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Taking up a challenge at my local club I recently took on a 3000pt battle with my Witchhunters against an all Thousand Sons army. I haven't had an opportunity to read the new chaos codex yet, but I knew that the Tzeentchians now ignore my armour saves and largely ignore my Divine Guidance. As a consequence I was expecting a very harsh battle with sisters being gunned down in droves. In the end it didn't turn out that way.
My army included a lot of Ecclesiarchal crazies as I wanted to use the models and I felt I would need some close combat troops.
Canoness in Rhino with Celestian retinue, fully equipped with BW, Evisc and LoF.
2 sets of 3 arco-flagellants
4 battle squads in Rhinos with HFlamer and meltagun.
2 squads of 17 zealots each with priest with evisc and four models upgraded to fanatics with eviscerators.
2 squads of 8 seraphim with two sets of hand flamers and VSS with power weapon
1 squad of 8 seraphim with two sets of inferno pistols and VSS with Eviscerator
1 unit of 2 Penitent Engines
His army, as well as I can remember and understand it:
Chaos Lord in Terminator armour and usual upgrades up the wazoo
Large (10 or so) squad of Terminators
Larger (20 or so) squad of Possessed
Some unit of 6 in a Land Raider, not sure what they were.
Dreadnought with TL lascannons and DCCW
4 squads of Thousand Sons on foot with sorcerers in two of the squads.
Don't think he had any
Predator with lascannons and heavy bolters
The aforementioned Land Raider
The board was mostly Cities of Death ruined buildings, except for a large, steep hill near the centre of the board. Lines of sight were quite restricted as they were laid out fairly centrally in two rows of three pieces.
I deployed two Rhinos, the arco-flags and all the seraphim back behind the hill, taking care to keep out of any potential first turn LOS. All the rest of the army was crammed in and behind a large ruined building on my left, with three Rhinos out in the open to the left of it.
His force was more spread out. The Dread and a squad of TS was opposite my left in a ruined building. Next to them but in the open were the Terminators, Possessed and Predator. In a ruined building in the middle of his board side were two squads of TS. To their left but out of sight was the Land Raider. Finally in the ruined building on the far end of his line was the last squad of TS.
I won the roll for first turn but elected to let him go first as my army was mostly in cover and I didn't want to lose it.
My opponent moved forward along his line, TS squads stamping through the ruins into firing positions. The LR drove out round the ruined building looking for targets, as did the Predator, but were unable to gain LOS. Mst of the rest of his army also found itself without targets. His Possessed rolled for their powers and got a bunch that included Fleet of Foot, so they rushed ahead. In the shooting phase his Dread and a single squad of TS were the only ones able to shoot. They were successful though, exploding one Rhino on my far left and wrecking another. Only one sister was killed in the blasts but they all piled out in confusion, stalling my planned Rhino rush.
Irritated at this early setback I rushed the centre Rhinos containing a battle squad and the canoness and her retinue up to the Possessed and piled out. Behind them the seraphim and arco-flags behaved more circumspectly, moving onto the reverse slope of the central hill where they would be within range but out of LOS. A huge mass of zealots scrambled through the ruins in front of them, the squads getting hopelessly intermingled as one moved quickly and one moved slowly. The PE's impatiently shoved their way through the zealots to the front of the line. The Exorcists split apart, one moving to target the Dread, the other joining the seraphim behind the hill. The battle squads on the left couldn't move, apart from one which drove forward to interpose its Rhino between them and the TS squad in the ruins ahead.
In the shooting phase the canoness and her force DG'ed the Possessed, but only inflicted a few casualties, the TS inv saves greatly reducing the damage regular MEq's would have suffered. The Exo on the left only shook the Dred, and the rest of my army couldn't shoot.
