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30K Apocalyptic battle (Long, A lot of pictures)

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This was the largest apocalyptic engagement I yet to see. At some point there were more then 30000 points on the table. Every participant was supposed to have ~3000 points committed with half placed on the table at the point of initial deployment and the rest coming later on reserve rolls. There multiple objectives that each side must reach and control, in addition each player had a secret agenda, which was known only to organizers (guys that are running our local GW at 8th street). Tim (my son) was responsible for ork forces in the center and therefore this side will be furthermore referred to as 'ua' (or optionally known as forces 'B').

Forces 'B'deployed a strong armored fist on the right flank that contained two baneblades, 'The Fortress of Arrogance' and elements of the armored company.

In the center combined orkish forces (~4000 points) with initially deployed two looted wagons

On the left flank mixed task force of Dark angels and Adepta Sororita forces buttressed small detachment of eldars.

The enemy of everything holly (operationally known as forces 'A') deployed massive army of necrons opposite to our green tide with armored tau unit and small detachment of eldars. The baneblade provided heavy support on this flank.

The center was thinly screened by a small detachment of marines supported by two fire prism tanks. The nightbringer and a detachment of rangers were lurking behind a ruined building in the center. The decision to put such a puny force opposite to green tide very puzzled me from the very beginning. We exploit it immediately and the enemy was never able to recover this center.

On the right flank, opposite to our armored company a large force of chaos marines with 3-4 vindicators and several rhinos have been deployed. While very impressive the available firepower was clearly insufficient to take down two baneblades supported with a terminus pattern landraider as several smaller tank (smaller or not, strength 8 and 9 weapons are nothing to sneeze at).

On the roll off we won the first turn – the most ideal situation for our infantry heavy forces on the left flank. Our demonic units started to materialized in uncontested center of the battlefield on the left flank

and unprotected center. Three orkish tracks full of boys proceeded to the center

to secure the central objective. Blood Angels on the right flank formed up the Rhino wall and moved jump-packers behind it in preparation for assault. Our shooting phase was uneventful. On the left flank, the sheer amount of deployed infantry made a death of 10-20 soldiers on both sides rather unnoticeable. On the right, Baneblades open up on the Vindicator wall and damaged some of them without destroying any.

On the opponent’s turn two necron monoliths materialized on the left flank making us all pause for a second. The battle on the left flank suddenly become much more interesting

On the right Plague marines disembarked from rhinos and surged forward toward blood angels. Vindicators shoot at baneblades and managed to take out two structural points on one of them. During an assault phase plague marines took it close and personal while on the left flank maneuvering continued with a group of wraiths led by a necron lord moving into an assault position.

On the second turn Ork Fighta-bomma spewing black clouds of exhaust and big bommas strifed necron warriors. Executing flank march Brass Scorpion entered on the left flank shot and engaged the baneblade.

A large squad of terminators entered from the left side of the border and proceeds mauling tau vehicles. On the right flank massive tank and artillery barrage destroyed all vindicators, 3 out of 4 rhinos and a number of unengaged enemy marines. At this point the prospects on the right flank looked very bleak for the enemy we started to plan a massive armored drive from the right flank to the center and the left. Alas… we clearly had a serious intelligence failure here.

In the enemy’s moving phase Tau’s Baracuda squadron redeployed to the left flank and engaged Fighta-bomma, but could only stunned crew of the orkish monstrosity.

Second baneblade rolled in and parked behind the monolith.

The most interesting events however took place on the right flank. Massive tyranid incursion put a quick end to our plans to redeploy armored units to the left flank and forced right flank to fight for a dear life. A tyranid Biotitan attacked armored formation led by two baneblades and quickly destroyed BOTH of them

The biotitan would be bad on it own, but to make it worth two hive tyrants, a carnifex and supporting units (Tyrant guards, biowores and genestealers) moved to contest another objective. Following destruction of both baneblades the only heavy tank left to challenge the titan before the arrival of new wave of reserves was the terminus pattern landraider.

