Tuesday 30 July 2019

Battle Report - Chaos Space Marines vs Space Marines


I played another awesome game of 40K against Stig, and this time the Luna Crusaders were faced with the treacherous, deceitful, heretical Alpha Legion of the Fractured Truth. Given that these foes would need little excuse to tear each other apart, we played the most straight forward mission in the book - No Mercy - just kill points.

We played at 1750 points. Stig took a slight variation of his previous list - the Reivers got swapped out for an Apothecary and there was a bit of shuffling elsewhere, including macro plasmas on the Redemptors. It was Black Templar chapter tactics, a battalion and two vanguard detachments:

HQ: Gravis Captain (Warlord: Oathkeeper, The Crusader's Helm), Chaplain, 2 Lieutenants
Troops: 5 Intercessors, 2x 6 Intercessors (one unit with auto bolt rifles)
Elites: 2x Redemptors (Macro plasma), Company Champion, Emperor's Champion, Ancient, Apothecary
Fast Attack: 3 Inceptors (Assault bolters)
Heavy Support: 3 Suppressors, 5 Hellblasters, 3 Aggressors (Flamers)
(Apologies if I've got some units in the wrong slot)

My list was an excuse to use a few new toys, as well as being a bit narrative-y. I took an all tzeentch marked battalion and an all Khorne marked vanguard (with the Master of Executions and the Elites). I resisted Mark of Slaanesh on the Obliterators because we know what they can do all buffed up, I wanted to try them with minimal support and see if they still held up.

HQ: Daemon Prince (Warlord: I am Alpharius, Warptime), Sorcerer (Weaver of Fates, Prescience), Master of Executions (Talisman of Burning Blood)
Troops: 3x 10 Chaos Space Marines (Squads with 2 plasma, 2 heavy bolters and 2 missile launchers)
Elites: 5 Terminators (Lightning Claws), 2x Contemptor Dreadnought (Claw, Multimelta)
Fast Attack: 4 Chaos Spawn (from here)
Heavy Support: 3 Obliterators

Deployment done. Using the old rulebook style deployment, I finished first and got first turn. We spread our units along the lines where the dense terrain of this ruined industrial zone would allow, focusing a chunk towards the centre of the arrow shaped deployment. I used Forward Operatives to move the Terminators up before the first turn, getting them into a good position to do some damage. The Oblits started off the board, as did the jumpy and bouncy dudes. (Inceptors, Suppressors.)

My turn one, there was a bit of shuffling around, and the Terminators went straight up the gut. On the far flank the Spawn advanced to hopefully cause some problems later. Psychic powers mostly whiffed, crucially failing Warptime on the Terminators (presumably because they were marked by Khorne and did not abide by that trickery.) Shooting was largely inconsequential, with the highlight being a Contemptor putting 2 wounds on a Redemptor. Then it was the all important charge phase. We measured up a 5 inch charge for the Terminators into the closest Intercessors, or a 9 inch to the Hellblasters. I charged both, and proceeded to roll a 4 inch charge, even with a command point reroll! The Terminators were not in a good place!

Predictably the Crusaders' counter punch was deadly, utterly destroying the Terminators, with the Emperor's champion taking the head of the last member of the squad. That was a kill point and first blood, putting Stig into the lead. On the flank I lost a couple of Spawn, and one of the Contemptors took minor damage, but nothing major. The Counter-counter punch could prove deadly...

Time for the big guns to arrive! The Obliterators teleported in on the flank to target the Hellblasters. Elsewhere the Contemptors took their turn going through the narrow gap. Psychic and shooting removed most of the Intercessor screen. Then came their big moment, the Obliterator's first shooting phase. Debated Veterans of the Long War, but thought they could probably gut a unit of 5 Hellblasters without it. Strength 7, Ap -1, damage 1. Not a good start. Used a command point to reroll damage and got 2. Then a sea of ones and twos, and a single Hellblaster fell. Great.

