As every reader knows, our Lethbridge Warhammer club is in the midst of a 40k escalation league. It is a three month affair whence we grow our army from 1000 points to a completed 2000 points. Although for obvious fun, this also motivates the members to get their armies built and painted or perhaps to try something new.
Though... most of us are just expanding our forces.
It is a simple climb. Month one: 1000, month two: 1500 and we finish at 2000pts. There are games played at each successive level as well, four/three/three to be exact, each contributing points depending on the results of the game.
I had several options in my head for the league. Eldar were considered briefly, then Chaos Marines. Thoughts of one of the new armies such as Space Wolves or Blood Angels flitted across my brain until I decided to simply expand my Catachan force. My immediate thought was to make sure this force didn't share units with my first force and had a different theme. My previous 2000 points of Catachan were a vet heavy, mech army. Almost everything was in chimeras. I also sprinkled in some Ogryns and Ratlings and a double penal legion for some distinct flavor. This one would be more simple and stick more the to ethos of a standard guard army: Lots of bodies and lots of tanks. So, thus the building began!
Let's see what I did, shall we?
-Company Command Squad: A sit still unit with a missile launcher, standard and vox. Their sole purpose was to support the line.
-Platoon: Command squad with 2 flamers, a medic, a vox and a powerfist. The counter assault unit. They could take and dish out more damage then a regular guard squad and would be there to hold the line against charges, plus be able to take late objectives (being a troops choice and all!). Within the platoon were 2 squads, each with a heavy bolter and one with a commissar. I tended to blob these two together. As well I had a mortar and lascannon squad to put down long range firepower.
-Veteran Squad: My second troops choice was a good ole veteran squad in a chimera! Harker, _THE_ Catachan character, leads the shotgun/3 grenade launcher toting unit.
-Scout Sentinels: Two seperate missile launcher sentinels provided some support, plus were able to flank march! These have proved invaluable in the campaign so far and might even be my MVP's (if not for the oft displayed insane heroism from the vets)
-Leman Russ Battle Tank: A fairly standard, heavy bolter loaded tank. Ol' Wasteful. Sit back and destroy!
I did how I expected to do, going 2-2 at the 1000 point level. A strong win against Grey Knights and one against a very odd penal legion/stormtrooper guard army and a loss against a massive infantry guard horde and against Black Templars.
I knew what I needed at 1500. More tank style support and more bodies. Pretty simple, but that is how the Imperial Guard works!
--Company Command Squad: The same purpose as above, only I took out the missile launcher to put it elsewhere. They also commandeered the veteran's chimera to bunker down and hide in.
--Platoon: Very much the same as above. I added a sniper to one squad and added a third squad with a flamer. As well, the commissar and 2 heavy bolter sgts were given power weapons. That makes the blob a suddenly much more formidable force in assault. You have to get through more then a dozen men to get to the power weapons. The third squad would likely run on it's own, being held in reserve to counter assault home base objectives and to deny KP's until later when they could come on. Alternately they could be used to run for an objective or to join the blob. A Missile Launcher team joined the Lascannons and Mortars. Even more long range death!
--Veterans: An upgrade was given to these fine men (and woman) with demolitions being added. As well they were taken out of the chimera and put in a...
--Valkryie: Nothing bad can really be said about this fella! A lascannon gives it anti tank and the double heavy bolter/double rocket launcher set up is death for infantry. It is able to scout, to outflank and to fly around causing havoc, dumping troops where they need to be.
--Scout Sentinels: Two squads this time, the first combining the missile launcher toting walkers into one unit and the second being a lone autocannon sentinel. The AC walker generally outflanks for side armor shots.
--Leman Russ: Ol' Wasteful is back
--Medusa: The kicker! Artillery with large blast Str 10/AP2 is nothing to sneeze at! Once I tell my opponents what it does (or they see), it becomes a priority target!
Again, I did as expected in the three games at this level, going 1-1-1. I beat up a combo Khorne/Nurgle Chaos Marine force, lost to Tau and their tau cheating technology and had a draw with some crafty Raven Guard. The last two games were very fun, providing some really dramatic moments. In the Tau game I was getting utterly trounched... until my veteran squad dismounted the Valkryie and ran rampant through his entire back line killing two squads of fire warriors and two hammerheads. The Raven Guard battle had THE moment of my Catachan career when a lone company commander, his squad dead, held off an insanely viscous double CCW/Heavy Flamer dread in close combat for four turns... without taking a wound!
So where do I go at 2000 points? I am going to need more strong units to deal with the expensive ones people will be able to bring to the table at this point level. I could use more scoring units as well. What do I add?
--A vendetta: 3 TL Lascannons. 'Nuff said!
--A Punisher: It fits with Catachan and gives me some more AV 14 on the field
--A Hydra Flak tank: If only for the idea I have model wise!
--Special Weapons Squads: A sniper team and a flamer/demo charge team. I am taking these almost soley because they scream Catachan. The sniper team is probably a complete waste of points!
--Little bit here, little bit there. I can see things I need badly. Melta bombs on the commander as he seems to always get assaulted, perhaps a power weapon as well. Maybe some krak grenades on a few squads. More straight up bodies can't hurt.
We'll see in the coming weeks what I finally decide on. Until then, let's hear how YOU have done in the league and what it's taken to get to this level.