Weekly Battle: Scalpel vs Hammer

Last night the my Marines, the Emperor’s finest, faced off against Imperial Guard, the workhorse of the Imperium. We opted to play a Battle Mission, I believe it was called Prepared Assault, an Imperial Guard mission. Deployment was length-wise up to the board center and victory conditions was using victory points but only for completely destroyed units. Any troops that were destroyed would go into reserves and come back on.

The list I was using was this:

* Fate Lord Monthu (counts-as Shrike)
* Librarian w/termie armor, storm shield (null zone, might of ancients)
* Ironclad w/s-hammer + melta, hurricane bolter, HK x 2
* Assault Termies x 5 + Redeemer
* Tacts x 10 w/flamer, MM + Sarge w/c-melta, fist + Rhino
* Tacts x 10 w/melta, missile + Sarge w/c-flamer, power sword + Rhino
* Scouts x 5 w/sniper rifles + Telion
* Assault Marines x 9 + Sarge w/storm shield, fist
* Pred w/auto, las
* Vindicator

He had, from memory:

* Command Squad w/Generic Commander, Astropath, Melta dudes x 2, a few chumps + Chimera
* Vets w/melta x 3 + Chimera (6 of these)
* Deathstrike x 2
* Leman Russ
* Valkyrie x 2 w/3 x las

I set up first with him having first turn, unless I stole. I deployed 12″ back from the center and all on one side with my high armor shielding my squishier things. He deployed spread across the board with the Chimeras forming the front line, and the Leman Russ, then Death Strikes and Valkyries behind those. I failed to steal the initiative.

The first turn he moved all the Chimeras up 12″ and popped smoked. Then he locked up my Pred and Vindi with shaken and stunned results. I advanced my Land Raider and Assault Squad. Shooting was ineffective. I charged the ASM and Termies into the Leman Russ and two Chimeras, managing to explode the Russ, wreck a Chimera and immobilize the other.

He advanced up a few more Chimeras, boxing me in and tank shocked my ASM to bunch up nicely. The Death Strike went off. I lost 8 ASM to it but he took out one of his Chimeras, lost a few guys in it too, half of another squad (which pinned), shaken or stunned another Chimera, and lost a single guy from another squad (who also pinned). I lost another ASM from other shooting, leaving just Monthu. My tanks were locked up again.

With two pinned squads I focused on what was mobile. Termies advanced up some more and so did the Ironclad. I moved my Rhinos up to get better firing lanes for next turn. My shooting was minimal. My Termies multi-charged a Chimera and a fleeing squad from the Death Strike’s attack, wiping out the squad and shaking the Chimera. Monthu, who only had one wound left, charged the reduced squad from the self-exploded Chimera, won combat but failed to sweep. My Ironclad charged a Chimera and took off a gun.

From here we played a game of attrition. Monthu was eventually removed with shooting. My Termies and Librarian eventually feel from shooting and some multi-assaults. Troops that were removed, reserved and came back in melta’d down my Land Raider. I had advanced both Tact Squad to rapid fire range and both removed a squad of Vets each and later melta’d a Chimera.

We calculated the results and I won the game by 40’ish points, damn close. It has been so long since I’ve played with victory points, though this was modified a bit, that I was thrown a bit by the results. I’ve become so used to kill points, which I netted a ton of compared to him, but when you’re factoring actual unit costs things are very different. Sure, I took out 5 Chimeras and 5-6 Vet Squads but they’re cheap. Every thing he removed of mine was 200pts on average, so it added up quickly.

It was a fun game. I know Battle Missions aren’t always the most balanced but I don’t feel that’s the goal of them anyway, though this mission I’d say was pretty balanced. The goal is to just have fun games, something thematic and interesting.

As an aside, my terrible luck continues with being hit by one-shot weaponry. The last time I played this person in a tournament he had a Death Strike remove numerically half my army. This game it didn’t do as much damage but it hurt; of course it hurt him too. The last time I faced Ming he got off his orbital bombardment and hammered my ASM with it. It seems if you never have luck with your one-shot weapons that you need only play me.

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