- Things Tolkien Never Wrote, Chapter 17, pg 25, Anon
(Special Note: We just redid the site architecture, and we are still figuring things out, so apologies for any oddness -Greg)
What does this post have to do with Tolkien? Very little really, but when a writer is looking for a "hook", many times there are few depths he or she is unwilling to succumb to. Perhaps some of you were hoping for an insightful critique of the latest episode of The Hobbit (tm) franchise along with a clever twist of a word or two.
Alas, twas not meant to be...for either of us.
All I have for you is a battle report, featuring four mythical armies and very little in the way of special effects, spiders, or dragons.
Grey Knights (from memory)
1 x Chapter Master guy with a demon hammer
5 x Terminators, 4 pig-stickers, 1 demon hammer
10 x Strike Squad Knights. They probably had something that glows in the dark in one hand
10 x Purifiers with four...psycannons? Incinerators? Not sure on these.
1 x Venerable Dreadnought with plasma cannon and DCCW
1 x Dreadknight with huge freaking sword that glows and a fist that does the same thing
1 x Rhino
1 x Land raider Crusader (LRC) with Multi-melta
1 x Storm Raven with twin linked lascannons and twin linked multi-melta
Allied with the Grey Knights were Space Wolves, an army I had not faced before. Jordan fielded (again from memory):
1 x squad of 5 terminators, fielding an auto-cannon something or another, storm shields, lots of pelts, fleas, and other vermin.
1 x Nasty looking large box on legs named Forlorn or Belong, or Beorn...or something like that.
<btw, Jordan had modeled a Witch Hunter's penitent engine driver(?) on the front and it was a rather bizarre, yet cool looking conversion. And "No" I did not get a picture of it, but I'm an elf, so you can trust me.>
5 really big dogs, like seriously big freaking dogs. With guys on them. Wearing armor like they were some kind of knight or something, except the dogs smelled better and they looked like nasty pieces of kit. Pretty bad, really. They had some glowey frosty thingies, and some sort of blacksmithing tools (hammers) and a few had shields. These shields would turn out to be quite annoying.
And don't get me started on what it's like being downwind of a bunch howling lunatics who live off of jet fuel and raw reindeer, and then get gas.
Now on the side of goodness, niceness, and virtue, I give you:
6 x Venoms with...5 guys/gals with some serious "Daddy" issues. They spent most of the game spewing inflammatory language and high volumes of poisoned shots, but mostly high volumes of poisoned shots.
Their leader, Scarlet J'hansin was mounted in a Venom and featured very bright hair and the pouty lips upgrade. The Imperial players fall for the pouty lips every time.
3 x Ravagers with three Lances of Darkness and Doom each. I think these guys would have been manageable by the other side if they had just brought Lances of Darkness, but when you get the Doom upgrade, they can be pretty nasty on heavy armor, vehicles, and girl scouts.
1 x 5 Parrot faced squad of Scourges with crackers and melta lances. The crackers were particularly effective at preventing any secret whistling dog signals.
2 x Spirit seers, 1 x Ghosthelm, 1 x Wraithforge stone, 1 x Shard of Annapolis (or whatever it's called)
1 x Wraithguard
1 x Wraithblades
2 x Wave Serpents, twin linked bright lances, shurican, holofields
1 x Firestorm, holofields, spirit stones
1 x Wraithlord, 2 x star cannon
1 x Wraithlord, 1 x bright lance, 1 x Eldar missile launcher
Just to keep things simple, we rolled for deployment (the long ways one) and went for Kill Points. At least two of us were still figuring out our armies and we were just out to have some fun.
So the Bi-Polar Elves (BPE) deployed first on the side with the most cover.
No, it's not. We went first. Schizophrenia, oh how I heed thy siren's call.
In a battle where there are a thousand points of light, you can imagine how frustrated the Iyanden are as they stumble through the battlefield, picking up sparkles and try to sort them out. No wonder they are angry and short tempered all the time.
Of course, the counter point to all the creepy stuff going on my side of the table was the incessant howling by the stinky guys in pelts on the other side. Between the laughing and the howling, it wasn't easy trying to concentrate on important things like, not getting flea bites.
The "Good" guys slowly moved up the right side. Good as in, we were the ones that were dead, or wearing leather and pierced flesh, or just cackling manically. We shot and for all our expertise in Dark operations and night vision equipment, we pretty much just burned some trees.
Smoky wasn't impressed either.
The Human/Wolf army moved Beorn up the Iyanden right side, and slowly advanced into the deep of the woods. A tree fell, but no one paid any attention. Beorn growled a lot and flashed his anti-frost lascannon arm, but the Iyanden just stood there and pointed at the really large sparkle.
The one exception to this was a two story tall silver building (Dreadknight) with a glowey fist and sword who jumped up to mid field and stood next to a large statue. It was an interesting ploy, after all, it was dark, and where originally there was only one statue, now there were two. Anyone could make that mistake in the darkness.
There was only one problem.
The "Daddy issues" crew (aka Night Crew) can see in the dark so they sort of figured out what was going on kind of early. I suspect that the next time the round ears want to play "hide and seek", they won't play in the dark with people who have night vision goggles for eyes.
Not much else happened for the humans.
Then the BPE continued their push up the right side towards Beorn, a Land raider Crusader, and a lot of mangy dogs. In general, it was a rather cautious advance, primarily designed to open up lanes of fire.
It was overpretty quick.
The Dreadknight ingests a lot of poison and dies, not so spectacularly. Beorn, suffers from multiple wraith cannon shots and explodes rather brilliantly, to no great effect on the units around him.
Alas, Beorn, we hardly knew yeh.
A Wave Serpent fires on the Land Raider Crusader and pops it, unloading a whole truckload of terminators with glowey weapons that are able to light the way in the dark. Not a good deal. They look like really bad sparkles.
The HWA shifts their fire line around and advances on the BPE right with the terminators and super dog boys. Oh, also, Silver Bird (Storm Raven) comes in. The Iyanden are less than excited about that.
Despite discovering the "jink" button on the Wave Serpent dashboards (see previous battle report), "a Wave Serpent gently glances the rich, fertile soil of Erebor, it's spirit stones offering a softly keening wail of lament", i.e. it was glanced to death by a ton of shots.
Additional shots were directed at the wraithguard and attached spirit leader ("Go big dead guys, GO!"), causing their well choreographed shambling gait to end in clouds of multiple laser bursts. I suspect that the Wolves felt like the spirit cheer for the wraithguard was too shrill and hurt their ears, thus justifying the inordinate amount of high energy weapons directed their way.
This "absence" of units on my immediate flank resulted in an open pathway to the Iyanden long knife warriors...but first the HWA would have to suffer the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", i.e. the BPE shooting phase.
One of the Night Crew Venoms was stunned/shaken/stirred or something by lascannons.
The Night Crew saddles up the rest of their horde and moves in for the kill.
Imagine the envy of the Dark kin as they wondered, "What kind of drugs the dead guys are on?"
However, before you can say "somewhere over the rainbow" there's only one sparkle left and it appeared to be digging into the ground looking for some slippers. Rather quickly, he became convinced that they weren't in Fenris anymore.
The Night Crew set their splinter cannons to the "BRUTAL" setting and exacted a heavy price among the Grey Knight terminators and the large dog riders in front of the Iyanden, leaving only one dog to run around snapping his teeth from side to side in an attempt to catch one of the buzzing objects that had caused so many dogs to be left behind.
In the close combat phase, the last Thunderwolf figure, who happened to be named Laughing Dog, charged into my Ghostglaive wielding wraithlord, survived my initial strikes and then cut me down like a wilted flower. Very sad.
And with that, we were done. After tallying up all the kill points and the secondary objectives, we finished at an 8-8 tie, with Iyanden providing all the killed units that accounted for a bulk of the Human/Wolf Alliance points.
More importantly though, a fun time was had by all.
Great game guys and I look forward to the next one.
1. I made better use of Spirit mark this game and in conjunction with Jinx, turned those combos into fairly deadly results for their targets. The Night Crew also appreciated the reduction in the defender's armor saves.
2. Jinking my Serpents allowed them to hang around a lot longer this game. I've still not fired the shields yet as I really need to be able to shift pens to glances. There's just waaaay too much lascannon shooting going on in our little piece of 40K. So that's nice. The downside is they can't hit the broadside of a Capitolis Imperialis after that, but that's Ok.
3. Speaking of which, my Bright Lances are doing quite well so far. Still not sure why people load up their Serpents with Scatter lasers, but to each their own.
4. Firestorm...I'm still waiting for this guy to deliver. So far in two games he's been blown up before firing a shot and in the second, put one hull point on a Storm Raven. To a certain extent, it's not his fault, Storm Ravens are a nasty piece of kit, but I would like him a little more if he'd do more than put a burn mark on a flyer's paint. Perhaps he will redeem himself soon. Maybe he's just cut out for shooting at skimmers and lighter armored flyers. I guess time will tell.
5. Creepy stuff aside, the Dark Eldar and Iyanden played together fairly well. It's nice having a lot of mobile fire power backing you up. I may have to looking into a detachment of Venoms to help me out, they seem like pretty simple kits to put together. The kits aren't too expensive either.
6. This came up later while I was writing up the report, but do Space Wolf terminators get to deep strike? The old fluff of previous editions said that the Space Wolves did not trust teleportation technology, so everything arrived by other means, e.g. drop pods, vehicles, etc. Is that still true in the new codex?
Ok, I think I've rambled on long enough for this week. I may have to break up the Apoc game report into two parts the way this is going.
Until next time, Happy New Year and be safe.