Saturday, June 8, 2013

Batrep: Chaos Marines vs Vanilla Marines, 1750 pts

At long, long last, a batrep! It's been a while since I've gotten round to one of these. Today, the Black Legion takes on their age old enemies, the Ultramarines, led by Shazli. I do believe this is actually my first game against Shazli, and thus felt it well worth jotting down. That, and I do believe this is the first time my Chaos Marines have actually engaged a Vanilla Marine army. So, here are the armies...

My Black Legion:

Chaos Lord on bike, with Mark of Khorne, Sigil of Corruption, Axe of Blind Fury, Gift of Mutation (Blade of Chaos - My axe now has Fleshbane!)
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 and meltabombs for the champion
Helldrake with Baleflamer
Forgefiend with 2 Hades Autocannons
5 Havocs with 4 Autocannons
Vindicator with Siege Shield

All units which can take Veterans of the Long War have it, except for the Havocs.

Warlord Trait: Master of Deception (all 3 of my Chaos Marine units Infiltrate!)

Same list as before. Again. I can't really remember ever using a different CSM list successfully. Well, not in 6th edition, at any rate. And that time I partnered them with the Imperial Guard most certainly doesn't count. I like this list.

Shazli's Smurfs:

Chaplain Cassius
6 Sternguard Veterans with 4 combimeltas and 2 plasmaguns in a Drop Pod
Ironclad Dreadnought with 2 Hunter-Killer missiles in a Drop Pod
5 Assault Terminators, all with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
10 Tactical Marines with flamer, missile launcher and powerfist for the sarge in a Drop Pod
5 Scouts with sniper rifles, camo cloaks and a missile launcher
Land Raider
Land Speeder Typhoon
Land Speeder Typhoon
10 Assault marines with a power fist for the Sarge

Warlord Trait: Legendary Fighter

1,715 pts, by my reckoning. Looking at those Drop Pods, I knew I was going to be on the ugly end of a pretty fierce alpha strike on turn one.

Mission: The Emperor's Will
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. Shaz won the roll off and forced me to go first. Night fighting was active on the first turn.

I kept the Vindicator in reserve, together with the Helldrake. Shaz kept his Scouts in reserve, and of the Drop Pods, the Ironclad and the Sternguard were set to arrive first, the Tacticals later. Looking at the photo above, I know the deployment looks kinda strange, but there's a method to the madness! Apparently, Shaz's plan was to use the Terminators to draw me in, then launch a massive counterattack. That's what I had gathered from the deployment, anyway. Suffice it to say, I had other plans.

For the life of me, though, I know not why Shaz bunched his forces along the centre line like that, letting me put 2 Rhinos full of nasty Chaos Marines right behind that building ready to burst out and give the Terminators some dakka. My plan at this point was simple: The Chaos Marines move, disembark, dakka, then let the Rhinos move flat out to screen them. They take the brunt of the enemy counterattack, then the Bikers sneak up and maul anything the Chaos Marines are having trouble with (I'm looking at those Terminators). I didn't particularly care what the Sternguard and Ironclad would do. I knew they'd turn up behind my Chaos Marines, so I could leave them to the tender mercies of the Helldrake and my Heavy Support choices.

With the Terminators and Assault Marines out of the way, I'd push straight through, killing anything in my path, confident that whatever scoring unit Shaz put in my backfield would easily be dealt with by the two daemon engines (i.e. the Helldrake and the Forgefiend). That was the plan. Here's how it went...

Turn One:
Black Legion: The Rhinos moved up, out popped the Chaos Marines, guns blazed, 2 Terminators went down and Rhinos moved flat out to screen my exposed infantry. I deliberately left one squad inside its Rhino to dangle in front of the Terminators. The idea was to present it as bait as it would force Shaz to devote some firepower to cracking it open and then whatever charged the contents would find itself within easy charge distance of my Bikers.

My Bikers advanced and turbo boosted, keeping close behind my Chaos Marines, and making sure the Spikey Bikey Lord was well protected against any Drop Pod assassination attempts.

Smurfs: The Sternguard and Ironclad dropped in, deployed and unleashed all their dakka on the Bikers, but only managed to kill 3, thanks to the 4+ Jink save from turbo boosting. The Landraider and Land Speeder Typhoons opened up and blew up one Rhino, killing a Chaos Marine with a plasmagun, and wrecked another on my left flank.

