Friday, February 6, 2015

40K Friday - Chaos vs. Space Wolves and Eldar Battle Report

Apprentice Blaster and I got in our January 40K battle with a 2000 point fight. I took my Chaos Marines with Chaos Daemon allies while he took Space Wolves with Eldar Allies. With some recent upgrades to both of his armies he couldn't make up his mind so he took some of both, and I wanted to get the Bloodthirster back on the table so I took the minimum daemons needed to field him. My army list:

2000 Pts  -   Chaos Space Marines Army

1 Daemon Prince of Nurgle (HQ) @ 325 Pts
     Flying Monstrous Creature (Character); Psyker (Mastery Level 2); Daemon;
     Fearless; Veterans of the Long War; Fear; Hatred (Daemons of Tzeentch);
     Shrouded; Slow and Purposeful; Wings; Power Armour; The Black Mace; Gift
     of Mutation; Nurgle

1 Chaos Lord (HQ) @ 195 Pts
     Fearless; Champion of Chaos; Independent Character; Terminator Armour;
     Sigil of Corruption; Burning Brand of Skalathrax; Blight Grenades; Gift of
     Mutation; Mark of Nurgle; Lightning Claw; Warlord

4 Chaos Terminators (Elites) @ 241 Pts
     Terminator Armour; Mark of Nurgle; Power Weapon (x3); Chainfist (x1);
     Combi-Melta (x3); Heavy Flamer

     1 Terminator Champion @ [56] Pts
          (character); Champion of Chaos; Terminator Armour; Mark of Nurgle;
          Combi-Melta; Power Fist (x1)

4 Plague Marines (Troops) @ 140 Pts
     Fearless; Feel No Pain; Power Armour; Mark of Nurgle; Plague Knife; Bolt
     Pistol (x4); Bolter (x2); Meltagun (x2); Blight Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Plague Champion @ [24] Pts
          (character); Champion of Chaos; Mark of Nurgle; Power Armour; Bolt
          Pistol; Plague Knife; Bolter; Krak Grenades

4 Plague Marines (Troops) @ 140 Pts
     Fearless; Feel No Pain; Power Armour; Mark of Nurgle; Plague Knife; Bolt
     Pistol (x4); Bolter (x2); Meltagun (x2); Blight Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Plague Champion @ [24] Pts
          (character); Champion of Chaos; Mark of Nurgle; Power Armour; Bolt
          Pistol; Plague Knife; Bolter; Krak Grenades

4 Plague Marines (Troops) @ 150 Pts
     Fearless; Feel No Pain; Power Armour; Mark of Nurgle; Plague Knife; Bolt
     Pistol (x4); Bolter (x2); Plasma Gun (x2); Blight Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Plague Champion @ [24] Pts
          (character); Champion of Chaos; Mark of Nurgle; Power Armour; Bolt
          Pistol; Plague Knife; Bolter; Krak Grenades

19 Chaos Cultists (Troops) @ 119 Pts
     Improvised Armour; CCW; Autogun (x17); Heavy Stubber (x2)

     1 Cultist Champion @ [16] Pts
          Champion of Chaos; CCW; Autopistol; Shotgun

5 Havocs (Heavy Support) @ 148 Pts
     Power Armour; Bolt Pistol (x5); Bolter (x1); Missile Launcher (x4); Frag
     Grenades; Krak Grenades

     1 Aspiring Champion @ [23] Pts
          (character); Champion of Chaos; Power Armour; Bolt Pistol; CCW;
          Bolter; Frag Grenades; Krak Grenades

4 Chaos Spawn (Fast Attack) @ 144 Pts
     Beasts; Fear; Fearless; Mutated Beyond Reason; Rage; Random Attacks; Very
     Bulky; Mark of Nurgle

Models in Army: 52

Total Army Cost: 1602

Chaos Daemons Army

1 Bloodthirster (HQ) @ 300 Pts
     Flying Monstrous Creature (Character); Daemon of Khorne; Demonic
     Instability; Deep Strike; Daemon; Furious Charge; Hatred (Daemons of
     Slaanesh); #Warp-forged Armour; Lash of Khorne; Axe of Khorne; Lesser
     Rewards (x1); Greater Rewards (x2)

10 Bloodletters of Khorne (Troops) @ 100 Pts
     Infantry; Daemon of Khorne; Demonic Instability; Deep Strike; Daemon;
     Furious Charge; Hatred (Daemons of Slaanesh); Hellblade

Models in Army: 11

Total Army Cost: 400

So we ended up at 2002 points as Blaster ran over a little too.

The battlefield:

We set up the table with the idea that "Fuel Station 7" is a lonely refueling outpost somewhere on the planet Tranicos that just happens to be located near one of the numerous chaos shrines (the ruined tower thing in the lower right with the skull symbol in the center) that dot the planet. Chaos is coming to take the control of the shrine and the Space Wolves and the Eldar are coming to stop that from happening.

We usually play from opposing long-edges but this time we rolled for deployment zones and got the short sides, making for a narrower, deeper battlefield. Blaster chose the side with more trees so Chaos actually begin in possession of the shrine this time. We placed objectives (we're doing tactical missions) and deployed.

The blue dice around the table are the objective markers
Blaster set up first and went first. I hid in cover for the most part and hoped to be able to survive early fire. I started in total control of one objective (the chaos shrine), 2 within easy moving distance, and 3 others farther in his territory. My plan here is to hold the shrine with the chaos cultists, hold those two mid-field objectives with the plague marines, intercept his attacking units with the spawn, the bloodthirster, and the daemon prince. The havocs are there for fire support. The bloodletters are a bullet shield for the plague marines for the first turn or two. For his backfield objectives I'm going to drop in my terminators and my chaos lord. If the spawn or the big daemons survive they can help with late game objective seizing too.

Pre-game I took Nurgle for one (compulsory) and Biomancy for the other on the Prince and got Iron Arm. A flying Nurgle prince with Iron Arm ... this should be fun. The 'thirster got various ridiculous awards that gave him fleshbane and armorbane etc. It's not like he would be running from much of anything anyway - this just made him that much nastier. For the warlrod trait though, I got the ability for the warlord and his unit to outflank ... hmmm ... Instead of deep striking the terminator unit I now decided to outflank them.

  Blaster's wolf list was a wolf priest in a land raider crusader with 15 blood claws (his core unit), a squad of grey hunters deployed in some woods at the back on an objective, a unit of wolf guard shooty terminators on foot, and a unit of blood claw bikers. His Eldar force was a guardian squad with a missile launcher at the back, a wraithlord, a unit of harlequins on foot with a farseer, and a unit of rangers on another backfield objective. He also had a crimson hunter in reserve. His strategy looked to me like he planned to leave the 3 troop units in the backfield and send everything else forward in a wave with the Eldar going left and the wolves going right.  

Final Setup
Turn 1

First turn for the good guys  - he moved up and shot some bloodletters and one plague marine. Notably, his harlequins failed their psychic test to cast veil of tears.

Turn 1 for most of the Chaos force involved moving up and taking some objectives. For the Havocs it involved blowing away a chunk of the harlequin unit, including the Farseer! Bad luck and bad positioning meant he ended up as the closest model in a torrent of frag missile hits and died - first blood to Chaos!

At this point I have troops sitting on 3 of the 6 objectives and I'm pretty happy with the situation despite not having any cards for them.

End of Turn 1: Chaos 1 VP, Law 0 VP

The circles mark the other 5 objectives (other than the chaos shrine)

Turn 2

Law, second turn: Lots of moving up, some shooting, lots of charging.  The remaining harlies and the wraithlord moved up and charged the bloodletters while the terminators got themselves into position.  

The bikers moved up and charged the spawn.

The blood claws debarked the land raider and then failed their charge into the plague marines - uh oh.

The Wolf Priest says "oops!" 
Chaos Turn 2: The plague marines and the daemon prince tear into the blood claws. There are a few of them left at the end, but not many.

The fight between the bikes and spawn continues, down to 2 on each side.

The bloodthirster tore into the wolf guard - and one managed to survive!

Last but not least, the chaos terminator force came on from outflank and started roasting Eldar

Note the lack of eldar on the hill - heavy flamer + burning brand of skalathrax will do that.

End of Turn 2: Chaos 5 VP, Law 2 VP

Chaos losses at end of turn #2 - not too bad

Turn 3

Forces of Law: The eldar airforce makes an appearance and shoots up the daemon prince. The grey hunters move up to engage the chaos terminators.The spawn finally beat the bikers, wiping them out. The thirster finshes off the last of the wolf guard, and kills the wraithlord in the same combat! That did not go according to the good guys plan ...

The blood claw remnants charge the plague marine remnants.

Turn 3 Chaos: The daemon prince fails to get his iron arm off this turn - uh oh! so he continues to beat on the land raider to try and finish it off. The plague marines blow away the last of the harlies. The chaos terminators fry the eldar scouts.

At this point I have control of objectives 2-4-6 towards my half of the board plus objectives 3 & 5 and I have wiped out several of his units so the points start to roll in. 

End of Turn 3: Chaos 8 VP, Law 2 VP

Turn 4

Combined: They grey hunters move back into the woods, realizing I can charge them and that powefists will make short work of them. Shooting kills 1 of the chaos termies. Return shooting kills multiple grey hunters. The crimson hunter moves over and shoots up the bloodthirster, taking him down to 1 wound. The blood claws kill the last plague marine in melee, but the undamaged squad sitting on the objective blows them away. The prince fails to kill the land raider while the spawn and the thirster head down towards the grey hunters.

End of Turn 4: Chaos 10 VP, Law 2 VP

Turn 5

Combined: The land raider manages to  kill the daemon prince (who has been at 1 wound for some time now) with his multi-melta but we called it there.

End of Game: Chaos 11 VP, Law 3 VP

Final chaos losses (plus 1 daemon prince)

It was a big fight at 2000 points and it took a while to get it moving but once we did it was a lot of fun. That deployment type is not my favorite but I can live with it -just makes mobility an even bigger factor than normal.

Blaster complained somewhat about his cards but I still believe you have to go and get them, you can't sit back and wait for them to come to you. I had very few objective #x cards early on but I did have some "kill a unit" types and I went after those. In a game this big I could do that and still go for objectives I did not yet have cards for to control them just in case I did pull some on a later turn.

He did admit very quickly that putting the grey hunters so far in the backfield was a mistake. I think putting 3 big units of troops back there was a mistake - one or two, sure, but I like my backfield holders to be either a) cheap or b) long ranged enough to contribute to the rest of the fight. This outlook also affects my placement of objectives as I don't want all of them in my backfield - I want them where the fighting is. 

He took the loss well and is game for a rematch, likely with just one army this time. There were some fluke rolls in there like missing the harlies' protection power and failing a 5" charge. Those might have made a difference.

For my force, I think everything went pretty well. The havocs blew stuff away and the cultists held the objective and neither were ever touched. The bloodletters served their purpose as cheap bullet shields. The spawn did well being fast and tough. The deep-striking flamer terminators did exactly what I wanted them to do, and the big daemons were bullet magnets while they were busy wiping things out. It was a fun game and I'll probably take more chaos next time - until my Dark Angels are ready.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Catching Up - the Grab Bag

The Kickstarter for the next big Deadlands adventure is out and available here. While I wasn't a big fan of some of the recent settings when they put one out I do like I will support it - and I did.

Green Ronin is releasing a giant hardbound version of Freeport for Pathfinder. "Awesome! I thought when I first heard about it. I used Freeport in a 3rd edition D&D campaign I ran years ago and thought it would be fun to revisit in the wake of the original trilogy. Then my players mentioned that they hated that place! If it hadn't threatened the rest of the world I think they would have left before the big finale and let the city suffer whatever horrible fate awaited it. Reluctantly, I let that kickstarter go on without me ... sniff. Ah well. I have plenty for Pathfinder anyway.

Other News

  • D&D Layoffs. WOTC is making themselves look bad, at least to the online forum crowd.
  • The "BAMFsies" superhero RPG awards came out last week. Now I like the guys who do the podcast but right there at the top is the gamer's choice award and it's G-Core! Who the heck was stuffing the ballot box for G-Core?! My take on G-Core is here.
  • Star Trek Online is celebrating its 5th anniversary. I was there when is started and I have come and gone at different points over the years, but if you're at all interested in a Star Trek RPG type experience, it's out there, there's a lot of content to play through, and it's still free.
  • For Warhammer 40,000 the new Codex Necrons is out, with Harlequins on the way. Undead space robots and battle clowns for 7th edition!