40K Narrative Campaign Week 12

It was a busy week in the Pariah Nexus with the arrival of not one, not two, but three new forces joining our narrative campaign…

It was a busy week in the Pariah Nexus with the arrival of not one, not two, but three new forces joining our narrative campaign. We didn’t actually gain any new players but with the release of the new Chaos Codex, Devin decided to start his Fallen Alpha Legionaries over using the new and improved rules. Why exactly Daniel and Alex decided to start campaigning with new armies I’m not sure but as a result we went back down to 25 PL which had the additional side effect that many of us got in two games of Warhammer 40,000.

I of course got my copy of the Chaos Codex along with entirely too many data cards I’ll never use. But I’m feeling pretty good that the Diseased Sons will make good Nurgle worshipping Iron Warriors but that tale has yet to be told and two battle reports are not going to write themselves. Maceo still is not a Daemon Prince or a Chaos Spawn and his continual inability to defeat the enemy warlord in melee just shows I didn’t know what I was doing when I chose my starting force as clearly he needs a bigger stick. He also needs to be less honourable.

Pregame

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Bill and I were not the first to arrive but we weren’t really late, Thomas and Daniel arrived at basically the same time with Devin arriving before we’d even set up much. Alex apparently slept in having stayed up late choosing which seven models he was going to use. I used the same 25 PL army in what turned out to be two games of the same mission against first Waaargh ‘Eadripper then whatever Alex is calling his Custodes, I’m suggesting the Golden Host with the Most.

The mission we played was Lying in Wait. It is in one of the campaign books and maybe everyone played it slightly wrong the first time. There is an attacker and a defender and the part we forgot the first time is the attacker can only start with three units on the board, this didn’t affect me as I was the defender during the first game, but the second game I had to split my forces and put some in reserves. There was also random bad things happening in our first game it was -1 to charge and advance plus -1 strength to everyone. This didn’t work out so well for the Orks. The second game it was -6″ to the range of vehicle weapons and the Custodes didn’t have any vehicles.

In both games for my agenda I chose “Turn their hope to rot” and in both games I completed it, which gained me two virulence points one I spent after the first game but I only rolled a three resulting in my custom plague becoming Oozing Diseased Buboes which is an improvement but the six in each chart, especially the Infections chart is so much more powerful than a one, two, or a three and I think I started the campaign by rolling a two, a one and a three. So the odds are I can improve everything further but earning virulence points has not proven so easy so I’m saving my other one to create another Plague Carrier.

The goal of the mission for the attacker was to kill three key units. As the defender I made it my three most powerful units. The Golden Host with the Most only had three units so I had to table Alex to accomplish the mission, but there were points for surviving and killing unit so math was involved in determining the victor.

The forces of the Diseased Sons

I didn’t really give it a lot of thought, I just had to take 15 power out of my successful 40 PL list from last week. What made it successful was having both a Defiler and a unit of Blightlords, one of them had to go and fearing Knights I kept the Defiler. I also had to bench McFly.

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle 5 PL
  • The Scarlet Fevers led by Killious Bilious the Silliest, five Plague Marines 6 PL
  • The Cancer Cell led by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty, ten Chaos Cultists 3 PL
  • Boris the Defiler, 9 PL
  • Billalexdevin Spawn of Chaos 1 PL
  • Stumpy Spawn of Chaos 1 PL

To start the first game Daniel got three extra command points but now that I remember that battle scars lower your campaign points maybe it should have been two. I actually picked up two more battle scars, one in each game. Daniel also started out rolling sixes and I started out rolling ones so he got to be the attacker and go first but I got to choose sides and true to form just stayed where I was and we easily finished our game before everyone else.

The forces deployed for game one, there are more orks out of frame on the right.

Game One Battle Round One

To start the game the green tide rolled forward or in truth they walked because they had no vehicles and if you look at the pictures it was more of a blue and orange and grey tide. Big shootas in the biggest and most powerful Ork mob killed two cultists. This was the unit that was going to have their ambition turned to rot, after much discussion about if orks had hope.

In my half of the turn I moved even more into a clump. Based on today’s results it seems the Diseased Sons are much better at defending and clumping up than they are at racing across the board but I will requisition them some more maneuverability or just more guns that shoot over 24 inches. As it was the cultists with their meagre firepower killed some boyz as did the Scarlet Fevers but I ruled that Boris couldn’t see anything so my most powerful unit did little but scuttle. Daniel tried to argue that Boris could maybe see something, but he didn’t argue too hard.

The Diseased Sons and Orks maneuver carefully.

Game One Battle Round Two

Cleanse the Xenos with fire!

The orks made a bunch of noise to start the second turn but it didn’t sound like “Waaagh”. They also shot at the cultists and spawn who I had bravely shoved to the front. Of course the orks charged so of course I used overwatch as the Cancer Cell still had their flamer. Some of the orks failed their charge roll twice but some made it killing every cultist but two, they then then failed morale but Cancerous defiantly stood alone against the not very green tide.

In the Death Guard half of the turn Boris and the Scarlet Fevers killed orks. The Scarlet Fevers forced a moral test and the shoota boyz ran!

Stumpy bravely charged into melee killing three Storm Boyz but Cancerous was cut down as was poor Stumpy.

Game One Battle Round Three

Waaagh! Can seven orks declare a Waaagh? Regardless the Ork Warlord decided to charge Maceo but rolled a six then re-rolled getting a nine, neither roll was enough. Other orks did make their charge roll, a Mekboy that was hiding behind the shoota boyz charged the Scarlet Fevers who used their Plague Spewer to spew him to death.

His name was Starguts.

Also let the record show it took four games but I finally rolled a six when I needed to and got my command point back!

Waaagh turns into a whimper.

In the first actual hand-to-hand combat of the battle round the slugga boyz killed Billalexdevin. The Storm Boyz may have taken a wound off Boris but were absolutely crushed by his claws. The minus one strength helped me but in the next game the random rule only hurt me.

Honour goeth before the fall

In my half of the turn Daniel complained he really wanted to see my warlord fight his warlord so I carefully maneuvered and used the Scarlet Fevers to kill the slugga boyz then I decided to not shoot at the ork warboss with either Maceo or Boris and without even asking what terrible relic he was armed with Maceo charged him alone. This resulted in the ork barely being scratched but Maceo took four wounds.

Game One Battle Round Four

After my inexplicable act of honour, ‘Eadripper pasted Maceo as he now got to fight first, but I erupted in filth and even that didn’t bring the last ork down, once again denying Maceo his third Chaos Boon.

Stratagems FTW!

In my half of the turn I definitely shot at the ork warlord but all of Boris’s guns did nothing. I think the Scarlet Fevers may have done better they also made their charge roll and unlike with Maceo I played some stratagems and killed ‘Eadripper.

This game proves that the Pariah Nexus isn’t big enough for two units with bright orange pants.

Intermission

Stumpy ended up with a battle scar, his second, but it wasn’t until I updated the spreadsheet and re-read the campaign rules for the umpteenth time that I realized it should lower my campaign points by one per battle scar. I gave the Scarlet Fevers MVP for the second game in a row and I also gained an Intersection Point, a Virulence Point and two Requisition Points so while we waited I spent some and developed my Oozing plague. Daniel really wanted to play again so when Bill and Alex finished, I think they were on turn one at this point, we switched opponents but not missions.

The Golden Host with the Most versus the Boring Boys in Blue

Pregame Two

It was this point we learned after I lost yet another rolloff, the attacker had to leave some of his forces in reserve. This didn’t affect the Golden Host with the Most because they only fielded three units. I ended up with my lord and plague marines similar to Bill’s deployment but my guns don’t shoot very far and even shorter than usual thanks to randomness, but Alex had no jet bikes or dreadnoughts so the first two turns flew by and maybe I should have stuck to my potshot strategy but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Also I believe there is a stratagem that extends the range of my guns, this may have been the game to use that ploy. It actually takes two stratagems as I don’t have enough guns that are plague weapons.

Seven on Seven, Nurgle be Praised!

Game Two Battle Round One

After some measuring I realized most of my guns were out of range but I took the first turn anyway as I knew very little about the Golden Host with the Most but I did watch them lose a battle on the Internet once. Boris had to move forward and actually rolled pretty well but all shots were saved by Alex.

In his half of the turn Alex did nothing. None of his guns shoot over 24 inches apparently so I thought why bring on my reserves when I don’t need to…

Game Two Battle Round Two

So I left my reserves in reserve. Alex was not too impressed with my strategy but I did move my plague marines forward but due to the ruins they didn’t move far, but Boris did manage to kill a Custodes with his heavy bolter.

Seven followers of Nurgle against the Imperium

The Aquilon Terminators advanced and somehow despite being armed with fancy heavy flamers they still got to shoot and killed one plague marine, but in the next picture two are missing so probably the non-terminator armoured Custodes killed another.

Game Two Battle Round Three

Hoping to split up the Golden Host with the Most even more I deployed my reserves. They of course have to be nine inches from the enemy but also within six inches of the far table edge. I put the flamer cultist on first, it really isn’t as good as a heavy flamer or a plague spewer. But then I put the two Chaos Spawn on the other side of the Golden Host with the Most. My plague marines and Chaos Lord moved forward as my soldiers are most effective within twelve inches excepting Boris.

Death Guard reinforcements arrive in Battle Round Three

The Scarlet Fevers and Maceo fired at the Aquilon Terminators, I even used the Plague Brewers stratagem, it is not so great because I often roll too few shots, I will paint some more plague spewers but my decision to go with the Chosen Sons has not paid many dividends so I will have to celebrate loudly when things finally do work out.

I will also have to buy and paint two Foul Blightspawn.

The cultists and Boris didn’t do a lot but they were on the board and ready to die to further Nurgle’s plans or are they Tzeentch’s?

Alex played something that sounded like Marshall Katah’s Salvis, but is apparently Martial Ka’tah Salvus, why is everything so hard to spell, given me shootas and slugga boyz, I can spell that. This apparently makes the Custodes shoot better. The Guardian Spears are dangerous they killed the Chaos Spawn. The Aquilon Terminators killed another plague marine.

The Custodes also charged the surviving cultists so of course I fired overwatch, but as mentioned previously a single flamer isn’t that powerful especially when I don’t roll the big six for number of shots. I actually had a lot of command points this game because two or perhaps three times I got my command point back after spending it. After weeks Maceo’s random tactical experience finally did something.

Although the Custode’s shooting went well their Captain failed to roll enough to charge, so of course Alex re-rolled and failed again. It didn’t matter that much though my pistol and brutal assault weapons finally got some use and once again the Cancer Cell passed morale as apparently you always pass on a natural one!

Game Two Battle Round Four

Four for Nurgle, two for the False Emperor

My reinforcements were not long for this world, but they did split up the Golden Host with the Most so I moved forward the Diseased Sons. Maceo actually managed to kill an Aquilon Terminator and infect the survivors with my newly created Oozing Diseased Buboes. But it doesn’t actually do anything, it is a lot of complicated rules but unless you randomly roll the big six at the crucial time, it is just a whole bunch of words on a page, but I do hope when I get more plague weapons on the board, at this moment in time I think I just had one, the rarely taken Plague Spewer.

I declare all the charges. Alex probably used overwatch but both my plague marines made it into melee but one appears to have taken a wound. Maceo also successfully made his charge and after some hemming and hawing as Boris isn’t exactly a standardly shaped model, but he only needed to make it to the barricade, so it was decided he was in.

One oddity about my army is, although I coverted Boris for the first Vancouver Grand Tournament when the rules were so new they didn’t even have an official model, the non-standard shape and size may at times affect the game. It isn’t often that Chaos gets something that the Imperium doesn’t though it is much more common twenty years later. But I wanted a gun that could shoot over 24 inches back in 2003, sound familiar?

I fought first with the Scarlet Fevers as they had the power fist and the least wounds. I even used Trench Fighters but although I gave Killious Bilious the Silliest one plague knife attack, he should always have an extra attack because he is a Vector of Death, or is he Internet? Despite infecting the Aquilon Terminators I didn’t roll any sixes. I actually rolled a lot of crappy dice with Boris especially, over the course of this game.

Round one ends in a draw

Alex chose not to interrupt but he did play Arcane Alchemy which unlike the Ultramarines and apparently our friends the Nurgle Renegades can only be played once a game, but yeah all that complaining in the previous paragraph is because I should be wounding on 2+ because I remember Contagion and Boris hits at strength 16 and even Maceo hits at strength 7 with plus one to wound thanks to his Diseased Talons Chaos Boon.

I did get back the command point for playing Trench Fighters, but I don’t think any models actually died in my half of the battle round.

In the Adeptus Custodes turn four, Maceo must have rolled better, he lost his plus one to wound on the charge from Diseased Talons but the Golden Host with the Most was out of Arcane Alchemy. They did play Slayer of Nightmares so now they had +1 to wound. This resulted in one wound being caused and in the very next photo there are no longer any plague marines on the board. But Boris the Defiler was still strength sixteen and killed the last Aquilon Terminator as eventually they disappear from the photos.

