In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Friday, 19 October 2012

2000p game. Killed everything. Lost nothing. Over by turn 4.

...and really mean I lost nothing- not even one Guardsman fell.

The game was Guard verses the new Chaos Space Marines (of course), against my regular opponent.

The question is; am I just really good at playing Guard or is the new Chaos codex a bit poo? I suspect it’s a bit of both considering that I have played Guard pretty much non-stop for the last 15 years and also a few people have griped about the codex on the blogosphere.
(Edit: Or a third point, as people have pointed out in the comments, it was a lucky match-off of a Rock vs Scissors battle!)
Free cover? I'll take it!
I have a narrative battle report that will follow this post but I wanted to simply discuss the point first.

My opponents list starred Typhus, along with 40 of his signature Plague Zombies (2 x 20). He was accompanied by an ‘elite’ force of 3x 5 Terminators and 3x 3 Obliterators, all Nurgle. Then the icing on the list was a squad of Plague Bearers and Epidemius (with his lovely Tally).So that’s not a bad list full of lots of 2+ armour saves and lots of potential.

My list was a tank heavy army. Eight tanks all up consisting of a Demolisher, Executioner, 2 Exterminators, 2 Battle Tanks, a Vanquisher, and a Manticore, all as cheap as possible. Throw in a Vendetta for good measure and then the minimum command and men in blob units for HQ and Troop choices.
My tanks are in dire need of painitn or repainting!!
The mission was Purge The Alien (kill points) and I rolled highest to deploy. I took a really solid, well grouped deployment and expected to unleash a big salvo of fire in turn one. My mate Seized The Initiative and used it to close some ground between us and open up with the Obliterators.  I was lucky to only lose one hull point off a tank and that was it.
Welcome to the killing ground!
In my turn, as expected, I opened up with everything and killed lots. But luck wasn’t all in my favour; my Manticore hit 5 Terminators and 3 Obliterators- at strength 10 all I needed were a few 2+ rolls – but I rolled 5 ones, then 3 ones.
In turn two my mate couldn't fire Lascannons from his Obliterators two turns in a row (what a load of poo rule!) . So he targeted my men and used the odd long Melta shot to target my tanks.  At armour 14 the Meltas were no good (needing 6's), and because I’d ordered my blob ‘Incoming’ behind cover, a 2+ save kept them safe. Following this I ordered my men Back Into The Fight, and continued to unleash everything at anything I could see.  My Vendetta also dropped in and strafed the 2+ armour rich targets.
Again, please ignore the 2 gross looking tanks- They are on the to do list!
The battle went on like this with my army able to kill everything before they got into assault range with my men. Two Terminators did make it to my Demolisher but only took off 2 hull points. I then tank shocked them (just to move them into the open), they failed a morale check and I gunned them down with Las fire the next turn.
My Guard worked like a well-oiled machine but it all just seemed too easy.  My tactics were sound and my list was armour heavy, but my rolls weren't amazing and my opponent’s army weren't a ‘soft target' at all. So what the hell happened?

After a long debrief and a good look through the codex we both came to the conclusion that part of the issue was the codex. The cost of everything is phenomenal and their abilities really aren't mind blowing.

Are people having similar experiences with Chaos?  

Because I have utterly destroyed my mates armies two games in a row, for our next game I get to make a ‘fruity list’. Pretty much I will choose all those so called sub-par units and make it a very hard game for myself. It’s a fun challenge and after two beatings like that my mate deserves an easier game just to keep it sporting.
Sorry for all the blurry photos.
Second question, in the Guard what are your picks for the worst units?

Ogryns, psykers, rough riders, ratlings, penal legion, sentinels….  Please chip in your thoughts :)


  1. I can't comment on Chaos since I don't have the book.

    To be honest, I think Codex Imperial Guard has many good choices. My preference is Infantry Platoons with all their extra units, Vendettas with all their lascannons, and artillery tanks. Mostly Basilisk squadrons. But I do like the standard Leman Russ battle cannon.

    My choice of Elite is the sanctioned psykers in Chimeras. It seems they can do drive-by zappings so why not.

    But all this is my preference. It is a strong codex. If I had to state a worst unit I would say Penal Legion.

    1. I never got around to sticking some psykers into a chimera, a project or another time maybe.
      Your right, Guard is a strong codex but a lot of that is that we know how to use it well.

    2. *for another time.

      Just on the russ, I'm going off the Battle Cannon a bit. Having to snap shoot everything else with ordnance is a real shame. An exterminator with Heavy bolters seems to be doing more each game despite not being AP3.

    3. I LOVE Penal Legion Troops...but it's true thery're not nearly so good now on VIth edition.

      Seriously though - in Vth ed they won me at least half of my victories.

  2. My 2 cents:
    I've played several games with the new CSM codex. I don't think its super bad. But its definitely not easy to play with. Your opponents choice of units didn't help much. Despite half the internet crying OP on zombies above 10 man squads, These are not a great option to take en masse. They lack any sort of offensive capability. Terminators are no better than they were. In fact they cost a hair more and have more restrictive options. I still think they aren't competitive in anything but 3 man combi squads. Obliterators are still good but don't pack enough firepower to make up for this lists lack of offense. That 'not the same gun twice in a row' rule is annoying as hell but can be accommodated. On the plus side they did gain MoN's T5 immunity to ID and cost a bit less. Give your opponent a chance to try out some of the newer stuff (stronger to get you to buy it ofcourse!). Fiends and even the Heldrake are recommended to toy around with. Also lords (MoK on juggernaut has been fun for me) seem alot better than Typhus to me. A lot of people are saying he's still a strong option, but then again a lot of csm players have a nurgle love affair.

    1. cheers, obviously we haven't given the whole book a really decent bash yet, but we came to the same conclusion about Zombies they are a bit lacking. Thanks for the advice.

    2. Agreed with Nate's assessment of your opponent's list.

      Just curious... were you playing a double force org? From what I can figure from your list you are about 20 pts over. The HQ and Troops choice minimums bring you to 620pts plus all the vehicles you noted above.

  3. Writing off a Codex just because a list was blown away in a single game by a very specilized list is just silly. I mean, your mate brings a list of all heavy infantry, and you have a list that just eats heavy infantry for lunch; classic mismatch of the most extreme sort, what do you expect?

    1. Very true. Its certainly was a rock v scissors match up!

  4. That was a great write up, and some smashing photos - thanks!

    It's the sort of game all Guard players dream of, and yet, at the same time one we dread when it happens because it's not really that fun. Again, I can't comment about the codex having not seen it, but that no-two-lascannons-in-a-row seems a bit odd (Brother Makreth! Wait, wait for me ... I just morphed a lascannon - I need a sit down ... )

    But you picked a stunning list and played it well, so it can't all be the codex. And it wasn't as if they didn't get a shot off, so luck played a part as well.

    As for useless Guard units, I don't really think any are useless. Certainly, a Leman Russ can fight its way out of most situations you put it in, it's a true all-rounder. And although Ratlings, Ogryns, Sentinels etc need a bit more luck and skill to get them into the right place, and use them in the right way, they all bring something unique to the game for the Guard player. But that's just my view - certainly any of the units I never pick (Ogryns, Stormies, Hellhounds etc) are more for aesthetic and fluff reasons than tactical ones.

    Great write up!

    1. LOL!
      The funny thing is that I had been planning to run an infantry heavy list with my cav and all the other (nicely painted) goodies, but just on a whim thought 'I haven't driven those tanks out in years'. I also needed to find some motivation to paint them and give them new life.

      You (and Terrible T) and dead right that most things in the right place are good units in the guard codex. Still I really enjoy a challenge so I might run 30 Ratlings, and conscripts- if nothing else it will be entertaining. Hobbits and civilians- because a guard's weapon skill, strength and leadership isn't low enough!

    2. You might be surprised: with the new sniper rules and being one of the few Guard units which can infiltrate is sneaky-useful too.

      Stormtroopers in open combat and techpriests are probably amongst my choices for least valuable units. I wouldn't hold out much hope for a lascannon-armoured sentinel least for its value!

  5. I've got to admit I have played less than a dozen games since getting back into the hobby and maybe 6 or 7 of them were 6th edition, but I own and have read the rulebook and codex to death, I'm just not a hardcore player.

    I suppose its because I don't really like the math hammering that takes place at even local level to get the best bang for buck, it makes sense, but its kind of depressingly low in spirit of the game for me.

    Sorry back to your question though, I think it depends on how you look at the game, to me the guard have no poor units just tactically different ones, but some are overpriced. This then plays into the "will it make its points back" or "is it as good as what others can get in there codex for the same price" list building which for me is a bit of a sad way to play.

    I have been taking Ratlings and love em, my No 1 Elites choice, infiltrate them somewhere irritating and throughout the game pin and pick off units, great fun and annoying to opponents. I also love deep striking Melta Storm Troopers, you get to reroll which guarantees pretty much arriving where you want, and bang there goes prize armour/artillery. People then complain that they will get wiped up, well bolters bounce off so either waste your heavy weapons on them or leave a squad of fairly dangerous troops in your backyard.

    I also like penal legion, I leave them up threat as a road block but they depend very much on what you roll for them, knife fighters and they are ace, the others they are just ok I've found, but probably because I haven't used them right, they've either been useful or wiped out pretty easy.

    Anyway you get the idea of the way I think. Yes the best way to play guard is probably sit there with Tanks/Artillery and Platoon Infantry or Veterans in Chimeras and smash everything that heads towards you, but that's a bit dull for me. Use the other units and just play differently.

  6. Hi mate,

    Great write up, like most I have not seen the new Chaos Codex so can't comment but I have seen the blogs were people are complaining about it.

    I feel that the Guard codex is strong it was in the 5th edition but i haven't tried it yet in 6th. For me the units I find that have lost there way and individual models are:

    1) Rough Riders, but I feel this is more down to the new rules in 6th edition that go against them now. There was nothing better than bringing your rough riders in behind enemy lines and smashing up some termies.

    2) Storm Trooper's, this is down to the points cost, when all they give you is a better weapon and armour. For less points you can take a veteran squad and have three special weapons and the same stats.

    3) My last is Commissar's. I really do feel they have lost there punch they are not as good or any where near as much fun as they used to be. All they are good for now is there leadership, as they do not pack a punch in hand to hand combat. This is something I feel GW need to sort out in the next codex.

    Thats my two pence worth anyway.