I don’t know everything about 40K

Some bloggers are probably afraid to admit this, but in my second game ever of 9th Edition I lost and I made one of my worst mistakes ever…

Some bloggers are probably afraid to admit this, but in my second game ever of 9th Edition I lost and I made one of my worst mistakes ever while in a hurry to get to H2H. Bill and I did talk about letting me correct my mistake and maybe it would be a better story if I rolled snake eyes on my charge roll, but I straight up forgot to charge half my army, even though I advanced up within a few inches of the enemy.

Thin Green Line

I really need to learn the phases of the game better, so I hope we can play another practice game before we start our campaign. My army is also vintage, I don’t think I field one in-print model, but I don’t even know what is in-print. Basically if it is metal and has metal bits it isn’t in-print right?

In my first game I did a better job of picking the army and remembering most of the rules, this time I just took stuff to try out more rules, swapping out one plague marine squad and my chaos lord for a defiler and a Malignant Plaguecaster. I also just winged my relics and warlord traits, but when you literally forget and don’t know the rules you’re bound to lose eventually.

Obviously I need to make a really good cheat sheet, because some rules have to be done at the end of your movement phase or in your moral phase or in a certain order. I also learned the Malignant Plaguecaster isn’t that tough. What kind of HQ choice doesn’t have an unmodified save? I’m giving serious consideration to trying the Chaos Sorcerer in Terminator armour, but realistically I’ll never have such a low model count army again. Bill wants to play a larger battle and I want to paint some cultists so I’ll have some bullet catchers and just more units to move around on the table. This is why I want to buy and paint chaos spawn too, they are a cheap unit I can leave on an objective.

I’ve forgotten the mission we played, you got extra points for killing stuff and we didn’t have any secondary objectives. This affected me, because I basically went full speed ahead into the enemy guns when I actually had the longer range weaponry for a change. I could shoot 48 inches or even 72 inches whereas Bill’s Ultramarines could probably only shoot 24 inches. So in hindsight I should have deployed differently, hid in the far corner. That is not my style, my army is usually designed to be in bolter or better grenade/charge range but in this game, in this mission, I would have been better served to be patient.

My Deployment

Turn One

Those who have played the game more than once will have spotted my mistake. I already mentioned how I didn’t need to set up so forward in hindsight as for the first time in a long, long time, I had the greater range. I could have sat back and shot instead I took the first turn and advanced. I also put all my models on foot in the rhino.

The reason this was a mistake is you can not use psychic powers from inside a transport, or at least that is what Bill said. So after advancing, spending points to boost my Malignant Plaguecaster, he could do nothing because he was in a rhino. Bill is anti-rhino, but his models move more than 5 inches a turn. In the future if I’ll buy and paint a bunch of models that I can move quicker, but in the mean time I have rhinos. I don’t know if I need three, but two or even one will probably be in any list I make going forward.

So I did kill stuff in my first turn. I shot the cheaper marines most likely because the Eradicators I believe they were called were hidden from sight. In future games Bill will find I’m a lot more disciplined and I will shoot at one squad until it is dead, likely his favourite squad.

Full Speed Ahead

My first turn went OK, but if you’re guessing my lone rhino and my one defiler took a lot of return fire you’re correct. Last game I popped smoke and survived, this game the rhino died to massed fire and Boris the Defiler took some damage but he could heal so after one turn I wasn’t in too bad of shape.

Turn Two

I disembarked from my destroyed rhino away from the enemy so I could get the charge. We had staff and customers stop by and ask questions, but I used McFly the Malevolent my Malignant Plaguecaster to both hurt the enemy and boost my one plague marine squad, but in my hurry I forgot his rule where he can do mortal wounds and I forgot other rules that plague marines and Death Guard have. I was much more disciplined in game one. In game two maybe I was overconfident or I just wanted to see what would happen when I through new stuff on the table.

Boris the Defiler did well, having an invulnerable save is nice, something any warlord should have. I’ll probably never run a list with just a Malignant Plaguecaster again. I’ll probably have a lord and then either a demon prince or even as alluded to above the chaos sorcerer. I also want to paint cultists and just field more models so any vulnerable models can not be targeted at all.

My charge went OK. The plague marines beat the Ultramarines. The sorcerer didn’t roll high enough, but after advancing my Defiler again on the Eradicators and their mega meltas I completely forgot to charge into them. I said I was going to charge both to Bill and the guy who kept stopping by and chatting us up, so maybe I can blame him, but I was just so chuffed to try and pull off a boosted plague marine charge I forgot about the other flank.

Can You Spot the Problem in this Photo?

