Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Daemohunters (1750pts)

Hard to believe that after a year of playing with a local gaming group of no more than 15-20 people in it, there are still some people that I haven’t played against.  This week, I managed to wrangle down the king-pin himself, Andrew, in a 1750 point match between my Ultramarines and his Daemonhunters.

As a preface, Andrew is the man behind the curtain for our local gaming scene, responsible for providing us a regular place to play, as well as the man who organizes most (if not all) of the tournaments in Anchorage.  He makes all the terrain for these events, and well, he’s just one of those guys you have to salute.  Without his contributions, this gaming scene would not exist in our local area–at least not anywhere near the magnitude to which it does now.  So, thanks to Andrew for all he does.

That said, I wasn’t about to take it easy on him…

Ultramarine Forces:

  • HQ:
    • Pedro Cantor
  • Elites:
    • Sternguard x4 (w/ 4x Combi-flamers)
      • in a Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • Dreadnaught w/ Multi-Melta/Powerfist
      • in a Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • Ironclad w/ Seismic Hammer
      • in a Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher (+homing beacon)
  • Troops:
    • Scouts x5 (including Sarge with Powerfist)
    • Tactical Squad x10 w/ Missile Launcher & Flamer
      • in a Rhino w/ Hunter Killer Missile
      • with a Drop Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • Tactical Squad x10 w/ Missile Launcher & Flamer
      • in a Rhino w/ Hunter Killer Missile
  • Fast Attack:
    • Vanguard x8 w/ jumpacks (including 2x T.Hammers & 1x Relic Blade)
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer

Originally the list was designed for a higher point value and also included a Vindicator, but when I asked Andrew how many points he wanted to play, I had to cut something from the list, and the Vindy was about perfect. 

The thought behind the list was to again use a unit I’ve never played with (the Vanguard), and give a shot to drop pods.  I tend to use maybe one in the army (for my Ironclad), but that’s about it.  My goal was to drop more units and see what they could do–using them to contest objectives and using their deathwinds to keep everything else at bay.  I also wanted to try my hand at dropping them empty, as marines apparently can do that (but Nidz, for some reason can not)–hence the reason the first tactical squad has both a rhino and a pod.

Daemonhunter Forces:

  • HQ:
    • Stern
  • Elites:
    • 4x GK Terminators w/ 1x Pyscannon
  • Troops:
    • 7x GK’s w/ 2x Psycannons
    • 7x GK’s w/ 2x Psycannons
    • 7x GK’s w/ 2x Incinerators
  • Heavy Support:
    • Landraider
    • Landraider
    • Landraider

I s’pose if I told you that you were going to face a 1750 point list of Grey Knights, this is about what you’d guess you’d see.  From what I hear on the net this is the only “competitive” GK list available, though I’m sure I’d disagree with that assertion.  The list is obviously based around sticking three squads in the raiders and then turtling until the opponent is weakened enough for the infantry can disembark and dispatch with the remaining fragments.

I wasn’t terribly keen at the prospect of facing three landraiders, as I only had a handfull of strength 8 weapons, and nothing strength 9+.  Perhaps removing the vindy from the list wasn’t my best of moves…?

Mission & Deployment:

For mission, I was fine with anything, and expected him to pull out some crazy mission from tournaments past.  Andrew is known for coming up with great thematic and wacky missions, and so I figured he’d have a magical binder full of them at his grasp.  Alas, he did not, so we went for a standard mission: Pitched Battle w/ Kill Points.

Dicing off for first turn, I won, and chose to go first based upon the terrain.  It was obvious that I’d lose a long-range slug fest (having relatively few units that could scratch his tanks, much less trade blows with his lascannons), so I chose the side that allowed me to hide my forces behind a nearby mountain.  For deployment, I chose to reserve almost everything, leaving only the two tactical squads and the scouts (all in transports) on my side. 

The better tactical decision would’ve been to hide them all in the alcove and make him come to me, but I’m not a big fan of turtling myself, and besides, my pods were going to drop down first turn, and they’re much more effective if I bring the fight to them, rather than turtling with them as well.