Boris and Maceo stand defiant

The Custodes outnumbered the Diseased Sons above but then in the next photo the Aquilon Terminators disappear. And to start Battle Round Five Boris healed so he took a wound at some point, look carefully at the counter.

Aquilon Terminators ain’t that tough

Game Two Battle Round Five

So after Boris healed, I obviously moved towards the enemy. I had something like five command points and I thought the Aquilon Terminators were not going to die so had planned to shoot into melee with Boris or Release the Toxins but then they died after surviving the initial charge so I moved as close as possible to the regular Adeptus Custodes.

A Fraternity of Heroes stands against the Diseased Sons.

They played something called Fraternity of Heroes, which extended the Heroic Intervention range of the Captain. I knew I would have to fight him eventually, but the plan had been to pick off the junior Custodes first.

I fought first with Maceo and he killed and thus infected the unit. Of course I didn’t have any plague weapons left by then, but I was proud I both remembered the rule and used it correctly. Once you are in Contagion range of the Custodes, they are not as tough and despite me rolling below average with him, Boris killed another.

The Captain on the other hand will take some effort to kill as the narrative campaign advances. Maceo managed to make both his saves, but now Boris was no longer in melee. I don’t know why I couldn’t consolidate into combat but it was ruled I couldn’t.

Since I still had three command points I played Eternal Hatred. The Internet seems to like this one but it never seems to do much for me and costs two CP, but after wounding him and having him fail his armours saves, the Custodes Captain can then shrug off the wound. I still had one command point left but didn’t need it to re-roll saves or to erupt in filth and thus the game ended.

Post Battle and Final Thoughts

The score turned out to be close but the Custodes won. I think I could have won if the game was six battle rounds as at power level twenty five not much is killing Boris and I think a bigger better newer Defiler will eventually happen, but perhaps not for Nurgle. I have the model and I have had it for years, since 2008 apparently, I bought it to get another Havoc Launcher as the one I bought on eBay did not arrive in time for some tournament.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to use the Diseased Sons with the new Chaos Codex as honestly that is how they started, there were no Plague Marines just Nurgle Renegades and I’ve run them that way at tournaments in 1997 and again in 2008. I’ve never really identified as the Death Guard, I guess I want to be more unique than that. I have all sorts of models going back to 2nd Edition and more recently that can not be used using the current Death Guard Codex. I want to do Nurgle Bikers and Nurgle Raptors, but those and other crazy ideas will have to wait until next year.

With how well the Scarlet Fevers are doing I must enbiggen them. I also think they need an assault weapon so I will build and paint my first Plague Marine with a Blight Launcher. I don’t know if I’ll get all that done this week, I doubt it, but that is the new painting priority so the newest Burning Sores will get pushed aside again.

The Cancer Cell now has two battle scars thanks to my ability to both field them and roll key ones. They also have thirteen experience points I think, so they too need to be enbiggened as once you hit sixteen that option goes away. The Scarlet Fevers are currently sitting at 15, this is why I made Maceo MVP of the second match. He is now three experience points away from earning another battle honour. I still hope to kill the enemy warlord with him, but it is possible to achieve Daemonhood or Spawndom without accomplishing that.

I did read in the new Chaos Codex you keep your experience points if you turn into a spawn which is something, but it is better to turn into a Daemon Prince obviously as then you possibly get to keep your relics. If I picked a new Death Guard army list I would have different HQ and I would shift around my relics and warlord traits. Under the newest matched play rules, which we aren’t really using in our now several months old narrative campaign, you have to pay command points for every relic and warlord trait, which is kinda how it is in the narrative campaign except you pay requisition points.

So expect some more painting and modelling posts. I tried hard but playing two games of Warhammer 40,000 and typing up two battle reports is a lot of work, so I gave this a final edit with fresh eyes, but when it does get publish you can leave your thoughts below on how to defeat the Adeptus Custodes and all the units and stratagems I should be using.

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 Snazzy Pants 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 Snazzy Pants.

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 Snazzy Pants 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 Snazzy Pants 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.

Rebasing Plague Marines Continues

We are pretty busy at work, but I made some time to paint more mud and skulls…

We are pretty busy at work, but I made some time to paint more mud and skulls. This time I put the Wraithbone right out of the pot onto the plastic skulls and that made a mess, so I can’t recommend that. I’ll probably use the spray on Wraithbone again next time or some brush on primer.

The bases were enbiggened using the adapters I got from Tabletop Adapters. They fit pretty good, but you still have to fill in some gaps with filler, then glue and sand. Then you re-drybrush and it looks pretty good. The skulls are from GW, they come in a big box, this actually might be the rare good deal from GW, but there are other miniature skull manufactures.

For those following our 9th Edition Narrative campaign or Warhammer 40,000 this will give me two ten model squads of Plague Marines. This is Syphilis who became my maximum Plasma Gun squad which in 9th Edition is three. The champion can now have one and then one per every five models in the squad. The rest of this squad will have bolters and then a banner/icon, the Sigil of Decay.

Syphilis Squad
Fresh Recruits for Syphilis Squad

Narrative Campaign Week 5

Attacker: Hostile forces continue to hinder the progress of your crusade. You must disrupt their supply lines or their forces will over-power you and leave you unable to push forward.

Defender: A vicious counter attack has been launched against you. Muster your army and defend vital supplies.

Players will play one mission of Sabotage as either the attacker or defender
Blight Bombardment marker
My Blight Bombardment marker

I want to get back to converting new champions as I do think especially using Power Level the Power Fist may be worth it. You can actually give a model a fist and a plasma gun whereas in the past you could only give your champ a plasma pistol and a power fist, so I might have to build that truly overarmed champion either to lead Syphilis or some other squad.

The next Plague Marine squad I add to the campaign will be a melta gun armed one, but that might not be for a week or two as I also want to bulk up my cultist squad and I still need to paint the new plague marines I have on my painting table. I plan to convert more as I’ve yet to try the Blight Launcher out in battle. If you have thoughts on arming plague marines and champions you can leave them below.

40K Narrative Campaign Week 4

Once again five opposing forces were in conflict in the Pariah Nexus…

Once again five opposing forces were in conflict in the Pariah Nexus, this resulted in the first three-way battle of our Warhammer 40,000 narrative campaign as the Ultramarines, the Aeldari, and the Death Guard all battled over some buried archeotech. Elsewhere in the sector the Sisters of Battle triumphed over the not quite Chaos but that is a tale for another day.

