Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Throwback Attack - Warhammer 40k AAR

This week, I hope you'll allow me a little trip down memory lane.

Back in 2008, I had just recently entered the wargaming hobby in a way that I'm sure many can relate too - with a small collection of Warhammer 40k miniatures from Games Workshop. I was collecting Space Marines - plain, vanilla Marines, nothing fancy - back in the heyday of 5th Edition. My friend Curt, who's miniatures have appeared on the blog before, had started collecting before me, and had amassed a decent mob of Orks. 

Back in those days, we didn't have painted miniatures, or decent terrain. We played with our grey toy soldiers on battlefields made from books and LEGO structures, on a pool table in Curt's basement. The hobby was new to us, completely fresh, and we didn't mind that our games looked nothing like the intricately detailed pictures in the 5th Edition rulebook. 

Time having moved on, Curt and I don't really play 40k anymore. My Marines have been sold and are hopefully in someone else's collection now. Curt still has his Orks, but they mostly reside in boxes along with some Catachans and Chaos Marines. I haven't really played 40k since 5th, and while Curt has the 6th Edition rulebook, it has really only been thumbed through more out of curiosity than any serious use. 

So when Curt expressed an interest in having a small game of 40k (750 points max), I agreed. And we made sure to make the game as much like the old days as possible.

Curt was using the 6th Edition Codex for his Chaos Marines. He took a Chaos Lord, a Chaos Marines Squad, a Cultist squad, a Thousand Sons squad, and a Chaos Predator with an autocannon and lascannon sponsons. 

I played as the Orks, using Curt's increasingly ragged 5th Edition codex. I had a Warboss, two big mobs of Boyz - one with Sluggas, Choppas, and Rokkits, the other with Shootas and Big Shootas - and two small squads of Lootas and Warbikes.

The battlefield was... well, let's say it was nostalgic, resembling the battlefields of our teen years. We were deploying lengthwise, with five objective markers scattered across the table. 

The Ork deployment saw the Warbikes take up one flank, and the Shoota mob on the other. A phalanx of Choppa boyz lined up for an advance up the middle, while the Lootas took advantage of the long, flat elevation. A decidedly cowardly Warboss hid behind a six-pack carton.

The forces of Chaos arrayed themselves to take advantage of their superior shooting. The Predator lined up against the Warbikes, and the Chaos Lord, Marines, and Thousand Sons deployed forward. The Cultists, only wielding autopistols, cowered behind the intervening terrain.

I had managed to get the first turn, which was fairly important, as a lot of the Ork's strengths rely on getting into close combat, and the table had fairly open lanes of fire that Curt's Chaos forces could shoot down. Of course, that meant that Curt was nearly guaranteed to seize the initiative from me. Which he did.

My Orks slowly advanced up the table, under covering from from the Lootas and the Shoota boyz. It would be a reoccurring problem for me in this game that I would forget all about the Warboss, and so he didn't get much use - or any at all, really. 

Curt's two squads of Marines held the line, firing into my mobs, while his Predator picked off my warbikers turn by turn. I'm also being forced, at his insistence, to make mention that he did make the first kill, and so received First Blood. 

My phalanx of Choppa boyz slowly trudged their way forward into the hail of bolter shells. I had decided to take two mobs of thirty boyz each, meaning I could afford a few casualties. The Thousand Sons squad (in all silver) was also preoccupied by the other approaching ork mob. 

My boyz finally closed and decided to get a good crumpin' in on the Chaos Marines. The Chaos Lord decided to opt out of the combat. The duel between the Aspiring Champion and my Nob (er...) ended with the Champion being torn in two by the Nob's power klaw, and the massive amount of dice I ended up rolling for the ork close combat attacks resulted in all but two of the rest of the Marines dead and fleeing. 

Curt's Predator had, with sniper-like accuracy, managed to reduce my Warbike squad down to just the Nob. Curt's Marines weren't doing quite as well, with the Thousand Sons squad staring down the various sized barrels of a number of Shootas and Big Shootas.

The Chaos Lord attempted to intercept the Nob Biker, but both missed with their attacks. The Thousand Sons continued to fall back, with a Rubric Marine periodically falling to the dense cloud of incoming lead. 

My Choppa mob decided to get stuck in with the Chaos Lord, who finally went down. Freed up from combat, the Nob warbiker drove up to the Predator and hit it with several Immobilization and Weapon Destroyed results. 

We decided to call the game then, as Curt had run out of units and we had both run out of beer.

The game was fun - if a little confusing, thanks to our mixing of 5th and 6th Edition rules - and it was also inspiring in a way. I'm currently rooting through the house for cardboard and other little items that can be used for ruins if we decide to play again. Hopefully I'll have an update on that soon.

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