Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warhammer 40K Re-match: Crash Site Recovery

I played Chris at Astromini-con back in May, and we had managed to get in another game over the summer. Jonesing for a re-match, we went to 1,700 points apiece and met up at the local Games Workshop store last week to play the Astronomi-con scenario Crash Site Recovery.

The table had the contents of a crashed spaceship scattered about, with woods, craters, some ruins and ridges all around. To win the scenario a player's forces had to merely hold more objectives than their opponent - there were 6 large containers randomly scattered about.

There was also on-table the spaceship's pilot, who counted for battle points in tournament play but here in a friendly game merely added colour to the proceedings. The pilot moved a random distance each turn, away from the nearest models; he would fire his pistol (ineffectually, as it turned out) at the closest target. He could be captured by being defeated in close combat.

The containers could be picked up by any model with "hands" moving into contact in the movement phase. Holding a container disallowed that model from shooting. The container would be dropped if the model's squad broke, or if the model's squad was assaulted.

When first picked up a container might explode on a roll of "1" on a D6, with a S7 AP4 large blast marker. That would really wreck an Eldar Aspect Warrior's afternoon!

My Eldar Swordwind:
Sword-of-the-Lord - Farseer, Doom, Eldar Jetbike, Runes of Warding, Singing Spear
Warrior of Surprise - Autarch, Eldar Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Banshee Mask

Companions - Dire Avengers x 10
- Far-Darter - Exarch upgrade, Bladestorm, 2nd Avenger Shuriken Catapult
- Ancient Whispers - Wave Serpent, TL Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Cannon Upgrade

Blood Redeemers - Dire Avengers x 10
- Pious - Exarch upgrade, Bladestorm, Diresword and Shuriken Pistol
- Peacemaker - Wave Serpent, TL Bright Lances

Blade Dancers - Howling Banshees x 10
- Angelic Rhapsody - Exarch upgrade, Executioner
- Fencing Master - Wave Serpent, TL Shuriken Cannon

Fate’s Tears - Fire Dragons x 8
- The Kid - Wave Serpent, TL Shuriken Cannon

Breaking Waves - Shining Spears x 3 (sorry, two of the jetbikes have unfinished bases...)
- Winter's Knight - Exarch upgrade, Star Lance

Dreamweavers - Warp Spiders x 5
- Soul Hunter - Exarch upgrade, Dual Death Spinners

War Prayer – Fire Prism

Total: 1699 points

Opponent: Chris' Chaos Space Marines(IIRC):
Chaos Champion w/ demon weapon riding a Juggernaut of Khorne (giving a possible 18 close combat attacks!)
Winged Demon Prince with Warp Time
Demon (summoned)
Chaos Terminator squad w/ TL bolters and power fists (Champion rode with them)
Khorne Berzerker squad w/ Rhino APC
Chaos Space Marine squad
Heavy Weapon squad w/ 4(!) heavy bolters
Heavy Weapon squad w/ 2 missile launchers and 2 lascannons
Havoc squad w/ plasma guns and jump packs

The objectives were placed across the board. Two were just outside the deployment zone on the southern long table edge (deployment was 12 inches in from the long table edges), three near the northern deployment zone, one near the middle of the western (short) table edge, and the pilot was placed mid-table.

Only Troops could set up. The Eldar won the roll so chose to go second. Chaos went first and set up the Chaos Space Marine squad and a dismounted Khorne Berzerker squad with their Rhino close by, all in the northern deployment zone. The Eldar set up two Dire Avenger squads, keeping everything else off the table in reserve. The Warp Spiders would deep strike (I wanted that downed pilot; more on that later). The jetbike Autarch joined up with the Shining Spears.

In the photo below, Chris can be seen contemplating his tape measure.
(Click the photos for larger images.)

The pilot ran for the Eldar table edge, away from the Chaos Space Marines.

Reserves started in the first turn on a roll of a "5" and had a slight possibility of coming in from the short table edges. Some of the Chaos forces had their dark gods' favour, and the Havocs came in from the western table edge to seize a container, which failed to explode.

The Berzerkers seized the easternmost objective near the Chaos deployment zone.

The Chaos Space Marines seized a third container.

Score: Chaos = 3 containers, Eldar = 0 containers

In the Eldar turn, the Autarch/Spears, mounted Fire Dragons, Fire Prism and Warp Spiders all showed up. The Fire Prism and bike reinforcements came on in the southwest table quarter, the Dragons stayed mounted in the centre. The Avengers dismounted from their respective Wave Serpents and seized two objectives. Concentrated shuriken cannon and prism cannon fire killed 4 Havocs, but their morale held.

The Spiders had deep struck northeast of the pilot (I managed to roll a "Hit" and stick for a change). The Spiders shot and immobilized the Chaos Rhino, which was stuck for the rest of the game. They used their second assault jump to move south and west, herding the pilot toward the Eldar lines as, under the rules of the scenario, he would move away from them.

In the photo below, the pilot can be seen crouching in the foreground. To the right, the Warp Spiders can be seen after their deep strike. In the background, the Chaos Space Marines contemplate the objective they've seized.

Score: Chaos = 3 containers, Eldar = 2 containers

The Chaos Space Marines and the surviving Havoc moved back north a little, away from the action. The Berzerkers moved towards the ruins located to the south of them, to gain cover.

Only one Chaos unit showed up from reserves. The winged demon prince appeared on the western board edge. Chris had a couple of options open to him. He could reinforce the lone Havoc holding an objective, or he could attack the bunched up Eldar. No guts, no glory, eh?

The demon prince tried to assault though bad going, rolling a "5" - he was short of contacting a Dire Avenger by maybe a couple of millimeters, so he failed to move at all during the assault phase. Uh-oh, incoming...

During the Eldar turn, the Warp Spiders jumped to a position just east of an unattended objective. The mounted Banshees showed up, moving up the midfield. The Farseer decided to show up, coming on near the southern table edge to support the Banshees. The Fire Prism advanced and shot at the Chaos Space Marines, killing a couple.

The two Dire Avenger squads loaded their objectives into their Wave Serpents, which moved off west and south, respectively.

Note that this was a calculated risk. Under the scenario rules, the model holding a container could pass it into a vehicle, where it would take up a passenger space. This was good, since the Eldar could keep the objectives under tank armour. However, if the vehicle was destroyed, the unattended (that is, uncarried)prize would ALSO be destroyed. The safest option would have been to have a squad carrying a container mount up.

One Avenger squad advanced south towards the pilot.

The two-gun Exarch Avenger squad moved to join the now dismounted Fire Dragons and the Shining Spears in an extended firing line facing the demon prince.

After the Autarch and the Fire Dragons finished firing their Fusion Guns, the demon prince's physical body was utterly destroyed, its essence banished back to the Warp.

As the turn wound down, the Blood Redeemers assaulted and captured the downed pilot.

Score: Chaos = 3 containers, Eldar = 2 containers, plus the pilot

The following turn the Chaos forces, true to form, only received one squad from reserves, the lascannon/missile squad, who moved on in the northeast table quarter. The Berzerkers dug-in in the ruins to the east. The lone Havoc jumped northwards, behind the ruins to the west.

The Farseer joined the rest of the jet bikers in the centre, and the mounted Banshees pushed north - both these units were offered as bait to take fire off of the objective carrying Serpents. Meanwhile, the two Avenger squads mounted up with their various prizes and hightailed it south and west.

The Warp Spiders teleported northwest to both grab an objective and put fire on the Havoc. The lone Havoc was cut to shreds in a cloud of mono-filament wire, leaving his container unattended.

Score: Chaos = 2 containers, Eldar = 3 containers, plus the pilot

The next couple of turns progressed at a rapid pace as the last of the Chaos reserves made it onto the table. The lascannon squad ignored the tempting Eldar bait and tried to down an Avenger Serpent - however its energy field and cover negated all hits.

The demon in reserve appeared amongst the Berzerkers. The champion on the Juggernaut and his Terminator guards moved on in the northwest and seized the objective left by the fallen Havocs. The second Chaos heavy weapon squad moved on next to them and gunned down a couple of Spiders, who broke and dropped their container. The Autarch then moved to seize hold of the discarded container as the Spiders rallied.

The Fire Prism advanced deep into the Chaos zone, killing some Chaos Space Marines
The mounted Banshees and Dragons advanced northwards. The Avengers withdrew towards the relative safety of the southwest table quarter.

The Fire Dragons dismounted and blew away the Chaos Space Marine squad.

