Thursday, 26 January 2017

Rebellionfest - Genestealer Cult Vs The Alpha Legion

A Disturbance In The Force

Welcome! Today I'm writing up a 40K battle report, first game in about 4 years I reckon. There are a few reasons for this, I was recently very much in an Inquisimunda, Bloodbowl, Kings Of War place and generally not in a 40K one. Also most of the members in my gaming group are in less of a 40K place. I had recently had a moment of weakness and bought the Genestealer codex and had a hankering to consign an Imperial planet or two to almost certain Tyranid destruction by means of rebelling again the authorities and setting up a big psychic beacon that says 'Get It Here!' in Tyranidese.

So my opponent for the game is Phil, 40K and Warmahordes aficionado. I told him I was going to play 'stealers and he decided that the Alpha Legion, with their sneaky tricks and enhanced reserves rules the game would probably have a lot of units returning to the table a fair bit. One of the cool rules for Phil's Alpha Legion army is any Cultist units destroyed get put into reserves on a 4+. Or as Phil says "nobody out revolts the Alpha Legion!".

Phil had the terrain set up in a nice manner with all sorts of wrecked vehicles, spacecraft and other Imperial architecture. We roll for table deployment etc and we were to play using the narrow sides for deployment. It was the first time I had played this in a non fantasy setting so it would be a learning game for me.

The game was 1850 points. My force consisted of a Patriarch, Primus, 2 units of 8 stealers, 20 Hybrid Accolytes in one big stupid unit, 5 units of Neophytes 3 Leman Russ and 2 Chimera. Phil took, Terminator lord with his bodyguard of 5 terminators, a heavy weapons squad, tactical chaos squad in a rhino 9that's if they call themselves that) another squad of infiltrators, a squad of chosen, 2 Dreads a Maulerfiend and I think 3 squads of cultists (it seemed like a lot more).

Some Sort Of Plot, I Suppose

The Genestealer Codex is chock full of fluff explaining why they get into scraps with other armies before the blessed Star Children (Tyranids) appear and put them into biological liquidisers. Well in this case, Patriach Gobbidech, unofficial underground ruler of Trotskigrad is minding his own business waiting for the Tyranids to arrive when another group of anti-establishment types start burning down the Governors Palace and generally drawing attention to the planet. The rebels are Alpha Legion sponsored cultists intent on an unpleasant fate for the good people of Trotskigrad involving rusty hooks and faeces. Gobbidech is not at all happy about this as the fate he has in store for the good people of Trotskigrad, if not any less unpleasant, it certainly involves less faeces. With this in mind he mobilises the brothers and heads towards the main concentration of Chaos Worshippers. A battle is born.

Phil set up first and therefore gets first turn unless I can steal initiative SPOILER ALERT -I can't. He sets up with his Terminators with the Chaos Lord surrounded by sycophantic Dreads, a Maulerfiend, Traitor Marines and cultists. I set up with a strong left (all my tanks) and a weak right (Neophytes). I won the roll off for infiltrating. Both units of Purestrains get decent Cult Ambush rolls and the large 20 strong unit of Hybrid accolytes are held in reserve hopefully to get a fun roll from turn 2. One of Phil's infiltrating units got to the bottom of a lovely Georgian three storey tower that has been a popular tourist attraction at Phil's place for years. I made it.

Two units of Neophyte Hybrids advance through the battlefield debris hoping to get kicking the arse of Bishop Brennan - the Alpha Legion's Dark Apostle.

A slightly skewed view of the Chaos forces, featuring a unit of cultist, Chosen, Rhino with more CSMs, a Dreadnaught standing on an overturned Chimera and some more cultists.

There's gold in that there pen! An objective marker is placed inside the terribly well constructed zombie/livestock/criminal holding area. Also a veritable traffic jam of stolen Imperial vehicles rumble along to cause mayhem and slaughter upon the rebels rebelling against these rebels. 

The Alpha Legion deployment, my Patriarch and his Purestrain homeys sneak onto the battlefield at the back giving Phil the tactical quandary of whether to cover his tradesman's entrance or ignore the critters at his backdoor. This was very nearly a fatal mistake on my part.

Phil has a rather nifty Skyshield Landing Pad, one of my favourite pieces of 40K terrain. Once my mortgage is paid off, I may well purchase one of these babies. Also as this is a deployment picture you can see two units of cultists with Bishop Brennan with them, a Maulerfiend that looks just like the K'Dai Destroyer from THIS battle report (long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away).

Turn One

The first thing I did was to fail to seize the initiative, so it was back to Phil. His Terminator Lord had a 3D6" teleporty device that he had told me about, but I'd failed to heed so he teleported his Terminators back to my Patriarch to have a game of Who's the Harder Warlord. The rest of Phil's army moved forward, I don't remember shooting doing much. Close combat was brutal. The Terminators charged in. Four out of the five Terminators were killed by rending stealers. The Warlord challenged (he has to, he's chaos) and my Patriarch caused three wounds on him. All Phil had to do was save one of these and my general could be getting an ass whuppin', fortunately for me, conversely unfortunately for Phil all were failed and one dead Chaos Warlord. Or so I thought, Alpha Legion have this 'many heads of the hydra' rules which meant the guy who I thought was in charge actually wasn't. It was Bishop Brennan the Dark Apostle. Ah well, at least I showed the Terminators who's boss. Sadly the last Terminator didn't flee/retreat/leg it or whatever the common parlance is for that sort of thing.
Phil's hand of Doom tries to put off my brave Patriarch huddling around his expendable Purestrain pals.

The decisive combat of turn one.

The Chaos advance, totally unbothered by the chewed Chaos Lord in Terminator armour. Note the Chosen skulking round the back of the building on the top left.

In my turn I thought the game was well and truly under control so I thought I'd let two units of Neophytes avail themselves of the Slip into the Shadows and later on the Cult Ambush rules. The units in question were the white coated Delaque models and my Urban Camouflaged Catachan models. The Tank division rumbled forward. Shooting was mainly at the Maulerfiend and CSM heavy weapon squad opposite them. I got one penetrating hit on the Maulerfiend and as luck would have it, immobilising it. No shooting weapons meant I could pretty much ignore it for the rest of the game. My stealer unit by the Skyshield advanced up to get whaling on some cultists. This they did in fine style wiping out the unit. Another sneaky rule of the Alpha Legion is that destroyed cult units go back into reserves on a 4+ which I think these ones did. The remaining terminator met a swift end and I advanced into the ruins, with the intention of charging into the Dreadnaught and giving him a taste of Genestealer fist next turn. 
One sided combat.

The publicity shot for the game I think.

Yes I need to deploy my vehicle way better.

Redemptionists make good Neophytes

As do Orlocks.

The Stealers have are within stinky fetid breath range of the cultists.


The Chosen moved into some ruins, the Rhino with Marines inside advanced, and a third unit of Marines went up towards the objective counter in the tower. Phil must have decided that he didn't want two units of Purestrains rampaging around the back so he set about reducing them. It took a unit of cultists, Bishop Brennan and one of the Dreads to wipe them out 😒 . My Patriarch stealer unit did much better thanks to cover saves. Some heavy weapon fire failed to damage my tanks so I seemed to get away lightly.

The Patriarch advanced towards the Dread (with hindsight ill advisedly), and most of the rest of the army advanced too. The Delaques arrived on the flank to via Cult Ambush and were placed to exact revenge on the cultists who had just killed my stealers. My Patriarch summoned another unit of stealers which arrived about 12" from whence the last unit got et. I think a couple of tower Marines and Heavy weapon marines were lost to multilasers, but as both units were in cover, and Fate hadn't been watching the first turn (and Phil's crappy saves) he decided to get involved with lots of cover saves. In the assault phase my Patriarch and his posse found out just how tough a dread is. I think 2 hull points for several squished stealers. Gobbidech was regretting his bravado.

Turn Three

Some cultists arrived on the same flank as the summoned stealers, probably ones that had previously been killed. Another unit appeared on the same flank behind my Delaque Neophytes. Another intensive bout of shooting killed all but one Delaque, he legged it. In the assault phase the CSMs assaulted my Goliath Neophytes and the Chosen stopped skulking in the ruins and attacked the Orlock squad. The CSM unit on the tower reached the top and had a good view of the battle, with the advantage of a nice cover save. In the actual hitting each other bit, both units of Neophytes gave good accounts of themselves without running away. Gobbidech the Patriarch (with some help) finally done in the Dread. This is one of those hindsight light bulb moments - I will come to that in my next turn.

A large scale scrap erupts.

The Marines get to the top of the tower. Phil's claw can be seen as can three heavy weapon Marines lolling around in cover.

The Redemptionists look on at the scrap, they're mad to get involved but someone says "didn't that Patriarch tell us to stay here and mind this piece of open ground?".

To show his eagerness this particular guy is shadow boxing and kicking in an attempt to put the Chosen off.

Just when you're about to kill some cultists another load of them show up!

Some newly summoned genestealers.

These Alpha Legion get a great view of the carnage below them. Some Leman Russ attention thinned them out a bit later on in the game. 

