As promised we are recruiting people to join our campaign. Bill is trying to get together a half dozen or so players to play in a narrative Warhammer 40,000 campaign. Bill will be using the Ultramarines, I will be using the Death Guard Codex and our newest victim has not decided which army he is going to use.
Devin, like Kevin with a D, used an army that “counts as” some things he wanted to try, he may play with that army again or he may go with the Dark Eldar who the Internet seems to have decided are the best.
So if looking at the pictures and comparing them to the words, go with the words. This was Devin’s first game of 9th Edition, and he like me was using an army made for a previous edition. He had two squads of cultists, a squad of Fallen space marines and his lord had a thunder hammer. He also had a rhino which Bill has an irrational hatred for, but honestly it scored points and was hard to kill.
My 25 PL Army
- Chaos Lord in Terminator Armor
- Plague Marines
Bill keeps referring to them as potato heads, but I busted my ass to paint some vintage human adventurers and pirates this week. I even had a mystery fig which seems to have been a mis-packaged Judge Dredd model, all of these were acquired back in the 90s. Before I paint my next four black primer-ed cultists, I plan on cleaning up my painting desk so the Nurglings and Escher model are next, and I’m going to paint and upgrade my infested objectives. I actually plan to paint more objectives just for the campaign, Bill is excited for that.
Points and PL changed if you did not hear, so I had to revise my campaign starting list. I still am going to lean into being the Plague Flamer guy, but I have new respect for just the humble bolter and the Blightening. Cultists and Spawn are still on my to do list, I even bought a box of Underhive Outcasts which I probably do not need, I have no idea how many models I have that can become Cultists, but if the rumours are true, Cultists will be a bigger part of the next Chaos Codex. I will keep painting 4 at a time until I have 20. Thirty or Forty likely is not happening this year, but who knows. I do know I have too many painted plague marines and none of them have blight launchers.
Proposed 50 PL Campaign Force
- CSM Lord 5 PL
- Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
- 10 Plague Marines 12 PL
- 5 Plague Marines 6 PL
- 10 Cultists 3 PL
- 5 Blightlords 10 PL
- Defiler 9 PL
So things like better guns for my plague marines or even for my cultists, not to mention more plague marines, cultists and spawn will likely wait until after the campaign starts. I have none of the Foetid Virion and no daemon engines. I will slowly add to this force as the campaign goes on but I also just want to rebase and reorganize my painted plague marine collection, that is a big priority in 2022.
Before I go through all the pre-game roles, I seem to recall rolling a lot of twos and losing all the dice offs. Bill also revealed that it is obvious, it is he who is the superior painter and despite me repeatedly linking to his Instagram page he has not become an influencer. I myself have been more popular online in the past but apparently Bill has not. I told him it is because his Instagram page doesn’t even feature the Ultramarines, he’s painting models for another game at the moment.
Bill needs more love.
Nurgle loves all his grandchildren apparently.
As mentioned this was Devin’s first game of this edition. I don’t know if he went quite as long as me between games, but with Covid and the rules changing again, we weren’t sure how many people we could get to come to the Sentry Box to play Warhammer 40,000. Devin chose his list just before the game, I lobbied hard for the mission with four objectives, we used his objectives as I never remembered to bring my infested ones. I seem to recall Devin winning all the rolls and I boldly declared I would teleport in my Blightlords and Lord in Terminator armor Ouzo the Unsettling.
Battle Round One
As implied Devin got to go first, he roared his rhino up the centre. In it were his warlord and the nine CSM who had fancy chainswords so he was eager for them to charge something. He had deployed one of his cultist squads on each flank in a building. One of his buildings had an objective so he scored 1 point at the start of the command phase.
I believe he did one wound on one plague marine with the rhino and we had cultists on cultist crime, with his cultists killing two or three of mine. I made my morale test and after that never lost a single cultist, spoiler alert.
In my half of the round, I only got three shots with my cultists. I did move but didn’t advance my plague marines choosing instead to try and shoot. They had zero special weapons, but they did have the icon that boosts bolters and 8 bolter shots did stuff. So much so I’m questioning the plasma pistol on the champ plan. I know he can have a plasma gun but if you have the icon of bolter boosting or whatever it is called, why not more bolters? I’m seriously considering a gun-line style army, but a gun-line with negligible heavy weapons that needs to advance on the first turn before firing, think Napoleonics.
I can’t remember how many cultists I killed possibly one. The plague marines may have been out of range, but his cultists kept advancing and so did my models so eventually I got to use their 8 bolter shots.
