Of Mice and Orks

The green cloaks are so their allies won’t get confused and eat them.  Green = Orks = Our Side!

I happened to stop by Zombiesmith’s booth when I was attending Kublacon up near San Francisco in May.  They had a display case of their painted miniatures. The anthropomorphic rabbits, turtles, rats and mice of their “Netherworld’s Edge” line caught my eye, so I played a small demo game.  The game is a variation on their Shieldbash rules. I bought a few packs of miniatures at the convention and also signed up for their kickstarter, which as it turns out was successfully funded.

For now I decided to use these guys in my games of 40K.  They are about the same size as gretchin and I would imagine that there isn’t any reason why mouse people wouldn’t be at least reasonable shots.

Now my orks have had a long and close alliance with the Tau.  They’ve been our battle brothers in many a doubles tournament and four player game.  Also, the orks control a number of buffer systems on and beyond the edge of Tau space and Warboss Hungry has received the honorary title of Shas’o for his bloody services and odd loyalty to the Greater Good. So when the orks discovered burrows of primitive mouse people on one of the worlds they were warring over with the Imperium, they decided to imitate their blue-skinned friends and adopt these creatures rather than eat them.  Given the usual “Purge the Xenos” philosophy of humankind (in my meta at least!), the mice were more than happy to sign on.

Turning their guns on sneaky kommandos!

The mice do offer some advantages over goblin artillerists.  While neither are what you would call brave, the mice are quite a bit smarter so they are more likely to show some initiative in the heat of battle.  They are also imminently more survivable.  They construct elaborate escape and redeployment tunnels as a matter of course in fortifying their positions.

Further, it is difficult to break the average ork trooper, no matter how steeped they are in Greater Good, of lording it over lesser greenskins.  This inevitably leads to casualties.  There are always plenty of goblins, but the problem is that so many die to natural orky attrition it is almost impossible to keep experienced crewmen.  As it turns out this isn’t a problem for the mice since most orks don’t see them as “getting over on dere bedders” by being allowed to not be stomped, used as edible chits in drinking games, etc.  Abusing goblins seems to be an unshakably entrenched part of the order of things, alas.  Also, the mice with their burrowing tendencies are even better than goblins at staying “out of sight out of mind,” though the grots are starting to catch on to that survival tactic.  A pity most goblins’ instinct for laziness is higher than their instinct for survival!

So my plan is to paint up the other seven mice that came in the pack.  I’ll continue using them as artillery crew until the newness wears off, and then I’ll probably go back to using goblins.  I doubt I’ll field mixed units because I imagine goblins and mice being natural rivals and hating each other terribly.  However, it might be fun to try a mice versus goblins Kill Team game or maybe I can talk some of my friends into trying the new Netherworld’s Edge rules when they become available.

Necron Tomb Portal Scenario

 Two factions battle in an area which unbeknownst to them contains a portal to a Necron tomb.  Perhaps this is an awakening tomb world, or maybe an isolated pocket … a last surviving remnant of a mighty complex laid low by the pitiless march of eons.  Whatever the case, the sound and fury of war has awoken the Necron defenders.  

Objectives:  Take turns placing six objectives using normal rules for doing so.  The side controlling an objective at the end of the game (including the Necrons) receives 2 victory points.

Place a square piece of terrain in the center of the table to represent a portal into a Necron tomb.  There should be four access points on the portal, one on each side.

Deployment Zones:  Set up in a table quarter no more than 12″ away from a table edge with each player’s deployment zones on opposite diagonals.  Use the long table edges for falling back and reserves.

Secondary Objectives: First Blood, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord. Note that the Necrons can also achieve these.  It is possible for them to score the last two twice — once against each player. Players cannot achieve secondary objectives against the Necrons.

Tactical Objective Rule (TOR): At the beginning of player turn one, before rolling for reserves, roll a D6.  If the player controls the objective corresponding to the die roll at the end of his turn, he immediately receives one victory point.  On subsequent turns, if a player has not achieved the objective on the die, he may elect to roll or continue attempting to achieve the objective number rolled on a previous turn.  Note that if the rolled objective is achieved, that player must roll the next turn. Tactical warlord traits do not apply to this rule in any way, nor does the TOR apply to the Necrons.

Otherwise the mission plays as a standard “Eternal War” mission, including rules for Mysterious Objectives, Night Fighting and so on.

Necron Defenders:  Although a non-player force, the Necrons can act as a spoiler and even win the game.  They could be controlled by a GM or third player. They have some special rules governing their behavior.

