Batrep: Salamanders vs. Ultramarines (1350pts)

I typically only get in one game a week–or rather, I should say that I typically only get the opportunity to play one game per week on game night Friday night.  Family takes up most of my other evenings, and I honestly haven’t really tried to squeeze in another game.  Much to my surprise, Brandon missed out on game night this week and then called me for another game on Saturday.

Brandon’s Salamanders:

  • wh39kUMvSal2015 (3)HQ:
    • Master of the Forge w/ Servo Harness (Warlord)
    • Bray’arth Ashmantle
  • Elites:
    • Deredeo Dreadnought w/ Autocannons, Missile Launcher, & Flamer
    • Venerable Dread w/ Assault Cannon & Power fist
    • Ironclad Dread w/ Heavy Flamer
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Grav Gun, Plasma Cannon, & Combi-Grav
    • 5x Scouts w/ Combi-melta
  • Fast Attack:
    • 10x Assault marines w/ 2x Flamers & Thunderhammer

Who plays 4 dreadnoughts in a list?  Brandon, that’s who.

He just painted up his Deredeo and wanted to give it a whirl on the table (spoiler alert: it’s pretty good).  The others he included because… Well, I’m not sure, but based upon the weapons loadout, they were all fairly short range options, which was good to me.


  • wh39kUMvSal2015 (1)HQ:
    • Chaplain w/ Jump Pack, Plasma Pistol, & Melta Bombs
  • Elites:
    • Ironclad w/ Heavy Flamer & Hunter Killer in Drop Pod w/ Deathwind
    • Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta & Heavy Flamer in Drop Pod w/ Deathwin
  • Troops:
    • 10x Scouts inc 5x snipers & 4x CCW and a Sarge w/ power weapon & combi-melta w/ camo cloaks in Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Gun & Lascannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Attack Bike w/ Multi-melta
    • 1x Attack Bike w/ Multi-melta
    • 5x Assault marines inc. Sarge w/ Power Axe
  • Heavy Support:
    • Whirlwind
    • 10x Devasators w/ 2x Lascannons & 2x Multi-meltas

1350 points really doesn’t stretch all that far.  I wanted to do more, but I just couldn’t make the points add up.  The squad that always pays the price is my assault marines, who originally had more members and some plasma pistols, but clearly, they didn’t survive the first round of roster cuts.

Otherwise, it was a decent list with a good amount of shooting, some counter assault (dreads and assault marines) and some mobility (pods, assault marines, bikes, & speeders).  As far as lists go, it’s not the hardest list you’ll find, but I’m quite happy with the balance of it.  It also has a lot of anti-tank (6x Melta & 3x Las) and has some options to deal with fodder (flamers & whirlwind).

I think this is a pretty solid list for 1350, if I do say so myself.

Mission & Deployment

wh39kUMvSal2015 (5)We wound up playing cloak and shadows again (hidden mission objectives) with short table edge deployment.  Brandon won the dice for setup and opted to both deploy and go first.  I failed to seize initiative so he got the first turn.

For warlord traits, he got the one where units with 12″ of his leader got to re-roll 1’s on to-hit rolls, whereas I got the tactical trait that allowed me to discard up to two cards at the end of my turn.  I considered re-rolling it, but it seemed pretty good to me.  I mean, I was drawing three per turn, so having dead cards in my hand seemed like it would be particular painful, so I kept it.

One other tricky thing about deployment that doesn’t seem to come up much is that we both had infiltrators–and I won the roll to deploy first but opted to have him deploy before me–which turned out to be a mistake.  I only made him deploy so I could react to them, but he wound up deploying in the back corner of my board where he could pick off multi-meltas with impunity, and there was little I could do about it.  To counter, I placed my scouts nearby in a half-hearted screen with the intent to kill off his scouts.

Turn 1: Salamanders

wh39kUMvSal2015 (6)With a decidedly short-range focused army, Brandon’s first turn mostly consisted of moving his line forward and taking pot shots with his Deredeo dreadnought (something you’ll likely see here for the first few turns).  Aside from the Dorito, I think the only other gun he had in range was a plasma cannon, who happened to overheat for the first turn–even his scouts did a whole lot of nothing (but that was largely because he forgot to move them up).

