Sunday, 21 February 2016

077. Gaming in 2016 - first game of the year...

Today I was fortunate enough to get a game of 40K in against Ray (Col. Ackland) and Big D.  We were scheduled to be joined by Dale as well, but he was unable to attend at late notice.  The plan had been for myself and Ray to lead a Green Tide against a combined Guard (Big D) and Raven Guard (Dale) force.  With Dales scratching, Ray brought along some more Guard to bolster the line Big D had set down, and I took over duty on the combined Ork force.

Ray had picked up a job lot of 100+ Black Reach Orks and has been converting and painting them up in a Zulu theme to play off against his Red Coat Praetorians.  For this game he had brought 100 Boys with a Warboss and Pain Boy, split into 5 units of 20 Boys, with the Boss and Pain Boy joining one of the units.  He had some spare points so also brought along a unit of Gretchin, Deff Koptas and a Deff Dread.  With Ray jumping onto the side of the Imperium I took over this force to add to my own.

I'd gone with 2 units of 20 Boys, a unit of Shoota Boys, a big unit of Nobs to go with my Warboss, another unit of Gretchin, Deff Koptas, my Kans and another Deff Dread to support them, and my Big Guns.


Rays contribution to the Imperial side was his stock Praetorian force comprising a couple of Blob Squads with commands loaded with Power Weapons, some special weapon teams (Melta and Grenade Launchers I think) and a Lascannon heavy weapon team, a Demolisher, and fixed emplacement Basilisk and Medusa as well as an Aegis Defence Line.  

Big D had a smorgasbord of Tanks including 2 Russes, 3 Punishers with Pask, and 2 Wyverns, as well as another Blob Squad and two Chimera mounted Vets.

We set up to play one of the missions out of the Waagh Ghazgkull book which gave me the unending horde rule so that each unit of Boys destroyed recycled back onto the board. The two boys started with 3 objectives in their half of the board, and my job was to get in there and take them for Gork and Mork.  I rolled a Warlord trait that let me pre position (infiltrate) 3 units of Boys much closer to Ray and Bog D's lines, though I wasn't allowed to assault with them first turn.

The table after set up giving off a sweet retro 90's WD vibe.  Big D's tank pool provided a solid left flank for the boys, filled with loads of Gatt!  Rays right flank looked the spongier of the two, but I knew from prior experience the Aegis Defence Lines were likely to give me some gip, and his fixed emplacements would cause me bother with their pie plates of doom
The boys failed to steal the initiative so my lads charged forward, scoring some good run moves to ensure I got up the line quickly.  The nature of the terrain layout meant I either had to spend lots of time traversing difficult terrain and possibly getting bogged down with poor dice rolls, or risk being bottled up into specific fire channels.  I chose the channels in the main, trusting to numbers to see me through the coming bombardment.  Ray gave me a hand to shift the 150+ Boys I had deployed.

