Sunday, 13 August 2017

Deep Cleanse: Space Marines vs Chaos

We remain in the 41st millennium for our next battle report: the humble Space Marines take on a mixed bag of Chaos!

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

Gee, that's a lot of Smite!
It's an all-Skype Fight Night!

I, Stylus, am back in the 40k saddle. This time, borrowing from Kasfunatu's considerable collection to put a 1000pt Adeptus Astartes force against a mixed bag of Chaos Marine and Daemons. Death to the heretic!

Crypt Angels

  • Captain (Warlord) - Master-crafted boltgun, Relic Blade
  • Primaris Lieutenant - Master-crafted auto bolt rifle
  • Techmarine - Power Axe, Servo Arm
  • Dreadnought - Assault cannon, Dreadnought combat weapon, Heavy flamer
  • Dreadnought - Twin autocannon, Twin autocannon
  • 6 x Company Veterans - Sgt: Power Sword, Grav-Pistol; 1 x Flamer, 2 x Meltagun
  • 5 x Tactical Squad - Flamer
  • 5 x Tactical Squad - Missile Launcher
  • 5 x Scout Squad - Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles
  • 1 x Rhino - Storm Bolter

Battalion Detachment, Vanguard Detachment: 7 Command Points

This list is probably stretched a little thin: my Veteran squad is understaffed and my tactical squads are light on equipment. But it's my first Space Marine army, and I'm greedy to try out everything.

I'm expecting a lot from the Dreadnoughts in this list: the regular one to take the brunt of the fighting, while the double-twin autocannon (the 'Rifle Dread') blazes away from the backline (with the Lieutenant to re-roll wounds and the Techmarine to keep him healthy).

With only close-range weapons, the Veteran squad can ride the Rhino to close in, aided by my close-combat Captain. The Scouts are for basic sniping, or anything that might need mortal wounds, and the regular Tactical squads are for plugging gaps and objective grabbing.

NB The Lieutenant being a Primaris was something of a goof: I didn't know they came in regular flavour until after I'd spent the points, and couldn't be bothered rejigging it.

Crypt Daemons

  • Winged Daemon Prince of Khorne (Warlord) - warp bolter, extra talons
  • Ahriman on Disc
  • 20 x Bloodletters - Instrument
  • 11 x Horrors (10 brimstone and 1 blue)
  • 11 x Horrors (10 brimstone and 1 blue)
  • 4 x Screamers
  • 1 x Heldrake - baleflamer

Battalion Detachment: 6 Command Points

This seemed a very efficient, if not fragile, way to get the troop tax done such that I can play as a Battalion (we all know how vital those command points can be, right?) With a min sized block of horrors, who can be freely taken from their smaller ranks, I can have an objective squatting unit with a 4++ save that can (as I long as I draw line of the blue) cast Smite once per turn - all for 25 points! In a previous game one unit held up a big Tyranid tank for three turns. 

In fact this is pretty much that same list that I had used against the 'nids. I had played at 1600 so dropped the knight, a screamer, and my back up blue horrors are downgraded bring it down to 1000. I am reminded how expensive those knights are again; I can't imagine playing one in any smaller game.


We're playing the 'Cleanse and Capture' mission - which scatters six objectives across the field, and we have three mission cards per turn (with the option for one discard, or drawing a fresh one when the mission is achieved). Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Linebreaker are also in play.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

My fire base of Rifle Dread, Techmarine, Lieutenant and Missile Tac Squad take position in the centre of the field, behind the cover of a wall, and with good fields of fire.

The Captain and Veterans deploy in the Rhino, just ahead of them, with the Assault Dread on their flank.

The Scouts occupy the top of the tower, and the Flamer Tac Squad lurk behind them.

My horrors crowd around two of the objectives; the bloodletters take centre stage ready to charge for the middle of the board; and the flying fast troops take alternate flanks.

Turn 1 - Space Marines

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

With fewest drops, I have the option to go first. In hindsight, and knowing how few guns were in that army, I probably should have chosen to go second. But I was raring to go, so off I went.

And I tried to steal; if I had thought about it: I shouldn't have attempted. Thankfully I did not steal.

My objective cards aren't great: Cast a Psychic Power (I can't), Kill a Psyker (either Ahriman or the two units of Horrors - both rocking some invulnerable saves), or Seize the objective in the forest -currently occupied by Horrors.

The Rhino and Assault Dread advance up the field, the Flamer Squad jump into the nearest house, everyone stands still to shoot what they can.

The Scouts turn their sniper rifles on Ahriman, as I'm feeling ill-disposed towards psykers (not having any myself). His invulnerable save sees him good, but the last Scout (who was out of range of Ahriman) does plink a wound off the Heldrake.

All my other heavy weapons also turn on the Heldrake, taking off another six wounds.


It's a slow start, but it's a start.

