The Tall Guy decides to take a leave from the real world and joins us at the gaming table in a three player Warhammer 40k free-for-all at 800 points.
It’s been a lot of multiplayer games for me in 40k lately, in fact, I doubt I would be far off saying I mostly have been playing this way for the last 6 months even. In a sense, it might even be the type of game I prefer; crazy events, too many chefs making the soup and banter enchiladas. This time, we had the utmost honour of receiving a look into the working ends of the Vostroyan Firing squads as the Tall Guy, also known as Bearskin Long-John, came for a visit from Beyond. But what did we do?
Planning carefully not too much we decided to prepare 800 and 1600 point lists for our little pastime adventures – 800 points being the first one, and the second, after lunch, scaling up a bit.
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The mission was to capture a central objective (2 Vp – Blue in the image below) or the opponents’ objectives (2 Vp -Red in the image below) while guarding your own (1 Vp -Red in the image below).
The Ork-force (not quite unlike an ork task-force) consisted of:
MekGuy Vern (Kustom Force Field, ‘Eavy Armour)
20 Shootaboyz, with a Nob with a Big Choppa, a Kombi-Skorcha and a Bosspole and 2 Big Shootas
19 ‘Ard Boy Sluggas with a Nob with a Power Klaw and a Kombi-Skorcha and a Bosspole
10 Lootas with a Mek
3 Lobbas with maxed out crew and ammo runts
This edition I have mostly run with ‘Urghnould, my warboss, usually in mega armour and toting the lucky stikk. He normally survives a storm of fire, tanking shots without AP>2 himself and using his squad as meat shields – a package that comes in at a hefty point cost especially with their wheels. Now it was time for something slightly different, so today Mekguy Vern gets to fight some with his own little posse of ‘ard boyz. With ‘eavy armour, the KFF and a painboy, this unit is surprisingly tough with a beakie-like save against low AP shots and a 55% save rate for shots below S8. If only one can make those 5+ rolls…
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The Vostroyan Firing-Squads were:
A Company command squad in a Chimera (many of whom is a specialist)
Two Veteran squads with 3 plasma guns
2+1 Armoured Sentinels (Autocannons resp. Heavy Flamer)
A squad of Ruugh Riders
And a Wyvern
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Suddenly-UPS-delivers-on-time a package of Genesneakers:
Patriarch w/ Patriarch’s Claws
Iconward w/ Sacred Cult Banner
Neophytes w/ Seismic cannon, Mining laser, Flamer
Neophytes w/ Mining laser, Flamer
Acolytes w/ Rock Saw
Acolytes w/ Demolition Charge
5 Purestrain Genesneakers
A He-man Russ (with so many AT guns you wouldn’t believe – this is what Tyranid players do when they get sum ov dem dakka)
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↑ Deployment. Some sneakers up ahead, orks in a tower. ‘Umies around da rokk. Those purestrain sneakers are trying to sneak up on the ‘umie battle line. That’s how we are set for da Waaagh!!
Da Orks’ plan is simple: Shootas run up the middle, ‘Ard boyz assault via the ‘umies line – they’ve got the power klaw so can take out the armour that might come their way. Lootas provide support-dakka and lobbas blast infantry to smithereens. Easy as under-cooked squig-pie.
↑ Turn 1. (I actually was clever enough to take notes during these games so I’d not forget half of the deffs – who wud’ve guessed!).
Initiative order: Guardsmen – Orks – Sneakers
The Guards start strongly by clearing out the sneaky sneakers’ neophytes creeping up their flank with the combined firepower of the sentinels and Rough Riders, followed by a a cavalry charge. The wyvern and and the vets fire at the purestrains and take out 4, while the remaining two Sentinels and the other vet squad kills two ‘ard boyz.
The orks move up, while the Lootas take out 4/5 metamorphs, but at least the last one is fleeing.
We then learn that these are the sneakers that you need to remove from the table, lest they simply return in their original numbers. That is, sneakers simply sneak away and bring the whole family. The Russ kills 3 vets. (Tyranid players who make their Russes bristle with guns – shoot them at something else than infantry, please.)
