Salamanders & Friends Vs Astra Militarum - 2,500 pt Battle Report
Astra Militarum Formations

Salamanders & Friends Vs Astra Militarum – 2,500 pt Battle Report

I meet my nemesis once again in this 2,500 pt Battle Report

Approximate Reading Time: 13 minutes

The day is here, the big game between myself and my long standing nemesis – The Salamanders. Who turned out to be mostly not Salamanders and to have zero Drop Pods. Which was a bit alarming, because I’d geared my list around being anti Drop Pod. This game was a big deal to me, I really wanted to win! So here is the outcome with a 2,500 point Battle Report versus Salamanders & Friends.

Salamanders & Friends List

  • 10th Company Task Force Formation; three squads of Scouts with 5x Boltguns and single squad of Scouts with 5x Sniper Rifles – all with Camo Cloaks
  • 1st Company Task Force Formation; Cataphractii Terminator Squad, Terminator Assault Squad, Vanguard Veteran Squad with Jump Packs
  • Golden Legion Task Force; a squad of 5x Custodians with two Storm Shields
  • Deathwatch Black Spear Strike Force; Watch Master, a Aquilla Kill Team with a Terminator, a Librarian, Black Shield, A Frag Cannon and a Watch Sergeant, a Furor Kill Team with a Terminator, Black Shield, Frag Cannon/Infernus Heavy Bolter and a Watch Sergeant, another Furor Kill Team with 2x Infernus Heavy Bolter and 1x Frag Cannon/Infernus Heavy Bolter plus a Watch Sergeant  and finally a Venerable Dreadnought with Missile Launcher and Plasma Cannon

This was not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting seven Drop Pods and lots of messy closed range fighting and melee.

Astra Militarum List

  • Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company; 2x Executioners with Plasma Cannon Sponsons (Tank Commander Squadron), a single Punisher, 2x Vanquisher as two different units and 2x Enginseer with 2x Servitors each – all Leman Russ with Camo Netting
  • Rampart Detachment; two squads of 5x Bullgryns all with Grenadier Gauntlets and Slabshields plus the mandatory Platoon Command Squad
  • An Infantry Platoon with 2x Infantry Squads, 20x Conscripts and the mandatory Platoon Command Squad
  • A Shadowsword with a single pair of Lascannon and Heavy Bolter Sponsons
  • 2x Mastery Level two Primaris Pyskers
  • Void Shield with three shields

This was the first time using the Void Shield, other than in my practice game. The Shadowsword was a fairly new addition too for me but the Armoured Company is becoming some what of a must have in these larger point games.

I managed to make some notes during the game so I could remember for the most part what happened and also the key events that made the game what it was.


We basically played with five objectives. Two near me, two near the enemy and one in the table centre.


I deployed first and got first turn. I had no reserves and the enemy had two squads of Terminators in reserve. The enemy deployment was a little odd. A squad of Terminators, the Custodians, a Deathwatch squad and possibly another unit deployed together in his table centre. Close together – almost like a Guard blob. I guess it was his own ultra killy melee blob of doom™. Although obviously it was not one unit, just several units close to each other.

I stacked everything together inside the Void Shield. Bullgryns in front to guard from frontal melee attacks. Then my Leman Russ and Shadowsword. The Conscripts I placed way out on my right flank on their own. My Infantry Squads just padded out my flank and rear to stop Deep Strikers – the same with the PCS. The Psykers joined units – I forget which. Possibly The PCD and the Conscripts.

This is pre-game, but shows the type of Elite 2+ Save units I am facing

This is pre-game, but shows the type of Elite 2+ Save units I am facing

My Turn 1

This was going to be a big turn for me. I had to make it count with my shooting otherwise when the melee came, they’d be too strong.

I killed three Deathwatch , two Terminators and two Custodians from Plasma blasts from my two Executioners- which was a great. I feel like these two Leman Russ have paid for their points on turn one.

Three Deathwatch and a Vanguard Veteran were killed by the Shadowsword’s D weapon (the Volcano Cannon) plus a few Deathwatch from its Lascannons.

Two scouts killed from the Punisher Leman Russ.

Vanquishers missed all their shots at the Dreadnought – the enemy’s only vehicle.

My Psykers failed completely to harness anything at all.

Enemy Turn 1

The name of the game now for the Salamanders (and friends) was rapid movement. Or risk being Plasma’d off the table. Some Scouts moved very close to me – while others sat on objectives in the enemy Deployment Zone.

