“I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse.” ―Riley Finn
My gaming group usually does one apocalypse game per year (at least), most likely during the holidays. True to that, last Saturday it was again time for another one, which would also be the first Apocalypse game with the updated rules. For me Apocalypse is mostly something very much looked forward to. Yet, this year, I was a bit turned down by the fact of waiting ages for your turn to get to do something yourself. I was pepped a bit by my team mate’s optimistic view on the new rules where “bucketfuls of models would be removed in the early turns so it will be much faster” and his further comments on the break system, that would, in his opinion, keep people alert and up to speed. Onward then!
Planning is everything, we decided, and as we weren’t too sure about whether or not to keep all the new rules in – taking baby steps into the new rules set was suggested and supported at a time – we decided to take a break from work a couple days before and bash our ‘eads together. Well spent time I believe. After coming up with a number of different ways of combining the five participants, some even more than once, and the fluff to go with all the combinations, we had decided our teams and game size.
It would be Orks with Ultramarines and Guardsmen against Chaos, as in beakies and daemons, with Tyranids at 9700 points.
We soon decided on the mission, namely the first one, also known as the one most like the previous ones. The disaster table would be the later one of the two found in the Armageddon section as it seemed to be the most straight forward, and it did not need an excessive amount of extra models or book keeping worthy of a score of adepts.
Weary to the bone after the holiday stress and organizing a new years party I went away from the old Apocalyptic spirit of “taking all you have” and decided to cut things down a bit and took some 4700 points of my boyz (i.e. roughly 4/5) :
The game itself would be divided with two breaks. Six objectives would score 1 VP at the first break, 2 VP at the second and 3 VP at the end of the game. The team that would bid the least time to deploy would get the first turn unless the initiative would be seized. Team chaos bid 7 minutes, against our, miscommunicated 42 mins (24?).
Looking at an set up Apocalypse table is really cool. For me there is a big difference between knowing the list of models you have and then actually seeing them all lined up together. As an exhilarating side note I want to bring up the Green Tide formation. The geist is that it consists of 100 to 300 ork boyz, of which up to ten might be nobz, and a leading warboss. That is just numbers, right? It’s like 4 mobs of Orks together – nothing too fancy. Well consider the area it takes. Spacing them well a single line of 30 boyz takes up a width of 75 inches. (Perfectly placed 33 orks actually takes up 100 inches). Measure that up by your gaming table. Then also add the depth of the full green tide – that’s 25 (30) inches. That’s insane.
Going back to talking business, we failed to Seize the Initiative, and so were facing a crazy alpha strike. Scabeiathrax, after the Great unclean one called a Finest Hour, got a move of 18″ followed by a charge into my Kans. Shooting annihilated several mobs of boyz, and charges over the short distance, took out the rest. The Guardsmen faced a similar fate. Psychic mindgames had the Stompa shoot at our own.
We returned fire, and some charges, with a few insults. The Stompa charged The Extra-Great Unclean one and kicked it’s bubonic butt.
Then the first break came. Victory points wise it was rather even – 4-3 to the chaos side. But we really had taken a beating. The mass of my boy mobs had been removed and most of the guardsmen.
The crazyness continued, and models were removed by the dozen. Kommandos and Zagstruck did a little and then went home. We cried a little together. We made some war stories. The stompa could not shoot because of bugs, bugs, bugs! (In my mind.)
Then the second break came right after the bottom of turn 2. We were getting our butts kicked (10-2). Two more turns we played…
And it all came down to this: (23-13). During the game the Stompa fired 4 times. 2 of those times it was controlled by the chaos side. >_<
Yup. We did another Apocalypse and survived it. It took a while, but we survived. Indeed. To all of you who skimmed through this and focused your eye on this part, I have a question. How long does your Apocalypses take? For us, this specific game took from 10 to 10, breaks included. After all these Apocalypse games it too often boils down to the same thing for me – A full day of waiting for your turn. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, but sometimes you rather had played several small games that day.
Having said that I think that it is a good change once per year to really toss the models you have on the table, even if you remove most of them before they get to do anything. The writers have made a rules set that zooms the perspective out a bit. And for me it is a healthy reminder of the all the models I have acquired over the years.