Episode 1: If Only There Was an Appropriate Star Wars Reference... (Rebels vs. Empire 800pts)

Wait...this isn't 40K. That's right it's my first Battle Report for Star Wars: Legion the new miniature game from Fantasy Flight that dropped a few weeks ago. This game has had a slower start in my area than I'd hoped, not for lack of players but due to an obsession with painting before anything hits the table! Certainly a departure from what I'm used to with Warhammer where most people are all about hitting the table top. Fortunately I've read the rule book, watched a few reports, and ran through the Demo for Legion so I feel pretty well adjusted to how it works.

For my opening standard sized games I was up against Josh and his Imperials. Josh is in much the same boat as me regarding experience with the game, I think there will be a lot of learning the little tricks in the game as it ramps up and the best way to see those is to play. We decided on a fully standard game with the Ban Phase for Deployment/Mission/Condition, time to hit the ground running!



Rebels

Luke Skywalker w/ Force Reflexes, Jedi Mind Trick, Grappling Hooks

Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades
Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades
Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades
Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades
Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades
Rebel Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, Ion Trooper, Concussion Grenades

AT-RT w/ AT-RT Rotary Blaster, Long-Range Comms

The idea behind this list is to dominate the piece trade portion of the game by having more activations than my opponent can handle. Because I have so many units I not only have control over my activations when not using Commands but I can use units which have not been damaged/Suppressed yet in order to maximize my output. The AT-RT is not an ideal inclusion, I'm waiting on Leia to come out in order to help my Troopers more. Luke is built as a counter-puncher, Reflexes let him get out in the open and be aggressive and Mind Tricks helps win that Trooper on Trooper attrition game.

I've seen a lot of people say Grenades aren't worth it, I completely disagree. Properly built tables for Legion will have a lot of Cover and a good amount of LoS Blocking which means short ranged firefights are a thing, removing that Cover is a hard swing. I'm also testing the Ion Troopers, I think they're very good as Speeder Bikes and AT-ST's are popular in Empire and AT-RT's are popular in Rebels so it forces early activations from those units. That's the theory anyways.



Empire

Darth Vader w/ Force Reflexes, Saber Throw

Storm Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, HH-12 Stormtrooper
Storm Troopers w/ Additional Trooper, HH-12 Stormtrooper

Speeder Bikes
Speeder Bikes

AT-ST w/ Twin Blaster Cannon

This list is actually illegal as you need 3 Corps for an army but we didn't know that at the time so it's not a big deal. The Vader setup is going to be the standard, he has to have Saber Throw or he's a useless model and he has to have Force Reflexes or he dies very easily. Force Choke and Force Push are very easy to play around even if you're using all Troopers like me so I'm not a fan. I also like the cheaper AT-ST, the build with every gun suffers badly against Ion and Empire will be getting access to that soon.



Setup and Deployment

Deployment: Disarray
Scenario: Key Positions
Condition: Limited Visibility

I think all of these setups favor me. I was able to avoid Hostile Environments which can be a problem for me and I got onto a good Mission/Deployment. Josh can redeploy better by using the Jetbikes, with that in mind I knew both of my zones needed to be able to deal with at least one unit of them.

We ended up putting the bulk of our strength against each other with four Rebel Trooper units and Luke setting up across from Vader, the AT-ST, one unit of Stormtroopers and both Jetbikes. On the other side I put two Trooper units and my AT-RT while Josh committed only a single Stormtrooper unit.

Josh has the initial Objective advantage since each of us have the bulk of our army on one but his lone Stormtrooper unit is on the other. Because of the placement I should be able to flank them and wear them down, especially when I get into Grenade range. I also tried to place the AT-RT so that it can either shoot into the rear of the AT-ST or block the Jetbikes/threaten melee with them where he will do heavy damage.

For Terrain we played true LoS which I think is a lot easier in this game than Warhammer because there's less verticality and units are smaller and thus easier to hide. Being on area terrain gives Light Cover, being shto through a window, barricade, or a part of the building gives Heavy Cover.







Round 1

I opened with Standing Orders which I think is a good standard opener, especially with Limited Visibility in effect. Josh did the same and won Priority with the dice roll.

Overall very little happened in the Round except for jockeying for position. Both Stromtrooper units hunkered down in Cover with the lone unit doing its best to deny my LoS. The AT-ST and Vader moved up to position for next turn and the Jetbikes split up as I expected. One went down my right flank, using their speed to get an attack action which killed one Trooper. The other unit went left and was actually off the board (I need to get a 3x6' mat!) and tried some shots on the AT-RT but were denied by his Armor.

For my activations I did a lot of positioning as well, getting two units in range of the AT-ST and making sure they have Heavy Cover. Another unit started heading left to flank the Stormtroopers early, I want to get that done fast if possible so I can then get them back over to deal with the AT-ST and then scramble for the Objective in Round 6. I returned fire on the Jetbikes occupying my left flank, dropping one. Luke double moved aggressively to setup for next turn but also hide out in case the AT-ST feels like being cheeky.

Overall we had a very low casualty turn which is to be expected, I think my army setting up is better than it is for Josh and I had a big play for Luke in mind that I don't think Josh was anticipating.









Round 2

Command Phase
Ambush vs. Son of Skywalker
Priority to Rebels

My order went onto Luke as it has to and Josh's Order went onto the AT-ST. With Priority I activated Luke and doulbe moved him into melee with the Jetbikes, cutting them both down thanks to my two attacks. Unfortunately I forgot to use Force Reflexes to keep Luke safe but it would likely take all three of Josh's units to drop him and unless he pulls a Corp Token I can hopefully kill/Suppress the Stormtroopers to limit that output before they draw a bead on Luke.

Josh used the AT-ST and put both of its guns into the closer Trooper unit, only killing one with some bad rolls and my Heavy Cover. I then pulled a Corp Token and chose the flanking Troopers, performing a move and shoot to kill two thanks to burning the Ion Trooper for the red dice combined with some lucky crit rolls to negate cover.

From there the Jetbike went and again failed to do damage before it got wiped out by my counter Aim and Attack from a Trooper unit in the area. Vader did his standard move twice, Force Reflexes, and Saber Throw which killed two troopers. To finish the turn Josh's Stormtroopers were ineffective while I shot one more to death of the unit holding the right Objective. I also put 4 Damage on the AT-ST but only one Ion Token which we found out are not removed at the end of the turn, only the end of the activation for that model. Sadly the AT-RT had to double move to fix his facing and LoS but he now has a rear show on the AT-ST and can start moving towards melee with it.






Round 3

Command Phase
Implaccable vs. My Ally is the Force
Priority to Imperials

With Josh needing a big swing turn he went with the big Vader round while I opted to get defense going and put a Dodge Token on my healthy Troopers on the right flank and the saber'd unit in the same area.

Vader goes first and does his standard thing, killing two troopers from the unit without a Dodge Token as well as putting his token back in the pile. I activate a Trooper unit but Aim and Attack instead of Readying and Attack which is a big mistake as I could have shut down the AT-ST completely, although I do another wound to it. Josh then luckily pulls the AT-ST and just does an Attack on Luke who takes no damage.

I pull again and get Luke which I didn't really want, he moves into some cover and shoot down one of the Stormtroopers, asserting his dominance over their Objective. At this point Vader is in a rock and a hard place, he needs to help the AT-ST get my Troopers off my Objective but he won't have enough time to clear Luke off his own.

Josh pulls a Corp and rallies the Stormtroopers, moving them away from Luke as best he can while shooting me to no effect. I also pull a Corp and remove all but one of the Stormtroopers on the left Objective thanks to my Grendades, putting them in a heavy Suppression situation. Vader goes again and moves along with another Saber Throw, wiping out one of my units.

Past that I move my rightmost Troopers up to threaten Josh's Objective and also get away from Vader while the remaining Troopers split between moving further towards the left Objective and re-deploying to help with the AT-ST. My AT-RT Aim and Shoots the AT-ST, doing a point of damage.










Round 4

Command Phase
Push vs. Ambush
Priority to Rebels

My Order goes onto Luke while Josh opts for Vader and the AT-ST, knowing the Stormtroopers are about to get a nasty lightsabering. Luke starts by doing just that, double move and charge to finish the unit off.  At this point Josh knows he can no longer win but we decide to play out the round.

Vader goes and easily kills my other damage Trooper unit, now in a bad position where he likely won't be able to attack for the rest of the game since my remaining Troopers in the area will just double move and use LoS to kite him. I finish off the last Stormtrooper with an Aim and Attack from the unit on my left flank, I know I have two more turns to leisurely walk them onto that Objective.

