What's worse?

What could be worse than a Space Marine Legion that fell to the Chaos powers and rebelled against everything they once respected? We don't know, but it was probably pretty bad.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After-Action Reports

As I mentioned in my last post, I attended a three-round, 2,000 point "invitational tournament". A comment there from ColKilgore suggested splitting my 14 daemons into 2 squads of 7. The good Colonel also asked for a report on how I did.

'Ere goes...

First off, there was a good variety of forces present at the event. Six non-marine armies consisted of: Tau, Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, and Chaos Daemons. Marine armies consisted of: Deathguard, Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, and Black Templars.

I didn't mention it, but we were able to bring three completely different lists if we wanted to, covering the needs to be a Planetstrike Attacker, Planetstrike Defender, and Cities of Death (on 4'-x-4' board). I stuck with one list, BUT with the intention to split my daemons into two 7-model squads for my Cities of Death Game (I just forgot to mention that in the original post).

These aren't really "Battle Reports" per se, as all the fine details were not put to paper by me, and now said fine details are eluding me...

GAME 1 - Cities of Death (modified Firesweep) vs. Curt's White Sword Space Marines (ie., Vanilla SMs)

The Cities of Death missions were modified to be more appropriate for v5 rules. The modification to the firesweep mission included (a) standard Spearhead deployment, (b) making only v5 "Scoring Units" able to plant flags in the buildings (any unit could contest), and (c) adding Kill Points to the score. So the victory was calculated as a comparison of Flags + KPs = player's score.

The 4'-x-4' table featured a pair of roads running at angles in an "X"-like fashion across the gaming area. There were seven larger ruins/terrain features that counted as objectives, and a variety of small and medium objects that did not (e.g., old Gothic Ruin corners, piles of rubble/debris, an impassible LOS-blocking storage tank).

Curt ran (and always does run) his SMs in a very "basic" format, featuring lots of bodies, units equipped to do anti-armor and anti-personnel duties as needed, good commanders with good equipment (but not all blinged-out and point-sinkey), and a few armor and close-combat units in support of the "main force".

To say my expensive Plague Marines were outnumbered is an understatement. At least it's not as bad as when I play with my Deathwing army...

The rounds were fast and furious; we were able to complete 5 turns. In the first portion of the game, I quickly dropped 3 flags and Curt was able to get four planted. At no point in the game did this situation change. So it was all down to Kill Points for the rest of the game.

With all that terrain choking the table, I did not want to deep strike to much, so deployed my Terminators and Typhus aggressively near the front of my DZ. The White Sword got first turn, and proceeded to paste several of my terminators with a Vindicator and Whirlwind. About mid-game, my Termies got charged by The White Sword's Dreadnought, and by that point, had no Power Fists/Chainfists to deal with him. But at least Typhus had divested himself from that unit and was rolling down field solo.

The White Sword played a more defensive game while I took the initiative to try and claim a few more objectives. The two daemon squads assaulted a Tactical Squad in a ruin - no grenades and craptacular daemons led to a short confrontation ending in the extermination of my daemons. Both Typhus' and my Sorcerer's Wind of Chaos powers were less than spectacular, and ultimately Big T, the Sorcerer, and a squad of Plague Marines were killed trying to take that same ruin.

At the end of Turn 5, with time for the first game run out, the vast majority of The White Sword stood victorious on the battlefield. The objectives never changed from the start: 3 for me, 4 for Curt; however, Curt absolutely slaughtered me in the Kill Point side of things, netting him a very massive win (I believe I was 2 or 3 models short of being completely wiped-out).

GAME 2 - Planetstrike Attacker vs. Russ' Orks

As Defender, Russ set up the table. It was a barren wasteland. Two bastions were placed about the center of a long table edge with the other about the center of Russ' right half of the board. the only other terrain on the board was a series of linear obstacles covering the middles of all three other table edges. Most of Russ' orks were mounted up in vehicles, so he didn't really want anything standing in his way of pure mobility.

I chose the short edge close to the single bastion as my Drop Zone. My Predator and Rhino squads rolled in on that side with everything else Deep Striking in. The terminators and 10-man Plague Marine Squad (on foot) dropped about center table - I was aiming for a more aggressive "in your face" landing, but sadly scattered backwards quite a bit (8" and 11" scatters). Meanwhile, one Plague Marine squad (in rhino) was working on meltagun-ing the solo bastion while the Sorcerer and his rhino Plague Marine squad raced for the dual bastions. After three or so turns of the former unit shooting and assaulting (power fist) the solo bastion, it simply did not fall. Similarly, the Sorcerer's unit was de-mechanized, so were unable to do much.

Russ' WAAAGH! was decently timed, except that a couple squads were just over 6" away after their run/fleet move, so unable to assault. A huge mob of Boyz stormed into both my 10-man squad and Terminators, but Typhus' daemon weapon and his terminator cohorts cut down many, many orks. In my next turn, Typhus' Nurgle's Rot psychic power claimed another handful of orks, and the combination of the Plague Marines, Typhus, and Terminators brought that Ork Unit down low, failing two leadership tests (boss pole), and being cut-down in a sweeping advance by my Plague Marines.

