Enemies. We need them. If there's anything we need, it's enemies. Thank God for enemies.
Luckily for me, I have plenty of those, and they're lining up to face me.
On a serious note, General Chris, the man in red, is my opponent for today. He was playing his Flesh Tearers, quite a nice army and well commanded, I must say.
His list was something along the lines of two jump assault squads with dual melta, and SS/LC/MB on the sergeants, two small de-packed assault squads in A.C. Razorbacks, one dakka baal predator, one burny baal predator, one dev squad with lascannons, one with missile launchers, a furioso dreadnought with blood talons in a drop pod, a sanguinary priest with a jump pack, and a captain with pair of lightning claws, meltabombs, and a jump pack. Oh, and a vindicator.
My list was something fairly new for me, besides the dual heldrakes. A tzeentch sorcerer, M.L. 2 with doombolt and smite, Kharn the Betrayer, a squad of 9 bezerkers in a dirge caster rhino with meltabombs, gift of mutation, and an icon of wrath, a squad of 9 thousand sons with meltabombs, gift of mutation, and an icon of flame in a rhino, and two 10-man squads of slaanesh marked marines with meltagun, plasmagun, gift of mutation, icon of excess, and veterans of the long war in rhinos, and two maulerfiends.
Terrain density came out pretty high, and I deployed to have cover and block LoS to my maulerfiends on turn one.Purge the Alien and Dawn of War, rough stuff for a late game army vs. an elite late game army.
His deployment after winning the roll-off.
My counter-deployment, followed by a failed attempt to seize.
On with turn 1. He jumped up very aggressively and shot a lot of shots, dropping the dreadnought next to Kharn and his boys, and taking as many shots as he could on the maulerfiends. In the end, his first blood came from rhino kills, and the maulerfiends survived unscathed in any way.
My response was to terminate threats and push right back at him, perhaps too aggressive of a move for this early in the game, but I felt pressured but all of his dakka and speed. The Maulerfiends shattered the ruins that had protected them and moved into assault range of the vindicator and baal predator, while Kharn and the bezerkers disembarked to brazenly take a charge or launch one on turn 2. The slaanesh marines on the left moved to within 6" of the flame baal predator, while the ones on the right closed in on the thirsty furioso. Both of them failed to do anything other than stun each vehicle, however, and I gleefully initiated charges with the maulerfiends. The vindicator blew up, and the predator wrecked, both crumbling beneath the power of my daemon engines.
His turn 2 saw his assault marines come out to play as he throws everything he has to shoot into the maulerfiends, and he actually accomplishes very little, as he eventually had to charge them both and destroy them with meltabombs.
My turn 2 saw no heldrakes arrive, and both of my maulerfiends destroyed. Worse stille, a furioso blood talon dreadnought was in my deployment zone, and I had deadly choices I was forced to make, several of which came out fairly wrong. Kharn and the bezerkers squeezed between the dreadnought and drop pod to set up a charge against the assault marines, whilst the sorcerer and his cabal disembark to unleash hell on nearby armour. The slaanesh marines on the right get within an inch of the captain and his squad, preparing for a charge. Kharn succesfully charges, and the bezerker sergeant declares a challenge, which is accepted, and the two characters kill each other. The marines flee and Kharn consolidates, unscathed. The Slaaneshi marines charge the captain and his squad, declaring a challenge and hoping for the combination of hatred and I5 to pull them through. Not enough, unfortunately, but the icon survives and keeps them alive. The other Slaaneshi marines charge the furioso, hoping to lock him up and prevent a charge, but lose 5 of their squad and run, feel no pain doing very little to help them survive the blood talons.
His turn 3 was filled with blood maneuvers and more harmless shooting. His dreadnought launcher a charge on Kharn's squad, and Kharn responded by annihilating the dreadnought before he could swing. Thank the Gods for armourbane.
The Slaanesh marines stuck in combat for a very long time, surviving round after round, if only barely, and the assault squad and sanguinary priest manage to charge Kharn again and fail and run, again.
The heldrakes showed up on turn 3 and nearly wiped out both dev squads and vector striking armour to no avail. My turn 3 saw Kharn charge into combat with the captain, winning a challenge, and gaining I6, though I finally lost my bezerkers and slaaneshi marines all at once.
His turns became uneventful, as his 4 saw nothing but combat, and my 4 saw his devs removed.
Kharn challenged the captain and managed to wound him 5 times over an entire game turn, and the captain consistantly made his rerolled invulnerables, while Kharn failed all of his. At this moment I knew I had lost the game, as losing Kharn and giving away slay the warlord was too much to sacrifice without having achieved it myself yet.
For the rest of the game, heldrakes hovered and devastated his assault squads, though both immobilized in my turns 4 and 5, and were assaulted by meltabomb wielding characters. They each managed to pick off a few marines, but one eventually crashed, just before the game ended on 5. I had 10 victory points, he had 12.
This game was very tough, and I had a great time. I think the high points I've learned from this battle are:
-Don't underestimate cultists. They are a cheap and tactically useful unit for troops, giving you more points to spread out.
-Maulerfiends are also wonderful, provided you can keep them safe until they make their charge.
-CSM does assault much better than the previous book, imo, and my list tweaking will see cultists introduced to this list, as well as a land raider for Kharn(Or a chaos lord of my own) and his bezerkers.
Still having a hard time making CSM by themselves a competitive army, but I definitely feel closer with every game. I'm going to be looking into more chaos undivided army builds, and see what comes up next time. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.