Thursday, 3 September 2015

Battle Report 18- 1750 pts Dark Angels vs Sons of Horus

This weeks battle report was 1750 pts of Dark Angels vs Josh's Sons of Horus army. We have played a game in a previous battle report, so Josh was keen for a rematch against the Unforgiven. For this game, I decided to change up my army. I have mostly been playing with an all Ravenwing or Ravenwing-heavy force recently, but this time I decided to try out the Lion's Blade strike force. I wanted to see if the full BS overwatch was worth something.
My army consisted of:
Chaplain- Mace of Absolution, Meltabombs, Jump Pack (C)
10 Tactical Marines (TS1)- Flamer, mounted in Rhino (R)
5 Tactical Marines (TS2)- Plasma Cannon
5 Tactical Marines (TS3)- Plasma Gun
5 Assault Marines (AM)- Sergeant with power fist and meltabombs
5 Devastators (D2)- Lascannon, 3 Missile Launchers
Dreadnought (D1)- Assault Cannon, Storm Bolter, Extra Armour
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with meltabombs, 2 Grav guns (RB1)
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter (L1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with meltabombs, 2 Meltaguns (RB2)
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (L2)
Sammael (S)

I wanted my demi-company led by the Chaplain, so that the Assault marines could benefit from his Zealot re-rolls. One tactical squad was mounted in a Rhino for objective seizing, while the other two were there to provide fire support. The Devastators had their standard weapons of lascannon and three missile launchers, useful for cracking armour or anti-infantry frag missiles. A dreadnought was also added to the demi-company, I hoped the lack of heavy weapons in the Sons of Horus would help keep him alive and possibly allow him to hold an objective. I added Sammael to the army as I love the model and think he has some pretty solid rules to back it up. Also, I'm sure Abaddon was keen for a rematch against him.
The army was finished off with two Ravenwing attack squadrons. The first bike squad is armed with grav guns and the landspeeder support has a heavy bolter and assault cannon. These should be useful for taking out marines and the bonus to the grav guns in the squadron should hopefully provide a few more casualties each turn. The other squadron has meltaguns and a landspeeder equipped for tank hunting.
Sammael is my warlord and has a fixed trait that gives a bonus to turboboost and charge moves. My plan is to use my mobility to tackle the threats in the enemy army, the improved accuracy of the Ravenwing special weapons should let me deal with most threats. The rest of the army can be used to provide covering fire and to grab objectives.

Josh has recently managed to get a lot of his army painted since the last time we fought. It is a really nicely painted heresy army, you can see more photos on his facebook page Legion Painting (you should check it out and like his page!). His army consisted of:

Abaddon (A)
20 Tactical Marines (TS1)
20 Tactical Marines (TS2)
5 Rotor Support Squad (RS)
10 Justaerins- Two Heavy Flamers (J)
Land Raider- Two twin-linked Lascannons, Multimelta (LR)

Tactical Marines

Quite a small army, but has the potential to put out a lot of damage. I know from experience that the tactical squads can wipe out bikers using the Fury of the Legion and that Abaddon can cause a lot of damage in combat.

We rolled for mission and got the Emperor's Will. Since we had played this mission last time we faced each other, we decided to re-roll and got Big Guns Never Tire with 4 objectives to be placed. The table was set up before we arrived and ended up being a ruins heavy battlefield, kind of wish I had more bikers now! We placed the objectives and I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first.
Terrain and placement of objectives.

I deployed the Ravenwing on either flank, ready to move forward and deal with whatever was deployed on each side. The Dreadnought joined the Ravenwing on the right flank and my plan was to use him to grab the objective in front of him. The Assault marines (led by the Chaplain) and Rhino deployed in the centre, ready to grab the objective in the middle of the board. The Devastators went in some ruins to the right, with a good field of fire over the board. The plasma cannon tactical marines went to the left, again with good firing options. The final tactical squad grabbed an objective in my deployment zone.

Josh deployed his Justaerins (led by Abaddon) and one tactical squad opposite my Ravenwing on his right flank. On his left flank, the other tactical squad deployed in the open, while the rotor marines took cover in the ruins with the Land Raider on the extreme left flank.

