Episode 66: A Re-Rack in 40K? Well.....Alright! (Chaos vs. Ultramarines)

The drought is over, the flood gates have broken and I am playing all the game once again. Today I played not one, but two games against a buddy of mine, Rob. Rob is a Marine enthusiast through and through and has a beautiful Ultramarines army that I've featured on this blog in several past Battle Reports. This time around the Smurfs are preparing for LVO which I unfortuantely won't be attending but I'm certainly up for helping anyone test for a large event.

My own army continues to be in shambles with the arrival of the Demon Codex. I found out this week that Horticulous Slimux, a lynch-pin of my new strategy, is 165pts which is a lot more than I was hoping. This led to a total re-tool that will be ongoing for quite some time, I was not able to get him in with the other elements I wanted and preserve 15 Obliterators. Oh well, a changing meta is a healthy meta. For this game I just made up a list at work so it's VERY rough, but I may be onto something with the build.....

Because we played two games and they were both very short (spoilers!) I'm going to do a higher level analysis of them and go into detail about the discussions me and Rob had before, during, and after the games. This was a pure learning game, my army is over half proxies and Rob used some proxies as well. So if you like the nitty-gritty of Battle Reports this might be a tad boring but if you like game theory and learning from play then this should be worth a read.


Chaos

Spearhead Detachment

Death Guard Chaos Lord w/ Power Maul, Stormbolter (Warlord w/ Arch-Contaminator)
World Eaters Warpsmith w/ Stormbolter, Brass Collar of Borghaster

Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy Slugger
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy Slugger
Plagueburst Crawler w/ 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy Slugger

Spearhead Detachment [Alpha Legion]

Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack, Storm Bolter, Powe Axe, MoN

3 Obliterators w/ MoN
3 Obliterators w/ MoN
3 Obliterators w/ MoN
3 Obliterators w/ MoN

Battalion Detachment

Horticulous Slimux (Fleshy Abundance)
Poxbringer (Miasma of Pestilence)
Poxbringer (-1 Toughness Power)

3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings

Feculent Gnarlmaw (Reserve Points)


This list is very rough and has some miscellaneous upgrades just to fill out points until I can actually get the Demon Codex and know what's what. The main Objective is an aggressive mid-field army that cannot be pinned down because of the Gnarlmaw, allowing my Oblits and PBCs to Fall Back and keep shooting. The Oblits also go to a 0+ Armor Save meaning you need AP3 before they even start caring, on top of Alpha Legion. This is very important since the army is extremely elite and I have to control 2/3rds of the table or I risk getting punked on Objectives.

At the time of writing this (January 9th, 2018) I believe Slimux is a Psyker but I'm not sure, we played him as one. Since I have an all Nurgle Detachment I get the Locus of Virulence which allows my Oblits and PBCs to do an extra Damage on 6's to Wound, a small bonus but a good once, especially against Primaris. Unfortunately I forgot it both games since I had never played this list before and it's all super new, I now have index cards to remind me of all my various effects.

For this game I'm looking to drop the heavy weapons and keep Guilliman busy, the rest of the army does nothing to me. Also my list is illegal which I did not know for this game, the Warpsmith cannot have a Relic since I do not have Chaos Space Marines Warlord, I have a Death Guard Warlord. This has been rectified in my revisions.



Ultramarines

Battalion Detachment

Primaris Captain w/ The Shield Eternal
Primaris Librarian

5 Intercessors
5 Intercessors
5 Intercessors

10 Reivers w/ Bolt Carbines

10 Hellblasters
Repulsor w/ Twin Lascannon, Las-Talon, 5x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Ironhail Heavy Stubber

Xiphon Interceptor

Super-Heavy Auxillary Detachment

Roboute Guilliman


Rob has always played Primaris even though it's obviously a much weaker army than you could normally make, especially for Ultramarines as Bobby G wants as many guns on the field as he can get. It's fine to work within limitations as long as you acknowledge them and Rob's goal is to make this list the best he can within the confines of all Primaris and Ultramarines as the Chapter.

Despite being all Primaris the army is quite well rounded. He has a lot of anti-Tank, more than most Primaris armies, and the Repulsor can just erase whole Infantry squads each turn thanks to Guilliman. The army is also a soft skew as small arms fire isn't that good against Primaris who will often be in Cover, never have Morale issues, and have multiple Wounds. I'm not a fan of the HQs since the Captain does nothing but act as a Deny the Witch bot and Space Marine Librarians are among the worst Psykers in the game when you consider their cost, lore, spells cast/dispelled, etc. On the other hand I quite like Reivers and consider them to be under-rated as an Objective bully, although with the Chapter Approved cost reduction they may have been muscled out of that role by Inceptors.



