Sunday, 27 August 2017

Dance of the Damned - Delphi Majoris

Planet: Delphi Majoris.
Region: Ghoul Stars

Death Guard vs Harlequins
1500 points.
Mission: No Mercy.
Deployment: Spearhead Assault.

This engagement was the true start of the war on Delphi Majoris. It began with a surprise night attack on the Death Guard by a troupe of harlequins, emerging from the webway at the heart of the traitor astartes force, and continued with a major engagement that lasted well into the following day. Meanwhile starships from several Craftworlds arrived in system to support the Ynnari efforts.

This was a game against Brian whom I haven't played against for a probably a couple years. He's also the only player I can think of locally who has a harlequin army and I fancied a game against them so I naturally challenged him.

So in the week before I game I did a little research on harlequins as I sort of remember them being quite nasty once they hit close combat. I fully expected Brian to bring a fast moving army but I expected a lot more troupes than he brought. My list had been built with that idea in mind but instead I think I made it quite hard for him.

The mission was No Mercy and we rolled the Spearhead Assault deployment. This was were I realised that something was amiss as Brian started deploying units of skyweavers and a handful of starweavers. There was just two troupes on the table and I believe a third in a voidweaver. Not at all what I expected.

The first turn was mine and I started by moving everything forward with Typhus behind to boost them. One plague marine squad and the plaguecaster advancing forward eagerly but moving out of Typhus bubble of pestilence. My left flank which was a chaos predator and a defiler opened up everything they had at the skyweavers knocking out a couple of them. The heldrake surged forth and managed to vomit over a handful of harlequins but failed to get the charge roll.. double ones!

Brian's turn had him pouring everything into my predator. Shuriken cannons and prismatic cannons all struck it but either failed to wound or just knocked minimum wounds from it. Brian's legendary bad luck was still very much in effect. He was able to knock some wound off the heldrake with a grenade but his troupe also failed to achieve the charge and lost a couple harlequins from the overwatch of the baleflamer.

Turn two and I continued to knock out skyweavers. The heldrake achieved first blood for me as it finished off those remaining harlequins. I was losing a few models from Brian's shooting and I believe it was his troupe master who left into the air and cleaved the head from my heldrake. It may not have lasted long but it did it's job.

From here the game picked up pace. Brian finally destroyed by predator. Only took him three turns when I had expected it to die much earlier. Combat was soon joined when his harlequins ran into one plague marine squad and the plaguecaster. Although Brian should have done great here I was just making armour and DR rolls like crazy. When combat was joined on the other side with Typhus, the solitaire knocked two wound from him and then died from mortal wounds. Brian was never again able to get into combat with my Typhus due to a screen of poxwalkers who otherwise did nothing all game.

Nurgle was definitely with me towards the end of the game as much to Brian's annoyance I made seven (the number of Nurgle) 5+ DR rolls in a row. He just could not take down the forces I had left. I was pleased with how my list worked although my actual plan didn't survive contact with the tabletop and I felt bad that Brian had such a hard time taking anything down.

Victory was mine 5 victory points to 2.

Not a bad game at all. We both had a great game despite my awesome rolls and Brian's usual bad luck. A good example of how you don't need a competitive list to have a fun game.

My list:

Typhus.
Malignant plaguecaster.
10 Plague marines with melta gun, plasma gun and an icon of despair. Champion with plasma pistol and plaguesword.
10 Plague marines with melta gun, plasma gun and an icon of despair. Champion with plasma pistol and plaguesword.
20 poxwalkers.
Heldrake with baleflamer.
Chaos predator with TL-lascannons and heavy bolters.
Vengeance weapon platform with punisher cannon.

Death Guard deployment.

Harlequin deployment.

A mighty heldrake soars through the ashen-grey skies.

Typhus and his followers marching forth.

Harlequins dancing through the ruins.






Thursday, 24 August 2017

Codex: Death Guard


Looks like the new codex drops middle of September with a couple waves of new releases in the weeks following. I'm really hoping that they make the legion as good as it was under the Traitor Legions book as at the moment I am finding Death Guard to be a little lackluster under the Chaos Index.

