This article is a follows up from my Mechanicum vs Iron hands Battle Report against Ian, it’s also worth noting that I cover a game vs the Raven Guard (which i forgot to take pics of) before getting into the Mechanicum vs Alpha Legion game.
I’ve included both the 2nd and 3rd games for the Horus Heresy tournament at 6’s2hit that both myself and Ian took part in. Unfortunately any pics of my 2nd game where my Mechanicum faced off against the Raven Guard have been lost to the void! I’ve included a small summary below and a more detailed 3rd game.
Still trying to get into the habit of taking pictures of games but am learning and starting to improve!
2nd Game: Mechanicum vs Raven Guard
The main takeaways from that game is that the mission, similar to the first had a main focus on Kill points with 1 kill point scored per unit destroyed. In addition the War of Lies mission from the Age of Darkness book was also in play (the one with 6 objectives, each worth a random value at the end of play).
I was light on scoring units, as mentioned in my last article where my Mechanicum faced the Iron Hands I had forgot a box with half my intended army and had to come up with a list on the fly. Therefor I bulked out my army from 1350 points to 1600 with an additional unit of Thallax and threw the rest of the points into a unit of Ad-Secularis for objective holding.
The Raven Guard army was entirely foot slogging, minus a Fire Raptor that would be held in reserve. My memory is a bit foggy with no pictures to jog it but I know that the Raven Guard army also included Corax, a 10-man Havoc Squads armed with Missile Launchers and a number of Tactical marines, all of which were infiltrating (they might have been veterans, it’s been a while since I played as marines).
I won the roll off and deployed first, placing my Thallax to give maximum infiltrate blocking, a very cool feature that I love about them! My opponent failed to steal the initiative and I set about systematically taking his army apart based on his unit’s threat value against my more durable units. His Havocs took an initial beating, with both them and a nearby tactical squad loosing about half their number to combined firing from the Thanatar and my Castellax with their AP3 Mauler Bolt Cannons. The Enhanced Targeting upgrade on my Automata really hurt the marines, as my most destructive shooting was all BS5, with AP3 or better as well as misusing 1 to his cover saves. The Havocs failed a pinning test from the Thanatar’s Plasma Mortar, which helped me a lot as I expected the Krak missiles to cause a fair bit of damage to my Castellax. My opponent’s return fire caused a few wounds here and there but nothing too worrying.
I continued to drop marines left and right as my forces advanced. I knew the Fire Raptor could cause me trouble so was trying to limit it’s effectiveness with the placement of my units, preventing it’s Bolt Cannon from getting too many shots at the same target if I could help it. Corax charged my Ad-Secularis and proceeded to cut down most of them, and Scoria charged him in response.
The rest of the game continued with me trying to snap fire at the Fire Raptor, getting the occasional glancing hit as it proceeded to pick off my units. Scoria killed Corax, only to be turned to a bloody-oily mess from the Fire Raptor and I wiped out all of the other Raven Guard units. Turn 6 ended with the Thanatar getting the last glance needed to kill the Fire Raptor. I had 1 surviving Castellax out of my initial 5, the Thanatar and both beaten up but still functional units of Thallax left alive claiming objectives.
3rd Game: Mechanicum vs Alpha Legion
For my 3rd and final game of the Horus Heresy Tournament I was up against Gregg and his beautifully painted Alpha Legion, which you can see more of in his How to Paint Alpha Legion Guide. He does have a bit of a reputation in our circle of gaming buddies for being a tough person to play against but at the same time being an incredibly fun opponent. He’s an extremely tactful player when it comes to Warhammer and is always a challenging game.
This game the points jumped from 1600 to 1850 this game and I used my extra points to add a squad of Vorax and bulk out my Ad-Secularis to 20 men as I had little else to spend the points on.
The 3rd Mission was going to prove to be pretty tough for both of us, the deployment was from the short table edges in an arrowhead formation, one objective was to be deployed by each player in their opponents’ deployment zone. If you captured the objective at the end of the game, it was worth 5 Victory Points.
