Sunday, March 1, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Seek and Destroy
Level: Omega
Location: Celebes
Background: With the fall of the outer defences, the Cadian 271st are hard pressed to hold the Chaos assault. Captain Kennell hatches a daring and audacious plan. He will use the labyrinthine Celebes sewer system to deep strike his army behind the Chaos army and destroy them piecemeal. Although heavy casualties are inflicted on the invaders they take the field and the Guardsmen are pushed back further into the Hive.
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1500

Imperial Guard
  • Command Squad 77, Captain Kennell Junior officer, Standard, 3 meltaguns
  • Commissar Ord Bulman, Power Sword, Bolt Pistol
  • Anti-tank Squad, 3 lascannons, sharpshooters
  • 10 Stormtroopers meltagun, plasma gun
  • 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, sharpshooters
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher, sharpshooters
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher, sharpshooters
  • Armoured Fist Squad 812, Flamer, sharpshooters, Chimera with Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter
  • 20 Conscripts
  • 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 Bloodletters
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 3 Obliterators
  • Dreadnought with lascannon
  • Defiler

This was my first game after the Winter War league, so I wanted to try something different. A 1500 point game would allow me to use my Commissar and new platoon leader with a powerfist. I also shook my list up by deep striking most of my foot troops, using the drop troops doctrine. Obviously, the points limit also allowed Gary to play a larger army, and include his Daemon units.

As we had never played an Omega level mission yet, we decided not to roll randomly for the level. We were both curious to find out how escalation and the random game length would affect our armies.

Terrain and Deployment
Another game with very dense terrain. There were 4 large ruined buildings we classed as area 3 terrain and numerous small patches of jungle we called area 2 terrain. I won the dice off to choose table edge and Gary was surprised by my decision. I picked the most heavily terrained edge - leaving Gary with the one relatively open side (opposite my right flank).

What I'd spotted was a line of woods down the centre of the table, dividing the left and right flanks. My plan was to allow Gary to advance in the open into my guns and then deep strike in behind him, so he would have to run back through the open to get at my newly arrived Guardsmen. That line of trees was crucial as it would slow down any attempt from him to reinforce that right flank. I wanted to kill all of the icons on this side of the board so that the Daemons could only arrive on the left. They would then have to slog through the trees and out into the open, under heavy fire all the way, to get over to the right.

Due to escalation (and my drop troops) we started with limited units on the board. Gary had a Berzerker squad on each flank and one in the centre. His Lord was hugging the trees in the centre. I had my lascannons in a ruined building in the centre of my deployment zone.

The Game
I got off to a good start when a high night fight roll allowed my lascannons to kill two Berzerkers on my left. Gary got good rage tests though, and all 3 squads of Khorne Berzerkers and the Glaive Lord ran 11" toward my lines.

Now I dropped everyone of my available reserves on the right, in the area just deserted by two 'Zerker squads. My platoon HQ landed right next to a Berzerker squad and killed 5 models. The rest of my arrivals scattered into inconvenient locations and I only caused 1 further casualty (those small woods were a complete pain).

I was now relying on the Russ and Bassie which had rolled on from my table edge, again on the centre right, as they had a clear line of sight to the central Berzerker squad. They both scattered and I only killed 2 models. Rats!

Gary now deep struck his Obliterators in next to my Russ. This was a risky move as he was surrounded by my units and close to the board edge. He got a hit, and the Russ subsequently lost its battlecannon. The surviving Berzerkers assaulted my platoon HQ but fluffed their die rolls and only killed 3 plasma gunners. My junior Officer miraculously survived with his power glove, and he wiped out the Chaos filth. Nice!

I had gotten off relatively lightly as the Daemons hadn't arrived yet, either. For my plan to work I had to destroy the icon in the squad in the centre, and kill the Lord who could also summon.

Captain Kennell dropped in and vaped the Lord (3 meltagun hits - 3 failed invulnerable saves). My lascannons did for the Obliterators. The rest of my army went for the central Berzerker squad and their icon. Despite the Basilisk, Sentinels and Infantry Squads shots I couldn't finish off the last two members of the squad.

The icon bearer and Aspiring Champion then assaulted a Sentinel. I got a further reprieve when Gary failed both reserve rolls for the Daemons again. His Defiler did turn up, though, and it took the gun off my Bassie. He couldn't kill my Sentinel in close combat, which was a good result for him as it meant I couldn't shoot at his icon.

Instead I charged the remnants of my platoon HQ and an Infantry Squad into the 2 Marines. I didn't even force a save. My shooting tore the battle cannon off the Defiler. For the want of better targets I shot everything else at the last Berzerker squad who had advanced into a ruined building on my left. They passed a ridiculous amount of saves and all survived.

Although I hadn't killed that icon it still left Gary with a dilemma - if he summoned from it and the Daemons landed on target he would lose models due to the proximity of my Guardsmen, and if he scattered he could easily be destroyed by landing on my other nearby units. He took the risk and it paid off big time. Both Daemon units scattered out into the open but well within assault range of my units.

My whole right flank folded as a result. Despite staggering units into terrain and having Close Order Drill, the dice just weren't with me and in quick succession I lost my Stormtroopers, Kennell's command squad and two Sentinels.

To add insult to injury those two Berzerkers in combat killed the Infantry squad, platoon HQ and Sentinel for the loss of just one man.

On the left things were no better. I forced 20+ saves on the Berzerkers in cover and they only failed one save. In the following assault they wiped out my lascannons and were then counter-charged with my Armoured Fists. I took them down to a single model but couldn't finish them off.

Result: Loss - solid defeat

Victory Points: Guard 1250, Chaos 1748

Imperial Control: -25%

Kennell's Commendation: That Platoon HQ for taking out a Berzerker Squad single handed.

Learning points
  • I should have won this game. Gary's deployment was poor again - he still continues to split all of his Marine squads out across the breadth of the table. If I could have killed that last icon on the right I would have gotten at least one turn of shooting on the Daemons as they broke cover. Alternatively, I could have drawn the game if I had finished off the last surviving Berzerkers from two squads (statistically, I should have done it easily). Add in Gary's jammy deep strikes and my poor scatters and it just wasn't my day.
  • Drop troops could be effective if they are configured right. Even though my army isn't that competitive, I should still have won. Ho hum. I think I'll stick to regular deployments in future. At least if Gary knows I have the Drop Troops doctrine in the locker it might give him something to worry about.

1 comment:

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