Played my first game ever with the Revenants today, 500pt patrol with the Start Collecting Vanguard box. We played it as 9th as much as we could based on the rules we could find, mostly the free Core Rules pdf. I don't think the box is an especially coherent mix of units but I wanted to get them on the table, even though I was expecting things to go particularly badly. The place we play has Necromunda sized tables (4x4) so we just rolled with that... A bit more square than the recommended 44x30" but I figured I needed all the space I could get. We played the Only War mission in the Core Rules book which had four objectives; we put one in each deployment zone and two across the mid-line of the battlefield. I got to pick my board edge and got first turn; we also decided to allow reserves on turn 1 as the turn 2 restriction doesn't seem to be present in the PDF.
Sixteen unblooded Primaris Revenants under Lieutenant Secundus Abraxas assembled as Vanguards for a training exercise, eager to study under one of the Imperium's foremost and honoured chapters, the Blood Angels. It was a hot, dusty day on the field of battle, a scarred Martian landscape littered with the burnt-out hulks of long decrepit Ministorum gasworks and slab-like rock formations.
In deployment, 4th Squad (Infiltrator) under Sergeant Setheus crept forward to seize an objective in the midfield, their sophisticated sensor helms picking up the raucous engine note and clanking treads of a Baal Predator. The 10th Squad under Sergeant Ouriel deployed atop a promethium derrick, giving clear lines of sight to a squad of gold-clad seraphs whose power swords shimmered the air above them, stark even in the baking heat: Sanguinary Guard. Meanwhile 9th Squad under Sergeant Harmas wrapped their camo-cloaks around themselves as they silently clambered up a red-dusted mesa, claiming an objective and bedding down their Bolt Sniper Rifles.
High above, Lieutenant Secundus Rann Abraxas was already falling, his grav-chute barely beginning to slow his descent. He kept one forearm pressed against the weapon on his chest, the servos supporting his ceramite vambrace locked as extra insurance beyond the maglocks clamping the weapon to his breastplate. It would not do to lose the Raven Guard's priceless Ex Tenebris on this brotherly bout.
Their silent advance had given the Revenants the initiative, but the sons of Sanguinius had cunningly positioned themselves mostly behind obscuring cover. Nevertheless, the council of Captains overseeing the exercise scored the Revenants two points for their dominance over two objectives, and a third for holding more than the Angels. Lieutenant Abraxas executed a perfect dustoff into cover beside 4th Squad, lifting only brief plumes of dust with the soundless touchdown of his boots as he murmured into a direct voxline. "Open fire." The Accelerator Autocannons of 10th Squad opened up on the gleaming forms of the Sanguinary Guard, but to no avail, shells the size of a man's leg deflecting and bursting harmlessly off of the master-worked armour.
Jump pack turbines suddenly roared like thunder, triggered by the yellow lighting flare of autocannon fire. With the relentless glare, Sergeant Harmas had ordered his squad to switch their optical lenses to the cold blue of magnetic scan, searching for contacts on the highest gain setting. Now their optics whined and refocused as a grip of heavy ferrous shapes landed heavily not ten metres before them. Harmas chanted into the vox, "9th Squad, contact, contact," flipping his goggles up to see five black-clad warriors screaming towards him on contrails of white smoke, brandishing a coterie of power weapons.
Lt. Abraxas was beginning to request a sitrep when the marines next to him opened up with their Marksman carbines. A Blood Angel Chaplain, his helmet a stoic rictus, was soaring over the decrepit shack 4th Squad hunkered behind, a Sanguinary Ancient close on his heels. The crackling rounds of his thrice-blessed Angelus boltgun struck Brother Nebrith in the torso, the stun rounds paralyzing his left arm, but his helm and right hand stayed true as his bolter added to the chorus of his squad. The mass-reactive rounds scrubbed filigree and ceramite flakes off the breastplates and greaves of the arcing Angels, but none found their purchase.
Neither did the fire of the "Death Company" catch any of the Eliminators, the shifting patterns of their cloaks disguising them in the ink black shadows of the towering mesa. However, the cloaks could not shield them from the enhanced eyes of the charging marines, now only metres away. The three snipers drew their stun batons but were swiftly felled as a rain of inactive power fists and thunder hammers connected with their lightweight armour.
Sergeant Ouriel swung the long barrel of his autocannon around, drawing a bead on the killers of Harmas' team when the whine of his squadmates jetpacks abruptly cut out. They dropped to the deck with their backs to a rusted out fuel tower as Assault Cannon shells stitched a line of dummy rounds into the crumbling metal. "Crow's luck," he muttered, cutting his hoverjet and joining them. The chattering of the smaller calibre sponson Heavy Bolters and pintle Storm Bolter seemed to come from all directions as the Predator's other weapons systems came to bear.
The Chaplain and Ancient drew a heavy toll from the Infiltrators as 4th Squad drew batons to meet the charge, moving onto the upper level away from the objective. Two marines, then a third and fourth hit the deck limp as their armour servos cut out in response to the crack-zap of the low-power Crozius and Encarmine Sword. "In two, false flight, six metres!" called Abraxas as his armour-clad finger squeezed the scrimshawed trigger of the ancient boltgun. "Re-address in three beats!"
In the briefing pit, Captain Areche looked across the holodisplay at his brother Captain through the tops of his eyes. "Popped from the techpriests' wombs a little early, perhaps." The blond tresses of other transhuman shook gently as he chuckled.
"You are too hard on them, Aol. Mine have only scored a single victory point, and our esteemed Chaplain has already abandoned the objective in his zeal."
"This is true. A technical victory is still a victory..."
"..if there are enough still standing to claim it," said Captain Raphaen, a mischievous grin splitting his noble, scar-free face.
Brother Knyx grabbed the hot barrel of his squadmate's autocannon and pulled it forward, aligning it with his own under the lip of the platform. The fusillade of shells had not let up, and the iron wall was beginning to disintegrate. But beneath it, the Suppressors had an angle on the Sanguinary Guard. With a nod from their sergeant, Knyx and Richram tightened their grips on the firing handles and let loose a hail of fire. Stun rounds finally hit home, knocking one of the shining warriors to the dust from mid-flight. Richram barked out a single, impulsive laugh, and his sergeant cuffed him with an armour-clad elbow. "Idiot. Keep shooting and maybe I won't tell the Lieutenant you squawked the vox."
Sergeant Setheus' tightly-drilled Infiltrators fared even better. As one, they bounded backwards as if driven back by the recoil of their coughing carbines. The sheer weight of concussive impacts began to lock and fuze the armour joints of the onrushing Angels, the hypervelocity shells of the Raven Guard's treasured weapon impacting like mailed fists among a hail of regular bolts. "Turn to six," said Setheus to the squad, his hand on his Lieutenant's pauldron. "Brace!" The seven remaining marines wheeled clockwise and levelled their carbines, none looking back as the frozen armour of the Chaplain and his bodyguard thunked heavily into the cracked earth.
Captain Areche's scar-lashed face creased into a grin. "One for the warlord. But I don't think they can hold."
"I think you're right this time," said Raphaen. "Not many left, I'm afraid."
"At least it's an honour to be crushed by the legendary Angels, eh?"
The Predator's cannons fell silent, which meant the Sanguinary Guard were probably already on them. Richram and Knyx hauled on their cannons, sending rust fragments flying as they tried to bring their guns to bear, but it was too late. Ouriel roared as he swung back his cannon, then threw it forward like a ram, striking a glancing blow against an impassive, benevolent mask. But he was already flanked by two, three others, striking him in the kidneys with their stun swords and driving him to his knees. The one he'd knocked knelt too, bringing his helmet to Ouriel's level. "I'd ask you to buff it out if I thought you'd do a decent job, Ouriel." Ouriel swore he could hear the Angel smiling.
Abraxas flipped through optical filters, trying to draw a bead on the black shapes looming towards them through a cloud of dust. His helmet acquired a lock and he had begun to squeeze the trigger when a storm of rounds lashed his armour and spun him to the ground. In his peripheral vision he saw the remnants of 4th Squad raked with shells and collapsing in a series of sable heaps. All he could think about was how many individual pieces of sanctified armour plate made up the panoply of his patrol, and how long it would take to chisel and reforge each one when the captain assigned him disciplinary detail.
Wow, what a learning experience. A patrol-sized table is very, very small when your opponent's combat troops move 12" a turn. My Eliminators never fired a shot, and my Suppressors failed the bulk of their hit and wound rolls. I can't believe I piled in and stepped off an objective, but there were still two turns left after tabling me for the Angels to pick up plenty of VPs.
I had really been thinking my Infiltrators would want to deploy up the board, but they were 9" from the enemy deployment zone so their Omni-scramblers couldn't protect them from a regular old jump pack move and charge. Their carbines do work, even against vehicles, but the RG CT, Smoke Grenades, cover, all protect against shooting and not assaults. Maybe against Tau or Guard I could deploy them aggressively to take board control, but against combat armies I feel like you have no choice but to turtle up in your deployment zone and try to get as many rounds of shooting as possible before they hit. The 12" deep strike denial is great and all, but for 220pts (before 9th ed adjustments!) it seems like a ton for a unit that won't be in range of shooting anything until the second or third turn at best. I'd be better off running three basic squads of Scouts at 165pts to get the same denial zone in deployment and five more bolters in the deal.
I should've listened to whoever told me they deploy their Suppressors into reserves. It would've been huge to have them come down on an objective in the enemy DZ once they'd already moved all their forces a foot or more towards me, and they wouldn't have gotten cornered between DC and Sang Guard with no escape route. They really just seem like a weird unit with a 12" move they don't want to use since it makes their 6 shots hit on 4s. I'd rather pay less points and just get an emplacement.
LieuTenebris was great as long as he's far out of combat; it's easy to forget he has a 36" range and basically no CC weapon to speak of against power armour. And boy was it sad not to fire a shot with my Eliminators. The Instigator Carbine really took a hit with Overwatch costing a CP but it's way more useful than I had expected given the small tables and fast-moving assaulters.
If I could do it all again, I would've castled up, made my DZ a deep-strike free zone and ensured sure my LT's aura touched every marine. I was too thin on the ground to hold more than a single flank. To be fair, I think the list he played was basically my worst nightmare for a 500pt game, the table size, 3d6 charge out of deep strike and the power of these close combat BA units is just insane at a low points value. I really wonder if there's a Patrol list out there for RG that compensates for the weaknesses of a mid-tier gunline. Maybe a lot of Vanguard Veterans?
In any case, it was fun to get them (fake) blooded and it'll really make me re-evaluate my plans for expansion. I think I need a lot more bodies and a lot tougher armour if I'm going to hack it against BA without my own firstborn units.
Edited by Alcyon, 21 July 2020 - 06:16 PM.