Pre-Game

Mission
Seize Ground

Deployment
Frontline Assault

Chaos Secondaries
Kingslayer (Guilliman), Old School, Headhunter

Ultramarines Secondaries
Old School, Headhunter,Big Game Hunter


Our table was setup in a very familiar fashion to those that watch ITC Events, two large L pieces in the center and one Ruin in each corner. As I said Rob is testing for LVO where this setup is likely to be on many, if not all, of the tables at that tournament. Overall Frontline Assault is bad for me since I want to keep distance between myself and the Ultramarines, double tapping Plasma and Guilliman will really hurt. I also don't have much room to hide, normally the L pieces are bigger but we worked with what we had.

As you'll see I have three Rhinos as standins for the Plagueburst Crawlers, empty bases for Nurglings, and a flight stand for Horticulous. The two Skaven models are the Poxbringers, again I apologize for the amount of proxying, I have purchased several of these models so hopefully my games this weekend won't be so unsightly!

I dropped the Nurglings onto the right center and right back Objectives as well as the left center. In hindsight I should have put two units on the right-center and ran one onto the right-forward Objective, they'd be basically impossible to attack unless the Xiphon feels like going over there and that's a win for me. I'm also too far up, Rob is going to have to come and get me so I should be playing the back table edge with my tanks. For his part Rob castled up hard, which his army usually has to, although I think putting one Intercessor unit on the other Objective in his Deployment Zone would have been a good idea. The Repulsor is also a bit exposed, I believe he put that there before all my tanks went down though so at the time it wasn't definitive if he had to be aggressive or not.

Rob won the roll for first turn and took it, I attempted to Seize but failed. Fortunately my army is fairly robust so I was hoping I could weather the storm but Guilliman definitely makes things a big more dicey.







Game 1 - Round 1

Rob started out with some good results as his army moved up, largely between the two buildings and around the left flank. The Reivers came in on the left with LoS to my Nurglings on the left Objective although nothing else was able to see them without Advancing. The Librarian was not in range to Psychic Fortress the Reivers so opted to do nothing. Shooting went very well as I lost a full Plagueburst Crawler but it took everything the Ultramarines had to down it, luckily for me it didn't Explode which with my Deployment was definitely an issue. My unit of Nurglings also lost two models but the last guy stuck around. The Reivers then made it into the leftmost PBC, losing a model to Overwatch, and we did nothing to each other.

At this point Rob only had one Objective and had only killed one unit which I felt started me off on a good foot for the Scenario game.

On my Turn I shuffled the Characters to get ready for a Charge on the Reivers but I did not Fall Back with the Plagueburst Crawler. I did think about it and I should have but in the moment I chose not to. My Gnarlmaw went down where my tanks already were as I wanted to play defensively and the Obliterators came down right on it, a bit to the right because of the Reivers. In my Psychic Phase I was able to -1 Toughness the Repulsor and put Miasma on the rightmost Plagueburst Crawler, I also put a Smite into the Reivers for one wound.

Shooting was brutal and I killed the Repulsor and all but one Hellblaster who had a wound taken, one also died in the wreck. This left only Guilliman and the Xiphon as real threats and would also force Rob to burn two Command Points to keep the Hellblaster around, which he did. In Combat I rolled very badly despite Charging with Slimux, the Warpsmith, and the Death Guard Chaos Lord, only killing one. In return I took no damage. I also failed to finish off the Hellblaster during shooting despite putting all my Combi-Bolters into him and the available Plagueburst Crawler.

At the end of the round I'd only killed one unit because of that last Hellblaster but I did control more Objectives. Not quite the Scenario lead that I wanted but it was a good start and with Rob's limited model count and placement he'd be hard pressed to get more than 2 Objectives the rest of the game.











Game 1 - Round 2

Being down in attrition Rob made a go of it and pushed the Xiphon right in my face and Advanced Guilliman, after checking the Charge distance without an Advance it'd be very long even with Veil of Time, which I would do all I could to stop. The Reivers Fell Back as the rest of the army jostled forward but not too far to commit.

I was able to stop both Psychic Fortress and Veil of Time from going onto Guilliman, unfortunately I couldn't Deny the Witch with the Warpsmith. Shooting again went well for Rob as I failed a ton of saves and he put 9 Wounds on the -1 to Hit Plagueburst Crawler, although I'm not sure why he shot that one. My Warpsmith also took a wound from Intercessor/Reiver fire but his 2+ Save largely held, I also lost the last Nurgling but still have 3 Objectives to Rob's 2.

