Battle Report: Chaos Space Marines vs Tau

Tau: Greater GoodLast night my Chaos Space Marines faced off against Tau in a 1,650 game. I wanted to experiment with a list featuring Khorne and Nurgle elements, the peanut butter and jelly of Chaos a friend put it the other day.

Here’s what I brought along.

1,650 – Chaos Space Marines (Crimson Slaughter)


  • Soulgore (Chaos Lord) – Bolt Pistol, Sigil of Corruption, Daemonheart, The Slaughterer’s Horns, Chaos Bike, Mark of Nurgle, Blight Grenades, Melta Bombs, Power Fist, Lightning Claw
  • Kharn the Betrayer


  • Berzerkers (10) – Icon of Wrath, Plasma Pistol x 2 (I completely forgot they were supposed to have plasma pistols last night!)
    • Berzerker Champion – Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Melta Bombs
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster
  • Chaos Space Marines (5) – Plasma Gun
    • Aspiring Champion – Melta Bombs
    • Rhino – Dirge Caster, Dozer Blade
  • Cultists (10) – Autogun x 8, Heavy Stubber
    • Cultist Champion – Shotgun

Fast Attack

  • Spawn (5) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Bikers (5) – Mark of Nugle, Meltagun x 2
    • Apsiring Champion – Melta Bombs, Power Sword

Heavy Support

  • Obliterators (3) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Forgefiend – Hades Autocannon x 2

Game Setup

We got the Maelstrom mission where you have three cards the entire game, the first mission.

My opponent, Bill, deployed first. Broadsides went on my left flank, Crisis Suits w/Commander center, Riptide central, Longstrike my right flank and behind that was two squads of Fire Warriors, with an Ethereal, and a squad of Pathfinders. He later infiltrated two squads of Kroot in front of the Broadsides sitting in a ruined building.

I deployed Bikes with Soulgore left flank, Berzerkers with Kharn center hiding behind their Rhino, Spawn on the right flank, Forgefiend back center, Cultists hiding near the Forgefiend, and Marines center. The Obliterators were deep striking.

Game On

I stole the initiative and advanced forward. My Forgefiend killed a few Kroot but that was it. His return saw all but one Spawn die off to shooting; about 75% of his army poured into them. I believe it was this turn he also took out the empty Berzerker Rhino and took first blood. He also took a few points for objectives putting him at 3-0.

My advanced continued and the Forgefiend shot some more Kroot to kill off a few more. I moved my Marines in their Rhino into the face of two Kroot squads to prevent overwatch (dirge casters). The Bikers tried to charge Kroot and failed. My lone Spawn charged Kroot, wiped them out and consolidated onto an objective to finally snag me a point, 3-1.

Bill’s shooting saw all Berzerkers die but one and Kharn. My Marines lost their Rhino and died. The last Spawn was killed off. I also lost a Biker. My assault units were pretty well neutralized but I still had my HQs.

As you’d guess, my advance continued. My Obliterators showed up and I dropped them in his back line next to Pathfinders and Fire Warriors. Twin-linked flamers killed all but three Pathfinders and they ran. Soulgore broke off from Bikers to charge Broadsides. My Bikers tried to charge the Crisis Suits with Commander and failed. Berzerker and Kharn tried to charge that same unit and failed. Soulgore made his charge and killed one or two Drones.

My Bikers were shot off the board. My last Berzerker died and Kharn took two wounds. My Obliterators took a pounding in shooting but of 27’ish wounds I only failed one save. Soulgore won his combat against Broadsides and swept them. Bill was still doing well on points and by the end of this turn was up 8-1.

It was not looking good. At this point I was left with Soulgore who had one wound left. Kharn with one wound left. The Forgefiend was holding up, though he got immobilized. I still had my Obliterators, and in a good spot, so I had hope.

