Saturday 16 February 2013

Imperial Guard: 500 points slow grow at Dark Sphere

So, I've been playing a little in Dark Sphere's "slow grow" league which has been ambling along happily on Wednesday nights. We're currently at 500 points, and I've been taking the opportunity to use units I might not otherwise use to learn how they work in 6th edition.

Week 1
"Battleforce Recon" mission vs Grey Knights - Victory!
"The Emperor's Will" mission vs Chaos Space Marines - Defeat!

Week 2
"Purge the Alien" mission vs Imperial Guard - Defeat!
"The Relic" mission vs Space Marines - Defeat!

In the first week, I painted up three old metal sentinels I'd had kicking about for a while. It was a mental late night painting session as I unexpectedly got home late the night before the slow grow and decided to go for it anyway.

For the record, a hair dryer is possibly the most important tool a speed painter can own! It was so mental I've still not got any "completed" photos, but here they are on the battlefield.

This is, in fact, one of the pivotal moments of the Battleforce Recon mission against the Grey Knights. A strike squad managed to deep strike in directly behind the Sentinels. Which means I should probably move to:

Week 1, Battle 1: "Battleforce Recon"

In a fit of lunatic enthusiasm, I suggested to ClauseIV1918 that we use the Battleforce Recon mission from the big 40K rulebook. For those who haven't read it, its a crazy little mission designed for 500 point forces on 4x4 tables. My ever tolerant opponent happily agreed.

I hate re-using pictures, but this is the best example of the deployment - you have to deploy within 12" of the corner, which left me a little squashed. I was using two penal legion squads, my flamer heavy demolition veterans, a Primaris Psyker, three scout sentinels and some Ratlings (who ended up by the lump of rock in the middle on the right).

The game was a bloody firefight, with the Grey Knight strike squads showing up pretty late to the party, leaving a henchman warband to soak up most of the shooting for a couple of turns. The veterans showed their horrific firepower in turning a full strike squad into mush in a turn of shooting (the demo charge being the game changer on that front), and the Ratlings reliably put a lot of holes in people, although the Inquisitor was very keen to avoid dying...

In the end, I managed to hold an objective in the centre, and I think First Blood pushed me to the win, although I don't precisely recall!

Week 1, Battle 2: The Emperor's Will

One of the newer players had also finished up their game, so, keen to fight something not Imperial, I swiftly challenged their Nurgle Chaos Space Marines to a game. He was trying out missions for the first time, and we also decided to try out Mysterious Terrain as the board had a lot of woods and water.

I made a genuine effort to move forward up the board here to take his objective, rather than just sitting on mine and trying to get the secondary mission points. This didn't end well for me - it turns out massed bolter fire will seriously upset the Guard!

Notice how that squad is a lot further back. And now on fire.

In short, I was brutally wiped out by a mix of highly effective bolter fire and brutal close combat. The Burning Brand also did not help one little bit. The last Guardsman died running and screaming, burning from the inside out as he tried to escape the battlefield.

Week 2, Battle 1: Purge the Alien

This will be a little lighter on the pictures as my phone battery was dying - I really must remember to take my charger to work before game night so I can take more photos!

Varying the list this week, I took two veterans squads - one the usual, and one with three plasma guns and a lascannon. In the first battle, I rounded out with a Demolisher Leman Russ.

Meanwhile Louis, who normally plays a "Counts as" Space Wolves list, but is trying Guard for the slow grow, had a pretty large infantry platoon, a Command HQ, and a Veteran Squad in a Chimera.

And sadly, no other photos of this battle came out.

In short, the Lascannon and plasma made short work of his Chimera, his infantry made short work of mine, and the Demolisher went on a brutal killing spree before finally being brought down by a krak grenade to the rear armour...

Week 2, Battle 2: The Relic

Another one of the newer players, this time with a Space Marine list - two tactical squads, commander, small bike squad and a Dreadnought.

My list still had the core of the Psyker and the Veterans, but swapped out the Demolisher for a Chimera and a small squad of Storm Troopers with two Melta Guns.

I was subject to another tabling here. The Chimera went down to weight of fire from the Dreadnought then krak grenades, the plasma veterans got taken apart by bolter fire and bikers, although they caused some damage and casualties on the way.

The demo-vets did best, as the demo charge deviated onto the Captain and killed him and half his squad dead, leaving the survivors to be gunned down by the Storm Troopers - but the Dreadnought ripped the surviving vets apart in close combat then assault cannoned and flamer throwered the Storm Troopers into mulch in revenge for the loss of the Captain.

In summary

I've been having great fun with the slow grow. Building army lists at 500 points is a very different challenge to usual, and I've learnt a lot already. I'll be throwing a few more tactical thoughts I've had as a result of these games up in a separate blog post soon...


  1. Nice write up R1. It looks like some hard fought gaming.
    I like the paint job on your new (old) sentinels. Interestingly, moments before reading this I was at my desk painting some of those metal sententials myself.
    Best of luck for your coming games!

    1. Thank you! I've already spotted that one has lost the paint on his head due to some slack transport, so they'll need a bit of a touch up, but I'm quite pleased with how it went.

      It was a desert yellow over Iyanden Darksun for the main stuff, with whatever they're calling the new Boltgun for the metal. A few bits got some brass fittings, the skin got swiftly painted on, then I washed the head coverings with an orange wash because I'm still on a huge John Blanche fanboy kick...