26th February 2004

Here are the latest batch of games which took place at the club on Thursday 26th February 2004...with, guess what, another proper Battle Report (!) from Steve. I haven't commented this time, I think Steve says it all...

Game: 25mm SF
Rules: Warhammer 40k


After last week’s Warhammer Fantasy Battle game, Graeme and I decided to have a bash at 40K.

Currently, Graeme is struggling to get his head round the Advanced Squad Leader (WWII) rules so we are filling in as it were, with various ‘oddity’ games, trying different things we wouldn’t normally play.

That said, I have played a great deal of 40K in the past and its one of the few games that I truly understand, in a deep spiritual sense. Well perhaps not.

As we both have fledgling armies, we decided to take 1000 point forces and wanted to use theclub's excellent city-scape terrain (made by ……….) so opted to use the Cityfight rules. 40K is a game that seems to work best with specific missions and so I decided to generate a ‘Rescue Mission’ variant. This actually favoured Graeme’s fast moving army and so I knew it was going to be tough to win.

As a long-standing space marine player I was looking forward to testing out the core of a new Daemonhunters army. With an Inquisitor Lord and his retinue at its heart I’ve decided to make it’s core troops Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. This allows me to ‘add on’ all the available options (Grey Knights, Space Marines or Imperial Guard), as and when I finally get round to buying them. This creates a varied and flexible force for me to use. For this battle I decided to use Space Marine allies. Well, I say decided but since those were the only figures I had it was somewhat of a Hobson’s choice!

That said, 40K games are usually won or lost in the close assaults and so I themed the force around close combat units. Coupled with the often short range of the Cityfight engagements, my force was loaded up with powerfists, flamers and other assorted sundries.

The final roster consisted of:

Inquisitor and retinue (including powerfist armed warriors and heavily armoured acolytes)

2 units of 5 Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (bothe led by powerfist armed and heavily armoured leader, one unit with a plasmagun, the other a meltagun)

1 unit of 6 Tactical Marines with a flamer

1 unit of 6 Scout Marines, 1 with a heavy bolter and the rest with sniper rifles. In fact I’ve found these troops are best used in a role similar to Devastators.

1 unit of 5 assault marines, 2 with plasma pistols.

1 Typhoon Land Speeder.

This gives me a flexible mix of assault units and support fire.

We set up the terrain and determined starting zones and I decided to deploy the Inquisitor, Scouts, Typhoon and 1 Stormtrooper unit. The Scouts set up in a tower and the rest hidden by buildings ready to pounce forwards.

Turn 1

Grame set up most of his fast troops so I pretty much knew is was playing catch-up from turn 1. He took the first turn and swept forwards with his raider squad, bikes and warrior unit getting within striking distance of the objective. Things looked bad.

My first turn was quite eventful as everthing swept forwards into firing positions. The snipers in the tower opened up on the Reaver bikes felling half of them and play passed to Graeme. I was relying on my reserves blocking Graemes lines of retreat as I knew that my units would struggle to catch his.

Turn 2

Curses, the Dark Eldar had captured the minute-skull! And I had little in the way to stop them. Rolling for reinforcements, my Assault Marines came on in zone 1. Not great but within a turn or two of getting into the Dark Eldars line of retreat. My Inquisitor and the Typhoon swept round to target the Reavers and combined with the sniper fire from the remaining Scouts, wiped out the remnants to a man!

At the end of turn two, things still looked blaek for me as I was facing having to chase a faster opponent.

Turn 3

With the sniper Scouts taking casualties everything else was still intact and Graeme’s terrible dice rolling for difficult terrain movement had pinned him down with the objective.

I chose my Tactical Marine reserves next and they came on in Graeme’s deployment zone! The Eperor was certainly smiling on me today. Unable to move or assault, they could still fire and a nearby juicy unit of Warriors made a tempting target. Opening up with bolters, a few Wariors were blown to pieces despite cowering in the cover of some ruins. Bwahaha!

The rest of the army advanced, with my inquisitor running full tilt to get into a position to cut off the retreating ‘carrier’. With no other target except the Raider, the snipers held there fire, but the heavy bolter opened up scoring a glancing hit and smashing apart the dark lance and its gunner.

The assault Marines lived up to their name and charged into the enemy’s Archon and Incubi bodyguard. With 15 attacks I rather spectacularly failed to inflict any serious damage and in the stalemate, the Marines held their nerve in the face of defeat. They were doing their job well though, tying up Graemes only real close assault unit.

Things were looking up, although the Dark Eldar still had the minute-skull and I was still playing catch-up.

Turn 4

My final reserves (Stormtroopers) came on behind Graeme’s Scourges and cuaght between these, the other Stormtroopers and the remnant snipers, these assault troops were practically wiped out.

The Assault Marines continued to pin down the Archon and the Inquisitor lumbered onwards. The critical moment of the turn was the Typhoon’s fire. Sweeping down into the narrow street, it opened fire with everything it had, shattering the Raider’s motors, immobilising it! Once again, the Divine Emperor blessed me! With my Assault Marines wiped out they had done their job and delayed the Archon just enough. Pretty much everything sles too far away to make a difference so it was going to come down to my Inquisitor and his retinue against the Wytches with the Minute-skull.

Turn 6

The Wytches had failed to make it to cover and with a combination of psychic attack, pistol fire and close assault captured the sacred skull from the foul alien scum!

With that the game ended with a narrow victory for me!

Conclusions

40K is a great, fast game to play, with lots of tactical considerations and the mission parameters really help that. Freed from conserving casualties to avoid a loss ‘on points’, you can really throw everything at the objective.

I knew the game was going to be tough and to be fair I probably shouldn’t have won! I deployed well, particularly the snipers, who caused Graeme constant headaches (as evidenced by his concentration on firing at them with everything he had).

Ultimately it came down to some fortuitious reserve deployment by me and some poor dice rolls for difficult terrain movement from Graeme.

That said, if Graeme had used his bikes to carry off the objective, rather than deploying them as a screen, things would’ve been very different and I’d have lost around turn 3!

It was a faced paced and interesting game, nonetheless and particularly poignant that my Inquisitor was the one to hold the minute-skull of his fallen comrade at the end of the battle. I look forward to many more 40K battles but next week I think we’re trying out Battlefleet Gothic…

Game: 25mm Rennaisance
Rules: Warhammer ECW With Amendments

Game: 15mm WW2 Skirmish
Rules: Beer and Pretzels

Return to Index