Sunday, July 20, 2008


Game: Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Seize Ground
Deployment: Dawn of War
1st turn: Blood Angels Space Marines
Points: 1200
Location: 278.M41, Mandag, Hexen Sub, Skolarii sector
Background: Warp intrusions escalate on Mandag and a Daemonic force led by a dread Bloodthirster attempts to retake control of a ruined Imperial Shrine from Blood Angels Space Marines.

Blood Angels
  • Chaplain, plasma pistol, jump pack
  • 6 Death Company Marines with jump packs
  • 5 Tactical Marines, flamer, Vet sergeant with Powerfist
  • 5 Assault Marines, plasma pistol
  • 5 Assault Marines, plasma pistol
  • 5 Veteran Assault Marines, plasma pistol, Vet sergeant with Powerfist
  • Venerable Death Company Dreadnought Blackblood
  • Dreadnought Rueben with multi-melta
  • Predator Destructor with autocannon and heavy bolter sponsons

Chaos Daemons
  • Bloodthirster
  • 8 Bloodletters, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 8 Bloodletters
  • 5 Bloodletters
  • 12 Daemonettes, Icon, Instrument of Chaos
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • Daemon Prince with Iron Hide
Terrain and Deployment
This was our second game on the same 4 foot square table. The first had ended with my 500 point Blood Angels patrol capturing a ruined Imperial shrine. It was surrounded by a low wall in my right centre, there was a ruined building on my left centre and a rocky lake in the Daemon deployment zone on my extreme left. There were four loot counters; two on my side of the board behind the shrine and the ruins, and two in the Daemons deployment zone, one near the lake and the other in the open. Due to the small table size we could only put them in square formation.

Gary won the initial die roll again giving me choice of table edge, first deployment and first turn. I set up the Tactical Marines inside the shrine walls and the Assault squad behind the other ruins. Everything else would come on from reserve. The Daemons would deep strike on from turn one so started with nothing on the board.

Gary once again played cleverly by giving me first turn. That meant I lost an entire shooting phase while his army was off-table. My own plan was to keep my own army compact so that they could cover each other and make co-ordinated assaults. I wanted to basically ignore the objective behind the shrine as it was near the most cover and go for the other three as they were exposed and would hopefully allow me to lever my shooting advantage. My priority was to target the Chaos Daemon Troops and prevent Gary from claiming objectives, while keeping at least one of my own Troops units alive.

The game
I pushed forward with the Tactical squad in the ruined Shrine and my Assault squad shuffled forward. Gary got his first choice Daemons and three squads of Bloodletters and the Bloodthirster arrived from reserve. Learning from his first disastrous game he deployed conservatively near the objectives in his deployment zone.

I got the Veteran and regular Assault squad from reserve, as well as the Predator and Death Company Dreadnought. I brought them all on on my left flank and pushed them up behind the ruins. The original Assault squad also slid left to form a very strong flanking force. This meant they were also a very long way away from the Bloodthirster!

I had intended to move my Tactical squad back into the shrine but changed my mind when I got 6" on the terrain roll. Instead aggressively I pushed them forward hoping to score some easy kills on the large Bloodletter squad in front of them. I figured that a flamer and seven bolter weapons shots would cause carnage amongst the Daemonic ranks. I was wrong. I fluffed my rolls badly and caused no casualties.

The Daemonettes and Daemon Prince decided to come out and play and materialised in and around the shrine, effectively capturing that objective. The Bloodletters charged into the Tactical squad but before they could swing the Bloodthirster barrelled in and killed all five Blood Angels with one mighty sweep of his axe.

The rest of my reserves appeared on the left flank again. The Chaplain led the Death Company up to the ruins which also allowed me to control Dreadnought Blackblood. The other Dreadnought plodded up behind. I made another aggressive move this turn when I flew all of my Assault squads over the ruins to take on an isolated Bloodletter unit. When the smoke from my shooting had cleared I had killed maybe one Bloodletter. Only one of my Assault squads made the charge but I whiffed my attacks and the whole unit was killed for nothing.

Now a unit of Flesh Hounds appeared behind the shrine and it looked like our battle lines had been rotated by 90 degrees, with the Daemons holding the right flank and the Blood Angels the left. All of the Daemons moved across to the centre to threaten the Marines. The isolated Bloodletters on the left assaulted both the Regular and Veteran Assault squad and wiped out nine Marines for minimal casualties. Crucially, a single Assault Marine escaped the carnage and fled. That meant I had a single scoring Trooper left in the game. If I could keep him alive I might achieve a draw or even scrape a win.

My Death Company had to come to the rescue. They swooped in on the Bloodletters on the left and annihilated them. They consolidated back, hoping to keep away from the Furiuos Charge of another Bloodletter unit.

Meanwhile the rest of my army shot everything they had into the central Bloodletters and Bloodthirster. All the melta weapon shots of the Dreadnoughts at the Bloodthirster either missed, failed to wound or were saved and my Predator only killed a couple of Bloodletters over two turns of all out shooting. Garbage.

The Daemons now launched assaults over the entire front. The Bloodletters contacted the Death Company and in an outrageous round of combat killed the whole unit. This included a single Bloodletter killing the Chaplain using just three attacks.

The Bloodthirster took on Dreadnought Blackblood and with his first attack rolled a five followed by a five on the damage table and destroyed it.

The Flesh Hounds move in on the Predator which was now trapped in my left corner.

The Predator again fluffed it's shots against the Daemons and the Dreadnought had it's multi-melta shot saved by the Daemon Prince. My lone surviving Marine moved up behind the Dreadnought, near an objective.

The Bloodthirster spotted him and used his whip to kill him from a distance. The Daemon Prince charged Dreadnought Rueben and rolled a six on the damage chart causing a large explosion.

The Flesh Hounds followed suit by getting a single penetrating hit on the Predator and rolling - you guessed it - a six.

The Chaos Daemons had wiped out the Blood Angels Space Marines and comprehensively won the battle.

Result: Loss, wiped out

Learning points
  • What a drubbing. While part of this loss has to be attributed to dice rolls (mine were universally appalling while Gary's were above average for the whole game) the largest part has to go down to strategy and tactics. I was just too aggressive and this led to the destruction of several units. I should never have charged the Tactical Marines forward and I should have held my assault elements back for another turn until I was in a better position. Gary deployed his army better and they mutually supported each other throughout the game, in what was for him a relatively defensive tactic. It worked perfectly!
  • Certainly against Daemons, and in general, I need some better long range shooting in my army. More Tactical Marines are a must (and would help with objective claiming) and things like attack bikes, Land speeders, Vindicators and Whirlwinds would help. I need enough hard hitting stuff capable of taking out the Bloodthirster and yet enough small arms fire to threaten the lesser Daemons.
  • I can see that our two armies are going to be quite evenly matched and a lot will be decided by who charges who. Furious Charge has a disproportionately large effect on our games as it decides who hits first between the Marines and the Bloodletters, so I need to get more of it in my army. How?


  1. Love the report Lone Pilgrim, hope you have better luck next time.

    For the furious charge try using some of the chapter traits.

  2. Unfortunately I haven't got access to the traits because I play Blood Angels.