Sunday, 17 July 2016

Anachronista 40,000: Campaign Turn 3

Bad guys always have the best costumes
I haven't given you a campaign update in a bit.  The mentalness of British politics has distracted me - it seems we can't go five minutes without someone resigning from a major political institution and we're at the stage where transferring all my money into Warhammer figures might actually be the better option than keeping it as pounds sterling.

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. 

...Still would.

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...
 The close combat dreadnought didn't last too long against the two dreads and loads of Terminators Doug has built, but he didn't need to - it turned out the Warpsmith was a lot nastier in melee than I'd expected!
...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.
So poorly that Jamie has sworn to never talk about it again.

Airborne spores!  You can get spray for that.
That means we're leaping straight over to the next game I took part in - the next game most of us took part in, in fact.  With the exception of Charles everyone was in attendance at Dave's for a half-way mega battle - even Graeme, whose missus was due to pop on baby #2 in just a few days so was desperate to squeeze in the last chance for gaming in a while.

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
 The assault force was mainly daemons though Graeme brought some Possessed Chaos Space Marines - the logic being that melee combat more than ranged fire would win the day in this tight environment.

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.
 Since most of the attacking force was his models, Jamie took pity on me and let me have some Slaaneshi daemons to control.  This I did, charging and eating up a unit of Imperial Guardswomen with great delight.

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.
 With Jamie using his psychic powers to keep us safe and my Slaaneshi Daemons nibbling at the lighter armoured units, it was the Possessed Chaos Space marines who finally made the charge to the right console and with the blessing of Khorne smashed it to pieces.  Score one for team evil!

The central console is destroyed.
 However as fun as that was it wasn't going to be the main timesink of the day.  No, that was going to be the planet game in which Dave would show off his newly made "beach landing" table and we got all D-Day with 4000+ points a side.
The planet's surface and the bulk of 4500 points a side forms up.
IN our case we kept a lot of troops in reserve - we had a lot of Deep Strikers, plus the scenario required us to keep about half our units off the table.  That didn't stop us from starting with two very large models though - the epic Bloodthister and my own Knight Titan.  The force included some Cultists who I was using as Chaos Renegades, so there was a mixture of all kinds of the lost and the damned coming out of the water!  Not the mixture I wanted to use but we'll get to that in a minute.

The Chaos line, with a lot of models starting off the table.
 In the case of the Imperials there were functionally no reserves.  Up front they had a host of infantry; in the rear they had artillery including am Imperial Guard Basilisk, a Space Marine Whirlwind, an Adeptus Sororitas Exorcist and some other delights.  That back row was on top of the two objectives, two Teleport Transceivers which were the key to moving people up and down from the station.  Unless they held both at the end of the scenario they lost - so you will see a mirroring here, in each scenario it was a different person who gained an advantage in a stalemate.
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.

I brought along a Renegade Knight packing both Rapid-Fire Battle-Cannon and Thermal Cannon for three-pie-plates a turn, meaning I rarely charged and mostly just sat in the middle of the table and unleashed hell while the rest of the forces slowly advanced. 

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 centre field may have had the biggest toys but progress was slow and the back table, with the objectives, was where the game would be won or lost.  As much as my chaos-y chums could summon daemons to assist this area was one we had a small presence in, and only with a handful of Chaos Hounds and Bloodthirsters did we take control of one of the two objectives.  A nasty set of guns remains to make our lives hell, though.

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.

So next turn promises a battle on Germanotta where I try to claim the Prometheum factory; an attempt by the White Scars to kick me off of Acanthus; the forces on Sindak finally clashing in the Pisqueberg mountains; the first clashes on Eroshoff and Halosis; and a possible attempt to retake Akkadia by the imperials who are down but not out.  Exciting stuff.

...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!

1 comment: