Sunday, August 31, 2014

War of the Relics; Terminators Everywhere

Though there was but one Berzerker remaining Decimus did not take him lightly. Even had he such a notion, the armor of the Berzerker proving up to the task of deflecting his blows would have disabused him of that notion, even as the armor of his squad-make sparked in defiance of the Berzerker's attacks.

The power armor did, however, melt under the hammering, crushing blows of the power fist blows dealt by the Ultramarine terminators. As the last Chaos Space Marine crumpled to the ground, Decimus was already leading his men towards their nearby objective.

I considered moving them towards the Space Wolf Terminators but A) 3 Termies v. 10 seems heavily weighted in the favor of the 10 and B) three Terminators in cover could prove a tough nut to crack. Plus, sliding into the terrain having garnered a kill point and now seizing their objective, the Ultramarines added two VP to their total.

Tau: 3 (Objective)
Space Wolves: 3  First Blood, Kill point (HQ), Objective
Ultramarines: 3 (kill point (Hammerhead), kill Point (Berzerkers), objective

Gunvor watched the demolition of the red-clad chaos space marines with interest. Here was a worthy foe. Yet he could not leave his post. Hastily barked orders saw his men string out towards the Ultramarines while still maintaining contact with their objective. 

The Assault Cannons chattered death, sending two Ultramarine Terminators spinning down in defeat. The Storm Bolters hit often, but the remaining Terminator stood firm and unharmed.

I was considering charging them into combat, but the stratagem of the Ultramarines to get into cover meant the charge was unlikely to reach. Better to maintain the VP for controlling the objective. Ironically, the felling of two terminators to Assault Cannons probably save the third one's life after he made 7 saves against Storm Bolter wounds as it was just too far to reach him.

Nergui cursed as he saw his landing position. With the failure of the incompetent Ganzorig, Nergui* had been sent to this planet to recover the instructions to a particularly effective bomb. The equally incompetent minion running the teleporter had missed their target. Now in front of him stood a full unit of the hated Space Wolf Terminators. Worse, they were between him and his objective...

He considered having his men charge in and tear the Wolves apart in close combat but the sight of several Storm Shield and Thunder hammer wielding Terminators dissuaded him from such an aggressive choice. Instead he ordered his men to open fire. 

With a furious roar they unleashed a firestorm upon their enemies. Sparks flew as Reaper Autocannons, Combi-bolters and flamers roared their vicious song of death and destruction on the Space Wolves. 

With dismay Nergui saw not one Wolf fall...

The Chaos Space Marines drew objective 5. I almost dropped them in any other part of the field, but this scenario is not set up to be "balanced" per se, it is set up to see how the rules work such as Deep Strike, and also to measure the various weapons against the various armors. So I followed my admittedly artificial yet highly entertaining self-made scenario rule and tried to Deep Strike on top of the objective the wolves were holding. 

Unfortunately they scattered a mighty 11" and then, while their accuracy was phenomenal, only missing 2 or 3 shots, between rolling low on the wound attempts and high on the armor saves, they could not put a single Wolf out of commision. On the bright side, this means the pressure is off of Decimus, the lonely Ultramarine terminator guarding objective 6...

*Nergui means "no name" in Mongolian. The joke will soon be evident...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

War of the Relics; Tactical decisions

Commander Bau gave the order and again his Railgun hammered away, this time firing into the swirling melee of Berzerkers and ultramarine terminators. He did not really care who he hit, he just wanted to hit someone. The gun drones followed his lead. 

He nearly clenched his fist in glee as he saw the railgun strike a terminator square in the back, but squelched the celebration as he saw the terminator continue fighting unfazed, even as the pulse rifles also hammered into it without doing any damage.

Finally the Railgun hits something...and then rolls a 1 to wound. Both pulse rifle shots wounded but were saved. Tau, the reputed best shooting unit...I know, I know, one unit. But these are typical results I see for 1-shot items. I consistently roll at least one "1" on them even in fantasy. My faith in the Hammerhead is only saved because the Space Wolf terminators in front of it are going to have to get into base contact to be able to hurt it, and then they only have 3 weapons that can, the Thunder Hammers. It is invulnerable to every shooting item currently on the field.

Ganzorig watched in frustration as his best shot was shrugged off by Decimus. Decimus' power sword was more effective, cleaving through another Berzerker. His compatriots were no more successful, failing to damage their enemies. Meanwhile, the ponderous blows of the Terminators felled three more of his men. The battle was beginning to look hopeless. He had had such faith in his men when he led the charge in but now there were just a handful standing while only one of their foes had fallen.

He pointed his weapon at Decimus. "Let us end this man to man!" The sergeant nodded and the two began their own private duel.

The shrinking number of attacks being dealt by the Berzerkers was not helped when the Terminators only had to make 3 saves. The advantage of going first is only an advantage if they do something with it and Berzerkers are simply not well-equipped to take on heavily armored enemies.  Meanwhile, the Terminators did very few wounds in return, but the power weapons allowing no saves means every wound is a casualty. I am seeing a good use for Terminators...and it is not trying to outshoot volume-fire units.

Decimus saw Ganzorig's challenge and instantly moved to accept it. He saw the blow coming and, trusting his armor, allowed it to strike him, cleaving through his enemy with one well-placed strike. Quickly he turned to see his men dispatch 2 more of their enemies. The outcome of this battle was a foregone conclusion.

