Episode 58: More Tournament Testery (Chaos Space Marines vs. Salamanders 2000 Points)


Episode 57: Video Killed the Radio Star (Orks vs. Ravenguard 2000 Points)

Hey guys, from here on out I will be making an effort to do video reports only. There's a few reasons for this, one is I figured out typing everything up was taking me as long as just saying it and throwing the images together. Another is I think if I work at it I can be a lot more insightful about my games by speaking than be writing, that's my opinion and we'll see how it shakes out. Lastly it takes up less storage on my PC/Google Account since I have to host all the images and eventually I'm going to run out of storage or going to have to move to another cloud solution which might get messy.

Hopefully you all enjoy the video segment, I'm going to work really hard to get the production quality up and take a lot more photos but try to remember I'm just one guy who does this for fun. :]

Episode 55: Tournaments They Are A Coming (Chaos vs. Ultramarines 2000 Points) [Tournament Prep - Gross List]

Been a bit quiet on the Battle Report front lately, I have had continued trouble getting games in due to my new work schedule and unfortunately I've had some stomps. When I say "I am looking for a competitive game" people now seem to know what I mean! Today I managed to squeeze in a game after work against Hank, another new opponent, and his Ultramarines. Hank intentionally net-listed an army as much as he could for testing purposes although didn't have all the models and didn't really want to proxy. Unfortunately on my side I'm having models green-stuffed by a friend so I had to proxy a good bit but my army is in better shape than it was. Mostly I just need the Obliterators finished and am waiting on bits for my Cultists/Sorcerer but the rest is as it should be.

For the next three Saturdays starting this week I have tournaments! First is one where the Top 2 get invitations to a state level event in December, one is a bigger local that I have to travel a bit for, and the last is a two day, 40-50 man GT in my usual haunt. Kind of a good ramp up as I expect them to escalate in order of seriousness, currently my goal is to win one of the first two and place in the Top 8 of the GT. We'll see how it goes, I definitely need to tighten up my play to make those goals a reality.


Chaos

Abaddon the Despoiler (Warlord)
Sorcerer w/ Jump Pack, MoT, Force Axe, Combi-Bolter, The Eye of Night [Prescience & Death Hex]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]

40 Cultists w/ MoS
40 Cultists w/ MoS
40 Cultists w/ MoS

3 Obliterators w/ MoS
3 Obliterators w/ MoS
3 Obliterators w/ MoS

Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]

Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]
Malefic Lord [Warp Flux & Creeping Terror]

1 Blue Horror and 9 Brimstone Horrors
1 Blue Horror and 9 Brimstone Horrors
1 Blue Horror and 9 Brimstone Horrors



Ultramarines

Guilliman (Warlord)
Librarian [Fury of the Ancients & Might of Heroes]
Cassius

5 Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, and Lascannon
5 Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, and Lascannon
5 Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, and Lascannon
5 Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, and Lascannon
5 Tactical Marines w/ Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, and Lascannon

Razorback w/ Twin Assault Cannon
Razorback w/ Twin Assault Cannon
Razorback w/ Twin Assault Cannon
Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon
Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon
Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon

Stormtalon w/ Twin Assault Cannon and Skyhammer Missiles

Land Speeder w/ Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon



Scenario and Deployment
ITC Mission 3 | Vanguard Strike

Deployment for my army was pretty strong, I have 5 Deep Strike selections so I got to see a bit of what Hank was doing although I figured he'd bunker up and let the dakka fly. Hank responded by deploying the Razorbacks empty, which I liked since I don't have much to threaten Marines in Cover and he needs all the shooting he can muster.

As things progressed Hank spread his army out a bit which is exactly what you don't want to do with this list. When you play parking lot Guilliman army you just have to own it and realize you're going to get crushed on Scenario. Either that or transition to something a bit more mobile like Scouts. To be fair Hank was copying the winning list from GT Heat 1 which is not really a competitive tournament since it didn't allow Forge World and used Core Rulebook Missions. In an environment with progressive scoring it's very hard to play a gunline, especially a vehicle oriented one, and honestly I'm glad for that since those lists are so boring. As I've repeatedly said gunlines are the death of 40K for me since the game becomes pointless and might as well be a dice simulator so I'm fine with the ITC guys influencing the meta. Hopefully GW updates their Missions in Chapter Approved to not be nearly unplayable junk.

