Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rock-Con 2011: Gentleman's Grand Tournament, Game 2 vs. Jarred Saxman's Imperial Guard

After winning my first game I took a deep breath and took my well-deserved 1 hour break. I didn't have a huge victory so I didn't expect to face the worst. Basically I was just hoping for anything but I.G or Grey Knights. And of course, my opponent just happened to be an I.G player. Was I doomed?

Enter Jarred Saxman's Imperial Guard! 
The fact that the I.G codex is still one of the armies out there says enough about the book itself. The Imperial Guard players have been able to use the versatility, efficiency and specialization to face every meta (ugh, how I hate this word..). Superior firepower in both volume and templates, durable and cheap vehicles, more troops than anyone else and the right tools for any job make the I.G an amazing codex that can face and beat any opponent.


With plenty of meltagun and plasma Veteran Squads, two very efficient triple twin-linked lascannon Vendettas, a Mandicore, two Hydras, a Leman Russ Executioner and a scary Psyker Battle Squad, Jarred's list was the Wolfsbane to my Space Wolves. I did, however, put up a fight despite being outclassed in everything and Jarred proved to be a very skilled and pleasant opponent to play against. I don't face I.G with my Space Wolves on a regular basis and never on such a level, but I believe that I've learned a few very important lessons.
Click on the image on the right for Jarred's list. 
I had to obtain a Scanner STC in order to present to you his entire list... There was no way I was going to type out the whole shebang. Noooo way..
Round 2
Sort of like this...
This mission follows all the normal rules for games of Warhammer 40,000 as outlined in the Organizing a Battle chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook (e.g, Ending the Game [p. 90], Seize the Initiative! [p.92], Mission Special Rules [pp.94-95], etc.), except as already noted in your tournament rules packed and described below.

Game Length:
This game cannot end before the 6th turn.

This mission employs the Dawn of War deployment. (See p. 93 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.)

Primary Objective (4 points)
Follow the Capture and Control mission rules defined on p. 91 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Secondary Objective (3 points)
Table Quarters: Divide the table into four equal quarters by drawing an imaginary line from the center point of each table edge to the center points of the opposite table edge. Players claim a table quarter by having more Victory Points’ worth of units - including at least one Scoring Unit - in the quarter than their opponent. (The Victory Points rules are on p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.) A player that has at least as many Victory Points’ worth of units in a quarter as their opponent but without any Scoring Units has successfully contested that quarter.
    A unit can only contest or claim a single table quarters, no matter how many quarters it actually straddles. A unit that is capable of contesting or claiming more than one table quarter will contest or claim the quarter where the majority of the unit resides. If you cannot determine in which quarter the majority of a unit resides, the owning player must randomly determine which quarter the units “counts as” claiming or contesting.
    The player that claims the most table quarters wins this Objective.

Tertiary Objective (2 points)
Victory Points: Accumulate at least 250 Victory Points more than your opponent. Employ the Victory Points rules from p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook Reference
Foreshadowing... isn't it? ;D

Deployment: Huzzah! I got to deploy and pick tables sides! Basically I picked the side with the most "cover" and LoS-shenanigans.. which was still not enough. Nothing protects you from scouting-super-fast-Vendettas with three twin-linked lascannons. Going first was a small advantage, I guess - especially against I.G, but Dawn of War meant that none of my real firepower was going to be able to shoot on turn 1 (the one big disadvantage of Long Fangs - Heavy weapons.. ) and my Thunderwolves were going to be far, far away from all of Jarred's firebase.
I deployed two Rhinos. One of them had my Rune Priest.
My opponent then deployed a single Chimera with a Plasma Vet Squad or was it the Company Command Squad? Storm Troopers were going to Deep Strike and Gunnery Sergeant Harker was outflanking with a Meltagun Vet Squad.

My Turn 1
Dawn War makes for some pretty boring first turns. This one was not an exception. All of my Rhinos came in from the board and so did the two units of Long Fangs with Missile Launchers. The Thunderwolves with Skarvald the Troll-faced started huffing and puffing from the table edge - seeking to go around the LoS-blocking platform kind of in the middle. Two of my Rhinos were on the right flank - headed straight for his objective. The other two were on the left flank protecting mine. The only thing that could have shot at the Chimera in the middle was my Rune Priest but he failed to see it even with Acute Senses..

Jarred's Turn 1:
Time for some delicious-delicious canned meat! Vendettas moved full speed ahead going for my left flank while "castling up"his Manticore behind two Hydras and a bunch of Chimeras. And yes, one of them had the dreaded Psyker Battle Squad. A Leman Russ EXECUTIONER with an Executioner Plasma Cannon and two Plasma Cannon sponsons was slowly driving towards me as well. Fuck...
Almost no shooting from the I.G. Thanks, Dawn of War.

My Turn 2
Alright. Time for all the Rhinos one the right flank to move flat out and pretty much hug his objective. What could possibly go wrong.. At least it was going to be a small distraction. The Thunderwolves kept on moving, all spread out because they knew that the Manticore was out to get them.. 
My shooting produced  a stunned Vendetta (I think) and a wrecked Hydra. Possibly some more shaken results.

Jarred's Turn 2
All of his reserves arrived. Storm Troopers with two Meltaguns Deep Struck and got a nice position close to one of my Rhinos. Harker's squad arrived on the right next to my two Rhinos and two Chimeras were sent to support him. The Leman Russ moved straight ahead. Vendettas did what Vendettas did best and started shooting at my Vindicator, making a mockery of him.  He had no weapon, basically.
The Manticore killed 1 or 2 Thunderwolves with its S10 AP4 templates of DOOM, but praise the Allfather the Psyker Battle Squad was an inch away from messing with their mind.
Harker and his lads (all of them had names on their bases.. one of them was Bunny!) melta'd the crap out of one of my Rhinos, but nothing else managed to draw line of sight to my Grey Hunters because they used the wreckage for cover.
Storm Troopers shot at something.. Not sure if they killed anything.
Leman Russ Battle Tank killed 4 out of 6 Long Fangs and made them run for their lives but not far enough to run off the board. They were the lads from the foreshadowing picture. 

My Turn 3
My Rhino-less Grey Hunters surrounded Harker. Thunderwolves moved around things not sure where to commit. I should have put them in Reserve.. The other right flank Rhino shot some Meltas at a nearby Chimera but failed to do anything. Rune Priest (whose Rhino was also kaput) shot at the Psyker Battle Squad but Living Lightning failed to do anything.

Not that even glancing was going to do anything, really.. Weaken Resolve is not even a Shooting Power, which means that Jarred could move 12" to get in 32'' range.. or move out of my 24'' Psyker Protection bubble.
Vindicator tank shocked a Hydra, doing nothing.. 

I managed to shoot a Vendetta with some lucky Long Fang missiles, though. The other one I stunned. Oh, and I didn't even bother with the Leman Russ. AV14 on the front meant it was going to have its way with my Space Wolves. Kind of ironic considering their very own Primarch made the Leman Russ Battle Tanks viable and famous, huh?
Some pistol shots and an assault later and Harker was the only survivor. However he managed to pass a Leadership check and a bunch of Armor/FNP saves, getting stuck in close combat with my Grey Hunters. Great success, right?

NOPE. Chuck Testa.

Jarred's Turn 3
Psyker Battle Squad got in range of my Thunderwolves. Chimeras were zipping left and right supporting vital objectives and units.. you know.. I.G stuff and what-not. The Leman Russ just stayed there - he was already in range of all my juicy bits. A unit of Plasma Vets disembarked from the Vendetta and the Stormtroopers embarked in it.

I think his shooting pretty much got rid of all of my Vehicles, except an immobilized Rhino. The last Rhino on the right got wrecked by some melta guns inside a nearby Chimera and the Grey Hunters got pinned. :(

A Long Fang squad got squished leaving only two actual Missile Launcher dudes hiding out of  LoS.
The assault against Harker? A huge failure. He actually won and we stayed in combat. Bad juju... Bad, bad juju.
The Thunderwolves got molested again by the Manticore, leaving only 2 Thunderwolves, who then got their Resolves Weakenes by the Psyker Battle Squad and started running like crazy.. but not off the board.

My Turn 4
Things were not going my way. Too much firepower, too many things to deal with and not enough firepower on my side to deal with any actual threats. Not to mention that my Thunderwolves got pretty much neutered.. and a very important Grey Hunter squad got pinned.
BUT I didn't give up.
The single remaining Thunderwolf rolled triple Gentleman's Ones for his running distance, putting him close to a Guardsman squad next to my immobilized Rhino. The guys from the Rhino disembarked and shot their meltas at the nearby Vendetta, hoping to be able to multi-assault some Guardsmen if things didn't go as planned.. but they did... and the Vendetta went KABOOM. But then my Grey Hunters were in the open.
Vindicator tank shocked a Chimera.. doing nothing.
The rest is pretty much a blur, really.
I finally disintegrated Harker in close combat, but it was far too late... Far... too.. late.

Jarred's Turn 4
Jarred didn't have to move much. Tons of plasma quickly decreased my numbers.. in all squads. And it wasn't plasma guns.. it was hot-shot lasguns. Or meltas. Or plasma cannons. Even with some cover the volume of fire got the best of me.. The now out of combat squad of Grey Hunters got almost wiped out and the big pinned unit of pinned Grey Hunters got plasma'd and then targeted by Weaken Resolve.. and they ran. With at least two more turns left in the game (Grinder, remember? At least 6 turns...) it meant that everything I had near his objective marker was going to be double-dead.
Tons of plasma also obliterated my Rune Priest's unit, leaving the HQ and 1-2 dudes left.

Turn 5
This was going to be the last turn of the game. I spent a few minutes trying to come up with some kind of a scenario. ANYTHING, that could have scored me ANY points, you know? But I just couldn't see it happening. I just didn't have the right tools. Where were the Wolf Scouts to get rid of his Manticore and/or Hydras.. and/or Psyker Battle Squad? Where were the Lascannons to deal reliably with Armor 12+?
Not in my list, obviously.

The Thunderwolf rolled triple Gentleman's Ones again! Yaaay... D; With what was left of my firepower I tried to at least get rid of his Company Command Squad.. but bolter fire and frag missiles didn't cut it, since his unit was inside a forest.

Jarred's Turn 5
One of Jarred's sweet Objective Markers!
I am not really sure what happened exactly.. but it was pretty much clean-up time. What didn't die was sent running away by the Psyker Battle Squad and Jarred just moved his units, securing his own Capture and Control Objective, securing more Table Quarters.. and obviously dominating me in the Victory Points Tertiary objective.


What a great game, though. I definitely need to play more against I.G. This game was definitely an uphill battle from the very start and did shed some light on some things that I need to change in my 1850 list, but I'll go over it after I'm done with the tournament coverage.
Jarred was a very smart and efficient player who never lost track of the objectives and clearly had a plan throughout the entire game! Definitely a worthy opponent that taught me a few very important lessons while kicking my ass. Yeah, losing sucks, but I think it was an important loss for me.. since it doesn't happen to me that often.

Thank you, Jarred for the brutal, merciless game! Hope to play you again one day.. ;P
And here's this battle report's music video:

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