Wednesday, January 7, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Orks - Feral

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: Steve
Mission: Pitched Battle
Location: Mias
Background: 946.M41 Commissar Yarrick gives Captain Kennell his first campaign in the Skolarii Sector. Mias has been invaded by Orks thought to be part of Ghazghkull's horde. Kennell's task is to recapture the planet for the Imperium and try to track down the Beast of Armageddon.
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1000

Imperial Guard
  • Command Platoon 77, Captain Kennell, Junior Officer, Honorifica Imperialis, Company Standard, Medic, Missile Launcher
  • Anti tank squad 3, Lascannons
  • 8 Stormtroopers, 1 meltagun, 1 plasma gun, deep strike
  • Infantry Platoon 1
  • Command Squad 36, Junior Officer with power weapon and plasma pistol, 2 meltaguns, 2 plasma guns
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Platoon 2
  • Command Squad, Missile Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 812, Flamer
  • 20 Conscripts
  • Basilisk Indirect fire

Orks - Feral
  • 3 large ork mobs
  • Large Gretchin mob
  • 3 'guntrukks' with orks with 3 big shootas inside each
  • Warboss with power claw
Terrain and Deployment
With the number of missile launchers in my army I knew I would have a good chance at smacking down vehicle-heavy armies but I really wanted to try my Guardsmen out against a horde army. Steve stepped up to the plate with his feral Orks, an army I had clashed with a couple of times before with my Chaos army.

Scenery was sparse on this 6x4 foot table (as we knew it would be down at Warhammer World) with a large wood in the centre left of the table and spots of small stuff scattered around and about.

I set up largely on my right-centre with good fields of fire across the board. I began with the Basilisk and Command Section 2 on my extreme left, in some low ruins. Steve set most of his infantry up as close as possible, many behind the wood, the rest screened by the gretchin. He had one of his 'guntrukks' in the middle, and one on each flank.

The Game
I won first turn and went for his trukks first, blowing up one and immobilising the other. In the next turn I destroyed the third and was feeling pretty good about the game. But I made two big mistakes.

The first was with the Ork footsloggers in the middle of the board. Steve got entangled with a unit as it tried to pick its way through the forest so my main priority was the Orks in the open on the centre right, behind the grots. They had to weather a torrent of fire on the way to my lines and just before they hit, I had an idea. If I could wipe out the grots the Warboss would be the nearest target to my lascannons and they could instantly kill him.

I poured all of my fire into the little gretchin, instead of shooting the Orks behind, wiping them all out. Then I proudly declared my lascannon shots against the Warboss. Steve pointed out that the Orks in the wood were closer and could be seen by the lascannons. Sure enough, they were 5 inches from the edge of the wood and the unharmed Warboss duly contacted my front line, 20 angry Orks not far behind.

The game ebbed and flowed as I whittled the Orks down at the cost of unit after unit of Guardsmen, until finally only the Warboss and Kennell's understrength Command section were left on this side of the board.

My second mistake was the deep striking Stormtroopers. I should have brought them on to finish off the squad in the immobilised trukk but mistakenly thought that Ork big shootas were ap4, not ap5. Instead I dropped them on my left, and although they caused considerable damage to the Ork unit in the wood they were wiped out in return.

That left the Orks in the trukk to claim one quarter and my Command Section 2 to claim one quarter for the Cadians.

Result: Another draw

Imperial Control: Unchanged

Kennell's Commendation: Command Section 2 who again survived the game and won me a table quarter.

Learning points
  • Overall I was pleased with my Guardsmen, having taken a 100+ Ork army down to less than a dozen models. Having said that, I was under 10 models myself. I think if I'd not made those two crucial mistakes I could have won the game.
  • I still can't get those deep striking Stormtroopers right; I either roll so badly for their reserve rolls that they make no impact on the game, or I bring them on in the wrong location. More practice required.


  1. Neat battle report - piccies would be nice. I'm confused as to why you bother with missile launchers in the squads? I find them a bigger hindrance than benefit as you're constantly choosing to 'stand-fast' with what should be a mobile squad.

    Better off having the missile launchers in HQ-attached Anti tank squads and free your squads up to tackle the greenies.

    Grenade Launchers in the squad I understand, but against greenskins, a mixture of flamers and grenade launchers would have been a better option. Use the grenade launchers move and fire 24" in a 4GL command squad to pummel greenies with frag and light vehicles/warboss with Krak grenades. Then have them retreat behind a line of flamer armed squad who can pre-charged the orks! You got in close combat anyway...

    Lascannons? Why? You couldn't instant kill the Warboss anyhow (he's T5, only a Tau railgun is good enough) and Lascannon are singularly useless. Where were your heavy bolters? Three ML teams and 2 HB teams in your HQ would have rocked.

    On a similar note, why have 2 plasma and 2 melta in your infantry command squad. You would have been better off with 4 flamers or 4GL's as previous stated. Combining melta and plasma in a command squad is overpriced (80 pts depending on 5 wounds?) and they need to be within 12" to work properly (IE charged/death range).

    Better the squads have those weapons, then each gun has 10 wounds attached and it's not the end of the world if they're targetted.

    And finally ... please explain to me the logic of having an honorifica imperialis commander in a squad with a missile launcher? If you are going to HI, he might as well be your storm trooper sergeant - who can have a power weapon and dish it out!?!

    A waste of a medic AND a waste of a HI...

    Otherwise a great report ... but your army list was what lost the battle - it was weird?!?

  2. " Lascannons? Why? You couldn't instant kill the Warboss anyhow (he's T5, only a Tau railgun is good enough) "

    Note the battlereport date. Back in the old codex.. the warboss was only T4. much to dismay of a lot of ork commanders ;)

  3. Hi sunekun. Thanks for your comments - all of them!

    On the Warboss toughness; what Archeteuthis said. Back in the day he was T4.

    A lot of my choices were to do with the models I had available. I'm a relatively slow painter but paint to a high standard so it takes a while for me to put an army together. Even if I had models to swap out I would very rarely tailor my army to take on the enemy. At the time I would make up my army list at home then take it into the store and see who fancied a game. That would mean I could face a horde Ork army in one game then a three Landraider Space Marine in the next.

    I used a lot of missile launchers mostly to save money. I had them spare from the heavy weapons boxed set so it was a simple decision to glue one to a regular infantryman's arm and get an extra heavy weapon for free. I also think that the infantry squads look better with models all on the same size base - I don't like mixing the big, two man heavy weapon bases into the squad and a separate missile launcher and loader lets me put the weapon on regular bases.

    As to heavy weapons in infantry squads, again you need to bear in mind we were playing third edition. Troops choices didn't have to move anywhere as objectives were just a twinkle in the game designers eye at that stage so heavy weapons were pretty much compulsory on Guard squads.

    The melta/plasma combo on a command squad was an interesting choice. I usually kept the squad hidden and then leapt them out at a big target that had broken through my lines. Often this would be a hard target like a Hive Tyrant, Dreadnought or single character model. For 80 points I could easily down a model worth triple that. It didn't really matter if they died straight after. I didn't need them for leadership anyway, which brings me to...

    The Honorifica was there solely as cheap leadership 9. It only costs 65 points to buy a Junior Officer and the Honorifica but the Heroic Senior Officer costs 70 points!

    Since I'm relying on his leadership to hold my army together I want him at the rear of my army. A missile launcher allowed me to stay 48" away and still hurt the enemy. The medic was just a fluffy choice because I had the model.

    Anyway, I hope that answered your questions and thanks for reading.

  4. Very thorough, thank you! I seem to be constantly changing my teams, squads and setup depending on the enemy. I see it as one of the 'few' strengths of fielding Guard.

    That said, as my army becomes more polished I'm getting more and more detailed in 'finished' units with GL or plasma or melta etc.

    In 4th edition the whole 10 wound missile launcher was ace. Thankfully in fifth, we can now divide between the HWT and the squads. That said, the new 'choose any unit' rules mean our missile launchers can take a pounding...