Friday, October 12, 2012

40K Friday - The Big Yellow Hammer Drops!

Over the holiday weekend we played a big game of 40K Sixth edition where I took on Apprentice Red and Apprentice Blaster. There's a bit of a story to it, so bear with me for a paragraph or two.

First, it's difficult to surprise boys who live in the same house when it comes to gaming stuff as they are all over anything that comes into the house. It's also difficult to prep without them knowing that something is up, especially when it comes to a miniatures game where there's painting and gluing and just a lot of activity to get something new ready to go. So I did something new - I bought someone else's painted army. I've picked up a few painted vehicles and things for the boys to help them get farther along in their army construction, but I haven't done it for any of my armies thus far. Also, I don't always play with a fully painted army but it is my preference when possible. Finally, scanning the electrons of ebay and the local scene, "painted" is often the same or less cost as "new on sprue" which means it doesn't cost anything extra and it saves a great deal of time - as long as it fits in with what you already have. So, I found an army I liked, one I had contemplated running in the past, and I bought it.

Next, having acquired the weapon, I set a time for the match roughly two weeks out - then I started trash talking them.If you have teenage boys you probably know how it is, but listening to the kids opine on everything under the sun, and 40K in particular, given their limited experience (in everything) can get a little old. I normally try to stay out of their expert discussions and declarations - or at most try to point out that they may not have considered all of the information -  but this time was different. This time I told them when, how many points, and that I was going to crush them both. I also told them they'd be facing space marines, but I didn't get into specifics. They immediately responded with counter-talk, asking what they would get if they won. The game was on.

So the army came and I worked up my list in secret. It's a Deathwing terminator army painted up as Imperial Fists. I think of it as pre-heresy Fists for those of you into 40K lore, since they were the hammer unit during the great crusade, I think it's reasonable to assume that would look something like a Deathwing army. Even though it's "more marines" it's different from the armies I already have so it should be fun. Also, technically it's  a "Doublewing" army as the rest of it is Ravenwing bikes and speeders but the Termies are the focus of the army.

There were some trash-talk flare-ups as the days went by so when the day came everyone was fired up and ready to go. Lady Blacksteel and Apprentice Twilight were out for most of the day so it was just the boys and our dice. As I pulled terminator after terminator out of the box there was some discussion on the opposing sideline but if anything the trash talk increased - "Those don't scare me" was uttered at least twice. Heh.

One thing I am not really liking about 6th edition is the terrain setup section of the rules. We've done it a few times now and this kind of table is the result - lots of stuff clustered near one edge with a big no-man's land in the middle. We're probably going to go with a narrative approach or a "both setup then roll for side choice" approach to avoid this. It didn't matter a ton to me because my bikes and speeders are pretty fast and most of my army is going to deep strike in anyway, but it looks bad.

On the near end Red's Necrons are all clustered up, while Blaster's Space Wolves are at the other end. There are roughly two objectives on the Apprentice half, two on my half, and one towards the middle.

Those Borg cubes are the objective markers. I plan to park and shoot the two Predators, one bike squadron will destroy the monolith (melta-melta-multi-melta) the other will head for the Land Raider (full of Wolfguard BTW) and the speeders (Typhoons & Multi-meltas) will go wherever they can do the most good.

Waiting aboard the battle-barge...

End of Turn 1 - they have blown up the near Predator but I've landed 3 squads near objectives and I have a plan.

End of Apprentice Turn 2 - they have shot up a few termies but one of the Necron wraiths (center, near the monolith) ate a Krak missile when they charged and croaked before he could get into melee.

End of Deathwing Turn 2 - The wraiths are dead from Thunderhammer disease, one bike squadron has been shot up good but the other has destroyed the monolith! There is a pretty hairy firefight going on around that lower objective so I dropped two more squads in near it. There are Long Fangs sitting in that bunker in the upper right, happily blasting away with missile launchers, while a squad of Grey Hunters sits on an objective at the far top right as the Land Raider and the Dreadnought advance.

There are a lot of Necrons in that ruin but I believe we can handle it.

Death of a monolith

End of Apprentice Turn 3 - The Deathwing Command Squad led by Belial, Master of the Deathwing, meets the Wolf Guard, led by Logan Grimnar! Shots are fired and the fight is on!

End of Deathwing Turn 3 - Belial is down! That'll teach me to challenge a Chapter Master with a mere Company Master! In the meantime the other termies smack each other around, the Necron Scarabs bog the bikes down, and ferocious Necron shooting has thinned out another termie squad (Rapid Fire - it's New and Improved!). They blew up the other predator too, so this hasn't been a great turn for Yellow but I'm not in a terrible position.

End of game - On turn 4 the speeders blow up the Land Raider and the Dreadnought, Deathwing reinforcements charge into the Command Squad fight and kill every Wolf Guard but Logan. One battered termie squad charges into the scarab fight, kills them all, and free the bikes. The long fangs die to massed Cyclone Missile fire. Then on Turn 5 the last unit of Necron warriors at the bottom there breaks and runs leaving the Imperial Fists in control of the two middle objectives and the Apprentices concede.


  • A 2500 point games takes some time, especially when you're still new to the rules. This was about a 6-hour event though it must be said we took a lot of breaks between turns.
  • I was always an Assault Cannon guy before when it came to Terminator armament choices - no longer! Having 6 Cyclone launchers on the board was nasty, especially when it was backed up with 3 Typhoons - that's 18 missile shots a turn - lots of frag templates were piled on those Necron warriors and they had a hard time with it.
  • I was worried about having too much melta (both bike squadrons including both attack bikes and all 3 speeders) but with a monolith and a land raider on the table it was a game-changer. 
  • There is definitely a momentum thing with this army - teleporting in and not being able to assault means that you get to spend a turn weathering the storm, but when you do hit you hit hard. They boys were very cocky on turns 1-2 then 3 calmed them down then on 4 as I was smashing space wolves they got very quiet. I think this is a win-it-in-the-later-turns-army though more games will give me more insight into this.
  • Speeders can last quite a while when there are tanks and terminators on the board to worry about.
The boys eventually recovered from their morale failure and talked about the next game. Blaster thinks he might want some bikes for his wolves, and that he needs to get his Thunderwolf Cavalry finished up. Red wants some more Necron vehicles and to roll better. I'm thinking we will probably try some smaller point games next.

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