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

This game was against the same person against whom I played game 25, with a new list, of course.

THE CHALLENGER: Don't copy that floppy!

Command squad
- comissar with power sword
- medic
- ungodly suped up commander
     (master crafted power fist, plasma pistol, medallion crimson, etc. etc.)
Chimera (multilaser, heavy bolter, smoke) for the command squad

2 squads of 5 stormtroopers with 2 grenade launchers (grenadiers)
1 squad of 10 stromtroopers with 2 grenade launchers (deepstrike)

Leman Russ w/hull heavy bolter
Demolisher w/3 heavy bolters
1 3 heavy bolter support squad
1 3 missile launcher support squad

Everything has carapace armor

THE DEFENDER: Imperial Guard guard Imperials

I used list 3c, as usual

This time, the campaign we're playing dictated that we didn't use cityfight rules. As well, I could clearly see my opponent's disappointment with his HQ choice last time with the insane amount of tooling this one had (although, at the beginning, all I knew that he had was a powerfist). As well, he decided to bring tanks this time, so we were going to have a much closer match, units wise.

He won the roll for sides, deployment, and first turn

At deployment the field looked like this (note that the big piece of wood that we played on was taken up 2/3ds by our gaming space and 1/3 by the space next to it. For the deployment picture, I've blotted out the other game going on, but not for the rest. Like everything else in this game, use your imagination):


For a hi-res copy, click here.

Deployment felt a little bit awkward to me here. My main plan was to take advantage of the LOS blockers in the middle of the board (the bunker in the middle was determined to be size 3). and try and nail him on the left with my demolisher, while having enough power on the right to receive his inevitable charge.

TURN 1

Melchoir nervously waited in front of the chimera.

The Pavonian threat that Melchoir had cleaned up was merely a part of the greater problem. His higher-ups were so impressed with his previous performance, that he had been given a much higher priority target. Unlike the comparative rabble that the officer had fought before, this new assignment involved taking out a senior Pavonian officer of very high standing, who was backed up with tanks and elite Pavonian grenadiers. This was definitely a riskier assignment.

Melchoir had tried to set up a trap of sorts, but the plan had quickly started to fall apart when the enemy set up heavy weapons teams on the other side of the clearing. Now there was little else to do but hope, and pray...

"Sanario?" Melchoir asked.

"Yes?"

"Could you do number... sixteen?"

"Sure. 'Keep me safe, O Emperor, for in You I take my refuge...'"

He begins the game by moving pretty much everything straight out into the open. This should be pretty easy if this is going to be the extent of my opponent's tactics. Note that he moved the demolisher just slightly through the building, so that his front couple of inches were sticking out (for simplicity, we left the model itself back behind the building).

In shooting, his battlecannon and a trio of heavy bolters unload into my squad huddling in the rubble in the center. Unlike last game, I actually manage to make a couple of cover saves, and the squad manages to survive at half strength. His chimera pops smoke.

My center squad fails its morale check, but, thanks to the standard, decides to stick around.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, as it seemed that my opponent wanted to come do me, I didn't do a whole lot of moving of my own. On the right, my sentinel scrambled over the wall to get a side shot on his leman russ, and I moved my demolisher forwards to get a shot on his demolisher.

Tank fight! I had never actually been in a situation like this before, but it's kind of cool. I start by shooting my demolisher at his, but it scatters 4" away. My basilisk, left without a whole lot of targets, also shoots at his demolisher, but scatters 5" away. Bummer.

As for his other tank, my two sentinels shoot and the little surprise on the right works its magic with a penetrating hit for an "armament destroyed + crew stunned" result. So long, battlecannon!

As for the rest of my forces, a pair of heavy bolters, a grenade launcher, and a squad of lasguns easily makes short work of the grenadiers out in the open on the left.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 2

Melchoir stared forwards blankly, considering a million options in his mind as he listened both to the gunfire and to Sanario's chanting.

