The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion has begun!

That’s right, today is the day…

That’s right, today is the day, Bill changed his mind again costing us one or two players, but Bill paid the ultimate price, two humiliating defeats, first to the Fallen Dark Angels and their cowardly cultist allies then even more humiliation as he lost to the Diseased Sons again.

Of course I cheated, but we’re still learning the game and as we had a third player we had an impartial third party who agreed with Bill that my intent was not to cheat, but apparently the one time you play Insane Bravery has to be before you roll…

Vintage Bolters and Chainswords
New OOP Chaos Spawn

I also completed a trade, I gave Devin half my 2nd and 3rd edition bolters and chainswords and he gave me an old OOP partially built Chaos Spawn. So I think I won the trade immediately and felt bad, even though I gave him the exact bits he wanted and half my collection and we’re talking new on sprue plastic some dating from 1996 but I think I’ll try to even up the deal giving him some shoulder pads or other bits he wants to try and make his future Fallen look special. Because I was just trying to help him out, I wasn’t sure what or even if I was getting anything back…

Game One Ultramarines VS The Fallen

I obviously didn’t get to play in this game even though I rolled highest to get to play first, then Bill promptly changed the rules so I wouldn’t play Devin three times in a row. All our games this week and next week will be 25 PL from the main Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Of course I watched the game and carefully kept score and I helped Bill out by reminding him his Tactical Marines got to fight back when Devin’s Chaos Lord charged them. I also went and got Bill tea. And it wasn’t like I just went to the kettle in the kitchen, I had to go outside with snow on the ground and go walk blocks to buy him tea.

Ultramarine Deployment

So the brief summary of the game, the Fallen were the attackers, Bill got to choose sides and split his tactical squad into combat squads. He had two characters and Devin’s army was similar to before but he had Chosen now so one less cultist squad which seemed to help.

The Tactical Squad’s missile launcher did six wounds on the Rhino in the first turn, whereas the Rhino did a wound on a Tactical marine, but the Chosen got out of the Rhino then while I was getting tea they shot and charged Bill’s fanciest squad, the Intercessors. They ended up in a protracted fight ultimately taking out the Gravis armoured Captain and the banner bearer.

As mention above the Chaos Lord charged the Tactical Marines killing one, but they fell back and using Ultramarine trickery, shot and killed the Lord. The Chosen bravely hid behind a cargo container for the rest of the game. The other combat squad of Tactical marines tried to kill the cultists, ultimately charging them. Then the Fallen used some trickery to bring them back to full strength and redeploy them far from the Ultramarines.

Cowardly Chosen and Cultists

That is how the game ended with the Ultramarines unable to win and a final score of 80-50. Each side would get an extra ten points because the armies were painted. I have a couple partially painted model and I’ll try to finish them tomorrow or during next week as next Sunday we’ll play again.

We have decided you can choose your rewards but I had to roll random dice for the plague I’m spreading and of course for boons. Bill is looking forward to my Lord becoming a Chaos Spawn but hopefully that is many weeks away. The Chosen got the most XP and I’m not sure what upgrade they took, but when our Google doc gets updated I can find out. The Ultramarine Tactical Combat Squad, the Avenging Sons I believe were Marked for Greatness and may have been boosted for future battles.

Game Two: Pregame

We made use of our third player having Devin reset the terrain. We rolled the same mission Sweep and Clear so we re-rolled that to end up with Supply Drop. Then Bill made his biggest mistake so far of the campaign deciding we should have three objectives each when in fact upon closer reading there should be just three objectives. That would have changed the game a lot, we both would have deployed differently, chosen our targets differently but once again my Green Squad #1, the Burning Sores managed to come through in the clutch.

Because Bill had already played once and earned enough experience to boost a squad he had more Campaign Points than me so I got an extra Command Point, maybe it was crucial. I also had to choose 25 PL from my Order of Battle and because of planning I had several options and this is what I went with:

  • Death Guard Chaos Lord: Maceo the Maligned
  • The Burning Sores: 10 Plague Marines
  • Rhino: Dedicated Transport
  • The Cancer Cell: 10 Death Guard Chaos Cultists
  • Billalexdevin Spawn of Chaos

Pre-game & Deployment

We deployed too many objectives which meant we had to fudge it a bit to fit them, that should have been Bill’s first clue he was wrong. Also where are the Ultramarine themed campaign objectives? I chose for my agenda Turn Their Hope To Rot, but it turns out Bill had two units of 6 PL, so I chose his Captain. We kept our agendas secret but I think you reveal them at the start of the game or something, we’ll have to scrutinize the rules more.

