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Battle Report (Drukhari vs Death Korps of Krieg)

2
1560

This city had once been bustling with life, now it was a scorched, dead ruin. Though the planet was far enough from its parent star that the entire surface was covered in ice and snow, Boshka had been a prosperous imperial outpost, a beacon of the Emperor’s light. It’s inhabitants thought the planet too remote to ever come under threat; they had underestimated the reach and hunger of Hive Fleet Leviathan. Their invasion was brutal, and over in a manner of hours. The outpost had not had time to raise the alarm. Every living person present had been consumed, and in the Tyranids wake they had left a writhing, glistening, sickly purple weed that covered every surface, stretching like veins upon the snow.

By the time the fourteenth division of the Krieg arrived, it wasn’t to save those that had somehow managed to survive the invasion: it was to cleanse what was left of it. Hellhounds to burn the weed off, guardsmen to sweep for lingering threats, and artillery to tear the outpost down, should too many threats be discovered. The men worked diligently, a work that took days to complete. They were good at what they had been tasked with doing, following the orders of their commander to the letter and bringing light to the shadows.

But some shadows weren’t shadows at all. Some shadows had knives.

They had heard the cries of this forgotten planet through the webway, had tasted the pain and suffering in the air from a distance as a serpent flicks its tongue. The Krieg had come to reclaim their lost outpost in the name of the Emperor. The Drukhari had come to take slaves and to remind these mon’keigh that they are never far, they are always listening, and they are always eager to flay.

Points: 1750

Deployment: Dawn of War

Mission: Retrieval Mission

 

Set up

The cold, dark winter of this all but forgotten Imperial World is about to be heated by the inextinguishable flames of war. To prevent the malicious Kabal of the Black Heart from gaining any sort of foothold in their territory, no doubt to harvest slaves, the Imperium of Man have sent some of their finest. The Death Korps of Krieg are expertly trained and more than accustomed at fighting in less than hospitable conditions. But the Drukhari have proven they are no easy opponents… For this is not the first time these two forces have met on the field. Several weeks ago the two armies came to blows at the No Retreat 7 tournament; the result was a draw. To settle the score, therefore, Lee has brought his beautifully painted Dark Eldar to the studio to take on DC and the studio Imperial Guard, both players are using the same lists they took in the tournament. This weeks battlefield is a real feast for the eyes, the new terrain from JMD works perfectly with our snow battlemat, anywhere the team placed the ruins they looked fantastic, and both armies today look amazing on this board. Lets move on to see these battle-hardened forces take the field!

Set up

This mission has four objectives which will each be worth three victory points at the end of the game to the player who controls them. To represent them we will be using the amazing Marked for Death Objective Coins from our friends over at Tabletop Tactics, these are available on the Tabletop Tactics web-store.

Deployment

A faint rumble grows louder and louder as the tanks of the Death Korps of Krieg draw near the battlefield. The tank’s heavy hulls push their thick treads far into the snow leaving deep imprints and their powerful bellowing engines produce the only warmth to be found in leagues. They are a refuge for the Guardsmen and make up the iron fist of this Imperial assault. The studio Death Korps, fielded today by DC, were put together by local painter Alex Enriles. His work on this army is truly outstanding, he has managed to capture a scheme so gritty and realistic it brings to mind winter engagements in our own history.

Deployment

To the shock of the Guardsmen as they march onto the field, the lighting fast Drukhari have beaten them to it and are already staring down their positions with Splinter Cannons, Dark Lances and a menagerie of other weaponry, the pilot of a venom begins gesturing threateningly to, who she sees as, her prey. Lees Dark Eldar are another example of a fantastic force, his bold and impactful scheme really captured the teams eyes when going through the No Retreat applications and there was no doubt that he had to be chosen.

Deployment

Fearlessly, the Death Korps Guardsmen press forwards through the ruins and take up positions on the flanks and in front of the tanks to protect them from any charging units. They are unfazed by the Drukhari and obey every order they receive to the last word, such loyalty should surely be rewarded with victory?

Deployment

But the Drukhari are ruthless and hungry to dominate this field. The elite Kabalite Trueborn begin sizing up the enemy vehicles probing their hulls for any weakness as the last of their Venoms enter the field and they await their Archon’s command.

Using Drukhari reflexes of his own, Lee rolls a six in the roll-off, with a +1 on his dice for finishing deployment first this secures him first turn. DC fails to seize the initiative and so uses the new Prepared Positions stratagem for two command points granting his entire army the benefit of cover, even for those units which are not within a terrain piece. He regains a command point using his Grand Strategist warlord trait.
Turn 1 (Drukhari)

At the order of their Archon, the Venoms dart off their marks towards the Death Korps line, their Bladevanes glisten, crisply reflecting the pure white snow beneath.

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

The Drukhari Warlord and bearer of the Writ of the Living Muse disembarks his venom and climbs a ruin. From his position he begins to survey the battlefield and divvy orders and the wisdom of the Writ down to his forces.

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

Beams of deep red energy shoot across the field and into the hull of a Hellhound. The recoil of a Blaster would normally throw its user over, but the cool acrobatic reflexes of the Trueborn allow them to absorb it and use it to their advantage. Heavy damage is dealt to the tank from the accurate fire as gaping holes can now be seen in the front of its hull. A nearby Ravager takes advantage of this opportunity and finishes the Hellhound with its Disintegrator cannons for First Blood.

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

Eager to show up their counterparts in the Ravager, the crews of the Reapers target another Hellhound. They aim their Storm Vortex Projectors at a weak point in the side of the tanks hull, spotted by the Archon above, and hold their beams steady. After three seconds of sustained fire from the beam weaponry…

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

And even after a command re-roll, on DC’s part, to re-attempt his 6+ Armour save granted by the new Prepared Positions stratagem, the hull buckles. The searing beams of energy tear through the weak point and into the vehicles engines disabling the tank permanently; a second Hellhound destroyed.

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

Maintaining the frenzy of powerful firepower which is now pouring into the Imperial Guard position, the Warlord Archon targets a Leman Russ Conqueror just in range of his blaster. He probes the vehicles front armour and looses a shot which lands right in the opening beneath the gun-barrel and the chassis. A whopping six wounds are dealt by this accurate shot!

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

The crew of the second Ravager attempt to capitalise on the damage dealt by the Archon but, this time, fail to wound, the armour of the legendary Leman Russ battle tank will not succumb so easily.

Turn 1 (Drukhari)

As a result of the new FAQ, the Venoms cannot charge the tanks and are forced to charge the infantry screening them. Two Venoms engage the infantry but fail to deal any meaningful damage; only one guardsman failed to duck and is sliced in half by a Bladevane in the flyover. In return a wound is dealt on each Venom by well placed bayonet strikes.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

The Guardsman fall out of combat with the Venoms and withdraw to the walls of the nearby ruin. Somewhat shaken by the ferocious attack their nerve is settled by the presence of the Death Rider Commander who has moved up to confront the enemies advance.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

For one command point DC uses the Jury Rigging stratagem on the damaged Leman Russ. This heals a wound on the tank, leaving it on seven wounds and, more importantly, bringing it up to its top wounds bracket, much to Lee’s horror.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

In a course metallic voice that booms through his gas mask, the Death Rider Commander orders the unit which fell out of combat to Get Back into the Fight. The other two infantry units are ordered to Bring It Down, allowing them to re-roll ones when rolling to wound.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

A loud thud echoes through the streets of the snowy city and bounces of the walls of the ruins, a sharp whistle is then followed by the familiar sound of a Battle Cannon shell exploding on impact with its target. The great shell blows a Venom from the air and sends its passengers rather ungracefully into into the snow.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

The wounded Leman Russ vengefully targets another encroaching Venom and too destroys it, a single Kabalite warrior is slain in the blast. This is followed by the loud thudding of the Heavy Quad-Launchers as they open against another Venom, damaging it. To complete the barrage of ordinance, the Colossal Bombards target the damaged Venom and destroy it, the shell casings silently fall into the snow, perhaps all that will remain when this engagement has run its course.

