Further exploring the merits of an Armoured guard army in the current meta. A revised version of my Tank Hammer list (as seen in a previous battle report) was brought to bear last week.
A Skitarii Veteran Cohort of the Forgeworld Agripanaa has been investigating rumours of a possible Standard Template Construct reportedly sited on an outer rim planet.
The local populace has been considered acceptable collateral damage in pursuit of this goal…
In response to requests from the local planetary Governor, an armoured detachment of the Fauxtorian Guard has been despatched to curb the actions of this aggressive Adeptus Mechanicus force.
Whether it was due to inept bureaucracy, mistyped orders, or vox interference. This encounter escalated instantly to violence. With both forces aggressively on the offensive.
Bring them Down!
The Guard tanks open fire. A hellish volley of Demolisher cannons and Heavy Bolters rain down on the still reacting defenders. They focus fire on the Archaeopter and Dunerider as they seek to reduce the mobility of their opponent in the opening salvoes of the fight.
The unit of Pteraxii Sterylizors within tumble out of the wreckage, leaving one of their cohort behind. Their phosphor torches glowing in fury, and seeking revenge.
A final lascannon shot from a Tank Commander lances straight through the length of the fuselage dropping the smoking flyer to the desert floor. It impacts with a sickening crunch.
Bodies tumble and are thrown brutally into the rock wall they had sought to shelter behind.
Reeling from the brutal barrage of fire, the Cult Mechanicus commander knows that their only hope is to close the range. If they remain at arms length they will be swatted.
Within half range, their Agripanaa constructed weaponry would have the bite it needs with its increased armour penetration. It might be enough to focus fire and give the guard pause for thought.
Ruststalkers, Rangers, Infiltrators, and vanguards quickly move up – leap frogging between pieces of cover.
If they can just get the chance to get into close combat they will swiftly shred through tanks and be able to move through vehicle after vehicle down the gunline.
If the tanks can be swarmed with infantry, those big guns would be unable to fire or aid their squad mates.
The lascannon blasts tear through the armour, passing through destroying metal and man alike, bursting from the far side of the tank.
Confident and aggressive, the Guard armour continues to press their advantage. Moving up to blast infantry with Demolisher, Flamer, and Heavy Bolter.
Scion squads drop into the backfield to disrupt and perform recon actions. One squad unloads its Hot-shot lasguns and Meltaguns into the flamer equipped flyers. Droping them as they prepare to charge a tank.
Meanwhile, the Cyclops Demolition tank moves up ready to push forward and block the central pass.
Both Scion squads face aggressive counter fire. The squad leaders are somehow left standing as their men collapse wounded and dead alongside them.
The Mechanicus Commander knows that they need to reduce the number of operational tanks opposing them fast. He orders the Ironstriders to split their fire. It’s a hail Emperor move, but if they don’t kill them them faster then they won’t stand a chance.
The Ironstriders fire again.
A Demolisher tank commander is severely damaged. The crew inside frantically try to rouse the machine spirits and keep their tank operational. Smoke pours into the crew compartment and fire threatens to consume them.
The second Ironstrider’s Lascannons leave a second Leman Russ to limp away with most of it’s frontal armour ripped away.
Infantry are now within striking distance of the Guard armour. Mechanicus forces surge forwards to grapple with the closest tanks.
The first unit, a squad of Sicarian Infiltrators, faced withering heavy flamer overwatch and was virtually destroyed. Although they reached the tank, the final survivor was quickly overwhelmed and their morale broke.
The Ruststalkers on the other hand burst through a narrow pass in the rocky outcrops to overwhelm another tank. They swarm over the hull, their transonic blades ripping into the armour and peeling away plates like tissue paper.
Disabling and destroying the tank and its crew in moments, their momentum carries them on to the crippled tank commander behind.
A surviving Scion Squad Leader of the 95th Scion Rifles, revs his chainsword and braces himself as a towering Tech Priest barrels towards him. He ducks the charge, counter-attacking and striking first. He has little chance of winning a solo dual, but he swings, once, twice, three times.
The blade severs tendrites and buries itself deep into the torso of his opponent before teeth and gears shatter as they bite into metal instead of flesh.
With the Squad Leader’s weapon now trapped and useless, the wounded Tech Priest uses his lance to despatch him. Dropping his now lifeless body next to his squad mates.
The Trap Closes
Choking, and with eyes streaming with smoke the crew of the crippled Demolisher Tank Commander grab rebreathers and finally get the engine working. Gears grind and with a screeching sound of metal scraping on metal, the vehicle lumbers back just as the Ruststalkers threaten to overwhelm it.
From nearby a Punisher Gatling Cannon opens up.
20 rounds rip into the squad killing two and wounding a third.
The gun fires again to identical results.
The Guard commander yells for additional firepower.
“Throw everything you’ve got at them!
Kill every last one!”
Half a dozen heavy bolters and a pair of Demolisher cannons are added to the fury. But impossibly, still they stand.
Watching first in fascination, and then in awe, the manticore commander directs a Storm-Eagle missile over open sights. It’s at point blank range. They can’t miss. He lets loose.
The dust settles from the direct onslaught.
Bodies are strewn in the open. The space has become a killing zone.
Amazingly, a single Ruststalker remains standing. But they break and flee the crossfire.
With the focus elsewhere, the Cyclops pilot remotely drives his tankette into the pass within range of the survivors of a unit of Skitarii Rangers. He detonates!
A Fighting Retreat
With this, the Mechanicus fire their parting shots and withdraw from the battlefield.
All hope of retrieving the STC is abandoned and the battle is over. Guard are victorious.
At the end of the game 5 Leman Russ tanks were left operational (starting with 8).
This and the previous game have been using the new Tempest of War card. I have some final tweaks to make to the list before my next game, which will be a Matched Play GT mission. The army is formidable with consistent damage output with the ability to hold objectives, so it should make for some fun matchups.
I’ll talk a bit about tweaking the list for GT play and picking secondaries in the next battle report.