Friday, 22 October 2021

Narrative Wargamer Podcast - Hive of the Dead

Hello!

I have to admit I've not been keeping up with posting about every Narrative Wargamer podcast on the blog - there's been a couple I've been in since the Fun Facts episode, but this one is a bit special. Halloween Special in fact! That's right, it's an extra spooky episode, where we play through a bit of lesser known Warhammer content, the choose your own adventure book: Hive of the Dead


In this episode I get to be a poor amnesia suffering Guardsman, waking up in a hive city that has been overrun with zombies (and worse). There's some sound effects and bonus voice acting as well, it's like we've got production values or something. I hope you check it out, and enjoy! Here's the PodBean link, or as you can see below, find it in your usual podcast places:


Hope you like it (and if you haven't checked out the podcast yet, the rest of it!) and stay spooky out there!

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Battle Report - Orks vs Space Marines

Hello!

More 40k, and more Orks! One day I might have to go back to sometimes playing other armies, but today is not that day! This is another matched play game in my attempts to run a proper Green Tide style Ork list with the new book - it seems to be very much not the meta choice, which just makes me stubbornly want to make it work more. So far it's been fairly successful against Space Wolves, melee focused Sisters of Battle and Custodes, but this game would be a much different challenge - a very shooty Iron Hands list.

I was playing over at Grim Dice against Nick, who had recently taken this list to the LGT and gone 4-1, so he knew what he was doing - though he did say he hadn't played a proper horde army with the list yet, so I would be an interesting learning experience for both of us. We rolled up the mission Overrun, which was thankfully a long table edge deployment with 6 objectives, hold two, three and more than your opponent for points. 


My list was almost identical to the one I took against the Custards, with only a minor change to make the grot mobs 'Orrible Gits for objective secured, and taking the specialist mob off the Deffkoptas so they could benefit from Snakebite rules and the Warboss aura.

Snakebite Battalion and Patrol

HQ: 
Warboss (attack squig, kombi-skorcha, powerklaw, Brutal but Kunnin, Super Cybork Body), Warboss (big choppa, kustom shoota, 'Ard as Nails, Headwoppa's Killchoppa), Weirdboy (Da Jump, Warpath), Weirdboy (Fists of Gork, Jabbin' Fingerz)

Troops: 4x 15 Boyz (powerklaw), 2x 15 Boyz (powerklaw, shootas), 2x 11 Gretchin ('Orrible Gits), 18 Beast Snagga Boyz

Elites: 15 Kommandos (powerklaw, bomb squig, distraction grot)

Fast Attack: 5 Stormboyz (powerklaw), 5 Deffkoptas

For this one I broke from the usual secondary choice of Green Tide, reasoning that there was a good chance my units would be reduced below 11 pretty swiftly, instead taking Engage On All Fronts, Raise the Banners High and Stomp 'Em Good (which is essentially Grind Them Down but you only could units killed in melee and there's an extra point on offer if you double your opponent's number).


Nick's Iron Hands were obviously built for the alpha strike with a bunch of very killy dreads, lots of Devastators in a drop pod and some Vanguard Vets for counter attack. It was very scary.

Iron Hands Battalion

HQ: Phobos Captain (Lord of Deceit, The Tempered Helm), Techmarine (storm bolter)

Troops: 3x 5 Incursors

Elites: 2 Company Veterans (storm shields), 2x Leviathan Dreadnought (2 Grav flux bombards, heavy flamers), Relic Contemptor (2 twin volkite culverins), Relic Contemptor (2 twin volkite culverins, Cyclone missile launcher, March of the Ancients stratagem, Merciless Logic), 2x 5 Vanguard Veterans (storm shields and lightning claws)

Heavy Support: 2x 5 Devastators (3 multi-meltas, grav cannon, armorium cherub)

Transport: Drop Pod

Nick took Oaths of Moment, Raise the Banners High and Assassination as secondaries. I was a little surprised he didn't go for No Prisoners, but I do have four characters that eventually want to get into fights so it was a good bet on getting a decent chunk of points.



