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As an opener, this is my first game of 40K since I've gotten back into the US after a year-long "hiatus." As a relatively new member to this site, this also means it's my first 40K battle report. Any feedback on what you liked or you think sucked in terms of layout, as well as commentary on my actions or the actions of my opponent would be greatly appreciated, as I'm still a fairly new player and am prone to making many mistakes (some of which are very clear). I also apologize, as I left my camera at the house, so instead I diagrammed out estimated positioning on the battlefield. So without further ado, I present the first battle of an ongoing campaign...

Dalmian Crusades

Battle of Ioxus II

As laid out in the Venom Guard Background material found here, a detachment from the Venom Guard Chaos Space Marine warband met in battle with a loyalist Imperial Fist Company on the agri-world of Ioxus II.

The army sizes were 2,000 points.

Venom Guard:

HQ
Bociphus - (Kharn the Betrayer)

Troops
Squad Bravvick - 10x Khorne Berserkers
- Power Fist
- Personal Icon
- Rhino ded. transport

Squad Paelleoth - 9x Khorne Berserkers
- Power Fist
- Personal Icon
- Rhino ded. transport

Squad Finarius - 10x Chaos Space Marines
- Power Fist
- Icon of Chaos Glory
- Meltagun x2
- Rhino ded. transport

Squad Phagram - 7x Plague Marines
- Personal Icon
- Plasma gun x2

Fast Attack
Squad Zecharias - 6x Raptors
- Icon of Chaos Glory
- Meltagun x2

Squad Anderan - 6x Raptors
- Icon of Chaos Glory
- Meltagun x2

Heavy Support
Cult of Hariziah - 3x Obliterators

Grathagullok - Defiler
- Extra CCW to replace TL-heavy flamer

Vagamemnon - Defiler

Imperial Fists
The exact count may not come out to be exactly 2,000 points, but I failed to write down the exact compisition of the enemy and am recalling it as best I can.

HQ
Company Captain with Honour Guard
- Dual power fists on captain
- Thunderhammer x2
- Champion
- Standard Bearer

Librarian

Troops
The two squads he used were each split into combat squads, so I'll list them as such.

Space Marines x5
- Flamer
- Sgt. w/PFist

Space Marines x5
- Multimelta
- Sgt. w/PFist

Space Marines x5
- Plasma Cannon

Space Marines x5
- Heavy Bolter

Elites
Dreadnought
- TL Autocannon
- Missile launcher

Dreadnought
- Plasma cannon
- CCW w/flamer

Dreadnought
- Lascannon
- Missile launcher

Heavy Support
Vindicator

Vindicator
- Hunter killer missile

Predator
- TL lascannon
- Lascannon sponsons

Both players arrived with their lists prepared, although my opponent did show dismay when he realized that he'd failed to include fast attack in his list, which likely helped my cause when all was said and done.

Setup
Game type: Annihilation
Deployment type: Pitched Battle

Terrain
The field constisted primarily of ruins, the standard 1-3 story structures that have multiple levels for spreading units out.



Deployment




The Venom Guard deployed first, coming from the South of the Imperial Fist battlements (bottom of the pictures). Squad Phagram (Plague Marines) deployed on the first and second floors of their structure, as did the Cult of Hariziah (Obliterators).

The Imperial Fists deployed in a defensive position, taking control of the most commanding terrain feature by putting its stationary heavy weapons combat squads on the 2nd and 3rd levels. All other units were deployed on the ground level.

Turn 1
I will explain each move from each turn moving from the left to the right on the board to try to keep it simple and organized.

Venom Guard - Movement
With the Vindicators and the Plasma Cannon well within range of where I wanted my Rhinos to go, I spread them out in an attempt to make scattered template weapons less effective. All other units were deployed, as I saw it, in a fair manner to act both offensively and defensively and remained stationary.

Venom Guard - Shooting
Grathagullok fired its battlecannon on the dread with the plasma cannon, resulting in a stunned/shaken. Squad Phagram, despite being at exactly 24" of the two combat squads within the Imperial Fist stronghold, failed to fire (i.e. I forgot...). Vagamemnon fired at the lascannon dreadnought, scattering ineffectually. Each of the three rhinos popped their smoke screens to survive the inevitable onslaught. The Obliterator Cult fired plasma cannons upon the multi-melta combat squad within the northeastern ruins, resulting in one death (one failed Gets Hot!, one shot scattered, one hit).

Venom Guard - Assault
No units within range.

Imperial Fists - Movement
First, the drop pod bearing the Command Squad and the Librarian dropped just to the left of Vagamemnon. The northwestern-most combat squad began hauling ass across the open field towards Grathagullok. The vanilla vindicator inched forward to get in range of the defiler. The predator pulled around the side of the Stronghold to clear its line of site to Vagamemnon.

Imperial Fists - Shooting
The autocannon dreadnought and the vindicator fired at Grathagullok, immobilizing the Defiler. The plasmacannon dreadnought along with all elements within the Stronghold fired at Squad Phagram, only managing to kill one of the Plague Marines with a plasma cannon shot (looking back, I remembered that the stunned/shaken result on the dreadnought, which means I gave him a free shot, woops!). The predator poured all lascannons into Vagamemnon, causing the daemon engine to explode and wounding one of the Obliterators. The northeastern contingent of Imperial Fists poured shots into the rhinos, all of which either missed or were dodged by cover-saves.

Imperial Fists - Assault
No units within range.



Turn 2

Venom Guard - Movement
No reserves entered the game (Squad Anderan and Squad Zecharias). Each of the rhinos moved, Squad Finarius dismounting on the SE corner of the Stronghold to get its meltas within range of the predator. Squad Bravvick dismounted from its rhino prior to it moving, moving towards the remnants of the combat squad. Squad Paelleoth (with Bociphus aboard) moved behind the screen of the other two rhinos towards the stronghold.

Venom Guard - Shooting
Grathagullok fired upon the same plasma cannon dreadnought, again resulting in a stunned/shaken. Squad Phagram and the Cult (with plasma cannons) fired into the command squad and librarian, killing off 3 of them (leaving 2 members of the honour guard, the captain, and the librarian alive). Squad Finarius fired both meltas into the predator, destroying its main turret with the TL-lascannons.

Venom Guard - Assault
Since they had dismounted after moving, Squad Finarius was unable to assault the predator to finish it off with the power fist. Squad Bravvick assaulted the multi-melta combat squad, killing off 3 of the 4 marines and suffering no casualties, remaining locked in close combat.

Imperial Fists - Movement
The flamer combat squad kept running towards Grathagullok across the open field, while the autocannon dreadnought moved to the SW corner of the Stronghold to get in range of Squad Phagram. The HK vindicator, predator, and lascannon dreadnought all moved back into positions with more standoff with my assaulting forces. The Command Squad moved towards the Cult of Hariziah.

Imperial Fists - Shooting
The first vindicator fired again at Grathagullok, destroying the engine. The autocannon dreadnought and combat squad with the heavy bolter fired ineffectually at Squad Phagram. The HK vindicator and plasma cannon combat squad fired at Squad Finarius, killing all but the two melta-bearers and the aspiring champion. The lascannon dreadnought fired at the rhino with Bociphus and Squad Paelleoth, resulting in a stunned/shaken.

Imperial Fists - Assault
Squad Bravvick killed off the remainder of the combat squad, with a roll of 1 for the consolidation which they used to spread out in the direction of the Stronghold. The Imperial Fist command element assaulted the Obliterators, killing all three and losing only the standard bearer.



Turn 3
Venom Guard - Movement
Squad Anderan arrived via deepstrike directly in front of the HK vindicator. The remnants of Squad Finarius moved to the NE corner of the stronghold to get within effective range of the predator. The two mobile rhinos moved to screen Squad Bravvick from the vanilla vindicator from whichever direction it would attack. Making what I feel was a big mistake, I dismounted Bociphus and Squad Paelleoth from their rhino, sending the Champion towards the lascannon dreadnought and the beserkers towards the enemy command squad.

Venom Guard - Shooting
Squad Phagram and Squad Paelleoth fired ineffectually at the Imperial Fist command squad. Rather than running Squad Bravvick into the stronghold for cover, I had them fire their bolt pistols at the plasma cannon combat squad, without killing any. Squad Finarius fired its meltas at the predator a second time, immobilizing it. Squad Anderan destroyed the HK vindicator. Bociphus fired his plasma pistol at the lascannon dreadnought, and proceeded to take a wound for Gets Hot!

