Imperial Guard vs. Orks (1500 Points)

Santa Cruz Sector, December 14, 2016.

So I played my first game of 40K recently at Mythic Games in after taking well over a year off.  It was Guard versus Orks. Eternal War Scenario: Big Guns Never Tire.  Some pictures from our game:

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Manticores deliver an interesting and indisputable form of Detante.

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Boyz piling out of their wrecked trukk: a pretty common sight for these guys.

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Outflanking mechanized infantry on the attack.

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Tearing the turrets off of APC’s and throwing them with lethal effect at the disembarking infantry.

Terrain: Two new houses

So I recently decided to start acquiring some of my own gaming terrain.  I thought I’d work on collecting along the theme of a generic farm or ranch.  One can use just about any sort of terrain for Warhammer 40K, since battles can take place on almost any sort of landscape.  I have been getting into the WWII game Bolt Action lately, and I also occasionally play battles set in the mid to late 18th Century using Muskets & Tomahawks.  So the terrain has to suit for those games too.  I think these buildings would also look nice in games set in the American West.

The pieces have to be suitable for “heroic 28mm” figures. The roofs can be removed so models can be placed inside and moved around, which is important to me, because all of the aforementioned games include rules for having forces inside buildings of various sorts.

The boyz seem pretty happy with their new digs.

I purchased another building already that is between the size of the two pictured here.  I am also hopefully going to add a fenced garden, an outhouse, a well, and maybe some details like stacks of hay and the like.

Maybe I can make a big tentacle out of green stuff that I can show coming up out of the well (or even better — from the outhouse!) when we are using it for science fiction games.  I think I’d dispense with such whimsy for our Second World War battles.  Our forces have enough to cope with without Cthulhu or some random monstrosity oozing out the Sicilian underdark.

Photos from Pacificon 2015

I spent the weekend in Santa Clara, California attending the Pacificon game convention this year.  It was a lot of fun and I got to play quite a few interesting games and watch even more.  As per my usual policy with conventions, since I wasn’t playing in a tournament I left my 40K miniatures at home because I like to take the opportunity to try games I either don’t get a chance to play very often or have never played at all.

My tricky French battleship group. Rockets away!

I have seen other people playing the Dystopian Wars naval game off and on for a few years now, but I have never played it myself.  So I jumped into a four player demo game on the French side.  I found the game to be a lot of fun and am considering buying into the game now that I’ve had a chance to play it.

Russian ships attempt to close the range.

Battle of Borodino, September 7, 1812

Although I only took a close up of one unit, this game was a large, cinematic affair with loads of well painted figures spread out over a number of tables.  I also found it neat that the GM thought to run the battle on the weekend of the 203rd anniversary of the battle.

Here was a game of Battlefleet Gothic.  I didn’t play in this game, but what made me take notice was the colorful game mat and especially the inventive ringed planet terrain piece in one corner.

One thing about many naval games, both historical and fantastic, is they sometimes lack interesting terrain.  I thought this GM’s scratch built piece was attractive and whimsical.

It looks like rhinos on the attack but really they are hiding trying not to give up kill points.

Another game I’ve seen played but have never participated in: Epic 40K.  I played on the space marine side and controlled a large wing of Dark Raven land speeders, a few bikes, and squadron of rhinos headed by a chaplain, who never set foot out of his rhino for the entire battle.  He did do some good command and control work though directing the marines around him. I also commanded a reserve thunderhawk with a group of assault marines.

The Tyranids sport some rather unusual artillery, I must say!

It was interesting thinking about 40K battles in battalion or brigade level terms rather than the platoon and company level scale that I’m used to.  One thing I had to get used to was how much more fragile units apparently are in Epic.  (At least the version we were playing.) Even our numerous land raiders turned out to be rather easily destroyed with non-specialist weapons.  In addition to the number of units this general fragility forced me to look more at the overall big picture rather than worrying so much about individual squads.  We certainly didn’t have anything that I would call a lynchpin in our sizeable forces.

Watch out for those crazy elephants!

A picture from one of the ancients games Bill Butler of the South Bay Game Club in Saratoga, CA ran over the weekend. One thing I’ve been reminded about playing in ancients games is that you don’t want to get too close to the elephants, because once they get their blood up they are likely to go rampaging in any direction. The poor beasties!

“Twill be the yardarm for every man jack of thee!”

Noticed this interesting looking pirate game and took a picture on my way by.  The ship in the corner with the wolf head on the sail reminded me of the Space Wolves.  Perhaps someone’s island sunk and the men of Fenris are fighting over the scraps of arable land that remain?  Or perhaps they are just a random bunch of priates after rum, doubloons and slaughter?

One of my con roommates enjoying Hotel Life with her wretched cup of Fruit Loops.

My friends were kind enough to allow me to share their hotel room for the weekend with a few other people.  It was charming and fun with people sleeping on the floor, which brought back fond memories of going to cons when I was a teenager.  Back then if we weren’t sleeping under the gaming tables in the convention hall we were stacked twenty five in a room.  Good times those and it was fun living a friendly shadow of those olden days.

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.

Orks vs. Orks: Archeotech Hunt

Ethereal Mark and I decided to play the Archeotech Hunt Scenario with 1000 point ork lists.  The idea was that two big meks belonging to the same Waaagh! heard about an area rich in exotic technology ripe for the plucking.  So both meks gathered together their henchmen and snuck off … only to find their hated rival staring across at them!

We implemented a number of rules specifically for this game:

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

The boyz clash early in the fighting.

Early Game: Ethereal (or Big Mek, rather) Mark’s tankbustas sped their trukk into a ruin and blazed away at my battlewagon and deff dread.  He also began tightening a circle around my army with large numbers of boyz to my left and skorcha buggies backed up by a squadron of deffkoptas to my right.

My plan was to counter attack with the force field-protected battlewagon full of boyz supported by my walker, cut down his bold encirclement, barrage his large troop concentrations with my heavy mortars and carry off all the archeotech, then lord it over all of the other big meks … especially my rival with his fancy, yellow mega armor!  Unfortunately things didn’t turn out quite that way.

Mark’s tankbusta trukk barely weathered the fire from my battle wagon and other assets.  This allowed him to go on the attack and assault my wagon, blowing it up.  I had a bit of luck in that only a couple of the 20 choppa boyz were killed. The tank killer orks were not done yet and managed to immobilize my walker and then rushed in to finish it off, only to fall victim to its huge, snapping claws.  Still, they did finish off the dread but were now a spent force.  They had done very well all things considered!

Mark’s tankbustas had seized the initiative, throwing my forces on the defensive from which they never truly recovered despite some last ditch attempts at heroics.

Mid Game: Despite the efforts of my mortar goblins Mark’s circle was tightening.  My single deep striking deff kopta and small squad of jump orks did manage to rocket into a good position behind his forces.  As Mark later pointed out, this caused a delay while he secured the objectives in his rear area, thus slowing down the encirclement of my forces, which allowed my big mek to lead a brave counter-attack!

A meganob, looking victorious in yellow.

End Game: My warlord, seeing that all was nearly lost and that the bravest greenskins in his miserable warband were a bunch of goblins, decided to force the issue.  Leading a still large force of shoota and choppa boyz, they climbed over the smoking wrecks of enemy skorcha buggies and picked through ruins toward Mark’s advancing big mek with his boyz.  Mark’s big mek oozed confidence and was resplendent in yellow mega armor.

My leader tuned his force field to Waaagh!, raised his lucky red wrench on high, and called for the charge.  Although my boyz did inflict decent casualties among the enemy orcs with their dakka, the ruins and distance were too much and the charge failed.  The Mega Mek’s forces held despite losses and advanced into the ruins firing their weapons and building up for a counter-attack.

My brave mek made a sudden decision.  Despite still having a goodly number of willing fighters around him not to mention a enraged nob with a power klaw, he suddenly threw the whole thing up and ran from the battlefield before either group could get stuck in.

That pretty much put paid to the battle with Mark’s mega mek firmly in charge of the archeotech site and his rivals either dead or fleeing.  He won a resounding victory!  My cowardly big mek was never seen again.  Rumor has it that the aforementioned nob krumped him later or possibly my ork engineer hightailed it to parts unknown.

Happier Days, Circa 2013: Deploying into Anti-Air Formation

As a bit of a post script, the heroes of my army, the plucky artillery goblins, spiked their guns and hopped down escape tunnels that they learned how to construct from the artillery mice.  Better to live to fight another day rather than end up some nob’s lunch!

Steel Legion & Officio Assassinorum vs. Orks

The orks have seen a lot of battles versus the Imperial Guard, especially lately, though this is the first time we’ve lined up against this particular officer.  We played 1500 points and decided upon the “Big Guns Never Tire” scenario from the Eternal War series.  The goal here was to hold objectives at the end of the game and destroy your opponent’s heavy support units while preserving your own.

He had two battle tanks as his heavy support.  Other vehicles included four or five chimera and a valkyrie gunship with embarked storm troopers.  His troops were all (or at least mostly) veterans with those scary-looking german helmets and gas masks.  (We imagined that our battle was a small part of what happened during the Third War for Armageddon.  Perhaps the vindicare assassin was dispatched to kill Ghazghkull Thraka, who apparently was elsewhere.) The orks opted for a slight variation on Colonel Fixit’s Command Group list.

An ork rok hurtling in for a landing accounts for the over exposure in this picture.

Early Game: The orks had more than their share of luck in the beginning stages, which sort of set the tone for the evening. They charged ahead and despite a hail of battle cannon shells, laser fire, and volleys of grenades all of the ork vehicles were still rolling.  No one was more surprised by this than the greenskins.

