Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Battle Summary: Mono-Nurgle Daemons vs. Emperor's Children (750 pts)

Premise: Testing out two armies at a low points value with lots of "counts as" models in a friendly game!
Board: square 4' x 4'
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead (i.e. table quarters)
Terrain: Hills and ruins somewhere on a forgotten planet, deep in the Eye of Terror. The hills are "easy up and easy down" but cannot be seen over. The ruins offer a 4+ cover save.
Usual Caveat: I might have missed the odd detail or not reported accurately a few things that didn't affect the overall result.

Mono-Nurgle Daemons Army List:
HQ: Epidemius (110)
Elites: 1 Beast of Nurgle (35)
Troops 1: 10 plaguebearers, icon, instrument (180)
Troops 2: 10 plaguebearers, icon, instrument (180)
Troops 3: 8 plaguebearers, instrument (125)
Troops 4: 8 plaguebearers (120)

First Wave = Epidemius with Troops 1, Troops 3

Emperor's Children Legion:
HQ: Lucius the Eternal (160)
Elites: 3 Terminators, 1 with icon of slaanesh, 1 with a heavy flamer (110)
Troops 1: 6 Noise marines, 3 with sonic blasters (135)
Troops 2: 6 Noise marines, 3 with sonic blasters (135)
Troops 3: 6 Noise marines, 3 with sonic blasters (135)
Heavy Support: 1 obliterator (75)

Set up:
Naturally, the daemons do not set up - everything is in reserve.
The Emperor's Children take up placement inside one of the ruins and on a hill to give a good line of sight. They are closely clustered together to provide overlapping lines of fire. Lucius is deployed with one of the troops squads. The terminators and obliterator are held in reserve.

Turn 1.
The Nurgle daemons are forced to take turn 1. Sadly for me, Nurgle decides that he needs Epidemius' abilities elsewhere for the moment. I'm left to deep-strike my secondary wave -- without Epidemius -- in to play. Its going wrong already!

I deepstrike my troops with the icon (troops 2) in to play near to the hill with the noise marines on. The scatter backward a little way. Darn! My other plaguebearers (troops 4) scatter directly in to the line of sight of all of the sonic blasters. Double Darn! The beast almost scatters off the board. Triple Darn! At least the beast can only be seen by the noise marines on the hill. In my shooting phase, my slow and purposeful daemons don't run terribly far (probably all that slime under their feet), but move in the direction of the noise marines on the hill. This game might be over very fast. Here's a graphic of what everything looks like at the end of my turn.
My opponent doesn't move one bit. Sonic blasters can be fired as either assault 2 or heavy 3. He figures he might as well use the heavy 3 option in this, the early stage of the game. The noise marines on the hill open up on the large pack of plaguebearers (troops 2). I'm a little suprised by this (I would have shot the other two squads first at the other plaguebearers and seen what was left). There are 9 sonic blast shots and 3 bolter shots (they're not in rapid fire range just yet). Of those, 7 sonic blasters hit and 2 bolters. Against my toughness 5 plaguebearers, they all need 5+ to wound. That results in a respectible 4 wounds. Of those 4, 1 makes their invulnerable save and a further one feels no pain. There's 8 plaguebearers left in troops 2.

The other two squads open fire on the smaller plaguebearer squad. Again, the bolters are not quite in rapid fire range. Between the two squads of noise marines in the ruins, they cause 5 plaguebearers to vanish back to the warp. Not bad shooting at all really.

Turn 2.
Brilliant - Epidemius decides to put in a show, embedded in troops number 1. The other troops don't arrive yet. I use the icon already on the table to deep strike Epidemius and friends close to the noise marines on the hill. The beast shambles close to the marines on the hill. He's definitely in charge range now with a good slow and purposeful terrain roll. The other plaguebearers jigger toward the closest noise marines, slow like zombies (really ugly zombies with plagueswords).

In the assault phase, my beast manages to (just) make base to base contact with the noise marines on the hill. Unsurprisingly, the noise marines go first in the resultant combat. Every one of them scores a hit on the beast. Everyone single of them!!! An equally impressive three wounds result, of which only one is saved. The beast is dead.

The obliterator teleports in during my opponent's phase, deep-striking off Lucius' personal icon. The noise marines inside the ruins vacate and strafe to the western side of the board. I can clearly see what's going on here - my opponent is using my slow and purposeful troops against me. He knows that I'm unlikely to catch up, but can stay in range with his sonic blasters. The noise marines on the hill stay put though ... they're going to open up on Epidemius. Here's the current situation.
In the shooting phase, the obliterator shoots at the remnants of troops number 4 using a plasma cannon shot. The plasma scatters Eastward of the plaguebearers causing no harm to anything more than blades of grass. The other noise marines near Lucius target the same squad. But the sonic blasters are now assault 2, so there's less shots. Equally, some of the bolters in Lucius' squad are now in 12 inch range. Out of 9 hits, 3 wound, but every plaguebearer makes their invulnerable or feel no pain save. There's still three of them left!

