Sunday, 17 July 2016

079. Sharpes new blood, or Waaagh! (Reprisal)...

My mate Ray (Col. Ackland) popped round today for another smallish game which we have now plan to expand into a series of linked narrative games.  The first game saw my Orks try to take off a member of the Macharian Thunder Guard (Rays forces) who planned to defect and sell his secrets to me.  Rays Lieutenant Sharpe had ben sent to stop that action, with the subsequent battle resulting in my Warboss being wounded and taken back behind enemy lines for interrogation (and maybe the Ratlings supper!).

Today's game was the follow-up event, seeing an escalation to 750 points (776 in actual fact), with my forces attempting to take back my Warboss from within one of the Thunder Guards camps situated behind the main lines.  The narrative we built was that the Warboss had been taken back to a second line post where the big guns (in this game a matching set of Earthshaker and Medusa guns) were kept to fire on the frontline or other targets of opportunity.  The camp had been established in the ruins of Port Hynde, a small tech/industrial outpost brought to ruin during the fighting.  The Thunder Guard had set up a camp to bring some new recruits up to speed on the line (giving them a taste of the front from the safety of the second line), with Sharpe passing on some hard earned lessons.  As it happened, the camp was being visited by Major-General (Margrave) Chretzo Sigenandus, to look in on the troops and see how the interrogation was progressing.

Ghaz meanwhile had built up a small raiding party and sent them down from the hills and through the ruins and sewerage works, under the command of another, up and coming, Boss.  Their mission was to steal into the camp under the cover of darkness, silence the big guns, recover the Warboss and if the opportunity presented, take down Sharpe and the Margrave.

I took the same list as last time:

- Warboss with three Nobz as bodyguard toting Big Choppas and a Klaw; 
- Two large mobs (20 Boys) of Sluggas (Ray lent me one of this painted Zulu Ork squads so I could field a fully (or near enough) painted force)
- A mob of Shootas (10 Boys)

To this, I added my Killa Kans and the Deff Dread I have been working on, as well as added 'Eavy Armour to the Boss and Nobz.
Waaagh the Orks - ready for battle (Ray gave me a lend of some of his Zulu Orks so I had a near fully painted force - the Dread and Shootas are still WIP)
Being a base behind the main lines, Ray had opted for a force of foot as opposed to the mixed foot and cavalry of last game.  He had:
- A large Blob Squad (30 Guard) which Sharpe joined (again sporting a Lord Commissars stats and having a Warlord Trait which granted him the ability to issue one Order per turn)
- Two units of Melta toting Vets
- A Platoon Command for Sharpe (which he abandoned for the Blob squad)
- The Margrave and his mixed weapons Command team
- Three Heavy Mortars
- The crew for the two big guns
- 10 Sentries