Eager to make amends, the Oblits made the charge and piled into the remaining 'blasters, killing another of them in melee. The Contemptors stomped in. One of them easily removed the last screening Intercessor, and the other punched out at Marshall Rhinehart, but his Iron Halo saved him from damage. His return swings further damaged the Hellforged machine, but not enough to slow it down.

The Crusaders turn two, Aggressors and Intercessors swung around on the left, putting some shots in to the Chaos marine squad on the flank. The Redemptor over there couldn't find line of sight to the Spawn so lent some support to kill off a Marine or two. The other Redemptor blasted the Obliterators after the Hellblasters fell out of combat, then charged in along with a lieutenant. Then the Chaplain piled into the Contemptors. A lot of fighting happened, but not much died. One of the Oblits fell, and they struck back to the Lieutenant, failing to finish him with their fists.

The Prince and the Executioner got bored waiting for the Contemptors to break through and decided to go around to deal with the Aggressors, which, along with the shooting from the marine squad in the middle, they did. The Master of Executions proving brutal, I'll be running him again I'm sure. The Psychic phase was a bust, failing to protect the Oblits with Weaver of Fates among other powers. They promptly died to the Redemptor.

In the crucial fight in the middle the damaged Contemptor finally punched out the Warlord, but with Only in Death Does Duty End, he fought back, crippling it, enough for the Emperor's Champion to cut it down. Then it exploded, wounding all the nearby characters (incuding the Sorcerer, who lucked out, since Hellfire reactors do D6 mortal wounds to psykers when they explode) and the other dread.

Oh yeah, the Spawn piled into the Company Champion and did some wounds, and were eventually killed off with little fanfare.

Stig's turn and here come the pain. Shooting opened up, killed off 15 or so Marines, including 8 of the squad sneaking around the side (the champion rolled a 1 for morale so stuck around.) The Master of Executions got the firing squad. With that, I was running low on boots on the ground!

Not much left, so time for the Sorcerer and Daemon Prince to do some work. So the Sorcerer promptly rolled perils and, thanks to the wounds he lost on the previous explosion, exploded himself, killing the Emperor's Champion. The remaining chaos marine Champion from the squad that got removed by the Redemptor supercharged his plasma and killed one of the remaining Hellblasters, and himself. The remaining Contemptor, no longer in melee with the Emperor's Champion, charged in to the Ancient and Lieutenant, both of which were already damaged. It split it's attacks and failed to kill either of them, then they fought back...

Dreadnought destroyed. Seems like Hellfire reactors are very volatile, because this one exploded and killed both characters. In a kill point game, this was a good trade! On the other flank the Daemon Prince did a good job killing off a chunk of Intercessors.

After this turn I was slightly ahead on kill points, but with only the Prince and two partial squads of marines left, I was running out of resources.

Lots of fire failed to drop the Prince in Stig's turn - but it stuck around on 4 wounds. The Company champ charged in for an epic duel... but got slapped down by the Prince! Another vital kill point.

The Prince killed off the Intercessors and the marines with plasma got some lucky long range shots to finish off the Hellblasters. Then Stig's firing line gunned down the Prince, earning Warlord. This all put me 2 points ahead at the end of turn 5, but with only two units left.. A tense dice roll later, and we were going onto turn 6!

With Stig needing two points for a draw, or to table me for a win, I did the true Alpha Legion thing and had my last two squads run away! The Luna Crusaders gave chase, both Redemptors moved up and opened fire, while the Suppressors bounced into my deployment zone for Linebreaker to narrow the gap to one point. The guns fired, but the Alpha Legion held firm. The game ended. The remnants of the Fractured Truth made their escape.

And that was that. A win by the narrowest of margins. The Alpha Legion return to the shadows, while the Luna Crusaders will rue this day. What a game!

