The Disciples of the Four Ride Back Bedraggled!

The following is a Warhammer 40K battle report, so for folks reading who don't play that tabletop game, there's a lot of specific lingo - I'd like to think I wrote things up so they're easy to follow, though.

 So it's been a few weeks since I posted my army list and wrote up about intended plans to conquer and humiliate a friend's Warhammer 40K army in the name of the gods of Chaos using a small no-fuss starter list. I haven't had much time to sit down with a clear mind and write up a battle report, but today's that day, friends!

 Well, the overall result was that the Disciples lost. I don't consider it a sound beating, though, and I'm not going to say that the dice weren't completely unfavorable - it was more a combination of things. (You can see my army list here: The Disciples of the Four Ride Forth Again!) I managed to keep things going (on less and less of a roll as time went on) and my army ended up getting whittled down completely by the end of turn 4.

 My friend fielded a pretty solid list of Space Wolves - a Wolf Guard Battle Leader fronting a small squad of Blood Claws, two small squads of Grey Hunters, and a Dreadnought - not being so familiar with the Space Wolves of 6th Edition 40K, I didn't exactly know what I was up against. We rolled off to see who went first, it ended up being him and me not able to steal initiative. By way of explanation, all I've ever played the few times I've played 40K, it's just been generic "annihilation" missions where I straightforwardly try to cut down the opponent - this time we had decided on claiming table objectives, 4 of them with random properties once discovered. I went with a strategy of "charge in and cut them down" while trying to dispute his objective claiming - it worked (at least initially)!

 In hindsight, I made some bad decisions in planning for a game other than "Annihilation" - I likely could've gone without transports, I could've went with cheaper troops, I should've picked better targets to start with; who knew? My plan was to rush the Rhino troop transports forward, pop smoke grenades for cover, disembark using the Rhinos as cover for my troops, and then charge a good target with my Lord and Berzerkers. The rest of the troops in the other Rhino would do similar so far as using the Rhino for cover, except hold in cover and act as a gunline.

 The first turn, my non-'Zerker Rhino lost a hull point and was immobilized between autocannon shots from the Space Wolf Dreadnought and a Plasma Gun in each group of Grey Hunters. I moved my Rhino full of "choppiness" up and deployed the Lord and Berzerkers with the Rhino for cover. Since I couldn't move right away, we exchanged pot shots and I killed off a Blood Claw or two. I kept the gunline CSM's in the other Rhino within the deployment zone.

 Second turn, I was able to charge with my Lord and 'Zerkers - in hindsight I should've went after the Dread and took that out right away between the Melta-bombs and increased Strength on the charge. No, instead I waded into close combat with the Blood Claws and got about 20 hits on them taking out only a few Claws - armor saves were coming out well for his guys in droves... Under the 6th Ed. CSM rules, my Lord has to make Challenges... so then I ran into his Wolf Guard Battle Leader: a guy with a Frost Axe (now an AP2 power axe), a magic necklace so he always hit on a 3+ in CC, magic power armor so he had a 2+ save against all conventional damage, and at least 3 attacks per turn. Needless to say my Lord didn't last so long, but at least his Ichor Blood splattering everywhere when he died killed off a few more Blood Claws. Oh, and my other Rhino was able to move forward and drop a smoke screen - because I moved so far, all I could get was a Meltagun snap shot and a Krak grenade at the Dread, but at least I knocked it down a hull point.

 The third turn, his Dreadnought blew up my assault troops' Rhino in a volley of gunfire and I lost one Berzerker in the blast. Did I mention each of his Grey Hunter squads had a Plasma Gun? Yeah? Well, they blew up the 2nd Rhino with rapid firing before my troops could deploy and I lost a few of them due to failed armor saves. I lost a few more of them from firing from his other Hunter squad and their Plasma Gun overheated - but his Hunter made the armor save. His Wolf Guard Battle Leader moved on from the remains of my Chaos Lord and started chopping down all my remaining Berzerkers with help from the few remaining Blood Claws, starting with the Berzerker Champion who was obligated to make a challenge. I managed to knock his Dread down another hull point with another Meltagun shot as I figgered that it was the most significant threat to my remaining troops, but that was about it.

 Fourth turn? My opponent's Dreadnought turned its full attention to my regular CSM's, who despite moving into cover and getting a better bonus cover save from the claimed objective, basically started dying en masse. Following a hail of fire from both the Grey Hunter squads, the Disciples of the Four ended up as nothing but a mass of corpses on a battlefield.

 Was the game a complete embarrassment? No, I don't think so - we both had fun and since we're both pretty rusty on the rules, we learned a lot about the new 6th Edition's gameplay. Are there some things I should've done differently? Oh, most certainly... targeting the Dreadnought first with a charge instead of the unit with the attached Battle Leader might've been good. Dropping the Chainaxes for some extra points and more troops? Sure. Forgoing vehicles entirely? Quite possibly, as I would've had more guns to fire. Not even using Berzerkers? I like them, but they do cost a fair amount of points and in this small game I probably would've had similar (if not better) results with a lot more regular Chaos Marines and extra close combat weapons.

 Let me know what you readers think! This was my first game in 6th Edition 40K, I have a minimum of models (because, well, I'm more of a display figure painter than an army builder), and I'd say my tactics definitely need work. I did have fun and my friend was a good opponent, so ideally we'd be getting in another game soonish, schedules permitting.


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