Thursday, 29 May 2014

Aporkalypse Now

Not A Small Battle Report

Despite my interests in politics, I have no intention of rambling here about European Parliament election results, the rise of the right wing and the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote.  This blog was supposed to be a wargaming blog with occasional RPG forays and that it will stay, no matter how much I like rambling on other things.

So, let’s talk Warhammer 40,000. My chums and I chipped in to pick up an e-copy of the 7th edition rules.  Comments on this will need to wait until I’ve properly digested and played them.  However, before the new edition was announced we’ve previously agreed a meet-up on Sunday to hire out the basement of a café and play a 40K game together.  Not entirely intentionally, it ended up being a sort of fond farewell to 6th Edition by getting together for one last big game.

And by a big game, I mean a BIG game.  I mean a 12’ x 6’ table, 9000 points per side, 3 players versus 4 players big game.  I mean an Apocalypse game larger than my last one!  

Like, a game which requires many cases and bags to carry all the figures.

By hiring out the basement of this café for the day we had a nice large play area – though we would struggle to get more than a few turns done before we hit dinner time and we had to depart to our various Gamer WAGS.

The division of players and forces was a bit of an issue – rather than the seemingly default Imperials Vs Everything else in these affairs, we decided the three players with large Ork collections should team up with the other four players forming an unlikely alliance to resist them.  Charles, Rory and Graeme split their 9000 points roughly equally and brought a horde of Trukk- and Battlewagon-mount Ork Boyz, as well as plenty of other toys like heavy weapon Lootaz, jump packing Stormboyz and a squadron of three Dakkajets.

The Orks line up a trio of Battlewagons with spiked steamrollers on the east flank.
The others were a bit of a motley crew.  Dave brought his traditional Adepta Sororitas, accompanied by a small Imperial Guard contingent.  Stuart brought a primarily Imperial Guard force, heavy on tanks, with a small set of Space Wolf buddies.  Chris (who I’ve met but never played with before) brought his newly assembled Necrons – the poor man had stayed up until 4am trying to get all his army physically together, so the paintwork was minimal on some units.  

Looking down the table from the Ork deployment zone.

Into this eclectic mix, my Noise Marines came in their pink and purple finery with a puzzled look on their faces.
Because of the quantity of people, each individual player only had 2000 to 3000 points on the table – a large normal army, but a manageable sum.  Despite that, we still had one mega-unit per side which can only really be played in an Apocalypse game.  Chris brought his newly-assembled Tesseract Vault, a floating pyramid containing the shard of a godling with hilarious long-rang attacks.  It’s a gorgeous but expensive model one can rarely use – Chris seemed happy to have the chance to finally plonk it on the table.

Like that, but plastic.

Rory, meanwhile, had a scratch-built Ork Stompa -  a sort of giant walking robot.  Orks have such a hodgepodge attitude to making things that scratch-building items for them usually looks pretty authentic, and Rory managed to assemble a really cool robot using fairly mundane items and visiting the local art stores.  A polystyrene egg-shape, two jewelry boxes, a length of piping, the front of a Land Raider and the wings of an Tie Interceptor were slammed together to make a really cool model.

I AM IRON ORK.  (I think this my favourite photo from the game)
The mission we used was one from the Apocalypse rule-book, meant to represent an Ork invasion force on the planet Armageddon.  Splitting the table into two 6’ x 6’ regions with a small demilitarized zone between them – the non-Orks get one side more or less in it’s entirety, the Orks get one side except for a single corner where a right-angled triangle, 2’6” a side, was set aside.  This triangle was for the “breakout force” and one of the non-Ork players was assigned to this.  Lacking any real Space Marines to serve as the cavalry, my Chaos Space Marines were given the task instead.

The deployment map in the book; though we laid our our objectives differently, with far more in the Imperial side.
This rather impedes my ability to record the battle in its entirety, unfortunately, as I fought mostly on the opposite side of the table from the rest of my side and so missed a lot of the individual dice rolls on the other side.  There were a lot of figures on the table and a lot of unsung heroes and villains will be lost in my recollection  - I very much invite my fellow players to contribute. However, I did take various photos of key points so I can try and hit the big stuff.

  • We skipped Strategic Resources, Mysterious Objectives and Unnatural Disasters to keep things relatively simple this time around.
  • Everyone pretty much dropped every model in their army on turn 1, either deploying normally or deep striking onto the table immediately.  Only I, because of the scenario rules, had the bulk of my army off table - only my flyer and a squad of Hellbrutes rocked into battle on the first turn.  (They scattered into a killing zone.  It didn't go well.)

This didn't last long.
  • Back in the Non-Ork deployment zone, Stuart and Chris rolled their armour down the table and laid down a fire to try and stem the power of the Ork advance

Moving up the east flan, punching a hole in Battlewagon wall.
  •  The Orks replied well in their turn, sending a trio of Dakkajets onto to the table and a horde of Stormboyz dropped behind enemy lines.  The Stormboyz moved to contest several objectives while the Dakkajets had a field-day with my Helbrutes stuck in a killing zone
I don't care that they're coming to kill me - it looks pretty cool.

At the end of turn one it was about midday so we took a lunch break.  My behind-enemy-lines Helbrutes had been all but wiped out and the Orks had advanced into several objectives, though the bulk of the non-Ork side was more or less intact.  The early momentum was with Da Boyz, though

End Of Turn One Scores: Orks 4, Non-Orks 2

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