Size: 2500 points per side Date: March 2013 Players: Joni (Daemons) vs Kimmo (Blood Angels) Scenario: The Emperor's Will Deployment: Vanguard Objectives: 2 (generating 3 points each) Ruleset: Warhammer 40K 6th edition.
The game was played using a 2m x 1m game board (that’s roughly 6’6″ x 3’3″ to y’all still living in the 19th century). Because we rolled the Vanguard deployment, there was no need to modify anything regarding the deployment areas. Blood Angel player selected his side first (deployment zones shown on the 2nd picture). Players put the objective markers quite firmly on their own ground, but since both players were aware of each other’s mobility and deep striking arrival options, neither player put too much thought on strategic placement of the objectives. The first player roll resulted in the Blood Angels player nominating the Daemons to deploy first and take the first turn. The thinking of the Blood Angels player was flawed, however, due to the new Chaos Daemons codex being so … new … and immediately started to regret his decision.
Chaos Daemons deployment
Daemons deployed their army leaving just two units of Bloodletters as reserves. Flesh Hounds led by Karanak were deployed aggressively in order to circle quickly around the industrial ruins behind which he – correctly – assumed Blood Angels would deploy a few of his high mobility tanks. Since the hounds are scouts as well, he surmised he would reach the tanks in no time. One of the Soul Grinders was deployed in a strategic high ground position with a fair visibility covering most of the battlefield, but the other was put in the front row. Skulltaker was in charge of a group of Bloodletters; presumably their job would be footslogging after hounds. There were also two Bloodthirsters and a large group of Bloodcrushers led by a Herald of Khorne.
Blood Angels deployment
The Blood Angels player already regretted his decision to go second as he learned that the new Daemons codex allowed the Soul Grinders to be armed with an ordnance weapon. The first idea was that placing tanks with a 13 front armor out in the open would be a viable option since the grinders did not have the S10 single shot weapon at their disposal. But 2 ordnance blast weapons would easily annihilate the tanks and thus give the much coveted First Blood point to Daemons in the first round. So Blood Angels deployed 3 Vindicators covering behind the industrial ruins, Mephiston standing in ruins by himself, a single Predator tank in as far away as possible at the edge of his deployment zone and a singular Baal Predator boldly facing the hounds and possibly giving the Vindicators more breathing room. In the reserves were left Commander Dante with a group of Sanguinary Guard further joined with a Sanguinary Priest, two other Sanguinary Guard units the other joined with a Sanguinary Priest and 3 Baal Predators. This was still in line with the original plan of first round mayhem with tanks and subsequent deep striking arrival of heavily armored jump troops with low scattering due to the Descent of Angels special rule having an effect. However the positioning of the Vindicatos was now sub-optimal.
First turn – Chaos Daemons
And so it begins … and with a fresh new Codex it’s difficult to tell how things are going to turn. The capabilities of Khorne units and the random added die rolling resulting in peculiar events were surely going to be much clearer after the game, but when the game started, both players were equally baffled as to what’s coming next. Before the first turn begun, however, both players moved their scouts (Baal Predator and Flesh Hounds ending 1 inch away from each other!). But as of 6th edition, the player taking the first turn is not allowed to charge and the Daemons player blissfully forgot it. Flesh Hounds were still pushed forward as much as possible even though they would now be vulnerable to Vindicator’s murderously deadly large blast weapon. The shining knights to the rescue … or in this case two Bloodthirsters elected to fly in swooping mode and ended their move within the industrial ruins not far away from the Flesh Hounds’ new position. Some diligent repositioning of the Soul Grinders allowed them better firing lanes and the Bloodcrushers and Bloodletters dispersed a little while taking small forward moves.
