Fluffy battle report of a recent 1500 point game I had as part of our ongoing Narrative League. It was my Emperor’s Children Chaos Space Marines against Derek’s Space Wolves. I’ve written this from the point of view of Derek’s Venerable Dreadnought, with particular focus on his Vindicare Assassin that can’t seem to do anything right.
Ulf was restless. He has fought for the Emperor for centuries as an Astartes of the VI Legion, the Space Wolves. And even in death, he still serves, entombed within a Venerable Dreadnought. After countless battles and innumerable wars, today’s skirmish seemed unremarkable. His assignment in this engagement even less inspiring.
His detachment responded to a distress call from the planet Vogen, which was besieged by Xenos and Heretic invaders. Ulf felt the Space Marines would be best used to strike at the heart of the enemy. Instead his detachment was sent to defend an unremarkable ruin called “SW1”. Reports were that despicable traitors from the Emperor’s Children Legion were advancing on the area. Hardly seemed memorable. Even worse, Ulf was ordered to hold the backfield to prevent flanking. An important tactical role, but he itched for glory and honour.
Ulf watched with a tinge of jealousy as his brothers advanced on Thunderwolves, bikes, and abroad Rhinos. He saw Wolfen advancing on the opposite flank leaving him alone. Well, maybe not as alone as he thought.
His heightened senses alerted him that he was not alone. He couldn’t see it, but he could hear and smell something atop a tall piece of machinery. He was curious why his Battle Leader had not noticed. Or maybe he did.
Ulf shifted cautiously and readied his great axe. He voxed the Battle Leader.
“I am not alone.”
In a terse response, the battle leader merely replied: “It fights for the Emperor too” and terminated the line.
Rather put aback, Ulf focused the oculus sensorium of his suit to discern more about this hidden “ally”. It was well-hidden, but Ulf was experienced enough to recognize an Exitus Rifle, the signature weapon of a Vindicare Assassin.
His younger brethren would consider such a creature to be cowardly. Ulf was more pragmatic, and expected their hidden sniper to contribute.
The din of combat drew Ulf’s attention back to the battle. A Dreadclaw Drop pod descended upon the ruin of a large structure in the centre of the battlefield. Ulf strained to see what was occuring. A unit of Blood Claws, a squad of Incursors, the Chaplain, Wolf Leader, and Librarian all entered the melee. In the midst of the carnage a monstrous figure dominated the melee, laying low the entire squad of Incursors. It was larger than a dreadnought, had a large wingspan, and a terrifying grin. Ulf was sickened by the sight of the Daemon Prince.
Despite its suppressors, Ulf heard the Vindicare Assassin fire at the Daemon. Ulf looked on expectedly, but was disappointed to see a bullet harmlessly impact a ruined wall. He was even more disappointed to see the Daemon Prince dismembering an entire squad of Blood Claws single-handedly.
“I will join the fray!” Ulf voxed to his Battle Leader, preparing to rush towards the fighting.
“Hold position!” Was the brief reply from the Battle Leader. His voice ragged, and the sound of grinding and carnage evident in the background.
Across the battlefield, a fellow dreadnought had taken significant damage from several well-placed meltagun shots. The Daemon Prince emerged from the ruin, and as it flew by, finished the dreadnought with a casual shot from its Warp Bolter. Ulf was incensed.
He looked up unexpectedly at the hidden assassin, willing him to do something, anything.
Another shot was levelled at the Daemon Prince. This one finally striking true, but stopped by the creature’s master-crafted armour. Ulf’s disappointment continued to rise.
He saw the Daemon Prince tear into a squad of Intercessors on the other flank. He wished he was in range to claim vengeance on behalf of his brothers. He would soon have other things to worry about.
In a burst of Warpflame, a unit of Warp Talons tore into reality close to Ulf. He hefted his shield, finally ready to draw heretic blood. To his consternation, the airborne heretics descended upon the hiding place of the Vindicare Assassin. After a brief pause, Ulf charged forward to intervene in the fray.
The sniper was an ineffective fighter, using the butt of his rifle to try to swat away his assailants. Ulf sliced down the Warp Talons, one after another, cleaving his way towards the besieged assassin.
After taking some vicious blows from the enemies lightning claws, the Vindicare Assassin had enough space to draw his Exitus Pistol. If Ulf still had eyes, he would have rolled them because the sniper missed his attackers at point blank range. Moments later, the assassin fell to the swipes of razor-sharp talons.
Ulf finished the last of the intruders. He surveyed the battlefield, overrun with Heretics and unable to spot his brethren. The battle had been lost, but now it was finally time for him to extract some vengeance upon the attackers. He fired up his flamethrower, hefted his axe, and charged at the nearest opponent…
Buckle in for a long post! Here’s a battle report for a battle I had last weekend, including both lists, and at the end, a fluffy “narrative” battle report that has too many circus clichés. Also there is a Mathhammer explosion in the middle explaining how I caused 53 wounds from one unit!
Last weekend marked the start of a Warhammer 40,000 Narrative Crusade Campaign League at XPlanet Games, my friendly local game store (FLGS). We are using a campaign where we fight over territories of Vogen Hive. We are split into 3 teams: Imperial, Chaos, and Xenos.
These narrative games will be a little different: We will be playing the Matched Play Missions from the Nachmund book, and pick secondaries as per matched play rules. But we also pick 3 narrative agendas that potentially help our armies gain experience points.
I was testing a 1500 point Death Guard army for several test games, and found I wasn’t really enjoying it. I decided to bring my 2021 Emperor’s Children army off the shelf and re-tool them and optimize their efficiency.
