Red on Blue

With rage and excitement (sometimes in the same person), the 40K community is looking forward to the launch of 8th edition next weekend. I see a few battle reports for 8th are already popping up , but my friends jumped the other way, as we assembled to farewell 7th in proper WATT style: with a chaos on chaos apocalypse game. We threw down two twenty thousand point armies: so 40k of 40k.  Nurgle and Tzeentch joined together to battle a coven of Word Bearers and Khorne for bragging rights at the next Eye of Terror Pie Night.
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We kept it simple: basically lined up our toys and charged forward. Apoc is such a random mess of events going on it is difficult to build a narrative out the game. Titans threw down huge templates. Successive waves of terminators, then daemons, then more terminators deep struck and the armies lost all cohesion into a one seething mosh pit. We expected this might happen, which is one reason why we sorted by colour at the start.


You know the drill, ones were rolled, sixes were rolled. Miniatures were removed by the kilo, and lone daemons managed to survive to contest objectives. High point for me was Abaddon surviving not one but two D-weapon blasts – a dude doesn’t get to run the black crusade for nothing.
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So long 7th, see you on the other side.
D.

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Sisters are doin’ it for themselves

Rejoice citizens of the Imperium. Those valiant warriors of the faith the Adepta Sororitas have successfully defended Imperial Shrine world WB-R-Murphy-02 from a brutal Chaos Marine invasion. Long a shining light of the Imperial Creed, Murphy-02 found itself threatened and near obliterated by the combined efforts of several traitor legions. However, the Sisters, along with steadfast support from the Mechanicus and several Imperial Knight Houses, stood firm.

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The Sisters and their allies prepare for the initial Chaos assault

Apocalypse means beer, huge templates, buckets of dice and lots of minis. It remains a favourite with our gaming circle. Big games are especially sweet if you can assemble two themed lists and play with friends over an ace looking table. In the past we have played Tyranids versus Space Marines and lots of Marines against combined daemon and traitor lists. This time we bought in the Sisters and pitted them against a “pure” traitor marine list: no daemons, cultists or dodgy alien allies; 12,000 points a side plus super heavies.

The Sisters set up the center of the table and Chaos came on from both short table edges.


The Sisters won the role for first turn and while tactics can be hard in a game that large, the Sisters players coordinated their first round of shooting well. Chaos never really came back from that opening round of shooting.  Orbital bombardments and combined Knight firepower took out our Titan and the Chaos mad, long dash across no-mans’ land never had a chance to gain momentum.

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Turns out all you need are some lucky orbital bombardment roles and 3 or 4 Knights and Nurgle’s finest Titan is a smoking, smelly pile.

Once close combat was joined the scores started to close, but Chaos never looked like getting in front. But that is not the point of Apocalypse. You just have to go with the flow, and “forge the narrative”.


A game this large, over 25,000 points on the table, is hard to take in. As a player I find myself concentrating on the part of the battlefield where my forces are and larger trends are missed or confused. This is part of the Apoc experience. Highlights for me include Abaddon and two terminators charging two Imperial Knights. And destroying both. At the other end of the table, not one, but four Saints teleported into the fray, and reclaimed at least two objectives. The stuff Saints live for, surely.

Don’t worry, Abaddon is already plotting his revenge.

Tyranids Defied

Citizens rejoice! The largest tyranid invasion seen in this sector has been defeated by a combined force of loyalist marines. After being pressed early by successive waves of the bio-engineered monsters, the Astartes were able to launch a counter-attack and purchase a famous and bloody victory.

NovApoc25Go big or go home. We aimed for 10,000 points a side but found we could deploy 12,500. That turns out to be a lot of bugs. The table looked great. I found it hard to take a shot that took in the whole spectacle.

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The Hive Mind deployed well. By making an aggressive bid (just 7 minutes), they won the opportunity to deploy and move first. By using a strategic asset that gave most of their troops infiltrate, they not only bought themselves time to deploy they made sure that bugs would be right in marines’ faces from turn 1.

