Last Friday I managed to get another game in at Grim Dice's Friday Night Gaming in Grimsby with the (not very) regulars. Like the last one it was two against two at 1000 points per player. In order to try and get the game done in time (timekeeping and not-talking are not this group's strong points) we were each limited to 25 models, which naturally meant the Orks probably weren't going to make an appearance! Instead I decided to lean into the Chaos and take the Alpha Legion.
My list consisted of a battalion, with a Lord, Sorcerer, 4 units of 5 Chaos Marines with an autocannon, 2 Predators and a Heldrake. This time I was teamed up with (now semi-)regular opponent John, who brought a mix of Emperor's Children and Slaanesh Daemons, featuring a Prince, a Sorcerer, a couple of units of Chaos Spawn, a Spined Chaos Beast and two Giant Spawn (from Forgeworld) and another Heldrake.
We were up against Mike's Deathguard with 3 units of Plague Marines, a Plaguecaster, a Lord of Contagion, a Noxious Blightbringer (the bell guy), a Foul Blightspawn (the vomit-flamer guy) and a couple of Blighthaulers. Alongside him was Ken with Night Lords, including a Lord, Sorcerer, 3 units of 5 with missile launchers, a Rhino with power sword armed Chosen inside, a melee Contemptor with soulburners in the fists and a Sicaran.
We played Visions of Victory - the Maelstrom mission from 2018 Chapter Approved where you draw double cards opponent selects which ones you have to play for. I've been looking forward to the opportunity to play this mission for some time. It's fun to be a bastard.
Set up and ready to go. We were due to go first, but luckily we deployed a little defensively because Ken and Mike seized the initiative from us! They then drew a load of cards that enabled us to deny them the ability to score for the most part, though we left them a card to defend an objective that was just outside of their deployment zone, reasoning it would bring them slightly closer for John's big gribblies to charge in.
Sure enough, the Death Guard shuffled forward to take the objective, while the Rhino of Chosen moved up. Shooting was fairly ineffective from the Night Lords, most of the Sicaran's shots hitting the walls around the Predators, but the Death Guard managed to kill off one of my 5 man units (even with the -1 to hit) with blight launchers and mass bolters, earning them a point for First Strike.
On our turn we had a fortunate draw, giving us objectives that were within reach of a turn or two's movement. We also were given behind enemy lines, which I promptly secured with the Heldrake, who was buffed up with Weaver of Fates for a 4+ invulnerable save. (Everything in my army was Tzeentch this time). The Slaaneshi forces surged forward, lining up several charges across the main street. Our shooting killed off a few Plague Marines that were defending the objective, while my Heldrake burned a few Night Lords to death, but it was largely unremarkable. The Predators and autocannons not achieving much.
Fighting broke out in the streets, with the Prince and Spined Beast killing off a Night Lords squad with ease and the Drake charging the Plague Marines holding the objective. Daemonforge was used, ensuring enough were killed to force them outside of 3 inches. Denying these points gave us the early lead.
In retaliation the Death Guard swarmed over the Spawn and Heldrake on our left flank, while the Night Lords Rhino drove off, leaving my Drake exposed to the Sicaran, among other things. Ken and Mike again drew poor cards so settled with just trying to clear their lines. Shooting killed the Spined Beast and dropped both Heldrakes down to a few wounds each, but both just clung on. John was somewhat salty that the Blightspawn had a more powerful gun than the Heldrake. ("Why has that man got a bigger gun than a plane?")
The Lord of Contagion had shown up from the teleporter, and passed his charge against the Spawn. He spent the rest of the game wading through gore and cutting down weird fleshy mutants like a boss. The Contemptor also went in to the Daemon Prince, who, being Slaanesh marked, interrupted after the Nurgle champion fought, and slashed it right down to about 4 wounds. In response it took some wounds from the Prince but wasn't able to finish it.
In our turn we again got a very favorable draw, including No Prisoners, encouraging us to kill as many weakened units as possible. I started proceedings by blasting the Rhino into little pieces with the all las Predator, and incinerating the remnants of a Chaos Marine squad with the Heldrake.
John spent some command points to attack out of sequence with the Daemon Prince, but he failed to finish off the Night Lords Contemptor, thanks to Delightful Agonies being cast on it earlier. In the real fight phase, my Drake managed to get into the Sicaran to shut it down (though did no damage to it and took a wound from it's infernal hunger!) and the Prince/Giant Spawn finally downed that dreadnought. We picked up D3 for No Prisoners, plus a few more points to put us well in the lead.
At this stage Ken and Mike really needed some good cards. They were holding their own in terms of damage dealt, but due to lack of board control and favour of the dark Gods, they were yet again unable to get many points. Both Heldrakes finally fell (mine to boltguns, grumble.) The Lord of Contagion finished off one of the Giant Spawn, while the other had grown massively in size and if it had any concept of humour, would have laughed at the couple of wounds taken off it by the Night Lords commanders' plasma weapons.
Heading towards the time limit, we pushed for more objectives and kills, taking some risks with the warp. My Sorcerer attempted to gun down the Chosen with a Daemonshell, but managed to deal wounds to himself, which he later compounded by failing a psychic test on a double one, after a command point reroll!
The Prince and Spawn piled in to the remaining Night Lords in the ruins, killing the Sorcerer but failing to take down the Lord. We played out to the end of turn 4, and while the Death Guard managed to clear their corner and John's forces had taken heavy losses, we had secured a massive lead on the points, and I still had both Predators and a fair chunk of my Legionnaires alive. Hydra Dominatus!
A fun game, and nice to play Chaos once again. We definitely had the luck with the cards, but our list combination had much more mobility and board presence than our opponents, so to a certain extent we made our own luck. My shooting wasn't really up to much in that game (four turns of firing from two Predators accounted for a Rhino, a couple of Plague Marines and about 4 wounds off the Sicaran) but the Drake proved again it's utility, being able to plink off a bit of damage here, tie up a unit there and score points while applying pressure. Probably the key unit for me in this list, in spite of being 'trash'.