Venom Guard - Assault
Finarius redeemed the meltas' bad luck by destroying the predator with his power fist. Squad Paelleoth assaulted the command squad, putting a single wound on the Captain and the librarian (damn invuln saves on the PFist...). The Imperial Fists hit back, hard, killing four of the nine berserkers. Paelleoth lost combat by one wound, resulting in a fifth lost berserker to a failed Fearless armour save. Bociphus rolled a 3 on his assault through cover, and the dreadnought was 5 inches away, so he... stood there, angrily.

Imperial Fists - Movement
The as-yet ineffective flamer squad turned back towards the stronghold, while the remaining vindicator and the two western dreadnoughts maneuvered for better shots. The lascannon dreadnought took more steps back to avoid a possible future altercation with Bociphus.

Imperial Fists - Shooting
The autocannon fired at and missed an empty rhino. The vindicator, plasma cannon dread, and plasma cannon squad all fired at Squad Anderan, killing all but one melta bearer and scattering onto and killing 6 members of Squad Bravvick and a melta from Squad Finarius. The lascannon dreadnought fired a krak missile and a lascannon into Bociphus, insta-killing him (a bad time to realize that your HQ unit isn't an Eternal Warrior!).

Imperial Fists - Assault
Squad Paelleoth kept fighting the Captain and the Librarian, killing the Librarian and suffering 2 more casualties (only Paelleoth and a single berserker remain).



Turn 4

Venom Guard - Movement
Squad Zecharias (2nd raptor squad) arrived via deepstrike directly in front of the dreadnought. Squad Finarius (1x melta and Asp. Champ) moved into range of the second vindicator and Squad Bravvick moved inside of the stronghold to tear it from Loyalist control. The rhinos enveloped the eastern edge of the Stronghold and Squad Anderan (consisting of 1 melta gunner) jumped to finish off the lascannon dreadnought.

Venom Guard - Shooting
The newly arrived raptors immobilized the vindicator and Squad Finarius stunned/shook it. Squad Bravvick did not shoot at the combat squad on the 2nd floor to make sure they remained within assault range. The three rhinos fired their TL, rapid-fire bolters into the plasma-gun squad, managing to kill 3 of the 5 marines. The last raptor from Squad Anderan completely missed the dreadnought. Squad Phagram fired its plasma guns at the Drop Pod in an attempt to get a kill point, but failed to destroy it.

Venom Guard - Assault
Squad Bravvick manages to roll a 1 and get stuck on the first floor of the Stronghold. Knowing that he was dead regardless (lascannon and missile launcher... no thanks) the last raptor of Squad Anderan bravely assaulted the dreadnought, missing with his krak grenade. Conveniently, since the dreadnought had sacrificed its CCW in favour of heavier weapons, his attacks fail to kill the raptor. Squad Paelleoth finally kills off the Captain, with only two members remaining and consolidate towards the drop pod.

Imperial Fists - Movement
The autocannon dreadnought and flamer squad keep moving east towards the concentration of Chaos marines, and the plasma cannon dreadnought plods towards Squad Zecharias.

Imperial Fists - Shooting
The autocannon dreadnought and flamer squad fire at Squad Bravvick, resulting in no casualties. The plasma cannon dreadnought fires at Squad Zecharias and kills 2 of the raptors. The heavy bolter squad and plasma cannon squad fire at and kill another member of Squad Phagram. Lastly, drop pod shoots at the remnants of Squad Paelleoth but hits nothing.

Imperial Fists - Assault
The plasma cannon dreadnought assaults Squad Zecharias, killing off one of the raptors but having its CCW destroyed by a lucky krak grenade in the process. They are locked in close combat. The last raptor of Anderan and the lascannon dreadnought remain locked in melee with nothing exciting going on.



Turn 5

Venom Guard - Movement
Squad Finarius moves in closer to the last vindicator to deliver the final blow to the vehicle. Squad Bravvick ascends to the second level, where the heavy bolter squad is waiting. Squad Paelleoth moves towards the drop pod. The three rhinos remain stationary, well out of assault range of the charging combat squad from the west.

Venom Guard - Shooting
Squad Finarius misses the immobilized vindicator. Bravvick fires bolt pistols into the heavy bolter squad, killing one. The rhinos and their TL-bolters finish off the plasma cannon squad on the third floor of the Stronghold. Squad Phagram's plasmaguns fail to destroy the drop pod.