My left flank sweeping up the side of the board towards Rays first Blob Squad and Basilisk battery.  Ray is assuming the position for the rogering my lads are about to deliver!
Similarly on my right flank a large unit of boys sweeps in towards Big D's entrenched positions, followed by the second wave of Boys and Kans and Dredd.
My shooting is fairly non existent, with only the Koptas on both flanks getting some Rokkits off, killing one Grenadier on the roof of the blockhouse on Rays end of the board.  My Lobba manages to strip a hull point from one of Big D's Chimeras down the other end.  Everything else hoofed it and ran to get as close to the boys line as possible.
The boys did little moving, only Pask and his Punisher platoon pushing forwards on Big D's flank.  Rays shooting was woeful, with only a few Boys falling to his combined shooting - 87 las shots from one Blob Squad!  Big D did more damage, taking one unit of Boys down to a lone Ork (The Albino Ork - on account of being primed white ready for painting by Ray), knocking out two Kans and taking the Deff Dread down to one hull point.
The Albino Ork ducks behind a hedge row and eyes off a Chimera.  I'd hoped I would have failed this Orks save as then I could have recycled the unit back onto the board - unfortunately he just didn't want to fall to the various types of ammunition shot at him.
Pask and his Cronies in the Punishers feeling pretty good about themselves after gatting an Ork Mob.
This gunline of armour was always going to prove a problem.  In pregame planning (when I was due to team up with Ray) we'd discussed how we had not much that could deal with these guys short of getting into combat and hoping to glance on weak rear armour.
The Kannons were rubbish - missing both times they fired.  The Lobba was useful, scoring glancing hits on the Chimera leading to one being destroyed in the second turn.  These guys didn't stick around though, after having half the crew killed in the second turn as a result of a Leman Russ taking an interest in them, the rest promptly turned and fled off the board.
With turn two kicking off, the plucky (or mental) Albino Ork fancied he could take on the might of the Imperium of Man alone, and went for a wander to see if he could smash a Chimera, or at least the juicy man flesh inside - it didn't work out, with him being gatted by the Veteran Squad that was forced to disembark once the Chimeras last hull point was lost to a Rokkit from the Deff Koptas.  That freed his unit though to become the first unit of Boys to be recycled back onto the board at the start of turn 3.
I declare a Waagh! in turn 2 and shuffle forwards across the board
My movement was as sprightly as last turn, with poor run moves, and then a number of failed charges, including my Warboss and Nob squad failing to make the wall.
Ray was quite astounded when he managed to roll 19 6's from 87 dice in overwatch as the Boys led by a Warboss and a Pain Boy finally crashed into his lines following a Waagh call.
Some of the 6's he rolled - he was rolling fist fulls of dice multiple times given the vast numbers he needed to roll.
The Warboss and Nobs loitering in front of a couple of squads of Guard and looking down the barrel of a Medusa emplacement - eeek!
Battle is joined and the 'umies start to fall.  I think I was getting close to 12 kills per combat between this one and the next, losing in most cases 3 Orks in return.  It wasn't until next turn though after reading the rules on another unit entry that I realised I'd been diddling the lads and fighting as if I had I4 instead of I2 on the Boys.  Ray said it probably wouldn't have mattered as his Guard simply weren't up to the task of fighting Orks in hand to hand, but maybe more Orks would have fallen if he'd had the dice to roll for the casualties I'd inflicted by going first.
The unit with the Warboss and Pain Boy also hit home this turn and again had similar results to the other combat - though more Orks were lost to the stacked power weapons of the Sergeants and Commissar.  The Pain Boy and 'Eavy Armour on the Boys meant my 4+/5+ save kept a lot of the boys in the fight longer than I'd expected given the volume of fire they had waded through to get here.  Both combats remained locked after the dice were rolled and would go on into the lads turn.

Aside from Big D again re-positioning Pask and the Punishers there wasn't much movement in the lads turn.  One of the Punishers did become immobilised when it mounted some difficult terrain, but it was still perfectly angled to perforate another unit of Boys.  Pask used his order to split fire. While he dealt with the Deff Koptas that had been buzzing around, the other two Punishers flogged a unit of Boys.
Rays guns line up on my Warboss and Nobs.

The Medusa takes aim and roundly demolishes the Warboss - smearing his bloody remains across the landscape
My casualties are starting to stack up.  While still not a great round of shooting, this turn the lads had much better luck than in the first turn
Pie plates from all over started finding their range and carving into the big units of Boys I had strung out across the table.   
The Wyverns in particular are nasty little things, laying down 8 re-rollable templates between the pair.  Madness (read brutally efficient) at their points cost.

In combat, the Warboss bellowed out a challenge to Rays Lieutenant who had joined the fight.  The Lieutenant sauntered over and then failed to cause any damage, but then when I attacked I was silly enough to re-roll (and fail those re-rolls) a couple of my hit dice and the Warlord promptly fell onto his own Power Klaw and killed himself (two of his attacks though had already made short work of the Lieutenant), his luck having run out.  I had been using Da Lucky Stikk which has served me well in previous games, and managed to fluff 3 re-rolls in one turn, instantly killing the Warboss.  The Boys knocked back a few more Guardsmen and remained locked in that combat.  In the central combat, Rays Command Squad waded in tipped the balance of the fight, winning the combat by one and sweeping the remnants of the squad (another unit that would recycle itself in Turn 3).
At the start of turn 3, the two units of Boys previously wiped out duly recycled back onto the board.  I placed them down at Big Ds end, thinking the combats against Ray and units already down that end stood a good chance of causing more mayhem (and potentially rolling up the whole flank), while Big D's end of the board was looking distinctly bare of Orks, with his shooting being extremely effective at withering the Green Tide.  Unfortunately I fluffed the run rolls and barely shuffled forwards at all with my reinforcements.

the Deff Dredd made a tremendous charge roll and made it into combat with the Punishers,   It then duly fluffed its rolls.  The dice were starting to turn against me and the down hill slide commenced.