For game purposes, none of the big guns nor Heavy Mortar gun crews would start with their weapons, instead being deployed behind the guns near the tents.  We had also agreed that I would be operating under raid conditions; in effect, we settled on using the old Night Fighting and Raid rules,  This meant Ray had 10 Sentries (we discussed later we could have trimmed this down) which operated independently of each other and for the first two turns would be able to 'see' 2D6.  Rays main force would start inside the barricades without an ability to act until the Raid alert was triggered.  This would happen if one of the Sentries saw my Orks, I shot a weapon, or I lost an assault.  I was able to deploy in a horseshoe around Rays centred forces.  In effect, I was so close the Raid rules weren't really used, as I had first turn and was able to steal a march on Ray and get onto his lines in turn 1.
Rays forces deployed inside their base - Big guns and Heavy Mortars at the front (top), the new blood in the centre on review, Vets on each flank (bottom left and right), and the Margrave and gun crews in the centre (white WIP bases are the scattered crews).  Outside the wire, the Sentries (white) are on patrol
The guns are silent as the sun sets - a folly, the young, inexperienced crews taking life easy on the second lines. Sharpes been brought in to shake them up a bit, and bring some experience to the force with his Vets
Sharpe (centre right) giving a rousing speech to the new blood, watched on by his Veteran Command element, with the Margrave walking in (centre left), and the Veteran Squads on watch on each flank.
As before we tweaked the terrain rules, ignoring area terrain, agreeing that difficult terrain only applied to the Razor Wire strands, else wise the barriers only slowed me down by reducing my movement by two inches.  We also agreed that the two big guns served no in-game purpose; however, if Ray could get the gun crew to them, then for each game turn they were manned they would be shelling up the line (this will come into play in our next game)
One of the Mortar crews keeps on eye on my (WIP) Warboss who I am here to recover
I deployed around the camp, with one flank taking my Kans and the Zulu Orks, the opposite flank having the Dread, Shootas and Warboss (with Nob bodyguard), and my final Slugga Mob heading up the centre
Forgoing shooting, I pushed everything forward and charged the closest sentries on the right flank with my Deff Dread and Warboss/Nobz - my goal was to silence them in combat, and use consolidation to pull me closer to the camp borders while the camp was still unaware of my presence.
My Boss took a wound from Overwatch on the way into silencing his first sentry
Deploying so close along the long edge flank, I was able to jump into the first line of unmanned weapon pits and silence the sentries within and consolidate deeper into the line
We decided the sentries would be tooled up with grenades so they had a fighting chance against the walkers as Ray had kindly taken no Tanks which tend to do for my Orks.  This proved a laugh as the Krak grenades proved a hit throughout the three turns played - here they took a hull point of one of the Kans as they charged a sentry.
Alerted by the dying screams of the Sentries, and bestial roars of the Orks suffering hits from the Guardsmen's flashlights firing on Overwatch, Sharpe leaps into action, starting to move his forces inside the camp.  The gun crews run towards their guns with two teams making it to their Heavy Mortars, while the Veterans start lining up their Meltas on the lumbering, clanking shapes wandering out of the dark.
We totally forgot about the Raid rules and Night Fighting and leapt straight into standard play, with the Vets on the left unleashing on the Kans and taking down one, and taking a hull point of another, shaking it such that it could only Snap Fire in the next turn.
The sentries behind the wall started to fire on the advancing Zulu Orks
Another sentry hugs cover and awaits his chance
Unpictured, the Vets on the right flank dig into the vacant emplacement and unload on the Dread with their Meltas and strip two hull points from it, but are not able to stop its advance at this time.
The kidlett wanted to play too so she got the dice bucket and started going to town with them
Turn two was all about the charge - and the woe.  This is my Warboss WAAAAGHing his way through the barricades with his bodyguard lagging behind.  The Shootas had a dismal run roll and stalled - I chose to run as the only viable target in range of their guns was the Blob squad I wanted to charge with my Boss.
Overwatch - so much sigh.  Sharpe, the clear-headed Veteran orders his charges to steady themselves and unleash on the charging beast!  45 rounds later....
Pop - down drops the Warboss, with a carryover wound onto one of the Nobs.  The 4+ armour upgrade wasn't enough - next time I'm stumping for the 2+.  That's two Bosses down in two games - Ghaz will not be happy.
The Nobz complete the charge and set about doing in for the 'Oomies, smashing 10 down in the first round of combat.  Unfortunately, with the Margrave watching on, the new bloods are fearless and stand to, ready to go another round toe to toe.
Meanwhile, the Boys running up the centre munch through the crew of the Medusa and consolidate towards the centre.  The Dread (top right) successfully flamed the Melta toting Veterans lurking in the sandbagged emplacement, killing all the Melta toting Vets and two las-gunners with its Skorcha.  It also pastes a sentry in combat.
Over on the left flank, the Zulu orks deal with the two sentries who had been lurking on the defensive line, although it took seven boys (and 28 attacks) to see off one of the sentries due to abysmal rolling.  Off shot, the Kans wade into the Vets on this flank, losing the one hull point Kan to another Krak grenade.
In response to seeing his Veteran buddies torched by the Dread, another Sentry lurking amongst the sandbags uses a Krak grenade to finish off the Deff Dread - those bloody Krak grenades were the bane of this game.
Or maybe not.  Forgetting Ray had gotten two Heavy Mortar crews on gun in the last round proved both costly and decisive.  He lobbed rounds at both flanks, both of which landed spot on target.  On the right the Shoota Boys (not pictured) were pasted, losing 9 out of 11 Boys, though the remaining two stuck at it.  On the left the Zulu Orks were also bracketed, suffering a direct hit and another 9 Boys down.  Ray also got the crew of the Earthshaker onto their gun.
Unlike their Shoota colleagues, the Zulus broke and ran.  I couldn't believe it.  Something that had looked so sure at the start of the turn, with plans to having 50 Boys running through the camp on turn three seeing off the last 20 or so Guardsmen, had become the start of a rout!
Fuelled by the sight of the rest of their clan lying torn to pieces and dead in the dirt, else wise fleeing like cowards, the Slugga Boys in the centre roared a mighty WAAAGH and charged into the fray, making a disordered charge into the new blood and Sharpe who had been fighting the Nobz, as well as both of the Heavy Mortar crews who had so effectively cut down the others.  Low initiative, and Sharpe and his cronies power swords were enough to see both remaining Nobz dead in the dirt for the loss of only two new bloods 
The Boys though were able to smash both gun crews and a few more new bloods
At this stage the battle rush took over and I forgot to take more pictures.  Suffice to say the Vets on the left, joined by yet another sentry, were able to kill off the last Kan using Krak grenades for the loss of the sentry.  The only thing in my favour on that flank was the fleeing Zulu Orks rallied and took a pot shot which missed at the Sentry who had been lurking at

