Saturday, March 25, 2017

Batrep: Astra Militarum vs Chaos Marines 1850pts

Got a game in yesterday, and apologies my camera died so only got crappy pictures from my phone, switched things up and played the cadian battle group.  My opponent was playing chaos space marines using black legion and a traitor legion formation.  We played maelstrom mission 5, keeping our objectives secret, hammer and anvil deployment.  I got to deploy first and go first, he reserved most of his army.

On to the lists.  I had a CCS in a chimera for the Battle Group Command, kitted out with a Master of Ordnance, Standard, and 3 Grenade launchers.  The Armored Company had two Vanquishers in the Tank Commander squadron with lascannons, two Exterminators with lascannons and heavy boltlers, and a punisher with heavy bolter and heavy flamers.  The Emperor's Blade Assualt company was the last bit, with three vet squads with carapace, 2 meltas and heavy flamer in each in chimeras, the command squad was all plasma and a plasma pistol for commander, and finally a bane wolf.

For the Chaos, he had a black legion CAD, a lord on a bike with a power fist and CCW, two 5 man marine squads, two rhinos, and three of each obliterators and mutilators with each being on their own, and a heldrake.  The last bit was the raptor talon pack which was three raptor squads one with a lord, with them being able to assault on the turn they arrive from deep strike.  Each of them had melta guns and a melta bomb.  Everything had Mark of Nurgle except his "tac" squads.

Basically, he had a really good army to counter mine, with a lot of deeptriking that could easily deal with my tanks.  To try and help myself out, I deployed in depth, to give little room for deep strikers, leaving some spaces just open enough, hoping he would get ballsy and go for it and then scatter and mishap.  He deployed his lord on bike, a marine squad and two rhinos with everything else in reserve, though he really just forgot to deploy his one 5 man marine squad.

And this game was funny in that the dice gods decided to fuck with both of us, with their favor swinging wildly back and forth.

Turn 1 I moved the punisher up on my right towards the objective along with a vet squad in chimera, my autocannon russes moved up as well, along with one vet squad in chimera on the left moving towards another objective as well.  The punisher did not have range really for anything other than its heavy bolter, but would have line on the lord next turn.  I opened up with all my tanks in range on the lone rhino and though I scored a lot of pens and glances, he made all of his cover saves minus one, so I only got one pen through for a stunned result.  And my Master of Ordnance missed all game, so won't bother mentioning him anymore.  I scored one objective pt.

His turn one was mostly just some shuffling, moving his rhino back.  The lord had a special one use large blast, that could be placed anywhere and caused a haywire hit and D3 penetrating hits against vehicles.  It did not scatter and he killed my tank commander and stunned an exterminator russ (losing a hullpoint as well), though thankfully the techpriest was unharmed.  And with that, all my russes were back to normal, no more BS 4 for me.  He scored one objective pt.

For me, I moved my punisher into range of his lord on bike and CSM squad, and my vet squad on the left moved in range of an objective. I moved the rest around slightly, but mostly just re-positioning to counter his deepstriking coming up.  Again failed to do anything to the rhino, as the dice gods still favored him.  The punisher was only able to kill a single marine and put a wound on his lord on bike.  I scored one objective for a pt.  Now the pain would come.

For his reserves, he got two raptor squads in, an obliterator, and mutilator, and his heldrake.  Now it was his turn for the dice gods to laugh at his pain.  One of his raptors misshaped and he rolled a 1, and they were gone, the obliterator misshaped and went back into reserve. So half of his reserves that came in were either destroyed or back into reserve.  He went aggressive with his deep strike and I tried to position best I could to give him bad choices, but really this was less tactical genius and more dice god spite.  The heldrake failed to do anything with its baleflamer, the lord split off from his squad and went hiding in a ruin out of LoS, one rhino moved up for the squad to embark.  The lone raptors, melta'd the chimera, exploding it and then assaulted the squad and punisher.  Though he had only one attack that could hurt the russ(melta bomb), he of course hit and rolled an explodes result (techpriest was out of range), the vet squad was obviously wiped.  But between overwatch and explosions three of the raptors were felled.  He scored two pts and first blood.  Now it was crunch time.

The bane wolf zoomed across my backfield, going flat out to get over to where my right flank had collapsed, hoping that the plasma command squad would be able to deal with the raptors, as he would not be in range.   I kept, the plasma command squad in their command squad, hoping the two plasmas and chimera weapons would be enough, one exterminator and vanquisher lined up the mutilator in front of my lines and the other exterminator lined the helldrake up for a hail mary.  With everything and orders I was able to kill the mutilator, and all but the champion in the raptor squad, which passed their morale denying me an objective.  But for hero of the game, the exterminator snap fired at the helldrake, my opponent didn't jink because what is the worst that could happen, but 3 autocannons hit and the Lascannon!  The lascannon immobilized it and it fell out of the sky exploding!!  As I said, the dice gods were laughing this game, and they had decided it was his turn to suffer.  I did not score any objectives as I needed to kill a character and cause a unit to flee.

