Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Chaos Space Marines (2000pts)

Can you believe it?  I actually played a game of 40k!  With any luck, this won’t be an outlying incident.  I’ve not got all that much gaming time in this summer, but I’m happy to say that the fence is installed and the deck is almost done (I the last coat of paint for the fence, and the last of the trex to arrive this week, so with any luck, both projects will be done before August).  I’m also happy to report that I’ve passed both my MCITP: Server Administrator 2008 and PMP tests, so my professional goals for the year are also completed.  So now, I’m off to focus on meaningless entertainment.

Bring on the 40k!

Forces of Ultramar

  • Wh39k-vsSimon (2)HQ:
    • Chapter Master in Terminator Armor w/ Combi-plasma & Powersword
    • IG Command Squad w/ Lascannon, Vox, & Master of Ordnance
  • Elites:
    • 5x Assault Terminators  (TH & SS)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought w/ Melta/Flamer +1HK in Drop Pod w/  Deathwind Launcher
    • Dreadnought w/ twin-linked Lascannon
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Squad w/ Lascannon, Plasmagun, & Powersword
    • 5x Sniper Scouts w/ cloaks & Missile Launcher
    • 5x Sniper Scouts w/ cloaks & Missile Launcher
    • IG Infantry Platoon
      • Command Squad w/ 3x Flamers & Vox
      • 10x IG Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon & Vox
      • 10x IG Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon & Vox
      • 10x IG Infantry Squad w/ Autocannon & Vox
  • Fast Attack:
    • Attack Bike w/ H.Bolter
    • 5x Bike Squad w/ Plasma x2 & Power Weapon
  • Heavy Support:
    • Thunderfire Cannon
    • Thunderfire Cannon
  • Fortifications:
    • Bastion w/ Quad-Cannon

In retrospect, I just noticed that the company command squad was purchased with a lascannon, but I used it as an autocannon for the entire game.  That’s a shame too, because the extra strength would’ve come in handy on more than one occasion.

The list was built like usual, I picked a unit I wanted to illustrate on the table (in this case: the Bastion and IG allies—neither of which I’ve ever used in a standard game), and then started adding stuff around that.  I threw in the thunderfires because Simon was uninitiated to them, and I find them to be quite good (of course, in this game, most of his army seemed to be in vehicles, so they were less effective than I would’ve hoped.

The rest of the force seemed relatively shooty, with the notable exception of the termies and the ever popular Ironclad.  The list seemed balanced enough to me, what do you think?

The Forces of Chaos

  • Wh39k-vsSimon (3)HQ:
    • Flying Demon Prince of Nurgle w/ Power Armor & Black Mace
  • Troops:
    • 20x Cultists w/ autoguns & 2x H. Stubber
    • 20x Cultists w/ autopistal and 2x Flamer
    • 10x CSM w/ Plasma, H.Bolter, & Champion w/ Powerfist & Plasma Pistol (in Rhino)
    • Infantry Platoon
      • IG Command Squad w/ 2x Meltagun
      • 10x IG Infantry Squad
      • 10x IG Infantry Squad
  • Fast Attack:
    • Hellhound
    • 5x Raptors w/ Mark of Nurgle, Plasma Pistol, Plasma Gun, Lightning Claws
    • Helldrake
  • Heavy Support:
    • Forgefiend w/ Ectoplasma Cannon
    • Defiler
    • Leman Russ w/ Heavy Bolter

Simon was having trouble scrounging up a win and asked me for some advice on how to improve his lists.  I created a baseline for him using IG allies, and he tweaked it.  In his tweaks, he removed heavy weapons from the IG squads and added a hellhound.  I don’t remember what else he took out to make that work though…

He had been typically using demon allies, and I suggested IG as a change of pace to add some more dakka to his force.  Honestly, when he threw it on the table, I was fairly terrified of it.  A single battlecannon in a force makes me tremble, but he had two, and the crazy black mace demon prince.  I was really not fond of facing against that.  Plus, I had an irrational fear of the hellhound for some reason, when I was told that the template would essentially ignore my fortification and could nuke my company command squad.

In retrospect, he played his Leman Russ as WYSIWYG, so it fired a lascannon and heavy bolter sponsons at me on more than one occasion (whoops!).

Mission & Deployment

Wh39k-vsSimon (4)I’d invited Brandon to hang out and he graciously accepted, which was great because both Simon and I are woefully out of practice and, despite both having lists containing IG, neither of us had ever played the army in this edition.  As an added bonus, Brandon also plays CSM, Demons, and IG, so he was able to give Simon some great advice on list building/tweaks after the game was over.

