Friday, 20 November 2015

Blog Wars X: Game 3- Ravenwing vs Chaos Space Marines/Chaos Daemons

Welcome to the third and final battle report from my games at Blog Wars X. Game 1 and Game 2 had seen two solid victories for my Ravenwing, meaning that in game 3 I found myself at the lofty heights of table 1 for the final game of the tournament. What was even scarier was that I actually had a shot a winning the whole tournament!
Game 3 was a maelstrom mission using a modified Blog Wars tactical objectives deck. There were 18 cards in the deck, three drawn each turn and six turns in the game, so you could potentially score every card during the game. The six seize objective cards were worth 2 pts each, the other cards were worth 1 or 2 pts depending on what the card was. Impossible to achieve cards were discarded before the game began (cards that became impossible to achieve as the game went on had to be kept) and one card could be discarded at the end of each turn.

I was exceedingly nervous going into this game, given how high I was placed in the rankings (I must have been either 1st or 2nd). I was even more nervous when I saw that I was playing Matt and his Tzeentch Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemon army. Matt and I had chatted during the day and I found out that my army was the exact kind he expected to face at Blog Wars and had designed his army as a counter to it. He had at least three AP3 flamers in the army and all his psykers would be taking psychic shriek (great against bike armies), with Ahriman being able to cast it 3 times in one phase. To say this was going to be a tough game was a little bit of an understatement.
As a reminder, my army consisted of:
Sammael- on Corvex (with CS)
Interrogator-Chaplain- Space Marine Bike, Mace of Redemption, Auspex, Meltabombs (with CS or IC)
5 Ravenwing Commnad Squad- Ravenwing Company Banner, Apothecary, Grenade Launcher (CS)
5 Black Knights- Grenade Launcher, Huntsmaster has Meltabombs (BK)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 plasma guns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant has Meltabombs (RB3)
Dark Talon- Rift Cannon, Two hurricane bolters, stasis bomb (DT)
Ravenwing Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (RL)
Ravenwing Darkshroud- Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Landspeeders- Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons (RSS)

As a note, due to the comp rules of the tournament, a 2+ re-rollable save (cover or invulnerable) became a 2+/4+ save. This reduced the effectiveness of the Darkshroud by a marginal amount. My Warlord trait was set with Sammael, giving me +3" to charge and turboboost moves.

Matt's army consisted of:

Ahriman (with TS1)
Chaos Sorcerer- Level 3, Spell Familiar, Meltabombs, Skalanthrax (with TS2)
9 Thousand Sons (TS1)
Rhino (R1)
9 Thousand Sons (TS2)
Rhino (R2)
Helldrake- Baleflamer (H1)
Chaos Predator- TL Lascannons, two Lascannon sponsons (P1)
Chaos Predator- TL Lascannons, two Lascannon sponsons (P2)

Lord of Change- level 3 psyker (LoC)
10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (H2)
Burning Chariot of Tzeentch- Blue horror crew (FC)

His warlord trait allowed him to Infiltrate one unit. For the plethora of psychic powers, he got:

Ahriman- Tzeentch's Firestorm, Boon of Mutation, Endurance, Life Leech, Psychic Shriek
Sorcerer- Life Leech, Enfeeble, Psychic Shriek
Lord of Change- Flickering Fire, Cursed Earth, Sacrafice, Dark Flame, Summoning
Thousand Sons 1- Tzeentch's Firestorm, Breath of Chaos
Thousand Sons 2- Tzeentch's Firestorm, Breath of Chaos
Horrors- Flickering Fire, Infernal Gaze, Summoning

After that, I wasn't feeling too much better about the game. Summoning is very powerful in a maelstrom mission, allowing Matt to deploy new units on objectives to seize them and blocking me from scoring them (thanks to a lack of Objective Secured). I was going to be severely outclassed in the psychic phase as Matt got the maximum of 12 psychic dice, plus D6 for the phase (comped for the tournament).

My plan was to play to the cards and see what I could achieve each turn. His army was fairly tough, but I didn't want to close too quickly for fear of all the AP3 flamers. Hopefully, I would get lucky with the cards and not do too badly.

We placed the objectives as shown below:
Scenery and placement of objectives- the numbers give the objective number for the maelstrom mission.

I won the roll for deployment and chose the side with the big buildings to hide behind. Matt won the roll for deployment and chose to go first.
He deployed a Rhino of Thousand Sons and Ahriman to his right, supported by a Predator. The second Rhino went to the left, also supported by a Predator. The Lord of Change went in the centre behind some ruins.

