40K Narrative Campaign Week 19

This week there was even more chaos in the Pariah Nexus, not only did the Chaos Daemons Codex come out but another person joined our Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition narrative campaign…

This week there was even more chaos in the Pariah Nexus, not only did the Chaos Daemons Codex come out but another person joined our Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition narrative campaign, none other than DiceHateKris himself. There was rumours of another Chris or Kris joining our campaign, but there are a lot of rumours in the Pariah Nexus, another juicy one is the Imperial Fists have withdrawn from the campaign to be replaced by the Tau, I’m sure it is for the Greater Good.

DiceHateKris, not to be confused with any other Chris or Kris, has been observing our shenanigans at the Sentry Box for a while but he’s been busy playing other games, but the lure of Chaos is strong and he has rebased his Nurgle Daemons for 9th Edition as I will do, except perhaps the Nurglings, as I don’t think I can get them off their square bases and I don’t think I should try. There was almost some Nurgle on Nurgle crime or an interfamily squabble then Alex showed up.

So instead of playing DiceHateKris I had to play Alex’s Adeptus Custodes, the AAC, the Golden Host with the Most, and I did considerably worse than last time. I even made it two whole turns without forgetting the psychic phase despite printing up new more elaborate cheat sheets. I didn’t use mine much, but Bill and DiceHateKris used the other one. In fact in addition to the Chaos versus the Imperium rivalry, AKA Team Bad Ash versus Team Little Goodie Two Shoes, Bill and Kris are now competing to see who clicks on the link to their Instagram the most. Bill should win as I think every week, so 19 weeks now I’ve linked to his Instagram page, but apparently it is all about branding and DiceHateKris!

Pre Battle

I was somewhat prepared, then I was told to pick a new army to play a Great Unclean One lead combat patrol, but then Alex arrived so I went back to my original 45 PL suboptimal force. My army not only needs to be more shooty but also more killy in H2H and the squad that should be doing a lot of shooting and killing, the Right Hard Posse is on the shelf while I paint reinforcements. This is a long weekend so I will try to do some painting but it appears I am just slow. Or you could say I have high standards if you like in the comments section.

Death Guard Army

  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
  • Syphilis Squad, 10 Plague Marines, 12 PL
  • The Scarlet Fevers, 10 Plague Marines, 12 PL
  • Boris the Defiler, 9 PL
  • The Beast Rabban, Hellbrute, 7 PL

The mission was predetermined to be Tip of the Spear, I chose Survivor: Syphilis and a new never before attempted agenda Sow the Infection, Harvest the Plague. There was a reason I never chose this agenda before, it is hard and requires extra bookkeeping. I think it will work better in larger games.

The complicated mission objectives and deployment zones.

Today’s mission was an attacker/defender one and I lost the role to choose roles, but Alex gave me the one I wanted, because one of the defender special rules basically allowed Plague Marines to autopass morale in turns one or two. This game also had a twist and it was once again the Long March, this hurt us both, you could not Advance and you could not use any rules allowing you to ignore wounds such as McFly’s warlord trait.

Besides forgetting the psychic phase I completely forgot how I did OK against the Custodes last time and basically moved forward and even did four charges in one turn, spoiler alert. Also of note Alex was considered the underdog and got six extra command points! This adds up as he could command re-roll all the time. I need to get a Tallyman or some other means of generating command points, as I need them. I also need to pick my stratagems I do use more carefully, sometimes I think I make poor choices.

I actually won the roll to go first and shocking everyone I gave it to Alex as I thought I’d need to rush to objectives on the last turn, boy was I wrong. Plus the Adeptus Custodes that were on the board had small arms.

Deployment was nearly forgotten in this battle report, but Alex used some stratagem to deep strike two units but I cared not for his strategy, I put the Beast behind some solid cover then plopped my defiler right on top of the objective I had to defend. I put the two plague marine squads on either side of another pillar behind which I put McFly so I would ensure he would survive a while and could inspire both of my troop choices.

The armies deployed on the battlefield.

Battle Round One

I was right about the Adeptus Custodes shooting not being overwhelming in turn one as a single Death Guard died. Sure they moved forward and had models in reserves but they couldn’t advance so I was feeling pretty good when it came to my turn. I even remembered the psychic phase, shame about the null zone.

Death Guard Turn One

I moved most everyone forward as well and brought models from out behind cover. I did pass my psychic test despite being within 14 inches of a Sister of Silence but then Alex using the Empyric Severance to deny it. So no Miasma of Pestilence occurred but I did take a picture while Alex consulted his book.

The Death Guard move towards the enemy.

To start my shooting phase I played Fire Frenzy which doesn’t double a dreadnought’s shots but does make them more accurate, alas I think I generally rolled below average all game including failing some key armour saves. I decided after witnessing them shutting down my psychic phase and as they were squishier to go after the Sisters of Silence, but the Beast may have shot at the Adeptus Custodes, but despite the stratagem I think he did nothing.

Syphilis squad did better killing three Sisters of Silence. The Scarlet Fevers also killed two. Boris fired his little guns at the Sisters and killed two more, then for his Defiler Cannon he rolled the big six for number of shots, I managed to do this in turn two as well. But it was all for naught as the Adeptus Custodes made all their saves. It is possible a command re-roll was used after all Alex had 12 command points, he did use two on Insane Bravery to keep the last two Sisters of Silence on the board this round.

In this mission you can not score victory points in turn one, but I picked up a single Poison Tally because I was literally standing on an objective.

Battle Round Two

The Adeptus Custodes reinforcements arrive

To start this round, some hard to pronounce and spell stance was assumed. Also the teleporter was proven operational as two additional squads of Adeptus Custodes appeared. The extra special terminators shot and killed a single plague marine in the Scarlet Fevers. They would prove less effectual than the other three Adeptus Custodes who arrived.

The Shield Captain also did a wound and the two Sisters of Silence who survived both turned out to have flamers, isn’t that convenient.

There was a lot of charging or at least attempted charging going on as in order to teleport you must appear over nine inches away. Another special rule of this mission is the defender could overwatch without paying a command point, I also thought I could do it more than once but that was not the way everyone else read it, so I declared Syphilis would fire at the first chargers, the five model Adeptus Custodes squad with swords and shields.

Syphilis Squad has sensitive dermatitis which allows them to hit on a 5+ but in hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have tried so hard to save them and instead used overwatch against another squad. They were part of my agenda so maybe I did the right thing and just was unlucky in that the Adeptus Custodes made all their saves.

The battle lines clash

After watching four of my models die I launched a counter offensive. It turns out rolling over 9 without rolling doubles is hard. Technically a nine would work for a charge but the two teleporting squads did not make it. I was flush with command points and did not want Syphilis to disappear so I also used Creeping Blight and Trench Fighters. This combo could work if half the squad wasn’t already dead as it was I spent four command points to do two wounds.

The Shield Captain did little then Alex was surprised to learn that plague marines would automatically pass morale this mission.

Death Guard Turn Two

All was not lost, but in hindsight spending four command points to boost Syphilis only to do two wounds and kill a single Adeptus Custodes was not efficient. I need to increase the power of my unit champions, the power fist is free so maybe power fists for everyone or just not get into melee every game, this was a smaller table so it is difficult to avoid melee especially against units that can deep strike.

I did move to set up my own charges and remembered to cast Smite which failed then Plague Wind which did a single mortal wound.

In the shooting phase Boris did two wounds but ended up causing only one due to a command re-roll. I did shoot more guns but what was key was my four charges. The Custodes did overwatch but against Boris which even Alex realized in hindsight was suboptimal but I declared that charge first and he got overanxious. All my chargers went in so I let McFly fight first. He underwhelmed.

Four units of Death Guard charged on Turn Two!

Of course the Adeptus Custodes spend some of their command point bounty to interrupt. The Beast Rabban killed a single Adeptus Custode, the Sister of Silence character had also heroically intervened. I chose to try and kill a unit, but maybe I should have tried to smash her, she is -1 to hit at all times though.

I used Trench Fighters again but this time on the Scarlet Fevers as I would get more stabs, they ended up causing a single wound. Killious Bilious the Silliest did not do well with his power fist, maybe I’ll have to give swords a chance again. Germie the Overly-prepared has one, they can also be upgraded. When Syphilis got to fight they also did a single wound.

The Beast Rabban took a single wound but this just made him frenzied and better in melee. Once again I automatically passed my morale. I stand by my previous statements that a Hellbrute is better kitted for H2H and if only I had one or two optimized for 9th Edition I’d do better. Once I get my painting queue shorter I may indulge myself in painting one or two.

Battle Round Three

The game was still up for grabs. I didn’t even mention Boris getting into hand-to-hand combat where he also underwhelmed. I don’t think I played terribly, but I definitely failed some key rolls and Alex definitely made some key dice rolls, maybe the dice don’t just hate Kris? Starting with twelve command points definitely helps. The score was 4-4 at this point but I only had two Poison Tally points so that agenda is as hard to achieve as I suspected.

Alex muttered something about Stance 2 and told me it wasn’t important. All his models were in melee and I wasn’t feeling two bad as defenders fight first so up steps McFly. I think there was some ineffectual pistol shooting before that.

McFly hit four times, he wounded four times then the Adeptus Custodes made all fours saves. Re-reading my notes Alex made a lot more saves than I did. There was so much melee this battle round, I lost two more plague marines who were fighting the special terminators but that squad actually did the best and Killious Bilious the Silliest may not be so silly after all as he was the last to die.

The Scarlet Fevers actually managed to kill a terminator. Bilious himself did a wound but then, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, command re-roll and it was now an armour save. Boris was actually killed by knives, so not fighting with him first was a big mistake, the spears do two damage and the Defiler does not have Disgustingly Resilient, this surprised Alex, but I checked again and I was right. The knife attack is some sort of special Adeptus Custodes rule, but if I could pass half of my 50/50 armour saves Boris would have lived.

The death of my most powerful single model was the TSN turning point in the game. I thought he was tough enough to take on three little models, but he just did not roll well enough doing nothing on his charge. He would have got to shoot in melee too, this is why I kinda like to keep him out of H2H but his claws are so powerful a more optimal Defiler is also on my with list for 9th Edition.

Keeping with the theme my other massive mechanical monstrosity also did nothing in H2H. Only Bagonhead remained of Syphilis Squad and this movie we keep seeing but there would be no heroic comeback for the forces of Nurgle. McFly did take two wounds and he only has four so he is also better off not in hand-to-hand combat, but I was trying to save Syphilis and I thought I would and mathematically I probably should have done better.

The forces of the Death Guard dwindle.

Death Guard Turn Three

Things were not looking good. Boris is a big amount of points to lose after I charged with him, I could have just stayed at range on top of the objective, that was the plan, but apparently the allure of charging four units at once was too much to resist. The loss of Boris and my ineffectualness in melee clearly had rattled me as after not moving I went straight to shooting, but Alex let me undo that mistake but then the Shield Captain who I Smited can ignore mortal wounds, is this not covered in the no ignoring wounds special rule? I didn’t use Revoltingly Resilient on McFly.

I did try the Blightening, this scares people like Devin, but it is 18 rolls that do nothing against the Adeptus Custodes. I need to find some weaker foes to fight, but unfortunately I think the campaign is turning into a bit of an arms race and I stick to painted models only. In my turn three I learned that one special terminator can have 8 attacks! McFly was nominated to fight and he does nothing, not taking an extra fighty Chaos Lord at the start of the campaign has really cost me, the Shield Captain has played in three games and has two relics.

Bagonhead also did nothing, but at least he didn’t die like McFly who at least did a mortal wound with his conversion field while failing too many saves. I was clearly not going to win this game and glancing down and seeing one command point I decided to Erupt in Filth. This did a wound on the Shield Captain but then I rolled another key one and did nothing to the other Adeptus Custodes unit. I don’t think I had a command point when Boris died as exploding him would have been good, but I couldn’t roll the six.

Continuing the trend the Scarlet Fevers also did absolutely nothing in melee, building a plague marine squad kitted out for melee is of course on the to-do list, the AXE gang is planed but before that I was going to enbiggen the Right Hard Posse, they really are elite. Finally the Beast did one wound, and again this was key roll of one, as he can do D6 damage with his hammer, this must have scared the Sister of Silence character as she backed away after her brush with death.

Battle Round Four

The score was only 8-4 but I was getting one Poison Tally a turn and was down to the dregs of my army and even my dregs were wounded, my warlord and single most powerful model were dead. It was at this point I observed the spear guys did better, I did not expect them to kill a Defiler in melee. The Adeptus Custodes actually failed another charge roll on doubles but of course they re-roll because they had six extra command points to start this battle.

Of course the Beast Rabban died as once again I couldn’t make key armour saves. Then the last Plague Marine squad needed to make 5 armour saves, finally it came down to just Killious Bilious the Silliest being alive. The last Sister of Silence completed some action involving the body of McFly who apparently is going for a cruise on a black ship.

Death Guard Turn Four

I had one model left who I started abbreviating as KBS. He had a plasma pistol and that did a wound, but then defender fights first and KBS failed the one save he had to make. I had a command point so of course I used it to re-roll and of course that failed too. It just wasn’t my game.

Post Game

Every one of my units was wiped out and I didn’t kill an entire Adeptus Custodes unit so I got no points. I also rolled a one and gained a battle scar, the Beast was willing to wear it but then I pulled a Bill and just lost experience instead. I awarded MVP to KBS as he was the last to die, that’s what passes for MVP in a game like this.

I had previously expanded my supply limit and a Plague Surgeon will join the campaign eventually when he is painted and he has found Maceo’s hat!

This was one of my least successful games of the campaign, but unlike Thomas I am not switching armies. I need to paint more and I need to make my army meaner. Of course I need to remember to use my psychic powers as well as choose my stratagems better.

The talk of the day and of the Internet until the return of the Squats was Codex Chaos Daemons. They won today if you were worried, in fact the only member of Team Bad Ash who lost was me. My army doesn’t need more models who can’t shoot but I don’t own any Soul Grinders and my Great Unclean One is not looking so great after all these years, everyone thinks I should rebase it and use it as a Daemon Prince so rebasing will be a big theme not that it hasn’t already been of this blog. Mud for the Mud God and Skulls for the Skull throne and all that.

I did some quick math once I removed the shrink from my copy of Codex Chaos Daemons. I don’t know why there was no data cards, I’m accumulating quite the pile of them so hopefully they come out as I need all the help I can get remembering rules. A Herald of Nurgle is 5 PL and then your minimum combat patrol troop choice is 7 PL so the magic number is 48. I believe it has been decided we will run 50 PL next week as enthusiasm is still high at the Pig & Duke afterwords.

But you don’t need to bring a combat patrol, you do need a game large enough to take two detachments as in the campaign you are supposed to be Battle-forged which I’ve now memorized is on page 244. You can take your main Death Guard detachment then spend one quarter of your power on Nurgle Daemons but you could take a fortification detachment or an auxiliary support detachment, the latter is probably the easiest to add a single unit of daemons to your Death Guard campaign force. The Feculent Gnarlmaw is perhaps not so useful as an ally but helps Plaguebearers a lot and thus all Nurgle Legiones Daemonica armies.

Horde of Plaguebearers with Banners
A single unit of Nurgle daemons from last time someone wanted me to use them in a campaign.

There was considerable speculation at the Pig & Duke, but anyone who turns to page 250 will see there is no compulsory choice that means Nurglings can be brought by themselves. I actually think Beasts may be the best of what I have painted, but they need rebasing again. So we shall see if I spend more requisition points, because I also like maximum sized units, you can take a single Beast of Nurgle. I haven’t even read the rules but extra psychic powers sound good however I’m also interested in Sloppity Bilepiper but that figure was not in stock and neither was the Feculent Gnarlmaw who knew a new book could make trees sexy?

If you really want to go big and I do eventually because one thing I want to do for my army as part of my three year plan is a centrepiece model and the Great Unclean One is a pretty big and elaborate model, but to field that in the campaign I’d need that second combat patrol and at least an 88 point game. I wonder if any of his upgrades increase his power level, I really haven’t read the book, just watched some YouTube videos and read the blogs and forums. It doesn’t appear so, but you would need to requisition any warlord traits or relics you want to give them, so it will be a while before another Great Unclean One joins our campaign, but Daemons are in ascendance and someone claimed that Khorne is the strongest then Tzeentch but I saw three people playing Nurgle at the Sentry Box today.

Well it took a while to get going but into my third beer I may actually finish this blog post tonight, DiceHateKris is all about the content. So if you have thoughts on using Daemons with Death Guard or Chaos Space Marines you can leave them below. Bill is looking forward to the day I use four books to field one army. But that is a long way off and despite Bill’s attempt at goading, I was the only non-Ultramarine to field a painted army and I have custom campaign objectives and markers, take that Marneus!