Warhammer 39,9999

Batrep: Black Legion vs. Ultramarines (81 Power)


It’s been a little while since I’ve played 40k.  Based upon the blog history, I’ve played four other games so far this year (or five, if you count the last Apoc game, which definitely happened last year), so it can’t have been a very long stretch.  Many of our regularly Friday game nights are taken up by board games, based upon the folks that show, so 40k is coming less frequently.

Well, with the recent President’s Day holiday, Simon dropped by and we threw down for his first game of 8th edition.

Simon’s Black Legion

Simon hadn’t played a game of 8th edition yet, so he threw together whatever he had.   As with most people, a typical 8th edition list starts off by playing what you played in 7th edition, so you can see how it fares.  The list contained a fair number of high-wound models with reasonably high toughness, plus a smattering of different units to hold objectives with.

My Ultramarines:

I have insisted since the start of 8th edition that I wouldn’t play a game with my marines until I painted up Bobby G.  The thought was that it might help inspire me to paint him.  However, nearly a year into the process, I’m clearly not going to do it anytime soon.  With Simon playing his first game of 8th, I figured I would also play a new army… why not?

For list making, I included Marneus as a little-brother stand-in for Bobby G, and then took whatever I had laying around.  I made sure to include a mix of weapons on things, not going for just those weapons that I knew were good in this edition.  I tried to get a flamer into one of the squads, but couldn’t make it fit (so I’m going to need to bust some arms apart to make that happen–I mean, why have magnetized options if you can’t make them fit?)

For deployment, I wound up combat squading, then un-combat squading, and re-combat squading everything.  That was because I was pretty sure I’d seen Brandon use combat squads before, so I deployed that way.  Then I saw a CP ability that allowed me to break them into smaller squads and figured that’s how it’s done now, so I reattached them and shifted deployments around a bit to make things legal.  Later, I learned that you can actually combat squad at the beginning of the game, so I broke them up again–to no small confusion of Simon.  I really should’ve just gotten burned and accepted them in larger squads (After all, I could use the CP to combat squad them later if I wanted).  That wasn’t cool of me.

Mission & Deployment:

We wound up playing “Cleanse and Capture,” with board quarter deployment.  Simon, with the much smaller army, won the roll, and opted to chose the side he was already on (easier than moving).  In previous games, we’d used more terrain, but I find that terrain doesn’t make a huge difference in games I play, and I was too lazy to setup a proper table.

He deployed everything up against the line, opted to deep strike his terminators and warlord.  I held all of my terminators in reserve as well, but spread out across my zone.  I put the whirlwind in cover so that he would be at least marginally protected (despite being the toughest unit I had in my entire force), and placed the various shooty units in positions to maximize their field of view.

I failed to seize the initiative and he took first turn.

Turn 1: Black Legion

The first objective he drew was a priority target, wherein his warlord had to kill a unit with 10 or more wounds.  With that as his strategy, he dropped his terminator squad and his warlord in my back line around my whirlwind.  They would pepper it with fire and eventually make the charge, but simply not have enough damage output between them to kill off my tank–but at least they trapped it into the corner.

His shooting proved to be moderately effective, killing a number of marines out of several squads, but not actually removing any of the heavy or special weapons (and not doing enough that I would fail any morale tests either).

The other objective he was after was held by my “infiltrating” scouts.  He wound up failing charges for both his hellbrute (took one mortal wound from a sniper rifle on the way in) and his rhino (took six wounds: one mortal sniper shot, and six from a super-lucky missile shot).

He came close to scoring two different objectives, but not close enough…

Score: Chaos 0 vs. Ultramarines 0

Turn 1: Ultramarines

My whirlwind was a write-off at this point.  I figured there was nothing I could do to save it–short of maybe dumping Marneus and his bodyguard against them, and then getting really lucky with both the charge rolls and the combat as well.  I did have to slay the warlord though, so it was a tad tempting.