On my Turn I moved everyone towards the Xiphon and Guilliman as those models dying would decide the game. A few Smites went into the Xiphon and I healed the tank for one wound, overall nothing too important. Shooting went very well as my Obliterators rolled consistent 2-3 Damage, killing the Xiphon and Guilliman as Rob was swamped with 3++ Saves. A remaining unit of Obliterators took a chunk out of the Intercessors on what was once my Objective and the tanks were able to finish that unit off as well as put a hurting on the Reivers with Flamers.

At the end of the Shooting Phase Guilliman did not get back up, even after a re-roll, and I was able to finish off the Reivers with more Charges. My Warpsmith also Charged the lone Hellblaster who killed himself with in Overwatch. With that we called the game as Rob only had the Captain, 10 Intercessors, and a Librarian left against essentially my whole army. In a tournament if we played it out he'd get tabled on Turn 5-6, never scoring any Secondary or Kill Point again and probably only 3 more Objectives for a fairly dismal score.













Post-Game

Me and Rob talked about the game before we played the next one and he felt like he just didn't have the tools to deal with what I brought, which is largely true. Even going first and blowing up a tank couldn't clear me out and Guilliman is the only model who can handle the Obliterators which also puts him in a very dangerous position. In all likelihood even if he'd gotten up he'd chop up one unit then got dropped by Smites and Flamers.

Primaris also really struggle with Objectives and we both agreed the Reivers weren't good enough bullies to help with that. Rob had another list that swapped the Reivers, the Librarian, and the Captain for two Lieutenants, one of each weapon flavor, and 6 Inceptors. That swap had its downsides too but we thought it'd be good to test in the second game, so what's what we did.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pre-Game

Mission
Seize Ground

Deployment
Dawn of War

Chaos Secondaries
Kingslayer (Guilliman), Old School, Headhunter

Ultramarines Secondaries
Old School, Headhunter,Big Game Hunter


We decided to use the same table and the same Mission but a different deployment type just to get some variety. This time Deployment was a lot different, Rob was favoring the same left flank as before so I took the right flank. My army has either superior range, on some guns, or Deep Strike so there's no need for me to make it easy on the Ultramarines to get to me. This would also make a Turn 2 Charge from Guilliman pretty much impossible which gives me time to deal with other stuff.

Rob again won the roll to go first but this time I Seized and took the turn. Usually I like going second but as I said Primaris Marines are bad at Objectives and this time I deployed my Nurglings better, leaving a unit to run onto the top-right Objective where the Xiphon is. I was hoping to drop some of the heavy hitters and spare my Plagueburst Crawlers, however I actually deployed them pretty far away and where they'd get cover which helps with the smaller guns. In hindsight I should have gone second and been fine with it.







Game 2 - Round 1

Everything stayed still except Slimux, who Advanced to drop the Gnarlmaw, and the two Heralds who moved to cover the Warpsmith and Death Guard Chaos Lord from the Xiphon. I brought all my Reserves in where most could shoot the Xiphon or the Repulsor, however this was a mistake. I should have used the center building to hide everyone, kill the Xiphon, and then make Rob come to me again. There would have been no way to get anything but the Repulsor in LoS which is unlikely to do much damage hitting on 4's and me with a 3+ Armor Save against Lascannons, then I could have killed it next turn.

In the Psychic Phase I just passed and went to shooting. This was a disaster, I was hoping to repeat what I did last game but without -1 Toughness on the Repulsor, and me getting lots of bad profiles, I barely killed it. I also put a few wounds on the Xiphon but didn't even drop it a profile. My Plague Mortars killed off a few Hellblasters but there were still a lot left even with two dying in the wreckage.

Rob's Turn was moving Guilliman very aggressively forward along with the Hellblasters and Xiphon. The Inceptors came down on the left, between a few Objectives, to try for a Charge in addition to shooting while avoiding the Alpha Legion Trait. Shooting went pretty poorly for Rob as I lost two Obliterators, the Xiphon not having re-rolls and my Cover really helped out and the Hellblasters did most of the damage.

After doing a token wound or two the Inceptors failed their Charge but didn't lose anyone. This put me ahead on both killing units and Objectives since I'd lost nothing and had three Objectives to one, Rob also did not score for Old School whereas I did.











Game 2 - Round 2

I began by backpedaling the Obliterators, I should have Advanced the ones in the front but I did not, it was unlikely I'd need more than 1-2 units to finish the Xiphon off but I need to flee from Guilliman. Once again Smites went into the Xiphon, dropping it to a few wounds where it was quickly finished by a unit of Obliterators. I was also able to get the Hellblasters down to one model again but he continued to prove as unkillable as last game when I re-rolled a Mortar Damage roll, getting a 1 both times. Some leftover shots killed off two of the Inceptors as well.