I won the roll and chose to be the Attacker, this meant Bill had to deploy first. He put down his Tactical Combat Squad on one objective. He had some scouting guys and some jump back guys who could start off the board. Since there were six objectives everything was spread out. I deployed my Rhino first on one objective and used it is a gun platform, it didn’t do so well, I’ll bring some bigger guns next time.

My cultists got to start in a building and they were a popular target. Billalexdevin hid in a corner and was going to run for an objective. In the centre went the Burning Sores and Maceo the Maligned, he stayed behind them for most of the fight. His auras, and he has two because of Arch-Contaminator plus I also gave him the Fugaris’ Helm which increases the range of his auras. This means I can’t then give it to any future Foetid Virion…

Battle Round One: Death Guard go first

I remember choosing to be the Attacker but then the first objective has to go within six inches of the centre, but later I got to go first or chose to, so I may have won another rolloff but my army does not have Alpha Strike capabilities. I did have 5 CP, three regular, one for being at a disadvantage and one because it was my turn but I did not do the Blight Bombardment but it would have been interesting this game.

The Chaos Spawn moved into position to run at an objective on Battle Round Two because no one can not score any points in this round. The Rhino stayed put and and fired at the Incursors who were in the centre of the board on an objective. The Burning Sores came around the corner and fired some bolters at them too. I think I killed two. The Cancer Cell moved forward and this was crucial as it was later deemed they were within three inches on an objective. My cultists are not optimal, they aren’t even fully painted, but they have four guys with autoguns, the Purple Bootie Gang.

They managed to do a wound on a Tactical Marine.

Down come the Interceptors

Ultramarine Turn One

The Interceptors descended from the skies and fired a fistful of dice at the Chaos Spawn, it took five wounds and died. I still like the flexibility the 1 PL unit gave me but it is an easy kill for anyone who plays against it, luckily I have more spawn to paint.

Battle Round Two: Death Guard creep forward

I chose not to deploy in my Rhino because there were six objectives so my tiny PL squads helped, but it made my Death Guard move about five inches a turn and it was a serpentine route towards the Incursors. My real target was the Captain as that was my agenda so taking anything but a beeline towards him was dumb.

Cultists are close to that objective…

The Rhino and the cultists didn’t move much but they did fire, they are not particularly powerful units so I could have another squad of Plague Marines and Syphilis may see the table next week or Boris or the Right Hard Posse.

More of the Burning Sores could see the Intercessors but Bill made a lot of saves as there were still three of them at the end of this round. I did do a wound on an Interceptor. I can’t recall who did it or even when, my Lord used his Combi-Plasma to take the odd pot shot and later on he did something more decisive but the Interceptors have three wounds apparently and were not my top priority.

Ultramarine Turn Two

The Ultramarines did something dramatic, moving the Interceptors to the top of the tallest building. They actually have pretty good guns for killing infantry, the Burning Sores took a lot of fire from pretty much every Ultramarine when they weren’t killing cultists. I need to bulk up my cultist squad to twenty models, but that would take me at least six weeks of painting. I bought some Grey Seer primer and my next batch of cultists will use that and Contrast paint. I never got any Basilicanum Grey, it was out of stock.

Battle Round Three: Death Guard creep on

Interceptors Survey the Battlefield

I kept scoring but the cultists aren’t reliable so I carefully positioned the Burning Sores and my Chaos Lord to eventually hold two objectives with the Rhino holding another. Later objectives disappeared but that was when Devin informed us our mission setup was wrong. But I scored three in the second and only two in the third. But eventually I repositioned to score three objectives again, but this turn I maneuvered knowing the cultists can’t take much incoming fire.

My army is Plague Company number seven the Chosen Sons. My army has been the Diseased Sons forever, Nurgle’s sacred number is seven, I have seven plague marine squads, there was zero consideration I would choose any other Plague Company so I spend a lot of time creeping my oldest squad into flamer or nowadays Plague Belcher and eventually Plague Spewer range.

I kept firing at the Incursors, I even used the Plague Brewers stratagem but that may have been next turn. Turn three was mostly creeping and the odd pot shot with guns that shot 24 inches or more.

Ultramarine Turn Three

Failed 5 of 5 Armour Saves

The three surviving Incursors advanced on the cultists and the objective they held abandoning the centre objective to the oncoming Plague Marines. The Interceptors kept shooting at the Burning Sores and I rolled a terrible batch of armour saves, literally failing five out of five and losing two models and taking another wound, that may have been the turn before, but Plague Marines are Remorseless and they have a champ and thus leadership 8. This fact would later be forgotten.

The Cancer Cell came under fire from over half the Ultramarines: the Incursors, Tactical Marines and the Captain and they disappeared, taking seven casualties in one turn. I briefly considered playing Insane Bravery to keep the last cultist with the flamer around, but they do not have Objective Secured and the Incursors apparently do, so I rolled my die and and the Cancer Cell was no more.

Battle Round Four: Plague Belcher Time!

This is the turn I think I got to fire my plague flamers. I also got to fire a lot of bolters, a plasma pistol and maybe even a combi-plasma gun at the Incursors. I did not not need Plague Brewers in all likelihood but that is the only part of the Chosen Sons special rules I currently use. I hope to get some Foul Blightspawn eventually but for now I make do with what I have painted or at least assembled and primed.

My Death Guard Chaos Lord continued to lend his re-roll abilities to the Burning Sores, which really helps the plague flamers, the plague knifes and the blight grenades. The rhino drove forward and supported them but this was the turn where I scored a lot of points and our over supply of objectives made the game un-winable for Bill.

The end of my turn four

Ultramarine Turn Four

Bill realized he couldn’t hide in the corner forever and the Tactical Marines and their Captain advanced on the Burning Sores in the centre. They were also the target of all the shooting. Then the Tactical Marines declared their charge. I of course played Overwatch. There was only one plague flamer left and I had to use command points along the way including turning a one into a four for how many shots I got to take with it. One of my bolters even hit on a six.

Another crucial one, which I rerolled

There were two Tactical Marines left and Bill rolled a three for his charge distance, he put his model in the spot and measured. It must not have looked good and it certainly looked like they started more than three or four inches from the Burnings Sores. Devin was called in and he ruled they did not make it. The Captain also charged, he rolled six or seven or eight. Anyway he got to fight in H2H.

The Captain has a powerfist and a power sword. That seems overkill to me, but in 9th Edition you can have some weirdly armed models and squads because that is the way the model or set was sculpted. Plague Marines are a perfect example of this. Bill’s Captain rolled a pile of dice and as I already pointed out I’m not the best at making armour saves. I ended up with two models and I think I even put a wound on my unit Champion.

I played Trench Fighters, I still need to learn my strategy deck better, but I saved my command points for this crucial battle in the centre which I knew would ultimately happen. I only got two extra attacks but they were all plague weapons and it was about then that Bill started complaining more. I didn’t kill his captain and I think the Burning Sores had taken five casualties this round. We talked about whether I should play Insane Bravery and I was obviously leaning towards it, but then I rolled a die and consulted the codex to see what my leadership was.

This was in fact cheating, but everyone heard me say I was going to save them with Insane Bravery but apparently you need to make that decision before rolling and consulting your codex…

Battle Round Four: Death Guard VS Ultramarines

The Burning Sores as currently constructed to have two icon bearers. I stole one from another Green Squad and I kept one of them alive, the one with the Icon of Despair which did cause a moral wound to the Captain.

It was deemed there was no room for my Chaos Lord, by the same people who advised me to increase his base size from 25 to 32 then to 40 mm! So Maceo had to take the long way around and the Tactical Marines who failed to charge were lined up in his sights, even though my agenda was to kill the Captain.

Next up was the Blightening. I think Devin enjoyed it being played on Bill. He was all set to give me 18 rolls to wound. But I only had two living plague marines in H2H, I mean engagement range. It was also turn four so Contagion Range was now 9″ and my auras are 9″ so I rolled a fistful of dice. There is no AP and Bill made a lot of saves, he used command re-rolls and some other stratagem which I think was called “Unyielding”.

I think he played that one two turns in a row.

Maceo the Maligned had not done much but I decided to use both barrels of his combi-plasma for a change and then I used a command re-roll on the plasma gun portion after it rolled a one. I rolled a lot of ones and you can’t re-roll non-plague weapons so easily. Maceo then charged and thus got to fight first.

The Tactical Marines were no more. I’m not sure these were the same Avenging Sons who were Marked for Greatness the game before. The Captain then went next in the Fight phase. He got to roll slightly less dice, Ultramarines and the Fallen seem to have rules where if they charge or are charged they get extra attacks. Me I have to pay one CP for Trench Fighters and it is an extra knife attack not an extra Power Sword attack.

I can not remember exactly what happened but I didn’t die. I may have finally started making some of these 50/50 power armour saves I was failing earlier but I got less attacks back than the previous turn. However they are all plague weapons and the last plague marine, the one with the Icon of Despair did enough to kill the Captain and I revealed that was my agenda.

All over but the crying

We played the fifth turn quickly but the objectives that disappeared were not any I held. Bill may have tried to kill them but at least one member of the Burning Sores survived the battle, Bill may have even conceded, but they did not have to take the post-game test that the Cancer Cell and Billalexdevin had to.

I won but we totally scored this mission wrong and if we replayed I still like my chances but my next 25 PL army might not have the Burning Sores instead opting for the Right Hard Posse or even Boris.

I made custom index cards for every one of my units

Campaign Post Game

Bill and Devin got to leisurely do their post game bookkeeping, but I did not. We had to clean up, pack up, and Bill had dinner plans. I am watching the UFC and typing this alone in my apartment but the Burning Sores were Marked for Greatness and they achieve my agenda so I now have one Virulence Point, it is still a random roll but I could change my plague, the six result is really powerful on the Infections table, but I don’t mind my random plague. Maceo shoots more turns than he spends in H2H but I’m not sure I want to spend requisition points on this any time soon.

My plan was to add McFly the Malevolent. The Internet thinks highly of Malignant Plaguecasters especially in smaller games like we are playing. He is exactly 5 PL, so I like the efficiency of adding him. I plan to add more Plague Marines, Cultists and even Spawn eventually. I also want to get to Foetid Virion especially the Plague Surgeon but I may buy and paint a Daemon Engine first, but before all that I’ll stick to using my already painted models and focus on ensuring my troop units are better, because troops are my workhorses.

For the Burning Sores I took Tri-lobes, this will give them +1 to hit for ranged attacks. I still plan to get them more Plague Spewers, but they have a lot of bolters and those at 24 inches can shoot twice and sixes to hit autowound which I forget sometimes. I can also turn the bolters into plague weapons with Virulent Rounds a trick I’ve yet to use, then the Lord’s auras can boost them more.

McFly the Malevolent
McFly the Malevolent

Increasing my supply limit

I need to update the cards and the Excel file too but I will spend one RP to increase my supply limit by five then immediately use those five points for a Malignant Plaguecaster. He gets Smite and two powers of my choosing. The Internet thinks Plague Wind is the best so I better take that one and I think I better take Miasma of Pestilence because I think I can use it to try and protect my more vulnerable units like the Cancer Cell and Billalexdevin who have the Death Guard keyword.

If you think my cheating and Bill’s misreading of the mission invalidates this victory you can leave a comment below, if you think I should have spent my requisition points differently, know I did think long on buying a relic or a warlord trait and in the end I think I will give Revoltingly Resilient to my Malignant Plaguecaster as McFly always seems to die. Warlord Traits and Relics can only be awarded once so that takes me back down to three requisition points and means I can’t award that to any other model.

But you can point out all my flaws below.

Who or what is Vanithros?

If you were scouring the Internet and stacks of old White Dwarfs know now, that Bill randomly generated this name, it has no meaning. Apparently it is a planet. Bill also decided on s’s forever dooming me to fight with spellcheckers and grammar checkers for the duration of this campaign.

Bill did write some introductory colour text so I will include that below:

Your forces are stationed on the edge of the Pariah Nexus. A mysterious area of space where the warp is inactive. Legends tell of blackstone structures in this region of space that may have something to do with the mysterious phenomena quieting the warp. Command has ordered your forces into the Nexus. Before heading in, you will need to clear a path for exploratory outfits. Small forces are in the process of clearing areas outside the nexus to establish staging grounds for explorations into the nexus. Multiple factions have been spotted nearby and appear to be participating in similar activities. Treat all forces with caution. Insurgents disguised as friendlies may be operating in this area to avoid detection.

The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

6 thoughts on “The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion has begun!”

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