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Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

40k Batrep: Sons of Horus (30k) vs. White Scars (40k)

So I finally had a game with Horus and his children versus the new White Scars. Interestly enough my opponent suggested we use the Ambush mission from the Forge World book Horus Heresy Betrayal. One army is the attacker (White Scars) and the other is the defender (Sons of Horus), which is quite appropriate for the Betrayal.

Mission Rules

Deployment Map

Note that the game length is fixed at six turns and there's no Night Fight in the beginning.

Here is my army list:

Sons of Horus
Horus Warlord (Master Tactician—Redeploy one unit after both sides have deployed, just prior to the first turn)
Serpent's Scales (2+/3++ Sv)—World Breaker—Warmaster's Talon

Primus Medicae
Cataphractii terminator armor—Narthecium—Needle Pistol—Thunder Hammer

4x Justerarin
Pair of Lightning Claws—Power Fist—2x Power Axe—Combi-meltagun

Spartan Assault Tank
Armored Ceramite—Auxiliary Drive—Flare Shield—Dozer Blade

5x Terminator
Cataphractii terminator armor—Pair of Lightning Claws—Power Fist—3x Power Axe—Heavy Flamer—Combi-meltagun
•Land Raider Phobos
Armored Ceramite—Dozer Blade

5x Terminator
Cataphractii terminator armor—Thunder Hammer—4x Power Axe—Heavy Flamer—Combi-meltagun
•Land Raider Phobos
Armored Ceramite—Dozer Blade

Here is my opponent's army list:

White Scars
Khan—MoonDrakken Warlord (Warlord Trait - useless)

Chapter Master
Artificer Armor—Shield Eternal—Thunder Hammer—Bike

Chapter Master
Artificer Armor—Storm Shield—Primarch's Wrath—Bike

5x Bike
2x Grav Gun—Combi-grav gun—Meltabombs

5x Bike + Attack Bike (Multi-melta)
2x Grav Gun—Combi-grav gun—Meltabombs

5x Bike + Attack Bike (Multi-melta)
2x Grav Gun—Combi-grav gun—Meltabombs

5x Bike + Attack Bike (Multi-melta)
2x Grav Gun—Combi-grav gun—Meltabombs

5x Tactical Marine
Missile Launcher (Flakk Missiles)

5x Tactical Marine
Missile Launcher (Flakk Missiles)

5x Tactical Marine
Missile Launcher (Flakk Missiles)

5x Tactical Marine

Thunderfire Cannon

Twin-linked Assault Cannon—Twin-linked Multi-Melta

Twin-linked Assault Cannon—Twin-linked Multi-Melta


My opponent wins the roll to choose being the attacker or defender and opts to be the attacker. I win the roll to go first... here is a close up of my deployment...

The three land raiders are parked side by side dead center in the middle of the table with the Spartan in the middle.

My opponent splits his army between his two deployment zones with two bike squads on either side. Khan and the two Chapter Masters each attach separately to individual bike squads. All the bikes start the game hiding behind line of sight blocking terrain in the center of each both short table edges. He also splits his tactical squads with two on either side, all in area terrain. The Thunderfire cannon is also deployed behind line of sight blocking terrain over to my far left. The Stormravens are held in reserve. I then redeploy one land raider to the right edge of my deployment zone to push back the two bike squads on that side.

Pre Game Analysis
I was mostly concerned about all those mobile grav guns. They are the bane of my tanks should they move into range since they effectively ignore the flare shield on my Spartan... Their total effective range is 30" including the bikes' movement. My strategy is to lock them in combat as soon as possible. Worst case scenario is the enemy grav guns immobilizing two of the land raiders by the end of turn two. My opponent's bikes are a bit faster than my tanks—24" versus 18" plus where I can run ? My plan is to initially start the game focusing on one enemy flank first rather than splitting my army to go after both sides... Strength in numbers! I must tie up the bikes in melee to save my tanks. Horus can seriously tank some wounds (barring horrid dice) with the Primus Medicae, so the Warmaster has his work cut out for him... Let's see how it all plays out.

White Scars attempt to seize the initiative but fail... I breathe a short sigh of relief.

Remember there's no Night Fight the first turn.

First Turn - Sons of Horus
The land raider to my right that redeployed falls back to center of the table using its full move plus a flat out to maintain a safe distance from the grav guns on that side. The Spartan plows over to my left... Horus and his posse disembark ready to launch an assault into the bike squad with the Chapter Master sporting the Primarch's Wrath... The White Scars deployed a little too close and even with their line of sight blocking terrain a couple bikes poke out on the side.

Horus calls down an orbital bombardment on the enemy tactical squad with the lascannon... They go to ground and two survive (including the lascannon), then pass their morale check. All my lascannons and heavy bolters that can shoot all target another enemy tactical squad (they go to ground as well) to my left and reduce them to a single Marine whom also passes his morale check.

Horus leads the charge from the front and suffers one wound on the way in from enemy Overwatch. The Primus Medicae accepts the challenge from the White Scars Chapter Master (armed with the Primarch's Wrath) while Horus and the Justearins lay waste to the bikers. The bikes are destroyed for First Blood and the Chapter Master breaks fleeing off the table. Horus and his crew consolidate into area terrain turning back towards the Spartan assault tank.