My losses were light with a single Conscript dying and two Infantry dead from an Assault Cannon. The Dreadnought’s Plasma Cannon wounded a Bullgryn. The Vanguard assaulted my Infantry and they lost of course. It was just a ten man squad. But still light losses for the Guard!

My Turn 2

More great shooting required here!  The Conscripts, PCS, Lascannon from the Shadowsword, Punisher and Vanquisher all shot at the Vanguard which were right on my doorstep after massacring my Infantry last turn. My last attempt to kill the last Vanguard came from five Grenadier Gauntlet shots from the Bullgryns. It worked! They were now all gone. This felt like a big deal because if they charged my Bullgryns, then they would pile in and stop blocking my Leman Russ from being charged. They were also stopping the enemy from getting inside the Void Shield.

I had got Misfortune on the Vanguard too, but it was pointless due to their Storm Shields. Silly me.

A similar story from turn one with my Plasma and Volcano Cannon on his ultra killy melee blob of doom™ in the table centre. They were being chipped away nicely. But its interesting to see how effective an Invulnerable Save is versus a D weapon. Those Storm Shields were paying for themselves several times over.

Vanquisher missed the Dreadnought again!

Enemy Turn 2

Both Terminators Squads came from reserve and went for risky drops behind me. Both mishap, both went into ongoing reserves! Yes! Not dead, but still, a minor victory.

I’m now starting to take losses to my Infantry. But the Bullgryns and Leman Russ remain intact. A single wound lost on a Bullgryn and no HPs lost on any Leman Russ. The Void Shields are doing their job and stopping massed fire from Bolters and Assault Cannons ripping apart my infantry and Bullgryns.

Scouts killed four Guardsmen and then kill all but one on the charge. He runs, but not off the board!

Conscripts died from Assault Cannon and Scout snipers. They are out on their own on the right flank away from the Void Shield.

The enemy ultra killy melee blob of doom™ unit is moving slowly up the table centre towards me. They move and run each turn. Staying together. There are a lot of ruins in the table centre and that is slowing them a little as they either move through it or around it.

I didn't take great pics this game - But this is some of the enemy blobby killy units

I didn’t take great pics this game – But this is some of the enemy ultra killy melee blob of doom™

My Turn 3

I begin spreading out my units. I forget  to do this and leave it far too late, too often in my games. Was it too late this game? Three turns is a long time to stand still and shoot, with no movement. But I move the Conscripts out now down the right flank towards an enemy objective and fire on the Scouts who are on the objective.

The Scouts, those f****** Scouts man! They had Camo Cloaks and had not moved since the start of the game. This (as part of their formation) gave them a 2+ save in ruins after Going to Ground. So the Conscripts fired on them, forcing them to Go to Ground – none died but at least they were Snap Shooting next turn.

The same happened with my Executioner Tank Commander – the Executioner fired on another group of Scouts who also had a 2+ Cover Save – none died. But he Got Hot and lost a HP.

On the left flank my Bullgryns kill a whole Scout squad plus another Single Scout from the Grenadier Gauntlets. I have not really used these weapons before, because, well they suck on paper. But actually in this game they have been very handy indeed. Killing that final Vanguard Veteran and now wiping out Scouts. Something I am starting to learn more and more is;

Force the enemy to roll saves, if its Lasguns, Grenadier Gauntlets or Lascannons – if they are being made to roll saves some will fail and some will die

A Punisher Leman Russ and the Grenadier Gauntlets from the Bullgryns killed a Storm Shield carrying Custodian and took a single wound from another. They had Misfortune on them too which helped. Taking out the Storm Shield Custodian was a big deal as it meant the rest of the squad were now more vulnerable.

The Shadowsword with Prescience did very little I think. I cannot remember and I did not write it down – so lets assume the Volcano Cannon scattered terribly.

You guessed it! The Vanquisher missed the Dreadnought again! It is worth noting that this Vanquisher is BS4 too, due to the formation.

Enemy Turn 3

With the ultra killy melee blob of doom™ being whittled down little my little each turn things were looking bad it seemed for the Salamanders and their friends. The final squad of Terminators mishap again and again go into ongoing reserves!

The remaining Scouts that were sitting on objectives in the enemy Deployment Zone did nothing. Those near me also did nothing as they were in cover and facing down 5 Bullgryns and a few Leman Russ.

