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Posted By Jake

Vigilus Ablaze Mission – Ad Mech & Knights vs Astra Militarum – 2,000 Points

My first time against Knights...


Approximate Reading Time: 11 minutes

This is a new venture for me – taking on Ad Mech & Knights and with a Vigilus Ablaze Mission! Sort of, kind of, dreading this. It’ll be the most shooty army I have faced for a long time and I’m not sure how I’ll hold up. We will be playing a mission of Vigilus Defiant, we rolled on the day for this.

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Cadian Astra Militarum 2,000 Points List

This isn’t an all-powerful list. A win would be nice but there are elements of pure destruction like my newly completed Leman Russ and then there are the fun parts like the 17 Ratlings, plus fielding Yarrick and Creed together.

There is a hell of a lot of firepower in this list but I think that’s needed when facing Knights. I don’t know which Knights either! Could be Armigers could be a Castellan! Might be both!

I can’t wait to field this list all painted on the battlefield. Yarrick accompanying the Ratlings and Autocannons up high keeping watch. Creed and the Psyker are on the frontline with 40 Guardsmen. And behind them are 7 Leman Russ with a Basilisk! It’ll be an awesome force!

Cadian Battalion Detachment

Cadian Spearhead Detachment – Emperor’s Fist Tank Company

  • A Tech-Priest with Lost Relic of Cadia (error see below)
  • Tank Commander with Lascannon, Heavy Bolters, Hammer of Sunderance Battle Cannon
  • Executioner Tank Commander with Lascannon and Plasma Cannons
  • Executioner with Heavy Bolter and Plasma Cannons
  • Exterminator with Heavy Bolter
  • 2x Leman Russ Battle Cannons with Heavy Bolter and Plasma Cannons
  • Leman Russ Battle Cannon with Heavy Bolter and Multi-Meltas

Cadian Vanguard Detachment

  • Yarrick
  • 7 Ratlings
  • 5 Ratlings
  • 5 Ratlings

Big apologies to my opponent for the Tech-Priest taking the Relic. He can’t as it’s not a Cadian Officer. If I had realised this I would’ve taken a Platoon Commander to take the Relic. I don’t think the Relic made much of a difference but it was an honest mistake.

Astra Militarum – pre-deployment

Ad Mech & Knights List

  • A Castellen Knight
  • 2 Armiger Helverins
  • Tech-Priest Dominus
  • Tech-Priest
  • 2 Dunecrawlers
  • 2 Kastelan Robots
  • A Data-Smith
  • 2x squads of five Rangers Skitarii
  • 10 man squad of Vanguard Skitarii
  • 3 Kataphron Breachers

Ad Mech & Knights – pre-deployment

Vigilus Ablaze – Doomsday Device

This is from the Vigilus Ablaze book. The Ad Mech were the Defenders because it seemed more likely they would have a Doomsday Device.

It’s a simple mission. The Ad Mech have one objective, the Doomsday Device. I must attack the Doomsday Device, it is Toughness 20 and has no armour save. When I have caused five or more wounds to the Device in my turn it loses a Structure Point.

The damage I deal is reset each turn. I could do 100 Damage in a turn and it’s still one Structure Point (SP).

If the Device loses 5SP or more I score a Major Victory, if it loses 4SP I score a Minor Victory -anything else is an Ad Mech Major Victory.

One thing I had not taken into account was that the Device would be wounded most effectively by massed fire. Sure getting a Plasma round on it for 2 Damage would be perfect but Plasma would Wound it on a 6 as wound a Lasgun. You’ll see this play out later.

The Doomsday Device is in the right top right of this image, on the ground just behind the Armiger

The Doomsday Device is in the right top right of this image, on the ground just behind the Armiger

Vigilus Ablaze Deployment

As the Attacker, I got a sort of concealed deployment. I numbered all my units and placed markers to represent them all – plus three dummies.

The Ad Mech then deploys and finally, I reveal my units after they’ve deployed.

I got the first turn. There was no Seize the Initiative.

Turn 1

All of the four Infantry Squads move up and Advanced giving me a good screen against the enemy. It wasn’t a melee force but there was Plasma in there on the Skitarii.

I used Nightshroud on my Battle Cannon Tank Commander.

Creed ordered three of the squads to Move, Move, Move and then the fourth to shoot even though they Advanced – Forwards for the Emperor.

I kicked things off as best I could given the limited range of my Plasma and Multi-Meltas. But things went well with my shooting.

I did 5 damage to the Device to that was this turn’s 1SP. Good.

Because of the range of the weaponry I had – I couldn’t focus down enemy units as well as perhaps I wanted to. A Dunecrawler lost half its wounds as did an Armiger.

The Tank Commander Executioner placed all its Plasma into the Kastelan Robots killing both with ease. I have never faced these robots before and wouldn’t today!

I chipped the odd Skitarii away here and thereby placing my Heavy Bolters into them when I could. The Ratlings weren’t able to hit any characters so they too killed a few Skitarii.

I was extremely lucky when it came to the Ad Mech’s shooting I think. I didn’t lose a single Leman Russ. One was down to one wound though and another down to 8. Despite the damaged Dunecrawler firing at the top tier due to a Stratagem.

An Infantry Squad was reduced to a single man after Morale.

The enemy Tech-Priests healed the Armiger and Dunecrawler.

I couldn’t believe the Castellan hadn’t wrecked at least one Leman Russ.

Turn 2

Now my Infantry was in place they didn’t move up much more. One squad did try and get a charge on an Armiger though.

