Friday, October 19, 2018

Death of a Baneblade - 40k 8th Edition Battle Report

Imperial Baneblade 6813 contemplates its final moments amid 40k action ...
Do you have any figures that you must actually dust off before you use them on the table? Last night I had the chance to do just that as Conscript Byron popped over for a game of 40k 8th Edition.

Earlier in the week I had dug out and dusted off my collection of Imperial Guard "Praetorians".  The original plan was for them to face off against Dallas' Ork hordes, but unfortunately Dallas was unable to join us this week. A substitute "Xenos threat" was therefore required. To address this need I went even further into the "old-stuff-I-don't-have-room-to-display-but-can't-find-the-will-to-dispose-of" pile in my basement and pulled out my long-dormant Tau collection...

Starting disposition - the Imperial infantry have secured the staging site of an old mine facility,  while the Baneblade (accompanied by a Chimera APC with a mounted squad aboard); the Tau ambush would come at the right side of the photo. 
How old is some of this stuff? Well, the Praetorians have been part of my collection probably since...around 2009 or 2010. I do not recall the last time they saw action on the may be on the blog here somewhere, but it would have been quite a while ago, back before Dallas moved to his current address.

Praetorian troops take up firing positions.

Praetorian auto cannon support squad ready for action. 
As for the Tau, well, they are even older - you can tell from the photos.  I painted these when the Tau were first released by GW, so this would have been somewhere around 2001-02, something like that.  It was fitting that Byron was able to stop by last night, as we were chuckling at how I had painted these very Tau models to be ready for one of the "WarCon" tournaments he used to run - and that was a long time ago!

Imperial mechanized troops dismount as the ambush begins.
Tau Pathfinders deploy markerlights to ease the targeting of their fellow troops - while Kroot mercenaries cover them up front. 
So - one old collection to face off against another old collection.  I wanted to spice it up a bit...and I thought..."Baneblade!"  Back in January of 2011 I completed one of the (at the time) new plastic Baneblade tank kits.  But it had never once seen action on the tabletop, not once, since that time.  So I thought it would be fun to haul it out and see how it performed in the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40k.

The Tau ambush takes shape...the plastic targeting markers were used to indicate markerlight "hits".
I set up a 6' x 6' table, and made the Baneblade central to the scenario.  The Imperial Force would represent some column advancing toward an objective on a sparsely-populated Imperial mining colony.  The Tau interlopers, while indifferent to the Imperial infantry, were alarmed at the Baneblade, and sent a strike force to eliminate it.  The Tau would have six turns to destroy the Baneblade.

The Kroot decide to eliminate the Chimera with a close assault...would tie up the tank and render it useless for the game...
Byron took command of the Tau, while I played the Baneblade and its covering force of Praetorian infantry.  Both sides were at 70 "Power Levels" in terms of size.

Byron's Tau commander opted for an aggressive strategy, with his XV8 Crisis teams arriving in a drop from their Manta gunship high above the table, and hoping to get a kill with an all-out assault in that first round of shooting. We laughed at how this plan might have been received by the other Crisis Suit pilots..."like, right in front the enemy objective...are we SURE about that?"

Surprise! The Tau Commander, accompanied by two XV8 Crisis Suit teams, drops in to make the kill!

Baneblade commander notes the presence of Xenos power suits...

Meanwhile, Fire Warriors engage the supporting Praetorian infantry at long range. 
It almost worked like that. Byron's drop was dramatic, and did damage the Baneblade pretty badly, but it still survived for a bit. The air filled with firing from exotic Tau weapons, met with shattering return volleys of Imperial Guard heavy weapons and the arsenal of the mighty Baneblade tank. It took four turns, but the Baneblade was eventually put out of action, with the coup-de-grace delivered by the lethal railgun of the Tau Hammerhead tank.

The Company Commander watches developments from his improvised command post. 

More Fire Warriors move into position...

Imperial mortars try and eliminate enemy infantry...
It was a costly victory, in that the Tau lost both of their XV8 Crisis teams in the huge volleys of return fire. The Tau Commander himself was nearly clipped, losing his two shield drones (lucky for him they came along!).  On the other hand, no Crisis Suit pilots would be around to question the Commander's strategy...the losses were regrettable, but I suspect this counted as a "greater good" overall outcome for this Tau Commander...

The end is near for the Baneblade...Tau Devilfish APCs attempt to kill steal...and they would almost manage it!
KaBOOM! The Baneblade is "out of action"!

Tau Hammerhead taking in the spectacle of its kill shot...
"Where did those other Crisis suits go? Oh's for the greater good, after all."
It was a lot of fun to get these models out on to the table, so a big thanks to Byron for stopping by. 40k's 8th Edition has many, many warts, but the setting is still awesome, and the game is still a ton of fun when you play with fun players.  It is great that these dusty old figures can still get some time on the gaming tables. Hope to see folks again next week!


L'Empereur Zoom 13 said...

Very good terrain!
Especially the tank wreck with sandbags.
We love the british uniforms... great painting !
Bravo for the batrep !­čśÄ

MFraser said...

Very cool! Sorry to have missed it.

Curt said...

What a great game! It speaks much to the scope and scale of your collection when you say that both of these wonderful forces (I say that with gritted teeth when speaking of the silly Praetorians) AND your Baneblade have been in mothballs for years. Absolutely amazing.

JamieM said...

Very nice! I see your baneblade has now seen exactly the same amount of games as mine has since purchase when new ;)

8th certainly has its warts, but it’s the easiest to just pick up and play like this game I think.