Taking the Legion to war!

I rarely get enough time to play currently, and so when the planets aligned to allow me to take part in my local club’s summer tournament, I leapt at the chance to put some models on the table and roll some dice! However, with the list submission date already passed, I was having to bring something together quickly, without the possibility of really testing it prior to the event. I pulled a list together of things that I thought would be fun or enjoyable to play with, and were things that were painted relatively well so that at least I would have a visually cohesive force, that would hopefully be able to dish out (some) damage. Although I had the possibility of drawing from any current 40k Codex, or indeed 30k, I wanted to play with the most recent Chaos Codex – no allies, frills or gimmicks here! At least ‘ob sec’ wouldn’t be a problem – but building to a 1650pts limit was also another inherent challenge to face. The list I went with was:

+ HQ (230pts) +

Chaos Lord with Lightning Claws, Mark of Nurgle and Sigil of Corruption – 120pts

Sorcerer with two additional Mastery Levels – 110pts

+ Troops (672pts) +

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword and Melta Bombs, with a Rhino – 229pts

6 Plague Marines with two Melta Guns, Aspiring Champion with Power Sword, with a Rhino – 214pts

+ Fast Attack (340pts) +

Heldrake with Baleflamer – 170pts

Heldrake with Hades Autocannon – 170pts

+ Heavy Support (405pts) +

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

Chaos Vindicator with Combi-bolter and Siege Shield (135pts)

1647pts

So I had a list – but I also hadn’t properly played Seventh Edition, and I felt it would have been poor form to show up without at least running the list through. I was lucky to find an opponent who, the night before, would put the list through its paces with a list involving a lot of Deep Striking Terminators. It was a great introduction to 7th proper, against a tough list – but I felt that the Death Guard acquitted themselves well under the circumstances, grabbing several objectives, and summoning reinforcements effectively through some Daemons! I’d dealt a lot of damage, and was probably in the ascendency when the game ended: but it ended in an 8-8 thriller draw. Certainly, I felt better about going to a reasonably competitive tournament with a list that I had road-tested, even if I couldn’t make any changes to it!

On the morning of the tournament, I felt positive that I would at the very least make a competent opponent for whomever I faced, and was very much looking forward to at the very least becoming more adept with the latest edition. Seeing everyone else and their superbly painted and modelled armies was a great boost, and I was definitely excited to play on tables that were fully painted and covered with an assortment of terrain. There were three games to be played over the course of the day, the first was ‘Big Guns Never Tire’, deploying as per Hammer and Anvil. The second, ‘Crusade’, would follow the Vanguard Strike deployment. The third, The Emperor’s Will, would deploy as per Dawn of War.

My first game was against an opponent with a Tyranid force, with lots of big creatures, and so at least facing him down the table would perhaps give me slightly longer to hurl demolisher shells at him. In terms of the objective placement, I knew that I would have to fight into the centre of the board, but I had to hope that I could make a sufficient dent in his forces first. In hindsight, I probably didn’t concentrate enough fire on his larger creatures, with a Toxicrene threatening my flank considerably. Despite summoning two lots of Plaguebearers, and a Great Unclean One, I simply couldn’t chew through his stuff fast enough. Despite having no shooting attacks, the distance narrowed and once in combat, there would only really be one winner. Forgetting my reserve roll in the first instance was probably not ideal – but I would still have struggled, either way!

A photo of the action:

DGTyranids

With the scoring adjusted, taking into account the tactical objectives achieved and kill points, I lost 17-3. But, a superb opponent meant I had great fun, and it was good to play an army that I rarely see gracing tables!

After this game, we took a break for lunch, and had to set up our respective armies for display. I was very proud of my army, and it looked as follows:

DGArmy

DGArmySide

The loss ensured I would be on one of the lower tables, and thankfully, in terms of moving my stuff anyway, I remained on the same table I had played my first game on. My opponent had lost their first game, and I now faced a combined Imperial Guard/Iron Hands army, with two Forgeworld Vultures, with twin-linked Punisher Cannons, that would, in turn, cause some serious damage to my army.

