Thursday, July 3, 2014

Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs Strike Force Ultra 1500pts

 Got a game in today, met up with my buddy at a different shop, its a newer one and was nice to finally get a game in.  I went with a different army as I wanted to try out a bunch of different things and see how they worked.  My buddy went the same route, Tourqer has been in love with strike force ultra and wanted to get some test games in and just get a chance to play with it.  We ended up playing 1500pts.  I lost roll off, so he chose to deploy and go first.  We played the relic and dawn of war deployment with no night fighting.  On to the armies.

First off I do apologize for lack of pics, we were trying our hand at video batrep, so hopefully we will have that up for you to see in the near future.

Anywho I brought yarrick, two ML2 primaris psykers, 6 bullgryns (ogryn stand ins), a 7 man scion squad with meltas in a standard taurox, plasma command squad in standard taurox, a plasma vet squad, a platoon with a PCS with autocannon and GLs, and 30 guardsmen with 3 melta guns and krak grenades, a hydra, and a wyvern.  I really wanted to try stuff out and see how they work, I know I have poo pooed the hydra and ogyrn/bullgryn, but I think they can work in 7th.  My goal with the psykers was to try and get endurance on the bullgryns, so have 3+ save with 4+ FNP and eternal warrior.  Sadly basing tactics around random powers is hard to do, I ended up getting enfeeble on both, one had hemorrhage, the other had iron arm.  Overall though this actually worked well enough for me. 

As stated Torquer brought strike force ultra with two tac termie squads one had a heavy flamer and one had a cyclone missile launcher.  He had two assault termie squads.  One had 3 hammer and shields with 2 lighting claws, while the other had 2 hammers and 3 claws.  On assault squad was in the land raider crusader, one was in the storm raven (plasma cannon, HBs) with the venerable dreadnought (MM, PF).  Per the rules for strike force ultra, the tac termies deep struck, one assault squad and dread were on the storm raven and he only deployed the land raider with assault termies and captain on the board.  Luckily for him I didn't chose my mech list which had plenty of long range anti tank, which was my lists main weakness.

He went first, I did not try and seize as I wanted him to bring models on the board besides a land raider I could not touch across the board.  Plus being able to have the last turn.  So his first turn his storm raven came on and one of his tac termies with the heavy flamer (lucky for him).  The last squad stayed in reserve.  Strike force ultra has a special rule that allows you to roll for reserves turn one, so its actually an interesting army that you could try and null deploy with.  He was hot with his deep strike roll and dropped straight in front of my guardsmen next to the bullgryns, no scatter and with just enough room for his guys.  The land raider moved forward and his storm raven made a run on my right flank towards my tauroxes and hydra.  Shooting his termies killed 7 guardsmen, but yarricks warlord trait meant they were staying put.  He put a single wound on a bullgryn from his crusader, they took a bunch of hits, but he had a hard time wounding and they made their 3+ as they were in shield wall mode.  The storm raven opened up and knocked two hull points off of my command squad taurox.  That was his turn, time for revenge.

I forgot to mention my deployment.  I had my wyvern on my left in a ruin with my vets and pcs.  The blob was in the middle with bullgryns up front with psyker.  Yarrick was in the blob.  The tauroxes and hydra were to the right behind another building/ruin.  Last primaris was with the vets.  For my turn I moved my blob back around to adjust for casualties and get range, bullgryns moved forward slightly and my taurox with melta scions moved forward with them jumping out to make a shot at the land raider.  In my psychic phase I rolled a one so I had 5 WCs.  I cast enfeeble on the deepstrike tac termies, successfully getting it off and then used smite, killing two termies off the bat, leaving only three left.  He failed his deny this turn.  In shooting phase I ended up killing the remaining three with guardsmen and vets, wounding SMs on T3 is so much easier!  The hydra did work and knocked the storm raven down to one hull point, sadly I was not able to finish it off with other shooting.  I failed the tank hunter order on my scions who then proceeded to fail to do anything to the land raider.  First blood to me and 5 termies down.

Turn two he got his last squad in and again got a great deep strike with no mishap, right behind my bullgryns between them and the blob squad.  His land raider moved forward and deposited the assault squad with captain.  The storm dropped into hover, as its choice was to basically fly off the board or drop to allow the guys out and actually be able to assault that turn.  With only 1 HP left it mattered very little.  Shooting he was able to put two more wounds on the bullgryns, but none had died yet.  His land raider put another wound on my regular scions squads taurox, dropping it to one.  His storm raven shot a bunch but whiffed it this turn and either failed to pen, or I made my cover saves.  The dread though did get a melta hit on my hydra, but only a glance.  In assault his termies assaulted my scion squad and wiped them.  His other assault termies tried to assualt my hydra but failed the long charge (they needed 10").  I was getting hurt but the fight was still even.