I spent all 5 requisition points (RP) I was allowed to start the campaign: Gave the Daemon prince the “Glutton for Punishment” warlord trait for -1 damage. Spent two RP to get two relics, the “Raiment Revulsive” and “Remnant of the Maraviglia”. And spent 2 RP to permanently give my Terminator Squad the “Combat Elixirs” upgrade for an additional attack.
Lokhust Heavy Destroyers [9 PL, 165pts] . 3x Lokhust Heavy Destroyer (Gauss Destructor): 3x Gauss Destructor
++ Total: [74 PL, 11CP, 1,500pts]
I’ve gotten ripped apart by Wraiths and Skorpekh destroyers in the past, so I know they are melee threats. I’ve never faced the Novokh dynasty, but I looked them up and it looks like they have a lot of buffs for melee.
Seeing such a melee-heavy list, I was worried my cultists would evaporate really quickly, and thought about changing my strategy. But I decided to run in with the strategy and secondaries I had been thinking about for a few weeks.
We played the mission Recover the Relics from the War Zone Nachmund: Grand Tournament Mission Pack. It has 6 objectives with “Hammer and Anvil” deployment (really far from each other).
Retrieve Nachmund Data
The Long War
Engage on All Fronts
To The Last
I deployed two squads of cultists and my 3 characters deep in my deployment zone trying to hug some cover. Everything else was in deep strike or strategic reserve.
Tyler deployed all of his units, with warriors closely hugging his deployment line to get an early jump on objectives.
Tyler got the first turn, which actually worked out well for me. He moved his Warriors up to grab several objectives, and advanced his Wraiths quickly across the field.
Tyler had some very powerful long-range shooting from his Lokhust Heavy Destroyers and Catacomb Command Barge. But, I had very little on the board. He managed to annihilate 5 cultists.
Tyler had moved up his units enough that he opened a gap on the back of the board. Enough room for my Dreadclaw drop pod to drop in 9” away from a couple of his units. My plan was to drop mid-field and advance one of his warrior squads. The deployed squad would be close enough to my psykers to get buffs. I wasn’t to come into his backfield, but it was an opportunity. I deployed my Melee Noise Marines immediately from the Dread Claw, and took some pot shots at the LMD’s nearby.
With my deep striking unit so far away, I kept my characters hidden and just crept my cultists forward enough to grab another objective. One cultists squad performed the action to complete Retrieve in one quarter.
My Dark Apostle failed his prayer roll. And I was trying to cast Delightful Agonies on my Daemon Price, but somehow my sorcerer rolled Perils, so I had to burn a Command point for nothing.
My noise marines made the 9” charge against his LMD’s, losing one model to overwatch. The Marines weren’t super, and if I hadn’t used Excess of Violence I wouldn’t have had enough wounds to kill off his squad. But, playing The Long War secondary encourages me to aggressively “take” objectives, so I went with it.
I should have summoned a Herald of Slaanesh to be able to perform Psychic Interrogation on turn one, but moved all my characters unnecessarily. Something to do better next time.
End of turn 1: Necrons 0 – Chaos 4
In the top of the 2nd Tyler made some big moves. His Scarabs grabbed an objective, and his Wraiths chopped up 18 of 20 cultists in one squad. Tyler’s warriors destroyed my Noise Marines, which was as an expected trade
Middle of turn 2: Necrons 12 – Chaos 4
On the bottom of turn 2 I made a lot of big moves too.
I didn’t want to have to fight his Wraiths. I would have rather jumped one of his Warrior squads. But, it was one of his To The Last units, and I wanted to deny him those points. So against my better judgment, I let the secondaries dictate my actions.
I dropped my terminators essentially in my deployment zone. I planned to bring them in turn 3, but I had an opportunity to shoot his Command Barge and Scarabs before charging the wraiths. I tried to cast Death Hex on the Scarabs to remove their 4++ invulnerable save, but my psyker whiffed on it. At least he got off Prescience on my Terminators, which would prove to be very useful. I used “The Remnant of the Maraviglia” to buff their shooting. They shot a few melta guns at his Warlord, killed quite a few scarabs, then used Endless Cacophony to shoot twice. Then they charged the Wraiths. What happened next was something I had been Math Hammering in my head, but worked out just as planned.
Here’s my story of death by a thousand cuts! It’s a Mathhammer nightmare:
I charged 10 Terminators with lightning claws and an Icon of Excess into 6 Necron Wraiths. Used Combat Elixirs on the Terminators for extra attack. Death Hex power failed to cast, but Prescience did.
51 attacks hitting on 2’s, re-roll 1’s from nearby Daemon Prince. Death to the False Emperor (DTTFE) triggered extra hits on 4’s!
Wind up with 74 hits.
Then, strength 4 vs toughness 5 means normally wounding on 5’s. Used Veterans of the Long War Strat, so wounding on 4’s, re-rolling everything because of Lightning Claws.
Results in 53 wounds at AP-2!
Opponent failed enough 4++ invulnerable saves and the squad wiped!
I needed A LOT of dice! I’m thinking of getting a dice tower. Or a bucket.
Here’s why DTTFE triggered on 4’s:
Normally 6+. Icon of Excess makes it trigger on 5+. Prescience adds 1 to hit roll, so effectively 4+
To my chagrin, I still hadn’t performed the Psychic Interrogation action.
I also got cheeky and used Tide of Traitors to “re-spawn” the 20 model cultist squad to his backfield and grabbed another Retrieve.
