Episode 46: This Seems Familiar (Orks vs. Death Guard 2000 Points)

On a bit of a spur of the moment I decided to play a game today against Collin, a regular at one of the other stores I sometimes pop in at. I was hoping to play my Tau but because I get around on two motorized wheels and use an Army Transport backpack it's pretty necessary to have foam or some other solution for transport. Alas I didn't have time to pick that up with my winnings from the tournament last week, although that will soon be rectified.

Collin has quite a few armies including Tyranids, Nurgle Demons, Necrons, and now a new Death Guard force it would seem. I have been playing against an awful lot of Death Guard which, frankly, can be a bit boring with Orks because both armies are just so resilient. But I was up for a casual game and it's not bad to practice against a very popular army.

For the short term I will probably be playing more Tau since I want to get good with them and have a choice for tournament play. While I think Orks absolutely have what it takes to do well against everything but the truly gross Imperial/Chaos armies they're getting caught in the crossfire a bit right now. What I mean by that is because Conscripts, Brimstones, Cultists, and the like are what a lot of armies are gearing up to beat they naturally take things which are good against Orks. At least how I play Orks. Tau certainly have issues with stuff like Smite Spam but it feels like that is more likely to get a nerf than Screens are. Either way, I'm probably covered.



Orks

Warboss w/ Big Choppa, Kustom-Shoota & Attack Squig
Warboss w/ Big Choppa, Kustom-Shoota & Attack Squig (Warlord w/ Legendary Fighter)

Big Mek on Warbike w/ Slugga and Kustom Force-Field
Big Mek on Warbike w/ Slugga and Kustom Force-Field

Weirdboy w/ 'Eadbanger
Weirdboy w/ Warpath
Weirdboy w/ Warpath
Weirdboy w/ Da Jump
Weirdboy w/ Da Jump
Weirdboy w/ Da Jump
Weirdboy w/ Da Jump

Mad Dok Grotsnik
Painboy w/ Grot Orderly & Killsaw

29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa
29 Shoota Boyz and Nob w/ Shoota and Choppa



Death Guard

Demon Prince w/ 2x Malefic Talons & Warp Bolter (Plague Wind)
Demon Prince w/ 2x Malefic Talons & Warp Bolter (Misama of Pestilence) [Warlord w/ Unholy Fortitude]

Noxious Blightbringer
Noxious Blightbringer

10 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blightlaunchers
10 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blightlaunchers
10 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blightlaunchers
10 Plague Marines w/ 2 Blightlaunchers

Renegade Knight w/ 2x Heavy Stubber, Heavy Flamer, Avenger Gatling Cannon, Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon, Ironstorm Missile Pod


Scenario & Deployment
Big Guns Never Tire (ITC Variant) | Frontline Assault






As per usual I deployed pretty aggressively, I do need to go back and spend some time focusing on Deployment again because I'm starting to forget that I need gaps in the front to push my Weirdboys up and get more inches out of the Big Meks. With this deployment I had everything covered by the Red Boyz as I figured they'd be kept safe by the large building in the center, at least initially. Other than that I had the Auras spread and put Grotsnik on the right since that's where the Knight was, favoring his extra accuracy with a Powerklaw.

Collin spread out a bit more than I think was necessary. He hadn't played an ITC Mission before so I think he was trying to keep some guys around for his Maelstrom. I did a good job of placing my Objectives as far forward as possible, not only does this benefit me but also forces my opponent to come forward a bit which they often don't want to do. Because of how much ObSec I have compared to Collin, who has a good amount for the type of list he's playing, I think it would have been wiser to surrender Maelstrom and just castle up. Protect the Knight, layer the Bolters, do your best.

Collin won the roll for First Turn and I didn't Seize so Turn 1 goes to the Death Guard.


Death Guard Turn 1

Movement Phase
Collin began the game by rolling Hold Friendly Objective 2 and Destroy a Unit, the other option was hold an Enemy Objective and that certainly wasn't happening with the slow Death Guard.

Not much moves, a few Plague Marines move around to get within 24" and the Princes move a bit to spread their Aura. One unit moved up to get on Objective 2, which I'd placed, meaning I can try for a Turn 1 Charge since the building terrain in the center is played as Ruins.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Miasma fails to cast so the Death Guard move to Shooting. This mostly concentrates on my flanks as the Knight picks off some Pink Boyz and the Marines all light up my Purple unit. Overall the losses aren't bad since I'm out of Rapid Fire and Collin isn't rolling too hot, although my Saves weren't great either.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
With nothing of relevance to be done in these Phases Collin passes over to me.






Orks Turn 1

Movement Phase
I started off well with Friendly Objective 1, easy to hold, and Destroy a Unit. I didn't think I'd be able to destroy any of Collin's units, 10 Plague Marines is a lot, but my other option was one of the Enemy Objectives and I'm not sure I can get there or stay there.

