13+ Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

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13+ Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#1 » Jul 14 2009 07:34

I know this is Advanced Tau Tactica, but advancing the path of the Greater Good involves understanding its adversaries. And who but the dreaded gue'la Space Marines threaten the Empire most?

Since the release of 5th Edition, I've kept track of games played in a somewhat fluffy "Art of War" style document.

Maybe others can use this to enhance their own tactics?

Listed below the Ten Game Summary are my army lists at 1,850 and 2,000 points. The 2,000 point list is by far the more effective of the two!

If you would like to see some of my finished marines, click here!

Ultramarines 3rd Company Battle Log – 5th Edition

Major Victories...................4
Minor Victories...................2
Minor Losses......................1
Major Losses......................3

1. Innocentia IX: 1850 versus Necrons [dawn of war, kill points] – Major Victory
A restructuring of tactics allowed the heroic warriors of the 3rd to avenge their brothers’ defeat some decades earlier by exterminating the necron plague from Innocentia IX. The final score was 7 to 2, with lascannons, terminators, and a refused-flank strategy all contributing to the win. The MVPs were unquestionably the 10-strong squad of terminators.
Moral: Necrons have been severely weakened by 5th Edition 40k. They are weak in that they rely on a variety of troops to field a balanced force; this dependence on variety makes their actions predictable.

2. Foetorous IV: 1850 versus Tau [long table edges, 2 objectives] – Draw
A deep-strike mishap early in the game (in which my 460-point Terminator squad was shunted to an un-important corner of the board) prevented the Ultramarines from waging an effective offensive. However, the blue-skins were unable to penetrate the armored wall of Space Marines holding their own objective. An over-reliance on Deep Strike was cited in the annals as the reason for mission failure.
Moral: There is no such thing as a sure thing. Only risk what you are willing to lose.

3. Foetorous IV: 1850 versus Angels of Caliban Deathwing [long table edges, 5 objectives] – Minor Loss
A training exercise between honorable chapters. The unstoppable nature of Terminators, coupled with the unfamiliarity of the Ultramarines’ captain leading the mission, resulted in mission failure: the last untagged terminator of an enemy squad claimed victory for his team, despite the efforts of two twin-linked Predator lascannons to tag him. Stupid invulnerable saves.
Moral: Shoot one squad at a time until everything in it is dead. Don’t waste ammunition shooting at distractions. The Ultramarines lost this encounter because their leadership became distracted.

4. Foetorous IV: 1850 versus Dark Angels Deathwing [spearhead, victory points] – Major Loss
Another training exercise. Much, much more brutal. The Dark Angels’ Land Raider was their key to victory, as the Ultramarines’ Commander had neglected to bring along sufficient firepower to deal with it.
Moral: AV 14 is a *BAD WORD DELETED*. Meltaguns are no longer a novelty but a necessity for all competitive play.

5. Moros: 1000 versus Orks [long table edges, kill points] – Draw
Led by Tigurius, a raid to assassinate the ork Warboss Gruznik turned into a fight for mere survival. This was the Commander’s first time working with Tigurius, and the full capability of the Chief Librarian was sadly never realized; he and his retinue of terminators were overrun by the Orkish Horde early on, and only by the Emperor’s Grace did they survive. The Commander faced several months of prayer and fasting as penance for his poor planning.
Moral: Do not use expensive Characters in low-points games. It is better instead to field more basic troops!

6. Bel Playn: 4000 Space Marines + Orks versus Tau + Necrons + Tyranids [long table edges, kill points] – Major Victory
Investigating reports of an eldar warp-gate, Chief Librarian Tigurius discovers a tear in the fabric of reality itself! On the distant planet Bel Playn, time and space had distorted to usher in a host of extradimensional entities. Despite the planet being ruled by greenskins, the Ultramarines were able to send in an efficient strike force and close the tear before irreparable damage was done to the space-time continuum.
Moral: Ork allies effectively make Space Marines into a horde army. This is very unbalanced but also a lot of fun!

7. Defense of Masali: 2000 Space Marines versus Imperial Guard [spearhead, objectives] – Major Loss
Traitors are dangerous foes indeed! In this encounter, two large infantry squads – each with many lascannon teams – held valuable territory, whilst chimera squads advanced to seize more ground. A pair of Leman Russ battle tanks gunned down space marine armor, and although the Ultramarines sustained very few actual casualties, the traitors held their ground. Most unfortunately, a deep strike accident caused most of the Terminators to arrive half-a-mile away from their projected coordinates.
Moral: Remember your lessons! This battle was lost for the same reasons as Game #2!

8. Defense of Masali: 2000 Space Marines versus Eldar [spearhead, take and hold table quarters + kil points] – Minor Victory
An uncoordinated eldar strike force met its end in the deserts outside Masali’s habitable zone. Dark Reapers attempted to siege the armored spearhead and slow its arrival, but the terminators of 1st Co. combined with a textbook refused flank strategy won the day. (My opponent was a good guy, fun to play against, but his army list was ...lacking...).
Moral: The novice can be defeated easily by seasoned tactics. Refused flank is a famous tactic because it is so effective!

9. Masali Plains: 2000 Space Marines versus Warp Lions Space Marines [long table edge, central objective] – Major Victory
A training exercise between honorable chapters, the Warp Lions were sadly outclassed by the Ultramarines’ superior tactics and firepower. The Ultramarines never stepped foot outside their armor, shelling the Warp Lions from a distance and sweeping in after the rout to claim the central objective.
Moral: Remember the adage, “Don’t throw good money after bad.” If you allow yourself to become desperate, you will act like a desperate man! You are more likely to take senseless risks and lose the match, so keep a cool head.

10. Sixth Moon of Phrenius: 3200 Space Marines (Ultramarines and Iron Hands) versus Necrons [long table edge, five objectives] – Draw
A necron advance war party was bested here in the desolate Iron Swamps. The necrons fielded a number of excellent core units though they had little in the way of mobility. The Space Marines fielded nearly twenty terminators; army composition was against the necrons from the get-go, and (predictably) many were slaughtered in hand-to-hand combat. Although the game was called due to time on turn 4, the space marines had a clear advantage and would undoubtedly have won on turn 5.
Moral: A balanced army can adapt to handle any foe, while an army built solely to exploit certain strengths must continually play to those strengths or be defeated. The latter is locked into a predictable pattern of behavior and, therefore, much easier to defeat.


Counter Point to Lesson 2. Always keep a force in reserve. This force can be used to achieve ‘encirclement,’ a devastating psychological attack. Make the enemy feel as though he is surrounded on all sides. Allow your visible forces to become “horns,” encircling the enemy and growing ever and ever tighter; your reserves then become the “loins,” entering the battle just as the encircled portion of your enemy’s forces are most weakened.

Counterpoint to Encirclement Strategy: By holding the center, you force your opponent to divide his forces. A force divided is easier to conquer.

The true power of the Space Marines lay in their versatility. Although individually expensive, the Space Marines can bring to bear the finest weapons in the galaxy. In the right quantity and diversity, Space Marines can best any foe.

They defeat Orks and Tyranids with the quality of their weaponry.

They can defeat the Tau, Necrons and Eldar in hand-to-hand combat, and by weathering the devastating barrage of fire such opponents bring to an engagement. Against Eldar especially, proper deployment is key to success.

Space Marines are weakest against other space marines, especially against forces fielding a large number of Terminators. The durability of the Terminator squad makes it an obvious threat, thus allowing a clever opponent more opportunity for misdirection and intelligence gathering. Do not be fooled! Terminators can be killed by a concentrated barrage of fire.

By not allowing oneself to become distracted, one can overcome the camouflage Terminators bring to the game and see through a clever opponent’s misdirection.

Most important of all: a space marine player must remember conventional wisdom. Slow and steady wins the race!

- 1850 -
Chaplain Tiber
Jump Pack

Terminator Squad Duro
2 Cyclone Missile Launchers

“Brother Zed” - Dreadnought
Assault Cannon

“Brutalis” - Dreadnought
Missile Launcher, Twin-linked Lascannon

Assault Squad Brock
Sergeant w/Power Fist + Bolt Pistol
Plasma Pistol x2

Tactical Squad Stygius
Sergeant w/Power Fist + Bolt Pistol
Melta, Multi-Melta

Tactical Squad Samos
Flamer, Plasma Cannon

Tactical Squad Thera
Flamer, Plasma Cannon

Predator Annihilator – 130
Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Predator Annihilator – 130
Heavy Bolter Sponsons

- 2000 -
Master of the Forge

Dreadnought with twin-linked Lascannon and Missile Launcher
Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and Close Combat Weapon (with built-in storm bolter)
Terminator Squad (#10) with Cyclone Missile Launcher (x2)

Scout Squad (#5) with sniper rifles

Tactical Squad (#10) with Rhino I
Meltagun, Multi-melta, Sergeant with Power Fist

Tactical Squad (#10) with Rhino II
Meltagun, Plasma Cannon, Sergeant with Power Fist

Tactical Squad (#10) with Rhino III
Meltagun, Plasma Cannon, Sergeant with Power Fist

Dreadnought with Plasma Cannon and Missile Launcher

Predator Annihilator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons

Predator Annihilator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Last edited by Arkion on Aug 06 2009 12:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#2 » Jul 15 2009 11:23

This is a really cool post. I enjoyed reading it and although I didn't get as much out of the tactics as I would if I played Marines, obviously, I can see that you put a lot of effort into it. I especially like the banner you addded.

I would love to see one for Tau, although slightly more detailed battle reports would be nice.
Ni neart go cur le cheile::Cadre Log Activating...

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#3 » Jul 16 2009 01:50

Thanks! I love to elaborate on individual battle reports - I figured I'd keep it short because I was putting up a pretty big brick of text as-is. If there's any one in particular that is of interest, I'll be happy to write it up. Otherwise I have a game tonight, so I may post the results tomorrow.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#4 » Jul 16 2009 07:18

Very nicely done. I am still struggling with my battle reports, I fear i might have made them too complicated.

This also lists some excellent advice that should be remembered by all Tau players. Such as do no risk what you're not willing to lose.
Action begets success.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#5 » Jul 16 2009 08:32

This is a fantastic post! I love the methodical approach you've taken to it. I'd be interested to read your battle report.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#6 » Jul 16 2009 11:14

Arkion wrote:If there's any one in particular that is of interest, I'll be happy to write it up.

I play against a lot of Marines, so your drawed game vs. the Tau would be interesting to me. It would also, I suppose, be the most fitting to elaborate on considering the local audience~

I also echo the general consensus- great write-up! I'm tempted to take your lessons learned and make a checklist of them, to keep on the table during my games.
\Sim*pli"cian\, n. One who is simple. [Obs.]

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#7 » Jul 17 2009 12:54

very good post, having recently picked up the space marine codex and assault on black reach box, i have been looking for a good tactical write up on how to use them.

i do echo the call of Simplician and would enjoy it if you could elaborate more on your draw against the tau, and also what tactics a space marine commander should use against a chaos marine army.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#8 » Jul 17 2009 02:44


[Foetorous IV is] a perfectly terraformed world, diverse and abundant. Alone amid a sea of icy, inhospitable worlds for fifty light-years in all directions it, too, was an attractive target for raiders both alien and man.

In ancient times, Lord Macragge Vibbus Marken led a defense of it against the merciless dark eldar. Its people promised eternal gratitude to the Ultramarines thereafter, and for decades there was peace.

Yet peace is fleeting - war, eternal. When, in late M41, the Tau Empire realized Foetorous IV was rich with abundant mineral stores and poorly defended, several cadres were sent to raid its industrial centers. Its weak PDF was crushed within days, and for months its people endured alien brainwashing...

...Then came the space marines, hearing across the void of space the distress signals of the Foetorans...

The game was 1850 points, played during a tournament in Manitowoc, WI.

My forces have been described earlier in this thread.

As best as I can recall...

TAU 1850
Shas'el with several XV8 Bodyguards (all were Fire-knives)
2x10 Firewarriors (Warfish, w/Drones)
1x10 Pathfinders (Warfish, w/Drones)
2x2 Broadsides
1 Hammerhead

The board was a jungle landscape, very nicely done. A Pyramid (difficult terrain, ~12" tall) dominated the left-hand side of the board, while thick copses of Palm Trees (4+ cover) dotted green hills. Some rubble (4+ cover) made a good barrier to hide the Broadsides behind.

My opponent set up his forces first, as well as took first turn.

Seeing that he spread himself out across the board edge, I decided to castle up in the bottom left-hand corner behind the Pyramid. The Pyramid was tall and provided excellent cover from the superior Tau guns.

I knew I could neither out-shoot nor out-maneuver him, so I would have to defeat him through attrition and assault.

I decided to send my Chaplain-led assault squad to the left while Deep Striking my Terminators down on his right. Basically, I was hoping for encirclement. I could keep my Troops on my own Objective, then, and hopefully constest his Objective on Turn 5.

By Turn 3 my Lascannon dreadnought was toast, but I had downed his Hammerhead. The devilfish were stunned by my Predators, so going nowhere.

The large black X is where I planned to Deep Strike my terminators. However, I rolled boxcars and scattered 12" into the center of his Devilfish. I rolled on the mishap chart and my opponent got to place my unit. He dropped them down on top of the difficult terrain (palm trees) surrounding my objective. I lost 4 Terminators. More importantly, I lost momentum. I now had little reliable way to drive him off his objective.

I was effectively forced into playing for the Draw.

Realizing my own objective was relatively un-contestable with a tac-squad nearby (in cover!) and 6 Terminators keeping it safe from a last-turn territory grab (I had immobilized his last Devilfish, too, with my CMLs), I tried my best to contest his objective.

On turn 3 my Chaplain and Assault Squad tried assaulting his Shas'el, but were short. I took a turn of Devilfish fire for my mistake. On turn 4 what was left of my squad assaulted his devilfish, wrecking it; on turn 5 his Fire Warriors made a difficult terrain test, got on top of their wrecked fish, and rapid fired into my assault squad. They were annihilated! I thought it was a very clever move.

With my Rhinos stunned, my Dreadnought immobilized, and my Assault Squad dead, the game ended in a Draw. He was unable to break through my solid defense, and I had no more offensive units with which to contest his Objective.

EDIT: Not sure why the pics aren't loading. Help?

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#9 » Jul 19 2009 02:19

I love the icons for your battlereport, may I ask where you got them?

As a tau player, I would have hated to see you send your entire army down the left flank around the pyramid since it would prevent me from drawing LOS with my railguns to your transports. That would allow you to get to my table edge relatively unscathed and force me out into the open.

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#10 » Jul 19 2009 11:22

I've been meaning to respond for some time now; I really enjoyed your short summaries of game play! They were creative and educational!
++TFTD: He who promises peace, promises damnation.++

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#11 » Jul 19 2009 05:04

Thank you!

If you can somehow see the .jpgs in the longer report of Game 2 (I still can't!), I simply googled "space marine sprites" and "tau sprites," then put it together in photoshop.

The banners in my original post were created by cropping larger images in photoshop.

@ Taco: The last time I played against Chaos Space Marines was 4th Ed., in which I lost horribly due to chain assaults. IIRC, a large pack of Raptors w/Icon of Slaanesh and a Champion w/2x Lightning Claws managed to destroy most of my army within three turns. I was still assembling my rhinos and had only a paltry amount of mech with which to fend him off - definitely not enough!

I have a burgeoning force of Khorne Berserkers which are fastly approaching 1500 points. I may post some battle reports once I've had a chance to get a feel for them.


New report! I have written a bit more because this was my first experience using Planet Strike rules, AND it was a whalloping big 8,000 total point game!

11. Canton XII Volcanic Zone (Planet Strike): 4000 Space Marines (Ultramarines and Eldar allies, defending) versus Orks [six fortified objectives] – Major Victory
In defending Masali from xeno sympathizers, the Ultramarines' high command discovered clues suggesting that a nest of Eldar pirates were operating from nearby Canton XII! Determined to put an end to the xeno witchery, Captain Ardias led a strike force directly from Phrenius to Canton. Mere hours after his arrival, however, Ardias realized he had been followed by a massive fleet of Ork ships! A trap?

Apparently not - the Eldar (though who can trust their lies?) made an offer of temporary alleigance - the Orks, they surmised, were after the same mysterious archaeotechnology they were. If the space marines stood beside them, the Eldar said they would split the spoils and be gone. A tempting offer, and one Ardias was in no position to refuse.

The brutal combination of six AV 14 bastions surrounded by Aegis Defense Shields, six war-walkers with scatter lasers protected by space marine dreadnoughts, and eldar psykers Dooming Nob Bikers to a round of pummeling from two tactical squads was far, far too much for the Orkish Hordes to handle. Think Starship Troopers...no, not the co-ed shower scene, the scene where they make a last stand surrounded on all sides by evil alien bugs. It was a lot like that.

The orks' lack of melta or S8+ weaponry really hurt them. The Bastions were basically impassible Land Raiders they needed to Contest in order to Claim, but even so, our combined shooting and focused tactic made sure that OUR shooting was more dangerous, and that THEIR shooting was largely useless. The game ended 6 to 0 in our favor.
Highlights included:

- My 10-strong squad of Terminators deep striking, then shooting a squad of 30 Ork Boys and a Warboss off the board in a single turn (CMLs are amazing)!

- Seeing 4,000 points of horde orks deployed in a line across the board.

- Watching a compitent eldar ally using Fire Prisms to their full potential as he took the momentum away from large Ork units and made them suceptible to focused fire.

Moral: This match re-enforced lessions previously learned. By holding the center, you force your opponent to divide his forces. A force divided is easier to conquer. AV 14 is still a *BAD WORD DELETED*, and it is still best to shoot one squad at a time until everything in it is dead. Don’t waste ammunition shooting at distractions, like the Orks were forced to do!

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Re: 10 Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#12 » Jul 28 2009 08:09

Mods: Sorry for the double post, but I had a request to elaborate on some topics. I felt it warranted a new blurb.

Recently, I was asked to elaborate on the following:

Moral: Necrons have been severely weakened by 5th Edition 40k. They are weak in that they rely on a variety of troops to field a balanced force; this dependence on variety makes their actions predictable.

Two major changes in the 5th Ed. rulebook have hurt the Necrons.

1. Glancing hits can no longer result in a Vehicle Destroyed or Vehicle Explodes result. Gauss Weaponry, the Necrons' mainstay against armor, Glances on a 6 but is relatively low Strength and, thus, unlikely to Penetrate. Thus, Necrons have become weaker against mechanized armies because very few units can now Destroy vehicles.

1a. Mechanized armies are becoming more popular in 5th Edition (partially in response to the updated vehicle damage rules). Thus, Necrons are facing stiffer competition universally.

2. Shooting casualties no longer result in a penalty to Leadership checks, whereas losing in Assault results in severe penalties. Necrons are primarily a "shooty" army, and do poorly in Assault aside from specialist Assault Units (which few players take, as they tend to dillute the army's greatest strength - shooting).

Necron Warriors and Immortals, although they possess a decent statline, have no access to power weapons nor are they possessed of a high Initiative. Thus, dedicated assault troops from other armies are capable of winning assaults against them with relative ease; when Falling Back, necrons' low Initiative means they are easy to kill with a Sweeping Advance.

Now, there is some disagreement as to whether or not Necrons can rise again after being killed in a sweeping advance. As I understand the rules, unless something bizarre occurs that says "A Necron killed in this way cannot return via 'We'll Be Back,'" they always get the option unless they do not meet the prequisites stated in their codex. This topic is, however, somewhat misunderstood, and many times Necron players will disadvantage themselves inadvertantly by not rolling WBB when they would otherwise be entitled to it.

Kais Shovah has written an excellent summary of necron strengths, weaknesses, and tactics in this thread. I suggest checking it out and giving him some feedback if you're curious to know more.

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Re: 13+ Game Battle Log w/Space Marines

Post#13 » Aug 06 2009 02:05

Two new games. The first is pretty standard, the second is a rules set adaptation that turned out wonderfully. I'll be elaborating on it in another thread.

These two games formed a nice little narrative. In Game 12, the Space Marines tried to establish a forward base on the tiny dwarf planet of Ghast. Currently overrun by orks, Ghast was once the site of a great naval battle and valuable relics can still be recovered here - at least, if the Imperials act swiftly. So says Inquisitor Nathaniel Tholkes, who assures the 3rd he will be arriving shortly with his retinue and back-up in the form of Imperial Guardsmen.

12. Ghast: 2000 versus Orks [long edges, kill points] – Major Loss
The Orks proved varied and extremely tough. A unit of Nob Bikers tore into the space marines early-on; simultaneously, a terrifying Warboss with thirty ork bodyguards came charging across the taiga, and from the right a battlewagon full of screaming orks. If I had killed the Nob Bikers, I would have been hurt by Ghazkull and his mob of 30 Orks. I was able to stop the Battlewagon, but too late to do me any good. The final score was 8 to 5, with the Nob Bikers being serious MVPs. The 10-strong squad of terminators stayed in reserve too long, arriving too late to change the tide of the battle.
Moral: (Same as Game 3) Shoot one squad at a time until everything in it is dead. Don’t waste ammunition shooting at distractions. The Ultramarines lost this encounter because their leadership became distracted.

Beaten but not defeated, the Space Marines withdrew and bombarded the landing zone from high orbit. If they could not have the relics, neither would the orks! Into the wreckage they swarmed in their drop pods, establishing a forward base near the remaining space debris... The Master of the Forge made a horrific discovery, then: These were no relics of Man, but of Chaos! What the devil was this Inquisitor thinking? Then, the boom of a Leman Russ sounded across the distance... had Inquisitor Tholkes' men landed during the maelstrom? Why, they had! What treachery was this?

13. Ghast: 1000 versus Orks and Witch Hunters [custom deployment, 5 objectives] – Minor Victory
A three player game. 5 TH/SS Assault Terminators - a new addition to my army - were the MVPs of this game. Facing down over 120 Ork attacks and killing a Deff Dread and a dozen orks in response, they were far-and-away the most durable unit I've ever played with... probably, ever seen. Other highlights included the Inquisitor killing a battle-wagon and 8 orks with one shot from his Inferno Pistol, and the Ork player killing two Leman Russes in as many turns with a Zzap Gun. Final score: Witch Hunters (2 objectives) Space Marines (2 objectives) Orks (1 objective).
Moral: Mobility and durability should go hand-in-hand. When they do not, they are instead a liability.

The ruins of an ancient craft were defended from the vile greenskins. But what of Tholkes intentions? No official statement has been made, not by either side.

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