Friday, January 6, 2012

Executioners Test Games

Over the Christmas holiday, my brother was able to make it down for a visit but wasn’t able to bring his Space Wolves. Not to be denied, we decided that he could play my Blood Angels and I would command the Executioners as they currently stand. Given the small size of the Executioners army so far and my brother’s unfamiliarity with Blood Angels, we decided to stick to 1,000 points. We played two games, and he used the same list in both.

Blood Angels 1,000 points

Reclusiarch w/ jump pack

2 Sanguinary Priests w/ jump packs

8 Assault Marines w/ meltagun, power fist

7 Assault Marines w/ meltaguns, power weapon

10 Tactical Marines w/ power weapon, meltaguns, multi-melta, Rhino

5 Devastators w/ 3 missile launchers, plasma cannon

Game 1

Executioners 1,000 points

Tytos Solomon (Pedro Kantor)

10 Tactical Marines w/ power fist, combi-melta, meltagun, multi-melta, Rhino

5 Scouts w/ sniper rifles, missile launcher, camo cloaks

6 Sternguard w/ 2 heavy flamers, 2 combi-meltas, power fist, Rhino

2 x Predators w/ autocannon, lascannon sponsons

We played Spearhead, Annihilation. He deployed the Devastators and Tactical Marines in their Rhino in cover in ruins, and held the Assault squads and characters for deep strike. I deployed everything behind a forest (the first use of my magnetized area terrain) and a large building that blocked line of sight, except for my Scouts who deployed in a ruin near his Devastators.

I won’t go through turn by turn, but the battle essentially went like this. I split my army to go around the building, with the Rhinos and one Predator going left and the other Predator going right. My Scout kept shooting at his Devastators but not killing any. My Predator on the right destroyed his Rhino, but his Devastators were able to keep the one on the left suppressed. His Assault squads dropped in and destroyed my Predators. My Sternguard, along with Solomon, and Tactical Marines jumped out of their Rhinos and rapid-fired into the nearest Assault squad. I killed a few but the squad was led by the Reclusiarch and still dangerous. He assaulted the Sternguard, the Reclusiarch killed Solomon immediately with some excellent rolling, and the rest of the squad wiped out the Sternguard. I assaulted into them with the Tactical Marines, who did as well in combat as one would expect them to do against Blood Angels Assault Marines, and the other Assault squad came over and helped finish them off. This left me with my Scouts, where he had only lost his Rhino.

Game 2

Executioners 1,000 points Take 2

Tytos Solomon (Pedro Kantor)

10 Tactical Marines w/ power fist, combi-melta, meltagun, multi-melta, Rhino

5 Tactical Marines w/ power fist, combi-melta, Razorback w/ Heavy Bolters

6 Sternguard w/ 2 heavy flamers, 2 combi-meltas, power fist, Rhino

2 x Predators w/ autocannon, heavy bolter sponsons

Essentially, I replaced the Scouts with 5 Tacticals in a Razorback and switched the Predator sponsons to heavy bolters to pay for it.

Game 2 was Dawn of War, Seize Ground. He deployed his Tactical Marines in some central ruins and moved his Devastators on to join them while his Assault marines stayed in reserve to deep strike. I drove everything on, with the Predators in cover at the center and my transports just to the left. I kept everything much more clustered this time.

Shooting was pretty minimal because of night fight, and then his Assault squads dropped in on my right and destroyed my left-most Predator. I withdrew my Predator to the left and set up my squad to counter his assault. His Assault squads jumped past the wreckage of my Predator and destroyed my second Predator and Razorback. In response, both my Tactical squads opened fire on the Assault squad with Reclusiarch and the Sternguard opened fire on the other Assault squad. The Sternguard and small Tactical squad were careful not to rapid fire so that they could charge in. Between shooting and assault, the Sternguard wiped out their Assault squad. The small Tactical squad only killed a few Assault marines and failed to kill the Reclusiarch with their power fist, but they only lost 2 marines. In his turn, his Devastators and Tactical squad opened fire on my large Tactical squad and killed quite a few (blasted plasma cannon). In assault, I lost 2 more Tactical marines but the sergeant held. In my turn, the Sternguard  and Tactical squad charged in. In the next two assault phases, they wiped out the remaining Assault marines and Reclusiarch, but my Tactical Sergeant from the small squad was killed. The Sternguard and remaining two Tactical Marines jumped into their Rhinos and moved to hold two objectives compared to my brother’s one. That was turn 5, and my brother’s Devastators managed to destroy the Tactical squad’s Rhino and kill the last two marines by the time the game ended on turn 7. This left the game as a tie, one objective each.