Eager to fight the Possessed moved right up to the Canoness' squad. The rest of the TS continued to move rather ponderously up, setting themselves up in firing positions on the edge of ruins. The Land Raider moved to target the Rhinos which had rushed out, while the Predator targeted the Canoness squad. In the shooting phase the Canoness read aloud from a Litanies of Faith to get Spirit of the Martyr, a wise decision as lascannons and TS bolters opened a mass fire. Only four celestians fell to an absolute torrent of fire, the Terminators in particular shooting like Orks. The battle squad by the Canoness lacked this protection though and were wiped out by TS squads. The Land Raider added to the chaos by exploding a Rhino, though the only casualty in the blast was a Possessed.
The Possessed then charged the Canoness's squad, who successfully prayed for protection. In a furious melee three Possessed were hacked down, one each by the Canoness, the Celestian VSS with Evisc and the regular squaddies, but the squad was reduced to just the Canoness (with 1 wound remaining) and the VSS. No other assault was possible.
The faithful were now in position to strike back. The PE's crashed out of the ruins and up to the Possessed, followed closely by a mob of zealots. The battle squads were out of position though and could do little other than take cover, one squad at least lining up for a few bolter shots on a TS squad. In the centre seraphim leapt over the hill and landed in front of the TS squads in the ruins. The arco-flags had their injectors triggered and dashed forward, though two of them exploded when I rolled two sixes for FoF. The Exorcist on the left lined up on the Dread again, while the other drove up on top of the hill and aimed at the Predator. On my far left the sera squad with the inferno pistols jumped over to by the Land Raider.
In the shooting phase the Exo on the left again failed to knock out the Dread, merely shaking it. The sisters in the ruins took pot shots at the TS opposite them, but only killed one. The seraphim blazed away at the TS in the central ruins, inflicting several casualties. The other sera squad fired the inferno pistols at the Land Raider, wrecking it and killing a TS as they bailed out. The Exo on the hill only shook the Predator though.
The assault phase was even bloodier. The Canoness cut down a Possessed but was bowled over by the warp spawn. The PE's then crashed though the Possessed, buzzsaws sending heads and limbs flying. The zealots dragged down a couple more. Six eviscerators then struck and the Possessed disappeared in a fine red mist. From the massacre result the zealots pulled back into cover, while the PE's as they had to rushed over to engage the TS squad in the ruins that had been trading fire with the battle squad. The lone celestian VSS dithered in the open.
In the centre the seraphim charged in, flinging frag grenades. They killed several TS and lost only one of their own. The arco-flags then joined in, but the Inv save of the TS prevented a massacre (four saves made, only one failed) and one was beaten down in reply. The seras chose not to Hit and Run and the battle raged on.
The Chaos Terminators had been deployed rather far back and only now were they able to properly enter the battle. They moved up to target the zealots. The Predator took cover behind the central ruins while its crew got their nerve back. Most of the TS squads were now locked in close combat and could not fire. The ones on my far right were still unengaged though and moved over to target the seraphim squad with the inferno pistols. The Dread charged into assault against the PE's, hoping its higher Init would give it the edge and let it save the TS squad.
The TS squad then opened fire on the inferno pistols, but thanks to SotM only killed four. The Terminators blazed away at the zealots but they were just in cover and only lost six. A chaos sorcerer of some kind then rather distressingly turned the Celestian VSS into a chaos spawn.
In the assault phase the Terminators were out of charge range, though the chaos lord charged the zealots. The Dread smashed a PE, while the other one dismembered a TS. The TS squads and the seraphim in the ruins traded blows, the TS getting the worst of it. The arco-flags started to warm up and inflicted heavy losses. The seras then all Hit and Run, leaping back clear over the hill and out of sight. The chaos lord and the chaos spawn miserably fluffed their attacks and the chaos lord was then badly wounded by all the zealot eviscerators.
