Monday, January 14, 2013

Even briefer Batrep: Blood Angels vs Chaos Marines, 1750 pts

Truth be told, I didn't plan to record this, but the way this game played out came as quite a surprise to me: I was obliterated! By Turn 5! Most interesting, seeing as I was using my trusty Blood Angels who had been wreaking havoc and having my opponents struggle to even stay on the board for at least the last 5 or so games in a row. Since I hadn't planned to record this, I'm just jotting down the lists and the salient points of the scrap.

My Blood Angels:
Reclusiarch with infernus pistol
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
6 Sternguard Veterans with 3 combi-meltas, 2 combi-plasma and a heavy flamer 
7 Death Company with 2 infernus pistols and 2 power axes
Land Raider Redeemer with multimelta and extra armour
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
Predator with autocannon and lascannon sponsons
Land Speeder Typhoon

100% the same list as before. Another one of my lists exemplifying my general strategy of focusing on killing everything in sight with no regard for objectives, because if the enemy is a pile of corpses, objectives become irrelevant, yes?

Peter's Chaos Marines:
Chaos Lord on a bike with Mark of Nurgle, Sigil of Corruption, Power fist, Blight Grenades, and a gift of Mutation
10 Plague Marines with 2 meltaguns and power fist for the champion in a Rhino
9 Plague Marines with 2 meltaguns and power fist for the champion in a Rhino
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
Helldrake with Hades Autocannon
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War
3 Obliterators with Mark of Nurgle and Veterans of the Long War

First off, I have to say Peter's dice were HOT today. How hot? When rolling for his Chaos Lord' s Gift of Mutation, here's what happened:

First roll: 66 - Dark Apotheosis, so reroll...
Second roll: 66 - Dark Apotheosis, so reroll...
Third roll: 64 - Multiple boons. 4 in total, giving his Lord these abilities:
i) Shred
ii) Crusader
iii) Shrouded
iv) Reroll failed armour saves 

Warlord Trait: Hatred Incarnate.

Seriously, that is NOT 165 pts worth of Chaos Lord... Shrouded on a T6 bike?? 

Mission: The Emperor's Will
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was not active on the first turn.

Peter had his 3 squads on Obliterators in a line, hiding in ruins. The Chaos Lord was with the one in the centre. I had my Typhoon, Predator and Redeemer in a line facing them. 

Turn 1:
Completely ineffectual shooting on both sides.

Turn 2: Blackraven comes in. All Blood Angel elements advance on the Chaos Lord and the nearby Obliterators. Shooting from Blackraven, the Typhoon, the Predator and the Redeemer resulted in 1 Obliterator taken down. Return fire destroys the Redeemer and 4 Death Company marines. One Rhino of Plague Marines and a squad of cultists arrive.

Turn 3: Goldraven still not in.  Blackraven goes into hover, releases the Sternguard and DC Dreadnought. The Rhino, 4 Plague Marines and one Obliterator  are destroyed in shooting. DC Dreadnought and Death Company charge the Chaos Lord and the attached unit of 3 Obliterators. One Obliterator loses 1 wound. Note to self: Never ever charge Terminator Armour with Blood Talons. Ever.

The 2nd squad of Plague Marines and the Helldrake arrives. Helldrake takes 1 hull point off the Typhoon. Chaos Lord kills the Reclusiarch (who had no choice but to fight, as the Death Company were wiped out the turn they charged). Chaos Lord then turns into a Daemon Prince. What did I say about hot dice? Plague Marines and Cultists charge the Sternguard, wiping them out. Shooting from Obliterators destroys Blackraven.

Turn 4: Goldraven in. Fires on 2nd squad of Plague Marines, killing 3.Typhoon blows up a squad of Cultists. Return fire from Obliterators and Plague Marines blows up Goldraven, Daemon Prince and Obliterators charge the Furioso, destroying it.

Turn 5: I now have a Predator left, and have only managed to kill one squad of Obliterators. Suffice it to say, this game did not end well for me.

