So after a long, and really long time, away from gaming and mostly just painting, I stepped into our local comic book store this past Sunday and met up with Fritz to play a small game.
There were two reasons to play....
1) Fritz was doing a report of some sort on his blog to promote smaller games to show bloggers that even smaller games are entertaining. But also a way to get your army up and running without the hassle of building a huge 1750 or even 2000 point army before playing.
2) It had been a long overdue moment where all my blogger buddies and friends a the club were asking if I ever played anymore. I always had the excuse that I was too busy with work and that I never had a finished army to play with anyway. Well what a great time for me to field a small, yet playable army that was entertaining. Plus it was a quickie that didn't last hours like some of the bigger games do. I think we played an entire game that last like 30 minutes or so.
My 750 point list consisted of 2 Nurgle Heralds, 1 unit of 13 Plaguebearers, 1 unit of 7 Plaguebearers, 1 unit of 6 Plaguebearers, and 1 Daemon Prince. I was running a Herald in the 13 man unit and the 6 man unit. Before the game started, I split the army in preparation for the Daemon Assault. I put the unit of 13 Plaguebearers along with a Herald plus the unit of 7 Plaguebearers into group 'A'. The other unit of 6 Plaguebearers and Herald plus the Daemon Prince were in group 'B'.
The game started out with us playing Dawn of War with two objectives. I chose table side and placed my objective marker about 15-18 inches in from the table edge around the middle of the board. My idea here was to try to lure Fritz in hoping that he would be aggressive (he was playing 'Nids which included a Prime, 2 units of 5 Warriros, and 2 units of 10 Genestealers). Fritz deployed his Warriors into the corner of his deployment zone close to where he put his objective marker.
As the game begins, I roll to see if the Nurgle gods bless me and allow me to assault with my main group 'A'. But through some trickery of the Hive Mind, group 'A' was stalled in the warp and allowed group 'B' to emerge from the warp ahead of schedule. I deployed the Plaguebear unit fairly close to his Warriors on my right side in hoping to draw them into combat while my Daemon Prince scattered and moved closer to my edge of the table in the open right in front of the Warrior units on my left side. In my shooting phase the units decided to spit across the battle field in hopes that their toxic saliva would corrode the hide of the Warriors, but ended up spitting only a few feet. As they attempted to run, they slipped on their own saliva and only managed to run 1". Damn.
So during Fritz's turn, he unloaded the Warriors who were equiped with Devourers. 1 Warrior in each unit had a Venom Cannon and a Barbed Strangler. Luckily for my Dameon Prince that the unit in front of him only was equipped with the Venom Cannon. Even so, when the dust settled, the mighty Daemon Prince suffered a wound. Fritz's Genestealers ran in from his table edge and ended up assaulting the 7 man Plaguebearer/Herald squad with 10 Stealers, 5 Warriors, and the Prime. He really wanted them dead, but alas the Nurgle gods chuckled when the Herald, the sole survivor of the battle, stood defiant against the bugs and brushed off the blood and sweat from his brows. He alone would tie up both the Warriors, Genestealers, and Prime in close combat.
During my next turn I rolled for reserves and both my other Plaguebearer units warped in, finally able to dial into location as their GPS was fixed. The unit of 14 of land right behind the combat going on and the unit of 7 would land in the left baiting the Warriors still not in combat. The Prince flew over closer to the combat that was going on, curious to see if there were any more blood splattering that would be needed. Boy would he get his wish. I ended up charging in with the Prince and immediately, he chopped a Warrior in half killing it outright. The Prince alone ended up causing more wounds in combat causing the Warriors and Stealers to take additional saves. He again stood defiant and caused 2 wounds on the Prime during Fritz's turn winning the round for me again. That made the 'Nids take more saves which would dwindle their units in combat even more.
Finally, my unit of 14 coming crashing into close combat from the right in fear of missing out in the action. The unit of 7 also crashed into the same combat on the far left side. By the end of close combat on my turn, the 'Nids were looking in pretty bad shape. There were only a couple of Stealers and a couple of Warriors left. During the bottom of that turn, Fritz would send his other 10 Genestealers crashing into combat to tie up all of my units.
Combat resumed pretty much for the remainder of the game up until bottom of turn 5 where Fritz moved the remaining 5 Warriors out of synapse range of 1 Genestealer. It would of course have lost combat and needed to take a leadership test, in which it passed and kept my units (Daemon Prince still with 3 wounds left, and around 4 or 5 Plaguebearers left) locked in combat. He was holding 1 objective while I was not. My only chance was to keep the game going in hopes that I could kill the last Stealer and consolidate close enough to the other objective to contest. WELL, the Nurgle gods had other plans as they were too tired to fight anymore. The die landed on a 1 and ended the game. Damn, again....
Overall, the game was exciting and a blast. I haven't had the opportunity to play Fritz that often and it was good to keep him, a brilliant tactician, on edge during the game. I have to say that playing a Nurgle Daemon army is very tough. The Plaguebearers are very good in combat at holding other units locked into combat, but lack the 1-2 punch to cause that much damage. It ends up being a war of attrition as the Plaguebears go to war with what sometimes feels like toothpicks since they mostly rely on the plagueswords and the wound on 4+ to do the damage. In larger games, the special rules of Epidemius would be fantastic as this would allow Plaguebearers to be more useful at hitting and causing more damage than just scraping the side of a barn in close combat.
The MVP would absolutely, without a doubt, go to the Daemon Prince. He is just a beast when it comes to close combat. I may of had some lucky rolls here or there, but the fact that he is WS 7 with a toughness of 6 (Nurgle's mark), wounding on 2+(Noxious Touch), and has 4 wounds before he falls makes him the number 1 target that the opponent should focus on. In our game, the Prince himself was able to single handedly win each and every combat phase by doing enough damage and without him, the game would have ended up finishing a lot sooner and in a massacre. Definately a must choice for any Nurgle Daemon player.
If you are interested in looking at some pics of the game, please keep an eye out on Fritz 40K to see his battle report.