Once again the fighting intensified in the Pariah Nexus with the forces of Chaos facing off against the forces of Chaos and the forces of the Imperium fighting the forces of the Imperium. Why were these objectives so important that the Death Guard would fight the Chaos Knights and the Ultramarines would fight the Sisters of Battle and why was a third battle fought between the forces of Lord Godrick and Captain Snazzypants? Some mysteries are better left unsolved but if you want to read another Warhammer 40,000 narrative campaign battle report, you’ve come to the right place.
Summer has arrived in Alberta and people have plans and commitments off the 40K gaming table, if those commitments are another miniature wargame who am I to judge. This week’s games almost didn’t happen and for the next two weeks Bill our somewhat fearless leader will not be able to participate so some bonus games like the one played this week between Aiden and Bill may happen or we just may not meet for two whole weeks so we can get some serious painting done.
In the real world I have never played Aiden in a game of Warhammer 40,000 whereas Daniel had played him many times, hence the Chaos on Chaos crime. Aiden joined our campaign late so he wanted to get in an extra game so Bill played against him while Daniel and I watched and heckled. The record should clearly show that Bill did not win a game or Warhammer 40,000 this day, but I bought everyone nachos afterwords so were there any losers this Saturday afternoon?
The Forces of the Diseased Sons
Once again I chose my 40 PL after last week’s game and once again I did not know my opponent or the mission. My opponent turned out to be Chaos Knights one bigger one known as Lord Goderick and two littler ones known as Watchmaester Vyke and Gatekeeper Gostoc. I like the fact that everyone had a name and I wrote them down right away to make our story more engaging. My army was as follows:
- Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle 5 PL
- McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
- The Scarlet Fevers, five plague marines 6 PL
- The Cancer Cell, ten chaos cultists 3 PL
- Rhino with havoc launcher 4 PL
- Toe Jam, Hellbrute 7 PL
- The Right Hard Posse, five Blightlord Terminators 10 PL
I probably should have tried harder to make room for my terminators earlier as it stands they just had a single game. They have a gun that shoots over 24 inches, three wounds each but they are old and not optimally armed for 9th Edition, but I will get them some experience and battle traits and that might make up for it. I also had Toe Jam who is damaged and tends to die quickly without doing much, both contributed this game, but there can only be one unit marked for greatness.
The Mission, Deployment, and Everything
Aiden and Daniel arrived first so they set up two tables or one and half tables, but Aiden and I were both ready with army lists, though the mission was a surprise, it was “Dominate the Field”. So I set up the four objectives in the designated position. We forgot the affliction but otherwise Aiden and I did a good job remembering the rules and keeping score accurately and our game ended first.
The goal of this mission was to control objectives, the fact they were in set positions and you got extra points for taking them away from the enemy made for a bloody affair and only two models remained standing at the end of the game.
Against my better judgement I took “Turn their Hope to Rot” knowing I would have to kill the big knight, spoiler alert I did not succeed at this agenda as this was mine and eventually Bill’s first game against Chaos Knights. I actually acquired the book last week, but I’ve yet to even take it out of the shrink wrap, I’m just too busy at work. But my three year plan includes a centrepiece model, so now I’m considering a Chaos Knight as that big intimidating model to put in the miniature case. Enthusiasm is still high in our campaign so it will go onwards through the Chaos Space Marine codex with some even talking of starting a different force either instead of, or in addition to the one they’ve used so far.
My second agenda after that tangent was “Priority Target” this was a much better chosen agenda because every unit in Aiden’s army was a vehicle but killing the big knight going forward will be a challenge and I will need more higher strength guns and have already chosen my 40 PL force for next week.
I can not remember who got to choose sides, but I believe it was me. I often just stay with the side of the battlefield I’m on to speed up the game, but my army wasn’t even out of the case and I didn’t even exactly remember what I’d chosen but I generally deploy my cheapest units first and in this case that was the cultists. Lord Godrick was deployed last with the Gatekeeper deployed before the Watchmaester. There were no fancy Aeldari Ranger guns but none-the-less I put Toe Jam behind a building and even the rhino I tried to get in cover, but it turned out to be all for not, as after five consecutive ties I won the roll-off and chose to take the first turn!
Battle Round One
I’m so used to not getting first turn, it took me six rolls of the dice to get it. Aiden commented my army looked small but I don’t make the point costs and my most powerful unit was waiting to teleport in. I moved most every model. Toe Jam has enhanced engines which Aiden was playing wrong it is two inches of extra movement so he moved at maximum speed to line up a shot on a war dog.
Even though it was my agenda to kill the largest knight I decided to try and get the war dog off the objective so everything I could throw at the smallest knight I did, this meant my cultists, the rhino and both my characters advanced towards it. The Scarlet Fevers may have shuffled their feet but it turned out they were out of range and they are just not as shooty as Syphilis, but my commitment to not making clone squads will probably last for the duration of the campaign.
