I brought my infantry-based 6th Schutzen Regiment, Brandenberg Imperial Guard to battle on July 4th, and actually managed to fit in 2 games with a dinner break in between. After 5 hours of pushing 117 models on the table, I can truly say my 'ead 'urts. But it was awesome fun!
The 1850 point army I brought was based on my requirement for an infantry-heavy core, with support elements built around the 3 infantry platoons (for fluff purposes, I count my Conscripts as a platoon, though rules-wise they are part of 1st platoon). Captain Brigitte Vogelsang's command was as follows:
Company Command: Captain Vogelsang - standard bearer, vox caster, attached Master of Ordnance
Ministorum Priest Ehrhardt
Ministorum Priest Parler
1st (Assault) Platoon:
Command: Lt. Ostermeier - vox caster, 3 grenade launchers
1st squad: Sgt w meltabombs, vox caster, meltagun
2nd squad: Sgt w meltabombs, meltagun
3rd squad: Sgt w meltabombs, meltagun
4th (Assault) Platoon (conscripts): 30 conscripts
2nd (Anti-Tank) Platoon:
Command: Lt Schneider - vox caster, 3 grenade launchers
1st squad: vox caster, plasma gun, lascannon
2nd squad: plasma gun, lascannon
3rd squad: plasma gun, lascannon
Sentinal Scout Squadron - 1 with autocannon, 1 with multilaser
Assault Tank Squadron:
Leman Russ Executioner - plasma sponsons, hull lascannon
Leman Russ Exterminator - heavy bolter sponsons, hull lascannon
Battle Tank Squadron: 2 Leman Russ with hull heavy bolters
Spoils of War
Supply convoy DS-XVIII, which was due to arrive at Demetol-Secundus yesterday, had been ambushed and all contact was lost. It was feared that its cargo of precious ancient artefacts was lost, or worse, in enemy hands. Captan Vogelsang was ordered to lead her 3rd Company, 6th Schutzen, into no man's land to recover the cargo, thought to be somewhere amidst the ruins of the abandoned city of Jerrico.
En route, it became clear that elements of the Eldar xenos have been prowling the vicinity, with augurs and forward picket Sentinels feeding in reports of several spottings of xenos in yellow livery. Third Company arrived at Jerrico in the darkness of the early morning, and Captain Vogelsang found that Eldar xenos of the Iyanden tribe had arrayed for battle before her, with 4 Wave Serpent grav IFVs in line abreast threatening her right flank, 2 Wraithlord monstrous constructs on her left flank, and xenos Guardian infantry supported by an even bigger Wraithknight monstrous construct in the center.
With cold precision borne off years of iron discipline, the Brandenbergers deployed for war. Captain Vogelsang and her command squad deployed dead center, behind the Leman Russ Exterminator of the Assault Tank squadron. The tall ruins immediately to her right was occupied by 2nd (Anti-Tank) Platoon, with Commissar Silberbauer. The right flank was taken up by the 4th platoon concsripts, their will fortified by uplifting hymns of Ministorum Priest Ehrhardt. Slightly behind them was Lt Schneider's command squad, temporarily overseeing 4th platoon. To the left and forward of Captain Vogelsang is 1st (Assault) Platoon, with Ministorum Priest Parler singing prayers for the Emperor's blessings. Lt Ostermeier's command squad was directly behind his platoon. The extreme left flank was held by the Battle Tank Squadron, backed by the Hellhound. Captain Vogelsang had ordered the recce squadron of Sentinels to scope out her outlying flanks and making sure they were secure before rejoining the main force. She had also requested Regimental Command for air support.
Scarcely had the Schutzen deployed for battle, the xenos armor began to open fire, even as the 3 monstrous constucts advanced up the left flank. Some conscripts fell to the foul machinations of xenos weaponry, and both tank squadrons were subjected to concentrated heavy las fire, but did no harm other than scratch the grey paint (one crewman later complained of a severe headache caused by the high-pitched clang of xenos munitions bouncing off Leman Russ armor).