Andrew plopped his three tanks down with somewhat clear lines of fire to my rhinos, and proceeded to fail to seize the initative…

Turn 1: Ultramarines


For reserves, I chose to drop the Ironclad, and the empty pod.  I figured I’d plop down the Ironclad near a tank, and then use the other pod to screen him off from others, allowing him to trade blows with a single tank (assuming it still stood), thereby increasing his chances of surviving.  It seemed like a solid tactical move… until the dice got involved.

I placed my Ironclad’s pod down, but it opted to deviate a full 11 inches (almost directly) away from the vehicles.  He’d still be in range for his melta-gun, but he lost his beloved extra die for penetration.  Dropping the second, empty, pod, in front to screen him from the other tanks as best I could also proved disasterous, as it deviated back towards the original location where I’d placed the first pod.  It helped block at least one sponson’s line of site, but I wasn’t feeling too good about looking down the barrel of 5 more twin-linked lascannons…

Then I opened a massive torrent of fire upon a single raider.  Ok, it was more like two missiles and a melta gun, and somehow I managed to rip a sponson off.  No, it wasn’t a wreck (which was impossible to roll), but it wasn’t a bad start. 

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 0

Turn 1: Grey Knights

Pivot, Pivot, Pivot.  Fire, Fire, Fire.  The game of turrets commenced.  By the end of the turn, one rhino was completely wrecked, along with the Ironclad (which was obviously his first priority).  The other Rhino remained unscathed.

A rather uneventfull turn, seeing as movement consists of tilting each vehicle one way or another, and then rolling a lot of lascannon fire… Simple, yet effective.

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 2

Turn 2: Ultramarines

Slightly disheartened from the prior turn, I roll for reserves, hoping to get the multi-melta dread, as that has the best odds of actually doing something to the tanks.  Of course, Murphy’s Law dictates that I get the other two squads instead.

I drop my Vanguard down in a risky gambit position: directly in front of two of his raiders.  My thought is that I have a 33% chance to hit, and then if I deviate in a little more than 50% of directions (sides or back), I’m still safe.  Well, that’s if I exclude the pod that I had which scattered into their tank last turn…  Yes, I could lose them, but more likely they’d simply be delayed for a turn. 

So, I roll for deviation, and wouldn’t you know it–they scattered into the 1″ gap between my pod and his tank.  Clearly that’s not going to work, so we roll for mishap: 1.  After that tragic mishap, my thunderhammers are lost in the warp–never to be seen again.

The Sternguard, after seeing the last grizzly fate, opted to cower in fear behind their own drop pod (which conveniently dropped down to the still standing Ironclad’s pod–with homing beacon), out of LoS from those land raiders….

Everything that could (read: one rhino) shot at the wounded raider, in what would start the rest of the game of futility.

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 3

Turn 2: Grey Knights

Click. Click. Boom!  With nothing better to shoot at, he turns towards the remaining rhino and pods and vaporizes practically everything in front of him.  Well, technically he simply wrecked the pods, which brought up an interesting discussion.

My pods are not the standard GW pods, being created in 4th edition before GW released a suitable model.  So, my pods don’t open up like the newer models.  As a result, when “wrecked” I’m supposed to leave the model in place, but they still compeltely block LoS.  Even when I turn it on it’s side, they take up about the same amount of space.  The end result is that my models are still protected, cowering behind the destroyed vehicles.

Now, he was fine playing it that way, but it seemed too much like modeling to an advantage to me, so I offered to completely remove them, and replace them with suitable craters–as if they had been completely destroyed, but he declined.  What do you think?  Is it fine to play this rules as written (RAW), or is this something that should change to suit the spirit of the game?

With that resolved, he forgot to roll for reserves, and we went back and went through the process.  His termies came down, deviated into terrain (0 casualties), and proceeded to pester my unit behind the wrecked rhino.

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 6

Turn 3: Ultramarines

It doesn’t look good for our hero.

