40K Narrative Campaign Week 18

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

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

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

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

The Forces of the Death Guard

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

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

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

The field of battle

Before the battle was joined

The not so thin green and purple line.

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

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

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

Battle Round One

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

The Ultramarine Centre

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

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

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

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

Ultramarine Turn One

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

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

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

Dreadnought dominates the centre

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

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

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

Battle Round Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melee is joined

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

Ultramarine Turn Two

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

Ultramarines Advance

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bagonhead fears no dreadnought, he has his trusty knife.

Battle Round Three

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

Mind the dreadnought sized gap.

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

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

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

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

Ultramarine Turn Three

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

Fallback, re-engage, rinse, repeat

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

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

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

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

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

Battle Round Four

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

Damn you and your snazzy pants!

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

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

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

Ultramarine Turn Four

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

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

Battle Round Five

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

Only two Diseased Sons remain.

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

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

Post Game

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

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

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

40K Narrative Campaign Week 15

News of Maceo’s untimely demise spread quickly through the Pariah Nexus and none other than Captain Snazzy Pants himself was looking to take advantage of the power vacuum…

News of Maceo’s untimely demise spread quickly through the Pariah Nexus and none other than Captain Snazzy Pants himself was looking to take advantage of the power vacuum. Fortunately McFly the Malevolent assumed the role of warlord over the ragtag units of Diseased Sons ostensibly scouring the sector for ancient artifacts.

Bob’s new Nurgling

The fifteenth week of our narrative campaign fell on a holiday long weekend, my mom and sister were in town but I was able to escape to play Bill in yet another game of Warhammer 40,000. Others were not able to escape and rumour has it that some may have even played Marvel Crisis Protocol. We are also experiencing a bit of a heatwave so I am not sure if I’ll do much painting, but I will try. But I did finish one whole Nurgling since my last update, maybe even more…

Bill has insinuated that we are entering the serious part of our campaign even though the next book “Plague Purge” is not his favourite but it will alter our campaign sufficiently because we will now have all the Chaos players allied together against the Imperium plus with the disappearance of the Sisters of Battle, the Orks may be manipulated to fight against Chaos.

Pregame

The mission we randomly rolled was Obolis Incursion. It has six objectives which are represented by little green flags as apparently I must paint two more Nurgling invested objectives, they are low on the painting priority list. We also chose agendas Bill wants us to choose more of the special new agendas but honestly they have proved hard to accomplish, I tried Calculated Eradication but I also selected Turn Hope to Rot and after deployment chose the Avenging Sons who are not righteous in any way.

We both also got to make one unit have the Objective Secured ability so I gave mine to Boris, I think the Ultramarines gave theirs to their new Dreadnought without an interesting name. I chose not to try and destroy that, one of many mistakes I made in this game.

I tried to draw out Ultramarines but they actually had more units than me but I deployed Stumpy Spawn of Chaos first and I protected the defiler but then I placed my Blightlords opposite the infiltrators which then resulted in the Eradicators being placed nearby. I had also placed my dreadnought in cover too, so the end result was all the biggest Ultramarine guns were aimed at the Right Hard Posse.

The armies deployed

Battle Round One

The Ultramarines won the rolloff to go first and seized the advantage opting to move a little and have almost every unit target the Right Hard Posse. Apparently I had forgotten how much I hate the Eradicators. You can tell I hate them because I remember what they are called. Captain Snazzy Pants tried to make it the Devastator Doctrine but apparently he had been cheating this entire time…

My left flank

The Infiltrators were the first to shoot causing two wounds to my terminators. The onslaught autocannon also fired at the Blightlords but apparently I am really good at rolling twos on a D6. Then the Eradicators got to shoot, killing three whole models after I failed all my invulnerable saves. I forgot my Grizzled ability but it would not have mattered most likely. I also mostly forgot my new Veteran Warriors Battle Honour on Syphilis.

Two Blightlords survive

The Redemptor Dreadnought decided to get cute and split fire. Bill also used a command point to turn one shot into five shots with the plasma gun but I think I made the saves, to start my turn I had the champion, Ostiperosis the Old School, and the Reaper Autocannon but perhaps I should have kept the Plague Spewer. Lastly the tactical squad managed to kill one member of Gangrene after I failed yet another armour save.

Death Guard Turn One

Super Smite!

I’ll need to update my rules cheat sheet but as I gain more Battle Scars and Battle Honours. What I really need apparently is relics as characters can apparently have more than one in a narrative campaign. The winner of this mission was to get a campaign relic.

For the start of this turn I moved generally ahead with everything not holding an objective the cast Miasma on Syphilis and Smite on the Avenging Sons. Then I apparently forgot something, I believe this is when I remembered I had Grizzled, but I would not have been able to roll enough sixes to survive in all likelihood.

In the shooting phase Syphilis split fire and killed one model. The Blightlords even with their reduced composition killed two of the Infiltrators. Toejam‘s lascannon missed and my command re-roll failed, but Boris did 6 wounds with his Defiler cannon and ultimately 8 wounds total on the big dreadnought but it still didn’t die.

The Right Hard Posse charged the Infiltrators but Bill after consulting the big book of Space Marines decided not to use his Haywire Mine even though I advised him to as Toejam ultimately failed his charge roll. But apparently I forgot his super charged engines also help charges, but it may not have mattered. Boris charged the Invader ATV successfully and ripped it apart. The Blightlords were much less successful, I forget how many ones I rolled but a lot.

Toejam’s engines were not supercharged enough

Battle Round Two

In this mission you could not score victory points in the first turn so despite the carnage or where the models are standing no one officially held or captured any objectives yet, but you score at the end of your command phase so the Ultramarines scored five for holding two but none in my deployment zone.

Battle Round Two

As you’ll notice the courageous infiltrating Ultramarines withdrew from melee using some stratagem. And since Boris the Defiler crushed the ATV and Toejam failed his charge there was once again a target rich environment for the Eradicators. The Retributor Dreadnought and the Gravis Captain moved forward to set up their own charges.

Shooting was less damaging to start this battle round but Boris and Toejam both took wounds. Then Captain Snazzy pants charged the Blightlords however Bill realized he forgot to shoot the Eradicators so I let him and used Foul Smokescreen on Boris to try and save him but he ended up taking 9 more wounds. When we returned to the Melee phase Snazzy Pants Paragon Blade did 4 wounds to the Blightlords which killed one.

The Retriputor Dreadnought without an interesting name also got to fight first and finished off Boris. I thought about forcing an explosion but it would cost two command points so then I rolled a die and Boris exploded anyway. He damaged both the Retriputor and worse the explosion killed my last Blightlord Terminator before he got to fight against Captain Snazzy Pants.

Before the big bang

Death Guard Turn Two

Of course I started out by moving and advancing Gangrene, they can still shoot their melta gun, the first of hopefully many melta guns and assault weapons I add to my campaign force. But before the shooting phase is the psychic phase and I again super smote the Avenging Sons. This time it was boxcars but I just took the three mortal wounds, rather than use a command re-roll, though I used McFly’s Revolting Resilience to shrug off one.

Look who is at the front of the battle line?

