Wednesday 28 September 2016

First Offensive - Abraxes III

Planet: Abraxes.
Region: Ceres Sector.

Death Guard vs Astra Militarum / Genestealer Cult.
Mission: Spoils of War.

Abraxes III had largely fallen to the Death Guard invasion. Those who did not die from the virus bombing soon turned from the Emperor's faith to praising Nurgle. But not all. A sizeable portion of the PDF seemed resistant and fought all the harder to defeat the invaders. It was only where monstrous hybrids and foul genestealers emerged from the sewers that Typhus realised that another force had already set their eyes upon the Abraxes system.

This was a tournament match against my friend Ashleigh. I knew he would be playing Astra Militarum and so I expected my poor Death Guard to get pummelled by either mass small arms fire or mass tank shots. What I did not expect was massed guardsmen (no tanks) with genestealer cult allies. I was looking forward to this even more now.

Game set up saw us playing length ways down the table. His guardsmen positioned deep in his own deployment zone but his hybrids infiltrated half way up the table and his broodlord sat in outflank. Almost immediately the broodlord and genestealers came in and proceeded to decimate one chaos marine squad before being blown apart by two squads of cultists.

The hybrids proved to be the most annoying with two mining lasers which despite missing for the first two turns soon were stripping hull points from my Chaos Knight and wrecking a Rhino I needed to get my plague marines to their destination. It soon became a game of attrition as his fire power knocked out a few models at a time and pushed me back. With the Knight's help I soon cleared the center of the table and Typhus with his terminator squad managed to slaughter through any enemy units in the central ruins.

Even so this game did not go well for me. As seems to be my luck lately I just could not get the tactical objective cards that I needed and Ashleigh's army managed to contain me centrally so I couldn't reach the ones that I did have. His cards, as expected, were all perfect for him. By the time our three hour limit came round he was so far ahead on VP's that I had no chance of catching up.

The Death Guard had made planet fall but found the world far from weak. Alien forces now opposed them and Typhus knew what must be coming. The Death Guard prepared to move street by street burning out any trace of the xenos filth while preparing for what was to come. Even now his sorcerers began to complain about voices in their minds and a terrible shadow moving through the Warp.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Guerrilla Warfare - Lelithar

Planet: Lelithar.
Cadian Sector.

Dark Angels vs Death Guard.
2000 points.
Mission: Cloak and Shadows.

The war for Lelithar was not going well. Every attempt to push forward was being met by stiff resistance from the Dark Angels marines. It was becoming clear that despite superior numbers the Death Guard could not strike their targets en mass without suffering serious defeat. Typhus instead divides his legion into multiple smaller war bands and dispatches them to numerous potential targets with the idea that the space marines cannot protect each and every target. The war may be fought piecemeal but slowly the Death Guard would achieve victory.

I haven't played my nephew for a while so I challenged him to a 2000 point 40k game. I knew he would accept and dust off his Dark Angels. I decided to play for fun and try out the new Black Crusade detachment from Traitor's Hate to see if it would work ok for an event I was playing in a weeks time. Knowing that I had to have a Chaos Knight for that event I took one for this game as practice but it's cost meant that I would be forced to forego any vehicles in my list. I can tell you right now that it hurt me big time.

Deployment was the old classic across from one another and the mission rolled was Cloak & Shadows, which I had played recently against Raven Guard. Objectives were well spread around and my deployment let me start with two of them. My nephew started with three in hand.

His list was something I haven't played against before. He normally takes the big land speeder with the shadow/cover effect but this time he didn't and instead played a Librarian Conclave block with Azrael which was frankly scary. Otherwise he did his usual of spamming grav weapons in both tactical squads and a devastator squad. Those things are the bane of my games sometimes.

He got first turn and I chose not to try and steal. He inserted two drop pods, one with a devestator squad with grav cannons and the other with the conclave. His grav weapons knocked down the Knight before it got chance to do anything. Impressive but I felt that I had wasted vital points. Must learn not to get attached to super heavy walkers.

From there the game just got worse for me. He scored all three of his starting objectives and on my turn I scored none but did kill a handful of his marines. My next turn saw me draw an objective that he held so I raced my bike squad up the side, smashing through the tactical squad holding it only to find that his razorback a few inches away had the Objective Secured special rule  and I had nothing now to take it out.

Ultimately he was able to outflank my forces and cut me down in a withering hail of fire from three directions. Terminators and Plague Marines alike just cut down by small arms fire and grav weapons. Even Typhus dropped due to those. He may need to be benched in future games at this rate!

Turn five and it was almost half past midnight so I called it there. He had a very nice army and there was nothing I could do to pull it back. The objectives I drew were just dire and now where near me. The Chaos Warband formation is nice but too restrictive for how I play but the whole Black Crusade detachment was sort of nice. Because of the special rules I ended up with a biker aspiring champion with T7, 2+ armour save, fleet and feel no pain. He was a bit of a monster but he took a lascannon to the chest and died turn 4.

My real problem other than his grav weapons was the lack of speed. I needed rhinos and a land raider to get my units safely around the table. Just means that for the weekend event I'll not be playing the new formations or detachment like I wanted.

Good game but I hope not to play against that many grav weapons again for a while.

Friday 16 September 2016

Cloak and Shadows - Perdus Rift

Planet: Tyros.
Region: Perdus Rift.