Anyways I made a mistake in Deployment which was not putting my Malefic Lords behind my first rank of Cultists. Part of this is due to running with my Movement Trays but I don't think those are appropriate for my Chaos army. I'm only using them for 20/40 models per unit anyways so it's saving me maybe a few minutes a game if that. Cultists die VERY quickly compared to Orks with both a Toughness and Save difference, the trays also don't work well for recycling the unit. It's really important to get 1-2" extra range on the Smites with how important it is to my offense and adopting a denser deployment would help me get upfield faster, another thing I struggle with.

Hank won the roll for first turn and I was unable to Seize. For Secondaries I took Recon, Big Game Hunter, and Kingslyaer (Guilliman). The more I play the more I feel like Recon isn't viable, it's very hard to get there by Turn 3 without just overextending your army. Unfortunately Death By 1000 Cuts and the Deployment Zone one are even worse so it ends up being a go to. I'd really like the ITC to update the Secondaries for something a bit more reasonable like hold the center of the table or 3/4 table quarters. Hank took Headhunter, Recon, and The Reaper. I don't think he can ever get Recon, the rest are doable but if a Cultist unit doesn't go down Turn 1 I think I can outlast the entire game.







Ultramarines Turn 1

Movement Phase
Hank starts things off with a surprising display of movement, rolling all the Razorbacks forward a bit to have a midfield presence. Everyone else stays still which prevents Guilliman from maximizing his Aura. Overall I think Hank held onto Cover too hard during this Turn and came forward without reason which kind of bailed my bad Malefic Lord placement out. The Flier and Land Speeder zoom to my left, again I'm not sure why as I bubble-wrapped my Lords so this just removes Guilliman Aura and opens them up to Smite.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Psychic Phase sees Might of Heroes go on Guilliman although I'm not sure why since he's not under threat from my list and risking a Perils for no upside isn't recommended. Shooting spreads out into the front two Cultist units as I'm giving Hank no other targets, I also lose some Horrors on the left and right. My left front unit gets chewed up a bit but overall I should have lost more with proper positioning of the Razorbacks.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Unsurprisingly there are no Charges and my Horrors pass Morale.

Score | 1-0 for Ultramarines







Chaos Turn 1

Movement Phase
Hoping to capitalize on some mistakes from Hank I move my army up, Advancing the Horrors and the Lords while keeping Abaddon on deck for everyone. Four Lords go left to hopefully handle the Flier while the rest stay middle to handle Razorbacks.

My Obliterators also come in and I position them decently although I need to focus on getting them Cover when possible. Each unit is in range of Abaddon though and in this matchup that's more important.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My Psychic Phase starts with a failed Warp Flux on the Flier which I decline to re-roll. I leave it on 2 Wounds with the remaining Lords but hard roll the 5+ for both my Horror units to bring it down. In the center I leave a Lascannon Razorback on 1 Wound and also fail to cast Prescience on a Cultist unit. Unfortunately I positioned my Sorcerer poorly so he couldn't go for a Smite.

Shooting sees the Lasannon Razorback in the middle destroyed which Explodes, damaging the two near it and killing two Marines. I then finish off the 1 Wound Razorback and leave two Assault Cannon Razorbacks on 1 and 2 Wounds respectively. Realistically I should have done more damage but only one Obliterator unit rolled more than 1 Damage and Hank made good saves, normally I probably leave him with two Razorbacks.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
I'm not in range for any Charges yet and Hank has no Morale so I pass. I score both Points for my end of turn as well as both for end of the round and also three for Big Game Hunter which puts me up to a command lead.