Once the shooting phase begun, things started to get weird. Flesh Hounds were hit by some odd warp energy that killed one their number and luckily pinned the whole group! Their further movement thus become impossible as they would have to get their asses up in turn two and would then be denied of running and even charging. An incredibly lucky break for Blood Angels because the hounds were more than capable of ripping even tanks to shreds in close combat in future rounds. A nice new weapon option for the Bloodthirsters suprised the Blood Angels player as they are now capable of slashing out to 12 inches away with their whip and it even has enough punch to penetrate tanks’ side armor. Taking into account that Bloodthirsters practically will never miss with this whip thing, it come as no surprise that the Daemons damaged the front line Baal Predator and managed to stun a Vindicator’s crew rendering it unable to shoot in the upcoming Blood Angels turn. Then the Soul Grinders turned their weapons towards the lone Predator tank looming in the distance and cracked it open without breaking a sweat. Aargh! First Blood point was now lost and all because the Blood Angels player did not examine the Daemons roster carefully enough prior to making his decision to opting out taking the first turn himself.
First Turn – Blood Angels
Well since the Predator tank was annihilated right next to Mephiston’s position, surely a retaliation would be in order! And so using powerful magic, Mephiston flew right in front of the closest Soul Grinder and sure enough dispatched it with absolute ruthlessness using his Sword of Sanguinius. And managed to consolidate himself into difficult ground afterwards. The Vindicators maneuvered themselves into better firing positions and launched their murderous siege cannons excepting the one that’s crew were taking shots of vodka to calm their nerves after taking some whipping. Gunning the Flesh Hounds was a wasted effort due to abysmally terrific invulnerable saves and resulted in only one Flesh Hound. A slightly better end result wiped away some Bloodcrushers, but all in all Vindicators should be able to do SO much better… meanwhile behind the enemy lines the lone Baal Predator sneaked towards the group of Bloodletters and with great impotence wiped only two of them out after spending a sackful of ammunition.
Summing up the first turn
Whoa … lots of new shit popping out from the new CD codex! A whacky surprise is the mighty powerful whipping done by Bloodthirsters and the new armament options for Soul Grinders. Flying Thirster used to be somewhat irrelevant since it was unable to shoot while swooping, but this new incarnation is Bad to the Fucking Bone. The regular deployment now available to Daemons makes the army a little bit more reliable to play with, but offsetting that is the Warp Storm events that have the potential to kill any careful tactical disposition. All in all the Blood Angels player was grinding his teeth over his ill-informed decision to let the Daemons do their nastiness first and since the points will be scarce anyway, losing the First Blood point can really be the difference between winning and losing. Both sides suffered losses, but the much higher damage potential of Blood Angels (brought on by Vindicators) was not manifesting itself as it should have been so after the first round, Daemons player was rightfully happy in both his gained victory point and position of his troops. Although the destiny of the Flesh Hounds did raise some issues as to what odd weirdness the Warp would provide in the coming turns!
Second turn – Chaos Daemons
Ouch! The Bloodthirsters, Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers lined up for some eventual can opening parties! The Baal Predator was surrounded by the Bloodletters now changing their direction to chase the tank, the damaged Vindicator hiding in the ruins faced the fury of a gliding Bloodthirster flapping right towards it kicking the debris out of his way and the other Bloodthirster descending boldly in front of another Vindicator. The whole group of remaining Bloodcrushers took their might upon the third Vindicator and an additional group of Bloodletters arrived from the reserves. Warp storm favored the Daemons this time and forced a hull point damage to a Vindicator unit facing the Flesh Hounds. The remaining Soul Grinder failed to inflict any damage to Mephiston despite hitting with the large blast template.
Bloodcrushers and the Bloodthirster neatly crushed their opposing tanks, but the other Bloodthirster failed to meet the required distance to even assault and the Bloodletters swarming over their Baal Predator tank managed to only inflict two hull points despite the fact they had Furious Charge giving them a strength boost and Skulltaker with his additional attacks. The survival of two tanks was an unexpected turn of events since by all probabilities they should all now be just smoking bits of red debris.
