Horus Heresy: Alpha Legion vs Blood Angels 1,500 points

 

Alpharion here again with another battle report. This time turning the clock back 10,000 years to wage war in the greatest civil war ever fought, The Horus Heresy.  The game was against my buddy Jason, who owns the beautifully painted Blood Angels army. As this was my first time playing 30k, or any Space Marine army for that matter, and as such I expected this game to take more than a few hours. To my surprise we were able to finish in about an hour and a half. There were a few instances where we were not sure on a rule, and instead of digging for an answer we just came to an agreement and moved on.

Alpharion: Alpha Legion 1500 points

HQ : 

Armillus Dynat – Warlord (Thunder hammer, Power sword, Coils of the Hydra)

I find it a bit odd that an HQ choice would have no ranged weaponry, but his other rules definitely make up for his lack of a ranged attack. If taken as the Warlord he is automatically given the “Hammerstrike Assault” rule. This lets you choose one unit and give them the “Deep Strike” special rule. It can even be given to Dynat himself, allowing him to Deep Strike with a unit that already has the rule. Team this up with his other special rule, “The Harrowing,” and you can potentially ruin someones day. I used the Chaplain model from the Betrayal at Calth box to represent Dynat in this game.

Legion Praetor (Standard loadout, nothing special here)

Troops:

3 Legion Tactical Squads (9 Marines with Bolters, 1 Sergeant with Bolter and Chainsword, Legion vexilla)

Nothing too special here, however “Fury of the Legion” can be brutal. It allows you to fire any Bolter twice during that shooting phase. There are some downsides though. Should a player elect to use this rule the selected unit will not be able to fire overwatch during the opponents next phase, or shoot during the next controlling players phase. It is risky, but the rewards can be great. The Alpha Legion have a special rule that can make Fury of the Legion even more dangerous,”Banestrike.” Banestrike functions in much the same way that “Bladestorm” does for the Eldar in 40k. Each to wound roll of 6 by a weapon with Banestrike grants that round AP3, negating Space Marine Power Armor.

Elites: 

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon (Multi-Melta)

Lernaen Terminators, Land Raider Proteus (1 with Heavy Flamer, 4 with Volkite Charger and Power Axes)

These terminators have the “Implacable Advance” rule which allows them to count as a scoring unit. Couple this with Dynat’s special rule and you have a very tough objective securing unit.

 

Jason: Blood Angels 1,500 points

HQ: 

Legion Praetor (Master of the legion , orbital assault)

Troops:
2 Legion Tactical Squads, Drop Pod  (9 Marines with Bolters, 1 Sergeant)
Legion Tactical Squad, Drop Pod (4 Marines with Meltas, 1 Sergeant)
Fast Attack:
Legion outrider squad (10 Melta bombs)
Heavy support:
Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought (Aiolos missle launcher)

Mission:

Shatter Strike

Primary objective – Each player gains 2VP for each scoring unit in the enemy’s deployment zone at the end of the game.

Secondary Objective – Slay the Warlord, First Blood

Deployment:

Clash the Line

I won the roll and elected to deploy and go first.

HH1

Turn 1

Alpharion

Jason was bringing a Drop Pod heavy list and as such I should have castled up until his units came in, or alternatively, just let him go first. This would have allowed me to; 1) deny him land in which to place his units in my backfield and 2) provide covering fire. But I incorrectly interpreted The Harrowing to mean that Dynat had to also be in the backfield to pass out the benefits of that rule, and as such I started moving him up the battlefield towards Jason’s deployment zone. I moved one tactical squad into ruins. The remaining tactical squad snuck behind some cover, ready to pounce on whatever the Blood Angels brought down. Looking back I definitely should have passed initiative to Jason and made him go first and bring his Drop Pods in as he was running a Deep Strike heavy army.

Jason

Jason brings in two Drop Pods near the unit in the ruins. After disembarking they unload everything they have into my unit of Tactical Marines by using Fury of the Legion. Which after rereading the rules, was an illegal move. It states that Fury of the Legion cannot be used if a unit moved, arrived via Deep Strike, or disembarked a vehicle. But seeing as we are both new to playing 30k we didn’t catch that part of the rule. Even with 40 shots total from both units he was only able to secure five unsaved wounds, unfortunately the Sergeant (even with his 2+ Artificer armor) was included in those wounds. Luckily the squad made their leadership test and hung around a bit longer. His Dreadnought was more effective in targeting Dynat’s squad. Facing seven wounds from his dreadnought I was able to save all but three of them.

Alpharion 0 – Jason 0

HH2

Turn 2

Alpharion

Dynat’s special rule came into play here. I granted the terminators Deep Strike and had them deployed inside the Land Raider. We were unsure if the rule would then grant the ability to Deep Strike to the Land Raider as well, but we decided to say that it did and continued on with the game. After looking this up afterwards, the Land Raider most certainly does not get to Deep Strike in this situation. Had I been able to grant the transport Deep Strike then this would have been possible. But as the rule reads Dynat passes out Deep Strike to an infantry unit. Unfortunately a Land Raider is not an infantry unit. The Land Raider carrying the Lernean Terminators made their roll and came in. I attempted to drop them at the point of his deployment zone to harass the Deredeo and his bikes, unfortunately I did not stick the landing causing the unit to suffer a Deep Strike mishap. Another poor roll of the dice allowed Jason the opportunity to place the unit where he wanted. He placed the Land Raider behind some line of sight blocking terrain, effectively making the terminators inside useless for another turn. Two terminators were able to get shots off at the unit of bikes in Jason’s backfield, however they were unable to wound them. The unit of Marines taking cover in ruins returned fire by using Fury of the Legion, and were able to take out four Marines in return (Banestrike Bolter rounds responsible for 2 of those casualties) with only 1/4 the amount of shots Jason used to remove five of my Alpha Legion Marines. Not a bad trade off, but they were still hopelessly outnumbered with no hope for reinforcements. The dreadnought moved forward and attempted to unleash the pain with his Melta gun at the weakened Blood Angels unit. But I once again became acquainted with those dreaded one’s! The remaining Tactical squad moved up and targeted the same Blood Angels unit but failed to cause any wounds, even with the Fury of the Legion in effect. Another mistake was made, as previously mentioned the rule states that Fury of the Legion cannot be used after a unit has moved. Dynat’s squad moved up to gain some cover from terrain and to embark on the Land Raider next turn.

HH4

Jason

The remaining Drop Pod makes its reserve roll and subsequently sticks its landing. The four Melta-gun-toting Space Marines disembark and light up my dreadnought. Luck was on my side though as his dice turned against him and only granted him one hull point in damage. However he did score a penetrating hit and immobilized the dreadnought. Since Jason had used Fury of the Legion in his previous turn, both of the regular Tactical Marine squads were unable to shoot this round. His full strength Tactical Squad charged through terrain and made it into combat with my half strength squad. The downside to Fury of the Legion is that you can not fire overwatch until your next turn. Facing steep odds the Alpha Legion fought bravely, taking out three of the enemy before falling and granting Jason a VP for First Blood. Jason’s remaining tactical squad moved across the board to assist in the take down of the dreadnought. The Deredeo unleashed its salvo against the Land Raider, stripping one HP. The bike squad moves to intercept the terminators and fires all of their weapons at them causing six wounds, but the terminators dig in and suffer no casualties. Those 2+ saves really are something special.

Alpharion 0 – Jason 1

Turn 3

Alpharion

Dynat’s Squad embarks into the Land Raider which then moves forward onto terrain. The terminators, now unable to reach the enemy dreadnought, turn their sights onto the bikes. This time they are within range to fire every weapon, Heavy Flamer included. One bike was caught in the inferno from the heavy flamer and promptly turned into a scorched ruin. The rest use their Volkite Chargers to limited efficiency and remove two more bikes. Facing an 8″ charge into the bike, the heavily armored terminators roar into combat, shrugging off the futile overwatch attempts to smash into the Blood Angel bikers and slaughter them outright. Power axes are brutal. Their consolidation move draws them closer to their original target, the Deredeo. The last remaining unit of Tactical Marines moved in and charged Jason’s unit of Melta’s, only suffering one wound in overwatch. Once in combat they were able to dispatch three Melta Marines while only suffering one wound in return. The dreadnought again was unable to wound anything (Darn those one’s!) and was only able to sit tight and hope his brothers could carry the day.

Jason

The Deredeo directed his vengeance, for the slaughter of his brothers at the hands of the Lernean Terminators, on the Land Raider carrying Dynat and his squad. The dice gods were on Jason’s side this turn as he scored 3 penetrating hits and rolled to cause a catastrophic explosion. The resulting blast destroyed the entire unit inside, granting Jason Slay the Warlord for taking out Dynat. His half strength Tactical Marine squad moved to assist their brothers in melee combat, however neither side was able to cause any damage.

Alpharion 0 – Jason 2

Turn 4

Alpharion

With the dreadnought immobilized and the last unit of Tactical Marines locked in combat, my only hope for gaining a few VP’s was by keeping my Lernean Terminators alive and in the enemy’s deployment zone. The terminators moved up and assaulted the Deredeo as their weapons would be useless against his armor. The Deredeo, with its impressive weaponry, was able to remove one model from the terminator squad with its overwatch. And that appeared to be all it needed to do to stall out the terminators as an additional 1.5″ were added to the charge range which started at 6″ but now became 8″. They of course failed the charge, and to add insult to injury I rolled a six. The melee raged on with Jason losing a single Melta Marine, while my Marines suffered no losses. Jason passed his moral test and the unit stayed locked in combat.

HH5

Jason

The Deredeo took the opportunity of one extra round of shooting and unloaded its entire payload against the terminators and was able to cause four wounds, two which went unsaved thanks to some stellar rolling on my part (I mean really, the odds of that…..). The melee raged on and my spectacular rolling lead to two dead Alpha Legion Marines, while Jason’s units suffered no losses. So now for the all important leadership test. Having lost combat by two I needed to roll a seven (the Sergeant is still alive thankfully) or lower to stay in combat. I promptly rolled an 11. Seems to be my luck at these crucial turns. But wait! I paid for the Legion Vexilla upgrade for this unit granting them a re-roll for all morale tests. Wooo, luck may still be on my side! Being the superstitious man I am, I chose two new dice to help deliver me from certain failure. Only to once again face extermination as the dice showed a value of eight. I held my breath as Jason and I rolled off on an initiative test to see if his unit would catch mine in a Sweeping Advance move. If Jason is successful and catches my unit they will be completely wiped out. I think you can guess what happened next. Jason won the roll and my unit was destroyed.

And here is where we called it quits. Jason had two scoring units in my deployment zone and I had one in his.

Alpharion 2 – Jason 6

So for my first outing in 30k I was thoroughly impressed. The gameplay was very familiar to me as it was built around the rules for 40k. If you have at all been interested in starting a 30k army I highly suggest reading some of the Horus Heresy books. Additionally the Betrayal at Calth boxset is an extremely good deal, and word on the street says that the box is now limited. Whether this means it will no longer be printed, or they are having a hard time keeping up with demand, I am not sure. But if you have been on the fence about it I would highly recommend it.

Until next time!

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