Saturday, 23 January 2010

Like A Kid In A Candy Store


I have a confession to make. I haven’t had a proper game using my 5th edition Imperial Guard codex.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve played 800pts round-robin games to break me into the new rules. Senior Officer Orders, the Lumbering Behemoth of the Leman Russ. Mech vets in a couple of Chimeras, and even the Punisher (killing 15 Gaunts in one go!) My 5th edition codex isn’t exactly in mint condition, but come Wednesday I’ll be playing a 2000pt game in which I will be using every toy I’ve drooled over and wanting to try out for ages since the codex came out. I have been told to bring on the PAIN!

So, here’s the draft list of my new 2000pt Guard, entitled: The New Dirty Basterds.

  • HQ
1.1 Command HQ – Iron Hand Straken, 3no. Meltaguns, Medic, Carapace, Master of Ordnance, Astropath.

Chimera transport – Multilaser turret, Heavy flamer, heavy stubber defensive weapon.

350 points

  • Troops
2.1 Vet Squad - Stonetooth Harker, 3no. Meltaguns, Chimera transport (as per 1.0)

2.2 Vet Squad – Power weapon, shotguns, 3no. Meltaguns, Grenadiers, Chimera transport (as per 1.0)

2.3 Vet Squad – Power weapon, shotguns, 3no. Meltaguns, Grenadiers, Chimera transport (as per 1.0)

630 points

  • Elites
3.1 Ratling Sniper squad (10no. ratlings)

3.2 Guardsman Marbo

3.3 Psyker Battle Squad – Overseer & 9no. Sanctioned Psykers, Chimera transport (as per 1.0)

340 points

  • Heavy Support
4.1 Naked Leman Russ – 1no. Leman Russ, battle cannon, hull heavy bolter.

4.2 Naked Leman Russ – 1no. Leman Russ, battle cannon, hull heavy bolter.

4.3 Executioner Squad – 2no. Leman Russ Executioners, Executioner plasma cannon, hull heavy bolter

680 points

Therefore 15 Kill Points, 3 scoring units.

For me, this will be a new toys, new tanks, new tricks list. Specifically, I’ll be playing a 2k game against L, the Ultrasmurf player, with terrain set up by D (Ork/Chaos player) as per below:

The forces of the Imperium on a picnic.

From what you can see at the setup (Rhino, Russ & Hound shown for scale reference), it’s a pretty open field. D wanted to create a ‘grassland sortie’, knowing full well I’ll be all mech-ed up and probably, so will L, hence the lack of large-scale cover, ruins, etc (the 2 buildings shown are non-difficult terrain giving a 4+ save, 3 large balls of impassable terrain trees, with soft difficult terrain woodland cover giving 5+ saves.)

Also, we’ve deliberately been asked to create lists that do not use allies (no anti-deepstrike, so I will have to take my lumps when the pods do drop on my head), AND the mission parameters and deployment will be decided upon the roll-off come Wednesday night.

In addition, our lists basically use whatever we have, to limit the amount of proxying that we usually resort to. So basically, it’s my Guard at 2K VS L’s Marines.

L, in his part, has enough toys to constitute perhaps 2 squads of fast moving bikers (4no. each), 2 Landraiders, 3 drop pods, plenty of tacs/devastators, 2 squads of scouts, 4 dreads of all sorts, NO landspeeders, and a max. of 15no. terminators so there is plenty of flexibility and scope of type of enemy I shall be facing. In fact, I’ve harped on so much about the impressiveness of a daemonhunter inquisitor anti-deepstrike mystic force, AND the fact that whenever L HAS deepstruck his pods I tend to hold my forces in reserve, means I have put the fear into L in the use of his multiple drop pods. Or he may go full deep striking goodness, loading up on meltas and multis (as he KNOWS I will be using all the vehicles I own, these being 5 chimeras/hounds and 4 leman russ tanks).

I reckon that L will use a mix of deepstrikers (1 dread, and 1 filled with a squad), another heavy support dread, plenty of bikes, devastators, scouts, and a mechanised rhino force of tactical marines. Basically a take-all-comers list, perhaps with Vulkan Hestan to pimp up the meltas, with enough mobility and flexibility to counter-act the fast mobile force I have prepared. Rumour has it he may even consider taking a Librarian, or even Tigurius into his forces.

