Daemonkin vs. IG, Dark Angels & Officio Assassinorum (2000 points)

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017

Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system.  Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages.  There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror.  Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines.  This is one of many desperate actions.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 board

Imperial armored forces cautiously take up positions surrounding the warp rift.

Captain L. Danielus  and I played the Warp Rift scenario.  This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule.  As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.

The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment.  In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though).  The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain.  An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces.  Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 warp rift

It isn’t too active now, but soon deamons will come screaming from the living stone!

The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium.  A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions.  Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys!  Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.

Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae.  Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.

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Dark Angel devastators take aim.

Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible.  Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator.  Blessings to the Strong!

Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field.  Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second.  As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand.  A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter.  He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.

The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help.  They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn.  It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.

IG and friends vs Deamonkin March 31 2017 Deathwing Terminators

Death Wing terminators teleport in to challenge the deamonkin terminators.

Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin.  In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective.  He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin.  A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective.  To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?

The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number.  The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun.  Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight.  He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation.  The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.

Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire.  Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.

IG and friends vs Daemonkin March 31 2017 chaplain and tactical marines

Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective.  It exploded like a malevolent volcano.  Marines were thrown back in all directions.  The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later.  The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.

So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium.  The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved.  Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured!  Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.

The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

Let Hate and a halfway decent set of abs be our armor!

Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for.  Who knows where he will strike next?

IG bullet point graphic

Tentacles for the All Father!

I painted some terminators a couple of years ago now. They were re-purposed Assault on Black Reach models I inherited, and then I magnetized the arms that weren’t already cemented on. So right in time for our last game I finished a magnetized Power Tentacle arm!

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I did the crux terminatus  on the shoulder pad a little differently this time too. When I first painted them I conceived that these guys were sort of “no nonsense” and went for a basic color scheme. So their armor is mechanicus standard gray with a black ink wash with the crux being the old charadon granite color. Looks ok, I guess, when you look at it three inches from your eyeball but on the table, when one is playing, it blends in too much and the whole model seems like maybe they are taking their spartan aesthetics just a bit too far.

So for the power tentacle pad I used fenris blue, drowned it in black ink, then relayered with blue.  Highlighted with a bit of lothern blue and then a touch of white.  I thought this might be a bit more noticeable and add a bit of color and interest while preserving my original ideas.  I probably won’t bother to go back and redo the old guys, but going forward I think I like the new crux much better.

 

 

 

“They Came Out of the Storm” Scenario

Our first game was piratical marines using a blizzard to launch a surprise attack on IG in a ruined village.

This is a narrative scenario where one side attempts to achieve surprise by attacking an entrenched opponent in the aftermath of a storm.  Players should cooperate with terrain or have a third party set up the board.  The defender’s table half should contain a village, industrial works, supply depot, trench works, or some other such theme.  The attack’s side should probably contain less terrain, though this depends upon how the list match up.  Perhaps they are attacking out of sand dunes or from the edge of a jungle.

Of course one can vary terrain density depending upon the army and list match-ups to make for a fair game.  For example, a terminator force lining up against defenders who are light on AP 2 weapons may not require any cover at all, whereas a force of light infantry against say a typical Tau list probably should not be forced to walk across a bare board.

Use “Dawn of War” deployment where each player sets up within 12″ of his long table edge. The attacking player automatically sets up and takes the first turn, though the defender may attempt to seize the initiative. Night Fighting takes place automatically on turn one without a die roll. Secondary objective changes are noted below in the victory conditions. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Six objectives are placed in the defending player’s half of the table.  We found it best to set up the objectives collaboratively. This resulted in a more thematic placement and also because it can be difficult to legally set up six objectives on one side of the board if both players aren’t cooperating.

The storm could just as easily involve sand rather than snow.

Infiltration and Scout Moves work as normal but there is no deep striking allowed by either side in this scenario, unless both players agree to it. Thus units such as drop pods, which are required to enter play via deep strike, may be limited in number or even completely disallowed.

