Saturday, April 16, 2011

Epic Armageddon .. the Squats

Adrian, Andrew and I got together for our second EpicArmageddon game for the week - we are all learning how to play the game, so we thought that we ought to strike while the iron's hot and play this second game as soon as we could. I also had another agenda: Adrian has had his Squat army for many years, I reckon it's a fantastic looking army (both the figures AND his paint job), and I wanted to put some photos up on the blog.

Here's the battlefield with initial deployment, Space Marines on the right and Squats on the left.

I placed a SM formation in Garrison on one of the objectives on the SM left flank.

Adrian similarly garrisoned an objective on the same flank, and also this one in the centre. In the background.. gulp, you guys may be short, but you certainly have some very big guns!!

Deployed in the Squat centre was an airship, and a unit of tunnellers... oooo darn, where are they going to come up? Blitzkrieg perhaps, taking the SM baseline objective?   Surely not...

Squat bikers...

Andrew pushed a tactical formation forward on the SM left.

They took fire from the squat formation garrisoning a town close by, and in overwatch.

That formation however took a lot of fire, even though it was supported by one of those REALLY BIG Squat guns!!!

Adrian brought his second really big gun across in support and it put down a lot of fire on a supporting unit of Landraiders on the SM left - this many hits, but Andrew managed to save them all.

We were pretty determined to make our play on our left flank, and moved a unit of Devastators (mounted in Landraiders) across to provide even more fire support.

That's a lot of blast markers for one little formation, and the Squat formation that was the centre if attention broke.

However fire then came down on the Devastator formation from the other BIG GUN (you can see it in the background)!!

In the meantime a Black Templar detachment had pushed ahead and grabed another objective in the centre.

On the SM right flank, a second unit of Devastators had pushed across and caused some anxiety for the unit of Sqaut bikers by firing into their flank, but was then itself hit by a unit of Squat Trikers (well I suppose when you are that little...) ... all very confusing!!

The Trikers were accompanied by a Gyrocopter.

The result was that one unit of devastators remained from the formation, seen here broken and having pulled back!! Yep, we know that when they break you remove the blast markers, but we left them there for effect..

The Trikers were however then hit in the flank by the SM's Blood Angels flank guard. I don't think the Blood Angels were that happy about having been left out to guard the right flank, and when they hit the Trikers they tore them apart.. ouch, that hurt if you are a Squat!!

Adrian started to make his play for the centre objective, and began to move forward to menace the Templars.

On the left Andrew pushed forward aggressively against the Squats. His flanking tactical formation got around their flank and lay down some pretty heavy fire in preparation for an assault.

Finally Adrian had one of those 'moments in the sun'. The Tunellers came up next to the SM baseline objective.

The Tunnellers assaulted the Whirlwinds sitting on the baseline in their firebase.

Result: four dead Whirlwinds., and the baseline objective at least contested. The last remaining Devastator unit from the earlier assault had rallied, and pulled back into the trees to be close to the objective just in case this happened..

We had managed to play two full turns this time, so the game was still incomplete when we had to call time, but we are getting noticeable faster at the whole thing.  We remain fascinated by the interplay created by the alternating unit activation within each turn, and anyway.. this one was all about the Squats. Hopefuly someone will enjoy the photos of some great figures and Adrian's wonderful paint jobs.

There were unpainted Space Marine models on the table (not something I'd normally do), but they won't remain unpainted for long. There's a wee list of equipment that is being based and painted over the next few weeks, and I am looking forward to fielding a more balanced force with air and AA assets as well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Epic Armageddon: first attempt.

Epic Armageddon it was, and Andrew, Adrian and I got together for a mid week game. Now we have played very little of this (this was my first game, while Adrian and Andrew had played a few games each), and I was looking forward to it. It was more of a training game, as we went through the rules mechanisms to see how it all worked. I am pleased to say that the game didn't disappoint. The mechanisms have always looked to be slightly clever to me (and I mean that in a positive sense). The unit activation mechanism played well (in lieu of the more familiar mechanism for me of a map and a plan a la Spearhead.. which I still prefer by the way). It will take a little getting used to.

This small game was 2275 points, and saw the skeleton of my Space Marine army against Andrew's newly purchased Eldar, a great bargain via Trademe IIRC, and I think Andrew is still contemplating how he will paint them. Here are a few shots of the game. The terrain looks slightly 'Europe/Eastern European a la 20th century, because that is the 6mm terrain I have, but it did the business just fine.

SM right wing, and a unit of Landraiders advances quickly, attacks a unit of Eldar walkers in the flank and destroys them. They had been deployed in overwatch guarding several objectives. However the Landraiders were then quickly sent packing by some heavy Eldar firepower.

Eldar scouts had garrisoned a wood and town area in the table centre.

These were brought under fire by a couple of SM tactical formations and sent packing.

The SMs occupy the town in the table centre. The buildings are by Hovels.

We didn't manage to complete the game, but at the end of this turn another SM tactical formation had advanced around the Eldar left wing. However the SM left was also under pressure.

So some summary thoughts.

This is a game that I think will reward further play. One of the things I have always liked about the Spearhead stable of rules is the 'layering' of weapons systems. Epic does this to a lesser degree, and in a different way, but it still appeals to me. The 'you go I go' unit activation system within each move looks as if it could create some very interesting sets of tactical choices for players, and is where the game will largely be won or lost.

I have further equipment to paint up. I can see that introducing large war machines like Titans, along with artillery, air and AA capabilities, and gruntier troops like terminators with their teleport capabilities will give the game the more multi dimensional feel that I like in games. The SM force I wielded tonight was pretty one dimensional, so there is plenty to look forward to. I'll keep you posted.

40K 'student style'

I've been supervising our wargames group at College for 10 years this year, and I thought it was time I showcased some of the great work that these boys do. So here are a few photos accummulated over the past decade (has it really been that long?). These photos are of some of their WH40K games.

The first group are of a Lost and the Damned army of traitors (most of the scenery has been made by the boys over the years as well).

Those are my Marines in the background - one of the boys had borrowed them to face off against a bunch of greebly Tyrannids.


And this was a bunch of Guard having a crack at some Orks.

These boys do some great work.

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...