Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October Apocalypse- Carnage on a Massive Scale!

Last weekend saw us finally get around to running the Apocalypse after much banter, lead up and preparation. For anyone who has coordinated one of these, trying to strike a balance between forces, participant skill levels/availability, terrain layout, deployment lines, objectives and all the other little things can be a massive task. Further complicating this is when you want to run a “fun” game, or introduce balancing mechanisms.. (see my previous post in relation to what we put in place and the ins and outs of all that)

For the record, this is the two teams and what they fielded- forces and superheavies:

·         Alan-    Space Wolves and Marauder Bomber
·         Adam- Goff Orks, Imperial Guard and Stompa
·         Colin-  Daemons from all four Ruinous Powers!

And on the other side of the table,

·         Ash-  Crimson Fists, Vanilla Marines, Necrons and Chaos Baneblade
·         Jeff-  Ultramarines, Salamanders and Baneblade
·         Me-   Deathskull Orks, Dark Angels and Stompa

So, with six of us ready and raring to go and a table loaded with fancy terrain (really? Oh wow :P) we got stuck into it! Once underway the dice were flying thick and fast, squads started moving, drop pods fell from the sky and the bodies started to pile up. My team took the central objective with my sniper scouts infiltrating, and Jeff successfully landed two drop-pods on the raised highway either side of the junction objective and one on the central objective as well, high up on the landing pad! Ash’s Necrons surged forward to cap the third objective out on our right. Thats basically all I remember regarding turn sequence, the rest of the game then rolled into one carnage filled extravaganza, where shield generators turned aside insane firepower, scheduled bombardments took out friend and foe, and insane bravery was the order of the day (well, at least on our side in the last few turns!). The following points below are the major upsets, kills or events that I remember from the game, as well as some provided to me by the other boys on the day.

My Shokk Attack Gun Ork Mek fires a double 6 and “hit” on the scatter dice, first shot of the game. This “Removes from play” a massive chunk of Imperial Guard, and puts a target on the poor guy for the rest of the game. He eventually cops an attack from a Valkyrie firing krak missiles on his position.
The Sniper Scouts and the Tactical Squad that drop-podded onto the central objective building sat there the whole 5 turns taking fire from artillery, orbital bombardments from ships above, heavy weapons companies on the ground and many more. Not once did either squad break, with every break and pinning test passed, these guys generated loads of objective points for our side. The final sniper scout died after a massed assault by a horde of Chaos Furies.

Both stompas used their “super gatlers” to mow down at least 30 opposing infantry around each other’s feet- these guns keep spraying 2D6 Str7 shots from one squad to the next (within 6”) until a double is rolled... insanity! I hit about 9 squads in total, Adam did a bit more IIRC.     

Second turn, my Callidus Assassin (the mini is the old “Imperial Assassin- so he’s a guy!) pops up next to Logan Grimnar and kills him and his one remaining Terminator Wolfguard in close combat/nasty shooting (the others had died to massed Plasma Cannon fire from a Devastator Squad). He then chases down and annihilates a further squad before being capped by an Imperial Guard heavy weapons squad. Best 135pts i’ve spent in a long time, i now owe him a flash paintjob!

A Salamanders captain and Scout squad drop-podded into the enemy lines, in the midst of a carpark full of Imperial Guard artillery tanks, they sowed confusion and anarchy for several turns before being gunned down.

Multiple Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes teleported behind the line, killing great swathes of power armoured squads in close combat. A small group of nurglings holds up a tactical squad in combat for three whole turns, and then the Ork mob near the bridge take 17 casualties from a single Apocalyptic barrage from in orbit....

An Imperial Guard Veteran squad Deepstriked onto the right flank ruins objective and only died after being shot at for two turns by a squad of Grey Hunters, 2 Devastator squads and the Chaos Baneblade, clawing some points back for their team.

Ragnar bails out of the BA Stormraven Gunship (mine, on loan to Alan), throws a Vortex grenade at my Dark Angels Landraider. The Vortex eats the LR, and Belial + 5 Deathwing in one gulp (625pts!!). My Ork Warboss and has mates then counterattack Ragnar and his Squad, Ragnar runs away really fast after he loses the entire squad he was attached to! Unfortunately for my side, the Wolf Lord could not be brought to justice. The vortex goes on to destroy several more Tactical Dark Angels, a Venerable Space Wolves Dreadnought and a couple of Orks before vanishing.

Both Ork Stompas on each side engage in violent and clanky close combat and systematically shred off each other’s guns, deal out drive damage and effect shaken and stunned result. Adam’s Stompa eventually dies when the Necron Nightbringer engages it in close combat and it explodes violently, taking some of his Orks with it! My Stompa remains locked in place immobilised with nothing but a close combat arm flailing wildly and a big burn on the front from the other Stompa’s ‘death blast’....

Hordes of Daemons from each of the four Chaos powers materialise on the bridge and go toe to toe with Scouts and Tactical Marines of the Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Salamanders and Crimson Fists for the junction, no one can gain an edge for 3 rounds and the junction provides no points to either side. On the last turn the Ultramarine Captain engages Kaeros Fateweaver (being played here by a ‘Doom’ CyberDaemon), and stabs it once, forcing a save that he fails- his failed wound forces a leadership test to see if he can teleport out of trouble, and he fails and dies as a result!

Scheduled Bombardment, then Orbital bombardment on the ruined building objective out right where the Necrons were concentrated, the casualites were way too high and the entire Necron force phased out after some surprise Manticore bombardment at the end. This took 20+ Necrons Warriors, the Nightbringer and a Monolith off the objective and opened the right flank up considerably.

 In the last few turns of the game, every single squad on our side passed every leadership based test required of it- could not be pinned, broken or fail a thing. This gave us the edge in terms of squads contesting or holding objective points, or being able to concentrate firepower to kill enemy units

And, some pics of the aforementioned carnage...

Our turn one, the horde advances whilst Colin ponders his next Daemonic move.

Ash's beautiful Chaos Baneblade anchors the right flank.

The raised highway, leading to the main depot building (aka the pimped out Milk Crate). This terrain worked better than expected! 

Waaagh!! Stompa v Stompa.

Alan pie plates the opposition into paste. The Marauder is on the left, about to bomb the Necrons all the way back to their tomb world.

The Warboss and 'his ladz give chase to Ragnar after chopping his pups into pieces. The green template in front of them was actually the Vortex Grenade that killed Belial, the Deathwing and the Land Raider!!  

No matter the cost: The Dark Angel tactical squad refused to break under fire, its remaining members barrelling through the guard lines to assault the enemy Commander, who was slain in close combat. 

So, what was the result of the game?

With the “rolling score” (constantly accrues- see last blog entry for details) and the bonus pts on offer for killing opposing commanders (the closer the more points!), the result was 23 to 15 in favour of my side. The other team had an amazing comeback with a few commander kills and pushing us off objectives late in the game, but the last couple of turns for us saw two close-combat commander kills (both very much against the odds) to give us an unassailable lead. I think in the next game we’ll seek to start the objective counts from the second turn onwards, as infiltrating straight onto these objectives and gaining the points immediately is a little unbalanced (unless your opponent can react immediately). Im also keen to see people run with more flyers as the Marauder, Vendetta/Valkyrie and Stormraven all did very well at punishing our lines or deploying out troops to capture or contest- in this particular game Alan ruled the skies with an Iron Fist!

I’m hoping that by the next big Apoc game (November some time?) I’ll have some of my Blood Angels up and running, with at least a base coat of Mechrite red on the Stormraven and the NMM gold done for the Sanguinary Guard so they’ll both be playable with some colour on them to distinguish their allegiance.

I hope you enjoyed reading this update, and i'll have more up soon including preperation details for the next game!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apocalypse, Contests and Stompa Progress

Hi everyone! Its been massive week for me here at work ,and I've struggled to find the time to put this up.


This weekend will see another Apocalypse being run at my mate Al’s place, a 4000pt per player affair with key emphasis on a fun balanced game. Everyone’s interpretation of fun or balanced could be different but to me its about taking a balance of infantry and armour, a smattering of heroes, villains, and uber-monsters as well as one superheavy per player. Apocalypse Formations and Legendary Units are great fun and are encouraged, but the big restriction comes in the form of vetoing two “general stratagems”- namely, Flank March and Strategic Redeployment. These two stratagems are potential game winners with the right forces, and seriously unbalance the game to the point that it becomes hard to claw back a victory after this is used against your team. We’ll either go for randomly drawn stratagems, or people can select from the race-specific stratagems as found in Apoc and Apoc: Reloaded.

We are also going to work with a 40- 45 minute per team turn limit (up from 30), this will keep things moving along quickly, and will possibly work with a modified deployment setup where some units will be forced to hold off in reserve- armour, mounted infantry or similar. The scenario is likely to be one where both sides must take and hold objectives (missile silos, central administratum building, power generator etc), with a continuously accruing score. There will also be “bonus” points on offer for killing enemy commanders (most expensive HQ per army), as per the recently updated Cityfight rules in White Dwarf. The table looks roughly like this:

Commander killed by shooting attack from less than 24” away:                   1 pt
Commander killed by shooting attack from less than 6” away:                     2pt
Commander killed in close combat:                                                            3pts
Commander killed by opposing commander:                                              4pts

These “assassinations” and their accompanying points values represent the morale blow to the opponent and how inspired your own side becomes due to the death of the hated enemy- the closer and more heroic/epic/legendary the kill, the greater the points! And, as the game progresses, one side may decide that in order to secure victory they need to pull an all-or-nothing assault to kill one of these commanders, so it means there will be many different priorities to handle in order to secure a win!

All in all, it should be a great game, I cant wait!

Contests- 1st and 1st!

I entered two of my previously featured pieces of work- the Milk Crate Ruins and the Shokk Attack Gun Big Mek into the Second Sphere Forum’s “Terrain” and “Vintage Mini” competitions respectively, and much to my surprise walked away with first place in both!! Very happy with how they both did, especially with the milk crate terrain as it a relatively slap-together type affair.

If you haven’t jumped onto the Second Sphere forums then you’re missing out! They can be found in the link listings on the left or at,forum

Deathskull Orks- Stompa Progress Report

Okay, so the only real progress so far is the completion of the Stompa, (sans Grot Rigger crewmembers) which is to date the most complex miniature (or not so miniature?) I’ve constructed. The hydraulics on the close combat arm alone are the stuff of nightmares, and I’ve had to add some extra bracing and supports for things like the shoulder guards which in my opinion were going to break off in the fullness of time. Overall however I’m quite happy with the model, and have started laying down some blue, with white and check patterns to appear really soon. The current "mottled" blue application was just to test how the colour looked, i'll be covering around 80% of the plating with this colour, and leave several plating sections to be painted in camo, or to look like stripped off some imperial superheavy or building- I want to have a section of a large Aquilla on one of the '+looted' metal sheets. 

The decision had been made to run it without the “Bossplate” on the front, I think it detracts from the cool riveted plating underneath, and I want to highlight this detail on my Stompa. This also lets me keep the plate for something else- I’m thinking of building a “minepig” mine layer similar to the one found in the Apocalypse book, this will form a nice ‘face’ for it. That or a hinging upwards assault ramp on a Battle Fortress.... hmm.

As always, i appreciate your comments and feedback!

Tempest :)