The AT-ST Aim and Shoots some more Troopers but does very little thanks to constantly giving me Heavy Cover and some good defense rolls by me. I finish the Round with some more moves and a few shots at the AT-ST which it blocks. We then call the game.




Summary

I think my experience with miniature games really carried the day here, I haven't done much with you go I go games but I used to play Chess and other games in that vein very competitively so I understand setting up for the next turn and forcing moves quite well. That said I did make a few early mistakes but the Son of Skywalker turn from Luke really set the tone early.

Me and Josh talked about the game quite a bit and I think the issues he ran into were being too aggressive with the Jetbikes and not either reinforcing the left flank or abandoning it completely. The Jetbikes are so fast I think going into the center with them would have been good because I then have to shoot them down, which is very hard because of their constant Cover and Defensive Surges. I think the best strategy with them is to use their free move and then Dodge + Attack most of the time as you're basically forcing your opponent to fish for Crits and you then have a 33% chance to block them on top of 3 Wounds each. Oof.

When Leia comes out I think I'll opt for less Ion Troopers, they're good but needing the Ready Action each turn really hurts. Two AT-ST's will not be a competitive build as it doesn't have the firepower to win Missions, it's extremely difficult for those huge bases to not give up Cover at all times.With Leia being able to give out Dodge Tokens and remove Suppression you can guarantee work from those Ion units as Ready + Attack with a Dodge is much more viable. I also like Grenades a lot more without the Ion Troopers because they'll have more ability to get around the board and make use of it.

I continue to think Darth Vader is very weak, he's extremely predictable and has to be expensive. As he goes forward Troopers have to go with him a bit or they risk Panic which means less opportunities for Aiming. Until the next wave comes out the good Imperial list seems to be AT-STs/Jetbikes and minimum Stormtroopers who just Dodge and hide for Mission purposes. It's very hard to Imperial to be Rebel Trooper spam right now because Vader is so greedy and he will die to Luke going in on top of some shooting wounds.

Overall Legion is an extremely deep game and I think once the first three Commanders are out in the wild the list types you'll see will be very versatile. I'm hoping all of that drops in April since they've shown almost all the sculpts and it would lead to a much more viable competitive experience. I really like Rebels, they're a very defensive army and work naturally well with a lot of infantry which if you have ever checked out one of my 40K Battle Reports, is right up my alley.

That's all for this time, I hope to get some more Legion going soon. For the 40K fans I have a tournament in two weeks that I actually plan on attending, other than that 40K is slightly on the back burner until the Spring FAQ because I want to see where the meta moves towards. It's very likely that Tide of Traitors is going to get a nerf, I'm hoping for a small one where it causes the unit to come back from your table edge but if it starts requiring Reinforcement Points then Chaos will be in a very bad place. As per usual with Games Workshop, we'll see.

Episode 71.3: Further Testing, a Skipped Tournament, Star Wars: Legion, and My Issue with 40K

Well my weekend didn't start off as strong as it could in terms of tabletop fun as I had to skip my RTT. Well I didn't have to but getting home at 4AM for a 9AM kickoff would have been rough to say the least. To be honest I wasn't really feeling it, I get very bored of games when I know a big change is right around the corner. With the March FAQ coming this week I wasn't really in the mood to test and optimize my list as it could easily be illegal in a few days. I have a feeling my Black Legion, World Eaters, Thousand Sons Detachment might not be long for this world.

I did get two games in this week that I didn't report as they weren't very competitive. One against Kevin, my usual Salamanders opponent, who has been rapidly improving his list. Unfortunately he made a lot of mistakes in the game, just feeding me Ironclads for my Meltaguns to handle instead of playing back and using the Hurricane Bolters. Those Dreadnoughts are a hidden gem though, they excel at everything but long-range ant-tank. Toughness 8 is a really big deal. I'd run them as Ultramarines or Ravenguard but to each their own.

I also played a game against a newer player, which I didn't know he was, using Black Templars and some Inquisitorial stuff. We discussed the game a little and I think he's used to bamboozling more casual players, for example he had a Chaplain Dreadnought which was defensively buffed to hell and back...so I just ignored it. He also Deep Struck Cataphractii Terminators on an extreme flank and I just walked away from them. I think those are the really illuminating games when you're newer trying competition on for size, you have a super model/unit that your regular opponents just can't handle and then someone refuses to even try and beats the rest of your list down.

