One batrep - it was good to get my Guard on the table top once more as games have been few and far between these days. Not quite enough for the codex to feel new... more like a comfortable old hoodie you've rediscovered This was technically my second Guard game of the day, the first being a 500pts Stormtrooper list but as this featured an Inquisitor that makes it an Inquisition list so the batrep can be found in the appropriate place
It's not all old hat though, I managed to forget the HWTs That'll teach me to make last minute changes luckily some 60mm bases were on hand to fill in
As part of our scaling up to learn 9th and the more regular games in we're using proper missions albeit not yet with secondaries. This one has a diagonal deployment with a sort of S shaped pattern of objectives in the centre. Up to 15 points a turn are available for capturing multiples, and having more than your opponent.
Unfortunately this is not an ideal mission for Guard as the centre is pretty open, and the CSM list is made to get in close. I deploy with an aim to move up as soon as I can, but practically that means thinning out the risks to my infantry before it's viable. The other side of that is of course my opponent isn't going to be that keen on going for objectives under the gazes of my tanks - the difference being advancing under cover to get closer is much more advantageous to the traitors.
My opponent sets up accordingly - out of Line of Sight while staying as far up as possible to move. It's going to be an interesting game, perhaps made in the first turn even...
I give my opponent first turn in the hopes I can see what's going on and adapt accordingly. This almost blows up in my face when the Predator scoots out and freems the Tank Commander down to 3 wounds... The increased save pays off here. Barely! Not the best of starts but at least I am unscathed otherwise. With the Rhino moving up down the centre quickly things are already looking interesting.
I Jury Rig a wound back, and then start throwing Orders and Stratagems at the Predator - it takes my Tank Commander and a Russ but it is battered down and taken out. The other Russ plays a blinder and chips off just enough wounds on the Rhino to destroy it. Several squad members are slain (including the Champion) leaving the remnants to be picked off by infantry, again just squeaking by with the last wound!
As far as first turns go I don't think I've had many better (certainly after how it started)!
This does raise the question of how I'm going to get those objectives though. One CSM squad is entrenched in their building close enough to secure one, and the other has moved into the opposite building to do the same and threaten my weaker left flank. I'm going to have to follow up my shooting with further good turns to thin them out enough to be able to confidently move up to claim them for myself.
That depends on how many points my opponent can stack up first however, and there are plenty more Chaos units to come.
My opponent focuses his efforts on my left flank, with the CSM squad and jumppack Lord securing their building and objective. Shooting fortunately achieves nothing but the Victory Points are mounting.
I'm not worried though, as it's only turn two so I have plenty of time to reverse the trend especially as I have one objective to keep me ticking over. I consider dashing the right HWT squad up to claim the other but it would be a one way trip and I'd be unlikely to get the points from it so I hold to keep them shooting.
I'm confident that even if I start losing my left flank I can pull my tanks back and advance with other forces to both claim objectives and counter attack. With this in mind I move a squad up to try and hold them back and threaten the objective. I quietly hope that they can do more than this and so it proves as withering fire is thrown upon the Chaos Marines holding the objective and they are wiped out!
This is a great result as while it doesn't unhand the objective now (the Lord Executioner) it does make it a lot easier for me to capture. Aside from the noted character and Helbrute that is. Things go pretty well elsewhere too, as the CSM holding the other objective are slowly reduced. Things are looking quite positive and without any losses yet I have the upper hand.
Which is all well and good but there are objectives to be had to win the game, but I'm in a good spot so can make my moves after seeing what my opponent does. Shooting is once more ineffective, and to make matters worse the Executioner and Helbrute moving up also fail their charges... the dark gods are presumably on holiday.
Things couldn't really be going better for me, so I start moving my line up. So much so I decide the right flank need not go for any objectives and can hold to shoot. The Executioner gets splattered by Leman Russ fire and lasguns, followed by the Helbrute. The game is in my hands, all I need to do is get those objectives and hold them which should be easy enough as I can safely secure more than my opponent without risking units.
My opponent has little choice but to make a move and play for objectives, the Lord jumping to claim one. All the bonuses in the World can't save him though as cannons thunder and 4++ saves don't work. The last of the Marines holding the objective are slain leaving dominion of the table to the Guard - victory to His Hammer!
I don't think you could have scripted a better game. The dice came through, although that said my "classic" Russ builds have always done be well with reliable shooting especially from their battle cannons. A sterling first turn saw the advantage given to me and it apparently couldn't be bothered to leave That I didn't lose a single model says it all. The dark gods waned in the face of His faithful.
What can you do in such situations though? In the end the game went differently and I ended up having the initiative, though I can't pretend my plan was by any means guaranteed. If I hadn't managed to sneak the last wounds of the armour it could have gone very differently. For example had the Rhino survived to deliver that squad I'd have needed to dedicate effort to remove them from my lines - all the while my opponent would be gathering VPs to my none, and moving up his other forces unscathed.
In that situation it'd be a lot harder for me to come from behind to get more VPs. That's the game though, with dice at its heart, but I'll not complain when it's in my favour and for such a good start to 9th for my Guard