Chaos Renegades after 3 games: What I learnt and new army list

I have had 3 games with my Chaos Renegades so far, one of which I wrote a battle report about on this site. I won that game and a game against a Tau army, which was the trial by fire for the army as Tau excel in anti-infantry fire with their plethora of S5 shots at high ranges. I lost one game against Space Marines at 1750 points as I was unable to score objective points fast enough and eventually fell behind 9-11 on points. During those games, I have learnt a lot about the army, including the following:

This is genuinely a fun army

At the beginning, I was not sure how my opponents would feel about facing a human wave of chaff charging towards them. It is a clear example of a skew list, so a list that focuses on one quality and hopes that the opponent cannot deal with that quality. In this case, the quality is quantity and it is clear that many armies simply do not have the necessary number of shots per round to deal with the number of models this army presents. The issue with that is that some people might feel bad about losing to a skew list, as they might not have a great chance to win to begin with if they are not prepared to deal with the skew. As this is definitely a casual project, it should be an army that is not only fun to play with, but also fun to play against.

It is indubitably fun to play with, as it is strangely liberating to charge towards the opponent and remove your own models in spades. There is still a definite element of tactics and strategy involved, as you still need to select targets and make sure you concentrate on the right targets to make sure at least some of your howling fanatics get to the other side. Moreover, as most of the models in the army only move 6 inches a turn without access to transports or other mobility enhancers like jump packs or drop pods, it is vital to ensure the correct deployment of your units as a unit that is misdeployed might spend most of the game trekking towards combat without ever seeing it.

What I have underestimated though is the fun opponents get from killing models and this is where the army is fun for them too. As a matter of fact, each of my opponents so far has marvelled at the amount of models they managed to kill, regardless of whether they lost or won. The average in the first three games is over a hundred miniatures per game, with over 140 killed models being the record. Most games at 2000 points don’t even feature so many models, let alone see so many killed from both armies together. Gunning down this mass of infantry makes games feel epic and just like GW’s fluff department has always described 40k battles, especially those featuring Marines: a small pocket of the Emperor’s Finest surrounded by a mass of enemies, mercilessly cutting them down.

The most common thing I have heard from my opponents or just passers-by is: ‘How many points is that army?’ In essence, this army plays like ‘Apocalypse in a box’, bringing a huge number of models to a small game size. It thus creates that Apocalypse feeling without the need to paint up superheavies or dozens of vehicles and games can be wrapped up in less than three hours, two if you don’t count the time it takes to unpack and pack the army.

250 models take up more real estate than one would think

It turns out that 200+ models fill all of the normal 72 by 12-inch deployment zone, and when I say fill, I don’t mean ‘Make sure models are spaced out wide enough to avoid blast templates hitting multiple models’ full, but rather in the sense of ‘every single square inch is filled with models’ full. That has caused me some issues as I have to deploy either multiple units behind each other or deploy some units in a deep and narrow frontage instead of a wide frontage. I also had issues unpacking my army in the game I lost, as I entangled multiple units and thus had them get into each other’s way. I will have to take more care to make sure each unit can advance without getting into another unit’s path. Another solution I have found is to get some models that can deploy on the first and second floors of buildings where they don’t take up real estate so to say as other models can be deployed below them. Furthermore, I need to deploy my Aegis Line a bit further back so that melee units can deploy in front of it.

I need more suppressing fire to handle medium tanks, especially Dreadnoughts

This ties in nicely with the topic just mentioned. In two of my games, I ran into Walkers or Monstrous Creatures that I could not deal with. Especially now that Dreadnoughts rock 4 attacks a piece, they seem to have become a lot more popular in the local area and they do have the means to ruin my army’s day by virtue of being difficult to damage when moving from cover to cover and immune to S5 or less attacks in melee, which means all of my army. I have a large number of autocannons in my units and each time they actually got a Dreadnought in the open, it promptly died, but I want a weapon that can one-shot a Dreadnought, meaning that I can just throw a few shots at one in cover and know that the one shot that is not saved will actually do some permanent damage or even take one out. Likewise, in the game against the Tau, I tabled his entire army by turn 4 except for a single Riptide. I had enough shots to force some armour saves, but 2+’s are not that difficult to make and I would have needed 24 wounds to make him fail enough saves on average, which is rather a lot. The first measure was to give each melee unit Krak grenades to at least give them a fighting chance versus Walkers and monsters.

So as I was going through the list to see how I could change it to fit a normal table better and to deal with Dreads and monsters, I came across the Disciple squad, which resides in the Elites section. I hadn’t really looked at them beforehand because they have one of the weird point cost schemes Forgeworld is so fond of. Usually with Forgeworld, a unit has a high starting cost, but then drops sharply the bigger the unit gets. For instance, 30k Marine squads start at 150 points for 10, but then only charge 10 points per extra Marine, so a 20-strong unit is a mere 250 points. Disciples are the opposite for some reason, costing 35 points for 5, but then costing 10 per additional model. The Veterans are the same, but at least they get to buy an upgrade at a flat rate per unit, so you can assume that their higher individual cost is compensated by the lower cost of the upgrade per model for a larger unit. The Disciples on the other hand pay the higher cost, but have no flat rate upgrade to justify it, which is why I never really looked at them before. But then I noticed that they are the only BS4 unit in the game and had access to all heavy weapons at the usual Imperial Guard cost. As I wanted to get rid of my allied detachment and also reconsidered the idea of the 50-strong Mutant unit, both because it relied on the allied Dark Apostle and because I had no way of fitting another 50 models into my deployment zone, I decided to include 3 units of 5 Disciples, each with a single lascannon weapon team. They should be able to deploy on the higher floors of buildings where available or behind my other units if no such buildings are on the table (which never happens where I play), then take potshots at enemy tanks or monsters. At 165 point for 3 units, they will be annoying and difficult to remove, as they require far more firepower being dedicated to killing them than a 55-point unit warrants, which is also known as the Rhino conundrum.

So, this is my current 2.000 points list:

Renegade Command Squad: Grenade Launcher, Arch-Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch and Master of the Hordes

Renegade Enforcers (2): Each with Power Axe and Combat Drugs Injectors (one joins the 30-strong unit of Renegades, the other one the Mutant Rabble)

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

3 Chaos Spawn

3 Chaos Spawn

Mutant Rabble (30): Champion with Power Axe, Meltabombs and Covenant of Khorne

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch, Chaos Sigil, 3 Autocannons, Militia Training, Autoguns

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, Autoguns, Militia Training

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, 2 Grenade Launchers, Autoguns, Militia Training

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 5 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 3 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

3 Sentinels: Multiple Rocket Pods

6 Sentinels: Autocannons, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

4 Thudd Guns

Aegis Defense Line: Quad Gun

As you can see, this version of the list is slightly leaner, trading some bodies for more guns, but retaining the basic concept of swarming forward with a mass of bodies to overwhelm the opponent.

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100th post battle report extravaganza!

Believe it or not, but this will be the 100th post on my blog and to celebrate the opportunity, I will try to include as many battle reports as I can, so here we go for a spectacular tale of murder, mayhem and dice rolls.

Game 1: Absylonia, Terror of Everblight versus Vlad, the Dark Prince

In this game, I played against a fairly new player, so I tried to make an Absylonia1 list that was not too mean, so I avoided double Angelius and other nasty stuff. This would also be a good opportunity to try out things like the Afflictor and the Striders. The scenario was again Two Fronts, which I seem to roll up all the time these days.

I ran:

Absylonia, Terror of Everblight

Angelius

Scythean

Ravagore

Raek

Afflictor

Naga Nightlurker

Spawning Vessel

Strider Rangers

Strider Deathstalker

The Forsaken

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

 

He ran:

Vlad, the Dark Prince

Juggernaught

Devastator

Kovnik Andrei Malakov (the Journeyman)

Juggernaught

Kovnik Jozif Grigorovic

Winter Guard Infantry (10) with UA and 3 WA

Widowmakers

Battle Mechanics (4)

Fenris

Manhunter

Eyriss, Angel of the Retribution

 

He won the roll for first turn and deployed most of his army centrally, using the jacks to shield Vlad and Malakov and the Winter Guard between them. Vlad’s battlegroup was closer to his objective and Malakov closer to mine. The Mechanics split up to stay behind all the Warjacks to repair them without breaking formation. The Widowmakers went on his right behind a wall during AD, Fenris was all alone on the right flank before the Manhunter and Eyriss deployed ahead of him.

I deployed the Ravagore, Naga and a Shepherd opposite Fenris (and then opposite the other two once they advance deployed) close to my zone, Absylonia centrally with the Scythean, the Spawning Vessel and Raek, while the Afflictor and Angelius went closer to his zone. The Deathstalker and Rangers went into a forest on that side too, to get either close to the Widowmakers if they got over their wall or to flank the Winter Guard Infantry and start whittling them down.

He pushed his flanking force of Fenris, Eyriss and the Manhunter forward, even after I warned him about the range 14 gun on the Ravagore. He thought he was out of range of it after moving. The Widowmakers ran up to their wall and started getting cosy there. Vlad realized that he had walled himself in behind the Warjacks, so they ran forward, then he advanced behind them and camped the rest. Malakov and his ‘jack did the same, but he did not want to cast Redline yet, which I think was a mistake. The Winter Guard was made Tough and Fearless and Bobbed and Weaved to form a second wave.

I advanced my centre and right flank, putting Forced Evolution on the Angelius who went into his zone to threaten Vlad’s ‘jacks. The Scythean also toed into that zone and got riled for 3 (so 4 in total) to let the Forsaken hiding behind it absorb 4 Focus points. The Afflictor hid behind the Scythean. The Striders ran up to form a line in front of the two Warbeasts, arguing that DEF15 is difficult to hit for MAT6 Khador heavies. The Deathstalker went to their right flank to start picking off infantry next turn. The Widowmakers were too far away from them to shot them next turn, so no problem, right? The Raek went to the middle of the board after Abbie cast Playing God on it. I also had the lunch ladies pull their pot into a central position, then they pummelled each other to make a Shredder that put Tenacity on the Raek and got into a position to be annoying next round. Then the Ravagore advanced 6 inches, was clearly in range of the Manhunter (the distance was 13”, so no contest), then blasted it and Eyriss whilst placing a Scather template in front of Fenris, before the Shepherd pulled off the 4 Fury on it. That must have been my opponent’s first ‘Blight Makes Right’ moment. The Naga ran closer to the objective in my zone.

In his second turn, Vlad handed out some focus, then cast Signs and Portents and called feat. His Devastator then casually charged my Deathstalker, even getting into base-to-base thanks to now having a 11” charge. It opened its shell to use Rain of Death and the Deathstalker and 3 Striders simply turned into red mist. The Juggernaught then charged another Strider and put it down. I collected no corpses as I was out of range. The Winter Guard bobbed and weaved and only the Rockets ended up being in range of the Scythean, dealing a bit of damage to it, but not really hurting it much. However, the Afflictor also lost a few boxes in its body. The Widowmakers had to move again to see past the Devastator and most of them tried to shoot the Angelius, but failed to hit it. The one that didn’t shoot the Angelius hit the Afflictor and took out its Body aspect. Malakov and his Juggernaught went for my zone after putting Redline on it. The Mechanics ran behind the Warjacks after their burst of speed. Kovnik Joe made the Winter Guard Tough again. Fenris engaged the Ravagore with a run, riding through the Scather.

