Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Evidence for Mortar Spam

Thanks to Admiral Drax for and admiral 'BIGGUP' on my continuing love of mortars. In response I've compiled the following analysis of where my love for mortars grew from...

This love affair starts way back here: 29th January 2009. At that stage I was in love with the Missile Launcher. Years of shooting down Eldar tanks and blowing up troops had me in love. However missile launchers have to fire direct, and against Pop-out crisis suits, they died badly. I end of losing 7 to 2 on killpoints ... back to the drawing board methinks.

Two months later I'm back with a different idea. Remember this is OLD codex times, pre release. I've got a solid bubble of leadership and I'm bedding in my heavy weapons (no instant kills here!). This time, on the 19th March 2009 I use ranged fire to hurt the opponent. For the first time I get an inkling of just how effective Mortars just might be ... as I start attacking Crisis Suits who are 'safe'. It was a solid victory.

New codex, new rules. And my mind got to reworking my list. The 30 RT era guardsmen got a makeover and were reborn as Mortar Spam. The 25th September 2009 is a crunch point for me. Mortars win me a game through constant attrition and holding their nerve under fire, they outgun Basalisks and hold the home objective. Mortars replace Basilisks in my affection.

Mortars now appear frequently in my lists(5th November 2009), and the comedy angle/risk of pinging my own guardsmen brings some genuinely funny moments - all too rare in 40k.

And on the 28th of October 2009, Light Infantry lives as 5 mortar teams take to the field and I propose the basics of what will become MORTAR MADNESS. Named after a concurrent meta-phase, The Leafblower Lite is born. In this case it blows serious holes in all manner of Saim Hann.

At the start of 2010, On the 15th January the tactic is set. The inclusion of 4 mortar teams in a 1000pt list proves decisive as Mortars and Multilasers see off Space Marine Bikers and Vendettas. This one gentlemen is quite a read. Only the crafty Chaos Space Marine combo, led by the ubiquitous Anarchic Anton manage to beat us in the final playoff, after we demolished Tau, Orks and all comers. (And mainly through duping my team mate, can't trust Chaos players - honest!)

And so now I've fielded Mortars in Apocalypse and many many many games. My game struggles not to operate around the 555pt Rough Rider plus MORTAR MADNESS platoon. Sometimes we take Autocannons, sometimes Launchers and sometimes Lascannons.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

BATREP - 1750pts Guard versus Eldar

Copyright Armandeo64 - check him out.

Mark C agreed to a match-up. As a mighty Guard player, he's been fielding other armies recently (and now owns even more armies than I!) He'd recently taken up using the old Eldar codex with a lot of focus on the Dire Avengers. As the 'local' Guardsman, he relished the chance to take on Guardsmen with his DA.

I haven't shot down any Eldar in quite a while (since Devilin quit 40k, in fact!), and subsequently I relished the chance to hurt dem pointy ear'd bastards...

Catachan List - 1750pts.

Straken's Command HQ with 2 Melta guns, Regimental Banner, Medic, Nork Deddog and a Chug (Chimera)
Guardsman Marbo
9 Ratlings
Infantry Platoon - HQ with Powerfist, 4 Grenade Launchers and a Chug. 4 squads with Missile Launchers, Flamers and Power Weapons and a Commissar with a power weapon. 10 Mortars and 2 Autocannons.
Harker's Veterans with Autocannon, 3 Sniper Rifles and Demolitions.
5 Rough Riders
2 Hellhounds with Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubbers, smoke and extra armour.

Tactics: The Missile Launchers and Autocannons would start cracking open Wave Serpents as the Mortars could decimate the enemy. The use of grenade launchers, flamers and hellhounds highlight my XP of lance technology. Trying to build in some speed was also a priority.

Dire Avengers Eldar List

Dire Avenger Phoenix Lord
3 Dire Avenger units of 11, all with Exarch.
1 ten man Striking Scorpion Unit
3 Wave Serpents, one with Bright lance and most with Missile Launchers
1 Vyper with Missile Launcher
3 Fire Prisms

Mission and Deployment: Dawn of war and Annihilation really benefited the Eldar as I couldn't deploy my Ratlings, Mortars or anything useful. The Guard Horde massed up in cover , Straken held the board centre in his Chug and the Veterans when to cover on the right flank. The Eldar stayed in their two Wave Serpent way off on the right.