Venom Guard - Assault
Squad Finarius destroys the vindicator with the powerfist with a wrecked result. Squad Zecharias manages to get another lucky krak grenade on the dreadnought and destroy it, while Squad Anderan remains locked in assault with the lascannon dreadought. Squad Bravvick assaults the heavy bolter squad and kill three of the last four and lose one berserker. Squad Paelleoth moves in and destroys the drop pod with its power fist.

Imperial Fists - Movement
The last combat squad moves forwards to the southern edge of the stronghold while the autocannon dread gets closer to the rhinos. All other elements are destroyed or locked in close combat.

Imperial Fists - Shooting
The autocannon dreadnought, the only element that can still fire, shoots at and destroys the TL-bolter from one of the rhinos.

Imperial Fists - Assault
The last raptor from squad Anderan destroys the lascannon arm of the last dreadnought, and Squad Bravvick wipes out the rest of the heavy bolter squad.



The game is conceded by the Imperial Fists, and the Venom Guard move into the spaceport and destroy it utterly.

Final disposition of forces:


Results

Remaining on the table:
Venom Guard
Squad Paelleoth - 2x Berserkers
Squad Bravvick - 3x Berserkers
Squad Finarius - 2x Chaos Space Marines
Squad Phagram - 5x Plague Marines
Squad Anderan - 1x Raptor
Squad Zecharias - 3x Raptors
Rhinos x3

Imperial Fists
Combat squad w/ flamer
Dreadnought w/autocannon
Dreadnought w/lascannon

Losses:

Venom Guard
Bociphus
Obliterator Cult
Defiler
Defiler
4 kill points

Imperial Fists
Captain with command squad
Librarian
Dreadnought
Dreadnought
Combat squad
Combat squad
Combat squad
Vindicator
Vindicator
Predator
Drop pod
11 kill points

Overwhelming victory for the forces of Chaos.

Notes/Observations

Keys to victory:
Hitting each available kill point (i.e. the drop pod) and not ignoring easy kill points (i.e. my rhinos) really turned the tide. While it may not have turned the tide of the game, it would have made it much less one-sided if he had played the scenario as opposed to try to do what he did. As always, playing to the scenario and going for each kill point (making sure that I killed useless units) was the biggest indicator of success vs. failure and, had he opted to finish off depleted units rather than continue wasting futile shots at the plague marine squad, the result may have been different.

Improvements to make:
Dismounting my HQ and his squad so early and splitting my HQ from the protection of his squad was a terrible idea. While I wanted to multi-task (take out his command squad and the dreadnought) while minimizing the inevitable collateral damage that Kharn's character creates, I should allowed Squad Paelleoth to take care of the Multi-melta squad and let Bravvick head back towards the command squad.

I did not move the plague marines... at all. While they are included in my lineup completely as objective campers, I feel like I could have used them to much greater effect (although they did absorb many many MANY shots).

The defilers were not deployed well, either, as I'm used to setting them up in support positions so that they can act well on both offense and in a supporting role on defense. They were easily and quickly picked off without great effect on their parts. The same goes for the obliterators, and the fact that all of my heavy support was dead on turn 3 was kind of disheartening.

Viability of combat squads: while it increases maneuverability, it also is highly detrimental in an annihilation match, as it gives me that natural advantage of more units on the table to kill. While I may have tallied this up mentally incorrectly, it was still an overwhelming win.

Fast attack: this is the first game I've tried the double tank-hunting-raptor squads and they worked beautifully. Each earned the points that I invested in them and distracted the enemy enough with their threat once on the table that I could maneuver depleted units effectively and save losing whole squads.

Rhinos: this is the first time I've used concentrated rhino-bolter fire... and while I'm pretty sure his poor armour saves coupled with the TL-rapid fire didn't help, I was incredibly surprised/pleased with the result. 3x rhinos vs. a plasma cannon combat squad over 2 turns got me a kill point... win as far as I'm concerned.

This concludes my first BatRep on Heresy-Online, I hope you enjoyed! Any questions/comments/tactical feedback on errors that I or the other player made would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers :victory:

- Boc
 

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Regretfully I cannot a useful comment on tactics or deployed forces, but thank you for sharing. It was a nice read with useful pictures. Keep up the good work.
 

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As disappointed as I am that Space Marines lost that drastically to chaos, nice job! It was an interesting battle, and keep them coming.
 
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