Roight, report time! Clicking on the pictures gives a clearer view, this might get heavy.
My buddy, reasonably new to 40k, finally got his army
of rough and morally less than shining Custodian death
squads painted and what better way to celebrate it than throwing down. Them golden bois are so points heavy we ended up throwing some ~2200 points on the table as the XIV clashed against the lapdogs of the Master of Mankind.
My list, pretty much all the stuff I had painted sans one Rhino, was pretty heavy on (tactical) dreadnought armour while the Custodes brought mostly guard-trios spiced with some variant spears. Sadly, I still have to proxy my witches with vexillas for the time being before they get proper models done. Pretty basic CA18 missions, CoD terrain rules and go go it is.
First match, characters with intel score points by hanging near the bubbling tank in the middle.
Both sides held large chunks of reserves, Allarus and terminator squads rearing to jump into action in their teleport chambers.
Death Guard take the initiative and surge forwards to take the centre with heavy armour in the fore, Predator claiming one guardian in the opening salvo as everything on my right flank opens on the Vertus bikes, hurting the foolishly optimistic captain at their front before they dive in the cover of the trees.
There is a furious firefight on the right flank, with the human auxilia exploding to fine red mist in the middle as the XIV blow apart most of the bikes before their inevitable charge as the air cracks and terminators emerge on the field guns blazing. More appear north of the previous picture, catching the Custodes' line in an iron pincer.
Another flash at the backfield sees the meltaspears hit the field, led by captain Enkidu Akhianus. Though they unsurprisingly blast the opposing auxilias protecting the tank to kingdom come without breaking sweat, this proves to be a grave tactical error as they are too far away to charge the Predator and thus effectively misplaced for the rest of the battle.
At the main front, things heat up as the superior creations charge everything but are stymied by the noxious vapours emanating from the Destroyer (Blightspawn) in their midst. In the left flank guardians crash against the second line of terminators who stand their ground, as the Contemptor seizes the moment and rips the wounded bike captain, Setanta Hadrias, down from his saddle as he tries to impale it. Fighting with the fury of a dying man, even in death Hadrias strikes back and carves the ruthless machine open for the Vertus squad to finish off. The guardians next to the flaming wreck brutally murder all auxiliaries while the astartes witches (almost killing themselves in the process) rip them apart with eldritch energies in return as the line marines open fire and down the bikes as they fly through the burning Contemptor.
(Note the one brave mortal left on the battlefield under the bridge, surviving where others fall is the one true way to get inducted into the ranks of the XIV )
After this mutual destruction, there is a sharp clap of pain and the paintrain of heavy armour rolls up on the Custodes' line. Leviathan smashes through the recently arrived Allarus in its way, as do the terminators who deny death against everything thrown their way while the two astartes captains butcher captain Harkynn and his aide is soon overwhelmed in a wave of terminators without mercy or hesitation. The single remaining Custodes group sees there is no way to remedy this disaster anymore and is whisked away in a flash.
Ouch, that was a pretty thorough thrashing the golden bananas received in their first outing, taking mainly the cultists and one dread with them. But such things happen when trying the game out, so we immediately threw another one down.
Take two, aerial supplies floating down at the places marked with green dice. Imperials have misplaced their drop and our sneaky recon forces are trying to seize the opportunity for supply gathering. A rapid counterstrike of murder bananas is dispatched to deal with this annoyance.
The situation seemed a bit more favourable for this retribution strike Custodes were mounting to avenge the previous disgrace, but their low numbers would pose a real problem if they were to follow their orders instead of simply carving a bloody trail of vengeance through the astartes.
There is barely any shooting in the beginning, as the bikes swerve left hard intending to take the Leviathan out without getting shot by its horrendous guns and othersrush towards the middle objectives. Their eagerness betrays them, though, as the Custodes commander ponders why exactly did he not leave someone to take the first objective right in their lines. Predator opens fire and claims the first kill again, punching though a single guardian like paper as the marines advance forwards to catch all supplies that they can pocket before the imperial warmachine retaliates in force.
Captain Hadrias, miraculously recovered from the previous encountered, leads his praetors on their left flank and utterly crushes one tactical squad before swinging into the Leviathan's side while the right flank crashes into the Contemptor but is halted as the mechanical monstrosity defies their blades. With fitting contempt, the veteran inside burns with desire to take its pound of flesh for the destruction of its previous prison and rips apart some of its assailants, sucking their vital essences into its ever hungry reactor (from two wounds remaining, this thing managed to rip and tear its way way up in wounds through the battle ).
The bike brawl spreads as witches, a termie captain and others join in while the Predator escapes Allaruses that appeared behind it. Wounds abound for all as men clash, bikes killing the captain, Leviathan smashing Hadrias down again and general mayhem ensuing.
Another crack and a flash, as the terminators arrive to take the enemy line from behind. This prize is ours now, scrum. Amidst bolt fire and falling comrades, Iblim Dysion decides this area is lost and instead falls back to charge the Leviathan, which he then fells to avenge poor Hadrias!
On the backfield, brave auxiliaries rush to delay the golden terminators threatening their tank.
What's the worst that could happen?
Terminators swoop in on the left with the Contemptor, crushing captain Harkynn and his men though Phaeston Gordias puts up a remarkably long last stand with his Vexilla held high.
Eventually the Allarus punch their way through the last auxilias and rush the middle as the last bikes flew past to decimate the left tacticals only to meet their end in the Contemptor's hands.
Brutal and effective, the golden boys crack the tank out of the way to rush towards the objectives. That victory will however be short-lived, as the terminators in front countercharge the captain, shielding the sergeant behind them (who's too busy stuffing his bags with munitions). As captain Enkidu falls, so too do Iblim and the last Allarus, felled by foul sorcerous powers amidst the broken forms of astartes engines. No more than a singular Custodian is left watching the carnage, jaw tight and vexilla clutched in hand, as he too is blinked away from a bitterly lost skirmish.
Phew, a bit tighter match this time as the bikes absolutely destroyed everything they charged (on my turn, too, the buggers!) and the first points for anyone were scored on turn three as the objectives kept moving and slipping from anyone's grasp. As the game went on, it however became clear that the purely golden boys simply didn't have the numbers to sit on any objectives while exerting any force further down as my terminators relentlessly drove them in front of them, claiming ground as they went. We'll see how things change, when he tunes this group with an allied slavegroup of AdMech support and gains more experience on the field. Good show, if a bit of a bloodbath when lines closed