Right, time for some payback. The Ravagore moved as much as possible without leaving Fenris’s melee range (or its own for that matter), then unhorsed him with a single boosted to hit and damage attack (the one point he had lost from the Scather doing him in), then put another boosted to hit into him to force a Tough check, then bought a final attack to prod him until he died. Fenris went into the pot. Then the Shepherd took off all the Fury again. The Naga tried to shoot Malakov, but he redirected it into a Winter Guard who failed his Tough check. The Naga looked at the Juggernaught in front of it and gulped. The Angelius charged the clamjack, hoping to murderate it, but only rolled a 4 on 3d6, so did not do that much damage after all, even at dice +7. Still, it took out an arm with the attack. It then bought two additional attacks (I always boost the Armour-Piercing * attack) that actually did a respectable amount of damage and took out the other arm too. The Afflictor then flew over it, risking a free strike but with only one dice to hit, nothing happened and it engaged 3 Widowmakers in melee. The Scythean charged the Juggernaught and mauled it quite badly, tearing off the Ice Axe. Absylonia moved behind the two Warbeasts and Warjacks and dropped a Blight Field that covered both Khador heavies, so no allocation next turn. She also put Tenacity on herself and the Scythean. The Shredder engaged a Winter Guard and stood in a position to block all moves from one zone to the other. The Raek ran headfirst into the main Winter Guard group, engaging 6 of them in melee. As he had allocated 3 Focus to the Juggernaught last round and only needed 1 to splat a Strider, the Forsaken felt lucky and dropped its Blight Shroud on a dice -12 on 4d6, but only rolled an 8 in total, so no luck. It did however scare the Mechanics, who would be fleeing next turn. So at the end of his turn, I had two Warjacks that are nearly crippled, a third one that was running rampant through my zone with only a Naga and a Ravagore to stop it and most of his infantry tied up, but Vlad and Malakov still going strong.

With nothing to allocate, Vlad just cast Signs and Portents and camped 3. The Winter Guard gained boosted attack rolls and dropped the Raek to three wounds and the Shredder to four. They also killed the Forsaken with a combined ranged attack. The Widowmakers failed to do much to the Afflictor, but the unengaged one shot Abbie for three damage. The clamjack used another Rain of Death to kill the last two Striders (who had just rallied after fleeing the turn before) and deal nine points of damage to the Angelius on a double 5. The Juggernaught also hit the Scythean for 13 damage despite having lost its axe, Signs and Portents did help a lot there. The other Jugger slew the Naga, then dealt some damage to the objective. Malakov tried to shoot the Shredder, but missed it and the Winter Guard in melee with it. The Mechanics rallied.

I took off all the fury from my central Warbeasts, leaving the Shredder and Raek on full as they were surrounded by enemies. The Shredder missed due to not having a Mind anymore and the Raek killed one Winter Guard. In my activation phase, the Afflictor went first and killed two Widowmakers, one of whom turned into an Incubus who charged and killed the unengaged one whilst the Afflictor tied up the last one. The Scythean luckily still had its Spirit and Body and with the Juggernaught’s poor DEF after losing its movement system, it dropped it to two damage. Then Absylonia charged it, used her feat to heal the Angelius, Scythean, Afflictor and Raek, cast Tenacity and the +2 STR mutation on herself and then put the Juggernaught down with two swings, camping 4 after boosting the second damage roll to be sure. The Angelius rammed its tail into the Devastator to destroy it, doing a massive 22 damage with one swing. The Ravagore considered going after the Juggernaught to tie it up, then spotted Vlad about 19” away. So off it went, Vlad turned out to be in range and took a volley of blight right in the face, being set on fire in the bargain. The blast also killed three Winter Guards, two of whom had been fighting the Raek.

Vlad continued to burn, dropping to 5 wounds after the hit and the fire, so it was now or never. The few unengaged Winter Guard (I think 3 and the officer) got another speech from Joe before he tried to kill the Shredder, but rolled double 1s on damage (he was actually a bit miffed at that, but then I pointed out that it had two Fury and was in Abbie’s control zone, so she could have reaved to 6 to be immune to assassination). The Guard had a clear line of sight to Abbie, but she was DEF21 for hiding right behind a wreck marker and having Tenacity up, so even with a boosted attack roll, their combined ranged attack missed her. The Juggernaught took about 25 points of damage off the Ravagore, but that combat was a side show at that stage. Malakov shot the Shepherd next to the Ravagore to make a point or gain XP or something like that. The Mechanics scatteredIt all boiled down to Vlad versus Abbie, who had 13 damage boxes left after healing her beasts last turn. He cast Blood of Kings to hit on 7s, then charged in, easily making it despite the wreck marker. He swung in, hit and the Raek took 14 damage when she shunted to it. The dagger hit and she took it, going to 3 boxes. He still had 3 Focus left and Abbie had 3 transfers up with enough beasts to take them, so it was clear that he was dead at this point. We still rolled it out and he did about 20 more damage to various beasts.

In my turn, the Angelius killed his objective for the point (it was a regular game, but one should always keep up the form to stay in tournament shape), then the Afflictor killed the last Widowmaker to make a second Incubus. Both Incubi then charged into the Winter Guard, killing two of them and tying up another two. Seeing no more chance of doing more damage, Absylonia increased her Strength, then killed Vlad with a single boosted attack.

Game 2: Vayl, Consul of Everblight versus Lich Lord Asphyxious

In this game, I ran the same eVayl list as in the previous report with her, so my army was:

Vayl, Consul of Everblight

Angelius

Angelius

Scythean

Ravagore

Nephilim Bloodseer

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Blackfrost Shard

Hex Hunters (max)

Spawning Vessel

 

My opponent ran:

Asphyxious 2

Nightwrench

Malice

Warwitch Siren

Satyxis Captain

Satyxis Raiders with UA

Bane Lord Tartarus

Bane Knights (max)

Bane Thralls (min)

Bile Thralls (min)

The Withershade Combine

 

We were lazy, so stuck to Two Fronts as that was still up from the game before. I won the roll to go first, deploying my Blackfrost Shard on the left, then the Hex Hunters and Nephilim Bloodseer next to them, an Angelius, Vayl with the pot and the rest moving on from there. He put the Bile Thralls, Nightwrench, Warwitch and Asphyxious opposite my left, then spread out to his left.

Long story short, I ran forward, but tried to stay out of maximum Encarnate plus Bile Thrall range with my Hex Hunters and Shard, he powerboosted the arc node, had it run forward and Asphyxious charged a Bane Thrall who had moved up to give him a speed boost, killed it, cast Hellbound to upkeep it for free with the Withershade Combine, then arced Excarnate through the Nightwretch to find out it was 6” away from a Hex Hunter with Stealth. Denied! He moved up the rest of his army to engage my Warbeasts on the right with his Raiders, so I was under a lot of pressure even after surviving the Excarnate bomb.

But Asphyxious had exposed himself to pull off the trick and was now rather close to the Blackfrost Shard, close being about 15 inches in this case. So the Nephilim ran close to Asphyxious to give a Telemetry bonus before the Shard moved up and crucially being in his back arc as he had had to turn around to hit his charge target. Sevryn hit him with an Ice Cage to make him DEF13 (11 in the back arc), before Rhylyss and Vyssar cast Ice Bolts on him, which dropped him to about ten boxes. One of the Hex Hunters was also in range and hit him with a Blight Bolt for another 4 boxes before the Angelius landed nearby and finished him with a boosted shot for a turn 2 kill where I had not killed a single model apart from the warcaster.

Game 3: Vayl, Consul of Everblight versus Lich Lord Asphyxious (Two Fronts because we were still lazy)

We used the same armies as in the game before, so look into the post above for the lists. It is a short post, so you should find them easily. Don’t worry, this game was much longer and a bit of a slugfest in the end.

I again won the roll for first turn or rather my opponent rolled a ‘1’ and I didn’t bother given that I got +1 on the roll anyway. As this game was longer, I will go into more details.

I deployed my Blackfrost Shard again on the extreme left, but this time without the rest of the mage package. I wanted to split them up as I had gained more respect of the Bile Thralls and wanted to force him to choose which part of it he wanted to kill. I dropped a Ravagore and an Angelius next to them with a Shepherd to shepherd them. Vayl and the pot went to the middle, then the Scythean who stood parallel to his control zone’s central edge and the second Angelius next to it. The Hex Hunters and the Nephilim deployed opposite his control zone.

He deployed the Bane Knights, the Warwitch, the Nodebot and Bane Lord Tartarus opposite the Blackfrost Shard and the two beasts on my left, then a central block consisting of Malice, the Bile Thrall in a conga line and the Withershade Combine, finally deploying Asphyxious and the Bane Thralls in a forest close to his control zone. The Satyxis Raiders deployed in front of Asphyxious, spread all the way to the middle to cover the central units too. The Captain hid in the second line as I had tied him up in turn one of game one by having the lunch ladies kill each other and then popping out a Shredder at maximum distance to have it go rabid and engage the Captain before she could do anything useful.

Given that he had spread out more, as had I, I ran most of my stuff forward, but trying to stay more than 16 inches from the Satyxises. Vayl dropped Refuge on the right Angelius, then put Admonition on herself and some Tenacities on assorted models, thanks to the Shredder the lunch ladies had spawned. As predicted, it had not managed to engage the Captain, but was close enough to her to force someone to deal with it. And even if it died, it was for free. Nothing exciting happened.

My opponent moved Malice over to deal with the Shredder, which it did, but losing its soul token to do so (and not gaining a new one because Legion). The Bane Knights ran up to my control zone, ending up just in front of it. Tartarus and the Warwitch moved in behind them. The Raiders were ordered to run with Desperate Pace and two of them engaged my front Hex Hunters, while the rest moved up more conservatively and most ended up next to his objective. His Arc Node bonejack did a full sprint, but forgot that Angelii have reach and ended up losing twelve boxes, including its Arc Node. Asphyxious and the Bane Thralls moved out of the forest. Asphyxious also put two Caustic Mists in front of my Hex Hunters to stop them from charging into the Satyxis Raiders. The Withershade Combine and the Biles followed the first line, trying to stay out of my range to be a second wave. The Combine moved closer to my control zone though.

Starting turn two, I was not sure what to do, as I did not want to give the Bane Knights a Vengeance move, but had not enough firepower to wipe them out. I also did not want to hand him control of the battle either, meaning that I had to find a way to do some damage without overextending or opening myself up to an alpha strike. So Vayl just upkept Refuge and dropped Admonition, incorrectly thinking that this might be a feat turn. The plan was to take out his support to weaken his army. The lunch ladies pulled the pot to the right and tried to kill the Satyxis engaging 4 Hex Hunters, but failed to hit her. The Bloodseer flew into the Caustic Mist, taking a damage, to use Telemetry and to kill a Satyxis there. The Hex Hunters shuffled around to attack the two Raiders engaging 5 of them, whilst the other half of the unit moved to the right to see two Raiders sheltering behind the clouds (I got some line of sights without seeing through the cloud). They killed the two in melee, but I could not hit the Nightwretch with my Battle Wizard shots. The ones on the right also killed their targets. Two Raiders went into the pot. The Scythean did not want to commit right away, so it walked over and dismantled the Nightwretch with two blows. The central, Refuged Angelius charged a Bile Thrall and killed it easily, then overtook into a second Bile Thrall which it also killed. It Refuged away a bit. Vayl activated, switching Refuge on the other Angelius after making the Scythean an Arc Node, Icy Gripped the Bane Knights and cast Admonition on the first Angelius . The now-Refuged Angelius advanced to shoot Tartarus who had a larger base than the Knights in front of him, but missed with a boosted shot, so no Refuge for it. Ooops. Luckily, the Ravagore showed it how it’s done and hit Tartarus, dealt 7 damage to him plus set him on fire, killed the Warwitch next to him and lit up a Knight too. The Blackfrost Shard ran to the centre, hiding behind the two Warbeasts. Not a spectacular turn, but I had tied up most of his stuff and taken out some of his support units. The fact that his Arc Node was dead and that Asphyxious was so far on one side made me feel optimistic too.