In response, I deployed in a semi-refused flank, focusing my units on the left of my deployment zone and centre. I kept my units out of line of sight of the enemy as much as possible. With my mobility, I could hopefully move to grab any objectives in the first turn.

Matt infiltrated a unit of Pink Horrors close to my Command Squad and near objective 4. I scouted forward with a couple of bike units on the right of my deployment zone, hoping to move forward into the opposing deployment zone.

I failed to seize the initiative and Matt took the first turn.


In his first turn, Matt drew Supremacy (hold at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent), Big Game Hunter (destroy an enemy vehicle) and Objective 4.

The infiltrating horrors moved up on Objective 4 as the Rhinos slowly advanced towards my lines. The Lord of Change flew to the Horrors to support them.

The psychic phase began, Matt getting 16 power dice to my 4. The Lord of Change began the phase, casting Cursed Earth. The Greater Daemon periled and took a wound as we both lost 2 warp charge. He then cast Summoning, bringing 10 Bloodletters onto the field near Objective 2. He then attempted to cast Flickering Fire of Tzeentch on the Support Squadron, I Jinked, but he failed to manifest the power.

In the shooting phase, the Bloodletters ran 2" towards my lines and the Horrors ran 5" towards the Command Squad. The Predator fired at the Plasma gun bikers, but my Jinking saved them from harm. The other Predator fired at the grav gun unit, wounding twice. I chose not to Jink (I already had a 4+ cover save and hoped to shoot to full effect next turn), and didn't make a single save, losing two bikers. They passed their morale check and that ended the first turn for Chaos.

Matt scored Objective 4 and Supremacy, giving him 4 pts.


In my first turn, I drew Objective 3, No Prisoners (wipe out 3 enemy units) and Behind Enemy Lines (have units in enemy deployment zone).

The Black Knights, plasma gun bike squad and meltagun bikes moved up and turbo-boosted towards the enemy deployment zone, hoping to score the full points for Behind Enemy lines. The Landspeeder moved to grab Objective 3 and the Command Squad moved to engage the Horrors.

In the shooting phase, the Landspeeder fired at the Predator, penetrating and shaking the vehicle. The Support Squadron snap fired at a Rhino, glancing the enemy vehicle.

The Command Squad fired at the Horrors, killing eight (the Rad grenade from the grenade launcher killing two).

The grav gun bike squad fired at the other Rhino on the right flank, but failed to cause any damage.

Sammael led the Command Squad in a charge against the Horrors, easily wiping out the unit.

At the end of my turn, I scored 3 pts for Objective 3 and Behind Enemy Lines (I had two units in the enemy deployment zone, with a third just outside, denying me the victory points).

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 4
Ravenwing- 3


This turn, Matt drew Assassinate (kill an enemy character) and Blog Warrior (kill Sammael), while holding Big Game Hunter from last turn.

The Burning Chariot arrived, deep striking into the ruins beside the Command Squad (not scattering thanks to Cursed Earth). However, the chariot immobilised itself and took a hull point. Ahriman's Rhino advanced on the Command squad as the Lord of Change and Bloodletters moved to engage the grav gun bike squad in the centre. The other Rhino moved away from the Ravenwing lines.

At the end of the movement phase, the Support Squadron intercepted the newly arrived Burning Chariot with their assault cannons. I managed to roll 8 hits (rolling eight 1's to hit out of 16 shots!). The hits were split, the blue horror riders being wounded twice, but the chariot surviving undamaged (I fail to glance on a 4+ out of 4 hits on the chariot).

In the psychic phase, Matt got 13 dice to my one. Ahriman used his powers to cast Psychic Shriek at the Command Squad three times. Out of the three attacks, only one rolled high enough to damage, causing 3 wounds. Sammael was the closest and managed to save all 3 wounds with a combination of invulnerable and Feel no Pain saves. The Sorcerer cast psychic shriek on the meltagun squad, killing three of the Ravenwing bikers.
Three bikers succumb to psychic shriek.

He then cast Flickering fire on the Support Squadron. The power hit 10 times, causing two glancing hits and two penetrating hits. The glancing hits were saved by the Jinking bikers, one glancing hit got through and stunned the squadron (I managed to roll a double 1 for my two Jink saves on the penetrating hits, the re-rolls saving one of them).

