BATREP: THE BATTLE FOR J’MIGEN BRIDGE

Details:

Date: 3 Jan 22
Points Limits: 24,000 points Horus Heresy (4,000 points per player)
Mission: Objective Secured (Kill Points on Draw)
Timeframe: 1030-1800
Location: Warhammer World

It’s been a while since our group has gotten together – the last game was the Emperors Children and Dark Mechanicum ranging out against the Raven Guard and Blood Angels back in June 21. A BATREP never made it to the blog due to how busy I was shortly after the game. It was a Traitor victory, but only a few VP were in it.

This game has been months in the planning and suffered from COVID+ results in the preceding week.

Maloghurst was included in the army for the fact he just looks good and enables Veterans as Troops – turns out he’s good a that, not so much at surviving Militia Heavy Support Team fire on the last turn.

Narrative:

On the planet of Gede Secundus, J’Migen Bridge is the sole and most important defensive crossing point on the approach to the Gholas Spaceport. The river the J’Migen Bridge spans is normally no deeper than four foot, but experiences regular tidal surges of corrosive water from the polluted tributary rivers. This water is capable of etching ceramite on contact, and will burn through even void-hardened armour in prolonged exposure.

The Gholas Spaceport is the only major landing site capable of bringing down anything larger than Knight-class chassis and has the necessary umbilical systems to resupply void craft and battlebarges. Gede Secundus sits in a small cluster just outside of the Sol system and is a gateway world; part of the Imperial Crusade’s resupply network and as such has vast stores of ammunition and materiel at the colocated Gholas Munitorum.

The Warmaster has determined Gede Secundus will be the final stop en route to the Sol System for the main fleet. Word has reached back to Terra through a network of spies of this action and a strike force of Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Custodes and Militia has been drawn up to attempt to deny the Warmaster from seizing the facility – or draw out a terrible cost for doing so.

The Traitor held bridgehead as viewed from a Loyalist position.

Traitors:

Night Lords
Sons of Horus
Iron Warriors

Loyalists:

Custodes
Militia/Dark Angels/Imperial Knights
Blood Angels/Dark Angels

Army Lists:

The group uses House Rules, which notably allows for 30% in two LoW under Crusade and the Aetos Dios to be used in place of the normal Thunderhawk Gunship. Twin force organisations are permitted, including where allies are not normally permitted – though the rule of cool is pre-eminent.

Sons of Horus

Added in to replace the World Eaters the night before, the Sons of Horus mostly are made up of models that were “Warhammer World tabletop standard”. This means the list is effectively the core of my “plasma themed” Pride of the Legion, tacking on the Porphyrion and swapping out the 2x Sicaran Battle Tanks for 2x Deredeos that were painted. The aim was to have the Vets act as a QRF to the Porphyrion whilst the rest of the army would be used to launch a spearhead onto enemy objectives. That’s pretty much how it played out on the tabletop, which is always good when an army plays as it was designed.

Night Lords

The Night Lords were effectively going to be the tip of the spear in the early game – with Curze and his Night Raptors supplementing the Terror Squads. The Thunderhawk would then bring in the Atramentar, Contemptor and Sevatar to reinforce key areas. Whilst this is roughly how it went; the Night Lords suffered hugely in-game due to their main opponent. Again, the army functioned as designed, it’s simply that the enemy they faced was effectively unopposed.

Iron Warriors

Crusade (Legiones Astartes: Age of Darkness Army List) [3,996pts]

HQ

Master of Signal [120pts]: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, On Foot, Power Armour (Centurion/Consul), Power Weapon
. Consul
. . Master of Signal

Praetor, Legion [185pts]: Combi-Bolter, Digital Lasers, Mastercraft a Single Weapon, On Foot, Paragon Blade
. Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour: Terminator Armour

Elites

Terminator Squad, Legion [821pts]: Tartaros Terminator Armour
. Spartan Assault Tank (DT): Armoured Ceramite, Auxiliary Drive, Dozer Blade, Flare Shield, Frag Assault Launchers, Laser Destroyer Sponsons x2, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter
. Terminator Sergeant, Legion: Combi-weapon, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw
. Terminators, Legion: Lightning Claw, Volkite Charger
. Terminators, Legion: Lightning Claw, Volkite Charger
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw, Reaper Autocannon
. Terminators, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Lightning Claw, Reaper Autocannon

