Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shadow War: Armageddon Again

Last night we got in a second game of Shadow War: Armageddon. This time my Tallarn Astra Militarum faced off against Amanda's Tau. I think this is the first action any of my Tallarn have seen!


Sgt. Kassab's squad of 2nd platoon, 5th company 415th Tallarn Infantry Regiment were tasked with reconnoitring the abandoned village at BR249261 and securing any alien archaeotech found for recovery by the Adeptus Mechanicus or Ordos Xenos Inquisitors. The patrol approached the village from the east. Auspex readings showed they were not alone...


Sgt. Kassab's squad of 2nd platoon, 5th company 415th Tallarn Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Kassab (Veteran Sergeant/ Kill Team Leader)- Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Flak Armour,  knife - Voice of Command
Cpl. Talal (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Frag Grenades.
LCpl. Nazim (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Plasmagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Gdr. Yakub (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Grenade Launcher (Frag and Krak), Knife, Flak Armour
Pte. Daoud (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Meltagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Zakariya (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Hamid (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Wajdi (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife

Amanda's Tau
Leader with Pulse Carbine, Combat Blade, Recon Armour, and Photon Grenades. Bonding Knife Ritual.
Specialist with Railgun, Combat Blade, and Recon Armour
6x Troopers with Pulse Carbine, Combat Blade, Recon Armour, and Photon Grenades.


We played the Kill Team Fight scenario as it was just a straight up fight between two Kill Teams with no special rules - good for just learning the basic rules of the game and figuring out the special rules for our forces. First to Bottle is loser, their opponent is the winner. Can't get any simpler.


Before getting started we each made a roll on the "Hunt in the [archaeotech] Sprawl" Table. I rolled 11 - Bitter Rivalry - and chose our two team leaders to Hate each other - and then prompltly forgot about it (it wouldn't have mattered in this game...). Amanda rolled 3 - Toxic Ash - Any fighters that are down at the end of the game are out of action on a 1-4 rather than a 1-3.

Amanda rolled low and got to determine the side of the table she wanted to set up at (which was the one she was sitting at). I set up opposite...

Sgt. Kassab lead his squad of veterans into the long abandoned village. Auspex readings indicated others entering from the west and heading along the north end of the village. He split his team in two. One half (including LCpl. Nazim, Gdr. Yakub, Pte. Zakariya, and Pte. Hamid) to move into a blocking position in the north. The other he led himself (including Cpl. Talal, Pte. Daoud, and Pte. Wajdi) flanked to the left, hoping to ambush the interlopers. 

I think she was thinking if they were all bunched up it would be easier for them all to take advantage of their leaders "Bonding Knife Ritual" special rule... Perhaps they were a little scared marching into that creepy abandoned town and everyone knows the first rule of role-playing and horror movies is: DON'T SPLIT THE PARTY!

Then Amanda rolled high and got to take the first turn

ROUND ONE - Tau Turn

In tight formation the Tau dashed forward at the double!

ROUND ONE - Astra Militarum Turn

Sgt. Kassab lead his team around the south end of the compound - hoping to catch the Xenos in some enfilading fire down the alley ahead. 

Cpl. Nazim further split his group. He took Private Hamid with him into the compound to see if they could get to some higher ground to bring fire down on their enemy. He sent Private Zakariya with Grendier Yakub to the Northern corner to see if they could spot the advancing enemy and lay down some fire with the Grenade Launcher.

As he reached the corner, Grendier Yakub had a quick look around and spotted the Xeons Mob advancing at an alarming rate. They were as nothing he had seen before! Gangle creatures all in green and black that had strange movements and sort of hobbled along on hooves - perhaps they were DAEMONS OF THE WARP!? Certainly an abomination before the perfect form of the Emperor and needed to be exterminated! He selected Fragmentation Grenades and fired at them. The round landed directly in the middle of the group, throwing most to the ground - some dazed and confused, others bleeding their vile blue blood onto the sand while screeching and wailing. The Emperor truly shone his light on Grenadier Yakub this day! 

Totally rolled a 6 to hit... checked ammo - Okay.... seven were caught in the blast and instantly pinned, the eigth (partially under the template) dodged out of the way (or enough of the blast was caught by the others!). Three were wounded, downing two (including the specialist with the Railgun!), the third was saved by her recon armour. Then there were break tests for everyone - two failed (including the specialist with the railgun - that dude was just not having a great day...). One that broke ran for cover behind the building they were running past, the Railgunner was only able to crawl in the general direction of cover - to his credit, despite the agony and panicked state he was in, he still had the strength of mind to take his railgun with him!