ON the third turn

The second wave of armored company elements entered on the right flank and together with alone “Terminus” pattern Land raider opened up on the Biotitan managing to slash off 7 wounds (out of 10). Several units of space marine reserve also entered on the right flank and joined the brutal hand-to-hand with smaller tyranid units denying the access to the objective and to the imperial tanks.

Fighta-bomma redeploys to the center in attempt to shake off pursuing barracuda and eventually join the forces attacking the biotitan. The ork Nob squad led by Ghazgul Thraka himself disembarked from the squiggoth with eventual goal to lend their power claws to the cause of enemy’s armor distraction

In our shooting phase one of the monoliths was immobilized. Considerening that a squad of killa kans was moving its way it was not a good news.In the enemy rear two units of Khorn berserkers supported by a Defiler appeared from nowhere and immediately attacked the bane blade. Concerted efforts of all parties involved led to the destruction of the mighty machine. The nuclear explosion that followed took ALL Khorn berserkers (Yes, that’s right, 20 Khorn berserkers just evaporated on spot), several space marine honor guard and necron warriors, two or three orks but… the bane blade was no more.

In the act of revenge enemie’s barracuda caught up with a fighta-bomma and open up with everything they have. The Tau flier despite the return fire and support from from our allies managed to destroy the orkish monstrosity but with stunned crew was unable to target any units on the next turn.

By the end of the third turn IT become apparent that situation of our opponent doesn’t look good. Despite very lucky rolls that regenerated 3 out 7 wounds biotitan was still fully engaged in artillery duel with imperial tanks and the tyranid onslaught on the right flank bogged down in the well positioned marine defenses with several additional unengaged marine units ready to join the battle. Despite the destruction of ork’s fighta-bomma Tau Arial units were crippled and unable to lend fire support on the next turn. On the left flank the loss of both bane blades decrease considerably their ability to suppress our infantry waves and the speed of reinforcing their own units was clearly insufficient. The concerted orkish assault including multiple units with power claws on the next turn was imminent and it was not obvious what it could be countered with.

Turn 4. The battle wagon finally made it; while the role of this particular tank in this battle will be purely psychological it demonstrated the point – we still have heavy equipment in reserve.

Two things happened in sequence :1) literally everything on the left flank with the strength above 7 targeted grey(unpainted) monoliths. Which exactly shot got through I don’t remember but one of them annihilated it. 2) Squad of killa kans assaulted second, previously immobilized monolith also annihilating it.

The loss of two anchoring elements of necron defensive line resulted in immediate collapse of the whole defensive strategy on the left flank and eventually, after the round of assaults led to phasing out of necron units. As a result not only the opponent lost control of the rear objective (the one in a ruined building) but in the moving phase of the next turn this objective will fall under control of advanced units of orks. At this point it became apparent that in the remaining time our opponent has no chance to seize of even contest any additional objective. The opponent conceded the battlefield.

Several lessons from this battle. 1) Flanking marsh is vicious when used correctly. Our opponent lost two super-heavies to well placed (suicidal) strikes

2) Concentrate your fire. In a target rich environment targets needs to be prioritized in order to be destroyed not crippled. Two baneblades with 1 structural point each will shoot just as well as two bane blades with 3 points. So, destroy – not cripple.

3) Massed infantry are often underestimated as was demonstrated on the left flank. Even intense ordinance bombardment can kill just so many units. When you face ~150 orks loss of 50 is in significant; you still will be dealing with the same number of power claws as in the beginning. Concentrate you fire ad destroy them in depth. Screening units in that respects are useful. Just make sure that these units are strong enough to withstand at least one turn. Assault first if needed.

4) Air support is overrated. I wonder if more is needed.

5) Huge titans, while looks scary are not invincible and in the context of balanced game have limited usefulness. Well placed tank forces can stall them for some time. I am not convinced that the tyranid biotitant was used efficiently in this game. I wonder how good are they in close combat. They used to have “Flee” rule in the Forge World book, not sure about The Apocalypses one.

PS. All images here are 30% of the original size. should somebody want a bigger image, yell and I will e-mail it to you.

PPS. I created a new album, 'Apocalyptic battles', that has some more images that are probably more interesting for participants than casual readed

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