Monday, May 16, 2011

Battle Report: Adeptus Mechanicus vs. Sir Biscuit's Crusade Marines!

A week ago Saturday Sir Biscuit and I settled in for a 3000 point battle, his Crusade Marines vs. my Adeptus Mechanicus. We took a bunch of pictures, rolled a bunch of dice, and a good time was had by all! Over the last week we've collaborated on a battle report (Sir Biscuit's comments in red) and here's how it turned out!

Table Setup

Setting up the table took place several days before the actual game, and is described in detail here (

Sir Biscuit: That is one hot table.  This kind of board is actually my favorite kind to play on, as it has a lot of line of sight blocking, making the game less about target priority and more about maneuver.

I spent some time clearing off one of my side tables to give me room to hold the models pre-deployment, and also to have some space to place the inevitable casualties. The army in question was as follows:

The Armies


Mordian7th’s Legio Cybernetica Explorator Force

Archmagos Veneratus Kane
Archmagos Prime with Iron Souls Protectors Retinue in Termite Tunneler

5-strong Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniple
5-strong Legio Cybernetica Robot Maniple
Myrmidon Magnus Assault Engine

12-man Hypaspist Maniple in Termite Tunneler
12-man Hypaspist Maniple in Termite Tunneler
6-man Electro Priest Maniple
4-man Servitor Maniple (non-scoring)

Heavy Support
Ordo Reductor King Russ Maniple – LR:MBT, LR:Vanquisher, LR:Executioner
Ordo Reductor Rapier Laser Destroyer


Around 10:30 Sir Biscuit arrived and he set to laying out his forces prior to setup.

Sir Biscuit’s Crusading Marines

Marneus Calgar (Terminator armor)
Librarian in Terminator Armor, Storm Shield, Null Zone, The Avenger

Rifleman Dreadnought
Rifleman Dreadnought
10-man Terminator Assault Squad in Land Raider Redeemer (Half in redeemer with Calgar, half on foot with Librarian)

5-man Tactical Combat Squad in Las/Plas Razorback
5-man Tactical Combat Squad in Las/Plas Razorback
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino
10-man Tactical Squad in Rhino

Fast Attack
3 x Land Speeders

Heavy Support
3 x Vindicators

Sir Biscuit: It's a bit odd, but has all the hallmarks of your standard competitive marine list, in a collection stretched to 3000 points.  Built to shoot the hell out of the opponent while they deal with the terminators, and the full Tactical squads can easily mop up surviving weakened units.



We decided on playing long table edges with 5 objectives, and Sir Biscuit won the roll-off for both the objective deployment and the first turn setup. It was at this point I realized that my army was seriously skewed to the Elites and Heavy Support choices. With 5 objectives to hold and only three Troops choices to do it with (and in the face of a passel of Space Marines, no less), I knew I was going to be in for a beating. No fear though, as I always say – “I may lose the battle, but my opponents will know they’ve been in a fight!”

Following a bit of a mix-up about combat squadding and reserves, Sir Biscuit deployed his entire force on the board, with his Redeemer holding the center board providing AV14 cover to several Rhinos and Vindicators. His left flank was held by the pair of Razorbacks, a Dreadnought and another Vindicator, while his right flank was a bit sparsely-defended by the trio of Land Speeders, half the Terminators, and the remaining Rifleman Dread.

Once the marines were deployed, I laid out the defending Adeptus Mechanicus forces. Unlike the Marines, I had a significant amount of reserves, with all three Termite-equipped units and the King Russ Executioner remaining off-board to start. The center was held by the Vanquisher and standard King Russ (the tanks are bought as a Maniple, but may deploy and act independently), as well as one of the Robot Maniples and the Rapier Laser Destroyer which took up a position in one of the ruined buildings. On my right flank Archmagos Veneratus Kane, his attendant unit of Servitors and the remaining Robot Maniple took up an overwatch position. On my left flank the Electro Priests began working themselves into a frenzy in the shadow of the Myrmidon Magnus.

A failed attempt at seizing the initiative, and the game began!

Sir Biscuit: I won the roll off for objectives, which was actually pretty huge.  What was even bigger was that Joel placed his 2 on the same side as my 3- when I won the roll off I got to deploy practically on top of 4 of the 5 objectives.  That meant that Joel had to shift me; not an easy task given the terminators and large amount of Tactical marines.

