Battle Report- White Scars Space Marines vs Chaos Daemons

Hi everyone, Michael here with a new written battle report. This time my revamped White Scars army takes on the daemonic forces of Chaos. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

This week’s battle report sees my White Scars take on Bert’s Chaos Daemons army in a maelstrom of war mission.

I’ve been testing a new White Scars list for an upcoming maelstrom tournament (now past at this point). This new list was a bit of a departure for my White Scars, which consisted of lots of Bikes in 7th edition. I’ve based it on some of Reeces’s great gaming articles on Frontline Gaming and wanted to see if I would have any success with the army.

My army consisted of:

Brigade Detachment

  • Captain on Bike- Thunder Hammer, The Shield Eternal, Twin Boltgun, Iron Resolve Warlord Trait (C1)
  • Captain with Jump Pack- Lightning Claw, Combi-Melta (C2)
  • Librarian with Jump Pack- Force Stave, Boltgun, Null Zone, Psychic Fortress (L2)
  • Lieutenant with Jump Pack- Power Axe, Master-Crafted Boltgun, Bolt Pistol (L1)
  • 5 Scouts- Boltguns (S1)
  • 5 Scouts- Boltguns, Sergeant has Bolt Pistol and Combat Knife (S2)
  • 5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols and Combat Knives (S3)
  • 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (TS1)
  • 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Heavy Bolter (TS2)
  • 5 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Missile Launcher (TS3)
  • Company Ancient- Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, Chainsword (A)
  • 5 Vanguard Veterans- Jump Packs, 5 Pairs of Lightning Claws (VV1)
  • 5 Vanguard Veterans- Jump Packs, 2 Chainswords each (VV2)
  • 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Plasma Pistol (AS1)
  • 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Power Fist and Meltabombs (AS2)
  • 5 Assault Marines- Jump Packs, 2 Plasma Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Chainswords, Sergeant with Power Sword (AS3)
  • 6 Scout Bikers- Twin Boltguns, Astartes Shotguns, Combat Knives (SB)
  • Thunderfire Cannon. Techmarine Gunner (T) with 2 Servo-arms, Plasma Cutter, Flamer, Bolt Pistol (TC)
  • 5 Devastator Marines- 2 Heavy Bolters, Plasma Cannon, Bolters (D1)
  • 5 Devastator Marines- 3 Missile Launchers, Bolters (D2)

As you can see, a bit of a change for my White Scars. I decided to go for a Brigade detachment to get maximum command points for my list.

The characters are in the list to be the heavy hitters and to provide some nice re-rolls for the rest of the force. The Captain on Bike is solid, with T5, 7 wounds, a 6+ FNP and the Shield Eternal to halve the damage. He can also do a bit of damage with the Thunder Hammer. The other Captain can deep strike thanks to the Jump Pack and use the Meltagun to target other units.

The Scouts are a great screening unit to block enemy deep strikers and attacks. The army also features some potent firepower from the Devastator and Tactical Squad. The Jump Pack units are great for being held in reserve to grab objectives or deployed as a counter attack force in my gunline.

Bert’s army consisted of:

  • Lord of change (LoC)
  • Daemon prince with wings talons (DP)
  • 10 Pink horrors (H1)
  • 10 Pink horrors (H2)
  • 10 Pink horrors (H3)
  • 6 Flamers of Tzeentch (F)
  • Exalted flamer (E1)
  • Exalted flamer (E2)
  • Exalted flamer (E3)
  • Exalted flamer (E4)
  • Masque of Slaanesh (M)
  • 10 Daemonettes (D1)
  • 10 Daemonettes (D2)
  • 10 Daemonettes (D3)
  • Fluxmaster (the ever stave) (Fl1)
  • Fluxmaster (Fl2)
  • 3 Screamers (S1)
  • 3 Screamers (S2)
  • 3 Screamers (S3)
  • 3 Screamers (S4)

We chose to play the Race to Victory maelstrom mission. This is the one where you draw three cards per turn and the game ends when the first player scores 10 cards (or the roll off for turn 5 onwards as normal).

We set up the objectives as shown below:

We rolled for deployment zone and got Spearhead. Bert chose his side and I started deploying first. We deployed as shown below:

I deployed the Scouts in a forward screen to block the Flamers of Tzeentch from coming in close to my back lines. The rest of my force spread out to block deep strikers, the Thunderfire Cannon at the back, with the Devastators and Tactical Squads in front of it. The two Devastator Squads went with the Ancient to give me some alpha-strike protection. I put two of the Assault Squads, the Jump Pack Captain and the two Vanguard Veteran squads in reserve.

Bert deployed a unit of Horrors at the back to block my Deep strikers. The rest of the squad went forward, spread out over the deployment zone. The three Daemonette units went in the centre, flanked by the Horrors and Screamers.

I lost the roll off for first turn (even with the +1 for deploying first) and failed to seize the initiative.


In his first turn, Bert drew Assassinate (kill an enemy character), Cycle of Life (kill an enemy infantry unit) and No Prisoners (kill an enemy unit).

The Daemon lines moved up, the Daemonettes leading the charge. The Screamers on the right flank sped over the Scouts, killing one as they passed over the squad. On the right flank, the Screamer unit advanced, but failed to damage the other Scout unit.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince tried to cast Boon of Change, but failed to manifest the power. The Lord of Change launched a Bolt of Change at the Scouts, but his patron deity failed him as he also failed to manifest the power. He then tried to cast Infernal Gateway on the Scouts, but also failed to cast it.

One of the Exalted Flamers cast Smite, killing two of the Scouts. A Fluxmaster also cast Smite, scoring three wounds and wiping out the unit on the left flank.

The shooting phase started with an Exalted Flamer firing on the Scouts on the right flank, scoring 6 hits and 6 wounds and wiping out the unit.  In the centre, another Exalted Flamer fired at the Scouts, also wiping out the unit.

In the charge phase, the Screamers on the right flank assaulted the Tactical Squad in the ruins. The Daemons struck at the White Scars, killing two of the Squad. The Tactical Marines attacked back, but failed to do any damage.

At the end of his turn, Bert scored First Blood, Cycle of Life and got 3 points for No Prisoners. He discarded Assassinate.


In my first turn, I drew Domination (control all the objectives), Secure Objective 5 and Overwhelming Firepower (kill an enemy unit in the shooting phase). A tough draw, as Domination and Secure Objective 5 would be impossible. My only hope was to try and kill 3 units in the shooting phase and hope to roll high on the D3 roll.

The Scout Bikers moved up on the Daemonettes on my left flank, the Biker Captain using the Born in the Saddle Stratagem to join them by advancing. The Tactical Squad fell back from combat with the Screamers. The Assault Marines moved up the centre towards the Daemonettes, the Librarian advancing on the Screamers.

The White Scars reserves came in en masse. One unit of Assault Marines landed on the left flank, next to the Screamers and Daemonetters. The Vanguard Veterans with dual Chainswords went behind the Daemon lines next to the Exalted Flamer.

On the right flank, the Captain led the other unit of Assault Marines and Vanguard Veterans on the Lord of Change.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Null Zone, removing the invulnerable saves of the nearby Daemons. He then failed to cast Smite.

The Thunderfire Cannon targeted a unit of Daemonettes with the Tremor Shells stratagem. The barrage killed one of the lithe Daemons, but slowed their progress across the battlefield.

In the centre, the Tactical Squad fired at the Screamers next to the Librarian, wounding them 3 times and killing one thanks to the loss of their invulnerable save. The nearby Assault Squad overcharged their Plasma Pistols and fired at them. One of the squad died to an overheat, but the other pistol struck true. I rolled a one to wound, using a command point re-roll and rolled yet another 1!

The Heavy Bolter Devastator squad fired on the Screamer unit and was able to wipe them out.

The Tactical Squad on the left flank fired their Bolters at the Screamer unit in the ruins in front of them. The Bolters of the squad managed to do a single wound. I then used the Hellfire Stratagem on the unit’s Heavy Bolter, hitting, but only rolling a single Mortal wound.

The Missile Launcher Devastators fired at the Screamers in the ruins. One used the Flakk Missile stratagem, but failed to hit on a 2+! The rest of the squad managed to hit with their Krak Missiles and killed one of the squad.

The Assault Marines to the north left targeted the final Screamer, hoping to finish it off. They overcharged their two Plasma Pistols, hitting with both. However, my luck continued as I rolled a double 1 to wound! The Bolt Pistols of the squad failed to do any damage and the last Screamer survived.

