Battle Report: The Talons of the Emperor vs. Death Guard

Today, my buddy Keith and I were able to get a 1900 point game in. We both ran brand new armies, him with Death Guard, and me with Talons of the Emperor. We were both really just learning our armies, but we had some great fun along the way.

I got to try out my 10 man blob of sword and board custodes, which, are completely brutal. They’re kill count, and absurd durability really surprised me.

I was also fairly impressed with my Witchseekers as well. They pumped out somewhere around 40 flamer attacks when they disembarked, which, if it was against something a bit less tough (the T5 Marines really cut down the effectiveness), it would have resulted in a LOT more casualties. Definitely running these as anti-horde.

Anyways, to the battle. For my Talons, I ran:

  • 10 man squad of Custodians w/ Sentinel Blades, Power Knife, and that really awesome banner
  • 5 man squad of Custodians w/ Guardian Spears embarked in a Venerable Land Raider, which was armed with Lascannons, Heavy Bolter, and Stormbolter
  • 2 Venerable Contemptor Dreadnaughts, one with a multi-melta, and another with an assault cannon
  • 10 woman squad of Witchseekers armed with Flamers embarked in a Null Maiden Rhino
  • Inquisitor Greyfax

For the Death Guard, Keith ran (if memory serves me correct that is):

  • 3 7 man squads of Plague Marines (2 units with 2 Plasma Rifles, 1 unit with a Melta Gun and a Blight Launcher. All had a champ with a Powerfist)
  • Blightcaster
  • Lord of Contagion
  • 2 Helbrutes, both with CCW and Multi-Melta
  • Noxious Blightbringer
  • 1 unit of 3 Plaguecrawlers
  • 1 Blight Drone
  • 1 Blightlauncher mortar thing

We ended up playing Big Guns Never Tire, and for deployment, we divided the table into quarters (can’t remember that deployment name). I had first turn.

Turn 1 for me was basically advancing, and firing off whatever I had range on. My landraider scored 2 hits on one of his Plaguecrawlers that went through and caused a total of 9 damage, wiping one off the field. Everything else tried firing, but it only dinged off of the armor. When the close combat phase came into play though, my multi-melta dreadnought was within charge range of one of his helbrutes. He made his charge, hit with all 4 attacks, wounded with everything, and poor Keith rolled ones and twos for his saves. He ended up with 12 wounds, which completely melted the helbrute.

His turn one was somewhat the same, he focus fired my dreadnoughts, scoring a fair handful of wounds on them. He tried to launch a mortar on my foot slogging custodians, however, he was completely unprepared for the stupid invulnerability save they had. And that’s when he realized just how elite these guys were.

In his close combat phase, he charged one helbrute into combat with my assault cannon dreadnought, and two units of Plague Marines into combat with the other dreadnought. At that time, my assault dreadnought had 2 wounds on him, and my multi-melta had 6 wounds. His Helbrute completely choked in close combat, and I was able to score a total of 9 wounds on him with my CCW, taking another one out. However, he was able to widdle down the last couple of wounds on my multi-melta dread, ended that one’s poor existence.

Turn two was where his game completely fell apart, and actually conceded. I disembarked my 5 custodians and my witchseekers and moved them close to their targets. My 10 man custodians moved into charge range of several of his units. Greyfax cast terrify on my target plague marine unit, lowering their leadership and not allowing overwatch. Shooting phase resulted one vaporized Blightcaster and another few wounds on a Plaguecrawler. However, my witchseekers scored a total of 41 shots (18 or 19 of which wounded), but in total only caused 3 casualties against one of his Plague Marine squads (but it was enough to cause a breaktest and make another run away).

Close combat was incredibly messy. The end result was a wiped out unit of Plague Marines, and a Lord of Contagion with only 2 wounds left. I failed a few needed charges, but, with a hurt troop choice, HQ choice, and a completely wiped out unit, he was against the ropes. I just had to put the finishing blow on him. That came on his combat phase.

His turn two resulted in some fun rolls. He was slowly picking apart my witchseekers a lot of fire, however, my save rolls were stupidly good. Out of a ton of shots on that unit, I lost 4, and rolled 3 6s when needed to save the effectiveness of that unit. When he charged into them, it ended up with 18 overwatch shots against his plaguecrawlers, and scored a few wounds. I had wrote that unit completely off though, as I knew they were toast. That was fine though, because my Spear Custodians were foaming at the mouth to get to those crawlers.

The finishing touch though was me using the counter attack stratagem on my 10 man unit. He had charged in with his Noxious Blightcaller, which, did nothing in CC, but allowed that custodian unit to completely wipe out his Lord of Contagion and other Plague Marine unit, leaving his Blightcaller all alone against his golden demise.

It was here he called it. He had lost more than half (more like 75%) of his army, and I had only lost 5 or 6 models. It really was just beating a dead horse at that time. We shook hands, and then talked counter tactics and brainstormed how to make his army a bit more effective against such an elite force.

All in all, it was a really great learning experience for both of us, and we got to roll dice, which is always fun.

Until next time, happy painting!

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