Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Least Fun 40k Game I've Ever Had

The other day at my local club I agreed to join in a doubles games, 2500 points per side. Our opponents I knew had the big forge world slaanesh daemon thing as I had seen that it had been recently painted and the guy clearly wanted to try it out, but didn't have a full army yet, hence the doubles game. He had his son bring Orks, and they were facing myself (Orks) and another player with Space Wolves (They'd planned on being a team, we improvised the other side based on who was available, and allies restrictions were basically ignored)

We got the maelstrom mission where we have an ever decreasing amount of objectives, which is a good mission for my ork army as it means I can score while I have plenty of units and then as my army inevitably withers away I am expected to achieve less with limited resources.

We deployed. We were sat on obj 1, 2, 4 and obj 5 was in easy reach. obj 3 and 6 were deep in enemy territory.

Once we had finished deployment, our opponent got their armies out of the box... I hadn't particularly paid attention, I'd seen him rolling psychic powers and warlord traits and making notes on his list (which was on his phone, I'm not the first to find this irritating...), but I hadn't examined it, this is a friendly club game, not a tournament...

So he deploys. A stompa. Plus a few psykers hiding behind it. My teammate asks where the rest of the army is, but I already know it's nothing but MEKs in the stompa to be a repair battery (and a KFF no doubt) The other opponent deploys a herald of nurgle and the slaanesh thing. I don't know how many points the forge world creature was, but it was a GC T7 with 6W (to begin with, it gains more when it kills stuff, up to 10) and a 3++ save that may even have been rerollable... damn near everything on that thing was rerollable, I can't remember if the saves were too. Right, so we have a few psykers, a GC and a Super Heavy in 2500. Against a balanced CAD Ork force and a Space Wolves bunch of thunderwolves, wulfen and Leman Russ. Right.

So I think "We won't kill either of those things, let's just try to outscore them and then not die"

So we go first, and draw our objectives:

Secure Obj 3
Secure Obj 3
Secure Obj 6 (The Stompa was sat between 3 and 6)
Kill a vehicle or Monstrous Creature (So the Stompa or the Slaanesh GC)
Kill something in Assault (Turn 1?)
Kill the enemy warlord (Hiding IN the Stompa)


So over the course of the next few turns we were ditching one of these each turn but it is the ever decreasing objectives game, so we pretty much always had enough obj and our hand was stagnant. The Ork psykers had all taken daemonology and we ended up with a couple of summoned Great Unclean Ones, but on the bright side killing one of those got us the "Kill an MC" obj. So we scored that point and drew... "Secure Obj 6"

Over the course of the game we took 24 hull points off the Stompa. It ended the game on full health. The GC ended on 10W but I didn't even try to do anything against that. It just walked around with impunity killing units. We couldn't kill practically anything in their army. We couldn't ignore the problem and hunt obj. There was nothing for us to do but roll dice in futility, then watch on their turn as all our work was undone, and we removed more units.

It wasn't even THAT effective for our opponents either. I have been playing the Deffskulls for a while now and I have NEVER had so many models alive at the end of turn 7, and normally that's starting with 2000 of Orks, not 1250.

The final kicker was that the GC killed the grots that had been on Obj 1 all game, we rolled, there would be a turn 7, so I drew a fresh maelstrom card... "Secure Obj 1"

Oh how fate mocked me that day.

So, with us having killed two (summoned) Great Unclean Ones, 6 (summoned) plaguebearers 1 (summoned) daemonette and I think 3 wierdboyz and 3 meks, we had killed a grand total of maybe 200 points from their 2500 list. So they must have trounced us right? Nope. They won 5 points to 3. We had first blood, kill an MC and linebreaker. They had Linebreaker, and had accrued 4 points (one for obj 3, one for obj 6, another for killing units and another for killing stuff in assault if I recall correctly) If we hadn't been stiffed by such a bad draw, we'd have run away with that game. We could have ignored their forces, scored objectives, and it still would have been a boring game. I don't know if they enjoyed the game, I know that I certainly didn't.

Now normally people don't bring that sort of stuff to the club, we do have one member who likes his tournaments and has been running that sort of thing, and I think these two have been playing him a lot recently. I told them after the game, that next time, warn people. If they want a tournament test, I can bring that... I don't enjoy those games, I feel like there is no flavour to them, but have done it on occasion to help someone out with a practice game (running a warcon against a warcon to give a friend a test game was probably the second least enjoyable game I've ever had) But dropping that list on someone unexpectedly is NOT ON. And even more so after they've bloody deployed! I don't know if I'd have deployed much differently if I'd known what we were facing, I suppose I'd have known that he wouldn't have mobility and I could have exploited that a little but still, even if I'd stood by the deployment, I feel suddenly revealing the Stompa like "surprise" was a little unpleasant.

Ah the irony. I go to a tournament, play a list with 3 riptides, and it's when I come home to my "casual" games club, that I have a truly unpleasant game. Hopefully this will not be repeated often.

Sorry this post is a bit wordy, wanted to get stuff off my chest, will hopefully have something a bit more interesting next time, but by all means do drop your thoughts in the comments.


  1. This why I steer clear of pick up games, at least with friends we warn each other if we are bringing our expensive shiny hurt-a-lot FW badness.... then we can counter with our own hurt-a-lot goodness! I want both sides to enjoy the game. Sorry for your loss....

    1. At my club I'd say we're all friends, pick up games are normally fine, everyone knows that if you're playing the one tournament guy you bring something a bit tougher but otherwise just do normal cad style stuff... I think they'd been plotting how best to overthrow tournament guy and got a bit carried away. Ironically, I don't think it's a very effective list. If that first maelstrom hand hadn't completely cock-blocked us from objectives for the entire game we'd have trounced them on mission points. They won 5-3 in a game where we could only score 1 mission point. Given better cards, we'd have easily beaten them, and I think tournament guy would too...

  2. That sucks! I hate games like that, where you just don't have any fun.

  3. That does sound like an exercise in futility. Surely it's not really that much fun or challenge for the deathstar players either ? I wholeheartedly agree that lists on phones are a bit rude. Even a list on a pad is not ideal - I always imagine it being edited during the game (or quickly toggled to another version).

    Having said that, my worst game ever was my 'return' to WH40K in 5th Ed. I failed to understand that it's essentially a piece exchange game and tried to keep my Eldar all alive (hey, they're the last members of a dyin' race, y'know) which saw me tabled in four rounds.

    Older wiser me just plays what some might term "beer and pretzel" games.

    1. One of the things I loved when they first introduced this edition was maelstrom missions - it took us away from the old "spend 4 turns killing each other then run for obj" and gave us ongoing interest in the battle, it added maneuver to the game, and I think it was a massive improvement. I don't understand the mindset of those who don't consider that aspect of the game. "This stompa is unkillable!" they say (ironically autocorrect changed that to unlikeable, how apt!) To which my answer is "great, but will it score any points?" And a lot of the time, the answer is no, as they demonstrated in that game. Unfortunately, in that particular game, neither did we...

    2. The tournament scene has been a little hesitant to adopt the full maelstrom due to its very random nature. I.e. You draw 6 impossible cards, you opponent draws 6 possible cards, then you are completely on the back foot for the game. Like in this game.
      The etc uses a limited maelstrom deck, 18 cards and you can only score two a turn. I think this is a little too limiting on the progressive/maelstrom missions. Especially when you consider that kill points are around in every mission. Personally I like the maelstrom missions, but wish there was a mulligan option if you pull a bad hand at the start of the game. My local clubs tournaments normally pull 6 cards, if you don't like them you can mulligan and draw 5 cards instead. Think this works pretty well.
      ITC formats are also pretty good. The not scoring until your next turn aspect is a little weird, but actually works really well, and because you are working from a limited chart and rolling at the start of each turn you are not likely to be continually hampered by bad rolls/draws.

    3. Being able to mulligan would certainly be a handy rule to have...