The build-up to this game has brought tension to almost tournament level, with a lavish helping of narrative and character. The forces of Nurgle were invading the Dark Angel held planet of Cherbull and Typhus himself would be leading this initial Chaos foray into enemy territory.
Yesterday, whilst the battle was being played out, I posted my thoughts and expectations from the night before. Would my enemy field the units I expected? Would my battleplan survive enemy contact?
When it came to revealing our armies I got something of a shock. Bull's final list looked something like this:
• Belial / Lightning Claws
• Interrogator Chaplain
• Command Squad x5 / 2x Plasma Pistol / 2x Power Axe
- Razorback / Twin-linked Lascannons
• Venerable Dreadnought / Twin-linked Autocannon
• Deathwing Terminators x5 / 2x Lightning Claws / Assault Cannon / Deathwing Company Standard
• Tactical Squad x5 / Meltagun
• Landspeeder / Multimelta
• Landspeeder / Heavy Bolter / Assault Cannon
• Land Raider Crusader
I certainly predicted elements of the force the night before, but NO PLASMA! However, only having 2 Troop choices and the inclusion of an Armour 14 Land Raider had not been part of my thinking. I would struggle to take down the big tank and the lack of enemy 'bodies' would negate some of my firepower but things would certainly be interesting.
My list remained unchanged from the one in my previous post and, as expected, the inclusion of the Heldrake flyer and zombies had Bull intrigued and maybe a little bemused. None of us had experienced flyers before and zombies, well, they're zombies!!
Then Bull threw in the curve ball – let's roll up a mission, etc from the rulebook.
We got Dawn of War deployment, the Crusade mission with 3 objectives (which we places across no-man's land) and Night Fighting from turn 1. This did hamstring Bull a little, having only 2 scoring units, but if he could destroy my Plague Marine units he could still easily win. We also had secondary missions which would play a part. The Night Fighting played into my hands as this meant that nothing could see beyond 36" and anything further away than 12" from the shooter would get bonuses to cover saves.
Bull deployed first, spreading his army across the width of the board. There was a heavy close combat threat to my left, with both the Belial/Deathwing unit and the Chaplain/Command Squad poised. The Venerable Dread held the centre with the Tactical unit, then the Vindicator and Speeders were over to my right. Note the three red gems that represent the objectives.
I took a fair amount of time deciding how to deploy, which is rather unlike me. Too long outside of the crucible of war maybe. I decided that the only thing that could take down the Land Raider was the Obliterator unit, so I deployed them on the left with a moving Plague Zombie wall for cover. They would at least take most of the incoming fire and could bog down any assaulting units until the cavalry could arrive, be it Plague Marines or Typhus himself.
The (now painted-ish) Forgefiend sat in the centre of the board, hidden by trees. His job was to ensure the demise of any Speeders that came snooping and any other lightly armoured vehicles he could draw line of sight to.
I also did the one thing I said I would not do. I put the two Rhinos full of Plague Marines directly facing the Vindicator. They would undoubtedly draw a lot of fire but if I could get to the halfway point of the board in one piece, near the objectives to the right and centre of the table, I could do the rest on foot. This was a bit of a gamble but the plan was for the Heldrake to take down the Vindicator with his vector strike upon his arrival from Reserve in turn 2, dice gods willing. I could then toast the Tacticals with his Baleflamer and cross my fingers that the retaliatory fire didn't take me down.
Typhus and the Terminators were also held in Reserve to make their grand entrance later in the game. Deep Striking is always a gamble but, without a Land Raider of my own, the only other alternative was to walk… Lords of Nurgle don't walk!
We were ready to go. Bull had first turn, I decided not to try and steal the initiative. I wanted to go second, given the objectives, but also I wanted him to use up a turn shooting into the dark before I moved up.
Turn 1 Movement Phase…
To be continued.