In the shooting phase, the Thousand Sons fired at the Ravenwing bikers, but failed to wound them. The Chariot fired its AP3 flamer at the Command squad. Thanks to some good Feel no Pain rolls, only one Black Knight died and the Chaplain was wounded. The Predator snap fired at the Black Knights, but failed to harm them.

In the assault phase, the Bloodletter charged the grav gun bikers, one of the Khorne daemons dying to overwatch fire. The rest of the Bloodletters easily slew the Ravenwing bikers, killing the squad sergeant in the process.

At the end of turn 2, Matt scored Assassinate and discarded Big Game Hunter.

Error on map- The Ravenwing Landspeeder (RL) should still be at objective 3.

In my second turn, I drew Objective 4, Ascendency (control any 3 objective markers) and Blood and Guts (destroy a unit in the assault phase).

The Black Knights, plasma gun bikers and remnants of the meltagun bike squad advanced on the Chaos Predator. The Interrogator-Chaplain left the Command Squad to secure objective 4, while the Command Squad moved to deal with the Burning Chariot.

In the shooting phase, the Chaplain fired his bolters at the Bloodletters, banishing one daemon back to the warp. The Support Squadron snap fired at the Rhino, glancing it and removing a hull point. On the other flank, the Black Knights fired at the Predator, taking a hull point from it. The Landspeeder fired at the Rhino, hitting it, but failing to glance.

In the assault phase, the Command Squad charged the Burning Chariot, easily destroying the unit (thankfully it could not overwatch thanks to the close proximity of the Darkshroud).

At the end of turn 2, I scored all my cards, gaining 5 pts.

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 5
Ravenwing- 8


Matt drew Scour the Skies (kill a flyer), Blood and Guts (kill a unit in the assault phase) and had Blog Warrior (kill Sammael).

The Helldrake arrived, moving to attack the Black Knights on the left of the board, the Thousand Sons disembarking from the Rhino to engage also. The Bloodletters advanced on the Support Squadron, while the Lord of Change performed a Vector Strike on the unit, but failed to damage it.

In the psychic phase, Ahriman cast psychic shriek on the Command Squad, killing the Apothecary, a Black Knight and wounding Sammael (after he failed two look out sir rolls on a 2+). The Sorcerer then cast Enfeeble on the Black Knights, periling in the process but rolling a 6 on the table and becoming super-powered.

In the shooting phase, the Helldrake fired at the Black Knights, wiping the unit out and killing another biker from the plasma gun squad. The Thousand Sons attempted to finish off the plasma gun squads, but the Jinking once again saved the Ravenwing. The Sorcerer's torrent AP3 flamer killed two of the bikers. The Predator fired at the Landspeeder, glancing and penetrating it, but failing to get past its Jink saves.
The Black Knights are wiped out by the Helldrake.

The other Predator fired at the Interrogator-Chaplain, but his Jinking saved him from harm.

The Bloodletters charged the Support Squadron, one daemon dying to overwatch fire. They made it into assault, killing two of the speeders, but failing to finish the unit.

At the end of turn 3, Matt scored no points this turn and discarded Blood and Guts.


This turn, I drew Overwhelming Firepower (kill an enemy unit with shooting), Blog Warrior (kill Ahriman) and Objective 5.

The Dark Talon arrived, moving up the centre to engage the Thousand Sons. The Ravenwing bikers on the right flank advanced on the Predator.

On the other flank, the Command Squad and Interrogator-Chaplain advanced on the Rhino, while the Support Squadron moved forward.

In the shooting phase, the plasma gun squad fired at the Predator, but their snap shots could not find the target. The Command Squad fired at the Rhino, wrecking it. The Support Squadron fired at the Thousand Sons that disembarked, but could not cause any damage with their snap shots.
The Dark Talon fired at the Thousand Sons, but failed to do any damage.

In the assault phase, Sammael led his unit in a charge on the Thousand Sons. He issued a challenge and the Champion accepted. Sammael then proceeded to fluff his attacks, failing to kill the Champion and was struck down in return. Ahriman slew the remaining Command Squad and the Thousand Sons consolidated forward (it was not supposed to go that way!).

On the other flank, the plasma gun squad charged the Predator, wrecking the vehicle with their grenades.

At the end of this turn, I scored Overwhelming Firepower and discarded Blog Warrior.