Deployment looked like this - I held the 'koptas and Stormboyz off the board, while Nick kept the Vanguard Veterans in the skies. He also set up the Incursors in the middle of the board, using his Master of Deceit ability to redeploy them onto objectives, keeping one squad back in strategic reserve. I made a bit of a mistake not deploying the Kommandos immediately and getting them into a ruin, instead the Incursors forced them onto a flank in the open - they would obviously die if the Iron Hands got turn one, but if not they could be a right pain on the left objective. In hindsight Nick probably would have been better deploying at least one unit of the Vets for a counter charge.

We rolled off, and first turn went to the Iron Hands. Here comes the dakka!


One shooting phase and some morale later, here's a dead pile with 44 Orks in it! Ouch! There wasn't much in the way of movement, apart from the drop pod arriving on my right flank to shoot some otherwise hidden boyz. As you might imagine this left some big holes in my mobs, but there were still quite a lot of Orks left.


I knew that I couldn't just sit there and take all that firepower every turn, so I'd have to make some charges. I declared the WAAAGH! and started advancing up. Shooting was of course ineffectual, but there were some banners raised and Warpath was cast on the purple mob.



I got a little lucky here in that two of my 9+ inch charges went off, and I think if they hadn't it might just have been game over in turn two. As it was I denied some Leviathan firepower (those grav flux weapons are blast) and tied up both Dev squads. The luck came round a bit in that the purple mob, going in with Warpath and WAAAGH! for five attacks each, only managed to kill a couple of marines, and got pretty badly beaten up in response. Combined with overwatch I had to spend 2 CP to auto pass morale in my own turn to make sure the Devs weren't firing.


Turn two, Iron Hands shuffled around, no sign of Vanguard Vets yet, but the Incursors did come on to the central objective to raise the banner and allow the Leviathan to walk off. Slightly less guns killed slightly less Orks in the shooting phase, leaving me with a whole load of little units of two or three boyz. Importantly the Incursors on the left flank had moved off the objective to get more shots.


Ork turn two, and it was time for the Bosses to get stuck in, making their way up the centre to the three big dreadnoughts. On the right flank I sent in the remnants of another mob to try and clear out the Devs, and on the left a remnant shoota Boy mob set up a charge on the character Contemptor. The Deffkoptas came in to do some shooting and the Stormboyz dropped in the far corner to ensure some Engage points.

One of the Weirdboys powered up Redtoof with an eleven on Fists of Gork, so he was up to nine attacks with the power klaw at strength 15! The shooting phase was less impressive though, the Deffkoptas whiffed and only put a couple of wounds on a Leviathan.

In the charge phase the Devs got surrounded again and we finally killed one unit, and the yellow Boyz made it into the Contemptor - it killed two of them in melee but left the Nob alive to steal the objective and take down a banner!


In the middle though the Warbosses went swinging away into the Dreads. -1 Damage kept them both alive, but both being locked up was a huge bonus for me!

I picked up points for Engage with four quarters, Stomp 'em Good and three banners - and importantly I was denying Nick some primary points. I did make a significant error though and forgot to charge the Deffkoptas. In hindsight I would have targeted the Incursors on the right objective with them, using Ramming Speed to potentially take the objective as well.

Turn three, the Vanguard arrived, and there was some shooting. With two dreadnoughts forced to shoot at T6 Warbosses (the one against the Contemptor with -1 to wound as well) and one having to spend some effort to remove the one Nob in front of it, shooting was not nearly as bad as on the first two turns. The Stormboyz were wiped out, and the Beast Snaggas were reduced below half, but the main blow was the free Leviathan blasting three of the Deffkoptas out of the sky.

Thankfully both Vanguard squads failed their charges, another little slice of luck. In the fight phase the still powered up Redtoof punched out the Leviathan, and Bluetoof dealt four mortal wounds with the Headwoppa's Killchoppa to leave the Contemptor on one.


My turn three, with limited assets I tried to score as much as possible and deny as much as possible. With that in mind Redtoof went charging off to the Incursors on the middle objective, killing them off and tearing down a banner in the process.



A whole bunch of fights happened elsewhere, Vanguard killed off the Deffkoptas (who had managed to do more damage to the Leviathan with their shooting when there was only two of them), but the Beast Snaggas took some out of the other squad and managed to stick around - T5 doing the job for them. The Devs finally all died and so did the 1 wound Contemptor (though would have been funnier if the Warboss had done it with his sluggas) - this racked up the full 4 points for Stomp 'em Good. At this stage I was starting to make a bit of a dent in the Iron Hands, and though I didn't have much left I was actually in the lead.


Iron Hands turn four, with two dreads down the firepower was reduced somewhat, but there were a whole load of exposed characters. Both Warbosses fell as well as a Weirdboy, leaving me with not a lot left. That gave Nick a whole load of Assassination points to even things up.



Turn four was very short for me. The last remaining Weirdboy went and charged the Drop Pod to hide from the guns, and along with my two units of grots I got some Engage points.



Turn five, the Vanguard Vets flew over to deal with the hiding Weirdboy, while the couple remaining on the other side of the board took out a pair of cowering Gretchin. Dreads finished off the last few boyz, leaving me with only a single unit of grots cowering in a corner on an objective (and a huge dead pile) - not enough to score primary points, but a couple of banners left to score at the end.

With the final scores tallied up, it came out as a narrow victory to the Iron Hands, 73-67. Bit of a nail biter in the end!

What a great game! Even though I lost, I'm very pleased with how the army performed in the face of withering firepower, continuing to play the game even after horrific casualties. How very Orky! I think I rode my luck a bit to get so close, but in fairness I could have been luckier and gone first, which might have been quite a different game. I was disappointed to have misused the Deffkoptas, and I probably could have deployed better to ensure I had more units capable of charging out on turn one, but otherwise I don't think I made any huge mistakes. I was also pleased to get the game done in three hours, suggesting that with some practice I could perhaps take this list to a tournament, if I can ever get to one!

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe out there.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Video Battle Report with SorcererDave - Orks vs Orks!

Hello!

Well it's been a while, but I've been back to visit SorcererDave to film another battle report! This time it was Orks vs Orks, Snakebites vs Freebootas, Nipper vs Stompa, Redtoof vs Zog!




It was fun to get back into it again, and with the Orks who have largely managed to avoid Dave's channel, aside from the classic Stompa battle. Obviously with it being a Dave report it's got a nice narrative focus rather than being anything close to competitive - and speaking of which, we are still planning to eventually finish off the Reuvengrad campaign, assuming the world doesn't conspire against us again. I'm dead keen for that, having been listening to the Eisenhorn novels of Audible!

Anyway, if you didn't click the link earlier, here's the report:


Hope you enjoy it, and stay safe!

Saturday, 16 October 2021

DZ Day Report - Orks and 'Squigs' vs Space Marines

Hello!

At the start of the month I took my Orks to October's DZ Day over at Table Top Events in Belper. My understanding is that this now monthly event came from the mind of Winters - he was apparently going to be organising the games at this one but was running fashionably late so some hasty planning saw Da Vipers teaming up with some sneaky Blood Axe Boyz (commanded by Kris B) and an army of weird Squigs (actually Tyranids led by Russell). The mostly green xenos forces were up against Adeptus Astartes of three chapters; The Black Templars (marshalled by Josh), The Emerald Knights (Dark Angel rules, led by Rik) and the Space Wolves (run by Sam who I'm not sure is on Instagram, but his awesome Thunderhawk was painted by March of War.) 


It was decided that the Orks would definitely be fighting to loot the giant gun, so we took this table, and I immediately claimed it with my squiggy mascot. The game would be around 5000 points per side including super heavies, fought over six objectives placed around the gun itself, scored at the end of the battle round. Whoever controlled the most got a point, and got to fire the giant gun towards one of the other tables, creating a huge blast of mortal wounds (I assume it was firing on low power or it would probably just obliterate the whole table).





Deployment saw my forces bunched up to go for a pair of nearby objectives, while the Blood Axes went up the middle and the squigs would swarm over the sparser left flank. The Imperials provided a block of transports to rush onto objectives and a hard centre of dreadnoughts to march in behind. There were a lot of elite units loaded up into the various vehicles. The Marines got first turn, which was going to hurt, but at least it would give us the option to steal objectives at the end of the round.



Sure enough, turn one the wall of green raced towards me, and so did the Thunderhawk, unloading it's full payload into Nipper the Gargantuan Squiggoth. Nipper is a tough old boy though, and weathered the storm of fire. The Black Templars zoomed up the centre, but left the far flank pretty undefended.



