Monday, December 23, 2013

An Epic Clash - Epic: Armageddon AAR

An Imperial facility on Toxo IV.

Last week we celebrated the imminent arrival of Christmas with a game of Epic: Armageddon.  We haven't played Epic in a while, so I thought it would be fun to set up a game on poor old Toxo IV just before the holidays. The scenario pitted nearly equal forces, a column of Dark Angels (Loyalists) vs. a column of Word Bearers (Traitors!).  The objective was an Imperial facility in the centre of the table. The game would last six turns, and whoever held the facility - or the greatest part of it - at the end of the game would win!

Loyalist Marines - Dark Angels.
The Dark Angels had two tactical detachments, a devastator detachment, a Predator detachment, a Land Raider section and a pair of dreadnoughts.Conscripts Dallas and Dave V. played the loyalist side.

Followers of Horus - Word Bearers.
The Word Bearers had a very similar force, but instead of a devastator detachment they had an assault detachment.  Conscript Jim took command of Horus's followers for his very first game of Epic.

Preliminary action - the Dark Angels have rushed their Land Raiders forward, while the Word Bearer assault marines ponder their options.
It was a race from the get-go to see who could get units into the Imperial complex.  Dallas and Dave rushed their Land Raiders forward, while Jim was very aggressive with his assault marines.  He got some good results with them, taking out one of the Dark Angel Land Raiders (this is a good outcome - Land Raiders are supremely tough in Epic) with a close assault.  It was Jim's first taste of the "engage" order, and he rapidly grew fond of it.

You can see the Land Raider has been driven back (on the right, with a crump) - the second one having been destroyed.  The assault marines have retired to a quiet corner of the facility.
Despite this initial success, the Dark Angels had better luck crowding into the complex, thanks to their slightly easier approach path (which they had won when dicing off for table-edge selection).  Dallas and Dave were ultimately able to cram most of their force into the complex, while Jim tried to pick them off from the flanks.

"Yeah, that's two hits." Dallas's hot rolling preserved for the record - a pair of "6"s followed by a pair of "5"s.
One of the most incredible moments in this game (or any of our games for a while) came when Dallas' detachment of Predators made a "double" move, which allows two move and a round of fire at "-1" to hit. The Predator Destructor's auto cannon is not a huge AT weapon to begin with, and when you add the "-1", you needed "7" to hit. To do this, you need to roll a "6", then a "4".  Dallas managed with BOTH of his Predator Destructors!! He nearly wiped out Jim's Predators with this shooting.

How come the Word Bearer Predators are gone?

The most accurate shots in the galaxy...
Jim's jump troops made repeated assaults against the Dark Angels, and were very, very successful considering how they were hugely outnumbered.  But their high close combat value and high maneuverability make them dangerous, and he briefly pushed one of the Dark Angel tactical units back.  As the turns moved along, Jim was able to blast through the walls and get all of his troops in for one last big push.

The Word Bearer Land Raiders have smashed a hole on the right.
Jim also levelled some punishing fire into the complex.  He took revenge on Dallas' super elite Predators, knocking out three of the four tanks. The Dark Angels took losses, but Marines in hard cover are very, very tough customers.  Dallas and Dave hunkered down, the devestators pouring out heavy fire. Jim was only going to win if he went "all-in".

Close up of the complex.  The Dark Angels have comprehensively manned the facilities and are ready to fight!
As the sixth turn approached Jim won the initiative and sent every marine he could muster through the breach against the Dark Angels.  The close combat and fire fighting was very, very fierce.  The Dark Angels paid a high price, but they did not break enough to give the Word Bearers any kind of toe-hold in the complex.

The Word Bearers are trying to swarm toward that hole on the right.
It was a close game.  Jim's aggressive use of his jump troops was fun and worked well for him.  They did not kill a ton of Dark Angels, but they drove them back a couple of times thanks to some fortunate die rolls. 

Another view of the fighting in the final turns - on the left side of the photo you can see Dark Angel tactical stands which had been driven from the buildings by a daring assault of the Word Bearer assault marines.
As the sixth turn came and went, the Dark Angels remained in possession of the Imperial complex, denying a key piece of Toxo IV infrastructure to the Horus' rebel marines.The Word Bearers were driven away, minus their assault detachment, which had paid the ultimate price for their super aggressive tactics.  The last stand had been smashed to bits by one of the Dark Angels' dreadnoughts.

This Dark Angel dreadnought had something to say to the Word Bearer assault marines.
It was GREAT fun to play Epic again, particularly in the Horus Heresy setting. It is easy to forget but many of GW's rulesets other than 40k are very good, and the Epic: Armageddon rules are one of their best.  The rules do a very, very good job of presenting the Marines in a fashion that is more authentic to the actual setting that you read about in the fluff - very tough, flexible, and not easy to move out of defensive positions. You also do not need many Marine models to have a good, quick and fun game.

A view of the Word Bearer's desperate final attack.
Thanks to Dallas for hosting and to Dallas, Dave V and Jim for playing! Special thanks to Dallas for the photos as well. Happy holidays to all, and I look forward to some great gaming in 2014!

- Greg


Nurglitch said...

Epic: Armageddon is awesome. Given the way 40k is going these days, I'm surprised people aren't basing up their infantry and playing 28mm scale Epic Armageddon!

Nurglitch said...

Epic: Armageddon is awesome. Given the way 40k is going these days, I'm surprised people aren't basing up their infantry and playing 28mm scale Epic Armageddon!

Curt said...

You know, that is a very cool idea...

Dallas said...

Heh... individually based 6mm infantry aren't exactly unprecedented around these parts either... great game and batrep Greg!