Vorth Mordrak gazed upon the ruined settlement of the imperial outpost. A few days ago, this would have been a thriving hub of activity as servants of the God-Emperor would have be going about the day to day lives, giving praise to the Master of Mankind. That was before the coming of the storm. Before this world would feel the touch of the dark gods. Now, not a single soul dwelled in what was once known as Athena’s Hope. The Neverborn had seen to that.
The foul creatures had killed every man, woman and child, preparing for their master’s arrival. That would not come to pass. Mordrak would see to that. Beside him, he could feel the ethereal forms of his long dead brethren yearning to purge the foul servants of the Plague God from this planet. Soon they would have their wish. He knew he was outnumbered by the foul warp spawns, but that did not matter. He would purge Athena’s Hope of their blight, or fall trying. Gripping his Thunder Hammer in his mailed fist, he prepared himself for the battle to come.
Welcome one and all to Arena of War, the first in our series of Warhammer 40,000 Combat Patrol Battle Reports here at Master of Magics. In todays article, we see the forces of the Plague God Nurgle, face off against the Ghost Knights of Mortain lead by Vorth Mordrak. Can the Grey Knight over come the diseased servant of Nurgle? Or will Athena’s Hope be the staging ground of a mighty daemonic incursion?
Todays battle will be the Eternal War Mission- Outriders from the core rulebook. It will be a 500 point battle featuring the Grey Knights lead by Vorth Mordrak, against a pure Nurgle Daemon force lead by a Poxbringer Herald (who I’ve been informed in a past life was called Steve). So, before we get to the action, lets have a look at the armies and their objectives and see just how both forces are hoping to claim victory.
Grand Master Vorth Mordrak (Voldus): Warlord, Warlord Trait: Lore Master.
Psychic Powers: Armoured Resilience, Empyrean Domination, Ethereal Manipulation, Warlord, Warp Shaping.
Justicar: Storm bolter and Nemesis Force Sword.
2x Terminators: Nemesis Force Halberd and Storm Bolter.
2x Terminators: Nemesis Force Sword and Storm Bolter.
Psychic Powers: Astral Aim.
Paragon: Storm Bolter and Nemesis Force Halberd.
2x Paladins: Nemesis Force Halberd and Storm Bolter.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand.
The Grey Knights will be going big, with an entire Terminator force lead by Grand Master Vorth Mordrak (using Voldus’ rules as a stand in). with only 500 points to spend, we are only able to squeeze in a minimum squad of Terminators, and three Paladins. Still, this small force packs a heck of a punch, and will be hoping to steam role the opposition in short order. For secondary objective they will be running Thin their Ranks, Line Breaker and Psychic Ritual in the hopes of gaining as main VP on secondary’s as possible.
Poxbringer: Warlord, Warlord Trait: Impenetrable Hide. Relic: Corruption.
Psychic Powers: Shrivelling Pox
4x Nurgling Swarms
Plaguebearers: Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos, Plagueridden
The Daemons of Nurgle are bringing a whole swarm of diseased minions to hold up the servants of the false emperor. The plan is simple. Tie-up the Grey Knights in combat with a massive blob of Plaguebearers while racking up objective point. To help maximise on this, they are going for the secondary objective of Survey, Raise the Banner High, and of course Abhor the Witch.
* Edit; We realised after the game the Daemons couldn’t take Abhor the Witch secondary, but we decided that rule of cool was more important and let it slide.
Both forces are set up as close to one another as possible. the Grey Knights are hoping to smash through the Nurgle line as quickly as possible and make their way to the opponent’s objective to start racking up VP. The Daemons on the other hand are trying to hold as many objectives as possible and hold up the advancing Terminators with their Plaguebearers. The Nurglings will most likely be doing very little in the actual battle, instead claiming primary points all game while holding objective one.
With both forces ready, we roll to see which army gets the first turn. Winning the roll, the Daemons of Nurgle elect to go first.
