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Monday, April 22, 2013

Battle Report: Dawn of the Dead!

Welcome back to another edition of Chaos Corner- your favorite place for Warhammer 40K goodness. I've got a battle report for you- I'll keep it brief. I fought my Grey Knight opponent once again. My others of my gaming group have had some things going on in their lives (marriages and such), so we haven't gotten a chance to play as much. That should change by the summer, if the new Eldar codex rumors are true. I'll also have time to play at my local store once the summer comes.

Deamons and Chaos Marines fighting together- as nature intended!
At any rate, my brother decided to play his Grey Knights once again (one day, he'll go back to Imperial Guard). It was his usual list. As for me, I decided to go for a Chaos alliance- Plague Marines and Nurgle Daemons. I've been excited by this possibility for a while, and I was very anxious to try it out.

The Dead Will Walk The Earth
I had Typhus as my leader, plus I took a Dark Apostle as HQ choices. I took 2 squads of 30 zombies apiece (One squad for Typhus and the other for the Apostle). In addition, I had a squad of 7 Plague Marines (with 2 Meltas) in a Rhino equipped with Dirge Casters. These forces were backed up by a Predator with Twin Lascannon turret and sponson Heavy Bolters. The Daemon contingent had 2 squads of 14 Plaguebearers and a Great Unclean One, who was waiting in the Warp, just waiting to deep strike into the carnage.

My brother then surprised me by suggesting that we play one of the missions that I posted here- the Dawn of The Dead mission, since I already was taking zombies. I was thrilled to try out one of my crafted missions, so I agreed (see the Dawn of the Dead mission in my post New Battle Missions). We set up the table, as per the deployment I described in that mission. He had the bottom quarter, and I had the other 3. We had to be at least 6" away from the boundary. My mission was to wipe out his troop choices in 6 turns (his 10 Marines and 2 squads of 5 Terminators apiece- 20 men I had to eat or kill). His mission was to keep them alive until dawn (or turn 6).

I had a serious placement problem...
 I made a stupid mistake at the outset. I placed my Plaguebearers first, with my zombies further back. This was stupid placement on my part, especially since my "Dawn of The Dead" roll gave all zombies +1A!! My thoughts were that the Daemons would get in there and hurt the Grey Knights, but not kill them. Then, the zombies would move on in, cleaning up the job. My Plague Marines and Predator would provide the fire support. A good plan, but as I said, I placed the zombies a bit too far back. It took them way too long to move up the field. Once they got close, the battle was already over.

My Brother always plays great defensive campaigns...
 Of course, I once again underestimated my brother's ability to play defensively. He has always been very good at such scenarios- basically he adopts a "Come and get me attitude" toward playing in defense- and he is damn good at it- withdrawing rather than advancing- making me do the work of getting to him. In this mission, he hid his troops in a series of manufactorum ruins. Thus, his Marines and Terminators got a 4+ cover save- I literally had to go to him, and he made me pay for every inch.

I bet that was expensive!
The game started off well (deceptively) for me. My Plaguebearers charged his Land Raider, and using Touch of Rust, they managed to score 4(!!) glancing hits- thus his Land Raider was a wreck. My brother was unpreturbed though. In his turn, his Dreadnought turned the corner and laid waste to most of the Plaguebearers that wrecked the LR. His Grey Knight Terminators opened fire on the zombie squad coming from the ruins- A lot of casualties. Stupidly, I decided to put them back into cover to await my Plague Marines to arrive via Rhino- 2 Meltas would put a good whomping on them, allowing the zombies to move forward- but that wouldn't be until turn 3 at the earliest.

What possessed me to HIDE the zombies!?!

My Great Unclean One- affectionately known as "Jimmy"...
In my second turn, my Great Unclean One appeared near the second Plaguebearer squad (thanks to the Icon no scattering) though he was nearing the Dreadknight. Typhus' zombies moved upfield, while the Apostle's took cover. My Predator shot at the Dreadknight, but missed (twice with Twin Linked!!). My Plaguebears began to move toward the Dreadnought, and my Rhino advanced behind them. In his turn, he moved the Dreadknight toward me, but still a bit to far for him to charge. His Dreadnought and Terminators shot the Plaguebearers, but just a few still clung to life.

The Great Unclean One is  to open for business- and business is good!
The Death Guard are about to unleash strong fire discipline on the Grey Knights
Top of turn 3, I move my Predator to get a better shot at the troops in the manufactorum. I shot using snap shots, killing one. I moved the Apostle's zombies out of cover again, knowing that the Rhino was drawing near. It pulled up, and the Death Guard deployed. They put good fire discipline on the Terminators at the top of the factory, killing 1.  One squad of Plagueberers advanced down the street, while the other squad charged the Dreadknight- I used their Plaguebanner, thus allowing them to hit in 2+. My brother took 1 wound. Then I threw in the GUO- my Daemon lost a hit point but passed his Ld. The Dreadknight took another wound. For the Grey Knight turn, my brother's dreadnought killed off the one squad of Plaguebearers, and took some shots at the zombies, since my Rhino provided a good screen. In the Grey Knight's 3rd turn, he shot at my Death Guard, killing one. The Dreadnought had no choice but to shoot at the zombies- killing a score more. Finally, his Dreadknight succumbed to my Great Unclean One- plus several of the Plaguebearers were alive to fight on.

It's going to be tough to get them out of their positions...
At my turn 4- I tried to put on the full court press- I advanced my GUO and Plaguebearers toward the Marines in the factory- and the 2nd squad of terminators just under the walkway. My Typhus zombies advanced (but they were just too damn far away). My Death Guard shot at the terminators on the walkway, killing all but one, who was on the other side of the walkway (hidden from view, which would haunt me later). Meanwhile, my Predator finally got into the fight, killing a few more Marines on the other walkway. In his phase, his Dreadnought continued to shoot at my zombies, killing another handful. His marines on the lower walkway shot at my GUO- that much storm bolter and psilencer fire is a bit too much- my GUO lost 2 wounds!! His Terminators on the ground also took a few shots, and the GUO lost another wound.

The Death Guard advance through the ruins to get at the other Terminators.

The zombies were just too far away to make a difference.
 By turn 5, I realized that my zombies just weren't going to make it in time. I needed my Death Gaurd and the Great Unclean One to get in there and take out the rest of his men. The GUO used his primaris power, killing all but one of the Marines on the lower walkway. The Predator then finished the job. My Dark Apostle broke from the zombie squad and charged the Dreadnought, hoping to score 6s. He did not. But neither did the Dread hurt him (both arms were shooting arms). The Death Guard were making their way to through the ruins to get to the ground level Terminator squad. They technically were not behind cover, so in turn 6 I could use the Meltas and hopefully make him fail those saves.

I just couldn't get to him...
Decision time- Turn 6. This would be the game. I had my GUO jump up to the lower platform and used his Primaris Power on the lone Terminator who was hiding at the top with Captain Stern. The Primaris power hit, but he rolled his invulnerable save. Damn. Technically, the game was over right there. My Death Guard fired at the terminators, only killing one. The zombies were nearing, but they were just too far off- if only I had one more turn! Alas, I did not, and my brother won.

In a way, it was fitting. In the tradition of the zombie movie- the heroes faced quiet moments until all hell broke lose. When it did, many of them died; but, at the very end, there are a handful of survivors, which was was the case here. Despite my last full effort, he had 1 Terminator from one squad and 4 from the other still alive. Out of 20, 5 were left. That meant that he won. Once again, I must give kudos to my brother for fighting a great defensive campaign. He made my forces die for every inch, and ultimately I just didn't have enough time. Again, my big mistake was to put the zombies too far back- I was too conservative with them.

"I choose not to run"
Regardless of win or loss, it was a great match. There was a lot of tension, some great dice rolls, a lot of back and forth... There was a thrill about using my own mission rules- must try out the other ones I made/tweaked. The battle was a ton of fun, a classic 40K match for us. My brother gloated all weekend about his victory. When I asked him for a rematch, he said "I choose not to run"! Haha! He will though, he will... and then vengeance will be mine!!

Until next time...

3 comments:

  1. Great battle! I love the custom scenario, and I really like your 'lessons learned' (not that zombies learn terribly fast). This sounded like a blast and inspires me to try some of this myself...

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  2. Very nice report! =) Although I have yet to game and understand all the terms of the battle, your lessons learned should come in handy when I eventually build and field my Nurgle army ... muah ha ha ha ha ha!

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  3. Thanks to both of you. The custom match was really a lot of fun- both to create and to play. I'm really looking forward to trying out the others I did, and I have a few more ideas that I'm fleshing out.

    When you do create a new mission or objectives or what what have you, please post them! I'd love to see them!

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