In my turn I moved the seras back over the hill to open fire again on the TS squad that had been in the Land Raider. The ones in the ruins were now badly depleted. The second zealot squad stumbled up through the ruins at last. The Exo on the hill moved down to get out of sight and zapped a Terminator, while the other Exo zapped a TS in the central ruins now the Dread was in close combat. The battle squads scrambled through the ruins trying to get into position to fire. The massed seraphim wiped out the Land Raider TS squad as the squads in the ruins were either still in combat or down to a lone sorcerer. In assault the seras had no one to charge and everyone else was out of range. The arco-flags continued to rip up the TS who were unable to hit back effectively. The Dread and the PE flailed wildly at each other but in a tragic display both missed completely. Finally the chaos lord again hardly killed a thing and was finished off by the zealot fanatics.
The Chaos Terminators moved up towards the zealots but did not fire, as they wanted to charge them. The TS squad on my far right moved over to fire on the seraphim, all three squads of which activated SotM in response, reducing casualties to just one. The Chaos Predator moved out and opened fire on the Exo on the hill, destroying it. A sorcerer fired at the seras but failed even to wound. In assault the Terminators and the chaos spawn wiped out the zealot squad before they could even respond, but then hardly moved with their massacre result. The PE amazingly survived yet again and finally destroyed the Dread
With chaos so depleted it was now my turn. The seraphim dithered for a moment over whether to split their forces between the last two intact chaos squads, before deciding on a mass attack against the Terminators. The entire Ecclesiarchy army then opened fire on the Terminators, employing DG en masse (2 sera squads and a full strength battle squad successfully employing it), the sera squad with inferno pistols, the surviving Exo, Rhino SB's and the second zealot squads laspistols for good measure. By the time the smoke cleared only one Terminator was left standing, eight having been shot down. A battle squad that had just rounded the edge of the ruins then fried the chaos spawn with a meltagun. A chaos sorcerer had also been caught in the maelstrom and killed.
In assault the zealots charged the Terminator, which killed one zealot before being hacked apart. The PE turned its attention back to the TS who were now doomed as they couldn't hurt the machine and chopped up one of them. The arco-flags finally finished off their opponents and promptly massacre moved into the TS squad which had moved up a bit too close.
With that at the end of turn four we drew a veil over proceedings as the massed seras turned to the TS squad assaulted by the arco-flags and the zealots readied their weapons for a charge against the TS locked by the PE. All that was left of the rest of the chaos army was the Predator.
The final victory point total was just shy of a victorious slaughter. Initially I thought I might be slaughtered by all the assault troops and TS bolters but a combination of zealots, arco-flags, PE's and the seras pulled me through. SotM is the best thing ever against the TS. Having so many assault troops was a big help as the WH mostly got the upper hand in the assault phase. In the end it was my opponent who found his tactical troops locked down and hacked to pieces. My very concentrated forces and the use of the seras as a mass was a sound tactic, allowing me to overwhelm isolated portions of the enemy forces. My opponent felt he should have deployed the Terminators more aggressively but was intimidated by my Exorcists. His dispersal of his forces also played into my refused flank tactic. For my part I could have done even better I think if I had actually taken the first turn, as the terrain proved capable of concealing my forces as they moved up. As it was three of my battle squads struggled to play much part in the battle when he got to knacker their Rhino rush on the start line. While the PE's and zealots did well I feel that they are a fragile force in many ways and could easily have been destroyed if they had ever been subjected to any real firepower. As it was he spent most of his shooting on sisters squads under SotM, negating the improved TS bolter weapons.
Good job on the victory, especially since TS are supposedly so cheesy.(I have not played them so I don't know from experience) I personally don't know much about SoB so I can't give you any real advice either, but it is cool to see the new chaos lose in one of these reports.
Great victory...we don't see those dex's winning often....especially a pure army of sisters....
Anyhow... I just have to ask...what is a zealot...what are their rules...without saying any specific stats...are they just guardsmen stats with some crazy religion rules?
You gave them priest that would make them crazy on the charge...
Also...they can be upgraded with how many eviscerators....
Terminators can in fact fire rapid fire weapons and still charge. Just a small point but you may want to let your friend know.The Chaos Terminators moved up towards the zealots but did not fire, as they wanted to charge them.
Even though I am a chaos general myself I have to say that this was a good victory! Congrats!
