Batrep: Chaos Space Marines vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (50 power)

For my second game of 8th edition, I built a small list for playtesting things that I hadn’t yet seen on the table.  I managed to include only units that I hadn’t fielded before, which is great–though I won’t be able to keep it up, as I’ve mixed and matched troops too much, so at this point the only troop that I haven’t used yet are Tyranid Warriors.

Still, the hope is to try out some new things and see how they work in this version of the game.  We’re still playing with power level because the guys that come aren’t power gamers, and we can trust people not to abuse the system…

Chaos Space Marine Forces (Patrol Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Kharn the Betrayer
    • Chaos Lord w/ Powermaul & Bolt Pistol
  • Troops: 
    • 10x Khorne Berserkers 2/ Chain Axes, Power Axe & 2x Plasma Pistols
    • 10x Chaos Cultists w/ Autoguns
  • Heavy Support:
    • Chaos Land Raider w/ Combi-plasma

This was Mitch’s first game of 8th edition, so we went with a small list to get the feel of things.  He had been caught up in the excitement that people have for vehicles–particularly land raiders, so he committed almost half of his points to that unit, and then filled out the rest of the army around it.

Hive Fleet Proteus (Outrider Detachment)

  • HQ:
    • Old One Eye
  • Troops:
    • 10x Hormagaunts
    • 3x Ripper Swarms w/ Spinefists
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Rending Claws & Spinefists
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Scything Talons & Spinefists
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime w/ Biostatic Rattle & Adrenal Glands
    • 2x Carnifex w/ Scything Talons & Bone Mace

My list actually was supposed to include a squad of three raveners as well, to fill out the Outrider detachment, but I forgot to put them on the table.  I realized this in the second turn, but figured it was my mistake so they never made the table.  I guess I could’ve just said I reserved them, but I didn’t bother going that route.

The list itself was just a conglomeration of stuff to try out things in the new edition.  I started with Old One Eye, and threw in the carnies to go with him (because he’s a force multiplier for them), and then determined that I needed to have fast units to keep up with them.  So that basically explains the rest of things.  Shrikes are the fastest synapse I can get without continuously buying flyrants every game, and the Trygon prime serves about the same purpose (though he uses the “burrow” ability more than the speed.

For the Trygon tunnel, the raveners would make a good choice to go into the tunnel, but I opted to go with the hormagaunts (partly because I forgot the raveners entirely).

Mission & Deployment

Neither of us was terribly particular about the mission style, so we opted to go with the classic “Eternal War” missions (as the last game I played used the mission cards).  We rolled up “Big Guns Never Tire,” which doesn’t seem to have changed all that much from the previous edition.

We placed the objectives in fairly generic locations, but as each of us was running what was essentially an assault-only army, we both knew that we’d be meeting in the middle and beating face instead of playing the objective game.

He had setup terrain in a rather sparse fashion so, when he won the choice of sides, it didn’t much matter which side he took.  He deployed everything in the Land Raider over a series of turns (note: this was before the FAQ had come out and indicated that you place all of your units inside a transport when you place the transport) and placed it in the center of the board.  His Chaos Lord, as an afterthought, tended to the cultists in the corner.

My deployment wasn’t anything spectacular either.  I put things into the ruins to give myself cover against his land raiders as best as possible, and then failed to seize the initiative.

Turn 1: Chaos Forces

His land raider deathstar surged forward into the middle of the field, parking itself in a crater and firing it’s lascannons into my lines.  Actually, the Lascannons went into a carnifex and the heavy bolter went into a warrior.  I don’t think that he even fired the plasmagun (likely because he didn’t reference his list and was just going off of the model WYSIWYG.

Those lascannons are terrifying.  Four shots that hit a carnifex on 3’s, wound on 3’s, and do D6 wounds each.  I toyed with the idea of doing the math to see what the odds are of it killing one outright before I had a chance to react, but that’s more complex than I’d care to tackle.  Each one has a 37% chance of doing a wound (Assuming a 6+ armor save), and each wound would be between 1-6 damage.  My math shows it as about a 16% chance that the land raider does no damage at all (well, with just the lascannons), so there’s reasonable odds to peel at least a wound or two off of me.