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On the Imperial side there were Space Wolves, Dark Angles (including Deathwing), Imperial Fists, Ultramarines and White Scars.  A good mix of shooty, speed and close combat.

On the left flank Dark Angels and Space Wolves agreed to disagree and looked towards the tyranid menace.

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Adam’s Space Wolves

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Connor’s Dark Angels

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Ben’s Deathwing

The right flank was held by the original battle brothers, the Sons of Dorn and Guilliman, supported by some drop-pods full of Space Wolves

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Dreadnought from my Imperial Fists

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“Remember Macragge” Ultramarines get stuck in

In the centre were White Scars

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Cam’s White Scars – no time to shammy the mudguards, we’ve got some ‘nids to sort out

Overall command of the Astartes was taken by Azael from the Dark Angels

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Warmaster Azael – Connor’s DA

The aggressive tactics by the Tyranid host worked well early on. The marines, despite setting up well back in their deployment zone, only got in one round of shooting before close combat started right along the table.

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But the early waves just could not deal out enough damage and the terminators, deep striking with precision on objectives started to push through the ravening hoard.

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Heading into the Imperial Shrine

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And out the other side: objective secured

NovApoc23NovApoc02It wasn’t one way traffic, but at by the end of three full turns both sides had run out of reinforcements and we were running out of playing time. At that point the marines had 4 of 6 objectives and more victory points, and while the tyranids might narrow the gap if we played on an Imperial victory seemed clear.

As a player in a such a large game it is hard to get a feel for the ebb and flow across the whole battlefield so I’ve missed out on many heroic and mighty deeds from both sides.

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But there is no doubting the mighty spectacle of two themed armies going toe to toe on such a big table. Lovely stuff, and the Hive Mind is already plotting its revenge …

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Thanks for all for a fab day.
D.

Apocalypse Soon

Tomorrow is the day. Or it is while I type this. It is probably in the past for you.
But the warp is like that. You only think it is the web.

I’ve had a look at the Emperor’s Tarot and we will have 12,500 points a side: Tyranids versus Space Marines. Six for Hive Mind and seven loyal defenders of humanity.

Only one gargantuan creature and no super heavies. I’ve packed every terminator I own as a prophylactic. You do not want Tyranid herpes.

While all ‘nids look the same to me, we will have five different chapters represented. In descending order of points there will be: Space Wolves, Dark Angels (including a Deathwing attachment), Imperial Fists, Ultramarines, and White Scars. By this time tomorrow we will know if it is enough to stop the tyranid invasion.

No pictures yet, but I’ve packed my camera.

I will be handing out these cards:

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We always forget the finest hour rule. Always. Tomorrow I expect to see our warlords acting in suitably heroic and dramatic fashions.

To war!
D.

Apocalypse Planning

It looks like there will be six space marine captains for our upcoming Tyranid versus Astartes apocalypse bash.  Munitorium scribes tell me that simple division (but is anything really simple?) is around 1,650 points per attachment.

Assuming the Hive Mind plays its usual shenanigans, I’m planning on 2,000 points. I can always leave stuff out on the day, but adding stuff when the chapter home world is a couple of parsecs (well, suburbs) away is a challenge.

I think a solid start will be a 1,000 points of terminators, led by a terminator chaplain.

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I’m going to use the chaplain for three reasons: terminator armour, I don’t use him very often, and I like the model.

What’s better than 1,000 points of ultramarine terminators?

One thousand points of Imperial Fist terminators:

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Led by the Fridge, of course.

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Rubbish photos, but these were smuggled out of the secret assembly planet at great risk to our F&S journalist on his iPhone.

D.

Love at the end of the world

One of the great parts of wargaming is its ability to stimulate your imagination. Lots of things can achieve this, but there is something wonderfully cinematic about two well painted armies on a table laden with terrain that few other games manage. For me this is one of the reasons I like to play a couple of apocalypse games each year: the sight of two 10,000 point armies going toe-to-toe is ace.

