This game was supposed to be me removing the foul taint from a band of Relictors, but for whatever reason, Sacrificial Kris didn’t rear his head. I showed up early and claimed a table, but after almost an hour of waiting, I eventually gave in to Cole’s goading and fought him again, but instead of his Daemonhunters, this time he brought Imperial Guard.
I wasn’t keen on fighting the IG, due in large part of my irrational fear of pie plates. Their ordnance is just devastating—dropping huge templates on my precious marines, wounding on 2’s and ignoring armor saves. Thankfully, Cole was just testing out his army, and he really only had 1(ish) weapon in his army that met those qualifications. The other thing boosting my fear of the army was the general feeling on the net that IGuard is “THE” army to beat at the moment.
We rolled up the mission “Annihilation” and long table edges for setup. After dicing off, I actually won first turn (something that’s never happened before when using a Storm), so I certainly took it.
Nothing fancy here. I deployed my scouts inside their landspeeder storm, and everyone else tried to use what little cover I could get. Since I didn’t know where he’d show up, I deployed fairly spread out between the two sides with my mobile units (scouts, attack bikes, and assault marines) in the center so they could react either way.
Just before first turn, I moved my Storm up into charging range and Cole missed seizing the initiative by rolling a 5…
He opted to keep half of his army off the board and deployed the rest into a small corner, packed in tight with very little line of fire. In retrospect, these both turned out to be mistakes. Several times throughout the battle, he stated he’d have been better off just deploying everything, and I’m prone to agree with him. He counted on his Astropath in his command squad helping out his reserve rolls…
Turn 1: Ultra
Cerebus launches… who’d’ve thunk they were good? I never thought they’d be when I first read the entry, but after thinking: what other unit effectively gets a 44” charge on the first turn of the game (assuming you get first turn)? With a 24” scout move, 12” normal move, 2” deployment, and 6” charge—you can effectively assault anything you want to in the opponents army first turn.
The combo with that and a heavy flamer mounted on the storm proved devastating to a 20 man IG squad. They couldn’t take it, and broke off the board, leaving my scouts in the open to play with a battle cannon & 3 heavy bolters…
My Ironclad also dropped down in a great spot. I chose a point that blocked much of the IG line of sight, and then shimmied the dreadnaught out to block even more. With two heavy flamers, I set fire to his Astropath (and the rest of his command squad—save the leader).
The last star of turn 1 was my drop pod with deathwind launchers. Though I was momentarily ridiculed for spending 20 points on that weapon, I stand by my decision. It’s a great choice—even if it only shoots 12”, and it probably took out 100-ish points in models throughout the game. Perhaps one day I’ll do a tactical write-up on one…
All in all, this turned out to be the first turn inverse of the game last week where Cole raked me over the coals…
KP TOTAL: 1:0
Turn 1: IG
The Leman Russ wasn’t keen on the scouts slaughter so many IG, and flattened them in reprisal. I was so happy when the battle cannon deviated onto just two guys, and I was able to get cover saves against it—of course I failed both of those saves. Three heavy bolters were more than enough to paste the squad, bringing the KP total to 1:1.
His sanctioned psykers proved to be ineffective for most of the game—popping one of their veiny brains out of the top of the chimera, but typically rolling a 6 for the AP.
Cole’s a big fan of the Autocannon, figuring if he’s going to miss a lot, he’d like to at least have two shots at it. I don’t see it the same way because of the immense amount of 5’s and 6’s needed to actually do anything to armored targets with ‘em, and the fact that MEQ armies get saves against them. He plinked a lot of shots into my Ironclad, but managed only to shake and stun it (with my extra armor turning stuns into shakes), so he did not stop the impending charge.
KP TOTAL: 1:1
Turn 2: Ultra
I moved my landspeeder storm into cover—not because it was going to do anything more tactically for the rest of the game, but because it was a floating KP that I didn’t need to give up. The GK’s who had jumped into a spare razorback on T1 tried in vain to crest the hill, instead immobilizing the vehicle to a difficult terrain test. The attack bikes whiffed harmlessly off the sides of the Hydra, and my Deathwind Launcher slaughtered and then broke the only other infantry squad on that side of the board.
In the meantime, I shuffled my other squads around on the board. After being shot at by the manticore on T1, the assault marines spread out into Operation: Congo Line, while the other tactical squad cheated in their “rhino” (which was actually a razorback). Damn me and my improper models. This was a real problem in this game—every other turn they seemed to count as razorbacks or rhinos. I’d forget to shoot with them because I thought they were rhinos, or I’d crowd 7-10 guys inside. Other turns I’d shoot with them as normal. This is certainly something I need to learn (sorry Cole).
In assault, I charged the dreadnaught into both the IG commander and the chimera with the psykers. I dug Cole’s response to the question “Since your chimera is backed up against the manticore, what happens if I …”. He answered coolly: “Well, then I learn a valuable lesson.” Luckily for him, when I rolled for damage, I didn’t just wreck it, but I completed destroyed it, letting his psykers live to see another turn. This did bring up the question though of whether I could charge two units with a single model. I’ve always played this way in the past, and I don’t see any reason in the rules that I shouldn’t be able to, but Cole wasn’t a huge fan of it. He’s a great sport though, so he didn’t put up a fight.
KP TOTAL: 2:1
Turn 2: IG
The reinforcements arrive in the form of two sentinels and Rambo… er… Marbo. I was a little leery of his presence, as he deploys per the Callidus rules. I didn’t know what to make of him, but there were certainly a lot of special rules he could muster—including a demo charge (which decimated most of the GK’s and ripped the heavy bolters off the rhinoback… The psykers and Manticore kept ignoring the GK’s and shooting the nearby tank (allowing them to ignore the GK targeting rules, but still hit them, just the same).
In hand to hand, the noble IG commander was splattered by the Ironclad’s seismic hammer. What a great little shield vs. shooty he turned out to be…
KP TOTAL: 3:2
Turn 3: Ultra
I committed my tactical squad in the rhinoback (again, sorry Cole) to killing the sentinels along with the lascannon from my other tactical squad. In retrospect, this might have actually started in turn 3, and finished in turn four, but really, neither of my tactical squads did all that much during the game, so it gets a wee bit hazy. Whatever the case, the sentinels proved to do very little as well, other than to give me 1 more KP.
The Assault Congo line danced over to Marbo and killed him on the charge. How disappointing it was to learn he didn’t have a power weapon in h2h. The Grey knights and deathwind did minimal damage to the psyker battle squad, and in combat, the dreadnaught ripped the battle cannon off of the russ.
KP TOTAL: 5:2
Turn 3: IG
The rest of Cole’s army decided to show up, including a Valkyrie and a Vendetta (both carrying troops) as well as a Storm Troopers Squad. They all plopped down and pretty much unloaded on my assault marines, but thanks to the fearless chaplain they didn’t break. Actually I’d rolled break tests for both the assault marines and the GK’s (and subsequently failed them both) before Cole reminded me that they were both fearless.
In the interim, the Russ did a sneaky round-the-back maneuver and ripped the seismic hammer off the Ironclad, and the manticore bombed three long str10 ap4 shots at the far-flung tactical squad, killing six of them and breaking them. I rolled 10 dice all at once and didn’t designate which saves I was making. This is a great thing about Cole is that he has a great handle on the rules, and he’s very systematic about how he rolls. Luckily, I did roll one die that was a different color than the rest, and we used that as the lascannon save (he made it)—but they still broke.
KP TOTAL: 5:2
Turn 4: Ultra
The assault squad hopped over and slaughtered a flamer laden vet squad that popped out the previous turn, and the Grey Knights dispatched the reminents of the psykers with help from the drop pod. The Ironclad scored another KP by flaming both the Hydra & Manticore, doing nothing to the Hydra, but destroying the Manticore entirely. In combat, he managed to rip a twin-linked autocannon off the hydra as well. Can someone say MVP?
In the meantime, I’d forgotten that the heavy flamer had been shot off my Storm, and put him in a perfect position to melt the Storm Troopers. Of course, without a flamer, their taunts from the cockpit did little to wound the nearby guardsmen—but it turned out to be a tactically sound move anyway, because it goaded the Vendetta to drop off it’s troops…
KP TOTAL: 6:2
Turn 4: IG
As stated above, the vendetta pooped out a squad nearby, and blasted a single assault marine. Despite the drawing above, the mighty ironclad fell to massed lascannon fire, and both the landspeeder storm, and the beached razorback were crated by small arms fire.
KP TOTAL: 6:4
Turn 5: Ultra
The lone lascannon ripped the fuselage off the Vendetta, exploding it in a 3” radius, and taking a few IG vets with it. The rest would die later in the round to the assault squad and fearless chaplain. In the meantime, the rhinoback fired it’s heavy bolter, combined with the Grey Knight psycannons to finish off the storm troopers. This really left just vehicles for Cole, and me with only one gun that could really hurt them—unfortunately it was all of the way across the table…
KP TOTAL: 9:4
Turn 5: IG
The game started picking up pace quickly at this point, Cole fired everything at the Grey Knights who simply refused to die (until they took 3x twin linked lascannons to the face), and everything else just watched in horror.
KP TOTAL: 9:5
Turn 6: Ultra
I basically cowered in fear in hopes that the game would end—since I really had nothing I could do to his vehicles.
KP TOTAL: 9:5
Turn 6: IG
He blew up the cheating rhinoback and forced my men to come out and play—except the game ended so there was no playing to be done…
KP TOTAL: 9:5
What I’ve Learned:
- In previous versions of the game, Transports didn’t count towards kill points—however, if they do count in this game, the final total would’ve been 10:7, as a chimera & two razorbacks weren’t included in the total. I’m curious if they count or not, though since Cole was shooting them in the end-game, I presume he at least feels that they do.
- I am incapable of proxying razorbacks with rhinos. I’ve proved this several times during this game. I will not do this in the future.
- The IG deployment confirmed that reserves are not typically a great strategy to me. All too often, you wind up paying full points for something that doesn’t get to participate in 50% of the battle. My army was lacking in anti-armor, and the fact that Cole was nice enough to not bring half of his armor on the board really helped me.
- The Storm and Ironclad performed ideally. When reading in the codex, this is exactly what I dreamed they would do—I’d certainly take both again… the only question is whether the Ironclad should take some form of Anti-tank on him (maybe even a hunter-killer missle or two)?
- Cole played a really balance force—not something designed (necessarily) to win. He played roughly 1 of each type of unit that he could. Of those, I’m curious to see which he thought were exceptional. Several struck me as inferior choices, and several were outstanding, but most seemed mediocre:
- INFERIOR: Psyker Battle Squad, Marbo
- OUTSTANDING: Manticore, Leman Russ (big surprise—I think their pie plates are good).
It turned out to be a sad day because one of my battle brothers didn’t make the trek home with me. Somehow, a single scout was lost at the battle sight. I’m not sure how–though I don’t think anyone intentionally took it. If he turns up though, I’d appreciate it if you help him find his way back home.