The Siege of Vanitros’s Bastion, Year One

In the beginning there was an idea, let’s not play another skirmish scale campaign and instead play a narrative campaign of the big game…

In the beginning there was an idea, let’s not play another skirmish scale campaign and instead play a narrative campaign of the big game, Warhammer 40,000. This meant a lot of work for Bill and I but we eventually roped some other people into playing at the Sentry Box and elsewhere in Calgary. I’m still not sure who is winning, but it isn’t me.

I however have typed up over twenty battle reports and before typing up the next one I thought I would read back through them all in order to better forge the narrative as Bill has apparently been slacking at that.

In the before times

Before the campaign had a silly name, before it even had official participants there was just Bill and I playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 for the first time in almost exactly twenty years. I had recently bought Kill Team and I thought that was a more realistic scale for an apartment dweller with ever worsening eyesight. I don’t know what possessed Bill to go big in 2022, probably years of being stuck with no gaming at the Sentry Box during the pandemic, but he complains repeatedly about the chaos he has unleashed on the galaxy or at least Calgary.

I would of course be using the Diseased Sons, the same army I was using last time Bill and I played twenty years ago. Bill would not be using Orks instead he would be defending the Imperium against enemies foreign, domestic, alien, and immaterial.

There have been many heroes of the Diseased Sons: Oderous the Unclean, Leperous the Obese, and sandwiched between Epilepsius the Unbalanced and Malefactor the Marred in a censored data slate was a nearly forgotten figure who had never been documented leading a major campaign, Maceo the Maligned. Would he rise to glory or would he fall and endure the wrath of fickle gods?

Before the campaign could start we had to learn the new to me 9th Edition rules, as apparently I don’t know everything. More miniatures were dusted off McFly the Malevolent, Boris the Defiler even a much derided rhino APV. The great rebasing of 2022 was contemplated and begun, maybe in 2023 or 2024 it will be complete.

As Bill fleshed out his plans and attempted to find additional participants for his experiments more models were dusted off and tried on the table terminators and cultists made of lead oh my. Alas defeat greeted them in the grim darkness of the world’s largest gaming store.

Shadowy figures began to emerge bleary eyed but not yet warped into being brushy tailed. Are they Dark Angels, have they Fallen, or are they merely pawns deceived by promises made by the Chaos Gods or Bill? Mr. Piggie, Vaal the Asharian, Nixan, and Skink threw there lot in with the Diseased Sons, now truly a hive of scum and villainy.

Warhammer 40,000 only becomes more complicated with every book released and data slate updated. There are a lot of campaign rules, relics, and agendas. My starting forces began to take shape with Cancerous the Extremely Naughty and Billalexdevin being added and McFly being removed, will we see his beatific face again?

It Begins, Vanithros’s Bastion must fall!

The forces of the Ultramarines and the Chosen Sons of Mortarion, the Diseased Sons, the Death Guard, led by Maceo the Maligned met at censored coordinates in the Pariah Nexus, the galactic sector which housed the mysterious Vanithros’s Bastion, both forces trying to sweep and clear. Skulking in the shadows were the Fallen. Would the enigmatic Aeldari be drawn into the conflict, would a random space hulk filled with orks crash on the planet mid-battle, who knows. The Chaos Gods are notoriously fickle and the warp storms know no master.

In the second week McFly the Malevolent officially joined the campaign, perhaps he was delayed due to being tired from all that practice. Having defeated the Ultramarines in their initial skirmish the newly reinforced Diseased Sons had to randomly sweep and clear again, this time it was the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines impeding their path or was it? Elsewhere in the Pariah Nexus the Aeldari did predictably appear, there was no rejoicing.

The third week of the campaign was marked with the appearance of the Sisters of Battle. Surely mere women could not stop the Diseased Sons from seizing the supply cache now that they were further reinforced by the Hellbrute known as Toe Jam? There was pitched hand to hand combat in some back alleys of some inconsequential settlement, with Maceo failing to kill the Canoness as darkness fell.

There were now five opposing forces in the Pariah Nexus. What does Vanithros’s Bastion contain? Does it contain treasure, forbidden knowledge, the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe or is it merely a MacGuffin? Having failed to secure the supply cache and kill the Canoness, Maceo was in a truly foul mood before being forced to confront both the Ultramarines and the Aeldari. Had they allied against the Diseased Sons? Regardless, Nurgle hates blue armour.

If only I had remembered the true power of the Contagion of Nurgle, Bagonhead the Unbearable would not have had to been so heroic.

The enbiggening of my starting five man plague marine squads had begun but I’m actually wondering if nine is not the sweet spot because more plague marines is clearly better and they’ll never be a true gun line. Nine model squads leave room for a character in the rhino. Twenty weeks of hindsight is all well and fine but I’m telling all y’all it’s a sabotage that I have to keep fighting the Fallen or am I fighting the Fallen? Can the Right Hard Posse turn their hope into rot?

On Easter Sunday it fell to Maceo and McFly to try and defeat two enemy forces simultaneously. Would twenty plague marines be enough? What if they painted their armour purple would that make a difference? And why do the Fallen keep lurking in the shadows do they have something to hide? And is everyone aligned against the Diseased Sons? Will the Farseer ever tire of Dooming chaos space marines?

In this battle, Billalexdevin earned the Mark of Shame.

Once again the Diseased Sons faced off against their newest and most hated foes the Ultramarines. Take that Iron Hands! Could Maceo the Maligned complete the ritual in time? Would this remove the shame of Billalexdevin or the disgrace of the Cancer Cell? The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion was long and the battle scars were earned.

Having completed the ritual and defeated the Ultramarines once more would a Chris finally join the campaign? What about a Kris? Or would we have to settle for a Thomas and an Aiden? Does twice as many players make the campaign go twice as long or does that rule only hold for four-way games versus two-way games? Would the next game be a complete catastrophe and why do the Ultramarines, the Sisters of Battle and the Fallen all want to stop your humble narrator and his Diseased Sons?

This game did feature my most successful Blight Bombardment, how many Sisters of Battle died? Stumpy, spawn of chaos didn’t have enough fingers to count, maybe he’ll grow some more. Once again Maceo could not kill the Canoness in hand to hand combat. He did earn a second Chaos Boon. Other Diseased Sons gained battle honours after this lengthy four army confrontation.

When the dust settled and a new day dawned Maceo the Maligned stared across the battlefield at the Aeldari once more. Where had they come from, what do they want? Would the addition of Killious Bilious the Silliest turn the tide of battle in the Diseased Sons’ favour, did he possess crucial intelligence on how to defeat the Aeldari?

After suffering defeat at the delicate and dainty hands of the Aeldari, Maceo the Maligned learned of a new Chaos Lord in the Pariah Nexus, would Lord Godrick be a friend or a foe? Chaos on Chaos conflict soon commenced because there can be only one Lord of Chaos in the Pariah Nexus.

Who would dominate the field this day? Maceo did defeat multiple Chaos Knights in melee combat, one even had to be struck down twice.

With Lord Godrick escaping Maceo’s grasp and the Aeldari presumably off doing something enigmatic, could the Diseased Sons defeat the Ultramarines yet again, could they dominate the field, or would their hope turn to rot?

In the twelfth week of the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion campaign it fell to the forces of the Diseased Sons to fight two battles on the same day. Where are all these armies coming from, Imperial Fists, Orks, and Adeptus Custodes arriving made the Pariah Nexus even more conflicted. Maceo defeated Waaargh ‘Eadripper but could not overcome the golden host with the most difficult to spell rules. Win or lose, battle scars would be earned.

Is that a Chaos Knight I see towering off in the distance or is the Pariah Nexus playing tricks on our sensors yet again? The Shroud is as inexplicable as it is impenetrable. As the battle climaxed, Maceo the Maligned and the Ultramarine Gravis Captain met in hand to hand combat, who would triumph? Would Maceo the Maligned ever achieve daemonhood?