The attacker’s outflanking units must be positioned so the entire unit, including transports, are entirely within the owning player’s deployment zone on the turn the unit arrives. (This also applies to units with unusual special rules such as ork kommandos with Snikrot.)  The defender may not outflank units. Other reserves for both players are allowed but they enter play from each player’s long table edge.

Victory Conditions

Players score 3 victory points for each objective they control at the end of the game.  Secondary objectives are as normal except Line Breaker.  If the attacking player has more units completely within the defender’s deployment zone than the defender at game’s end, then the attacker receives one point for Line Breaker.  If the defender has more units then he receives 1 VP.  If a tie then neither player gets a point.  The defender cannot receive points by ending the game in the attacker’s deployment zone.

Alternately, you could play this scenario using the Maelstrom of War missions with the tactical cards, but if you do then I would remove the prohibition against deep striking, and also ignore the scenario restrictions for outflanking.  Otherwise the attacking player may find himself not able to score any cards until turn three at best!  If I did want to play a maelstrom scenario without deep striking, I’d probably use “Tactical Escalation” where the cards each player receives and can hold increases with each passing turn.

Our “They Came Out of the Storm” Games

 Space Wolves vs. IG (1500 Points, August 2015): A bloody game with the marines walking out of a blizzard in order to attack IG positions in a shattered village.  The defenders successfully held until turn five, but Legion VI-XIII was able to turn the battle around with a healthy dose of luck and several well-timed curses laid by a random shield maiden who wandered by to watch our game.

Space Wolf Jump Pack Trio

The new guy is the one in the middle.

After completing my goal of 1000 points of Space Wolves before the end of 2014, I’ve drastically slowed down but not stopped adding to the army.  My goal now is to eventually get to 1500 points without having to use my husband’s Ultramarines as stand-in’s.

The latest addition is an assault marine pictured above between two of his friends, who I completed awhile ago now.  I got a good deal on a couple of boxes of figures because I bought them right before the new ones came out as part of updating the Space Marine codex.  My latest assault marine has seen a few battles now as a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, though once I get the rest of the box done he will probably find himself among the Skyclaws.

As usual I painted his power armor with Mechanicus Standard Grey, followed by a heavy wash of Badab Black, then a dry brush of Administratum Grey.  When I first started my Space Wolves I tried highlighting their armor, but didn’t like how clean and polished they ended up looking.  I wanted a sort of no frills, “rougher” look without doing a bunch of environmental effects like sand or mud.  I found that simply dry brushing the armor gave me the effect I was looking for.

So once I finish up the Skyclaws, I’ll have to decide which of the four projects I want to work on next.  I have a vindicator that has been sitting around half finished for a very long time now.  Alternately, a Stormwolf might be a worthy addition to my forces, adding some needed air support and especially anti-air.  Third, I’d eventually like a Void Claw formation because I usually field a lot of terminators who arrive by deep strike.  I’ve been using the aegis line with a comm relay and want another option for keeping my reserve rolls reliable.  Especially one my opponent can’t potentially use as well.  So I’ll need to paint and magnetize a bunch of lightning claw arms to go on my existing terminators.

Lastly, my liaison officer has been calling on our friends the Ultramarines for devastator help for long enough now.  It is high it is time to load honors and accolades upon my husband’s loyal, blue friends and send them in glory back to Ultramar and paint some long fangs to take the place of these puissant worthies.

Rune Priest

I’ve been working on HQ’s for my Space Wolves lately, and the latest addition to my collection is this rune priest.  I’ve actually had him sitting around for a couple of years, but finally decided to paint him.  My original idea, after all, was to base my marines primarily around models I already owned.  Especially ones that have been sitting neglected for a long time.

I took the jump pack from a Space Marine battle force.  I did magnetize it because sometimes he’ll probably want to accompany a drop pod landing or maybe even ride to battle in a rhino, rather than getting stuck with the usual fate of rune priests — casting buffs on thunderwolf cavalry.

I lost the original, normal power armor backpack that came with the model so it was the Space Marine battle force to the rescue again.  That piece is still in my painting queue though, since I’ve been having fun running him exclusively with the jump pack.

I like the plasma pistol.  It adds a bit of color to a model that is mostly darker, earth tones.  I do have to say as a weapon it is situational at best and hilariously bad at worst.  I should have used a tiny magnet since it attaches at the wrist.  I’ll probably do that when he has an accident and his hand falls off, or gets gnawed off again by some particularly vicious fire warrior.

Thinking about plasma pistols and having fun with how often they blow up during games has gotten me thinking about Space Wolf sagas.  There is a designer’s note in the previous codex which states:

Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.  In effect, your characters will be adding to their own sagas with every new game, which can be great fun.

I’ve been playing this guy for a few games now and we’ve had some laughs over his various and often unsound (game mechanics-wise) antics.  So I’ve been thinking of starting a section on my blog for the “sagas” of some of my characters, and I think I’ll start with this guy, his addiction to the dangers and thrills of gratuitously discharging his plasma pistol as well as his hatred of being put on “thunderwolf detail.”

The Emperor’s Shield

“Captains!  Another centennial contest is upon us, and we shall once again determine who is best suited to be the Emperor’s Shield.  The Lords of Terra welcome you to Olympus IV to test your mettle against your fellow Adeptus Astartes.  These battle exercises help to hone the skills of all our chapters for their eternal war against the xenos pestilence and the scourge of Chaos.”

I recently participated in a mirror list tournament at Endgame in Oakland, CA.  Thank you very much to TO Adan for organizing and running the event.  Also, thanks to First Captain Reuben of the Mythic Angels for tactical advice, loan of a squad of his honored and ancient assault marines, as well as logistical support transporting my chapter to the Alameda Sector.

The list everyone played was:

Headquarters
Captain in power armor with power sword and bolt pistol.
Librarian in power armor with force staff and bolt pistol. He was level 2 and his powers were Iron Arm, Endurance, and Smite.

Troops
Two units of ten tactical marines. The sergeant had a chainsword and bolt pistol. Special weapons were a flamer and missile launcher. Each squad had a rhino with a dozer blade as a dedicated transport.

Elite
Dreadnought with an assault cannon and power fist with a built-in storm bolter.

Heavy Support
Predator with auto-cannon turret and lascannon sponsons.

Fast Attack
Land Speeder with heavy flamer and multi-melta.
Five assault marines. The sergeant had a plasma pistol.

Game One: Assaulting the Green Marines’ right flank.

Adan assigned chapter tactics and the first game was Ultramarines. We were also allowed to pick warlord traits, but we could only use a specific trait for one game. I picked Master of Ambush and used this to concentrate my forces somewhat on my opponent’s right flank. This was the only game where the trait had much of an effect on the battle.

The idea was to take one of his backfield objectives, which was behind good cover, and have one of my combat squads with the missile launcher hold this strong position and blast away. I’d have threats coming from my own side of the board as well so I could swing around and subject whoever was in the center of the board holding the important objective there to a (hopefully) withering crossfire.

Things worked out but not nearly as well I hoped. My opponent did have to direct a goodly number of his forces to react to the outflank, but it turned into a bloody stalemate. I did win the game decisively, but mostly because of Chapter Tactics: Good Luck. For example, my assault marines deep struck but ended up in a bad position where they got tied up by a dreadnought. They lost a couple of marines, failed their morale check and promptly ended up 16″ back where they were in prime position to kill a land speeder threatening my forces. After that they joined in on the final attack on the center position. My predator won the tank duel that lasted three turns, and so on.

Still, sometimes as the saying goes it is better to be lucky than good and I had my share of it in this tournament. In any case, it was a very fun game and I hope to play the Green Marines again someday soon.

