Parcheesi 40K: Khorne vs. Ultramarines

My husband and I like to play Parcheesi off and on as a quick, low commitment way to get a little gaming in when the mood strikes us. It often works out for some reason that my dice tend to fall so I have late game zergs where I roll a lot of doubles and hence get to cover a lot of ground quickly with my pawns. I often play the green pieces and when this strangely ubiquitous phenomenon begins I have taken to “Declaring the Waaagh!”*

This gave me a spur of the moment idea: why not use our long-neglected Warhammer 40K pieces to play Parcheesi?**

I decided upon a tetrad of bloodletters, including one with a horn and of course their Banner of Hate probably constructed from the flayed skins of their victims. My husband used four of his Ultramarines he painted some years ago. The fact he had a missile launcher made me a little nervous but at least it wasn’t a flamer or that scary Assault on Black Reach captain!

The Ultramarines took an early game lead by getting two marines into the home square as you can see below.*** However, the forces of Khorne had some rather Tzeentch-like tricks up their sleeves where they posted themselves on the blue safety squares in an attempt to take the skull of the unfortunate banner sergeant.****

The Ultramarine banner sergeant turned out to be tricky as space marines in general that chapter in particular are known for. Thanks to some well executed maneuvers and dice tricks he was able to avoid my blue square snares and post himself with his colleague in a protective blockade. Unfortunately for the bad guys, my tricky Tzeentchian-Khornate bloodletters had a very strong position with a blue square blockade of their own with one of their fellows (top left corner) waiting to pounce.*****

I’m sad to report that despite everything, my daemonic blockading plans fell flat and both marines were able to escape past my red home row unmolested. (Note the position of both marines in the picture below relative to the picture above.) My daemons have to move up into the home row toward the home square so anything past that is safe territory for the Imperium.

It is a tight game. Two marines are already in the home square but the balance of my forces are a bit closer to home. Still, I’d say at this point it is a small advantage to my husband’s squad.

In the end I had my usual late game zerg but then so did the Ultramarines. Happily, the Khornate good guys won but it was a close thing: the last marine was in his home row only two squares from victory. So the game was almost as near a thing to a draw as you can get in Parcheesi.

The marines failed to close the warp portal before a massive incursion of Khorne goodness vomits into real space. The imperial fall back plan of Exterminatus fails when their bombs are possessed by daemons. Their primitive machine spirits become existentially enraged so the bombs immediately launch themselves toward the nearest highly populated worlds. Perhaps in a future game of Parcheesi 40K we’ll see if the space marine fleet can catch both the daemons and their own rogue bombs in time!


* I wish I could claim credit for thinking this up but it was my husband who first mentioned it, harkening back to our old 5th edition 40K games of marines versus space orks that always seemed to end somehow in my guys moving absurdly quickly all at once, overrunning his forces in a painful but mercifully short episode of buckets of dice being rolled and sanguine massacre. Actually it didn’t happen all the time: I think my husband forgets all of the times where his guys shot half my army off the table by turn two but hey I’m probably biased.

** The older 25mm bases worked well for doing this. I don’t think the newer 32mm bases would have done the trick because they are too big for the squares.

*** Sweet, sweet victory is achieved by getting all four of your pieces into the home square before your opponent does. Given the You Go/I Go nature of the game, a tie is not possible though I do remember a game I played as a child where my opponent got mad and flipped the board and tried to declare it a draw. She wasn’t the nicest of losers and sometimes used the same pernicious tactic in Candyland.

**** The blue squares are “safety zones” where pieces are safe from capture by the enemy. On the white squares, you may capture an enemy piece by rolling a number that allows you to end your move on the opponent’s square, sending him back to his home circle. Skulls for the Parcheesi Throne!

***** A blockade is formed by having two of your own pieces on a square. Neither your own nor the enemy’s pawns can move through a blockade. A blue square blockade is stronger still, because when you move a piece, breaking the blockade, your other piece is not vulnerable to attack. It is a common tactic to try and capture an opponent’s pawn by denying it the ability to move by means of a blockade, and use another piece behind to threaten a capture.

Bloodletters Complete!

It has been over a year now since I have posted to this blog, played a game of 40K, or picked up a brush for that matter.  The itch to paint has returned, and my huge mountain of unpainted plastic hasn’t gone anywhere, so I turned my attention to these guys, who are one of my many unfinished projects.

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The bloodletters say, “It’s about time you finished painting us, loyalist scum!”

Last night I finished the bloodletter, who is holding the banner.  I took my inspiration for the banner from this awesome blog.

One thing I like about Chaos guys, and Khorne in particular is I don’t imagine that when they make banners they worry too much about coloring inside the lines.  I could see Slaanesh worshippers trying to create works of art, both beautiful and terrible, and Tzeentchites might pay tribute to their god with designs subtle in their geometric cruelty, but Khorne types (at least bloodletters anyway) seem content to draw a symbol of their god or whatever strikes their fancy with the blood of their last enemy, each other, or themselves (depending upon availability), scribble, “Blood for the blood god die die die eat your face omg” in faux Latin and call it a day.  This is good, because that is about as far as my freehand skills currently stretch.

So that completes the unit.  I have more Khorne forces that will go into the queue just as soon as we get some suitable weather here in the Santa Cruz mountains for priming.  In the meantime I might do a test paint on a primed deamonette I’ve had sitting around for a couple of years.

