Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CHAOS SPACE MARINES versus Chaos Space Marines - World Eaters

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition, Gauntlet Tournament 2005 game 3
Opponent: Eric Hoath
Mission: Cleanse - Gamma level
1st turn: Chaos Space Marines - World Eaters
Points: 1000

One final apology for the general rubbishness of the photos, and then on with the show...

Chaos Space Marines - World Eaters
  • Tooled up Lord on Juggernaught
  • 3x8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • Dreadnought with 2 Close Combat Weapons

Terrain and Deployment
This type of table was exactly what I was expecting in terms of terrain before I came to the tournament. It was dead flat, with only three stands of trees towards the edges of the board, and one small rocky outcrop in the centre. Eric won the dice off to choose table quarters and after a lot of deliberation chose the one with most cover, containing two forests. In my opinion this was a mistake, as he would have to leave the cover to attack my army and I would have totally clear lines of sight between all of my shooty units.

The armies face off over a barren wasteland

As my opponent won the choice of deployment I got to set up the first unit. Squad Abraxar stepped up to the plate again and started front and forward, to push back the Khorne deployment. The World Eaters all set up centrally, as close to my army as possible. As you can see in the photo above, there was one Berzerker squad to my right of the wood, and two to the left, including the Lord. The Dreadnought was in the forest itself. It was clear that Eric's gameplan was simply to rush into my lines and overwhelm me in combat.

Squad Infractis infiltrates onto the left flank

I figured that the best way to win would be to spread out my units (ideally about 12" apart) so that even if the Berzerkers wiped out a unit, they would have to weather a round of shooting before initiating another assault. I ignored the infiltrate ability for Squad Imber and they began deep in my starting quarter, as did my Obliterators. With no indirect firers or heavy vehicles to worry about, I thought their extra firepower would be more useful from turn one.

Squad Profuge sneaked into a wood on my right. Ferocitor, my Lord, began behind the rocks in the centre of the table. Squad Krall went on the left of my starting quarter with Squad Infractis infiltrating beyond them, behind a wood on the extreme left of the table. I planned to bring the Furies on from Squad Infractis to capture the enemy deployment zone if I was doing well, otherwise they'd have to help defend my starting quarter.

Turn 1
Eric won first turn, and his Berzerkers did their thing, raging toward Squad Abraxar. Predictably, the Exigators squad was torn apart by the frothing madmen. On the left, one Khorne unit was drawn off to Squad Infractis, as they were nearer. Excellent, I was already beginning to break up the enemy assault.


To the surprise of my opponent I spurned two assaults this turn. I dropped Squad Infractis back into the corner of the table, hopefully out of assault range from the Berzerkers, and I pulled back Ferocitor. I just wanted to get as much shooting in as possible before the inevitable assault. In the shooting phase I managed to whittle down the lead Berzerker squad which had advanced into the rocks, and the unit the Lord had joined. I forgot to shoot Squad Profuge, as they were hidden in the forest and I couldn't see them. Arse.

Turn 2
Eric split his attack still further in turn two as he tried to threaten each of my squads.

The Khorne army presses it's attack on the Exigators

The lead Berzerkers failed (passed?) the rage and rolled low difficult terrain tests to leave them stranded on the central rocks. The Dreadnought followed behind. One Berzerker squad got it's running shoes on and broke right to assault Squad Profuge.

After two turns, and four assault phases, the Berzerkers finally cut down the Exigators for the cost of three Marines. The Lord and the Berzerkers he had joined split left and just failed to contact Squad Krall. Phew!

I shot pretty much everything I had at the Lord's squad and took them down to just one model. I even caused a lucky wound on the Lord.

Squad Infractis drops back and taunts the Berzerkers to attack

Meanwhile, on the left flank the Berzerkers failed to rage and got tangled up in the forest. That left them a tempting target for Squad Infractis. I stepped up, dropped one with bolt pistol fire and then got stuck in.

Combat is joined

It was a very even fight for several turns, with only a Marine or two falling in each round of combat. I really needed the Furies to show up and help swing the tide. They hadn't arrived on turn two, so they must show up in turn three, mustn't they?

My final assault was with Ferocitor. I charged him into the five Berzerkers on the rocks and took four of them down without taking a wound in return. Result!

Turn 3
This was a crucial turn for Eric as he was up against the ropes. His Dreadnought came up trumps for him and raged 12", right into the combat with Ferocitor. Now I was facing something like seven strength 10 attacks from the Dread and four strength 8 attacks from the Berzerker champion in my next assault phase. Ouch.

The Dreadnought rages 12" to take on Ferocitor

In the event, my five initiative allowed me to go first and I put all of my attacks onto the Dread. By this stage of the game our table was surrounded by onlookers and they waiting nervously for the result of my one penetrating hit. I got a four and destroyed the raging walker. Get in!

The Aspiring champion caused two wounds with his power fist, but I was still more than happy with the outcome.

The Khorne Lord kills everything he touches

Squad Krall weren't quite so lucky. The Khorne Lord smashed into them on the back of his Juggernaught, and slaughtered them to a man.

Turn 4
With the fall of Squad Profuge, Eric had a virtually full squad of Berzerkers to sic on Ferocitor. My Lord went down under a flurry of chainaxe blows, although he managed to drag three Marines down with him. That left the Berzerkers out in the open in front of Squad Imber, and they were reduced to a single model.

Ferocitor pays the price for his valiant counter attack

The Khorne Lord took a lascannon shot to the face from the Obliterators, and that ended any lingering hope of a comeback for the Berzerker army. The Obliterators pushed on into the table quarter on my right and claimed it for the Exigators.

That's a big dead pile

My Furies had arrived on the left and that allowed me to finally overwhelm the Berzerkers on that flank. Squad Infractis claimed this left quarter and I went to move the Furies into my opponents starting quarter. I was stopped by my opponent, though, who said that the game had ended because his army had been wiped out.

I was absolutely stunned. I was sure the rules said nothing about the game ending automatically upon the destruction of a force and that proved to be the case. Still, Eric insisted, so we turned to the judges. They said the rules were unclear and we had to dice for it. Eric won, so I had officially scored a Decisive Victory, rather than a Victorious Slaughter. Unbelievable!

Result: Win - Decisive victory

Learning points
  • I have to say that this little episode at the end threatened to spoil what had been my favourite game of the tournament. Otherwise, Eric had been a good, solid opponent, with a decent knowledge of the rules which meant we could actually get on and play the game quickly. In the event I decided to just 'suck it up.' I had won all three of my games, which had been my target at the start, and I knew I was in with a good chance to win the whole tournament anyway.
  • I was really optimistic when I saw the table and opposing army for my final game. The lack of terrain meant I had a massive advantage as a mainly shooty army, and I have played against Khorne armies numerous times, so I knew their strengths and weaknesses. Eric played right into my hands with his choice of table quarter and splitting his army during the game, so it was all pretty straightforward. He had no long range fire support and no really quick units (like Flesh Hounds) so his army was pretty one dimensional.

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