Episode 52: Kind of a Battle Report but Lots of ITC Discussion

Hey guys, I got another game in over the weekend and actually recorded quite a long video for it but it didn't turn out how I wanted. Since it was about an hour I thought it best to learn from my audio mistakes and just do a writeup as most of the video was me talking about the new ITC Missions. I am trying to make some cooler video content as I know some people like it and it's fun to do outside of Battle Reports, I'm just trying to get better at the whole thing.

I'll briefly touch on the game, I took the Chaos list I've been testing against my buddy Nick who I've played several times. He was taking Death Guard as per usual although with a bit of a twist this time. The list list was as follows:

Demon Prince of Nurgle w/ 2x Malefic Talons, Warpbolter, The Supprating Plate (Warlord)
Typhus
Necrosius

10 Poxwalkers
10 Poxwalkers
10 Poxwalkers

Chaos Sorcerer in Terminator Armor w/ Force Axe
Chaos Lord in Terminator Armor w/ Power Axe

10 Blightlord Terminators w/ Combi-Plasma, 2 Flails of Corruption, 8 Bubonic Axes

3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators

I was happy to see this list because while it's far from optimized, and indeed has an illegal Terminator entry since they lose the Combi-Bolter for the Flail, it has a lot of heavy shooting which I need to throw Magnus/Mortarion into. That being said I still felt very advantaged in the matchup.

Unfortunately the game wasn't very exciting as Nick Conceded on the Top of Turn 2. He made a huge mistake by letting me go first as he thought the range on my Cultists were shorter which meant Turn 1 I killed about half the Poxwalkers, put up my defensive buffs, and took the board. On Nick's Turn he did get Magnus down to 6 Wounds and killed some Cultists by getting a Charge off with the Terminators and some Poxwalkers, although Abaddon cut down most of the Poxwalkers before they could leverage their attacks and make more.

On my turn I killed the Terminators, all the Poxwalkers, and an Obliterator. Magnus was out of position since he failed a medium Charge into the Demon Prince but even though he was likely to die next turn the game was over. Mortarion would move into the army, hit everything with both his auras, get a great gunshot and then start murdering Characters. Even without that the amount of Smite I had access to via the Malefic Lords would likely drop a Character a turn and I had run of the whole table with the Cultists.

Sadly the game was very sloppy, Nick made several big mistakes like the turn order and fighting first with his Terminators which let me interrupt with Abaddon into the Poxwalkers. As I told Nick I think there's a list in there but it needs a way to kill screens and it probably has to turn the Terminators into Mark of Slaanesh, the double shooting is too good. 4++ and FNP is great but the package is so expensive that it just has to do work. Poxwalkers are also very poor in small units, it's spam them or take Cultists/Brimstones to fill up Troops. Even Plague Marines would have been far more useful.

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With that said, I'd love to talk about the new ITC Missions. I've been able to play them twice now and watched several more games in person while talking to my local guys. The consensus is they're certainly improved, which I'd agree with. However I do still see some noticeable flaws.

The Good

This will be the longest section. Let's start with simplicity. The new Missions are less overall bookkeeping in my experience than the old ones, you don't have to track "categories" of Objective, you don't have to track changing Objectives via Maelstrom, and there's less math to do at the games end. All of that matters a lot for tournament play, which these are focused on it feels, meaning TO's can get things figured out faster and players can be a bit more relaxed.

To continue this trend the Missions are much easier to setup. TOs can deploy 4/6 Missions between Rounds and the other two have less setup which means more time for actual play. This is extremely important as I'll touch on later. While not setting up your own Objectives does remove some skill I think it's a smart concession for both casual and tournament play. I'd rather have less to track and more time to roll dice.

What makes up for the Objective placement is the Secondary Objectives which are lifted from this years NOVA Open. These are a bit simplistic, it's very obvious when you take each one, but they are a way to keep things simple and inject some skill back into the Missions. Another bright spot for me is the guaranteed Turn Length, I've always thought Random Game Length is horrible and removes skill from the game since you cannot plan for things. Having a game go 6-7 Turns is doable, having it go 5-7 is quite bad in my opinion and I was happy to see it go.

I like that it's very clear when and how each Player scores. These come in the form of Round, Turn, and Anytime scoring. As stated by the ITC the Round ones are an effort to balance going first and second. It's not nearly enough and I'm sure tournaments/testing will bear that out but at least it's something. These feel like more of a chance at playing spoiler than putting the game on equal footing.

Movement is now a huge part of the game. With the last ITC Missions there was still too much reward, and there probably still is for my taste, on grabbing Objectives late game or just tablilng your opponent. Since you got a full, immediate, win for a tabling the game was just power play against power play. There's now more room for armies that focus on the Mission which makes things like Mechanized lists better.

Finally we have the scoring, which is only really relevant for Tournaments. It's written that you only score what you score although if you table your opponent you're considered to get all the Primary and Secondary Points they can for the rest of the game. These points are also the primary tie-breaker so if several people share a record they're ordered by their score. This makes more defensive armies quite powerful as they can play to the Mission but also hold off from the tablings that are common right now in the meta. This, combined with more emphasis on early and often movement, will hopefully shake things up.


The Bad

Most of my complaints revolve around a continued emphasis on killing your opponents army. This is something 40K Players really seem to struggle with but the secret is simple: Your army is already rewarded for killing the other army. You don't need MORE reasons to do that! In the last packet we had way too many "Destroy a Unit" results, here we have the same thing for both Round AND Turn scoring but on top of that it's all but two of the Secondary Objectives. Ugh!

This is where 40K needs to rip off Warmachine wholesale. Privateer Press Scenarios traditionally had nothing to do with removing models, they had to do with holding ground and positioning. You were tasked with holding Circles, Flags, and Zones. There were instances when you had to destroy Objectives, which were reasonably tough, but those Objectives did NOT cost you anything and did NOT buff the other army. They were a pure Scenario piece. This was changed near the end of MkII I believe, or at the beginning of MkIII, to provide some buffs which I think was a bad thing.

40K could easily copy this. Why not put different sized Objectives into the game? Not everything has to be the same size, maybe one area of the table is more important than the others. Put a Zone in the middle and put Objectives on the flanks. This would force armies forward and make them put stuff into the Zone, buffing melee armies which need the help, but also gives some incentive to have fast units or small skirmishes on the flanks. Sure it would require some templates and such but so many other games do it and I've never seen that stop anyone from playing.

Continuing my example, why not make the Secondary Objectives more interesting? How about instead of Kingslayer I have to get my own Character to a certain place on the table and they have to survive until my next turn. This is similar to a concept called Dominating in Warmachine where you would score more if important models were on Objectives, although they could be held by less important models for a lower reward. Tactical! Will you risk your Warlord on my side of the table, or will you give up those points?