Terminator Squad, Legion [510pts]: Cataphractii Terminator Armour
. Land Raider Phobos (DT): Armoured Ceramite, Auxiliary Drive, Dozer Blade, Extra Armour, Frag Assault Launchers, Heavy Bolter, Hull-Mounted Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons
. Terminator Sergeant, Legion: Combi-Bolter, Thunder Hammer
. Terminators, Legion: Chainfist, Combi-Bolter
. Terminators, Legion: Chainfist, Combi-Bolter
. Terminators, Legion: Chainfist, Combi-Bolter
. Terminators, Legion: Chainfist, Combi-Bolter

Troops

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [225pts]: Bolters, 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Bolter

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [225pts]: Bolters, 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Bolter

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [225pts]: Bolters, 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Bolter

Heavy Support

Artillery Tank Squadron, Legion [420pts]
. Basilisk, Legion: Hull-mounted Heavy Bolter
. Basilisk, Legion: Hull-mounted Heavy Bolter
. Basilisk, Legion: Hull-mounted Heavy Bolter

Fire Raptor Gunship, Legion [250pts]: Armoured Ceramite
. Four wing-mounted:: Hellstrike Missiles
. Two Independent Ball Turret-mounted:: Reaper Autocannon Battery

Tyrant Siege Terminator Squad [525pts]: 4x Tyrant Terminator
. Land Raider Phobos (DT): Extra Armour, Hull-Mounted Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter, 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons

Allegiance

Legion and Allegiance: IV: Iron Warriors, Traitor

Rite of War: The Ironfire

Lords of War

Perturabo, The Primarch [490pts]: After Istvaan
. Primarch: Warlord

Total: [3,996pts]

Militia/Dark Angels/Knights

Crusade (Legiones Astartes: Age of Darkness Army List) [920pts]

HQ

Praetor, Legion [175pts]: Artificer Armour, Iron Halo, On Foot, Paragon Blade, Plasma Pistol, Relics of the Dark Age of Technology, Warlord
. Combi-weapon: Combi-weapon: Plasma gun

Troops

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [175pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Drop Pod, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Plasma Pistol

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [175pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Drop Pod, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Plasma Pistol

Heavy Support

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought Talon [395pts]: Dreadnought Drop Pod, Legion
. Leviathan Siege Dreadnought: Leviathan Storm Cannon, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver
. . Leviathan Siege Drill

Allegiance

Legion and Allegiance: I: Dark Angels, Loyalist

Rite of War: Orbital Assault (Check Deepstrike only restriction manually)

Crusade (Imperialis Militia and Cults Army List) [2,194pts]

HQ

Force Commander [102pts]: Bolt Pistol, Flak Armour, Power Fist, Refractor Feild
. The Muster of Worlds: Cyber-augmetics

Platoon Command Cadre, Imperialis Militia [137pts]: Flak Armour, Grenade Launcher
. 7x Militia Bodyguard: 7x Close Combat Weapon
. Platoon Commander: Bolt Pistol, Power Weapon, Refractor Field

Elites

Enginseer Auxilia [105pts]: Servo-automata, Servo-automata
. Enginseer Adepts: Volkite Charger
. Servo-automata: Heavy Bolter
. Servo-automata: Heavy Bolter

Troops

Fire Support Squad, Imperialis Militia [125pts]
. Militia Fire Teams: Heavy Bolter
. Militia Fire Teams: Lascannon
. Militia Fire Teams: Missile Launcher with Frag and Krak
. Militia Fire Teams: Mortar
. Militia Fire Teams: Missile Launcher with Frag and Krak

Grenadier Squad, Imperialis Militia [210pts]: Laslocks
. Arvus Lighter, Auxilia: Twin-linked Lascannon
. Grenadier Sergeant: Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol
. 9x Grenadiers: 9x Carapace Armour
. Special Weapons Grenadier: Plasma Gun
. Special Weapons Grenadier: Plasma Gun

Grenadier Squad, Imperialis Militia [175pts]: Laslocks
. Grenadier Sergeant: Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol
. 9x Grenadiers: 9x Carapace Armour
. Special Weapons Grenadier: Flamer
. Special Weapons Grenadier: Grenade Launcher
. Terrax Pattern Termite Assault Drill: 2x Heavy Flamer