Meanwhile, over on the hill, those other pesky noise marines shoot for Epidemius. Three shots from each sonic blaster plus three rapid firing bolters yield 15 shots. Ten of them hit. Four of them wound. Only a single plaguebearer in Epidemius' squad dies. Finally, luck maybe back on my side! I think my opponent has made a little mistake here - he's not moved and potentially allowed my plaguebearers to get close. I think I'm back in the game now!

Turn 3.
My final plaguebearer squad likes the immaterium too much. They don't arrive. Epidemius and chums (i.e. both squad 1 and 2) all ramble up the hill and get ready to charge the noise marines. Meanwhile, the three remaining plaguebearers from squad 4 slime their way in to potential charge range of the obliterator.

In my shooting phase, I activate Epidemius' Aura of Decay. It might only be strength 2, but it automatically hits the noise marines. One of them perishes as a result. The tally has finally got going. One down!

In the assault phase, all of the plaguebearers make it in to combat. Using a power fist, the obliterator goes last in his combat, but otherwise my plaguebearers go last. Firstly, the obliterator suffers one lucky wound from the three charging plaguebearers (failing a 2+ armour save). This is largely a result of re-rolling those poisoned weapon wounding rolls. In exhange, the obliterator slays one plaguebearer. The combat is tied.

On the hill, the five remaining noise marines only manage to kill one plaguebearer. It is not going to be enough. My plaguebearers slaughter them all. The tally is now at 6! My plagueswords are wounding on 3+.

In my opponent's turn, the Terminators become available and deep stike in near to Lucius. In turn, Lucius and the two noise marine squads retreat further back across the board. Those damned sonic blasters are in range of Epidemius and let rip. Two more plaguebearers perish. I don't think that's so bad - there are still 7 left alongside Epidemius himself. The terminators fail to add any further casualties to Epidemius' squad.

In close combat, my plaguebearers fail to make any wounds stick on the obliterator. The obliterator then proceeds to kill the remaining plaguebearers. That's two kill points to my opponent and only one to me.

Turn 4.
Still no reinforcements for me. The plaguebearers slowly move toward the remaining noise marines. Not in range of anything useful, they also run in the shooting phase a little bit further and spread out incase of incoming plasma from the obliterator.

My opponent retreats his squads toward the corner of the board. He won't have many more places to run to soon! Still, I'm in for a good dose of shooting once more. A total of 5 plaguebearers die from Epidemius' squad due to the combined fire of all those Slaaneshi worshippers (leaving Epidemius and 2 other plaguebearers left). They're enjoying themselves far too much.

Turn 5.
My last squad of plaguebearers decides to put in an appearance! About time. Where have you been? Epidemius joins this new squad.

I'm not in charge range yet. But Epidemius' opens up with another Aura of Decay. Remarkably, this takes the final wound of the obliterator. The kill points are now tied at two each.

In my opponent's turn, the Slaaneshi forces retreat further in to the corner. Here's the present situation.
The shooting phase sees the end of plaguebearer squad number 1. I'm now losing on kill points (3 to 2). Additionally, one of the plaguebearers from squad 3 dies as well due to the terminators twin-linked shooting.

Turn 6.
The game continues, much to my relief. Epidemius and his new friends (sqaud 3) get within charging range of the terminators. Before they charge, Epidemius lets off another foul smelling aura of decay. No wounds this time.

In close combat, the terminators kill two plaguebearers. In exhange, two terminators perish under the onslaught of a large number of attacks that re-roll their die to wound with 3+. That would ordinarily mean that the combat is tied. But thanks to the instrument in squad 3, the plaguebearers win. But nothing more results of the "instrumental" win. As if the terminator is scared of ringing bells! Still, the tally stands at 8 now.

My opponent reverses his retreat in to the corner and opportunistically charges Epidemius and squad 3, to help out the surviving terminator. Lucius personally reduced Epidemius down to 1 remaining wound. The terminator kills a plaguebearer. The other two squads of noise marines kill Epidemius outright (darn!) and inflict a few more unsaved wounds on plaguebearer squad 3. In exhange, my plaguebearers strike out at Lucius and the terminators. The terminator dies, but only 2 wounds are caused on Lucius. Thanks to Lucius' armour of shrieking souls another plaguebearer dies!

At this point, the game ends. The noise marines have won: 4 kill points (Beast, Epidemius and 2 squads of plaguebearers) to 3 (Obliterator, Terminators and a squad of noise marines).

Mono-Nurgle daemons are SLOW. Daemon princes with wings will go some way to making up for this. Soul grinders would also help whittle the opposition down.

The noise marines played very well. They sacrificed a unit so that the bulk of the army could keep pulling back until the last possible moment, when they reversed their movement and made an "alpha-stike" on Epidemius. Good work!


suneokun said...

That was like the slowest chase sequence in history... talk about plodding survival. All Plague deamon armies suck badly for movement... I'd hate to see you chances against Tau or Eldar - they'd simply lead you around the board...

That said, you were unlucky with your original deepstrike rolls and the persistant non-arrival of your Nurglers. You played well considering how little options you had. Perhaps some more 'adventurous' deepstriking would have surrounded the enemy sooner and hemmed them in...

Something to ponder.

jabberjabber said...

Yeah, you're absolutely right! Hemming the opposition in during annihilation missions like this one (especially given the lack of flying vehicles) would have been a key stratagem. I'm still learning!

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