Thursday, 6 June 2019

Rapid Strike Tournament: Game 2- Deathwatch vs Black Legion Chaos Space Marines

Game 2 of Rapid Strike would see my Deathwatch take on Khyl's Black Legion Chaos Space Marine army in the Contact Lost maelstrom of war mission. In this mission, you get one card to start with, then draw one card for each objective you hold (up to 6) from turn 2 onwards. 

My army consisted of:
Patrol Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol, Castellan of the Black Vault, The Beacon Angelis
Kill Team- 7 Veterans with Storm Bolters, Chainswords and 2 Storm Shields, Terminator with Storm Bolter and Power Fist, Vanguard Veteran with Storm Shield and Bolt Pistol, Biker with Twin Boltgun. 
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols
5 Vanguard Veterans- Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Hand Flamer
6 Bikers- Sergeant with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, Twin Bolters, Chainswords
Razorback- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter

Khyl's army consisted of:
Patrol Detachment (Black Legion)
Lord Discordant- Helstalker, Autocannon, Mark of Tzeentch, Indomitable
Master of Possession- Cursed Earth, Force Stave, Infernal Power, Mark of Tzeentch
10 Cultists- Autoguns
10 Chaos Space Marines- Mark of Slaanesh, Bolters, Autocannon
Greater Possessed- Mark of Slaanesh
Forgefiend- 2 Hades Autocannons, Daemon Jaws, Mark of Tzeentch
2 Obliterators- Mark of Tzeentch

Auxiliary Support Detachment (Chaos Space Marines)
Sorcerer- Terminator Armour, Combi-Bolter, Force Stave, Warptime, Weaver of Fates, Mark of Tzeentch

A Chaos force with a lot of infantry. The army featured a number of units from Vigilus that I had not faced yet. The Lord Discordant could prove to be a tough proposition, as could the Obliterators. It was a great looking Chaos army, and actually came in second in the best painted army competition. 

The table we were playing on had little in the way of line of sight blocking terrain, which could benefit both of us. I would have to hope my superior firepower could hold out against the Chaos forces. 

We set up the objectives as shown below:

We then deployed our forces. I put the unit of Intercessors in the centre and to the left flank. I kept them as a unit of 10 to reduce my number of deployment drops and allow me to go first. I put a unit of Bikers in the woods in the centre with the Watch Captain behind them. I put the Razorback, Bikers and Storm Bolter Kill Team on the right flank. I decided to deploy the Storm Bolter team on the field to save a command point. I figured I could use the Beacon Angelis to move them up and attack the enemy forces and grab objectives. The Vanguard Veterans and Watch Master went in reserve.

Khyl put his Lord Discordant and Sorcerer on the left flank, with the Chaos Space Marines and Cultists spread out across the line. The Forgefiend and Master of Possession went on the right flank, along with the Greater Possessed. He put the Obliterators in reserve.

I finished deploying first and chose to take the first turn. However, Khyl was able to seize the initiative and struck first.

In his first turn, Khyl drew Scour the Skies.

The Chaos Space Marines advanced onto the objective, the Cultists moving up to support them. The Sorcerer and Lord Discordant also moved up to support them.

In the psychic phase, the Sorcerer cast Warptime on the Lord Discordant (needing a CP re-roll to pass it), allowing him to move up towards the Bikers. He then cast Weaver of Fates on himself, boosting his save. The Master of Possessed then cast Cursed Earth on the Forgefiend. He failed to cast Infernal Power.

The shooting phase began with the Chaos Marines targeting the Bikers in front of him, wounding them once, but the shot was blocked. The Cultists fired on the same squad, but failed to do any damage.

The Lord Discordant fired on the Bikers on the left flank, but failed to do any damage. Khyl used the Daemonforged stratagem on the Forgefiend to fire on the Intercessors. The squad was wounded 8 times and three Intercessors fell to the volley.

In the charge phase, the Lord Discordant charged the Razorback and Bikers. The Lascannons of the Razorback managed to hit and wound in overwatch, but the Lord made his invulnerable save. The Lord Discordant only managed to assault the Bikers, slaying all three in combat. He consolidated into the Razorback to stop it from firing the next turn.

At the end of his turn, Khyl scored First Blood.

In my first turn, I drew Secure Objective 4. For my Mission Tactics, I chose Troops.

The Razorback fell back from combat, the Watch Captain and Veteran squad moved up on the Lord Discordant. The central Biker unit moved up on the Chaos Space Marines. My plan was to use the Tactical Flexibility stratagem on the Intercessors to split them into 2 units, but with the death of three, that was no longer possible.

The remaining Intercessors fired at the Chaos Marines using the Bolter Discipline to fire two shots each. The Primaris Marines managed 7 wounds, and Khyl failed all his 4+ saves! The Bikers added their firepower to the massacre with their Vengeance rounds, wiping out the squad.

The Watch Captain threw a Krak Grenade at the Lord, taking two wounds from him. I used the Purgatus Doctrine (+1 to wound on HQ units) and Decapitation Doctrine (re-rolls to wound on enemy warlord) on the Veterans to target the Lord Discordant with their Vengeance Bolts. The Veterans managed 21 wounds on the Lord, he failed 10 saves and was slain.

At the end of my turn, I scored Slay the Warlord and Secure Objective 4.

Black Legion- 1
Deathwatch- 2

In his second turn, Khyl drew Blood and Guts and Assassinate to go with Scour the Skies.

The Cultists, Greater Possessed and Sorcerer moved up on the Bikers. The Sorcerer tried to Smite the Deathwatch Bikers, but failed to manifest the power. He then failed to cast Warptime on himself. The Master of Possessed cast Smite, killing one Biker. He then cast Infernal Gateway, perilling and taking a mortal wound.

In the shooting phase, the Forgefiend used the Daemonforged stratagem once more, firing on the Intercessors. The Daemon engine managed 6 wounds on the squad, but only one Primaris Marine fell. The Sorcerer fired at the Bikers, but failed to do any damage. The Cultists added their firepower, doing a single wound on them.

In the charge phase, the Greater Possessed assaulted the Bikers. He struck down the Deathwatch Marines, howling in fury at the destruction.

At the end of his turn, Khyl scored Blood and Guts.

In my second turn, I drew Defend Objective 1, Secure Objective 5 and Blood and Guts.

The Watch Captain moved up towards the Cultists, the Razorback moving to secure the nearby objective. At the end of the phase, I used the Beacon Angelis to move the Veterans up towards the Cultists. The Watch Master arrived beside them to support them.

In the shooting phase, the Intercessors opened fire on the Cultists, killing the squad with their Bolter Discipline. The Razorback fired at the Forgefiend, hitting once but failing to wound.

The Veterans fired on the Sorcerer, obliterating him under their volley of fire. The Watch Master fired at the Greater Possessed, causing two wounds on him.

The Watch Captain assaulted the Greater Possessed, cutting him down with his Thunder Hammer.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 5 and Blood and Guts.

Black Legion- 2
Deathwatch- 4

At the end of turn 2, things were looking good for the Deathwatch. I was ahead a couple of points, but had taken out much of the enemy army. The Obliterators were still to come in though and could cause real problems.

In his third turn, Khyl drew Will of Chaos (score one point if you control a randomly determined objective each turn, objective 3 in this case) and had Scour the Skies and Assassinate.

The Obliterators arrived in front of the Watch Captain.

The Master of Possessed cast Smite, doing three mortal wounds on the Watch Captain. He then tried to cast Infernal Power, but failed to manifest it. He used the Great Sorcerer stratagem to cast Cursed Earth, but also failed to manifest it.

In the shooting phase, the Obliterators fired on the Watch Captain (S7, AP-1 and 1 damage), doing three wounds. I failed two wounds, but used a CP re-roll to pass one and leave him on a single wound.

The Forgefiend was unable to see the Captain, so targeted the Intercessors, killing one.

In the charge phase, the Obliterators assaulted the Watch Captain. He failed the charge on a 7, but used his last CP re-roll to make it in. The Chaos warriors struck at the Captain, wounding him three times. I failed one save, using a CP re-roll once more to pass it. The Watch Captain struck back, killing both Obliterators.

At the end of his turn, Khyl scored no points and I scored Defend Objective 1. A very unfortunate turn for Khyl. Had he managed to kill the Watch Captain, he would have scored three points for Scour the Skies, Assassintate and Slay the Warlord. It was definitely worth the gamble, but he was unlucky that it did not pay off for him.

In my third turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Advance and Domination.

The Watch Captain moved back towards his lines, while the Veterans moved to secure the objectives. At the end of the phase, the Vanguard Veterans landed in front of the Forgefiend. I was currently holding 5 of the 6 objectives. If the Vanguard Veterans could make a charge, they would have the number to get the final objective.

The Deathwatch Veterans fired at the Master of Possession, killing him. The Razorback fired at the Forgefiend, doing one wound, for which I rolled 1 on the damage. The Intercessors managed to put one more wound on the Forgefiend, while the Watch Master did no harm.

In the charge phase, the Vanguard Veterans failed their charge on the Forgefiend, losing one of their number to overwatch fire.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 1 and discarded Advance.

Black Legion- 2
Deathwatch- 7

With only the Forgefiend left, the game was pretty much over. I was in good position to score more maelstrom points as the game went on.

In his fourth turn, Khyl drew Priority Orders Received (Advance) and had Scour the Skies, Assassinate and Will of Chaos (objective 1).

Khyl used his last CP on Daemonforged and the Forgefiend fired on the Vanguard Veterans, destroying the unit.

At the end of his turn, he scored Scour the Skies.