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Daemonkin, Necrons and Orks (1000 Points)

Warriors freshly awoken from their (apparently not) eternal slumber.

Necrons

  • HQ: Lord with resurrection orb and staff of light = 75
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130
  • Troop: Warriors (10) = 130

Khorne Daemonkin

  • HQ: Herald = 55
  • Troop: Bloodletters (8) = 80
  • Fast Attack: Flesh Hounds (5) = 80

Orks

  • HQ: Weirdboy (level 2 psyker) = 70
  • Troop: Choppa Boyz (22); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, one rokkit = 151
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (23); nob w/ big choppa & boss pole, two big shootas = 191
  • Troop: Gretchin (11) = 38

This list uses two Combined Arms Detachments, with either the Orks or Necrons being the primary force.  The Daemonkin are allies.  The overall warlord could either be the psyker or the lord.

Interestingly (and who knew?) Khorne heralds are apparently consummate diplomats.  The Orks and Necrons don’t trust each other and optimally tend to keep their distance during the fighting, whereas the daemons are free to mingle with either side.  I suspect that the Orks intuit that they and the horned boyz both just want to “get stuck in”.  As for the Necrons, they probably find Daemonkin behavior extremely predictable and so their actions don’t play merry hell with logical calculations and circuitry.  Certainly can’t say that about the greenskins!

Khornate gribblies encounter the Imperium of Man

I’ve played my Terrible Trio now a few times in casual games and they’ve done alright.  Win about half the time and that is what I’m hoping for.  My general 40K list building philosophy is if I’m winning or losing more than about half the time against my regular opponents of similar skill and luck, then something is wrong with my list and it either needs to be toned down or toughened up.

The “desperate allies” thing can be a challenge, so what I usually do is deploy the Necrons first, often lining up against whatever armor my opponent plunks down if I’m setting up second.  Then the Orks rank up after that with the daemons either deep striking or deploying to take advantage of terrain or something I see in the set up.  One common theme is I use the khornate forces to protect the Necrons from close combat.

Why play this odd combination?  Story-wise it is easy to justify almost anything.  The real reason is I haven’t been painting Daemonkin very long and I wanted to use my painted models in games.  In general, playing with models I paint is the engine that keeps me painting.  As for the Necrons, someone gave me a bunch of models, which I’ve put into the paint stripper and have been slowly refurbishing.  Ditto on not having enough to field a proper army.  So I team up both factions with my main painted forces — the Orks.

Bloodletters

Like many people, I imagine, I’ve been working on some daemonkin.  I’m a fairly deliberate (slow) painter so this edition they’ll probably be used as allies.  Troops seem a good starting point for an army collection so I began with some bloodletters.

A triumvirate chosen pretty much at random as befits Chaos Daemons.

I messed around with various schemes for their horns and blades and for the latter opted for a plain look, for which I used Vallejo’s glossy black paint.  I experimented with blade highlights, but in the end decided I liked them best just black with a bit of shine.  The primer didn’t quite look right in a couple of small sections on some their swords, but I was able to camouflage this pretty well, I think, with Blood for the Blood God technical paint.  (I love that stuff!)

Here are two more — the bloodreaper upgrade character for the unit and a daemon with an instrument of chaos.  I found that I liked using gloss lacquer on their tongues, so I went back over the models I had already completed and added that detail.

The World War Two Soviet infantryman is a 28mm metal Warlord Games piece.  I included him for scale and because I finished him not too long ago.  Playing with the miniatures, one forgets sometimes how big some of these monsters would really be until you put them beside a miniature of an average-sized man and use a bit of imagination.  Heck, the horn is larger than poor Pyotr here!

Two more with their best bud, Pyotr, from the Alternate Dimensional Soviet Union.

So far I have nine bloodletters finished, which means to complete the box and the unit I only need to finish one more with a banner.  When I run them as a unit of daemonkin bloodletters I’ll probably keep them cheap and use a minimum squad of eight without upgrades.  So in that sense they are done now.  However both in Codex: Khorne Daemonkin and the base rules referring to chaos daemons, one can take some of the possible upgrades for free when a unit is summoned, assuming you have the models on hand.  So I thought I’d make sure I did. 🙂

The pack thus far excluding the two taking the selfie with Pyotr.

My next daemon project after getting the Banner of Blood done will probably be a resin Herald of Khorne I have for a cheap HQ. I could just as easily use the bloodreaper that is posing with Private Pyotr as a herald.  Since I have the herald model though, I might as well paint him.

I had a chance last night to play my small but painted Khorne force as an allied detachment and they did pretty well.  I considered waiting until August 8th (a very auspicious date for the Blood God!) but more than three weeks is far too long to keep the dog-headed god waiting for his tally of skulls.

What better place to materialize?  Let the tally of blood points begin!

They deep struck into the battle with pinpoint accuracy right in the middle of a Shrine to Khorne, but then you’d expect nothing less would you?  The daemons spread out, seeking victims only to be greeted by a withering barrage of tank and autocannon fire.  Only the herald survived and him with one arm.  He clamored up a short plateau, coming to grips with the Guard heavy weapon team. His preternatural reflexes did him little good though what with the rough terrain and the claymore-style mine booby traps, rock falls, and one particularly vicious guardsman with a serrated knife. Still, it was alright because of course “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows so long as it flows.”

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