At this point I made a bad decision and Charged the Obliterators into the Inceptors. My hope was to get 2-3 units in on them which kind of makes Guilliman have to take one of two paths, however I only made one Charge. I then only did a wound but left the unit outside the Gnarlmaw and Chaos Lord re-rolls which is a bad place to be.

On Rob's Turn he moved up with Guilliman, eyeing a Charge, and Fell Back with the Inceptors into my army. Some Intercessors moved up to snag a second Objective but the rest mostly moved a bit to get some incidental shots.

Shooting was a nightmare for me, I lost the entire squad outside of the Gnarlmaw mostly due to rolling 2's on Armor Saves from Intercessors and then lost another two from Guilliman and the Hellblaster. I then caught a huge break as Guilliman failed a 7" Charge with a 3 and a 2, re-rolling the 2 into a 1. This meant I'd get one last shot at him before he hit my lines and he took 3 Damage to boot from Overwatch. This time we split the scoring as I still have more Objectives but Rob had killed two units to my one, again because of that damn Hellblaster.










Game 2 - Round 3

Knowing it was now or never I moved all the Characters up as I intended to drop Guilliman at least once and also finish the Inceptors to solidify my Objective dominance. Again the Obliterators moved back, somewhat pointlessly to be honest although it would at least have Guilliman force a split again.

Smites were able to weaken Guilliman and I then finished him off with my Obliterators thanks to dual 3 Damage profiles. The Plagueburst Crawlers finished the Inceptors off and dropped an Intercessor as well as the last Hellblaster, giving me a pretty commanding lead in the kill more scoring. This time Guilliman did get back up, without a re-roll, getting 4 Wounds.

On Rob's Turn he moved Guilliman up to Charge and stuck to his Scenario positioning. Shooting did nothing but Guilliman Charged in and killed two Obliterators with his sword.

At this point the writing was on the wall, I killed Guilliman with Smites and wiped out the unit of Intercessors that had moved up thanks to the tanks. Again Rob would likely never kill anything and I'd just shell his army while running around with Smites and so on so we called the game on the top of Turn 4.









Post-Game

Me and Rob talked both games over and we agreed the Inceptor version is the better version. While the Lieutenants are pointless Battalion fillers the Inceptors add so much firepower and Objective play that it's worth it. As I pointed out, Deny the Witch isn't even very good against most Psychic armies. Eldar can get big casting rolls with re-rolls or Strategems plus they often stay in the back, Magnus does not usually get dispelled, and Ynaari have the girl with +1 to rolls and they also stay in the back. The Captain is pretty pointless just like the Lieutenants and the Librarian is shackled with the worst Lore in the game so why bother?

I don't know how I feel about this list, I may try some other things out. The Plagueburst Crawlers are good but shine when you super spam them with other things that do not work in this list. I may go back to one big Cultist unit but fill up on Nurglings to lower my overall points but still have that screen. The -1 Toughness Psychic Power really helps Cultists as they now do stuff against T4-6 and Veterans of the Long War can help that even more. I'd also probably be able to get the Sorcerer back in, who while not amazing, is good against AdMech/IG with the Cultists and helps with certain models should Death Hex resolve. I'm also considering a giant unit of Pink Horrors since their gun got an extra shot (when in a horde) and they can get +1 to Wound. Accuracy is an issue for them but they can be summoned/deep struck to prevent any shoot first shenanigans, which is kind of my armies theme. The only issue with that is I'd be relying heavily on Nurglings to keep my Characters alive which can backfire against certain armies, usually those with Fliers.

Something I badly need to test is dropping Slimux for two Gnarlmaws and a Poxbringer (Herald of Nurgle). This would limit me in terms of the Obliterators range which can be punished by long range shooting and correct deployment, it also sucks in any longways deployment type. Paying for the Slimux and a tree is over 200pts in an already elite army and Slimux does very little else that I care about. He's a decent melee piece and I believe a Psyker, if he can cast/know two Powers that would be a tip in his favor. I don't care about the Beast of Nurgle buffs as those models are incurably bad.

Overall I'm looking forward to tinkering with this list, Chaos has so many little synergies that you can put in. I'll likely test a change this week since it's less proxies and I want to see how well it works:


Poxbringer
Poxbringer

3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings

Gnarlmaw
Gnarlmaw


Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators
3 Obliterators


Herald of Tzeentch
Warpsmith

30 Pink Horrors
3 Nurglings
10 Brimstone Horrors


See you next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment