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Time for another game of Q13, so time to get the space Dwarves back onto the tabletop to battle another of my so-far-untested forces: the Tah-Sig.

This would be an encounter battle fought across a battlefield consisting of crop fields separated by a series of access roads and narrow strips of open ground. The storyline was that this time it was the Dwarves who were the aggressors: outnumbering the Tah-Sig by a fair amount and needing to get as many units as possible off the table on the Tah-Sig side.

The battlefield from the Tah-Sig side. The dwarf exit point was the Y-shaped junction bottom left.

The Space Dwarves

Played by John, the Dwarves were a formidable force.

CORE THRAINITE FORCE

Company HQ

  • 1 x Big Man (Level IV)

  • 1 x Sniper

1st (Infantry) Platoon [Lethings]

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 4 x Infantry Squad (8 dwarves each)

2nd (Mechanised Armoured Infantry) Platoon [Young Nobles]

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 3 x Armoured Infantry Squad (8 dwarves each)

  • 3 x MDMS Cane Toad APC

3rd (Mortar) Platoon

  • 4 x Light Mortar Team (2 dwarves each)

4th (Spider Drone) Platoon

  • 3 x Spider Drone with Rotary Cannon

5th (Armoured) Platoon

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 2 x MDMS Goanna Tanks

  • 1 x MDMS Goanna Shield Tank

SUPPORT FROM BOON TOWN MINES

Company HQ

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 1 x Armadillo Support Unit/EW Specialist

13th (Infantry) Platoon [Hearthguard]

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 4 x Hearthguard Squad (8 dwarves each)

14th (Infantry) Platoon [Clansmen]

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 2 x Infantry Squad (8 dwarves each)

  • 2 x Flamethrower Team (2 dwarves each)

  • 1 x Medic

Thrainites from Khurasan, except for the Spider Drones from GZG. Boontowners from Boontown Metals, except for the Armadillo from White Dragon.

The Tah-Sig

The Tah-Sig, played by me, had a much smaller force, but all the infantry were heavily armoured, and their tanks were very, very low profile.

Assault Company HQ

  • 1 x Big Man (Level IV)

  • 1 x Big Man (Level II)

  • 1 x Sniper Team (2 crew)

  • 2 x Mortar Team (3 crew each)

  • 1 x Paghgaw IFV with EW Specialist

1st Platoon

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 1 x Big Man (Level II)

  • 3 x Infantry Squad (each 8 Tah-Sig)

Support Platoon 1

  • 1 x Floater ISW Team (2 crew)

  • 2 x Particle Cannon Teams (each 2 crew)

2nd Platoon

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 1 x Big Man (Level II)

  • 3 x Infantry Squad (each 8 Tah-Sig)

Support Platoon 2

  • 1 x ISW Team (2 crew)

  • 2 x Particle Cannon Teams (each 2 crew)

AFV Squad

  • 1 x Big Man (Level III)

  • 3 x Garshaw GMBT

Tah-Sig foot from Khurasan. “Pizza slice” tanks from Darkest Star.

The Battle Begins

The Dwarves advanced onto the table in two columns. On their right, the Goanna tanks headed down the main road supported by the Boontown Clansmen and Spider Drones. On their left, the Young Nobles in their APCs headed down the road, supported by the Lethlings. Both columns advanced under Blinds, but some elements were quickly spotted by the Tah-Sig Electronic Warfare specialist deployed with his Paghgaw IFV.

This spotting allowed the Tah-Sig to position their AFVs exactly where they were needed: two would cover the road down which the Dwarf armour would advance, one would face up to the Dwarf APCs.

The Garshaws deployed off their Blinds, and it immediately became apparent that their somewhat unusual profile (“pizza-slice”) was perfectly suited to their “home ground” terrain.

Note how the Garshaws are lower than the top of the crops, but can see over them using their hovering scanning drones. Their guns actually fire missiles that can be guided onto the target.

The Garshaws opened fire at their respective targets. The Dwarf AFV commander was completely unworried by this: he had a shield generator mounted on his third tank and, largely thanks to its extra protection, he had cruised through his last three battles without taking a scratch to his paintwork. Unfortunately, today was the day his luck ran out. Either the first or the second missile from one of the Garshaws penetrated the shield and then slammed through a weak spot in his armour blowing his tank, and him, to smithereens.

The Garshaws’ missiles were rolling 6D6, needing fives and sixes to penetrate. The Dwarf tanks, if behind the shield, were rolling 14D6, needing fives and sixes to stop a penetration. Four successful penetrations were enough to brew up a tank.

Meanwhile, the third Garshaw had hit and blown the track off the lead APC, immobilising it and effectively blocking the road. Armoured Dwarves poured out of their transport (their armour had prevented them from taking any damage) and prepared to advance on foot, flanked by the Lethlings.

The Tah-Sig left/Dwarf right

On the Tah-Sig left/Dwarf right, the battle became a shooting match between the advancing Dwarves and the first Tah-Sig platoon (wearing red armoured environmental suits) accompanied by both support platoons.

Long range fire from the Dwarves was largely doing nothing to the Tah-Sig: just bouncing off their armour. Likewise, fire from the Tah-Sig infantry and the Garshaw tank was deflected by the Young Nobles’ armour. The Dwarf Lethlings were less well protected, however, and soon two squads of Lethlings were falling back with heavy casualties.

It is worth noting that the Tah-Sig were defending very aggressively: their infantry were taking every opportunity to move into close combat…it just wasn’t working very well for them.

Stalemate.

The Centre

Shocked by the loss of their commander, the other two Goanna tanks (one with gun, one mounting the shield generator) settled down into an exchange of fire with the two Tah-Sig tanks opposing them.

The superior Dwarven guns and protection were countered by the low profiles and excellent firing positions of the Tah-Sig vehicles, and for the rest of the game the two sides battered away at each other with neither side gaining an advantage.

Stalemate.

Ignore the Tah-Sig wearing green armour top right: they aren’t on the table yet.

The Tah-Sig left/Dwarf right

Here the Dwarf Clansmen were advancing towards two Tah-Sig mortars that had caught the Hearthguard out in the open as they advanced past one of the large water silos. That’s after the mortars had dropped two rounds of fire in succession onto their own men: the closeness of the two lines causing their targeting systems some problems!

To counter this threat, the Tah-Sig infantry platoon with the green armoured environmental suits advanced through the crops to meet them. Both sides drew up in their battle lines, and twice the Dwarves got the drop on the Tah-Sig: hosing them with fire from their guns and, worse, their two flamethrowers.

Editor’s Note: never aggravate a dwarf…he can build a flamethrower out of almost anything!

The Tah-Sig armour, however, was well made, and unfortunately the Dwarven fire had no effect except to prevent the Tah-Sig firing back effectively.

Again, stalemate.

The Clansmen deployed for battle. Note the chaps with the bright orange berets: they are the ones with the flamethrowers!

The End

The Dwarves soon realised that they were getting nowhere fast. They had not been able to use their superior numbers effectively, and had allowed themselves to be bottled up by the Tah-Sig, relatively safe behind their armoured environmental suits. Reluctantly, and gnashing his teeth somewhat, the Dwarven commander ordered a withdrawal.

It had been an expensive expedition for the Dwarves: the loss of several Young Nobles and Lethlings was bad enough, but losing their military hero tank commander was nothing short of a disaster.

For all that I have used the word “stalemate” three times in the account above, it was actually quite a fast-moving game. There was so much shooting going on that the battlefield must have carpeted in shell casings/discarded energy packs: something that would doubtless cause the combines huge problems come harvest time.

The Tah-Sig defended very aggressively: taking the fight to the Dwarves at every opportunity. This explains how the Dwarves couldn’t get their superior numbers into play. There was much hilarity at the inaccuracy of the Tah-Sig mortars, and both players mourned the passing of the Dwarf tank commander: he had been such a feature of previous games.

Robert Avery

 
 
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