  • On turn one, after both player turns, deploy one unit of five warriors from each portal entrance, exactly like disembarking from a vehicle.  Allocate aggro for each unit based on whichever side has a unit closest to that portal access point so that two warriors units are aggroed against each player. Necron units are controlled by the enemy player they are not aggroed against.  Necron units will never change their aggro status unless one player is eliminated from the game.  If the game continues all Necrons will aggro against the remaining player.
  • Each Necron unit must perform at least one of the two following actions each turn.
    • Perform a full move so that at least one model is able to shoot at a unit from the faction they are aggroed against.  Then they must either shoot or attempt an assault.  If the Necrons are too far away to do either, they must run in order to decrease the range from the closest unit they are aggroed against.  If no units from the aggroed player’s faction are on the table, the Necrons can fulfill this condition by moving and then running closer to that player’s deployment zone.
    • Move within three inches of an objective.
  • From turn two on, deploy one unit of five warriors (or three scarabs) from a random portal at the beginning of the Necron turn. It will aggro against whichever player has a unit closest to the access point they disembarked from.
  • If the Necrons cannot enter play from a portal access point, they will enter play from another random access point. If all of the portal access points are blocked, no new Necrons may enter play that turn.
  • The Necron turn always happens after both players have had their turn.  The game turn ends after the Necrons have concluded their turn.
  • If no warrior miniatures are available on a given turn, deploy a unit of three scarabs in their place.  The limit to the number of Necrons that can be on the table is the players’ available warriors and scarabs in their collections.
  • Necrons fall back toward the portal.  If in falling back a model touches the portal, the unit is destroyed.
  • All Necron warriors have the Objective Secured rule.
  • The Necron portal otherwise counts as neutral terrain.
  • If either player is leading against his human opponent by 4 or more victory points at the beginning of the Necron turn two or higher, the unit that materializes on that turn will automatically aggro against the player currently leading the game.  Include potential end-of-game victory points for controlling objectives and Linebreaker to determine how much a player is leading by.

Optional Rules

  • Quantum Shielding: The Necron portal counts as enemy terrain and can be temporarily “disrupted” through shooting or assault on turn two or higher.  If a player scores two glancing or penetrating hits against AV 13 in a single player turn, no warriors or scarabs will materialize on the subsequent Necron player turn.
  • Quantum Facing: One glancing or penetrating hit against AV 13 in the shooting phase will deactivate the portal facing the shot until the beginning of the shooting player’s next turn.  Barrage weapons affect a random facing.  Necrons can materialize from the other unaffected facings.  (Thanks to Ethereal Mark for this one.)
  • Tactical Imperatives: Use the tactical objective cards, either in addition to or instead of scoring victory points for objectives at the end of the game.  The scenario Tactical Objective Rule in no way interacts with the cards or Tactical warlord traits.
  • Other Defenders:  I chose warriors and scarabs based on the miniatures I own in my collection.  Also, I usually play smaller games so more powerful Necron units would have a greater effect than in larger games.  Feel free to vary the types of Necrons you use based on your collection and preferences.  For example, I think a Canoptek-themed Necron defense force might be fun.

Our Tomb Battles

  Orks vs. Orks (1000 points, June, 2015).  A close battle (7-6 when we called it due to time) with the Necrons really putting the hurt on both of us.  I’d assault the warriors with my trukk boyz and if I didn’t wipe them out on the initial charge they would become very hard to shift.  They certainly gave new meaning to “It will not die!”  As for my opponent, the less said about his poor, maligned battle wagon the better.

Saga of Scarbag Flashboy

From Phil Kelly’s 2009 Space Wolves codex:  “Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.”

This seems like a lot of fun to me, so I’ve decided to start keeping tabs on some of those figures of note who emerge from our battles.  Will they stand forth and become heroes or as so often happens shine brilliant but then like a flickering star fade too soon … forgotten in the empty spaces between Eternities?

Scarbag began his career in Waaagh! Hungry with the kommandos, but soon undertook missions with the rocket troops as well.  He quickly rose through the ranks and holds the current rank of Senior Lieutenant.  While capable of great patience and subtlety, his preference is for dashing exploits and daring, lightning strikes.

The lieutenant is highly admired by his men.  Most of them don’t understand half of what he says, but he is pretty good at translating his plans within plans to something like, ‘Go dat way an’ krump stuff.’

Most boyz consider Scarbag a proper ork so they obey him without question though membership in his squad is seen as a dubious honor except by the most fanatic.  While there is always sure to be a good fight it is not unusual for Scarbag to be the only survivor.  Still, if you die then you’ll go out with a flash and if you live then there will be teef, growth hormones, and glory all around.  What more could any greenskin ask for?

Rivals and subordinates who challenge his authority often have strange `accidents.’  Coincidentally, these happenstances usually take place right when the unfortunate comes to blows with Scarbag.  Their shoota jamming, power klaw cables coming disconnected, falling down a fifty foot pit full of electrified, poisoned metal stakes and a booby trapped rocket packed rigged to explode that just happened to be a few feet from where they were fighting and so on.  Accidents happen.

