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Game Three: Regaining Communications

The natives are restless and dominated by a Genestealer Cult!

Scenario

The third game for the Incident On Malinche IX campaign involved both Black Dragon Tactical Squads uniting to take back the communications arrays from the rebelious population. The game was 500 points per side and was played on a small Kill Teams sized table. The scenario was "Dawn Raid" from the Battle Missions book with one slight change: the attacking Marines had to put their whole force on the table.
Justin played Drakar Squad led by Sgt Dagni and Long Squad led by Sgt. Bors from the previous two games, complete with the same wargear. They were commanded by Chaplain Tristan Palladius, who is quite possibly the scariest 100 point HQ choice I've ever had to combat! The Chaplain joined Long Squad while the recently rescued Inquisitor Locke remained with Drakar Squad.
My commander was Lord Commisar Ingram Svelte, equipped with a bolt pistol, power sword, camo cloak, and carapace armor. The rest of my force consisted of 5 squads of Penal Legionaires. I figured if I outnumbered Justin by 30 models, I might have a shot at victory. When I made all my Desperadoes rolls, three units were Psychopaths, one unit was Knife Fighters, and the last unit was Gunfighters. This meant I had to rush the enemy under cover of darkness as long as it lasted and pray Justin rolls badly for Night Fight range.

Round One

Drakar Squad digs in.
Most of my army got to move up due to the Scout rule before Justin launched his attack. I was able to secure an objective before the game even started. Tristan and his cadre ran towards the second objective while Dagni and Locke held their ground. Even in the dark, the rapid firing brethren from Drakar dropped four Gunfighter legionaires. Justin rolled at the end of his turn and Night Fighting rules stayed in effect. On my turn, the Legionaires surged forward while the Gunfighter Legionaires managed to kill a single Marine from Long Squad. My roll also meant Night Fighting stayed in effect.

Round Two

The convicts are coming! The convicts are coming!
Drakar Squad manages to drop four more Gunfighter legionaires and deny me my objective. However, the two survivors pass their Leadership test and stand firm. Tristan continues running towards the second objective. Night Fighting remains in effect and the bulk of the penal troops rush towards the Marines. The remaining two Gunfighter legionaires fire but fail to wound. I make the next Night Fighting roll and to my horror, it's daybreak. Now all my forces are out in front of the enemy with no protection what-so-ever.

Round Three

CHARGE!
Now the pain really begins. Locke separates from Drakar Squad and remaining Marines pummel the Psychopath legionaires that Svelte is leading. Four legionaires are slain but Svelte keeps the squad from breaking. Next, Tristan and Long Squad unload on the closest unit, slaying four. That squad of Psychopaths manage to hold fast. The Knife Fighters and the last squad of Psychopaths move into cover and hope to kill a few in the shooting phase; neither unit manages to kill any of Drakar Squad. Svelte and his team take cover behind a wall and try to whittle down Long Squad. They only manage to slay one Marine. The remaining two Gunfighters fail to wound anything. Justin reminds me that my one unit of Psychopaths have Fleet and therefore can charge Tristan and Long Squad. They do so, killing two Marines but losing four of their own numbers. They break and are easily run down.

Round Four

"Stubborn" means nothing when you're dead
Drakar Squad fires upon a squad of Psychopaths, breaking them and making the unit too small to rally. Tristan led Long Squad at Svelte's unit who was hiding behind fortifications. Four of the legionaires dropped from flamer fire. In the assualt, all the legionaires die, but Svelte remains firm. He manages to kill only a single Marine. Then Justin remembered the Chaplain's special rule and re-rolled all those power weapon attacks that missed. The result was one Commissar out of action and presumed dead. Meanwhile, Locke assaults the two remaining Gunfighters. The result is a locked combat with no casualties. The Knife Fighters try to assault Dagni and end up less than a 1/2 inch shy. Locke and the last two Gunfighters remain in a stalemate.

Round Five

Pray for death, traitorous heretics!
Tritan has Long Squad secure an objective. Drakar Squad slays two Knife Fighters with heavy bolter fire and brace for the inevitable assualt. Locke manages to kill one Gunfighter, but the last one remains firmly entrenched in the lackluster close combat. The broken squad of Psychopaths keeps running and the Knife Fighters assault the Squad Drakar! The Marines slay two and the legionaires manage to miraculously kill one Marine. Despite losing the combat, the stubborn legionaires stay in the fight.
Justin rolls to see if the game continues; his roll means round five was the last round. As he held more objectives than I did, it was victory for the Marines.

Reflections

This game hurt and it hurt bad. I suppose playing on a 4X4 kill teams table didn't help. My original plan of hanging back and holding objectives with one or two squads and fighting the Marines with the rest wasn't a viable plan on such a tiny table. I also made the mistake of using harrassment troops as regular frontline troops. I honestly thought the math was on my side, as I'd outnumber the Marines by a ridiculous margin and shoot twice each round. I kinda forgot I was wounding 33% of the time and Justin was making saves 66% of the time. I would have been better off with a squad of vets or a squad of storm troopers, and maybe one squad of penitents. That way, I'd have troops with better survivability and heavy/special weapons that can actually -hurt- Marines.
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