Due to our campaign currently having five active players it was decided to try a three way battle. Also the local gaming store was ridiculously busy so we barely got to play at all. There are a lot of extra rules for a three-way narrative campaign battle, I’m not sure I remember them all. I could spend a requisition point to make two of my units treacherous which I did. Then I could have a different agenda but there were also special stratagems and underdog points.

Another Sub-optimal Death Guard Army

This time I did have a plan, I took all my cheap units with the idea being I’d have more units than my opponent and thus would get to put my better units down last, alas I never planned for a three-way game with sparse cover. I’m sure the Internet will be disappointed. Next week we may go back to 25 PL or bigger tables or maybe if we have to play a three-way game that can be the 25 PL game and the standard match can be 35 power level.

  • Billalexdevin, Spawn of Chaos 1 PL
  • The Cancer Cell, ten Chaos Cultists 3 PL
  • Rhino with havoc launcher 4 PL
  • Syphilis squad, five Plague Marines 6 PL
  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord 5 PL
  • Toe Jam, Hellbrute 7 PL
  • Boris the Defiler 9 PL

Mission Setup

The terrain was once again setup before we knew what mission we would be playing. This one was called “Buried Treasure” or something. There were six objectives but there were also three deployment zones so it was very tight placing the objectives. Then one of the objectives was the actual buried treasure the others were nothing of value. You could preform a dig action with your Infantry and if you found the archeotech you would learn by consulting a die hidden under a cup. If you didn’t find it you’d learn which objective was actually the buried treasure.

Agendas

Once again I did a poor job at choosing my agendas. None of the treacherous agendas seemed like I’d have a good chance at accomplishing them but with three armies I thought Assassins might be a good option. The Ultramarines alone had three characters, the Aeldari had but one. From the Death Guard codex I chose Turn their Hope to Rot. The Aeldari had a Wraithlord and Dark Reapers which were the same power level and I wrote down the Dark Reapers but I ended up in H2H with the Wraithlord where I forgot to use my Contagion ability and spent many turns stabbing the toughness eight paint.

Going First

There is a bidding mechanism where you can wager command points for a greater chance of going first. Alex must have been paying better attention than me as he wagered and won first turn. Bill and I opted not to gamble and ended up rolling off to go second which I won, which meant Bill got first choice of deployment zones. This combined with our tight table meant I did not have a lot of cover. There is also an underdog mechanism. The Ultramarines were somehow considered to be the best force and the Aeldari the worst so Alex got two extra CP and I got one.

Deployment

Seeing I had little cover, I opted to put both Syphilis and Maceo in the Rhino but it never even got to move. I actually deployed the Cultists first and put them behind some ruins as they actually benefit from cover, but what they also benefit from is the fact they are cultists and are not a high priority target. Boris went by them pointed towards the Ultramarines but after seeing all the Aeldari first turn firepower he rotated to return fire. Toe Jam was deployed out of sight as best I could, but the Aeldari can move, shoot, then move again! The last model I deployed proving it isn’t so useful was Billalexdevin which I hid behind the rhino.

The three armies deploy

We played that you couldn’t score any victory points in Battle Round One and both the Ultramarines and the Aeldari had rules allowing them to deploy outside their deployment zone so they weren’t cramped in a corner. The Ultramarines also had the Intercessors in reserve. The Ultramarine army had three characters and one Primaris squad, the one I dubbed the Plain Janes, and some Incursors. The Aeldari had two Guardians squads with weapon platforms, the aforementioned Wraithlord, some Rangers, some Dark Reapers and an Autarch with a Dark Reaper missile launcher.

Battle Round One

The Aeldari got to go first and if it isn’t obvious they were by far the shootiest army on the table and almost all of that fire was directed at the Diseased Sons. I think one squad of Guardians and their weapon platform went towards the Ultramarines. The Aeldari are all kinds of words that are hard to spell and they have Strands of Fate which apparently will be even more powerful next time as Alex is still learning the rules.

Battle Round One Begins

The Dark Reapers shot first and I of course popped smoke on the Rhino, but it didn’t matter as the Guardian’s Bright Lance was easily able to destroy the rhino. It did not explode and everyone in it survived, so I can’t say all my dice rolls were bad, but I once again forgot key rules and didn’t use my command points wisely. Now outside the safety of the Rhino the Rangers could target my Chaos Lord even though he was behind the Plague Marines. He took two wounds.

The Wraithlord simply walked around the cover to target Toe Jam with two Bright Lances. The Wraithlord also has two flamers and some big sword with multiple attack modes I would come to learn. Toe Jam can not pop smoke and in two games has yet to move or shoot. I think the Aeldari also killed an entire squad of Ultramarines who had popped smoke somehow.

Death Guard Turn One

I love the smell of Blight Bombardment in the morning…

I knew with three armies on such a small table it would be a bloody battle. There is an opportunity to make deals, we didn’t do much of that. Alex killed 11 PL of my forces and one cultist died when Toejam exploded. The cultists moved towards an objective. They did not advance as if you do they can not shoot, but they only had three autoguns so perhaps I should have advanced, as it was they fired towards the Ultramarines doing nothing. Boris turned to face the Aeldari but his shooting was not so effective. With two blast weapons and twin-linked heavy bolters I chose the Guardians as his target.

I did kill five Guardians then they failed their morale test and four more fled but enough remained to operate the gun platform. I actually shot Syphilis at them and possibly Maceo too. I knew the Rangers would be hard to hit in cover so didn’t even try.

Ultramarine Turn One

The Ultramarines did stuff, just not very effective stuff. With one squad dead, one in reserves and three characters most of their fire went towards the other Guardian squad. I couldn’t see it, every now and then Bill would shoot at the Cancer Cell but they actually survived a while, passing at least one morale check and accomplishing something by digging on an objective.

Battle Round Two

Another losing gunnery duel

The Aeldari were clearly winning but the score was officially tied. This mission scored at the end of your turn. One Guardian squad did stand still and dig, the one over on the Ultramarine flank. Even though it is expensive and Aeldari move seven inches I aimed the Blight Bombardment the turn before right at an objective forcing the surviving Guardians and more importantly the Rangers to scatter.

It didn’t matter the Wraithlord strode forward and Boris died. The Wraithlord had help from the other Bright Lance which did six wounds! I don’t know why I didn’t pop smoke… We had a very small table so I spent a lot of time getting stuff out of a bag or putting stuff into a bag. Maybe I’ll move to the burbs and get a bigger place someday. Actually the notes show Karic something something, the Autarch killed Boris but most of the wounds were done by the three Bright Lances.

