As I have the week off and my wife is on holiday with her mother, I have used the opportunity to get 3 games in, one with Necrons and two with Chaos.
The Necrons faced off against Tau (I expected Guard, but the difference is small, they just sit there and shoot) and managed to score a win, mostly due to me seizing the initiative and advancing my whole army into charge range on turn 2. He also played into my hands by having a Riptide advance out of his deployment zone where it promptly got stabbed by a Warscythe. It was his first game with Tau, so it was to be expected that he didn’t have a full handle on them. My 20 Warriors redeemed themselves in this game by dying to a man, but only after absorbing two rounds of shooting and a round of Overwatch fire. I think I got about 17 models back due to the Resurrection Orb and Ghost Ark. That was the way I envisioned them to work. In addition, the Annihilation Barges rocked as his whole army camped in a cluster, so I would always roll at least 4 extra dice for their arking shots.
But the main focus of this post is to discuss my new Chaos List. It is in essence my fourth Chaos Army after a generic mix of Legions in 2nd Edition, an Iron Warriors army in 3rd Edition (I know, I was one of those guys who ran 4 pie plates and 6 Obliterators, back when I didn’t know any better) and then Alpha Legion in 4th. The Alpha Legion is still my favourite legion and giving everyone Infiltrate for 1 point was great, though maybe also a bit cheesy. Unfortunately, the new Codex made them fairly generic, with the only way to get Infiltrate being to field Huron Blackheart, erm I mean Alpharius, to give at least 1d3 units that skill or Cypher, I mean Alpharius, to field Chosen with Infiltrate. That and the fact that regular Chaos Space Marines are just too expensive compared to their Imperial counterparts, having to pay for a pointless Champion and not having And They Shall Know No Fear meant that the army is not really floating my boat right now. So these days I am rocking Nurgle with an allied Khorne daemon contingent.
The army looks like this:
Chaos Lord of Nurgle: Bike, 4+ Invulnerable, Power fist and Lightning Claw, Veteran of the Long War (VotLW from now on)
Chaos Sorcerer: Bike, Force Staff, VotLW, 4+ Invulnerable, Spell Familiar, Mastery Level 3
6 Bikers of Nurgle: VotLW, 2 Plasmaguns, Champion with a Power fist
The Bikers are joined by the Lord and Sorcerer who rolls three times on the Telepathy list to hopefully get Invisibility for that sweet 2+ cover save once the Bikes have moved.
7 Plague Marines: VotLW, Rhino, 2 Meltaguns, Champion with Power fist and Combi-Meltagun
10 Cultists: Because someone has to sit on an objective on turn 5. They always go into Reserves as there is no point having them on the field early on.
5 Chaos Spawns: Mark of Nurgle
Bloodthirster: Exalted Reward (normally Portalglyph unless I get lucky and roll a 1 for Portalglyph and a Lesser Reward), Greater Reward (they have the best defensive ones to keep him safe)
10 Bloodletters of Khorne
15 Fleshhounds of Khorne
This is the 2000 points list. At 2500 I added:
14 Cultists: Flamer
+1 Flamer for the 10 Cultists
10 Chaos Space Marines: VotLW, 2 Meltaguns, Chainswords, Bolt Pistols and Bolters, Champion with Power Fist and Combi-Melta.
2 Obliterators of Nurgle
And finally, if I ran the list today, I would change the following:
– 14 Cultists
+10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
-10 Chaos Space Marines
+ 7 Plague Marines: Rhino, VotLW, 2 Plasmaguns, Champion with Power fist and Combi-Plasma
– 4+ Invulnerable on the Sorcerer (he has a Lord and a Champion to hide behind).
As you can see, this is a list that is designed to be in your face in turn 2 or even 1 if you get out of your deployment zone before my turn. The Bikers, Spawns, Maulerfiend all have move 12, the Bloodthirster 12 and then can still charge or 24 and no charge, while the real allstars, the Hounds, have a 12-inch move after Scouting, so they can charge on turn 1 if the opponent starts the game (12-inch Scout move, 12-inch regular move and you are basically on the edge of the opponent’s deployment zone with a 2d6 charge with fleet to get into combat where they bring 45 WS5 S5 attacks in round 1) or be guaranteed to be in range of just about anything in turn 2 with a minimum move of 39 inches by then. The mobility aspect of the list is aided by the insane durability of the main units as the Bloodthirster, Lord, Bikers and Spawns all rock toughness 6, so Hive Tyrant or Tervigon-level toughness, whereas the Hounds have 2 wounds and a 5+ invulnerable for the cost of a Marine. And Heldrakes kill a unit of infantry per round. It is known.
On the other hand, as there is barely any shooting in turn 1 (2 plasmaguns in the 2000 points list and two additional Obliterators in the 2500 list), the odds of giving up First Blood are quite high unless I get offered a first turn charge on some scouting or infiltrating unit. There are also very few units in the army, with the 3 characters alone taking up over 650 points and none of the other units being cheap, apart from the sacrificial Cultists.
So, if you are still bearing with me and increasingly wondering about the title of this diatribe, here comes the question. Well, in a minute. As you know if you follow my blog, I have been gaming for 18 years now and have somewhat of a reputation as a player to beat in the shop and community I usually play in. Apparently, there is a saying in the local GW: ‘Life is hard, but Charles is harder.’ This reputation obviously means that some people avoid playing me and I have been actively trying to tone down my lists (see my switch from Eldar to Necrons and the avoidance of going CronAir in that list) to make games more enjoyable for my opponents and thus increase the odds of finding more opponents. I think that behaviour-wise I am doing OK, as I always give my opponent take-backsies, try to communicate efficiently, i.e. always declaring my rolls and how much I need even if we both know that a Marine hits on a 3+ to avoid misunderstandings (something I picked up playing Magic) and avoid power-gaming manoeuvres like Barrage Sniping and other rules abuses. Granted, I can trashtalk quite well, but only if my opponent goes along with it. So I was fairly surprised when my regular adversary, Chris, said that he felt poorly after our games, especially yesterday’s one. So this got me thinking if I really am making progress in embracing the casual side. I know that I have a preference to run aggressive lists and that some players take poorly to being put under pressure on the board by turn 2 (note that I am not aggressive, just my lists) and that I spend a lot of time refining my lists to see what works best, so that might be a reason why.
As there is another casual event in April I intend to go to and plan to run this list, I genuinely wish to know: Would you consider this list broken, beardy or cheesy or whatever other word you use for power-gaming? Do you think you’d enjoy playing against it? Or is it me? I know that this could get personal very quickly, but I thought I’d give it a shot, but for me and my future opponents. So fire away in the comments section.