This game is part of the author's "Public Game" series. A registry of these games can be found here.

This game features the first game of me fighting against another guard player since my disastrous first game. This was for big points in the campaign (for two spaces, actually), and so I knew I'd need my A game (get it? "A" being what's stamped... on my guy's stuff... nevermind).

THE CHALLENGER guard on guard violence...

HQ: SO w/PW, Comissar w/PW, 3x autocannon, 3x lascannon squads

Elites: 2x 5-man stormtrooper squads with 2x grenade launchers (deepstrike)

Troops: AF with flamer, 3x squads with grenade launchers

FA: 2 autocannon sentinels (deepstrike)

everything had carapace armor.

THE DEFENDER ... that's how they get ya.

I used list 3c, as usual

For stratagems, he picked deepstrike, infiltrate, and fortification (I think. I'm not positive, as he didn't actually infiltrate anything). For my stratagems, I took preliminary bombardment, and demolitions (I was going to try boobytraps, but then I found out that you can't deploy them in the enemy's deployment zone).

The mission for this game was "Maximum Attrition". Yay! I get to just kill him!

He rolled for quarters and deployment, I rolled for first turn.

I'd like to say my preliminary bombardment did something, but someone forgot which stratagems he had... He fortified the building right in front of his guys.

At deployment, the field looked like this:


For a hi-res copy, click here

I had heard rumors that this kid (the last of the younger generation that I had yet to fight) played a tight-formation, SAFH-style guard army. I was pretty confident going into this. The only thing I felt that I'd need to worry about was all of his deepsrtikers, but if those wouldn't be a threat, I could definitely play the mop-up-the-VPs game.

TURN 1

"Sir, the enemy ambushers are in sight. They haven't seen us."

"Good," replied Melchoir.

In the confusing and bloody battle for Urbana, there were an innumerable amount of renegade soldiers of fortune. One such band had been causing incredible disruption for Melchoir's faction's supply routes. He was ordered to take care of the problem.

All that day, the Foleran detachment had been moving towards the ruins of an old installation in an "unsuspecting" formation. Little did the renegade soldiers know, that Melchoir had already set up a devious plan...

"Allright, men, you know the plan."

The Foleran forces advanced

I begin my moving my strong right wing forwards behind cover. As well, I scoot my lone sentinel on the left forwards. There's some mischief to be made... I decide to keep my center basically as-is. I figure that his deepstrikers will probably be going after my basilisk, or perhaps my armored column. In any case, I want a lot of firepower in good positions to smear the crap out of him the turn after he lands.

In shooting, the only thing that has LOS is the lascannon in my platoon HQ squad with manages to promptly blast a hole in some random guardsman with a lascannon. Then, my basilisk fires at the big, giant, juicy target of 20 guardsmen huddled into one little space. The shot scatters 5", though, but in an okay direction, killing a lascannon team.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he moves everything forward. He told me later that apparently, his reputation as a SAFH guardsmen had netted him a lot of losses, and that this was his first attempt at actually moving. Good job, O opponent. I guarantee that things will look up once you've gotten better at guard movement.

In shooting, he lobbs a pair of grenades at my chimera and both hit, but neither do serious damage to the chimera's front armor. On the other side, his chimera has a shot against my platoon HQ and, two heavy bolters later, downs three in the squad, leaving the JO, and lascannoner Menos.

The pirates had been caught completely by surprise. The plan went ahead anyways, and with a loud shout, the large group of guardsmen poured forwards from their hiding places.

Suddenly, a deluge of machine gun fire ripped into the platoon command squad. Shot after shot ripped into them. The junior officer looked with panic towards the detachment HQ. Melchoir was shouting at him, Sanario was giving him a fearsome scowl, and the standard bearer waved the bright hand of the king of Folera over him. It was three to one, he'd have to stay.

My platoon HQ failed its leadership, but the standard reroll let him stay in the fight.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 2

Well, it seems my opponent has decided to come to me. Thus, the only movement is a slight correction by my demolisher, and my sentinel makes it through the building behind which he is hiding. Mischeif time...