The Obliterators whiffed massively, new model syndrome in full effect, though Stig also suffered from it with his Apothecary doing precisely nothing before being squashed by a Contemptor. In the end his many characters and kill points let him down, though mainly due to proximity to my forces exploding. We were also less than impressed with the macro plasmas on the Redemptors, the gatling gun definitely seems the stronger choice to me. I'd considered my list quite friendly - if I was playing more 'competitively' I'd have split the Marine squads and taken a duel battalion, but in this game think the 10 man squads helped to reduce kill points, and ultimately their survival won me the game. I'm definitely not suggesting that Chaos Space Marines are a competitive unit, but as Alpha Legion they are hard to shift and can be relied on to hang back, plink off some wounds, and hold out for the late game.

Hydra Dominatus!

Sunday 28 July 2019

Video Battle Report with SorcererDave - Grotzilla, King of the Stompas!


Recently I went to visit SorcererDave again, and along with The Claw, we played a crazy three way Stompa battle! Kaptin Badrukk's bi-annual Strompathon, Stompamania, Stomptacular or competition to determine the stompiest!  The rules were simple... kind of. It was last Stompa standing!


Each Stompa had a crew of a Big Mek and some of his buddies, who could fix the Stompa. If it was destroyed, but didn't explode, it could be fixed up to D6 wounds on a 4+.


The crowd were made up of the rest of a 1750 point force each, and they would interfere in the battle if things were going badly. Starting from the second turn we rolled for our 'reserves' in the audience. The roll depended on the current damage bracket of the Stompa, so at full health it was a 6+ for a unit, while in the bottom bracket it was a 3+.


There was some other stuff as well. Random turn order was a thing, so at the start of each round we rolled off to see who would go first and second. There was also some mortal wounds coming out from Badrukk and his boyz.

So anyway, here's the game:

As you can probably guess, it was a lot of fun to play. We definitely made a lot of mistakes along the way, but it was one hell of a mad Orky ride, somewhat like Apocalypse scale Gorkamorka. Definitely not your average game of 40k! Hope you enjoy watching it at least partially as much as we enjoyed playing it.


Monday 22 July 2019

Alpha Legion Obliterators - Done!


Since Obliterators are now all the rage for Chaos Marine armies, I thoughts I’d get some for the Alpha Legion. I didn’t want them to look quite like everyone else’s, so they have had some conversion work on them to mix up the weapons a bit.

With that done, I gave them a fairly quick and dirty paint job to fit them nicely into the Fractured Truth. Mostly drybrushing and washes, with lots of glowy bits to show the daemonic energy powering them and their weapons. Notably, I made sure the armour and ‘flesh’ ended up looking pretty similar, so they feel more like a creature of living metal, rather than a Chaos Spawn with bits of armour bolted on. I did end up slapping some Hexwraith flame over the armour plates though to both green them up a bit and to distinguish them as daemonic rather than just regular armour.

Hopefully this has all done the trick and they look suitably unique and chaosy. Hydra Dominatus.

Friday 19 July 2019

Battle Report - Genestealer Cult vs Space Marines


It's another battle report against Stig's Luna Crusaders, this time, as promised, a prequel to the arrival of Hive Fleet Goliath, as MarshaKurt Rhinehart leads his men against the Genestealer Cultists.

This photo (and several others) looted from Stig

Playing at 1750 points, Stig used the same list as before, again with Black Templar chapter tactics, a battalion and two vanguard detachments:

HQ: Gravis Captain (Warlord: Oathkeeper, The Crusader's Helm), Chaplain, 2 Lieutenants
Troops: 2x5 Intercessors, 6 Intercessors with auto bolt rifles
Elites: 2x Redemptors (Heavy onslaught cannons), Company Champion, Emperor's Champion, Ancient, 5 Reivers 
Fast Attack: 3 Inceptors (Assault bolters)
Heavy Support: 3 Suppressors, 5 Hellblasters, 3 Aggressors

(Apologies if I've got some units in the wrong slot)

Here's my list. It's a double battalion, both using the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor. This was the first game with the 'new' codex, so I didn't get too funky with extra relics or the bonus warlord traits GSC can get. I went with a trait/relic combo for the Patriarch that would make him hard to kill (-1 to hit, +1 save vs ranged weapons, no overwatch) rather than anything too clever. As for psychic powers, I wasn't sure which to take, so I semi-randomly dished out 5 of the 6 psychic power cards between my psykers.