In Rays turn, he brought both the Margrave and his command, as well as Sharpes command element into the fray against the Boys in the centre.  The combined assault of the Margrave, two command elements and Sharpe and the remaining new bloods left only two Boys, who promptly failed their Morale roll but were unable to break off and were dragged down and killed.  The Earthshaker gun also got its first round off of the match, having been crewed at the end of the last turn.

I was sullen and moping by this point, ruing not taking out the gun crews earlier.  I wanted to call it but Ray suggested I see what the Zulu Orks could do.  The dice were with me and I got enough on the roll to make it into combat with the Earthshaker crew, losing a Boy to Overwatch on the way in.  I consolidate the Boys into cover.
We called it here.  My Boys (hiding effectively behind a sandbag wall just above the Earthshaker platform) are surrounded by a near complete Vet squad (top left), the Margrave and his flamer toting command squad and Sharpes command element (centre left), Sharpe and the remaining new blood (centre right), with the dregs of the other Vet Squad within rifle range (top right).
My wounded Warlord, a prisoner following our first game, remains in the hands of Imperium, destined for some Ratlings cook pot it seems.
It was another cracking, narrative driven game.  Aside from the enjoyment from playing itself, Ray and his banter are always worth having around.  I admit freely I struggle to keep rules in my head, and jumble the various editions together into some horrible rules mash-up, which led to Ray forlornly quipping at one point that I was 'editions behind'.

Next game we plan on a larger fight, more towards the front lines - either a full on attack by my Orks on Rays front line (narratively serving as a diversionary attack while this raid took place), or else a full attack on my camp by Rays forces.  That Earthshaker shot that Ray got off in turn 3 will need to land somewhere, only time will tell its impact!  In either scenario, Sharpe and the Margrave will have to be absent, though on my side the big man himself Ghaz may finally put in an appearance.

In other news, I finished off the Chaos lads I had shown as WIP last time out and started on the Shoota Boys and Deff Dread used in today's game.  They need finishing off and then its a toss up between the last 20 Slugga Boys or another unit of Chaos.
Completed Daemon Prince, Renegade Guard, and Nurgle Lord
WIP Deff Dread, Shoota Boys and Casualty
As ever, happy hobby all.


Thursday, 30 June 2016

078. Kill team skirmish - Sharpes folly or how Sutherland turned traitor...

I don't know where the last four months have gone.  The hobby has still been bubbling away for me, I've finished a few more Orks, and made a start on my Chaos Renegade force (Guard/Marine/Daemons) but I just haven't found the time to blog (though I have been reading blogs).  The real struggle has been getting time to do any hobby with the lads (excluding infrequent hobby chat on our group page).  For one reason or another our paths have not crossed since the last game in February.  Well, I thought to myself after missing another catch up attempt last week, enough was enough.  I took a week off work (I've just come of an acting stint so timing wise it made sense to take a break now anyway), strategically starting on the day the missus was at work and the kidlett was in childcare, and arranged with my buddy Col. Ackland (Ray) to catch up and throw down for some quick fire games.
Renegade Krieg with Nurgle Lord - the professional component of my planned Renegade Guard (these are like the Blood Pact of Gaunts Ghost)
Very WIP Nurgle Daemon Prince
The plan was for a short game of 500 point kill team between my Orks and Rays Praetorian Guard to break in Rays new terrain that he's been working on (go check it out HERE, HERE and HERE), and then some X-Wing.  The kill team game went long (but that's the nature of gaming sometimes - particularly when you spend as much time as us waffling and nattering like a couple of old nannas) so there was no X-Wing, but man oh man was it great to catch up and talk hobby, roll some dice and have a real laugh again.

500 points doesn't sound a lot, but for me, it meant 54 Orks - 40 Boyz split into two mobs of 20, 10 Shooter Boys, and a Warboss with three Nobs as bodyguard.  There was very little kit in the force, mainly some assault weapons on the Boys and one Power Klaw on the Nobs (just in case Ray snuck in a vehicle).  I'd floated the idea before hand of using the new terrain to play out an ambush on a patrol (either of us acting as the patrol) such that it limited our force selections to not include certain things - ie for the Orks I'd suggested I would steer away from any Walkers or fixed guns or really tooled up units; the idea being that a bare bones patrol was caught with their pants down while out scavenging or some such. 

Ray took that one step further on the day, and took his love the tv character Sharpe, and molded a unique scenario for us to run through.  One Major Sutherland of his majesties Praetorian Imperial Guard has decided to defect to the Orks (for reasons unknown) and had passed on a message via the Grot Communication Network that he could be found at the old Windmill near sundown with a bare minimum bodyguard escort and would await pickup. Unfortunately for Sutherland, his message had been intercepted and the combined Macharian Thunderguard Cavalry, aided by Sharpe and his Praetorian Guard were en route to stop the defection, and recover Sutherland at all cost.

Ray had a list of mixed Praetorian foot, and Mounted Macharian Thunderguard (using his home brew Codex Equestrus - a mix of FW and GW rules) including two units of Veterans (the Red and Green Coats), a unit of Ratlings, Sharpe (with the stats of a Lord Commissar) and a unit of Mounted Dragoons (mounted Storm Troopers) and another of Lancers (faux Rough Riders).  Sutherland (another Lord Commissar stats wise) would be under my control, while his bodyguard (seven Veteran Guardsmen) would be under Rays control - though they would act in accordance with the Major and notionally target the Orks, up until the point Sutherlands deceit became public.

Ray had set up the table with the Windmill roughly centred on the left flank and a variety of rock formations and trees heavily packed around the remaining board (roughly a 4 x 4 area).  The board was quartered and we had agreed we could each deploy in up to two of the quarters (we'd each have opposing corners - ie I had NW and SE, Ray had NE and SW).  The deployment zones in each quarter were set at 12 inches deep from any of the edges in each quarter.  I won deployment and split my forces, the unpainted mob of 20 Boys and the Shooters deploying NW in and around the windmill; with the Warboss, Nobs and painted mob of 20 Boys deploying in the SE quarter.  Ray placed his Cavalry into reserve and deployed his Red Coats onto the rock formation in the NE quarter, with his Green Coats around the SW quarter rock formation.  The Ratlings deployed in various advantageous sniper posts around the board (under the Killteam rules each model is its own unit so doesn't need a unit for coherency purposes).
Our board - I really do urge you all to follow the links above and check out Rays posts about his terrain - the rock formations in particular are great, playable, terrain pieces with really well done, in scale colouring.
My SE Mob of Boys, Nobs and Warboss with the package (Major Sutherland) in sight in the centre top
Rays Red Coats on the NE rock formation, with Ratling support
Ratlings and Green Coat Veteran Snipers hold the SW rock formation, with eyes on my Boys and Warboss, as well as clear line of sight to Sutherland whose intentions at this stage are unclear
Unbeknownst to the Ork Shootas on the main platform, some Ratlings have taken the high ground at the top of the windmill
My other Boys Mob and the Shootas control the NW quarter.
We agreed how the terrain worked for cover (no area terrain, a general 5+ save if clearly behind rock formations/cover, 6+ for the rails on the windmill) and that we didn't need to roll for difficult/dangerous terrain as that would only slow us down - instead agreeing to use our commonsense and limit movement when appropriate if scampering up the side of the rock formations otherwise to treat it as unimpeded ground.  We agreed no turn 1 charges (as we had deployed in such close proximity we (I) could have been charging first turn), and that when the cavalry arrived, they would be able to charge the turn they arrived as this would represent them sweeping into the melee ti cinematic ally save the day (I'd rue that choice later).

