Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines vs Iron Hands

Last night I got in a rematch against Carl and his Iron Hands with Space Wolves allies. I played Carl a few weeks ago when I started testing out a Warpsmith list. I had revised my Warpsmith list since then but completely forgot and brought the exact same one as the time prior. That list was:

Chaos Space Marines – 1,750


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


  • Chaos Space Marines (9)-Meltagun x 1, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabomb
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Chaos Space Marines (10) – Plasma Gun x 2, Icon of Vengeance
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabomb
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Cultists (10)-Autoguns,HeavyStubber
    • Cultist Champion – Shotgun

Fast Attack

  • Heldrake – Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Maulerfiend – Power Fist x 2, Lasher Tendrils
  • Defiler – Battle Cannon, Reaper Autocannon, Twin-linked Heavy Flamer, Power Fist x 2, Dirge Caster
  • Obliterators (3) – Veterans of the Long War, Mark of Nurgle

Formation: Mayhem Pack

  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta
  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta
  • Helbrute – Power Fist w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta

Game Setup

We rolled a Maelstrom of War mission and got Escalation, draw cards for the turn it is: IE: 1 on turn #1, 2 on turn #2, etc.

Carl setup first and I got the warlord trait to infiltrate my warlord and three non-vehicle units. I infiltrated my Obliterators in his backfield, hidden behind a Necron piling. Here’s what deployment looked like. I took the shots after the Centurions arrived.

Deployment Turn #1-1Deployment Turn #1-2Obliterators Hiding

Turn #1

A Drop Pod arrived with Centurions and a Rune Priest right behind my Maulerfiend and my Maulerfiend met his usual first turn death.

Dead MaulerfiendIn return my Defiler advanced on the Centurions, put a wound on them with shooting and then charged them. The Defiler killed off two Centurions and they broke from combat and ran. My Obliterators came out of hiding and downed a Razorback in his deployment zone with five Grey Hunters in it.

DefilerDefiler vs CenturionsTurn #2

Carl’s Stormraven arrived and was escorted by the Stormtalon. Between them they took out both of my Rhinos and supporting fire saw my disembarked units dwindle down. His Bikes with Captain were running down the right flank and charged my poor Cultists hanging out in some woods. The Cultists never stood a chance and were wiped off the board. The remaining Centurion managed to immobilize my Defiler. His Scouts were also shuffling around the board picking up points.

Chaos Space MarinesRight FlankNone of my reserves wanted to show up – typical. The Defiler fired on the Bikes and put a wound on the Captain. My Warpsmith and CSM shot at the five Scouts and killed off two. My other CSM squad ran for an objective I needed and my Obliterators shot and killed four of the five Grey Hunters.

Dreadnought and Chaos Space MarinesBy this point the score was something like 6-3, Carl’s lead.

Turn #3

This is when things went from bad to worse for me. The Dreadnought jumped off the Stormraven and between it, and other supporting fire, took that central CSM squad down to two guys. My Warpsmith’s unit was similarly reduced to just a few Marines. The Defiler soaked up more shots and crumpled.

The Helbrutes decided to come play and all landed close together center-right flank. They managed to take out a Land Speeder Storm on arrival. That was about it that turn.

Turn #4 and #5

The rest of the game saw me climb back slowly. My Heldrake came in and killed all but two Bikers. My Obliterators shot down the Stormtalon with assault cannons. Two Helbrutes finished off the on foot Scouts while another got into combat with the Captain and remaining Biker, eventually killing both off.

Helbrute vs Scout

Things were close and the game ended on turn #5 with a draw, 11-11.

Game Conclusion

It was a hell of a game. I was up against the ropes for the first three turns, being down 9-3. I thought the Helbrutes coming in on turn #3 was going to be my downfall but ultimately their timing was impeccable. Unlike my last game where I took two turns going to fix the Defiler with the Warpsmith, I resisted the urge this game and it paid off. Fixing things is great but I’m finding it needs to be convenient otherwise you’re just wasting precious time and potentially losing ground.

Overall I was pleased with the list. Every time I consider dropping my Heldrake the Heldrake proves its worth. The Mayhem Pack for the Helbrutes worked out well this game as well.

  • I think we may have discussed this before, but all my blog conversions tend to meld into one….

    You might find that having something to allow reserve manipulation would be helpful. A comms relay allowing you to re-roll your reserves (whether you want them to come in or not) could be a life saver for your list.

    Great job coming back from that initial nasty turns.

    • We, yeah discussed it on the last game. I have to check into my options. It’s not in the rulebook any longer and I don’t own the book it’s in…what one is it in?

      Thanks. Reserves are always a mixed bag, manipulation or not. You start with less on the board and what’s there gets pounded for a turn at least. Then you begin to wonder if you’re just screwed. Finally the calvary shows up and you hope they can carry you through what is typically a bad first turn, or two, at least if you’re reserve heavy and have my luck.

      • Brooks Call

        A bastion with a coms relay is a great deal, allows you to re-roll your reserves. There is a warlord trait, but not so much relying on that one. Depending on your opponent, you can stick your marines in/on top of the bastion and reserve the rhinos to claim objectives rather than giving easy kill points. I love rhinos, but having them on the board leads to their (too)early demise

        • Bastions are something I’ve wanted to try but just have never gotten around to it.

          • You can also take an aegis with comms relay as well. The bastion is an excellent choice though, it’s pretty hard to take one out unless your opponent has melta.

            I would avoid taking them though, if you are only going to have a helbrute or heldrake in reserve. They are most useful when you have a large majority of your army in reserve. Otherwise its 125 points or so you could have spent somewhere else!

            • The bastions seems like something you build around considering the point investment and the fact that it’s best used when manned.

  • Gary marsh

    I love battle reports, especially ones with Chaos Marines, nice one!

    You did really well to pull it back to a draw. My experience has led me to use the Heldrake or the Mayhem Pack, using both is just too many points in reserve for my tastes…..or dice ;-).
    Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks.

      That’s my thought as well, Heldrake and Mayhem pack just leaves me too vulnerable. I had a revised list without the Heldrake for that reason but had a brainfart and just left with what I had packed last week.

  • Ming

    This mission is a good one…the important thing is to kill off the opponents units early so he has less to score with later. Your late reserves probably helped that happen. Really interesting to see that many brutes running around too. Sorry I missed playing last night…

    • It’s definitely an interesting mission. Really lends itself to comebacks as long as you’re drawing the right cards anyway.

  • Sin Synn

    Sweet comeback, Thor!
    Stoopid Beakies…

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