Wow. So what happened? How is it that my lovely list, which can consistently tear apart a Tyrantstar, got lain low by Chaos? Okay, let's take a closer look. First off, one has to understand how my army functions. Here's what usually happens.

Turn 1: Plink away with what few guns I've already got on the field. A Typhoon and a Predator can usually cause some hurt, taking out a vehicle and getting me First Blood. The Redeemer advances, and it's usually resilient enough to drive right up the middle and not get blown up in one turn, as long as I'm careful not to expose it to tankbusting firepower (i.e. melta weapons and demolisher cannons) this early in the game.

Turn 2: The Stormravens arrive, heading for the biggest threat on the battle field and maul it. If it's a vehicle or monstrous creature, I launch Bloodstrike missiles. If it's infantry, it's time for Hurricane bolters. Usually, nothing survives 2 Stormravens' worth of firepower. In my experience, not even a Tyrannofex.

Turn 3: Stormravens back up 6" and unleash their cargoes. This allows the Ravens to unload another punishing salvo into anything in the vicinity. Add to that the firepower of the Sternguard and the Furioso, and there's really not much which will survive. Anything that does survive, can be sorted out by either the DC Dreadnought, or the Death Company themselves, who had been using Turn 2 to get into position while the enemy is still reeling from the Stormraven's assault. Throughout all this, the Typhoon and the Predator will be largely ignored, and continue to dump their firepower where it's needed.

Turn 4: By this point the back of the enemy army will have been broken, and the rest of the game is spent mopping up.

Now, with this in mind, we can see the weaknesses in the strategy. How can this list fall flat on it's face? Right now, I can think of 3 things that will cripple this army:
  1. Lots of Saber Platforms.  Super-accurate intercepting lascannon fire will ruin anyone's day, but a list like mine with so much killing power held in a few pricey vehicles will suffer horribly. If the Ravens die to interception, that pretty much ends the game for me.
  2. Spammage. Specifically, a Venomspam list, with no discernible centre for my Ravens to break. It would be like trying to take on a pack of wolves with one powerful lance strike. Granted, you can kill one or two things very, very dead, but the others are fighting fit, still lethal as hell, and care not a jot for the relatively few casualties you've caused.
  3. Sheer durability. I believe this is how Peter's list killed me. With all my guns, I simply didn't have enough to take down enough Obliterators and Plague Marines in time. Even without Skyfire, a few rounds of shooting from Obliterators is sooner or later going to take down my flyers and effectively shut me down.
Another little perk of Peter's list that crippled my army was the simple 5-point blight grenades on the Lord. Rage makes a big difference to the Death Company's charge, and without those extra 2 attacks, I suddenly didn't have the volume of attacks necessary to get past a 2+ save.

So how could I have won? Honestly, I'm not sure. If I had focused my guns on his Troops choices to deny him the ability to score:
  1. His Obliterators could pummel my army with impunity, and 9 Obliterators can do an insane amount of damage with 5 rounds of shooting;
  2. I'm not sure how efficacious the Death Company would be at dealing with Plague Marines, seeing as those blight grenades shut down Rage, effectively reducing the Death Company's punch by 40%.
If I'd focused on the Obliterators, I simply don't have the killing power necessary to wipe them out.

So, what's a Blood Angel to do, eh?  Well, I've an idea... but I'll save that for another post. The gears are turning in my head...


  1. lets not forget u had me worried at the sheer volume of firepower u had coming at me....also the number of attacks from the DC Dreadnaught's blood talons was insane!!!

    1. Still not enough gunishment. Things might have gone very differently if the DC Dreadnought managed to go and play with the Plague Marines...

    2. true....errrrr...y did the DC dreadnaught charge the oblitz instead?

    3. I figured the Death Company would need help taking down the Obliterators using sheer volume of attacks. Given that I'd inflicted over 20 wounds, one would have expected more casualties. Now that I think about it, I forgot to resolve the attacks from the power axe that day...