I finally got to try out a game with my new guard theme army. Game was 1750pts, pitched battle, Kill Points, Desert city style terrain with 25% cover
My Army was:
Company Command Squad
Platoon Command Squad
Platoon Command Squad
(X4) Grenade Launchers
(x2) plasma guns
(x1) plasma pistol
My opponent had something along the lines of:
(x3)(x5) strike squads
I never got a good look at his list but I know that his HQ had the invuln save staff, Terminator armor, all the grenades, and the orbital strike beacon. All his other guys had Falchions. Everything that could had psybolt ammo and mastercrafted. He is relatively new and didn't have that many models to choose from, but I figured it would balance out as my army is clearly not optimized.
I won the dice roll and opted to go second.
My opponent set up his units to evenly cover his side of the board and were 24" up with his dreadknight anchoring one side and his paladins anchoring the other. I set up all my units on the side with his dreadknight thus allowing me to deal with half of his army while the other half moved into position. I held the Stormtroopers, Rough riders, and Marbo in reserve. I wasn't really sure how I was going to kill the dreaknight, but I figured stuck in an endless combat with 30 Guardsmen was as good as dead. The original plan for the list was to tie up all of his units in endless combats and then take the objectives with my PCS's that plan went out the window with the KP selection so my next best bet was to tie things up in endless combats and get a KP with my riders and end the Game 1-0. That was my hope. I failed to seize the initiative.
GK1: My opponent moved all his units forward. My opponent (and the peanut gallery which had assembled by this time) seemed to be under the impression I was running a standard guard list. His goal was to get everything into charge range as soon as possible. He shunt moved his Dreadknight into my lines and ran everything towards my side of the board. He tried to get behind me with his Interceptors but did not shunt them. The only firing he did was with a heavy psycannon which killed 4 Guardsmen. Luckily for me he forgot to fire his orbital bombard.
IG1: I could see there was no point in waiting so my brace guardsmen ran up to stand in the Dreadknights path. It was clear his heavy psycannon was more of a threat than his hand to hand so they stood and waited for the order from my Straken stand in to give the order to charge. My Ogryns, with yarrick attached, hopped into the chimera and drove out to interdict some of my opponents reinforcements, popping smoke as it went. My second squad of guard went to cut ofo the Terminators coming from the other side while still remaining in range of Strakens bubble of awesome. My Lascannon sentinels shot at A razorback, both penning and managing to destroy it, and my plasma sentinel shot at the Terminators and missed. It was time for a glorious charge. My A blob affixed their bayonettes and charged. With Strakens help they were S and I 4 so I figured with that many attackes I might be able to deal some damage and maybe... if I was lucky, bring it down. I managed to wound with an amazing 8 total attacks, 4 from power weapons. I thought I might stand a chance. My hope fell as my opponent somehow managed to save all but one of the wounds. The dreadknight, angry at having puny guardsmen hurt him, retaliated by promptly killing 3 of them.
GK2: The GK player realizing the threat of having his most powerful killing machine bogged down in combat decided he needed to kill my guardsquad ASAP. The strike squad that had just fallen out of their transport moved in to prepare to help. His Interceptors, also realizing the danger, shunted behind my lines to try to flank me. The rest of his squad moved up, guns blazing. Through combined bolter fire they destroyed my transport to the dismay of the driver who cursed the technicians who had designed faulty smoke launcher as I did not make a single obscure save. Seeing their opportunity to take a huge chunk out of my army they, his Terminators assaulted my now free Ogryns and The strike squad charged into the ongoing Dreadknight combat. They ran in swinging and managed to dispatch ~10 guardsmen but failed to realize that some of those guard weapons had a little more punch. the Power weapon Sgts. Managed to kill the entire squad before the could do any more damage. The Dreadknight, angered by the loss of his comrades, promptly killed 3 more guardsmen. The battle with the Ogryns was IMO the turning point of the game. His terminators assaulted in and somehow only managed to kill one. The Ogryns retaliated, and somehow through sheer brute force managed to crush 3 of the terminators where they stood. Then watched as yarrick dispassionately swatted the other 2 away as though they were nothing. The freed Ogrys used the moment of their kills to get into stricking distance of the other strike squad.
IG2: My rough riders and Marbo arrived this turn. The riders, rode in and spotted the interceptor squad sitting right in front of them. They quickly had the squad surrounded. Marbo appeared right behind the paladins with a smile on his lips and a demo charge in hand. the smile was wiped from his face, however, when the smoke cleared and only 2 of the paladins were dead. The riders gloriously slaughtered the interceptors without any sort of fight. The Ogryns charged their strike squad and somehow lost another Ogryn before getting the chance to flatten them like their Terminator brothers. Blob B charged into the remaining strike squad and with the help of Stakens furious charge and several power weapon srgts. Made short work of them while only losing a handful of their squad in return. The dreadknight killed 3 more guardsmen.
GK3: The Paladins obliterate Marbo without taking anything in return. The Dreadknight Kills 3 more guardsmen. THe KG player is realizing just how small his army has become so quickly and wonders how he is going to hold out.
IG3: I decide the Dreadknight battle has been going long enough and decide to risk my Ogryns breaking it up. They prepare to charge, as does My B blob prepare to charge what is left of his paladins. The sentinels, finally having a decent shot, shoot at the paladins and whiff completely. Both units charge respectively and when the smoke clears there is another dead Ogryn, Several dead Guardsmen, the squad of Paladins is gone, and finally, the Dreadknight crumples and dies. Even a dreadknight exoskeleton is not enough to stop Ogryns impassioned by Yarricks Oratory. This leaved my opponent with only his grandmaster.
GK4: The Grandmaster performs his final death charge into my lines of B blob. He kills 3 of them and then prepares for death. A death that doesn't come. For the next 2 turns I exchange blows with the Grandmaster but he refuses to die. By the end of the game I have only brought him down by 2 wounds. He ends the game with a single wound left. A moral victory for himself, but a game victory of 8 to 1 for the imperial guard.
The biggest advantage I had in this game was that no one who was watching thought I would be mad enough to charge a Dreadknight. Everyone was saying "move him up and destroy his guard lines. They can barely hurt him. He will walk through those blobs." It was amazing to me that no one thought I would just charge. I'm certainly willing to use ~200 points of guard to tie up a ~300pt model
My second biggest advantage was luck. My opponent had none until the last couple turns when he refused to fail a save. He was even lucky enough to not make my formation break as all my units were standing there waiting for a chance to shoot and multi-assault him with something better.
I couldn't believe my Ogryns killed as much as they did. Net wisdom says they suck, and I agree I can certainly find better uses for the points, but they did their job like a boss. Definitely my MVP unit with Yarrick attached. Ironically one of my biggest strengths was the peanut gallery shouting "net wisdom" to my opponent. He was new and so assumed that some of it was good, only to find that my unconventional list was not afraid of Hand to Hand. I can only assume.
Last thing... My biggest worry was instant-death from GK force weapons, but when my opponent put a wound on the Ogryns I asked him about it, he said it was only with some weapons and he was using non-force weapons. I thought all GK weapons were force weapons. It didn't matter so much in the end but I think he should have had 2 more dead Ogryns when all was said and done...
It was a really fun game and I can't believe my army was as effective as it was. Guard hand to hand can work. Especially with Straken. I still think the Infinite Tar Pit concept is probably how I will end up using this army more than a sweeping hand to hand army. Despite being almost tabled my opponent had fun to and is already planning what he wants to get next. I can't wait to try it out again against another opponent though.