I made a hobby vow to play ALL of the Battle Missions in the expansion book released by Games Workshop. Here is Battle Report Number 1- Pillage.
Pillage is a Chaos Space Marine themed mission. The set-up is a combination of Dawn of War and Spearhead. First place D3+2 objectives anywhere on the table, 12" from a table and edge and 12" from an objective. We had 4 objectives.
Next, Roll-Off for deployment zones, which are the entirety of the table quarter. No 12" inch buffer. The ENTIRE QUARTER 0.0. Well.. that's kinda silly. I won the roll-off and chose the quarter with some good LoS blocking terrain.
The Chaos Marine player (which in this case is my younger brother Sean) must place 2 Troop Units and a HQ unit within his quarter. Then the other player must place 2 Troop Units and a HQ. Everything goes into, what I refer to as, deep reserve. Everything but 3 units in reserve? Ugh.
Chaos Marine player rolls a die. On a 1, the other player seizes the initiative. 2+, he is fine. Sean rolls a 5, and he takes the first turn.
The scoring mechanism is not bad though. At the end of your opponent's turn, if you have ANY unit touching the objective, you score a Loot/Salvage point. These points accumulate, and the largest amount held wins the mission.
Random Game length is enforced.
2 Daemon Princes with Mark of Slaanesh and Lash of Submission
2x 10 Chaos Space Marines with Plasma Gun, Missle Launcher
8 Plague Marines
Defiler with Lascannon
2x 5 Havocs with 4 Missile Launchers
Warding Stave, Might of Titan, Sanctuary, Quickening, Warp Rift, Shrouding
1 MC Storm Bolter and Halberd, 1 Halberd, 1 MC Halberd, 1 Daemon Hammer
10 Grey Knights-260
2 Psycannons, 2 Daemon Hammers (1 on Justicar), Psybolt Ammo
5 Grey Knights-125
Psycannon, MC Daemon Hammer on Justicar
5 Grey Knights-125
Psycannon, MC Daemon Hammer on Justicar
3 Psyflemen Dreads-135 each
Here are pictures of the initial deployment:
Turn 1 was fairly uneventful. Sean flew his Daemon prince to try and claim my objective. He moved the Rhino into contact with the objective. My response: I popped out the 10 Strikes and joined the Librarian with them. They quickly gunned down the Daemon Princes with an amazing 10 saves from just their Storm Bolters (Yay Psybolts). The Rhino ran to touch the objective making 2 successful DT tests in a row. Sean claimed one immediate point.
Turn 2 pics:
Turn 2 was a little more exciting. Sean got some stuff in from reserve, which was his normal CSMs and Plague Marines. The Rhino moved up in his starting deployment zone and the Plague Bearers quickly moved up onto the objective supported his initial Rhino. The CSMs inside shot at my Strike Marines on top of the hill, killing off 2. I score no Salvage counters. My turn 2 saw my Psybacks with dudes come in from the left table edge. I moved the Strikes down to get some cover (the picture looks odd cause the dude would stay on the hill :( ), still leaving the psycannons in range. I also moved into contact with the objective. My Rhino ran to the left objective and touched it. I shot the Psybacks achieving nothing, and I forgot to shoot my Psycannons :(.
Turn 3 pics:
Turn 3 saw Sean receive his 2 Havoc squads and his Defiler into play. The Havocs moved into cover and create fire lanes down the board. The Defiler moved in on the left edge and shot a lascannon at one of my Razorbacks, wrecking and causing the Strikes to get out. The Rhino took fire from the left most CSM squad and it negated the damage with smoke. His right Rhino moved to the objective on my right. I scored two loot counters at the end of the turn. My turn 3 got in two Dreadnoughts. Thank god. Unfortunately, one did nothing to the left Rhino, but one shot down his Rhino sitting on the top right corner objective, forcing the guys to get out. They took more fire from the Strikes on the hill, and they failed leadership. They ran away from the objective, and Sean only received one Loot counter.
Turn 4, Sean did not get his final Daemon Prince. He unleashed a hell of shooting, wrecking my Rhino and Razorback. He also destroyed my left Dreadnought and crippled the right Dreadnought. Ouch. His CSM marines moved closer to my Psybacks and were prepared to engage my forces. I scored 2 more Salvage counters. My turn 4, Paladins deep struck next to the Plague Marines. Ugh. More shooting causes the CSMarines on the right to flee off the table. I removed the Defilers battlecannon, and I wrecked the left CSMs Rhino and forced them to take leadership, who also ran off the board. He scored only 1 Loot from the Plague Marine objective.
Turn 5 pics:
Turn 5 was some clean-up. Sean was not rolling good dice, but he got his DP in to mess around with my Strikes on the left of the table. The CSMs regrouped and charged my Strikes, with some help from the Lash. Sean wrecked the right Dreadnought, and he moved the Defiler to touch the objective. I scored two more Salvage counters. My turn 5 saw my Dreadnought come in. My Dreadnought blew up the Defiler, and the Paladins stomped the Plague Marines. Sean called it there.
It was a very good game at the beginning, but as more of my units hit the table, the game momentum quickly shifted. Sean hadn't played in a long time, and he was shaking off some of the rust. Good game regardless though.
Here is my critique of the mission: winning the mission with Loot counters is an interesting and fun mechanic. I think that having any unit score on it seems a little silly, considering the importance of troops in 5e. It was still a good win condition.
The major issue though stems from the deployment. Easy turn 1 assaults due to a silly deployment are not cool. That needs to be fixed. 12" bubble is definitely needed for both quarters.
Also, why the need for reserving? Dear God. That would really mess some armies up, particularly those unprepared for the mandatory reserving.
For each mission, I will give them a letter grade. This indicates my opinion on their balance, fun, and uniqueness.
This mission: B- Loot counters are fun, but the deployment set-up with mandatory reserves really make this mission a pain in the ass. Otherwise, a good game.
Hope you all enjoy these segments.