My other objective was to get into my opponent’s backfield.  I didn’t want to do that though because the only way to score that would’ve put me behind a bunch of fast moving targets that would’ve simply just moved away from me (though in hindsight, Terminators can now use their teleport homer to ‘shunt’ back–but I didn’t deploy such a homer).

My third option was to just split the difference–and that’s what I took.  By sitting in between them, I wouldn’t be able to save the whirlwind, or score either objective, but I could focus fire on some of the immediate threats bearing down on my army.  Yes, I’d still have a bunch of terminators in my backfield, but I was hoping that I would be far enough away from them to exclude them for the rest of the battle.  As an added bonus, that let me castle up and maximize Marneus’ bubble of awesomeness.

In the shooting phase, I plucked off the Hellbrute and two Rhinos, plus managed to scratch the demon prince (whose saves proved to be fantastic).  My terminators also managed to charge the demon prince and did a little more damage before losing one of their own in combat (in hindsight, his damage output was so more than my terminators, charging was a foolish move–I was only saved by a great number of 5+ invulnerable saves.

In the other combat, the whirlwind faired about as well as expected.  He did no wounds to the terminators and then promptly wrecked at the hands of their power weapons.  On the plus side, he blew up and managed to do six mortal wounds to the termies, and six to the lord (killing him outright).  So, I unexpectedly earned “slay the warlord!”

Score: Chaos 0 vs. Ultramarines 3+2

Turn 2: Black Legion

Losing your warlord to an exploding tank can be a little demoralizing, but that’s the breaks sometimes.  His goal for the turn was to push my scouts off the objective for two points and to kill something in shooting.  Given that he had reduced one combat squad down to 1 model, and another to two, plus had four scouts as another target, that certainly seemed doable.  Better yet, if he could kill off three units, he’d get more victory points.

His shooting proved to be dismal though.  The very last thing he shot (his terminators) eventually killed the lone heavy bolter marine, but he could muster no more kills in shooting.  His legion marines managed to charge my scouts (who sniped another on the way in–this time without a mortal wound), and managed to kill one of my guys in assault, but I returned the favor and stale-mated him on the objective.

I was able to blow two command points to sneak in a round of combat with my terminators before his prince could swing, and I did manage to reduce him to a single wound.  Unfortunately, after spending some points to double-attack with him, he managed to kill them down to a single marine (after the first attack, he’d only killed one–thanks again to my miraculous saves).

Also, by this point I started using some command points.  With Marneus’ bonus +2 points and the Ultramarine trait that allows me get them back, I figured why not blow them here and there.  I really should’ve kept track of just how many I used, but I will say that it was a likely more than the eight I started with (and, spoiler alert: I ended with five left).  Suffice it to say, I was rolling a significant number of 5+’s there as well.

Simon did muster a point for killing a unit, and was close to getting another for killing my scouts off an objective.  His third was thrown away because he no longer had a warlord required to achieve it.

Score: Chaos 1 vs. Ultramarines 3+2

Turn 2:  Ultramarines

My turn consisted of drawing a series of objectives I just wasn’t going to complete.  Starting with “Priority Orders Received” forcing me to “Master the Warp” with Marneus Calgar (something he tried desperately to do, but just wasn’t successful at), and ending with scoring an objective beneath the defiler, which was too far and too well defended (at least this round) to tackle.   My surviving terminator walked away from the demon prince to score “Behind enemy lines” though, so at least I didn’t go scoreless.

That also opened up the rest of my force to strip the final remaining wound off the prince (which happened quite easily).  With him down, I focused on the other threats around the board, peppering fire into whatever I deemed bigger threats.  The havocs with their long-ranged firepower seemed threatening enough.  I did four wounds with the dreadnought’s assault cannon (re-rolling misses thanks to Calgar’s ability), and he managed to roll 4x 1’s and 2’s to neuter that squad (before eventually failing his morale test and breaking the last guy as well).