Unit by unit Game Synopsis

My shooting fail to kill any tanks, but neither did his. The Veterans assaulted a turbo'd Wave Serpent, got a kill point and were then chop'd up by the Phoenix Lord, Exarch and cronnies. I'd forgotten how filth these top level Eldar are. Straken attempted a melta shot on the Scorpion WaveSerpent, forgot he had orders and fluffed the shooting. A Dire Avenger unit then killed all the 'non-heroes' in the unit. Nork and Straken looked exposed. The Fire Prisms entered and shot a turret off Straken's Chug - the bloody cheek.

In my turn I shook the viper and turned missiles on the Pheonix Lord's squad, killing a couple. The Rough Riders and Straken/Nork charged the Scorpion WaveSerpent hoping in vain to pop it with a Plasma Pistol. This didn't happen and the Rough Riders wasted their lances, Straken and Nork fluffed their attacks and the tank dumped 10 Striking Scorpions, who chewed into the two units. The Rough Riders died badly (they really are designed for fighting Marines), while Straken and Nork formed a solid front. The combo of a majority T5 and all the 3+ and 4+ plus FNP kept the Scorpions at bay. In return both warriors were rolling 4+'s and 2 up on 8 attacks to kill. Nork kept them at bay while Straken went to work. And in two turns the Scorpions died.

Meanwhile, the Dire Avengers on the right flank all bebarked and shot up my horde as the Phoenix Lord and Cronies charged in. Then the Lord realised his mistake as four power weapon wielding sergeants and a commissar jumped on the bastards. Even with a 'defence' skill reducing the attacks to 10, I consistently killed them. Until only the Phoenix Lord was left, and he finally got dragged down in turn 5.

Meanwhile the 'supporting' WaveSerpent and Dire Avengers met Mr. Marbo. His Demolition charge destroyed the transport and killed a few, while a hellhound torched all but the Exarch and 2 Avengers. The Avengers then tried to shoot and combat this 'easy' kill point. Only for Marbo to make his 5 up, kill the two cronies and rout the Exarch. Kudos.

The foot slogging avengers spotted the mortars finally setting up and went to ground, right next to Straken's Chug which heavy flame'd them, supported by a exuberant hellhound. The ratlings killed the Exarch.

The Autocannon team setup up and killed the Vyper and then shook and destroyed one vehicle after another. So much so that little could shoot or attack. At the end of turn five, Mark had one Dire Avenger unit (pre-flaming death), 3 Fire Prisms and a Wave Serpent. By the end he had a single Fire Prism (shaken).

I'd lost 2 killpoints, he'd lost everything bar one skimmer.


Looking back I think Mark did have the toolkit to take me apart. I was very very lucky and he failed to destroy a single vehicle all game. That said, all the vehicles I'd bought were cheap. By focusing his attacks on my 'horde' and Hellhounds, I got away with an awful lot. Additionally, Mark was a good sport, charging his Scorpions in to Straken, when really I should have been gunned down in ignomy. As a 'unit' Marbo and Straken are lethal as one provides the durability while the other just kills stuff, however for future I'd focus on taking just a couple of meltaguns along - as all the bodies around these two are just cannon fodder.

Marbo surviving was a turn up, and he played a blinder. If mark had concentrated his S9 blast on the HWT's, killpoints would have racked up. The ratlings would have been chow down for any of his units, while the Scorpions could have chewed up the horde nicely, although I doubt they would have survived a couple of turned against so many power weapons. The problem was that outside a vehicle, the hellhounds were death to any dire avenger - so he couldn't get out until the tanks were neutered. But he didn't have to neuter them with destruction.

On discussion after the game, I suggested that Star-Engines would have given him more options and we agreed that he was probably in too much of a Space Marine headset to play the Eldar to their strengths. All in all I liked Mark's army, but it needed to play more tactically and use its speed to manage the engagement. After all, he could easily have tripped me into one flank, have boosted to the other side, focussed all his firepower on the other flank and chalked up five killpoints, re-embarked and then come hard at the HWT's netting him easy points.

The guard codex does have a lot of advantages though, when even a fluffy list (does anything with Marbo in it count) can make some stupid mistakes and pull off a near massacre. A very forgiving codex, and not a fair reflection on Mark's list or use of it.

Monday, 21 March 2011

BLOG WARS??? Sign me up!

For all you UK bloggers, check out the following:

I'm using this as an excuse to catch up with Drax and put names and faces to Corbane and others... that's my excuse!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

MiniAPOC - Battle Report, 4000pts

Squeezing a 4000pt doubles game into a Spearhead deployment is fun, but I was air-dropped in as a last minute replacement last night over at a friends house... no piccies I'm afraid - but dynamic dialogue anyhow!

Team Rhubarb - (me and MarkC, rolling with the Tau and the Space Marines)

Za Tau... baby!
  • Shas'O with Air Fragmenty Boomgun, plasma and Missile Pod
  • 2 squads of 2 Crisis suits, kitted up with largely missile pods, flamers and burst cannons. 2 plasma rifles and a Shas'O Air Frag Projector special. All with targetting arrays, All units have an escort of 2 gundrones.
  • 5 Stealthers with 5 gundrones
  • 4 x 9 Fire Warriors with a Sergeant each.
  • Kroot Horde of 20 kroot and 10 kroot hounds.
  • 5 Pathfinders with a Devilfish
  • Piranha (say it like Darla from 'finding Nemo' for full effect) with Fusion (meltagun)Blaster
  • 2 Broadsides with Targetters and 2 Shield Drones
  • 2 SkyRays with Smart Missile Systems

All vehicles have Targetting Arrays (5pts), Disruption Pod (5pts) and Multitrackers (10pts)

Za Smurfs ... bluey?

  • 2 Biker Scout Squads (5ish)
  • 4 Biker Squads (5ish)
  • 1 Command Biker Squad (7ish)
  • 10 Assault Marines
Team Custard - Necrons and D-Eldar (played by Hutch and t'Mark, another Mark)

  • Destroyer Lord with Res Ord, Scythe and stuff (ok I never really saw him)
  • 2 huge squads of Neccies (20)
  • Unit of Destroyers (3)
  • Immortals (5)
  • Flayed Ones (10)
  • Monolith with everything ...
  • 2 x AV11 multi darklance tanks (Ravagers?)
  • 2 x Av10 transports (Raiders?)
  • 6 Jetbikers
  • 2 x D-Eldar Warrior Units
  • 2 x large Evil Beast units, with warp beasts and razorwings
  • Incubi unit with death weaponry
  • Some mad-ass chosen dudes sporting S8 plasma guns, Eeeek!

Table quarters and annihilation - Great! I set up my Tau behind a veritable wall of Smurf bikers. The pathfinders and the Broadsides get the high ground while the firewarriors sit in their transports and the SkyRays get their markerlights warmed up!

The Kroot horde infiltrate into the right flank building, filling all 4 stories with their smelly bodies, the Stealth team go out on the far left, deep behind enemy lines and looking to disrupt the enemies movement.

Game Highlights

First turn, They start, stealing initiative on a 4+! but Marks cunning scout move with his bikes mean that they can't get the shots and combat they want. They spend a frustrating turn killing a few Marine scouts and thanks to E-Eldar/Necron firepower (scary but VERY short ranged), I'm left unmarked.

Marks entire army races off into the wild blue yonder, intent on murder (hence I'm a little hazy on his army really). I focus on what I do best. 4 markerlights hit the Monolith, giving me a 2+ rerollable to hit and ignoring the 4+ cover save he should have. 2 shots later and the Broadsides have paid for themselves.

To follow up, the Pathfinder light up the AV11 Raider thingie and ping it with a couple of seeker missiles, only to fail. A Crisis Suit team does a duck and cover and blows it to bits with four missiles from the missile pods.

The Necron Swarms are looking threatening, until the Shas'O detachs and drops a S4 big blast causing 14 wounds into their midst! At the end of the shooting only 4 of 9 bases remain. Ignoring cover saves and dropping a template on swarms ... finger licking good! The Stealthers sneak forward and unleash serious firepower on a warbeast horde, but they only kill a couple. They retreat to the corner.

Marks Smurf Bikers make short work of the Beast Swarm on the right and consolidate towards the Necrons.

Turn 2: The Stealthers get charged by the Swarm of nine Scabbie thingies. 4 rounds of combat will result in a final ignoble death of the Stealthers ... ho hum. The Flayed ones flank and come in behind a SkyRay, stunning it. Nothing much else happens to my forces, so I wander off and make TEA.

The four unit scabbie swarmie thing I dlew up charges my fire warriors ... WS2, I2 S3 fightoff is embarressing in the extreme, but all the flapping hands goes his way, but my Shas'ui holds it together. He has many more attacks and 3 wounds each - and I have marginally better armour.
Ha, I'm back! Broadsides, all crisis suits, 9 firewarriors, 2 Smart Missile Systems, a Transport and the Smart Missile Systems on the Broadsides ALL target the Flayed ones and kill. 8 out of 10 (shouldn't that be cats?), ironically 8 out of 10 flayed ones WWB in my face - boo.

The Kroot make their first mighty move through cover roll and manage to throw 72 attacks at a 9 unit Necron horde. Cover save my ass - the Krooty muller them ... yeah! He takes 21 wounds after armour saves, and then gets kyboshed by the 21 fearless saving throws he has to take against the 2 remaining bases. The Shas'O has other problems, his move-fire-assault move jetpack thingie, back into cover kills all his gundrones ... must get new ones.

Mark's Bikers jump the D-Eldar Incubi and Lord and die tragically (but not without turning the Necron Lord into a tube of toothpaste using a powerfist - how graphic!), the rest of the bikers decide that eating Necron units is funny and get on with their job.

At this point the score is like "PURE WIN FOR THE MARINES AND TAU" - like 8-2.

Turn 3: Revenge of the Green Eyed Man/Robots...

Ok, looking good. But now we're in range and stuff gets nasty. First up, the beasts on the far left attack some bikes, but it turns out this is the command squad and its peachy. I couple of 'uber-marines' die and the beasts flee - but not far.

The D-Eldar also unleash S8 uber-plasma death on said command squad as the 'chosen' and Necron immortals in the centre get in on the game. The Destroyers blow up one of my devilfish - boo. The Flayers (all 8, fecking WBB rolls), charge the fire warriors and the warriors hold them (why can't these damned tau learn how to die properly), protecting the flayers.

They also shoot up my Piranha, which has been turbo-boosting a screen for the firewarriors on the left. Speaking of which, those FW's lose their combat to the scabs and run... ho hum.

5 incubi make a break for my pathfinders.

MY TURN! Broadsides target another AV11 Ravager (is that right?) and pop it open, S10 AP1 - yummy! The Markerlight sail into the Incubi and 2 seeker missiles make pulp of them. One is gutted by a Broadside shot (damn 1's) while 2 teams of crisis suits, a SkyRay SMS and the Shas'O manage to pulp the remaining Incubi.

The Kroot make another 'mighty' 6 inch MTC roll and assault a 6 man jetbike squad that's supporting the Flayed ones ... the Jetbikes get 1 attack each and kill 1 kroot. Unfortunately for them, 29 Kroot and kroot hounds then eat them. Mark's Assault marines valiantly come to the defence of the dying fire warriors as the devilfish moves away - denying a killpoint.

TURN 4: Last turn.

The D-Eldar and Necron have very little left. It all comes down to how much damage Marks command and other bikers have done in the DEldar and Necron backfield. Killing Destroyers and all sorts. The Terminators arrive and save the command squads, although catching those damned Beasts at I7 is tough work.

The Flayed Ones massacre the Assault Marines (eh?), I then 'bravely' charge my Kroot in, 84 attacks are stymied by the Flayed Ones 'SCARY FACE' roll. The Kroot fluff their Ld7 test and have to hit the neccies on a six. Not good, but doable. Awful rolling later and every save is passed. The Necrons kill 5 kroot in reply and suddenly I've got to roll a double 1 to not run ... with a sense of the inevitable the kroot are caught and massacred. Doh!

In any case, everybody attacked everybody else and the game ended with us winning by about 8 killpoints. The Broadsides were dependable and the SkyRays were just pure dirt against the D-Eldar.


