Playing 2nd Ed.: Battle of the Gargant

The monstrous Gargant had simply stopped. Some kind of malfunction of unknown nature had got it pinned down just at the very outskirts of the Imperial settlement. It had been abandoned by its coward Gretchin crew, having killed the Mekboyz who tried to get them to work again. Now the towering altar to Mork (or maybe Gork) stayed still.

The whole front depended on this beast of iron coming to life again or being definitely silenced. The army controlling the Gargant would control the whole area, and with it, the key to further advace on the whole continent.

Warboss Hruk urgently dispatched his loyal Mekboy Uthûk 'Handyork' Verrok to get the Gargant under control again, heavily escorted by as many Boyz as he could spare.

Imperial Commander Lord Winston Lofage could only dispatch a small team, a fistful of loyal Ultramarines, escorting Brother Techpriest Urrentius, and an Imperial Guard Platoon. Would that scarce force be enough to stop the vile Greenskins...?


It's been a hell of a long time since I last played WH40K2, but I finally got a chance, so I had to squeeze it! A couple of friends of mine, who hadn't rolled a dice for (quite literally) a couple of decades, got curious about remembering the old days, so we were able to schedule a game!

Not a spectacular board at all, but it was what I could deploy at the moment

My pal Alex had played WH40K back in the day, but had left it all at 2nd Ed. My other pal, Abe, had never played 40K. Like never ever. I knew I couldn't play a complex scenario, with tons of special homemade rules; you know, all the silly stuff I enjoy (remember the Wrecking Ball Terminator?). But it doesn't mean we couldn't play something funny!

The general idea is that the Gargant is broken. The Ork Mekboy has to get to it and try to repair it (details in a minute). A bunch of Orks will cover him while the repairings take place.

The Imperial forces (Ultramarines and Imperial Guard, each one under one of my friends' command) will have to take the Mekboy down before he manages to get the Gargant started again (kind of the old "The Assasins" mission card).

The Gargant itself will not be playable, but as the Mek rummages through it, he may be able to get some systems back online, even if temporarily. Each turn the Mek stays alone (i.e., not fighting against an enemy) within the Gargant, he will roll a D6 on the next chart (Of course there are charts! This is 2nd Edition! What did you expect?):





The Mekboy cannot solve anything, all the systems are simply too messed up. In addition, a particularly rebel Squig slips among the cogs and wires, biting and chewing everything and causing mayhem all over. Roll another D6 on the Damage Chart.


The Mekboy cannot make any significant repair, he is too busy trying to figure out which plug goes into each socket. Nothing happens in this turn.


Everything seems to fit properl… Wait, wait, noooooo! The Gargant’s belly gun shoots by itself. Any unit in the line of fire is affected. Roll 1D6 for each miniature in the unit. The miniature is killed with a result of 6, no save roll allowed. Any scenery in the line of fire is completely destroyed.


The Gargant’s arms experiment a sudden spasm and come to life. The chainsaw arm does not hit any enemy, but the gun shoots without any aim. Roll the scatter die to determine the direction of the shoot within the gun radius (if the result is not applicable, roll again). The shoot makes impact at 5D10 cm. Use the large explosion template. Roll 1D6 for each miniature affected. The miniature is killed with a result of 6, no save roll allowed. Any scenery affected is completely destroyed.


The legs seem to briefly function again. Among hissing clouds of steam, the Gargant moves two faltering steps ahead before coming to a standstill again. Move the Gargant ahead 20cm. Any unit in his path is affected. Roll 1D6 for each miniature in the unit. The miniature is killed with a result of 6, no save roll allowed. Any scenery in the line of fire is completely destroyed.


The Mekboy gains control of the Gargant, or so it seems. Roll 1D6 again. With a result of 6, the Gargant becomes operational again and under control. With any other result, he does not manage to handle the whole system in this turn. Reroll again each subsequent turn. It will be increasingly easier for him to get familiar with the controls, so the results needed will be 5+, 4+, etc.






An Oily Squig falls down into the combustion engine, provoking a chain reaction which ends in a huge fire that makes the ammunition on board explode. The Gargant blows out in an enormous explosion and all the crew die immediately, as well as any miniature in a 30 cm radius.


The ammunition in the belly gun jams, it will be days, if not weeks, to put it into service again. The weapon is rendered useless. Ignore any further result involving the use of this weapon.


The bolts holding the arm gun break down and the weapon falls apart, squashing the wretched people below. Any miniature affected suffers a S10 impact. The weapon is rendered useless. Ignore any further result involving the use of this weapon.


After a loud screeching whine, the Gargant’s hip axis breaks and it falls down on its own structure, remaining pinned where it is. From this moment on, the Gargant will remain immobilised. Ignore any further result involving the model to move.


A bursting flare-up scorches the control cabin while electric sparks jump all over. The Mekboy suffers a S6 impact, which can be regularly saved.


Luckily no more damages are caused. The Gretchin fix all the antifreeze leaks and stick insulating tape wherever they deem appropriate (sooner or later it will be the correct place). Nothing happens this turn.

  Well. I think you get an idea of the game. Enough talk, here you have another general overview of the battlefield...

This might be the time I have placed less scenery on a board like, in my life

Aaaand... let's get started!!

Below you can see the Mekboy (down left, the bloke in orange). He'll run towards the Gargant. The Imperials are in a kind of counterclock desperate race to avoid the Gargant coming back to life. The moment the Mek succeeds, the game is over. So they better run and take him down!

Old School FTW

 During Turn 1, Imperial forces held their positions, hoping for their long range weapons to inflict some damage. Remember the Rapid Fire rules. I mean, the real Rapid Fire rules, those related to Space Marines, not the bolters (I need the Michael Fassbender meme here).

The Orks simply acted Orky and ran towards the enemy:

'Ere we go, 'ere we go

The Ultramarines shot their missile launchers, causing some actual harm!


They also got some lucky rolls and took a MegaNob down, which is quite meritory, considering their heavy armour!

Moar ouchie!

The Imperial Guard had kept their lascannons for a moment like this, and in fact took the Warboss down!!!

Aaaand... ouchie again

Wow, what a turn! The Nobz held their position as they passed the leadership roll, but this was some serious setback for the Greenskins!

End of Turn 2

The Ultramarines played their best card on the game. They teleported the mighty Terminators close to the Gargant, in an attempt to chase the Mekboy. Unfortunately... they scattered! They scattered so much that they even fell out of the board!! That would have meant the loss of the unit, but I thought it was way too cruel, so we agreed to deploy them on the edge of the board.

Hey, the Mekboy is about to get into the Gargant!

Imperial Guard took positions on the roof of the warehouse

On the next turn the Mekboy got into the control cabin. Oh, from now on we are running the charts...

I left the head open to depict there's a Mek on board

The Orks moved forward in a classic Taktical Formashun'

And even begun to inflict casualties!

My pal then considered that he wouldn't be able to take the Mekboy down, so he just begun to move the Terminators towards the Ork rearguard.

Not that the Orks understand the concept of rearguard anyway

Ultramarines were courageously standing against the green tide with strict firing discipline:

They were really doing it right

But in the end no one can avoid an Ork charge

OK, the Mekboy started to gently apply his hammer to buttons, cogs, wires and a scatterbrain Grot which turned quite more literally scatterbrained.

I rolled a 1!! Aaargh!

That meant that not only the Mek didn't manage to repair the Gargant, but in fact caused more harm! I rolled on the Damage Chart and... got a 6! Phew!! I have to admit that for a moment my heart stopped under the perspective of getting another 1 and having the Gargant immediately destroyed (and the game lost!!)

I mean, it didn't scare me, in fact it would have been enormously epic and would have loved it... but it was still too early in the game to let that happen!!

Anyway, this serves as a reminder that the tides of battle can get you from victory to disaster in a minute.     

The Orks kept on moving and (unexpectedly) shooting, even (more unexpectedly) killing enemies

The other Mob kept engaged at close quarters with the Marines

Close Combat is, IMHO, the weakest point in the 2nd Ed system. It can become quite complex/tedious and in fact we had to check the rules to get it right. I'm quite confident that we did it wrong anyway.

Note to self: Really read the rules before getting a game.

The Marines performed really well

On the other side of the table, the surviving Orks charged on the Guards

General overview of the battle at the moment

In the meanwhile, the Mekboy was still fiddling with the controls. If in the previous turn I had rolled a 1...

...this time I got a 6!!

That meant that the Mekboy was gaining control of the metal beast! I had to roll again. If I got another 6 again the Gargant would become operational and I would immediately win the game. I rolled and got a 4.

Wow, this game was a total rollercoaster. Just one turn ago I was fearing for the Gargant to explode. Now I was on the path to victory. On further turns I will need decreasing results to regain control, so from this moment the battle was a true counterclock race for my rivals. Their only chance was to reach and kill my Mek in time!

(Some thoughts on that at the end)

However, being engaged as they were, that action seemed unlikely

The whole front had moved away to the Imperial field, and the Terminators, instead of chasing the Mekboy, decided to kill the Ork artillery:

Action was far away from the true objective of the battle

The struggle was fierce, no doubt of that

The Imperial forces were proving themselves superior to the Orks

Orks falling back after being defeated in close combat, can you believe it??

The Nobz  were stubbornly resisting. Though overwhelmed in numbers and unable to prevail, their Mega armour saved them of essentially anything. Close to them, the Ork Mob was still engaged, but the other one, those fighting the Imperial Guard, were just fleeing and being chased.

What a crowd!

But on the next turn I eventually got the right die roll and the Mekboy finally got the engines started, the systems online and the war altar of mighty Mork (or maybe greedy Gork) came to life again. Ork victory!!

The engines roared. Slowly at first, like a grox stretching out after a long nap. But louder and louder as pistons increased their speed, connecting rods whirred and the main power plant grunted as it was supposed to. A big, dark cloud of burning smoke rose to the air with an ominous mechanical thunder. As Uthûk Verrok disciplined the assistant Grots, they were able to perform more complex duties.

Brother Techmarine Urrentius easily read the signs. All this meant serious problems. "We need to fall back, brothers, or else our sacrifice would become meaningless". The Imperial forces retreated in an orderly manner, leaving the field to the scarce Orks that still stood. New methods and weapons should be used to stop the Gargant, but that would happen another day...

Some thoughts on the battle. I consciously designed a kind of vanilla scenario, bearing in mind that my pals weren't used to... well, to play. I however refused the standard idea of a simple battle with a balance of forces. I'm no longer into this 'let's play 1500 points' kind of game. Anyway, this scenario approached very much to that concept.

All in all, I'm afraid that it didn't work as I expected. The Imperial forces were by all means superior to the Orks, I wanted my pals to enjoy their first gaming experience in years and grant them a swift victory. I mean, in my mind there was no way they could lose the game. The fact that I ended up winning means that the scenario wasn't really that well designed.

Of course their lousy use of the Terminators, who underperformed, to put it mildly, made the most powerful unit in the game totally disappear, and were essentally not used at all. Had they chased the Mek, the battle would have been put to an end in no time. If my pals had pushed against my positions, my actions would have been different, of course, but they simply held the line and let me charge them, allowing the battle to move onto their deploying zone, instead of stealing my initiative.

Besides, the dice rolls to activate the Gargant were quite disappointing, I was really wishing for the machine to go crazy and cause some mayhem and eventually exploding itself in a glorious deflagration. But what happened is that it turned into activity much earlier than it was desirable, and that made the battle become a race too short to be even enjoyed. I was keen to somehow force the events and delay the Gargant's activation, but my pals really wanted to stick up to the rules, even if they were homemade (that's a lawyering trait, never play against lawyers, they'll want to follow the rules to the very end!!). I'm a little worried (well, not that much, but you know what I mean) that they believed I made up my home rules and wanted to bend them in order to win... when I was bending the rules to let them win! XD

In conclusion, my impression is that my pals were expecting a regular, balanced battle, and acted consequently, but I didn't provide that kind of game, which is on me. Lesson identified, lesson learned.

