In preparation for the 1000 point tournament coming up on the 25th, my buddy Dave and I decided to hold a practice run. An ex-Eldar player, he now commands the forces of the Waaagh!, with a Big Mek-led force composed of the Mek himself in a unit of Burna Boyz, three Killa Kanz, a Deff Dread, two Deffkoptas, a unit of shoota boyz and a unit of slugga/choppa boyz. It's a big army, and my Shining Long Strike Cadre always struggles to put enough boyz down to score kill points. Fortunately, last night's game was a Spearhead/Capture and Control, so killing thirty boyz for one point wasn't necessary.
The Orks are in a bunch in the top-right, while my own forces are more spread out in the bottom left. My devilfish and both firewarrior squads are in reserve. And yes, the Ork objective is a green Domo.
The Orks accomplished little; the two deffcoptas turbo-boosted down the long end of the table and the rest of the army ran towards my own force, the fragile boyz hiding behind a wall of giant Ork mechs protected by the Big Mek's Kustom Force Field. Unfortunately, the same was true for the Tau; my own piranha went flat-out up my long table edge, maneuvering for a better position, but despite having clear shots my commander, two teams of two XV8s and my 88s managed not a single kill. The 8's fire bounced harmlessly off the deffkopta's turboboost-assisted cover save, and the 88's railguns were no match for that Mek's custom force field. The only one to accomplish anything, in fact, was the hammerhead, who's pie plate managed to kill a whopping two slugga/choppa boyz. Not an auspicious start.
The deffkoptas continue to turboost around, aiming for my hammerhead, and most of the Ork hordes runs. Unfortunately, disaster strikes in the form of a rather large projectile catching my commander in the face; failing his 4++, he goes down to an Instant Death hit, the first to fall, but not the last. In return, the lower-right squad of XV8s manage to rapid-fire one of the Deffkoptas, while the foot-squad of Firewarriors take down the other. Sadly, that's the highlight of my turn, as the other 8s, both 88s and the Piranha either fail to hit, fail to penetrate, or have their shots deflected by the KFF, while the Hammerhead's large blast template scatters too far to have any effect. Two Deffkoptas for my anti-horde-tasked AFP-toting commander? Not worth it.
The Orks maneuver for sightlines and to close distance, with one squad starting to head back for the objective, and after offering up a prayer to the Green One watching from their deployment zone they have a magnificent shooting phase. Two of the Killa Kans go after the Piranha, destroying it, and the third targets my Hammerhead. With three 6s in a row, to hit, penetrate and on the vehicle damage table, and my own totally-failed Disruption Pod save, my Hammerhead explodes spectacularly. Both anti-horde large blast weapons gone, and those Orks are getting closer and closer! My own turn does little to change the worrying way this game is going, with my 8s and 88s continuing to accomplish nothing against the Deff Dread and the Killa Kanz. Sadly, the highlight of my shooting comes from the Firewarrior squad, who manage to kill a whopping two boyz. That KFF is worth every point.
It's about now that I start to consider throwing in the towel. One of the mobs moves back, securely claiming Domo for the Waaagh!, while the rest of the army gets down to grisly business. The Deff Dread lumbers into combat with my 88, killing it easily, and the Burna Boyz with attached Big Mek set their flamethrowers to blowtorch and cut my squad of 8s to pieces. Even the shooting goes well enough for the Orks, with the same Kill Kan that did in my commander managing to put a round into one of my two remaining 8s, blasting him to pieces in spite of the availability of a cover save. Thankfully the dice don't go entirely against me, as the lone 8 makes his morale check and stays in the fight. And for a refreshing change it actually is a fight. After falling back to gain some extra space, both my 8 and 88 manage to finally connect, destroying one Killa Kan and exploding the other. Sadly, I seem to have traded their luck with the Firewarriors', as their shooting produces a statistically ludicrous number of 1s in the to-hit and to-wound pools. The success of my two suits does go some way to restoring my flagging spirits, but this game still looks grim.
Having seen what happens to walkers who stray too far from the KFF, the remaining Kill Kan bolts for cover, while the Deff Dread lumbers towards my suits, the Big Mek and his Burna Boyz hot on its heels. The boyz back by Domo spread out a little, forming a good-sized wall; I'd detached the two gun drones from the Piranha way back when and was trying to crowd their objective, but that was looking like it'd take a lot more luck than I'd seen so far. Meanwhile my Devilfish finally joins the party, racing 12" up to claim my objective and unloading on the Burna Boyz, to no effect sadly. The Deff Dread continues to shrug off any hypervelocity slugs directed its way, though my 8 does manage to take down a Burna Boy or two. Not exactly a stellar turn, but at least there haven't been any more catastrophes.
Dave rolls for game's end and up comes a 1, meaning that while he has an objective all his own, my own white pod is contested by the Deff Dread, which is only just within 3" (though the same can be said of my Devilfish). At 0-1 it's a loss, but given how close it is and how poorly the game was going for me up to almost the end, it's a loss I'm happy enough with. I didn't give up after the loss of my commander and Hammerhead, despite how much harder it would make killing a decent number of Orks, and with even just one failed KFF save and that Deff Dread stuck just an inch further away it could've been a tie, despite my losses. Not my best outing, by far, and certainly not the triumphant first battle report I could've wished for, but one goes to the blog with the battle report one has, not the battle report one wish's one had.