↑ Turn 2. Sneakers take the initiative, allowing for a double turn, followed by the Orks and the Vostroyans.
Three sneaker units roll sixes in their ambushes, the purestrains, the neophytes and the acolytes. The Leman Russ kills the Wyvern (That’s what should be targeted!) in a mighty salvo of melta, las and shells. The purestrains try to drag down the sentinel, and manage to get half way. The Hybrids, with the Iconward, assault the poor grots firing the ork artillery and cut most of them down while the rest flee the battle field.
The Ork shootas and Lootas take aim at the Hybrids and shoot them all, but the Iconward down. The ‘Ard boys try to charge the Sentinel, but fail.
The Guard turn is mostly event-less except for the Chimera and the Company Command Squad evaporating the Neophytes attacking from the shadows.
↑ Turn 3. The forces are beginning to thin out, the Orks take the initiative, followed by the Guardsmen and the Sneakers going last; They took a bad toll last turn on the hoomans but now, with both opposing armies getting a second turn before them they are in the risk of taking serious damage. (Admittedly, I fear their close combat capabilities hitting hard at a high initiative.)
Shootas take out the Iconward that’s standing alone his comrades lost. The lootas, despite weight of fire fail to take out the last Acolyte from the squad that ambushed their position first thing in the battle. The ‘ard boyz charge the sentinel squad and the Boss Nob manages to drag one of the two down.
The Imperials focus their effort against the Patriarch (that is mostly trying to summon another unit of sneakers to replenish the losses, but consequently fails) and the Patriarchs retinue. (Partly because plasma can’t harm the thick plates of Russ armour.) They take out a few, but not all.
This translates to the the losses being partially replenished as Papa Sneaker and his posse disappear into the Shadows. Here and there a visual contact is lost to sneaker assailants. The Russ continues to take its toll on the Guardsmen line.
↑ Turn 4. The end of the game draws near (random game length), and people are getting ready to move in to grab and hold their objectives. This time initiative is led by Guard, followed by the Sneakers and then finally the Orks.
This time the guardsmen focus on moving up toward the objective. The command chimaera ends up being destroyed exposing the squad holding the IG home objective.
The genesneakers follow suit and prepare for a T5 ambush to move into position. The Patriarch again shows up with his homies, but decide on outflanking tactics – something that Mr. Easter is not completely agreeing with. They attempt a charge against the shootas to drag them from, and allow themselves to slingshot towards, the centre of the table and the objectives. They fail but the ork overwatch takes one of their number down.
The orks move up prepping too for a final assault against the objectives, the lootas provide cover fire but do little actual damage.
Score as we move into the game breaking turns:
Astra Militarum 1 – Genesneakers 1 – Orks 1
↑ Breaking Point. Prepping for the final crescendo of the battle the command squad fixes their bayonets. Note Bearskin Long-John’s scratch-built flamer-drone.
↑ Turn 5. Initiative is taken by Sneakers, then comes Guard and Orks – just like in the combat phase!
Many sneaker units are again out of position and so hop out to grab the objective, with better chance, come Turn 6. They successfully psych out another unit of neophytes armed to the teeth especially. Unfortunately, these followed the pheromone trail of the Patriarch and arrive by outflanking – right after him. A flaming second of promethium later, the Lootas are falling down burning from the ramparts of their vantage point.
Rough Riders try to assault the Shoota boyz, but several are cut down in overwatch and the assault is failed.
The orks simply assault the center position of the battlefield acting both hammer and anvil as they form a pincer attack on the veterans holding the central objective, with the rough riders too caught under the stampeding horde. The Astra Militarum home objective is barely out of reach for the rampant mass of green.
To the luck of the orks Turn 6 never comes, and the game ends as
Orks 2 – Sneakers 1 – Guard 0.
Aftermath. Getting the final turn really made it for the Orks. The curse of an objective game, one could say. But now we overcame this by adding the initiative roll, making things a bit more random and unpredictable right to the end. Mr. Easter wanted to put some of the responsibility of his loss onto the dice, and while we others didn’t quite agree (he did manage several nice set-ups in the early game) he did indeed struggle to get his last units where he wanted them with cult ambush. Now they were all set on outflanking.