Thursday, March 26, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines - Death Guard

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Steve
Mission: Recon
Level: Alpha
1st turn: Chaos Space Marines - Death Guard
Points: 1500
Location: Celebes, Salazar Systems, Skolarii sector
Background: Sensor auguries detect enemy air movements in the previously uncontested southern quarter of Celebes Hive One. Kennell acts quickly and decisively; if the Cadians can reach the landing zone before the forces of Chaos hit the Hive, the new front can be crushed immediately. Upon contact with the enemy Kennell is surprised to see some old foes. The Death Guard have obviously finished their slaughter upon Kutch and have decided to throw in their lot with Khârn. Both armies fight ferociously only for the battle to be brought to a halt by a sudden chem-storm. The Death Guard return to their landers while the Cadians rush back to the northern front

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 - Death Guard
  • Lord with Powerfist
  • 7 Plague Bearers
  • 7 Deathguard with plasma gun, meltagun, asp Champ with powerfist
  • 7 Deathguard with plasma gun, meltagun, asp Champ with powerfist
  • 7 Deathguard Havocs with two plasma guns, meltagun, asp Champ with powerfist
  • Dreadnought with autocannon, extra armour and smoke
  • Dreadnought with multi-melta, extra armour and smoke
  • Great Unclean One

Both Gary and I were bored - we had played each other so many times in the last few weeks that we were sick of the sight of each other. Fortunately for us Steve showed up with a 1500 point Deathguard army. Steve is one of those players who has more army ideas than the time to create and play them. You never know which army he will turn up with from week to week or what tactics he will use. Whatever he plays he is a pleasure to game with as he doesn't get involved with heated rules debates and is as gracious in defeat as in victory.

He played Gary first, who pummeled the Nurgle Marines with long range firepower and then wiped him out in a vicious counter assault. I then challenged Steve on the same table. I felt pretty confident. On paper I reckoned I had the definite advantage; I had two pie plates and multiple melta and plasma squads, as well as missile launchers and lascannons. We were playing on a relatively open table and Steve had a list that I thought wasn't the strongest.

We rolled up a secure and control mission which I thought was fantastic. I had multiple small units which were actually quite mobile for a Guard army, while Steve had only a handful of high cost, low model count units. With time an issue, Steve suggested we roll something else. I reluctantly agreed. This time we came up with an Alpha level Recon. Much worse for me, as the Nurgle Marines would be advancing toward me anyway. Ho, and indeed, hum.

Terrain and Deployment
The board was pretty sparse with two large ruined buildings breaking up lines of sight in the centre and left of the board. The right had more patches of area 2 ruins and I had a large area 3 in my right deployment zone.

I dropped the Russ on my left with my melta gun Stormtroopers, Plasma Stormtroopers and Captain Kennell. The Conscripts, the last Stormtroopers, two Infantry Squads and my lascannons occupied the centre and I had the remaining Infantry Squad, Platoon HQ and the Basilisk on the right. I hung both Sentinels back near the centre, as a kind of mobile reserve.

Steve had a Dread behind each of the large ruined buildings (the multi-melta one nearest my Russ) and had his Havoc squad in between the two walkers. The rest of his Infantry went on my right, advancing through the area two terrain.

The Game
My basic plan was to advance the Stormtroopers and Conscripts in the centre as charge bait. Once they were destroyed I could slaughter the Nurgle forces with my plasma and ordnance. It failed miserably.

Steve took the bait, and even brought his Daemons on to join in the slaughter. Unfortunately for me his Plague Bearers got a 6" follow up move and just made contact with my supporting plasma Stormtroopers, while the Conscripts ran 3" and were re-engaged by the Death Guard. Every combat after that was equally as disastrous for me; if I needed to fail a morale check I passed it and vice versa, no matter the odds.

My shooting was atrocious for the entirety of the game. I failed to get above a three on the damage charts as I poured shot after shot into the Dreads and I just couldn't hurt the toughness 5 Marines. The one exception was the first Leman Russ shot. It went virtually the full 78" in a cross table shot and scattered straight onto the Lord, who died instantly!

Close combat was largely crap too. My Callidus arrived on turn two, caused no casualties with her Neuro-disruptor, charged into the Havocs, killed no-one and was cut down. Boo.

Right near the end of the game I got lucky with a Sentinel, though. I won a combat against the Plague Bearers who flunked their morale test badly and all fled back to the warp.

That was on turn four and the game was still finely balanced. Steve was still in the driving seat as he had four scoring units already in my deployment zone, but I reckoned I still had a chance as I had six scoring units left and still had some decent hitting power.

Unfortunately we'll never know what would have happened because time ran out and we had to go home.

Result: Draw - time ran out

Imperial Control: Unchanged

Kennell's Commendation: Sentinel Spade for that outrageous close combat with the Daemons.

Learning points
  • You just can't beat bad dice. I can't even communicate how badly I rolled in this game. I suppose I had it coming after killing Gary's Bloodletters in close combat in my last game, but it didn't make it any easier to take.
  • Looking at the two army lists, and after deployment, I honestly thought I could have had the game wrapped up after my second turn of shooting. Those Dreads shouldn't have survived beyond the second turn, never mind being in my deployment zone on the fourth, and my ordnance should have seen off the squads. Oh well, I just hope that is my unlucky game out of the way for a while.


  1. If you're gonna have a really unlucky game - have it against a great player ... it makes the whole situation more paletable.

    Plus no more consolidation into combat - yeah!

  2. That change to consolidation is golden for IG players. Can't wait to try it out with the new codex.

    And I totally agree about how your opponent handles things - there's nothing worse than your opponent cackling in a smug fashion when winning and then getting angry when losing. It can make for a miserable experience.

    Thankfully Steve is a really great guy.