Beside them, the Scout Bikers fired on the Daemonettes. Their Bolters targeted the squad to their right, killing 7, while the Shotguns of the squad killed 8 of the unit in front of them. The Biker Captain added his firepower, wiping out the squad.

On the right flank, the Captain fired his Combi-melta at the Lord of Change, hitting but failing to wound. The nearby Assault Squad fired at the Screamers in front of them. The overcharging Plasma Pistols hit once and wounded once, but failed to get past their invulnerable save. The two Bolt Pistols both hit, but again I rolled a double 1 to wound! Unfortunately, I had only killed two units in the shooting phase, so would only gain a single point for Overwhelming Firepower.

In the charge phase, the Captain charged the Exalted Flamer, taking a single wound from overwatch fire. He was joined by the Scout Bikers and Vanguard Veterans.

The 5-man Tactical Squad on the left flank tried to charge the lone Flamer. They needed an 8″ charge and I rolled a 6 and a 1. I used a command point to re-roll the 1 and rolled another one! The remnants of the Tactical Squad in the ruins assaulted the cursed Daemon.

On the right flank, the Vanguard Veterans launched a charge on the Pink Horrors. The overwatch fired caused two wounds on the White Scars Veterans. I rolled two armour saves and came up with another double 1. This was getting ridiculous! The squad failed the charge.

The Captain tried to charge the Screamers, but failed to make the distance. The Assault Squad were able to make it in to combat.

In the centre of the battlefield, the Assault Squad charged the damaged Daemonette unit.

The central Assault Squad struck at the Daemonettes, only hitting with 3 of their 9 attacks and killing one. The Slannesh Daemons attacked back, wounding twice. Surprise, surprise, I rolled a double 1 for my saves.

On the left flank, the Captain struck at the Exalted Flamer, killing him with his Thunder Hammer. The Tactical Squad struck at the Screamer, but failed to hit. On the right flank, the Assault Squad struck at the Screamers and were able to wound them 3 times.

The Daemons struck back, the Screamer on the left killing one of the Tactical Marines. The Screamers on the right flank were unable to harm the Assault Marines.

In the morale phase, the central Daemonette unit was wiped out. At the end of my turn, I scored one point for Overwhelming Firepower and discarded Domination.


Daemons- 5 (3 cards scored)

White Scars- 1 (1 card scored)

Not a great start for the White Scars. Bert had scored big on his turn, but a combination of poor shooting and great invulnerable saves meant I had only killed a few Daemons here and there. A rash of failed charges on the right flank had stymied my counter attack as well. I didn’t think the game would last much longer.


In his second turn, Bert drew Blood and Guts (kill a unit in assault), Defend Objective 3 and Defend Objective 4.

On the left flank, the Lord of Change and the Pink Horrors moved up on the Assault Squad in combat with the Screamers, who fell back from combat. Another Pink Horror unit moved up on the Vanguard Veterans, as the Daemon Prince moved up on the Captain.

In the centre of the field, the surviving Daemonettes moved to surround the Assault Squad.

On the right flank, the two remaining Exalted Flamers moved up on the Scout Bikers, while the Flamers of Tzeentch arrived from the warp, landing in the ruins beside them.

One of the Exalted Flamers attempted to cast Smite, but failed in the casting. The other cast Smite, rolling a 12 for the test and wiping out the Vanguard Veterans on the right flank. The Daemon took three wounds for its trouble.

One of the Fluxmasters cast Bolt of Tzeentch on the Scout Bikers. The Librarian attempted to block the power, but failed (rolling another double 1 to try and block it). The Bolt did three wounds, killing one Scout Biker.

The Daemon Prince cast Boon of Change, giving the mighty Daemon +1 toughness. The Lord of Change then attacked the Assault Marines, failing to cast Smite, but killing one with Infernal Gateway.

In the shooting phase, the two units of Pink Horrors on the right targeted the Scout Bikers, killing two with their combined firepower. An Exalted Flamer fired on the Scout Bikers, Bert using a command point to get 2 shots, and killing one more of the squad. The other Exalted Flamer added its firepower, but failed to do any damage.

The Flamers of Tzeentch targeted the Vanguard Veterans, easily wiping out the squad with eldritch flames. On the other flank, the Pink Horrors wiped out the other unit of Vanguard Veterans.

In the charge phase, the Daemon Prince launched himself at the Captain. The White Scar hit him with his Meltagun in overwatch and wounded. Bert failed his save, but used a command point re-roll to pass it. Out of curiosity, we rolled to see what the damage would have been. As the two dice came up snake eyes, Bert burst into laughter and I let out a resigned sigh of acceptance.

The Lord of Change charged the Assault Marines, while the Daemonettes assaulted the Assault Squad in the centre of the battlefield.

In the fight phase, the Assault Marines were all killed by the attacks of the Daemons. The Daemon Prince struck at the Captain, hitting four times and wounding three. I failed one save and the Captain was wounded. The Captain struck back, putting a wound on the Daemon Prince.

On the other flank, the Screamer killed one of the Tactical Squad, while they were unable to harm the Tzeentch Daemon.

In the morale phase, the Scout Bikers passed their test. At the end of his turn, Bert scored 2 points for Blood and Guts.



In my second turn, I drew Defend Objective 4, Defend Objective 3 and had Secure Objective 5. Another turn with next to impossible to score cards.

The Captain fell back from combat with the Daemon Prince. On the other flank, the Scout Bikers and Captain moved up on the Screamers, while the Assault Marines and Librarian moved up on one of the Exalted Flamers. The Tactical Squad in the ruins fell back from combat.

The Librarian tried to cast Null Zone, but failed to manifest the power. He then cast Smite, but the power was blocked by the Tzeentch Daemons.

On the left flank, the Tactical Squad fired on the lone Screamer. Their Bolters only manged two out of 8 hits, wounding once, but the damage was saved. The Heavy Bolter failed to hit the Daemon. The Thunderfire Cannon targeted the Daemonettes with its Tremor Shells, killing three and slowing the unit.

The Tactical Squad fired their Missile Launcher at the Screamer, yet again failing to hit on a 2+. The Bolters wounding twice, but failed to get past its invulnerable save.

The Missile Launcher Devastators fired on the full strength Screamer unit, killing one. The other unit of Devastators fired a Hellfire Shell at the unit, causing one mortal wound. The rest of the firepower managed to wipe out the squad.

On the right flank, the Captain fired his Meltagun at the nearby Exalted Flamer, killing it outright.

In the charge phase, the Scout Bikers charged the Flamers of Tzeentch, but were easily wiped out by the overwatch fire.

I decided to call the game there. I had little left in my army that was much of a threat. At the end of the turn, Bert would score another 4 points for defending his two objectives, putting the game well out of my grasp.


Daemons- 11 (6 cards scored)

White Scars- 1 (1 card scored)

A decisive win for the Daemons.

After-Battle Thoughts

Ouch, that was another painful one! You know, one of these days I’m going to have a fun game against Bert.

Even though that was a tough game with a new army, there are still a few lessons to learn from it.

  1. I shouldn’t have deployed the Scouts so close to the enemy line. My plan was to create a bumper for my army, pushing back the deep striking units. As it was, I just gave Bert a lot of easy first turn charges and three easy units to kill.I should have deployed them a bit further back, out of charge range of most of the army. This could have allowed me to sit my units back in my deployment zone and hopefully get a few turns shooting from the army before being overrun.
  2. I should have focused on the left flank with all of my reserve units, rather than splitting them between the two flanks. The right flank had more heavy hitters, so focusing on only one flank may have allowed me to do a lot of damage on one side and kept my main gunline safer, as the right units would have to go further.
  3. Stop rolling double 1’s! Not really a lesson I need to learn, but it would be great to have rolled a bit better and actually made a game of it for Bert. Over the course of two turns I managed to roll 8 double ones either for rolling two dice or one die and a re-roll. Even for me, that is impressive!

I could have probably played on to see how the army would perform to the end, but Bert was so far ahead in points and I was so disheartened with the game that I felt there was little point in playing on.

I managed to get another practice game in before the tournament, so will be able to hopefully fix some of these issues with more playtesting.

I hope you enjoyed the report. I’ve set up a Facebook group for my own blog, St Andrews Wargaming. You can follow it if you want to keep up to date on my hobby progress and the latest battle reports.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

14 Responses to “Battle Report- White Scars Space Marines vs Chaos Daemons”

  1. black mage March 20, 2018 12:23 pm #

    since when exalted flamers can cast smite?

    • Blight1 March 20, 2018 1:04 pm #

      Unless I missed a huge change for them in the new codex they are not psykers. I would have thought he just meant the heralds but then he talks about the heralds casting other powers.