Generally during this game I remembered the rules, I even took time to shuffle through my stratagems at one point looking for some Hail Mary but the best stratagems cost more than a single command point. But early in the game I did not use any much to Aiden’s surprise. I did remember to cast Miasma of Pestilence or at least try, I may have failed.
My shooting was not overwhelming, Toe Jam with my most powerful weapons promptly rolled snake eyes for his twin-linked lascannons so I did use a re-roll there and yes my streak of not being able to roll a six to get it back continued for another entire game. This one in six chance has failed way more than six times in a row…
But after all my shooting not a single knight was dead but they may have been angry as Lord Godrick roared forward, this is when I explained that enhanced engines was plus two to movement and then an additional one inch to your advance and charge roll. Lord Godrick has one big gun and one little gun but he gets all kinds of re-rolls and even prevents you from getting re-rolls or even hitting him with anything but a 4+ later in the game and considering how much I rely on auras and plague weapons this wasn’t good news.
His laser destructor hit Toe Jam but even though, due to his battle scar, he instantly took a mortal wound Toe Jam survived with a single wound. Aiden almost used a re-roll on his damage roll but benevolently gave Toe Jam another turn of life. The Defiler is definitely better, more than two PL better in my opinion.
The Cancer Cell did not survive. Lord Godrick shot his heavy stubber at them killing two, but then the next knight, the Gatekeeper eliminated them entirely. The Rhino was the target of the third knight it has two Avenger Autocannons and rolls a lot of dice. Again the knights generally get to re-roll a hit and a wound every turn due to a house rule. The rhino ended up taking five wounds and Aiden tried to claim rhinos are disgustingly resilient and got out my book, I’m still not sure they are, what say you Internet?
The Gatekeeper tried to charge but failed twice.
In this mission you could score in the first turn because it didn’t say you couldn’t using Bill/Daniel logic so the Diseased Sons got 20 but the Chaos Knights only got ten victory points in Battle Round One as they controlled a lone objective.
Battle Round Two
I started my turn out by moving forward my two now exposed characters. I also moved the rhino closer to the objective to ensure control. Toe Jam may have also adjusted his line of sight. His BS/WS doesn’t degrade but the Knights do. I also teleported in the Right Hard Posse and they would play a large part in the game and justify why I included them in my starting 50 PL and why I’ll need to invest some time and energy optimizing them.
Sometimes I write lots of notes, sometimes I write a single word like “Smite” so yes I repeatedly tried to cast Smite on the Knights, Plague Wind was considerably less useful against them. I may add a second psycher as the campaign goes on. Shooting was not uneventful, the Reaper Autocannon did four wounds then the rapid firing combi-bolters even did one. This left the Gatekeeper at one wound so I decide to try and finish him off in H2H and had Toe Jam fire at the Watchmaester doing only a single wound. This configuration just does feel optimal in 9th Edition maybe I should add Blastmarker Billy.
Lord Godrick was now in range of my plasma gun so the Scarlet Fevers actually did a wound to the big knight, but then Aiden informed me it healed four per turn, which isn’t true I think it heals D3 so to really damage it you need to do at least four wounds in a turn, so lone pot shots won’t get it done.
Maceo declared his charge, McFly and the Right Hard Posse also declared their charge but it was Maceo who got to strike first and he promptly pasted the Knight.
To start his half of the turn Aiden used something known as “the leash”. I was paying attention and had read online how it was popular so I played Cloud of Flies on my Blightlords. Aiden may not have even intended to shoot at them so that was a big four command points I could have used for something more offensive. Of course the streak of not getting any command points back continued.
As he was now the closest model to the Watchmaester Maceo promptly took four wounds, disgustingly resilient likely helped but notably Chaos Lords have five wounds and Maceo would not take anymore for a considerable period of time.
A heavy stubber was directed Toe Jam’s way but he too survived though I had to use a command re-roll perhaps Aiden was being too cute or he was just underestimating how disgustingly resilient the Diseased Sons are. The rhino was not so lucky it took the laster destructor blast.
Lord Godrick was not finished he rolled a massive charge roll and promptly crushed Toe Jam in melee then due to his size and positioning was within three inches of the objective on my right flank. This gained the Chaos Knights a big thirty victory points and the score was now 40-30 for the Knights.
Battle Round Three
Of course I moved some models, but I also used Smite on Godrick doing three mortal wounds. A second psycher that moves faster has a lot of appeal as with all these high toughness models in the campaign now, one way I can potentially deal with them is via mortal wounds. The Death Guard have a number of ways to deal mortal wounds, but dealing them from outside charge range is nice.
I also cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Right Hard Posse this is much more affordable than Cloud of Flies. Maceo adjusted his weapon, supercharged his combi-plasma and did four wounds to the Watchmaester. Then he charged but the Chaos Knight used overwatch and I had to save three autocannon shots and possibly four more heavy stubber shots but I did it, Maceo went on quite a streak as the funk got stronger. He only did one wound but he did infect the Watchmaester and this means a lot more after last game and something I’ll have to plan to leverage better.