So back to Christian and his turn 2. Tartarus fortunately burnt to death, as did the Knight next to him. Result! The Bane Thralls went first and spread out to cover as much area as possible with their Dark Shrouds. The Bile Thralls moved up as far as possible, but did not purge yet. His Raiders mostly charged the Bloodseer who had a Thrall next to it and it took another 18 damage, ending up on 3. The Bane Knights charged the objective, dealing 9 damage to it, the Ravagore, dealing 15 damage to it, and the Angelius, who was not hit. Ouch. I guess they had to die now. Asphyxious killed two Hex Hunters with a Hellmouth and collected their souls with his sword. The Withershade Combine did not do much of note, maybe some points of damage to the central Angelius, who ended up using its Admonition to move 3 inches sideways when Malice moved close to it, thereby engaging it to prevent it from using the Harpoon but staying out of Malice’s own melee range.

In my third turn, I decided it was time to feat, so I dropped all upkeeps. The Blackfrost Shard engaged the Bane Knights, killing the one hitting the objective and one of the two engaging the Ravagore. Then the Angelius in my zone activated and killed four Bane Knights, including the one engaging the Ravagore. Even the Shepherd in the zone killed one, so there were only two left. The Ravagore took a shot at the Withershade Combine behind Malice, killing their leader, setting the other two, a Bile Thrall and Malice on fire. The Nephilim took a swing at the objective and dealt it a bit of damage, but lost a wound in return (we both used an Arcane Wonder). The Hex Hunters moved around the new Caustic Mists Asphyxious had dropped and fired Blight Bolts into the Bane Thralls and Raiders in his zone. The Scythean moved into position to become an Arc Node. Then Vayl called feat, dropped two boosted Obliterations on the objective to kill it as well as doing another wound to the Nephilim, more Satyxises died, so he only had two left at this stage (the game went so long that the mid-stage is a bit blurry right now). She gave herself Admonition, Occultation on the Scythean because it was free, Refuge on the Angelius engaging Malice and moved closer to my control zone. That Angelius took a huge swing at Malice that damaged it quite a bit, then flew over him to sit in the Scather pool, engaging the Withershadow Combine, Malice and two of the three remaining Bile Thralls. I went ahead 1-0.

All the fires went out though, so no other members of the Combine died. Then Asphyxious happened. It all started really well, the Bane Knights used their Vengeance move to get behind the Angelius but could not hit it. The Bane Thralls had to regroup, so one engaged the Angelius in his centre who tied up the Combine, Malice and Bile Thralls and the other one engaged the Scythean. The last two Raiders finished off the Nephilim. Asphyxious activated and stuff went south. He dropped his soul-collecting template on top of 4 Hex Hunters, the last two Vessel servants and a Shepherd, then activated his feat to return all 8 Bane Knights and two Raiders. Finally, he excarnated a Hex Hunter and created a Bile Thrall right in the middle of his control zone. Hmmm. The two returned Raiders charged the two last Hex Hunters on the extreme right (the other four were in the centre), but failed to hit them. The Bane Knights overran my Scythean. Then the Bile Thralls got their turn and shit got real. There were only two of them that could move without taking free strikes, but that was enough. The one in the centre exploded and killed everyone under Asphyxious’s soul template, so he collected 7 souls. It also damaged the pot for 1, which was now full thanks to that explosion. The second one damaged the Ravagore and melted the Angelius, as well as killing a Bane Knight, Sevryn and Rhylyss. Ouch, there goes half my army. The remaining forces in his middle bullied my Angelius some more but it dodged most of their attacks, so I was down to it, a Ravagore, a Shepherd, Vyssar, a melting pot, two Hex Hunters who were fleeing after seeing all their friends melt and Vayl, who looked very worried at this stage. He had the two last members of the Combine, Malice, a Bane Knight in melee with the Ravagore, a last Bile Thrall, a Bane Thrall in the centre of his control zone and Asphyxious. Asphyxious dominated his zone for 1-1.

She then even had to cut herself as so many of her beasts had died outside her control zone. She kept Admonition and Refuge going. Fortunately, I would be able to score a point with her for dominating her zone and maybe take out more of his stuff. The Shepherd healed the Ravagore, which then killed the last Bile Thrall. The Angelius finished off Malice and hit a Combine member for one, then overtook plus Refuged into his control zone to engage Asphyxious. The pot spawned a Harrier that cast Truestrike, then charged the last Bane Knight to kill it. It then sprinted back, nearly making it into the enemy control zone towards the last Bane Thrall. The two Hex Hunters rallied, but could not flee into his zone as Asphyxious and the Thrall were blocking it to them. I dominated to gain a point (2-1).

So, down to the wire it went. Asphyxious and the last Bane Thrall killed off the Angelius, but could not kill the Hex Hunters as they were more than 6 inches from Asphyxious and still had Stealth. The two members of the Combine moved closer to my zone and cast some spells to damage my Ravagore, but barely keeping it alive. We both dominated our zones for a point (3-2).

Vayl upkept Admonition on herself, cutting herself some more and going to four wounds. The Harrier charged and true struck the Bane Thrall on the edge of his control zone, but could not wound it. Unfortunately, I then forgot to sprint into his control zone. The two rallied Hex Hunters finished the Thrall off but could not harm Asphyxious with a Blight Bolt. The Shepherd healed the Ravagore. Vyssar charged the last two Combine members, but failed to hit. The Ravagore moved over and killed one. Vayl decided that Vyssar had failed her for the last time and fired a boosted Obliteration into his back, killing him and the last Withershadian (at some point, I have to learn their names). She then hid behind the objective. As I had not moved the Harrier into the zone, I could only contest it and get a point from dominating mine, going to 4-2.

Seeing how Asphyxious was the only Cryx model left and not in range for any of his spells on Vayl, he decided to take out his rage on the Hex Hunters and the Harrier, killing all of them, ending the game on 5 for Legion and 4 for Cryx.

What a game! I am pretty sure I got some of the details for the middle part wrong, as it was such a slaughter on both sides. In the end, I had barely any models left, with the only meaningful stuff I had left being the Ravagore and Vayl, so if he had kept me from scoring once in between, I do not know how I could have ended the game against a fully-camping Asphyxious who had not lost a single wound that game. Needless to say, we both had a headache after the game.

Game 4: Blood Angels vs Chaos

In the fourth game, I played my Blood Angels versus Thierry’s amazing looking Chaos army, combining a Chaos Space Marine detachment with an allied Renegades and Heretics force. We played a Maelstrom mission, the one where you can steal your opponent’s ‘Secure Objective x’ cards if you could fulfil them before the opponent. I took lots of pictures, so I let them tell the story.

 

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My deployment and first turn advance. I planned to use the tanks to shield the infantry as long as possible. I should have switched the position of the Predator and Sicaran though, as the Sicaran could have hung back more. 

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Thierry’s deployment. His deployment zone was quite clustered. He had a Vindicator and Rhino with Marines at the bottom, a horde of Renegades, including 3 Rapiers with Laser Destroyers in the middle. The Warlord was a level 3 Chaos Sorcerer sitting in the Renegade units in the forest on top. He had two Hellblades in reserves too. An amazing-looking army.

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Turn 1, I drop 10 Tacticals with 3 flamers in front of his army, annihilating most of the command squad and a Renegade unit. The second drop pod lands next to the Leman Russ and 4 melta shots are enough to kill it.

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The Obliterator countercharges one combat squad and they spend four turns not hitting each other in melee, the other combat squad loses three models and the other two leg it. His Vindicator hits mine and the Sicaran, which also takes three Rapier hits. The Vindicator loses its cannon and the Sicaran is wrecked.

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The last drop pod lands and kills a Rapier and causes the crew to flee. The Assault Squad in the rear blows up the Chimera, but the passengers all survive. Two Scout squads with Shotguns outflank, one on each flank and they shoot a few Cultists. My Death Company murders the first Renegades squad on the top flank.

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The Renegades squad with the Sorcerer becomes invisible, then charges the Death Company, actually wiping them out over two rounds of combat.

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The Chaos Marines wipe out the Scouts, meanwhile the Sanguinary Guard kills the Vindicator. In the end, the Sanguinary Guard kill the Marines, but lose the Librarian (Warlord) as he splits off to maximise Victory Points (I wanted to kill six units to gain d3+3 VPs for one card, obviously failing miserably and killing only 2) and is then machine-gunned by the Hellblades. The nearby Assault Squad killed the Renegades and the last gun crew from the Rapier unit.

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The Assault Squads kill the Icarus Quad Gun, but only after using it to down one of the Hellblades. The Super Renegades wipe out the Scout Squad and Lemartes on the top flank, but I manage to hold 3 objectives to gain 2 VPs, as well as holding objective 5 which is on one of my cards and two of Thierry’s. As his only remaining units are on top and mine at the bottom, we call it a day there as I have a 12-5 lead in points and he has no units left that are mobile enough to score multiple points per round.

This concludes our fourth battle report and this seems to be a good place to end my 100th post. Thank you all for reading my posts and keeping me motivated. I hope to keep up the good work and post more interesting articles as we go along.

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Update: Renegades and Heretics army project, Codex Khorne Daemonkin and two games with Legion and

And we’re back!

The last few weeks have been quiet on the gaming front as I said in the last post, given that I spent most of the week looking after the dogs and the house while the wife is writing her Master’s dissertation and I also didn’t really get a lot of things done painting-wise.

However, I did manage to get some models built and have been working on my Renegades and Heretics list for 40k. During the last Make Love Not War event, Thierry and I had a discussion about the army in general and the units that are good in it and he opened my eyes to two units in the list that I hadn’t really paid attention to. The first unit is the Rapier Laser Destroyer platform which is a cool artillery unit that fires a twin-linked ordnance S9 AP2 shot for a sweet 20 points, though you need to add in Militia training for 10 points per unit and some extra troopers at 3 points each just to make the unit more accurate and survivable. And while you’re at it, you probably should also add an Aegis Defence Line to hide them behind. But given how cheap everything is in this list, I guess there is a case to be made to splurge out a few points to get a wall to hide behind.

Speaking of cheap, the other unit he pointed out are Sentinels, which are a cool 20 points per model for the standard Sentinel profile with WS2 and BS2, though you could pay a flat 40 points to give them the standard WS and BS3, but that defeats the purpose of keeping them cheap and easy. You can play 3 to 6 in a unit and they can replace their standard Multi-Lasers for Heavy Flamers, which makes them amazing in my opinion. So for a cool 120 points, you get 6 AV10 Walkers that can rush up to the opponent, hit them with 6 templates, then charge for S5 Hammer of Wrath hits and some nominal attacks, but to be honest, you run them for the dirt-cheap flamers. The other way to run them is to pay 80 points, so making them 200 points for 6, to add Heavy Armour which makes them front armour 12 and reduces Crew Stunned to Crew Shaken, thus letting them keep moving even when hit and more importantly making them really difficult to deal with for Marines and other mid-range units as they can only glance them on a 6 with Krak Grenades in melee. Continuing the trend of them being cheap, I found a sweet deal on the Internet where I basically paid for three and got six, so yay! This probably means that I now have to go through with that army though and not just put it into my ‘cool armies I have talked about but never got round to playing’ folder. Oh well.

If we stay with GW, they released a new Chaos Codex: Khorne Daemonkin, which mixes Chaos Space Marine and Daemon units, though every unit in the army must have the Mark of Khorne or be Daemons of Khorne. At first glance, I not impressed with it because it takes away a lot of the best units from the Chaos list, such as Obliterators and Vindicators. In addition, I would have hoped that the fact that every unit must have the Mark of Khorne would be reason enough to reduce the point cost of that upgrade to a more manageable level, as it is one of the least interesting Marks at the moment, giving Rage and Counterattack, both of which are only relevant in the first round of a combat. Furthermore, you can also clearly see that it was mostly a copy-paste job, for instance the rules for Daemons of Khorne specifically add +1 to the Strength of Hammer of Wrath attacks for Chariots (as it did in 6th edition), but in the transition from 6th to 7th, Walkers also gained Hammer of Wrath, so while the Defiler, Maulerfiend and Forgefiend all gained Daemon of Khorne which is fairly pointless given their S10 melee weapons, they did not gain +1S to Hammer of Wrath where it actually would have been useful.  However, what I find most annoying is the fact that the whole codex is sold around the idea of gaining a free Bloodthirster if you kill enough models or sacrifice enough of your units, which is a fine idea by itself, only that GW screwed up the rules, so the ‘free’ Bloodthirster (as it will probably be summoned after you have sacrificed a lot of your smaller and cheaper stuff, but even Cultists are 58 points for 8, so not really cheap) will deep strike onto the battlefield, which means it will be swooping. So if you summon it on turn 2, which is difficult enough, it can go into glide mode at the beginning of turn 3, then finally charge on the fourth turn, at which stage the game will already be pretty much over, especially after 8 units of yours had to die before the beginning of the second turn.