The Librarian did nothing. He had powers from one of the new Space Marine disciplines. He wanted to take control of my Volcano Cannon, but then we realised it was one RANDOM weapon. So the chances were slim as the Shadowsword had the following weapons in total; Volcano Cannon, 2x Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, another Heavy Bolter, 2x Lascannon.

The successful Terminator squad Deep Strike right down in front of my Shadowsword and shot nothing due to the Void Shield. Everything of mine was inside the shield, but his Terminators were just outside of it. Win!

The ultra killy melee blob of doom™ continued their movement up the board towards my line of Bullgryns and Leman Russ.

One single Terminator however that was part of the ultra killy melee blob of doom™ assaulted my Bullgryns and died. This allowed me a consolidation move towards the ultra killy melee blob of doom™ and also allowed me to reposition my Bullgryns to stop any charges into my Leman Russ.

Terminators arriving in front of my Shadowsword

Terminators arriving in front of my Shadowsword

My Turn 4

My Pyskers were coming into their own now. I had Misfortune on the Custodians and Prescience on the Executioners. This was the undoing of the Custodians. The Executioners got 21 hits on the three remaining Custodians killing them all. The unit never made it to Melee and fired perhaps once. Perhaps not at all due to the Void Shield. Either way 260 points of the enemy now lay dead and had no effect on the game at all.

The Shadowsword Tank Shocked the Terminators that just arrived killing one and then another one died who tried Death Or Glory. Three Terminators were left. The Shadowsword didn’t fire due to its now odd angle after Tank Shocking the Terminators.

One unit of Bullgryns shot Grenadier Gauntlets at the three remaining Terminators and the other Bullgryns did the same at the Custodians. Damage unknown. But we can assume it was between zero and one wound. Nothing major.

My left flank spread out towards the remaining Scouts. This was my Leman Russ spreading out now away from the Void Shield.

My right flank Conscripts moved up toward his back objective which had Scouts on it in 2+ cover. A Vanquisher and a Punisher also started to join the movement up the board with the Conscripts.

The Deathwatch unit in the ultra killy melee blob of doom™ died from the Punisher!

One unit of Bullgryns charged the three Terminators in front of the Shadowsword – killing all but one after refusing a challenge from my Bone ‘ead Bullgryn. Boo!

The Vanquisher on the left flank misses the Dreadnought!

Enemy Turn 4

The final Terminator squad that had now been into Ongoing Reserves twice, arrived onto his own objective in his Deployment Zone.

The Dreadnought’s Plasmas Cannon strips a Shield from the Void Shield Generator. A Frag Cannon thing from a Deathwatch squad takes the other two shields down – this might have happened in the previous Turn though. I am unsure.

My Bullgryns against the Terminators in front of the Shadowsword won their combat and consolidated towards the left flank and the Scouts.

Very little left now for the Salamanders and Friends. But they are hanging onto central objective with Scouts, a Deployment Zone objective on my left with the Dreadnought and now the right objective with newly Deep Strike Terminators. I just have one objective in my Deployment Zone.

My Turn 5

I regain two Void shields! But my Psykers fail.

My Bullgryns wipe the Scouts out on the left flank in melee with ease. Allowing them to consolidate towards my own objective in my Deployment Zone. Giving me two objectives.

My right flank continues to open up as the Punisher and the Vanquisher race forwards with a PCS and Conscripts to take his back right objective which now has no Scouts left and the Terminators that arrived via Deep Strike last turn. I saw Terminators but it could have been Deathwatch? Is that possible?

Vanquisher missed dreadnought again. Five times now. So I try to destroy it with Executioner Plasma. They fail. I need it dead as its on an objective with no one near by to retake it for the Salamanders. But the Shadowsword finishes off the Dreadnought!

The Punisher starts to kill off the five Terminators (or Deathwatch) on the back objective but one remains and my Conscripts are close, but not close enough. The objective is just at the far tip of the Drop Pod in the photo below.

My Conscripts and Leman Russ race towards the Salamanders Deployment Zone to gain objectives

My Conscripts and Leman Russ race towards the Salamanders Deployment Zone to gain objectives – The Drop Pod is Terrain.

Enemy Turn 5

The lone Terminator on the objective cannot do much.

Everything else is dead, spare some Scouts in his Deployment Zone. There is not much left and if there is, it does not amount to much.

The ultra killy melee blob of doom™ is dead too.

Game End

We rolled and the game went to turn 6. But we called the game here, and I had won! Another turn would have seen me take over more objectives and/or table my opponent.

I think if we had ended on Turn 5 I would have still won. I don’t remember!

That Vanquisher is going in the bin.