|Banshee and Bugbear snooze while the armies are set up|
Last weekend I got a phonecall from Charles asking me to come round to his to play a game. He was all for a game of Warhammer 40,000 and found himself stuck in the flat looking after a wife recovering from an operation and two new kittens - would I come and amuse him?
Truth be told, team, my heart wasn't in it. I would have been all for playing one of the many other nerdy games out there but a game of Warhammer 40,000 was not setting my heather alight. I trucked out with my figures, hoping my mood might change when I arrived, but I found myself still a bit despondent at the whole thing.
|A Noise Marine-less chaos force lands on the table|
|If you're going to do it, do it properly|
Nonetheless, I girded my loins and went into the fray with the most middle class "WAAAAAAAAAAAARGH" I could muster
|Set-up across the diagonal of the table - two objectives in the middle, one in my deployment.|
For my part I had a spread of stuff from across the codex: regular issue Shoota Boyz and Slugga Boyz on Trukks as well as some odder things like erratic heavy weapon Lootas, an erratic Shokk Attack Gun, a slightly less erratic Stormboy jump unit (in reserve) and a not very erratic at all Nobz unit in Mega-Armour.
Charles took the initiative and drove his rhinos down the table, but the first turn of the Orks saw things go my way. Not used to Trukks, I didn't realise how good they are at transporting troops - I threw my Mega-Nobz down the table, who stampeded out and got into charge range with the Forge Fiend very quickly. I've never seen a Forge Fiend in play.... and I didn't really get to this time, as it's amazing guns got distracted dealing with a melee it could not win.
|The Nobz say hello to the stunt-Forgefiend|
In a very un-Orky move, I kept the Battlewagon that had the Warboss and his unit of Slugga Boyz hanging back in reserve. While numbers were still not too much against him, Charles finally decamped his force out of their Rhinos and decided to make a dash for it. The Khorne Berserkers and their chain axes are a nasty melee unit I wanted nothing to do with.
Thankfully my Slugga Boyz managed to keep it together just long enough for the Mega Nobz to come to their defence, and as good as those crazy BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD types were they couldn't hold out against an attack on two sides.
|A pincer movement succeeds in wiping the target out|
The back line, unfortunately, was not going my way. I had the Shokk Attack Gun and some other lovely artillery set back here but Charles managed to drop his two Obliterators back here. Flamey, melty, assault cannony, plasmay death rained out on me from those two bastards who made the entire back line dissolve like a papier-mâché umbrella.
|The back line collapses|
With the Lootas picked off by enemy fire, I had little in the way of heavy firepower - but neither did Charles. This battle would be settled in melee, and his Raptors decided to try and pick of the final Mega-Nob in a fight that went several turns.
|Battle of the titans|
In the center of the table, it was finally the end of the Warbosses patient and as the Black Legion Chaos Sapce Marine unit picked off the last of the Lootas they found themselves facing Da Big Boss Ork and his Shoota Boyz bodyguard.
This was the most dice I've ever rolled in a melee in my life. How do Ork players cope with units of more than 10 people all the time?
|Da Blue Boyz finally come out to play|
In the end, Charles and I were taking off roughly the same amount of figures each turn.... but Charles had a smaller force so each unit wipe was a bigger problem to him. I lost the Slugga Boyz, Lootas, artillery, Grotz and Burnaz but still had a mostly fresh unit of Stormboyz and Shoota Boyz for the finale as well as one Mega-Nob who wouldn't take hint. He, meanwhile, was left in the endgame with eight men of a CSM unit and a single Obliterator. He could make me suffer for it, but victory was basically inevitable, and we called it in my favour.
|The final mass melee|
It's hard to say how much of my win was because of my skilla nd how much was Charles built a better ork army than I built a Chaos Space Marine army. I find some of my frustration with 40K can come from the imbalance in the meta which can make life much harder for some armies than others. Everyone always thinks their army is hard done by, of course, but I do think that CSMs aren't in a great place and could
Truth be told, I'm still not mega in a Warhammer 40,000 playing place right now. I wouldn't say no to smaller games like Kill Team or perhaps trying out the older editions again - Paul and I are still due a Rogue Trader game. I would definitely be up for playing more of the scenario quasi-roleplaying stuff that Stuart, Rory and Dave have done with me in the past, games where the premise is tinkered with a bit to make it feel more unique.
A straight up, 1500 point bloodbath though does not get me terribly excited though. When I have Dark Future, Man O War, 7TV, Horus Heresy, Dreadfleet, Blood Bowl, Dreadball, Dreadball Xtreme, Mighty Empires, Call To Arms, Space Hulk and all the rest sitting htere ready to be played.... I'd rather do something I'm excited by than go through the motions.