So this was the first outing for my newest completed force, the Eagle Knights. It was a 1500 point battle between the Admech with Astra Militarum allies and a force of Eagle Knights.
The forces of the Admech and Guard consisted of something along the lines of:
2 Tech Priest Dominus, 2 Dunecrawlers, 4 squads of Rangers and a squad of Ruststalkers. In addition there was also a Company Commander, Command Squad, 3 Squads of Infantry, 3 Lord Commissars, a Scout Sentinel and a Lascannon Heavy Weapons Squad. These were arranged in to two Battalion detachments and a Supreme Command Detachment, giving my opponent 10 command points.
On the other side of the table were a Librarian, Chaplain, Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 3 5 man Tactical squads, an Assault squad, a 7 man and 5 man Death Company Squads, a Devastator squad and a Vanguard Squad, arranged in a Battalion and Supreme Command Detachment, giving me 7 command points. One of which I spent straight away giving my Chaplain the Death Visions of Sanguinius, turning him in to a Death Company Chaplin.
Eagle Knights Deployment, castling up in the centre of the board.
The Reserves, Death Company at the back, Assault Squad with Libby, the second Death Company with Chaplain, and the Vanguard and Lieutenant at the front.
The view across the table at deployment.
The AdMech and Guard deployment, spreading out, heavies on the right flank and guard on the left. The Scout Sentinel would scout forward and to the left to extend the area of no deep striking.
The Ruststalkers, in reserve for the AdMech
Well, I had managed to deploy first and as we were playing the Eternal War mission; Secure and Control, I got to go first or rather I should have. Unfortunately for me, my opponent managed to steal the initiative. As a result, my poor infantry hiding in the ruins took quite a battering, and when I say infantry, what I mean is that my Devastators to a battering, eventually succumbing to the sheer weight of fire coming there way, giving up first blood, something that would become quite important later in the game. The rest of my forces got off quite lightly, having a 2+ save thanks to cover from the vast majority of the firing.
During my turn, I decided to launch a mass assault, dropping the death company on my left flank, in front of the heavy support Dunecrawlers, and the assault marines and Vanguard vets dropped in in front of the guard squad on the right flank. This is where I made the first and probably the biggest mistake of the game. I had cleared it with my opponent before the game to use the Blood Angles relics and not just be stuck to the Successor chapter one relic sword, thus I had given the Chaplin the Angles Wings, to deny my opponent overwatch. I was supposed to combine this with the Descent of Angles stratagem, for a 3d6 charge, but forgot, rolling up short, very short, so short that not even a re-roll would have helped. I then decided to charge the 7 man DC squad in, this time using the stratagem and rolling up a massive 13 inches. Unfortunately I took 3 losses to overwatch and the 5 man DC squad, armed with 2 hammers, also failed its charge, on a double 1. This meant that I had little chance of doing the damage I needed to do first turn, although the DC squad that did charge in did manage to put a few wounds on the Warlord.
The botched charges on the left
On the right flank, things went a little better, but not much. The Libby did some damage during the Psychic phase, wounding the Sentinel and giving the Vanguards an extra attack each. The Vanguard and the Lieutenants then made there charge in to the Guard, but the Assault marines failed there charge in to the Sentinel.
The Right flank, a little more successful.
The Vanguard destroyed one squad, before consolidating in to the second. Unfortunately, the Lieutenant was left behind.
For some reason I did not take any picture this turn, but it wasn't a great turn for the Knights. All the units charge in the first turn fell back from combat, with the guard making good use of orders to wittle the Vanguards down to 3 men and the AdMech sniped out the Lieutenant. The DC squad that was in combat was also punished, dropping the squad down to just 2 members. One of which was lost to moral at the end of the turn. I needed anything but a 6, and on my first roll I rolled a 6 but that's ok, I have ATSKNF, so I went and re-rolled, getting a 6. Oh, dam.
My turn was a little more successful. The rest of the Death company moved up and attacked the Dunecrawler, taking it down to just 2 wounds. The vanguard vets moved across the board and took on the heavy weapons squad and a rangers squad, while the Assault marines moved up to take on the rest of the guard squads and command units on the right. While the vets managed to take out the heavy weapons, with assistance form the last surviving DC marine, they were both able to consolidated on other squads as well. The Assault marines on the other hand, failed to destroy there targets. I think this was a combination of some very poor rolling from me, with my Libby unable to take down a Company Commander, and splitting up my attacks to much, I should have just concentrated on the guard and left the commissars and company commanders alone. As a result I lot a couple of marine to the attacks back from the Commissars and lost my Libby to the power fist of the Company Commander! I really don't understand why Librarians don't have an Invulnerable save as standard? So I had done some damage this turn, but not really enough to turn the tide of battle, I was still massively outnumbered and deep within the enemy lines. Also I should mention, that a squad of marines had moved up alongside the Captain and Lieutenant to engage the guard and rangers in the centre of the board, to try and put some pressure there as well.
This was where it really was the beginning of the end. Again, most of the units fell back from combat, opening up the vanguard vets and the assault marines to another punishing round of shooting. As a result, the last DC marine in the centre died, as did the Vanguard vets. The big news for me though, was that the Ruststalkers finally dropped in on my left flank, right by the objective, although there shooting killed a couple of marines, and thus meant that a charge was out of the question this turn.
Top of turn 3 and the Knights are in trouble
Locked in combat, the only good thing to happen this turn.
In my turn the DC marine advanced and charged in to some rangers, although they were now down to just a couple of marines and a Chaplain. The assault marines shot the last commissar to death with pistols. Apart from that little happened, as I was really down to my last few units. In the assault phase, the Captain and Lieutenant charged in and killed a few guardsmen and the last Ranger, while the DC marines killed a few Rangers, but were reduced down to there last member, alongside the Chaplain.
Well, by now the writing was well and truly on the wall, the last assault marine fell in combat after surviving a bunch of shooting. The tactical marines in the centre were reduced to one member alongside the Captain and Lieutenant and the last DC marine fell. The only point of note was the 11 inch charge that the Ruststalkers managed, brining them up to the objective, before they wiped out all but one of the tactical marines.
The few remaining marines.
In my turn I didn't both doing much, as there was little that I could do. I could not take the enemy objective, as I had only 1 troop compared to about 7 enemy troops in that area. I was down to barely half a dozen models in total and massively outnumbered. However, I survived a white wash of 8 to 1 but falling out of combat with my last marine and moving back in to range of the objective, using objective secured to hold it. This meant that the final score was 5 to 5, with both of us holding an objective and line breaker, but my opponent having first blood and myself slay the Warlord.
The last stand.
We skipped through them 4 quite a bit as it was the last turn and realistically there was only one thing that was of any concern, the holding of my objective. If we had played this game out to 5 full turns i think in would have been facing a tabling. At the very least i would have ended up loosing 8 to 1. I learnt a lot this game about the force. My assault units worked very well, but i should not have split up the vanguard vets and the assault marines. Keeping them together would have meant being able to wipe out the guard on the right flank and then move towards the centre, on mass, rather than bit by bit. The same with the DC marines, although, using the correct stratagem at the correct time would also have helped! I'll refine the list and hopefully get another game in some time soon.