Even the destructible Objectives fit well, just make them Characters or have some other semi-immunity to shooting. Maybe they take reduced damage from range so the forgotten melee armies can get something done. If you want to get super crazy the Secondary Objectives can be secret. Maybe in EVERY game there's destructible Objectives but your opponent won't always take that. Now you can bluff which seems very accurate to a real conflict. Not that we need literal realism in a space war game but some tactical realism would be nice. Why do I know EXACTLY what my opponent wants to do?

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While it seems like I have a lot of complaints, these aren't necessarily directed at the ITC Missions. Warhammer has always had weak Scenarios and been more of a chuck dice game, which I think is to its detriment. I fully recognize and encourage the need for simple and fast Scenarios, the ones GW put out with 8th are great for this. But there also needs to be complex and deep Scenarios for tournament play and that is what I do not see. We're inching forward, slowly, as a game but it gets frustrating at times.

Right now many people groan about the spam lists which are pushing Fliers, Artillery, under-costed Screens/Psykers, and so on. Well Missions can prevent that. Those lists are powerful because the game provides no reason to take anything other than the most powerful possible units. Speed is barely a consideration, things like Deep Strike have been marginalized because their offensive power is so easily shut down. It's a real shame the game provides no reason to explore subtle rules and nuanced units. Right now it's two people smashing each other with clubs, sometimes I like to watch a good fencing match instead.

Episode 51: Super Best Friends! (Chaos vs. Space Wolves 2000 Points)

Finally! This will be the week of games as I have three lined up and may go for four, the first of which was tonight. I managed to snag a game against Paul, a local that I don't know very well but who's been in the hobby for many years. He placed 2nd to me at the RTT I attended with a Space Wolf army using a Thunderhawk, Dreadnoughts and some other stuff but this time he was packing a much different build.

I took a heavily revised Chaos list that I wrote a recent Blog Post about, which I'm calling Super Best Friends. It revolves around Abaddon, Mortarin, and Magnus to do much of the work and I was eager to see how it performed. The list is VERY Chaos, raw power but very direct and a particular weakness to fast armies that can kite me. There aren't too many of those that are popular so I made kind of a meta call but guess what Paul was packing.....


Chaos

Abaddon (Warlord w/ Unholy Fortitude)
Demon Prince w/ 2x Malefic Talons, MoS, Intoxicating Elixir, Wings (Delightful Agonies)

40 Cultists
40 Cultists
40 Cultists

Magnus
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord

Mortarion
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord



Space Wolves

Ragnar Blackmane
Wolfpriest w/ Combi-Plasma

Loki the Trickster
5 Wulfen w/ 2 TH/SS, 1 Claws, 2 Axes
5 Wulfen w/ 2 TH/SS, 1 Claws, 2 Axes

5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader
5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader
5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader

6 Long Fangs w/ 3 Missile Launchers and 2 Plasma Cannons
Stormwolf
Stormwolf

Imperial Bunker



Scenario and Deployment
ITC Mission 5 | Search and Destroy

For this game we decided to use the ITC Beta Missions per my request, I want to test them this week and I will post a video with my thoughts once I have more experience with them. For now I think they're a step forward but still need more, that may evolve. If you aren't familiar with these they are freely available on the ITC Website.

This specific Scenario is great for me, I'm playing the far more aggressive army and it's unlikely I will ever lose the center. For Secondaries I chose Kingslayer (Wolf Priest), Headhunter, and Recon. Behind Enemy Lines is probably better than Kingslayer but I'm still not familiar with these. Paul chose Kingslayer (Magnus), Headhunter, and behind Enemy Lines. Originally he was going to take The Reaper but then I explained how Tide of Traitors work and that plan was quickly scrapped.

Table Quarters is not a good Deployment for me, Paul has all the mobility and all the long ranged shooting and table quarters is the worst variant to take that on. Paul also brought his open table/terrain which is extremely lacking in LoS block, in a tournament I would not play on this table but for a casual game I soldiered on. Put terrain on your tables, tons and tons and make sure it's tall! Terrain makes 8th Edition a game, never forget that.

I put all my Cultists up front with the Malefic Lords behind and Abaddon/Demon Prince taking the center. Mortarion and Magnus were center back, which is a mistake. I should have left room for Magnus at the tip of my deployment zone as he's the only thing I have against the Fliers.

Paul had very little, putting the Bunker near his Objective and the Stormwolves back a bit. Each Vehicle had a Bloodclaw unit, the Wulfen were split between the Stormwolves as was Loki and Ragnar. The Wolf Priest just hid behind the Bunker.

My goal for the game was to go heavy on Scenario. My big boys should occupy the guns for most of the game and there isn't enough anti-Infantry to clear my Cultists out. Without a coordinated Charge from multiple units it's not going to happen and I can recycle easily. If I go first the game is likely over as I can shrug off the Space Wolf Shooting, put my Primarchs in the middle and the dare Paul to make a move. If I go second the same strategy likely applies but it's less certain. To this end I should have either put both Primarchs as up front as possible, or more likely far back to spare me the Long Fang shooting.

I did end up losing the First Turn Roll and didn't Seize, so we'll see how I can cope with the big guns.


Space Wolves Turn 1

Movement Phase
Befitting the small army Paul has he moves the Storm Wolves up and the rest of the army huddles in the Binker. The Wolf Priest Advances up a bit although seemingly without a goal for the moment.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Without Psykers Paul starts his Shooting, putting all the big guns into Magnus and the Heavy Bolters Hellfrost Cannons into the Cultists/Mortarion. Magnus takes 1 Wound with both of us using a re-roll, I made an Invulnerable and Paul re-rolled Damage for a Krak Missile which stayed a one. I lost a few Cultists and two Wounds from Mortarion, overall extremely acceptable casualties.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
None of this on Turn 1 so we pass over to me.








Chaos Turn 1

Movement Phase
My army surges forward with an Advance from one Cultist unit while the others just follow behind. I make sure to bubble wrap my Characters as I've learned my lesson against Fliers, although there may be a play to bait Paul in. I don't think he'd fall for a few Malefic Lords, maybe the Demon Prince? I considered it but it felt like a reach.

Magnus moved towards the Storm Wolf at the top of the board while Mortarion kind of just hung out in the center. I should have Advanced him and made a line for the bunker, Mortarion can't catch the Storm Wolf so I should just go eat that Bunker on Turn 2-3 since that's most of the Space Wolf shooting.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My Psychic Phase goes well with Magnus and Mortarion getting their self-buffs up, I also do 3 Wounds to the Storm Wolf with Smite and Warptime Magnus within 1" of it. Delightful Agonies fails to go off.

