Friday, June 27, 2014

7th Edition Battle Report: Executioners vs Grey Knights

Brother-Captain Amalric reined in his steed, he eyes scanning the northern horizon. His helmet’s auto-senses flagged several power armored forms moving on the horizon. Behind him was a recently ruined city, still smoking from an overwhelming assault. The Executioners had found it that way, and had landed troops to investigate such slaughter on an Imperial world. Based on the damage inflicted and the corpses they found, the had quickly discovered that the city had been purged by Imperial Space Marines. Not wanting to waste valuable resources, Amalric had deployed Chapter serfs and servitors to scavenge what resources they could. The Fourth Company’s stores had been dangerously reduced during their penitent crusade.

“At least we know who purged the city,” he said to his Command squad over their private vox. “Perhaps we should introduce ourselves. There may be more battles to fight here. Does anyone recognize their heraldry?” The approaching Astartes wore extremely baroque, silver power armor. As they closed the distance, it became clear that they carried an assortment of power weapons and storm bolters, hardly Codex armament. Two massive battle walkers followed their smaller brethren.

“I do not think they would accept our help,” intoned Death-Speaker Chareos. All eyes turned to regard the old Chaplain’s skull helm. “They are Grey Knights,” he continued, “Secretive hunters of daemons. They will not want any witnesses to their deeds here.” He let the final sentence hang in the vox as the other veterans considered its implications. Amalric’s words broke the silence, broadcast to all of the Executioners Astartes and staff.

“Brother-Captain Amalric to all Executioners. Take up defensive positions and prepare for battle against enemy Astartes. Do not antagonize them, but return fire if fired upon. All serfs and servitors, return to the drop site and await extraction.”

I recently got to play my first game of 7th Edition, so I figured I’d earn my (nonexistent) paycheck as a blogger and write it up as battle report. I’m trying out a variant of my list that I plan to take to the Imperiad GT, which is:

Chapter Master w/ bike, power fist, Shield Eternal, artificer armor

Chaplain w/ bike

Command Squad w/ bikes, Apothecary, 4 storm shields, 2 power fists

10 Tactical Marines w/ Veteran Sergeant, flamer, heavy bolter
Rhino w/ dozer blade

10 Tactical Marines w/ Veteran Sergeant, flamer, heavy bolter
Rhino w/ dozer blade

10 Tactical Marines w/ Veteran Sergeant, meltagun, multi-melta
Rhino w/ dozer blade

Stormtalon w/ skyhammer missile

Thunderfire Cannon

Thunderfire Cannon

10 Devastators w/ Veteran Sergeant, 4 lascannons
Razorback w/ twin-linked lascannon, dozer blade

My opponent was using Grey Knights with Iron Hands allies. His list was:

Inquisitor Coteaz

10 Strike Grey Knights w/ 2 psycannons

10 Strike Grey Knights w/ 2 psycannons

Dreadknight w/ sword, heavy incinerator

Dreadknight w/ sword, heavy incinerator

Chapter Master w/ bike, power fist, Shield Eternal, artificer armor

5 Space Marine Bikers w/ 2 grav rifles

3 Centurion Devastators w/ grav-cannons, missile launchers

We played on a board liberally spread with buildings despite the lush grass covering the ground.

We decided to play a Maelstrom of War mission, and rolled up Contact Lost. We placed the objectives first (I am so happy that the objectives are back to being placed before determining deployment zones!), and then I won the roll to pick deployment zones. I picked the side with a nice building to set my Devastators in, with three objectives scattered between the center and left. My opponent won the roll off for deployment and chose to deploy first. He put Coteaz and the Centurions in a building on my left, with the Rhinos holding the Strike Squads and the two Dreadknights in center. The Chapter Master and his Bike squad were hiding behind a building on the right.

I deployed in my left side, with both Devastator Combat Squads and a Thunderfire deployed in a fortified building. My other Thunderfire went into some fortified rubble in the center, with my Rhinos acting as my forward line. All of the Tactical squads were combat squadded inside their Rhinos. Finally, the mounted Command Squad was in the center of my force, ready to react to any assaults by the enemy. I knew I had more firepower than my opponent, but he had more assault threats with the Dreadknights and Chapter Master. If I could lure them into my kill zones, I would be able to take apart the rest of his army.

We rolled up our objectives to start. My opponent got Harness the Warp, which meant he got points for casting psychic powers. Such a difficult mission for Grey Knights. Conveniently, I got Witch Hunter so I just needed to kill a psychic unit. At least I had lots of options. My opponent chose to go first and I failed to seize.

Turn 1

My opponent’s army moved cautiously forward. The Centurions and Coteaz hid in their ruin, out of sight of the Devastators, while the Strike Squad near them moved forward and disembarked to take an objective. The Bikes on the far right also advanced on an objective, and both Dreadknights hid behind the large building in the center. The Rhinos both cast Sanctuary to gain invulnerable saves while Coteaz cast Shrouding to protect the nearby Rhino. He got a Victory Point for his psychic powers.

My army didn’t move much. The Rhinos spread out a bit, as did the mounted Command squad. My plan was to try to draw the Bike Chapter Master and Dreadknights into assaulting the Rhinos, so they can be gunned down by my Marines and charged by my Command squad. My Devastators shot at the enemy Rhino across from them but only did one Hull Point of damage. My Thunderfires concentrated on the dismounted Strike squad, killing 7 of them.

The Grey Knights learn to respect the Thunderfire.

Turn 2

My opponent didn’t fall for my ruse and pulled his forces back. Coteaz and the Centurions stayed hidden, and the damaged Strike squad jumped back into their Rhino. The Bikes advanced cautiously and the Dreadknights jumped back. More powers were cast, but I don’t remember what they were.

The Grey Knights consolidate their forces on my right.

The Strike Squad hastily gets back into their Rhino.
I generated the objective that required me to secure objective 5. This was the one in my opponent’s right flank, the one the Bikes were sitting on. My central Rhino moved forward to take the center objective. My other two Tactical squads deployed to open fire as well as try and tempt the enemy into a charge, while the Command squad remained in the center of my line.

My Devastators fired at the Rhino in front of them, which had a 2+ cover save thanks to Shrouding, and couldn’t kill it. However, my Tactical squad hit it with a meltagun and krak grenade and killed it (earning me First Blood and Witch Hunter). My Thunderfires wiped out the Grey Knights that were forced out of their Rhino. I discarded Secure Objective 5.

The Tactical Marines destroy the Rhino and the Thunderfires clean up the Grey Knights.

Turn 3

This was the Grey Knights assault. The Centurions moved forward and blasted one of the Devastator combat squads, killing only 2 thanks to the reinforced ruins. Both Dreadknights shunted into the middle of my army, their incinerators killing one more Devastator, leaving just the two lascannons in my squad in the top of the ruins. The Chapter Master charged into my Command squad while the Bikes gunned down 4 Tactical Marines and forced the last one to fall back. They assaulted the Rhino (which was against the rules, but we missed it. I guess we were too concerned with all the new rules to worry about such an old one). They destroyed the Rhino with their krak grenades.

The Dreadknights jump directly into my army.

The enemy Chapter Master charges my Command squad while the Bikes open fire on my Tacticals.

 The two Chapter Masters met each other in challenge, but couldn’t hurt each other. However, the rest of my Command squad inflicted two wounds on the enemy Chapter Master.  

I generated new objectives and needed to secure objectives 2 and 5 (again!). The enemy had committed, so it was time to see if I could counter the assaults. My Stormtalon arrived and fired ineffectually at a Dreadknight. My Devastators and Tacticals on the left concentrated their firepower and killed one of the Dreadknights. I got massively lucky with my first Thunderfire, inflicting 18 wounds on the Bikes and wiping them out. The other Thunderfire shot at the Centurions but didn’t do any damage. The lone Tactical Marine on the right flank rallied and started running toward the objective in the enemy right flank. The Chapter Masters continued to flail at each other without doing anything, but the Command squad did another wound to the enemy Chapter Master. I scored objective 2 for another Victory Point.

My Marines cut down one of the Dreadknights but await the assault from the survivor.

The enemy Chapter Master keeps my Command squad tied up, unable to deal with the Dreadknights.
Turn 4

My opponent was running out of options, but still had Centurions and a Dreadknight on my left. The Centurions advanced and killed all but one Marine in the Tactical combat squad in front of them (I went to ground and got lucky). The Dreadknight tried to activate his force weapon, but suffered Perils of the Warp. He rolled a 6 and actually got stronger! He then torched another Devastator with his incinerator and assaulted the Thunderfire, crushing the Techmarine without difficulty. The remaining Strike squad disembarked from their Rhino and destroyed my Rhino on the center objective, and my Tactical squads disembarked into the ruins. The Chapter Master challenge finally ended with my Chapter Master killing his.

The Centurions emerge to blast a Tactical combat squad.

The Dreadknight crushes my Thunderfire.

The Strike squad blows up my Rhino while the enemy Chapter Master finally falls to many, many axes.
I generated Psychological Warfare as well as another Secure Objective 5. I was doing well, but was still needed to control damage. Everything that could fired at the remaining Dreadknight but couldn’t get through his magic 3+ invulnerable. My mounted Command Squad charged the Dreadknight and killed him (we couldn’t find anything saying that Bikes weren’t allowed to climb ruins in this edition).  My remaining Thunderfire, Stormtalon, and Tactical Marines shot the Strike Squad but only killed 3. I discarded Psychological Warfare; there just weren’t a lot of enemy squads left to force psychology tests on.

My Command Squad rides over the Dreadknight.
Turn 5

My opponent blasted apart my last Thunderfire with the Centurions, and his Strike squad assaulted one of my Tactical combat squads and wiped it out.

The Grey Knights storm through the ruins, easily wiping out my Tactical Marines.
I generated Secure Objective 4, which the Strike squad was contesting. The Chapter Master and Command squad assaulted the Centurions and Coteaz and wiped them out. I concentrated my firepower on the Strike squad, killing 3 more and bringing them down to 4. A lone Tactical Marine ran to the enemy deployment zone and secured objective 5, earning me two more points (I generated this one twice).

Continuing their charge, the Command squad wipes out the Centurions and Coteaz.
At this point, my opponent conceded the game. It was a clear victory to me, both based on table status and the number of Victory Points.

My first game of 7th Edition was a solid victory for the Executioners!

Lessons Learned

1) Splitting the Tactical squads up was massively helpful. I usually don’t do it because I wanted to concentrate my firepower. However, but deploying both squads in their Rhino, I can bring just as much firepower against a target but have much more flexibility. I can use my weapons efficiently, force my opponent to split his shooting and assaults, and just generally control the table. I’m going to start doing this in everything except kill points missions.

2) Two Thunderfires are much better than one. They perform much more reliably, and are devastating on turns when they both roll well. My opponent was scared of them but turn 3.

3) My Chapter Master and Command squad really came into their own this battle. I didn’t charge them out at the enemy, which was kind of anti-climatic but kept them in a position to counter my opponent’s movements. They weren’t exposed to much enemy fire and were able to deal with three major threats (Chapter Master, Dreadknight, and Centurions).

4) I like the new Maelstrom of War missions. It kept the game moving and forced both armies to be flexible and mobile. We did play it wrong as we generated objectives to bring our total number up to the number of objectives we held, rather than generating one for each objective as we were supposed to. Also, we generated the objectives using dice, which was very difficult to keep track of. I’m definitely going to pick up the objective cards. They’ll make things much easier to follow.

Death-Speaker Chareos watched as the Executioners Tactical Marines gunned down the last of the Grey Knights in a hail of bolter and heavy bolter shells. They could leave no survivors. Though the Executioners had acted in self defense, their history would mean that few Imperial authorities would give them the benefit of the doubt. Best to make sure no one else knew this battle had ever happened.

“Take no trophies from the dead, Brothers,” he commanded. “This battle will not make it into our sagas. There was no honor to be earned here. Gather the dead. Return ours to orbit, and lay out the Grey Knights with all honor due brother Astartes.”

Chareos opened a channel to their waiting strike cruiser and requested deployment of servitors armed with multi-meltas. They would incinerate the enemy dead to the point that no force in the Imperium would recognize them.


  1. Congrats on your crushing victory! Your list has a lot of punch.

    1. Combat squad was one of the best rules in 6th. It still is now. It gives the enemy way too many threats to deal with, and super shooty units will "only" kill 5 men instead of 10.
    2. I Agree 100%.
    3. Being able get them into combat is awesome. A pity you weren't the one charging, that would be tough with all those re-rolls!
    4. Agree on getting the cards. Been in a "waiting list" for 2 weeks by now. They say they'll receive more by first week July. Rolling dice takes SOOOO much time and patience. Really liking maelstrom of war, some of my friends were quitting the hobby, and have come back and stayed, as soon as they tried them. Just need a little house rules to make them awesome.
    5. Nice post. Keep 'em coming!

  2. Thanks! Fortunately, the rules for Zealot allow you to re-roll misses in the first round of any combat, whether you charge or now. The Chaplain earned his points in this game. Iron Hands Chapter Masters on bikes with the Shield Eternal are really tough!


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