Because I fell ill, I wasn’t able to get a game of 40k in this weekend, but luckily I did manage to get two games in last week. Since I dragged my feet in creating the battle report, I’ll put that in for this weekend.
After, noticing I was 7-0-1 after my first 8 games and that I was predominately playing my Eldar & Ultramarines forces (because they were painted and I have traveling cases for each), I figured I’d mix things up a bit. After talking some theory with a local Tzeentch Daemon player, I figured I’d give those models a shot. (Of course, by “models, I meant “proxies,” since I don’t own any non-nurgle daemon units).
The idea was that I’d test out a few units that I’ve never played before, namely: flamers & screamers. Mixed in with some good-old-fashion standbys (Soulgrinder, Plaguebearers, Greater Daemon of Khorne), we’d give Derek a run for his money. Derek has several armies he could’ve brought (Marines, Eldar, IGuard, & Tau), but this time he brought his IGuard. Fortunately for me, he didn’t bring any ordnance. In celebration of selling his house, we played a 1104 point game—presumably because that’s when he bought the house? (actually, I think it was 1107, so maybe it’s when he got the offer?)
We rolled up table halves with two objectives. Derek was goodly enough to set one up in the middle of the board, so I was sure to place the other as close as possible to it. I figured that I had a small force, and his horde of IGuard would be able to hold diverse objectives much more easily than I would…
I won the die roll for first turn and gave it to him. That way he’d have at least one turn of nothing to shoot at. He deployed with a crescent of infantry (all of which had lasguns) and a reverse crescent of sentinels/leman russ (all of which had autocannons), and moved very little on the first turn (so little that I didn’t even note it in the diagrams).
Turn 1: IGuard
As stated, very little movement here. Mostly Derek reacted to me telling him I had a soulgrinder by spreading his units around to put as much distance as he could between models.
Turn 1: Daemons
In rolling for my reserves, I got the unit that I wanted. I went with a Greater Demon of Khorne, Soulgrinder, a squad of flamers, and two units of screamers. I figured that if I took all of my highly mobile units the first turn, that would allow them to react when my slower units came out (to give him more targets to shoot at) and (of course) I wanted my Soulgrinder to be able to shoot as much as possible.
Even though I was only facing lasguns and autocannons, I didn’t want to leave any unit exposed to that many die rolls. As a result, I deep striked everything behind the South-Eastern hill, and ran them into cover wherever possible. My dominating shooting phase consisted of killing a single guardsman with a bad scatter from my daemon engine.
Turn 2: IGuard
Like me, Derek is terrified of ordnance weapons. As a result, every autocannon he had drew a bead to the Soulgrinder. This meant he’d have to roll a 4+ to hit, 6 to glance, and a 4+ to do anything to the model (since it ignores shaken and stun results)—and I’d still get a further 4+ cover save from the hill. Naturally, this wasn’t ideal to him, but he wanted the gun gone and everything else I had was almost completely obscured behind the hill.
Needless to say the grinder took his shots like a trooper. None of my squishy targets were in range and LoS of his lasgunners, so he passed me the dice for my turn.
It should be noted that his squad of special weapon troopers came on this turn on the Western side of the board in their chimera (despite their absence on the below drawing). Marbo opted not to show up though…
Turn 2: Daemons
Of my reinforcements, my demon prince and the other squad of flamers came in. I went kamikaze with the flamers and roasted his closest guard squad (28 hits!)—the last two of which turned tail and ran. Meanwhile the Soulgrinder took out the platoon command squad behind them.
Everything else I had formed a nice little congo line behind the hill.
Hrmmm… Looks like I didn’t make a drawing of this. Oh well, I guess I’ll use the actual battle photo I took.