Shooting is very little, I do 1 Wound to the left Storm Wolf and two to the top, thanks Abaddon! Unfortunately my guns have very few targets this game unless I can crack a Vehicle.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus Charges the Storm Wolf without taking any damage but leaves it on 2 Wounds with some bad rolls. I missed a hit, even with the re-roll, and failed three Wound rolls even with a Command Point, needing 2's. At least the Storm Wolf is hitting on 5's now but my plan was to crack one open and start enabling the Cultists. Oh well.






Space Wolves Turn 2

Movement Phase
The damaged Storm Wolf hightails it back to Paul's corner, as does the other. Before that the Wulfen disembark, hoping to help with Magnus. Paul is clearly on the kiting plan and seemed to not expect my threat range, although I control the entire board now.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Shooting goes all into Magnus and I fail several key Invulnerable Saves which leaves me with 12 Wounds. It could have been worse but the Wulfen hit extremely hard with multiple damage and high Strength on most of them, they also have Storm Shields to tank my hits.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
The Wulfen Charge and do a monstrous 7 Wounds to Magnus, leaving me on just 5. My Attacks back only kill one Wulfen as Storm Shields absorb three Wounds and some good Feel No Pain Rolls absorb two. This did kill the model with the Claws, I guess Paul figured his luck on the Shields was running out and wanted to keep them around for their flat 3 Damage.

Score | 3-0 for Space Wolves




Chaos Turn 2

Movement Phase
I consider Falling Back with Magnus but it won't make a difference so we press on. Mortarion moves on top of the large building while my Cultists keep moving forward. I leave 1-2 Malefic Lords exposed this time as a minor bait but I do cover some angles to be on the safe side. I think I should have Advanced Mortarion but I was hoping for an ~8" Charge.

I'm also able to grab the center Objective so I can start scoring that which is one of the advantages of going second in the new ITC Missions. I also grab all four table quarters for Recon which stays true to my goal for the game.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again the Psychic Phase is great as I melt 3 Wulfen and Death Hex the remaining two with Storm Shields. Delightful Agonies goes on the NW Cultists and Mortarion/Magnus get their buffs up yet again.

Shooting doesn't do much, I put 1 Wound on the Bunker which is meaningless.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus dismisses the remaining two Wulfen as their Storm Shields turn off and he Advances 3" towards the Storm Wolves. Unfortunately Mortarion failed his Charge so he's really struggling to get up the board. In hindsight I should have swapped Warptime onto the Demon Prince with Chaos Familiar and moved him up, I just didn't think of it at the time.

I score Recon and the Bonus Objective which will be hard to shift me off of for the rest of the game.

Score | 2-3 for Space Wolves




Space Wolves Turn 3

Movement Phase
Loki and his Bloodclaws get out of the damaged Storm Wolf which moves back to the very corner of the table. The other flies across to my table quarter, probably hoping to drop off its cargo before it's too late. The Infantry that got out head for Magnus, Paul is getting desperate to bring him down.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again every big gun goes at Magnus although Paul makes a positional error and is out of range with both Hellfrost Cannons, one goes at Cultists but the other has no targets. Magnus passes every Invulnerable Save, also shrugging off some Plasma shots and Bolt Pistols from the assembled Infantry. I do lose a few Cultists but they're still under no threat.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Both Loki and the Bloodclaws fail their Charge into Magnus and Paul decides against using any re-rolls. Magnus still being alive is really starting to tilt the game, Mortarion is barely scratched and the game is half over!

Score | 2-3 for Space Wolves





Chaos Turn 3

Movement Phase
Well I didn't expect Magnus to last after the Turn 2 beating he took but not I hope to leverage him as much as I can. To that end both him and Mortarion move up, two of my Cultist units turn back to defend the Characters and screen for the Charges likely coming my way from Ragnar and Co. I do keep moving one Cultist unit forward with the Demon Prince, Abaddon is centered to keep the Morale bubble going and give re-rolls to my backline.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My buffs go up again in the Psychic Phase while Smites from Magnus and Mortarion kill all the Bloodclaws. I put as many Smites as I can into the unharmed Storm Wolf but leave it with 4 Wounds, some spikes could have dropped it but I'll take the result. Delightful Agonies goes up once again on the front Cultists.

Shooting strips 1 Wound off the Storm Wolf to drop it to BS 5, which effectively makes it useless. I do have the cargo to deal with but my Primarchs essentially run the board now and Mortarion is certainly never going down.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus makes a Charge into both Loki and the Wolf Priest, taking no damage. Mortarion fails again and I have no opportunity to fish for a re-roll.

Magnus puts 3 Attacks into each target and kills both, Paul used a re-roll on the Wolf Priest but still failed the Invulnerable. Loki's bomb special rule failed to go off, I had a re-roll saved for it but it wasn't needed. This nets me 2 Points for Headhunter and 2 Points for Kingslayer. I also still hold the center Objective and Recon so I'm starting to rack up the points.

Score | 8-3 for Chaos


Space Wolves Turn 4

Movement Phase
Everyone gets out of the barely flying Storm Wolf who enters Hover Mode and moves right in front of Abaddon for a desperation run. The other Storm Wolf also moves away from Magnus, a bit south of the Bunker.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Once more the Long Fangs and the Storm Wolf pour into Magnus but he survives with 1 Wound! Paul is not pretty on tilt which I cannot blame him for, he does throw some shots into Abaddon but they all miss. I lose a couple Cultists to Pistols and Heavy Bolters but I'm still not worried for them.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Two Malefic Lords get Charged by the Wulfen while Ragnar and the Bloodclaws Charge the Cultists. The Storm Wolf also Charges the Cultists to absorb their Overwatch, taking no damage. Abaddon and two Malefic Lords Heroic Intervention onto the Storm Wolf.

Paul starts with the Bloodclaws knowing I can attack with the Cultists if he doesn't, I take 11 casualties but manage to pull Ragnar out of combat. Both Malefic Lords die and the Storm Wolf does nothing before Abaddon punches it with his Powerfist, losing a Wound to his sword. Fortunantely the Storm Wolf doesn't explode.

Score | 8-6 for Chaos








Chaos Turn 4

Movement Phase
Time to put the nail in the coffin. Magnus and Mortarion move towards the Bunker while I move my Cultists into Rapid Fire range of the remaining Space Wolves. The far unit continues to hold the center, I really having nothing to do with them.

My Cultist unit in Combat recycles out of Combat and into Rapid Fire range of the Space Wolves on my side of the table.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My buffs go up and Mortarion gets Warp Time to stop 1" from the Bunker and the Storm Wolf. He Smites the Storm Wolf to death, it doesn't explode. Smites kill all the Wulfen and all the Bloodclaws, leaving just Ragnar remaining.

Since it was getting late I skip shooting.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Mortarion Charges the Bunker and reduces it to rubble, it doesn't explode. Three Bloodclaws die in the wreckage. I attempted to Charge Ragnar with Abaddon but fail, taking no damage.

