Weekly update and a 40k battle report: Chaos versus Chaos

And there we are again for another update on my gaming adventures. Let’s start with some painting. I was really into the mood to do some painting on Monday and Tuesday and I managed to get stuff done. I was in a bit of a painting rut in August, as I somehow could not muster the enthusiasm to paint complete units and only did solos all month long. I am happy to see that I managed to do the major part of a unit this week, painting 15 miniatures out of one unit.

But let’s start with a solo:

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With a moustache and a helmet like that, he must be pushing the broads away with that, erm, broadsword of his.

Meet Archduke Alain Runewood, a Cygnar solo model. He is depicted in the fluff as one of Cygnar’s most experienced generals, though not a Warcaster, so without fancy spells or feats, just good old-fashioned brawns and brains. He brings a lot in the damage department, wielding a high-strength weapon with Weapon Master, as rolling 3d6 for damage or 4d6 on charges. He also carries a handy hand cannon to put some caps into people’s behinds and is quite well-versed in the use of both sword and gun. Moreover, he is a master strategist, which is represented by his Battle Plans ability that lets him either give a unit in his command range a bonus to charge attacks and makes them fearless, or lets them ignore rough terrain or makes every friendly model in range get up when knocked down, even Warjacks as it does not say ‘warrior models’, only ‘friendly models’. And as he is a representative of Cygnar’s proud military tradition, he gives an Elite Cadre bonus to all Sword Knights in his army, letting them move again after performing their actions to reform their lines.

And now to the unit I painted: I give you, Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire, and her Risen! They are a Mercenary unit that starts with Alexia and 9 Risen, but can get bigger along the game. Alexia is your typical run-of-the-mill lady whose mother was a witch and killed by an inquisitor, who also happened to be Alexia’s uncle, using a daemonic blade, Witchfire, that feeds on people’s life essence and magical powers. You know, the things everyone goes through at some point in their lives. Her unit is very cheaply costed and even though the Risen are rather bad, given that they are Zombies, Alexia can sacrifice them to gain extra attacks with her sword or boost her attack or damage rolls, as well as being able to redirect damage to them. But with only 9 Risen, that is not getting her far, is it? Well the trick is that every living model that dies in her command range gives her a token and at the beginning of the turn, she turns every token into a Risen, so she can continually recycle her forces. As such, she is best used in a second wave or at least behind the first line initially to gain tokens and then spew out more Risen. If your first wave has managed to create enough damage, Alexia is there to win you the war of attrition. As such, she will be definitely set in my Stryker and Caine lists, as she lets both casters refill the ranks after using Rolling Thunder and the resulting casualties on both sides for pushing forward in Stryker’s case or just to add more blockers to Caine’s list, with the additional bonus that Caine’s potential 10 shots per round will create a lot of bodies for her to recycle.

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Alexia herself

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There are 20 Risen in the box, but only three designs. Those 6 are my Trencher Risen, based on Cygnaran Trenchers. Below are the Winterguard Risen.image

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All the Risen

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And finally, the Thrall Warrior. Alexia can transform a regular Risen into a Thrall, who is much stronger and more skilled, but she can only have one at the same time.

I mentioned that there are 20 Risen in the unit, so yes, that means I have to paint 7 more, doing the Menite Risen, but 15 is quite a lot of models compared to my previous output.

So now to the battle report. Cue drumrolls. I was playing Ulf again at the local GW, running 1750 points of Chaos Marines and Daemons against his Chaos Marines and Imperial Artillery (unbound) list. I was trying to see how a small summoning package of 2 level 3 Heralds of Tzeentch and 2 units of Horrors would change a game and if Malefic Daemonology was more balanced in larger games if taken in smaller amounts. We rolled up Emperor’s Will, so we had a nice game of ‘My house-your house’.

My list was:

Biker Lord of Nurgle: Fist, Claw, Sigil, Daemonheart

Sorcerer lvl3 on Bike

5 Bikers of Nurgle: 2 Meltaguns

5 Bikers of Nurgle: 2 Meltaguns

5 Plague Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Combi-Melta, Rhino

5 Plague Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Combi-Melta, Rhino

5 Plague Marines: 2 Plasmaguns, Combi-Plasma, Rhino

Obliterator of Nurgle

Herald of Tzeentch: Lvl 3, Portalglyph

Herald of Tzeentch: Lvl 3

13 Horrors of Tzeentch

13 Horrors of Tzeentch

Ulf ran (as I recall, two days later)

Chaos Lord with Combi-Melta and Power Fist and Sigil I guess?

9 Marines: Meltagun, CCW and bolter, Combi-Melta and Fist on the champ, Rhino

15 Marines: Lascannon, CCW and bolter

Maulerfiend

Heldrake

5 Terminators with 3 Combi-Meltas, a Reaper and some Fists (Imperial Knights are running rampant in the local meta, so those guys do see a lot of action)

3 Basilisks

1 Wyvern

1 Hydra

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The beautifully painted Artillery train. 3 Basilisks, a Wyvern and a Hydra. Yup, some people say Basilisks are no longer where it’s at, but 3 S9 AP3 Large Blasts a turn are 3 S9 AP3 Large Blasts a turn.

