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.


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

Sentinel w/ Multilaser and Chainsaw

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.

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