My Multi-melta dread sputters down, and lands directly in front of his tanks, exactly as I wished the Ironclad would do first turn.  He manages to hit and penetrate the vehicle, but sadly only stuns it for a turn.  My one-shot wonder would not live to fire his weapon again…

Elsewhere, my guys took cover where they could, and the storm repositioned itself into the middle of the board:  They didn’t have much they could do: as charging st6 power weapons would certainly mean death, and the flamer was almost completely ineffective against the tanks.  I could’ve hid them away again, but that’s far too cowardly for the might of the BLOO marines, so I just moved them up to the center of the board, within striking distance of anything!

My Tactical marines poured their bolter fire into the terminators, along with the Sternguard–to no avail.  The missile launcher from the other tactical squad thudded harmlessly into the ceramite armor of another land raider…

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 6

Turn 3: Grey Knights

The one standing drop pod dies horribly to lascannon fire (along with the dreadnaught), and the other tanks start to move around, lancing long marines where they can.  Meanwhile, his terminators shifted slightly on the hill to get a better shot at the Sternguard, and manage to kill one with their Psycannon.

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 8

Turn 4: Ultramarines

Technically this game is still tieable at this point.  He has a total of 8 KP’s in his army, all I need to do, is take out 1750 points worth of hardened units with roughly 700 points of my own. 

Possible?  Certainly.

Plausible?  Absolutely not.

I’m now shifting gears towards morale victory.  My goal is to crack open one of the Raiders.  No, it’s not likely this will happen, but what have I got to lose?  In all actuality, I’d shifted to “morale victory” mode at the end of the second turn, as it was obvious I’d lost the game at that point, but I didn’t voice the forgone conclusion until this point.

So, with my new objective in mind, I perform a series of daring maneuvers:

  • The Sternguard advance from behind their cover, and run towards the now immobolized raider.  Oh, by the way, one of my ineffective shots from above somehow managed to immobolize it.  I guess that’s pretty important to my new strategy.
  • The storm moves flat out and flanks the same raider.
  • The missile launcher marine from the tactical squad fires a krak missile into the same tank.

Ok, so the last one might not sound risky, but think about it: these guys aren’t stupid, they know they’ve lost.  Ergo, if anyone stays on the battlefield, I consider that to be risky.

Next turn… I’ll charge!

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 8

Turn 4: Grey Knights

Seeing my devious gambit, Andrew rerouted his other landraiders to cut me off–but was out of position!  While he was able to kill a single marine with a heavy bolter, he couldn’t stop me from charging in.

Minor morale victory for me achieved: The first turn Andrew did not get a KP from me!

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 8

Turn 5: Ultramarines

I charge in with Pedro, and his bodyguard (who wrap around the tank to block the exits), along with the scout squad.  Five attacks from Pedro and three from the scout, all requiring a 6 to glance–but at least they auto-hit, right?  Statistically I should get one glance, and with my luck, it’ll be shaken.

But somehow, the dice gods saw through to smile upon me, and give me a whopping 5 out of 8 dice as sixes.   So, assured that I’ll do something bad to a tank which was already immobolized and had two weapons ripped off it, I roll my five dice to see:

Nothing higher than a 3.

By this point, I’m scrolling back over my life and wondering what heinous Karmic crime I’ve perpetrated to deserve such a horrendous bout of luck. Try as I might, I don’t recall burning down any orphanages, or slaughtering any convents.  Could it be that I was just this unlucky?

KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 8

Turn 5: Grey Knights

Now, the Grey Knights decide to exit their vehicles, and they do so in a fashion to prevent me from charing them next turn.  In order to pull this off, he turns his tanks in such an angle so that there isn’t a gap bigger than 1″ apart, and disembarks every model out the sides of either vehicle, thereby creating a triangle of marines, who unload and kill off all Sternguard but one.

All but one, I say!  Hurrah!  No more Kill Points for him!