So after melting another Avenging Son which was my agenda I noticed that Captain Snazzy Pants was alone at the front of the Ultramarine battle line. This fact inspired Bill to play Unyielding in the Face of the Foe and Transhuman. I decided to try Virulent Rounds on Syphilis so this required some thinking how these three stratagems would interact, but honestly plague weapons are not as good as they were when I had an Arch-Contaminator as a warlord.

The plasma guns of Syphilis Squad all failed to wound. Toejam also proved inept not hitting with his lascannon arm then I used a command re-roll to make a Krak missile wound. This resulted in the Redemptor Dreadnought exploding which actually killed one miscellaneous Ultramarine maybe, as all three Eradicators are in the picture above it would have been an Infiltrator.

Toejam after scoring his first kill of the campaign was feeling it so he charged Captain Snazzy Pants. In the olden days you could safely be stuck in H2H but now at least against the Ultramarines they always withdraw and then shoot instead of staying “stuck in”. Toejam is in fact not very good in melee and took a wound for his presumptuousness.

Battle Round Three

Charge is the only order worth remembering.

It wouldn’t be an Ultramarine turn if someone didn’t withdraw from combat only to re-engage, this time it was Captain Snazzy Pants himself, maybe he didn’t want to be kicked to death by Toejam?

This of course allowed the Avenging Sons to do 3 wounds to Toejam as I must have again rolled poorly on my armor saves. Now I play Putrid Detonation only to learn Toejam doesn’t explode with as big of a radius as Boris. I thought I’d get three units of Ultramarines but had to settle for killing an Eradicator.

The Intercessors charge Gangrene and McFly intervenes because he is an inspiring leader. The Gravis Captain also charged Gangrene successfully. The Intercessors fought first and rolled a tonne of dice but they can’t re-roll because they feel shame so McFly survives. Gangrene did not.

Death Guard Turn Three

There was now a distinct lack of Diseased Sons on the battlefield and Syphilis has been hanging back holding one of the objectives in my deployment zone but once again Captain Snazzy Pants was all alone in front of them. But before they could draw a beed on him McFly did four mortal wounds to the Ultramarines in the psychic phase and even cast Miasma on Syphilis which itself did a mortal wound because there are plenty of models within seven inches.

Syphilis looks upon the Gravis Captain with disdain.

Despite firing nine plague marines worth of guns at him, the Gravis Captain survived so of course Syphils had moved forward and now charge in and I bust out the Trench Fighters stratagem. I may have used Eternal Hatred in the shooting phase I definitely used it once this game. Syphilis did four wounds on Captain Snazzy Pants but he saved all but one. McFly killed the Intercessors.

Battle Round Four

Although I haven’t been updating the score in this battle report we did keep score and basically despite me almost getting and perhaps deserving more points we had each scored five victory points on turn two and three for holding the objectives in our deployment zone.

It wouldn’t be an Ultramarine turn if they didn’t fall back and re-engage. Captain Snazzy Pants does a lot of moving backwards and yielding in the face of the foe for the creme de l’creme of the Ultramarines, but this of course allows him to use his fist gun and McFly’s luck ran out. This was the first kill by fist gun all campaign.

Forgotten in the narrative, but not in our hearts, Stumpy Spawn of Chaos has been hiding behind a crate and holding an objective but after an Infiltrator blew up a terrain feature in my deployment zone which was one of the Ultramarine agendas he moved forward but failed his charge roll. He was then targeted by a Krak missile but Stumpy survived and his legend grew.

Once again the Ultramarines declared a bunch of charges, first up was the Avenging Sons who charged Syphilis who declared overwatch and with their Sensitive Dermatitis killing them all. Snazzy Pants failed his charge roll and this left Syphilis Squad fighting the Eradicators and the sergeant of the Infiltrators who I really should have killed by now.

Syphilis passed their morale test to end the Ultramarines turn and Stumpy immediately moved back behind his crate. I was running out of command points by now but I had enough for the Blightening. This allows me to roll 18 dice which auto hit. I think I forgot that part just like I forgot their Veteran Warrior status except perhaps on turn one. This resulted in the Sergeant finally dying as I split my attacks proportionately among the three Ultramarines Syphils was facing. Defenders fighting first helped them but the Ultramarines could not rid themselves of Syphilis.

The Ultramarines charge in to catch Syphilis

Battle Round Five

It wouldn’t be an Ultramarine turn if someone didn’t withdraw and re-engage this time it was the Eradicators, did I mentions I hate those guys and will kill them with extreme prejudice next time!

This resulted in Syphilis being finally eradicated but no Ultramarines were in my deployment zone and Stumpy still was, so the game was declared a draw! The final score was officially 15 to 15.

Post Game

I was pretty tired by now, so we didn’t do everything in the store or go to the pub but we did roll battle scars. I was lucky and only picked up one, Toejam’s communication system is now damaged. He also has Frenzy, a rule I’ve never remembered to use. Does it affect shooting too? I’ll try to give him a couple more chances but the Defiler is just better and only 2 power more.

Most of my units have levelled up recently and I was trying to keep the Blightlords from doing so but I still think I gave them MVP, but the unit that earned a skill was Stumpy Spawn of Chaos and I decided to give him a weapon enhancement, I just double checked and there is no reason I can’t. If the unit has a sergeant he gets the enhancement, but this seems to be more popular for vehicles but why not enhance his hideous mutations, now they have Fleshbane which is damage two.

After re-reading the Calculated Eradication agenda I believe McFly and Syphilis both achieved this as did Toe Jam. You can see in the pictures the Redemptor is right on top of an objective when I blew it up. I know we measured when Toejam killed the ATV but then I forgot to track this carefully, after I caved to Bill’s pressure and chose a new special agenda. With the three-way tie I also get to pick who gets the two bonus XP. I decided to give it to Syphilis, they did the most as usual, though McFly acquitted himself well.

With the high number of models having multiple wounds in the campaign and some having over twenty like Lord Godrick I am a big fan of doing more than one damage at a time after going through all the trouble of hitting, wounding, getting passed the armour, you want to make something dead, not just do a flesh wound.

Two Saturdays in a row the Sentry Box has not had any Blightlords in fact they hadn’t gotten a shipment of Death Guard models in a while but they had got the new sexy GW models. I can convert more Blightlords but I like to paint different models so was planning to get a box and now with my desire to hunt down and kill Lord Godrick and Captain Snazzy Pants I think the Right Hard Posse is the unit for the job if I can just optimize them a bit more and not deploy them so they get eradicated first turn.

If you have thoughts on our narrative campaign or the Plague Purge book or Blightlord Terminators you can leave them below. And the reason plague bearers are in the header image is the rumour is 25% daemons may be back…

40K Narrative Campaign Week 13

The forces of the Diseased Sons were all set to face off against the Chaos Knights…

The forces of the Diseased Sons were all set to face off against the Chaos Knights led by Lord Godrick when the tides of the warpstorm rose and receded revealing instead the even more hated Ultramarines glimpsed through a mysterious shroud across the battlefield.

That’s right it was another busy week in the Pariah Nexus or if you prefer the Sentry Box. It is actually the Calgary Stampede and I was supposed to go to a concert, but I’ve become ill, I even took an at home Covid-19 test but tested negative. I’ll retest again, but I wanted to get typing on this battle report as they take a long time and I have a lot of painting to do soon.

Bill has been slacking there has been no narrative text and the missions have been top secret but we did agree to play 30 power through the Astrotelepaths, which for easy math worked out to be a Chaos Lord, two ten man plague marine squads, and a lone Chaos Spawn. As soon as I wrote it out I new it was far from optimal, especially when it appeared I would be playing Chaos Knights. Having no heavy weapons or even melta guns or powerfists is something I would never do in the past, but for the campaign I’m trying to run a more cobbled together and desperate force. Maybe we’re having trouble with our supply lines.

Also the Warhammer 40,000 9th edition campaign rules allow you to add models to your squad before they get their second battle honour so I had just started adding five more models to the Scarlet Fevers so they are kinda out of commission until that is complete. I have basically tried this army list before and it just does not cut it especially in a mission like “The Shroud”.

Our pretty battlefield

Pregame Preparation

Aiden was the first to arrive and had set up the battlefields, which was good, but then he really wanted to play the new sexy Chaos Space Marines, aka Devin. But he had to settle for playing either Bill or I as we arrived next, so we rolled up the mission, chose agendas, and we’re just starting to deploy when Devin appeared. So there was a slight change in opponents but it was ruled everyone must play the same mission.

I did not change my army not when I learned the mission or my opponent, but I did change my agenda. I stuck with Turn their Hope to Rot but went with Survivor: Syphilis instead of the Reaper. This mission was complicated, there was a line running down the board which gave you a 5+ invulnerable save, which I remembered, but the actual goal was to run across the other side and occupy the enemy’s deployment zone. You got points for that, killing enemy units once you crossed the Shroud and points for keeping your deployment zone clean of the enemy.

You also had to split your army into three sections. One got to deploy so I went with the Burning Sores as they are my gluten for punishment unit, they really need more special weapons and I think about getting their champion Germie a relic. My second section was Maceo and Billalexdevin as they were the fastest and the plan was they would gumboot it up the battle field and then last to arrive would be Syphilis who would defend my deployment zone.

It wasn’t a bad plan, but it is clear I need stronger faster units for a mission like this. To start the game Bill rolled a six and I of course rolled a one. This is tradition but somehow I got to go first as I won the next rolloff. I forgot a few rules, Contagion until I started putting the dial right on the table not off to the side. I also think I forgot Grizzled on Billalexdevin, maybe my +1 to shoot for a turn, and who knows what else. Those omissions didn’t cost me the game, my inability to make key armour saves even when using the command re-roll probably cost me the game, that along with lack of speed and guns that shoot over 24 inches.

Deployment

Bill deployed the hated Eradicators. But I was forced to counter with the Burning Sores but we both were out of site of the other, but as soon as I moved, I basically had to choose either to try to run as fast across the battlefield as possible or stay on my side of the shroud and get a 5+ invulnerable save against the mega meltas.

The forces deployed for battle

Battle Round One

So I carefully maneuvered my guys five inches or less. We actually forgot that the first wave or reinforcements arrived on turn one but they start so far back we just put them on midway through the first turn. I had nothing to see or shoot so maybe I should have advanced or set up as far as possible from the Eradicators but what I needed was guns that shot further than 24 inches or models that can move more than 5 inches.

In the Ultramarine half of the turn they stepped out of cover, it was the Assault Doctrine and despite remembering my Shroud save I lost two plague marines. Not bad, but this was how the game basically went, I got outshot, outmaneuvered and could not make enough key armour saves. The score was 10-10 and Bill was called away to make a ruling in the other game, apparently Chaos Knights are strong.

My early or late reinforcements

Battle Round Two

It was actually part way through Bill’s turn one that I remember reinforcements so we put them on late then I got to advance both Maceo and Billalexdevin and finally deploy Syphilis in my second turn. I decided not to run with the Burning Sores as they could get 8 bolter shots, which I directed at the newly arrived Ultramarines as the Eradicators are also toughness five. It was all for nothing as the Ultramarines made their saves.

I did crucially cross the shroud and giving up my invulnerable save.

All the reinforcements arrive in battle round two

All the Ultramarines arrived including the ATV which roared at Maceo firing it’s Onslaught Assault cannon but it did nothing as Bill rolled lots of ones. The smaller gun did better and I failed two armor saves but I used a command re-roll to take a single wound. I probably forgot my Tactical Experience, but I did eventually use it. I need to remember to use it every time I spend a command point.

Overwatch was ineffective

This turn the mega melta guns killed 4 plague marines. I really do dislike those guys and should either deploy far from them or direct every gun I have at them until they are gone. The Burning Sores were shot even more losing another model as I failed two more likely 3+ armour saves. Then I got charged and my overwatch with my single surviving plague belcher did nothing nor did Germie’s plasma pistol.

Melee was indecisive but I did opt to use my pile of command points to play Insane Bravery on the last Burning Sore which denied Bill victory points and gave me an early 30-10 lead but I’d already lost over a third of my army and I wasn’t sure who else would be able to get across the Shroud.

Battle Round Three

Melee is joined

Maceo pressed forward shot his combi-plasma but Captain Snazzy Pants played Transhuman Physiology then Unyielding in the Face of the Foe and finally used a command re-roll. I of course charged with Maceo, he really is trying hard to please the Chaos Gods but he is just not a H2H monster with his magic hat and his aura boosting those around him, especially in this mission where he has no one around him to boost.

Maceo VS Snazzy Pants

My notes were doing well until this part of the battle report. I may have had to use a command re-roll to make the charge I can’t remember. I charged with the Chaos Spawn first but Bill did not or could not overwatch and I rolled big for Billalexdevin. All my charges succeeded.

Maceo hit five times wounding four times but Snazzy Pants saves everything. The Ultramarines then launched a Counter Offensive on my Chaos Spawn and lone plague marine. Germie failed his armour save so I re-rolled, but gets a one and the Burning Sores are no more. My Chaos Spawn killed a marine in return as he got the -4 AP mutations, that seems to be the best.

Snazzy Pants strikes back with 5 attacks but then gets one more then two more after that. Three hits get through initially. I save the first three but then 3 more with the Boltstorm Guantlet. Maceo takes four damage and even using my command re-roll he dies.

So of course he erupts in filth doing two mortal wounds to the Gravis Captain.

In the Ultramarine half of the battle round, my Chaos Spawn is wounded by marines who “fell back” but actually moved forward. A member of Syphilis is killed by an Eradicator but the Captain missed with his shooting.

Several of the Ultramarines have the Mark of Shame so they charge the Chaos Spawn but needed to re-roll to get into melee. Alas they could not complete their Quest of Atonement as a lone Chaos Spawn is not a Monster.

Syphils was nearly surrounded but remained defiant

Battle Round Four

Things were not looking good for the Diseased Sons of Mortarion. The score was officially 50-30 for the Death Guard, but I was down to ten models and I didn’t think I could get across the Shroud again, but I had to try so I decided to go towards the weakened Intercessors.

I of course can not advance and shoot but if I ever paint up blight launchers maybe I would advance more as those could still shoot. As it was, I did not roll the best but two plasma guns wounded and five bolters which killed two marines.

Syphilis of course charges rolling an eight for distance, wounding five more marines, killing two.

It was then that Avenge the Fallen was played.

Avenge the Fallen!

The Ultramarines all shot at Syphilis as I believe my Chaos Spawn had died before now, yes but not being a Monster it did not complete the quest. Two more members of Syphilis squad died and they were charged so I fired overwatch and did one wound.