I’m getting dangerously close to some complex math-hammering.  Suffice it to say, I was scared and had deployed accordingly.  He did manage to do unsaved wounds with one of the guns, to the tune of five damage.

Turn 1: Tyranids

My Trygon and buddies popped out in the backfield, positioned so he could shoot at either the raider or the cultists (he opted for the cultists).  Then, after managing to pluck off a few of them, he managed to successfully roll a charge on the rear of the land raider.

Everything else surged forward and charged the raider as well.  This was based upon me looking up the rules for disembarking and finding that he couldn’t do so if he was within 1″ of me.  So, if you surround the vehicle, they can’t disembark from it.  So, I did a huge series of assaults and managed to make them all (except for a lone carnifex in the back).  They charged in and did a number to it.

The rending claws did a wound here and there, but the big bang came from the carnifexes–especially from old one-eye who just does more damage than his cohorts (and has a higher strength to boot).  I wasn’t able to destroy it outright, but I did knock him down to just one or two wounds before passing the turn.

Turn 2: Chaos Marines

Mitch started off the turn wanting to disembark, but failing there.  Also, despite the fact that he could disengage at will with his raider, the movement rules prevented him from moving through my models, so encircling him meant that he was trapped in combat.  He did manage to shoot at (and charge) my hormagaunts, and killed almost all of them, but when we moved to the other assault, his attacks whiffed and I punked him with Old-One Eye.

That lead to the discovery that when the vehicle explodes, you have to disembark from the vehicle before removing it from the table.  Any models that can’t are destroyed.

Well, since he couldn’t disembark before, he couldn’t at this point, and all of the models inside had died the death.

As a consolation prize, the raider at least blew up and wound up taking out a carnifex with it.  Still, that meant that all of my units were basically in assault range of his chaos lord and my turn was up next.  He wound up conceding the game on the spot.

The Aftermath:

There really isn’t much to say here.  I wound up winning the game with an automatic victory based upon him conceding/being tabled on turn 2.  Technically, he wasn’t actually tabled, but with only one model left against my entire army (who were all basically within charge distance), that seemed like a forgone conclusion.

It was a rough game, but at least it was quick, and we both learned a lot about some nuances of the rules.

What I Learned:

  1. Surrounding a model is bad.  Or good, depending upon your perspective.  The point is, it stops units inside transports from disembarking and it stops them from leaving combat (though I’m sure units with the “Fly” keyword are exceptions to this rule).
  2. Carnifexes are pretty good at anti-tank.  They don’t have a large number of attacks, but multiple damage each makes them decent against multi-wound models.
  3. Rending claws are better than scything talons.  I ran squads of each, and though there wasn’t much experience to go on, they faired better with claws–at least against models with a 2+ armor save.  This probably required further investigation.

 

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15 comments on “Batrep: Chaos Space Marines vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (50 power)

    • It was a pretty rough game. The good news is that it we both learned something and that it was quick enough that we got in a second game.

      On Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 8:41 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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  1. Cool battle report! I appreciate the analysis and discussion of the various new rules. Paint up those berzerkers though! 🙂

    • Ha! I’ll be sure to pass along the painting tip to him. Personally, I have a strict adherence to the “only painted models” rule. Not only does it look better, but it’s also the only way I can inspire myself to actually paint new figs.

      On Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 9:23 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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  2. Surrounding transports is brutal. Ouch! Hadn’t thought of that before so thanks tip/heads up.

    Spinefist on the Shrieks (or Warriors) – is that a single pistol or two pistols?

    • “Spinefists” is a single weapon choice in the armory, and has the same name in the back of the book, so I’m sure they mean that you get one pistol per model. I treated the Hive Tyrant differently because her entry in the armory says you can have “two deathspitters…” and the wargear list in the back lists the damage for “deathspitter” (singular).