On the plus side, it makes all Daemons unbreakable and replaces the Instability rule, making Daemons more survivable than in a Chaos Daemons list, which compensates for the loss of the Grimoire of True Names and the Portalglyph. Once you get over the annoyance of not being able to live the dream of dropping multiple Bloodthirsters, you will also find that some of the other options on the Blood Tithe chart that are actually quite powerful, such as being able to spend 3 points to give everyone Feel No Pain or summon either 5 Flesh Hounds for 5 Blood Tithe points or 3 Bloodcrushers for 6, which is a decent deal. Furthermore, they got rid of the restriction that mortals cannot join Daemonic units and vice versa, so you can take a nice large unit of Bloodcrushers and add a Chaos Lord to have a way of dealing with 2+ armour units and a Herald to give everyone Hatred to go toe-to-toe with other people’s deathstar units. There is definitely a way to synergise by combining mortal and daemonic units, so there might be some hidden gems somewhere in the book.

Still overall I think that the fact that Khorne is one of the weakest gods, i.e. not Nurgle, and that you lose access to all non-Khorne units makes this list not very competitive.

 

But enough of the 40k bits and bobs, let’s look at the two battles I got to play yesterday. In the first one, I ran a variant of my eVayl list, dropping a Ravagore from my infantry list to add a Nephilim Bloodseer and the Blackfrost Shard. The Bloodseer is classed as a light warbeast, but it has ARM18 and 22 damage boxes, which is rather tough for a Legion light, considering that some of their heavies are barely more resilient, such as Angelii with ARM17 and 25 damage boxes, which in essence boils down to the same over 3 attacks. It has Flight, so it counts towards the tier 3 requirements of her theme force and thus has no hidden cost added. Its animus shuts down all enemies from upkeeping spells in 5” and adds +1 to the cost of all enemy spells cast in that area. The main reason to buy it is its Telemetry ability, which adds a +2 bonus to all my magic attack rolls to targets in 5” of the Bloodseer. So Vayl has a ‘virtual’ Fury 10, the Hex Hunters have Magic Ability 8 and the Blackfrost Shard 9. As I plan to run this list as my main anti-infantry list together with Absylonia2 as my brickbreaker, having 13 infantry models with really high attack scores and the option to make multiple attacks per round will help me thin down enemy numbers to avoid being overwhelmed by armies that really outnumber me, which is always the case with the traditional 6 heavies lists Vayl likes to run.

I played against Steve, who used Gatormen, an army I hadn’t faced before. He ran two units of Gatormen Posse, each model having 8 wounds and ARM 16 (18 if engaged), access to re-rolls to hit against living models or a DEF buff each round. They were supported by two Witch Doctors, who can make a unit Tough and Undead each turn, and who moved behind the Posses to buff them. He also had a Bokur with Shamblers, which is the Gatormen version of Alexia1, adding a Shambler zombie to the unit each time a living model dies in 8”, a light Warbeast to give Spiny Growth (+2 ARM and deals damage to Warjacks and Warbeasts punching the model) and a Ironback Spitter, a heavy-armoured Warbeast that drops acid templates. Two Croak Hunters were his solos, they are quite good to kill living models as they add an extra damage dice on their Throwing spear attacks. There was also a Feralgeist to jump into dead Warbeasts and a Swamp Gobbers Bellows team to make clouds. Finally, he had a Sacral Vault, the new Battle Engine which can collect souls, then use them to boost its attacks or cancel offensive spells targeting models in 3” of it. His Warlock was Rask, who I didn’t really see a lot of, but he has a feat that reduces line of sight to friendly models in his control area to 5 inches.

We played Two Fronts, a scenario with two 12-by-6-inch control zones, one closer to me and one closer to the enemy. Controlling the enemy one or dominating the friendly one gives you 1 point, dominating the enemy one gives you 2. In each zone there is an objective (yours in your zone, the enemy’s in his) and that objective contests the zone for the enemy until it dies. The enemy objective also gives you a victory point if you destroy it. It also used Kill Box, so if your Warlock is completely within 14” of a table edge at the end of your turn 2 or later, your opponent gains 2 VP. As usual, 5 points win you the game. We both chose the Arcane Wonder objective.

He won the roll and elected to choose sides, taking the one with an extra pond, which is great for Gatormen as they can move through it without penalty, being Amphibious. I went first and deployed my Hex Hunters and Nephilim close to my zone, the Warbeasts and Vayl centrally and the Spawning Vessel and Blackfrost Shard on the other flank. He spread out equally, but put the Sacral Vault closer to my zone and Rusk behind it, with a Posse and a Witch Doctor on each side and the Shamblers going towards this control zone.

As I had first turn, I advanced the Hex Hunters, the Nephilim and an Angelius to threaten the Posse near the pond and the Scythean and Ravagore centrally with Vayl, whilst the pot, Blackfrost Shard and the second Angelius moved towards the enemy zone. The lunch ladies punched each other and killed three of them to spawn a Shredder for Tenacity. I put Refuge and Tenacity on the second Angelius, Tenacity on the Scythean and Ravagore, as well as Occultation on Vayl just because.

He moved cautiously forward, making both Posse units Tough and Undead and putting Admonition on Rask and Fury on the Posse in his control zone (henceforth the right). The Vault gained 3 souls from its own special rule (d3 souls if it has none). He also dropped his feat and his whole army was invisible, barring one Gatormen on the left and the Croak Hunter on the right. Right, so much for my alpha strike.

My plan had been to charge the left Gatormen with my Angelius, killing the first one with a boosted Armour Piercing attack, then overtaking to punch a second one, but without Armour Piercing, then charge that one with the Bloodseer before charging in the Hex Hunters to kill off some more of them, then casting their POW13 shots to finish off the rest. On the other flank, the Refuged Angelius should have killed off a few Gators, then get the fuck out of Dodge again. Now they were without target, so I had to improvise. I wanted to avoid getting alphastruck by him next turn, so I decided to back off with the Blackfrost Shard to the extreme flank to keep them going but without exposing them. The Refuged Angelius could see the Croak Hunter who was not in feat range, so charged him, killed him and overtook into the Gatormen. Without Armour Piercing, it could not kill them with a single swing, but just managed to do enough damage to kill one before Refuging away. Then the Shredder went rabid and engaged the rest of that unit before the Ravagore cast its animus and shot it in the back, because that’s what you get for being a Lesser Warbeast, everyone bullies you. The Shredder exploded and the Gatormen went to a wound each (actually we removed them, then noticed that they have +2 ARM as they were engaging the Shredder), but on fire, which killed the unit leader in his turn. On the left, I could not charge the Gatormen, so I only ran the Bloodseer to get all the Gatormen in 5”, then advanced the Hex Hunters and cast some spells on them, only killing one. The Angelius and Scythean advanced cautiously to threaten his Vault without being exposed themselves. I dropped some Tenacities before the Shredder got killed, as well as putting Admonition on the Angelius in the centre.

In his turn, the Sacral Vault dealt ten damage to the Bloodseer, before the Gatormen in the pond went into the Bloodseer and Hex Hunters, killing the Bloodseer and 3 Hex Hunters, who passed their Terror test. This netted the Vault more souls to go to its maximum of 5. The three surviving right Gatormen tried to charge the central Angelius, but I played it cool and waited until he had used his prayer to get a re-roll to hit instead of +1 DEF and Terror and then moved the first two within reach, only using my Admonition (which was marked by a large counter, so no foul play involved) on the last one to get out of range. The Spitter missed its shot and Rask moved to the side to stay behind the Vault, only barely being within the killbox. The Shamblers moved up, but could not do much. Overall, that could have been worse, but the Bloodseer was down and the Hex Hunters were probably dead.

Time to get some damage in and maybe score a few points. His control zone was now rather empty, as the Posse had charged out of it to get the Angelius, so he had only the Shamblers in there. The Posse was also out in the open and even without Tough as the Witch Doctor had been too far away. So in the end, I moved up the Blackfrost Shard and they shot the three Shamblers in front of the Bokur, then the Refuged Angelius charged the Bokur, killed all the Shamblers on the charge attack, then finished off the Bokur with the third attack. So the zone was empty except for the objective. The Ravagore charged it and murdered it with 4 blows, luckily surviving the POW10 hits it causes. Then the Shepherd went in and took off the Angelius’s fury, because Blight Makes Right. Vayl used her feat, but ended up doing not much as the Vault kept most of his guys safe. She had to waste her double Obliterates on the Witch Doctor, but rolled snakes eyes on the first one and not much more on the second one, so he survived on one wound. Vayl also switched Refuge around on the Angelius on the left. She then walked into the now uncontested zone to dominate it.

The Scythean, having stayed centrally last turn, now had the 3 Gatormen who had failed their charge on the Angelius right in front of it in walking distance, so it walked over, did a perfect 7 damage on the first one with the first scythe, hit it and killed it with the second one, then chain attacked one dead and one on a few damage boxes, so two additionals later, they were all dead. He had been out of range for the Witch Doctor’s Zombify, but as I still had Focus left, the Scythean could have used its Animus to ignore it. This way I could also reload my Spawning Vessel to 3 for a Lesser next turn.

On the left, things did not go so well, the Hex Hunters managed to get a few charges in (he had charged the Bloodseer with 3 Gatormen, two of which having no other models in melee range, which is why he had only killed 3 Hex Hunters in his turn) but only killed a single Gatorman and dealt some damage to the others, so there were still 3 left (one had died when they Hexbolted it the turn before). This meant that there was one in front of the Angelius, threatening a free strike if it charged the Sacral Vault. As they had Fury on them, that could have hurt a lot, being dice -1 on 3 dice. So I had to bite the bullet and ignore the Vault this round. The Angelius therefore charged the Gatorman, hoping to kill it and then Overtake into the next ones after the Hex Hunters had hurt them. However, I missed my boosted armour-piercing charge attack and had to buy two extra attacks to kill one Gatorman, then Refuging behind my objective on full fury. That was when I realised that I had already activated the Shepherd on that flank and could not pull the fury off it, so I would have a problem next turn with Vayl still camping 2 Fury and my Warbeasts having about 10 on them. Still, I went to 3-0 for dominating the enemy zone and killing his objective, so he had to contest the zone or kill Vayl to win.

The Feralgeist that had spent the first two turns centrally without doing anything, ran towards Vayl, triggering her Admonition, which she used to move deeper into the zone, further away from his army. He then moved the Witch Doctor into the zone as well to contest it, but then realised that he had no other model to do so, so cast Sacrificial Strike on the Feralgeist to hit Vayl. She took it like a pro, only suffering a bit of damage and waiting for the Spitter and Sacral Vault to hit her. He moved the Swamp Gobbers past my Scythean to take free strikes, as this would get his Sacral Vault up to 5 Souls, but it only hit one of them. Then the Gatormen went on a killing spree and between them and the Witch Doctor, 6 Hex Hunters died. The leader passed his massive casualties check. Rask moved up close to the Gatormen and killed my leftmost Shepherd to further reduce my fury management and force me to leech from the Angelius as it would otherwise have had to attack my objective and most likely kill it.  The Sacral Vault moved closer to Vayl, ending exactly 10″ away from her to shoot her, rolling 2 shots. Luckily, she yelled ‘No’ and threw a snowball in its face to cancel the first shot with her Quick Draw ability. The second one dealt a massive 14 wounds to kill her outright, but she transferred it, then also transferring the boosted hit from the Spitter, that would also have killed her outright. At least that solved a bit of my Fury problem. We were still 3-0.