The Ultramarines have some banner where when they die they can still return fire, this resulted in the Ultramarines firing at the Cultists who were just standing around at least once during the Aeldari turn. The Wraithlord charged Syphilis, I used overwatch and with their plasma guns and the Arch-Contaminator warlord trait and Maceo’s other aura they did a wound. The best thing I can say is he didn’t wipe them out in one turn, but I completely forgot my Contagion and spent half the game trying to wound toughness eight armour with strength four weapons.

Toughness Eight Should Have Been Less…

Death Guard Turn Two

The Aeldari scored twenty victory points from digging and standing around and I was now down 20 PL of my 35 PL army. The cultists moved right on top of the objective their shooting isn’t the best, they are just random models, I will improve the squad eventually, but their offensive output will always be limited due to low strength weaponry. Maybe the next Chaos Space Marine codex will help them? Maceo went one way around the melee and Billalexdevin went the other.

Aeldari Rangers did four wounds to my Chaos Lord

After last week’s game against the Sisters of Battle I started using both barrels of Maceo’s combi-plasma gun. I think I shot at the lone Guardian. The Blight Bombardment actually landed and one Ranger was a little too close but using Strands of Fate, Command Points and who knows what else I think one died even though I swear I rolled six mortal wounds. I also played the Blightening as I had three Plague Marines in H2H. But due to my forgetting a key rule I had to roll sixes to wound. Maceo lets Plague weapons re-roll to wound so I rolled a lot of dice, but the Wraitlord always seemed to get re-rolls and this turned into a long melee.

Both Maceo and Billalexdevin got to charge. The damn Rangers had done two more wounds to Maceo in his turn two, so I spent command points and made some key armour saves to live a while longer. Maceo was made years ago for 4th Edition and is definitely not optimal but he has weapons basically no one else in my army has, so I gave him a chance to command to start 9th Edition. The Power Maul is +3 to strength but then has low AP and does one wound. He also has a Chaos Boon which I did remember to use which gives him +1 to wound in melee so he could wound on a 4+ against the Wraithlord but it could actually be even better if I could remember to take one Toughness away.

Toughness Eight is Tough, but never again!

I also used Trench Fighters. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to making my Plague Marine squads better and I think especially in a Power Level game the powerfist armed champion is looking better and better. He would still have his knife and thus would benefit from Trench Fighters. I seem to like that Stratagem and the Blightening a lot, often opting to take the charge especially with my plague flamer squad. I plan to add some more plague flamers to my army.

What I didn’t remember to do and never again had enough CP to do was Release the Toxins that is another stratagem I like, the Death Guard Characters have a lot of short ranged stratagems so I need to both get close to the enemy and then not die, so at some point I’ll have to either boost my HQ or invest in more powerful HQ choices. I also could have benefitted from the Plague Surgeon model I bought. So much painting to do, so little time and energy.

Ultramarines Turn Two

I swear there were three armies set up on the table, but all the Ultramarines did was kill a couple cultists and even then it took them most of the game to see that squad off. They actually dug and discovered objective five was the treasure, aka the second farthest one form my deployment zone. Since we all dug the score was 20-20-20 but I’d taken by far the most damage and was now getting underdog points.

Battle Round Three

I was saving my underdog points as basically you could buy XP with them. I was also making zero progress on my agendas and to get the archeotech would have to go through the entire Aeldari army. The Wraithlord can shoot in H2H so he flamed Maceo and put a Brightlance into other unit(s). Billalexdevin had gotten 2D3 plus another D3 attacks in H2H but he has very poor armour and his part in the game was over. Syphilis or at least Bagonhead their champion would prove more resilient.

With almost all my surviving models in H2H or being lowly cultists the Aledari firepower killed more Ultramarines. Apparently squads of less than three models can’t screen so the three Ultramarine characters not only became the target of the Rangers but the Bright Lance and Dark Reapers too. The Autarch eventually stood on the key objective until he could stand no more.

In H2H the defender fights first so Maceo who was by far the best at wounding the Wraithlord went first he did two wounds but then the Wraitlord struck him down. This meant my re-roll all ones to hit and failed plague weapon wounds ended, but the Wraithlord was running out of wounds.

Three Armies fight over the Archeotech

Death Guard Turn Three

I think I had three cultists and one plague marine left maybe I had slightly more models, but the cultists moved towards the key objective and got in flamer range but then I rolled a one and they did very little with their flamer they had been lugging across the battlefield for three turns. I think I played the Blightening again and a lot of dice were rolled, the Wraitlord may have been down to one wound, he may have even died then re-rolls were used.

I actually may have killed the Wraithlord the turn before, Bagonhead did the deed then advanced to hide behind a rock. I assume the Ultramarines did stuff, they may have spent all their shooting to kill three cultists as eventually my army was down to a single model.

A lone Plague Marine surveys the battlefield

Battle Round Four

The score was now 30-30-40 with the Ultramarines ahead, they used one of their characters to dig and learn that objective five was where it was at. It was about now that my underdog points were not proving very valuable. I used them to buy basically 3 XP. The Guardian fired at Bagonhead the one man army. The Bright Lance however fired at the Ultramarines, the Rangers, the Reapers, and the Autarch too.

Bagonhead Turn Four

The one man wrecking crew known as Bagonhead the Unbearable moved out from behind the rubble and put two plasma shots into the last Guardian. As you can’t shoot a weapons platform without a Guardian the last Bright Lance took the damage then I charged the surviving Guardian. I rolled box cars and with my three attacks killed the Guardian. Then I consolidated to within an inch of the Rangers.

Who needs stealth, when you have a bag on your head?

Ultramarine Turn Four

It was about then that Bill started doing math. He had lost his banner bearer due to a Bright Lance to the face and there was some H2H, with the Autarch being involved, my memory is getting hazy but the Autarch died, there may have been four Ultramarines left, so the Aeldari may have outnumbered both forces, Alex certainly killed the most stuff over the course of the game.

Battle Round Five

The Aeldari Charge!

There were still Dark Reapers but I’m not sure if the Autarch made it to turn five. He and the Ultramarine characters all died. The Rangers shot then charged Bagonhead the Unbearable as Alex needed to have two objectives to win. Both the Rangers and Bagonhead had Objective Secured so I had scored no victory points in turn four. I think the Dark Reapers also charged, they have two attacks each with the butts of their guns, but the Rangers just have one, however chargers fight first…

Bagonhead survived and may have even killed an Aeldari Ranger. On the other flank the Dark Reapers died but it might have been in shooting as the tricksy hobbits I mean the Ultramarines can withdraw from H2H then shoot.

