Batrep #4: Apocalypse

(art by Games Workshop)

When chronicles of the Indomitus Crusade look back to what is now known as the Battle of Desolation Row, there is much dispute as to the cause of this battle– who fired the first shot, why it escalated to the point that it did, and what ultimately could have possessed loyal servants of the Emperor to take up arms and wage war against one another.

What is certainly known is that the battle erupted in the final stages of the cleansing of Hive Steele on Tarantulus IV. By this point, the Chaos-worshipping rebellion on the planet had been mostly defeated, its armies annihilated in open battle and its demogues slain. The last vestiges of resistance occupied an industrial district of the Hive, nicknamed “Desolation Row” by Imperial forces due to the fact that it had been largely abandoned when the shelling of the Hive had first began. The honour of cleansing this district went to the Astartes of the Storm Angels chapter, the Sororitas of the Order of the Blessed Damsel, and numerous Astra Militarum and Questor Imperialis support. Minimal resistance was encountered, and two hours into the operation, the district was declared free of Archenemy forces.

No one knows who then fired the first shot, or why. Perhaps the Storm Angels, afflicted as they were by the genetic curse of the Blood Angels, succumbed to madness and mistook their allies for yet more foes. Perhaps the Sororitas knew of the curse, and saw their erstwhile allies as little better than unclean mutants. Perhaps, indeed, one of the Inquisitors overseeing the operation was responsible, acting perhaps out of some suspicion of heresy on the Storm Angels’ part or, indeed, out of the rumour that the Astartes had time-displaced Luna Wolves serving in their ranks. There remain unconfirmed reports from after the battle that there was an unsanctioned communique sent to the battlezone that may be responsible, but who it was sent from, to who, and what it contained all remain mysteries to this day.

What is known is that, within minutes of Desolation Row having been declared purged, the Astartes and the Sororitas suddenly began to open fire on one another. Confusion reigned, and the supporting Imperial units, unsure of what was happening, quickly took sides. What began as a firefight quickly escalated into a much larger conflict, and soon one of the most tragic battles of the Indomitus Crusade began…

A while back, my LGS held a weekend Apocalypse game. I had only heard about it the night before, and so the following morning I hurriedly packed everything in my Imperial collection and rushed off. (Well, not everything. I had forgotten my Grey Knights and most of my Assassins, but I digress). I had barely managed to compile a list on Battlescribe the night before, and so had a semi-decent 3500-ish points to work with. I was feeling somewhat prepared when I arrived at the store…

…and found only one other player there. After the store managers asked us to wait for a bit, they ultimately decided to go ahead with it and have us battle it out with our full, Apocalyptic collections in a one on one game.

I had brought the following:

ORDER OF THE BLESSED DAMSEL (with allies from House Wynngarde, the Inquisition and the Officio Assassinorum):

ADEPTUS MINISTORUM BATTALION DETACHMENT
Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae, Legendary Fighter
Inquisitor Greyfax- Mental Fortitude
15 Battle Sisters- flamer, heavy flamer, Sister Superior w. combi flamer
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
5 Battle Sisters- flamer, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
Imagifier
Imagifier
Sister Dialogous
Callidus Assassin
6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters
Exorcist
Exorcist

ADEPTUS MINISTORUM VANGUARD DETACHMENT
Uriah Jacobus
Ministorum Priest- laspistol, eviscerator
Ministorum Priest- bolt pistol, power maul
9 Arco-Flagellants
-Rhino

ADEPTUS MINISTORUM OUTRIDER DETACHMENT
Canoness- bolt pistol, Blade of Admonition
9 Seraphim- 2 hand flamers
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Rhino
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Immolator- twin multi-melta

SUPER-HEAVY AUXILIARY DETACHMENT
Knight Warden “Galemourn”- meltagun, Stormspear missile launcher

As is the case with a lot of my games, there were a lot of things that I was experimenting with in this list. In particular, the Greyfax, the Seraphim, and the Canoness (or more importantly, the Blade of Admonition) were all getting their 8th edition test runs…as was, more importantly, the Knight, which had been sitting unused on my shelf since late 7th ed, begging me for a chance to use him. I could think of no better a field test than an Apocalypse game. Another experiment was the big walking blob of Battle Sisters: I wanted to see how well they performed, and was particularly interested to see if I could get off massed double-tapping volleys of bolter fire with them through faith points.

My opponent, meanwhile, brought:

THE STORM ANGELS (with allied Astra Militarum from an unknown regiment)

BLOOD ANGELS BRIGADE:

The Sanguinor- Heroic Bearing
Captain- Angel’s Wing, thunder hammer, storm shield
Lemartes
Sanguinary Priest- jump pack, thunder hammer
Primaris Lieutenant- bolt pistol, power sword
Primaris Lieutenant- Stalker bolt rifle
5 Tactical Marines- heavy flamer
-Razorback- twin assault cannon
5 Tactical Marines- heavy flamer
-Razorback- twin assault cannon
5 Tactical Marines- meltagun, Sergeant w. inferno pistol (painted as Luna Wolves)
-Rhino
5 Tactical Marines- meltagun, Sergeant w. inferno pistol
5 Tactical Marines- heavy flamer
5 Tactical Marines- heavy flamer
Company Ancient
Contemptor Dreadnought- Kheres assault cannon
10 Death Company- jump packs, 4 power swords, 4 thunder hammers
10 Sanguinary Guard- death masks, 2 inferno pistols, 1 plasma pistol, 3 power fists
Sanguinary Ancient- power fist, death mask
3 Aggressors- Boltstorm cannons
10 Assault Marines- 2 meltaguns, Sergeant w. inferno pistol & power sword
10 Devastators- lascannon, missile launcher, 2 heavy bolters
10 Devastators- lascannon, missile launcher, 2 heavy bolters

ASTRA MILITARUM BATTALION:

Company Commander- Kurov’s Aquila
Tempestor Prime- Tempestus command rod
10 Guardsmen- flamer
10 Guardsmen- flamer
10 Guardsmen- flamer
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad- 2 plasma guns, 2 hotshot volley guns
Heavy Weapons Squad- 3 lascannons

Full disclaimer: this is actually half of what my opponent brought for the Apocalypse game. When it came down to determining the points value/power level, my opponent was forced to hastily set aside half of his army, which included most of his tanks, and a large portion of his Militarum Tempestus and transports. This still left him, though, with a lot of characters and a lot of scary units– I was particularly daunted by his giant unit of Sanguinary Guard. My opponent was quick to point out that the real one I would have to watch out for, though, was his Captain– who, thanks to a horrendous combination of relics, warlord trait and stratagems, had apparently smashed down even the likes of Mortarion in the past, and had earned the internet sobriquet of “Slamguinius.”

 

MISSION:

The game was a standard Apocalypse mission, with victory points per unit destroyed or for every 3 wounds on a Super-Heavy (something I forgot about until much later). Also, as this was only a one on one game instead of the sprawling multiplayer affair we had both been expecting, we both agreed to use only Warlords instead of Warmasters.

DEPLOYMENT:

I set up the giant 15-girl blob of Sisters in the centre, supported by most of the characters, with the Arco-Flagellants, the Knight and Celestine all hovering nearby. The plan at the time was to use the Battle Sisters as an anvil to set up multiple counter-attacks by my hammers.

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A wider look at the battlefield. My transports are spread across the field so that my other Battle Sisters can lend fire support as needed. I also had a squad of Dominions and an Exorcist on each of the flanks, and the Seraphim, Retributors and one of the Imagifiers on the right. The Callidus, naturally, was in reserve.

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In response my opponent deployed a big line of red, gold and jade. The Sanguinary Guard, supporting characters and Dreadnought occupied the right flank, along with his Devastators, some Guardsmen, his Company Commander, Heavy Weapons and a Tactical Squad.

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His transports occupied the centre along with his Assault Marines, Death Company, Aggressors, more Tactical Marines, more Guardsmen and his Scions.

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Before the game began, my opponent used the Death Visions of Sanguinius stratagem to give him +1 attack on the charge and ignoring wounds on a 6.

I won the roll off to go first, and gladly took it. Let the purging of space vampires commence!

TURN 1

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My turn began with a crisis of faith, as I failed to get any faith points off (even with a command point reroll). The best I was able to do was use Celestine’s free faith point to propel the Seraphim up the right flank. My plan, at the time, was to use the Seraphim to harass and slow down enemy forces on that flank, particularly that scary unit of Sanguinary Guard. Elsewhere, my Dominions…actually advanced more cautiously, edging up but not going zooming up full speed ahead. Looking back, I can’t decide if I made the right call, or if I should have sent them on full speed ahead to go blow something up.

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In the movement phase, the Sisters blob moved up in the centre to get into bolter range. On the right flank, the Seraphim flew straight onwards, while the Knight, Dominions and Celestine all advanced a little cautiously. Finally, on the left, my Dominions’ Immolator took cover against the side of a building, both to take shelter from the Devastators and to be ready to drop meltaguns on the Blood Angel transports the moment they got close enough. Finally, my other Immolators hugged cover, ready to support my blob squad and/or advance into burninating range as needed. The general idea was to wait for the Blood Angels to come to me.

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In the psychic phase, Greyfax cast Mental Fortitude on the Sisters blob, no doubt reassuring them that this was in no way witchcraft. In the shooting phase, though, the Seraphim let rip on the Guardsmen right in front of them with bolt and flame, burning down 8 of them and clearing a path to the Tactical Squad and Contemptor beyond. My right flank Exorcist followed up by doing 3 wounds to the Contemptor, while the Retributors blasted down 2 of the Tactical Marines next to it. In the centre, the large squad of Battle Sisters fired their bolters at long range and killed 7 of the leftmost Guardsmen, while the left Exorcist plinked 3 wounds off of the leftmost Razorback.

Then, finally, the Knight opened up. Its Avenger gatling cannon whirred to life, firing at the Aggressors…and proceeded to shred all three of them in one volley! To make things even better, its Stormspear missile launcher fired at the distant Heavy Weapons Teams, accurately hitting and killing all three lascannon teams! At that moment, I was quite amazed at just how brutal the Knight was.

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In close combat, my Seraphim multi-charged both the Contemptor and the Tactical Marines, aiming to tie them up and then fall back out of combat to shoot more stuff at his rear lines. This turned out to be a horrendous idea: the Seraphim suffered four losses in overwatch. After making it into combat, they proceeded to flail uselessly at their opponents…and then get wiped out with contemptuous ease. Well, that was a bad plan. In the morale phase, at least, I was consoled when both squads of Guardsmen I had shot at evaporated from morale.

In the Blood Angels turn, a wall of tanks came zooming towards my massed Sisters, with Death Company and Assault Marines jetting up in their wake. I was rapidly getting the impression that things were about to get extremely bloody in the centre.

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On the right flank, Guardsmen moved up, and a Lieutenant moved up alongside the Company Commander to bolster the Devastators and the Sanguinary Guard.

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Speaking of whom, the Sanguinary Guard and their attendant characters moved up as well, screened by the remaining Tactical Marines and the friendly neighbourhood Contemptor.

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In the shooting phase, my opponent had a lot of firepower to dole out. On the right flank, the Knight took fire from lascannons, missiles, Kheres assault cannons and even bolters, and under this withering hail of fire took 9 wounds, leaving it just barely clinging to its first level of damage. The Company Commander ordered the last Guard squad to First Rank Fire on the behemoth, but thankfully, I was spared the ignominy of it being damaged by lasguns. On the left flank, the Tempestor Prime ordered his squad to use Elimination Protocols on the Dominions’ Immolator. After all was said and done, both my  left Immolator and rightmost Rhino took a few wounds.

Finally, in the centre, my poor Battle Sisters were hit with assault cannons, heavy bolters, storm bolters and miscellaneous other weapons. 7 Sisters went down, almost half the squad, but thanks to Greyfax’s mind control…er, I mean, inspiring leadership…they suffered no further losses to morale.

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By the end of the turn, I hadn’t lost anything to enemy firepower (thankfully), but some of my units were beginning to take some serious damage. Next turn, I would have to deal with the Blood Angels’ firepower somehow…and at the same time deal with that scary golden death star that was coming my way.

SCORE: 5-1
Sisters of Battle: 5
Blood Angels: 1

TURN 2

At the start of my turn, faith points actually started to go off for a change. Celestine faith-jumped forwards, while the Retributors opened fire on the Tactical Marines who had all too recently killed the Seraphim, mowing down one. The Battle Sisters on foot, in turn, fired at the damaged Razorback, but failed to do any damage to it.

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In the movement phase, Celestine flew around to the flank of the big Sanguinary Guard unit, while the Knight stomped up onto the hill in front of the Tactical Marines and Contemptor. The plan was to get rid of both of these units with shooting so that the Knight and Celestine could tag-team his Sanguinary Guard– a risky proposition, but I had to deal with that death star somehow. To support them, my rightmost Dominions disembarked and moved up to deal with the Contemptor. Elsewhere, my rightmost Immolator wheeled up onto a hill to target another squad of Guardsmen, while in the centre, the depleted Battle Sisters moved back, while the leftmost Dominions moved up to target line of oncoming Razorbacks. Between the Dominions and Battle Sisters, I made sure that there were few areas that his Death Company could jump down on to to go after my Battle Sisters/characters. My Rhino carrying the Arco-Flagellants also edged up, the cargo inside ready to bail out and counter-attack once the inevitable Blood Angel onslaught came.

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Last but by no means least, my Callidus Assassin came out of hiding near one of his Devastator squads, as I figured I needed to neutralize if not tie up his shooting. In response, though, my opponent used the Auspex Scan stratagem to have his Devastators fire immediately at the Callidus; I was forced to watch in helpless surprise as my poor Assassin took a lascannon beam and several dozen bolter rounds to the face, killing her in mid-dramatic entrance. Okay, that was just rude.

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In the psychic phase, Greyfax against cast Mental Fortitude on the Sisters on foot. In the shooting phase, the multi-melta Immolator did 3 wounds to the leftmost Razorback, before the Dominions fired and finished it off. As the Tactical Marines bailed out, my centre Immolator then burned down one of them.

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The rest of my shooting in the centre was dismal, however, with my Battle Sisters, Exorcist and characters all managing to do only three wounds to the other Razorback.

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On the right flank, the other Immolator burninated 8 of the last squad of Guardsmen, while the Retributors mowed down the last 2 Tactical Marines. The Dominions then fired on the Contemptor…and only did a dismal 3 wounds to it. The Exorcist was forced to pick up the slack, firing a salvo of missile and blasting off its last wounds. The Exorcist must have hit something vital, though, as the Contemptor proceeded to explode, killing a Geminae and two Dominions, wounding a Sanguinary Guard, the Ancient and the Priest, and most of all, doing 3 wounds to the Knight, bringing it into its second tier of damage! In death, the Contemptor had done far more damage than in life.

Unfortunately for me, in its damaged state the Knight was now hitting on 4s. It unleashed all of its guns on the nearby Sanguinary Guard…and when the dust had cleared, had only killed 3 of them, despite the sheer volume of armour-piercing, multi-damage fire I had thrown their way. For whatever it was worth, Celestine then fired at the Sanguinary Guard and flamed a wound off of one of them.

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In the charge phase, the Knight thundered into the Sanguinary Guard, shrugging off their overwatch, while Celestine charged in as well, before the Sanguinor, Sanguinary Priest and Ancient all heroically intervened. In close combat, the Knight unleashed 12 attacks with his big stompy feet…and whiffed horribly, killing only one of them. Celestine, at least, showed him how it was done, killing three Sanguinary Guard while her Geminae wounded a fourth. In exchange, I was reminded then and there of the Blood Angels’ special rule, which, thanks in part to the Sanguinary Priest, saw them wounding the Knight on 4s (and on 2s with power fists). The Blood Angels tore 8 wounds off of my Knight, leaving it teetering on 4, while the Sanguinor hacked down the last Geminae and did 3 wounds to Celestine.

By the end of combat, my glorious charge had fizzled, and although I had severely reduced the Sanguinary Guard, now I was in very real danger of losing two of my most hard-hitting units. The last two Guardsmen, at least, went poof in the morale phase.

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(Incidentally, one thing I realize that I could have, and probably should have done this phase was to charge the left Dominions into the surviving Razorback or the Rhino. This would not only have given the squad inside less room to disembark, but, in the case of the Razorback, would have kept it from shooting for a turn. That’s hindsight for you).

In the Blood Angel turn, everything withdrew from combat against the Knight except for the Sanguinary Guard, who kept the behemoth locked. The Captain, however, powered up his thunder hammer and flew in to say hi.

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Meanwhile, the Assault Marines flew up to deal with my rightmost Immolator, and in the centre, all of the Blood Angel transports disgorged their contents, flooding the centre of my deployment zone with angry Tactical Marines (including his Luna Wolves squad).

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If that wasn’t enough, the Death Company and Lemartes flew up onto the building overlooking my centre, looking for a potential multi-charge on my strung out Battle Sisters and vehicles. Oh joy.

In the shooting phase, the Tempestor Prime once again ordered Elimination Protocols on the Scions, and combined with the nearby Tactical Squad to plink a few more wounds off of the melta Immolator. The Assault Marines combined their fire with a squad of Devastators to wreck my rightmost Immolator, sending the Battle Sisters inside bailing out. The other squad of Devastators murdered my hapless squad of Dominions on the right flank, while in the centre, massed assault cannons and bolters shredded my other Dominion squad. Plasma and melta fire further damaged my centre-most Immolator, though by some miracle, my central Battle Sister squad only took one casualty. Given the losses my army had just taken, though, that was a small comfort.

In the charge phase, the Captain charged the Knight, while the Sanguinor, thanks to his special rules, charged back into combat with Celestine. In the centre, the Death Company multi-charged my Battle Sisters and melta Immolator, losing one to a heavy flamer and another to multi-meltas along the way, while two Tactical Squads multi-charged the Battle Sisters and my Dialogous. In response, Greyfax heroically intervened against the Death Company, as did the Canoness, though the latter was only able to get into base contact with Lemartes.

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In close combat, the Captain swung out with his thunder hammer and inflicted 12 wounds, horrendously overkilling my poor Knight. Despite my hopes, the big guy did not explode, and thanks to the scenario rules, my opponent immediately gained 8 points for killing my Lord of War. Goodbye, big guy, I only knew you for two turns. (*Sniff*) The Sanguinor, meanwhile, wasted no time chopping poor Celestine down…though thankfully, the Living Saint then magically resurrected all the way on the other side of the battlefield, far out of cheesy Auspex range of the Devastators. (In retrospect, perhaps I should have brought her a bit closer to the big scrum in the centre).

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Finally, in the centre, carnage happened: the Death Company effortlessly smashed apart my Immolator and shredded the remnants of my Battle Sister squad, while the Luna Wolves did 3 wounds to the Sister Dialogous.

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I used a pair of command points to interrupt with the Canoness, eager to test out the Blade of Admonition. The Canoness did 3 wounds to Lemartes…and then my opponent proceeded to make all three of his invulnerable saves, before clubbing four wounds off of my Canoness in turn! Argh! The only highlight of this round was Greyfax, who fearlessly stood her ground and cut down two of the Death Company.

To make a bad turn even worse, at the end of the round, the Death Company consolidated into my other Immolator, leaving it unfortunately unable to shoot next turn. In retrospect, that had been my fault for leaving it so close, but still…argh.

SCORE:
Sisters of Battle- 9
Blood Angels- 15

TURN 3

At the start of my turn, things were looking grim. My Knight was down, I had suffered horrible losses, and while my Battle Sister trap had worked (sort of), I was still falling behind on points. Thankfully, I had plenty of faith points this turn. I had Celestine jump closer towards the centre, ready to join the big mass melee in the centre if need be, while one of her Geminae spontaneously resurrected. I debated healing up the Canoness, but, figuring that she wasn’t going to last long in that big melee anyway, instead had her swing out at the Death Company, hacking down three of the crazed lunatics. Finally, my Retributors fired at the Assault Marines, but only managed to fell one of the Blood Angels.

In the movement phase, I got to do what I was waiting for all game: [dramatic voice]release the Arco-Flagellants![/dramatic voice] The murder-cyborgs and their attendant Priest piled out of their Rhino and moved into charge range of the nicely compressed mass of Blood Angels. Elsewhere, the rightmost Battle Sisters, after losing their Immolator, edged back (hopefully) out of line of sight of the Blood Angels’ guns; the Dominions’ Rhino moved in in turn to shield them. Further near enemy lines, I did some pre-measuring and realized that unfortunately, Celestine wouldn’t make it into the central scrum without a really long charge, one that could potentially leave her exposed to fire from the Devastators. Instead, I flew her and her Geminae up to deal with the rightmost unit of Tactical Marines and their Scion buddies.

Finally, the Dialogous and Immolator withdrew from combat, content to let other people do the punching and the stabbing and whatnot.

In the psychic phase, Greyfax cast Smite and freemed down another three Death Company, leaving just one hammer-wielding psycho left. In the shooting phase, the Retributors again unloaded on the Assault Marines, and mowed down three of them. The two Rhinos then combined fire with their storm bolters, and to my pleasant surprise, blasted down three more! The rightmost Exorcist fired a salvo of missiles at the Sanguinary Guard, blasting apart two of them and leaving just one remaining. Last but not least, the leftmost Exorcist, lacking much else in the way of targets, blew away three Scions, while Celestine pointed with her sword and burninated the fourth.

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Then came the part I had been waiting for: the Arco-Flagellants charged into the Blood Angel Tactical Marines, while elsewhere, Celestine and her Geminae multi-charged both the leftmost Tactical Squad and the Tempestor Prime. In close combat, the Arco-Flagellants went to town, unleashing something like 52 rerollable strength 5 attacks, wiping out one Tactical Squad and reducing the Luna Wolves to just one very shocked Marine. The Canoness, meanwhile, swung again at Lemartes and this time managed to get a hit past his save, dealing 3 wounds to him and leaving him hanging on 1. Lemartes, however, took umbrage to this and proceeded to smash the Canoness down, ending that particular duel. Greyfax did no better, failing to repeat her earlier success and taking 3 wounds from a thunder hammer.

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On the other side of the field, Celestine elegantly hacked down 4 Tactical Marines, before her Geminae stabbed down the fifth. In return, the Tempestor Prime swung wildly with his command rod, but failed to do little more than mildly annoy the Living Saint.

At the end of the turn, the remaining Assault Marines evaporated from morale despite the And They Shall Know No Fear reroll. After consolidation, the last Blood Angels were nicely surrounded– save, that was, for Lemartes, who, now no longer engaged with anyone, was free to consolidate out of combat. I had, for the time being, taken the lead again in points, though retaining that lead would be tricky.

At the start of the Blood Angel turn, I had figured that Celestine was safely out of reach those nasty Blood Angel characters. My opponent proceeded to show me just how wrong I was, though, using the Upon Wings of Fire strategem to teleport his Captain across the board behind Celestine (prompting an “Okay, seriously, what?” from me). Lemartes, meanwhile, flew over the combat to confront Uriah Jacobus, and the last two Tactical Squads moved up towards the central combat. The last Razorback, meanwhile shuffled to get line of site to my disembarked Battle Sisters, and the remaining Blood Angel characters and the last Sanguinary Guard. no doubt wanting to conserve points, flew and hid behind the closest unit of Devastators.

In the shooting phase, the Devastators combined their fire to destroy my Dominions’ Rhino, exposing the Battle Sisters hiding behind it. Said Battle Sisters were then shot at by the Razorback, which did 5 wounds…and I proceeded to fail all 5 saves, wiping out the squad! ARGH! As a painful encore, Lemartes threw a grenade at Uriah and blasted 3 wounds off of him. Oh, well that was just rude.

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In the assault phase, Lemartes charged Uriah, prompting a heroic intervention by the power maul-armed Priest. The Tactical Marines charged the Arco-Flagellants, and the Captain charged Celestine (I think he might have used the Descent of Angels strategem to do so).

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In close combat, Lemartes and Uriah had a nice theological debate, one that ended with Lemartes bludgeoning Uriah into the ground. Vengeance was swift, however, as the angry lesser Priest bludgeoned down Lemartes in turn, putting an end to the crazy Chaplain’s rampage. In the big central combat, meanwhile, the two Tactical Squads combined to smash down one Arco-Flagellant and wound another. In exchange, the Arco-Flagellants went berserk, wiping out one of the new Tactical Squads and killing four from another, leaving one lonely Marine to face them. As an encore, the Priest accompanying the Arcos hacked down the last Luna Wolf with her eviscerator. It was all too late to save Greyfax, though, as she was pasted by the thunder hammer of the last Death Company Marine.

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Finally, in the big title fight, the Captain used the Red Rampage stratagem to gain 8 attacks(!!!!). I braced myself as the Captain inflicted a bucketload of hits and wounds on Celestine. The last Geminae was quickly obliterated, and the tension was palpable as I rolled my saves. Somehow, by some miracle, Celestine weathered the storm of thunder hammer blows, still clinging to one wound. In return, I was faced with a conundrum: whether to have Celestine kill the Tempestor Prime and go for an easy point, or whether to do the cinematic thing and swing back at the Captain. In the end, I decided that an epic clash between heroes like this couldn’t be ignored, and had Celestine direct all of her attacks back at the Captain…only for them to bounce off his storm shield. The Tempestor Prime, meanwhile, whiffed his attacks again.

For a moment, I thought that Celestine was going to survive another round…until my opponent announced he was using the Honour the Chapter stratagem to strike again. This time, there was no miracle of the dice to save me: the Captain swung again, pulverizing the Living Saint with a storm of thunder hammer blows, netting my opponent Slay the Warlord and leaving me cursing his stratagems yet again.

SCORE:
Sisters of Battle- 16
Blood Angels: 21
TURN 4

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At this point, it was getting late, and both my opponent and I agreed that this would be the last turn– which was just as well, since neither of us had much else left on the field. With an abundance of faith points, and no other targets in range, the Retributors fired at the Razorback and plinked one wound off of it. In the movement phase, the last Immolator moved up to threaten the Tempestor and Captain, though I had completely forgotten to disembark the Battle Sisters still inside. Everything else at this point was staying put, was locked in combat, or was dead.

In the shooting phase, the Retributors and rightmost Exorcist combined their fire and did 4 more wounds to the Razorback, but it was still left hanging on 3. The Immolator tried to burninate the Tempestor Prime so that the leftmost Exorcist could have a shot at the Captain…only to discover that I was well out of range. Once again, in typical me fashion, I had forgotten to advance and shoot with the Immolator. Out of sheer spite, the leftmost Exorcist fired at the Tempestor, obliterating him and his impressive moustache in a volley of missiles.

Close combat was a short and sweet affair, with the Arco-Flagellants massacring both the last Tactical Marine and the last Death Company dude before consolidating upwards, the two Priests taking shelter behind the wall of chem-induced murder cyborgs.

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In the Blood Angels turn, the Razorback angled back a little to get full line of sight on my Arco-Flagellants, while the Captain flew up to confront my squad of psychos in what promised to be the title fight of the game. Everything else in the Blood Angel army stayed put.

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In the shooting phase, the Razorback, Rhino and Devastators all opened fire on my Arco-Flagellants. Despite being two wounds each, the Arcos’ meagre toughness of 3 and 5+ save showed just how vulnerable they were to shooting, as little by little they were whittled down. By the end of the shooting phase, the Arco-Flagellants were wiped out entirely, earning the Blood Angels another kill point and removing the only unit left that could have feasibly stopped that Captain.

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In close combat, the Captain charged the eviscerator-armed Priest (again, he might have used Descent of Angels to do so), prompting the maul-armed Priest to heroically intervene. In the last, epic close combat of the game, the first Priest revved up her eviscerator…and was mercilessly swatted aside by the Captain. In response, her fellow Priestess lunged, dealing three wounds with her power maul…and, anticlimactically, the Captain saved all three. Darn.

And with that, the game was over…

END GAME:
Sisters of Battle: 19
Blood Angels: 24
RESULT: BLOOD ANGEL VICTORY!

Thoughts: HAH! Unbeknownst to my opponent, my true objective this whole time was to kill his squad of Luna Wolves! With that done, the true heretics have been destroyed, the timeline has been corrected and victory is mine! Right? No? Okay…

Holy crap, though, what a game! It had been ages since my last large-scale game, and I had quite forgotten how destructive they could be. The amount of firepower we were trading back and forth and the sparse amount of terrain meant that a lots of units on both sides were dying fairly regularly. Despite my loss, it was a thrilling game, and I am rather amazed to see that, despite my blundering, I had managed to make the score so close at the end.

So, quick thoughts and lessons on that game:

-I wasted my Seraphim early on. I had some vague idea of using them to tie up the enemy flank and harass the enemy backfield; in retrospect, maybe I was remembering how I used them in prior editions, when they could either turn their saves invulnerable or have Celestine tank damage for them, and were a bit more durable.

-In general, I went into this game without any sort of plan, and it didn’t help that I had more or less forgotten about the Blood Angels’ rules and stratagems going into this battle (or blissfully forgot them after my opponent gave me a quick explanation before the game). As such, I was completely at a loss on how to deal with things like, say, the Blood Angels wounding my Knight on 4s, or Slamguinius pulling off his teleporting trick, or Devastators countering my Callidus so easily.

-The big 15-girl unit of Battle Sisters isn’t really that effective an anvil unit, as despite its large size, it will take casualties far too quickly. Even with their 3+ saves, they are still only toughness 3, and will still suffer heavy losses to dedicated firepower. Unsurprisingly, there was little left of the unit by the time the Death Company came steamrolling in. Even so, my tactic of using them as an anvil/bait worked (sort of), as it ended up drawing a lot of his units into Marine-munching range of my Arco-Flagellants.

-My Callidus Assassin was wasted going after the Devastators; had I remembered the Auspex Scan stratagem, I would have instead had her show up in a remote part of the battlefield and instead use her Reign of Confusion ability to force my opponent to spend more command points; given how many CPs his Captain was going through in the later stages of the game, I think this would have been a much wiser and much more effective use for her.

-The Knight was fantastic…until it wasn’t. I think after that first turn where the Knight’s firepower obliterated two units at once, I got overconfident with him and charged him headlong into the Sanguinary Guard death star. To be fair, the exploding Contemptor knocking the Knight into a damaged state probably was the main reason why he failed as much as he did, and if he had still been in his top damage tier, I feel he would have done a lot more damage thanks to hitting on 3s. My opponent suggested that in this game, I probably would have been better hanging back with the Knight and using his firepower to the fullest, and using a Knight Crusader build (gatling and battle cannon) instead. I don’t disagree, the extra firepower would have been nice, so maybe I should start getting some of the Knight’s other weapon arms assembled and painted. Regardless, the Knight was another classic example of me playing far too recklessly in this game– against Blood Angels, a more cautious play style is needed, I think.

-The Arco-Flagellants, as always, were amazing, and their timely counter-attack nearly swung the game around for me. My opponent admitted that he had charged his Tactical Squads into them to protect his Razorback, but in my opinion, all he did was exchange one kill point for two, especially since my Arcos gain rerolls to hit again when they are charged. Easily, they were my MVPs in this battle.

-My opponent’s army build has inspired me to consider an allied Astra Militarum detachment for my own army. Although his Guardsmen died in droves, their very presence gave my opponent yet more Command Points that he used to excellent effect (especially in the later stages of the game, when his Captain started going Super Saiyan).

-At present, I really have few counters to enemy stratagems, save to hope that they fail or to hope that my units can survive them. Hopefully, when Chapter Approved 2018 comes out, the Adepta Sororitas will have some updated stratagems of their own to help them compete.

Also, some rules mistakes I made in the game:

-For some reason, I had thought that the Knight’s ion shield applied in close combat as well as shooting. Thankfully, it didn’t matter too much at the end, as it got pulverized in close combat anyway.

Despite the loss, it was an incredibly fun game, and my opponent was equally fun to play against. I look forward to the rematch…or hopefully fighting alongside the Blood Angels, rather than being shredded by them, in a proper multi-player Apocalypse game…

Roboute Guilliman could only shake his head in disbelief.

It had only been half an hour since he had personally intervened with a combined force of Ultramarines and Custodes, descending from near orbit to put a stop to this madness after his repeated voxes to both sides fell on deaf ears. His very presence had been enough to put an end to the fighting, however, the warring Imperial factions settng down their weapons at the sight of the Emperor’s Son descending in full glory from the ramp of his Thunderhawk. In that instant, all involved seemed to have realized the terrible folly they had committed. By that time, though, the damage had already been done: the battlefield was strewn with smoking wrecks and the bodies of Astartes, Sororitas and Guardsmen alike. In the distance he could see a stricken Knight, slumped over as though slumbering, its head and cockpit section smashed open like an egg. 

So much senseless death and destruction, wrought between loyal Imperial servants…and for what? This could not have simply been caused by the gene-induced madness of the Storm Angels or the unrestrained zeal of the Order of the Blessed Damsel. No, there was something else at work here.

As he stared at the devastation, he heard the approach of Felix, his trusted equerry. “The survivors have been separated, my lord,” the Primaris Captain said with a curt bow. “They are each petitioning for your clemency, asking for chances at forgiveness and redemption. As for the signal we detected on the ship…we have traced it back to the original sender.”

Slowly, Guilliman turned away from the quiet scene of destruction to face Felix, nodding for his equerry to continue.

“It was as you suspected, my lord,” Felix went on. “The transmission was a genuine Inquisitorial order, transmitted to both sides with full data-encryptions, each ordering one group to attack or support the other. It was sent from orbit, and luckily we apprehended the sender before he could escape. As per your instructions, we have brought him here for you to question personally.”

At this, Felix stood aside, and two more Primaris Ultramarines strode up in his wake. Between them they held a thin, squirming figure, clad in a fine greatcoat and wearing an amulet fashioned in a stylized letter I around his neck.

Guilliman’s face darkened as he took a step towards the captive, recognizing the man from among the hundreds of Throne agents attached to the Crusade. He let his shadow fall across the squirming man as he allowed the sheer enormity of his size to become apparent to this mortal captive. “Inquisitor Krane,” the Primarch intoned. “As I recall, you were assigned to provide orbital surveillance and intelligence for the cleansing of Desolation Row.” He gestured outwards to the scene of devastation behind him. “I can see you provided much more than that. Would you care to explain all of this?”

Krane quivered. He was an Inquisitor, which by definition meant that he had a discipline and a willpower greater than that of most regular men,  but all of this melted in the face of the angry war-god that stood before him. “M-my lord, my actions were just!” Krane stammered. “The Storm Angels are heretics and madmen! They needed to be destroyed before they could endanger the crusade! I have proof!”

“If you had proof, then you would have brought it to me directly,” Guilliman growled, the very words shutting Krane up. “But instead, you ordered both the Storm Angels and the Sisters to attack one another. This is a slaughter of your own making, Krane, and it was done deliberately.” His right hand curled into a fist, lightning hissing around the Hand of Dominion. “One way or another, Krane, you will tell me the truth. Who are you working for? Who are your real masters…Inquisitor?”

For a few seconds, Krane seemed dumbfounded, his mouth gaping uselessly as he tried to answer the Lord Commander of the Imperium. Then, abruptly, his expression changed, his panic sliding into an icy calm and his wavering mouth stiffening into a satisfied half-smile. Whatever persona he had been adopting before had dropped like a mask sliding off.

“Your brother says hello, Roboute,” Krane said. “He has missed you. He wants to continue what the two of you began at Espandor.”

Guilliman stiffened in recognition of the name of that world. If his expression had been one of dark fury before, now it cooled into guarded, expressionless ice.  “My brother is dead,” he said slowly. “I killed him myself.”

At this, Krane’s smile seemed to widen a little. “Hydra Dominatus,” he said.

And with that, he suddenly shook violently and then slumped over in the grip of his Primaris guards. Guilliman’s enhanced ears heard Krane’s heart stifle and stop as whatever meme-induced kill command he had triggered took effect, snuffing his life out instantly.

Exhaling slowly, Roboute motioned for the Primaris to take the body away. Slowly, he turned back to the battlefield, only now seeing it for what it truly was. This had not been an accident, or a miscommunication, or even a battle in any sense of the word. No, this had been a message.

This was just the beginning…

Batrep #3: Raid on the Black Mountain

(Original art by Games Workshop, colourist unknown)

 

Zhirae, Succubus of the Cult of Spite, exalted in the feeling of the wind whipping through her red braids as her Raider screamed across the flatlands, followed closely by flocks of Venoms, Reavers and Ravagers and other skycraft. Her raiding host was in motion, a fleet of flinty grey dagger-shapes speeding above the surface of this world like loosed arrows homing in on the soft flesh of a target. The world itself was a flat, ugly black rock, with a landscape of dry canyons, plains of barren earth and rising outcroppings of sandstone and basalt. There seemed to be nothing alive here– nothing that she could hunt, nothing that she could kill. It was oddly peaceful and tranquil– which made Zhirae hate it all the more.

Normally, she would never have even bothered leading a raid here, out into the middle of nowhere, but her patron, Lord Scyrex of the Revenant Shroud, had personally sent her on this mission. And in the distance, she could see their target approaching, closer and closer– a steep, slope-sided mountain, seemingly formed from black marble, its sides smooth and unblemished. At a cursory glance, the black mountain might have seemed to be a wondrous, if wholly natural, phenomenon. Zhirae knew better.

Soon, there would be battle. Her fingers closed against the handles of her blades in anticipation  of the slaughter to come. She could feel the palpable excitement of her Wych sisters alongside her in the Raider…but one other passenger was less than enthusiastic.

“Try not to cause too much collateral damage in your enthusiasm, Zhirae,” her sister by blood, Zhael, said with her usual icy aloofness as she absent-mindedly checked her nails. “Lord Scyrex will be disappointed if you accidentally break what he asked us to retrieve.”

Zhirae’s perfect lips twisted in an annoyed frown as she turned to her sister. “If you’re afraid of things getting rough, then why are you sharing a berth on my Raider, with my Cult?” she retorted. “Go on one of the other transports and sip wine with your Kabalite friends if you’d rather not get dirt all over that fancy dress of yours.” At this, her Wyches cackled in approval at their leader’s remark.

As usual, Zhael didn’t rise to the bait. She was, as ever, ice to Zhirae’s fire. “Lord Scyrex may have given you command of this raid,” she said, barely keeping her disapproval of this fact hidden, “but he appointed me to keep you in line, and to remind you of your objectives.” The ghost of a smirk could be seen on her alabaster face. “Of course, if it were down to me, I’d leave you to your own devices and watch  you explain your failure to him in person.”

For what felt like the millionth time, Zhirae suppressed the urge to stab her sister– not that the two hadn’t crossed blades hundreds of times before. Unlike Zhirae, Zhael had never joined the Wych Cult, choosing instead a path of subtlety and political machinations over  that of the blade. At this time, she was a high ranking Archon in the Kabal of the Revenant Shroud, and didn’t hide the fact that she was aiming for the position of Hierarch, the second-hand woman to Lord Scyrex himself– a title that Zhirae herself coveted.

A prominent Archon and the leader of an allied Wych Cult, both on the same Raider, both on the same realspace raid, both vying for power. Even an idiot could see that Lord Scyrex was testing them to see which of them would be worthy of being his right hand. Perhaps he even expected only one of them to return.

“You know I’m going to kill you one day, sister,” Zhirae muttered.

Zhael’s smirk widened. “You keep saying that, dear sister,” she said, “but you never succeed.”

Zhirae smirked back at her. “And neither do you.”

Whatever retort Zhael was going to issue was lost, as at that moment, the horizon was lit up with green radiance.

Shouts and cries of alarm went up as the raiding craft all took evasive maneuvers. Running to the prow of her Raider, Zhirae brought bone-carved telescope to her eye and stared down its length. She was greeted by a sight that sent involuntary chills down her spine. Skeletal, metallic figures were suddenly appearing before the mountain, winking into existence in flashes of sickly green light. As she watched, dozens of the figures were soon standing in rank after rank in front of the mountain, wielding rifles that crackled with viridian power. Around them buzzed dark, insectoid shapes, the occasional glint of nature betraying their artificial nature.

But that was nothing compared to the thing that appeared at the heart of this force. Hovering in the middle of the metallic warriors was a swirling mass of darkness, a writhing pulsar of shadow that seemed to suck in the sparse light of the grey world. As the raiding host drew closer, Zhirae could see other details in that mass of shadow– an umbral robe that writhed as though alive, a towering, emaciated body like that of a victim of famine, and a great scythe, the sight of which sent ripple of unspeakable terror through her soul.

Lord Scyrex had warned them that they would face resistance, but this…this was Death itself.

Zhael strode up next to her on the prow of the Raider. “Having second thoughts, sister?” she purred with a smile.

Zhirae flashed an angry look at her sister. “Hardly,” she snarled, before turning drawing her glaive. “All craft, attack! Let’s show these soulless things the true meaning of death!”

 

I while back, I broke my Dark Eldar (or Drukhari, or however you want to call them now) out of stasis and took them down to my LGS. I had arranged to meet another new-ish player for a game, and had agreed to a 1500 point battle between my Drukhari and his Necrons. We figured that this would be a decent matchup, given that we were both fielding Index armies and were both still learning the wonders and intricacies of 8th edition.

The scenario was No Mercy, Dawn of War deployment, and I had brought the following:

 

DRUKHARI BATTALION DETACHMENT:

Succubus- Parasite’s Kiss, Archite glaive, Blade Dancer

Archon- blast pistol, agonizer, phantasm grenade launcher

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster

-Venom- dual splinter cannons

8 Wyches- hydra gauntlet, Hekatrix w. agonizer

-Raider- dark lance

10 Mandrakes

6 Reaver Jetbikes- 2 grav talons

Ravager- 3 dark lances

Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 disintegrators

 

This list is fairly similar to what I ran back in 6th and 7th edition, with two new additions in the form of the Mandrakes and the Reavers, both of which I wanted to test out. Please note that I am in the process of painting over a lot of new minis for this army, so I apologize in advance for some of the unpainted or partly-painted models you’ll see in this game.

 

My opponent, meanwhile, brought:

 

NECRON BATTALION DETACHMENT:

Overlord- Staff of Light, resurrection orb, Enduring Will

Lord- Staff of Light

Cryptek

20 Necron Warriors

20 Necron Warriors

10 Immortals- gauss blasters

Shard of the Nightbringer- Antimatter Meteor

6 Canoptek Scarabs Swarms

6 Canoptek Scarabs Swarms

3 Canoptek Wraiths

 

DEPLOYMENT:

I set up my army with my Wyches, Succubus and Archon deploying together in a Raider on the right flank, along with the Reavers. My aim at the time was to use the two units as a hard flanking punch. In the centre I put two Venoms and the Ravager so that I could get some shooting done as soon as possible.

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Meanwhile, on the left flank, I placed another Venom and the Razorwing. (Note, all of the infantry models you see there are either in reserve or mounted on vehicles) The Mandrakes, meanwhile, went into reserve, waiting quietly in their shadow-dimension.

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The Necrons, meanwhile, deployed with their Warriors and forming a semicircle around their Overlord and Cryptek. The Immortals and Lord went on the left flank, the Wraiths on the right, and the Scarabs occupied a flank each.

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Going into this battle, my plan was to isolate and destroy his units one by one with overwhelming firepower and assault. I figured that the only way to counteract his Resurrection Protocols was to wipe his units out before they had a chance to resurrect.

I won the roll off…and for some reason chose to go second. I think at the time I wanted him to get closer before I sprang my assault units on him.

 

TURN 1

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The Necrons began their turn with everything advancing. The Wraiths zoomed up ahead of the Necron phalanx, while the Scarab Swarms skirted up the flanks. The only unit that did not advance was the leftmost blob of Warriors, which levelled their gauss rifles and zapped a wound off of one of my Venoms at extreme range.

In response, I was left with a conundrum. My original plan had been to zoom aggressively down the right flank with my Wyches and Reavers, but now he had his Warriors on that flank nicely screened by Scarabs. At best, I would wipe the Scarabs out only for the Warriors to shoot me up in the following turn, at worst the Scarabs would survive and retreat, and my Wyches would be shot up anyway.

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Instead I moved my Wych Raider and Reavers up towards the centre, biding my time and keeping them there for when the Necrons inevitably crept closer. The rest of my forces angled around a little as I brought every gun I could to bear on the Wraiths– I needed to destroy those things quickly, or they would tear apart whatever they charged.

In the shooting phase, almost my entire army unloaded into the Wraiths– save for my Razorwing, that was, which split its fire between the Wraiths and the leftmost Scarabs. A storm of splinter and darklight fire lashed out at the insubstantial killers, but when it cleared, one Wraith was still standing (floating?) on two wounds. My Razorwing’s missiles had also managed to kill two Scarab bases and put a wound on another, but I had really been hoping to kill off those Wraiths early on– even a single, wounded Wraith could cause me problems if left alone.

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SCORE:

Drukhari- 0

Necrons- 0

 

TURN 2

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Once again, the Necrons marched onwards, with the Scarabs advancing up to hopefully threaten my skimmers next turn and the lone Wraith diving headlong towards my massed vehicles. The Necron infantry, in turn, edged up, many now getting into long range of my nimble skimmers. Ahead of them, the Shard of the Nightbringer floated, gazing ominously at the assembled Drukhari.

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A nearby Primaris Marine spectates, often quipping about the superiority of Mankind and how cheesy the Necrons are.

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In the shooting phase, the central block of Warriors, hitting on 2’s thanks to their nearby Overlord, unloaded on my wounded Venom and stripped it of all 5 remaining wounds, wrecking it for First Blood! One Kabalite was wounded in the destruction, but thankfully, he passed his 6+ save from Power from Pain. The rightmost Warriors, thankfully, were out of range, but the Nightbringer unleashed an Antimatter Meteor at another Venom, blasting a wound off of it. It also unleashed its Gaze of Death at it, but scored no damage. Finally, the Immortals fired their gauss blasters up at my Razorwing, blasting 2 wounds off of it despite the -1 to hit modifier.

In the charge phase, the last Wraith lunged at the recently disembarked Warriors, who stood and shot in overwatch. By some miracle, the blaster hit and wounded…and then the Wraith failed its invulnerable save, even with a command point reroll! I proceeded to roll a 2 on the blaster’s damage, and the Wraith was vaporized as it tried to charge in. Needless to say, both my opponent and I were quite stunned by this.

In my turn, I realized that I had to go on the offensive now, especially since the Necrons would be getting into rapid fire range soon. With this in mind, I summoned the Mandrakes over from Aelindrach, and, after much deliberation, brought them in near the Immortals.

No, that’s not an empty base. That particular Mandrake is just really well camouflaged.

The Razorwing also flew over towards the Immortals that had so rudely shot at it at turn before, while the Wyches and characters disembarked and headed towards the Nightbringer. I really wanted to charge the Warriors behind the C’tan, but with it blocking the way, I knew the best I could do would be a multi-charge. I was hoping that my agonizers, sheer number of attacks and invulnerable saves would be enough to deal with the Nightbringer.

To the right of the Wyches, the Reavers flew up to go after the Warriors as well, while the Raider flew up to charge in and absorb overwatch. Finally, my Kabalites, Venoms, and Ravager all circled to bring their firepower to bear on those pesky Scarabs.

In the shooting phase, the Mandrakes began the festivities by unleashing 20 baleblast shots into the Immortals…and proceeded to roll an inordinate amount of 6s to wound, killing 5 of the Immortals with mortal wounds!

Not one to be outdone, the Razorwing unloaded all of its weapons on the Immortals as well. After a blistering squall of firepower, the remaining Immortals were annihilated, leaving the Necron Lord standing on his own.

In the rest of the shooting phase, my Venoms, the Warriors on board, the Ravager and even the Reavers all fired into the Scarabs. Just as in my last shooting phase, my Venoms rolled poorly, while the Warriors on board were unerringly accurate. Still, after all was said and done, both units of Scarabs were wiped out. As an encore, the Wyches fired their pistols at the Nightbringer and managed to plink a wound off of it as well.

In the charge phase, the Raider went into the Necron Warriors to soak up overwatch…and proceeded to take 7 unsaved wounds from massed gauss fire! The Reavers went into the Warriors as well, while the Wyches and both of my characters multicharged both the Nightbringer and the Warriors. Finally, the Mandrakes made their long charge into the lone Necron Lord.

In the fight phase, the Mandrakes unleashed 30 attacks and managed to hack 3 wounds off of the Necron Lord, who whiffed his return attacks thanks to the Mandrakes’ -1 to hit rule.

In the big central fight, the Succubus focused all of her attacks on the Nightbringer, scoring 7 hits on it thanks to her Blade Dancer trait but only doing one wound. In retrospect, I should have sent her against the Warriors rather than attacking a tough target like the Nightbringer. In exchange, my opponent used two command points to interrupt with the Nightbringer, who focused its attacks on my Succubus, did something like 12 wounds to her and killed her outright. This hurt, because not only had I just lost my warlord, but also the Succubus’ reroll 1s aura for the Wyches and Reavers.
In the rest of the fight, the Archon and Hekatrix did a wound each to the Nightbringer with their agonizers, while the rest of the Wyches and the Reavers combined to kill an impressive 10 Necrons. The Warriors swung back though, and clubbed down two Wyches. The Necrons had sustained massive losses, but my opponent then spent two more command points to have them auto-pass morale, keeping them from evaporating in the morale phase. That hurt, as I had been hoping to wipe out that squad in one fell swoop, and now I would have to deal with their Resurrection Protocols next round.

SCORE:
Drukhari: 4
Necrons: 4

TURN 3

At the start of the Necron turn, the Necron Lord regained a wound, and five Necron Warriors rose again…before the Overlord used his resurrection orb, raising back another three. In an instant, almost all of the damage I had done to that squad was gone. At least he didn’t also have the Veil of Darkness to teleport them out of combat– THAT would have been annoying.
With only one unit unengaged aside from his characters, the Necron player edged his rightmost Warriors into rapid fire range of the Razorwing. They proceeded to then freem 5 wounds off the plane, leaving it teetering on 3 and its last level of damage. Then, in close combat, the Nightbringer scythed down two Wyches, while the Wyches did a wound to the Nightbringer and killed a Warrior. In reply, the Warriors, hitting on 2s thanks to the nearby Overlord, clobbered down all four remaining Wyches and did two wounds to the Raider, leaving it hanging on one. The Archon, in turn, whiffed, while the Reavers sliced down another three Warriors.

Elsewhere, the Necron Lord again swung and missed at the Mandrakes, before being torn limb from limb. Victorious, the Mandrakes consolidated towards the unengaged Warriors.

In my turn, the Razorwing used it’s full move to flee back to my deployment zone, while the Raider limped out of combat. The Mandrakes moved towards the unengaged Warriors, and everything else angled to get line of sight on said Warriors.

In the shooting phase, almost everything in my army shot at the unengaged Warriors, with the Mandrakes doing the lion’s share of the damage once again with their superbly effective baleblasts. When the dust cleared, a massive fifteen Warriors had been brought down, leaving five. Meanwhile, the Archon fired her blast pistol at the Nightbringer, but failed to hurt the C’tan.

In the charge phase, the Mandrakes charged the surviving Warriors, shrugging off overwatch and, now hitting on 2s thanks to Power from Pain, wiping the Necrons out in a hurricane of rusty blades, before consolidating into the nearby Overlord and Cryptek. In turn, the Overlord and Cryptek swung back at their shadowy foes, the Overlord managing to cut down one of them.

Meanwhile, the Nightbringer turned its attention to the Reavers, cutting down one of the nimble Jetbikes, though the Warriors did no damage. For their part the Reavers sliced apart another four Warriors, while the Archon tried and failed to hurt the Nightrbringer.

SCORE:
Drukhari- 5
Necrons- 5

TURN 4
At the start of the Necron turn, six Warriors once again stood up. The Nightbringer, meanwhile, unexpectedly flew out of combat to go after the retreating Razorwing, ditching my poor Archon on the dance floor. My opponent later told me he had done so because he didn’t want the Nightbringer stuck fighting the Archon all game.

In the shooting phase, the Nightbringer unleashed an Antimatter Meteor at said Razorwing, doing three wounds and instantly causing it to crash and burn, killing one of the disembarked Kabalites in the explosion! As an encore it tried to freem a nearby Venom with its Gaze of Death, but failed to wound.

In close combat, the Reavers scythed down another five Necron Warriors, though the Necrons scored a wound on the Reavers in return and took no further damage from morale. Meanwhile, the Mandrakes scored a wound each on the Overlord and Cryptek, though the Overlord swatted down another of the shadow-things in reply.

In my turn, I had a big, Grim Reaper-shaped problem in my deployment zone, and one that I needed to deal with immediately. To this end, I had all of my vehicles circle the Nightbringer in an effort to finally bring it down.

With everything else in combat, I went straight to the shooting phase and fired everything I had at the Nightbringer, unleashing lances and splinters into it from every angle. My opponent made an absurd number of invulnerable saves, but in the end, one last splinter shot from one of the Venom-mounted Kabalites took the C’tan’s last wound, sending the Nightbringer shrieking back into the abyss from whence it came.

In the charge phase, the Archon, who had been separated from the main fight by placement and consolidation weirdness, charged back into the fray against the Necron Warriors and proceeded to hack down two deathbots, while the Reavers sliced down another four. It was at this point that I looked back at the Index and discovered that, contrary to my initial belief, the shadow field COULD NOT be rerolled by a Command Point– a supposed fact that had kept my opponent from allocating any attacks to her all game. The last few Warriors directed their attacks at the Archon, did a handful of wounds…and sure enough, a 1 came up, causing the shadow field to short out. My Archon was now wounded and bereft of her fancy force field…and to make matters worse, the Necrons passed their morale test! Uh oh…

Elsewhere, the combat between the Mandrakes and the Necron characters dragged on, with the shadow-things hacking two wounds off of the Cryptek. In reply, though, the Overlord hacked down another two Mandrakes, and the fight dragged on…

SCORE:

Drukhari- 6

Necrons- 6

 

TURN 5

At the start of my turn…yes, you guessed it, Reanimation Protocols kicked in, and 9 Necron Warriors clambered back to unlife. Oh joy. And, as usual, both Necron characters healed a wound each.