Gunvor looked off to the right. He saw the swirling melee of combat and considered heading over to finish off both opponents. He also saw the Hammerhead directly ahead. The tank's massive Railgun could pick his men off long before they could get in range to smash it to bits with their power fists and thunder hammers. 

Yet his mission was not to destroy Tau tanks or any other enemies. He moved towards the location he had been instructed to take and hold. He did not know why that location mattered but it mattered not. He was a Space Wolf and he would do as ordered. 

The Terminator armor did not allow great speed, but it was enough. He had arrived at his destination.

I considered having the Space Wolves fire indiscriminately into the Terminators and Berzerkers but ultimately elected to take the objective instead. Take the sure VP.

VP: Tau 4
Space Wolves 3 

Captain Cyprianus led his marines towards the field he had been told held the remains of a key piece of the gene-seed. How it had come to be left on such a desolate planet he did not know but apparently the battle that had taken long ago had been rediscovered by chapter scholars. Various teams had been sent out to recover fallen warriors and technologies. No opposition was expected.

It was there, though.

Straight ahead he saw the rear of a Tau Hammerhead. With their standard precision his men swung into action. A Krak missile was fired almost as the tank hove into view, the azure beam of his unit's plasma cannon arcing by moments later, even as the remainder of the unit hurled Krak grenades at the tank.

Explosions rocked the tank as the weak armor in it's rear was penetrated again and again by the savage assault. It settled to the ground in wreckage, never to rise again.

Tau; 4
Space Wolves 3
Ultramarines 1

The Tactical Marines need objective 3 and came on area 2. The Tanks' rear armor was of course immune to their bolters and the snap shot of the Missile launcher missed, but the Plasma Gun penetrated and several Krak Grenades did so also.

Then I thought about it and the Bolters actually could have glanced the rear to death, but I think remembering the Krak grenades was good as it gave me a chance to see them in action and remember that is a good option in 8" ranges against tough targets.

Friday, August 29, 2014

War of the Relics; Enter the Wolf

The sky cracked open, lightning descended, and Gunvor and his men teleported onto the field below. Gunvor nodded in satisfaction. As the scouting report had suggested, there were indeed enemies present. Nor was he surprised that the techs had landed him so close to their objective. 

One Power-armored captain stood in front of them. Startled, he turned toward Gunvor and his men, making as if to raise his storm bolter. It was the last move he would ever make.

Assault cannons chattered and his well-trained if unruly unit reacted as trained. They saw a threat and dismissed it in a hail of Storm Bolter fire, obliterating the hapless Captain Aelius in mere moments.

The Space Wolf arrival was almost too easy for them. They had Objective 5. The massive 10" scatter landed three of them on the hill, which I treated as dangerous terrain for purposes of Deep Strike scatter even though I had not treated this hill as dangerous terrain for Captain Aelius.

With 2 Assault Cannons and 5 Storm Bolters, there was just so much gunfire it was too much for Aelius to withstand. He suffered something like 6 wounds. Had I given him the upgrade to Artificier armor he would have only suffered three...which still would have finished him off. A quick, almost guaranteed kill point on the softest target on the table (if a model with a 3+ armor save and 4+ ward is ever soft). First blood for the Wolves...

Tau: 3 VP
Space Wolves: 2 VP

I have been having each unit take a turn. I am debating how to handle this going forward as it will quickly become more and more confusing as to whose turn it is...yet I will try to keep doing that as long as possible. 

The way it works is this: The oldest unit available (in terms of when they entered the battle) takes its turn, then each succeeding unit in the order the arrived. Once each unit has had a turn, a new unit enters.

For example, because Captain Aelius is now deceased, the Tau Hammerhead has been on the field the longest. It will take its turn first, then the Berzerkers, then the Ultramarine Terminators, then the Space Wolves, then a new unit will arrive.

This gives units such as the deep-striking Space Wolf Terminators an opportunity to disperse lest a blast weapon hit them all and at least make a modest move towards their objective.

Had I altered turn order to say...all Space Marines first, the Terminators would most likely have slain the Berzerkers before the Space Wolves arrived and been able to either move towards their objective or towards the Wolves. I do not know if that would be better or worse, I am simply looking at the alternatives. For now...I will go with the longest surviving units in turn.

I have each unit on a 3x5 index card for easy stat and rules reference. Makes it easy to spin through them in turn order. At least, until they get mixed up when I drop them or something...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

War of the Relics; Combat is Joined

Captain Aelius wiped his hand across the lenses of his helmet. He recognized those unit markings. They belonged to Sergeant Decimus, but he had been pulled away from the chapter for a secret mission. What was he doing here?

No matter, it cheered Aelius to have the assistance of his compatriots. He advanced towards the Berzerkers, firing his Storm Bolter.

Commander Bau looked on in astonishment. His science officer was outside the Hammerhead searching for whatever had brought them here so he was unable to leave his post. However, he was tempted to by the sudden arrival of Terminators. 

He had seen them tear hammerheads to bits with those blasted Power Fists they packed. He was not going to allow that to happen to his tank. He fired his rail gun and both gun drones shot at the Terminators. 

A curse escaped his lips as every shot whistled harmlessly past their intended targets. Could his men do nothing right?

So far the Rail Gun has fired twice, scoring a 1 each time, and the twin linked gun drones effectively fired 4 times and have yet to exceed a 3. No need to beware the Tau if they are going to shoot like that...

Ganzoric looked longingly at the lone Marine coming off the hill ahead of him. He would like almost nothing better than to tear him
apart in hand to hand combat, reaping glory for himself.

Fortunately, one of the few things he would enjoy more had arrived, and that was a solid target for hand to hand. Waving his men to follow him, he led them towards the Terminators, firing his bolt pistol as he went. He was not surprised to see the bullets plink harmlessly off the tough armor of the terminators but he did not care, he wanted to tear them apart with his bare hands.

With gleeful screams his men charged the Terminators who snapped off a volley of shots, all but one missing. Ganzoric saw one of his men stumble and fall under the hail of bolts, never to rise again but it mattered not. He raised his sword and began hacking at the Terminator in front of him.

His men demonstrated the fury they were famed for, unleashing a massive hail of attacks against the Terminators. Unfortunately, they were just a bit slower than normal having had to fight through the terrain they had charged out of and only one Terminator fell under the initial flurry of blows, while 6 of his own men fell under the pounding of the massive Power fists wielded by the Terminators. 

The terminators demonstrated the power of a 2+ save, making 10 of 11 saves. The berzerkers were massively helped by the Furious Charge rule giving them 3 attacks apiece on the charge and needing a 3 to hit, but the armor save was too much to overcome. They are down to half their original unit size, while the terminators have lost 25%. 

sadly, they out-point the Terminators nearly 2-1 and do not look to have much chance against them in this combat...although, to be fair, this round the Berzerkers fought at Initiative step one because they charged out of the difficult terrain. That meant they struck at the same time as the Terminators. Next round they strike first.

Decimus found himself surrounded by two enemies. His power sword glowed as he tried to keep them at bay, yet they penetrated his defenses three times. They could not penetrate his armor, fortunately.

Meanwhile the three men he had remaining withstood another flurry of attacks by their enemies. Decimus had to admit he was impressed by their skill with weapons. He was more impressed at the power of the fist as his men bludgeoned three more of the Berzerkers into the ground, bringing their numbers down to a manageable level.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

War of the Relics; Hour of the Terminators

Captain Aelius stared in amazement. Where had they come from? Directly where he was headed had suddenly appeared the hated yet dangerous red armor of the accursed Berzerkers of khorne. He raised his storm bolter but realized they were out of range. He knew he should return to his craft and mobilize an army but he was in shock. Not only were the Tau suddenly on this long-forgotten planet, now his deadly enemies were here too!

Commander Bau smiled inwardly. it would never do to allow the crew to see his satisfaction but they had reached their target and done so in record time. 

He consulted his instruments again to confirm his supposition and unsurprisingly found that he had been his usual efficient self. From the moment they dropped on-planet until now had been but a few ticks of the clock and already they had arrived at their objective.

Suddenly his self-satisfied interior smile melted away as what appeared to be a full unit of the deadly close-combat specialist troops of one of the multitudinous Space Marine chapters appeared. 

He could not recall which chapter off the top of his head but it did not matter. He had a job to do and he would do it despite any interference. 

One quick command and the railgun rotated, taking aim at the enemy. He watched in disappointment as the munitions shredded foliage but did not so much as scratch the armor of a single Berzerker.

The skimmer ability to move 12" and avoid terrain means it was a trivial thing to land on the objective on his third turn. 

Tau VP 1

Ganzorig stared in amazement. This planet which the unit historians assured him had been deserted so long ago nobody even remembered its name was occupied by not one but two enemies. To his right a Tau tank unleashed in impotent shot at his unit, missing by a wide margin. But straight ahead was his real target...a single Space Marine captain.

Ganzorig knew when battle was joined he would lose himself in the bloodlust, unleashing a mighty wave of violence that would overcome his good sense. Yet he was not stupid. There was not one weapon in his unit that could hurt the tank. That marine, however, was a tasty target. Waving his arm, he led his men forward towards the hapless marine, keeping the trees between himself and the tank as much as possible.

Lightning split the skies and suddenly Decimus and his men flashed into view, planting their feet firmly on the firm surface of land once more. A feral grin split the face of the Terminator Captain as he saw the unit of Berzerkers guarding his objective.

"Thanks, Cap" he spouted into his communicator, acknowledging the opportunity he had been presented with. Ostensibly they were hear to recover a journal or some such nonsense that had recently been discovered to have been left on this planet when some long-forgotten engagement had occurred.

Decimus had wondered why he and his unit were being sent on such a mundane mission, but seeing the Berzerkers in front of him, all became clear. There was probably nothing here to recover but someone from the Inquisition was moving pieces around, giving him an opportunity to take out a few of the evil Berzerkers.

Without hesitation his fellow terminators followed his lead, bringing their storm bolters into action with a deadly efficiency that saw three Berzerkers fall. Simultaneously, their voices rose in the unit call, "Death to all who oppose our mission!"

Sometimes random rolls provide awesome "narrative gaming" opportunities, for want of a better term. The Space Marines now have a second unit, and as luck would have it, they are Deep Strike Terminators seeking...drumroll please...Objective 6. The forlorn hopes of Captain Aelius to stay alive for a couple more turns just got a much-needed boost. Now to decide what to do with the berzerkers...

It was kind of cool looking up the rules for Deep Striking, working my way through it slowly, considering the options and risks without feeling like I was unfairly taking the time of an opponent to learn the game. This scenario is proving useful already. And it provided an event I will remember for a while because, in Games Workshop terms, it was so cinematical...the Berzerkers rushing forward to kill the Chapter Captain, only to have a tough unit appear out of nowhere to help him out...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

War of the Relics; Going berzerk

Commander Bau moved forward confidently. He gave brief consideration to scanning that life form he had registered but dismissed the idea. His task was to locate the signal and find out what it was. Any life here was too small and insignificant to matter. He advanced steadily, ignoring whatever it was moving slowly behind him.

Captain Aelius crested the hill and stared off to the left. He had been right. There was a Tau Hammerhead with its' massive, destructive Railgun slowly tracking back and forth in front of it. 

He breathed a sigh of relief. What he was feeling could not truly be called fear but neither was he a stupid man. He was a very capable warrior, but taking on a mainline tau battletank single-handedly was nothing he wanted to attempt.

He paused to consider whether he should return to his craft and call in his chapter to deal with the tank. Ahead of him however, almost within reach, was his goal. If he did return and call down the Ultramarines, the Tau would doubtless respond in kind and in the battle that would rage over this planet, he might lose for all time whatever it was his father wanted him to find. Grimly he pressed on towards his goal.

Ganzorig rolled his shoulders and gestured his men forward. It was an unfortunate path they had landed on, but that mattered little. Ahead of him was the siren song of a fallen warrior whose spirit was rumored to inhabit this planet.

Ganzorig could not recall the name of the fallen hero, but stories told of his stand in battle had called his acts and example of "steel courage". Since that was the meaning of Ganzorig's name he had decided to lead his band of Berzerkers in search of the final resting place of this fallen hero in order to see if he could enhance his own power in battle.

Backed by another 19 Berzerkers of his platoon, he worked his way through the rather difficult terrain, heading towards where he believed the fallen hero to be.

Army three was Chaos Space Marines, Elites, Berzerkers. They rolled objective 4 which was a foot or so behind Captain Aelius and came in on edge 6. An interesting situation is developing that sees 20 khornic Berzerkers advancing towards a single Chapter Captain of the Ultramarines while the Tau Hammerhead sits unchallenged since as yet nothing is on the battlefield that can touch the Hammerhead...

Monday, August 25, 2014

War of the Relics: Enter the Tau

Commander Bau's com-unit crackled as the Hammerhead rolled into the target vicinity.

"Any sightings of enemy activity?"

Bau scanned the various displays, seeing exactly what he expected. A couple of minor life-form readings popped up, most likely those from animal life on this desolate, war-ravaged planet. There were no credible threats, however.

"Nothing worth checking out yet, sir."

Idly he wondered what the Ethereal's name was but being a good soldier he dismissed the irrelevant question from his mind. He was here to find out what was giving off such interesting readings from this region. The tech sept believed it might be weapon technology they wished to study.

Slowly he advanced his Hammerhead. He expected no opposition on this mission. Whatever battle had happened here had been so devastating it was amazing even whatever that brief blip of life to his left was here. 

It would be a quick, easy mission. He nodded to the driver who throttled the skimmer forward, avoiding the rough terrain to their right.

A Tau Heavy Weapon was the second roll, further sub-rolled to be a Hammerhead tank. It is seeking out objective "2" and came in on objective 5, giving it just a short cross-table hop. 

Captain Aelius heard the drone and searched his memory. He knew that sound. It was a skimmer and, unless he missed his guess, it was a Tau skimmer. 

He began moving towards the nearby hill, hoping to catch a glimpse of it without being seen himself. Why would the Tau be anywhere near this forsaken, war-blasted wreck of a planet, much less this field which had lain fallow for years, possibly centuries?

Briefly he considered radioing for help, then wryly laughed at himself. He was jumping at shadows. He might just be imagining those sounds, creating enemies where there were none. Besides, even if there were a Tau or other enemy force present, he doubted his vox unit would reach off-planet to summon assistance anyway. Whether there was an enemy presence or not, he was on his own. 

He reached down and patted his trusty power sword hilt. If there were enemies here, he would just have to show them what it meant to tangle with an Ultramarine.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

War of the Relics begins

Captain Aelius of the Ultramarines moved slowly and cautiously amongst the ruins. he paused to look at the map one more time. If he headed due north he should come upon the object of his search. He wished he knew what the object was but of course his father, Aemilius, had never been one to make things easy on his son. He had simply appeared from nowhere with a pass giving Aelius leave, the map, and instructions to recover an item of value from the location on the map.

So here he was armed with his trusty Storm Bolter and power sword moving through this ancient alien battlefield. There must have been a massive battle at some point. In the distant northeast he could see some ruined buildings that showed evidence of heavy shelling. Various redoubts, barricades, and bunkers littered the field and totems, both alien and of the Imperium were everywhere.

There seemed nobody around at first, and then he heard the hum of a skimmer ahead of him...

I rolled up "Space Marines" codex, rolled "HQ" and rolled Captain. He rolled up "Seize objective 6" and entered in quarter 4. I gave him a turn, rolled up the next entrant, gave him another turn, and then gave a turn to....

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Warhammer 40 K Epic Plans

A long time ago in a house far, far away I came up with an unbelievably stupid plan. I decided to use every model I had to play a massive game of Warhammer Fantasy.

With myself.

So was born "The War of the Shrines", an epic game that saw the entire table covered in models. It was a great deal of fun and I learned a ton about the capabilities of various models, some about the game rules themselves and a lot about how the various armies interacted with one another.

Warhammer 40k is a much different game that does not set up well for lining up line troops across from each other and taking turns.

However, with the "Maelstrom" missions, an idea was born. I could set up 6 objectives in various parts of the field, randomly roll up units to come on the board, and give each unit an objective.

So the blue marines are each objectives. From the bottom left going up the left side of the table are objectives 1 through 3 with objective four being bottom right on up to objective 6 in the top corner.

When a unit comes on the board it rolls d6 and comes on the table edge rolled and furthest from its objective. Deep Striking units are allowed to Deep Strike which can lead to intense mayhem.

When a unit achieves its objective it does not roll a new unit but instead scores a point every turn it achieves the objective. Should a unit roll a mission it cannot perform it is allowed to re-roll (i.e. if it rolls shoot down a flyer, there being no flyers yet (unless I finish painting the Tau Sunshark), it re-rolls.

Then I took the 5 army books I have painted units for and assigned them a random number...okay, not random, I went alphabetically. On a 6 I re-roll UNLESS it gets out of hand...say I have brought on 4 units for 4 of the armies and one for the last army, I would assign the "6" to that army until they had something on the board. In other words, the game is random but with hand-wave elements to somewhat even it out.

I know you  are rolling your eyes and laughing, but lets face have seen me have worse ideas.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Orcs and Goblins v D of Chaos, 500 points

Space Monkey and I had a bit of time and a hankering to roll some dice, and he is looking to get more established in the rules. We were debating between 500 points and 1250 points. Ultimately, we went 500. In a sense, this is good...much easier to study the rules when you can, if necessary, play the entire game in about a half hour. On the dark side, it meant I did not roll out this monstrosity...

He has a Treeman Ancient in the process of being modded into a D-Prince. And Deathnarok TOWERS over that monstrous model.

For point of reference, here is Deathnarok next to a properly sized Arachnarok.

Of course, in 1250 points, Deathnarok would not last long as his laser-guided Skullcannon does d6 S10 wounds...and I have no way i can think of to drop a ward on Deathnarok.

Anyway, I threw together a list with a Savage Orc Shaman w/Lucky Shrunken Head, 14 Savage Orc Big Uns w/ champ and standard and 9 Savage Orc Boar Boys w/Standard Bearer and Champion.

We decided to keep it simple, just Battle Line. I won roll for side of table and planted my Boar riders basically center of table so they could go where needed. He had something making his 'Nettes able to ignore dangerous terrain so planted them behind some dangerous terrain to my left, I threw the infantry on top of the hill on my left with the Shaman inside.

I then won the roll for first turn.

O&G Turn 1

I made both my animosity rolls, marched the Savage Orcs forward and kept pace with the Boar Riders. I figured he would most likely be out of range of the Gaze of Mork...or possibly Gork...and passed on magic.

DoC Turn 1
He advanced 3". He wa trying to set it up so I would charge his 'Nettes and get held up, then flank charged. Good plan. Since he had no magic we elected to eschew the rolls on the table.

O&G Turn 2
The boar riders passed their test, the infantry...fails. Squabble. No movement or magic for them. Argh! I can assure you, even in a learning game, I have no intention of advancing my boar riders unsupported into the teeth of his entire army. So turn 2 consisted of me failing animosity and passing the turn.

DoC Turn 2
If he moved it was maybe an inch or so. He had his trap set and no need to move.

O&G Turn 3
Stop me if this sounds familiar. The boar riders passed their test, the infantry...fails. Squabble. No movement or magic for them. Argh! I can assure you, even in a learning game, I have no intention of advancing my boar riders unsupported into the teeth of his entire army. So turn 3 consisted of me failing animosity and passing the turn.Remind you of anything? Hint; I copy/pasted the results of turn 2.

DoC Turn 3
Seeing me fail animosity again, he  advanced his Bloodcrushers to force a charge should I fail again. Oh, not a likely one...I would need a 9 to make it... He also advanced his 'Nettes, angling them to receive the charge from my Boar Riders. If I got stuck he would have the easy flank on the boar riders. We are maybe 5 minutes int the game and halfway done already...

O&G Turn 4
Wonder of wonders, I passed my animosity with both units. I figured my 19 attacks in the front row, 3 in the back, plus 6 more Boar attacks for a total of 28 potential attacks against his wimpy nettes gave me a pretty good chance to one-turn wipe them out so I declared that charge and also declared the less likely Savage Orc infantry v Bloodcrushers charge to hopefully keep them off my flank if things went sub-par.

I advanced the infantry only 5" with a failed charge. Boar riders made it in easily.

I got to attempt a spell and got off the gaze of Gork...or possibly Mork, I cannot be sure...and it got through. Even better, because I had a unit in combat it would be S5 instead of S4 do to the lore attribute. Too bad I rolled a "2" to wound...

He has to declare a challenge, my unit champ accepted and duly died to his herald, who even got a point of overkill. He also did a wound with his 'Nettes that was unsaved. Not to worry, I still have 19 attacks...6 wounds...he saved 5 of them. Needing 5+. Aaaaaagggghhh. Oh well, here come the boars...and he saved all those wounds as well. I lost the combat. Gone was my frenzy. Gone was my ability to minimize the casualties caused by his herald. Gone was my chance to get out of the path of his Bloodcrushers. I am in trouble...

DoC Turn 4
He makes the blindingly obvious flank charge. If I could not hurt 'nettes with Frenzy and choppas, how will I do against his combined forces and lacking those advantages?

By the time we got around to his Crushers attacking I had but 2 riders left. I somehow put 1 wound on one of the Crushers and then was gone. Here was a tough choice. Overrun or reform to face the infantry? His 'Nettes could reform but not overrun. There was a chance if he overran with the Crushers that he would get stuck in front of the 'nettes, blocking them and presenting his flank. Even if he cleared their face he would have to reform in turn 5 and hope to charge in the bottom of turn 6.

He reformed to accept the charge from my infantry with the 'Nettes there to catch any potential overrun.

O&G Turn 5
Well now. I have lost 43% of my army and done 1 casualty and 1 wound to him with them. Furthermore, that was my hammer unit...all I have left is my anvil unit. Of course, being Savage Orc Big Uns with the charge they can still do some damage by virtue of having frenzy, extra hand weapons and S5 on the charge...

So in I go. I declare a challenge, knowing I will likely lose it, but it will minimize the number of attacks coming back at me. He makes short work of my champion. No worries, I unleash something like 24 S5 attacks and end up doing I think 5 unsaved wounds. In combination with the 1 wound done early, that puts down everyone in the unit but the champ who does me the favor of crumbling to instability. 

DoC Turn 5

He does the only thing he can and charges. Then again, lets look at the 'Nettes history; they wiped out a unit of Chaos Knights last time out, this time out out-fought and held in place for the easy demolition a unit of Boar Riders. I think he SHOULD charge and be happy about it.

He declares a challenge with his herald. Having lost my champion, I only have my Shaman available. However, if he is in a challenge and gets killed by the high-initiative, 4 attack herald I lose my 5+ War Paint and it goes back to a 6+. I decline the challenge and move to the back row. Oh no, I lost 2 WS3, S3 attacks...okay, S4 this round, but still, who cares. I will take the Lucky Shrunken head...

Herald hits hard but mostly fails to wound. His 'Nettes do better but Lucky Shrunken Head adds about 3 extra saves and I end up losing maybe 3 or 4 models, he ends up taking a whooping this turn. Turns out about 24 attacks needing 4 to hit and 2 to wound can even damage 5+ ward guys. He loses about 1 more model and when the instability clears I have an advantage, but less S.

O&G Turn 6
His attacks do a couple casualties to me, I do 5 or 6 to him. When the smoke clears he has just his unit champ and herald standing. I have I think 7 Savage Orcs and a Shaman, still ducking challenges. Evil cackle.

Doc Turn 6
I put a second wound on his herald and another on his champ. Poor Space Monkey saw what had looked like a game in the bag turn into another tabling. Such bad luck.

What Went Right
Lucky Shrunken Head. Period. It was worth about 10 a game I ended with 7 models (and 8 wounds) total. The law of combat effectiveness tells me every one of those saves was about a 4 effective attack swing as I did not lose 3 attacks and he "wasted" one on a save I normally do not make. If I do not have the Lucky Shrunken Head he probably tables me on turn 5.

Oh, and the only spell I attempted was successful and got to use the lore attribute, the first time I have remembered that little nugget and had it matter. At least, it WOULD have mattered had I wounded him, which I did not. Still worth taking the Shaman for the Lucky Shrunken head, but as usual magic underwhelms for me.

What Went Wrong
You give me the change to send 9 frenzied, extra hand weapon wielding Savage Orcs into a 10-15 strong core infantry block not named tzeentch-marked Chaos Warriors 100 times, I take that opportunity 101 times and thank you for the opportunity. 6 wide with a champ I have as many as 28 S5 attacks probably needing 4s to hit (including the boars). I am going to do some damage.

Unless, of course, I fluff a large number of attacks/wounds and he saves 90% of those I inflict...that failure not only to wipe him out but actually being unable to inflict any appreciable damage on him put me in a deep hole.

It was a deeper hole due to back to back failed animosity rolls by the intransigent Savage Orc Big Uns. Instead of charging across the field hurling insults and bodily stench at whatever was across the field from them, they took some time to relax atop a hill and argue whether the worms tasted better fresh out of battlefield churned dirt or after an acid rain.

Very fun, surprisingly challenging battle. With two armies combining to have one 4d6" range spell that did nothing, it took us 4 turns of maneuver-counter maneuver to come to grips and once we did the game had some wild swings that went from looking like I would be tabled early to him battling the law of diminishing returns as his best unit got trampled by my infantry and his 'Nettes, awesome against cavalry, forgot how to fight and started doing a Minion slap-fight (because Despicable Me references are always awesome) at exactly the wrong time.

Good time, lot of learning opportunity for Space Monkey to pick up the game and he will be back. Probably with more 'nettes...because they have been his MVP both games.

Oh, and lets return to those thrilling days of yesteryear with a survivor pic...

Monday, August 4, 2014

750 points Space Wolves v Necrons

(Skip to below the asterisk if you don't care about the preamble)...
So I set up a last minute game. 750 points, single codex, battle forged, random mission. One last go with my Space Wolves before they get the new Codex.

I like to build all-comers lists. That means some fast elements for objective seizing, some lascannons for stuff like tanks, Dreadnoughts, Terminators, etc., some blasts to deal with hordes, and plenty of basic firepower.

At 750 you can only fit so much in...

So I started with a unit of Long Fangs, 2 lascannons, 2 Missile Launchers. Next up was 6 Grey Hunters, 1 with flamer, with dedicated Razorback. Then a dreadnought with Multi-melta. A unit of 10 Grey Hunters. Enough points left for a Rune Priest in terminator armor and, if I dropped the 6 Grey Hunters to 5, a Lone Wolf with TH/SS. 750 on the dot. 3 lascannons, a multi-melta, 2 plasma guns and 2 krak missiles for tough stuff (plus Lone Wolf if he could get base to base), 2 frag missiles for hordes, plus 11 bolters, a storm bolter...I could send out a fair amount of firepower and cover the field pretty well.

I knew he was most likely bringing Necrons which I knew very little about.

We rolled Cloak and Shadows Maelstrom of War which means 3 secret objectives per turn. My Warlord Trait was Lead by Example, giving me 2 vp instead of 1 if the Warlord seized an objective. My Rune Priest got Precognition and Prescience, also the Perfect Timing. Sweet.

He set up first. 2 modest units on my left and one massive unit in the ruins to my right. Apparently there was no dangerous terrain on the table, everything was just difficult terrain.

I put my Long Fangs in the ruins on my left, the Grey Hunters in the forest on the right (not realizing how much it would slow me down), same mistake with Dreadnought, and the Long Fang in the middle of the board.

For the 2nd time in 3 attempts I seized the Initiative.

Space Wolf Turn 1
I got Secure Objective 3, 5, and 5. I measured and if I went flat out with my Rhino. He insisted I make some bizarre roll where if I rolled a 1 it could not flat out. Weird. Anyway, my Grey Hunters rolled poorly and barely even made it out of the forest, same with the Dreadnought.

If you have read my Fantasy reports you know how magic treats me. Lets check out the psychic phase...I get both powers I attempt off and he can stop neither. Huzzah! I will reroll misses and ignore cover with my long fangs.

I do lots of shooting, put down about 6 crons, but he reanimates  all but one on 4+. We also have our first debate. Height matters for distance. I carefully put my rhino where it is within 1-7/8" of objective 5 including height. He is trying to argue I am not within 3". For the first time since I started 40k I would not let myself be overruled. I built my entire turn around taking that 2-point objective. I was CLEARLY within 3" even taking the height into account.

On the one hand, very successful turn...I scored 2 objectives and will roll 3 fresh ones next turn. On the dark side...I did one casualty when at full strength shooting with re-rolls on missile launchers dropping blast markers, lascannons, etc...

Space Wolves 2, Necrons 0

Necron Turn 1
He was rolling his objectives in...lets say a questionable way. Instead of designating one die as the "10s" die and the other as the "1"s die, he would roll them, look at the 2 options and take the more favorable. He did this all game. On a completely unrelated note, he managed the "take 2 points from same objective" trick I did every turn...

Anyhow, he glanced Dreadnought twice (mysteriously my dreadnought, who was BEHIND the unit of Grey Hunters and still partially stuck in the forest got no cover save...I argued he should have a save based on the Grey Hunters alone, he finally conceded the point but was clearly upset about it so I did not roll for the cover saves, just accepted the glances) and took out a couple Grey Hunters.

He also glanced the Rhino to death with 4's. I did not think he had that many S6 weapons (I only saw one 6 in all the dice he rolled, 3 4's, he excitedly announced he had glanced it to death so I disembarked my troops and moved on).

He scored Objective 6, Big Game hunter and First Blood

Necrons 3, Space Wolves 2

Time Warp; somehow nothing happened in turn 2...or 3...

Space Wolf Turn 2/ 3
I get objective 2 twice and objective 6 again. 6 is in his backfield and there are way too many 'crons between me and it, but 2 not only is easy to take, it moves me to good firing position against his large unit to the right. I first roll for my Grey Hunters...yep, they make it, allowing my Lone Wolf to head towards the Crons on the left. Only 1"...crappy rolls. My dread moves back somewhat for no apparent reason and the unit that dismounted the wrecked rhino moves to charge his crons on the left.

Shooting again sees virtually everything I put down get back up. Between cover saves (3+ in ruins? really?) and 4+ reanimation protocols he is incredibly tough to damage.

I shoot his crons with bolt pistols and then charge. His overwatch takes two Grey Hunters out, I still make it in. He has some special thing that does a bunch of S8 hits. I survive them, actually put out a couple of his crons for good. He stands. (

I score 2 points for objective 2 and discard Objective 6 so will have 3 fresh objectives next turn.

Space Wolves 4, Necrons 3

Necrons Turn 2/3
He somehow manages to roll objective 6 three times. Even the way he is picking them that is pretty...fortuitous rolling. Which was not reflected on the die rolls I saw, by the way....there is literally no legal way to have objective six when one of the dice is a 4.

Regardless, his shooting hurts a couple of the Marines from the unit of 10. Combat is a draw.

Necrons 6, Space Wolves 4

Space Wolves 4
Uh Oh. Two "Objective 6" for me (which I cannot reach) and Harness the Warp. I get that off easily, the Lone Wolf charges into the melee on the left, the Grey Hunters pour Bolt Pistol fire into the crons on the right putting a couple down who duly reanimate and go to the rear of the unit...then overwatch shrinks me to 6 Grey Hunters but I make it in combat. My Prescience-aided Long Fangs take out about 3 of his last unengaged unit.

He mind-shackle scarabs a Grey hunter who attacks his mates 3 times, wounding 1 who passes..but now I only have 15 attacks. When the dust settles, I do 1 casualty in those 15 attacks (who of course reanimates). Meanwhile, he is trying to argue that models I have in contact with base Necrons have to attack the Warlord because it is the closest model...uhm, no. he also argued a blast hit not the models it was over but rather the Warlord that was closest to the firing unit...and that LOS was on 2+ thought the rulebook says 4+.

By this time I was frankly a little perturbed at some of his...lets say questionable rulings, to be generous. I did not let the CC "closest" thing stand. The one model touching the warlord and one that was roughly not MUCH closer to a basic cron fruitlessly attack the warlord. Anyway, he then kills a marine and we draw the combat.

On the other side I take the S8 hit for entering combat and survive, then finish off his unit including his Warlord.

I consolidate to put the Lone Wolf in the front, my 3 surviving Grey Hunters behind him,.

Space Wolves 6, Necrons 6

Necrons 4
He concentrates fire on the Lone Wolf (who had been wounded 2 attempts) and of the 3 wounds he does, 1 gets through. That is right, on a 2+ my Lone Wolf failed 2 of 5 wounds. This is funny because he has been complaining about how lucky I have been and how unlucky he has been all game. He has maybe 10 models TOTAL removed at this point...I have almost that many removed. I think 7 or 8 and 2 glances on my Dreadnought.

Anyway, the other combat goes much better...I put down 2 or 3 crons, he needs a 9...and fails with a 10. (He started to say it was a pass, but I off-handedly commented, "You probably still would have passed if not for the LD deduct", I sweeping advance.

Here is where it gets hilarious. Even though the entire unit was wiped out, he takes a reanimation roll for the character because "he was a separate unit." Remember that in my turn 4.
He had amazingly gotten "Slay the Warlord" thinking the Lone Wolf was my Warlord. Uh, not, the Lone Wolf A) is not a character and B) I am NOT going to take as my warlord a model who GIVES A VICTORY POINT UP FOR SURVIVING. He also had Objective he scored 1 this turn.

Necrons 7, Space Wolves 6

Space Wolves 5
I drew overwhelming Firepower, Assassinate, and Hungry for Glory. I had 2 Grey Hunters with Plasma Guns and 2 more with Bolters about 2" from him, 4 Long Fangs with nothing better to shoot at, a Dreadnought with nothing better to shoot at...

My 3 surviving Grey Hunters went towards his last unit in an attempt to drive them off objective 6.

I obliterated his character with shooting. Remember this moment...

I shot his Crons with bolt pistols, 1 died, his overwatch them took out 1 marine but I made it into CC. Then I managed to kill just one, he killed both my Grey Hunters to wipe out that unit. :-(

I went to take the point for Overwhelming Firepower.

He argued I had not wiped out a unit that turn because the character was part of a larger unit. I don't even know where to start with this.

1) It does not say "unit at starting strength". It says unit. He had a unit on the table at the start of the turn.
2) He just claimed it got to reanimate because it was a SEPARATE UNIT. How can it be a separate unit but part of the unit it is separate from?
 Wrong answer Junior Woodchuck. I didn't argue it but you can bet your bottom dollar I count both Overwhelming Firepower and Assasinate...I killed a character that turn.

Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7

 Necron 5
he shoots and misses
Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7

Space Wolves Turn 6
He thinks my Grey Hunters do not have LOS to his guys huddled behind the hill. I would note that, with height being an issue, there has been 1 turn all game where they were within 3", and that just barely. Fair enough, I move to get Linebreaker and still have no LOS.

Space Wolves 9, Necrons 7

Necron 6
He huddles up close to objective 6 which, shockingly, he had for the 5th try in 6 turns. That is nice rolling...

His shooting is inconsequential.

Space Wolves 9, Necrons 8

The roll is a 1 to continue so the game ends.

What Went Right
Twice I rolled up duplicate objectives that were reachable, though I knew going in that pushing my Rhino that far forward. He failed effectively a LD9 check and lost about 20 'Crons (because they kept #$%^ reanimating every time I put them down). I had essentially free rein in the Psychic phase and it helped a bit, though nothing game breaking.

What Went Wrong
When I charged in and garnered 15 attacks needing 4 to hit, 4 to wound, he needed 4 to save, I only did one wound. I made a ton of saves in this game but failed a lot that mattered (Lone Wolf, for example...) and on two turns had 1 achievable objective while his rolls for objective landed him 2 per turn.

Overall, I LOVE Maelstrom missions. It was fast, back and forth. If you ask him the scoreboard is different...I never bothered to mention Linebreaker or Assassinate because I was so shocked his reanimated as different unit, no wait you don't get overwhelming firepower because it is part of the unit combined with NUMEROUS rolls where a 1 hit or a 3 wounded or a 3 saved pretty much let me know the game meant far more to him than it did me. He also felt extremely unlucky on the sweeping advance that wiped out his whole unit (and that WAS  bad time for that roll).

If we actually measured Objective 6 the way he insisted on measuring Objective 5 back on turn 1 he actually scored about 2 points off that objective, and if the 4s that glanced my Rhino were counted as not hurting it as per rules he loses Big Game Hunter and First Blood as well.

Instead we have about the perfect outcome...we did not total the points and I heard a reference to something like "9-5 win, but I almost got tabled" (he had one unit with a character and 10ish Necrons left) so in his mind he has the win. If I scored it hardcore vicious the way he was, call off say...half the illegally rolled objectives I win in a boot-stomp of about 9-2. But I would much rather call it a tie or narrow Space Wolf win and honestly, that is what it goes in my record book as because it is my blog :-) 9-8 on the Space Wolf swan song until the new codex.

Overall, I enjoyed the game despite how this might read. I worked hard to ignore some of the shortcuts based on a couple things. I have seen him guide new players before and he does not have a firm grasp of the rules. This is a new codex for him, winning matters to him live (to me it matters in writing I guess) and I was enjoying seeing the mission in action and learning the rules a bit better. I would play him again, but not often...

because at the end of the day, I would much rather play my brothers Fullur and Fixed Dice, my good friends K-Pasa Man or Space Monkey, or another guy from the shop...but the Starving Crazed Weasels are always my preferred opponents anyway.