Inducted Levy Squad [40pts]: Auxilia Rifles
. Custodian: Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol
. 19x Levy Auxiliaries: 19x Close Combat Weapon, 19x Sub-Flak Armour

Infantry Squad, Imperialis Militia [60pts]: Lascarbines
. 19x Militia Auxiliaries: 19x Close Combat Weapon, 19x Flak Armour, 19x Frag Grenades
. Sergeant: Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol

Reconnaissance Squad, Imperialis Militia [95pts]: Cameoline, Sniper Rifles

Heavy Support

Heavy Ordnance Battery, Auxilia [75pts]
. Artillery Carriage Team: 4x Militia Auxilia Crew
. . Artillery Carriage: Earthshaker

Militia Auxiliary Battle Tank Attack Squadron [435pts]
. Leman Russ Annihilator: Heavy Bolter
. Leman Russ Exterminator: Heavy Bolter
. Leman Russ Vanquisher: Heavy Bolter

Lords of War

Baneblade [635pts]: 2x Pairs of side sponsons, each with one Lascannon and one twin-linked Heavy Bolter

Allied Detachment (Questoris Knight Crusade Army) [885pts]

HQ

Seneschal [440pts]
. Questoris Knight Warden: Meltagun, Reaper Chainsword

Troops

Scion Aspirant [445pts]
. Questoris Knight Crusader: Meltagun, Rapid-fire battlecannon and Heavy Stubber, Twin Icarus autocannon

Total: [3,999pts]

Custodes

Crusade (Talons of the Emperor) [4,000pts]

HQ

Legio Custodes Shield Captain [305pts]: A Single Shield Captain in your army may be upgraded to a Tribune as long as the detachment they are part of is 2000 points or more., Arae-Shrikes, Digital Lasers, Paragon Spear, Praesidium Shield, Warlord

Legio Custodes Shield Captain [250pts]: Arae-Shrikes, Digital Lasers, Paragon Spear, Teleportation Transponders

Sisters of Silence Oblivion Knight-Centura [105pts]: Bolt Pistol, Execution Blade Group, Paragon Blade

Elites

Legio Custodes Aquilon Terminator Squad [315pts]: 3x Aquilon Terminator, 3x Solerite Power Gauntlet, Teleportation Transponders, 3x Twin-Linked Adrathic Destructor

Legio Custodes Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [275pts]: May Take a Achillus Dreadspear with inbuilt Corvae Las-Pulser
. Two Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons: 2x Lastrum Storm Bolter

Legio Custodes Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [275pts]: May Take a Achillus Dreadspear with inbuilt Corvae Las-Pulser
. Two Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons: 2x Lastrum Storm Bolter

Legio Custodes Hetaeron Guard Squad [530pts]: 5x Hetaeron Guard, Magisterium Vexilla & Master-crafted Power Axe, 4x Praesidium Shield, 4x Solerite Power Gauntlet, Teleportation Transponders

Troops

Legio Custodes Custodian Guard Squad [180pts]: 3x Custodian Guard, 3x Guardian Spear, Teleportation Transponders

Legio Custodes Sentinel Guard Squad [245pts]: 4x Sentinel Guard, 4x Sentinel Warblade

Legio Custodes Sentinel Guard Squad [180pts]: 3x Sentinel Guard, 3x Sentinel Warblade

Fast Attack

Legio Custodes Agamatus Jetbike Squadron [330pts]: 3x Custodian Agamatus, 3x Twin-Linked Corve Las-Pulser

Heavy Support

Legio Custodes Caladius Grav-Tank [245pts]
. Twin-Linked Arachnus Heavy Blaze Cannon

Legio Custodes Sagittarum Guard Squad [365pts]: 6x Sagittarum Guard

Legio Custodes Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [400pts]: Arachnus Storm Cannon, Arachnus Storm Cannon, Armoured Ceramite

Total: [4,000pts]

Blood Angels/Dark Angels

War host of Angels
Crusade (Legiones Astartes: Age of Darkness Army List) [2,720pts]

HQ

Chaplain [145pts]: Artificer Armour, Blade of Perdition, Jump Pack, Power Axe, Refractor Field
. Consul: Chaplain

