The original plan was keeping on playing the Armageddon booklet scenarios, using my Ultramarines as before; but when our GM (Resident GM Rodrigo) arrived, he saw my Raptors army and quickly switched his mind, rearranging a new scenario. Oh, the complexities of war...
The Raptors Chapter didn't take part in the Armageddon War. At least no record of that is kept anywhere. But we all know that Raptors are known for their stealth infiltrations behind enemy lines, secret ops all over the galaxy and misterious engagements that leave no trace at all of who ever was there... ;)
So, what you are about to read officially never happened.
(Oh, man, I've always wanted to write that!)
The Raptors have conducted a secretive operation behind Ork lines. Their target is retrieving sensible information that is kept in the memory data base of an isolated computer in a remote building. A small task force will escort a Techmarine, who will have to hack the computer and get the information.
|We will use the Gothic building for that purpose. Raptors will deploy all over that quadrant|
But there are some nosy Orks in the area! They have just detected the Marines. But their intel reports (?) say nothing about Space Marines in camo pattern. So they easily mistake them for some Blood Axe Clan Orks (Oh, those outlandish boyz, always dressing up in strange colourz... Dis is our neighborhood now! What ya say, boyz? Shuld we beat'em to a pulp?).
|Orks deploy on the other sides to attack the Gothic compound|
So Raptors count on two Tactical Squads (both with plasma gun and missile launcher), a Captain and a Psychic (an attached Astropath to keep communications, but capable of using deadly power). Orks have three squads (10 Orks each), a Nob, 20 Gretchins, a Weirdboy, a Dreadnought and a Shokk Attack Gun.
Points? Are you asking me how many points are all those? Seriously? Who the hell cares? We did this just for fun, no deep thoughts or heavy planification.
We used Mission Cards. Marines should have to 'Take and Hold' the destroyed Predator Tank to their left. Orks begun a 'Witch Hunt' to kill the enemy Psyker.
We also used Strategy Cards. Orks got the 'Delayed' card, so a Space Marine Tactical Squad was retrieved from the board and should come into it on their first turn. Marines got... another one, you'll see in a minute, won't spoil you the fun.
|The Orks advance...|
|Raptors hold the position|
Thanks to the Space Marines 'rapid fire' skill (when this rule belonged to the Emperor's finest, not anyone with a nice weapon), they kept a sustained line of fire, killing Greenskins:
|Damage on the upper right arm. Urk!|
|And some rough Orks.|
On the other side of the board, the cargo bay (we decided to call it that way), the Space Marines used their Strategy Card: Booby trap!
|Hey, boyz, wat is dis... Ka-Boom!|
Seven casualties, three survivors. They decided just to run! The Weirdboy stood alone, not totally undestanding what had just happened.
|Hey, boyz, I have a headache, it's not time to play hide-and-seek! Where are you?|
But it was not enough, the green tide moved on!
|'Ere we go, 'ere we go...|
It was time for the Shokk Attack Gun to shoot!
|Come on, little fellas...|
If you remember, the gun opens a rift in the Warp and throws poor Snotlings through it onto the enemy:
|Template used for dramatic purposes. No mini was harmed during the shooting|
But Ork artillery has never been too accurate. Though the Ork aimed the Captain and the Astropath, the rift really opened onto a five men Tactical Squad...
|Snotlings added for dramatic purposes too. Not that anybody cares what happens to them...|
The Squad was decimated, but the Space Marines were far from being defeated. During the Psychic phase, the Astropath opened a Portal through Warp:
|From here to there|
Well, yes, I guess it's more or less a civilized and controlled version of the Shokk Attack Gun effect: a rift opened between two points allowing teletransportation. This for sure confused even more the Orks, who still believed those guys in green were other strange Orks using strange stuff.
Anycase, the Marines used the Portal to advance towards the confused Weirdboy:
|No, seriously, boyz, where are you? Dis is not funny...|
|Those Bad Moon boyz also got some attention from the Marines|
So, even being clearly outnumbered, the Raptors were making a legendary stand and bearing the Ork offensive.
Something I may note down at this point is that you really don't need a Game Master when playing WH40K 2nd Ed. However, having one -specially when he is as talented as this case- adds tons of flavour and fun. He not only made sure the game was balanced and enjoyable for both players, but became himself a third player too. How? Let me explain.
Suddenly, the contendants discerned an electric flash within the defendants perimeter. Teleportation! But... who?
|Right from the 90's!!|
We puzzled whe we saw Rodrigo opening a case and beginning to put minis on the board. Seriously, if you have never played with a GM, I totally recommend it. Unexpected things begin to happen and you have to adapt constantly to new situations. In this case, some Chaos Space Marines from the Night Lords Legion appeared, following their own secret agenda. Why were they in this place? Why precisely in the middle of a battle? Oh, questions that not even the wisest can answer... :P
|A general view of the battle at the moment|
For the Orks this new challenge meant little change of plans, if any. They were just confused by new strange people wearing different colours. They were beginning to suspect that their enemy weren't really Orks, but the new guys definitely were not. No problem, even more people to kill, that's always fun.
|Never mind, Gretchins don't care who kills them|
For the Raptors things were different, however. A new enemy had just appeared, even more diabolic than Orks. They couldn't figure out what Night Lords had to do here, but they imagined it was related to their own secret mission. They simply couldn't let those Chaos Space Marines get the software! They had to take over the area and wipe the Greenskins out to face the new menace.
|Not easy when the enemy is throwing Snotlings at you|
The Night Lords spread through the area, causing alarm and mayhem.
|You didn't see that coming. That's the point with Night Lords|
|Attacking from Raptor's rearguard is quite meritorious|
|One killed, two burning guys. Oh, the old flamer rules...|
The Gretchins really made the best of themselves and managed to kill a Night Lord, the one with the missile launcher. The Raptors got to kill other two Chaos Space Marines.
|Keep calm and purge the heretics|
In the meanwhile, things were messy on the cargo bay:
|Close combat rules were the stodgiest thing in 2nd Ed|
Marines slowly begun to prevail over there, but Orks were tough to kill! Brave Raptors also had to face the Chaos Terminator, as he was knocking the building's door down, endangering the mission.
|Brother, do you remember he has a salvation of 3+ rolling 2d6? You sure of this course of action?|
The Ork Dreadnought was slaying other Raptor squad, man after man.
|Crunch! Crash! Pow! Aaargh!|
The brave Sergeant did not flinch though his brothers were being slaughtered. He managed to deliver a flawless punch with his power fist. The effects were terrible, the dreadnought was damaged beyond any possible reparation. But (there always is a but) he overkilled the enemy! The machine exploded tearing apart anything in the area!
So the Sergeant bravely died destroying his enemy (cinematic OST might sound now). The Imperial Psychic was also caught in the explosion and died too. Too bad!
The cargo bay had become a slaughter house:
|We have an Ork hero on the right of the pic!|
|He now might promote to the Nob position!|
|Well, but he has to be alive for that. Run!|
The remaining Goff attacked the Captain, but one does not simply overcome a Space Marine hero.
|The man of the battle. Indeed he is.|
The Captain had not finished heroing. He run into the Portal again and came back to the original position, where the Chaos Terminator had already killed two of his men. The idea of a Space Marine Captain emerging from a Warp rift and charging the enemy is too cool. The Terminator was taken by surprise and heroically killed by our hero:
|That's it. Deal with it.|
There was just a final close combat, between the remaining Raptor and the remaining Ork.
|Remember! That tank is the Raptors objective!|
As the Space Marine killed the Greenskin, he cleared the area and got control of it. Mission accomplished.
The final part of the battle was on the Gretchins. This was the last Ork turn. They climbed up to a building and opened fire on the Raptors, killing one:
|The most effective unit of the Ork army. Marksmen. Well. Marksgretchins. Whatever.|
And this was the end. The Raptors were reduced to the Captain and two men out of the complete two squads that were assigned to the mission. But the building had not been compromised and the Techmarine had retrieved the software. They also had achieved their other target, take and hold the Predator Tank.
The Ork army was just made of six brave and bold Gretchins and the Shokk gunner. They had unexpectedly achieved their mission too, when the human psyker was killed in the Dreadnought explosion, so they were happy too (keeping Orks happy is kinda easy, you know).
The Night Lords were killed, nobody could know what their true mission was. Maybe we had not heard their last word...?
As always, the conclusions are about how fun this battle was. The randomness and unexpected events (either conducted by the GM or the battle itself) made me cry with laughter. We could have conducted the game in a more serious way, for sure, but I really enjoyed it just the way it was.
Well, you have seen lots of unfinished scenery here, I'll try my best to finish it before the next battle. Scenery is an important part of this for me and I should really make an effort to have it ready. We'll see if I am capable of that!
Any thoughts on this game? Any suggestions or recommendations? Feel free to share!