|Bad guys always have the best costumes|
Racist attacks, economy crumbling, a female Prime Minister and Dangermouse back on telly. Truly, the late 70s/early 80s are back in fashion. Have I already missed a punk resurgence and if so do I have to hold out now for the Spandauu Ballet/Adam And The Ants equivalent?
|I saw Debbie Harry in Glasgow a couple of years ago. |
Anyway, then, let's recap - our Warhammer campaign is an Imperial Vs Chaos affair and when you last read I had finally netted myself a victory in an two player versus two player game. While the Imperials still felt the stronger force, their failure at Marpullium was a good day for me.
|The campaign map at the start of turn 3.|
My first game of the turn was one in a different location than normal. I have been playing GW games for over two decades and have visited many different stores across the UK and Europe but I have never in all my puff actually played a game in one. However, Doug and I took our figures here of a Saturday and we fought out a wee 1000 point skirmish.
|Setting up on a GW board|
Now playing in GW actually went a lot better than I expected. Obviously some of my weirder proxies, home-cast and third party figures had to stay at home but the terrain was lovely, the location was ideal as a neutral venue we could all get to and the local fauna did not actually cause much trouble. On the contrary, a few people came up and complimented us on our models.
|The Rainbow Warriors hang tight as a trio of Chaos Helbrutes appear|
The game was something of a Quail romp and I can't pretend it was master tactics - Doug just had some very bad luck. Again his Librarian in Terminator Armour found himself obliterated in initial shooting, leaving him without a Warlord and without any psychic powers. My small troops units mostly hung back and let my Dreadnoughts advance.... and that was a mighty four dreadnoughts, backed up by a Warpsmith whose job was to repair them if they took any damage.
|The melee machine charges in...|
|...but it's the evil Techpriest who gets the job done.|
The other three dreadnoughts advanced forward with a lot of fire. Two plasma cannons and a Twin-Linked Lascannon were the order of the day so explosions followed left and right. The Deathwing had some missile launchers but not enough high strength/AP weaponry so they couldn't do much to stem the tide.
|The Terminators don't fare so well|
In the end, I managed my first enemy-table-wipe of the campaign when the Warpsmith beat the living crap out of the one remaining dreadnought and my men moved closer to the prometheum plant.
|Victory to the Dark Gods!|
It was not all good news for Chaos, however. A few days later Dave and Jamie met in the same store to play their own game, this time a fight for the Daemon world in which Dave's sisters had to disrupt a raising of a magical monolith.
This went poorly.
|Not a victory for the dark gods.|
|Airborne spores! You can get spray for that.|
Dave had his good lady and his own kids away from the weekend so we had the run of the flat. We met up of a Saturday and set aside a good six hours or so for eating, chatting and playing.
|Not most people's idea of a weekend with the lads.|
The central premise was two battles happening more or less simultaneously, one for the space station and one for the planet it orbits from where it is supplied. Victory in both battles meant total control of the station and thusly the space of the sector. Victory in one each would amount to a sort of loggerhead in which neither party controlled enough to do anything.
Each side recieved 4500 points total to split between the two games. With three chaos players versus two Imperial players, that meant 3 x 1500 vs 2 x 2250. We could allocate as much or as little as we wanted to each battle, though we all ended up just throwing a few hundred points in the starship and focusing our attention on the big table.
I had been keen to play this starship game but knew the group wouldn't be mad keen on just playing with flat D&D dungeon tiles or Space Crusade board. Thankfully, Dave had an ingenious solution... sprue walls!
|Inspired 3D terrain|
Everyone has part-empty or totally finished plastic sprues kicking about, which are lightweight and cheap but serve to make a good quick placeholder for bumpy space hulk walls. Using bluetack he fixed a little labyrinth on his kitchen table, adding a few spaceship board tiles and a couple of 3D terrain pieces for variation. It was a really cool effect and something I'd definitely nick myself!
The premise of the starship game was that the Imperials set up on a big-ass empty part of the board with six objectives. One of them - which only they knew the identity of - was the real objective, a key computer console. The objective of the Chaos forces was to destroy it and thusly take control of the station. If they failed in the time limit, then the station belonged to the Imperials.
|Demons pouring down the central corridor|
For my part, I brought Chaos Terminators who appeared right in the middle of the command deck and let rip with Heavy Flamers and Combi-Flamers. THey didn't take many kills, but they did force the enemy to move his troops around to cope with being attacked on multiple fronts which let the main attacking force get more of a foot in the door.
|Knock-knock! Avon calling! Terminators appear.|
|The side entrance and my honourary Daemon command closes to melee.|
Dave like me has been really enjoying the more RP elements of the campaign - the in character Facebook posts, the narrative forming from the game events - and inspired by a missive from an Inquisitorial minion I mentioned made up a model to represent A'Dastra the Astropath who joined this force. Her anti-daemon psychic power was certainly useful, though alas it wasn't going so well for her and she fell in combat.
Thankfully he had thought to buy her twice so she could appear in the planet battle as well - clearly she didn't die, she teleported away in the nick of time!
|Adastra reconsiders this whole Zone Mortalis thing.|
|The central console is destroyed.|
|The planet's surface and the bulk of 4500 points a side forms up.|
|The Chaos line, with a lot of models starting off the table.|
|The Imperial Line, with two teleported objectives being guarded on the clifftop.|
Now below you will see many more pictures of this game, which was quite a tight effort and swung back and forth a few times. As you would expect in a game of this size I'm going to have to skim a lot on details so apologies to my colleagues if they find their favourite moment is missed out!
We should first of all have a chuckle at what happened in opening shots. A 10' long table meant that most units couldn't fire on turn one except for long range artillery, but landing on top of the feared Saint Celestine isn't a bad thing...
|Saint Celestine is punked in the first turn's shooting.|
Nor is terrifying the enemy on turn two when you manage to drop two Raptors units, one Warp Talon units and a Daemon unit at the back field and force them to split their attention.
|Demons and jump packers appear in the enemy back line.|
Alas my reserves didn't do terribly much exciting so for much of the battle this was my sole contribution. Instead I admired the Daemonic horde charging and warp blasting the opponent, in particular the titanic Bloodthirster.
|The Knight Titan mostly just stayed still and opened fire.|
Alas, that Bloodthirster got killed by a mass of enemy fire. So like any well-meaning Chaos overlords we summoned a second one so the foes wouldn't feel left out. This one required a squad of twenty Sisters of Battle to tarpit it in order to stop it from eating a few tanks.
|Bloodthirster #2 versus twenty sisters of battle. Surprisingly the sisters won!|
|The battle for the objectives is where it's at.|
Oh, and I managed to roll for reserves on turn four. Some cultists arrived on foot.
Ten foot table, remember?
|The most pointless reserves ever arrive.|
The highlight was yet another Bloodthirster death.... which in a very cruel twist we followed up by summoning YET ANOTHER BLOODTHIRSTER and dropping it right on top of one of the objectives.
The Imperial Guard were routed and the Sisters of Battle mostly tied up in the mid table so it was up to the Dark Angels to try and regain them, and while they could knock the small demon force off the objective nothing was going to move a Greater Daemon of Chaos in the space of one turn
Alas while this was only turn four reality forced us to end the game early at this one. By the letter of the rules the game was left with us controlling one objective which was enough to win, but in the event of a fifth turn I'm pretty sure every enemy unit would have opened fire at the Greater Daemon and led to a death of a thousand cuts. Giving either side a solid win felt undignified, but keeping playing risked Sister Superior murdering me for missing the house viewing I was supposed to be attending.
|The final turn ends with something of a stalemate.|
Well 40K Dave got me to the house viewing and I can safely report I am not dead. I can also report that we decided to say that the Imperials had made a tactical withdrawl at this point and so, while Chaos "won" the planet and the space station, the planet was now at risk of guerilla warfare and a continuing battle for it could be expected.
Below is the map at the end of turn three, with all campaign moves and stuff accounted for. The Chaos forces had made gains on Germanotta but losses on Strixi. It was still the case that Marpullium and Acanthus were all but dominated by one side. However now the rear planets were in play and both sides immediately made a dash for jungle world Eroshoff and mystery planet Halosis.
|End of turn 3 situation. The rear planets finally see mass landings.|
...oh, and the stuff I didn't get to take? Yeah, the whole reason I wanted to experiment with Lost and the Damned was to try out some Imperial Guard tanks/artillery/flyers and access them through the Renegades and Heretics list. This list might have crap skill but they are cheap and cheerful, allowing me a break from painting purple power armour and a chance to see some different niches filled in my army.
I ordered a unit of Leman Russes over a week before the game on eBay. A Demolisher for a short range siege cannon; a Punisher for rapid fire anti-infantry misery; an Exterminator for burning plasma death. Three lovely pieces of pain wrapped up in thick armour and coming in at cheaper than the Imperial Guard version if you're willing to cope with BS 2.
I waited. And waited. And waited. And it arrived.... while I was at the game.
|The Marpullium rebels reveal their heavy armour a few hours too late.|
Next time, Imperial dogs!