Chapter Master Raldoron [180pts]: Artificer Armour, Combi-weapon: Flamer

Damocles Command Rhino [105pts]: Dozer Blade

Elites

Angel’s Tears, The [200pts]: 4x Erelim, 4x Iliastus Pettern Assault Cannon with Suspensor Web, 4x Volkite Serpenta
. Arch-Elelim: Artificer Armour
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades
. Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Apothecarion Detachment [120pts]
. Apothecary, Legion: Jump Pack, Power Armour
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades
. Apothecary, Legion: Jump Pack, Power Armour
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Troops

Assault Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [385pts]: 14x Assault Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: Combat Shields, Melta Bombs
. Assault Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Power Fist
. Standard Wargear
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Assault Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [235pts]: 9x Assault Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: Combat Shields
. Assault Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Pair of Lightning Claws
. Standard Wargear
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Assault Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [255pts]: 9x Assault Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: Combat Shields, Power Axe, Power Sword
. Assault Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Thunder Hammer
. Standard Wargear
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Heavy Support

Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought [270pts]: Aiolos Missile Launcher, Single Arachnus heavy lascannon battery, Twin-linked Heavy Flamer

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought Talon [340pts]
. Leviathan Siege Dreadnought: Armoured Ceramite, Grav-flux Bombard, Iliastus Pattern Assault Cannon, Iliastus Pattern Assault Cannon
. . Leviathan Siege Claw

Allegiance

Legion and Allegiance: IX: Blood Angels, Loyalist

Rite of War: The Day of Revelation

Lords of War

Sanguinius [485pts]
. Primarch: Warlord

Total: [2,720pts]

Crusade (Legiones Astartes: Age of Darkness Army List) [1,272pts]

HQ

Corswain [200pts]: Scion of the Deathwing

Elites

Inner Circle Knights Cenobium [510pts]: Digital Lasers, 4x Order Cenobites, Reapers of Hosts, 5x Terranic Greatsword
. Land Raider Phobos: 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons

Troops

Veteran Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [175pts]: 4x Bolt Pistol, 3x Bolter, 4x Chainswords/Combat Blades, Plasma gun, 4x Power Sword, Primarchs Chosen: Troops only when taken as Compulsory, 4x Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Tactics: Weaponmasters
. Veteran Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Calibanite War Blade

Veteran Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [167pts]: 4x Bolt Pistol, 4x Bolter, 5x Chainswords/Combat Blades, Power Sword, Primarchs Chosen: Troops only when taken as Compulsory, 5x Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Tactics: Weaponmasters
. Heavy Bolter and Suspensor Web: Molecular Acid Shells
. Veteran Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Bolter, Calibanite War Blade

Heavy Support

Heavy Support Squad, Legion Heavy Bolter [220pts]: Heavy Bolter, Molecular Acid Shells, 6x Space Marines, Legion
. Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour

Allegiance

Legion and Allegiance: I: Dark Angels, Loyalist

Rite of War: Pride of the Legion

Total: [1,272pts]

Deployment:

Loyalists/Traitors deployed on their respective river banks with the riverbed as a no-mans land of around 18″. Loyalists deployed first and would have the first turn according to the roll offs. The deployment map was a basic face-off approach, with forces being able to be deployed from the rear right up to the limit of their riverbank. This meant there would be roughly 48″ x 55″ to deploy into. The riverbed itself provided a -1 to movement or charges through it.

Turn One:

Turn One saw the Traitors seize the initiative from the Loyalists and launch their attack under the cover of darkness. Night Lords Leviathan Dreadnought Irulan the Bleak podded in on the left flank to support Konrad Curze; unleashing a torrent of fire into Loyalist forward positions held by Custodian Guards, Custodian Sentinels, a Shield-Captain and a Servitor Clade from the Militia. Curze led a force of 15 Night Raptors and a Chaplain across the dried riverbed and into a turn one charge against them. The Custodes killed the Night Raptors to a man, with Curze and the Chaplain only removing one Custodian in return.

