Friday 21 June 2024

2024 League Guard Vs Space Marines

 My latest game was against a White Scars list, with some fast mobile units and some very choppy units backed up by some high power shooting, oh and a very scary Knight. The actual list contained a Captain, Lieutenant combo, a Judiciar and a Chaplain on bike. There were also two 10 and squads of Assault intercessors, a blade guard squad, two eradicator squads and two Hellblaster squads, with two Outrider squads and a Gladiator Reaper for some mobility. All of these were supported (or supporting) a Cerastus Knight Lancer. 

It was going to be important who got the first charge between the Knights, as who ever did was more than likely to be the one left standing at the end of it all. 

Deployment was as expected, we were both a bit conservative with our Knights, both of them hiding away so as not to be targeted early on. 

I had first turn and was very slow to start, just shuffling around a bit to get my cards and some shots down on whatever I could manage. My opponent was far more aggressive, pushing up multiple units including the knight. 

This aggressive approach seemed to pay off, as by the end of turn 1 he was in command of no man's land and had wiped out my unit of rough riders, which had disappeared back in to reinforcements thankfully. This did now leave me with a couple of issues, with the assault marines on the right flank, the knight in the middle and the remains of another assault marine unit on the left.

Some of my decisions were made for me when I got my first surprise of the day, with the marines redeployment stratagem, allowing the assault.marines to.move out of sight on the right flank. That meant that all the firepower I had went in to the knight. With all the shooting i managed to take to knight down to just 8 wounds, which was key as it was just one hit from the thunderstrike gauntlet, although I still had to make the charge! In addition, both units of scions dropped in behind the marines and went to work on the Eradicators, removing the other main threat to my Knight and tanks.

Whilst I made the change, fluffed the rolls and only managed to get two wounds through, which with the 50\50 4++ save, proved just enough with one going through, killing the knight. 

Retribution however was swift and deadly, with the marines swinging around both flanks and pushing deep in to my deployment zone.

The resulting massacre was not unexpected. I lost nearly all my command squad and infantry platoon, nearly all my Cadians and a few Death Korps. The bikes also appeared on my left ready to charge down the line. 

At this point the game could really have gone either way, yes I had taken out the knight and eradicators but now I was severely lacking in troops and in danger of having the rest of my units rolled up in combat. 

However, with some dedicated shooting by what remained of the guard I was able to whittle down the marines and hold my lines. I was unable to completely wipe out all the assault squad and the characters, which proved troublesome. 

In addition my rough riders proved how fragile they can be. After charging the enemy tank, a prefect target for their melta lances, they managed to take just 5 wounds, two from a Goad lance and two from the Horses and only ONE from the melta.

By turn 5 the game was well and truly over, I had managed to take care of the bikes and chaplain in my deployment zone with the knight and the rough riders had done enough to allow the leman Russ to finish the enemy tank. By the end of turn 5 all that remained of the space marines was a solitary marine in the far corner. 

Lone marine just on the right hand side.

The final score doesn't reflect quite how close the game started off. At the end of turn 2 the score was 19 to 18 to the guard and by turn 3 it was only 39 to 26, but after this point the sheer number of guard came in to play. My opponent also had some bad luck with his cards, especially in the last two rounds where his cards were just impossible to achieve. 

For myself, I feel that this was a game where everything went just right, granted there were a few moment where the dice let me down but overall everything went as well as I could have hoped for. I made a couple of errors, namely with my Scion command squads and forgetting that the Prime has multiple wounds and kept trying to remove him as a casualty alongside normal scions. 
I think my opponent made a couple of key errors that would have changed the game quite dramatically. Firstly pushing the knight forward early. I was anticipating a manoeuvre game, with each of us trying to get the drop on the other, as it was clear that the first to hit would likely walk away. Grantees when I did hit, I only managed to get one hit through, so probably would have died if it hadn't been wounded! Secondly, pushing forward on mass turn 1 left a lot of space for my scions to drop in and do some damage, taking out 190 points of Eradicators, making half their points back in one go. If you opponent had been a little less gung ho with the knight and not pushed as much turn 1, the game could have been very different. Who would have won is an unanswerable question but the game would have been different.

Here are some more shots of the game, taken by my opponent.

I'm not sure when the next game will be, but I'll put it up here when I do play.

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