Thursday, 5 May 2016

Stronghold V Battle Report 3- White Scars vs Daemons

Welcome to the third battle report from my games at the recent Stronghold V tournament in Glasgow. With two wins under my belt, I was currently sitting in second place overall, so I knew my third game of the day would be tough.
The third mission was Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil deployment and I would be facing Martin and his Daemons of Chaos. I had previously played Martin at Rapid Fire 2015, where his Necron Decurion force demolished my White Scars in the Purge the Alien mission. I was a bit more hopeful about this game as Daemons are at least killable.
As a reminder, my army consisted of:
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs (with CS or L)
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and 2 with meltabombs (CS)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS1)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs (S)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher (LS)
Drop Pod- storm bolter (DP)
3 Scout Bikers- One grenade launcher, sergeant with meltabombs and locator beacon (SB)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher (ST)
Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricaine bolters (C)

My warlord trait was Master Rider, giving me +1 to my jink save. My psychic powers for this game were Psychic Shriek and Prescience.

Martin's army consisted of:
Herald of Nurgle- Level 2 psyker, Greater Locust of Fecundity, Greater Gift, The Doomsday Bell, Warlord (with PD or H)
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage- Two greater Gifts, Armour of Scorn (B)
3 Nurglings (N1)
3 Nurglings (N2)
10 Flesh Hounds (FH1)
10 Flesh Hounds (FH2)
7 Plague Drones- Champion with Greater Gift (PD)

His warlord trait gave him +1 to his Feel no Pain roll. His psychic powers were Warp Speed, Endurance and Breath of Corruption.
His Drone Champion and Nurgle Herald got the Greater Etherblade. The Bloodthirster got a 4+ Feel no Pain roll and to re-roll his invulnerable save.

A smallish army, but lots of high toughness, multi-wound models. Thankfully there would be no summoning shenanigans to deal with in the army.

I won the roll for deployment zone and chose the side with the ruins. The board had a large trench network going down the middle, so plenty of cover for both of us. I also won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I figured the Hounds would scout forward, meaning I would want 2 turns of shooting with them before they got to assault and I wanted to make the most of it.

I deployed the Command Squad in the centre, with one bike squad on each side and the Landspeeder Storm near the command squad. I kept the Scout Bikers in reserve to Outflank and go after the Nurglings, hopefully securing Linebreaker if they survived.

I was already outnumbered for number of kill points I could give up (10 vs 7) and Martin had a lot of tough units to take out- 20 wound for each Flesh Hound unit, 9 wounds for each Nurgling unit and 21 wounds for the Plague Drones. With little inherent armour, my grav guns would be pretty useless in this game.

Martin deployed the Plague Drones in the centre, with a unit of Flesh Hounds on either side. The Nurglings deployed in the woods to the back, with the Bloodthirster deploying back on his left flank. As expected, both units of Hounds scouted towards my lines.

There was no night fighting and Martin failed to seize the initiative, giving me the first turn.


The drop pod carrying the Centurions crashed into the ground in front of the Flesh Hounds on my right flank. The bike squads moved up to get into range to fire on the Flesh Hounds, while staying out of charge range of the Plague Drones.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Psychic Shriek on the Flesh Hounds, but Khorne's favour prevent the psychic attack from harming them and they blocked it.

The Centurions opened fire on the Flesh Hounds in front of them. The squad's hurricane bolters sang out, slaying two of the daemons. Some great rolls from the grav cannons also saw another 5 wounds caused on the Khorne daemons. The nearby bike squad and Command Squad opened fire on the unit, killing another 2 of the squad and leaving only 4 remaining. The drop pod and Landspeeder Storm fired at the unit, but were unable to harm them.

On the other flank, the bike squad fired at the other unit of Flesh Hounds, killing two of the squad.


The Flesh Hounds and Plague Drones advanced on the White Scars lines, running to get into range. The Bloodthirster also moved up on the enemy position.

In the psychic phase, the Herald cast Endurance on his unit (boosting the already durable Plague Drones) and cast Warp Speed on himself.

With no shooting and no assaults, that ended a very quick first turn for the Daemons. I doubted the next turn would be so forgiving.

White Scars- 0
Daemons- 0


The Stormtalon arrived, moving up the centre of the board to be able to target all the front Daemon units. My Scout Bikers outflanked on the left flank, moving to engage the Nurglings.

The rest of the bikers retreated slightly from the Daemons, though made sure they were still in rapid fire range.

The Librarian attempted to cast Prescience on the Centurions, but failed to manifest enough power. He then successfully cast Psychic Shriek on the Plague drones, hitting with the attack but failing to cause any damage (I could not roll above a 7 on 3D6!).

The Centurions opened fire on the Flesh Hounds, killing another three of the hounds and leaving one left. The bike squad beside them opened fire, killing the last member of the unit.

The other bike squad targeted the other unit of Flesh Hounds, causing 3 wounds and killing one of the daemons. The Stormtalon opened fire on the unit, killing another two of the Hounds.

The Command Squad opened fire on the drones. The grav guns performed well, causing 5 wounds on the daemons and killing one of the squad. The Landspeeder Storm opened fire on the Drones. The Cerberus launcher caused no damage but succeeded in blinding them.

In the enemy deployment zone, the Scout Bikers fired on the nearest Nurglings, wounding one base twice.


The Daemonic forces continue their advance on the White Scars, the Hounds moving up on the bikers, the Drones targeting the Command Squad, while the Bloodthirster went after the Centurions.

In the psychic phase, the Herald once again cast Endurance on the Drones and Warp Speed on himself.

The Warp Storm table struck at the Centurions and Landspeeder Storm, wounding one Centurion.

Now was the time for the Daemons to assault.

The Bloodthirster crashed into the Centurions. The squad struck at the Greater Daemon, wounding him once, but he made his Feel no Pain roll. The temerity of their attack must have distracted the Bloodthirster as he only hit with 3 of his eight attacks and killed two Centurions. The survivor held firm in combat, passing his morale test and failed to hit and run.

The Flesh Hounds crashed into the bikers. They struck at the White Scars killing one of the squad. The bikers could not harm the hounds in reply and they fled from combat, outdistancing the pursuing Flesh Hounds.

The Command Squad fought with the Plague Drones. The Plague Drone champion issued a challenge that the Apothecary accepted. The Librarain managed to wound one of the Drones, while the Command Squad wounded another (Martin was able to spread out the wounds so as not to remove any models). The Champion struck back, killing the Apothecary (he did two wound, one killing the Apothecary and the second saved by a Storm Shield. Had the Librarian accepted, he would most likely have been killed). The other drones struck at the command squad, but could not get past their armour. I won combat and hit and run 14" away towards the enemy deployment zone.

White Scars- 2
Daemons- 0


The White Scars used their increased manoeuvrability to redeploy away from the enemy forces. The Command Squad moved up on the Nurglings, while the bikers and landspeeder storm moved up too. One unit of bikers moved to the left flank of the Flesh Hounds.

The Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the Nurglings, but the attempt was blocked. He then failed to cast Prescience on the Command Squad.

In the shooting phase, the bikers fired on the Flesh Hounds, killing two of the squad. The Stormtalon opened fire on the damaged Nurglings, killing another base. The Scout bikers fired at the Nurglings, killing another base.

The Bikers assaulted the Flesh Hounds, the hammer of wrath attacks causing one wound. The bikers struck at the Daemons, causing another 3 wounds on the unit. The Hounds struck back killing one of the bikers. The Flesh Hounds lost the combat and lost another hound thanks to daemonic instability.

The Bloodthirster crushed the last Centurion and consolidated back towards the unit of bikers behind it.


The lone Nurgling advanced on the Scout Bikers, the Bloodthirster moved after the unit of bikers and the Plague Drones moved to engage the bikers locked in combat with the Flesh Hounds.

The Herald cast Endurance on his unit once more. The warp strom table was quiet this turn.

The Plague Drones assaulted the bikers. The White Scars struck at the hounds, hoping to finish off the unit, but did not cause any wounds. The Drones struck back at the bikers, wiping the unit out.

The Bloodthirster assaulted the other unit of bikers, easily wiping them out with his attacks after they failed to damage the Greater Daemon in combat.

White Scars- 2
Daemons- 3


The White Scars continued to retreat from the Daemons and advance on the Nurglings.

The Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the Nurglings. He periled and lost a wound, along with Psychic Shriek. He hit with the attack, but failed to cause any damage (yet again, I failed to roll above a 7 on 3D6).

The Command Squad fired their bolters at the three Nurglings, causing 4 wounds. The Stormtalon fired at the lone Nurgling base, wiping out the unit. The Scout Bikers fired at the Nurglings, wounding them once.
The Scout bikers could have either turbo-boosted away or fired. If they shot, the Bloodthirster could charge them with a 9" charge, but I decided to risk it.


The Drones moved towards the drop pod, while the Bloodthirster took to the skies to vector strike the Stormtalon, glancing it once.

The daemonic warp storm was strong as Martin rolled an 11 on the table. My Librarian needed to take a Leadership test on 3D6. Predictably, he rolled high on this test and was slain, giving up another kill point and Slay the Warlord.

The Plague Drones charged the drop pod and succeeded in wrecking it.

White Scars- 3
Daemons- 6


The flyer went into hover mode to engage the Nurglings.

The Stormtalon fired at the Nurglings, wiping the squad out. The Command Squad opened fire at the Bloodthirster, wounding it twice but failing to ground it (fortunately!).


With the time for the game coming to an end, there was little Martin could do to have any effect on the end of the game, so we called it there, with both of us scoring Linebreaker.

White Scars- 5
Daemons- 7

That bloody warp storm table! If it wasn't for that result killing my Librarian, the game would have been a draw. Congrats to Martin though for playing the game well and getting the win.

I actually find games where I lose more interesting to deconstruct in the after-battle thoughts. I get to pick apart any potential errors in my gameplay and go through "what if?" scenarios.

My Librarian was not too much use in the game. The few times I did manage to get psychic shriek off, I couldn't roll high enough on 3D6 to cause any wounds (needing only more than 7 in all cases). I always forget to activate Force in my games. In turn 2, it may have helped to take out some of the Drones or even the Drone Champion in a challenge, saving the Apothecary.

I think it may have been better to move my bike units back to my own board edge on turn 3. This may have prevented the Drones and Bloodthirster from being in range to charge the two bike units until turn 4. This may have allowed me to finish off the second unit of Flesh Hounds and gain me another victory point.

I also may have been better taking the flyer off the table on turn 4. This would have allowed me to bring it back on to deal with the Flesh Hounds in my deployment zone. They only had 3 wounds left in the unit, which I may have been able to take out with the flyer (maybe).

Despite losing, my rolls were pretty decent for this game. The grav cannons and grav guns were consistently rolling well against the daemons, despite needing 6's to wound. Martin on the other hand had some pretty poor rolling throughout the game- his Bloodthirster missing with most of his attacks against the Centurions and his Drones must have failed about 3 dangerous terrain rolls every time they moved in the game (though didn't suffer too many wounds thanks to their 5+ invulnerable and 4+ Feel no Pain from endurance).

It was a very tactical game that went a lot better than my last Purge the Alien game against Martin. I was interested to see who my next opponent would be for the final game of the tournament.

Army Thoughts
Game 1- White Scars vs White Scars/Mechanicus
Game 2- White Scars vs Eldar
Game 3- White Scars vs Daemons
Game 4- White Scars vs Eldar
Army Review
Armies on Display


  1. The other point where I might have gone for something different is with the Centurions in Turn 2. They probably should have pulled back a bit, even tho that meant leaving the Defense Line, and I might have been tempted to have them go for the D-Thirster instead of the Hounds, since he's one of the few things they can really hammer with their Grav Cannon, and they had pretty good odds of pancaking him there, while the Hounds were a relatively minor threat to them. Not sure, tho, that was a tough spot, with a lot of stuff right up in your face, and not much to deal with it, relative to the durability of the Units in question.

    1. Yeah, I think going after the Bloodthirster would have been a good shout as the hounds were a lot less dangerous in combat than it was. I was just trying to kill the unit of hounds to get first blood and a point as I honestly didn't think I would get too many points during the game.
      In addition, the Bloodthirster had a re-rollable invulnerable save and 4+ feel no pain thanks to the gifts, so I would need to have been lucky to take it out. However, the benefits of taking it out would have outweighed the chances of not.

      Oh well, if only I could replay it with hindsight......

    2. Ooh, yeah, forgot about his Gifts. Like I said, it was a tough choice, and I'm not sure I would have chosen differently, but I definitely would have been torn there.

      That said, why didn't you at least pull the Cents back a bit? Unless I'm misreading the scale on your map there, it looks like they could have at least added a couple more inches to the Thirster's Charge without putting them out of Rapid Fire range of the Hounds.

    3. I may have done, I don't remember if I did (or I didn't make a note of it).

    4. The photos show them still up in the defense line while they're getting chopped up by the D-Thirster, and it really does look to me like they had room to work with. Perhaps a bad Difficult Terrain roll that you forgot to note or something.

  2. Aaaah melt down your librarian and buy a new one! Every time he failed to do anything I was groaning - not again! Though luck, I was really rooting for you but this was a difficult matchup and I think you did very well!

    1. Cheers Chris, I think my White Scars Librarian was upset I did not have him painted in time and sabotaged this one.