I scouted the bikers and Landspeeders forward, ready to advance and cause some damage on the two tactical squads (and to tempt Josh to charge me so I could overwatch on full Ballistic skill).
Deployment and Scout moves (shown by the grey arrows).

Josh attempted to seize and the roll came up a 6! First turn was snatched from the grasp of the Dark Angels.

Turn 1- Sons of Horus.

In the centre of the board, the tactical squad moved into the cover of the building housing the objective on the rooftop. The Justaerin terminators and tactical squad on the right advanced on the bike squad led by Sammael. On the left flank, the Land Raider slowly moved between the ruins towards the other bike squad.
Abaddon leads the Justaerin forward.

The Tactical Squad advances.

In the shooting phase, the rotor marines aimed their cannons at the bike squad in front of them. The hail of bullets was sufficient to bring down one of the bikers (Josh managed to cause 5 wounds out of the 20 shots despite needing 6's to wound). The Land Raider added its firepower to the deluge, killing another with their lascannons despite the jinking of the bikers. They passed their morale check and fought on. On the right hand side, the tactical marines fired at the other bike squad, killing one. In the centre of the board, the second tactical squad ran up the building to get a better firing position.

Turn 1- Dark Angels

On the left flank, Sammael led his squad up towards the tactical marines. On the right flank, the remnants of the biker squad moved towards the centre of the board, while the Dreadnought advanced on the objective on the right, the Rhino moved up to the landing pad.
The Ravenwing surge forward.

The Dark Angels began the shooting phase in earnest, eager to thin the numbers in the enemy army.  Sammael's squad fired at the tactical squad, killing three of the tactical marines. Sammael fired his plasma cannon at the squad, killing 5 more. The landspeeder fired at the squad, its assault cannon shredding three marines (I hit twice with the assault cannon and both wounds came up rending). Seeing the squad falter, the tactical squad on top of the ruins killed another 3 marines with their plasma cannon. The overwhelming firepower was too much for the Sons of Horus, who failed their morale check on a double 6 and fled off the table!
The Landspeeder on the right flank targeted the Rotor marines, killing three of them. The survivors broke and fled down to the ground floor of the ruins.

The Devastators turned their attention to the Justaerins, their frag missiles causing 7 wounds, all of which were saved. The Lascannon managed to slay one of the enemy terminators.

A harsh turn for the Sons of Horus, despite the abundant cover on the table, the bikers were able to position themselves to decimate one of the tactical squads. Josh was unlucky with the morale check and they fled off the board, depriving him of a significant portion of his army.

Turn 2- Sons of Horus

The Rotor marines rallied as the Terminators moved towards Sammael. The tactical squad continued to move up the ruins towards the objective, while the Land Raider crashed through the ruins towards the Dark Angels line.
The Tactical Squad climb through the ruins to the objective.

The Landraider fired at the Landspeeder, its lascannons causing a glancing and penetrating hit. The speeder jinked and saved both hits. The Multimelta penetrated the speeder, shaking it. The rotor marines and tactical squad fired at the meltagun bikers, but could not kill any of the marines. The terminators fired at Sammael's squad, causing 6 wounds, all of which were saved by the marine's armour.

With no assaults in range, it was time for the Dark Angels to strike back.

Turn 2- Dark Angels.

Sammael led the Ravenwing to advance on the left to face off with the enemy terminators, while the Chaplain led the assault marines towards the landing pad containing the objective. The Ravenwing on the right turned towards the last rotor marines.
Sammael puts Abaddon in his sights.

The Assault squad advance.

In the shooting phase, the landspeeder snap fired at the rotor marines killing one. The Bikers fired on the survivor, killing him and wiping the unit out. Sammael fired his plasma cannon at the terminators, but a massive 11" scatter meant that no damage was caused. The Ravenwing opened up with their bolters, killing one of the Justaerin. The grav guns opened fire, hitting with all 6 shots, however, poor to wound rolls resulted in the death of only one terminators (I managed to roll three 1's to wound).
The plasma cannon tactical marines fired at their enemy counterparts, killing two. The Devastators followed up with their firepower, killing another two. To complete the set, the Dreadnought downed another two tactical marines with its assault cannon.
More terminators than I would have liked survive the bikers' firepower.

