So this game happened a while back, in fact it was the weekend the Traitor Legions supplement came out. I, like many of my Chaos Space Marine-playing brethren, was chomping at the bit to get this supplement. The promise of new rules and formations to give us a proximate rendering on the table top of the original nine was something a lot of us had been awaiting. For me, especially exciting was the ability to run a Death Guard force. With the new book in hand (and a little bit of pre-release intel), I now needed to try it out.
My first victim… err… opponent was a young gentleman at the local Games Workshop store. He was interested in running his 30K Alpha Legion army, to which I agreed. I’d never seen a 30K army in action, so I figured, why not? I even took some not-so-great pictures, which are below the fold.
I ran the Death Guard Vectorium, with a Chaos Warband, an auxiliary unit of Chaos Spawn, and a Lord of the Legion Daemon Prince. In the warband, I had a couple units of Chaos Space Marines, one with a Rhino and ran my Lord with that squad. I had a unit of Chaos Bikers, a unit of Havocs with two missile launchers and two lascannons, and a unit of Chaos Terminators, with which I was able to bring in a Chaos Landraider as a dedicated transport. And lastly, I had the Daemon Prince, with wings and armor and the new Plaguebringer weapon. He was my warlord, and I rolled the trait that gave him an improved Feel No Pain roll.
I can’t say much about my opponents force, because I just don’t know 30K, but he had a couple of Independent Characters; one that could wield and shoot two plasma pistols, taking multiple shots, and one that would Deep Strike and could select a unit to sabotage. He also had a Forge World tank, a Legion Sicaran Venator, I believe. He had a havoc/devastator squad, and then three 10-man tactical squads, all in Rhinos. So neither of us had what I’d call a competitive force, and not knowing much about 30K Alpha Legion, I wasn’t sure what all tricks he had up his sleeve.
We rolled the table Hammer and Anvil table set up, with the Purge the Alien scenario. In the first turn, he tried shooting at my Landraider with his heavy guns and his tank but only managed to scrape off one hull point. The rest of his army advanced to get in position, and he shot his plasma pistolier at my bikers, but failed to take any out, thanks to good jink and my improved Feel No Pain rolls. The rest of his army was in Rhinos, and moved into position to support his other units. In response, my Landraider and havoc squad took out his tank. My Daemon Prince was able to jump forward and get close to one of his Rhinos, and my Spawn did the same, closing on a different Rhino. My Terminators had an ineffective round of shooting and one of my CSM squads moved up on foot. That squad shot its plasma gun at a Rhino and plucked off a hull point. Both the Daemon Prince and Spawn were able to make good charge rolls and contact the Rhinos. Both units trashed the respective Rhinos, which forced two emergency disembarkations. The bikers charged his pistol-packing IC, and that combat was a push.
Next turn, he failed to DS his other Independent Character. He disembarked the marine squad from the remaining Rhino, and they hosed down my CSM squad with bolter fire. Yet, they only managed to kill one model. The marine squad nearest the Daemon Prince shot at him to no avail, thanks to both his jink and FnP rolls. The marine squad nearest the spawn did manage to score enough hits and wounds to take out one spawn model. Then the devastator squad tried to shoot the Daemon Prince, but failed to leave any wounds. At this point, I was totally amazed by my rolls, which are almost never this good this early in the game.
On my turn, I shuffled my havoc squad a little closer in the terrain they were in and shot at his devastator squad, killing one marine (thank you Relentless!). My CSM squad returned fire on the unit that shot it, and took out two marines, thanks to the plasma gun. My Rhino with the Lord moved up, as did the Terminators, who shot at the devastator squad, killing another marine there. The Landraider moved up as well and had ineffective shooting. The Daemon Prince and the spawn charged the squads nearest them, and the CSM squad that returned fire charged as well (again, thank you Relentless!). The bikers managed to take out the IC, thanks to the number of dice I was rolling, though they lost the biker champion that turn. The Daemon Prince ripped apart the squad it set upon, then consolidated closer to the devastator squad. The spawn took out a couple of marines, but the marine squad did two wounds to the marine squad, so that ended in a push. My CSM squad lost a model, but was able to take out two more of the marines they charged.
At the top of the third turn, my opponent was able to bring in his other IC, bringing him just inside my deployment line for the Linebreaker victory point. He used the character’s sabotage charges on my havocs, and thanks to his good rolls and my poor ones, he managed to wipe them out. His remaining devastators shot the incoming Daemon Prince and actually scored a wound. His marines took another of my CSM out in combat and saved against all the returning blows. The spawn went down to the marines they were fighting, and my opponent consolidated that squad back towards the rest of the battle. On my turn, I moved the bikers and the Rhino with the Lord up to support the locked CSM squad. Since I only moved the Rhino at combat speed, I also disembarked the Lord and his squad. The Terminators and Landraider moved into position, then shot the squad that had been engaged with the spawn, killing three marines. The Daemon Prince charged what was left of the devastator squad, slaughtering them and consolidating toward the unengaged marine squad. Another of my CSMs went down in combat, but took out another marine in return.
At this point, we called the game as it was obvious I had the unit power to basically table him in the next turn or two. A big win for the Death Guard!
I have to say, I was really impressed with the resilience of the Death Guard CSMs with the formation rules. Sure, they lose a point of Initiative, but the bonuses far outweigh that drawback. In fact, they border on absurd. And they make Chaos Terminators worth taking now. I know this wasn’t a competitive game, but unit for unit, my army was outclassing my opponent’s. That’s really saying something for a CSM army in today’s scene. I won’t say the army is overpowered, because it is still CSM. But the supplement really does elevate the army to something that can be competitive.
I’m hoping to get another game in with this force soon. I might make some minor tweaks, but overall I was impressed with how the army performed.