Can you find the 27 hidden ork kommandos?

MOST RECENT EXPLOITS

Mystery of the Mega Armor (Feb, 2017):  Flashboy captures vital information on a mysterious enemy warboss, who is unstoppable in his strange high tech suit of mega armor.

Curse of the Red Git (Dec, 2016): Scarbag’s and his stormboyz’ attack on a manticore goes horribly wrong courtesy of an evil deffkopta pilot.  Naturally, the good lieutenant vows revenge.

First Battle of Aptos-III (May 2015): Sisters of Battle were assaulting a fuel dump and refinery as a lead up to a general advance.  Flashboy and a small squad of rocket orks rocketed behind enemy lines where they caused much mayhem.

Warhammer 40K Mission: Archeotech Hunt

This scenario is from White Dwarf #68, published in May 2015 to help introduce the Adeptus Mechanicus.  We did make some changes.  The idea is our battlefield is a site littered with lost high technology or perhaps some sort of forgotten base.  One side is attempting to explore and uncover the technology while the defenders try to prevent them from doing so.

Objectives: Take turns placing six objectives using normal rules for doing so.  Each objective is worth 3 points at the end of the game.

Deployment: Vanguard Strike.  Note that an easy way to do this is to measure from one corner approximately 35.5″ along the short edge and 50.25″ along the long edge.  Place a marker at each of these locations.  Now connect those points with a line of markers forming a triangle.  You may deploy your forces within that triangle.

Stubborn:  Units from both sides have the Stubborn special rule when within 3″ of an objective.  This was a slight departure from the rules as presented.

We played the rest of the scenario as a standard mission, i.e. normal secondary objectives and so on.  The scenario as presented in the magazine gave the exploring player some advantages, which we chose not to use or ameliorated.

The meat of this scenario is instead of Mysterious Objectives the players roll on a special archeotech chart.  I don’t want to list the rules verbatim because of copyright considerations.  I think it will be fun to make up one’s own lost technology devices as well in order to keep this mission interesting.  In any case the choices presented were:

  • Icarus lascannon array.
  • Ammo Cache that makes your shooting attacks stronger.
  • Teleportation device.  We ran it so it worked on any unit, including vehicles!
  • Night fighting.
  • Field that makes enemy shooting attacks weaker without stopping them outright.

There was also the usual “Nothing of Note” but we decided this was no fun, so I made up my own option instead — a void shield generator that doesn’t always work as intended.  Perhaps it was cobbled together by orks?  It had to be since you roll on a chart.  For anyone reading this who isn’t in the know, a “void shield” is essential a force field.

Malfunctioning Void Shield Generator.  The controlling unit can activate the generator at the end of its movement phase.  It remains active until start of the activating player’s turn, after which the shield goes down and the generator can be activated again.  When activated roll on this table:

  • 1. D6 strength 4, AP — hits against the activating unit.  Owning player allocates wounds and no cover saves may be taken.  Vehicles are hit on their side armor.
  • 2-5: AV 10 Shield, which goes away after it takes one glancing or penetrating hit.
  • 6: AV 12 Shield, which goes away after it takes one glancing or penetrating hit.

I’ve played this scenario twice now and found it quite entertaining.  I’ll put some links here when I write some battle reports about this mission.  In the meantime:

Our Archeotech Hunt Battles

Play Testers (thank you!): Commissar Alex, Ethereal Mark.

    Khorne Daemonkin, Orks and Necrons versus Imperial Guard.  For this game we replaced the lascannon array possibility with a “time distortion field” that gives the unit controlling the objective initiative ten.  A close game won by the imperial forces with the game ending by die roll on turn five..

  Orks versus Imperial Guard (1000 points, June 2015):  No additional house rules this time.  Simply a big mek and imperial forces clashing over lost technology.  As it turned out three of the six objectives were the Night Fighting one!  The orks managed a resounding victory.

  Orks versus Orks (1000 points, May 2015):  The story we used were two rival big meks in the same Waaagh.  Both wanted access to this valuable site and ended up battling over it behind their mutual warboss’s back.  We introduced some further house rules for our battle of the greenskins.  Not surprisingly the orks won!

  1. The warlord must be a big mek.
  2. A warboss cannot be fielded by either army.
  3. Big Meks and meks have the Objective Secured rule themselves, but they do not confer OS onto other members of their unit.

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Rune Priest

I’ve been working on HQ’s for my Space Wolves lately, and the latest addition to my collection is this rune priest.  I’ve actually had him sitting around for a couple of years, but finally decided to paint him.  My original idea, after all, was to base my marines primarily around models I already owned.  Especially ones that have been sitting neglected for a long time.

