Friday 12 April 2013

Battle Report: 6th Ed Chaos Daemons vs Tau/IG/BA

Well I've missed the bus on this one. In an effort to bring you an up to date Chaos Daemons Battle Report using the 6th Edition Codex I have been caught off guard by the release of the new Tau Codex! So here we are, a 2v2 game involving the new Daemons but the old Tau. I'm sure it would have turned out quite differently had the Tau access to all their new tricks, but that's purely speculative, so stay tuned for some 'Tau 2.0' love in the future.

This Battle Report illustrates the benefit of running larger squads of Chaos Daemon infantry, particularly in light of their new 'normal' deployment, some of the new Psychic Powers, flying Mounstrous Creatures, Skyfire Soul Grinders, and a few interesting rolls on the Warp Storm table. Enjoy!

The armies themselves were four separate 1250pt detachments combined for a 2500pt game. The Daemons ran a solo Khorne army with Bloodletters, Hounds, Juggernauts and a flying Bloodthirster. The rest of the Chaos force comprised of a Keeper of Secrets, Soul Grinders, Daemonettes and Plaguebearers. Across the table were a pair of Hammerhead tanks, three Firewarrior squads, a Crysis Suit commander and Deep Striking Suits with melta/flamer combos. The Imperial Guard brought a 30 strong Infantry Platoon, Penal Legion Troopers, a Leman Russ Exterminator with Pask, a Vanquisher, and a Death Company Stormraven with minimum 3 Death Company and Librarian to make the allied detachment legal.

The scenario was a modified 'Crusade' with four minor objectives placed by each of the four players (see the photo above, IG 1, Tau 2, Daemons 3 and 4), and three major objectives across the centre (A, B, C). At the end of Turn 4, two of the major objectives would be randomly removed, thus encouraging the armies to either spread out and contest all three, or bet on the 1/3 chance of their preferred objective remaining. As you can see the Tau and Imperial Guard spread out evenly, while the Daemons used a refused flank deployment to overwhelm the centre and far major objectives. You may also notice the Khorne player has placed their objective (3) in the enemy table half, in between the two opposing armies!

Winning the first turn, the Tau and IG immediately move up to the objectives, and to their respective fortifications. With no flamers in the Chaos Daemon army, and all models seemingly far enough away they seek to dictate the flow of battle and secure board control early on. Shooting sees a Soul Grinder lose some hull points, and a couple of lesser daemons die as well.

In response the Bloodthirster takes to the skies, placing itself bang in front of the Tau force, while the Juggernauts surprise everyone but the Khorne player in using their Cavalry move to completely ignore cover and set themselves up for a Turn 1 charge! The rest of the Daemon army trundle forward, with some particularly poor difficult terrain rolls for the Bloodletters (not pictured). Assault sees the Juggernauts make it into combat due to Fleet, and wipe out the Tau Firewarrior squad with the loss of only one wound! First Blood to the Chaos Daemons.

The IG/Tau alliance is now on the back foot, with rampaging Juggernauts and a flying Bloodthirster in their table half, with the rest of the Daemon army not far from the objectives! A good roll for reserves sees the Stormraven arrive, but with three Skyfire Soul Grinders still alive it has to chose targets wisely. The Tau army opens up on the Juggernauts, taking a few wounds off, while the Imperial Guard tanks and infantry fire away at the mass of Bloddletters on their side of the table. Careful target priority sees the Bloodthirster first 'grounded' by hits from the Stormraven, then killed outright by the remaining Tau and IG who had not yet shot. A rewarding Slay The Warlord victory point, but a lot of firepower that could have been used elsewhere.

Excellent reserve rolls from the Daemons see two squads of Plaguebearers arrive and deploy near the Daemon home objective and in front of the Imperial Guard to take the heat off the Bloodletters. The wounded but full model count Juggernauts position for a charge against the second Tau Firewarrior squad, again ignoring cover movement restrictions due to being Cavalry. The Soul Grinders position for shots against the Stormraven, their Strength 7 Skyfire shots taking two of three hull points away. The Daemonettes move up to their major objective 'C', while the Bloodletters hide behind scenery in the centre of the table near objective 'B'. Predictably the Juggernauts wipe another Tau squad, this time with no overwatch fire against them due to a Chaos Daemon Psychic Power (I don't have a copy handy sorry).

