The Secrets of the Blood Ravens – Chaos Battle Report

As we lead up to the Standish Standoff, our “big” local 40K tournament, many of us are preparing and play-testing. The event is 1,750, and of course I will be bringing my Disciples of Twilight – Chaos Space Marines.

Honestly, I have felt less than ambitious on creating CSM lists lately. Long story short, I have had a rough time lately in my games. I had a nice little winning streak going on, but the last 5 games have been defeats. Not all blowouts, and some really good games, but things are sliding backwards again. To say it’s disheartening playing CSM now is to put it mildly.

The List Approach

Enough whining though. I finally got around to putting together a list. I decided to give myself a criteria, which I rarely do. Most of the time my lists are geared towards one thing: assault oriented, lots of mech, etc. However, being that I’m preparing for an event, and I’d like to win at least one game, I thought a change in approach was in order.

I can’t say my approach is optimized, but then again I’ve never been about creating optimized lists.

What I decided to do was build a list around certain models/elements.

  • My Heldrake had to be included for some anti-flyer capability, albeit not great. Mostly though, my Heldrake tends to score me points late game by hovering; not to mention he’s great at toasting things.
  • The Knight is in the list. I’ve put a lot of work into painting it, and I damn sure want to play with it. Plus, it’s one of the few great options for CSM.
  • The Maulerfiend had to be in there. It’s a great threat, has the potential to do some damage, and can keep heat off of my Knight.
  • Must obliterate! I tend to be light on firepower in my lists, so putting in Obliterators gives me shooting options, and they aren’t chumps in close combat.

From there it was just gap filling on the list. I did decide to try to ally in Khorne Daemonkin as well. I wanted some fearless units, since my CSM list is lacking them, and I do enjoy Khorne.

Disciples of Twilight – Chaos Space Marines: 1,750


  • Warforce – Sorcerer: Psyker (Mastery Level 3), Bolt Pistol, Force Weapon, Spell Familiar, Sigil of Corruption, Gift of Mutation


  • Redemption – CSM (5): Meltagun
    • Champion: Melta Bombs
    • Rhino
  • Vengeance – CSM (5): Plasma Gun
    • Champion: Melta Bombs
    • Rhino

Fast Attack

  • Heldrake: Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Devastation – Obliterators (3): Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
  • Maulerfiend: Lasher Tendrils

Lord of War

  • Knight Paladin: Ion Shield, Heavy Stubber x 2, Rapid-fire Battle Cannon, Foe-reaper Chainsword, Dirge Caster, Daemon Knight of Tzeentch

Khorne Daemonkin


  • Herald: Hellblade, Juggernaut


  • Bloodletters (8)
    • Bloodreaper

Fast Attack

  • Flesh Hounds (10)


Warforce stopped his march. The Disciples of Twilight followed suit. There was something powerful on this snow covered planet that had beckoned him; lead him to its surface.

The planet reminded Warforce of home. Well, the home that the Disciples of Twilight had made on Forlorn. With the cold whipping winds, and the deep snow, it was very reminiscent of home.

The Maulerfiend, which was always on the verge of a rampage, was becoming more agitated than normal. It tilted its massive head to the side and began sniffing, all the while digging its powerful fists into the frozen ground. Something was near.

On to the Game

I played against Steve and his Blood Ravens. We rolled up Cloak and Shadows with Hammer and Anvil deployment. Steve won the roll and let me set up first.

Chaos Deployment

Steve had 5 Drop Pods to come in, as well as a Stormraven with Terminators. It would be a null deployment by him, barring a 5-man Scout Squad. So, I setup with my scary threats up front, and the rest of the army wrapping near them to create a bubble to keep Melta out of melta-range. My intent was to take board center, and then strike out from there as needed.

Away We Go

Sticking to the plan, I advanced towards the board center while keeping my other units near my Knight and Maulerfiend for protection. I was able to score 4pts that turn with Ascendency and snagging a specific objective – whichever that was.

The Blood Ravens arrived. Two Drop Pods slammed own on my left flank, a Command Squad and Devastators. Tactical Marines came to the center to taunt my Knight.

My Obliterator squad was smoked, leaving Warforce (Sorcerer) to fend for himself. The Tactical Marines put a glance on my Knight.

Steve had scored 2pts that turn.

I now had to alter my plans of going for board center. My left flank was going to crumble if left alone, or Steve would gain ground if I bailed. I opted to try to clear out my flank, figuring my Knight and Flesh Hounds with Herald could take board center.

The Devastators were thinned down with shooting, and Warforce jumped in the nearby Rhino for safety. My Maulerfiend happily dove into the Devastators, smashing all but one Marine who thought he’d hang around.

The Flesh Hounds and Herald charged forward into Scouts. One Scout remained from the combat, but we were so stretched out that we couldn’t consolidate together, so we both consolidated out of combat.

My Knight bitch-slapped the 5 Marines who glanced him, and the remainder ran off.

