Monday, 29 July 2013

Playing 2nd Ed: Black Op in Armageddon

Battle day!
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...
...And 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:

Poor Gretchins
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...
Uuuuurk.....
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!

Epic Ka-boom!
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!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The rest of the Raptors

Here you have the rest of this army, as promised.

First of all, the masters of camouflage, the Scouts. I went on extreme military lookings (within WH40K parameters):

If you don't look at them constantly, you'll lose them on the board
I used the 'pixel effect' pattern to make them a distinctive unit. Cloths in greys and armour/cloaks in greens. Not exactly ACU/Multicam, but evidently inspired by them.

Oh sexy rear view
Close-up
Even the eagle
The next unit is just the opposite, the Terminators, the bulkier and best armoured warriors in the Chapter:

Really big guys
I did them in the simpliest way imaginable. Nothing too ornate despite being the veterans of the Chapter. As you can see, they are just regular Terminators with shouder pads from Forge World. The only conversion is the ammo belt for the assault cannon (stolen from a heavy bolter).

And now, vehicles. The first one is this Land Speeder:

Green flying shoebox
And these are the tanks. A Predator:

Green armoured shoebox
A Land Raider:

A shoebox so big it even doesn't fit the background
And a Razorback:

Regular size shoebox
As you can see, they have pieces from Forge World (all the Eagles), Chapterhouse (the Predator front part) and PuppetsWar (the Razorback turret). Thay all help to make them a little more 'personal'.

Finally, here you have a shot of the whole army:

 
Oh, man, I spent the whole day painting my armour in green and now they send us to the desert?
Hm, they look darker in this last pic, hadn't noticed.

Well, that's it, my attempt to achieve a 'different' Space Marines army, in a more military setting, not those usual flashy colours. With that white Eagle on black shield, they really look like a futuristic 101st Airborne Division, which in fact I don't dislike at all :)

You will see some of these Marines in action next week, in anoher 2nd Ed. game. Stay tuned!


Monday, 22 July 2013

Space Marine Rapture

OK, pun intended with the title ;). I'm showing you one of my Space Marines armies, the Chapter of the Raptors. Unlike most of the other Chapters, Raptors believe in stealth, camouflage, cover and all this kind of things other Marines just seem to disregard with their garish liveries and tactics. I had long time desired to paint some Space Marines with this 'regular military looking', taking back from the past those times when these armies used to have the 'Chapter colour' and different camouflage patterns.
So I did a colour test:

Mk. VIII 'Errant' pattern Armour
And I did like it!
So I ended up having the following:

Tactical Squad. Just the one from the Black Reack box, with some work on the Sergeant:

Ooops, this photo really sucks
A second Tactical Squad, using minis from here and there. A few really old RT minis here:

Mixed up with modern minis
A Devastator Squad:

I ran out of missile launchers, I had to use one from Space Crusade
This is a Veteran Squad ('Sternguard' are they called? 'Vanguard Veterans'? Oh, I'm a mess with new names):

Another mix of minis
More Veterans
Two special cases in this Squad:
Wait, I have a Power Fist, why am I kicking this guy?
As I didn't know how to make spraying blood, I made that octopus the guts with green stuff
These last ones are both old metal minis. I wanted something really different, the kind of mini you don't regularly have. The opponents are Astral Claws Marines, as I raised this Army as part of a Badab War Campaign which sadly never took place.

I purchased the new Command Squad (or whatever its name is) from Forge World. This guy would act as Chapter Master Lias Issodon:

Raptors are extreme pale. Genetic issues
And I used the Standard Bearer as a bodyguard. I didn't see Raptors marching into battle with Banners and Standards:

So a sword instead of the Standard
The rest of the Command Squad is made up of retails :P:

Really oooold mini. Love it
Reasonably old mini
New mini from Black Reach box. Had it totally idle, finally found a place for the guy
Well, don't wanna saturate the post. Later this very week I'll show you the rest of the army. Enjoy!