HQ: Patriarch (Warlord: Shadow Stalker, Amulet of the Voidwyrm), 2x Magus, Primus
Troops: 3x10 Neophyte Hybrids (assorted weapons), 2x10 Acolyte Hybrids (one squad with 4 melee weapons, one with 4 demolition charges), 10 Brood Brothers
Elites: Kelermorph, 15 Purestrain Genestealers
Heavy Support: 3x Cult Leman Russ (1 Battle cannon, 1 Vanquisher cannon, 1 Exterminator autocannon)
Transports: Cult Chimera

Since I have the digital codex, it occurred to me to whip up some quick blip tokens on spare 32mm bases:

They seem to have been well received when I posted them on twitter, but ironically they didn't get used since I was the attacker in the mission and as such got first turn automatically. We played the Hold Your Gains mission from Vigilus Defiant, which mean 1/3 of the Space Marine force started in the centre, getting assailed on either side by the Genestealer Cult, until their reinforcements arrive. The winner would be the force with the highest total power level within 12 inches of the centre point at the end of the game.

The defenders set up in a fortified position, while the Cult infantry and tanks rolled in from either flank. Several of the Genestealer units were not immediately present, instead laying somewhere in ambush.

The first turn was relatively quiet. Some shots from the Neophytes plinked off wounds from Intercessors here and there, while the battle cannon got a good round of shooting at the Hellblasters, though their barricade saved some, leaving 3 left. The Exterminator also did some damage on the other flank to more Intercessors. In return a few of the cultists were gunned down, and the Hellblasters returned fire, stripping 6 wounds off the Leman Russ, however it's Devoted Crew (stratagem) fought on regardless of the damage.

Turn 2 for the Cult, I moved up and brought on the Hybrids with melee weapons in a Perfect Ambush, and the Primus. The rest of the ambushers waited for their moment to counter attack. Shooting from the tanks finished off the Hellblasters and the last of the Intercessors on the right flank. The Acolytes made a big charge in to the remaining Intercessors on the left, easily cutting them down. At this stage the Luna Crusader's presence was down to three characters, the Chaplain, Company Champion and Lieutenant, but the reinforcements were about to arrive!

Stig rolled for his reserves to arrive, and got everything apart from the Suppressors. A big block of black and yellow marines arrived, flanked by the Redemptors, while the Aggressors popped in a corner to line up a charge on the damaged Leman Russ, the Reivers dropped in behind the Neophytes in cover. Inceptors dropped in to face off against the Acolyte Hybrids.

A brutal shooting phase ensued, with the Acolytes reduced to a single model, while the two Neophyte units in the open were removed. The charge phase was a disappointment however, even with rerolls nothing made it in. To add insult to injury, the last Acolyte passed his morale on a 1, allowing me to play the Cult Reinforcements stratagem to get 4 of them back (naturally the mining weapons).

The Luna Crusaders had punched back, but now was time for the trap to be sprung!

The Patriarch emerged from a hatch to the sewers, looking down and the Inceptors from the shadows. Elsewhere the Purestrains turned up on the right flank in another Perfect Ambush, lining up the Intercessors and a Redemptor, while the demolition charge Acolytes were Laying in Wait for the other Redemptor, supported by the Kelermorph.

Psychic powers went off all over, using both familiars to attempt 5 this turn. Might from Beyond buffed the Purestrains, while some mortal wounds went on one of the Lieutenants, softening him up for the Kelermorph. I attempted to Mind Control the Redemptor, but the Crusaders said no and denied it with a stratagem. 

