Battle Report: Chaos Testing

Fabius BileThis will honestly be less of a battle report and more my findings of testing Chaos. I’m experimenting with Chaos now that our big annual 40K tournament is over. I need to expand my Chaos force and that means running some proxies and getting a feel for things that I need to add in. That being said, here’s the list I was testing out:

* Fabius Bile
* 30 x Cultists
* 10 x Chaos Marines + Rhino
* 10 x Chaos Marines + Rhino
* 5 x Bikers (Nurgle)
* 5 x Spawn (Nurgle)
* Maulerfiend
* Maulerfiend

I left off the wargear for readability and it’s mostly moot to the testing.

The idea, as you can see, is to work with faster elements from the codex. I’ve used the Spawn a bit lately and really liked them and recently bought some Bikes. The Maulerfiend I had not tested out at all and I’m considering buying one, at least one to start. However, I wanted to run them as a pair so I could at least see one do something since a single one will, Murphy’s Law, always die early.

My first game was against Epaminondas, a new author here you’ll see an article from shortly. He was trying out a Legion list from there new Heresy game. Since this is more about my findings and less about details, here we go.

My Maulerfiends suffered early fates. As each one charged a unit it got overwatched to death. The same happened to him when his Contemptor charged my Bikers. So, no data to work with there other than to state the obvious that they are fast.

My Bikers performed pretty well in this game. Them, the Spawn and Maulerfiends, all ran headlong at my opponent. The Bikers took a hull point off the Contemptor and then, as mentioned, manage to overwatch it to death. They moved on to thin down a Veteran Squad with shooting, charge it and leave one guy left who ran (if I recall correctly). The next turn they were brought down by plasma. So, not bad but I’d love to have seen them do more.

The Spawn got into combat on turn #2 and stayed stuck in until around turn #4 some time. They held up that Veteran Squad for a while but his Captain had an instant death weapon which took a toll on the three wound Spawn models.

My MVP of this game was the Cultist blob who hung onto that center objective like champs. I had Fabius with them to confer fearless and they took a huge pounding the last few turns as my opponent tried to clear them off the objective, which he never did and I took a win.

The second game was against Grey Knights with Imperial Guard allies. This was a rough match. Again, my Maulerfiends met an early fate. Only one did anything and that was crack open a Chimera and then promptly die.

My Bikers charged Paladins with Spawn. It was a ballsy move but my options were limited. In hindsight, I should have just sent the Spawn. The Bikers didn’t last long with hammerhand going off constantly but the Spawn stuck in for a while. The Spawn did whittle down the Paladins to a Grand Master and one Paladin before finally biting it. Most everything else just got pounded at range and had little impact on the game for me. I lost big time in this one.

My observations. The Spawn unit is amazing. At T6 and being fast they do very well at being bogging down units. Add in S5, rage, random attacks and their mutation roll for combat and they can do surprisingly well in combat against most anything. They aren’t really going to roll through much but they are tough to shift.

The Bikers I need to get better with, a fast list as a whole honestly. Nurgle Bikers are great on paper so I need to get their application on the field better utilized. I was a bit too aggressive with them.

The Maulerfiends, poor bastards. I’m not going to make a final judgement on these guys just yet. They meet the criteria I feel I need in with the list in being fast and able to easily tear open vehicles. Like the Bikers I need to be smarter in using them. Just force feeding units down someone’s throat isn’t the best approach.

Fabius, as he was a test as well, was alright. I took him to babysit Cultists, making them fearless, and using enhanced warriors to make a squad of CSM fearless and S5. To that end he did his job; hard not to when it’s a passive thing. I’m sure I’ll try him out again but I have other HQs I want to try as well and I wasn’t so impressed with him that I feel I need to use him in my next game(s) either.

Overall, I’m really liking the fast list. I don’t mind lacking ranged fire support as I have the speed to get where I need to as long as I play smarter and playing smarter is what I really need to work on.

  • JustHippie

    Got me real curious, what did the Maulerfiends get overwatched by?

    They look real appealing to me on paper.

    • Pretty sure it was rapid fire plasma guns in both cases. I know for sure it was in one case. It was, obviously, a rare circumstance. Needing 6’s to hit and then 6’s to penetrate but that was my luck. I couldn’t make a damn 5++ with them at all that first game.

      • Epaminondas

        plasma on one, melta for the other. Both squads in rhinos had double specials; one on foot ML. Technically we tied as I had a troop choice contesting the objective- the tie was 20-13 in your favor :)

        Melta on your bikes accounted for the overwatch kill on my contemptor.

        And yes, I will start posting articles- I have three pending with the editor (CinC House).

  • TheRhino

    Single units of bikers are tough to pull off. I’m guessing yours were armed with meltaguns?
    The trick with single bike squads is finding the “keystone” of the enemy army, and sending them in to knock that loose. They WILL die as a result though. If you crack the only Land Raider in the enemy army with the bikers, you can be sure the Terminators inside will be pissed and take you out in return.
    In 5th, Turbo Boosting was all about durability. You wanted that 3+ cover save on any turn you weren’t shooting. Now, it’s more about positioning. 4+ cover is ok, but anything that will break T6 3+ armor bikers will likely be levelled at you in enough force to make 4+ cover pointless. Boosting in 6th is about positioning for the next turn. It’s the 12″ move that puts you behind a building and out of LOS, and able to strike out from behind there next turn to deliver meltagun shots and followup krak grenades.
    Bikes LOVE grenades in this edition. Even one of your non-melta bikers can throw a krak for a S6 direct shot alongside the S8 meltaguns, but only at an 8″ range.
    The all-fast list (which Chaos isn’t actually capable of, of course) is about attack vectors. If you go first, you set up your units with the best approaches to terrain and fire lanes. If you go second, set up your units with the best approaches to their ideal targets.

    • Figured I might get some Biker commentary from you ;)

      I agree. I was too sloppy with these guys figuring that T6 was going to be nigh-invisible, which of course it’s not. The positioning and setup for future turns is the part I really need to get. As you said, using that 12″ move and then 12″ turbo-boost to utilize terrain to reach my target. The idea with the Spawn too, though not as fast as Bikes overall, is to slam into what I crack open. So it is a single Bike squad but with support. I just need to get those details down to make it work. Basically I need to curb that blood rage a bit and think it through more.

      • JustHippie

        It’s tricky, move too close and get a ton of rapid fire in the face, stay too far away and don’t get the charge off and waste a turn.

        • TheRhino

          With T6, I wouldn’t be overly concerned by rapid firing weaponry unless there’s a LOT of it. Like 50 Guardsmen or 20 Templars type of “lots”.
          The thing to remember is that against power armor, bikes are “meh” regardless of the codex they come from. You simply can’t get enougg powered weaponry or high-S hits in to make it decisive. Of course, against Marines, that’s why you bring a plasma squad.

          • JustHippie

            The amount of Fire warriors we are seeing with the Tau sensor towers can be tough without line of sight blocking terrain. Sprinkle some Doom or better yet Misfortune in and look out.

            • TheRhino

              That’s where attack vectors come in. Choose your approaches so that multiple squads aren’t rapid-firing to full effect. Ten FWs rapid firing still only land half their shots, unless their BS is improved via markerlights. The hits only wound on 5s. Better with Doom, but not by much. Misfortune is ok, but you’re stacking a lot of powers on a single target, tempting both Perils tests and Deny the Witch rolls.
              Remember, this isn’t occuring in a vacuum either. You have Maulerfiends and what have you bearing down on the fish heads as well.
              Every bit of advice has to be tempered on a per-game basis, but in general, Nurgle Bikes don’t have much to fear from standard Rapid Fire weaponry.

              • Saturation was the idea. I put down 4 units all able to move 12″ in movement without being slowed down and all capable of charging up to 12″ without being slowed by terrain. Add in turbo-boosting and running and it was turn #2 assaults across the board.

                That being said, I need to work on those approaches. Being able to assault turn #2 is a threat and being capable doesn’t always mean reliable. A smart opponent knows my threat range and will setup to counter it. So, that headlong rush against a smart player is just suicide, which was basically how that second game went down. Not that Chris isn’t a good player, first game, but my speed did catch him off guard as he admitted.

                • Epaminondas

                  Not to mention first time with a new list… and its been a looong time since I have played power armor.

                  You had a good list for the mission- the fast stuff knocked me off balance and didn’t quite dump enough troops on the objective.

                  Hindsight, I should have not feared your fast stuff all that much, and just piled troops into the center.

  • Lukas

    Blackheart. Infiltrate those Maulerfiends :)

    • They were on stuff by turn #2 without infiltrate. It’s just that lucky overwatch saw the bastards go down.

      The bitch is you can’t charge turn #1 if you go first with infiltrate, but you can if you go second. It would be pretty tough to hide one of those if going second and relying on a 5++ is a bad idea. I’m still considering Huron but I need to determine the best way to use him, IE: best units in what situations, etc, etc, etc.

    • tzeentchling

      Master of Deception allows you to infiltrate infantry units only, sadly.

  • SpectreForeman

    I really want to get some Spawn. What are your thoughts on running the Khorne Lord with the Axe of Blind Fury on a Juggernaught with them. It seems so nasty, but your giving up the Mark of Nurgle.

    • You’d be T5 and gain a wound with a Jugger. That setup seems to be pretty popular and understandably so. Tossing that Lord in there moves them from a great tar pit unit to a unit capable of smashing through any non-dedicated assault unit.

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