"When the dead walk, señores, we must stop the killing... or lose the war."
- Old Priest, Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Wednesday Games Night! The only night of the week I truly look forward to, that one night my girlfriend lets me go off to play with my little plastic toy soldiers, have some pizza and banter with the guys, and generally vent steam.
Last night, we tried out the Scouring of Boros scenario from the latest UK WD by Andrew Kendrick, a 2000 pt quasi-Planetstrike game featuring Ultramarines with an Legion of the Damned assist, and Orkz. This was also the game we featured Games Workshops (c) Fortress of Redemption (tm) as a centrepiece for our gaming, and part of the scenarios objective. Here it is:
Heh. Here is our attempt, that took us 3 hours-each per section, Fortress of Cardboard in all its glory. Albeit, it's an inch or two bigger lengthwise, but dimensionally more or less equal. We hope.
Games Workshop, eat your heart out.
Pretty nifty eh? I was particularly proud of the balsawood lascannon (that was the section I did. Plus the walkway by the tower). It even moves! (360 degrees, but is stuck at a 45 degree angle posture). That's D, our local Ork player counting out his numerous Boyz. To the left, a couple of cardboard buildings I made stacked up to 'count as' another bastion.
Bang bang bang! Pew pew pew! Grown-up men-boys with their toys. *sigh*
L, our Marine player, has set up on another bastion that's pretty close to the 'Great Fortress' bit in the middle.
Now, I won't bore you with further details re: rules, setups, etc, you gotta read the WD for that stuff. What I can say though, is it's meant to be a fluffy last stand in which Marines, having 1 bastion, have LoTd and other deepstriking units, and have to flush out the Orks. Orks, on the other hand, have to survive. Orks win if they control one uncontested bastion (they own 5 at the moment, the fortress counting as 3 parts). Marines win, if they contest all the bastions, so they need at least one guy in base-to-base contact at all 5 portions OR wipe out the bastion AND it's inhabitants (as ruins still count as objectives) at the end of the game. Sounds simple enough?
Here's a rough breakdown of the 2000pt lists from what I can remember, bear in mind planetstrike army composition rules are in effect, thus all units 'scoring', more elites & hqs in attackers, and more heavies in defenders. Also, be prepared for plenty of proxying:
The Attacking Ultramarines! (L)
Lysander, termie armour, etc
Chaplain, power armour, jump pack, p.fist
- 5-men terminator squad, 1 with cyclone missle launcher
- 5-men terminator squad, 1 with chainfist
- 5-men terminator squad, all with TH/SS
- 5-men combat squad LoTd - flamer, heavy flamer, 1 p.fist
- 5-men combat squad LoTd - meltagun, multi-melta, 1 p.fist
- 5-men combat assault squad, jump packs, 2 flamers, sergeant p.fist & melta bombs.
- 5-men combat assault squad, jump packs, 2 flamers (Chaplain attached)
- 5-men devastator squad, 4 with missile launchers
- 1 dreadnaught - 2 HK missles, something or other
D & L (pictured) count their forces prior to deployment. Orkz, in formation! TEN-HUT!
The Defending Orkz! (D)
- Wazdakka Gutzmek
- 6no. Nob Bikerz, 2 p.klawz, with bike-mounted Painboy
- 9 Tank busterz
- Snikrot + 14 Kommandoz
- 30no. shoota boyz, 1 big shoota, 1 nob with p.klaw
- 30no. shoota boyz, 1 big shoota, 1 nob with p.klaw
- 30no. slugga boyz, 1 nob with p.klaw
- 30no. grotz, with runtherdz
- 15no. loota boyz
- 3no. gretchin artillery - kannons
- 1no. battlewagon - deffrolla, big shoota
- 2no, Ork dreadnoughts (individual)
- 3no. Killa Kans (1 squad)
My role in this: To invigilate the game, check up rules (e.g what happens when a bastion gets ruined with occupants, etc) and keep things in line, 3rd party measuring, ensure the game goes smoothly, etc.
My thoughts on the game itself? The rules themselves (see GW website) are interesting and flavourful (twin-linked flamers on first turn, deployment rules, etc) but to me it does seem the odds are stacked against the Marines as the survivability of the Orks, with their large squad numbers and mob rule rules, seem to favour the defenders.
Thoughts on the lists: The Marines have gone for survivability here, with 3 groups of Termies, and only 2 groups of LotD. In fact, before the game started, I walked into a mini-debate between D & L, re: Lotd composition, in which the fluff demands a greater emphasis on the LoTd purchases (obviously to sell minis, duh!) + the obvious twin-linking flamer SPESHULL RULEZ LOL gear the game towards taking LoTd, in order to flame and cleanse out bastions, reduce numbers of Orkz, etc, in their plentifulness. L's clearly taken more Termies anticipating high-rate of fire from bastions, Orks, etc, and is hoping his guys survive long enough to put in the hurt to those bunkers, instead of relying on unpredictable deep striking units (although he does get rerolls).
D disagreed with L's army composition, saying that really more LoTD must be taken, fluff-wise it would make sense. I looked at the rules, no rules saying you MUST take Lotd, just that you should. We left it that L played his list as above, with his 3 groups of termies.
One thing he didn't realise though is his Dread could not deep strike which was a mistake (he forgot a drop pod), so that has to walk in from reserve. Whoops.
D, on the other hand, confessed to me it's the most shootiest Ork list he has ever made! Lotsa boyz, lotsa heavily-armoured survivable toyz, and that nob biker pain (4+ cover save always 3+ cover save turbo boost 4+ save normally, Toughness 5, 2 wounds each, and FNP!). He did forget to bring his deffkoptaz, so was forced to play with grot artillery instead.
The game itself is still unfinished! After 4 hours, we had only just finished turn 2 of the Marines, meaning next week we'll resume with Turn 2 of the Orks. I'll do a further article sometime later regarding game speed and the amount of time one takes to play a turn, so that's another story for another time, but here's a summary of the highlights and boo-boo's:
Ultramarines new secret weapon: Diet Coke Dreadnought. Rarrrgh.
1. Fortress in middle of table, with 2 more bastions each at left and right corner. Marine bastion in middle at the other end. Marine player puts down craters in a way to create a 'moat' of difficult terrain around his bastion.2. Orks deploy troops in all bastions, bikes partially hidden behind one with lootas to left corner, dreads and killa kans and artillery skulking behind the Fortress. Wazdakka sits by himself behind another the bastion at right corner. Tankbustaz sit in difficult cover nearest to Marin bastion with Battlewagon for help. Kommandos in reserve,
3. Marine Devastators in their own bastion, 2 combat squads of jump pack assault marines and 1 squad of termies to the right of the bastion, 1 squad of termies to the left of the bastion (deployed 12" within of said bastion but 12" away from any enemy unit and/or bastion). 1 squad termies, and 2 squad Lotd in reserve.
Turn 1 Marines:1. Devastators & bastion shoot at Nob bikers. Kill 1.
2. A group of assault marines jump close and assault tankbusterz. Wiped them out.
3. Other group of assault marines jump in and flames battlewagon and bastion behind it. 7 Orks killed, and they assault battlewagon. Stunned, shaken & immobilised.
4. Termies advance forward, with one group running closer to fortress. L then realises during the assault phase that he mistakes Relentless USR for Fleet, and thus cannot assault. D'oH!
Turn 1 Orks:
1. Nob bikers speed away mega quick to the middle rear of board.
2. Wazdakka shifts slightly to get a better position for firing, everything else is pretty much static.
3. EVERYTHING fires their guns at the Marines. Of Lysander's group, only 2 Termies, and himself is left (good shootin' tex!), of the Assault marine combat squad with the chaplain, only the chaplain is left. Leadership tests are passed. For the Marines, every Dead Marine really, really, really hurts.
Who let the Squiggoth take a crap in the yard?
Turn 2 Marines:
1. All reservists arrive. Dread arrives from table edge, last group of Termies deep strikes close to right corner bastion where Wazdakka as, but scatters almost off the board, but luckily they didn't. LoTd deep strikes where bikers and artillery are, but 1 group (with melta & multi-melta) scatters, mishaps, and ends up being placed in the unoccupied far corner. L reckons their pretty much out of the game.
2. Nob bikers are shot at by almost everything until 3 are left (twin-linked flamer goodness. No more cover saves!), Lotd assault them (losing 1 of their own number) and break them, running them down when they fail leadership.
3. Wazdakka is shot at and takes a wound. Joy of joys.
4. Termies wreck a section of the fortress and it comes down! Assault Marines & chaplain assault the 30no. boyz inside it, the result being 8 Orks dead, to all Assault Marines dead. The Chaplain is still alive, the lucky bastard.
That round, Turn 2 of the Marines, he took 2 f*cking hours to play, agonising for ages over deep strike deployment.
So, the game will continue next week, with Snikrot hopefully arriving in next turn, and more Orky shooting goodness.
Have the Marines spread themselves too thinly? Is the loss of the LoTd melta unit at the far corner too much to bear? Can the Termies hold their grit and contest all 4 bastions and 1 ruin? Should he have dropped the Termies and loaded out on the LoTD? Is 2 hours to play per turn (obviously checking up rules on the go, chatting about banter, stressing out over deployment, furrying of eyebrows, speaking aloud one's mind and tactics and what-ifs and maybes, etc) too, too much?
Can the Ork player hold the line and survive to hold all his objectives? Will the artillery, Wazdakka, Dreadz and Killa Kan boyz finally kick some Smurfy ass? Will he win this war of attrition?
Find out next week.