During my latest set of rest days I was lucky enough to be visited by my best mate and his new born son (my God Son no less); he was very cute (the baby...not the mate) and I did enjoy some face time with the little man.
Given the importance of the occasion I felt it should be marked by something suitably auspicious and so decided to lay on a special game of Second Edition 40k for my mate in order to find out what had happened to to the insidious mercenary Lieutenant Rock from our previous engagement:
Given that we have played a few games recently and were growing more comfortable with the rules I decided to ramp things up a bit by including all the extra stuff from Dark Millennium. Therefore the assorted troops were laden with all manner of exotic wargear; each side had a handful of 'Strategy Cards' and I finally gave each side an Inquisitor who was a Level 3 Psyker, hopefully the presence of these characters would add another layer of fun to proceedings.
We drew our mission cards, but this time we kept them secret so that the other party would have to guess the opposition's mission. I put an objective in the middle of the table beforehand so that if someone drew 'Take and Hold' they wouldn't have to give their mission away by asking for an objective to be set up.
|This time around the missions were kept secret from the enemy.
The Guard drew 'Engage and Destroy' whilst the Space Marines were tasked with 'The Assassins'
With the missions drawn each of the Inquisitors then turned their attention to psychic decks in order to draw their powers. As Inquisitors they had to take at least one power from the Inquisition deck and a further two could be drawn from that deck or alternatively from the Adeptus and Librarian decks.
|My Inquisitor, Sonny James Crockett drew the above powers.
|Whilst his nemesis, the radical Inquisitor Ortega Calderone drew these potent powers.
The two armies are shown above laid out for war...wow that seems to be a lot of firepower that the Guard are packing, I'm not sure even the might of Adeptus Astartes power armour can hold up to that much heavy weaponry.
For those of you who wanted to see the Pegasus Ruins from my last post ( http://classicastartes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/rogue-trader-campaign-terrain-gothic.html )
alongside some 28mm models for comparison then the above photos should give you a fair idea of their scale and look.
Now...for the game...
The newly self-promoted Colonel Rock chewed on his cigar as he played another hand of poker with his squad leaders in the deserted barn that they had found for shelter this evening. He smiled as he looked at his cards and realised that this would be another easy win for him. As he leaned forward to reach for his mug of cheap brandy he felt a gust of wind blowing in from the building's shattered doorway, he turned his head to look in the direction of the wind's origin but their was nothing there. Shaking his head, he took a gulp of the potent caramel coloured liquid and returned to the game.
A moment later the mercenary commander felt a sharp blade suddenly pressing close to the flesh of his throat as an unseen assailant appeared like a wraith from the shadows. Rock's men went to move to aid their beleaguered officer, but were dissuaded from doing so by the whine of plasma coils charging as the mystery attacker leveled an ornate plasma pistol in their direction. 'Sit gringos!' the heavily accented voice hissed from the attacker's lips, 'Sit or your little commander here dies..oh and put your hands on the table where I can see them.' The squad leaders looked to Rock for some sort of direction and he slowly nodded his head as far as he was able with the knife at his throat. His soldiers saw the signal and complied by slowly placing their hands on the rough wooden table.
Once he was satisfied with their position the phantom attacker continued his dialogue, 'Good, good. Now Mister Rock, you are a very hard man to track down. I have been looking for you for many weeks, yes.'
'So you're here to kill me then?' The former Guard officer asked as he pushed the cigar into the corner of his mouth with his tongue; his mind trying desperately to work out some sort of tactical options to get him out of this precarious situation.
The other man laughed, 'Kill you, ha, no...I require a man with your particular skills to...assist me; for a reasonable sum of course!'
The cigar stub dropped out of Rock's mouth as he spoke 'Well mister, this ain't exactly how I normally negotiate a new contract.'
The stranger laughed, 'Really? This is always how I negotiate mine; now listen carefully little soldier-man, I am Inquisitor Ortega Calderone and I need your services to eliminate a deadly nemesis of mine, a task for which you will be handsomely rewarded.'
The Inquisitor's introduction put Rock on the back foot for a moment before he quickly regained his composure, 'Inquisitor eh? Well now I'm just spit-balling here, but can't you fellas requisition any resources you want, so what makes you come looking for my particular outfit.'
There was a brief pause before the Inquisitor answered, 'Let's just say I have had a small disagreement with my peers...and so I now need to look for alternative allies, namely you. In fact that is the very nature of this particular mission, there is another Inquisitor operating in this area and I would see him dead. For helping me with this simple task I will give you fifteen thousand credits and certain war materiel to bolster your force...what do you say little soldier?'
'That's a very generous offer.' grunted Rock, 'Too generous maybe; what's the catch?'
Another chuckle slipped from Calderone's lips 'So suspicious... there's no catch; I merely believe in paying appropriately for a job well done. Oh and I will need you to kill all of the troops this individual has with him, I don't want any witnesses.'
Rock nodded, 'Easy enough I suppose, what forces does this dead man have then?'
Calderone smiled, 'Well Mister Rock, actually that in itself is a bit of a coincidence, they are old friends of yours...the Crimson Fists.'
|Strategy cards are a great addition to the game, allowing you to regain the initiative or change the tides of fate at just the right moment.
