Saturday, October 24, 2015

Battle Report - Warhammer 40K

I played my first game Warhammer 40K 7th Edition today.  I played only about 2 games of 6th Edition.  I could say that 40K is not in my regular rotation, but I'm not sure I can claim anything is in my regular rotation.  I'm basically a gamer of opportunity -- I play what my group is playing or what the next convention may bring.

As it turns out, a surprise opportunity came along, which was discovering that one of my fellow apartment denizens is a 40K player.  So Chris, my Wrath of Kings opponent, and Justin, my apartment neighbor, set up a 3-player, learning game to reacquaint all of us with 40K.  We played 750 points, and we omitted Psychic Phase, vehicles, buildings, flyers, and Tactical Objectives.

Justin plays Imperial Guard.  I let Chris use the Ork army that I purchased a couple of years ago.  I played my old faithful (at dying!) Tau + Eldar.

We played the Relic mission, which requires the armies to rush to the center to acquire a valuable artifact and keep it in the army's possession in order to seize the victory.  We deployed at equidistant points away from each other.  There was space for only a 9" radius, so the horde armies had a hard time fitting in their deployment zones!

I brought out my homemade pump plant and tried out my Frontline Gaming mat for the first time.  I couldn't find my cool industrial piping, unfortunately.   So the pump plant had to just dump out its toxic waste in a big pool beside the plant.  That counted as Dangerous Terrain...

My rarely used Malifaux Terrain-Clix terrain looked fitting as a loading area.  We decide the Relic was a Tau homing beacon, being used to call in orbital strikes against the plant.  You can see by the nearby craters that the bombardments are getting pretty close!

The Imperial Guard want to protect the plant and destroy the beacon.  The Tau must protect the beacon.  And the Orks...well, they're there to fight!

At the end of Turn 1, everyone is being careful to address their respective enemies on both flanks.  The Tau are making a beeline for the plant in order to find some cover.  A good portion of the Tau force is in Reserve:  a Kroot carnivore squad, Eldar Shining Spear jet bikes, and Tau Gun Drones.

This won't end well for the Orks...
As it turned out, they survived OK against the Sisters of Battle.  Justin was rolling some crappy dice.
However, the Guardsmen finished the job and earned Justin a First Blood victory point.

Krazy Kroot perform their classic Outflank maneuver and spring their trap on the heavy machine gun nest.
Hello, boys!
Tau and Imperial Guard play a war of attrition, while the Orks take the scenic route.
"Yes, this would be a rather pleasant site for some condos..."

The Tau were feeling pretty comfortable, putting the Guardsmen in a nice cross-fire.
Unfortunately, the Guardsmen go first, and they mowed down half the Kroot squad, causing the other half to run off the board.  Damn, how many times do I have to learn that lesson?  Actually, I just realized, they were supposed to Fall Back towards the Tau Deployment Point, not the side of the table.  They should have stayed on the board!

The Sisters of Battle press their newfound advantage and take the fight to the center, in an attempt to dislodge the Tau from the Relic.

The Sisters succeed!  The Tau are decimated and regroup and consolidate for a last ditch defense. 
The Eldar cavalry arrive on the scene.  Have they arrived in time?

A new threat arrives on the scene.  The Tau were caught in a classic anvil-and-hammer pincer.  By two separate, uncoordinated armies!

At least the Shining Spear put some hurt on the Guard, before everything goes belly-up.
(Whatever happened to those Tau Gun Drones, by the way?  Totally forgot about them!)

This was the state-of-affairs, when we had to call the game.  We declared the Orks the victor.  Tau and Guard pretty much bludgeoned each other, while the Orks preserved almost their full strength.  It was only a matter of time....


  1. 1v1v1 is really hard to pull off. We since shifted those games to a 2v1, where the 1 player gets 1k+1k points, and the other side gets 1k for each. (one warlord per side) Tends to result in a bit more balanced game play, as someone always gets overly targeted in the 1v1v1 unbalancing it a bit.

    1. I've always enjoyed the 3-player dynamic. It was especially fun in Magic: The Gathering, where you could watch the balance teeter-totter among the players within the space of one game, like a spinning, settling coin.

      In 40K, that balance will do the same over the course of repeat games, i.e. Chris will be marked next time.

      Hear that, Chris? Marked, buddy!

    2. I am excited to seeing you play 40k again. I can't wait to see you put your brush to the admec range! (I am hoping that is where your brush is going next. :))

    3. Indeed, I was compelled to make an exception to my "soft boycott" of GW products, when I saw the range for Adeptus Mechanicus. I bought into the first release.

      Then the boycott returned, when I saw that they split the codex into two separate books....

      And then it returned in full force, yesterday, when I saw that Tau Fire Warriors increased in price from $33 to $50. For fewer models! WTF.

      Yeah, John, I'd sell those GW shares ASAP. GW has gone from burning and pillaging their player-base, on to a full-on, 'scorched earth' policy.

    4. I say just enjoy the game and fiction they've built around. You've got a built in gamer club right in your building! I think 13 models is not bad for 50 bucks, but I might be jaded by how bad the old models were. I plan to buy one new box and spread the components out to upgrade one of my older boxes.

    5. To be clear, the boycott is on buying GW products. I'll still play the games, if I'm lucky enough to find like-minded opponents, e.g. Steve Carey and Chris Hall.

      As for the fiction, well, I love the setting for Fantasy, but that's definitely suffered a scorched-earth policy from GW! Nimrods. I'll still enjoy the previously published material, though. But it's bittersweet. I was just looking at the cover art to Warmaster the other day, and I was feeling that familiar excitement and motivation. That imagery epitomizes the spectacle and inspiration for the genre. On one hand, I know it's always there for me in its past form, but on the other hand, I know no one is going to produce that flavor of fantasy ever again.

      As for 40K fiction, I like the underlying story-arc and concepts. But the delivery runs the gamut. I'm not willing to suffer the drivel in order to uncover the gold nuggets. I'm satisfied to absorb it all through osmosis.

    6. The quality of the books is all over the map. I've enjoyed the mechanicus books and the Horus Heresy novels with only a few exceptions. There is great series about Ciaphus Cain by Sandy Mitchell, which I can't recommend enough. It follows a cowardly commissar who desperately tries to shirk duty, but constantly finds himself portrayed as a hero due to bad luck.

  2. I've been completely GW-free for two years and two months now. Never been happier about gaming.

    1. Something occurs to me. I've become the customer GW wants, in part. A model collector. You know, the kind that will scan the shelves at Michael's or a hobby store on occasion, as an aside, checking out the airplane and car kits to see if something piques my interest and then maybe buy something once a year or so. Yeah, good luck with that business model, GW.

      And I don't have much hope of satisfying the other component of their target demographic: a teenager with lots of disposable income. No, I'm an adult, veteran gamer with plenty of disposable income, but unfortunately GW doesn't cater to that demographic.

      To be fair, GW's business model worked fine through the late 90s and early 00s. But now it's as outdated as their rules systems.

      Gah, sorry to retread old ground. I'll end on a positive note for GW. I bought a bunch of Adeptus Mechanicus stuff...


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