In this section we will have a look at the missions found in the Dark Vengeance box set and how to win them.
Mission One: Rampage
The Rampage mission is more about control than overt destruction. The mission overview and battle tactics paragraph at the end of the mission notes cover this elegantly. One main feature of this mission is that you have a good idea about how your opponent is going to act. This means that you can plan your actions a few steps ahead.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at how we can use the Helbrute’s actions in our favour.
The Movement Phase
The Helbrute will move, and later shoot at the nearest unit. As the mission tactic section suggest you are advised to make sure that this is your cheapest, most expendable unit. For the Chaos army this will be the Cultists ( please note that in all real word cults and religions this is the case too. The leadership care about the Cultists right up to the point where they are threatened, and then the Cultists become expendable).
As the Chosen weapons are the best tools to take a wound/ hull point off the Helbrute, then you will want to draw the Helbrute away from the Chosen so that they can get a good shot at the Helbrute’s back where the armour is thinner. However you should note that several of the Chosen’s weapons have a 12″ range. Using these weapons will place you within assault range of the Helbrute.
Another option will be to have the Cultists with the heavy stubber behind the Helbrute. This has 3 shots a turn with a 36″ range and will glance the Helbrute’s armour on a 6. As half of the shots are expected to miss you are in no fear of killing the Helbrute.
The Shooting Phase
The Helbrute will always shoot at the nearest unit. This should be the one that it was just movingtowards, so probably the Cultists. The size of the playing area means that the Helbrute will always be in range of the bait (Cultists?) in the first round.
If you arrange the Cultists carefully you can minimize the casualties received from the Helbrute’s flamer.
The Helbrute’s Assault phase
The Helbrute will be rolling 2D6 (average of 7) for the assault movement distance. On a 2′ ( 60cm) playing area that will mean that it is very likely that the Helbrute will get into assault.
When the Helbrute has finished dishing out the punishment you probably want to use the ‘ our weapons are useless ‘ rule ( Page 26) to fall back leaving the Helbrute free from combat letting the other units shoot at the un engaged target.
How to make the mission easier
Although this is the first mission in the book, it is not an easy one to complete. If you want to make the mission easier to start off with try the mission on a larger playing area of 3 foot by 3 foot. This will give your troops more space to maneuver in and a better chance of staying out of assault range from the Helbrute.
Mission Two : The long and Winding Road
The first thing you need to be aware of is that the second mission is not about getting your bikes to the end of the course as much as it is about leadership and the effects of moral on weaker units. First you will need to find the Cultists characteristics on Page 16 of the How To Play book, and the bikers statistics on page 134 of the small rule book in the Codex Dark Angels section.
If you have a look at the Cultists stats you will see that they have a leadership score of 7 and 8 for the champion ( Tatchvar and Anarkus ). As the Ravenwing bikes have bolters that will cut though the Cultists, and the Cultists are in small groups of 5 Cultists per unit, it will not take much to cause 25% casualties ( 2 kills per unit of Cultists). And when you do you will see that units with a leadership of 7 will break and run 50# of the time and units with leadership 8 will break a little less often.
While we are looking at the Space Marine bike weapons notice that you will out range most of the Cultists. The Autopistols have a 12 ” range, and the Auto guns can only fire one shot when you are between 12″ and 24″ away. This means that if you keep between 24 and 18 inches away from the Cultists you will be able to get some pot shots without fear of much return fire. You will want to be careful of the Heavy stubber. This has a longer range and quite a kick!
As the playing area is only two feet ( 24 inch) wide, the Cultists will have no problem catching up with you as pass. If you have thinned out the Cultists units before they assault you should cut through them with ease. What you want to avoid is having two or more units of Cultists assault you at the same time.
In engagement one you may find that using the turbo boost to shoot past the Cultists. In turn the Cultists will have one or 2 turns where they can get some shots at you, however the chance that they will
cause a wound is very low ( approx 15 shots 50% hitting – 1 in 6 or 16% of these wounding, and 2 in 6 or 33# of those are not saved. So 50# * 16# * 33# comes to 2.6# or two and a half wounds for every 100 shots)
Cultists with close combat weapons are not likely to wound Space Marines bikers any more easily than Cultists with autoguns. However if the Cultists get into combat they will slow you down, so taking a round two kill a few Cultists and hopefully causing the Cultists to run.
This is the most difficult of the 3 engagements as you will be facing 20 Cultists, some with heavy weapons and the Cultists leaders too.