Everything I have Advances with me re-rolling for the Red Boyz but still only netting 3". The 'Ard Boyz got 6" which puts both units in the running to try some longish Charges. My Pink Boyz are just going to try and distract the Knight while threatening the Objective near him, everyone else goes left since that's where the bulk of the Marines are. There's no Advance for the Blue Boyz who are my Da Jump target this turn.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
True to trying out my new tactic I put Warpath and used Da Jump on my Blue Boyz, putting them on the far left. This is a good opportunity to pull some of Collin's army away from the center and right meaning I can get more Maelstrom pressure owing to his slowness and not so great combat ability outside of a few things. While this did wound both my Weirdboys it gives the Painboys something to do next turn.

Shooting went better than it had any right to as I killed 2 Plague Marines on the left, who were in Cover, and 3 Marines from the other left unit. This was the result of horrible Save Rolls by Collin, I don't think he made a single FNP and failed almost every Wound I tossed his way. Dropping 1/8th of the enemy Infantry on Turn 1, in shooting, with a mostly Advancing army is a very extreme outcome.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
The Blue Boyz make their Charge while losing two of their number, spelling bad things for that unit as I'm coming in with 108 Attacks. I forgot to Charge in the center since I was using the Nobs as guiders and just lost track of them, Collin was sporting enough to let me try anyways. In true dickish fasion I made both the Charge on 11's, barreling into the unit on his Objective without taking any losses.

Combat went well for me as I killed off 2 Plague Marines on the left and 4 in the center. At this point I've killed over 1/4 of the Infantry, on Turn 1, which is just not a pace that Death Guard can keep up with. In return I lose a few models from the 'Ard Boyz and Blue Boyz but nothing major as Plague Marines are quite poor in Combat.

Morale saw another Marine run on the left and Collin was forced to spend a Command Point in the center or lose two more models to Morale. I also deny Collin his Objective as Orks with ObSec are swarmed all over it, hopefully giving me a Maelstrom lead come Turn 2.











Death Guard Turn 2

Movement Phase
Collin again takes Destroy a Unit and Friendly Objective 2 which is the one I'm swarmed on, the other option was one of my Objectives which he's completely cut off from for at least the mid-game.

Again there isn't much movement, the left Demon Prince readies for a Charge as does his brother and the Noxious Blightbringer in the center. The Plague Marines out of Combat on the left back up a bit and the Knight walks up to get into Combat and do some kicking.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Once again Collin fails to cast both Psychic Powers, taking a Wound on the left Demon Prince for a Perils that persisted even through a re-roll. The dice are continuing to be unkind to Chaos.

Shooting goes better as my Purple Boyz are nearly wiped out by the free Plague Marines and some split shots from the Knight. The remaining shots drop some more Pinks, Collin is trying to do what most people do and finish a unit off both for Maelstrom purposes and to start breaking through Morale.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Both Demon Princes and the Knight easily make their Charges, the Knight starts out by kicking 10 'Ard Boyz to death. Ow. I interrupt with the Red Boyz and leave only the Sergenat from the center Plague Marines with yet more one-sided rolling. The Princes both do a substantial amount of damage with their claws, as expected, but I manage to kill off the lest Plague Marines. I also pull the Knight out of Combat with casualties, I don't want to eat more kicks during my own turn.

Morale does nothing to me but kills off the Sergeant in the center. This puts the tipping point at over half the Plague Marines dead and major holes showing in Collin's line, although I need to deal with the real threats now.

Score
Tied 0-0









Orks Turn 2

Movement Phase
I manage to score both my Objectives thanks to finishing off not one but two units during Collin's Turn. My roll gets me Friendly Objective 1, easy enough, and Destroy a Unit again. This one will be tougher but I do have a Knight in my sights.

Again most everything Advances including the Weirdboys who get on top of the building for some LoS. I sweep around the right and decide to start playing for fun a little since Collin has just had the worst luck and the game is quickly spiraling. My Big Mek on the left goes to try a Charge on the Plague Marines and tie up yet more shooting, at this point I'm hoping to kill or cripple the Knight and then there's really no more shooting.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smites prove to not do enough to the Knight since I have no units around to boost them to d6 Mortal Wound output, although they leave it with 5 Wounds using a Command Point and getting one natural Perils. This leaves it hitting on 5's and effectively ends the threat.

Stray shooting puts another Wound on the Knight and kills a Plague Marine from the unit in Cover and two from the unit on the left. Pistols put the Big Mek down.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
For fun I launch a lot of Charges, throwing my Warboss, Big Mek, and Pink Boyz into the Knight who kills almost half the Pinks with Overwatch. My Big Mek gets into the left Plague Marines, surviving with 1 Wound.

Combat does 2 Wounds to the Knight but I lose a few more Pinks. I take more Wounds off the left Demon Prince and leave the Noxious Blightcaller with 1 Wound in the center as I've having trouble getting all my attacks in. Both Princes kill another 5 or so Boyz, severely depleting my units.

Morale kills two Pinks as the Warboss cracks some heads.

Score
Tied 2-0 for the Orks











Death Guard Turn 3

Movement Phase
Having again failed to secure any Objectives Collin rolls Destroy a Unit, now very achievable, and a Friendly Objective. Unfortunately there's not much left to hold Objectives with the Knight on its last Wounds and almost everything else in Combat.

