Saturday, August 23, 2014

First game of Warhammer 40K 7th edition. Sisters of Battle vs. Chaos Marines

It's been a couple years since I've updated this blog, primarily because  (a) I don't really have the time and (b) my reluctance to post battle reports with unpainted miniatures. 

I may do a separate blog post on painted vs. unpainted miniatures, but suffice it to say I most certainly prefer painted and am not a lazy SOB who never bothers to work on his minis. That said, if I did limit myself (and my friends) to painted-only games, I'd (a) get a lot fewer games played, (b) life is too short, (c) I've got 2 kids, wife, dog, house, etc. aka BUSY, and finally (d) I'll never update this blog again if I avoid the unpainted horrors. 

I totally get it: I much prefer looking at pictures of beautifully-painted figures on an amazing tabletop.  It's absolutely what I aspire to. I've reached that goal at times in the past, but can't do so *every time* I play a game. Just accept this batrep for what it is or turn away. Thanks for understanding.

Warhammer 40K 7th Edtion batrep: Sisters of Battle vs. Chaos Marines

I met up with my friend, Devon last night for our first game of Warhammer 40K 7th edition. With the exception of a single 500-point game of 6th edition we played in May, it has been nearly 6 years since I last played 40K and even longer for Devon.  I was a regular 40K gamer during all of 3rd edition and a year or two of 2nd edition.  I skipped 4th, dabbled a tiny bit in 5th, but with the release of the Imperial Knight, Games Workshop got my attention once more. I don't own an Imperial Knight... yet, but the release of that giant robot got me re-interested in the game and much to my surprise, I've bought not one but TWO new armies in 2014.

I have been steadily acquiring Sisters of Battle models over the last 3 months; most arriving in small batches via eBay. They've been stripped of bad paint-jobs and I've been filing off every vile mold-line I can find. It's a bit of an obsession for me. I spend far more time filing and prepping minis than painting, unfortunately (don't start). A few units have met minimum standards and will be used in their painted states until I have the other portions of the army painted, at which point, these figures will be stripped, prepped and painted to match. It has been interesting to see the variety of paint schemes that people have chosen.

Devon was the lucky recipient of a large Chaos Marine army this week from a very good friend and was eager to try them out. He estimates he could drop something like 4000 points on the table, all in foot troops. Neither of us have vehicles (other than a few Helbrutes) at this point, so we decided to play a small 500-point game on a 3' x 4' table.

Sisters of Battle 500-point list:
Canoness w/Inferno pistol, power sword, rosarius
Sisters squad (6) with flamer, multi-melta
Sisters squad (6) with flamer, multi-melta
Seraphim squad (5) with 2x twin hand-flamers, Seraphim Superior upgrade
Retributor squad (5) with 3x heavy bolters.

Chaos Marine 500-point list:
Chaos Lord w/Terminator armor, power sword
Chaos Marine squad (5) with plasma gun, Aspiring Champion upgrade
Chaos Marine squad (5) with plasma gun, Aspiring Champion upgrade
Chaos Cultist squad (10) with flamer, Champion upgrade
Chaos Cultist squad (10) with flamer, Champion upgrade
Helbrute with power fist, multi-melta

The Helbrute and Cultist squads were purchased as a Formation from a dataslate which gave him some special rules.  The Cultists worshiped the Helbrute and would work as ablative armor for incoming fire. They were also Fearless.

We set up the terrain in a mostly symmetrical pattern and rolled up a Maelstrom mission, because we wanted to use the new cards. We would set up on the long edges (6" deployment zone to compensate for the smaller table). I can't remember the name of the mission 100%, but I think it was "capture and control" or something very similar.  Basically, if you controlled a Objective, you would draw objective cards at the end of your turn.  If you didn't control any objectives, then you got no cards, which meant you wouldn't have the opportunity to score VPs.  Each player started with one card.

