A Vigilus Battle Report: The Indomnitus Crusaders
The Ultramarines struggle to defend the Vigilus world and keep the Nihilus open for the Imperium. Marneus Calgar, fresh from his Primaris conversion process, struggles with the pain in the aftermath but the Orks care not for there is only war.
I have played quite a few games using the new Specialist Detachment found in the Vigilus Campaign Book. In this case I feel after playing the Indomnitus Crusaders Detachment a few times, it would be good to share my experiences with it.
This game is a new Maelstrom game from CA2018 where you always have 4 active Objectives. Everytime you draw a card, take 2 instead, and your opponent decides which one you keep. This is probably my favorite of the new missions as it always makes for very challenging games.
Orks: Psyker, Warboss. 2 Boyz squads, Tank Bustas in a Wagon with a destroyer roller thingy. (looks like a rolling pin from hell attached to the front of a vehicle.) Large Loota squad. Lots of Grots. Mega Armoured Nobs in a Truk. Boyz in a Truk. 3 Artillery Cannons. Wartrike. (Sorry this is approximate I am not entirely farmiliar with the heinous Xenos inferior army options.
Ultramarines: Specialist Detachment: Indomnitus Crusaders: Calgar, Victrix Guard, 10 Interecessors w/Fist, 2 Sniper Scout Squads, 3 Centurions, Landraider, Apothecary, Ancient, LT (Specialist Warlord Trait: Grey Shields), 3 Aggressors, Repulsor, and 5 Reivers.
The Game: We ended up playing the Front Line Assault Map (“Pointy Dawn of War”). What follows will be abbreviated as most of the action really took place on Turn 2-3 and dictated the game.
I apologize for forgetting to get pictures of the Ork Deployment. Essentially Lootas occupied his rear table edge, fully entrenched in cover. Multiple vehicles were centered in his deployment while his artillery was set along my left side of the table.
The Ultramarines set up with Scouts center, and right flank with the 10 man Veteran Intercessors. Calgar was positioned to the left with the Repulsor and Landraider full of Astartes wanting to bring the pain to the Orks. This deployment allowed my Repulsor to be completely hidden from the Lootas which was the goal. I knew my right flank would possibly fall, but any effort spent there, would be far away from the core of my army.
The Ultramarines do not steal the initiative. With the Orks deployed, the fate is in the cards and they don’t get any ‘easy’ cards thanks to the scenario however it is through sheer luck or shrewd driving skills as the Repulsor and Landraider are subject to a scary volume of fire power coming from Lootas (showin’ off + More Dakka), and the Repulsor specifically took the brunt of firepower from a Wagon full of Tankbustas. The Landraider faced a barrage of Artillery guns but the saves were solid. As ‘lucky’ as the Repulsor was, it was down to a measly 5 Wounds in Turn 1. Still I felt lucky to have it at all intact. (Tiguruis put -1 to hit on the Landraider).
The only other ‘big’ action on Turn 1 came from the Orks performing “Da Jump” on a 30 man Boyz squad, landing them right in front of my Scouts and Intercessors on the right Flank. This would lead to a huge battle that would push the Indomnitus Crusaders to their limits.
The Ultramarine Cards aren’t easy at all. but the only plausible objective is very easy… secure 3. However it forces the Centurions to disembark and move to a very uncomfortable position.
The Ultramarines slightly moved the two large vehicles, and adjusted the core of characters and started to hit big priority targets. In this game I decided to try something different and I did not target the Lootas at all this turn. (The Grot Shield is just too annoying.) The Centurions let loose a hail of Beta Bolter goodness, ripping a Boyz squad and a Grot squad (on an objective) to pieces. The Lascannons/Grav cannon took down an Artillery Cannon, and a single Truk. Not so great.
The rest of the shooting factor from the Landraider and Repulsor were not so great, even with Calgar’s presence. This would lead to a potential problem with so many Ork units rushing up the center of the table. Even though this was the bulk of the Ultramarines’ forces, the true “Indomnitus Action” would happen on the far right flank.
The Indomnitus Veteran Crusaders is a great idea, but is it too costly? We’re about to see what happens when 30 simple hooligans wielding stolen car doors as weapons face off against the might of this new breed of Astartes! Get your Command Points ready!
So if you’ll recall I need the objective in front of this factory terrain. I sent the Scouts out to get it. Ironic isn’t it? I feel this might be one of the best moments for me to highlight the Veteran abilities, and their respective costs. So we start with using Rapid Fire on the Bolt Rifles, resulting in 40 Bolt Rifle Shots! But I need to be certain, so I spend yet another CP on Scions of Guilliman! And out of 40 shots, the to Wound roll is the tough one, I end up killing about 12-15 of the Orks!!! Oh no… this isn’t how it was supposed to work.