I used Psychic Maelstrom on the Data-Smith. I rolled amazingly well and he took five wounds after I rolled only fives and sixes. For those who haven’t used this…

If the power succeeds you roll a dice. On a 2+ the target takes a Mortal Wound. And then another on a 3+. Then another on a 4+. Etc. Until it’s either dead or you can’t roll high enough on a single dice.

It’s a very nice alternative to Smite as it can target anything within 18″. This is the first time I’ve had it kill something outright. I did Perils though and took two Wounds.

Shooting wise I finished off the wounded Armiger and the Dunecrawler. More Skitarii went splat from Guardsmen, Heavy Bolters and Ratlings. The Ratlings are surprising good at this task. Hitting on a 3+ and re-rolling ones results in a decent number of hits. Then any sizes to wound are simply dead models. Plus that forces a regular Armour Save too.

The Vindicare did nothing on the first turn. This turn he wounded the enemy Tech-Priest Dominus with a six! This caused D6 Wounds, I rolled a five and killed the bionic fool in one go!

I made the charge against the remaining Armiger. The combat was slow and unimpressive. But it was busy now kicking Guardsmen rather than shooting for a turn.

I didn’t do 5 Damage to the Device this turn. I missed it by maybe one which sucked as this meant it would be very hard to get the 5SP needed for a Major Victory. So despite killing a lot I was now behind schedule to take a Major Victory.

All the enemy infantry was now dead.

The enemy began to move up and close the gap.

The Kataphrons killed two of themselves in Plasma misfires while trying to destroy a Leman Russ. One remained. It charged some Guardsmen.

The Knight killed two Leman Russ this turn. Both Battle Cannon variants with Multi-Meltas.

The Ad Mech was hurting for firepower now but with the Castellan still on full health and moving forward – I’m sure they would still do a lot of damage.

Turn 3

I didn’t move much as it wasn’t needed. Screening the Castellan was futile. And the tanks needed to remain stationary for their Cadian doctrine.

The Psyker didn’t do much this turn as I don’t remember what it did at all.

So into shooting and trying to pound the enemy. I managed to get the 5 Damage this turn on the Device. So now I was on 2SP.

The last Dunecrawler was killed, the enemy Tech-Priest remained where they once stood.

I now started to go after the Castellan. The Ratlings did an awesome job of stripping wounds from it. Their Mortal Wounds were working a treat. They did four Mortal Wounds. Then when you factor in a failed save or two meant they did something like six wounds to the Knight. Incredible.

The Knight was down to 15 wounds from its starting 28 at this point.

The Knight was now on a rampage and it would come down to who could kill who the fastest. I needed to destroy the objective while also trying to kill a Knight.

Another two Leman Russ fell and the Knight started to work on my other units with its Twin Meltaguns. He multi charged my Guardsmen, Psyker and Creed. The Psyker does but the squad and Creed lived!

The Armiger and Kataphron combat continued with not much action. The enemy Tech-Priest joined the Kataphron combat and killed a couple of Guardsmen.

Turn 4

It was getting tight now. Could the enemy kill me before I managed to destroy the Device? And could I destroy the Device before I was dead myself or the game ended?

The Ratlings again took Wounds from the Knight. They were very effective at this. We couldn’t believe it. All in they did about 14 wounds to the Knight over the course of the game.

I did two wounds to the Device. I needed two more. I charged some Guardsmen into it. They caused three hits, I now needed three sixes to get to the 5 Damage I needed to cause another Structure Point. I rolled two sixes and a five! No! I missed it by one this turn. So I still on 2 SP.

I would need the game to go to turn six and I would need to do 5 Damage on each of time 5 and 6 to even get a Minor Victory.

The Knight continues to rampage into my lines now and kill Leman Tank Commanders with impunity.

Turn 5

All that mattered now was could I do the damage needed to the Device as my units were deleted from the battlefield.

And I did this turn! The Exterminator Leman Russ came through for me! I get a lot of questions about this tank.

Is it good? Is it bad? I’ve heard it is rubbish – why do you have one?

I found it really effective. I would take two next time I think.

The Knight now destroyed my Basilisk as it rounded the hill and aimed it’s Volcano Lance at the unsuspecting artillery placement.

So I did the 5 Damage this turn, taking me to 3SP. I needed turn 6 to happen… and it did!

Turn 6

Once again this came down to my shooting. The Ratlings, after the Exterminator did 4 Damage managed to do the final bit of damage against the Device. Cashing the fourth Structure Point and giving me a Minor Victory.

We played the final Ad Mech turn where the Knight overcharged it’s Plasma Decimator one last time which finished it off.

Not much left - Vigilus Ablaze

Not much left – Vigilus Ablaze

Vigilus Ablaze Summary

What an epic game and fun mission! This was the first narrative mission I’ve played and I’d be game for another from Vigilus Ablaze or Vigilus Defiant.

When playing this game I found my mind subconsciously switches. It’s not like playing a Chapter Approved Mission, not a Core Rulebook Mission. You make silly decisions and try and do spectacular things.

The Ratlings did so well! Those 17 little guys carried the game. They helped mop up infantry, caused the final piece of damage on the Doomsday Device and dealt a fantastic amount of damage to the Knight Castellan.

Should I get more Ratlings?

The Leman Russ, I was also suitably impressed with. This was the first time in a long time that I used Multi-Meltas too. Despite their range, they are really good at their job.

Have you any good suggestions from missions you have played from Vigilus Ablaze or Vigilus Defiant?

Vigilus Ablaze Mission

MVP – Vigilus Ablaze

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