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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Plaguewing vs. Salamanders - 2000 point batrep (pictures added)

I had a game this afternoon and decided to finally break out my Plaguewing again. I made some slight changes to my existing list which I'll note following my army list.

I'll add the pictures tomorrow. I just uploaded a new operating system on my mobile device and the blog editor is acting up. : (

Death Guard - Primary Detachment

Chaos Lord:
Mark of Nurgle, Bike, Blight Grenades, Sigil of Corruption, The Black Mace, Power Axe

Warlord Trait - Black Crusader
Warlord and Chaos Space Marine units within 12" have Preferred Enemy - Space Marines.

This used to be useless only a month ago... Now all of a sudden it is the new hotness!

Bike, Sigil of Corruption, Force Axe, Level 3 Psyker, Spell Familiar

Psychic Powers (Biomancy):
- Enfeeble
- Endurance
- Smite

Chaos Space Marine Bikers (x4):
Mark of Nurgle, 2x Plasma Gun, Power Fist

Plague Marines (x5):
2x Meltagun
Rhino - Dozer Blades, Extra Armor

Plague Marines (x5):
Meltagun, Flamer
Rhino - Dozer Blades, Extra Armor

Plague Marines (x5):
Meltagun, Flamer
Rhino - Dozer Blades, Extra Armor

Bale Flamer

Chaos Daemons - Allied Detachment

Daemon Prince:
Nurgle, Wings, Hell Forged Armor, Level 3 Psyker, 2x Greater Reward

Psychic Powers (Biomancy):
- Iron Arm
- Haemorraghe
- Life Leech

Greater Gifts:
- 4++ Feel No Pain
- Armorbane & Fleshbane

Plaguebringers (x10)

Plague Drones (x5) incl. Plaguebringer
Rot Probicius, Death's Heads, Ether Blade

I got the psychic powers I most needed - Endurance for the bikes and Iron Arm for the Daemon Prince. Enfeeble is always handy as well. The greater gifts for the Daemon Prince are really good too!

My prior 2000 point list had a squad of Obliterators which I dropped to take the Heldrake. Except for the lesser daemons the army is very mobile and totally committed to melee. The Plaguebearers always have the option to deep strike whenever beneficial. I no longer take Mark of Nurgle for the Sorcerer so he can roll for three psychic powers from the Biomancy lore... He'll be T6 attached to the biker squad due to the majority toughness anyways - one more roll for Endurance!

Here is my opponent's list to the best of my memory featuring the brand new Space Marine codex.

Salamanders - Primary Detachment


Assault Terminator (x6) incl. Veteran Sergeant:
6x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

10x Tactical Marine incl. Veteran Sergeant:
Multi-Melta & Meltagun

10x Tactical Marine incl. Veteran Sergeant:
Multi-Melta & Meltagun

10x Tactical Marine incl. Veteran Sergeant:
Missile Launcher (Flakk)

10x Tactical Marine incl. Veteran Sergeant:
Missile Launcher (Flakk)

5x Devastator incl. Veteran Sergeant:
4x Lascannon

5x Devastator incl. Veteran Sergeant:
4x Missile Launcher (Flakk)

Imperial Guard - Allied Detachment

Lord Commissar:
Power Weapon

10x Veteran

2x Leman Russ Punisher:
Punisher Cannons, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Hull Mounted Heavy Bolter


Aegis Defense Line:
Quad Gun

Mission - Purge the Alien

Deployment - Dawn of War

Night Fight

Initiative - Plaguewing

My opponent deployed his Aegis Defense Line deep in a far corner. Thank Father Nurgle the deployment wasn't Hammer & Anvil !

There was one big piece of line of sight blocking terrain in the middle of the table - thank Father Nurgle again - I'd have had no real chance to win without it there. I castled my army directly behind it, cutting off as much enemy line of sight as possible... Rhinos up front with bikers to my left and Plague Drones behind the transports. Heldrake and Plaguebearers were both held in reserve... Lesser daemons would walk onto the table behind some cover and sit this one out.

My opponent castled his entire army behind his fortification with no units held in reserve. Leman Russes to the fore with Vulkan and his terminators deployed between them. There was a multi level ruin along his table edge so he deployed his Devs up on top for excellent line of sight. Guardsmen deployed to the right of his castle to screen off his tactical Marines.

My opponent opted not to roll to seize the initiative... He couldn't really see anything and Night a Fight was in effect the first turn.

So this battle poses the classic sixth edition puzzle - Can a pure melee army beat a very shooty army? I will have to weather at least two turns of shooting before I hit the enemy line, probably three or even four due to my tactical approach. Then there is that brick of terminators with Vulkan that I'll have to deal with once I get stuck in.

A simple plan for me is to use jy2's (from Dakka Dakka Battle Reports) Maximum Threat Overdrive (MTO) principle... Bring forward all units together in two slightly staggered waves - present too many targets for the enemy to effectively shoot all of them and force bad decisions... Profit! Plague Marines are there to absorb shooting after my rhinos are popped, buying more time for the fast assault units. The three rhinos will advance together straight for the enemy line to screen the bikers and Plague Drones. The Daemon Prince will bid his time then flank over to my right and tackle one side of the Imperial castle... There are a lot of squishy Imperials all clustered together just ripe for the pickings.

