Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THE BIG ONE - Part One - Horus Heresy 30k Mega Game

"Dupes of the False Emperor in sight! Attack!"
It's been over a year since I started on a project initially referred to as "Legion Lunacy".  My aspirations at that time were to get enough stuff painted for a small but fun game of 30k, set on Istvaan III where the Horus Heresy erupted. "Small but fun" didn't last, especially once Dallas and Byron joined in the fun. Collection escalation kicked in - way in - and soon we had very large forces taking shape.  Dallas had visions of a huge game, set for an opportune long weekend at some point, where these forces would finally clash in a bonkers all-out game of Warhammer 30k.

The adherents of hope and change muster; this photo doesn't event include the Death Guard...
Well, I'm pleased to share that, after quite a lot of hinting here and there at different times on the blog, the game took place over the recent Thanksgiving weekend (that holiday taking place in October here in Canada).  Dallas fused a celebration of Thanksgiving and his birthday to host this long-awaited mega-smack-down! This game was so big, it needs a couple of posts, so here is part 1.

The loyalist dupes huddle in the ruins to make their stand...
The battle would be follow-on from our previous scenario, the Defence of Orask. The forces of Horus, having driven the Loyalists away from the traitor landing sites, mustered their forces for a final assault on the Orask defences.  Everything, from the Reaver Titan "Ferrum Mori", the Knight Titan "El Booze", down through to the recent last-minute additions was added in for the assault. The assault force included the Sons of Horus, the World Eaters and the Death Guard, and totaled more than 7000 points (it was hard to count it all).

The followers of Horus arrayed for battle...
For their final defence the dupes of the false emperor mustered elements of Blood Drinkers and Solar Auxilia, backed by a Reaver Titan from Legio Metallica, the "Blue Bomber" and a Stormblade super heavy tank.  I'm not sure of the total points for the defence, but it was around 5000 or so, if not more (Dallas will know better).

Armoured column set to make an assault up the road...
The battle would take place across an 8' x 4' table.  The traitor forces had 8 turns to utterly crush the loyalists.  We put some restrictions in for the Reaver Titans in the game - namely that the void shields could not regenerate (uh, even Titan Legios need to conserve energy, right?) and that the Titans would have to a) use one weapon mount for a close assault weapon and b) always use their scary "D weapon" to target the opposing Titan until that opposing Titan was knocked out.  The intent here was to make the titans a little less un-killable and also prevent them from totally dominating the tabletop.  They could still dish out the abuse form their "apocalypse launchers" on any target they wished, but the laser destroyers had to fire on the other Titan.

Solar Auxilia hunker down and return fire...likely a little concerned about the proximity to the main weapon on the Stormblade...
The game obviously took a long time with so many forces involved.  The table was crowded, and GW's 40k rules engine was strained to the max to accommodate forces of this size, particularly the massive titans.  There was no tactical flexibility here...in many ways it really resembled the crowded proto-horse-and-musket encounters described in GW books like "Horus Rising"...

The Blood Drinkers hunker down...
So while it was not a very free-flowing game, it was tremendously fun! Huge apocalypse templates, mega cannons, d-weapons, massive reserves...this game had it all!!! Entire squads disappeared from apocalyptic bombardments. Hull points and structure points melted away from terrifying 30k weapons.

Volkite-armed World Eater marines provide covering fire
Centurion and Legion Champion of the World Eaters lead the ground assault
 Horus' forces charged out of their crowded deployment area and hammered away at the loyalists, while infantry elements charged through brutal return fire.  The loyalists sheltered in the hard cover while receiving punishing bombardments.

The Death Guard move grimly forward
They are confronted by Blood Drinker assault troops! It would not end well for the Blood Drinkers, once that Dreadnought visible in the background gets involved...
I will leave further details on the play-by-play to subsequent posts from Dallas.  For now, I'll just say, it was AWESOME!

The ground assault surging forward; the Sons of Horus are happy to let the World Eaters absorb some of the preliminary abuse...
Blood Drinker Spartan rolls forward to disgorge troops - but the World Eaters would prove surprisingly tough...
Thanks to all the guys who came out to play.  A big thank you to Dallas, for hosting the game and inspiring it in the first place.  It was Dallas that prompted the acquisition of the Reaver Titans, and he pulled together a very significant assortment of Blood Drinker Legion Marines as well as some amazing terrain pieces, from his new mat to some of Byron's awesome new buildings from SG2 Creations.  And also a big thanks to Byron for assembling an amazing Death Guard collection, designing the incredible new ruined buildings, and spurring serious collection escalation.  We have been building toward this game for a long time, and it was really great to see it all come together.

3 comments:

Tiny Basement said...

Whoa, there's some serious heretical firepower on the table. I hope the gaming hall has a good insurance policy, that's a small fortune in resin!

Chuckaroobob said...

Looks like a huge amount of fun! Gotta love the titans! Back when we had a local store (pre-Apocalypse) we used to get together for some big games, they were called the 40K of 40K due to the amount of points on the table.

Dallas said...

Greg - thanks for posting this - and big props to you for bringing out your awesome Sons of Horus and World Eaters! More reporting to come!