The last two weeks have passed in an almighty blur, the workloads been horrific and a 750miles round trip to Falkirk didn't help the old equilibrium. Still, best to get back on the blogging horse.
Anton and I have played plenty of games against eachother. He's a cracking commander, a Demon at Hordes and Warmachine (current giftsforgeeks Champio!) and a very funny fella to top it all. Our games rarely have the strategic edge of my battles against Mark ... but that's usually because we're giggling too much...
Ant got a text earlier in the day and we quickly agreed a 1500pt, HOBO battlemission smackdown. For the uninformed (or real English language speakers), a HOBO game is where you write out the list for your opponent. Its a simple way of getting to grips with another army and also automatically kills off the 'min-max' listhammer approach. As the only person getting hammered will be YOU!
I've been itching to have a play at Chaos Marines for the longest time. My fledging Chaosmarine army was blossoming in my mind and I was keen to get to grips with their options. Ant pulled me together a neat list of Chaos Marine and in return I gave him a strong set of guard.
Imperial Guard - dakka over high AP. This army had a strongish antitank option, but was aminly about the amount of firepower. Lots of power armour killing things.
Ratling Snipers 
Platoon Command in Chimera with 3 Grenade Launchers
Squad #1 with flamer and Chimera
Squad #2 with flamer and Chimera
Mortar Teams x 3
Veterans Squad with Harker, Autocannon, Demolition Charge, sniper rifles and meltabombs
Banewolf with extra armour and heavy bolter/stubber
Rough Riders 
LR BattleTank (Lascannon)
LR BattleTank (3 Heavy Bolters)
Chaos Marines - how few??? Ant's models looked great (as usual) ... but they were seriously few and far between.
Terminator Lord with Lightning Claws
4 Terminators [3 lightning claws, 1 heavy flamer and PF]
10 Khrone Beserkers led by a Blood Champion with PF and icon.
8 Plague Marines with two melta led by a Champio with PF and icon in Rhino
5 Emperors Children with 4 blasters and a blastmastery thingie in Rhino
We rolled at random on the battlemission table and got 'Slave Raid' ... which has got to be one of the funniest missions ever. We broke to actual roll and Anton opt'd to defend. Meaning the Chaosmarines would go first! The idea with slave raid is to kill as many units, but either in close combat or wiped out within 18" of one of your units... The guard were gonna struggle with this one!
Anton took a lot of advice during the deployment. He placed the Lascannon in cover on the left flank and spread out a considerable line through the middle of the board. The ratlings infiltrated a ruin in the centre right of the middle board section... hoping to lure me over. Meanwhile, a squad, the veterans and the banewolf opted to reserve, with harker flanking!
I decided on a cunning plan and swapped the Termies for the Khrone Berserkers into the Landraider. I then placed my THREE units (two rhinos with the plague marines and the sonic screwdrivers and the Berzerkie Landie in positions opposite the Lascannon (but in cover)...
TURN 1 "Drive damn you!"
I succeeded in not losing the first turn go and steamed forwards. My landraider took the lead, offering a 4+ cover to the plague rhino. Didn't matter much as I decided to 'pop the smoke' all round. Nothing else ... felt a bit well nervous.
Ant let rip with everything... and succeeded in blowing off a single twin linked bolter from the plague rhino. The lascannons fluffed up the Landraider penetration tests and while his rolling was good ... mine was better. Ant bemoaned the Guards lack of aim... while hitting above average. It was the penetration and my saving throws which undid him.
TURN 2 "In your face!"
On the reserve rolls I got nothing ... but that was good (i thought that you couldn't deepstrike within 6" of an ICON in a vehicle ... I am now corrected). The Landraider pushed foward and dumped 10 Berserkers into a guard squad in the middle. The Guardsmen died 'heroically' and were pulverised. The Khronies consolidated in cover and prepared for the inevitable 'incoming'.
The Sonic boys rhino moved up, while the Plague Marine Rhino cut across to shield it from those pesky ratlings.
Ant's shooting found its mark with abandon! The Roughriders moved up and prepared to charge the beserkers. Ant threw everything at the Khronies and they died well ... their pile of bodies forming a 'impact absorber' for the Champio with the ICON! Just when they thought they were ok, the Sonic boys lost their ride to lascannon fire and lost a member to poor rolling. They held and prepared to lay down the fire! The roughriders were forced to charge the Berserker champio ... who died horribly ... but took their S5, I5 power weapons with him. Useful.
One Rhino crew and One Berserker Squad captured, compared to a single troops squad.
TURN 3 "Smackdown"
The chaos boys were withered, but not defeated. The Landraider targetted the Command Squad Chug with the platoon command and primaris in it and killed the tank and 1 command dude. They held, but the ensuing fire from the Sonic Boys wiped out the command team. The primaris dusted off his hands (after shoving the hapless squad before him) and held. The Terminators arrived and deepstruck to support the Sonic Boys. Frying a Lascannon team with heavy flamer, the lascannons broke (yes) but only ran about 4 inches (boo). The Plague marines disembarked and move up into the central cover. The oblits failed their roll!
The Guard responded strongly. Mortar and Battlecannon fire raked the now exposed plague marines and Sonic marines. The reserves arrived, with the banewolf leaping the carcass of the primaris' tank and dousing the Plaguemarines. The Plague Marines also experienced intense battlecannon fire and struggled. All but the Champio and the meltaboys survived. Harker arrived and his team flanked the TErminators, backed up by a revving Chimera with a squad in. Blistering lasrifle and shotgun fire peppered the terminators and downed TWO to the infamous roll of 1.
The Plague Marines rhino had managed to immobilise itself on the way in and the roughriders quickly followed up. 5 krak grenades later with autohit ... it was wrecked!
Anton had brought his total of kills to three. Meanwhile I still fumbled at a paltry 1.
TURN 4 "Anyone left?"
The Terminators (and Lord) launched into close combat with the lascannon team. Resulting in mushy lascannon team. Meanwhile the Plaguemarines moved up and topped the Banewolf. The oblits arrived and singularly failed to penetrate the leman russ with a tri of multimeltas ... doh! The sonic marines fumbled their 'move through cover' run and were therefore unable to 'move-shoot-charge' Harkers crew.
Anton moved his left hand mortar team away from the Terminators (now consolidated into the ruins) ... he then moved his primaris up and succeeded in a total of 5 shots only [laugh] resulting in no kills. The following firefight killed off the sonic boys through chimera team and Harker, the Plague Marines prove unkillable and the obliterators got charged by the Rough Riders. The Oblits killed three, but the sergeant held. Then the Leman Russ shot at the Terminators and deviated onto the Primaris, instantkilling him!
An own goal and another point to me! At this point we were both giggling so hard we had to stop the game (and because it was late...)
I'd trophied one Guard Squad, a Chimera, A Primaris, A platoon command, a Banewolf and a Lascannon team, six in total. Anton had garnered two rhinos, the sonic and berserker boys.
6-4 to the forces of chaos.
I can thoroughly recommend both HOBO and the slave raid battlemission as great fun. Splitting his units into two groups may have helped, but the copious killpoints knocking about gave me ample opportunity to garner the points needed. The Plaguemarines proved their worth ... but I have subsequently found out that they would only get a 4+ cover save (at best) from Battle Cannon shots... which I didn't know.
Big thanks to Anton. Hopefully we can bring you a Malifaux batrep to follow!