Thursday 20 June 2024

Winchester Tournament: Game 2- World Eaters vs Death Guard

Game 2 of the tournament would see my World Eaters take on John's Death Guard. The mission was Priority Targets with Dawn of War deployment, with the Sweep and Clear special rule. 

My army consisted of:
Lord Invocatus
Master of Execution (Berserker Glaive)
10 Berzerkers
5 Berzerkers
10 Jackals
10 Jackals
2 Spawn
3 Eightbound
3 Eightbound
6 Exalted Eightbound
3 Exalted Eightbound

John's army consisted of:
Biologus Putrifier
Foul Blightspawn
Lord of Virulence
Malignant Plaguecaster
Malignant Plaguecaster
10 Plague Marines- 5 Heavy Plague Weapons, 2 Plague Belchers, 2 Plague Spewers, Plasma Gun
5 Plague Marines- 3 Heavy Plague Weapons, Plasma Gun, Meltagun
5 Plague Marines- 3 Heavy Plague Weapons, Plasma Gun, Meltagun
10 Cultists
10 Cultists
6 Deathshroud Terminators
Bloat Drone
Bloat Drone
Plagueburst Crawler
Plagueburst Crawler
Plagueburst Crawler

Death Guard are a tough match up for World Eaters. Their anti-infantry flamers made a mess of Eightbound, as they negate their high toughness. The contagion for -1 toughness and -1 save is also pretty brutal. Add in a fights first character, potent combat ability and potent firepower from the Plagueburst crawlers, and it's a difficult one to play. John also told me that he played World Eaters, so knew all their tricks, and hadn't lost to them yet with his Death Guard. No pressure then!

We deployed as shown below.

I spread out my forces to be able to threaten a range of enemy units, and kept the 3-man Exalted in deep strike. 
John's deployment was light on the right, with only a couple of Plagueburst crawlers, with the bulk of his forces on the other side. The Cultists spread out in front of his army to screen them. He put the Nurglings, Typhus and Terminators in deep strike. 

I won the roll off for first turn. I scouted my army forward, and John matched with his Cultists. 

In my first turn, I drew Engage on all fronts and Behind Enemy Lines, absolutely brutal! I rolled for my blessings and failed to get advance and charge, settling for fight on death and feel no pain. 

I decided to play more cautiously. The Jackals advanced into the central ruins to stage and take on the screen. The left flank (Eightbound, Rhino and Berzerkers) moved up behind the ruins, while the other units moved back into cover. 

I thought about sending Lord Invocatus to clear a screen unit, but decided not to waste him. I discarded both secondary cards for no points. 

In his turn, John got Capture Enemy Outpost and Secure No Man's Land. The Cultists moved up to grab both objectives. The rest of the forces shuffled up a little, but stayed behind the screens. 

In the shooting phase, the Plagueburst Crawlers targeted the Jackals in the middle, killing the unit. John scored 5 points for Secure and discarded Capture Enemy outpost. 

World Eaters- 10
Death Guard- 15

In my second turn, I scored 10 on the primary and drew Storm Hostile Objective and Extend Battle Lines. For my blessings, I once more took fight on death and feel no pain, after failing to get advance and charge once more. 

I decided to still play cagey, to give up as little as possible. If I could score my secondaries and keep the Death Guard to 5 on the primary, I would be in a good position. I advanced the Rhino up to contest the centre objective, while the Eightbound on the right moved up on the objective. 

The Eightbound charged and killed one squad of Cultists, securing my two secondaries. 

In his turn, John drew Extend Battle Lines and Cleanse. The Plagueburst Crawlers moved out to gain line of sight on the Rhino, while the Rhino moved up to the left objective the Eightbound were on. At the end of the phase, the Blightlord Terminators arrived to the left of my deployment zone. 

The Death Guard opened fire on the Eightbound on the right, killing the squad off the objective. The Rhino and Cultists carried out the Cleanse. Meanwhile, the Terminators targeted the other Eightbound squad and wiped them out. 

The Plagueburst Crawlers targeted the Rhino, but I used Smokescreen, and it survived the Entropy cannons with 4 wounds left. 

Fortunately for me, the Terminators failed their charge into the Berzerkers. John scored both his secondary cards. 

World Eaters- 30
Death Guard- 30

At the end of turn 2, things were very even for us in terms of points. I had lost a few units and only killed a cultist unit in reply. 

I scored 10 on the primary once more. I drew Overwhelming Force and Capture Enemy Outpost, a great pull from my position. I also got Advance and Charge and Feel No Pain on my blessings. 

Seeing the Death Guard exposed, I went for it. The Exalted, Angron and Lord Invocatus advanced on the right. I used the stratagem to auto-advance the Master of Executions and Berzerkers 6" onto the enemy home objective. I made sure to stay out of flamer range on the Plagueburst Crawler with the flamers in the middle, so as not to suffer worse overwatch. The Spawn moved up to the centre too. 

On the left, the Berzerkers moved up on the objective. John fired overwatch with the Terminators, killing all but one. I brought in my Exalted Eightbound just in front of the Jackals, ready to move up and target the enemy units. 

In the shooting phase, the Rhino killed 6 of the cultists with its firepower. In the charge phase, Angron and the Exalted Eightbound charged the Rhino on the objective, while the Lord Invocatus charged the Cultists (the Spawn failing the charge). The Master of Executions and Berzerkers charged the other Rhino. 