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His objective was between the yellow star and the Imperial Space Marine statue on that Temple of Skulls.

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Mine was in that building guarded by the Horrors and a Herald. On both sides there are some Nurgle Bikers and in the Rhino are some Plague Marines wielding all the Meltaguns.

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Two more Rhinos full of Plague Marines, Meltaguns in the centre and Plasmaguns to the right. Another unit of Horrors with a Herald with the Portalglyph.

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He has first turn, advancing a Rhino with lots of Meltaguns and a Maulerfiend towards my open right.

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A Wyvern volley kills half the Horrors. Some Bikers are killed by his artillery, but I jinked and had rolled Night Fighting, so they were rocking a 3+ cover save. The Warlord actually rolled Shrouded as his Warlord Trait, so that unit rocked a 2+ cover save.

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In my turn, I turboboost or flat out all my units to get closer to his lines. Those guns must die or my army is going to be bombed into next week.

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The Portalglyph (the alabaster pyramid) scattered back towards me, but shat out a unit of horrors. I also summoned another Herald to cast more spells. The Rhino advanced to close the door on his Rhino and Maulerfiend.

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His Heldrake comes in and torches a Biker, as well as wounding the Sorcerer. Toughness 6 saves my bacon.

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The Maulerfiend jumps over the fortification and then pounces on the Herald, splashing it flat with a Hammer of Wrath impact hit. Ulf thought that the Herald was in the new Horror unit, but as he was summoned after the movement phase, he could not actually join the unit, so the Maulerfiend wasted the rest of his attacks. Nearby, the unit with Chaos Lord manages to one-shot the Rhino, but they cannot charge as they have just disembarked out of their Rhino.

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Terminators drop in front of my line, blowing up the light green Rhino. They then end up failing every single armour save, as in every time they only had to do one save, one promptly died. Ulf’s Terminators have a tendency to die that way actually.

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My Bikers split up to deal with the tanks. The Lord punches the Basilisk on one side, whilst the unit punches the one in front. Where is the Sorcerer, you ask? Well, he was on one wound as you might remember and promptly decided the best way to charge was driving right into a wall, rolling a 1 for Dangerous Terrain followed by a 1 for his armour save.

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My Plague Marines and Bikers pinging the Terminators whilst the second Rhino tank shocked them to arrive next to the objective.

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A quick overview of the fighting.

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Emptying the parking lot.

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My Lord charged into the 13-strong unit on the objective. It would probably have been easier if the Plague Marines disembarking from the Rhino to help him next turn had not thrown a blight grenade to try and blind the Marines. It scattered on top of my Lord and he rolled a 6 for his Initiative test, flailing around blindly for the first two rounds of combat.

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Notice the Obliterator on the right? He had just turned around to shoot two beams of plasma into the exhaust of the Heldrake, immobilizing it and causing it to Crash and Burn. I guess that double 6 was the reward for ramming my Sorcerer into a wall.

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A Summoned Keeper of Secrets charges the Maulerfiend, smashing it for one Hull Point each round until it finally dies 5 rounds later.

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A summoned unit of Plaguebearers rust the Rhino to death, whilst his unit with Lord is bombarded by multiple Pink Fires of Tzeentch. I even dropped my Herald out of his unit to get off an extra spell on them.

At that stage, I stopped taking pictures. In the end, my Bikers cleared the parking lot and when the Plague Marines charged into the Marine unit, combat quickly ended. The Lord even made it out alive as Ulf could not harm T6 with a 2+ armour save with regular Marines. With his Lord effectively stranded on top of the tower, far from the objective and most of his unit dead after beating off the Plaguebearers that had eaten the Rhino, odds were that my Keeper of Secrets could at least tie them up (hey, he/she/it is Slaaneshy after all) until the game was over, netting me both objectives as well as Linebreaker to his First Blood.

I had a second game later that day, using a 2000 points version of the list that traded 6 Horrors for a Maulerfiend and a Forgefiend against Astra Militarum with an allied Knight, Coteaz, 3 Leman Russes, a Manticore and some random dudes with the points left over. As we had played a regular Eternal War mission last time, I insisted on playing the basic Maelstrom mission this time just to avoid another game of running into a gunline. Turns out my opponent tried to do the gunline after all and I kinda managed to overrun objectives with Daemons whilst the fast Nurgle stuff got stuck in and distracted his army. Admittedly, the fact that his Vendetta with 4 Flamers inside only turned up on turn 4 helped, but he was simply too static to gain points fast enough.

I am very happy with the army as is, the Nurgle stuff gets in your face quickly and is insanely tough, especially in close combat where high strength attacks are rarer, whilst the Daemons are only a modest 400 points but can easily create either a second wave of Daemonettes and Bloodletters to mop up survivors or just play the objective game to gather points quickly.

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