My First Game
Well, after much deliberating and waiting, I was finally able to get my first fully-fledged game in with Chaos Daemons as a primary detachment. Though I still had to use allied Chaos Space Marines to make up for my dearth of Daemon models, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the game perhaps a bit more than my opponent did. It was a bit of an odd one, to be sure; not much damage was really inflicted until the second and third turns, despite the long-range firepower available to my opponent. The mission we rolled up was the Emperor's Will - or Capture and Control, as my nostalgic side likes to call it. Each of us had a ruin, a forest and some barricades in our table half, whilst the centre was dotted with evenly-placed tank traps, a building and a third forest, meaning it was an even split regardless of what side was picked. My opponent and I both picked up relatively useless Warlord Traits; mine was the benefit to Fear, which does nothing against Space Marines, and his granted his Warlord Feel No Pain within three inches of an objective, though the battle would quite obviously become bogged down in the middle. With standard deployment, he rolled higher to see who would set up first, though he forced me to do it first. Though it provided him with the reactionary advantage, as an assault-based army, I did smile somewhat.
My Bloodthirster and Lord of Change each had two greater gifts to roll; both received an additional wound and It Will Not Die, whilst the Bloodthirster gained the functionally pointless +3 armour save and the Lord of Change got the Strength eight AP one lance weapon. Not too shabby, though what really did it for me was that the two Divination powers I took on the Lord of Change were the +4 invulnerable save-granting Blessing and the "re-rolls to hit, to wound and failed saving throws" crazy self-targeting Blessing. Good stuff on my random rolls! My deployment was pretty congested, given that his army lacked blast weapons, and I used the terrain to hide the Soul Grinder in a ruin, deploy the Rhinos to hide the advancing Bloodletters, and keep the Greater Daemons out of sight in case the Initiative was stolen. The Heldrake, naturally, sat in reserves. He set up one and a half of his Tactical Squads in the ruin with the objective, keeping the other combat squad in one of the two assault-cannon mounted Razorbacks. His two Predator Destructors (turret Autocannon and sponson Heavy Bolters) deployed on the other flank, as well as his Land Raider packed with the Honour Guard and Asterion Moloc. The initiative was not seized, and the first turn begun.
The first turn was actually quite fruitful, even though Night Fighting was in play; my Lord of Change and Bloodthirster zoomed forward, with the former destroying one of the Razorbacks with his Lance weapon through some good rolling (that +2 on the damage chart is pure gravy). The Bloodthirster ran up a bit more, whilst the Rhinos and Bloodletters advanced, the Rhinos turning on the side and popping smoke launchers to give both themselves and the hungry Khorne Daemons cover; particularly important, given that my roll on the Warp Storm Table meant all of my Daemons had -1 to their invulnerable saves! The Soul Grinder did nothing of note. My opponent moved his Predators and remaining Razorback into good firing positions, whilst his Land Raider advanced towards the midfield. The Tactical Marines would stay put, though those that had popped out of the Land Raider moved closer to the flying Bloodthirster - they would be unable to reach the higher levels of the ruin anyway, and thus were always going to be ripped apart if they weren't successful in killing the Greater Daemon of Khorne. Given that each Greater Daemon was swooping and had six wounds though, it was difficult for my opponent to do any real damage; the first volleys from the Predators knocked a wound off of the Bloodthirster, but failed to ground it, whilst some lucky +6 invulnerable save rolls kept it from suffering wounds due to a twin-linked Assault Cannon on the Razorback, as well as preventing a wound from a failed grounding test. Most of the Tactical Marines proceeded to fire at the Bloodthirster, and even with a mix of missile launchers and meltaguns, they managed only a single wound on the angry daemon. The Land Raider had better luck though, with its snap-firing heavy bolter hitting, wounding, and grounding the Lord of Change - though the re-rollable +5 invulnerable save was very handy due to both its psychic powers being cast (in fact, I never failed to cast them at any point in the game). The Land Raider's lascannons did nothing to the Soul Grinder of Nurgle, as one would expect. Turn one done and dusted.
