Thursday, 11 January 2018

Battle Report 128- 2000 pts Dark Angels Ravenwing vs Death Guard

This week's battle report saw my first outing with the new Dark Angels codex. In this game, my 2000 pts Ravenwing army would be taking on Connor and his Death Guard army, featuring the Daemon Primarch Mortarion. 

We rolled for the mission and were playing the Recon maelstrom mission. This game uses a form of reserves. Each army would be split into three roughly even portions (based on number of units). One portion would start on the board, while the rest would come on from reserve in the first or second turn. 

My army consisted of:
Outrider Detachment
Sammael on Corvex (S)
Librarian- Bike, Force Sword, Aversion, Mind War (L)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Power Fists, Chainswords (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Plasma Guns, Power Sword, Chainswords (RB2)
4 Ravenwing Bikers- Flamer, Chainswords (RB3)
Dark Talon- Two Hurricane Bolters, Rift Cannon, Stasis Bomb (DT)

Outrider Detachment
Ravenwing Talonmaster- Shroud of Heroes, Twin Assault Cannon, Twin Heavy Bolter, Power Sword,(T)
4 Ravenwing Bikers- Plasma Gun, Power Sword (RB4)
3 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Chainswords (RB5)
5 Black Knights- Plasma Talons, Corvus Hammers (BK1)
5 Black Knights- Plasma Talons, Corvus Hammers (BK2)
Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D)

I decided to try out my all-Ravenwing army to see how they fared with the new rules and points reductions. 

I decided to take Sammael, the new Talonmaster and a Librarian. The Talonmaster would provide some very nice buffs to my Black Knights, along with Sammael. The Librarian took Aversion and Mind War. I was hoping that Mind War would be able to diminish Mortarion and make him easier to deal with. 

I was able to put another unit of Bikers into the list thanks to the points reductions to the Ravenwing, allowing me to field 5 units of Bikers, pretty much all the Bikers that I had. They would be supported by the Darkshroud, Dark Talon and Black Knights. 

Connor's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Typhus- Curse of the Leper, Gift of Contagion (T)
Malignant Plaguecaster- Curse of the Leper, Plague Wind, The Pandemic Staff (P1)
7 Plague Marines- Icon of Despair, Plaguesword and Plasma Pistol, Flail of Corruption, Mace of Contagion and Bubotic Axe, Great Plague Cleaver, Blight Launcher, Bubonic Axe, Plague Knife. (PM1)
7 Plague Marines- Bolters, Plague Knifes, Power Fist, Plasma Gun (PM2)
20 Poxwalkers (Pox)
Biologus Putrifier- Plague Knife (P2)
3 Deathshroud Terminators- Manreapers, Plaguespurt Gauntlets. (DT)
Foul Blightspawn (BS)
Noxious Blightbringer (B)
Plagueburst Crawler- 2 Entropy Cannons, Rothail Volley Gun (C)
Chaos Rhino- Combi-Bolter, Combi-melta, Havoc Launcher (R)

Superheavy Detachment
Mortarion- Blades of Putrefaction, Curse of the Leper, Plague Wind (M)

Another Daemon Primarch to face! I have not faced Mortarion before, but had read enough online to know to keep out of combat with him. I also knew that the Death Guard were good at putting out mortal wounds at close range, but were a slow force. I could use the speed of my army to my advantage, hopefully.

We split our forces into three roughly equal portions and rolled off to see which would start the game on the board.

For my forces, I rolled the third section, featuring Sammael, a unit of Black Knights, the Dark Shroud and a unit of Bikers with Plasma Guns. Connor got his first section, featuring a unit of Plague Marines, the Malignant Plaguecaster, the Biologus Putrifier and the Foulblight Spawn.

The placed the objectives as shown below:

The deployment order was as follows:
  1. Plague Marines
  2. Ravenwing Plasma Bikers
  3. Plaguecaster
  4. Darkshroud
  5. Putrifier
  6. Black Knights
  7. Foulblight Spawn
  8. Sammael
I deployed my Ravenwing on the left flank, away from Connor's units on his left flank. I figured that my faster units could get to the objectives fairly easily, whereas the Death Guard would have a long walk. 

