Showdown – Three Way 40k Time

Multiplayer Warhammer 40k scenarios are always a nice change, full of randomness, banter and treachery. Here’s a battle report on how our last three player game unfolded between Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard and Tyranids!

While I’ve had my collection of Sisters of Battle for little over a year now after some spontaneous ebaying, I haven’t taken the chance to get too many games in with them yet. Also, what games they have seen have been either Kill Team-esque or Zone Mortalis. To get models painted up, other than the transport and body guard squad for my Cannoness, I decided to challenge the Usual Suspects, The Tall Fellow and his Vostroyans and Mr. Easters Alien Ant farm, Hive Fleet Antaeus, to a mini-game, 500 points, with a Combat Patrol detachment. (Luckily the whole Hive Fleet didn’t arrive.)

Setting Up Multiplayer Games
Setting up the rules for multiplayer games is not necessarily straight forward. One thing is the multiplayer games with two sides that consist of more than two players. These tend to run rather smoothly as there is some form of mutual conformation as the carrot – i.e. achieving victory – that keeps the players roughly in line. Add more loose faction or alliance rules, with each player being rewarded for their own personal achievement while keeping some sort of loose narrative-based common goal, and you have the recipe for a very enjoyable disaster. Multiplayer Battle Royales are another thing completely.

The set-up can be quite straight forward, or you can add some rules to keep things interesting (as in Pride and Prejudice in the Old World of Warhammer – aka Triumph and Treachery). A few things tend to form into twigs that eventually stick into the cartwheels, though. One is the benefits of defense – the player who sits back and strikes at the very last moment usually have more units to contest objectives or destroy key units. Being continuously awarded points for destroying enemy units (as in P&P) is one way to come around that, but multiple objectives is what we tend to prefer in our group. In this latter case continuous scoring can work around that – who holds an objective gets one point at the end of turn. Here you can further tweak number of points (escalating with turn number?) and time point (players own turn, game turn…). Another, perhaps more pressing, issue is uneven deployment – who is close(r) to whom? Is somebody sandwiched in the middle? But these points can be worked around with preparation and deployment design – give the middle player a heads up so they can work up a force that can be tied up in the middle, give them a little bonus (first turn maybe as, again, in T&T). In the end, this really is up to the players approach to the game – are they set to have fun, or steamroll the opponents?

The Battle Report
This Tall Fellow of ours would of course not leave anything to chance so he derived a perfect set-up with equal deployment sizes (dice marked) and equal distances between each player giving us the game board below. (There was so many lines and angles on the small sheet of paper that worked as his blueprints I thought I was looking at some schematics for the optics of his research’s radiation targets.)

Scenario: The central objective is worth 3 Vp while secondary objectives are the players’ own objectives in the deployment zones and Linebreaker. We also use Random Game length.

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The Sisters of Battle approach the central objective.

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The Tyranid menace darken the skies with sheer mass. (I love the Gargoyles! Must be my favorite nids – would I have a tyranid army I would fill up with these.)

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The Emperor’s Finest roll on to the battlefield with a psyker with an Armoured Fist squad leading the way, supported by a Sentinel Squadron and some footsloggers.

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Plasma galore, with auto cannons providing long range support. This is firepower.

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Some warriors anchor the Tyranid force while the force is spearheaded by a Carnifex with Bioplasma. A Zoanthrope provide a psychic barrage.

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↓ The Vostroyans take the first turn and manage to take out the Zoanthrope while carefully move forward. The anti-tank is Prescienced by the psyker and unleashed at the Sisters with little effect.

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The Sisters move up, the Exorcist shooting an impressive volley in it’s first ever shooting phase and manages to whiff it all (I expected as much, really). The two Multi-Melta Immolators (Yes, Boo! a proxy, but just to max out the painted minis on the table) with two Heavy Flamer & Flamer Sister squads and a Cannoness carefully move forward.

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The Antaecians are more aggressive in their moves, but the Carnifex hesitates to charge into the fray just yet.

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↓ After a tactical advance the guardsmen unleash their flashlights under the strategical orders of their warlord (warlord trait gives the psyker orders).

