40K Narrative Campaign Week 8

After a one week hiatus the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion continued…

After a one week hiatus the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion continued as hard to spell as ever. I still have not seen Vanithros or his bastion, it better be epic. What I did see was more people than ever show up to play in our campaign. None of them were named Chris and none play Genestealer Cult.

Pro tip kids, if you’re going to show up and play in a Warhammer 40,000 campaign at the friendly local game store, maybe let the campaign organizer know in advance so we can book enough tables for everyone to play. So yes new players have joined the campaign, they have names: Thomas and Aiden, they have armies: Imperial Fists and Chaos Knights and yes we did reserve two tables. So with seven players it was decided the two newest players would play each other then there would be four-way game on the second table.

That four-way game took so long and involved so many phases and rules discussions a second game of 40K was played on the second table between the Eldar and the Imperial Fists before the four player game ended. The four-way game took so long even with multiple copies of all the books, I think I bought two rounds of sodas from the Sentry Box before it even started including the last can of Dr. Pepper in the entire building.

So I did get in a game of Warhammer 40,000 this weekend and I did take pages of notes and carefully keep score plus take many photos as you get a lot of time between turns in a four player game, we probably will never do it again or at least not for a while, two three-player games or reserving a third table will be the plan for next weekend, if there is a next weekend.

This week was so much work we got to the pub later than usual and didn’t have a lot of time to finish all the post game stuff, I did make a critical roll it was a red six and green one, Daniel witnessed it. And I did bust my ass painting an entire unit which debuted in this week’s campaign but typing this all up, especially turn by turn as people have grown accustomed to, will take a while. I am going to try, but if the battle reports take longer to create than the game takes to play, maybe we’re doing something wrong.

Friendly Local Game Store

So after seven weeks plus several practice weeks of Bill organizing and me documenting, people have noticed we play Warhammer 40,000. The store we play at is pretty well known at least in Western Canada. A movie was made about it, I went to the premier and I will embed the trailer below.

More Pre-Game Details

I bought the crusade book “Catastrophe” and have now taken part in all the multi-player games during this campaign. The mission we played was Opportunity Strikes and we had a 4*4 table with a fair amount of terrain. The four armies were Ultramarines, Sisters of Battle, Chaos Space Marines and of course everyone’s favourite the Death Guard. That is correct we have an equal number of Imperial players and Chaos players in our campaign. We have single Eldar player so a three-way battle should be fair.

I choose my army in advance to save time not knowing my opponent or the mission, though this week we were supposed to play a specific mission from a specific book to advance the narrative, that did not happen.

The Forces of the Diseased Sons

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle 5PL
  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
  • The Burning Sores, 10 Plague Marines 12 PL
  • Syphilis Squad, 10 Plague Marines 12 PL
  • Rhino with Havoc Launcher, dedicated transport, 4 PL
  • Billalexdevin, Spawn of Chaos 1 PL
  • Stumpy, Spawn of Chaos 1 PL

So that was my 40 PL force, next time we do a multi-player battle we may go with a lower points total having learned our lesson concerning how long it takes, especially if you are the person who goes last. My plan was basically to get my two big squads and two characters on the board but it is far from an optimal army list. It only has a single gun that can shoot over 24 inches which turned into a big disadvantage in this mission.

Next week I’ve already picked my 40 PL army it will have more than one gun that shoots over 24 inches, apparently I need to keep learning that lesson, but the problem is in a campaign it doesn’t make sense to not increase the size of the your Plague Marine squads from 5 to 10 before they earn too much experience. I probably need some Fast Attack options other than Chaos Spawn and to bring some Elite choices or Heavy Support but I continue to bring a knife to a gun fight.

The Enemy

We didn’t spend much time explaining our armies to each other. I’ve played everyone before, so we spent most of are time trying to figure out the bidding to go first rules and the underdog and honourable versus treacherous rules. These did have a baring as there are agendas that encourage you to attack certain units based on whether you are honourable or treacherous.

The Ultramarines had three characters Captain Snazzypants in his Gravis Armour, the old guy who leans on the flag and a Librarian. Who brings a book to a gun fight? The Chaos Space Marines had a Defiler, another rhino, in fact there were three rhinos in this game only the Sisters of Battle were rhino-less but I have it on good authority a tank was bought on Saturday. Besides vehicles the Chaos Space Marine had a Lord with a Thunder Hammer, a big unit of Chosen, a smaller unit of CSM and two squads of cultists. Tricks were used to deploy and redeploy stuff ruining my pictures.

Daniel has only shown up a couple times so his army has not changed much, but it is more green/blue. He had the Sisters with the Heavy Bolters, the Sisters with the Multi-meltas, the Sisters with regular meltas, he by far had the most models, so many five model squads. He had a Canoness and maybe two more characters. He had Repentia, Sisters with spears and crucially as far as Bill was concerned not everything was painted.

A big theme of the game was the two Imperial players just assuming none of the Chaos Players could win, so they were already dividing the spoils be turn three.

This was the battlefield before I had to change corners

Deployment

So before you can deploy you have to determine who goes first and before that you have to learn who the underdog is. Somehow I have the most campaign points, in fact Chaos in general had the most so the Ultramarines and Sisters both got two extra command points. Then you can use these command points to bid to go first. Once again I did not use any command points to bid and I ended up going last, next time maybe I bid, but I just don’t have an alpha-strike army.

Everyone else bid one command point, which is why I got to go last and the Ultramarines got to go first, followed by the Sisters, then the Chaos Space Marines and the slowest, least dynamic army went last, mine. So I spent much of the game sitting in the corner waiting for my turn.

So going first also got you to choose the table corner you want, so next time I may bid heavy just do get anything other than the worst corner. Also your army is divided in half so I had a green half and purple half, Daniel was quick to figure out my tricks. Alas my army isn’t optimized yet and it is probably even less optimal when divided randomly in half. Once again the green half won and got to deploy so I used my rhino as cover and put the Burning Sores in a little ruin and hid Maceo as best I could, but with no Eldar snipers life was better for Maceo.

The Forces Deployed

Mission and Agendas

The mission was basically to kill enemy units and the crucial rule is on the turn you come on if you can you kill a unit, you’ll get more points, the way to maximize your score is actually to get into the enemy deployment zone and kill stuff, this wrinkle we didn’t take advantage of, especially those of us unlucky enough to have our rhino start on the battlefield.

I have no idea now what everyone’s agenda was, I only wrote down mine. I took Turn their Hope to Rot which turned out to be me trying to kill the Chosen, a tall task at the best of time. My second agenda was “Treacherous Betrayal” which when I first read it, I thought I had a chance, but basically you need to plan your entire shooting phase around it and I just don’t have enough long range shooting for a mission like that. I will slowly add some more and when the new Chaos Codex comes out I may make an army with a lot different play style than this one.

Battle Round One

There is no seize the initiative in Warhammer 40,000 anymore so Bill’s Ultramarines were always going first. In the first negotiation phase the Sisters and Ultramarines struck a deal, but it didn’t last. There was no Chaos alliance but I made it known, unless you moved with 24 inches of me, I wouldn’t be shooting at you.

People make fun of me for writing stuff down, but if it wasn’t for my scribbles and photos these battle reports would not be nearly as accurate, for instance I wrote down “Ultras do tactical doctrine stuff”. Basically Bill can give a specific doctrine to a specific unit. The end result was the Ultramarines shooting the cultists, killing six. However in turn one of this mission you can’t score any victory points so leaving a wounded unit to kill next turn is actually beneficial.

The End of Battle Round One

Of course the multi-melta Sisters deployed opposite me, they may have had to move to get into 24 inch range, but I put the rhino down first as it is my least valuable unit in the half of my army that got to deploy. All the multi-melta shots hit doing 8 wounds. I did not pop smoke for some reason and I did not use my underdog point to buy smoke grenades. Basically going last I always got at least one underdog point.

The heavy bolter Sister killed two plague marines. Then the Sisters betrayed the Ultramarines because they are so treacherous and killed something. Finally it was my turn as the Cultists mainly hid, the heavy stubber did shoot at something but not at me. The rhino was ineffectual, it was on the lowest tier but I did move it. All my shooting turned out to be ineffectual and this with +1 to hit and re-rolling ones.

Battle Round Two

This game was so long by the time it was my turn I may have forgotten what I was going to do, besides making a cheat sheet, I also put the Stratagem I want to play on top of the deck, but sometimes I miss the exact time to play it and I still forget rules but I’m getting better. Basically in Battle Round Two you can bring on reinforcements and the trend was everyone brought everything on, but it was Battle Round Four that was the most eventful with some rulings needing to be made such as how does Grizzled or any wound shrugging power work?

Ultramarine Reinforcements and Sisters Repentia

The first thing I wrote down was “remember to shoot two armies” because that was my agenda, I didn’t actually have to kill anything, but I am still stuck in the past and I almost never split fire and with only 24 inch range guns, I generally shoot what I can. Some day I’ll get some Havocs or maybe even a Predator because I don’t have a lot of faith in Hellbrutes surviving, the Defiler is definitely better.

Sister about to whip a rhino good

Once again no underdog points were spent, if you save them you can buy experience points, so that was kinda my plan. The Ultramarines did kill 3 Sister Repentia. These were the models that betrayed Bill perhaps, so many Sisters arrived on turn two including a unit of melta gun armed Sisters they killed my rhino. This freed up the multi-meltas to shoot and kill 3 Burning Sores. Technically I think I could have taken an armour save on a 6+ for the Rhino but somehow forgot. I did not roll well on my armour saves, I did best when I just huddled down and used defensive stratagems.

More melta guns appear

A Defiler appeared on my other flank but it chose to shoot and kill three Sisters of Battle. However the squad of Chaos Space Marine that also appeared on my left flank were not so friendly they shot at the Burning Sores. I warned him I would use Overwatch if he charged so when he did I played that Stratagem and Plague Brewers as I am the Chosen Sons! This resulted in three dead Chaos Space Marines after I did 10 wounds. Then I won H2H combat and the last Chaos Space Marine may have died due to failing moral.

The lonely Ultramarine Infiltrator

I have more notes but I too brought on all my models. The Chosen were in a Rhino on the far side of the board so I focussed on killing Sisters of Battle as I didn’t think I could hurt a Defiler with bolters and flamers. I once again deployed Syphilis in a double deep line and basically forgot to use my defensive psychic powers or any psychic powers this turn.

Luckily I took a lot of pictures so I have some of the Sisters and Ultramarines fighting, basically there was one lone “Infiltrator” who survived until the Chaos Lord killed him.

I moved towards the Sisters of Battler, planning to charge them, I even advanced the Burning Sores but then the two surviving sisters died to my plague flamers. I wasn’t too upset as it allowed Syphilis to shoot and kill several multi-melta sisters, they soon decided it wasn’t as fun when the Plague Marines got to shoot back.

The Diseased Sons start their second turn

Battle Round Three

To start this battle round the Death Guard, Sisters of Battle, and the Chaos Space Marines all got an underdog point. I used mine on smoke grenades for my entire army, but then I’m not sure I remember to take the benefit, I should have put a token on the table, but no one shot at me much for reasons unknown, probably to do with their agendas and the scoring system. You just have to kill a unit, you don’t have to kill a unit of ten Plague Marines to get victory points.

I had bought a bunch of D10s and a score board but I and others also noted the score down on a turn by turn basis so to recap, at the start of Battle Round Three the score was 10-10-10-0. The only army not to kill a unit in turn two was the Chaos Space Marines. It was during this middle part of the game that the two Chaos Players did a lot of sitting and talking while the Imperial Forces fought amongst themselves.

Our official scoreboard with colour coded dice.

The Ultramarines killed some cultists, the Ultramarines killed the Sister Repentia and Bill wanted it noted he shot at a Sister of Battle. Earlier Bill complained when the Sisters betrayed him but I pointed out literally all their heavy weapons shot at me and a heavy bolter by all accounts is heavier than a regular bolter.

The Ultramarines were feeling confident and vengeful to start Round Three

In the next turn the Sisters killed the Ultramarine Rhino. The Defiler rolled a six for it’s battle cannon again but once again it wasn’t shooting at me, but how come my Defiler can’t roll a six for number of battle cannon shots? The Chaos Lord who chose not to worship Nurgle took some fire but survived to charge and kill the lone Infiltrator.

The Chosen swarm and kill Ultramarines

So what did the Diseased Sons do? Well after everyone left me alone I advanced every unit rolling ones for the spawn which would turn out to matter. I should probably advance more than I do. I also used Orbital Bombardment in this turn because the Ultramarines and Sisters created a target rich environment for Nurgle, if only I could shoot on the other side of a large building.

Bill and Daniel point to exactly where I should drop my Blight Bombardment
The Ancient’s Last Stand

I don’t know how many Ultramarines died in Battle Round Three, but the record will clearly show I didn’t kill any. In fact I didn’t kill a single unit in my third turn. But the Chosen and their Lord both killed a unit and the Sisters must have killed a fair few Ultramarines as eventually there was just Captain Snazzypants.

Battle Round Four was when the battle truly got bloody, I didn’t write down how many Sisters of Battle died due to the Blight Bombardment but based on the picture below how many do you think are within six inches?

I love the smell of Blight Bombardment in the morning

Battle Round Four

The score to start this round was 20-20-10-10 so perhaps it was this round that Bill and Daniel decided only they could win. All the units were on the board so the most points you could score now in a single turn was 20 and it would be hard for me to do that, so I got two underdog points and the Chaos Space Marines and Sisters of Battle each got one because when there is a tie, for lowest score for instance, both players in last would get one, that would be the Chaos players. The reason the Sisters of Battle got a point is I think they had lost the most units and this was a direct result of having the most units.

The start of Battle Round Four

This was the first round psychics started to take place, I should always cast my defensive spell but I forgot at least on turn two. I think I did cast it on turn three but maybe not. Regardless Bill’s Librarian smited the Chaos Lord by rolling a five. The funny thing I learned about Smite and have made famous is it must be the closest enemy model.

Chaos Lord VS Ultramarine Captain

The next thing I wrote down was the Gravis Captain charged the Chaos Lord and then I pointed out everyone was in H2H but me. The Chaos Space Marines were fighting the Ultramarines and the Ultramarines were fighting the Sisters. I was sitting pretty in my corner.

Captain Snazzypants killed the Chaos Lord in H2H. But the game was turning against the boys in blue, this may have been the crowning achievement of the Ultramarines on this day. I think the Sisters of Battle killed the Tactical Marines they were fighting and this left the Librarian as the closest model they could see so he died to massed fire.

At the start of my opponent’s shooting phase I remembered to play Cloud of Flies this was to encourage the Defiler to shoot at my spawn or at anyone but the five Burning Sores advancing across the board to try to get into the Sister of Battle deployment zone or at least into flamer range.

Strategic use of a Cloud of Flies

The Chosen shot at the Gravis Captain and did a wound, the Defiler shot at the Sisters but charged Billalexdevin! If only I’d rolled bigger numbers for their advance rolls this would not have happened. The Chosen charged Captain Snazzypants and killed him. This is where we had to decide how Grizzled worked, it didn’t matter to me, because I had to roll way too many sixes for my lone Chaos Spawn to survive. The Defiler followed up into my other unit of one spawn, the recently painted Stumpy.

The last Ultramarine makes his last stand
I tried to avoid this mismatch but ultimately could not

To start my turn four I did something I’ve never done before. I withdrew from combat. I knew it was possible for some models in 9th Edition to do this, but generally I’m safer in H2H than in the shooting phase but I had tried to avoid the Defiler by angling away from him, but my Chaos Spawn did not move fast enough and in hindsight I could have deployed them slightly differently, they served as an inhuman shield protecting my HQ so although one died, they did their job. They really are for deployment and table quarters and ultimately may be better as a unit of two, but at a single power level unit they allow me flexibility.

But before I could even withdraw the Blight Bombardment landed on the Sisters of Battle, all the Ultramarines were already dead.

The Diseased Sons respond to the Defiler Threat

I tried to cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Burning Sores but the Sisters of Battle denied it. But one good thing about the armies being closer together is my Contagion finally did stuff. The Burning Sores killed the Multi-melta Sisters with their plague flamers this once again meant they couldn’t charge, there was some discussion I should try to roll boxcars and see if that was far enough to charge some other Sisters of Battle but I still had the Chosen and the Defiler surrounding me so I wanted to keep my formation and protect McFly and Maceo.

It was in this turn that I unleashed Syphilis on the Defiler supercharging their plasma guns. Of course I rolled a one, but I re-rolled it and all three shots hit. So combined with their bolters Syphilis did 8 wounds to the Defiler proving I can hurt vehicles if I can get within twenty-four inches of them.

Battle Round Five

There were no more Ultramarines and the score was now officially 30-30-20-20. I had seven underdog points saved up so I used smoke grenades, but then probably didn’t take advantage of it in the hustle and bustle, next game I use it, I’m putting tokens on the board to indicate this defensive tactic, the turns are just too long in four player games. I also gave Maceo and the Burning Sores man of the match so three extra experience points as they were both still alive and on the table to start the fifth battle round!

The Sisters of Battle really really wanted to kill the Burning Sores, every single model they had alive fired on them. I think three died in the shooting phase leaving me one flamer model and the champ Germie the Overly Prepared. The Sisters of Battle declared multiple charges so I must overwatch the first one so I did and promptly melted two sisters but the Canoness and a Sister Superior made it into H2H. It was ultimately the latter that killed Germie as I couldn’t make crucial armor saves rolling nothing but ones and twos. This may have given Daniel the win as he now had 40 victory points.

He also had adopted my strategy of leaving his deployment zone denying the enemy the opportunity to score more than ten victory points in a single turn.

The Defiler really wanted to kill Stumpy firing all it’s weapons including a combi-flamer which was another source of extensive rulebook consulting, but despite all the weapons on the Defiler, Stumpy survived with two wounds.

Next the Chosen failed their charge roll, they may get to re-roll it for some reason but rolled another seven, then the Defiler also failed to roll enough to charge Stumpy, re-rolled and rolled worse, everything was coming up Stumpy in Battle Round Five!

The Final Diseased Sons Turn

The first thing I did was move my models around. I had actually backed up Syphilis getting the plasma guns within twelve inches of the Defiler. I moved my two HQ and my Fast Attack towards the Canoness. The Sister Superior was probably alive too at this point but maybe not, she did not live to see the end of the battle at any rate.

I tried to Smite the closest model but the Sisters of Battle denied it. However I rolled a 9 so it was deemed that mortal wound was done by the Malignant Plaguecaster’s special rule. This was a non-event compared to some other rules discussions. I then cast Plague Wind on the Chosen which is line of sight based and killed one.

In the shooting phase Syphilis killed the Defiler with supercharged plasma guns. So that is now a tool in my tool box as Plague Marines have two wounds. McFly and Maceo both made their change rolls but Stumpy must have come up short. Miracles occurred which seemed to give wounds back to the Canoness. Once again Maceo could not kill her, though I may have forgotten his Chaos Boon which would have given him +1 to wound, but I think she just made too many saves.

I had a plan to Release the Toxins as currently only Maceo can do it, but first I forgot, then when I remembered we were basically trying to clean up, plus I just checked and you have to do it in the command phase, it would be nice if you could charge in and do it, but instead you have to let the enemy surround you, then you can release the toxins or even explode.

Next time I fight the Canoness in H2H she dies

The Aftermath

It was thought the Sisters of Battle won as they got to 40 Victory Points. More importantly for his boon roll Maceo got 31 Immaterial Edge which meant he did not become a Chaos Spawn. It will take a lot of effort to get the third boon perhaps, but I will try, he should be even better in H2H now so I must use him more aggressively, perhaps putting him in the Rhino and roaring up the battle field. Alas the unit I requisition is the Scarlet Fevers as they have more plasma guns and after some sober thought, decided I needed them more than melta guns.

I’m not sure how many games these guys have gotten into, especially the champion who I thought was overly armed and expensive for previous editions, but now Plague Marines have two wounds. I’m not sure he has a name, I’ve been too busy to think of one beyond one idea I have, but I was saving that for another model I was going to paint, but it may have to do as although I found an old post where I painted some of these guys, I’m not sure if he ever got into a game, he must have, I painted him for 5th Edition it seems.

It took some digging but the champion did take the field against Owen, he still may not have a name, I looked for an old Excel file, but I may have just scribbled a list on a scrap of paper at my mom’s house. Now they are all on index cards, which is something I did back in 2nd Edition when I played Orks. I try to save my old army lists so I can remember things I’ve forgotten.

Going to enbiggen more purple Plague Marines

I never even considered a H2H Plague Marine squad as I have so many models to paint for the Burning Sores still. I am trying to optimize that squad first. I also want to paint that Plague Surgeon I bought weeks ago.

In addition to Maceo’s new random Chaos Boon I had three units marked for greatness so the Burning Sores now have some complicated rule that only applies when they charge as I don’t want to make a twin of Syphilis. I should really look in the big book more, because you can mix and match Battle Honours. For the Rhino I enhanced it’s Havoc Launcher to do two damage, that might give it a little more bite but it is basically a big target, this is why I started bringing a Landraider in previous editions, but I don’t know if we’re to that point in the campaign, that is a lot of requisition points to increase my supply limit.

This was supposed to be a miniature painting blog and I did take plenty of work-in-progress pictures of Stumpy but I never had time to do a blog update last week. I better upload one of the photos I took in my light box, the people over at the Bolter & Chainsword need it for something they are running. Today I ran some errands and didn’t do any painting. I’ve been typing up this battle report for the last several hours and will edit it with fresh eyes the next day.

WIP but mostly finished Chaos Spawn

In the pub, Bill declared the game a tie between him and Daniel, conveniently forgetting I had thirty victory points and a fully painted army. It was further ruled if there is a tie, no one wins so no one got the free supply increase officially. At the very least it was another moral victory not to have my Chaos Lord turn into a spawn. This also means I don’t have to paint another Chaos Spawn for a while.

Stumpy Spawn of Chaos
Stumpy Spawn of Chaos

If you have thoughts on who really won this game or if you think we got the rules wrong you can leave a comment below. Stumpy was painted with lots of Contrast Paints but then I used various paints to highlight and washes to shade over top of that.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

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