BatRep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Orks w/ Empyric Storm Cards (1487pts)

My goal has been to get in twelve games per year for basically as long as I’ve had this blog.  It’s not exactly an exciting goal, but it takes an extra level of effort above and beyond just casual gaming.  Well, this year I have been keeping up with the goal–at least so far, so with the end of March approaching, I scrambled to get in another game.  As luck would have it, we have a State holiday in March.

Not that I’m a state employee, or that I even get the day off, but I had some extra “use it or lose it” time accumulating, and opted to take off a day that coincided with Brandon’s day off.  We managed to throw down with a game of Silver Tower, and also a game of 40k.

Rabbit trail: I’m not sure why I never write about Silver Tower on the blog…  But this entry certainly isn’t going to be about that, it’s going to be about the battle report..

Hive Fleet Proteus

  • HQ:
    • Tervigon (Domininon, The Horror)
  • Elites:
    • 1x Hive Guard
    • 1x Hive Guard
    • 1x Pyrovore
  • Troops:
    • 15x Hormagaunts
    • 15x Hormagaunts
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Biovore
  • Fortifications
    • 2x Vengeance Weapon Batteries w/ Battle Cannons
  • Formations:
    • Neural Node:
      • Maleceptor (Dominion, Psychic Overload, Psychic Scream)
      • 3x Zoanthropes w/ Neurothrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, Spirit Leech, & the Horror)
      • 3x Zoanthropes w/ Neurothrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, Spirit Leech, & Psychic Scream)
      • 3x Zoanthropes w/ Neurothrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, Spirit Leech, & Onslaught)

We had decided in advance that we were going to play a game with the Battlezone: Empyric Storm cards as I had recently picked them up.  When we thumbed through them days earlier, it was pretty clear that the cards were pretty heavily psyker focused, so I had joked about making an army consisting entirely of Tyrants, Tervigons, Maleceptors, Zoanthropes, and Broodlords (running triple CAD, of course).    While that seemed like an interesting army that I would like to try sometime, I figured it wasn’t something I wanted to run this game.

So, the day before the game, I found myself flipping through the formations that I had never run before and came across the Neural Node.  It had a bunch of Zoanthropes (which I like), and they were all in squads of three (which Brandon also seems to like to convince me to play), so why not go with that?   Sadly, that ate up about half of my available points, so my actual CAD was fairly limited.

I knew I didn’t want to go with a flyrant, because that’s a crutch to ‘nid players.  Frankly speaking, Tervigons are the only halfway decent viable alternative (of course, I’ve run all of the other options, and will continue to do so, but Tervigon is the most solid secondary choice).   I included my now necessary Pyrovore (if anything, I’ll at least be the world’s foremost authority on why they suck), and some Hive Guard to help handle vehicles.  Well, that was after I decided not to include any Genestealers, so my troops were all fairly small and frail.   The Vengeance Weapons were based upon a quick search on my blog which seemed to indicate that the last time I’d used them was in late 2014–can that be right?

In the end, I had 85 points left, so I threw in a few mucolids and a biovore (always well worth his 40 points) and called it a day. Continue reading

Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Nurgle Themed Chaos

I’m a little behind on my goal to get 12 games in per year (which, for the particularly astute of you out there averages out to one game per month).  So, when I had a day off that coincided with a friend, and we were able to sneak in a game of 40k, I was delighted.

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • HQ:
    • Deathleaper
    • Tyranid Prime w/ Lashwhip, Bonesword, & Scything Talons
  • Elites:
    • 3x Zoanthropes w/ Neurothrope (Dominion, Catalyst, Warp Blast, & Spirit Leech)
    • 2x Lictors
    • 2x Hive Guard
    • 2x Hive Guard
    • 3x Pyrovores
  • Troops:
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Venom Cannon
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Venom Cannon
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Devourer
    • 10x Hormagaunts
    • 6x Genestealers w/ Broodlord (Dominion, The Horror)
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Raveners w/ Rending Claws
    • 3x Raveners w/ Rending Claws
    • 4x Raveners w/ Rending Claws plus The Red Terror
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore
  • Fortifications:
    • Promethium Relay Pipes

Continue reading

Batrep: Genestealer Cult vs. Nurgle Demons (2000 pts)

I haven’t gotten many games in this year.

Ok, that statement has a superfluous “M” in it.  It should ready: I haven’t gotten any games in this year.  We’ve been pretty regular as a gaming group, but most of the time we’ve been playing board games.  In particular, we’re playing campaigns of Star Wars Imperial Assault and of Silver Tower.  So, basically when the guys show up in any quantity, we generally play those instead of 40k.

That’s fine, but I do have to get my 12 games in per year, and I’ve been making a lot of progress on my cult, so I wanted to dust them off.

Actually, I was supposed to get two games in this particular day, as I had the day off and had scheduled another game in advance–but things didn’t work out and my first game had to cancel due to illness.  But at least I got this one in, right?

My Genestealer Cult:

  • Command:
    • The First Curse (20x Genestealers & Patriarch – 4+ Armor save (Mass Hypnosis, Telepathic Summons, & Mental Onslaught)
  • Core:
    • batrepcultvmitch-1Neophyte Cavalcade
      • 10x Neophytes w/ Grenade Launcher & Autocannon in Chimera w/ Heavy Stubber
      • 10x Neophytes w/ Grenade Launcher & Autocannon in Chimera w/ Heavy Stubber
      • 1x Leman Russ
      • 1x Scout Sentinel w/ Lascannon
  • Axillary:
    • Subterranean Uprising
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
    • Subterranean Uprising
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
    • Subterranean Uprising
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Hybrid Metamorphs w/ claws
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
      • 5x Acolyte Hybrids
    • Shadow Skulkers:
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers
      • 5x Genestealers

Mitch doesn’t have a great win/loss record, so this list is clearly too powerful to play against him.  I knew that going into it.  I justified it because I have all of these newly painted models that I’m itching to have see the table and because he did say that his list was pretty powerful.  I also justified it by leaving about 60 unused points on my list (because that wasn’t enough to throw another squad of genestealers in, so I had no idea what I’d do to fill those points).

This is really just an evolution of the only other game I played with my cult, wherein I used nothing but the required minimums and some patriarchs (cheating) and as many genestealers as I could squeeze in the list.

In hindsight, this list is too nasty for casual games (though I specifically bought/made/painted all of those metamorphs for this purpose, so they’re sure to see the table again).  I also would’ve liked to have replaced the core formation for other option, but I don’t have a banner bearer painted up, so that’s something I should likely be working on–along with the other characters, and getting some real paint on those tanks… Continue reading

Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Salamanders (2159 pts.)

In order to round out my twelfth game of the year (And thereby meet my personal goal of at least one game per month), Brandon and I met on an off-day to play a game last Saturday.  Since it was an out of band game, we opted to go with a few extra points as we had more time to play a complete game.

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • batrep2159vbrandon-1HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Twin-linked Devourers (Dominion, Catalyst, Psychic Scream)
  • Elites:
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, & Onslaught)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, & Paroxysm)
    • 2x Pyrovores in Mycetic Spore w/ Barbed Stranglers
  • Troops:
    • 30x Termagants w/ Fleshborers
    • 1x Tervigon w/ Crushing Claws & Cluster Spines (Dominion, & Warp Blast)
    • 5x Genestealers inc. Broodlord (Dominion, & The Horror)
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Shrikes w/ Devourers & Rending Claws
  • Heavy Support:
    • 2x Carnifex w/ Adrenal Glands inc. 1x w/ Spinebanks
  • Bioblast Node:
    • 3x Warriors inc. 1 w/ Barbed Strangler
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
    • 1x Tyrannofex w/ Fleshborer Hive & Cluster Spines

This list started off with me taking suboptimal choices.  I started with the pyrovores in a pod because–why not?  And then took some raveners and warriors.

You don’t see the raveners?  Well, that’s because this is the first game I’ve played outside of my home in a while and I wound up forgetting my ravener tray at the house.  So, I had to ditch seven raveners for two close combat carnifexes.  Personally, I would’ve preferred to have the raveners–they might not have the punch, but I feel like they’ll actually see combat whereas close combat carnies are doomed to die as they run across the board.

The list isn’t bad, mind you.  I still took a flyrant and three dakka-fexes, so the list had enough punch.  Still, I felt that it had some handicaps and some punch.  I wound up taking the dakka fexes because I noticed that the bioblast node allowed me to use devourers (I could’ve sworn it was only the big guns before).

Brandon’s Salamanders:

  • Flameblade Strike Force:
    • batrep2159vbrandon-2Vulkan He’stan
    • Librarius Conclave
      • 1x Librarian w/ Terminator Armor & Storm Shield (Librarius: Emperor’s Wrath, Might of Heroes, & Null Zone)
      • 1x Librarian w/ Power Axe (Fulmination: Electrosurge, Electroshield, & Magnetokinesis)
      • 1x Librarian w/ Power Sword (Geokinesis: Chasm & Scorched Earth)
    • Demi-Battle Company
      • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Multi-melta, Meltagun, Meltabombs, & Combiflamer
      • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Multi-metla, Meltagun, Meltabombs, & Combiflamer
      • 5x Tactical Marines w/ 1x Lascannon, 1x Flamer, & Meltabombs in Drop Pod
      • 5x Devastators w/ 4x Missile Launchers
      • 5x Assault Marines w/ 2x Flamers & 1x Power Weapon
    • First Company Detachment
      • 5x Sternguard Veterans w/ 1x Heavy Flamer, 1x Power fist, & 2x Combi-melta in Drop Pod
      • 5x Vanguard Veterans w/ Assorted Weapons
      • 5x Terminators w/ 1x Heavy Flamer
    • 1x Landraider Redeemer
    • 1x Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta & Heavy Flamer

Before the game I had toyed with the idea of running 90+ genestealers in a cult formation or maybe even running 2x Heirophants.  Frankly, I think both of those choices came off as overwhelming to my opponent.  I don’t think he specifically engineered against either, but when I showed up with so many monstrous creatures, he wasn’t prepared to fight those, that’s for sure.

Mission & Deployment:

batrep2159vbrandon-4Seventh edition was released in May of 2014–about two and a half years ago.  Somehow, Brandon has managed to avoid buying a book for that long.  Normally it wouldn’t be an issue, but as we didn’t play at my place and I forgot to bring mine, that made things a little unusual.  We opted to play with long board edges based upon the room setup (other options would’ve been possible–just more difficult), and then tried to remember all of the different missions.  We opted for “Count up” where we earned cards up to the number of the turn we were on each turn.  For mysterious objectives, we didn’t remember the exact order, but he had a set of objective dice, so we just used those.

I won the dice for deployment and chose his side of the table–not because it was any better strategically, but because the gaming area wasn’t connected to the home heating system and his side of the table had a little portable heater (heat is serious business when you make 40ks in Alaska).  Really though, the side didn’t matter so much, but I figured I wanted to go first.

batrep2159vbrandon-6There was some debate about the terrain.  We had a tower that had a door on it, and I felt I should be able to infiltrate inside it, at which point he said that was fine, but it meant that was a building so he could destroy it (only without a rulebook, we didn’t have the rules to do so).  My thought was that he couldn’t see me inside, but that was clearly a place I could leave from.  He suggested that would make it an access point then.  Whatever the case, there was some confusion, so we just opted to call it impassible–as such I infiltrated my genestealers behind the building and out of line of sight–in order to be able to get a second turn charge…

He tried to seize the initiative and failed, so I took the first turn.

Turn 1: Tyranids

batrep2159vbrandon-7We opted to have night fight, but that didn’t affect my turn all that much.  During my psychic phase, I threw up feel no pain on my Flyrant and Tyrannofex, and jumped her in front of the enemy line to give her options.

Most other things ran forward to little effect.  I did throw up onslaught on the Tyrannofex and had him surge forward and fire into his tactical squad with Librarian.  He did minimal damage, but the Flyrant did manage to enough to force a break test–which they failed–and then proceeded to run off the table.