No real Movement to be done other than the remaining Noxious Blightbringer moving up to help the Purple Boyz, as do his remaining charges.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Plague Wind finally goes off, with another Perils for 3 Wounds, killing 2 Orks. Miasma goes off on the Demon Prince.

All the Knight's shooting goes into the Purples Boyz, as does the Plague Marines, in an attempt to finish them off. This leaves me with 4 Boyz from the unit.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Combat is all in as the Blightbringer tries a Charge on the Purple Boyz but fails, however the Marines do make the Charge. This leaves me with just the Nob who's going to be running in the Morale Phase. I interrupt with the Blues in an effort to finish off the Demon Prince but leave him on only 1 Wound.

I'm able to finish the Blightbringer off to get a Maelstrom point and lose almost all the 'Ard Boyz to the Prince, as well as the last of Blue Boyz who are going to run in Morale as well. My Warboss dies to the Knight, giving Collin Slay the Warlord.

Both of my units do just that, leaving me with a presence in the middle and the Green Boyz coming up on the flank to hopefully finish things off.

Score
Tied 2-0 for the Orks






Orks Turn 3

Movement Phase
Again I score both my Points for an extremely commanding Maelstrom lead, I also roll Destroy a Unit and hold a Friendly Objective both of which are extremely simple to accomplish.

All the Weirdboys Advance again and the Green Boyz move up, I'm trying to put the pressure on to take out the remaining elements.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Smites kill off the Knight, which doesn't explode, as well was the Warlord Demon Prince, one Plague Marine on the left-center and two Marines in the building.

Shooting kills leave just a Plague Marine Champion on the ground and kills another Marine in the ruins.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
The Red Boyz climb the ruins and get into the last of the Marines, killing them down to 3 models. At this point Collin concedes the game as he has 3 Plague Marines left which are in Combat with a much larger unit, a Demon Prince with 1 Wound, and a Blightbringer. I'm likely to Smite everything off the table next turn and with a Maelstrom lead that Collin can't come back from the game is truly over.

Score
Tied 4-0 for the Orks

Major Victory for the Orks!

Post-Game Thoughts

This game was pretty one-sided despite my attempts to throw some fun Combats into the mix. It's pretty easy to see that the game went downhill on my Turn 1, it's very difficult to eat three Ork Charges that early and live to tell the tale.

My list continues to perform as expected, I took a lot of damage from the Knight and the Princes but those are always going to be the heavy hitters. I did lose two full units and almost another two full units so that's solid casualties from Collin. His list matched up decently with mine as it had virtually no anti-tank but sported a decent amount of Bolters with the Demon Princes to help. I think had I failed some of those Charges or had Collin made even decent Save Rolls the game would have been closer, although probably still in my favor just because of all the Smites.

For being a Take On All Comers list the Death Guard do need work, the Knight is the only thing that can threaten a Vehicle as the Demon Princes don't have Wings so they aren't mobile enough. Hopefully Death Guard get more options for that, right now it's either play 5 man units in Rhinos with Melta or dip into the general Chaos stuff to pick up other options. I continue to not be impressed with Plague Marines, they're tough but their offense just isn't there. It seems better to run Poxwalkers as a frontline and then dump points into more dedicated offensive units.

Collin also made a few mistakes, likely due to unfamiliarity with the ITC Missions. As I said before the game I expected more of a castle Deployment and concession of the Maelstrom, I don't think that path to victory was available because of how slow the Chaos army was. The best bet seems to have been layering the Plague Marines and putting the Princes on the flanks to counter-attack, probably all around one Objective for late game purposes. This would have kept the Knight around significantly longer and used my numbers against me. I don't know that it would have turned into a win but it would certainly have been frustrating to get through.

Also moving up to take the Objective I placed as bait was falling into a trap, it made two Charges much easier on me which means I get to tie up more shooting and start killing stuff. The building in the center was a problem for Collin's army since it blocked LoS per ITC Rules, that could have been avoided by just taking one of the corners and ignoring it.

Shootas keep being a mixed bag for me, I always seem to play against Space Marines (what else is new?) where they don't do as much work but they still do something. I'd really love to get games in against IG, Tyranids, Eldar, Screens, and so on to get more substantive testing of them. It's also clear that most people in my meta do not care about Vehicles/Monsters, there's so little anti-tank around me that if I was playing Mech or MonsterMash I'd probably just walk over people. I wish I had a good answer for why that is but I don't.

Overall this was a fun and pretty casual game. I hope to grab a Tau game this week and test out some list variations I made, although it's still the standard Commander Spam that we all know and love. Thanks for reading!

2 comments:

  1. This is somewhat out of left field, but what are your thoughts on mixed boy units (say 50/50 shoota/slugga)? It seems to offer some of the best of both worlds without necessitating some poor soul like me to buy, assemble and paint another 60-90 shoota boys.

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    Replies
    1. No problem. :] I have considered it and there's certainly merit, I think it depends on where the meta wind is blowing. Me running all Shootas is to counter very specific things and I think having a dedicated Shoota unit is great for Turn 1 Da Jump.

      I'm still trying to get a handle on my meta, there's fortunately a lot of player in my state. If it seems like people aren't favoring screens and the other in vague options, it's worth it to do some splitting.

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