Turn 1 (Death Korps of Kreig)

The last surviving Venom takes three wounds dealt by the infantry in a hail of Lasgun fire and Frag grenade blasts.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

An Archon moves up from the wreckage of his Venom and brings the Imperial gun-line into his sight. He is cautious not to expose himself but eager at the same time to take revenge for the destruction of his transport.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

The damaged venom screams forward towards the Infantry. It flies with a list, as if it were almost limping, with smoke pouring from one of its engines but its pilot shows no sign of letting up and remains focused on his target.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

An Archon and remaining Trueborn target the Colossus Bombards. One is brought down in the intensity of the Blaster fire. The remaining Archons target the wounded Leman Russ with their Blasters. Again their shots find their mark and a great explosion is heard and black smoke seen emerging from the tanks exhausts which soon engulfs it. However, as the smoke clears, the Archons grim satisfaction is quashed as the Leman Russ appears still operational; it survives on one wound thanks to DC’s use of the Jury Rigging stratagem in the turn previously.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

A Heavy Quad-Launcher is destroyed by a nearby Ravager. Its firing chambers burst and barrels twist under the pressure of the particle weaponry.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

After some heavy damage from the Reapers, the second ravager finishes off the last surviving Hellhound.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

The two remaining Venoms again charge the Imperial Guard infantry, their Bladevanes ring as they glide through the icy air. The Guardsman prepare to duck out of the way.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

DC spends a command point on the Grenadiers stratagem but fails to land a single wound on the damaged yet still agile venom, the grenades glance and bounce off its hull. One Guardsman is cut down by the razor sharp Bladevanes in the combat.

Turn 2 (Drukhari)

The Archon and Trueborn engage the infantry squad and Death Rider Warlord. Both leaders face off while the Guardman swamp the Trueborn. The Archon springs onto the wall of the ruined building and leaps down onto the mounted commander, Huskblade extended before him. The blade only glances the commander, however. A deep gash is cut across the commanders chest, but it is not fatal and only causes two wounds. In response the commander drives his Hunting lance into the shoulder of the Archon and gestures for his horse to move upwards, pinning the Drukhari leader to the ground and causing three wounds.

Turn 2 (Death Korps of Krieg)

All Infantry units fall back from combat, they are ordered to Get Back Into the Fight by the wounded Warlord as he applies bandages from a field medical kit to the wound on his chest.

Turn 2 (Death Korps of Krieg)

The Archon and Trueborn are slain by Lasgun fire and a Flamer which continues to singe their corpses even after they have been felled.

Turn 2 (Death Korps of Krieg)

The Thudding continues! Another Venom is brought down by the Heavy Quad-Launchers. Although the guardsmen are dealing with the immediate threat of the encroaching Venoms, DC is beginning to worry about the firepower which can be dished out by the Ravagers and Reapers towards the rear.

Turn 2 (Death Korps of Krieg)

To begin to deal with this threat DC directs his Leman Russ tanks into the Ravagers. Only one manages to land a successful hit, however, with most of the shells glancing off the agile skimmer’s sloped hull. Only one large piece of shrapnel strikes the Ravager, it too only glances the hull, however, and removes a single wound from its target.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The Drukhari maneuver into strong positions from which they can lay down some heavy fire.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The Trueborn embarked in the Venom direct their blasters into the Leman Russ. From their vantage point facing the tanks side they are able to target the tracks. The energy weapons sear through the treads and disconnect a link between the tracks. They continue to burn through the hull and eventually fuse the mechanism which drives the whole right side of the vehicle. Five wounds are dealt in total, when combined with damage dealt preciously, the Leman Russ is left with three remaining wounds.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The forward Archon takes aim with his Blaster and finishes off the Leman Russ which which had been limping on with one remaining wound.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

