Monday, 5 November 2018

Fools Rush In: Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons

It's a clash of the fallen as Dark Angels face Thousand Sons once again!

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

I returned to Bristol to face Armoury of The Rock's grim astartes - but did I bring scissors or paper?

The Mission - Contact Lost

We play an original Maelstrom mission: Contact Lost. Basically, you can hold up to six objective cards, but you have to control objective markers to generate them.

So it's a good idea to be on as many objective markers as possible - easier said than done when one army wants to castle up in the corner, and the other needs to charge headlong at them...


Dark Angels

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

  • Interrogator-Chaplain in Terminator Armour (HQ -Warlord)
    Storm bolter 
  • Librarian in Terminator Armour (HQ)
    Psychic Powers: Mind Worm, Aversion
  • Primaris Master (HQ)
    Master-crafted auto bolt rifle, Power sword 
  • Primaris Lieutenant (HQ)
    Plasma pistol, Power sword 
  • Intercessor Squad (Troops)
    Bolt rifles
  • Intercessor Squad (Troops)
    Bolt rifles
  • 5 x Scout Squad (Troops)
    Sniper rifles
  • 5 x Reiver Squad (Elite)
    Bolt Carbines, Grav-chutes
  • Redemptor Dreadnought (Elite)
    Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, 2 x Storm Bolters 
  • 5 x Deathwing Knights (Elite)
    Flail of the Unforgiven, 4 x Mace of Absolution, 5 x Storm shields
  • 5 x Deathwing Terminators (Elite)
    Storm bolter & Power Sword, Power fist & Storm bolter, Plasma cannon 
  • 10 x Hellblasters (Heavy)
    Plasma Incinerators
  • Land Raider Crusader (Heavy)
    2 x Hurricane bolter, Twin assault cannon 
  • Dark Talon (Flyer)
    2 x Hurricane bolter, rift cannon, stasis bomb
Points: 2001 | Level: 104 | Battle-forged + Battalion + Vanguard: 9 CPs

Well, it looks like I'm facing a castle full of plasma and some brutal Deathwing Terminators - the classic Dark Angels experience!

A nice mix of classic and Primaris - I reckon I need to close up and crack the nugget, while sweeping away any of the faster elements that could hinder me - like the flyer and teleporting terminators. Controlling the table should be possible, given I'll have to play aggressive, so we'll see how this goes. 

Thousand Sons

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

  • Magnus the Red (LoW)
    The Blade of Magnus
    Warlord Trait: Lord of Forbidden Lore
    Psychic powers: Glamour of Tzeentch, Weaver of Fates, Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate
  • Exalted Sorcerer on Disc (HQ)
    Force Stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol
    Psychic powers: Gift of Chaos, Warptime
  • Exalted Sorcerer (HQ)
    Force Stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol
    Relic: Dark Matter Crystal
    Psychic powers: Prescience, Temporal Manipulation
  • 10 x Rubric Marines (Troops)
    Force stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol, 2 x Warpflamer, Soulreaper Cannon
    Psychic powers: Tzeentch's Firestorm
  • 10 x Tzaangors (Troops)
    Brayhorn, Tzaangor Blades
  • 10 x Tzaangors (Troops)
    Brayhorn, Tzaangor Blades
  • 11 x Cultists (Troops)
    Autoguns, Shotgun, Heavy Stubber
  • 11 x Cultists (Troops)
    Autopistols, Brutal Assault Weapons, Flamer
  • Tzaangor Shaman (Elite)
    Force Stave
    Psychic powers: Glamour of Tzeentch
  • Helbrute (Elite)
    Twin Lascannon, Missile Launcher
  • 2 x Chaos Spawn (Fast)
  • 2 x Chaos Spawn (Fast)
  • 3 x Tzaangor Enlightened (Fast)
    Fatecaster greatbows
  • Mutalith Vortex Beast (Heavy)
  • Mutalith Vortex Beast (Heavy)
    + 66 reinforcement points
Points: 2000 | Level: 111 | Battle-forged + Battalion + Super-Heavy Auxiliary: 8 CPs

Magnus is coming out to play again, so I thought I'd theme the army around mutation. So that would be two Vortex Beasts, four Spawn, and enough cheeky reinforcement point to generate two more (I have three routes for doing so).

Everything else is the usual: two packs of Tzaangor for jumping out of the webway, two units of Cultists to grab me those vital objectives, a large unit of Rubrics (I've got something special in mind for them), and a shooty Helbrute for some backfield artillery.


Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

We roll up for Search and Destroy deployment and, being lazy souls, decide to pick the table ends where we're already sat.

I stick a unit of Cultists on Objective 5 at the back, and the other Cultists in the river, ready to splash across and get Objective 1. I spend three CPs to put the two units of Tzaangors into Webway Strike, hide the Tzaangor Enlightened and Shaman at the back, flanked by the Helbrute on one side, and the Rubrics on the other.

Leading the charge will be the two units of Spawn, two Vortex Beasts and Magnus himself, making the most of the big red target that he surely is.

The Dark Angels form a solid bastion in their corner: Hellblasters surrounded by Captain, Lieutenant and two units of Intercessors. On one flank is the Land Raider Crusader, filled with Chaplain, Librarian and Deathwing Knights. The Dark Talon goes at the back, ready to race forward, and the Scouts camp out on an objective near the centre of the field, deep in the forest under their camo cloaks.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
Where did the Scouts go?

The Deathwing Terminators go into the teleportation, and the Reivers into deepstrike.

The Dark Angels take the first turn (after drawing the roll-off three times!), and we're away!

Dark Angels - Turn 1

On the first turn, we each get an objective card for free (and have to control objectives to generate subsequent ones). The Dark Angels get Priority Orders Received: Witch Hunter - killing a psyker isn't a bad one against Thousand Sons, there's plenty to choose from!

In the Movement Phase, most of the army stays still, with only the Dark Talon zooming into the centre to train its guns on Magnus. Most of its shots fly wide, however, and the Crimson King is barely scratched.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

Then the rest of the plasma castle opens up: the Hellblasters are just an inch within range of Magnus (oops - maybe I shouldn't have flung him so far forward) and they let rip into him, taking him down to his second wound bracket. The Redemptor's plasma cannon also lets rip - injuring himself in the process - and chips away some more.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
There's no piece of terrain that can screen Magnus.

The Land Raider's guns shoot away at the left-hand Mutalith for minimal damage.

There are no charges to make, so that's the Imperium's opening salvo done.

Thousand Sons - Turn 1

Well, that was reckless of me - I guess at least Magnus has been drawing fire, but I need to be more careful with the big fella.

The card I draw is Psychic Supremacy - which always sounds like it should be a gimmie for Thousand Sons, but really isn't. It requires a successful Deny the Witch test, so you're relying on your opponent getting a successful cast off before you can do anything. Either way, I'm not scoring it in my turn.

I keep one unit of Cultists on my backfield objective, and everyone else surges forward. The other Cultists jump into the forest to control another objective, and the Tzaangor Enlightened and Shaman fly over shoot the Dark Talon. Magnus and the Disc Sorcerer also fly into easy charge range.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

One Mutalith advances towards the Scouts in the forest, the other one skirts around the Dark Talon to head for the Land Raider The two units of Spawn move to back them up.

The Helbrute stays put, and the Sorcerer on foot stays with him. At the end of the phase, he activates the Dark Matter Crystal to teleport the unit of Rubrics right in front of the Dark Angels' castle.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Psychic phase is spend giving Magnus a bit of a buff and polish - he heals wounds back up to his top bracket with Temporal Manipulation, adds Glamour of Tzeentch and Weaver of Fates to make him more survivable. Elsewhere, I get Prescience on the Helbrute and Warptime on the left-flank Mutalith, who is now really close to the enemy lines. The rest is just a few Smites on the Dark Talon.

In shooting, there's nothing creative for the Mutalith's to do except Beam of Unreality, which chips off a few wounds from the Land Raider and Dark Talon respectively. The Enlightened shoot a couple of arrows into the Dark Talon (presumably they get jammed into the turbines). Now teleported into small-arms range, the Rubrics open fire on the Hellblasters, using Veterans of the Long War to make those shots count, and inflicting five wounds.

Finally, the Helbrute shoots the big guns at its opposite number. The lascannons cause seven wounds, and then the krak missile causes another five. With one wound already lost to the plasma overheating in its own phase, that Redemptor is destroyed! To add insult to injury, it then explodes! Two more Hellblasters fall, a Primaris from each squad, and a wound off each of the officers. Carnage!

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
Not pictured: Redemptor Dreadnought

In the Assault Phase, the Rubrics fail to make it into combat, but Magnus successfully charges the Dark Talon, taking a troubling amount of damage from Overwatch too. The way now clear, the Disc Sorcerer, Tzaangor Shaman and Enlightened also charge into the Dark Talon.

With only six wounds left, it doesn't take much for Magnus to swat the Talon out of the sky. With the wounds he took to charge it, it might have been wiser to just Smite it to bits, but I wanted Magnus to attack something. And as a bonus, all my flying units get to surge upfield with the bonus moves of charge+pile-in+consolidate.

So that's the end of my first turn. I didn't get my objective, but did secure First Blood for the Redemptor Dreadnought, and have just blown a huge hold in the enemy castle.

Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): First Blood (1)

Dark Angels - Turn 2

The Dark Angels currently hold two objectives, so get two new cards: Kingslayer (there is a lot of points riding on Magnus being dead) and Defend Objective 5 (the one my Cultists are holding in the backline).

Wasting no time in dropping the hammer, the Deathwing Knights, Chaplain and Librarian all pile out of the Land Raider, which moves up for a better shot. The Reivers drop down on the flank of the Rubric Marines and the Deathwing Terminators just about manage to squeeze into a tiny piece of ground in the centre of the field that is 9" away from every enemy unit.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
There is a 32 x 160mm corridor where they could fit
 - the teleportarium has pinpoint accuracy!

In the Psychic Phase, the Librarian fails to cast Aversion (so I don't get to deny it) and then casts Mind Worm on the Mutalith with a double-six, blowing his own head off with three wounds!

The Shooting Phase continues the persecution of poor Magnus, with both Hellblasters and the obscene amount of dakka on the Land Raider Crusader blasting away at him. Despite his psychic protections, I roll pretty badly and the Cyclopes is left on just four wounds.

On the front lines, the combined small-arms of the Reivers, Scouts and Intercessors kill four Rubric Marines and a Tzaangor Enlightened. The Deathwing Terminators, being in a target-rich environment, aim for the Mutalith and take off six wounds.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

In the Assault Phase, the Chaplain and Knights go against the other Mutalith, while the Reivers fail their charge on the Rubrics. The Terminators hit the two Spawn in the centre.

The Deathwing Knights don't mess around with their flails and maces - the Mutalith is reduced to a twitching mass of protoplasm before the Chaplain even gets a chance to swing. The Terminators don't fare quite so well against the Mutalith's smaller cousins - only one Spawn is dragged down, and the other left on half wounds - he even manages to put a wound back on a Terminator!

I pass morale for the Rubrics. The Dark Angels have committed all their reserves, and have yet to get off the mark for victory points. So now it's my turn to punch back.

Objectives Scored (Dark Angels): none

Thousand Sons - Turn 2

With three objectives in my hand, the draw is quite kind to me. I get Secure Objective 5 (I'm on it), Secure Objective 1 (I'm on it) and Secure Objective 3 (currently swarmed with Deathwing Knights)

Determined to squeeze something useful out of Magnus, I fly him over to threaten the Deathwing Knights, accompanied by his Disc Sorcerer caddy. The Rubrics move forward to close the range with the castle. The Tzaangors and Shaman fly up to form a second firing line behind the Rubrics and the engaged unit of Spawn scamper towards the Land Raider.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Psychic Phase proves to be something of a damp squib (I get those every now and again). I spend a CP on Chaos Familiar to switch my Shaman's power for Temporal Manipulation, but it fails to heal up Magnus. Even Magnus fluffs most of his powers (which wouldn't have happened if he'd healed just one wound, moved up a bracket and claimed his casting bonus). Eventually I just about squeak off Weaver of Fates on him, so at least he has a better invulnerable save.

I do manage to Smite a wound off the Deathwing Knights (I probably should have done more of that - they have a good invulnerable save), and also manage to put a fright on the Librarian by casting Gift of Chaos on him, but he goes an denies it.

In the shooting phase, the surviving Rubrics, finding themselves surrounded, start spraying fire everywhere. One warpflamer into the Reivers (does nothing), one warpflamer into the Deathwing Knight (nothing) and all the inferno boltguns into the Hellblasters (now only a wounded sergeant left).

The Hellbrute turns his attention to the Land Raider Crusader, taking away seven wounds with his shots. After that it's a few pistols and Enlightened arrows into the Deathwing Knights (I'm trying to chip away the last wound so Magnus' multi-wound attack isn't wasted) to no avail.

Into the Assault Phase, the newly-arrived Tzaangor fail their charge against the castle, but Magnus makes it in against the Knights, and the Chaplain heroically intervenes. The Disc Sorcerer zooms in against his opposite number, the Terminator Librarian, and the last remaining Mutalith charges into the Terminators.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

As something of a forlorn hope, I declare a long-distance charge from my two Spawn into the Land Raider, just to tie up all that firepower. I need an 11, and only just fall short with a 10. The sting is not lessened when the Overwatch shots nearly kills a Spawn.

Magnus only has five attacks left, and with the Knights' saves, he only pulps two of them. At least his own save holds out, and he takes a whack from the Mace of Absolution. The Chaplain piles in, but can't remove his final wound, even after playing the Honour the Chapter stratagem to have another go.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Disc Sorcerer and Librarian both find their attacks fail against each other's armour. The Mutalith tries to swat the Terminators with its crushing claws, but only manages to get one of them. The Terminators return attacks are more of a whiff, and even the Spawn survives the melee.

So a lot going on, but only two points scored for the objectives held. Will Magnus' invulnerable save hold out another round?

Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): Secure Objective 5 (1), Secure Objective 1 (1)

Dark Angels - Turn 3

The two new objectives drawn are Overwhelming Firepower and Defend Objective 2 (the one is Scouts are sitting on, cosy in their camo cloaks). It should be easy enough to kill one unit with guns ... but there are bonus points for getting three.

Very little movement, although the remains of the castle close up on the Rubrics, with the Reivers also coming to tighten the noose. The Land Raider pivots to get a better shot on the Spawn, and everything else is in combat.

No psychic powers cast, so we're off to the shooting phase. The Land Raider dispatches the Spawn with ease, and all the small arms of the Dark Angels castle ripple into the Rubric Marines. But when the dust (ahem) settles, the Aspiring Sorcerer is left on his feet. He may not be there for long, but it's not a kill in the Shooting phase.

Straight to combat then, and the Reivers charge into the Aspiring Sorcerer, killing him easily and piling into the Tzaangor Enlightened behind.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

But that allows me to spend my last 2 CPs to interrupt with Magnus. He's now in combat with the Chaplain, the enemy warlord, and throws everything into him. It turns out, I was right not to split attacks - only two wounds make it past his invulnerable save, and with 3 damage each, that's a warlord kill.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

... although he's not really 'killed'. I spend my reinforcement points to bring him back as a Chaos Spawn and into combat with the Deathwing Knights!

The Knights have no time for this sort of heresy, and promptly slay their fallen Chaplain, before booting Magnus back into the warp for good measure - double warlord kill!

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
"NO, BROTHERS! IT'S STILL ME ... actually you're right. Go ahead and kill me."

The Disc Sorcerer gets his swing back in the second round, and dispatches the Librarian with his Force Stave.

That's about it for this turn, and the Dark Angels are about to claim a bumper crop of victory points (and even more, if I can't shift them off Objective 2).

Objectives Scored (Dark Angels): Priority Orders Received: Witch Hunter (4), Overwhelming Firepower (1) Kingslayer (2), Slay the Warlord (1)
Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): Slay the Warlord (1)

Thousand Sons - Turn 3

I've lost Magnus and I'm trailing 8:4 - I need some good objectives. What I get is Advance (really difficult with my Cultists so far back) and Blood & Guts (that should be doable, but I need to maximise it).

I fly the Enlightened out of combat, and stick them in front of the Deathwing Knights, followed by the Disc Sorcerer and Shaman. The Tzaangor move closer into charge range and the Cultists who've been camping out in the woods start to move towards the Scouts, who I need to shift. The second unit of Tzaangor also drop in behind the Scouts, readying themselves for the charge.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Mutalith is now out of combat, having killed the Terminators in front of him - I could send him against the scouts too, but I am trying to spread around the kills I make in close combat, so send him against the rest of the Terminators (still locked up with the Spawn).

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

In the psychic phase, I'm running low on powers, so send most of my Smites against the Deathwing Knights. They get hammered quite badly, and are left with a sergeant on a single wound - now they're looking likely to get wiped in melee.

In the shooting phase, the Mutalith's Beam of Unreality blasts down another Terminator, while the Helbrute misses its mark for the first time and does nothing to the Land Raider. The Enlightened pick off an Intercessor's wound, and that's about it.

In combat, I send the Disc Sorcerer and Shaman in against the lone Deathwing Knight, who interrupts combat and whacks three wounds on the Sorcerer before being thumped himself.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Mutalith goes against the Terminators - having learned my lesson, I use the grasping tentacles this time to improve my odds. It works, and a lone Terminator is all that remains to bat back ineffectively.

The first unit of Tzaangor multi-charge the Hellblaster sergeant, Captain and Lieutenant, taking a casualty to Overwatch. By the time they've all piled in, the Lieutenant gets away with it as the beastmen focus on the Hellblaster (murder-kill all hellblasters!) and the Captain, who are both torn down. I pile into the Intercessors and lose a couple more Tzaangor to the return strokes.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The other unit of Tzaangor fail their charge against the Scouts, and then the Cultists fail their charge. So those novitiates are not moving off Objective 2, and that's two more victory points for the Dark Angels.

At the final tally, I did manage to kill three units in melee, which gives me two victory points of my own. But I'm still way behind (10:6) and running out of assets fast.

Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): Blood & Guts (2)
Objectives Scored (Dark Angels): Defend Objective 2 (2)

Dark Angels - Turn 4

The Dark Angels aren't blessed with too many assets either (although that Land Raider's not bad) and the fresh objectives don't help. Confess! requires a Chaplain (he's that pulped mass of spawndom on the ground) and Seize and Interrogate needs them to defeat an enemy character (I've got one way downfield and two more flying around on discs).

Very little movement and no psychic left. In shooting, the Scouts gun down four Tzaangor from the unengaged unit, while the Reivers shoot off three wounds from the Shaman. The Land Raider underperforms a little, only mowing down the Enlightened and failing against everything else.

In close combat, the remaining Tzaangors slay another Intercessor and take the Lieutenant to his final wound, before being brought down to only a single model. The last Terminator is squashed by the Mutalith Vortex Beast.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

No new objectives scored, but still holding a commanding four point lead.

Objectives Scored: none

Thousand Sons - Turn 4

A mixed bag with my fresh objectives - Overwhelming Firepower I should be able to manage, but Psychological Warfare is not so useful against Astartes. I'm starting to think a tabling is my best route to victory.

The backline Cultists stay put (I've given up on getting Advance, and would rather use them to generate more useful objectives), the other Cultists close up on the Scouts. They're going in alone this time, as my second unit of Tzaangor ignores them and goes for the remnants of the Dark Angels castle.

The single Tzaangor champion who is still in combat decides to chicken out (must be a new mutation) and leave the doomed combat - instead he runs to hide behind a rock, hoping the marines will forget about him and he can score a cheeky linebreaker.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
*laughs in Beastman*

With the centre cleared of Terminators, the Spawn races forward to sit on Objective 4, and the Mutalith follows close behind, eyeing up the Reivers (not easy when you have no eyes).

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Hellbrute stays put (I should really model some anchors on that thing) and all the other Sorcerers move to ensure that the Land Raider Crusader is the closest thing to Smite - I've decided I've taken enough hurricane bolter fire.

Sure enough, in the psychic phase, I wash the infernal machine with Smite, bringing it down to four wounds. I fail to get Prescience on the Hellbrute, but he doesn't need it - destroying the machine with a single lascannon shot.

The only other shooting is the Vortex Beast's mortal wounds on the Reivers, before he charges in and tears the rest of them apart, then piles into the nearest Intercessors. The Tzaangor also charge into the other Intercessors, bringing down a couple in return for a few losses themselves.

The Cultists also make it in against the Scouts - although they probably wish they hadn't, as two die to Overwatch and half the survivors get beaten up by these destined-for-the-geneseed Scouts.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
"What were we thinking?"

I'm finally the sole occupant of the highly fought-over Objective 3, and a very big chunk of Dark Angels fire-support has been removed (for which I claim Overwhelming Firepower). If the game continues past Turn 5, I'm optimistic. If not...

Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): Secure Objective 3 (1),  Overwhelming Firepower (1)

Dark Angels - Turn 5

The Dark Angels now only hold one objective, so they catch a lucky break with the Path of Redemption objective - one Dark Angels unit must charge an enemy with a higher power rating.

There is only one Dark Angel unit not currently fighting - that is the Lieutenant. And the Mutalith Vortex Beast certainly has a higher power rating. It's time to be a hero!

And he does just that: charging into the beastie. There are some pistol shots and a few wounds taken either side (out of sheer spite, I dedicate a lot of attacks to the Lieutenant, but can't bring him down), but that's about all.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

The Dark Angels claw back a three-point lead, and the game ends on a 1 or 2!

Objectives Scored (Dark Angels): Path of Redemption (1)

Thousand Sons - Turn 5

I've got pretty good board control by this point, so at least I get a few objectives to play with Defend Objective 5 (brilliant! an easy 2 points, but the game has to go on to Turn 6 for that to happen), Arcane Rite (a bugger of a card - I've got to control one objective and the enemy has to have none), and Power of the Cabal (1VP for every two successful psychic tests).

Earlier in the game, I'd have been laughing with Power of the Cabal, but with only two Sorcerers and a Shaman, I can only cast a maximum of five powers. Still, every little helps.

There's not much left to move, though I do pull back the battered survivors of the Cultists from the combat with the Scouts. They limp back to the safety of their own wood, and wonder why they were ever ordered there in the first place.

The Psychic phase lets me down again. I manage one Smite against the Scouts (down to three left now) and another against the Intercessors, but fail two casts. I'm only scoring one VP for that objective now.

The Shooting phase is a different matter - the Vortex Beast lets rip with a Warp Flare that cause a mortal wound to both Intercessor squads and finally kills that Lieutenant. Then the Helbrute goes to work - blasting apart the cover of the Scouts' forest with heavy artillery. He hits with all three of his shots, wiping out the last of the squad. The objective is clear!

In combat, the Tzaangor Shaman charges into the Intercessors, helping the remaining Tzaangors to kill off the squad. The Vortex Beast stamps down on the other Intercessors, leaving a lone survivor, bravely making his stand.

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.

Totting up the points, I realise that, with the Scouts off their objective and the Tzaangors contesting the final objective with the Intercessor, I can actually score Arcane Rite too! And it's D3 points, for which I roll 2!

The game is actually tied - and then Dark Angels roll to end the game. It's a 1, and the game is over!

Warhammer 40k battle report - Maelstrom of War - Contact Lost - 2000 points - Dark Angels vs Thousand Sons.
The last Dark Angel standing. He did not bend.

Except we realise that I've also achieved Linebreaker. I win by a single point!

Objectives Scored (Thousand Sons): Power of the Cabal (1), Arcane Rite (2), Linebreaker (1)

Result: Thousand Sons 12 vs Dark Angels 11

Victory to Thousand Sons!

Credit: all the square images were courtesy of Armoury of The Rock's Instagram - check it out for lots more Warhammer 40k goodness.

Locker Room

Great game! I do enjoy playing as a foil against the Imperium - it always feels like it's 'their' narrative, and I'm the pantomime villain who appears in a puff of smoke and frightens the kiddies. A heroic last stand for the First Legion to be sure.

I learned a few things about what to do (or not to do) with Magnus. My aversion to Smite was such that I didn't even get to cast his super-Smite once, which would have been handy. I think the main things to consider is: he's powerful, but not invincible. He can't hide, so don't worry about it. And take enough reinforcement points to turn your enemy into a Spawn, because that is AWESOME!

Speaking of mutations, the dual-Mutalith seems to be working out for me. They're not devastating, just a big, durable, mortal-wound engine that can roll up into the enemy lines and has to be dealt with.

Another battle of eschewing CP re-rolls, and I quite liked it (having Gaze of Fate helped, mind). I lost out on things that I thought would be a sure-thing (like both the Tzaangors' charges), but then it inflicted some game-changing moments on the Dark Angels - like that Redemptor Dreadnought exploding in the middle of the castle. Losing the thing to a first-turn shot was unlucky enough. Splashing mortal wounds over five surrounding units was a real body blow.

Speaking of which, MVP once again goes to my Helbrute. For a last-minute addition, he really did the business: taking out the Redemptor, Land Raider and - crucially as it turned out - the Scouts. Given I generally rush towards the enemy, having a static backline unit seems counter-intuitive, but now I'm really liking the idea. He generally gets ignored, because the enemy has to focus on what's right in front of them, and so can consistently put out a solid amount of heavy artillery for the whole game. I think I like him better than the dual-power fist one - or maybe I need two?

Do it!

All told, it was a lot of fun, against a great opponent. We even managed to fit in a second game of a very different flavour - that report will follow.


  1. I have not read a battle report for years, glad it was a good one. can't beat a cheeky line breaker win. well done mate. (TheClaw)

    1. Cheers mate, glad you enjoyed. In fairness, by the end, most of my army was linebreaking, but to my mind, it was that single cowardly Tzaangor that scored the win. :-)

  2. You know it's going to be a close battle when you tie the roll for first turn three times!

    A free-sweeping front line of light assault troops and heavy monsters, backed by lurking hefty shooters? Are you sure you aren't Tyrannids in disguise?

    1. Oh, for a stratagem that could turn Cultists into Tzaangors, then I'd really have some spawning fun!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, it was a lot of fun. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Amazing! I love the way you kitbashed your Mutalith Vortex and Chaos Spawn! They look splendid!

    1. Thanks! I'm really happy with how they turned out.
      That Spawn has served me well in battle - he has a charmed life (other than being a spawn!)

  5. Greetings! Just a note to say this excellent battle report has been nominated as one of the The Greatest Battle Reports of 2018 Award. Voting is now open to determine the final winner, and the voting form, along with the other great nominations is here. Good luck!