Hello, Warhammer 40k fans! We are here with a new form of content for those of you who want to follow these matches and gain valuable tactical insights in a more digestible format than our full-length streams.
Introducing: the written battle report! These articles will break down an Art of War 40k match into its key components, capturing the decisions, results, and lessons learned from some of the greatest players in the game. We love to hear your feedback, so let us know in the comments what works and what could be better about this format! Without further ado, let’s dig into a match – featuring changes from the January 2021 FAQ – between Richard Siegler’s Blood Angels and Nick Nanavati’s Sisters of Battle. To see this game and many others, check out our YouTube channel.
Mission: Vital Intelligence
This mission is one of the few that requires holding two objectives (of six total) for a baseline five primary points. The Data Terminals mission-specific rule enables a unit to secure an objective and then move away from it without “losing” the objective unless the enemy occupies it himself.
Command Points: 4
Oath of Moment
Raise the Banners
Command Points: 9
While We Stand, We Fight
Raise the Banners
Engage on All Fronts
With the changes to Bring It Down, Nick’s list can give up a maximum of eight points, instead of 16 per the old rule.
Nick: “I went back and forth a lot of grind them down, While We Stand, and actually Data Intercept…none of these felt good…you need to be able to design an army that goes first or second and pick secondaries that do that.”
Two large, central L-ruins, combined with additional ruins in each player’s deployment zone, means that both players begin the game relatively protected. Richard’s FLY-keyword infantry will be able to cut across the mid-board very quickly, while Nick’s vehicles may be a bit restricted.
Nick castles up his critical units behind a ruin (“I don’t usually deploy my Sisters like this,”) and surrounds them with Sisters bodies to protect from the Blood Angels’ ability to close the distance with melee threats quickly.
Richard also uses the big ruin on his side, concentrating his infantry in the center-front of his deployment zone to quickly secure the middle of the board and assault Nick’s castle from there. In cover on the ruin, his plasma Inceptors are just within 28” of Nick’s Mortifier. Richard keeps two squads of Sanguinary Guard (SanGuard) in reserve.
Nick wins the roll-off – meaning he must go first due to the change in the recent FAQ.
Battle Round 1
Richard spends one CP to pregame move his Death Company squad into the board’s center, just behind a wall.
Nick begins to raise banners on his home objective and two others as his advancing infantry and vehicles begin to spread out.
Shooting from an Immolator and a Mortifier destroys a Land Speeder Storm, which explodes doing one mortal wound to multiple of Richard’s units.
Nick charges his Repentia across the central no-man’s-land, using a six from his Miracle Dice pool and a Command Reroll to achieve a 12” charge against the Death Company behind the ruin, killing four of the five. This also prevents Richard from raising a banner on that mid-board objective. Nick’s Mortifier charges the Infiltrators, disrupting yet another banner-raising, and kills two of them.
Richard begins his turn by moving toward the mid-board, falling back out of combat with his remaining Death Company and Infiltrators.
With just two models in range, the Inceptors destroy Nick’s forward-flung Mortifier to the relief of his Infiltrators.
Counter charging into and across the mid-board, Richard’s SanGuard tag and destroy another Mortifier, while his Bladeguard Veterans (BGV) and Inceptors surround the remaining Repentia, killing two from Hammer of Wrath and leaving one alive. This makes interrupting with those Repentia much less appealing to Nick.
Battle Round 2
Top of Round 2 score check:
Command Points: 4
Primary Objectives: 0
Relentless Assault: 4
Oath of Moment: 3
Raise the Banners: 0
Total Victory Points: 7
Command Points: 9
Primary Objectives: 10
While We Stand, We Fight: 0
Raise the Banners: 0
Engage on All Fronts: 2
Total Victory Points: 12
In his second turn, Nick continues to spread out and deploys several squads of Sisters from Rhinos. His Retributors’ multimeltas remove the immediate threat of the SanGuard, but an Immolator and another Mortifier are unable to shift the Bladeguard Veterans standing between the central L-ruins. Another squad of Retributors split fire to finish off the diminished Infiltrator squad and then target the Inceptors. Richard’s use of Transhuman Physiology provides the Inceptors little comfort as Nick rolls natural 4s and 5s to wound. Nick uses the Sisters’ Simulacrum, a Miracle Die, and a Command Reroll to increase the damage of his multimeltas’ wounds. Richard’s last Inceptor decides that today is, in fact, not a good day to die and flees on a failed Morale check.
Nick: “Multimelta Retributors, who knew!? They actually kill Space Marines.”
Richard: “Well, that was a huge swing, obviously. However, Nick has left a gaping hole in his backfield, and I’m gonna send some Sanguinary Guard back there.”
Now at the bottom of Round 2, Richard scores 10 Primary Objective points.
Richard: “If I can get the double play of taking down banners on both of [the objectives], that will be a huge swing.”
Nick: “I’m already getting more out of the banners than I thought I would this game, so I’m pretty happy.”
Richard’s Round 2 shooting does chip damage across the board, killing a few Sisters.
He charges his Land Speeder Storm at a Retributor squad, prompting Nick to spend one CP and a 6 from his Miracle Dice pool to fire overwatch, and another CP to turn one of his Miracle Die 2s into a 3 to wound the speeder. With all this, Nick only inflicts five damage on the charging speeder – one less than he needs.
With a Command Reroll (and the summoned spirit of Mark Perry), Richard successfully charges both deep-struck SanGuard squads into Nick’s battle lines from opposite sides, while his BGV charge the middle. The combined assault kills some Sisters, destroys a Rhino (forcing an emergency disembark), and destroys an Immolator.
Richard consolidates the BGV into Junith Eruita, who swings back to surprisingly kill one and wound another. Not finished proving that girls can punch things to death too, the Retributors charged by the Land Speeder Storm inflict a final wound and destroy it.
End of Round 2 Score check: Richard will take his slight lead into Nick’s third turn, as Nick will score no Primary points since he holds only one objective.
Richard Siegler Command Points: 2 Primary Objectives: 10 Relentless Assault: 8 Oath of Moment: 6 Raise the Banners: 1 Total Victory Points: 25 Nick Nanavati Command Points: 7 Primary Objectives: 10 While We Stand, We Fight: 0 Raise the Banners: 4 Engage on All Fronts: 4 Total Victory Points: 18
Nick spends his third Movement Phase repositioning models in his backfield to set up a counterattack against the BGV and SanGuard that Richard thrust forward last turn. He sends the last Mortifier up the board’s flank to set up scoring points for Engage on All Fronts the next turn. His Retributor squad, freed from combat with the Land Speeder Storm, move to secure the top left objective, while another Sister squad advances to disrupt Richard’s Vanguard Veterans from raising banners.
Nick puts the Holy Trinity of bolter, flamer and melta to work in his Shooting Phase, clearing out one SanGuard squad and killing a few BGV. His Repentia charge and wipe out the BGV, and the Immolator charges the last model of the other BGV squad to tie it up. The SanGuard swing at the Cannoness and the Triumph of St. Katherine, but Nick’s Miracle Dice keep her alive to fight back, while the Triumph takes a few scratches. Nick’s “Smash Cannoness,” fully buffed, swings back and easily kills the other SanGuard squad.
Now at the bottom of Round 3, Richard also scores no Primary points – The inability to maintain control of two-or-more objectives is hampering both players’ primary scoring.
Richard’s castle of units moves onto the objective at the top of the L-ruin and charges multiple targets from there. Vanguard Vets kill the Retributors on the top-left objective, flipping it. The other Vanguard Vets kill a few Repentia but remain stuck in combat with the last model, unable to take or contest Nick’s backfield objective. Proximity to the Triumph enables the last Repentia to auto-pass her morale check.
Nick’s multimeltas remove the lone BGV on the southern midfield objective. His Cannoness kills several Vanguard Vets in melee. Nick scores three more points for Engage on All Fronts, and the turn ends quickly.
Richard’s smash captain charges and kills Nick’s Preacher, and through Obsec-via-Rites of War, takes Nick’s home objective. The Death Company marine kills four Sisters, so Nick uses a Miracle Die to auto-pass morale for the last one. Richard’s Vanguard Vets charge and reduce Junith to her last wound, though she swings back to kill one.
Richard ends Round 4 scoring four points from secondaries – Nick’s pressure on his deployment zone denies additional points from Relentless Assault.
End of Round 4 Score CheckRichard Siegler Command Points: 1 Primary Objectives: 20 Relentless Assault: 8 Oath of Moment: 13 Raise the Banners: 3 Total Victory Points: 44 Nick Nanavati Command Points: 6 Primary Objectives: 10 While We Stand, We Fight: 0 Raise the Banners: 5 Engage on All Fronts: 8 Total Victory Points: 33
Nick’s Round 5 shooting finishes off the Death Company Marine with bolters and kills the Smash Captain with multimelta fire. The Mortifier kills Richard’s Librarian with its heavy bolters.
The last squad of Repentia multi-charge into Richard’s Sanguinary Priest, Vanguard Vets and Company Vets, and kills…well, everything, effectively ending the game.
Final ScoreRichard Siegler Command Points: 1 Primary Objectives: 20 Relentless Assault: 8 Oath of Moment: 13 Raise the Banners: 5 Total Victory Points: 46 Nick Nanavati Command Points: 6 Primary Objectives: 25 While We Stand, We Fight: 15 Raise the Banners: 6 Engage on All Fronts: 8 Total Victory Points: 54
*note – the video counts the score as 64 – 56, after giving each army a boost for being battle ready.
Nick: Where do you think this went wrong?
Richard: All the little stuff.
Nick: What would you change with this list to help deal with Sisters?
Richard: “I’d just get a second Inceptor squad and have the 5+ invuln on them from Psychic Fortress. I think that alone is just a huge upgrade…Marines really care about multimeltas.”
Nick: “What do you cut?”
Richard: “Get rid of the Land Speeder Storms. They’re cool, but they’re not really needed. They don’t have an invuln; they’re the easiest thing to kill in my army.”
It seems that Richard has a soft spot in his cold, metallic heart for the durability of Necrons.
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