Sunday, 24 April 2011

Venture into Warhammer

So for Good Friday I play my 2nd ever real game of Warhammer. 2500pts a side, my Lizardmen versus a high Elf army. To say it was a slow game is an understatement as both myself and my opponent are very new to Warhammer so were we looking a lot of rules up as we were going. Still it was a lot of fun.

The Lizardmen were;
Slann Mage priest
Sink priest on Engine of the Gods
Saraus Old Blood
20 Saraus warriors with Spears
20 Saraus warriors with Spears
16  Saraus warriors withhand weapons
3 Kroxigor
5 Cold one Cavalry
10 Skirmish Skinks
6 Chameleon skinks

Not knowing the High Elf army list some of this might have been wrong
High Elf Prince on griffon
2 x Level 2 Mages
20 Spearmen
20 Sea Guard
20 Sea Guard
10 Sword Masters
5 Silver Helms
2 Great Eagles
2 Repeater Bolt throwers

We opted to play the basic mission, mainly because we didn't want to complicate matters by adding in mission objectives etc. Terrian was kept to a minumum with a couple of hills and a small ruin really having any affect in the game.

The first confusion started with my Chameleon skinks. We were sure where they could go. On-line most people seem to point to them as a means of taking out warmachines with their scout ability, however the initial reading suggested they had to be 12" from the enemy which would put them miles from anything. Not sure if this was just a cunning and probably acciedential deployed trick by the High Elves or we were getting it wrong, The Summary rules which army builder produced mentioned that they could ignore minimum distance for scouting, so it was they set up behind the warmachines ready to slay the crew. Really must sit down with rule books and army books and work out which is right. As it was it didn't matter, the Elves got first turn and the Prince on griffon swooped down and ripped the little skink to pieces, but not before they'd given his Griffon 2 wounds from stand and fire reaction. Pretty much the first 2 turns went the same. I advanced under the cover of the 5+ ward save being generated by my Engine of the Gods, whilst the High Elves shot a lot. The broke my skinks and killed 2 of the Kroxigor before the Kroxigor made a suicide run into a unit of spearmen. The magic wasn't a massive impact. Most spells were dispelled or didn't do huge amounts of damage.

By turn 3 the Lizardmen were ready to strike and 2
of my unit's and the Stegadon crashed into the battle line of the elfs. My temple guard were horribly out of position due to a bad deployment in front of a small ruin I had to move around, with hindsight this wan't the best place to have deployed my Temple Guard. It's these little things i need to learn.

So it turns out that Saurus are pretty handy in a fight. I was worried that the Elf always strike first special rule would mean that the Elf would kill everyone before we got to strike, however the change in rules so that the back ranks are removed first does help. Plus toughness 4 is an bonus. Playing 40k I'd forgotten the difference 1 points of toughness makes. In 40k the vast majority of armies have Str4 weapons, so the toughness 4 goes largely unnoticed. In this game the Elves needing 5+ to wound was a significant impact. Combined with my 4+ save meant we didn't take anywhere near the casualties. It should be noted at this point that the biggest learning mistake was made now, we forgot that since the Elves iniative beat the Lizards naturally they could have re-rolled their to hits. This would probably have had an effect on the combat, but how much i can't tell. In the end the Lizards won out in all combats, help no end by the Engine of the Gods doing D6 Str4 hits to all nearby enemy units even if they are in combat.

It was a cool game and I enjoyed it a lot, not sure how competative our armies were and I suspect that if it had been a tournament style army i was playing against I'd have lost badly but it was fun.

Stuff to remember or learn for next time
  • How do my Chameleon skinks work? If they can set up anywhere, even within 12" of the enemy then i can see a point for them. If they need to be 12" away I'm not sure the point, most deployments wouldn't allow them close enough to their kind of targets (War engines or small tough lightly armour targets)
  • Think of where your units are going to head. The Temple guard were horribly out of position and were wasted most of the game

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Apocalypse at the Garrison

So this Saturday at the Garrison I took part in an Apoc game of 40k. Roughly speaking it was the forces of Chaos defending a spaceport from an attacking Imperial force. There was a slight fudge with some Imperial Space Marines fighting on the side of Chaos, and an interesting little plot twist whereby some Grey Knights joined the Chaos. The fluff here was one of the missions the Chaos had to accomplish was to recover a grimoire of Demon knowledge from an outlying tower, so the Grey Knight were clearly here to get it for themselves ;)

 I'm obviously not going to list the armies involve but the Chaos army featured 2 Warhounds, a Bane Blade and a Brass Scorpion, whilst the Imperial had 4 Baneblade variants. Chaos were deployed in the ruins remains of a walled city. Whilst the Imperial forces attacked down both sides of the L shaped board.

It wasn't a normal Apoc game, so the objectives were theme related. The main objective was to hold the starport (the round building in the photo). This was worth 5vp. There was also a secondary objective for each side. The Imperial player had to destroy the Daemon arch in the back of our deployment zone. This was immune to all firing and could only be destroyed in hand to hand. It was an AV13 immobile vehicle for these purposes.
The forces of Chaos had to recover a grimiore of Daemon knowledge from the grey building at the end of the board (the one with the sign of Tzeentch on). To do this one our models had to end it's turn in base to base contact with the building to pick up the counter and then make it back to the starport. Not a simple mission when you think 10k pts of Ultramarines and Space Wolves would be in the way.