I did teleport onto the battlefield. I split my fire, using the combi-flamer and the plague spewer on the cultists while the reaper and combi bolters fired on the rhino. Despite us telling him he could, he did not pop smoke in his turn. It ended up OK as the Reaper Autocannon does one damage and the combi-melta that Ouzo the Unsettling carried did minimal damage. I may have used a command re-roll on it to hit or wound. It was literally my only anti-armour gun, as despite what Bill may imply later in the comment section, my army is not optimal.
Bill was our impartial third party and we were counting on him to explain the rules, but he kept chatting with people, and for some reason he went out to his car leaving me in charge. I chose not to charge or roll to charge despite having several possible charges if I could roll a nine or higher.
Battle Round Two
In this turn Devin took the lead, his rhino could claim an objective and his cultists despite losing some models had another. So he took the early lead 4-1.
I’m not sure if Devin really fancied his chances against the Blightlords but we were sharing my pack of stratagem cards and I pulled out and put the Overwatch one on top and strongly implied I would use it if he charged.
However before the charge phase the rhino basicallydrove on top of another objective and a lot of models shot. The rhino did little damage, one plague marine picked up a wound, but the photos don’t reveal if it was in battle round one or two, but none died. And as implied earlier no cultists died on my side, I always made my save.
The Blightlords, the Right Hard Posse, took the fire of several cultists but also several space marines and his warlord, who had a combi-melta perhaps, something good anyway. However toughness five combined with a 4+ invulnerable save resulted in one Blightlord taking one or two wounds.
In the Khorne phase as some people call it, Devin charged. His Fallen space marines rolled low, six, but still two of them made it. He thought about re-rolling but we got Bill to stop talking and explain the pile in rule, so most of if not in fact all of his guys would get to fight. His lord rolled like an eleven on his charge roll. I could not heroically intervene. I was close enough but there was just no space, at least that is how we ruled it.
Devin chose to fight with the Fallen first. There is no +1 attack dice for charging at least not for the unit he was using so he got a couple attacks per model and he had a power fist champion. After all the dice were rolled, no Blightlords died. Overwatch, specifically the auto-hitting combi-flamer did thin the herd some. It rolled more auto hits than the plague spewer and I think I rolled one six with a regular combi-bolter. I think in hindsight I short changed myself on how many shots they got, it is base 2, so rapid firing is it four?
Then after strongly implying I would do it, I played Counter Offensive, and chose to fight with my Blightlords. I killed several models. I had a 50/50 split between axes and swords, well almost, I had an extra axe. They both seem good, my power fist, chain fist, and chain axe models stayed home. I had no flail or even all the combi-weapons, this squad is 50/50 mix between Rogue Trader era models and 2nd/3rd Edition models. I did have the one primered plastic and resin Death Guard terminator model, he is my counts as plague spewer for the start of the campaign.
Short summery I killed stuff, maybe around four models. His lord then proceeded to do little, I may have made more than 50% of my saves, but the big key was spending command points in my opponents turn to overwatch and launch a counter offensive. Devin spent points on command re-rolls, but he isn’t familiar with all the options available, knowing what stratagems are out there and saving points to use them can be key.
In my half of the apparently longest turn of the game I reposition my lord. I wanted to share his aura with both the Right Hard Posse and what should be the Burning Sores but honestly they had no special weapons at all. They did shoot and then charge the rhino. They got it weaker but not destroyed. Ouzo the Unsettling shot his combi-melta at it, he did not whiff but also could not kill it. The cultist on cultist crime continue and I may have perhaps killed another one of his cultists.
The Blightlords were trapped in H2H. I know there is a way to get out of it, Bill does it all the time, but I stayed. The Fallen actually lost another model or two during their morale phase. I think his Lord did kill one Blightlord with his thunder hammer but not before I killed the rest of the Fallen, so next round it would be his warlord versus the four remaining Blightlords.
The plague marines all had knifes and I was good at remembering the re-roll ones to hit and re-roll wounds with plague weapons rule. I was less good at remembering to lower his toughness, but he started remembering that one. The knifes or even the daemonic plague blade are not optimal for killing armor, so my champ, the not terribly well named Germie the Overly Prepared may change. I’m not sure the optimal way to kit out the champ, because honestly I want to shoot. The pistol does allow you to shoot into H2H which is why he has it…
Battle Round Three
I don’t know if that was the longest description of a single turn ever, but in hindsight the tide turned. Devin’s rhino still claimed an objective, his warlord had the Blightlords locked in combat, my warlord Ouzo the Unsettling was trying to boost two squads at once and his cultists had an objective so once again Devin score three points bringing the score to 7-2.
However the rhino chose not to drive away, it was blocking my path to an objective, cultist on cultist crime continued with my guys, the Cancer Cell lead by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty again making all their saves.