There were no assaults this turn, I decided not to charge in with Sammael and his unit, instead hoping the Justaerins would take the bait and allow me to overwatch to full effect. If Sammael had been leading the Black Knights, I may have risked the charge and hit and run out of combat.

Turn 3- Sons of Horus.

Seeing their enemy in range, the Justaerins moved up to face the Ravenwing bikers, while the Land Raider crashed through the ruins towards the Dreadnought.

In the shooting phase, the Land Raider fired at the Dreadnought causing two penetrating hits (one of which was saved by cover), stunning the Dreadnought. The multimelta scored a penetrating hit, but the cover saved the walker from harm. The tactical squad in the ruins took aim at the remaining Ravenwing bikers on their left flank. Fifteen shots were loosed at the bikers, all of which hit and caused 4 wounds. I managed to fail three of the Jink saves and the unit perished. Finally, the Justaerins fired at the other unit of Ravenwing, but were not able to slay any of the elite bikers.
Abaddon leads his squad in an assault.

With a roar, Abaddon led his terminators into an assault against Sammael's unit, two warriors succumbing to overwatch fire from the grav gun marines. Abaddon roared a challenge at the unit, which the Ravenwing sergeant stepped forward to answer.
Sammael struck first, killing two of the enemy warriors. The Justaerins and bikers struck at one another, but were unable to cause any harm. Abaddon then struck, easily slaying the sergeant before him and three of the nearby bikers. The Dark Angels lost the combat, but held firm thanks to Sammael's leadership. However, the mighty warrior could not lead his warriors to safety (I failed the Hit and Run roll on a 6).

Turn 3- Dark Angels.

With rubble scattering before him, the mighty Dreadnought turned and advanced on the enemy Land Raider (fortunately, I had chosen to give him extra armour, so he was still able to move up towards the Land Raider from his stunning in the last turn). In the centre of the battlefield, the tactical marines left the safety of their transport and clamoured up the landing pad, while the assault marines shot up into the sky, landing in front of the enemy forces opposing them.
The Tactical Marines climb up to grab the objective.

The Assault Marines break cover to go after the Tactical Marines.

The Dreadnought fired at the Land Raider, but its shots were in vain as it could not penetrate its armour. The assault marines and tactical marines on the pad fired at the Sons of Horus before them, killing one each. The Plasma cannon fired at the squad, killing four of the Sons of Horus. The Devastators fired frag missiles at the tactical marines. Despite causing 15 wounds, only one enemy warrior died. The Landspeeder on the right flank fired at the Land Raider and managed to score a glancing hit on the enemy vehicle.

In the assault phase, the Dreadnought charged at the Land Raider, its strike destroying the mighty behemoth (I managed to score one glancing hit and three penetrating hits, wrecking the unit).

On the other flank, Abaddon challenged Sammael to glorious combat. Sammael struck swiftly, causing two wounds on the chaos warrior. Abaddon struck back, causing a single wound on Sammael. The Justaerins and biker struck at one another, but neither was able to slay the opposing warrior.

Another great turn for the Dark Angels. The Land Raider had been dealt with, while the tactical squad was further weakened. There were very few bodies left on the enemy side, while the Dark Angels had lost a single biker unit.

Turn 4- Sons of Horus.

The remaining tactical marines made their way to the rooftop to seize the objective there. They fired at the approaching assault marines as they advanced, causing one wound on the unit, which was stopped by his armour save.
The Tactical Marines target the Assault Marines.

In the assault phase, Sammael failed to wound Abaddon, while the remaining Justaerin struck down the last biker in the squad. With a fury, Abaddon swung his fist at Sammael, taking another wound from the Dark Angel's warlord and leaving both warriors on one wound a piece. Sammael decided to withdraw from combat, gaining some breathing room between himself and Abaddon.

Turn 4- Dark Angels.

The assault marines launched themselves into the air, coming to a landing behind the tactical squad on the roof. The building rooftop proved unstable to the landing, one marine being killed and the Chaplain taking a wound as they landed.
The Assault Marines jump to the rooftop.

The Tactical marines seize the objective.

On the left flank, Sammael and the Ravenwing Landspeeder fired at Abaddon and the last Justaerin, but could not wound the mighty warriors.
The rest of the Dark Angels army in range of the final tactical squad took aim and fired, but the massed firepower was only able to kill one of the enemy unit.

In the assault phase, the assault marines charged in, the Chaplain slaying three of the tactical squad as he advanced. The Sons of Horus struck back, killing one of the Dark Angels, while the assault squad managed to slay another one enemy warrior. The Sons of Horus' morale broke and they were run down by the Dark Angels.
The last of the Tactical Marines are taken out.

Turn 5- Sons of Horus.

With only Abaddon and a single terminator remaining, this was going to be a short turn for the Sons of Horus. They advanced on Sammael and fired at him, but were unable to wound the enemy warrior.

Turn 5- Dark Angels.

Seeing Abaddon rage at his withdrawal, Sammael turned his jetbike around and decided to grant the enemy warlord an honourable death. Sammael advanced, firing his plasma cannon and storm bolter at the figures before him, the storm bolter killing the last remaining Justaerin.

The Warlords meet in combat once again.

Sammael then charged into combat against Abaddon. Striking first, he wounded Abaddon twice, one wound was saved, the other finally slew the enemy Warlord, completing the complete destruction of the enemy army. The Dark Angels had carried the field.


Thanks to Josh for another great game against his fantastic looking Sons of Horus army. A sterling performance from the Dark Angels, there's not much I would change about the game as I think the plan worked rather well, allowing me to take out each threat in turn and grab the objectives.

I decided to charge Sammael in to combat with Abaddon in the final turn to repeat our duel from the last game. It was a risky move, with both models on one wound each, but the game was won by this point and I thought it would lead to a nice ending for the report. It worked out in the end as he was once again able to slay the despoiler.

I liked the Lion's Blade formation in this game. The overwatch bonus was great in dealing with the terminators using the Grav guns. Without killing a couple of extra terminators, I think they would have been able to wipe out the last biker and maybe even Sammael in the first round of combat.

I have played 30k armies a few times before and know that they are a formidable threat, but it just did not come together for Josh in this game. We had originally agreed to play 2000 pts, but due to time constraints, we decided to drop the points total slightly. Josh dropped his Storm Eagle flyer and I lost a Ravenwing attack squadron and 5 marines from the devastator and assault squads. The flyer may have given Josh some much needed mobility and some additional firepower to deal with my units more effectively.

I would have been inclined to split the terminators into 2 squads and put one of them in the Land Raider, this would give them some much needed mobility to engage the weaker marines on foot over the tougher Ravenwing bikers. Armed with power weapons and 2+ armour saves, they could have easily shredded the devastators or tactical marines in my deployment zone.
Splitting the two tactical squads into 10 man unit would have given me more targets to choose between and given more units for grabbing objectives. I'm not sure if this is possible with 30k armies though, so it may not have been an option. Josh was unlucky not to get the tactical marines into range of the bikers to cause more damage. Fury of the Legion would have given 60 bolter shots, which probably could have put down one of my units each turn (a big assumption that they wouldn't have suffered too many casualties).

I think the army suffers from a lack of heavy weapons to deal with enemy armour or 3+ saves. The Rotor cannons are fantastic models, but not too effective against marines thanks to their low strength and armour penetration potential.

Josh said that his problem in the battle was focusing on the objectives too much at the start. Moving one tactical squad into the ruins to grab the objective meant giving up a lot of firepower in his army. One unit might have been better going for the landing pad in the centre. Running this large unit down my throat would have given me a threat that I could not ignore, stopped me focusing on whittling down the Justaerins and would have proved difficult to shift. He is planning to add more armour to his army, perhaps in the form of a Sicaran or Mortis Dreadnought. Having faced these before, I know they are formidable threats to counter and can put out a huge amount of firepower (the Sicarans ability to ignore Jink saves would also be of great benefit against the Ravenwing).

I look forward to seeing Josh's army grow and will not doubt be facing it the upcoming 40k map-based campaign that I will be running.

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