Guard tanks exchanged fire with ork artillery, causing light casualties among the zzap guns.  The humans maneuvered, stacking their armor and mechanized infantry on their right flank to meet both advancing squads of trukk boyz.

Things look bad for the Vindicare Assassin but he’s all right … for now.

Mid-Game: The imperial right flank crumbled with surprisingly light ork casualties.  By the time the greenskin troopers were a spent force, they had broken through and wrecked the command chimera, Den Mother.

A valkyrie gunship reinforced the battle and along with the assassin tried to stop the nobz battlewagon rolling down the center of the field.  The half track shrugged off multiple lascannon hits, but a turbopenetrator round finally blew off a wheel and temporarily stopped the wagon.

Meanwhile a strike squad of ork jump infantry rocketed into the fray, surrounding the assassin. The assault sergeant popped a red flare and called in an air strike.  Captain Daniel, the Steel Legion company commander, ordered a nearby squad of veterans to focus fire on the stormboyz and eliminated this distraction, though the storm nob took cover and guided in the aircraft for as long as he could. The assassin, laying on his back behind some 50 gallon drums, managed to score a perfect if unlikely shot right into the MIG 15’s engine as it flew over him. Trailing oil and black smoke, the pilot returned to base his strike mission (as far as he was concerned) completed.

Looks cool but the real reason is I forgot to pack my flight stand. 😦

End Game: Despite the heroics of the vindicare assassin, a late gravchute insertion attempt by the storm troopers, and the coolness under fire of Captain Daniel, there was no stopping the orks this time.  The ork big guns fell silent.  Artillery goblins watched through periscopes and field glasses, chattering excitedly back and forth on their radios, as a greenskin ring of infantry closed around the remaining imperial platoon.  In the end the assassin spent his seventh life and died to a stray nob shoota bullet as he bravely held his position awaiting an extraction order, which never came.  Someone at the Office of Assassins will want answers to some hard questions!

We ended the game with the orks in possession of five of the six objectives and both Steel Legion heavy support tanks were burning hulks.  Hopefully the rest of the Third War for Armageddon doesn’t go as badly for the Imperium as it did here today.  Otherwise Commissar Yarrick is not going to be pleased!

Colonel Fixit’s Command Group (1499 Points)

Colonel Valentina Fixit with Warboss Hungry, circa 2012.

  • HQ: Big Mek with kustom force field and Fixer Upperz = 100
  • HQ: Painboy = 50
  • HQ: Warboss on a bike with a power klaw = 110
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (12), rokkit, nob with boss pole and klaw = 129
    • DT: Trukk with rokkit and reinforced ram = 35
  • Troop: Shoota Boyz (12), nob with boss pole = 99
    • DT: Trukk with big shoota and reinforced ram = 35
  • Troop: Gretchin (11) with runtherd = 38
  • Elite: Nob Bikers (3); 1. slugga & choppa, 2. big choppa, 3. power klaw = 165
  • Elite: Nobz (9); 1. boss pole & klaw, 2.-3. big choppa & shoota, 4. shoota/skorcha, 5.- 9. sluggas & choppas = 212
    • DT: Battlewagon with kill kannon, extra armor, and reinforced ram = 155
  • Heavy Support: Lobbas (3) with six krew  = 54
  • Heavy Support: Zzap Guns (3) with six krew and three ammo runts = 78
  • Heavy Support Kannons (3) with six krew = 54
  • Fast Attack: Dakkajet with three supa shootas = 130
  • Fast Attack: Stormboyz (5) with nob = 55

This list uses the codex Ork Horde detachment, mainly so we can have three HQ’s.  Sometimes Colonel Fixit takes charge of the tactical situation and is the warlord.  Other times the colonel concentrates more on the technical details (keeping the battlewagon running) and leaves the overall prosecution of the battle to the biker boss, usually a powerful lieutenant or captain.  What he lacks in survival instincts he more than makes up for in enthusiasm and lethality.

Happy lieutenant posing for the orks back home on his then brand new motorcycle, Spring 2014.

Like most of my lists, this is meant for casual games where over the last few years it has done quite well with some cinematic victories and (dare I admit?) defeats.  I’ve had to make some changes when the new codex came out, the most notable one being the painboy is now an HQ choice and not an upgrade character in a nobz squad.  I added the airplane when flyers first came out because the Sovietesque orks would certainly want to get their little green hands on a MIG 15 if they could.

Also, the warboss got his bike when I received a Forgeworld kit for a Christmas present back in 2013, and I thought he might need some nob bikers to lord it over so I added some.  I took out some of the boyz when troops became a little less important for holding objectives.  In any case, with the Ork Horde detachment my troops are no better at holding objectives than anyone else in my army so perhaps more bikers are in the works?  Only time will tell.