I had my first 40k battle today and did very well for myself, I can say.
I played an Imperial Guard unit and my opponent had a Space Marines unit, both at 1,250 points. This battle was to help familiarize me to the rules so I can be prepared for an upcoming tournament that one of my friends is hosting. Saying that he wanted to get 16 players, I offered to play if someone had an army to loan me and didn't mind a total n00b as a teammate (8 teams of 2).
My unit consisted of:
- HQ unit with Col. Straken, 3 veterans with melta-guns and 1 medic
- 1 infantry platoon with:
- Command squad with a missile team
- 2 squads infantry with 3 plasmas (each) and a missile team (each) and krak grenades
- 1 special weapons squad of 6 with plasmas
- 1 Ogryn squad with 2 additional troopers
- 1 veteran infantry squad with 3 plasmas
- 2 Leman Russ Exterminators with plasma cannon sponsoons
I won the dice roll and decided to place first, placing one Exterminator on each flank on the high ground. Col Straken and the Special Weapons squad starting on the left flank in a copse of trees under the Exterminator's watchful gaze. The rest of the infantry platoon started in the center in a fortified position. The Ogryns and the veterans starting on the right flank with the other Exterminator providing overwatch.
My opponent started both of his APCs full of Space Marines on his right and the remainder of his forces occupied ruins and fortifications in the center, with his VTOL held in reserve.
With my opponent unable to seize the intitative in the first turn, my forces proceeded to move offensively. I hadn't really planned it that way, but some idle chatter about how both of our forces were more defensive led me to take a chance. Advancing through the woods, Col. Straken and the Special squad made ready to lay defensive fire on any Space Marines that unloaded from their APCs. The infantry platoon stay in their position in the center and Ogryns and veterans moved forward to attempt to take the ruins on my right in the center of the board. Both Exterminators held their position.
The Exterminator on the left start the shooting phase with shots on the first APC. Both plasma cannons scattered with no affect, but the autocannon scored a penetrating hit and the APC exploded, killing a number of the squad it carried. The special weapons squad proceeded to pour fire onto the exposed squad and between the pinning and panic fled the field. The first round's success emboldened me even more and both of my flanks proceeded to charge straight ahead.
The next round saw another APC explode and my veteran squad, in the open, wiped out. My Ogryns continued to make their way to the ruins and the special squad continue to pour fire into the hapless marines. However, the plasma gun which was quite effective, was also unstable, with two exploding and killing their handlers.
Turn three saw both flanks advancing. By turn four, my Ogryns were assaulting the fortified position in the center and Col. Straken's command squad was assaulting the remaining marine passengers which tried to take cover in an cluster of buildings. Turn four also saw the VTOL finally arrive and then proceed to take out the Exterminator on the right flank. The VTOL proceeded to put a whipping on me the final two turns.
We decided to call the 6th turn the final turn. With both of my Exterminators knocked out, the VTOL proceeded to take down Col. Straken, the only remaining member of the Command Squad. There was only one special squad member left, the rest dead to self-inflicted wounds. Half of the remaining infantry platoon was dead. However, my opponent was in worse shape with only one marine left with the CO locked in an assault against three Ogryns and of course the accursed VTOL.
If we had bothered to set objectives, I probably would have held all three. I had first blood and had plenty of scoring units left. So by the 6th edition rules, even though my opponent had a slight advantage in point value of the remaining units, I probably would have won decisively.
I'm not sure if I'll get another chance to play before the tourney, but I'm pretty confident I should be able to hold my own without any additional practice.