Wednesday, February 4, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Cleanse
Level: Alpha
Location: Porzing
Background: The forces of Chaos wax strong as Luzon and Jakarth fall to their invasion fleet. The next world to feel the sting of Khârn is Porzing. Although the system is uninhabited, Captain Kennell vows that the Great Enemy will not capture another planet in the sub-sector.
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1000

Imperial Guard
  • Command Platoon 77, Captain Kennell Junior Officer, Company Standard, 3 Meltaguns, Sanctioned Psyker
  • Anti tank squad, 3 Lascannons
  • 8 Stormtroopers, 1 meltagun, 1 plasma gun, deep strike
  • Infantry Platoon 1
  • Command Squad, Missile Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 812, Missile Launcher and Flamer
  • 20 Conscripts
  • Basilisk, Indirect fire
  • Leman Russ, Heavy Bolter

Chaos Space Marines
  • Lord
  • 8 Marines with Bolt pistols and Close Combat Weapons and Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Talons
  • 5 Marines with 1 lascannon
  • 8 Fleshounds
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers with Aspiring Champion with Powerfist
  • Defiler
  • Dreadnought with lascannon

After last week's thrashing by Gary I had a look back through my previous games against his Chaos army and found I had only beaten them once in seven games with my Imperial Guard. Shocking!

While I think part of the problem is out of my hands (I think Guard will always struggle against Daemons) I can change some things. In lieu of buying and painting more models - a Demolisher would be nice - I can shuffle things around a bit and add some Daemonhunter allies. Although they aren't so good at taking on other armies, they can be nasty against Chaos. And I have been playing Gary a lot lately.

So I squeezed an Inquisitor Lord and a Callidus assassin into my 1500 point list, hoping to surprise Gary. I also felt that this would fit with the background of our games, as Khârn invades the Skolarii Sector once more. As Kennell has been beaten back time and again, he calls for help from the Ordo Malleus.

So I turned up for our game with a well thought out army list and some nasty tactics, only for Gary to declare that he was sick of large games and wanted to play with 1000 points!

So, in two minutes, I reconfigured my list, taking out the Inquisitorial allies and some Guardsmen, and was ready to play a very different game. Ho hum.

Terrain and Deployment
The table was 6x4 with relatively sparse terrain. Virtually all of it, however, was on my left flank, in the shape of three woods and two buildings. Pretty much the entire right flank was empty apart from a small circle of standing stones. I won the deployment roll, and chose the empty flank, so that I could use a split deployment.

We rolled up the mission and got an alpha level cleanse, something new to both of us. No deep striking, infiltrate or any other shenanigans. Apart from summoning for the daemons. Grrrr.

I set the army up in two distinct groups. In my right corner I had two infantry squads, the platoon Command section, the Stormtroopers, the Leman Russ and the Basilisk. On the left I had everything else, screened from most of the Chaos army by those woods and buildings.

The Chaos units were bunched up as near to me as possible, in the shadow of the most central building, out of sight of my right flank. I knew, though, that they would have to come out into the open to launch an assault, and that they would be in a deadly crossfire. Gary set the Defiler up far behind the trees, which led me to believe that it had indirect fire.

Turn 1
I won first turn, much to Gary's disgust. My lascannons stunned his Dreadnought and my Russ killed two of his 5 man squad standing at the forest's edge. I surprised Gary by moving the Basilisk around from behind the safety of the standing stones (we had classed it as area 3 terrain) and taking a shot at the 8 Marines. It missed. The Conscripts advanced, trying to make themselves a tempting target. Most of my infantry squads moved left and right, into other table quarters.

When Gary moved the Defiler, I discovered it could only shoot directly, so I was mystified as to why he had placed it so far back in the woods. In any case it could only hit the front armour of the Leman Russ this turn and unsurprisingly it failed to hurt the tank. The Berzerkers and the Lord moved into the building, toward my right flank, but rolled low for their terrain tests. The rest of his Marines ran toward my left flank.

Turn 2
Virtually everything I had shot at the 8 Marines running toward my Conscripts, and I wiped them out. I also blew the lascannon off the Dread. Meanwhile, Gary's Daemons didn't appear and he looked increasingly worried. The Berzerkers and the Lord continued to pick their way through the building, but were some way off assault range. The Defiler had moved to target an infantry squad, but it missed. The depleted Marines in the wood shot their lascannon at the Russ, but also missed.

Turn 3
Now I shot everything at the Berzerkers and the attached Lord. Thanks to the 4+ invulnerable in the building the Lord, an icon bearer and the aspiring champion survived. I paid the price when the Fleshounds were summoned from the icon and they killed an infantry squad in close combat. Marines and Lord assaulted the Stormtroopers, who held, despite losing half their number.

Turn 4
This turn, all my Guardsmen targeted the 'Hounds. Thanks to a ten on an instability test, they were destroyed. My Stormtroopers were wiped out in close combat, leaving the Lord and surviving Marines free in my turn. They charged into an infantry squad and slaughtered them to a man. Oh well, at least I could shoot them next turn.

Turn 5
The first thing I did was shoot the Leman Russ battle cannon at the Lord and Marines. I killed them all. Gary conceded the game as it was clear that I had won heavily.

Result: Win - Victorious Slaughter

Imperial Control: Increased 50%

Learning points
  • Split deployment worked superbly in this game, helped by my choice of board quarter. I chose the area with least terrain to maximise my lines of sight, and also to make the wooded quarter irrelevant. It worked.
  • The army was much 'harder' here at 1000 points, than at 2000, but I missed the Chimera and Sentinels which have weapons with a high rate of fire. I could really do with heavy bolters and/or autocannons in my infantry squads.
  • Despite the convincing victory my ordnance was very erratic and killed only half a dozen Marines in the entire game. I am seriously considering a Demolisher.
  • I concentrated my fire very well for a change, and killed a whole squad every turn. I will definitely try to use this tactic more often in future.

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