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Battle Reports
Posted By Jake

Open War Cards – Astra Militarum vs Custodians – 2,000 points

This is a battle report for my first Open War Card game in Warhammer 9th Edition...


Approximate Reading Time: 7 minutes

Today we have a twist, this battle uses the Warhammer 40,000 Open War Cards, again this takes place at Boards & Swords.

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Astra Militarum List

Having never played against Custodians I have no real idea what to expect other than 2+ Saves, fast Jet Bikes, almost no armour/vehicles and a lot of three or more wound models.

I am taking the Jury-Rigged Repairs and Gunnery Experts Doctrines again.

  • Company Commander Warlord
  • Executioner Tank Commanders with Lascannon, Plasma Cannons with Kurov’s Aquila
  • Executioner Tank Commanders with Lascannon and Plasma Cannons
  • 4x Infantry Squads
  • Astropath with Nightshroud
  • Command Squad with 4x Plasma Guns
  • 2x Tech-Priests
  • Veterans with 3x Plasma Guns and an Autocannon
  • Veterans with 3x Meltaguns and an Autocannon
  • 2x Basilisk with Full Payload Tank Ace
  • 2x Cyclops Demolition Vehicles
  • A Stormlord with Lascannon and heavy Bolter Sponsons in a Super Heavy Auxillary Detachment and no Regimental Doctrine

The Company Commander, Command Squad, the Astropath, Tech-Priests, an Infantry Squad and both Veteran Squads (38 models) will ride in the Stormlord. It can hold 40 and 20 can shoot out of it. This is mainly reserved for the Autocannons, 7x Plasma guns and 3x Meltaguns it will be carrying.

I placed Kurov’s Aquila on a Tank Commander this game to gain the benefit from the first battle round. If the Company Commander is inside the Stormlord for the first battle round or two, then I cannot roll for Kurov’s Aquila.

Also who else’s wishes that the Cyclops Demolition Vehicles could ride in a Stormlord?!

I have 8CP, to begin with;

  • A Strike Force starts with 12CP
  • -1CP for a Tank Ace
  • -3CP for the Super Heavy Auxillary

12 – 3 – 1 = 8CP

Stratagems of interest include;

  • Relentless – 1CP – use top row of damage table
  • Defensive Gunners – 1CP – A vehicle can Overwatch on a 5+
  • Aerial Spotter – 2CP – Basilisk re-rolls fail hits
  • Crush Them – 1CP – Vehicle hits on 2+ in melee
  • Jury Rigging – 1CP – Repair 1 Wound if the Vehicle does not Move, Fall Back or Charge
  • Experienced Eye – 1CP – Improve AP by 1 for Veterans – From The Greater Good Supplement
  • Hail of Fire – 2CP – Max shots on a Leman Russ turret weapon, vs Vehicles only

Custodians List

  • Trajann Valoris
  • Shield-Captain on Dawn Eagle Jet Bike
  • A Unit of three Dawn Eagle Jet Bikes
  • 2x Units of three Sagittarum Custodians
  • A Unit of three Guardians
  • Land Raider
  • A Vexilus Praetor
  • A Dreadnought
  • A Unit of four Allarus Custodians

Open War Cards Mission

Well, this is going to be rough on me! This Blackout card plays perfectly into the Custodians style of play!

When this card came out, David graciously offered me the chance to draw a mission from Chapter Approved instead. I declined…

Open War Cards

Open War Cards

Open War Cards Deployment

The single objective was in the middle and with the deployment zone being how it was we could also start right in the middle too. We both deployed aggressively, the Custodians are naturally this way but my shooting was so hampered that I too needed to be up the battlefield to ensure I could get enemy units into range.

My Basilisks were now basically close range Earthshaker Cannons!

Battle Round 1 – Custodians

Custodians got first the turn.

As expected they saved froward towards my Stormlord full of infantry and set about their killing. I lost an Infantry Squad and a Cyclops at this point. The Stormlord also took a blasting and was reduced to its middle bracket. A Tank Commander also lost just three wounds from the Land Raider’s four Lascannon shots. I was lucky there.

One of the Sagittarum Custodians that made it to the table centre picked up The Prize.

When the Cyclops exploded it dealt three Mortal Wounds to a Jet Bike – placing one on one wound. And it also did three Mortal Wounds to a unit of Sagittarum Custodians – killing one. This would be important later on…

On their charge, the Jet Bikes lost a model from Defensive Gunners Overwatch. This would be important later on too…

The Vexilus Praetor, Shield-Captain, Sagittarum Custodians and the Jet Bikes managed to reduce the Stormlord down to four wounds, its lowest bracket. Ouchy!

Battle Round 1 – Astra Militarum

I withdrew the Stormlord from combat, to open up fire to all those units that made it into combat. I managed to fully heal the Tank Commander and a Tech-Priest healed the Stormlord to seven wounds – placing it back into its middle bracket.

The Land Raider managed to only take eight wounds from 18 Overcharged Plasma shots and a Lascannon. I expected to at least bracket it.

Now things got interesting, with the loss of the two models earlier the Vexilus Praetor which dishes out a -1 to hit to friendly Custodians was now exposed. No units with 3″ had three or more models. I could snipe him! And that I did. The Veteran Meltaguns from the Stormlord went for him, dealing a single wound which then did five damage. Perfect. The -1 to hit buff was removed from all the surrounding models.

This allowed the rest of my shooting to kill the Shield-Captain and Jet Bikes. Only a single Sagittarum Custodian remained, which was annoying. So the battered Stormlord charged using Crush Them to hit on a 2+. The single remaining Sagittarum Custodian was squished!

So, some devasting blows for both sides I think in this first battle round. But most importantly the Custodians at The Prize.

Battle Round 2 – Custodians

The Custodians kicked it up a gear now after taking so decent losses in the first battle round. The Terminators and Dreadnought arrived – swiftly dealing with my Stormlord. This was all their shooing. But the important event was the model holding The Prize embarked into the Land Raider!

Battle Round 2 – Astra Militarum

My shooting was not as good this turn and I did not manage to put any sort of dent into the Custodians. The 18″ was really hurting my Basilisks who were also limited by the -2″ movement they were experiencing from a crater and a large building in the middle. A Tank Commander failed to kill the Guardians in the central ruin and the other one raced forward with a 6″ Advance ready to attack the Land Raider or its occupants in the next battle round.

The Custodians are really tough! Their invulnerable saves are fantastic and the Dreadnought could half damage which really takes the sting out of my overcharged Plasma Guns and Meltaguns.

I managed to Advance the last Cyclops forward 6″, for a total of 16″, and placed it right in front of the enemy Terminators. It could not explode now, but it did force them to deal with it. And would save some infantry.

Battle Round 3

The Custodians advanced forward and into my Tank Commanders. Meanwhile, the Land Raider withdrew with The Prize. The Terminators started to wipe out my remaining Veteran infantry squads.

One Tank Commander was killed in the shooting phase and the other was smashed by Trajaan in the Fight Phase.

I called the game a loss, as the Land Raider was too far away from my Basilisks to shoot and my Basilisks would be torn apart as they moved up the battlefield to try and get to the Land Raider.

The Custodians had taken The Prize!

Open War Cards Summary

This was a rough ride for the Guard – but it was a fun ride! David was a great opponent to play against and I am looking forward to a re-match!

Lessons were learnt here, the Open War Cards can be cruel! In the last set, in 8th Edition, I am sure that you selected your army after selecting the cards. This is pretty hard to do if you decide to play with the Open War Cards on the night you meet up. I should check how they are worded now in 9th Edition.

The list I made was more for matched play; taking objectives, holding multiple objectives, etc – but all of that was lost in this mission.

Thank David, looking forward to the next game!


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