Connor won the roll off for first turn and chose to go first. 

In his first turn, Connor drew Secure Objective 1, Witch Hunter (kill an enemy psyker) and Blood and Guts (kill an enemy unit in assault). 

The Death Guard units moved up on the Ravenwing lines. Some of the reserves started to arrive. On the right flank, the Rhino and Plagueburst Crawler arrived. On the left flank, Typhus arrived to support the Death Guard on the flank.

With little in range, the Crawler fired at the Black Knights. The mortar fired at the Ravenwing Bikers, but failed to hit them thanks to the presence of the nearby Darkshroud.

At the end of his turn, Connor scored no points.

In my first turn, I drew Hold the Line (have 3 units and no enemy units in my deployment zone), Mission Critical Objective (Objective 1) and Master the Warp (cast a psychic power).

On the left flank, the Black Knights advanced on the Crawler and Putrifier. Sammael and the Darkshroud moved up to support them, while the unit of Bikers moved up on the objective.

At the end of the phase, all but the Talonmaster arrived from reserve. The Grav Gun Bikers and other Plasma Gun Bikers arrived on the right flank, supported by the Dark Talon. The rest of the forces moved on the left flank to support the Ravenwing advance.

The forward Black Knights used the Speed of the Raven and Weapons of the Dark Age stratagems to boost their firepower. They overcharged their Plasma Talons and fired on the Plagueburst Crawler. Despite re-roll from Sammael, two of the Black Knights perished to overheat rolls. The Knights managed to hit the vehicle 6 times, but only caused 2 wounds. Connor then made one of his 6+ saves and the Crawler took three damage.

Sammael opened fire on the Putrifier, wounding him once, but failing to get past his armour. The Darkshroud also fired at the Putrifier, but failed to do any damage.

In the charge phase, the Black Knights assaulted the Biologus Putrifier. They struck at the enemy, hitting with only 3 of their 7 attacks, wounding twice, but the Putrifier's armour saved him from harm. The Putrifier struck back, but failed to cause any harm. The Knights consolidated into the Crawler to stop it from firing. It attacked the Ravenwing Knights, but failed to do any damage.

At the end of my turn, I scored Mission Critical Objective.

Death Guard- 0
Dark Angels Ravenwing- 1

In turn 2, Connor still had Secure Objective 1, Witch Hunter and Blood and Guts.

The rest of the Death Guard army arrived. The Noxious Blightbringer moved on to support the Putrifier, while the Rhino moved around the ruins in front of the Darkshroud. Mortarion landed in the centre of the deployment zone, ready to support both flanks. On the right flank, the Poxwalkers and Deathshroud Terminators moved to join Typhus, while the rest of the Death Guard forces moved up.

In the psychic phase, Mortarion cast Blades of Purification on the Putrifier, giving him +1 to wound. He then cast Plague Wind on the Black Knights in combat, but failed to cause any harm.

In the shooting phase, the Rhino opened fire on the Darkshroud, but failed to hit with any of its shots. With the rest of the forces engaged in combat, or too far away, there was little shooting to be done.

In the charge phase, the Blightbringer assaulted the Black Knights. He struck at the squad, causing one wound, but their armour held. The Putrifier attacked the Knights, wounding them once, but again, their armour saved them from harm.

The Black Knights attacked the Putrifier, wounding him three times and killing him. He exploded in a shower of pus, dealing one mortal wound to the Black Knights.

At the end of his turn, Connor scored no points and discarded Secure Objective 1. I scored First Blood.

In my second turn, I drew Behind Enemy Lines (have units in the enemy deployment zone) and had Hold the Line and Master the Warp.

The Dark Talon moved up on the main Death Guard lines, while the two units of Bikers on the right stayed in position.

On the left flank, the Black Knights fell back from combat. I wanted them to survive the turn and score me Behind Enemy Lines. The rest of the forces moved up to engage the Rhino. The Talon Master arrived, moving on the left flank to support the main units.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Aversion on the Rhino, then cast Smite, dealing it one wound.

In the shooting phase, the Dark Talon fired its Hurricane Bolters at the Poxwalkers, wounding them 10 times. Connor made 5 disgustingly resilient saves and five perished. The Rift Cannon fired at Mortarion, but its one shot missed the target.

Four Ravenwing Bikers fired on the Plague Marines, wounding once but failing to get past their armour. The Plasma Gun of the squad hit but failed to wound.

The Talon Master fired at the Rhino, wounding it once. The nearby Plasma Bikers fired on the Rhino. Their Bolters struck the enemy vehicle, finding several weak spots and severely damaging it (I managed a great 6 wounds on the Rhino and Connor failed 5 of his 3+ saves!). The Plasma Guns overcharged, finishing off the enemy transport. Two of the Plague Marines perished as they disembarked from the wreck.

The Black Knights fired their Plasma Talons at the newly disembarked Plague Marines, killing two more of the squad. Sammael and the Darkshroud added their firepower, killing one more of the squad.

In the charge phase, the Bikers and Black Knights attempted to assault the survivors of the Plague Marines, but both squads failed their long charges. Connor passed his morale test for the squad and they fought one.

At the end of my turn, I scored all three of my objective cards.

Death Guard- 0
Dark Angels Ravenwing- 5

This turn, Connor drew Secure Objective 6 to go with Witch Hunter and Blood and Guts.

On the right flank, the Plague Marines advanced to get into range of objective 6. Mortarion moved up on the Ravenwing forces on the right, while the Death Guard forces on the left continued to move up towards the central line of the battlefield. The Blightbringer went after the retreating Black Knights.

In the psychic phase, the Malignant Plaguecaster cast Smite, taking two wounds from the Dark Talon. Typhus tried to cast Smite as well, but failed in the attempt. Mortarion cast Smite, taking three wounds from the Black Knights, killing two and leaving one remaining. He cast Curse of the Leper on the survivor, wounding him once and leaving him on one wound. The Plaguecaster then cast Plague Wind on the Dark Talon, but failed to do any damage. Typhus then followed up with Gift of Contagion on the Ravenwing flyer, reducing its toughness to 5.

In the shooting phase, Mortarion fired on the Ravenwing Bikers, wounding them once, but I made my 6+ armour save. The Crawler fired at the Bikers, but failed to do any damage.

The Plague Marines on the left flank fired at the Bikers, wounding them once with their Bolters and killing one with the Plasma Gun. Typhus fired at the Dark Talon, taking two wounds off of it. The Plaguecaster then added his firepower, destroying it utterly.

In the charge phase, the Blightbringer charged the lone Black Knight, striking him down with a mighty blow.

At the end of his turn, Connoer scored Secure Objective 6 and Blood and Guts.

This turn, I drew Priority Orders Received (Big Game Hunter), Secure Objective 1 and Domination (control all the objectives).

The Ravenwing sped into action, moving to try and secure the field. The Ravenwing Bikers moved to grab the objectives on each flank. On the left, Sammael and the Darkshroud moved up on the Plague Marines. The Black Knights moved towards Mortarion, supported by the Talon Master, while a unit of Plasma Gun Bikers advanced onto the objective in front of Mortarion. I used the Speed of the Raven stratagem to allow them to still shoot and assault.

In the Psychic phase, the Librarian cast Aversion on Mortarion, periling in the process and taking two mortal wounds after using a command point re-roll. He then cast Smite, but this was blocked by Typhus.

In the shooting phase, I activated Weapons of the Dark Age on the Black Knights and they targeted Mortarion. They overcharged their Plasma Talons, getting 9 hits and four wounds on the Daemon Primarch and stripping 12 wounds from him in total. The nearby Plasma Gun Bikers added their firepower, wounding him once with their Bolters, the Plasma Guns failing to do any damage.

Sammael fired at Mortarion, wounding him once, but not getting past his armour. The Talon Master fired on the Daemon Primarch, wounding him three times, but again, causing no harm.

The Darkshroud fired at the two remaining Plague Marines, killing them both with its Assault Cannon.

The backfield Bikers on the other flank fired at the Foulblight Spawn, but caused no damage to the enemy unit. The Flamer Bikers fired their Bolters at the other unit of Plague Marines, killing one.

In the charge phase, the Black Knights and Ravenwing Bikers charged Mortarion. Sammael charged the Blightbringer.

The Knights attacked Mortarion, wounding him three times (two of which were 6's to wound, doing D3 damage each). The Primarch failed two wounds and took 4 damage, leaving him on a single wound. The Ravenwing Bikers attacked, managing to do two wounds. He failed both saves and Mortarion perished, taking one Biker with him as he fell.

Sammael easily dispatched the Blightbringer to claim the objective.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 1 and Domination for 6 points. I discarded Priority Orders Received.

Death Guard- 2
Dark Angels Ravenwing- 12

At the end of turn 3, the Ravenwing were well ahead in points thanks to scoring Domination.

In his turn, Connor drew Scour the Skies (kill a unit with the Fly keyword) and Secure Objective 3. He also had Witch Hunter.

The Crawler moved towards the Ravenwing Bikers, while the rest of the Death Guard on the left flank moved up on the Bikers.

In the psychic phase, the Death Guard attempted to Smite the Bikers on objective 2, causing three mortal wounds in total and killing one of the squad. They then cast Curse of the Leper on them, but failed to cause any wounds. Typhus bestowed the Gifts of Contagion on them, reducing their attacks by 1.

The Plagueburst Crawler fired on the Darkshroud, taking two wounds from it.

The Plaguecaster fired on the two Ravenwing Bikers in front of him, killing off the unit. The Plague Marines fired at the Flamer Bikers, but failed to cause any damage.

At the end of his turn, Connor scored no points and discarded Secure Objective 3.

In my fourth turn, I drew Secure Objective 3, Witch Hunter and No Prisoners (destroy an enemy unit).

The Grav gun Bikers moved to secure objective 3, while the rest of the Bikers on the flank moved up on the Death Guard forces. Sammael led the Black Knights, Darkshroud, Librarian and Talonmaster up on the Plagueburst Crawler.

The Libarian attempted to cast Smite on the Crawler, but the effort was blocked. He then failed to cast Mind Wipe on it, but failed to cause any harm with the power.

In the shooting phase, the Black Knights fired on the Crawler, only managing a single wound that was saved by a disgustingly resilient save. Sammael added his firepower, wounding twice, but once more the Crawler proved resilient. The Darkshroud and Talonmaster added their firepower, only managing to do a single wound between them.

The Ravenwing Bikers with the Flamer fired on the Poxwalkers, killing 5 with their Bolters. The Plasma Gun Bikers added their firepower, killing three with their Bolters. The squad fired their Plasma Guns at the Plague Marines, killing one with their superheated fury.

The Grav Bikers fired at the Poxwalkers with their Bolters, killing another three.

Sammael, the Librarian and the Black Knights charged the Plagueburst Crawler, one of the Black Knights dying to overwatch fire. A unit of Bikers charged the Plague Marines.

In the fight phase, Sammael managed to take 5 wounds from the enemy tank. The Knights managed to do two wounds, both of which were saved. The Librarian managed to hit three times, but failed to do any wounds. In reply, the Crawler managed to wound the Black Knights once, but could not get past their armour.

In the other combat, the Bikers managed to kill one of the Plague Marines for no damage in reply.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 3 and discarded Witch Hunter.

Death Guard- 2
Dark Angels Ravenwing- 13

In his fifth turn, Connor drew No Prisoners, to go with Scour the Skies and Witch Hunter.

The Crawler fell back from combat, while the rest of the Death Guard moved up on the Ravenwing Biker units in their deployment zone.

In the psychic phase, Typhus attempted to cast Smite. He perilled on a roll of a 12. Connor used a command point re-roll, but rolled another 6! Typhus took one wound and the nearby Bikers took two mortal wounds. Th Plaguecaster attempted to Smite, but the attempt was blocked by the Librarian.

He then cast Curse of the Leper on the Bikers, which did no damage and Gifts of Contagion failed to cast.

In the shooting phase, the Deathshroud Terminators fired their flamers at the plasma Bikers, hitting them 14 times and wounding 5 times, but I made all my armour saves. Typhus fired at the Bikers, killing one of them, while the Plaguecaster was able to finish off the unit.

In the charge phase, the Terminators and Plaguecaster assaulted the Bikers in combat with the Plague Marines. The Death Guard struck at the Bikers, the Terminators killing two and the Plaguecaster killing one of the Ravenwing. The Plague Marines were unable to harm the Ravenwing Sergeant. The Sergeant attacked back, but was unable to kill any of the Death Guard.

At the end of his turn, Connor scored No Prisoners.

In my fifth turn, I drew Advance (have no units in my deployment zone), Secure Objective 5 and No Prisoners.

One Bike Squad moved to secure the objective, while the Black Knights, Sammael and the Librarian renewed their attack on the Crawler.

The Librarian failed to cast Smite in the psychic phase.

In the shooting phase, the Black Knights fired on the Plagueburst Crawler, but failed to harm it. Sammael fired at it, doing a single wound with his Plasma Cannon. The Talon Master fired, doing another wound, while the Darkshroud was able to finish it off.

Time was running short at the club night, so we called the game there. At the end of my turn, I scored No Prisoners, Advance and Secure Objective 5, as well as Linebreaker.

Death Guard- 3
Dark Angels Ravenwing- 17
End of the game.

A win for the Ravenwing.

Thanks to Connor for a great game. He was a brilliant opponent and fought on throughout, even when things were not in his favour.

I think this scenario was a little unfair in that it played completely into the strengths of my list, while severely punishing the slow nature of Connor's Death Guard army. It also didn't help that practically all my reserves came in on turn 1, whereas very few of Connor's units came in until turn 2. Given that many of his units were slow moving and combat-orientated, this was a big disadvantage for him in the game.

Saying that, the psychic powers and some of the shooting of the Death Guard was pretty impressive. I would not have lasted too long in a straight up fight, so just as well we didn't have one! After turn 3, the game was pretty much over. I managed to kill Mortarion and score the full 6 points for Domination, putting me pretty far in the lead.

The Ravenwing performed brilliantly with the new Codex. The combination of the Black Knights with the Speed of the Raven and Weapons from the Dark Age stratagems is incredibly powerful. This allows the unit to move up to 20" in a turn and still shoot and charge. It also increases the damage of the Plasma weapons by 1.
By overcharging with Sammael nearby, the Black Knights were hitting on a 3+ re-rollable and re-rolling 1's to wound thanks to the Talonmaster. I was able to overcharge the Plasma Talons and put 12 wounds on Mortarion without losing a single Black Knight. This was an excellent result for me and allowed me to take out the Daemon Primarch with a single turn of attacking him.

I look forward to playing some new games with my Dark Angels. I think in the future games I will try out the Green wing units to see how they perform with the Chapter Tactics.


  1. Nice work, in the first turns I was wondering why your opponent didn't get rid of objective 1 straight away, but as you say by turn 3 it was clear how the fight was going - even Primarchs can't turn hold off a whole army on their own, especially if they can be targeted with plasma as nasty as that!

    1. Yeah, it was a shame it was so one sided an affair. The slow speed of the Death Guard really was their downfall in this game.

  2. Nice Write up, Mike! Lots of inspiration for my own Dark Angels force. I was never into the Ravenwing, despite having built a bunch for completeness in the collection. I really must give them a better try on the tabletop. Congrats on the win.

    1. Cheers Dave. There are a number of Ravenwing units that are solid in this edition, such as Black Knights, the Darkshroud and Dark Talon.