Sutherland and his Guard were placed in the centre of the board.  It was my job to get him off the board, and Rays job to stop me.  If any of Sharpe, Sutherland or my Boss fell on the field, they were to remain and any force could try and capture them and remove them from the board.  With the scenario agreed, the nibbles and drinks primed, we set to - Ray stole the initiative (cos hes a jammy git) and we were off!
The traitorous Major Sutherland approaches the windmill with his guard at dusk, not knowing that the position is now surrounded by Ork and Guard - both out to capture him and bring him back to their respective camps.
Sharpe leads some Green Coats up the left flank looking to get the jump on some unsuspecting Ork Shootas
The orks rush out of the hills, intent on getting the Major at all costs.  The Green Coats on their left flank line up their shots and start dropping Orks with precision fire
The Orks on the SE quarter clamber across the rock formation and towards the Red Coats and  Ratlings taking cover in the rocks.
Over on the SW formation, the Green Coat Snipers and Ratlings are well dug in and have plenty of cover to protect themselves from the oncoming horde.
Up in the NW quarter the Orks clear some Ratlings out of the rocks and push on wards towards the centre, with the Red Coats digging in on the opposing rock formation
In the first turn, the Guard managed to drop eight Orks from the Mob accompanying the Warboss up the centre, as well as take a couple of wounds of the Nobs and Warboss, the Orks in return surprisingly brought down a number of the Green Coats and Ratlings with their return fire, with Sharpe himself taking two wounds, though as agreed there was no charging on the first turn.  Sutherland headed with his guard towards what they anticipated was a confrontation with the Warboss.
The Ratling on the top of the Windmill has a clear view down into the Ork Mob surrounding the Warboss
He lines up and starts dropping Orks with gusto
Sharpe heads out of cover and blasts a Shoota Boy who had come in to range of his Master Crafted Knock Gun
However he soon suffers the same fate of most other Sean Bean characters, and is Gatted of his final wound by a band of Slugga Boys
In the centre, Sutherland makes it clear that he has thrown in with the Orks, shooting down one of his guard and assisting the Orks to finish of the remainder in combat.
Sutherland and the Warbosss come to the realisation that neither can understand the others tongue, which leads to a serious breakdown in communication and later strategy; as one wants nothing more than to escape the board while the fighting is slowing down and before the Cavalry arrives, while the other wants nothing more than to SMASH DA OOMIES!
The Boys in the SE continue to clamber around the rocks and get shot down by the Red Coats
Although the Red Coats (and the poor Ratlings accompanying them) see their numbers slowly but surely thinned in return
The Green Coats on the other (SW) side have total control of their formation by this time, although the Veteran Snipers are making a real hash of hitting anything, being upstaged by the plucky Ratlings who are trading rounds with the Shoota Boys in the windmill
With Sharpe down, and the Major in the hands of the Orks, its not looking good for Ray. The Cavlary chose to stay in reserve in turn two, and my numbers were starting to tell as I was now in range to charge and my shooting was being quite effective.  Things slowly swung Rays way as the Lancers showed up in turn 3, the Dragoons waiting another turn yet.
The Lancers sweep int and set about the Boys who had done for Sharpe
On the other flank the Red Coats continue to thin the number of Boys ever so slowly heading their way
Sutherland and the Warboss head up the centre of the board rather than towards the nearest board edge
The Orks in the NW come around the rock formation and into the open, drifting towards the Red Coats on the NE flank, but mainly milling around waiting for some Cavalry to show up
A pair of Lancers sweep around the bottom edge ready to cut off any escape attempt through the bottom of the board, not realising the Warboss is a numpty and has headed up, deeper into the centre
