Friday, April 3, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Chaos Space Marines

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Opponent: Gary
Mission: Combat Patrol
1st turn: Imperial Guard
Points: 400
Location: Jakarth, Salazar Systems, Skolarii Sector
Background: Following the loss of Luzon, Captain Kennell orders combat patrols across neighbouring planets. Upon the seemingly uninhabited world of Jakarth, combat patrol 005 runs into some uninvited guests...

Imperial Guard
  • Sentinel Autocannon
  • Sentinel Multilaser
  • Sentinel Multilaser
  • 8 Stormtroopers, Sergeant with powersword, 1 meltagun, 1 plasmagun
  • Armoured Fist Squad 812, Flamer, Chimera with multi-laser, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Stubber

Chaos Space Marines
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers, Aspiring Champion with Powerfist
  • 8 Khorne Berzerkers, Aspiring Champion with Daemonic Talons

Gary and I set aside a full day to play games of 40k using the new edition. We began small by playing a combat patrol. I went for what I thought would be a 'fluffy' patrol, including both an armoured fist squad and all my sentinels. Some Stormtroopers rounded out my choices.

Gary simply took two troop choices from his regular list (without knowing what he would be up against) and had two units on foot, tooled up for close assault. He knew he would have a tough time of it.

Terrain and Deployment
We played this game at Gary's home. As he had no terrain, I brought my desert board set up replete with sand dunes, oasis and palm trees. We used everything we had to clutter the table, to try and let Gary have more of a chance.

The view from the right flank...

I set up with a Sentinel on the right, one on the left and one centrally. The Armoured Fists and Stormtroopers also began centrally, behind a sand dune. Both Chaos squads started in the middle, hoping to use the palm trees and dune to shield their numbers.

...and the view from the left

The Game
I won first turn and pushed the flank Sentinels forward while my Stormtroopers crested the dune. The Chimera pulled right and offed a Berzerker with it's heavy Bolter. Gary ran both squads forward, one straight through the trees toward the Chimera, the other to my left to trap the Sentinel.

Khorne Berzerkers at 12 o'clock!

Now all of my Sentinels could see their targets, as well as the Chimera and I managed to kill five of the squad picking their way through the palms. The other Berzerkers assaulted the Sentinel but were held up for several turns until they destroyed it.

The Sentinel runs out of room at the edge of the board

Daemonic Talons make short work of the Sentinel

The Berzerkers leave the burning wreck behind as they search for their next target

My Stormtroopers ran down the dune to rapid fire the Marines, only to fluff all of their dice and kill none of them. They paid for their poor shooting by being assaulted and run down, although they did manage to take two Marines down with them.

'Come in, come in, reinforcements required!'

The last Berzerker was then left stranded while two Sentinels, the Chimera and the Armoured Fist squad hosed him with fire, killing him.

'Front rank fire, second rank fire!'

Now the second Berzerker squad was free and they achieved combat with another Sentinel.

Snip, snip

They destroyed it quickly but the game came to a close with the Imperial Guard clear winners.

The Chaos Space Marine survivors are defiant

Result: Win - Solid Victory

Imperial Control: Increased 9%

Kennell's Commendation: The Armoured Fist squad who delivered the coup de grĂ¢ce.

Learning points
  • This was a classic case of rock/paper/scissors army selection where I had won as soon as our army lists were revealed. I felt a bit bad because I'd rather win due to my tactical acumen, than by choosing a 'cheesy' list, but on the other hand I also thought I'd picked a 'fluffy' army. Can an army list be both 'cheesy' and 'fluffy'?
  • Having said all that, I felt that Gary gave up before we began and never really tried during the game. He only perked up when he wiped out the Stormtroopers but by then it was too little too late.


  1. In small battles its easy to feel powerless as you generally have fewer options than in a bigger list of 1500 pts. That said, Khorne Bezerkers were a solid choice, two squads worth was perhaps less so...

    If he had taken some Deamonic support, or some long range firepower he could have nullified your sentinels, but guard are a persistent force at 400-500 pts. Limited in choices, but able to field 40 odd models.

  2. Yeah, it's funny how armies seem to suit different game sizes. Guard seem to do well in small and very large games I think. Any marine army struggles in a smaller game because each model is so expensive but I thought Gary didn't help himself by choosing two such tactically limited squads. As you say, one squad of Berzerkers and then say a Havoc squad, bikes or even regular Chaos Marines.