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 5
Ravenwing- 9

At the half-way point in the game, I was currently winning, but had lost a lot of my army as well as my Warlord.
I made a few mistakes this turn from being overly optimistic. I thought that if I charge in and took out Ahriman and the Thousand Sons, I would gain all of my points for slaying the enemy special character and taking objective 5 (thanks to Sammael being objective secured). Had I re-joined the Chaplain into the Command Squad, things may have gone better as I think Sammael missed with most of his attacks on the charge and the Chaplain may have hurt more of the Thousand Sons. I also forgot that Sammael has Hatred (Chaos Space Marines) and should have got re-rolls anyway. I may have been better turbo-boosting out of range of the Rhino and hoping to get lucky with the cards next turn (but I needed to shoot the Rhino to score Overwhelming Firepower).


In turn 4, Matt drew Hold the Line (have 3 units and no enemy units in your deployment zone) and had Blog Warrior and Scour the Skies.

In order to score hold the Line, Matt needed to destroy my two units of biker and the Landspeeder (currently on one hull point). The Helldrake left the board, attempting to Vector Strike the Lanspeeder, but failing to damage it! The Thousand Sons moved up on my bike units on one flank and moved up to the Interrogator-Chaplain on the other flank. The Lord of Change moved over the Support Squadron, vector striking them and stunning the unit.

In the psychic phase, the Sorcerer cast psychic shriek on the plasma bikers, killing two and wiping out the unit. The Lord of Change then cast Flickering Fire on the Dark Talon, getting 16 hits and one glancing hit that the Jinking flyer saved.

In the shooting phase, the Thousand Sons fired at the meltagun unit, killing one of the two remaining bikers.
The other unit fired at the Interrogator-Chaplain, easily slaying the enemy warrior. The Predator snap fired at the Dark Talon, but failed to damage it.

In the assault phase, the Thousand Sons charged the last Ravenwing biker, easily slaying him.

At the end of his turn, Matt scored Blog Warrior (for Sammael's death last turn). The solitary Landspeeder survived to prevent him scoring Hold the Line.


This turn, I drew Objective 1 and Supremacy (control 2 objective and twice as many as the enemy) and had Objective 5 from last turn. I would not be able to score any of these, as Matt controlled both objectives.

The Dark Talon left the battle airspace, moving to return an help out the remnants of the Ravenwing. The Landspeeder moved and turbo-boosted back to my deployment zone, moving out of line of sight of the enemy army.

The Support Squadron snap fired at the Lord of Change but caused no damage.

That was the end of a very quick turn for me and I scored no points. I discarded Supremacy.

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 6
Ravenwing- 9

At the end of turn 4, I was still technically winning, but had very little left on the board, while Matt had most of his army intact and mobile.


Matt drew Ascendency (control 3 objectives) and Objective 6, while still holding Scour the Skies.

The Helldrake re-appeared, moving to engage the Support Squadron. The Thousand Sons moved to grab objective 6.

In the psychic phase, the Lord of Change summoned a unit of 3 Flamers, then cast Flickering Fire on the Support squadron, causing one glancing hit that was saved by Jinking.

In the shooting phase, the Helldrake fired at the Support Squadron, causing one hull point damage. The Predator fired at them, but could not get past the Jinking of the skimmers.

In the assault phase, the Thousand Sons charged the Support squadron, one dying to overwatch fire. They Chaos Marines easily wiped out the two skimmers left in the squadron.

At the end of his turn, Matt scored Objective 6 and Ascendency for 4 pts.


I drew Objective 2, and held Objective 1 and Objective 5 from last turn.

I could score objective 2 if I could clear it of Bloodletters. The Dark Talon re-appeared, moving to engage the Bloodletters as the Landspeeder moved up towards the objective.

The Dark Talon fired, killing 4 of the daemons with its Rift Cannon and Hurricane Bolters, enough to move them off the objective by the smallest margin. The Landspeeder turboboosted to grab the objective and score the two points.

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 10
Ravenwing- 11

With one more turn left to play, I was currently winning. However, I only had two models left. If I got really lucky with the cards, I could pull a jammy win, but I was not counting on it.


Matt drew Objective 5, Objective 2 and Behind Enemy Lines.

The Rhino advanced towards objective 2 currently being held by the Landspeeder, while the Helldrake and Flamers moved into my deployment zone. The Lord of Change also landed, moving to my deployment zone as well.

In the psychic phase, the Lord of Change failed to cast Cursed Earth. He cast Flickering Fire at the Landspeeder, but failed to damage the Jinking skimmer, periling in the process and taking a wound.

The Rhino turbo-boosted forward to grab Objective 2 (being objective secured), while the Bloodletters charged the Landspeeder. Amazingly, the failed to cause any damage and the speeder survived.

Matt scored all three cards for 6 pts this turn.


In my final turn, I drew Scour the Skies, Objective 6 and had Objective 1 from last turn. I could not get Objective 6 as the Thousand Sons had it, but in his haste to grab Objective 2, Matt had freed up Objective 1 so I could grab it. If I got lucky, I could also down the Lord of Change and get Scour the Skies.

I moved the Landspeeder to grab Objective 1, while the Dark Talon went in to Hover mode to fire at the Lord of Change (who had 3 wounds left).

In the shooting phase, the Dark Talon fired at the Lord of Change. The Rift Cannon hit taking one wound from the Daemon. The Hurricane Bolters fired too, wounding the Daemon and leaving him on one wound! Unfortunately, I moved the Landspeeder with a view of firing at the Predator and was not facing the Lord of Change to try and finish him off!

The Landspeeder snap fire at the Predator and managed to penetrate it, stunning the vehicle.
End of the game.

With that, my turn ended with me scoring objective 2. The final score was:

Chaos Space Marines/Daemons- 16 (+ 2 Secondary)
Ravenwing- 13 (+ 1 secondary)

A win for the Chaos Space Marine/Chaos Daemon alliance! The result put Matt in first position, so he won the entire tournament. I don't feel so bad about losing now.

Thanks to Matt for an awesome game, very tense with a lot of action going on. Even though I lost, I am genuinely surprised at how close the result was and the fact that I was winning up for most of the game until the final turn.

It's hard not to go through a game like this and pick apart every small error that may have changed the result the other way, especially when playing at the top table in the final game of a tournament. I knew this was going to be a tough game going in after Matt told me that he had specifically designed his army to beat an army like mine, and it seemed well suited to do so with plenty of AP3 flamers and psychic shriek everywhere. Matt played his army very well and deserved the win in the end.

I thought I played the game well, but there were a few things I could have changed:
- In turn 1, I could have sent the Landspeeder forward to get Behind Enemy lines and used a bike unit to take objective 3. This would have given me an extra point for the card.
- In turn 2, I could have moved the Black Knights away from Matt's deployment zone. There was no need for them to stay there and they may have survived the Helldrake had a turbo-boosted them back to my own lines.
- Charging Sammael into the Thousand Sons was a mistake. I overestimated how tough the unit was and suffered for it. At the least, I should have joined the Interrogator-Chaplain to the unit to give them a bonus in combat. This may have turned the tide of the combat or at least prevented me from being wiped out in combat. Alternatively, I could have turbo-boosted the Command Squad behind the Predator and they may have survived future turns to score more points.

This is all speculation and 20/20 hindsight. For every move I could have done differently, Matt may have done something else too, so its hard to say how much effect this would have had on the outcome of the game.

My luck was pretty even over the course of the game. I had some horrendous rolls to start with, but was making a lot of saves in my turn (Matt was getting really annoyed at my Jink saves as the game went on). I also had some pretty good luck with the cards at the start of the game, whereas Matt was struggling to get scoring cards after turn 1 until towards the end of the game.

Matt controlled the psychic phase from the start, not surprising with that many psykers on the board. He was quite unlucky with many of his psychic shriek rolls, causing very few wounds with it over the course of the game, despite casting it frequently.

Congratulations to Matt for playing a great game and for coming first at Blog Wars X.

With two big wins and a narrow loss, I ended up placing 5th out of  50 at the tournament- a result I was more than pleased with and was certainly not expecting to place so high with my army. I will be posting a review of my army at Blog Wars X and discussing how each unit performed.

Thanks again to Alex for running such a fantastic event once again and for everyone else who I met at the weekend. I hope you enjoyed the battle reports.


  1. Nice report was rooting for you and actually quite a nail bitter towards the end.

    1. Cheers. I was actually surprised that I could have pulled a win out of this as I was ahead for most of the game.
      Unfortunately, the cards turned against me at the end and the lack of units became quite a problem.

  2. Congratulations on your overall placing. 5th out of 50 is solid work.

    Even knowing the outcome ahead of time (because I saw the tournament results on Alex's blog), this was still a very tense lead. Definitely could have gone either way with just some little changes.

    1. Cheers, I was thrilled with the results of the day.

      That's what is so great (and infuriating) about games like this, you can spend all your time thinking "what if I'd done this, or that....."

  3. Good work :) well done for 5th! I'm not surprised, you're a good player!

  4. Replies
    1. It was. Very close at the end with some great tactical moves from my opponent.