The legend of Bagonhead the Unbearable grew as he managed to defeat the Rangers in H2H. He had to make some key armour saves and I used my underdog die to buy smokescreen for just him which was +1 to his armour save against shooting and the Rangers did shoot at him doing a single wound, but at the end of the game there was no Aeldari! All three Ultramarine characters were killed by the Aeldari but the two jump back pistoleers or whatever they are called also survived with victory going to Bill as he got fifty VP on the last turn for holding the archeotech objective, he also earned a campaign relic!

Post Game

That was a bloody battle with four models surviving. Bill was the big winner as he gains XP for passing morale tests and earned a campaign relic. Alex’s Aeldari are super shooty but not so strong in H2H and will be weaker next we play as I will remember my Contagion for the entire game and actually ordered some game aids to help me remember. I failed at both my agendas as the Ultramarines killed the last three Dark Reapers, I think the Cultists killed one but with one plague champion I finished off three Aeldari units so I gave Syphilis man of the match and then with my underdog points and having done so well at digging I gave the Cancer Cell +3 XP too.

Death Guard Infantry Battle Honors

Post game, Bill and Alex were going gangbusters adding buffs to their units, Bill got a relic, Alex killed most everything on the board and got extra XP for killing Chaos aka me. I wanted to get food, but looking at the chart unless your squad is H2H focussed I don’t see how Death Guard infantry don’t take +1 to hit in shooting first so all three of my troops now have tri-lobes. I also spent a requisition point to boost the size of Syphilis so it will now be ten models strong and have a third plasma gun.

I still think the optimal plague marine squad has not been determined but I do think I can boost my champs more. I like the Sigil of Decay and Trench Fighters so I’m not sure you want to max out on upgrades especially if you are paying points for them, so I will build my Plague Marine squads to all be different and “realistic” rather than trying to cram every upgrade into one unit. I also may create two new units, one green and one purple as I don’t think 14 let alone 20 model plague marine or Nurgle renegade squads are coming back, even the 30 model Death Guard Chaos Cultist squad may disappear at some point.

Small squads have their place. I’m not sure if I want to do ten Blightlords in a single squad as when teleporting it would be even tougher to find a landing spot. I will still give myself some flexibility to swap champs, special weapons or go down to five models, but I have enough painted models to field 111 Nurgle renegades which is more than seven squads. Plus I have HQ, undivided troops, even Khorne bezerkers and noise marines waiting to be requisitioned. And I know I can build more models, so I will try to paint all the new ones I bought or at least most of them, I’ll mostly be painting special weapons and champs for 9th Edition because I have plenty of power armoured bulk.

Requisitioning New Troops

Now that they are bloodied I bought Syphilis five more members, I actually plan to enbiggen six more models including one with a plasma gun, but after that this squad may be done. I can also use my squads as Nurgle renegades so they have heavy weapons or options that Death Guard can no longer have, but based on rumours I have models that will have no rules in the new Chaos Space Marine codex too so some models will spend this edition in cases.

I plan to get a Lord of Virulence eventually because I’m the plague flamer guy apparently. I never used my Plague Brewers stratagem this game, but eventually I may buy more bits on eBay or convert more plague flamers, I have several on the painting table now, but I don’t plan to buy many more new models this year, I gotta paint some of the ones I already own, what is optimal anyway? Hopefully next game all my +1 to hit and -1 to toughness will start adding up to victory.

If you have thoughts on using the Death Guard in a narrative campaign or how best to equip a plague marine squad you can leave a comment below.

A moral victory, is still a victory right?

Yesterday’s game became today’s game and killing all your opponents models became a loss…

Yesterday’s game became today’s game and killing all your opponents models became a loss, but we’re talking practice here, practice. As you may have guessed Bill texted me and asked me if I could play 40K on this holiday Monday in Alberta and I ended up playing Devin again, as we showed up and were prepared, well maybe not totally prepared but I had four Nurgling Infested Objectives!

As you may have guessed our campaign has not started, but I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that the campaign that still does not have a name, the campaign for which I still haven’t painted all the models I need to paint, the campaign for which I haven’t prepared all the index cards I need to prepare, the campaign where some players haven’t even decided on their faction, the campaign for which I will once again change my starting 50 PL is going to start next Saturday. Unless of course it snows again or someone has to work.

Starting Campaign Force

There will be an official Google sheet and I will prepare index cards for all my units and I will keep a journal, not just a blog, though everyone is starting to come around to becoming Instafamous. Although you start with 50 PL of supplies, you may be forced to play 25 PL games so you need a legal and small Patrol detachment. Today I played with just 23 PL because we’re talking practice, but hopefully I learned something and the ability to take exactly 25 PL of legal Battle Forged army may be an advantage I need, to have a chance against our newest recruit, Alex with an E!

50 PL of Death Guard

  • Chaos Space Marine Lord
  • 10 Plague Marines
  • 5 Plague Marines
  • 10 Chaos Cultists
  • 5 Blightlords
  • 1 Defiler
  • 1 Chaos Spawn
  • 1 Rhino

The biggest change was to drop McFly the Malevolent my Malignant Plaguecaster for the moment. He is exactly 5 PL so he is an easy recruit, he is painted, he has been rebased and people think that is a valuable addition to a Death Guard force. This strategy will allow me to go up to the next detachment in size, because I will have 2 HQ and 3 Troops. I replaced McFly with a lowly spawn and a rhino.

Bill has an irrational hatred of rhinos, but my main troops move 5 inches. I can not win some missions without greater movement and you can mount a havoc missile launcher on a rhino so that gives me another gun that can shoot over 24 inches. The chaos spawn will not do much, eventually maybe I can recruit four more, but having something that is one power level makes math easier both now and in the future.

My suboptimal army

Today’s Army

My army list for today was simply one Chaos Lord, Maceo the Maligned whom I’m beginning to think is not optimally armed but no one else has his stick or his gun in my entire collection so that makes him special. He has also never led a major excursion or should that me incursion of the Diseased Sons. In a perfect game he won’t get stuck in H2H or get shot at much, but I do think a terminator lord or one of “the Lords of” would be better. I also had the freshly rebased Syphilis squad which already I think would benefit from more members and even more guns so that will be another early campaign requisition. Finally I had my ragtag group of cultists led by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty plus Boris the Defiler.

My Opponent’s Army

Devin once again went with his Fallen and some cultists. He changed his Lord’s armament I think he had the Black Mace and I think he boosted his Chaos Space Marines to ten models and they might have gotten a banner of some sort. Their champion had a power fist.

Pregame

Campaign games require a lot of preparation and maybe even more work between games. I know I can’t keep up painting like this so I will not get the extra 10 victory points for fully painted unless we stick to 25 PL forever. Fully painted is a thing, but WYSIWYG appears not to be a thing…

Our plan today was to play campaign mission one “Sweep and Clear” and our plan going forward is everyone in the campaign will play the same missions right up until someone misses a week, then I don’t know the plan. But we will play “Sweep and Clear” next week and it won’t be practice, it might not even be 25 PL or 23 as was the case for me today.

I could have taken some Deadly Pathogens but I wanted to try my units as they would appear in the campaign.

I won some rolls, I became the Attacker, not sure that is advantageous but I got to place my newly painted objective. Devin got to go first and he got to choose sides, so I didn’t win all the rolls, nor did I make all my 4+ invulnerable or even half, but that is foreshadowing.

Deployment

Devin put one of his cultist squads in the ruins with an objective, I placed my cultist squad basically diagonally opposite in ruins with an objective. He placed his other cultists in some other terrain on his opposite flank, so my left his right. I put my purple plague marines on the far side to advance on that objective. He placed the rhino on one flank and I placed my defiler whose non-standard shape may be an issue to some, over by the cultists hoping to shoot the rhino because my agenda was to kill the squad in the rhino, his agenda was to kill my lord which I forgot about, though I think I wrote it down.

Both lords were deployed last, his by his rhino and Maceo by my plague marines. They would meet and one would die.

The enemy battle line

Battle Round One

Devin got to go first so he roared a rhino up and it skidded behind a ruined building. One squad of cultists advanced and his chaos lord had a counts as jump back or something. Devin had very little shooting and did not kill a model. The mission does not let you score your primary objective in turn one so it was on to my half of the battle round. Devin used a CP for a smokescreen.

My Turn One

I moved my cultists up to the wall, they really should be armed better and I’d prefer it was a bigger squad, but 10 cultists that is weeks of painting for me, so it all depends how the campaign goes whether it happens, but I own a lot of unpainted models. My defiler actually backed up because I thought he might try to charge and I was lining up my big guns. My lord and plague marines moved 5 inches forward. I forgot to shoot with the lord, but the plague marines killed three cultists. I like the icon of better bolters. I really do think a ten strong squad of mostly bolters can work, I will experiment with different configurations during the campaign.

So at the end of battle round one, the score was officially zero zero, but I had killed three cultists so it kinda felt like I was winning, but it turns out my army is too slow to walk to the other deployment zone.

Battle Round Two

His rhino and all his chaos space marines did not pursue the cultists instead they drove towards the Nurgling Infested Objective. His rhino captured the other objective in the middle of the table. In 9th Edition you have to get out of the rhino before it moves so he decided to stay in the rhino and this time he did not use a CP to pop smoke. His shooting was once again ineffective. He did score 20 VP as at the start of his command phase he had his two objectives.

Capture the Objective, Kill the Enemy

My Turn Two

In my half of the round, I scored 10 VP as the Cancer Cell can indeed sit on an objective and hide behind a wall. They stayed put while my vintage kit bashed Defiler advanced, in hindsight maybe that was the model to run headlong at the enemy deployment zone, but honestly I brought it to give me some shots over 24 inches not to win a one hundred meter sprint. The plague marines and my Lord walked 5 inches forward, this was important as it got their plasma guns within 12 inches of something.

When everyone was on the plasma bandwagon I stuck with my meltas and flamers for the most part but I did build Syphilis which used to be able to be 20 plague marines strong and if used as a havoc squad have four or was it three plasma guns. Anyway it is a very big, very purple squad. I have another smaller purple squad, the Scarlet Fevers who have a less cool banner but maybe better champs, but for this campaign it will be the Burning Sores and Syphilis to start.

The bolter plague marines always get to rapid fire and if they are near the lord and the banner of better bolters they can roll some dice. Bolters have no AP in this edition of 40K, hence why I like meltas and my melta squad will be the next Plague Marine squad requisitioned into the campaign. As it is, they rolled a lot of dice, I did not roll any ones with the plasm guns but his lord got a fright. His Chaos Space Marine Lord has a 4+ invulnerable save and I think was in cover too, so he survived but I did do a wound.

My defiler has two blast weapons and with the split fire rule, I generally put the battle canon err Defiler Canon into the rhino and the other two guns into infantry. Last game it was the heavy bolter that did better because it always gets six shots, the havoc launch has to get lucky to get six shots, but really I built the model to get the big gun which used to be able to indirect fire. I’ll probably get some Plagueburst Crawlers eventually, but as unpurchased, unpainted models they are way down the list on what might get requisitioned in our campaign.

My cultists well two of them fired off some pot shots as cultist on cultist crime is what I’m all about. Their big gun, is not so big, but I think they need it so boosting this squad to twenty models will be another campaign and painting goal.

Battle Round Three

Devin got his Chaos Space Marines out of his rhino and along with his lord, prepared to charge my thin purple line. His two cultists in his deployment zone left cover to support them. His rhino roared towards my cultists and his unbloodied cultists were creeping around in some ruins.

He made both his charge rolls and once again the turn before I did not try to charge because honestly I think I’m supposed to take the charges and I don’t have anything that opens rhinos up, a power fist could easily happen I have several champs with one, but I’m trying to theme my squads and make them all unique and special so that is another unit to requisition, the power fist champ led Plague Marines, I think I can do two or three squads like that, but I usually just have one. Every devotee is a unique and beautiful snowflake in the eyes of Nurgle.

I did miss my plague flamers and along with my two plasma guns I can have a plague spewer and in my very first practice game I did, so that model will be pressed back into service because he looks cool and I’m the plague flamer guy apparently.

The battle truly begins

Chargers fight first so my guys took it, he killed two models in Syphilis maybe three with his shooting and charging. He also did two wounds on my lord likely with his lord. I really hope people think of names for their characters, Maceo the Maligned doesn’t just kill anybody.

I did get to fight back in H2H and I had two Plague Marines and my lord against 10 CSM and another Chaos Lord with the Black Mace. I played Trench Fighters and Creeping Blight. I like Trench Fighters it is an extra attack for each member of Syphilis which was only two attacks but hey, I was happy to be alive. I never rolled any unmodified sixes and won’t be in a hurry to use that other stratagem again, I think there are better options. Maceo of course helped them re-roll and he has the Power Maul which is odd, because it is high strength but has low AP. I did at least another wound on his Lord but the Chaos Space Marines made all their saves.

Time to release the toxins!

My Turn Three

I scored 10 VP after Devin scored 20 VP so the score was 40-20 for Devin now that I check my math, but I was alive on the right flank, outnumbered 11-3 but alive. I immediately released the toxins. I had not used any command points until Devin charged me so I was hoping my Lord would survive at least to do this. It is better than either Trench Fighters or Creeping Blight, it killed a Chaos Space Marine and more importantly his Lord.

Then in my shooting phase I played the Blightening. This really upset Devin even though I used this exact same Stratagem in our last game on his rhino. He took the card over to Bill to confirm it says what it says. Last time he was all excited to see 18 dice, this time less so. It says “Death Guard models” so my lord can be one of the three. This thinned the herd but again Blight Grenades have no AP so it isn’t that bad, but the Lord can let the Plague Marines re-roll so it was twelve potential wounds. I kept telling Devin he shouldn’t charge but he kept insisting he had to…

Also in my shooting phase the Defiler took the centre of the battle field and starting killing cultists and stripping more wounds off the rhino. My cultists advanced and actually got to use their flamer. I think I even spent a command re-roll as first try I got a one, I ended up with a three and I killed a few cultists with my shooting.

In H2H I think it went less well one of my plague marines died and I was down to just the champ who was wounded. Devin’s guys all have bolt pistols so he can shoot in H2H too, that is called foreshadowing.

Battle Round Four

This game was tight but Devin scored 30 VP because his army is more maneuverable than mine and right about now I was thinking handicapping myself by 8% of my army’s power was not so smart. His rhino drove towards the one objective I held, his surviving cultists also advanced on Cancerous the Extremely Naughty and his plucky squad including the recently escaped and recruited Purple Bootie Gang.

Did I mention his Chaos Space Marines can shoot their pistols in H2H and he has special rules too, one letting him basically rapid fire bolt pistols? He had a plasma pistol and power fist guy in there two and soon it was just Maceo all alone.

Flamer on Overwatch FTW!

His cultists charged my cultists which surprised me, but I had my flamer so I used overwatch. Even one of my non-flamer guys rolled a six. And as I kept telling him getting closer to the Death Guard is bad for your health as cultists drop to toughness two! So once again it was cultist on cultist crime, the Death Guard won, but I did get shot up before he charged and finally my pistol guys got to use their extra attack.

My Turn Four

The filth must flow

I think Maceo lived to see my half of turn four, but he did not live to see the end of the battle. I of course used Eruption of Filth, I think it killed a Chaos Space Marine. But before all that I moved my defiler right up close to his rhino. There was some debate over how big my defiler was, but honestly unless I roll double ones I should make my charge and engagement range is not 3″ so I could put some shots into the rhino as it was the only thing not in H2H. I think the other cultists got picked off earlier by the defiler.

I did not roll double ones to charge, I rolled a total of six. The Defiler Claws, now those can peel some armor, the rhino still lived but was down to two wounds and later drove towards my deployment zone objective.

Battle Round Five

Devin was running out of guys, I think my cultists had killed his cultists in H2H in the previous Battle Round, but it doesn’t matter in this mission you score the objectives you touched until the enemy touches them basically so he got another whopping 30 VP giving him 100.

I know I killed his Chaos Space Marines, the Defiler was man of the match, but the Redemptionist with the flamer, which was very difficult to assemble and I basically have no chance of painting by next Saturday managed to do almost as well, he walked over and cooked some Fallen. So the game ended with me getting another 10 VP and losing 100-40. I had unpainted models and technically Devin did not, so that would make it 110-40, but I was alive, I completed my agenda but so apparently did Devin in hindsight, so like I said it felt like moral victory and I did kill every one of his models again.

Post Game

We went to the Pig & Duke. We did not do all the proper post-game record keeping, as once again this was practice, we’re talking about practice. I’m not sure sacrificing every soldier in your army including having your warlord die because he fancies himself a beast in H2H is how you win a campaign, but I learned a lot.

I learned that saving your Command Points for when it matters can help. I learned that 10 Plague Marines is probably more than twice as good as five. It used to be people took small squads to max out special weapons, now I can’t paint enough and I’m not sure I want to buy enough special weapons to max out special weapons in every plague marine squad. I’m not sure I’ll run the five man minimalist squad but I think Sigil of Decay combined with Malicious Volley and Inexorable Advance backed up by auras and likely some melta guns and plague flamers, I mean the Chosen Sons never even got to use their signature stratagem and I don’t own a Foul Blightspawn but eventually I must get two.

Time will tell, but is the melta gun and flamer combo still be the best for Plague Marines, I will have to paint some more models and find out as I’ve yet to try the blight launcher. Finding the optimal plague marine squad or just some cool ones is my hidden agenda for this campaign. My main agenda will probably be to annoy Bill.

Post Post Game

25 to 32 to 40 millimetres

So after lunch which was at 3pm and before typing all this up I actually glued another base to Maceo. After consulting Bill and the Internet I went with a 32mm base for my Chaos Lord in Power Armor, Alex our newest recruit and probably the person to beat, says 40mm. Bill and Devin thought it would make him stand out so I am putting him on a pedestal.

I also spent about two hours building a chaos spawn. I briefly thought if it is just a base coat and I have four evenings maybe I can get my entire army painted. Two hours of cleaning tentacles and trying to glue it together later and my goal is to get this soon to be hated model painted. I want to do a good job especially on my elite Blightlord with his out of print never painted before Forgeworld bits. I also want to help Cancerous rise again, even if he got demoted.

This does not look easy to paint and assemble

Foolishly I consulted Bill again and he wants a giant skull with glowing green eyes on the base of the chaos spawn and he wants me not to dry brush the spawn, but instead he thinks maybe a blue grey flesh tone or an actual flesh coloured flesh tone would look good. I glued way too many tentacles on this spawn, all the tentacles or at least seven. I’m not even sure I can dry brush him well. So it will be Contrast paints and washes, maybe following my recent pink Nurgling recipe is easiest. After all aren’t spawn just like big Nurglings?

If you have thoughts on what colour I should paint my first ever chaos spawn or you already know the optimal plague marine squad and want to share this info, or even if you think 32mm is the one true Chaos Space Marine Lord base size you can leave a comment below. This has been a crazy hobby weekend, there may never be another one like this one until we start our Kill Team or Necromunda campaign.