1500 Points with the New Chaos Codex

I was called back to Vancouver Island for dogsitting duties. I asked Rob if he was interested in having another game, and if he was afraid of really big dogs? He said he was game and decided to bring an all mechanized Imperial Guard list he was thinking of taking to Astronomi-con Vancouver. I'd already picked my list and I'd decided on all footslogging list that fit into a single GW case. Should be interesting but I didn't like my chances...

My Army List

Instead of maximizing manoeuvrability, firepower, close combat ability, or model count, I emphasized portability when picking my list. Basically I just went through my big Excel file and took minimal sized Plague Marine squads for all six of my troop choices. Then I chose a cheap (for a Chaos Lord) leader and even retro-fitted him with a combi-plasma. The final squad I brought was ten terminators so I could get two reaper autocannons. I have exactly 11 terminator armoured Diseased Sons painted so I used almost all of them. I bought all their wargear and had ten points left over to upgrade one to a champion.

This army list had exactly as many plague marines as the one used in the previous two games, but instead of three dreadnoughts, had ten terminators. I had a lot more special weapons, but a lot less heavy weapons. I had exactly two, which could shoot only 36 inches. This is far, far, far from ideal. After I got an inkling of what Rob was planning on bringing I thought I was toast, but I refused to change my army list. It sure was light in my smallest miniature case or one of my smallest miniature cases.

Rob's Pre-Game Thoughts

So here is a new incarnation of my Kyoquot Imperial Guard. Instead of a Light Infantry army I opted for a Mechanized force. I came up with this list about 4 games ago and I haven't had a lot of success with it: 1 win, 2 draws and massacred once. Despite it's inauspicious start my plan is to take it to Astro-Vancouver this year so I was considering this match against Muskie's plague marines a bit of a warm-up.

The weakness of this list is that it features none of the things that people think are typical of IG armies: it has no Russes, no basilisks and not a ton of infantry. The upside of the Chimera is that it can put out a lot of medium strength firepower on the move. The downside is that it is quite fragile and, perhaps because of this, a little over-priced point-wise. But... it's a great model and deserves to see the table-top.

Rob's Army List

Deployment Phase

I didn't have a clever plan with this army. About the only advantage of all those five man squads is I could use a few of them to draw out juicier targets. Rob had a lot less force org spots used up than me, though of course he outnumbered me. There was a lot of terrain on the table, but all that really mattered was the river, a big clump of trees which was the objective, and a few rocky outcroppings and one or two hills I planned on making use as cover.

The armies deployed

I also got the bunker in my half of the table. I designated Syphilis for bunker occupying duty and Jaundice for trench clearing duty. Rob completely neglected one quarter of the board so Jaundice didn't have much to do. Diareaha squad was charged with sneaking around the base of the cliff trying to get their mealta gun in range. Everyone else including Maceo the Maligned were deployed in such away that they could easily reach the center of the board in only a few turns of running.

I have had fun playing the wall of Chimeras (or a variation there-of) but with mediocre success over the course of 4 games). This time I opted to go for a "pincers attack" on the objective- the centre of the table- as this was a Secure and Control (I think...) scenario. I put my hellhound and two chimeras on my left flank, three other chimeras on the right flank and the last chimera (the one with the autocannon) and most of the infantry, and the rough riders in the centre. The idea was to move the Chimeras and Hellhound up each flank and then towards the centre of the table, shooting as they go with my infantry coming up behind and the rough riders lurking nearby so they can get their charge off when needed.

Turn One:

Rob won most of the key roles, choosing sides, choosing who goes first. He went first to fire his seven Chimeras and his four heavy weapons teams. He also got to move. Though this time the river was not such a boon to Rob. I made it only a 6+ cover saves as I just don't think it should become a glorified trench.

The only damage inflicted by Nurgle in turn one

After Rob killed a couple members of the AXE Gang and maybe a single dude from Syphilis I got to go. He also might have picked off a terminator. I moved pretty much everything not getting too kind of difficult terrain roles for the AXE Gang they became the whipping boys for much of Rob's shooting. I got to shoot exactly two guns, the two reapers. I hit and penetrated on a randomly chosen Chimera but I rolled a one for the damage chart. This was not the only time I rolled a key one...

Turn Two:

Turn two was similar to turn one. Rob moved his Chimera's about another one immobalized but I told him one in six was the odds... His Hellhound roared forward towards the objective. It tried to roast some Plague Marines but it really isn't suited to that. In 2nd Edition the Hellhound was a fearsome opponent, it aint so bad anymore. Rob almost finished off the AXE Gang. He killed one of Gangrene and probably another terminator.

Another Chimera feels the wrath of the Right Hard Posse

In my half of the turn I got to shoot exactly two reaper autocannons. I hit exactly one Chimera and did some measure of damage. I know I rolled another one on the penetration chart at some point during our game.

Turn Three:

This turn saw the Hellhound pretty much park itself on the center of the board. Rob had widdled at least two plague marine squads down to non-scoring status and damaged two more. He also killed another terminator.

The end of Rob's half of turn three

In my half of turn three I tried to put an end to the pesky Hellhound. I had some anti-armor special weapons near it. I also had a model or two armed with a powerglove and all Plague Marines have Krak grenades now, something I put to good use against the Chimeras. I shot the Hellhound with mealtas then charged in to try and finish it off. Eventually it was destroyed. I also destroyed or damaged another Chimera with the Right Hard Posse. Also of note I believe I got to start firing with Syphilis from their bunker hideout. Plague Marines in a bunker is pretty much nigh immoveable.

