Time for another quick battle report my friends - this time I was up against another space marine army. Supported by a Ceratus Knight Castigator! Argh!
Find out how I got on after the break.
So, we were playing a 2000pt game, and the lists looked something like this:
Librarian with jump pack and force sword
3 units of 5 scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks
Stormhawk Interceptor with las talon, typhoon missile launcher and two assault cannons
2 Razorbacks with twin assault cannons
6 man Devastator squad with 4 grav cannons and armorium cherub
6 man Devastator squad with 4 missile launchers and armorium cherub
Captain with jump pack and relic blade
7 Vanguard veterans with relic blade, 2 power swords, 2 power axes and 2 power fists
2 Contemptor Dreadnoughts with kheres assault cannons and power fists.
Chapter master in terminator armour with burning blade
Captain with sanctic halo
2 10-man tactical squads, multi melta and meltagun
Razorback with twin lascannons
5 sniper scouts (no camo cloaks, Dave knows I use Imperial fists tactics so didn't waste the points)
Contemptor Dreadnought with kheres assault cannon and power fist
Contemptor Dreadnought with two kheres assault cannons
Devastator squad with 2 lascannons, multi melta and plasma cannon
3 Aggressors with frag grenade launchers and boltstorm gauntlets
We played the spoils of war mission using the search and destroy deployment map (opposing table quarters).
Dave chose his table quarter and also finished deploying first, but the dice gods were with me and the 6 flashed up as my die came to rest.
I opened up with everything I had, mixing the fire up a bit. One squad of snipers put three wounds on the captain, while the other two and some of the other elements of my army poured fire into the Castigator. I managed to strip 11 wounds from it, but that wasn't quite enough to drop it down to the next step on its scaling profile. I didn't want to ignore everything else just to drop it though, and managed to wipe out one of the 10-man tactical squads, 1 scout and I also took a couple of wounds from one of the contemptors.
Time to weather the storm, and boy what a storm! The castigator kicked out 14 shots, reducing my missile devastators to the point they failed their morale check and the survivors ducked out of the fight. The snipers put a wound on Kantor (yes, he failed the solitary 2+ save he was required to make) and the Stormhawk survived the fire heading its way. I also lost a couple of scouts, though all things considered that could have been much worse - cover saves really saved my bacon I think.
Then the castigator charged into one of the razorbacks. Ouch, the sword inflicts 5 damage per wound! Thankfully, Dave's rolling deserted him and only 1 of the 4 attacks hit, meaning the razorback lived to fight on.
My turn 2 and the castigator was target priority 1! The grav devastators did their work, stripping it of all its remaining hull points and sending it crashing to the ground just inches from my battleline. The Stormhawk continued its good work from my previous games, again positioning itself so the chapter master was the nearest model allowing me to target the enemy warlord (seriously people, stop doing this)! The torrent of fire sent its way stripped the chapter master do to a single wound, gah! Still alive! That's fine I thought, I'd brought my vanguard veterans in for just such an occasion, except I'd forgotten one thing - the aggressors were standing next to the captain, and Dave used his last 2 command points to enact the Auspex scan stratagem on them. Wow, talk about storm of fire! With the rerolls to hit from the chapter master, they took out 6 of the vanguard! The last guy added his fire to the librarian and the captain, but the enemy chapter master still stood. It was here I'd made my first mistake, as although the librarian has cast smite, I'd totally forgotten to use my other power in the turn. The vanguard sergeant declared his charge and died to overwatch, and both the librarian and the captain failed their charges (ok I needed 9's, but even so!). Had I remembered my powers I would have at least had a reroll for the captain!
Dave's turn 2 saw him claiming one of my objective cards with a combat squad, the contemptors targeted the razorbacks, stripping one down to 3 wounds and the other to 5. The aggressors poured their fire into the stormhawk and took a few wounds off it, but nothing significant, whilst the razorback hit with one lascannon but I passed the 6+ save thanks to its halo launcher reroll.
To be honest, with the death of the Castigator I think Dave felt the writing was on the wall. The librarian and captain managed to kill both the chapter master and the aggressors, the stormhawk finished off the tactical squad and helped take down the devastator squad. The contemptor dreads had their own little punching party in the middle of the field, with just a solitary survivor, Honoured Sosimo emerging victorious for the Dusk Knights.
In the end, the game finished with a tabling as the Dusk Knight firepower took a heavy toll on my opponent's list.
Well, once again my opponent certainly had some pretty crappy luck. The Castigator failing to hit with three of his four sword attacks meant one of my razorbacks survived, and later on his snipers hit my libby three times with him on his last wound. Triple 1 to wound put paid to any hopes to taking him down Dave might have harboured!
I'm certainly still very happy with the list, it puts out a real storm of fire in the early turns. On this occasion, I think terminators rather than vanguard veterans would have been a better choice, but I'm reluctant to change the list completely based on one game where I'd forgotten the aggressors could use the auspex scan stratagem.
As for the new codex? Well, it didn't really affect the game with that exception. My list hasn't actually changed in points cost at all (I'm taking that as a good sign as it means none of the stuff I'd taken seems to have been considered to be overpriced). The auspex scan stratagem was the one I'd singled out as being incredibly useful, but my opponent didn't bring reserves so I didn't get to use it. I did find myself in later turns looking to see what stratagems I could use, but in the end didn't bother (wisdom of the ancients is another good one but by then my solitary dread was out on his own and didn't really need the reroll.
Psychic powers - quite honestly, despite getting three new ones, I still took the ones from the index, rerolling charges and buffing my captain seem the best options there. It certainly means however that taking more librarians is a bit more viable in the future.
Warlord trait - Kantor's is fixed, so there was little I could do here short of making the captain my warlord instead. It's certainly an option, as Kantor rarely gets much to do and is almost never surrounded by so many guys the Crimson Fists one would come into effect.
Relics - I always used to take the burning blade, but since the captain has a relic blade anyway I didn't bother. I'll have a closer look another time, but it didn't seem worthwhile without any extra damage modifiers. What may be sensible however would be to look at the armour indomitus for him - he's far more likely to see combat than Kantor so some extra protection would be good, and it would probably have seen him survive the game.
Changes to be made
I'll definitely be looking again at the spare points in the list, and considering the potential to swap one of the sniper squads for a tactical unit, which could then ride one of the razorbacks to claim objectives as required.
I'm also considering swapping a couple of the missile launchers for lascannons. They're the same cost and would give me a little extra punch against the tougher vehicles (the knight at T8 was a worry for my krak missiles, though they actually rolled pretty well I think) and to strip their saves back further. I wouldn't swap them all out though as I like the option of the frag missiles when needed (note - it's not needed very often, but nice to have the option).
So, little tweaks to the list to come I think, but on the whole it's looking to be very competitive at my level, a few more games under my belt and I'd be happy to take this to a tournament I think.
Till next time,