In my fourth turn, I leeched from the Angelii and the Ravagore (Vayl took one off with Serenity), leaving only the Scythean on two Fury. It promptly failed its check and attacked the Sacral Vault, dealing 9 damage. As I was curious how much damage I could deal, or mean according to our audience, I first moved the Blackfrost Shard up to kill the Witch Doctor in the enemy zone as well as casting Kiss of Lylyss on the Spitter. Then the Ravagore lit it on fire and dealt some damage to it before the right Angelius finished it off. Vayl Obliterated the last Swamp Gobber and camped Fury. The last Hex Hunter moved around the Gatorman to attack Rask, but missed him. Finally, the left Angelius charged the Sacral Vault and took it apart with one strike. I ended my turn and won 5-0 on scenario.

In the second game, right after the first one, I played against a Retribution army led by Ossyan. This was my first game with Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight and I made a few rookie mistakes during the game. I ran:

Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight

Angelius

Angelius

Ravagore

Scythean

Shredder

Zuriel

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

Blighted Nyss Shepherd

The Forsaken

Strider Deathstalker

Objective: Effigy of Valour

 

He ran (if I recall correctly):

Lord Arcanist Ossyan

Hypnos

Daemon

Mage Hunter Strike Force with UA

Mage Hunter Infiltrators with Eyriss3

Stormfall Archers

Stormfall Archers

Magister

Mage Hunter Assassin

Objective: Arcane Wonder (?)

 

We decided to use Two Fronts again and he won the roll, deciding to take first turn. Overall, he had a very mobile force with lots of models with Advance Deployment, as well as the potential to wreck multiple Warbeasts during the feat turn. On the other hand, I had a clear advantage in terms of heavy units and would be able to kill off his heavies easily enough if I could get a good feat turn. If I managed to weather the storm of arrows long enough, I should be able to turn it into a game of attrition where my higher ARM values and especially Psycho Surgery would give me a clear advantage.

As I said, he went first, Ossyan, the Magister and the Warjacks went centrally, able to dominate or control either control zone based on how I acted. The Stormfall Archers took the flanks. I concentrated most of my force towards my own control zone (the left henceforth), but with the possibility to swing to the right if necessary. The Scythean, one Angelius, the Forsaken, a Shepherd and the Shredder stood close to my control zone, whilst Abbie, Zuriel, a Shepherd, the other Angelius and the Ravagore were in the middle or oriented to the right zone. Then he deployed the Infiltrators opposite my control zone and the Strike Force close to his zone, with the Assassin going to the extreme right. I dropped my Deathstalker opposite the Strike Force and Assassin, where she could move on top of a hill to be DEF19 if necessary. I did not expect her to do a lot as she could not ignore Stealth, but she would be a good deterrent.

He ran most of his force forward, casting Quicken on Hypnos who ran 16 inches and ended up next to his objective with its Imprint on, making itself and the Strike Force around it immune to blast damage. The Daemon advanced less fast, as did the Archers behind the Mage Hunters. Ossyan and the Magister still stayed close to the middle, whilst the Assassin rushed forward to engage the Deathstalker next turn.

I advanced more cautiously to avoid taking the alpha strike in the face. The Deathstalker fell back to sit on the hill and avoid melee with the Assassin. I shifted my force away from the Mage Hunter Strike Force, moving all my Warbeasts except for the Ravagore close to or into my control zone. Abbie cast Fortify on Zuriel, as well as Tenacity on herself and the left Angelius. Because I felt like experimenting, I also dropped Return Fire on the Ravagore (good idea) and Zuriel (bad idea), which meant that Abbie had no transfers. I mean, what can an Ossyan army do to hurt her? She then charged forward towards the left Stormfall Archers, ending her movement on the rear edge of my control zone. The Scythean and one Angelius ran in front of her, the second Angelius was slightly behind them and closer to the centre after killing an Infiltrator with a boosted shot. Zuriel flew up to shield Abbie, before the Shredder moved behind Zuriel to give it Tenacity. The Shepherd hid in the forest on that side to avoid being shot. The Forsaken moved behind the Scythean and absorbed its 4 fury (I had riled it up to maximum fury). The Ravagore cast its animus, then shot a boosted shot straight at Hypnos, but did only a few shield points’ worth of damage, it also set a few Infiltrators on fire. The right Shepherd hid behind it and took off the fury. All in all, I did some damage and kept my force compact whilst still being able to threaten enough of the field if necessary.

Then Ossyan called Feat. Ups.

He moved up and just barely got Abbie into feat range, but also in range of his gun, which he boosted to hit her and drop her DEF by two, as well as doing some damage. Then the right Stormfalls moved up and shot their sniper shots at her, luckily only hitting her directly once. The left Stormfalls could not see her, but they and the Daemon killed off the front Angelius and dealt some damage to the Scythean. At this stage, my opponent rolled really poorly and I should probably have lost both heavies at this stage. Fortunately, my shift to the left had put most of the Strike Force out of range of Absylonia and she only took two hits from them. Nevertheless, she was at 3 wounds left after all that shooting and had been rather lucky. The rest of the Strike Force shot the Shepherd on the right, before targeting the Ravagore. The first shot did some damage to it, but it retaliated with Return Fire and although the shot missed the elf I targeted, it landed perfectly on top of three that had not shot yet and melted all of them. Hypnos fired at Zuriel, clipping Abbie as well, but did not deal any damage to her and only a bit to Zuriel as it was currently on ARM 22 with Fortify and Tenacity. Zuriel used Return Fire on a group of Infiltrators, but only killing one as RAT 5 is not that good without Predator’s Instinct or boosts. The Assassin tried to engage the Deathstalker but she was an inch out of reach outside of his activation. The Magister moved forward.

So how did Abbie survive that? Pure, unadulterated luck. Note to self: ALWAYS KEEP AT LEAST TWO TRANSFERS UP! Time to counterattack and feat, I guess. Abbie began the turn after leeching all fury and not upkeeping Fortify. She cast Psycho-Surgery, called feat, going back to 5 wounds and healing most of her beasts back to full. She had a nice group of three Infiltrators nearby, so she charged them, needing 7s to hit (of course, I could have cast Predator’s Instinct here to be sure but who needs that?). All her initials and two extra attacks later, she had missed all of them and I had to Teleport her away to keep her safe. Still without transfers, because I am a numpty. The Forsaken walked into the group of 6 Infiltrators in my control zone (the 3 Abbie had missed and another trio) and blew them all away. This opened a charge lane for the Scythean to charge the Daemon and it wrecked it easily enough thanks to the +2 Strength from the feat. The Scythean also blocked access to Abbie by putting itself in a position where it would engage anyone from the centre who tried to move in range to shot Abbie. Zuriel activated and cast Predator’s Instinct (and at latest then I should have remembered that Abbie could also cast it) before flying up close to the Scythean to create a wider zone where the enemy could not move through. It also sprayed into the Stormfall Archers, the Magister and Ossyan, dealing a bit of damage to the two characters and killing two Archers. The right Angelius went for Hypnos, punching straight through its shield and its right arm before the Ravagore went in to wreck it. The Deathstalker backed away from the Assassin, moving over a wall to block line of sight from the Assassin to her, hit the first Strike Force member and moved two inches, then missed the second elf she wanted to kill. I scored a point because Abbie dominated my zone. The Shredder cast Tenacity on Abbie and the Shepherd took off its fury.

In his turn, the left Stormfall Archers aimed as they were in snipe range of Abbie, but fortunately all missed and failed to wound on their scatters, needing 9s to hit and 11s to wound on indirect hits. They however managed to kill the Forsaken. The Magister punched Zuriel twice to open a gap, but did not hurt it much. Ossyan moved into the gap and shot Absylonia with his cannon, but only caused two damage to her, but dropping her DEF by two. The right Stormfall Archers and a few Mage Hunters were in shooting range of her, but also all missed or scattered away. The Assassin charged the Ravagore for 6 damage thanks to its Decapitating Strike. The fact that he had lost both heavies and that my 4 heavies engaged a number of his Strike Force reduced the firepower he could bring to bear on Absylonia and it was clear that he could only win by assassination at this stage as he could not clear his zone and only send a token force to contest mine, so I would inevitably win by scenario, but with Abbie’s low health, I would have to keep up the pressure on him to avoid a lucky hit. I went to 2 points to 0.

In my turn, the Scythean frenzied and engaged Ossyan, but missing him. Zuriel did not frenzy on 3 fury, which would have been great as it could have killed the Magister and got rid of its fury if it had done. As it was nearly full on fury, it cast Predator’s Instinct and attacked the Magister, but could not kill it. At this stage, both of our dice were rather crap. The Shredder cast Tenacity on Absylonia, then went rabid and charged the Magister, also failing to hit him. Absylonia healed herself up to 6, as well as removing most of the damage from her beasts. Due to Ossyan’s gun, she could not charge, so instead advanced to the middle, then teleported towards the back of his control zone with two transfers and just barely managing to engage a Mage Hunter to get +4 DEF against shooting. The Angelius killed the Assasin with a boosted attack to free up the Ravagore, which then had an aimed boosted shot into an Archer next to Ossyan, killing the Archer and setting Ossyan on fire. The Deathstalker finally remembered that she was a DEATHstalker and moved over closer to my control zone, killing a Stormfall Archer in the left group, moving into the zone with its Swift Hunter move, then missing the second one. We stayed 2-0, but Abbie was rather safe as barely any elf was unengaged and she felt safe at DEF 20 in melee.

I feel that this was the moment where my opponent made a mistake, as he sent the last few Mage Hunter Strike Force soldiers into melee with Absylonia and the Angelius instead of sacrificing the one who engaged her by moving him out of melee. As he could only move the unit leader to hit her, he could not really hurt her and she kept the DEF bonus. Ossyan (who had lost his fire token on a 1) moved out of melee, taking a bit of damage, then shot her and actually hit her, but I shunted the damage to the Scythean to punish it for failing to kill Ossyan. The remainder of the force could not do much damage, though the Archers still valiantly chipped away at my heavies. The Magister pummelled Zuriel some more. 2-0 and I had a matchball.

I leeched some fury, then had the Shredder frenzy and finally murder the Magister. Zuriel still did not frenzy, so the Shepherd moved over to take the fury off, then Zuriel went in and killed most of the remaining elves with fire sprays. Absylonia still didn’t remember Predator’s Instinct, so needed all her attacks after casting Psycho Surgery to kill the two elves in melee with her. I hope it will be a lesson to me. In the words of Homer Simpson: Es mi dia primero. Fortunately, the Scythean had no such problems and a boosted attack (now with MAT8 as Absylonia finally managed to kill something) later, Ossyan was very flat and very dead.

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Weekly update: Suffer the Emperor’s Wrath!

I finally got round to paint some models again this week after not really mustering the enthusiasm for the last couple of weeks. In fact, I think I have actually put off painting stuff to do my taxes instead! Nevertheless, I managed to get some models started this week and even completed one, this Terminator Chaplain for my Veteran Company project.

I was always a bit unhappy by the fact that Librarians and Chaplains in Terminator Armour are unable to get a second melee weapon as they have a Storm Bolter which they can only swap for a Combi-Bolter. Fortunately, the new Blood Angels codex features several Relics that can replace either a ranged or melee weapon, so that would work. First, I wanted to give him Baal’s Fury, a master-crafted, non-overheating Plasma Pistol, which sounded great in theory. I even found a cool looking Plasma Pistol on the Sanguinary Guard sprue I had in my bitsbox. However, when I glued it on the arm, I noticed that Terminators have really thick arms so the Plasma Pistol looked tiny by comparison. I then tried a Plasma Gun instead, but that looked too big to be a pistol. So it was back to the drawing board. With Baal’s Fury out, I had a look at the remaining Relics and found Valour’s Edge, a Power Sword with AP2. Looking at the Sanguinary Guard sprue, I had one Glaive Encarmine left as I gave one guy a Power Fist and it was one of the one-handed ones to boot! Off went the Chaplain’s hand and on went the Glaive Encarmine! While I was working on that, I also got hold of a few extra purity seals and a winged blood drop brooch I put on his tabard. So there you go.

