Friday, January 1, 2010

Retrospective: 1 Aug ’09 Counteroffensive VI (Game 3)

Opponent: Bryan “Justiciar”, a.k.a. “Lawman” (Infantry Imperial Guard). Another long-time Millenium Gate resident, Bryan was testing out his new Imperial Guard army, and it was substantially large. Although fielding three Heavy Support choices as support vehicles, the majority was dudes with guns, and a ton of heavy weapon support, too. As a long-time Guard player myself (dating back to 2nd edition), I knew what kind of hurt such a list could put out, and wasn’t sure my Slann could handle it. But heck, it’s just a game – why not give it the old one-two and see how it turns out?

Army: (1500 points)
  • 1x HQ Command with Meltas, including Kell and a Fleet Officer (-1 to reserve rolls)
  • 2x Lt Junior Command squads with Grenade Launchers and Power weapons
  • 3x IG squads with meltas
  • 1x IG squad with plasma
  • 1x Specialist squad with demo charges
  • 2x IG squads with Autocannon & Plasma
  • 2x IG squads with Missile & Grenade Launcher
  • 2x Heavy weapons squads with 3 Lascannons
  • 2x Leman Russ tanks
  • 1x Griffon
Mission: “Annihilation” (Kill points) and Dawn of War (18” apart and Nightfight rules in the first turn)

Terrain: High wall with ramparts near a large hill on the far left side, an intact building on the far right flank, scattered ruins in an arc around the other edges of the table, with two small copses of trees in the very center of the table.

What happened?
For some odd reason, I chose to go second – I think my thinking was that I wanted to respond to Bryan’s deployment. I also chose to split up my 6 Ranger (Crisis) suits into three teams of two, instead of the two teams of three models I usually use. Bryan chose to set-up nearly all of his infantry-heavy army on the wall with ramparts, and on the hill nearby, in a castle set-up, as follows:
  • Rear: Command Squad (out of LOS behind the big wall)

  • Center Left (hill on left): IG+Plasma & Lt Squad in rear, IG+AC, IG+ML in front
  • Center Right (wall/rampart): 2x3 Lascannon, IG+AC

  • Front of both: 3xIG+Melta, IG+ML, Demo Charges, Lt Squad
I deployed two units of the Brave (Fire Warriors) in heavy cover on my right flank, with the HQ suit out of LOS behind them. I used their Scout move to put both units of Scouts (Pathfinders) into the empty building on Bryan’s left flank (my right), instantly giving them a great LOS and amazing protection in the process! (note that I’ve since realized that the “scouts” rule does not allow units to set-up, irregardless, in a Dawn of War mission)

Bryan’s opening round was non-existent due to the Nightfight rules, and in response I markerlit and wiped out a Lascannon heavy weapons team, and shredded his AC squad on the wall, who went to ground so as not to risk fleeing.

None of Bryan’s tanks came onto the table from Reserve, but my Hornsuits (B-sides) clambered in to help. His firepower continued to be ineffectual (much of it was aimed at the building my Scouts (Pathfinders) were hiding in, to no effect), but I wiped out his second Lascannon heavy weapons team, and hurt the Missile/Grenade squad at the front of his castle set-up.

Bryan had been moving several of his foot-infantry units (the five in the front of his castle setup) forward toward my deployment zone this whole time, and in turn three, all three of my two-man Ranger (Crisis) suit teams dropped in, bracketing three clusters of his infantry units and flaming them to kingdom come. Two units of the Brave (Fire Warriors) also walked on from reserve, within rapid-fire range of two other IG squads, and backed up by other units already in position, Bryan lost seven units in a single turn. They had been delayed by the Fleet Officer, but arrived at just the perfect time! At the top of the fourth turn, Bryan had just four infantry units remaining, two of them badly hurt.

At just this time, all three of his Heavy Supports rumbled onto the table, and between them blew away three Ranger (Crisis) Suits. I responded by blowing up two vehicles (the Griffon and one Leman Russ), and turning the other into an immobilized, weaponless hulk. I also wiped out or forced to fall back every last infantry model on the table, save the (mostly hidden) Command Squad. One fleeing plasma-gunner killed a fourth Ranger (Crisis) suits as he fled, but with only a Colonel (and squad) and a Leman Russ hulk, Bryan conceded in Turn 5. In all, I had racked up 17 kill points, and Bryan had racked up 2 – the two pairs of Ranger (Crisis) suits.

Turning the Tables.
As a pointed out to Bryan, one of the first things he could have done in a Kill Point mission was to merge his 8 infantry squads into two big squads of 40 models. That would have increased the resilience of the squads as a whole, while reducing the kill points they gave up (to 2 total).

There was also the inexplicable decision to leave a perfectly good building in his own deployment zone…unoccupied! All this did was to allow my shooty units to occupy it and close the doors – turning the building into an immobile transport with far too many fire points for his comfort.

Finally, there was the very strange decision to keep all his infantry units bunched up when he KNEW that I had flamers on all my deep-strike capable suits. It’s not like this is an army list that Bryan is unfamiliar with, because he has a Tau army.

Then again, this was one of the very first games (if not the very first) that Bryan was playing with Imperial Guard. I’m given to understand that he did much better in the next few games he played.

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