Mission: Seek and Destroy
1st turn: Eldar
Location: Ellix, Strophious Reaches, Skolarii sector
Background: Captain Kennell orders patrols to try and locate Inquisitor Tieral as well as the elusive Eldar. Instead they come across Cypher and a small band of Fallen. As Kennell comes up from the rear to question the mysterious Marine, the Eldar launch a surprise attack. The Cadians, with Cypher's help, drive off the Eldar. Cypher reveals the location of an Eldar webway portal to Captain Kennell.
- Command Squad 77, Captain Kennell Junior officer, Standard, 3 meltaguns
- Anti-tank Squad, 3 lascannons
- Mortar Squad, 3 Mortars
- Commissar Ord Bulman, Power Sword, Bolt Pistol
- Cypher with 6 Fallen, 2 plasma guns, aspiring Champion with powerfist
- 4 Ogryn, Bonehead
- 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
- Armoured Fist Squad, Missile launcher, flamer, Chimera with Heavy Bolter, Multi-laser
- 20 Conscripts
- Sentinel, Multilaser, smoke
- Basilisk, Indirect Fire
- Leman Russ, Heavy Bolter
- Farseer with retinue of Warlocks
- Wraithlord with Starcannon
- 10 Guardians with Starcannon
- 8 Storm Guardians with 2 fusion guns
- 5 Dark Reapers with Exarch
- Vyper with Bright Lance
- 9 Warp Spiders with Exarch
- 5 Fire Dragons
- 8 Howling Banshees with Exarch
I had finally finished a unit of Ogryn in time for this game so I threw them straight into the fray. I was under no illusions that my army list was junk. Characterful junk, it's true, but junk nonetheless. Cypher is too expensive, the Mortars don't hit hard enough, I don't have enough Infantry squads for 1500 point games and I didn't expect the Ogryn to do anything.
Fortunately for me, Gary brought his Eldar army. His list has very serious limitations in 4th Edition and Gary is in a similar predicament to me; not enough core models (in his case Guardians) and no real choice about of units to change in the army list.
So while the army lists aren't really competitive I was at least expecting an interesting game.
Terrain and Deployment
We had about five pieces of large area 3 ruined buildings for this game as well as two forests and a couple of hills. The right flank was most congested with the left flank a close second. The centre of the table was a little more open.
With escalation in play we had relatively few models to deploy. Gary put his Fire Dragons on the right flank with his Guardian Storm Squad and the Banshees. The other Guardians with the Starcannon went on the left with his Farseer unit. The Dark Reapers set up centrally in a wood.
I had my infantry in the centre and on the right, covered by the Mortars and 3 Lascannons. Cypher and the Fallen hid behind a building on my left. The Ogryn and Captain Kennell were my counter charge behind the central wood.
Gary won first turn and took it. He pushed forward on both flanks, moving quickly through the ruined buildings. The Dark Reapers shot but couldn't see due to concealment.
I pushed the Conscripts forward, tempting the Banshees to assault them (so I could counter with the Ogryn). My shooting was pretty poor, though I did manage to pin the Guardian Storm Squad.
Gary couldn't decide whether to stick or twist with the Banshees. He would need decent difficult terrain tests and fleet of foot to get into combat but if he hung back the Mortars were sure to hit them next. In the end he went for it and came up an inch short. I blasted them to pieces in my shooting phase.
His reserves began to arrive in the shape of the Wraithlord and Vyper. They came on in the centre but their shooting was abysmal. The Dark Reapers came good, though, killing eight Guardsmen from a single squad. I hid the two survivors away for the rest of the game to preserve their victory points. Still the Eldar pressed forward on both flanks.
I got my Basilisk and Leman Russ from reserve. I put the Russ on my right and it killed all of the Fire Dragons in a single shot. On the left my Basilisk hit the Farseer and retinue and killed a single model. On the left I pulled Cypher and the Fallen back, away from the Farseer. I was determined not to use my counter charge elements too early in this game.
Gary got his Falcon and Warp Spiders in this turn and things started to hot up. The Falcon went for my Basilisk but fluffed it's attacks. In fact it took three turns to kill my open-topped artillery piece, and subsequently had no more effect on the game.
The Warp Spiders helped out the beleaguered right flank but rolled poorly in the next two shooting phases amid much gnashing of teeth from Gary. In the centre his Guardians recovered from being pinned and assaulted the Conscripts. All of the Conscripts died, then my Ogryns steamed in to finish off the Storm Guardians. His attack on this side of the table was crushed.
My Armoured Fist squad arrived in the centre, to take on the Dark Reapers. By turn five I had driven them off but my Chimera was destroyed. The left flank was all the Eldar had now and the Farseer was the most dangerous enemy there.
I managed to decimate the accompanying Guardians but the Seer made it into combat with the Ogryn. All of Gary's bad luck suddenly switched, and he beat off the Ogryn, the platoon HQ and Captain Kennell's squad by the end of the game. My counter attack from Cypher and chums was ineffective because of the wrecks of my Chimera and Sentinel creating a bottleneck I just couldn't squeeze through quickly enough.
Thankfully for me the game ended after six turns (my last against the Eldar had gone nine turns).
Result: Win- Imperial Guard 1593.5 victory points, Eldar 1420.5 victory points
Imperial Control: +7%
Kennell's Commendation: The Mortar squad for pinning the Storm Guardians and forcing the Banshees out into the open. And they also survived with no casualties, giving me 80 victory points.
- A familiar shape and tempo to the game, with my early dominance disappearing once the enemy make combat. Then my army folds faster than a knackered deck chair. In my previous games I would have drawn or lost this game, but I just squeaked a win. That was due to little things, like hiding the survivors from an Infantry squad and keeping my reserves until later in the game. Of course it almost backfired when Cypher and the Fallen couldn't get to the Farseer. On the other hand, Cypher was worth 151 points on his own, so I denied those points to the Eldar and contributed them to my own total. Still, I know that Cypher isn't an effective counter attacker anyway due to his speed; I could really do with Rough Riders.
- Another way of playing my Guard army could also work, based on the way my recent games have panned out. What if, from say turn 4 onward, I just ran away from the enemy, to try and prevent him from making combat and therefore gaining victory points? Forget standing to shoot and forget counter-charging, just back off with my nearest units and shoot with the rest. I'll try it out in my next game.