Order of the Verdant Garden (Sisters of Battle) vs Head Hunters (Blood Angels)

The Head Hunters (commanded by the Chaos Lord Shaga) fielded 4 assault squads (two jump packs, one in a rhino, one in a land raider crusader) with a chaos lord joining the troops in the raider.  two drop pods containing dreadnaughts (1 furioso and one normal) and a final drop pod with a unit of sternguard.  Thats a total of 13 kill points available.

The Sisters fielded 2 battle sister squads in rhinos, a canoness and a celestian squad in an immolator, a heavy bolter equipped retributor squad with an immolator, a unit of seraphim, a unit of repentia and Saint Celestine.  Thats a total of 12 kill points available.

Head Hunters win initiative roll, choose to go 2nd, then the Head Hunters steal initiative after the Sisters set up first!

The Sisters castled up across half the centre of the board, with an exorcist facing each half of the enemies lines, and the retributors towards the right in a building.

The Head Hunters fielded the landraider and rhino in the top left, together with the two jump squads.

Turn 1A – Head Hunters (Sisters 0, Head Hunters 0)

Drop pod Assault!  The two dreadnaughts slammed down in droppods immediately in front of the Sisters deployment in the centre of the field.  Storming out, both of the insane mechanical monsters missed with their meltas!  On the left the rhino and jump troops hurtled forward, followed by the landraider, whose machine spirit quickly wrecked a rhino with a unit of battle sisters spilling out by controlling the multimelta.

Turn 1B – Sisters (Sisters 0, Head Hunters 1)

Drop pod turkey shoot! Stunned both dreadnaughts shooting – Sisters Repentia wreck one in assault.  Between Celestine and the battlesisters with stormbolters, some casualties are inflicted on the approaching jump troops, but not enough.

Turn 2A – Head Hunters (Sisters 1, Head Hunters 1)

The Sternguard fail to arrive this turn.  The remaining stunned dreadnought pops smoke in an attempt to stay alive.  Assault troops gather near the sisters huddling near their wrecked rhino, (some arriving by rhino, some by jumppack) but the holy ladies are quickly obliterated by shooting before they even get a chance to charge!  Though not a deadly turn, the positioning leaves the Sisters looking vulnerable.  One unit of jump troops pops right into the middle of the Sisters, and immobilise an immolator.

Turn 2B – Sisters (Sisters 1, Head Hunters 2)

Finish off the droppods and dreadnaught with a brutal array of multimeltas, Sisters Repentia and retributors.  One exorcist swings to guard the left flank, and opens up on the assault troops.  In the centre, the canoness led the celestians against the jump troops, with celestine jumping nearby for good measure.  All but one of that unit died, and he was just out of celestines assault range.

Turn 3A – Head Hunters (Sisters 4, Head Hunters 2)

Sternguard arrive with a drop pod, and scatter off the table.  The Sisters prayed to the emperor, and guided them to the far corner away from their battle brothers and the defending sisters.  The SternGuard deploy, and run towards a nearby building in desperate search of cover.  The assault troops to the left hurtle in (some in their rhino, which popped smoke, some by jump pack), and smash an exorcist to pieces.  The assault troop left in the middle fled quickly (not routing, making a tactical withdrawal to save the kill point).

Turn 3B – Sisters (Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

An immolator fired over the wrecked exorcist and toasted several assault troops, who broke and fled.  The assault troops were within 6″ of celestine, but in cover … and she couldn’t reach them to assault over the difficult ground.  The nearby rhino remains impervious to an amazing array of shooting.

Turn 4A – Head Hunters  (Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

The assault troops in the rhino disembark and try to kill celestine with meltaguns and bolters, but fail to do much damage.  The land raider smashes the celestians with hurricane bolters and assault cannon, killing three, but leaving the unit alive.  Its multimelta also spanks an exorcist, leaving it shaken.  At this point, many of the sisters are weakened, with immobilised tanks or exposed, but the headhunters are struggling to get the kills in.

Turn 4B – Sisters (Sisters 4, Head Hunters 3)

Shaken Exorcist drives forward to force the fleeing jump troops to keep retreating.  The celestians, canoness and celestine finish off the remaining assault troops next to the rhino.  The seraphim arrive, and flame the sternguard to pieces, killing all but one, who remains in 6@ of the approaching repentia .. but the difficult ground stops them closing for assault.  The retributors finish off the last drop pod.

Turn 5A – Head Hunters (Sisters 6, Head Hunters 3)

The jump troops run another 10″ thanks to the exorcist, and the remaining sternguard flees off the table thanks to the closing Sisters Repentia.  The landraider annihilates the exorcist with an up close multi-melta blast!  It assault pounds the seraphim who flee!  Assault troops and the chaos lord spill forward, and a rhino rams the immobilised immolator in the centre of the breaking sisters defenses, stunning it.

Turn 5B – Sisters (Sisters 7, Head Hunters 4)

Celestine assaults the remaining assault unit and the Chaos Lord!  She takes a wound, but hits the lord twice!  No kills, but dangerously close to another kill point!  The canoness and celestians finish off the rhino.  The fleeing seraphim rally, starving the head hunters of another kill point.

Game End – Sisters 9 Kills, Head Hunters 4 Kills – The rhino kill, and the fleeing jump troops add another 2 kills to the Sisters tally.

Its a misleading total for a game thats much closer than that sounds.  The landraider and remaining assault troops were facing seriously weakened units, and could have scored an fair few kill points over turns 6 and 7.

I think the important thing is that it was a brilliant game.  As always, Shaga was a brilliant opponent, and its always a pleasure to play him, win or lose.  What went wrong for the blood angels?  Well, kill points didn’t favor them with drop pods and rhinos giving cheap kills, and the initial drop pod assault went badly – if the dreadnaughts had taken out the exorcists, they could have ravaged the sisters centre almost with impunity.  The sternguard ended up in the worst place on the table – in range of the retributors, but over 30″ away from the sisters over open ground.  Several big dice moments favored the sisters – the retributors consistently made their acts of faith, celestine was unkillable, and the seraphim popped into a perfect position even with a scatter.  I think the Head Hunters did need a bit more anti armour – they struggled smashing the sisters out of their rhino shells a little too much.  Perhaps look at combi meltas on the sternguard?

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