Saturday, August 9, 2014

Making that 40K game easier to play ...

One of my biggest frustrations in playing Warhammer 40K is the spread of stats and data across numerous codices, and across multiple pages in each codex.

Here's something that Adrian has done for years, and I finally got sorted for the Lost and the Damned army .. a unified stats sheet.

This is a screen shot of a part of the spreadsheet that I prepared. It  means that I have everything I need in order to use the army without that frustrating 'now where did I see that?' rustle of pages in mid game. It is especially important when using an army like L&tD which draws units from multiple codices.

If you play the game every week then by and large this sort of play aid becomes redundant. We don't. It certainly sped up game play last night.

Necrons vs Traitors: Warhammer 40K 4th Edition

Adrian introduced me to Warhammer 40K 12 years ago. The 'interest' at the time was fuelled by the desire to be able to understand the game that the boys at my College were playing when I first began teaching there. 40K 3rd edition was the thing, but the game 'evolved' so that it is currently in its 6th edition amendment phase. I enjoy painting the GW miniatures, and they look great on the table, but frankly rules creep fatigue set in early. We don't play the game often enough to keep up with the endless rules and codex changes. Our wallets also tire of the endless outlay in ever more expensive rule books.

Generally our only game opponents are each other, and occasionally Andy. We don't play in the tournament scene, nor do we participate in the 'friendly' club 40K 'gaming scene. So we took a decision. We would go back to 4th Edition Warhammer 40K, and the codices that we own.

This week we went back to that 4th Edition and played our first game of 4th in a number of years. We have thoughts on some simple house rules that we think will make the game better and, since we don't play other opponents, who cares. This first reprise we simply played the rules as written as best we could remember them as we flitted through the rule book, and we'll now think about those house rules with a little more clarity.

Adrian brought along his Necrons, and I cobbled together a Lost and the Damned list using the 'Eye of Terror' codex. This was the concept that first attracted me to try my hand at the game in 2002 and with the acquisition of a lot of Imperial Guard material over the past few years I was finally able to field 1500 points. This would be the first game I'd played at that size.

The Lost and the Damned army had at its core 4 units of Traitors, and one of Mutants, each of these were troops choices. In the spirit of the army concept I took a heavy weapon with each squad (although I remain convinced that this is NOT a game winning strategy). I also took a heavy weapons squad with heavy bolters, two traitor sentinels, and a Leman Russ. A Vendetta Gunship rounded out the selection of despicable traitorous vermin who had turned their backs on the Empire.

To finish the list there were some Chaos allies: a Dreadnought, and some Chaos space marines, all lead by an aspiring champion.

The table at the start, L&tD on the left, Necrons on the right.

Necrons ....

Traitors, with my not quite finished Hellbrute, counting as a simple Chaos Dreadnought

Adrian had these beasties advancing on his right

My right was held by a traitor squad supported by the two sentinels, each with lascannon. These guys took out a Necron vehicle on the first turn.. nice shooting

Can't recall what these are, but they were ferocious and terrifying, and coming at my centre ...

Adrian's flyer arrived from reserve and he deployed it on his left.

They were getting closer

Meanwhile I advanced my mutants in the centre, wanting to get in to contact with the Necron warriors in the ruins

My left.. well I thought it was looking OK ....

Necrons ...

Mutants ...

Meanwhile on my right my Vendetta Gunship arrived from reserve and I deployed it to counter Adrian's flyer

I supported my centre with the traitor Leman Russ, and advanced the Dreadnought to counter those... terrifying .. things.. coming at me through the undergrowth

Adrian leap frogged his scarabs (??) through his warriors so that my Mutants had no choice in the charge ... darn!!

My right is solid ..

While battle is joined in the centre

The left?? Well.. honestly ....  it seemed fine .

An over view of my centre from behind my lines

OO .. ouch .. bang.. crash ...  it was all on. I had originally intended to support the Dreadnought with the Chaos Space Marines (bottom left of the photo) .. and then had a bright idea, advance them to attack the Necron warriors in the undergrowth.. honestly., it seemed like a good idea at the time

The traitor squad holding the centre, supported by the leman Russ, was shot away by the Necron Warriors

And the Dreadnought finally succumbed to those.... THINGS!!!

The Necron flyer flew into the rear of my lines 

and a Necron Monolith materialised behind the lines too .. we had to substitute because Adrian had forgotten to bring his Monolith model

In one turn the Dreadnought and the Leman Russ disappeared.. ouch and damn!!

And the mutants succumbed ... leaving the ruins to the Necrons.. the outlook from the ruins wasn't that great anyway

However the Vendetta and the sentinels disposed of the Monolith and the flyer..

But those  ... THINGS . now turned their attention to a traitor squad.. ooo this may hurt, there will be tears

And those swarming 'scarabs' now advanced to support the warriors being whittled down by the CSMs

The left was .. still holding ... wow!!

But the CSM were up against it ... well and truly outnumbered

Those ... you know.. THINGS .. chomped their way into the human traitors 

The Vendetta gunship swung round and disposed of another Necron vehicle (an ark??) but was then brought down by some lucky shots from a Necron Warrior squad... thank goodness it was the 6th turn.
The final outcome was a draw that favoured the Necrons, but there sure were a lot of models off the table, representing a lot of points on both sides. The game had lasted about 2 and a half hours, and had played quite well. Now this was NOT a high order simulation of combat. It was NOT Spearhead, with its multiplicity of layers that demand good planning in terms of table, space, time, objectives, and resources. It did not contain all of those challenges that make the Spearhead rules set my favourite 20th century rules simulation

It was simply a game, with gorgeous models and lots of dice, and it was fun. We'll play it a lot more, staying with 4th edition. It will be our own little time warp, and we'll be happy there, as the rest of the 40K world passes us by. 40K 4th edition.. 'back to the future '.

Oh, and ..  my left flank held out ...

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