Meanwhile, the Iron Warriors opened up their artillery at the Blood Angels and Dark Angels forces whilst the Infiltrated Terror Squads purged Militia squads from the deep Loyalist held objectives with Volkite. The Sons of Horus plasma veterans provided the Porphyrion with a quick reaction force whilst simultaneously securing an objective in Traitor lines. Sanguineous dropped into Traitor lines between the Iron Warriors Artillery and the Malinax Porphyrion and wiped an Iron Warriors 20 man tactical squad from the table with his supporting Assault Squad. The Custodians remained locked in combat with Curze whilst shots traded between the Sons of Horus Deredeos, Custodes Telemon and Calidus and the Blood Angels Deredeo.

Turn Two:

With daylight yet to break (3+ rolled by the Night Lords) and the automatic arrival of reserves on Turn Two (House Rules) the Night Lords Thunderhawk Gunship came onto the table and raked turbolaser fire across the hull of the enemy Baneblade dealing a critical, but not fatal blow to it. The Leman Russ Annihilator next to it was not so lucky, being incinerated by the splash of the laser weapon.

The Porphyrion shuffled to gain a clearer line of sight to the Bridge and the Sons of Horus Plasma Veterans dismounted and began to eye the Primarch of the Blood Angels. Abaddon deep struck into an objective, only to suffer a mishap and end up relocated in front of two Custodes Contemptors with his five-man Terminator cohort. The Warmaster Horus manifested directly on his errant First Captains target instead and prepared to deal death to the enemies surrounding them. Plasma fire rang out and the Porphyrion lent its mighty hands in destroying the large Assault Squad escorting Sanguineous – but the Blood Angels were clinging on to dear life in the firestorm. The Iron Warriors artillery dropped danger close on the Assault Squad with Sanguineous and killed the last of them, clipping two Sons of Horus Veterans in the process. Finally, the Sons of Horus Plasma Veterans opened up on the now alone Primarch, downing him in a brutal fusillade. The Militia struck deep into the Iron Warriors lines using their Terrax Assault Drill and gutted a squad of Tactical Marines on the objectives with their bayonets. Supporting fire from the Dark Angels Leviathan and a Dark Angels Tactical Squad secured the rear objective in the Traitor lines.

Meanwhile deep in Loyalist territory, the Terror Squads were reduced from 3 in number, to 2 in number, until the dregs of 1 squad remained. Five Justaerin Terminators were killed outright by the Custodes Bikes and the Sons of Horus Deredeo exploded under fire from the Calidus. The Telemon and a squad of Aquilon Terminators targetted the Porphyrion – but the confusion of the battle saw them totally whitewash. Abaddon and his cohort were killed by the Custodes Dreadnoughts before they could even fight.

The Imperial Knight Warden charged into the Night Lords Leviathan, still caught up in the Custodes melee; taking significant damage (one wound remaining) from Irulan before it stepped in and punched a thundering fist into the sarcophagus. This saw the Leviathan explode and kill the Knight that had killed it in a bittersweet cascade of fire. Curze broke out of the fight and moved to confront the Blood Angels Assault Squad on the bridge objective. The Militia fired at Maloghurst, who remained standing at the foot of a defence cannon – one wound was taken by him. Dark Angels Cenobium dismounted their Land Raider and charged into the Iron Warriors Siege Terminators at the foot of the bridge on the Traitor side – however, things did not go well for them and their assault was entirely repulsed.

Turn Three:

The Thunderhawk Sinister Shadow dropped down to hover and released Rathan the Beast, Sevatar and the Atramentar out of its cavernous belly. Engaging a Custodes Calidus and the Dark Angels Acid Rounds Heavy Support Squad, Sinister Shadow and the Atramentar destroyed their targets and positioned ready to support their Primarch. The remaining Terror Squad killed the Dark Angels Tactical Squad Sergeant from the squad that they had started shooting at on Turn One – eliminating the only threat to the Justaerin’s ownership of the nearby Objective in Loyalist territory. With this done, the Justaerin opened up on the Custodes bikes with their plasma, killing them off; whilst the separated Horus moved dangerously towards the Telemon.

The Porphyrion engaged the Baneblade and the Knight next to it, destroying the Baneblade and immobilising and blowing the Rapid Fire Battle Cannon off the Knight – not downed, but totally out of the fight. The Custodes Contemptor killed Perturabo and his ten-man Terminator Squad died to the Hekaton Terminators without taking any losses themselves – embarrassingly easily to be honest (potential new vote for the most OP unit in Heresy).