But on the other hand, we had quite a good time rolling dice and had quite some laughs. I dare to say that the experience was good enough, as both my pals are now asking for more games! That's good news by my book, and that's all that really matters. So it seems we'll have to schedule!


  1. sin palabras, genial, una mesa genial , una envidia muy grande. los aerogeneradores no estorban un poco en la mesa? es por hacerme unos que me gustan mucho.

    1. ¡Gracias! Pues afortunadamente no, tienen altura suficiente como para que no estorben al manejar las minis, así que no tuvimos ningún incidente :D

  2. ¡Impresionante partida! ¡Que envidia! Todo genialmente pintado y montado... Me ha encantado.
    Un saludo

    1. ¡Muchas gracias! Juego muy poco, pero precisamente por eso me gusta que la mesa luzca :D

  3. What an excellent unbalanced game Suber, your design and set up were brilliant, and the Imperials should have easily won, but the human factor changed your well laid plan ! LOL However the fact that they want to play more means the end result is the same.

    1. Haha, I failed miserably! Thank you very much! I must set a rematch indeed!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! We had a good time, and that's what counts :)

  5. Great to see the gargant getting an outing on the tabletop, and given that the friends enjoyed it, it sounds as if the battle was an overall success. Nice one!

    1. Thanks! We enjoyed the whole thing, it was a total blast to the past, I have to lure them into more games :P

  6. Suber, it looks like you failed successfully! 😂 If your friends still want to play more games despite losing they must of had fun.

    1. Haha, I like that approach! XD I need to set another game soon!!

  7. Replies
    1. It was most fun indeed! It was cheesy, random and easy going, we couldn't ask for more!

  8. Sounds like an amazing battle! As an advice, if you don't want a result to happen in the first roll, make it a 0 (or less) or a 7 (or more) in a D6, and apply a cummulative -1 or +1 modifier each time the roll is made or every turn, whatever you prefer. This way, an initially impossible result soon becomes inevitable, but you can control (more or less) when this happens. :)

    1. Oh, thank you! That's quite a piece of advice, I think I'll certainly implement this kind of stuff. I need to re-run this scenario but better planned!

    2. Another idea might be to require 'x' number of successes, maybe 3 or 5? You can still make it easier as the game goes on to get a success by either reducing the target score, or increasing the number of rolls on the chart each turn. The latter might be an interesting way to increase the odds of something zany happening.

    3. You know? That's pretty nice too! Thanks for the idea, I most certainly need to go over this scenario again at some time!

  9. 2ne Ed was the last time I played an actual game of 40K as well. 3rd Ed and beyond just seemed to lose all the fun and flavour of 40K for me and leaned hard into a tournament-streamlined style that I wasn't interested in, so I didn't/haven't bothered with the rules since. Still love the figs though. :)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this game and doubly so that by playing, you got your mates interested in more! Of course that'll mean you'll have to paint more to accommodate their playing needs - unless they have started collecting and painting since?

    1. I tried to keep on with 3rd Ed until, I guess 5th, maybe even 6th, not sure of it. But with each one I realised this game was falling way too far from my interest, until I simply stopped doing nonsense and got back to RT and 2nd Ed. Didn't take care of balance, points or whatever, just having fun. I'm much happier nowadays :)

  10. Looks like a blast! Glad to see all that hard work show up on the field for ya'll!

    1. Thanks! Well, I was really eager to deploy all the stuff, so I only had to look for an excuse! :D

  11. It was! Even with the unexpected, I think everything went reasonably smooth, we need to schedule more stuff like this :D

  12. Awesome game great to see the gargant get a game you do need to build a Titan now!
    Best Iain

  13. One look at the war-gaming table, and my eyes are inevitably drawn to the Gargant :)

    1. Haha, I'm afraid it's unavoidable! Its towering presence fills everything!