The rhinos are the optimal target since they are up front but I've got the bikers, Plague Drones and Daemon Prince right behind them with solid cover from the rhinos, terrain and their special rules (Stealth and Shrouded). I'll need to move the rhinos as close as possible to the enemy line to create a shield from whence my fast melee units can launch their assaults unimpeded by terrain (i.e., bikes and beasts). The Daemon Prince can easily hop right over the Aegis Defense Line too.

I think most players don't respect what the rhino has to offer in sixth edition. It's very cheap for what it offers even with the mandatory upgrades. Being able to move an extra 6" flat out is a huge advantage now and makes it possible for my tactics to work. Sure I will most likely concede First Blood due to the rhinos but there's no way my opponent can score Line Breaker so that's a wash in this mission.

Plague Marines are an ultimate shock troop and can withstand an amazing amount of punishment - much more so than any other single wound Marine. I can make a solid case that being in cover with Feel No Pain (FNP) makes them more survivable than a terminator with a storm shield... At close range to the enemy you're looking at a 3++ to 4++ cover save with their blight grenades then they've got their 5++ FNP save. Taken in squads of five with Naked champions they are very reasonably costed too. In this game they are cannon fodder since there are no objectives to be held... They've got meltaguns to vaporize the Leman Russes so my opponent can't choose to simply ignore them.

Key Strategy
Hit the enemy line by turn three to four for a huge multi assault, charging headlong into the enemy from all open sides. My opponent has one good counter assault unit - Vulkan and his terminators... I will have to not worry about them as at most they can only tie up one unit. My Plague Drones are a great counter and are one of the ultimate tarpit units - they can easily tie down two enemy units for several turns and inflict some serious damage.

TURN 1 - Plaguewing
The rhinos pull up to the large central line of sight blocking terrain. I pop smoke on the rhino presented to the enemy due to a small hole in the wall. Bikes and Drones pull in behind them. Daemon Prince holds his ground.

TURN 1 - Salamanders
All shooting is focused on the one rhino he can see through the hole in the middle of the central ruin hiding my three transports. One of the Leman Russ uses its search light to flash it. After all the dust has settled the targeted rhino is still intact with one hull point and is mobile. That was huge for me as I'll need all three rhinos to form a good shield for my melee units.

Kill Point Tally: Death Guard - 0, Salamanders - 0

TURN 2 - Plaguewing
Only the Heldrake came in from reserve and firmly planted itself behind the large central ruin to avoid being intercepted by the enemy quad gun.

All three rhinos push forward breaking through the big center piece of terrain then flat out and turn sideways to present more cover for my second wave. I pass all of my difficult terrain checks. Bikers and Drones come in directly behind the transports for some excellent cover. The Daemon Prince still holds his ground for now hiding behind the big piece of central terrain. No shooting. The bikers turbo boost forward and Plague Drones run forward as well, both using the central ruin and rhinos for cover.

TURN 2 - Salamanders
Vulkan and his terminators move back behind their Aegis Defense Line then shooting commences. Two rhinos are wrecked and one is destroyed. Minimal losses to Death Guard (Plague Marines). It's very fortunate for me that the destroyed rhino is the one furthest away from the enemy... Therefore my shield is still largely intact.

Kill Point Tally: Death Guard - 0, Salamanders - 3
First Blood - Salamanders

TURN 3 - Plaguewing
The Plaguebearers arrive from reserve and walk on behind a wall along my long table edge to avoid being shot - they will not be a factor in this game as I wanted to avoid potentially giving up an easy kill point.

The Heldrake then makes a beeline for the enemy castle lining up a clustered squad of tactical Marines hiding behind one of the Leman Russes. The Daemon Prince swoops into a ruin just outside of the enemy castle. The bikers and Plague Drones push forward enough to still have solid cover and be pretty much assured they can charge the next turn. The Plague Marines all advance towards the castle keeping the majority of their number in cover - I am hoping one meltagun can get in range to pop a shot at one of the Leman Russes.

The Daemon Prince then casts Haemorraghe on the Guardsmen but they successfully deny the witch... Drat ! The Heldrake let's loose its bale flamer and toasts nine of the tactical Marines including the Veteran Sergeant - the lone Marine passes his morale check. The Plague Marine armed with a meltagun hits but fails to penetrate the enemy tank.

The bikers turbo boost a bit closer and the Plague Drones run up too.

TURN 3 - Salamanders
So one last final turn of shooting for the Imperials before the bloody melee commences. They are now surrounded on all open sides as planned. The guardsmen hop over the Aegis Defense Line to throw up a screen acting as the proverbial sacrificial lamb. Vulkan and his terminator retinue stride forward ready to deliver the killing blow to my forward most unit of Plague Marines. Everyone else holds still and adjusts their gun sights... They really need to make this turn of shooting count for all its worth... Heh !

The first shot fired is a Devastator manning the quad gun at BS5 due to his sergeant's signum. Two of the four shots score penetrating hits and I fail both of my invulnerable saves. The daemonic flyer explodes into a fiery ball of burning death... The ensuing explosion clips three of Vulkan's finest and the lone tactical Marine. The tactical Marine makes his armor save but two of the terminators bite the dust as sharp rocky shards penetrate the lenses of their helmets stabbing deep into their brain pans... Epic! Vulkan and the remainder of his mighty retinue then fail their break check (my opponent rolled an eleven)... Even more epic! Vulkan then decides its best to fight another day... My opponent rolls high enough for their fall back that they hit the table edge and are gone... Most epic !!!

With that my opponent then concedes the game as he has no muscle left to counter my invading forces.

Victory to the Plaguewing !!!

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