by Ramanan Sivaranjan on November 12, 2017
Evan managed to kit bash another weird mini before we met to play a couple weekends ago. His army was now power level 25 (500ish points), which meant I had many more options in what I could bring to the table. It’s like we’re playing some sort of escalation league, but the escalation is based solely on whether Evan is in the city or not and has a cool idea for a mini he wants to build out of the garbage he buys at the Sword and Board.
I had 3 different ideas for armies I could run, but ended up settling on an army very similar to the original list I used when we played our first game of Warhammer 40K:
- Causarius, Lord of Contagion
- Noxious Blightbringer
- 7 Plague Marines, including a Plague Champion
- 10 Poxwalkers
Evan’s army consisted of the following units:
- Two Kastelan Robots and a Cybernetica Datasmith.
- 4 Crusaders
- Some number of Imperial Guard
- A commander that had this crazy sword
- Probably some other units I’ve forgotten
Once again we used the Open War cards to set up our game. This time our objective was to kill as many units as possible, scoring points for the power level of the unit killed. (You got twice as many points for characters, vehicles, and monsters) The game’s twist was that all units could move an extra 2”, and advance an extra 1”. This was a huge boost for my incredibly slow Death Guard. Because Evan’s army was slightly more powerful than mine I also got to draw a ruse. (The one I drew let me redeploy one of my units anywhere on the board, so long as I was 9” away from any enemy unit.) I don’t think I could have asked for a better set up.1
The Plague Marines emerged from the warp and found themselves floating on an island of rock. The warp had left this land twisted. Below them stood the Navigator Endogaurd, but no sign of the robot they had been sent to retrieve. They opened fire all the same.
I decided to go first—having fewer units than Evan meant I got to make the choice. I began the game moving my Pox Walkers, and the Noxious Blightbringer travelling with them, up and around a large floating island in the middle of game board. I teleported my Lord of Contagion in behind Evan’s Crusaders, hoping he’d be able to charge them, and deployed my Plague Marines using the Outflank ruse mentioned previously on top of the floating Island in the middle of the table. This meant they could start firing right away. They managed to take out a few of Evan’s guard doing so. My Lord of Contagion failed to charge, and that was my turn.
Evan decided sticking around on the ground waiting for my Pox Walkers and Lord of Contagion to show up was a bad idea, so his crusaders and guardsmen made a bee line for the warp gate that led to the level my Plague Marines were on. His command squad shot up at my marines, killing one.
Causarius shook back into existence, the teleportatium sending him into the heart of the fight. He was covered in the gore of the Navigator Endoguard’s command squad when the Kastelan robots opened fire.
My Lord of Contagion advanced towards command squad Evan had left behind and then charged: they didn’t survive my turn. The Plague Marines were unable to kill any of the Crusaders with their guns, though did a little bit better in melee.
Evan’s Robot’s were now in murder mode and proceeded to decimate my Lord of Contagion. This put Evan up 14 points, as my Lord of Contagion is my most expensive model at 7 points, and scored him double as it’s a character. His Crusaders resurrected a model using their Act of Faith ability and proceeded to kill another one of my marines.
The Pox Walkers poured through the warp gate and fell upon the guardsmen. The vox caster carried the screams of the endoguard hundreds of miles away to the emotionless man who keyed in the coordinates for the orbital strike.
It was just my Pox Walkers and Blightbringer on the ground along with Evan’s murder robots. I could see how that story would end, and had that mob also run through the warp gate. We ended up with a big mess of minis on the floating Island, everyone ending up in a giant melee. My Pox Walkers net their first kills (ever), taking out 2 of Evan’s Guardsmen.
Evan’s Guardsmen all “affixed their bayonets,” which let them make melee attacks during their shooting phase, as well as during the actual fight phase. The units struggled to harm my marines, however. During the morale phase they would all run away. Evan used this opportunity and some command points to call down an orbital strike, a new stratagem from the new Imperial Guard Codex. All the units within 6” of the downed unit would have to make a save or take some mortal wounds: this included my Noxious Blightbringer, my Plague Marines, and my Pox Walkers, but also his Crusaders. By luck my units all survived, while his Crusaders were wiped out.
The commander became the vessel through which the Plague Marines poured forth their hatred for the False Emperor. His faith would not save him. It would not save any of them.
On my turn my remaining units managed to kill the commander, the last of Evan’s units on the floating island. Our armies were now split between the ground and this island. At this point I was now in the lead when it came to points, and Evan’s Robots wouldn’t be able to make it to me before the game ended. At this point we called the game: victory for the Death Guard!
My cousin Jana arrived just as the game got underway, and would help us look up rules and remind us of when we were probably making mistakes—despite never having played before. We’ll need to figure out how to get him involved in a 3-player game. ↩
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