The Daemon had a pretty uneventful turn one, advancing most of their force towards objective four (sadly not getting too far thanks to some poor advancement rolls). The Poxbringer stayed back to raise a banner on objective one, gazing on to see if his Plaguebearers could withstand the onslaught from the warrior of Titan.
Starting in the Tide of Escalation, the Grey Knights moved their Terminators and Mordrak towards the centre of the battlefield, while the Paladins moved towards objective three to head off the Plaguebearers. In the Psychic Phase the resilience of the Plaguebears was indeed disgusting, as only one fell to smiting. Mordrak then switched to the Tide of Convergence, which the Poxbringer failed to stop, before casting Ethereal Manipulation the Terminators.
Moving onto the Shooting Phase the Grey Knights spent 2 command points on Psybolt Ammunition and let rip at the horde of Neverborn heading towards them. When the dust had settled, nine of the Daemons had been torn apart by the super charged bolt fire. Mordrak and the Paladins added three more to this total, thinning the ranks of the Plaguebearers even more.
In the Charge Phase, the Terminators used a CP to get into combat with the Plaguebearers, and the Paladin were able to join them with a lucky charge roll. In combat the Paladins managed to pull down six more Plauguebearers, while their terminator brethren add another eight to the tally. The Daemons retaliated but fail to inflict any wounds on the Terminators.
As we moved on the the Morale Phase we all held our breath. If the Plaguebearers failed their moral test and fled the battle, they would not even be allowed to use Daemonic Incursion to return to the fray. So, we rolled. 2 and 5 (two dice for Bilepiper aura effect). They had failed, and as a result of Bilepiper effect, both remaining Daemons were removed from the battle, never to return. Overall, a devastating turn for the Daemons.
End of Turn VP:
Grey Knights; 0
Having lost most of their army in a single turn, the Daemons were in a bad spot. Luckily, they were about to start racking up VP, but we weren’t sure they could hold up an entire army now they had lost their mob Plaguebearers. After scoring the maximum number of VP’s, both the Herald and the Bilepiper moved towards to Paladins in the hopes of thinning their numbers.
After the Poxbringers Smite was denyed by the Paladins, both declared a charge and went to see what could be done about these elite warriors. The Bilepiper managed to wound the Palaidns, but they past the subsequent save throw. The Poxbringer though struck down two of the Paladins thanks to his Corruption relic (no even a Command Reroll be able to stop the damage). In retaliation the Paragon was able to take the Warlord down to one wound (turns out neither side had much luck with their Command Reroll). After passing their morale test, it was the Grey Knights turn to strike.
The Paragon remanded in combat, while the Terminators and Mordrak moved into better positions. In the Psychic Phase, the Paragon smited the Poxbringer, who used Daemonic Incursion to return to the battlefield next turn. Mordrak then start his Psychic Ritual, while the Terminators cast Astra Aim on themselves, before causing seven wounds on the Nurglings holding objective one.
The Terminators then charged Sloppity Bilepiper, who in a marvellous display of save throws, was able to survive the onslaught on two wounds. What’s more, they were able to score a wound back on their assailants. After passing their morale test for the Nurglings. The Daemons got ready for turn three.
End of Turn VP:
Grey Knights; 0
At the start of the turn, the Daemons were given a choice. Play smart and place the Poxbringer on objective four to score some points next turn, or play fun and try and go for the remaining Paladin. They decided to go for a bit of both, placing the Warlord close enough to claim the objective, while been close enough threaten the lone Paladin with a charge.
In the Psychic Phase the Poxbringer rolled an impressive eleven for it’s smite, only to be denied by a staggering thirteen by Mordrak himself (rolled double 6 +1). Infuriated, the Daemon rolled a for its charge and managed to make it into combat with the Paragon. In the insuring combat, the warlord only managed to score a single wound, suffering two back in kind. The Terminators managed to rip the Sloppity Bilepiper to pieces (but only just mind you) and made ready for their turn.
