Mystery of the Mega Mek Armor: 1 of 4

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: February 17, 2017

We played a 1500 point Orks versus Orks game where as it turned out my opponent’s warlord was the mega-warboss-with-the-lucky-stikk or MWLS for short.  We both ran a single Combined Arms Detachment.  My opponent convinced me to also include a Painmob formation since I had included the models for it.  Rather sporting, I must say.

The mission was Maelstrom War: Deadlock, which is the one where each player gets less cards with each passing turn.

What started out as a seemingly typical ork brawl between elements of Waaagh: Hungry and Waaagh: Derrius ended in something far different as we’ll see.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Board

Early stages from the fight.  I like how the white lines neatly mark our deployment zones.

My forces got out to an early lead, taking key positions in an effort to break the tactical stalemate.  The other (bad) Orks countered by blunting a slow motion Charge of the Light Walkers up the center.  Still, Waaagh: Hungry built up a big lead that was going to be hard to beat, especially given the nature of our mission where each side relied on dwindling supplies.

My nobz attacked on the left flank and were stopped by an impossibly strong, giant ork in a strangely cobbled together suit of heavy mek armor.  He pretty much was able to take on all eleven nobz by himself and easily win.  What few survivors there were left had no choice but to run for it or die uselessly.  Our left flank crumbled.

Fortunately, crack Hungarian artillery kept our positions from being completely overrun.  Mortars pounded infantry bunched up in the aftermath of close assaults, while supremely heroic goblin kannoneers punished cautious meganobz, all the while dueling Derrius’s keen-eyed flashgitz.

Still, the situation was fast deteriorating and becoming desperate.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Sneaky Git and the Red Git

One sneaky git tries to ambush another.

With the enemy warboss rampaging toward our lines, someone had to do something.  No one was exactly volunteering to confront this seemingly invincible titan, so Lieutenant Scarbag Flashboy, the last survivor of his squad as usual, knew he had to act.

The situation was all confusion, smoke and screams.  Flashboy knew the most important thing at the moment was information.  He shrugged off his crippled rokkit pack and concentrated on remotely piloting a drone carrier ahead into the fiery chaos.  It was rigged with a camera and piled high with explosives.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Cautious Meganobz

Cautious meganobz pick their way forward.  A feller could get hurt out there!

Flashboy was astounded by what he saw in his video screen from the drone’s vantage point.  The enemy warboss’s suit was obviously a cobbled together abomination of corrupted Tau technical genius and evil mek madness!

Pistons shrieked with each of the mega armored boss’s steps.  Shoota fire pattered against his armor like light hail.  Even direct artillery hits ricochetted harmlessly, though this did put paid to more than a few of his boyz, much to the behemoth’s amusement.  Even energy weapons fire was absorbed by a sparking electric field.  This only seemed to make him stronger.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Killa Kanz Stall

Flashgitz turn the center of the battlefield into a walker scrapyard.

The lieutenant tapped a few keys with a shaking head, sending a video capture to higher headquarters.  He’d done has much as he could for now.  It was time to look to his own precious lilly green hide.

To Flashboy’s horror he saw the warboss point a snapping power klaw at him.  Zog!  He had thought himself well concealed.  His drone was still on the move, though it was taking sporadic hits from cowering shoota boyz, as well as being rocked by friendly mortar fire coming from who knew where.  It’s left tread was damaged and looked in danger of coming apart at any moment.

He punched the drone’s Self Destruct on Impact button and sent it trundling directly at the warboss’s back.  It was a sort of slow motion race as the damaged probe struggled to catch up with its ungainly target.

Flashboy rolled out from the shell crater and hustled behind a friendly battlewagon-turned-pillbox, which had lost its front axle.  Its crew opened up on the advancing warboss.  Their chattering machine guns made a lot of noise but had little other effect.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Lobbas in Ruins

Mortars taking the measure of distant infantry.

There was a massive explosion.  The boss had torn the battlewagon in half with his dizzying collection of power weapons, and some sort of short ranged plasma cutter array.  Predatory growls boomed from his vox caster.  Flashboy was thrown clear.  Dazed, he crawled under some of the burning wreckage.  Ammunition from the destroyed APC cooked off in the heat and flames.  Everything was obscured by thick smoke.  His titan opponent was surrounded by the gleaming nimbus of his force field.  Without this protection nothing could stand in the midst of this atomic wreckage and live.

The boss’s laughter stopped.  There was an explosion, even larger than the first, and screams.  Scarbag Flashboy had no idea what happened or how he later found himself in a ship’s medical bay, agreeing to give a painboy most of his teef to sew his legs and part of his left arm back on.  A young tau nurse shook her head and silently busied herself with the needless task of sterilizing a hacksaw.

Perhaps the drone had done its job after all?