Turn Four:

The Right Hard Posse sees off the Roughrider charge

Turn four saw Rob concede after his vaunted Rough Riders charged the Terminators. He always complains about his Fleet of Hoof role but every single model got into H2H so what more can you ask. My termies are iniative four unlike the plague marines. But the termies don't have the swell Blight Grenades. Ah yes Rob ruled two of my models were defending cover, the river bank and they got to go first. They killed some horsies. Then Rob got all his strength five power weapon hits. As I pointed out to him more than once. Hits don't matter, it is wounding that counts. Sure enough Rob scored zero wounds.

Diahreaha Squad destroys another Chimera

Three terminators were dead by now so four or five got to go, one with a chainfist. He managed to finish off the last of the Roughriders. This is where Rob conceded. We finished my half of turn four where I killed another Chimera or two. Diareah had first gotten into Mealta range then charged to use their Krak grenades. Gangrene also used their Krak grenades, basically having so many Krak grenades I wasn't going to not put them to use. We didn't score it at all, but it was my most convincing victory against Rob with a completely uncleverly chosen army list. All the neighsayers on the internet are wrong, the new Codex is clearly better for the Diseased Sons. I think only heavily converted Noisemarine armies might have a beef, but basically you play GW games long enough some of your models will be made illegal, but if you wait long enough they may be made legal again. My dozen stripped heavy weapons would be useful right about now.

My postgame thoughts

I'd said previously online somewhere, that I was going with a 2nd Edition feeling army list. During 2nd Edition, particularly before the release of the very first Chaos Codex, I had a lot of five man squads with a single special weapon. Even after the Chaos Codex was released I still used these small squads. I also had very few vehicles and no dreadnoughts. What I did have back in the day was a lot of renegades with heavy weapons, particularly missile launchers, plasma missile launchers.

When Rob conceded I was a bit shocked. Usually our games are pretty close and we play all the turns. In tournaments you basically can't concede because anyone you are doing poorly against will insist on massacring you... I don't know if I massacred Rob, but I accomplished the mission. Like I said after the previous two games, I do better when there is a mission to accomplish. This is because when I pick my army list I usually give some thought to how it would handle certain situations. Alas for this list I didn't give it much thought at all. I just made good use of cover and made intelligent choices in my target selection. That's one disadvantage Rob has, I actually know a thing or two about his army, I even bought the IG codex. Sometimes when I play random people I have no idea of the rules for their army and underestimate certain elements of their army.

Rob's postgame thoughts

Well that didn't quite work as planned. I didn't do a very good job of deployment; I failed to remember that we were playing on a 4X8 table this time and my entire army was shifted about 12" to the right of centre making the left hook of my pincers the effective centre and the right hook to far away to make a serious play for the objective. I could ill-afford to compromise a turn of shooting to scoot forward 12" as doing so would mean that I would be exposing my side armour to Muskie's plethora of bolters (which seemed more effective at blowing up Chimeras than his melta and plasmaguns). The location of my Anti-tank squad was great for targeting units that were sitting on the objective but not so great for drawing LOS to the juiciest of units- the Terminator squad. Muskie very wisely deployed them and moved them in such a fashion as to severely limit the ATFS LOS which was blocked by terrain and the carcasses of Chimeras, several of which had been immobilized trying to cross the creek.

The final nail in the coffin, as it were, was the failed charge of the Rough Riders- here was my last hope. I was very fortunate to get them into a decent position to be able to charge the Terminators, and despite a Fleet roll of 1" and a mediocre roll for the charge through difficult terrain I was able to get all eight models into assault and only lost three before I got to attack. When rolling to hit I hit an impressive 8 times! Great Success!. But...with a 50% chance to wound, I failed to wound with every single die. With that, I conceded as it would be very difficult for me to claw my way back into the game.

Now...I'm not blaming the dice. I can say that failure was entirely due to poor planning and execution. The complete flop of the Rough Riders was just what prevented me from having a chance at digging my way out of the hole I had thrown myself into. I may have to re-jig the list a bit and find the points to by a few more rough terrain modifications so I can keep those Chimeras going.

What's next?

None of the lists I've used is that much like the one I plan for Astronomi-con Vancouver. Basically with an all new Codex, I'm trying out the many, many options I have available to me. On the B&C and elsewhere there was a lot of bitching when this codex was released, even before it was released. I think the current codex gives you a lot of options, especially to my army which was basically denied heavy weapons at the whim of the game designers, even though it doesn't say anywhere in the fluff that Nurgle or the Death Guard forewent heavy weapons. It just says they preferred to use a lot of infantry.

I took an all Infantry Nurgle army and was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. I will definitely try it again. But I think there is a lot of room for improvement in my footslogging list. Even denying myself dreads, obliterators, and bikes, I still could get more special and heavy weapons on the table. During the ferry ride back I made up a "better" 1500 point list but it had to make a few too many sacrifices I thought so I prefer it at 1700 points. I don't know if we can squeeze it in, but I'd be happy to give Rob's mechanized list another shot at an all footslogging Diseased Sons list. Truth be told my 1700 point dream new Chaos Codex list has no tanks, but it does have dreads and bikes I believe.

I hope to get in some more games, even if they have to be 500 points or something other than 1500. I'll probably play at The Comic Shop or Strategies which I frequently refer to as Darren's as that is who owns and runs it. I've been painting and converting and I hope to keep that up say three nights a week. The army list I'm building towards for Astronomi-con is either painted or at least assembled on my desk. I've also started a WIP thread at the Bolter and Chainsword and one and eventually two at The Waaagh! as orks and goblins were my original armies in both 40K and Fantasy. You can follow those threads as they'll be updated a little more frequently than Muschanmp.ca maybe...

If I do anything major like play a few more games, I'll try to turn them into online journal entries. I'm also painting up the final few additions I plan to make to the Diseased Sons, I plan to redo the entire army picture page if not before Astronomi-con then sometime after it.

Words and Images © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
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