I'd finally put enough paint on my Crimson Guard not to be ashamed of putting them on a wargaming table and was itching for a scrap. Fortunately, I found a worthy one in the form of 1750 pts of Iron Warriors. So, straight to business...
The Black Legion
Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of Blind Fury, gift of mutation (Blademaster)
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a
lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a
Rhino ("Melta Squad 1")
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns and a lightning claw and meltabombs 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
Vindicator with Siege Shield
The Crimson Guard
Veteran Squad with 2 Grenade Launchers in a Chimera
Warlord Trait: Hatred Incarnate
CK's Iron Warriors (the Siege Breakers)
The full list and its intended usage can be found on CK's blog. I have to say, it looks nice and solid, geared to close quickly and deal massive damage around Turns 2 and 3 with assault and medium range gunishment. Those 2 Vindicators and the Maulerfiend could prove to be a problem if left alone, so I'd target them first, hopefully leaving me free to take control of the field with superior firepower. As he mentioned in his write-up of this list, it is susceptible to flyers, having no flyers of any sort or any Skyfire weapons. Good news for my Vendetta, then...
Warlord Trait: Black Crusader (haha!)
Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.
I suppose you could pretty much guess my plan from my deployment. The Rhinos and Chimera move up 12" on turn 1, lighting up targets of opportunity with their searchlights. My big guns, i.e. the Forgefiend, Vindicator and Manticore will then proceed to nuke anything that gets lit up. The Guard will be lumped with the task of grabbing the relic and making a break for it, after which all other elements are just there to cover their retreat. Here's how it actually went...
Black Legion: Iron Warriors failed to seize initiative, so off I went to put the plan in motion. The whole army moved up, with the Biker Lord and friends scooting to the centre to wait and see where they'd be needed.
The Rhinos and Chimera lit up the enemy Vindicators and the Maulerfiend, then off went my big nasty guns. To the right, the Manticore sent a Storm Eagle rocket into the Vindicator and the nearby Maulerfiend, glancing each. On the left, the hostile Vindicator had deployed a bit too close to my lines, and paid with a demolisher cannon round to the face, losing a hull point. A fusillade from the Forgefiend finished the job, wrecking it. First Blood to the Black Legion!
The Maulerfiend burst from the ruins, then charged the closest Rhino, belonging to Melta Squad 2. Absurdly enough, ALL 4 of the Maulerfiend's attacks missed completely! All in all, not a good start for CK...
BL: Marbo arrived, and popped up just behind the 2 Rhinos looking to fling a
demo charge on them. The Vendetta, however, failed to arrive from
Right, time to put the next part of the plan into action... The Rhinos and Chimera moved up, forming a wall, while the Guardsmen jumped out the back and grabbed the Relic. The Biker Lord and gang moved up next to the Maulerfiend, ready to blast it with melta death.
Shooting was nice and pyrotechnic. Melta Squad 2 and the biker squad turned their meltaguns on the Maulerfiend, blowing it apart easily. Marbo and the Manticore then turned their explosive violence on the vehicles clustered around the right flank,exploding the remaining Vindicator and knocking off a couple of hull points. The Forgefiend then wrecked a Rhino, sending Berserkers spilling out. The Vindicator tried to take advantage of this and nuke them off the board, but the shot went wide, smashing a hull point off the Land Raider. A salvo from the Forgefiend took another point off the Land Raider, as small arms fire from Melta Squad 2's Rhino and the Chimera killed 2 Berserkers.
IW: The Warpsmith, whom CK had forgotten to deploy at the beginning of the game, arrived from reserve, joining the Cultists. The Land Raider moved up and out popped the Terminators, ready to wreak havoc on my left flank. Not good. The Berserkers headed right towards Melta Squad 2's Rhino.
Shooting was mostly ineffectual, though the Terminators unloaded their combiplasmas on Melta Squad 1's Rhino, wrecking it. Also, the exposed Sly Marbo was ignominiously dispatched by the combined autopistol fire of the Cultists.
The Berserkers charged and easily blew up Melta Squad 2's Rhino. The explosion killed one member of Melta Squad 2, and they were pinned. Fat lot of good Veterans of the Long War did... The Terminators charged Melta Squad 1, slaying the Champion and another 5 of their number for no losses in return. Melta Squad 1, in a foolhardy act of unusual valour, stayed in the fight.
BL: Again, the Vendetta refused to turn up. On the left, I shuffled the Forgefiend and Vindicator about to make use of their guns a little more before those Terminators and their Land Raider got to work.
Shooting was disappointingly bad, as the Vindicator's shot at the Land Raider somehow managed to miss completely. Seriously? At that range, with a target that big, and a demolisher cannon??? The Forgefiend at least took down another hull point from it, reducing it to 1 last hull point. Melta Squad 2 and the bikers pinged some shots into the Berserkers, killing another 2 before the bikers slammed into them, wiping them out for no casualties.
Elsewhere, the Terminators finished wiping out the remnants of Melta Squad 1.
IW: The Rhino holding the Iron Warrior CSMs pulled up in front of my bikers and out came the marines within, forming a firing line facing my bikers. On the left, the Terminators headed towards the Vindicator while the Lord split off and stomped towards the Guard, who'd been struggling to get away with the relic.
