Tuesday, March 24, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Secure and Control
Level: Gamma
1st turn: Chaos Space Marines
Points: 1500
Location: Celebes, Salazar Systems, Skolarii sector
Background: Khornate warbands slaughter the civilian population of Celebes in their thousands. Caught up in the carnage are the Celebes Ruling Council, including Governor Turf Knidel. Captain Kennell, with the aid of Inquisitor Kurven, hand picks an elite detachment to rescue the dignitaries. The forces of Chaos capture two lesser members but Kennell captures three, including Governor Knidel himself. The command structure of Celebes remains intact, for the time being.

Imperial Guard
  • Command Squad 77, Captain Kennell Junior officer, Standard, 3 meltaguns
  • Anti-tank Squad, 3 lascannons
  • Commissar Ord Bulman, Power Sword, Bolt Pistol
  • Inquisitor Lord Kurven, Psycannon, Mystic, Hierophant, 2 Sages, 2 Imperial Guard Veterans with plasma guns
  • Callidus Assassin
  • 6 Stormtroopers, 1 meltagun, 1 plasma gun
  • Infantry Platoon
  • Command Section 36, Lieutenant Dophan, Junior Officer, Missile Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Plasma Gun
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Plasma Gun
  • 6 Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, 2 Plasma Guns
  • 6 Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, 2 Melta Guns
  • Sentinel Multilaser, Searchlight
  • Sentinel Multilaser, Smoke Launcher
  • Basilisk, Indirect Fire
  • Leman Russ, Heavy Bolter

Chaos Space Marines
  • Lord with Axe of Khorne
  • 8 Bloodletters
  • 8 Flesh Hounds
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers
  • 5 Chaos Marines with 1 lascannon
  • 3 Obliterators
  • Mutated hull Dreadnought with lascannon
  • 5 Havocs with 4 Missile Launchers

I gave my army list a good shake up for this game. I wanted to experiment with multiple small and/or cheap units. The idea was that ultimately each unit was expendable in an assault - as long as it left the assaulters out in the open for my return fire. And with multiple squads I should be getting a lot of return fire.

I also wanted to continue my points denial strategy - taking less risks to preserve my units.

Gary dropped his Eldar and returned to Chaos for this game.

Terrain and Deployment
It was back to a more normal terrain set-up for this game with about 20-25% coverage. There were five area 3 ruined buildings and two area 2 ruins. My right flank was the most open so I decided to put most of my army on this side.

We rolled up five loot counters and to my surprise Gary put most of his counters on my right. I followed suit and felt confident even though Gary had won the strategy rating roll to choose the mission and won the dice off for table edge.

Gary spread his army out across the whole table again with the Berzerker squads on either flank. The Havocs were high up on a building on my right, overlooking the counters. The Obliterators and Dreadnought also had good lines of sight from the area 2 ruins in the centre. His 5 man squad and Lord were out on my left. His entire army looked very tiny compared to mine.

I had my Russ, Inquisitor, Plasma Stormtroopers and an Infantry squad on the right. On the left I dropped the Basilisk, an Infantry squad and the remaining Stormtroopers. The rest of my army was in the centre. I put the Sentinels on each flank and pushed them forwards with their scout moves.

I had the Callidus in reserve, while Gary had the Bloodletters and hounds to summon on.

The Game
Gary won first turn and all of his units that could rage did rage. His Berzerkers were pulled wide toward my Sentinels on either flank. The Sentinels paid the price by being destroyed in the shooting phase. The Obliterators hid behind the low ruins and couldn't hit my infantry so they went for the Leman Russ with three lascannons. They failed to hurt the 14 front armour.

In my turn I had a good chance to hammer both Berzerker squads. On the right the Russ got a direct hit and killed five models. The last three Berzerkers were killed by plasma fire from the Stormtroopers and Inquisitor Kurven's squad. The left was a different story. The Basilisk shot scattered away harmlessly, while my Stormtroopers and Guard Infantry only killed three Marines. In the centre I destroyed the Dreadnought with my lascannons.

The Bloodletters were summoned on my left, so that flank was surely doomed. The five Marine squad with the lascannon destroyed the Basilisk's Earthshaker cannon and both Stormtrooper squads were massacred in the ensuing assault.

In my second turn the Callidus arrived and shot and assaulted the Havocs. In a protracted combat, which lasted so long that she played no further part in the game, the assassin killed all five Marines for the loss of one wound.

I now had a dilemma on the right. The Russ was facing off the Obliterators who could hurt the tank but I couldn't really hit them back with their 2+ armour save, I had no cover and had to advance to claim the objectives. My Inquisitor and Stormtroopers couldn't see the Oblits behind the terrain, but the Oblits could move out themselves and still fire heavy bolters at my units. In the end I trusted in my armour 14 and hid the Infantry.

It worked because in the last turn I grabbed two loot counters with these squads. The Obliterators claimed one for themselves, but I was ahead on the right flank.

On the left I was in all sorts of trouble. I managed to drop the Bloodletters down to four models with the help of my central firebase but I couldn't hurt the Lord or Berzerker squad because they were in and around the ruined building. The Flesh Hounds summoned from them but scattered close to the Conscripts and only four could deploy. Result!

Those four dogs went on to slaughter my central units, though. They killed the anti-tank squad, my platoon HQ and half of an Infantry squad before I charged Kennell's squad in. They finally wiped out the Daemons.

Kennell's meltagunners also vaped the Lord, who had just driven off the Conscripts.

The best combat (for me) was on my left.

The four Bloodletters slammed into a ten man Infantry squad. Eight Guardsmen died but they still got to swing due to Close Order Drill. I hit six times and then got five sixes to wound. Gary failed four saves and the Bloodletters were sent back to Khorne. Oh the shame, killed by Guardsmen in combat!

It was now clear that I had won the game and all that was left was to grab the loot counters. Gary got another with his five man lascannon squad to add to the one claimed by the Obliterators. I got my third with the Leman Russ, over and above the two from my Inquisitor and Stormtrooper squad.

Result: Win - Crushing victory, Imperial Guard 2078 victory points, Chaos Space Marines 1138.5 victory points

Imperial Control : +47%

Kennell's Commendation: Infantry Squad 541 for defeating the Bloodletters in close combat.

Learning points
  • I had a plan and it worked, despite Gary getting the choice of mission, choosing the board edge and winning first turn. I used the Sentinels to draw his Berzerkers onto my plasma and ordnance. Even though the Sentinels were blown up on turn one I destroyed the entire squad on the right which left the objectives free.

1 comment:

  1. Well played. Small 'expendible' units are the way to go in 5th too, as the higher chance of massacre and the inability to consolidate into another unit means you can blast anyone.

    I current use remnant squads for the purpose - although I hear no confirmation that remnants will be in the new codex.