"Marshal!" came a voice over the vox, "enemy deepstrikers have appeared in the center bunker!"

"Huh," the officer noted, looking at Sanario, "These soldiers really like to try and pull surprises."

Sanario nodded, while not taking his eyes off of his prayer book.

The officer looked back out to see a group of stormtroopers hiding in the bunker:

In movement, he continues his right side bum rush, moving things even more out into the open. As well, his stormtroopers make their reserves roll, and his super command squad exits the chimera.

Shooting begins with a pair of hits from his right side grenadiers, blowing up the right side sentinel. His grenade launcher party continues with his stormtroopers shooting at my command squad. Thankfully, he is a few inches away from getting any hellgun shots in, but his grenade launchers do manage to kill one of my officer's retinue.

In the middle, the heavy bolter team again rakes over my infantry squad killing all but one. The lone heavy bolterer fails his morale test again, but once again sticks around for the standard. 8)

The tank fight continues with his demolisher returning fire with its demolisher cannon against my demolisher. Unfortunately for him, he scattered 3" off the vehicle.

After this point, the field looked like this:

An explosion, followed by a howl of pain, blasted out from the other side of the chimera. Melchoir looked at Sanario who had already broken his gaze from his book. The priest piqued his eyebrows for a second in response to the officer's unspoken inquiry.

The priest slowly and calmly took a few steps backwards behind the wall. Melchoir moseyed on after.

My movement phase is pretty boring again. All I really move is my command squad away from the potential chimera charge.

The tank fight continues with my demolisher again leveling its cannon against the enemy demolisher. This time, the shot is dead on, exploding the enemy demolisher into a pile of molten slag and twisted metal. Cool!

My basilisk returns to its grim duty of trying to silence the heavy bolters. The shot scatters 4" away, and manages a pair of partials, one of which fails to wound.

Shooting continues with a pair of misses from lascannons on his chimera, and 4 heavy bolters along with a vast array of assorted weapons (the frag grenade from the armored fist squad hit, which scored hits on like 7 models) down 6 of the 10 stormtroopers that had just deepstruck.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 3

As usual, he continues to barrel his forces straight through the open field.

In shooting, his grenadiers finally finish off the last man in my center squad. His heavy bolter team also reacquires a target, taking a couple of guys out of my platoon HQ (it seems cover is actually working normally for me this game).

After this point, the field looked like this:

Melchoir listened hard. He could hear the sounds of the enemy heroic senior officer on the other side of the wall.

"Everyone, fall back twenty paces!"

Sanario looked at Melchoir with a look of half disgust on his face.

"You know, Melchoir, I really hate it when you insist on 'timing' things right."

In movement, I roll a paltry 3" for my difficult terrain roll. As I will be unable to assault the enemy command squad, I move them 3" backwards. He seems quite a distance away, and the wall is 4" high, so my plan is to wait for him to foolishly try and assault me and get stuck on the wall. Then, I'll just run up to him and chop the crap out of him.

The rest of my movement involves retreating my platoon HQ to a more safe location, while bringing my sentinel up to screen them and to get a better shot. My chimera also moves forwards to attempt to block off my opponent's chimera.

In shooting, my meltagunner misses his chimera, while a pair of plasma cannons and a lascannon from my demolisher all also miss the same vehicle. My lascannon sentinel shot at the chimera and hit, but rolled a measly 1 to glance, which resulted in an "armament destroyed" result.

Meanwhile, my basilisk again shot at the heavy bolter team, but scattered 6" away into nothing.

The rest of my forces fires a slough of heavy bolters and lasguns at the poor remaining stormtroopers easily wiping them out of the bunker.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 4

In movement, he finally decides to move his missile launcher team (which has been without really any good targets so far), and, for the heck of it, decides to go crazy and charge around with his neutered Russ. He backs his chimera away, and rolls for his command squad to enter difficult terrain, scoring a 6.

Melchoir looked up on the wall. As expected, the enemy commander foolheartedly charged up onto the parapets. The officer nodded at the priest as he switched on his powerfist.

In shooting, he tries, for some reason, to shoot his heavy bolter trio at my sentinel, but fails his leadership test and is forced to shoot at my demolisher. On the right, both grenade launchers hit from his grenadiers, but neither of them fail do to anything against the AV12 front armor of the chimera. His command squad shoots at my command squad, killing another two more guardsmen.

Now it comes time to charge. He rolls for his command squad and gets a 4. This puts his officer just BARELY into base contact with my officer. Crap.

He starts with a couple of chainsword attacks and hits with three of them, and wounds with all three as well. Statistics reign supreme, and my officer goes down. This leaves me with no models in base to base contact with his assaulters, so I get no attacks. To make this picture just that much rosier, my command squad fails its leadership test, but passes it with the standard reroll.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, he may have gotten lucky with his command squad, but luck can surely be beaten by proper planning. I disembark my dragoons. It's chopping time!

In shooting, my basilisk fires at his heavy bolter squad, but scatters again 5" away. The one partial I got failed to wound (come on...)

Meanwhile, my lascannon sentinel misses the chimera, the demolisher scatters 6" away with the demolisher cannon, all three heavy bolter shots from the squad on the left miss his heavy bolter trio, and of 2 heavy bolters and a heavy stubber, ONE shot hits, causing a single grenadier to fall to the ground.

Well, that sucked, let's see how my dragoons do:

In close combat, his commissar starts by killing a couple of dragoons. Then my big pile of attacks comes in. 18 attacks only manage some 6 hits which manage two wounds, both of which aren't saved against. Bummer.

The crazed senior officer, half decked in power armor smashed his fist hard into the standard bearer, who immediately collapsed to the ground.

"No!" Sanario shouted, lifting his giant chainsword high into the air. With a mighty chop, he landed his great blade straight down into the officer. Blood and chunks of armor flickered into the air as the eviscerator completed its swing. The priest looked up. It was impossible! That shot would have easily cut a normal man in half! The enemy officer turned and looked at the priest with a scowl.

Sanario quickly lifted his blade to swing again, but the eviscerator was grabbed by the officer's powerfist. Sanario could only look on in shock as the powerfist managed to stop the spinning blade of his sword with a horrific screech. The officer grunted hard and with a crushing grasp ripped the eviscerator in half with his powerfisted hand. With a hard throw, the officer chucked the top part of the eviscerator back at Sanario, hitting him square in the head.

The priest collapsed to the ground.

My eviscerator scored a hit on his senior officer, but his medallion crimson brought the carnage down to just one wound. He replied by hitting with a pair of powerfist attacks, ending my command squad.

This meant that I lost combat. My dragoons fail their morale test. They are caught in a sweeping advance...

...

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 5

In his turn, he moves his missile launcher team up to the edge of the building in the center on his side. His command squad charges my basilisk.

The five powerfist attacks don't manage to glance, but the commissar's krak grenade manages the glance. He rolls a 6...

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, after a round of horrific shooting, and an even worse showing in the assault phase, I am left with no choice but to go into damage control mode.

My demolisher moves up on the left, with the hopes to get in a side shot with some sponsons next turn. I whip my chimera around so that I can gun down his command squad (if I can hit them). I also move my sentinel so that he can get a clean shot off at the enemy's officer, but nobody else in the squad.

In shooting, my demolisher cannon shoots at his leman russ, but scatters 4" away. My left side squad FINALLY manages to get a hit with its heavy bolter on my opponent's heavy bolter trio, knocking a wound off (for some reason, he decided to take it on the same base, pity perhaps?). Meanwhile, my platoon HQ lascannon misses his chimera.

My lascannon sentinel finally makes its first hit, nailing the senior officer. Thankfully, the medallion crimson only stops the FIRST instant death of the game.

I am now left with a dilemma for my chimera. Either I shoot three machine guns down at the command squad, and try to just wipe it out, or I could swivel my turret around and try and attack the grenadiers bearing down on my side armor with a pair of grenade launchers. I figure that I should go for the safer route. I shoot at the grenadiers and miss with 5 of my 6 shots. One grenadier goes down...

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 6

By this point, I'm left with little option to pray for an end to this nighmare, and watch his tanks as they roll in to confront my forces.

In shooting, both of his grenade launchers hit, and both of them cause a penetrating hit, easily exploding the chimera. On the left, his chimera opens up with its heavy bolter, hitting my sentinel three times for a glance and two penetrating hits (come on!), easily exploding my sentinel. At least his heavy bolter duo wasn't able to do anything as they failed another leadership test when trying to shoot at the sentinel. As well, his three missile launchers fired a salvo into the front of my demolisher but naturally did nothing.

After this point, the field looked like this:

My thinking by this point is that the game is over. I guess I was wrong: no amount of planning can prevent really bad luck.

With my movement, I just sit there, and try to figure out how I could possibly salvage this situation.

In shooting, I open up with my demolisher's sponsons. Of the two plasma cannons and a lascannon, one plasma cannon hits and scores a penetrating hit, shutting the leman russ down. Meanwhile, my platoon HQ's lascannon makes its only hit of the game, slamming into the side of the chimera for an easy penetration and wreck of the chimera.

Left side squad takes aim down at the grenadiers. All three heavy bolter shots miss. The frag grenade missed. 6 of my 8 lasgun shots missed, one failed to wound, and only one of them killed a model.

Lets just end this, shall we?

After this point, the field looked like this:

FINAL RESULTS

He killed everything but half a platoon command squad, an infantry squad, and my demolisher for 691 pts. I killed everything but a pair of heavy weapon support squads, a squad of grenadiers and half of his command squad for a total of 677 pts. for a -14pt. draw in his favor.

Ugh.

- Firstly, in case you missed it, luck wasn't exactly on my side this time. This time, rather than failing some 18 of 23 4+ cover saves, or an extraordinary amount of luck on his part (though there was some *looks at the never-missing grenade launchers and his command squad*), it was in my shooting. Rather than bore you with a tyrade, I'll merely show you two statistics. The first is that my ordnance scattered a combined total of 34" across 7 shots (only one of which was a hit). The second is that of the over 100 shots I made with the rest of my army, I only hit with less than 30 of them. Now [i]that's[/i] how you hit something 50% of the time!

- I figured that my strategy was pretty secure this game, as he insisted on not using cover of any sort (except the stormtroopers). I figured that just standing there and shooting him out in the open would have worked just as well as it did against that eldar player in game 23. That being said, I did do a few dumb things of my own, like what I did with the chimera in turn 5, and, to a lesser extent, my center infantry squad in turns 1 and 2. I don't know, what would you have done with the chimera in turn 5?

- As this was a part of the campaign, we need to re-fight this match. Look for the rematch soon!

- Before then, I should probably have a little chat with this kid, though, as by calculations that I just made, he was running a 1023 pt. list. Why does this keep happening to me?

MVP: My demolisher. Not only did it get in a cool tank fight with the other demolisher and won, but it also killed the other leman russ as well. Plus, it didn't die, which meant that it gave me two thirds of the points that I had left on the board.

Hero of the game: Nobody really deserves this, as I failed 5 of my 12 morale tests (which should be happen only 16% of the time). There is going to be cold, cold porridge served in the cafeteria tonight, boys.

Melchoir slowly watched as fluid dripped through the intravenous fluid dispenser. He barely paid attention as a nurse came in and tidied up his room. She left a small note.

Melchoir picked it up and looked at it. It was written in someone else's handwriting:

You know what must be done.

-Sanario

Suddenly, the line marshal burst into his chambers. Melchoir tried to salute, but backed off with the pain.

The line marshal sent him a cold stare. Melchoir gulped.

"Surely, commander marshal, you know what must be done."