He did manage to score an objective though, so it wasn’t a completely uneventful first turn.

Score: Salamanders: 1 – Ultramarines: 0

Turn 1: Ultramarines

To be honest, I didn’t like the look of so many dreadnoughts bearing down on me, but as I’d said in my composition review, I was rather content with my heavy weapon load-out.  To be on the safe-side, I popped my tactical doctrine in the hopes that I could re-roll some misses and make the most of the ability given the fact that I’d almost certainly never have more units on the board than I had right now.

wh39kUMvSal2015 (9)I would normally bring in the Ironclad on turn 1, but I opted for the MM dread under the guise that I wanted to use his range, but I really valued his tactical flexibility and figured Brandon just had too many anti-tank units close to the dread so I’d rather lose him than my Ironclad on turn 1.  I figured by the next turn, Brandon would’ve spread his army out a bit and increase old iron-sides chances of survival.

Due to our deployment, those units that I had deployed on the front line, wound up strategically falling back so I could continue to shoot without being tied up in assault.  This would help draw him into me, and I figured my list would do a better job at playing games with a long-range firepower battle–plus I had the better warlord trait if we both turtled up and played a game of attrition.

My shooting though was fairly abysmal.  I did a reasonable job of hitting, but couldn’t seem to crack armor 13 (or even armor 12 when I shot at it).  I did kill off his plasma cannon (which allowed my dread to capture an objective) and a single assault marine, so it wasn’t a total loss (though it wasn’t far off).

Score: Salamanders: 1 – Ultramarines: 1

Turn 2: Salamanders

wh39kUMvSal2015 (14)Everything advanced on me again, with little shooting to speak of (so, for the most part, the same as last turn).  The Deredeo unloaded on the other bike, before I’d had a chance to respond whether I was going to jink or not.  Brandon assumed I would do it again, since I did it last turn, but I was contemplating not doing it.  Partly because he was completely unsuccessful last turn (zero wounds, despite my jink) and partly because he said that his dice were so bad.

If my math is at all right, his odds to wound me with a given shot were about 55%, so the odds of killing me with three shots was only about 33%, though he had a 95% chance to wound me.  The right play in hindsight was probably not to jink, so that’s what I went with–and he’d only done one wound, so I guess those odds worked in my favor.

Math aside, he didn’t really kill anything in my deployment area, but when a tactical squad, assault squad, and sternguard squad (with Master of the Forge) converge on a lowly dreadnought, things don’t fair well for my tin-cans.  Brandon fired his squads out of order though, opting to fire his krak grenades from the assault and tactical squads before firing the squad with the weapons that might actually kill the dread outright (which it eventually did).  That meant that the first two squads were locked into charging the non-existing dread, leaving my pods to sit in the backfield, unharrassed.

He scored another point for holding an objective, and effectively another for first blood on my dreadnought.

Score: Salamanders: 2+1 – Ultramarines: 1

Turn 2: Ultramarines

wh39kUMvSal2015 (17)My Ironclad was goodly enough to show up, but not goodly enough to have his pod hit in the right spot.  Both pods were hoping to land on/near objectives so that I could hold them throughout the game, but both missed the mark completely.  The ironclad did pop out and manage to nuke his warlord with a melta shot (something I considered was going to be easy, but I had forgotten he had a 2+ Look out Sir!).

Elsewhere, my shooting wasn’t nearly as accurate (despite the fact that I popped my devastator doctrine), and those weapons that did hit seemed to have a magnetic attraction to rolling penetration dice equal to one lower than the minimum score I needed to glance.  Even my multi-meltas seemed to like to roll 3’s and 4’s for penetration rolls on two dice (depending upon whether they were shooting a armor 12 or 13).

My theory is that my dice were pissed at me for using them to play with my Tyranids last game.  On the plus side, I was able to earn two points for holding an objective and for having two units (so close to three) within 12″ of his board edge before relinquishing the turn, plus another for slay the warlord.

Score: Salamanders: 2+1 – Ultramarines: 3+1

Turn 3: Salamanders

So this was the turn that Brandon was able to make the charge.  wh39kUMvSal2015 (22)My “ace in the hole” was that I’d popped my devastator doctrine and was hoping to get a few models on the charge in.  Sadly, Brandon remembered this and used his Scouts to soak my overwatch before I could shoot at Bray’Arth (not that I would’ve hit anyway–my dice were really pissed at me).

Bray’Arth did make his charge, but didn’t have the damage output to kill off the four devastators (even with the scouts’ help).  Though that really was a blessing for him, as it kept his dread safe during my shooting phase and into a close combat phase that I had no chance of living through.  His Assault squad shifted over to help out his sternguard, and they wound up charging into my Ironclad, but he had positioned his Thunderhammer up front and he perished on the ensuing charge to my flaming overwatch (despite his chapter tactics that allowed him to reroll failed armor saves)–which comes out to be about a 5% chance of that happening (when you factor in Look out Sir).  Bad luck, for sure, but the sarge had no business being in the front either.  He really should’ve been second or third in line.

His Ironclad wound up failing his charge completely, but that was a 9″ charge, so that wasn’t statistically unusual.  His assault marines also failed the charge on my assault marines (or what was left of them, after he poured his Dorito’s firepower and a bunch of flamers into them, killing all but my chaplain and my sarge.

Oddly enough, he managed to score zero objectives for the turn.

Score: Salamanders: 2+1 – Ultramarines: 3+1

Turn 3: Ultramarines

wh39kUMvSal2015 (26)

With Bray’Arth in combat, I tried to make the most of my situation and focused my scout’s combi-melta, two multi-melta attack bikes, and two lascannons at the Ironclad to at least neutralize one threat (keep in mind that all of the melta was within half range).  After the smoke cleared, I’d managed to do a single hull point of damage to him.

The other heavy weapons I had turned out similar results, leading me to get a little frustrated with the game.  I was still in it, but my dice just shouldn’t be that cold–not that Brandon’s dice were particular hot, mind you.  I won’t do the math on this because this batrep is already too math-hammer for my likes, but suffice it to say I did lose my cool.  Brandon suggested that we could stop if I wasn’t having fun, but I insisted that we continue because I need to work on playing through losses.  Games have ups and downs–I can’t win them all.

My only assaults involved my ironclad squishing some helpless assault marines, while my assault marines joined by a tactical squad squished the other have of the assault marines on the other side of the board.

Though I was unsuccessful in actually shooting anything, I was able to earn two points for holding an objective and killing his warlord in the previous turn.  I also used my scouts to encircle another objective (that I had in my hand), thinking that when he won combat with his dread, he’d move towards juicier targets, but he instead taunted me with one lone scout…

Score: Salamanders: 2+1 – Ultramarines: 5+1

Turn 4: Salamanders

wh39kUMvSal2015 (30)Despite his line thinning out, Sam managed to pull down quite a few victory points this turn.  I honestly don’t remember everything he killed, but he got D3 (2) victory points for killing off at least three units (both attack bikes and a landspeeder storm), which not only bolstered his victory points and reduced my total number of squads, but also reduced my ability to hurt his vehicles–which were quickly becoming the only things left in his army.

And all of that, while his implacable advance continued towards my line.

Score: Salamanders: 4+1 – Ultramarines: 5+1

Turn 4: Ultramarines

wh39kUMvSal2015 (33)

Whiff-fest 2015 continued where my heavy weapons were concerned (though there were fewer and fewer of them around each turn to complain about).  I did manage to blow away a tactical squad off an objective (well, it was three men strong), with two bolters and a plasma gun.  My chaplain got cocky and tried to plasma pistol Bray’Arth in the back (to no avail), while I pelted the ironclad with bolters in his rear armor causing one more glancing hit.

The saving grace for my turn was that I was able to edge my scouts up towards his wounded Ironclad and hold that because of objective secured (I think that’s twice it’s made a difference for me in 7th edition!) and another squad held their own objective.  I also managed to score D3 (1) victory point for holding twice as many objectives as he did–too bad it didn’t give be a bonus because I was really holding four times as many…  Still, that’s three points earned–can’t complain about that…

Score: Salamanders: 4+1 – Ultramarines: 8+1

Turn 5: Salamanders

wh39kUMvSal2015 (37)It was not a good turn to be a chaplain in the service of Ultramar.  The Deredeo easily dispatched the assault sarge and the chaplain with his vollies of doom, leaving Bray’arth to try to advance/charge my devastators (who I believe caused a glancing hit on the way in, and he failed the charge!)

The Ironclad handily squished the scouts and moved forward as well, while the Venerable Dreadnought on the other flank smoked the defiant tactical squad (but was smart enough to leave one member locked in combat with him).

Alas, it looked like another turn with no objectives earned though…

Score: Salamanders: 4+1 – Ultramarines: 8+1

Turn 5: Ultramarines

wh39kUMvSal2015 (39)With both of my lascannons missing Bray’Arth at point blank range, I had to go for some more desperate measures.  My battle plans were hinging upon my scouts being able to glance the Ironclad again (success) which hull-pointed him out, while my Ironclad had to hit a long range shot from across the board with his only Hunter Killer missile to take out Bray’Arth (success).  That kept the pressure off my front lines (for the most part) and limited Brandon to just the Deredeo and his Venerable dreadnought.

All of the while, I scored another three points this turn for holding three separate objectives.

Score: Salamanders: 4+1 – Ultramarines: 11+1

Turn 6: Salamanders

wh39kUMvSal2015 (41)So, Brandon pulled some miracle shenanigans of his own on this turn, advancing his Deredeo towards a pod and destroying it, while surging his venerable dread towards my devs and breaking them–both of which caused him to be able to hold two objectives I had held most of the game until that point.

That did give him two more points, but that wasn’t going to be enough to win it for him.  Still, it was some pretty solid playing with a dash of good luck.

Score: Salamanders: 6+1 – Ultramarines: 11+1

Turn 6: Ultramarines

wh39kUMvSal2015 (44)With only two targets on the board, I was able to finally hull point out his venerable dreadnought (keep in mind, that was the third dreadnought I killed exclusively through glancing hits and shaking them), and then focused my attention on the Deredeo.  I was able to cause a hull point of damage to him, but that was all that he’d take, as the game ended mercifully.

Before it did, I earned five more victory points for killing a vehicle, holding a specific objective and holding three non-specific objectives.  With the game over, my final pod also scored linebreaker for me.

Final Score: Salamanders: 6+1 – Ultramarines: 16+2

What I Learned:

  1. Chaplains have power mauls.  That’s so unfortunate, because they’re already a pale vision of what they used to be in 2nd edition.  Did they really need to get worse in this edition?
  2. Long range and maneuverability are great.  I’m sure that’s why people say Eldar are so fantastic–but having the ability to outrange my opponent and stillg rab objectives is good.  I’m sure there’s something to be said for the fact that I had 16 scoring units in my list and Brandon only had 10 as well.
  3. Objectives make all of the difference.  I really won this game based upon the fact that Brandon didn’t score objectives.  I wonder what he was sandbagging in his hand the entire game?
  4. I need to find my Tyranid dice.  Have you seen them!?!

6 comments on “Batrep: Salamanders vs. Ultramarines (1350pts)

    • Thanks. I wish I could say I had anything to do with it, but it’s a pre-painted river from Pegasus Hobbies. We use it as difficult terrain, without giving cover (since the new rulebook doesn’t have the word “river” anywhere in it).

    • Do you think squadrons is a good thing? I very rarely run vehicle squadrons now because it allows people to focus fire on a single unit and any “overkill” wounds automatically spill over to the other vehicle.

    • Oh, certainly. They’ve always been lacking in damage output–at least when it comes to smaller models. They’re going to do an even better job of destroying my monstrous creatures though…

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