Tuesday, 21 September 2010

BATREP - Smurf fighting with too few men!

We are Chaos! Chaos is HERE!
We will tramp across the board and ... sorry, did you say they are already here...?

The Swords of Alpharius got their first outing last week, challenging Marks Black Templar Biker army. After borrowing 5 Terminators, a Drop Pod and 2 Rhinos. The Alpharius' list was like this:
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart (accompanying the Deathguard) 170
  • HQ: Lash Prince Terminator Sorcerer (Accompanying the Terminators) 145
  • Elite: 5 Khronate Terminators, 2 Chainfists, 4 combi weapons, heavy flamer. 255
  • Elite: 5 Chosen Marines with PF Champ, 4 melta and an icon. 175
  • Elite: Dreadnought with plasma cannon, extra armour and heavy flamer. 125
  • Troops: 7 Chaos Space Marines, Champion with power sword, icon, flamer, rhino with combi weapon. 195
  • Troops: 7 Chaos Space Marines, Champion with power sword, icon, flamer, rhino with combi weapon. 195
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines, PF Champion with icon, plasma gun x2 and Dreadclaw Drop Pod. 291
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors, PW, Icon, 2 Meltaguns. 140
  • Heavy Support: Obiliterators x2 150
Total: 1840pts.

In reply, Mark bought the following:

A lorra-lorra bikes (as Cilla would say)
  • Captain on Bike with relic blade, thunder hammer.
  • Chaplain on Bike with Crosius
  • Biker Squad 1 (5 bikes, PF Serg and Multimelta Attack Bike)
  • Biker Squad 2 (5 bikes, PF Serg and Multimelta Attack Bike)
  • Biker Squad 3 (5 bikes, PF Serg and Multimelta Attack Bike)
  • Scout Bikers 1 (2 Grenade Launchers)
  • Scout Bikers 2 (2 Grenade Launchers)
  • Assault Cannon, Flamer/DCCW Ancient Dreadnought
1850pts (or thereabouts)

'Evil' Command Biker Death Squad of Black Templarish Doom!

Mark won first turn and deployed everything to my right flank. The Scouts at the outer edges. I kept the Termies, HQ and Deathguard (in Dreadclaw) in reserve and castled up everything in the far left corner. The Oblits on the roof of a building with good fields of fire, the Dreadnought holding the right side and the squads (in Rhinos) in between. The Raptors were placed in a building in the centre to supply an ICON and distraction.

Castled up in the corner...

With barely 10 models on the board ... this was a long step back from Guard ... or Tyranids ... or Tau. And frankly a little scary. Mark scout moved his scouts to point blank range on the left and close to the raptors on the right ...

Turn 1.

His shooting was pretty poor as only the scouts on the left were in range (ie point blank), an Oblit ate a wound.

Oh ... hello boys?!?

Now I wondered what my boys could do... My raptors leapt towards the far right and shot and jumped his Scout bikers... Mark hadn't even noticed the crafty Alpha Legion Raptors (in their cunning camoflage of bright green and blue?!?) but I realised I was in trouble when the Raptors only managed to down a single T5 biker on the charge (despite melta shots and bolter shots and CC) thanks to the T5 AND the 3+ turbo save. Gulp! They lost a Raptor in return.

AMBUSH! 10,000 years of evilness, only to be bested by scouts!?!

The Oblits and Dreadnought targeted the front biker group with 3 Heavy Plasma shots and only managed to down a couple of Bikes (one from each squad). I rushed up my Rhinos and Dreadnought to face the incoming Multimeltas and maybe block their charge. Squad One jumped out of their rhino and hosed down the Scout Bikers, also managing a single kill ... this was getting a bit rubbish.

Turn 2.

Turn two, the rearmost biker horde bought my cunning decoy (otherwise known as Raptor pate) and zoomed right to support the scouts. A poor show of combat resulted in a further dead biker and the raptors bought it. Maybe Nurgle raptors would be worth it?

The Dreadnought holds the right as the Terminators arrive on the left.

The bikes to the right rushed up to the Rhino's, at which point Mark displayed his Achilles heel. His skill at shooting with multimeltas is phenomenal. Over the entire game, he failed to kill a single vehicle with any one of maybe 7 multimelta shots. It was silly. Rhino's survived, Dreadnought survived and it got interesting. The Scouts on the left ignored the Oblits and plowed into the Chaosmarines with bolter and chainsword. Despite the WS3 and 4+ save, their T5 proved a real pain and my guys were cut down to just the serge ... although they did manage a few casualties in return.

Squish ... twice in one night ... how demoralising!

In reply, my Terminators and Sorceror appeared, bouncing of the lone serge's icon. They immediately joined the Dreadnought in shooting up the right flanking bikers trying to melta the Dread. In a shock moment the bikers fell like flies to Plasma, flamer and TL bolter. The Oblits lined up more plasma cannon shots and hit home this time, felling a few more bikes. Meanwhile the second squad of Chaosmarines were 'recycled' from the casualties in squad one and attempted to shoot up the command bikers ... they failed.

The Chosen (hiding at the back), slung their meltas (they wouldn't fire all game) and charged in with the lone sergeant to kill the bikers. The Chosen Sergeant's powerfist was devastating, but couldn't save the lone sergeant from having his head squished by the Scout Serg's PF.

The Dreadnought was equally effective and charged the biker gang in front of him. Immediately he demonstrated how useless Krak grenade and PF are against a Chaos Dreadnought ... he was awesome - reducing the squad to an attack bike and single sergeant.

Turn 3.

'Sacrificial Squad 2' got eaten by the command squad, although they did manage to down a bike with a power weapon before being trampled. The Command Squad then consolidated out of charge range of the Terminators - which was unsporting by easily remedied.

The Dreadnought continued to munch bikers, easily finishing off the attack bike and sergeant. Meanwhile the rearmost Scouts moved up and the Dreadnought was almost in range of the Terminators. The middle Biker group also placed themselves on the charge.

The Dreadclaw drop pod arrived and smacked down behind the Scouts. Huron and the plasma packing deathguard made short work of the Bikers, with only the Sergeant surviving. The Oblits stopped messing about with plasma and blew the assault cannon off the Dreadnought (blasted 'reroll the penetration' Ancient dreadnought). The meltaguns of the chosen blazed and blew away a couple of bikes. The Rhinos passed their difficult terrain rolls and crossed the board, further blocking lines of attack, while the Sorceror cast 'Lash of Submission' and brought the enemy command squad back into range.

Lash of Submission plays the 'get over here' card on the Command Bikers.

The clash of close combat was destructive, but signalled the start of the end for the Loyalist marines. Multiple turns of chainfist and powerfist hits were simply shrugged off by the Smurf Captain under his stormshield (aptly named), but the bikers all bought it, as did the chaplain, and the chaos dreadnought chewed him up.

The last biker bites it as the Chaplain, Loyalist Dreadnought (sans arms) and Captain decide who to attack

Huron broke away from the Plaguemarines and dispatched the last scout biker with ease. Meanwhile the now-armless loyalist dreadnought managed to break a rhino - cheeky bugger. Huron got jumped by the Loyalist Captain and a PF/Stormshield, Relic Blade, Invulnerable fight ensued.

The game ended on turn 5 at 6KP all.

However, when played to the death, the dreadnought and plaguemarines proved too much for the bikers and the loyalists quickly crumpled.

Learning Experience

I'm not sold on the Dreadclaw. A drop pod is helpful, but this is effectively a flying brick. I'm not convinced about its usefulness as a tactical instrument when you consider that it doesn't benefit from the turn one autoarrive that the Marine Equivilent gets.

On the back of a solid performance, I've invested in the first five Terminators... did I say first five?

The Sorceror served his purpose, his efficiency in combat was questionable, but the Lash is an essential requirement for the slow and cumbersome Terminators. The terminators performed well, although power weapons proved 'hopeful' against T5. On review combi-weapons are cool, they also proved pretty useless en masse. I'm more convinced about the threat rating of Lightning claws combined with the bonus attacks of being a Champion Khronate nasty. 6 attacks on the charge combined with rerolls to wound would have certainly hurt the command squad. Without storm shields, Terminators are very vulnerable to enemy power weapons. This is where lots of rerollable attacks is essential.

Against this opponent I would even consider taking the cheaper Slannesh upgrade over the Khronate attack bonus. I5 would have seriously helped, giving them on par attacks with heroes.

Hurons a great model with brilliant rules, but VERY vulnerable on his lonesome. I bottled it slightly, trying for multiple power weapon hits over an instant kill powerfist hit. If I'd trusted to my PF, he could have won. The threat of his Heavy Flamer AND reroll to hit and wound on the PF or PW makes him a particularly tasty customer.

Secondly, Hurons 'ability' with warptime is a mixed bag. Brilliant on the charge, but Deathguard are made to 'be charged' and not charge themselves. Outside my turn, Huron was pretty basic - still hard, but basic nonetheless. He'd probably better work with a unit of WorldEaters... hmm.

Overall, I really enjoyed the first outing with the marines. T4, S4, 3+ is a much more forgiving territory than I've known with the Guard, Tyranids and especially Tau. Now, in addition to the Rhino, do I need more Terminators ... or a Landraider?

Here's my thoughts on an updated list:
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart (accompanying the Deathguard??)
  • HQ: Lash Prince Terminator Sorcerer (Accompanying the Terminators)
  • Elite: 5 Khornate Terminators, 1 Combimelta and Chainfist, 1 combi-flamer and powerfist, powerfist and heavy flamer, 2 Champions with Lightning Claws.
  • Elite: Dreadnought with plasma cannon, extra armour and heavy flamer.
  • Troops: 7 Chaos Space Marines, Champion with power sword, icon, flamer, rhino.
  • Troops: 7 Chaos Space Marines, Champion with power sword, icon, flamer, rhino.
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines, PF Champion with icon, plasma gun x2 and Rhino.
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors, Icon, Power weapon, 2 Meltaguns.
  • Heavy Support: Obiliterators x2
  • Heavy Support: 5 Havoc Marines with PF Champ, 4 melta and an icon
Do I keep Huron with the Deathguard? A Landraider? Khorne Beserkers? More Terminators? Deamons?

What are your thoughts...?
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