Monday, 13 April 2015

Playing 2nd Ed.: Cops & Robbers

It's been a looong time since I didn't have a WH40K game. Way too long. But it has come to an end! Yay! My usual WH40K partner in crime, Rodrigo, came over to give my Chaplains and Field Police some decent use. Besides, it was also time to give some proper use to all that urban scenery I've been treasuring lately!

As I always remind, our games are a little unorthodox. We use 2nd Ed. as it's the one that better suits our gaming style, we are familiar to it and gives us enough detail and enough flexibility to conduct our games. BUT rules are just a guide for fun, we don't strictly adhere to the full set as we like to play adventure and to do the unexpected, so you will find a high dose of Rogue Trader in this battle report, as well as many atypical situations we just solved as they appeared by making up the rules on the go. I am aware not every player feels comfortable with this (in fact, most newhammer players will be horrified seeing what we did here; but nevermind, I am pretty sure I don't have many newhammer readers, so I can handle the collateral damage). So, as always, expect the unexpected and just have fun.

Well, first of all, it was time to see if my investment in urban scenery was leading to any place. We got all we had at hand for my Besenval Port project and put it on the table:

The city! Don't know what you think. For me this pays off.
I only have one full board. We added a suplementay surface, but it's nothing but a plywood piece (which will eventually turn into my new board; some day, soon...). OK, I have a lot of buildings but not enough space for them. I certainly have to work on that!
Given the situation, I think we solved it in a decent way. More or less. If you look closer, you'll see the white warehouse is just on a foam tray :D. Well, stuff I have to pay some attention to.

What's the story? A group of rogue Ultramarines have stolen a valuable Mk.I Terminator Armour. Heresy! They have come to this populated area knowing that Mama Balaklava's is the right place to go when you want to sell any piece of tech and leave no trace. Greed! But of course such an infamy cannot be left unpunished. Master of Sanctity Tow Takka-chow has dispatched two of his best Chaplains to take some Field Police and go hunt the rebels. Retribution!

The rogue Space Marines
In the picture below you can see the layout. The rogue Marines deploy at the dock, where a ship has just left them (green arrow, right of the picture). They need to get the Termie at Mama Balaklava's (blue arrow, roughly centre of the picture). Two Field Police Squads, each one led by a Chaplain, will arrive by turns just at the top of the Arbites local Station (red arrow, left of the picture), being the Imperial representation on the area. Both Chaplains have quite a dissimilar character; they're going to play the good cop/bad cop good Chaplain/ bad Chaplain game. The first one to arrive will try by all means to hunt and kill the rebels. The second Chaplain will however try to catch them alive and to get them on a fair trial back to the Fortress of Hera.

The setup for the game
Rogue Marines will eventually receive some support (a stolen Land Speeder, with regular reserve units rules). You can also see there are some civilians over the place. Each turn they will move randomly (using the scatter dice). Besides, Besenval Port is quite a dangerous area, some unusual activity has been reported, as apparently some abhumans and mutants are supposed to act in the vicinity. The First Ammended Commitee of Elected Peers of Abhumans and Liberated Mutants (F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M.) is quite active in the surroundings, so some unusual creatures may appear if there is a good firefight close to the Port!

OK, enough! Let's play!

The Rogue Marines advanced while the first Police Squad arrived.

I have no proper Marine flyer, so the Arbites Arvus will have to do...
The Rogue Marines (I was playing them) used their strategy card:

As soon as they arrived, the pursuers activated them!
Boom! Boom!
We decided not to take out the 'dead' Space Marines, but just to let them down. Each subsequent turn, we'd roll a die. With a 1, he'd be definitely dead. 2-5 meant he still was injured and down. A 6 would mean he got up immediately, ready to combat again.

Some Rogue Marines climbed up the vehicle, while others 'convinced' Dr. Gosherian to use it
At the end of this turn, the first unexpected creature appeared (reserve units rules, random entry point)

Meet Counselor Moooorrison, delegate of the F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M.
The Minotaur climbed up to the platform, where he was spotted by the Field Police:

Not only we must hunt Heretics, but unholy creatures as well!
He fired upon the creature, but caused no harm. In the meantime, another member of the Squad got into Mama Balaklava's place, but was convinced there was nothing to see there...

Get out, you young warrior!
Bad Chaplain spotted their prey!

There they are! Brothers! To me! Kil kil kil!!
One of the Rogue Marines got to the crane controls and had to push the civilian on it:

Slow-mo action, just like in the A-Team

Using their Initiative atribute, the Marines tried to convince Abdul Gosherian to use his van:

No discount, you bulky blue man! No group discount!
Second Police Squad incoming!

The Good Chaplain screams 'Take'em alive'
Booby traps! Aaargh! I want them alive to torture them myself!
 Turn for the civilians and beasts. As waters have been moving, some creatures are lured...

