Thursday, 26 May 2016

Battle Report 58- 1850 pts White Scars vs Space Marines/Imperial Knight

This week's battle report is a tournament practice game where my White Scars take on Innes' forces of Space Marines with an allied Imperial Knight. Innes and I are both attending Caledonian Revolution in the summer and I was interested in playtesting my army in the ETC mission format.
I have previously discussed one of my proposed lists for the tournament. This is based on a Scarblade Strike Force with a Combined Arms Detachment thrown in as well to give me access to a Librarian and the Grav Centurions.
As a reminder, my list is:
Scarblade Strike Force
Hunting Force
Khan- Moondrakken (with CS)
Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 grav guns, 4 storm shields (CS)
6 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS1)
6 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
Attack Bike- Multimelta (AB)
6 Scout Bikers- 2 Grenades launchers, sergeant with meltabombs and homing beacon (SB)

Stormbringer Squadron
5 Scouts- bolt pistols, combat weapons, sergeant with meltabombs (S1)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus Launcher (LS1)
Landspeeder- Multimelta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (L)
Combined Arms Detachment
Librarian- Bike, Hunter's Eye, Meltabombs, Mastery Level 2, Force Sword (with CS)
5 Scouts- Camo cloaks, sniper rifles (SS)
5 Scouts- Bolters, sergeant with meltabombs (S2)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus Launcher (LS2)
3 Bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS3)
3 Centurions- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricane bolters (C)
Drop Pod (DP)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannon, Skyhammer missile launcher (ST)

My warlord trait was fixed with Khan (giving me re-rolls for morale and pinning tests and Scout moves for my bikes and transports). My Librarian decided to roll on the Technomancy table and got Subvert Machine, Blessing of the Machine and Warpmetal Armour. Not the best powers for my army, I was hoping for one of the haywire powers or auto-glance powers for taking on Innes' Knight (spoilers for below!). Warpmetal Armour could be useful for making my Command Squad even tougher.

Innes' army consisted of:
Combined Arms Detachment (Crimson Fists)
Pedro Kantor (PK)
5 Assault Centurions- Omniscope (AS)
5 Scouts- Boltguns (S1)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Flamer, Cerberus Launcher (LS)
5 Scouts- Boltguns (S2)
Techmarine and Thunderfire Cannon (TC)

Librarius Conclave (Ultramarines)
Chief Librarian Tigirius (T)
Librarian 1- Mastery Level 2, Bike, Force Axe, Bolt pistol (L1)
Librarian 2- Mastery Level 2, Bike, Force Axe, Bolt pistol (L2)
Librarian 3- Mastery Level 2, Bike, Force Stave, Bolt pistol (L3)
Librarian 4- Mastery Level 2, Jump Pack, Force Axe, Bolt pistol (L4)

Oathsworn Detachment
Imperial Knight- Rapid Fire battle cannon and Heavy Stubber (IK)

Inquisition Detachment
Lord Coteaz (C)

His warlord was Pedro Kantor. For his (many, many) psychic powers, he got:
Tigirius- (Librarius) The Emperor's Wrath, Veil of Time, Might of Heroes, Null Zone
Librarian 1- (Telepathy) Psychic Shriek, Shrouding, Terrify
Librarian 2- (Telepathy) Psychic Shriek, Invisibility, Shrouding
Librarian 3- (Divination) Prescience, Misfortune, Scrier's Gaze
Librarian 4- (Geokinesis) Chasm, Earth Blood, Shifting Worldscape
Lord Coteaz- (Divination) Prescience, Misfortune, Foreboding

Quite a small, compact army for Innes. My single level 2 Librarian was going to be severely outclassed and Innes had the ability to make quite a potent deathstar unit with access to Veil of Time, Invisibility and Shrouding. I was also worried about the Knight and wanted to take that out early.

For my Hunting Force, I chose Pedro Kantor as the primary target, the Imperial Knight for the secondary target and the Assault Centurions for my tertiary target (these targets would give me re-rolls to hit and re-rolls to wound against these targets sequentially).

We decided to play the Crusade ETC mission. These missions are different in that they use Eternal War, Maelstrom and Kill Point scoring at the same time. This is an interesting concept that I have never tried before and means I should be able to score in all missions regardless of my opponent. It prevent those bad match ups where you know you are going to lose (i.e. anytime I face a Necron Decurion in Purge the Alien). I would be interested to see how this played out.
The mission uses 5 objectives for the crusade mission and the Tactical Escalation maelstrom mission (one card on turn 1, two on turn 2, etc.).
I was confident that my superior numbers and speed would serve me well for the maelstrom points as well as in capturing the end of the game objectives, assuming I had enough alive left at the end of the game to hold them.

I lost the roll off for placing the objectives. We set them up as shown below:

I lost the roll off for deployment zone and Innes chose the one without objective 6 (Hammer and Anvil deployment). In the mission, crusade uses objectives 1-5, with 6 only being used for maelstrom objectives. This meant I would not have two end of game scoring objectives in my deployment zone, whereas Innes would have two.

Fortunately, I won the roll off for deployment and chose to go first. I deployed the Command Squad to the left of the centre, with one of the bike squads on each flank. The sniper scouts deployed in the ruins to the back of my deployment zone with the three-man bike unit at the back out of range of the enemy guns (hopefully). My plan was to keep this unit safe for end of game objective grabbing. The anti-tank Landspeeder and attack bike went in the centre so that one could hopefully get in range of the Knight, wherever it deployed.

Innes deployed the Imperial Knight in the centre of his deployment zone, with the Centurions, Librarians, Inquisitor and Pedro Kantor forming a deathstar unit. The Techmarine deployed in the ruins to the left of his deployment zone. The Landspeeder Storm deployed beside objective 5.

Innes infiltrated his Scouts in the ruins in front of the Techmarine and thunderfire cannon. I infiltrated the Scout Bikers towards the Imperial Knight. He won the roll off for Scout moves and advanced his Scouts forward to try and block my own Scout moves. I then advanced the Command Squad as far forward as possible to block the Landspeeder Storm's movement. Innes' Landspeeder Storm scouted in front of the Imperial Knight. The rest of my army Scouted forward to get into weapons range of the enemy army.
Grey arrows represent Scout moves.

Innes failed to seize the initiative (even with Coteaz's re-roll) and I got the first turn.

In my first turn, I drew Big Game Hunter for my tactical objective. This was good as I was planning to take out the Imperial Knight (though would not get any bonus points for doing so).

The drop pod carrying the Centurions crashed to the ground beside objective 5, utilising the locator beacon from the Scout bikers to land on target, the Centurions moving out to engage the Imperial Knight. The White Scars bikers on the left flank advanced on the Knight. On the right flank, the Landspeeder Storm advanced on the Techmarine, while the bike unit doubled back to target the enemy scouts in the ruins.

In the psychic phase, the White Scars Librarian attempted to cast Warpmetal Armour on the Command Squad to improve their durability, but this was easily blocked by the enemy psykers. He then attempted to cast Blessing of the Machine on the Landspeeder, but failed to manifest the power.

In the shooting phase, the Scout Bikers fired on the Landspeeder Storm in front of the Knight, their grenade launcher glancing it once. The Drop Pod and Landspeeder Storm on the left fired at Innes' Landspeeder Storm, but failed to cause any damage. The bikers on the left also fired at the Landspeeder Storm, but failed to cause any damage.

I then turned my attention to the Knight. The Centurions opened fire on the superheavy walker, only managing to wound it twice, one of which was saved by the Ion shield of the Knight. The Attack Bike fired on the Knight with its multimelta. The melta shot penetrated the Knight and I rolled a 6 on the penetrating table, then took another 3 hull points from the explosion to make it four hull points with one shot! The Imperial Knight was down to one hull point. The Landspeeder fired its multimelta and typhoon missile launcher at the Knight and took its last hull point. The resulting explosion caused no damage to the nearby troops.

The Landspeeder Storm on the right flank fired on the Thunderfire Cannon, failing to cause any damage but blinding the Centurions.

The Sniper Scouts fired on the enemy scouts, but failed to cause any damage. The bikers in front of them opened fire on the Scouts, killing three of the squad and forcing them to fall back 10".

The Command Squad opened fire on the Landspeeder Storm, wrecking the enemy speeder with their grav guns.

At the end of my turn, I scored First Blood and Big Game Hunter and two kill points.

At the start of his turn, Innes drew Behind Enemy Lines.

The Assault Centurion squad advanced on the Scout Bikers, while the rest of the army held firm.

The psychic phase began as the power of the warp began to swell around the massed psykers of the Space Marine force. One Librarian cast invisibility on the main unit, then tried to cast Psychic Shriek on the grav centurions, but failed to manifest the power. Another Librarian cast Shrouding on the Assault Centurions, periling in the process but rolling a 6 on the table to become super-powered. Tigirius then attempted to cast Veil of Time on the unit, but failed. He finished the phase by casting Might of Heroes on himself.

In the shooting phase, the Thunderfire cannon opened fire on the White Scars command squad. The four shots struck the squad, causing 10 wounds. Some great saving throws from me saw only a single wound caused on the Librarian. Pedro Kantor then launched his orbital bombardment on the Command Squad, wounding them twice and killing the Apothecary after he failed his Look out Sir and Feel no Pain rolls. One of the Librarians targeted the Scout bikers with a bolt pistol (thanks to the Omniscope of the Centurions), but failed to wound.

The Scouts opened fire with their bolters on the Landspeeder Storm, but failed to cause any damage.

In the assault phase, the Assault Centurions charged the Scout Bikers and Attack Bike, easily wiping out both squads for no loss in return (I think we forgot about the Assault Centurions being blinded, but it probably wouldn't have made any difference). The squad consolidated forward towards the White Scars.

At the end of his turn, Innes scored no objectives and discarded Behind Enemy Lines. He scored two kill points for taking out the Scout Bikers and Attack Bike.

White Scars- 2 + 2 Kill Points (KP)
Space Marines- 0 + 2 KP

This turn, I drew Supremacy (hold at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent) and No Prisoners (destroy three enemy units).

Seeing the incredibly durable Deathstar unit advance, I decided to pull most of my units back towards my deployment zone. There was little chance of significantly harming them with shooting, so I would use my mobility to move out of range to score the maelstrom points and the objectives at the end of the game. Only the Centurions remained to act as a speed bump, and the Landspeeder Storm on the right flank advanced on the Scouts and Thunderfire Cannon.

The psychic phase amounted to little with so many psykers opposing me.

The Scouts fired their bolters at their enemy counterparts, but failed to kill off the unit. The Landspeeder Storm then fired on the unit, wiping them out. The Centurions opened fire on the other unit of scouts, killing four with the grav cannons and wiping out the survivor with their hurricane bolters. The Landspeeder fired its typhoon missile launcher at the Thunderfire cannon, wounding the artillery piece once.

The rest of the army used their turbo-boost moves to increase the distance on the Assault Centurions.

At the end of my turn I scored 2 points for Supremacy and discarded No Prisoners. I also scored 2 more kill points.

This turn, Innes drew Objective 1 and Objective 2.

The Deathstar unit decided to separate. The four Librarians and Pedro Kantor moved onto the nearby crater in preparation for the psychic phase, while the Assault Centurions advanced on the White Scars Grav Centurions.

In the psychic phase, the Librarius Conclave combined their power to unleash their psychic energy on the field. They started by making the Conclave invisible. They then cast Prescience on themselves. The Conclave then cast Shifting Worldscape on the crater they stood on, using the awesome power to move the unit up towards the Command Squad. Finally, Tigirius attempted to cast Veil of Time on the Assault Centurions, but failed to manifest the power. He then cast Might of Heroes on himself, but I blocked the attempt.

In the shooting phase, the Thunderfire Cannon targeted the Scouts advancing on the Techmarine. The cannon killed one, while the Techmarine's flamer killed another. The unit passed their morale test.

The Assault Centurions opened fired on their enemy counterpart, wounding one of them with their flamers.

The Assault Centurions then launched a multi-assault on the Grav Centurions and Drop Pod, but failed to reach the Pod. They then destroyed the White Scars Centurions with ease.

The Librarius Conclave assaulted the Command Squad. Thanks to the re-rolls from the Hunting Force special rules, my overwatch fire caused an amazing 5 wounds, killing two of the Librarians and wounding another. Pedro Kantor issued a challenge that the Librarian stepped forward to accept (he wasn't doing much in this game anyway). Khan struck at another Librarian, managing to slay one, despite needing 6's to hit. The Command Squad struck at the final Librarian, but failed to cause any damage. In return, Pedro and the Librarian attacked the Command Squad, killing the Librarian and two of the Veterans. I passed my morale test (thanks to Khan's re-roll) and passed my Hit and Run roll, moving towards the centre of the board.

At the end of his turn, Innes scored no objectives and two kill points (for the Centurions and Librarian) and I scored three for the three Librarians.

White Scars- 4 + 7 Kill Points (KP)
Space Marines- 0 + 4 KP

This turn, I drew Assassinate (kill an enemy character), Ascendency (hold 3 objectives) and Objective 3. Realistically, I could score all three, but the ETC mission only allows you to score a maximum of two cards per turn.

One unit of bikers moved up to join the Command Squad and grab objective 3, while the other squads retreated from the Librarian and Pedro Kantor. The Scouts moved up to grab the objective from the Techmarine, while ensuring the Thunderfire cannon could not target them without moving.

The Landspeeder Storm fired at the Assault Centurions, failing to cause any wounds, but blinding them with the Cerberus Launcher. The Command Squad fired their Grav guns at the Centurions, wounding them 5 times and killing two. The nearby bike squad fired that the Centurions, killing another two of the unit. They passed their morale test and kept fighting.

The Landspeeder fired at the Thunderfire Cannon, but failed to cause any damage.

The backfield units fired on the Librarian and Pedro Kantor, but failed to cause any damage to the Invisible unit.

At the end of my turn, I chose to score Ascendency and Assassinate for 3 points.

This turn, Innes drew Supremacy to go with Objective 1 and Objective 2 from last turn.

The last Centurion moved up on the drop pod, while Tigirius advanced on the Command Squad and Coteaz moved up on objective 2. Near the White Scars' deployment zone, Pedro Kantor advanced on the Sniper Scouts, while the Librarian moved up on the bikers holding objective 3.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Terrify on the bikers in front of him, but they passed their morale test. He then attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the unit, but the power was blocked by my Deny the Witch roll.
Tigirius then cast Emperor's Wrath on the bike unit, killing one of the jinking bikers.

In the shooting phase, Kantor fired his bolter at the sniper scouts, killing one of the squad. The Thunderfire cannon opened fire at the biker unit in my deployment zone, killing one of the squad.

In the assault phase, Kantor charged the Sniper Scouts. The White Scars scouts struck at the Chapter Master, wounding him once, but he made his Feel no Pain roll. In reply, Kantor killed three scouts. The survivor passed his morale test and Hit and Ran out of combat.

Tigirius charged the Command Squad. The overwatch fire wounded him twice and he failed to make the distance for the charge. The Centurion assaulted the drop pod, blowing it up with his powerful combat attacks.

The Librarian assaulted the bikers in front of him. The overwatch fire caused no damage and the bikers were unable to wound the Librarian in combat. The Librarian struck at the squad with his force axe, killing three of the squad. The remaining bikers broke from combat and fell back 13" towards my deployment zone.

At the end of his turn, Innes scored a Kill Point for the Drop Pod and scored Objective 2.
White Scars- 7 + 7 Kill Points (KP)
Space Marines- 1 + 5 KP

At this point, Innes decided to call the game. I had plenty of units left to grab the objectives at the end of the game and would likely kill many of his units in my next turn to make it even harder for him.
End of the Game

Thanks to Innes for another interesting battle, I think it was a bad match up for our army styles. The Deathstar unit is very powerful with all the Librarians, the Chapter Master and the Assault Centurions, but it was quite easy to ignore for most of the game with my fast moving units.

The ETC mission was interesting. It gives you a lot to keep track of during the game, what with the maelstrom cards, kill points and remembering to score the objectives at the end of the game (they are worth a lot of points).
I'm not sure why you are limited to scoring only 2 maelstrom cards per turn, but it could be a bit annoying for my army. As far as I am aware, you don't get bonus kill points for killing superheavy vehicles or bonus points in the maelstrom cards. As it was, I got a single kill point for taking out the Knight and a single point on the Big Game Hunter maelstrom card too.

As for my army, it generally performed very well. It's hard to make many conclusions from a single game that only lasted 3 turns. The Librarian was pretty useless in the game as I was up against so many psykers. His only real purpose was to carry the Hunter's Eye and fall on his sword for the challenges to keep Khan alive. The Centurions didn't do much against the Knight, causing only a single Hull Point damage on turn 1. I might have been better sending them against the Deathstar unit in turn 1 before they got invisibility up. I should have been able to cause some serious casualties to this unit in the first turn had I targeted them instead, but I really wanted to take the Knight out as quickly as possible.

I got lucky with the attack bike in turn 1, putting 4 hull points on the Imperial Knight with one shot. It certainly made things a lot easier for me. I also think that getting the first turn was key. I'm not sure how the game would have turned out had I been forced to go second.

I think the low mobility of Innes' army proved his undoing in the game. The new Space Marine psychic powers helped mitigate this with their movement spells to get them into combat, but it was still quite a slow moving force.

I'll probably use this army a couple of more times in practice games against different types of armies to see how it fares before I modify it too much.


  1. That psychic deathstar sounds like the least amount of fun to play against haha.

    Anyway, excellent report as always! Thank for you taking the time and sharing.

    1. Yeah, I knew it was going to be a tough army going in. Innes likes to run deathstars and Knights. Fortunately, I got to go first and was able to avoid it until he split them up.

      Glad you enjoyed the report!

  2. Sounded like a fun game. Will have to give you a game myself with my scars some point :)

    1. Yeah, White Scars-White Scars is fun. Those Jink saves are annoying.....

  3. Cool, finally another Scars batrep! First off, congrats on the win! You handled that list convicingly, good job! I think playing similar listd a bunch of times helps a lot when preparing for a tournament rather than jumping around too much.

    Several questions came up when I read the report:

    - are you sure 'Explosion' results work this way on superheavies - the D3 hull points are IN ADDITION to the one lost? I always thought that superheavies ignore explosions but get dealt d3 hull points instead. Would be nice if your way is correct though!

    - as far as I know the orbital bombardment is heavy 1, not sure if your opponent moved that phase but I thought he did?

    - I like the way you play the 'hunters prey' rule of the hunting force. Personally I feel that it's not clearly spelled out if the 'targeted state' extends to the unit the independent character joins though. Last game we decided to roll off on that. And just yesterday I wanted to post this question at dakka and found a thread that had beenopened already, with the answer being 'no, it does not include the unit, only the character itself'. Just some food for thought.

    And lastly - I thought the Tiggy Deathstar is supposed to be played with Grav Cents? I don't see the advantage of Assault Cents tbh.

    Sorry for the wall of text, thanks again!

    1. Hi, the gent behind the army here,

      As to your questions:

      1 - yep, additional hull points. Nasty rule that's bitten me more than a few times with knights. Can be found on page 94 of the rulebook under 'Vehicle Damage'.

      2 - Slow and Purposeful from the Centurions confers to the unit so Kantor can move and fire the Bombardment.

      3 - I'm of the opinion that it affects the unit as a whole, unless in a challenge/using precision shots/strike. Not sure if the ETC FAQ has a stance on this. Should check to be honest.

      4 - Assault Cents are 100+ points cheaper than the Devastator alternative, not as reliant on shooting which can be nullified. With the new psychic powers the ability to beat other deathstars in CC is really important, and 3 S10 AP2 Attacks Per Model base (+1 Attack From Kantor, +1 2 CC Weapons, 1 Base) and a potential extra 1 for charging, which all strike at initiative 4 will beat most other stars in close combat, while still being good at getting charged thanks to defensive grenades.

      All said and done, I've already reworked the army quite a lot (Knight Out, Azreal and Ezekiel in, added an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with Psychotroke Grenades and Servo Skulls for the Anti-Star (Auto Hits in CC if you roll a 2 on Grenades) and anti-scout.) I'm still working on my matchup vs Michael's style of army, it's not one I've played much, but one I need the practice against, since it's also the go to style for Eldar at the moment.

      Hope that answers the questions you had!

    2. Actually, having a glance over the Draft FAQ's, the following answer would indicate that the Hunting Force rules wouldn't have worked there:

      Q: How do special rules like Hatred, Preferred Enemy and Monster Hunter work when targeting a mixed unit that contains models your special rule effects as well as models it doesn’t?
      A: The rules mentioned are only used if all models in the target unit are of the appropriate type

    3. The assault centurions were brutal. I don't know of many units that would stand up to them in an assault. It's actually the first time I have ever seen them used.

      If the ruling for the Hunting force goes that way, it will make it much less effective. The HQ unit is generally going to be in a unit, so the only way to get the re-rolls would be against him in combat.

    4. Just for the fun of it, this FAQ question

      Q: If a unit consists of more than one Faction, what Faction does the unit count as when targeted by special abilities that affect one of the Factions in that unit?
      A: They count as having all the Factions of the models in the unit.

      Means that with Kantor and Ezekiel in the unit they'll have 5 attacks per model on the charge

    5. Eh, for some reason I can't reply to my reply, or rather yours, Innes. Anyway, thanks for clearing that up for me! The knight/explosion rule should help quite a bit in my next game vs my pure knight buddy! The slow and purposeful I completely forgot. And the Hunting Force - well, while it weakens the effect, I find that most of the time with a Hunters Eye grav command squad you can either rather easily wipe out your first target even in a unit in an alpha strike anyway, making it less of an issue - or you're up vs a death star which you're better off ignoring anyway.

      By the way, the Prey rule also doesn't work against pure knight armies I've found, because they consist only of lords of war and have no HQ units :(

  4. Oh, and thanks for explaining the death star to me! The way you put it makes senses, and with the new powers you should easier get into combat, too.

    1. No problem! The pure knights thing is unfortunate, would also be a hindrance vs a formation army sucb as a pure skyhammer or such. No HQ's to target.

  5. Good battle report. I'll look forward to seeing your White Scars at Caledonian Revolution!

  6. Good game. The best way to deal with Deathstars is to ignore them and kill the rest of their army, which your force is designed to do.
    Can't say I'm a big fan of ETC rules, as I think it over complicates an already complicated game.
    Anyway good luck at the tournament.