My friend Stefanos (AKA Lakaidemon from the Imperial Seals guild) wanted to play some games using the missions from the Battle Missions expansion. He wanted an opponent to play all 6 missions between the 2 armies. I was up to the task of course! Points were set at 1750 and we were going to roll for the mission each time.
We met in Athens city centre in a sweaty hot afternoon to play our first game. Terrain was set up and we rolled to play the first mission of Imperial Guard called "Prepared Assault". Well not so much prepared on the Guard side since all 3 of the objectives are in the opponents deployment zone (one pretty much in the middle of the table, one halfway between the middle of the table and opponents table edge and one that guard player chooses where to be but must stay within opponents deployment zone). Guard hates having to move and get to enemies turf so I can't see how this mission is supposed to be even slightly beneficial for us. Anyway we took turns deploying our armies and the end result looked kinda like this:
His army was pretty much like this: Mephiston, Chaplain with Jump Pack, Priest, Land Raider with 8 Death Company, Assault Squad, Tactical Squad with Multimelta and Meltagun inside a Rhino, Predator with lascannon, Furioso Dreadnought.
Stefanos deployed his LR next to a big piece of terrain in the middle of the board with 5 men from his Assault squad (including the Sarge) Mephiston, Chaplain and the Priest. Predator stayed far behind as well as the rhino and the other half of the assault squad (to keep the objective I suppose).
I deployed my melta wielding squads 18'' away from the LR, my infantry squads on the left of the board to claim the one objective I placed there and my artillery in comfy places behind terrain. On anything but a "1" (which I didn't roll) I would get the first turn and so it happened.
In the beginning of turn one I moved my Command Squad and my Veteran chimeras forward to put the meltaguns in range of the Land Raider. The little men of death and destruction leaped out of their vehicles ready to wreak havoc. The Vendetta hopped a little to the left to get the Dreadnought on its sight and the Platoon Command Squad chimera moved closer to one of the objectives.
Then the inexorable fusillade begun. The commander issued the "Bring it down!" order to his squad making their meltaguns all the more deadly. Turned out there was no need for it since they all hit with the first roll. I also scored 3 penetrating hits resulting on a very dead Land Raider. On the irony side of things its explosion took 5 guardsmen with it but at least it was out of the way. The Manticore targeted the Predator all the way across the table where it made sort work of it with a direct hit and a penetrating roll. Medusas opened fire at the mass of death company leaving only 2 standing. The Vendetta shot at the rear of the dreadnought leaving a smoldered wreck in its wake. Only the blasted Rhino manage to stay unscathed ,due to some lucky cover saves and bad damage table rolls, after being shot by 2 Hydras, 2 Autocannons and 3 Multilasers. I was amazed at the damage this army could do since this was my first game with it. I probably took half of the points of my opponents army with a round of shooting. This left me feeling a bit dirty and degraded but this is the path I choose to follow and I wouldn't back down. Anyway the game was far from over. So this was the view of the battlefield after this first round of shooting:
Land Raider and its occupants were pretty much gone along with the chaplain and some assault marines!
A crater for Predator!
Unfortunately my veterans managed to botch their Ld check from suffering casualties due to the Land Raiders explosion and fell 7'' back.
His turn, Stefanos charged my Command Squad with his two remaining Death Company killing them all but the commander which put me in a difficult position since I couldn's shoot them next turn. Mephiston charged the veteran squad and cut them down and the assault squad with the priest only managed to immobilise the chimera which was also bad since I couldnt really shoot either.
Next turn was kinda comical for me since I didn't really have any juicy targets to shoot at so I threw pretty much everything at the Rhino. And the bloody thing just wouldn't die. It fired its smoke launcher so it either made all it's cover saves or I rolled poorly on the damage table. Hydras, autocannons, manticore, multilasers, psykers the whole kitchen sink and nothing. Thats dice rolling for me I suppose. Vendetta managed to take a couple of wound off Mephiston which was proving to be a thorn in my side and Bane Wolf killed the last members of the Assault squad.
Rest of the turns tuned a bit uneventfully since the result was pretty much predetermined from this first round of shooting. Mephiston was chasing around my scoring units trying to take them out and the Vendetta was chasing him in return (it was the thing that could hurt him most). In the end my gunship managed to get to him before he got to me.
When the rhino was finally destroyed next turn after another fusillade that made heavy ammunition look like fire crackers it finally got destroyed from a lucky multi laser shot. The tactical squad inside tried to find sanctuary in the big piece of terrain in the middle of the board. I fired at them with my manticore scoring 11 wounds, which Stefanos managed to fail 7 on 3+ rolls. Amazingly bad luck.
Last couple of turns was a race for my Platoon Command squad and one of my Infantry squad to get one objective so the game wouldn't end in a draw. I flatted out the vendetta to contest his objective but managed to roll a "1" for it's dangerous terrain test. The sarge from the tactical squad managed to pull a very impressive last stand almost costing me the game. All the power to him:
But in the end I managed to wipe everything off the table which was a relief.
What I learned from this game? Well I should manoeuvre my scoring units a lot more to get them in to the right position so they can claim objectives when they need to. This might sound too obvious but one can get distracted with all the shooting and forgo the movement phase. Also I shouldn't deploy the medusas so far back because 36'' range just don't cut it. Apart from this I am pretty happy with the army.