Thursday, April 30, 2009

Major Bluff's Outflanking, Palm Reading Circus: After Action Report

Looking over my list now, I can see that putting the psykers in was a mistake, as I thought. The Primaris was a complete let down- his shooting attack rolled for 2 attacks that missed and the nightshroud never came into use thanks to the huge amounts of synapse and the 0 Tau that were around to shoot my guys. It didn’t help that I forgot to activate his power about half the time, but he just didn’t feel like 70 points and an HQ slot. He might have been better if the infantry had gotten to shoot more stuff, but as he was he just kind of… lacked power. I’ll probably try him again at some point as he seems really cool, but I’ll have to make sure that the list includes him in a better capacity than this one.

The psyker battle squad was probably used incorrectly by me during the game which hampered it a lot. The PBS is meant to be used with snipers, artillery, and forces that can pick off one or two or half a squad and let the leadership reduction do its work. My force was too much of a sledge hammer, smashing entire units at a time with concentrated firepower. What I should have done was use it in combination with the Marines to break some units, but then there was the fact that the Tau were mostly mechanized and the Tyranids were mostly in synapse. The large blast was pretty awesome and took out a lot of guys, but the randomness of the AP hurt it a bit (but not much). It also made the squad a HUGE target, much bigger than I thought it was going to be. If I had realized I probably would have incorporated it more into my strategy, using the squad to lure enemy fire away from our other troops while doing all sorts of psychic nastiness. The psykers also must ALWAYS either be in a chimera or cover, preferably the former, as they fall like… well, guardsmen when fired upon. Their abilities are assault, so they can move and shoot with the chimera, which was very helpful.

Another of my problems with the psykers was leadership 9. I guess I’m too used to farseers on ld 10 from my Eldar days, but my units seemed to fail psychic tests far too many times. I guess a Commissar Lord could solve that problem, but at that point it’s kind of not worth it.

My troop choices, on the other hand, were amazing and earned their points many times over. Slowly driving up with the chimeras for cover and an endless black hole of guardsmen bodies to soak up shots proved to be a winning combination. Seriously, I think I lost all but 2 of my regular guardsmen, and that was ok, as I still had (most) of my sergeants, my HWS, my flamers and my commissar. The latter, by the way? Totally worth his points over and over again. Re-rollable leadership 9 is amazing and helped make sure that my squad didn’t flee off the board. One thing I would leave at home next time would be the priest. The guard aren’t meant to get into combat, at least not with this list. Flamering and lasgunning? Yes. Charging? No sir. It was a good bit of carnifex protection, but I should have realized that 6 melta guns would be plenty to take out one of the big monsters, and if genestealers had attacked the priest’s abilities would have been useless.

Thanks to the astropath, all of my units outflanked on the same side, allowing me to bring all of my guns to bear and methodically wipe out any and all opposition. As for my Al’Rahem stand in and Sgt. Harker, the main point of their point cost increase is the outflanking. For Al’Rahem I forgot to use his orders the first few rounds, and even then they weren’t really necessary. I only had one applicable infantry squad to target and they were always right next to the PCS chimera. The only order that I might have used would be “Like the Wind!” and “Bring it Down!”, but the former proved unnecessary and the latter would have been better placed on my well protected chimeras. Harker is pretty good, but his heavy bolter never saw play, probably because the targets I was shooting at were out of its class. Still, both were definitely worth their points and made for a very effective tag team.

The command chimera was also woefully out of relevance in this list. The plasma guns got to fire twice as they were out of range or stunned for most of the game. I would probably take them again in this list, just make sure that they would be able to make more of a difference.

The scout sentinels did their job but failed to impress. The lascannons missed most of the time and their assault abilities are mediocre at best. Because one squad managed to take out a broadside team and hold up some crisis suits in combat meant that they were worth it, but the fact that they managed to survive mostly intact is a miracle. I would probably switch out at least one of the squads or drop the squads to two per and squeeze in another infantry squad in a chimera armed with a melta or flamer.

Another note on outflanking: this led to some awesome tactical misinformation. During the second turn I kept on asking how far the crisis suits were from one side of the battlefield, fully intending to outflank on that side and take out the flyrant, broadsides and take the objective. But since the enemy redeployed their forces to cover that side better, I switched my plan and moved in from the opposite flank where they were exposed and weak. It’s an incredibly effective strategy and can cause inexperienced opponents to make all sorts of mistakes.

Some tactical decisions I need to work on: knowing when and where to reserve forces, figuring out the correct times to shoot with my melta chimeras and when to launch into the fray, and remembering to use orders. Also, since I’m doing multiplayer, how to best coordinate attacks with my teammate (case in point: the psyker battle squad).

I’m a bit busy at work nowadays, so I my updating might become a bit sporadic. But still, look out for my next crazy poll-based army list, as well as the fruits of a shopping spree that I feel coming on this weekend. Gee, I wonder why THAT’s happening…

And of course, any comments, criticisms, etc. are always welcome.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Major Bluff's Trial by Fire: 3k

And you even get edited pictures this time! Aren't you all lucky. Just remember- you can click on the pics to make them look bigger. It's awesome.
First the lists. Some small changes to the list I posted earlier, namely switched to 2 squads of 3 sentinels and the melta bombs for an eviscerator on the priest.
The other forces:

Winged hive tyrant with toxin sacs, flesh hooks, devo, lashwhip and bonesword
Hive tyrant with enhanced senses, flesh hooks, venom cannon, strangler, 2 tyrant guard
2 squads of 3 warriors, all with enhanced senses and extended carapace and various guns
2 lictors
2 squads of 8 gaunts with fleshborers
2 squads of 8 stealers with flesh hooks, scuttlers and extended carapace
Sniperfex (venom cannon, strangler)
Devofex (?)

Shas’El with plasma, missile, multitracker, HW drone, 2 shield drones
2 bodyguards with plasma, missile, HW multi, targeting array
3 Crisis suits with TL flamers and missiles, HW drone and 2 shield drones
3 squads of 6 fire warriors all in devilfishes with sms, targeting array, multitracker and disruption pods
Hammerhead with railgun sms, target lock, multitracker, disruption pods
Skyray w/ SMS, target lock, targeting array, multitracker, disruption pods
2 broadsides with adv. stabilization system

Captain on bike with relic blade
2 squads of 6 bikes with multimelta attack bikes and powerfist
2 tac squads with lascannon, power fist, flamer; in rhinos with extra armor
2 attack bikes with multimeltas
6 vanguard veterans with jumppacks, 4 melta bombs and sergeant with relic blade

Mission: Seize ground (3 objectives)

Deployment: Dawn of War

Teams: Guard and Marines vs Tau and Nids, 1500 points per player (3000 points per side)

Glory be- the Imperium is united at last in its hatred of foul xenos! We chose to place our objective close to their side of the board, as we are a fairly get-close-and-friendly type force. The cowardly xenos of course chose to deploy their objectives in their deployment zone. Fools…

Nids deployed their walking hive tyrant up in front of the center objective with one squad of gaunts behind, and the other squad of gaunts near the right objective. Tau battlesuits deployed behind the left objective with Devilfish backup. We decided to use our tactical acumen and only deploy two rhinos first, so that the tac squads could fire their lascannons on turn 1.
In reserve: my entire force minus the hq and psykers. The latter part was probably a mistake- I should have kept everything in reserve, night fight protection be damned. All others are set to outflank. 2 genestealers and 2 lictors are also in reserve on the xenos side.

1st turn: the xenos move in from their board edge and do a lot of shooting. We remember that night fight rules are in effect halfway through their shooting phase and redo some, much to the groaning of all. Thanks to night fight all that happens is our left rhino is shaken. Yay nightfall!

We moved in on the right flank, bikes turbo boosting and PBS failing to harm anything due to night fight.

2nd turn: 1 lictor and 1 squad of genestealers come in, the stealers right next to my command chimera (rule number 1: don’t forget about the genestealers!) and the lictor in the forest, but fortunately far enough out of range to assault our bikes. Everything on the left flank moved up as well. Shooting stunned my command chimera, shook two of the rhinos and picked off a bike in each squad. Genestealers assaulted my chimera but only managed to shake it. Truly our faith shielded our glorious commander to make our turn a righteous one…

Reserve rolls were blessed by the Emperor himself- everything except for our sentinels came in on the right flank. I annihilated the genestealers with my infantry mob and plasma gun fire and killed the carnifex with my melta chimeras. The Psyker Primaris failed epicly here, only rolling 2 attacks and missing with both. The sentinels failed to do much due to disruption pods, but I could take that. My PBS almost annihilated a gaunt squad that was on an objective, reducing it to one model. The bunker in the middle of our deployment zone offended the Emperor, so our multimelta bikes burned it to the ground. Shooting went less well against the hive tyrant thanks to armor and cover. The bikes then assaulted, losing one of their number but killing a tyrant guard

3rd turn: stealers came in on the left flank (away from my guardsmen, thank the Emperor!) and a lictor managed to deep strike mishap to just within one inch of my outermost guardsman. A roll of 1 on the mishap table saw the guardsman accidentally stepping on the lictor and drowning it. Poor little freak of nature…
Shooting killed an insignificant number of guardsmen, 3 marines that were in the center of the map and, unfortunately, 4 of our vanguard veterans. The guardsmen tried to flee, but the commissar’s gun and unshakeable faith made sure that they would stand their ground. The marines in the center of the board proved to be less honorable, showing cowardice in the face of the enemy and fled the board. Seems that the Adeptus Astartes may need to come under the auspices of the Departmento Munitorum as well... Assault saw another marine bike die.

My sentinel squad came in on the left flank, taking out a battlesuit and demoralizing its comrade into running off the board.

My melta chimeras eliminated the warriors on our right flank while my guardsmen swept the gaunts. My command chimera managed to get a wound on the carnifex, and my psyker battle squad killed a few shield drones at long range with their blast attack, making the interesting tactical decision to leave their shaken and turretless chimera to do so. The marines repositioned to kill the devilfish but only managed to immobilize and kill one of its weapons. In close combat, the remaining tyrant guard was eliminated.

4th turn: The Flyrant moves to join in the combat with the captain’s bike squad, and the Tau repositioned to better get on the objectives. Most of the enemy flak turned towards the PBS as I had planned (?). The PBS is decimated and breaks and there is much shooting of my poor guardsmen as well. The Marine captain is finally struck down by the powerful blows of the Tyrant and the rest of the squad is wiped by the newly arrived flyrant.

The rest of the turns became a bit of a blur as we realized that it was getting very late. Basically what happened was my scout sentinels on the left flank continued to be stalemated in combat while the rest of my force smashed through the Nid and Tau lines, claiming the right objective while the two remaining marine bikes and vanguard veterans contested the center objective while under heavy fire. Everything that stood in front of my men died to concentrated melta and plasma gun fire and my chimeras continued to be invincible, even shrugging off a direct hit from a hammerhead railgun thanks to a 1 rolled on penetration. The partially destroyed chimera that had held the PBS even managed to take out the wounded walking tyrant with a very lucky heavy bolter shot before being slaughtered by the flyrant. I somehow destroyed the railgun on the hammerhead, probably with a lucky lascannon shot.

Turn 5 ended with Guard holding right most objective, firewarriors and genestealers holding the left most, and the central one contested thanks to the brave space marines. On turn 6 Russell moved his flyrant in on a desperate bid to contest the objective that my guardsmen held, but focused fire from my mechanized squads eliminated it easily. We decided to call the game there as it was getting very late, ending the game in a draw. We didn’t have time to tally up victory points, but even if we did I would still say that it was a draw- it was a very, very close game. If we had gone to turn 7 I think the Imperials would have managed to squeeze in a win at least on victory points thanks to the large amounts of heavy firepower that I was about to bring to bear on the Tau skimmers and the few remaining Tyranid warriors. The Marines had given of themselves dearly, but at least the Tyranid infestation was largely eliminated and the xenos had been halted this day thanks to the sheer weight of the Imperial Guard.

Tune in tomorrow for an in depth after action report.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Major Bluff's Outflanking, Palm Reading Circus

Step right up ladies and gentlemen, step right up!

SEE the amazing Major Grace Bluff and her outflanking minions!

SWOON at Sergeant Harker's stealthy, silenced heavy bolter!

STARE at the amazing predictive and destructive psychic potential of the PRIMARIS and his BATTLE SQUAD

SCREAM as you lie dying on the ground!

So, I decided to throw a list together that showcases the two most highly sought after units on my poll: Capt. Al'Rahem (in my army: Major Grace Bluff) and the psykers. First off, these two don't work especially well together. The psykers have a hard time outflanking outside of a valkyrie (which I think would not be sporting of me to proxy, seeing how freaking large they are and their weird base), but at least they have the range to get the job done.

Here's the list as it stands right now:
HQ (285)
Company Command Squad
Chimera with multilaser, hvy bolter
4 plasma guns
Carapace armor
Psyker Primaris (with squad B)

Elites (180)
Psyker Battle Squad with 5 additional psykers
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter, extra armor

Troops (730)

Platoon Command
Mjr. Grace Bluff (counts as Cpt. Al’Rahem)
3 Melta
1 Hvy Flamer
Chimera with multilaser turret, hull hvy flamer

Squads A-C
Commissar (attached to squad A)
Ministorum Priest w/ shotgun (attached to squad C)
Power weapons for the sergeants and commissar
Melta bombs for the sergeants

Vet Squad
Gunnery Sergeant Harker
3 melta guns
Chimera with turret multilaser, hull heavy flamer

Fast Attack (300)
Scout Sentinel with lascannon x2
Scout Sentinel with lascannon x2
Scout Sentinel with lascannon x2

So, my general strategy (if fighting alone) will be to start with everything in reserve. Then, using the astropath's awesome reserve rolling, try to bring my army in as quickly as possible. Mjr. Bluff will lead the charge into the enemy's flank, using BID on her own squad as well as Harker's and Like the Wind/FRFSRF on the melee infantry blob. The blob will try to take an objective and hold it while the rest of the army plays melty defense. The sentinels will start taking down tanks/MCs ASAP and serve as general distractions to my other troops. Meanwhile the command squad and psyker battle squad will come on down from my lines, plasma gunning and psykering anything in their path. The extra armor on the psyker chimera should come in handy, helping them to constantly move even if shot at. Since both of their powers have 36" range I should be able to get off either large blasts or leadership reduction in the first round they come in.

The infantry squad should be either completely amazing or a complete dud. 30 guardsmen charging with commissar and priest back up should do quite a bit of damage, especially when we factor in the attached Primaris (2d6 str 6 assault shots and 4 force weapon attacks), the four power weapons and the three flamers. The mortars are included in these squads so that a) I can get tons of people within 2" of their 30 mm base on the charge and b) give me some long range fire support for low cost. I may upgrade these to autocannons/heavy bolters before the battle is met instead of the melta bombs, but I like having some tank deterrence in my back lines. Alternatively I could use the points to give the priest an eviscerator, but I think that would make him too high of a priority target. Still, would be nice to have more carnifex protection...

The Primaris is going to be an interesting figure in the blob. His bolts will help on the offense and his force weapon will help bring down ICs and MCs. His other ability, nightshroud, should help protect the blob from return fire once it's on the objective, especially if I am facing low leadership units like Tau fire warriors.

The chimeras for the outflanking team members have heavy flamers to help roast infantry out of cover and pave the way for my close combat mob. The one on the vet chimera is especially useful as Harker has his relentless heavy bolter to add to the long range shoot 'em up.

One of the major things that I'm worried about with this list is resilience. I no longer have the AV14 monstrosities, and a lot of my guardsmen will die on the assault. Hopefully I have enough bodies to make it through the fight and more than enough anti-tank/MC to kill the more problematic units. Another problem is if the game is annihilation. Currently I have 14 KP at 1500 pts, and while none of it is supremely squishy from the outset it could be a problem. I might switch around the sentinel squads into two squads of 3 to help alleviate this problem a bit, as I don't want to take out either the priest or the primaris.

Well, the only way to see if this works is to try it out. At the very least it will be a very different army from the one that I've been fielding lately. Battle report and musings will be up some time tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tactica: Armored Sentinel

I'm a newb to both 40k and to Guard especially so I didn't think that I would be knowledgeable enough to present a tactica. But then I remembered that no one is very familiar with 5th ed guard yet, and that goes doubly for what is possibly my favorite unit (and probably one that I love far more than I ought to): the armored sentinel.

Many players look at this unit and scoff, and I can see why. It costs 20 points more than the arguably already overcosted scout sentinel and loses the ability to outflank (and the ability to Move Through Cover, but I classify that as more of a wash). The loss of scout is generally the point at which other generals stop considering the AS, as if you can't point your inaccurate lascannons at rear armor then what good are they?

Armored sentinels do, however, have four very important advantages over their lighter cousin. The AS is a) closed topped, b) comes with extra armor standard, c) can carry plasma cannons, and d) has front AV 12. This can be grouped into two general categories: Offensive and Defensive improvements.

Defensive Improvements
Thanks to all of the extra armor that the sentinel is carrying it is now an extremely survivable unit. Glances no longer have a chance of killing (unless you squad them up) and any weapon under str 6 will have to flank the walker in order to even have a chance of taking it down. This makes the opponent face a tougher choice than with the scout sentinel, as s/he will either have to do some tricky maneuvering with their weaker squads to get off a good shot or will have to focus anti-tank fire power in order to get rid of your walker. Either way, the opponent is using large quantities of resources to deal with a relatively inexpensive unit, while all the while your infantry/tanks are facing less incoming fire and can concentrate on annihilating the opponent.

Offensive Improvements
This can be subdivided into two parts. On the one hand we have the addition of the plasma cannon to our armory. Very good for MC, MEQ, TEQ, heck, any EQ hunting and even usable against light vehicles if you don't have a better target. With the amount of cover saves available in today's game the low AP might be a little wasted, but we can use the AS's superior defensive capabilities to maneuver into place for the perfect shot. And really, who doesn't love plasma blasts that won't actually harm your model on a 1?

On the other hand, the AS has front AV 12 and Extra Armor. "But Max, isn't better armor a defensive improvement?" Yes, but it also makes for one heck of an offensive gem due to the fact that walkers in close combat use front AV. The extra armor enables the sentinel to get into combat much more regularly, and the AV 12 stops any assaulted unit with strength 5 or lower cold in its tracks. Even models with strength 6 or more (save monstrous creatures) will still have to get pretty lucky to down a sentinel. I have seen a single armored sentinel hold an entire squad of genestealers (who have rending and therefore a chance to harm the AS) in close combat for 3 turns (that's 5 rounds of combat), buying me precious time to gun down enough other stinking tyranids to win the game. In another case one assaulted on to an objective, also giving me the win. (Both the same model, BTW- say Hi Stompy Jr!)

From 2k Surprise

The sentinel will almost never actually win the assault, so don't expect to get it back. It will, however, buy you enough time for the rest of your army to get the job done. This is especially useful in my play group, as rampaging berzerkers and stealers just love to eat squishy, squishy guardsmen, and I imagine they'd do a fair number on orkses as well.

So, how can we abuse the armored sentinel? One way is to create a very tough "sniper" squad using the camo netting upgrade (adds one to vehicle's cover save). With a 3+ save and hopefully AV 12 facing the enemy a squad of AS's in cover will be able to either draw a lot of fire for little result or sit happily churning out kill after kill with their weapons. Even without the upgrade, a 4+ save will be enough to protect them from too much undue harm. And if it comes to assault... well, I believe we already have THAT covered.

Another tactic that we can use is to move our sentinels slowly up the flanks, taking potshots at enemy units when possible and in the endgame charging whatever troops are on rear field objectives. This will serve to either distract the enemy or successfully sneak a very dangerous unit into their rear lines. This can be especially dirty if the sentinel assault manages to pull the enemy troops far enough off of an objective that you can sneak in with your own troops and seize it.

Similarly, we can use them as mobile cover, stalling assaulting armies and giving your back field some much needed relief from everything from deep striking melta squads to outflanking genestealers (have I mentioned I run into a lot of genestealers?). Mostly useful with a gunline army (though slow rolling assault is not out of the question), the walkers will take potshots early game and perform their cover/counter charge duties when needed.

A third general principle that we can use is operating our sentinels independently. Granted, with the myriad lovely fast attack choices in the new codex you might not have enough slots to pull this off, but it is important that our AS's are actually more survivable on their own than in squads thanks to Extra Armor. This way you can distract the enemy's fire even more, as well as providing sturdy counter charge units along your line for minimum cost. You still might not want to do this in annihilation, but you'd be surprised how many opponents will ignore the moderately tough kill point in a single sentinel to focus on more hard hitting units.

Why yes, that chainsaw is superfluous. And yes, I am going to charge you with it.

These are of course only a few of the options that we can use with the Armored Sentinel. I generally see th AS' main strength vs the scout sentinel in its versatility. The SS is a one trick pony- outflank and shoot rear armor. A good trick, but one trick still. The AS has many more options available to it thanks to superior armor and firepower. The AS is not a game winner in and of itself, but it serves a valuable role in making sure that the rest of your army remains unmolested and it can throw out some impressive amounts of firepower on its own. No matter what situation it's in, whether it be assault or shooting, early or late game, the AS always has a purpose and, if you use it correctly, will always be worth its points.

