Saturday, 4 October 2014

052. Gaming with Ackland and James (Pic Heavy)...

Today, taking advantage of the long weekend, the beautiful weather, and the loving missus who gave us the day off parenting, I got together with James and Ray (Col. Ackland) over at Rays place to pursue that most grown up of pursuits - playing with toy soldiers!

Ray had a free weekend and I took advantage of that (having missed the last scheduled gaming day with a sick missus and kid), jumping at the chance to throw some dice around.  In correspondence during the day before, Ray had established that he would field 2,000 points alone, while James and I teamed up with a 1,000 points each to take him on.  I brought miniatures and lists enough to field any of my Orks, Space Wolves or Ultramarines, knowing only that James was taking Imperial Fists.

When I got there and saw what Ray had laid out, and what James' list contained, we agreed I'd run my Wolves, the Orks and Ultramarines lacking in any meaningful heavy support - while Ray would be fielding a force of Necrons which included two Monoliths!!!!
See!  TWO Monoliths!  EEK!
Ray was using FW IA13 - the Fall of Orpheus, and one of the special characters (a 200+ point beast), fielding 3 large (15 Cron) units of Warriors with Cryptek support, two units (which would prove to be a gamble lost on Rays part) of Flayed Ones (he would have been better with a single unit of 20) and three units of Scarabs.  Ray also had a Cryptek with some kind of instrument of doom - a Harp of Dissonance for those playing along at home (cleverly modelled as a Violin on the figure).
Ray's Uber-Lord of Doom
Uber-Lord of Doom (Right) and Violin playing Cryptek (Left)
Particularly tricky buggers to deal with - Scarab Swarms are definitely worth their points

Three x 15 Cron Warrior blobs with Crypteks - ACKLAND, I never asked why one unit is blue?

Flayed Ones built using a very clever Cron and Tomb King bits mash - both of these units proved difficult to destroy due to rubbish dice performance, though they would have been stronger if rolled into a single unit

James had a nice force comprising two full Tactical Squads in Rhinos, a Combat Squad with Heavy Bolter, a five man Assault Squad (sans packs) in a Drop Pod, a Vindicator, a four Las toting Devastator Squad (with some extra plebe meat shields) and a Techmarine who would bolster a set of ruins.

I supplemented James force with two full Grey Hunter packs, a Dread with an Auto Cannon, a pack of Long Fangs (we discussed this squad throughout the day - I don't think they are effective enough for their costs and in future will trial replacing them with a Predator kitted out to suit whatever the game requirements are), and a Wolf Lord on Thunder Wolf with three Thunder Wolf Cavalry in support.
Bit of a rubbish shot of James and my armies - blocks of troops is what I like to see
Across all armies, there was a solid grounding of troops forming the back bone and mainstay of the forces arrayed for battle (something I in particular thought was fantastic - the common troop seems overlooked more often than not in most on line lists you see), with only a smattering of 'elite or specialist' units to bolster the line.
The now traditional pre-game cheese shot with Ray
Ray had set up a cracking board for us to fight over - including a set of what I imagined as Crusade/Post Scouring era Imperial ruins, with a newer Mechanicum/Adeptus Bioligis lab network established on site to study some recovered alien archeology/archeo tech in the form of some of Rays WIP Necorn Temple scatter terrain.  I supplied the ruins, whilst Rays Battle Systems Kickstarter terrain set gave us a great lab set up.
Fantastic Battle Systems terrain set up as a secure lab complex to study recovered Xenos ruins
Looking down the table Ray set us up on
And across ways