In our turn the squigs made their way out of cover towards objectives, while the Blood Axe jet and big flappy squig (Harridan) zoomed around to harass the Templars. As one might expect for Ork shooting, there were not too many significant casualties, but we did hold enough objectives to draw the first round.



Turn two saw a whole load of killy elite Marine boys disembark across the line. The Thunderhawk dropped off a whole load of Wolf Guard and some characters, including the warlords for both the Space Wolves and the Emerald Knights. Shooting poured in but both Squiggoths managed to hold on until melee, when a blob of Space Wolves only just managed to bring down Nipper Jr, and Nipper himself was killed by Black Templar Blade Guard, after he ate two of them!



I was taking the brunt of the damage, but the Blood Axes were still holding strong and the Squigs were still swarming - the Thunderhawk targeting the Harridan but failing to down it.


Our turn two and time to respond with violence! Beast Snagga Boyz, Tankbustas, the remaining Squighog Boy and Redtoof himself picked targets for their charges...


The big flappy squig flew over to engage the Thunderhawk, surviving overwatch but sadly rolling poorly for it's attacks.


Snikrot and his Red Skull Kommandos turned up from the shadows to harass the rear of the Marine advance, crippling the Wolves Leviathan and drawing some attention backwards.


A mixed charge phase for us - I believe the Blood Axes did some good damage, but the Beast Snaggas bounced off storm shields and were battered by the Wolf Guard. However the Squighog slammed into the rear of a Rune Priest and skewered him with a rokkit powered stikka, and Redtoof himself slew the Emerald Knight's Captain in single combat! WAAAGH!!! After that we were once again equal on objectives.



Turn three saw the Thunderhawk fly into our lines to cause havoc with the Blood Axe armour, and give my Big Mek a bit of a fright! One of the Black Templars then took down the injured Harridan the T-hawk left behind with a pistol shot!

In my corner of the board, the cowardly lapdogs of the Emperor formed a firing squad to execute Redtoof, rather than face him in honourable combat, though he did take a lot of dakka to remove. I was almost out of the game at this point, down to only the Mek and some Gretchin.


However as mentioned all the attention on me had left the far flank pretty open for the squigs to swarm in. The Imperials managed to hold the gun at the end of three though to go into the lead.


Turn four featured the Marines consolidating my corner to try and remove the Kommandos - they had to send in extra Dreadnoughts and Razorbacks to make sure. This left my cheeky Mek with a golden opportunity - targetting the only Razorback holding an objective on the other side of the gun (maybe just about visible on the top and to the right of this image). Filling it full of angry snotlings, the tank exploded, and the blast restroyed a second, damaged Razorback nearby! Two tanks with one gun! Between that and swarming squigs - who seemed to keep coming out of the large egg-squigs, the Ork side managed to hold more at the end and square everything up going into the last turn! We used the big gun to fire onto a table where an Imperium civil war was happening - Ultramarines vs Sisters of Battle, nearly, but not quite killing the immovable Canoness Smashypants.


Even with the assistance of the Thunderhawk, the Black Templars were unable to clear their lines and stop the Squigs holding an objective. They also left a single Impulsor on their objective, which Blood Axe Tankbustas were able to remove. This left us dead even on objectives, but for a charge from some Blood Axe Nobs into what was the Snakebite corner to rest control of one from the Emerald Knight veterans. Amazingly this huge game ended up going right down to the wire, decided by the final action, and ending in an Ork (and Squig) victory! WAAAAGH!!!

Hope you enjoyed the read, and thanks to everyone involved. Big games like this can sometimes be a bit of a drag, especially if you are all but knocked out early, but that big shot from the Shokk Attack gun was well worth sticking around, and it ended remarkably close! Thanks for checking this out, and stay safe!

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Adeptus Titanicus Battle Report - Mortis vs Astorum

Hello!

More Titanicus! And this time, it's a blog crossover episode, as I teamed up with Heretic Deb to run a pair of Mortis maniples into the forces of Legio Astorum, commanded by Dave. (Dave and Deb are the couple behind Forsters Foundry who 3D printed the cool Lunar Auxilia minis I painted a little while back.) As usual, AdTit games are a bit of a blur of back and forth decision making, so I'm leaving out a whole load of details!

