40K Narrative Campaign Week 2

That is correct, the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion is back on…

That is correct, the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion is back on and I boldly predicted I would lose my second campaign game as I decided to take the B-team from my starting 50 PL. I did get to bring McFly the Malevolent my Malignant Plaguecaster who was added after game one, but I also got the exact same mission I played against Devin last time and once again I had too few and too slow moving of models to win.

Not getting to go first also hurt, as did poor deployment, poor decision making, I forgot my plan about every second turn and apparently I roll double ones an inordinate amount of times when I take psychic tests. Now that I’ve completely ruined the battle report, I can also tell you we continue to recruit new participants in our campaign. The mysterious Chris has yet to play, but we did see him and lay guilt upon him. We recruited Daniel who may play Sisters of Battle or he may not. Alex succumbed to shiny new codex syndrome and apparently is now an Eldar player.

I Bought Stuff!

That is right my loyalty to the Sentry Box continues as I cashed in my points and bought soda, but also brown paint, which apparently is in short supply in Calgary. I also bought three GW handles which will apparently fit 40mm bases as I supposedly manhandle my models when I paint them. I also bought a new model. It was a model I wanted, but I don’t think it will help me win games. What I need is anti-armour, anti-armour that shoots more than 12 inches. So I should have bought a Myphitic Blight-Hauler but they may have been out of stock, so perhaps I should have a got a Foetid Bloat-drone because not only is my army poor at shooting, we’re slow too. But no, for the good of the campaign and to amuse Bill I bought a Plague Surgeon. It just might be the third best Foetid Virion…

My New Painting Handles

Suboptimal Army List

So after defeating Bill and boosting their shooting with a battle honour I promptly left my most expensive squad, the Burning Sores, in the case. My entire army is basically designed around them and my lord. I plan to paint new additions to that squad ASAP but I am trying to spread my experience points out so I took:

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle
  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster
  • Syphilis, 5 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma Guns
  • Boris the Defiler

Devin’s army was a lot different and included a tank, a walker, and I swear thirty or more traitor guard. So even though I saw his army when he took it out of his case, and in theory I can read his order of battle online, I still lost the roll to go first and put my Defiler right on top of an objective, not in any cover. This was my first and maybe biggest mistake after taking an army list I knew was inferior to the army list I took last time which was already likely suboptimal according to the Internet.

Pregame Setup

Somehow I got volunteered to set up the terrain on both tables. Our game board had obvious sites for buildings so I set the terrain up in a grid and this meant there was only certain spots a vehicle could go, so of course after losing the roll to be attacker I set up my only vehicle and one of only 8 models I got to place on the table out in the open, but near a key objective.

The rest of my models, all seven of them went in a clump in cover. When Devin finished setting up he set up his big gun right opposite of mine, so the roll to go first became a big deal.

Battle Round One

Perhaps I placed Boris poorly

So if you haven’t guessed Devin won the roll to go first and I started thinking I should have set all my models up in cover or out of sight as I only had eight! But I also had three CP and checked that I could indeed launch smoke from the Defiler. Devin had an extra CP as I have spent more of my requisition points on warlord traits and relics each one of which apparently boosts your campaign point total.

Devin actually advanced. I have so few models I rarely use the extra movement because I want to shoot, but yeah Myphitic Blight-Haulers and Foetid Bloat-drones are looking real good in hindsight. But I both paint slow and I have literally hundreds of painted models, I just need to enbiggen their bases and requisition them. But long term I need more guns that shoot over 24 inches and can hurt tanks.

I know anything can hurt tanks in 9th Edition but my models were all literally on foot, so the deep striking Blightlord Terminators will likely also help, but I want more guns and will likely never field an army with this low of model count again. Anyway Devin shot all his big guns at Boris, this includes a hunter killer missile on the lone sentinel. That hit and I think did four wounds. I did use my Foul Smokescreen and I didn’t realize it at first because the battle tank got to roll a lot of dice, but Devin missed both shots with the vanquisher cannon. He did use a command re-roll and that missed too, so Boris got a bit lucky and maybe overconfident.

Death Guard Turn One

My entire army moves forward

Boris took four wounds, but he probably healed one, so maybe he took five. Either way he was alive and was still able to move and shoot maximumly so I moved him straight up towards the enemy and the next objective. We were playing Sweep and Clear again, so you can abandon objectives to try and capture another one.

I moved all my plague marines and my characters forward but did not advance. I chose to shoot Boris at the Sentinel as I thought I had a good chance of killing it in one turn and little chance of killing the Vanquisher in a single round of shooting. So that actually worked but may have been a mistake. McFly was over 18 inches away from the enemy but the Plague Marines were within 24 inches so I got to put some bolters and plasma blasts into some rebel guard.

I had chosen Honour Thy Patron as my agenda even though I didn’t have seven units, but I figured I had a good chance of killing regular Joes and it turns out veteran guardsmen. I think I might have killed three in turn one. I did cast Miasma of Pestilence on my Plague Marines reasoning I could use Foul Smokescreen again and everything would be alright.

Small armies on a small battlefield

Battle Round Two

Devin had scored 20 VP in the first turn, because technically I had no objectives, then he only scored 10 VP in the second so the score was 30-10 but then after advancing more guardsmen or former guardsmen he opened up with the Vanquisher cannon again. It did probably miss but he re-rolled and this time it did wound twice and I of course failed my invulnerable saves so I took 11 wounds. And for those mathematicians, I took four in the first turn or was it five, anyway my biggest most powerful model was now dead.

We forgot to test if it exploded, but no one was nearby. That was my hope, I would get close enough for Boris’s death to mean something. As it is, I’ll have to make better use of cover in the future as I really only had one source of guns that could shoot over 24 inches. We’ll get to larger games eventually, but I need to play better.

One plague marine may have also died this turn.

Death Guard Turn Two

I scored another 10 VP to start the second turn making the score 30-20 which doesn’t look so bad, but I pretty much knew I would lose because I just can’t walk all the way across the board to get the far objective. I need to add some speed to my army and some more ranged attacks quickly because my ability to predict whether I’ll win or lose is pretty accurate, but the game wasn’t over, I had six models.

My models all moved towards the enemy, I was keeping Maceo or the model I put on the table instead of Maceo, the unit champion of the Burning Sores, behind the lead Plague Marine but then I was thinking maybe I could get a charge so I nudged him to the front.

Looks like I’ll get to charge right?

In my psychic phase McFly killed 9 guardsmen. Devin wasn’t surprised because he said they were worth like 50 points, but still two offensive spells and extra mortal wounds to the closest unit, things usually don’t go well for me. This meant there was one model left and my charge was looking iffier, so I drew out my plasma pistol which my unit champion has but Maceo does not and shot the last one. I think the Plague Marines then shot at another squad of guardsmen.

So I knew Maceo, or the model that was taking his place was in trouble, and yes Boris had just failed his key invulnerable saves and yes I did use a command re-roll but surely a 4+ invulnerable save is better than a 5+ right? Also some guardsmen may have died in the moral phase. If the last model in the squad dies due to a combat attrition test or a failed moral check, you don’t get any XP for killing the unit, at least that is how we’ve been playing it…

Battle Round Three

So there were less guardsmen, but apparently the unpainted models, the ones with the shotguns and Forge World bits were the veterans. I really should ask my opponent what his stuff is and how much it costs in PL, but if I didn’t have anything to complain about, how can I blog? Anyway his warlord was with them that should have been a giveaway.

Devin was trying to get to a midfield objective, both in fact as he still had guardsmen or traitors on both flanks. He also still had the Vanquisher cannon and now Maceo was the closest model, I should really read the rules because now that I think of it, if he is within three inches or a squad isn’t he safe? What I need are some Death Shroud that or my Plague Surgeon may have helped him or just making my damn armour saves.

It’s alright ma, I’m only bleeding.

Maceo took four wounds from the Vanquisher cannon, I dutifully stacked four skull markers beside him and took a picture. I think I saved one shot or maybe Devin failed to wound once, he definitely used command points almost every time the Vanquisher cannon shot. The other guns it has are two heavy bolter sponsons and a heavy stubber. The heavy bolters are only -1 AP I think and the heavy stubber has no AP. I probably rolled a one for my armor save, I definitely rolled a lot of key ones, there are photos of some of them.

Death Guard Turn Three

With Maceo and Boris dead my chances looked even slimmer. Devin was now scoring 20 VP a turn so the score was 50-30 but I had five models, all in a clump, in no cover trying to get to an objective. McFly will probably never do 9 wounds in a psychic phase again and I tried to keep him behind Syphilis squad, but there is only so much you can do.

Five Death Guard remain on Turn Three

Of course I charged, but I let McFly charge first, he rolled an eleven, but he also had to take the overwatch and it included plasma guns. He survived, but perhaps I should have sent the plague marines in first, it is a toss up sometimes, but not something I gave a lot of thought to before now. Syphilis also rolled 11 on their charge so all my models got in and all chargers fight first.

I positioned my models to shoot one squad and charge another. I killed the guardsmen who were kinda disputing the objective I was after, so next time I got a command phase it could be mine. I think I also killed some advancing veterans. They were advancing because they had shotguns. They got first one and then were trying for a second midfield objective.

The Malignant Plaguecaster has no invulnerable save yet needs to get within 12 inches of the enemy. The model only has a bolt pistol so H2H seems like a win, hopefully his warlord trait, Revoltingly Resilient will keep him alive a while longer this campaign. I didn’t roll that well with McFly he probably killed two models and Syphilis killed the rest, so Honour Thy Patron was going well and now it was something like five models to two, as Devin’s warlord was making a run for my deployment zone and the objective I set Boris up on.

Five Death Guard, Two Traitor models

Battle Round Turn Four

The Vanquisher hadn’t even been shot at, but once again it had a target rich environment. I had kept the Plague Marines in front, so they took some damage, they might have been take down to two models or perhaps three. The Rebel Guardsmen HQ ran towards my deployment zone.

Death Guard Turn Four

This was the turn I may have damaged the Vanquisher. I thought about using the mind bullets on it, but if I was to have any chance of winning I had to split my forces and go for the enemy HQ and the enemy deployment zone at the same time!

Now it is four models versus two

I once again never advanced and I think I forgot to advance on the crucial last turn as I got sick of the Vanquisher and put some plasma into it. I lost one plague marine to enemy fire, the Vanquisher must have rolled some ones, McFly was in the open again, but I had hoped he could charge the enemy HQ and he succeeded. I first tried psychics and his not so trusty bolt pistol but ironically the only wounds were caused when I rolled over 7 on my psychic test. The actual Plague Wind did nothing.

My memory is hazy already but I rolled double ones for my psychic test multiple times, I kept a command point in reserve for this, it may have only been twice this game, but it may have been three times. However in H2H I got two big hits on the wounded traitor but he rolled double sixes for his invulnerable save and survived!

Also because I was smart enough to take photos and notes, I cast a second psychic power in turn four, Miasma of Pestilence.

Battle Round Five

Syphilis was visible and the colonel fell back towards my deployment zone and objective. I chose not to spend a command point for a one in six chance to do a wound, because he had two wounds left and I knew I’d need my command point to try and survive.

Apparently, I thought of making them -1 to hit!

The Vanquisher cannon and the rest of that tank I believe fired on Syphilis, the Vanquisher cannon hit twice and killed two models, then the heavy bolter did a wound, then of course for the stubber I couldn’t roll even a 3+ and that squad was no more. I took a picture of that one. As bad as my armour saves were it was the multiple one in 36 chances of failing my psychic test with double ones that finally got me to curse.

