Saturday, October 27, 2012

Batrep: Chaos Marines vs Chaos Marines, 1750 pts

Civil war has come to the Black Legion! Got a game in against Jun Tseng with my Black Legion against his Black Legion. Neither of us have Heldrakes ready, so it's mostly groundpounding all round.

My List:
Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of BlindFury, gift of mutation (Meteoric Charge)
Plain old Hellbrute
10 Chaos Marines with 2 plasmaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (Witch Eater) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Plasma Squad")
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (fail!) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Melta Squad 1")
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (+1 Attack) for the champion, all in a Rhino ("Melta Squad 2")
7 Bikers with Mark of Khorne, 2 meltaguns, Icon of Wrath and a lightning claw and gift of mutation (fail!) for the champion
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
Defiler with Havoc Launcher
Vindicator with Siege Shield

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (3 units)

1,747 pts in total. Note that in my list, wherever possible to take Veterans of the Long War, I took it. It's bad enough that these twits don't even have And They Shall Know No Fear. I was a bit disappointed with the gifts of mutation, seeing as ALL FIVE turned out to be nigh useless in my army.

Jun Tseng's list:
Huron Blackheart
Khornate Daemon Prince with wings, power armour,  Axe of Blind Fury, ichor blood and the Burning Brand of Skalathrax (285 pts!!!)
Plain old Hellbrute (Yeah, we both got Dark Vengeance 'brutes...)
10 Khorne Berserkers with powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
10 Chaos Marines with Mark of Khorne, Veterans of the Long War, 1 flamer and powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
10 Chaos Marines with Mark of Khorne, 1 flamer and powerfist and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with havoc launcher
5 Warp Talons with Mark of Khorne and 2 gifts of mutation (Fleet and +1 wound) for the champion
1 Obliterator
1 more Obliterator
5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (2 units)

1,771 pts, by my reckoning. Bear in mind that, unlike myself, Jun Tseng has elected to give Veterans of the Long War to only ONE of the Chaos Marine squads. Also, his Chaos Marines are all armed with bolt pistols and chainswords. Those troops were completely geared for close combat, and could easily achieve 4 attacks each on the charge. I'd have to take care to avoid that...

Mission: Crusade. 4 objectives.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

Okay, I haven't played to objectives for a while, no thanks to my ludicrous Blood Angel FTO list, so I need a better plan than "kill everything in sight". My plan this time round was for the Spikey Bikey Lord to take the center, advancing under close fire support from the Daemon Engines (the Forgefiend and Defiler). If all went well, the onslaught would hit hard enough for my Chaos Marine squads to roll forward along each flank as a second wave, mopping up after the boss and the beasts. Even if the intial onslaught didn't quite deal as much damage as I'd like, 30 MEQs with melta and plasma weapons should be able to do something, right?

Turn 1:
Me: JT failed to sieze the initiative. My whole army surged straight forward, and the bikers revealed the objective in front of them - a scatterfield. The Rhinos started off by pinging token shots off JT's Rhinos and, more importantly, lighting them up with searchlights. My big guns then opened up, but they were mostly confounded by cover. The Forgefiend, however, got some work done, blowing up the closer Chaos Marine's ride, killing 3 of the squad inside. Yay! 1st blood! The bike squad abused them some more with bolter fire, killing one, and they broke and ran.

JT: The unhappy Chaos Marine squad recovered, and the rest of the army advanced. The Berserkers and the veteran Chaos Marines disembarked and advanced, evidently in anticipation of close quarter violence. The Havocs popped out from behind their ruin to take firing positions and the Daemon Prince swooped forward down my left flank.

Not much shooting happened. The Havocs fired some snap shots at a Rhino, but failed to do any damage. The enemy Hellbrute fired a shot with its multimelta at Melta Squad 2's ride, but missed.

Massive carnage in 3... 2... 1...

Pyrotechnics in 3... 2... 1...

Turn 2:
Me: Right, time to hurt stuff! Plasma Squad disembarked to face down the Berserkers, with Melta Squad 1 close behind in their Rhino. On the right, the bikers swung back round to bring their meltaguns to bear on the nearby Rhino. Melta Squad 2 moved up to let their meltaguns fire on the Hellbrute.

Melta Squad 1 opened up first, blasting 2 Berserkers with their meltaguns. The Rhinos caused no casualties. Plasma Squad then fired, killing another 5, including the Champion, though 1 plasma gunner was taken out by Gets Hot. The Hellbrute fired on the Rhino right in front of it, but only glanced it. On the right, Melta Squad 2 fired on the enemy Hellbrute, but missed or failed to penetrate. The Vindicator then took a shot at the Hellbrute, but the shot went wide, landing amongst the veteran Chaos Marines, killing 4. The Defiler's shot at the Hellbrute just scattered way off the table. The Bikers managed to shoot off the combi-bolter on the Rhino in front of them. The Forgefiend, with  nothing else better to shoot at, loosed a volley on the Chaos Marines who lost their Rhino in Turn 1, killing one.

In assault, my Hellbrute charged and blew up the Berserker's Rhino, but the resulting explosion killed the other plasma gunner of Plasma Squad!

JT: The Warp Talons arrived, popping up behind my Defiler.They ran up to reveal the nearby objective, which was another scatterfield. One Obliterator arrived, but suffered a mishap! Fortunately, he only ended up in Ongoing Reserves. The Daemon Prince glided behind my 2 Rhinos on the left flank, while the Berserkers moved up to charge Plasma Squad. On the right, Huron and friends and the Hellbrute moved up, ready to brutalize Melta Squad 2's Rhino. He then tried to use his Rhino to block my bike squad from charging Huron's squad.

In the shooting phase, the Hellbrute missed again with its multimelta. No matter, he could just charge and do it the old-fashioned way. The Havocs fired and blew up Melta Squad 2's Rhino, leaving them open to the tender mercies of the Daemon Prince, who blasted 6 of them to ash with the Burning Brand of Skalathrax. Meanwhile, the somewhat battered squad of Chaos Marines ran up, obviously hoping to see some action on the left flank.

The Berserkers charged into Plasma Squad, losing one in the ensuing melee and killing 2. The Daemon Prince crashed into Melta Squad 1. Lucky for me, the Axe of Blind Fury turned on the Daemon Prince. Unforunately, that was far from enough to stop the Daemon Prince, and even with WS 1, he had 6 attacks with which to smash my beleaguered champion. On the right, the combined assault from the Hellbrute and Huron's squad was enough to wreck the Rhino, and Melta Squad 1 piled out the back of the machine, ready to exact revenge with bolter and meltagun.

Turn 3:
Me: My bikers, undeterred by the Rhino, simply zipped through the forest to the side, losing 1 member to difficult terrain. The Defiler turned and stalked after the Warp Talons. Not much moved otherwise.

In the shooting phase, the Vindicator took a potshot at Huron's squad, missing, but killing 2. A volley from the bikers killed one more. The Forgefiend, downed another member of the other Chaos Marine squad. The Defiler tried to dump a battle cannon shell on the Warp Talons but missed completely. Melta Squad 2 let the enemy Hellbrute have it with their meltaguns, blowing it up.

In assault, the Daemon Prince finished off the remaining members of Melta Squad 1, while Plasma Squad finished the Berserkers, with 3 members still standing at the end of the carnage, eying the Daemon Prince warily... On the right, epicness happened as the Warlords faced one another in single combat! Around them, the bikers easily cut down the remaining veteran Chaos Marines. The Warlords lay into one another with great ferocity, and at the end of the round, each was reduced to only 1 wound.

Surrender, Tyrant, you stand alone!!

JT: This turn, both Obliterators arrived from reserve, materializing behind the Defiler. The Daemon Prince, surprisingly, flew off and engaged the Forgefiend. The remaining Chaos Marines saw the Hellbrute and Plasma Squad (though the plasma gunners had died) waiting for them, thought better of it, and started trudging back towards the objective on their side of the board, near the Havocs.

In shooting, the Havocs blew up Plasma Squad's Rhino, leaving the 3 weary warriors to walk wherever it was they wanted to go. The Obliterators fired on the Defiler, immobilizing it and glancing it, thouh another penetrating hit was deflected by its invulnerable save.

The Daemon Prince charged the Forgefiend, and the Daemon Engine's invulnerable save turned aside one glancing hit. The Forgefiend managed to inflict 1 wound on the Daemon Prince in return. Huron and the Spikey Bikey Lord's duel continued, but neither  managed to inflict any damage.

Turn 4:
Me: The Hellbrute turned, saw the battle between the Forgefiend and the Daemon Prince and decided to get some action, charging into the clashing titans. In the ensuing melee, the Daemon Prince managed to glance the Forgefiend again, leaving it with 1 hull point. Unfortunately for him, the Hellbrute landed a thunderous blow on the Daemon Prince, at which point we note an important change from 5th to 6th edition: A Daemon Prince does NOT have Eternal Warrior. The Prince of the Warp was lain low with that single, devastating strike.

Melta Squad 2 doubled back to fire their meltaguns into a nearby Obliterator's rear, instantly killing it.

The Defiler's battlecannon blazed again, vaporizing 2 Warp Talons, leaving the remaining 3 to break and fall back.

Meanwhile, on the right... time to DIE, Huron Blackheart! Or so I thought. I suppose it had to happen sooner or later, but the fates saw fit to make it happen now. The Axe of Blind Fury turned on its bearer, killing my Spikey Bikey Lord. An evil grin split the Tyrant of Badab's face as my bikers gunned their engines and buggered off.