Trench Fighting Time

In melee I used the Trench Fighters stratagem which I’m a big fan of for my large bolter armed squads. This resulted in nine wounds being done to the Ultramarines but it appears to have caused few actual casualties despite all the dice I rolled.

I believe two Ultramarines were cut down in melee at the end of battle round four leaving three left to start the final turn. The score was now tied 50-50 but the reality was the Diseased Sons were surrounded, outnumbered and didn’t have the tricksy hobbit stratagems necessary to pull out the victory. But after Bill quipped that one of my thirty year old plague marine models died, I told him I was fighting the long war.

Battle Round Five

Apparently the Ultramarines and other forces can fall back from hand to hand combat and still shoot or charge, but I don’t think the Death Guard can and anyway why would I retreat when I can use the Blightening!

This turns three of my blight grenades into pistol 6 plague weapons so I get to roll 18 dice which did 13 wounds and killed two more Ultramarines. Alas I needed to kill three as then I could have charged across the Shroud into the Eradicators.

As it was I had to fight melee against the lone Sergeant. Five wounds were done killing the Intercessor.

Syphilis Alone

The Eradicators shoot at Syphilis doing six wounds, but I can take the Shroud save but fail five times leaving just Bagonhead and another squad member alive. The Lieutenant with his fancy gun then kills a plague marine. The Gravis Captain fired next but Bagonhead survived! Finally the Invader ATV killed Bagonhead as I could not make my 3+ armour saves, this also cost me the Survivor agenda.

Post Game

I managed to not get any fresh battle scars but decided not to make Maceo MVP, if I had marked him for greatness he would have gotten to roll on the Chaos Boon chart and could have become a spawn or a Daemon Prince. I thought if I gave it to Syphilis which were more deserving they’d get a battle honour but when I checked my math at home it was just not so.

Next week I’ll try to do better. It turns out I really miss the smaller plague marine squad. It is half as powerful but in the small games the savings allows me to bring an elite or heavy support choice which bolsters my force more than five more models with bolters. Once I get the Blightlords or Defiler back on the table I should do a bit better, I will buy a Foetid Bloat-drone next but first I will paint plague marines and probably that plague surgeon I already bought, plus one day soon I’ll need to paint a daemon prince or another chaos spawn!

If you have thoughts on how to improve my campaign force or what is the optimal plague marine squad you can leave a comment below.

40K Narrative Campaign Week 11

After a several week hiatus once again the forces of the Ultramarines and the Death Guard met on the field of battle…

After a several week hiatus once again the forces of the Ultramarines and the Death Guard met on the field of battle. It was also on the day you could pre-order the Chaos Codex so we may see some new sexiness enter the campaign, but not from me, I’m committed to the Death Guard at least for 2022. But I spent a lot of time yesterday reading reviews and watching videos and in order for the Diseased Sons and the Nefarious Fire to use the latest Chaos Codex they must join a legion.

I was originally thinking Black Legion, after all the Nefarious Fire are black, but for the Diseased Sons the best fit for their havocs and various other models I can’t field with the Death Guard codex is the Iron Warriors, oh the irony. The Creations of Bile and even the Red Corsairs are dark horses as they get less rules but they did not fight in the Horus Heresy and are not of the first founding.

If you have been living in a hole for the last few months many of the rules were leaked officially or unofficially but the usual sources will have you covered until the book is in your hands, I will just plot and scheme and hopefully paint, but first I will type up the latest battle report as Maceo the Maligned is destined for daemonhood or spawndom.

There are separate videos on the Legions mentioned above

Pre-Battle

Bill and I headed down to the Sentry Box for the first time in several weeks. He set up the terrain and rolled up a bunch of stuff from one of his fancy campaign books so for posterity our mission was “Dominate the Field” there were four objectives represented by little green flags on the corners of the two deployment zones represented by little plastic right angles I got off Etsy. Our affliction was “Unnatural Dread” which didn’t have a big affect but might have if we remembered it, there was also “Deferred Reinforcements” but that didn’t affect me either as I put my entire 40 PL army on the table to start, but Bill tried using actual “tactics”.

Even though I left behind the Burning Sores and Syphilis somehow I had more campaign experience than Bill’s army. But he brought back some old favourites including the marines with the extra good melta guns, they came on as reinforcements. As a result after doing some math Bill got two extra Command Points we didn’t use the new Command Points rules because they are for matched play and we’re all about forging the narrative.

I once again chose Turn their Hope to Rot and it is not the easiest agenda to accomplish as I have to kill the enemy’s strongest unit which of course Bill combat squads and hides half in the corner, but I also took Reaper which is easier but you only gain two experience points and can not gain virulence points. I gotta get painting I have three primed Plague Marines and I need to do another one for the Scarlet Fevers I think and I will paint that Plague Surgeon I bought, that will open up another Death Guard agenda and advance the narrative.

Diseased Sons Army List

I actually picked this army list weeks ago and basically the idea is I need more anti-armour because there are now Chaos Knights to kill not to mention toughness eight Wraithlords. So I see melta guns in my future and likely some daemon engines plus of course more cultists as outnumbering the Loyalists is fun. I think I want to get 40 of those painted for the new Chaos Codex.

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord of Nurgle 5 PL
  • McFly the Malevolent, Plaguecaster 5 PL
  • The Scarlet Fevers led by Killious Bilious the Silliest, 5 Plague Marines 6 PL
  • The Cancer Cell led by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty, 10 Cultists 3 PL
  • Billalexdevin, Chaos Spawn 1 PL
  • Stumpy, Chaos Spawn 1 PL
  • Boris the Defiler, 9 PL
  • The Right Hard Posse led by Osteoporosis the Old School, 5 Blightlord Terminators, 10 PL

Deployment

I started the game rolling nothing but ones much to the amusement of Bill and my streak of never being able to roll a six to get a command point back continues. Bill started doing the math as he kept expecting my one in six chance to happen but it did not then I explained to him that this streak has been going for at least three games. I don’t know what the odds are of this happening but they have to be microscopic. As a result of rolling ones to start Bill got to choose to be the attacker and go first but I got to choose sides and thanks to my cultists and spawn I outnumbered the Ultramarines not that they had anything I was really worried about where it would deploy, the most worrisome stuff was in reserves.

The fourth objective is behind a building guarded by a Chaos Spawn

Battle Round One

Look at all the Diseased Sons

Bill him’ed and haw’ed but ultimately chose to go first and decided he would try and kill Billalexdevin. In a campaign a unit of a single solitary Chaos Spawn is worth as many experience points as the mightiest of Chaos Knights unless you have some clever agenda. Bill’s agendas were to dig in the dirt and try to atone for his mark of shame. Billalexdevin also has the mark of shame that is why he has to hide in the corner.

The Ultramarines also fired at my terminators and the Scarlet Fevers but nothing important died just a single plague marine, the planest janest one.

Death Guard Turn One

I did a pretty good job remembering rules, I forgot some Grizzled rolls but so did Bill and I forgot that Boris can heal one wound a turn and I think we both forgot the -1 Ld test but both our armies had high leadership and McFly is inspiring and the second part of that twist is you can re-roll if a character is nearby so McFly stayed nearby the cultists for most of the game.