It's a decent start, the Heldrake is already less than optimal, at least it is about to shrug a bit of that off as fleshmetal coalesces.

Turn 1 - Chaos

The squatting horrors bunker down and prepare for the long war of standing still and occasional smites for things that get too close. 

The Heldrake is sent towards the tower, wanting to clear out those scouts before they take out the heroes. Bloodletters advance towards the central objective. The northern flank move full out forward; but still hoping to make the charge difficult.

Shooting is effective and the scouts are all but removed.

With a 3 mortal wounds from the Horrors' Smite! I thought they would be tucked up cosy in cover with their Camo Cloaks, but you can't do anything about the mind bullets.

I was lucky with objective cards and could already claim for sitting on the one I was on.

Turn 2 - Space Marines

I begin by discarding my Cast a Psychic Power card and my new mission is to get into the enemy deployment zone. My army isn't that mobile, but a well-motivated Rhino might do it.

And probably can run over my squishy horrors with ease.

My Flamer Tac squad fall back from the Heldrake, and my Assault Dread Advances towards the Screamers. My Captain and Veterans disembark from the Rhino and also move to the Screamers. The Rhino itself vaults an obstacle to contest on objective with the Horrors.

My shooting is mediocre: I pile a lot of shots in to the Heldrake, but it's still left limping on one wound. My Veterans and Dreadnought take down a few Screamers and a couple of Bloodletters.

In the assault phase, my Dreadnought charges into the Screamers, but my Captain falls short. Having learned my lesson about not leaving my warlord on his own from the last game, I choose to keep my Veterans back, so they stay between him and the Bloodletters.

The Dreadnought tears down a Screamer, and is untouched in return, but my line feels decidedly ramshackle, and I'm nowhere near gaining any objective points.

Turn 2 - Chaos

The heldrake eyes up the marines, and then the scouts and too impatiently I decide to stay still to ensure the Scout's death, and then I could shoot the marines. I soon realise after the horrors Smite the last two scouts that the heldrake can't see the veterans (see locker room chat) and so does nothing this turn.

The other horrors wince and try and hurt the rhino: failing.

With the captain now exposed, my prince opts for warlord-showdown and charged in. 

Ahriman flies and then pscyhics himself further to behind the building and gazes and smites the Lieutenant to within a breath of his death.

(The Lt is down to his last wound - the extra one he gets for being a Primaris. Not so silly now, eh?)

The bloodletters charge the marine squad. A couple are lost to flaming overwatch; but the the butchery that followed saw the squad dismembered.

The screamer is holding up the Dread for now.

I've claimed killing a unit in combat, another objective I am sitting on, and killing the warlord twice (once for the slay and once from a card) and first blood as the scouts die.

My poor Captain never even got a chance to strike back (and with a Relic Blade, he'd have given that Daemon something to think about). My Iron Halo save let me down so badly that not even spending a Command Point to reroll would have helped.

Turn 3 - Space Marines

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

Oh dear, this is all going south very quickly, but I still have firepower on my side.

My Flamer Tac squad move around to get a bead on the tenacious Heldrake, my Lieutenant scurries behind the Rifle Dread so he's no longer the closest target, and my Rhino moves back to contest the centre objective (assuming I can clear all those Bloodletters off it).

In the shooting phase, the Heldrake takes most of what I have, and is still left on its last wound! (he is getting one back each turn). In the end, I have to spilt the autocannon fire from my Rifle Dread: half into the Heldrake and half into the Daemon Prince. Not only does the flying beastie fall, but I just about take out the Deamon Prince too - I get Slay The Warlord!

Just enough. This would be a nice time to remember about command points and use one for a reroll. I didn't and the warlord falls.

Turn 3 - Chaos

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

The screamer has done well holding up the dreadnought but the Khornate swords, fresh with veteran blood now charge in and slice the exoskeleton and armour apart.

Ahriman flies to a position of safety, invisible to the gunline, and plinks some wounds from the rhino.

I had to abandon the central objective, and I need to get it and then hold it for two independent points.... I'll be back.

Turn 4 - Space Marines

Fare thee well, Assault Dread, at least you drew off the Bloodletters from the central objective and clumped them into a nice target for me. I blast away with everything I have, taking out more than half the unit (although I think Kasfunatu wisely spent two Command Points to ensure they auto-pass their morale test).

Elsewhere, the Flamer Tac squad give up on dislodging the Horrors from the forest (I could have taken them in combat, I just wasn't optimistic about all the Smite raining down on me) and start yomping toward the centre.

Turn 4 - Chaos

Everything targets the Rhino and as a result also manage to get closer to central objective.

It's taken out.

I even spend a Command Point to try and get it to explode, but it's not playing ball. (I have quite a lot of CPs left - there has been no borderline dice rolls for me to spend them on, so I should have read up on the available Stratagems).

