A week ago Friday, Christian came over for our first game of The Winnipeg Warhammer 40,000 Beer League. The basic idea of the league is to promote 40K, get in some games throughout the fall and winter against old and new folks, and drink some interesting beers. Each player gets to have two 1000-point lists, which they choose from before each game.
I hosted the game at my residence, so Christian brought several cans of two different brands of refreshment:
I did not know which army Christian would bring; either his Space Wolves or his Imperial Guard. Neither of his lists had a plane, so I left my AAA-equipped list back on the Craftworld. I rolled out with a "pure" MechDar list, comprising of Aspect Warriors and 6 AV12 skimmer tanks.
We rolled randomly for scenario and deployment type.
Scenario: Purge the Alien
This would be a Kill Points scenario. My Eldar have several small squads of Aspect Warriors. which are relatively easy to gun down. Not my favourite scenario, but there it is.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
We get to play end to end down the long axis of the table. This is not too bad for my Swordwind. All the vehicles are fast skimmers, including a couple of fairly long range artillery tanks. Mobility won't be an issue (until my tanks start getting shot down!).
Christian deployed everything in the northern third of the table. He set up a big blob of infantry and supporting heavy weapons behind his Defense Line, with the Company Command Squad and their banner bringing up the rear. The three Chimeras set up to the northeast, ready to advance over clearer ground.
The blob was going to be a problem, since it might be difficult to kill enough men to force a morale test, let alone wipe them out.
Below, looking towards the east, Christian can be seen contemplating his setup.
Below, looking north, the Eldar refused the eastern flank. I was thinking to put all my effort into killing the Guard infantry, and merely demonstrate with a couple of tanks to slow down the Guard mechanized wing.
We rolled Night Fighting. The Guard had first turn, but the entire army firing only managed to score a single Hull Point on one of the Eldar tanks.
The skimmer tanks advanced north and laid into the Guard infantry, killing a couple of Lascannon Teams.
The Guard succeeded in shooting down the Fire Dragon's Wave Serpent, scoring First Blood. Rats! So far, whenever I fail to score First Blood, I lose. The surviving Dragons took fire and routed, eventually running off the southern table edge.
A lucky barrage from the Warp Hunter killed nine Guardsmen in the blob; they failed their morale, but the nearby banner bearer allowed a re-roll, which they passed!
The survivors of the Company Command Squad had moved into cover, but the CO didn't quite make it. An Eldar tank Focus Fired into the CO, killing him with a hail of shurikens and garnering a VP for Warlord.
The Guard mechanized wing moved south, one with a turreted autocannon moving Flat Out, obviously trying for Linebreaker.
The Guardsmen inside the fortifications were much reduced, but the banner bearer still stood defiantly.
The Guard mechanized wing split up, with two vehicles continuing south.
One Serpent got immobilized on the fortifications, but another tank skimmed over it. No more cover from the fortifications!
The Fire Prism kept lobbing blasts at long range. The Serpent damaged back in the first turn moved in front of it Flat Out to obscure it from sight.
A close range firefight broke out inside the fortifications.
Two Chimera moved south. The nearby Serpent, containing some Dire Avengers and the Autarch, zipped past them Flat Out in a surprise move, looking to score Linebreaker in a future turn.
More Dire Avengers were fed into the meat grinder inside the fortifications. One squad hit the remains of the Guard infantry blob 8 times; with no cover to speak of, they would be wiped out...
...unless I manged to roll 8 successive "1's' or "2's". Guess what happened?
The Avengers ended up punching, kicking and scratching a couple of Guardsmen to death. The Guard failed their morale again, but with the help of the banner they held firm.
Several Guardsmen disembarked to the south, in anticipation of scoring Linebreaker. The Fire Prism, whose main gun was shot off, soon retreated into the southwest corner, invisible behind the dense foliage.
Back at the fortifications, a lone Die Avenger routed away...
...but concentrated Eldar tank fire reduced the defending Guard to just a handful of troops, holding on by the skin of their teeth - and the righteous zeal imparted by the banner!
The last squad of Dire Avengers dismounted into the forest to the northeast. We were using the "Mysterious Forests" rule, which can be annoying or absolutely fatal. Against the odds, the forest was just that - a forest of harmless trees.
Despite taking fire from a couple of directions, below two Avengers can be seen left alive, bravely dug into the forest.
Eldar tanks moved in swiftly to mop up the last remnants of the Guard inside the Defense Line. The banner bearer finally went down to shuriken cannon fire. However, the Guard had Gone to Ground, so a combination of Christian rolling a lot of "6's" and me rolling a lot of "1's" to wound left a single lone Guardsman alive inside the fortifications!
The Imperial Guard and the Eldar had each destroyed 4 enemy units. The Guard also scored First Blood and Linebreaker, for a total of 6 VPs. The Eldar scored Warlord and Linebreaker, also for a total of 6VPs.
Below, the opposing commanders (the Guard 2IC and the Eldar Autarch) can be seen comparing notes. The real winner of the game? The brewing companies.
That was a nail-biter of a game. At various times both Christian and I had rolled more Scottish numbers than we can ever remember. On the other hand, some crucial rolls were made at the right times.
The game MVP Award surely goes to the Imperial Guard banner bearer, without whom the Defense Line would have been cleared of defenders by the midpoint of the game. Best 15 points Christian ever spent.
Fun game, a canny opponent, and delicious beer. So far, my experience of the Winnipeg Warhammer 40K Beer League is a success!