40K Narrative Campaign Week 3

A new force has entered the Pariah Nexus and I promptly agreed to fight them…

A new force has entered the Pariah Nexus and I promptly agreed to fight them rather than play against the Ultramarines or the Fallen again. Daniel had only just joined our campaign and he had not even had time to prime his newest Sisters. He also didn’t have 35 PL exactly so I agreed to play a 32 Power Level game as we had apparently decided to increase our game size this week.

This wasn’t a big increase but he did get two extra command points because my campaign force had experience, then I completely forgot to use the one Battle Honour I had earned. It also meant we got a second agenda and I think I did a poor job of choosing mine, some of them are much harder to accomplish especially in small games.

Pre Battle Sequence

I did not know we had officially gone up to 35 PL games, I need to pay more attention but until Saturday I didn’t have any time or energy for hobbies. But on Saturday I did paint a marker for Blight Bombardment, it made a successful debut, but the sequel was not a hit. I like this Stratagem and longterm want to lead my army with a Lord of Virulence, but I’m trying to field models I own that are painted so Toe Jam rather than a new shiny daemon engine.

The forces of the Diseased Sons

Next week I may carefully pick my force ahead of time, but I wasn’t sure if we were going to play or if I could play, so after doing some quick math I agreed to play 3 PL down to make it a fair fight and thus used the following units:

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle with a limp
  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster
  • The Burning Sores, 10 Plague Marines
  • The Cancer Cell, 10 Chaos Cultists
  • Toe Jam, Hellbrute

The Mission: Supply Cache

This mission is similar to the one I played last week but this time we remembered to not score victory points in turn one. I won the roll to be the Attacker, but it is actually a choice, so maybe next time I win this roll-off, I choose to be the Defender, but in some missions the Attacker goes first. As it was all I got to do was place the first of my Nurgling Infested Objectives. Daniel didn’t bring his own objectives so we just used all four of mine. In Supply Drop two objectives have to be in the middle and one in each deployment zone. That doesn’t seem to be the case for this mission, so two were on one side and two were in the middle of the battle field, then Daniel got to choose the deployment zone which kinda had two objectives.

Before next week’s game I think I need to read all the potential missions we could be playing and maybe make a plan, but this week, we were just too busy at work to even think about doing that, the same thing will probably happen this coming week.

Nurgling Infested Objectives

My Agendas

I chose Honour Thy Patron again, this is a lot of bookkeeping. Other factions have complicated agendas too. I opted to try Sow the Infection, Harvest the Plague. This one seems easier than the one where you must perform actions in area terrain. First there doesn’t have to be any area terrain at all on the table and second to perform an action you basically give up shooting and the options charging. I had five units but Daniel had more which basically cost me a squad on turn one because the multi-melta Sisters deployed last lining up their target of choice.

Next game I’ll likely go back to Turn their Hope to Rot. I’m not sure the point of the Virulence points? I get my own plague, but mine just makes it harder to do actions and I must first cross the entire battlefield to whack someone in H2H. I guess I must try to improve my plague as I rolled a one for my infectiousness, this result is obviously the worst, so next Virulence Point I earn maybe I try to improve it. But that said I think I prefer agendas that give you experience points or even requisition points rather than virulence points. Turn their Hope to Rot gives you two of the three and I probably need to kill their most powerful unit to win anyway.

No one noticed on Saturday and no one noticed on this blog post but you can not have two Death Guard agendas. It is a category of agenda and why you have to pick more than one agenda they must be from different categories, so I will be picking my second agenda from the big book next game.

Deployment

As the Defender, Daniel had to deploy first but he had six units to my five, next game I’ll try to have more small PL units, I still haven’t fielded my second most powerful one, the Right Hard Posse and even when I field a powerful unit I never seem to remember all the rules. I deployed my cultists first and tried to keep them out of sight. I can’t remember what he deployed first, but my second unit out of the case was the Burning Sores and he put the heavy bolter armed Sisters opposite on the roof of a building.

I can’t remember if I placed my dreadnought next or saved it for last, but I put McFly and Maceo just a little behind the cultists and plague marines but between both so they could lend support. Then because I had to advance on all the objectives having none in my deployment zone, I put Toe Jam out in the open opposite two objectives. This was a mistake because it turned out the Retributors could just set up opposite, then it depended who got to go first and unlike the Defiler, the Hellbrute has no invulnerable save and no smoke launcher either.

There wasn’t a lot of cover in my deployment zone

Next game I spend more time choosing my army and deploying it, but I’m always eager just to get the game underway as people don’t have everything prepared in advance and we stand or sit around a while. I took the time to make cards, objectives, markers etc. I’ve even ordered some 3rd party stuff and some bits off eBay we’ll see when that all arrives, these game aids can speed up and simplify things. I did get my new bases from Poland so basically I have infinite painting to do. I even bought a model after today’s game just for one key bit.

Battle Round One

Always Outgunned!

I lost the roll to go first, which basically meant Toe Jam was dead, but I consoled myself that my other stuff would survive. He had some Sisters that got a free move, basically a scout move and then they advanced still getting to fire their melta guns at the Burning Sores. I am still not used to how far some models can move. Playing Death Guard you get used to being slow, other armies are much more maneuverable. Advancing and firing assault weapons is a tactic I too plan to employ, hence infinite painting and bits from eBay.

The heavy bolter Sisters also fired at the Burning Sores but I think only one died and maybe one took an additional wound. Later on I did do some poor rolling, but to start the game I used poor tactics and probably in hindsight should have taken my extra power level advantage. Choosing your force so it breaks into pieces easily and legally is part of overall campaign strategy.

Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.

So Toe Jam and a plague marine were the casualties on turn one.

Death Guard Turn One

I would have liked a “do over” maybe for my deployment and army selection. I was used to being able to use Foul Smokescreen but not on Toe Jam apparently. Oh well I’m still learning the game. The speedy Sisters were an obvious target so I moved towards them sending the Cultists towards the other objectives. Cultists can’t Spread Contagion so I scored it that they couldn’t Sow the Infection and Harvest the Plague either. I actually almost forgot I had that agenda, you score it at the end of the battle round not at the end of the command phase so you need to move and think differently just for the that agenda.

McFly did a lot of damage. I can usually roll above seven on two dice and unlike last game he didn’t roll snake eyes multiple times, but I did roll particularly poorly later. I need to study my stratagems more. I did opt to use Blight Bombardment. But it turns out Sisters can shrug mortal wounds but over the course of the game McFly did enough kills to Honour thy Patron.

Incoming!

The Burning Sores split their fire, I put the plague belchers and the plasma pistol into the melta Sisters and the bolters and into the heavy bolter Sisters. Maceo also used his combi-plasma to kill a heavy bolter Sister. I need to get more models on the board or ones with more long range shots, blight launchers and plasma is the best I can do on troops. Maceo can technically shoot both barrels of his combi-weapon, Daniel almost always did that.

Strategically or luckily the sergeant was still alive so of course I declared two charges. The Burning Sores went in first and one died due to a combi-melta or something, but because they still had eight models, it was ruled Maceo had no room to charge. He later failed a charge roll even with a command re-roll. I don’t think the bigger bases I carefully glued and painted are helping me.

Battle Round Two

Things weren’t looking too bad, after killing Toe Jam there was less for the multi-melta Sisters to do, so a lot of his army moved forward or repositioned. I had cast Miasma of Pestilence the turn before on the chaos cultists, but I’m not sure if I remembered to make him take minus one to hit. I always remember the rules that hurt me, I have to play more methodically. I put key rules on the inside cover of my campaign journal, but didn’t refer to them much this game.

I literally left the card beside the Cancer Cell so it wasn’t a secret I cast the psychic power.

The start of Battle Round Two

The H2H Sisters, the ones with spears and the multi-melta Sisters killed off the cultists. Cancerous survived shooting but then was charged and died. I think another plague marine died. I need more cultists and plague marines and guns that shoot over 24 inches, not being able to have them on troops hurts the Death Guard in early turns, you are always playing from behind in this case 10 VP to zero.

Death Guard Turn Two

I decided to send McFly left after both Toe Jam and the Cancer Cell disappeared. In hindsight maybe I should have sent everything the other way round the centre building. I also think I have to find a way to kill multi-melta squads, they only have 24 inch range but on a small battlefield that matters little, especially if your own guns shoot twenty-four inches or less. I think deep striking Blight Lords are long overdue, that is the only squad I’ve yet to use that is part of my Order of Battle.

One thing that I took notes about but isn’t really obvious is the Miracle Dice. He also had two characters that had 9 inch auras that helped with hitting and wounding. I do a similar thing, but Maceo and his limp and maybe poor choice of the order of charges caused him to fall behind the Burning Sores.

My Blight Bombardment arrived and perhaps Daniel was overconfident but his multi-melta Sisters shrugged off the mortal wounds but his characters and regular sisters were less lucky. The Burning Sores closed in on the survivors and once again were within flamer range. I never used my Plague Brewer strategy, I was saving my command points for the inevitable H2H.

Both McFly and The Burning Sores made their charges I opted to let McFly fight first but this was a mistake as Daniel could do Counter Offensive. I’m still not used to the new rules. McFly killed the one Sister opposite him and the Counter Offensive wasn’t too bad, but it was a power sword. I was down to six Plague Marines.

The key melee on the right flank

I decided to put three into one character and three into the other. I also played Trench Fighters, so I got four extra attacks. I think my champ traded in his Plague Knife for the Daemonic Plague Blade so at least we played that right, they killed the character opposite them. Then the other two plague marines and the one with the plague flail whiffed. The plague flail rolled a lot of ones, I even used a command re-roll but Daniel’s warlord survived on one wound.

I rerolled the two, it missed then did I fail to wound?

Battle Round Three

This is where things really went bad, his warlord fell back. I opted to Cut Them Down, but with three models in base to base, aka engagement range I could not roll a six. This left the Burning Sores between the heavy bolter and multi-melta squad so maybe in hindsight I shouldn’t have charged, but I never gave it much thought and his Sisters did have an objective. The score was currently 20-10.

I failed lots of armour saves. The last model left was the champion, Germie the Overly Prepared and he died to a combi-bolter. A lot of the Sisters, all the sergeants it seems had combi-weapons. I rolled double twos needing even just one three plus to live. I did not use a command re-roll deciding instead to fund another Blight Bombardment this was a mistake and illegal. I need to consult my Stratagem deck daily until I have it memorized but even if you use a command re-roll, it doesn’t mean you won’t fail your roll a second time.

See the plague flail plague marine’s rolls above.

Death Guard Turn Three

I was once again down to two models. The score was actually tied thanks to McFly, Maceo was more than three inches from his objective. I actually decided to retreat him around the corner of the building and call in the Blight Bombardment. McFly actually advanced and he rolled a six, but this meant he couldn’t charge, but he could use his psychic powers, but the multi-melta Sisters survived but I had placed the Blight Bombardment between the two objectives again, but I should have placed it right on top of them.

Battle Round Four

McFly’s Miraculous Advance

Maceo retreating forced the Heavy Bolters to get down from their perch, they actually might have done it the turn before to kill the Burning Sores, they went over to sit on an objective and the Canoness or whatever advanced towards Maceo.

Amazingly McFly with no unmodified save survived the remaining multi-meltas and the sergeant. So since I was only a few inches away they charged. I could not do Counter Offensive but McFly lived to fight another turn. I didn’t roll that well, but maybe Daniel’s luck had left him too, McFly was on his final wound however.

Death Guard Turn Four

McFly before his fall

I thought McFly would have died and the Blight Bombardment missed the second time. I think although you can do it more than once it is best early on in a target rich environment. It is obviously better against certain opponents in certain missions and of course once I get a Lord of Virulence the cost will go down. McFly failed to kill the Sister opposite him with mind bullets, I did fail one psychic test and maybe a miracle was also involved in the Sisters living so long. Daniel remembered McFly had a bolt pistol and that missed too.

On the other flank Maceo tried to kill the Canoness and also failed in the shooting phase, she had an invulnerable save but because of my Contagion she was toughness two. So on to H2H. Defender fighting first and my inability to make key rolls and having wasted 3 CP on my second Blight Bombardment meant McFly died without getting a chance to strike down the sergeant from the Retributors.

Maceo failed or the Canoness got really lucky because she was on one wound after the Plague Flail rolled four ones out of six. I had re-rolled a two to get a second hit, but as I always tell my opponents, wounding is what counts. There is a picture of that terrible rolling, Bill was even called over to enjoy my suffering.

Battle Round Five

I think I had one model left and he was in H2H so this went quick. I made some armour saves but not as many as the Canoness because she survived. I used my last command point on a re-roll but I should have used it on Diseased Effluents or if I was really smart not spent six CP on Blight Bombardment because Release the Toxins may be better and only Maceo can use that having my only relic.

The Unfinished Duel

Post-Game

So I lost again and sure I can blame my dice or Daniel’s miracles but neither my dice nor Daniel’s miracles caused me to pick a poor army or deploy it foolishly. Looking at the photos perhaps I shouldn’t have deployed the cultists in cover which Toe Jam could have used.

Also having waited weeks to finally launch my Blight Bombardment I shouldn’t have done it twice. I think it is a useful tool, but there are other good stratagems. I need to boost the Burning Sores and Maceo plus the Right Hard Posse if they ever get on the battlefield to be more combat effective. Those are my strongest units along with the Defiler.

None of Daniel’s units went out of action but McFly did. Maceo was my only model to survive the game. I took another leg wound as a Battle Scar, but my heart isn’t in limping four inches across the battlefield so I decided to spend the requisition points to regrow two legs and try to get serious next week. I won’t have any new units to play with next time and I don’t have optimal squads, but I can definitely deploy better and I think saving my command points for the inevitable pivotal H2H battles is wise. Both McFly and Maceo could have done more than the second Blight Bombardment, there is always the Eruption of Filth or Diseased Effluents to go out in a blaze of glory, because with limited heavy weapons I must advance quicker, so maybe the Rhino returns…

Two units managed to Honour thy Patron, McFly and the Burning Sores both are good at killing single wound models. I actually made Maceo man of the match and rolled my first Chaos Boon getting 1+3 which is Diseased Talons so +1 to wound in H2H.

Still Painting Plague Marines

Incoming Blight Bombardment

All I managed to do yesterday was get some more black on them, but I did put effort into my Blight Bombardment marker. It was requested I paint a bruised flesh style Nurgling and I think to get it ‘Eavy Metal team smooth I may need to wet blend, but what I wanted to do was test out the Vallejo rust effects. The Dirty Down one is probably better, but you need to plan carefully, you must paint rust last and you basically need to gob it on, then you need to reactivate it and adjust your rust. It is definitely a bit random and don’t lick your brush.

Not all the paint I bought online even worked. The Nostalgia 88 paint when it came in the old style flip top pots I’ve used but the two that came in narrow nozzle dropper bottles were useless. All that comes out when you squeeze is the liquid part there is a big lump that does not come out. I also binned the blood effects from Vallejo they were basically paste but you could open their dropper bottles and poke them. However, I don’t want to buy new paint and spend time trying to save it, that was the whole point of buying new paint.

Unusable Paint but an in focus photo

I finally got some Basilicanum Grey. I shook the hell out of it, I’ve gotten bad pots of Citadel paint before, but I do think I prefer to buy paint from local stores so I can see it and shake it. I got a lot of paint now, but maybe someday I’ll order some Coat d’ Arms or more Foundry triads as I rely heavily on two, but I doubt I’ll try Warcolors again. I actually can paint with a limited pallet and blend colours even without a wet palet.

After I get these four models done it is probably back to skulls and mud. I plan to do up some Blight Launcher armed Plague Marines, being able to advance and shoot is probably going to help me a lot. I want to get Stumpy the Spawn done, his base arrived from Poland and those Nurglings lying on my painting tray are carefully painted Wraithbone and have picked up a splatter or two just sitting there, so I plan to do up that pair in Contrast Paints, then maybe I’ll do the Plague Surgeon and his special objective, that might be fun. Remember when painting was supposed to be fun?

If you spotted even more flaws in my playing or if I managed to cheat again you can leave a comment below. Bill is particularly distraught that some of my quick WIP iPhone snaps are out of focus. I blame the new iPhone because I used to be able to take photos, but I’m usually just too tired to care to get up and use the light box especially for some random thing on my desk.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

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