40k 8th: Second Patrol


Having assembled the Death Guard from Know No Fear and unrolled the long playmat, I thought I'd see how a more ponderous army did against the Necrons. Of course, I don't have the Chaos Index, so this battle will have to be based on Power Levels rather than points. It'll be interesting to see how this goes...

The Armies

I would be using the Death Guard from Know No Fear as they came, which gave me the following:

Master Bryss' Death Guard: ???/29
1x Lord of Contagion
-1x Plaguereaper
5x Plague Marines
-1x Plasma Gun
10x Poxwalkers
1x Foetid Bloat Drone
-2x Plaguespitter, 1x Plague Probe

EscapeToTheSea's Nihilakh Dynasty: 580/29
1x Necron Lord
-1x Warscythe
10x Warriors
5x Immortals
5x Immortals
2x Destroyers
-2x Gauss Cannon
6x Canoptek Scarabs

You'll notice that Escape gets two more units than I do. This is mostly down to the fact that two thirds of my Power is contained within just two models. Admittedly, they're pretty powerful models, I just hope my troops aren't completely worthless. If I had to guess at how much this lot cost, with my only real reference being the 6th Edition Chaos book, 105 for the Plague Marines (they have lower Leadership), probably about 60 or 70 for the Poxwalkers and then 180-ish for the Lord with the rest going to the Drone. I don't see that costing 200 points though and I'm probably massively undercosting the six-wound brute in Terminator armour.

Game-wide Misplays: The Lord of Contagion's Plaguereaper should deal 3 damager per hit, which is odd because we played the Warscythe correctly with its 2. Also, still using 2D6 for Morale and not using Warlord Traits.

Setup

The Know No Fear mat is around 44" by 22".

This is a straight-up fight to the death, 31 wounds against 46. We rolled off for deployment and first turn since our power levels were equal. The Necrons set up a unit first, the rightmost Immortals, who were matched by the Plague Marines. The other lot of Immortals then went to the other side, so I split my forces. Big mistake. At least I have the Drone to act as a pivot. The Lord of Contagion, barely visible against the carpet, will be entering via teleport.

First turn goes to the Necrons, who stole the initiative from the Death Guard. This might not go so well...

Turn 1


The Necron advance does two things here. One, it kills four Poxwalkers. Two, it kills every Plague Marine except the plasma gun one, ending with two 1-Wound Destroyers in combat with a single plague trooper. Meanwhile, the Scarabs knocked a wound off the Bloat Drone but suffered 7 back due to the power of auto-hitting Overwatch from the spitters before losing another one to the probe.


I am quickly learning that my new favourite unit in the game is anything that can Fly and possesses good short-range firepower. The Drone is able to break off from the Scarabs with impunity and use its spitters to sink the Destroyers, who were exposed again due to my Plague Marine falling back from them. Really, I should have split my firepower and used one spitter on the Scarabs though. I was hoping that charging them with the Poxwalkers would kill a few and thus regenerate my numbers from the Curse of the Walking Pox (imaginative), but instead I killed none and took three casualties for my troubles. Also, the Lord of Contagion exists now.

I didn't actually want to set up the Lord where he is now, but the way pseudo-Deep Strike works now I had to set him up 9" away from ANY enemy model. Because of how spaced-out the Necrons are here, this was the only place I could put him where he'd make a significant contribution to the war effort in turns to come. If the Poxwalkers can hold out another turn, they can start to benefit from his Aura, too...

Turn 2


Spoilers: The Poxwalkers don't live. The Lord of Contagion shrugs off a lot of firepower only to be charged by the Lord and lose 2 Wounds from the Warscythe. In return, the Necron manages to pass 2 effectively 6+ saves from the Plaguereaper.


In the Death Guard turn, the Bloat Drone spits away the remaining Scarabs with an impressive 11 hits from the spitters. The out-of-shot Plasma Gun Marine, who somehow survived 8 rapid-fire Gauss Blaster shots last turn, sinks an Immortal with his shooting. In the Lord combat, a combination of the Plague Aura and some good hits wounds the Necron (should have killed but see misplays) for no damage in return.

Turn 3

The Immortals on the right don't reanimate their lost member but charge the Plague Marine, who valiantly hangs on for now. Valiantly hanging on is also what the Necron Lord does this turn, surviving remarkably well against the Lord of Contagion despite not possessing an Invulnerable Save. So well, in fact, that the Nurglite Lord is now down to a single Wound. A few of the Warriors and the Immortals get into a position where they can fire at the Bloat Drone, which knocks off a few wounds.


By the end of the Death Guard turn, there is no Necron Lord left and the Warriors have taken a few casualties from a plaguespitter (the other one was directed at the Immortals and whiffed). Between the two of them, they have a mountain of skeletons to climb.

Turn 4



The Immortals on the right nix the Plague Marine this turn, but they're too far away now to contribute to the rest of the battle. The other Immortals charge the Lord of Contagion after their blasters fail them, but again the Lord holds. Meanwhile, the Bloat Drone charges a heavily-depleted Warrior team, which is wiped by turn's end.

Turn 5



The remaining Immortals fire, which can only knock the Bloat Drone down to four Wounds since the Lord is out of range and cannot be targeted anyway. In return, none of the Death Guard units can get into range.

Winner: Death Guard

Thoughts: OK so I have serious reservations about being able to exit combat with impunity. I really feel like there should be at least a sort of  'reverse Overwatch' where the other involved units may make a round of attacks hitting on 6s (unless they remain engaged with another of your units), because otherwise it's just a case of  'I break off and shoot you to death.' Y'know, that thing that the Bloat Drone did.

You really could tell why 2/3rds of my Power was in those two units because they really carried my game. As such, I can't really tell you if these lists were balanced or not. More experimentation needs to be done.

Next time, we'll maybe do everything right? Also, Escape has requested a vehicle, so I guess I'd better go stick a Barge together... oh and I have a new box to review.

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