40k Battle Report: Space Marines vs Imperial Guard

In case you missed it, here's Colonel Scipio's battle report of our 1000pt 40k game yesterday. It was very closely fought game featuring my brand new Celtic/Romano-British inspired Marinesand Scipio's superb 2nd Battalion, Palladian Guard - disciplined guardsmen in rather spiffing dress uniforms.

The Colonel asked me to provide some post-game comments a la White Dwarf in the good ol' days. This was clearly a cunning ploy to get me to reveal any subtle (as a brick) tactics. I still fell for it. My comments can be found below.


What a fantastic re-introduction to 40k in what must be my first game in over four years.

Almost immediately I was placed in a conundrum over which vehicle to aim for first: the Salamander or the Demolisher. With the Palladian Guard being more dependant on Officers and commands than your average Guardsmen (but deadly when it all comes together), I opted to focus most of my efforts on the Salamander. The plan initially went awry when my Drop Pod-bound Captain and Assault Marines drifted seven inches away from the target. I never managed to get them towards it at all if I recall correctly. My attempts to get the Scouts of Sgt Morddwyd, armed with melta bombs, round what cover was available to get to the Demolisher failed miserably as it spewed forth flames at more and negating any cover save at all. The 5-man Tac. Squad of Sgt Ysgarran fared a little better and lasted throughout the game, able to get a little flamey retribution of their own for Sgt. Morddwyd – with their flamer taking out a chunk of the squad perched above the Demolisher's “garage roof,” but fared less well against the Demolisher, lacking anything better than Krak grenades. See point 1 of lessons identified.

The game definitely highlighted the importance of sportsmanship, without it we would have respectively kept an intact Land Speeder and a fully mobile Demolisher, but the game would perhaps not have been as fun as it was. It may have been an Imperial Guard victory, albeit a narrow one, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game.

Lessons Identified:
  • Every unit is taking melta bombs. I don't care who they are, they're packing something to deal with bloody tanks.
  • Lascannons. If I had been able to equip a Marine with a lascannon today, I certainly would have done. Alas, there was none on my plastic sprues so I left it off the list. The next time I'm in the local model shop, I shall be purchasing one!
  • Take transports. I had originally planned to take a Rhino, but having been lazy and not managed to build it yet, I deployed without it. Had I been able to take one, I may have been able to deal with the Demolisher on the other flank. I'm still undecided as to whether drop pods or transports are better – drop pods are the more fluffy choice however.
  • Drop Pods have weapons. Despite mentioning on several occasions that the drop pod did at least have a storm bolter, I missed every opportunity to fire it. Sure, it wasn't a game changer, but taking your time and being systematic is never usually a bad thing.
  • I cannot land a hit with Power Fists. Every roll I made, and in total there must have been about five or six between Captain Keseryk and Sergeant Caswyn who embarked on the field as power pugilists, neither of them managed to land a single hit – I pictured them desperately trying to lift their arm from the ground as Guardsmen mercilessly walloped them with rifle buts.
  • Establish whether buildings are accessible or not. I spent most of the game going round the central Palace, when I reality I could perhaps I have taken my Scouts through it, thus getting to the Demolisher with my melta bomb scouts without them being barbecued. Still, I think it was more fun to have a huge impassable hulk in the middle of the board.