Before the game I generated powers for the daemon prince – from the Nurgle list I picked up the powerful two warp charge ability Plague Wind and from Biomancy I got Hemorrhage which I never actually got a chance to use. Being a daemon of Nurgle I also picked up Nurgle’s Rot as a chaos focus. I completely forgot about the Warlord traits, but it was both sides – so I wasn’t really stressing. Generally I also completely missed the Tactical Doctrines the marines have. It is either reroll 1’s or reroll misses, and that wasn’t happening all that much – I really want create some counters for that effect. It might help me remember it.
My set up was pretty interesting. I crammed all the marines in a tight pack. The idea here was they can scatter out and that is exactly what I did on the first turn. I was excited about seeing how well they advanced and I know I made a few mistakes by not taking full advantage of my first turn shooting for the Crimson Fists.
For my Chaos Marines and the Charnel Cohort I had a different plan. On one flank I set up the Vindicator and hid my daemon prince behind it. Two full loaded rhinos would rush the center. My cohort was on the other flank. Entirely alone the herald of khorne on the juggernaut would lead his tough as nails unit forward and hopefully on turn two summon in the entire Charnel Cohort, so by turn three we have daemons cutting things down in the assault phase.
The marines rush out from the center- most units going full speed. The landspeeder moved 12” and just viciously mauled the chaos spawn with the assault cannon and heavy bolter it really didn’t stand a chance. A hit on the conversion beamer from the Tech-marine vaporized a bloodcrusher – 3W and all. My vindicator took cover and the TL las-cannon Predator took a favorable firing position. My other vindicator didn’t have range on anything so just moved. Perhaps the worse choice was tucking the devastators so far back in the line because they had nowhere to go and no first turn shots. What really screwed me up the most was a series of 1’s for my run moves. I am so used to fleet on the eldar that was hilarious to just be rolling one dice over and over and getting .. ‘1’, ‘1’, ‘1’, etc. I think I had five units roll a one inch run roll this first turn. The marines did take First Blood, but they didn’t maximize their shots at all.
My first Chaos turn started out really strangely. I decided to just move six and hop my troops out of one rhino, but the other was going to bust up through the woods and provide some cover. The second rhino moving 12” fails a dangerous terrain test and bogs down in the woods. Bloodcrushers advance, daemon prince moves up on the Razorback both preparing to charge.
His psychic phase is pretty bad. He only has like three dice to cast with but I roll three 5’s to manifest Plague Wind. It scatters off the Vanguard and hits a tactical squad but my wound rolls are terrible. Shooting goes much better as the plasma gun from the chaos marine squad zap zaps the landspeeder and blows it sky high. I drop the template from the demolisher cannon directly on the Vanguard veterans, but it scatters on the second Razorback. Only a crew stunned result for this which is downgraded to a crew shaken because of the extra armor. The combi-bolter though gets a lucky shot killing a veteran. My havoc launcher on my ‘not immobilized’ rhino kills a marine from the other veteran squad.
The assault phase was awesome. The snapshots from the Veterans failed to do anything to Bloodcrushers. They do take two unsaved wounds in close combat, but wipe the squad out with like 11 wounds against the four models. With both furious charge and rage the Bloodcrushers are nuts. They earn two blood tithe points – one for wiping the unit and one for killing a character in a challenge. They consolidate and I turn to the daemon prince.
He hits hard, really hard. The dice for the Black Mace is a ‘6’. That is five base attacks, one for charging, and six bonus attacks for the daemon weapon. All against the rear armor of the Razorback. His strength is 6, so fives and sixes penetrate – and he does so in a dramatic fashion as it explodes as I roll a six on one of the pens. Some really bad armor saves on the neaby Veterans kill two more from the huge explosion and two of the marines in the transport die. I placed the remaining members of the squad in the foot print of the Razorback looking right at the daemon prince with both a combi-grav and a grav gun. Cunning plan?
A little less movement for the marines this turn, but a lot more shooting. My tactical squad advancing toward the Bloodcrushers does very little, but successful kills a second model. The conversion beamer takes another off the board and a hit from the las-cannon chinks into the herald (who only takes a wound instead of being instantly killed).
My Terminator Captain decides to use his orbital strike to pop the chaos rhino. It scatters only a bit, but kills five chaos marines and puts a hull point on the vehicle (crew shaken). Both vindicators from the Fists scatter widely – missing everything of note.
My grav-gun and combi-grav unload on the Daemon Prince. My second Razorback fires into him as well, but fails to wound. The tactical squad however strips 3 wounds off him leaving him at two. If I would have been luckier with the Veteran squad and the plasma pistol, I might have considered charging – but he would be a mess to try and fight, so I held off on the assault. Same with the tactical facing the Bloodcrushers – no sense wasting a unit on my assault phase against those hellblades.
The daemons get three of four units in. Just basically ringed the Bloodcrushers. They don’t scatter near the banner or near the formation HQ. So just place the bloodletters and two fleshhound units. For movement on the other squads it was mostly lineup charges. I pushed the chaos rhino ahead, but decided against doing a tank shock. My vindicator probably should have moved, but it feels invulnerable. One tactical squad pulls back to support the flank and I avoided running through the trees. The other squad piles out of the rhino and tries to follow the daemons.
My prince fails to get his nova power off – Nurgle’s Rot would have hit two units. His Plague Wind scatters, but still murders two of the assault terminators – the sergeant and one of the lightning claw guys. He did suffer a Perils of the Warp and was left with a single wound after that. My chaos vindicator rolls a pretty bad scatter off of the marine vindicator, but instead of subtracting 3” I add 3” to the dice and clip the devastators who are just walking around back there. Killing a missile launcher and a grav-cannon.
During the assaults the Bloodcrushers sweep the tactical squad off the hill and the Daemon Prince wipes out the remaining models in the Vanguard squad. Pretty soundly on both fronts to be honest.
The marines fight back with what is remaining. The techmarine drops back and shoot with his bolter failing to do anything really significant. The Predator simply pivots and fires all the guns in the world at the Fleshhounds who really just laugh as they lose a single model to two heavy bolters, a storm bolter, and the twin-linked las-cannons. The devastators on the hill fire everything into the Bloodletters, but merely kill two models. The marine Vindicator fires at the Bloodcrushers and a lucky scatter successfully kills three from the infantry unit behind the hill. The other vindicator hits the Bloodcrushers dead on and kills everything but the Herald of Khorne in the unit.
The Captain had fired the Primarch’s Wrath earlier in the turn and I wish I had saved it until after the Vindicators hit because he wounded a Bloodcrusher, but now was left with needing to assault the unit to finish them off. On the other side of the board the remaining marine Razorback was now getting shots at the chaos Vindicator and glanced the side armor. Predictably the remaining tactical marines with the grav-gun were successful at dropping the Daemon Prince and grabbed an additional point for Slay the Warlord. Adding that to their point for First Blood they were still losing just not as badly.
The only marine assault of note was the Captain and his Terminators killing the herald. I probably shouldn’t have been back pedaling off the Bloodletters with the Tech-marine but I wasn’t thinking he actually had 2+ armor which was pretty much immune to the hellblades they carry. But then again he only had two wounds.
Daemons dig into their Bloodtithe and create a 3-model unit of Bloodcrushers between the Bloodletters and the Tech-marine. The remaining unit deepstrikes out in the open but get a great scatter closer to the battle in the center of the field.
On the daemon turn the unattacked, unshot, unassaulted Chaos Marine squad was finally moving up from their disabled Rhino. They had swept around the trees and were following the hounds. The Havoc Launcher from the Rhino killed a Devastator and the Vindicator crushes the far from the battle Marine Tactical squad (one man left with a grav-gun actually). The other Chaos squad cuts the closer tactical squad to one man as well (still just a grav-gun).
Assaults are actually as brutal as I expected for the marines. The Predator dies easily to the fleshhounds who glance it to death with a ST 5 furious charge and way too many attacks. The Fleshhounds who charge the Terminators fail to do a whole lot – no wounds at all and lose a total of two models in the assault. On the hill, the Bloodletters pushing into the Devastators just roll all kinds of bad. They lose half their numbers and are fighting two versus two at this point.
The marines are feeling their losses but try to pull something out. The Razorback glances the Vindicator again. The techmarine fails to do any damage against the advancing Bloodcrushers and despite a direct hit the Vindicator on that side rolls two 1’s to wound. It would have vaporized the 3 wound cavalry models if it had hit all three but instead only removes one model. The second Marine Vindicator cuts the newly summoned Bloodletter squad completely in half.
The Devastators fighting the Bloodletters on the hill is nearly a stalemate. If they aren’t charging Bloodletters seem pretty bad with only one attack each. They can’t seem to get anything going and actually lose a model while failing to deal any in return. The massively overcosted terminator assault squad loses a pair of models against Fleshhounds by rolling 1’s on 2+ armor saves, but the last model hits twice with his Thunderhammer, no saves and each kills a 2W Fleshhound. So they are completely done. The captain took a wound and only has one bodyguard left.
Sensing victory the Khorne Daemonkin decide to burn their two Blood Tithe points to grab Rage for the assaults this round. The Rhino pushes past the hill to target one of the Vindicators, but can’t break the armor. The Chaos Vindicator however gets a weapon destroyed result and strips the Demolisher cannon off the Marine Vindicator leaving it helpless. The Chaos Marines on that side of the board kills one of the remaining 1-man squads while the full squad drops the last Terminator.
The last Fleshhound unit completely mauls the Vindicator proving that Rage definitely helps. Five of the hits penetrated. The Bloodletters charge the Terminator Captain, but he mocks them. His three attacks that wounded are almost completely ignored by the 5++ saves and the Bloodletters only lose a single model. The last Bloodletter on the hill is tying up the remaining Grav-Cannon and sergeant, but neither side causes a wound and the charge on the Tech-marine is likewise a wash despite the ten attacks of the two Bloodcrushers versus the two power sword attacks he attempts.
It was already pretty much over, but I played the last turn out. The marines successful brought down the Chaos Vindicator with the heavy bolter on the Razorback. I eventually want to pick up three TL Assault Cannons for my transports. I just think they will hit a lot harder than the bolters. The weaponless Vindicator tries ramming the side of the Chaos Rhino and while it causes a hull point and gets a crew shaken result it was more just for fun than anything. The Terminator Captain kills a Bloodletter, but thankfully doesn’t wipe out the unit. On the hill the Devastators succeed in finally killing the Bloodletter they are fighting. And the Tech-marine suffers a wound on the marine turn.
The Chaos turn sees the extra armor Razorback lose a hullpoint to the plasma gun and is Shaken. The Terminator Captain kills a Bloodletter, the Tech-marine dies, and the Fleshhounds clear out the remaining Devastators. I really think they would have been able to drop the Terminator Captain if I had another turn. The Razorback would have died with another hit as well. But I rolled a ‘2’ to see if the game ended at that was it. Marines scored 9VP and Chaos scored 12VP. Either way it was a Crushing Defeat, but I was surprised the Chaos forces handled the Space Marines as well as they did. Maybe Warlord traits would have changed things, running a mission besides Purge the Alien, or remembering the Tactical Doctrines. All in all though a good game.