First up.... The Battle!!
We were given a very impressive looking six foot by four foot table in the middle of the gaming hall with a variety of scatter terrain that I laid it out to represent a small deserted outpost with a bunker in the middle. This bunker would form the objective for each player (essentially TAKE AND HOLD) and would need to be seized and dominated in order to ensure victory. The implementation of this basic mission allowed us to jump into things pretty quickly which was vital as we had only been allocated a three hour slot which I didn't want to waste shuffling cards in order to work out missions, etc.
As ever my dedicated girlfriend had taken command of the mighty Crimson Fists Space Marine Chapter whilst I was leading the forces of the emerald clad Salamanders made up entirely of Rogue Trader era models. Each force consisted of two tactical squads, a devastator squad, a demi-assault squad, a terminator squad, one predator tank (destructor variant) and a whirlwind artillery tank. It is this type of low-level skirmish game that I most enjoy playing as it really allows you to make the most of the terrain and actually utilise some form of maneuver and tactics during the game.
|The azure sons of Rogal Dorn decided that sheer aggression was the best policy and sprinted forwards at a fast pace in order to seize the objective in the opening turns of the conflict...|
|Realising that they risked losing the initiative in this battle my own Salamanders decided to meet fire with fire and also rushed to take control of the deserted bunker whilst simultaneously attempting to avoid the guns of the Fists...|
|...Which was easier said than done due to the sheer amount of firepower that the Crimson Fists had covering almost every avenue of approach!|
|With the foot slogging grunts crawling towards the bunker and the tanks moving to provide support at a slower combat speed there was only one thing for it....|
|Alas; the smiles of victory are soon removed from their faces as every single Salamander weapon system is fired into the bunker! Volley after volley of solid shot and las-rounds shredding the assault marines into stinking offal!|
|The tanks soon begin to engage each other in a bitter armoured duel knowing that only the opposing Predators are potent enough to present any real risk to them.|
|Even the mighty defensive capabilities of tactical dreadnought armour offered little protection in this carnage and soon the area was littered in the corpses of these veritable veteran Astartes.|
|Meanwhile the tank duel becomes a war of attrition as the two predators continue to exchange a horrifying level of fire as the infantry look on in trepidation.|
|From the Crimson Fists rearward line a small squad of surviving tactical marines decided to adopt a stealthy approach and so utilised as much cover as possible while moving to support their dying brethren elsewhere on the battlefield.|
|Spurred on by the death of their leader the Crimson Fists cock their weapons and unleash hell into the depleted squads of their foe...|
|...slaughtering the Salamanders in a hail of mass-reactive rounds!|
In the final turn the remaining Crimson Fist squad charged the bunker, knowing that they were unable to secure the building and win the game they could still deny me victory by being within three inches of the objective!! Curses and drats!!
Well that was an exhilarating battle fought over some truly lovely scenery and I really enjoyed every second of it!! There were some great moments as our forces duked it out for dominance of the bunker complex and it was pretty tense as each turn brought new surprises for both players. For me the greatest moment was when the two Space Marine Captain's met in an epic battle on the top of the objective, it was very cinematic as these two paragons of war exchanged blow after blow before one was finally defeated and thrown to his death...Amazing stuff!
Overall the game was a well-deserved draw due to the arrival of those pesky Crimson Fist tactical marines within three inches of the objective on the final turn...A good example of tactics and planning on the part of my girlfriend who played an excellent game and really kept me on my toes throughout!
Next time I will be looking at the various displays we visited within the Warhammer World complex...these were truly amazing so stay tuned for more hobby goodness!! They even had a retro display with some classic models and dioramas....