Battle Report: Combat Patrol 750 2010/02/02


I track my games played on BoardGameGeek, so I am happy to report that tonight I played my 50th game of 40k, ever. I started playing in the spring of ’08, so that seems reasonable when you figure in a majority of them are small games—250pt Lunchhammer, 400pt and 750pt Combat Patrol, etc., with multiple games played in one normal length session. At this landmark I have to say I’m pretty happy about it. My few months playing 4th Edition yielded many many frustrations with a poorly written rulebook. I’m glad to say most of those issues have been resolved in the new core rulebook, so hopefully the ongoing problems with rules writing and so on in the codexes will be resolved in the next edition! I’ll also say that as I’ve learned to play better I’ve found the game increasingly tactical and strategic, particularly with the increased mobility and other improvements in the 5th Edition rules.

As for tonight, Alex has unfortunately had to unexpectedly drop out of the PAGE/Redcap’s Combat Patrol Tournament due to a commitment with the reserves, so Buford, Lorenzo O, and I got together so I could proxy his match with Buford. In summary, we’re handling byes/defaults in the following way: The odd player out is guaranteed two Minor Victories. However, if a proxy match can be set up, they can earn more points. This seems to strike a reasonable balance between not giving away too many points for the bye while also not penalizing that player either.

Match Setup

Rules were the same as my report last week, and are up on the mission page: The campaign defender is trying to break through and alert primary defenses on the incoming invasion. The campaign attacker, of course, wants to stop this.

Buford brought out his Space Wolves in a matchup with my Kingbreakers. This chance to replay this mission was particularly interesting to me as in my last 7 or so 40k games I’ve played all Imperial Guard or Tyranid. I definitely had to get back into an anti-power armor mindset. Toward that end, I loaded up on plasma cannons, meltaguns, and heavy bolters:

  • 6xSternguard w/ Power Sword, 2xCombi-Melta, Razorback
  • 10xTactical w/ Powerfist, Plasmagun, Plasma Cannon, Rhino
  • 10xTactical w/ Meltagun, Plasma Cannon, Razorback
  • Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta, Heavy Bolter

Buford brought the Space Wolves equivalents of roughly:

  • 5xScouts
  • 6xTactical w/ Powerfist, Razorback w/ Lascannon, Plasmaguns
  • 6xTactical w/ Powerfist, Razorback w/ Lascannon, Plasmaguns
  • 4xBike Squad w/ 1 Attack Bike, Heavy Bolters, Melta Bombs
  • Chaplain on Bike

Game 1

For the first game I took the campaign attacker role, defending against the rush. I rolled to choose and selected to deploy and go first. Again I was hoping to push forward and stop Buford down on his end of the table, making it harder for any units to make last minute rushes for the table edge. However, this did force me to spread out across the table to try and block all approaches. I also had to keep in mind that his Space Wolves Scouts would quite likely enter via my table edge and then immediately run off, so I needed to be prepared to hit them if possible. Unusually for my recent games, I also broke up both Tactical Squads, with the two Plasma Cannon squads sitting in cover ready to fire away.

Buford basically split his forces between the bikes and the Razorbacks. The bikes repeatedly turboboosted their way along the one, rushing for the edge, while the Razorbacks advanced more slowly. I was very happy to see this turboboost attack as in writing the mission scenario that had seemed like a clear, dangerous strategy people would try.


Mid-game, the turboboosting bikes are ready to rush off the board, while the Scouts have entered in the Kingbreakers rear area to cause havoc...

I harried the bikes a bit with Plasma Cannon and Landspeeder fire, but neither accomplished much. In the end the gambit was stopped by driving Tactical 1’s Razorback across from the middle of the table in its swing position blocking that lane, then assaulting the bikes. I figured this would result in the death of Tactical 1, which it did, but it held the bikes up for a few turns and killed a few models. After that they were weakened, held up, and bunched together, ripe to be finished off by the remaining Plasma Cannon and Landspeeder.


Sgt Scolirus fights to stall the escaping bikes as long as possible...

Meanwhile, the Plasma Cannons traded shots with one Buford’s Razorbacks, crippling it early in the game. Definitely the most useful shooting I’ve had with the Plasma Cannons against vehicles. In a heroic move, however, the Scouts Outflanked directly behind one of the Plasma Combat Squads and obliterated four its Marines in a single impressive round of Bolt Pistol shooting. The scouts then assaulted the Plasma Cannoneer and then ran off the board, the hit and run attack ensuring I could not get a Major Victory.


The Space Wolves' Razorback is worse for wear after several rounds of Plasma Cannon pummeling.

On the other side of the board, the two pairs of Razorbacks traded fire with the Kingbreakers’ machines immobilized fairly early. This left Sgt Titus to carry out one of his typical actions, running directly into the oncoming enemy to successfully destroy the inbound enemy transport. This resulting in several waves of melee, with his squad eventually wiped out by the Space Wolves, only for they in turn to be caught up in the Sternguard’s counter attack. Although costly, these assaults ensured there was no time for the Space Wolves to slog through on foot to exit the table.


Game 2

The second game had to be called due to time after the third round, but I was quite comfortable according Buford the victory. Buford won the deployment roll and opted to go first. Between that and his strong anti-vehicle components in the Lascannon Razorbacks, he was able to set up a solid pincer scheme with his units. Most of my army made it pretty far across the table, and some would have escaped, but the vehicles were all stopped just short of where they needed to get to. The Meltaguns and Combi-Meltas all failed to take out the opposing Razorbacks in time, leaving the Kingbreakers exposed to heavy shooting as well as the predations of the very mobile bike squadron. My Landspeeder also died early, assaulted and brought down after rushing headlong into the enemy.


The Kingbreaker advance grinds to a halt.

img_0339img_0341img_0345Lessons Learned

I was pretty happy with my army in the first game, defending against the rush. Some mistakes were definitely made for the second game though, attacking. My heavy reliance on transports was simply shut down by Buford’s Lascannons. A group of Assault Marines jumping across the table definitely would have been better in many respects.

I also should not have rushed my Landspeeder forward as quickly. I simply discounted how many attacks he’d be able to bring to bear on it. Although its Flat Out cover save protected it against all shooting, and nearly every close combat attack failed, one got through, and it only took one. That was a big loss because it gave me little long reach capability to take out the Lascannons.

More to the point, it was probably a mistake to take only one Landspeeder. I dropped one because they start getting hard to fit in the list when kitted out with Multi-Meltas and another weapon—70 points for an MM and Heavy Bolter. Although useful against the bikes, it probably would have been better to drop the Heavy Bolter and a Sternguard or whatnot to put two Landspeeders out there with Multi-Meltas for vehicle hunting.

Even more generally, I probably shouldn’t have advanced so quickly. I was hoping to quickly book for the table edge and exit, but it probably would have worked better to advance more slowly. The Lascannons are simply too lethal to Rhinos and Razorbacks when exposed for mulitple turns. Buford’s bike squad was also a significant problem as its high speed enabled it to quickly move around hitting any critical problem areas. A single Landspeeder just can’t do much against a good sized bike squadron, particularly after it’s quickly dispatched by them, so I really could have used more units with mobility to counter act them.

All in all though, a couple goods games, and a great time finally meeting Lorenzo O and Buford!

More photos are available in the Flickr set.