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Friday, October 12, 2012

1st Battle With The New Chaos Codex!!

Hey there everyone! It's certainly been exciting times at the old Chaos ponderosa- I've been reading and re-reading the new Chaos Codex, cross-referencing with the 6th edition book, writing down key rules, studying the new options, etc. Whew!

Ohhh!! Shinny!
Now, some people are already pronouncing the Chaos Codex to be a wonderful triumph or an unmitigated disaster. I am certainly leaning toward the former, in terms of the book's presentation. The artwork is simply amazing- full color, with lots of new art- all of which is stunning. The fluff is solid (though not spectacular- I wish there was a bit more here). The layout and format is excellent, plus there's good sample models and paint schemes, etc. It is a quality product , no doubt.

The real question for any Codex though is the rules- how will these guys play on the field? That is the million dollar question. But one can't just read the book and few times and Bam! pass judgement on the rules themselves- you need to play a few matches in order to even begin to have a basis to formulate such conclusions. Luckily for me, I managed to get in a game this week using the new book.

My new Desert/Wasteland gaming boards
 However, there is an additional wrinkle for me. As my readers are aware, I was very ill this summer, requiring surgery and a slow recovery. The fact is I haven't even played that many 6th edition games- three, as it turns out. So, not only am I learning the new Chaos rules, I am also still getting the hang of the 6th rules in general- yes, much of it is the same, but so much has been changed or even slightly altered. Flyers, Monstrous Creatures, Charge Rolls, and much more... Hehe! That's a lot to learn- but hey- that's part of the fun.

Another perspective on my board
We decided to use the new desert/wasteland battle surface that I created- I will post an article on how I made it after this article- I promise. I found something quick and easy, and I want to tell you about it, as I'm very excited over it. At any rate, though I have the new boards, I don't have much "desert style" terrain, so my brother and I decided to  keep the terrain sparse, quite befitting of a desert wasteland deal.

My old bone bridge- plus an objective marker
I used a couple of bunkers, my Chaos Shrine (which fits in with any style of terrain, it is Chaos after all), the Chaos ruins (painted a desert color, funny enough), and my old bone bridge. I also had two old pillars from armorcast that I painted a while ago. So, while there wasn't a ton of terrain, it actually made of a very interesting battle, while still looking like an empty desert.

They're baaaaaacck!!
 So, my brother and I played a 1900 point game- Grey Knights up against my Death Guard Plague Marine army. So, what did I take? Hahaha- I've been waiting ages to play with my Plague Zombies again- so of course I played with Typhus as my HQ- bringing with him 2 squads of 30 zombies apiece. I also had 2 squads of Plague Marines (1 Rhino, 1 Land Raider). I decided to go a bit more mechanized than usual (wanting to try out the vehicles rules)- the aforementioned Land Raider, a Vindicator, a Predator (Twin Las and two Heavy Bolters), and a Heldrake (for which I used my FW Hell Talon). I also took a "Hellbrute" (Dreadnought) with a Las and Missile Launcher (my Dreads never get into close combat). Finally, I took a Sorcerer at Mastery Level 2.

This sucker is huge!!
My brother, meanwhile, took a Nemesis Dreadknight, Captain Stern, 3 squads of terminators, 2 squads of regular Grey Knight marines, and a Land Raider and dreadnought of his own. Now, he doesn't have enough Grey Knights, so he used some of my Ultramarines as stand-ins, which was fine by me. We were now ready to throw down...

Bwaiins!! Bwaiins!!
So, first we rolled for mission- we got the first one, Crusade, with a Dawn of War deployment. We rolled 5 random/unknown objectives and placed them. My Warlord trait was already a given with Typhus, while my brother rolled Master of Offense. For who goes first, I won that roll, so I decided to deploy first (thus going first). I placed my Death Guard out on the table, and then my brother placed his Grey Knights on the other end. Then, I rolled both for psychic powers and on the boon table (I had taken mutation for both my Plague Marine squad champions and Sorcerer. 30 points- wanted to see how it would happen). For psychic powers, Both Typhus and the Sorcerer rolled 6- this meant they had the Wind of Nurgle (large blast). For Typhus I chose the primaris power Flame Breath, and my Sorcerer chose the power Smite. As for the boons- hahahah!  Nurgle must be mad since I haven't played with the Death Guard in a bit- for my champions, both rolled a 16- no gift granted. Shucks!! My Sorcerer meanwhile rolled a 36- giving his power sword the fleshbane ability- that's not too shabby at all.

The forces of Nurgle, Lord of Decay!
So, to start with, I moved one group of zombies to claim the objective at the foot of the bone bridge- I figured my brother would try for that with his oncoming Dreadknight, but even he would be hard pressed to remove 30 zombies from there. The second objective near me was the one on the roof of the bunker- the second squad of zombies was near there- but 30 can't possibly fit in that bunker, so I sent them forwards instead. I moved the Rhino up 6", and I moved the Predator and Dreadnought up to the wall of the Chaos shrine for protection (the Pred could then have view through the open side as the GKs came through). Then, my Vindicator fired a blast at the Dreadknight, doing no damage- yep, the slap fight had begun there. Finally, my Land Raider shot and killed one terminator. In the GK half, the Grey Knights claimed their first objective. The Dreadknight fired at my Vindicator, the blast drifting off the table. His Land Raider shot my Rhino- immobilizing it. All his troops moved forward, though he let Stern hang back for an unknown reason.

"When there's no more room in the Warp, the dead will walk the galaxy"
So, turn 2, I rolled to have my Heldrake come in- I rolled a 1. Crap- I hoped I didn't waste points on that guy. My 2nd group of zombies continued their advance toward the third objective. My Death Guard squad and Sorcerer got out of the Rhino and moved to the bunker objective. My Dread climbed the rock side to stand on top of the Shrine. My Predator, Dreadnought, and Land Raider fired at the 2 advancing Terminator squads beginning to go through the narrow pass on the Shrine's side. The Vindicator moved toward the bone bridge, firing at the Dreadknight and causing a wound. In the Grey Knight half, his Dreadknight advanced along with a GK squad, and he again hit my Vindicator, but failed to get even a glance. His terminators took shots at my 2nd zombies- as did his Land Raider, and I lost a bunch, but 30 fearless is a lot to get through.

Typhus thought the battle would be decided on the flanks, not the Shrine. The Grey Knights begged to differ.
Now, turn 3- the game was going well, a slog match befitting the Death Guard, but I knew I'd need something to shake it up- and I thought that may happen as I rolled a 3 and the Heldrake came in. As I understand it- the flyer comes in as a reserve, unable to act- I think. If anyone wishes to clarify for me, I'd appreciate it. At any rate, I now had everything I needed to put on the full court press. My Plague Marines moved to the bunker, claiming the second objective. My vindicator moved onto the bone bridge, firing at the oncoming GK squad, causing a few casualties. My Land Raider  fired at his LR, causing 2 Hull Points of damage, while my Predator fired at the second Terminator squad, killing two more. My dreadnought began a slap-fight exchange with the oncoming GK dreadnought- no damage (bad rolls). Now, my 2nd zombies charged into the one terminator squad (rolling an 11 charge- whoa!!), killing them all (that many rolls means a few ones will be rolled- a matter of probability). First Blood went to me and my zombie horde, who could attack the other Termies and claim the nearby 3rd objective by then.

The Terminator is overwhelmed by undead Imperail citizens- the very people he has sworn to protect!
I was now ahead, 3 to 1 in victory points. However, in his phase I was going to pay. He moved his Dreadknight to attack my Vindicator. All he managed to do was Immobilize, but that meant he would hammer me the next turn and I couldn't escape. His Dreadnought now moved with his GK squad toward the Shrine- he was certainly going to be able to claim that unless my own Dread could stop them. His other Termie squad moved away from the zombies toward the Land Raider and 3rd objective, firing at the zombies in futile defiance. My brother did something rash, firing his LR at my LR, blowing off a sponson Las. Yep- he wanted revenge.
The Heldrake takes aim
Turn 4- I moved my 2nd zombies within striking range of both the other terminator squad and the 3rd objective. My sorcerer left the bunker squad and moved alone toward the Shrine- those GKs were going to get there, and he'd be the one to stop them. Meanwhile, my other squad, along with Typhus, got out of the Land Raider and moved toward the Shrine and bone bridge- my plan was to destroy the GK with the PMs and Sorcerer, while Typhus would go and challenge the Dreadknight. That would be a combat. My Dread fired at the oncoming GK squad, killing one, while my LR and Pred exchanged shots with the GK LR, taking another Hull Point. As for my Heldrake, I made a less than 90 degree pivot, then moved it 24"- over the GK squad near the shrine, and facing the other GK squad sitting on the objective in his deployment zone. I did a Vector Strike on the one squad (killing 1), while shooting at the babysitters, killing 2- it was then that I realized that this flyer business was pretty cool after all. Hehe!! Finally, I moved my zombies to attack the other terminator squad, rolling a 7" charge- and again they killed the last of the termies. This left the zombies in control of the 3rd objective, but in front of the guns of the GK LR. Vengeance would be his...

The Grey Knights advance towards the accursed Shrine


Typhus prepares to meet the Dreadknight head-on
The Grey Knights countered hard. The GK arrived on top of the shrine, while their Dreadnought charged mine- and neither of us had close combat weapons, so now it was a close quarters slap fight. Ugh- Strength 6 against 12 Armor and no power fists- you do the math. His Dreadknight destroyed my vindicator, and now he could move past the bridge toward my 1st zombies and their objective. Finally, his LR fired at the 2nd zombie squad, taking out a bunch- but there was still more than 10 left.

Turn 5 was make or brake- I had more objectives (3 to 2, plus 1 VP for FB), but the GK were now in range to take two objectives away, if I wasn't careful. I needed to get the Shrine objective out of his hands. I advanced the Plague Marines away from Typhus and toward the shrine. Typhus began the climb to the bridge to confront the Dreadknight. Meanwhile, the LR and Pred fired at the GK LR, but I rolled lousy that time. As for my Heldrake, and this is my own fault- I flew him around and did nothing, as I had misread the rules and didn't realize that I could have had him hover. My own fault, but I won't repeat that mistake in the next game... Anyways, my Sorcerer was closing in on the Shrine, and i was getting ready to use his psychic powers.

The Plague Marines march around the Dreadnoughts' slap fight

My erstwhile brother continued his counterattack. His Dreadknight's blast torched a whole bunch of my 1st zombies, but there were still a ton left. The two dreads continued to duke it out, with on one landing a good blow- I got a HP out of him, and that's it. His LR continued to try to decimate the zombies- there were only a handful left, which he could kill off in the bottom of the 6th if he landed all his shots, and I'd lose that objective.

Now it was 6th- final round. I advanced Typhus on the bridge near the Dreadknight, while my Plague Marines and Sorcerer were in range to shoot the GK on the Shrine objective (but too damn far away to grab it in time). It was now or never- my sorcerer used his Plague Wind on the GK squad- it worked, killing them all, as a matter of fact. Excellent indeed. I got him off an objective. Then, Typhus was about to use the same power on the Dreadknight aaannnddd--- rolled a snake eyes!! What!?! That means he took a wound, and then he missed anyways! I can't believe he had that rotten luck.

Typhus was injured (and slightly embarrassed), but won the battle for the glory of Grandfather Nurgle
As for the last phase, the my brother actually resisted taking a shot at Typhus and instead fired with his Dreadkinght again at the zombies, actually breaking their squad coherency with his huge (and well placed) blast. Meanwhile, his LR killed off the last of the 2nd zombies (I knew he would), denying me the objective there too. At this point, the game concluded. As it stood, I had 1 objective (PMs at the bunker), and I had 1 VP for "First Blood". My brother had only 1 objective (in his deployment zone), thus, the Plague Marines won the game. It was a ton of fun, and it got gut-wrenchingly close at the end. There were good rolls, bad rolls, and Typhus whiffed, and I totally messed up on the flyer rules (I kept it moving fast, rather than put it in hover and still shoot), but it was a blast to play. I think, a few more games under my belt, and I'll be totally comfortable with 6th. Meanwhile, I am liking the new Chaos Codex, but there's still a lot to try out, and after this, I can't wait to do so!!

Until next time... 

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