Of the enemy warboss and his strange battle suit there was no sign.  Other than the lieutenant’s video capture, of course.  One thing was for sure, he knew that Warboss Hungry, as a close ally of the Greater Good and honorary Shas’O, would not stop until he solved the mystery of the mega mek armor.

Orks vs. Orks Feb 17 2017 Warboss and Boyz

Mega Mek Warboss and boyz surge over a hedgerow.  Note Flashboy’s drone scout.

So the MWLS gave me an idea.  Why not take advantage of him unexpectedly turning up into a sort of four game narrative campaign of sorts instead of just a one shot deal?  I’ll put the campaign up in a future post and link it is this one, which will be the first game of the series.

It was a good fight and a close one.  A battle that definitely highlights the maxim of never giving up.  Especially with the Maelstrom missions.  Although my opponent rolled double 1’s with his lucky stikk and killed off his own warboss inches from my deployment zone, which was unquestionably the high point of our game,  he did manage to squeak out a 13-12 victory point win despite my achieving the all important First Blood in addition to the aforementioned seemingly insurmountable early  battle lead!

Still, thanks to the indomitable senior lieutenant, higher command is in possession of some very interesting intelligence.  One wonders what the Earth Caste will have to say about all of this?  As Warboss Hungry likes to say, “Wot’s all dis den?”

ork bullet point graphic

IG vs. Daemonkin (1850 Points)

Santa Clara Sector, Mountain View Game Kastle: March 17, 2017

Commissar Alex and I played the Warp Rift scenario for the first time.  We used the Rift Gate as well as the Tactics and Mystics (maelstrom cards) optional rules.  My army was 1850 points of Khorne Daemonkin.  I ran a Blood Host Detachment with a Slaughter Cult formation, as well as a CAD.  Alex, playing Imperial Guard, ran a CAD with an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company formation.

Commissar Alex wrote the summary for our game or rather the good General Nesson did.  I’m not revealing how I got my hands on it, though rest assured I have my sources!

IG vs. Daemonkin Mar 17 2017 board.jpg

The blue boxes were the objective markers.  The warp rift is the tower.

The forces of chaos struck once again against the Imperium, attacking an imperial planet in the Segmentum Ultima.  [Name and location of planet withheld under security edicts.] The local planetary defense forces were no match for the traitors and after just a few months the planetary defense force had no presence outside of a few major cities.

After several more months the Imperial navy arrived, bringing with it the forces of the Imperial Guard. After a few weeks the traitors were driven back towards the equator by our numerically superior forces.

However the deaths from all the fighting caught Khorne’s attention and the vales between realities weakened. Using this to their advantage, the forces of chaos enacted obscene rituals and the sacrifice of an entire village to break open a warp rift, which allowed daemons into material space.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Synchronized Bloodletters and Demolisher

Synchronized Summoning ought to be an olympic sport!

The ritual was successful but only allowed for a few daemons to come at a time; however the deaths of guardsmen and traitors fueled the warp rift and soon the trickle became a stream. As the rift grew our commanders realized that if they wanted to have any hope of preventing [name of system redacted] from becoming a daemon world they would need to seal the rift before it enveloped the entire planet.

In a desperate gamble they headed directly towards the rift hoping either the priests or sanctioned psykers attached to the regiments could find a way to close the rift before it was too late.  As they approached it reality began to distort and madness reigned.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Vendetta

Vendetta on an attack run against a Chaos Space Marine rhino.

While the exact events are unknown what is undeniable is that the imperial guard forces failed to seal the breach. After a few hours the rift began to grow rapidly and soon enveloped the planet in just a few days. Imperial command on the planet sent reports to orbital assets for as long as they could but the last transmissions degenerated into gunfire and maddening screams. The planet in question is currently under quarantine by the Imperial navy.

— Administratum Summary based off the final reports of Imperial General Asher Nesson

IG bullet point graphic

As a sort of post script, we found this scenario gave a bit of an advantage to the assault-based army, all other things being equal.  I have to say this was not unexpected.  So we came up with the following optional rules and I added it to the scenario page.

Superior Reconnaissance:  The daemon player’s board edge for purposes of moving reserves onto the battlefield must be the same as the board edge she picked for deployment on turn one.  This is to help balance the scenario, since assault armies seem to be advantaged over shooting armies, all other things being equal.  If further balancing is needed, the daemon player must declare her board edge before the enemy player deploys.

The Emperor’s Tarot:  This is used with the Tactics and Mystics optional rule to help balance the scenario, if needed.  The enemy player deploys and draws his tactical objective cards before the daemon player deploys.  The enemy player may then decide to roll off to see who takes the first turn if he likes the look of his cards, or if both players agree the enemy player can take the first turn without a roll.  Note there is no Seize the Initiative rule in this scenario.

