Saturday, 9 February 2019

40k Escalation Tournament - Session 3

Our 40k escalation tournament continues at a pace and we're now up to 1250pts.  Each session we add another 250pts with some rules around temporary drops and unit reconfiguration to allow advances in chunks up to 500pts.

This session I've added an additional Foetid Bloat Drone and a Myphitic Blighthauler, dropping a few points from the poxwalkers and plague marines to fit them in.

So my Death Guard force now looks like this.

Batallion (8CP) - 1248pts

Daemon Prince of Nurgle [Warlord] ("Krysler")
- Wings, Hellforged sword, Plague spewer, 
- Revoltingly resilient, Relic (Suppurating plate)
- Smite, Miasma of Pestilence

Malignant Plaguecaster ("Lastor")
Relic: Pandemic staff [1CP]
Smite, Miasma of Pestilence, Plague wind

5x Plague marines
1x Blight launcher

5x Plague marines

10x Poxwalkers

2x Foetid Bloat Drones
2x Plaguespitters

1x Myphitic Blighthauler

2x Plagueburst Crawlers
2x Plaguespitters, 1x Heavy slugger

Here's the assembled Tallyband in all its pestilent glory.

So far, I've used the poxwalkers to "bubblewrap" the plaguecaster and its worked really well.  The plague caster has barely been attacked let alone harmed in any of the games, and his pandemic staff has seen him deal out a lot of mortal wounds.  The poxwalkers are also surprisingly good - able to soak a lot of damage and deal it out in melee.

Here's the big guy himself, my flying daemon warlord.  He's performed brilliantly in every battle, screend by the bloat drones and dealing spewer damage before diving into melee himself.  Its also super-tough and hard to kill.

This upgrade I've added an additional Foetid Bloat Drone to the existing one.  Operating together with the daemon prince, I think these three will make a devastating close assault team, flying up to unleash their massed plague spray.

Stalwarts of the army, I've had two small units of plague marines.  They're in to maintain the batallion structure mainly, as I've focussed on the build and tactics around the various daemon engines I've included.  In this iteration, I've stripped them of their blightlaunchers, but these will be back in the next upgrade.  Overall I've found that my opponent targets these early on and takes out 2-3 of them, but the remaining marines stick around to annoy the enemy.  They'll get a bit of a buff with the new unit I've added (the Myphitic Blight Hauler), which spews out foul steam that provides cover to nearby infantry units.

And finally, the new kid on the block, I've recruited a Myphitic Blight Hauler.  This daemon engine prvides some much-needed anti-tank firepower, but more importantly provides some buffs to nearby friendly infantry.  In my research on their utility, someone said they're basically a heavy weapons support team for the Death Guard infantry, so I'll use it in that capacity and see how it goes.  I know these Myphitic Blight Haulers work better in a full unit of 3, but I'm limited to a 250pt upgrade, so one will have to do. 

OK, so, onto the games day!

We had mismatches so I sat out the second game, but it did mean I got to take a few more pictures so, swings and roundabouts...

Anyway, my game was a "hold the line" game with me defending three deployment objectives on against John's Blood Angel attack force.

I deployed a solid line, giving up my backfield for John's deep striking units.  I've found it difficult with my smaller army, to shut off my rear to counter this so I tend not to worry about it.  The way I've developed my Death Guard they're really just focussed on killing anything they can find, so I figured I'd let John drop in his units and kill them wherever they arrive.  I intended for everything except the plague marines/myphitic blighthauler blob to move forwards and attack.

A view down the battlefront, with me defending the open flank beyond the trenchlines.

John deployed his Blood Angels in an assault line ready to jump off and assault my hated Death Guard.  The Land Raider was carrying more tactical marines and a mix of sniper scouts and tacticals were ready to go.  the Librarian and assault marines were descending from above and would arrive at some point...

My daemon prince and daemon engines push forwards to intercept the advancing loyalist marines, while the plague marines and blight hauler held the objectives.  

Near the trenches, the tactical marines met the daemon engines in a desperate close quarter struggle, led by their Captain.

It was a brutal and desperate melee, but with the gouts of plague-filth and the savagery of Krysler the daemon prince, the marines were wiped out - or rather reduced to pitiful, festering mounds of diseased flesh and rusted wargear.

With John's reinforcments not yet deployed, the battle looked to be all but over...

But then the librarian and assault marines turned up in a bit to take the objectives from their nemesis plague marines.


Could this die be any more cocked?  I mean how is that even possible?!
 And with the ebb and flow of battle, the Blood Angels leap upon the plague marines and blight hauler, shredding the daemon engine with psychic power, bolters and chainswords.

Having dealt with the front line advance, I was therefore able to bring my forces back to counter the Blood Angels assault from the sky, and swathes of pestilent fire corroded the assaulting Angels.  More tactical marines pured out of the Land Raider, as the metal behemoth's las cannons felled a foetid bloat drone.

It was a last ditch effort from the Blood Angels, but to no avail and as the last of the tactical marines were felled and the Land Raider destroyed, the game was over and John conceded.

Another fun game.  My main new unit was the myphitic blight hauler and I must say I was underwhelmed by its performance.  I suspect they're better in the unit of three, perhaps with a character to buff their poor 4+ shooting attack.  

Anyway, here's a montage of images from the other games through the day.

Tom's super-pretty knight striding in support of his conquering Sisters of Battle

Gorgeous Drukhari!


Tau make their first appearance in our tournament.

Gribblies!  Big gribblies.  Very big and nasty gribblies...

Sunday, 27 January 2019

40k Escalation Tournament - Session 2

And so our second session came around quickly and I've updated my list to bring in some assault tanks (two Plagueburst Crawlers).

After the initial conflicts the "traitor" team is ahead in the overall score, and I'd won my first two games.

My list for this sessions was as follows:

Death Guard Battalion (8CP) - 999pts

++HQ (2 units)
Daemon prince of Nurgle with wings (Warlord) – 195 (“Krysler”)
Malefic talons, Plaguespewer
Suppurating plate Revoltingly resilient
Smite, Blades of putrefaction

Malignant plaguecaster (“Lastor”)
Pandemic staff (relic - 1CP) - 110
Smite, Plague wind, Miasma of pestilence

++Troops (3 units)
5 Plague marines 2x Blight launchers - 100
5 Plague marines 1x Blight launcher - 90
11 Poxwalkers - 66

++Fast (1 unit)
Foetid bloat drone 2x Plague spitters - 158

++Heavy (2 units)
Plagueburst crawler 2x Plague spitters & Heavy slugger - 140
Plagueburst crawler 2x Plague spitters & Heavy slugger - 140

My first battle was against an Aeldari force, the core of which were Rangers and Dark Reapers.

The mission was "Breakthrough" and as the attacker I had to assault the defended fortress and get my units off the far end.  this was going to be very tough for me, as a mostly tough but slow moving army.  It seemed a forlorn hope and that it would be very difficult to get anything off the table.  My plan therefore was to try to destroy the Aeldari, and deny them a victory by killing off their units.

The initial deployments

The Aeldari mill about preparing to take to the battlements.  the wraithlord would take position outside the gate, and the infantry took up positions in the towers and on the ramparts.

I deployed in as much cover as I could.  The plan was to bombard with the Plagueburst Crawlers, put the plague marines up to the walls as a distraction, and to get the Daemon Prince and Foetid Bloat drone in amonst the Aeldari to wipe them out.

The plan worked fairly well, and indeed most of the Aeldari were wiped out, but I just couldn't push forwards with enough force.  The battle ended with a 4pts to 1pt win for the Aeldari defenders.

Papa Nurgle wants us to sacrifice ourselves brothers!  So be it then; may His Garden grow...
 The attack goes in...

 Briefly, Aeldari banshees arrive to try to grab the outer objectives, and are quickly doused in corrupting filth by the daemon engine nearby.  They are wiped out!

The daemon prince and his copmanion bloat drone begin their blessed work butchering theyr way through the fort's defenders.

 His wet, giggling, howls ring across the battlefield as Krysler the daemon prince forces the surviving Aeldari to flee for their lives, but its not enough to prevent the loss.  The Death Guard do not break through the defender's lines.

It was a hard battle, which I was pleased to lose by so little a margin!

I think I did as much as I could to make the best of a hard scenario.

What I learned:

- The Plagueburst Crawler's mortar is a poor weapon, and its short range deathspitters are amazing (wiping out the banshees in one shot!)
- Every battle so far, my plague marines have been targetting early and reduced to 1-2 remaining in the unit, but those last two just. Don't. Die!

Game 2 was against Tom's so far all-conquering Sisters of Battle and this was a match I was looking forwards to.

We had three central objectives which would score each round, and score more if held by characters.  The Sisters had far more of those so this was going to be a tough fight for me.

I misdeployed my Plaguecaster in a defensive position in the backfield, fearing the sheer volume of bolter/melta/flamer fire the Sisters had.

Other than that things went to plan with a Plagueburst Crawler going solo on my right flank, the plague marines occupying the centre, and a strong left-flank advance with the daemon prince, bloat drone, and the other crawler...

The Sisters blocked up in the centre to gain local fire superiority and to take advantage of all their character aura buffs.  It was a good deployment and better than mine.

Celestine herself oversees her host!

On my right flank, things went as planned; I lost the plague marines, by the plagueburst crawler dominated, destroyed the sister Immolator tank and then proceeded to camp the objective here for the rest of the battle.

The Sisters dropped a large unit of Seraphim jump troops in to try to contest the flank.  Their bolt pistols and hand flamers chewed up the powwalkers milling around my Malignant plaguecaster but after their drop, the Plaguecaster's psychic power, and the plagueburst crawler's death spitters all but wiped out the flying Sisters.

All the action was on the other flank though with the main power of both armies locking horns.  Celestine was killed...twice...and the Sisters gasped in frustration as the Death Guard giggled in glee, shrugging off swathes of Righteous flame, and point blank melta fire!

Come to Papa's Embrace my children!  He has such blessed infections for you to enjoy...

The game ended, and although the Death Guard "won the fight" (there were few Sisters units remaining), the Sisters had player a better battle and won the battle, taking most of the Victory Points.

It was a good, fun game.

Things I learned:

- Keep your eyes on the objectives
- Get your deployment right
- The Death Guard really can shrug off a lot of damage 

So two wins for the first session, and two losses for this session.  

I must say I'm really enjoying Warhammer 40k.

Some shots from the other battles...

Tyranids in great host...

More 'Nids, defending the fortress from the Loyalist Astra Militarum.

The Blood Angels captain intends to personally sort out these traitorous guardsmen... 

The Traitor Guardsmen

Tyranids swarming!

The brave loyalist Astra Militarum led by Commander Pask.

The tournament standings are now as follows:

<¥> Allied Forces <¥>
Games Played: 13 Pts: 34 Average: 2.6
John - Astartes Blood angles - P:3 Pts 0 Av: 0
Matthew - Astra Militarum - P: 4 Pts: 4 Av: 1
Thomas -Sisters of Battle - P:4 Pts: 24 Av: 6
Harry - Eldar P:2 Pts:6 Av:3

* Traitor Forces * 
Games Played:9 Pts:34 Average:3.8
Stephen - Death Guard - P:4 Pts:12 Av: 3
Tom(Ash) - Dark Eldar - P:2 Pts:6 Av: 3
Joel - Astra Militarum - P:3 Pts:16 Av: 5.3

••The Devouring ••
Games Played:4 Pts:12 Average:3
Bob (Robert) - Nids P:3 Pts 6 Av: 2
Mike&Son - Nids P:1 Pts 6 Av: 6

Traitors winning by 0.8pts

The star of the show so far though are Tom's Sisters of Battle.

Now to figure out my next 250pt uplift...