One Ultramarine survived and fell back. I should have either tried to cut him down or realized this was going to happen. McFly the Malevolent needed to roll one inch more, so positioning models when they get out of rhinos is another thing I need to work on. I’m also used to independent characters joining and leading squads which just doesn’t happen anymore.

So in Bill’s turn I took point blank fancy plasma gun fire and point blank fancy melta gun fire. I used the stratagem to explode the Defiler, but once again one wounded Ultramarine survived.

Always Remember To Charge

Turn Three

After learning the importance of remembering to charge or stay away from Eradicators, this turn I learned that Malignant Plaguecasters are not that tough and need someone else to take the shots for them because they have no invulnerable save. I gave mine Revoltingly Resilient but next time I field one he’ll have a meat shield or some bodyguards.

Bill learned in turn three that Death Guard relics are pretty good. I paid an extra command point to have one on the champion of my plague marine squad, the Plague Skull of Glothila. So when I finally remembered to use it at the end of my movement phase it wiped out Bill’s warlord which was a Librarian, it will be harder to pull that off in the future.

The Librarian may have charged into H2H in the previous turn, in fact he must have, but once again I was left standing at the bottom of building filled with supercharged plasma rifles. Bill won the rolloff to choose deployment zones and in hindsight as I already said I should have set up deep in my corner and made him climb down instead of rushing right into the guns.

Once the Malignant Plaguecaster was left all alone he became a target. I actually charged the green plague marines into the plasma gunners, Bill explained that it was possible if I rolled a certain number and then I rolled that number. In game one I had lots of command points, in game two I spent two before turn one and then I must have used some 2 CP or more cards because I spent them as fast as I could earn them. In a larger game with a Tallyman I should have more command points for re-rolls.

Those about to die, we pollute you

So once again Bill withdrew from combat, then because he is Ultramarines he could just blast my plague marines with plasma rifles. The mega meltas or whatever they are called and some sort of graviton pistol shot McFly and the game ended as all my models were dead.


If you look at the picture above and I’d rolled slightly better it would have been three models versus three models at the end but it wasn’t. So what did I learn, well a lot, you learn a lot more from a loss than a win.

  • Spend more time choosing your army, I don’t have every model or combination painted, but I have a lot of painted models so I think I can field a slightly more competitive list.
  • Write down all your special rules and especially when you can use your special rules. I still forget rules and don’t necessarily use the rules I remember optimally. We’ve been just playing for fun so I just try stuff.
  • Reread the core rules and campaign rules because clearly I still don’t know them.
  • Shoot stuff until it is dead. I used to be good about this, I took guns that shot more than 24 inches then proceeded to move full speed into the enemy. Next time I may have a Defiler and his job is to defend my deployment zone, not advance.
  • I don’t need to charge to win. Especially after seeing the Ultramarines take the charges then just disengage to shoot, I too may be better with more guns. I’m going to spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with the optimal or at least an effective plague marine squad, this game I took the exact same five green guys as last time. Next game I’ll probably have at least one ten man squad.
  • I need to paint new toys. In addition to cultists and plague marines I’m going to have to add some new heavier hitting units. I might get to some characters this year, but eventually I’ll need demon engines as bolters and chainswords just don’t cut it.
  • Plague Marines can’t have chainswords or even bolt pistols. I have a lot of models not armed legally let alone optimally. I don’t plan to bust off any plastic weapons, let alone metal weapons, but I do plan to rebase and move models from squad to squad. I also plan to paint 10-20 more plague marines as I need them to be my workhorses. I know people complain all the time about codex creep, but my army is stuck in the past so I need to stop procrastinating and crank out some reinforcements especially as Bill is dead set on us doing a campaign.
Mind the Gap

Back to painting and updating my army

I actually started upgrading models before starting this blog post. My base expanders don’t work on every base either because the conversion is too elaborate or the base is a resin base from a third party. I need to buy more blank 32 mm and 40 mm bases and I also plan to get some fancy resin 32 mm bases. I’m reluctant to rip models off their base, instead I may just do what I did with my terminators and glue the old base onto the new base then add texture and details.

It will take time, but I only need to do the models I plan to use soon not every model I own. I was going to demote McFly, but now I think he’ll be my Plaguecaster, I really don’t need to buy and more importantly paint more models, I just need to rebase him. I’m unsure if he goes on a 32 mm base, I think all HQ go on a 40 mm base now, but it seems he may be on a 32 mm base.

