Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SPACE MARINES - BLOOD ANGELS versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Kill 'em all!
1st turn: Blood Angels
Points: 5000
Location: Rianas, Ossory Cluster, Skolarii sector
Background: The following vid-picts were uncovered by an agent working on behalf of the lone pilgrim upon the Hiveworld of Jalein. They have been carbon-silica dated to 343.M41, and have been estimated 93.2% authentic. The conflict recorded herein relates to that cataclysmic battle between the forces of Chaos commanded by Ahriman and the Blood Angels Space Marines led by Dante himself.

Initially the Chaotic horde massively outnumbered the forces of the Imperium, but they fought numerous costly battles against scattered Ork armies over several worlds of sub-sector seven. When Ahriman and his forces launched a ground assault on Rianas, Dante decided that the time had come to strike. The fate of the entire sub-sector was to be decided by this single battle, so each army's only objective was to wipe out the enemy to a man no matter how long it would take.

Space Marines - Blood Angels
  • Commander Dante
  • CaptainTycho, Honour Guard
  • Sanguinary Priest Corbulo
  • Chief Librarian Mephiston
  • Commander Xenophon
  • Terminator Commander Kades
  • Terminator Chaplain Blackblood
  • Chaplain Avernus with Death Company
  • 6 Terminators, 5 Veteran Assault Marines
  • 38 Tactical marines
  • 10 Scouts
  • 4 Bikes
  • Attack Bike
  • 10 Assault Marines
  • Land speeder Tornado
  • Dreadnought Rueben
  • Baal Predator
  • 18 Devastator Marines

Chaos Space Marines
  • Ahriman
  • Kharn the Betrayer
  • Bloodthirster
  • Sorceror
  • Lord on Juggernaught
  • Daemon Prince on Disc of Tzeentch
  • Chaos Lord
  • Cypher
  • Possessed
  • A frothing horde of Khorne Berzerkers
  • Plague Marines
  • Obliterators
  • Numerous Chaos Space Marines
  • Bloodletters
  • Plaguebearers
  • Raptors
  • Flesh Hounds
  • Predator
  • Havocs

Terrain and deployment

The armies meet across a small Ork settlement

The view from the Blood Angels battle line

Note the Tactical squad deployment to the left flank and the close assault element to the right. The plan is to deliver a massive right hook to the right while refusing the left flank. Captain Tycho and the Honour Guard advance up the shallow stream under cover from the scout sniper rifles. Dante leads the Veteran Assault Squad, just behind the Dreadnought.

We will fight them on the beaches...

Devastator and Tactical Squads hold the left flank, near a ruined shrine and a beach, under the watchful eye of Commander Xenophon. The Baal Predator protects the centre and will act as the 'pivot'. The Ork building will provide cover for the assault units as they move in.

Darkness rising

The Predator, two squads of Khorne Berzerkers, a Havoc Squad, the Dreadnought, three obliterators and a Chaos Space Marine Squad all contest the open ground around the ruined shrine. The Chaos army is more balanced in its deployment. If their assault units can reach the Tactical Marines they should be able to overwhelm them and begin to roll up the line.

Ahriman conducts the deployment of his forces near the shallow stream (he is the lone figure at the rear).

The Lord on the Juggernaught is next to the red Rhino which contains Kharn and the Possessed. More Chaos Space Marines (black) and Khorne Berzerkers (red) hold the far side of the river. On the near side the Plague Marines are in the green Rhino while yet more Khorne Berzerkers inhabit the blue Rhino. The Raptor Squad takes cover behind the Rhinos.

Turn 1

The Blood Angels assault element races forward

Corbulo is in the red Rhino with a nine man Honour Guard. Note Tycho in the stream with the Chapter Banner. Dante can just be seen amongst a sea of jump pack Marines.

Fire as one

On the other flank the Blood Angels lay down a withering hail of fire. Not one unit succumbs to the Rage!

Red on red contact

Dreadnought Rueben was destroyed by enemy fire in the first shot of the game despite being shrouded in smoke. The Bike Squad, succumbing to the Rage and rushing forward, is all but wiped out by the Khorne Berzerkers that furiously charge into combat. Surely the Attack bike is doomed.

But wait...isn't that Mephiston and a Terminator Squad nearby? All is not lost.

The Chaos horde charge forward under covering fire from their Dreadnought

Ahriman unleashes his foul magicks from the rear (!)

Even his own forces shun him. Cypher is just visible to the right of the Chaos Space Marine Squad, while Khârn froths in the Rhino with the Possessed.

