Sunday, 13 April 2014

430 - 'After the Storm' Batrep Part II - (Drax's Side, cont.)

Forward elements have been engaged - enemy has also located targets. Am sending forward whole strength to counter; request urgent support from mobile elements. The Emperor Protects; we shall prevail. Out.


This post is monstrously picture-heavy, so to keep it manageable I'll restrain myelf to captions. Here's Col. Gravis's (far more concise) version of events: [link].
A shot from turn three to give you a sense of scale in this game!
TURN 1 - Gravis
The footsloggers' view of the encroaching thin red line. All that was left of 1Pl's 1Section at the end of some grenade and 'Front Rank Fire' lasgun shooting.
Gravis deploys his first random half
Note the mortars joining the heavy bolters in the ruin. They gave me a real headache throughout.
 TURN 1 - Drax
Cadian reinforcements! Thank the Emperor!
The other half of my infantry force would've been prefereable, but 'twas still a lot of Guardsmen.
Some made a dash for the right flank objective
The rather thicker green line (the first  half of it!)
Some gaps slowly start to appear in the Praetorian line
1Pl Command move up to the top floor of my central 'castle'. This was more useul than I thought as Gravis was dead keen to put the kybosh on those three grenade launchers.
The Good Colonel plans his next move as the poor bloody Cadians lug those huge autocannon into position.
 Ultimately, not too much slaughter in Turn 1. Turn 2, though, would see what must have been about 250 Guardsmen slogging itout on the table.

TURN 2 - Gravis

Here they come!
The Praetorians make a dash towards the small redoubt on [my] right flank.
My sorry-ass veterans were - by this point - effecting a withdrawal...but at least they drew some fire.

 TURN 2 - Drax
"We'll call this tactic 'The Surge'!"
A view (right-to-length) of my whole infantry force. Over 160 models.
What became my central (and potentially very vulnerable) 'castle'. Note the company commander calling in his sitrep.
At this point, Gravis started to worry about just how many boots were on the ground.
TURN 3 - Gravis
...and this is a brilliant combination of lucky reserve rolls and superbly canny positioning by Gravis, on my right flank. No gap was left for my reserves to exploit their weaknesses. Just sheer class.
Above/below: the Praetorian Marbo. Blond, mean, and very much in the most threatening position possible. *gulp!*

Rather inexcusably, this is as close as I got to a pic of the whole table! Let's wait for Gravis's posts, shall we?
On my far left flank; Gravis's side. At first it seemed an unlucky reserve roll for Gravis, but it was two anti-tank units that I just couldn't ignore, damnit! 
The last stand of the ill-fated Cadian vets; defiant until the end.
OC 2Pl and his battle-corgi 'After The War' looking with dismay at the Malcador and Eradicator bearing down on the right flank...
What was left of my right flank after Gravis blew some holes in it. He really didnt like my mortars for some reason!
Sadly (and typically) for Gravis, Marbo's demo charge backfired - literally. Evidently panicked, Marbo fumbled the throw and did FAR more damage to himself than to my closely packed 'castle'.
 TURN 3 - Drax

RESERVES! All but one of my reserves came on, and they almost all rolled really poorly for deployment. Due to Gravis's excellent planning, this hellhound on the left could only target one of the Praetorian reserves. Shortly before this pic was taken, therefore, there was still a squadron of rough riders. Toasty!
The Praetorians' central thrust starts to falter under combined lasgun/grenade launcher fire. That git with the beard, though, was almost bloody impossible to kill, and I only just about managed it in the endgame.
In an act of inglorious but desperately selfless service to the Emperor, the hellhound on the right bimbles onto the board and sits right in front of the 'Russ - toasting the lascannon squad and boxing the Praetorian tank into the corner. A sad role for a fast anti-personnel tank on a board full of slow-moving infantry, but I didn't have much of a choice. Damn your tactical acumen, Gravis! 

TURN 4 - Gravis
Last turn, my LR Annihilator had managed to rumble onto the board, but all it could do was halve the Malcador's movement. This turn, the Malcador exacted some revenge...
Followed by the Rough Riders who earned their money by charging in and wrecking it. I love it when great models shine through!
Another serendipidous reserves roll for Gravis: his anti-tank special weapon squad turned up just where it was needed! That gorgeous little tracked vehicle represented his demo charge...but the thrower of it obviously trained at the same place as Marbo: the charge did indeed destroy the hellhound, but its scatter also wiped out the other five members of his squad. Luckily his shame didn't last long: the vehicle explosion caught and killed him!
"Driver, report: what on Terra just happened to that Hellhound?! - Ach! Who cares? OPEN FIRE! ALL WEAPONS!" 
TURN 4 - Drax
CARNAGE! Drax's turn 4 movement
Two views of Gravis's lines

The remnants of 2Pl's HQ and 1 Section prepare to advance onto my right-hand objective 
TURN 5 (I think) - Gravis
On my right flank, the Malcador and Rough Riders have regrouped - luckily the tank's targeters are off.
At this point, I realise with a panic that Gravis - unlike me - has remembered to have a concerted thrust for the objectives. This, added to the newfound freedom of Gravis's tanks to fly around on my right flank makes me start to panic a little. Gravis, though, fluffs an important round of shooting and comes to the grim realisation that (at almost 2330hrs!) there would inevitably only be one more guaranteed movement turn: the Cadians.
TURN 5(?) - Drax
I finally start to push my beleaguered forces forward. To Gravis's dismay there are still a lot of green uniforms on the table....
My right flank remnants come within a 'run'move of the objctive.
At the start of my shooting phase: everything to play for, but a lot of lasguns and grenade barrels are still pointing downrange.
My lovely, lovely, utterly useless Devil Dog turns back to confront Gravis's equally unimpressive Demolisher. I'd love to say it was a clash of the titans, but it was like two exhasted pugilists floundring at each other with over-ripe bananas.
But on the right: success!
And in the centre: we pushed them back.
We even made it on the left flank - just to the right of thi pic. The Hellhound took the last shot of the game - against the Praetorians' wretched bloody psyker battle squad. It was underwhelming.
Gravis rolled for a next turn but - mirroring his fortunes in the endgame - luck was against him and the game ended with the flimsy green line holding one of the objectives fairly firmly (on my left) and two of them far less firmly.

I hope Gravis might offer a fuller respons to our swift post-match analysis, but essentially it seemed to boil down to the following three points:
  1. For the visual treat/fluffy fun that it was, my weird-ass scenario on so huge a table seemed to just about work;
  2. The points balance between infantry and reserve forces was wrong: they should've been equal - either fewer infantry or more cavalry, and
  3. The table dimensions and reserve randomisation didn't quite work. A little more chance to choose would've been beneficial.
I cannot really express my gratitude to Col. Gravis for driving all the way down to Plymouth to play this scenario and wave farewell to what we've come to know and love: Codex: Imperial Guard.

Until next time, then, thank you for reading this far!

- Drax.


  1. Great bat rep! Looked like great fun and I really enjoy seeing so many infantry on the table.
    Looking forward to seeing these guys in the flesh at our big game later this year!

    1. Yeah - as soon as a date's fixed I should be able to confirm!

      Mind you, given that I thought it was a 'Praetorian' game, I wasn't going to bring many of my models...

    2. As much as I love Praetorians, I'm all for diversity! Might be great to have a whole load of your foot sloggers involved. How many do you think you can field?

    3. Put simply, I can realistically bring about 200 Cadian infantry (the rifle company here plus the rest of the support weapons); a 2nd Edition armoured fist platoon (you can see them on the right of my blog's header); a bunch of six Russes and a Baneblade.

      Obviously I've tons of other stuff (artillery, hellhounds etc.) but that's the meat and drink of it.

  2. Its great to see such fantastic, varied armies especially after my mini ding-dong on DakkaDakka with some bloke who thinks by including Rough Riders and basic IG infantry, you obviously don't care about winning. Still gives me faith that its not all about 3 plasma Chimera Vets and Vendettas.

    1. Glad to be of service! If it helps, I own neither a vendetta nor a squad of plasma vets!

  3. Brilliant battle report! All of those infantry looked amazing. Sometimes you just want an all infantry Apocalypse game.

  4. Thanks, mate: honestly, I thought it was rather too pic-heavy - I ought to have been more discriminating and used fewer, better pics.

    Astonishingly, all those infantry comprise only 1500pts each!

    1. Just no.
      The more pics the better admiral. You have your orders.

  5. Crackin read!
    Love that it wasnt an utter tankfest.
    congrats on the win mate, though I think I woild have been just as excited to see gravis win too to be honest. :)

    1. Honstly, after the brutal combination of his fortuitous reserve rolls and tactical acumen in turn three I thought Gravis would win through. Sadly for his beautiful miniatures, my numbers were just overwhelming and the dice gods in turns 4 and 5 were decidedly against him.

      I did enjoy the way the scales tipped back and forth though - that was the idea and it made it quite fun to play.

      Mind you, it always feels a bit rubbish if you win at your own game...

  6. What an epic write up. A brilliant idea and I enjoyed the picture-caption format. Class. Also I liked the prolific use of heavy weapons teams, all the minis involved were beautifully painted/converted. Thanks for sharing this, it's cheered up my Monday morning with a classic cut-and-thrust, back-and-forth send off for the Guard codex.

    1. Glad to have been of service. Thanks for reading!

  7. Comment of the match - "I'd love to say it was a clash of the titans, but it was like two exhausted pugilists floundering at each other with over-ripe bananas."

    What a cracking read - and I'm with Dai - the more pictures the better.

    Glad you boys had fun - the waves of infantry advancing is a stirring sight to behold.

  8. All of that. Glad to have had ring side seat. Your Cadians are going to have to fight someone other than Preatorians one day....

    1. Oi! I'll have you know that they've prevailed at least once against every foe the Universe has sent their way...

      ...except Necrons.

      Cheating Metal Bastards.

  9. Epic and fun battle! Awesome stuff.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!