The other lab building - storing more Xenos ruins for later investigation

Fittingly the game we rolled was Purge the Alien - Ray was out to wipe the Imperial facilities and their defenders from the face of the 'tomb world' and recover the lost artifacts, while Imperial Forces needed to see of the newly risen Necron threat.  James and I won deployment and first turn, and Ray failed to seize the initiative.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
James leads the charge - setting up on our left flank - his Devastators, Combat Squad with Heavy Bolter and Techmarine deploy into the bolstered Ruins, along with my Long Fangs
The balance of  James' army deploy as a Quick Reaction Force in their Rhinos, together with the Vindicator.  I'd deployed my two Grey Hunter packs into the storage building, with the Thunder Wolves in the centre behind cover and the Dread on the far left flank
Ray deployed a Scarab swarm, one of his Cron units and a Monolith on each flank.  His violin player perched on the top of the ruins mirroring the Techmarine James had placed in the ruins on the opposite corner
He kept another unit of Crons with his Lord of Doom in the centre, with one pack of his Flayed Ones
The other pack of Flayed Ones deployed behind the Fire Base on our left - not sure why one of them has wandered off from the pack (bottom right corner)
The Monoliths had me worried - I hadn't played against one in years, and I hadn't expected lots of AV14 - this would be interesting
Turn One was a slow burn with both sides fluffing around moving units into better positions to square off against opposite sides - although I did snipe the Violin player with my Long Fangs - he duly failed his 'we'll be back' roll
The Flayed Ones in the centre hadn't been placed very strategically and started taking hits
James Drop Podded in his demi-squad of Assault Marines who wasted no time laying some flame on the other Flayed One pack
Lurking under the gantry of the Fire Base - Ray's done a cracking job with the bits mash on these
The Rhinos have both edged out to see whats about and the Vindicator makes itself known with a good shot on the centre unit of Flayed Ones
Half way through turn one my phone died so I had a gap in my pictures - after a quick charge it was back to functioning - just in time to record my casualties from Rays shooting - the Monolith on my flank had made itself known
Ray had been unsuccessful with a lot of 'we'll be back' rolls
James had lost his Drop Pod to a swarm of Scarabs and a couple of his Assault Marines to the Monolith on his flank
Turn two saw me advancing further out of our zone and towards Ray's line
The view from the Monolith - Those Scarabs were a bugger to shift - we stayed locked in combat for two full turns (four fight phases)
Looking out over Rays centre - I had an eye on his central Cron unit housing his Lord - My Thunder Wolves would make short work of those for sure I thought to myself
Or not - I was a sad panda
I fell foul of the initiative steps and interplay with the assault order and challenge rules - meaning my Lord made it in to challenge Rays Uber-Lord, striking second due to his Frost Axe being 'unwieldy', and my other Wolves loafed about on the sidelines
Ray was a happy panda - but not for too much longer
Ray and I both fluffed the combat between our Lords, leaving them locked, and my Thunder Wolves free to consolidate in the next turn.  James had had more luck on his side. taking out the Monolith on his flank with the Devastator Squad
Ray used the remaining Monolith on my flank to bring his unit of blue Crons who had been muffing about in the central lab all by themselves into play.  Nifty things those Monoliths
Shazam - with a nonchalant gesture, 15 more Crons for me to worry about
Rays Scarabs moving into contact with a Rhino - it won't end well for the Rhino.  Meanwhile the Flayed Ones have gotten into contact with the left over Assault Marines - another combat that would go on for a number of turns
Rays central unit of Flayed Ones move towards my Long Fangs.  We ended up with units bogged down in slow combats all across the board.  Even with the massive volume of dice we were rolling, we consistently muffed 'to wound' rolls or successfully passed wounds that were caused
James' Tactical Squad was forced to emergency disembark from their Rhino after it was dissolved by the Scarabs
Smack - My Lord lays the beat stick down on Rays and then successfully sweeps the unit of Crons he was hiding in.  400+ points gone in an instant.  This seemed to be the turning point - Ray having lost one of his Monoliths, and his Uber-Lord of Doom as well as a big chunk of his Flayed Ones and Crons
Now I'm the happy panda
I bring my cavalry down the board, with a Grey Hunter Pack moving in behind to support - ready to roll on the next unit of Crons
James is about to lose his Vindicator to more Scarabs, but not if his second Tactical Squad has anything to do about it.  At this point Ray demonstrated his grasp of mathematics to us - whats 10 - 3 again Ray?  6 is it?
The Devastators, Combat Squad and Techmarine (who wasn't as effective this game with his Conversion Beamer) hunt for targets while my Long Fangs slog through another round of combat with some Flayed Ones
Take that Ackland - Smack, Biff, Kapow - showing how it's done, Wolf style
Dum, dum, dum..... Ray makes the 'we'll be back' roll for the Uber-Lord of Doom - It all starts coming up Ackland
Insert evil laugh here
And then he makes more successful 'we'll be back' rolls and the tide slowly turns
Ray is slowly (oh so slowly) bringing the Monolith on my flank into the centre lane - that and the unit of blue Crons has already seen off all but one of the Grey Hunters that had finally stopped the Scarab Swarm (centre left), as well as doing for the Grey Hunter pack I had been bringing in to support the cavalry.  James' Devastators were slowly chipping away the Monoliths hull points, but Ray had been jammy with his cover saves, and the Techmarine was having no better luck
Rays Uber-Lord wades back in
My last Grey Hunter lets out a howl and charges back into the fray - he takes 36 shots of Gauss and Cryptek shooty stuff on the way in - the last one gets through his armour - 35 other shots missed, failed to wound or I made a save - one bloody dice roll failed and cost him an epic saga if he'd made it in
This is Bob the Flayed One - Bob eventually killed off the last two Assault Marines, and then led a Tactical Squad and Rhino on a merry chase while pretending to be trying to secure the 'linebreaker' objective.  What Ray really planned was to let me and James think we were being smart and tactical while we worked out how to to claim Bobs scalp (or metal head or whatever) and thus another victory point, when really he knew all along he was going to be teleporting Bob through the Monolith to the opposite end of the board to hide him in a corner, thus saving himself a victory point, and being clever at the same time
How this combat between my Long Fangs and a couple of Flayed Ones went for so long I don't know - eventually I triumphed, but only after I knocked the same Flayed One down a few times, and lost two Wolves to him when he inevitably got back up
Ray manages to kill my Lord with his Uber-Lord (I finally took a wound and fluffed my invulnerable and 'feel no pain' roll [Warlord Trait boon]), thus gaining the 'Slay the Warlord' objective and another victory point.  He can't make much headway against my cavalries Storm Shield invulnerable saves.  I wish my Lord could 'get back up' - jammy git
We called it after five turns (we wouldn't have got a sixth turn anyway based on the after action hypothetical dice roll) as I needed to go home to the kid.  The Monolith was down to one hull point and was about to see a whole lot more Las.  Bob still lurked behind the ruins (that white spot at centre bottom of the left hand black ruins)
We ended up tied at seven points a piece.  Playing out the hypothetical 'what would the sixth turn have looked like?' - we agreed the Monolith probably would have fallen, and James' two Tactical Squads could have penned in Rays blue Cron unit for long enough to whittle it down with Bolter fire.  Would my Cavalry have been able to see off the Uber-Lord and the last remnants of the second gold unit - I don't think so.  And Bob was still cowering in the corner denying us the victory point.

We have talked about trying to set up a campaign to play through - maybe building of one in the IA series - between Ray and I it looks like we have the full collection.  Even if we don't get around to that, we will definitely be playing again - next time should be at my place where with luck the forces of the Imperium can wage a stronger fight and really wipe the floor with those Xenos scum!

I really enjoyed myself, and hopefully the lads did too.

Cheers all,



  1. Wow - this is EPIC...and that scenery is astonishing.

    If worlds collided, and you lot were ever able to combine forces with Zzzzzz over at Devos IV, the result would be simply astonishing!

    Greeat fun - thanks.

    1. Cheers Drax. As one of our mates pointed out, we really need to get more paint down on that board - terrain and miniatures.

      And I do believe the good man Z is already in cahoots with Ackland and collaborating from across the pond on Rays Gold Tomb Citadel of Doom.

  2. Thought I’d come back for another read...
    That was really a great day. What a fun game!
    To answer your question, the blue warriors were the previous incarnation of the army. I promised myself I wouldn't strip any until I had finished a few in the new colour scheme. I have photos somewhere of you playing against these all blue at Marion years back. Remember?
    The heavy focus on troops was really cool. Made for a cool game.
    I should do a review post on that battle system terrain too.
    At the beginning of the game I don’t know why the Vindicator was at the back. Get it out to dish out pain I say.
    With Bob the Flayed One, I only thought about teleporting him after you had worked out how to kill him. I probably wouldn't have bothered but you were both trying so hard that I thought he deserved to live (even if he didn't have a head).
    Epic result. I can’t believe I just managed to tie as we ended it. The army was so on its last legs!
    Brilliant write up Liam. :)