Score | 10-6 for Chaos




Remaining Turns

Paul uses his last turn to try and kill Magnus. I tank all the shooting and Bloodclaw attacks, using my last Command Points to interrupt the Chargers and kill all but 2 Long Fangs. In a fitting end to the game the last two manage to kill Magnus.

On my turn Mortarion kills all the Space Wolves on the left with Psychic Powers and Ragnar dies to Smite after having chopped up one more Malefic Lord.

Victory for Chaos!




Post-Game Thoughts



Episode 50.4: Thoughts on the Super Best Friends Army List (Magnus and Mortarion)

Well this week hasn't been a great one for me in terms of 40K, several games I had scheduled fell through and the only one I did get was a concession on the Bottom of Turn 1. So not something I can really turn into a Battle Report unfortunately.

The big change I wanted to try this week, with regards to my Chaos, is to see how Mortarion works out when combined with Magnus. I've been unhappy with how the Terminators are playing, they cost so many points and need so much help to really get the most out of their Plasma (or whatever gun you give them). The module was ending up costing well over a quarter of the army and then it needed even more support. Deep Strike is just so fragile right now against competitive armies, at best you can come down on Turn 2 but Turn 3 is usually more realistic.

To that end I dropped the whole package and went back to the drawing board. To cut things short I'm loving Abaddon and the Cultists, they're a lot better than people think and I can focus my Strategem use on them by removing the Terminators. Spending so much on VotLW and Endless Cacophony made it a bit harder to get multiple recycles on the Cultists whereas now I can make that a priority and make the unit more annoying.

Of course by dropping the Terminators I'm now lacking a lot of anti-Tank. Magnus can get in there but he can't be everywhere at once so I certainly need something else. Originally I thought about just following the leader and running Basilisks/Quad Launchers/Wyverns like most other people are doing, however this feels very weak to me. Imperial armies just do this better, they can easily get re-rolls for the Artillery which means they'll just win the shootout. Why take a worse version of something that another popular army can take?

What I opted for instead is what I'd call a pressure build. The best way to do this with Chaos seems to be using both the Demon Primarchs as each is a threat that cannot be ignored and they also compliment each other very well. Mortarion can kill the things that Magnus would struggle with, usually Lords of War, while Magnus gets Mortarion into the action faster or can strip off Invulnerable Saves from high priority targets like Guilliman.

The biggest issue with this twosome is they're both very squishy before their buffs get up and running, or if the buffs are denied. Magnus can be fairly stout with The Changeling and his natural re-rolls but any of the gunlines out and about right now can put a serious hurt on him. However this isn't something that Chaos can really get around, it's not like if I include other things they AREN'T going to be weak to alpha strike armies, so in the end it's not worth bothering about. At best you can run an artillery build and attempt to spread out the damage since the sub-10 Wound Forge World options don't get worse as they take damage. But like I said, Imperium runs this better and at best the game becomes dice oriented which isn't a good place to be.

Having the two Primarchs allows for a very aggressive playstyle when you factor in the rest of my army. My Cultists can get recycled to get in an opponents face, a lot of the powerful Vehicles and Artillery right now is very weak to just being tied up in Combat and doing just that with the Cultists can silence guns quickly. I also upgraded a Sorcerer to a Demon Prince, this gives me more range on at least some re-rolls for the Cultists if they push up the field but also gives me another fast Combat threat with Flying. I was also able to sneak in more Malefic Lords to get Smites which will at least help lower the profile on Vehicles or take out the very commonly seen small shooting units.

Another thing that I removed was The Changeling. He's great for defending Magnus against the opening salvo but I now have more leeway to use Command Points on re-rolls and after Turn 1 The Changeling never did anything. His aura is too small to keep up with Magnus safely and his Psychic Power is too random. I was also noticing that the Brimstone Horrors never get shot at since I have so many other threats, most Chaos armies run Horrors as their only Troops so they get the bulk of the anti-Infantry shooting but that's not the case with my list.

One benefit that I hadn't considered with my variant of Chaos is that the Toughness Debuff Mortarion brings is actually extremely big. Taking T4 to T3 makes Cultists wound on 4's and of course I can wound on 3's against normally T3 enemies. It even nets me 5's on lighter Vehicles although that's a lesser consideration. Anyways, here's my latest brew that I hope to test out in a few tournaments over the coming months:

Abaddon the Despoiler (Warlord w/ Unholy Fortitude)
Demon Prince w/ Wings, 2x Malefic Claws, Intoxicating Elixir (Delightful Agonies)

40 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh
40 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh
40 Cultists w/ Mark of Slaanesh

Magnus The Red
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)

Mortarion
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)
Malefic Lord (Creeping Terror & Warp Flux)

1995/2000 | 10 Command Points

I'm really happy to have all the bells and whistles I want from the Battalion. Originally I had two Cultist units and sometimes a small one or a Brimstone unit. However doing the math, Cultists are among the best possible options to take for Chaos when you want to clear Infantry. Obviously they get worse as they lose bodies compared to Artillery but they're much more mobile and multi-purpose which I value. I decided to get another unit since I just think Cultists are that good and now that I have a Demon Prince with Wings and less pressure to save Command Points for Terminators I can get much crazier with recycling. Cultists also give a lot more bodies to protect my host of Characters. All in all it's probably about the same as most Artillery builds since there's usually ~30 Brimstones in those with The Changeling but I'm more confident in not opening up holes with the Cultists whereas the Brimstones can surrender that against mobile foes.

One thing I would like to do is reduce the number of drops I have, currently I'm at 14 and this army really wants a good shot at going first under ITC Rules. That's just kind of how the game is right now though and honestly it makes me wonder if Games Workshop didn't have the go first rule correct all along. In the early days it looked like letting low deployment armies go first was horrible but now that the ITC Missions have taken hold it doesn't really matter how many drops you have. Making a change might provide a deterrent against running so much Artillery/Characters, but I don't really know in fairness.

Beyond that I like a lot of the little things. I have a lot of Objective Secured which is more valuable than people think. The Black Legion Trait is actually great on Cultists when they have Abaddon backing them and I have a good Character for my Relic as opposed to other builds. I wasn't feeling the Sorcerers, they just don't fight well and they're so expensive. Obviously a Prince isn't as good of a Psyker but his melee prowess is extremely high and he's a great Vehicle cracker with Intoxicating Elixir. That means he doesn't have to run Demonic Strength as per usual and can dish out the FNP instead, although I can always swap that around. Overall that makes me more confident about my counter-attack but the Demon Prince can move up the board as well.

My big worry would be an army that can kite me with Vehicles, luckily these don't really exist. Harlequins need to be close to do damage and Eldar don't put out enough shooting, although Dark Eldar can play that type of build well if they have a mind to. Most of the time Dark Eldar players are opting for Venoms and Blasters though and frankly I can shoot Raiders down with Cultists. Guard are also not opting for Mechanized builds just yet and I don't know if that's going to change with the Codex, Chimeras just don't put out enough dakka and massed Leman Russes are too slow to kite, plus any Charges on them are devastating. Mass Storm Ravens are probably the best among those builds but I'm not seeing much of that around, certainly none locally. It feels like that build is taking hits as Codexes keep coming out and Artillery has risen to prominence, if you move the Storm Ravens to get LoS you lose the Guilliman/Chapter Master buffs.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more of the dual Primarchs from Chaos Players in the coming months, especially as everyone can feel the Malefic Lord nerf coming. That certainly would hurt this list as I'd lose 1-2 Command Points but it wouldn't dismantle it the same way the Brimstone + Malefic Lord + Artillery lists will be. Honestly I think all of that stuff is getting touch in Chapter Approved and with the new ITC Missions coming at the end of the month we may be in for a meta shift. So if you're thinking of building an uninteractive gunline...might not be a good idea.

That's all from me this time, I hope to get some Battle Reports up this coming week as work is calming down so please keep an eye out for those!

Episode 50.2: For Whom The Bell Tolls (Spoilers, It's Orks)

Hello Internet people, unfortunately I wasn't able to get a second game this week owing to just a lot of weird stuff going on at the local shops. One is moving its location and the other is having one of the largest Infinity Tournaments of the year which took up literally the entire store. I did get a 1500 Point game for my Ladder League on Friday, we were forced onto the lone available 4x4, but it was a blowout so I decided against reporting it.

Cliff notes version of the game: Chaos vs. Dark Eldar Wych Cult. I had Magnus, the Cultist package, and the Termie package but dropped almost all the Psykers to fit. I was against a Bomber, three 5 man Wych units with two Raiders and one Venom. There was also two units of 9 Reavers and 2 Succubi. I went second but my opponent wasn't aggressive enough and on my Turn 1 I'd only lost a few Cultists, I then killed both Reaver units and the Bomber. Some wonky stuff did happen like Magnus dying (hurray for nothing but 2's against Dark Lances!) but it wasn't a very interesting game to comment on.

What I would like to talk about this time around is how 40K if changing and what that means specifically for some armies. I will probably put most of this on Orks because I think the ups and downs Orks have gone through thus far is extremely interesting. So let's start with where we are.

Death Guard has been out for a little bit and AdMech is still relatively new. Imperial Guard is coming out very soon. Death Guard haven't been much of a revelation, they're a solid army but I doubt they'll make any waves in the meta especially once the new car smell comes off of Mortarion. There's a good local player who's trying multiple Chaos Lords, Morty, and a lot of Plagueburst Crawlers and has some success but I don't think it's good. The army is trying to just spam T8 Vehicles with some re-rolls and Combat presence from the Lords while Mortarion does his thing. However Mortarion cannot do his thing against powerful armies, he'll die and if things like Psychic Powers start failing the list gets really bad.

AdMech is in a similar spot. Their Codex is probably the worst so far besides Grey Knights, there really aren't any new options and the army is still one-dimensional. If you aren't taking Robots and Cawl, well you're probably doing it wrong. They can now run some other Detachments of other Forge Worlds although that was sort of nerfed in the FAQ that came out today. AdMech is a thoroughly boring army that plays a static gunline but is worse than Imperial Guard in almost every way. Without Transports or other delivery methods they're stuck in that box and since they don't play nicely with Imperial armies, they'll probably not be seen much. Not that the Faction doesn't have some power, the added Mortal Wounds of Mars is welcome for dealing with some threats and they have a powerful Sniper Weapon but I don't think the Omnissiah is going to be a force in the meta on their own.

Lastly Guard is coming up next. This is where we see that there might be some cracks in the armor of 8th Edition. Imperial Guard is already the best Faction in the game, they make the Imperial Soup armies that are winning most events work with things like Scions, Mortars, Conscripts, and Primaris Psykers/Astropaths. Now I don't have the book in hand of course but word around is that these things haven't been meaningfully nerfed while many other things have been buffed, likely too much. Let's examine Conscripts.

If you looked at the Valhallan Preview Conscripts now waste Orders on a 4+ and can only be taken in 20-30man units. These nerfs completely missed the points of Conscripts. While there were some meme lists online where you spam Conscripts and Commanders with little else that never really took off as it's insane to assemble and not as good as it maths out to be. What we got are nerfs that impact that list...which no one is playing. Imperial Soup uses 20man Conscript units and they're a pure screen, some armies would try to pump an Order or two into them but I think as the meta has advanced that was taken out for efficiency reasons. Unfortunately this hasn't been changed, you can still take 3pt models with a 5+ Save and T3 which occupy a lot of space just as you could before. They're also effectively immune to Morale, just as before, but if you play Valhallans you can make them ACTAULLY immune to Morale via a Relic (or Trait I don't recall) and you can recycle them.

All of this means Conscripts are effectively better than they were. I'd now take a Commander over a Commissar since I make my guys immune to Morale and can give them Orders sometimes or just yell at the Mortars to be better. Why not? A Commander is even 1pt less. Heck you could do the same thing with an Officer to save more points. Don't want to play Valhallans? Then you've still lost nothing but enjoy your other army buffs.

I haven't heard about Mortars but I assume they're not impacted and it's confirmed that Basilisks are even better and the other LoS Ignoring Tanks haven't been impacted. This, again, means none of the power builds have been nerfed but are instead either getting BETTER or getting more options. Mortars can now be Cadians to not need Harker or they can be Catachan to re-roll shot amounts AND use Harker. There's even a new Ogryn Bodyguard Character who I assume is cheaper than Nork Deddog, so good luck sniping out those buff bot Characters.

As you can probably tell I'm not very happy about this turn of events. I can't say what's going on, some people are saying this is Codex creep but I don't feel that way. We know all the books, or almost all of them, were written BEFORE the Edition launched. I don't know if that stops changes before they go live, I don't know the timing, I don't know anything. All that's clear is if you are a super competitive player and not playing Imperium you are not going to take a major event. Chaos is being hit by the, rightful, restriction to certain Power Levels but Imperium is getting better and better with every Codex they see. In my opinion that's very disappointing and I think until Chapter Approved comes out there is a one-dimensional meta.

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Now that I got all my whining out, how are Orks doing? Well when 8th dropped I think Orks were low-key one of the best armies. When I finalized my build it felt so powerful, I could handle nearly everything except Fliers and the army was pretty cool to play. When the Flier nerfs came down Orks got even better since they still lost to Storm Ravens but now that army wasn't being seen often.

