Chaos Knights vs. Salamanders – Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report

I was fortunate enough to get another practice game with my Chaos Knights list in preparation for a large GT coming up in a few weeks, and my opponent brought his Salamanders for this game. You can read another report with this Chaos Knights list here.

Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [98 PL, 1,845pts, 1CP]

Gametype: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

Lord of War

Knight Abominant [24 PL, 460pts, -3CP]: 4. Knight Diabolus, Arch-Tyrant [-1CP], Balemace, Aura of Terror, Character (Traitoris Lance), Diabolus heavy stubber, Electroscourge, House Herpetrax, Stratagem: Relic [-1CP], Stratagem: Warlord Trait [-1CP], Titanic feet, Undivided – Blessing of the Dark Master [2 PL, 30pts], Veil of Medrengard, Volkite combustor, Vortex Terrors, Warlord, Winds of the Warp

Knight Desecrator [22 PL, 440pts, -1CP]: Corrupted Heirlooms [-1CP], Desecrator laser destructor, Diabolus heavy stubber, House Herpetrax, Reaper chainsword, Slaanesh – Beguiling Majesty [2 PL, 40pts], The Tyrant’s Banner, Titanic feet

War Dog Executioner Squadron [9 PL, 170pts]: House Herpetrax
– War Dog Executioner [9 PL, 170pts]: Diabolus heavy stubber, Tzeentch – Mirror of Fates [1 PL, 15pts], 2x War Dog autocannon

War Dog Huntsman Squadron [18 PL, 325pts]: House Herpetrax
– War Dog Huntsman [10 PL, 180pts]: Daemonbreath meltagun [5pts], Daemonbreath spear, Khorne – Blood Shield [2 PL, 30pts], Reaper chaintalon
– War Dog Huntsman [8 PL, 145pts]: Daemonbreath spear, Diabolus heavy stubber, Reaper chaintalon

War Dog Stalker Squadron [25 PL, 450pts, -1CP]: House Herpetrax
– War Dog Stalker [8 PL, 145pts]: Avenger chaincannon, Diabolus heavy stubber, Slaughterclaw
– War Dog Stalker [8 PL, 145pts, -1CP]: Avenger chaincannon, Corrupted Heirlooms [-1CP], Diabolus heavy stubber, Helm of Dogs, Slaughterclaw
– War Dog Stalker [9 PL, 160pts]: Daemonbreath spear, Diabolus heavy stubber, Khorne – Collar of Infernal Brass [1 PL, 15pts], Slaughterclaw

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]
Shared Faction Bonus [3CP]

Lord of War

War Dog Executioner Squadron [8 PL, 155pts]: House Herpetrax
-War Dog Executioner [8 PL, 155pts]: Diabolus heavy stubber, 2x War Dog autocannon

++ Total: [106 PL, 1CP, 2,000pts] ++

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [16 PL, 300pts, ] ++

Armiger Warglaives [16 PL, 300pts]: Freeblade, Martial Tradition: Hunters of Beasts, Questor Imperialis .
– Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
– Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Salamanders) [80 PL, 1,697pts, 3CP] ++

*Chapter Selector*: Salamanders

+ HQ +

Captain in Gravis Armour [8 PL, 155pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Never Give Up, Power fist, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Warlord

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: 1) Veil of Time, 2) Fire Shield, 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura), Stratagem: Relic, Tome of Vel’cona

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: Helix gauntlet . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine . Infiltrator Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Bolt rifle . 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades . Intercessor Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Bolt rifle . 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades . Intercessor Sergeant

+ Elites +

Aggressor Squad [12 PL, 240pts]: 2x Flamestorm Gauntlets, 5x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant Primaris

Apothecary [5 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Terminator Assault Squad [9 PL, 215pts] . Assault Terminator Sergeant . . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer . 4x Assault Terminator w/THSS: 4x Storm shield, 4x Thunder hammer Vanguard

Veteran Squad [7 PL, 157pts]: Jump Pack . Vanguard Veteran: 4x Power Sword, 4x Storm Shield, Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Relic blade, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] .
– Attack Bike: Multi-melta .
– Attack Bike: Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 270pts]: Melta rifle . 5x Eradicator: 5x Bolt pistol . Eradicator Sgt

We played Abandoned Sanctuaries from the 2022 Nephilim GT Mission Pack, and I lost the roll off. Chris forced me to deploy and place terrain first, and we ended up with this table. Notable important measurements that I made prior to the game:

  1. The Abominant and one War Dog can both make it to the central objective
  2. Both right side Huntsmen can make it to the objective there.
  3. The Desecrator can walk into the left objective.