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In the game, he can switch between either having 4 S4 AP2 or 4 S6 AP4 attacks, depending on whether he is fighting Marines/Terminators or vehicles/light infantry. I am not too happy about S4 attacks per se, in the case of Blood Angels they are OK though, as they have Furious Charge, so S5 on the charge. As a Chaplain, he also gives the important re-rolls in round 1 of each combat for maximum rock´n´roll. He was originally intended for Apocalypse, but I might give him a go with some Assault Terminators in a Redeemer or Crusader, even if Terminators and Land Raiders are still overcosted in my opinion.

I had five games with my Blood Angels this week, four over the weekend in Nommern and one yesterday. I ran my Blood Angels list from this article with some slight modifications in Nommern, mainly I dropped a Scout and some Meltabombs to add the Battle of Sarosh Legacy of Glory upgrade to the Sicaran, giving it Tank Hunter, Interceptor, Skyfire and Night Vision for a turn, which was great because it accounted for a Flyer (or at least a Drop Pod) each game with that combination. It costs 185 points though, so it is rather fairly costed in my opinion. I won all 4 games there, but they were all nailbiters in which I ended up with barely any survivors in the end.

In one game against Ice’s Necrons, I ended up ahead on victory points as we played the mission in which you could only ever have as many Maelstrom cards as objectives you controlled, which meant that he was unable to draw cards as I had him boxed in in his deployment zone. This did cost me most of my army though, so in the end I had the Sicaran left in a ruin with Stealth (Ruins) thanks to my Warlord trait and a lone Scout standing next to it. As this kept me from being tabled, I won 7-2.

Likewise, I lost most of my army against Yann’s Space Wolves, despite massacring most of his army early on. His forces were ground down to two Iron Priests with 4 Iron Wolves each and a unit of Thunderwolves with all Stormshields, but I just bounced off their saves for 3 straight rounds, then Murderface dropped in and started rolling up my army as they were all locked in melee. In the end, it was Murderface and 2 empty Drop Pods versus Lemartes with 2 Death Company and 2 empty Drop Pods, so I jumped away from Murderfang until the game ended, winning on Maelstrom points.

In the third game, I lucked out against Patrick’s Chaos Marines when my Flamer unit boiled 4 Terminators in one go and Lemartes single-handedly tanked 7 Heldrake wounds. He was also using a Flying Daemon Prince for the first time and wanted to test Tzeentch psychic powers, so he had an expensive model that did not really contribute to the battle before being caught in a crossfire between the Sicaran and Baal.

The final game in Nommern was against Dominic’s Tyranids with a Hierodule and I ended up killing all of them apart from the Hierodule, which murdered a unit per turn, but couldn’t reach the people hiding on the roofs of buildings, netting me another Maelstrom points win.

My game yesterday was against Baso’ Necron army and of course he had a Decurion detachment too. Seriously, two games in and I hate that thing already. Sure, there are some issues with having to buy certain units in weird combinations as formations, but having a general 4+ Resurrection Protocol for everything, including Wraiths and Spyders is just dumb. In a continuation of my last games, I ended up being reduced to a few scattered survivors and more Maelstrom points than my opponent. I did however make two really really dumb tactical mistakes, one being that I moved my Sanguinary Guard forward too far, letting them be charged by the Wraiths who proceded to lock them in combat for six turns and killing most of them. I failed to kill the Spyder for three turns running with 12 Krak greandes per turn, which meant that the Wraiths had access to Resurrection Protcol for far longer than they should have, but if I had shown some restraint, I could have shot then combi-charged the Wraiths to wipe them out faster. The second mistake was to swing the Death Company round to charge two Tomb Blades that had flown behind my army, rather than charging into the Warriors ahead. This put them out of position and let Baso put a Monolith blast right into them, killing 6. Speaking of Monoliths, he had two of them and my army decided to have a fail day in terms of melta shots, needing 10 close range shots to kill the first one and a whopping 13 on the second one. I also Seized the Initiative that game and am not sure I would have won without that, even if I failed to kill the Monoliths early on.

I will post my thoughts on my list and how to evolve it later this week.

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Mad, bad and dangerous to know: Using Renegades and Heretics in a Chaos army

As you all know by now, I am a bit of a hobby butterfly, moving from one project to another, always looking for that perfect army that I like both on the field and in the background as well. I have some large armies that I do not plan to get rid off anytime soon, such as my 17.000 points of Eldar or 15.500 points of Blood Angels, but some smaller armies come and go or end up taking new directions as time goes by.

Chaos has always been one of my favourite armies, but for some reasons I have never taken it to the same extreme as with the others, rather building several self-contained lists that I can combine if needed. I had an Iron Warriors army in 3rd edition, the epitome of cheese at the time, but I sold that only a few months ago to give them a new loving home. Then I started 4th and 5th edition with my ‘Everyone infiltrates’ Alpha Legion list, which has taken a backseat as it is simply not very competitive at the moment. Right now, I am mostly rocking the Plague Riders, my Nurgle army.

When I began my Alpha Legion list, it had the option to include Cultists, an option that then vanished before coming back in the current codex. So I already had quite a few Cultists models, in fact I used House Delaque minis for Necromunda as there were no official models at the time. With the new edition (or rather the old one as 6th is a thing of the past), I did a swap deal with a Dark Angels player, so we bought two boxes of Dark Vengeance, then traded the respective halves to each other so I had the Chaos contents of two boxes and he the Dark Angels contents. This added another 40 Cultists to my collection, but the thing is that Cultists are not all that great in the current book, mainly because they pay 10 points for a useless Champion with victim stats and another point each if they want to buy a lasgun, so you end up paying 5-6 points for a weaker version of the Guardsman, who is slightly overcosted to start with.

Fortunately, the guys at Forgeworld totally have our backs and in the amazing Imperial Armour 13, they supply a list for Cultists armies that is much better than the paltry single entry in the Chaos Space Marines codex. In fact, this book is so amazingly cool that it should be shown to all GW codex writers every morning just so they see how wrong they are. Heck, it is twice the page number for the same price, with better pictures and much better background, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, what does it offer?

First of all, it offers a complete FOC chart that can ally with other Chaos forces as Battle Brothers. As you are now free to match detachments from multiple armies, this means that you can easily combine them with Chaos Marines, representing an uprising receiving unexpected reinforcements or a Marine warband bringing along their cannon fodder, or Daemons, representing the Cultists catching the eye of a powerful Daemon and opening a Warp Rift to unleash hell.

In addition, they are cheap, dirt cheap in fact. A single Renegade Infantry Squad costs 30 points for 10 guys with the option of 10 more (20 if your Arch Demagogue is a Master of the Horde, more on that later) for the same price. As 3-5 Squads make a single Platoon, which is a Troops choice, you can end up with between 30 and 150 guys in a single FOC slot, all for the modest sum of 90-450 points. They also pay no extra points to swap their Autopistol and Knife for a Lasgun, Shotgun or Autogun, so they end up costing half of what regular Cultists cost. Granted, they are only WS and BS2, but who cares with those numbers? It is possible to increase them to WS and BS3 for a token sum, however, I would not do that as adding another 10 points per squad (regardless of models in the unit) defeats the purpose of bringing so much chaff to the table.

Another asset is the Arch Demagogue, the compulsory HQ choice. He comes with 4 assistants in a command squad, but is not forced to stay with them as he has the Independent Character rule. And I would keep him away from them, as 4 guys without armour make a crappy bodyguard. If he is the Warlord, he can choose a Devotion and they are the real moneymakers for him, as you can tailor your army based on that choice. For example, a Master of the Horde allows Renegade Squads to be 30 strong, as well as returning them back to the game on a 5+ if a complete squad of 15+ is wiped out. A Heretek Magus has better armour and toughness and opens access to Defilers and other vehicles, a Rogue Witch is, surprisingly, a Psyker who gives access to more Psykers, and so forth. The ones I like best are the Mutant Overlord, who gets a small, but useful Mutation, as well as letting you pick Mutants as Troops and buy a single unit of Chaos Spawn and the Revolutionary who gets a free covenant (see below) and Zealot.

Finally, as lowly Cultists, they do not gain real Chaos Marks, instead having access to Covenants. A Covenant is bought by a character or champion at a flat fee and adds a bonus to every member of his unit. Those bonuses are quite good, with Nurgle granting FNP 6+, Slaanesh Fleet, Khorne Shred in the first round of each melee and Tzeentch something I have forgotten right now, which might be because that one is actually not that good. As they are not Marks, they can be combined in a unit by having an Arch Demagogue join a unit with a different Covenant, giving the unit both bonuses. But even without double-dipping, paying a mere 10 points flat per unit is a great way of adding a lot of ‘uump!’ to a unit. An Arch Demagogue’s Covenant also adds more units to be used in the army.

This shows how elegant this list really is in terms of design. Choose a theme (Dark Mechanicus, hordes, mutants, elite soldiers) and get new options by choosing the matching devotion. Then add a god and you get even more options based on who your Arch Demagogue is aligned with. So easy and yet so cool. Depending on what options you select for your Arch Demagogue, the army will be wildly different, which really reflects a chaotic rabble of Renegades brought together and held together by a single charismatic leader. Two thumbs up for rules matching fluff!

So, having said that, I want to talk about what I would take to add some mass to my Nurgle army.

Renegade Command Squad: 4 Disciples with Lasguns, Arch Demagogue with Power Axe, Refractor Field, Mutant Overlord, Covenant of Nurgle: 95 points

Enforcer: Power Axe, Combat Drug Injector: 45 points

  • The Commissar equivalent adds +1 to the unit’s Leadership role (yes, units roll d6+4 the first time they take a test and keep that as their Ld score for the whole game) and has a Combat Drug Injector which gives his unit Rage, so 2 bonus attacks for charging.

50 Mutant Rabble: Laspistols and Close Combat Weapons. Mutant Champion with Covenant of Khorne: 170 points

  • Yes, you read that right, 50 guys for the price of a Tactical Squad. By adding the Arch Demagogue and the Enforcer, they gain Rage, Fearless, Hatred and FNP 6+ to go with their Shred from the Covenant of Khorne, so this is a unit that can potentially dish out 211 attacks, re-rolling to hit and wound in the first round. Granted, it is unwieldy and rather slow, but it is a dirt cheap unit that must be dealt with or it will overrun even elites.

Infantry Platoon: 3 units of 20 each, one with a Demagogue with Covenant of Nurgle (one squad per platoon gets one for free as he is the leader of the whole platoon). One unit has Lasguns and two Cultists have Grenade Launchers, one Lasguns and two flamers and the last one melee weapons and pistols and two flamers: 230 points

  • Another 60 bodies to form a second wave.

1 Blight Drone: 150 points

  • Available as my Arch Demagogue has the Covenant of Nurgle.

Field Artillery Battery: 2 Heavy Quad Launchers: 60 points

  • Insane value for points as you get a copy of a Thunderfire Cannon without the Techmarine to go with it at a third of the rate. I have two old ones with Squat crew, so they can be my Mutant gunners.

That would be my first draft of a Renegade detachment, leaving of course lots of slots open for more units. Right now, this brings over 130 bodies to a Chaos army, adding some cut-price artillery with the Blight Drone and Quad Launchers as well. I could scrounge through my bits boxes to see if I have any spare Guard tanks to add, I believe I still have a Leman Russ there and there is a Hydra languishing on my painting table too.