End of turn 2: Necrons 12 – Chaos 16 (including 4 for retrieve)
Tyler had a really strong turn 3: He used “veil” to bring his Skorpehk Destroyers into the fray by the “green objective” that my Terminators just took from his Wraiths. He successfully charged with the Skorpehk’s and annihilated my Terminators. He also destroyed my Dread Claw Drop Pod that was loitering in his deployment zone.
Middle of Turn 3: Necrons 24 – Chaos 16
The back and forth continued. I brought in my Warp Talons near his Skorpehk’s. I had no command points left, but thankfully they made their 9” charge out of deep strike. By this time Tyler had gotten wise to me stacking on DTTFE and used a strat to make me -1 to hit him in melee. My Warp Talons managed to finish off all of the Skorpekh’s. My Deamon prince wounded his commander, but surprisingly, my Dark Apostle finished his commander off.
I brought in a squad of cultists from reserve also into Tyler’s backfrield and grabbed another Retrieve.
I finally summoned a Herald of Slaanesh, and she completed the Psychic Interrogation action on the Necron overlord before it perished.
End of turn 3: Necrons 24 – Chaos 32 (including 8 for Retrieve)
Top of the 4th, Tyler got the full 12 points for primary but wasn’t able to do much else. He took some potshots at my loitering cultists, and took a lot of bodies.
Middle of turn 4: Necrons 36 – Chaos 32
Here is where I got to have some more fun. My Warp Talons and Daemon Prince flew onto Tyler’s side of the table. It’s really satisfying to fly 12” ignoring terrain. I did a Psychic Interrogation on a Technomancer before my Warp Talons destroyed it and a unit of Warriors.
End of turn 4: Necrons 36 – Chaos 46
Turn 5 Tyler’s big Warrior squad blasted my Warp Talon’s off the board. They are rather “glass cannon” being able to dish out a lot of hits, but not take much abuse.
Middle of turn 5: Necrons 56 – Chaos 46
I had so few models left by turn 5. All I could really do was use my Daemon Prince to interrogate his last Technomancer than slay him. My last cultist squad crept over to the last quarter and completed the fourth Retrieve action.
One of Tyler’s “To The Last” units survived, so he got 5 points for that.
Necrons: 61 – Chaos 65.
Wonderfully close game, very back and forth.
I loved my list. It was fun to play, fast, and I was always in it. I think I will tweak my psychic powers a bit, but I’m very happy. It’s fun, fast and brutal. I had been coached by Skari to make smart trades, and I think I accomplished that.
Now, here’s the story again, but from a narrative, fluffy perspective. I’m going to try to use as many cliché circus lines as I can in this narrative report:
The quiet before the show always made The Ringleader nervous. Blessed by Slaanesh to spread an excessive and sensational performance to many world’s, the Daemon Prince shifted impatiently. Huddled behind a hab building surrounded by adoring cultists, the large, winged creature strained to peek at the approaching “audience”.
The circus was in town, but not in the way you might imagine. The Ringleader led his warband of Emperor’s Children Heretic Space Marines dubbed “The Circus of sLAUGHTER.” In this case, joining an allied Chaos campaign invading . The Warmaster had sent the warband to invade this drab hab block. Or was it to defend it? Didn’t really matter. After a seemingly unbearable amount of time, The Ringleader was finally going to have some fun.
Several buildings away, a large force of Novokh Necrons silently marched up the field. The Ringleader didn’t like this. Too quiet. Too far away. He shifted, ready to fly towards the oncoming foe.
Sorcerer Ralph Bohner turned and gave The Ringleader a calming gesture.
“Patience boss. We must wait backstage to make an appropriate entrance.”
The massive Deamon Prince slouched slightly, and used his large malefic talons to adjust his top hat and bow tie.
As the Necron horde advanced, they fired powerful weaponry at entrenched Heretics. Several cultists were disemboweled by the bombardment. The Ringleader glared impatiently at the nearby Sorcerer.
“They’re too far away. Time for an opening act! If they won’t come to the Circus, THE CIRCUS WILL COME FOR THEM!
SEND IN THE CLOWNS!!”
A Dread Claw Drop pod deftly landed behind the advancing Necrons. Quickly, a squad of Noise Marines with loud whirling weapons emerged and charged towards the nearest unit, which happened to be a trio of Lokhurt Heavy Destroyers. The Marines gleefully took Chainsword to xenos metal, many blows futilely grinding without purchase, but creating a din of sparks and shrieking noise. They let fly enough blows that some hit soft points and joints, and they revelled over the dismantled constructs
A large unit of Necron Warriors paused their silent march, turned around and leveled a flurry of shots at the newly arrived Marines. After there was little left of the Marines, the Warriors resumed their trudge into the district.
“Tough crowd,” chortled a Dark Apostle across the way. “No appreciation for rhythm and percussion.”
The Ringleader was about to respond, when a cultist near him unceremoniously exploded, draping the Daemon Prince in gore. The Ringleader smiled at the carnage, as he saw a squad of Canoptek Wraiths disenbowl a dozen cultists around him. The Necron leader loomed nearby in a Catacomb Command Barge.
“IT’S TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN! IT’S TIME TO LIGHT THE LIGHTS! TIME GET THINGS STARTED!” Cackled the Daemon Prince.
With a flourishing entrance, a squad of Chaos Space Marine Terminators teleported into the battlefield. Their armour is bulky, heavy, and oppressive. One even carelessness stomped on an awestruck Cultists as the Terminators made their grand entrance.
The Dark Apostle thought this would be an appropriate time to add some background music to the fray. Signalling his nearby Dark Disciples, he activated the vox-casters in his armour and broadcast a Remnant of the Maraviglia, the famous (or infamous) musical composition that signaled the Emperor’s Children’s official descent into demonic insanity.