Codex Space Marines didn't change this much, the arch enemies of Guilliman and Storm Ravens made it through unscathed but I felt Orks were still a solid Tier 2. Chaos came and this still felt like the case, they weren't big on anti-Infantry shooting and had few ways to interact with Characters. However around this time we started seeing the really abusive Chaos and Imperial armies which Orks just couldn't compete with. Still, Tier 2 with a Xenos army seemed good and Orks had a unique niche.

Sadly things have continued to go downhill for Orks. Death Guard brought Mortarion who can scythe down entire units of Boyz and can use his Pistol to snipe out Weirdboys and other support Characters. Plague Marines are also hard for Orks to handle with their solid double tap range, T5, and myriad access to resilience. AdMech was even worse as Robots and Cawl got not only buffs but finalized themselves as the only competitive option. AdMech also picked up better Snipers which hurts that much more.

The final nail in the coffin is going to come with Imperial Guard. Not only are the Imperial armies getting better, oh well Orks couldn't beat them anyways, but now Guard will be extremely difficult to beat. 40 shot Punishers? Mortar buffs? ObSec on Leman Russes? Mortarions being able to snipe out Characters? All of these things are nightmares for Orks, not to mention the truly stupid stuff like Outflanking Baneblades with 4 Twin-Heavy Flamers. Orks versus IG with the Indexes was prety even but now I probably wouldn't even bother.

The meta has also totally turned against the boys in green with killing Infantry being the entire game right now and new Codexes improving the tools various armies have to do so. Orks are an incredibly limited Faction, there are so many entries which is overpriced or outright bad that you kind of work within the confines of Green Tide or you just lose on efficiency. For example I was experimenting with Garg Squigs but they're overpriced along with Tankbustas so the list just doesn't work.

With where the meta is and how the releases are stacking up I'd put Orks in the just above bottom tier right now which is pretty much exclusive to Craftworld Eldar and Grey Knights. With Eldar coming out sometime within the next two months it's probably going to be even lonelier for the fan favorite fungus.

If I'm being honest I don't expect much improvement from Orks when they do get a Codex. Orks are not setup to work with 8th Edition as it's shaping up. For example there's lots of accuracy buffs and lots of -1 to Hit, Orks have neither outside of a Waaagh! Banner. Ork shooting is horribly overpriced and the profiles are actively bad on many entries even without considering cost. Lootas for example almost can't be good without being brokenly cheap. Orks are meant to be a Combat army but they cannot get through screens effectively, even using Shootas is only decent. They're also not resilience enough even with T4 and access to FNP and Invulnerables. It's also not practical to hide Ork units in most circumstances as they're either too large or take big penalties for moving. Cover also does nothing for the Faction and it's difficult for them to get it in the first place.

What Orks would need is access to Deep Strike or something else that allows you to get closed than 9" but there's not thematic reason for them to have this. Fall Back also really hurts Orks, if things like Deff Koptas were cheaper they could make things interesting but as is they get in, do very little (overpriced Powerklaws also have awful profiles) and then get gunned down since they aren't durable.

It's unfortunate that Orks can be such a great Scenario army but in the end it doesn't matter. There's no penalty for sitting in the corner for the first 1-2 Turns since you can make it up later and true gunlines will annihilate any Ork force. Splitting is incredibly good against Orks, it doesn't matter what build you have if you have to split your army and an opponent can focus fire one half on the way in, take lumps from what's left, and then make you slog again.

Personally I'll probably convert my Ork army to an Imperial Guard one, there's no reason not to since it can function as both with ease and I'd be surprised if Orks got what they need in their eventual Codex. Unless Games Workshop can make some major concessions such as shooting units getting BS4 (same help that Tau needs) then nothing will change. Hope isn't lost, Orks got S4 for free, but if I were a betting man I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Episode 50: Well That Was Tilting (Chaos vs. Death Korps 2000 Points)

Today I got in another game with my newly minted Chaos army against my Ladder League opponent, Rusty. I've played Rusty once before in the last League with my Tau, he was using Tyranids and the game was very one-sided. This time he told me he'd be taking a lot of Forge World stuff with IG and usually that's a recipe for trouble. However I want to put my list through its paces to I was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately I showed late as I had a scheduling miscommunication but Rusty was willing to play anyways which was kind of him. I unpacked as quick as I could, rolled the mission, and we already had a table set. I was ready to go and feeling good...until I saw the IG List and the Mission.


Chaos

Abaddon the Despoiler (Warlord w/ Unholy Fortitude)
Sorcerer w/ Combi-Bolter, Prescience and Delightful Agonies (MoS)

10 Cultists (MoS)
40 Cultists (MoS)
40 Cultists (MoS)

Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack and Axe of Blind Firy (MoK)
Sorcerer w/ Jump Pack, Prescience, and Warptime

8 Terminators w/ Combi-Plasma and Power Swords (MoS)

10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors
10 Brimstone Horrors

Magnus the Red
The Changeling
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord


Death Korps

Company Commander
Primaris Psyker
Primaris Psyker

Master of Ordnance
Platoon Commander
Platoon Commander
Platoon Commander
5 Ratlings

Infantry Squad w/ Flamer
Infantry Squad w/ Flamer
Infantry Squad w/ Flamer
Infantry Squad w/ Flamer
Infantry Squad w/ Flamer
Infantry Squad w/ Flamer

Hellhound
Hellhound
Sentinel w/ Multilaser and Chainsaw

Basilisk
Wyvern
Manticore
Leman Russ w/ Punisher Cannon, Lascannon, 2x Heavy Bolter
2x Heavy Quad Launcher Battery
Rapier Laser Destroyer

Macharius Vulcan


Scenario and Deployment
The Scouring (ITC Variant) | Search & Destroy






So I'm against a mass artillery army. On Table Quarters. Where half the Maelstrom Objectives are just to kill stuff. Awesome. This is why the one thing that I don't like about the ITC Missions is the Destroy a Unit option, I'd prefer they all focus on movement because it makes for less static armies and more interesting games. But that's my opinion.

I pushed up as far as I could since basically this game entirely comes down to Magnus. He needs to kill so many things and attract so much attention that it's not even funny. Rusty did an awesome job of denying any possible Deep Strike or Warptime landing zones which is exactly what he has to do in this matchup. My job is to tank shooting, clear out the Infantry Squads, and then tie up the Tanks to win the game.

I put two of my Brimstone Horror units on Objectives, this may have been a mistake as I can use them to tie stuff up but I wanted to be better on Maelstrom. It's actually hard for Rusty to score in the early game as I don't have many Destroy a Unit options on Turns 1-2 so I figured if I can get a lead I can give myself an out should the game go sideways.

Mercifully I won the First Turn and Rusty wasn't able to Seize, this means I can kill some stuff and most importantly get Magnus his buff. I did deploy him in range of The Changeling but I think he would have taken a beating.

