Monday, May 05, 2014

Perils of the Warp and a fist full of marker-lights

"Perils of the Warp. -Why the heck does that even effect Daemons?" asked Warfrog when I told him about the game I had last week. I can't stop wondering that myself, as there just seems to be no good "fluff" justification for it, and considering the fickle as heck nature of the Warpstorm table, Daemons already have enough going against them.

So to illustrate that preamble here is the story of my first game in a about 2 months. I decided to give Chaos a spin again, after all I have been in a Khorney mood as of late, so let's try out that list again. When I arrived at Hobbytown the MC himself, Patrick, agreed to a game. He has been feverishly expanding our terrain as well as finishing his revitalized Tau army. The list I brought was 1,500 points and he asked if I could up it to 1,850 points. I didn't think anything of this, and figured what the heck, and decided to throw in my Khorne Berserkers that I have been dabbling on and which I had only brought to show off their progress to my friends and fellow players who might not follow this blog. So they were incorporated and I increased the size of the biker squad.

This pic was taken from behind in case you're trying to figure out what you're looking at here. Due to the unpainted nature of our armies, some of these pics will be in black and white in this battle report/review.

Poised to kick-ass!
This next pic shows the Tau army,

We rolled for the mission and the table set-up and we got the worst thing possible for this match up: Hammer and Anvil. The locals refer to this as "the Tau set-up" and for obvious reasons. And this table had such a sparse spread of scenery that I was really set up for a head long charge into the warm welcoming Tau guns.

Tau set up

"I'm too sexy for this blog."
Chaos set up. My two small Chaos Space Marine squads are set up on or really close to the objective markers. And one of the ones I'm sitting on is the 'booby-trap'. Yup, gonna be a tough game... my Berserkers would run up the flanks with the Chaos Sorcerer (he's level 1 psyker but I rolled a sweet power for him: Fire Shield). Followed, and soon to be passed by, my Chaos Bikers with Marks of Nurgle.

I failed to steal the initiative and spent a turn on the receiving end of a laser-light show in the dark as the Markerlights and blacklight filters picked out my units and presented them to the Tau gun line. Despite a fair amount of losses, it wasn't the Alpha-strike I was dreading. My dice, accursed chaos artifacts know in the Eye of Terror as The Polygons of Self-inflicted Pain, seemed to be rolling fairly decently at this point...

All I could do on my first turn was move in! My Berserkers ran forward berserkingly, my bikes revved up and turboed toward the devilfish, and my Sorcerer cast Fire Shield on the berserkers. My nurglings lept out from around the bastion, which was kind of protecting them, and they scurried over toward the Tau gun line. My shooting phase consisted of showing Patrick the joy and thrill of rolling on the Warp Storm table, and explaining how no one is targeting him, but that reality is. But he made all his saves anyway. This is when I started to have my doubts about my dice by-the-way, as the only '6's I rolled on his units were on the things that this particular result (the Tzeentch one) couldn't hurt.

Moving up the line! 
Tau Turn 2, and the gun lines opened up on the Nurgling squad. I was stunned with how much firepower they absorbed, but the current swarm rules do them no favors, and Patrick was damned near giddy when he discovered that templates do double-wounds to them (ouch). Needless to say they were reduced to little more than Nurgle's Rot spores or banished back to the warp (eh, pick one).

Pew. Pew. Pew-pew. (repeat like 60X)
So on my turn, I rolled for reserves and the only unit that wanted to show up and play was the Plague bears, and that was only because they have an Icon to keep them from scattering too far away. They ended up on the far corner of the Tau deployment zone.

The rest of my turn was spent running at the Tau gun line, but at least my sorcerer was able to keep that fireshield up or I would've lost a heck of a lot more berskers by now (I was already down to have the squad at this point). Still, I have some pathfinders to shoot at that were acting as ablative armor for the devilfish (which was hiding his HQ).

"Kill the red ones!"
But it was looking bleak already, and I really needed my daemons to show up!

Where's Chaos? 
My plaguebearers at least gave the Tau something to shoot at other than my marines, and they did so with impunity. The amount of wounding hits that were scored were a statistical nightmare for my Plaguebearer's 5+ invulnerable saves to have to overcome, and they were kicked back to their immaterial hell faster than I was able to place them down. (Rough!)

