Sunday 30 May 2021

Battle Report - Death Guard vs Space Marines


Second game for my Death Guard; after taking on the Astra Militarum, the corpse god sent in the Astartes! Once again taking place at Grim Dice, this time my opponent was Ed with a custom chapter of Imperial Fist successors. We played at 1000 points, using the Crossfire mission from the main rule book.

I was running exactly the same list as in the last game (Mortarion's Anvil Battalion). For my secondaries I took Spread the Sickness, Assassinate and Engage on All Fronts.

HQ: Lord of Contagion (Plague Reaper, Warp Insect Hive, Arch Contaminator), Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality)

Troops: 3x 5 Plague Marines (assorted loadouts)

Elites: 5 Blightlord Terminators (Combi plasma, Blight Launcher, Flail of Corruption)

Heavy Support: Plagueburst Crawler (Entropy cannons)

Ed was running a high risk/reward list that he said would either smash or be smashed. Imperial Fist successors Patrol with Bolter Fusillades and Master Artisans. His secondaries were Assassinate, Abhor the Witch (no one likes my Plaguecaster!) and Linebreaker, which along with his list signalled his intent pretty well! I think the Chaplain also had a warlord trait but I'm not sure which.

HQ: Chaplain (Exhortation of Rage, Armour Indomitus)

Troops: 5 Intercessors, 5 Tactical marines

Elites: Apothecary (Acquittal, Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer), 5 Relic Terminators (assorted weapons)

Flyer: Stormraven (Lascannons, Multi-meltas, Hurricane bolters)

Transports: Rhino

We set up partially behind ruins, with some units ready to run onto flank objectives. My Terminators and Lord were in the teleportatium, while Ed's Terminators and characters were in the Storm Raven. I got first turn again.

I spread out my units towards objectives, claiming one and not quite reaching another. The back squad failed to Spread the Sickness. I reasoned it would be unlikely for me to take out the flyer in one go on turn one, so I aimed the Crawler at the Rhino. The new model gods has apparently been appeased in the last game, because it hit with both Entropy cannons, plus the Mortar with Disgusting Force, and removed the tank in one round of shooting. A good showing I thought, ready for it to get nuked by the Stormraven... 

Well, that movement was expected, but the shooting, not so much! All the firepower poured into the PBC, but thanks to some miserable damage rolls it hung on with seven (the blessed number!) wounds remaining! A very fortunate turn of events for me.

On turn two I spread out further, claiming 15 Primary points and setting up for plenty of Engage points as well. Spreading the Sickness once again failed.

I also dropped my reserves in behind the Imperial lines, where the Stormraven had taken off from. The Blightords and their boss saw a nice juicy soft target, presumably learning their lesson after butting heads with a giant tank in the last encounter!

With another supreme effort in the shooting phase (assisted by some mortal wound output from the Plaguecaster), the Plagueburst Crawler blasted the Stormraven out of the sky! This did leave an angry squad of Terminators in my lines, but it was a huge asset out of the game for Ed.

Elsewhere the Lord of Contagion made it in against the Intercessors camping on the back objective, reducing them to two models, one of which fled before him! They still held that objective though.

Ed's turn two and some token shooting killed a few Plague Marines, before the charge happened. Terminators buffed up by a shouty Chaplain took the PBC down to a single wound with chainfists, but the Chaplain failed to kill the Plaguecaster and the Apothecary survived a power fist to the face from the remaining marines. Once again the Death Guard proved very hard to wipe out.

Without the Stormraven or Rhino, the Imperial Marines were very limited in their mobility, enabling me to rack up more Primary points. In my turn three the Blightlords finished the Tactical squad with shooting, then secured the back objective with their Lord finishing off the last Intercessor. My Plaguecaster was finally brought down, but the Apothecary bought it, and when the Terminators finished off the crawler, it had a Putrid Detonation, mortal wounds killing the Chaplain as well! An excellent game for the big rusty tank!

Sadly for Ed, this left him with just his Terminators on my objective, while I controlled all the other three. His hammer had not struck as hard as he wanted, breaking on the (Mortarion's) anvil of the Death Guard. With that he conceeded. We both agreed his initial assessment was correct - it was either going to go really well (if the Stormraven crippled the Crawler and then didn't get shot down, it could have cause all kinds of problems for me) or really badly. That said I was pleased with how much list was working so far. Death Guard are great at hanging on to objectives, and can be quite killy when they want to be. 

I think at 1000 points this feels like a fairly balanced list, while so far I've faced quite lopsided ones with a lot of points invested in one basket, which is a bigger risk in 9th edition than it has been in the past. It also helped me, but not my opponents, that the secondary objectives aren't very well balanced for this size of game, putting much more emphasis on the Primary scoring. Perhaps the newer GT 2021 pack secondaries will help, but I think in future I'd avoid playing matched play Incursion missions from the rulebook.

In the end then, it was a fun game, and a convincing win for the Death Guard. Hope you enjoyed reading, and stay safe out there.

Saturday 29 May 2021

Drukhari Wave Three - Wyches, Wracks, Incubi, Mandrakes


The Drukhari project is done! For now at least. I've painted up a load more infantry models, Wyches, Incubi, Wracks, Mandrakes, and some extras. As before, this was all done to my 'quick' painting standard (and without doing bases) - focusing on getting them done efficiently but looking good on the tabletop. My rule is that if someone says it looks good from four foot away, then it looks good! No take backsies! That said, I still wanted to put them in the light box and get some decent photos of them:

Wyches - painted to match the Hellions and Venom riders of the previous batch. Nice and simple.

More Wracks, once again, similar to the original bunch I did. Really like the twin meat hooks guy. Not sure if that's supposed to be a special weapon for them, but it looks awesome!

Incubi, again, attempting to match the previous scheme. I do think the face plate glow is an improvement though, it's a bit more dramatic with the ever useful Hexwraith Flame.

Speaking of which - Hexwraith got a prominent role in these Mandrakes for their ghostly green fire and for their blades. I deviated from the 'box art' versions a fair bit for these, but I think the result is pretty spooky, and in keeping with the rest of the force.

A straggler from the Scourges of wave two.

And finally, Ur-Ghuls from the Blackstone Fortress set. Not sure what these creepy lads do for the Drukhari, but I think they can hang around with an Archon. They probably just add to the ambience. 

Hope you like them, there's some fun variety in this range, the Mandrakes in particular were a fun job. Anyway, see you next time, stay safe!

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Battle Report - Death Guard vs Astra Militarum


I've finally been back at the gaming table! Hurrah! And with my new Death Guard force for the first time! I played against Rich, over at Grim Dice Tabletop Gaming in Grimsby, with his Astra Militarum at 1000 points. Both of us were playing with newer forces for ourselves, and most of his 1000 points was a bloody big tank, so we both knew it wasn't going to be a particularly subtle, nuanced game.

We played an Incursion mission from the main rulebook: Forward Push. We both took the mission secondary to score points for making actions on the objectives - more points for further up the board. I also picked up Attrition and Titanslayer (rude not to give it a go). Rich decided to target both my HQs with Slay the Warlord and Abhor the Witch.

I took a battalion from the Mortarion's Anvil plague company, looking something like this:

HQ: Lord of Contagion (Plague Reaper, Warp Insect Hive, Arch Contaminator), Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality)

Troops: 3x 5 Plague Marines (assorted loadouts)

Elites: 5 Blightlord Terminators (Combi plasma, Blight Launcher, Flail of Corruption)

Heavy Support: Plagueburst Crawler (Entropy cannons)

Rich's force was mostly built around a Hellhammer super heavy tank and some support infantry. I don't remember all the details, but roughly:

HQ: Lord Commissar (Von Klinkerhoffen), Tech Priest Enginseer

Troops: 2x10 Guardsmen, 5 Scions

Fast Attack: Scout Sentinel

Heavy support: 3 Missile launcher teams

Lord of War: Hellhammer

In deployment I sheltered my army behind the ruin and bastion at my end, while Rich split between the big tank in the open with some support, and the infantry in the ruins on the other side of the board. Both the main ruins held the no man's land objectives, while Rich was camping on his with the missile squad and mine was temporarily ignored. I also had the Terminators and Lord in reserve. 

I won the roll for first turn, and started to move out to get to the objectives. I declined to reveal the PBC to the Hellhammer on turn one, so lined up shots to kill off the Missile teams on turn one instead. The Entropy cannons missed, but the Mortar killed two teams, and the last one ran to morale.

In Rich's turn one, the tank and infantry trundled forward to get some firing lines. I then found out what a Hellhammer cannon does - it deletes a five man Plague Marine squad with a single big boom. Split fire from the rest of the weapons was mercifully less effectively though. It did leave my Plaguecaster without a bodyguard to use Look Out Sir, so he faced a Hunter Killer missile from the Sentinel, which, thanks to the grace of papa Nurgle, missed with a CP reroll.

Turn two, I hadn't got any secondary points, but was in position on two objectives to none, getting me 15 Primary off the bat. I decided it was time to take that tank down! Terminators and Lord deployed, plasma and blight launcher Plague Marines lined up for some shots, and the Crawler aiming all guns at it, using the Disgusting Force stratagem for D3 on the Mortar.




The Terminators did manage to kill off some Guardsmen with their bolters, but the shooting phase was a bit of a disappointment. So, charge phase. Overwatch and Defensive Gunners raked the Terminators, but I was lucky enough that only one fell. However they did fail the charge, leaving the Lord of Contagion to go it alone. He did a whole six wounds to it. Granted, that was infinitely more than everything else in my army, but he was about to pay the price for it!

"I've made a terrible mistake!"

Rich's turn 2 didn't earn him any Primary points, but he quickly picked up 6 secondaries for turning the Lord into a pair of smoking Terminator boots. The Blightlords held up much better to the bombardment, thanks to psychic powers from the Plaguecaster. They lost one more, leaving them in a decent position to move into the Imperial Guard deployment zone.

My turn three and I picked up 10 Primary since the Guard had moved onto their objectives, but I was in a position to punish them with my remaining Terminators. The Plague Marines on a mid board objective gave up trying to shoot the Hellhammer (last turn they had only succeeded in killing their plasma gunner), instead completing the Forward Push objective repeatedly.

Bolters and Mortar thinned one guard squad, while the Blightlords charged the one on their home objective, losing another model to lascannon overwatch, but butchering the remainders to a man.

Militarum turn three, they picked up just the 5 Primary points. The sentinel moved up to flame the Blightlords, while the Hellhammer moved to a commanding position and fired off in all directions. The PBC took the brunt of it, reducing it down to 2 wounds, while the other squads lost the odd marine. In addition by this point the Tech Priest had nearly fixed up all the damage the LoC had done to it!

Insultingly, the heavy flamer on the Sentinel managed to finish off the Terminator champion, leaving only the 'Mr Tickle' flail wielder alive. He was however still holding the Guard's home objective...

Ramming speed! The Hellhammer made a 10 inch charge to try and crush the Terminator beneath it's treads! But luckily for me, the last Blightlord held on to contest that objective going into my turn 4.

At this point we mostly talked through the last couple of turns. Thanks to that Terminator sticking around, I was going to max out the Primary, though in turn 5 Rich would catch up a bit. I'd also have got a few more points for the Forward Push objective. I'd lose pretty much everything in turns 4 and 5, but I'd be able to hide my Plaguecaster behind the bastion to deny Abhor the Witch. In the end it was a tight victory to the Death Guard, 60-50.

Ahhhh, it's good to be back. Not a super competitive game, but a fun one! Always amusing when big tank go bang bang, and the Death Guard did Death Guard things, sticking around to hold the objectives in the face of overwhelming firepower. The Blightlord Terminators were definitely the MVP for me, tanking so much fire and going on to hold the Astra Militarum home objective and really winning me the game. The Plagueburst Crawler was not so impressive, but I guess something had to suffer with new model syndrome. Hopefully it'll prove it's worth next time!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed that little write up. I have some more games booked in for the upcoming weeks, so expect some more of this kind of thing. Stay safe.

Monday 24 May 2021

Death Guard - Hobbypocalypse Month Four


The Death Guard force expands! This month, a little more than the prescribed 250 points, as I did a big unit of Blightlord Terminators, weighing in at 425 points! This of course to go alongside Plague Marines and support characters in month one and two, and a Plagueburst Crawler, plus Lord of Contagion in month three.

They were painted in a similar way to all the others, though I started with some Typhus Corrosion after the spraying stage and put some extra metal highlights on at the end. It's a mix of the full kit and the easy to build ones, and there's also some fun conversions in here - I bashed together a second Blight Launcher from a Plague Spewer and some bits, and a personal favourite, a second Flail of Corruption using tendrils from the Drukhari Talos kit! The champion has been given a combi-plasma as well, just as a style choice really, I can't imagine he'll risk overcharging it often!

I'm pleased with the results so far, and that puts me comfortably over 1000 points now. The light box is no longer big enough for the whole lot, but I did snap one of the Terminators with their boss. Anyway, that's this month covered, time for the Stylus stamp of approval!

I had originally said that I wasn't sure if I was going to play with this army, or just use it as a painting project and sell it on. However I'm pretty happy with how this army is progressing and it's a lot of fun to paint! So I think I'll probably keep hold of it and expand beyond the scope of this Hobbypocalypse challenge. With that in mind, I've got the Codex, and arranged a couple of games with them, now that we are allowed in the UK. Hopefully I'll have a bit of a battle report write up or two coming soon!

Hope you enjoyed, and stay safe!

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Narrative Wargamer Podcast - Crusade, Plague Purge


Another podcast, this time talking about the Plague Purge mission pack, and Deathwatch on Crusade. The Plague Purge pack is an interesting one, released alongside the Book of Rust, it's been largely ignored by the community as far as I've seen. It feels like a 'chapter approved' for Crusade content, with new missions and amended Agendas, not necessarily specific to narrative play in the Charadon sector. It definitely feels like an overlooked gem for Crusade players.

Anyway, there it is. Hope you enjoy, and stay safe!

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Shard of the Void Dragon


Bit of a one off project this, but a fun one! As you surely have seen by the title, it's a Necron C'tan Shard of the Void Dragon! Personally I thought this was the most impressive GW mini released last year, so I was excited to have a go at it. Surprisingly it was quite an easy kit to build, and feels like it's fairly sturdy on those crazy lightning arcs. Overall I was impressed, and I felt like I needed to do a pretty decent job of it! Hopefully I have achieved that, but I'll let you decide...

I'm pleased with the result, and I hope you all like him. Stay safe!