I took the jump pack from a Space Marine battle force.  I did magnetize it because sometimes he’ll probably want to accompany a drop pod landing or maybe even ride to battle in a rhino, rather than getting stuck with the usual fate of rune priests — casting buffs on thunderwolf cavalry.

I lost the original, normal power armor backpack that came with the model so it was the Space Marine battle force to the rescue again.  That piece is still in my painting queue though, since I’ve been having fun running him exclusively with the jump pack.

I like the plasma pistol.  It adds a bit of color to a model that is mostly darker, earth tones.  I do have to say as a weapon it is situational at best and hilariously bad at worst.  I should have used a tiny magnet since it attaches at the wrist.  I’ll probably do that when he has an accident and his hand falls off, or gets gnawed off again by some particularly vicious fire warrior.

Thinking about plasma pistols and having fun with how often they blow up during games has gotten me thinking about Space Wolf sagas.  There is a designer’s note in the previous codex which states:

Sagas are intended to encourage players to develop some seriously cool names and stories for their Space Wolves characters.  You’ll find that after a few games your heroes become a lot more interesting as they accrue personal histories of victory and (dare we say it?) defeat.  In effect, your characters will be adding to their own sagas with every new game, which can be great fun.

I’ve been playing this guy for a few games now and we’ve had some laughs over his various and often unsound (game mechanics-wise) antics.  So I’ve been thinking of starting a section on my blog for the “sagas” of some of my characters, and I think I’ll start with this guy, his addiction to the dangers and thrills of gratuitously discharging his plasma pistol as well as his hatred of being put on “thunderwolf detail.”

The Emperor’s Shield

“Captains!  Another centennial contest is upon us, and we shall once again determine who is best suited to be the Emperor’s Shield.  The Lords of Terra welcome you to Olympus IV to test your mettle against your fellow Adeptus Astartes.  These battle exercises help to hone the skills of all our chapters for their eternal war against the xenos pestilence and the scourge of Chaos.”

I recently participated in a mirror list tournament at Endgame in Oakland, CA.  Thank you very much to TO Adan for organizing and running the event.  Also, thanks to First Captain Reuben of the Mythic Angels for tactical advice, loan of a squad of his honored and ancient assault marines, as well as logistical support transporting my chapter to the Alameda Sector.

The list everyone played was:

Headquarters
Captain in power armor with power sword and bolt pistol.
Librarian in power armor with force staff and bolt pistol. He was level 2 and his powers were Iron Arm, Endurance, and Smite.

Troops
Two units of ten tactical marines. The sergeant had a chainsword and bolt pistol. Special weapons were a flamer and missile launcher. Each squad had a rhino with a dozer blade as a dedicated transport.

Elite
Dreadnought with an assault cannon and power fist with a built-in storm bolter.

Heavy Support
Predator with auto-cannon turret and lascannon sponsons.

Fast Attack
Land Speeder with heavy flamer and multi-melta.
Five assault marines. The sergeant had a plasma pistol.

Game One: Assaulting the Green Marines’ right flank.

Adan assigned chapter tactics and the first game was Ultramarines. We were also allowed to pick warlord traits, but we could only use a specific trait for one game. I picked Master of Ambush and used this to concentrate my forces somewhat on my opponent’s right flank. This was the only game where the trait had much of an effect on the battle.

The idea was to take one of his backfield objectives, which was behind good cover, and have one of my combat squads with the missile launcher hold this strong position and blast away. I’d have threats coming from my own side of the board as well so I could swing around and subject whoever was in the center of the board holding the important objective there to a (hopefully) withering crossfire.

Things worked out but not nearly as well I hoped. My opponent did have to direct a goodly number of his forces to react to the outflank, but it turned into a bloody stalemate. I did win the game decisively, but mostly because of Chapter Tactics: Good Luck. For example, my assault marines deep struck but ended up in a bad position where they got tied up by a dreadnought. They lost a couple of marines, failed their morale check and promptly ended up 16″ back where they were in prime position to kill a land speeder threatening my forces. After that they joined in on the final attack on the center position. My predator won the tank duel that lasted three turns, and so on.

Still, sometimes as the saying goes it is better to be lucky than good and I had my share of it in this tournament. In any case, it was a very fun game and I hope to play the Green Marines again someday soon.

Game Two: Close quarters in the Zone Mortalis Light!

The board for this match was very interesting in that it was what Adan called “Zone Mortalis Light” in the middle, surrounded by thick ruins. Again we were fighting for objectives and I believe we were Raven Guard. The rules for the ZML were no vehicles except the dreadnought could enter and the walls went up to “infinity” so you couldn’t shoot or move over them. Also, our flamers were twin-linked against any unit inside the zone.

As might be expected this was a very tactical game inside the zone. Both sides were doing their best to maneuver so they got to be the ones charging. Outside the zone it was a bit more of a free for all with my rhinos tank shocking all over the place and our heavy units trading fire. My opponent pulled off a great move when he blocked off one of the entrance to the ZML with both of his rhinos. Right in the face of my advancing forces! He also pulled off some late game unlikely but exciting charges against my tactical marines covering one of the ZML entrances.

This was a hard-fought game where by the end our captains ended up dueling each other to a draw. However, my land speeder, despite immediately immobilizing itself in a ruin when it deep struck, did manage to cripple both Adan’s predator and his dreadnought. More good luck. This allowed my dreadnought to pick his way unopposed into the ZML, where he did good work supporting my infantry and holding the central objective.

Game Three: Imperial Fists assault marine on the attack!

The last game was a first for me: I’ve never played on the top table at a tournament before. The terrain was fairly sparse and we were fighting for kill points. A couple of forests and several large hills. We were Imperial Fists this time, which suited my opponent because that was his preferred chapter!

The early fighting mostly came down to a long-ranged battle to control a long firing lane between two hills. My opponent won the roll off for table sides and wisely deployed his predator in a forest at his end of this lane. This allowed him to control the action there, supported by both his missile launchers. My response was to use the hills for cover as best I could and counter-attack. We both tried to turn each others’ forces around a plateau on my far left flank. This ended up in a somewhat bloody draw. He had a small advantage in the fighting, but I got first blood when his deep striking speeder landed too close to my forces.

My opponent had the early advantage overall mainly because he had control of the firing lane. My speeder was able to pull off a very risky drop right behind his predator. I hoped to destroy it with my multi-melta but had to settle for shearing off one of its lascannons.

This was a very close game that came down to the final turn. Things were looking bad when his assault marines drove back my supporting infantry and stunned the walker with a lucky plasma pistol shot. His librarian jumped alone into an empty rhino and moved flat out toward the fighting to help finish them off. If he succeeded my opponent would cement his victory.

Instead, my other, less harried missile launcher squad managed to wreck the rhino as it moved across the contested firing lane. From there the librarian jumped out and continued on his way. My dreadnought recovered and pushed back the assault marines, despite being covered in krak grenades. Another shot, either by my predator or a missile launcher (I forget) and the librarian was dead. With time running out I was up by one kill point. Tough game against a very good opponent. Honestly, I felt like I was fighting off balance for most of the game.

A memento for the chapter’s trophy room.

First place was the plaque seen above and a nice gift certificate, which I used toward buying a new predator. Although the ancient predator I now possess, pulled from a lake by orks and then rescued by the Space Wolves or Ultramarines (depending upon who you ask) has given me good service, it has burned far too long in the crucible of war. Its machine spirit deserves an honorable retirement or at least a good, long rest.

So, all that remains now is to add a gold ribbon to my Wolf Standard and go back to fighting all of that xeno pestilence and Chaos scourge!

Twin-Linked Grand Tournament (Day Two): “Return of the Space Communists”

So with new pilots recruited, more piles of scrap cobbled back together as horrible travesties of wheeled vehicles, and blue skins flocking to the glorious banner of the Greater Good, we returned once again to the crucible of war for a second day of gaming in the Sacramento Sector.

The traditional post battle snap shot for the folks back home.

Game Four: The Greater Infestation

We woke bright and early, coffee mug in one hand and shoota/pulse rifle in the other, only to see what appeared to be a gene stealer cult right in the middle of our beloved Greater Good.  Some of the orks thought the tyranids had mutated their wings into a mockery of our revered red and yellow battle flag, but this proved an optical illusion.  Their wings were merely painted orange as tribute to the usual tau camo scheme.  (Orks aren’t especially known for their keen eyesight.)  Our fourth game of the tournament was against a team of tau and tyranids.

The early stages of the battle saw three groups of gene stealers advancing on the three objectives in the middle of the board, one in each sector.  The bugs made an early surge into our center, trying to annihilate our tau (otherwise known as “the good tau”), but we were able to put them back with ork mortar fire and the timely arrival of both our aircraft, who annihilated a hive tyrant poised upon inflicting devastation.

This threat parried we went on the attack.  The nobz, led by my mighty warboss in his custom suit of mega-armor incorporating a void shield (lucky stikk, actually) proved an irresistible force against everything that was thrown at him.  Anything he wasn’t irresistible against, he parried by using a nearby nob as a meat shield.  Before long he was in the traitor tau lines re-educating them with his power klaw.

My partner and I each received a special dice bag!

Meanwhile, the boyz were doing good work on the other side of the battle suppressing a huge flock of gargoyles.  The good tau were providing fire support everywhere, and things were looking as they should.  The one thorn in our side was the few remaining gene stealers hiding behind tall rock pillars near each objective.  The early accuracy of our mortars gave way to goblins gone wild, who couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat to quote the immortal Tommy Lasorda.  Despite our dominance of the battlefield, those few, cowering bugs proved our undoing.

With time running out, the stealers made a sudden dash and pounced upon the objectives.  We did our best to eliminate them or at least drive them back, but it was not to be.  It is some time since the tournament that I am writing this, but I believe only one stealer was left on the objective and this was enough when we calculated things that Hive Fleet Tau won by one victory point.

Naturally, no pictures of this battle can be released because of the political ramifications within our Empire if news of Tau cooperating with tyranids were to get out.  In any case, I think their Shadow of the Warp affected my cell phone camera, because all of the pictures were even blurrier than usual.

Game Five: Blue Harleys Run Amok

This battle featured Eldar allied with an army of space marine bikers.  Despite the blue paint, I think they were White Scars, but writing this as I am a couple of months after the event who knows?  Either, way I believe this team either won the entire event or placed highly, but I’m not entirely sure.

Blue beakies getting some pay back.

I think this would have been a bit of a blood bath not in our favor if the marine reserves had actually come on in a timely fashion.  Instead the showed up in dribs and drabs, and in a couple of cases we were able to eliminate marines as they were arriving at the battle.  Even so, their wraith knight did a good job, anchoring the middle of the battle for them, trading fire for most of the game with our riptide.  A lone nob with a power klaw did manage to cause the giant elf construct some problems and almost finished it off until their warlord zoomed over on his jet bike and lent it a hand.  As usual we didn’t really have an answer against the ubiquitous wave serpent.

Despite the reserve snafu, which kept the game close, in the end we again lost a very close game.  At the end of the battle, with both sides depleted, they remained a more mobile army than we and were able to place themselves where they need to be in order to win.  Still, we made a good effort against a very powerful team and I think my boyz managed to grab a couple of scrap bikes as well as blue helmets, which are much in demand with my forces as trukk radiator caps.

Game Six: “Hold until Relieved.”

Elf Guard on the move.

Our final game of the tournament was against Eldar allied with Imperial Guard.  Although the battlefield didn’t have a lot of terrain on it, it did have several very tall towers.  The battle raged around these towers, which served well to block line of sight and as fire platforms.

The initial tone of the battle had the orks closing the distance against an enemy, who held their positions and punished the greenskin advance.  My partner focused on providing fire support and grabbing objectives.  Our opponent’s devastator did good work blowing up ork vehicles before it fell to a nob with a giant can opener.

Most of the battle took place on our opponents’ side of the board with humans and elves alike trying to beat back the orks.  They were largely unsuccessful in this, due mainly to horrible shooting on the part of the guard and truth to tell the warboss in his void shield mega-armor was all but unstoppable, if painfully slow.

Still, the enemy did have a late game trick up their sleeve.  A squad of storm troopers deep struck behind our lines next to the fire warriors, who were keeping their heads down and defending an objective.  Further, the elf warlord on a jet bike, who had a nasty habit of repeatedly turning up in our battles over the past two days, made a last minute objective grab, nullifying the objective our riptide had defended the whole game.

So, despite the untouchable warboss leading his ravening horde of nobz, our irresistible guardian riptide, our air force and many other glory boys, it all came down to a single fire warrior.  He was the last, heroic survivor of his squad, who after the dust cleared was still holding the objective.

We won the game by a single point.

Sportsmanship certificates.

So we were 2-4, winning the first and last games, getting crushed in one and having extremely close games in the other cases.  Both Ethereal Mark and myself were pleased with our showing and decided we had indeed brought the light of the Greater Good to the Sacramento Sector as planned.

There were many awards given out, for painting, best generalmanship of course, and sportsmanship.  We were very happy to again win a second place sportsmanship award.  A munificent award indeed, consisting as it did of the approbation of our dread enemies, as well as commemorative certificates and dice pouches.  We also split a nice gift certificate from Great Escape Games, which we used to bolster our ranks with some meganobz!

Back of the dice pouches we received.

All in all it was a well run tournament and a lot of fun.  The TO Mark B. obviously put a lot of thought into his event, and both he and his volunteer staff worked hard to make their event memorable and fun.  I’m looking forward to participating in the first event of the 2015 Twin Linked Tournament season on March 1st, again, in the Sacramento Sector.  This time I’ll be on the look out for those perfidious gene stealers, and sneaky White Scars trying to fool people into thinking they are Ultramarines just minding their own business!

