The ladies got their first serious intro into the fine, fine universe of WH40K tabletop gaming while under my command. Really, it wasn't that bad.
I was facing a 1500pt Death Guard army with...
1 Nurgle Lord w/ Daemon Weapon, Plasma Pistol
3x 7 Death Guard w/ Champion (PF/PP) and 2 Plasmaguns
1x 8 Death Guard w/ Champion (PF/PP) and 2 Plasmaguns with a Demonically Possessed Rhino
1 Predator Annihilator w/ Extra Armor
1 Defiler (never found out if it had any upgrades)
My list was the same as posted in my blog (https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/blog.php?u=55
Deployment: 4x6 table with moderate terrain coverage. After rolling for deployment zones, I found myself with a small cluster of 3 huts, a large sloping hill to my left, and a thin sliver of a hill to my right. Opposite was a another large sloping hill on the far left, a fairly large copse of trees next to the hill, a small tangle of roots and rock, and then a 10” diameter circular. Each hill was open terrain with no cover benefits other than the chance that line of sight might be blocked. The huts would offer only 5+ cover, as would the copse of trees, and the circular ruins would grant a 4+ cover save.
To my top left were the Predator and a squad of 7 Plague Marines on foot. In the center opposite were another squad of 7 Plague Marines on foot and the squad of 8 Plague Marines in the Rhino. To my top right was the Defiler, backing up the last squad of 7 pedestrian Plague Marines serving as bodyguard for the Nurgle Lord. I deployed nothing to my left, while I had the Retributors in one hut with one Exorcist and the Immolator behind the huts just to the left. The other Exorcist was behind another of the small huts to the right, with the three Rhinos forming a mobile wall of terrain allowing the three Sororitas Squads, the Seraphim, and the Canoness someplace to hide without having to hug the rear of my deployment zone. My opponent won first turn and opted to take it.
Turn 1 showed the Rhino advancing straight toward my center while the central Plague Marines got caught up in difficult terrain trying to advance in cover through the roots and rocks. The other Chaos units stood their ground and began to open fire. The Predator had a bead on the Immolator which was positioned to shield the Exorcist during first turn fire, and it performed its role admirably, absorbing 3 Lascannon hits with nothing more than a ‘shaken’ result. The Defiler dropped a shell on one of the Rhinos but failed to do more than ‘shake’ it as well. The blast also caught the Canoness and one Sister, but the Canoness made her 2+ armor save against the AP3 blast, while the Sister made a 5+cover save as she stood out of line of sight behind one of the huts. What a lovely first Chaos turn for the Sisters! Now, time to return the favor by advancing all of the Rhinos straight forward in a lengthwise line in the middle of the table and popping smoke on all three. The Sisters then advance with the Seraphim and Canoness on the far left of the Rhino wall, one squad of Sisters behind them, and two squads of Sisters to their right. The Immolator advances at full speed toward the left and the Predator and Plague Marines in order to help block line of sight from the Chaos Predator to the Exorcist. The other Exorcist moves just enough to get a good bead on the Defiler. At this point, there is really nothing left to do but begin the carnage. Well, suffice it to say that the Sisters fared no better than Chaos on turn one, having caused absolutely zero damage to the foul Heretics. Now, everything was in the open and the pain would truly begin.
Turns 2-3 proved to be pretty hectic for both parties as the Chaos vehicles and the two Exorcist trade blows, but were unable to do anything more than ‘shake’ one another. The Rhino borne Plague Marines were able to jump out of their ride close enough to the Rhino wall to assault the Seraphim and the Canoness. Better that than rapid firing 5 plasma shots into the unit before hitting it with a ton of bolter shells, I’d say. Still, one Seraph was lost but a couple of Heretics bit the sharp end of a Blessed Weapon as well. The Seraphim left combat to the Canoness and hopped toward the center Plague Marines tangled in the briar (having rolled another ‘1’ for difficult terrain). The unit of Sisters behind the Canoness and her combat immediately joined and offered their support, slowly witling away this unit of Plague Marines. The Canoness and this squad spent the entire remainder of the game picking this unit apart, losing a total of 4 Sisters and leaving only the Chaos Champion alive at the end of the game. Points to Remember No. 1 – Blessed Weapons are Master Crafted. That combat should have ended much earlier. The other two units of Sisters advanced behind the Rhinos, and with a few lucky shots from the Chaos boyz on the other side, got the chance to use the smoking husk of one as cover while advancing into rapid-fire range of the Chaos Lord’s unit, which was also advancing on the two units of Sisters.
Turns 4-6 had things change in the Sisters’ favor. The Exorcists finally managed to remove both the Defiler and the Predator from the game, as well as thin out 5 of the 7 Plague Marines on the far left, leaving only 2 alive on that side of the table. The center Plague Marines put up a valiant fight (for heretics) and took all but one Seraph out of action, but again having only their Champion survive the fight. An Act of Faith kept this lone survivor from fleeing the board, and thus being able to use her twin Inferno Pistols to remove the enemy Rhino from the game. This left only the Chaos Lord and his lads, and I got the opportunity to let my army loose. From the two Sisters Squads, and the Retributors, I let loose with 4 Heavy Bolters, 14 Rapid Fire Bolters, 3 Meltaguns, 2 Heavy Flamers, and 1 Flamer. After a little incident with contributed to the wreckage of one of my Rhinos, the Lord had taken a wound due to plasma overheat. Now, after the fire (and a bit of Faith), the Lord had one wound remaining and the Squad was reduced to only one Plague Marine with a Bolter. Through two rounds of combat, the Lord was only able to take out 2 Sisters (rolled a one for the Daemon Weapon, he did), and the Sisters took three turns just to remove the one Plague Marine in combat. At the end of it all, the Sisters still had a member of every squad on the table, with only one Rhino destroyed, and one squad, the Seraphim, below half. For Chaos, only the Lord (with 1 wound) and 4 Plague Marines survived.
I really expected this to be a difficult game, considering the Str3 vs. To5 issue, as well as the problem with Feel No Pain and the loss of the extra attack on the charge. My heavy bolters and heavy flamers were largely ineffective, as were the bolters, but throw enough rocks… One point to remember is simply to remind my opponent that while they have 3+ saves, and BS4, not all of the Sisters have WS4. My opponent was under this assumption and did not realize the mistake until turn 5. Then again, I did not roll for my Master Crafted Blessed Weapon until turn 6. I did fail one Act (Divine Guidance) which would have massacred the Lord and his 2 buddies a turn earlier, as I rolled 4 sixes (meaning AP1 wounds) on only the 3 models. Also, I’m not sure if I played the army too aggressively, or simply not aggressively enough. I did consistently advance, on foot/pack, all of the Sisters, save the Retributors who took pot shots when they could. At least I ended up with 3 of my 7 units across the table, and 2 of them still scoring.
Hopefully I’ll get to understand what I did right, and what I screwed up in this game better as time progresses. This game really was a lot of fun for the both of us, and an example of what can happen when the dice do not wish to cooperate.