Friday, June 17, 2016

"Those bloody Lions!"

A duel to the death.

Battle was engaged at our favorite local game store, Hobbytown USA in Johnson City. It was between my Chaos army led by Kharn, and Kushail's Lions of Harlech. You can read the short story he wrote leading up to it here.  First thing we did was set up a sweet board to play on, since we were the only ones there we had the pick of whatever scenery we wanted, so we decided to create a ruined cityscape to battle over before making any roll-offs.

A warzone to die for.
After we dug out our armies and reviewed our lists with each other, we rolled off and I won the roll to see who would set-up first. The mission was Big Guns Never Tire.
My 1998pt army.

My army was led by Kharn the Betrayer, and my other HQ was a Daemon Prince. My Troops choices were a 10 man squad of Black Legionaries, a 5 man squad of World Eaters, and 12 man unit of Khorne Berserkers. Elites choices were a 5 man squad of Chaos Terminators and a Hellbrute. I took a unit of Chaos Bikers as my FA option. And the Heavy Support was my Land Raider and a Vindicator. Everything but the vehicles had the mark of Khorne.

Right side of my force.t

After this I rolled up my mutations, the result of this rolling should have given me some insight on how wonky my dice were going to behave in this game. Just a bunch of weird stuff it seems. Anyway, with non psykers to contend with, I set-up first.

Chao set up.
Setting up first actually put me a at disadvantage, although I didn't recognize this at the time. The disadvantage being that my set-up was essentially two-pronged with hopes of surging forward and snatching up these objective counters as fast as possible. Kushail's force was considerably larger than mine and thus more flexible in a tactical sense. My units would have to be selective with it's targets while his could choose their targets for the most part. Had he set-up first I think I would have tightened my deployment into a more focused spearhead as I would have been able to see more properly what I was up against.

I must have been overly confident because I didn't take a pic of the Lion's deployment. Here is that army set out prior to deployment though.

A pride gathers.
For more details on the army selection and set-up part of this game, as well as a bit of fluff, check out Kushail's post.


The Lions scouts were started out on an objective deep in a wooded area but getting to them was going to be tough. Furthermore the Mysterious Objective turned out to be the one that allows them to reroll '1's'. I moved my bikes around the wood to try to get closer to the unit of scouts. After a lame shooting phase, I made the mistake of not attempting a charge with my bikers. It's possible that this decision alone could have cost me this flank. It definitely came back to haunt me!
Land Raider kills the Thunderfire Cannon!

Although I failed to get 1st Blood due to the Tech Marine surviving the attack, my Landraider did destroy the Thunderfire Cannon with an impressive las cannon shot. The Tech Marine would have a soulblaze counter on him from this attack for most of the game. My Vindicator fired a shot on a Devestator squad that could have potentially snuffed the whole unit however it scattered so wide that it caught another unit on a hill killing 2 of them and killing another with Soulblaze by Turn's end. My Hellbrute had nothing to shoot at so he ran and reached the objective, revealing it to be a Skyfire Nexus, something that would be handy to have when the flyers appear.


The Lions of Harlech immediately retaliate by neatly plopping a pair of Drop Pods right between my 2 tanks. Even worse, they each had an Ironclad Dreadnought leap out and unleash hell on my tanks! Although this attack failed to kill these tanks the attack did result in a loss of HP on both and the inability to fire with both next turn. The LR would be unable to move and as a consequence would be a total sitting duck!

Precision-guided Drop Pods! 

The Hellbrute was eliminated by the streams of missiles that slammed into it, giving the Lions the 1st Blood VP.

Hellbrute, blasted back to hell by the Dev. Squad!

Beyond the woods lousy with scouts, there were at least 2 more Tac Squads and an entrenched Dev Squad, all of whom poured on the firepower to my bikers greatly reducing their number.

Shooting up the bikers! 
A excellently executed and far more effective 1st turn turn for the Lions.


The Chaos Gods laugh as they denied me any of my Deep Strikers from showing up this turn! Drats.

I confess, the Alpha Strike by the Lions Drop Pods confounded my strategy all to hell and was a bit demoralizing.  Both my vehicles were sitting ducks for those Ironclads and I searched desperately for a way to overcome them. I had a bold idea, and it looked like it just might work...

The charge of Kharn. 
I moved up the Khorne Berserkers in an effort to get close enough to charge, and even though a Berserker was dispatched via overwatch, the unit made the charge. Astonishingly, needing only a 6 to glance the Ironclad using Gorechilde, Kharn only managed to remove 2 HPs from the thing. It was the Berserker Aspiring Champion that felled the Ironclad with a well place Meltabomb!

The 1st Ironclad is destroyed.


The other Drop Pod arrived securing an opjective and disgorging a squad of Sternguard. Compare the pic above to the pic below to see what their massed firepower did to the Berserker unit!

The bikers on the left flank were eliminated by an Assault Squad that leapt forth with furious intent to destroy the Traitor Bikers and were very successful.

The end of Turn 2


Arriving from Reserves my Chaos Terminators materialized with the intention of trying to decapitate the Lion's lesdership. They landed in the back field of their deployment zone and killed a number of the Captain's retinue, but not enough to achieve their objective. Also arriving from Reserves was my Daemon Prince whom I placed in the ruins near the only uncontested objective.

Now able to move, and somehow still functioning, the Land Raider surged forward to Tank Shock the Sternguard.  This only resulted in displacing them away from the objective, but that was fine, as I was able to unload my full 10-man Black Legion unit who whittled away a few Sternguard with their attacks.

Attacking the Sternguard.

Meanwhile on the otherside of the field my 5 man Marine Squad entered the woods in persuit of the scouts, whom they would entangle with in both assault and shooting right up unto the end of the game's last round.
Playmates meeting for the 1st time. 

Assault phase, and Kharn with his manical posse attacked the remaining Ironclad. Hitting all 7 times, again needing to roll a 6 to glance on 2d6, the dice-gods laughed upon Kharn and he only managed to penetrate it once removing one of it's Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons.

The return attacked killed the rest of the Berserkers including Kharn. This left both Kushial and I wondering how Kharn had lived 10k years without Eternal Warrior, but this Chaos Codex is full of baffling mysteries like this...

My right flank, end of Chaos Turn 3


The Stormtalon Gunship arrived and shoots down the Daemon Prince, scoring only one wound on him though.

"Who has air superiority?"

Meanwhile the scouts and the Khorne Marines continue their dance of death...

The fight for the Left Flank objectives.

Meanwhile, having abandoned his companions to their inevitable fate at the hands of the Black Legion Terminators, Capt. Glyndwr of the Lions of Harlech dove into the melee on the center of the table in an effort to save his Sternguard companions. After a few combat rounds his effort would prove to be in vain...  at the end of Chaos Turn 4!

"Slicing and dicing l!"

The Chaos Terminators would lose a few of their number to shooting but in the assault phase they would prove to be stout, defeating their aggressors. However the Assault Marine's resolve was true and with a roll of double-1's held firm in the fight!


Running low on models to move, the game is starting pick up. My landraider, having survived more shooting attacks from the Ironclad, made an effort to move away from it. Meanwhile my Daemon Prince landed to try to eliminate the nearby squad that was moving toward the unclaimed objective.

The fight in the middle began to wind down as the Black Legion had killed all of the Sternguard leaving just the Captain left to contend with the Black Legion traitors who would eventually fall to his blade.

The Chaos Terminators defeated the Assault Marines and consolidated towards the Captain's original squad.


The best thing that happened on my turn was the surviving Terminators killed another marine squad with a combination of shooting and melee, forcing them to break from combat and route off of the board!  However attrition was beginning to take it's toll and I knew that I need to secure some objectives if I were to have any hope of pulling out a win. After winning anothor combat against  the squad of marines,  the Daemon Prince consolidated on the last unclaimed objective. Which was revealed to be  the one that's a booby-trap. Just my luck.

The Lions go and the only thing they accomplish is that the Captain finally eliminated the last of the Black Legion, and he too consolidates onto an objective.

We did a quick tally of VPs: The score is now 10 to 7 (Lions having 2 Objectives, I Heavy Killed, Warlord, Linebreaker, and First Blood to Chaos with 2 Objectives and Linebreaker).  This is a satisfying loss, and I could live with these results. I roll the die and it turns out we're playing a 6th Turn.

The status quo at the ebd of Turn 5


With so little options, I think that I should  do my best to try to hold on to these objectives. But then I realize that a win simply won't happen, I figured I might as well just have some fun and go after a tasty target: his Warlord! So the Daemon Prince flys over the ruins that seperates them and charges the Captain. I hit wound him 4 times, and makes 3 of the Iron Halo saves but it's the final cut that manages to kill him due to the attack's Str being double his Toughness.

An epic duel

The rest of my turn proved to be futile, with the Land Raider again failing to penetrate the last Iron Clad. -That bastard has proven to be quite the survivor!


Killing the Captain sparked a fire of vengeance in the surviving Lions of Harlech who focused of eliminating the remainder of my army.

The Lions killed the remaining Chaos  Terminator with a krak missile. The lone Chaos Marine on the Objective in the woods was blasted away. The Ironclad finally rolled high on the 2D6 for armor penetration with the melta-gun causing the Landraider to explode dramatically.  And to avenge his Captain, the Storm Talon turned for a shot on the Daemon Prince and scored 3 wounds, which I failed to save all of, killing off the Daemon Prince.

Drats: Tabled!
Visualize the Storm Talon 's missiles streaking towards the Daemon Prince below.

The final score was 14 Points to 1 (3 Objectives, 2 Heavies Killed, First Blood, Warlord, and Linebreaker for the Lions and Warlord for Chaos). Funny what a difference a single turn can make!

The Lions claim the field, Chaos has been purged!
Looking back on this game my single biggest mistake was not maximizing the Chaos Bikers potential in the first turn. I wish I had figured out how to keep the Vindicator alive for a few more rounds as I was counting on it to thin out the loyalist horde before me. And the Land Raider's maddening tango with the Ironclad could have been better handled but I am not sure how. In the end Kushial's tactics were solid and executed almost flawlessly, whereas my attempts to counter them were often confounded by my dice! The situation with Kharn clearly illustrates that.

In the end we both had fun and we look forward to playing against each other again.

 For another perspective on this battle and some additional photos Click here.



Kushial said...

Yeah, Ironclads coming in Drop Pods has always seemed to work pretty well for me. Even though I've done it enough now that people know it's coming, it still seems to throw them off their game plan. I guess it's just the shock of nothing there then suddenly blocked in maybe? And yes, we definitely need to go at it again.

Da Masta Cheef said...

Why not attack the ironclads in HTH with the Daemon Prince? Isn't that the usual/primary complaint about dreads? that MCs kill them with contemptuous ease?

Kushial said...

He had the Daemon Prince in reserve to fly on to kill the Sky Talon .... and then when he came in realized he needed to be able to shoot for that plan to work.

neverness said...

Clearly Cheef just looked at the pictures and didn't read the whole thing.
But yes, if the DP was available I definitely would have attempted that.