Angron struck at the Rhino, easily destroying it and killing one of the Plague Marines as they disembarked. This allowed the Exalted Eightbound to pile in to the squad and wiped them out in combat. This is a tactic I've used before to get around the Fights First and flamers of the Death Guard, and worked very well in this situation. They consolidated into the Plagueburst Crawler. 

Lord Invocatus then killed the Cultists and consolidated into the vehicle too. The Berzerkers killed the other Rhino, one of the Plague Marines falling once more. I chose not to consolidate into them, allowing me to control the objective. 

At the end of my turn, I scored Capture Enemy Outpost and got 5 pts on Overwhelming Force. 

In his turn, John drew Defend Stronghold and Behind Enemy Lines. He used his CP to discard Stronghold and got Teleport Homer instead. He scored 5 primary points, giving me a lead for the first time this turn. 

The Plagueburst Crawler on the left moved up on the lone Berzerker on the objective, while the Plague Marines moved up on the spawn. The Bloat Drones both moved up on the left to contest the objective with Angron. The other Plagueburst Crawler moved up to bait the Berzerkers and MoE to blood surge into it and be stuck in combat with the vehicle. 

Typhus arrived from deep strike next to the Jackals, while the Nurglings came in to get Teleport Homer. 

In the shooting phase, the Plague Marines killed 3 Berzerkers, who then blood surged into the nearby vehicle. The rest of the firepower managed to kill one of the spawn and one of the 3-man Exalted squad. 

In the charge phase, the Death Guard charged the Spawn and the lone Berzerker. Typhus failed his charge into the Jackals. The Spawn and lone Berzerker were easily slain. I used the +1 to wound stratagem on the Berzerkers and managed to take the Plagueburst Crawler down to 4 wounds, while the Exalted did 6 wounds on the other one. 

At the end of his turn, John scored his secondaries. 

World Eaters- 53
Death Guard- 45

The World Eaters had built up a small lead, and I was keen to capitalise on it. 

In my turn, I scored 10 on the primary and got Deploy Teleport Homers and Investigate Signals. I spent a CP to ditch signals and got Bring it Down, a great replacement. I also took Lethal Hits and FNP on my blessings, hoping to chew through the enemy vehicles. 

Lord Invocatus fell back from the combat towards the centre objective, while the 2 Exalted moved up. John fired overwatch with the Plaguecaster, managing to kill one more. 

In the charge phase, Lord Invocatus and the Exalted charged the Plague Marines, while Angron charged a drone. 

Lord Invocauts killed the Plague Marines, while the lone Exalted could pile into the Plaguecaster and kill him. Angron easily dispatched the Drone, while the two Plagueburst Crawlers in combat were slain by the World Eaters. 

I scored 8 points for Bring it Down and discarded Teleport Homer. 

John drew Assassinate and Investigate Signals. The Nurglings moved to score signals. The Plague Marines moved up on Lord Invocatus, while Typhus and the Terminators moved up on the World Eaters. 

The shooting phase saw several wound put on Lord Invocatus and 7 of the Jackals slain. Typhus tried to use his mortal wound ability, but put three wounds on himself instead. 

The Plague Marines charged and killed Lord Invocatus, while Typhus killed the Jackals. John scored 2 pts on signals and 5 for assassinate. 

World Eaters- 71
Death Guard- 57

I had a reasonable lead going into the final turn, but John would likely get the 15 bonus points at the end of the game, so this could still be close. 

In my final turn, I drew Cleanse and Secure No Mans Land. I got 10 on the primary and took Advance and Charge and feel no pain. 

I used a CP to auto-pass morale on the lone Exalted in the middle. The other Exalted moved up on the Plague Marines, while Angron moved to deal with the Drone. I did cleanse with the Exalted and Berzerkers. 

Angron charged and killed the Drone, while the Exalted killed the Plague Marines. I scored all my secondaries. 

In his final turn, John drew No Prisoners and Engage. He moved up the Terminators on the central objective, while Typhus shuffled to get into the table quarter for Engage. 

The firepower from the Crawler and Terminators killed the 3 Exalted left in the 6-man squad. The Terminators then charged and killed the last of the Exalted to score 4 on No Prisoners and 5 on engage. 

At the end of the game, John scored 10 primary. I scored 10 bonus primary points for holding 2 objectives, while John got 15. 

World Eaters- 100
Death Guard- 91

An incredibly close game and a victory for the World Eaters!

Thanks to John for an incredibly tense and close game. This was a very cagey affair, which it always is against Death Guard, as you tend to not be able to just go for it, thanks to their defensive abilities. 

I was a bit worried in turn 1, as I had a terrible draw of secondaries. I considered sending in the Lord Invocatus to kill a unit of Cultists and get into position for Engage for a few points, but decided against it. I probably should have sent the Jackals in to clear one of the Cultist squad, as they were likely to get picked up by the mortars in the following turn anyway. 

I think John's mistake was putting the Rhino on the objective to score cleanse. This allowed me to charge with Angron and the Exalted, allowing Angron to crack the vehicle and the Exalted Eightbound to pick up the Plague Marines. This was big, as that big block of Plague Marines can be very strong into the Death Guard, thanks to having Fights first and a lot of anti-infantry firepower. 

I did get lucky during this game, or rather John got unlucky. I think it he had made the charge of the Terminators or Typhus, it might have been able to swing the game for him. As it was, things were able to go my way and secure a second victory for the World Eaters. 

The Lethal Hits blessing was also useful in this game, allowing me to take out the tough vehicles of the Death Guard. I don't use this blessing that often, but it does come in handy the few times it is used. 

Overall, a fun and tactical game, and a tough win. 

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