Michael here with another written battle report. This week, an unusual White Scars army takes on some Chaos Daemons. For more battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
This week, my White Scars were taking on Craig’s Chaos Daemons in the Eternal War mission, Crusade at 1850 pts.
Recently, I reviewed the Terminator Squad, Terminator Assault Squad, Stormraven and Strike Force Ultra for Frontline Gaming. In my reviews, I was not too kind to most of the units, labelling them as over-costed and not really effective at what they are supposed to do. In the Strike Force Ultra review, I was curious to see if anyone had actually run this formation before. This got me thinking and I decided that in my next game I would run the Strike Force regardless of my opponent and mission. Fortunately, my game was against Craig and his Daemons, as a grav-heavy marine army would have blown me off the table and made for a poor game.
My army consisted of:
Strike Force Ultra
- Captain- Terminator Armour, Power Sword, Storm Shield (With T4)
- Terminator Squad- Power Fists, Storm Bolters, Assault Cannon (T1)
- Terminator Squad- Power Fists, Storm Bolters, Assault Cannon (T2)
- Terminator Assault Squad- Lightning Claws (T3)
- Terminator Assault Squad- Thunder Hammers, Storm Shields (T4)
- Venerable Dreadnought- Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer (D)
- Stormraven Gunship- TL Assault Cannons, TL Heavy Bolters, 4 Stormstrike Missiles, Hurricane Bolter Sponsons (SR)
- Land Raider Crusader- TL Assault Cannons, Hurricane Bolter Sponsons (LR)
- Landspeeder- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launchers (L)
- Stormtalon Gunship- TL Assault Cannons, Skyhammer Missile Launcher (S1)
- Stormtalon Gunship- TL Assault Cannons, Skyhammer Missile Launcher (S2)
I took the Strike Force Ultra and upgraded a few of the units to include some additional wargear. I had initially given the Captain some Cataphractii Terminator Armour, a Thunder Hammer and the Shield Eternal to allow him to tank wounds. However, this gave me very few points left in my army and I wanted to add another detachment to the force. I decided to go with the Raptor Wing. I have been meaning to try this out for a while, so I dropped some wargear off of the Captain and took the wing. The automatic arrival on turn 2 would also be a boost if my reserve rolls were poor. On a side note, I completely forgot to roll up my Warlord Trait before the game, I only realised this when I came to write the battle report. Oh, well…….
Craig’s army consisted of:
Combined Arms Detachment
- Great Unclean One- Corrosive Breath, It Will Not Die (UO)
- Herald of Nurgle (with P)
- Herald of Tzeentch (with H)
- 3 Bloodcrushers (BC)
- 3 Flamers of Tzeentch (F)
- 3 Nurglings (N)
- 11 Pink Horrors (H)
- 20 Plaguebearers- Plague Flail (P)
- Daemon Prince of Nurgle- 4+ Feel No Pain, It Will Not Die, Plague Flail, Wings (DP)
- Soul Grinder- Daemon of Nurgle, Phlegm Bombardment (SG1)
- Soul Grinder- Daemon of Khorne, Phlegm Bombardment (SG2)
His psychic powers were:
- Great Unclean One- Summoning, Cursed Earth, Dark Flame, Sacrifice
- Daemon Prince- Iron Arm, Warp Speed, Endurance
- Herald of Tzeentch- Summoning, Cursed Earth, Incursion, Possession
- Herald of Nurgle- Cursed Earth, Summoning
- Horrors- Flickering Fire, Infernal Gaze
A lot of Daemons for my few Terminators to face. Fortunately, there was not too much ranged AP2 in the army.
The mission that we rolled was Crusade with 5 objectives. We placed the objectives as shown below:
I won the roll off for deployment and chose to go second. This would give me the final turn in order to try and grab the objectives.
Craig deployed the Soul Grinder and Great Unclean One to the right flank, the Nurglings claiming an objective to the right. The Plaguebearers deployed in the centre, ready to advance, with the Horrors in the ruins to the left of them. The Daemon Prince deployed in the centre and the Bloodcrushers to the left.
My deployment was very quick, only my Land Speeder started the game on the board. I deployed it on my right flank, out of line of sight of most of the Daemon army. For my reserves, the Thunder Hammer Terminator squad were in the Land Raider, while the Lightning Claw squad and Dreadnought went in the Stormraven.
I chose not to attempt to Seize the Initiative, so Craig went first.
TURN 1- DAEMONS
The Daemon Prince launched itself into the air, swooping towards the White Scars Landspeeder, while the Bloodcrushers advanced to support him. The Plaguebearers moved up on the central objective, advancing at full pace.
The power of the warp surged with so much Daemonic presence on the battlefield. The Herald of Tzeentch attempted to cast Summoning to bring more Daemons forth, but failed to manifest the power. He then cast Cursed Earth, The Greater Daemon cast Cursed Earth to protect the nearby Daemons. He then cast Iron Arm on himself, while the Nurgle Herald failed to cast Summoning.
With no shooting in range or assaults, the first Daemon turn ended.
TURN 1- WHITE SCARS
This turn, only the two Terminator Squads arrived. One landed in front of the Bloodcrushers, scattering away slightly as they teleported in. The second squad attempted to land near the Bloodcrushers, but mishapped on teleportation and went back into ongoing reserves. The Landspeeder moved up to support the newly arrived Terminators.
The Terminators fired at the Bloodcrushers, their Storm Bolters and Assault Cannon targeting the Daemons, but failed to cause any harm. The Landspeeder fired at the Bloodcrushers, killing two of the squad with its Krak missiles.
At the end of the first turn, things were still pretty even. Many of the White Scars reserves failed to arrive on the first turn (they were able to arrive thanks to the formation rules), but did cause the first casualties of the game.
TURN 2- DAEMONS
The Daemon Prince slammed into the ground besides the Terminator squad, while the Bloodcrusher advanced on the Landspeeder. The Plaguebearers continued their slow advance, the Great Unclean One moving up to support them.
In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince cast Iron Arm on itself. The Great Unclean One cast Cursed Earth, the Herald of Tzeentch also cast the power. The Daemon Prince attempted to cast Endurance on the Bloodcrushers, but failed to manifest the power.
The Soul Grinder fired at the Termintors, but the shot scattered off target and caused no harm. The Bloodcrushers attempted to charge the Landspeeder, but failed to make the distance.
TURN 2- WHITE SCARS
Once again, the Land Raider and Stormraven failed to arrive from reserves. Fortunately for me, the two Stormtalons arrived automatically and the second Terminator squad came back from reserve. This time, the Terminators teleported in beside the Plaguebearers, supported by the two Flyers. The Landspeeder moved towards the centre of the battlefield, acting as spotter for the Stormtalons. The other Terminator Squad advanced on the last Bloodcrusher.
The Terminators opened fire on the Bloodcrusher, killing the last Daemon and earning First Blood for the White Scars. The second unit of Terminators fired at the Plaguebearers, but their firepower was useless against the Daemonic horde (it didn’t help that I only hit with 2 of my 5 assault cannon shots). One Stormtalon opened fire on the Plaguebearers, killing two of the squad.
The second Stormtalon fired at the Flamers, wounding them 6 times, but the invulnerable saves of the Tzeentch Daemons saved them from harm.
The Landspeeder fired at the Daemon Prince, wounding him once, but failing to get past his invulnerable save once more.
At the end of turn 2, things were still pretty even. I had managed to kill a single unit of Daemons for no loss yet myself. However, the Daemon units were proving extremely durable to my limited firepower thanks to their psychic support.
TURN 3- DAEMONS
Seeing more of their foe arrive, the Daemons advanced. The Daemon Prince moved to target the Terminators on the left flank, while the Plaguebearers moved to engage the central unit, the Great Unclean One continuing his slow progress forward.
In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince attempted to cast Iron Arm, but failed to manifest the power. The Nurgle Herald cast Cursed Earth (that I failed to block), followed by the same power from the Great Unclean One. The Horrors cast Infernal Gaze on the Landspeeder, failing to hit the enemy vehicle, but forcing it to Jink. The Herald of Tzeentch then cast Incursion, summoning three more Bloodcrushers to the field.
The Warp Storm vented its fury this turn, hitting the Daemon Prince twice, but failing to wound him (two large blasts scattered onto him from the nearby Terminators and Plaguebearers).
A Soul Grinder opened fire at the nearest Stormtalon, but failed to hit the jinking flyer.
In the assault phase, the Daemon Prince charged the Terminators, suffering one wound in overwatch. He struct at the squad, killing two of the Terminators and suffering one wound in reply. The Terminator Squad failed to Hit and Run from the combat.