For missions, Brandon had some fancy downloadable content on his ipad, so we played a mission called “Agents of the Chaos Gods.”  In essence, it was a standard mission where objectives were worth 7vp each to me (The good guy) and 2d6 each to the CSM player.  Additionally, I had the standard secondary objectives and Simon rolled on a table.  The end result was that he wound up with First Blood, Linebreaker, & Destroy the Strong (kill my unit with the highest VP total).  Originally, that would’ve been my Tactical squad, but since I’d decided to combat squad it, it was instead my Terminators.

Side note:  Is a tactical squad really more expensive than 5x Thundershield terminators!??!

Simon had setup the board while I was piecing together my army.  We diced off, and I won—choosing the side that was closest to me for convenience reasons (neither side seemed to give a distinct tactical advantage).  I’d deployed one objective on my side of the board, one in a more neutral area, and he deployed one on his side of the board.  We diced for first turn, and I won.  When he failed to seize initiative, I started firing.

….into night fight.

Turn 1: Ultramarines

Wh39k-vsSimon (8)Despite it being night fight, I had a reasonably successful first turn.  First, my Ironclad deep struck in the backfield of Simon’s flank, and popped off a lucky melta shot to destroy the Defiler.

With one major threat down, I directed most everything else at his Hellhound (because his Russ & Prince were too far away to target with much of anything).

With the rest of my shots, I managed to stun the vehicle and rip off it’s flamer.  So, while it wasn’t a wildly successful first turn, I was quite pleased with what I’d accomplished.

Turn 1: Chaos

Wh39k-vsSimon (11)In retaliation, Simon’s command squad fired it’s two meltaguns into the side armor of the Ironclad from 7” away.  Both of the shots hit, but neither cracked that massive armor 13 shell.  The nearby cultists bolted away from the exploding defiler and sought shelter in a nearby ruin (conveniently next to an objective that gave them +1 to their cover save).

The rest of his army surged forward and did very little damage.  What he did manage to do was zoom his mace-armed prince 6” in front of my lines to give me a great distraction…

Turn 2: Ultramarines

Wh39k-vsSimon (13)With one threat out of the picture, the Prince was next on my list.  I tried firing oodles of lasguns into him, but nothing was grounding him (they did have a side-effect of actually causing a couple of wounds though).  I’d fired most of what I had that could see the demon prince at that target, which didn’t bode well for me—statistically speaking.  I had very few AP3 or better weapons, but Simon’s luck was on my side, and he was failing saves left and right.  The end result of the turn was I’d managed to kill the prince, but never managed to ground him (ironically, he failed most of his armor saves, but passed every grounding check).

I still had a few other autocannons available, and fired one into the forgefield, blowing it up with a lucky shot, and another into the hellhound, and left it as a glanced wreck.    I also managed to eek out a hull point off of the Russ from a lucky scout heavy weapon shot…

Turn 2: Chaos

Wh39k-vsSimon (22)The army list was looking pretty bleak at this point.  He still had his trusty Russ, a rhino full of CSM,the raptors, and a few squads of IG/Cultists.  He wasn’t ready to give up though, and surged forward again.  He almost got to assault, but rolled poorly on his raptors charge distance (5” total), but that would’ve been enough—had that same scout with missile launcher not fired off a quick snapshot to kill the initial raptor.

The helldrake, on the other hand, swooped in and started to wreak havoc.  I had hoped that the quad-cannon would be enough to pluck it out of the air.  Despite hitting twice (and penetrating both times), the demonic save of the flyer proved to be too powerful.  His flamer unleashed on my chapter master and half-tactical squad, setting them on fire and doing a single wound.  This was another rule that we overlooked for most of the game after this point.  We went back after the fact to determine when the fire was extinguished, but it turns out that it would’ve taken several marines before they were able to put it out.

Turn 3: Ultramarines

Wh39k-vsSimon (18)With all of my shooting, I managed to explode the rhino, and kill the Leman Russ (or maybe this happened a turn later).  Meanwhile, my ironclad was done flaming the various squads around him, and the bikers / tactical combat squad cleaned up another squad of cultists off an objective.  My Thunderhammer terminators charged boldly into two half squads of raptors & CSM, and managed to do almost no damage.  Each turn of combat seemed to result in me doing no damage in my respective challenges, and having most of my terminators dying before they got a chance to swing back at the peons.  It was clear that my termies would not be earning MVP for this battle.

