Boys in Blue ... Ultramarines Vs Nightlords

Warhammer 40,000 - I finally put together a viable 2000 point list of Chaos Marines with an Daemon Allies. Although I have these painted as Night Lords I think I prefer the Traitor's Hate Black Crusade list better than the legion list in Traitor Legions. What I built will work with either style list but I think giving up the Feel No Pain and Initiative bonus for the Night Lord traits isn't something I want to do just yet.

Here's the list I'm trying to make work:
Black Crusade Detachment
Raptor Talon - (4) units of Raptors with melta guns (1) Raptor Lord
Lost and Damned - (4) units of Cultists (1) Dark Apostle
Sorcerer on Bike
Allied Daemons
Keeper of Secrets
(2) units of Daemonettes
(1) unit of Seekers

The Raptors all bear the Mark of Slaanesh carry the Icon of Excess and are led by a champion with a pair of lightning claws. Being able to assault out of deep strike; having the initiative bonus should see them going first against most targets. Having feel no pain should allow them to survive most return swings or a round of shooting after a bad scatter.

The Slaanesh Daemons are something I kept from the massive chaos forces I sold off during fourth edition. I kept them because even if they're not as good as they used to be, the models are amazing looking. Once I finish repainting and rebasing them I think they'll be an eye catching portion of the force.

With the force assembled I took them to the table to see what they can do. My first test is and Ultramarine Gladius force.  The mission is from Maelstrom of War, three cards per turn.

Unfortunately my notes on this are the best but here's a summary.

The Keeper of Secrets rolled Invisibility as a psychic power which elicited a groan from my opponent. Throughout the game the Keeper was able to stay invisible and tear through small units easily.  

The cultists leaders were super stars. During the course of the game I rolled the Dark Ascension three times creating Daemon Princes from cheap cult champions. It was pretty amazing, not having a wingless Daemon Prince I just grabbed a 60mm model from my cabinet to be a placeholder.

Less than impressive were the Raptors and Sorcerer on the Bike. I'm convinced that if I put melta on anything I'll roll "1's" more often than not. This annoying fact was extra evident in this game as I failed to pop a single vehicle with melta fire and instead had to charge in and beat them to glance out plethora of transports I had to face. Once the Raptors got into combat with regular marines they were amazing however they were decimated during shooting and once I lost the Icon Bearer they units quickly died to my horrid die rolls.

The Daemonettes did amazing when they got to combat but the shooting phase and overwatch took its toll and not many of the twelve models in the units made it to combat and those that did quickly dispatched the unit they assaulted only to be shot to death standing in the open.

Gladius is tough to face and I'm surprised I did as well as I did. If more of the die rolls went my way it seems that this would be a fairly strong force. The free roll on the Boon Table can be pretty amazing if you get lucky. Rolling for the cult champions is safe and if you get something good it's a freebie. If you roll a spawn it's also a free upgrade. If you roll a Daemon Prince ... well it's just plain amazing.

I want to run this a few more times before I make changes. On paper it seems solid in practice there's some pretty substantial weaknesses that may just boil down to luck. The biggest weakness I see if how much the list relies on the assault phase. It's hard to get into assault with numbers big enough to do something. Yes being able to assault out of deep strike is a huge fix to the weakness of Raptors. However the flaws with the assault phase in seventh edition put a damper on what should be an amazing ability..

I'm looking at swapping out the Daemons for a Renegade Knight as a secondary build using the same formations. I'm also going to see what happens if I drop the marks and run this as a true Night Lord list using the legion rules.