More Happy, Red Friends

My first walking mouth gets some new friends.

I finished two more Kromlech “Gnaws” the other day.  They come in packs of three, so that finishes off the ones I have for now.  They are solid, resin casts, so I didn’t have too much modelling work to do.  Just cleaned off flash and trimmed some mold lines.  The pieces didn’t come with bases and I thought that regular infantry bases were too small so I used terminator bases, which seem to be the right size.

My husband was right about one thing.  He looked at them and said, “They seem a little too happy for Khorne.”  Yeah, I agree, they probably would have looked better as minions of Nurgle.  But maybe they are happy because they have just been unleashed from the warp and are anticipating the orgy of violence to come?  Or maybe Khorne has a sense of humor after all?

Good things seem to be coming in three’s lately.  My next piece I’m putting the finishing touches on tonight is my second thunderwolf cavalry model.  They don’t have too much in common with gnaws except they also come three to a box.  So it’ll be a Space Wolf day soon as I stoically paint toward my long dreamt goal of having enough Space Wolves to actually play a game without having to proxy Ultramarines!

“Make sure you get my good side, Mortal!”

“Make sure you get my good side, Mortal!”

I have been working on painting some Kromlech “Gnaws” lately. They come in packs of three and there are currently two sets of different sculpts available. My favorite right now is this guy with the lovely cluster of cheek warts. I doubt they’ll get much use for me in games, though I might dabble with trying to summon a unit of daemons with my weirdboy and run them as Flesh Hounds of Khorne. I suppose I could also use them as markers when someone gets turned into a chaos spawn. They don’t really look like spawn lacking random eyes, tentacles, shifting mouths and so on, but they are about the right size and have a daemonic look, albeit in a walking mouth sort of way.

My thinking, when I painted them, was on Flesh Hounds so I painted them kind of a rusty red-brown color. But I think with their cheerful, toothy expressions, they’d work well painted as Nurgle Gnaws. In any case, I have two done and I’m working on a third. I’ll need five total if I’m going to use them as summoned hounds.

They’ve been fun to paint. It is nice taking a break from painting models festooned with lots of little fiddly pieces of gear and ornate symbols on their armor. I hope to finish the third model sometime over the weekend, and then work on completing my second thunderwolf, which is starting to come together.

Orks Versus Grey Knights: “Uh, Sir, that’s a little too close.”

As if the Grey Knights didn’t have enough trouble.  They semi-successfully defended “the relic” from a covetous space marine chapter, when a bunch of orks rumbled onto the very same battlefield twenty minutes later.  Almost makes one feel bad for the boys from Titan, except there is no pity in the 41st millennium.

The mission was “Cleanse & Control” and we played 1500 points.  As far as I could tell there were four units of knights in power armor.  Most of them seemed to be interceptors, but how is an ork to tell?  One group sat out the entire game sheltered inside a ruin guarding an objective and presumably trying not to get shot up.  (I imagine those were not interceptors!)  Lord Draigo also graced the battle with his presence.  He was accompanied by a librarian and a host of terminators.  Rounding out the marine forces was a dread knight.

Early stages of the battle: The storm trooper sergeant’s head on a stick.

The orks figured they were going to sneak in right before dawn, after the beakies finished beating the crap out of each other, bundle the shiny relic into a trukk and high tail it for home before anyone knew what they were about.  Consequently it was the Too Many Chiefs detachment from page 102 of the codex.  Pretty much everyone important wanted in on the glory.  Two warbosses showed up, one on an enormous motorcycle and another (Warboss Hungry) in a battle wagon lording it over a gaggle of nobz.  Then there was the jump infantry commander — some junior lieutenant who happened to be borrowing Zagstruk’s stat line.  The less said about him the better.  Otherwise, pretty much any ork who could find a ride showed up.  I’m not sure who the mortar battery hitched a ride with, but goblins are nothing if not resourceful.

Early Battle: The orks spread out all over the field.  They wanted to control the objectives early and take advantage of their mobility before the marines blew up all of their lovely transports.  The assault lieutenant drove his large squad of jump troops down the middle of the field.  He wanted to impress both warbosses.  Further it didn’t occur to him that a small squad of marines would dare bring the fight to him.  But bring it they did.  A group of five or six marines charged guns blazing into three times their number of orks.  When the dust settled all of the orks were dead or routed, including the green lieutenant.  Just as well.  Saved higher command the trouble of executing him for being an incompetent git!

Otherwise the ork plan seemed to be working.  They were recovering valuable archeo-technology out from under the very beakies of the grey beakies!  “Fer da Greata Gud an’ da Revulushun!”

The Junior Assault Lieutenant puts some of his men through their paces in happier days.

Mid-Battle: The goblin mortar battery, for which the orks are (in)famous, was placing accurate hits on strike and interceptor squads.  They weren’t doing much against power armor-clad troops, but this heavy shelling could not be allowed to go unchallenged.  The marine commander ordered his dreadknight to teleport in on the ork right flank.  The artillerymen took one look at that ugly, giant walker shimmering into existence ten feet from their position and high tailed it back to base.  This allowed the Grey Knights to secure an objective valuable both for its skyfire potential and as a treasure trove of hidden supplies, i.e. victory points.

The battle raged back and forth with both sides exchanging small arms fire.  Neither could be said to control the situation.  Despite the early surprise by the orks, the Grey Knights were able to re-secure much of what they had originally lost.  Lord Draigo teleported in with a large squad of terminators, though due to some garbled communications he almost materialized directly inside the strike squad corporal, who was fumbling with a particularly high-strung teleporter beacon.  Still, all turned out well.  The terminators withstood a powerful ork air strike with minimal casualties, and anchored their lines with a force the orks had no means to approach head-on, sideways or any way whatsoever.

Late Battle: The orks did meet dread knight threat.  General Hungry ordered his battle wagon to proceed at top speed toward the ork right flank.  He radioed the bike squad leader to back up his efforts and engage a supporting interceptor squad.  The ork bikers took more casualties from riding at top speed directly through the walls of a ruin than they did from the fight itself.

“Furst man ta krump dat fing gets ta be boss nob!” he bellowed, standing on the cab of his wagon waving his klaw.  Hungry mentally congratulated himself for speaking in orky pidgin, then promptly tumbled off accidentally on purpose with all of the frantic klaw-waving.  He almost got left behind.  Three nobz killed each other in their zeal to reach the dread knight.  Another nob or two died shrieking beneath the walker’s huge blade.  In the end they ate the grey knight driver and spent the rest of the battle fighting over who would get to pilot the new “dread”.

The remaining bikers dismounted and stood in a circle around their leader’s motorcycle, trying to figure out how to get a suit of power armor untangled from his forks.

Meanwhile, Hungry received a communication from the battle analysts aboard his command strike cruiser.  They had determined that the orks had achieved as much as they could possibly expect in their opportunistic raid.  Any further indulgence in battle would most likely only serve the ends of the Grey Knights.  So he sent up the red flare and as one the orks rolled, ran, flew, crawled and swam for home, leaving the marines scratching their heads and wondering what the hell just happened.  Theories included that Tigurius from the last battle summoned the orks using some “unknown and possibly broken” summoning spell.  (Wouldn’t it be typical of Roboute Guilliman to pull something like that?)

In any case, the game ended in a draw.  Happily, I achieved style points by having Hungry fulfill his Saga of the Cowardly Warboss by not putting himself in a situation where he had a good chance of dying. (See post-script.)

Saga of Wat? Yooz can’t do dat in 40K!

Post Script:  As has been mentioned before in the dim recesses of the past, Warboss Hungry (so named because of his appetites for goblin flesh) is rather unusual as ork warbosses go because he believes in using guile, tactics, and intelligence over strength and brute force.  In fact he is secretly a coward, though he goes to great lengths to not appear so.  In fact he is quite well-spoken, speaks several languages fluently and is an avid reader on a variety of subjects.  Shockingly, he is capable of loyalty and friendship, and has close ties with non-orks on many different worlds, especially amongst the Tau.  If he has a failing with his men, it is in the heat of battle he sometimes forgets to “speak orky” and the boyz don’t understand a word he is saying.

The upshot of all of this is Warboss Hungry must be fielded with the “Finking Cap” upgrade to account for his intellect.  He also has the “Saga of the Cowardly Warboss” though if he knew that his reality were in fact a 40K game he’d prefer to call it the “Saga of the Tactical Super Genius.”  Those of you who are familiar with the concept of sagas from the old Space Wolves codex know that the idea is to gain style points by winning the game while playing your character the way your saga says you are supposed to.  If you don’t, then you have to redeem your honor the next time around!

So Hungry’s saga requires that he not subject his person to anything where he has a good chance of getting killed.  Charging a dread knight with a squad of ten nobz?  Send in some “boss nob” mook for the challenge, let the rest of the nobz do the hard work and take credit at the end.  He gets word his powerful nob bodyguard is staging a revolt to replace him as chief.  Does he reassert his authority by fighting it out with the alpha-nob?  No, he “agrees” fresh blood is needed, steps down as boss and then manipulates the nobz into multi-charging three squads of terminators led by Logan Grimnar the next battle and letting nature take its course.  So, you get the idea.

Next Time: My impressions about playing in my third “Twin-Linked” tournament up in Sacramento with my charismatic partner, General Mark, of the Farsight Enclaves.