40K Narrative Campaign Week 6

The forces of Chaos and the Aeldari again fought over a desolate scrap of land in the Pariah Nexus…

Abandoned by our not so fearless leader and thus bereft of all representatives of the Imperium, the forces of Chaos and the Aeldari again fought over a desolate scrap of land in the Pariah Nexus. Although I’ve yet to see the Bastion of Vanithros, I assure you we are besieging it. But once again we were forced to play a three way game and it seems going second is the least advantageous outcome of the crucial random first roll.

Pregame

Final Blightlord

So Bill had other things to do as did apparently Daniel but the rest of us got up bright-eyed and perhaps not so bushy tailed on Easter Sunday. I had actually spent over five hours painting this long weekend and I swear I did not finish a single model. I thought I could, but apparently no, Death Guard have gotten too large and detailed. But I can give you a preview of what the last unpainted model in my campaign force looks like.

I’ll get to finishing it this week and it shows I can still paint the tiny line style, even if the greens are slightly different and I chose not to use any washes or glazes on the green armour portions. Now the metallics are not done, they’ll get some more weathering and corrosion. Next I’ll do bones and tubing, but one thing I learned is, it is going to take me 5+ hours per Diseased Son so I don’t want to paint that many more, I’ll probably even try Dark Angels Green contrast paint as I used the original as the darkest green on this model.

The handles everyone likes take up more room on my painting table, the little shelves are blocked so I cleared off a spot on another shelf to put the models I’m not working on, but basically I think I’m painting the Diseased Sons one at a time, when I do the cultists or perhaps the Nefarious Fire I’ll paint them in groups of four or five.

Actual Diseased Sons Army

I tend to pick my army ahead of time and once again although I had a plan or an idea, I forgot key rules, but not Contagion, nor Disgustingly Resilient or even Armour of Contempt but my actual hard earned battle honours.

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle 5 PL
  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
  • The Burning Sores, ten Plague Marines 12 PL
  • Syphilis Squad, ten Plague Marines 12 PL
  • Billalexdevin, Spawn of Chaos 1PL

The plan was basically be harder to kill with two big blocks of Plague Marines, but I think ideally you’d want one big squad to tank the hits and two smaller ones to give you more units, but in the campaign you need to requisition more troops in a squad before it becomes too experienced. The single spawn is an easy kill, but in a standard deployment game lets you delay deploying more valuable units so I’m thinking I’ll bring one or two more single spawn. Perhaps some missions they can’t complete but they are faster than either cultists or pox walkers so I think that alone has value.

Mission and Agendas

With Bill MIA, Alex became the brains of the operation. We played a three-way battle from one of the campaign books, basically the mission was just kill enemy units and the twist besides three players was a random half of your army started on the board and the rest must go in strategic reserves.

For my agendas I chose Assassins as I figured with two opponents there would be more characters to kill but the damn Aeldari Rangers excel as sniping them, next time I play I’ll likely bring a vehicle, at least a Rhino to park between me and the Aeldari snipers. My second agenda was also out of the main book. I chose Survivor and dubbed Syphilis the newly enbiggened as my unit that needed to survive.

Underdogs and Seizing the Initiative

So in a three-way game there is always an underdog, at the very least going last is considered a disadvantage. But then in a campaign the differences in campaign points results in extra command points. Somehow I had the most campaign points so the Aeldari got an extra command point and the impure forces of Chaos got two! We all chose not to spend command points to try and go first and I think I rolled a one or a two. I honestly can’t blame the dice too much, I definitely failed some armour saves even using re-rolls but overall I did alright when I remembered the rules.

Devin and Alex tied so I got to go last, after a rolloff Alex got to go first so I got to choose one corner which had basically a fortified tile. Devin chose the other corner and Alex got the middle but the Aeldari shooting is so much better than ours.

Deployment

As mentioned previously half your army starts on the board. I divided mine into a purple half and a green half and because Nurgle loves mathematicians my halves were the closest to even. I got my wish and purple which contained the must survive Syphilis started off the board. I deployed the Burning Sores who really need me to paint and convert more models as they only have two special weapons currently… the extra special weapon definitely makes a difference. I put Maceo out of sight and with ten plague marines between him and the Dark Reapers and Dire Avengers.

Devin actually had a rhino so he put at least one five man squad in that and his lord behind the rhino and basically a refinery. Then he used some trickery called Renascent Infiltration to move things around more. So briefly it looked like the photo below.

The Initial Deployment, before the Redeployment Stratagem

Battle Round One

So the turn order was Aeldari, then Chaos Space Marines and Renegades and then finally the heroes of our story, the Chosen Sons of Mortarion, the Diseased Sons of Nurgle. The Aeldari had a Farseer and he generally Doomed something if he was in range and he also could Guide a unit. The Aeldari can also move and shoot and then move again. So they did, using Blade Storm and rolling all the dice to destroy the Rhino. Before the Dire Avengers shot the Dark Reapers may have put some missiles into the APC.

The Battlefield and Forces

One thing you can use your underdog points on is smoke grenades which basically gives your entire army light cover, but my army was in light cover so I saved mine, Devin didn’t do that nor did he use the rhino’s smoke stratagem. The one from underdog is better as it affects your entire army in Alex’s reading of the rules. Bill didn’t seem to explain it so well, there are also special treacherous stratagems but Alex left those out so I never used them. I actually hoarded my command points ending the game with two, but the traditional enemy charge never occurred.

If you spend all your CP you can’t overwatch our launch a counter offensive or use all manner of stratagems that help you in the Fight phase, so I’m trying to keep one or two in reserve especially in with two opposing armies.

The rhino did not explode and I don’t even think anyone in it died, but they definitely don’t last long against big guns, none-the-less I’ve pencilled mine back into my 35 PL army for next week. I’m not sure Devin did much in his turn except reposition his army behind the refinery looking building.

Mind the rhino shaped gap

In my turn the Burning Sores fired and all hit with their bolters. I forgot to use my Sigil of Decay to have sixes with bolters autowound but I did remember their battle honour, tri-lobes but they didn’t need it. I took a picture of this roll it was so good, but I never thought to consult my iPhone as apparently I got four autowounds, that could have been the difference between winning and losing, this game was close.

Fearsome bolter fire

Turn one may have been the only shooting I remembered tri-lobes which all three of my infantry squads now have. Plus one to hit with plasma guns would have helped, next game I hope to do even better as I’ll make some notes ahead of time, but it is written right on the index card, so perhaps I should actually use them during the game instead of just updating them when I kill a unit.

The Dire Avengers failed their morale check even after a re-roll and soon were down to just two models and the Exarch so this was a successful first turn but due to the mission the score was 0-0-0.

Battle Round Two

You can not score any victory points in the first turn so the picture I took of my new game aids is valid, alas I still forgot rules, so I’m going to make a list of rules not to forget for next week, another list because the one on the inside cover of my campaign log never gets consulted.

My new score board

I got these game aids from schoonerlabs straight outta Nova Scotia.

Alex likes to start his turns with some Doom. My psycher was still in strategic reserves. I guess before Doom the Aeldari brought on the Rangers now boosted to ten models and the Wraithlord. The Burning Sores were Doomed and as a result of Dark Reaper fire I believe three died. While I was putting those models back in my case, the Rangers did 5 mortal wounds to Maceo.

Maceo and the Burning Sores safe in their deployment zone

I never saw the dice rolls but I’m sure Devin did and I think Alex may have used some Strands of Fate to autowound which makes the die a six. The Rangers also have the Headhunters Battle Honour and for his agenda Alex took King Slayer and one where he gets bonus points for killing Chaos…

Are all Aeldari hated or just Alex’s?

Too late, I thought I could have used Cloud of Flies on Maceo, but he had walls, a squad of plague marines between him and the empty field which hadn’t contained any Rangers a few seconds ago. I know they recently changed the Bodyguard rules but would a unit of Deathshroud have saved him? He is so integral to my strategy even though long term I’d like a Lord of Virulence, next game he may be a bit cowardly and if he can’t find a corner from which to grant his auras he’ll hide behind a rhino.

Because the Rangers did mortal wounds I couldn’t even roll a contemptuous armour save. It is hard to plan for troops that aren’t even on the table, I guess Devin’s Chaos Lord must have been completely out of sight or Alex just hates the Death Guard more than the Alpha Legion.

My reinforcements arrive

The Alpha Legion were not idle this turn, they too brought on some strategic reserves including a Sentinel. They killed the remaining two Dire Avengers leaving just a wounded Exarch. Devin probably got a little over confident, he used some trickery to get close to the Wraithlord and charged him. Alex used Overwatch and the Wraithlord has two flamers and almost wiped out the Chaos Space Marines then I’m not even sure if the 9 inch charge worked.

I don’t believe it did based on the photos that were on my iPhone.

When you come on from Strategic Reserves you must be 9 inches from the enemy. I brought on everything, I think Devin kept one unit of renegades still in reserves. I put Billalexdevin nine inches from the Rangers and I put Syphilis and McFly behind the solid walls and about nine inches from one of Devin’s renegade squads, so I killed a unit on the turn I appeared. Devin and likely everyone forgot my agenda, so it wasn’t good for the Burning Sores and it was downright disappointing that Maceo died, but I can use cover once the enemy is on the table.

The Goonhammer guys seem to think some other power is better than Plague Wind but I’m not paying a Requisition Point to make that change. I rolled 9+ but McFly was just out of 12 inch range so no free mortal wound, but I did do four. I then cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Burning Sores. I’m a big fan of this and was using it on my cultists but I think it is better on the higher priority targets which in this case was the Burning Sores.

The Burning Sores or at least the bolters in the Burning Sores fired at the Dark Reapers they are harder to kill than Dire Avengers apparently either that or Alex rolled better. The Spawn of Chaos attempted to charge but the tricksy hobbits had a new wonder weapon, a Wireweave net and that did multiple wounds, it also increased the amount I had to roll by two. Billalexdevin rolled nine which would have made it without the Wirewave net.

Battle Round Three

Apparently I still struggle to remember the rules, but I can write things down such as what turn it is and how many battles we’ve fought during the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion and I can keep score and the score was 10-0-10. So I was tied with Alex and I kept it that way for a long time…

Maybe no one was in range or he targeted Devin, but my notes for this round don’t contain the word “Doom”. What it does say is four more Burning Sores died due to Aeldari shooting as the Dark Reapers and the Rangers were forced to shoot at them as I put the other squad and my other character behind a solid wall and twelve inches of area terrain!

The Aeldari charge Chaos

The Aeldari actually charged this turn, the Wraithlord charged the champion and the Exarch charged the Sentinel. The champ died but Devin’s Chaos Lord heroically intervened saving the Sentinel.

Next came Devin’s turn he kept bringing on squads close to my lines and he fired many shots at Syphilis who Alex could not see. I made some saves, because I’m disgustingly resilient and armoured with contempt.

I think he tried to charge but failed to roll nine. He may have used a re-roll and I think he did and failed again. Then he wonders why I had more command points remaining because I don’t waste them on 6 in 36 chances early in the game.

The Exarch must have died at some point, but if you didn’t kill a unit in your turn you didn’t get victory points for it, just campaign experience, according to Alex’s reading of the mission. In Devin’s turn his Chaos Lord was able to charge the Farseer. My memory is getting hazy and even with three plus pages of notes I didn’t write everything that happened down, but the Farseer made it to turn five, the Chaos Lord did not but I think Devin did cause some wounds.

I didn’t move my models much, but I did move and even with cover, smoke grenades and a Miasma of Pestilence the Burnings Sores were still dying at a rate of several models per turn, going to have to get the Blightlords back on the table, they’re Right Hard. Billalexdevin was deemed not worth shooting by the Rangers so he moved seven inches directly towards them. Syphilis may not have moved knowing their agenda and the value of not having the Aeldari be able to see you.

Apparently Devin forgot that Syphilis means business

McFly again cast Plague Wind on the renegades who thought it was a good idea to set up nine inches from Syphilis. I also cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Burning Sores which did another mortal wound. Syphilis probably finished them off in the shooting phase, basically that was my strategy get the easy unit kill against every cultist squad foolish enough to set up near the enbigged Syphilis.

Spawn VS Rangers

Billalexdevin made his charge I think he had to not roll snake eyes. He was again the target of overwatch but once again survived and killed three Rangers but then died to strikes as he was on his last wound.

Battle Round Four

The score was 20-0-20 according to my notes. I kept getting an underdog die for going last and Devin started getting two. We both started using the smokescreen grenades option. We also could buy an extra man of the match, which is worth three experience points. Alex as per tradition started casting but rolled snake eyes, apparently he is immune to Perils of the Warp and gets an extra re-roll too because of his craftworld. Despite all that he still Doomed the Chaos Lord. So I guess Guide failed…

The Aeldari fear Plague Marine champions

The Rangers killed more Burning Sores despite my smokescreen, actual rocks, the Miasma of Pestilence, but Germie the Overly Prepared survived, he planned ahead. So the Dark Reapers shot at him too, but Alex must have been feeling confident as he split his fire as Syphilis had advanced into sight.

Wraithlord VS Chaos Lord, don’t always bet on black

In melee the Wraithlord “poofs” the Chaos Lord, so I guessed he charged and the Farseer danced away, either way no Chaos Lord survived this battle, the Aeldari aren’t playing around when it comes to fighting Chaos, we need to triple team him next time.

The Last Renegades

Devin was now down to one squad of renegades but they had a lascannon. I’m old enough to remember when the lascannon was the most feared gun in the game, well maybe it was the Conversion Beamer but those models were rare and I don’t think that gun made it to second edition. Germie who prepared his armour with contempt and survived the lascannon took a wound from the plasma gun but survived the lasgun barrage.

My stockpile of command points were starting to get used, but losing Maceo so early put a cramp on my usual strategies and no one wanted to come and assault the Burning Sores in cover. Without my warlord I can’t do Blight Bombardment for instance.

In my turn four, I cast Miasma of Pestilence on Syphilis, because Germie was the only living member of the Burning Sores and he decided he’d be safer in H2H rather than take another turn of Eldar fire, the Diseased Sons did survive several turns of Aeldari shooting, well except for Maceo…

Syphilis kept marching in formation towards the Aeldari and managed to kill two Dark Reapers with their plasm guns, it was shortly after this that I remembered that all my Plague Marines have tri-lobes and should only miss on a one, because if I’d killed a couple more Aeldari who knows it could have been enough! My humble bolters boosted by the banner, aka the Sigil of Decay killed two as well.

Germie charged, he survived the overwatch but then Colonel Richard Flair was deemed to just be in range to heroically intervene, if I was cleverer and less thematic I think I could have avoided that. But on Alex’s advice I wacked him with my daemonic plague blade. Although in previous editions swords were the best, I’ve come to see this weapon as a bit of a cop out. Either you run a budget champion, a shooty champ or you go big and take the power fist. So in some future state I will build and convert a new champion to lead the Burnings Sores.

I still miss having the combi-flamer on the unit champion.

Germie was prepared for Overwatch too!

Anyway I think I used more command re-rolls to get this far with Germie and Colonel Richard Flair took two wounds, but then he does have a power fist and Germie was no more. The heroics of Bagonthehead may never be exceeded, but I do think cinematically and even tactically you can use a squad of Plague Marines to deliver the champion, they can be boosted with relic for instance.

Battle Round Five

Now I thought the game was tied, but somewhere along the way there may have been some Aeldari trickery or Alex may have re-read the mission. Either way Devin wasn’t having any fun anymore as guess who the Rangers were shooting at now?

As this was now our second three-way game, I actually think the player going second might take the worst of it, but the underdogs, aka Chaos, because having twice as much power as the Aeldari clearly isn’t enough, got extra tricks and the trick we both opted for was smoke grenades.

Syphilis was Doomed, because they had maneuvered towards the Eldar deployment zone and even smokescreens and Miasmas of Pestilence don’t protect you from the robotic hymn of doom, but it sure livens up a party. Anyway they were now in the crosshairs and lost a model to a bright lance. I think the renegades bereft of the leadership of Colonel Richard Flair fired on Syphilis as well.

I still had lots of command points left, so I started reading which stratagems I was going to use. But before I could shoot or charge I had to use some psychic powers, once again I cast Plague Wind on the renegades as I was preparing to charge them. They were too far from McFly to take the extra mortal wound. McFly did a lot of damage but never killed a unit, both my HQ boost the plague marines. I did use virulent rounds and fired on the Wraithlord he may have used some Aeldari trickery to survive the plasma that hit but one of the bolters did a wound, but he has so many, finally I charged the surviving renegades using trench fighters and killed them all.

Then low and behold my official score dice said Alex won, apparently he picked up an extra ten victory points on the sly, from killing a unit on the turn his reinforcements appeared, this presumably would have been when the Rangers killed Maceo. I’m not saying he didn’t deserve to win, but if I’d killed two or three more Aeldari it would have been a tie. And in the final turn I remember I was +1 to hit with all my infantry units due to battle honours so they should only miss on a one going forward, which Maceo will let them re-roll. I’m going to have to write that in big letters on a cue card before next game.

Post Game

Devin lost every unit and a number of them picked up battle scars. Alex may have escaped without scars but I rolled two ones. Billalexdevin earned the Mark of Shame. I still refuse to take a disadvantage that does nothing, for instance Chaos Spawn can’t shoot, so worsening their non-shooting is like cheating, but they apparently can feel shame, this made Alex chuckle. Worse the Burning Sores gained a battle scar too. I didn’t even pick one instead deciding to use my requisition point to undo it.

I keep forgetting rules that help me, but I always remember rules that hurt me and the Burning Sores are the flagship unit of the Chosen Sons of Mortarion or they will be once I get them armed the way I want. Maybe Blightlords are better and I have ran a unit of ten terminators in previous editions of Warhammer 40,000. However, that is a lot of eggs in one basket and ten plague marines is pretty tough especially armoured in contempt, in cover with a smokescreen and a Miasma of Pestilence, alas they are not immune to the Robotic Hymn of Doom!

It wasn’t all Robotic Hymns of Doom and battle scars I did complete my second agenda. I also got a second set of bonus experience points as a result McFly and Billalexdevin were marked for greatness and gained Inspiring Hero and Grizzled respectively.

What’s Next for the Diseased Sons?

Bill should be back next week, so maybe it will be one versus one but the latest Balance Slate is just more rules for me to remember, I’m going to have to make notes before our weekly game, but my game aids did help me remember Contagion and Alex is big on doing the math to figure out the armour saves, I think he secretly worships Nurgle.

I plan to try and finish my Death Guard terminator with the heavy flamer. I’ve used that model a couple times unpainted but I prefer to use fully painted armies that are WYSIWYG for the most part. After that I plan to paint the already primed plague marines. I also plan to build a new champion with a power fist and a plasma pistol. I built one like that before but for some reason I put it in a purple squad. This edition and given how slow I paint, I plan to be more strategic with my painting and do less models just for fun.

If you have thoughts on how I can remember all the ever changing rules or improve my army besides giving everyone and their dog a Relic you can leave a comment below. If you’re in Calgary we could use one more person to commit to our campaign. We play at Sentry Box which is the subject of a new movie debuting this month!

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

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