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Posts Tagged ‘Daemons’

Well, nothing specific lined up for this week’s games night, so I turned up prepared to take on all comers – a busy week at the painting desk meant I was able to field one brand new unit and one at an expanded size (I also finished a melta-flamer Land Speeder, but couldn’t squeeze it into the list).

bloodangels

I found myself taking on a Daemon army at 1500 points – with the Daemon book being essentially new, this was the first time for my opponent as well as myself. We rolled up a mission where the outcome of the game was solely determined by the number of enemy units wiped out, which played to the Blood Angels’ strengths at least. It was also a refreshingly simple scenario which somehow suited the bleak polar board we were playing over.

The first thing that strikes me about the new Daemon codex is the sheer volume of dice-rolling and book-keeping required at the start of a game, with the huge numbers of random psychic powers and Daemonic rewards that needed generating even at only 1500 points. Daemons are an army I’ve toyed with collecting in the past, mainly because of the painting possibilities, but all this was a bit offputting, properly chaotic though it was: my opponent had a lot to remember every turn.

I deployed first and opted for a straightforward phalanx of Blood Angels: in the centre went Captain Zed, a Priest, and three full-sized squads (two Tactical, one of them mechanised, and an Assault Squad). On my left wing were a rifleman Dreadnought, a Furioso, and a melta-armed attack bike. Screening the right flank were five Terminators with hammers and shields. In front of me were two packs of Daemons, Bloodletters and Daemonettes, while a Slaanesh chariot was lurking out of sight in the far left corner.

I kept the initiative and everything advanced steadily across the board – there wasn’t much capable of shooting but the rifleman and rhino thinned the Bloodletters down a bit. On the first Daemonic turn the chariot rattled into view, heading for the left wing, while the Bloodletters and Daemonetters advanced on the centre. The Daemon shooting was minimal. In their assault phase the Bloodletters initially charged the Furioso until we realised this was illegal – not that I would have objected, obviously. They went for the Rhino instead and chopped it to pieces, III/5 safely piling out.

On my turn the Terminators advanced on the Daemonettes, while III/5 and III/8 formed up around the Bloodletters, III/3 holding their position. The Dreadnoughts and the Attack Bike moved towards the Chariot. The twin autocannon opened up on the Chariot and blew it apart, the Slaaneshi Herald it carried landing in front of the Attack Bike, which promptly fried it with its multi-melta. Rapid-firing boltguns and massed flamers from III/5 and III/8 wiped out the Bloodletters in the shooting phase, but left III/8 without an assault target. They would be exposed to a charge from the Daemonettes unless I could tie the Slaanesh Daemons up with a charge from the Terminators – but their charge roll fell an inch short.

On the Daemon turn, a Daemon Prince materialised in front of the Dreadnoughts and Attack Bike while an enormous Keeper of Secrets shimmered into existence in the rear of my army. The Daemonic shooting and psychic powers were ineffectual – luckily Captain Zed’s warlord trait meant he could extend his Ld 10 to virtually the entire army, as most of the Slaaneshi powers require Ld tests – and the Daemonettes charged the Assault Marines. Again the flamers proved their worth, killing several Daemons before the combat proper began. Zedrenael took on the Herald leading the pack in a challenge, but neither managed to wound the other. The Assault Marines won the combat and another Daemon evaporated.

It was now my third turn and I found I had no reason to move anything but the Terminators, which advanced on the Keeper of Secrets. The Dreadnoughts and Attack Bike opened up on the Daemon Prince, to little effect, which was slightly worrying. Both full Tactical squads opened up at the Keeper with meltas, bolters, and a missile launcher, taking three wounds off it.

In my assault phase Zedrenael and the Herald continued their duel, neither again being able to score a serious hit, but the Assault Marines hacked down the rest of the Daemonettes and a wound from instability carried over to the Herald. In my half of the table there was a moment of genuine hammer horror as the Terminators engaged the Keeper of Secrets hand-to-hand. The arcane lore of the great beast clearly did not extend to an understanding of the rules for storm shields, however (the Daemon General was a bit surprised too), and the monster’s attacks were harmlessly absorbed. Even needing 5s to hit the WS9 Daemon, the massed attacks of the Terminator thunder hammers were enough to batter it to a pulp, which I considered a result.

We called the game at that point, mainly because I’d been offered £50 to be elsewhere ten minutes hence. But it was looking grim for the forces of Chaos, as they were down to a wounded Herald of Slaanesh and two Daemon Princes (one of which had yet to arrive) and my casualties consisted of III/5’s Rhino and four Assault Marines. I was 6-1 up on points and while I’ve no doubt the Daemon Princes could have wreaked considerable havoc, it would have been relatively easy to scatter my forces across the table and make it impossible for the Daemons to kill enough units to get a win.

So, what do I feel I’ve learned? Well, this particular list felt pretty well-balanced, although I’m not wild about fielding a lone Attack Bike. 37 infantry gave it plenty of heft and it performed well in both shooting and assaults. And the utility of the flamers has given me pause for thought: I know that standard tactical dogma is to give Assault Squads two melta-guns, but a flamer-hand flamer combo was very effective here. Hmmm. The Terminators performed as well as I could have hoped; this is a unit I’m very happy with on every level.

The fate of the Chaos force really makes me think that what and where to Deep Strike is the biggest decision you have to make in the course of a game – in both this and last week’s game, a major unit Deep Struck in entirely the wrong place, right next to unit with a good chance of killing it (which duly happened). I don’t feel I suffered at all by not Deep Striking with either the Assault Marines or the Terminators – my tactic in using the Terminators is to march an impossible-to-ignore unit down the enemy’s throat, hopefully drawing fire away from my softer infantry onto this incredibly resilient squad.

Another very positive game, then. My main priority ahead of next week, when the long-planned Blood Angel-vs-Blood Raven game is scheduled, is to get a Baal Predator finished, as I am curious to see its psychological effect on an opponent. Beyond this, I just need to do some detailing on the Death Company (who, I note, didn’t make it into this game either). An army is never finished, it seems.

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