In my first turn everything moved forward, I sent my second Chaos Spawn around to help the now wounded one hold the corner objective. A single Chaos Spawn has it’s uses especially in making the math work out but a unit of two or three is probably more useful and will happened if the campaign goes for years as Bill hopes.

Although as noted two paragraphs ago I didn’t remember everything and will have to update my notes as I earn yet more Battle Honours and Battle Scars I did remember to cast my defensive psychic power on the Right Hard Posse, alas Bill ignored them trying to pick up the easy XP by killing spawn and cultists. Bill is a big fan of Transhuman Physiology and he played it just about every shooting phase when I shot at whatever I wanted to kill, despite that the Cancer Cell with their three autoguns managed to wound squad three. Shame on Bill for not even naming them.

Battle Round Two

Battle Round Two

The Ultramarines had some super scouts and they wanted my Chaos Spawn dead. The squad I had to kill which was split into combat squads is in the centre and the top right corner above. So basically we both had two objective but I defended one of mine with a lone Chaos Spawn and this flaw in my defences was quickly spotted by Bill or was Billalexdevin merely a sacrificial pawn?

Stumpy tries to help his fellow Chaos Spawn

Regardless after shooting the Ultramarines charged Billalexdevin and rolled a tonne of dice I believe because of a rule called “Shock Assault” and killed him taking an objective away from me and scoring a big 30 victory points and jumping out to the early lead.

Death Guard Turn Two

After some more maneuvering with my blisteringly fast forces McFly attempted to manifest a psychic power but I rolled a three. I did not use a re-roll but tried to cast another psychic power and rolled snake eyes. Bill was amused especially after I explained why I saved my command points until I really needed them. As a result my Plaguecaster did not suffer a perils of the warp attack and actually did a mortal wound on an Ultramarine.

Of course Bill used Transhuman Physiology which saved an Ultramarine from Boris as he had one of the few guns that would wound on a two or a three. After the death of Billalexdevin, Stumpy of course charged the Ultramarines who overwatched and hit and wounded twice. As Chaos Spawn only have a 5+ armor save I needed to roll boxcars to survive, so I did.

It was all academic because shock assault is so good and the Ultramarines tried to kill another chaos spawn in hand to hand. Eventually they will get the Grandfather’s blessing but it is too early in the campaign for that right now.

Battle Round Three

At some point we adjusted the score so to start turn three, for those wondering, the score should have been 40 for the Ultramarines and 30 for the Death Guard. I thought I should have scored 20 in my turn three but Bill decided I actually should have scored 20 in my turn two, so that is what the official record will now say.

The Ultramarines reinforce their left flank

Although I didn’t make a note, I did take a picture and I believe his reinforcements arrived this turn, but because of our small table and the special rules he couldn’t appear within 12 inches of me so he ended up on the Death Guard right flank right where I had to worry about knocking his models over with my elbow. And even though I originally thought Stumpy died last turn I also wrote that the super scouts fell back and re-engaged.

Many shots were actually directed at poor Stumpy and despite being power level one, the least powerful possible unit in the game, Bill used basically half his army to kill him and Billalexdevin. Also it should be noted two units dug in Battle Round one so I guess it was most of half his army for three turns to kill two spawn.

Despite the legendary status of my Chaos Spawn what Bill really wanted to kill was Boris the Defiler and the mega meltas lined him up but only did a few wounds, which in hindsight I could have healed over time but forgot. Apparently that is now a standard rule for daemon engines in the new Chaos Codex.

Ill-fated Ultramarine charge

The Ultramarines also decided to charge the Blightlords. I of course declared I would use overwatch but there was some debate over how many of my models could fire because of the terrain, in the end I think it was ruled just the Plague Spewer could because I had him on point and he managed to kill 1.5 models. The Right Hard Posse would go on to kill two more in H2H taking zero wounds, they really are elite troops and I should use them in most every game of the campaign going forward.

A couple cultists must have died to Ultramarine shooting I think the ATV may have shot at them or just some regular bolter or bolter rifle guys, but due to rolling a two and the inspiring leadership of McFly it was decided they passed morale, but we probably forgot about that -1 twist, but we remember I would get to re-roll if I did fail, so maybe I passed on merit.

Death Guard Turn Three

Now that they were on the board, there was no doubt who was public enemy number one. I generally moved forward most every turn but at the plodding Death Guard pace. However McFly was able to see and thus Smite a melta gunner. Boris also shot all his gun every turn with varying success, if I built a Defiler for this edition, and I probably will for my non-Nurgle Chaos Space Marines, I’d arm him differently but as it is he killed the Eradicators which maybe had been squad Typhon.

Not to be left out the Right Hard Posse which historically has been how I got a gun that could shoot over 24 inches now seems to be more dangerous in melee but despite that they killed squad Odino with their guns. This would result in a score for the curious of 50-40 for the Ultramarines heading into the fourth battle round. In this mission it is pretty hard to score over 10 VP a turn, you have to basically take an objective from your opponent in their deployment zone.

The reason I got 20 in turn two is the Blightlords now have Objective Secured and although on the other side of the ruin they eventually got close enough to the objective on my left flank especially after the super scouts withdrew only to charge back in and die. So whether I got 20 VP in turn two or three the score at this point in time would be the same.

Battle Round Four

The ATV roared forward to draw a bead on the surviving cultists huddled behind a wall but crucially within three inches of an objective. I also noted that Bill killed a Blightlord, this one I probably forgot to roll Grizzled, their battle honour for, the other thing I forgot most of the game was contagion, despite moving the dial every turn, I think I need to stick that dial right in front of me, maybe wear it around my neck on a chain.

Live Fast Die Blue

Death Guard Turn Four

Little known fact, after the ATV got all cute and charged McFly through a wall, Boris crawled over and crushed it. McFly is actually pretty good in H2H, he gets less attacks at a lower weapon skill than Maceo but his stick is a plague weapon and does multiple wounds. Now that I’ve played a few games of this edition, weapons that do more than one damage seem really valuable. The fact that heavy bolters do two wounds and autocannons even the reaper autocannon does not is odd. Maybe the new-fangled chain gun is good or whatever the Maulerfiends have, I’ll definitely be adding anti-armour and higher damaged weapons to my army as this campaign goes on.

The battlefield as the fifth battle round begins

Battle Round Five

Some more stuff obviously happened in the previous battle round, I wrote something down but it is illegible. I also think I cast Miasma of Pestilence on the Scarlet Fevers because on the small squads used by the Ultramarines, Plague Wind isn’t that great. I will probably field a lot of junior psychers in the new Chaos Codex.

Bill did a lot of math and consulting the rules to start this turn. I assured him even if I could not win, I wanted to roll some dice. But as he had a 10 VP lead I needed to take an objective from him, the one held by three Ultramarines in the bottom right corner, my right flank his left. I had carefully strung out my Blightlords but a lot would be riding on the Scarlet Fevers making an advanced roll and surviving and somehow outnumbering the Ultramarines.

Captain Snazzy Pants had done little but dig in the dirt and make it the tactical doctrine. He is not toughness eight, but somehow he has multiple relics and is actually very tough to kill and rolls a lot of attacks in H2H, I assured Bill Maceo would fight him to advance the narrative so he rushed forward.

Just because I stopped mentioning it the fact remains, I still had not rolled a six to get a single CP back. I should get potentially 11 chances per game if I remember so figure three games that is 25 or so consecutive non-sixes. I actually had four CP or so to start the this battle round, I like to save mine until I need them and the climactic H2H fight has started. I did use Plague Brewers several times during this game and it did nothing, so perhaps the Chosen Sons are not the best plague company but I’m not giving up on them now, I’m a ride till I die kinda guy or at least until this campaign ends.

Captain Snazzy Pants not only moved forward he likely made a big charge roll into the Blight Lords but I heroically intervened of course. The Gravis Captain has so many rules, he has a power sword which is actually now a relic plus a power fist, plus I think he used Gene-Wrought Might and it was probably Shock Assault and some favourable doctrine. Bill also decided to split his attacks four into the Blight Lords and four into Maceo this was just fine with me, they both have 4+ invulnerable to his surprise.

One Blightlord died but Captain Snazzy Pants took six wounds in return so maybe he miscalculated.

Warlord versus Warlord as the Gods Laugh

Death Guard Turn Five

The crucial fourth objective

Bill was very concerned this turn about my ability to actually win the game I assured him I had a plan and dutifully advanced the Scarlet Fevers. They need to roll at least a five it was determined to make it interesting and they did.

The Nurgle Renegade with a heavy weapon really has a heavy weapon, I’m counting it as the Plague Spewer, so if he had the regular assault plague flamer I would have been better off, but McFly and Boris can kill one or two Ultramarines right?

Before any of that on the right flank I actually used Release the Toxins in the command phase. I always want to use this but only Maceo can and he often dies or I forget, I didn’t roll the greatest and there was only one Ultramarine within range but Captain Snazzy Pants took another wound. I kept insisting to Bill, about how I would kill Lord Godrick the big Chaos Knight that joined our campaign, was going to be mortal wounds all the special rules in the world wouldn’t save him from that.

Of course I shot at the Ultramarines I think I even killed one which is pretty poor when you consider I also had the psychic phase and the three heavy weapons on the Defiler. But McFly could charge, so I promptly rolled a five. But I had saved my last command point so we got out one of my measuring sticks and it was determined I needed at least an eight, so I re-rolled and got an eight!

I rolled first then measured, then re-rolled exactly enough.

McFly fights first as the charger and beat down an Ultramarine with his stick. Next up was Captain Snazzy Pants who had learned his lesson and put all his attacks into Maceo. Three got through and of course I failed all three of the saving throws and died. Maceo is just not that great of a Chaos Lord, I won’t be surprised if he does turn into a spawn, he just does not seem to be able to come through in H2H against the other warlords and tough models in the campaign.

Of course the Blightlords get three attacks each and four for the champ and they easily killed the Ultramarine Captain.

Post Game

So despite Maceo’s failure and because I rolled a five on a single die and after a re-roll, an eight on two dice and because there was actually another bonus 10 VP for holding an objective in your opponent’s deployment zone I didn’t even know about, the final score became 90-80 for the Death Guard. Take that math!

This was one of my more successful games as with the exception of Maceo failing to kill Captain Snazzy Pants and advancing the narrative and earn his third chaos boon via the Path to Glory requisition an option I’d kept secret until now… things went according to plan.

Stumpy picked up a battle scar so of course I gave him “Walking Wounded”. Boris and the Blightlords killed the most units but I gave MVP to the Scarlet Fevers as it would get them to six and their first battle honour. Then not wanting every squad to be the same and because it fit the narrative I gave them Fleet of Foot.

If you have thoughts on my brilliant tactics and superior army selection you can leave them below. If you would rather talk about the new Chaos Codex or how boring Ultramarines are, I’ll also allow that.

40K Narrative Campaign Week 7

In this the seventh official week of our 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000 Narrative Campaign will the followers of Nurgle triumph?

In this the seventh official week of our 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000 Narrative Campaign will the followers of Nurgle triumph over their hated foes the Ultramarines or will my inability to remember important rules at important times undo my efforts to paint my unique army and forge the narrative? The only way to find out is to read the latest lengthy blog post that I type up much to the amusement of a handful of people online.

It goes without saying that we are still busy at work, while I was playing games and missing Record Store Day, others were working so I don’t know if I’ll get this post completed in a timely manner. I must work tomorrow it has been strongly implied. But despite work I kept painting on the one unpainted model in my campaign force, a vintage Death Guard terminator made with the Forgeworld bits.

Blightlord Terminator
Blightlord Terminator
Standing on the verge of getting on…

Pre-Game

Stumpy Spawn of Chaos

It was announced ahead of time we were to play “The Ritual” scenario at 35 PL but somehow at the last minute we changed to 40 PL. I have my entire campaign force in my case, but I have no way to make 40 PL after boosting Syphilis Squad to ten models. Considering how successful they’ve been I don’t think this was a mistake, but I’ll need to requisition another Plague Marine squad but first I’ll requisition another single spawn which in order to give myself a chance to paint, I had to clean and assemble immediately after this week’s game, so here is a picture of Stumpy, Spawn of Chaos.

This model I got in trade with one of the other players in our campaign Devin, then today Alex gave everyone some models he had that were no longer needed according to his master plan. Apparently I traded coke, the liquid sugary kind, for some Poxwalkers. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to painting them, probably quite a while from now, as I must paint Plague Marines, Chaos Spawn, more cultists and some new characters as Maceo is on the Path of Glory so he’ll end up a Daemon Prince or yet another Chaos Spawn, either way I got the model sitting on a shelf behind me.

The Forces of the Diseased Sons

40 Power Level Army

I had carefully picked out my 35 PL force, not knowing I would play Bill or even knowing the mission would be the Ritual, I tend to pick my army list immediately after the game based on what worked, what didn’t, and who got a new battle scar or battle honour. But I have always led my forces this edition with Maceo the Maligned.

  • Maceo the Maligned, Chaos Lord 5 PL
  • McFly the Malevolent, Malignant Plaguecaster 5 PL
  • Syphilis Squad, ten Plague Marines 12 PL
  • Boris the Defiler, 9 PL
  • Rhino with Havoc Launcher, 4 PL
  • The Cancer Cell, ten chaos cultists 3 PL
  • Billalexdevin, Spawn of Chaos 1 PL

Both the Cancer Cell and my spawn have Battle Scars, the Cancer Cell is disgraced and can’t use re-rolls or stratagems and Billalexdevin wears the Mark of Shame and can’t benefit form auras. He has an aura so I guess he can’t use that either, but considering how fast these two units usually die, I’m just going to have to live with these little disadvantages. All my other units except the rhino have earned battle honours so I have somehow earned the most crusade points, but Alex is definitely the person to beat and I don’t know if I can build the army to do it, the Ultramarines likely have a better chance against the Eldar than I do.

Setup and Deployment

The toilet paper is key to the Ritual

Bill brought the terrain and set it up, then we realized there was a ruin where the Ritual should occur so we move it to the left. For reasons that were never clearly explained but basically because I was the attacker two weeks ago, I was the defender this week. Having lost two weeks ago, one of my takeaways is my army is probably better at defending. The reason is most of my models can not shoot over 24 inches so having the enemy have to advance towards me is actually more advantageous than going first, this is why, as you will see, I set up with basically units that are going to take the enemy fire to protect more important units.