|My dream fluffy combo! I ♥ Tzeentch!|
The third turn also saw the close of the game pretty justifiably. What little advantage my opponent had taken from destroying the Bloodletters was quickly lost; my Heldrake vector-striked the lone missile launcher-wielding Tactical Marine on the top floor of the building, and proceeded to wipe out the rest of the other unit, meaning my opponent had no Troops left. Unsurprisingly, yet another good day for the dragon. The Bloodthirster leaped towards the remaining Razorback, preparing to remove it with aplomb. The Lord of Change similarly swooped towards the pair of Predators, though it failed to do any damage from shooting; still it was in a good position to charge one or both in the next turn. My opponent had made the grave mistake of moving his honour guard unit too near to the Soul Grinder though; though I did kind of remind him that it was a Soul Grinder nearby, I think at that point he didn't care too much about the result, as he had beaten the Bloodletters and consolidated very near towards the other squad and, subsequently, the giant crab. Given that the Honour Guard were a fluffy unit based around Moloc - all of them had power spears, which looked very nice - the only weapon that could actually harm the AV 13/13/11 walker was Asterion's Spear when used as a ranged attack; one failed Overwatch shot later, and the Soul Grinder promptly charged in. My opponent called it game immediately, as he had no Troops left compared to my three (all of which were heading for his objective), the Lord of Change had its psychic powers on and thus would prove almost impossible for the Predators to gun down, the Bloodthirster would have charged and destroyed the immobile Razorback, and his big melee unit was tied up for the rest of the game in combat with a powerful Soul Grinder. That Asterion has the Fearless special rule effectively meant he could not choose to automatically fail a morale check per the 'Our Weapons are Useless' rule, guaranteeing I could ignore the entire significantly points-heavy unit for the rest of the game without reprisal. The only unit that would have survived the next turn and been able to do anything of note would have been the Land Raider, which had an unlikely possibility of gunning down the exposed Bloodlthirster, but aside from that, there was very little he could do. The final victory point tally was 2-0 in my favour, having claimed First Blood and Linebreaker.
|Pretty much. I could write an article about them.|
The Army List
I'll be honest; this army list would definitely be laughed at in a competitive environment. Basically, it was based only on the models I actually had available to me - I don't have most of the stuff I would usually otherwise take, unfortunately. Still, I think it was still nasty given the fact that it was based mostly on my preliminary Daemon forces; a Bloodthirster, a Lord of Change, a Nurgle Soul Grinder and a Heldrake in one army list basically leads to having four units your opponent really needs to get rid of, and none of them are easily removed. I would have preferred an extra Soul Grinder, but what can you do? I should note that my local store manager graciously allowed me to use the store's Bloodthirster - I wanted to test it out - and as such a big thanks has to go to him for his generosity! Overall, it isn't great, but for what I could actually sum up on the day, it wasn't bad either - at 1500 points, I should say that two flying Greater Daemons may prove too costly, though a lot of opponents will struggle immensely to deal with them;
Chaos Daemons - Primary
Chaos Space Marines - Allied
Lord of Change w/ one lesser gift, two greater gifts - 280 (Warlord)
Bloodthirster w/ two greater gifts - 290
Sorcerer - 60
Bloodletters (13) w/ bloodreaper - 135
Bloodletters (13) w/ bloodreaper - 135
Chaos Space Marines (5) w/ plasma gun, rhino - 125
Chaos Space Marines (5) w/ plasma gun, rhino - 125
Heldrake w/ baleflamer - 170
Soul Grinder of Nurgle w/ phlegm bombardment - 180
So, what are the strong points of this army list? Well, first up, it combines for a turn two three-headed flyer assault, combining the always-brutal Heldrake with two extremely dangerous Greater Daemons; all three of which are ridiculously hard to destroy. The Nurgle Soul Grinder is nasty as well, and serves as a natural fire sponge; its Phlegm Bombardment means it can really do a lot of damage from range, drawing firepower that is unlikely to even scratch it. I took bare minimum squads in Rhinos with an always useful Plasma Gun for the sole purpose of protecting the Bloodletters; the thinking is, with my other stuff drawing the fire, the Bloodletters advance behind the Rhinos and use them for line-of-sight-blocking and cover, though of course that strategy changes on the fly if my opponent does the smart thing and destroys the Rhinos and/or has lots of blast weapons. So, it isn't really a 'strength'. Now, the weaknesses of the army list? Too many points invested in four models - 920 points! - meaning the loss of any severely cripples the army. The Troops are minimal, ineffective and the Bloodletters lack a reliable means of getting into combat. No bunker units means I am forced to assault and be prone to shooting and counter-charging. The bare minimum Sorcerer with Telepathy is fine for getting to the competitive meat - the Heldrake and typically Autocannon-wielding Havocs - but eh. Lots more I could list.....again, not a great army list, and a Grey Knight player or a shooting army such as Necrons would have a field day against me. Still, I was happy with the bash, and my opponent was too from what I could gather - he's just starting out his Minotaurs too, an army which already looks and feels great from a visual and background-based perspective. Much like me, for what he's got now, it isn't bad at all.
|Sometimes I feel like they are the odd duck out..|
As for those curious as to why the Heavy Support section of the Tactica has been delayed - much like the Troops section was - it is due to a bit of a mix of personal stuff and having actually had the time to play with my expanding Chaos Daemons army. The malignant presence of Daemons has that kind of effect on people unfortunately; I am well under-way on the Tactica, however, and it should be uploaded within the next two days at the absolute latest (or Mr Jax will have my head!). I'm sorry for the delay and I hope the end product is worth the wait. Thank you for your patience throughout this series!
Thank you for reading my completely random thoughts about some recent matches of mine, and laughing at how pathetic my army is currently. If I had pictures and my opponent let me, I would have loved to show off his Minotaurs, who are looking very dashing currently. Alas, until next time. Did you like this article? Do you think it was a bit too off-key? Sound off in the comments below - we appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you again!