Sunday, 14 September 2014

Battle For The Chapel

The chapel in question.

Our proposed multiplayer Apocalypse bash fell through but Dave and I still met up yesterday for a 40K game.  I haven't played much since 7th Edition dropped - my regular opponents have been tied up with various other things - so I enjoyed a chance to break out the Slaaneshi hordes again.

Dave has been busy since last I played him - he's made a huge chapel out of polystyrene tiles which served as the centre-price to our battlefield. Cast copies of fleur-de-lys make it clearly match his Sisters of Battle army, which is always cool for terrain.  He also just that morning acquired some old vinyl flooring tiles which he combined to create a faux-paved-floor look.  The end result was that half the table was civilized, half was wild and gave us some cool locations to fight a mission over.

Even though we only had small armies - 1000 points each - it was hard not to feel epic in the environs.  I bust out a squad of Noise Marines, a squad of jump-packing raptors, a Contemptor Dreadnought battle-robot-type-think and a sorcerer; Dave brought two squads of Battle Sisters, two Peninent Engine Battle Walkers, a squad of half-naked Sister Repentia, some Imperial Guard Veterans and a Cannoness with bodyguard and transport.

Setup at the front of the chapel.

The bulk of both forces went in front of the chapel.  My Noise Marines body-guarded the Sorcerer; Dave had his Cannoness in her Repressor troop transport, along with the Penitent Engines, Sisters Repentia and one Squad of Battle Sisters.

Behind the chapel

Behind the chapel I had placed my Contemptor.  Dave responded with his only armour-punching-units - one Battle Sister unit and his Imperial Guard Veterans, each carrying one Plasma weapon amongst their number. 

BOING for my first two points.

I hung onto the jump-packers as a "sweeper" unit, lingering behind the walls of the chapel when the game began.  They quickly catapulted to the stairs which were one of six objectives, and one I got double points for.  You see, as per my last game, we were using a sort of variable objective mission - Dave has even coughed up for the pretty cards you will see scattered about the table.  Two copies of the same card meant two times the points for this early move.

The forces of Heroism bear down on me

 While I could keep onto this early lead for most of the game, Dave clearly outnumbered me and had a lot of guns to bring to bear.  My Noise Marines were a little hardier than his Sisters but there's only so many times you can roll dice before people start to snuff it.  He brought as much of his firepower to bear on the unit, whittling it down.

BOING away from the blue mohawks.

 My jump packs kept on the move, moving from objective to objective as I drew them.  Being able to move over the high walls of the chapel - which otherwise broke up movement and line of sight quite firmly - meant they were a real edge here today.  However they were chased off from their position by Imperial Guard fire.

A numbers game
 Back over at the front of the building, the two sides clashed in melee combat.  The Sisters Repentia were brutal close combat specialists and I found my Noise Marine unit in tatters.  I couldn't hold out for long, which meant I had to try a desperate option....

Psychic powers are randomly determined in a Warhammer game.  My evil psyker had randomly rolled the power to be possessed by a Greater Demon - he could essentially kill himself to replace himself with a huge evil monster of death and destruction.  However it's astoundingly difficult - I'd need to get three dice at 4+, and if I fail I could injure (even kill) my psyker.  With only 5 dice the odds were not good, but it was the only way to swing the combat, so I prayed to Slaanesh and rolled my new, pink and purple dice which I'd bought especially for the army.

Dave also had four dice to use to try and dispel - he failed.
 I was successful.  Gloria Slaanesh Princeps Voluptas!

This was a bit of a defining moment.
 At that point, things looked far worse for the Sisters Repentia as a Keeper of Secrets materialised on top of them.  With hilariously scary stats it ate what was left of the unit and dared the rest of the Sisters to come and have a go if they thought they were hard enough.

Dinking off the armour

The Contemptor was doing very little damage on the other side of the battlefield.... but he was almost immune to the fire of the Sisters so all he had to do was keep them busy.  Which he did, bringing his dual Autocannon and backup Heavy Flamer to bear.

Eh, this photo is just cool.

 The second Sister unit at the front moved into the Chapel were the retreating Raptors had BOINGed and regrouped.  They killed all but one...

So is this one, in my totally unbiased opinion

... Who decided to go down fighting.  He threw a grenade and charged them, dying in close combat but taking a sister down with him.  In normal games this would be suicide - every unit slain is a point to the enemy - but here only our cards ordering us to take certain objectives were worth anything, which meant we could do more hilarious vignettes like this.

A duel of champions in a minefield

 Back in the massive fight, Cannoness Penelope bailed out of her transport to try and lead the counter attack.  She was challenged by the Noise Marine champion.  She was faster on the draw but his mighty Power Claw was too strong for her armour and she was felled before him. 

The chaos continues
 The ensuing melee saw her bodyguards avenge her, but the Greater Demon was too much for the army to deal with.  At close combat he was a death machine and even the Penitent Engine was torn open by it. 

The closing moments

In the end, I mopped up the last units in the melee.  I only had the Demon and the Contemptor left, but I'd been able to BOING my way to slightly more points in the early section and Dave hadn't been able to claw them back, being dragged into the monster melee.  The final score was 12 points to me, 9 points to him, leading to a Chaos win.  In my mind the forces of darkness will be chased away from the temple but it will be so desecrated that the Sisters will have to abandon it, which seems like a win for Darkness to me!

Overall it was a fun game.  In some games of 40K thin levels of terrain mean there's no real line of sight blocking and everyone can shoot and go everywhere - terrain is either expensive to buy or time consuming to make, so players don't always have much of it.  However that huge central piece broke up the table, creating several smaller combats.  The Contemptor was covered from much fire which made an already hard unit for Dave to deal with harder - Sisters aren't good at long-range armour punching.  I was clearly outnumbered and in open terrain would have suffered from more crossfire but I hear, like a good Scot, I was able to put terrain to my advantage.

Hoepfully Dave and I won't wait so long for a rematch!

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