Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Comment on a battle - Blood Angels v Nurgle Chaos

Recently I played a game with my Flesh Tearer Blood Angels against a friends Nurgle chaos. I didn't have time to set up a proper battle report and take amazing photographs so I thought that I would just comment on the battle itself seeing as I haven't played for a while and have never played against this army before.

First and foremost the game was a tactical objectives game with objectives numbered 1-6 scattered around the table. We played 1500 points of which the armies were picked to the theme of the army. The Blood angels were fast moving units with jump packs, drop pods and a baal predator and very assault orientated while the chaos nurgle army was a plague zombie army with lots and lots of zombies and a few plague marines and champions thrown in for good measure.

Effectively could the Blood Angels charge the Chaos acolytes and hit hard enough before being swamped and overrun by zombies?

Flesh Tearers army
DC Chaplain
2 units of DC
5 Terminators
2 Assault squads
2 tactical squads - 1 with a drop pod
Baal Predator

Initial Deployment and tactics
The Flesh Tearers deployed first and deployed mainly on the left side of the battlefield to hopefuly hit hard into the chaos right flank. The plan was to smash one side and remove the zombie cultists with shooting from the tactical squad in drop pod before charging into the marines behind the screen with assault squads and death company. Then work down the line to wipe them out.

The Nurgle chaos army deployed second and spread out with a rotten meat shield in front of the juicy marines and champions behind. This would give many options to hold objectives indefinitely and where needed to earn points throughout the battle.

The Flesh Tearers had come to hit hard, destroy and grab points late on while the chaos army had come to take and hold objectives early and endure the onslaught.
Initial plans
The Flesh Tearers dropped in and hosed the zombie marines before realising that the tactics were somewhat flawed. Now the tactical squad was stuck on its own as the rest of the army could not get across the battlefield - oops!
The Nurgle followers took very little damage due to feel no pain and cover saves and began to consume the Blood Angels. Although they could not take the tactical squad out in combat they would render them useless for the rest of the game...

Turn 2 is where I made my second mistake as I set up my DC marines and assault marines to assault into the plague marines and champion at the back of the chaos lines. Unfortunately the shooting I had did not wipe out the zombie cultists acting as a meat shield for them (Damn they are tough for such squishy little things!). I was now stuck in the middle of the field with nothing left to do except assault the cultists with my elite troops and then suffer a counter charge by the marines behind next turn - Gah! I knew at this point I was going to struggle as I need the charging bonuses of extra attacks and furious charge to get through the plague marines which I now wasn't going to get.
As predicted I wiped out the zombie cultists and then got tied up with the plague marines and champion who slowly whittled me down for the remainder of the game.
To add insult to injury the plague marines that I destroyed were then allowed to re-enter the battlefield with outflank and charged back into the fray to attack one of my assault squads - Double Gah!!!
In the end it was a narrow loss for the Blood Angels as I got lucky with the tactical objectives early on. But eventually the stinky chaos fiends wore me down to almost nothing by turn 4.

So what have I learned?
Blood Angels
- My army is very themed to what a Blood Angels army should look like - everything fast moving and assault orientated. Unfortunately this is not particularly competitive as assault marines are fairly weak in combat - particularly after the initial charge - this allowed the chaos fiends to soak up the damage and then slowly whittle me down.
- Small squads just don't cut it. I have 2 death company squads of 5. This just isn't enough to do enough damage on that all important first turn of combat. If I roll badly or am outnumbered enough the death company get swallowed up over a few rounds of combat.
- I isolated some of my army. The drop pod came down but was unsupported as nothing else could get there fast enough. I need something else to be with the forward units in turn 1.
- There are not enough 'buffs' in my army. All of the units just do what they do. I see other armies getting bonuses from special rules, psychic powers or characters and the Blood Angels don't seem to offer that - or I need to research a little more to get an edge in a game.
- I need to play more. Some total misjudgments of how much damage my army can do and how far my units can move left my ass hanging in the wind and ruined my chances of winning this game.

Nurgle Chaos
- They are hard work to take down! Extra toughness on some units and feel no pain all over the place is a real nightmare even with a bunch of attacks on the charge.
- The champion provided some great buffs to units in the army. To be able to regenerate zombie cultists and give them outflank is amazing! The game ended with only 3 nurgle models (not units) dead!!!
- Typhus isn't so bad! He launched into combat but actually isn't such a bad boy. A powerfist or two soon sorted him out.
- They are rubbish in combat but strength in numbers will eventually grind you down as they just won't die.
- Big numbers of zombie cultists are amazing. They can soak up massive amounts of damage and are incredibly cheap points wise.

- I need to reconsider the number of marines in my Blood Angel units and re-equip my death company with more potent weapons - some infernus pistols and more power weapons in bigger squads would work.
- Guns, we need guns! With almost no shooting in the Blood Angel army the meat shield tactic won the game for chaos - I need to be able to remove this before the assault troops arrive. I either need to time my assaults better, play the objectives rather than focus on killing chaos cultists (let them come to me) or let the Astra Militarum handle things.....there's a good idea, Commissar! I have a job for you....

Hope you enjoyed my comment on a battle. If you have any advice for me please let me know in the comments.

James – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads


  1. I am glad you have an assault focussed army, they are rare these days.

    Hard luck on the loss but lessons learned.

    1. Cheers Rory. I love the fluff, but it doesn't necessarily transfer to the tabletop. I'll get there!

  2. In 'friendly' games assault armies are still used but they definitely struggle against shooty armies. Did you run any formations in this game? I hate formations but they are the way the game is going.

  3. Just the standard baal strike force to get the initiative boost. I need to look into this further I think

  4. As the other party in this battle report, I have a couple of comments. Firstly, your biggest mistake was loyalty to the False Emperor who proved, once again, that he is more than happy to watch his loyal servants die by the dozen. Nurgle, on the other hand, goes to great lengths to keep his followers alive!

    Secondly, it's very harsh to say Plague Marines are rubbish in combat. Remember that the formation rules cost you 1 point of weapon skill, initiative and toughness so whilst you were hitting on4 and wounding on 5, I was hitting on 3 and wounding on 3. No prizes for guessing how those combats are going to go.

    The last point you neglected to mention was that it was actually a draw! Admittedly, you were only saved from a brutal tabling by some lame dad-related demands on your time, but we had equal points at the time you cried off. :)

  5. I suppose the points showed a draw but the game was definitely yours!!!
    I had actually totally forgotten about the Plague Marines taking away WS, I and T!! Damn you have a cheating army!

    What I was referring to really was the lack of attacks you get in combat slows you down but the modifiers mean that you grind through in the end as eventually I fail the armour and feel no pain rolls.

    Good game, I enjoyed it and revenge will taste that little bit sweeter!!