On top of the team missions, each general had their own secret mission to complete.
  • I had to kill Commissar Yarrick with my Brass Scorpion super heavy, not an easy prospect as Yarrick was in a Baneblade variant surrounded by other Baneblade variants and from experience Brass Scorpions tend to be targeted heavily
The other Chaos generals had;
  • Personally shoot down 2 of the 4 flyer's (the thunderbolt bomber and one of the Valkyries)
  • Keep 1 of his 2 DeathKnight alive.
For the forces of good the mission were;
  • Get one of the two Lone Wolves on top of the gate, on his own.
  • Have the last dreadnought on the board (tricky given he has 2 dreadnoughts and the forces of Chaos had 8 between us)
  • Have Yarrick kill at least his own points worth of Chaos, personally.
  • Finish with at least one unit inside the Chaos deployment zone.

With the forces of Chaos failing to seize initiative, the Imperial side took first turn. A couple of the generals had joined the game at the last minute so in Turn1 2000pts of Imperial guard rolled onto the board. A lot of this was represented by a heavy contignent of Leman Russ tanks, Manticores and Basalisks parked at the end of the board (right next to the Chaos objective building.... drat). The space wolf contigent drove forward in their assortment of Rhinos and Landraiders trying to close on the Chaos held walls. On the other flank the massed Superheavy tanks rumbled forward supported my more Leman Russ and Chimeras.

 In the firing phase the Chaos Super Heavies bore the brunt of the aggresssion. My Brass Scorpion was uncerimoniiously shot to pieces by 2 of the super heavies. Luckily for us it didn't go Super Nova and only wrecked. One of the Warhound titans phased the remaining of the fire power with the remaining 2 superheavy tanks and the Imperial guard artillery pieces stripping off all it's void shields and removing all but one of it's structure points. On the other side the dreadnought came under a lot of fire. With hindsight, now we know their mission, it's obvious why this was the case, but at the time it was just assumed they were the easiest targets as 5 of them were defending a breach in the wall. All in all their firing was less troublesome than i thought it would have been.

Now it was the Chaos' turn. Our extra general brought on 2000pts of Grey Knight (yes a little odd I realise) in a very aggressive move his 2 deathknights deep struck onto our objective building at the far end. The Khorne battleline swarmed forward to avenge the death of Scorpy whilst the other flank mostly stood their ground an readied to fire on the advancing Space Wolves and Ultramarines .
 In the firing phase the Titans turned their anger on the the super heavies. In a blaze of fire Yarrick super heavy exploded sending debris flying in all directions. Other superheavies were rocked by battle cannons and las cannons. On the other side the space wolves vehicles took a pounding scattering many of the Sons of Fenris onto the battlefield.

In the assault phase one of the Khorne daemon princes leapt into combat with a 2nd super heavy. In a flurry of blows he reduced a untouched tank to a ball of fire, sadly the already injured Prince was struck in the chest by a flying armour plate and killed. However the forces of Chaos had destroyed 2 of the Imperial super heavies.

Then it started raining drop pods, slowly to start with a single drop pod touching down on the starport. Space wolf Terminators lumbered out and blew up the Thunderfire cannon, however for their success the Iron warrior havoks turned their Las Cannons and Autocannons on them and cut them down.

  The fighting on the space marine flank was also getting violent. Spacewolves were crashing into Iron Warriors and Chaos Space marines across the entire front line. The fighting was interrupted by a massive crash as the first of the titans toppled over and crashed to the ground. Destroyed by the remaining super heavy tanks and artillery.

In the distraction though the Grey Knights had struck, although one of their Dread Knights had been destroyed the other was now wading through the defenders of our objective building and had seized the objective marker.

More drop pods rained down on the starport, this time accompanied by a number of Valkyries as the forces for good made another attempt to take the starport. This time the Iron Warrior havok were overwhelmed and killed off. Only the Techmarie was stopping the Imperial controlling the starport.

However the Chaos counter assault was as brutal as the Imperial strike had been, with Possessed and Marines leaping onto the starport and vehicles and heavy weapons from the surrounding area opening fire. At this point the Chaos side also revealed a sneaky trick. The Dreadknight in possession of the objective marker was teleported back into the Chaos deployment zone. This sneaky little trick look set to win us 5 more vp. However the Imperial had a trick or two up their sleeves and a Imperial Guard demo team leapt from one of the Valk and proceeded to blow up our Chaos gateway in close combat.

In the final turns of the game the Chaos forces swept the area around the starport clear of Imperial forces, but they were encroaching on all sides.

As the final whistle went the forces of Chaos had won 17 - 12, we'd completed 2 of our 3 secret missions (ok so i was the only one not to have completed mine) and the forces of the Imperial had completed 2 of there's too. Remarkable they managed to destroy all our dreadnoughts while keeping one of there's alive!

It was a very enjoyable game and one I hope to repeat. Keeping the generals per side to only 3 or 4 make the game run a lot smoother, which help. Would be nice to have an apoc game which isn't Imperial and Chaos though. Don't think I've played Eldar in an apoc game yet.