Friday, February 13, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Seek and Destroy
Level: Gamma
Location: Celebes
Background: Having beaten off the initial Chaos assault, Captain Kennell orders patrols around the perimeter of Celebes Hive Primus, where the Cadian 271st have made their base. During one such patrol, Kennell makes a personal appearance to oversee the defences. Somehow the forces of Chaos discover Kennell's presence and decide to pay him a visit.
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1000
Imperial Guard
  • Command Squad 77, Captain Kennell Junior officer, Standard, 3 meltaguns
  • Infantry Platoon
  • Command Section 36, Lieutenant Dophan Junior Officer with Plasma Pistol and Power Weapon, 4 plasma guns
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Armoured Fist Squad 812, Flamer, Chimera with Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter
  • Sentinel Autocannon, Extra Armour
  • Sentinel Multilaser, Searchlight
  • Sentinel Multilaser, Smoke Launcher
  • Basilisk, Indirect Fire
  • Leman Russ, Heavy Bolter

Chaos Space Marines
  • Lord with Berzerker Glaive
  • 8 Marines (close combat)
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 5 Havocs with 4 missile launchers
  • 5 Marines (1 lascannon)
  • 3 Obliterators
  • Dreadnought with lascannon

Every January Games Workshop hosts the Winter War League. The rules for this league were not widely advertised this year, which was a little problematic as 40k has changed editions since the last league. After a lot of confusion I finally worked out the following rules:

Mission: Gamma level Seek and Destroy

Points value: 1000

Duration: Winter War lasts from 1st January - 31st January

Location: All games must be played in store

Results: League position is calculated by averaging the players victory points over four games

What better way to begin the league than by taking on Gary's Chaos Undivided force, with his newly painted Obliterators? Looks like I picked the wrong week to experiment with a vehicle heavy army and no lascannons!

Deployment and Terrain
The table was absolutely covered in small patches of ruins, with a couple of larger ruined buildings too. We classified them as size 2 area terrain and size 3 area terrain respectively. Only my right flank was relatively clear of terrain.

I set most of my vehicles up on the right/centre, with the Sentinels front and forward to try and draw fire. Gary placed his shooty units on my right with his assault units on my left. This left me a little puzzled as I had assumed he would keep his small army compact and central. In fact I was planning on using my Armoured Fist squad as bait in the centre, with the plasma and melta Command squads counter shooting. Ho hum.

The Game
I won first turn, much to Gary's dismay. I mainly concentrated my fire on the Havocs and took them down to two models. My ordnance also killed four men from the lascannon squad. The return fire from Gary was so poor it didn't even kill a single model!

In contrast, my second shooting phase was devastating. I finished off the Havocs and really thinned out both the Berzerkers and close combat Chaos Marines. Gary's army looked very tiny now. He responded by immobilising a Sentinel and blowing up my Leman Russ (the Obliterators had worked their way around it's side armour). The resulting explosion killed six Guardsmen from three different squads, and gave Gary some little hope.

I continued to pound the Chaos line, though, killing the Lord and wiping out the Berzerkers. The left flank was now secure, but I was struggling on the right. The Obliterators destroyed the Chimera, Basilisk and Infantry squad in quick succession. With their 2+ armour save I only had the plasma guns left that could hurt them (all of my melta gunners had perished in the Russ' explosion). Gary cannily kept his distance with them and I only managed to take one wound from them - with a Multilaser.

The last bit of drama was in the centre. The Chaos Marines in the close combat squad got too close to my Armoured Fist squad who closed in on them and reduced the Marines to a single model with rapid firing lasguns and their flamer. Unfortunately for me, the lone survivor then managed to kill all of the Guardsmen in assault over the next three turns and then charge a second Infantry squad. The game ended, but that one model denied me some meaty victory points and the win.

Result: Draw

Victory Points: Guard 1060, Chaos 940

Imperial Control:
No change

Kennell's Commendation
The Basilisk for some deadly accurate shots.

Learning points
  • I knew I couldn't destroy the Obliterators unless Gary put them in range of my meltas and plasmas, so I ignored them and took apart the rest of his army.
  • On paper Gary should have won easily due to his heavy weapons and my proliferation of light vehicles. But some bad deployment by him and good target selection by me made for a tight game.

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