Over the last few games I realized I'm playing too many Cultists so I went down to four units of forty and added a unit of Obliterators back in. This is why getting reps in with an army are important versus just making the list. When I was working on Cultist Spam I figured I'd blow through my Command Points quickly, however that's not really the case. I usually recycle once or twice a game and very rarely am I presented with a target that I need to do the Veterans of the Long War + Endless Cacophony combo on. Since I have a better Command Point economy than I thought I would I can add Obliterators and be a bit more fluid with them. I also moved my previously Khorne Demon Prince to a normal CSM Demon Prince. The Khorne Prince hits like a truck but you can't deliver him, it takes way too long. A CSM Prince can be Warptime'd and that makes a world of difference, I'd rather hit softer than not hit at all.

I have been experiencing another phase of disillusion with 40K lately, I'm really just tired of the extreme spam. I realize I play a spammy list, I admit it, but I don't think it's as extreme as some. 7+ Flying Hive Tyrants, 7+ Plagueburst Crawlers, nine goddamn Fliers! These are the lists you see topping a lot of the bigger tournaments, man I am going to miss the comparative blessing that was "Dark Reaper Spam" when Ynaari gets it in the face. The little hope I had for spam being reigned in died when I read the Tau Codex, Games Workshop isn't going to make a blanket Matched Play change when they called out just Commanders.

My biggest issue continues to be that the Detachment system is way too permissive. This has a magnification effect when something is broken, oh I can take as much of this model as I want and not be taxed at all? Sign me up! That's not the only issue, if you look at these Tyranid Lists they're using Battalions because that Faction has extremely cheap Troops. In that instance you're looking at an individual model that's too powerful, sometimes you even get a combination and that's when the problems really start. My issue is that makes the game boring for me. Even though I use four of the same unit the rest of my army is very diverse, it has a lot of tricks and layers. I don't see that in a lot of these truly top tier lists, which my army is not, it's just brutal, raw power. There's nothing subtle about taking 9 Dark Angel Fliers, the game becomes binary. I don't make decisions, you don't make decisions, we just roll dice at each other. Might as will simulate the game with an app.

Ultimately this doesn't really impact me, there's little to none of that going on in my meta. But I'd like to start traveling and competing, what's the point in that if this is all that's out there at the end of the second day? My thing has always been not putting numbers in the win column, it's been about learning and refining my small place in what should be a very deep game. But if you're an actual competitive player, one of the names in 40K, you don't play in that atmosphere because it is all about the wins and losses. I can't be mad at those guys for that but it trickles down and poisons the game much further than the Top 8 at major events.

If I was the dictator of Warhammer I'd remove every Detachment except Battalions for Matched Play, if something is getting spammed past that then nerf it. I'd even prefer that nerfs lean on the brutal side, why? Because if you demonstrate that something gets cut off at the knees when it's spammed, too good, etc. then maybe people will think twice before opening eBay and adding six of something to their web cart. For many years, probably ever since it's inception, 40K has been the game where there is no punishment for abusing mechanics, models, or anything else. I would love to see a medieval mentality from Games Workshop, if something is out of line then it gets tied to two horses and they run off in different directions. But I don't think it's going to happen.

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Shifting gears completely, man Star Wars: Legion is a great game. People who are in the miniatures world no doubt know about X-Wing, that was actually the game I was going to play prior to getting into Age of Sigmar which led me back into 40K, well that and Warmachine. Ultimately though I think X-Wing is a very low skill game, and people freak out when I say that. There's too few models, no Missions, little to no battlefield differentiation. I've watched the matches at worlds and people just get alpha struck off the board, that's really sad.

Anyways, Legion takes the parts that are good from X-Wing and builds a competent game around it. It's where I've thought miniatures should go for many years. Easy to build models, more of a skirmish feel, faster play, and a focus on competition from the get go. Fantasy Flight is well known for running major events, providing prizes, and generally being involved with the competitive community. Unfortunately they're also very anti-consumer with their stupid custom dice, templates, tokens, dials, the list never ends of their accessories that you have to have to play the game. But honestly their game is the first one I've ever played where the models cost what they should cost, so I'll take that.

The game itself is very well written. It moves very quickly, there's little to argue about regarding measurements and it has a Warmachine feel without so much emphasis on the Warcaster/Warlock which is something I didn't like about that system. You have very impactful characters but the game doesn't fall apart if they're pressured or die. The biggest thing for me is the back and forth, I'm so tired of the formula where I take a full turn, you take a full turn. It's so much more skillful to have immediate reactions or try and counter what you see an opponent setting up.

I also love that there's rigid army building restrictions built into the game, even with basic troops. This sets the game up so overpowered models won't be able to totally run the game between FAQs or other changes. Right now it feels like the game is in Beta just because there are so few models but they're wisely pushing out Characters first since these will lead to more changes in game play than a new unit of blaster guys.

I certainly need to learn a lot more about the game and right now I'm surprisingly having trouble getting matches, it seems like the community is still forming on our local Facebooks. I see a lot of room for skill though and the game is certainly on the lower end for RNG, less than 40K but not as close to the floor as Warmachine. I'll probably have some more crystallized thoughts when I get to play more but I'm really excited to have a second game, it's good to be able to bounce back and forth when things are bad.

That's all I have for now, I'm cautiously optimistic for the FAQ this week and we'll see what happens from there.

Episode 71: He's FULL of Black Rage...FULL.

Back to the normal, playing games and putting them on the Internet for tens upon tens of people to read. It's good to be home. Today was another game against a semi-regular opponent, Eric, and his fantastically painted Blood Angels. Eric is trying to take that next step into more competitive play, which I applaud, so we played a semi-serious game to that end.

I was happy to hit the table again and test out my Chaos Cultist list that's really coming together. So far I like the way it plays a lot but I see the weaknesses, Vehicle based gunlines and certain Flier spam lists are a real issue. I would love to have the ability to drop a Rhino Chassis at range every turn without dumping a lot of Command Points but every list can't have everything.


Army Lists

Chaos

Battalion Detachment - Alpha Legion
Chaos Lord w/ Jump Pack, Axe of Blind Fury, Combi-Melta, MoK
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta

40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS
40 Cultists w/ Autoguns, MoS

Battalion Detachment - Chaos Demons
Demon Prince of Khorne w/ Wings, MoK, Skullreaver, Warp Bolter
Poxbringer [Shriveling Pox]

3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings
3 Nurglings

Supreme Command Detachment
Abaddon the Despoiler [Warlord]
Ahriman [Prescience, Infernal Gaze, Warptime]
Warpsmith w/ Combi-Melta, MoK [World Eaters]



Blood Angels

Battalion Detachment
Captain w/ Powerfist, Storm Bolter
Primaris Lieutenant w/ Bolt Pistol, Power Sword

10 Death Company w/ Bolters and Chainswords

Furioso Dreadnought w/ Furioso Fist, Heavy Flamer, Frag Cannon
Furioso Dreadnought w/ Furioso Fist, Heavy Flamer, Frag Cannon

5 Scouts w/ Bolters, 1 Heavy Bolter
5 Scouts w/ Bolters, 1 Heavy Bolter
5 Scouts w/ Bolters, 1 Heavy Bolter

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

Stormraven w/ Twin Multimelta, Twin Lascannon, Two Hurricane Bolters, Stormstrike Missiles

Supreme Command Detachment
Captain w/ The Angel's Wings, Thunder Hammer, Stormshield
Librarian w/ Jump Pack, Force Axe
Lemartes



Mission and Deployment
ITC Mission #5
Frontline Assault

Chaos Secondary Objectives
Old School, Big Game Hunter, Headhunter

Blood Angel Secondary Objectives
Old School, The Reaper, Headhunter


Terrain was fairly dense, probably more than I put on my tables but overall a good table. With the large LoS blocker in the center we had a good split up of the table and most of the Objectives could be held while hiding, which I quite like. Anything that dissuades stupid gunlines is good with me.

I deployed very centrally, dropping a few Cultist units while Eric countered with Razorbacks. I then started putting the Warpsmiths, Abaddon, and the other more support-y Characters in the center with the Lord up in the clouds. Eric put down Scouts across the middle and right with the Dreadnoughts and the far left. This made me pull away from the left and favor the right more but I did put a unit of Nurglings on the left Objective as they could hide pretty easily. I ended up with two more Nurglings on the right to try and take that Objective, the Prince on the right, and Eric had the Stormraven on the right with his support more centered along with the Death Company. All the Jump Pack Characters went in the clouds.







Pre-Game

Overall I got the matchups I want, although I'll never catch the Stormraven. They can play the range game too well so I'm probably going to have to eat it for Turn 1-2 and maybe go for a cheeky Warptime + Prescience on the Warpsmith. If it gets scary I can really commit a unit of Cultists with all the bells and whistles to get an average of 10 Wounds, Ahriman really makes things happen at times.

Having the Death Company on the board means they're coming right for me and I won't be able to do much about it even if I go first. I wanted to go second because I think my army is a lot better on Objectives and Eric doesn't have enough guns to drop a unit a turn after the first turn. My Demon Prince was pretty forward, I was kind of gambling that the Nurgling ring would survive to keep him safe but that was a very bad play in retrospect, it would have been easy for the Razorbacks to remove them and then the Prince goes down for free, however that makes the Cultists a bit questionable of a kill with just the Death Company. All in all I don't think hanging the Prince out there like that was a good idea, I also zeroed in on the Stromraven too much when he should have gone and smashed the Dreadnoughts.

Eric won the roll for First Turn, which I should have let him have, but I failed to Seize. Most games I probably want to go second and I think that's a good place to be. Eric moved the Death Company pre-game, leaving him with 4 Command Points as he also gave Death Company to the Smash Captain. I started with 11 to deck out the Demon Prince.



Turn 1 - Blood Angels

While the Death Company were already in my face, jumping over the building, he moved them a bit further up to guarantee the Charge. The Stormraven booked it to the left, away from the Prince, as the Dreadnoughts kept left and moved toward the Nurglings. Nothing else moved much and the Character Bomb stayed in Reserve.

Shooting dumped nearly everything into the center Cultists where the Death Company were about to make a mess, when the dust settled I had ~10 left. The Nurglings near the Objective took a few wounds and I lost a few Cultists on the left. Overall I took the damage I expected and luckily didn't lose my Demon Prince, although he doesn't have much to do.

The Charge from the Death Company came but they didn't declare the Characters as targets, I'd carefully removed casualties so that I could Heroic Intervention with everything but the Poxbringer. All my Cultists got wiped out and then some, however I also killed all the Death Company. Abaddon getting 12 Attacks may have had something to do with that.....

Turn Analysis

The turn went pretty much as I expected, Eric could have placed the Death Company to tie up other Cultist units and avoid some of the Characters but Abaddon was getting in there and he brought the pain. Eric's Dreadnoughts not booking it to the center is a huge win for me, those things will kill a lot of Cultists, now I can just feed them some Nurglings and ignore them. The Stormraven is also too close to I can Melta it without even Advancing, hopefully I can at least degrade it.

Overall I think Eric was a bit overly aggressive, if the Scouts got up a bit more for more Rapid Fire and less -1 to Hit, plus maybe some Charges, I think he gets there as far as killing a unit.

Score
5-0 for Blood Angels










Chaos Turn 1

With the Death Company out of the way but my Characters in the wind I needed to rally a bit until I could take out the Stormraven. I Advanced the Cultists on my left to cover the cap, reasoning I really didn't need much shooting from them this turn, while the rest just moved up. My Warpsmiths went left to try and damage the Stormraven, although one came up short on his distance and I should have Advanced him. My Nurglings all moved up, on the left to hide and on the right to Charge. My Chaos Lord also dropped in but not in range of the Warpsmiths, more positional errors. The Stormraven and a Razorback each took a wound from Machine Curse.

In the Psychic Phase I put Prescience on the front Warpsmith and did a few wounds to the Stormraven with Smites and Infernal Gaze. Shooting went so-so, I dropped the Stormraven to 1 Wound thanks to a damage re-roll on double 1's for damage, I also killed one Scout unit and reduced the other to a Sergeant.

Charges went out from the Demon Prince into the Razorback which he failed, taking a wound. I got the Nurglings into the Scouts, dragging one down as I lost a few wounds but Piling In creatively to tag the Objective and keep Eric off of it. This gave me both flank Objectives for the moment and with a lot of the Scouts dead it'd be tough to reclaim them.

Turn Analysis

I made so many mistakes here that in hindsight it's brutal. I should have done one of the following:

Advanced/Warptime'd the Warpsmith into Meltagun Range
Dropped the Lord and Warptime'd him for a Charge into the Stormraven
Endless Cacophony'd the Cultists to put in another wound on the Stormraven

Doing none of this means it gets to fly around and likely kill my Demon Prince, even hitting on 5's, or at least weaken him greatly. As is my Lord did nothing when his Combi-Melta would have been helpful, a lot of my Cultists did nothing when I could have Warptime'd them to deal with the last Scout unit, and overall I'm only up on damage because the Stormraven was out of position and the Death Company were thrown away a bit.

