Sunday was the day of the big battle. A good deal of preparation went into it, and I arrived at the club at the ungodly hour of 11.30 am! I set to work setting up the tables and we had a massive board to fight over, as can be seen below.
The teams were set. But on the eve of the battle I'd heard Wez would be coming and would be up for a game if we could squeeze him in. So out came my Orks, the dust was blown off, and every one that was stuck together was basically muddled into an army list. It was hardly the msot competitive army around, with only a single battlewagon in 2500 points. Wez it seems has a similar problem with his army, so our 5000 points of Orks had 2 battlewagons and 2 truks... not the most mobile of armies in a rush to the centre type of game.
Once deployment zones were decided we got lucky and won the roll off to go first. Immediately to our left was Dan and Lil Rich (Necrons and Guard, an unlikely alliance I explained away as being a mechanicum force in awe of the machine gods wonders...) directly opposite us was Stuart and Neil (Daemonhunters and Guard) and then to our right and going last was Chirs and Fat Rich (Chaos and Chaos)
In a brief (as possible) run down of key events of the game, here is what happened.
Wez asaults Doomhammer. Dan drops nigh unkillable (to Orks with bugger all high str anti tank) necron phalanx in to keep company. Several rounds of firing fails to clear Ork squad off Doomhammer... the tank itself has been reduced to a pile of scrap metal benath them though. Most other armies advance on to the field. Rich and Chris, thanks to the admittedly genius tactic of deploying their rhinos facing the wrong way, got their troops out and assaulted a shadowsword on turn 1.
Wez assaults the Hellhammer. The necrons assault the other shadowsword, a baneblade, a skullhamma and the fortress of arrogance. The daemonhunters assault the necrons trying to claim the skullhamma. Sly marbo attempts to stop the necron lord attacking the fortress of arrogance. Stuart and Nige also try to claim the Stormlord, while throwing every available shell and rocket at the daemon princes that had arrived in the chaos deployment zone last turn. Chris and Rich claim their Baneblade, only to discover that the engine isn't working. As all the tanks were facing outwards, they can only shoot themselves... so they went for a repair roll instead and managed to get one of the drives working. Meanwhile another squad moved on to another Baneblade.
Wez claims the Hellhammer. Finds a small booby trap. Has seen this in the movies, it's always the red wire...
So that was one super heavy dead (along with the luckless squad of Orks that had assaulted two seperate supers and no reward so far...) Ginge sent some Boyz to deny the chaos their second super heavy prize. The necron phase started with Dan claiming several super heavies. His shadowsword had some weapons damaged, so he elected torepair. The baneblade was immobilised, but was at least facing some enemy, so would be of use this turn. The necron lord meanwhile clambered to the top of the Fortress of Arrogance, and smiled as he surveyed the battlefield. There was a raggedy old greatcoat in the corner of the pulpit, and just as he was about to dismiss it as nothing imprtant, it stirred...
Yarrick lives! And the Necron Lord then begins an epic dual for control of the tank. A dual he was to win in this turn, but Yarrick managed to buy the opposition one less turn of punishing firepower. The daemonhunters had finished off the necrons on the Skullhamma, and went to claim it themselves. Having been repulsed from the Stormlord by a daemon attack the forces of good tried again. Chaos then sent some more forces to disrupt their heroic plans, while the shadowsword (it's recently repaired engine having been damaged by a basilisk shot) again went for the repair roll, and again fixed the engine. Of far more interest was the dramatic drop pod assault into the mechanicum lines. Having had little to do all game apart from lob ordnance at helpless Orkses and laugh maniacally, Lil Rich suddenly had a fight on his hands if he wanted to keep his objective.
Having seen the chaos forces off the Baneblade Ginge sent his boyz to claim it for themselves. The rest of his forces clashed with Richs forces in what was a merry distraction, but not all that critical game wise. Of far more importance was Wezs Kill-Krooza in orbit. Using rather haphazard traktor beam technology they sent some rocks at the spot the four armies seemed to be converging on. Hardly being the most accurate things, these scatter by feet on the battlefield. But with three roks incoming, everyone got nervous. A building was obliterated, a super heavy took some damage, some troops were suddenly a hell of a lot shorter than they had been 5 seconds ago... all in all a lot of fun! The Cult of the Machine God army had an advantage in super heavies, and put this to good effect by shooting the recently mobile chaos shadowsword up the arse (among other things immobilising it again - between that and the scarab swarm it ended the phase with a single sponson, a single structure point, and completely stunned - but under game rules it still counted as an objective.) They did have the problem of a few drop pods worth of chaos marines in their lines, not to mention the steady progress of Wezs nobs finally getting into their lines. The heroic imperial forces managed to claim their skullhamma, but lacking any real firepower for the turn (thanks to their own shooting when it looked like the necrons might claim it) they elected to repair and fixed the turret. With little left in their armies that could hope to capture the Stormlord, and time running out, neil sent the man he thought was Yarrick (actually a Callidus assassin, clearly the Inquisition felt this battle was important, and didn't want to admit that apart from salvaging technology, the status of the MIA Yarrick was NOT to be made public knowledge) out to grab it for himself. The chaos forces, seeing the Mechanicum army as being in the lead, had elected to "let" the orks and imperium claim their baneblades, in the hope they'd turn said firepower on the mechanicum forces. It could backfire, but it was an interesting gamble...
