Crusaders of Light and Dark – Rnd 1

BLThis weekend saw the first round of the All Scars narrative campaign, the Crusaders of Light and Dark, down at our FLGS Tabletop Tyrants. The battle lines had been drawn and I was to lead my Black Legion chaos space marines against the armoured might of Lee’s Imperial Guard (with Grey Knight allies). We had agreed on 3000 pts and after looking at some Forge World rules I asked if he would be willing to let me try the rules for the Dreadclaw Drop Pods. Being the gentleman he is, he agreed and so I set about putting my army list together.

I toyed with a few options, even considered having Abaddon himself lead the assault but decided in the end on the following list.

2998 pts Chaos Space Marines 6th Ed (Black Legion) Roster (Primary Detachment)

HQ (350pts)
Chaos Lord Morrow (220pts) Champion of Chaos, Fearless, Independent Character
Aura of dark glory (15pts), Bike (20pts), Mark of Nurgle (15pts), Skull of Kerngar (40pts), The Hand of Darkness (50pts), Veterans of the Long War (5pts), Power Armour (10pts), Bolt Pistol, Combi-melta (10pts)
Warpsmith Otto (130pts)
Champion of Chaos, Independent Character, Master of Mechanisms, Shatter Defences
Aura of dark glory (15pts), Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Veterans of the Long War (5pts),

Elites (321pts)
Chaos Terminators Men of Mayhem (321pts) Deep Strike, Veteran of the Long War (24pts)
1 x Heavy Flamer (10pts), 6 x Combi-melta (5pts)
Terminator Champion Opie (40pts) Combi-melta

Troops (1514pts)
Chaos Space Marines (313pts)
Autocannon (10pts), 19x Chaos Space Marine (247pts), Meltagun (10pts), Veteran of the long war (20pts)
Aspiring Champion Tiggs (26pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Combi-bolter (3pts)
Chaos Space Marines (313pts)
Autocannon (10pts), 19x Chaos Space Marine (247pts), Meltagun (10pts), Veteran of the long war (20pts)
Aspiring Champion Happi (26pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Combi-bolter (3pts)
Chaos Space Marines (313pts)
Autocannon (10pts), 19x Chaos Space Marine (247pts), Meltagun (10pts), Veteran of the long war (20pts)
Aspiring Champion Chibbs (26pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Combi-bolter (3pts)
Chosen (Troops) (245pts)
5x Chosen (90pts), DreadClaw Assault Drop Pod (65pts) (Deploying the Dreadclaw, Difficult Ground, DreadClaw
Assault), Meltagun (10pts), 4x Replace boltgun w/ Meltagun (40pts), Veterans of the Long War (12pts)
Chosen Champion Ortiz (28pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Combi-melta (10pts)
Chosen (Troops) (245pts)
5x Chosen (90pts), DreadClaw Assault Drop Pod (65pts) (Deploying the Dreadclaw, Difficult Ground, DreadClaw
Assault), Meltagun (10pts), 4x Replace boltgun w/ Meltagun (40pts), Veterans of the Long War (12pts)
Chosen Champion Rhatt (28pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Combi-melta (10pts)

Fast Attack (305pts)
Chaos Bikers (305pts)
9x Chaos Biker (180pts), Mark of Nurgle (60pts), 2x Meltagun (20pts), Veteran of the Long War (10pts)
Chaos Biker Champion Jax (35pts) Champion of Chaos, Bolt Pistol, CCW, Melta Bombs (5pts)

Heavy Support (508pts)
Chaos Land Raider Spartan (330pts) Armoured Ceramite (20pts), Combi-bolter (5pts), Dirge caster (5pts), Extra Armour (10pts), Warpflame gargoyles (5pts)
Havocs (178pts)
3x Flak Missiles (30pts), 4x Havoc (52pts), Lascannon (20pts), 3x Missile Launcher (45pts), Veteran of the long war
Aspiring Champion Boh-B (26pts) Bolt Pistol, Combi-bolter (3pts)

Aegis Defence Line (85pts) Icarus Lascannon

CAM00590 CAM00591With others also taking up the battle, Lee and I rolled to determine deployment and got Vanguard Strike, we shuffled the scenery a little and then rolled off for who would go first and I won the choice.  With Warpsmith Otto joining Rhatt’s squad of Chosen in their drop pod, and Chibb’s squad of marines loaded in the Spartan, I deployed the remaining 2 squads of marines within reach of cover and the Havocs in  the Aegis Defence Line allowing Boh-B to man the Icarus Cannon. Lord Morrow took up position on my left flank with his favoured unit of bikers and the loaded Spartan took the right flank.

Facing me were Lee’s forces of Catachan guardsmen, with a trio of Leman Russ, a Manticore, a Chimera (loaded with a demolition team), a Sentinel, a Vindicare assassin, a squad of Grey Knights and the behemoth of a Nemesis Dreadknight. Lee’s warlord trait meant that his Dreadknight could count as a controlling unit for the game, while mine gained the ability to re-roll any Chaos Boons I might gain. We rolled the dice to determine Night Fighting and found that we were indeed using the cover of darkness – maybe my black armour would be harder for Lee’s troops to spot in the night?

We took turns placing the objectives, drafting Jon to place the final one impartially as he had popped in to say happy Xmas to us all. Lee rolled to seize the initiative but failed, so with a friendly handshake we began.

CAM00592Everything other than my Havocs advanced, with squad Happi uncovering an objective (revealed to be Nothing of Note), and Ortiz’s Chosen landing by drop-pod (albeit a little off-course).

The Chosen were eager to begin the slaughter and they unleashed their meltas at the nearby Sentinel – reducing it to a pile of molten slag. First Blood to the Legion!

The crew of the Spartan had spied the Chimera in the shadow of  a ruin and fired one of its quad-lascannons at the imperial transport. The Chimeras camo-netting protected it from one shot but the other  struck true, rocking the tank on its tracks and leaving the occupants shaken.

Lee’s first turn had his troops seeking revenge and wiping out squad Ortiz and damaging their Dreadclaw. The Leman Russ tanks rumbled forwards and killed a small handful of marines and his Grey Knight allies begin to advance. (It was only after ending his turn that he remembered that he hadn’t used his assassin).

CAM00595My 2nd turn began with reserve rolls, the 2nd dreadclaw was ready to descend but the Men of Mayhem terminators were still in the bar. With a bang on target scatter roll (much to Lee’s chagrin) Warpsmith Otto and his back-up piled out behind enemy lines followed Ortiz’s example, firing their melta’s at the nearest imperial battle tank and destroying it.

CAM00594The damaged dreadclaw took to the air and came down close to the Spartan, opening the way for Lord Morrow and his escort to rip their throttles and surge towards the dreadnight. The roar of the engines was soon replaced with that of weapons fire as the unit let loose with bolters and melta, damaging but by no means destroying the behemoth.  The Spartan tried to maneuver around the dreadclaw and managed to beach itself on a kerb (note to self, when rolling difficult terrain test DO NOT SAY “ANYTHING BUT A 1!”), but was still in a position to blast a quad-lascannon at the Chimera again (and, again shaking the vehicle and occupants).

CAM00598Lord Morrow and the bikers assaulted the dreadknight even though its might blade was practically as long as one of their rides and both sides scored telling blows.

Lee’s response was to blow up the retreating Dreadclaw though it thankfully was an off target shot at the Spartan. His guardsman took a dislike to my warpsmith and fired mercilessly at him and his unit. Thankfully his mechatendrils were able to pull “volunteers” from the Chosen to use as human shields, leaving him alone behind the enemy lines. Also the first wave of his air support had arrived.

The Grey Knights swarmed into the combat between the dreadknight and the bikers, leaving only Lord Morrow mounted but bloodied.

My turn three and I rolled to see if the Men of Mayhem were finished drinking, they were but due to a mishap with the teleport targeting system (it tried to land them on a Leman Russ) so while the tech’s on board checked the wiring, the terminator clad warriors had one more for the road.

With their ride immobilised squad Chibb’s disembarked and made for the fortifications ahead of them, taking a snap shot at the  Valkyrie as they did so. The now empty Spartan fired once again at the Chimera, this time causing it to enough damage to be unusable and causing its occupants to disembark .

This gave Otto a choice of targets, either to continue forward and tCAM00599ackle another of the imperial tanks alone or to turn and terrorise the demolitionists.  Mechatendrils whirring he spun around and fired the built-in flamer and melta, relishing the smell of burning flesh as guardsmen fell charred. Before the corpses had begun to cool he charged into the remaining troops issuing a challenge to their commander, who accepted as he stepped forth to face Otto. The commander was only a human though and the enhanced traitor marine tore him asunder with his power axe.

Meanwhile Lord Morrow continued battling the leader of the Grey Knights, with the imperial warriors blessed armour saving him from the devilish wounds of the Hand of Darkness. Unfortunately Lord Morrow’s own defences weren’t so lucky as the nemesis force hammer tore through his Aura of Dark Glory and knocked him  bodily from his beloved bike. Lee had scored Slay the Warlord.

CAM00601Lee’s third turn saw his Avenger arrive screaming across the skies above the battle between the warpsmith and remaining demolitionists. His remaining Leman’s repositioned to get better shot s at my forces, finally taking out my Spartan (along with a couple of the marines that were stood too close) and his aircraft and manticore used their devastating arsenals to good effect, reducing all three of my marine squads in size.

It was around this time that we started to hear results from some of the other battles, and it appeared that things were very close all over (apart from Patrick and Dave’s battle which saw Patrick’s Black Legion score an overwhelming 11-0 victory) and it was fast becoming clear that the outcome of our battle could be the deciding factor.  As it stood we both controlled 1 objective each and had both scored a secondary with First Blood and Slay the Warlord respectively.

CAM00602Turn four began with my terminators finally putting an appearance in and tearing guardsmen apart with bolter fire while Chibb’s led his men deeper into the fortifications to secure a 2nd objective. The squad members with the melta and autocannon took opportunistic shots at the Avenger as it passed overhead, the melta managing to knock the craft out of the sky – right on top of Chibb’s unit! Luckily no one was harmed.

Lee’s forces were able to take down warpsmith Otto, eventually freeing up the remainder of the units there and the Grey Knight forces advanced across the battlefield. Concentrated fire was able to decimate my late arriving terminators before they could make any more mischief amongst his ranks.

As we prepared to begin turn 5 we heard the last of the other results, it was a 3-2 win for the forces of light so far – the hopes of the dark forces rested solely upon the our outcome now, which considering my track record was a worrying prospect. Not only that but time was beginning to run out for us too so the pressure was truly on.

Squad Tigg’s let loose with everything they had left at the Grey Knights but once again the blessings on their terminator armour saved all of them, but one! The Havocs tried to take down the remaining air support but the Valkyrie proved resilient. Squad Chibb’s turned their fire upon the approaching dreadknight, well aware that the massive machine could take their objective away from them, and the cheers went up when lucky bolter shells finally felled the monstrosity.

Lee’s forces consolidated their hold on their objective as the Grey Knights advanced on squad Chibbs, storm bolters blazing and cutting my marines down. The lemans and manticore continued to barrage my other units, severely reducing their numbers too. By now only my Havocs were unharmed. Then the Grey Knights charged into the remaining members of squad Chibb’s, with their numbers lacking they fell before the nemesis weapons of the loyalist terminators and lost the objective to them.

As the dust settled (and time was rapidly running out) we called it rather than roll to see if the game would continue. The final tally was 1 objective and First Blood for me – 4 vps, 2 objectives and Slay the Warlord for Lee – 7 vps. Making the overall campaign result a 4-2 win for the forces of light. (I realised after the tallying the other results that had I kept that 2nd objective the result would have been 7-4 to me, thus making it 3-3 overall, and then coming down to total vp’s scored which would have been 33-30 in favour of the dark forces, aaargh! So close).

Both Lee and myself agreed that it had been a great game with it being very close throughout, yes my streak continues but not through want of trying.

In hindsight I should have put the warpsmith in the Spartan with squad Chibbs rather than the 2nd dreadclaw, which although allowing 2 more units to deep strike proved not to be that much use after that as although they come at almost twice the cost of an imperial drop pod they have none of the others weaponry. Had the ‘smith been in the Spartan he could have attempted to fix it after immobilising itself.

I think the use of the larger squads worked well for me, apart from clumping them too closely together once in cover, allowing the big blast templates that are part and parcel of an Imperial Guard armies repertoire to take their toll – repeatedly.

If I had to choose a “man of the match” from my army it would have to be the warpsmith, aside from the stupid power axe (which you can’t swap out in the equipment options) his bag of tricks make him very nasty. Extra attacks in close combat, the ability to fire a flamer and melta or either in combination with any other ranged weapon he has, the shatter defences ability (reducing an enemies cover save in one piece of terrain) and the chance to curse enemy machines or repair your own are a definite no brainer I think.  His only main downside being that the model is finecast and an absolute shit to put together, and even worse to transport safely (one of my mechatendrils has come adrift already!).

The draw for the next round has been done, and I am to face the greater good of Ross J McCart. My previous encounter against Tau wasnt a good one but lessons have been learned and I look forward to trying them out in the “Big Guns Never Tire” mission we are due to play (January 18th 2014).

One Response to “Crusaders of Light and Dark – Rnd 1”

  1. Lee’s ability to name the Dreadknight and the Vindicare as scoring units wasnt from a Warlord trait, he has corrected me, but from something to do with a “Masters Strategy” or something, very cool ability either way.

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