Conclusion:

Wh39k-vsSimon (25)We played out almost the entire game, so we kept going into turn four officially, but things were winding down quickly.  By the point in the batrep where I stopped writing, Simon was really down to two raptors (who would die to my bikers’ plasma), 15 IG (dead to 2x Thunderfire cannons), and a handful of cultists.  We did play out the combat with my Terminators to see if he could muster a morale victory, but luck eventually came back to me and I won the combat with a single terminator by turn 7 or so.

What I learned:

  • My ultramarines dice are probably too good.  They rolled consistently high for most of the game.  While it was great when I was hitting and blowing up things, it didn’t work well for when I was trying to hit with my Thunderfires (which consistently ended up 5-8” off).  It might have just been this game, but since they’re Chessex and essentially the same sort that I gave Cole for his Tyranids (which are insanely good), I suspect they’re not really balanced all that well.  Unfortunately, I put a fair bit of money into them, so instead of tossing them, I’m going to try to remember to encourage my opponents to just use my dice to make it fair.
  1. Bastions are kind of meh.  It wasn’t bad, and was great to give myself another vantage point on my side, but I was less than impressed with the fact that template weapons and grenades ignored it’s protection (not that either actually happened in the game).
  2. IG were interesting.  I didn’t like that you had to do orders first—as there were many times where I wanted to fire the quad-gun first.  I also wasn’t impressed with the orders available with the platoon command squad.  I’d play them again, but I didn’t think they were all that great (although the autocannons almost certainly would’ve been my MVPs).
  3. Simon is an unlucky chap.  He’s now 0-12.  He’s a good sport about it, but that’s gotta get old.  I’ve vowed that the next game I play with him, we’ll be on the same side.  Since I’m still undefeated in 6th edition, I figure if we team up, we’re bound to break one of our streaks… right?
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9 comments on “Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Chaos Space Marines (2000pts)

  1. Congrats on the Certs! I’d love to dive into that realm again, 2 more semesters of school and perhaps ill have time again to educate myself.

      • What do you call my constant buying and selling of armies?

        Seriously though, I really don’t see that as a viable business opportunity. While Bosco’s and Hobbycraft have been able to make ends meet over the years, I doubt they’re earning a killing–and the market doesn’t seem to be substantial enough to be able to support another gaming store (I suspect we’ll see at least one of them in the valley drying up before too long, if not both). While I like the idea of having more player support in the area, I’ll refrain from investing in it myself as I don’t expect it would be profitable.

  2. Nicely done on your certs! Keep up the good work. I too am considering a profession overhaul and am likely to add homework to the list of “shit I don’t want to do today”.

    I am surely unlucky lately. It’s hard not to introvert a little on list building, strategic skills, my general intelligence and even dedication to this infernal hobby when it seems to refuse to grant me any modicum of victory but I just cannot resist Warhammer’s siren call. Perhaps I should stop relying on those blasted green fail-dice just because it’s a Nurgle color.

    I did get a good tip from Tim on Saturday regarding building a Chaos army (after he kicked my ass nearly as fast as you did) in that it’s strength comes from it’s incredibly powerful characters. Rather than trying to “balance” my list with more mediocre models I should just commit to dumping 300+ points on an unholy terror and let it wreak havoc. I think I’ll try that out next game.

    • Does Tim play Chaos too? That guy has a pretty massive collection. I remember seeing him at an Apoc game one day and he knew me immediately. I didn’t recognize him, but apparently we’ve played games at my parents house back in the day. He’s one of those, friend of a friend sorts. Seems like a really good guy (with pretty armies, to boot).

  3. A very nice looking game. Even if it does rather conjour up visions of the 1990s (yes, I’m mocking the BLOO again)!

    The Imperial Guard look particularly excellent though. I can’t wait to see you use them in vast numbers some time.

    Do you feel like you were playing an IG army with a few marine helpers, a Marine army with some IG cannon fodder/support, or did it feel like you were playing one unified force?

    I think it’s the fact that they look like one that prompts the question.

    • Thanks for the compliments. The IG aren’t as high quality in paint scheme as the marines (but it’s hard to justify painting 200+ guys to a high standard when they’re intended for allies in Apoc games), but when they get spread out across the table, they do start to look pretty.

      As for the IG/Marines army, I hadn’t given it much thought. If anything, I guess it was more of an IG army with marines, or perhaps balanced. I say that because it was the first game I’d played with my IG, so that was the area where I needed to focus my attention on. Issuing orders took a new way of thinking, and those autocannons really did the bulk of my dirty work. My marine units (tactical, bikes, scouts) didn’t do all that much in the game, and my thunderfires did fire every turn, but they weren’t very accurate and most of the targets were either armored or out of range (except the large blobs, of course).

      In all, I think the guard were more successful and took more of my concentration, if that answers your question.

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