There were only really 2 streets that lead to me, and I made these my choke points.  In the middle I had my raider, terminators, and full Tactical squads, enough to repulse an attack and claim the 3 objectives there.  On the left I concentrated a large amount of firepower, I wasn't sure I could claim that objective but I sure as hell wasn't losing it.  I conceded the right objective from the start, as I was much better off focusing my force.  I only deployed a rifleman dread over there (to take advantage of good open angles) and the land speeders, which could rapidly redeploy.

Turn 1

In the center, the Marine Land Raider and Rhinos rumbled forward in an attempt to gain cover from the Ad-Mech’s guns, while one of the Vindicators peeled off to cover the objective on the right flank. On the left flank the Land Speeders soared overhead to a position atop one of the few intact buildings in the sector. A torrent of Lascannon and Assault Cannon fire washed the Rapier Laser Destroyer out of its cover in the ruined building, but otherwise the spirit of the Omnissiah watched over the forces of the Machine God and no further casualties were sustained.

With an earth-shaking rumble, a pair of Termite tunnelers erupted from the ground near the objective on the right flank, dozens of Hypaspists taking cover and drawing a bead on the Marine interlopers and destroying one of the Vindicators with hissing beams of Melta fire. The two King Russ tanks rumbled forwards, the Vanquisher detonating one of the fragile Rhino Transports, scattering marines in all directions. Archmagos Veneratus Kane turned his conversion beamer on the Land Raider, but the mighty armor of the vehicle protected it from harm. On the left flank, Robot Maniple Psi Phi unleashed a hell storm of heavy weapons fire, accounting for a trio of Marine Terminator casualties. The Myrmidon and Electro Priests moved up toward the objective nestled within the Shrine of the Aquila.

Sir Biscuit: This was a solid turn.  I expected Joel to force one of my flanks more, but he deployed kind of spread out, which gave me a lot more freedom to pick my targets.  He was light on antitank, so I wasn't too worried about the Redeemer, and I used it as a shield in the center to protect my advance.  On the left, I just shot what was in range and tried to stall the advance.  I definitely had the momentum at the end of the turn and Joel was really going to have to take out some of my bigger threats fast if he was going to come back.

Turn 2

On the left flank, the Land Speeders attempted to move to a position where they could bring their weapons to bear on the lightly armored sides and rear of the King Russ and Myrmidon. Unfortunately, one of the skimmers managed to foul its thrusters on the roof of the building and would remain stranded there for the remainder of the game. The other two speeders moved to position but failed to damage either of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ vehicles. On the right flank the remaining pair of Vindicators opened fire on the Hypaspists sheltering around their Termites. As inured to the sights and sounds of artillery and explosions as they may be, the savage destruction wreaked upon the two units was more than they could bear and one unit of the survivors of the shelling fled towards the safety of the nearby buildings. Marneus Calgar contemptuously dismounted from his Land Raider to deal with the surviving Hypaspists and slew several before they, too, fled from the God of War. while the remaining Terminators were disgorged and began working their way towards the threatening King Russ Vanquisher.

In the center, the remaining Termite bearing the Archmagos Prime and his retinue of Iron Souls Protectors surfaced, and the Iron Souls regretfully turned their plasma weapons on their Terminator-clad brethren, annihilating all but one of them. Unfortunately, the wrath of the Omnissiah backlashed on the Iron Souls and one of the plasma gunners was killed as his weapon overheated spectacularly. Archmagos Veneratus Kane glanced a hit off the side armor of a Rhino, stunning the crew into insensibility.

Sir Biscuit: The biggest advantage Eternal Warrior characters have over their peers is that they can reasonably detach from their squad and go smash something without worrying about getting splatted.  Calgar wasn't needed to add more overkill to the terminators, and he alone could handle my melee needs on the left flank.  (Mostly, to deal with the robots, but forcing a lot of fleeing soldiers was nice.)  The remaining terminators in the raider I shot right up the middle- enough to kill the robots and ensure that he wouldn't be advancing until they were dealt with.

The termites really came up in a bad position- they had cover but you don't want to be bunched up around your vehicle when you're facing 3 Vindicators.  They didn't have a chance of taking the flank on their own, and they crumbled to the return fire they were facing.