Game Two: Close quarters in the Zone Mortalis Light!

The board for this match was very interesting in that it was what Adan called “Zone Mortalis Light” in the middle, surrounded by thick ruins. Again we were fighting for objectives and I believe we were Raven Guard. The rules for the ZML were no vehicles except the dreadnought could enter and the walls went up to “infinity” so you couldn’t shoot or move over them. Also, our flamers were twin-linked against any unit inside the zone.

As might be expected this was a very tactical game inside the zone. Both sides were doing their best to maneuver so they got to be the ones charging. Outside the zone it was a bit more of a free for all with my rhinos tank shocking all over the place and our heavy units trading fire. My opponent pulled off a great move when he blocked off one of the entrance to the ZML with both of his rhinos. Right in the face of my advancing forces! He also pulled off some late game unlikely but exciting charges against my tactical marines covering one of the ZML entrances.

This was a hard-fought game where by the end our captains ended up dueling each other to a draw. However, my land speeder, despite immediately immobilizing itself in a ruin when it deep struck, did manage to cripple both Adan’s predator and his dreadnought. More good luck. This allowed my dreadnought to pick his way unopposed into the ZML, where he did good work supporting my infantry and holding the central objective.

Game Three: Imperial Fists assault marine on the attack!

The last game was a first for me: I’ve never played on the top table at a tournament before. The terrain was fairly sparse and we were fighting for kill points. A couple of forests and several large hills. We were Imperial Fists this time, which suited my opponent because that was his preferred chapter!

The early fighting mostly came down to a long-ranged battle to control a long firing lane between two hills. My opponent won the roll off for table sides and wisely deployed his predator in a forest at his end of this lane. This allowed him to control the action there, supported by both his missile launchers. My response was to use the hills for cover as best I could and counter-attack. We both tried to turn each others’ forces around a plateau on my far left flank. This ended up in a somewhat bloody draw. He had a small advantage in the fighting, but I got first blood when his deep striking speeder landed too close to my forces.

My opponent had the early advantage overall mainly because he had control of the firing lane. My speeder was able to pull off a very risky drop right behind his predator. I hoped to destroy it with my multi-melta but had to settle for shearing off one of its lascannons.

This was a very close game that came down to the final turn. Things were looking bad when his assault marines drove back my supporting infantry and stunned the walker with a lucky plasma pistol shot. His librarian jumped alone into an empty rhino and moved flat out toward the fighting to help finish them off. If he succeeded my opponent would cement his victory.

Instead, my other, less harried missile launcher squad managed to wreck the rhino as it moved across the contested firing lane. From there the librarian jumped out and continued on his way. My dreadnought recovered and pushed back the assault marines, despite being covered in krak grenades. Another shot, either by my predator or a missile launcher (I forget) and the librarian was dead. With time running out I was up by one kill point. Tough game against a very good opponent. Honestly, I felt like I was fighting off balance for most of the game.

A memento for the chapter’s trophy room.

First place was the plaque seen above and a nice gift certificate, which I used toward buying a new predator. Although the ancient predator I now possess, pulled from a lake by orks and then rescued by the Space Wolves or Ultramarines (depending upon who you ask) has given me good service, it has burned far too long in the crucible of war. Its machine spirit deserves an honorable retirement or at least a good, long rest.

So, all that remains now is to add a gold ribbon to my Wolf Standard and go back to fighting all of that xeno pestilence and Chaos scourge!

It isn’t every day …

I played in a tournament last weekend where a bunch of space marine chapters were engaged in a friendly competition for the “Emperor’s Cup”. All of the players had to take the same space marine list. The game was three rounds and each battle took place in a different environment — vacuum, underwater, and with high winds.

I had a lot of fun, but the thing that impressed me most was the centerpiece terrain on our table for the first game. It was made out of (among other things) a Necron tesseract vault, and it had a switch where you could make it light up. Very cool!

It isn’t every day I get to play on a board that lights up!