The Shooting phase started well with the Kelermorph killing his target, granting a reroll 1 buff for the Acolytes throwing all their demo charges and destroying the Redemptor. Several other units took casualties, but the rest of the damage was done in the fight phase.

The Patriarch made short work of the Inceptors with a big charge using my last command point to reroll a one. The Purestrains survived the overwatch to reach the Intercessors and the remaining dread, finishing off the Primaris marines but leaving the Redemptor largely intact. The Primus and Magus on the right made it into the Champion and Chaplain, but failing to kill them (and the Primus got battered in response.) Marshall Rhinehart wasn't waiting around, using his warlord trait to heroically intervene 6 inches into the demolitions acolytes, cutting several of them down.

Turn 3 for the Marines, the Suppressors arrived, dropping into a commanding position (and proceeded to have a limited effect on the tough Cult armour.)

The Aggressors moved in, their flamers damaging the Leman Russ further before the charge. The last Reiver tossed a stun grenade at the Neophytes to avoid their overwatch and charge in.

In the shooting phase the two characters on the right flank killed off the Magus with their bolt pistols, allowing them to charge out and tie up the Exterminator and help kill off the Genestealers.

More characters doing work for the Crusaders, the Emperor's Champion cutting down the other Magus, while the Marshal and the Ancient finished off the Acolytes. Rather embarrassingly, having reduced it to 3 wounds, the Aggressors were unable to finish off the Leman Russ in combat, losing one to overwatch to boot. 

My turn 4, running out of assets, but still with a few tricks up the sleeves, the Cult tried to hold the middle ground. The Russes broke out of combat, while the Vanquisher lined up and blew up the last Redemptor (causing wounds on the nearby characters). The Kelermorph tried to assassinate Marshal Rhinehart, but his armour just about protected him, leaving him on two wounds. The last Acolytes charge the Emperor's champion to avenge their fallen Magus, but the rock saws were not quite able to cut through, leaving him alive on a single wound, and able to wipe the unit.

The Luna Crusaders were now down to mostly just a few injured characters, but they would not withdraw from this fight!

With little left on the field, the Marshall and the Emperor's Champion joined forces to take on the deadliest threat - the Patriarch. Wreathed in shadow, the xenos proved a tough challenge...

But the Crusaders proved their worth, taking the beast's head! Other action: The Ancient punched out the Kelermorph, the Company Champion charged the Exterminator again, and the Aggressors incinerated the last of the hybrids, before charging and once again failing to kill the Leman Russ.

Turn 5, time to get bodies in the middle. The Brood Brothers finally disembarked from the Chimera, and both units opened fire on the remaining characters. 

The Chimera gunned down the Emperor's Champion, while he Marshall was peppered with lasfire and finally downed with a frag grenade.

One tank down, the Aggressors finally got their target. In the centre many of the Brood Brothers were cut down, but they held. The Ancient and wounded Chaplain holding the objective against them. The game did not end. On to turn 6.

Shooting from the remaining Russes (one of which had amusingly run over the Company Champion) and desperate charges from the Brood Brothers and the Chimera failed to remove the Ancient and Chaplain, who charged in himself to try and cut down the last of the cult infantry.

At the end of turn 6, Stig rolled the dice and got a 2. This was the way the world ended. The Brood Brothers had held on, and the Chimera had snuck into the 12 inch radius, but the closest Leman Russ wasn't wholly inside, so the combined power level of the Ancient and the Chaplain trumped them, giving the Luna Crusaders a very narrow win!

What a game! A massacre on both sides, and it came down to some heroics from the Crusader's characters to win the game.In hindsight I shouldn't have gone for the kill on them with the Russes, and instead should have parked them on the narrow edge of the barricades to get one or both within 12 of the centre, but I really wanted to kill them! In the end though I'm pleased with the narrative of the Ancient standing on the objective, holding the banner high, while more Imperial reinforcements pour into the city to destroy the last of the cult. Just in time for the Tyranids to arrive, of course.