Seeking to start adding some point to the scoreboard, the Terminators moved onto the opposing objective (tearing down the befouled banner as the did so) while the Paragon fell back into the opponent’s deployment zone. The Terminators cast smite on the Poxbringer to bring it down to one wound, before the demonic Warlord used its last CP to deny Mordraks ritual attempt. In response, Mordrak tore the neverborn leader to shreds with his storm bolter.
The Terminators couldn’t see the Nurglings thanks to cover, but the Grey Knights were now starting to seize control of the battlefield.
End of Turn VP:
Grey Knights; 4
Seeking to remain out of sight and out of mind, the Nurglings held their ground and score their side an addition five victory points. Meanwhile the Hammers of titan moved up in order to remove the daemonic threat once and for all.
Mordrak continued with his ritual, while the Terminators channelled the warp to guide their fire upon the Nurglings. After removing another base of the minor Daemons, we rolled to see if they could make the charge. Unfortunately for the Nurglings, they were able to make it into combat and made short work of the diminutive Daemons.
End of Turn VP:
Grey Knights; 9
With no opposition, Mordrak was able to complete his ritual, while his ghostly followers were able to claim more VP’s. All that was left was to total up the scores and see if the Grey Knights had done enough to save Athena’s Hope.
End of Turn VP:
Grey Knights; 52 (including +10 Battle Ready)
Daemons; 42 (including +10 Battle Ready)
Grey Knight Victory.
Mordrak looked upon the field of war as the neverborn corpses began to fade away back from whence they came. Victory was theirs, and from the vox chatter coming through his armour it appeared the rest of his brotherhood was fair much the same. Once the blessing of purity had been performed, this world would be repopulated, and all evidence of this battle would be erased. No one would know that Mordrak and the other Grey Knights had once stepped foot upon this world, or the horrors they had fought. That was for the best. It was up to Mordrak and his brother to shoulder that burden. One that they accepted willingly.
Well, that was one a heck of a battle. I’ll be honest with you all, we really thought the Grey Knight were going to lose this one. That blob of Plaguebearers looked like it would be more than enough to hold up the Terminators, while the other Daemons held on to most of the objectives in order to rack up a ton of Victory Points. But that opening turn from the warriors of Titan was something else, and just goes to show how brutal Terminators (and Paladins) can be.
If the Plaguebearers hadn’t failed their morale, or had been completely wiped out by the Grey Knight assault then I think we would have had a very different outcome. Daemonic Incursion would have been able to bring the Plaguebearer’s back to either continue holding up the Grey Knights, or claim another objective. Alas, it was not meant to be, and this day belonged to the forces of the Imperium.
If we were to repeat this battle again, I think we would go for a different Grey Knight build and run more power armoured troops. Terminators are great fun, but in small objective based games like Combat Patrol, I think been able to cover more ground and get more boots on the battlefield is far more important than hitting power. As for the Daemons? Maybe dropping a few Plaguebearers for an additional unit of Nurglings would have been a better choice. Or even dropping both heralds for a Daemon Prince. But hey, that’s what rematches are for.
And their we having it, our first of in a hopefully long running series of Combat Patrol battle reports we will be having on the site. At the moment due to Covid restrictions, the games we are able to bring you will be internal affairs (with family members playing the different armies). But as we hopefully head towards the end of the pandemic, we are hoping to get more people into this series of games to give you some fun and interesting battles across the different warzones of the Warhammer 40k universe. I’m even hoping to bring in some guests to battle against, so fingers crossed for that in the future.
We hope you have enjoyed todays article. What other armies would you like to see battle it out in the arena? would you like t see some larger games? Let us know what you thoughts about this battle report in the comments below, or contact me via twitter @MTGTengu directly. If you have enjoyed todays article, please like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics. You want to support the site directly, you can join our Patreon for as little as a $1 a month. Until next time though remember, “For the Emperor.”