With nothing able to shoot, we went straight to close combat. The Necrons managed to hack down the wounded Reaver, before wailing on my defenceless Archon. I fully expected to lose her then and there…but to my surprise, she managed to cling to life on one wound remaining! In exchange, though, the Archon only managed to kill one Warrior, while the Reavers only slice down two more. This time, though, in part thanks to the -1 LD inflicted on them by the Power from Pain table, the Necrons actually failed morale, and one Necron settled into the peaceful abyss of perma-death.

Meanwhile, the Mandrakes again only did one wound to the Cryptek and bounced off of the Overlord, who killed another of them in return. And so the endless combat dragged on…

In my turn, I finally realized that (1) I needed to get Linebreaker, and (2) my Mandrakes were fighting a losing battle. I had my Mandrakes fall back out of combat, while my vehicles all zoomed up, with one Venom advancing into the enemy deployment zone as they all circled the two Necron characters. I was tempted to have the Reavers fall back as well, but I figured that they were better off slicing Necron Warriors into chunks.

In the shooting phase, the Archon fired her blaster pistol and failed to wound with it. Meanwhile, everything else that could opened fire on the Overlord and Cryptek. The Cryptek was the first to die, shredded from one poisoned hit too many. The Overlord, on the other hand, kept making save after save, but eventually, one last blaster shot vaporized him, killing him off and earning me Slay the Warlord.

No sooner had the Overlord been vaporized, though, when we went to close combat. The Archon managed to kill one more Warrior before being unceremoniously hacked to ribbons by the Warriors. The Reavers, in turn, managed to kill another two or three Warriors, but again, the Necrons held their ground.

At this point, we had to roll for random game length. The dice roll came up as a 1, and the game ended.

 

FINAL SCORE:

Drukhari- 10

Necrons- 8

DRUKHARI VICTORY!

Thoughts: That was a fun, close battle, with the score being tied all the way until the end. Despite the score being so close, though, I actually felt like I was fairly in control all throughout the game. Thanks to my army’s superior mobility, I was able to strike when and where I wanted, dictating the flow of the battle and forcing my opponent to react to me. The fact that I was able to destroy his most mobile units early on helped a great deal as well, as it meant I was pretty much able to run rings around his army at leisure. My strategy of isolating and destroying his units worked well…sort of. While I was able to effectively wipe out several of his units with combined shooting and assault, his big block of Warriors proved almost unkillable thanks to the buffs of the nearby Overlord and Cryptek, absolutely refusing to die and killing off my Wyches and Archon in that big never-ending melee. While the Necrons weren’t able to outmatch me in the shooting department, the sheer resilience of their units made this a fairly close game.

After my first outing with the Drukhari (before their new codex release, that is), I’m happy to see that they are still as lightning fast as they were in previous editions, but there are a lot of changes that I will have to get used to. The change of splinter cannons to rapid-fire weapons meant that I was forced to become much more aggressive with Venoms, and the fact that the Razorwing could actually be hit more easily by enemy fire (albeit with negative modifiers) meant that I was forced to be more cautious with the fragile plane when it started to take damage. On the other hand, I love how reliable combat drugs have become, how much more resilient Reavers are (even if Wyches, sadly, still die with ease), and just how amazing Mandrakes have become– my one unit of Mandrakes almost single-handedly steamrolled the back half of the Necron army. And if nothing else, I’m happy to see that Drukhari are still as effective at mobile firepower as they have always been– my vehicles and vehicle mounted squads, as before, were able to inflict a lot of damage with their massed firepower.

Overall, this was a satisfying first game of 8th ed with my Drukhari. I have no idea how many games with them I’ll be able to get in with the new codex, however, so it may be the next game with them may be with a completely new set of rules.

Drukhari MVP: The Mandrakes were on fire in this game, annihilating the Necron Lord, half a unit of Immortals, and a unit of Warriors, and they also came quite close to killing off the Cryptek as well. Honourable nods also go to the Warriors and Venoms, for just generally providing me a reliable and effective firebase all game.

Necron MVP: The big unit of Warriors gets my vote, as they took pretty much everything I could throw at them and still came out of the battle above half strength, having killed off the Wyches and my Archon in the bargain. My opponent, however, felt that the Warriors were awesome only because of the Cryptek boosting him, and so personally gave his MVP to the Cryptek.

 

Zhael felt one eyelid stutter open as weak sensation filled her frame. She could taste blood in the back of her mouth, and her body was wracked with sharp, biting pain, raw with the memory of Necron blades splitting her flesh. It took a few seconds for her to realize that she had been momentarily dead, before the parasites injected into her by the Haemonculi did their grisly work, regenerating her wounds and bringing her back to life. The pain would linger until her body, now whole and unblemished once more, grew used to its latest resurrection, But then, she and pain were old friends, and it had few surprises remaining for her.

“Ah, you’re awake,” a sibilant voice spoke. “I was wondering when the regenerative cultures would do their work.”

Not suppressing her annoyance, Zhael slowly sat upright, opening her eyes fully to the sight of Vakkan, one of the Kabal’s allied Haemonculi, hovering over her, elevated by the prehensile spinal column jutting, serpent-like, from his back. No doubt, he had arrived on the scene from the webway after the fighting was done, as usual.

She also realized that he was holding something tightly in his three arms: a smooth orb, its glossy black surface shimmering with faint traceries of green light. It was the orb that had been carried by the Necrontyr Lord: the same orb, she realized, that they had been sent to retrieve in the first place.

She did nothing to hide her annoyance as she stood back up, seeing now that her dress was torn and stained with blood and soot from her most recent “death”. This just would not do, she thought bitterly as she took a look around her surroundings. Her raiding party was busy recovering the damage, dragging away the bodies of their comrades, and, where possible, looting what they could. But of the Necrontyr, there was no sign– no bodies, no wreckage. Nothing but the grave-like stillness of the air as the the day slowly turned to night.

“The raiding host suffered minor personnel and material losses,” Vakkan stated matter of factly, pre-empting her question as always, before holding up the orb. “But thanks to your efforts, we have Lord Scyrex’s prize. We should be able to make our transition through the Webway without further incident.”

“Then let us be on our way,” Zhael replied, adopting her aloof demeanour againdespite her battered state. “If you haven’t resurrected my sister yet, do so. This world no longer retains my interest.”

Vakkan said nothing. The pale skin around his shrivelled skull tightened involuntarily in what could pass for a frown.

“What?” Zhael asked.

The Haemonculous’ body dipped low, giving an obeisant bow. “About your sister…there were…complications.”

Zhael felt her blood run cold. “What do you mean complications?”

Bowing again, the Haemonculous turned and gestured across the field. Numbly, Zhael followed his gaze to the middle of the battle site, where the bodies of the Wyches were being dragged off for resurrection, in some cases after being shamelessly looted. All of the bodies, that was, save for one. There, Zhirae lay spread eagled on the ground, her usually pale skin now a bloodless shade of white and a massive gouge opened in her chest. The Succubus’ weapons lay scattered beside her, and her eyes were open, staring up sightlessly at the sky as though silently asking it for some answer.

Slowly, Zhael walked over to her sister’s body, her movement somewhat staggered as sensation returned to her limbs. “Why have you not brought her back?” she asked Vakkan.

Floating up next to her, Vakkan tented his syringe-clawed fingers together with a metallic clack. “I have tried, Mistress,” he replied. “But unfortunately…there is nothing for me to resurrect. Her soul is gone.”

Zhael felt her pulse drop. She turned to face Vakkan. “What do you mean gone?”

“I mean, the soul-prism she carried with her is empty,” Vakkan replied. “She was slain by a shard of…Kaelis Ra, yes? The Nightbringer. A creature that is the embodiment of death itself. When it killed her, I fear it took her soul in the process, and quite possibly, obliterated it.”

For a moment, Zhael was silent. Then, slowly, she took a step towards Vakkan, her movements stiff and deliberate. “Impossible. Bring her back,” she ordered. “Now.”

Vakkan shook his head. “There is nothing to bring back, Mistress, she is gone,” he replied. His mouth soon twisted into a horrible, rictus grin. “Which means that the credit of this victory will be yours, and yours alone. No doubt Lord Scyrex will recognize you well for this success. Congratulations, Hierar–“

There was a flash of silver, and Vakkan’s head flew from his shoulders. The Haemonculous’ body remained suspended upright for a few seconds, as though surprised by its sudden decapitation, before flopping lifelessly to the ground.

Dropping her blade, Zhael knelt over her sister’s body, and screamed up at the uncaring sky.

Batrep #2: The Reaper Cometh

(Art by Sharpwriter at Deviantart)

 

The shelling had finally ceased. Clambering back onto the roof of the ruined administratum building that served as her command post, Canoness Lucia Trevalyne surveyed the damage: the hive sector, already a battered skeleton after weeks of fighting, had been reduced further by the bombardment, its ruins bleached white with fungal rot and its streets scoured to the granite by viral-bomb impacts. Nothing remained alive in this sector– nothing, that was, except she and her Sisters.

Her gas mask hissed as it filtered out the numerous contaminants that now shrouded the city sector in a bilious green fog. At her command, her forces wheeled into position: even as heavy weapon teams set up in elevated positions around her, below, in the city streets, tanks rumbled forwards– Rhinos, Immolators, Repressors and Exorcists, all in the same noble blue and white colours of the Order of the Blessed Damsel. She had wisely kept her forces back, out of range of the Death Guard’s mortars, and now her Sisters stood more than ready to repel the heretic assault.

Taking up a pair of magnoculars, Lucia watched the distant hive outskirts for any sign of the Death Guard approach. So thick was the toxic smog from that last bombardment that a fine, sickly mist surrounded them for miles on end. She had been hearing scattered, fragmented reports from Imperial Guard units in the neighbouring sectors– most of them hasty, panicked reports of positions being overrun by heretic infantry and armour, and of the enemy using massed chemical and biological weapons. A lot of the reports, however, had been…unusual, to say the least. Reports of vast clouds of flies blotting out the sun, of the dead rising to walk again…and of a vast, terrible angel of pestilence swooping down and visiting death and ruin to all in its path.

The thoughts made her unconsciously clutch her rosarius and mouth the Incantation of Purity. Let the heretics come and bring with them all the monsters of the Cicatrix, she thought to herself. They were the Sisters of Battle, the warriors of the Ecclesiarchy, and there was no foe that could stand against faith.

No sooner had she made this thought, however, when the first of those abominations arrived.

Lucia almost jumped when a silhouette became visible in the green fog, before it came staggering out into view. It wore the tattered coveralls of a lower hive factorum-worker, and was lurching with a painful gait. At first, Lucia thought the newcomer must be another refugee fleeing from the heretic vanguard…until she noticed that the figure was missing an arm. A bony stump jutted out from its torn shoulder, and bone protruded at odd angles from its knee and shin where its leg had been crushed. But it wasn’t just the figure’s disfigurements that Lucia noticed: bony spines stabbed outwards from its shoulders, in blatant mockery of the purity of the human form. Colonies of boils and tumours massed along its greying flash. But perhaps worst of all, its mouth was practically split from ear to ear in a hideous, rictus grin. The freakish thing seemed to be smiling at them as it dragged itself across the open ground of the ruined intersection towards the Sororitas lines.

Behind it, another silhouette formed in the fog, followed by another. And another. And another. Almost in an instant, a horde of the shuffling, grinning mutants shambled out into the open, more and more arriving with each passing second. They walked with a slow, lethargic gait, and moved silently saved for the dry shuffling of dozens of feet.

“To arms!” she shouted into the vox. “Armoured units, move into attack positions! All support units, fire at will!”

No sooner had she given this order when her position was hit by what felt like a powerful gust of wind. An overwhelming smell of rot, leprous decay, and foul chemical toxicity wafted over her and her Retributors, and despite her respirator, Lucia could feel it flooding her nostrils and mouth and invading her lungs. She doubled over, almost wanting to tear her mask off as she coughed and gagged. One of her Sisters shook her by the shoulder, and she looked up over the wall of the roof to see where her Sister was pointing.

In the distance, another silhouette was forming– a monstrously tall shape, almost as big as the building they stood upon, with vast, tattered wings spreading outward like some immense insect about to take flight…

This game was played a few months ago at one of my LGS. It was my third or fourth game of 8th ed, and the details are hazy at this point in time, so unfortunately this report is going to be extremely light on details. From what I do remember, it was a 2000 point game, between my Sisters of Battle and Death Guard.

My list was as follows:

ADEPTUS MINISTORUM BATTALION DETACHMENT

Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae, Legendary Fighter
Canoness- bolt pistol, eviscerator
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer
-Immolator- Immolation flamer
9 Arco Flagellants
-Rhino
Ministorum Priest- eviscerator
Imagifer
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Repressor- 2 heavy flamers
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns
-Repressor- 2 heavy flamers
6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters
Exorcist
Exorcist

Note that while this game was played just after Chapter Approved, my opponent hadn’t gotten it yet, and so I agreed not to use any of the stuff from it. Also I was trying to keep things WYSWIG as much as possible, but even so, I was proxying a lot of my storm bolters and both of my Repressors. Also, Uriah Jacobus was standing in for an Imagifier, since I forgotten to bring her with me.

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My opponent’s list:

DEATH GUARD BATTALION DETACHMENT:

Typhus- Gift of Contagion, Miasma of Pestilence
Malignant Plaguecaster- The Suppurating Plate, Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality
5 Plague Marines- blight launcher
20 Poxwalkers
20 Poxwalkers
Helbrute- twin lascannon, missile launcher
Noxious Blightbringer
Foetid Bloat-Drone- 2 plaguespitters, plague probe
Foetid Bloat-Drone- 2 plaguespitters, plague probe
Chaos Land Raider- combi-flamer

SUPER-HEAVY AUXILIARY DETACHMENT
Mortarion- Blades of Putrefaction, Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality

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An overview of the battle. We were playing Cleanse and Capture, diagonal deployment, and it was only my 3rd game of the current edition to date against an army I was unfamiliar with, led by a Daemon Primarch. No pressure.

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The Big Guy, plus bloaty friend.

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Things were a bit crammed in my deployment zone.

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Canoness, Retributors and Imagifier hole up in a ruined administratum building, ready to rain death on the heretics below. Imagifier played by Uriah Jacobus: Intergalactic Man of Mystery.

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Repressors scout up. The plan, at least originally, is to bring meltaguns to bear on his Bloat Drones as early as possible.

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Turn 1, and I initiate a general advance, trying to grab objectives and bring as many weapons to bear on his Bloat Drones and Helbrute as possible. I’m resolving to ignore Morty for now.

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Repressor + Dominions advance to grab objective 1.

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Despite my best efforts, my Exorcists, Dominions…and, well, almost everything else that was in range did minimal damage to the Death Guard vehicles. Uh oh.

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Blurry battlefield ahoy

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Mortarion approaches…

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The Poxwalkers advance, and are promplty buffed to strength and toughness 5 by combined spells and Typhus’ bubble effect. Also, Miasma went up, forcing -1 to hit them. Bloat Drones, meanwhile, zoom out to be annoying.

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An Immolator takes some damage….

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….and the Helbrute uses its crazy “shoot twice” Stratagem to blow up my leftmost Repressor, leaving the Dominions stranded! Further shooting would reduce them to one girl. Thankfully, she narrowly avoids being charged by a Bloat Drone.

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My turn, and Celestine faith-jumps up to say hi to Typhus and friends. I’m pretty much hoping to have Celestine assassinate his characters.

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The Order maintains its general advance, looking to grab objectives and lay down heavy firepower wherever possible.

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With Mortarion right in front of the Dominions, it would be rude not to open fire…which they do, knocking something like 4 wounds off of him! The rest of my shooting is dismal, though, with my shots again bouncing off of Death Guard vehicles. Even more embarassingly, my Immolation flamers only manage to singe a couple of Poxwalkers here and there (those that are in range, anyway)

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Celestine charges in…and immediately gets hit by the area-affect mortal wounds power from both Typhus and Mortarion! Both Geminae get sick and die before they can even swing, leaving Celestine on her own!

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The fight goes badly, with Celestine fluffing her attacks and only doing a couple of wounds to Typhus. Embarassingly, not only does Typhus knock a lot of wounds off of her, but the Noxious Blightbringer does 2 unsaved wounds of his own! I actually have to spend a command point to keep Celestine from dying to morale! At this point, after using way too many CPs, I’m down to one.

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Overview of the battlefield. Note the Arco-Flagellants’ Rhino is positioned at the back, its cargo waiting for the right moment to counter-attack…

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Plaguemarines and their Plaguecaster buddy disembark to fling some spells.

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Another Immolator is blowed up. All of my tanks at this point are starting to take damage.

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Mortarion charges the Repressor, wrecking it.

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Poxwalkers charge the Arco-Flagellants’ Rhino, and almost manage to surround it. Almost. I learned my lesson from last time.

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A Bloat Drone charges an Immolator to tie it up and keep it from shooting.

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After taking several Smites in a row (I find it ridiculous that that power can target units in combat), Celestine resurrects, narrowly avoiding being charged yet again by the Poxwalkers.

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Their ride wrecked, the Dominions stare down Morty.

Start of my turn, my Sisters disembark wherever possible to fire into the Death Guard. The Arco-Flagellants disembark to deal witht he Poxwalkers, and Celestine goes after the badly-damaged Helbrute.

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Mortarion is down to 9 wounds at this point, and I am determined to end him. This time, sadly, all of my combined firepower fails to so much as scratch him or his Bloat Drone buddy. Come on, Emperor, I could really use some help here…

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Celestine charges the Helbrute, which is sitting pretty on 4 wounds…and whiffs horribly, leaving it still standing on 2 wounds! Aaargh!

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Do the Poxwalker shuffle! It involves shambling a lot and being quarantined by the CDC.

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My lone Dominions from the uppermost squad had been hiding and claiming objective 4 all this time. That is, until a Bloat Drone came her way…

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Arco-Flagellants charge in and destroy all but 1 Poxwalker. Unfortunately, this denied me Blood and Guts.

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Try as I might, I can’t kill Morty. Now that he has closed in, it has become quite difficult to avoid his area effect.

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After a good advance and charge roll thanks to the Blighbtinger, Typhus and Poxwalkers manage to charge Celestine again.

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A squad of disembarked Sisters takes heavy damage, leaving one lone Sister who is then probed to death by a Bloat Drone.

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Morty, meanwhile, mortifies my tanks.

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It’s not all bad, though. After dismantling the last Poxwalker they were fighting, the Arco Flagellants lose a few to firepower and Smitiing. Enough of them still remain, however, to charge the Plague Marines, ripping apart three of them for no loss.

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To my utter frustration, Celestine AGAIN whiffs against Typhus, and AGAIN falls to his Manreaper!

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Overview of the battle.

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The Plaguecaster and his buddies wisely fall back from the Arco Flagellants, pumping more firepower into them as they go.

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Having destroyed most fo the Sororitas units sent after him and shrugging off almost everythign I could fire, Mortarion goes after my firebase.

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The remaining Arco Flagellants and Priest continue to go after the heretics. In the end, the Plague Marines are wiped out and a wounded Plaguecaster is left surrounded.

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Charging in, Mortarion wipes out the Retributors, then the Imagifier. In a last act of defiance, my Canoness revs up her eviscerator and charges Mortarion…and fails to even wound him, before falling to Silence.

Sisters lose by a few points to lots.

Honestly, my luck was terrible this game, but also, I think I just got way too obsessed with killing Mortarion– amazingly, I echoed my mistake from the Sisters vs Orks game by obsessing over killing his big, nasty Lord of War instead of dealing with his other stuff. I was actually content to ignore him at first, but after I took off almost half his wounds in one round of shooting, I believed that I could actually finish the big guy off. Unfortunately, once he started getting his toughness buff and to hit modifier up, it became all but impossible to hurt Mortarion, nor slow him down. I guess the best thing I could have done was try locking Morty in combat with my Rhinos, and even then, that only would have worked for so long.

That being said, I was also way too reckless with Celestine, and ended up having her getting mobbed and torn down twice in a row when I really should have been using her to deal with Bloat Drones. Speaking of which, I think I may need more meltaguns in my army, because it got annoying trying to take down Bloat Drones, Mortarion etc with nought but bolters and flamers.

Lessons learned: bring more meltas, use the Living Saint a little more sensibly, and try not to get distracted by the enemy’s biggest, scariest unit. Hopefully, I will manage to actually win with Sisters in 8th edition at some point.

Mortarion watched as the impaled body of the Sororitas leader slid down the blade of Silence, her body putrefying and decaying rapidly even as her once pristine armour flaked and disintegrated with rust. Casually, he flicked his scythe outwards and flung the body aside as he surveyed the battlefield. Of the Sororitas who had opposed the Death Guard, none remained alive– the city square was strewn with the burning wrecks of vehicles, and scores of power-armoured bodies. Bodies which, even now, jerked upright and shambled into twitching unlife to join the thronging Poxwalkers, rictus grins twisting across their mutating faces.

It was another victory over the crumbling house of cards that his Father called an Imperium. Another host of blind fanatics sundered on the battlefield, justly rewarded for their misguided faith. Another world, slowly but surely succumbing to the inevitability of entropy.

“A fine victory, my Primarch.” Mortarion turned in the direction of the voice. Even with the fluids gushing in his throat and the horrendous damage that centuries of rot had done to his esophagus, there was no disguising the hint of mockery in Typhus’ tone as his wayward son strode towards him, his scythe dragging lazily on the cobblestones behind him with a grate of rust on rust. “The Grandfather will no doubt be pleased by today’s offering.”

Mortarion exhaled, the sound in his ancient rebreather sounding closer to a growl than a hiss. “Marshal our warriors back to the ships, Calas,” he rumbled, intentionally using the name Typhus had abandoned ages ago. “We are leaving.”

Typhus halted in his tracks. Even with his heavy faceplate, Mortarion could imagine the look of incredulity on Typhus’ face. “You cannot be serious!” Typhus spat, all pretense of respect for his gene-father gone. “The rest of this hive remains unconquered! It MUST fall to decay and degradation! We MUST complete what we have begun! Or are you so high and mighty that you would deny Nurgle his prize?”

Slowly, Mortarion rounded on his former First Captain, letting his tremendous shadow fall across Typhus as he glowered down at him. “Even after all that has happened, Calas, I am still master of this legion,” he growled To emphasize the message, his grip on his scythe noticeably tightened as his wings spread. “Never forget that.”

Favoured as he was by Nurgle, Typhus was not so foolish as to challenge his Primarch, and he bowed in quick, craven deference. “Your will shall be done,” he muttered, “but where shall we go? Are you desirious of a rematch against your brother Guilleman?”

“No.” The Daemon Primarch’s gaze turned upwards towards the polluted sky. “Not yet, at any rate. For now, there is another of my brothers who shall need to be dealt with. For good or for ill…there will soon be a reckoning to be had with Magnus…”

Batrep #1- Adepta Sororitas vs Orks- The Saint and the Idol

(Image above by Yang Zheyy at https://www.artstation.com/zheyang)

 

“…from the perfidy of the alien, o Emperor, deliver me; from the wickedness of heresy, o Emperor, deliver me…”

By Confessor Mattias Elastor’s count, he had voiced the Benediction of St. Cyrus twenty-two times in the last hour alone, and the Hymnal of St. Thor at Gathalamor another fifty-three. He couldn’t remember when he had last slept, or for that matter, when he had last eaten anything—his fear had been overriding his hunger, and at some point it had turned into just a general, bone-hollow weariness. It was that, and the shrapnel that had lacerated his left leg, which had eventually forced him to stop moving and take shelter in the half-exposed second storey of this ruined Administratum office.

He clutched his rosarius all the more tightly, even though its power field had long since gone out. His once fine priestly robes were now nothing more than tattered, soot-darkened rags, and his beard was a scraggly mess. Propping himself up against a ruined desk, he took another glance up at the sky, smothered grey by the smoke of distant battlefields. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear the rumble of thunder. He wouldn’t be out here, he knew, if the Ork warplanes hadn’t intercepted the convoy that had been conveying him to the supposed safety of the capital city. It was only by a miracle that he had survived the destruction of the Chimera he’d been on when that Ork missile had struck it.

Upon reflection, it had to have been a miracle: clearly, it was only by the God-Emperor’s intervention that he yet still lived. It was through the God-Emperor’s protection that Mattias would live through this yet. At least, that is what he kept telling himself. As it was, lately he had been beginning to lapse in and out of consciousness. Blood poisoning, maybe, or hunger, or possibly both. He could no longer tell how long he’d been here.

He was about to take another sip from a canteen he’d taken off of one of the dead Guardsmen when an electronic snarl made him jump. It took him a few seconds to realize that it was the vox-unit lying on the nearby table. He had been trying to get a bloody signal out all throughout this ordeal: now, all of a sudden, he was receiving one.

“Convoy Theta, come in!” a female voice spoke from the other end. “Convoy Theta, if any of you are still alive, do you read?”

Hurriedly, Mattias snatched up the vox unit, almost dropping the damned thing as he fumbled with its activation stud. “I’m here!” he exclaimed, almost surprised at how hoarse his voice sounded. “It’s me! By the Emperor’s grace, I’m alive!”

There was a short silence on the other end before the voice spoke again. “Confessor Elastor, is that you? Please confirm.”

He nodded hurriedly, despite the fact that this woman obviously could not see the motion. He felt exhilarated just to be talking to someone. “Yes! I’m alive! E-everyone else died in the attack, but…I survived!” He tried to jump back up to his feet, only for the raw pain of his leg to cause a whine of animal pain to escape his lips. “Nnnnh…but…I’m also injured. Yes.  I…I don’t think I can move any more.”

In the distance, the thunder grew louder. Elastor could almost feel it in his bones. A storm was brewing.

“Acknowledged, Confessor,” said the voice. “Keep your current position: a rescue force is on its way. Be advised, though, there is a sizeable enemy force moving towards your position.”

Mattias’ heart skipped a beat. “What?” He clutched the vox unit even more firmly. “Then we have no time to lose! We have to get to the capital!”

There was a tremendous thunderclap in the distance—one so massive it felt like it shook the ground.

There was a silence on the other end. “Confessor…the capital hive fell two days ago. And if I’m reading the signal right…you’re in enemy-captured territory.”

Slowly, the vox clattered from Matthias’ shaking hand. Again, he heard the thunder-clap—a tremendous, ear-splitting tremor that sent vibrations rattling through him. Next to him, the canteen he’d placed back on the table clattered to the floor with a metallic thud. Slowly, and wordlessly, he pulled himself up to the edge of a ruined window and peaked over it.

In the distance, past the edges of the ruined hab-complex, came a tide of bodies, hunched and muscular, with skin the colour of rotting leaves. Above them loomed a tremendous shape—vast and squat, with a gigantic saw on one arm, a fearsome multi-barrelled cannon in the other, and a lense-eyed head fashioned in mockery of a tusked Greenskin face. A walking mountain of metal plates was stomping its way towards him, crushing everything in its path.

Quietly, Mattias began to mouth the Benediction of St. Cyrus for a twenty-third time….

