Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Glorious Victory! The God-Emperor Protects!

So tonight was the first outing of my Imperial Guard with the new Codex. I rolled out troops that, in some cases, haven't seen action since 1996 and 2nd Edition. In fact, most of my figures and vehicles on the board were bought in the late 1990s!

I took:

Expeditionary Force LEAM:

Company HQ:
Captain Steiner with boltgun, power sword, carapace armour
4 Veterans with 2 sniper rifles, medi-pack
Chimera with 2x Heavy Bolters

Leman Russ Troop
Vanquisher with hull lascannon and storm bolter
Leman Russ with hull lascannon, sponson heavy bolters, hunter-killer rocket
Leman Russ with hull lascannon, sponson heavy bolters, storm bolter

Platoon HQ:
Lieutenant with laspistol and sword
4 Guardsmen with Plasmagun, medic, lascannon team
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter, heavy stubber.

1 Squad:
Sergeant with shotgun.
9 Guardsmen with flamer, rocket launcher
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter

2 Squad:
Sergeant with lasgun
9 Guardsmen with meltagun, heavy bolter
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter

3 Squad:
Sergeant with lasgun
9 Guardsmen with plasma gun, autocannon
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter

Veteran Squad:
Sergeant with power sword, laspistol
9 Veterans with plasma gun, autocannon
All have carapace armour
Chimera with multilaser, heavy bolter, storm bolter

My opponent, George, took:

Traitor Space Wolves:

Librarian with plasma pistol and force axe
5x Blood Claws (?) with various close combat weapons
5x Grey Hunters (?) with boltguns
5x Scouts, with meltagun
3x Thunderwolf Cavalry with 1 Thunder Hammer, all with Storm Shields
3x Thunderwolf Cavalry with 1 Thunder Hammer, all with Storm Shields
3x Thunderwolf Cavalry with 1 Thunder Hammer, all with Storm Shields
6x Long Fangs with 5x Rocket Launchers
6x Long Fangs with 5x Plasma Cannons

I was quite concerned about the Thunderwolf Cavalry; I've seen them in action. They are very, very, very dangerous!


Space Wolf Deployment, taken from his left flank. In order, from closest to furthest: Thunderwolf Cav 1, 5x Blood Claws with Librarian, 6x Long Fangs with Rocket Launchers, Thunderwolf Cav 2, 6x Long Fangs with Plasma Cannons, 5x Grey Hunters, Thunderwolf Cav 3.

Guard Deployment, taken from my right flank. In order, closest to furthest: Squad 3 with Chimera, Platoon Command Chimera, Veteran Squad with Chimera, Platoon Command Squad, Leman Russ Troop, Company Command with Chimera, Squad 1 with Chimera, Squad 2 with Chimera. 25 men and three Chimeras on each flank, centre held by a Leman Russ troop!

We had Night Fighting on turn 1, and I lost the roll to see if I could seize the initiative and go first, which meant that...

End Space Wolf Turn 1: The first thing he did was move everything but his Long Fangs. The Thunderwolves were scarily fast, with unit 1 being in place for - if he rolled three 6s - a first turn charge on the Platoon Command Chimera! However he had to shoot first... so he did. 5 rockets launched at the Leman Russes, three hits, three sixes, three failed cover saves (shrouded by darkness you see) and that meant that, BOOM, Charlie Three went up in smoke! Arrrgh! Then, firing his plasma cannons, he scored no less than three direct hits on the five exposed models of Squad 1, causing 15 wounds, of which I failed 12 cover saves. Bye-bye Squad 1, and hello First Blood and 1 Victory Point (VP)! Eek. At least his Thunderwolves failed their charge. I was not feeling confident at this point, but I squared my shoulders and fought on (well, began to fight).

End Guard Turn 1: I didn't move, because I didn't want to get closer to the maniacs. Instead I opened fire on the approaching Cavalry, killing (!) two from Unit 1 and one from Unit 3. Squad 1's rocket launcher slotted a Long Fang with plasma cannon, exacting some small measure of revenge for their immolated mates in Squad 1. Note to self; 3+ invulnerable saves laugh at high-strength, single-shot weapons. Multi-lasers and lasguns, however...

End Space Wolf Turn 2: Again, everything but his Long Fangs moved. The shooting phase was (slightly) less violent; one hull point removed from Captain Count Geranium's Charlie One, and only seven dead from Squad 2; but they didn't break thanks to the Draconian Disciplinarian, Captain Steiner, yelling that to die for the Emperor was "...a Guardsman's greatest duty and highest glory!" Then the Thunderwolves hit. I mean, literally. Just running into the Chimeras caused them to both explode! The resulting blasts killed two men from Squad 3 and two men (including the plasma gunner) from the Veteran Squad, and didn't even scratch the grinning Space Wolves. Bah. Luckily for me, however, Thunderwolf Unit 3 had failed its charge, so the situation hadn't quite reached 'disaster' levels yet.

