Sunday, May 5, 2013

Batrep: Chaos Marine vs Space Marines & Imperial Guard

Once again, the Spikey Bikey Lord rode forth. This time the Black Legion faced the hated Imperium of Man! Right, to business...

My List:
Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of Blind Fury, Gift of Mutation (Nothing!)
10 Chaos Marines with 2 plasmaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
10 Chaos Marines with 2 meltaguns, extra close combat weapons and a lightning claw and meltabombs for the champion, all in a Rhino with Dirge Caster
7 Bikers with Mark of Khorne, 2 meltaguns, Icon of Wrath and a lightning claw for the champion
Helldrake with Baleflamer
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons
Vindicator with Siege Shield

Warlord Trait: Hatred

Same list as before. Probably the most balanced list I've concocted of all my armies, with a nice, kickass Warlord on a bike. Who, I must add, still hasn't had a chance to turn into a daemon prince. Somehow, I doubt it'll ever happen...

Wong's Space Marine & Imperial Guard:
Vulcan Hestan
Master of the Forge
Company Command Squad with 3 meltaguns, plasma pistol and vox caster
Ironclad Dread with meltagun, heavy flamer and chainfist in a Drop pod
Ironclad Dread with meltagun, heavy flamer and chainfist in a Drop pod
5 Scouts with sniper rifles, a missile launcher and camo cloaks
5 Tactical marines with combimelta and meltabombs for the sergeant in a Drop Pod
Platoon Command Squad with 4 sniper rifles
Infantry Squad with meltagun, autocannon and vox caster
Infantry Squad with meltagun and autocannon
Vendetta with heavy bolter sponsons
Rifleman dreadnought
Rifleman dreadnought
Leman Russ Demolisher with hull-mounted heavy bolter

Warlord Trait: Counterattack while in deployment zone.

Drop pods full of nasty-ass Ironclads. And with Vulcan Hestan there, that massively increases their reliability in nuking vehicles in a static gunline. On top of that, 3 troops choices with 3 radically different approaches to taking objectives: Guardsmen to sit on an objective within one's deployment zone, Scouts to infiltrate onto one, and Tactical Marines in a Drop Pod to wrest it from the foe by force. Looks to me like this list would be murder on a gunline army. Against something like my Black Legion, designed to surge forward, disembark and overwhelm with a mass of fairly high-quality troops, I'm not so sure, but we'll see, yes?

Mission: Big Guns Never Tire, 3 objectives
Deployment: Vanguard strike. Wong won the roll off and forced me to go first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

Knowing there's going to be Ironclads with twin-linked meltaguns dropping into my midst, I elected to leave my Vindicator and Forgefiend in reserve, which would at least guarantee they get one shot in. The strategy, then, was very simple.

I'll have the bikes, Rhinos and Havocs on the board. The bikes and Rhinos would move at full speed towards the enemy lines. Looking at the list, I could see there was really nothing in Wong's army which could withstand a solid charge from the bikers. The contents of each Rhino were pretty mean, too, so I was pretty confident in chucking them right in. If they get to enemy lines, they shoot stuff and beat it up in close combat. If their Rhinos blow up, they can either plod forwards, bolters blazing, or shuffle back to the objective in the middle.

The Havocs, meanwhile, would camp on their objective and shoot whatever comes into range. On top of that, being a heavy support choice sitting on an objective and only comprising 5 measly MEQ models, I knew the Havocs would prove an irresistible target which would command a lot of attention while the rest of my army went to work.

That was the plan. Here's how it worked...

Turn 1
Black Legion: The bikers moved and turbo boosted up the left flank, spreading out because man, that's a nasty-looking demolisher cannon... The Rhinos moved flat out straight towards the Guardsmen holed up in the ruin by their objective. In a loose line, of course, because DEMOLISHER CANNON. The Havocs took potshots at the Scouts in the ruins opposite them, but hit nothing. The objective they held turned out to be a Scatterfield. Yay! 3+ cover for the Havocs!

Imperium: The 2 Ironclad Dreadnoughts arrived, landing near the Havocs. One Ironclad targeted the Havocs, cooking 2 with its heavy flamer. The other took a potshot at the nearby bikers with its meltagun, vaporising a biker. The Scouts managed some amazing shots on the bikers with their rifles (4 precision hits!). And the missile launcher hit, too, but in the end, only one casualty was caused. On the right, the Imperials opened up on the Rhinos, immobilizing one and exploding another, killing 3 of its occupants.

Turn 2
Black Legion: The Vindicator and Helldrake arrived. The Helldrake zoomed right up the right flank, unleashing a gout of flame into the tightly packed Guardsmen, wiping out the Company Command Squad in one fell swoop. The Vindicator trundled up behind a building, lined up a shot into the Ironclad on the right, fired... and obliterated it in one shot!

Elsewhere, the remaining mobile Rhino moved flat out next to the blob of Guardsmen, getting them in range of the Dirge Caster. The bikers then moved up, charged and gutted 9 Guardsmen before they could even strike back. This was, understandably, too much for the Guardsmen, who broke and ran.

