Friday, 2 February 2018

The Brothers War - Cerberus

Planet: Cerberus.
Region: Cerberus sector.

Death Guard vs Ultramarines.
2000 points.
Mission: Last Stand - Empyric Storm.
Deployment: mission specific.

With the Death Guard on the run the forces of the Imperium are in a position to decimate what remains of the chaos forces. Primarch Robute Guilliman decides at last that now is the time to demoralise the enemy and takes to the field, joining his chapter in an all out attack upon the Death Guard headquarters. His fallen brother, Mortarion, bursts forth from the Warp to clash blades with Guilliman once again.

8th edition has been out nearly nine months now and I have never had the opportunity to face down the reawakened Ultramarines primarch Robute Guilliman until now. My friend Mike challenged me to a Guilliman vs Mortarion showdown and there was no way I was going to say no. We agreed on 2000 points and I let him pick the mission. He blindly chose Last Stand from Chapter Approved 2017 and the Empyric Storms battlezone. Neither of us had properly read the mission rules and on the night a couple things surprised us and made just a bit more interesting.

The night before the game I noticed that I needed a fortification, so I had to quickly try and change things around to include a chaos bastion. We don't play the narrative style games with differing points per player. We prefer to play it with the standard match play format before anyone queries that.

I had to deploy the bastion and three troop choices. Everything else goes into reinforcements. Cultists held the bastion and the plague marines sat behind ruins for cover. We had a brief discussion whether or not a unit of terminators could be deployed off table ready to teleport in rather than have to walk onto my table edge and we agreed that they could. The mission didn't say as far as we could tell. Anyway, everything else of mine has a 3+ chance of coming on at the end of each of my movement phases. However, it doesn't say that they automatically come on turn X or whatever. But surely my dice couldn't screw me over that badly... could they? Mike deployed his entire army across the table from me but I get the first turn.

First turn and I just tried to move my plague marines so that the Ultramarines didn't have a great field of fire on them. Mortarion, Typhus, the plaguecaster and a bloat drone came on table end of the movement phase. I wasn't worried about Mortarion too much as we both wanted a proper primarch on primarch fight later in the game. A wounded Mortarion would not have been fair. Mike's first turn was move everything forward and just blast my poor cultists into oblivion with grav weapons. He also managed to knock wound after wound from my bloat drone.

I shall point out at this stage that we noticed that the victory conditions were all in Mike's favour. He just had to kill all three of the starting troop choices to win. Two to draw and just one to lose. Ah... hell!

Turn two. I advanced Mortarion up my left flank hoping that Michael would stay true to his word and not burn my primarch to ground with his repulsor tank. I don't think i got anything in on turn two from my reinforcements. I did manage to inflict some casualties this turn on the Ultramarines including a fair few wounds on the repulsor and the redemptor dreadnought. Smite was working very well as was The Lantern. It was the one and only time that Mortarion's pistol would wound anything all game. Mike continued to pour fire into my plague marines and I lost a fair few. He also dropped some reivers in a short way from my plaguecaster but their shooting was terrible. I think I lost one wound.

Turn three and I got my defiler in at last. I still have a plagueburst crawler and the deathshroud terminators waiting to come in. I so needed that crawler at this point. Between shooting and smite was able to drop the reivers down to two men, and take some more wounds from the repulsor and the dreadnought. Mortarion attempted to charge a unit of marines and failed the charge! Mike charged the reivers into my plaguecaster and rolled a double one. They just stood there looking scared! The plagueburst crawler died under the grav plates of the repulsor. The burst from it knocked a single mortal wound from the Ultramarines around it.

Turn four.  Nothing really moved for me and nothing came in. Why dice gods? Why??? The only thing I did this turn as I recall was smash the reivers with a corrupted stick and cut down some primaris marines with Typhus. Combat ensued at this point. The redemptor destroyed my defiler and the explosion took it to it's last wound. Guilliman charged into Mortarion and took three wounds from Mortarion. I tried the six attack mode for Silence and that damn Guilliman passed all his invulnerable saves.

Turn five. I got the deathshroud terminators in but they came down too far away from their primarch to do anything. Still no plagueburst crawler. Sigh. Combat went on buy Mike had been a gentleman and decided that a draw was acceptable and didn't go after my remaining plague marines. We wanted this game for the primarch fight and that's what we got. Mortarion did manage to knock some mortal wounds onto Guilliman via smite but his plague aura did nothing. I tried the eighteen swings against him this time but and I did a few wounds.

Mike's fifth and the Empyric Storm actually did something.... we lost invulnerable saves! Mortarion and Guilliman both looking somewhat concerned now. Guilliman struck Mortatrion a solid series of blows which without an invulnerable save and my terrible DR rolls, meant that he was struck down. The primarch of the Death Guard exploded in a cloud of flesh-eating bacteria and the resulting mortal wounds killed Guilliman! Did the funky new suit of armour save Guilliman and stand him back up? No it did not! The two primarchs killed each other on the last turn of the game! How awesome was that?!!!

The game ended a draw. Hard fought by both us but that final last moment of the game was more than worth it! Fantastic game and a perfect showcase of casual gaming. One of the best that I have had.


After thoughts... the Empyric Storm rolls did nothing all game. At best they knocked a single mortal wound off my plaguecaster. Rest of the game they did nothing of note until that last turn of the game.

I still never got the plagueburst crawler in. It sat on the side table all night with no action. Three games for that unit now and each time it has not had a chance to do anything.

The final battle was just awesome and well worth the wait. Next time though Guilliman will fall to the Angel of Nurgle! I so swear it!


+++ New Roster (Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition) +++

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Chaos - Death Guard) [24 PL, 470pts] ++
Rules: Inexorable Advance, Plague Host, Plague Weapon

+ Lord of War +

Mortarion [24 PL, 470pts]: Attendant's claws and teeth, Blades of Putrefaction, Curse of the Leper, Phospex bombs, Putrescent Vitality, Silence, Smite, The Lantern, Warlord

++ Battalion Detachment +3CP (Chaos - Death Guard) [79 PL, 1334pts] ++
Rules: Inexorable Advance, Plague Host, Plague Weapon

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 110pts]: Blight Grenades, Bolt pistol, Corrupted staff, Curse of the Leper, Krak grenade, Miasma of Pestilence, Smite, The Pandemic Staff

Typhus [9 PL, 175pts]: Blight Grenades, Curse of the Leper, Master-crafted manreaper, Putrescent Vitality, Smite, The Destroyer Hive

+ Elites +

Deathshroud Terminators [11 PL, 180pts]
. . Deathshroud Champion: Manreaper, Plaguespurt gauntlets
. . 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlets

+ Fast Attack +

Foetid Bloat-drone [8 PL, 158pts]: 2x Plaguespitters, Plague probe

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [6 PL, 48pts]
. . 9x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon: 9x Autopistol, 9x Brutal assault weapon
. . Chaos Cultist w/ special weapon: Heavy stubber
. . Cultist Champion: Shotgun

Plague Marines [10 PL, 180pts]: Icon of Despair
. . Plague Champion: Blight Grenades, Krak grenade, Plague knife, Plasma gun, Power fist
. . 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight Grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak Grenades, 4x Plague knife
. . Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Blight Grenades, Krak grenade, Plague knife, Plasma gun
. . Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Blight Grenades, Krak grenade, Plague knife, Plasma gun

Plague Marines [10 PL, 164pts]: Icon of Despair
. . Plague Champion: Blight Grenades, Krak grenade, Plague knife, Plasma gun, Power fist
. . 5x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 5x Blight Grenades, 5x Boltgun, 5x Krak Grenades, 5x Plague knife
. . Plague Marine w/ Special Weapon: Blight Grenades, Blight launcher, Krak grenade, Plague knife

+ Heavy Support +

Defiler [11 PL, 167pts]: Battle cannon, Defiler claws, Defiler scourge, Reaper autocannon, Smoke launchers

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 152pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Plagueburst Mortar, Rothail volley gun

++ Fortification Network (Chaos - Death Guard) [10 PL, 192pts] ++
Rules: Inexorable Advance, Plague Host, Plague Weapon

+ Fortification +

Chaos Bastion [10 PL, 192pts]: 4x Heavy bolter

++ Total: [113 PL, 1996pts] ++


The fortress defenders.

A mighty redemptor dreadnought.

A defiler marches onto the table.

Mortarion, primarch of the Death Guard.

Guilliman, primarch of the Ultramarines, hiding like a coward behind a wall.

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