A guest article by Australia’s: GR00V3R
If you’ve been following my series on Epic:Armageddon, you’ll have at least a passing familiarity with the game–enough so that you can read and enjoy a battle report. To that end, this post describes a great battle fought between Kim and Mark, who pitted a traitorous Planetary Defence Force against the marines of the Space Wolves chapter.
In Epic:Armageddon, the Warhammer 40,000 “fluff” really comes alive. Space Marines, while few in number compared with the teeming billions of the Imperial Guard, nevertheless strike hard and fast, and can take a terrible pounding yet still fight effectively—a skilled commander can use this to surmount seemingly impossible odds. The Guard, meanwhile, bring both large numbers of low-cost troops and some absolutely massive firepower.
For this 3,000-point battle, the Planetary Defence Force (PDF) player applied the Guard’s strengths by fielding a combination of massed infantry (three companies) and some really, really big guns (super-heavies), backed up by cavalry, artillery and air support.
The Space Wolves played to the marines’ strengths by fielding a combined-arms force consisting of a full Battle company, two Scout detachments, Land Raiders, Whirlwinds for short-range artillery support, Bikes, and two Land Speeder detachments. A Thunderhawk gunship completes the army by providing mobility.
(Sorry…no Titans yet. I’m saving discussion of Titans for next year.)
Both players placed their objectives. Mark deliberately tried to put his objective markers in the open as Kim’s large formations can be difficult to shift when they’re in cover.
The Space Wolves player garrisoned two Scout detachments very far forward, including one squad with sniper riffles, while Kim garrisoned one formation of Guardsmen forward on her left flank, overlooking the nearby objective.
Mark and Kim deploy their forces
The Space Wolves won the initiative, and their opening gambit was to perform an aerial assault against the traitor PDF’s Vultures. A combined-arms task force of Assault and Devastator marines poured out of the Thunderhawk to attack the traitor aircraft. Although the task force successfully destroyed the Vultures, the Thunderhawk then came under sustained fire from the Shadowswords parked nearby and was destroyed. Oooouch! (There was some solace for Mark, however, in that his marines formations suffered relatively few casualties despite being out in the open for the rest of the turn.)
The Space Wolves followed-up on the assault by moving forward en masse, threatening Kim’s Baneblades and attempting to distract her from the marines in the open by presenting a plethora of targets.
On the far flank, the Scout marines were charged by a formation of Rough Riders. Thanks to their overwatch fire killing the Commissar (and some serious luck), the Scouts managed to draw the initial round of combat. The Scouts then managed to destroy a Rough Rider stand in the resulting follow-up round, eliminating the cavalry’s outnumbering advantage to cling to a draw. A rare third round of combat was then fought, in which the uncannily lucky Scouts managed to wipe out the Rough Riders formation completely.
Mark’s Space Wolves again won the initiative and pressed Kim’s right-hand flank. Land Speeders advanced to fire upon the Baneblades, destroying one with a critical hit, and then provided supporting fire for a formation of Biker marines that engaged the Baneblades. While the Commissar made a good accounting of himself, destroying one Biker stand, the Baneblade crews nevertheless broke under the pressure, leaving the Commissar’s tank as the sole survivor.
Bikes supported by Land Speeders assault a Shadowsword
Kim’s Shadowswords advanced, wanting a taste of the Land Raiders, but could not find a line of fire, and so had to make do with destroying a stand of marines.
The Space Wolves retaliated by firing upon the not-yet-activated Shadowsword. Having put a blast marker on the super-heavy tank, Mark retained and ordered his Assault marines to engage, and they managed to destroy the Shadowsword in the combat resolution.
The smoke clears at the end of turn 2
The Space Wolves attempted to clear the PDF infantry from the center of the battlefield, while the Biker marines claimed the PDF “blitz” objective and the Whirlwinds combined with the Land Raiders to break the Manticores. Elsewhere, the Land Speeders advanced upon the PDF’s Regimental HQ formation to support in a combined-arms assault against it, but were met by vigorous suppressing fire and all but destroyed–a single broken Land Speeder remained and withdrew.
A PDF infantry company managed to break through the Space Wolves lines, preventing them from claiming the They Shall Not Pass victory condition, and also contested their own “blitz” objective with a formation of Rough Riders. This denied the marines their Blitzkrieg victory condition.
At the end of the third turn, the score was Space Wolves 0, Traitor PDF 0, and so a fourth turn was played.
The traitorous PDF forces–gaining the initiative for the first time–unleashed a rain of fire upon the marines contesting the PDF “blitz” objective, and also managed to destroy one of the nearby Biker stands. Kim successfully retained the initiative to engage the outnumbered Tactical marines with her Rough Riders and showed no mercy, destroying them utterly.
Facing three large infantry formations, things looked dire for the Space Wolves. The success or failure of Mark’s next orders would bring them victory or abject defeat.
Gritting his teeth, the Space Wolves commander ordered the Whirlwinds to open fire upon the nearest infantry company–and got lucky. The Whirlwind bombardment exacted high casualties, and broke the target formation, forcing Kim to withdraw them to the only space she could find that was outside any enemy formation’s 15cm kill-zone.
The remaining Shadowsword opened up upon the Land Raiders, destroying one; the stalwart Land Raider crews returned fire, however, damaging the super-heavy unit.
The Space Wolves Devastator detachment advanced and fired upon the PDF infantry company holding the town in the centre of the table. The Devastator marines performed above-and-beyond, destroying a fistful of PDF infantry stands and breaking the formation.
The PDF infantry found themselves with nowhere to run. With Space Wolves on all sides, there was no place to which Kim could withdraw the formation, and so they all perished in the crossfire.
Now the Space Wolves commander saw an opportunity for victory. The last remaining Land Speeder had rallied at the end of the previous turn, and so he ordered it to advance to claim an undefended objective. Similarly, the sole surviving Assault marines stand had also rallied, and so was able to capture another undefended objective.
The combination of objectives held gave the Space Wolves both the Take and Hold and Defend The Flag victory conditions, making the final score Space Wolves 2, Traitor PDF 0.
Special thanks to Mark Logue, not only for playing the original game with Kim, but also for providing these great images of his miniatures in action.
~Bigred here. As usual, lets give it up for GR00V3R for continuing to crank out these Epic pieces. I can almost feel the tension in the air for the upcoming article covering titans. Have at it guys.