Captain Vogelsang ordered both assault platoons to advance, the regulars through the woods in the center, and the concsripts through ruins on the right. 2nd Platoon reported that they have discovered one of the artifacts sitting in the top floor of the ruins they were occupying. Thanking them quietly, Captain Vogelsang ordered the platoon to bring the nearest xenos grav tank down. Focused lascannon fire stabbed into the predawn darkness, converging on the sleek alien tanks. The lascannons, Exterminator autocannons and plasma cannons of the Exectioner followed suit, directing their immense firepower into the enemy tanks. But between the low light and the deft jink manouvers of the xenos pilots, only 1 grav tank suffered a glancing hit. Captain Vogelsang smiled, as 3 of the 4 enemy tanks were forced to manouver wildly to avoid the incoming fire.
In the meantime, the Leman Russes opened up on the xenos Guardian infantry in the ruins in the center of the enemy line. Hi-ex explosions blossomed amidst the ruins, sending fire smoke, rubble and xenos body parts into the air. A stray heavy bolter shell hit the xenos Spiritseer witch, but he stood firm, slightly bloodied. All this while, the Schutzen platoon commanders were barking "move! move! move!" and both 1st and 4th platoons swarmed up the center and right flanks respectively. Shortly, 4th platoon reported recovering yet another lost artifact amidst the ruins they were clearing on the right flank.
As the twin suns rose bringing in the blessing of daylight, the xenos monstrous constructs continued their advance on the left flank, and the 3 Imperial tanks faced them stoicly. Massed las fire and other insidious xenos weaponry converged on the lead Leman Russ, scoring several hits. Chunks of armor, tracks and equpment blew off the mighty tank until the crew were forced to bail out, dragging their unconscious commander away with them from the stricken tank. To the right, the 4th platoon concsripts received the attention of 2 of the xenos tanks, and while the tanks' wild manouvers threw off their aim somewhat, more brave souls were commended to the Emperor. In the center, a xenos lance shot pierced through the Exterminator's front armor like so much tissue paper, and the venerable tank blew up in an orange fireball. Captain Vogelsang herself, who was stationed behind the tank, was wounded, but one of her command squad, as well as four men from nearby 2nd Platoon were killed in the blast.
Refusing medical attention and simply wiping off the blood trickling on her brow, she exorted her men on. The vox caster had been switched off inadvertently in the blast, and her command to 1st Platoon to bring down the already damaged alien tank went unheard. Blessed be the Emperor, for 2nd Platoon's lascannons still managed to glance the enemy IFV again. Then from her left flank was the all-too-familiar whining roar of Vendetta turbofans. Quickly turning on her vox, Vogelsang barked precise instructions, and the gunship's impressive lascannon arsenal opened up as one, turning the alien tank into a twisted wreck of wraithbone. As 1st and 4th Platoons continued their pell mell dash into the enemy's right flank, the Sentinels of recce squadron appeared deep in enemy territory on the right flank - directly behind the xenos tank holding the extreme right. Multilaser and autocannon fire spat death into the enemy's rear armor, but the alien pilot's inhuman evasive manouvers meant that none of the shots found their mark.
The Executioner unloaded all her weapons at another xenos tank, and again the alien pilot's evasive manouver managed to minimize damage to it, though it was glanced once. Unfortunately for the Imperial tank crew, the left sponson plasma cannon overheated, injuring the gunner and causing some damage to the tank itself. On the left flank, the surviving Leman Russ steadily withdrew away from the alien Wraithlords and Wraightknight, drawing the monstrous constructs away from the main body of the Schutzen. But the Hellhound commander spotted one of the artifacts in the blasted woods ahead of him, and sped forwards to retrieve it, towards the monstrous Wraithknight! With his gunners providing covering fire, the brave tank commander leapt of his tank and retreived the artefact. What he did not know was that the fiery covering fire from his flame tank's Inferno cannon had immolated the enemy witch, forever sending him back to whence he came. Such is the justice of the Emperor! On the far right, Lt Schneider's command squad reported the retrieval of yet another artefact.