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.

Space Wolf Jump Pack Trio

The new guy is the one in the middle.

After completing my goal of 1000 points of Space Wolves before the end of 2014, I’ve drastically slowed down but not stopped adding to the army.  My goal now is to eventually get to 1500 points without having to use my husband’s Ultramarines as stand-in’s.

The latest addition is an assault marine pictured above between two of his friends, who I completed awhile ago now.  I got a good deal on a couple of boxes of figures because I bought them right before the new ones came out as part of updating the Space Marine codex.  My latest assault marine has seen a few battles now as a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, though once I get the rest of the box done he will probably find himself among the Skyclaws.

As usual I painted his power armor with Mechanicus Standard Grey, followed by a heavy wash of Badab Black, then a dry brush of Administratum Grey.  When I first started my Space Wolves I tried highlighting their armor, but didn’t like how clean and polished they ended up looking.  I wanted a sort of no frills, “rougher” look without doing a bunch of environmental effects like sand or mud.  I found that simply dry brushing the armor gave me the effect I was looking for.

So once I finish up the Skyclaws, I’ll have to decide which of the four projects I want to work on next.  I have a vindicator that has been sitting around half finished for a very long time now.  Alternately, a Stormwolf might be a worthy addition to my forces, adding some needed air support and especially anti-air.  Third, I’d eventually like a Void Claw formation because I usually field a lot of terminators who arrive by deep strike.  I’ve been using the aegis line with a comm relay and want another option for keeping my reserve rolls reliable.  Especially one my opponent can’t potentially use as well.  So I’ll need to paint and magnetize a bunch of lightning claw arms to go on my existing terminators.

Lastly, my liaison officer has been calling on our friends the Ultramarines for devastator help for long enough now.  It is high it is time to load honors and accolades upon my husband’s loyal, blue friends and send them in glory back to Ultramar and paint some long fangs to take the place of these puissant worthies.

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.

Saga of Zeath the Unforgotten

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.”

Zeath’s Current and Past Exploits

Spring 2015: Zeath distinguished himself during a series of highly successful raids into the Farsight Enclaves after the legion’s attempts at diplomacy failed.  (“What nice planets you people have, it sure would be a shame if anything happened to them.”)  As a result he was promoted to a full Mystic, which is what Legion VI-13 calls its rune priests.

Circa 2013-14: Survived implantation of Canis Helix Type N, which also saw an increase in his psychic powers and capacity for physical regeneration.  The process also has driven him somewhat mad where he is haunted by daemons both in his dreams and literally on the battlefield, which usually coincides when he is in the middle of hard fighting.

He did well in various skirmishes, raids, and battles and was eventually promoted to a sky claw sergeant.  Not only did Zeath have a talent for jump infantry tactics, the young sky claws respected his daring and feared his anger so they more often than not would obey his orders. Happily, his orders were usually some variation on, “Kill them!  Kill them all!”

Circa 2012: Zeath was a psyker on a Black Ship crippled and raided by ships from what is known in imperial records as Traitor Legion VI-13. When asked his name by his space marine captors/saviors, he said, “Zeath the Unforgotten,” but would never say to what the sobriquet referred.  Not being ones to unnecessarily press into matters concerning a man’s private affairs, the space marines nodded and moved on with their invasive medical examinations.

Some Personal Notes

  • Zeath is a level 1 psyker, level 2 if the “runes are right.”  He will often have powers from either the Tempestas or Daemonology-Malefic disciplines, occasionally both.
  • Note that he doesn’t actively summon daemons.  They just sort of appear when he rages in battle.  Blood with pour from his eyes, spikes will break out all over his flesh, which he ends up ripping out himself after the battle using a pair of pliers (too embarrassing to bother the medics about), and so on.
  • Preferred war gear is power armor, runic axe, plasma pistol and jump pack.  There is no way the ironsmiths will entrust him with anything better.  With all of the teeth, charms, talismans and amulets he wears at all times, if he received a particularly favorable cast of the battle bones from the Invisible Seers then he’ll have “counts as” artificer armor nonetheless due to the power of his faith in forces he neither understands nor even has a name for.
  • He loves the risk of discharging his plasma pistol and will do so even when it would be just as easy to throw a grenade.  He’s been known to purposefully overload the weapon and throw it as an ersatz melta bomb.  (Thus occasionally I’ll pay the points and include melta bombs and give his crazy tactic a chance of working.)
  • On a personal note Zeath has three wives but no children.  He had a pet fenrisian wolf but it turned into a blood thirster due to circumstances best not mentioned and he barely managed to kill it with his force axe while it was messily manifesting.  The daemon ate his left hand but it grew back better than new with little suction cups on the fingertips.  Such are the gifts of the Fates!