Lessons Learned

1) I keep reading about this bubble wrapping thing that shooty armies need to do to protect themselves from armies like Blood Angels. I really need to learn to/remember to do that.

2) From playing the Blood Angels, I know that they falter if denied the charge. In the first game, I was too excited to shoot with all my special weapons and specialist ammo, and I let them charge me rather than charging them. That was horrible. Stealing the charge from them was the difference between being wiped out and wiping them out.

3) Tytos Solomon (aka Pedro Kantor) is a support character, pure and simple. At the end of the day, he hits just as hard as any Sergeant with a power fist within his aura. It’s certainly useful but he won’t stand up to real combat speacialists (like a charging Reclusiarch). To make matters worse, the rest of my army loses a tremendous amount of hitting power if he dies. Therefore, my goal has to be to keep him safe and just use him to slaughter normal squad members rather than go up against assault specialists.

4) I like the Predators, mostly for their survivability. They just shrug off missile hits on their front armor. However, they’re very static. The lascannons sponsons are great for anti-armor but are expensive, while the heavy bolter sponsons are cheap and are great for attritioning down enemy infantry (I expect that they would have been able to deal with the Devastators over a couple turns, but night fight and deep striking meltaguns prevented this). To this end, I think I’ll be taking a Predator with heavy bolter sponsons and a Rifleman Dreadnought in my 1,000 point list. In larger sizes, I’ll add more Predators. This gives me the ability to destroy light vehicles while maintaining lots of shots. In addition, the Dreadnought gives me some mobility while shooting as well as a combat tarpit.

5) Scouts won’t work as my second Troops choice. They’re survivable objectives holders, but they don’t kill much and they really don’t put pressure on the enemy. I need more power armored bodies first, before I take Scouts. Even a 5 strong Tactical squad is much more useful, and brings an extra vehicle.

6) Even though Solomon has a special rule pertaining to Sternguard, he’s a poor choice to join them. He needs to charge into combat, and a Tactical Sergeant with a power fist hits just as hard as a Sternguard Sergeant. The Sternguard should be staying out of combat to keep shooting, and Solomon should be charging in with another squad. Tacticals are a good choice here, since they bring the same number of power fist attacks and have more bodies for fewer points. It’ll be a little tough to work with since I can’t put Solomon in a Rhino with a full Tactical squad, but he could join the 5 strong squad in the Razorback. In bigger games, perhaps a Command squad or Vanguard squad would be good, fairly cheap support for him, up to Assault Terminators and Honor Guard in really large games.

7) This is an odd one, since it’s a lesson my opponent learned. After seeing how all of the Tactical squads and Scout squad worked on the table, my brother said he really appreciated how strong and efficient his Grey Hunters and Wolf Scouts are. It took using another army to show him that.


  1. If I might be so bold as to suggest a change of leadership for your Executioners? Chaplain Cassius would be a superior choice for your list, he comes in at the bargain price 125 points, and you get a chaplain armed with a master crafted combi-flamer who is toughness 6 and has Feel No Pain. He would also confer fearless to whatever squad he joins as well as allowing that squad to re-roll to hit on the charge. Mathematically the re-roll in charging situations is the same as getting the additional attack, unlike Kantor who I have fielded in the past, Cassius is extremely survivable, he may have one less wound but his stats make incredibly hard to kill.

  2. That's not too bold at all. I put these up to try and get some feedback and suggestions.

    I think that Kantor is a fun character, but he's too expensive for such a small list. I've been considering a Librarian, but Cassius would be a good option and still act as a counter-assault unit. He also fits the fluff, with the Executioners having lots of Chaplains.

    I'm just going to have to accept not having the chapter trait (stubborn) in smaller games. The characters that grant it are just too expensive.

  3. Great Blog !

    Im following you!

    You can follow me too, i got a Painting Blog!

  4. Thanks! You got it. Some very nice models on your blog. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it.


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