So Many Tendrils – CSM vs CSM Battle Report

Last week I was a bit down about my terrible gaming as of late. I had decided to create a fun list centered around my Warpsmith, Grimtech. I really like the Warpsmith, and I want to get back to creating fluff for my army, Disciples of Twilight. My favorite way to do that is to play games with whatever I’m trying to write fluff for. Things tend to happen in a game that can be very inspirational to fiction.

I tweaked the list a bit from the original I posted, and ended up with this.

Disciples of Twilight (Chaos Space Marines) – 1,500pts


  • Grimtech (Warpsmith) – Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Mark of Nurgle, Aura of Dark Glory, Blight Grenades, Melta Bombs

Fast Attack

  • Heldrake – Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Ragefist (Defiler) – Battle Cannon, Reaper Autocannon, Twin-linked Heavy Flamer, Power Fists x 2, Dirge Caster
  • Obliterators (3) – Mark of Nurgle

Lords of War

  • Chaos Knight Titan Errant – Heavy Stubber, Thermal Cannon, Foe-reaper Chainsword, Dirge Caster, Daemon Knight of Tzeentch


  • Helcult
    • Hellscream (Helbrute) – Multi-melta, Power Fist
    • Cultists x 20 – Autopistol, Close Combat Weapon, Flamer x 2
    • Cultists x 11 – Autogun, Heavy Stubber

The big change from my original idea was to drop the Terminators. I used those points to get 2 more Obliterators, a more appropriate retinue for the Warpsmith.

The Game

I played Chris, who is getting back to his Chaos Space Marines after a long hiatus with the army. He’s been playing his Daemons for a while, and recently started building up his CSM again.

His list was: Warpsmith, 4 x Chaos Space Marines (5) w/Rhino, Maulerfiend (2), Heldrake (2), Bikes (3), Obliterators (3). A very similar list to mine overall, but far more mobile, and with objective secured.

The mission we played was Cleanse and Control, the stock Maelstrom mission. Chris setup first and had the most symmetrical deployment I have ever seen. His Obliterators were in Deep Strike Reserves, and his Bikes were in Reserves.

Chris' Deployment

I setup heavy on the left, wanting to use the hill near the center to screen me a bit, and to just focus on hammering a flank.

My Deployment

Chris had first turn and advanced everything forward. He had no shooting and no assaults; a quick turn. He did score 1pt though.

Maulerfiends Advance

I moved up a little, but not too much. I didn’t want to make charges for his Maulerfiends too easy. The Knight fired on a Mauler, penned, but it was saved. The Oblits fired on the same Mauler, 3 results, all saved (damn!). The Defiler did put a hull point on a Rhino. No points for me.

Marching to War

Chris’ Obliterators arrived, and landed right next to my Defiler, well within melta range. That’s just what they did, got 3 results on the Defiler, and immobilized him. Both Heldrakes came in and roasted my 10 Cultists on my right. The rest of Chris’ army positioned for some objectives, and the Maulerfiends came at my Knight, both making the charge. My Knight swung first, but he only had 1 attack on account of both Maulers having Lasher Tendrils (-2 attacks to a minimum of 1). The Knight hit, then rolled a 6 on the destroyer table. Poof! The remaining Mauler did well and got in 3 hull points on my Knight. In return my Knight stomped it, rolled a 6, and kicked the Maulerfiend away to explode, also killing off some Cultists. To say I was impressed with my Knight at that moment is putting it lightly.

My Obliterators and Knight moved towards Chris’ Warsmith Rhino. Between 3 Obliterators and the Knight, I couldn’t break it open. Grimtech did repair a hull point on the Knight though. I was left with charging the Rhino, which they did destroy.

Kill the Rhino

At this point the game was within a point or two.

To summarize the rest since it was a bit of a slow moving game. I mean that literally, not figuratively, because it was an awesome game. I managed to take out Chris’ Warpsmith with mine, and the Obliterators, taking control of the left flank. On the right flank, Chris had solid control with his Obliterators making a slow advance, and nuking things in their way. Chris tried like hell to down my Knight, and continued to get it to 1 remaining hull point, when Grimtech would repair it back to 2 hull points.

The great part with my seemingly invincible Knight was when I had to get an objective to score me 2pts. I had to kill 5 CSM, so I fired the Thermal Cannon, it scattered and landed on my Knight. It penned the Knight, I failed my save, last hull point gone. Grimtech will have to fix that weapon because clearly it’s faulty…

By the end of the game we were both pretty wiped out, and Chris had claimed victory with a final score of 13-12.


The game was really fun, and just what I needed. I can’t complain about a 1pt loss in a game that was enjoyable. The entire game had us within a point or two of one another, which makes for a fun and tense game.

I did come to realize that the Helcult isn’t exactly what I’m after though. It’s just a big unwieldy blob that didn’t do much of anything for me. I like the concept of it, but on the table it’s meh.

With Grimtech doing a damn fine job of keeping my Knight going, and my Knight doing great on the table – barring him being his own deathblow, I have something to work with for my fluff.


  • Really glad you enkoyed the game. Thought a weapon couldn’t scatter onto itself, harsh.

    • Nope, that can totally happen. I lost a Vindicator that way a couple of weeks ago. Back in 2nd, there was a Rule preventing that, but not since then.

      • I’ve had my Vindicator take out a 10 man squad of my own Marines. That was the day I learned if you’re going to make ballsy shots, shoot with the unit near impact first, then fire the ballsy shot in.

    • I wish. I did have the Knight as a Daemon of Tzeentch, so I thought Tzeentch would protect, but apparently he thought it would be funny to let it land on my head.

      • Von


        • Yeah, no doubt part of some larger plan Tzeentch has for my army. Then again, it could just be that Tzeentch is a dick too.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Lost a Leman Russ that way a few weeks ago. Battle Cannon scattered rolled a 6 last hullpoint gone!

      • It’s hard to do anything but laugh about it. Usually after the game though ;)

  • I really like games that are just between 2nd tier Armies. CSM, Nids, BA, IG, stuff like that. Just drops everything down a notch and makes it easier to just have fun.

    • Two evenly matched codices does make the game far more interesting. Whenever I play against Marines, Tau or Eldar, I just feel bitter and resentful.

  • Two Heldrakes? I need to invest in some anti air units.

    • Or just hope you have some fire power left for the turn it hovers. We all do it at some point in the game, be it to snag an objective, or grab line breaker. Other than Chris though, I can’t recall the last time I saw two flyers in a game. Real flyers, not FMCs.

      • I didn’t run into a single one at TSHFT. It was really kind of weird.

        I did have a great game back in like November or something tho where I took a Storm Wing and my opponent brought two Voidravens and a Razorwing, so we had some great dogfighting with 6 Flyers on the board. It wasn’t a planned thing, either, we hadn’t discussed the game in advance at all except to set the Points level.

        • A big flyer fight like that I could definitely see being fun. Kind of amazing you both showed up like that.

          • You play enough games, these things happen. There have also been games where only one of us brought a bunch of Flyers, like after he first got the Voidravens, or when I scored a great deal on a pair of Vendettas and a Vulture.

            We also had a hilarious game back shortly after the CSM Dex first came out where he brought three Heldrakes, and I brought nothing but Culties and Terminators. Again, no pre-arrangement.

            • haha. Heldrakes vs Cultists.

              • Yeah, it was awesome. He had no good targets, and barely even anywhere decent to put them, since I had like 80 Culties spread out at maximum coherency.

      • I think it reveals a fatal flaw in my Raven Guard list, a lack of ranged anti vehicle fire. My plan for most armor was to punch or grenade it all to death in melee.

        • As someone who favors a close combat army, it’s not easy.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I have a pair of blightdrones and they never disappoint alongside my huge IA13 horde. With shrouded they can fly into a ruin and get a 2+ cover save. BS2 is a pain but they are cheaper than Heldrakes.

            • Eh, a Heldrake is only BS3, so it’s not like BS2 is a huge difference considering.

              • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

                The BD’s Reaper autocannon is twin linked at least but the scatter on the AP3 large blast is bad.

  • Von

    I like the title on this one, and you may just about be selling me on the absurdity of Unbound (it’s not easy giving up the One-HQ-Two-Troops mantra after seventeen-odd years, though). This all looks worryingly like FUN.

    Recommend you give the Helcult another try or two though. To judge performance based on one engagement seems a bit pre-emptive.

    • Thank you. I’ve been trying to write more interesting titles than “Chaos Space Marines vs Chaos Space Marines” lately.

      Unbound can be very freeing. I would have run this as a CAD if I could have worked in 2 troops. The only way for that to happen was to drop something valuable, so I said screw it. It’s a great way to play a themed army. The detachments and formations are great as well (not that Chaos has any), but even those have restrictions, and often a “tax” unit. Of course, Unbound can be brutal in certain hands too.

      I agree on the Helcult. I don’t very often judge full value from one game, but it was a very slow and cumbersome unit to work with. I can think of situations where it would be great, but this wasn’t that game.

      • My guess was that the Cultists ended up boxing the Helbrute in and limiting his charge and movement angles, right? Provided shooting victims with an automatic cover save from an intervening unit?

        • Yep. I really didn’t need it in this game either, but having started the Cultists in front of the Helbrute, and dealing with terrain, it just bogged them all down for too long.

      • I mainly see the Helcult as being about the Culties, not the Helbrute itself. The 3+ Cover Save is cool, but when I run it, it’s so I can have Fearless Culties, and everything else is just a bonus.

        • Yeah, that was really the reason I took it, for fearless Cultists. I just have to remember that next time and not bog myself down to give a 3+ save to a 105pt model…

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I usually use it with shooty dreads who aren’t planning to move much and use the cultists to bubblewrap artillery or something. Since the Dread is taller than the intervening cultists who are small and the dreads shots go over them they dont grant cover to the enemy.

            • That’s exactly what I did in my last game on Wednesday.

  • Sounds like you had a awesome game. I think the Helcult is better if you bring a shooty Helbrute (Lascannon or Reaper and Missiles) rather than a close combat one. The cultists can provide cover and claim an objective. The Helbrute might survive a bit longer. But still it is an expensive way to improve its survivability. For me, the Mayhem Pack is just better. But the Murderpack would be fun to try out.

    • I’ll likely go the shooting route next time. Mayhem Pack is great, hands down. I just figured I’d try something different. I’d also love to run the Muderpack at some point. I can’t see myself having 5 Helbrutes though…

      • I’m just one Helbrute shy of the Murderpack (I could use a loyalist Dread I guess). No way near an optimal load out on the Helbrutes but still it would be fun to try it out. A Murderpack, a couple of Maulerfiends, some other fast melta stuff (bikes, raptors) … yeah, I need to try that out.

        • Do it. I’d love to hear about someone using it. I just seems like fun. Might not be the best investment in points, but it would have to be damn fun to do.

          • Well, playing Chaos Space Marines isn’t really the best investment in points. ;)

            It would be fun. Good for laughs.

            • “Well, playing Chaos Space Marines isn’t really the best investment in points.”

              So sad, but oh so true.

              You see the Black Legion and Crimson Slaughter supplement revisions? I’m actually impressed.

              • I’m very interested in the new formations. It’ll be exciting to see how they pan out. The rest is more or less the same, ain’t it?

                • From what I’ve heard, yeah, the rest is the same. Think there’s some minor tweaks to some of the relics, but nothing major.

  • sonsoftaurus

    Nice, fun seeing two similar armies, especially two warpsmith-led ones. Nice board – great looking river and I love that temple.

    • Yeah, it was a blast to play.

      The terrain and tables at the shop is generally pretty nice. We often do annual terrain repair nights to keep things looking good.

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