Wednesday 13 April 2016

1500pts battle report - Dark Angels v Imperial Guard and their Skitarii mates.

I hadn't intended writing this as a battle report but I think there are some pretty cool things that happened so it may well become one. My army was:
  • Librarian [Psychic Scream & Hallucination]
  • Techmarine
  • Deathwing command squad with Apothecary
  • Deathwing squad in Land Raider Redeemer
  • 5 x Scout Snipers with camo cloaks
  • 10 x Space marine Tactical squad, missile launcher and Flamer
  • 8 x Space marine Tactical squad, Plasma Cannon
  • 5 x  Devastators, 4 Missile Launchers
  • Ravenwing Dark Talon
  • Bastion
The low down:
  • Cleanse and Control - Maelstrom missions - 3 cards. Vanguard Strike
  • Warlord Trait - Bonus for Seize the Initiative, re-roll reserves
  • No night fighting first turn, won deployment, went first, Ben failed to steal the initiative.
Compared to Ben's army this didn't feel like very much and as he's got Leman Russ's, Basilisk's, Wyverns and Heavy Weapons Teams my army was pretty much outgunned.

Oh yeah, he also had a Quad gun, even though he didn't know I had decided to take my unfinished Dark Talon!

I was more conservative than usual with my positioning of the scouts.

But they did look cool in the ruins.

First, turn and with Land Raider potentially falling in Ben's turn I went flat out through the craters, passing the dangerous terrain test. Unfortunately I couldn't do anything to the Quad gun so I concentrated on the Hellhound. The Devastators managed to get 2 hull points off it. The Tactical Squad Missile Launcher failed to glance and the Plasma Cannon missed. The bastion did pick off a Guardsman, and the Scouts took a few. My cards were pretty ropey, kill Ben's Psyker, kill 1 or 3-5 or 6 units and I think to hold all the objectives, which I discarded.

The Hellhound got to kill the Scouts, it's Flamer killing all but the one on top of the ruins, who was picked off by it's hull mounted Heavy Bolter - First Blood. Ben's Wyverns removed the Devastators :( Tactical squad in the woods get reduced to 2, fail their morals check and run off the board! Tactical squad in the Ruins have their Plasma Cannon marine shot off the board too.

The Leman Russ Targeted the Land Raider and it managed to survive with 2 Hull Points damage and a wrecked Assault Cannon. I feverishly consulted the rulebook... My turn 2 and the Dark Talon arrived [after Warlord Trait re-roll], the Deathwing also arrived [again after Warlord re-roll] but then mishapped after teleporting onto Ben's psyker, who I'd laughingly suggested was a Fallen. Turns out they were very interested in him and managed to return to the orbiting strike cruiser to come back again next turn.

With the Dark Talon at risk from the Quad Gun I had only one option TANK SHOCK! I passed my dangerous terrain test to get off the craters, passed the next one to crash through the Aegis.

The guard scattered without injury but with the Quad Gun unable to move it was destroyed instantly - CRUNCH! [At least that was my/our interpretation, it's not a vehicle so it isn't rammed either]. Unfortunately, having used up so much speed I couldn't do anything else. The Assault Cannon was gone, the Flamestorms can't fire and the Terminators can't get out. The Techmarine failed to repair the Hull Points.

Having avoided the Quad Gun the Dark Talon opened up the Rift Cannon on the Leman Russ Vanquishers. Rolled to scatter, got double two so it hit both tanks. Rolled to pen and got another two 2's, then I remembered the main reason I wanted to use this afterall. Doubles on the scatter get me VORTEX! So the second roll becomes the Destroyer table rolls and I get two D3 hull Points on the Squadron, I get a 5 and 1, destroying the nearest tank.

Ben's turn, the Vortex moves in front of the Aegis, killing one Guardsman [I love this]

The Dark Talon manages to evade all incoming fire, without even resorting to Jink.

The Basilisk takes aim at the Bastion [because I'd retreated the remains of my Tac Squad into it].

The Bastion collapses, leaving just two marines alive, they bolt and run back 8" before regrouping.

My Turn 3 and the Deathwing arrive, this time safely in the woods deep in enemy territory.

I manage to get a couple of Hull Points off a Wyvern.

The Vortex continues it's merry way. I try to move the Land Raider and it becomes immobilised on the remains fo teh Quad Gun. The Deathwing sally forth with the Librarian. The libby psychically screams at a command unit of five Guardsman killing all of them. The Terminators manage to destroy the Basilisk with a perfect 7" charge and another unit falls allowing me to get D3 VPs, getting 2, plus another one for claiming and objective. Meanwhile the Librarian gets killed assaulting the other Command squad, overwatch did not help.

The Chaos G.O.D.s are a capricious bunch as the Vortex scattered directly on top of the last remaining Vanquisher, but I only rolled a 1 on the Destroyer table meaning the leman Russ was left with a Vortex hat!

With the Land Raider wrecked by Haywire grenades from the Skitarii the Techmarine abandons it and takes out most of the Heavy Weapons squad. The Terminators scramble over the wrecked Vanquisher to assault the remaining tank only to be overzealous and the resulting pummelling from powerfists blows up two of their own!