During set up I played my first strategy card 'Forced March' which allowed me to push some of my forces 18" onto the table, outside of my initial deployment box. Given that my mission was to slay the enemy warlord I took advantage of this to push my terminators and dreadnought forward, as close to the enemy commander as possible.
Once these initial scout forces were on the table the Guard Commander then set up his troops (he had to do this first due to his low strategy rating) and then I placed the rest of my warriors onto the battlefield, using cover where possible to hide from the Guard's extensive firing line.
My opponent then played a strategy card of his own, allowing him a 'Special Issue' of wargear, which resulted in him giving his commander a 'Warp Jump'.
The Guard unleashed their preliminary bombardment, as they only had one heavy vehicle in their force this meant they had one shot...which luckily deviated from the targeted terminators and did no damage...phew!
I then played my next Strategy Card and unleashed a 'Virus Outbreak' on the centre of the enemy line, I laughed heartily as this virulent disease ran amok amongst the unprotected guradsman. It killed five heavy weapons pairs and I voluntarily stopped rolling as it was going to potentially kill every guardsman on turn one of the game!
|Perhaps Grandfather Nurgle has taken an interest in this particular conflict
To add insult to injury Colonel Rock's entire command squad were slain by the virus too, luckily Rock himself survived...only to be gunned down by a Terminator a few seconds later! Turn one and I had achieved my primary objective, and the sons of Rogal Dorn had exacted their revenge on the mercenary commander who had killed so many of their brothers when they last met.
My Dreadnought then opened fire on the Leman Russ, but my opponent played the Strategy Card 'Malfunction' which caused the twin lascannon to misfire, though it sustained no real lasting damage.
|Gotta love those templates!!
The Space Marine missile launchers had been upgraded with plasma missiles and they quickly proved their worth by killing everything they hit, I'll definitely be using these again in the future!
Nonetheless the Guard took revenge as that ridiculous Demolisher cannon started killing terminators in their droves.
|Psychic powers really add an extra layer of fun to the battle
|Hmmm...this gate's going to be useful for closing with the enemy!
|What a wonderful surprise for the guardsman!
The psychic phases were great fun with a lot of nullifying and psychic duels taking place. I eventually managed to successfully cast 'Gate' above, and then utilised it to march my terminators straight into the Guard's deployment area.
However row after row of lascannons took their toll on my forces and the Terminators and Chaplain (who had used his jump pack to join the advance) were slain by weapons designed to kill tanks.
Meanwhile my armoured units were also taking a pounding from the excessive wrath of the f*#king demolisher cannon! Mighty space marine tanks were stripped of their armour by super-heated firepower with worrying ease.
Deciding to push the assault despite heavy losses the brave Inquisitor Crockett and the equally noble Space Marine Captain push through the gate and set about the enemy with their power weapons, butchering guardsmen like cattle.
With his foe so close Inquisitor Calderone decided to try and cast 'Storm of Wrath' on his nemesis, however I was able destroy this power using the above Force Card.
In a suitably cinematic climax the two agents of the Inqusition stand toe to toe in a fight to the death as the Astartes commander looks on.
...whislt the heavy armour duel with each other in a bitter fought-tank battle...
Thirsting for glory one of the Devastator combat squads charges through an open warp portal to engage a hidden squad of guardsman...only to be gunned down by the massed laser and plasma fire of the Imperial Guard weapons...what a joke, shit power armour!
Alas the poor Space Marine Captain also meets his end as a lascannon round obliterates his skull and his displacer field fails to save him (to be fair it had deflected a lot of fire earlier in the battle so its battery had probably run out).
Inquisitor Calderone attempted to use his psychic talents once again, but it backfires and he narrowly escapes being dragged into the warp by cackling daemons!
My other devastator combat squad then unleash their plasma missiles on the remaining Imperial Guard heavy weapons team, however it goes horribly wrong. One of the missiles misfires and explodes in the weapon, killing the firing marine, whilst the other one deviates and hits the duelling Inquisitors.
Seeing that things were taking a turn for the worse Inquisitor Crockett decides that discretion is the better part of valour and so casts 'Teleport' and jumps a considerable distance away from the foe, saving his hide so he can return to fight another day.
And with that the game ended, all that was left was to tally up the Victory Points to establish the victor. Once again there was barely any troops left alive on the battlefield and absolute carnage had left most of the warriors shredded into bloody pieces of flesh and armour!
Imperial Guard: 18 VPs
Space Marines: 17 VPs
Well that was an exceptionally close fought battle that was very nearly a draw, however the Imperial Guard managed to pull it out of the bag and secure a narrow victory! In hindsight I think if I had pulled my troops back into cover after I had killed Col Rock in the first turn I would have won the game...but where would the fun have been in that!!?? I wanted bloodshed and there was plenty of it!
Overall it was a really, really fun game, the extra rules from Dark Millennium were great, and the psychic phase became a really interesting sub-game. I think you have to be careful not to use too many powerful psykers as they could end up dominating the battle, but a couple do really add some flavour to the mix! I'll definitely be using them again!!
Great Stuff, I literally can't wait for the next game!