25 November 2012

40k: The Calm Before The (Nurgle) Storm

So, it's the night before the big game (although this won't be posted until Sunday, probably around game-time) and I have to gather my forces and my thoughts.

I'm thinking that if I lay out these thoughts here we can see how the plan survived enemy contact and the commanding officer's incompetence in the thick of battle in a post next week.

There's a number of things that we can assume. The mission will be our own version of "kill the other guy" with possibly killpoints thrown in. It will probably pan out that, like my initial game of 6th Edition vs the Dark Angels, as the invading force my Plague Marines will be marching across the board to wipe out the Imperials – hopefully there will be more terrain this time.

We have agreed that the winner of the battle will get to determine the mission, terrain, etc for the next installment, so there is something to fight for. I have an idea of where I want to take this storyline if the forces of Chaos prevail – it suitably involves virus bombs and mass extermination – but we will have to see.

My final 1500pt list looks something like this:

• Typhus

• Terminators x3 / Mark of Nurgle / Twin Lightning Claws x1

• Plague Marines x7 / Plasma Gun x2 / Power Axe x1

- Rhino / Extra Armour

• Plague Marines x7 / Plasma Gun x2 / Power Axe x1
- Rhino / Extra Armour

• Cultists x33 (Plague Zombies*)

• Heldrake / Baleflamer

• Obliterators x2 / Mark of Nurgle

• Forgefiend

(*This unit is unique to Typhus – he can 'transform' any Chaos Cultist unit into zombies, gives them 'Feel No Pain' and 'Slow and Purposeful' but they can take no upgrades at all and only have a single close combat weapon.)

The general thinking is that I need to have as many threats on the table at once all steaming towards the Dark Angels so that Bull splits his fire, doing little bits of damage everywhere without destroying anything outright. I'll keep Typhus and his Terminator entourage in reserve with the Heldrake, the idea being that Bull will almost forget about them because they're not on the table.

The Plague Marines will fly across the table as fast as they can, purely to threaten his line and draw fire onto the Rhinos. Once they bail out of the vehicles they need to sit tight in the rubble or fall in behind the mobile Zombie wall. These Zombies will move as fast (ha!) as they can with the Obliterators, who also have 'Slow and Purposeful', sitting behind them. I'm hoping the sheer volume of Zombies with the built-in Obliterator threat will also prove a big distraction for the Dark Angels guns.

The Forgefiend has a lot of potential threat and I expect Bull to want to take it down. As much as I'd like it to contribute a lot of shooting to the mix I suspect Bull will go out of his way to take it down, either with Speeders or an Assault unit deep striking next to me.

Once the Heldrake arrives it has a kill priority order. Any Vindicators and the inevitable Venerable Dreadnought will be top of the list. If he can then drop a flamer template on a unit of marines as he flies past that will be great. When Typhus and his boys finally turn up, their job is to get stuck into anything that can threaten the Heldrake, whilst staying well-clear of the Dread and Vindicator (both can inflict 'Instant Death' with no 'Feel No Pain' rolls).

As for Bull's Dark Angels, I'm expecting the following…

He will probably be taking Belial to lead the army. He has painted up a close combat veteran/command unit to accompany him – Belial has Terminator Armour that won't fit in a Rhino and the command unit is wearing regular armour which can't deep strike so he'd have to deploy on the table in cover and walk or wait to counter-charge. Alternatively, Bull could switch to a Terminator Command Unit which would offer him more options (deep strike) if more expensive. There is an outside chance that Bull has been yanking my chain and will send in a lesser HQ for this battle (see below). I don't really see this happening as Bull likes the drama involved in a good vs evil battle like this, not taking Belial would dilute this a lot.

I'm expecting the Venerable Dread (with Twin-linked Autocannons) which is not good news for the Heldrake or Typhus and Plague Marines. The Autocannons are a threat to my flyer and the Strength 10 dreadnought close combat weapon could instant-kill Typhus. The Vindicator tank, which I believe can move and still shoot its ordnance in this edition of 40k is also a major threat to ground based troops – a large Strength 10 blast is going to do a lot of damage and will be concentrated on the Plague Marines where possible no doubt.

Other things I may see, based upon various intel…

I may see the rumoured Devastator Squad (3 Missile Launchers and a Lascannon). This will be a potential threat for the Heldrake should they manage to hit, but could be eliminated by the 'drake's Baleflamer in one shot if I'm lucky. I may also see Speeders with Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannons. The Cannons will be an issue for the zombies as it negates their 'Feel No Pain' roll, and their speed could get them behind my lines. However, the Forgefiend and Obliterators will have a field day against them so I'm not too worried.

I've also seen evidence of a new Assault unit lead by a jump pack Chaplain HQ which may make it's debut, as mentioned earlier. Bull hasn't said much about them so either they're his ace up his sleeve or he doesn't intend to bring them yet.

There is also the vague possibility of a few Deathwing Terminators. Once I pointed out Belial's benefit of making Termiantors (normally an Elite choice) into a Troop choice Bull's eyes lit up. He may decide that it would be more beneficial to have Terminators as Troops instead of Tactical marines. This will remove a lot of Plasma Cannons and Plasma Guns from his list, which is why I don't think he'll do it, but will give him much more close combat ability so it's something to consider. It would also give him the option of deep striking a large portion of his army behind my advancing line but, until the new codex, they are likely to scatter a bit making it too risky a strategy in my opinion.

That's kind of where I am right now. The build-up banter has been such that either of us might catch the other out cold, presenting an army we're not prepared for.  Alternatively, we've may have second guessed exactly what we'll be facing and it'll all go swimmingly.

Either way, I need the dice on my side…!

The Battle…

1 comment:

  1. A promising plan lets see if it survives contact with the enemy!