I tried out my new Marine list last night against Pete's Imperial Guard, and was very pleased with it. We played Annihilation DoW and I took the 2nd turn deploying only my sniper scouts with Telion and an Heavy Bolter in a ruin towards the rear left of my deployment zone. The two Vindicators came on in turn one as did my two Ironclads using Drop Pod assault with the two Tactical squads and Master of the Forge all in drop pods arriving in reserve.
Now it is at this stage that I think that I owe Pete a very big apology. Whilst I realise that I may deploy up to half rounding up of my Drop Pods in turn one, I do still need to roll on the reserve table for the other half. This oversight could have made a massive impact upon the game, and whilst I can take away the fact that if all goes well my force is fairly strong, this particular game is forfeit, as I didn't play the game correctly. So sorry about that Pete - I shall make sure that when we have that re-match, I know the rules fully!
This aside, I was very lucky with my rolls anyway, though I also think I’m finally getting to grips with a Marine army (which is ironic as that’s the one army most people find easiest to use).
The Ironclads are definitely earning their crust and justifying the fact that I've essentially built an army around them as between them took out a Chimera, a squad of Ogryns, an infantry squad and a medusa in 3 turns. The AV13 front and sides also really helps.
The Sniper scouts I’m not so sure on. to get the full effect from them I needed to have them start the game on the table. Their only contribution was to take out a single Infantry Squad, so point for point they were down. Admittedly because of their positioning there was only one viable squad, and so I’ll need to try them out again. The Hellfire shells for the heavy bolter and Telion did most of the killing for this squad, and whilst a sniper squad is the best place to put them, I can't help but wonder if perhaps I ought to take Telion, an Heavy Bolter, 3 Sniper Scouts and then outfit the other 5 squad members with Shotguns or Bolt pistols/Hand weapons and have them combat squad. I guess I’ll leave the squad unaltered for a while longer then tweak after giving them a fair trial.
The two Vindicators didn't do too much, but what they did do, and did well was distract the opponent. It always struck me that people become overly concerned with two types of Space Marine vehicles - the first is any of the Land Raider variants, and the second is the Vindicator. Now they are both strong solid tanks, but I've seen entire game plans fall apart once the opponent sees either of these vehicles on the board, and especially so when they see I have two of the latter. Now Pete wasn't anything like that bothered by them, but they stay in the list for just that reason, and to be fair, they are definitely well in the black compared to their cost!
The Tacticals, aside from their dubious punctuality, performed solidly. Despite being a Kill Point game I combat Squaded them to maximise their targets. I've taken a flamer and a Multimelta in one squad and a flamer and missile launcher in another. The Multimelta took out the Hellhound which was gearing up to tear my army apart, but the missile launcher from the other squad just seemed to be there for the view and died before he got a chance to fire.
This is the first game I’ve used drop pod tacticals outside of Apoc, and truth be told I’m amazed how much better the tacticals performed than in a rhino. It honestly makes no sense to me why this should be so as I didn't drop them behind the enemy, so I wasn't deploying them in an area where a Rhino couldn't access! Meanwhile, the Master of the Forge killed a few guardsmen with his flamer, but since his glorious promotion from a humble techmarine for exploding a Defiler with a single plasma pistol shot, this seems wholly under par! ;) I also forgot to look in to whether i could use the 'Bolster Defences' rule if the MotF starts the game off board. To be honest, the only ruin I would have improved the cover save on was the one I deployed the scouts in, and given that their main threat was the hellhound, they didn't get any cover saves anyway, so it was a moot point.
So all in all, a good start with what seems like a strong force. I'm unsure when I'll use this force again as I’m taking part in the The Khaleraaq Wars campaign using the Dark Angels since they have had a mini overhaul with the new FAQs. It looks like the Blood Bowl league is also going to be starting soon, so that my gaming plans for the foreseeable!
Edit: I've now got a couple of photos courtesy of Pete:
this was one of the two illegal Dreadnoughts