Sometimes, going wappy with 4000pts on a 6' x 4' board just works. Tau are a great support army (like Guard) and work in great synergy with Space Marines and other 'attack' armies. In fact, for the most part we could play two separate games. On reflection, the Kroot were on for being 'man of the match', before being pipped by a unit of 10 lowly flanking slayers. Who killed a firewarrior squad, 28 kroot and an assault marines squad and managed more killpoints against me than the rest of two entire 2000 pt armies... (but mainly because I had a lot of bikes to hide behind).

Feed me back if you likey? Yes...?

Friday, 4 March 2011


Imperial Guard Mortar Platoons were used to stealing any bit of transport they could...

Ok, so you may have got the message that I'm a bit keen on using mortars in 40k. They are the single most effective weapon in the game for the points (IMHO). Let's break it down and then unleash a different kind of beast!

20pts each, 2 wounds T3, Ld7, troops. Ok, so the leadership ain't nothing to write home about, but in essense you have in front of you a model that can fire from a secluded location with no direct line of sight. It can fire from turn one, and dice allowing will continue to fire unless someone goes over there and stops them firing. This is an evil, evil 20pt unit, and the evil just got better.

It's shots work in barrage. Let me break this down for you. Your average 'spread' unit (in expectation of an indirect shot) will cover approximately a large blast template. You are then dropping a small blast template onto that large blast template. The template may scatter, but with an average scatter of 7" (minus 1.5" for the small template, you have an approximately 50/50 to hit rate WITH THE FIRST SHOT. I'm guard, I'll take those odds.

Second shot is scatter only and you have a 1/3 chance of scoring a hit. At this point you can place the template in any position as long as it touches the original template, this includes a position which OVERLAPS the original template (I'd opt for the one touching the most models). So even with a 'miss', you have a 50% chance of scoring 7 or so hits. With a hit on the first roll that could rise as high as 15.

On bunched up mini's say leaving a vehicle or deepstriking, this can rise to levels of 20+ hits with just one barrage. 3 hits will happen, and there goes 24 kroot!

Added to this, you are dropping ordinance into the enemy's back yard. You can hit 'hidden' crisis suits and even attempt to 'scatter' on to Harlequins, Stealth teams and other hindrance's. And the scatter you do raise the chance of hitting other units, scoring other single wounds and exponentially increasing the chance of pinning multiple units.

It is indirect, so cover saves are irrelevant unless you are in area cover or in base to base with a piece of terrain. Screening (tyranids and Orks listen up) is irrelevant as I don't care what's in between, hiding behind a tank is irrelevant as I'll blow up your multimelta combat bike anyway.


Everything outside of a tank will take devastating casualities form this weapon. Any tank with an AV10 on the side will take a glancing hit 25% of the time from each 3 mortar team. 50% to hit, plus 3*1/6 chance of glancing.
  • TACTICALLY - it is a weapon that can hit indirectly anywhere, every turn without comeback.
  • STRATEGICALLY - it will disrupt your opponents charges, advances, 'hidden' troops, defenders every turn. We bang on about the value of 'shaking' a unit, but this weapon can do that to every non-fearless infantry unit in the game!
  • PSYCHOLOGICALLY - every plan your opponent brought to the board will be sabotaged from turn one ... he will HATE these mortars.
  • CONVERTEDLY - They are the easiest models to build out there.
Conclusion to the rant - my cunning plan.

So we've had Chimeltavet spam and Vendetta spam ... where's the mortar-board spam. Here's my list of Pure Indirect Delight at 1500pts

Command HQ with a powerfist, regimental standard and a mortar @ 85pts
Commissar Lord with powerfist @ 85pts

Infantry Platoon @ 500pts
HQ with 4 grenade launchers
2 Squads with lascannon and one commissar with power weapon
5 Mortar teams (15 mortars)

Infantry Platoon @ 500pts
HQ with 4 grenade launchers
2 Squads with lascannon and one commissar with power weapon
5 Mortar teams (15 mortars)

3 x 5 Roughriders with a meltabomb each @ 180pts

2 x Griffons @ 150pts

The Mathhammer

I calculate a single mortar has a 60% chance of hitting a unit. This is based on a 33% chance of rolling a hit, combined with a just less than 50% chance of scattering onto said target. On average that hit will score between 4-15 wounds per weapon team (3 mortars), so across 10 teams you are looking at 24-90 hits a turn.
  • Against Marines: 4-15 dead marines a turn.
  • Against Orks: 12-45 dead per turn*
  • Against Guardsmen: 11-40 dead per turn*
  • Against Gaunts: 16-60 dead per turn*
*Assuming no cover (remember only area terrain really counts here).

Against metal boxes, the lascannons and continual 'bring it down' orders should do the trick. The grenade launcher platoon commands are throw away units, bringing S6 firepower to bear. Finally the rough riders go in to 'finish off' anything that gets too close.

Ironically, the Griffon's add little in the way of difference to the mortars, they do however offer the option to drop very accurate S6 Ordinance against tank side armour - which could prove useful for dealing with Whirlwinds and other concerns.

One final thought

I've used mortars to 'clean' a group of assaulting terminators off the front of a DoomHammer tank ... it wasn't pretty, and no - they didn't get up. 15 mortars fired and scored something like 55 hits. Getting bunched up, ducking out of line of sight, assaulting vehicles, disembarking, moving 'around' terrain instead of through it...

Just try it!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fielding the Unloved - Catachan Foot List

'Pacific' by HBO. No challenge to rights intended.

Now here's a thought?...

How about leaving the metal boxes at home for once ... back in the hinterland of 3rd (and even 4th) edition, Guardsmen could do very well without lots and lots of flying and driving metal boxes. Nowadays, reaching for the codex involved a natural twitch towards my favourite metal cans.

But how does this play for those Guard players who'd really rather play a foot list (like the admiral Admiral Drax), or have picked up the mantle of the Catachan jungle fighters (like my favourite new blogger - Ras @ thedeathworlders) ... so how would I build a 'foot only' 40k Imperial Guard Catachan list?

This list must bounce around two main characters from the Catachan planet, Harker and Straken... after that it's about bouncing in Marbo and a whole other list without boxes...

Catachan Light Intantry (1755pts)
  • HQ: Company Command Squad: Straken with a band of 2 CCW'd heavies, a medic and a regimental standard, 2 bodyguards and an officer of the fleet, all painted in camo (what else?!?) @ 270pts
  • HQ: Primaris Psyker: I call him my pocket battleship, and he can be placed tactically in any position that will shore up Ld (with his mighty Ld9), offer serious firepower and stab things with his power weapons. All for 70pts. Tactically a commissar lord would be more helpful, but have you read what the catachan's do to commissars?
  • Elites: Marbo: KaBOOM, nuff said @65pts.
  • Elites: Ratlings, 9 of the little buggers @ 90pts.
  • Elites: Ratlings, 9 more of the little buggers @ 90pts.
  • Troops: Infantry Platoon (get ready for the mortar spam) @685 pts. HQ CCW and laspistols and a powerfist. Squad 1-4 with a lascannon and a powerweapon. 5 Mortar teams fielding 15 mortars.
  • Troops: 2 x Penal Legion Squads @ 160pts.
  • Troops: Harker's vets squad with 3 sniper rifles and an Autocannon @ 180pts.
  • Fast Attack: 3 units of five Rough Riders @ 165pts.
Tactics and Cunning Plans

I'm not manueuverable, but the use of mortars firing from hidden positions will force my opponent to come to me or suffer continual attrition (which I can whether better than him by going to ground). My 'blobs' aren't Commissar backed either - so blobbing or not blobbing is purely down to the adversary. The key to this army is kicking out a heck of a lot of firepower, followed up by some serious counter attack punch.

I would base the 18 ratlings and Harkers bunch together, probably out to the flank. Harker concentrates on the APC's while the lascannon's down anything really nasty. The ratlings will do average one rending wound a turn, but the Sniper rifles really fill the gap for killing any high toughness monsters out there.

2 two penal legion squads are the ablative wounds, with the roughriders punching in with a counter attack. With Straken within 12", these horse boys with get S6, I6 on the charge, which is a dirty amount of pain. Against the right opponent, they are awesome. A penal squad with the two close combat weapons and rending would get 31 S4, I4 rending attacks on the charge ... which is enough to make a space wolf blush.