Lesson learned - don't bunch up!!

ROUND TWO - Tau Turn

So two of the Tau were down, which was 25% so she should have made a Bottle Test... but we forgot.

At the start of the turn a few were able to recover from being pinned (the Team Leader and two others), which is kind of hard for the Tau. Despite the Bonding Knife Ritual which allows them to test as if they are within 2" of another team member as long as they are within 12" of the leader, their intiative is TWO - which they have to roll equal to or less than on a d6 to recover at the beginning of their turn (otherwise they automatically recover in the Recovery Phase at the end their turn, effectively losing a turn).

The Downed Railgunner continued to crawl towards cover as part of the mandatory moves, the other broken Tau was out of sight of the enemy and could stay where the was.

The three that recovered from being pinned got up and bounded for cover at the corners of buildings. Two moving ahead, along with the only tau that wasn't hit by the grenade, the other just took cover by the building they were right next to. Of those that moved forward, they all realized they couldn't draw a line of sight to the grenadier or any of the other Astra Militarum. The ONE that took cover at the nearby building could still see the Grenadier and fired of a shot with her Pulse Carbine... and missed...

In the Recovery Phase, those that were still pinned recovered. The two downed Tau remained down, and the two broken Tau remained broken!?

ROUND TWO - Astra Militarum Turn

Cpl. Nazim and Private Hamid stormed across the compound and up some stairs, hoping they'd be able to bring fire down on their enemy from an elevated position. Grendier Yakub held his position - some of the vile xenos had not yet cleared the kill zone and he readied another fragmentation grenade to finish them off! Private Zakariya pushed past him and dashed across the square hoping to gain a good firing position at the cover of the building opposite incase those horrifying xenos made burst through the gate that separated them.

Just as Sergeant Kassab reached the corner of the compound he heard the report of the Grenade Launcher firing and the blast of the detonation to the north. As he watched and enemy trooper stumbled into view and took up a firing position at the far end of the alley - with it's back to them! It seemed completely unaware they were there. Sergeant Kassab dashed across the alley way to take up a better firing position there and Corporal Talal  replaced him at the corner with Privates Daoud and  Wajdi stacked behind awaiting their chance to assault!

Grendier Yakub fired off another grenade, placing it just as before, amid the vile enemy still in the open. This time only three were remaining there to be caught in the blast - more screams and wails and when the dust cleared, they were looking a little worse for wear. 

Rolled ANOTHER six (ammo check - okay!) - Three were pinned, of those two were wounded, one saved, the other was downed. I wrote down that the one that was downed failed a break test, but I'm now thinking that only the other two that were there needed to take break tests (because of the downed comrade) the downed Tau didn't need to take a test as there wasn't another downed in the group...

Sergeant Kassab opend up with his Bolt Pistol and Corporal Talal with his Lasgun. The Sergeants bolted hit the Xenos scum square in the shoulder, detonating on it's armour and sent it pitching forward, exposing it's backside. Corporal Talal shot, fired a second later caught the trooper in this exposed backside burning a hole though part of it's thigh and the creature went down in a series of shrieks and wails. 

I could just NOT STOP rolling SIXES - both the Sergeant and corporal rolled Sixes to hit (ammo rolls checked - still managing to pass those). Both hits caused wounds, but the bolter shot was saved. The Tau pathfinder was Downed.


Bottle Check - failed.

Game Over.

There was a series of frantic cries and shouts between the enemy Xenos and they as one began to  break contact and scramble away. Would have been like shooting fish in a barrel... But there was no commissar with them today and despite the clearness of the Imperial Creed "Thou Shall Not Suffer the Xeno to Live"... there is sometimes an unspoken understanding (or perhaps just a hope of an understanding) between warriors - even the vile xenos - that perhaps if they let them go this day, the enemy will show them the same consideration in the future, should the tables be ever be turned...  


Of the Four Tau that were down at the end of the game, two ended up being seriously wounded enough to be considered Out of Action - rolling on the Serious Injury Table... the both made full recoveries and will be ready for action in the next game!

Checking for Caches - despite their frantic flight, the Tau managed to collect one cache, the Astra Militarum collected two.

