Hi all, I thought I'd post a writeup of the Crusade game I played yesterday. As noted in the title, it's a text-based batrep as we didn't think to take pictures, but I do have an army shot that I took after the fact (spoilered for mobile convenience).
We played Combat Patrol, so fairly small armies.
The Khansu Reawoken:
Disgraced Prince Rakzan, with the Immortal Pride Warlord Trait and the Guantlet of the Conflagrator relic (model doesnt have a resorb or warscythe so no good relics, and ive always wanted an excuse to try the conflagrator)
Coldhowl, a technomancer with no upgrades at all. will probably change that as time goes on and i figure out how crusade works more
Coldhowl's Boys, my converted squad of skitarii warriors
The Red Butchers, a squad of 5 flayer immortals armed with gauss blasters
Serasona's Bouncers, a pair of cryptothralls
Serasona's Swarm, a trio of scarabs that will be expanded later
the Night Lords:
chaos terminator lord with axe and combibolter, the night lords precognitive WL trait, and a net that gives -1 Attack, to a minimum of 1
warp talons with lightning claws
raptors with...something. I shot them off the board before they were relevant, and I only remembered the WT's loadout because they were particularly scary
a squad of 5 CSM with a missile launcher
a squad of 5 CSM with a plasma gun and a power maul
Night Lords won the first roll-off, and chose to be the defender. This gave him a larger deployment zone, and the first deployment choice, as well as Combat Restoratives for a 6+ FNP and IWND. He deploys his lord in the center of his deployment zone as he is required to do, and then deploys his close-combat squads fairly aggressively. The CSM with the missile launcher hangs out in a forest at the back of the table, and the CSM with the plasma gun acts as a sort of bodyguard.
I deploy my scarabs behind the bastion thats roughly in the center of the table, and deploy my infantry and characters fairly aggressively. As the attacker, I get to choose who goes first, and I have to wipe out those melee squads before they can touch me, or I'm dead, no ifs ands or buts. Lightning claws will shred everything I have.
First Battle Round:
I have chosen Reaper as my agenda, since I figure I might get lucky and get one unit with two unit kills, or spread the kills fairly evenly over my squads and thereby get to choose who gets it.
I reveal my first command protocol. It's Vengeful Stars, and as much as people like to dunk on them, I think this one is honestly one of the most important ones you can choose, especially if you have first turn. I'm playing a Mephrit Dynasty vassal, rules-wise (lorewise we're a vassal of my Naculan, who have some different codes but I do like the Mephrit code and the Naculan have used it in the past).
I annihilate both squads of jump troops. My immortals are shooting at -3 AP, or -4 if they're getting sixes, and gauss flayers are actually pretty decent marine killers at -2 AP as well. My cryptek steals my immortals' thunder by sniping the last raptor, so he gets himself a tidy ranged kill. My scarabs hide behind the bastion, whereupon my opponent forgets they're there.
On his turn, he moves up and starts shooting. Bolter and missile fire kills the immortals, plus a little help from demon shell from the chaos lord. (I roll really poorly on my defensive rolls this game, I think I made like 4 total saves? And I don't think I passed a single reanimation roll), and overcharged plasma gun fire blows up my crytpothralls--which at least had the added benefit of attracting the bolter fire from my warriors, as he didnt declare split-fire beforehand.
Melee is joined quickly. I overwatch with my warriors, killing a CSM, and his lord rolls a 6 on a 10-inch charge before rerolling it with his precognition trait and spiking boxcars to charge in like a freight train. I decide to pile in with my overlord for several reasons, one of which being him telling me that he has a strat to prevent me from falling back, so there is no chance of me pulling my warriors back and then blowing him to hell with a tachyon arrow. Melee knocks Rakzan down to a single wound, but his invul save holds on at the last second. Three warriors fall to the CSM. I swing back, and the bayonets down another CSM, while Rakzan drops the hammer glaive on the chaos lord, knocking away half his wounds with two swift swings.
I actually fail a morale test for the first time in quite a long time, as Night Lords have some nasty modifiers, and the Immortal Pride WLT doesn't do exactly what I thought it did, but I only lost one model to it.
Battle Round Two:
My turn rolls around again. I'm now in the protocol of the hungry void--the melee protocol, for all the good it will do me. My scarabs dart over the bastion, and position themselves for a flanking charge. Coldhowl lobs a few shots from his 'staff of light' towards the CSM in the back forest, but I'm not ignoring cover anymore and they fail to wound. Raksan triggers his gauntlet, but fails to roll any mortal wounds. Now it's charging time! The scarabs dive in on top of my target. I spend a CP to try and detonate one of the bases, and roll a 4 on the D6 the strat requires me to roll. Ok, so they get to blow up. I roll a D3 to see how many mortal wounds I deal to him.
The chaos lord dies in a shower of shrapnel and sacrificial scarabs, as he is unable to pass any of his restoratives rolls. And that right there is game! Slay the Warlord is worth 40 VP, and I got 10 VP for wounding him the previous battle round. He got 10 VP for killing a unit with his WL (the immortals he gunned down with daemon shell), and we both get 10 apiece for having painted armies, but the way the mission is scored makes it almost impossible for the defender to win unless he keeps his WL alive. We play out the rest of the battle round but the only thing left on the table for him at the end is the missile squad, who tries to knock my cryptek down, but I spike a 6 on his armor save and barely keep him alive to save him from an Out of Action Check.
Post-Game: There is much apologizing for wiping a third of his army off the table in one turn, and disbelief at a scarab's blowing up actually doing something useful instead of being marginally better than their melee attack. Rakzan is marked for greatness, which in combination with battle experience and agenda experience (he slew the remaining two CSM locked in combat with me) gives him a battle honor! I opt to give him the +1 Damage melee weapon trait, making his glaive 1D3+1 damage. The Immortals (name subject to change) receive the 'veteran warriors' Battle Honor from the mission reward, giving them native to-hit rerolls of one. All OOA checks are passed with aplomb on my end--the CSM bolter/plasma squad fails theirs, and he opts for a loss of XP, bringing them back down to 0.
All in all, I had a lot of fun. My crusade roster also includes a blob of 20 warriors and a royal warden, but I prepped for an objective game rather than a 'kill everything' game and somehow lucked into an opponent with MSU, which allowed me to practice defeat-in-detail. My opponent remarked that he'd forgotten that the scarabs existed, and that I outmaneuvered him with them, so I'm rather pleased with that.
Let this be the first of many victories in the Khansu's quest to regain their former glory!