H1N1 Nurgle style...

It should also be mentioned that game was fought using the 'Daemon World' rules from the Crusade of Fire campaign book, which when combined with the new 'Warp Storm' Daemon rules made for a very random (chaotic?) gaming experience! I will not go into detail too much as there weren't any great game changing moments using the 'Daemon World' rules, except to acknowledge the loss of nearly half the IG Platoon due to a particularly bad outbreak of pestilence from Nurgle's Garden (Every model in a specified unit must take a toughness test!) at the start of Turn 3! The same fate also claimed a number of Daemonettes, such is the fickle nature of Chaos!

*Death Company charge and wipe out the Plaguebearers thanks to Daemonic Instability

With the Stormraven still alive, it switched to hover mode and deployed its cargo of Death Company. The Hammerheads moved as far from the Daemons as possible, while the Hounds lost a few models to shooting (but were immune to psychology tests from shooting casualties as per the new Daemon rules). The Librarian cast 'Forewarning' on the remaining Firewarriors, being Battle Brothers, to give them a slim chance of holding the Juggernauts back for another turn. Additional shooting and then combat saw the Plaguebearers in front of Imperial lines wiped out (The Death Company utilizing the Stormraven's Assault Vehicle special rule). However, the Greater Good were now pushed off their objectives and barely holding on!

With all Daemons in the table, having now half the army or less Deep Striking in their new deployment rules, they could bring their full strength to bear where required. Alas I was too busy biting my nails at this point to take too many photographs (As predicted the Soul Grinders made scrap metal out of the Stormraven), but as you can see a Juggernaut survived the combat with the Firewarriors, forcing them to flee, and in it's Turn 3 charged the Imperial Guard, who through weight of attacks finally tore the Bloodletter from his mount. The Bloodletters on foot had by this stage avenged the loss of the Plaguebearers, dispatched the Death Company, and were in prime position for claiming the central major objective 'B'. The Crysis suits in the far corner had also become buried under a pile of Chaos Hounds!

Turn 4 dawned with a glimmer of hope as the last Crysis suits arrived from reserve, toasting one of the Soul Grinders and putting pressure on the Daemonettes babysitting the objective. The firepower of the Leman Russes and Hammerhead also took out another Soul Grinder, while the Imperial Guard moved back onto their minor objective in preparation for...

...being charged by the Keeper of Secrets! With the distraction of the Khorne Daemons, the Imperial/Tau forces were caught off guard once again as this 'Fleet' equipped Greater Deamon arrived much sooner than expected, withering the mediocre overwatch fire and assaulting the near last of the scoring troops on the enemy side. The only un-engaged troops were the Penal Legion, guarding the third major objective 'A' in case of a lucky roll at the end of the turn. You may also be able to pick out a Daemonic Herlad of Khorne in the photo above. This is the unfortunate Blood Angles Librarian, who earlier in the same turn failed a Leadership test on three dice and turned into a Daemon thanks to the new 'Warp Storm' table in the Chaos Daemon Codex!

The Librarian is sucked into the warp snd replaced by a Herld of Khorne!

With the end of Turn 4 seeing the Imperial Guard holding for now, the random major objective was rolled for, and the Daemonettes were gifted the true objective, denying the Imperial forces any hope of winning the game.

Turn 5 was played out, with the last Soul Grinder falling, obscuring any long ranged shots against the Daemonettes. The Imperial Guard finally broke in the face of the Greater Daemon of Slaneesh, and the only surviving Imperial forces were the Penal Troops, stuck out in the open as their objective was removed at the end of the last turn. The remaining Crysis suits, including the commander, had been dispatched by this stage and were unable to contest. A crushing victory for the forces of Chaos, and an excellent example of how the speed and mobility of the new Khorne Daemons, and Skyfire from the Soul Grinders, combined with a few lucky Warp Storm rolls and effective use of Psychic Powers tipped the balance against the Imperial Gaurd and Tau forces.

Stay tuned for an equally compelling Tau victory next game!

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