The Orks passed their final turn by claiming the mechanicum home objective! The battle had raged around the area and a nob squad had wandered through unmolested, and were doing what Orks do when asked to guard an imperial stronghold (namely defecating everywhere and using the resultant mess for amusing graffiti and throwing it at each other) Ginges boys also claimed a super heavy and pressed any button they could, some of which made loud noisees... always pleasing to an orky player. There were also some tactically unimportant scuffles between chaos forces and orks, which made no difference to the game result, but the Orks got a fight so went home happy.
The Mechanicum/Necron forces had a trick left up their sleeve... they deployed a blind barrage across the bottom of the field, hoping to protect their super heavies from the fire of the guard guns. They then did what they could to try to finish off the chaos shadowsword, but could not peel away that last structure point...
The Imperial forces finally captured the stormlord they'd been trying to capture since turn 1... the status of the tank? *Admiral Ackbar Impersonation* IT'S A TRAP!!!
One randomly selected enemy then had the baneblade instead. Praying for one of the teams that had already had a turn so wouldn't have the opportunity to fire, Neil rolled the dice.. and naturally got a 1, meaning it would belong to the chaos team, the only team with a turn left. With the mechanicum and Chaos forces yelling down each earhole about where their target priorities lay, (funnily enough, each claiming the other) while the Orks just went along with Ginge the ref and went "hur hur hur" at all the trouble this little trick had caused, the imperials final turn began. With a chaos tank and a Mechanicum tank each in view on a single structure point, they had the chance to swing the game perilously. Staring down the barrel of a vulcan mega bolter that can fire twice next turn does tend to prey on ones mind a little... The guard shooting was as ineffective as it had been for most of the game. Both sides retained a their super heavies. But there was yet a grandmaster with legion relic to act - 9 attacks on rear armour 12 at strength 10... 5 penetrating hits, and just a single structure point remaining. Nope. Failed. Leaving the necrons on a score of 3. The chainfist to the front of the Stormlord caused some problems, but Rich passed all his primary weapon rolls, and still had the opportunity to fire. It was immobilised and facing towards little of importance, so not game changing... but 30 str 6 ap 3 shots looks like fun to me!
And so it came to the chaos turn. With the gift of the Stormlord, and the tenaciousness of the shadowsword (and a completely unmolested rhino on their home objective) they started their turn on 3 points. The necron/guard alliance had 3. The imperials only had 2 and were out of the running. The Orks only had 2, but were one of the forces contesting the necron/guard home objective. Care would need to be taken with this one.
With the blind barrage blocking LOS to the necron super heavies (as intended) there were scuffles (and vulcan mega bolters) with imperial forces, but that wasn't really relevent. What mattered was in the guard lines. The chaos forces killed the guard Leman Russ - they were out of the running. The chaos squad just had to hope their brethren could deal with the Nob squad. By assaulting from the right angle it looked like they might be able to pull them away from the objective, but by carefully piling in they stayed within range. He needed to put them to the sword. It was a fairly even combat... right up until the 3 nobs with power klaws ripped the chaos marines to shreds. They then consolidated back to the objective. It was a valiant effort, but the objective remained contested - the scoreline; Orks 2, machine cult 3, Imperial 2, Chaos 3. A very close draw.
Overall a good fun game was had by all. Far more issues came up than we ever thought of, but for the most part we managed to deal with them quickly and maturely. It seemed there were less issues of capturing baneblades, and far more to do with having more than 2 teams. In future multi team scenarios, we will look back on this and try to address the issues before the game. In the meantime, I think the next apoc event will have just two teams!
And one final thought... it is clear to me that, at our wargames club, the proxying of models is not frowned upon provided that you are quite clear about what is supposed to be what...