Batrep: Nurgle and Daemons vs. Daemhunters and Nids?? (1000pts)

After a long dry spell with 40k, I managed to play two games in a single weekend. The battle rep for my Friday night game has already been posted in my Ultramarines vs. Space Puppies blog entry, so this one I’ll go into the 4-way Sunday battle.

This was originally supposed to be my first game back to the hobby, but Kurt had conned me into playing the Friday night game (which I’m thankful of because I’m incredibly rusty, and the game was quite fun). The Sunday game we knew was going to take a while because it involved myself, along with Blaine (who plays exactly two games per year–when I invite him to Apoc games and he doesn’t have prior committments–and Derek. If I’m not mistaken, I think it’s been about five years since that man has played a game.

That may be a bit of hyperbole–but if so, only a bit. I don’t think he plays with anyone else except me, and our last game was with his Imperial Guard at my old house. I’ve been in the new house for a year now, so it’s been at least that long–but I know it’s been far longer. I’m not sure if I was even married at that time–which would mean it was three years ago, or if I’d even met my wife yet–so that’s another three years. Needless to say, he’s a tad out of practice.

Thankfully, our last member (Tony) plays fairly regularly still, so he was able to correct us on many of the basic rules that we’d forgotten.

The Armies

Since it’d been a while since most of us had played, and we had four players, we decided to keep the points limit low.  Although it was originally suggested that we might play as much as 3000 points per player, we ultimately decided on keeping it to a mere 1000 points each.

Rob’s Nurgle Force:

  • HQ: Epidemius
  • Troops: 7x Nurglings
  • Troops: 7x Nurglings
  • Troops: 7x Nurglings
  • Troops: 7x Nurglings
  • Troops: 16x Plague Bearers
  • Heavy: Nurgle Prince w/ Breath of Chaos
  • Heavy: Nurgle Prince w/ Breath of Chaos

Nothing subtle here.  My goal was to get my tally up as quickly as possible, and turn my nurglings into little chainsaws.  You may notice that I’m using Skaven as my Nurgle models—and that’s intentional.  I think they make amazing ‘counts as’ troops.

Tony’s Daemon Force:

  • HQ: 2x Slaneesh Heralds on Disks
  • Elite: 3x Flamers
  • Elite: 3x Flamers
  • Troops: 5x Horrors
  • Troops: 8x Bloodletters
  • Fast: 3x Bloodcrushers
  • Heavy: Daemon Prince

While I don’t know the particulars of his composition, he cleared played a three-demon split of chaos.  Since we were paired together (decided after we all showed up), it provided us a balance of all four gods on our side.

Derek’s Daemonhunters:

  • HQ: Inquisitor (Lord?)
  • HQ: Brother Captain – Completely decked out, w/ Terminator BodyGuard
  • Troops: 10x Stormtroopers w/ 2x Plasma
  • Troops: 10x Stormtroopers w/ 2x Grenade
  • Fast: Grey Knights x5
  • Fast: Grey Knights x5

I just knew he’d bring Eldar, but Derek opted to bring his Grey knights.   Well, he brought his Daemonhunters because he doesn’t have the new GK codex, so we played against his fourth edition rules.  As much as I hate the GK force sword “model is removed from play” rules from that book, I am ultimately glad that I didn’t have to play against the new grey knight book though…

Blaine’s Nidz

  • HQ: Tervigon w/ Acid Blood (I remember this part distinctly)
  • Elites: Doom in a Pod
  • Elites: 1x Venomthrope
  • Elites: 3x Zoanthropes
  • Troops: 20x Hormagaunts
  • Troops: 20x Hormagaunts
  • Troops: 10x Rippers w/ Spinefists
  • Fast: 5x Spore Mines

Only after looking at his army shot, did I realize Blaine played his spore mines incorrectly.  I’m not sure if he purchased them as five separate units, or what—but he did deploy them all separately.  Oh well, not like it had a huge effect on the game.  I liked this list because it included things that I rarely see played: Rippers, Spore Mines, Venomthropes, and even Hormagaunts (to a lesser extent).  A definitely shortage of monstrous creatures, but lots of attacks.  This seemed like a perfect army against an elite force of invulnerable saves…

The Battle:

With this battle almost a week old, and alot going on during the game, I’m a little sketchy on the details. For these reasons, I expect his battle report to be a little less detailed than others. I apologize in advance…

Turn 1:

I’ll be honest and say that we didn’t have the best of turns here.  Though we’d won first turn, things didn’t go great for the next couple of dice rolls.  I received my preferred wave—Tony did not.   Both Tony and I opted to heavily weight our preferred waves, so he wasn’t 100% happy with the results, but he did manage to hit with most everything.  I, on the other hand, got my two demon princes, epidemius (with his squad), and a squad of nurglings.

I’ve been debating as to whether it’s right to go aggressive with the deep strike placement on my princes.  The idea behind them is they’ll pop out and breath nearby units (like overpriced flamers) and rack up the tally quickly.  The first price deviated into a horrible accident—never to be seen again.  The second prince, likewise deviated, but he was just misplaced to the very opposite side of the board.  My squad of Nurglings deviated 10” into the river (away from the enemy—naturally), and Epidemius and crew went into terrain, and all but one lived to tell the tale.

Luckily, Tony was able to hold off the enemy—nuking a guard squad entirely, and peppering various units with love from his other units.

In return, our opponents thinned things down as well, but didn’t manage to get much in the way of KP’s (of course, they didn’t need any, because I’d already given them one by letting my best unit die in the warp).  By the way, I did a bad job of tracking KP’s, so I won’t show a running tally.  So you’re aware it basically goes like this: Turn 1 – They’re ahead by 2.  Turn 2 – we’re ahead by 3.  Turn 3 – they’re ahead by 2.  Turn 4 – We’re ahead by 1.  Very flip-floppy, and very close…

Turn 2:

Everything they had advanced upon us, and I started losing Nurglings to grey knights (they can’t stand up to str6 weapons on ws5 troops), for more KP’s of our opponent.  Tony was doing a decent job of holding them off—but he was effectively facing 2000 points with roughly 500 points of models.  If I wasn’t able to muster anything, it was going to be ugly quickly.

Sadly, the only real might in my force was my demon princes—half of which were already dead, and the other one was stranded in no-man’s land.  My only saving grace was Blaine’s insistence that Epidemius had to die—and soon.  His solution to the problem was to throw hormagaunts at my plague bearers until they killed off the tallyman.  Sadly, that was the one thing that was providing me kills—and therefore allowing me to raise the death count.

Turn 3:

Most units were on the table (except for a few stubborn ones).  Several squads of nurglings had died already (including another squad which misshaped into oblivion) to give our opponents the lead.  With the old GK codex out, they all received “without number” (or some similarly named ability—which just meant they kept coming back after dying).  With a KP scenario, this was a mixed blessing; I’m not sure if it helped us or hurt us more…

By this point, Derek’s inquisitor had managed to fail several psychic tests (even taking a wound as a result of one), and effectively removed himself from the game.  Blaine’s swarm had proven pesky—especially that venomthrope, which was seemed to avoid shooting at somehow (mostly because we had a total of about 12 guns in our entire army—most of which were flame templates.

Turn 4:

The last of the reserves showed up, and combats started to get in full swing.  By this point, the tally had topped 20+ and my nurglings had turned into the little chainsaws of my dreams.  Sure, they’re only WS2, but at 2+ to wound and ignoring all armor, they finally were beefy enough to kill those Grey Knights (and the lone monstrous creature).  Things were really starting to shift in our direction at this point—it seemed inevitable that we would dominate them.

With Epidemius tightly packed away in a massive unit of demons, it was pretty clear that nothing was really going to hurt him.  Add to that a never ending cycle of chainsaws (er… Nurglings), and I had a solid engine of death there.