End Guard Turn 2: Well, it was time to move. The remnants of Squad 1 moved up, flamer first, between the wreck of their Chimera and the stationary form of Squad 2's Chimera. The Captain and his command team leapt into their Chimera, and the driver hightailed it away to the relative safety of the Leman Russ troop, which moved around a little bit so Charlie One wasn't the closest vehicle to the rocket launchers any more. Squad 2's Chimera put a wound onto Thunderwolf  Unit 3, while shooting from the Veterans and Squad 3 killed the last of Thunderwolf Unit 1. The Veteran Squad Chimera and Platoon Command Chimera blasted away at the Blood Claws in the building, killing three. Things were looking up (sort of), although all the fire I could throw at Thunderwolf Unit 2 did absolutely nothing. Flamed, shotgunned, battle cannon'd, all sorts. However...

Shot! Leutnant Hahn's anti-tank team have just vaporised a Blood Claw who made the foolish mistake of standing in the first floor window of the building in the centre of the picture. Medals all round! One shot, one kill! Also, my opponent, the good-natured George, bemoaning the loss of his fourth Blood Claw.

End Space Wolf Turn 3: The high water mark for the Space Puppies, really. Movement saw his Grey Hunters finally reach the building on his Right Flank that held an objective (the little ivory blocks in the pictures) and his Thunderwolves from Unit 3 smashed apart another Chimera by running into it. Squad 2 was reduced by Plasma Cannon fire to just one man. His Long Fang rockets knocked my Command Chimera down to one hull point, and I began to feel confident - his Thunderwolves from Unit 2 were now in the open, directly in front of all my guns...!

End Guard Turn 3: This is the turn where I won, basically. I dismounted my Company Command Squad, as I knew that the Chimera was a sitting duck and badly damaged, and those damn' Scouts would be turning up soon. I then moved my tanks to maximise the firepower I could bring to bear on his Thunderwolves... and blew them all away. 3 VPs to me, please! My infantry had been mauled, with 23 dead out of 50, but the tanks were still there, still threatening and keeping me in the fight.

End Space Wolf Turn 4: His last throw of the dice, really. With little left, his Scouts Outflanked onto the board, moving their meltagun up to try and assassinate Captain Count Geranium of Bigbush and Littletree in Charlie One, his Grey Hunters consolidated onto their objective, and his Blood Claw and Librarian moved up a bit more. His Scouts hit! then penetrated! then stunned the tank. Poor George! His Grey Hunters, however, did manage to shoot dead the last man from Squad 2 (incidentally, his last kill of the game). I'm still not sure why he didn't charge Charlie One and try to meltabomb it, but there we go. I think he forgot in the heat of the moment.

End Guard Turn 4: I moved the Chimeras on my Right Flank up to secure the 4VP objective and threaten the Blood Claw/Librarian, and shuffled the tanks around so that they weren't so threatened by the Rocket Launchers (his last real threat). Shooting from my Chimeras killed the last Blood Claw, while my Veterans double-timed it to the objective to hold it firm. My tanks opened up on the Long Fangs, doing nothing, and the Command Chimera had a pop at the Grey Hunters... doing nothing.

End Space Wolf Turn 5: This was all his movement. His Warlord cast Iron Armour on himself, making him Strength and Toughness 7, and moved to try and charge my Chimera. He failed. Again. His Long Fangs fired some rockets, but they didn't do anything to the tough armour of Charlie Three.

End Guard Turn 5: I moved my Company Command Squad up to try and get into a position where I could grab the 2 VP objective that was in my centre (now my Left Flank), and moved Charlie One up to take a shot at his Warlord. Shooting from the Chimeras did nothing to the old Wolf, but Leutnant Hahn's lascannon team came up trumps and knocked a wound off him with their second shot of the game, and then Captain Count Geranium's high-velocity, armour-piercing, discarding SABOT, anti-tank shell smashed him apart. After he'd withstood a blast from a HE shell from Charlie Three, that is! Hurrah! With that kill, I took the Slay the Warlord Victory Point, giving me a total of 8 VP to 2. My victory was assured, but the game rolled on for another turn...

End Space Wolf Turn 6: He did his best, but he passed up a chance to kill Captain Steiner with frag rockets in favour of trying to kill the Leman Russes. He didn't. He did, however, knock Charlie Three down to one Hull Point.

End Guard Turn 6: I moved my Company Command Squad to seize the centre objective, giving me another 2 Victory Points and an 8 point lead. Then everything that could shoot, did shoot. Hahn's anti-tank gun missed with a Precision Shot (of course), but between the Veterans, Chimeras and Leman Russes all five rocket-launcher-carrying Long Fangs died. The Command Chimera opened up (again) on the Grey Hunters but they passed all their saves, and with that, the game ended. A heroic victory for Expeditionary Force LEAM!

I couldn't resist taking a shot of the Space Wolf dead pile... I think this is probably one of my best showings with Guard against Marines of any sort, and a far cry from the days of 3rd Edition when I lost an entire 1500 point Guard army to a Marine force that lost one man. To his own overheating plasma gun.

 I was playing at the Leamington Games Club, and there were some other games going on, too.

On the table next to us, two people were playing a game of Warzone (published by Prodoss Games). The blue plastic-resin gives amazingly crisp and sharp models.

And across from us, these two fellows were playing a game of Flames of War, with a beautiful table

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