Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Black Legion (1500 points)

With not much time left in the year, I managed to finagle Simon into coming over and throwing down for a 40k game outside of our normal game night.  That meant he had to bring his munchkin over, but my wife was goodly enough to watch her for us.

Have I mentioned that I love my wife?

My goal was just to get a game in, and he had a limited time window, so we both set forth building lists that we believed would be relatively quick to play.  To both of us, that tends to mean larger, higher point models with limited numbers of weapons.  So… basically, dreadnoughts…

My Ultramarines “Anvil Strike Force”

  • ultramechvsimon-1Armored Task Force:
    • 1x Techmarine
    • 1x Thunderfire Cannon
    • 1x Thunderfire Cannon
    • 1x Vindicator
    • 1x Whirlwind
    • 1x Whirlwind
  • Honoured Ancients:
    • 1x Mortis Pattern Contemptor Dreadnought w/ 2x Kheres Assault Cannons (Warlord)
    • 1x Ironclad Dreadnought w/ Heavy Flamer in Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • 1x Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta in Pod w/ Deathwind Launcher
    • 1x Venerable Dreadnought w/ Twin-linked Lascannon & Missile Launcher
  • Raptor Wing:
    • 1x Landspeeder w/ Multi-Melta
    • 1x Stormtalon Gunship w/ Skyhammer Missiles
    • 1x Stormtalon Gunship w/ Skyhammer Missiles

ultramechvsimon-5I should start by saying that I’m not sure that the Contemptor Dread was actually allowed in this formation.  I used him as a substitute for another dread, but I don’t think he’s specifically listed in the available options for “honoured ancients,” so I might have cheated on that one.  If so, it was purely unintentional.

The list was built around dreadnoughts because I, quite frankly, had recently painted up the contemptor and wanted it to see the table.  I don’t play mechanized forces much (largely because I don’t have that many painted vehicles–in fact, I used just about every one of them in this list).   I saw that the marines had an option to play a mechanized list, and thought that might be a fun way to showcase him–so I just started throwing in dreads.  The armored task force was basically the one way to fulfill my core option, and I did it in just about the only way that I could (the thunderfires were actually an afterthought that only came into the picture when I had used up all of my other vehicles).

One of the goals I had with the list was to make something with fewer models so that I could play faster (I’m pretty slow normally, and Simon agreed to the game outside of our regular gaming group, but had a condition that we needed to play relatively quickly).

Simon’s Black Crusade:

  • ultramechvsimon-2Black Legion Chaos Warband:
    • 1x Chaos Lord w/ Meltabombs, Hand of Darkness on Bike w/ Combi-plasma
    • 3x Chaos Bikers w/ 2x Combi-plasma, inc. Champion w/ Combi-plasma
    • 5x CSM w/ Plasma Gun in Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers
    • 5x CSM w/ Plasma Gun in Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers
    • 5x Chosen w/ 4x Meltagun in Rhino w/ Smoke Launchers
    • 5x Havocs w/ 4x Autcannons
  • Helforged Warpack:
    • 1x Warpsmith
    • 1x Hellbrute w/ Multi-melta
    • 1x Maulerfiend
    • 1x Forgefiend
    • 1x Defiler

ultramechvsimon-7At first glance, I thought our lists were fairly similar:  we both had four “dreadnoughts;” both of us had some reasonable shooting; neither of us had psykers; both had “techmarines” (And both of us would later forget to weaken/harden defenses); and both of us had a piece of ordnance.  There were, of course, differences, but they had similar feels.

Frankly, I like his list (Then again, why wouldn’t I, as I saw so many similarities between our lists).  I didn’t dig into the nitty-gritty, but I liked what he was representing in general.  The list had a lot of mobility, and wasn’t burdened down with unnecessary upgrades as some of his lists often do.  I saw his Lord, Forgefiend, Chosen, and to a lesser degree–the Defiler–as the threats to my forces.  The fact that I was almost exclusively vehicles made the large blast of the defiler a little less terrifying to me.

Mission & Deployment:

ultramechvsimon-3Simon rolled up the mission and I don’t know what the names are, but it was the mission where you draw “up to three” objectives per turn and you keep them secret from your opponent.  Deployment was on the short board edges.

For Warlord Traits, mine was baked into my list: I could enable someone within 24″ of my warlord to fire twice per turn–for the duration of this game, that was almost always my warlord himself that fired the second shot.  Simon’s army already had Hatred: Space Marines, and his warlord trait gave him Preferred Enemy as well.

I won the roll for deployment and opted to take the board edge and first turn.  I setup my whirlwinds in terrain where they had limited line of sight and tried to setup the thunderfires where they had good line of sight (though I should mention that I forgot to bolster any defenses–despite the fact that I had three chances to do so).

When Simon failed to seize the initiative, I proceeded…

Turn 1: Ultramarines

In games where I take my Ironclad, he’s a sure-bet to come down on the first turn and destroy something.  Well, he always seems to come down–though he certainly doesn’t destroy things in every game (though he does well enough that I keep taking him).  What seems to happen in most instances is that he’ll come down to a moderate level of effectiveness, and then somehow wind up getting immobilized out of range of everything.

ultramechvsimon-6This game was a little different.  Instead of dropping the Ironclad on turn 1, I opted to drop the MM dreadnought.  The thought process was that Simon had so many things that could deal with a dread effectively at close range that whatever I dropped was sure to die.  So, I dropped the other dread in a position where he could possibly take a back shot at a vehicle, or even a pot shot at his warlord (who, for some reason, didn’t have an invulnerable save).

And then, I threw what I had at his army.  Between my two whirlwinds and the one thunderfire that could see, I managed to kill two of the three bikers (including their champion) and do a wound to the Warlord.  My MM dread took his shot, and managed to wound the warlord, who somehow also failed his 2+ Look Out roll, and like that I had slain the warlord and earned first blood in one fell swoop.

I also managed to wreck the Havocs’ rhino with my own Warlord (though he had to double-tap in order to make that happen), but otherwise, didn’t do much damage.  I think the only other damage to speak of might have been a stray hull point on one of the vehicles and a single havoc fell to my Deathwind launcher.

I also earned victory points for holding an objective marker and having three units within 12″ of my board edge.  Four points on turn 1?  Not such a bad start…

Score – Ultramarines: 2+2 vs. Black Legion: 0

Turn 1: Black Legion

ultramechvsimon-10His chosen, now freed from the confines of their infernal rhino, redirected back towards my multi-melta dread–but found themselves out of range and decided to run instead.  Otherwise, everything else surged forward and and opened fire on me where possible.  My landspeeder was saved by the might of the jink, but otherwise, I survived the turn relatively unscathed.

The only unit that didn’t seem to do anything was his Warpsmith, who was content to hang out on objective #5.  Though he didn’t have that one, he was unwittingly stopping me from earning some of my objectives by holding that one…

Sadly, he wasn’t able to earn any of his objectives for the turn, and passed without a score.

Score – Ultramarines: 2+2 vs. Black Legion: 0

Turn 2: Ultramarines

ultramechvsimon-13The three objectives I had for the turn were to: take an objective away from my opponent; hold twice as many objectives as my opponent, and to hold the objective that was currently covered by the havocs.  In order to obtain these, I launched an elaborate multi-faceted plan to accomplish that (more on that in a moment).

A couple of my units were unnecessary to my plan (or at least couldn’t help out with it), so they were directed to focus fire on other units.  Achieving victory points is good, but I felt it was more important to take out the immediate threats.  For that reason, my Ironclad dropped down and smoked the Maulerfiend (or maybe it was the forgefiend–whichever one has too many guns), and a couple of my units joined forces to kill off the  defiler (it also took two rounds of fire from my Warlord).

