Red Corsairs – The Story So Far

Counting only the 1500 pts. or bigger one-on-one games, I’ve so far played a grand total of ten games of WH40K 5th Edition with my Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines. As many (most, in fact) of the players I’ve faced are seasoned veteran generals, the learning curve has been steep indeed. I’ve racked up only one win, managed three ties, and lost six games. I’ve faced Orks three times, Space Wolves twice, and Space Marines, Blood Angels, Chaos Space Marines, Imperial Guard, and Eldar once each.

The games have been varied, for the most part interesting, and exiting, and I’ve always ended the games wanting more.

The list I’ve played with so far is the one I posted a couple of months back, or a variation of it. To recap, the list consists of a Daemon Prince of Nurgle with Warptime, two squads of CSM, two squads of Plague Marines, (and adding a fifth troop unit in the form of a Berzerker squad in larger point totals). All of the squads are in dedicated Rhinos. For heavy support there are four Obliterators, and a Vindicator. Slight variations I’ve tried are: adding Huron Blackheart, and a squad of Plague Zombies (counts-as Lesser Daemons) in a 2000 pts. Planetstrike two-on-two team battle (which my side lost by the extremely slim margin of two termagants failing their cover saves on the last turn of the game).

Looking back on the first ten games I’ve played, my biggest failings have been not packing enough punch to put the enemy force on the back foot, and not having enough variety and speed to react to fast-moving threats. The list I’ve used is very defensive. Sure, I have lots of scoring units, and a lot of Power Armor packed into troop transports, but the only thing on the list able to move more than 12″ and take down anything big and powerful is the Daemon Prince, and he’s just one model. So, for today’s game I packed something a bit different into my army transport:

HQ
Nergal the Tempter (Daemon Prince of Slaanesh)
Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission

Elites
Barakka’s Blood Reavers (5 Chaos Terminators)
Terminator Champion w. Lightning Claws & Icon of Chaos Glory, Heavy Flamer & Chainfist, Combi-Melta & Power fist, Combi-Melta & Power Weapon, Combi-Melta & Power Weapon

Cain’s Cutthroats (5 Chosen Chaos Space Marines)
Aspiring Champion w. Power Fist, 4x Meltagun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino, Dozer Blade

Troops
Murat’s Crew (10 Chaos Space Marines)
Aspiring Champion w. Power Fist, 2x Meltagun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino

Typhon’s Crew (6 Plague Marines)
2x Melta Gun, Rhino

Plagueis’ Crew (5 Plague Marines)
2x Melta Gun, Rhino

Plague Zombies (7 Lesser Daemons)

Heavy Support
Beasts of the Deep (2 Obliterators)

Beasts of the Deep (2 Obliterators)

Black Bess (Chaos Space Marine Vindicator)
Daemonic Possession

Without further ado, here’s a short description of my eleventh game, The Battle of Tortuga, which was played on a chilly Thursday afternoon against one of my regular opponents Frenzy, who fielded Tyranids this time.

After the crushing defeat on Geryon against the Liberators Chapter Space Marines, the Red Corsairs had been forced to take refuge on the planet Tortuga, a haven for the scum and villainy of the spaceways. Little did they know, that the planet had been infested by a Genestealer cult, who’s clarion call had drawn a tentacle of Hive Fleet Nostromo into the planet’s vicinity. From thereon events unfolded fast and furious. The Tyranids had already made planetfall, and a pitched battle of annihilation commenced in the bombarded ruins of Tortuga’s capital hive.

Deployment
I deployed first, and chose to put the Vindicator at the spearhead of the bulk of my force, while the two Plague Marine Rhinos were put on the right flank. The Terminators, the Chosen, and the Daemons were kept in reserve. The Tyranid army, which consisted of a Hive Tyrant, a Trygon Prime, a Mawlock, two Tervigons, two units of Hive Guard, two Zoanthropes, and two small(ish) units of ‘gaunts, deployed mostly center field, with the ‘stealers kept in reserve.

Turn 1
The Red Corsairs rolled forwards and opened fire with everything in their arsenal. The Obliterators opened fire with Plasma Cannons and Lascannons, killing a Zoanthrope and wiping out half a dozen Termagants. The Daemon Prince Nergal cast Lash of Submission, bunching a unit of ‘gaunts around a Tervigon, which was in turn targeted by the daemon-possessed Vindicator Black Bess. The last surviving ‘gaunt scuttled off towards safety.

The Tyranids advanced full tilt. A unit of Hive Guard managed to immobilize a Plague Rhino, and Black Bess lost its main gun to the flank salvo of another Hive Guard’s hyper-velocity bone shard missiles. One of the Tervigons spawned a horde of gaunts, but a double was rolled, so no more spawning for him during this game.

