This weekend saw the fourth stage in the Leicester All Scars Punic Wars narrative campaign. I missed out on playing in stage 3 due to illness but got to face the same opponent this time. Dave C has as bad a track record as I do at the club with us both renown for bad dice luck, I would be facing 3000 points of his Ultramarines, including Papa Smurf himself, Marneus Calgar.
I kept the list I had been planning from the previous stage as we would still be fighting the same points, on the same planet (Carthage, as the Orks had failed to wrest control from the imperiums hands).
+++ Punic 4 v Smurfs (2999pts) +++
++ Chaos Space Marines: Black Legion (2013) (Combined Arms Detachment) (1490pts) ++
+ HQ (460pts) +
Jaxxon – Chaos Lord (235pts) [Bike, Bolt Pistol, Mark of Nurgle, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, The Hand of Darkness, The Skull of Ker’ngar, Veterans of the Long War] ··Power Weapon [Power Sword]
Unsa – Sorcerer (225pts) [2x Additional Mastery Level, Bike, Bolt Pistol, Last Memory of Yuranthos, Mark of Tzeentch, Melta bombs, Power Armour, Sigil of corruption, Spell familiar, Veterans of the Long War] ··Force Weapon [Force Stave] – Psychic: Force, Sunburst, Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Boon of Mutation, Smite, Iron Arm
+ Troops (490pts) +
Jooz – Chaos Space Marines (245pts) [9x Boltgun load out, 9x Chaos Space Marines in the unit, Missile Launcher w/ Frag + Krak, Plasma Gun, Veterans of the Long War]
··Chaos Rhino [Dirge caster, Warpflame gargoyles]
··Jooz – Aspiring Champion [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bombs] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
Tiggs – Chaos Space Marines (245pts) [9x Boltgun load out, 9x Chaos Space Marines in the unit, Missile Launcher w/ Frag + Krak, Plasma Gun, Veterans of the Long War]
··Chaos Rhino [Dirge caster, Warpflame gargoyles]
··Tiggs – Aspiring Champion [Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Melta Bombs] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
+ Fast Attack (540pts) +
Bernard – Heldrake (170pts) [Baleflamer]
Chibbs – Chaos Bikers (185pts) [4x Chaos Biker, Icon of flame, Mark of Tzeentch, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War]
··Chibbs – Chaos Biker Champion [Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
Opie – Chaos Bikers (185pts) [4x Chaos Biker, Mark of Nurgle, 2x Meltagun, Veterans of the Long War]
··Opie – Chaos Biker Champion [Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
++ Chaos Space Marines: Black Legion (2013) (Combined Arms Detachment) (1509pts) ++
+ HQ (467pts) +
Abaddon the Despoiler (265pts) [Warlord] – Trait: Black Crusader
Gargamel – Sorcerer (202pts) [2x Additional Mastery Level, Azrael the cat – Spell familiar, Mark of Nurgle, Sigil of corruption, Terminator Armour, Veterans of the Long War] ··Combi-weapon [Combi-melta] ··Force Weapon [Force Sword] – Psychic: Force, Nurgles Rot, Gift of Contagion, Invisibility, Shrouded
+ Elites (707pts) +
Bane – [FW] Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought (320pts) [Carapace Mounted Havoc launcher, Dedications of Tzeentch, Extra Armour, Heavy Conversion Beamer, Legacy of Ruin: Veteran of the Scouring] ··Dreadnaught Close combat weapon [Heavy Flamer]
Men of Mayhem – Chaos Terminators (387pts) [Bringers of Despair, Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War]
··Terminator x 5
····Combi weapon [Combi-melta] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
····Combi-Weapon [Combi-melta] ····Power Weapon [Power Sword]
··Terminator with Heavy Weapon [Chainfist, Reaper Autocannon]
+ Troops (168pts) +
Chaos Cultists (85pts) [8x Autogun upgrade, 9x Cultists in unit, Mark of Nurgle] ··Heavy Weapon upgrade [Flamer]
··Cultist Champion [Auto Pistol, Champions Shotgun]
Chaos Cultists (83pts) [8x Autogun upgrade, 9x Cultists in unit, Mark of Nurgle] ··Heavy Weapon upgrade [Heavy stubber]
··Cultist Champion [Auto Pistol]
+ Heavy Support (167pts) +
The ball-buster – Chaos Vindicator (167pts) [Havoc Launcher, Legacy of Ruin: Badab Uprising, Siege Shield, Warpflame gargoyles]
Campaign special rules:
Carthage – high gravity – all non-template/grenade/pistol ranged weapons have their range reduced by 6″. Jump Infantry/Skimmers/Jet Bikes movement reduced to 9″ instead of 12″.
Motivation – tactical – the first objective secured card you achieve is worth 2 victory points.
Patron bonus – for each 3 units set on fire with Soulblaze, score an additional VP.
We rolled for the Mealstrom mission and got Cloak & Shadows, I won the roll to choose 1st or 2nd and chose to deploy and go 2nd. We also agreed to have Night Fighting in play.
As Dave deployed I was seriously getting worried, his techmarine improved the defences of the ruin his sternguard and Tigurius deployed in, with his Whirlwind Scorpion behind them, all surrounding the Objective 5. A pair of rhino’s loaded with more marines, a razorback with more sternguard, contemptor dreadnought and landraider (carrying Papa Smurf and his retinue). Two more squad of marines were on foot, and in reserve there was a second contemptor in a drop pod, a storm raven and a xiphon fighter (which is a lot bigger than it looked in the photos I had previously seen).
I deployed both cultist units in cover camping on Objectives 3 and 6. One of the marine squads sat in their rhino beside Unsa and the Tzeentch bikers, next to them were Jaxxon and his nurgle bikers. The second marine unit deployed in a central ruin with the vindicator beside them, their rhino sitting in front of my own contemptor dread. In reserve I had the heldrake, Abaddon, Gargamel and the Bringers of Despair.
Before we went further we gave each other a run down of our lists and I took great pleasure in telling Dave about Gargamel and his familiar, Azrael, and their relevance to the Smurfs.
I rolled to try and seize the initiative, and boom! I had jumped the gun on the Smurf’s and would be first to go.
After seizing the initiative Squad bullhorn advance in their rhino beside Unsa’s bikers. Lord Jaxxon’s bikers move up beside Squad Jooz
The vindicator advances before combining its firepower with that of the contemptor dread upon the enemy landraider.
The Scorpion opens fire on Unsa’s bikers, claiming 2 of them. one of the tactical squads advances upon a chaos altar.
The smurf’s advance, focusing a lot of firepower on the vindicator, immobilising it and stunning it. Meanwhile a drop pod disgorges a second enemy contemptor behind the beleagured chaos vehicle.
The first of the chaos reserves arrive, Bernard the heldrake unleashes his fiery torrent over Tigurius and his sternguard, thinning their numbers.
The rest of the reserves arrive – Abaddon, Gargamel and the Bringers of Despair. Barely had they finished materialising before they fire a wall of combi-meltas into the Scorpion, melting its armour and causing its remains to explode. Unsa’s bikers roar over a hillock, blasting their own meltas into an Imperial rhino and depriving its passengers of further rides before gunning the engines once more and assaulting them (their Tzeentch blessed armour even protecting them from a cheeky overwatching Krak missile).
Wait, wasnt there more terminators there a moment ago?
Oh, that’s why. Imperial Xiphon joins the battle.
The smurf’s razorback uses its twin-linked heavy bolters to straffe our rhino, destroying its combi-bolters but little else. What’s that? Where did the enemy contemptor go? Up in a ball of superheated smoke thanks to Jaxxon’s bikers melta’s, that’s where (3 vehicles exploded by meltas in 1 round – sorry Dave).
Squad Jooz and Abaddon’s little gang kill the rest of the Sternguard leaving Tigurius alone.
The vindicator is destroyed by its own demolisher shell scattering back on itself (and killing a biker in the process). Jaxxon leads his unit against the landraider, ripping its tracks off with the Hand of Darkness and forcing its passengers to disembark.
Marneus Calgar leads his retinue in an assault upon Jaxxon and his bikers. The 2 leaders face off in a mighty challenge.
After round 3 we didn’t get a lot of time to take photos as we were pushing for time. Calgar and the contemptor charged into Jaxxons unit, killing the squad and leaving Jaxxon on his own to face the wrath of the smurfs. Tigurius bravely charged Abaddon and Gargamel, Abby activated Drachnyen and wounded himself and Tigurius gave him another wound (also inflicting soulblaze on the chaos lord and sorcerer).
Jooz led his unit into the vacated ramparts and claimed Objective 5 (scoring 2 vp thanks to the Motivation bonus). The Xiphon and Raven wrecked the Rhino but weren’t in position to affect much else. Bernard the heldrake streaked across the board and barfed his flames over the tactical squad on the refinery, reducing them to the missile launcher and plasma gunner. This allowed my remaining rhino to sneak around and secure the objective on the far edge of the refinery and score another Objective vp.
My contemptor strode forward and joined the melee before it, scoring excellent hits and destroying its imperial counterpart, leaving Jaxxon and Calgar locked in battle.
Abby and Gargamel continued fighting Tigurius and this time Drachnyen gave up an additional 6 attacks, the smurf wizard was skewered and his lifeless body slid off of the chaos warlords demonic blade.
Time had beaten us at the end of my turn 4, and as the score stood at 11-2 (despite my having the chance to score 3 cards with d3 points – they all came out as 1’s!), it was agreed that it would be unlikely that Dave could make the deficit up in a single round
A voice crackled over the comm-line in Abaddon’s ear, “My liege, scans show increased instability in the planetary core, estimate total collapse of its structural integrity in 60 seconds”.
Allowing himself the briefest of smiles as he let the body of the Ultramarines chief librarian, Tigurius, slide lifelessly from his sated blade he activated his comm-link to broadcast to the forces under his command. “Well done my brothers, this world will fall to the warp. Withdraw and the remaining foes choose to flee or die”. Even in the merest moment before he closed the link he heard the raucous cheering from his fellow Legionnaires.
The forces of the Black Legion returned to their landing craft, teleported back on board their cruisers, or simply flew back in to their landing bays. As the last transport’s were taken aboard the planet below cracked and folded in on itself, leaving only a swirling miasma of warp energy in its wake that swiftly began to coalesce into a gateway to the realms of the deamon-kin.
Wow, that went a lot better than expected. Rather than rest of my laurels, I must say that Dave had atrocious dice luck while my Tabletop Tyrant dice were absolutely on fire (obviously soulblaze).
I must say that Scorpion is brutal, if i hadn’t destroyed it in round 2 it would have been a different story altogether. If I was going to do anything different I might have upgraded one of the two CSM units to Chosen (still a Troop choice for Black Legion) and equipped it with 5 melta’s and a combi-melta/power sword for the champ. Definitely a unit to consider once I get my converted Dreadclaw drop pod built.