Kharn the BetrayerMy desperation move, Kharn and Soulgore lined up a charge on the Crisis Suits. My Forgefiend managed to put three wounds on the Riptide. Obliterators unloaded assault cannons into Fire Warriors and killed six. Kharn and Soulgore got into Crisis Suits. Kharn unloads and hits Soulgore once (2’s always hit with Kharn but 1’s hit friendly models). I made my 4++ with Soulgore. Bill made all six saves (4++ and 5++ FNP). Soulgore puts four wounds in and all saves made. I made all my saves as well so we stuck. Meanwhile, the Obliterators charged and destroyed Fire Warriors. I believe I picked up two points this turn, 8-3.

Bill maneuvered around some more but not much happens. In close combat the same situation repeats. Kharn hits Soulgore once but Soulgore makes his 4++. Between Kharn and Soulgore only one wounds gets through but he fails morale and was swept. No points were scored by Bill.

I pulled cards for objectives and killing a vehicle or monstrous creature. I moved around to grab objectives and Obliterators shot down the Riptide with lascannons. I scored a few points, I believe 8-6 at this point.

We rolled another turn but Bill couldn’t score the objectives he needed to. I forget what my cards were but I managed two points to tie it 8-8 and the game ended. We both got line-breaker as well, so a 9-9 draw.

End Game

Such a crazy game. I took a huge pounding the first three turns from shooting. Failing three of my four charges just spelled doom to me during the game. I knew if I could keep one HQ alive that I still had a chance but I didn’t think both alive with just one wound left on each would do it, yet it did. Kharn hitting Soulgore twice when Soulgore had one wound left was nerve racking but thankfully I made the saves.

I did not think I could climb out of the 8-1 hole I was in with so much of my army being dismantled but it continues to show why I love the Maelstrom of War missions. In most any other mission format I would have been out of the game by the end of turn #3 but Maelstrom let me hang in and tie it up. It was an awesome game.

Overall I liked my list but it didn’t exactly flow as I imagined it. I feel it needs another fast component to it and I can really only do that by ditching one of my HQs, which is fine. I’d have to shuffle some other stuff as well but it would be worth it. I liked the mix of Nurgle and Khorne, I just have to fine-tune what those units are to get a better cohesion.

You have any good stories of climbing out of a beating to tie or win the game?

  • Great summary. Would have loved to see the photos of the game progressing!

    • I’m really bad at remembering to get shots. I get so wrapped up in the game that I never think of it until afterwards. I really, really need to work on that so when I do these long posts there’s some cool stuff to look at.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    You should also remember that Kharn rerolls ones to hit the first round of combat! Cuts down on the friendly fire hits!

    • Oh, I remembered. On the charge Kharn rolled three 1’s and that re-roll got it down to a single 1 thankfully. I was sweating that entire combat more fearful that Kharn was going to ruin it than my opponent actually winning the combat!

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Kharn is a pain. I love him, but I have switched to a Juggerlord with Axe of BF, just more reliable.

        I remember a game of 6th where Kharn killed my last Berzerker (and last scoring troop) thus costing me the game. He followed it up by taking his own last wound with his plasma pistol!

        • I normally use a Juggerlord with the axe as well but I enjoy busting out Kharn from time to time. He has his downsides for sure but man can he bust some shit up too.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I remember my habitual opponent boasting that his fancy melta-immune Forgeworld Landraider had never been destroyed in a game, just before Kharn beat it to death with his axe! 7 attacks at S7 with Armourbane=dead vehicle…

            • haha!

              I once had him slap a Baneblade down to 1 HP after he charged it. Of course the Baneblade backed up and nuked Kharn after but still it was great.

  • cadianshock

    No photos?

    • Yeah, I know. I’m going to make a point to get shots going forward.

      • cadianshock

        Other than that it was a great little write up. Its hard to remember to take them, then when you remember its hard to get an angle, then your phone runs out of battery!

        • Agreed. I’m normally so caught up in the game that getting pics as I go is the last thing I’m thinking about. If I can force myself into the habit though then it will just become procedure.

%d bloggers like this: