With a game pre-arranged for next Mondays club night, my opponent Chris rued the fact that we could prepare our armies for each other, and I far more than he ever could. This is sadly true, though the loadout I've been running these past couple weeks was pretty vicious against him and I was planning to stick with that rather than try to specialise further, but I came up with an idea. Chris is about to start a guard army for our Tale Of Four Gamers campaign. And I have LOTS of guardsmen. Why not jump in at the deep end?
So I told Chris that I had designed an army knowing I was facing guard. He was to do the same. He could then send me his requirements. I could let him know if his requirements were available, and he could tweak accordingly until he had a legal army list he could build.
Chris surpised me with his list. I know he covets my artillery... and the new punisher begs out for inclusion, and the vanquisher is a potent anti tank platform. He went for none of these. Instead, he went for a horde army. As he sent me his whole army list, in an interest of fairness I will compare our approaches here.
He has a command section with reserve boosting/disrupting advisors. He then has two infantry platoons, each consisting of a command with missile launcher, 4 squads with missile launchers, 2 lascannon heavy weapon squads and a mortar heavy weapon squad. He then has a veteran squad loaded for tank killing in an infantry pounding valkyrie, and Al Rahem leading a platoon to my flank, consisting of command and 3 squads with grenade launchers and krak grenades, to give them some punch against my tanks.
So this army will have 12 lascannons and 10 Missile launchers for me to deal with, along with very mobile vets, a large outflanking force that all comes on at once, and a total of 15 scoring units. Wow!
Already this infantry horde has made part of my army build obsolete... my vets with meltabombs feel a bit overburdoned with useless equipment by now, as does the vanquisher I put in to deal with the tanks I assumed Chris would take. My build is designed to kill a balanced infantry/vehicle list, so some of those points are clearly wasted. We'll have to hope the anti infantry part lives up to it's job. I can also be thankful i went for a different approach, in that I wanted to limit the troops that would be out in the open. With that amount of men outflanking and those pesky mortars, I'm glad I chose that option.
For my army, I have Straken in his usual combat command squad. A bit overkill when merely facing other guardsmen, but he's a habitual part of my army and I thought it in character to keep him in. Besides, I figured he'd be good for taking down Chris' tanks... he will be accompanied by reserve boosting/disrupting advisors... this could be an interesting battle of nerves.
Also by force of habit Marbo will be making an appearance. I love my Catachans.
This time to represent the deathworld vets I have 3 squads of veterans. Loaded with meltabombs for tank busting (godamnit!) and flamers for toasting the infantry (at least I got something right!) I also have a couple of penal legion squads to add in some cheap scoring units, though my scoring unit total of 5 now feels a little dwarfed! Anyway the vets are in Chimeras. I also have a valkyrie loaded for infantry killing, and to double up as battlefield taxi.
I then have 3 Catachan sentinals, a hellhound (ooooh it burrrrns :oP) a rather pointless Vanquisher, a punisher with the worlds biggest target marker no doubt already drawn on it in Chris minds eye, and an Eradicator (haven't used this tank yet and found a bit I can use to convert the turret. Always nice to try new things.) With a few points left to go I went for a couple vehicle upgrades and a ministorum priest.
Looking over the list I have to say I think Chris is far better equipped to deal with me than I with him. His mortars will have limited targets sure... but those are cheap. My meltabombs and vanquisher come to about 350 points... that's a good amount of points that is NOT going to earn it's keep. It will be an interesting game. Can my greater guard experience overcome the disadvantage on paper? Note that I don't think there's anything broken with his army, or particularly failing in mine... it was just unexpected... sorta like "I swore he'd go scissors, bugger!" Now my rock is looking a little foolish, and hoping not to get swamped by the tide of paper coming his way. Look for the result on Tuesday.