Score | 7-1 for Chaos










Ultramarines Turn 2

Movement Phase
Getting the hang of the army Hank mostly skips this phase, although I feel Guilliman should have moved up along with some of the Bolter Marines repositioning to make sure the Aura is spread far and wide. The Tactical Marines behind the crates at the top of the board move to get LoS while the Landspeeder hides behind the same crates.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again Guilliman gets a buff he won't need, risking Perils, but I'm not in position to Deny the Witch so it goes off without issue. Shooting mostly focuses on the Obliterators, killing 4 and wounding another as I can't make Invulnerables although Hank also rolled consistently badly for damage. I also lose a few more Cultists but the Assault Cannons are trying to help clear the Obliterators as well.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Again no Combat and no Morale. Hank failed to capture any Secondaries and didn't destroy a unit, surprisingly, so he only nets one point.

Score | 7-2 for Chaos






Chaos Turn 2

Movement Phase
Again I push up, hoping to get Recon going by Turn 3 so I can have a shot at maxing out on points. My Obliterators move up a bit but I'm quickly running out of targets that are in range of my army, similarly getting work out of Smite is getting more challenging but that usually means I'm extremely far ahead on attrition.

I decline to recycle a Cultist unit since I don't see much point in it. Lasguns without Abaddon aren't going to do anything to Marines in Cover and there isn't enough shooting left to wipe out a Cultist unit, or there won't be after my turn. I'd rather keep moving up and save the Command Points, although it was possible to Tide of Traitors and activate Recon.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My Psychic Phase drops another Razorback but leaves several of the Malefic Lords squandered. Shooting leaves only a Lascannon Razorback and also kills all but the Lascannon from the Marines not in Cover.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Now I'm quite far from Hank's army so no Charges anytime soon unless something comes up to meet me. I max out Big Game Hunter and also score all the end of turn as well as end of round points, likely putting the game out of reach for Hank.

Score | 12-2 for Chaos






Remaining Turns

Well this game turned into another stomp, on Hank's Turn he killed a few more Obliterators and Advanced Guilliman up to join the fray. On my Turn I kill the Landspeeder, the Razorback, and the last Marine not in a building while also getting Recon to start hitting. Hank then shoots some more Obliterators and Charges the Cultists who on my Turn Fall Back as I melt the Librarian and Guilliman with Smites. At this point Hank concedes the game as Guilliman will get up, do very little, then die again and I have a Scenario lead that cannot be approached. I'll also have time to melt the remaining Tacticals over two turns even without shooting.






Victory for Chaos!



Post-Game Thoughts

Overall I was very happy with this list, it's very denial oriented which is what I planned and lacks a center-piece model that can break games by going down early. I think I will restore my Battalion to pure Black Legion, being able to Advance all the Cultists and shoot means that I retain offense while getting the Malefic Lords up the board and that's vital for this army. It might make the points a bit awkward but I think it's necessary.

This game was also a good illustration of how things can look decent on paper but go sideways on the table. Hank had all the tools to hang with my on attrition, he was going to have a hard go on Scenario but with Assault Cannons galore he could cut down the Cultists evenly and they didn't do much to him. Unfortunately he moved the Razorbacks up and kept his army too spread for really no gain, this prevented Bolter shots and all kinds of re-rolls. Because of my Deployment mistake the Flier could have easily survived along with the Razorbacks taking far less damage but as it happened I essentially won the game on Turn 1.

There's certainly more optimized versions of the RazorSpam list but I actually like taking Lascannons on some of them. The Tactical Squads need Missile Launchers for versatility and giving them any other upgrades is a complete waste. Characters are the weakest part since all you want is Guilliman but have to take two HQs, cheap fighty Captains are probably best and then a Supreme Command of Primaris Psykers for defense and to help strip threats off the Razorbacks before the Shooting Phase. I know the original list took a Storm Raven, which is a great model, but I think you can live without it in this type of list as its a pure gunboat outside of niche situations. I'm also open to Scouts replacing some Tactical Squads, probably three units to prevent Deep Strike.

Overall I'm feeling good about my Chaos list. It's gone through so much testing which have given me a lot of insight into the game and I"m pretty happy about that. Certainly playing more one-dimensional armies can limit how you see the game but now I've gotten hands on experience with hordes, big models, Combat Characters, Deep Strike armies, and so on. It's very likely that variety is one of the big draws of Chaos and Imperium, they can just do literally everything.

My next post will likely be the tournament reports, hopefully I can get some good games there and maybe take an ass kicking. I'm well overdue...