Although they take some wounds, the Lancers mostly see off the Boys on the Western flank and now split apart looking for other quarry to run down
Sutherland and the Warboss bodyguard it up Secret Service style in the centre of the board while the slow drift of the Northern  Boys continues towards the Red Coats
Turn four saw the arrival of the last cavalry unit, the Dragoons.  It also saw whatever dice gods had cast equal favour so far in the game desert the board, leaving only that fickle prick behind, who I've obviously wound up at some point, as nearly every roll for the next turn and a half went against me or for Ray.
The Dragoons arrive in the NE quarter and start laying about with their Hot Shot firing, thats right no armour save for you plebe, Lasguns (at least I had a 6+ against the standard flash light).  The bodies start piling up after that.
The other three Dragoons come in from the SW and immediately vape the good Major with a Melta Gun blast to the face.  The Warboss isn't quite sure what to do about that, but certainly picking up the charred remains of the traitorous Major and running of the board inst a sound move in his book, instead he decides its best to yell and stomp and try and kill as many Oomies as possible
That doesnt quite work out the way he planned, as the other Lancers swing back into the fight and gun him and his bodyguard of Nobs down - the wounds taken from the Ratlings earlier really cost him here - that and only having a 6+ armour save as Liam was too cheap to find the 4 points elsewhere in the list to give him Eavy Armour,
On the Eastern flank the Orks are finally in range for a charge and stagger through the last hail of Las to get into combat - surely these puny Oomies wont put up a fight they say
I'll even bring some of my other Ork Mates to the party - the Boys from the other flank have finally wandered across the board and joined the party
I'm yelling because I'm happy!
The combined Cavalry make a charge en masse into the remainnig Nobs and Boys in the centre
Easily cleaning that lot up they size up their next target
You've got this unloved and unpainted random Ork Boy - no unpainted mini has ever lost a fight against a painted mini - right....
I was ready to call it here as all the characters were down and I was looking light on for bodies on the board, while Ray was till running around with a majority of his force in tact (even if nearly all the cavalry were running about with but a single wound each).  We agreed to carry on for a final round as it was close to my pick up time and we clearly weren't going to get in another game of 40K or X-Wing by this stage.
The Red Coats were really owning the Orks on the Eastern flank - after wandering the length of the board, both up it, and across it, the remainders of both Boys Mobs were now ready to wade in with the beat stick and salvage something from the disaster that had become the recovery mission
But those plucky Ratling Snipers, and their Green Coat friends down in the SW quarter had something to say about that
Whats that, I do have clear line of sight and range to target on those painted Boys clambering towards my Red Coated mates.  And all you say I need is a couple of sixes...
Oh dear, did you slip and fall Mr Ork.............MWAHAHAHAHA!
The Cavalry pick up the bodies of Sutherland and the Warboss and start dragging them clear, while a Green Coat grabs Sharpe
And then they all merrily run off towards the board edge, dragging all three off to their encampment
The larger part of the Green Coats, and their trusty Ratling companions overwatch the escape from cover of the Rocks and windmill 
While my last three Ork Boys finally see of the bloody Red Coats and holler obscenities at the retreating Cavalry.
The game was an absolute blast.  The terrain was simply brilliant, the scenario a real cracker, the house ruling of terrain and massaging of the Killteam rules worked perfectly, and the outcome, while obviously not in my favour, was well earned by Ray and his chaps.

Now Col. Ackland, revenge will be mine.  And next time I'm bringing the big guns.  We want our Warboss back.  Waaagh da Orks!

Cheers all,


Edit - You can find Rays take on our engagement HERE.