*Note: On writing this I realized that I had miscalculated the number of attacks I got. I should've gotten 16 attacks (4 of my bikers, excluding the champion and Lord, were engaged), not 20. That having been said, I had also forgotten this unit had Hatred, thanks to the Warlord Trait.*

To the right, the Chaos Marines decided against just sitting in their metal box and clambered out, using the nearby cover to get closer to the Riflemen Dreads.

Meanwhile, the Chaos Marines who had just lost their ride clambered out of the wreckage of their Rhino, eager to take out their frustrations on the nearby Demolisher. 1 meltagun hit and failed to penetrate, so the Champion showed the squad how a real Veteran of the Long War does it - he slapped a meltabomb on and laughed as bits of shattered tank rained about him...

Oh, and the surviving Havocs fired on a nearby Drop Pod, but failed to penetrate.

Imperium: All Wong's reserves arrived. Vulcan and friends landed right in front of my Vindicator, got out and, surprisingly enough, only knocked 2 hull points off and immobilized it.

The Vendetta's target was obvious enough - searing lascannon bolts lanced towards the Helldrake, one hit, it penetrated aaaand the Helldrake made its invulnerable save. Yay, daemon engines! The Riflemen Dreads also tried to take down the Helldrake, but failed.

The Scouts, Ironclad and the nearby Drop Pods tried to kill some Havocs, but between the power armour and the Scatterfield, only 1 Havoc was killed.

Turn 3
Black Legion: Once again, the Forgefiend failed to turn up. The Helldrake, duty done on the right flank, zipped over to the left flank, close to the Vendetta and cooked 2 Scouts.

The Bikers and rightmost Chaos Marine squad converged on the Riflemen Dreads. The Chaos Marines managed to blow off a limb from one Dread, while the Bikers assaulted the other. The Spikey Bikey Lord did his thing and wrecked the Dread before it could hit back.

The other squad of Chaos Marines on foot headed for the nearest objective, while the other squad in the Rhino doubled back to the objective near the centre.

Elsewhere, the Havocs fired ineffectually at Vulcan's squad and the Demolisher took a hull point off the nearest Drop Pod.

Imperium: The Vendetta went into hover mode and wrecked my last Rhino. The Master of the Forge split off and wrecked the Vindicator. The rest of the squad joined the rest of Wong's forces in pinging shots at the Havocs, killing one and leaving one last lonely Havoc to hold the objective. The last Rifleman fired on the Bikers (I think) to no effect.

Turn 4
Black Legion: At long last, the Forgefiend arrived, stomping in on the right flank and firing a hail of dakka at the last Rifleman, knocking off a hullpoint. The nearby Chaos Marines finished the job with their meltaguns. With the right side of the board cleared of enemies, the bikes turbo boosted back to try and inflict some last minute violence on whoever they manage to reach.

The Helldrake zoomed past the last 3 Scouts, ripping them to shreds. Then it turned its baleflamer on the Vendetta (which had hovered the previous turn), striking the rear armour and blowing it up! It was an excellent stroke of luck for me, and left Wong with far too few forces to make any kind of attempt to turn the tide of the battle. With that understood, Wong conceded.

Whoopsy! Small mistake here: I took the photo before the Helldrake rather rudely  blew up the Vendetta with a gout of daemonfire from its behind.... 

Well, that went better than expected. Admittedly, I had excellent luck on a couple of rolls, most notably:
  1. Blowing up the Ironclad in one shot from the Vindicator.
  2. The Helldrake making the invulnerable save against the salvo of lascannon death from the Vendetta.
  3. Blowing up the Vendetta with one blast of baleflamer. 
To add to Wong's trouble, it was only after the battle that we realised that he had forgotten to place his Platoon Command Squad! Who knows what difference another 4 sniper rifles would've made, eh?

Still, given the performance of the main body of the army, i.e. the Chaos Marines, there was very little Wong's army could have done to stop them. Or indeed the bikers, cheerfully tearing across the battlefield and ripping apart the hapless Guardsmen for the glory of Khorne...

So, for my part, there's nothing I'd have changed about my list or my tactics in this game. All elements did their jobs magnificently, and the Spikey Bikey Lord managed to survive to the end of the game - a rare occurence.

Putting myself in Wong's shoes, I'm not sure what one could do against my Black Legion. With meltaguns and meltabombs in half the army's units, the Ironclads aren't really able to get close enough to hurt anything. The troops choices are all too fragile to go toe to toe with any of my own squads of Chaos Marines, let alone the bikers, who are mobile enough to target a unit and shred it in pretty short order.

And that's it from me. In other news, I've been getting lotsa games of X-Wing in on the side, and when I figure out how, I suppose I might well do a batrep. Stay tuned...


  1. Seems like your Black Legion is on a roll...

    1. No, no... My Black Legion just suffered a narrow defeat to CK's Iron Warriors during the weekend. I'd guesstimate that only 1/4 of my 40k battles are recorded here.