The Secondary Objectives were Slay The Warlord and Attrition. So not quite Kill Points but not entirely different. Night Fighting would be in effect for both turns 5 and 6 of the game with no random game length.
My army Consisted of:
3x Castellax Battle Automata with Mauler Bolt Cannons
2x Castellax Battle Automata with Darkfire Cannons
3x Thallax with a Photon Thruster
Krios Battle Tank with Pulsar-fusil
Thanatar with Siege Mortar
Gregg’s army consisted of most of what’s in the picture:
Gregg’s Alpha Legion
3x Rapier Batteries with Quad Lascannons
3x Rapier Batteries with Quad Launchers
3x Veteran Squads in Rhinos
2x Predator Battle Tanks with Plasma Cannons
I enjoyed the setup phase of this mission, it was staged with each of us taking turns to place units, a nice hearkening back to 3rd/4th edition 40k. Aware of my Thallax preventing infiltrators from getting close, Gregg instead chose to outflank his 3 Rhinos, with the Fire Raptor also held in reserve.
Gregg set up most of his army pretty far back. I knew that the Rapiers would be a pain to shift but should be able to limit their effectiveness as a number of my guns had a longer range. I also made the maximum use of my 4″ squad coherency on my Castellax and decided to outflank with the Vorax to hopefully worry his back lines and pump plenty of poisoned shots into the rapiers if needed. Vorax do tend to get a bit of a bad rep and admittedly mine tend to die more often than they achieve anything but in the right situation they have proven to swing a battle, although not as often as I’d hope.
I set my Ad Secularis up ready to push forward, with the plan of marching them towards the objective and hopefully drawing a few rounds of fire away from other units.
The Machine vs the Hydra
I had first turn and decided to advance the Ad Secularis forward as well as my 3 robot Castellax squad, keen to get some of my shorter range units within range to plug some shots at Gregg’s lines. I didn’t cause a huge amount of damage early on, though was able to worry his Deredeo with a few glances from combined firing of my Photon Thrusters from Scoria, the Thallax squad and the Darkfire Cannons from the Castellax that took full advantage of their long range. I was aware that he had the 3 out flanking veteran squads to deal with that would be looking to come in behind me so didn’t fully commit to pushing forward, and hung most of my units back.
As with my previous battle report, I really should have made a better attempt to take more pictures. As I have none of the initial set up and only remembered to snap a few pics well into the game. The good news is that this has been learned from and steps taken to improve on it in the future.
The Hydra Strikes
A good number of Gregg’s units were out of range early on due to a combination of the majority of having a range of about 36″ and my Thallax units jet-packing back out of range. He was able to caused a few wounds on my Castellax units. Not enough to kill a single model luckily, mainly due to fire coming from different arcs, but it was enough to worry me as the front two machines were reduced to having 1 and 2 wounds. Then to my horror he completely wiped out my 20 man Ad-Secularis squad in turn one. Admittedly, I hadn’t expected much from my techno zombies but was hoping for them to draw fire for at least a few rounds.
The Machine Learns
It was clear that advancing into the Alpha Legion gun line wasn’t a sound tactic, and I had already lost one of my three scoring units. With the other two being made up of only 3 Thallax-a-piece, I didn’t hold much hope of capturing the objective in Gregg’s deployment zone. From the start of turn 2 I decided to pull back and consolidate my forces, ignore the objective across the board and prepare to intercept the outflanking units that would be coming my way soon.
The Thanatar fired on the Deredeo, also hitting the Quad Launchers, scoring a single hull point on the Dreadnaught and killing 1 marine and causing a would on one of the Rapiers. The Castellax unit, having maneuvered so the models with higher wounds were at the front, opened up with their Mauler Bolt Cannons, causing enough wounds to remove one of the gun platforms and a couple more marines. The Quad Launcher unit then failed their pinning test, saving me having to weather their firing for another turn.