There were no charges but the bubonic axes and baleswords did their job, boosted by my lord, they killed his warlord, that earned me a point. The rhino is not very good in H2H, but knifes have no real armor penetration, so I chipped more paint off, but could not kill it.
In my half of the turn, I did not move my guys who were locked into H2H with the rhino, Bill wanted me to, but I had a plan. My lord still had his combi-melta, but the Blightlords still had two flamer type weapons, even though I am the Chosen Sons, I never played the stratagem but I plan to field a lot of flamer type weapons, I just need to convince every opponent to charge me.
Barbecued cultists was the order of the day eventually, the flamers were so effective along with the boosted bolters that my reaper autocannon did little. My big surprise was the Blightening. Turning three models into auto hitting pistols that shoot six times is crazy good. Devin was all excited so I got out the neon green dice, eighteen of them. Did I mention they auto hit so right to rolling to wound? I got to re-roll my failed wounds because they are plague weapons and I twelve wounds were done.
The rhino had made saves before but this time it died before the plasma pistol could fire, so if you have CP, the Blightening can make pistols where pistols don’t exist. Now the score was 7-4 and it was a few cultists versus almost my entire army.
Battle Round Four
After seeing their mates get barbecued the turn before, the last of the enemy cultists retreated. Devin did score another point so it was now 8-4. My cultists stayed in their ruin and kept not dying.
In my half of turn four, I finally could capture an objective with my plague marines. The Blightlords could also walk forward and once again remove some cultists. So the score was now 8-7 for Devin who had no models left.
Battle Round Five
This turn went quickly and despite Bill repeatedly second guessing me and doubting my faith in Nurgle, plague flamers and the lowly bolter, I scored four more points in the last turn of the game for an 11-8 victory.
Why am I such a genius?
First of all it was Devin’s first game. Second of all having been fighting against them, elite troops make a difference. Having the ability to shoot over 24 inches and teleport is a big deal for the limited Death Guard. The cultists can hold an objective but they need more autogun guys and probably their own heavy weapon, hence buying yet more models to convert and paint.
The lowly bolter when boosted by a CSM Lord and an icon, which I often forget to use the special rules for, combined with Malicious Volley and Inexorable Advance can do damage. The blight grenades can also help, but what you really need is an opponent who advances up the table not one that hides at the back. Having a mission with objectives that need capturing helps. My army is not that shooty or even that killy in H2H but if the Death Guard can make some armor saves, they can outlast the enemy.
Whether Devin changes to Dark Eldar, supposedly the top tier list in the entire game, matters not. I will keep to my theme. I will however try and eventually get some newer more powerful models on the table. The Defiler is coming back, it really can hurt the enemy from long distance, I will bring more meltas and combi-meltas, as much as I like flamers and auto-hitting in some previous edition my go to Plague Marine squad was two meltas and a champ with a combi-flamer.
I have not been pro powerfist in 9th Edition, but against vehicles it should prove useful. For the campaign and for the Burning Sores they are bringing flamers or poisoned gunk guns, but my second green squad to be rebased will be the melta squad and I think combi-meltas will be in season both in the Blightlords and maybe long term on my HQ.
I do want to add a Lord of Virulence at some point, but not to start the campaign, there is a reasonable chance my lord will turn into a spawn, another reason to buy and paint spawn. The Malignant Plaguecaster and his mortal wound dealing ability is popular but terminator armor is a big help too. Having just a massive screen of cultists is an option, I’m not sure how well they’ll do with leadership six.
The contagion especially late in the game when it can affect shooting attacks is a big deal. Bill and I have forgotten that rule too many times. Devin was good at making his guys toughness 2 and 3. The lowly bolter and flamer do a lot better against toughness 2 and 3. I never had a single plague flail. That seems like the goal of some people maxing that option out.
My goal is to use the models I already have painted that look cool. Despite my painting heroics this week. I am old, with worsening eyesight, and very busy at work. I may work tomorrow, yes on Super Bowl Sunday.
This blog post is already lengthy. It took a lot of effort to complete. After looking at my freshly painted cultists the next morning and there were some things I corrected. That is also the reason the Escher models and Nurglings are not done, doing find detail is best done with fresh eyes, a fresh spirit, and daylight.
If you think Bill is a better painter than me you can leave the reason why below. Bill is riding high as he has two wins to my one, but we’re talking about practice. The campaign if I can keep my lord form turning into a spawn may be a different story. I think some modern guns and some junior HQ elite choices will boost my army considerably. If you have a favourite Foetid Virion you can leave that in the comments, for me it goes Foul Blightspawn, Tallyman, then Plague Surgeon, but in the campaign I may go Plague Surgeon first, for reasons.
You can leave a guess as to the reason in the comment section if you like.