Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orks vs. Space Marines, Part II: Revenge of the Ultramarines

[See Part I of this series]

Last Time: Destroyed or damaged vehicles littered the landscape while the Green horde fell on the beleaguered Space Marines...

The Game: Continued
To the Last Man
The Nob and the Boyz used their cover effectively to approach the Devastator Squad and fell on them with a vengeance. One by one the Marines were lost to the Ork's superior troop numbers and greater number of attacks. However, the last Marine must have been swinging his missile launcher like a man possessed. With each turn he would successfully land a hit, and each hit would result in a dead Ork. Rarely have I successfully rolled so many 4+'s in a row. The Orks' attacks would either fail to hit, fail to wound, or would be negated by an armor save. Eventually I lost the Marine, but not before he took out several Boyz. By the end, that mob had been so reduced that it ceased to be a threat.

Timely Assistance and the Shooting Gallery
Around the time that my HQ was lost (instantly killed by Warboss #2's power klaw when the Captain rolled three successful Iron Halo saves but failed one), and while the lone Marine in the Devastator squad was putting up a good fight, the Terminators' reserve roll succeeded and they came in with storm bolters and assault cannon blazing. As I had intended, the Terminators entered on Jon's side and were ideally located. After taking out the last of the DeffKoptas, the Terminators then turned on the Warboss and the 'Ard Boyz. Jon suddenly realized that the bulk of his army was trapped in a shooting gallery since any attempt to approach the Terminators would put them in the arc of fire of both the immobilized Vindicator and the Venerable Dreadnought.

"Did somebody call for backup?"

Warboss #2 destroyed the Vindicator to eliminate one threat, but the tank exploded, the explosion extended 6 inches, and yet another 'Ard Boy was killed. The Venerable Dreadnought was more than 12 inches away and represented a significant march in the face of the Terminators' fire. Jon therefore ignored the Dreadnought and tried to make a run for my remaining troops, but after we saw the slaughter caused by the combined fire of four storm bolters and two assault cannons (and noted that it was well past midnight), we decided to call the game. The Marines were left with 230 points of Terminators and an immobilized Venerable Dreadnought (normally 175 points with an assault cannon; I don't know how much an immobilized vehicle is worth). The Orks were left with a 100 point Warboss and a bit less than 100 points of Boyz and 'Ard Boyz. Although it's likely that the Marines would have eventually wiped out the remaining Orks, it probably would have been done with the loss of at least a couple Terminators. The game was an absolute bloodbath with no clear winner... which is exactly how our little cabal likes them.

The Shooting Gallery

Game MVP
For a sheer points cost to points killed ratio, it was definitely Warboss #2 (~100 points). After killing the Dreadnought (105 points), Warboss #2 killed a full strength Captain (115 points). He then destroyed the immobilized Vastator (115 points). That's a kill ratio of 3.35 points killed per points paid. This number doesn't even include the Tactical Marines killed during the fighting. By the time we finally called the game, the Warboss still had two wounds remaining.

The Turning Point
The Terminators couldn't have come in at a better time. By that time nearly all other Marines had been killed or were in losing combats, a Dreadnought had been wrecked, and the remaining armor was effectively useless while they where immobilized and their guns were pointed the wrong way. Not only did the Terminators bring in some much needed firepower, but by deep striking them into an area covered by the Vindicator's and Venerable Dreadnought's arcs of fire, the damaged vehicles suddenly became useful again.

Lessons Learned
Much of the composition of my army was dictated by the models I had available and were obviously inappropriate for fighting a horde. Dreadnoughts can be effective Ork killers, but not with a multi-melta. The Venerable Dreadnought's assault cannon was murderous and would have been more effective if the walker hadn't been immobilized.

Similarly, four missile launchers can be very effective against light or medium armor, but make mediocre anti-infantry weapons. However, a Devastator Squad with heavy bolters (150 points) would put out twelve shots per turn that would ignore almost any Ork's armor. Or, given that a Devastator Squad can be overrun and eventually destroyed by even non-upgraded Boyz, a better choice may be a Predator with an autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons, and a storm bolter (95 points). This could fire up to ten shots per turn (two strength 7, six strength 5, and two strength 4), eight of which would ignore most Ork armor, while being resistant to being overrun by hordes. Throw in Sergeant Chronus for a total of 165 points and you can get a Predator that ignores stunned and shaken results while firing all those shots with a BS of 5.

Next time, bring a relic blade. In close combat you can only hope to bring down a Warboss with something mean. A Space Marine Captain can be pretty darn mean, but he has to be able to do some damage to a power klaw-wielding Warboss before the Ork can strike back. Although the Captain is pretty likely to inflict two or three hits due to his high WS, at strength 4 a Captain has to roll pretty high to wound a toughness 5 Warboss. In previous games I've given my Captain a relic blade (which hits with strength 6) and have taken down Hive Tyrants with it.

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