First Turn - White Scars
The remaining bike squad with Khan on my left break from cover to focus fire on Horus, the Primus Medicae and Justaerins while both bike squads to my right move and then turbo boost towards my tanks, using the central piece of terrain to block my line of sight. The Thunderfire cannon targets Horus and his posse but fails to get past their high armor. Khan and his biker posse unload into the squad rolling poorly to hit with their grav guns. Horus Look Out Sirs the salvo and two Justearin drop. The White Scars then charge in... Again the Primus Medicae accepts the challenge (from the biker sergeant). In the aftermath I suffer no wounds—the Khan and two bikers (both armed with grav guns) break and just miss hitting their table edge by a few inches.

Second Turn - Sons of Horus
Horus and his crew re embark into the Spartan - Khan and his two bikers are far enough away due to their long fall back that I don't want to risk failing the charge plus the enemy Stormravens could both arrive this turn—that's potential for a fair amount of armor ignoring enemy shooting. One Phobos patterned Land Raider carrying a squad of terminators hauls ass over towards Khan and they dismount, ready to shoot and charge. My tanks all move back towards my left attempting to maintain a safe distance from the approaching grav guns from my right. Shooting whittles down another enemy tactical squad to my left and they also break off the table. The terminators then charge, losing one to enemy Overwatch... Khan dispatches the sergeant with ease while the terminators snuff the two bikers. Khan then locks in.

Second Turn - White Scars
One Stormraven arrives from reserve coming in to fire at the side armor of the Spartan. The two bike squads with the remaining Chapter Master (Shield Eternal and thunder hammer) swing around the central terrain to target the Spartan with their grav guns. One shot gets through but fortunately the auxiliary drive successfully kicks in and re mobilizes the big tank. The lone tactical Marine armed with the lascannon tries a Hail Mary but bounces off the closest land raider. The Stormraven then unloads and drops another hull point from the Spartan. Khan drops another terminator in melee, they whiff but pass their break test.

Third Turn - Sons of Horus
The Spartan trundles forward towards the bikes... Horus and his posse dismount ready to charge the closest squad which has the other Chapter Master attached. The Spartan and one land raider both target the Stormraven, dropping one hull point. The other land raider targets the lone tactical Marine with the lascannon, whom goes to ground and passes all his cover saves... Drat !! Horus fires his uber combi bolter, dropping one biker then charges in with his posse. Enemy Overwatch fails to inflict any wounds. The Chapter Master issues a challenge which is accepted by Horus (swinging the World Breaker)... Horus inflicts one wound, takes none in return due to his Serpent Scales (3++) while the Primus Medicae and the last of the Justearin finish off the bikers with ease. The Chapter Master passes his break check and they lock. Khan then drops the two remaining terminators and consolidates towards the brawl.

Third Turn - White Scars
The second Stormraven arrives from reserve. The first Stormraven drops into hover mode so they can both shoot at side armor on the Spartan. Khan joins the remaining bike squad and they move around the brawl to also target the Spartan... They genuflect on the immediate situation, changing their minds and decide to charge into the brawl. The grav guns fail to inflict any damage but the flyers drop another hull point—the Spartan is down to its last two hull points. Horus and the Chapter Master trade blows again... Horus takes no wounds while dropping the Chapter Master down to his final wound. Khan dispatches the last of the Justearins and the Primus Medicae finishes off the two bikers. The two Imperial commanders then both pass their break tests.

Fourth Turn - Sons of Horus
The Spartan and two land raiders pivot in place to target the Stormravens, destroying the first one (hovering) and two glances get through the second one. The Khan is unable to wound the Primus Medicae and Horus dispatches the Chapter Master again taking no wounds in return. Horus also passes his IWND and regains his one lost wound. The Primus Medicae drops one wound on the Khan who foolishly passes his break test.

Fourth Turn - White Scars
The remaining Stormraven drops into hover mode, targeting side armor on the Spartan and drops one more hull point... Down to its last one now. Horus then snuffs the Khan and we call it there.

Post Game Analysis
I had left the following:

Horus (full wounds)
Primus Medicae (full wounds)
Terminator squad
Spartan (one hull point)
Both land raiders intact

The Sons of Horus dished out more than their fair share of punishment but there was not much left... Not that there was really that much to begin with honestly. It's a low model count army primarily designed to field Horus, whom was a true blast to play and totally lived up to his legend, taking out two of the enemy HQ. My battle plan came through but I think if we were to play again my opponent would probably better protect his bikes and use H&R. Grav weapons are the bane of both my Spartan and land raiders... I got lucky with the auxiliary drive which could have been a game changer had the Spartan been immobilized.

So in conclusion this is definitely a fun army to play but I'm not sure how competitive it truly is against the better 40k armies out there. It was just a friendly game though, which it was and lots of fun to play. I thoroughly enjoyed the mission as it was a good alternative to what I typically play.

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