Here’s the reasoning behind the list above:

  • HQ Load-out:
Rumour has it Straken is a close-combat beast. A c-c Guard beast? This I must try out for myself!

A master of ordnance to get L to push his forces closer to my tanks and melta, a medic & carapace to really toughen up the squad, and an Astropath to allow me to assist in Harkers outflanking, and in the event of an all-reserved game I’ll be able to better bring out my chimeras in a less than drip-fed fashion. Because of the Master of Ordnance, this will mean the Chimera stays at the back pie-plating L as many turns as possible, before using it’s mobility and flexibility as a counter-attack in case of deep strikes.

  • Troop Load-out:
Mech vet spam! I’ve used up to 2 in a game before so I know exactly how competitive they can be, but 3? Bring it on! The load-out for Harker is to ensure he gets to outflank and put the fear into L, funnelling his forces to the centre of my firing lines and maybe grabbing an objective late on in the game.

The others either will be put in reserve depending on L’s marine loadout, OR grab objectives at the last gasp, OR screen the Russes providing interference and keeping away mechanised forces with their multiple meltas.

  • Elite Load-out:
Marbo! To put the fear into L. Psychology is such an immense part of the game, and I hope Marbo’s He’s Behind You ability will unnerve L so much as to cause him to think hastily, erratically and make a mistake or two for me to capitalise. The fact that L has experienced my deepstriking demo bombs in previous edition games and is scared sh!tless because of it, means the fact that I’ll take Marbo alone has re-gained the points I’ve put in to take him. Also, the Astropath ensures Marbo gets on table sooner.

Anyone with any memorable stories re: Marbo?

I’ve never used the PBS before, but their much-overlooked Soulstorm ability seems to me an effective anti-tank measure. If the enemy has poured his troops out of the tin-can rhinos, I can weaken their resolve and rely on the synergy of the Ratling snipers to put down the pinning pain upon them. This has been designed solely to put the proverbial monkey wrench in L’s plans. Marine bikers and Terminators watch out!

I love Ratlings due to the pimped-up nature of the Pinning Rules. Cheap, and a great deterrant when they do work. L hates them.

Question: Does weaken resolve work like a shooting attack? (needs to be shot?) Or is it just a psychic test, than an automatic Leadership weakening occurs for the targetted group?

  • Heavy Support Load-out:
Because I’ve spammed up all my Chimeras as transports, I now have no model-proxying options in terms of artillery (hydras, manticores, basilisks, etc), so it’s tankhammer all the way baby.

The naked Leman Russ I find to be a bargain. To me, sponsons do seem a waste of points as I’m always on the move, and I never really get a chance to stay still to fire everything, so I rely instead on the range of the battle-cannons and clever manoeuvring to gain the advantage of the dominant firing lanes.

I’ve grouped the 2 executioners together (due to the 3no. heavy support slot limit) as a heavy infantry deterrent. 6no. plasma cannon AP2 blast templates with no gets hot! will really scare the daylights out of L’s marines, thus putting him at an arm’s distance to let the battle cannons blow them up from a distance.

The overall strategy is as follows:

1. Irrespective of getting first turn, or going on second, I have bristled my troops with specific marine-killing weaponry and improve their survivability so to grab objectives at the last, or stay alive to deny KP’s (if it is a KP mission, I may even put all the melta troops into reserve and drip feed them in as trouble-shooters) and/or mop up scrabbling enemy remnants.

2. Use my elites to run interference. The shininess and unfamiliarity of the new units will be an effective sweat-inducing distraction, to allow my troops to take advantage of the chaos in his ranks.

3. Battle-cannons and MOO barrage to keep the enemy at an arm’s distance. Pop his tanks, landraiders, etc, so that the Executioners get to mop up the remnants with plasma templates.

4. HQ play a counter-assault/troubleshooting role, filling in the gaps in my defences.

Note: In our group, we tend to play ‘hidden’ transports, in which the opponent, despite knowing each others lists when introduced, roll out our transports with our opponent not knowing what’s inside them until they shoot or disembark.

In the end, I’m hoping with this shiny new 5th edition list, my new toys (12no. meltaguns!), new tanks (executioner plasma cannons), and new tricks (marbo, Psykers) will win the day.

Lastly, here’s a draft batrep map I worked up from Photoshop (a Vassal-esque attempt) to give you an overview of the battleground come Wednesday. As you can see, some hills, some trees, a water feature with bridges, which I’m sure will become fiercely fought over choke points. All of which to trundle out my new 2K army. Bring it on Ultrasmurfs!


Comments on the list, anyone?


  1. Col. Straken is a close combat beast on the charge. He has 4 attacks at Strength 7 that ignore armor saves!
    Weaken Resolve works like lash. If in range and you pass your psychic test, the unit is effected!
    The only choice I don't like is the Rats...against Space Marines, I have found that pinning weapons are not all that effective.

  2. Assaulty IG always seems laughable to me, but best of luck to you with them. A local buddy of mine seems to always use them in his games and sometimes they fair well. I'm sure he has a tactica coming soon on them. His blog is:

    As for the army--it always saddens me a bit when I see guard armies that don't have any infantry platoons. One of the greatest mights of the guard is their ability to pump out a ton of small-arms fire. Mech makes me cry a little, as I associate it with people playing to win, rather than playing to enjoy the game.

    Not that I'm accusing you of anything, mind you--it's just a general feeling I get. Best of luck in your game. Looking forward to reading the batrep!

  3. Magilla:

    Now that you mention it, I've only ever pinned down Marine Scouts (twice) and Orks (a reduced Mob so no mob rule), and my rats tend to just pick off stragglers now and again. Pinning Marines can be difficult (3+ to hit, 4+ to wound, 3+ save? High leadership) as the leadership factor does stack the dice to their favour.

    Bearing in mind, ATSKNF affects regrouping & morale tests, but not pinning/basic leadership, I'm hoping the combo unit of using Rats, together with the Sanctioned Psykers, means I can really put the hurt on his groups of Bikers and Terminators, pinning them therefore effectively nullifying a large chunk of his forces & points for very little.

    For me, the Rats have always been a rather fun relic from the older editions, and tend to get overlooked during games due to their seeming ineffectiveness, but this time.. It's definitely a gamble, but a gamble I'm willing to try out. So who knows?

    WH39,999: I understand your feeling. The guys at my local group (D & L) feel exactly the same way!

    I did start the game (see earlier posts) in 3rd ed. codex using infantry groups, and while I love playing a more fluff appropriate, and I will admit, enjoyable block of infantry platoons (I love seeing masses and masses of guys!), my opponents have loved me playing it. Usually because they beat me soundly each and every time due to KP's, assaults, unbalanced points costings, terrain advantage (our table is slightly smaller than regulation size), etc. Also, lack of models meant I couldn't field an effective, yet flexible enough force to muster a decent infantry horde. Now, maybe I can, but that's another discussion.

    I had discovered the joys of mech earlyish last year when I discovered that, while I liked playing large blocks of men, I also found I liked winning more.

    The sneers of contempt and muffled laughter from the enjoyment of my opponents mopping up large scale swathes of my men were replaced by fear, and respect, as my men suddenly seemed against the fluff, to outmanouevre, out-shoot, and out-mech Marines, Orks, Tau & Chaos in all games I'v played with the new format.

    I used to play purely for the enjoyment. In a little way, I still do. Trouble is, the guys I play with are so uber-competitive, it's rubbed off on me. We all play for other factors (the social gathering aspect, discussions, beer & pizza, etc) but a big part of their enjoyment in playing is playing to win (particularly one guy), not playing for fun (as evident by their severe lack of enthusiasm to use house rules, fun units or homebrew minidexes as these evidently do not serve them an advantage in self-gain e.g. winning, so why bother?)

    Sad I know (as really, we're fresh, new returnees to the game), but I'll turn them around and work on it!

    My aim one day, is to get them so used to the mech format that I'll catch them out and bring an infantry horde to surprise them!