Maceo was feeling chuffed as the British say and was stuck in as the Chaos Knights started their turn. Godrick healed two more wounds and shooting must have been uneventful as the next thing I wrote down is Godrick charged the Scarlet Fevers. Of course I used overwatch and after some thinking used the Plague Brewers stratagem. But then I rolled only a single shot for my Plague Spewer. The Plasma Gunner also hit on supercharge, so does he just die or take a single Mortal Wound Internet?
Aiden said he died, but I swear last week it was just a single wound that was taken. It might not have mattered as Lord Godrick did a lot of wounds in H2H and Killious Bilious the Silliest never even got to use his power fist. The extra models definitely help but 12 PL is a lot to fit in a 40 PL game.
On the other flank Maceo got to strike and he killed the Watchmaester. But apparently the Chaos Knights have a strategem where he can come back to life, it isn’t automatic though kids, it is on a 4+. But of course it happens so the Watchmaester was back with three wounds (I think) and no longer in melee, it was looking bad for Maceo the Knight Slayer.
Battle Round Four
Most every model I have maneuvers towards the knights. Of course I Smite Godrick and do a single wound. I believe I split my fire with the Right Hard Posse. Their combi-flamer did a single wound to the Watchmaester, I should have shot the bolter barrels I think I always should as the flamer part always hits. I forget sometimes you can fire both barrels in 9th Edition. The combi-bolters in the squad also did a wound. However the Reaper Autocannon which was likely aimed at Godrick failed to wound.
Several of my photos are of dice or have dice in them there was definitely some swings in luck this game. Did I mention I could never roll a single six to get back a command point this paragraph? Maceo’s gun was working and he did a wound to the Watchmaester and of course he charged. This time however overwatch was too much and his last wound was taken, but killing two Chaos Knights in melee with your Chaos Lord is good sledding. This also shows how tough that Wraithlord is to kill, Aiden can confirm this.
In the Chaos Knight half of the turn Lord Godrick shot at the Right Hard Posse. I failed an invulnerable save and lost a model. The Watchmaester accomplished nothing with his compromised shooting. Of course Lord Godrick charges McFly and pastes him. Killing the larger knight is definitely a challenge, my hope may have started to turn to rot at this point but I did not yield.
Battle Round Five
I was worried my notes were going to let me down, but I did move the terminators towards Lord Godrick, but I turned some of them so they marched backwards as I split my fire using two guns on the Watchmaester and two on Godrick. It was Osteoporosis the Old School who did the deed killing the Watchmaester for the second time.
The score was 90 to 40 going into this turn so technically I could not win, but if the knights did not count as multiple models I would have. But as it was I still accomplished a lot this game, for instance the Plague Spewer did another wound to Lord Godrick and I charged.
This is where my dice grew even crueler, the rule where my 3+ to hit becomes a 4+ and my ability to re-roll plague weapon wounds goes away resulted in the terminators doing only a single wound. Apparently the rule is called Bale of Shadows or apparently not Aiden. I own this codex so that does not bode well for our next game…
Lord Godrick did five wounds, but I passed morale as they have leadership nine on the champion. They also have objective secured now and that meant I got thirty victory points which made the score a lot closer especially as Lord Godrick withdrew from combat then charged back in. I played Overwatch lacking the second command point to play Hateful Assault during my turn. Lord Godrick killed another terminator and of course I failed to do anything but the game was over.
The final score was 90-70 for the Chaos Knights and considering the beating they may have put on the Ultramarines a few minutes later I think that is respectable. This was my first game against Chaos Knights and my army is notoriously not good at killing high toughness large models and vehicles so Knights or any large model heavy army is my worst matchup. But this is a new edition to me and as I learn the rules more and enhance my campaign force I think I can do better.
So in the end it was another loss but Maceo killed two knights getting extra experience for the one that stayed dead. The Right Hard Posse also got extra experience for re-killing the Watchmaester but Lord Godrick proved a bit too tough. I think you need to get to him early before that rule where you need a 4+ to hit and can’t re-roll kicks in.
Maceo rolled a one and picked up a scar but I immediately used a requisition point to remove it. He may not be the best Chaos Lord but he is my Chaos Lord until he turns into a spawn or a Daemon Prince. Afterwards at the pub there was talk of resetting the campaign to allow new armies to join, but it is still early in my opinion. I marked the Right Hard Posse for greatness so they got their first battle trait. I gave them Grizzled to lean into their Right Hardness harder.
More importantly McFly picked up his second battle honour and now that I know the rules better I used it on the Conversion Field relic. This gives him an unmodified save and now he may prove more of a threat to Lord Godrick or anything really, he actually does a lot of wounds, he just can’t take many hard hits.
The campaign will officially be on hiatus but who is to say there can’t be a small skirmish or two in the Pariah Nexus while the Ultramarines are distracted. If you have thoughts on the new Chaos Knight codex, how it can fit into a Death Guard or CSM army or even if you have a clever way to kill toughness eight models with a plethora of special rules you can leave a comment below.