Hard to tell from the above I know. These were the starting shots. There was a 6x4 board per team for reserves, plus to have a fluff based reason to explain why a small splinter of tyranid and a small Tau cadre were poking their nose into this largely Imperial dealing with an orky/chaos crisis, there was an 8x4 board for them to represent the fight for a ship in orbit, with the pods representing lifeboats they could use to get to the surface... before the ship itself followed them in, to catastrophic effect for those left on board...
This game was too big, if I'm honest. I had written up a scenario and a plan, I had a couple of side boards to try to spread things out a bit, we had an entire weekend... but then a few people dropped out, so I trimmed it down a bit, then last minute a few others asked to join... and I let them. Meaning we were then rather more congested than I had hoped.
The game overran, so instead of getting 3 turns done on the first day, we only managed 2. Thus at the start of the second day (planned 2 turns) I told all the players that, barring a miracle, we would only have time for one turn. Of course, it was in their hands, crack on and do things quickly and we might have time for a fourth. Three and a half hours later we hadn't started the shooting phase of the second player turn, although we did finish relatively quickly after I pointed out that there was no way we'd play longer, so skip anything that couldn't earn team points or personal points.
This game resulted in a solid win for the forces of darkness, and while I'd given the bad guys a bit of a leg up in a game scenario mechanism, I hadn't expected it to make much difference (it earnt the bad guys an extra 10 points to be fair, but in a 49-21 win, that hardly seems critical.) Far more important were the sheer amount of knights our opponents brought, who were chalking up points for us left right and centre.
To try to keep things interesting, I gave players Personal Objectives that were more important than the team win. Too often I've played apoc where one team get's an insurmountable lead and for the last turn or two there is just a sense of resignation from both parties - makes no odds what I do, the battle is won. So to make this different, I said that the winning team would decide the fluff based outcome... but nothing more. No, the apoc Champion, trophy winner and claimer of bragging rights, would be the individual who completed a personal (secret) mission I assigned them. Those missions might help their team... or it may lead them to take actions that hurt the teams chances, for a moment of personal glory. The point being, with no one knowing who was scoring what, there would be interest for everyone to the end.
Sadly my personal objectives were largely ignored. For those who did take part, it seemed to work quite well - I designed them so if they were easy, there was a way to lose points, but not if they were hard. I didn't expect anyone to breach double figures. It was possible, just unlikely. The few who largely forgot/ignored them were 0/1 points region. Those of us who took part were in the 5-7 region, so worked quite well, although the winner surprised us all, the Tau player who won with a score of 12, from his personal mission of kill enemy units in assault. Admittedly, he did this by gunning gaunts down to solitary survivors then running in and kicking them in the face with crisis suits, but hey, he was one of the few that played the system as it was supposed to be played, and it worked. I am sure his teammates would have been incredulous at him refusing to fire so he could finish something off in combat, however he got most of his points while in orbit and thus his shenanigans went unnoticed by the squabbling masses below.
So all in all, a decent battle, if a little overlong. I've learned some things. The personal missions and the scenarios I made can work, with a few tweaks I believe, and with a bigger push on the personal mission being the game priority... perhaps next time I shall say that personal points get added to standard victory points at the end, so no one will know where they stand for sure... we shall see. I also don't expect I shall ever run a game of this size again, this was for the spectacle, to raise money on bounties on models heads for a good cause, and if I want to play an actual game with a mission objective beyond taking part, I shall keep things smaller in future.
To finish, some shots of the carnage partway through turn two. There was a marine battle company, a green tide, a vulcha squad and snikrots mob that didn't come on to this game simply through lack of space/turns, so while I didn't get pics of turn three (tired) trust me it didn't get any less congested out there...
Final thought... highlight of the day, as one Imperial player mocks his teammate for losing all his knights while he hasn't lost any... cue meltabomb killing one... whose resulting explosion instant kills a second. What was that about not losing any knights buddy? I think Karma heard you... :-P