I scored the one point for getting into his deployment zone, but nothing else.


Score: Chaos 1 vs. Ultramarines 4+2

Turn 3: Black Legion

By turn three, the defiler lined it’s sights on Marneus in such a way that he could declare him as the closest target, and dumped all of his firepower into my warlord.  That managed to do three wounds of damage, so I started talking trash–forgetting the inevitable assault.

Despite three wounding hits from the defiler, the Armor of Antilochus pulled off a miracle, saving 2/3 wounds and then re-rolling the final (with a command point–and earning it back) for no damage.  I whiffed on the retaliating strikes though.

His other forces put himself into position to score an objective in my turn, but lacked enough firepower to do any real damage.

Score: Chaos 1 vs. Ultramarines 4+2

Turn 3:  Ultramarines

The turn was far more elaborate than it needs to be for this write-up.  At this point, I needed to shimmy around the defiler to manage to hold objective #2–which I did, with my lone remaining terminator.  The rest of my turn was spent jockying for position to ensure that defiler would die before it could swing at “mittens” (an affectionate nickname for my warlord and his two oversized powergloves).  Had my terminator failed to kill it, the dreadnought would’ve stepped up to take a swing.

Everything else in my army did what it could to maximize damage potential and kill the chaos marines off of the objective.  I did manage to wipe out one squad of five (with 2+ saves, thanks to the cover) and mortally wound the rhino with a lucky melta shot, but I wasn’t able to clear them all off.  Sure, I forgot to charge them, but I just didn’t have enough oompf left to also kill off the rhino.  Maybe if I’d charged I would’ve had enough guys to properly contest the objective though.

He managed to score two points for defending that objective, and I earned three for my “mission critical objective.”

Score: Chaos 3 vs. Ultramarines 7+2

Turn 4:  Black Legion

The game was about over at this point, but we let him take a stab at the only achievable objective he had left.  Doing so involved running with his remaining three marines and charging with a rhino and terminators.  He had to kill off five tactical marines to kill them off objective #3.  He tried valiantly, but the dice just weren’t in his favor.  At that point, we wound up calling the game, with each of us earning points for Linebreaker.

Score: Chaos 3+1 vs. Ultramarines 7+3

What I Learned:

With my first game of marines, I would’ve thought there would be more to learn.  I’m guessing that the list was mitigated by the fact that I’ve played against marines before, and my list wasn’t terribly varied.  I tried not to include all of the best of the best units.

  1. Teleport Homer.  It’s a thing, but I’m going to need a model for it.
  2. The “Chapter Master” ability is Amazing.  I thought it was a special rule for Marneus, but it looks like all chapter masters give you a 6″ bubble of re-rolls.  It’s not just 1’s, but all dice, so it proved to be great for me.  That was definitely the best thing in my army.
  3. My chaplain was garbage.  Maybe he isn’t always garbage, but he was for me.  Pairing him with Marneus was a mistake: the first granted me “re-roll to hit in the fight phase” while the second was “re-roll all to-hit rolls.”  The bubbles weren’t helpful, and the chaplain didn’t really provide any durability or damage output either.  Maybe he’s good in other games though.
  4. Know your rules.  Simon had an innate rule for his army that on 6’s to hit, he could generate additional attacks.  I’d never seen the rule before and was busy learning/forgetting my own rules, so I wasn’t much help.
  5. Grenade throwing is a thing.  At least I think it is–I didn’t do it in the game, but just now I seem to recall that Brandon likes to do that.
  6. Vehicles might not be as durable as I thought.  10 Wounds at Toughness 7 and a 3+ save is nothing to scoff at, but I managed to kill off quite a few tanks with my missiles.
  7. Lascannons > Missile Launchers.  There’s really no reason to run missile launchers as Lascannons are simply better.  I suppose you could fire frag, but what kind of goofball actually does that.  There’s almost always something to fire a krak missile at.