His turn three, and he got his last raptor squad in, the obliterator in ongoing reserve, another mutilator, and the CSM squad walked onto the board.  He want ballsy again with his deepstrike, and again his other raptor squad mishapped and was destroyed as well.  He was not pleased.  The lone raptor hopped onto my objective to contest it, and the mutilator deepstriked right behind by vanquisher and vet chimera in the middle and the obliterator arrived safely on the left between two chimeras.  The CSM squad hopped into a rhino and hid behind the building in the center, and other rhino moved up as well, and the footsloggers moved into terrain for cover.  The lord on bike stayed in place.  The obliterator was able to strip a hullpoint off of a russ and destroy the autocannons and the raptor charged the other autocannon russ the avenge the helldrake, but failed to hit it with his melta bomb.  He scored 2 objective pts this round, putting him in the lead significantly.

My turn 4, the bane wolf again maxed out its movement to fill the hole in my right, and to grab an objective.  The plasma command eyed the remaining raptor champion, and the exterminator moved out of base to line up the damaged rhino.  The chimeras and vets on the left, disembarked and lined up the mutilator and obliterator.  Shooting, the plasma killed the raptor champion, and the exterminator wrecked the rhino without a squad in it.  The rest I was only able to kill the mutilator and the obliterator stood defiant.  I got two pts for an objective and killing a character (raptor champion) so the deficit wasn't as bad anymore though i still was in the hole.

His turn the lord on bike came out to support the obliterator and the rest of his reserves came in, with the remaining two obliterators and mutilators coming in on my right on the objective with my plasma command.  His obliterator on the right exploded the damaged exterminator and his lord glanced the chimera, he needed that objective that my chimera was contesting.  On the right, his one obliterator glanced penned the chimera and stunned it, and the other failed to pen with melta on the front armor (rolled a 1 and 2).  To top it off, the lord failed his charge on the chimera.  The CSM squad in the rhino disembarked and went into the center building, just in range of the center objective..  He scored one objective pt.

My turn 5, and it was critical one, as though I had killed a bit, I had only two russes left and the lord and obliterator could chew through my units if I couldn't kill them.  On the right, I needed everything to work in order to kill the two obliterators and mutilators, though i had firepower, they were T5 with nurgle so I had nothing to instant kill them, would hope enough wounds could get past their 2+, as I only had the vanquisher and vets with AP2.  I ordered first rank fire on the left with my commander, but my shooting was ineffectual as, all four of my melta guns missed (four 1s in a row) I forgot about preferred enemy, but they might not have been in range, as neither the lord or obliterator were right on top of the objective.  In either case my left failed completely and both the lord and obliterator were free.  On the right I did not use orders, as I wanted the command squad to shoot last, as I really needed the mutilator to die and if one of the obliterators lived, I had a techpriest that could charge and hopefully hold them for a turn.  The vanquisher had two lined up and the exterminator two as well.  Luckily on this flank everything went to plan, the exterminator fired first, scoring 8 wounds between the heavy bolters, autocannons, and lascannon, killing the first obliterator.  The chimera and vanquisher killed the mutilator, and the plasma command easily killed the last obliterator, though one died to gets hot (double 1s baby).  The banewolf easily killed the marines in the building with the chem cannon.  I scored one pt, but I had failed to kill his warlord (with 4 melta guns wiffing) and with the game possible ending, I knew this was bad, I did not have enough points, and i had the card for killing his warlord (D3 pts), so he had a big lead still though with little left, I was not in position to support my left flank with his lord on it.

Turn 5 for him,  His lord moved up and the obliterator moved onto the objective.  The obliterator exploded the chimera and killed three guardsmen in the explosion.  His lord assaulted the disembarked squad, my sgt accepted the challenge, luckily he did not use his power fist so I got my carapace saves, and after all was said and done, the sgt and a guardsman were dead, but I had managed a wd on the lord, losing combat by 1, unfortunately as I wanted him to sweep.  But the bastards decided to be brave and the four remaining guardsman remained locked in combat with the lord.  He scored another pt and we rolled to see if it would end.  It didn't! I had a chance.

Turn 6 the vet squad on the left moved into range to either shoot the obliterator or charge the lord.  For objectives, I had to score the objective that the marines in the building had been holding, I needed a tank to kill something, and I needed Kingslayer, if I could pull it all off, and ideally get linebreaker, which the bane wolf was in position to do.  My Chimera on the left moved to the center objective and all my vehicles that could turned to shoot the obliterator.  With all the vehicles shooting I was able to bring him down and score a pt, I had the second with the chimera on the objective.  Now I needed the warlord dead. I charged the vet squad in to join their brothers, and though it was close I got the one wd I needed to get past and the warlord fell.  For my D3 I rolled a 5 and got 3pts for his warlords death.  This totaled me 6pts with the objectives and slay the warlord.  I was just outside of line breaker range as I forgot I needed with be within 12" of his deployment edge, not just in his deployment zone.  But it was enough it was now 9-11 in my favor.