I'm also hoping that we get the Nurgle Daemons in this book and that they can be included in a Death Guard match play detachment rather than needing a detachment of their own. Simply because it makes it a lot easier to mix and match, and come up with interesting lists.

There are also units which are missing. Heldrakes and other daemon engines need a Nurgle update. Games Workshop will be asshats of the highest order if they don't allow players to include units that have always been legal before without having to take a separate detachment.

I am very excited for what will be coming in this book.


Monday, 21 August 2017

Contact Lost - Cerberus

Planet: Cerberus.
Region: Cerberus Sector.

Death Guard vs Ultramarines.
1200 points.
Mission: Contact Lost.
Deployment: Search and Destroy.

This engagement occurred during the Imperial push into the diseased heart of the Death Guard held territory. An Ultramarine task force pushed into a region of mountainous and forested terrain several miles ahead of the Imperial advance where they encountered a scouting force of plague marines. The psychic miasma surrounding Typhus blocked the Imperial communications forcing them to rely on the experience of their Primaris commander.

When I challenged Multch to an 8th edition game I had fully expected him to bring a Necron army as that was what I had seen him play recently. I knew he had at least space wolves and black templars but I did not expect to see them when I turned up for the game. His list was made to try out the new Ultramarines rules so this was going to be interesting.

You'll notice from the photos below that Multch was using models of various chapters to represent the army he was trying out. The funky looking purple and gold are going to be his own Ultramarine successor colours. No name for the chapter yet. Hopefully next time we play they'll have a cool name to go with the nice colour scheme.

Multch had the first turn and moved forward towards my corner. Focused heavy weapon fire took out one rhino transport leaving it's occupants to foot slog it forwards. He then put a lot of firepower into the land raider stripping wounds off of it but not doing enough to wreck it. He also deep striked an assault squad and jump pack librarian behind my lines.

My first turn saw the heldrake soar forwards, belching foul flesh-eating fluids over my opponent's scouts. The survivours then torn apart and eaten in the assault phase. The foetid bloat drone found it's role in the game spewing those same juices over the assault marines but due to space was unable to assault them. I in turn poured as much heavy fire as I could into the repulsor and vindicator but couldn't destroy either.

The first turn was probably the longest of the entire game. After that the second and third turns sort of melded together. My rhino transports were gone and incoming fire was slowly dropping my plague marines. I lost the land raider but not before I managed to melta the repulsor to death. Sadly no explosion to take Multch's primaris marines. Close combat was then joined as we had both got close to the center of the table. His primaris intercessors hacked through one plague marine squad far too easily. Why did Games Workshop have to take away a power sword option on my plague champion?!! It went down hill from there. A vindicator shot knocked off a lot of wounds from the heldrake and although I charged it into his primaris captain, the captain beheaded it in one swift stroke.

Unfortunately at this point we were close to having to pack up the club for the night so we called it. Multch was way ahead of me on points and he won 6 to 1. Once again the cards did not come through for me. Typhus kept sending my poor marines to objective 2 which was heavily defended by enemy marines. I tried to take it with my daemon prince of chaos but despite taking his inceptors down with ease, heavy weapon and massed bolter fire crushed him as he charged in.

A good game as always but one that I was probably not prepared for. Had he brought his necrons I think I might have done a lot better tactical cards not considered. Still, I look forward to seeing what his space marine army comes up with next.

A repulsor tank in Multch's colour scheme.

Deployment at the start of the game.

Death Guard deployment.

Bad bad primaris space marines!



Friday, 11 August 2017

Bunker Assault - Fandrel

Planet: Fandrel.
Region: Damocles Sector.

Death Guard vs Tau Empire.
1000pts / PL 50.
Mission: Bunker Assault - Fire and Fury.
Deployment: Dawn of War.

The Tau fleet arrives into the Fandrel system and is dismayed to find the worlds of the system already swarming with the servants of the plague god. Desperate to seize these worlds for their mineral wealth the Tau swiftly move in to the main world and engage the Death Guard ships in a mighty void war.

Meanwhile, the Tau commanders dispatch a force to strike at the command structure of the enemy. Secretly deployed to the surface they make their way to the Death Guard fortress with orders to bring it down.

