Another club night, another battle for the Emperor's Word. This time I was up against one of the newer players at the club supported by the Eldar player I fought a couple of weeks ago. His army is a nice blend of several interesting units from the Chaos Space Marine Codex. I will say here that I had a slightly modified version of my list I took to the Longest Day and in the club environment the chap wasn't playing a netlist or indeed anything cheesy - just units he likes, which is cool.

The main change I made to the army was to finally acknowledge that the terminators weren't working. That the dreadnought was there as a points-filler and the librarian without the terminators was a waste of space. Once that decision had been made it allowed me to look at a different unit that would do the same job I had tried several times to make the Terminators do. Tank destruction.

So I looked at Sternguard, a full unit in a drop pod with combi-melta's and heavy flamers. With that unit sorted, I still had points left to go back through the army and equip my sergeants with power fists and combi-flamers to increase the use of my combat squads. Funnily enough, this was to prove a wise choice towards the end of the game.

My opponents list was something like:

Fabius Bile & Squad (rolled a 6 for big strength but one dies a turn) in a Rhino
Chaos Lord
Chaos Terminators
Plague Marines
Chaos Marines (with melta)
Vindicator (possessed)
Greater Daemon

We had annihilation and pitched battle and I elected to go second to see where he deployed. He mostly used the centre and righthand side of the board to deploy and setup his Lord with the Plague Marines in a ruin. The obliterators nearby along with the defiler perched on high for good coverage of the battlefield.

I deployed in answer to that setting up two lascannon combat squads in some woods along with the TFC. Then I deployed everything else so I could hit his left flank.

Fabius and his boys headed straight for my tanks and one of my vindicators was shaken by the defiler. The obliterators took out the TFC leaving the Techmarine alive.

After that it was my turn and I was confident of dealing with the left flank, so I deployed the drop pod next to the defiler. After a non scattering landing, the sternguard combat squadded and one half wrecked the defiler with the other half unable to do anything to the Obliterators (blasted dice!!).

The rest of my shooting was better with my other Vindicator blowing up the Chaos Vindicator (failed smoke save). I also managed to immobilize the Chaos Rhino. With the Obliterators in the open, a lascannon took one of them out. This recurred throughout the game as the lascannon combat squads by the end of the game accounted for all three obliterators and the chaos lord.

As the game progressed Fabius Bile was taken over by a Greater Daemon and set about breaking my Vindicator. He in turn was blasted by the Command Squad for 5 Plasma Wounds... which he saved... bah! The Greater Daemon then tied up the command squad and a combat squad for 3 turns before Captain Damocles (who had missed every 4+ to hit in every round...) finally hit and got a wound past the inv save.

By the time the possessed made it to my lines they were reduced in strength to 1 guy (although they blew up a razorback). The last guy was killed by the Powerfist sergeant. My other combat squad beat the chaos melta marines in close combat and then went on to destroy the rhino.

The chaos terminators appeared and blew up the Vindicator and then went after the Captain, but got bogged down crossing terrain. This left them open to shooting and quite amazingly between 2 flamers (combi & normal) and some boltgun shots the entire squad was wiped out... Lots of 1's!

By the end, I was left with my Captain, a combat squad (with sergeant), techmarine, 2 lascannon combat squads, a gunless vindicator and a drop pod. He was left with only the Plague Marines giving me a win of 10-7. Oh and I should probably mention that one of the Vindicators shot at a unit and scattered backwards enough to hit the Command Squads razorback and blow it up... *sigh* ...Blasted dice!! :P

Not content with his terminator honours for defeating an Avatar in close combat,
he accounted for a couple of Obliterators and a Chaos Lord with his lascannon. For a tactical marine
he has certainly earned his laurels and may even see service with the Deathwatch in time.

It was a good game which actually swung backwards and forwards as the fickle dice gods allowed sure-fire hits to miss and 5+ saves to always pass... In the end I was victorious and I had a really fun game. The guy I played was a stand up chap and with Deano's help they gave me a really tough challenge. By no means an easy game, but I am more and more convinced I need my Dark Eldar up and running as I think I'll enjoy playing something different!