Last night I dug out the old guard to try out their new codex. What can I say... ouch!
Having heard that conscripts and cheap smite spam are the way to go according to the tournament scene, I wanted to avoid that route entirely. I also wanted to take a fully painted army for my inaugural game (much harder with my guard than Orks, for one the guard were always my played with army, so I have a lot that was speedily built with no consideration of later painting practicality, two it was from an earlier time, meaning a lot of what is painted is... of a quality that wouldn't make my display shelf to say the least. Plus it's spread across different colour schemes, styles, model and paint ranges. I have two styles of Cadians and about three styles of Catachans, which while I have a plan to broadly bring into one colour scheme, will take quite some time...
So I started off with taking a Catachan regiment, because they're who I started with. Their benefit is +1 str on infantry, which is fantastic and fluffy and suits catachan units down to the ground - when I first started playing it was catachans, the infantry was WS4, I played combat guard... it didn't work very well, but occasionally would pull off a surprise or two as a Hive Tyrant recoils as the puny humans run towards it... think it died of shock more than anything else...
However, the other part of the doctrine is that veicles can reroll 1D6 for their random number of shots. Which makes tanks awesome. Which bugs me. We shouldn't make tanks awesome for Catachans. They were always the footsloggers. If this same rule had, instead of applying to vehicles, applied to infantry and sentinals, it would have made their mortars and flamers/heavy flamers more effective, which would have suited the style of the army background perfectly.
Instead it makes tanks stronger, possibly too strong if last night game is anything to go by.
So, playing to the cards I'd been dealt, I built a Catachan mechanised company of sorts. two pairs of wyverns for fire support, a tank commander in demolisher, 4 basic squads with flamers in chimeras, a squadron of 3 leman russ. a company commander with kurovs aquilla. Had some spare points so upgraded the second company commander to Straken. Took a Hellhound too. And to round things out took 2 astropaths (what else are you gonna do with a spare 35 points?)
I was up against Robbie Guillemon leading Ultramarines (for a change) the army consisted broadly of Robbie, dread, big dread, devastator squad with 4 grav cannon (combat squaded, 2 in each) 2 primaris troop squads, primaris plasmagun squad, 10 reavers, a tactical squad (combat squaded) a librarian, captain and lieutenant.
I had the first turn. Now I will say that I was rolling pretty hot... each time I rolled a 1 for number of shots and used the Catachan reroll ability I invariably got 6 shots instead... but even so...
My opponent wanted to hand me the game before I'd finished my first shooting phase.
In that phase, I had killed both halves of the devastator squad, all the plasmaguns, one of the primaris squads, and half the tactical marines. He had the dreads and characters that could kill my tanks in combat, and a lascannon and a metlagun, but other than that he had very little left that had a realistic chance of hurting me, and he had a long walk ahead of him.
Having no other models with me, I offered an instant rematch, perhaps letting him change his army if he had anything, or at the very least going into the storeroom for more line of sight blocking scenery, but he gamely decided to carry on regardless.
Now at this point, I eased up because jesus after that who wants to completely crush someone. He'd forgotten to take his morale tests for his survivors, but I let it go. And tactically my gameplan had been to slowly retreat the leman russes (at half speed) while maintain a punishing volley of fire from them, but under the circumstances I decided to hold position and let Robbie advance on me, as my second round of shooting saw off both dreads and a few straggling infantry. Even this worked in my favour. I'd managed to take one wound off Robbie. He charged my leman russes. Killed two. Jammed that flaming sword right into the fuel tank of one of them. Uh oh. Boom. Took three mortal wounds off him. No matter, on he goes, and next turn charges the wyvern that had been causing him such grief. Jammed that flaming sword right into that fuel ta... uh oh. Boom. Three more mortal wounds from Robbie. Took his last wounds in overwatch from the other wyvern. He then got up (we're not sure if he could, because he'd used a CP reroll on his failed armour save, unsuccessfully, and his get back up is at the end of the phase, so technically that means same phase so it can't be used right? Under the circumstances we allowed him to anyway, and he got back up with 3 wounds) The next turn he tried to charge the wyvern again, lost three wounds to overwatch fire, 2 of them from 3 shots from the Heavy Flamer. At the end of turn 5 he surrendered. He was down to two characters on a combined total of three wounds, was losing 19-6 on VP, and the next turn I could retreat my guardsmen from combat and lay into those characters with a demolisher and 3 wyverns. It wouldn't have ended well for them.
|Actually, Drive me Closer, I want a Primarch to hit me with HIS sword seems the more effective strategy|
On the flip side, a little part of me did find it gratifying to bring that smug son of a bitch primarch down. For too long he's been marching around the battlefield singing "raindrops keep falling on my head..." as my mortars do absolutely nothing to him. I stand by him being too good, but now Guard tanks are too good, and while he basically killed himself this game (doing 6w out of 11 to himself) I can at least take away all those protective bodies that stop me targeting him in fairly short order...