40K Narrative Campaign Week 18

Only the Ultramarines were brave enough to oppose the Diseased Sons of Nurgle, the Chosen Sons of Mortarion…

This week the Pariah Nexus was not such an active war zone, only the Ultramarines were brave enough to oppose the Diseased Sons of Nurgle, the Chosen Sons of Mortarion. The rest of the campaign forces can hold their manhoods cheap for those of us who fought on, well not Saint Crispin’s Day but we have our share of observances to choose from.

And maybe it wasn’t Agincourt and maybe no bards will sing of this battle but it was fought unto the last man in supposedly the largest game store in the world. Bill and I were roused early from our slumber to gourd ourselves for battle over plastic and cardboard and perhaps a little lead and resin. I know I fielded the heaviest model in the campaign, the Beast Rabban may his torque never slacken.

Our mission this day was Methodical Eradication. Our agendas were Turn their Hope to Rot and Survivor: Syphilis. An ill ash wind was blowing across the battlefield with no less than five objectives to be fought over by the Sons of Ultamar and the illegitimate Sons of Barbarus.

The Forces of the Death Guard

  • McFly the Malevolent, Plaguecaster of Nurgle, 5 PL
  • Syphilis Squad led by Bagonhead the Unbearable, 10 Plague Marines, 12 PL
  • The Scarlet Fevers led by Killious Bilious the Silliest, 10 Plague Marines, 12 PL
  • The Cancer Cell, led by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty, 10 Cultists of Nurgle, 3 PL
  • Billalexdevin & Stumpy, Spawn of Chaos, 2 PL
  • The Beast Rabban, Hellbrute, 7 PL
  • Rhino with a Havoc Launcher, 4 PL

Opposing them were several heroes of the Ultramarines Chapter including he of the snazziest pants himself, Captain Acheran. The Avenging Sons and a venerable dreadnought of considerable power were also present along with a Lieutenant and a Librarian who alas was not name Jocasta Nu. I have no idea if the Librarian is related to Menoeceus in anyway or if they’ll marry their own son.

Also on the battlefield were two inconsequential squads of genetically engineered super soldiers who, spoiler alert, died.

The field of battle

Before the battle was joined

The not so thin green and purple line.

We had a smaller table and it was decided rather than change missions or power levels to just giver on the minimum sized battlefield for the mission. We used the store’s terrain, perhaps the same box of terrain as in my last battle. There was much complaining but in the end it was determined the Death Guard were the underdogs and they were awarded two extra command points.

Of course I lost the first rolloff and Bill chose to remain on his side of the table and deploy on my right. Then after rolling several fours in a row I won the choice of going first so I did. Alas my army lacks all alpha strike capabilities currently and I think the ash wind blowing across the battlefield which I successfully rolled 4+ for on the first three turns prevented or restricted shooting over 24 inches.

Deployment was uneventful except me choosing to put nothing in my rhino and Bill infiltrating some Infiltrators on to an objective.

Battle Round One

I love the smell of Blight Bombardment in the morning especially when I have lots of command points and Bill has to defend one objective above all others. As you can see by the photo above I had setup assuming the worst with my heavy weapons in cover. I clearly had control of one objective and with the ash wind I was able to advance surprisingly far, but you score the primary objective in this mission at the beginning of your command phase so although I took several objectives I only got credit for one. If we did this mission over again I might opt to go second because I just don’t do much damage in my opening salvos of shooting.

The Ultramarine Centre

Also it should be noted I forgot the psychic phase but Bill let me cast my defensive power slightly late, but later I chose not to cast powers after forgetting the psychic phase again. When your campaign force only has one character you shouldn’t forget the psychic phase. Bill also forgot the pyshic phase during our game, for some editions they were just shooting attacks. I’ve written it down several times but in the heat of battle I forget to perform key tasks and this time it may have cost me victory or at least allowed the hated Captain Acheran to survive.

Then in the middle of writing this battle report I went on a mission to find something to hopefully remind me not to forget the psychic phase, perhaps this Litko product. But it seems pricy especially with the shipping options. There are free cheat sheets online, I may just print and laminate one of those, of course I made my own but I forget to look at it during the heat of battle.

After getting distracted online and doing an honest day’s work, I’m back to battle reporting. Though I also watched most of turn one of another battle report, Nurgle daemons look fun, but not shooting has gotten old so I will likely use them as allies rather than a pure force except maybe once in a blue moon in a small game.

In the shooting phase of this game the cultist’s flamer hit but was saved. Bolters did little but Bill wanted the Internet to know that my alpha strike did one wound, though the Blight Bombardment did worry him enough to read the card twice.

Ultramarine Turn One

The Ultramarines extra big dreadnought moved forward aggressively. Apparently it has four guns. Bill had an agenda that was securing supply caches aka all the objectives scattered across the board so one tactical combat squad and the infiltrators were busy doing that.