Pressing on her attack, Captain Vogelsang ordered the remnants of 4th platoon forward to secure yet another objective in some ruins on the right flank in enemy territory. 1st Platoon's advance was by now also in enemy territory, advancing steadily forwards. Whithering covering fire from the Leman Russ' battle cannon and the Executioner's plasma cannons obliterated 10 of the alien Wraithguard. Concentrated lascannon fire from 2nd Platoon and the Vendetta did further damage to 2 Wave Serpents, despite the alien pilots' inhuman attempts at evasive action. Lt Schneider's squad loosed a volley of krak grenades at the third Wave Serpent, but the grav-tank easily avoided it.
As if to avenge their undead brethren, the two Wraithlords on the left advanced further, and this time, their fiendish las weaponry found their mark, repeatedly hitting the lone Leman Russ holding the left flank. The crew was forced to bail out, dragging the lifeless body of their commander with them. The Wraithknight advanced towards Captain Vogelang's position in the center, firing on the Executioner, but failing to cause any damage. All other shooting from the aliens was ineffectual. Then with a silent ferocity, 5 Wraithguard charged 4th Platoon. Many conscripts were hewn to pieces or simply vapourised, but thanks to the strength of the Emperor's Will exhorted by Ministorum Priest Ehrhardt, they stood firm, hitting and shooting back as best they can.
1st Platoon now swung right and advanced against the nearest Wave Serpent, which was standing between them and the melee between 4th Platoon and alien undead constructs. Meltaguns opened fire, but again the alien pilot easily evades the incoming shots. Then, with the hymnal exhortations of Ministorum Priest Parler, 1st Platoon charged the enemy grav-tank. Despite the bucking of the tank, the men bravely, and literally, threw themselves at the tank, affixing meltabomb charges. The alien tank disappeared in a ball of fire, taking 7 men of 1st Platoon with it.
Captain Vogelsang now ordered all her heavy weaponry to focus on the rapidly closing enemy Wraithknight. A curtain of lascannon, plasma cannon, plasma gun and even krak grenade fire from 2nd Platoon, the Executioner, the now-hovering Vendetta and Lt Ostermeier's platoon command squad converged on the monstrous constuct, hitting it repeatedly as pieces of elegant alien wraithbone chipped and tore away from it. But still it advanced towards the Captain's position.
The Wraithknight opened fire on 2nd platoon, but the ruins provided ample cover, the alien energy beams pulverizing masonry instead of human flesh. 2nd Platoon opened up with defensive fire, but the massed lasfire simply bounced off the monstrous construct. The brave men braced themselves for the alien monster's charge - but none came. Quickly seizing the moment, Captain Vogelsang ordered the platoon to Bring It Down! and concentrated lascannon and plasma gun fire blew the hideous thing apart.
Meanwhile, Ministorum Priest Ehrhardt found himself fighting alone as the last of his conscript charges were hewn by the alien undead constructs. He feared not, for his soul had already been prepared for the Emperor's cusp. Raising his chainsword and streaming unending hymnals to the Emperor's glory, Ehrhardt prepared to fight to his death.
Then suddenly, silently, the enemy Wraithguard fell back.
The surviving Eldar - 2 Wraithlords, 3 Guardians, 7 Wraithguard and a Wave Serpent - simply broke off contact and escaped into the surrounding woods, leaving no trace of their prescense, save for the dead and broken machinery.
Captain Vogelsang wiped of the blood that was still oozing on her brow. The enemy had been defeated. She and her beloved Schutzen had emerged victorious. Truly, none can best Guardsmen with the Emperor's blessing behind him. And without a single trace of emotion showing on her face, she ordered immediate status reports from her officers. The Emperor Protects. But it's up to her to make sure 3rd Company survives.
This was the Spoils of War mission from Maelstrom of War. Again, I find the Maelstrom missions really satisfying tactically, and rarely is a game decided early. It's always possible to pull a victory off a defeat. And vice versa. This game was an exception though, and perhaps largely because this is only Dom's second game with his brand-new Iyanden, so he's still learning the Eldar ropes with one of the most difficult Eldar army to play. Importantly, we both had a great time with this game, both vowing to crush the other in a return match. For this game, I decided to use some models which I haven't used in a long time - the Sentinels, and the Hellhound. And I must say I love 'em! Especially the Hellhound. Maybe next time I'll field 2 of those :)
Keep them dice rolling.