So, on Friday I was at Warlords (as usual) and got absolutely crushed by an Alpha Strike Imperial Guard list.  I know what I did wrong, but I was rushing and wasn't thinking straight, so here's a run-down of what I did and what I should have done.


The Lists
Sanguine Swords, 2nd Company

Librarian - Null Zone, Avenger
5x Sternguard - Combi-meltas, Razorback
6x Sterngaurd - Combi-meltas, Razorback
10x Tactical Marines - Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Rhino
10x Tactical Marines - Meltagun, Multi-Melta, Rhino
5x Tactical Marines - Razorback
2x Land Speeder Typhoons
2x Land Speeder Typhoons
2x Land Speeder Tornadoes - Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer
Predator Destructor - Heavy Bolters, Autocannon
Predator Destructor - Heavy Bolters, Autocannon


Imperial Guard, Alpha Strike (may be off slightly, this is what I remember)

Primaris Psyker
Veteran Squad - Meltaguns, Plasmagun, Plasma Pistol
Vendetta - 3x Twin-Linked Lascannon, 2x Heavy Bolters
Veteran Squad - Meltaguns, Plasmagun, Plasma Pistol
Vendetta - 3x Twin-Linked Lascannon, 2x Heavy Bolters
Veteran Squad - Meltaguns, Plasmagun, Plasma Pistol
Vendetta - 3x Twin-Linked Lascannon, 2x Heavy Bolters
Chimera - Multi-laser, Heavy Bolter (don't know what the squad was)
Chimera - Multi-laser, Heavy Bolter (don't know what the squad was)
Leman Russ - Heavy Bolters, Lascannon
Leman Russ Demolisher - Lascannon

How The Battle Went
Imperial Guard Turn One
Imperial Guard win first turn.  I've deployed in split flank - Everything on the left flank with only the two Predators on the right flank inside a ruin for cover (the two Land Speeder Tornadoes in reserve).  The Vendettas scout move into position, one in front of my Land Speeder Typhoon formation and two in front of the Predators.  They drop their veterans and open fire on turn one.  By the end of this first shooting phase I have no missiles left, no autocannons, one less transport and most everything either stunned, immobilised or both.

The game was over at this point really.  The rest was just mop-up for the Imperial Guard.




This is the face of the enemy
How It Should Have Gone
I should have kept everything in reserve. The power of the Alpha Strike lists is in their ability to crush your firepower before you can act.  With everything in reserve there's nothing for them to shoot and even if you come in piecemeal you still get to dictate the first turn of shooting.  You use this turn to cripple the Vendettas.  You don't need to kill them, just stun them.  Keeping them stunned gives you time to get onto the board, position correctly and eventually ground them - at which point the veteran squads they inevitably carry are yours to pick off (you can kill 4+ save stuff right?).

If I had won first turn the Vendettas would have stayed in reserve, most likely out-flanking.  If they are set to Deep Strike then you're in luck as you can play havoc with their deployment, but it's very rare to find a IG general silly enough to DS them.  As they're out-flanking you need to cripple this with the gamer's go-to deployment of denied flank.  Pick a short board edge.  Stick to it like glue.  Any Vendettas that come on on the opposite side have to lose turns of shooting if they're going to deliver their payload, any that come on yours should be surrounded by superior firepower and dispatched (shout-out to Fours To Hit, Fives To Wound for the out-flanking advice).

The Bottom Line
They rely on killing you before you can react.  Do not let them dictate the start of the engagement.  Negate their ability to alpha by keeping yourself off the board.  If you've got reserves manipulation this is the time to use it.  Reduce the effectiveness of out-flanking by making one side of the board a death trap and the other isolated and ineffective.

Do not do what I did unless you enjoy picking up bits of tank and power armour from the battlefield at the end of turn one.  Remember: We die so you don't have to.
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