Also, so sorry for the huge amount of proxies. This army will be all Skaven Themed once it's built but right now I'm in limbo. Here's a key:

Ork Unit - Brimstones
Drones - Brimstones
Clan Rats - Cultists
Fire Warriors - Cultists
Empty Bases - Terminators
Nob - Sorcerer w/ Jump Pack
Plague Priest - Changeling
Arch-Warlock - Sorcerer
Enginseers - Malefic Lords
Terminators - Abaddon/Chaos Lord
Verminlord - Magnus


Chaos Turn 1

Movement Phase
My Objectives were Hold Objective 1, which I have Brimstones on that are unlikely to get shot at, and Destroy a Unit.

Most of my army Advances although Magnus just moves up. Black Legion lets me Advance and shoot with Rapid Fire guns and honestly that's a much better ability than I gave it credit for. Generally I'm moving towards the right but also just going up the middle. Terrain doesn't help me since so much in Rusty's army ignores LoS so it's just a bum rush. I left two Brimstone units on the Objectives, I think I should have moved them up and only left 1 model in range so that I could do more with them so we'll call that a mistake.

Lastly I bring the Terminators in on the extreme right. I only have 4 models in Rapid Fire range on the Vulcan and overall this was a gigantic mistake. The play was to Tide of Traitors one unit and gun down the two Death Korp Infantry Squads while just bringing in the Lord/Sorcerer to give them buffs. This would have opened up a huge hole on the flank that Rusty could not fill and if he moves the Vulcan it shoots far less effective (half the shots and hitting on 5's!) but if it stays there I kill it for free next turn.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
The Psychic Phase is a very mixed bag. I fail to cast two Smites, including Magnus', and also fail Boon of Tzeentch. Prescience also fails on the Terminators as does Warptime due to a Deny the Witch, I could have put the Sorcerer back a few inches and been out of range but I didn't measure it which is an idiotic mistake. Overall I got Delightful Agonies on the Cultists who are up the table and a few Smites into an Infantry Squad. Magnus was also able to use Weaver of Fates which is the most important thing.

Shooting wipes out the unit of Death Korps in front of Magnus and I put 12 Wounds on the Vulcan with Overcharges, losing no models, thanks to Veterans of the Long War and Endless Cacophony. Due to some poor positioning from Rusty I'm able to snipe out his Primaris Psyker with Abaddon and the Sorcerer.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
My Charge takes Magnus into the Punisher and an Officer, both of which he kills. I tried a Charge into the Infantry Squads in front of the Terminators but failed the raw 9" and it wasn't worth fishing for the re-roll. Magnus Consolidated into the Hellhound just to deny some more shooting.








Death Korps Turn 1

Movement Phase
Rusty rolls Hold Objective 2 and Destroy a Unit. He has an Infantry unit on Objective 2 but can't really reinforce it so I'm hoping I can run him off and get an early lead.

There's not much movement from the Guard, mostly just Infantry Squads surrounding Magnus and trying to plug the holes. But the artillery is static so overall the army isn't moving. The Hellhound does Fall Back from Magnus and just drive into Abaddon and my Cultists, attempting to block them. I thought this was a good move since they have amazing Overwatch and have good odds at blowing up which is an annoying combination.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
A Smite tries to go into Magnus from the surviving Primaris Psyker but I'm able to stop it. Then we commence pretty much the whole army shooting into Magnus. Two Infantry Squads and the Vulkan go into the Terminators which kills 6 of them and wounds another. Magnus takes 9 Wounds but blocks some crucial things like the Laser Destroyer. Overall I just rolled a lot of 2's which was a little annoying but Magnus is still up so I can't complain.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
There's no Charges from Rusty and he's ignoring my Cultists, who are immune to Morale anyways, so we pass back over to me.




Chaos Turn 2

Movement Phase
Scoring both my Objectives gives me a 2-0 Lead and I roll Hold Objective 2 and Destroy a Unit. Again I advance my Cultists since it's so hard to get them in range right now, Abaddon and the Sorcerer also move up. On the right my Terminators and pals move up, the Lord and Sorcerer are each eyeing an Infantry unit to tie more stuff up and just chew through.

Magnus moves up but he's still being blocked by an Infantry Squad. My hope it remove that and then get into the Laser Destroyer as well as the Vulkan, if I can take those out the game is pretty much done since there won't be enough firepower to take Magnus down.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
This time the Psychic Phase goes better. Magnus Smites 9 Death Korps, buffs his Invulnerable, and puts Prescience on the Cultist unit that's more forward. I drop some other Smites into the Hellhound, bringing it down to 6 Wounds as I only do 1 Wound with each. Finally on the right I Smite a few more Infantry but fail to cast Warptime.

Shooting puts another few wounds on the Vulkan and I shoot another two Infantry off on the right. I pick off the last Death Korp in the center and kill some others from the center, also putting a few wounds on the Sentinel for lack of targets.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Abaddon and the Sorcerer Charge the Hellhound with me taking 4 Wounds on Abaddon, I should have not Advanced the Cultists and used them to absorb the Overwatch but I didn't know the Hellhound profile at the moment which is a mistake for not asking.

Crucially Magnus fails his Charge, rolling 2" when I need 3-4" to get into something. I blew a re-roll to save Magnus a hit from the Vulkan which is maybe the right call since I needed such a low roll but since it was kind of game changing it was probably another mistake. My Terminators and pals gets into the Infantry Squads and the Officer.

My Brimstones Charged the Sentinel and got a creative Pile In on the other Hellhound. This put a Wound on the Sentinel but I took a loss back as well.

The Lord leaves the Officer with one Wound and kills three Infantry while the Terminators and Sorcerer contribute for a few more. It's kind of an irrelevant battle since there's nothing to be gained on the right although if I eat through I can get the Jump Packs into the backline.

I fail to kill the Hellhound, leaving it on 3 Wounds. Fortunately it was boxed in so it can't retreat which keeps me a bit safe and prevents another Overwatch.






Death Korps Turn 2

Movement Phase
Rusty only scored one Objective so I got my wish of a 2-1 lead thanks to Smiting the front unit off the Objective. He rolls hold Objective 1 which is in his bunker and Destroy a Unit.

Again not much moves, everyone is where they need to be around Magnus. I think the Infantry Squads should have fallen back, just for attrition, but they didn't. The Hellhound pulls away from the Brimstones and again goes to block Abaddon and the Cultists.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smite again tries to go on Magnus but I stop it with a re-roll, at this point I'm pretty all in on keeping Magnus alive if I can.

Again most of the army shoots into Magnus and he goes down, leaving only a Quad Cannon left which doesn't do anything. I honestly got salty which is rare for me, I was just rolling so many 2's and had to burn a re-roll on the Laser Destroyer. In all honesty he probably shouldn't have went down but it was just an opportunity that shouldn't have even existed if I hadn't screwed the Charge up on my turn.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I finish off the Infantry Squads on the right as well as the Officer but my Brimstones got Charged by an Infantry Squad. I managed to drag one down but lost 3 Horrors. The Terminators and Sorcerer Consolidate into the Vulkan.








