Play Report: Adeptus Custodes and Space Marines versus Imperial Guard: Suffer not the Heretic to Live
by Ramanan Sivaranjan on June 17, 2018
Evan and I managed to get together again after quite some time to continue playing some Warhammer. In a change of pace, he designed the narrative mission we would play ahead of time. In the past, I’ve tried to inject a narrative on top of the Open War missions we would randomly generate and play. What he came up with was a lot of fun, and also a lot more narratively interesting.
He tweaked the rules for the Ambush mission described in the core rulebook, adding a lot of narrative flare. Briefly, the Scribeguard (Imperial Guard) had spoke a great heresy against the Emperor of Mankind, and would now have to face the agents of his wrath. The Anti-Heretic Shield Company His Light From Holy Terra (Adeptus Custodes) and the newly awoken Primaris Space Marine Chapter the Blood Marmots were sent to ambush these blasphemers and make sure none would live to speak again. Evan would win outright if he could get half his infantry off the board, and it would be a draw if even one of these blasphemous units managed to escape. The Custodes would win if they could kill all the Scribeguard infantry outright.
My cousin was in charge of playing the Space Marines, so Evan added a twist to the whole battle. Every time the Space Marines fought the infantry of the Scribeguard, they ran the risk of being turned to their side. As Evan descirbed it, “Every time any Blood Marmot unit participates in a fight phase with a Scribeguard unit, roll a dice for each Blood Marmot unit at the end of the phase to test the the Marines’ loyalty. On 5+ their Blood Marmots hear all the proof they need that the Emperor is perhaps actually maybe dead and they turn against the Custodes.”
Evan’s Army had grown since we last played. He now had two tanks and a whack of newly painted and kitbashed models. My army was as follows:
- Shield Captain
- Vesilus Praetor
- 4-Man Custodian Guard Squad
- Captain in Gravis Armour
- Primaris Ancient
- 5-Man Intercessor Squad
- 5-Man Hellblaster Squad
Captain Styx of the Blood Marmots gave the order that began the attack. Missiles pummelled the ground from an orbital strike. The sounds of bolter fire filled the air. The Hellblaster squad to his right let loose arcs of molten plasma from their weapons. The tank they hit answered back, obliterating the unit.
After the first round Jana and I were worried this game was going to be a cake walk for Evan. His tanks made quick work of what we had hoped would be our tank-killing unit, the Hellblasters. Evan’s infantry were quick footed and began their sprint towards the end of the board. We were lucky that the orbital strike Jana called in hit both of Evan’s commanders (though no one else!) which meant he couldn’t give any orders to his units that first turn. My Custodian Guards were a bit out of the way initially, as I wanted them out of the view of the tank. I probably could have been more aggressive with their placement.
The Custodian Guard surged forward, tearing through some helpless Scribeguard infantry on their way to the tank that had moments earlier killed their comrades. Their power weapons quickly turned the weapon to scraps. Their rage would not be satiated till all these traitorous heretics lay dead.
Then it felt like things were flipping. My custodian guard charged forward and managed to kill the infantry Evan had sent forward to block their path. They consolidated towards the tank, and were able to kill it the following round. This continued from round to round. They removed a lot of models from the board. The Captain in Gravis armour also made his way towards the infantry and started cutting them up with his power sword. Evan’s army was crumbling, but he still managed to get a couple models past us: a single infantry, and a commander.
Evan also had one more tank, which managed to kill off two of my Custodian Guard. His Augmented Ogryn Bodyguard killed the last one. And just like that things and turned once more. Jana and I really needed that unit alive to shoot the two models that were fleeing. At the back of the board we still had a lot of heavy hitters: Jana’s Captain in Gravis Armour, my Shield Captain, and my Vesilus Praetor. (These 3 units were a little over half the points of Evan’s entire army!) Unfortunately, those units were all either out of range or didn’t have line of sight to the models fleeing.
The last round was full of funny dice rolls. Jana need a 3 to make a charge and failed by rolling snake eyes. Evan’s sole model in one of his units killed himself while shooting overwatch as part of that very charge. Evan almost lost his unit closest to the board because he rolled a 6 when making a morale check. (He used a command point to re-roll, his last one) This same unit then failed to flee because Evan only rolled a 1 when rolling to advance. He ended up getting a draw by having his commander command himself to “move! move! move!”—this let him take two move actions, and allowed him to clear the board.
This was a really fun game of Warhammer. Perhaps the most fun I’ve had since we’ve started playing.
For these walking demigods failure was an impossibility. Shield Captain Casius reflected on this briefly as he watched a commander of the Scribeguard scurry away. If failure was impossible than this must be the will of their long silent master: he wanted them to burn this heretical house to the ground.
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