From left to right, I have:

Executioner, Desecrator, Stalker (Gatling), Stalker (Thermal, Collar of Infernal Brass), Abominant, Stalker (Gatling, Helm of Dogs), Executioner (Mirror of Fates), Huntsman (Melta, Blood Shield), and Huntsman.

From left to right, Salamanders have:

Eradicators, Attack Bike, Intercessors, Terminators, Warglaive, Aggressors, Librarian, Apothocary, Captain in Gravus Armor, Intercessors, Warglaive, Eradicators (behind the building), Intercessors, and Attack Bike.

For secondaries, I stuck with my guns of Grind Them Down, Ruthless Tyranny, and Storm of Darkness.

I think that in this particular game, it might have been better to take A Fitting Challenge as the Salamanders list can’t really afford to hide the Terminators, Aggressors, and Warglaives for the entire game.

Chris took Promethean Creed, Bring it Down, and Retrieve Nephilim Data.

Round 1, Salamanders

Chris won the roll off – much to his dismay. I think that going first is much worse for him here, but I also wouldn’t have particularly minded going first either.

He moves up with the Terminators onto the central point (which he has chosen as his Promethean Creed objective) and played cagey with everything else.

Fire Shield goes onto the Terminators to make sure that if I get the Abominant up there he always has -1 to hit.

He opts to spend 2 CP on the right side blob of Eradicators to make them count as having stayed stationary. This lets him take two volleys of 3 Melta shots with them. The right most Huntsman is their target, and he gets the 4+ Invulnerable Save Stratagem applied to him.

At the end of the phase, the Green Huntsman is down to 2 wounds remaining, and the Desecrator has taken 6 wounds down to 22. Chris scores 2 points on the Primary for controlling the center objective.

Round 1, Knights

My movement phase is pretty simple here, with the pre-game measured models moving up to where they need to be. He’s out of frame, but the really broken Huntsman moved up the right side.

During my Psychic Phase, I successfully get a 9 on my Winds of the Warp, giving the Abominant and the three Stalkers some version of a Feel no Pain.

My Shooting Phase is pretty anemic. Chris uses the Stratagem to make his Aggressors unshootable for as long as his unit of Terminators is alive. I don’t actually think I killed a single whole unit during the shooting phase, though I did kill a couple of Terminators and knock both of the Warglaives into their second or third bracket.

My Charge phase sees the Red Huntsman make a cheeky 8 inch charge into the two remaining Eradicators on the other side of the building, the Abominant makes his three inch charge into the remaining three Terminators, and the Desecrator gets up close and personal with the Attack Bike.

Chris has zero CP left, so I take my charges in order. The Huntsman obliterates the Eradicators and then Consolidates into melee with the Intercessors on the right and into range of the objective.

The Abominant kills all but one Terminator. The Desecrator pastes the Attack Bike.

The crack back sees one damage done to the Huntsman and a couple to the Abominant. Thanks to Aura of Terror, the remaining Terminator runs away, so I start a Storm of Darkness in the central objective.

I score Grind, Ruthless Tyranny, and two on Primary for taking the central objective. Chris scored a ton of points on Promethean Creed as it took me like 6 activations to kill his Terminator blob.

Round 2, Salamanders

I’ve restricted his Primary to 4 points. We both get a CP at the beginning of the turn.

The Warglaives get up and personal with my Desecrator and Huntsman. The Aggressors walk fearlessly into the central objective next to the Abominant.

Fire Shield goes into the Aggressors and the Abominant takes a Smite.

His shooting phase is less effective than he needs it to be, with this Aggressor blob doing about 8 wounds to the Abominant, and the Warglaive on the left only doing 5 damage to the Desecrator.