The Ringleader signaled the Sorcerer to cast a Death Hex upon the Wraiths. Ralph Bohner tried to manifest the spell, but the witchfire seeming emitting from him sputtered or stopped.
“Performance Issues? Stage fright” mocked the Dark Apostle. The Sorcerer merely glared.
The newly arrived Terminators were invigorated and seeked to add noise to the battlefield with a seemingly endless cacophony of shots from the combi-meltas before crashing into the nearby Wraiths. With dozens of blows, the Terminators dismantled the tenacious Wraiths. However, they were so effective they left none for The Ringleader to participate.
As quickly as the Terminators fell the Wraiths, a wave of Skorpekh Destroyers fell upon the Terminators and stuck them down.
“AH! AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION! LOVELY!” The Ringleader barked.
“NOW, FOR OUR NEXT ACT…!”
As if on cue, a squad of Warp Talons arrived nearby, wreathed by esoteric energy as they burst from the Warp with a Warpflame Strike.
“NOW THAT’S AN ENTRANCE!” Extorted the Daemon Prince.
As the Warp Talons pounced on the Destroyers, the Ringleader turned his sights to the nearby Command Barge. It was already badly damaged by gunfire from the Terminators.
“LET ME SHOW YOU A MAGIC TRICK!” The Ringleader sneered as he cast a bolt of arcane energy at the Barge before slamming it to the ground with his talons. But, before he could finish the kill, the Dark Apostle stepped in and beheaded the Necron Commander with his Accursed Crozius.
“Look at that! I made his head disappear.” The Dark Apostle gloated as he smiled.
The Ringleader was frustrated that the kill had been stolen from him. He spied a Technomancer retreating from the carnage.
“LEAVING SO SOON!?” The Daemon Prince bellowed?
“LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!”
Flanked by the Warp Talons, the Daemon Prince took flight, bounding across the battlefield.
“I NEED A VOLUNTEER FROM THE AUDIENCE” he bellowed as he pounced on the retreating character.
“HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE SHOW!”
Barked The Ringleader, as he tore apart the Technomancer with a satisfying snap.
A time later, the Dark Apostle surveyed the battlefield. It was covered in debris of wrecked vehicles, machines, robots, rubble, bodies, and blood. Smouldering fires kicked up a hazy mist. He spied an ornate case in a ruined building. Curiously, he opened it. He closed the case and passed the artifact to his Dark Disciples. He instructed them to incorporate this new Relic into his armour. He felt he deserves the upgrade.
Josh brought a pretty shiny red Eldar force. I don’t remember exactly what he had, but something like:
Farseer on a bike
10 Dark Reapers
Shining Spears on Jetbikes
5 Wraithguard in a Wave Serpent
3 war walkers
This was a madcap adventure of a scenario!
There is a Mechanicus Character (who I’ll refer to as the Techpriest for the rest of the BatRep) who has valuable information. He is protected by four Kastellan Robots. He’s trying to run from the centre of the table to a corner. The Techpriest can’t be shot, targeted by psychic powers, or suffer mortal wounds. He must be subdued in the fight phase. Once subdued, he can be carried around like The Relic, but if the carrier is slain, he recovers with 1 wound and continues his escape attempt.
I didn’t like the tiny deployment zone. It was only 6″ wide, and most of my tanks are that long. It didn’t give me much ability to “bubble wrap” my tanks.
Eldar Turn 1
Josh got first turn, and immediately did some trickery to get his shining spears into close combat range with 4 of my tanks. They have a long move, then Josh used a psychic power that let them move AGAIN! He skewered my wyvern, took 10 wounds off of Pask, and consolidated into a hellhound. I hate the way people can consolidate without overwatch….
This put me on my heels, and gave me flashbacks to many first turn tablings had before. He got his war walkers into close combat with the Kastellan Robots and tried tying up the Techpriest target.
Guard Turn 1
My turn to strike back. I dropped my “Bullgryn bomb” into the fray in the centre with the Kastellan Robots, Techpriest, and War Walkers. I drove a wounded hellhound towards his wave serpent, as a sort of suicide run; I was counting on in exploding and causing some havoc.
The rest of my troops skewered the Shining Spears that were embedded in my deployment zone.
The bullgryns managed to beat down the War Walkers and Subdue the Techpriest.
Eldar Turn 2
We were both excitedly invested in the game now. Josh was also double-fisting beers at this time, which I think made him more excited.
He threw almost everything he had at the fray in the middle. He blew my Valkyrie out of the sky, but somehow, one of my Bullgryns survived with 1 wound!
Josh deployed the Wraithguard from his Wave Serpent and shot at the wounded Hellhound. As expected, it exploded and took some of the Wraithguard with it!
Guard Turn 2
This turn is a scene that I think would make an epic movie. My last remaining bullgryn made a run out of the middle dragging the Objective with him. I covered his escape with two hellhounds and a taurox.
I really wanted the last Kastellan Robot to kill my Ministorum Priest in Close Combat so I’d get another narrative objective, but, regrettably, the 4++ save saved him.
With my shooting, I managed to finish off Josh’s wraithguard.
Eldar Turn 3
This is a continuation of that epic scene. Josh used the same psychic trickery to get some jetbikes in front of my retreating bullgryn. Somehow, he still survived! I picture about 20 shurikens embedded in the Bullgryn’s slabshield.
Josh used some psychic powers to debuff my Hellhounds, then destroyed them with the dark reapers and D-cannons. The ensuing explosions finished off the jetbikes, Priest, last Kastellan Robot, and the last bullgryn. Very explosive!
However, that means that Techpriest gets back up with 1 wound!
Guard Turn 3
Both Josh and I were desperate NOT to let the Techpriest get away because we would BOTH lose. This is where things got desperate.
I had an infantry squad heading to get a Narrative Objective by waiting in the escape corner. Instead, I charged them into combat with the Techpriest, and surprisingly, their bayonets subdued the target and I reclaimed the objective.
I also started sprinting my Company Commander and last remaining Infantry squad towards to objective from the corner. I got some very favourable advance rolls with the “move, move, move” order.
Eldar Turn 4
Josh brought whatever he had left to the Techpriest, including his farseer on jetbike, and a couple of characters. He managed to kill off my infantry squad, so the Techpriest was free, again!
Even more desperation: Company Commander and last squad of infantry try to chase down the target who has awoken again!
Guard Turn 4
My guardsmen and company commander were able to charge the techpriest, but unfortunately could not subdue him. The 2+ save was pretty good against my AP0 attacks. Should have given the Company Commander a better weapon than a chainsword.
Eldar Turn 5
Josh swept in and removed my infantry, and claimed the objective. That was about it for the game since I had no infantry left to try to claim the objective.
I can imagine the scenario as the Eldar explain what happened to their superiors. Something about the Mon-keigh interfering and trying to take their target, but ultimately they succeeded.
I could have conceded the Relic earlier and tried getting more narrative objectives. But, shooting for the moon made it more exciting.
I attended Astronomi-con for the first time in September, and I don’t know why I haven’t been going for years!
It’s definitely a different kind of event in ALL the best ways. I understand why people go to tournaments to WAAC (win at all costs), but I think Warhammer is more fun when it’s narrative and trying to tell a story. And I think that’s the real joy of the hobby that Mike and Christian have been able to distill into this event.
I finished the tournament with 2 ties, 1 win, and 2 losses. No awards for me, but as my first time, I think I’m pretty happy. I expected a narrative event, but people still brought lists that were TOUGH and POWERFUL. I suppose you don’t want people taking it easy on you.
I plan on writing battle reports for many (if not all) of the 5 battles. But this may be a good summary for the whole thing.
I should note that BIG FAQ 2 dropped the day before this tournament, nerfing the FAQ farm that Astra Militarum used to enjoy so much. I quickly switched out my Warlord’s relic, but I definitely felt the lack of CP.
I was going to write a fluff piece about how this Cadian regement (the 77th) “liberated” a planet, but had no Cadia to return home to. So, they took this abandoned garage as their new home.
And really, I wanted to cram as many vehicles as possible into a list because I like them, and they’re hard to kill.
I used the special Astronimi-con “narrative detachment” (2-3 hq, 4-5 troops, 1-2 Elites, 1-2 fast, 1-2 heavy, 0-1 flyers) for +10 CP.
My army for all five games was the following 90 power list.
Company Commander with Boltgun, Grand Strategist, and Relic of Lost Cadia (Warlord)
Knight Commander Pask in Executioner Leman Russ with Plasma Sponsors, Lascannon, Hunter-Killer Missile, Storm Bolter and track guards
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, Lascannon, and boltgun for sergerant
2x Infantry Squad with Vox-caster, plasma, and plasma pistol and power sword for sergeant
ministorum priest with laspistol and chainword
3x bullgryns with Slabshield and bullgryn maul
2x hellhounds with heavy bolter, storm bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile and track guards
1x hellhound with heavy bolter, storm bolter
2x basilisks with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
wyvern with heavy bolter, and Hunter-Killer Missile
-Valkyrie with Lascannon, Multiple Rocket Pods, and 2x Heavy bolters
2x taurox with 2x autocannons and storm bolter
The Bullgryns and Priest were in the Valkyrie and used the tactic that is apparently called the “Bullgryn bomb.” The Valkyrie can move up to 40″, and then the transported units inside can disembark at any point of the movement path, as long as they are 9″ away from an enemy. Then, it’s a regular disembarkation, so the troops inside can move their usual 6″. So, these 3 big angry bullgryns wind up 3″ away from a priority target on turn 1. They really do hit like an avalanche of muscle, with 3 attacks each (4 on the bone ‘ead), +1 attack each on the charge, +1 attack each from the priest = 16 S7 attacks, hitting on 3+, -1 AP, 2D each!
Many things I learned during this tournament:
Hellhounds are THE BOMB! Literally and figuratively. The 2D6 auto-hits are a wonderful trick. There are so many things that reduce the already pitiful accuracy of guardsmen so having something automatically hit is lovely. Especially with overwatch!
I even took out a flyer, with flamethrowers! Does’t sound right, but given how the hitting mechanics works, this is how to do it.
And then, when they run out of wounds, they explode on a 4+. I think I did more damage with my hellhounds on my opponents turns with overwatch and explosions. I literally used that tactic on purpose in my 4th game, driving a hellhound into the middle of his rush and expecting him to blow it up, only to have the bomb decimate all the nearby units.
I’m going to bring 3 hellhounds with EVERY list I make from now on. Perhaps the only thing is that I would try to use Catachan doctrine to re-roll a random dice; the Cadian doctrine, though nice, didn’t synergize well with the aggressive nature of the hellhounds.
The aforementioned Bullgryn Bomb worked well, but doesn’t last long. Even with a 2+, at T5 they go down a lot faster than my tanks. I may substitute an additional Bullgryn for the priest in future lists; I’d have the same number of attacks. Or do a Crusader bomb instead and buff them with a priest and psyker to give them 2++. Crusaders are only S3, but 30 attacks at AP-3, re-rollable 3+ to hit will make a dent, and probably be more survivable.
The Valkyrie in my bullgryn bomb was a bit of a let-down after it dropped it’s troops. The Multiple Rocket Pod was a big let-down. I should have stuck with the hellfire missiles, which are cheaper. The heavy bolters achieved nothing the entire tournament. Lesson, keep the Valkrie cheap.
Indirect fire artillery is awesome! My two Basilisks were wonderful for beating up on whatever target I wanted, from anywhere on the board, no line-of-sight required. I have a model for a 3rd Basikisk I should built and paint soon. The Wyvern was great at erasing infantry units too, but not as good as hellhounds. The thing I need to continue doing is to keep these artillery protected in the back behind layers and layers of the rest of my army.
The Cadian doctrine was good, but mathhammer says Catachan is slightly better; and MUCH better if I plant Sergeant Harker nearby.
Knight Commander Pask is a MONSTER! I can honestly say that about half the damage I caused through the tournament was from this one model. Some of my opponents knew that right off the bat and aimed to remove him quickly. He’s SUPER expensive, but ridiculously damaging, even on overwatch. If I bring him again, I need to keep layers of bubble wrap to protect him.
The Taurox’s were good… not great. The beauty of the Tauroxes is that they’re cheap; only 4 PL. In points, would I rather have two Tauroxes, or a Leman Russ?
Their autocannons did a whole lot of nothing. Hitting on 5+ when they move doesn’t help. The storm bolters ironically forced more armour saves. It’s nice that they protect my squishy troops from first round massacres. And T6 3+ with 10 wounds is a pretty good bargain for 4 PL.
In power level games, all the upgrades are free, so I should continue to abuse that. Hunter-Killer missiles for everything. Track guards wherever I can find them. A put Augur Arrays on my list, but never used them. I should even include dozer blades to improve the ramming accuracy for my tanks (hits on 5+ instead of 6+).
Now that I have a feel for the zany Astronomi-con scenarios, I would probably want more “shenanigans” that can more around quickly and/or deep strike. I’m thinking Sly Marbo and/or Scions. Many narrative objectives required the Warlord to kill something, sometimes in close combat, but my warlord was equipped for hiding in a corner shouting orders. Maybe I should finish that Celestine model I’ve had for a while. She can easily move 24″ in a turn, and would buff my guard with a 6++.
And, I need to use Command Points (CP’s) more carefully, or generate more, or both. I wasted a lot of CP’s on useless strategems. I may write a blog post about which CP’s are worth it, and which COMBOS work really well.
And it is worthwhile to generate CP’s cheaply. I think a battalion of Scions should be a go-to for every list I do now. A Tempestor prime, Primaris Psyker, and three scion squads is just 14 PL for 5CP!
All in all, I loved ASTRO, and want to register for next year already! I’m even thinking of new ideas for my display board and narrative things to get more points in those categories.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first tournament, the Lords of War 40k Classic. I posted my list here. I will write detailed battle reports later, but this post will capture my initial thoughts.
In brief, I’ll just say I had a great time, and look forward the next one. It renewed my interest in the hobby, and has inspired me to continue playing.
The crowd was very friendly; mostly young, all white men. There were a couple POC among the tournament organizers, but mostly very white. Milling about before the tournament, people were friendly, and genuinely interested in the hobby and excited to talk about their armies and the game. There was a variety of people from students to bank managers, many guys were married and some even had kids (this was their guys day out). The Legion that hosted us had ample parking and great Air Conditioning. I also liked the vibe that there was a bar downstairs and many people bought a beer and brought them up to sip during the tournament.
I played 4 games and thought I acquitted myself admirably: 2 wins and 2 losses. After one win I felt accomplished. The second win was a surprise and at that point there was nothing that was going to make this day bad. Well, I got massacred in the last game to an ultra-competitive player.
A few players complemented me on my Chimera/Rhino conversion combination thing. One guy was so excited that he took lots of pictures because he was going to “steal the hell out of this idea.” I was quite happy to oblige.
Company Command Squads issuing their Senior Officer Orders of Ignore Cover or Bring It Down are devastating: My CCS with 3 meltas was a monster-killing beast! It took down a Riptide, and one-shot killed a Vindicator!
Flamers were beautiful: There were a lot of cover-camping units, and the heavy flamers auto-hit and ignore cover. And in many cases, if the Chimera’s flamers didn’t work, there were more inside.
My vehicles are hard to kill: Surprisingly, my tanks all took a lot of beatings, but few lost hull points, and even fewer were destroyed. Having such quantity meant the damage was usually spread around.
Leman Russ Tanks were worth it: Each of my Leman Russ tanks were about 150 points, but I wouldn’t have traded them for anything else. They could move 6″ and fire everything with impunity, and unloading my Exterminator with lascannon and sponsor heavy bolters was my way of saying I wanted something to die! And the Demolisher’s S10 AP2 large blast was the baseball bat I needed at times to batter tanks. And, their AV14 armour held up surprisingly well to most barrages. Keeping them facing the deadly threats helped, a lot!
The Wyvern is amazing! It became the highest priority target in my army in almost every game. My first opponent destroyed it in turn 1. After it decimated infantry squads in my 2nd and 3rd games, it was also their highest-priority target. That worked to my advantage in some ways because it drew their forces into a trap.
Long story short, twin-linked, 4 large blast barrage, re-rolling to wound was ridiculously good. I want another Wyvern!
