Thursday 25 June 2015

Battle Report 10- 1850 pts White Scars vs Space Marines

Today, I have a written battle report for my 1850 pts White Scars vs Space Marines from a blog wars tournament practice game.

I arrived for blog wars on the Friday night and met up with Luke, Peter and Daniel for some practice games. I ended up playing Luke's Howling Griffins Space Marines using the third blog wars mission (a modification of the maelstrom deck). As it was, on the day of the tournament, I once again ended up playing Luke in the third mission yet again! (Blog wars battle report 3). This practice game helped to adapt my tactics for the actual tournament, as you will probably see in the differences between the two battle reports.
As a reminder, Luke's army consisted of:
Inquisitor Coteaz (C)
Level 1 Librarian (L)
3 Grav Centurions (Cent)
Thunderfire cannon and techmarine (TC)
4 Bikers- 2 grav guns (B)
5 Scouts- Sniper rifles and camo cloaks (S)
5 Devastators- Lascannon and 3 Missile Launchers (D1 and D2)
2 units of 5 Sternguard- Combi-meltas (S1 and S2) in drop pod (DP1)
2 units of 5 Sternguard- Combi-meltas  (S3 and S4) in drop pod (DP3)
2 units of 5 tactical marines- one with meltagun  (T3 and T3) in drop pod (DP2)
2 units of 5 tactical marines- one with missile laucher (T1 and T2)

His warlord trait gave him infiltrate three units. His psychic powers were:
Coteaz- Misfortune, Foreboding and Prescience
Librarian- Shrouding, Psychic Shriek.

My blog wars army consisted of:
Chapter Master- Bike, power fist, shield eternal, auspex (CM)
Kor'sarro Khan on Moondakken (K)
Two units of 5 bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (B1 and B2)
5 bikers- 2 meltaguns, sergeant with meltabombs (B3)
10 Tactical marines (TM)- meltagun, sergeant with combi-melta and meltabombs in drop pod (DP)
10 Devastators (D1 and D2)- 4 missile launchers in Rhino (R)
3 Grav centurions (C)
Stormtalon (S)
5 Scouts (Sc)- sergeant with meltabombs in landspeeder storm (LS)
Two attack bikes with multimeltas (AB1 and AB2)

For my warlord trait, I rolled on the tactical table and got the trait that allowed you to make your opponent discard a random card once per game.

The objectives were set up as shown below.

Terrain and Objective placement.
The Battlefield.

I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I deployed the majority of the biker units on the left hand side, with the Centurions in the middle and the devastators in the ruins to the right of my deployment zone. One attack bike went in the middle, while the other sat on an objective in the ruins. The landspeeder storm stayed back to infiltrate.
The bulk of my army deploys to the left.

Devastators take position in the ruins while the attack bike grabs the objective.

Luke deployed the Centurions, Coteaz, Librarian, devastators and tactical marines in the ruins opposite my bikers. He chose to fortify this ruin with his techmarine to give the units a 3+ cover save. The thunderfire cannon and bikes went in the ruins in the left of his deployment zone.
The Howling Griffins start to deploy.

The Scouts advance.

His scouts infiltrated forwards towards an objective and my landspeeder deployed towards the thunderfire cannon.

Luke rolled to seize and the die roll came up a 6. Then, we remembered about the scout moves and chose to discard the roll. The scouts advanced onto the rubble and I moved the Landspeeder back to near the Centurions, and moved my bikes towards the centre of the board. Luke rolled to seize again and managed to roll another 6!
My Scout moves.

Deployment and Scout moves.

This turn, Luke drew Hold the Line (3 scoring units in his deployment zone and none of mine), Big Game Hunter (Destroy and enemy vehicle)  and Behind Enemy Lines (3 scoring units in my deployment zone).
Howling Griffons Turn 1.

The drop pods came crashing to the ground in my deployment zone (both of which landed directly on target), the Sternguard arriving beside the Centurions and the tactical marines landing on the ruins on the left of my board edge. The enemy Centurions and scouts both advanced.
The first drop pod arrives in front of the Chapter Master.