Fresshh meaat ssss glub glub om nom nom
But the barge pilot sees a civilian in distress and helps him with his heavy stubber:
The stubber is on the prow, you just imagine the situation
Rogue Marines turn again. The one on the crane commands the servitor to take his heavy mate on...

Come on! Lift that guy!
To the bridge! Through the glass!
Scared citizens all along
Well, you see. This is the kind of crazy stuff we enjoy playing through our games :D. That's what I was saying above about being unorthodox and never playing by the strict rules. Rules are boring!
-'I came up with this accurate list of 1650 points for my tournament, with an optimization of my tactical options and gear, given that the current metagame blah blah blah...'
-'I just used a Terminator as a wrecking ball'.


OK, I disgress, where were we...
The other marines finally confiscated Abdul Gosherian's van!

C'mon guys! We have transportation!
One poor woman manages to jump to the water (slow-mo, remember). The other is hit by the van
Second Squad moves
While the first Squad engages the marines at the other side of the bridge
The only thing I hate more than traitors is collaborationists! Die, you civilian!
Civilians turn. The struggle in the water remained the same:

Damn! The stubber got jammed!
The Minotaur charged on the Rogue Marine who didn't go up to the crane not on the van:

And they fell down to the floor, breaking the handrail
A new Mino appears, as well as another Piscean ('Jaws' OST, you know)
One of the civilians appears to be a F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M. sympathizer; he gets into a car and tries to hit the Marines!
Rogue Marines turn! The guy who controlled the crane decided to join his fellow Termie. He ran over the crane arm (Initiative roll was passed) and jumped on the bridge. As a reward to my foolish boldness, my mate even allowed me to move onto the corner and shoot the Field Police. From now on we just called that Marine Daniel Craig.

C'mon, don't say it's not frakkin' epic!
The Bad Chaplain Squad kept on shooting the other Rogue Marines:

Pew! Pew! Bang! Bang!
While the other Police guys had to deal with the frenzy civilian in the car:

Burn you rebel scum!
The Good Chaplain Squad fired on Daniel Craig, with no effect:

Movie scene here. Blamm blamm bang bang
New F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M. members appeared, this time next to the warehouse.

Snort! We smell of battle here!!
Rogue reenforcements finally managed to come to the rescue! A Land Speeder came to help the fugitives!

Trying to ram the poor guy
Daniel Craig and the Termie opened fire from the bridge:
Err... is that stormbolter jammed? Seriously? Your first shoot in all the game and you jam the weapon!!
General overview of the flank

Oooops! They're boarding the barge!
Angry Chaplain is shot down not by the Marines, but by the Minotaurs!
 The civilian car crashed in flames and the Land Speeder used the flamer:

We used it only as a simple flamer, not a heavy weapon, so it wouldn't be that dreadful
The guy survived, but he was left burning for the following turns
F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M. members cornered the isolated Marine, who had to run for his life
With the barge (under new management) going down the canal, the bridge automatically lifted:

Moooo! This was close!
Beastmen split up and prove themselves quite scary opponents
The Land Speeder charged again and rammed against the Chaplain:

Seriously, Mr. Chaplain? You have a skull on your butt??
It was time for the Termie to move forward if he was ever to get to Mama Balaklava's! He just walked over the walkaway and let himself fall, trusting in his powerful armour to preserve his life. His mate also jumped with him and... he failed his initiative roll for the jump, falling miserably!

C'mon, you both were the crane guys! This is absolutely un-epic!
The Field Police took the Speeder down. It crashed in a spectacular fireball
Beastmen are worthy foes
The Daniel Craig Marine got up again on his feet and fought back, just to clean his name. He charged the Field Police on the stairs. He grabbed an enemy who was on the upper floor by his ankle and took him down.

That's the interpretation of this pic...
But of course he was exposed to enemy fire
The Field Police also shot on the Termie who, against all odds... failed his armour save!!

Oooooh! So close...
We decided not to roll for the Termie to see if he got back on his feet and just put the game to an end. So the fugitives were taken down and the Chapter avoided the risk of its sacred arcane technology to be desecrated!
 Just to end the turn, the Pisceans escaped with their fish cargo on the barge :D

Real winners of the game

This was the game. As you can see, enormously fun for both of us! Some quick conclusions about it: I'm OK with the scenery, I have enough buildings, but still could bring a few more to add some variety and not to repeat the same exact structures. I already got some and there are a few more things on my radar.
What I really need is a second board. You can see we managed more or less with what I have, but a second modular piece will no doubtly add depth to the board.
I also need more civilians to populate the city. I'm on my way to solve that and I already have some ideas about this issue... ;)

Regarding the game itself, I must say this is the kind of crazy, silly experience I enjoy. We improvised each turn and made up rules on the go. Maybe the scenario was a little bit unbalanced, being it easier for the Field Police to stop the fugitives. Anyway, if we had played by the book, the game would have been a little bit boring. Maybe the roll to allow the casualties get back on their feet was the best example (if everybody was dead by Turn 3, this would have been a fiasco). Or the freedom of movement and action (Demolition baaaaall!). So we made our own balance, and I think it worked. We tried to act coherently regarding civilians and mutants/xenomorphs; I think it also was a nice touch, and an aspect worth of further development, we may find better ways to unfold that part.

