater? Well seven it seems. The guardsmen adjacent to the melee in the crater were so mesmerised/repulsed by the goings on that they completely forgot to assault them in the assault phase. Crom only knows what would have happened had it been followers of Slaanesh in there with them!

All that remains of Aarons army is the Devilfish filled with a Breacher Team and 4 fire warriors slapping (and being slapped) in the crater. With my Leman Russ undamaged ready to unleash hell,  and another unit of infantry readying their Tau slapping equipement he conceded.

This squad got the best mission in any squaddies book. Hold the drinking establishment, wait for further orders. Those orders never came and they say sometimes in the dead of night you can still hear them singing "She was only the Devilfishmongers Daughter".

Conclusion

That was a fun game (hopefully for my opponent too). I have found that Astra Militarum armies need the first turn to get an extra round of shooting in, rolling a 6 to seize initiative from Aaron two games in a row is a trend I really enjoy. Had he got the first turn, I'm sure I'd be writing up a very different battle report. I was fairly happy with my use of the Scions, the put a big dent in one of the commanders with a Battlesuit, so much so that he had to move away from my battle line to deal with them. Again the Ratlings failed to see turn two, but they seem to be a good cheap distraction unit as well. Thank Ganesha that the internet said they're the best sniper units, every game so far seems to attract so much firepower that could be used somewhere I'd like even less. Once again the Leman Russ kicked arse! My meltagun overwatch shot that killed the last Crisis Battlesuit was pretty well planned as well, I thought. Must do that again. Very annoyed that I forgot to assault the crater Tau with a fresh unit of  Guardsmen. Still, the game was great fun and Aaron took his appalling luck with good grace. Next battle has been fought and it's a humdinger between Krablokistan's Mediocrity against Ultramarines in an open play type deal. SPOILER ALERT; Roubotte Guilliman and Marneus Calgar make a bloody appearance!

*Hammerheads are renowned for their bullshit stories about how they went round to the Imperium and kicked the shit out of it. The stories aren't always factual.
** I like to think he made it off the battlefield safely and after a series of dangerous events made it back to his planet of origin to find and meet the gal who promised to wait for him, settled down and raised a large family. What probably happened was he was executed by the first Commissar he got within 100 metres of.
***Except one.

Thanks For Reading.