Warm-up game

Everyon seems to have abandoned the 40K mailing list, it still holds a special place in my memory. I happened to mention in passing that I was in Courtenay when suddenly Rob peeps up asking "Why I didn't visit him?" After a few more emails a game was arranged. This was definitely not the army list I will be taking to the next GT, I attend, but it has elements that might be present including my first game with a 20 man Plague Marine squad.

Musk's Pre-game Thoughts

My goal for this game was to enjoy my first game of 40K in over 18 months. For an army list I went with some things I was planning on using in my next GT army as well as some other elements that I hadn't used in a while. We decided on 1500pts because Rob's current IG army is about that size. Canadian GTs usually allow 1700pts for their 40K tournaments. For my army that means about one more squad, so no big difference. I also am unlikely to have two HQ choices in my tournament army. I brought Issacous just for fun.

Rob's Pre-game Thoughts

Having never faced a Nurgle army before (never ever), I wasn't too informed about their special abilities- all I could remember was that they were T5. That meant that my flashlights would only be wounding on a six and it was even more imperative than normal that my Rough Riders get the charge. Even with my Guard army, which is designed to be as mobile as possible without using vehicles (the Infantry Platoon takes advantage of the Light Infantry Doctrine and isn't weighed down with heavy weapons),it always seems to be a good idea to place my firebase (the Heavy Weapons squads and Leman Russ) somewhere safe. With that in mind, and it having been decided that I would have a long board edge for a deployment zone, I planned to have them come on from just the other side of the centre line. The Rough Riders, the Captain and his staff and the Infantry Platoon would come on closer to the Bridge (and the enemy) when they came available. We were using a version of the Reserves rules that I had come across a few years ago (in White Dwarf I believe) that somewhat tempered the extremely random nature with which units placed in reserve currently enter the game. Beginning on turn two, half your reserves come on (determined randomly). In turn three half of the units still in reserve enter play, and so on. We've instituted this Reserves rule in our gaming group and I always try to bulldoze it onto whomever I play. Muskie was an easy pushover. With that out of the way, on to the game.

Kyoquot 737th: Feudal Worlds Strike Force

Turn One: The Patrol

End of Turn One

We rolled up a random scenario and ended up with Patrol. Surely I must have played this mission before but I couldn't recall when. We also agreed to use a number of variations to 40K V.3 including a house rule for reserves and our interpretation of the pdf that was a preview of 40K V.4

I won the role for side and got to deploy second. Rob deployed his Iron Fist squad. This inspired me to place my rhino squad on the board. I immediately commented on how a Chimera was better than a Rhino. I also lamented that loyalists were the best army in the game pointing out how they got Razorbacks which I personally wouldn't mind having as an option for my force. As it would turn out, placing my most mobile unit on the board as opposed to one of my many less mobile units would prove to be a mistake I wouldn't be able to overcome.

Turn Two: The Reinforcements

End of Turn Two

Using Rob's preferred Reserve rule, Rob's first batch of reinforcements included: his Leman Russ, his heavy weapons teams, and one of his rough rider squads. He promptly destroyed my Rhino but all the models inside survived.

My reinforcements consisted of both dreads, my Lord, plus one Plague Marine squad. I placed my three heavy weapons across from Rob's 12 heavy weapons. The end result of this was Toe Jam got to shoot once before being destroyed. The Beast Rabaan got to shoot twice before spending the rest of the game stunned but undamaged.

Turn Three: The Escalation

End of Turn Three

This turn's reinforcements brought Rob his command squad and his entire infantry platoon, over thirty guardsmen. I got some Nurglings and a guy on a bike. I also summoned my Plaguebearers. I had forgotten to try and summon them the previous turn. My lord probably should have been dead by now as he and the squad he was with got caught in a Leman Russ barrage. Rob kinda let him live settling for killing half the squad. I had bunched the models up together in front of the bridge in preparation to crossing it, which made them easy pickings for the Russ. The survivors scuttled forward across the bridge in my half of the turn.

Rob and I both agreed that although the bridge seemed like a good thing to control, since the river (stream) was only difficult terrain it actually didn't slow your advance down much. Rob suggested I should have chosen to deploy kitty corner from the bridge. I definitely should have started with Syphilis on the table. As it was the game was over half finished before the most expensive element of my army arrived. I just couldn't picture them as a patrol.

Turn Four: The Clash of Arms

End of Turn Four

Turn four brought the remainder of both of our armies. We had also agreed to play a full six turns rather than use the random game length rule. Turn four also saw the initiation of H2H. In the previous turn I had chosen to stand and fire with my Plague Marines but advanced my Plaguebearers. Rob used fleet of foot to help the Rough Riders charge the Neatherworldly Mathematicians, unfortunately the terrain plus the distance restricted how many Rough Riders could fight. The Rough Riders won but I passed my instability test leaving me with four Plaguebearers and a squad of Plague Marines to Rob's partial Rough Rider squad. Some Rough Riders were killed by the Beast Rabaan on their jaunt across the board in the previous turn.