On the whole, I think the game was tremendously great. Of course you have to find an opponent who is prone to this silliness, or it won't work at all. I'm fortunate enough to say I did!
This is not the last you've seen about Besenval Port, just consider this game as some kind of beta test :D. There are some more buildings and civilians on their way, you'll be hearing about them pretty soon!


  1. Hi!

    That was an utterly brilliant read! The demolition ball terminator and Daniel Craig marine were ace as was the sheer amount of craziness going on with civilians and muties getting involved.

    I'd love to see a follow up game with the now captive marines (and Daniel Craig) making some sort of escape bid!

    All the best!

    1. Ha, that would be a great game! Escape from Colditz 40K :D

      Hmmm, I'll have to think seriously about that, looks cool...

      Thank you!

  2. It was an amazing evening, Suber. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

    1. Thank you, but please, read above, how could it be otherwise? :D

  3. Its great to see so many of your projects over the last year or so coming together into a single game like this. It must be very satisfying, well done.

    1. Thanks! Well, it certainly is :) But far from giving me any closure feeling, just made me want more games! Is that serious, doctor? :D

  4. Loved your 'accurate list...current metagame' vs 'terminator wreckingball' comment.

    1. Hehe, for me that's the point. I believe it's all about the attitude. I just don't play being my goal to win the game, but simply to let weird stuff happen :D, in the long term is quite more rewarding.
      In a few months time I won't remember who won this game; I'll just recall the day we used a Terminator as a wreckingball :D

  5. Excellent; so very good. Great to see these excellent minis all used together in a unique and interesting scenario using 2nd edition rules :)


    1. Thank you! It truly was an exhilarating experience, seeing that all the work put into this turned out into a game like this. I can't wait for more games!

  6. Very nice,looks likw you had a blast.... at least with the booby traps hehe ;)

    1. Hahaha, they worked fine! All the stuff here worked, we really had a great time!

  7. Great game. I love you board and minis.

    1. Thank you! It's quite rewarding, now I have to use all of this a little more! :)

  8. Loved the fish guys stealing off with the barge at the end! Brilliant.

    1. :D It just turned out this way; once we got the Pisceans in, things just rushed and rushed. Escaping with a stash of fish looked quite logical (in all our absurdity, haha)

  9. Gran mesa Suber, sobre todo la furgona del equipo "A"· en el estante.

    Me han encantado tus últimos trabajos, sobre todo en los que has trabajado la masilla, te han quedado muy bien , enhorabuena.

    Un gran saludo.

    1. Muchas gracias, me alegra que te haya gustado :)

  10. Absolutely top stuff mate, I'm glad to see those Ultramarines getting some second edition action! I thoroughly enjoyed reading through that....Terminator wrecking ball, brilliant!!

    1. Haha, it was really fun, one doesn't get the chance to have a game like this quite often, so you have to take it when it appears!

  11. What an amazingly cool scenario. Love the the way it played out, with all the random units coming on, and F.A.C.E.P.A.L.M. really made me chuckle. Seems a lot of people are stoking the flames of 2nd Ed, and I gotta say, Its high time I dug out my old boxes.

    Thanks for the experience! Epic!

    1. Thank you! I try to keep the RT/2nd Ed spirits up! If you smiled reading the report, it means we need to play more! :)

  12. For me, I have never played a W40K game ... ever. Sad right? Sigh ...
    You took some really nice shots above which ... as commented above ... made it look like you guys really had fun! :)

    1. Oh, you may enjoy it! As I always say, as long as you don't take it too seriously, you'll enjoy it a lot. We tend to do the kind of silly things you have seen above, anything that can provide us some fun!

  13. Fantastic Battle Report!
    Damn...I would really like to game with you and your friend. Looks like you have the same intentions as myself.
    Iam so happy to see the full gameboard in action. I like the "glassed" walk-bridge over the canal kind og retro cyberpunk and really works well in a scenario like this one.
    Well as always youve indpired me once again Suber!

    1. Thank you very much! I guess this kind of game is not often seen nowadays, but it's how we used to play back in the day, we are just keeping on that track!
      I truly enjoyed it, every 2nd Ed game is a whole event for me, haha. We have lots of ideas for scenarios using that scenery, I hope we are able to play them anytime soon!!

  14. that's a nice table you've got there... hahahaha
    Really nice! :)

    1. Thank you very much! Still growing, these projects never end...