I’m also not worried about bolt pistols. I’m just going to treat plague marines with bolt pistols as fine, if they also have chainswords or something they can no longer have, I’ll have to use them as Nurgle Renegades in the future, but regardless I think they need to be on 32 mm bases. I’m going to have to get good at rebasing models. I also need to find my needle files.

I’m going to order more bases both blank 32 mm and 40 mm but also some textured ones. I’m going to try some new vendors on Etsy one day but I’m also probably going to get some Micro Art Studios ones as they are so nice. But then you look at the exchange rate and shipping…

Currently, I have so many 25 mm resin bases, I doubt I’ll ever paint enough cultists, but I’ve got to try, I’m pro meat shields as an old school ork player. I need to assemble and paint 8 cultists as soon as I can, probably two batches of four, but I might build 8 at once, maybe even tomorrow. I’ve put off for too long updating this army and painting models, but I definitely need to find my needle files and organize my paint.

If you have thoughts on all the things I did wrong, how I should defeat Bill in our upcoming campaign or the best technique and materials to rebase a 100 plus models you can leave a comment below.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

5 thoughts on “I don’t know everything about 40K”

  1. The Plaguecaster is a very squishy unit and with four wounds easy to kill. But his ability to throw out mortals when he rolls a 7+ when manifesting a Psychic Power can be really nice. The 12″ range does encourage him to be up close though, so he does need looking after, or he’ll die as you’ve found out.

    I had forgotten the “Cut them down” stratagem too. I have a cheat sheet of stratagems to use in various phases of the game, I’ll make sure that I add the ones from the core rule book into that, thanks for the reminder :)

    For meatshields I prefer Poxwalkers over Cultists. Cultists do have a save of 6+, but the Poxwalkers gain the ability to ignore damage on a roll of a 6. So against mass D1 weapon fire it works out the same. The neat thing about Poxwalkers is that they ignore morale, Cultists will all too often just run away, well they do for me anyway. If they’re sitting on an objective or guarding a character the enemy have to kill each and every single one of them, they’ll never bolt off of the table.

    1. I forgot that special rule. I keep forgetting rules, which is why I’m going to make a better cheatsheet. This is only game two with this codex and edition so I’m not going to be too hard on myself. Maybe I should have cut Bill down, I had the CP to use it at the time, but it was just one marine, I thought I could just shoot him, but I had so few models and units myself that even after I shot him, he survived with one wound. The melta gunner in that squad rolled one to wound, which didn’t end up in the battle report, but did happen. I like dual melta gunners because of that which I think means I need a ten man squad. So my tentative 50 PL list has a ten man green squad and two five man purple squads. I could also switch from melta gun to plasma, that would give me more shots. I also shot him with a plasma pistol which if I had supercharged would have killed him. He was a lucky space marine.

      I field my army, rather than whatever is optimal. I’m willing to spend some money, and have probably spent too much on Games Workshop models, what I have less of is time and energy for painting. So in the future I’ll have better squads and an overall better army, but for game 2, my army list had some serious flaws and you can see I made some dumb mistakes that a better player wouldn’t make. I used to be a better player but that was many many years ago. I just don’t get in much practice and I don’t follow the forums or whatever like I used to.

      I do wonder about a Terminator sorcerer, I may have the model or can convert one, but I have a non-Terminator sorcerer, I have a lot of painted models, they are just old. What base size does a Malignant Plaguecaster go on, it seems like it might be 32 mm, but then it seems like it should be 40 mm as all the HQ characters go on that even if they are not in terminator armor?

      As for poxwalkers, I have none painted. I started to paint cultists before GW released those models, I used old Necromunda models and I’m trying to paint what I own where possible. Plus I like to be different and I think having a gun is valuable in the distant future battlefield. I had big plans for Nurglings but they are not in the Death Guard Codex anymore, so at some future point I’ll get another Codex but I’ll wait and try to make what I have work under the current rules. We just play for fun and neither Bill or I are up on the latest super competitive meta, but over time if Bill and I keep playing I should get better and I’ll likely gradually revise my army to be better at killing Ultramarines, specifically Bill’s Ultramarines.

      Thanks for the feedback, hopefully the next battle report is more thrilling, it is a long day playing 40K then typing up the whole battle report, but if I do it when my memory is fresh I might remember things better, as it is a crucial melta gun roll of one didn’t make the story, but yeah I should have killed that last Ultramarine and got on to the guys in the tower sooner, but if I’d been more patient and cautious I could have just lobbed blast markers at those Ultramarines in the tower. For a game like this I just got “stuck in”, in some future game, I might be willing to be more strategic, but I envision my army as one that advances, it is just a more exciting way to play the game. The Tau can form the gun line.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: