It was another busy week in the Pariah Nexus with the <insert Bill’s favourite adjective> Aeldari facing off against the Death Guard while the Ultramarines fought the Alpha Legion. It was also a busy week in the real world with work becoming perhaps more contentious as our project drags on and our team gets smaller plus something known as the Battle of Alberta is happening again for the first time since 1991. Hands up who remembers 1991?
I took my share of notes and pictures but as you guess hockey and work got in the way of typing out this battle report. I also had to deal with other real world concerns like flooding and dentists. But I don’t get paid the big bucks to blog about work, hockey, flooding, or dentists people want to read about Bagonthehead the Unbearable and the newest figure to emerge from the shadows and sporting his vintage 2009 paint job Killious Bilious the Silliest.
So the mission is one from a book Bill owns. I read it two weeks ago, I even though about how I might deal with the mission with the army I selected two weeks ago, then two weeks ago almost three now, we played a completely different mission. I also pre-selected a completely different force as I wanted to try out the Scarlet Fevers who are the most similar to Syphilis my most successful unit in the campaign so far.
I think the mission is called “Crucial Intelligence” and it was actually fairly complicated and I ended up focussing on my agendas and I got sucked into trying to kill the Wraithlord again. It isn’t a regular Wraithlord, it has grown bloated with power from the souls of the vanquished or something like that.
If you own the correct book you can read “Crucial Intelligence” but if you don’t basically you have data, you need to protect your data, kill the enemy with data and if you can transfer your data to your Warlord would be even better. I was facing the top army in our campaign the Aeldari so I concentrated on completing at least one of my agendas and I also killed a fair number of Eldar, just not enough. I think I even got the Wraithlord down to one wound but the Fates were probably manipulated yet again and it got better.
The Forces of the Diseased Sons
I definitely wanted a gun that can shoot over 24 inches even before I knew I was playing the Aeldari I chose to bring Boris the Defiler. He just doesn’t seem as hard to kill as the Wraithlord. My other heavy weapon options are the Rhino with the Havoc Launcher which isn’t really a threat and Toejam my unlucky Hellbrute. I also have my Blightlords and they will be making an appearance next game me thinks. Anyway this was the 40 PL force I used in Week 9 of our Warhammer 40,000 Narrative Campaign:
- Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle, 5 PL
- McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster, 5 PL
- Syphilis Squad, 10 Plague Marines, 12 PL
- The Scarlet Fevers, 5 Plague Marines, 6 PL
- The Cancer Cell, 10 Chaos Cultists, 3 PL
- Boris the Defiler, 9 PL
Setting up for the Battle
We had two tables and four players this week. But some keeners want to get in extra games or makeup games, so there may have been more battles in the Pariah Nexus this week than just two, but I’m mainly writing about the one I took part in. I set up the table, again before knowing the mission or my opponent. Technically I knew the most likely mission, but it was the most likely mission last week too.
I think I volunteered to wait for and fight Alex’s Aeldari. He had a Farseer, a Wraithlord, the accursed Rangers, two squads of Guardians and it turns out the most powerful Aeldari unit was the Banshees. I chose the agenda “Turn their Hope into Rot” which meant I had to kill the Banshees. I also took the agenda “Survivor: Syphilis” which went well the two previous times I tried it.
Alex won the roll to be the Attacker and got to choose which side he felt was the best. I won the roll to go first and chose to take first turn. Let’s see how good my notes and photos are now almost a week later.
As the Attacker he had to deploy the first unit. I did not have my Chaos Spawn to draw out the opposition, so it turns out I was outnumbered both by models and units. The Aeldari were also more powerful in Campaign Points so I got an extra Command Point and used my snazzy new Death Guard plastic icons I got off of Etsy.
I think the first unit the Aeldari deployed would have been the Guardians on what would be my right flank. I deployed my cultists first in my centre. They don’t really have a purpose in my army other than to be cheap screening troops but against the Aeldari Rangers you want to hide behind something solid. I basically deploy my least powerful units first so the Scarlet Fevers were next on my right flank after the second big unit of Guardians were deployed.
Eventually the Banshees showed up in the middle of the Aeldari line, so I made sure Boris had a good line of sight to them. I also split Maceo and McFly up with Maceo who is supposed to be good in H2H hiding behind Boris and away from the Rangers and McFly behind an entire building but supporting Syphilis who got an elevated firing position, but they need to move forward, twenty-four inches isn’t devastating enough to use them as Devastators.
Battle Round One
On my right flank I push my forces forward as I’m eager to see what the power fist will actually do in H2H. Previously I didn’t like the idea of -1 to hit but given all the high toughness models in the campaign I decided to bring another overly armed champion, but honestly Bagonhead has done the best because he can kill stuff in the shooting phase, not Germie the Overly-prepared.
Maceo and Boris pushed forward. There was a “twist” or an “affliction” that was randomly determined for this mission, it only affected Boris as that was the only vehicle in the game. So he could shoot 6 inches less and move 3 inches less. The Cancer Cell actually moved forward too, this may have been a mistake, but if they don’t have an objective to sit on and I didn’t give them any data, they are even more disposable. I will try adding ten more models to the squad eventually, but I paint slow.
The only units not to move were Syphilis and McFly. Syphilis already had the best firing position on the board and McFly wanted to deny the Rangers an easy kill. The Aeldari chose an agenda where they had to kill my warlord, so Maceo’s enthusiasm for H2H may have been misplaced. Overall this game I did better remembering rules, even random rules like the affliction, but I could have deployed better and tried harder to win or at least deny Alex points in hindsight.
In the psychic phase I remembered to cast Miasma of Pestilence. Previously I spent a lot of effort to keep the cultists alive but now I generally cast my defensive psychic power on my best unit, in this case Syphilis.
After the psychic phase comes shooting and the Scarlet Fevers killed two Guardians. The Fates may have been invoked as Boris only managed to kill two Banshees. The Cancer Cell actually killed a Guardian, they seem to shoot better than they fight which is the opposite of what I thought would happen, but their one Battle Trait is plus one to shooting so that has to add up over time.
During the Aeldari half of the round they too push forward and they transferred data. In order to transfer data you must not shoot, so since I had first turn, no way was I waisting any of my meagre firepower. The Farseer is very active in the psychic phase, I don’t know if he is special but he can cast three powers and I believe because of his Craftworld if he rolls a 9+ it can’t be denied. None-the-less he failed to cast Doom even after using a command re-roll.
Doom really does hurt over time, but he did get off Guide and Fortune this round, however Syphilis proved unwoundable by the Guardians opposite them. I think that squad had a Brightlance. The Rangers did better they managed to kill two members of Syphilis Squad. On my right flank the guided Brightlances did ten wounds to Boris even though I used my Foul Smokescreen.
In the Melee phase the Banshees must have charged this is why moving the cultists forward may have been a poor decision. I was going to use my flamer on Overwatch but Alex remembered I could not due to their masks. They basically butchered the Cultists.
In this mission you can score points on the first turn so the score was 10-0 for the Aeldari due to transferring data from the Guardians to the Farseer.
Battle Round Two
Not that I forgot during Battle Round One, but I decided to start Battle Round Two off with a Blight Bombardment. I definitely think it is a better deal at 2 CP but I don’t have a Lord of Virulence, I’m awaiting Maceo’s fate. In the movement phase I generally continued my previous course, but McFly came out from the shadows.
Plague Wind was cast on the Banshees, they perhaps had Fortune but they were public enemy and agenda objective number one, so despite having some save agains Mortal Wounds they didn’t make it. Smite however was denied by the Farseer.
I try to start shooting on one flank and go across the board so the Scarlet Fevers opened up with their lone plasma gun doing a single wound to the Wraithlord. Their heavy plague flamer may have done nothing, I still have hope for that Plague Marine option. Boris however did three wounds on the Wraithlord but it would again prove extremely difficult to kill. Guardians however are easier to kill and Syphilis removed many who thought it was a good idea to get within 24 inches of them.
After seeing the cultists get butchered in a single charge, McFly was not deterred. His first charge roll was not high so I re-rolled and promptly killed a Howling Banshee. McFly did take a wound, but then he shrugged it off because he is Revolting Resilient. The Howling Banshees then failed their morale test twice. The Guardians also failed their morale and the last of them fled right off the board. This denies me experience points as well as victory points under our current interpretation of the rules.
In the Aeldari half of the round the Banshee Exarch who was now all alone decided to Fall Back. After his charge McFly was in range to deny Doom but he was also all alone so of course the Rangers can target him but he survives!
The Aledari charge, I played Overwatch of course but it did nothing. The Howling Banshee Exarch and the Wraithlord both charged Plague Marine squads. The rusty knives do their thing wounding the Wraithlord and killing the Exarch so despite the score being 20-0 I was not overly concerned. I had achieved one agenda and I planned to charge in Maceo after all he has two Chaos Boons, another battle trait and he’s a plague carrier…
Missing from my notes are two facts, Boris definitely died due to Aeldari shooting and every time I needed to roll a six to get a command point back, I failed. This isn’t an exaggeration every single time this game and the game before, so basically I’ve gained zero benefit from this battle trait. This fact amused Alex because I remembered the rule but got no benefit from it.
Battle Round Three
McFly was alive and the Banshees were not, neither were the Guardians who dared oppose him, but the Wraithlord had reached my lines so he hustled to the right. A more mobile sorcerer would be nice and is something I may add to my army or the campaign as it goes on. Despite my enthusiasm to kill the Wraithlord Smite was denied.
Maceo did a wound after charging in. For future reference Power Maul and Combi-plasma is not the optimal armament for a Chaos Lord of Nurgle in the 9th Edition of Warhammer 40,000. Even with two boons doing one wound at a time is not the way to kill the Wraithlord and Maceo was dispatched. None-the-less the Wraithlord was now badly wounded because I Erupted in Filth!
It was all down to the Scarlet Fevers and Killious Bilious the Silliest’s power fist. Alas it was not meant to be, though it would have been cinematic and helped the narrative Bill.
To start their turn after maybe moving a bit the Farseer Smited McFly who failed to deny it. The Rangers fired at Syphilis and the Wraitlord flipped a switch on his sword or whatever and killed the Scarlet Fevers.
So in the space of one turn I went from feeling pretty good to having Maceo get pasted, McFly get Smited, and the Scarlet Fevers with their fancy new power fist gets sliced and diced by the Wraithlord who continues to grow more bloated with power. Are we sure he doesn’t worship Nurgle, toughness eight, which yes I remember to reduce via my contagion.
Battle Round Four
The game was basically over the score was 30-0 but worse half of my army disappeared with the Wraithlord killing Boris at 9 PL, the Scarlet Fevers at 6 PL, and Maceo who is 5 PL. The Farseer and Guardians may have helped a tiny bit but basically that one model wiped out an entire flank. I blame the other people in the campaign for feeding him easy kills, because the record will clearly show Bagonhead did kill the Wraithlord and several other Aeldari units singlehandedly.
So how is our hero doing snug in his tower? OK, the Aeldari have guns with greater range so in order to maximize their firepower they shoot at the tough to kill in cover Rangers doing a wound.
In the Aeldari turn the Rangers return fire killing Bagonhead who was the last Diseased Son on the battle field. The Farseer of course had Doomed them and possibly Smited them too.
I really need to take time during the next game to write my notes more legibly. But the short answer is I lost and every unit of mine died. If you look the pile of dead Aeldari, it is non-trivial and the Wraithlord was reduced to a single wound but then either the Fates or a Stratagem or perhaps a Battle Trait healed him.
Syphilis did not survive but they killed the Howling Banshee Exarch so they earned extra experience and more importantly a virulence point. I made McFly my MVP but not one of my units earned a new battle trait, but I made up for my inability to roll a key six by not rolling a one seven consecutive times so no new battle scars were taken. With my hard earned virulence point I modified my plague rolling a five making it “diseased”.
I just consulted my notes and now after I hit a model/unit in Melee with either McFly or Maceo they’ll become infected and then plague weapons will autowound on a natural roll of six to hit. I don’t know if that will tilt the entire campaign in my favour or if it was worth taking a beating for, but hopefully I remember this as Maceo needs to get into H2H but clearly not against Wraithlords.
More, More, More!
This was another busy week in Calgary. Besides work there was hockey and besides that there was flooding. The next game of the Battle of Alberta is tonight and the next game of our campaign is tomorrow. I have chosen my top secret army list, but I may have alluded to units I planned to take.
This week there was not any painting done. It took me until Friday night almost a week after the game to write this all out. But I did put some paint on bases and and skulls. As you can see below I adjusted my technique.
This time I used poster putty to stick the skulls and Nurglings to a piece of square wood I bought. It still isn’t a perfect technique as when you take the skulls off the putty, some of the putty and paint has mixed, so the best option is gluing the skulls to the base before priming, but I’m rebasing literally one hundred Plague Marines or more so I’m not stripping them first.
If you follow me on Flickr or frequent the Bolter and Chainsword you would know some of this. As it is I’ll embed a finished model photo below. If you have thoughts on how to kill Wraithlords or what is the optimal Plague Marine squad you can leave a comment below.