Second Turn – Blood Angels
Not a very promising situation … and worsened due to none of the Sanguinary Guard units entering the game from reserves. Two out of three additional Baal Predators instead showed up and they sure were needed since the Blood Angels player had only 1 damaged Baal Predator, one damaged Vindicator and Mephiston against a veritable horde of Daemons! The two Baal Predators arrived in concert keeping a safe distance from the Bloodcrushers, keeping their front armor against the Soul Grinder’s position and turning their turrets to hail lead against the Bloodcrusher unit. Blood Angels player tried to saturate the Bloodcrushers with fire from one Vindicator and two Baal Predators and then charge the remains of the unit with Mephiston hoping to strike them down before taking hits back. The effort failed miserably as the Vindicator was the only one able to do some damage against the Bloodcrushers and Mephiston failed it’s charge attempt even after re-rolling the charge distance. Well that’s it then for the turn – nothing to write home about! One of the new tricks of the new Chaos Daemons Codex is the Khorne Herald’s ability to pump up the invulnerable saves of units (after paying for the ability, of course) and that ability alone was horrendously effective throughout the game. In the future, a herald with that ability becomes a primary target.
Meanwhile deep behind enemy lines the Baal Predator revved it’s engine and drove straight through the Bloodletters amassed around it’s chassis. A tank shock resulted and because the Chaos Daemons now have uniformly worse LD stat values than in the previous Codex, the Daemon player faced a real possibility of the whole unit failing morale and falling back to it’s own table edge thus destroying the whole unit (Skulltaker included!). Lucky bastard rolled lower than the needed 8 and the unit was saved. Afterwards the speeding Baal Predator tried to damage a Bloodthirster standing close pretending to be the King of the Hill, but not surprisingly it did not do a thing to the daemon even with all them dakka-thingies attached to it.
Summing up the second turn
Blood Angels are now the definitive underdog in this battle. The tanks are unable to damage Daemons due to their success in invulnerable saves and the troops are already too late from the battle. The round in total saw Daemons lose only a few Bloodcrushers and thus was a devastatingly bad turn for the Blood Angels. Angels, on the other hand, lost two tanks and are about to lose yet another two in the imminent future. Although the Bloodcrushers are looking worse than what they were in the previous codex just by staring at their stat lines, the reality is that their newly gained 12″ movement makes them devastatingly more powerful because they now have a much wider thread zone. It’s already pretty clear that the Blood Angels are now fighting a battle of desperation instead of glory.
Third turn – Chaos Daemons
A group of Bloodletters arrive from reserves and – for some unknown reason – are placed on the hill just behind the one remaining Soul Grinder. There must be a secret decision-making process behind this since the unit is essentially placed the furthest possible location from both objectives of the game! The industrial complex and it’s surrounding areas are now overwhelmed with Daemons and since one of the two objectives looms thereabouts, all they’d need do is just move a unit of Bloodletters to secure it. Instead the Daemon player chooses to assault the lone Baal Predator that has been harassing the Bloodletters and in the subsequent assault phase they finally manage to wreck the vehicle. The Bloodthirsters go into swooping mode both and converge near Mephiston. Bloodcrushers separate from their Herald; Herald takes on the remaining Vindicator by himself and the other Bloodcrushers assault one of the newly arrived Baal Predators. Again the Warp Storm damages Blood Angels and this time the recipient is Mephiston. Furthermore the two laughing Bloodthirsters hovering nearby use their whips to inflict two more damage to Mephiston. Not surprisingly the Herald has no trouble killing the last of the Vindicators, but the Bloodcrushers struggle and only manage to stun and immobilize their respective target.
Third turn – Blood Angels
All the remaining units come out from reserves – a welcome addition since the Blood Angels are headed downwards a slippery slope of butt-spanking! The Blood Angels player decides to pursue the objective marker left by the Daemon player and abandon even trying the other one near the industrial complex. This is further enhanced by realizing that because the Daemon player assaulted the lone Baal Predator with their Bloodletter unit, that unit will most probably run out of time reaching that second objective and thus controlling the other one would possibly yield a victory! The Bloodthirsters are a problem, however, and since they’re swooping, it would take some serious shooting to get them even grounded. Thus the arriving Baal Predator comes on board in a position from which it can shoot the Bloodthirsters and at the same time provide support for the next round by being close to the objective. Dante’s group of Sanguinary Guard drop just in front of the Soul Grinder, and another two groups drop close by. With a streak of pessimism, the Blood Angels player move Mephiston towards the Bloodcrushers thinking neither of the two Bloodthirsters will actually drop to ground and instead of just standing below them whistling glory songs now at least he would have something to chew on. But so it happens that concentrated firing from three Baal Predators not only manage to ground one of the Bloodthirsters, but wound as well. Oh well, Mephiston is fast heading towards the Bloodcrushers already. Dante’s team have a serious arsenal of firepower with them in the form of Infernus and Plasma pistols and sure enough they inflict two hull points to the Soul Grinder in front of them rendering it immobilized and without it’s main weapon system. The other two teams fire ineffectively towards the grounded Bloodthirster and towards the Slow Moving Bloodletters just inches away.
Well then … one would think that Mephiston would wipe out a couple of T4 Bloodcrushers with his S10 Sword of Sanguinius causing Instant Death and shit, but some demoniac saving rolls burst that bubble of make-believe world and instead Mephiston does absolutely nothing and takes one wound in return – now totaling 4 wounds!
Summing up the third turn
Not a total disaster for Blood Angels even though the Soul Grinder was somehow not destroyed by 4 Infernus and 2 Plasma pistols shot by Dante’s Sanguinary Guard team. Blood Angels are now clearly trying to win the game by hoping that Chaos Daemons don’t have time to reach their target objective (near the industrial complex) with flootslogging Bloodletters and that making obstacles for the Bloodthirsters would be enough for Blood Angels to eventually gain control of the other precious objective. At this point players did make some calculations and a quick turn 5 ending would indeed be beneficial for Blood Angels who would probably win. Beyond that though … Bloodcrushers are performing much better than anticipated and while the Bloodletters aren’t posing much of a threat to Sanguinary Guard units, the Karanak led Flesh Hounds are a different matter altogether.
Turn four – Chaos Daemons
Not surprising the Chaos Daemons player is trying to press fast forward with every unit at his disposal to prevent the aforementioned possibility of a turn 5 Blood Angels victory. So a unit of Bloodletters decide to try crossing the industrial complex difficult terrain in order to save some running inches and they get off to a pretty decent start. Skulltaker separates from them and starts heading towards the newly arrived Sanguinary Guard units. Both Bloodthirsters fly gliding near the closest of the Sanguinary Guards in order to make a murderously vehement joint assault on the poor marines. Khorne’s Herald takes on a new target and wanting to eventually charge one of the three still functioning tanks while another charging takes place towards the Dante’s unit – this time by the Bloodletter unit looming behind the big hulk of now immobilized Soul Grinder. The slow-moving Bloodletters in difficult terrain think they’d easily charge the closest Sanguinary Guard unit only 5 inches away, but their boots are broken or something because they move only 2 inches and then get a nice round snake eyes for charge distance. Possibly a 4 would have been required … making those Bloodletters one of the slowest moving regular units we’ve ever encountered with our joint 50+ years of experience dicking around with this game!
The ensuing close combat was like expected – Bloodthirsters wiped all but one of their target Sanguinary Guard, the Herald of Khorne followed by Flesh Hounds take steps forward to get into action, Bloodcrushers – again – saved everything Mephiston was able to deal to them and then killed Mephiston in return… The only exception to total annihilation was Dante’s team which killed a number of Bloodletters without taking casualties themselves and then took a Hit&Run action sprinting away from the hill towards the Bloodthirsters.
Turn four – Blood Angels
One Sanguinary Guard member (Power Fist dude) still remains locked in close combat with two Bloodthirsters and it’s time to get some big boy activity. Blood Angels player now has less and less units to control. Dante’s team of Sanguinary Guard rush forward and assault the Bloodthirster with “Warlord point” etched into it’s forehead while the other Sanguinary Guard unit charges into the same close combat but getting into b2b with the other Bloodthirster. Bloodthirster wants to challenge Dante and reluctantly the Blood Angels player finally decides to go ahead with it – getting one re-roll for having so many unit members cheering on doing nothing else. Both big boys get two wounds on them and the other Bloodthirster in the combat is left at 4 wounds while three more Sanguinary Guard members turn into bloody pulp. Dante – again – opts out of the close combat leaving the enemy Warlord locked in close combat with a single remaining unit member from the first Sanguinary Guard! A nice roll of 12 hurls Dante’s team quite a distance away and in fact – already – to objective controlling position. That’s about it … besides some bad shooting by two remaining Baal Predators – one of which circles back to form a supporting unit to Dante’s team.
Summing up turn 4
Dante’s team of Sanguinary Guard are now holding a key position to game victory since that unit is now the only one with an option to score 3 points should the game end after turn 5. Dante’s group moved an incredible 13″ hit&run +6″ move +3″ charge + 12″ hit&run = 34″ during turn 4 and all this without using their jump packs! Additionally both Bloodthirsters are now locked in close combat with two different units and are thus not going to interfere with the plans to dominate the objective at the end of turn 5. At the end of the day it all boils down to luck: should the game end after the fifth turn, Blood Angels are probably going to win even though Daemons dominate the battlefield.
Turn five – Chaos Daemons
All Daemons converge towards the same objective that Dante’s team is heading towards. Nearby slowlette… Bloodletters now get an easy control position near the objective, but they refuse to assault Dante’s team instead trusting that their newly gained 3+ invulnerable save (offered by the Herald of Khorne) will be enough to keep them contesting the objective. The said Herald now has a short distance to go assaulting a Baal Predator still located nearby the Bloodthirsters in the middle and it’s pretty obvious now that this Herald of new Codex fame is single-handedly ripping tanks up just for the fun of it without breaking much of a sweat. Bloodthirsters are locked in close combat, but the Flesh Hounds are being driven forward as fast as possible. The hounds unit was supposed to behave like a front line contact unit, but instead it’s been jogging around the battlefield circling newly wrecked vehicles. Close combat goes as expected: the Herald explodes it’s opposing tank and both Bloodthirsters are freed from close combat after beating the remains of two Sanguinary Guard units to a bloody pulp. A slight consolidation move puts the big daemons still way too far away from making a difference should the game end after this turn. Footslogging Bloodletters crossing the industrial complex jog slowly closer, but it’s evident now that they won’t reach their destination until possibly turn 7.
Turn five – Blood Angels
Only two units still operational, Blood Angels player positions Dante’s team out from it’s current position in difficult terrain and plans wiping out the Bloodletters contesting the objective. To help in this task the final remaining tank maneuvers slightly to get the Bloodletter unit in it’s sights. A shit storm of bullets from the tank take out 3 of the Bloodletters and further shooting from Dante’s unit take out 4 more. In the ensuing assault Dante’s team neatly manage to inflict exactly the needed amount of unsaved wounds to the Bloodletters and the slow moving Bloodletter unit is slaughtered to the last warp-infected creature. Further mocking ensues: the unit moved a total of 12 inches in 3 turns (running each turn!), failed an assault with snake eyes and when finally engaged in close combat they did no damage and instead died all – even with a 3+ invulnerable save. I mean talk about a crappy overall unit performance… ! A final consolidation move ends the turn and places the objective sternly dominated by Blood Angels. A game end would now give a 4-2 victory to Blood Angels, but it’s painfully clear that the Bloodthirsters, remaining Bloodcrushers and Herald and even Flesh Hounds are all going to assault should the game continue.
Summing up turn 5
Dante’s team is exceptionally tough, but the Bloodthirsters are way beyond anything the Blood Angels were equipped to handle and without further heavy weapons fire from tanks the big daemons are free to do as they please. Likewise the Bloodletters were essentially totally useless against Sanguinary Guard even with their fancy power swords. They need to be assaulting themselves to have any importance at all since they get an additional attack and the bonus from Furious charge. The Bloodcrushers and the Herald of Khorne are now proven to be lean and mean killing machines and considering that the Blood Angels player concentrated tank fire against them for several turns and still one fourth of the unit remain fighting is thought-provoking to say the least.
Our referee of the day – Mikko – ruined the day for the Blood Angels player and rolled the die high enough for the game to continue to turn 6. We are now mostly contemplating the amount by which the Daemons will win after the dust settles.
Turn six – Chaos Daemons
And here it comes! Flesh Hounds, Herald of Khorne cohorting one remaining Bloodcrusher, a unit of Bloodletters and two Bloodthirsters all try to assault Dante’s team desperately and stubbornly keeping the objective. Very nice charge rolls for the Flesh Hounds and Bloodcrushers is opposed by not so great rolls for one Bloodthirster and the half-eaten Bloodletter team resulting in a close combat mayhem not so grand as the Daemons player wished. Dante challenged the Bloodthirster. An incredible amount of attack dice are thrown by the attacking Daemon horde in this fittingly epic grande finale, but the Blood Angels player proves he can throw some serious saving throws when the situation warrants it and the unit’s front man absorbs around 15 wounds inflicted by the Herald, Bloodcrusher and Flesh Hounds using a combination of his 2+ armor save and several successful Feel no pain rolls until succumbing to death! An epic showdown between Dante and the Bloodthirster was not so epic and ended with Dante receiving one wound. Sanguinary Guard then rolled miserably bad for their attacks with power fists, axes and whatnot and managed to take out the Herald of Khorne. A 1 to 1 result of close combat meant that neither side was willing to take a hike and thus the fight will continue with equal fervor at least for another turn.
Turn six – Blood Angels
Well since there’s still one remaining Baal Predator available, it is positioned in such a way that it blocks the Bloodletters access to the grande finale close combat should the game continue to turn 7 and it then turns it’s weapons blasting all it’s got towards the Daemons’ Bloodthirster that failed it’s charge last turn and that happens to have only two remaining wounds after being manhandled by the hit&running Dante earlier and … because it being the Daemons’ Warlord it would give a victory point if defeated. Nice shooting resulted in 4 wounds being delivered to the thing, but – again – obscenely nice saving throws (one failure and three sixes) save the day and the Daemon remains in game with a single wound remaining.
The close combat has now shifted to Blood Angels’ advantage – incredible as it is; 4 Sanguinary Guard and 1 Sanguinary Priest fending of a Bloodcrusher and a dozen or so Flesh Hounds – since the Daemons no longer get their charge bonuses and Furious charge bonus. Incredible saving throw/Feel no pain -combination rolls continue for the Sanguinary Guard and they lose … nothing … while inflicting 3 wounds. The challenge combat between Dante and the Bloodthirster however end in hideously bad invulnerable saving throws for Dante and the commander dies a glorious death. But since the Daemons did actually lose the entire close combat 3-1, they are now required to take a Daemonic Instability roll which could – in theory – lead to them all being banished to warp! Well … nothing happens and the units remain locked in close combat and the objective is contested. A further roll by our referee of the day ends the game and a quick summary gives out a result of 3-1 for the Chaos Daemons. A minor victory considering the sheer amount of destructive volume they have remaining on the battlefield compared to 4 models and 1 tank of the Blood Angels. But a victory nevertheless!
Summing up turn 6
A fun and quick round of absolute mayhem! Although Dante’s demise secured the Daemons another point, it could easily have been tilted the other way: Dante remaining alive and the Warlording Bloodthirster of the Daemons shot by the Baal Predator killed. That would have resulted in quite a different 2-2 draw! But Dante didn’t make his saving throws and the Warlording Bloodthirster on the other hand did make them – and quite frankly they were some seriously good saving throws – so that’s the end of it! The best games are always the games in which the final verdict comes at the 11th hour. And this was one of the best games played in a long time.
A wicked fun game, but a game of surprises catching Blood Angels player with his pants down. The new Daemons Codex has it’s share of new tricks to offer and many units have significant changes applied to them. In fact the earlier CSM Codex is quite conservative in comparison with this one. Herald of Khorne providing a 2+ boost to invulnerable saves is one of the jaw-dropping goodness and in fact at one point in this game the Chaos Daemons’ Warlording Bloodthirster had a 2+ invulnerable save due to this and a lucky Warp Storm effect! That’s just … sick … considering that baby isn’t so bad to begin with! An interesting twist in the game came from the Blood Angels player’s planned angle on winning the game should the game end in turn 5 and the subsequent all-or-nothing forward movement of Daemons. Sometimes such plans work and sometimes they don’t … Blood Angels player blames the referee, of course!