Play Report: Navigator Endoguard vs The Death Guard
by Ramanan Sivaranjan on September 10, 2017
The soldiers they could see poking their heads over the ruins in the distance were of as little consequence to the Death Guard as the objective they had been sent to secure. Still, they marched forward, their sense of purpose unwavering.
Evan and I met once again to play some Warhammer 40,000. Since our last game he did in fact end up selling his Tau army, replacing it with his newly built “Navigator Endoguard”—a heavily kit bashed squad of Astra Militarum. The minis looked great, though he lamented no one would notice just how painstakingly put together his new models were.
He fielded the following army, which (I think) are simply different Imperial Guard units (despite the flavourful names):
- Knight-Adjutant—power maul, command shield
- 4 Knight Adjutant Command Paladins–3 plasma guns and one medipack and pistol
- 5 Navigator Houseguard–one with hotshot lasgun, two with volleyguns, one with vox-caster and pistol, squire with chainsword and plasma pistol
- 5 Navigator Houseguard–one with hotshot lasgun, two with meltaguns, one with vox-caster and pistol, squire with chainsword and hotshot laspistol
I returned with my fairly pedestrian Death Guard. I still need pick a name for their vectorium. More important, I need to figure out how best to play them. I ended up fielding two units, because I wanted to match the power level of Evan’s Army (11).
- Noxious Blightbringer
- 5 Plague Marines, one of whom was a Plague Champion (and the true champion of my army).
We set up a 4’x4’ battlefield filled with ruined buildings and walls arranged sort of like a town square. In the middle was a raised platform where we placed a treasure chest, the single objective we would fight over. We were fielding armies more suited for a skirmish game than 40K. Trying to chase and control more than one objective didn’t feel like it would work with our smaller armies.
The marines watched as the troops descended from the sky, their grav-chutes kicking in with a low hum. They quickly set up shop in an abandoned building to the Death Guard’s right and opened up fire.
The battle began with my plague marines marching toward’s Evan’s troops. My first round of shooting was completely ineffectual.
Evan deployed one of his reserve units using their grav-chutes, flanking my Plague Marines. A take aim order was issued, ultimately resulting in my marines taking 2 wounds they promptly shrugged off using their disgusting resilience power. This success was short lived: a second set of Evan’s Endoguard shot the marines, resulting in the loss of two of my Plague Marines in the first round. (And I really didn’t have that many models to lose.)
They could see the objective to their right, but the soldiers cowering in the ruins straight ahead were a far more captivating sight. The marines would have been on top of them if not for the gunfire pinning them down.
My Plague Marines advanced, but then failed to charge. (Evan’s overwatch fire was ineffectual at least.) I probably should have simply moved, shot, and perhaps risked a charge. I might have whittled down a few of his troops.
Evans troops started to move towards my marines, getting some of their fancier guns in range. My blightbriger was brought down by melta-gun fire, ending the round.
The first shots destroyed the Tocsin of Misery the Noxious Blightbringer carried upon his back, ending its incessant tolling. There was a moment of silence before the remaining shots incinerated the Death Guard.
My marines once again attempted to advance and charge, though my Plague champion would be the only model left by the time the unit reached Evan’s troops. The champion killed one solider, causing another to flee.
Evan’s soldiers fell back and wounded the champion with gunfire.
Slow and methodical murder was all the champion knew. His fists pulverizing the solider before him. He could see the terror in the men before him, one scurrying away covered in the blood and guts of his comrade.
The plague champion charged again, killing two enemies with its power fist. Still, I could see the writing on the wall. The troops that had previously flanked my marines advanced on the objective, capturing it. The rest of Evan’s troops fired on my plague champion killing it. And that was that.
The failure tasted like ash in the Plague Champion’s mouth. He could hear the guard all around him as his life slipped away. The objective was lost. His death couldn’t come soon enough.
I need to figure out more missions suited for smaller army play. The default missions in the book seem to assume armies with far more units than ours. I had started sketching out skirmish rules that built on top of the 40,000 rules, but since we were trying to learn how normal 40,000 worked we stuck with that. I suspect you could borrow parts of A Song of Blade and Heroes and cross them with parts of Warhammer 40,000 to produce a pretty cool games.
We had some time before Evan had to leave so we set up for a second game.
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