Greetings once again wargaming junkies. This time around I present my conclusions following my third League game of five, and with only two games left to play, with some outstanding results I could still place joint second! Yeah, not gonna happen...
Just as a reminder, I am using Imperial Guard in this 1000 point fixed list League. I am pleased to report my first win so far, scoring maximum points against Nick's Dark Eldar. I try not to talk about dice, because as I have said before, I think they balance out over time, and we can't ever be sure of what they'll do, but I guess this game redressed the balance of the first couple somewhat.
I should also say that with hindsight, I benefitted from a scenario that suited my Imperial Guard and really didn't suit the Dark Eldar. We rolled up Hammer and Anvil deployment, which didn't really have an effect on the game, and Purge the Alien, which had a huge impact on how we played.
So how did it go on the night?
Initially, knowing what was in my opponents list, I decided on a targetting priority as follows, in decending order of threat potential: Raiders carrying units, Reaver Jetbikes (the unit included two Blasters), Infantry, Razorwing.
My thinking was that Raider mounted units were fast and packed either lots of firepower or close combat ability (for either Wyches and Succubus or Warriors respectively), Reavers were very fast and a threat to armour, but weren't troops and were few in number, Infantry were slower but still a threat, particularly if scoring units, and finally the Razorwing, which had good firepower, but started in reserve and had no ability to contest objectives other than shooting my plucky Guardsmen off them.
I did plan to keep my Infantry squads separate rather than combining them, so that if an enemy unit did get to assault them, I would be in a positon to shoot them down when they hopefully ended up standing around in the open after killing my unit. When we rolled up the Purge the Alien mission, I immediately changed my mind and combined them, offering just a single Victory point instead of three. My opponent won the roll off for deployment and elected to deploy first, taking the first turn.
I'm happy that I deployed better than I have previously. keeping all my infantry close together with comprehensive overlapping fields of fire, and close to my Officers to allow flexibility with my orders. I also kept them a little further back than the deployment zone edge to make sure it would take more time for the enemy to close.
Looking down at my infantry, I realised that a building to my centre left would completely block line of sight from my units where I had deployed them centre right of my deployment zone to the enemy Raiders and Jetbikes if they decided to use this as a stepping stone to assault my units from the left flank on their second turn. With that in mind, I deployed both my Tanks and the Chimera mounted Veterans on that flank, on the edge of the table to protect their rear armour and facing the gap that the enemy would move to if they assaulted down that flank. The Chimera went in between the Demolisher and Leman Russ to shield it's weaker side armour.
Though I failed to steal the initiative, the game went pretty well for me, with the Dark Eldar being forced to approach me because I had far more long range shooting available, so they couldn't just sit back. This meant they had to run the gauntlet of my guns to close the gap and assault as quickly as they could because close combat was the safest place to be!
Turn 1 saw my Lascannons slaughtered by Turbo Boosting Reavers using Caltrops and blades, scoring First Blood. Nick decided to ignore the Command Squad and go for the Lascannons, believing them to be a bigger threat to the Raiders and Razorwing, though the Command Squad would have given up an extra VP for Slay the Warlord. The Raiders approached more cautiously, using the building to shield them from the vehicles while they engaged the infantry.
The next few turns saw the Reavers shot down in short order by my big Infantry Squad under 'Fire on my Target!' orders to reduce the effectiveness of their 3+ cover save, and the Wyches dismount and fire a Blast Pistol at the Chimera hoping to force the Veterans out so they could be assaulted, but failing to pop it, as did the Dark Lance on the Wariors Raider that also had a go. This left the Wyches very exposed and they were shot to pieces, along with the Succubus Warlord, by Heavy Flamer fire from the Chimera and the Infantry Squads Autocannons.
The Razorwing failed to appear and support it's twisted bretheren, leaving the Tanks free to move around the building and bring their big guns to bear, resulting in the Raider mounted Warriors transport being shot out from under them and many of them being shot up by fire from the Infantry after they were pinned. The Warriors however blew up the Demolisher in retaliation by double 6ing it with their Dark Lance, before they were finally killed off by the Leman Russ Battle Cannon.
The Razorwing arrived on turn 4, just in time to see the Warriors vanish in a spray of blood and shrapnel, and the Wyches Raider finally gave up it's Victory Point after first being deprived of it's Disintegrator and then being immobilised in the previous two turns, being annihilated by the Veterans Melta Guns, for the Veterans to be shredded in turn by the Vengeful Razorwing. The next two turns saw me lose the Chimera and around half my Infantry Squad to the Splinter Cannon and an assortment of missiles from the Razorwing, before it's minimum move finally brought it within range of the Infantry Squad.
The Autocannons had failed to hit the Razorwing so far, but the Colonel ordered the unit to 'Bring it Down!', making all their guns twin-linked, resulting in a hit from a Melta Gun which penetrated and rolled up a 4 for damage, boosted to a 6 for AP1, blasting the flyer out of the sky and ending the game by 'wipe out'.
In conclusion, I think I played the game ok, but luck was mainly on my side as well, with shooting and with the mission, and against my opponent, again with the mission and failing to bring the Razorwing on till turn 4. The only area I would suggest my opponent made an error was in trying to pop the Chimera so allow the Wyches to assault the Veterans, instead of just assaulting the Infantry while he still had a full squad. Because it went wrong, his Wyches and Succubus were left horribly exposed and they paid for it. I think it was the threat of Overwatch fire from nearly thirty Guardsmen in Rapid Fire Range.
Given all the various factors, like terrain and victory conditions in particular, I don't think my opponent had much in the way of options. At the moment, I'll take league points where I can find them. I forgot to order 'Incoming!' again, but at least I got to shoot with my Snipers this time. Two more games to go...
Thanks for reading.