The Iron Warrior marines blasted away with boltguns and plasmaguns, and I daresay my bikers got away quite lightly, losing only two of their number. The Land Raider leveled its lascannons at the Forgefiend and nuked it in one shot.
In the Assault phase, the Terminators charged and blew up the Vindicator, thus ending my presence on the left flank. The Chaos Lord managed to charge the Guard, and in the ensuing challenge, the hapless Veteran Sergeant was quickly eviscerated.
BL: Here, I made a stupid mistake with Melta Squad 2: I thought I had to pass a Morale check to recover from pinning! Looking again at the rules, I now realize the poor fools should have been able to act normally starting from this turn. Ah, well, live and learn...
The Vendetta finally showed up zooming in and putting an end to the troublesome Land Raider, blowing it up with a deadly salvo of lascannon fire. The Manticore dumped its last rocket to the rear of the Iron Warrior marines,
The Bikers and their Lord quickly wiped out the Iron Warrior Chaos Marines, then turned to try and salvage things on my left flank. The Chimera, which for some odd reason had been getting ignored up til now, took a hull point off the nearby Rhino with a quick salvo from its multilaser and heavy bolter.
The Terminator Lord continued to maul the Guard, this time slaying the
Lord Commissar in single combat. Up til now, CK and I had been rolling
for various Chaos Boons, but I haven't recorded them in this batrep, so
insignificant were their effects. This time, though, the Terminator Lord
achieved a Dark Apotheosis, turning into a Daemon Prince! Not good at
IW: Not much happened in movement and shooting, seeing as the only things left were the Terminators, the Cultists and a Rhino. The Cultists continued their long march towards the relic. The Rhino took a potshot at the bikers, killing one. The Terminators moved up to hasten the deaths of the Guard, and between them and their newly ascended Daemon Prince, the Guard were quickly ripped to bite-size chunks.
BL: Once again, I stupidly rolled a Morale Check for Melta Squad 2 and passed. Stupid, stupid, stupid... And you know what? They rolled snake eyes for crawling their miserable hides out of that crater that used to be their Rhino. *sigh*
The Vendetta saw a worthy target in the Daemon Prince, so it hovered back and knocked off 2 wounds with its lascannons. The bikers and their lord came racing round the hill to slam into the Terminators, with the Lord easily defeating the Terminator champion in single combat. With the champion (who bore the only power fist in the squad) dead, the remaining Terminators found it a bit harder to deal with the T5 bikers, and no further casualties were taken by either side.
IW: The Daemon Prince headed towards the Vendetta, got a lucky charge roll and brought it down. Meanwhile, the biker lord's daemon weapon chose this moment to betray him. Still, he managed to bring down a Terminator. The Terminators dealt no damage in return, and combat continued.
BL: This turn, Melta Squad 2 headed to the melee with the Terminators, seeking to end the fight quickly and take the objective. It ended predictably enough, with the biker lord getting into gear and smashing the last 2 Terminators with his axe.
IW: Well, nothing much left. If the game continued to Turn 7, Melta Squad 2 would grab the relic and the game would be mine. If not, I had First Blood and CK had Linebreaker, meaning a tie. We rolled for turn 7 and the dice came up a 4. Victory to the Black Legion!
Ah... the glorious glow of violent victory... But seriously, there were some things I felt I could have done better. Here are 3:
1) Sly Marbo could have been used better. As it is, I allowed him to waste his lovely big demo charge on inconsequential targets, then get killed by cultists. Cultists! I think I'll keep him in the list, though I'd probably be better off trying to make sure he can dump that charge somewhere where it counts, like in the midst of survivors of a recently-wrecked transport, or some back-line heavy support troopers.
2) I think starting from Turn 2 I could have afforded to actually pull back slowly and just hammer at the oncoming enemy with my guns. I'm pretty sure that I had enough firepower at that point to smash both the Berserkers and the Chaos Marines, rendering CK incapable of grabbing the relic. From then on, I could have dictated the game through superior firepower, and happily let my Vendetta and Manticore hammer him into the dirt. This would probably also have been a better use for the Crimson Guard, letting them sit in their Chimera as a mobile firebase.
3) The Forgefiend could have afforded to keep a little further back and pummel the foe from afar.
Would I change my list? Truth be told, I like it as it is. Now that I read this battle report, I don't really think I've got anything in there that's wasting points. I'm particularly pleased with how the Crimson Guard have performed. Still, I'd like to keep some options open, seeing how quickly I get bored of using the same list. What would I change? Well...
On the CSM side, one Melta Squad is 243pts. That looks to me like it needs replacing with, oh, a Heldrake and an autogun-armed squad of Cultists. Baleflamers just look like too much fun not to try. Besides, I LIKE daemon engines!
On the Guard side, I've been toying with the idea of swapping out the Manticore for, say, a plain Leman Russ, then giving the Veteran Squad a little more gun. Maybe a heavy weapon of some sort, so they can camp in their Chimera and ping away, relatively unnoticed as the battle rages around them. We'll see what I can throw together in a while, yes?
So, until next time, happy wargaming...