Taking a moment to re-direct his focus from orchestrating the course of the battle from his vantage point, the Warlord Archon reads from the Writ of the Living Muse. His words inspire the crew of the two nearby Reapers and they will now re-roll all to hit rolls. Together they reduce a Leman Russ to a heap of scrap, their Storm Vortex Projectors cut through the tanks armour as if it were soft butter.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The Ravagers finish the last Leman Russ which was reduced to three wounds by the Trueborn in the Venom. DC’s fears have been realised, the power of the Drukhari heavy vehicles have dealt a hefty blow to his gun-line.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The Death Rider Warlord is charged again by the second forward Archon. This time, a flurry of blade-work and expert swordsmanship sees the Imperial Guard Warlord thrown from his mount and slain with a blow through the neck.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

Along with a unit of Kabalite warriors, the Venom charges a weakened infantry squad. They are defeated. The Venom consolidates into the Heavy Quad-Launchers.

Turn 3 (Drukhari)

The Kabalite warriors also consolidate towards the enemy, this puts them in control of an objective marker, leaving Lee with two at the end of his third turn.

Conclusion

With Lee in control of two objectives, having secured First Blood and Slay the Warlord with a good chance of gaining Linebreaker too, DC decided to concede. With most of his army tied up in combat he will not be able to strike back with enough firepower to shake the Drukhari’s presence in his deployment zone. The grudge has been settled then. The Drukhari have claimed the victory for now, but the iron fist of the Imperium does not accept defeat so ready, we can be sure they will return to deliver the unforgiving vengeance of the Emperor.

Did you find Waaaghly? Find our Ork Mascot Waaaghly hiding in one of the Battle Report’s pictures!
Lee: Doing battle against the Astra Militarum is always a challenge for Drukhari. Their ability to sit back and pound from a distance means we have to get in really close, and when your enemy has Hellhounds, getting close is the LAST thing you want to do. In this game there was a tough balance between giving the Krieg enough “in your face threats” to keep my back-lines healthy for as long as possible, and keeping my units far enough away from all of those rapid fire shenanigans the Guard are so good at. To say I was lucky to take first turn would be an understatement. Even with the entire Krieg line effectively benefiting from cover, the Drukhari darklight weapons were making short work of that armor, popping Hellhounds left and right and degrading other tanks which greatly increased my ships’ chances to survive their first turn. By the time the second turn rolled around, with my Reapers and Trueborn still on the field, it was a case of sweep, clear, and take slaves back to the Dark City. The Drukhari play a game of high risk, high reward – I risked high, and it paid off… this time.
I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of punishing turn after punishing turn, watching your units drop like flies and being powerless to stop it, but in the end we both had a great time playing each other, as always. Absolute pleasure, Dan, thanks for a fantastic game! We’ll most certainly have a re-match at some point!
DC: That was brutal. My strategy going in was simple enough, Hellhounds and Thudd Guns to take out the venoms and their vicious cargo, and then by big guns concentrate fire on the Ravagers and Reapers at the back. But like all good plans…… After Lee’s turn 1, I was down 2 Hellhounds, codenamed ‘Venom Hunters’ for their amazing ability to take down those Drukhari flyers, with other damage across my lines. It meant that my longer-range firepower has to concentrate on removing targets the hellhounds should have dealt with, not to mention the unhelpful -1 to hit them. Despite my best efforts, those Venoms got into my lines, and more importantly, Lee’s anti-armour powerhouse remained unscathed to punch a hole in my tanks. The Krieg retaliation was lacklustre, I used this list at No Retreat 7, and it seemed my ability to roll poorly carried over to this battle report! My subsequent turns yielded little returning fire, and at that point, my tanks were degraded, and the children of Commorragh where amongst us, the Krieg fought bravely, refusing to become slaves or worse! Thanks for the game, Lee! It was great fun, and I look forward to our re-match.

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