Daemonhood exceeded Maceo’s grasp, after once again failing to kill the enemy commander in mortal combat, despite undertaking a successful flanking maneuver, the fickle forces of chance had had enough. Having been struck down by Lord Godrick for what turned out to be the final time, what made its way back to the Diseased Sons lines was barely humanoid, but it clutched a familiar looking mace…

News of Maceo’s untimely demise spread quickly through the Pariah Nexus and a certain Gravis Captain was eager to take advantage of the Diseased Sons’ weakened state. Who would win during the Obolis Incursion? Is this yet another MacGuffin? With McFly now leading the Diseased Sons he chose the path of calculated eradication and of course he had to turn their hope into rot. Was it a victory for the Diseased Sons or was it a victory for the Ultramarines? Does it even matter to Khorne?

Fresh off his less than triumphant draw, McFly had no choice but to soldier on as the campaign entered a new phase. Forces were now divided up into a Chaos contingent so the Alpha Legion, the renegade Knights and the Death Guard were no longer enemies instead attempting to defeat the combined might of the Ultramarines, the Imperial Fist, the Sisters of Battle, the Adeptus Custodes and any Xenos scum that may have temporarily allied with them. Was there any doubt who would win, evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.

After a long march, the Diseased Sons infiltrated the ring and turned the Imperial Fists’ hope into rot.

The very next week Bill changed his mind and forced the Death Guard to again attempt to destroy the ever more powerful Lord Godrick. Can you kill a Chaos Knight with a plague knife or a bolter shell? Would the Chaos Knights even bother to hunt for tech or would they just stomp on everything arrayed before them? Would you believe Aiden got tired of winning?

After not getting tabled by the Chaos Knights only the Ultramarines were brave enough to confront the Diseased Sons. Would the Ultramarines methodically eradicate their opposition or was today in fact not a good day to die? Had Captain Acheran and the Avenging Sons of Ultramar grown tired of winning too? Regardless an ill ash wind was blowing across the battlefield as the opposing forces crept into position.

First the Chaos Space Marines received a new codex, then the Chaos Daemons received a new codex and with the Chaos Knights already running wild crushing all who oppose them in their giant metallic fists, everything was coming up chaos.

Joining the campaign was a certain podcaster and finally the campaign would have a Kris. Alas the battle to see who the dice hate most would have to wait as the golden host with most difficult to spell special rules were declared the official opposition of the ever growing forces of the Diseased Sons. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I lost the first key roll of the game.

After twenty weeks of extremely difficult campaigning there would be no golden armoured super soldiers arrayed before the Diseased Sons this week, instead the “green” tide of Waaagh ‘Eadripper was back and they brought a Kill Bursta tank this time. My tradition of rolling ones to start the game continued.

Apparently, Beasts of Nurgle take a long time to rebase and touch up, starting that project randomly has hurt the Diseased Sons as no reinforcements have appeared on an actual battlefield for a long long time. We haven’t even gotten to see the family squabble of Nurgle versus Nurgle instead we got more complaints from Bill and even more orks joining the campaign, apparently green is good. But I used to play orks many many editions ago and I can tell a choppa from a big choppa.

With the orks now being everywhere could the stunties be far behind? I haven’t gotten to fight against them but I hear the Leagues of Votann are in fact strong. But alas it was again time for Chaos on Chaos crime as the Alpha Legion get up to their old tricks, or do they have new tricks?

Learnings

After almost a full year of campaigning with the Diseased Sons, the Chosen Sons of Mortarion, the Sons of Barbarus, have I learned anything? Well after reviewing every single battle report and summarizing them for the greater good, I decided I would add a short list of learnings.

1) More than ever, 40K has become an arms race

You may start the campaign with your warlord having a power weapon and a snazzy hat, but others will be bringing relic weapons and armoured fighting vehicles just short of a titan. GW very much increases its codices in power as an edition goes on, so armies with the latest greatest codex will be difficult to defeat even with balanced data slates contemptuously throwing crumbs at the older armies. A knife and a bolter is not cutting edge weaponry in the 41st Millennium.

2) Complexity increases as the campaign goes on

The 9th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 is complicated enough but as the campaign went on there were an ever increasing number of new agendas, stratagems, relics, honours, and scars to remember. Units gained objective secured and improved armoured saves while others lost benefits, the rules as written were no longer always the rules as written. Attempts by GW to rebalance points have little affect on a campaign using power level.

3) Don’t permanently lose your warlord

The most important roll of the entire campaign may have been the random third Chaos Boon I attempted to generate. I was learning the rules as I went and for the good of the narrative repeatedly took random boon. Other codices may have rules that give players setbacks but losing your warlord and any relics he may have is a major setback, much worse than losing an eye or picking up the Mark of Shame. The Diseased Sons have arguably not recovered.

Other warlords which have not been permanently turned into Chaos Spawn have only become more and more powerful as the campaign has gone on. Maceo could have been alive with a legendary campaign relic of his choosing, let some other minor character try to randomly become a Daemon Prince or just requisition one. If rumours are true you can have two Daemon Princes using the new Arks of Omen rules.

4) Become a good bookkeeper

There are a lot of rules to keep track of and a lot of record keeping that must be done in a narrative campaign. The three random rolls to generate your initial disease can give the Death Guard a random boost or it can just force you to play oddly. You’ll have to choose agendas over and over which can earn you Virulence points. There is a relic which can make tailoring your disease more feasible and less random but when the primary and perhaps only model that can spread the disease turns into a chaos spawn, did I mention this was a major setback? But as you may have already guessed, it was also a cause of additional record keeping. I could have just selected the relic that makes tailoring your disease easier, no randomness, no risk.

As the campaign has entered a new phase I must try to accomplish a new set of challenging agendas to collect corruption points. I never spent my inflection points which now seem useless, so less than MacGuffins. As the campaign goes on you must keep track of various tallies, many agendas have them, and your tactics may need to majorly change to achieve these suddenly high priority agendas all the while attempting to spread your disease and please your patron.

5) Maneuverability is paramount

You might want to use the same models you’ve used for twenty plus years trusting in their resilience and their trusty bolter and rusty knife, but being slow is a huge disadvantage in many of the missions you’ll encounter during the campaign. You may think you can hunker down or stoically advance but in order to spread the disease or gain corruption points or pursue some other MacGuffin you will be forced to play against type, so running a foot slogging list of plague marines or ork boyz will be a hard slog in a lengthy campaign. I’m not saying a line of guys with guns couldn’t do well, but given the sheer number of different missions, agendas, and campaign rules, planning to just stay in your deployment zone and fire away may not be optimal 100% of the time.

There are ways to improve the maneuverability of the Death Guard but they’ll likely never be a fast and manoeuvrable force. Obviously GW wants me to buy more models, say fast attack daemon engines, but somehow I have not. Enhanced engines was very powerful on Lord Godrick and the similar fleet of foot rule will benefit many units, basically a couple extra inches of movement or a rule that gives you a more reliable advance roll will prove valuable over the course of a campaign.

Tabling your opponent does not guarantee victory, I think I lost a practice game that way, but see my very first observation, as the campaign goes on bigger and more powerful models will frequently be encountered, so you will be tabled at some point. So in addition to finding ways to increase the mobility of your units you’ll want to increase the lethality of your starting force. I don’t think we’ve ever played a larger campaign game than 50 Power. So I should be giving Deadly Pathogens and Relics of Decay to every single unit champion that can have one instead of recruiting yet more plague marines.

This post has gotten long enough. I can write additional briefer learnings another day. If you’ve learned anything from reading this summary of year one of our Warhammer 40,000 narrative campaign you can leave a comment below. I’m mainly playing for fun and to dust off and get some use out of my miniature collection, but I assure you it is a lot of work trying to modernize an army started in 2nd Edition, this is why I’ll probably never go back to my Rogue Trader era Orks. I would do things differently if we do another narrative campaign, but by then it may be the 10th Edition.

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.

Played a game of 40K

My first in seven years, Nurgle be praised!

I know both my regular readers will be shocked, but despite buying Kill Team proclaiming it the future, Bill wanted to play the big game. So after much complaining as my models were still boxed up from my move, I dug around and found the models needed to play my first game in seven years, Nurgle be praised!

Everything seemed easier in the olden days, picking an army, painting, playing the game. It took me hours to unbox and redisplay my miniatures at my new place. Only two broke during my move, one may have broken moving to Calgary but I never fixed it, an old Rogue Trader Ork Warbike, but the other model that broke was the Inquistor scale Space Marine.

Inquisitor Scale Space Marine

I now have less models in my Ikea display case, basically the Diseased Sons plus some of their allies. I’m not sure I trust the extra shelves and the models seems safer in foam. I will probably order additional Battle Foam and given my army was 13 models a new case. Bill wanted to play 500 points or 25 Power. I of course agreed and after getting the revised power levels from my iPhone I learned that a plague marine squad with a rhino was ten and a lord was five and my army was chosen.

This is of course an over simplification, all my models were still packed from my move, so I had to unbox them, the last case I unpacked had the two rhinos I wanted to use. Then I had to choose which models I would actually use. But before that I had to choose my secondary objective which we didn’t use, my plague company, my warlord trait, my relic, and I also wrote down all the rules and the pages they were on. It wasn’t until the last turn that I think I started forcing Bill to lose one toughness.

So my lord was Maceo the Maligned, he was painted while I was an MBA student, maybe the only model beside a plaguebearer that I painted on campus. Basically I’ve stopped playing and painting several times for school and work and other life events. So some of my models are from when I was a high school student, others were painted in Japan, but most of them were probably painted in Vancouver, but some were painted in Calgary and Ottawa. I even painted in Yellowknife.

My models also have campaign badges which correspond to major tournaments attended. But while trying to put them in the display case I had trouble reading the unit markings and I painted them! So yeah I think my eyes are getting worse, I had trouble reading the cards. I bought those at Sentry Box just before the game, I think they do help, but every time I buy more stuff, I end up not playing again for seven years…

I took Maceo because he had a mace which I used as a Power Maul. He also had a kit bashed combi-plasma. I basically brought a variety of models just to see what they did on the table. So to that end, I made a green allstar squad and a purple allstar squad. I just cherry picked models rather than worry about squad markings.

I was going to bring Bob the Necessary Evil, I always bring Bob the Necessary Evil, he is the necessary evil! But then under Bill’s proposed rules I didn’t have to pay points so why not have a plasma pistol so I took a model which may have a name but I’ve forgotten. I think of it as a new model, I know I built it for a tournament, I know Malcolm liked it, but it turns out it dates from 2008 so not exactly new.

I already wrote how I didn’t bring my old squads, but the next model I did select was a melta gunner, another conversion for another tournament, perhaps the 2010 Astronomi-con because I know Mike said it was his favourite in my army. I don’t know why, I think to use the hold two-handed h2h weapon rule but I had a plaguemarine converted to have a flail so the Internet seems to love Flails of Corruption so I took one. Then despite some on Facebook thinking they aren’t worth it, I took an Icon of Despair. I follow the rule of cool.

For the last member of this squad I took a guy with an axe. In the olden days all h2h weapons were either equal or swords were better. Now there are way more rules I don’t care what Bill says. So I used that model as my Bubonic Axe. He never actually got to hit anyone with it. I plan to make an AXE squad.

My big decision for my second squad was to bring purple guys. Pro tip kids, paint all your models so they are easy to switch between squads with just a kneepad re-painting. I have a lot of purple plague marines, this used to upset some people online, now I see plague marines in all different colors because Nurgle loves all his little children. I don’t know why other than completeness but I have a purple champion with a powerfist and a plasma pistol so perhaps this proves the importance of Bob the Necessary Evil.

I also used an old Nurgle renegade with a heavy weapon to represent a Plague spewer, he looked the business and as I had decided the Diseased Sons should use the Chosen Sons rules expect me to paint and field a lot of these plague flamers. The first squad I build will max them out. Then if you know my purple squads they have the plasma so I took one of those. Then I brought both an Icon of Despair and a Sigil of Corruption.

Optimal Death Guard Army

Before the self-proclaimed Internet experts write their angry comments, this was my first game of 40K in seven years and before that I think I played four times I believe in ten years or something. I literally spent five minutes picking my army and used exclusively models painted for several editions ago. If I get serious again I will still not be using the optimal Death Guard army instead I will be bringing something different.

Actual Battle Report

The game ended about five hours ago. I haven’t spent five hours blogging, but I can’t help but recall some loud know-it-all last night proclaim “content was easy”. Obviously he hasn’t maintained a blog for over a decade. Bill actually has his own notes, as he kept score. I fully expected to lose. Bill was playing Ultramarines. Last time I played Bill in 40K he used Orks. I wonder if I can turn up that battle report.

Every time I re-read my old posts, I find grammar mistakes, so in the interest of actually finishing this battle report today, I will not be reading a nineteen year old battle report, but maybe Bill will.

My Deployment

Pre-Game Dice Rolls

Although Bill and I may not have played Warhammer 40,000 against each other since 2002, Bill has played way more 40K than me since 2002. This would be my fifth game in the last decade if my quick math is correct. We played the simplest mission. I rolled a lot of fives before the game started so I got to place the first objective, then I got to choose a side and go first. My dice have the same six sides as all the other Bolter & Chainsword dice, but it was funny when I kept rolling five.

Deployment

The side I chose had an objective then there were two in the centre and one on Bill’s side. Getting first turn was my hope, because I don’t know what I’m doing. Although I brought two rhinos I decided to deploy one squad in a rhino and one squad outside their rhino, this would allow me to hopefully take more objectives. I put my Chaos Lord with the green allstars. Heroes no longer can lead squads it seems, but my basic Death Guard strategy is keep my lord alive and try to remember to benefit from his auras.

Bill’s army outnumbered mine, which blows my mind. I had two troops, two rhinos and the cheapest chaos lord. Bill had three squads, one might have been elite and one assault. His plainest janest squad was in the centre of his line and truthfully they did the least damage. On my left flank were the hellblasters or whatever the super plasma guns are called. I did take pictures and maybe Bill will even correct me.

Bill’s Right Flank

Turn One

I don’t know if I won every dice off, but I did get to go first. So as per the plan my rhino sat still and held an objective. The havoc launcher was my only gun that could shoot over 24 inches in my entire army. The purple plague allstars actually advanced. They were my shooty squad but they also tried to score victory points. The other rhino drove straight ahead. The combi-bolter on that rhino did a wound. We had to look up so many rules, but the havoc launcher didn’t kill much, but I always shot it first.

I held two objectives, all my command points, and the early lead. Bill didn’t think he could come back from my devastating one wound causing first turn. He advanced everyone but the plain janes. He did two wounds to the lead rhino eventually, he may have caused a wound to the purple squad. So he did more damage than me, but I scored more points.

Turn Two

My pseudo-razorback stayed still, but because Bill advanced, I think I got to shoot the combi-bolters on turn two but also on turn four. Purple actually moved again. If you are five models or less you can assume the snake formation. So I think I’ll run a mix of five model squads and ten model squads. I don’t know if I’ll try seven model squads. The green squad got out of their transport. In ninth edition you have to get out before the transport moves. Also Bill pointed out I couldn’t drive through my own models, so I could have planned turn one and two better.

I must have shot at something, but I’m not sure I killed anything. I know in turn one Bill killed one of his hellblasters. I was trying to kill the not-terminators, but I think did little, I saved my command points because I didn’t even know the rules. We looked up a lot of stuff. I tried to remember my auras and all the special Nurgle Death Guard rules.

After my turn two move

Bill rolled a lot of dice. He will tell you he rolled seven ones. What I remembered to do was use my foul smokescreen. I read the odd thing online and I never hear people talk about that stratagem card, but I used it twice. In the olden days you could only pop smoke once a game, but now it is once per enemy shooting phase. So if you’re guessing Bill failed to kill my lead rhino you’re correct. He did do wounds and I did spend command points to protect it. He killed purple plague marines too.

Turn Three

Bill charged me, I remember that, so I think purple walked forward and I used the special Chosen Sons stratagem to boost my one plague flamer. I think it did nothing. I can’t remember if the plasma gun did much, but I also got some bolter shots. I continued to shoot combi-bolters and the havoc launcher. Maceo got to shoot his combi-plasma. But this wasn’t the shootiest army that is for sure.

This was Bill’s big turn, he spent command points more liberally than me. He use the command re-roll all the time. I kept saving mine in case I thought of something clever and I didn’t believe any single die roll I made was that important. In the future I may spend command points more liberally, I definitely plan to get an extra relic in bigger games. Bill shot a lot, he also got to charge. Both his warlord and fanciest looking models fought purple. I tried to use all my rules but Contagion of Nurgle didn’t get applied all the time until the fourth turn.

Bill failed to kill all of the purple plague marines. Rhinos being able to claim objectives was a big help for me. I also plan to use Nurglings to claim objectives at some point in the future. I apparently had quite the lead now, but we played the fourth turn. I think the hellblasters charged the damaged rhino after shooting at it, it continued to live and I used Foul Smokescreen on it again. That was one thing I remembered and I think it helped, I got to use my cards and tokens.

Turn Four

This was the turn I got to charge. My warlord and Gangrene aka the green plague allstars got to charge. I think purple’s champ got to fire his plasma pistol. My havoc rhino continued to do little in shooting, but earned me victory points every turn like clockwork.

On my turn four, I charged!

H2H went pretty well. I re-read all my rules almost every turn. My auras should allow me to re-roll to hit rolls of one and re-roll failed wound rolls. The plague weapon rule especially the plague guns rule I will try to leverage more and more. I remember my lord and his power maul doing OK. The Flail of Corruption guy killed the last fancy marine. This meant the rest of that squad did little. powerfists being -1 to hit makes them less desirable. Bill had no tanks so I’m not sure if they are necessary in ninth edition.

Bill used a lot of command points on his warlord. He could heal somehow and get back spent command points one third of the time. He also had a sword and something else to hit with in H2H. He could split his attacks but after pointing out that only the purple champion was alive he put all his attacks into that guy.

BIll’s final turn didn’t accomplish much, his hellblasters couldn’t kill the rhino. The rhino as a vehicle could shoot at models within engagement range and even fight in H2H, but did little other than get close to objectives, that seems to be their main use and why I was so excited to see Death Guard get fast attack. I will buy some of those models eventually, but I want to paint what I own and get my troops if not optimal than at least less ragtag.

Foul Smoke Screen FTW!

The plain janes didn’t kill much, but they like the rhino scored victory points. For bigger games one will need a certain amount of cheep objective holding squads. I plan to use Nurglings at some point, but I also plan to try cultists and apparently rhinos can perform this role. I’ll also probably try Hellbrutes maybe even park a Defiler in my deployment zone.

Post Game

Bill called it after four turns, apparently I was way ahead. I did kill his warlord which was a mission objective. I also usually got the extra victory points for controlling two of the four objectives. Bill generally had the one in his zone. I don’t know how Bill managed to bring a slower army than the Death Guard. Maybe he’ll bring scouts and bikes next time. Next time I might bring an army that fits in a smaller miniature case.

What did I do right?

  1. First Bill shocked me into playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 even if it was just a small one. That was a win. I still hope to play Kill Team and Necromunda, but you can’t play alone, so I’ll go with whatever Bill and company want to play.
  2. The rhinos actually worked. Bill didn’t seem to think they were worth 8 Power Levels and they didn’t kill much but they gave me a gun that shot over 24 inches to harass with. They moved one squad up 12 inches in one turn and they actually can hold objectives in ninth edition.
  3. I’m not sure the Flail of Corruption is the be all end all but it does get four attacks, apparently it is even better on terminators, so I will have to buy that model and paint it. Giving up your gun is an odd decision in the far future to hit someone with a flail…
  4. I do think you need a mix of shooting and h2h so I’ll probably continue to bring these two squads. I might bulk one up to ten, but 500 points or 25 power level isn’t that much, so when we go up to a larger game I’ll have more options.

What did I do wrong?

  1. Not knowing the rules. I used to know the rules, especially those that hurt my army. This time I had to read and re-read certain rules every turn. So that will hopefully improved but there are lots of rules we didn’t use like the psychic rules and crusade rules.
  2. Not having enough plain janes. Bill’s most boring squad didn’t do much but score, but five models isn’t very many, whenever someone died, it was a guy with special rules in my army. So in a ten man squad I’d lose the cheaper guys first. I think a cheap screening unit would also help, if not Nurglings then some cultists.
  3. I had one gun that shot over 24 inches. That seems stupid in hindsight even though I won. I know they have shrunk the battlefield. But there is no rule you can’t play on a bigger battlefield. I’ll bring something that can shoot and hurt the enemy from over 24 inches next time.
  4. I need to really position my lord carefully. I got him Arch Contaminator and Fugaris’s Helm, this combo may be old hat, it literally is an old hat, but it is one I plan to use sometimes because I do use plain jane models often. So since he can’t lead the squad, he must be positioned between them so both squads can benefit from the auras.
My 13 models in a Spear Bag

The Future

Bill is now talking 40K crusade instead of Kill Team or Necromunda campaign. He is active on Instagram, so you can see what miniatures he is working on. I planned to paint cultists for Kill Team and I planned to use some Necromunda models as cultists. I wanted a big squad but now a cheap squad to sit on objectives has appeal. I’m willing to give Bill a rematch against this army, but if we play again I might try models I didn’t use this time whether Hellbrutes or whatever. I’d also be willing to go up a bit in points as aren’t Landraiders and Defilers costly?

I plan to paint again. I got a spot, it still isn’t optimal, but I’ve painted under less than optimal conditions before. My back, hips and apparently eyes aren’t what they are used to be. I’m not looking forward to redoing insignia for yet another edition of Warhammer 40,000. I ordered 300 base adapters. Bill thinks small bases may be an advantage but with all the auras I think I need to use the right bases. I don’t know what this means for my demons. I got 40+ plaguebearers on square bases and all my Nurglings, beasts, even my Demon Prince is on a square base. I can’t rip them off the bases…

Bill won’t care, but tournaments must. The one in Calgary even has rules for what dice you can use. Bill’s roman numerals might be right out. I also don’t understand why demons are not in the app. Do I need to buy the demon codex? The plan is to eventually have two formations, one Death Guard and one Nurgle. I’d be willing to run a demonic combat patrol, but I would prefer to have guns in Kill Team. I’ll probably concentrate on the codex I own and the models I own, but as always I’ll paint more plague marines, but first likely more practice models I need a good green and purple recipe, so I might paint more Nurglings and goblins.

If you have advice or thoughts you can leave them below, but Bill and I were just playing for fun and to learn the rules, neither army was optimal. I don’t even know the final score, but I shockingly won, I haven’t lost a game of 40K in years, and maybe I’ve never lost to Bill…