Rolling the dice to end the game, it mercifully does, and I’m officially out of my misery…

Final KP Total: Ultramarines 0 – Grey Knights 8

What I learned:

This has got to be the most painful game I’ve played–or at least the most painful one in recent memory.  I’ve certainly not written up a game where I was trounced so badly as to not even kill a single model of my opponent’s.  Granted, there was a game where I managed the opposite against Kris, but I figured the fact that I haven’t managed to beat him in a game since was my karmic justice for that game…

That said, I managed to play the entire game with a smile on my face.  After all, it is just a game.  Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.  When I first started 40k, I wouldn’t have been nearly so graceful about it, but I’ve calmed down in my old age… Granted, there’s still room for me to grow, but I’m happy with my progress so far.

GK's Relaxing After Teleporting

GK's Relaxing After Teleporting

At the end of the game, I did speak up though, and I’m not certain whether or not I should’ve.  I debated it internally before saying anything and was careful with my phrasing.  The basic jidst was that I was surprised that Andrew hadn’t disembarked earlier, and that when he did, he did so in a fashion as to prohibit me from even charging his models. 

As stated at the top of this post, Andrew is a great guy, and he comes from a Acting/Roleplaying background.  His favorite miniature game involves changing rules on the spot in order to make the game more fun.  So, the fact that he’d use a power-gamer type tactic (which is perfectly within the rules) was surprising to me–especially when the game was already a forgone conclusion.

His response was that he plays to the character of the army.  Essentially, this army was created as a tourney army, and that’s just how he plays it.  Had I faced his Orks, he’d have had a suitably goofy, in-your-face strategy.  I s’pose that’s a good enough answer, but to be honest, I wasn’t 100% satisified with it.

Ultimately, I probably shouldn’t have said anything… but I’m so inquisitive, that I just “needed” to know what the thought process was.  I’d never played him before, but after hanging out with him for more than a year now, I would have assumed a game with him would be totally no-fuss, straight forward, friendly-as-can-be.  Instead, it was more like playing in a tournament.  Granted, this is only one game… so I’m sure I’m looking far too much into it…

I mean no disrespect to Andrew.  He’s an awesome guy and a great player.  I hope to play against him again–but next time, hopefully it’ll be against a different army. 🙂

So, back to my typical bulleted list on what I learned:

  1. Whatever can be surmised from the above: You can’t tell a book by it’s cover; Small Sample Sizes;.. etc.  This is one I’ll have to ponder a bit more.
  2. Sternguard “plasma” ammo is only AP3.  I call it plasma because it overheats and seems to ignore armor, but then again, I don’t face terminators much…
  3. Vanguard are risky.  This much I knew going into the game, and despite their complete failure in this mission, I’m ok with trying them again.  I’ve seen them in the worst of times, now I’m hoping to see them in the best…
  4. Land Raiders aren’t worth shooting at.  I knew this already, as av14 is practically unkillable.  Some may disagree, but if you look at the odds, they’re never in your favor.  The odds of killing a landraider with a single str9 shot is just over 7%.  The odds with a strength 10 shot?  15%.  Of course, strength 8 (that isn’t melta) is right around 0%–until you rip the weapons off and immobolize it.You’re really better off firing at anything else over a land raider.  As a result, I always choose to ignore them in favor of anything else.  This is the first time I’ve had to fight a list that was essentially nothing but land-raiders, and though I had several units that could have done something–they all managed to fail and die miserably. In hind-sight, I’m fine with my list.  Obviously it’s not “tournament quality,” which means it’s not min-maxed, but I’m happy with the mixture of shooty and combat it provided.    I’m unlikely to play this list ever again (since I always make new lists before each game), but looking it over in hindsight, there’s not much I’d change.  Typically I would use a Lascannon in at least one tactical squad–I’m not sure why I went with double missiles–especially since I had to use a devastator as a stand-in.  So I guess maybe there’s one thing I’d change. 🙂

12 comments on “Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Daemohunters (1750pts)

  1. that’s pretty close to the tournie list for GK’s, usually the Termies arent taken and the squad numbers are beefed up to help your oh so expensive troop units survive should their mobile bunkers get taken out.

    That said iv played this sort of list many times before, it wins against some opponents but will melt like butter against others, dark eldar in particular are happy to face this list… This makes it pseduo tournament able, that and it’s prone to bad luck completely screwing it in a flash.

    The biggest problem right now with GK’s is a complete lack of variety, their lists are spam because they can’t be anything but (for pure GK forces, not Inq/GK forces). I can’t wait for GW to get around to reduing them and adding a few more unit types in there to spice it all up, can not wait!!

    Give those vanguard another try, i would invest in another beacon for your pods so you have a better chance to make sure they are able to come in without scatter and where you want amidst the enemy. Not sure where you placed your original pod, but if it was 1 inch away from the raider, and it scattered 11 inches back, you should have been able to place the vets 6 inches from the pod, not scatter thanks to beacon, ring your dudes(getting you another inch or two thanks to the rings) and be within charge range of the raider sense he didn’t go anywhere (and thus you would hit automatically in CC).

      • Why not?
        Locator beacon says “if a unit wishes to arrive on the battlefield via deep strike and chooses to do so within 6″ of a model carrying a locator beacon, then it won’t scatter.”

      • I could simply be confused (which wouldn’t be the first time), but I thought there was some rules incompatability that prevented them from using it. I’m in DC this week, so I don’t have access to my codex, but isn’t there something in either the Heroic Intervention rules, or the Teleport Homer that prevents them from using it?

        Google searches don’t let on to much, but perhaps there’s a difference between teleport homers and homing beacons that is confusing me?

      • Locator Beacon is the wargear in the pods/scout bike sergeants, it does as i said above with the only exception being that it has to be on the table already the turn they come in. Which isn’t an issue for vanguard trying to use a pod beacon assuming the pod will usually come in Turn 1.

        Teleport homers are different, they’re available to Tac/scout squad seargents and of course Mr. Calgar. They work the same way but only allow teleporting units to use them.

        Heroic intervention has the caviot that you can not use it if you shoot, if you attach an IC, or if the vanguard aren’t using jump packs to deep strike (like a drop pod instead).

  2. I love my Vangaurd for Blood Angels, but I only scatter 1d6 and get a nice re-roll on the reserve. If I played a Vanilla/Pod list like this I’d try to put those pods right against the enemy lines and spring for the locator beacons.

    On the subject of bad scatters: I used my *useless* Tactical Terminators in a couple games last week and in one game they scattered the full 12″ and ended up misshaping to a secluded corner. Back to the closet they go…

  3. Great battle report, sorry that it turned out so one sided. As some one that has played Andrew a few times hear is a little insight. Andrew plays 40K like he was playing a RPG. In that each army has a personalty and he uses that in the way he builds and plays them. So if he tells you he built them to be a tourney list then he will play them as a tourney army in all games.

    As for how to deal with AV14, you got to have melta weapons on more than one unit, that can be brought to bear at the same time. This is the best way as a SM player to open up a raider. As for the Monolifh you just need to bring lots of S9/10 weapons and unload, or forget it completely and go for phase out. All the other AV14 has a rear AV of 10/11 and can be delt with in HtoH quite nicely.

    • Meh, you win some, you lose some.

      And what you described about his tourney list mentality, is 100% in line
      with what he was saying. It seems odd to me, but believable.

      As for dealing with AV14, against any other army, I deal with it by ignoring
      it. Land raiders are a reliable troop deployment system, but other than
      that, it’s just a couple of guns per turn. That’s really the same thing I
      do with Wraithlords, Tyrannofexes, or anything else that takes a ton of
      firepower to bring down. They really tend to be expensive point sinks that
      aren’t worth the effort to destroy, as your shots are better focused
      elsewhere. Of course, when you have no other choices aside from av14…
      well… I guess I have to shoot at them.

  4. Pingback: Battle Reports for 5th Edition: A Summary | Warhammer 39,9999

Have something to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.