    • Michael Corr March 20, 2018 1:30 pm #

      Most likely an error on my part, one of the other models cast it. Not too familiar with the Daemon Codex, so if you say they can’t, they probably can’t.

  2. Artem Trytiak March 20, 2018 4:15 pm #

    Nice report, are you sure Exalted Flamers can cast Smite?

    • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 12:19 am #

      Probably not. As I said above, it was probably an error on my part.

  3. Rob Butcher March 20, 2018 11:25 pm #

    An interesting set of Battle Reports that shows different ways of using SM, without being just a bike army. I had put my Imperial Fists jump-pack Assault Marines away for 8th edition. But this has encouraged me to try them out a few times.

    • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 12:21 am #

      Cheers. I’ve actually been enjoying trying out new lists with the White Scars in 8th edition. I’ve been enjoying the Jump Pack Marines in this list, just glad I didn’t get rid of all those Plasma Pistols from 3rd edition!

  4. Sossen March 21, 2018 12:30 am #

    It’s interesting that you have chosen to bring four fast attack units instead of just the minimum three, do you find that the assault marines bring enough to the table? In my experience their utility is overpriced. No reliable way of landing a deepstrike charge, weak ranged options and not enough of a punch in melee.

    • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 1:55 am #

      It was something I was trying out, based on some of Reece’s articles and observations.

      I have found them to be quite useful in the game in some cases. The triple Plasma Pistols are quite effective, I’ve used them to snipe enemy characters to good effect.

      They are also a nice, cheap way to fill out a brigade. In revising the list, I probably wouldn’t go with so many units, but I think one or two with Plasma Pistols are a useful annoyance unit, for going after objectives or enemy characters.

    • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 1:57 am #

      I’ve actually got three tournament battle reports with the army posting this week, so you will be able to see how they were used in a competitive setting.

  5. Don Tomaso March 21, 2018 2:57 am #

    Looking forward to the tournament report later on. Thanks for the time you put into these batreps btw, appreciated.

    A question: did you ever think of having a tryout game like the one above but switch armies with your opponent so that you play his deamons and vice versa?

    See how it goes and learn more about your army list from a totally different angle?


    ” In my experience their utility is overpriced. No reliable way of landing a deepstrike charge, weak ranged options and not enough of a punch in melee.”

    This too is my experience with them over and over. Simply put either to high point costs for what they do and I mean significantly to high OR to fragile, that is they feel anything but an “elite” army.

    Put against things like ig infantry they are severly outclassed point-to-point.

    If anyone figures out a way to make them hit at least on pair with their point cost and do so reliably, on the table then I´m all ears.

    • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 3:15 am #

      Swapping armies isn’t really something I ever consider. If I don’t know the force, I’ll spend more time looking up rules and forgetting things than actually getting a decent game in. For most club nights, we are pushed for time as it is, so would get even fewer turns in that way.

      I think comparing the Assault Marines to IG infantry is not really fair. They have completely different roles on the tabletop and different rules, supports and buffs that make them better/worse. They may not be the most competitive unit, but I have found use for them in my army.
      They don’t do amazing in every game, but they do help with grabbing objectives and sniping characters.

      • Don Tomaso March 21, 2018 10:21 pm #

        Good point, you´re right.

        Any ideas of how to make them a relaiably useful squad to take?
        Loadout? Role?

        Do you keep them in reserve for a last ditch obj grabbing or hide them behind advancing transports or how do personally you use them to their best?

        • Michael Corr March 21, 2018 11:45 pm #

          I’m in the middle of writing up a review of the unit to go into more detail.

          At the moment, I favour the 5-man squad with three plasma pistols. I see their role as objective grabbing and harassment. They are good for dropping down on free objectives thanks to their deep strike mobility. This is useful in malestrom missions for grabbing them, or for going after scores like Behind Enemy Lines or Recon (on the ITC).

          As you have said, they are not great in combat, so I use this as a last resort to clear the last few models off an objective or wipe out a unit for a kill point.

          The Plasma Pistols can be pretty damaging if you can get into position to snipe off a character or take out a damaged vehicle.

          I generally keep them in reserve for protection or increased mobility, but have started experimenting with having them on the board from the start. They can be shot off easily, but there are generally more important targets in my army and they can be ignored in early turns.

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