In addition to the objective representing the ritual site, there are four more objectives on the board, two placed by Bill and two placed by me. Bill put his behind buildings I only put one of mine behind a little ruin, the second one I put where I wanted to go. I had also decided that my Lord who may or may not have had to deploy right next to the Ritual site, it was later ruled he did not, would focus on the mission quite a lot.

Agendas

These are actually chosen before deployment but revealed after deployment but I have one where I have to kill my enemies most powerful unit and I basically give away I’m going to take it by asking which unit in your army is the most powerful. I will most likely take this agenda often as it will earn me a Virulence point and the regular agendas and missions won’t. For my second agenda I chose Survivor and gave that task again to Syphilis. Ten model Plague Marine squads are hard to kill, especially if you put them in cover.

The Actual Deployment

So having given away that I intended place my warlord Maceo within three inches of a spot bereft of cover, the first unit I place was my rhino. I didn’t even bother pointing it towards the enemy, basically I said I would use rhinos for cover and I did. Bill split the tactical squad that I had to kill into two units, so it was ruled I had to kill all ten, but then we decided for eliminating a unit from the game I got a pip on my campaign card. I probably could have tried a little hard to complete my first agenda, but I lost a close game last week, so this time I was even more focussed on achieving my mission.

I deployed the rhino more than three inches from the Ritual site and in the gap I put the Cancer Cell. Supposedly they are a better screen than the rhino, but they tend to run, so the Heroic Leadership of McFly would be called upon. But first I put down Syphilis, I didn’t put them in cover, but within nine inches of Maceo. His auras are nine inches because of the Fugaris’ Helm. Next I think I deployed my single spawn next to the objective I had in the ruins, basically he would babysit it for as long as he could. McFly is in cover and out of sight, but strategically within 6 inches of my two infantry squads.

The last model I placed was Boris, the Ultramarines had deployed several units in the open so I lined them up in my sights. Then Bill who had an abundance of Command Points redeployed three of his units. He still put a unit out front, but Boris is my fastest model so he can move and line up another shot, but the ability for the enemy to redeploy is something I’m going to have to start planning for as at least two of my opponents can do this with a stratagem.

The Initial Deployment

The other issue with redeployment, is I take a perfectly good picture of the army setup then it changes. So I took another picture, or thought I did, so you can decide if this was a brilliant tactic or a necessity to avoid the Defiler Cannon. If I build another Defiler and I might after the new Chaos Codex comes out, I’d arm it differently, mine was built before there was an official model.

From my records he redeployed his Captain, the Incursors and the Intercessors. They all moved from my left flank to my right flank, but Boris can move and shoot and he has the most long ranged guns so I wasn’t terribly concerned.

Who goes first?

In some missions the attacker goes first, but in this one it was a roll off which Bill won. His agendas were Kingslayer because he also got thirty victory points for killing my warlord and a unique Ultramarine one where he basically gets XP for passing moral tests and boy did I give him lots of opportunities to fulfill that agenda, my shooting is less than overwhelming, but I usually kill a model or two a turn.

Battle Round One

Bill starts his turn with trickery, apparently he can make it the Tactical Doctrine for one squad so after consulting the rules he made it the Tactical Doctrine for the squad in the centre, they have better guns than the squad in the lead on my right flank. I looked on Google Drive and I couldn’t find Bill’s army, but this may have been squad Tration and regardless that squad killed one Plague Marine. I briefly thought about re-rolling one of my failed armour saves but decided it was too early to use CP.

The Titan Slayers is what Bill has dubbed his Devastator squad. We have no Titans in our crusade currently but we do have an Eldar Wraithlord. They have a trick where he can make one weapon hit on a 2+ but his Lascannon rolled a one, so he re-rolled it and rolled another one. I have a bad habit of paying the command re-roll and failing key rolls too and my ability to roll snake eyes amuses Bill to know end.

But even with the laser cannon as Bill calls it doing nothing, the Devastators killed the Rhino anyway. He has two missile launchers and a plasma cannon to back up the “laser cannon”. So next the Ultramarines fire on the Cancer Cell with the tactical squads missile launcher, this results in two dead cultists. I remove ones without autoguns as although I want cultists to be better, they rarely last long enough to get into melee. So I’ll be painting more autoguns and likely a heavy stubber. Supposedly the next Chaos Codex will give cultists more value on the table.

Death Guard Turn One

McFly‘s inspiration was actually not needed as they passed their moral test by themselves. On my turn I moved Boris a little and he killed one model, but then Bill would make his morale test and gain XP. I was in such a hurry to start shooting Bill, I skipped the psychic phase, McFly was also out of sight and thus out of mind, but Bill let me try to cast Miasma of Pestilence anyway on Syphilis. I’ve switched to using that on my best squad rather than trying in vain to save the cultists.

Syphilis remained stationary to increase the range of the Plasma guns and I think I killed a single model with them, but it might have been two. Four cultists also got to fire and they may have done a wound. I have +1 to hit on all my infantry squads, that seems the most obvious battle trait to take given the options in the Death Guard codex for troops.

At the end of Battle Round One

Battle Round Two

Bill couldn’t score any victory points in the first battle round but I could, so Maceo did score 10 VP, giving me an early lead. Bill had advanced on my left flank and got 20 VP as he had two objectives and I currently held just one. The objectives are hard to see on the Ultramarine side of the board but basically one behind each large building.

I didn’t take as many photos this game which is a shame because we had two completely painted armies much to Bill’s amazement. Apparently in his turn two Bill announced it was “Devastator Time!” So the cultists all died. Bill was worried he wouldn’t be able to kill them but his fear was unfounded as everyone who could but the Titan Slayers fired upon them. If a squad is at least three models, it can protect a character to a degree, but with the Cancer Cell removed Maceo had to take all the fire of the Devastators.

Again Bill used is special shot on the Lascannon but I made my invulnerable save. I think Maceo made all his saves, he definitely survived to worship Chaos again, but the Ritual site was looking very exposed.

Death Guard Turn Two

Boris is actually the fastest model in my army and on the table so he moved forward to shield Maceo. Apparently even if you can see the character you can’t target him standing next to a giant mechanical monstrosity. I moved forward both Syphilis and McFly.

McFly actually failed a psychic test but I re-rolled and got a nine so it became a Super Smite. Syphilis also killed a model or two and I completely forgot to use their banner the Sigil of Decay all game. I wrote a cheat card and every unit has a cue card, but sometimes I just forget rules, it wasn’t like this in the olden days.

I didn’t write the score down, but I got 10 VP at the end of my turn for the ritual so I think it was 20-20.

The End of Battle Round Two

Battle Round Three

With the game tied and the third battle round starting, Bill declared it was the “Tactical Doctrine!” This was also known as the turn everyone shot at Boris. He has a 5+ invulnerable and he made his save against the lascannon. But he failed his next armour save so of course I used a re-roll and failed again, this despite being armoured in contempt and having grown extra plates as his battle trait. After being wounded by the missile launchers then came the plasma cannon which did another four wounds. Then another krak missile from the tactical squad for which I also failed the armour save. Then Boris took another wound from bolter fire!

None-the-less he survived and it was going to be my turn.

Boris survives, protecting Maceo and the Ritual site

Death Guard Turn Three

The game must have been getting heated as I didn’t remember to take a picture for a while. I also may have forgotten to deduct a command point so I coughed up one more. Boris moved forward, he also regained a wound to have four, this meant he hit on a 4+, this does make a difference. Syphilis and McFly also moved forward and Billalexdevin and Maceo focussed on scoring victory points.