So back to the objective at hand.  Between my two flyers (who came in from reserves automatically thanks to their formation), my jinking speeder, a couple of dreadnoughts, whirlwinds, and thunderfires, I needed to be able to kill–or otherwise displace–at least one of two units.  The bulk of the units took aim at the nearby unit of chaos marines, but my bad dice rolls and some lucky saves, they managed to hold their ground.  The havocs received a charge from the MM dreadnought and also stood tall: despite the additional attacks afforded to him in the new codex, he managed to largely whiff on them.

Score – Ultramarines: 2+2 vs. Black Legion: 0

Turn 2: Black Legion

ultramechvsimon-15At this point, things looked a little dire for him.  We don’t keep a rolling tally of score during the game, but it was clear that I was ahead–since he hadn’t scored anything.  Plus, he had lost his warlord before he got a chance to do anything, and lost most of his units with any sort of long ranged shooting–and I was still hammering on him with my “big” guns.

But he was due for a good turn of his own.  One rhino unloaded into a ruin where they peppered a wounds off a techmarine and his trusty gun, and managed to hold an objective.  The maulerfiend (claw beast thing) made a charge on my Vindicator–and though it didn’t manage to blow it up, it at least immobilized it in a position where it would have no clear line of fire for the rest of the game… unless, of course, I had a spare techmarine nearby to fix it.

Spoiler alert: my techmarines didn’t fix a damn thing the entire game.

He also got off a pot shot at my ironclad and, surprise, surprise, managed to immobilize that too in a spot where it was ineffective for the rest of the game.

Through objective secured, he scored two points for holding an objective that I was already on and tightened up the score a bit.

Score – Ultramarines: 2+2 vs. Black Legion: 2

Turn 3: Ultramarines

ultramechvsimon-19Having a giant claw-wielding beast in my backfield seemed to be a bigger concern than the half a squad of marines in a crater.  Besides, I had a dreadnought nearby who could take care of that unit, right?  (I’ll give you a hint, the photos are taken at the end of the round, so I failed my charge).  Between my two fliers and my warlord (who, like always, fired twice), we took out the maulerfiend.

My dreadnought had already killed off the havocs in the previous assault phase, so I couldn’t earn points for taking that objective from him–but due to the way my drop pod landed, he was at least able to wander off and still allow me to claim the objective.

Other shots were fired into the chosen and I was thinning them out over time, but I did relatively little other than that in my turn, due to me having to pour more firepower than I had expected into the fiend…

Score – Ultramarines: 3+2 vs. Black Legion: 2

Turn 3: Black Legion

ultramechvsimon-21With renewed vigor (and rememberence that Objective Secured can be good), he surged his little bike forward and stole two points by parking him on an objective in from of my whirlwind.

Elsewhere, his hellbrute took out my warlord with a well-placed shot.  I had knew advancing out from behind the building was a risk, but had hoped that a well placed cover save would be sufficient (forgetting that he already had an invulnerable save)–but clearly I was mistaken.

While he didn’t have much left on the table, he also managed to snag another objective with his Warpsmith, netting him three points, plus a dead warlord for the turn, and took the lead!

Score – Ultramarines: 3+2 vs. Black Legion: 5+1

Turn 4: Ultramarines

ultramechvsimon-25Like I said, we announce what points we earn during the turn, but don’t keep a running tally of things.  At this point, I felt like I was falling behind.  While that was true based upon the score, I also felt less confident based upon board state.  In the first two turns, I felt like I had not only taken out units and scored points, but also put myself in a good position.  At this point, I felt like I was falling out of position and in danger of losing the game.

I dedicated one storm talon to killing off the biker (can’t have him contesting my objectives anymore) and spread more love on the chaos Chosen–reducing their number down to one.  With our armies thing out, I had started focusing on the center of the board–putting some hellbrute (who managed to save everything), and I did make the charge with my venerable dreadnought, but he didn’t do a damn thing.

The good news is that I did manage to score those two objectives in my hand from last turn.   This was in part by charging my other techmarine in to help his brother, and by strategically placing my storm talon in such a way that it held the objective.  That way, when the chaos marines killed off the first techmarine, they had to consolidate into the second tech marine–which pulled them off the objective.

Of course, that wasn’t exactly my plan.  My hope was that two power-axe wielding tech marines could take out three chaos marines, but that clearly didn’t happen.

Still, I scored two cards–both of which gave me two objectives and pushed me out to a lead.

Score – Ultramarines: 7+2 vs. Black Legion: 5+1

Turn 4: Black Legion

ultramechvsimon-27I don’t really remember what happened this turn, and don’t have really well defined pictures.  His hellbrute most likely came out and killed another unit (probably one of my storm talons as I don’t see it in the pictures for the rest of the game)–most likely (he seemed to do this every turn), and his remaining space marines fell to my techmarine, leaving little more than a warp smith to his name.

His two space marines in combat with my venerable lost one of their number and then got spooked and ran.  I couldn’t catch, so I diverted my attention to the hellbrute.

And unlike previous turns, he didn’t manage to score any objectives.

Score – Ultramarines: 7+2 vs. Black Legion: 5+1

Turn 5: Ultramarines

ultramechvsimon-30I poured what I could for weapon with high AP into the hellbrute, but when the smoke cleared I’d managed only to stun it–but at least it wouldn’t shoot at me.

Everything else that could had helped clear the warpsmith from the ruin (what ultimately did it was four hits from a thunderfire cannon, scoring him a two out of four one’s on the dice) or anything with a reasonable amount of punch to it .

I scored one point for holding objective #4.

Score – Ultramarines: 8+2 vs. Black Legion: 5+1

Turn 5: Black Legion

ultramechvsimon-32I’m quite certain he did something on this turn, but for the life of me can’t remember what.  His hellbrute had been stunned, and his rhino sat in cover, the only other model he had–the broken marine rallied and consolidated back onto an objective and scored a point for him.

We rolled for random game length and pushed on into turn 6.

Score – Ultramarines: 8+2 vs. Black Legion: 6+1

Turn 6: Ultramarines

ultramechvsimon-34At this point, my opponent had a rhino in the corner, a newly rallied chaos space marine, and a hellbrute that was killing everything I owned.  My clear focus was on the hellbrute.  I wound up positioning myself so that I could potentially earn a ton of victory points for holding every objective and ensure myself the game–but it meant that my dreadnought in the back would need to have a good run-roll to grab the objective where the warpsmith once stood (he rolled a three).

The only thing I had left to do was to kill off the other three models–but that proved impossible.  The Rhino was seemingly impervious to multiple rounds of combat with a power axe, and the hellbrute refused to fail his 4+ saves.  The one model I did manage to kill was the poor chaos space marine.

I also drew no objectives that I could meaningfully complete and passed the turn without affecting the score.

Score – Ultramarines: 8+2 vs. Black Legion: 6+1

Turn 6: Black Legion

His hellbrute, on a rampage, came out of the darkness and charged into my venerable–except I managed to hit on overwatch and immobilize him before he could do so.  With nothing more to do, he ended his turn, and that ended the game.  I earned one more point for “linebreaker, bringing the grand total to 11:7.

Score – Ultramarines: 8+3 vs. Black Legion: 6+1

What I Learned:

  1. Dreadnoughts with Kheres pattern assault cannons are essentially flyrants.  They aren’t as mobile (or as durable really), but have similar guns and ranges.  Getting to be able to do it twice per turn as my warlord, was a nice touch.
  2. I may have cheated on my warlord.  I’m not sure that he was legal in the formation–that’s worth looking up.
  3. Hellbrutes aren’t half bad.  Granted, his got a 4+ save because of the formation, but in addition to sucking up a lot of firepower, that brute killed my warlord and a storm talon, immobilized my ironclad, and likely would’ve killed my venerable if I hadn’t immobilized him with my overwatch shot.



2 comments on “Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Black Legion (1500 points)

  1. I accidentally cheated on my boon rolls that game, not that any of them did any good. Only the Warband Formation can roll twice. The Helbrute was still eligible for boons, but not the secondary rolls.

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