After the turn I realized I forgot to roll for Reserves. At the time I didn’t feel I needed them, however it probably would have helped me out. Never a bad thing having your whole army on the table…

My left flank remained in threat. My Rhino exploded from the Command Squad charging, but the Maulerfiend cleared himself of his combat.

Blood Ravens Charge

I did manage to take the board center, albeit briefly. The Flesh Hounds and Herald were shot off the board, a short-lived victory. Terminators came for my Knight. Only one Terminator was killed – damn those Storm Shields!, and another hull point was chipped off my Knight.

The Tide Turns

That left flank was an endless grinding battle. The Maulerfiend had jumped on the Command Squad, and later the CSM with Sorcerer joined. Warforce was in rare form, getting off powers he needed, and putting in the wounds on the Captain who took his challenge. However, having Artificer Armor, the Captain cared little about Warforce’s AP3 blade. Still, Warforce held his ground, shrugged off a few wounds, and the combat would remain locked until the game end.

The poor Knight. The Terminators continued to whittle him down, leaving him with a single hull point by the time a Dreadnought joined the fray. That Dreadnought smashed down my Knight, but the Knight did destroy the Dreadnought in return. Not a fair trade, but it was something.

With my left flank locked up, the board center out of my control, and nothing else remaining for me, the game concluded. Steve took victory: 11-7, or thereabouts.

Da End

It was a damn close game. Even when things were going sideways on me, I held a card for Kingslayer, but I just couldn’t get that Captain to lay down and die.

Overall I was pleased with the core of my list. The Khorne Daemonkin element needs work, assuming I continue to use them as allies. I feel I need to better utilize them, like getting a Loci on the Herald, grabbing a worthwhile artefact, something. They won’t really make use of the Blood Tithe at so few models, but I feel I can get more out of them than I did.

On the note of Khorne Daemonkin, I’m avoiding using my Chaos Marine models in there. I hate playing games against opponents who are utilizing different sources, but they use the same models. It’s confusing when there is no visual differentiation between different armies, IE: these blue guys are CSM, but those blue guys are KDK. So, that leaves me with a Herald, Bloodletters, Hounds and Berzerkers.



  • Berman

    Sounds like a good game. Honestly hanging in that tight with Steve is doing really well. Knight obviously didn’t get any good stomp results on the termies or that fight would have ended much faster.

    • It was a good game. I had Steve early, but as you know, keeping the lead on Steve is the hard part.

      I got one good stomp, and that took out 3 of the 4. Still, I did keep getting the wounds in with the Foe-reaper, 2 a phase on average, but that 3++ was insane for them.

  • A hard fought game again chief. Well played for trying something new.

  • Great battle report, Thor! The background snippet was awesome, I love a good background as it helps elevating the game. Forge the Narrative and all that jazz.

    The game in itself seemed fun and filled with lots of great action. It could have gone either way really.

    • I really want to start writing more fluffy stuff, so I’ll work on small pieces like this for now just to get back into it. The game is definitely more fun when you embrace it, so yes, forge the narrative :)

      The game could have gone either way, but Steve is a good opponent, and he creates very effective lists. My writing lists just before I need them (literally), isn’t doing me any favors.

      • Small background pieces like that for games and showcases are a great way of writing. It is short and thus not daunting like a short story and it serves a specific purpose as in it is not just a story. Keeping those things in mind always helps me.

        You list was a bit all over the place; fun and colourful but no cookie cutter list. Which is fair. If you want Fearless bodies why not try the Helcult? Great protection for a shooty Helbrute and cheap Fearless cultists.

        • Yeah, I always think big with writing and scare myself out of it. This will be good for that.

          Helcult is a good option now that you mention it. I’d rather my fearless bodies be more threatening than Cultists, but still: they’re cheap, fearless, and aid the Helbrute.

          Now to see if I can pull together a list in the next few hours before I need it ;)

  • iapedus

    Tough break Thor, always gonna be difficult dealing with that many drop pods without any interceptor. I haven’t really looked at it yet, but is there nothing in Traitors Hate that could help you?
    Great fluff by the way, always nice to see it in batreps!

    • Lots of Pods is always my undoing. I rarely have the numbers to deal with the inevitable casualties from their arrival.

      Traitor’s Hate is a mixed bag honestly. The decurion, while giving obsec everywhere, is limited. The unit choices, while not bad, aren’t exactly powerful. The more powerful CSM units either have no formation, or require some investments to field. I keep trying to find a way to make it work for me, but no dice as of yet.

  • jack shrapnel

    If you’re going with khorne allies, you might get more mileage out of regular daemons instead as for 10 points you can give that herald (or up to four of them as a single choice) an AP2 at initiative weapon that can solve a lot of problems, especially with some ablative dogs.

    • I was trying to keep it cheap, but of course that meant bare and not every threatening. I also hate, hate, hate Daemonic Instability. It bites me in the ass a lot, like probably more than it should. You’re right of course in your advice.

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