Thursday, January 1, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD and Space Marines - Space Wolves versus Chaos Space Marines - Iron Warriors and Dark Eldar

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: ?
Mission: Cleanse
Location: Eye of Terror
Background: 999.M41 In the nick of time the Cadians and Space Wolves realised they were friends, not foes, and called a truce. They joined forces to attack a Dark Eldar raiding party backed up by Chaos Space Marines of the Iron Warriors Legion.
1st turn: Imperial Guard and Space Marines - Space Wolves
Points: 1000 per army

Imperial Guard

  • Command Platoon 77, Captain Kennell (Junior Officer), Company Standard, 2 Meltaguns
  • Anti tank squad, 3 Lascannons
  • 9 Stormtroopers, Vet sergeant with plasma pistol, 2 plasma guns, deep strike
  • 8 Stormtroopers, 2 meltaguns, deep strike
  • Infantry Platoon
  • Command Squad 36, Junior Officer with power weapon and plasma pistol, medic, 2 plasma guns
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Platoon
  • Command Squad, Missile Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 812, Flamer
  • Basilisk, Indirect fire

Space Marines - Space Wolves
  • Wolf Priest
  • Another HQ with Frostblade
  • Grey hunters in razorback
  • Bloodclaws in rhino
  • Landspeeder tornado with multi-melta and heavy flamer
  • Landspeeder with heavy bolter and heavy flamer
  • Predator annihilator
  • Wolf scouts with meltagun and powerfist
Iron Warriors

  • Pimped out Lord with Daemon Weapon and Wings
  • Basilisk
  • Dreadnought
  • 2 large units with plasma guns and lascannons and aspiring champions with powerfists
  • Obliterator
  • Predator annihilator

Dark Eldar
  • Archon and Incubi in Raider
  • 2 Warrior squads in Raiders
  • Ravager
  • 2 units of Jet bikes

Terrain and Deployment
The battlefield was cluttered with large buildings, mostly across the centre of the board with a couple in our opponents deployment zone. Our board edge was relatively clear except for a small wood on our left and a low building on our extreme right. Most of my Guardsmen started out in the open, in the centre. Despite the buildings, they had good lines of sight to any avenues of attack. Wayne had his units hidden behind the scant cover we had, ready to counter charge.

Essentially, we set up a refused left flank, anchored by the Predator safely hull down in the wood. Between us we had four units available in reserve.

Our opponents spread their army out evenly across their deployment zone, but their heavy support was concentrated on our right, in or around a wooded hill. They only kept their single Obliterator back to deep strike.

The Game
Thank the Emperor we won the first turn!

We managed to immobilise the Dreadnought and blow it's ranged weapon off, knock a Dark Lance off a Raider with the Basilisk and rout a Dark Eldar Warrior squad off the board.

The damaged Raider raced forward 24" to stop in front of the Guardsmen, completely messing up their lines of sight. The Ravager emerged from behind the forest on our right while the Jetbikes zoomed forward on our left. Their Basilisk tore the Earthshaker gun off our Basilisk and blew the Stormbolter off our rhino.

Our priority for the turn was to take down that Raider and the Jetbikes. The Raider was duly shot from the sky to reveal a large Incubi squad and Archon. I poured all of my firepower at the survivors and reduced the squad to just the Archon, at which point the Bloodclaws, and both Space Wolf HQs charged him. Only one Jetbike squad was destroyed by the Space Wolf shooting phase, leaving the other free to wreak havoc next turn.

The Archon was reduced to a single wound as his shadowfield failed, but he managed to kill 3 Bloodclaws. The Jetbikes charged a Guard infantry squad and routed them, running them down. They swept into the command section behind but they would be vulnerable to shooting next turn. With the Dark Eldar and Space Wolf HQs stuck in combat, the Iron Warriors Lord decided he wanted a piece of the action and swooped into the melee.

It was clear that this was to be the decisive engagement of the game. If our opponents won the combat they would be in amongst our firebase, free to slaughter Guardsmen at will. If we won, we would have knocked out the significant enemy assault elements and could then bring our superior firepower to bear. We also had four units still to arrive from reserve, and would have a big manpower advantage.

In a titanic struggle the Space Wolves emerged victorious, largely due to the Stormcaller power allowing the Wolves to strike first. Then, to add insult to injury, our deepstrikers made an entrance. Wayne's Wolf scouts took out their Basilisk and I brought in my Stormtroopers to secure our lines. They killed the last of the Jetbikes together with Captain Kennell's command squad.

It was clear we would win the game but to give credit to our opponents they carried on and tried to give us a bloody nose. They dropped their Obliterator in next to Captain Kennell and flamed his squad. Only one Guardsman died, though, and in return they meltagunned the behemoth to death. Their Dreadnought went into fire frenzy twice. With only the Heavy Flamer operational it had to target the nearby Ravager and destroyed one of it's guns. This forced the Ravager out into the open to escape the crazed ally, and it got immobilised and then crashed due to a Grenade launcher krak shot.

Both Predators traded shots with each other on the isolated left flank, with the Space Wolves one coming off worse, being immobilised and losing two lascannons. The Chaos Annihilator didn't escape harm entirely, though. Those Wolf scouts assaulted a much larger Iron Warriors squad and actually killed them all. The lone survivor then swept into the Predator and tore it up with his powerfist.

On the last couple of turns our units concentrated on securing table quarters. Most of my Guardsmen were unharmed and they gave up their shooting phase to capture three quarters, and a Space Wolf 'speeder got the fourth. We didn't bother totting up victory points as we were so far ahead.

Result: Win

Kennell's Commendation: Infantry Platoon 1 who variously held the line and took out the Incubi and their Raider, Jetbikes, a Ravager, and then captured two table quarters.

Learning points
  • Space Wolves and Imperial Guard make for a very tasty combination, with long range shooting complementing rock hard assault units. On the other hand our opposition was Iron Warriors and Dark Eldar who also have awesome ranged attacks coupled with vicious close combat ability.
  • In the end I think our deployment swung the game, allowing us to bring our whole army to bear against only selected enemy units. By the time the rest of their army redeployed to support their attacks, the original thrust had been repulsed. They attacked piecemeal, allowing us to take their units on one at a time.
  • My deep striking element worked well again, allowing me to redeploy units to wherever they were needed. They are good for grabbing table quarters as they arrive late, either taking quarters themselves or soaking up fire so that other units can do so.
  • My only concern is that I lack any sort of counter-charge ability in my own army. The Wolves really helped me out in this regard, but what happens when I am on my own?

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