Friday, March 20, 2009


Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Take and Hold
Level: Omega
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 1500
Location: Ellix, Sub sector 4, Skolarii sector
Background: The Ordo Xenos discover an Eldar base of operations on Ellix. Captain Kennell and the Cadian 271st are called in to exterminate the aliens. Before the battle Kennell is joined by Inquisitor Kurven. Apparently, Inquisitor Tieral disappeared on Ellix some 56 years before and Kurven believes he is still alive. The Cadians and Daemonhunters track him down to the ruined city of Varltix but the Eldar arrive at the same time. Both forces fight to a stalemate and Tieral disappears again.

Imperial Guard
  • Command Squad 77, Captain Kennell Junior officer, Standard, 3 meltaguns
  • Anti-tank Squad, 3 lascannons
  • Mortar Support Squad, 3 Mortars
  • Commissar Ord Bulman, Power Sword, Bolt Pistol
  • Inquisitor Lord Kurven, Psycannon, Sanctuary, 2 Acolytes with Bolt Pistols, 2 Mystics, 1 Hierophant, 2 Sages, 1 Gun-Servitor with Plasma Cannon, 2 Imperial Guard Veterans with plasma guns
  • Death Cult Assassin
  • 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 812, Flamer, Missile Launcher, Chimera with Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter, Smoke
  • 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

  • Farseer with retinue of Warlocks
  • Wraithlord with Starcannon
  • 8 Dire Avengers with Exarch
  • 10 Guardians with Starcannon
  • 8 Storm Guardians with 2 fusion guns
  • Falcon
  • 5 Dark Reapers with Exarch
  • Vyper with Bright Lance
  • 9 Warp Spiders
  • 3 Rangers
  • 3 Rangers
  • 5 Swooping Hawks with Exarch

I had made a few minor modifications to my list in order to accommodate my newly painted Mortar Squad. I had demoted an Eversor Assassin to a Death Cult Assassin and trimmed Inquisitor Kurven's Retinue. I still kept the Daemonhunter allies, though, as I was expecting to face Gary's Chaos army. I was therefore surprised to be lining up against his Aspect-heavy Eldar force.

Terrain and Deployment
This was yet another game on a terrain heavy board; at least 50% of the table was covered in area 3 ruins. We diced for the mission, rolled a six and then compared strategy rating rolls. Unsurprisingly Gary won and went on to pick a take and hold mission knowing full well that my largely immobile Guard would have trouble with it.

The objective was in the centre of the board, loosely surrounded by buildings in a 12" circle. I chose the board edge with the building closest to the objective, mainly to deny it to the Eldar. I feared a last turn push from Eldar units hiding behind it for the whole game. That's what I wanted to do!

I put Kennell's Command section at the rear of the ruin along with Inquisitor Kurven and his retinue.

The rest of my Infantry went into the ring of buildings overlooking the objective. Lines of sight to my own units were non-existent, though, so there would be no split deployment for me yet again.

Gary set up his Guardians, Rangers and Dark Reapers overlooking the objective too, safely tucked away in 4+ cover. He hid his Storm Guardians and Dire Avengers behind buildings on my left flank, and his Farseer and squad on my right. There were a lot of buildings on either flank and they provided Gary with excellent lines of advance, well shielded from my firepower. I decided to use my reserves to deal with these threats. The rest of my army would dig in and try to take the objective.

The Game
The opening turns of the game saw the Dark Reapers and a Ranger squad vapourised under my heavy fire (I won 1st turn). My return casualties were very light. It was clear from the start that the battlefield would break down into three main areas.

The Right Flank
I had infiltrated my Assassin wide right to threaten a Ranger squad. I hoped Gary would divert his Farseer unit to kill him and therefore drag the expensive squad well away from my lines and away from the objective. Instead, Gary brought his Warp Spiders on from reserve and shot him to pieces.

Gary also dropped his Swooping Hawks onto this flank to hit the Mortar Squad. I was hard pushed to repel the Eldar. My Armoured Fists zoomed onto the table and vaped the Hawks, while I whittled the Spiders down to three models (the survivors broke and ran). Unfortunately for me, I couldn't stop the Farseer and Retinue from making combat and they munched through an Infantry Squad and a Stormtrooper Squad. That put them in a good position to threaten my centre and the objective near the end.

The Left Flank
Things didn't go much better on my left. I hosed the Avengers and Storm Guardians with fire on their way in (I brought the Basilisk and Leman Russ onto this flank), but the Avenger Exarch and two Guardians contacted my Platoon HQ. To my surprise they took down the two Guardians in the first combat phase but that Exarch did for my entire flank single-handedly. Over the course of the rest of the game I put about eight armour saves on him but he passed them all and took out my Platoon HQ, Lascannon Squad and a Stormtrooper Squad (17 models worth nearly 250 points).

The Centre
With my flanks folded I should still have won the game in the centre. I routed the Guardians off the table and blew up the Vyper but I just couldn't blow the damn Falcon out of the sky. It had the Holofield upgrade which meant I was rolling two dice on the damage table and picking the lowest. I shook and stunned it numerous times but I just couldn't kill the bastard. It ended up inches from the objective and giving Gary a ton of victory points.

Gary kept his Wraithlord back until the end of the game then marched it onto the objective, shooting at Kennell's squad as it went. On turn six I pushed Kennell and Kurven out into the open to get fully within the requisite 12". We diced for the end of the game and got an extra turn.

The Wraithlord advanced but I ignored it, putting most of my shots onto the Falcon or Farseer unit. I reduced the Eldar HQ below 50% but still couldn't destroy the skimmer. The Farseer assaulted Inquisitor Kurven while the Wraithlord killed off the rest of Kennell's unit with it's Starcannon. I desperately needed the game to end but we rolled another 4+ and had to play the full nine turns.

That let the Wraithlord charge Inquisitor Kurven's Squad and take it below 50%. The Eldar had convincingly contested the objective.

Result: Draw - Imperial Guard 957 victory points, Eldar 1039 victory points

Imperial Control: No change

Kennell's Commendation: The Anti-Tank Squad for helping to take down the Reapers then holding up the Avenger Exarch for several turns in combat.

Learning points
  • This was the first game where I tried a victory points denial approach. Normally I would take a risk to get in a shot, but this time I put safety first. As a result all of my tanks survived a nine turn game and saved me 400 victory points. The only other expensive unit was Inquisitor Kurven's but I had to risk them for the objective
  • I absolutely shattered the Eldar army (they only had seven models on the table by the end) but I still didn't win due to one or two models making combat and destroying a disproportionately large section of my army. I really need some counter chargers to finish off those last few models.

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