He drew his cards, got nothing he could achieve and we called the game, as all he had left was a csm squad that the bane wolf would murder next turn (if a next turn) and he did not have the cards to pull back ahead.  At the end with secondaries it was 10-11 (first blood for him) and I pulled out a narrow victory.

For this game, and army, most of my expectations were met in how it would perform.  Granted the dice gods were fickle this game, though he lost two raptor squads in deep strike, every penetrating hit that could explode a tank, did explode it.  His second turn really hurt me.  My positioning helped, as I counted on him going for risky deepstrikes and it paid off, him losing two units.  Knowing that mobility was going to be a problem, I tried to ensure objectives were placed near to each deployment zone so no matter what side I got, I could reasonably achieve them.

You have to play cagey with the bane wolf, and though it only killed one unit, it did exactly what I needed it do, when I needed it to do it.  Its still a fast vehicle and was able to get to the backfield, despite it staying in my back field for three turns.  The MoO did as expected, as this was not the army he does well against with lots of MSU units, he has too much scatter to be of use against him.  I will probably drop him and use the pts to give servitor or two to the techpriest as he failed to repair a single thing the entire game.  Tactically though what won me the game was positioning objectives and my units, giving me a the ability to score objectives and counter his deep striking.  I definitely got lucky on the mishaps, but proper placement increased the chance of them and I knew he would try and get in melta range with those deep striking raptors, increasing his risk.

Against armies that deepstike but whose mishap risk is reduced, like drop pods, I would have had to change things up significantly though, as the tactics would not have worked.  The cadian BG is limited in its strengths but I feel this is about as good as it can get.  Luck definitely played a part, but again, he had great luck with cover saves and getting explodes results on nearly every pen he got.  Killing the helldrake was great, but again, most of my infantry was in vehicles so he had to pop them open.  It probably could have wrecked a vehicle with vector strike but would then have had to go off the board.  What saved me was most definitely target priority, as I made no mistakes in lining up my shooting.  It was a good game and even with all his losses, was very close up to the end, which is why I love maelstrom, and was glad to finally beat him after losing the last two games.

Lessons for you to take away is to know what your army can achieve, victory begins with objective placement, maximize objectives in range for you to get and don't count on getting the side you want.  Think through target priority and line up properly, as I have said before, it can be worth not issuing an order so a unit can fire when it needs to to give you the best outcome.  When facing deepstrikers that can't mitigate mishaps, deploy in depth to maximize mishap possibilities.

Cadia Stands!


  1. Awesome battle report! I'm so glad that your Imperial Guard won! Imperial Guard armies don't get that many victories these days, and it's heartening to see that they still stand a chance on the tabletop!

    Cadia Stands!

    1. Thanks! It was a good battle, and he had a good army to really hurt mine, him losing those two raptors was a big bonus. Guard definitely has to work for victories.

  2. Great report. Congratulation on your win :)

  3. congratz on your win. As many of your games seem close and always fun. Its been a rough patch for you for a bit. On your castellan detachment games I noticed you weren't rolling to bring in your dedicated transports back with a 5+ even though dedicated transports for troop choices are considered troop choices for detachment purposes. That might give you another bonus to help bring back those heavy weapon primes.

    1. Thanks, no worries, they guy a play with is really good, so been scraping the rust off. I did roll on my second game, I just didn't get any that successfully came back, luck of the dice I guess.

    2. Ouch ya 5+ isn't really reliable. Still I really like the castellan detachment as long as your not going for a tank company. MT seem to be the best troops for it with deepstrike and very offensive dedicated transports. Cortez is fairly durable for only 100pts and adds a nice interceptor bubble and obj secured.

      Maybe try castellan and the artillery formation. This way you use the tempestus to provide pressure and the artillery to hold your back line. Cortez can join the scion command squad to keep them alive longer since they don't recycle. Add a basic inqusitor w servo skulls and davalles circle and attach him to artilleries CCS. This means no deepstrikers are going anyway near your artillery and servo skulls help lower artillery/deepstrike scatters as well as protecting from infiltrating or scouts. I understand your frustration at MT they aren't durable even with 5+ recycling. They've always been a suicide unit. So I would keep my scion units at min bodies and spam multiple units of them w only a few (~4) recycling primes to have a few heavier weapons and units start on the board.

    3. My friend and I have come to the same conclusion, the emperors wrath is probably the best pairing for MT.