The second pod goes into the ruins.

In the psychic phase, Coteaz cast Prescience on the Devastators and the Librarian managed to Shroud the units in the ruins.

In the shooting phase, the newly arrived Sternguard squad loosed their combi-meltas at the Centurion squad, slaying two of their number. The thunderfire cannon attempted to kill the last squad member, but the shot scattered onto the nearby Rhino and succeeding in taking two hull points from the vehicle. The Devastators in the backfield finished off the slaughter, killing the last Centurion.
The other unit of Sternguard fired at the Chapter Master's bike squad with their poisoned shells, killing one. Their firepower was added to by the drop pod, scouts and tactical squads in the ruins, resulting in the death of another biker.
Seeing the rhino damaged, the tactical squad in Luke's deployment zone fired its missile launcher at the vehicle and succeeded in wrecking it.

With no assaults, Luke tallied up his score and was able to get all three tactical objectives for 5 pts (in addition to first strike).

At the start of my first turn, I drew No Prisoners (destroy 3 enemy units), assassinate (kill an enemy character) and Blood and Guts (wipe out a unit in assault).
I hoped to be able to destroy three of the enemy units (there were plenty to choose from in my deployment zone) and kill a character. Blood and Guts would be difficult to achieve. I had scouted with all of my units in range of the enemy, so would be unable to assault in the first turn.
White Scars Turn 1.

My drop pod arrived in front of the techmarine, the tactical squad inside making their way into the ruins to target the artillery piece. The remaining bikers moved to counter the threat in my deployment zone.

In the shooting phase, first blood was drawn as an attack bike blew up one of the drop pods, the massive 6" blast killing one Sternguard from each unit and wounding the Chapter Master. The drop pod and tactical marines fired at the techmarine, but were unable to cause any wounds.
The Devastators fired at their opposites in the enemy deployment zone and succeeded in killing one.
The remaining bikers fired at the Sternguard in front of them, but were unable to kill any more of the elite warriors (mostly thanks to having jinked in the last turn).

At the end of turn 1, I was unable to replicate the fearsome alpha strike of the enemy army, and scored only one point for assassinate (from the exploding drop pod) and discarded No Prisoners.


Luke drew Secure Objective 3, Secure Objective 4 and Scour the Skies (kill a flyer)
Howling Griffins Turn 2.

The final drop pod arrived, scattering the full 12", but fortunately landing on objective 3. The tactical marines in both my and Luke's deployment zones advanced on the enemy. The Centurions also advanced to get in range of my tactical marines.
The last drop pod scatters....

.....and the Sternguard spill out.

In the psychic phase, Coteaz bolstered the already impressive abilities of the Centurions by casting Prescience on them. They used their newfound abilities to kill 5 of the tactical marines threatening the techmarine. The nearby tactical squad killed another two marines as I managed to fail both wounds caused. The bikers and techmarine finished the squad off with their grav and plasma weaponry.
The tactical marines advance.

The Sternguard fired at the Chapter Master's squad with their combi-plasma shots. I chose not to jink, hoping the Chapter Master could bear the brunt of the attack. Fortunately, only one of the wounds got past his invulnerable save. Seeing the durability of the squad, the remaining Sternguard squads fired their poisoned shells at the survivors, killing them all and leaving the Chapter Master on 1 wound. Seeing the mighty warrior brought low, the scouts and drop pod attempted to finish him off, but were unable to wound him.
The Devastators fired at attack bike, but the biker was able to evade the firepower by Jinking.

Luke was only able to secure objective 3 thanks to the scattering pod, giving him 7 points in total.

I retained Blood and Guts from last turn and drew Secure Objective 4 and Behind Enemy Lines (have 3 scoring units in enemy deployment zone).
White Scars Turn 2.

The Stormtalon arrived in time to see the remaining bikers and scouts advance on the Sternguard, ready to repay the slaughter inflicted on their ranks.
The Stormtalon killed one scout as an attack bike took two hull points off the nearby drop pod. The meltagun bike squad fired at the Sternguard, killing three of their number, while the Landspeeder storm managed to kill a member of the squad perched on the wrecked Rhino.

The White Scars counter-attack.

The attack bikes attempt to take out the drop pod.

In the assault phase, the scouts and Chapter Master charged one unit of Sternguard. Despite loosing 15 attacks, the scouts only managed one wound, which was saved by the enemy armour. In reply, two scouts were cut down by the elite enemy warriors. The Chapter Master had no such problems, easily wiping out the enemy warriors arrayed before him.
Khan and his bike unit followed suit, wiping out another unit of Sternguard in combat, while the meltagun bikers succeeded in destroying a third unit.

The end of turn 2 had seen many of the enemy Sternguard slain for their impudence, netting me 4 victory points (2 for blood and guts and 2 for objective 4). Using my warlord trait, I force Luke to discard Scour the Skies (chosen at random). This turn's points had closed Luke's lead, but I still had some work to do.


Luke had Secure Objective 4 and drew Blog Warrior (kill enemy special character) and Assassinate (kill an enemy character).
Howling Griffins Turn 3.

In the third turn, the marines activated their chapter rules, the relentless devastators taking the advantage to move towards my drop pod. The Centurions shadowed their advance, while the other tactical marines moved towards the White Scars forces. As the Sternguard tried to clamour down from the wrecked Rhino, one was slain trying to negotiate the climb.
The powers of the warp deserted the Griffons as Luke failed to manifest any powers this turn (despite rolling 5 dice for presience, he only scored a single 4+).
The marines advance.

The Howling Griffins advance.

The Centurions split their fire, one attacking the approaching Stormtalon, while the other focused on Khan's bike squad. The Stormtalon was buffeted by the powerful grav weaponry, losing a hull point and having its velocity locked. The other Centurions succeeded in killing three of the bikers being led by the Master of the Hunt. The other units on the board added their firepower, killing the last biker, but failing to slay Khan, despite wounding him 4 times.
The tactical squad in the ruins fired at the scouts, killing two of them, while the other squad attempted to finish off the Stormtalon. They hit the flyer and glanced it, but I managed to pass my Jink save, ensuring it remained in the sky.

In the assault phase, the three remaining Sternguard charged Khan. I challenged the sergeant, easily slaying him and took 1 wound in return. Khan then elected to hit and run out of combat. The bikers assaulted the drop pod in front of them, succeeding in glancing the pod once.

Luke scored only Assassinate by killing a biker sergeant.

I had retained Behind Enemy Lines and drew Secure Objectives 1 and 2.
White Scars Turn 3.

With objectives 1 and 2 being a lost cause, I turboboosted the attack bikes and landspeeder storm towards the enemy lines to score some elusive victory points.
As the force advanced, Khan and the Chapter Master joined the last bike squad, hoping to use their comrades to stave off death a little longer. They turned their guns on the last surviving Sternguard, killing both in a flurry of bolter shots. The Stormtalon fired at the enemy devastators, but was unable to do any damage. The Devastators destroyed a drop pod with their shooting.
Khan and the Chapter Master join the remaining bikers.

The attack bikes and Landspeeder turboboost to get to the enemy deployment zone.

With no assaults in range, my turn ended with the landspeeder and attack bikes securing Behind enemy lines. I discarded both my secure objective cards (at this point we thought that the blog wars rules allowed you to discard as many tactical cards as you wanted at the end of the turn, this was cleared up the next day).


Luke had held on to Blog Warrior and Blood and Guts, and drew Secure Objective 4.
Howling Griffins Turn 4.

The tactical marines and Centurions advanced towards the attack bikes and landspeeder, eager to add to the slaughter.
Coteaz succeeded in casting Prescience on the Centurions yet again, the mighty warriors splitting their fire at the landspeeder storm and remaining bikers. Two of the Centurions brought the speeder to the ground, but the other could not end the scourge of the enemy bikers as all the wounds were saved.
The Centurions bring their firepower to bear.

The landspeeder is targeted.

The Devastators finished off the drop pod beside the techmarine as he turned his attention to the attack bike. He was able to wound the biker, but his hit was saved by the jinking rider. The scouts were able to snipe a biker who had dived in front of the Chapter Master to prevent his slaying.

The bikers assaulted one of the attack bikes, hoping to drive him from objective 4 so the Luke's forces could claim it. The gamble worked as I took a wound and promptly failed my morale check, falling out of range of the objective and giving the points to Luke. He discarded Blog warrior and Blood and Guts.

This turn, I drew Blog warrior (kill enemy special character) and secure Objectives 5 and 6.
White Scars Turn 4.

The scout advanced on objective 6, while the remaining bikers manoeuvred away from the enemy firepower.
With little left, the shooting began. The Devastators hit the drop pod twice with their missile launchers but failed to take the last hull point (despite only needing 4+). The attack bike fired at the thunderfire cannon, but was unable to wound the gun. Seeing no other recourse, the attack bike assaulted the techmarine, but failed to wound and was easily cut down by the servo harness sporting marine.

At the end of turn 4, the scouts only succeeded in securing objective 6. I got rid of my other two cards.


This turn, Luke drew Secure Objective 1,  Supremacy and Overwhelming firepower.
Howling Griffins Turn 5.

The bikers moved up towards the remaining White Scars bikers, who then suffered the fury of the enemy shooting phase. The attack began with the bikers, who killed one of the White Scars opposing them. The thunderfire cannon then landed a direct hit on the Chapter Master, taking his last wound. The Devastators added to the slaughter, killing one more biker.
The Griffin bikers advance on the enemy counterparts.

The Centurions break cover.

In the assault phase, the bikers charged Khan's unit. Khan attacked, cutting down two of the bikers for no losses in return. The Howling Griffon bikers broke, falling back towards their lines.

Luke was able to score all three of his tactical cards this turn, giving him 5 points.

This turn, I drew Overwhelming Firepower, Ascendency and Secure Objective 3.
White Scars Turn 5.

With very little left, I move my units up towards the objectives to secure Ascendency. Khan and the remaining bikers advance on the enemy bikes. Khan, his unit and the Stormtalon then open fire on the Howling Griffons bikers and wipe them out. The Devastators target the squads in the ruins in my deployment zone, their frag grenades killing three from each squad.
The enemy bikers are targeted for destruction.

The tactical marines bear the brunt of the devastators firepower.

My turn is over very quickly, but I managed to net all three cards, giving me 5 victory points.


In his final turn, Luke had to complete No Prisoners, Secure Objective 5 and Secure Objective 6. He already had objective 5 and objective 6 was well out of range. If he could wipe out some of the remaining units, he would secure the win.
Howling Griffins Turn 6.

The Centurions advanced on my army, while the rest of the army remained in place to better bring their firepower to bear. Coteaz paused briefly in his advance to cast Prescience on the Devastators.

The Scouts grab the objective.

The Centurions aimed at the attack bike in the middle, easily slaying the two riders. The Thunderfire cannon aimed at the lone scout, but the shot scattered far enough away that he was unharmed. The Devastators fired at the Stormtalon, but were unable to take the last hull point due to a combination of poor penetration rolls and successful jink saves.

With no assaults, Luke had to settle for securing objective 5 alone to give him 17 points.

In my final turn, I drew Big Game Hunter (destroy an enemy vehicle), Supremacy and Witch Hunter. I could not claim Supremacy as Luke simply held too many objectives and I would struggle to get both Big Game Hunter and Witch Hunter as I simply did not have the firepower left.
White Scars Turn 6.

I chose to target the drop pod, thinking it to be the easier target. To this end, the Stormtalon turned in its flight path to target the enemy drop pod. Khan and his unit advanced on the techmarine, eager to finish off the enemy warrior.

In the shooting phase, the combined firepower of the Stormtalon and Devastators were unable to damage the enemy drop pod and it survived unscathed. Khan and his unit were unable to damage the techmarine in the shooting phase, so charged him in the assault phase. The 2+ save of the techmarine proved too much to overcome and no wounds were caused. In return, the marine failed to hit any of the bikers attacking him.
The Stormtalon targets the drop pod.

The remaining bikers assault the Techmarine.

With that, the game was over, the Howling Griffons had seized victory over their once battle brothers.

Final Score:
HOWLING GRIFFONS- 17 (plus Slay the Warlord, First Strike and Linebreaker)
WHITE SCARS- 14 (plus First Strike and Linebreaker)

Thanks to Luke for another fantastic game, he was a very skilled opponent and a pleasure to play against.

I made a few tactical errors in this game. The biggest was the Scout moves at the start of the game. My plan was to act as tempting bait for the Centurions and Devastators on my left hand side, then scout towards the middle out of their range and leave some poor targets. This quickly went downhill when Luke seized the initiative. I was unable to assault his drop pod units thanks to having made Scout moves and being forced to Jink limited by return shooting in my own turn.
Another mistake was not going after the drop pod unit in the ruins to the left of my deployment zone. I could have easily cleared them out with Khan or the Chapter Master. This would have prevented Luke from grabbing that objective and would have helped later in the game too for my own objectives.

I think Luke played a very good game. The ruins with the Centurion-star, Devastators and tactical marines was a tough nut to crack with a combination of bolstered defences from the techmarine and shrouded psychic power giving them a 2+ cover save. Any unit I sent after them would have to weather a lot of firepower before getting to assault and I was not confident that any unit could manage this.
He was also smart to target my Centurions from the start, wiping them out before they got a chance to do anything with the Sterngurard and using the other drop pod to grab the abandoned ruins to my left. I couldn't afford to leave those units running rampant in my deployment zone so had to task a lot of units to deal with them.

One of the best things about this game is that it set up a much better and closer game the next day in the tournament as Luke and I ended up playing each other at the same mission once again. You can see our second game, White Scars vs Space Marines battle report here.

I think if you look at the two reports, you can see some interesting parallels and see that lessons were learnt between the two games:

1. I chose not to scout in the second game against Luke. This would allow me to counter any deep striking units in my deployment zone if Luke had managed to seize again. As it was, I kept a biker unit in my deployment zone as a counter yet again.

2. I chose to ignore the thunderfire cannon. Its damage output was not great against the bikers and it took too much firepower to try and take it down in this game.

3. Luke played a very similar plan in both games. One unit of Sternguard was used as an Alpha strike to take out the Centurions, while the other drop pod moved in to seize the objectives in my deployment zone.

4. I was able to neutralise the damage output of his Centurions by keeping out their way and not devoting too much firepower to try and eliminate them.

In the end, I was very happy with the battles. Even though I lost, I had too great games against a great opponent. I was trailing throughout in the first game, but I learnt my lessons and was able to have Luke trailing me for most of the second game until he was able to grab victory on the last turn.


  1. It's taken me way to long to read this! I think i was to defensive with centurions, I really need to make sure that they are stomping up the middle. That's what they are good at. This game the best they did was too keep you away from those objectives. Good write up thou :)

    1. Yeah, some of these reports can go on for a bit. Hopefully they don't bore people.

      That whole ruins block kept me well away, I didn't think anything that went near it would survive for long.

      I really think this game helped improve my performance at the tournament, especially the repeat of our game in the third round.

  2. Oh no sorry I don't mean it was too long at all! I mean, I'm sorry it's taken me so many days to read and comment. Not the length, that's fine.

    I defo learned to place the centurions better, but when we were playing 3rd game you're right, I was using mostly the same tactics. By the end of my second turn on Saturday I was like, wow, I'm gonna get pasted. I had fully expected you to roll up the flank with all the bikes. I don't think I could have stopped you.

    1. Yeah, our second game was a lot better than the first. In the first game, I always felt on the back foot after you seized and I couldn't assault to wipe out your drop pod units (thanks to scouting). Add in the 5 pts lead after your first turn and it felt like a real uphill battle.

      I also thought I had the second game in the bag, but was punished for my hubris as you grabbed victory on the last turn! Maybe if I had been more aggressive with my bikers and moved to take out the Centurions. As it was, I pretty much forfeited most of the objective on my right as I thought you had too many units to deal with. It was still a great game, despite the loss.