Sunday, 27 September 2020

9th Edition Battle Report: Blood Angels vs Iron Snakes


Hi folks,

Today Wade and I played our 2nd game of 9th Edition 40K. We played another 1000 pt game, which saw Wade's Blood Angels taking on my Iron Snakes. We would be fighting to control four objectives in an urban battlefield, with units scoring 1 point per turn if they control an objective uncontested. Wade's Blood Angels list is fairly straight forward one, featuring two small squads of Intercessors, one armed with bolt rifles and the other with stalker bolt rifles. For fire support he fielded a small squad of Hellblasters with plasma incinerators and a squad of Aggressors with auto boltstorm gauntlets and fragstorm grenade launchers. His HQ units include Mephiston and a Librarian Dreadnought, both of which are brutal in close combat. Mephiston in particular has a habit of wrecking my backline, starting turn 2, using the Wings of Sanguinius psychic power. To round out the force he also took a squad of Sanguinary Guard, held in reserve.

My Iron Snakes, on the other hand, are quite irregular. To write the list I have used the Iron Hands Codex, allowing me to use The Flesh is Weak to reflect the use of their shields. I also burn a lot of CP to reflect some of the head-cannon I have for the army. The list includes an Intercessor Squad (Damocles) armed with a plasma cannon and sergeant with a lightning claw (not a Codex choice, but paid for), which I combat squad. A small Sternguard squad with combi-plasma weapons (Lakodeme) provides some extra high strength rapid fire action in the absence of Hellblasters. I have included a Relic Contemptor (Nestor) with the March of the Ancients Strategem for a bit of extra close combat punch and Leadership, with the option of giving him a warlord trait in other games (-1 CP). Nestor is armed with a heavy plasma cannon, plasma blastgun and a dreadnought close combat weapon. To support Nestor (and stop him from supercharging himself to death) I have Odyssean, a Techmarine with servo harness, power lance and the Master of the Forge Strategem (auto 3 heal for Blessing of the Omnissiah, -1 CP). I have also made him the Hero of the Chapter (-1 CP) with Target Protocols (providing a re-roll to hit, wound and damage to a unit within 6"). I also gave him The Endurant Protector for a 4++ save and +1 T.  In support I have a Centurion Devastator Squad with hurricane bolters, heavy bolter/plasma cannon combos (again, not Codex but paid for). To lead the force I have taken a Supreme Command Detachment with a Primaris Captain Chapter Master (Seydon) as the army Warlord. With Relics of the Chapter (-1 CP) I armed him with The Burning Blade to represent his battle lance (Tiborus). The warlord trait I chose for him was All Flesh is Weakness to represent his extensive cybernetics. So...  -4 CP before I start the game, but with a bunch of characterful special rules. 

I failed to seize the initiative, so the Blood Angels took the first turn. Mephiston advanced quickly, enhanced by Wings of Sanguinius during the psychic phase. It placed him in a great position for a turn 2 charge. The Librarian Dreadnought did the same, with the Hellblasters sticking close and sniping through a gap in the buildings to kill some Sternguard. One of their member also supercharged himself to a crisp. The Intercessors, not wanting to get hammered by the Centurions, hung back.

In return, I managed to take 6 wounds of the Librarian Dreadnought, narrowly missing taking it out with a Hellfire round. I pushed forward on the far right flank to take some wounds off the Stalker Intercessors, killing a couple of them with plasma fire from the Contemptor. I also pushed my two Intercessor combat squads forward to grab two objectives, netting me some early victory points at the end of the Turn.

Turn 1

Blood Angels: 0 VP

Iron Snakes: 2 VP

At the start of Turn 2 Wade found a tiny corner to deploy his Sanguinary Guard into, right behind my Centurions and Chapter Master. I had thought I had denied all of that space, but moved up to to engage the Librarian Dreadnought (would have been worth it if I had taken it out!). Both Mephiston and the Librarian Dreadnought moved forwards in preparation for a charge move, whilst the Aggressors moved forwards to capture an objective. 

The psychic and shooting phases managed to take out two of my Centurions and some Intercessors. The Hellblasters were unlucky with their shots and lost another two to supercharging. Both Mephiston and the Sanguinary Guard made their charge move against Seydon and the Centurions. Seydon was brutally cut down without a hope of responding, but the Centurion was left (miraculously) on one wound thanks to his shield. The Librarian Dreadnought attacked my Intercessors and wiped them out as well.

During my turn I switched targets to address the Aggressors, managing to take one out with fire form my Contemptor and manoeuvring for a potential charge next turn. I sniped the last two Hellblasters, removing them as a threat. The remaining Sternguard charged the Librarian Dreadnought and took it out with a well placed Krak Grenade, consolidating closer to the Sanguinary Guard and, crucially, within 3" of the objective. They would no doubt die next turn, but playing the objective wins games like these, so that's what I did.

Turn 2

Blood Angels: 2 VP

Iron Snakes: 4 VP

With revenge in mind, the Sanguinary Guard descended on the Sternguard. Mephiston used the Wings of Sanguinius power again to launch himself across my backline towards my Dreadnought and Master of the Forge, which were preparing to threaten the Aggressors. The Aggressors and Stalker Intercessors poured fire at my own Intercessors holding objective 4, managing to kill two of them. The second squad of Blood Angels Intercessors manoeuvred  around objective 1.

Mephiston charged my Master of the Forge and Relic Contemptor, taking the Master down to 1 remaining wound but failing to scratch Ancient Nestor. It was a fairly abominable set of dice rolls to be honest! In return, the Contemptor killed Mephiston outright and consolidated even close to the Aggressors. 

During my turn the Relic Contemptor poured supercharged plasma fire into the Aggressors. Helped by the Target Protocols, they were softened up sufficiently that I was able to wipe them out in close combat, though this left my Master of the Forge vulnerable. He himself took out the last Stalker Intercessors.

Turn 3

Blood Angels: 4 VP

Iron Snakes: 6 VP

Starting the last turn, it was clear that the Sanguinary guard would have to expose themselves to contest objective 4 (and ultimately, the game). They jumped close and managed to take out both the Master of the Forge and contest objective 4, but were not able to kill the remaining Intercessors, whose sergeant took some revenge with his lightning claw. 

As it was, I knew if I stood still and did nothing, Wade would probably earn 2 victory points (objective 1 and 4), I would earn 1 victory point (objective 3) and win the game 6 points to 7. If I attacked with the Relic Contemptor and failed to contest objective 4 for some reason, it could end up a 6-all draw! I decided to go for it, withdrawing my Intercessors from objective 4 and getting the Contemptor in. The combination of the supercharged plasma blastgun and dreadnought close combat weapon were enough to wipe out the Sanguinary guard, leaving the Iron Snakes in complete control of objective 4.

Turn 4

Blood Angels: 5 VP

Iron Snakes: 7 VP

Overall, I was very happy with the synergy between the Master of the Forge and the Contemptor Dreadnought. The Centurions were a bit a disappointment,  though I never expected to get much from them. They are a prime target for getting nailed in close combat and the Blood Angels have just the right tools for the job. Some of the special rules I gained access to at the start of the game, particularly Target Protocols and Endurant Protector, played a key role in the game. Everything I paid for on the Chapter Master was essentially a waste, however. I am not sure at this stage if there are some efficiencies there that I could take advantage of, or if playing more games would even things out. It would require me to protect my Centurions better, which is darned hard to do when you have a Space Vampire flying behind you in Turn 2!! 

Anyways, it was a very fun game and it seemed like Wade had a good time too (though perhaps not when Mephiston duffed all of his rolls in that 2nd combat). It is time to get the ball rolling on my Dark Angels army, I think.

See you across the table,


P.S. The objective markers were dice given as gifts at my mate Ben's (and Liz's) wedding. Sooo much more useful than sugar coated nuts...


  1. Good, concise report, reminiscent of classic WD reports (as the name of your page suggests). Good looking army, I'm just starting out with Iron Snakes myself which is what drew my attention. One point though, the Snakes are a known Ultramarine successor although I get why you chose Iron Hands tactics.

    1. Thanks Iain and good luck with your growing Iron Snakes collection. The rules for the Ultramarines don't really fit how I imagine they would act in combat, so I chose to ignore that they are an Ultramarine successor. You are correct though, as any real fan of the Iron Snakes would be ;-)