Deploying on the diagonal was certainly a different experience, and perhaps in hindsight I could have chosen the other corner of the table and set my army up more defensively. But, I came for a scrap – and I wanted to show how tough those Plague Marines really were! Regrettably, failing to wipe out a Vanquisher that threatened most of my army early on meant I couldn’t then respond to the Drop Pod landing within my midst. Two Perils of the Warp attacks robbed my Sorcerer of the chance to manifest into a Daemon Prince, which may have secured a failing rearguard. My Lord spent most of the time running between bits of difficult terrain, and I was grateful that his Leman Russ Executioner destroyed itself, having chewed through more than enough of my left flank. Then, the Vultures entered and things became messy. Throwing twenty re-rollable dice at anything is going to ruin people’s days, and I didn’t really have a counter for them. The game finished with my Lord and a lone Plague Marine having finally got to combat and torn the opposition apart, sitting on an objective that counted for nothing. Regrettable! If I had remembered that, I probably would have placed that one out the way – rather than attempting to sit on it for most of the game. When the transports went, getting so few Plague Marines into combat was going to be a nightmare, and sadly I didn’t have the numbers to weather the storm.

My left flank (note, the far left is actually my ‘dead’ pile…):

DG/IG Battle

When I had things left on the board:

DG/IG Battle 2

When things went:

DG/IG Battle 3

This battle scored me a generous 19-1 loss. I’d killed a few things, but the cards were cruel, and entrenched objectives were unobtainable. Holding that one objective that was worthless was also an error!

I knew that for all my hard gaming, running 0-2, I would probably be in the bottom few. To be playing in the ‘wooden spoon’ match was pretty much what I had expected, but I was determined to claw this back! My army certainly had performed well in certain parts, and I hoped to get the synergy right in this game against Liam’s Dark Angels.

It started well: it always does. I’d set up in a way that meant I could get in close early, and hopefully hold the objectives long term, and racked up a healthy lead with some lucky cards, and some good rolling.

First turn - DA/DG

Summoning two Plague Bearer squads early on was useful, and despite being forced to deploy in the corner, it did offer additional protection for my rearmost objective.

Summoning

However, whilst I was casually marauding my Lord and retinue behind enemy lines, two Terminator squads teleported into the midst: and then proceeded to carve into my back line. The sheer fire-power they put out coming in (another great Formation that was used very effectively) meant that however much damage I would be causing to the rest of his army through my Vindicator and Lord, it was being reciprocated in kind through the parts of my army left behind on objectives.

Deep Strike!

That said, most of my army continued to fight nobly – and it was a fantastic game. With spates of luck and terrible/good rolling on both parts, it meant that when the game ended, both sides were thoroughly battered. That healthy lead I had built had crumbled when I was no longer able to hold objectives, and Liam racked up a win of somewhere in the region of 30 points to my still impressive 18, resulting in a 16-4 victory to him when adjusted. It was great fun, and although I still had my Lord, a Plague Marine and two Heldrakes, it would have got little better thereafter. Regrettably, such a loss secured my prize of the ‘wooden spoon’ for a last placed finish, and I was awarded a new game to try!

Marvel Dice Masters

All in all, it was a fantastic day – and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In future, I think allying with Daemons for the benefits of Summoning would be appropriate, given that I tended to rely on that for the fun factor on this occasion. Or, more Troops may have helped… perhaps swapping out a couple of Vindicators for Maulerfiends may have also helped – but nonetheless, for not being able to play-test and tweak prior to the tournament, I’m very happy with how it performed and most importantly, how seventh edition plays in general. Hopefully, will be the first of many games over the coming months!

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Answering the Call of Chaos VI

I tend to find that I’m most productive when painting to deadlines – generally, in forum competitions. Once more, it’s worked a treat – and have managed to complete all five pledges for the Bolter and Chainsword’s Call of Chaos VI. I tried to put forward things that have been outstanding for far too long – in the form of nine Bikers (split into three squads of three, including the legendary Doomrider!), but then thought it would be nice to put forward two newer acquisitions… in the form of Heldrakes! After all, we all need a Fear Squadron, and as it’s one of the few choices in the Chaos Codex that makes us competitive, no harm in taking three of them, right?

So, here’s one of the first stages of my Biker batch:

Biker Batch

Which did then progress, including Doomrider most notably:

Bikers and Doomrider

To become significantly more cohesive:

Bikers WIP

To being these lovely three man gangs!

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

Biker Trio

And a lovely overview of all 9 completed Bikers:

Bikers Complete

But naturally, I’d still got two Heldrakes to paint – and they started off in a similar way:

Two Heldrakes WIP

There was a nightmare with the trim:
Heldrake Trim

And, eventually, I’ve come to be the proud owner of these:

Two Heldrakes

Two Heldrakes

And… is that… a Fear Squadron I spy?!

Fear Squadron

Fear Squadron 2

I’d really recommend it as a way of getting things painted – I love batch painting generally, and so to be able to put these away and have that sense of pride, and that I’ve contributed to something bigger is great. Hope you like them!