Turn 3

Marneus Calgar crashed into the Robot Maniple on the right flank, easily rending several of the 10 foot robots limb from limb, though taking several grievous wounds in the process. The Land Raider Redeemer unleashed a torrent of flame over the Iron Souls who had so devastated its passengers, slaying nearly all of them and driving the Archmagos Prime back from the flames. The sole remaining assault Terminator strode confidently towards the Vanquisher, but the mighty armor of the vehicle was proof against his attack. The Landspeeder continued its attempt to find a weak point in the side armor, but the prayers to the Omnissiah kept the war machine safe from harm. The Vindicator on the left flank attempted a shot at the King Russ, but the shot was deflected and fell well short.

The standard King Russ reversed into cover after coming under fire from the Vindicator, and instead trained its weaponry upon the Land Raider looming in front of it. However, the favor of the Omnissiah began to wane, and the adamantium skin was proof against the shells. On the right flank the King Russ Executioner rumbled into play, demolishing several barricades and unleashing a scintillating hail of plasma fire, but this too was either absorbed by the armor of the vehicles or spalling off in the intervening cover.

Sir Biscuit: With almost all the heavy weapons destroyed, the only real threat to the redeemer was the Vanquisher, and I do not fear BS3.  At this point, Joel had to get a lucky shot or the middle was lost to him - and the 3 objectives that it contained.  I simply had too much stuff ready to kill any advancing unit.  His offensive on my left was being contained, and the middle was breaking.  Things simply weren't looking good for him at this point.

Turn 4

In response to the plasma tank threatening the right flank, the Marines moved their vehicles forward and took the Executioner under fire with both Vindicators and the Lascannon on a Razorback. The Executioner weathered the fire, but on the left flank the Vanquisher was not as lucky. With a mighty blow, the tank was destroyed by the Thunder Hammer of the sole remaining Assault Terminator. In the center, the punishment continued with the remaining Leman Russ being shaken into immobility by the Assault Cannons on the Land Raider. Marneus Calgar rendered the last of the robots down into scrap metal , though at a terrible cost to his own health.

On the right flank, the Myrmidon and Land Speeder (both immobilized for some time, scant inches from one another) continued to fire upon one another rather ineffectually, while the Electro Priests continued their movement towards the objective. Archmagos Veneratus Kane, incensed by the destruction of his Legio Cybernetica cohorts, began moving forward to exact his retribution upon the unsuspecting Calgar. The remaining tanks and infantry of the Adeptus Mechanicus exchanged desultory fire with the Marines, but to no real effect.

Sir Biscuit: haha, the myrmidon and the speeder.  Those guys could go all day!  Not much to say about this turn, at this point I was running a bit amuck.

Turn 5

Through the simple expedient of destroying everything in sight, the Marines moved towards the final mop-up of the Adeptus Mechanicus. For lack of a better target, Marneus Calgar spitefully destroyed a Termite, while the Land Raider blew the main Battlecannon off the King Russ in the center. Several marine unites moved into position to capture their objectives and settled in to defend them.

At this point Archmagos Veneratus Kane exacted his revenge, targeting Marneus Calgar with his Multi-Melta. There was a roar of superheated air, and the mighty lord was reduced to steaming ashes, his archeotech armor no match for the terrible energies turned upon it. Though the Electro Priests managed to capture their objective, the Archmagos signaled the retreat in the face of the Marines bearing down upon them.

Sir Biscuit: At this point, Joel winning would have been impossible.  I simply had too much armor on the table, and I controlled all the lanes of advance.  I do find it funny though, that Calgar died while almost none of my other big threats did.  Hope those objectives were worth the chapter master's life!


Though the game would have gone another turn after 5, I conceded the game to Sir Biscuit at this point. I was down to a single six-man scoring unit (the Electro Priests) where Sir Biscuit had thrice that in unscathed tactical squads. All in all it was a great game, though it definitely pointed out some weaknesses in the army list that I brought. In the future I will likely only run a single unit of Robots as they are extremely expensive and the points would be better spent on more Troops. The Termites performed admirably, but were let down somewhat by the standard Hypaspists they carried into battle. I think that for future games I would fill the Termites with Praetorians (more resilient and better armed) and run the Hypaspists on foot to screen vehicles and occupy buildings instead.

It was really nice to play a game where the vast majority of the models were painted, and I’m looking forward to doing so again once I get the Kabal of the Crimson Woe finished up this month!

Sir Biscuit: Joel is always a pleasure to play, and I did really enjoy the game.  His list was definitely weak against mine, simply because he didn't have enough anti-armor spread through the list- most of it was mounted on single units, the robots, rapier battery, and vanquisher, so once I had sniped those I pretty much had the game in the bag.  It really shows the importance of not overspending on single big units, and spreading out to have lots of cheap, light antitank.

Ideally, Joel should have come at me from one of my flanks.  When attacking an opponent in a position of strength, you should concentrate force and try to make a breakthrough, instead of spreading across the field and going for control.  Reserving the Executioner was also a mistake, as I had nothing that could deal with AV14 at 36", and it would have been quite nice to have firing in the first few turns.

Definitely a good time though, and I'm looking forward to once more fighting the Kabal- last time, we butchered each other down to 4 infantry models per side!  I'd like to thank Joel for all his hard work and for putting the game together as well.  (Now if I can just figure out a way to steal that awesome table...)

...And that's a wrap! I jokingly referred to the game as "Tournament Powergamer vs. Fluff Weenie", but that's meant in the best way. Sir Biscuit is a fantastic sport and a patient and gracious opponent, and while I've been painting and playing 40k for more years than he's been alive, he's undoubtedly the superior player and I always learn a lot about 5th edition by playing against him (5 editions of rules tend to get jumbled up in my mind). His points regarding my army composition are all quite valid, though to be fair it was more down to fielding the models I had painted than any particular cohesive army synergy. While I went into the game with a plan, and executed my turns according to the plan, it turns out it wasn't a particularly good plan! Nevertheless, I enjoyed the game thoroughly and after all, isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

Thanks again to Sir Biscuit for a great game!


Dickie said...

Thank you very much for the battle report, having just finished 5 games in one weekend with my Mechanicus army your analysis is very sound. hypaspists are hard to keep alive if they arrive by termite. I will put at least one in a Chimera next time. And Robots are very very expensive at the moment and without invunerable saves dont last long.

Glad you had such a good game

Klaude said...

Nice batrep. What are you using there for roads? Is it linoleum?

Mordian7th said...

Thanks folks!

@Dickie - I wish I could have made it to the event over there, it sounded like it was a blast!

@Klaude - The light beige road sections were released by GW several years ago (but I think have been discontinued). The dark brown cobblestone roads are from a Christmas decoration shop - they're designed for the little scale model towns that go around a Christmas tree, and I picked up about 20' of it on a roll for less than ten bucks. Terrain deal of the century!

Lantz said...

Awesome batrep! I'm hoping to get one out once I have a completely painted list of AdMech.

That's a great board, btw. Huge fan of city fights!

JHaygood said...

Good work as always!

Jonathan said...

This is how I like my batreps: lots of pics, a table full of scenery, and fully painted models! Thanks for making the effort to post this game.

Mordian7th said...

Thanks folks! I appreciate the feedback. There's definitely some things I'd do differently on the picture-taking front next time, hopefully making for a more interesting set of images!

Blitzspear said...

A great bat rep and such wonderfull painted armys on a fantastic table, if there was a prize for best batrep of the year you'd get my vote. Keep up the good work.

Mordian7th said...

Thanks very much, Blitzspear! It's not often I get to do a "fully painted" battle, so it was definitely worth taking pictures! :)

noepie said...

Great battle report! I would like to ask you something about your admech army (may be doing one myself sometime): where did you get the models for the robots and the electro priests?

40knjny said...

great to see such a beautifully painted Adeptus Mechanicus army in play.

Close games are the most fun for. or at least some dramatic moment... but it sounded like a good game despite the imbalanced win.

Mordian7th said...

Thanks folks!

@noepie - The robots are the original long-out-of-print miniatures that GW produced way back in the day. I've collected them from various sources over the years, but they show up on eBay fairly frequently. The electropriests are simply WFB Flagellants with their weapons trimmed off - easy peasy!

@40knjny - Indeed, in this case I definitely got squashed, but sometimes that's just as fun! As the 'fluff weenie' of the group, I'm not focused on winning as much as I am imagining the narrative that's taking place during the game. So win or lose, I still have fun playing the game!

Slider Da Feral said...

Ok, I have to know how Sir Biscuit assembled those las/plas turrets. I remember when the original Razorbacks came out, and love the lascannon centerline with plasmas flanking. That whole saw off one las on a TLLC and put two plasmas on it just doesn't work for me.

Mordian7th said...

I'm not 100% sure on the interior structure, but I can tell you that the turrets are made primarily from the Aegis Defense Line turrets, with the base of the turret used instead as the weapon cowling. it appears the lascannon is glued to the center support and the plasma guns are attached where the quad autocannons ordinarily are...