Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Chaos Space Marines (1,500 pts)

See, this is what happens when my phone’s dead (zero photos) and I have zero initiative to take detailed notes.  Rather than write up a detailed turn-by-turn summary, I’ll kind of post a vague-ish summary with a detailed debrief…

The CSM list featured here had a couple of twists that I wasn’t necessarily expecting.  First off, I didn’t know Abaddon was a thing.  In both games I’ve played CSM, he’s been there.  Go figure.

This’ll also be the first time I’ve squared up against a Demon Prince.  This would represent the first Flying Monstrous Creature I’ve tackled also…

Reading online, I knew not to mess around with the Hell-turkey.  I know that the Turkey has recently taken the short end of the FAQ-stik, now not being able to fire in a rear-arc-torrent-plus-vector-strike manner.  I don’t mind this.

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum:

  • Pask in Punisher, Multi Meltas, Lascannon
  • Vanquisher Bro, Multi Meltas, Lascannon
  • CCS in Chimera, Lascannon, Voxcaster, Master of Ordinance
  • Veterans in Chimera, 2x Melta Guns
  • Veterans in Chimera, 2x Melta Guns
  • Veterans, Forward Sentries, 3x Plasma Guns, Lascannon, Voxcaster
  • Hellhound
  • Vendetta
  • 3x Armoured Sentinels w/ Plasmacannons
  • Aegis Defence Line

Chaos Marines:

  • Abaddon
  • Demon Prince (winged!)
  • Terminators x4, 4x Combi-Meltas
  • Cultists with Autoguns, Heavy Stubber
  • Cultists with Autoguns, Heavy Stubber
  • Bikes x3 w/ Meltagun, Mark of Nurgle (?)
  • Bikes x3 w/ Meltagun, Mark of Nurgle (?)
  • Heldrake
  • Landraider

Maelstrom Mission with Cloak and Shadows, Hammer and Anvil deployment, CSM takes first turn & Guard decline to seize.

Interesting quirk of this mission is that the entire Fortress of Absolution was loaded up at mid-field, and the Board was shorter along the short axis by around 8″, making it a bit tight, and focusing the battle on the east-west axis.  With this in mind, fliers and jump units had a distinct advantage of being able to fly OVER this LOS blocking masterpiece, I set up the gun-line (including the Leman Russes) plenty back from the centre of the table, and pushed the Chimeras and Hellhound to fill the gaps on either flank.

The Chaos bikes went down quickly, eating plasma fire from the Sentinels and the Veterans.  Both units died on Turn 2.  This disappointed the Chaos player, as he had anticipated using those bikes to do most of the tank busting.

Perhaps miraculously, the Hellhound managed to break through the Chaos lines, bypassing the Landraider, Turkey, and Demon Prince entirely.  This was important, as the hound accounted for a minimum of 3 Victory Points as he achieved objectives and roasted Cultists off of objectives (he killed all 20 by the end of the game).

What made this feat even more impressive is that there was quite the cluster around the east flank of the Fortress, with the Landraider (& Abaddon and crew), the Hell-turkey and Demon Prince all being hung up dealing with the single unit of Melta Veterans which predictably died spectacularly, but kept the Chaos attention through Turn 3.

Pask and the Leman Russes made a minimal impact on the game until Abaddon’s Landraider came ripping around the corner on the East flank, having now despatched the contesting units.  This would have been Turn 3 (ish).  Pask led off with the Multi-meltas (because why not?)

Artist's Rendering of the Chaos Landraider Explosion
Artist’s Rendering of the Chaos Landraider Explosion

Abaddon and crew wound up failing their charge distance (over the Aegis Line) in top of 4, while the Demon Prince completely wiped out the Plasma Veterans who were just a bit further down the line.

Top of Turn 5, Abaddon wound up getting stuck in close combat with the Plasma Sentinels (GETTING WORK DONE), two of which died (What?  NO!  They’re ALL supposed to die!) resulting in precisely zero shooting attacks being directed at Abaddon and his crew in the Bottom of 5, as they continue to duke it out with the lone Sentinel.

The lack of targets (by now the Demon Prince had been Vanq’ed, and Cultists chased away), meant that the Heldrake was chased down by the Vendetta, with the final blow being landed by Pask’s Punisher Cannon.  Abaddon killed the last Plasma Sentinel in bottom of Turn 5, and got out of combat.

The game continued, and Abaddon wound up charging the next layer of bubble-wrap around Pask, the Company Command Squad this time being wiped out exclusively by Abaddon’s 9 attacks (LOL!)

Left standing out in the breeze, and staring the Hand of Steel and his Vanquisher Bro in the face, Abaddon failed 3x 2+ armour saves (Punisher!) before eating a Vanquisher shell and dying.

The Guard triumph by way of Exterminatus.

Debrief:

It was a great game, but it might have been finished once the Hellhound broke through the Chaos lines and started racking up the VP.  I would certainly play against this player again!

Some comments about the CSM however:

The list used may have been frightening to other low-model count armies (Marines, Tau), but had problems with the numerous big guns of the Imperial Guard.

The CCS was on-hand to mitigate the potential of Jinking from the bikes (Fire on My Target!), which was keenly felt in the early stages of the game.  The bikes would likely die to anything that has the ability to strip cover, or a huge number of shots.

Throughout the game, the Heldrake effectively played like a faster Hellhound but given that most of my forces were hiding in transports and weren’t necessarily fearing template weapons so much (and AP 3 means nothing when your biggest armour save is 5+).  I can see how this would be a solid choice to take against a MEQ army (OUCH) but simply gets a *meh* against the Guard.

I liked the potential of the Demon Prince, but he’s stupid expensive (apparently), and Perils’d no fewer than 3 times.  The only reason he lasted into Turn 4 was due to Life Leach.  He gained back 3 wounds because of it throughout the game.  He would have been chalked up as a casualty to the Vendetta a lot earlier in the game if that power hadn’t been rolled.

Abaddon’s awesome.  He’s the grand-poobah of overkill.  If I hadn’t bubble-wrapped effectively Pask would have been in a world of hurt a lot earlier.Grand Poobah

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