Score
5-5 Tied









Blood Angels Turn 2

Having lost most of his forward elements Eric moved to get what he could, flying the Stormraven over to the Demon Prince as predicted. The Dreadnoughts moved to shoot my Nurglings on the left while the Scout Sergeant ran headlong into my lines, Advancing as well. One rear Razorback moved up to get in range and get the Captain Aura. The Character Bomb also came down very close to the Demon Prince and my army in general.

I was able to Deny both of Eric's Psychic Powers so we quickly moved to shooting. Even hitting on 4's/5's the Razorbacks were brutal, chewing up 25+ Cultists alone while the Stormraven tacked on more and put three wounds on the Demon Prince. A stray Bolt Pistol claimed another of his wounds while the Dreadnoughts killed a Nurgling base as the Dreadnoughts had to Advance into position and couldn't use their Heavy Flamers.

Charges saw the 3d6" and +d3 Attack Stratagems used on the Smash Captain, draining Eric's Command Points while the Librarian made it in and Lemartes failed. My Demon Prince easily went down to the Captain alone, as expected, while I went down to one Nurgling on the right but dragged another Scout to his doom.

Turn Analysis

There were a few mistakes big and large from Eric this turn I thought. He forgot Pistols on the Scouts and also didn't use Lemartes' re-roll for Charges, or a Command re-roll. Personally I think Lemartes should have gone to deal with the Nurglings on the left while the Dreadnoughts Advanced to the center, they're just wasting time over there and keeping pressure off me. I'm not sure why the Sergeant ran at me, he should have hidden in the ruins on the left to deny a kill or at least make me work for it.

 The Smash Captain was also way over-allocated to, he used up almost all of Eric's Command Points by himself. Getting the Librarian in means the +d3 Attacks aren't necessary and I don't know if giving him Death Company Keyword was useful this game, it was just a 6+ FNP and +1 Attack on the Charge. Finally the Stormraven is again really close to me but it probably matters a lot less at this point.

Score
8-5 for Blood Angels












Chaos Turn 2

My Cultists continued to move forward as the Warpsmiths went center-left and the other Characters went right to deal with all the juicy HQs in my face. I Advanced the free unit of Nurglings near the right Objective but couldn't quite get in range which opened up an opportunity for Eric to Consolidate onto it and take it. I declined to use Tide of Traitors since I figured I'd remove a good chunk of Eric's firepower this turn, unfortunately I denied LoS to the Stormraven with all my Warpsmiths so they couldn't pick it off. Instead I put one wound on each Razorback. (In the pictures the Warpsmiths are on the bottom floor of the building, not the top).

Smites put three wounds on the Captain and Infernal Gaze finished the Stormraven while I Prescience'd a full unit of Cultists in Rapid Fire of the Librarian and Captain. Shooting removed both, the Librarian dropped to the Lord's Combi-Melta and the Captain from mass Autoguns. I also removed the rightmost Razorback, which Exploded and dealt three wounds to the Lieutenant and Captain, and the Scout Sergeant with the Warpsmiths.

With no Charges I killed off another Scout and took no damage this time around but Eric did get the Objective. This tied us on Objectives as I had mine and the center, Eric had his and the left since my Nurglings had to hide, and we tied on the right.

Turn Analysis

Not Machine Cursing the Stormraven was a pretty big oversight as I could have Warptime'd my Lord forward in the Psychic Phase once the threat of an Explosion was gone and probably picked up Lemartes too. I also should have re-rolled my Advance to get more guys onto the right Objective, my army is much better at Scenario than Blood Angels are but I wasn't aggressive enough.

Fortunately the list was working as intended since I'm now grinding Eric down. I have some damaged Cultist units but I'm going to wait until the last moment to recycle them and soak up as much damage as I can. With only two Razorbacks left that can threaten them and Lemartes running around I should be okay through Turn 3.

Score
12-8 for Chaos








Blood Angels Turn 3

Feeling the game slipping away Eric Advanced both Dreadnoughts towards my Cultist flank and moved Lemartes to intercept the Nurglings reinforcing the right Objective. With not much else to move we transitioned to shooting where the Razorbacks continued to go on a tear, dropping 18 of 20 Cultists in my shot up unit. Fortunately for me Lemartes wasn't able to contribute and the Captain was out of range with his Stormbolter.