Expendable guardsmen and expendable: The redundancy of that statement was quite on purpose. The blob squad of 20 guardsmen was kind of an afterthought for me, but proved to be valuable in a way I didn’t expect: Yes, the autocannons had a bit of a punch and drew attention, but I got an equal punch from my Taurox. This blob squad in cover was the first natural and obvious target for each of my enemies. The squad wasn’t worth much, but drew a lot of fire while my more dangerous units maneuvered. In the end, it didn’t bother me to lose them
Finish off units: In my first game, I missed out on a lot of points because several units still had 2-3 models, or a vehicle had 1 hull point less. I should concentrate on destroying something and then move on. Part of the success in my second game was mopping up objective-claiming units, as exemplified in using my warlord’s Chimera to chase down a lone Kroot and heavy flamer it to death.
Don’t let the opponent set the terms: I made the mistake of waiting for my opponent to come to me in my first and last games, consequently I lost both games. In my second and third games I moved out of a bad deployment zone and outflanked my opponents.
Gets Hot Sucks: The S7 plasma didn’t have much impact on the game, probably because I was trying to keep my Warlord safe. And at one point, they both fried themselves on overwatch! Without some form of twin-linking or Preferred Enemy to mitigate 1’s, I don’t feel like it’s worth it.
Medic not worth it: The feel no pain (5+) granted by the medkit didn’t save one model in my command squad. Another plasma or a flamer (or two) would have been a much better investment.
Don’t fear Close Combat: Guard are pretty lousy at close combat, but in some cases, their numbers help out. The last daemon army I faced had a ridiculous cover save, but if I charged them instead I could have gotten bunch of blows in because of higher initiative and no overwatch.
A quantity-based, horde-like army is great in theory and practice, but not practical. Most armies at the tournament had less than 30 models. I had 75 infantry, 8 tanks, and a massive plane! I needed two containers to bring just 1500 points! And setting up and moving models is a drag too. I might as well have had old-school Warhammer Fantasy movement trays and square bases!
I need a display board. I discovered that this was a thing only a few days before the tournament. I almost bought a cafeteria-like tray from a dollar store right before the tournament, but decided to use my case as a makeshift display board. It didn’t work too well. And It would have been nice to display my army nicely.
Several players shared their lists made with Army Builder which was really nice because it listed the stats and special rules of each model. I have never played against Tau or Chaos Daemons, and didn’t know their stats, so it was nice that they were there without me having to root through their codex. I’m thinking I’ll model my next list for sharing using the rules for Adepti-con as critera, and Army Builder lists from my opponents as templates.
There were chairs at the tables, and I should have sat more. My legs hurt by the end of the day.
Lunch at 2:15pm is a drag. I’m glad I brought snacks to get me through until then. I scooted out for lunch to get a KFC sandwich and I ate it much faster than I should have.
Tables are kind of crowded, so there isn’t really anywhere to put down your display case and/or codexes and such. In my first game there was an empty table beside us which was great, but in my last game we were in the middle of two other games and kinda stuck.
What’s next for me?
I want to join another tournament! I want to play more! It was all a good experience, and I like the honesty of paying to be there: Going to the store to play feels like I’m free-loading or something.
I think I need a display board. There were great ones at the tournament, and I’d like to have one that reflects me and my army. The scoring guide for Astronomi-con helps, but there are also SO many examples online of things that work too. Maybe I can be crafty and make a display board that can also be a carrying case…
I think I’m done painting Guard for a while I may paint one or two more melta infantry, but that would be it. I have a lot of options: Inquisition, Arbites, Space Marines…
But I saw a Tempestus Scions army at the tournament and was intrigued. The Taurox Prime is pretty awesome…
This model was something of a labour of love. I saw this Ironclad Dreadnought on eBay and decided I needed to have it. It came with a hurricane bolter for its right arm, and a choice of Seismic Hammer or Chainfist for the left arm.
The purpose of an Ironclad Dreadnought is to get into CC with things, preferably vehicles and wreck them.
So, I did a dirty coat of white to cover the old paint scheme.
Getting an even coat of yellow over the formerly grey was really tricky. I find painting any models yellow is a labour of patience and persistence.
I didn’t like the stats of the Seismic Hammer. It’s 2X Strength (so, 12+D6 damage) and AP1, and unwieldy and comes with a built-in meltagun. Reading a few reviews, many recommend replacing the seismic hammer with a chainfist. The difference is that the chainfist is only AP2, but has armourbane which means its damage will 12+2D6. Another recommendation was to replace the meltagun with a heavy flamer. I think this makes a lot of sense because the meltagun’s effective range is within charging range of its dangerous CC weapons, and the heavy flamer gives this dreadnought some potential anti-infantry punch, especially on overwatch! Both substitutions are points neutral.
As an Imperial Fists dreadnought, I imagined it really needed to have a fist, in particular, a Power Fist! Most tactics blogs I read recommended ditching the hurricane bolter in favour of a power fist.
I got a power fist from eBay and it fit nicely on the left arm. However, the chainfist arm I had was also meant for the left arm. Since the hand would look weird flipped, I decided to modify the arm so it would go backwards and fit on the right arm. It took a lot of glue and liquid green stuff, but I think it looks almost like it fits on that arm now.
The hunter-killer missiles on the shoulders aren’t the most competitively functional items. At 10 point each, two 1-shot S8 missiles may not make their value back, especially if they miss. But, they looked too cool not to keep.
The name “Fort” has a double meaning. Fort is a boys name, and could be the short form of Fortuanto. Fort can also be a short for fortification. And lastly, in Italian and French, fort(e) means strong, which makes sense for such a large beast of a machine.
At 155 points including the 20 for the two hunter-killer missiles, it’s a big sink for points. But, if I can get in range of a few enemy tanks and rip them apart, it will definitely be worth it.
Actually getting it into combat may be a challenge. Without a drop pod it will have to walk to the enemy tanks. Its front and side armor of 13 are impressive, but I still don’t want it in the open too much or it will be destroyed before it sinks its chainfist into heretic, traitorous and/or xenos enemies.
I went to my local Games Workshop on the afternoon of July 13 planning to play a beginner league game. The person I was planning to play was already engaged in a game, but someone recommended I play Andrew’s Blood Angles at 1000 points. I was there and ready to go, so I accepted. I hastily added models to my army to make 1000 points. I should have examined what he was fielding…
This was actually my first battle of 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000. A good learning experience since I expect I’ll be facing a lot of Space Marines in the future.
My army consisted of the following:
Two Company Command Squads, one with a lascannon
Three veteran squads
6 Stormtroopers in a Taurox Prime
5 Rough Riders
2 Psykers (ML2)
Andrew fielded a very daunting Blood Angels Death Company Force
8 Death Company Space Marines
Dreadnought in Drop Pod
I wrote the following little bit of fluff for the Narritive League giving a more dramatic review of the battle.
Orders were orders. The Munitorum had ordered the Commander’s detachment to hold the square and eliminate any forces that tried to cross it. The square was the only clear path through what was left of the sprawling settlement, so it had been a strategic choke point against the enemy.
The square was now far back of the front lines, but the Commander’s Imperial Guard troops continued to follow orders. From well-entrenched positions, they attacked anyone who tried to cross it: Enemies, allies, and Imperial Citizens. The square was now logistically vital for getting supplies to the new front lines, but the guardsmen continued to follow orders.
This could have all been avoided if the Munitorum had rescinded or clarified their orders. But, the Imperium being what it was, the Guardsmen continued firing on anyone trying to cross the square.
The inglorious task of unseating these loyal yet foolish guardsmen fell to a detachment from the Blood Angel’s Death Company. Approaching quickly with a Land Raider and Vindicator, they seized the opportunity to attack.
An entire squad of loitering guardsmen were obliterated by the opening blast from the Vindicator’s Demolisher Cannon. These tanks were more like mobile fortresses and quickly eliminated the weapons that posed the greatest threat to them.
A dreadnought deployed by drop-pod caused havoc and confusion in the guardsmen’s lines. But it was brought down with by a torrent of disciplined fire.
The guardsmen had little time to lick their wounds or repair their damaged vehicles as the Land Raider deployed its deadly cargo of Death Company Space Marines. They brutally tore through a squad of guardsmen. The marines shrugged off dozens of lasgun blasts and surged forward, scaling a ruin to cleanse it of the troops entrenched within.
Meanwhile, the Vindicator and seemingly invincible Land Raider continued to harry entrenched Ratlings and guardsmen. The Astra Militarum troops had the advantage of cover, but without a means to penetrate the heavy armour, it was only a matter of time before attrition took them all.
Finally on the roof of the ruin, the Chaplain leading the Space Marines challenged the Commander to single combat.
“I’m only following orders!” bellowed the commander.
“So am I,” the Chaplain coolly replied. With a mighty blow from his Crozius Arcanum, the Chaplain felled not only the Commander, but also his entire Command Squad.
From atop the ruin, the Chaplain had a clear view of the square. The remaining Imperial Guard forces were either fleeing or slain. The Chaplin’s thrill and satisfaction from the kill momentarily faded to melancholy. What madness must haunt the Universe for loyal Imperial forces to slay each other over an administrative error?
Looking over the ruins, the Chaplain quietly whispered: “You are relieved, Commander.”
The less fluffy version of the story? Bad news:
The Vindicator destroyed 9 of 10 models in a squad with one shot! Woah! (I’m getting one for my Imperial Fists Army…)
The Space Marines tore through my guardsman in close combat like tissue paper!
The Land Raiders AV14 armour seems almost impenetrable. Strength 3 lasguns don’t stand for much.
Space Marine power armour can take an obscene amount of punishment
My plasma weapons caused more damage to me than my opponent
Psychic phase is very random. I don’t think the ML2 psykers casting Precedence was worth the points, especially since veterans hit on 3+ anyways. I also rolled for the Misfortune power which causes Rending, but even that doesn’t add much.
The Tempestus Scions (stormtroopers) were almost useless. AP3 is nice, but it’s only Strength 3, and the Death Company had Feel No Pain anyways, so it was like they still had an armour save.
Good Lessons Learned
Because of their stealth, Ratlings in ruin get 3+ cover save. Very nice! And as infiltrators they can camp and harass infantry throughout the game.
The Rough Riders were surprisingly effective at close combat. I regret holding them in reserve.
Orders worked quite well. The Vox-casters came in handy.
My vehicles were surprisingly sturdy. I should have let my troops hide in there much longer in hopes of avoiding death by CC!
Techpriest was handy: Power of the Machine Spirit was nice for restoring full BS to an extra vehicle weapon. And he did constant repairs to the Chimera.
If I were fighting such an armour heavy army again, I’d equip a squad or two with the Demolitions doctrine so that they could use Melta Bombs against tanks. The Rough Riders could have caused a mess with Melta Bombs too.
At one point I had a squad set off a torrent of 21 twin-linked lasgun shots (7 lasguns, rapid fire, rank fire order, precedence). Regrettably, that caused only 1 wound! Rather disappointing. Perhaps a less tough infantry-based army would suffer more from the onslaught…
Hope you enjoyed the report!
My Warhammer 40,000 Blog featuring Imperial Guard, Space Marine and Inquisitor Models