Boris actually rolled a six with the Defiler Cannon at some point but I didn’t write down when, of all his guns, the twin-linked heavy bolters may be the best, I’m a big fan of this weapon in this edition of the game. But before shooting is psychics, I even wrote down “Don’t forget psychic phase”. And much to Bill’s amusement I rolled snake eyes. However I re-rolled and this is when the discussion occurred about how many CP I should have. So since I had lots, around four I paid another, I made my re-roll and McFly did five mortal wounds to the Ultramarines with Plague Wind, take that Goonhammer! Then he did three more mortal wound with Smite.

Boris did manage to kill two models and as a result there was one Ultramarine I think the sergeant of Squad Tration left, so Boris charged them. Again he could only hit on a 4+ but he has a few attacks and they are at strength 16! That was the end of that squad, but the one I need to kill for my agenda was still alive as were the Devastators plus and Ultramarine Captain and a Lieutenant.

Battle Round Four

The score was now 70-30 for the Death Guard as the Ultramarines either abandoned their objectives or were shot off them, whereas the big slow Syphilis Squad kept scoring along with Billalexdevin and Maceo. Bill must have been getting desperate as he played “Martial Precision” and then some other stratagem card to hit Boris automatically and I think increase the armour penetration of the attack.

I immediately played “Cloud of Flies” at the start of the Ultramarine shooting phase, but on Maceo. After reading what this Stratagem did Bill was not impressed, but I had made sure I had at least 2 CP left as I’ve seen too often that Maceo is just not safe, even behind squads and vehicles. Boris died and exploded doing a wound to McFly. Despite all this action I literally have no pictures and no more notes from this battle round and it is now several days later and I just want to finish typing up the battle report.

Immune from shooting Maceo again completed the Ritual and I had two objectives so Battle Round Five will start with the score 90-30 for the Death Guard.

The Start of Battle Round Five

Battle Round Five

As you can see from the picture above I also casted Miasma of Pestilence on Maceo to keep making him hard to hit with shooting. As a result the Lascannon missed Maceo, but the Plasma Cannon wounded Maceo. Before shooting Bill had appeared from the shadows with his Captain in Gravis Armor and the remains of a Tactical combat squad who shot at then charged Syphilis.

The charge of the Ultramarines

McFly who has the Heroic Inspiration battle trait, could intervene six inches and did. I had enough CP still to launch a Counter Offensive and I made Bill aware of that, but instead I decided to go with Trench Fighters as I didn’t think Bill could defeat all my models quickly. Bill had a lot of command points left and he kept playing something on his Gravis Captain to improve his armour save. It should be noted the Gravis Captain is Toughness 8! This is due to upgrades obtained in the campaign but than the contagion of Nurgle weakens him to toughness seven.

After Bill’s chargers all fought, I fought back with Syphilis who had seven members still so twenty two attacks total with plague knifes. I put about half into the Tactical Marines and half into the Captain. Bill strategically died leaving McFly no one to fight.

It was around this time that the peanut gallery had gathered to inform Bill his Gravis Captain wasn’t in fact toughness eight and helpful things like that, then Bill again toppled one of the tall buildings over and it landed on my models, breaking Bagonhead the Unbearable into multiple pieces, this was deemed very funny by everyone but me, but it was insisted I take a picture for the blog.

Bagonhead with no head
Super Smite

McFly was no longer in H2H so he could maneuver around to charge anew into the surviving two Tactical Marines. But before hand-to-hand combat is psychics and for the third time in the game I suffered perils of the warp, instead of re-rolling as I did for snake eyes twice, I kept my box cars, this turned my power into a Super Smite so I took a mortal wound.

To start my shooting phase I played The Blightening, Devin enjoys watching me play my stratagems on Bill’s army, he’s got that one memorized, 18 auto hitting pistol attacks, alas they are only strength 4 and AP -1 and the Gravis Captain is Toughness 8 if you’d forgotten. I managed to do one wound.

The Super Smite killed off the Tactical Marines and even though McFly was wounded and likely outmatched, my agenda was Syphilis must survive so I charged the Gravis Captain, this meant McFly got to fight first and he did four hits, then he did four successful rolls to wound and Bill was starting to worry, but with his +1 armor save he saved three of them, but to make him sweat once more I rolled a six doing 3 wounds!

The Gravis Captain then got to fight back, turns out in addition to being toughness eight, he also got eight attacks likely due to it being the assault doctrine and who knows what else. It didn’t matter he could not kill McFly or Syphilis. I played Trench Fighters one more time with my last command point but the Gravis Captain is hard to kill and the game officially ended 100-30 for me. There is some possibility Bill actually scored an additional ten points, but we had three score keeping records and my dice and campaign journal said 100-30, turns out I am a better defender than an attacker.

Syphilis is tough to get rid of in the trenches

Post-Game

Bagonhead with his head glued back on!

Not only did I win, Syphilis survived and as the picture clearly shows with more than half their starting strength. I did not succeed in my other agenda, if I had just fired a little bit more or a little bit more accurately. I believe I forgot the benefits of my Sigil of Decay for the entire match, one day I’ll make it through the game without forgetting a clear benefit I carefully selected, but not today.

None of my units that were taken out of action suffered a battle scar. I gave Maceo the man of the match, after all he scored 50 victory points all by himself. Syphilis got four experience points for being my designated survivor so they got their second battle trait. Maceo actually got a free one as he was the warlord of the winning side for the Ritual mission.

What’s next?

Well I worked on Sunday, but on Saturday I did repair Bagonhead and clean, glue, and prime a vintage spawn, so apparently I should post more pictures. Several days past where I was working not blogging or painting. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get some paint on the Chaos Spawn, I plan to use Contrast Paints but I’m not sure what the primary colour will be, maybe I’ll thin the other purple, but he too may end up a riot of colours, after all he is Stumpy Spawn of Chaos.

But before I could paint him I had to do a lot of assembly and cleaning, I even got out my Dremel to drill a whole at an angle into a scenic base I ordered from Poland.

Working on Spawn

I primed the spawn with Grey Seer and it came out nice. I haven’t painted over grey in a while and never this grey, I’m kinda looking forward to it, but I need work to get less hectic. Maceo now has a battle trait that lets him regain spent command points on a roll of six. Syphilis now hits on overwatch with either a five or a six. I saved my requisition point but I had enough room in my supply depot to recruit a Chaos Spawn.

We will probably play again next weekend, I’ll write even more pre-game notes to try and remember Sigil of Decay and all my new battle traits. I may have to play Alex and the dastardly Eldar, they are clearly the force to beat and I don’t like my chances. I need the enemy to advance into bolter range and why bother if you have guns that shoot over 24 inches? I will have to eventually recruit some more daemon engines and rumour has it the rules are changing again real soon.

I think I’m still stuck in the past using my plasma guns, they can shoot one shot at 24 inches even if I moved, I was playing it that they could only shoot 24 inches if I stood still, what say you Internet?

If you have thoughts on why the Death Guard or me personally is better at defending than attacking or why plasma guns are better than plague flamers or why the Ultramarine just can’t handle the funk, you can leave a comment below.