Cassius and the Terminators saw their chance to make themselves useful, flaming one traitor before crashing into combat with them. Cassius engaged the Aspiring Champion in a duel, but both sides failed to wound each other. The Chaos Marines managed to kill one Terminator, and the Terminators, luckily for me, only killed one Chaos Marine in return!

Meanwhile, the Assault Marines leapt into the forest, right in front of the Chaos Marines advancing there. Unfortunately, one unlucky Marine maimed himself on a tree and was taken out of action. A volley of bolt pistol fire took down one Chaos Marine. They charged, and  lost another of their number to overwatch fire. The Aspiring Champion bellowed a challenge to the Assault Marines' sergeant. Seeing as the Champion had a Lightning Claw AND Hatred, the sergeant decided it was wiser to sit this fight out. The Chaos Marines experience and equipment carried the day, and the traitors won 3 kills to 2. The Ultramarines were not so easily cowed, however, and they stayed in combat.

Turn Two:
Black Legion: The Helldrake arrived from reserve and proceeds to incinerate the Sternguard, leaving one survivor. He was then blasted into chunks by autocannon fire from the Havocs. The Forgefiend took advantage of the Ironclad facing the other way and unleashed a salvo into its rear armour, scoring 5 penetrating hits (yay, daemonforge!) and blasting it to smithereens.

To the right, the plasma-toting Chaos Marines charged into the melee, easily tearing them to shreds for no losses in return. The Bikers moved up to charge into the Terminators engaging the other squad of Chaos Marines. Khorne was kind this day, and the Spikey Bikey Lord smashed into the Terminators with 12 attacks, wiping them out. The duel between Cassius and the Aspiring Champion continued, and ended with Cassius staving in the skull of the Champion, but not before taking a wound in return. Bloodied and surrounded on all sides by hated traitors and fallen Terminators, he turned to face the Biker Lord's wrath...

Smurfs: The Tactical squad arrived from reserve, dropping right behind the Forgefiend. The two combat squads deployed and tried to get something through the Forgefiend's weaker rear armour, but alas, it was not to be.

One Typhoon zipped up the side of the board, moving to support the Tacticals, while the other teamed up with the Land Raider to fire on the Chaos Marines in the forest, but was mostly thwarted by the cover afforded by the forest - only one Chaos Marine fell!

Chaplain Cassius faced off against the Spikey Bikey Lord... and the Axe of Blind Fury turned on its master! Blast! Undeterred, the Lord still managed to strike Cassius 3 times (thanks to the rerolls from moral support). Coupled with Fleshbane, it was all too much for Cassius and he went down. The Ruinous Powers saw fit to give Spikey Bikey Lord +1 BS for his troubles.

Turn Three:
BL: Really not much left on the board now. The Vindicator arrived from reserve, much to the consternation of the Ultramarine Tactical squad. The Demolisher Cannon roared and 4 marines from the sergeant's squad and their Drop Pod were reduced to itty bitty bits. The Helldrake swung round and finished off the other combat squad. Then the Forgefiend, in a brutal display of overkill, hammered the sergeant with its Hades Autocannon. Predictably, he died.

With most of his army dead and half my army yet to fire their guns and start charging stuff, Shaz figured there was only one way this could go and he graciously conceded.

That went rather well... What's there to say, really? I had a plan, pushed it through. and that was that. As such, I really haven't anything to say from my side.

So, putting myself in Shaz's shoes, is there anything which could have been done better? Well, for a start, I'd have deployed one Land Speeder Typhoon off way to the side. At least that would ensure I couldn't infiltrate 2 Rhinos worth of badass behind that building in the center.

Also, I'm not sure about the strategy of using the Terminators as bait. That having been said, since a Land Raider can't transport both Cassius and the Terminators, I'm not sure how I've have wielded my forces either.

The thing is, my Chaos Marine squads are superior in close combat to pretty much everything in Shaz's army, bar the Ironclad and the Terminators. The Ironclad was rather carelessly left with his back facing both my Havocs and my Forgefiend - an unfortunate waste. And the Terminators, well, they weren't anything my Bikers couldn't handle. And of course, on top of that, Shaz had to worry about the Helldrake, zooming about and brutalizing his infantry with impunity.

All in all, a pretty uneven match-up, I think. Lesson learnt? Don't turn your back to a Forgefiend...

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