Death Guard vs Raven Guard.
2000 points.

Cloak and Shadows.

Confident by their success against the Death Guard, the Raven Guard continue to hound the chaos marines into the countryside of Tyros. Typhus calls upon his psychic connection to the Warp seeking a way to secure a victory over the space marines. What he learns leads him and his forces to stage an ambush. Shryke sees through the false scouting and locates Typhus and his main force. Using the element of surprise they drop from the skies and reverse the ambush.

Played a revenge match against against Richard's Raven Guard last night. Know what he took last time I made a less competitive change to my list to help handle the lightning claw assault marine. I ditched most of what I had before in order to take a 15 man and a 20 man plague marines squad hoping it would be harder for him to cut through them. His list was different again. No lightning claws, just regular bolt pistol and chainsword assault marines. He also took two stormtalon fighters which proved once again that flyers are my bane. CSM really do need a better flyer than the Heldrake.

Six objectives were placed and we rolled for deployment which gave us the short ends of the table. He set up first with a scout squad on the table in a ruin and little else. Everything I had was deployed and just to be on the safe side I kept my Chaos Knight on the back edge to prevent him drop podding down behind it.

First turn his drop pods came down and all they did was kill four plague marines and nothing else. Even the melta weapons failed to touch the Knight. It looked well for me and I was hopeful that his poor dice rolls would help me in the long run. Come my turn the objectives I drew were rather terrible with only one that I could take. On his turn he had secured two with random victory points netting him 5 VP. My turn I achieved none. Thankfully though the squads he dropped in my deployment zone died to mass bolter fire and the actions of the Chaos Knight.

The second turn saw my dice go as bad his my opponent's/ We had a helbrute vs deadnought battle. My helbrute fired point blank with a multi-melta and missed. In combat it knocked one hull point off and his dreadnought hit me for five hull points and boom! When his planes came on they wrecked all kinds of trouble. Immediately my Knight lost 4 hull points and my predator turned into a burning wreck.

The objective cards then gave me objective 5 and two objective 4. Number 5 I had but 4 was contested until my Knight took out the drop pod stopping me. The following turn I got objective 4 again. Richard however kept pulling all the high point cards though and it was clear that without divine intervention I was losing this just on VP.

Typhus once again fell to his dreadnought. That seems to be a recurring element in our games. I got my revenge though when my Chaos Knight charged the Dreadnought crushed beneath the teeth of it's chainsword. Unfortunately my Knight exploded not long afterwards.

My plan to hold him back with large numbers of plague marines failed. Even just equipped with basic close combat weapons and just two thunder hammers, he smashed through both squads with ease although I did manage to drop a good number of them before my last plague marine fell.

Turn six and he tabled me. We didn't even bother looking at the victory points for comparison, he had easily doubled if not tripled whatever I had. It was a good game though and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am going to have to really consider what I can do about his hard hitting list for future games.

Friday 2 September 2016

Surprise Attack - Perdus Rift

Planet: Tyros.
Region: Perdus Rift.

The war against the Tau is going well. The planet D'Then is slowly falling to the forces of Nurgle. Typhus has returned to his base of operations on the planet of Tyros in the neighbouring system to oversee the war effort throughout the Perdus Rift.
Unknown to him the Death Guard presence has been detected by a Raven Guard battle barge headed towards their own war against the alien empire. Shrike decides that this may be the chance to strike against Typhus. For several days Raven Guard scouts monitor Typhus' base reporting back to the battle barge hiding behind Tyros' moon. When the time was right, Shrike lead an attack against the Death Guard.

Last night played a game against my friend Richard and his new Raven Guard army. We played a mission from the Battle Missions book called Surprise Attack. It represents a Space Marine surprise attack on an enemy headquarters so somewhat thematic.

My list was pretty much what I had played lately but as Richard wanted a 2000 point game I added in a Hel Cult (plague bearers proxying for some missing cultists), a few extra plague marines and two vengeance weapon platforms.

I was quite worried by what he could bring and I was not disappointed as nearly everything came with lightning claws. This was an army built to bring down my poor plague marines. He played 5 man squads though to break up his deployment and give me more problems to deal with.

Deployment for this mission is awkward as I can set up anywhere more than 12′’ from the table edge but the units must be 6′’ from each other. How a horde army might do this I have no idea as I struggled and we had to agree to shrink that where necessary. Richard’s forces can deploy in the 12′’ table edge and come in from any side.

To start with I was doing awesome. I was racking up victory points but turn three was the beginning of the end. Although his dice rolls were fairly pants all game he had slowly whittled hull points off of my Chaos Knight and when his Storm Raven came in it took the walker down with an impressive explosion. I had nothing that could touch the flyer and that was a huge problem. My only multimelta, on the helbrute, never got close enough to do anything.

His lighting claws were just horrible. No armour saves and FNP did me no good. I’m now dreading that my local space marine players will start outfitting with lightning claws when facing me. Typhus himself fell to a dreadnought after it ripped through his terminator bodyguards. Although thought dead, his body isn't recovered after the battle. Typhus will survive to fight again.

Come turn 5 and the game ended. Counting up the VP’s Richard’s space marines beat me by one point. 10vp to 9vp. Good close game.

Crusade Battles catchup

 It's been a few weeks since I last updated and in that time I have played a further three Crusade games. I am really enjoying playing C...