Thursday 17 December 2015

Battle Report 35- 1750 pts White Scars vs Chaos Space Marines

This week's battle report sees my White Scars take on Iain's Chaos Space Marines. Iain is a recent addition to the Medusa IV map campaign that I am running and we finally got a chance to play one another (we have had games scheduled in the past that were cancelled last minute due to illness or weather).

I have been playing the same kind of army with my White Scars for a while now, practising for tournaments and refining my standard list. I decided for this game to try something new, to take units that I wouldn't normally play and to mix things up a little.
My list consisted of:
Captain- Bike, Glaive of Vengeance, Hunter's Eye
5 Command Squad- Banner of the Eagle, Apothecary, 3 Grav guns, 2 Storm Shields
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, Sergeant with power axe and meltabombs
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, Sergeant with power axe and meltabombs
Stormraven- TL assault cannons, TL Heavy Bolters, 4 Missiles, 2 Hurricane bolters
5 Terminators- Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields
5 Devastators- 4 Missile Launchers
Drop Pod- Deathwind Missile Launcher, Locator Beacon
5 Devastators- 4 Heavy Bolters
Drop Pod- Locator Beacon
5 Assault Marines- Sergeant with Power fist and meltabombs
5 Assault Marines- Flamer, Sergeant with Power Sword and Meltabombs
The first choice was a Captain on a bike. I took two of the new Relics for the White Scars; the Glaive of Vengeance to give the Captain some punch in combat and the Hunter's Eye to make by grav guns deadly.
Next I took a Command Squad with the Banner of the Eagle to give the squad even more punch in combat. The squad was also loaded out with an Apothecary, grav guns and Storm Shields.
I took two squads of bikers armed with two grav guns and a sergeant with a power axe. These were added after reviewing my White Scars army at Rapid Fire 2015 to give them some more punch in combat.
I next took a Stormraven. I purchased this back in February and was yet to use it on the table, so was keen to give it a go. On paper, it is a beast. One of the heaviest armoured flyers available, it packs a load of guns as well as being able to transport two units and being an assault vehicle. I selected a unit of assault terminators to be its cargo. With Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, these should be able to tackle any unit in Iain's army.
I also wanted to try out the Skyhammer Annihilation Force. I purchased some Heavy Bolters and Assault Marines back in July for the express purpose of trying this formation out, but hadn't had the chance yet. This formation has some very powerful rules that I was keen to try out. My two devastator squads were armed with Missile Launchers and Heavy Bolters. The assault squads took a flamer and had sergeants tooled up for combat with a power fist and power sword (I find marines to lack some punch in combat without some additional weapons to take on power armoured foes). Both Drop Pods came armed with Locator Beacons to allow the Assault Marines to be deployed with high accuracy.
A different army to what I am used to, the vast majority of my force would begin the game in reserve.

My warlord trait gave me Master Rider (+1 to Jink saves). 

Iain's army consisted of:
Sorcerer- Master Level 2, Mark of Nurgle, Signal of Corruption, Gift of Mutation (gave him Stubborn)
9 Chaos Marines- Mark of Nurgle, Plasma gun, Champion with Power fist and gift of Mutation
Dreadclaw pod
10 Cultists
7 Plague Marines- 2 Plasma guns, gift of mutation
Hellbrute- Plasma Cannon, Flamer
Dreadclaw pod
Defiler- Dirge Caster

Daemon Prince- Mark of Nurgle, Daemonic Flight, Warpforge armour, Master level 2, Greater Reward, 2 Lesser Rewards, Plague Flail
10 Plaguebearers

The Sorcerer got Fear as his Warlord Trait. His psychic powers were Nurgle's Rot, Plaguewind and Weapons Virus. The Daemon Prince had Stream of Corruption, Plaguewind and Miasma of Pestilence.

We decided to play a maelstrom mission with three cards each. I decided to use the White Scars specific maelstrom cards for this mission. We played the objectives as shown below:
Terrain and placement of objectives.

I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. With only three units to deploy, this was pretty quick. I decided to spread my units out as I didn't know which cards and objectives I would need to go for. I put the Command Squad in the centre and one bike unit on each flank.

Iain deployed the Daemon Prince behind the ruins on the right flank, with the Plague Marine's Rhino beside it. The cultists went in the middle, with the Plaguebearers and Defiler on the left flank.

Iain chose not to seize and I got the first turn.

On the first turn, I drew Objective 1, Claim the Head (kill an enemy character in a challenge) and Clean Kill (kill an enemy model with at least 3 wounds). I could easily grab objective 1 and could possibly get Claim the Head. The only model I could score Clean Kill with was on the Daemon Prince, which I was unlikely to achieve.