My Krios had zoomed across the board to line up a shot on the Deredeo, and was able to strip a further two hull points from it. With my Vorax outflanking I wanted it dead before they showed up. I fired my 2nd Castellax squad’s Darkfire Cannons, both Thallax unit’s Photon Thrusters and Scoria at it but it stubbornly refused to die.
Alpha Legion Reinforcements Arrive!
Two out of three of Gregg’s veteran squads showed up on my flank, as expected. Damned sneaky Alpha Legion!
He was fully expecting them to die and so de-bused both squads in range to make maximum effectiveness of their sniper rounds. I had planned ahead for this and thankfully only 2-3 marines per unit were able to get into rapid fire range. One squad plugged shots into the Thanatar but his 2+ armour and 5+ invulnerable seen him through. The other squad opened up into my Mauler Bolt Cannon Castellax unit, who didn’t fare as well, killing off one of my automata and causing a wound on the next. Not amazing odds for their sniper rounds but it could have been much much worse, so I was thankful. These would have to be dealt with quickly otherwise my high toughness units would be made short work of, luckily the marines were nicely bunched up just calling out for a siege mortar blast from the Thanatar.
Gregg was forced to move his Rapier Lascannon Teams and Predators forward to try and get shots off on my units. A bad move through cover roll meant that only one of the Lascannons got to shoot at my Castellax, who shrugged off the fire without taking any damage. The Predators fared a little better and were able to cause 4 wounds on one of my Thallax squads, killing one of them and wounding the one with the Photon Thruster.
I was getting low on models and slowly getting whittled down but was confident I could hold out, and I still had my Vorax to come on!
Mechanicum Hunters Spring their Ambush
My own reinforcements arrived in the form of the Vorax as they outflanked. I was fairly confident that Scoria, my Castellax and the Thanatar would be enough to handle the Veteran squads. Therefore I decided to bring them on behind Gregg’s lines to hopefully worry his back line and finish off the Quad Mortar unit, they just had to survive the interceptor fire from the Deredeo sitting with it’s 1 hull point that I just couldn’t finish off! To my horror it simply about turned and gunned all 3 of them down without breaking a sweat! Damn! Though it was a gamble.
The Deredeo had otherwise been pretty ineffective recently but that was enough for me to want it dead and instead of sending my Krios to worry the Predators, it instead annihilated the Deredeo with 3 penetrating and a glancing hit (if only it had done that the first time!). The Dread blew up, taking one of the Quad Mortar crew with it.
Scoria had moved to intercept the veterans, and doused the remaining marines with his flamer after the Thanatar had fired it’s Siege Mortar, leaving a sizable hole in the marine squads with a total of 8 kills. Scoria added a couple more to this. My remaining Castellax duo stomped away from the marines, expecting the last squad to arrive from the opposite side of the table, I assumed Gregg would keep his last squad as far away from Scoria as he could and make a dash to the objective if he could manage it. As the automata moved away they opened fire at the closest of the two Rhinos and destroyed it. The plan was to force the further away Rhino to go round it or risk getting immobilised, making it more difficult for it or the marines to get to the objective!
A Whole Lot of Killing Later..
The following few turns were admittedly a bit of a blur as they happened pretty quickly due to a lack of large units on the table and surviving units tending to get wiped out. The main things that stood out where when Gregg’s Fire Raptor decided to show up, cuing the obligatory whooshing noises! As well as nearly wiping out my Thallax. Again the Thanatar survived most of what shot at it blew up Gregg’s newly arrived Rhino and allowed the Castellax duo to make a mess of the squad it had transported on.
Gregg managed to kill off the last remaining Thallax Cohort, one of the two Castellax and the Thanatar, I think out of spite more than anything else.
Scoria killed the Alpha Legion commander in combat who had arrived in one of the outflanking Rhinos, mainly due to cutting through everyone else first.
The Dust Settles
In the end neither of us made it to our opponent’s objective, it was a fun, challenging game where I had to completely change my game plan turn two, which I thought may loose the battle for me. Regardless, Gregg is always fun to play against and it’s always a good laugh. I was actually surprised to find that I had one narrowly by a single point, although I think I owe Gregg a rematch.