Chaos Knights vs. Word Bearers – Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report

This was a special game, the first that I played against my friend and podcast co-host Chandler while I was down in his stomping grounds of Utah Valley a few weeks ago.

As I was borrowing models, and we both have been playing the same Knights tournament list, I just went with the same 2 and 7 build that I’ve been playing for months now. Don’t worry! A report with a different build is coming soon.

Chandler has been iterating on a Word Bearers list for Chaos Space Marines. I believe this was version 2, and he is going to write up a little series on how his iteration process has gone, and you can read the first part of that here!

Super-Heavy Detachment 1CP (Chaos Knights) [97 pl, 1830 pts.

Iconoclast House: Herpetrax

– Lord of War – 

Knight Abominant [24 pl, 460 pts]: Volkite Combuster, Diabolus Heavy Stubber, Electroscourge, Titanic Feet, Balemace, Stratagem, Tyrannical Court, Aura of Terror, Stratagem, Corrupted Heirlooms, Veil of Medrengard, Favour of the Dark Gods, Blessing of the Dark Master, Psychic Powers, Winds of the Warp, Vortex Terrors

Knight Desecrator [22 pl, 440 pts]: Warlord, Stratagem, Warlord Trait, Knight Diabolus, Stratagem, Relic, The Diamonas, Diabolus Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chainsword, Titanic Feet, Favour of the Dark Gods, Mark of the Dread Knight

War Dog Executioner Squadron [9 pl, 170 pts]: Iconoclast Dreadblade, Precision Cruelty, 2x War Dog Autocannon, Diabolus Heavy Stubber, Favour of the Dark Gods, Mirror of Fates

War Dog Stalker Squadron [25 pl, 455 pts] x3: Stratagem, Corrupted Heirlooms, Helm of Dogs, 2x Avenger Chaincannon, 1x Daemonbreath Thermal Spear, 3x Diabolus Heavy Stubber, 3x Slaughterclaw, Favour of the Dark Gods, Beguiling Majesty

War Dog Stalker Squadron [17 pl, 305 pts] x2: Daemonbreath Spear, Diabolus Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chaintalon, Favour of the Dark Gods, Collar of Infernal Brass

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment 0 CP (Chaos Knights) [9 pl, 170 pts]

Iconoclast Dreadblade: Bold Tyrants

– Lord of War – 
War Dog Executioner Squadron [9 pl, 170 pts]: 2x War Dog Autocannon, Diabolus Heavy Stubber, Favour of the Dark Gods, Warp-Borne Stalker

Dark Apostle
-Relic: Epistle of Lorgar
-Relic: Eight-fold Cursed Crozius
-Stratagem: Apostle of the Dark Council
-Mark of Khorne

Master of Possession -Warlord Trait: Daemonic Whispers
-Powers: Pact of Flesh, Cursed Earth

Chaos Sorcerer -Mark of Slaanesh
-Powers: Warptime, Delightful Agonies, Diabolic Strength

2×10 Cultists

1×5 Legionaries w/Balefire Tome.
Power: Prescience

1×10 Legionaries w/Chainsword

10 Terminators
– Black Rune of Damnation
– Mark of Slaanesh
-2 Reaper Autocannon, 8 Combi-Bolter
-10 Accursed Weapons

Master of Executions
– Mark of Khorne

1×3 Obliterators

2×5 Possessed

Land Raider w/ Twin Soulshatter Lascannons

We were playing Abandoned Sanctuaries (no advance move, no forward deployment, 2 extra points for destroying an enmy unit within 6″ of the center or for controlling the center objective) and put some terrain on the board roughly like this. The little L shapes are dense cover, the pipes are 1 inch tall and walk overable, and everything else is breachable and obscuring.

Chandler won the first roll off and opted to take the side with slightly more terrain in the deployment zone. Left to right we have the Land Raider, Terminators, Dark Apostle, the other HQs, and the Legionaries with Chainswords and Possessed in the shadow of the terrain piece. The center has a unit of Possessed and unit of Cultists. On the right side, the second unit of Legionaries are handing out with the second unit of Cultists and the Master of Executions.

The Obliterators are starting off the table.

Left to right for me, we have two Stalkers with Chaincleaver and Thermal Spear, the Abominant and Desecrator with the Mirror of Fate Executioner behind them. Finally, we have the other three Stalkers, and the guy with the little slip of paper has Beguiling Majesty and Helm of Dogs.