Meanwhile, the Defiler regenerated a hull point.

JT: The Warp Talons managed to regroup and they stood at the door to the ruin near Plasma Squad, hoping to block them. The Chaos Marines continued to plod towards their objective.

From the Havocs came another salvo of autocannon shells, slamming into the back of the Forgefiend, which I had stupidly forgotten to turn around in the consolidation move last turn. It was all too much for the Forgefiend, which exploded spectacularly, drawing a grunt from the nearby Hellbrute. 

Huron Blackheart, Tyrant of Badab, still reveling after his (kind of) hard-fought victory over the Spikey Bikey Lord, strode past the wreckage of the shattered Hellbrute and charged at the remainder of the bike squad. At this point, they manage to get themselves together enough to fire a good salvo of overwatch fire into Huron. 3 bolter shots hit... 1 wounds... and Huron fails the save! And thus ends the life of the other Warlord on the table... Not very epic, I must admit, but the comedy totally makes up for it.

Turn 5:
Me: Not much left to do but clean up and skedaddle onto the closest objectives. The bikers zipped up behind the remaining Obliterator, took a wound off with shooting, then assaulted and shredded it. Melta Squad 2 marched towards the nearest objective, turning to nuke the nearby enemy Rhino on the way with their meltaguns. The sad remnant of Plasma Squad fired on the Warp Talons, killing 1.  The Hellbrute charged the 2 remaining Warp Talons, slaying one, leaving just the Champion to face down the beast with nothing but lightning claws.

The Vindicator and Defiler dropped massive blasts on the luckless squad of Chaos Marines, killing all but one. This was a bit much for the lone survivor (the Champion, no less), who turned and ran. 

JT: The lone surviving Chaos Marine continued running towards JT's board edge. The Havocs fired on the Vindicator, but failed to penetrate.

Owing to time constraints, we didn't bother rolling for Turn 6. JT had only one hapless trooper left who could possibly score. Even if he rallied (on snake eyes, since the squad was below 25%), I had a Vindicator and Defiler ready to blast him into dust. Tallying up the victory points up til now, I had 3 (all the secondary objectives), and JT had 1 (Slay the Warlord, which is questionable seeing as, technically, my Warlord was slain by his daemon weapon...)

Ah, my favourite kind of game... Intense violence in every quarter of the battlefield, a warlord vs warlord duel (though both warlords managed to die pretty pathetically...), big honking beasts tearing at each other in the middle of the battlefield. Can't ask for much more, really, out of a game of 40k.

So, what did we learn here? Firstly, I've decided I like daemon engines, and I am absolutely set to get my claws on a Helldrake, despite the insane amount of gold banding there is to paint. This isn't just for fluff reasons and what-have-you. They hit hard, and having Daemon, Daemonforge and It Will Not Die just rock, adding a certain Chaotic element of possible durability to the Chaos heavy hitters. I say possible, because AV 12, as we all know, isn't really that much. But with the aforementioned special rules, there's always the off-chance that it can just shrug off the most impossibly lethal shots, or, when damaged, regenerate.

On that note, I love my Forgefiend, but against MEQs, it's worth bearing in mind that it's best used to hammer at hard single targets. Against AV12, a Forgefiend has a 90% chance of causing at least a glancing hit or better, and has a 20% chance of blowing up an AV 12 target outright. Here's how some other tankbusting hardware matches up, assuming an AV 12 target:

- Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannon: Glance 90%, Explode 20%
- Havocs with 4 Autocannon: Glance 87%, Explode 14%
- Quad Cannon: Glance 75%, Explode 10%
- Icarus Lascannon: Glance 44%, Explode 11%
- Twin-linked Lascannon: Glance 59%, Explode 15%  
- Melta weapon: Glance 56%, Explode 24%
- Twin-linked Assault Cannon: Glance 47%, Explode 18%

Do bear in mind these probabilities take into account the number of shots being fired. All BS has assumed to be 4, EXCEPT for the Forgefiend, who has BS 3.

Looking at these numbers, I'd say the Forgefiend is a keeper, BUT one should take care not to bother shooting at things in power armour unless you've nothing else better to shoot, or it's a multiwound T 4 character all by his lonesome just inviting that instakill shot.

So, that aside, would have done anything differently? I don't think so. I don't believe I made any glaring errors in this battle, so on to the next big question: Would I change anything about my list? Hell, yes!

My first thought is to chuck out Melta Squad 2 and in its place have a 10-man squad of autogun cultists and a Heldrake. With a template weapon just perfect for erasing swathes of MEQ infantry and the hardest-hitting Vector Strike in the game, this daemon engine just strikes me as a must-have in the 6th ed Chaos Marine list.

Anyway, that's about all I can constructively glean from this battle. Stay tuned and we'll see if we can get a few more games in to firm up a good, solid Chaos Space Marine list!

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