As the game ended and time was out, Russ and I assessed the situation. Daemons and Terminators were in base contact with both of the bastions along the long edge, and I had one meltaguner in contact with the third bastion. We agreed that if another turn was played, that lone meltaguner would be wiped out by a large mob a few inches away, but it would not matter since I'd still have possession of the other two bastions.

Win for the Deathguard!

After two games, I was sitting on 1 W and 1 L; time for Battle Number 3.

GAME 3 - Standard v5 Mission vs. Alex's Chaos Space Marines

One of the participants of the day was a relatively new 40k player, so rather than be bogged-down trying to master 40k and Planetstrike or Cities of Death rules, he played three standard games. I was glad to play a standard mission, and in the end, Alex was surprisingly well-versed in the rules and tactics of 40k. In fact, I believe he had 3 draws for the day with no wins and no losses. Another interesting thing about Alex was his Chaos Marine list. I called it "unconventional," but don't let that term be equated to "ineffective."

The mission we rolled up was Seize Ground (4 objectives) with Pitched Battle deployment. The four objectives were fairly well spaced-out, with two not far from his long table edge and two not far from mine.

Early in the game, I managed to wrest one of Alex's objectives from him using my Terminators. They couldn't control it themselves, but were sitting on it for much of the rest of the game making sure he couldn't either. I sent my forces to try and wrest his other from him, but it was being controlled by a chaos marine squad of TWENTY models. Yup, "unconventional" does not mean "ineffective." After destroying a 10-man squad of his, my battered remnants of the 10-man Plague Marine squad rolled back towards one of my "close" objectives; meanwhile, a 7-man Plague Marine squad was camped on my other "close" objective, and my termies were on one of Alex's close objectives.

The game went on to a full 7 turns. At the end, my 10-man squad had been vaped by Alex's Land Raider, leaving that objective uncontrolled. My terminators were sitting on one of Alex's objectives (still), so that one was uncontrolled. Turn 7 began with each of us holding one objective (and really no way to gain control of another). I had the benefit of going last, but alas, a long day of enjoying but brutal combat, left my mind a bit mushy. My "Eldar Mind" snuck in, and caused me to Epic Fail in the bottom of Turn 7, resulting in a draw! You see, what happened was Typhus was bearing down on the 20-man squad holding Alex's one objective. A lone Chosen stood in his way, which was a good thing as I got to move, assault, kill, and consolidate in Turn 6 leaving me right on top of that large squad. This is where my Eldar Mind failed me. I decided to pull off a big "Tricksy Move", rolling Typhus down the side of his large squad in hopes that I'd assault him and pull his guys on/near the objective off of it in the ensuing counter charge.

Guess what? That part worked like a charm. Problems at this point are twofold, however.

First, Typhus' non-Eternal Warrior self was vaporized by a Power Fist, meaning Alex was able to re-consolidate back onto his objective.

Second, and most importantly, all Typhus really had to do in Turn 7 was move a few inches to contest that objective. He would have lived, he would have contested Alex's only objective, and I would have WON that game (1 to 0).

Stupid me... ;-)

All in all, though, I can't complain with a 1-1-1 record on the day. No "real score" was kept, but Steve W.'s Black Templars seem to have taken the day with three wins. The food provided by Russ' wife Renee was spectacular, and the camaraderie can't be beat.

PS. Epic Fail #2 - with my wife taking the kids to the zoo that day, she had dibs on the family's digital camera. So I swung by my office on the way to the event to pick up my nice 35mm SLR digital camera. It sat the entire day under the table where I first placed it when I walked into Russ' house.

So NO pictures for you.


  1. Nice summary, MJ.

    I brought the Chaos Daemons (I have been out with a bad back and, hey, they're all painted). I lost my Cityfight battle soundly to Jonnie's Tau. I could have had all of the potential objectives and he still would have won due to the Kill Points! It was my fault for refusing to think in terms of Kill Points and instead concentrated on using "Wrecker" to knock down buildings.
    My second game was Planetstrike as Attacker vs. Curt's White Swords. It came down to a last turn close combat consolidation that allowed me to get three different units on his three objectives (one bastion and two craters). I'm now 1-1.
    My third game was Planetstrike as Defender against Johnathon's Tau. Yay, two Tau games! I filled the table with as much cover as I could. It was quite a lot. Daemons as Defender is an interesting setup because it actually gives the attackers a turn on an empty table. He actually got guys in two of my bastions. My list had four Monstrous Creatures, so I was equipped to bunker bust. I got one bastion down and he got another. It again concluded in a last turn assault orchestrated to get an immobile Devilfish off of one objective (success!) and to pull Commander Farsight off of the far rim of the same crater. Also a success. It's not as easy as the attacker since you have to pull the models completely off, but it was still fun!

  2. Great reports, I wish I could have attended.