A Prot Quick n’ Dirty Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Death Guard 2000 Pts.
Old School versus New School
So far the Ultramarines have had a tremendous amount of success since the codex came out. That being said I’ve had very little chance to play some of my more unfavourable matchups: Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar, etc. On the other hand a lot of wins have come from tough match ups like Necrons (anti infantry), and Gene Stealer Cult ( a few variants). So why would I choose a game vs. and old school Death Guard army to write a Battle Report on?
The answer is…. Death Guard are still rock solid. And this caught me off guard. I played with them in tournaments, I should know better, but you know what? These grizzled old fartbags really surprised me. I’m entrenched in new ideas, cool new abilities, and strategems, and Deathguard? They’re just marching up the field, pooping their pants, making Disgustingly Resilient noises that no man should ever have to hear.
The Lists and Game
We are playing Maelstrom. It’s one of my favorites because it keeps your hand moving, and rarely are you a victim of cards. I believe it is called Tactical Gambit: You always draw up to 3 cards, however you can trade 2 of them in for 1 new card, and that new card confers one bonus point if it is completed the turn it is drawn.
I end up ‘winning’ the roll to choose maps and roll for Search And Destroy. I also pick my quarter, and that means the Death Guard will deploy first, and go first unless I seize.
Death Guard List: (From memory) I can’t remember the exact list…
HQ: DP w/wings, (revoltingly resilient, spewer, and Supporating Plate/
Malignant Plaguecaster x2
TROOPS: 3 x Plague Magines with various special weapons.
Rhino x 3 w Combi Meltas and Havoc Launchers! (these surprised the heck out of me.)
ELITES: Helbrute dual Las. Foul Blight Spawn.
HEAVY: Predator, las/Hvy Bolters. Blightlord Terminators (some melta/plasma) x 10
FAST: Foetid Bloatdrone, dual spitters.
3 Squads of Intercessors with Bolt Rifles. 1 squad with Stalker Bolt Rifles
1 Squad of Infiltrators. 1 squad of scouts.
3 Aggressors, 2 Inivictus Warsuits
1 Repulsor, 1 Repulsor Executioner
Early Game: Deployment/ Turn 1.
While I pull my 6 cards from my deck, my Death Guard opponent finishes deploying rather quickly. Basically he’s taken the little 9″ bubble in his quarter and snuggled up to it with all of his units, keeping just the Daemon Prince, Helbrute, and Predator back a bit. While the 10 Terminators stay in reserves.
- Not a lot happens this turn. What is amazing though is the ‘simple’ Helbrute combined with the Predator my Repulsor Executioner is down to 3 wounds! He casts Miasma (what a pain the butt) on his Predator. The rest advances.
- Tigurius puts the -1 to hit ability on the Executioner which clearly saved it. The Chaplain cast Litanies, Catachism of Fire onto the Executioner.
- The Ultra’s know what’s coming and decide to head off some of the rhino’s with a Warsuit. The flamer does almost no damage, but the Rhino sticking out is meant to be shot at by the Executioner. Which it does, and destroys the Rhino.
- A squad of Plague Marines fall out of the rhino, farting gently to cushion the blow. There’s also a Foul Blightspawn and I know very well what these guys can do, so I make sure to position my Warsuit accordingly…
- The Assault Phase ends with my getting into the Plague marine squad and killing it while consolidating into the Foul Blight Spawn to prevent him spraying me with his toilet cannon next turn.
- We end the turn tied at 2 Points a piece. (First strike, and one Objective point each.)
Turn 2: Rhino Surprise and Disgustinly Resilient.
- The Death Guard start out once again by trying Miasma but fail it. I take a smite or two from the far right corner. My Infiltrators and Stalker Bolters (far right in cover) are taking a beating, But it’s okay. I expect the longer they hold out, the better chance I have of breaking out of the middle of the table.
- The Death Guard push forward on my right flank, and it is falling. A Rhino with a meltacombi blows up my first Warsuit, and my second one (guarding the right flank) takes 5 wounds from the second Rhino Melta! The Plague Marines shoot up my infantry. To my surprise I’m down to 3 Infiltrators and the rest is dead.
- Another ‘old school’ moment that takes my surprise: A few flamers take down my squad of Infiltrators in cover. My Right Flank is in danager of total collapse, but the true threat (Terminators) have yet to come in.
- I finally have the ‘luck’ to take down the Predator tank which has been surprisingly good against my Repulsors.
- The Aggressors double fire, with the advantage of Rites of Fire (+1 to wound) at the Foetid Bloat Drone, but it is in cover, and even with all the re-rolls and buffs I only but an additional couple of wounds on it.
- The bottom of Turn 2 ends with us each scoring a few cards, and we’re still tied.
Mid-Late Game: Burning Garbage and Exploding Bloat Drones!
The Death Guard are clearly pushing my back. The Ultramarines have lost their momentum in the Death Guard zone with the loss of 2 Invictus Warsuits. Now the Blightlord Terminators rain down from the heavens and the Ultramarines are on the back foot.
- The Death Guard need 3 Objective Markers to claim a victory point lead. This is unfortunate as it causes my opponent to put the Terminators in the open. At first he was going to deploy them very close to my Aggressors but I pre-warned him about “Auspex Scan” and he wisely backed them off and went for the victory points. The problem is…. those Termies move 4″ a turn! Still if they get into my lines, I’m probably in trouble on 2 fronts.
- A lot of shooting comes in on the Repulsor to my left, however with Tigurius’ Prescience and Might of Heroes cast on the Tank, it manages to live with one wound! I lost more marines, and the Death Guard are clearly trying to regain mid table, and push hard into the Ultra zone.
- A big moment when finally the shooting is done, and I lost another Aggressor, but then the Bloat Drone charges, I fail to kill it in combined overwatch… then in a final moment of glory, the Death Guard use a Strategem to auto explode the Drone in close combat killing the repulsor and doing a wound to most of my units in my zone as a result!!!
- With the Repulsor down, I rip into the Termies as the priority threat, but the Daemon Prince is scaling the crates at mid field and trying to find his way into the Ultra front lines. After most of the Termies absorb an ungodly amount of firepower (leaving 3 of the 10 alive) the remaining firepower pours into the Daemon Prince. However with Revolting Resilient (4+ feel no pain), I can’t manage more than 1 wound. Amazing really.
- This sets up for a really tight endgame as my opponent forgets to score an important Objective because he forgot to move his Helbrute to a specific Objective marker.
End Game: A Face Off Between Calgar and the Daemon Prince
- Fast forward to turn 5 and we are still tied. There is no doubt the Ultra’s have the momentum and this calls for desperation from the Death Guard.
- With the Blightlords down to 3 Models, their effectiveness is largely reduced. One Rhino remains, but the Death Guard troops have dwindled and the Ultramarine Intercessors have pushed towards the remnants and killed off the rest of the Plague Marines and the Plaguecaster is killed by an Intercessor Sargent.
- In the Death Guard’s 5th turn, the writing is on the wall. Although we’re both largely depleted, the Ultra’s have an edge with a few scattered Intercessors, a Repulsor with 3 wounds remaining and a fairly healthy Command core. The Death Guard are forced to assault.
- The Daemon Prince lands right into the heart of a 5 man Intercessor squad and easily kills them.
- Ultramarines’ turn 5. With little left to shoot at, the Ultra’s take out the annoying Helbrute in the distance, and mop up a remnant squad of Plague Marines.
- And finally Calgar goes in with Might of Heroes, and I play an exploding ‘6’ strat on Calgar (vs. Heretic Astartes) and he goes into battle. I honestly did not know what to expect. It took a tremendous amount of firepower to get through the Supporating Plate and the 4+ Revoltingly Resilient rolls.
- Calgar winds up the Fists of Ultramar and hits with everything and manages one extra hit from the Strategem and Shock Assault. This results in 7 wounds that must be saved on a 5+ for the Daemon Prince. Ironically he fails all of them which easily overkill the stinky, heinous beast. I guess he was just full of gas after all!
Post Game: Lessons Learned
- The end game has the Death Guard defeated, and the sons of Ultramar winning by one victory point. (I highly recommend Tactical Gambit if you want a more competitive/balanced Maelstrom game.)
- Although I intentionally did not make a rock hard list, I was incredibly surprised at what a ‘pedestrian’ Death Guard list could do. I hadn’t personally played my own Death Guard for a year and I thought I was going to roll over this army. The amount of firepower it takes to put down a 10 man Blightlord Terminator squad is terrifying! Same goes for any T5 infantry with a feel no pain save.
- Standard units: Helbrute (firing twice) and a Predator shocked me. But what was more surprising was… .Rhino’s with combi Melta’s! Seriously. They accounted for 2 Invictus Warsuits, and half a Repulsor!
- One thing I continue to observe about Ultrmarines /new space Marines is they are VERY good at erasing chaff, and anything T4 or lower with a poor save. Our ability to spam mid strength, low AP weaponry is very potent, but we need to find balance. Vehicle (or equivalent) type armies are going to be more difficult.
I’m really impressed with how the Ultramarines continue to perform. They are pretty flexible, and the special Characters have proven to be stellar choices I think we’ll see in many a list. For Ultra’s specifically Centurions (not in my list) are massive, and so are Aggressors. Overall we seem to excel with infantry, and the combinations seem nearly endless.
Thanks for checking this out. ’til next time. -Prot
Really nice battle report, I appreciate the photos and play by play.