I also managed to earn three points for holding twice as many objectives as my opponent.  With that plus first blood, I took an early lead…

Score: Tyranids 3+1 vs. Salamanders 0

Turn 1: Salamanders

batrep2159vbrandon-10We had some discussion about which drop pod was better for him to bring down and came to the concensus that leaving the objective secured pod in reserve until it was needed was better–besides, that meant he got more shooting power to bear on my units.

His army surged forward and poured fire into my lines.  The only real damage to speak of was from that veteran squad in the pod who managed to nearly kill a carnifex and everything standing behind it.  I say nearly because I made a single 6+ cover save to keep him alive.  Another carnifex on the other side of the board faced a similar fate from a squad of devastators.

The one sad model that I did lose was my Flyrant, who took a hit from some inane gun (a storm bolter, I believe) and promptly failed a grounding check.  Well, as luck would have it, the only model that actually fired at it was the land raider, so that meant she at least couldn’t be charged–except a nearby Terminator squad (who had–for some reason–thrown up “Force”) managed to declare her as a multi-assault and she failed her single armor save–dying to the hands of a mere mortal.

He also managed to score a point for holding a single objective….

Score: Tyranids 3+1 vs. Salamanders 1+1

Turn 2: Tyranids

batrep2159vbrandon-15All of my reserves came on the board (ie. a drop pod and a mucolid) and both hit about where they were supposed to.  The pyrovores disembarked and killed four of the six devastators, while the mucolid merely threatened a squad of nearby space marines (who lost half of their number to an enraged carnifex).

His assault marines, who had been quietly flanking me, got swamped by a squad of gaunts, and were likely never going to be seen again, and one of my Zoanthropes got off a lucky shot and blew up his Land Raider with a warp blast.

The real battle, however, was in the center of the board.  Against Vulkan and his friends, I wound up firing two dakka-fexes into them and then charging them with ‘stealers and a single Carnifex (well, two, but only one made the charge).  Just in front of them, I poured two close combat ‘fexes into the melee between the terminators and the Tyrannofex.

I wound up losing my genestealer & broodlord, but traded those in effect for Vulkan, a Terminator Librarian, a sternguard squad, and a terminator squad.  Basically, his two big hammer type-units had fallen.

I also scored one objective and another point for having three of my own units within 12″ of my deployment zone.

Score: Tyranids 5+2 vs. Salamanders 1+1

The Aftermath.

Yes, I know it’s early to end a battle report, but that’s what happened.  Dismayed by the loss of his best units and the fact that he was behind, he was talking about calling it there.  I said that it wasn’t a lost cause at all, but it was certainly going to be an uphill battle, but offered to call it if he wanted to.  As I’ve learned from another friend (Kurt), it’s just not worth playing if someone isn’t happy.

He still had six combat squads, two drop pods and a dreadnought, but facing down the remaining big bugs–all of which were in his face–could be more than a little frightening.  So, we called this a very short game (ironically–since we had extra time this particular day) and went on our merry ways…

What I Learned:

  1. We really should have played it out.  He wasn’t totally opposed to keep playing, but I think it was a winnable game for him.  Basically every big bug I had was wounded (several on death’s door), and he was going to be drawing more and more cards every turn.  I think it would’ve been closer than he expected–and certainly believe he had a chance.
  2. Brandon is great at the rules.  He’s really good at wrote memorization, and probably even better at differentiating between editions.  I always get hung up on the variations, but he seems to do quite well.  Impeccably so if you don’t have a rulebook on hand to contradict him. 🙂
  3. Trust but verify.  Brandon is indeed great at the rules, but my Flyrant died because he only gave me 12″ of range on an 18″ gun.  Had she had more space, she would’ve likely been able to hang out on top of the tower safely and endured through the turn.
  4. Fleshborer Hive is bad.  It’s clearly the worst of the gun options on the Tyrranofex; granted, I didn’t need a game with it to know that, but it was downright pitiful in production.
  5. Pyrovores in pods aren’t horrible.  They’re bad on paper for sure, but I managed to do well with them.  Granted, it was one small round of firing and I rolled well/he rolled poorly.  Still, it’s possible they’re not as bad as I fear…

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.