On the other side the last remaining Terminator assaults the second Heavy Weapons squad but nobody does anything.

The final score was 14:4 to Ben, his Maelstrom cards were a damn sight more forgiving than my own but even so my army was pretty much outgunned and outmatched. The Dark Talon was pretty cool, but it was pointed out that with a tank killing S10 AP2 Rift Cannon and infantry killing double Hurricane Bolters you're going to struggle to utilise both weapons on the same target, which is unfortunate. I love the Vortex though and although 160pts is quite expensive I'm sure I'll be taking one just for the lolz. That said the Bastion was an utter waste but I really don't have anything to replace it with points wise and at least it increased it's unbroken record of not surviving a game.

A lot of things failed to perform, but most didn't even get chance to as they were wiped out first turn - Scouts, Devastators. This is still a steep learning curve for me, every marine is valuable, I can't sell them cheap like Termagants and they run away too! It amazes me they're the 'basic' choice for beginners. It's definitely making me look with fresh eyes at the nids and the things that do work but although I was 'crushed in defeat' I did really enjoy trying something different for a change.


  1. You would have been able to fire a single weapon from the landraider Dave - Power of the Machine Spirit lets you do this.

    I do love a game where weird stuff happens though, and this definitely qualifies!

    I think a lot of people use marines as the 'default' army because they aren't actually bad at anything. That doesn't mean that they're easy to use though, because actually they're not really good at anything either (except regrouping!).

    1. Does the PotMS over-ride running at Maximum speed? That says you can only make Snap Shots?

    2. PotMS allows you to fire one more weapon at full BS than is normally permitted. So running at maximum speed you are normally limited to 0 shots at full BS. PotMS therefore allows you to increase this to 1.

  2. Nice report Dave, a long time ago when I played marines I use to say the worst thing in the marines dex was the marines maybe they haven't changed much mate lol.

    1. It's surprsing just how much of a let down they've become. To spend so long being 'forced' to use the nids as my only painted army and investing so much time in getting these table-worthy only to be less than stellar on the field... underwhelming. Of course there are much better units in the Codex and I'm no doubt playing them very wrong, perhaps when I have some of the better things done there'll be some progress.

  3. Win or lose, it looks like it was a fun game! The guard can certainly bring the hurt with all their tank and artillery options.

    1. Definitely fun, although I was well aware I'm not sure my nids would have faired much better. The thing is I don't even think this is a nasty list from Ben, but I;ve said before he runs them like a Swiss Army knife, they've got a tool for any job and they'd have put the hurt on the Xenos just as badly. In fact I;d have had more trouble removing the Quad Gun with my normal army and only my Skyshield would have been stopping the relentless bombardment.

  4. That looks a lot like my usual Dark Angels list! The key to winning is achievable cards :-q

    1. Yes the randomness of the cards can be a bit irritating.

  5. Great report Dave, really enjoyed this one.

    The Scouts look awesome in the ruins of the chapel. I have one of those kits too, a great old piece of terrain.

    Did you manage to use the stasis bomb on the Dark Talon? I think I've only fired it once in all the times I have used it. It seems like an odd addition to it armaments that rarely gets used.

    1. The Stasis bomb got dropped on the big blob of Guards as the Dark Talon zoomed off the board. All set to hit 9 of them but it deviated 6" away and only hit 3! With hindsight I don;t think I applied by BS which may have prevented that, unless bomb runs ignore BS... still learning!

    2. I may be wrong, but I think that bombs don't use BS, but only scatter D6.

  6. Vortex is a lot of fun. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I roll the Vortex power for Daemonology Sanctic. I love the randomness. I've had multiple vortex blasts roaming around in one game.

    1. Just made another 2, will be showing them later in the bolg :)

  7. nice report. a great set of armies and a lot of well painted terrain.

    as mentioned above PotMS is very useful for land redeemers speeding over and still being able to fire a flamer.

    a not on the randomness of the cards. i hear a lot of people say this, but lets be honest the amount of randomness in the game a few more dice rolls doesn't affect it too much. the only tweak we make is that if at the start of the game the objective was unachieveable then you can draw a new one.

    finally with JINK. you said you did not need to use it. jink is activated once the target is declared, you don't wait until you see if he has hit or not.

    i hope you have time to do more and look forward to seeing them


    1. I'll take on board the onformation about PotMS, it's all very different to the nids.

      We usually drop the unattainable cards too. Overall I don;t mind the randomness but in the case of the cards they can overwhelmingly change the face of the game but I suppose in another turn it can swing back in your favour, sometimes I think it's important to know what the ultimate objective is and not have to keep trying to accommodate it every turn ;)

      No worries about the JINK, I made that decision every time before he shot, had my eyes closed and everything when he rolled the dice, each time trying to judge the chances of success/failure and the potential outcome. But with the need to fire the Rift Cannon I couldn't risk Jinking even with the chance to crash and burn.

      Will be getting more Dark Angels done don't worry :)