Turn 5 - Space Marines

I exchange another objective card and get one that tells me to seize the objective outside the big building - the one my Flamer squad has been fighting over for most of the battle, but has now left. I throw it into the air and keep moving towards the centre: I'm so far behind on objective points now, I'm just fighting for honour.

Moving up into the centre with my Missile Tac squad, and closing in with the Flamer squad, I unleash everything onto the Bloodletters, taking out all but two of them.

Turn 5 - Chaos

I need to grab a different objective and so the northern horrors make an advance and run towards the antenna for another easy victory point.

My remaining bloodletters and herald camp on the central objective, claiming it for now, but unlikely to hold and defend it.

Ahriman, the chicken, stays hidden; crossing fingers that everything is about to end.

Turn 6 - Space Marines

It didn't.

My targets are running low now: the Horrors are too far back, squatting on some plumb objectives, and Ahriman is very sensibly hiding behind an outhouse. I clean up the remaining Bloodletters and plink off the last Screamer before charging into the Herald.

This is where I learn that it's probably not a good idea to take on a Herald of Khorne in close combat with a bare-bones Tactical squad, but at least my guys put two wounds on him before getting scythed down.

But you have enough there to stop me claiming I have defended it; so that's good.

Turn 6 - Chaos

Warhammer 40k battle report - Cleanse and Capture - Space Marines vs Chaos.

The herald disposes of the remaining interlopers to his central prize.

Everybody camps and claims more victory points with the and hopes that they are about to be summoned back to their realm in a glorious fanfare.... There are not many left to celebrate! 

Then the call comes for home.

Result: 9-2 Victory to Chaos

Locker Room

I may have been trounced, but that was a lot of fun. Indeed, in terms of losses, it was a lot more even than I'd feared. That may be one of the good factors the new 40k has brought over from Age of Sigmar - battles tend to be bloody affairs on both sides, so complete tablings are now rarer.

My tactics were all over the place: I definitely should have held back and shot with everything, rather than wander forward aimlessly. But the Rifle Dread did wonders for fire support and I'd want one of those in a future army.

Yes, he was good. I have my eye on him

I took a awful lot of damage from Smite, and without a Librarian to counter, there was no answer but to weather it (or kill the damn psyker). Horrors really are a great way to get budget psykers in the army. And speaking of surprise deamons, I'm much warier of Bloodletters now I know what they can do.

The bloodletters are better on the charge (+1A and +1S) and when accompanied by a herald (+1S) and with the awful -3AP swords which occasionally do double damage they can make mince of the right targets... if they charge. In their last outing they were wiped out on turn one to a bunch of charging broodlord enchanced genestealers.

As always after games (and apologies as still new) my horrors were rolling two psychic dice. I don't think it turned the tide much. Whilst the unit in the woods cleaned up the scouts more easily than they should - it also left a Heldrake with his baleflamer and charge unused in a a round and I reckon he could have taken out the two scouts. On the other front, the rhino was hit badly by it, but then suffered so much overkill from the bloodletters that again the 3 extra wounds made no impact on the the game. But must get better at remembering key things like that!

The heldrake wasn't the MVP I had seen when playing against either T'au or Nids; but I suppose it soaked up a lot of fire which might have gone elsewhere. I still don't think I'd leave home without one.

Yes, the Heldrake may have underperformed because I put so much effort into killing it early on. I had visions of it engaging my backline, so I couldn't shoot with the Rifle Dread etc, then flitting away to breath fire on me.

What my list really lacked was mobility: other than the lone Rhino, I had no means of getting anywhere fast, which was critical in an objective-based game. A shame, as my other draft lists had Jump Marines and Terminators in it - maybe that's one for the rematch.

Whilst I have a 1600 version of this available if you want to augment and rematch, I don't think I'd be keeping Ahriman. He just doesn't synergise well and is not enough to carry anything by himself. A nice ally, and I wanted to try it: but time to try something else.


  1. GW have just released an errata to curb your Brimstone Horror shenanigans (I didn't even know they read this blog).

  2. The shenanigans will merely be driven underground by this latest purge. Rest assured, they shall return in a new, more insidious form in the future.

    1. You can't win, Darth. If you FAQ me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

    2. L: Your horror-confidence is your weakness.
      P: Your faith in your FAQs is yours!

  3. Do you have a link? as I was only looking at: and lamenting my 2 wound reduction on the daemon prince too (you still killed him on the same turn) but he only had 2 wounds when I thought he had 4.

  4. Found it. BOLS more up to date than GW!
    Ok, I am happy with that change. Seeing as I was happy to claim 1 not d3 in one round anyway, it probably is not much of a downgrade!
    Also I think I would still take them the way I did. they are squatters and annoyance; but agree it is appropriate that they are less effectual. 1 MW it is from now on.