Score: Chaos = 2 containers, Eldar = 3 containers, plus the pilot

In the photo below, looking south the Avengers can be seen taking cover in their vehicles behind some ruins.

Return fire killed some Dragons, but their morale held. The surviving demon attacked the Banshees' Serpent in close combat, blowing it up, leaving six survivors.

As the game wound down, I made a tactical error. Instead of mounting up the surviving Dragons, I advanced them towards the lascannon/missile squad. After killing some, the heavy weapon troopers' morale broke and Chris declined to re-roll their Leadership. They retreated out of "move, run and charge" range of the Banshees.

The heavy weapon squad rallied, but couldn't get close enough to the last container. The Dragons were gunned down. It took a turn for the demon to fight off the Banshees. The rest of the Eldar moved away from the action, whereupon the game ended at the bottom of the sixth turn.

Final Score: Chaos = 2 containers, Eldar = 3 containers, plus the pilot

The Eldar managed to eke out the win.

Al in all it was a fast, tense and highly enjoyable game.

Eldar Tactica Critique:
With regard to the unneeded sacrifice of the Dragons and the Banshees, what I probably should have done was mount up the surviving Dragons and place their boat about an inch off the north table edge, facing south. The Banshees were well within charge reach of the heavy weapons squad, which would have pulled them away from the demon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Battle Report - BBQ at Marburg

In this artist's rendition of last night's game, some Bundeswehr infantry are dealt with by a Soviet flame-throwing tank.

The Conscripts assembled once again last night, this time to enjoy some 28mm WW3 gaming. The battle was set outside Marburg, West Germany, and pitted the West German Bundeswehr against Soviet Motor rifles with a twist - the Soviet Force was in fact a group of assault engineers. Mike, Dallas and Brian rolled with NATO, while Cam and Bill joined me on the Soviet side.

The game was set on a 6'x4' table, with the traditional three objectives. Two of the objectives were defensive positions rigned with sandbags, and the third was a bunker, a little further behind the line toward the BW table edge. The BW started in control of the table, but the Soviets would assault and after 10 turns the winner would be the side who contolled the most objectives.

The line of sandbagged defensive positions (including the two objectives) and roadblocks was set along the middle of the table, and the BW dug in with a squad of troops, two Panzerfaust III teams, a MILAN team, and a team equipped with a totally awesome automatic 40mm grenade launcher. For reinforcements the West Germans could count on two Panzer Grenadier squads in Marder IIs, a Leopard II, and two passes from a Tornado ground attack plane. What could possibly overcome this sort of force, dug into defensive positions no less?

The answer: Gas and BBQ.

First off, the Soviets hit the German position with a non-lethal gas attack. The majority of the on-table BW troops at the start of the game had no NBC gear and therefore would have penalties to do almost anything during the game.

Then there was the Soviet force itself - comprised of a reinforced assault engineer unit from a motor rifle regiement - 3 8-man squads in BMP-2s (with AT-5 ATGW missiles) and a 5-man command group in a BMP-1, supported with a ZSU-23-4 AAA vehicle to keep that pesky Tornado away, a Spandrel ATGW vehicle to try and deal with vehicles, and most devestating of all, a platoon of three OT-55 flame-throwing tanks.

The game was awesome, going right down to the wire at the 10th turn for resolution.

The early turns were pretty roguh for the West Germans, and violins were played all around on the NATO side as the power of the flamethrowing tanks became clear. The NATO defensive positions were covered with horrific gouts of flame. Nearly two entire squads were broiled, and the Russian advance looked strong. The inability of the NATO anti-tank teams to hit anything made things worse.

After the game, the Bundeswehr adopted this new logo.

But NATO made excellent use of air power, and despite the fact that Mike's MILAN crew seemed to be high on Lysol (they missed, and then missed, then hit, but did not damage, then missed...on and on - Mike was ready to melt the figures), vehicles started to get knocked out. Brian led the West German reinforcements, and they performed very well. The Leopard II and the Tornado made mincemeat of the OT-55s. The Tornado also pounded Soviet foot-sloggers, while Mike's 40mm grenade launcher really had a go at Bill's infantry.

In the end, Bill made key morale throws to allow the Soviets to keep one position (despite the tender affection from NATO airpower and automatic grenade launchers). The Soviet command group managed to survive in the second defensive position, although a West German squad was certainly in position to take them out. The third objective lay in secure West German control. Overall outcome, a carnage-filled draw!

As usual, I nagged Dalls to take photos, so hopefully he can add them to the blog post when he has a moment. But I have to say it was a hoot to roll out with the Chemical Commies and the ZSU-23-4 once again (after all, as Dallas noted, I really have to amortize that thing). Mike's new Bundeswehr looked awsome, and mixed well with Dallas' excellent figs. And we were fortunate to enjoy another game that went to the wire!

Thanks to all for coming out, and to Dallas for hosting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thunderbolts over the Med batrep - "Enemy fleet located, sir!"

Date: 13 August, 1942, morning
Location: West of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea
History: Operation Pedestal started on 9 August 1942, when a convoy of 14 merchant ships sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar, heading for Malta. On the 13th, the Regia Aeronautica sent Tenente Adriano Visconti and a wingman on an armed photo recce patrol, each flying an MC.202 Folgore ("Thunderbolt").

Last Thursday Bill, Kevin, and Brian came over to play the Check Your 6! scenario "Thunderbolts over the Med" - the second scenario I've written set during Operation Pedestal, Aug. 9-15, 1942.

As the scenario started, the Italian pilots have just made visual contact with the merchant ships when they are "bounced" by four RAF Spitfires escorting the convoy.

Below are the 1/144 scale model Italian fighter aircraft run by Bill and myself - Bill graciously allowed me to play the lead ship. The Folgore in tan and green camo represented the aircraft flown by the flight leader, Adriano Visconti. Bill ran the wing man, in the green plane. The Regia Aeronautica Italia started by the northern table edge, the RAF from the south.

(Note: Click on the pictures for larger images.)

The Malta-based Spitfires started at a higher altitude than the Italian planes. The latter, due to the rules of the scenario, had to plot their first move as forward, level flight. Below, Ken and Brian can be seen plotting their first moves. The RAF hoped to capitalize on their altitude advantage and the element of surpise.

The Regia Aeronautica planes moved in a southeast direction to engage the easternmost pair of aircraft first, hoping to whittle down the RAF's 2-1 advantage in numbers.

The Italians traded speed for altitude, climbing to meet the RAF fighters. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, Bill's green Folgore inflicted airframe damage upon one of Kevin's Spitfires.

Things started to get interesting as the furball escalated. Bill's plane stayed high and banked west. The damaged Spitfire gently turned east. The other planes spiralled down to mix it up. The Italian ace and one of Brian's planes narrowly avoided a collision as they passed each other in the same hex, at the same altitude.

The ace squeezed off some shots, hitting the damaged Spitfire, but the Folgore's light armament failed to inflict any damage.

Kevin sensed an opportunity to put fire on the Italian ace. He pulled his plane around in a much tighter turn, but the Spitfire's damaged airframe couldn't stand the strain and the plane crashed into the sea.

As the dogfight continued, one of Brian's planes managed to get on the "six" of Bill's MC.202, damaging its engine. In the photo below, Bill can be seen contemplating the CY6! quick reference card.

Brian's second Spitfire managed to stay on Bill's tail. This Spitfire, due to the scenario's variable rules, had an all-machine gun armament. This came in handy later. Brian rolled to hit for that plane such that it would have run out of cannon ammo but, not having any cannons, its offensive capability remained undiminished.

In the photo below, Spitfires run by Kevin and Brian avoid another collision as their pilots concentrated on their Italian targets. Brian's Spitfire got in a close range burst that sent Bill's Folgore falling into the Mediterranean. The ace's Folgore maneuvered away from the Spitfires which, factoring in deflection, prevented a hit from Kevin's cannons.

The remaining Italian plane banked right and dove, picking up a lot of speed. A quick burst put an airframe hit on Kevin's remaining Spitfire.

Seeing an opportunity to get some revenge for his wingman, the Italian ace pushed his throttle wide open and dived at Brian's all-MG Spitfire. In a head-on exchange of gunfire at point-blank range, Brian damaged the airframe of the ace's plane. The Italian's machine guns also struck true, luckily shooting down the Spitfire in a long burst.

With his plane damaged, the Italian ace decided that honour had been served and so dived out of the fight. The remaining Spitfires were unable to prevent the Folgore from escaping.

With one plane damaged and one plane lost, the Regia Aeronautica manged to squeeze out a win, since the RAF lost two planes and had had a further Spitfire damaged.

[Historically, one Spitfire and its pilot was lost in the engagement.]

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Game - Thunderbolts Over the Med

Date: 13 August, 1942, morning
Location: West of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea
History: Operation Pedestal started on 9 August 1942, when a convoy of 14 merchant ships sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar, heading for Malta. The Regia Aeronautica sent Tenente Adriano Visconti and a wingman on an armed photo recce patrol, each flying an MC.202 Folgore ("Thunderbolt").

As the scenario starts, the Italian pilots have just made visual contact with the merchant ships when they are "bounced" by four RAF Spitfires escorting the convoy. Can they make it back to base?

See you tonight!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hobgoblin Contingent Reports Overwhelming Victory for Hobgoblin Contingent

Tower of Zharr Naggrund, The Dark Lands - The Hobgoblin contingent of Slave Captain Lord Bzaark the Mean won an overwhelming victory over far superior numbers of Imperial troops, Lieutenant Gnashrak of the Hobgoblin contingent's Wolfrider regiment reported yesterday.

"We met a su-per-i-or force of mounted Pistoliers and put the hurt on them big-time. We really wrecked they shit. I mean it wasn't even close," Gnashrak said.

"After we bum-rushed those clowns we pursued them until not one Pistolier was left alive," he continued. "Hell, we rolled up on a Great Cannon and scared those dudes so bad they blew they own shit up! I talked to my brother Kashnak, he a gunner in the bolt-thrower battery, and he said they totally dominated the knights they was shooting at, too."

"Word," reported Kashnak when contacted for comment. "We aced those d-bags, two regiments worth of heavy knights. When you come for the bolt-throwers, come heavy, or don't come at all, know I'm sayin'?"

The Hobgoblin contingent was part of the raiding force commanded by Slave Captain Lord Bzaark that had left the Tower of Zharr Naggrund three months earlier on an extended slave-taking mission.

Neither Bzaark himself, his second-in-command, Lieutenant Mazalam of the 43rd Bull Centaur Regiment, nor any other Chaos Dwarf troops of his raiding party were available for comment at press time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Planetstrike - Planetfall!

Mission: Planetfall

Factions: Imperial Space Marines vs. Imperial Guard

Regulus VII lies in a system near the border of Imperial space. What passes for planetary government is being swayed by Xenos lies to rebel against the Empire. Can the Adeptus Astartes seize a foothold on the planet before Tau and Eldar reinforcements arrive?

Last Thursday we played our first Warhammer 40K Planetstrike game. This rules supplement allows playing of objective-based attacker-defender scenarios, instead of the usual "balanced" armies one might see in, say, tournament play. A good review is located here:

Mike Fraser led the attacking forces, supplementing his own new Space Marine models with some Salamander and Ultramarine troops from my shelves.

Space Marines
Captain w/ combi-melta
10-man Assault Squad w/ 2 Flamers and Sgt. w/ Lightning Claws
10-man Tactical Squad w/ Missile Launcher and Flamer, Sgt. w/ Power Weapon
10-man Tactical Squad w/ Lascannon and Meltagun, Sgt. w/ Power Weapon
10-man Tactical Squad w/ Missile Launcher and Flamer
5-man Scout Squad w/ Heavy Bolter, Sgt. w/ Melta Bombs

John and I fielded old-school Imperial Guard using 5th edition rules.

Imperial Guard
Company Command Squad w/ Medic, Missile Launcher Team and Officer of the Fleet
Adeptus Mechanicus Enginseer
Infantry Platoon:
- Platoon Command Squad w/ Sniper Rifle and Lascannon Team
- Infantry Squad w/ Grenade Launcher and Lascannon Team
- Infantry Squad w/ Lascannon Team
Veteran Squad, w/ Heavy Flamer and Demolitions, mounted in a Chimera APC
3-man Ratling Sniper Squad
3 Sentinel Walkers, each fielded as a one-vehicle squadron
Leman Russ Battle Tank
Leman Russ Demolisher Assault Tank

Both sides also received Strategems: battlefield spiffs, further off-table support, and other kinds of nastiness. However, the spiffs accomplished nothing for either side all game, so I shall ignore them in this report.

The Guard represented the Planetary Defense Forces. They set up the leg infantry in and around three key objectives: a bunker, a power plant, and a water treatment plant. The three walkers were placed so as to disrupt deep-striking Marines. The two tanks, the mechanized infantry and the Enginseer were held in reserve.

Mike rolled for the Attacker's pre-game orbital bombardment, rolling the max. Nine (!) Strength 9, large blast markers rained down, hammering the Guard. Despite hard cover, a third of the infantry were killed outright before the Space Marines dropped.

In this scenario the Attacker starts the game entirely in reserve. All the Space Marine infantry could choose to Deep Strike. Those units already having the Deep Strike ability (i.e., the Assault Marines) could actually charge into close combat the same turn they dropped - sweet!

Mike combat squadded the Space Marines, making 9 5-man squads that could both cover a lot of terrain and provide mutual support. The Assault Marines and the Flamer squads would drop, supported by heavy weapons and the Scouts on the ground. The Attacker started from reserve. The Imperial Guard's Officer of the Fleet called in aerospace fighters to disrupt the drop, preventing some of the Marine troops from coming down, but the Marines still managed to land the Captain and several combat squads. The following is a general view of the board looking northwest, after the Marines dropped and started shooting.

(Remember to click on the photos for larger images.)

The Captain and his bodyguards tried to drop north of the power plant, but deviated off the board. Rolling on the Deep Strike Mishap Table, the Imperial Guard players were allowed to re-position them, choosing the south board edge.

Fire from one Assault Squad reduced the Guard protecting the water treatment plant to a lone Grenade Launcher dude. As he shouted into his comm-link for reinforcements, the second Assault Squad gunned him down...

The Guard rolled well for reserves, getting both the tanks and the mechanized Veterans. Rolling randomly, the tanks came on in an ersatz platoon from the eastern board edge, but failed to land any shots on the Marines:

In the middle of the board, the Guard were able to tie up one combat squad of Assault Marines with a Sentinel walker. The Veterans disembarked from their APC, hoping to do better than their armoured corps bretheren.

The Veterans proved their skill by cleaning out the other Assault combat squad with laser fire and flame.

Later, a Marine Flamer combat squad dropped near the power plant. Not wanting to be subjected to that flamer, the Guard Platoon Command Squad bravely charged out of the woods, only to be cut down by the Emperor's finest.

As the game progressed, the rest of the Marines showed up. Concentrated Guard fire killed off the Captain's bodyguards. A Sentinel walker tried to come to grips with him, but the Captain used his combi-weapon to reduce the walker to a pile of melted slag.

Another Marine flamer squad landed and took over the water treatment plant. The mechanized Guard Veterans mounted up and drove over to meet them. These Veterans later disembarked and shot up those Marines, too, leaving three left alive. Those Marines subsequently embroiled the Veterans in a long melee. To the southwest, the walker can be seen fighting on, successfully resisting the Assault Marines.

The Demolisher finally killed a few Ultramarines with its big cannon. In the photo below, to the southwest the last remaining Sentinel has just assaulted a Marine Lascannon squad in the sandbag bunker, tying them up for the rest of the game. The last two Marines of a flamer squad can be seen in the distance readying themselves to assault the power plant.

The two Marines broke the infantry squad holding the power plant. To the southeast, the Marine Scouts assaulted the Demolisher with krak grenades, wrecking the turreted cannon. The Captain assaulted the Ratling snipers, who managed to resist his charge.

Though taking terrible losses, the Veterans stayed stuck in with the Marines in the water treatment plant. The Enginseer, who had recently arrived, ran to support the beleaguered Veterans.

As the game wound down due to the late hour, the Imperial Guard and the Space Marines each held one objective in the clear. The water treatment plant was contested, counting as another Marine-held objective, due to the rules of the scenario.

The broken Guardsmen from the power plant were still within command radius of the Company Commander. Trying to order the broken troops to rally, needing a 9 the officer rolled an "11" on 2D6 - true to form, he had been unsuccessful in giving orders for the entire game. Fortunately for him, the planet was rebelling from the Imperium, otherwise some Commissar no doubt would come by and shoot him in the head.

In a "Hail Mary" ploy, the Demolisher tank moved into the river and fired its hull mounted Heavy Bolter at the Marines in the power plant; they both rolled a "1" for their armour saves, killing them and thus giving up the power plant.

With one objective held by each side, the tie would be resolved by Kill Points. The Space Marines eked out the win, 4 KPs to 3 KPs. Missing that rally roll really hurt the Guard.

The MVP award surely goes to the Sentinel driver who tied up Assault Marines for the bulk of the battle; those jump troops might have helped consolidate either of the centrally located objectives.

ETA: The "Hard Corps" award goes to the Space Marine Captain, who survived a direct hit from a Battle Cannon round and went on to personally take out of action two Guard units.

The next scenario in the saga of Regulus VII will involve the Space Marines trying to consolidate their dearly-won foothold...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thursday Game

Marius Oudenaar squinted as he peered through his spyglass. "I don't see anything, Pietro... besides, nothing ever comes out of the Wastes. Ever."

"Look closer!" his companion insisted. "I'm sure I saw something!" Pietro and Marius were standing atop a sturdy stone watchtower, charged with the duty of watching the eastern frontier for interlopers. The duty was somewhat of a punishment, as the watchtower was isolated and lonely, far from the busy marketplaces and villages of the Border Princes.

"Wait a moment... I see something! I see it!" cried Marius. "Dear Gods in heaven... they're Chaos warriors! No, wait... not men... those are hats... big hats! Could it be, dwarfs? They have beards... but I never heard of dwarfs with tusks. And are those greenskins with them?"

"Slavers!" interjected Pietro. "Chaos Dwarf slavers, from out of the Dark Lands! Come with Black Orcs and Hobgoblins to take us all as slaves! Quick, light the signal fires, hurry!"

Thursday's game: Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Chaos Dwarfs vs. Empire. 7:30pm start; see you then!



"Buzz" Beurling over the Med

Sorry for the late post. I finally got around to writing up the Check Your 6! game held in honour of the visit of Conscript Sean, who now lives in Ottawa. We played the "Operation Pedestal" scenario again, minus the Stukas and a pair of Spits.

Note: click on the photos for larger images.

Here's Sean, who ran a pair of Spitfires, led by the Canadian ace, George "Buzz" Beurling. Kev ran the other pair of Maltese based fighters.

Brian ran a flight of JU-88s, in a bombing run on three merchant ships. I ran a pair of Bf-109s.

The three ships all had light AA, which shot indiscriminately at the closest plane. Very historical.

Things went wrong from the beginning, due to the Luftwaffe's setup. In hindsight, the bombers and escorting fighters should have swapped places.

As it was, the Spitfires were able to get good positions on the bombers, shooting down two bombers in rapid succession. The Bf-109s tried a head-on pass, losing one fighter for their trouble. The lead bomber is getting shot at by the ships, hence the splashes.

The trailing Spitfire, damaged by the lead Bf-109, failed to shoot down the bomber. The JU-88 managed to drop its stick of bombs (more splashes) but missed:

In the end, Buzz Buerling merely damaged a plane. However, his wing man was credited with downing two bombers.

The final tally was two splashed JU-88s and a Bf-109, in return for a couple of damaged Spitfires. This is in direct opposition to the result the last time this scenario was run, which was a clear Luftwaffe victory. Maybe the scenario is balanced after all...

Just when you think your minis are safe...

I love the gaming hobby, and have amassed quite a horde of painted stuff over the years. I display as much as I can - trying to find a spot that is nice, safe, logical, and within domestic-approval zoning. I figured the second story of our little house was safe imagine how great it felt to come home after a week long vacation to find this upstairs:

Some back story - our house is 80+ years old, and following ice-damming issues and rain-leaking-into-the-house issues, we opted for a brand new roof. New shingles. New insulation. New decking. New everything, right down to the studs. While I was away, I received a cryptic call from the roofing supervisor that a guy had "slipped, damaging the ceiling, but nothing inside".

Well, it could have been a lot worse, but the tally for this little slip (all painted stuff) is one 40k Stormblade damaged (bizarrely, one of the side turrets is missing - I think they knocked it off, and sucked it up in the clean up), four 40k Chimeras damaged, three 40k Leman Russ tanks damaged, and two Gün Scwharm tanks damaged.

The damage was primarily chips in the paint, and then little frizzy bits of spray insulation which came through the hole and stuck to the models. And the missing turret on the least they did not totally destroy any stuff. Still, that little note on the inside decking did not really make me feel better.