The Librarian was busy failing his first psychic test. We were under the impression you had to be in range to deny, but we could not find that text in either the mini book or the big book. Does such a rule exist loyal readers?

After learning I could deny even hiding behind a wall, I failed to deny the Librarian’s second psychic power.

Dreadnought dominates the centre

In the shooting phase, 8 cultists quickly died. But the Ultramarines are not done, the mega dreadnought split fire three different ways. The dreadnought managed to kill two plague marines with his biggest gun but zero spawn with some of his other guns. I believe the last two cultists were killed.

The dreadnought then charged the spawn so got to fight first and let the record show did 19 wounds killing both of them. So my disposable squads were quickly disposed of. Bill thinks I should hold the spawn in reserve and try to come on a table side and capture an objective. In another mission having units on two more objectives in turn one might have done something, but in this one they just died.

Dying isn’t much of a living so I will boost both of those squads if the campaign keeps going.

Battle Round Two

In this mission you score at the end of your command phase for the objectives hence no points for sprinting ahead and dying, but you also score at the end of the battle round for killing enemy units and not dying, another reason not to sprint like the wind and die. So after one battle round the official score was 16-5 for the Ultramarines.

To start my turn the Blight Bombardment landed, there were only two squads under it so it did 3 mortal wounds but it cost 3 command points so not the best deal, but I still think it has potential against the right army deployed the wrong way.

With my previously advanced troops being no more, the ash wind decided to blow South aka towards me so this didn’t slow me down but it would likely speed up the Ultramarines who all brought kites. I did remember to cast Miasma but even when I place the card right beside them, it seems my -1 to be hit is often conveniently forgotten. I’ll have to be more braggadocios.

I tried to Smite but the Ultramarines played Armour of Contempt which is not just a special rule but a stratagem too! So Smite wasn’t particularly effective.

My hellbrute, the Beast Rabban stepped out from behind a building and didn’t do much. I honestly think in 9th Edition on a hellbrute twin heavy bolters would be better because they are six shots at D2, the Reaper Autocannon doesn’t have longer range but does have higher strength. I have an unpainted Forgeworld Dreadnought but it has been so long I don’t remember what arms I ordered with it, it is not for Nurgle at any rate. I’m not sure I need to paint another Nurgle elite choice or even a Chaos Space Marine one, I have plenty.

Everyone’s favourite plague marines, Syphilis Squad did 12 wounding hits which resulted in three wounds. They have three battle honours so they are my best unit though I think an enbiggened Blightlords will take that crown when I get them painted.

The Scarlet Fevers also do twelve wounds with the Plague Brewers stratagem doing nothing, this is why I need to paint and probably buy even more Plague Spewers. Spew more plague, that is my plan.

Melee is joined

I also was able to charge the Avenging Sons but my dice rolls continued to be poor with the power fist champion, Killious Bilious the Silliest rolling double ones to wound. The rest of his squad did seven wounds with four failed safes so one Avenging Son remained on this flank, the missile launcher.

Ultramarine Turn Two

The ill blowing ash wind helped the other combat squad of Avenging Sons advance 14 inches. Predictably the missile launcher fell back. The Librarian tried to use Psychic Fortress and then Telepathic Assault which did nothing.

Ultramarines Advance

Lots of shots are fired at the Scarlet Fevers killing exactly one with the missile launcher who conveniently withdrew from melee combat.

On the other flank the flamer did six hits but I made all the saves. Then I wrote “Miasma!” because I cast it but then never seem to actually reap the benefit.

The Ultramarines had big plans and decided to charge the Phobos squad first so of course I fired overwatch and I killed one with the Plague Spewer, this is where I think it is best and why I want more, it can potentially whittle down a charging squad. In all, three units charged the Scarlet Fevers.

The Intercessors went first and I told Bill I was sensing a Counter Offensive as the dreadnought had charged Syphilis Squad and I chose not to heroically intervene or I just forgot. Either way I didn’t do it, because I wanted to keep McFly alive and I was thinking Syphilis would hold and I could counter charge.

I also used Creeping Blight which resulted in 3 damage being done to the dreadnought which did not quite bracket him.

In the end I lost three members of the Scarlet Fevers and four members of Syphilis squad who failed morale and I lost two more to that. Bagonhead remained, haven’t we seen this movie before?

Bagonhead fears no dreadnought, he has his trusty knife.

Battle Round Three

The score was now officially 21-16 for the Ultramarines but I then got ten victory points for holding three objectives as I had the objective secured squads or the champion of an objective secured squad.

Mind the dreadnought sized gap.

I didn’t take some key pictures but both McFly and Rabban moved to support Bagonhead. I really want the heavy flamer and I used to have one on Rabban I literally converted him to have it when the rule came into effect but now it is only the first that can have the flamer.

I didn’t have a lot of shooting but I did do a single wound with Smite. I wrote down that Bagonhead did one wound, I’m not sure how, I think from the Blightening as he has no pistol. I did remember to shoot the other champion’s plasma pistol.