 

 

Welcome to my inaugural 40k battle report for this blog! Not too long ago I played my second ever game of 8th edition. I was (and to a degree still am) fresh with the rules, and I went into this game anticipating that I was going to make plenty of learning mistake. (Chances are, eagle-eyed readers will still spot more than a few rules errors that even I missed). I decided to give my Adepta Sororitas their second 8th Ed outing, and when I got to Sword and Board, arranged a game one of my LGS, and found myself in a game against Orks—an army that I had fought against maybe once in the past couple of editions.

 

I brought the following:

ADEPTUS MINISTORUM BATTALION DETACHMENT

Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae- 250

Canoness- bolt pistol, power sword- 49

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66

-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103

9 Arco Flagellants- 135

-Rhino- 75

Ministorum Priest- eviscerator- 57

Imagifer- 40

Callidus Assassin- 80

5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114

-Rhino- 75

5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114

-Rhino- 75

6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters- 94

Exorcist- 160

Exorcist- 160

Back in 7th, this would be a more or less standard army build for me, minus the Retributors, Assassin and Arco-Flagellants. This army was really limited by my collection as well—as much as I wanted to field Repressors instead of Rhinos for the Dominions, I still hadn’t had any converted at this time. Beyond that, there were a few units that I was trying out for the first time, such as the Arco-Flagellants, and I tried to keep everything WSYIWG where possible, with the exception of some of my flamers masquerading as storm bolters. In hindsight, converting all of my storm bolters into (crappy-looking) meltaguns back in 7th was a poor decision.

 

 

My opponent, meanwhile, brought the following:

ORK BATTALION DETACHMENT

Big Mek- kustom force field

Big Mek- kustom force field

20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw

20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw

20 Boyz- shootas, Nob w. power klaw

Nob w. Waaagh Banner

Painboy- power klaw

Painboy- power klaw

Battlewagon- 4 big shootas, deffrolla

SUPER-HEAVY AUXILIARY DETACHMENT

Stompa

 

I almost immediately jumped when I saw the Stompa. I had not experienced dealing with one outside of a single Apocalypse game back in 5th ed, and had only generally dealt with a super-heavy in a regularly-sized game once before (wherein I was lucky enough to melta a Knight to death in one turn). Given my lack of knowledge of Orks, I had no idea of what to expect of the Stompa, save that it probably had a lot of dakka and would probably be able to destroy my entire army on its own if left unchecked.

 

SCENARIO:

For the scenario, we rolled Dawn of War and The Relic, and I for the role of the relic I provided the Uriah Jacobus model. I figured that Uriah had been stranded (or possibly wandered drunkenly) into no man’s land, and both sides were trying to retrieve him.

 

DEPLOYMENT:

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I set up with as many of my transports behind cover as possible, hoping to avoid the worst of the Stompa’s fire on turn 1. I concentrated most of my units on the right flank (a dumb move, in retrospect, as I should have tried avoiding and isolating the Stompa instead). The Callidus Assassin was kept in reserve, in the hopes that she could appear and kill an isolated character or two later in the game.

 

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The Orks, meanwhile, spread bodies all across the table in proper horde fashion. The Nob and both Painboyz lurked behind the central-most mob of Slugga Boyz, the Battlewagon went on the far flank, and a Big Mek went into each of the vehicles to give them some force field goodness.

 

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For Warlord traits, I gave Celestine +1 attack, and my opponent did the same for the Nob, his own Warlord (he at first mistakenly thought that the Stompa could be his warlord, until realizing that it was not a character).

I rolled to seize the initiative…and got it! And with that, the Sisters of Battle went first.

 

 

SISTERS TURN 1

With the initiative now mine, my Order sprang into action. Rolling for my faith, I got a 1. Deciding that I really wanted to test out Acts of Faith in this game, I used a Command Point to reroll…and got another 1. My Imagifier, similarly, failed to net me a faith point. At this point, I figured it was going to be one of THOSE games.

Starting things off, I shuffled my Exorcists to get line of sight on the Stompa. I also tried to move the Retributors on top of the nearby building, but stopped when I realized that they didn’t have enough movement to make it to the top. A free move from a Faith point would have been REALLY helpful for that. On the left flank, my Dominions moved up towards the centre of the table in a rapid redeployment towards the right. I figured that the lone Battlewagon wasn’t too big a threat, and I really needed to get as many meltaguns as I could in range of the Stompa. The leftmost Immolator similarly hid behind the building, ready to move toward either flank as needed. On my right flank, however, there was a general advance, with two Immolators gunning towards the enemy with Celestine following just behind. The Dominions’ Rhino, similarly, moved up, just within rapid fire range of the Ork mob.

 

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My general plan, at this point, was to lure the Orks into a charge. Hopefully, my transports would survive, and/or my Sisters would be able to disembark from their wrecks in good enough order to unleash short-ranged shoooting in reply. Celestine (and if necessary, the Flagellants) gave me decent counter-attack options. If the Stompa came this way, of course, all the better– my Dominions’ meltaguns would be in range to do major damage.

In the shooting phase, I unloaded with my Immolators on the right flank…and found that I was narrowly out of range. I had greatly overestimated the range of my Immolators’ fancy flamers. It was only after the battle that I realized that I could have advanced with them in the movement phase to ensure that they were in range. The Rhino, at least, rapid fired its storm bolter and plinked off two Orks. The Exorcists combined their fire and managed to deal 5 or 6 wounds to the Stompa (honestly, it became impossible for me to keep track after a while), and the Retributors opened up and mowed down 5 of the central Ork mob. Even after having moved, I found that my heavy support units were still hitting fairly accurately thanks to my Canoness’ reroll 1’s bubble.

 

 

ORKS TURN 1

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In the Ork turn, the Greenies responded as I anticipated…mostly. All across the board, the Ork mobs moved up, with the centre and rightmost mobs advancing as well while the Battlewagon did the same. What took me by surprise, though, was when the Stompa moved and ended up mere inches away from my Immolators. I had had no idea that the Stompa had a movement of 12. Where I had originally hoped I would have a turn or two to deal with the big ugly, it was now right in front of my advancing Sisters.

 

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In the shooting phase, I was given a none-too subtle reminder about assault weapons and advancing as the entire Ork line opened fire. The leftmost shoota Boyz managed to 1 wound to an Immolator, while the Battlewagon unloaded its big shootas on the Dominion Rhino and did 2. On the right flank, the Slugga Boyz fired their pistols inneffectially at the other Rhino. And then the moment I was dreading began as the Stompa opened fire…

…and to my surprise, didn’t do that much. Despite unleashing a storm of fire with gigashootas, rokkits, skorchas, deffkannons and a whole bunch of other Orky ordnance (Orknance?), I got off lightly, with 5 wounds done to the rightmost Rhino and no damage done to any of my other vehicles. The -1 to hit imposed by the Immolators’ smoke launchers really helped in this instance.

To cap things off, the Big Mek riding the Stompa proceeded to heal one or two wounds off the the big ugly. It would be doing so consistently throughout the game, making the Stompa just that much more of a headache.

Before I could breathe a sigh of relief, however, the Orks charged. The rightmost mob charged my Rhino…and to my horror, rolled high enough on their charge move to completely surround it. This meant that not only could the Rhino not break away from combat, but also that my Dominions and their precious meltaguns would be trapped and destroyed along with their transport. The Stompa, similarly, dual-charged both of my Immolators, though it took a few wounds from overwatch in the process.

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In the ensuing close combat phase, the Stompa effortlessly wrecked one Immolator, forcing me to spend a command point to avoid an explosion, though two of the girls inside were killed. The Ork Boyz, on the other hand, by some miracle only inflicted 3 wounds, leaving the Rhino clinging to life, albeit no less doomed.

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SISTERS TURN 2

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With the Stompa now practically breathing in my girls’ faces, I needed to deal with it, and fast. As my mind frantically raced for a plan, I initiated my faith powers; Celestine and her Geminae moved over on top of the building, giving them options to go after either the Stompa or the central mob. The Retributors, meanwhile, got to shoot out of sequence, mowing down another four of the central mob despite their nearby Painboy. (In retrospect, I should have given them an extra move to advance up on top of their adjacent building, but oh well). Finally, the recently de-Rhinoed Sisters used their Faith move to move away from the Stompa…for…some reason I can no longer remember.

In the movement phase proper, the Arco-Flagellants and their attendant Priest disembarked to go say hi to the central mob, while their Rhino swung around to support the right flank. The idea at this point was to buzzsaw through the centre with them, then turn them around to deal with the other Boyz and take the relic. The other unit of Dominions and leftmost Immolator moved further up to the centre, while on the right flank, the surviving Immolator disengaged with the Stompa, its passengers content to stay inside for now.

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Finally, realizing that I had nothing else that could hold the big guy up, I sent Celestine and the Geminae around towards the Stompa’s rear, ready to buy time with their (constantly respawning) lives.

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(Pardon the boring, unpainted and unfinished Arco-Flagellants in the background)

Oh yes, and being the dummy I am, I forgot to reveal the Callidus Assassin this turn. Moving on.

In the shooting phase, everything I had unloaded on the Stompa, Exorcists, Retributors, my lone Immolator that could shoot and even Celestine all firing up into the metal behemoth. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I did something in the range of ten to fifteen wounds to the big lug. Both my opponent and I were fairly impressed by the damage output of the Exorcists.

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Then came the big moment as I declared my charges. In the centre, the Priest charged into the central Boyz mob first, surviving overwatch unscathed before her pet murder-cyborgs followed after her. The Arco-Flagellants proceeded to unleash 52 rerollable strength 5 attacks into the Greenskins and ground them into a fine green paste, much to my opponent’s shock. From this point on, I have resolved to call my Flagellants “the Lawnmowers,” because they cut the grass so well. (Get it? Grass? Because Orks are vegetable based and…never mind)

Victorious, the Arco-Flagellants consolidated into the the Painboy and Banner Nob who had been lurking behind the Boyz. This, however, turned out to be a bad move, as the aforementioned characters, now that they were engaged, proceeded to smash down three Flagellants, with a fourth spontaneously combusting in the Morale phase. Hmm, that could have gone better.

20171008_160612

 

In the centre, Celestine and her Geminae charged fearlessly into the Stompa, and, despite all the firepower it unleashed in overwatch, somehow made it into combat unscathed. Unsheathing her Ardent Blade, Celestine proceeded to hack four wounds off of the Stompa. Incensed, the Stompa swung wildly with its giant killsaw, hacking down both Geminae and leaving Celestine to face the Orks’ blasphemous idol on her own.

20171008_160625

(Note, by the way, that both my opponent and I forgot that the Stompa CANNOT be locked in combat, as its rules allow it to move, shoot and charge normally after leaving combat. We would only remember this rule after the game.)

Finally, the Orks surrounding my Rhino laid into it with their choppas…and failed to do any damage whatsoever. Laughing that he would show his Boyz how it was done, their Nob revved up his power klaw…and missed with every single one of his attacks. The Rhino, for its part, failed to run down any Orks. Somehow, my Dominions were still alive, but they were still unable to escape with their vehicle surrounded, and so were still quite doomed. At this point I was really beginning to miss the old tank shock rules.

 

ORKS TURN 2

With only a few units unengaged in close combat, the Orky movement phase was short, but significant. Climbing the central building, Shoota Boyz advanced up and narrowly managed to grab the relic/preacher. The Battlewagon, meanwhile, circled around my flank to continue making a nuisance of itself.

20171008_160911

 

In the shooting phase, the barrage of shootas and big shootas once again rang out, only to ping harmlessly off of my vehicles’ armour. The Slugga Boyz fired into combat against my Rhino, and similarly failed to do anything.

In close combat, though, things took a different turn, as the second Painboy charged in to join the big scrum against the Arco-Flagellants in the centre, and proceeded to crush two of my murder-cyborgs with his power klaw. In the rest of that ensuing melee, the Arco-Flagellants did a wound to one of the Painboys, while my Priest hefted her eviscerator and hacked the newly-arrived Painboy into bloody bits, only to be crushed in return by the other one. Finally, the Nob swung his (surpisingly deadly) Waaagh! Banner again, and managed to smash down another two Arco-Flagellants. Only one of the cyber-lunatics remained…and by some miracle, he passed leadership and remained in combat with the last Painboy. Woot!

Elsewhere, the Slugga Boyz once again hacked into the Rhino, only for their choppas to bounce off ineffectually. For a moment I thought the vehicle was going to survive another round, until the Nob remembered how to turn on his power klaw, and smashed off the Rhino’s last few wounds, destroying it and killing all of the Dominions inside. Despite my hopes to the contrary, the Rhino did not explode in the Orks’ faces.

 

20171008_162429

 

Finally, in the big title fight in the centre, Celestine swung at the Stompa, but this time failed to do any damage to the big lug. The Stompa then swung wildly with its oversized choppa…and when all was said and done, had done 5 wounds to the Living Saint. Despite everything, Celestine was still standing and still fighting against the giant mechanical Ork idol…although I had been hoping that the Stompa would kill her this round, both so that she could resurrect out of combat and go contest the objective, and so that I could shoot the Stompa some more.  Alas.

20171008_160821

 

 

SISTERS TURN 3

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At this point, the Orks were on the relic, and, more fool I, I had nothing that could go claim it in time (for some reason I did not think to disembark any of my squads to go contest it, although I still would have needed a fairly hefty advance roll to get onto the roof of that building). In the Faith phase, I had the Retributors climb halfway up the building in front of them to get better line of sight, while Celestine healed a wound. In the movement phase proper, meanwhile, I disembarked a squad of Sisters on the right flank, and, together with the survivors of the other squad and my assembled transports, moved to confront the Orks that had just killed the Rhino. The Dominions, meanwhile, disembarked and moved up, seeing that the Nob was standing out in the open now (I’m not sure if we played this right, by the way. Should the Nob not have been able to consolidate back into the ongoing melee with the last Arco-Flagellant?)

In the backfield, my Callidus finally remembered to show up, and popped up near the ongoing melee. Oh yes, and a Geminae came back to life, giving me the opportunity to hold the Stompa up even longer.

In the shooting phase, the Retributors and Exorcists fired into the Ork Boyz holding the relic, killing some 8 or 9 of them with extremely good rolling. In the centre, the Callidus fired her neural shredder at the Nob, popping a wound off of him and giving him a migrain, before the Dominions levelled their meltaguns and turned him into a molten green puddle.

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Finally, on the right flank, Battle Sisters, an Immolator and a Rhino all fired into the Ork Boyz, flaming and boltering down and impressive 13 of them. Oh Immolation flamers, how I love ye.

In close combat, the last Arco-Flagellant (who I dubbed One Armed Larry, on account of some mid-battle breakage) decided to give the Painboy a dose of his own bad medicine, unleashing a crapload of attacks and reducing him down to one wound. Stunned at this display of unsanctioned surgery, the Painboy whiffed his return attacks. Go One Armed Larry!

Finally, in the ongoing title fight, Celestine once again flubbed her attacks. In reply, because wounds had already been allocated to her, all of the Stompa’s return attacks went onto her instead of onto the Geminae. I was forced to roll my saves one at a time. Naturally, I failed the first one, and Celestine instantly went squish… and then, as per her special rules, spontaneously resurrected again next to her faithful Geminae…who then took a giant chainsaw to the everything and died. Nonetheless, Celestine then saved all of the remaining wounds, and the combat continued to drag on. My opponent at this point was quite bewildered at just how seemingly impossible to kill Celestine was.

 

ORKS TURN 3

By this point, the Orks were starting to run out of models, and so started to focus on winning the game. The Shoota Boyz grabbed the objective and withdrew, hoping to escape with the preacher. The remnants of the Slugga Mob moved after the Sisters that had so injured them, and the Battlewagon angled around again to be annoying. Everything else at this point was either dead or in close combat.

 

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In the shooting phase, everything either missed or bounced off of armour, and then we went straight to combat. The last of the Slugga Boyz charged the three-girl Sisters squad, losing two to overwatch from their heavy flamer. Even so, they made it in, and the last three Boyz were more than enough to hack the last three Sisters to power-armoured ribbons, before consolidating into the other Battle Squad and nearby Immolator and Rhino.

In the backfield fight, One Army Larry once again went first, but this time inflicted only two wounds. My opponent held his breath as he made one T-shirt save…and then rolled a 6 for Dok’s Tools! The Painboy remained standing, and then swung back, inflicting two unsaved wounds and crushing the last Arco-Flagellant to pulp. And thus endeth the tale of One-Armed Larry, Hero of the Ecclesiarchy.

Finally, in the big ongoing fight, the Stompa went first. This time, Celestine’s luck finally ran out: after failing a bunch of invulnerable saves, the Living Saint was finally crushed, dying for one final time. Given how long she had held up that Stompa, however, I wasn’t too displeased.

 

 

SISTERS TURN 4

By this point, I realized that I had foolishly let the Orks grab the objective right from in front of me. With my faith points, I immediately the engaged Sisters swing in close combat, killing an Ork.  I then zoomed my leftmost Immolator (and the Sisters therein) across the flank to hopefully intercept and burninate the shootas, while my Exorcists angled to try to get line of sight to the blocking Battlewagon. My Callidus, meanwhile, went after the Painboy, and the Dominions, finally in sight of their big target, moved to engage the Stompa.

In the shooting phase, the Dominions (who I realize should have fired with Faith) shot at the Stompa…and after some abysmal rolling on my part, only did 3 wounds to it. The Callidus tried to mortally wound it with her neural shredder, but discovered that Stompas have a really high LD value. My rightmost Exorcist, at least, managed to plink a few more wounds off of it, while my Immolator, Retributors and other Exorcist all did something like 5 or 6 wounds to the Battlewagon. Not bad, but not great, either.

In close combat, the Callidus Assassin charged the Painboy, and proceeded to poisoned blade the last wound off of him. Without breaking stride, the Callidus consolidated after the retreating Shoota Boyz. As unlikely as it seemed, my sole chance of winning the game now seemed to rest on this one Assassin.

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Elsewhere, the combat on the right flank ground on, with the Orks killing a Battle Sister, the Battle Sisters killing the last Boy, and the Rhino (or the Immolator, one of the two) running over the Nob a little and wounding him.

 

 

ORKS TURN 4

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In the Orky turn, the Shoota Boyz continued to fall back, while the Stompa turned towards the meltaguns that had so irritated it last turn. In the shooting phase, the Battlewagon managed to do a wound to the nearest Immolator with its big shootas. The Shoota Boyz meanwhile unloaded everything they had on the Callidus, and managed to plink a wound off of her. The Stompa finally got to shoot again, and did so…unimpressivley. Its super-gatler mostly just pinged off the nearby Dominion Rhino, and its rokkits made excited whooshing noises and little else.

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Its skorcha, however, unloaded into the Callidus, managed to do 4 wounds to her…and I proceeded to botch every single save. My Callidus was instantly reduced to a blackened heap, and my chances of retrieving the relic suddenly became much less likely.

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In close combat, however, things got even worse. The Battlewagon charged the Immolator, taking a wound from overwatch, but still maging it in; it proceeded to demonstrate the power of its deffrolla by grinding two wounds off of the Immolator. More importantly, though, it had just denied my Immolator its ability to burninate Orks next turn.

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In the centre, meanwhile, the Stompa multi-charged both the Dominions and their Rhino (somehow, in overwatch, the Dominions managed to miss the building-sized Ork walker coming right at them). The Stompa proceeded to crush and pulverize four of my five Dominons…but then, much to my surprise, the Rhino managed to wound it in return! Somehow, my last Dominion then passed her leadership test, keeping the big guy locked in combat. Well, that was…unexpected.

Finally, on the right flank, the Nob swung and crushed another Battle Sister, before the Rhino hit, wounded, and ran him over. All of my engaged units consolidated up the right flank, but this was ultimately a small victory in a losing battle.

 

 

SISTERS TURN 5

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Everything was getting desperate at this point: the Orks were getting away with the relic, and there was little I could do save kick myself for having let them get it in the first place. In the Faith phase, the Dominions regrew a Sister, but beyond that, everything I would have liked to shoot at was embroiled in close combat. In the movement phase, though, my Sisters re-embarked in their Rhino and zoomed up the right flank. My last hope, at this point, was a long flanking manouever around the Stompa to hopefully get at the retreating Shoota Boyz. To this end, I kept my Dominions and Rhino locked in combat with the metal behemoth, resolving to tie it up for as long as possible. This time, I remembered to advance with both tanks. My Immolator engaged with the Battlewagon, however, had no such resolutions, and left combat to try to skirt around after the Shoota Boyz again.

In the shooting phase, I recognized the problem that the Battlewagon posed, and so fired everything I could into it.  Both Exorcists and the Retributors fired into it, and managed to reduce it to five wounds or so. Despite my best efforts, though, the damnable thing was still up and running.

 

In close combat, the Stompa, predictably, stomped the last two Dominions, before wailing on the Rhino with its oversized chainsword. By some miracle, however, the Rhino survived on two wounds, and continued to hold the Stompa up.

 

 

ORKS TURN 5

The Ork movement phase was short and simple: the Shoota Boyz continued to retreat to their board edge, and the Battlewagon wheeled around to have annuva go at the Immolator.

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With nothing to shoot, the close combat phase was short and brutal. The Battlewagon once again charged the Immolator, and once again, its deffrolla did its grisly work, reducing the Immolator to a handful of wounds. In an encore, the Stompa crushed the Rhino (to my chagrin, it did not explode), and then consolidated…

…right into the surviving Immolator that had been trying to sneak past it! Argh! I had fatally forgotten about that three inch consolidation move, and now another of my vehicles—and my chances of winning this game—were about to be gone.

 

The game, at this point, seemed to decide that I had had enough. The random game length came up as a 1, and the game ended in a decidedly Orky victory.

 

VICTORY TO THE ORKS!

 

 

THOUGHTS:

Well, it was a loss, but given that it was only my second ever game of 8th edition, I’m going to cut myself some slack. Looking back, I can narrow down three main reasons why I lost this one:

  1. I forgot about a lot of the new rules. In particular, I forgot that enemies can now consolidate into combat, that I can advance and fire with assault weapons (and that this rule extends to vehicles as well), and that casualties are no longer removed closest to closest– a fact that also came into play when I was firing everything I had at the Shoota Boyz to reduce their distance to the relic.
  2. I took my eyes off the prize: I made the classis blunder of getting so caught up in killing the enemy army that I neglected to go after the relic, or more importantly, to position a unit to be able to counter-attack any unit going after the relic. This ultimately cost me the game, and was a dumb mistake on my part. I had originally aimed to have the Arco-Flagellants clean up the Orks in the centre and then double back to deal with any Boyz taking the objective, but I had seriously under-estimated how tough Ork characters are (or alternatively, overestimated how tough Arco-Flagellants are)
  3. I was too reckless with my Dominions. I guess that in 7th, I was far too used to outflanking as opposed to scouting with my Dominions, and so I could never accurately judge how far was “too” far when moving up with scouting Doms. This cost me, as on the one hand, I wanted to position my Dominions to be a serious meltagun threat to the Stompa; on the other hand, I wanted to keep them out of potential charge distance of the Slugga Boyz. I ended up fatally miscalculating on both counts.

 

Still, I was happy to see that much of my army worked exactly as intended. My firebase of Retributors + Exorcists did a lot of damage each round (especially to the Stompa—my opponent revealed after the battle that I had done 25 wounds to the big thing), especially with the Canoness and Imagifier bolstering them. My Battle Sisters, once they worked in tandem, were able to do a lot of damage to the Ork Boyz, as did the Immolators (oh how I love those Immolation flamers). The Arco-Flagellants, even though they died to the last, were beautifully destructive. The Callidus was recurring headache throughout the game, constantly forcing my opponent to roll double command points or forfeit using them—her ability came into play so often in fact that I quickly felt dirty for using her. And Celestine, was, well, Celestine—easily the killiest and most durable thing in my army, and even though she was horribly outmatched against the Stompa, I am really impressed at how long she held up the big thing. The only letdown in my list was the Dominions, and that’s more because I feel like I misused them.

Ultimately, I’m going to cut myself some slack over this loss: it’s still my second game of 8th, and I’m still getting the hand of this game.  Ultimately, this game was good practice, and my opponent was fun to play against. I just need some more games, and maybe some changes to my list—as of writing this, I currently have Repressors and Penitent Engines in production….

 

Today had been a good day, Cogzog thought to himself as he hammered another rivet back in place. The horde had gotten into a good and proper scrap, and while a lot of the Boyz had been torched by the crazy armoured ‘Umie women, there were a lot more where they came from. What was far more important was that the Stompa, his beloved creation, had performed wonderfully in its first field test, crushing ‘Umie tanks and riddling scores of ‘Umie bodies with its godly amount of dakka. But most impressively of all, the Stompa had crushed that winged glowy ‘Umie—the one that all of the captured ‘Umie prisoners had called a “Living Saint” or something like that.

That had been no mere ‘Umie. Her eyes had blazed like those of a Weirdboy, she had a strange burny choppa that had cut through flesh and steel alike, and every time she or one of her girl-Nobz died, they would come back to life in a shining pillar of light. The ‘Umies had believed this glowy git to be blessed by their god, by their “Emperor,” and it had seemed invincible for a time, even cutting a lot of deep gouges in the Stompa itself. But nothing was invincible—nothing, that was, except the power of the Waaagh!

“Oi! Pass me a spanner!” Cogzog ellowed. A few seconds later, several of his Grot attendants came, carrying a large, rectangular lump of iron between them, straining under its weight. “Naw, not that, one of the bigga ones!” he growled, kicking several of the Grots away with an iron-shod boot. As the runts scampered away with a series of curses, Cogzog sighed and stepped back, taking a wider look at the hulking shape of the Stompa—and more importantly, of the many holes that had been blasted and scoured into its jagged hull.

They had hurt it. The very thought filled Cogzog with righteous anger. The ‘Umies had damaged his beautiful creation in that last battle. But what the pink-skinned weaklings failed to realize was that this was no war machine—it was a great and terrible idol, a walking avatar of Gork (or possibly Mork). And all the dakka in the universe  was nothing compared to the wrath of a god.

Cogzog’s features split into a hideous grin. Soon, the Stompa would be up and running again. With it, the Waaagh! would conquer this world, smash the ‘Umie cities, loot the ‘Umie factories, stomp the ‘Umie armies…and raze, burn and annihilate the ‘Umie churches. By the end of this war, the ‘Umies would realize that their fancy Emperor had nothing on Gork and Mork…that a dead ‘Umie on a fancy chair was nothing compared to real gods.

He heard a muffled voice from inside the Stompa. The bigshot ‘Umie priest was still in there, reciting his idiot prayers over and over again as he hung shackled inside the great belly of the Stompa. Just like all of the other ‘Umie priests Cogzog and his warband had captured– left to languish, rot and die in their new metal prison, as food for the idol of Gork and Mork. He always got a laugh over how these gits always expected their Emperor to save them, and their Emperor never did.

“Speak up, ‘Umie, I don’t fink ‘E can hear you!” Cogzog laughed, before scowling and turning back in the direction of his Grot assistants. “Now, WHERE’S DAT SPANNER?!”