I opted to put the Warp-Borne Stalker Executioner into deep strike.

For objectives, Chandler took The Long War, Exalt the Dark Gods, and Bring It Down and I opted to be a little aggressive and take A Fitting Challenge in addition to Ruthless Tyranny and Grind Them Down. His three most expensive things are his Land Raider, his Terminator brick, and his Obliterators, all of which need to be somewhat exposed to do anything useful at all given the scenario. I felt like I had good odds of scoring more than 12 on it compared to my likely 9 or so on Storm of Darkness.

I won the roll and went first!

Round 1:

Chaos Knights:

Chandler and I both tick up a CP and things are off to the races.

Movement Phase:

I scootch up aggressively with the Abominant onto the center objective, mainly because I want to deny him his super Word Bearers secondary and the Abominant is the knight for the job. Secondarily, it also really bottle necks his ability to traverse the table horizontally with that great huge base in the way.

The left side Stalkers move up to range and Line of Sight of his Land Raider, and the Desecrater does the thing where Knights are really fast and can draw Line of Sight to things from unexpected angles when they have 72″ range guns and also gets a bead on the Land Raider.

I decide to play insanely cagey this turn. I can get up to 2 extra points on Primary every turn with the extra bit from holding the center, and in addition next turn I am likely to score 8, but minimally 4. With that, assuming I score 2 extra points every turn, I can afford to be a little cautious and still maximize primary in the later game. This also forces him to expose melee units with no compensation other than getting shot to death.

Psychic Phase:

I manage to get Winds of the Warp onto the Abominant with a 10, and then Vortex Terrors has no target.

Shooting Phase:

I put a few points into the Land Raider with one of the left side Stalkers. A ton of random shots go into the Cultists and Possessed hiding on the back objective, and I whittle those units down to almost nothing.

The Desecrator takes aim at the Land Raider with the Diamonas and hits 2 of 3 shots, so I re-roll into another hit. He then proceeds to wound all three times on 3s, and the Land Raider comes off the table, losing a single model from inside. The Desecrator also unlocks the second level of Mark of the Dread Knight with that kill, and scores me 6 Victory points on A Fitting Challenge.

Chaos Space Marines:

The command phase bestows us each with a Command Point. The Dark Apostle gives the Terminators “miss me on 1-3”.

Movement Phase:

Things are a little measured here. Chandler effectively concedes the right side of the table, preferring to keep his Legionaries a little safer inside the building in front of the Master of Executions.

The left side sees the unit that popped out of the Land Raider mosey up to the side, and a unit of Possessed takes the left objective. His Terminators get brave and poke their noggins out of the building to take a very expensive Bolter Fusilade at my Abominant shortly.

His backline Cultists make their 4 inch advance to take the center objective away from me also.


Chandler dumps a bunch of CP into making his Terminators bolters into actual monsters, wounding the big Knight on 4s and re-rolling a ton of hits. They scuff up the Abominant for about six damage. The rest of his list piles shots into the Stalker holding the Collar of Infernal Brass (second from the right on the bottom of the picture here) and bracket it.

At the end of the round, I’ve scored 3 on Grind Them Down, 1 more on Ruthless Tyranny, and 6 on A Fitting Challenge in addition to 2 additional from Primary to Chandler’s 2 from Primary.

Round 2:

I head into Darkness for my Harbingers of Dread, getting Gheiststorm.

The Command Phase comes and goes, and I move into….

Movement Phase:

I decide that I really need to kill a bunch of Terminators, so things move accordingly. There’s a really annoying little knot of Cultists to the top right behind the rightmost building, so I put two Stalkers onto the objective so that he cannot take it from me. My left side Stalkers scootch around, with one of them giving me control over the left Objective.

I drop my Executioner on the far right side of the board.

Psychic Phase:

Winds of the Warp really wants to work for me this game, and it comes back out through a deny attempt.

Shooting Phase:

I shoot literally every gun I can spare into the Terminators and….kill….3. I also kill the pair of central Cultists and all but 3 of the right side Cultist unit.

Importantly, random Gatling Cannon fire has taken down all but one of the Legionaries on the right side, and a Morale check will later make the last one flee as well…

When the dust clears, I have finished off the center Cultists and the Legionaries, and killed three Terminators. I opt not to charge them with my brave Stalker, and pass the turn over scoring 3 on Ruthless Tyranny, 2 on the Primary, and having a kill tally of 2 units for Grind Them Down.

Chaos Space Marines:

The Command Phase sees the Terminators get “miss me on 1-3” again.

Movement Phase:

Things move up aggressively, it’s time to punish the Knights for getting close. His left hand Legionaries move to aggressively threaten the advanced Stalker. The Possessed move forward to fight the other Stalker on that side, and the Terminators and the murder bot Dark Apostle move up really close to the Abominant.

On the right, his lone Master of Executions comes to say hello to a Stalker, and his Cultists move up with the intention of tying up my Executioner in melee so that its Damage 3 Autocannons cannot do anything productive next turn.

Psychic Phase:

I know things happened here, but it’s been almost two weeks and they’re fuzzy. Lots of buffs, some mortal wounds, good times for all.

Shooting Phase:

Shots mostly bounce off things. I think the Abominant takes a few more damage.

Charge Phase:

The Terminators and the Dark Apostle make their charges despite Dread tests. So to the Legionaries. So do the Possessed. The Master of Executions also gets in there and the Cultists go forth to die for the cause.

Fight Phase:

I do have the CP to interrupt, so the Terminators go first into the Abominant. They shove a truly nutty amount of wounds at him, but he makes a lot of saves as well.

I opt to use the CP to interrupt with the Stalker that is fighting the Master of Executions. The other option would be to use the -1 damage stratagem on the Abominant and force the Dark Apostle to be really sad.

I decide to interrupt for two reasons. First, the Master is much more likely to kill the War Dog than the Dark Apostle is to kill the Abominant. Second, if I am able to kill the Master of Executions, I can secure myself a Grind Them Down turn assuming the Abominant lives as I will have killed 3 units (Cultists, Legionaries, and Master) to his two War Dogs.

The Stalker puts down the Master, and then the Dark Apostle bounces off my Abominant (I made 10 of 15 Feel No Pains) and my two Stalkers on the left explode. The Cultists do a damage to my Executioner, who responds by splattering two of them. The third runs in the morale phase. The Abominant kills a few Terminators.

Round 3:

Chaos Knights:

Movement Phase:

The Abominant does that awesome thing big knights do and falls back with no penalties. The Desecrator scootches up towards the Legionaries with a bit of Murder on the brain.

With no remaining threats on the right side of the table, the War Dogs all scoot up.

Psychic Phase:

Once again, Winds of the Warp comes out to play.

Shooting Phase:

Once again, I point every gun in my list at the Terminators, and this time they actually die.

Charging/Fight Phase:

I get the Desecrator into the Legionaries, the Abominant charges the Dark Apostle, and the foremost Stalker makes a long bomb charge into the backline Possessed.

In short, everything dies horribly. The Desecrator mulches all 8 remaining Legionaries, the Dark Apostle can’t keep up with the 14 attacks that come at him, and the three Possessed all die to the Slaughter Claw laden Stalker.

Chaos Space Marines:

This turn sees the Obliterators drop in and take shots at the Desecrator. They make their charge, as do the remaining Possessed into the Abominant, but neither Knight goes down and Chandler and I opt to talk through the last couple turns given that I’m controlling every objective and will kill most of the rest of his list next turn.

Post-Game Thoughts:

Basically, Word Bearers really want to kill a thing in the center of the table and repeatedly do an action for a ton of secondary points and the Abominant says no to that strategy in a fairly spectacular way.

We had a good post game chat about things that could have been done differently. From the very beginning on this particular scenario, it might have been better for Chandler to fight for just the top left corner of things, and not spread his forces out to try and engage with the whole table. I’m faster than him and I have better guns, and so he needs to put all of his melee resources into the kill box to do as much work as possible while I waste a War Dog or two on the far right objective instead of fighting his actual threats.

I’m excited to see Chandler continue to evolve this list – and to read his articles about it – so stay tuned for those coming in the near future!

As always, if you want to read more content about Marvel: Crisis Protocol, Conquest, or Warhammer: 40,000, there are many articles to be found on this very website! Consider subscribing to the Line of Sight Youtube, and joining the Discord! Finally, if you want to support this content directly, check out the Line of Sight Patreon where you can help influence the very course of the podcasts! Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next time!

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