Liam had observed we haven't had a game for a long time so we arranged get together but what to play? Having tried Kill Team and Deathwatch Overkill we thought it should be 40k but as I had the chance bring my [mostly] Knights for convenience and their first march AND the fact Liam is the only one with a similar company of Knights it seemed like a more balanced match up. That said he has Renegade Knights which only have access to two stratagems I wanted something different, more narrative.
There was an Echoes of War mission in Vigilus Defiant called Forlorn Charge. It was Knights and Freeblades versus Ork Stompas, Morkanauts and Gorkanauts. It compressed the Knights into a 2'x2' corner with the 'Orks' creating their 'scrap city' and deploying first. There were also benefits for running a Fortification network and some additional stratagems. I thought this might help Liam out but it transpires the Attacker gets all the coolest extra Strats but even so Liam deployed the terrain and chose his Fortress of Redemption as a Fortification [gaining 3CP extra]. Liam spent some time trying to get the 1750pts but as it was 'narrative' and I had all the Knight strats I was quite happy for him to have significantly more points. Victory conditions were for my Knights to destroy all his Knights and buildings for a Major Victory, Minor if I killed more than were left alive and Defeat if it was any other result.
He built the 'scrap city' as you would expect - shattered ruins just inside his DZ with my zone devoid of terrain. There was a nice 'choke point' between the two ruins so I couldn't assault the Fortress en masse [theoretically it could be one shotted by the Lancer and the Gallant]. A thin bubble wrap of Cultists were going to prevent those shenanigans, while the rest hid indoors. Craters in both access points to his DZ would also slow my charges, which fit the narrative mission description in place of barricades.
A unit of Obliterators were in the middle building with a Sorceror, the two Knights at the back of the board. Abaddon would teleport in with two other units of Oblits. I had my Galant, an Errant, Lancer, two Warglaives and a Dark Angel Outrider detachment of three units of three Ravenwing Bikes and a Techmarine. I got first turn but Liam won the initiative, which he was initially going to give up but I pointed out he'd get a turn of shooting with the Oblits if he didn't. So he shot at my Lancer, stripping away 6 wounds [I think].
With my turn I pushed forward, the Lancer mvoing at Flank Speed round the top of the ruins, on the other side a Ravenwing bike squad could just fit down the alley between the suin and the board edge. The other Knights filled out the middle.
Ser Ellenbogen held the centre ground with his primary concern the Obliterators in the ruins.
All my Knight's heavy weapons fire was put into the Oblits, with some obseceleny good dice rolling eventually wiping them out.
The Warglaives added their guns to the mix, while targetting the cultists with their lighter weaponry. My Lancer had discharged it's Shock Blast into the Oblits too but it had a bigger target in its sights for the Combat phase.
Those Ravenwing that hadn't advanced poured Bolter fire into the Cultists trying to thin their ranks and remove the bubble wrap to the Fortresws.
My Lancer made it into combat and I was able strip all but one wound off Liam's 'Black Legion' Gallant. Probably wished I'd fired that Shock Blast at it.
The lancer was outnumbered now, the Khorne Gallant stepping in to finish what the other Knight couldn't, but not before the Chaos Sorceror had cursed the Lancer so it could no longer make use of its Invulnerable save - that 4++ Ion Gaunlet Shield going to waste this turn.
Thankfully it's 2+ Armour of the Sainted Ion save had managed to keep 1 wound left on the Knight and by interrupting I was able to destroy the Black Legion Knight. The Khorne Knight finished it off.
Abaddon [Typhus] and two more units of Obliterators teleported into the middle of the board, blasting away at Ser Ellenbogen. I think he took significant wounds.
Ser Ellenbogen charged into the Oblits and Abaddon, joined by two units of Ravewning, one of which was totally annhiliated by overwatch when they charged in - a really stupid decision.
Ser Ellenbogen fell, either by the same fate as the bikers or in combat, but not without his reactors overloading - wiping out one unit of Obliterators, wounding Abaddon, killing another Oblit, possibly the Sorceror a bunch of cultists, 2 Ravenwing and wounding both Warglaives - he sold his death HARD!
With the path clear Abaddon moved into the breach. One Warglaive was blasted to pieces by the remainign Obliterators while Abaddon would wipe out the second.
Lady Pettorini had traded blows with the Khorne Gallant and would finish it off this turn but was down to just 4 wounds. Those double sixes probably helped [perhaps if I'd written this report the day after as I intended I might recall what it was for] I had not known they got 5 attacks and hitting on 2s, Liam asked if I'd actually ever read my Codex!?
As it was getting late we decided to call it, we tried one last ditch attempt to get Lady Pettorini into combat with the Fortress - an 11" charge would have made contact and she'd have auto hit 5 times wounding on 2's and 6 damage potentially wrecking it in one turn, but she couldn;t make the charge.
I think Liam faired much better than he expected. I realised the next day he should have had all the Oblits on the board from the beginning. Two other squads would have taken down on of the Knights in turn 1. Then if he'd swamped the crater with the Cultists it would have stalled my adavnce through the middle [not that I actually got far through the breach] and his other Oblits could have held the Fortress, which hadn;t been particularly effective with its own shooting - that BS 5+ is rubbish. Remember when its missiles use to be Vortex missiles, now they're some anti-personnel rubbish.
Anyway, a good game even if I did lose more Knights than I'd like but I always do. However, Lady Pettorini survived and killed a Knight so I'll have to give her an honour badge/purity seal. Overall it was just great to get to use them and see how Liam played so I got more experience. Although I probably still had more advantages with the stratagems, Liams extras - deployment, Fortifications, more CPs and stealing the initiative really helped to balance it out and lthough I took the minor victory it was a very close game.