"Daemon's be gone!"
Bottom of turn 3, and most of my other daemon's arrived. And they all scattered very wide from their targets. I was able to buff up my Great Unclean One with Endurance and Warp Speed while the Keeper of Secrets (or sucrets, since she is hanging out with Nurgle) cast Puppermaster on the Hammerhead, and, much to Patrick's chagrin, the hammerhead targeted on of his Fire Teams and killed some of them. She cast Enfeeble as well, but that really didn't matter since I couldn't charge.

Then came the shooting phase, and the Great Unclean One rolled to psychic-attack with Life Leech on one of the riptides only to roll double-6's! Ouch! Some of it's chaos gifts were the ones that gave him the added Wound, Toughness, and the It Will Not Die special Rule, so that helped, as it regenerated it's self-inflicted wound back.

On to the Tau Turn 4 and the firestorm began! The Keeper of Sucrets was blasted back to the pit! The Great Unclean was shot to hell, but still in the game with a few wound left. (like 4) My fiends took some losses, and my bikes and Khorne Berserkers (who last round killed off that Pathfinder squad) also took more hits. My Mark of Nurgle Space Marines who have been sitting in cover near an objective all game were holding onto life with like a two marines left at this point.  It was the charge of the Light Brigade but with no horses, lots of lasers, and explosive plumes full of puss and claws.

"Do you really want to charge me? Do you really want me to make you cry?"
My turn 4, The Daemonettes appeared behind some rocks. Too little too late I'm afraid, as they got to stand around for a round. And on my movement phase I go to buff up the Great Unclean One again and roll a double 1! I got the Endurance, but to get it I took another fricking wound from Perils of the Warp! So, on the shooting phase, I again have the GUO attempt Life Leech only to have him roll double 6's! ACK! REALLY!? At this point, feeling truly forsaken by the Chaos Gods, I make the only real option this army has at this point to put some hurt on these fish-headed xenos: I declare a charge.

All that support Overwatch tore apart my Chaos Bikers, leaving only 2 left, and my Fiends of Slaanesh with only 3 models left, and one of them was hardly alive. My Great Unclean was shot all to hell, with just two wounds left.
"Will Charge for PAINT!"

I roll charges: The GUO, comes up short on the charge roll as I roll a 3. He needed like a 4+! I knew that this was it, game fricking over for GUO, as it was a mathematical miracle that he survived this long against that Tau firepower.

So over to the bikers and Fiends. Both of them roll short for their charges!

The Gods say NO.
I was stunned.

Patrick was stunned. Heck, he was genuinely feeling sorry for me at this point.

And I knew, just knew, that the Chaos Gods simply were not favoring this battle.

All the GUO had to do was get in a single hit on that Riptide and it was dead (it had something that was giving it the Instant Death special rule) and my bikers and fiends (definitely the fiends) would've torn into that Tau gun line. But those 3 dice rolls doomed me.

Come turn 5 and the Tau clean-up squads eliminated the GUO and the bikers while reducing the Fiends further.

"What WAS that thing?!"
On my turn 5  My Fiends had Fire Shield cast on them for added help, but again, they were chewed apart on the charge by the sick amount of Overwatch shots. I did get my Khorne Berserkers and the Chaos Sorcerer to charge in, but the Berserkers died going in.

My Chaos Sorcerer was locked in combat in a duel as the game ended around him.

The final snap-shot of the game. 

I had one Objective and Line Breaker giving me 4 VPs. Patrick had 8 VPs with his 2 Objectives, First Blood and Warlord conditions met. A good game, but one that was stacked against me! Made even more so when the dice turned against me! The Tau list would meet it's match on the following week however.

My MVP of the game was the most unlikely but I would say it was my Chaos Sorcerer, who unlike the actual Daemons he was able to get his power off each round without scoring a Perils of the Warp result. Also, he was alive at the end of the game and locked in combat.

I definitely need to fix the transport options for the Chaos Space Marines, the Khorne Berserkers specifically, and bring some firepower along with them. So, on the next day, I dug out a kit I've had for awhile and began to work on this solution...

A shadow of reinforcements.


Da Masta Cheef said...

Nice charge there General Pickett...

Kushial said...

.... Emperor Protects! =D