Challenged Adam to an 8th edition game with his Tau. Adam hasn't had a lot of luck with his Tau and he's having trouble adapting to how they now play. I suggested he pick a mission from my list and he chose Bunker Assault. But surprisingly he chose to go with the Fire and Fury battle zone. I was rather surprised he did so as most of what I expected him to take has the Fly keyword and thus potentially risking mortal wounds any time they move, and if they stay put bits of space debris could easily fall upon them. It was going to be an interesting game. We are also playing 50 power levels although as the attacker needs more than me, Adam had 60 Power.

I had to set up first with my mission specific fortress first and then what few units I got with the power levels. I could have been a complete asshat and deploy the fortress behind ruins where he couldn't see it but I'm too nice. Before the game started proper, Adam was able to move/redeploy his ghostkeel to a point half way between his lines and mine. It would prove to be a pain in the backside all game.

First turn and Adam didn't really need to do a lot. He managed to drop starship debris onto both my fortress and one of the plague marine squads. The ghostkeel dropping two more from a second squad. His other shooting was very good but the falling debris did the job.

My turn one and I moved the cultists forward. Initially my play was to get them closer to his fire warriors and draw their fire away from the plague marines who were just within range. Didn't work out quite so well. I was also very reluctant to move my plague marines forward out of fear of the ghostkeel. Instead Typhus just dropped a psychic miasma about to preventing Adam's forces from hitting them as easily. My bolters did very little in return. My debris was not as accurate this turn but it dropped a few models.

Turn two and Adam gunned down most of my cultists. That was their use but I felt that I could have done better with them in hindsight. Adam continued to pour fire into my fortress but the dice were not with him. He could hit just couldn't wound it. He was relying on the debris I think which was doing the job for him.

My turn two and I changed tact. The remaining cultists moved to try and get closer to the ghostkeel. My idea now was to hopefully get them into combat with it and tie it down for a turn, just to reduce the incoming fire. I started to move up my plague marines and I was able to get Typhus to knock a couple mortal wounds off the ghostkeel with smite.

Turn three for both of us went really quickly for both of us. I had kept most of what I had left just out of range of his fire warriors and Adam's tanks were more interesting in shooting the fortress. The fortress was surviving and I was holding out hope that victory would be mine. I lost the remaining cultists due to overwatch. Adam's dice suddenly working when I didn't want them to. But I was able to inflict massive damage to the ghostkeel with a meltagun.

The game went downhill from there. I was able to drop the ghostkeel but Adam's hammerhead tanks both managed to just rip the last few wounds from the fortress which promptly collapsed into dust and twisted metal. I conceded here. There was no way in a turn that I could grab another e victory points and secure a draw. If only his bad dice rolls had continued I would have secured a nice victory.

So, unless the Fire and Fury battlezone game I had against Joel's tyranids last week, the falling debris actually worked this time with both of us taking damage and casualties. I was disappointed by the fortress which really needed an invulnerable save and better than a 5+ automated fire. Perhaps if you could a unit in the fortress fire the weapons on their Ballistic Skill it would have been worthwhile. I made a few mistakes, including one mission benefit, but Adam did well and it was a fun game.


My list, not including the fortress (15 PL) was:

++ Patrol Detachment (Chaos - Death Guard) [33 PL, 572pts] ++

Typhus [9 PL, 164pts]
Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 84pts]
2 units of Plague Marines [9 PL, 167pts]

++ Total: [33 PL, 572pts] ++

A ghostkeel seizes a vital firing position.

Death Guard deployment.

Typhus directs the cultists to their deaths!

The state of play.

Tau deployment




Friday, 4 August 2017

Operation Contagion - Abraxes

Planet: Abraxes.
Region: Ceres Sector.

Death Guard / Nurgle Daemons vs Tyranids.
2000pts / PL 100.
Mission: The Relic - Fire and Fury.
Deployment: Front-Line Assault.

Operation Contagion was a major engagement in the war for Abraxes. The Death Guard started a full offensive to take the war to the alien menace. In addition to the ground war, the plague fleets began a void war to bring down the bio ships overhead.