Turn 3: IGuard
Figuring his guardsmen were doomed anyway (and therefore disposable), the lasgun assault commenced. Too bad the northern squad only managed to wheel a single trooper into LoS of my flamers—but the Southern squad drew a bead on my demon prince (oops, not pictured again—picture him in the hole in the congo line). Really, I think he’d have been better off firing at my flamers or a squad of screamers, but he said he didn’t think he could draw proper LoS to either of those from most of the squad. Scoring a personal victory, he did manage to eek out an unsaved wound on my prince. Of course, that didn’t make for happy demons…
Turn 3: Daemons
My last two squads of reinforcements arrive. Actually, I forgot about them until the end of the turn—and had they come in, I’d have played things differently. There’s no point in having two units out there to soak up all of that fire, so this wouldn’t been the right turn to charge—but since I was pretty soundly thumping him, and I was the one who forgot to roll reinforcements, I figured what the hey…
Of course, they also had about as bad a deployment as possible. The first squad scattered into some nearby trees and lost three members—while the other took a roll on the mishap table, so my opponent chose to place them in the far corner—in range of his melta squad…
In the interim, the flamers managed to kill the rest of the NE guardsmen, and the rest of the crew slaughtered the Southern squad.
Turn 4: IGuard
The Melta squad and Chimera managed to thin their squad of plaguebearers down to two men—while the rest of the guardsmen unloaded on the other squad. Somehow, a single plaguebearer managed to shake off entirely too many flashlight shots….
Turn 4: Daemons
The war begins.
Everything launched up over the hill and began the charge. It sounds much more impressive when I say it that way instead of, I killed 10 guardsmen with lasguns this turn. But when I crested the hill, I’m sure that made a terrifying vision for the Imperial army. Daemons swarming everywhere—cutting down the patrol that was foolish enough to go see what was behind the hill.
My plague bearers advanced towards the center—since that’s where the action was…
Turn 5: IGuard
There were some careful moves, and a lot of orders issued this turn (especially since one of his command squads rolled a “2” when issuing orders). Unfortunately, they all chose the wrong squad to fire at. Instead of killing the plague bearers & screamers (which were easy kills), they all drew a bead on the bloodthirster. With a roiling combination of “Bring it Down,” and “Go Bonkers” (Derek’s rendition of ‘First Row Fire, Second Row Fire…”), they managed to shoot an amazing amount of non-wounding shots at the beast. When all was said and done, they did nick it with a single wound—but they paid for it before the end of the turn…
Marbo also showed up this turn, and tried to take out the wounded prince in the back, but failed miserably. He did get 2 points for braveness though…
Again, no drawing of this, but the picture of the turn oddly gets just about everything in the shot.
Turn 5: Daemons
The long plague-bearer and the forward squad of screamers charged the nearby guard squad, and the bloodthirster ran down the Guard HQ. All the while, the soulgrinder rained death upon the other guardsmen.
In the background, Marbo dies the death in hand to hand against my demon prince. Derek’s army is pitiful and routed. All that remains is for me to capture my objectives…
But then the roll for to end the game comes up and… 1?!? What? The game ends here?! NOOOO!!!!!!
Derek’s unit of half-strong guardsmen surrounded by the terrors of the warp are within 3” of his objective. My screamers are also within 3” to contest—but my slow-and-purposeful plague bearer was 5” away. My objective was sitting pretty with the Soulgrinder on top of it though.
In hindsight, I should’ve charged the closer squad with my thirster, and then stood a chance to win the game (should it end on Turn 5)—even though it wouldn’t have made a difference. With an army of lasguns and autocannons, Derek somehow eeked out a tie!
What I learned:
- Flamers are a good unit—especially when used kamikaze style. Screamers are not. Though they probably fair a lot better when actually used against vehicles (their designed purpose), they don’t score, and are inferior to any other unit in hand to hand against infantry. I don’t think melta-bombs are worth taking these troops again.
- Soulgrinders are awesome. Yes, I already knew this. I ❤ ordnance (when it’s not firing at me, that is). The fact that it’s ordnance with a relatively high armor value and ignores shaken & stuns is just the icing on the cake.
- Two scoring units of slow-and-purposeful plague bearers don’t cut it. Granted they came down in about the worst spots possible, and had I played as I wanted to, they wouldn’t have been unaided like that, but still. Slow is bad—only two options to score was bad. Both is horrible.
- If I was really playing to win, I should’ve dropped one unit of PB’s on my objective. They likely wouldn’t have scattered far, and I already had a ton of things to contest his objective. The fact that it was a friendly game definitely is what caused me not to win this game. Oh well though, we both enjoyed ourselves, and Derk got a personal victory as well.