      I didn’t know about the dangers of transports either in this edition until it happened. I’m glad that it was short and such a radical change in the output of the game. Neither of us are likely to forget that until 9th edition…

  3. I’ve always honestly found the vehicle surrounding mechanic to be aggravating. It’s not new to 8th, but it’s easier to do in 8th. Having a unit get destroyed for no other reason than enemy movement is a bitter pill to swallow.

    • It hadn’t even occurred to me as a possibility when I read the rules. Truth be told, I don’t have a history of using all that many transports (Nids don’t really have them, and I don’t have many painted up for my marines–plus they haven’t historically been too valuable).

      I wound up surrounding the tank because I read the disembarkation rules and found he couldn’t leave the vehicle at that point. I was surprised that the vehicle couldn’t move out of the assault, and likewise surprised that everyone inside died. It worked out well for me, but I agree that the mechanic is far from perfect. It’s a level of abstraction based on a simplified ruleset, so I’m fine with it. We just have to know it’s a possibility and play accordingly.

      On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 4:08 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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      • I don’t fault you for doing it, or feel that you were being abusive of the rules; it happens, we learn.

        If they let you get out inside the vehicle’s footprint (like the old explosion days), and any that can’t be placed because of 1″ are removed, then that would help a lot. You could still force additional casualties, but the opponent might have a few left.

      • You could likewise allow people to disembark as long as they ended so that they weren’t within 1″ of enemy models.

        Well, I guess that wouldn’t help all that much because the average base size is over an inch now, isn’t it? So, with a 3″ disembark, you’d still be within 1″ in most cases–except for well spaced out units that you could shimmy into gaps.

        Frankly, I don’t think it needs changing though–it’s just something you need to be aware of, and need to play around accordingly.

        On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 7:31 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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      • Huh, that’s a really good point. Easy enough to house rule, which I expect my group to do because we despise feelbad situations.

      • I’m not sure it needs a house-rule personally. As long as everyone is aware of the potential, and plays accordingly, it shouldn’t come up too much. It won’t be easy to surround a vehicle like that, and if it is, it should be obvious what’s going on, giving you time to prepare a counter strategy.

        On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 7:53 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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  4. Well done on spotting the opportunity for that. Surrounding Transports and taking out the passengers as well is really hard if the other Player knows it’s a possibility. I’ve only managed it a few times in 6th and 7th, and that’s using tons of Flesh Hounds and other really fast Units with a big footprint. I don’t think it needs a House Rule once everyone knows it’s a thing.

    Units that can Fly can indeed Fall Back from that situation, but they’re not the only ones. The only others I’ve noticed so far are the ones with the Titanic Keyword, like Knights and such, but there may be still more.

    Rending Claws vs. ScyTals: I’m torn on this myself. I think ScyTals might edge ahead when there’s a Tyranid Prime around, because they basically never miss in that situation. On their own, tho, the Rending Claws are probably the better all-rounders. Being able to almost completely negate a 2+Sv on 6s is pretty awesome, and even just the regular -1 makes a substantial difference pretty often.

    • Ok, I just worked up a spreadsheet (Which should probably be a blog post in it’s own right), which shows that rending claws are flat superior to a single set of scything talons. You don’t really need a spreadsheet for that though, as it’s simple math.

      You hit slightly more with the talons, about 5.5% of the time. Since you can’t get a second set of talons on a warrior, that’s the only benefit they provide (aside from being 2 points cheaper)

      In contrast, rending claws benefit from a flat reduction of -1 to the opponent’s armor save, plus an additional bonus if you roll a 6 to wound. If the target has any armor (which includes almost every unit in the game), reducing it by one for the base claws will make them save ~16% less. You can ignore the “rend’ effect of the claws. 16% > 5.5%. So they’re better.

      Scything talons may do better against lightly armored targets when you factor in the additional attack (assuming you could get two pairs). That’s where the math starts to get trickier–and really is dependent upon the specific unit entry.

      On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 8:41 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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      • Good to know. I did kind of feel like each pair of ScyTals (rather than just multiple pairs) should add an Attack, so ScyTal/Rending Claw builds would still get some benefit rather than just some rarely used flexibility.

        Kind of disappointing, since Warriors look so good with DeathSpitter/ScyTals, but I’ll get over that.

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