Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Tears of the Sons: Thousand Sons vs Death Guard

Apparently you don't need Skype to play Warhammer? Upon this revelation, I took my Thousand Sons out into the world for couple of floorhammer battles.

First up: the Death Guard!


Slow and Steady - Thousand Sons

A change from my previous list with the inclusion of the Scarab Terminators and removal of the Helldrake (nothing personal, he just wouldn't fit into my bag).

The Tzaangor were also elbowed aside, as they didn't impress me last time. I'd prefer to have kept the Cultists as one big unit, but I wanted the extra command points.
  • HQ 1 - Exalted Sorcerer on Disc of Tzeentch
    Warlord: Unholy Fortitude. Relic: Eye of Tzeentch
    Force Stave, Inferno bolt pistol, Frag & Krak Grenades
    Psychic powers: Warptime, Death Hex
  • HQ 2 - Exalted Sorcerer
    Force Stave, Inferno bolt pistol, Frag & Krak Grenades
    Psychic powers: Prescience, Weaver of Fates
  • Elite 1 - 5 x Scarab Occult Terminators
    Force Stave, 4 x Inferno Combi-Bolter, 4 x Power Sword, 1 x Soulreaper Cannon, 1 x Hellfyre Missile Rack
  • Troops 1 - 10 x Rubric MarinesForce Sword, Warpflame pistol, 6 x Inferno boltguns, 2 x Warpflamers, 1 x Soulreaper Cannon, 1 x Icon of Flame
  • Troops 2 - 10 x Chaos Cultists
    Shotgun, Autoguns, Heavy Stubber
  • Troops 3 - 10 x Chaos Cultists
    Brutal Assault Weapons, Autopistols, Flamer
  • Fast Attack - 3 x Chaos Spawn
    Hideous mutations
999pts - Battalion detachment, 6 CPs

On closer inspection, I realised that I'd been adding up the points wrong - Power Swards are the not the same as Force Swords - and so the actual cost was 950pts. Let's just say I gave myself a 50pt handicap. I'm nice like that.

Slow and Slimy - Death Guard

My opponent was Leofa and his Death Guard, most of which came from the Dark Imperium box set.
  • HQ 1 - Typhus
    Manreaper, The Destroyer Hive, Blight grenades
  • HQ 2 - Malignant Plaguecaster
    Corrupted staff, Bolt pistol
  • Elite 1 - Noxious Blightbringer
    Cursed Plague Bell, Plasma pistol
  • Troops 1 - 5 x Plague Marines
    Boltguns, Bolt Pistols, Plague Knives, Plasma Gun, Melta Gun, Power Fist, Icon of Despair
  • Troops 2 - 5 x Plague Marines
    Boltguns, Bolt Pistols, Plague Knives, Power Fist, Icon of Despair
  • Troops 3 - 16 x Poxwalkers
    Improvised Weapons
  • Fast Attack - Foetid Bloat-drone
    Plaguespitters, Plague Probe
  • [Summoned] 6 x Nurgling Swarms
1,000pts - Battalion detachment, 6 CPs

Scenario & Deployment

We picked Cleanse & Capture, as it's the simplest one to use with Tactical Objectives and Leofa hasn't played with them before.

(picture taken after the Terminators landed, top-right)

I place the Cultists close to the back (top-left), hiding and ready to snatch a nearby objective. The Rubrics and Exalted Sorcerers stick to the right flank (bottom-left). The Spawn get right in the centre, on the other side of the tower to the Plague Marines. The Terminators pop into the teleportarium.

One unit of Plague Marines hug the opposite side of the central tower, and the big unit of Poxwalkers go into the tower behind them. The other unit of Plague Marines goes into cover on their right flank (top-right), backed up by the Foetid Bloat-drone. Typhus bides his time in the teleport chamber and the Nurglings are chilling out in the Warp.

Turn 1

I get the first turn and decide to go aggressive. The Cultists advance on objectives, and the Rubrics go around the flank, followed by the Exalted Sorcerers who buff them with psychic powers.

The Spawn go ahead and charge the centre squad of Plague Marines, who've already been blooded by bolter fire. They do pretty well in combat, chopping down the remainder of them for one loss and getting First Blood.

The Spawn arrive early for the party and are loving it.

I drop in the Scarab Occult Terminators behind Blightdrone, because I drew Scour the Skies and seizing the objective near them. The Terminators blaze away and chip away a few wounds, but crucially fail their charge (this was my fault for not casting Warptime on them - I intended to, but got carried away buffing the Rubrics).

On the Death Guard turn, Typhus drops in among Poxwalkers. The Plaguecaster summons the Nurglings to take an objective from a unit of Cultists, and promptly guns down the Cultists.

Not pictured: a unit of Cultists.

In combat, the Spawn clobber the Blightbringer down to his last wound, then lose one of their own.

"That warpstone is mine!"

Turn 2

Aside from the Terminators falling short (and now being hopelessly out of position in the corner of the the field), I'm feeling good about where we are.

The Rubrics continue to advance and get buffed again. This time, I remember to use the Chaos Familiar Stratagem to switch out the Scarab Sorcerer's spell to Warptime (very useful) and the Terminators go forward into charge range of the remaining Plague Marines.

In shooting, most the Poxwalkers are gunned down by the Rubrics and the Bloat-drone is dropped a level by the Terminator shooting. But it's not so good in combat: the Spawn can't get the Blightbringer's last wound, and both Terminators and Plague Marines whiff their combats.

Typhus responds by coming down from his tower, screened by the handful of surviving Poxwalkers. The Plaguecaster casts Smite on the Terminators, gets a Perils of the Warp result, and lets it stand to inflict 6 wounds to Terminators (after a re-roll Stratagem) and only takes 1 himself.

The Bloat-drone wanders off to gun down most of the second unit of Cultists.

Soon-to-be three Cultists.

Typhus shoots of two Rubric Marines with his 'how-the-hell-is-that-a-pistol' weapon, and then charges into the last Spawn and kills it.

The Nurglings charge into what remains of the Terminator combat, but do nothing, though the fourth Terminator falls to the Plague Marine champion for no return.

Turn 3

Suddenly the left flank doesn't look quite so secure, and I'm lagging behind on objective points. The Rubrics get into close-range with Typhus and the Terminator Sorcerer pulls out of combat.

I then play the Tide of Traitors Stratagem to take the shot-up remains of the Cultists and re-renter them on the far side of the table, close to the Terminator-contested objective. I cast Warptime to move them forward, then gun down a few Nurglings and seize the objective.


The Exalted Sorcerers then Smite away the last of the Nurglings, leaving Typhus exposed to all my gunfire, and remove his invulnerable save with Death Hex for good measure. The Rubric Marines Inferno Bolguns shoot off half his wounds, and then charge in, followed by my Disc Sorcerer (the other Sorcerer goes off to claim an objective).

Despite needing 2s to hit, the Disc Sorcerer whiffs his attacks, and Typhus is left on one wound, which is all he needs to retaliate, and leave the Sorcerer on one wound.

With no objectives to achieve, we speed through this last round: Typhus concentrates on killing the Disc Sorcerer to claim Slay the Warlord, the Blightdrone gets Linebreaker and we call it.

Final total: 8 VPs vs 6 VPs - a victory for Death Guard!

Locker Room

A fun game, even if I did lose to Tzeentch's rival (or do they hate Space Wolves more?). One more wound to Typhus and it would have been a draw at the very least, but that Disgustingly Resilient save is a hard one to crack (mind you, Leofa felt the same about the kind of saving throws my Rubrics enjoy - it says something that one overpowered Smite did more wounds than all his other firepower and combat attacks combined).

I played my Terminators badly (as is usual for the first outing of a new unit) - but I think they're better for firepower than combat, so I should think about Prescience rather than Warptime for them. Either way, they give me some movement options in a slow army.

Tide of Traitors remains my favourite stratagem, although that might be because I lose so much of my army it's nice to be able to replenish it. I was also impressed with the Chaos Spawn. In an army without much close-combat punch, they do provide a very good 'first wave' of attacks (and who cares about losing them?)

As a final note: even against Typhus and a Plaguecaster, I was very much aware of how I was bossing the Psychic Phase. Two Exalted Sorcerers and two Aspiring Sorcerers on the board meant that I could attempt to deny every spell, and have my way with my own Psychic powers. All very appropriate, and very welcome.


  1. Sounds like it went down to the wire - nice!

    And that card scenery looks better and better every time I see it. All the more so because you wouldn't have to paint it. Must... hide... wallet...

    1. Yes, the card scenery is awesome. With most of the game on the ground, we didn't really utilise all the walkways, but they'd be great for Necromunda.