A unit of cultists appeared on my flank in Phil's turn, probably to scare me into not trying to kill off his dreadnaught (or whatever they are called nowadays). The tankat the top of the picture is battlefield terrain. I think my opponent was showing me just how big a collection of models he has by placing tanks all over the table as cover.
The sensible thing to do with my Patriarch who barely escaped with his life against one dreadnought would be stay the fuck away from the other one! But common sense and wargaming and me rarely all fit together in the same sentence. I advanced towards it! It wasn't just blind stupidity I had some heavy hitting tanks (admitedly in a slow moving convoy) that I thought could take it out, and God bless 'em they tried. They even stunned it. I attempted to Tank Shock the cultists near the flank and advanced the stealers towards the cultists with Bishop Brennan in it, to hopefully get the 'commander killed' VPs. I also summoned some more Stealers that I put on an objective. The combats between my two Neophyte units verses Marines came to its inevitable conclusion. The Stealers wiped out Bishop Brennan and his entourage. I still hadn't killed the warlord as he was the chosen Champion all along! They then go and sit on an objective. 

Turn Four

More cultists arrive, this time behind the Redemptionists guarding an escape route. Now I'm not really that worried as cultists and Neophytes have similar stats but I have a higher initiative which is quite important I think in this game. The remaining Marines on top of the tower decided to shuffle along to the edge where the tanks couldn't see them, very unsporting if you ask me. Also very unsporting was the Dread ignored his stunned result due to rage and belted it over to my now very alarmed Patriarch and his two assistants. Phil's shooting phase was fairly quiet but his assault phase was more exciting. The Dread assaulted the Patriarch  and the cultists round the right flank assaulted the redemptionists. It was a tale of two combats really, the Genestealers were squished and the cultists sort of bounced off the Neophytes.

Some more Alpha Legion cultists arrive to get in the way of my fine upstanding Genestealer Neophytes. Or in old money, Redemptionist gang verses Ungors on round bases. Ghostly shadows of enormous fingers can also be seen.
In my turn some lazy Genestealers arrived on the battlefield. My long lost Hybrid acolytes arrived late for the battle in their own deployment zone! The Aberrants landed on the right flank in a position to assault some cultists hopefully. My Catachan Neophytes also arrived, in my deployment zone to control an objective. My shooting phase takes a hul point off the last Dread (I haven't made any reference to the Maulerfiend as it was immobilised so my army just ignored it, much to the Maulerfiends fury I bet) and got the heavy weapons marines down to one model. The summoned Genestealers in my deployment advance towards the marines in the centre. In the assault phase the cultists and neophytes keep battering away at each other.

The Primus (looking for all intents and purposes as an old metal Patriarch) finally deigns to join the battle on his own table edge. The foolish placement of the unit further makes their impact in the game negligible. 

My currently albino aberrants make a late appearance. The battlefield is getting littered with strange six sided cubes with indentations on them, Imperial Astromagi have postulated that these cubes have a direct correlation with the numbers of casualties during battles, it is thought that the greater number of indentations on the cubes that are witnessed face up, the greater the carnage on the battlefield. As yet, research has not yet shown why this is.

An arsekicking for someone!

More summoned Stealers! My cup runneth over!

My Neophytes were proving to be pretty decent against standard Marines.

A big raging Dread finally murders Gobbidech!

Turn Five

With fewer models on the board this turn was pretty quick. Phil wasn't in a position to assault and what shooting he did do wasn't hugely effective due to cover saves. The cultists and neophytes kept on fighting. 

The large ungainly unit of Hybrids got into objective range. I failed to finish off the CSM unit next to the Chosen with a lot of guns. The last heavy weapon marine finally failed a cover save! In my turn I charged the Abberants into the ruins containing cultists and purestrains into the Chosen. The Aberrants kicked the cultista out of the ruins and due to some badly planned charging (through cover) my purestrains got wiped out. By this time it was pretty late so the game ended. Phil did the totting up and it was something like 11- 5 to me, so a win for the aliens.
One of my summoned Genestealer units gets wiped out to a alien due to me charging through cover at the Chosen. The Neophytes battling ordinary Chaos Marines are also killed. The Aberrants nip in and steal an objective.

The final battlefield image is of the Chaos Dreadnaught lying in an unseen cloud of smoke, shot down like a dog while my summoned unit of stealers grab the objective. The Imperial vehicle, a Griffon I beleive is there for decorative purposes. 


Well that was a fun game, probably could've shaved half an hour off if I didn't keep asking Phil questions. I think that was a game Phil probably should have won but for some appalling dice on his part. losing the chaos lord in the first turn and me immobilising his maulerfiend was pivotal. My Patriarch deployment was actually terrible and should have cost me badly, as it was he made up his points and summoned two units of stealers so probably gets MVP. My tanks were also poorly deployed - should have spread them out a bit more, but I suppose having stealers round the back made Phil's Dreads advance less than he normally would've. Another thing was the size of the Hybrid unit, instead of 1 unit of 20, 4 units of 5 would be more flexible and probably would have had an effect on the game. So all that's left is for me to thank Phil for a very enjoyable game, and look forward to the rematch.

Thanks for reading. 

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