I wound up taking some time off this month, so on a whim, I called a friend that I haven’t played with in over a year, and we set up an impromptu game. It turns out, this is his first game of 6th edition and, I believe, it’s also the first game with his CSM. Now, he did play Chaos back in 2nd edition when it was all lumped into a single ‘dex, but things have changed significantly since then…
- Tyranid Prime w/ Toxin Sacs, Lashwhip/Bonesword, & Talons
- 1x Zoanthrope (Biomancy: Enfeeble & Endurance)
- 1x Zoanthrope
- 1x Zoanthrope
- 5x Genestealers w/ Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Endurance)
- 5x Genestealers w/ Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Iron Arm & Endurance)
- 6x Tyranid Warriors w/ Rending Claws & Talons (inc. 1x Barbed Strangler)
- FAST ATTACK:
- 6x Raveners w/ Rending Claws & Scything Talons
- HEAVY SUPPORT:
- Trygon Prime w/ Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands
My thought process was that I rarely take primes, so I should do it. I should also play a list without my precious Doom, and forgoing Tervigons as well. While I was at it, I wanted to see if multi-wound models (aka warriors & raveners) would hold up. The theory was that putting enough of them out there would make even S8 weaponry less effective. It should also give me a chance to check out some of the units I use less frequently, and improve my tactics overall.
The Zoanthropes were actually a last minute addition, as I felt that I’d likely need a way to deal with vehicles and some extra synapse (though in hind sight, the only unit that required help with synapse is the Raveners, who already had the Trygon, Warriors, & Alpha Warrior to help them out).
Chaos Forces (CSM w/ Demonic Allies):
- Chaos Lord of Nurgle, Blight Grenades, Power Axe, Sigil of Corruption, Ichor Blood, & Plasma Pistol
- Herald of Khorne w/ Hellblade, Iron Hide, & Fury of Khorne
- 9x Khorne Berserkers w/ Aspiring Champion w/ Chainaxe in Rhino
- Hellbrute w/ Plasmacannon & Powerfist
- 15x CSM w/ Aspiring Champion with Combi-plasma, Gift of Mutation (stubborn)
- 15x CSM w/ Aspiring Champion with Bolter, Powerfist, Plasma Pistol, & Gift of Mutation (Eternal Warrior)
- 7x Bloodletters of Khorne
Definitely not a min/max list. Simon was relagated essentially to what he had painted. As it was his first game, he also wanted to try out the Allies rules. Essentially, it gave me a non-specialized short-range force.
The mission turned out to be “Big Guns Never Tire,” and we deployed on the short board edges. Between Simon and myself, we went ahead and placed all of the objectives relatively close to the middleof the board. In fact, I’d say that all five of them were within 18″ of the center line. This made sense, since neither of us really had any long ranged firepower (each of us had exactly one gun that fired 36″, then the best guns we had were bolters).
I deployed all of my models up on the line, figuring he was unlikely to seize the initiative, including my Trygon. Now, normally I don’t bother deploying him, and I leave him in reserve. That way, I’m sure to get synapse in the backfield, somewhere in the vicinity of my raveners (or other fast moving units). This time, since I was already mixing things up, I went ahead and just deployed him. I have to say that he didn’t suffer from the immediate pop-up and die symptoms that normally affect him–though I’m sure the fact that Simon lacked any significant amount of high strenght/low AP weaponry affected this as well.
Simon declined to seize, and we were off to turn one.
A rather uneventful turn. I moved ahead with my entire force, and ran with all units except the warriors, who had opted to fire their barbed strangler into a mass of CSM. I hit 9, wounded 5, and one failed his armor save. They weren’t fearless, but then again, they weren’t bothered by the pinning weapon either. After felling a single marine, I gave over the turn.
Turn 1: Chaos
Simon put his Bloodletters, joined by the Herald, in his preferred wave (leaving his unpreferred wave completely empty), and rolled to have them deploy first turn. They landed in a nice area recently vacated by the bulk of my army, and scattered with their run move. The rest of his forces advanced, and opened fire into the Raveners and the Trygon. With the help of cover and various Feel No Pain tokens (gotta love Biomancy), the Raveners only took a single wound, whereas the Trygon lost two to bolters and another two to plasma.
And me without my regeneration…
Elsewhere, his berserkers in the rhino crashed into a river, and immobolized their ride, then promptly forgot that they could repair them. I’d have reminded him, but I didn’t know the new CSM codex allowed for that sort of thing… Go figure.
My warriors and a squad of genestealers (or should I say “broodlord insertion device?”) fell back to deal with the Bloodletters. In hindsight, perhaps this was a bit of overkill, but I wanted to ensure that they died without doing much damage. I believe I lost two genestealers in that combat, and killed all of the demons, so they accomplished their mission. Never before has rending been so succesful for me…
Elsewhere, my raveners charged into the Chaos Marines on my left flank, and despite charging through cover (Something I’d forgotten about, and had to adjust my numbers), they’d actually won combat. They felled seven marines, who only did five wounds on raveners in return, then proceeded to fail their morale check and were promptly run down. The raveners then regrouped to charge the rhino/’zerkers.
The other combat was when my Trygon charged 6″ through difficult terrain into the Dreadnought and scored four penetrating hits. I was depressed when I found I only managed to shake/immobolize it, but then remembered the new rule of Hull Points (I don’t play against vehicles much in this edition), so I managed to wreck this too.
Halfway through turn two, Simon was down to a large block of marines lead by his lord, and a crew of rowdy Khorne marines trapped in a metal box.
Turn 2: Chaos
Turn 3: Tyranids
By this time, I had advanced up into a wood (which wound up attacking me), and had let off a few shots with my Zoanthropes, and even an attempt to enfeeble his marines. I had managed to pass my psychic test on every occassion (in one, I managed to get a perils of the warp, but it was on a double-1, so even that passed). In every instance (except one), Simon managed to defy me with his deny the witch rolls. The one that got through was a lance attack on his hellbrute a turn earlier, but it didn’t even glance…
Despite all of the failures, my psychic abilities (read: Endurance) were helping me tremendously. I fired two Zoanthropes into his marine squads, passed both psychic tests, and (surprise) was met to a staunch denial of my witchly abilities.
The power of Khorne was strong with this one.
I wound up charging in, to both units, and hacking away rather futily with the raveners (vs. berserkers), but killing large swaths of CSM with the Trygon. Neither squad broke though…
Turn 3: Chaos
With all of his units already engaged in combat, he had no movement or shooting (well, technically he had the rhino, but for some reason he didn’t bother to shoot it–I guess maybe he forgot, or perhaps it felt rather hopeless). Either way, we moved onto assault, in which his ‘zerkers had the upper hand on my raveners, and started to wear them away. In the other battle, my Trygon killed all surviving squad members (except his champion), so he was down to just the lord & champ.
I added a squad of genestealers to both combats, at which point his characters immediately challenged me, and I proceeded to eat both. In the case of the Khorne marines, the fact that they’d been enfeebled successfully helped tremendously (couldn’t believe he’d failed a ‘deny’ roll). The Trygon then knocked off the Chaos Lord, leaving a wounded rhino, and one Khorne Berserker left in a throng of Genestealers and Raveners.
It’s at that point, we’d called the game.
What I Learned:
- Simon has room for improvement in list creation. I can’t critique his unit choices much because he wanted to play completely painted models, and that’s what he had on hand. His basic choices were fine (certainly he didn’t choose the most powerful options, but then again, neither did I). I do think he could’ve helped himself drastically by including a few heavy and special weapons. Likewise, his lord seems like he should’ve been far more potent, but he was really just a guy with a power axe and a 4+ save. Probably would’ve been a good place to invest a few more points. I don’t meant to slander Simon with this information, but rather put a caveat on the victory. Had he included more high strength weaponry, things could’ve come out far differently…
- Raveners and warriors are relatively decent. Granted, my opponent didn’t have high strength weaponry, so I wonder how I’d feel if he’d been insta-killing them? Still, both did relatively well, and the raveners stood a chance at getting named MVP (Though I’d probably still give it to the Trygon).
- Chaos rhinos can repair themselves. Good to stick in my back pocket for later…
- I need to play more games in order to familiarize myself with the rules. In particular, I forgot about challenges during the first combat of the game. Practically speaking, it didn’t make much difference, but I was helping Simon learn—so I should’ve slowed down and made sure I got everything right…
- Deploying a Trygon isn’t a bad strategy. It worked this time (though he still took alot attention), but I’d like to see this happen over several games before making this my new “normal.”