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Lots of mens = lots of carnage

Another nice feature of planning and running a game of this size is that it is a group activity. This means that instead of two or three of your friends getting together, it is 8 or 10! Apoc is a party with added dice.

Expect the wacky; and carnage

Expect the wacky; and carnage

Creating a memorable apoc takes a bit of effort, but the pay-off is worth it. Our gaming group is working towards an apoc game in a couple of weeks. From my teasers you may have guessed that it will be Tyranids versus Space Marines. I’ve done the teaser posts because I’m looking forward to the game and want to help a little to build the excitement. (I’ve not used any ‘nid photos for the simple reason I don’t have any, hence my more cryptic approach.)

Fluid situations will arise

Fluid situations will arise

The current Apocalypse rule book has some good tips on getting a game together. We don’t use them all (and discovered some for ourselves years ago), but they are worth a look early in your process.

And you'll get to find out who wins in Bloodthirster v. Baneblade

Plenty of room for the big toys

To help ensure a memorable day (for the right reasons) I suggest that you do at least the following:

  1. Get it on the calendar well in advance. Coordinating the lives of ten gamers can be daunting
  2. Plan food and beer as well as gaming. It is going to be a long day.
  3. Theme. It’s tempting to get all your toys out, but two themed armies is a wonderful sight
  4. Painted. Truly, don’t field it if it doesn’t have paint.
  5. Don’t sweat the detail too much. At 10,000 points a side it’s more the vibe. Related to this is go WYSIWYG. There is too much on the table and way too many people to have substitutes or fuss with melta-bombs you can’t see

And finally, chill. It can be a long day and while the fate of an entire planet hands the balance you’re there for fun.

And you'll get to find out who wins in Bloodthirster v. Baneblade

And you’ll get to find out who wins in Bloodthirster v. Baneblade

cheers,
D.

Tide of destruction

There is a swath of dead worlds that form a lifeless corridor through the sub-sector, perpendicular to the galactic plane. This line of planets, that otherwise lie in habitable zones, are devoid of life and even water.  Some are mere grey-goo, missing even the usual metallic and rare earth elements, as though they have been stripped and purged of all useful matter.  Imperial scholars suspect that they may be the result of an ancient rampage by a splinter-group of a larger Tyranid fleet.

Acrylic on canvas by my daugher Rose

One of the dead worlds.   Acrylic on canvas by Rose

In papers that are still classified by the Inquisition, Faith and Steel believe that xeno-archaeologists have reported finding evidence of battles having occurred on some of these dead worlds.

Consistent with the archeaological record, Imperial scholars report that planets near the zombie corridor have residual memories of a Tyranid invasion in their literature and folk lore.

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Charcoal winged and fanged beast by Rose

A grave concern now exists that a larger fleet may be following in the wake of this ancient visitation. Stay tuned to Faith and Steel for the latest information.

Evidence of tyranid infestation

After battling chaos and the heretic for so long it was almost too easy to forget that other, perhaps deadlier, things are also threatening the Imperium. Information is scarce but Faith and Steel have got hold of pic-images that indicate that a hive fleet may be approaching our sector.

Image recovered from servo-drone before the feed ceased

Image recovered from servo-drone before the feed ceased

No Tyranid bioforms have been spotted but inquisitor Seluekid visited the site of the original image and confirmed a nest consistent with other tyranid infestations before his pic-feed also went dead.

Inquisitor Seluekid investigates the possible tyranid nest

Inquisitor Seluekid investigates the possible tyranid nest

Neither the inquisitor nor his retinue of 3 have been seen since.

While it is too soon for alarm, Faith and Steel recommend that you review your copy of the planetary defence booklet “Look up and live” and make sure your emergency action plan is current.

A sketch of Inquisitor Seluekid by one of his cutter's crew.

A sketch of Inquisitor Seluekid by one of his cutter’s crew.

Stay tuned for further announcements.