Turn 2
Barakka’s Blood Reavers teleported onto the field in a flurry of Warp energy, and targeted the Hive Tyrant with their combi-meltas and heavy flamer, managing to kill the Hive Tyrant’s lone bodyguard, and wound the Tyrant. The Obliterators wounded the now barren Tervigon, but missed the Hive Guard by about a mile.

One of the Plague Marine Rhino’s was wrecked, while the other was merely immobilized. The newly-spawned Hormagaunts charged through ruins, managing to reach both units of Obliterators. The Obliterators, however, held their own, loosing only one wound while killing four ‘gaunts in return. The Trygon Prime tore into the immobilized Rhino, causing it to explode. The Hive Tyrant turned its attentions to the new threat amidst the Tyranid forces, and tore into the Chaos Terminators with wanton glee, slaughtering all of them.

Turn 3
The neutered Vindicator attempted a retreat, but was immobilized by difficult terrain. Disturbed by the noise, a crew of long-dead miners rose from the ruins, brandishing pick-axes and spades, and advanced on the hormagaunts. The two Plague Marine squads, now sans transport, advanced on the Trygon Prime and opened fire with Meltaguns and Bolt pistols, wounding it twice. The Red Corsairs added their firepower to the effort, but to no avail, as the monstrous creature shrugged off the storm of Bolter fire as if it was hail. The Chosen outflanked onto the field from the right, and advanced on a lone termagant, the last survivor of the squad nearly wiped out by the Vindicator. The Plague Marines charged the Trygon Prime, and quickly realized just how badly they were outmatched, as the Trygon Prime proceeded to tear six of them into bloody, diseased pieces. The Plague Zombies charged the ‘gaunts locked in combat with the Obliterators. The ‘gaunts didn’t stand a chance. The Daemon Prince, now consumed with battle-lust, flew at the Hive Guard, and charged them. The Hive Guard barely managed to hold their own.

The Geneastealers outflanked onto the field right on the heels of the Chosen’s Rhino. The Rhino was immobilized by Hive Guard shooting, enabling the Genestealers to catch up, and tear into it’s thin back armor with their rending claws. The Trygon Prime slaughtered the rest of the Plague Marines with ease.

Turn 4
As the Red Corsairs foot-slogged full tilt on the severely wounded Tervigon, their transport made a beeline for the far left corner of the table. The two units of Obliterators, now clear of the ‘gaunts advanced on the Mawlock on the right flank, and the Hormagaunts on the left flank respectively. Searing hot plasma ripped chitin-covered chunks out of the Mawloc, while flaming promethium consumed half a dozen ‘gaunts. The fight between Nergal the Daemon Prince, and the Hive Guard dragged on, with no wounds caused on either side. The dead miners made for the Zoanthrope, but the aliens psionic force field held fast. The fight between the two Obliterators and the Mawlock was a near-even match. One of the Obliterators was skewered by the gigantic creature’s lashing tail, but the other’s daemonic aura held, allowing him to bash through the Mawlocs skull-shield, turning its primitive brain into pulp. The Chosen, now without a Rhino, advanced on the Geneastelers, opened fire, and rushed into furious close combat.

The Hive Tyrant sized up her opposite number: the Daemon Prince, and advanced, her razor sharp talons still wet with Terminator blood. The Chosen sold their lives dearly, but where eventually taken down by the Genestealers. The Red Corsairs Marine squad were beset from three sides by monstrous creatures, as two Tervigons, and the Trygon Prime all advanced on them. None survived. The Tyrant tore into the Daemon Prince, sending it back to the Warp.

Turn 5
As there was little left of the Red Corsairs’ army, the last turn of the game was decidedly short. A lone Rhino was still attempting to make for cover, but got immobilized by the Hive Guard. The last remaining Obliterator blew one of the Tervigons into pieces. He was in turn killed by the Zoanthrope’s psychic blast.

Game over, man. Game over.

Conclusion
What a great game that had been! Full of movie movements, and furious, bloody, brutal action. A veritable massacre. I had lost the game, sure, but had still enjoyed every moment of it. The army list experiment had also been a success, as the new list was a vast improvement over the old one in terms if sheer playing fun and flexibility. Three units in reserve, two of them deep striking, and one of them outflanking, allowed me to put pressure way further afield than before, and the Daemon Prince’s Lash put a new weapon in my arsenal in the form of battlefield control. Now I just need to finish those Terminators with some highlights, and get proper Chosen models underway to replace the proxies I’d used.

The air reeked of burnt hair, feces, and ozone. The Daemon Prince Nergal, fumes of Warp energy trailing his towering form, only just recently returned to corporeality, was not happy at all. A gaunt-faced man, dressed in blood red livery trimmed in black, approached, and spoke: “Lord Nergal… Tortuga is a shithole. Always was. We’re better off without it. Let the cursed bugs have it. There are Other planets out there, ripe for the picking. Oh, yes there…” The monologue was cut short as the Daemon tore the sycophant’s head from his shoulders.

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