Turn 5:

Everything I said in turn 4 about us inevitably winning?  Yeah, ignore that.

At this point, the doom had come down in the ideal spot to shift the tide of battle.  He came into a spot between two squads of nurglings, and Tony’s demon prince (who was engaged with a nearly dead squad of Grey Knights).  In the course of two shooting phases, that infernal Doom managed to wipe out all of our units, and protect the GK’s.  That came down to a 4 KP shift in their favor.

Elsewhere on the board, their Grey Knight Grandmaster (or was he a hero) reminded us how crazy “remove the model from the board” rules get.  Who cares if we’re immune to instant death if we just disappear from the table?  Though we managed to breath of chaos his entire squad away, nobody wanted to engage him in close combat—not even my Nurgle prince.  The way the GK was equipped I was going to strike last, at ½ my weapon skill, and any hit caused by my opponent would likely remove my model from the table outright…

Advantage: opponents..

Turn 6:

Things shifted back to our favor when we were able to collapse upon the majority of the opposing forces in a massive combat in the middle of the table.  Between the bloodcrushers and nurglings, we managed to deal 18 wounds to the rippers—which immediately died afterwards because of fearless wounds, and the other demons chased down his remaining zoanthropes.  Meanwhile, I tied up the Doom for a few player turns with another squad of nurglings (yes, I actually thought that I might be able to kill him with them.  No, it wasn’t anywhere near close.  Score another VP for the Doom).

My plague bearers proved too much for the GK character, taking him down easily, but not before he’d taken out both Heralds of Tzeentch, and done a great job of instilling fear into our entire armies.

Turn 7:

At the start of the final turn, I believe the game was tied.  But I managed to charge my plague bearers at his Inquisitor (who had foolishly come down from his safe perch atop the tower).  That kill was enough to give us the game…

Final Total: Demons: 13KP – Opponents: 12KP

That’s pretty impressive, considering our team only had a total of 16KP’s available, whereas they had 16.  By the end of the game, the total models still alive (excluding demons that kept coming back):

  • Epidemius
  • Plague Bearers (about 10)
  • Grey Knights x2
  • Nurgle Demon Prince x1
  • Doom of Malan’tai
  • Stormtroopers x4

Yes, it was a bloody battle.  I loved that it was so close and flip-flopped so often during the game.  It was a great way to get some of us old farts back into the action, where everyone got to take away a good story.

What I’ve Learned:

  1. Demon Princes of Nurgle probably shouldn’t deep strike so aggressively.  This is especially true if I have a few of them.  They’re big enough that the should be able to withstand some punishment from nearby squads (Though perhaps they need iron-hide to do a great job of this), and the risk of losing them to the warp just isn’t worth the potential benefit of bringing up the tally one turn earlier.  I’m not 100% on this, but this is what I’m thinking I’ll try next time.
  2. Doom + Pod = Win.  Ok, this isn’t strictly true, but that guy is insane.  I stick by my guns in saying that every Tyranid list really should include this guy.  Since the pod essentially lets him drop into the middle of several units without scattering, he’s just crippling.  This single model effectively gave Blaine a KP shift of +5.  Hands down, he’s the BEST thing in the Tyranid codex.
  3. Grey knights are rough.  Even with the old codex, they’re a tough army to face—especially if you’re playing demons.  I’ve always thought the old book was overpowered (though I’m probably in the minority on this one), but now that they’ve gotten the “IG BUMP” in 5th edition, the new dex seems completely over the top.  I’m not looking forward to the day when Derek picks that codex up and starts beating my face in with it.
  4. The solid-nurgle army + Epidemius strategy is pivotal.   Without demon princes out there, it’s hard to get the tally started properly.  If I was to translate this army to a larger point value, I think it would become necessary to get a third prince, probably Ku’Gath (or several more heralds), and upgrade some Nurglings to Plague Bearers.  Still though, it’s a real matter of keeping epidemius protected, and I would have almost no shooting.  I wonder how I’d handle armor…?
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