Death Guard Turn Five

This happened too often

McFly used his mind bullets but I not only failed my psychic test with double ones the re-roll was three, so I used the second psychic power because you don’t bring a Malignant Plaguecaster then become so scared you don’t use his powers. I think I had taken one wound at the time. So short story I didn’t kill myself, nor did I kill the enemy warlord.

However I did still have my bolt pistol, which promptly missed or failed to wound, so once again I had to charge, and finally, I did it, Colonel Richard Flair was dead. This left the battlefield with two models, the wounded Plaguecaster and the damaged Vanquisher.


After predicting I would lose and doubling down when I saw what random mission I rolled against Devin’s horde, the final score was 80-50. Technically I got 10 VP because I painted all my models, but seven plague marines is just too few to make an army. The Defiler should use cover, but we’re just playing for fun and if I wanted to advance up the board, there was literally one clear path.

We did our post game Out of Action tests and of course Maceo rolled a one. I was going to sacrifice D6 experience but Devin convinced me to take a battle scar. You can spend a Requisition Point to remove them later, but I will not do that for at least a week or two. I chose -1 Movement which is a lot of hopping, but maybe he’ll learn his lesson and not get ahead of his screening unit now that he has one leg. It appears, I don’t have to bust off a metal leg and convert the model by next game, in Gorkamorka we would have, second best GW game ever!

Syphilis and McFly did really well at Honouring Thy Patron but there was no way I could score all the points, you need a much bigger game. They each got two extra VP. Both Boris and Maceo killed a unit, but not an important unit, I need to learn my opponent’s armies better and prioritize my targets. I made Boris man of the match, even though it was really McFly who killed 15 models to Syphilis’s 13.

The reason I marked Boris for greatness is I really need more shooting. I can paint some models of course, but I gotta stop buying models, so perhaps a dreadnought gets dusted off, that was one way I got heavy weapons back in the day. I have three painted dreadnoughts, none are armed optimally for 9th Edition perhaps, but the rules keep changing. I need to now make sure it will fit in my case.

Building for Next Game

I almost took a dreadnought in my starting 50, but I decided a Defiler was just more threatening, but I only have one painted Defiler so that means I can spend two Requisition Points and bring one of my three dreadnoughts, two have two heavy weapons, but I kinda think on the new small boards, having a H2H weapon is good. I may choose the smallest least converted dreadnought or maybe I’ll take a night to think about it.

Syphilis was a 20 model squad so I can easily add five more models including a third plasma gun to that squad. I was going to bring five more green Plague Marines, my proposed melta gun squad. I’m trying to theme every squad but in previous editions I eventually moved towards squads with two meltas and a combi-flamer for the champion. This option is no longer available and of course I eventually made my take on the plasma gun line squad. I’m going to stick to my plan and make a plague flamer squad but longer term I may end up with a mix of flamers and meltas in the same squad because I always have trouble killing armour.

I think I will paint some blight launchers eventually, but I don’t want to buy a box of seven models to get one special weapon, so I’ll have to try to buy just key bits, but they always seem to be unavailable in the bitz shops so I may haunt eBay or I may just get tired of painting plague marines.

In 9th Edition the Plague Marine champion can not have a combi-flamer and I’ve yet to field a power fist. I think a cheap champ or a plasma gun champ is a valid option, as is a plasma pistol champ, but the full gun is just better because it has 24 inch range which is big in these low PL games. I have lots of painted champions but I’ll probably do some new ones, but that is way down on the priority list. Getting four plague marine squads probably 40 guys on the table is a near term goal, but without guns that can shoot over 24 inches and do more than one wound I will struggle as bigger and bigger models join the campaign.

Enter Toe Jam

Although my least sexy and least converted dreadnought, Toe Jam has two heavy weapons and both could threaten a Vanquisher. A dreadnought, neigh Hellbrute, doesn’t give me the speed of the newer small daemon engines, but there is a Hellbrute stratagem and with two weapons that can shoot 48 inches and costing 7 power, I can have this model and its’ guns now whereas I’d have to paint the new sexier models over the coming weeks.

Another reason I picked this model is it is easy to transport. It has no spikes, it is isn’t metal or resin, it was a boring dread that came in the 3rd Edition boxset I believe that I converted to the dark side to rival Owen’s Kickie and Stompie. Toe Jam did make an appearance at GT Calgary and since there is no appearance score in our campaign, transportability trumps looks. This is also my only dreadnought that is 100% perfectly legal in 9th Edition WYSIWYG.

Elsewhere in the Pariah Nexus

Ultramarines VS Eldar on Table Two

For those keeping score, Bill lost again. This means Bill is 0-fer, he has no wins. Devin and Alex are actually undefeated and I am a respectable 1-1. Bill’s Avenging Sons and their ability to pass moral tests has apparently boosted them considerably. They do have a Battle Scar, Devin seems pro-Battle Scar, but I have enough trouble remembering the rules without having to remember rules that make my models worse, come to think of it, I actually specialize in those rules.

A Battle Scar supposedly lowers your Campaign Points or is it Power Level by one, I should check that. It is one less Campaign Point, Devin must be scheming how to keep his Campaign Points low to get extra Command Points in the game, so Maceo will now limp five inches a turn until he learns to make better use of cover and screening troops.

Spreading the Plague

I had a virulence point left over from completing my agenda last game, so I’m using that to give the Plague Carrier ability to McFly. He got into H2H multiple times and only three characters can be given this but I doubt I get many more than three or four characters in this campaign. Bringing Toe Jam who is an Elite Choice and not a Heavy Support choice now, means I may have one Elite choice left until we get to the really big games and having bought a Plague Surgeon it is pretty obvious Foetid Virion are in my and every Death Guard player’s plans.

That means no Death Shroud anytime soon, c’est la vie. Historically I struggle with armour, I know deep striking and H2H are viable options now, but there are a lot of Stratagems and the enemies are only going to get more powerful. I will try to bring one or both my Elite choices next game, maybe my true screening troops and then see if Maceo and McFly can’t spread some plague.

If you think I played terribly and should have bought a model that wasn’t in stock and painted it in the ten block car ride home, you can leave a comment below. If you want to leave taunts for Bill who has yet to win an official campaign game, I will also allow that. Until next time, make mine Nurgle.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

5 thoughts on “40K Narrative Campaign Week 2”

  1. Catching up on old posts :)

    I’ve struggled when taking on enemy armour, and in particular enemy super heavy units. It’s definitely worth looking at how GW “expect” you to set up a table given that the game has been designed with this in mind:

    Setting up battlefields for 9th Edition

    Basically you shouldn’t be able to shoot from one end of the table to the other, there should be LOS blocking terrain to prevent this. This really helps out the Death Guard who aren’t really a gun line army and like to get close to their opponent. That Leman Russ tank should have been working for its shots and shouldn’t have been able to sit still, and getting the buffs that gives, and blaze away at you. The downside is that armies that really focus on melee will benefit from this even more and will use it to get really up close to our forces and rip them apart. Swings and round-a-bouts…

    1. I might not have anyone to blame about the terrain but me. We play in a store, it has a lot of terrain but it is used by multiple people playing multiple games. When the terrain is set up we don’t necessarily know who is playing or what mission. Obviously the old adage of “the more terrain the better the game” is true, but some models don’t fit in some terrain so well and the game plays quicker if you can move and shot a bit more easily. Next game I’ll probably deploy more cautiously, I’m also overdue to win the roll to go first. I’ll also plan to get back to trying to have more units in my army, I hope to paint more cultists and other cheaper units eventually. I also may choose to be the defender next time I play or at least read all the missions ahead of time. I can definitely deploy smarter because two games in a row I made the same mistake, I won’t make that mistake again for a while if possible. We don’t have any melee focussed armies yet. We have my Death Guard, the Ultramarines, plus now Sisters and Eldar plus whatever Devin is calling his army. We may recruit one more player, there seem to be a bunch of other people who play 40K but whether they want to be in our little campaign it TBD.

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