My half of the turn saw Nurgle's Diseased Sons strike down most of the horseman. I also moved Isaacous the Devote out around the Rhino hoping to use his Pedantic Staff. I'd never seen anyone include this in a Nurgle army. Although I had originally converted this model to be an Icon Bearer in 2nd Edition it worked well as a guy on a bike armed with a magic staff. Over the course of the game, he ended up killing at least 10 guardsmen by himself which means he almost paid for himself.

Turn Five: The Death Count Rises

End of Turn Five

Turn five saw Rob wipe out the Plaguebearers in his shooting phase before charging the Plague Marines. His Ironfist squad charged the remainder of the Nurglings. Some of them had previously been killed by the Leman Russ's barrage. Rob also fired a pile of guns at Isaacous but failed to kill him, then charged in some guardsmen again failing to kill him. In my half of the turn I remembered to use my Nurgle's Rot. I plan to make extensive use of this in my next GT army, it doesn't actually kill many models but I think it is intimating rolling big piles of dice. Sometimes when the models get bunched up in a hoe down, Nurgle's Rot lets you roll a fist full of dice all for only five points.

Turn Six: The Aftermath

Kinda the end of the game

This was to be the last turn. Rob failed to kill the Beast Rabaan though by the time I took the final picture I had already put him in his case. H2H saw the demise of my Plague Marine squad in H2H, demonic instability had claimed the Nurglings the turn before. This was the only turn Syphilis got to fire, four whole bolter shots. However using the new rules I got 8 shots at least that is what Rob's says. All this after moving too.

My Lord and the squad he was tagging along with first shot then later charged and wiped out a guardsmen squad. Isaacous also managed to single handedly defeat a guardsmen squad. He could have used some support from say some Plaguebearers. This got me thinking about a tactic I had proposed to Owen early that night which apparently is known as Daemon Rain. This tactic doesn't really fit into my GT3 army but my next Chaos 40K army after that may use the Daemon Rain.

Rob's Post-game Thoughts

Well, I can't complain about the dice. They rolled pretty good for me. This was a close game that's for sure (it ended in a draw). My reserves came on the board exactly as I had hoped although my choice of location with the Leman Russ meant that for some turns I was denied juicy targets by Terrain or the Armoured Fist's Chimera (I even had to shoot the Battle Cannon at the Nurglings once!). Although there are 35 Guardsmen in my Platoon it just isn't enough if you want to swamp the enemy. That was apparent in the last two rounds when Muskie's bike mounted Lieutenant was able to easily fend off the shooting attacks of most of the platoon and was able to take most of it out in close combat armed with nothing other than a sharp stick. It does seem to me that it is easier to build an effective IG army in one of two ways: either Tanks, Tanks and more Tanks or the Horde o' Heavy Weapons approach. I am after an army that plays a little different than either of the aforementioned styles but I do think I need more guardsmen. I'll be ditching the Captain's Chimera and the Leman Russ I think and I'll get... more ROUGH RIDERS! And maybe some more Guardsmen. And maybe a Mortar Squad. This should fill it out to about the 1700 points required for the Vancouver GT'04.

Musk's Post-game Thoughts

I was outgunned, as usual. I made a lot of poor tactical decisions, as usual. I forgot my share of rules, as usual. However Rob and I both enjoyed ourselves and plan a rematch or two. We both tentatively plan to attend the next Grand Tournament in Vancouver. I'm concerned both with the cost and the timing. I will not be able to paint an entirely new army for this tournament but hopefully I can finish up the models I've already converted and primed up. I want to have a nice looking and unusual army but the bulk of it will come from my current collection.

After the game, I divided my entire painted Nurgle miniature collection into three "piles". Pile one is models which I feel are painted well enough. Pile two are models I think I can add more highlights to and make them snazzier and thus possibly useful in my GT army. Pile three consists of the worst painted models in my army as well as the dozen or so heavy weapon troops which GW has deemed not suitable for a Death Guard army. They may one day end up in a future non-Nurgle Chaos army.

Having read Rob's Thoughts and re-read the battle report several times I haven't gained much insight. I also stared at my latest 1700pt draft GT army. I'm leaning towards a predator and a dreadnought for my heavy support, the 20 man Plague Marine squad, two seven man squads one with a rhino, and 7 terminators with two reapers. The reapers can shoot over 24" and Deep Strike gives them added mobility but I've never had much success with terminators. I also have to paint the other half of the squad before I can begin using them. With all this I don't have much points to spend on wargear, though I plan to try and use veteran abilities more then in my previous GT army, I still have to find the points for a commander and hopefully some Plaguebearers and Nurglings. I was trying to find a way to squeeze in two squads of Plaguebearers cause I have so many already painted but it goes against my mo-shooty theory.

Read all about the re-match one week later.
Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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