It's been a long, long time since I cobbled together a batrep, so here's a quick one. I got a game in against Wong's IG with Ultramarine allies at the exceedingly awesome Wira Games & Hobbies. If you haven't been there yet, do check it out. Anyway, my list is here. I rolled Night Attacker for my Warlord Trait. And here's Wong's list, as I remember it:
Company Command Squad with Astropath, plasmagun and autocannon, in a Chimera
Sly Marbo (my own Sly Marbo will be referred to as O'Bram in this battle, in deference to the seniority of Wong's Marbo)
Veteran squad with 3 plasmaguns in a Chimera
Platoon command squad with Chenkov
Infantry squad with Autocannon
Infantry squad with Autocannon
20 Conscripts with Send in the Next Wave
Chief Librarian Tigurius
10 Scouts with bolt pistols and combat knives, meltabombs for the Sgt
Stormtalon with Typhoon launchers
Warlord Trait: Strategic Genius
This comes to 1,760 pts. At first, Wong wasn't so sure about this list's ability to handle my list's large number of armoured vehicles. These fears, as it turned out, were quite unfounded.
Mission: Crusade - 4 objectives
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil. I won the roll off and went first. Night Fighting was not active on the first turn.
Here's how the board looked after deployment. Stupid me, since I had the first turn, I expected to surge forward most aggressively, inflicting much violence and (hopefully) come out on top to claim objectives. I mean, is that an unreasonable expectation with 4 big horrible Leman Russes at one's disposal? That's why I plonked my 2 objectives on Wong's side of the board. Wong took a more conservative approach, keeping his objectives close, with loads of troops to keep a firm hold of them.
At first glance, I was pretty optimistic. To the right were all his vehicles, all clustered and waiting for my Manticore to inflict great and unholy violence on them. In the middle, a bunch of squishy infantry for my armour to maul. On the left, beside the big rock spire, stood Chenkov and his platoon command section, a clear and easy target for O'Bram.
So the plan was simple: Nuke the vehicles on the right ASAP with my pie plates of ludicrous ordnance and death, then inflict the Catachan Devils to severely maul whatever spills out. If those tanks on the right were cracked open, there'd have been little to stop my tanks smashing apart everything else on the board with ordnance, then surge ahead to clean up the pitiful remnants with my Armoured Fist platoon. I wasn't too worried about Wong's aerial assets as I had my own guns in the sky waiting to cause some pain or at least tie up Wong's Flyers. Sounds good, right? Read on for what happened...
Ultramarines & Friends: WONG SIEZES THE INITIATIVE! And with that, my grand plan gets a great big kick in the danglies... Tigurius cast Prescience and Forewarning on the Land Raider, then it and the Chimeras moved Flat Out towards my right flank. His shooting was ineffective, but suddenly I found myself with a Land Raider full of Scouts and a Librarian barely 12" from my lines! Not good at all...
Red Thunder: Well, I put the models on the board, might as well see this to the end, eh? My initial plan is now quite useless and my army went from an ultra-aggressive stance to zomgwtfbackaway in the blink of an eye. Time for a new plan.
I backed my right flank directly away to absorb the incoming Ultramarine violence and advanced with my left. I fire my Leman Russes at the Chimeras, the Demolishers and the Manticore at the Land Raider and a Chimera at some Guardsmen in the Bastion. When the dust settled, one Guardsman lay dead. And a Chimera lost a hull point. I braced for impact...
U&F: From this point on I was so engrossed by the ensuing destruction, I forgot to take photos. My bad.
All of Wong's reserves arrived, thanks to his Astropath and Warlord Trait. Marbo turned up behind one of my Chimeras on the left and shook it with his demolition charge. The Vendettas tried to fire on my other 2 Chimeras, achieving nothing. The Stormtalon then showed them how it was done by nuking the Command Chimera. Fortunately, the Lord Commissar took most of the blast on his carapace armour, sparing the squad any casualties.
On the right, however, things quickly turned pear-shaped, as the Scouts, enhanced by Prescience and Forewarning, charged into my Leman Russes, wrecking one and stunning the other.
RT: On my side, the Catachan Devils, O'Bram and one Vendetta came in. The Vendetta easily blasted the Stormtalon apart. O'Bram popped up next to Chenkov's squad and obliterated them in a spectacular detonation. The Catachan Devils burst in from the left flank and easily wiped out the Infantry Squad taking cover in the forest there.
Elsewhere, lackluster performance all round. The Platoon Command Squad and my Lord Commissar hopped into the remaining Chimera on the left, while the Infantry Squad inside disembarked to snap fire on Marbo, taking one wound off him. On the left, the Infantry Squad disembarked from the Chimera and they fired everything they could into the Scouts, slaying 5.
The Manticore fired 3 big nasty templates, ALL of which missed. The Demolishers took 1 hull point from the Land Raider. The dice gods are fickle.
U&F: Wong's Vendettas converged on mine, but only managed to vector lock it and blow away one weapon, which was quite a bit more than I could have hoped for.
Tigurius and the Scouts wiped out my Infantry squad on the right. His Veterans and Company Command backed up in their Chimeras, disembarked, and unleashed a punishing salvo on the Catachan Devils, reducing them to 2. O'Bram found himself staring down the barrels of 17 lasguns from the Conscripts (3 were caught in the blasts from the Catachans' flamers earlier). He did not survive.
Marbo tried to charge the Infantry Squad which had wounded him earlier, but was slain by the overwatch fire. The Land Raider moved up and blew apart the Manticore.
RT: My other Vendetta still didn't arrive, so I flew the wounded one off the board, hopefully to come back and do some damage in Turn 4.
On the right, I really didn't have much left alive (i.e. nothing) so sodall happened there. On the left, I advanced the best I could with the remnant of my Armoured Fist. The Demolishers took advantage of Wong's disembarked Company Command and Veterans, and fired a salvo in their direction. It paid off well, and the ensuing fireworks saw the Company Command's Chimera reduced to a smoking crater, and 3 Veterans and one of the Command squad slain in the explosion.
U&F: One of Wong's Vendettas swung round, hovering behind my Demolisher squadron and made the shot of the match, blowing up both in a single salvo. Ouch. I suppose that was pretty much the last nail in the coffin. So, long story short, a bit more ineffectual shooting from me later, I was forced to concede.
In all honesty, I believe I got unlucky here. I did not believe my initial plan had any serious flaws, other than how having the initiative seized would send everything down the crapper. I discussed the composition of my list with Wong and I most certainly do agree that the Red Thunder would have trouble (to say the least) with large numbers of Monstrous Creatures. In fact, now that I look at it, that's a glaring weakness to the Red Thunder that is pretty difficult for me to address - a serious vulnerability to assault.
In this light, the Scouts' attack on the Leman Russ squadron on the right flank was most educational. 10 Scouts with their krak grenades plus Tigurius giving them Prescience managed to all but wipe out the squadron. I can expect, say, a lowly Infantry Squad with krak grenades to kill a Leman Russ in a charge. The defense of the armoured assets requires careful thought.
Unlike the Space Marines lording it over everyone with their big, nasty Land Raiders, the tanks of the Imperial Guard have to be very, very careful with their rear armour. I think I need more infantry. Or perhaps... a better tank... Stay tuned. Mighty projects are afoot...