We (perhaps optimistically, given we were all pretty rusty) played a 2000 point game, using the Titanicus Open War cards, which are rather cool. Having previously discussed after my last game how the standard objective cards are a bit lacking, it was a nice change. We also went for a couple of stratagem points each, and team Mortis decided on the orbital lance strike, primarily because it was cool.

The Mortis team consisted of a minimum Axiom maniple (Warhound, Reaver, Warlord) for Deb and a Venator Light Maniple (Reaver, three Warhounds) for me. We had an assortment of weapons with most loaded up for shield stripping, while the Warlord and my Reaver were rocking heavy duty weapons, Volcano cannons, plasma and melta between them. I also had one of my Warhounds with the always fun flamer and plasma.

The Astorum force had a full Precept maniple, which allows for a chosen order at the start of the turn to be passed on a 2+ by everyone in it. The maniple consists of a Warlord, Warbringer, Reaver and two Warhounds. They also brought along a big banner of six Questoris Knights, which are a right pain!

We ended up with smallish deployment zones that were each half a table edge, in opposite corners, with a mission to just kill everything. Our secondary mission was to hold table quarters, while the Warp Runners had to hold a building in their deployment zone.



We deployed with a Warhound gang in the middle to charge through the city ruins, and the bigger Titans taking some cover, the Warlord on the flank to swing round and secure the near quarter.



Astorum forces formed up with good firing lines down into the city and the Warlord (with a power fist!) at the head. Obviously the Death's Heads had dropped in unexpectedly since these loyalists had not had their liveries applied yet!


Turn one featured a lot of Full Stride orders and Titans moving into position. Notably the Warbringer stepped back to make the Mortis Warhound gang a target, combining with the Reaver to strip some shields and leave some of them looking vulnerable.

Into turn two, we used the Dominant Strategist Princeps Senioris trait to take priority in order to get the unshielded Warhounds out of sight of the big guns. We also started things off with the lance strike on the knights, bunched up and cowering behind a building, but it was a bit of a whiff.


Speaking of those Knights - this Warhound may have dodged heavy firepower but it was about to be torn apart by the banner! They chopped away and took it down to critical.



The other movement saw another vulnerable Warhound make a break for it, while our two Reavers lined up to target the Knights or the Warlord.


 My undamaged Warhound (the fun one with flame and plasma) ran up to stand right next to an enemy one and blast it under the shields and hopefully discourage the melta cannon from the nearby Reaver! It didn't, but it got away with it, surviving with shields intact and dealing some heavy damage to the Astorum Warhound's head!

Elsewhere the unshielded Warhounds were not as lucky, both falling. The one fighting the Knights got taken out embarrassingly by the Warlord's defence laser, and sadly did not explode, instead wild firing backwards at my Reaver! This did leave the Knights open to the Reaver battery, and when the smoke cleared there was only one left. Note - Knights do not like Melta cannons!



Going into turn three and some interesting duels and shootouts were developing. The Mortis Warlord finally cleared the buildings to start firing, blasting away at it's counterpart - though in spite of everything the shields held. The Axiom Warhound went and got in the way to dutifully receive a powerfist to the face for it's master.

Our Reavers were being harassed by the enemy Warhounds, eventually killing one of them but allowing Deb's one to be lit up by the Warbringer and take serious damage all over. The last Knight got caught by a blast template and removed, while my last Warhound zipped around to get beside the Warbringer and within range of the Astorum's protected building.


Turn four saw some shuffling, including the damaged Reaver shuffling off to cover. Mine started to take some heavy damage as well, but the Warbringer took some from the Warhound as well, and the enemy Warlord did eventually lose it's shields, but the Mortis one was shedding it's shields like they were going out of style!


Sadly at that point it was time to call the game and pack up. At that stage we had killed a Warhound and six Knights to two Warhounds for Dave, and some critical damage here and there. He also partially controlled his building, while we didn't hold enough quarters to score, giving him a narrow victory. We talked through a few options for what might have happened in turn five, but there would be too many variables to really call a result so I think we settled on a draw. 

In any case, a very close, fun game with cool hosts! There was some talk of perhaps running a campaign in the future, and possibly the option of a get together with multiple AdTit people (I know The Claw has been thinking of something like that as well) - so watch this space! Whatever happens, I'm sure there will be more Titanicus on the blog in future. Hope you enjoyed reading, and stay safe.