1700 Points vs. Inquisition

Rob and I arranged another game, I guess all my griping about always playing the Imperial Guard got to him as he brought an Inquisitional force. It still had plenty of Imperial Guard including six tanks, five of them were APCs though which was suppose to cheer me up, but despite my tweaks to my army list and some luck in hitting and penetrating armour I still rolled poorly on the damage charts and I don't think I ever managed to penetrate armour value fourteen.

My tweaked 1700 point army

My army was slightly tweaked, it still contains the exact same models as the previous game just with slightly different rewards and veteran skills.

Rob's Inquisitional Forces

The Mission

After I eliminated some of the 11 missions because we had played two "Field of Battle" missions in a row and I had set the table up non-condusively for "Flank Attack" and I just plain didn't want to play Mission Two, we ended up after a random dice roll with Mission 5: Seek and Secure from the 2007 Canadian Hall of Hero's PDF. We actually had to consult the book to determine how many Loot counters to use and how to place them. Rob one the roll for sides and chose the 'away side' and the corner with the most cover basically. I had looked at the table with the possibility of a more corner oriented deployment. One problem with these deployments is your force can be too bunched up, both Rob and I got to fit a lot of models under a template on more than one occasion.

In Seek and Secure you get extra points for the Loot that is scattered around the battlefield. Rob deployed his first loot counter well onto the board and in the complete open. I decided to put one nearby beside a hill. Rob thought better about his second loot counter and placed it on his side of the board, but outside his deployment zone, but he ended up deploying a scoring unit near enough and I got too greedy trying to capture all four loot counters. The final loot counter I placed just outside of my deployment zone in my corner.

Deployment

Deployment

I followed my general deployment plan, which unfortunately involves putting Blastmarker Billy down first. I can usually find something to block line of site so assuming he doesn't go loco on turn one, he gets at least one round of shooting. I then deployed my predator behind a hill and thus partially shielded. Next I deployed the Nurglings in a long line in front of two loot counters. Now I had to start putting down my valuable troops.

I had decided not to Deep Strike but to try and infiltrate a squad closest to the first Loot counter the one Rob place on the otherside of the river. I was confident I would be able to reach the two loot counters I placed, there was no difficult terrain between me and them and I had rocks/hills to cling to. I deployed my rhino squad slightly early behind the same rocks that were shielding Billy. I pointed out to Rob I could race down the road almost all the way to an objective. I also put Syphilis around the rock making for a juicy target for Rob's Leman Russ but the alternative was no cover at all. I then deployed my terminators behind the Nurglings so as they could advance on an objective.

When Rob was finished his deployment I tried to fit a Plaguemarine squad behind some trees and near the first loot counter Rob placed, but one Chimera deployed on the extreme left, my extreme left could see where I wanted to be. This combined with Rob deploying in the forest meant I had to put them near my first objective. I should have just left them hiding in the hills, but I tried to cross the river...

My general could also infiltrate but he doesn't have a personal icon and can't hold objectives so I put him basically in my deployment zone behind another rocky outcropping just incase any heavy weapons want to take pot shots on turn one. I should have perhaps placed the Lieutenant with a squad, even with the other infiltrators might have been wiser than off on his own, but this game he actually killed stuff. Rob and I both think I perhaps should not have tried to capture all the Loot, it wasn't that I was trying to capture it all, I just wanted to deny Rob any freebies. I got to be more willing to be cowardly, I was fairly patient with some of my squads, but some missions you just have to be content to sit out of sight for an entire game... That isn't how I normally play, but in a tournament sometimes it is the wisest course of action.

Rob's Pregame Thoughts

I decided to take a different army this time- this one is based on Codex: Daemonhunters. I say "based" because althought the 4 of the units are from the Codex the others are all inducted Guard (so, I guess it's not all that different). I like a lot of vehicles. using this list as a basis allows me to fields large numbers of vehicles (Chimeras) without tanking too many heavy tanks. Using a tank-heavy army on a regular basis against Muskie would get tiresome after a while as Nurgle armies are a but shorted in the heavy weapons department (specifically infantry-borne). The Chimeras, although tanks, suffer from pretty weak side armour so it seems to me to be a good comprimise.

This scenario has us setting up in diagonal deployment zones (which I love). With Chimeras as non-scoring units they are pretty much relugated to a fire support role (I feel they are better suited to this than actually transporting troops) so they were spread evenly across my Deployment Zone. They along with the Leman Russ and the Inquisitor Lord and his retinue formed my static firebase and the AF Squads, Grey Knights and Stormtroopers would be objective contesters. The GK Teleport Attack would Deep Strrike close to an objective whereas the other contesting units were deployed mostly on my left. In scenarios like these I always chose which objective I will go for even before deploying and ignore the others. In this case it was going to be the two most neutral ones sitting in or near the river which ran through the middle of the board.

Turn One: Open Fire!

Damaged Chimeras

I stuck to my plan to shoot at armour early and my three anti-tank units: the terminators, the predator, and Blastmarker Billy all shot at Chimeras. I rolled a lot of hits and penetrated the armour many times but on the best damage roll I managed was a three. I had something like seven penetrating hits. Still the fact that Billy didn't go crazy and I at least immobilized three tanks was heartening. I eventually destroyed all three.

Turn Two: Maneuver Patiently

Both Rob and I were well aware of this being a six turn game. I kept my Rhino unit out of sight but on the road ready to race to the objective just across the river. I also spent a lot of time huddling behind rocks with my Nurglings because they are so valuable. I shot up his Chimeras pretty badly in the first turn and continued to shoot at them until they ceased to shoot back. Rob's Rhinos however were on the far side of forest from my heavy weapons. The only thing I had on that entire side of the board was my Chaos commander who was all alone.