Comments, criticisms, and calling me completely crazy are always welcome and appreciated (especially the latter- it means you understand me!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Almost forgot...

... that not everyone will know what the units in the poll are, as not everyone has copies of the codex. My apologies. Here are the basic descriptions of the units:

Iron-Hand Straken: Company Commander w/ str 6, toughness 4 and strikes like an MC in close combat. Also grants Fearless to his squad and Counter-Attack and Furious Charge to all squads in 12"

LR Executioner: Turret fires 3 plasma cannon shots and has rear armor 11

LR Demolisher: str 10 ap 2 24" cannon, rear armor 11

Lukas Bastonne: can give orders to the veteran squad like BID and allows it to always regroup

Stonetooth Harker: relentless, FNP, heavy-bolter toting, infiltrating badass. Grants infiltrate to the entire veteran squad that he is a part of.

Commissar Yarrick: Gives everyone in 12" stubborn, his unit is fearless and reroll to hit when they assault and is very hard to kill.

Cpt. Al'Rahem: Grants his entire platoon outflank and must outflank; can issue two orders in 12" and has BID and an order that lets units consolidate after shooting. Also has an instant death power sword for shytz and giggles.

LR Punisher: Huge gatling gun on the turret (Hvy 20!), rear armor 11

Ogryn: Huge, brutal, expensive assault units

Psyker Primaris: can make people roll leadership to shoot at his unit/nuke people with lightning and has a force weapon

Psyker Battle Squad: Can reduce enemy leadership by a lot and can launch large blast templates of AP d6 doom.

Stormtroopers: have AP 3 lasguns, carapace armor and can deep strike, scout, infiltrate, and even cause pinning if they want to.

That about covers it- let's get with the voting! Next battle is hopefully on Tuesday.

p.s. Does anyone know of a way to increase the margins on Blogger?

*edit* Gah! Plasma Russ is Exterminator, not executioner... guess I'll flip a coin and see which one comes up...

New Guard: Initial Impressions

So I've played four games with the new Guard codex, and I have to say that I am impressed. Oftentimes I would be staring defeat in the face and somehow miraculously pull out a victory thanks to the flexibility that the codex provides to my list. I have a solid gunline with many ablative wounds that won't run and can handle itself in close combat, commanders that add a great deal of tactical flexibility and firepower, huge tanks that mow down infantry and quick objective scorers that will annihilate enemy big guns if they get close enough.

Here are my impressions of the units I have been using so far. I have limited experience with some units as I've only been using the units that I plan on purchasing in the next month (waiting on the new hellhounds/artillery before jumping in with them), so excuse that limitation.:
Company Command: probably the best unit that the codex has thanks to the shear number of options that can be taken with it. You can kit it out as a min-maxed veteran assault boat with 4 special weapons and a chimera, or keep it lean and rally your troops while handing out BID and other orders. Plus the advisors are fantastic (except for MoO, unless you face horde lists and/or that mortar trick works), well worth the measly 30 points that they cost. You just have to keep the CCS out of harm's way as much as possible, as they simply don't have the manpower to handle return fire very well without many expensive upgrades. Then again, you can always make them into close combat squad of doom with the right upgrades... as I said, they're flexible!

Platoon Command: Very nice expendable unit. Cheap enough that you don't care if they live, useful enough that you don't mind spending a few points on them, and always have a use in the game. Early game: Gun away and act as a harasser on enemy lines/ give out orders. Mid game: Murder some people with special weapons and possibly die gloriously. Late game: Orders or go and claim objectives. I recommend the 4 flamer set up, as the BS 3 can seriously hurt them with the other special weapons. They won't live long, but they'll make enough of an impact to change the game in your favor.

Infantry squads: I play gunline, so hvy weapon squad and special weapons are what make this unit worthwhile. The rest of the guardsmen are there simply to provide ablative wounds and maybe a few lasgun shots/CC attacks if it comes to that. As long as the big guns keep firing, this squad is doing its job, which of course can be customized immensely depending on weapons loadout. Always take the commissar if you are going to blob them- having that rerollable leadership 9 is immensely useful, and stubborn means that they will almost never break, even in disastrous close combat. Personal favorite heavy weapon for these guys is the lascannon, as they pack a punch, are long range, ignores armor saves and are brutal when combined with BID. I need to fool around a bit with special weapons, as right now I'm just using grenade launchers because I have the models. Expect me to try out sniper rifles and plasma guns in the near future.

HWS: mortars are really the only thing that makes sense here. They wreak havoc on horde armies, can force a lot of pinning and leadership checks, and have enough range to reach pretty much anywhere on the board regardless of LOS. And they're cheap and weak enough that most enemies will ignore them, as opposed to deadlier squads like auto- or lascannons. Easy auto-buy at 60 points, because at the very least they can hold objectives for you (yay troops!)

Veterans: these guys are just plain awesome. A little expensive to make a gunline army out of them, they are best used as special weapon delivery teams (though I could see 3 sniper rifles/plasma guns and a heavy weapon as an excellent start for a gunline). Mount them in a chimera and sic them after the unit they are built to counter, then use them to claim objectives in the late game. I personally prefer 3 meltas, as they then have a definite target and can really pack a punch against everything. Plasma guns always seem to kill a veteran per turn (it is very statistical at least), so be careful when using them/ give the unit carapace armor. Always earn their points and are a blast to use.

Sentinels: Back when I was playing Eldar I always wanted to use my war walkers as counter assault units. I knew that they had great firepower and that that was their strength, but they could easily hold a cc unit up in close combat for many turns on end, protecting my fragile space elves from attack. Armored sentinels are this dream made reality. As my battle reports have shown, even a single AS can hold Genestealers in close combat for many turns, effectively removing them from the game. Early game the AS's try to pop tanks/MCs; late game assault to keep people away from my squishy guardsmen/contest or pull troops off of objectives. Nothing makes me smile more than assaulting a unit that has no way of hurting it (hello banshees/berzerkers!). Scout sentinels are also pretty good as outflanking lascannons, and especially with an astropath or two, but are very fragile, so pick your targets wisely and keep firing/maneuvering out of the way as long as possible.

LRBTs: awesome. Lumbering Behemoth and side armor 13 has made these ridiculous monstrosities. I just need to work on protecting them from assault a little bit better, as they will absolutely murder infantry and can do a fair number on tanks as well. 3 hvy bolter seems to be working very well, though I will try out a lascannon turret in the future if I have an extra 15 points hanging around. And of course nothing scares a marine player more than a str 8 ap 3 large blast template on a nigh-indestructible body...

Well, those are my thoughts so far. For the next couple of games I'm going to be trying out a few different unit choices as well as some of the special characters that I've heard so much about. In particular I want to try out the demolisher and executioner and have long fantasized about CC squad of doom featuring Iron-Hand Straken.

But, instead of me choosing, why don't I let you choose! Vote on the poll that is right next to here on which units I should try out in my next list. I'll keep the poll up for a couple of weeks so as to get lots of different units in there. The list will be restricted to units that I am likely to own/ have suitable proxies for, but if there is something that you really want to see used in action that I don't have up, feel free to comment about it on one of my posts and I'll see what I can do. Feel free to choose up to 3 units.

Happy trails everybody, and Ave Imperator!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bugs and Men

A few quick changes to my 1500 army list:
-sentinels are now hvy flamer, lascannon and plasma cannon
-hvy flamer was switched to flamer in the PCS
-autocannons switched to lascannons in my infantry blob
Also, my camera ran out of juice about halfway through the battle, so sorry for the lack of pics! Also, all of the pics are from the opponent's side of the battle field.

Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Dawn of War
1500 Guard vs Nids

The game store was doing warhammer fantasy and magic drafts all day today, so Russell and I decided to play a game at his place, using really sketchy terrain!

I won the roll to go first and deployed on the top edge of the battlefield with my infantry platoon, command squad and a melta vet squad in their chimera. The melta chimera is hiding behind the cardboard box, and the platoon chimera is the grey one on the right side (my left flank). Command squad is parked in a forest front and center. Russell deployed in the midfield to try to assault as soon as possible. He then rolled a 6 and seized the initiative, making my situation a little more precarious. This might not end well…

But first, quick pick of my mostly painted infantry platoon!

Now for the dying...

1st turn: The nids moved up for a first turn assault, bringing everything except for the genestealers in on the first turn. Shooting stunned my melta chimera but nothing else. The hormagaunts got in with my command squad even though they were in cover (stupid move through cover…) and slaughtered my command squad. They then proceeded to move on to threaten my mortar squad.
All of my troops roll in, LRBTs on either side, second melta chimera up my right flank and sentinels spaced out along my front (left flank: Stompy Jr, right flank: las and flamer). We managed to kill the flyrant and broke the hormagaunts with concentrated fire. The rest of my guns had no real targets, so we eliminated half of the gaunts to pass the time. I was stupendously lucky with my night fight rolls- only Stompy Jr. failed to see a long range target with his plasma cannon. For note: the dreadnought with three beastmen is the Hive Tyrant, the other dreadnought is a devilfex, the three figure squad on the right are shooty warriors, and the lone larger based units are zoanthropes.

2nd turn: nids inexorably moved up. Zoanthropes coming up my left flank attempted to blast me but failed and perilsed themselves. My melta chimera lost its multilaser and was shaken. My command chimera was stunned into next year by carnifex shooting. The second hive tyrant killed one of my mortar teams, the remainder of the squad thankfully made their leadership test.
My shooting was markedly less effective, putting a wound on a fex and on a warrior squad and not quite killing all of the hormagaunts.

3rd turn: 1 squad of genestealers comes in on my left flank and proceed to maul my poor tank. My empty chimera is wrecked, and the LRBT is stunned in assault.
My shooting was once again hampered by the terrain, only killing one warrior, a zoanthrope and getting a carnifex down to one wound. Stompy Jr. assaulted the genestealers, killing one and pulling many of them away from the tank.

4th turn: the other genestealers came in on the opposite flank. Tyranids advanced forwards with the hormagaunts retreating to avoid being killed. Their shooting kills a few guardsmen, but we weather storm well. Unfortunately my PCS is eliminated except for the commander, who flees the battlefield. Now I know two incompetent officers who shall be executed later... My LRBT explodes due to genestealer assault, but fails to take any of the bugs down with him despite catching them all in the blast.
I finally kill the fex with meltagun fire, and the outflanking stealers are reduced to one model. My guns eliminate another zoanthrope, and Stompy Jr. continues to hold up combat

5th turn: most of my guardsmen die to warp blast fire, but that’s about it
I return fire, miraculously killing a zoanthrope with only 3 wounds rolled vs 2+ save and eliminate the final genestealer, bringing me two more badly needed kill points (praise the Emperor!) I reduce a carnifex to 1 wound, Stompy Jr. continues to hold combat…

And the game ends! We were tied 4 kill points to 4 kill points, but I won in victory points by approx. 200. If it had gone to a 6th turn I would have probably lost, as the nids were finally getting into assault range.

After battle report:
Stompy Jr. continues to be awesome in holding up assaults. 3 turns with pretty much a full squad of genestealers, and even managed to take two out. He's going to get an impressive paint job when I get leet enough skillz. The rest of my troops suffered from poor rolling- I rolled way, way too many 1s on battle cannon wounds, the mortars almost never hit anything, and the plasma cannon was pretty much wasted. Lascannon fire was fairly accurate, even without any orders. The heavy flamer sentinel failed to impress; if he had been in Stompy Jr.s place, then he would have been awesome, but probably only for one turn. I think I’ll switch him to autocannon duty next time. Most of all the huge chunks of terrain really screwed with my battle plans, giving the nids far too much room to advance. Oh well, not much that I could do about that.

A couple of things would have really changed the game around. Like the Nids getting the tyrant guard in close in deployment instead of the flyrant. I would probably have lost if that one thing had been changed, as even with all of my lascannons and whatnot I do not think that I could have brought it down before it got into charge range.

Still, it was a hard fought game, and we both performed quite well. A few better rolls either way would have drastically changed the battle. The Emperor’s faithful barely managed to squeak by with the win, but any Guardsman will take that and run with it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1500 Mixed Company

So here is a prototype of my 1500 list; it's mostly an expansion upon the concepts in my 1000 point list combined with some of the lessons I learned from my 2k game. List first, tactics/choice defense second.

Company Command Squad
-Regimental Standard
-3 Plasma Guns
-Master of the Fleet
-Carapace Armor
-melta bombs
Total: 165

Troops (770)

Infantry Platoon (460)

Platoon Command Squad
-3 flamers, 1 heavy flamer
Chimera (Hvy flamer turret, hvy bolter hull)

Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher

Mortar HWS
Mortar HWS

Vet Squad
-3 melta guns
-Chimera w/ turret multilaser and hull hvy bolter

Vet Squad
-3 melta guns
-Chimera w/ turret multilaser and hull hvy bolter

Fast Attack (215)

Spearhead Sentinel (aka Stompy Jr.)
Spearhead Sentinel
Spearhead Sentinel

Heavy Support (340)
Leman Russ w/ 3 HB (aka the Poorly Planned Purchase)
Leman Russ w/ 3 HB

The named units are the ones that have proven themselves worthy of honorifica in battle.

So, general strategy:
HQ stands around giving out orders to my infantry clump and taking lethal potshots at anything that strays to close. The rerollable leadership should keep the line steady and the officer of the fleet will harry enemy reserves. In the endgame (if they are still alive) they move out to conduct search and destroy missions against tough targets like terminators. The HQ is expendable in the end game- as long as they keep the BID and FRFSRF in the early to mid game and have taken some baddies with them, they have done their duty.

PCS at first stays home and does counter charge/ speed bump duty. With the chimera they should be able to create a wall of at least 10" around which the enemy will either have to move or assault through flamery death. This is the main reason I went for the turret heavy flamer, as then the chimera can stretch out the long way and still roast enemy troops. If the PCS survives it will run out and try to claim an objective or go snipe hunting.

My big troop blob comes out in either a single or two clumps. This way I can choose multiple targets for BID fire, with the larger clump holding on to the commissar to ensure that the orders get through. Deployment will be inside cover if possible. When the going gets tough, the squishy guard FRFSRF and try to kill as many xenos as possible.

The vet squads careen out of the gate and go hunting for enemy vehicles/MCs while supporting fire from the rest of the army distracts the enemy. If they survive to late game they go out objective/tough target hunting depending on the mission.

Sentinels hang back around the firebase for the early game firing lascannon potshots at vehicles and MCs; Stompy Jr, He Who Held the Tyranids at Bay, will try out his new plasma cannon against M and TEQs/ MCs and light vehicles. When assaulters get too close the sentinels will perform tarpit duty, hopefully slowing the enemy down enough to squeak by for the win. If this doesn't happen, they will wander out to contest enemy objectives, specializing in assaulting to pull units off of objectives. I will have to watch out for hidden power fists, but pretty much anything else will be locked in combat forever.

And finally the LRBTs stay still and nuke the crap out of anything that walks that they can see, preferred targets being those that have 3+ or 4+ saves. They will also try to shield the squishy infantry which are hopefully on top of an objective.

Changes I might make are switching around Stompy Jr.'s weaponry to a heavy flamer/lascannon; upgrading the LRBTs to lascannon turret; and screwing around with the choices that I have made for my CCS. I wish I could get a power fist into my troop blob, as right now if an MC or dreadnought attacks I'm toast, but apparently that isn't an option in this codex. I might try to sneak some in the vet/platoon command/company command squads to mitigate this unfortunate circumstance if it becomes too prevalent. Heck, maybe a priest would be a welcome addition (albeit an extra kill point).

Battle will be commencing on Saturday hopefully, so I'll keep tinkering with it until then. Check back soon to see some pics of how my army is being all gussied up for war. Comments and criticisms of the list/ tactics are of course always welcome and encouraged.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FTW Blogger Group

So, I've joined the From The Warp Blogger Group. For those who don't know, FTW is a coalition of 40k bloggers who have joined together to promote their blogs, their armies, and the enjoyment and tactics of 40k in general. It's a great site that you can access by clicking on the big FTW pic with plenty of links to awesome blogs and great resources on everything from tactica to scratch building titans. No matter your level of involvement, FTW has resources that will help you to play better, paint better, and enjoy 40k more than ever. I'm very proud to have joined such a group, and hope that my humble scrawlings here will be up to snuff.

Speaking of that, I'm going to try to cut down on the size of my posts- looking through my 3 battle reports they are incredibly long for having so little detail. I'm going to try to a) split up the posts so you'll have more frequent but shorter posts and b) use the batrep tips that Arcadia Prime posted on the site, but it may take me a little bit of time to get used to the style and refine it to my personal tastes/ abilities. Bear with me, and eventually I'll get it.

Stay tuned for a 1500 point Guard list that I have in the works, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2k Surprise!

Yesterday and today I focused on getting another 11 troopers ready for battle… which is happening tonight! For tonight’s battle I plan on using pretty much the same list as last time, only making a few alterations. First, I plan to switch the Master of Ordnance to an Astropath and drop the camo cloaks on my Command Squad to upgrade one sentinel to a Spearhead sentinel. I will be using this sentinel in a counter-assault role in addition to its normal tankhunting functions. This may result in me being vulnerable for one more kill point, but if I have to go against outflanking genestealers or over anxious bikes I think I will be glad for it. Another possible switch would be dropping the advisor completely, as well as the company command mortar squad to pay for a chimera for my PCS. This would add more maneuverability to my list and greatly help in capturing objectives as few troops can stand 5 templates. I may still opt to do this depending on if I am partnered with Caleb’s Tau once again.

Tactics will likely remain the same- bunch up my infantry squads in cover (possibly into two different squads, one of 20 and one of 10 depending on mission, as I can issue two BID per turn with my command squad) and keep my command squad nearby to give out orders. I may place one squad inside a bunker, as the orders system only proscribes vehicles, not buildings. The Russ will stay in anti-infantry, the mortars will rain from the sky, and the sentinels will either outflank or stand and fight depending on who the opponent is and whether I go first or second. Melta vet squad will try to take out the most dangerous tank before dying, and I will remember to pop smoke on it this time! I guess the most dangerous thing that I can think of to this army is a deep striking dreadnought with a heavy flamer- in the last game it would have taken out pretty much all of my infantry in one round, and I will try to prepare for that this time, just in case. I got pretty lucky last time that nobody really focused on my army- we’ll see if my opponents have learned to prioritize the correct targets this time.

More after the battle commences!

*battle commences*

Well, apparently I’m doing 2k points this time! Woohoo!
The new list, with use of Daemonhunters:

Grey Knight Hero w/psycannon bolts (155)
-5 terminators (230)

Company Command Squad
-Regimental Standard
-Vox Caster
-Master of the Fleet
-Camo Cloaks
Total: 170

Infantry Platoon (total: 670)
Platoon Command Squad
-4 flamers
Chimera (Hvy flamer turret, hvy bolter hull)
Total: 105

Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
Total: 230

Mortar HWS
Mortar HWS

Vet Squad
-3 melta guns
-Chimera w/ turret multilaser and hull hvy bolter
-Demolitions doctrine
Total: 18 5

Vet Squad
-3 melta guns
-Chimera w/ turret multilaser and hull hvy bolter
Total: 155

Fast Attack (210)

Spearhead Sentinel
Spearhead Sentinel

Heavy Support
Leman Russ w/ 3 HB (aka the Poorly Planned Purchase)
Leman Russ w/ 3 HB
Leman Russ w/ 3 HB

Sorry, I don’t have lists for the opponents. To the best of my ability, the opponents had:
Flying Hive Tyrant
2 Carnifexes (one with lots of twin linked short range weapons, the other with long range fire power)
1 squad of warriors with various ranged weapons
1 midsized squad of hormogaunts
1 large squad of termagaunts
2 squads of outflanking genestealers (11 each)

Chapter Master on bike
Lots of marines on bikes, with attack bikes armed with multimeltas squeezed in
1 rhino with a tac squad armed with a lascannon and a flamer

Mission: Objectives (5) Deployment: Corners. From the outset, things looked very grim. The very assault heavy forces were all primed to charge and had first turn, and my infantry castle wasn’t even standing on an objective thanks to my poorly planned placement and enemy choice of deployment zone. I did at least have the piece of mind to place my tanks in a wall around my squishy infantry and have my command squad do a conga line to prevent genestealers from outflanking into the middle of my army. See pics of the battle over at my picasa album here.

1st round: Emperor protects! The orbital bombardment, lascannon, venom cannon and barbed strangle all failed to hurt any of my troops, even when targeted on my mortar team thanks to a very welcome 1 to wound roll. Russell kept his termagaunts back on their home objective, forgetting that lurking nids can’t hold objectives.
My return fire was deadly, at least to the Tyranids. Moving my melta vets up in their chimeras I unleashed hell on the winged hive tyrant. Fire from my leftmost LRBT and sentinel took the sniperfex (long ranged Carnifex) down to one wound. The other two LRBTs were a bit less useful, killing a few bikes and putting some wounds on the tyrant and the other fex. Unfortunately I had placed my autocannons in a poor position, so the only real target that they had was the sniperfex, only managing to make one wound. Mortars failed to do anything unfortunately.

The rest of the turns get a little fuzzy, as I was convinced that I would lose and had so many moves to make that I didn’t bother updating the batrep. Plus my computer freezing up added to the chaos. In general, the assault continued on my forces. A squad of stealers outflanked on turn 2, destroying an LRBT and annihilating the spearhead sentinel that I sent to occupy them. Stupid rending… The bikes crashed into my lines but were slowed down by the barbed wire and my outer tank wall. I managed to eliminate the flyrant with melta shots on the second turn, but my castle was crumbling thanks to the genestealers. Fortunately the Grey Knight Terminators deep struck in on the second turn, but almost immediately 3 of them fell to enemy fire. They still managed to carry out their mission, the grand master downing a carnifex and the marine chapter master with two blows of his mighty force weapon. I also managed to roast all of the hormagaunts with my mobile flamer PCS, but it seemed like too little too late.

It was around this time (about 3rd turn or so) that I remembered what the mission was objectives. I began gunning my mobile veteran melta squad out to one of the objectives, not even stopping to shoot. Another chimera that had lost its passengers gunned out to contest other objectives and be a general nuisance. My flamery death chimera combined with charging Grey Knights actually made a marauding biker squad flee off the map, greatly relieving the pressure on my lines, which were already dealing with a disastrous bike and genestealer infestation.

The rest of the game was a scramble to get troops on objectives. The tac squad ran to an objective close to their immobilized rhino, but my two remaining terminators drove them off of it with practiced ease. The second squad of genestealers came in, killed my mortar squads, and proceeded to run for an objective while being shot in the back by my block of guardsmen. My remaining sentinel earned his points by holding up the genestealers and the warriors in close combat on top of an objective for a marathon 4 turns, using his front armor 12 as an extreme advantage. In the end, I had my melta vets on an objective while the opponents failed to claim any. If we had gone to a 7th turn I don’t think that I would have survived, as the termagaunts were back in synapse range and able to take/contest an objective. But the Emperor once again looked down upon his humble Guardsman with favor and granted us victory.

After Action Report: I won this battle mostly due to the bad playing of my opponents. If they had simply chosen to sit on their objectives rather than charging in at me, I definitely would have lost. I wasn’t very mobile, and if I tried to move my infantry castle to seize I would be cut down in short order. It was only by presenting a juicy target and the general mindset of a) assaulting armies and b) 40k in general that I was able to pull the victory off. I probably would have made the same mistakes, and indeed completely screwed up all aspects of the deployment phase as it was (poor terrain choices, put the infantry in the center instead of on the outside to protect the tanks [though this I might disagree on… what do you think?], and exceedingly poor placement of objectives).

Orders were once again very important- BID and FRFSRF were both used to great effect over the course of the game, and Move! Move! Move! was used at least once to get my PCS onto an objective. Mortars were very much less successful this time, but for the cheap cost and the memories of last game I am definitely keeping them. The flamery death PCS and the armored sentinels worked out very well as counter charge units- one roasts everything to death easily, and the other just locks units up in close combat forever (unless the enemy gets insanely lucky and rolls 3 6s in a row… stupid rending…). As long as the enemy doesn’t have strength greater than 5, the armored sentinel just sits there and tarpits. The LRBTs were less useful due to poor dice rolling, but the chimeras proved themselves over and over again. Having a few mobile troops to go out and claim objectives in a fast, armored shell while the enemy was busy munching on my (accidentally) sacrificial guard was key to victory.

Next time I would probably forgo the terminators in favor of something else that was cheaper. Having the force weapon really helped me win- the carnifex and the chapter master proved that- but I feel that I could have spent 300 or so points in a better fashion, as a few 1s rolled and a few power weapon attacks took down far too many of them. Maybe an outflanking flamer/melta platoon led by Al’Rahem, or even a psyche battle squad and a callidus (or is it culexus?) assassin for AP 2 wound on 2+ flamer from out of nowhere. Or even normal grey knights as troops or a teleport attack (I just like the look of them, and they fit with the fluff that I’m working on for my Guard). Or even just kitting my troops up better for assault by throwing some power swords/fists in there, and maybe switching camo cloaks for carapace armor on my command squad.

And question just in general for those who read this humble blog: should I have used my guardsmen to shield the tanks, or was my plan ok at least in that respect? And can you spot any other mistakes that I made, given the extremely fuzzy nature of this report?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Gun Line

After my defeat yesterday I decided to switch tactics and begin using a standard gunline Guard army. Here's the list for those that are curious:

Company Command Squad
-Regimental Standard
-Vox Caster
-Mortar Squad
-Master of Ordnance
-Camo Cloaks
Total: 125

Infantry Platoon (total: 460)
Platoon Command Squad
-4 flamers
Total: 50

Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
-grenade launcher
Infantry Squad
Total: 230

Mortar HWS
Mortar HWS

Vet Squad
-3 melta guns
-Chimera w/ turret multilaser and hull hvy bolter
Total: 155

Fast Attack (150)

Scout Sentinel
Scout Sentinel
Scout Sentinel

Leman Russ w/ 3 HB (aka the Poorly Planned Purchase)

I've been listening to the online community for a while now, and this seemed like a viable take. General tactics were to keep the squads in cover/out of sight in the case of the mortar teams and the company command squad and rely on long range firepower to eliminate my enemies. If anything gets to close, the order First rank FIRE! Second Rank FIRE! plus my flamery death platoon command squad should hopefully be enough to mop up and be ready for more.

I was teamed up with Russell's Nids this time against Pechous' bike list and our friend John who was playing aspect warrior Eldar footsloggers. The map looked like so:

Game was Annihilation and Spearhead deployment. The opposing team went first and set up thusly:

while our lines looked like this:

All seemed to be in question until this happened:

We stole the initiative! Blessed be the Emperor, who looks down on his humble Guardsman with favor!

1st turn: The volley of our guns was thunderous, but ultimately ineffective. Some highlights were a mortar squad causing 11 wounds on Dire Avengers and only resulting in 3 casualties (one of which was on a Farseer). My LRBT did not fail, however, and mowed down an impressive 4 bikes with its hvy bolter shots alone. We attempted to wound the wraithlords, but failed against its impressive toughness 8, even with BID enabled autocannons.

The enemy charged with the avengers down our left flank and the non-command bikes down our right. The space marine captain called down an orbital strike on the Poorly Planned Purchase, destroying its battle cannon. Accurate multimelta shooting exploded my chimera taking most of the squad along with it and pinning the survivors in the rubble. More shooting took the left fex down to 1 wound, but the space marines failed to even scratch the right fex. The charging avengers opened fire on the hormogaunts with a bladestorm and an eldritch storm, eliminating all but 1.

2nd turn our reserve rolls had the blessing of the Emperor- all 3 sentinels came in and one of our genestealer broods charged in. Shooting was vicious- I eliminated a Wraithlord with BID autocannons and a lucky sentinel shot. My LRBT took out an attack bike with hvy bolters alone, and one of my mortar squads savaged a squad of dire avengers, claiming seven for the grace of the Emperor. The tyranids assaulted, wiping a dire avenger squad and destroying an attack bike. Our fex on the right tried to assault but was cut down mercilessly, as any shooty fex will.

The scorpions got their reserve roll and came in on our right flank and started tearing up gaunts while bikes charged across the barbed wire against our Warriors. Space marine shooting was terrible, failing to even scratch my right sentinel with melta weapons and only getting one wound on the warriors. The last fex was starcannoned to death, and the assaulting began. Two bikes got cut up in the barbed wire and were decapitated, leaving the two squads to be locked in combat. The scorpions slaughtered every single last gaunt

3rd turn: Vengeance served by the Emperor himself would not have been so sweet. Combined fire from the Poorly Planned Purchase and my mortar squads scared the scorpions off the board, and the remaining stealers cleaned house on the left flank. I blew up the marine rhino and took down some marines with massed autocannon, grenade launcher and FRFSRF, but that was it. Return fire killed some guardsmen and destroyed the PPP after its valiant service and one of my Sentinels, but we decided to call the game there as I still had most of my force and all that remained of the opposition were a wounded wraithlord and 3 bikes.

Victory for the Guard and Nids!

Post Battle Report: Once again, the LRBT showed its worth, mowing down infantry left and right even after losing its main weapon. Mortar squads were also amazing, dealing enormous amounts of damage to advancing enemy infantry. The autocannons were also well worth their 10 pts a piece, always having targets and helping take down a wraithlord. Finally, the sentinels were cheap annoyances that provided much needed anti-monstrous creature firepower. Less amazing were the grenade launchers; their 24" range really hampered them in the squad, and their blast attack was so weak that I didn't ever bother using it. The Master of Ordnance that I switched into at the last moment was also never worth it- his shots always scattered far away from anything at all. I would have probably been better served with one of the other two advisors, or even just using the 30 points on something else. Camo cloaks were also unnecessary in this battle, mostly because my guardsmen were ignored the entire game. I believe this will change in time, but for now I'm going to consider dropping the cloaks and using the points to better use.

I need to remember to use smoke launchers more often- if I had, I might have been able to get my melta troops in range to attack a wraithlord and possibly save one of my ally's carnifexes. I've also learned that Russ placement is crucial- the PPP not having to move during the battle was key, as 9 hvy bolter shots a turn is devastating.

p.s. The Russ is called the Poorly Planned Purchase because he was part of an ebay purchase I made the night before the physics GRE. It was a great deal, and I'm glad I did it, but I've taken to calling the whole thing a poorly planned purchase... thus the name. He is definitely worth the purchase.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Battle Report: Battle the First

So we finally got our stuff together and had ourselves a battle. 2 1000 point lists on each side, Spearhead deployment and Capture and Control victory condition. My vet spam guard was paired with Caleb's Tau against Russell's Nids and Pechous' Marine bikers. As you'll probably be able to notice from the pics, we are a very proxy friendly people, especially since three of us are still putting our new armies together piece by piece. You'll be able to see pics of the battle in my web album.

1st turn: The emperor’s luck was with us! My to LRBT fired on different targets, sowing havoc and taking out 4 space marine bikers and at least half a squad of gaunts. The chimeras also proved their worth, helping to place two more wounds on the bikers and 3 on the flying warriors. The Tau did not favor so well, failing to wound a rhino and one of the fexes.

The marine bikers charge up the right flank, some turbo boosting to provide cover to the others. A lascannon from the rhino stunned my plasma squad, and the sniper fex threw all of its might against my far right chimera to no avail. Tau Fire Warriors bore the brunt of the assault, losing three of their number in the name of the Greater Good. The Tyranid Warriors tried to destroy a Devilfish, but the xeno armor proved too strong. Multimelta shooting from the mind controlled marines proved inaccurate, praise the Emperor! The gaunts tried charging my command chimera but remembered at the last moment that they could not wound it. Huzzah!

2nd turn: Little movement took place other than my melta chimera racing up the left flank to destroy the rhino. All chimeras popped smoke while the LRBTs opened fire, destroying another warrior and a bike. My command chimera decided to teach the insolent gaunts their lesson and opened fire. The vet gunners failed to hit miserably, which made my commander angry. Barking orders to the pilot, the valiant chimera gunners eliminated the remaining gaunts for the Emperor. My other chimeras had either moved fast or were stunned, so that ended my shooting. The Tau shooting was particularly bad, except for the Hammerhead which wrecked the Space Marine transport.

Genestealers tried to emerge, but the Imperator Ex Machina was providing sufficient support to delay their arrival. As expected, bikes moved up the right flank and proceeded to assault our lines, and a carnifex looked at a devilfish hungrily. The assault phase was brutal- my right chimera and leman russ were both stunned and the bikes crashed into our lines most mightily. The left battlesuit contingent was slaughtered, and my chimera bit it along with 5 vets.

After this the tide of battle turned against us. Waves upon waves of troops were assaulting and assaulted. A Leman Russ was destroyed. All my chimeras were annihilated. Guardsmen charged into combat and were slaughtered. We called the game after our shooting phase on turn 5, when my vindictive LRBT slaughtered outflanking stealers with 9 HB shots and a point blank ranged battle cannon shot.

Notes in the battle report: I needed to be more aggressive with my chimera deployment and needed to utilize my army’s mobility more effectively. The entire game I had them standing still instead of outflanking along the left flank, and when I tried to do so it was too late and too little. I also needed to find choke points to channel my fire and slow down the rapacious enemy advance. Better placement of my chimeras would have also been nice, as an untimely emergency disembark shattered what was left of our right flank. Also some kind of counter charge element/ tarpit to hold back enemy assaulters from my gunline would be nice, and especially away from the LRBTs. Stupid power fists…

On the positive side, LRBTs are awesome, and I need more of them. Battle cannons and 3 heavy bolters really mowed down infantry like grain, and AV 13/14 easily evaded most enemy fire. Also blast weapons were for the most part exceedingly accurate and devastating in the game; several mortar squads in a gunline would not be out of the question. Over all I believe that a more static gunline army would suit my play style a bit better and would also throw more shots out into the air. I could also fit in artillery, which would be excellent. Perhaps a build involving psyker battle squads and plenty of DFA… though that might be better for a bit more than 1000 point lists. I think I needed a lot more anti infantry, especially against Nids/ the bike army. All my meltas didn’t do me very much, though I can definitely see how they could be useful. As much as I hate to say it, an outflanking vet squad in Valks/Vendettas would be pretty awesome. Prob not going to do it

Still, it was a fun game, and I finally got to play some 40k!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ave Imperator!

Welcome citizen to Defending Humanity! DH is going to chronicle my (mis)adventures with the miniature wargame Warhammer 40k. I first starting playing the game roughly 6 months ago and I quickly became hooked. So, I've set down some money and have started purchasing and constructing noble troopers of the Imperial Guard.

So far my collection is quite humble, consisting of one 4th ed battle box and one poorly planned purchase (PPP) on ebay that has not arrived yet. For the most part I am waiting to try out the units under 5th edition codex rules before I go any further. In the meantime, however, I have been working on coming up with a theme and paint scheme for my troopers. Since I am a complete beginner at every aspect of this game the schemes will necessarily be a)simple and b)poorly executed. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks my painting skillz will improve to the point that I can actually field a reasonable looking army.

That is all for now- tomorrow there is battle afoot, and my humble guardsmen shall wade into their first firefight. Pictures shall arrive as soon as they have cleared Imperial censors. Ave Imperator!