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Hello chaps, I got to play a game against Daemons with my new Culexus last night – here’s a quick round up of the game, and what I found out about the spooky one…

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The game was another 1000pts Maelstrom game, Guard vs. Daemons. I went with 2x Vets in Chimeras (1 Melta, 1 Plasma), CCS & Kurov’s Aquila in Chimera, Vanquisher, Wyvern and the Culexus. Ross had 2 big units of Horrors, 2 Soulgrinders and a unit of Screamers with 2 Tzeentch Heralds plus Grimoire of True Names. I forget the name of the Maelstrom mission, but it was number 2 – the one where you get as many cards as objectives you control. Daemons got to set up first and had the horrors on objectives the left and right corners. The Soulgrinders were centre and right, and the Screamers roughly in the centre. I went with CCS & Plasma vets mounted up and in the centre, with the Assassin lurking behind them. The Vanquisher & Melta vets were opposite the Soulgrinders, and the Wyvern was tucked up in my left corner. Guard failed to seize.

Turn 1: Ross marched his Soulgrinders forward, angling in towards the Vanquisher, and flew forward with the Screamers to get in position to carry out some slash attacks on the assassin at extreme range. The psychic phase resulted in a wildly scattered unit of Daemonettes turning up in the centre of Ross’ deployment zone. There wasn’t any firing, so straight to the slash attacks! Luckily, the Culexus was quite tight to the board edge – Ross couldn’t get too many Screamers to fly over her and she emerged unscathed, thanks to her lightning reflexes….

My turn saw the CCS & Melta Vets de-bus and line up their plasma weaponry on the Screamers, while the Culexus angled around to give them clear firing lanes. My Melta vets drove forward and jumped out of their transport right in front of the nearest Soulgrinder. In my psychic phase I had a bunch of dice to throw for the Animus Speculum and managed to do a couple of wounds on the Screamers, but the Psychic Abomination rule doesn’t affect the Grimoire or the Tzeentch ability to re-roll 1’s, making the unit 3++ (this turned out to be a pain in the backside all game!). In my firing phase, the Melta Vets took out one Soulgrinder, (loosing 2 vets in the explosion), but the Vanquisher only managed one hit on the other Soulgrinder, which was saved on the 5++. The Wyvern managed a handful of wounds on the Horrors hiding in the woods. I now had a decision to make – either fire my CCS & Plasma vets at the Screamers, or charge them… I opted to fire, and did very little damage… big mistake number 1. I also forgot to lob a Psyk-out Grenade with the Culexus before charging… big mistake number 2. Anyhow, the Culexus got in to combat, did nothing and got 2 wounds back in return.

 

Turn 2: The Grimoire was activated again, but there was very little movement from the Daemons – the remaining Soulgrinder lined up to charge the Vanquisher, and the Daemonettes lined up a charge on the Melta vets. The psychic phase was quiet, as most of the warp charge generators were nulled out by the Culexus. There wasn’t any firing, but one moment of note in the shooting phase was my Wyvern suffering a Weapon Destroyed result thanks to the Warp Storm, and Ross rolled to take out the Stormshard Mortar… Mistake number 3 – I forgot that the Stormshard is actually 2 weapons, and played without it for the remainder of the game… The combat phase saw the Daemonettes charge the Melta Vets and put some hurt on them, while the Soulgrinder fluffed the charge against the Vanquisher. The assassin went down to the weight of attacks from the Screamers.

My turn, and I optimistically lined the Vanquisher up on the Soulgrinder that was bearing down on it, and pointed every other available weapon at the screamers. The Vanquisher fluffed again, and the entire combined might of 3 multilasers, 4 Heavy Bolters, 7 Plasma guns, a plasma pistol and half a dozen Las Rifles managed to do not very much at all to the 3++/re-roll 1’s unit… much gnashing of teeth ensued. The Melta Vets got minced up a bit more and broke, but managed to out-distance the Daemonettes.

 

Turn 3: Ross managed to activate the Grimoire again, and moved his Soulgrinder close enough to the Vanquisher to make the charge a certainty, while the Daemonettes lined up to finish off the remaining Melta Vets and the Screamers lined up a charge on the CCS. There was no shooting, but the Warpstorm managed to finish off the stricken Wyvern, as well as kill off a Horror. The psychic phase saw both of the Heralds cast flickering fire, and they took out 3 Plasma Vets, then they charged the CCS. Despite the odds, the CCS actually won the combat, but the fight was held. The Daemonettes finished off the Melta Vets, and the Soulgrinder blew up the Vanquisher. Not good.

My turn proved to be quite an important one – Ross and I were pretty much tied for victory points so far, and I had the maelstrom card that gave me a point if I could get into the enemy deployment zone – the Melta Vet Chimera was within flat-out striking range so I went for it. The remaining Chimera’s took down the Daemonettes that had finished off the Melta Vets, and I threw the remaining Plasma Vets into the combat with the Screamers. The Daemons were pretty unlucky, there were a few wounds dished out each way and the combat was held.

 

Turn 4: Looking at the clock, this would be the last turn. Ross got the Grimoire fired up again, (naturally), and moved one of the backfield Horror units towards an objective that we both needed – the Horrors didn’t get far enough though, leaving the objective uncontested and within range of my MV Chimera. The psychic phase was quiet, and the long big punch-up with the screamers went on for another round.

My turn, and I nabbed the objective with the JV Chimera, took a few pot-shots at a unit of Horrors with another, and rammed the Soulgrinder with the 3rd (just for lolz). The punch-up with the Screamers finally started to swing in favour of the Daemons, but my Warlord and the remaining CCS vet held, denying Ross any last minute VP’s. We totalled up the scores, and amazingly, we had a draw!!

 

Aftermath:

So, first things first – I was incredibly lucky to get away with a draw, and I was saved by the bell for the second game running. I made way too many mistakes – in fact, I played pretty badly:

1: I should have set up the Vanquisher much further back, maybe with the Warlord nearer to give it Preferred Enemy, because the tank did sweet FA before getting munched in combat.

2: Forgetting the Psyk-Out Grenades was just moronic – the Grimoire toting Herald was down to 1 wound thanks to shooting, and there was a good chance he would have been taken out in turn 1… that would have made for a very different game!

3: Not charging the Vets & CCS in to the Screamers along with the Assassin – again, moronic. I don’t think that they would have necessarily caused more wounds, but they would have stopped all of the return traffic getting piled on to the assassin, and if they did manage to win the fight, the -3 to the Herald’s Ld could have had a big impact on the break test…

4: Forgetting that the Stormshard Mortar is actually 2 weapons…. Doh! It’s a great little tank and the shooting that it did do was very effective, so it was pretty stoopid of me to forget…

5: I still struggle with the 3++ Screaming Deathstar… It is just so hard to put down! I did manage to whittle it down significantly, but nowhere near enough… I’m thinking tarpit next time – it’s an expensive unit, and tying it up with chumps would be a result.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, the Melta Vets did what they were there to do, popping a Soulgrinder and bagging me first blood. My points play with their Chimera later in the game was also telling. Overall, I think that the Culexus is good, and well worth the points against a Psyker-heavy army, especially if you can get her close to the main warp-charge pool. Her shooting was pretty impressive and I would love to see her against targets without 3++, but she isn’t a combat monster by any means, and she definitely needs backup in melee. I think that with a little practice I’ll be able to get much more out of this unusual unit…

So, onwards and upwards, and my next game is against Space Wolves! Can the men of the 215th do better against the hairy-ones, or will they be dog-food? Most importantly, can I manage to play a game like a boss instead of like a chump? Only time will tell 🙂

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