Right now, this clocks in at 810 points, with the Blight Drone being the most expensive single model. So I could add 1190 points of Nurgle Marines to that and see how it fares on the table. The biggest drawback is the sheer number of models you need for it though. I have thrawled eBay to find as many Delaque as possible, so I think I could fill the complete Infantry Platoon with them interspersed with plastic Cultists, though I want to keep the plastic ones for the Mutant Rabble. I am considering buying some Beastmen Gors to add to the Cultists with Pistol and Sword to fill the Mutant unit.

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Weekly update with 2 40k Battle Reports

Hello everyone for another exciting installment of this blog. This week, I am going to talk about the painting I have managed to do, as well as writing about two games of 40k I played on Sunday against a Tyranid army. So if you wish to skip ahead to that, it will be after the first two sets of photographs.

But starting on the painting front, I slowed down a bit this week, as the wife had more work than usual, meaning that I had to spend more time with the dogs and running the household than usually. Nevertheless, I am still on track for my objective of painting at least one unit and one character per week. In fact, I had already accomplished that objective last Sunday when I finished the Tactical Arcanist Corps and Captain Kara Sloan. But in addition, I also managed to paint the stuff I ordered last week, namely a Centurion Heavy Warjack and Commander Dalin Sturgis.

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The Centurion is the bastard lovechild of a Khadoran and Cygnaran Warjack, in fact it has more in common with a Khadoran Warjack than a traditional Cygnaran one. Compared to the gold standard of Cygnar’s heavies, the Ironclad, the Centurion has one less SPD, MAT and DEF, making it the slowest Warjack in the faction and as fast as a Rhulic Dwarf or Man O’War Stormtrooper, if fast is an appropriate term here. Dropping to MAT6 is also rather bad, as it means that hitting DEF13+ might call for a boosted roll and thus spending a focus point you can’t invest to buy more attacks or boost damage rolls.

So why should one invest in a Centurion then? First of all, its reduced DEF is not that much of a disadvantage, as even the Ironclad is hit on average dice by below-average troops and elites hardly miss either one. However, it gains an additional point of ARM in exchange, putting it on the same level as the Stormwall colossal, and astute viewers have probably noted the gigantic shield it lugs around. As this shield gives it the Shield weapon quality (paging Captain Obvious), it gains another ARM bonus on top of its increased ARM, making it the best-armoured Warjack in all of Cygnar. If you add Arcane Shield, its ARM is in fact the second-highest in the game behind the Khadoran clamjacks and those can easily be dropped to ARM17. So in essence, it is a brick that can tank hits all day long.

Furthermore, the shield also houses a Polarity Field generator that it can activate as an action (so no running, charging or attacking in the same round) to prevent models in its front arc from charging it. As it is so hard to damage, most models require the boosted damage roll that charging gives you, so being unable to charge it makes it even more difficult to scratch it. It is thus excellent for scenario play, where it can park next to a flag or in a control zone, threaten free strikes with its POW19 spear with Reach and just stand there looking mean. Lastly, it works well with eHaley, as she can move it with Telekinesis and also gives +2 movement to the ‘jack she bonds with, thus making it as fast as a regular Cygnaran Warjack. But then again, eHaley is the resident turd-polisher who makes everything good.

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The second model I painted is Commander Dalin Sturgis, who I have talked about in great detail last week, so I won’t go into him here.

This week, I am going to paint Gastone Crosse, a Mercenary Journeyman Warcaster who wields a handcannon with ROF 2, so he can put two boostable POW12 shots into people at a reasonable rate. This week might also be the week where I finally get round to painting my unit of Sword Knights that you could see in the background of my painting queue for the last couple of months. For some reasons, I could never muster the enthusiasm to get started with them. However, I also got some models I ordered from Forgeworld, a Sicaran Battle Tank and a Hell Blade Chaos Fighter and I will probably paint them first. For more information on the Sicaran, see below. I love that little bugger already.

Welcome back for those who have skipped the painting update to go straight for the battle reports. Given that a new Blood Angels codex will be in the shops this weekend, I thought it would be nice to give them a spin with the old one. I have recently re-read some of the old Blood Angels novels and novellas and used the army a couple of weeks ago against Guard, so I thought I should run it once more before the new book is there. We decided to play 2.000 points, using Maelstrom missions, because they are cool. I ran the following:

Librarian (Warlord): Level 2

Sanguinary Priest

10 Assault Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant has an Infernus Pistol, Rhino

10 Assault Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant has a Power Fist, Jump Packs

10 Tactical Marines: 1 Plasma gun, 1 Missile Launcher

10 Tactical Marines: 1 Plasma gun, 1 Missile Launcher

Baal Predator: Assault Cannon, 2 Heavy Bolter sponsons, Storm Bolter

Baal Predator: Assault Cannon, 2 Heavy Bolter sponsons, Storm Bolter

Sicaran Battle Tank: 2 Heavy Bolter sponsons

Storm Raven: Typhoon Missile Launcher, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon

Storm Raven: Twin-Linked Assault Cannon, Twin-Linked Multi-Melta

Imperial Bunker with Void Shield Generator (1 shield) and Comms Relay

The plan was to have a strong centre with the two Tactical squads, with the Sanguinary Priest to add FNP and Furious Charge for a possible counterattack. The Assault Squads should be fast Objective Secured units (if rumours are true, they won’t be Troops anymore in the new book, which would be a shame) to rack up points quickly. The tanks and flyers provided fire support with multiple assault cannons or the vastly superior version that is the accelerator cannon. I bought the bunker to have access to a Comms Relay on the cheap and then I noticed that it could receive a Void Shield, so I thought ‘Why not?’ and it kinda rocked.

I played against Dominik, whose Tyranids I already faced in Nommern with my Dark Eldar. He had actually organised the big Forgeworld order that included my Sicaran and Hell Blade and he wanted to test his Barbed Hierodule, which is why I decided not to run my Dark Eldar again, as they should be able to kill it in one round of shooting on average dice, which would be a silly way to celebrate the first game of a new model, especially an expensive Forgeworld one. So another reason to run Blood Angels.

He ran something like this (not a 100% sure):

Hive Tyrant: 2 Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms, Wings

Malanthrope

4 Ripper Swarms: Deep Strike

5 Ripper Swarms: Deep Strike

Toxocrene (?), the funky new tentacle beast that can fart poison clouds and has Poisoned 2+ with Instant Death on a 6, in a Spore Pod

Hive Crone

Carnifex: 2 Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms

Barbed Hierodule

Living Artillery Formation:

3 Tyranid Warriors with 1 Barbed Strangler

3 Biovores

Exocrine

So lots of monsters, including one Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, some cheap troops to score objectives, a Drop Pod with a poisonous Monstrous Creature (MC henceforth) and some barrages to pin me.

In game 1, we rolled up mission 4, where players cannot discard Tactical Objective cards that read ‘Secure Objective X’ and players can steal their opponent’s ‘Secure Objective X’ cards if they control the objective at the end of their turn. So, for example, either you control objective 1 in your turn and get the point, or I get to control it in my next turn to steal your card and get the point instead. It is a great mission as it encourages aggressive play, because you simply can’t hold on to a card for a later turn if your opponent is near the objective on that card. It also punishes gunlines really hard, and they deserve all the punishment in the world. Of course, I was slightly faster than he was, as I had non-flying units with a 12” move, but he had the tougher units and his access to deep-striking units meant that he could also grab objectives easily enough.

I deployed as seen below, forming an anvil on the left with the bunker full of Tactical Marines and my two characters, the second Tactical Squad next to it in a ruin with the Sicaran and one Baal next to them. The right was covered by my two Assault Squads and a Baal. He deployed his formation and Flyrant behind the (inactive) Firestorm Redoubt and his Malanthrope, Carnifex, Hierodule and Hive Crone behind the Aegis Line in the centre. My Warlord trait was Move Through Cover (ruins) and Stealth (ruins), he had -1 to my reserve rolls, which made me happy for buying a Comms Relay. My Librarian had Prescience, Perfect Timing and Omniscience, the Flyrant had Catalyst, Dominion and Paroxysm. I had first turn and he did not manage to steal the initiative.

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Turn 1

I spread out a bit to score the first couple of objective points, then cast Ignore Cover on his unit and failed to cast Prescience on 5 dice. The missile launcher then predictably missed its Ignore Cover shot. Nevertheless, the other squad’s missile launcher, the Baal Predator and the Sicaran combine fire on the Malanthrope and it fails a predictable 4 out of 8 2+ cover saves. Predictable because it did the same thing the last game, in fact I was three-for-three for killing Malanthropes in turn 1 in 2+ cover at this point. The rest of the army does very little, but dropping the Malanthrope kills his Synapse in the centre and this will cost him. I get First Blood and 2 objective points.

In his first turn, his Carnifex decides to stumble forward, then refuses to shot anyone or run somewhere because of Instinctive Behaviour (that table should force you to run if not within charge range, as it utterly neutered the Carnifex that game). The Hierodule swung to the right/ his left to shoot up an Assault squad, but they went to ground behind a forest and got off lightly. It also ran on top of an objective instead of firing its second gun as I could otherwise snatch that point next turn. The Flyrant destroyed the Baal Predator on the right. The Crone flew to the left in order to land on an objective next turn if necessary. The Biovores hit, but failed to kill any Marines as my dice were hot. The Exocrine missed or ran, I can’t remember. So he got some objective points too, but his centre was looking bleak.

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Turn 2

One Storm Raven came in, one failed even with a re-roll. It flew up to hurt the Crone and hopefully drop it with the help of the Sicaran and the unit in the bunker. The Sicaran also used the fact that it is a Fast Vehicle to drive onto the objective the Crone wanted to grab to steal it and still shoot it in the face (in hindsight, it did not really matter as it is a flyer). On the right, my Assault Squad disembarked (I had combat squaded them, but put both units in the Rhino because you now can. Actually, I am not 100% if Blood Angels already can but I assumed), one Combat Squad jumping over the wall to take the objective next to the Hierodule (he had been able to run within 3”, but not far enough to step on it) as they were Objective Secured and I had also drawn a card to secure it. The other Assault Squad was lying in the dirt, but in range to snap shot the Flyrant. I cast Prescience, but Perfect Timing was dispelled. I had a go at shooting the Crone, but it survived on one wound. On the other side, I actually managed to wound the Flyrant once and it hit the ground for a second wound.

On his turn, he dropped the Spore next to the bunker and the Toxicrene disembarked. The Hive Crone also swung towards the bunker and a unit of Rippers deep-struck next to the Sicaran to grab that objective marker as he had drawn the objective that forced him to control 3 markers. The Hierodule advanced towards one Assault Combat Squad and the Flyrant took flight again, circling towards the centre. The Carnifex again failed its Ld-check and despondently stomped another 6” towards the nearest Baal Predator, that however was still out of charge range. The Exocrine stayed put as it had multiple targets in range, as did the Biovores. In his shooting phase, the Biovores missed, even with a re-roll of the scatter die and created one mine next to the forward Assault Squad. That squad then lost 4 guys to the Hierodule, thankfully it was behind an Aegis to have at least some survivors. The Flyrant bounced off my armour for the most, killing only one Assault Marine. The Exocrine also failed to do much, though it forced me to go to ground behind the Aegis Line. On the flank, the Crone actually managed a single hit on the Storm Raven despite Jinking. I think he should not have banked to the centre, but flown over the Storm Raven to Vector Strike it into oblivion, but hindsight is 20/20. That hit was cancelled by the Void Shield, which would have otherwise completely blanked the Toxicrene and Spore, as their weapons could not glance it. The Spore was still unable to do much as the nearest model was my AV14 bunker and it was S5, but Poison Cthulhu did kill a Marine in the ruins with its Poison Cloud. However, the Tyranids could not score a lot of points again, while I had been racking them up so far, so we were wondering if there was actually a point continuing the game at this stage, but we decided to play another turn.