His charge and fight phase go slightly better at first, with the left Warglaive dropping the Desecrator down to 5 or so wounds, his right Warglaive killing the Huntsman, and his Aggressors bracketing the Abominant. (note: the -1 Damage Stratagem was huge here, preventing enough damage to keep the Abominant in his middle bracket rather than dropping).

The Desecrator fails to wound the Warglaive it’s fighting once.

Then the Abominant pops off and kills four of the six Aggressors in melee.

And then Aura of Terror causes their morale check to fail, making one of the two remaining guys to run.

And then…the last Aggressor rolls a 1 on its Combat Attrition check, causing it to run away too.

This ends up being effectively a 7 point swing as I get four extra points on Primary, but I also ended up needing that unit to die to score Grind Them Down later.

Round 2, Knights

I get some CP, Chris gets a CP, and I score 8 on Primary.

I’m able to move two War Dogs into the right side zone, and bring one into the left. The Desecratror falls back, and the Abominant stays where it is to finish off Storm of Darkness.

Chris denies Winds of the Warp, but Storm of Darkness completes its first tick for some points.

My shooting phase leaves a lot to be desired. The entire right side of the table fails to kill the Warglaive over there – though it does do a very important point of damage to an Intercessor.

Two Eradicators go down, and I leave the left side Warglaive alone so as to charge it with the Desecrator.

During the fight phase, the Desecrator makes up for last turn by handily killing the Warglaive, the red Stalker murders the Gravus Captain, and my Huntsman leaves his Warglaive on 2 wounds.

He fights back and kills my Huntsman, and I opt to use the auto explode Stratagem. This finishes off the Warglaive and kills one member of the Intercessor unit, giving me the objective back.

The Rest of the Game….

The next turn, Chris is able to take down the Desecrator, but the rest of his army quickly disintegrates and by the end of round 3 I’m on all the objectives facing down 10 scattered Intercessors with five War Dogs and a bracketed Abominant.

The Vanguard Vets deep striked on turn 3, but failed their Dread Test to charge my backline Stalker and were summarily cleaned up.

Post-Game Thoughts:

As I mentioned at the beginning of the report, I feel like A Fitting Challenge would have been a much better pick for me here. I would have scored 6 round one from the Terminators, 5 round two from the Aggressors, and another 4 round three from the Warglaive for a maxed out 15. Chris could have denied me a bunch of points by playing extremely cagey with those three units, but I also think he couldn’t have afforded to play so passively against an army as fast as Knights.

Going first would have been a bit rougher on me, but I think I would have been able to pick off a unit of Eradicators and a Warglaive before Chris activated anything which might have been enough to tilt things in my favor. Getting Harbingers of Dread active before the opponent gets to move is also hugely important for Gheist Storm and the other Darknes pathway options.

After this game, I am seriously considering rearranging the list slightly.

First, I am thinking about making both Executioners into Dreadblades with the Precision Cruelty Fell Bond. This does a few good things and a few bad things.

First, it makes it so that the Executioners lose an attack and an AP when charged, charging, or heroically intervening. These guys don’t really have attacks to speak of and should never be in combat anyway, so I don’t mind that.

Second, it stops them from being able to reroll when the Desecrator is around. This is a bit worse, but honestly the Executioners always end up on the backline and the Desecrator tends to play aggressively.

On the plus side, it means they get to make approximately two wounds per round at AP -3 and Damage 4, which is huge against things like Damage Reduction Terminators (Deathguard), 4 wound infantry (looking at you Tyranids), and just Armor of Contempt in General. This is even better with the Mirror of Fates Executioner, who can wait to see what their wound rolls are like before swapping in a six in addition to any others rolled.

I think I’m going to experiment with this a bit.

The second thing I am considering changing is swapping the Collar of Infernal Brass for Warp Borne Stalker. There have been less dangerous psychic armies in my area than there have been irritating backline builds like Sisters or Necrons, and having access to a model that can pop in the backline and shred important hidden models seems excellent.

I’ve got three more weeks and probably three more games to play before the big GT, and I’m excited to hone this list down to its absolute best before going in!

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