I recall when Planetstrike was due out how excited I was to try it. That was just about three years ago and I had only played it twice despite owning the book. Last night though at my FLGS almost everyone decided to play Planetstrike.
I teamed up with a Space Wolf player with my Chaos Marines, Disciples of Twilight. I was to be teamed up with a Daemon player but he couldn’t make it, hence the un-fluffy pairing. We faced off against Sisters and Grey Knights with them being the defender. They setup a basic castle, I mean towers and walls of a castle, in the board center with some perimeter defense in the form of tank traps and such. Both sides picked their stratagems and the game commenced.
Before hitting the field of battle the aggressors, Space Wolves and Chaos Marines (how that alliance came to be is anyone’s guess), unleashed hell upon the enemy with firestorm bombardments. With the Grey Knights nowhere to be seen, the Sisters of Battle took the brunt of the attack. Penitent Engines exploded, Sisters were disintegrated and tanks damaged or destroyed. Once the bombardment concluded the attackers marched.
Coming in from the southwest the attackers advanced. That side of the field had taken the most damage and there was little in their way to prevent them from advancing. A drop pod of Blood Claws slammed down beside an Exorcist tank and behind that tank landed some Sky Claws. The Rhinos of the Berzerkers and Plague Marines advanced a bit further south from where the deep strikers landed.
Wasting no time the Blood Claws and Sky Claws assaulted and mangled the Exorcist. A moment later Grey Knights appeared just to their west and an Eversor Assassin right beside the Blood Claws. More Grey Knights also materialized but they were north and east of the attackers position and of little threat for the moment.
The bastions of the defender poured fire into the Disciples’ Rhinos and the Plague Marine Rhino went up in a shower of flaming debris. The Assassin leapt at the Blood Claws and struck down nearly half the squad.
Typhus with his retinue of Terminators teleported onto the field. They arrived southwest with the rest of the forces to try to hold their position. He was followed in by some Lesser Daemons and a Greater Daemon entered the material plane, taking possession of a Plague Champion’s body. The Space Wolves drove forward a Rhino of Grey Hunters and beside that a Predator bristling with lascannons. Ragnar with his retinue of Fenrisian Wolves marched up behind the rest of the attacking host to the the southwest.
The Plague Marines shot at the southwest bastion and exploded it with their meltaguns, creating a much-needed opening to the courtyard where some defenders were sheltered. The Chaos Terminators exploded an Immolator they landed next to. Just north of that position the Sky Claws went to the aid of the Blood Claws who were struggling to take down the Assassin. Their efforts were in vain as the Assassin continued to mangle them.
Grey Knights moved to support the Assassin and the other defenders from the east began moving west to support the defense. Concentrated firepower destroyed the Berzerker’s Rhino and severely wounded the Greater Daemon who screamed in anger. The Grey Knights jumped into the combined combat and cleared most of what remained of the attackers with the Assassin.
With most of the attacking force now present they began advancing on the destroyed southwest corner of the fortification. Typhus was leading the charge with Lesser Daemons shielding their advanced. Berzerkers were holding back to counter-attack anything moving on their forward position, as was Ragnar. They were met with the heavy flamer of a Chimera, destroying a few of the Lesser Daemons. Grey Knights had advanced on and charged Typhus and his Terminators, hoping to hold them back from the breach. Typhus would not be stopped however and single handedly destroyed all of the Grey Knights and consolidated towards the breach.
The Greater Daemon exploded the south wall in a furious rage and the Chimera was destroyed by combined attacker fire. The attacking force was met with fire from Interceptors and a Dreadknight, thinning down the horde of Lesser Daemons. What remained of those Lesser Daemons was charged by Death Cult Assassins and sent back to the warp.
The fight had then become a fight of attrition. The attackers were trying to gain ground in the courtyard and being met by heavy resistance. Another unit of Death Cult Assassins had moved south to meet the foe while Typhus and his Terminators sent the other unit in the courtyard running. The Dreadknight had moved west and flanked the attackers, fighting its way through their western flank while the last unit of Assassins slowly chewed through the Grey Hunters just east.
The battle was well in the hands of the defenders but Ragnar had single-handedly accepted the charge of Assassins and killed them for their effort. He moved to claim a bastion after the combat while the enemy was holding the remains of their southwest bastion when the fight concluded.
So, we had to call the game on turn #6. It was late and I had to run. The game would have gone on, we rolled turn #7, and Ragnar, the only model we had left alive, would have died and given them the win. Ending on turn #6 barely gave us the draw and considering the battle it seemed fitting.
My team had a great start to the game. We took the stratagem for extra firestorm attacks and ended up with 16 of them. The report mentions little of the Sisters because between the firestorm attacks and our first turn we had removed most of them as the Grey Knights were all in reserves. The start of the game overall was well in our favor but as the Grey Knights advanced on us and the defensive fire came out way it began shifting slowly over each turn.
This was the second time I fielded Typhus and I was very happy with him. He took down around 6-7 Grey Knights on his own, shot down (winds of Chaos), a few Death Cult Assassins, assaulted and removed a handful of Death Cult Assassins after, he force weaponed the Inquisitor and then shot down a handful more from that unit when it ran. He died in the center of the courtyard but not before taking more than his share of the enemy first.
The game was great. I haven’t had that much fun in a long time. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed Planetstrike. It’s an ideal way to get in some very cinematic battles, hence the narrative style report, only seemed fitting. We’ll definitely have to play this more than once every few years at the LGS.