For Warlord Traits, I got "Indomitable something" which gave the Canoness and her squad a 5+ invulnerable save.  Devon got a Trait that allowed him to Infiltrate 3 units, which he did with his Marine squads and Chaos Lord.

Okay, onto the pictures.  Here's our deployment; Chaos on the left, Ecclessiarchy on the right:

 On the Chaos right flank, the Lord joined a Marine squad:
 The Helbrute deployed in the center, near both Cultist squads. 
 Here's the other Cultist squad.  If you count them, you'll see 3 extra volunteers snuck onto the battlefield. They were discovered and sent home a few turns into the game.
 On the Chaos left flank, the other squad of marines had an excellent approach on an Objective with a nice cargo container blocking LoS to the enemies guns.
 The Sisters right flank had a Sisters troop squad backed up by the Retributors:
 The Seraphim deployed in the center:
 The Canoness joined the other troop squad on the Sisters left flank.
 Gameplay underway: The Seraphim squad were given a suicide mission on Turn 2: Jump over the ruined Cathedral and thin out the Cultist squads protecting the Helbrute. I made a slight error in judgement here, as I forgot these were two separate squads and I could only shoot one of them (you'd think the bright red vs. grey minis would have been a clear reminder, but no... they were all Damned Souls to my Sisters).  The Retributors helped out, killing 3 of the grey squad (including the unit leader) while the Seraphim unloaded with their four flamer templates, re-rolling Wounds thanks to their Act of Faith.  24 hits and 16 Wounds later, the red squad was incinerated and the Seraphim with bolt pistols never got to fire a shot:
 This meant that the Helbrute and remainig Cultists would swarm the Seraphim on their Turn 2 and wipe them out.  This they did with relative ease, after which they consolidated onto an Objective:
 On the Chaos left flank, the Marine squad had taken a couple casualties while holding another Objective and improbably failed their Morale test and ran away.  They'd be back:
"Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you know..."

The Chaos Lord certainly did.  After capping yet ANOTHER Objective, he set his eyes on the Canoness and her squad and thought to himself, 

"Once you have found her,
Never let her go.
Once you have found her,
Never let her go!"

Boldly, he would cross the dance floor...
 Here they are dancing a few turns later. A few Sisters had two left feet and excused themselves from the soiree. We'll return in a moment to see how they're getting on.

 The Helbrute advances on the Sisters holding the right flank. Those brave, brave Cultists shielding it from harm. They wouldn't last long:
 The Helbrute charges the Troop squad, but not before losing its Power fist. This allowed the Sisters to absorb the brunt of the charge, after which the Retributors left their sandbag emplacement to counter-charge in support.  Krak grenade party coming up.
 The two Warlords continue their dance.  The gentleman had difficulty with the steps due to his bulky Terminator armor.  The lady had no trouble with the intricacies of the routine, but couldn't overcome the sheer strength (or rather, Toughness) of her partners:
 The Helbrute has been destroyed and the two remaining Chaos Marines have arrived late, but assisted in whittling down the Retributors numbers.  This would devolve into a wet noodle fight.
 The Canoness eventually succumbed to the advances of the Chaos Lord and has Martyred herself for the glory of her cause.  The Chaos Lord has since gone on tour and capped two more Objectives for further VP.  The only hope left to the Sisters is a possible Snap Shot or two to eliminate this cad.  Alas, it was not to be. He would go on to step on toes at future engagements.
 Here's an overhead shot of the battlefield at the end of Turn 7.  Six Sisters of Battle remain, one Chaos Lord and 3 Chaos Marines.  That would look like a fairly even exchange, but the Chaos forces managed to accumulate 5 victory points to just 2 for the Sisters.

 Good times.  We will have a rematch in the near future and see what changes.  One big goof I made throughout the game was thinking that Sisters had Ballistic Skill 3, when it is in fact 4! D'oh!  I don't know how big a difference it would have made on the outcome.  Once close combat started, the outcome was generally inevitable.

 I look forward to the rematch and getting more Sisters assembled and painted. Thanks for reading.