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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brief Battle Report: Daemons versus Grey Knights

Hey there everybody! Apparently, Spring has sprung, but the weather is still too darn cold and nasty. I would love to be able to open my window to the spring air and get some painting done. Well, I have been painting, but I'd like it to be nicer out.

Ahem. Anyway, I had a battle last week with the new Chaos Daemons. As nature intended, my Daemons went up against the Grey Knights. Now, my Daemon force is missing many things, as it was never my primary focus (no Steeds of Slaanesh, no Flesh hounds, etc). I also haven't picked up anything from the new release except for 3 Plague Drones (I prefer the term Rot Flies) and the Nurgle Herald (wicked model, by the way). Thus, my choices are more limited than what I'm used to.

I took a Great Unclean One (We call him "Jimmy"), and 1 Nurgle Herald, 1 Khorne Herald, Skulltaker, and Epidemus. I took 2 squads of 10 Plaguebearers, 2 squads of 10 Bloodletters, a squad of 5 Bloodcrushers (the metal ones), a squad of 10 Blue Horrors, and a squad of 5 Screamers. I gave all the troops banners and instruments. The GUO had 2 Nurgle powers (one was the Primaris). I took the various Loci (FNP is a MUST for a Nurgle Herald). I had some good greater gift rolls, too.

The mission was The Relic (which was placed at the center, right near the "Tower of Nurgle", which was built and painted by my friend Pete). The deployment called for us to go on opposite short edges. I decided to keep my GUO in reserve, and have him deep strike later. My plan was simple. Everyone knows that PB hold objectives and Bloodletters get into close combat. I decided to reverse that- I advanced both up at the same time, planning on the PBs to be the tar pit from hell, while the BL grabbed the relic and ran. Thus, my brother worried that the Bloodletters would get into his men, and, seeing them as the true threat, focused more on their movements.

I won't get into this move for move, as I have in the past. This game was a bit of a "trial run" for me, in terms of the new Daemon Codex and new rules. So, for now, I just want to give you the highlights of the battle in terms of how the new rules impacted me. As an aside, I found it very useful to have the Codex on iPad- if you have a question about a rule, just hit it and it appears. This really saved a lot of time flipping through the book, so again I was pleased with the purchase.

As for the new rules, I really dig the new Codex. It has just the right amount of strength and weakness, and the randomness is just enough- you are playing the army, it is clearly not playing you, which was a concern. For example, I thought the I would hate the Warpstorm Chart- but I didn't. I mostly rolled 7 (nothing happens), and the few times I rolled something else, I used the instrument re-roll to avoid it (except once, when Rot killed 2 Blue Horrors). The Grey Knights didn't lose anybody to it (this time). The only thing is you have to remember to do it in your shooting phase (its an odd addition and I forgot it for one turn).

The troops each have their roles, and I learned a bit about the utility of each unit. Let's look:

Khorne- Bloodletters are good in close combat, no doubt. But, they have their limits. First, never have them charge Terminators. Their Hellbalde is only AP 3- thus, Terminators get their 2+ save. I made that mistake when I sent 1 squad against Termies- he just kept rolling those 2+ saves. My Bloodletters would have been more effective against his Marines instead. The Bloodcrushers are a bit pricey, but they have speed, toughness, and a bunch of attacks (next time, I'll take a herald for them). They are great on the charge. Also, if they have a banner, you can use them to race in, and then drop Khorne daemons from their banner with no scatter. Ironically, Skulltaker never got into combat (he was in the unit sneakily going for the objective), so I can't attest to his utility. Yet.

Plaguebearers are really good. Yes, they are  T4 (they had been T5, but consider that the other Daemon troops are all T3), but their poisoned weapons are great (I didn't get to use Touch of Rust- but that will help at some point against vehicles). They will be fine at holding, but they are effective tar pits as well, tying up the Marines, a squad of Termies and, best of all the Dreadknight himself. My only recommendation is to take a Herald with FNP- it really makes them a total pain in the ass to get rid of. I wasn't thrilled with Epidemus- he was strong, but I didn't like his locus power- FNP would be better, I think. The GUO is a force to be reckoned with- his high T and wounds make him a powerhouse. My problem with him is that I rolled poorly with him in combat- some of my worst rolls to date- repeatedly, so next time I hope that the dice favor him a bit more.

Tzeentch is a mixed bag. The Screamers are not as strong as they were in that WD pamphlet (was GW trying to sell more of them, or were they testing rules that turned out to be too powerful? I'm not sure). However, they still managed to take out the Dreadnought, and then I moved them deep into the enemy deployment zone, thus ensuring that I would get Line breaker. The Horrors- I'm still trying to figure them out. Do they each get to roll for their psychic power? Do they each get 2D6 shots, or is it 2D6 for the entire unit? I was a bit confused by this- it is a bit unclear in the book, I hope to find the answer.

So, what happened in the course of battle? I followed my plan pretty closely, though I was perturbed when my Bloodletters couldn't cut through those damn Terminators (the Bloodcrushers had to do it). I scored first blood by destroying the Dreadnought (good rolls for the screamers). The Grey Knights moved in response to my Bloodletters w/ Skulltaker- they fell into the trap of getting hit by my Plaguebearers instead. By turn 5, Skulltaker had the Relic, and the Grey Knights were too bogged down in disease and monotone Plaguebearers to do anything about it. Thus, the game was mine. I got the Relic, plus Linebreaker, plus First Blood. Neither got Slay the Warlord (Neither Stern nor "Jimmy" would fall).

So, I really enjoyed the game, and I think that the new Codex is really good. I am looking forward to trying new units and combinations (I have 3 Rot Flies to work on. I also need to try out my Slaanesh daemons). I also want to give Daemon Princes a go. I'd like to try the chariots, but I want clarification on the Tzeentch one before I buy- can the big flamer fire while moving or not? I am also dying to try out a Plague Marine / Plague Daemon alliance- that will be killer. (Of course, so would a Bezerker / Bloodletter army).

Its a good time to be a Chaos player folks. I hope those of you who have Chaos armies are getting out there and raising some hell.  Until next time!!


  1. Nice post! I am trying to get a Chaos army up and running myself but being late to the hobby (just started painting miniatures at the ripe old age of 38 or so about 3 years ago) I have yet to put up an actual army to game. Hope to get it done this year though. =)

    1. Glad to see that this battle report was helpful or inspiring for you. The hobby is a lot of fun, and I can tell you that I don't get to play nearly as often as I'd like. I do enjoy building, converting, and painting my forces of Chaos.

      In your previous post you said that you are building Word Bearers and Black Legion. Are you running both as one army or doing 2 separate forces (either is cool- I'm just curious)? Do you plan on using Daemons as allies? Do you have a points total in mind? Do have the "must-haves" (such as a Heldrake), or are you just going with what you like?

    2. Planning to use them as joint forces till I get enough units to field them as separate armies.

      Daemons as allies is definitely on my future must-do list though seeing my slow progress, I am determined to get a playable CSM army up first.

      Not really experienced enough (i.e. zero gaming time) to really know which units are must-haves so I am actually going with units that I bought because I thought they would be cool to paint. Sad I know. Lol

    3. That sounds good! Always buy what you want to paint, as opposed to buying things that are "battlefield effective". I have a Hell Talon for my Death Guard from Forge World (before a Heldrake was even a thought). Die-hard players would tell me to run 3 Heldrakes for my Plague Marines, as that combination wins games. Now, I bought 1 Heldrake for my Khorne Bezerkers, but I haven't bought any more for my Plague Marines- I just don't know about my forces of Decay having multiple flyers. I like the model, but I haven't been inspired to do a Nurgle conversion. Maybe at some point. Instead, I recently did a batch of the new plastic Plaguebearers and Nurglings- the models look really cool, and I enjoyed painting them.

      I saw that you read the Word Bearer's trilogy by Reynolds. Have you read First Heretic, Know No Fear, and Betrayer (in that order)? They are great stories about the Word Bearers and shed a lot of light on that legion, and the events of the Horus Heresy?

  2. Hey Prof Chaos, just reading through your blog from the beginning and enjoying all the battle reports, painting updates and movie/book reviews. The Plague Tower from this report looks fantastic, how did your friend build it? Keep up the great work and I'll keep catching up :)

    1. My friend Pete is very good with a foam cutter and a heat gun. I can't use a heat gun because I'd ignore the warning "Aim away from the face", so he has the heat gun skills.

      So basically its pink board foam that he cut and melted. Then he did some putty work for the mouth, eye, etc.

  3. Wow sounds a bit too advanced for my basic skills lol. It would look great with all the new Death Guard minis. Speaking of which, I noticed you haven't posted in a while, I thought you would be all over the Dark Imperium boxset. Hope your hobby-fu is still strong :)

    1. Yes, I am still a 40K addict. The reason I haven't posted in a bit is because I recently bought a house and my wife and I have been busy renovating, unpacking, etc. Eventually it will settle down and I can start posting regularly again. I've got some 40K things that I have been working on...