Turn 2

The relentless Space Marine advance continues

The Khorne Berzerkers have been destroyed by the Terminators. The Plague Marine Rhino has blown up killing many of its foul occupants, the survivors coming under fire from the Scout sniper rifles. Captain Tycho has been ambushed by Daemonettes from the warp. The Chapter Banner is swept away in the stream.


Corbulo and his Honour Guard have already killed Cypher and the rest of his Squad but are assailed by Bloodletters summoned from warpspace and the Daemon Prince on a disc of Tzeentch. Will Commander Kades and his Terminators arrive in time to save Corbulo?

Battle at the ford

The two surviving Plague Marines aid the Daemonettes against Tycho, while the Berzerkers in the Rhino bide their time. The Raptors keep a watchful eye on the Death Company over the ford. In the background the Scouts ready their sniper rifles.

Turn 3

Death comes calling

The Death Company cross the ford to confront the Plague Marines but they don't disembark. Do they have a fiendish plan up their sleeve or did their commander simply forget about them? Chaplain Blackblood, in Terminator armour, brings up the rear. The Raptors use their speed to get behind the Rhino and target its weaker rear armour.

Captains to me!

Ahriman had been assaulted by the Blood Angel Assault Squad and held them up long enough for the Chaos Lord on a Juggernaught to come to his rescue. The two survivors can be seen top left, falling back. The Terminators did save Corbulo, his Red Grail can just be made out in the scrum, and the Bloodletters and Daemon Prince are wiped out.

Frothing madmen

Near the ruined shrine two Tactical Squads succumb to the Black Rage and race toward the oncoming Khorne Berzerkers! Does the sorcery of Chaos have something to do with this momentary lapse of reason?

Turn 4

Chaplain Blackblood is assailed by Plaguebearers in the ford

Tycho lies injured nearby.


Captain Kades has no chance to rest as Khârn and the Possessed bail out of their Rhino and kill Corbulo. Many Terminators also fall in the assault. The foul mutations of the Chaos Possessed are horribly visible.

Angels of Death

Nearby, Dante and the Veteran Assault Squad take on the Chaos Lord on the Juggernaught.


A Tactical Squad is charged by the newly revealed Bloodthirster. Its host was killed before it appeared and its hold in real space is weak, but with no heroes or assault squads in the area it can run amok.

Turn 5

Single combat

Dante and the Chaos Lord on the Juggernaught duel man to man. Dante was severely wounded but his Iron Halo saved him from four killing blows, and in return he dispatched his foe.

Blood for the Blood God

The Bloodthirster munches its way through another Tactical Squad. Before it could cause any more carnage it succumbed to instability and was dragged back into the Warp. The Blood Angels left flank was secure.

The two Chaplains meet face to face after cleaving through their opponents

Heroes of the Imperium

Dante, Mephiston, Kades, Sergeant Redemptor and a single Terminator take a well earned breath. Ahriman fell to a lucky Missile launcher shot but his body was never found. In all the confusion Khârn managed to escape too.

But the battle is won, sub-sector seven is saved.

The Heart of the Skolarii Sector is claimed by the Imperium.

Result: Win

  • So the Blood Angels emerge victorious after a vicious engagement. My plan to bring the assault element to bear upon a single flank of the Chaos army worked very well. With Dante, Mephiston, Corbulo, Tycho, Kades and both Chaplains taking on Ahriman, Cypher, Khârn, the Daemon Prince on a disc, the Lord on Juggernaught and another Lord on foot, we had a cataclysmic meeting but the Blood Angels heroes just had the edge and won through.
  • The Death Company achieved nothing in the entire game when I forgot to deploy them from the Rhino after crossing the ford. The Rhino was subsequently destroyed and the survivors hosed with fire, so that only the Chaplain survived. Ho hum. I suppose in such a large battle you're bound to forget something.
  • On the left flank the Chaos forces came under heavy fire against Tactical and Devastator Squads that rarely failed their rolls for Black Rage. The only Chaos model that made it into combat on this flank was the Bloodthirster, and it chewed through two Tactical Squads in short order. Given that there was only one Marine model, out of fifty or so, on that entire side of the board with a weapon that could hurt it effectively in close combat (Xenophon with his power fist) the Bloodthirster could easily have swung the battle in favour of Chaos. But his host had been killed before he could be summoned and in the end the Bloodthirster fell to a poor instability roll, not to the Blood Angels.
  • It was interesting to fight such a large battle with a high number of heroes. Surprisingly I think, tactics were still important. I had pretty much assumed that there would be so much lead flying around that the plan would go out of the window after the first turn, but the decision to place all of the Blood Angel heroes together and use the Ork building to cover the advance really paid off. A hugely entertaining battle!


  1. Nice battle - how long did that game last?

  2. We had set aside the whole day for it but it probably only took about four hours to play in total. Great fun!