Both Dreadnoughts attempted to unload into my Cultists but I was able to pull casualties and get one out of 8", still losing 11 models. Lemartes then Charged the Nurglings while the Dreadnoughts declined an attempt.

Combat saw me taking three wounds on the Nurglings from Lemartes and one from the Scouts while I punched the Chaplain back for two of his own.

Turn Analysis

I really disagreed with the Dreadnoughts at least trying a Charge, they are unlikely to take damage and it's all in time. Likewise Lemartes could have gone after bigger game like my Chaos Lord, I'm just going to Fall Back onto the Objective like I wanted to do anyways.

Score
12-9 for Chaos






Chaos Turn 3

Hoping to drop the hammer this turn I moved two Warpsmiths towards the Razorbacks further and diverted one to hopefully handle the Dreadnoughts, screening him with some Cultists. The Nurglings in Combat with Lemartes Fell Back onto the Objective and everyone else pushed forward or to the right. The Chaos Lord decided to get involved and positioned for a Charge into the Razorbacks or the Lieutenant.  On the left my Nurglings took back the Objective once the Dreadnoughts stomped off. Once again Machine Curse proved useful as I wounded a Furioso and one Razorback, I also recycled the two man Cultist unit to Eric's back lines, intending to gun down the Captain who was reeling from the explosion earlier.

My Psychic Phase was fairly straightforward, giving +1 to Hit to the Cultists hoping to gun down Lemartes while I put some wounds on Razorbacks with Smite and Infernal Gaze. Shooting dropped one of the Furioso's and one Razorback as well as Lemartes. Unfortunately I forgot the unit of Cultists I put in the backfield since I didn't actually put the models back on the trays and thus couldn't see them.

My Charge with the Chaos Lord got into the Lieutenant who had his head removed, the Lord then Consolidated into the Razorback. My last Nurgling on the right was taken down to his last wound but couldn't inflict any damage back.

At this point Eric conceded the game having only a Dreadnought left, two Scouts, a badly hurt Captain, and a Razorback that wouldn't be shooting. If we were to talk it out I might lose a Warpsmith on the left, Charges depending, but then kill everything on Turn 4.








Post-Game

I definitely played insanely sloppy this game and I think if Eric played perfectly he could have won. Besides some really great rolls from the Razorbacks nothing too out of the ordinary happened dice-wise, my list was just able to capitalize on mistakes better and win the attrition war.

Eric and I talked the game over and I told him I felt the Dreadnoughts were wasted and the Stormraven was thrown away since he could have premeasured my Warpsmith threat range. If both those plays were changed I likely do almost nothing on Turn 1 and have to eat more shooting. Once the Death Company died I think the chance to drop a Cultist unit a turn died with them, at least until the Dreadnoughts got in, but Blood Angels can play slow and steady. I would have liked the Stormraven to mop up my Nurglings and make use of those big guns, that would have really hurt my Scenario game on the flanks.

A large part of the Blood Angel army was what I'm weak too, mechanized gunlines and fliers. It's easy to see why as it'll take me 2-3 Turns to get my Melta in range without overextending. On my part I just screwed the Demon Prince from the word go, he should have just hung back and waited for those Dreadnoughts or the Characters. If he made the 9" Charge into the Razorback he'd scrap it and maybe Consolidate into another one which is a big play but I just didn't need to go that hard that early with a vulnerable Character.

Three games in I need to keep working on my Character positioning. This game Abaddon was in the right spot all game, although I think I need to Advance him more and use him to scare people off. The Chaos Lord was a bit all over the place but he moved to a fighter role this time, not a support role. I'll likely go back to my Ork deployment against most armies where the Characters are 1-2 rows back from the Cultists so they're still screened but they can move up-field quickly.

As far as time goes, since people are frankly talking shit about this army in a tournament setting, we got through the game in two hours with me not having full movement trays and a lot of casual talking. If this was a timed environment I think we have an hour left easily in the round, maybe a tad more. That was also with Eric helping me move no models and roll no dice. The only thing we cut short was me shooting Lemartes. As I've said many times, the clock is not an issue if you know what to do.

I continue to love this army and see myself grow with it. I have an RTT coming up in ~2 Weeks so I'm hoping to get in game shape for that and take 1st Place, I feel good about playing against all the local meta threats. We'll see how it goes though and I hope to play another game this weekend, maybe against something that's more of a hard counter if I can find it.