Thursday 16 July 2015

Battle Report 12- 2000 pts Dark Angels vs Sons of Horus

This week's fully written battle report is 2000 pts between my Dark Angels and Josh's Sons of Horus army. The battle was The Crusade with 3 objectives on a 6'x4' board.
This was my first battle with the new Dark Angels Codex and I was looking forward to testing it out.
My initial plan was to take an all Ravenwing force, but when I totalled up my army, I couldn't quite stretch to 2000 pts, so I decided to incorporate some Deathwing and other units. My army consisted of:
Sammael (in command squad)
6 Ravenwing Command- Ravenwing Banner, Apothecary, Champion, Grenade launcher (CS)
6 Black Knights- Grenade launcher, Meltabombs (BK)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with power sword and meltabombs, 2 grav guns (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Veteran sergeant with power fist and meltabombs (RB2)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- Sergeant with meltabombs, 2 meltaguns (RB3)
Landspeeder- Heavy Bolter, Assault Cannon (L1)
Landspeeder Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D)
Librarian- Mastery level 2, Bike, Auspex, Conversion Field (L2)
5 Tactical Marines- Lascannon (TS1), with Rhino (R)
5 Tactical Marines- Plasma Cannon (TS2)
5 Deathwing Knights (DK)
Sammael was the warlord, so got Rapid Manoeuvre as his trait. The Librarian got Mind Worm, Mind Wipe and Seed of Fear. A nice batch of powers to try out.
The army had a strong Ravenwing component and I was keen to see how the Black knights would perform. The Darkshroud was there to provide a buff to the Black Knights (2+ re-rollable cover save!). The combined arms detachment was taken as I wanted access to a Librarian on a bike. I took the minimum tactical squads with a heavy weapon each. I also wanted to take some Deathwing Knights to take on any power armour in the enemy army.

My army arrayed for battle (almost made an all Ravenwing force)

Josh's army consisted of:
Abaddon (with Justerins, J2)
5 Justerins (J1)
5 Justerins (J2)
20 Tactical Marines- sergeant with heavy chainsword (TS1)
20 Tactical Marines- sergeant with heavy chainsword (TS2)
5 Tactical Marines with rotor cannons (RM)
Land Raider (LR)
Storm Eagle flyer (SE)
Abaddon's warlord trait gave him re-rolls of 1 to wound in combat. Quite an interesting army to play against. Two very large units of marines to hold the line, with Fury of the Legion giving them some hefty firepower (the unit can fire twice in one turn, but cannot fire in the next turn). The Justerins are the 30k terminators and are pretty powerful. I haven't played 30k Abaddon before, but assume he is a beast in combat. I know from experience that a 30k Land Raider is very tough. I haven't played a Storm Eagle, but it looked like it could shell out a fair amount of firepower.
We placed three objectives in the standard fashion, one in the middle and one in each deployment zone opposite one another.
The Battlefield. The shields represent the placement of the objectives.

The Battlefield, silent for now.
Josh won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. He deployed the rotor cannon marines in the ruins to his right, with the Land Raider and a unit of Justerins behind it. One tactical squad went in the centre of the board, the other unit to the left of the board.
I deployed in a refused flank. The Ravenwing went on the right hand side and centre. One unit of tactical marines deployed next to the objective, the other went opposite the rotor marines. My plan was to advance on the tactical marine on my right and once taken care of, roll up the flank to deal with the remaining units. Hopefully, I could take a good chunk of the army out before the reserves arrived. With all the plasma weaponry on the board, I should be able to deal with the terminators.

I used my Scout moves to advance with several of the bike squads. The Black Knights and Command Squad did not scout in case I got lucky with any first turn charges.

Deployment and Scout moves (represented by the grey arrows).
I failed to seize and Josh got first turn.
Turn 1- Sons of Horus

The first turn began with the Rotor marines moving down from cover to get in range of the tactical squad opposite them (I was careful to deploy out of their range of fire), while the Land Raider moved towards the flank teeming with bikers. The tactical squad on the right advanced into the ruins in front of them.
The Rotor marines advance.

The tactical squad get in to cover.

That's a big squad.

They then turned their firepower on the bike squad in front of them. Despite the hail of fire levelled at them, only one wound was caused, which was enough to kill a biker. The Land Raider added its firepower, but the expert Jinking of the riders meant that no wounds were caused. The middle tactical squad fired at the meltagun bikers in front of them. They caused four wounds which promptly resulted in two dead bikers. Their nerve failed them under the punishing firepower and they fell back 9". The rotor marines target the Plasma Cannon squad, slaying two, but their nerve held firm.
The bikers fall back under heavy firepower.

Turn 1- Dark Angels

The massed bikers on the right flank advanced on the tactical squad sheltering in the ruins in front of them.
As he advanced, the Librarian attempted to Mind Wipe the tactical squad, but was unable to manifest enough power to complete the task.
Sammael begins the advance.

The Black Knights on the right flank.

In the shooting phase, the Plasma cannon squad unleashed retribution on the rotor marines, killing two of them. The Black Knights fired at the tactical squad in the ruins, their powerful plasma talons slaying 5 of the enemy marines. The Jinking bike squad added their meagre firepower, but managed to slay one of the marines.
Not wanting to fire themselves out of range, the Command Squad did not shoot, but directed the surrounding bikers to fire on the middle tactical squad. Massed fire from several units resulted in the death of 4 of the marines.

In the assault phase, the Black Knights and Command Squad launched an attack on the tactical squad in the ruins. Their numbers still made the advance dangerous and one Black Knight was cut down from overwatch fire. Sammael led the charge, the combined attacks of both units slaying 14 of the tactical marines for no loss in return (the combined Black Knights caused a massive 16 wounds, with two being rending). The survivors fled under such an onslaught, but were easily cut down by the faster riders. The Command Squad took shelter in the ruins, while the Black Knights consolidated back towards the safety of the Darkshroud.
The bikers crash into the enemy lines (the building was removed to make things easier).

The Command Squad consolidate into the ruins.

The Black Knights move into the protection of the Darkshroud.

Turn 2- Sons of Horus.

The Land Raider advanced towards the centre of the field and the Justerin squad got out.
The Justerins disembark.

In the shooting phase, the Rotor squad shot at the plasma cannon squad causing three wounds that were all saved. The other tactical squad unleashed the Fury of the Legion on the Ravenwing Command squad. They fired 44 bolter shots at Sammael's unit and caused 10 wounds. The jinking of the command squad deflected most of the shots and only one member perished. The terminators added their firepower to the unit, killing the Apothecary.
The Land Raider fired at the landspeeder. Despite the jinking of the pilot, the speeder was penetrated and the heavy bolter was destroyed.

Turn 2- Dark Angels.

Sammael led the remnants of the command squad towards the tactical squad in the middle, supported by the grav gun biker squad. The rest of the bikers advanced on the Justerins.
The Librarian managed to cast Mind Wipe on the Terminators, weakening them for the attack of the Ravenwing.
Sammael leads the advance once more.

The rest of the bikers advance towards the objective.

Overview of the right flank.

The landspeeder started proceeding, snap firing at the terminators, but failing to hit. The Plasma cannon directed its fire at the terminators, killing two. The Black Knights managed to kill another one with their talon fire. The grav bikers fired at the tactical squad in the middle of the table. Despite getting 6 shots, not a single hit was scored. The bolter fire did not better, not wounding any of the tactical marines.
Behold! My fantastic to hit rolls.

Trying to do what they could not accomplish in shooting, Sammael led the command squad in charge against the tactical marines, supported by the grav bikers. The squad sergeant issued a challenge and was easily cut down by Sammael. The bikers managed to kill four of the tactical marines in combat for the loss of one Black Knight in return. The tactical marines fled from combat and were cut down by the bikers.
The command squad charge in.....

....and wipe them out.

Turn 3- Sons of Horus.

With a scream of jet engines, the Storm eagle arrived, moving towards the Command Squad in the centre of the board. The Land Raider moved towards the meltagun bikers and the Rotor Marines advanced on the plasma cannon tactical squad.
The Storm Eagle supports the advance.

The rotor marines fired at the tactical marines opposite them, killing two and leaving only the plasma cannon remaining. The Land Raider fired at the meltagun bikers, but the Jinking of the riders saved them from harm.
The Justerins fired at the Black Knights, but their Mind Wipe from last turn preventing them from hitting the warriors. The Strom Eagle trained its guns on the command squad. The missile launchers caused 6 wounds on the bikers, but Jinking managed to save all the wounds. The other weapons on the flyer were equally ineffective in wounding the squad.
The Justerins passed their leadership test, so were not permanently mind wiped.

Turn 3- Dark Angels.

The Deathwing Knights arrived, appearing in front of the Black Knights near the enemy Justerins. The bikers advanced on the survivors of the squad, and moved up on the Storm eagle and Land Raider.
The Deathwing Knights teleport in.

The Ravenwing move to support the newly arrived Knights.

The bikers advance on the Land Raider, hoping to crack its armour.

The lone Plasma Cannon fired at the Rotor marines, but the shot scattered off and caused no damage. The Landspeeder fired at the same target, killing one of the marines.
The Black Knights fired their plasma talons at the Justerins, killing both of them. The Darkshroud fired at the Land Raider, managing to penetrate the mighty tank and causing it to snap shoot in the next turn. The remaining units fired on the flyer, but could not damage the vehicle.

Turn 4- Sons of Horus.

The Storm Eagle entered Hover mode, allowing Abbadon and the Justerins to disembark. They fired at the terminators in front of them, but could not penetrate their armour.
The Despoiler joins the fight.

The Storm eagle turned its guns on the Darkshroud. Its missiles hit the speeder, but the Jink saves stop it from being damaged. The lascannons hit the skimmer, causing one glancing and one penetrating hit. The penetrating hit is saved, but the glancing hit managed to get through the cover save (on a 2+ re-rollable!). To add to the insult, the heavy bolter also managed to glance the Darkshroud, taking it to a single hull point. The Land Raider attempts to finish it off, getting a hit even though it was snap firing, but fortunately, the cover save was made.

With a bellow of fury, Abbadon led his unit in an assault on the terminators, challenging the sergeant to trial by combat. The sergeant struck out, wounding Abbadon twice, but failing to get through his invulnerable save. The terminators attack the Justerins, but fail to get through their armour. The Justerins are equally unable to penetrate their opponent's armour. Finally, Abbadon strikes down the Deathwing sergeant, winning the combat, but the two foes remain locked in combat.
The Justerins charge in.

The storm shields ensure that only the sergeant falls to Abaddon's attacks.

Turn 4- Dark Angels.

The Command Squad and Black Knights advanced on Abbadon as the rest of the army fires at the survivors.
The Plasma cannon killed the last rooter marine, while the landspeeder manages to glance the Land Raider with its assault cannon.

In the assault phase, both units of black knights assault the Justerins, Abbadon finally finding a worthy opponent in Sammael. The Dark Angels attack, killing two Justerins who then strike down two bikers in return.
In the challenge, Sammael strikes quickly at Abbadon, wounding him twice, but both strike off his invulnerable save. Abbadon attacks back, but cannot wound the swiftly moving Sammael and the combat ends in a stalemate.
Clash of the Warlords.

Combat ensues.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to play another turn, so at the end of 4 turns the Dark Angels held 2 objectives as well as First Blood and Linebreaker, whereas the Sons of Horus held no objectives. We did quickly finish the challenge to see who would prevail and against all odds, Sammael was able to vanquish the traitorous Abbadon.

This was my first battle with the new Dark Angel codex and I was very impressed with how they performed. I wanted to go for a Ravenwing heavy force to see how the units worked in the new codex.
- The durability of the Ravenwing is fantastic. The jink re-roll makes a big difference to their survivability, especially when you factor in skilled rider for the Black Knights and Stealth from the Darkshroud. In the second turn, Josh was able to unleash 44 bolter shots at the command squad and only one biker died!
- The Black Knights can be brutal on the charge. The combined charge of the Black Knights and Command squad on turn 1 gave me a massive 44 attacks and killing 14 marines in total. In addition to their impressive combat prowess, the plasma talons are lethal to most units as well. With the re-rolls to hit and their 3+ armour save, I did not lose a single Black Knight to Gets Hot! the entire game.
- The new psychic powers were useful, but I did not get to use them fully in the game. Mind Wipe was useful on the Justerins, but I was unable to use Mind Worm of Seed of Fear much due to the short range of the powers.
- I got very lucky with the two first turn charges. If Josh had not advanced with one unit of tactical marines, I would not have got to do so.

There were a few errors I made and I few points I need to remember:
- Even though I used the Ravenwing grenade launcher on the tactical marines, I totally forgot to use the effect (-1WS and -1I) in the next round of combat. I might need to make some sort of marker to remember this.
- I should have joined the Librarian to a group of bikers to make use of the Scout ability to get closer to the enemy to make use of his low range psychic abilities. At the time I was under the impression that joining the Librarian to the unit would negate the Ravenwing's Scout ability. I have now corrected this and will use this rule in the future.

 Thanks to Josh for a great game, I look forward to taking the Ravenwing to the field for many more battles.


  1. Very impressive showing and very good looking army in action. Always very pleased when you put up new battle reports!

    Have you considered using the ravenwing with the smaller deathwing formation for precision drop terminators? I don't think it would be stronger than this list really just be cool!

    Good stuff as always

    1. Thanks Rob, glad you are enjoying the battle reports.

      The Ravenwing-Deathwing combo is something I want to try at some point, it's too iconic to not give it a go. I've got another game tonight, will most likely be fielding an all Ravenwing force, I want to give the Support squadron formation a go.

  2. This was a really interesting report. I honestly thought you'd have no chance when I saw the Storm Eagle in the list, I imagine you'd have been able to assault the next turn after it hovered. Thanks for finishing the challenge off, interesting to see who came out on top.

    Looks like I'll have to really get to grips with painting black now!

    1. Thanks Dave The storm eagle put out a fair amount of firepower, but the durability of the new Ravenwing is great, especially with a Darkshroud nearby.

      I think that Sammael got very lucky in the challenge. He was down to one wound at the end of it as Abaddon had some really bad to wound rolls throughout it.

      I like the Ravenwing, they are so easy to paint to a decent tabletop standard. Once you've done the undercoat, you've got a lot of your job done. I managed to get three landspeeders done in a few hours on Wednesday night (wanted to get them painted up to try the Ravenwing support squadron formation tonight).

  3. Did you try smite mode with the maces?
    And did you play that the inner circle had preferred enemy or not? Depends if you consider them CSM even though they are 30k I guess.

    I love seeing Sam take down Abaddon.

    1. I actually forgot about the Smite mode on the maces. Would have made a big difference in the combat.

      We did not use the inner circle preferred enemy rule, we didn't class the 30k as chaos space marines.