IRON WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT!
I survived LO Chat thanks to: Karmoon, Rabbit, Process, Tossy and Meish.
Congrats on the win though, its not an easy thing against thousand sons given how much of the SOB force is mid to close range weaponry.
Take my love, take my land, take me to where I cannot stand; I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
"The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time."- Lorgar
Member of the Fluff Masters Clan
I think there were sorcerers in every TS squad, they just didn't register on me because several squads spent most of the game locked in close combat.
The Terminators could have shot yes, but the zealots were partially in cover and he didn't want me removing all the ones in the open resulting in him having to do a difficult terrain test to reach the others, possibly resulting in him falling short and being left in the open. As it was he ended up in the open anyway, but I can appreciate the tactic.
Zealots are ordinary Imperial citizens who have been roused to fight by the preachers of the Ecclesiarchy. Though badly trained and armed they are at least enthusiastic. In game terms they are slow and poorly armoured, but very cheap. Their big advantage is that they can be given a LOT of eviscerators, up to four per squad, and squads can be large to shield them. You can add a priest (with yet another eviscerator) to them with the result that they can have an insane number of rerollable attacks on the charge, many of which are at S6 ignore save. That is how they were able to shred the Possessed.
Awesome....thanks for the info on the zealots.
A few more things though.
Are zealots in Codex Witch Hunters or is that a Chapter Approved?
Also, how have your pentinent engine's (I think that is what PE means) performed in past games?
I know that is a broad and vague question. I only ask because many of the vets say they like the model but don't bother taking them anymore mainly because it is a monstrous creature which is a shooting magnet. Given, every MC is a shooting magnet, only that an open-topped shooting magnet with relatively poor armor makes for unit that doesn't last too long, thus limiting its effectiveness. I have immobilized several before, after that I don't even bother with it, instead I point my Guard heavy's and special's at another threat. That is unless nothing else is in LOS. At a relatively low armor and being open-topped, my auto-cannons and plasma's can make short work of it. I have seen Necron scarabs take it down with ease.
Anyhow, I like your whole Eclesiarchal army? Not many do that anymore? I think in the next codex, whether it be Codex Inquisition: there should be new units, revamped rules, and special items and bonus's for taking a pure Eclesiarchal army.
Anyhow, keep the battle reports coming.
Last edited by Pinoy; September 28th, 2007 at 17:37.
This was the first ever outing for my Ecclesiarchal crazies. Most of them had only been painted up in the last few weeks (I refuse to either proxy or field unpainted models). I think that the reason they do badly in most games is that they must be very closely supported by a large force of conventional troops. In addition being assault troops they do far better when fielded in large numbers. Everyone knows that small squads of assault troops suck. In this game the sisters thoroughly distracted my opponent, especially the seraphim, who kept eliciting comments of 'seraphim are so broken' as they pulled out yet another special ability. As a result these fragile units were left to do their thing far too much. They may die like flies, but they sting like killer bees.
The rules for zealots are chapter approved, WD 292 (UK) to be specific. They are troop choices but cannot be used to fulfil mandatory selections. Imperial law according to the Decree Passive forbids the Ecclesiarchy from raising armies based entirely on such forces.
Totally cool win. Nice to see those arco-flaggents getting used, and I've played against Zealot armies with my friend allll ttheeee timmee. It usually ends up like this: "Psshh...what are those tau firewarriors represent?"
"O those? Those are my zealots."
"Huh? what are those?"
"Guardsmen without lasguns"
"O? So a casualty figure"
"Lol yeah.. something like that"
and then like two turns later
"ok, and i ignore your Necrons armour save with 10 attacks..."
"wait wait wait! why? those are the casualties bags....right?"
"Hmm? o i forgot to tell you? Yeah, they're pretty much a walking eviserator mouth of doom. By casualty figures,....well you'll see what i mean"
which ends with me yelling and screaming as like a whole phlanax of warriors dies to some peasants
PM me about Aurora Prime Vassal fights! Willing and ready!