The main HQ is the final close combat weapon. With Camo and without decent weaponry to tempt me into taking a pop at the enemy (backed my a medic), they should be left alone. The regimental standard should keep everyone on board, and Straken can even use the 'get back in the fight' if neccessary (it would sound good coming from him!) If push comes to shove, I have 7 FNP 5+ ablative wounds attached to Straken, with most swinging 3 S4 I4 attacks on the charge. Fingers crossed people.

Oh and there's Marbo innit.

Thoughts and Contemplations

Well they're unlikely to pose much threat to flanking, flaming Blood Angels tanks are they? That's why the master of the fleets essential. I want to both dominate the deployment through infiltration and then slow down the flankers to make my firepower stick.

That said, fighting an all infantry army is about going back to basics, placing your models in layers and optimising cover. Against an infantry only army 50% of your shots will hit cover. So already, you are missing a trick. Sacrifice and attrition is what it's all about, and hopefully - sometimes - winning!

Importantly, this is an army that can effectively hide out of LoS or go to ground and not lack for firepower from the mortars, when they are in a good position - heaven help you.

So what are your thoughts ... have at it!

Old stuff day - where was my memo??

Pah, a bit late but here's my contribution to 'old stuff day', a genius creation by W39999.

Resolutely on topic, here's the a post on the reason why every Guard player should be fielding Mortars from back in 2009 ... well at least I'm consistent!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Imperial Guard - Keeping it cheap...

Cause Gaunt don't get no Vendetta spam!
Copyright acknowledged to GW and Black Library.

The Imperial Guard have some wonderful units which can play very specific roles... thanks to the new codex, many of the more 'standard' units have been eclipsed by the likes of the multi-talented (and multi-effective) Vendetta, Valkyrie, Veterans and Manticore (ok not really multi-talented but you get my drift)...

SO how do I bite back, I bring the firepower back to the plebs. When was the last time the Imperial Guard fielded nothing but Vendetta's and Valks in a Gaunt's Ghosts novel, eh?


As such, here's my (fun) contribution to the sort of army I like to play, which is all about synergy, sacrifice and one-trick wonders, THE GUARD WAY!

Mobile Infantry list (1500)
  • 2 x Primaris Psykers (140pts)
  • 4 Ratlings (40pts)
  • Platoon HQ with 4 Grenade Launchers and Heavy Stubber Chug (115pts)
  • 4 Squads with Autocannon's and Heavy Stubber Chugs (500pts)
  • 5 x mortar teams, 15 in total (300pts)
  • Penal Legion Squad (80pts)
  • 3 scout sentinels with Lascannon and Camo (180pts)
  • 7 x Rough Riders (75pts)
  • 7 x Rough Riders (75pts)

This isn't the sort of army your opponent will be used to facing. The Chimera's are there to play pillbox and pump out 11 S4-7 shots a turn. Outside of AV14 these guys should be able to down light transports without breaking a sweat and suppress the s*** out of any foot troops. Imperial Guard are crap at 'challenging' for objectives, so it's best to shoot everything down and then grab the nearest.

The Chugs are led by a Platoon HQ. Now I've found these guys to be a good stopper against whatever 'can make it through that hail of fire'. Dropping a Primaris Psyker on board (or two) can make this chug a serious 'silent killer' as it can pump out up to 11-31 S6 shots at 24". That's enough to give even Terminators the wobbles... think of this unit as your mopping up unit after the roughriders have gone in (and died heroically)...

Behind the Chugs come three camo'd and lascannon'd Sentinels. place correctly, they should be able to get a 3+ save while drawing a bead on whatever landraider/monolith/battlewagon approaches. Remember that they don't get a 3+ if they move, and keep them busy. The ability to move (from cover) and alphastrike a target is their strength.

Rough riders, spread them out behind the Chugs but around the mortars to ensure that you minimise deep strike danger. These guys can deliver an awesome counterpunch for both anti deep-strike and anti-terminator baddies. 7 Rough riders deliver 15 S5 power weapon hits at I5. That's some serious 'on-par' baddy killing there.

Behind the Rough Riders come the mortars. These guys should be out of line of sight and hidden behind (or in) cover. The more firepower these plebs attract the better, as they can go to ground and weather it easily. These are the 'motivator' for your opponent as they can hit any squad within 48" with horrific casualties every turn. Spamming mortars is devilishly effective. Thanks to indirect you can fire with impunity and with the barrage rules, when you hit a 1/3rd of the time it will really, really hurt. 15 mortars can and will completely dominate the game, your opponents objectives and his playing style. Oh, and you pin.

Penal Legions ... well they had to come didn't they? If they get the guns, stick them in the front lines, if not then consider flanking them into a close combat position or to challenge the opponents home plate. Even S3 is awesome with a rend and you only need a couple of lucky rolls for these guys to shine. Remember they are also 'stubborn', so as a 'hold them up' unit - you couldn't do better!

4 Ratlings are along for the ride. 3 out of 4 should hit and 1.5 wounds a turn is better than none. These guys are really there for playing position however and keeping genestealers or kommando's and other infiltrating nasties at a decent reach.


The Mortars force your opponent to be aggressive, anything without AV14 is going to get a serious hammering, the rough riders cover the mortars and prepare for counter attack against whatever makes it through the torrent of fire. It's a bit of a one trick pony, but it's also a difficult nut to crack.

Remember that although this is a lot of firepower, it's not a lot of bodies (on the field that is, inside tanks is another matter), use this to your advantage.

The rate of fire is key here as you can shoot enough shots to make both high toughness monsters like Mephiston or the Tryant or highly armoured opponents like terminators shudder under the rate of fire.


The Landraider: First up, you lack anything that can really challenge a landraider or similar AV14 all round 'cheat-machine'. That said, anything except a thunderhead unit will die to rough riders. My advice ... try to get lucky with your lascannons and concentrate on wiping out the rest of his army. When they hit, get a sacrifice unit in the way, and then hit them hard with everything backed up by the mortars. Mortars have no minimum range and can therefore be used to pile on the wounds. 3 'hits' will easily give you 15 hits on a disembarked squad, giving you up to 22 wounds from the 5 squads. Try not rolling any 1's.

Flankers: If your opponent has a bunch of genestealers, then castling up in the centre is a good idea. Remember that rotating your Chugs does not count as moving, but will expose flanks. Maybe its better to keep that AV12 forwards and just sacrifice the heavy bolter. Remember that mortars are pinning ... so every wound you cause may have a silver lining. And a pinned unit IS a dead unit against this kind of firepower.

The Versus Consideration

Against CSM/C:SM: Rate of fire and high strength will make rolling 1's and 2's a depressing proposition. Be aware of wolf scouts, deep strikers and other 'nasties' and plan accordingly. Also, watch out for those long fangs. Your lack of AP weaponry favours the habitual deathguard, but your rough riders will have a lot of fun!

Against Tyranids: Taking out the anti-tank threats and watching for flankers/pods will be key. Anything that arrives at point blank either needs a can opener or can face down a lot of serious firepower. Focus your lascannons/autocannons and multilasers on the nasties, while the mortars can happily chip away at the horde.

Against Orks: Beyond the PK and the Deathrolla, you have few concerns. You forgot the armour piercing ammo, and they forgot the armour. Give 'em hell! Don't forget to hit those pesky Deffgun wielding maniacs on turn one and mortar them back to the stone age. Also remember that the Primaris's other power Nightshroud is a wonderful thing to use on Orks...

Against Tau: Tau will struggle to win against mortars. Their fire warriors are easy pickings and the kroot just vanish. Use the lascannons on the suits (especially the broadsides) and you shouldn't have a problem. Your lack of a deathstar unit is a boon.

Against Eldar: An interesting problem. The key one is the Elder Seer Council on jetbike with fortune. Otherwise the rest of the army will die in short order. Keep the lascannons and Ratlings focused for wraithlords. Beware Harlequins.

Against Dark Eldar: AV10 - why thank you! The warp portal will give you more concern, but remember that you can nuke any unit one by one. Consider swapping out the 4 grenade launchers on the command squad for flamers ... should keep things interesting.

Against Chaos Deamons: These guys have a similar problem, focus on the fast stuff with your guns and leave the Deamon Princes and Plaguebearers to the Rough Riders.


Ok, so its a bit of a one trick army, but it brings an awesomely big gun to the proceedings and would give pause to most armies. Remember that half the army is ACTUALLY in transports, so they can drive off to challenge objectives leaving the home plate in the control of the mortars.