The Plaguebearers charged the other Terminator Squad. The Herald issued a challenge, easily cutting down the Terminator Sergeant with his AP2 attacks. The unit Champion killed another of the Terminators. The Plaguebearers then struck at the unit, wounding them 10 times. I failed 3 of my saves and the unit was wiped out.
The Stormraven arrived this turn, moving on to target the Plaguebearers. The Stormtalons moved up towards the enemy Soul Grinders, while the Landspeeder moved away from the Daemon forces.
Both Stormtalons fired on the respective Soul Grinders in front of them, but failed to cause any harm. The Stormraven fired at the Plaguebearers, but only killed two of the squad despite its impressive volume of fire.
In the assault phase, the Daemon Prince struck down the remaining Terminators as I continued to fail every Invulnerable save I had taken so far in the game.
At the end of turn 3, my limited numbers were starting to take their toll. The Daemons were proving simply too durable to my limited firepower, the combination of invulnerable saves and feel no pain keeping them safe. I had already lost half of my infantry units thanks to some poor saves in combat. My inability to make reserve rolls was also not helpful.
TURN 4- DAEMONS
The Daemon Prince moved up towards the Landspeeder, the rest of the Daemons continuing to advance on the enemy.
In the psychic phase, the Prince cast Iron Arm on himself. The Nugle Herald and Great Unclean One both cast Cursed Earth to protect the Daemonic forces. The Horrors attempted to cast Flickering Fire on the Stormtalon. The squad perilled in the process, losing one of their squad and forgetting the power. Of their 15 shots, only one hit and it failed to wound.
The Warp Storm was incredibly strong this time, reality tore and 13 Bloodletters arrived from the warp to bolster the Daemons.
In the assault phase, the Daemon Prince failed to charge the Landspeeder (in his defence, it was a 12″ charge!).
TURN 4- WHITE SCARS
The Land Raider finally arrived, moving on in front of the Bloodcrushers. The Stormraven went into hover mode, the Dreadnought moving to engage the Bloodcrushers, while the Terminators advanced on the Plaguebearers. The two Stormtalons left the airspace of the battlefield.
The Land Raider opened fire on the Bloodcrushers, killing one of the squad with its hurricane bolters. The vehicle’s machine spirit fired the Assault Cannons at the Flamers, wounding them once.
The Stormraven fired at the Plaguebearers, killing one of them. The Landspeeder fired at the Daemon Prince, but failed to cause any unsaved wounds. The Dreadnought fired at the Bloodcrushers, killing one outright with its Multi-melta.
The Dreadnought then assaulted the last Bloodcrusher, easily killing him with his powerful attacks.
The Terminators charged the Plaguebearers. The Herald issued a challenge once more. The Terminator Sergeant struck at the Herald, but missed with all 5 of his attacks. The Herald struck him down as I yet again failed to make an invulnerable save. The Terminators struck at the Plaguebearers, killing 3 with their 20 attacks. The Plaguebearers struck back, wounding the Terminators 4 times. Fortunately, I was able to make all 4 saves for once. The Nurgle Daemons passed their instability test and the fight continued.
At the end of turn 4, both sides were still struggling to cause enough damage to gain a decisive victory against the enemy, though the Daemons were currently in control of the most objectives.
TURN 5- DAEMONS
The Daemon Prince advanced on the Landspeeder, while the Flamers advanced on the Terminator Assault squad. The Great Unclean One continued to press forward to support his forces.
In the psychic phase, the Horrors cast Infernal Gateway on the Dreadnought, but failed to hit the enemy vehicle. The Herald then cast Cursed Earth. The Daemon Prince cast Iron Arm on himself and failed to cast Endurance on the Flamers.
In the shooting phase, the Soul Grinder fired on the Dreadnought, but the shot scattered off target, killing one of the nearby Flamers. The second Soul Grinder hit the Dreadnought, penetrating and Stunning the walker. As I wanted to assault next turn, I took the risk of forcing Craig to re-roll the result. I was fortunate and he rolled a shaken result, allowing me to move in the following turn.
The Daemon Prince assaulted the Landspeeder, easily wrecking the skimmer.
The Bloodletters failed to charge the Terminators, but the Flamers did make it in. The Terminators struck at the Plaguebearers, wounding them 5 times, but Craig made all his saves! The Plaguebearers struck back, wounding the Terminators four times. Being true to form, I then failed three of my 2+ saves, leaving only one surviving Terminator. The lone survivor managed to Hit and Run, moving off towards the Horrors in the Daemon deployment zone.