After charging in, I went first with the Beast Rabban and chose to just target the Ultramarine Dreadnought as there can be only one. The Gravis Captain had intervened and in hindsight maybe I should have smacked him, because I did 19 wounds and then the Ultramarine dreadnought didn’t explode, but as a result McFly and Bagonhead got to stand around and watch Captain Snazzy Pants use his 8 attacks and two relics.

But before that the Librarian was selected to fight then I got to counter with the Scarlet Fevers who killed two, I was splitting my attacks between the little guys, the Librarian stayed away from the power fist wielding Killious Bilious the Silliest.

Ultramarine Turn Three

It was time for Fallback and Re-Engage. A reckoning is coming as there are ways to make that not go so smoothly and I keep buying codices so I think Captain Snazzy Pants is in for a surprise eventually. But as it is, this allows him to re-charge and go first in melee.

Fallback, re-engage, rinse, repeat

We didn’t forget the psychic phase or actually we did, but I let Bill cast his power then denied it with a twelve!

A krak grenade was thrown this is a forgotten option but they no longer are as strong as krak missiles and it did nothing to the Beast. Other shots were fired at Rabban but they all did nothing. Bagonhead did take a key wound however.

In melee four sword attacks were sent at McFly. His conversion field actually did a wound as I remembered an obscure rule much to Bill’s surprise, but McFly also ended up taking a wound. With his other four attacks Captain Snazzy Pants killed the Beast who didn’t explode. I do have that stratagem but I think I was low or down to zero command points by now. This is another strike against Blight Bombardment, sometimes later command points are more valuable.

Killious killed two and his drinking buddies killed one so the Ultramarines played Avenge the Fallen to avenge alas not the Avenging Sons, but some lesser squad.

Finally it was McFly’s turn and he hit all four times and ended up doing two wounds to the Ultramarine Captain.

Battle Round Four

Consulting my somewhat carefully taken notes the score was now 29-29 but I’m not sure either of us realized, but it was close until I forgot a key psychic phase, but with my newly earned command point I dug out a stratagem I plan to use more Diseased Effluents and did 4 MW to Captain Snazzy Pants. This left him with exactly one and he was in engagement range with McFly but I didn’t forget the shooting phase.

Damn you and your snazzy pants!

The rhino, remember my rhino, it had been sitting on an objective not seeing much and not getting shot at, but it can move and using its damaged combi-bolter lined up a shot across the battlefield killing the Avenging Son with the missile launcher! This was this unit’s first kill of the entire campaign, but in truth it was only this unit’s seventh game, Nurgle be praised!

After all that excitement I realized with the defender fighting first it wasn’t looking good for McFly who could have just used mind bullets, we talked about pretending I didn’t forget, but I wanted to feel the pain and shame.

The Captain only got seven attacks as I pointed out to Bill as no one charged this turn and he used a re-roll on a miss but that failed, but McFly did not make enough saves or revoltingly resilient rolls and died.

Ultramarine Turn Four

Losing McFly likely turned the game, he just doesn’t have the staying power of the other warlords in the campaign. My actual warlord turning into a Chaos Spawn definitely didn’t help, but if I can paint, reinforcements will be on the way.

I had considerably less models on the board, two in fact eventually. Killious Bilious did four wounds this turn as he finally got the hang of his power fist, the rhino unfortunately took six from the Gravis Captain.

Battle Round Five

The score was now 42 to 40 and the Death Guard were briefly in the lead but with no McFly and only two models, a damaged rhino and a lonely champion there wasn’t much I could do. I did get a command point.

Only two Diseased Sons remain.

The rhino of course put it in reverse but in the shooting phase did nothing. Killious Bilious did better and I used my command re-roll to kill the Lieutenant without a memorable name.

Captain Snazzy Pants of course finished off the rhino in melee and I failed the last armour save I had to make so no Diseased Sons survived. This was a disheartening loss, because I came close but then failed to play my best when it counted. I picked up no battle scars which was lucky, but the Ultramarine Lieutenant was not so lucky, maybe he’ll lose an eye like the Librarian did.

Post Game

I already gave away the key rolls and after updating my roster decided to award MVP to Killious Bilious the Silliest. The Beast Rabban did do pretty well, better than Toe Jam seems to do in 9th Edition, I do think Hellbrutes should get into H2H ASAP where their high strength and toughness counts for more.

As I now had five I had to spend a requisition point, so I increased my supply limit and the Plague Surgeon I assembled will now get recruited, this will delay my expansion of the Right Hard Posse and the Cancer Cell but the Death Guard need a new hero and I did build the custom campaign agenda specific objective marker.

If you have thoughts on the new Daemon Codex and how awesome my army will soon become you can leave a comment below. If you have a top secret cheat sheet you can share that too. Apparently it isn’t easy campaigning with the Death Guard.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

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