Seeing then enemy forces massing, the Skyhammer Annihilation Force crashed to the ground. The first pod landed near the centre of the table. Using its locator beacon, the second pod and a unit of assault marines landed beside them. The second unit of assault marines landed near the Plaguebearers, ready to assault them.
The three bike squads moved up towards the centre of the board, the Command Squad moving to claim Objective 1.

In the shooting phase, the two drop pods fired at the cultists, the Deathwind launcher killing 7 of the cultists and the storm bolter killing another.
The assault marines fired their flamer at the Plaguebearers, killing one. The bolt pistols from the unit killed another two of the daemons. The Devastator squad opened fire with their Heavy Bolters at the Plaguebearers, killing another two.

The other unit of Devastators fired at the Rhino, penetrating it twice and causing it to snap fire only. The bikers on the left fired their grav guns at the Rhino, but failed to damage it.

On the right flank, the bike squad fired at the Defiler, but failed to damage it. The Command squad fired their bolters at the Cultists, wounding them three times, but the cover saved them on three 6's (I forgot that the Hunter's Eye gave the unit Ignores Cover and the cultists should have died).

In the assault phase, the assault squad charged the Plaguebearers. The sergeant issued a challenge, easily slaying the Plaguebearer champion. The assault marines killed another three of the daemons for no loss in return. The remaining daemons were lost to daemonic instability and banished back to the warp.

The other assault marines charged the Rhino, easily wrecking it with their krak grenades.

At the end of the turn, I scored two points for Objective 1 and Claim the Head. I discarded Clean Kill. I also scored First Blood

Iain drew Behind Enemy Lines, Objective 3 and Objective 5.

The first Dreadclaw arrived from reserves this turn, but misshaped onto the White Scars bikers on his right and went back into ongoing reserves.
On the left flank, the Defiler moved towards the bikers, while the Daemon Prince advanced on the assault marines.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince belched forth a Stream of Corruption on the White Scars, killing two assault marines and two devastators. He then attempted to cast Plaguewind, but failed in the attempt. Lastly, he cast Miasma of Pestilence on himself.

In the shooting phase, the Defiler fired at the bikers on the Chaos left flank, killing two despite their Jinking. The Reaper Autocannon killed another biker.

The Plague Marines fired at the Devastators in front of them, killing two. The lone survivor failed his morale check and fell back 7".

The Daemon Prince assaulted the assault marines, easily ripping apart the marine squad. He then consolidated behind the cover of the ruins.

At the end of turn 1, Iain scored no points and discarded Behind Enemy Lines.

White Scars- 3
Chaos Space Marines- 0

In the second turn, I drew Objective 1, Objective 2 and Objective 3.

The Stormraven arrived, moving to engage the Defiler on the right flank. The assault marines left the crater, moving to the rear of the Defiler as the bikers moved up to engage.

The Command Squad and remaining Biker unit advanced on the Plague Marines.

In the shooting phase, the Stormraven fired its assault cannon and three missiles at the Defiler, glancing and penetrating the walker once. The bikers fired their grav guns at the walker, damaging it once, but the Daemon's invulnerable save blocked the damage. The assault marines fired at the rear of the Daemon engine, their flamer glancing the vehicle and leaving it on one hull point.

The command squad fired its bolters at the Plague Marines, but both wounds were saved. The other biker unit fired at the Plague Marines. The grav gun caused one wound that was saved by their Feel no Pain roll. Their bolters caused another wound, but the Traitor's armour saved the wound. The Devastators fired their Heavy Bolters at the Plague Marines, but none of the Chaos Marines were killed.

The assault marines charged the Defiler, one of the squad dying to overwatch fire. The squad's krak grenades failed to damage the enemy walker, while the Defiler slew one of the assault marines (Iain only got one hit out of 5 from the Defiler's attacks). The sergeant's meltabombs struck the Defiler, glancing the vehicle, but the Daemon's invulnerable save stopped the damage.

At end end of the turn, I scored all three points for my maelstrom cards.

In turn 2, Iain drew Objective 6, along with Objective 3 and Objective 5 from last turn.

The Dreadclaw arrived, landing behind the bikers on the Chaos right flank. The Helldrake also entered the airspace of the battlefield, moving to engage the Command Squad and Devastators in the centre. The Daemon Prince emerged from the cover of the ruins to engage the bikers in front of him.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince launched a Stream of Corruption on the bikers. The White Scars failed to block the psychic attack and three bikers died. The survivors fell back 14" to escape the wrath of the Daemon Prince. He then cast Weapons Virus on the Command Squad, making their weapons Gets Hot! next turn.
The Prince then cast Plaguewind on the Devastators, but the large blast scattered off of them and caused no harm. He then cast Miasma of Pestilence on himself to aid the mighty Daemon.

In the shooting phase, the Helldrake fired at the Devastators and Command Squad. Three of the heavy weapons marines died and one of the Command Squad perished. The two cultists fired at the Devastators, but failed to wound the marines.

The Plague Marines fired at the Command Squad, but failed to damage the Jinking bikers. The Chaos Space Marines on the right flank fired at the retreating bikers, killing the sergeant and leaving one marine remaining.

The Daemon Prince roared in frustration, being denied the ability to assault the bikers and charged the Drop Pod instead. He mighty Daemon easily wrecked the vehicle.

The assault marines struck at the Defiler, but were unable to harm the vehicle. In return, the Defiler easily wiped out the squad.

At the end of his turn, Iain scored no points for his objectives.

White Scars- 6
Chaos Space Marines- 0

This turn, I drew Objective 2, Rapid Deployment (secure the furthest away objective from the enemy) and Blood and Guts (destroy a unit in assault).

The lone grav gun biker retreated from the Chaos lines, moving towards the centre of the board. The Command Squad advanced on the plague marines, while the other biker unit held in place to claim objective 2. The Stormraven turned and advanced on the Helldrake.

In the shooting phase, the bikers on the right flank fired at the Defiler, but failed to damage it. The Stormraven fired its assault cannons and last missile at the Helldrake. The assault cannon managed to penetrate the enemy flyer and destroyed its dreaded AP3 flamer.

In the assault phase, the Command Squad charged the plague marines. The White Scars Captain issued to challenge to the Plague Marine Champion, easily cutting down the traitor marines and another two of his squad. The Command Squad only managed to bring down one of the Plague marines (I only rolled three hits with the Command Squad's 12 attacks, but did kill one of the warriors). The Plague Marines failed to kill any of the Command Squad in reply. I decided to hit and run out of combat. My plan was to move as far away from the Daemon Prince as possible to stop the unit being attacked. I hit and ran out, but managed to only roll a 6" hit and run move on 3D6. The Command Squad were stuck, right in range of the Daemon Prince.

At the end of my turn, I scored Objective 2 and discarded Rapid Deployment.

Iain retained Objective 3, Objective 5 and Objective 6 from last turn.

The Helldrake re-gained a hull point this turn (thanks to It Will Not Die) and moved to Vector strike the command squad, killing one.
The Dreadclaw moved over the lone Devastator marine, it's heat blast slaying the White Scars warrior. The Daemon Prince advanced on the Command Squad, while the Defiler moved to engage the bikers on the left.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince attempted to cast Stream of Corruption on the Command Squad, but I was finally able to Deny the attempt. He then attempted to cast Weapons Virus on the Stormraven, but failed to manifest it. The Prince then cast Plague Wind on the Command Squad, hitting one of them, but their Jinking saved them from harm. He then attempted to cast Miasma on himself, but failed to manifest the power.

In the shooting phase, the Plague Marines fired at the Comadn squad, wounding them four times, but the Jinking bikers saved the wounds. The Defiler fired its flamer at the Bikers. He hit both, but failed to wound them, even with re-rolls. The reaper autocannon performed better, slaying one of the bikers. The Chaos Space Marines fired their Plasma gun at the Drop Pod, penetrating it and forcing it to snap fire next turn.

The Daemon Prince charged the Command Squad. The grav guns and bolters from the squad each wounded it once, but the Daemon's save blocked both shots. The Prince challenged the Captain and he accepted. The Daemon struck out, wounding the Captain three times, but the Iron Halo blocked two of the attacks and the Captain was wounded once. The Captain had to take a Toughness test or suffer another wound (some Nurgle weapon rule). I confidently rolled the die, knowing that I could only fail on a 6. I promptly rolled a 6 and the Captain took another wound. The Command Squad struck at the Daemon but failed to wound him.
I failed my morale test and was locked in combat. I decided to Hit and Run from the combat. I confidently rolled the die, knowing that I could only fail on a 6 (I think we all know where this is going). I failed to hit and run from combat.

The Defiler charged the lone biker sergeant on the left flank. The Defiler struck at the Sergeant, only hitting once out of his 7 attacks! However, this was sufficient to slay the White Scar.

At the end of turn 3, Iain scored no points for his objectives, but got Slay the Warlord. He was evidently having too much fun killing my units to worry about the objectives. What a true Chaos player!

White Scars- 7
Chaos Space Marines- 1

This turn, I drew Objective 3 and Feigned Retreat (perform a Hit and Run move) and had Blood and Guts from last turn.

The remnants of the Devastator squad moved up to secure objective 3, while the lone biker continued to retreat from the Chaos Lines. The Stormraven turned towards the Chaos Space Marines, surging forward as the Terminators disembarked. One Terminator succumbed to the high velocity deployment (I managed to roll a double 1- one for the dangerous terrain test and one for my armour save).

In the shooting phase, the Stormraven fired its weapons at the Chaos Space marines, but failed to kill any of the traitors with its massed firepower. The Devastators fired at the Plague Marines, but failed to damage the elite warriors.

In the assault phase, the Terminators charged the Chaos marines. Overwatch fire caused 4 hits and two wounds and yet another Terminator died. The Chaos Space Marines struck first, wounding the terminators 4 times and leading to another failed save! Three of the five Terminators were dead before they had actually done anything!
The Terminators struck back, only hitting twice with their 6 attacks and killing two marines. The Chaos Sergeant with the power fist then struck, killing another terminator. The combat was drawn.

In the other combat, the Daemon Prince
struck at the Captain, wounding him three times. I failed all three Invulnerable saves and failed to make a single Feel no Pain roll, so all but the Apothecary were wiped out. The Apothecary failed to wound the Prince in return, but managed to hit and run out of combat.

At the end of my turn, I scored Objective 3 and Feigned Retreat for 2 points.

Iain retained Objective 3, Objective 5 and Objective 6 from last turn.

The second Dreadclaw arrived, but also Misshaped as it scattered onto a White Scar unit. I got to deploy the pod and put it in the corner of the Chaos Space Marine deployment zone. The Plague Marines and Daemon Prince moved towards the Devastators, while the Defiler moved towards the lone biker in my deployment zone.
The other Dreadclaw moved over the Apothecary, attempting to take him out with the flame attack, but failed to do so.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince attempted to cast weapons virus on the Stormraven, but failed to manifest the power. He then cast Stream of Corruption on the Apothecary, slaying the final member of the Command Squad. He finished off the phase by casting Miasma on himself.

In the Shooting phase, the Defiler fired at the Stormraven. Despite Jinking, the flyer was penetrated once and force to snap fire next turn. The Plague Marines fired at the Devastators, killing the last of the squad.

The Daemon Prince, once more robbed of his prize of the Devastators, once again charged a drop pod, easily wrecking the immobile vehicle.

The Chaos Space Marines struck at the lone Terminator, wounding him three times. For once, the Terminator's armour saved him. He struck at the marines but missed with both of his attacks. The Power fist-armed Sergeant then succeeded in wiping out the terminator squad.

At the end of his turn, Iain scored a point for Objective 3.

White Scars- 9
Chaos Space Marines- 2

This turn, I drew Supremacy, Overwhelming Firepower and Objective 4.

With very little left on the board, the Stormraven moved back into Zoom mode and moved to my left flank. The biker left the cover of the bastion and advanced on the Defiler, hoping to finish off the enemy walker.

He fired his grav gun at the vehicle, but failed to damage it. He then assaulted the walker, but was cut down by the overwatch fire, leaving only the Stormraven left.

I scored no points this turn.

This turn, Iain drew Objective 5 and already had Objective 5 and Objective 6.

The Helldrake went in to hover mode and moved to claim objective 6. The Chaos Space Marines moved into the ruins and ran up the levels to claim Objective 5.

There was not shooting and no assaults, so the game came to an end there.

Iain scored 4 points this turn for all his objectives and for getting Linebreaker with the hovering Helldrake.

White Scars- 9
Chaos Space Marines- 6

Amazingly, a win for the White Scars!

First off, thanks to Iain for an amazing game. This was one of the funniest games of 40k I have played in a long time. We managed to attract quite a crowd at the table and everyone seemed to enjoy the antics of both armies; the utterly useless rolling on both sides, the anger of the Daemon Prince who was constantly denied combat and had to settle for wrecking drop pods, the Defiler who kept regaining Hull Points and would not die!

I can't believe I won that game! If Iain decided to give a damn about the objectives in any turn but the last, I would have been in real trouble. Like a proper Chaos player, Iain decided to spend his time killing his mortal Imperial opponent rather than care about victory conditions.

We both had some funny, terrible rolling during the game. Failing both characteristic tests on turn 3 was a particular highlight, as was the terminators (which I will return to, don't you worry). Iain had no luck with his Dreadclaws, misshaping with both of them during the course of the game.

I decided to use the Hunter's Eye and Glaive of Vengeance for the first time in this game. The Hunter's Eye didn't really get a proper field test, I completely forgot about it in one of my turns and didn't really fire my grav guns from the command squad during the game due to a combination of Weapons Virus and Jinking. The Glaive of Vengeance was great, allowing the Captain to hit really hard on the turn he charges. I will probably take these two again to try them out. The Banner of the Eagle was very useful too. It allowed the Command Squad to have a chance to take on the Plague Marines with Furious Charge giving them a strength bonus.

The Stormraven was a decent choice. It can put out a lot of firepower with its various weapons and is great as an assault vehicle. Once the missiles are used up, it can struggle to damage vehicles or tougher targets, but the massed firepower is useful against most units.

The Skyhammer Annihilation Force was also pretty good. It hits extremely hard on the turn it arrives, allowing the Devastators to fire to full effect and the Assault marines to assault. I didn't take the optimal load out for everyone (grav cannons and grav amps?), but found it to be very useful.

Terminators. Oh boy, the Terminators. The Emperor's Finest really showed their utility in this game. Everything that people hate about Terminators was shown in this game. I lost three of the 5-man squad before they actually did anything. The Terminator squad cost 225 pts and killed approximately 30 pts of enemy models during the game. Definitely not a good investment in this game.

Having just written about the use of formations in 40k, I should really try to use them more. The one that allows re-rolls to Hit and Run rolls seems like the obvious choice as I seem to fail Hit and Run rolls all the time.

That was a great game and really nice to play maelstrom missions again. Hope you enjoyed.


  1. Nice report as always my friend. I did spot a couple of things though that I thought you got wrong - first, in order to use a locator beacon I'm pretty sure it has to be on the table at the start of your turn, so no using the locator beacon off a drop pod that's just arrived to allow no-scatter on the second. Second, you can't charge out of the storm raven if you deploy via the skies of fury rule, it needs to 'hover' for a turn and move no more than 6" in the movement phase.

    Can't see much that you did wrong here though, and you certainly played the objectives better than your opponent (though a different damage result in turn 4 could have seen you tabled?)

    What else is there to say about terminators, I have exactly the same experience with them - lots of points to take, but they never deal enough damage to account for their cost and they fall too easily to standard anti infantry fire. They're still a really fluffy unit and I love using them, but they are nowhere near close to being a competitive choice.

    1. Thanks Nick, always happy to be corrected on my shortcomings (though please restrict yourself to wargaming shortcomings, we simply don't have that kind of space for the rest).

      I forgot that the locator beacons needed to be on the table at the start, I so rarely use them that I was unaware of this. I also realised the error with the Stormraven assault when I was writing up, but fortunately, my Terminators were so inept that it made very little difference. I mixed up the rules, I did go into hover mode, but also deployed while moving more than 6". Thanks, I will know for the future.

      I was very lucky to win this as Iain simply did not care about the objectives, he just wanted carnage!

      Sometimes my Terminators do ok, sometimes they are abysmal like this instance, they never seem to do well. You are right, such an iconic unit in 40k, but the rules aren't quite right for them and they never get taken.

      I played a recent game with a unit of Meganobz. Practically terminators with an extra wound and attack, lower initiative and no invulnerable save for a comparable price. However, I think Meganobz are far superior on the field. People have been saying this for years, but terminators really need a higher toughness or an extra wound and definitely more attacks.

  2. Cheers for the entertaining report. Terrible luck on both sides but I must admit I felt worse for Iain for most of it.

    1. Thanks! Some of the great games are ones where nothing goes right and you can't help laughing.

  3. Again another great report

    This report highlights the improvement to the game Maelstrom missions have made to the game. no longer can you try and wipe your opponent off the table, you have to play the cards.

    yes it is different compared to previous editions as it is more random, but like poker you have to play the cards, sometimes they will be good and sometimes they will be bad. Good poker players never blame the cards.

    I have started playing a combo mission of both maelstrom and eternal war. this make you think long term as well as turn by turn.

    terminators in the Skyhammer (i think that is what it is called) are good being able to re roll hits in assault, but you need to spend a bit more on it and works very well with the ultramarine tactic.

    1. Cheers, glad you enjoyed it.

      I have seen a few people try to mix maelstrom missions with eternal war missions. One of the first tournaments that I started attending this year ( ) used this system. It made for some interesting games and was a nice touch.