In my fourth turn, I drew Priority Orders Received (Secure Objective 3), Area Denial, Psychological Warfare, Secure Objective 2 and had Domination.

At the start of the movement phase, I used my last CP on the Tactical Flexibility stratagem to split the Veteran squad into two units of five. The faster moving element with the Biker and Vanguard Veteran moved up on the Forgefiend, while the rest of the Deathwatch moved to secure the objectives.

In the shooting phase, the Razorback fired on the Forgefiend, but failed to do any damage. The Intercessors fired at the enemy vehicle, doing a single wound. The Watch Master fired his Guardian Spear at it, taking another two wounds and leaving it on 5.

I decided not to fire any more at the Fiend, as I didn't want to risk destroying it. I needed to charge in to secure the objective on the hill.

The forward portion of the Kill Team assaulted the Forgefiend, taking no damage from overwatch fire. The Deathwatch squad did no damage to the enemy vehicle, also suffering no damage in reply.

At the end of my turn, I scored Domination (4 pts), Area Denial (1 pt), Priority Orders Received (4 pts), Secure Objective 2 and Secure Objective 4.

Black Legion- 3
Deathwatch- 18

A great round of cards had seen me leap ahead in score. Annoyingly, I had roll a 1 for both my D3 rolls for Domination and Area Denial.

At the start of his fifth turn, Khyl had Assassinate, Priority Orders Received (Advance) and Will of Chaos (objective 2).

The Forgefiend fell back from combat with the Deathwatch. And that ended a very quick turn!

In my fifth turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Secure Objective 3, Mission Critical Objective (Objective 5), Defend Objective 2, Defend Objective 5 and Defend Objective 4).

The Kill Team moved up towards the Forgefiend. I decided not to fire at the Fiend in case it was destroyed.

In the charge phase, the Kill Team assaulted the Forgefiend, doing a single wound on the vehicle. In reply, the Forgefiend failed to do any damage.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 1, Secure Objective 3 and Mission Critical Objective.

We rolled to see if the game ended and it did. I scored Linebreaker.

Black Legion- 3
Deathwatch- 22
End of the game. 

A win for the Deathwatch.

Thanks to Khyl for a fun game, against his great looking force.

I was pretty worried about this game when the Lord Discordant got off his first turn charge. I think Khyl was unlucky here, as against any other Marine army, the Lord Discordant would have been able to rampage around my back lines and cause serious problems with my battle plan.

As it was, the two stratagems from the Deathwatch allowed me to deal with him in easy fashion. This was the second game in a row where I used the +1 to wound stratagem and re-rolling failed to wound rolls against the enemy warlord to great effect, causing a lot of damage in a single turn with the Storm Bolter Veterans.

I was very glad that I deployed them on the table to start with! Had I not had their firepower, I would have had to commit much of my army to taking him out, as well as charging in with the Watch Captain and hoping that he could finish the job. This would have allowed the Chaos Space Marines to hold the two central objectives, giving Khyl more maelstrom cards, and might have led to a closer game.

We discussed the game afterwards and both agreed that not bringing in the Obliterators on turn 2 was an error. I'm not sure why he decided to hold them back till turn 3. Their firepower might have been great against the Intercessors or Storm Bolter Kill Team, as well as giving me another threat to have to deal with in my second turn. This would have stifled my advance, as well as stopping me from scoring so many points later on.

The often neglected Tactical Flexibility stratagem was great here. This allowed me to split off the Veteran squad and move up to secure the objective and get Domination on my fourth turn. This was one to keep in mind during my games, and came into good effect in one of my later games as well.

Annoyingly, the game ended on a die roll and not because we ran out of time. This was annoying, as I was sitting on 3 "Defend" objectives at the end of my 5th turn, giving me another 6 points, with the potential of getting even more if the game went on to turn 6 or 7.

Rapid Strike 2019
Game 1- Deathwatch vs Astra Militarum
Game 2- Deathwatch vs Black Legion Chaos Space Marines
Game 3- Deathwatch vs Drukhari
Game 4- Deathwatch vs Black Templars Space Marines
Game 5- Deathwatch vs T'au


  1. Congrats to the two wins revealed so far! Both sound like good, fun games.

    1. Cheers, Dave! Yeah, they were fun games. Nice and tactical.

  2. Well played again! Stuff like that combo of Stratagems is why I don't like having big Characters as my Warlord. I'd rather it be someone easier to hide, with less than 10 Wounds.

    Also, it kind of amuses me that Tactical Flexibility doesn't allow you to be flexible when suffering any casualties at all, which seems like a situation that would often call for tactical flexibility in the more general sense ;)

    1. The bigger characters do need to be incredibly tough in order to stop enemy firepower from just wiping them out with ease.

      It is a little annoying that as soon as you take a casualty, the stratagem is rendered useless. Fortunately, I was able to use it to good effect in this game.