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Turn 3:

So we took a third turn and I got the card telling me to destroy 1 unit for 1 VP, 3 to 5 for d3 VP or 6+ for d3+3 VP. A quick calculation later and I redeployed my Assault Marines to kill the Hive Tyrant on two wounds with the help of the second Storm Raven that had arrived from reserves. This would be my first kill. The Sicaran would unload into the Ripper Swarm in front of him, having 6 twin-linked S7 shots should take care of 4 bases, even without the 9 Heavy Bolter shots. Kill 2. The Storm Raven should drop the Crone, whilst the Tactical Squad with the two characters would charge out of the bunker to kill the Toxicrene and perhaps the Spore for kills 3-5. Kill 6 would be more difficult, but I had some shots left to kill of the Carnifex if necessary. Anyways, we misread the profile of the Spore because the layout slid between the statline and the stat numbers the line below, so we thought it had T6 and a 3+, whilst it only has T5 and a 4+, so I actually spent too much fire on it and only managed to kill off 5 units in the end, leaving the Carnifex alive. However, as I got a 3 for the VP and some more points for Objectives, I had a significant lead and more importantly still a functioning army, whereas he was down to the Hierodule, the Carnifex on a single wound and out of synapse, the Exocrine and the Biovores plus Warriors, nothing which would have been able to deal with two Storm Ravens beyond the Hierodule and that would have been my next target, so we called it there.

Second game

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There are unfortunately no pictures beyond deployment for the second game, as it was getting a bit late and it was such a nail-biter that I forgot to take pictures in between turns. We rolled up another Maelstrom mission and got the one where both sides draw hidden objective cards, only revealing the ones they scored. We also rotated the deployment zones, playing from left to right instead of front to back. I had the Warlord trait that gives +1 to Seize the Initiative and re-roll on reserves, but he had the insane Master of Ambush, that let him infiltrate his Tyrant, Hierodule, Carnifex and Malanthrope (‘Non-vehicle units’ includes all Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures because of course a Hierodule is stealthier than a Land Speeder or a Vyper). You can see the deployment above.

Crucially, we did not change the location of the objective markers, meaning that he had 4 close to his zone and I only 2 close to mine (my mistake as he had asked to change them and I had talked him out of it, so shame on me 1).

I then spiked a ‘6’ and Seized the Initiative because that’s how jammy I am. I am not going to do a play-by-play, because honestly I can’t remember the game that well (I wrote the first part of the article on Tuesday, now it is Sunday, so a week after the game), but I would rather like to call the following A Comedy of Errors.

Tactical mistake 1: I poorly deployed my Bunker

In game 1, the Void Shield on the Bunker had made half my army immune to his fire, as nothing but the Hive Crone could actually penetrate it. So I should have built on that and deployed it in my frontline, where it could have forced his Crone or Hierodule to deal with it, as they were the only units not needing 6s to glance it. Instead, I got too worried about the fact that he could infiltrate and put the bunker in the back of my deployment zone, where it stopped him from infiltrating behind my lines, but meant that I never benefitted from the Void Shield.

Tactical mistake 2: I decided to Seize just for the hell of it

I had deployed defensively and this meant that when I seized, I was unable to do much to actually do damage to him, given that I deployed far enough to negate him his first round of shooting, but thereby also negating my first round of shooting. So as my fire did not amount to much, it was a waste of a turn and his return fire was more efficient than it otherwise would have been if he had started playing.

Tactical mistake 3: I then decided to remain in my deployment zone instead of scoring

Admittedly, his infiltration blob with the 4 Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures was impressive, but I should nevertheless have put more pressure on them, rather than backing away from them, especially as I would have to get behind them at some point as two of my objective cards where located there. Instead I relied on my Sicaran and a few paltry missiles to down them and even though they did indeed do some damage, they did not manage to kill a single creature.

Tactical mistake 4: I drip-fed my units to the Hierodule

The Hierodule started advancing on my lines and its first shot killed a complete combat squad, leaving just the Librarian and Sanguinary Priest alive. At that stage, I should have noticed that I would have to do something drastic soon to kill it before it could wipe out half my army piecemeal, but I instead dropped the two characters into another combat squad and tried to ping it to death with meltashots and the Sicaran, doing very little to it. The turn after it, killed off another combat squad before I finally managed to double charge it. However, I failed to cast Prescience on 6 dice, meaning that I could not kill it cleanly in one go, letting the Carnifex get into the combat. In the end, I wiped out both the Carnifex and the Hierodule, but they managed to drag down my Librarian (warlord), the Sanguinary Priest, a Tactical Combat Squad and all my jump pack Assault Marines bar the Sergeant. As he had the Kingslayer card, this did not only cost me half my army, but he also got a lot of VPs in one fell swoop.

Tactical mistake 5: I misplaced my flyers

Both my flyers turned up on turn 2 and I immediately and without thinking dropped them opposite the Hive Crone, arguing that I should be able to drop it between them and the two Baal Predators Assault Cannons, giving me a VP for Big Game Hunter and air superiority. Of course, Dominik’s dice went hot that moment and the Crone jinked hard enough to survive on one wound, after absorbing half my fire. He could have actually punished me harder that moment if he had then used a Vector Strike to drop one of the flyers, but he instead banked away to help kill the Sicaran. So I decided to compound my error and fly after it, downing it, but in turn taking one of my Storm Ravens out of the game for two turns as it was out of position. The other one flew towards the centre, which meant that it took some useless pot shots and then also was out of position.

The result was that both of them had to hover to get back in the game and both ended up taking damage as a result, which later led to their destruction.

Tactical mistake 6: I neglected his Exocrine to take impossible shots at his Malanthrope

The Exocrine spent the whole game taking potshots at one of my Tactical Squads and a Baal Predator behind an Aegis Line without doing much real damage as my dice were hot and as a result I did not spend much thought on it, rather focusing my fire on his Malanthrope that was in a forest where it had a 3+ cover save. I did manage to put it down, but only after raining a ton of fire into it, fire that could have killed the Exocrine three times over.

The result of all these mistakes, especially my tactical indecision at the beginning, was that I could not keep up with him in terms of victory points, meaning that I had to go for the tabling, but did not come to that conclusion early enough. So despite a mad scramble starting on turn to kill off all his units, it came down to one wound remaining on the Exocrine that I could simply not remove in time, giving Dominik a deserved 14-12 win, because he concentrated on the mission whereas I was running around like a headless chicken getting hung up on killing his Crone and Malanthrope instead of going for objectives.

 

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Weekly updates, last week’s games and painting and my armies for Make War not Love V

Hello again. I am going to be brief this week, but there will be lots of nice pictures to compensate for it. I had two games last week. One was with my Dark Eldar against a combined army of Imperial Knights (three of them in 2000 points) and Marines. The mission was Purge the Xenos and as expected, I lost. It was actually a close game where I wiped out all of his army except for one Knight on one hull point, but as I was unable to take that last hull point, I lost 12-16 as my force was handing out kill points left, right and centre. I guess we need more Haywire grenades next time as those actually did their job. None the less, it was a fun game and enjoyable to be the underdog for once.

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I didn’t take a lot of pictures as you can see. The highlight of the game for me was rolling the Warlord trait that gives Move Through Cover (Ruins) to my entire army, letting me park all my tanks on the second floor of various buildings where the Knights could not reach them.

In the second game, I played 2500 points of Blood Angels against Imperial Guard with an Imperial Knight. The Knight mauled my forces and took out two full units of Assault Marines on its own, but it turned out that even just three Death Company troopers and a Reclusiarch can single-handedly murder the centre of a Guard gunline. He actually managed to be more mobile than usual, thus scoring more objecitve points, but still not as many as a fully mobile army. I am looking forward to the new book with the Sons of Baal. I also used the three Drop Pods I have left from my abandoned Drop Pods army project, dropping a Death Company and a Death Company Dreadnought in turn 1 and 5 Sternguard Veterans with meltaguns in turn 2. I had the Warlord Trait that lets three units Infiltrate, using that to feint to the right and overwhelm that side. He again jammed his Knight by putting it behind other units, thus slowing it down.

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On the painting front, I painted a second unit of Grotesques, based on a box of Vampire Counts Crypt Horrors and two Rat Ogres, plundering a Talos sprue I had in my bitzbox for parts. I hope they look sufficiently coppled together and like the crimes against Nature they are.

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The following models were all painted by the talented Christian as part of my Convergence of Cyriss army that I hope to take to the field in the next couple of weeks.

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The model that started it all for me. Aurora, Numen of Aerogenesis. The assassin warcaster of the Convergence, she gets bonuses if attacking the same model as a Clockwork Angel. Her spells and feat emphasize her mobility.

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Clockwork Angels. Light skirmishers with wings, so they can swoop over enemy models to get to softer targets in the second line. They also have a decent ranged attack on their staves.

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A Monitor Heavy Vector. He can fling buzzsaw blades with his left arm to do ranged damage or get there with his right claw.

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A Galvaniser Light Vector. At only 3 points, it is one of the cheapest Warjacks. It can do some damage with its buzzsaw, but is also able to repair damage Vectors, heavy infantry or even Warcasters.

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Forgemaster Syntherion, the Convergence’s other Warjack-oriented caster. He has three upkeep spells he can cast and his special rule lets him upkeep them without having to spend focus, so he is quite good at buffing Vectors.

Next weekend is the fifth edition of Make War not Love and I am looking forward to it. I hope to get many games in, actually aiming to get to six or seven to see when I actually start feeling sick playing 40k. I am going to bring those two armies, trying to keep it casual and light.

Army 1 : DARK ELDAR Snakes on paper planes.

This is the newest version of the Dark Eldar list. I kicked some unnecessary wargear and the Incubi to add more Warriors on paper planes. The Incubi were nice against Terminators and other 2+ save units in theory, but given that everyone of these units seems to have an Invulnerable save too, they were not that useful and I rather have more guns instead. This means that the only remaining close combat units are the two Grotesques units, but I think they are tough enough to get there and deal with most average units in assault or slow down enemy assault units. They probably won’t stand up to enemy elite assaulters, but the rest of the army is there to shoot those to size.

I come more and more to the conclusion that it is best to simply overload the opponent’s guns with lots and lots of fragile units. Given time, they will all die, but time is not something this army gives you.

Codex Dark Eldar Detachment+

Haemonculus: Warlord,The Armour of Misery¸ Scissorhands: 95 points

Archon: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 140 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Raider with Dark Lance: 115 points

10 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Raider with Dark Lance and Splinter Racks: 170 points

Venom: 2 Splinter Cannons: 65 points

Raider: Dark Lance: 60 points

Ravager: 3 Dark Lances: 125 points

Ravager: 3 Dark Lances: 125 points

Ravager: 3 Disintegrator Cannons: 110 points

Coven Formation: Grotesquerie

Haemonculus: Scissorhand: 80 points

4 Grotesques: Raider with Dark Lance: 200 points

5 Grotesques: Raider with Dark Lance: 235 points

Army 2: CRIMSON SLAUGHTER The Plague Riders

My old faithful Nurgle army. This time all purely taken from the Crimson Slaughter list without any shenanigans involving Daemon or Ork allies or multiple detachments. Just pure and simple fast aggression with some Cultists as back-up.

Combined Arms Detachment: Crimson Slaughter

Biker Lord of Nurgle: Power Fist, Lightning Claw, Sigil of Corruption, Daemonheart, Blight Grenades: 200 points

Sorcerer (lvl3) on Bike: Force Stave, Sigil of Corruption, The Balestar of Mannon, Sigil of Corruption, Melta Bombs: 175 points

5 Plague Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Combi-Melta, Rhino: 185 points

5 Plague Marines: 2 Meltaguns, Combi-Melta, Rhino: 185 points

5 Plague Marines: 2 Plasmaguns, Combi-Plasma, Rhino: 195 points

20 Cultists: Mark of Nurgle, 2 Flamers: 140 points

5 Bikers of Nurgle: 2 Meltaguns, Champion has Meltabombs: 165 points

5 Bikers of Nurgle: 2 Meltaguns: 160 points

Heldrake: Baleflamer: 170 points

Vindicator: 120 points

Forgefiend: Hades Autocannons: 175 points

Maulerfiend: 125 points

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