Played a match against my friend Joel tonight at the club. Other than the mission, battle zone and that we were trying out power levels I knew nothing of what he was bringing to the table. Could of been one of three armies, and he arrived with a mighty Tyranid army. A little disappointed as I was hoping he would bring Dark Angels but they can turn up next time.

I have been wanting to try power levels over standard points for a while now and Joel was happy to oblige where I think everyone else at the club is far more interested in regular points. I found the match just as balanced and fair as a regular game. Not to mention list building was so much easier than building a points based list under 8th.

My list was very infantry heavy as I was playing to the concept of capturing and holding the relic first and foremost. I included the Nurgle Daemons simply because I never got much opportunity to include them under the last edition and it was nicely thematic. Joel's list was more than capable of doing that by sheer numbers but he also had some big monstrous creatures to cause some troubles.

Rolling the Front-Line Assault deployment meant that we were both going to be slamming into the relic from the get go. I deployed first but decided to go second. My idea being that if the game went to rolling to end the game I could save a command point to re-roll it in my favour at the time. Joel's gaunts surged forward spitting death into my poxwalkers, who lost one model. His shooting was infamously good where as my turn 1 was fairly pants.

It all heated up from turn 2 as we both slammed into combat in the center of the table. I knew I was going to have trouble shifting the gaunts and I was right. Between failed armour saves and poor disgustingly resilient rolls, he was pulling my marines down. He was very much focused on taking down my great unclean one for some reason even though it was highly unlikely to get into combat with anything worthwhile. It lasted two rounds of shooting before it was slain and drawn back into the warp.

Turn 3 and I lost most of my army. The plague marines and plague bearers were slain, and the daemon prince was taken down rather brutally. My only moments of the game came here though. Typhus charging into a carnifex, and bringing it down with a manreaper to the face, and my defiler weathering everything the hive tyrant failed to do before ripping the alien war lord into a thousand tiny pieces!

At the end of turn 3 I called it and handed victory to Joel. There was no way I could win this now. A very good game and it has given me a few things to think about. Especially how to handle a horde army in the future.

Other things that grabbed me... Power Levels didn't make a lot of difference. The army lists still seemed very balanced and perhaps we both added options we might not have done or could have done easily under a points a system. Most importantly it was far easier to build a list without having to flick through the index and try to add everything up.

I was disappointed by the battle zone rules. I really expected that the blazing starship wreckage would have played a larger role in the battle. As it was it only really did anything twice during the whole game and one of those was because I paid the command points to have six dice on the table rather than three. I really wanted to see more carnage but as Joel said after the game, you only have to put the dice on the table edges away from everything to ignore them.

Lastly, on the bike ride home I tried to figure if I could have done anything different. My daemon prince of chaos was a bit of a waste and I think I could have used him better. I had intended to run him up the right flank to draw fire and assault the big things but even advancing it took too long. Infantry was definitely the way forward but I couldn't bring enough firepower or assault power to retake the relic.

---

++ Battalion Detachment +3CP (Chaos - Death Guard) [66 PL, 1276pts] ++

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord with Jump Pack: Plasma pistol, Power fist
Typhus: Miasma of Pestilence, Plague Wind

+ Troops +

Plague Marines: Icon of Despair
. Plague Champion: Plaguesword, Plasma pistol, Power sword
. Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. 7x Plague Marines

Plague Marines: Icon of Despair
. Plague Champion: Plaguesword, Plasma pistol, Power sword
. Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. 7x Plague Marines

10x Poxwalker

+ Elites +

Helbrute: Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +

Defiler: Combi-flamer, Defiler scourge, Reaper autocannon

++ Patrol Detachment (Chaos - Daemons) [33 PL, 646pts] ++

+ HQ +

Daemon Prince of Chaos: Hellforged sword, Mark of Nurgle: Stream of Corruption
Great Unclean One: Fleshy Abundance, Stream of Corruption

+ Troops +

Plaguebearers: Daemonic Icon, 9x Plaguebearer, Plagueridden
Plaguebearers: Daemonic Icon, 9x Plaguebearer, Plagueridden

++ Total: [99 PL, 1922pts] ++


The savage aliens advance.

Battle is joined as we fought over the relic.

Deployment.

Alien horrors.

The Rift Wardens

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