The remainders of a unit of Boys successfully charged the Veterans that had been forced to disembark from the stricken Chimera, weathered the hail of light from their Lasguns, and then routed them in combat.
The Boys hunker down behind the Chimera wreck, only now aware there is a Blob Squad, Command element and Autocannon team looking right at them - not to mention the Wyverns, a Demolisher and pair of Russ's at their backs!
Down on Rays flank, the Deff Dread joins the ongoing combat against the remains of the Blob Squad and Command sans Lieutenant (this picture was taken after the combat had been resolved and they hadn't survived the appearance of the Dredd) while the followup unit of Boys on the flank made it into combat with a Melta Gun specialist squad which had foolishly jumped out of cover in an attempt to gatt the Dredd in the previous turn (Rays Shooting was abysmal).
The combat was brutal, with all but the Commissar falling to the combined unit of Boys and Pain Boy, and Deff Dredd reinforcement.  The Guardsmen had split their attacks, attempting to Krak Grenade the Dredd to no avail, and only causing a few casualties against the Boys with their Power Weapons.
The lads kicked off their turn 3 in style, with Big D gatting in its entirety one of the recycled units of Boys (20 Orks) with his Punishers!
The big guns also started in, taking down 2 other units of Boys this turn with their multiple blast weapons wreaking havoc among my Orks
Ray placing more Pie Plates of Doom over my hapless orks - I think this was the Leman Russes laying in with their large blasts!
The Wyverns wiped out in a single round of firing the unit of Shoota Boys that had been skulking up through the ruins in the centre of the board.

The collection of Ork dead grew too large.  It was getting on into the arvo when I called the game.  Turn 4 would have seen me bring back 3 units of Boys, but having to start at the base line, they would have had to weather two whole turns (with my average dice roll run results) of shooting before they had a chance to get into combat.  Going by turn 3's shooting, they wouldn't have lasted a single turn.
The three turns we did play were complete opposite ends of the spectrum in my mind.  Turn one was full of woeful shooting by the lads, and brilliant run moves by my Boys getting themselves into prime position for the turn two charge and great combat results - though not strong enough to actually finish off either of the blob squads in a single round of combat.  Turn three in my mind was all about the shooting - Big D in particular really laid down the hurt that turn.  While in combat I still held my own, enough of my units weren't in it to be safe from the shooting and the boys had tremendous dice rolls.  As Ray said though, the dice could have one either way in all of the turns and the luck had been with me earlier in the piece.

At the point I called it the lads still held all three objectives, as well as had first blood and had killed both of my Warlords (both of the Warbosses).  I only had linebreaker to my name, and didn't have enough left close enough to the objectives to make a real push to wrest even one of them away from the lads.


Talking to Ray afterwards I said if we played that scenario again I'd want to tweak the recycle rule to allow respawning on the flank - as deploying back on the start line left the units too exposed in this kind of gun line game.  Writing this up now I also think we were playing the recycle rules wrong as well.  The units shouldn't have automatically come back on in the next turn, instead they were meant to go into reserve first and then enter using the reserve rules.  That would increase the difficulty again as you couldn't even guarantee the unit would come back when you wanted it!

Even though I suffered defeat yet again, I had a great time.  It was awesome seeing so much painted stuff on the table (Big D's guard are beautiful to look through), even if me and Ray both had a big chunk of Orks still to paint.  What was painted was really well done across the board, and it personally gave me no end of pleasure to put down a near full painted force, and a definite impetus to crack on with the Orks instead of my planned Lost and Damned, to get them finished this year so i can say I have a full force painted - something I haven't had since I was 12 or 13.  Talking with Big D after the match also made me think it might be time to grow the Waagh just that little bit and invest in a Battlewagon or two, and maybe some Warbikes, or Buggies, or Trakks or maybe even some Storm Boys...

Cheers all,

Liam