Now the scouts pitch in, and kill maybe one more. Not only is this embarrassing but it’s been a very rich cost in Command Points to get rid of a very basic unit. Now it’s personal…. the Veteran Indomnitus Crusaders tell the scouts to charge… they do, one dies in overwatch BUT now the Orks are engaged and can’t overwatch my expensive Vets. I get very lucky and the Intercessors make it in to close combat. This has been expensive enough so I do not use extra Strategems. Instead I continue to attack with 27 attacks, PLUS the Sarge’s 4 Fist attacks! Again the ‘to wound’ roll is hard at 4+ and too many attacks bounce off the thick skulled, transients from outerspace. And in return, a few Intercessors are killed by a power Klaw. In a word, this is… embarrassing.
That almost ends a disappointing turn, but wait there’s more; the Orks spend a few points and prevent faling a Morale test and then spend more command points to take the remainder of the squad off the table, and then re-appear (guess where?!) on the table, at full strength. So all the points I paid were really moot as I’m sure he would have done this anyway. The good news is the Ultra’s do score the point though.
So let me fast forward a bit. It’s in this vital second turn that I believe my opponent’s dice truly left the room without telling him. He did attempt to blow up the Repulsor, even with Tigerus’ -1 to hit. At the end of it all the Repulsor had been wounded 5 times by Rockets from the Battle Wagon. Somehow I make all 5 saves. This is a record for me, I don’t think I’ve had 2 large Landraider type vehicles in play for more that 2 turns in a very, very long time. (probably index days to be honest.)
I do lose 2 Centurions though! This is ugly, but one manages to shoot up a Cannon, and fleece a squad of Boyz on it’s way to the grave with the help of the Primaris Ancient’s banner.
Word comes back from the Eastern Flank. The Veteran Intercessors have fallen. The Orks annihilate them in close combat with the assistance of the War Trike. This makes Calgar’s offensive push to gain board control a key to pushing the Ork menace off of Vigilus.
The Ultramarine’s turn 2 is pivotal. The dice do a complete turn around for me and my opponent.
My Reivers come in and steal an objective deep in Ork territory. But I’m still heavily boxed in and need to do a LOT of damage this turn as a lot of Ork assets sit firmly in the Ultramarine’s deployment zone.
Now the shift is on to the middle of the table and this turn is a pivotal one as Calgar and company have to get out of the zone to grab objectives.
The Apothecary FINALLY pays off; he brings a Centurion back from the dead, and together with the Landraider, they wipe out the rest of the Artillery cannons, and trucks. The Repulsor assists in taking down the Battle Wagon and the Truck with the Mega Armoured Nobs.
The destruction in the bottom of Turn 2 is massive and even though the Ultramrines lose the Repulsor in Turn 3, it’s not enough. The Aggressors get out of the Repulsor and assault the remaining Tank Bustas. The Landraider, and Centurions split fire killing the Commandos and a good chunk of Lootas (the Orks are out of CP so it’s safe to do so).
Turn 4 is quite one sided and the Orks have some terrible luck. Calgar won’t be denied this Vigilus mining town. It becomes apparent that although Ultramarines are behind by 1 point, the Orks are too far on their back foot in this game to stop the forward momentum the Ultramarines have gained.
At that we decide to call the game (after drawing additional cards the Ultramarines had the ability to score multiple points in Turn 4 if necessary).
First off I’m sorry there weren’t better pictures and I really don’t like doing battle reports with my unpainted models, but the goal was to show the Indomnitus Crusaders specialist detachment in action. I forgot to mention that my Lieutenant did have the Grey Shield ability and it was in T3 (when I pushed outwards) that I used the Raven Guard’s Chapter Tactics for the detachment. By then it wasn’t a factor.
Secondly I still have to say that while the Indomnitus Crusade is ‘fun’, it certainly doesn’t make the 180 Point Intercessor Squad a great threat.
My early Indomnitus Crusader detachments used multiple large squads and I think that’s a mistake. It doesn’t force hard decisions on your opponent and your largest threat is to slower moving hordes. While that’s fine and dandy, the truth is a 5 man Hellblaster squad can be far more punishing, and not as situational.
There is good news though; The Indomnitus Intercessors can be a great sandbag if you need it. There is a plethora of multidamage weapons in 40K. Too much imho, and the Lootas in this game are a perfect example of that. Each unsaved wound kills a scout… or an Intercessor. Conversely I would say *IF* Gamesworkshop ever gives flexibility in load out to the squad, this could be a truly potent unit if you could sprinkle maybe 2 Hellblasters in the squad with Rapid Fire in effect. Unfortunately that is a Deathwatch only characteristic.
The Indomnitus is fun, but at the very least it is too Command Point intensive. I would go so far as to say I think Space Marines have potentially the worst overall Strategem selection in the game. So I feel like now is a great time to blow some of your hard earned Command Points on Super Troopers. It’s a very fun option and in the right circumstances, it really can pay off when used correctly.
As a side note I continue to enjoy the Vigilus Specialist detachments. So far the Servitor Maniple continues to be one of my favorites, but this one brings some MUCH needed flavour to a somewhat difficult Troop to maximize.
Thanks for checking out the Battle report! For Calgar, for Guilliman, for Vigilus!