TURN 5- WHITE SCARS
With this potentially being the last turn, I moved up to secure the objectives. The two Stormtalons arrived, moving on in hover mode to secure my two backfield objectives. The Stormraven moved to combat the Bloodletters, while the Land Raider moved up on the Daemon Prince, the Terminator squad disembarking to target the Daemon. The Dreadnought moved up on the Plaguebearers.
All three flyers targeted the Bloodletter, wiping out the unit with their combined firepower. The Land Raider fired at the Daemon Prince, but failed to cause any damage.
The Dreadnought assaulted the Plaguebearers. I currently controlled 2 objectives to Craig’s 3, if I could clear off the Daemons from the centre, I could win the game. The Dreadnought struck at the Daemons but only managed to hit with 2 of his 5 attacks. He caused a single wound which was saved by the Plaguebearers.
The lone Terminator charged the Horrors. wounding them 3 ties and killing 2 of the squad. The Horrors struck back, wounding him once but failing to get past the Terminator armour.
The Captain led the Terminators in an assault against the Daemon Prince. The Prince issued a challenge that the Captain accepted. He struck at the Captain, killing him and another Terminator. The Terminators struck back, wounding the Prince once. I failed my morale check, but remained locked in combat (I had visions of them failing the morale test and fleeing off the board).
At the end of turn 5, Craig was currently ahead on objectives. I still had a few Terminators left and all my flyers. Meanwhile, I had taken out 3 Daemon units, two of which were summoned. We rolled to see if the game wound continue and it did.
TURN 6- DAEMONS
The Great Unclean One advanced on the Stormraven, while the rest of the Daemons moved to secure the objectives.
In the psychic phase, the two Heralds cast Cursed Earth. The Daemon Prince cast Iron Arm, which I failed to block. He then cast Warp Speed on himself.
The Warp Storm quickly turned its favour from the Daemons, banishing the Herald of Tzeentch back to the warp.
In the shooting phase, the Soul Grinders fired at the nearby Stormtalon, but failed to harm the jinking flyer.
The Great Unclean One charged the Stormraven, glancing the enemy flyer once.
The Dreadnought struck at the Plaguebearers, once again hitting with only one of its 4 attacks, killing one of the Daemons. The Plaguebearers struck back, but failed to harm the enemy walker. The Dreadnought hit and ran from the combat, moving towards the Nurglings.
The lone Terminator attacked the Horrors, killing one of the squad. The Horrors struck back, wounding him twice and killing the Terminator.
The Daemon Prince struck at the remaining Terminators, wounding them 6 times. I managed to fail 5 of my six 3+ invulnerable saves, wiping the unit out.
TURN 6- WHITE SCARS
The Dreadnought advanced on the Nurglings, while the Stormraven went back into zooming mode and moved towards the Horrors. The two Stormtalons continued to hover over the objectives.
In the shooting phase, the Dreadnought fired at the Nurglings, killing one with its Multi-melta. The Stormraven fired at the Horrors, killing two of the squad. One Stormtalon fired at the Great Unclean One, but failed to cause any wounds. The second Stormtalon and the Land Raider fired at the Daemon Prince, but failed to cause any harm.
The Dreadnought charged the Nurglings, killing both the bases and consolidating onto the nearby objective.
With that, the game ended. We each held two objectives and contested one. I scored First Blood and Linebreaker, with Craig scoring Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord. We each had 8 victory points, so the game was a draw!
Thanks to Craig for a great game. It was one of the funniest games of 40k I’ve had in a while and I could not stop laughing at terrible Terminator saves, awful reserve rolls and indestructible Daemons.
I was not expecting much from my army and I was not disappointed! Even with the extra attacks and shots granted by the Strike Force Ultra formation, the Terminators did not have sufficient firepower or combat potential to take out much of the enemy army. Most of my firepower was pretty poor against the improved invulnerable saves of the Daemons (thanks to Cursed Earth) and the Feel no Pain rolls and I struggled to cause much damage against the Nurgle or Tzeentch Daemons. The Khorne Daemons on the other hand folded very quickly under the firepower of the White Scars flyers.
Strike Force Ultra was a bit of a bust, but the Raptor Wing was pretty good and I would probably try it again in another game. Coming in on turn 2 is a great bonus for the formation, ensuring that they could get maximum number of shots in the game. In fact, the Stormtalons were key to my victory as they were the only units holding objectives at the end of the game.
I don’t think I will be taking Strike Force Ultra in too many other games though.
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