Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Black Legion (80 power)

Getting back on the horse as far as 40k goes has been a slow process, but it’s still going.  This week, Simon, of all people, showed up to game night and we threw down for a game of 40k.

My Ultramarines:

  • HQ:
    • Cato Sicarius (warlord)
    • Sergeant Telion
  • Elites:
    • 5x Assault Terminators w/ Lightning Claws
    • Venerable Dreadnought w/ Twin-Lascannon & Missile Launcher
    • 3x Centurion Assault Marines w/ Hurricane Bolters & Flamers
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Missile Launcher, Plasma Gun, & Power Weapon
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Heavy Bolter, Flamer, & Powerfist
    • 10x Scouts w/ Camo Cloaks, 4x Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher, 4x CCW/Pistol, & Powerfist
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Storm Talon w/ Assault Cannons & Typhoon Missile Launcher

I originally started by pulling out the Tyranid codex, but realized that I have to play alot of marine games to catch up to the number of bug games I’ve played this year.  I didn’t know what to play though, so I just started taking advice around the room of what to include.  I started with Cato because I don’t know when the last time he saw the table was, and then Telion because he was a cheap second HQ option.  With Telion, I needed a squad of scouts, and everything else was added based upon the suggestions of those around me.

They were intentionally choosing less than ideal option, but I was ok with it.  Simon and I have played a bunch and the win/loss ratio is a tad lopsided, so having a slight handicap would make things more fair.

Simon’s Black Legion

  • HQ:
    • Chaos Lord in Terminator Armor w/ Lightning Claw, Chainfist, and crazy artifact gun
    • Demon Prince of Slaanesh w/ demon weapon
  • Elites:
    • 5x Chosen in Terminator armor with Combi-bolters & Powerfists, inc. 1x Heavy Flamer
    • 10x Possessed Marines
  • Troops:
    • 20x Cultists
    • 5x Chaos Marines w/ Power Sword & Plasma Gun
    • 5x Chaos Marines w/ Plasma Gun
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Vindicator
    • 1x Vindicator
    • 1x Mauler Fiend

I didn’t get a copy of his list, so this is the best I could do from memory.  I don’t have the specific details and may have gotten some of the slots wrong, but this is the basic jidst of it.

It consisted of a bunch of mid-range guns, and a mix of small arms and close combat attacks.  All in all, a decently balanced force (though it could use some form of long-ranged shooting).  In previous editions, two vindicators would have absolutely terrified me (with those pie plates), but in this edition they weren’t as overwhelming.  Granted, I still made them priority number one…

Mission & Deployment:

Simon wound up choosing the mission somehow.  I’m not sure whether he rolled it up, or picked it himself as I was too consumed with creating my list.  Whatever the method of generation, we ended up throwing out objectives in the standard method, and then playing a game where we drew up to 3 objectives per turn with the weird arrowhead deployment.

He won the die roll for board edges and gave me the one with better terrain and lines of fire.  We talked heavily throughout about strategy and also had outside consultants helping him out as well.  I believe he took the side with worse cover because it had more objectives within easy striking distance.

I wound up deploying my scouts around Telion to make use of his abilities, and most of my tacticals around Cato for the same reason.  The terminators went into deep strike, and the Centurions were confused.  They’re not excessively durable or mobile, but can’t do anything really until they get close.  They really needed some means of transport, but without one, I just had them as a weird counter-assault force.

He finished deploying first, but I won the roll for first turn.  He failed to seize and the Ultramarines opened fire…

Turn 1: Ultramarines

My first turn started out with some long-range sniping.  I didn’t really move forward with many units, instead waiting for him to come to me.  I think the only exception was to push my plasma gun forward so he could get a shot off on a vindicator.

The one on my left went down in a fiery explosion thanks to that Venerable dreadnought that Sean was so kindly to let me have.  Jeff had been intentionally avoiding any good long range weapons in my list, but Sean screwed that over.  Twin-linked lascannons are HUGE.

The rest of my army took aim where possible at the other Vindicator but I didn’t manage to do much of anything to it.  I did peel off a few wounds on his Demon Prince though with my snipers (thanks to the last game with Mitch, I remembered that they’re characters and can’t be singled out).

I happened to draw the two objectives I was standing on and Domination.  So, I scored two points (plus first blood), and discarded the other card before passing the turn.

Score – Ultramarines: 2+1 vs. Chaos: 0

Turn 1: Black Legion

Simon’s turn involved plinking away a few scouts (who somehow get an armor save against Demolisher cannons?) and pushing the rest of his army forward.

None of his models made it into charge range, and the objectives he drew weren’t complimentary to his army/positioning.  So he was set to pass the turn without specifically accomplishing much–though he did stand on an objective that he would certainly be able to defend, and thereby score a couple of points in my next turn.

Score – Ultramarines: 2+1 vs. Chaos: 0

Turn 2: Ultramarines

I didn’t particularly want to be in assault, but I had little I could do about it.  I unloaded what I could on the vindicator (not doing much of anything).  My small arms held their fire because I was going to need a 9″ charge with my centurions and I didn’t want to kill the wrong model and add a couple of inches.

I did manage to make the charge with the help of a re-roll, and also managed to charge with my scouts and a tactical squad.  Despite the 13 or so models, including a large number of power-fist like attacks, he weathered that storm nicely.  Their combination of a 5+ invulnerable and a 5+ FNP save from a psychic power, plus having two wounds, made these guys surprisingly durable.

I did score a single point for getting my flyer into his backfield, and I took out half of the possessed, but otherwise, it proved a rather uneventful turn for me.

Score – Ultramarines: 3+1 vs. Chaos: 2

Turn 2: Black Legion

His warlord and retinue made it into my backfield, teleporting down in order to defend an objective that I was holding with my dreadnought.  First they started by slaughtering the surrounding tactical marines with bolter fire, and then proceeded to charge the dreadnought.  As luck would have it, I managed to survive the powerfist attacks, but could do little in return.

In the middle of the board, the Demon Prince waded into my Centurions and killed off only a single one, due to some bad dice rolls.

On the plus side, Simon scored points for a couple of objectives and set himself up for two more points for defending the objective that previously held by my dreadnought.

Score – Ultramarines: 3+1 vs. Chaos: 4

Turn 3: Ultramarines

I’ve always thought that the Ultramarines tactic of falling back and firing (at a -1, no less) was less than ideal.  But I made use of it this turn across the board.  Everything I had that was in combat, opted to move out and fire at the units they were previously engaged with.  In total, I did some damage, but I also let the wounded units get a reprieve so reinforcements could pitch in.

Speaking of which, my Lightning Claw terminators came down into my backfield, but rather than worry about the objective, I focused on his warlord.  They made the charge, but didn’t manage to do all that much in the way of damage.  It’s worth noting that throughout the game, I’m not sure I ever managed to wound anything on a re-roll.  But that’s neither her nor there.  The Chaos lord survived the onslaught, and returned swings of his own, killing two terminators.

My real goal at this point was to push towards the center and hold that objective, which was one point this turn, and potentially two more next turn if I could manage to defend it…

Score – Ultramarines: 4+1 vs. Chaos: 6

Turn 3: Black Legion

I’m not sure he realized it at this point, but he was winning the game.  His tactics changed up a bit, and he made a couple of gambits.

He had to kill off my flyer, and kill me off the center objective.  He also wanted to save his warlord to stop me from getting points for Kingslayer.  Perhaps he was just a little spread out though.   His shooting managed to strip all but a single wound off my flyer, while his vindicator managed to do zero wounds to my tactical squad in the middle of the table.  Even two lucky charges on his part ended up with two surviving tactical marines.

To add insult to injury, I paid two command points to sneak in an attack with my terminators and killed off his warlord as well.  So, nothing went well for him this turn.

Score – Ultramarines: 8+2 vs. Chaos: 6

Turn 4: Ultramarines

My turn set to mopping things up.  I managed to kill off all of his power armor marines, and nearly all of his cultists, plus plink down his terminators to just two remaining models.  That left only a vindicator standing in my way–and even that I had managed to charge with my centurions.

All in all, things were pretty bleak for him.   I scored points for Kingslayer and holding objective #6, and passed the turn to an army who was now outmatched.

Score – Ultramarines: 11+2 vs. Chaos: 6

Turn 4: Black Legion

He was defeated, but there was an off-chance he could take back the lead at this point.  He had to roll some fantastic dice and score all of his objectives, so we gave that a whirl.  It turned out that the rolls were just too difficult though, so we called it here.

I wound up scoring all of the secondary objectives, while he had linebreaker.  The game really broke my way when the objectives came up for me and didn’t for him.  Final score is below.

Score – Ultramarines: 11+3 vs. Chaos: 6+1

What I Learned:

As always, let’s move on to what I can take from this battle:

  1. Telion was pretty good.  With +1 to hit, he basically always hits.  He also has two shots, and (something I didn’t realize), his gun does d3 wounds.  Had I paid attention, several units might’ve been brought down faster.
  2. Vindicators aren’t nearly as scary as they once were.  I was terrified of pie plates, but d3 shots that even a power armored marine without cover gets a save against aren’t that bad at all.
  3. Twin-linked lascannons are great.  Go figure, right?
  4. Possessed are tough.  I don’t think Simon loved them, but I was really impressed with their durability.  I’m not sure what they cost, but I think they were perfectly respectable.
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One comment on “Batrep: Ultramarines vs. Black Legion (80 power)

  1. The Possessed aren’t bad, power 6 for 5 where basic CSM are 5 for 5. They have no range so might be better suited in a Rhino. I would like to use them again, but they have a definite battlefield role and are fairly useless otherwise.

    I found that the Prince and Vindicator aren’t as scary as they were before and that generally weaker units like Cultists are more useful. Teminators are super effective now it seems.

    I need to read up on the rules some more obviously and start including things I don’t normally use, like my Heldrake. One thing I definitely need to include in my army is a Lascannon. I don’t even have ONE!

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