I ended up moving the bullgryns to put them in a good position to charge either termie squads depending on how things were going.  Movement wise, my command squad taurox zoomed forward through the gap towards the relic, as he was trying to wall me in with termies and his LR.  The blob moved up as well, to see how my shooting went.  In psychic I rolled a 4, giving me 8 WCs.  I cast enfeeble on his command termie squad and the tac, which he denied both times with 2 dice apiece :(.  So hard to rely on psychic powers.  I cast smite with last wcs and killed one tac termie.  With combined shooting from plasma vets and with pinning ordered, I was able to knock the tac termies down to one and pin them (though he then failed his morale and ran away to regroup :()  Then with combined fire from the plasma command squad, blob squad, and then bullgryns, I brought his assault termie squad down to two THs, killing his captain in the process giving me warlord.  The wyvern killed one other termie in the second assault termie squad, while the taurox got a pen on the dreadnought, shaking it.  Finally my hydra killed the storm raven, it crashed on hill no one cared about.  I then assaulted with my bullgryns into the thunder hammer termies and killed both in a pile of attacks.  With that he had 5 termis left on the board, a land raider and venerable dreadnought.

His turn three, he moved the land raider back, moved his last termies up to my flank to go towards my break for the relic.  The dread failed its shooting.  The lone termie put one wound on another bullgryn.  His land raider killed one taurox and put one wound on another bullgryn.  His assault termies assaulted my last taurox and finished it off.  His lone termie assaulted my bullgryns who promptly beat him to death.

At this point he called it, and as you will see below, it was pretty solidly in my favor.  The bullgryns just ate so much firepower and distracted so much of his army.  Against another type of army they prob would not have fared so well, but here they were the MVPs.  I need to get some priests to throw in with them.  I had first blood and slay the warlord, he had nothing at that point, but was still in position for the relic if he survived my shooting.   In either case by turn 5 it would prob have seen just his land raider left trying to do as much damage as he could.

Over all his tatics were good, but he prob could have just dropped on the relic and massed his termies and tried to force me to come after him and take it from him.  Talking after we both agreed that he spread out too much and should have concentrated more.  I can see it being a good army but it really needs a larger pt size to get the most out of it, as it maxes out right at 1500 just taking the minimum.

Lessons learned from me is that bullgryns can be really good in the right situations.  If you can get FnP on them through allies or abilities, then these guys become even more powerful.  In shield wall mode they work great and if you pay attention to your movement, you can put fresh bullgryns closer to take wounds so you are losing less guys overall.  They have lots of attacks and can just punch stuff to death, and their grenade gauntlets are not bad at all, if nothing to really write home about either.  The psykers worked well, if not amazing.  Its just too random, it either works well or it doesn't, he got lucky and denied my powers twice in a row.  If I had gotten endurance, then it would have been amazing, but I didn't and I can't count on that as a tactic.

Overall I need to be more aggressive with this army as the bullgryns can really protect the big blob, and having the psyker with the bullgryns helps teh leadership as well has having yarrick close to all to keep guys in line from casualties.

The hydra did its job, it killed a model quite a bit more than what it cost and if I look at it that way, I think I can see them being a usable unit.  They are cheap, and with interceptor/skyfire no longer allowing full BS on ground targets, quad guns just don't have the advantage they used to have.  Hydras can move and have longer range.  Still they are not a must take, but something to certainly consider, and if you do they will need protecting.

Main weakness of this army is long range anti tank, and I think if I keep this I may go for the missile tauroxes instead to have some longer range anti tank shots.  And at higher pts I'll have more to play with.  Overall though it was fun to play with different things and see how they would do.  I just wish biomancy did not have so many target the psyker only powers, as other wise its a good discipline.  A fun game though and looking forward to playing around with more stuff.



  1. Nice report and congratulation to your win :)

  2. Great report, but now that you've played bullgryns, how do you think they would fare against Rhino Rush SW?

    1. You know it would depend. The would most likely do ok, but be brought down eventually under weight of attacks(shooting & cc). They are better against smaller elite armies, larger armies that have enough bodies and shots will bring them down.

  3. Imperial flashlights got to love them were's the 2+ save now. I think that SM army is very good if I saw that many terminators coming at me I would say roll out the Leman Russ Executioners. But bullgryns seem to work just fine :3

    1. that they do. I didn't know what he was bringing, plus I wanted to play with the bullgryns and psykers some more, so it was fun. Strike force ultra is good, but walks a knife edge as well, so if you can hit it hard early it will not be able to be effective in later games. At 1500 it really is just barely enough, at 1850 it can start to shine though.

  4. I regularly run my templars versus Guard and I have to say I am jealous of bullgryns. Since I cannot use psykers, I sometimes must resort to using krak missiles or other heavy options on them instead of against vehicles. Very terrifying in urban maps.

    1. Yeah they are hard to kill, and being T5 means even a krak missile won't kill one. The way to deal with them is really with S10, so demolisher cannons, orbital strike is about all you have to deal with them effectively.

  5. Nice to see you used the Bullgryns with success. What do you think of the power maul upgrade? I have 6 bullgryns wainting on my table, I just don't if I should equip one of them with the maul and the small shield.
    Or should I stick with the grenade gauntlet for all of them?

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  7. Given the meta at my particular store, there are so many skimmers in Zenos armies or a flyer in a MEQ army that at least one quad gun is still WELL worth its points.

    Add to that, any emplaced weapon takes on the special rules of the model firing it - so give your infantry shooting it tank hunter, and reroll your armor pens against that flyer or give it monster hunter against the demon flying circus for force grounding. I combine this with the Aquila to give it blanket preferred enemy.