The Aquilon Terminators, previously blocked off from the Sons of Horus Veterans by their Rhinos, began to move in, wiping one squad without effort. The third Sons of Horus Veteran Squad had moved to secure the second Traitor lines objective and dug in. The Militia began to entrench in the objective they secured from the Iron Warriors previously, turning their eyes towards the three Artillery tanks they had blocked in with their drill.

Curze moved over the Bridge and laid into the Blood Angels Assault Squad, but their feel no pains saw no wounds go through from the Primarch. However, he would kill all of them during the next fight phase and remove any Loyalist objective secured from the area.

The Custodian Shield Captains and the Guardians, now free of Curze and the Leviathan, approached Maloghurst – but the Militia Heavy Support Teams finished him before they could walk through him. Rathan the Beast charged into the Custodes Contemptor and died before it could fight, but did explode. Unfortunately, no damage went through to the Custodes Dreadnought.

Horus charged the Telemon; 24 Strength 7 overwatch shots rang out towards him and a shockingly high amount of 6+ were rolled. However, the Pantheon was with Horus and he took no wounds. Swinging Worldbreaker into the Telemon, it crumbled and died, leaving him to consolidate in towards the Blood Angels Assault Cannon Squad. With the final shots and swings ringing out across the battlefield, time was called on the game – three full turns completed.

Result:

Traitors – 3 Objectives, Sanguineous Price of Failure, 1x Imperial Knight destroyed, 1x Baneblade destroyed = 5VP.
Loyalists – 2 Objectives, Perturabo Price of Failure = 3VP.

Summary:

It was an amazing game, but one that was so incredibly bloodthirsty. I’ve probably forgotten the odd unit being killed or the order of kills may be somewhat off but it’s mostly an accurate record of utter devastation. When you’re looking at what was left on the table (approximately):

Night Lords – 1,400pts from 4,000.
Sons of Horus – 1,500pts from 4,000.
Iron Warriors – 500pts from 4,000.
Militia/Dark Angels/Imperial Knights – 1,300pts from 4,000.
Blood Angels/Dark Angels – 500pts from 4,000.
Custodes – 2,000pts from 4,000.

It’s clear to see that the biggest losses were taken by the Blood Angels and Iron Warriors – due to the Rite of War (Day of Revalation) forcing early deployment into fire lanes and the militia absolutely wrecking the Iron Warriors in melee (genuine Wut? experience there). However, it’s not really descriptive of what was left and how it went on the dice rolls. For instance, the Assault Squad on the bridge facing Curze had no right to shrug off the entirety of his attacks in a phase and similarly, Sanguinous’s Assault Squad shrugged off huge amounts of plasma fire before they crumbled. The Iron Warriors rained death down on the enemy, but found themselves victims of poor rolls and simply being model removed by Custodes. Similarly, the Night Raptors and Curze should have done some damage to the Custodes, but only one fell after two turns of Primarch vs Custodian fighting – effectively 250pts of Custodians held off a 435pt Primarch comfortably.

The Initial surge of Night Lords forces were effectively wiped clean from the table by the end of the game, with the Atramentar being the only Night Lords objective secured left on the table. The Sons of Horus were similarly mauled mid-game with only a few assets remaining, mostly the few remaining Justaerin near Horus, a single Veteran Squad and the Porphyrion. Militia were surprisingly strong at the end of the game, though the majority of their heavy assets were either outright destroyed or utterly useless. Aside from the Telemon, Jetbikes and the Calidus… The Custodes were virtually unscathed, despite Primarchs, Dreadnoughts and Terminators giving their best to kill them.

It was supposed to be a bigger game, with 4,000 points of Raven Guard, an additional 4,000 points of Custodes (a fast-moving force with Orion and more jetbikes) and Traitor World Eaters – but COVID+ results removed those from the game during the week before.

Taking in the results of the game, what was left-over and what would likely have happened in the following turns if they had played out; it wouldn’t be too dissimilar. Undoubtedly, the Acquillon would walk over the Sons of Horus Veterans and secure another objective in the Traitor area. The Hekaton Guard would have walked the Atramentar even after a turn of being shot at by them en route to the Bridge. Curze would likely end up back in combat with the Shield Captains – but wouldn’t fall. Horus would simply consolidate his defence of the objective he had secured with the remnants of the Justaerin. All in all, it’s likely the ruined and immobilised Imperial Knight would fall, so the Traitors would still have the 1-2VP cushion.

Perturabo is felled by a Contemptor whilst the rest of his squad is killed by Hekaton Guard without doing damage back.

It’s got to be said, that the Custodes were virtually unopposed for the entire game – this is my 15th game facing them and the first I’ve ever won. Frankly, facing 8,000 points with a hammer and anvil style force with diametrically opposed but equally vicious tactical toolsets, I feel that the game probably would have been decided by the end of turn two at the latest, regardless of the World Eaters. Unfortunately, they have very few detractions and a very capable toolset, fairly keenly priced in most areas, whilst other elements are plain under-costed. With the Legiones Astartes, Mechanicum and Militia, they all have significant limiting factors (making Custodes matchups difficult) either built into their core army builds or enforced upon them by Rites of War.

The biggest take-away from this is that I managed to go to Warhammer World, play a brilliant game, wander around Forgeworld…. and not buy anything!! However, the 4-hour drive home gave me time to think and now I have an additional two Termites en route for a very specific narrative build… So I’m not sure if there really is a moral victory there!!

The next game of this size is likely to be in early May ’22, at the latest Aug ’22 and already the creative juices are flowing as to what we can turn out for it.

The Iron Warriors Spartan prepares to ford the river whilst taking aim at the enemy armour on the far bank.
Turn 2 saw reinforcements arrive and rapidly push for advantage.
Sanguineous stands alone, the gaze of the Porphyruon shifts back to the midfield as the Sons of Horus Veterans ready their plasma….
Rathan the Beast charges into the Custodes Contemptor, but never gets to fight as the Custodes Contemptor destroys him before he can step in.
The Porphyrion moves up and provides overwatch for the bridge crossing.

5 comments

  1. Beautifully painted models and fantastic photos. Though the battle seems very lopsided towards the traitor players…. Three Primarchs, a thunderhawk and a porphyrion is meant to be fair game against 2x questoris knights and a baneblade? Spirit of the game? Pfft.

    Like

    • If you read the post you can see there was due to be 8,000pts of Custodes on the table, along with another two Thunderhawk, and Primarchs. Unfortunately they didn’t come because of COVID+

      If you also read the post you can see that even though you feel it’s lopsided the Custodes reliably removed a minimum of 1,500 points per turn without taking any significant losses. That’s not game balance.

      Most of the Iron Warriors were killed by a single squad of the Custodes and the Militia/Dark Angels.

      Most of the Night Lords were brought down by a single squad of Custodes and a Shield Captain.

      The Sons of Horus were hammered by the Militia in the rear and Custodes pretty much walked through them – Sons terminators lost c.300pts on arrival in one squad and c.700pts in another (which didn’t even get to do anything).

      I’ve approved your comment because I think it’s important for others who stumble across the comment to understand that even when you think you are right and take a moral high ground on game balance by running out the “Spirit of the game” statement like you’re Alan Bligh yourself – you’re more often wrong than right.

      Like

      • Thanks for allowing the post and the eloquent reply 🙂 Long time follower and lover of the blog but found this one particularly odd is all. Out of interest, when you found out others could not turn up why did you not alter a bit to make it fairer? Sounds like rather than accommodate for this issue you felt it would be ok to continue with a clearly unbalanced game?

        In regards to the balance, HH is not inherently a balanced game. What makes it balanced I find is the playerbase. It’s usually rock solid and a far cry from 40k! But I have noticed a rise in the wrong kind of players turning up who have left 9th edition. It’s sad 😦

        Like

      • The players in the group all agreed on the initial rough elements months ago. Prior to the game (about three weeks ago) everyone had declared their lists and made any comments or requests, which were then discussed and honored. Once the COVID+ dropouts occurred, then a final balancing discussion was conducted, in which the players all agreed on the state of the lists. So it’s an all informed net from beginning to end.

        Our games do take months to plan, due to our group’s vocation. But every game has had pre-discussion and because we are open with our processes – what turns up is never a surprise to anyone and on occasion, we have discussed the purposeful unfairness for scenarios. One we have on the back burner is my Warlord Titan in the middle with the Sons of Horus and Loyalist forces attacking from the remaining table edges – though play-wise – I’m still working through how that will actually function.

        A few years back, we did have a mini arms race occur as we all branched out with our armies and collections, so we all effectively negotiated a treaty similar to START in real life. The group is very much a Nigel Stillman-esque group, looking at playing what people have and not forcing them to purchase more or conform to a meta. Playing to a theme or scenario.

        The group tends to bring rule of cool armies to the table – which certainly doesn’t preclude the inclusion of strong units (even in number). We aren’t power gamers by any measure; the 3 Thunderhawks, Stormbird, and use of narrative characters attest to that fairly well by themselves – but we always have a vicious streak in the lists, it’s Heresy after all – and what we enjoy.

        Most of us start our list builds by theme and include a “can’t do” element to internally check-balance. Some of us even have whole armies built around weapons. For instance, my Night Lords are almost exclusively Volkite, my Death Guard are the triad of Bolter/Melta/Chainsword and Sons of Horus almost exclusively Plasma for Infantry weapons. It’s something I encourage other players to do – think about what you want to include because it’s cool or has a narrative function, then look at what you need to include to provide game function on the tabletop and how it’s going to interact with your Legion rules. Finally, if you’re needing something to directly take on an enemy unit of note, then finesse.

        I agree with your comment on 8th/9th influx and it is sad to see in some regards – but education is a viable route where it’s wanted or appreciated. Seen it and done it myself on various Discord servers to explain to newcomers why things are so strong (whilst others in the community slung shit at them and told them they were WAAC) and what effect that can have; not telling people how to play their Heresy, but explaining why spamming Sehkemt or Custodes Hekaton Terminators isn’t really cool and offering guidance where wanted. The worst of this “WAAC” style influx occurred when Crusade dropped in my eyes. It’s died down from that high, but I agree, it still occurs regularly.

        Worse however is that I’ve also seen the community in the last year and a half resort to tearing itself apart and entering into shit-slinging matches. I’ve seen this 6 times in the last few days alone over various communications services and from various individual posts. More often than not it breaks down to the misunderstanding of one simple statement;

        “Your Heresy is not my Heresy, but it is still our Heresy”.

        I still think Contekar are rubbish, but my friend thinks they’re amazing because he faces entirely different armies than I do. Others think Emperor’s Children are rubbish but my friend in our group hasn’t lost a game with them and has had great success outside of our group too. Either way and in many other circumstances – there are extenuating factors that aren’t advertised that change things from an initial perception.

        Unfortunately, this can make the community seem “Elitist” or “Gamey” when in reality those people who played the games really enjoy them.

        Like

    • I don’t know what vocation you guys have so I am sorry I don’t quite understand on that part, but any large gathering is indeed difficult! I do feel that even with the pre-game talks at the 3 weeks level though, it should be up to the GM to ensure also that there is some good balance.

      Your backburner game sounds so fun! Please post it on here when you do it!

      I think every group had an arms race moment. Tbh most people at the start of the Heresy didn’t know different from systems such as 40k and treated it as just another setting. Its only through the progression of the hobby and some amazing players that its turned into a much more narrative event. I still remember when it was 7th edition and both HH players and 40k players were playing each other.

      Vicious streaks are always fine. I mean, you can’t play characters such as Valdor or Sevetar or Kharn and NOT have a vicious streak. It’s the point. But still, it does feel like all those lords of war were arrayed in a manner befitting one side drastically over another and the results do seem to back that up.

      The 8th/9th influx is what put me away from the hobby for now. I have found most don’t want to be taught or are willing to listen. The amount of phosphex spam and the whole guides that state the necessity of staple units to remain competitive etc are killing the hobby.

      In relation to last part, thats always going to be the issue if one player has a smaller gaming circle than another. Some players will have experiences that will be different to one another. That doesn’t make either player wrong and it’s important to understand and listen to that. If you think a unit is bad because of your experience but someone else says they have seen differently, take it on board. Same as they should take on board your experience. I think in the HH a lot of things are like that. I know a fair amount of people say that Dorn is bad but I have seem him be a total blender. I have seen people say Night Lords get the short end of the stick but I have seen them decimate. I have seen people say that Mhara Gal are awful yet I have seen them on crowded city boards be the thing of nightmares etc.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.