Turn Three: Chaos Secures Objectives

What I thought was a secured objective

After two turns of movement I thought I had secured two objectives pretty well. Billy who once again kept his cool and poured fire into the Inquisitional forces while practically standing on one loot counter and the other I had three units on top of it even some cover, but I decided to push across the river and go for three. Syphilis took the long walk across the table to the fourth loot counter I thought their numbers would allow them to transverse the distance, and I held the Rhino squad in reserve.

Turn Four: Fear Blastmarker Billy

The Inquistitor and his weakened retinue

Blastmarker Billy consistently didn't go crazy, he put three blastmarkers on the Inquisitor and his Retinue in turn two and in turn three he managed to hit them four times. Then in turn four he went into fire frenzy and put many krak missiles and plasma blasts into the closest enemy unit which was an immobilized Chimera.

Although I had used the terminators and Billy and to a lesser extent the Predator to basically decimate the Chimeras I still was unable to penetrate and do anything meaningful on the AV 14 front of the Leman Russ. The Inquisitor's Retinue was bristling with guns so I tried to wipe it out even though it was far from the objectives. The guardsmen with just a single lascannon in each squad although facing some small arms fire were more of a threat to capture a loot objective and perhaps I should have shot them more.

The Grey Knights arrive

My demons eventually arrived and although my infiltrating plaguemarines and even my terminators were reduced to below 50%, the demons were still able to capture the loot counter across the river. Rob was unlucky in getting his Grey Knights to arrive, but when they did they did damage.

Turn Five: Deadly Imperial Shooting

This was the turn that saved the game for Rob. After four turns I was feeling pretty good, I didn't have all four loot counters, but Rob had none and I had several scoring units, but that was soon to change. Rob had been whittling away at my troops in the center of the board reducing many squads to non-scoring status and the Grey Knights completely destroyed the Neatherworldly Mathematicians. Rob as usual had done some griping about his Lascannons, but this turn his Lascannons and Battlecannons managed to immobilize Blastmarker Billy thus robbing me of a Loot counter, the Battle Cannon hit the Rhino which had finally left cover the turn before, sped down the road and popped smoke. Despite all that it was completely destroy and five plaguemarines died inside. As if that wasn't enough my Predator was also damaged, losing a lascannon sponson. Billy would never shoot again...

Three important hand to hand combats

After such a beating at the start of the turn and deprived of my Heavy Support I did what any Chaos commander would do I charged, unfortunately I had to do it with scraps. My three surviving terminators shot then charged the Grey Knights. Bob the Necessary Evil charged one unit of Stormtroopers and my Lieutenant charged the other unit.

Bob surrounded by Storm Troopers

My Lieutenant despite being armed with the Kai Gun and outnumbered managed to kill three Stormtroopers with his shooting and hand to hand, forced them to break then ran them down eliminating the entire squad. Bob despite striking last managed to survive with his single wound and ultimately eliminate another scoring squad. The terminators had it tougher, despite their aspiring champion having died long ago and losing an attack due to having a reaper autocannon they held their own for a round or two of H2H.

Turn Six: Desperate Bid for Victory

Rob captured one objective

With his Storm Troopers dying in H2H Rob drove the Rhinos around obstructing the progress of my Chaos commander and my back from the dead Plaguebearers. I ultimately rolled poorly on my difficult terrain test and with no luck from Nurgle's Rot and a lack of ranged shots I couldn't stop one of Rob's squad of Imperial guardsmen creeping into range of a Loot objective. Blastmarker Billy was no more, the terminators were dead, the reborn Plaguebearers were not allowed to capture objectives, neither were the Nurglings. I had the remnants of two plaguemarine squads but my green squads in particular never seemed to be in range to shoot anything. Bob the Necessary Evil was unable to kill all his Storm Troopers the proceeding turn so could not charge the Imperial Guardsmen. I even had to gun the engine on my predator to ensure I captured at least one Loot counter myself.

I captured one objective

Rob and I played exactly six turns, but in a real tournament this is not always the case, often you don't have enough time to get in all six turns. If the game would have ended after turn four or turn five I might have won. Rob and I both need to learn to play quicker, we tend to double check too many rules.

Postmortem

Despite doing better than usual for four turns, when I finally moved my Rhino it got destroyed by the first shot aimed at it. Billy despite doing a lot of damage died. All my squads were reduced to non-scoring status. Rob thinks I got greedy going for four objectives and maybe I did, but I wasn't necessarily trying to capture them all, just deny them to Rob. Perhaps I will have to be more willing to concede objectives. My army though having a lot of models and units for a Nurgle army, doesn't have as many models as my first GT army or as many scoring units which I actually think is more important than model count now. My next GT army will be more nasty and will definitely have more scoring units, assuming I ever build a fourth GT army.

Rob's Final Thoughts

Once again, things went realatively as planned. My deployment was a little silly as I ended up rather bottleknecked on my left flank and my Stormtroopers had to drive the long way around so they wouldn't run over the infantry skulking through the woods. For the first half of the game things looked a little dire: Muskie had all four objectives by turn three. But...on turn four things came together. My shooting for turns 4 through 6 was very effective. Muskie had a hard time making his saves and the Grey Knights (finally) defeated the Terminators. Alas, the combat had taken it's toll and they were a model below scoring status and unable to challnge the Predator for an objective. An Arnoured Fist squad was able to contest an objective but that was largely due to the unit of Stormtroopers that refused to flee from the powerfist wielding Plague Marine; had they run the Plague Marine would have been able to get into assault with the guardsmen and would have needed only two rounds of assault to bring them below scoring.

I played another game with the same army against a Speedfreaks army and things went a little differently.

Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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