For advances the Tau Leader got a skill and rolled for a Shooting Skill and got "gunfighter" - which allows the fighter with the skill to use TWO pistols... so kind of useless as the model has one pulse carbine and I have no other Tau model with two pulse pistols. Are there even such models? I guess if we were playing a long campaign with days or a full week between games and limitless resources and time... one could go out and buy a boxed set of plastic tau pathfinders and convert one of those pathfinders to be holding two pistols and be all WYSIWYG for the next game... but for us...? Initially I though, if you can't use it, too bad. But now I'm thinking that might be a bit harsh...

If a skill is completely useless for the model in question - should I allow a re-roll?

My concern is that one could potentially pick a skill type knowing that there is one there that they want and just rolling and arguing that anything they get that isn't that skill is "useless to them"... If I allow a re-roll if the skill is determined to be useless, do they just get ONE re-roll and have to stick with that...?

Sergeant Kassab also gained a skill - Step Aside - in melee he basically gets a 4+ invulnerable save as he now has a preternatural ability to, as Mr. Miyagi said; "No be there!" (I decided to use the vanilla Cadian options as there weren't specific skill availability charts for Tallarn...).

For resupply the Tau decided to recruit one more Pathfinder - with a Pulse Carbine and Photon Grenades, and Sergeant Kassab's squad gained a new member as well - Pte. Muhktar (Las gun and... camo gear...?)

Well those have been some rather SHORT games!? I'm feeling pretty confident we'll get games playing in 1-1.5 hours this weekend. So, hopefully we might get in one or maybe TWO Friday night, two Saturday morning before breaking for lunch, another two in the afternoon before going out for supper and a final game or two as required in the evening...? I think we're going to shoot for 10 caches to win - or whoever has the most when we call it Saturday evening. Ties broken by wins, then maybe total point value of current Kill Team or maybe rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock or arm-wrestling something...?

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hopefully another game report - Amanda was hoping to fight The Girl's Harlequins with her Tau this evening. I'm hoping I'll get in a game against The Girl's Harlequins on Wednesday and maybe Finnegan's Orks on Thursday... Hopefully after that we should mostly have the rules solid in our head for the weekend!


  1. Maybe just put a second holster on the Tau in question?

    As for the game, give that Grenadier a promotion! (not to plasma gunner, we all know how that ends up)

    1. Except the Gunslinger skill allows the model to use TWO pistols - and currently all the tau carry is a single Pulse carbine...


  2. The skills can be a bit redundant for some factions, with passive skills being ones they can acquire from the skill pool. I think 1 re-roll would be fine, especially if you just want to have fun and see what the game has to offer.

    1. 1 re-roll is kind of what I'm leaning towards (if it is completely useless to the fighter in question...).

  3. Ouch. Given how badly things went for the Tau I'd rather err on the side of being magnanimous and give them a chance of getting something they can use. Seems to me they shouldn't be penalized just because there isn't a model to represent a randomly rolled skill. But then, I don't worry too much about WYSIWYG.

    1. The Tau do week rather weak... I was worried that maybe they really are meant to have their drones (which they can have) - but then I was looking at THEIR stats and abilities and they seem rather useless too? The Pulse Carbines do have a strength of 5 - which is going to hurt - But only if it HITS! The Tau only have a BS of 3 - which is worse than they Imperial Guard Veterans, which my force is made up as... Good thing Amanda isn't super competitive!

      I do appreciate a reasonable amount of WYSIWYG... I mean, If I'm looking across the table and see that my dude is in line of sight of two enemy models carrying pistols and axes, I might think it's relatively safe to expose my guy for a turn while he runs across to get to some better position - only to have my opponent inform me as he goes to shoot at my guy on his turn that they are intact armed with A sniper rifle and a machine-gun... I don't want to have to remember everyone else's substitutions (I'd have a hard time remembering my own if we started doing that!)... I'd like to be able to look at the things on the table and know what they're actually armed with...

  4. Fun sounding game, well for you! Nice bit of fluff too!
    Best Iain

    1. and SHORT! This is the second game we've played and they've both ended by a bottle test after 3 rounds!? I guess it's okay if games are short - means we'll be able to cram more games in this weekend and see more of the campaign advancing going on. Also it worked out well as these games were just to introduce the rules to those involved.

      I live for the fluff. It's probably why I don't care at all about winning or losing - because I just see it all as a story unfolding before me rather than MY GUYS in a serious competition against THEM GUYS!