Chaos Turn 3

Movement Phase
Again I got both my Objectives for a 4-1 lead, rolling Hold Objective 1 and Destroy a Unit. Again I have a Brimstone unit on the Objective so it shouldn't be hard to hold although Rusty's army is now freed up with Magnus dead.

Again I Advance the Cultists when I should have left one unit to eat the Hellhound Overwatch. I don't have much Movement to do besides that but I do Fall Back with the Brimstones.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smites go into the Hellhound, putting it down a bit. I was hoping to Smite the Vulkan but I couldn't get the range from the Hellhound. Delightful Agonies goes on the Cultists again but the Sorcerer on the right fails again and isn't adding anything.

Shooting finishes the Sentinel, the last full Infantry Squad, and drops the other to three. I shoot my Pistols into the Vulkan but don't hurt it.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
A Charge goes from the Sorcerer into the Hellhound but it dies from full. I then Charge with a Malefic Lord who only takes 2 Wounds and then Abaddon can get in safely.

My Lord Charges the Manticore and the Vulkan, which is me trying to bait a missile but I'd also take the Charge if it worked. Rusty fires the missile, doing 2 Wounds, and I only make the Charge into the Vulkan.

In Combat I drop the Hellhound which does Explode, leaving Abaddon with 1 Wound after a re-roll from me, the Malefic Lord also dies but the Cultists make their FNP. I also kill the Vulkan, finally, with the Lord using VotLW and finished by the Sorcerer. Luckily it doesn't Explode.




Death Korps Turn 3

Movement Phase
Rusty got both of his Objectives so he's keeping it close at 4-3. He gets a repeat of his Objectives which is unlucky for me since he'll be able to Destroy a Unit easily and I can't get into his bunker yet to steal the Objective.

The Officer in the center and the Primaris Psyker retreat to the bunker but everyone else holds.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Lacking LoS the Psyker improves the Armor Save on the Laser Destroyer which I fail to stop.

Shooting puts the last Manticore shot into the Terminators, killing them both. The Basilisk and Wyvern finish off the Lord while Abaddon dies to the Ratlings thanks to a re-roll Wound doing a Mortal. That was disappointing since I don't think he could be harmed after this turn but it happens. I also lose some Cultists to the Quad Cannons.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
There's no Charges and I lose 4 Cultists from Morale. Things are definitely speeding up now and I feel like I don't have much left but I think it might be enough.




Chaos Turn 4

Movement Phase
Again I scored both my Maelstrom so I'm up to 6-3 and roll Destroy a Unit and Hold Objective 2 which I have Brimstones on. Even though the shooting is opening up I don't think Rusty can afford to try and get my Brimstones off an Objective in totality so I feel safe about it.

I move up both Cultists units but don't Advance them, the Sorcerer also moves up behind the crates. My intention is to Charge the Master of Ordnance, kill him, and then Consolidate into both the Basilisk and Wyvern which should end the game.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smites put 4 Wounds into the Laser Destroyer which is doing a good job soaking. Shooting kills all the Ratlings, finishes off the last few Infantry Squad models but fails to do anything else as I'm out of good targets.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
A Charge gets my Cultists into the Laser Destroyer and my Sorcerer gets in as well. Unfortunately I roll 1's on both d3 Damage including after a re-roll, leaving me with only 1 Command Point and a failed plan. At this point I'm pretty on tilt from a combination of mistakes and things just going so badly for me in terms of dice.

I do nothing to the Laser Destroyer, as expected, but take no damage back.




Remaining Turns

On Rusty's next turn he Falls Back with the Master and kills the Sorcerer. I also lose all but 3 Cultists from the smaller unit, after Morale, and the Death Korps pull back more into the bunker.

On my turn I Charge both Quad Cannons through the Ruins, not going through the walls since you don't need LoS for Melee in 8th Edition.This locks me up with models that cannot move, so they can't Fall Back, and they can't fight. Rusty also doesn't have enough models to fight me off these and since I have Objective Secured I'm going to win the main Mission.

At the end of Turn 5 we were tied on Maelstrom but I was likely to pull ahead if the game kept going. However Rusty conceded after trying to kill the Malefic Lord with a Company Commander and Officer but having one of them killed off instead.




Victory for Chaos!


Post Game Thoughts

This game was a nightmare and just so sloppy from me. In all honesty I should have blown Rusty out, not because his army is a joke or anything but I just make so many mistakes and they were compounding on themselves over and over.

As I said, bringing the Terminators in was a huge misstep. If' I'd waited I could have killed the Vulkan for free and left Rusty with too many threats to handle. Instead I got very little from them, I guess they absorbed some of the Vulkan shooting but it's overall probably not worth. Either way Rusty played really well, I think he could have split the tanks more since if two get tagged it's game over but his infantry positioning was on point.

I also just made idiotic mental errors with the Hellhounds, there was zero reason to lose Abaddon to those and having him around would have won the game as he'll walk through the bunker laughing. And then of course not being able to get Magnus in Combat is bad, even if the Vulkan was open it does an average of 2 Wounds to him in shooting, which is nothing, and if I'd gotten him into the bunker on Turn 2 it would be all over. Charge the Laser Destroyer, cut that in half, Consolidate, game over.

I got honestly salty because I was playing so bad and just the bad dice at so many turns. Rusty was rolling bad to in places so it wasn't a one-sided thing but it seemed like every time I had a maneuver to really pull ahead it just failed. I did apologize after the game for some dice whining, that's not usually my style.

Overall I like the list a lot, it is reliant on Magnus and the Terminators though. I have some other powerful stuff, a good amount of Smite and Abaddon, but I really have to get work out of the Termie Bomb and Magnus. In this game I didn't get as much from them as I needed, although Magnus was a sponge. That being said it was cool to see the army able to roll with the punches of my own bad play, generally when you can come through that it means you have a good list. I continue to love the Cultists, having Abaddon with them is just so good. If only Chaos had a Lieutenant!

Rusty's list is very much what people are playing right now. It shoots extremely well, although you could do a lot of optimization on it like turn the vehicles into the gun emplacement versions. It's probably worth replacing about four of the Infantry Squads with two Conscript blobs as well but those aren't the most earth-shattering changes. As I felt at the start it's going to struggle on Scenario because it's so static and I think armies with good Deep Strike like Tyranids, Chaos, other IG, Grey Knights, and Orks can give it some trouble if they can get into the parking lot. Overall it's definitely a powerful list, I'm not the biggest fan of the Laser Destroyer though. To be really cheesy the who army would be better off as Catachans to abuse Harker but obviously Rusty is buying up Death Korps and they're awesome models.