"Sir, enemy forces have entered the perimeter building", came the voice of one of the sentinels over the vox.

Melchoir smiled. "Affirmative," he replied, turning to give a wicked smile at Sanario.

"You really enjoy this, don't you?"

"Deeply."

BOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

A giant explosion blasted through the installation. A huge cloud of dust and concrete rubble immediately began filling the battlefield.

"Buahahaha! Buahahaha-"

Melchoir looked forwards through the smoke. The center building now lay in ruins, surrounded by the cloud.

"What?!" shouted Melchoir. "WHAT?!" he repeated more loudly. "Demo!" he shouted into his vox, "You blew up the wrong building!"

A stammer came back over the vox.

"You were SUPPOSED to plant the demo charges RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE!"

"Well, sir," came the reply over the vox, "There were enemy forces already nearby, we thought they'd see us, so we planted them in the next closest building."

Melchoir almost slapped his forehead, before realizing that his hand was attached to a powerfist.

"Well, sir, we can-"

"Just shut up."

Melchoir pouted. At least he had gotten to blow something up, though. He would definitely have a little chat with his demo team later that evening.

So, I start by blowing up my demo, but, I find out that you can't deploy them in an enemy's deployment zone. What a gyp. At least my opponent graciously lets me blow something else up. Oh, and I think I could have actually blown up the fortified building with his lascannon team in it as the building was within 12" of the center, and thus he couldn't deploy there. Am I right?

Anyways, on to the rest of shooting. My basilisk starts by targeting his army HQ, but scatters 6" off, but in the a pretty darn good direction, so that it can still kill 6 of his guys (made a lot of partial rolls). Also on that side, my platoon HQ lands a lascannon shot straight through the front armor of the chimera, but I get a 1 on the penetrate table. Note that I vacantly forgot to make his guys pile out, not that it would have made a difference, though.

On the other side, it's time to play murder: the game. My chimera opens up with it's four machine guns on one of his squads. In a fit of horrendous shooting, I manage to kill only 3 (rather than at least half). My demolisher cannon, meanwhile, shoots at the other squad, and doesn't scatter very far, killing about half of them. That second squad is then shot by one of my squad heavy bolters, which, to vindicate the chimera, kills two more.

The squad with just a couple of guys left fails its morale test and runs off the board. The squad with just a few killed left ALSO fails its morale test, and moves JUST far away enough to get a model off the board. See ya later.

Meanwhile, on the other side, the fun was just beginning:

After zapping one with a lascannon (as if that was necessary...) I charge in. He was greatly confused by this. The sentinel doesn't manage to kill anybody, but at least those little guys can't hurt him.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a pair of sentinels deepstrike in:

Both of the sentinels (in two groups of course) roll hits on their deepstrike. The one group of stormtroopers (the other didn't make it through reserves) scattered... very badly... some 10" away INTO my squad in the building. That's the price you pay for deepstriking...

The rest of his movement is moving his autocannons up halfway into the building, basically finishing up his setup.

Shooting starts with him landing a pair of autocannon shots straight through the side armor of my chimera for a wreck, and an explosion. Only 6 of my dragoons scramble out of the wreckage. The other autocannon lands a hit on my sentinel, which glances for a "crew stunned"

In assault, my sentinel on the left manages to step on one of his guys. Being outnumbered 5:1, and being under half strength, the squad flees for its life. Unfortunately, my sentinel was expecting this, and caught them before they could make it very far, smashing and pistoling the few remaining survivors.

Muahaha! SENTINEL RAMPAGE!

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 3

Now bereft of targets on my right side, my demolisher circles back to kill one of the sentinels. My sentinel, on the other hand, moves forwards to kill his new target: the autocannon squad.

Shooting goes pretty blandly, with my basilisk scattering 6" into empty space. It continues with my lascannoner putting a glance on the chimera for an "armament destroyed". My lascannon sentinel misses his autocannoner target :'(

Back in my court, my demolisher misses his target sentinel, which is also missed by a pair of krak grenades. My one heavy bolter that has a LOS shoots at it, scoring a glancing hit, which rolls a 6. Phew. Now it's time for assault.

The sentinel pilot crashed into the autocannon team. A few loud shouts of surprise rang out behind the enemy's lines.

"I love my job," the sentinel pilot thought to himself.

The rest of the guardsmen shouted in confusion as autocannon team members scampered to get out of the way of the sentinel. Meanwhile...

"In the name of the Emperor! In the name of the King of Folera! CHARGE!!"

The shouts of all the men around him nearly drowned out the noise of the eviscerator and the powerfist. Sanario and Melchoir sprinted forwards.

Sanario leapt high into the air, his eviscerator blade spinning frantically. With a gigantic chop, the great chainsword serrated straight through the cockpit, sending a spray of blood and sparks everywhere. The priest brought the blade up for a backstroke, easily cutting up through the legs and into the engine block.

A massive explosion blasted from the remains of the sentinel, sending Sanario flying through the air. Shrapnel chunks wedged themselves into a few members of the command squad, and the nearby forces in the building.

A great cheer went up from the men, as Melchoir helped Sanario to his feet.

"Good job," the officer said, smiling.

Not pausing to catch his breath, Sanario stood up and reactivated his eviscarator. "Men, we are not yet done conquering the enemies of the Imperium! Charge!"

Sanario bolted towards the center of the battlefield. Filled with righteous fervor, the command squad ran forwards.

OW! The sentinel bomb! Right. Thankfully, the blast radius wasn't that big, so I only lost a couple of guys. On the other side, I wasn't able to kill anything with my sentinel. Oh well.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he starts by positioning his second group of stormtroopers where he put the last one. This time, he also scatters, but only a measly 3 or 4" away. Unfortunately, the direction places him square on the head of my already traumatized junior officer. I suppose that's what you get when you deepstrike.

For the rest of his movement, he moves the last thing forwards in his surprisingly neutered offensive: the chimera. He guns it 12" forwards (I do him the favor of moving him only 11.5") and disembarks his troops. The command squad, in an attempt to get an auto-glance by sheer numerical superiority, runs back towards my sentinel.

In shooting, he tries to shoot his lascannon at the only target he thought he had LOS on. It turned out that he didn't. It was at this point we learned that once you declare a target, that's it, there's no going back.

Meanwhile, the flamer-armed armored fist squad opened fire. He tried to get the flamer on my command squad, but he couldn't as he didn't have LOS (as the command squad was behind the building. He decided then to flamer the guys on the ground floor, in such a way where he could also wing my command squad. Unfortunately, you have to place the flamer template so that it's fully covering as many models as possible (which left my command squad rightly out of it). On the minus side, he did manage to kill three guys, one of which being my heavy bolter. A cover save, a cover save! My kingdom for a cover save!

The rest of the guys open up with 9 lasguns and kill an astonishing 5 guardsmen (wow!)

In assault, his command squad does nothing, and I am unable to kill anybody. We then find out that in order to cause an auto-glance, you must:

- win combat

- outnumber your target 2:1

As neither of these happened, he did nothing to my sentinel

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 4

In movement, I re-position my right hand group so that it can prepare for an assault on the lascannon team in the building. Everything else repositions in such a way so as to kill his chimera squad.

In shooting, my lascannoner misses the chimera, and my basilisk scatters way off the lascannon squad in the fortification, but doesn't go anywhere interesting. One of my frag grenades points downwards, and manages to kill at least a couple dragoons (I should with the like 6 hits I got). After that, my 10 lasguns open up with an amazing display of ineptitude, killing only 1 model. At least Melchoir's bolt pistol killed someone...

The command squad charged around the corner.

"That's them!" Shouted Sanario, "Destroy the traitors! Kill them all!"

Melchoir's blood began to boil. A fierce scowl overtook his face as he charged head-on into the infantry squad. He wound-up his punching arm and landed a powerfist straight into the head of the closest guardsman, which exploded, sending a shower of blood splattering onto everyone.

Melchoir stood shocked for a moment. He'd never seen his powersword do that before. Emboldened, he punched the next nearest guy, sending the fist deep into his chest, and the guardsman flying up through the air. Meanwhile, Sanario began his grim task, cutting a guardsmen in half vertically with his eviscerator.

The two of them kept punching and chopping, sending parts of guardsmen and blood splatters onto the ground. When there were no guardsmen left standing, Melchoir and Sanario paused and looked at each other. In unison, they both began to shout as they turned their heads and looked at their next target: the Chimera.

In assault, my 6 rerolling normal attacks did jack. This was made up by 4 powerfist hits, and 2 eviscerator chops. Only one of the powerfist attacks failed to wound, the others turned the enemy dragoon squad into mush. I consolidate into the chimera.

On the other side, the sentinel standoff continued.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he frantically moves his chimera away from my command squad, and open fires, killing my standard bearer and putting a wound on Melchoir. In retrospect, I should have consolidated into the rubble...

In assault, my sentinel finally manages to step on an autocannon team loader. This spooks the autocannon team so badly that it naturally runs away from the battle. They didn't learn from the last squad, though, and were pulverized in a sweeping advance (was that actually possible? Wouldn't really have made a difference...) The battle winds down to a duel between the sentinel and the command squad:

After this point, the field looked like this:

Left with an absolutely hopeless situation, my opponent concedes the fight.

FINAL RESTULTS

I pulled a turn four turnover for 1000 pts. He killed half my command squad, half my platoon command squad, half of my squad in the building, and the chimera for a total of 265 for a +744 in my favor for a very "crushing victory".

Well, that was interesting. A few things to note.

- Deepstriking is scary. Deepstriking is risky. Things like losing squads happens when you deepstrike. This was probably my opponent's first attempt at this (and, to be honest, it wouldn't have made a lot of difference in this game if the stormtroopers had landed properly), but you all should know that you really need to learn to mitigate the risk of deepstriking, and be able to still pull off a good strategy with the rest of your forces when worst case scenarios happen.

- This was definitely a role-bending game for the guard. Sure, I had the "hide and shoot" part of my army, but I also had a clear assault portion, and there was a ton of close combat compared to how much I usually initiate (indeed, 5 of those pictures have the word "charge" in their name). Know this, ye guard players, that it is, indeed, very possible to do well without just sitting there.

- I've really got to re-read the CoD codex (which I don't have). Not being able to plant boobytraps or demolitions in my opponent's table quarter makes them a LOT less useful. This means that there is basically only one doctrine left that I can make good use of... and I need to remember to actually use it...

- Sentinels are so fun in assault. It's too bad that I was on the receiving end of a sentinel bomb this time. Next time, I think I'll attack with my powerfist first, as I'm more likely to get some glancing hits to resolve first.

- Note as well, that non-assaulty armies can make very good use of things that deny LOS. Just because you're not trying to blaze forwards at full speed doesn't mean that there aren't times when it's nice to have impunity in a certain area.

MVP: The left hand sentinel. That little guy killed or tied up something on the order of 250+ pts. This lead to the easy dismantling of the various pieces of his main attack force.

Hero of the game: My command squad. Coming in a fairly close second as far as valuable is concerned, I have no doubts that their surprising bravery and charge-forwardsness contributed to the ultimate downfall of the enemy.

Melchoir and Sanario sat on a piece of rubble, trying to catch their breath. The sounds of the demolisher blasting the remainder of the forces out of the fortification provided a staccato backdrop to the hum of the chimera engine. The two of them had managed to punch and chop their way into the chimera, killing the crew, but leaving the vehicle still operational.

"So," started Sanario between breaths, "Should we salvage it? I mean, we did lose one of our own on this mission."

Melchoir stared blankly at the chimera wincing between breaths.

"No," replied Melchoir, "I need to have a little training exercise with my demo team tonight."

"Ah."