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The Sisters are loosing hull points to the guardsmen heavy fire power, but also manage to Immobilize the Chimaera in return a bit away from the objective leaving a few precious inches for the transported squadron to footslog. The Tyranids are dug into the undergrowth and rubble and prove impossible targets.

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A nasty surprise appears behind the guardsmen as the elite commandos of the tyranid army drop down with parachutes dig themselves out of the ground to control the guarded objective. Soon these teeny, but nasty, bandana-wearing gunslingers will kill two plasma wielding veterans.

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Still running forward pushed by pure hunting instinct the Tyranids have now claimed half of the table and are ready to feed.

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The guardsmen, depleted by casualties from both the ripper and warriors shooting attacks retaliate and takes out a large number of the gaunts that are heading straight for the objective. The Sisters’ Immolator is wrecked.

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The Sisters’ move their armoured caravan up to contest more objectives, and counter the Gargoyles’ onslaught. The Exorcist wounds the Carnifex.

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The gargoyles are vanguarding behind the tanks…

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…while a monstrousity is lurking in the woods, entangled by the undergrowth.

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↓ The brave veterans dig down into the crater, holding the objective. The sentinels are occupied by a tide of small ninjas. These Rippers are turning out to be a real nightmare. Again.

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The Cannoness leads her squad to take out the Veterans as soon as they are forced out of the wreckage. But there will be no wreckage this time – the hull of the Chimera soaking all damage reliably. The other Battle Sister Squad purge the alien with fire, none is alive. In the woods, however, a menacing rustling is heard…

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Out of the woods charges the Carnifex, spewing acid and tearing up plasteel leaving not even a wreckage of the Immolator. The Sisters squad are shocked by the sudden horrors and run to take cover in the building, through the engulfing flames.

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The rippers hold fast. Nuff said.

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“Now, take the raving nuns down!”, is the command shouted by the psyker and the squadron take up formation beside the chimera and fire into the sisters. The Cannoness falls, so does several of the sisters. The remnants of the unit stands fast. Will they have their revenge?

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Time is running out, and the forces are growing thin. It is looking quite good for the Imperial Guard, but a few large threats are left standing of both the Sisters and the Tyranids.

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Of the Sisters unit that was scythed down with plasma and las only two remain.

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One of which is a heavy flamer, or all that is needed for a fiery revenge delivered under as fiery prayers of the Emperor’s wrath to the unfaithful!

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The Sisters regroup, but their snap shots are only laughable to the Carnifex. The Exorcist, is a different matter, and the alien beast is evaporated.

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The warriors anchoring the line and securing the home objective pour out immensive firepower with their barbed strangler that refuses to do anything but hit. A brave squad of gaunts assault the last guardsman and begins a long lasting pillow fight.

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The closest contestants are the two sisters, with an angrily dakka spitting Chimera between. What could possibly go wrong.

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Meanwhile, the Rippers are tying up the Armoured Sentinel squad.

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What could go wrong is the pyromanical alien and heretic purging sister inside the general taking over and burning up the combatants before the squad could CHARGE IN AND GET CLOSER TO THE OBJECTIVE. Hhhhh…

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So close, yet so far away.

No one has the main objective. Tyranids hold their own. Sisters hold their own.

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↓ So these guys are the one that win the game, taking no wound in the very last combat phase of the game, thus gaining Linebreaker and, consequently, winning the game.

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So 2-1-0 to the Tyranids, followed by the Adepta Sororitas and the jumbo being awarded to Astra Militarum. As always it was a crazily closely fought game with what felt like many combacks and hard losses.

I went a bit beyond the “recommendations” when I took the Exorcist. Normally, below 500-600 points would remove choices with armour values above 12, but I decided to give it a go as two Exorcists will have a central role in my larger army. If I would be up to play this exact game again I would swap this for a squad of Seraphim, as it was a bit of a too tough nut to crack for the Tyranid army. It was, however, undeniably interesting to see what D6 S8 shots mean.

Thanks for reading! If you have any comments – please and thank you!

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2 responses to “Showdown – Three Way 40k Time

  1. Pingback: Chaos awoken – 4 vs 4 Warhammer 4ok | Poison Tail's project work-things·

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