The Big One (Pt. 1)

We’re FREEEEEEEEEE!

Sorta.

And what better way to celebrate our new found glorious, double-jabbed-plus-two-weeks liberty than by reinstating our Grand Summer Megagame…

Now, admittedly, the last time we did this we managed to precipitate the Great Plague Of 2020, so it’s entirely possible that in a couple of months we’ll be staring at a blank screen lamenting the collapse of humanity to an alien invasion… but we’re willing to take that risk. Let’s break out the toy soldiers!

As before, the mantra was WE BRING EVERONE.

So that’s all the factions we’d built in 20mm for Apocalypse: Earth, Hyperian Wars and Future Force Warrior – seeing as these three games are all built around the same basic principles, they’ve proved to be pretty compatible. And as before, we divided them into two rough factions, “goodies” and “baddies”. Orders of battle below:

Goodies:

Atlantic Alliance (A:E)

League Of European Nations (A:E)

People’s State Liberation Army 1977th Guards Regiment (FFW)

People’s State Liberation Army Special Forces “Crimson Fist” Squadron (FFW)

Ancien Regime (HW)

Grand Alliance Sky Marines (HW)

Baddies:

Holy Soviet Empire (A:E)

Da Skooderia (FFW)

People’s Front Of Hazzard 37th Freedom Brigade (with associated civilian elements) (FFW)

Lord Ratticus’ Virum Nascii Horde (HW)

Orcs (HW)

Last time out the baddies had been significantly outnumbered and outgunned, but we’d finished adding some special weapons to the Virum Nascii, not to mention about 100 fantasy Orcs, the PFH rebels with their cabal of powerful psychics and a cloud of armed civilians… should be a close run thing!

We also faced a problem this time – having EVERYONE on the table was just not going to work – there just wasn’t room- so we came up with a different scenario to the basic “Kill ‘Em All” approach of last time. This time we placed an objective – in this instance a downed spaceship (3D printer Dan’s son had lovingly assembled and then sat on) – dead centre. The aim would be to pick up the spaceship and move it off your table – the unit carrying the spaceship would only be able to move at half speed and the objective would only be able to captured from Turn 2 onwards.

For deployment, all forces would be available but each unit would have to pass a reaction roll to appear.. each subsequent turn that roll would get a +1 bonus, then an extra +1 the turn after that and so on.

We set the table up with all the biggies – Mel Bay, Bose Cliffs, Skalk Point and the plasma reactors, ruins , BIG RUINS, and military buildings – with half the table rural and half urban, and I’ve got to say, biased as I am it all looked GOOD. Check it out:

Into The Valley Of Death….

We diced for table edge – the Baddies winning and choosing the ruined city, leaving the Goodies with the beach landing – and then we began to deploy units alternately as per the Apocalypse Earth rulebook, rolling for availability as we went…

Goodies hit the beach – although NONE of ze Churmans or the PSLA 1977th made their rolls, we got the Fists, most of the Atlantic Alliance and the Sky Marines
The Baddies rolled with most of the Holy Soviet Army (Stompy Uncle Joe and the Rampager having failed their reaction rolls), Da Skooderia, the People’s Front Of Hazzard 237th – the Orcs failed their rolls and mysteriously there was no sign of the Virum Nascii….
Birds’ eye view..

And thus the stage was set for quite the showdown – stay tuned for the next episode!

It’s A(nother) Mash Up! The Battle At The Farm, 9th Ed Style #new40k #RogueTrader

This is becoming something of a tradition, so I won’t go too much into the background here. Suffice it to say that back in the original (read: charmingly kitsch but practically unplayable) version of 40k – the mythical Rogue Trader era:

Thanks for stealing my childhood, you bastard

And in the back of said tome was a scenario entitled “The Battle At The Farm” which basically involved the survivors of the Crimson Fists ambushing an Ork patrol who have designs on some loot left in said farm. Back before there were box sets, this book actually had counters as proxies for miniatures… somehow can’t imagine that happening in the age of Indomitus 😉

So with the release of 9th ed and the core rules available online (kinda.. more on that later!) -and with our little bit of Leicestershire coming out of lockdown, thank CHRIST – it was an ideal opportunity to break out the Orks of Da Skooderia and the scratchbuilt Crimson Fists to do battle once more. Here’s how it went down:

The field of battle – the Farm located in the centre, filled with Marines ready to do the business
Remember these guys? I could swear, 8th only dropped yesterday and we were all psyched for Dark Imperium..
There’s trouble afoot – Orks deploy onto the hilltop
Orks survey their target – Crimson Fists burnt out Rhino APC added for scenic flavour
With no targets to shoot at because the Marines are being cowards, hiding in the farmhouse, hrugg splits his force – Hruk leads two squads across open ground toward the farmhouse while Thrugg leads a flanking manoeuvre through the orchard
Turn 2 and with the Orks in range, the Marines reveal their first squad – Orks in the open, 3+ to hit…
Oh, SERIOUSLY???
Happily – and in marked contrast to the last time we fought this battle – the Crimson Fists have missile launcher operator who can actually see, and promptly wastes four Orks on the hillside
Remaining greenskin legs it!
Hruk’s force engage frontally, hoping to tie the Marines up in a firefight- remember we’re using RT rules here, Orks are BS 3 (or 4+ in modern 40k)
Impressively, they actually cause a kill! Although 9th comes with some nifty cover rules, none of them are in the core rules.. so we bodged something, decided on a -1 to hit when in cover. Back in the day (1987), Marines were T3 and a 4+ save, so a lot more fragile!
Orks advance across open ground, hugging what cover is available and laying down the dakka…
..concentrating it all on the Crimson Fists’ missile launcher operator, who falls to a lucky bolt shell!
Meanwhile. Thrugg leads his depleted ladz in an advance through the orchard..
The Imperium strikes back! Pedro Cantor and the other two squads deploy from hiding, one taking on the Orks in the open while Pedro leads a counterattack through the orchard
Now the Marines prove why they’re humanity’s finest – Pedro and his counterattcking squad drop five Orks in one round of firing!
Meanwhile it’s a full on firefight outside the farm – Marines drop three Orks but lose two of their own to Ork bolter fire, while Hruk gets a third with his plasma pistol
It’s up close and personal in the orchard – Thrugg fails his charge roll but his ladz pile in, while Pedro Cantor performs a Heroic Intervention (amid much checking of rules) – it was here that we realised, hilariously, that although GW put exhaustive descriptions of pile ins, Heroic Interventions and such, nowhere in the core rules have they actually explained how you resolve close combat X-D thankfully we’ve done this before….
Pedro Cantor and sidekick drop two Orks without so much as a scratch in return…
Having wiped out Thrugg’s boyz in the orchard, the Marines consolidate forwards into the woods toward Da Boss
In front of the farm, three of Hrud’s ladz fall to Marine bolters and another flees the scene
His plans in ruins, Thrugg decides to go down swinging – the way an Ork should! He hurls himself at Pedro Cantor, inflicting a wound with his plasma pistol…
Brushing aside the pain, Pedro Cantor grips the frenzied Ork boss…. crushing his skull with his power fist. Even an Ork boss can’t ignore that!

With that, that left Hrud and a sole Ork Boy on the table facing nine Marines and a wounded Cantor – so we called that a solid Space Marine victory! I wonder if it’s actually possible to win this as an Ork, certainly every battle report I’ve seen or read has the Orks taking a kicking…

9th is quite fun, even just dipping a toe as we were with our converted 1/72 figures, and we didn’t use any Command Points or Stratagems (not in the Core Rules) so I’d be up for giving it a go again, especially with GW’s 40k app giving you rules and codices for £3.99 a month… maybe I can persuade Jim to put it on his iPad… The absence of the core hand to hand combat mechanic was a hilarious omission though, so I’m not sure I’d trust GW’s editing/ quality control team with actual code! Maybe we’ll hold off until we’ve heard from some of you out there in the blogosphere how you got on..

Meantime, stay safe, stay sane, stay thrifty, see you soon!

Epic Showdown on Hazzard Prime!

Damn, when you get old, time goes FAST. Can you really believe it was December 2017 when we last threw down the Epic armies of WAAAAAGH BOZZHOG and the Redeemers Marine Chapter?

Nope, neither could we.

So it was high time to break out the wee tiny fellas, scatter some scenery and get ready to do some serious krumpin’

This time the Imperial forces would be bolstered not just by the home made Leviathan, but also by a squadron of home made Vindicators – the first inklings of a DIY Epic Imperial Guard army! Whilst the greenskins… they got BIG RED.

 Preparation:

The armies hit the board! Objectives laid, armies deployed – Big Red anchors the Ork left flank along with the Goff Skullhamma, while the Slasher leads the Goffs and Evil Sunz assault force and the Bad Moons prepare to provide fire support. Meanwhile, the Devastators anchor the Imperial right, while the Veterans make ready to assault forwards in the centre supported by the Land Raider company, Warlord Titan, Leviathan and Vindicator squadron.

Ork Plan:

The basic plan with WAAGH BOZZHOG has pretty much always been use the Evil Sunz to charge forward and pin the enemy in place until the Goffs arrive to batter them senseless, while the Bad Moons throw fire support downrange. Meanwhile Big Red would occupy the objective in the gulley to the left, backed up by the Skullhamma and the Slasher would either cause calamities with it’s belly gun or rush forward to demolish the opposition with it’s chainfist, we’d play that one by ear!

Imperial Plan:

Looking at the terrain, it seemed a slam dunk to have the Devastators to deploy up the steep hill onto the objective on the Imperial right, which would also give a great field of fire across the battlefield. However, there was a tempting objective in the town slightly toward the centre, so I split off one detachment to occupy that. Meanwhile, the veterans of 1st Company would hurl themselves forward into the teeth of the ork horde and try and hold the town in the face of the Evil Sunz assault while the Land Raider company moved up in support behind them (with their mortal cousins in the Imperial Guard Vindicator squadron alongside them) and the Warlord and Leviathan adding their weight of firepower to the mix.

Turn 1:

Orks get the initiative and force the Marines to move first. Devastators take positions on the hill and in the town, while No. 1 company veterans deploy into the buildings facing the Ork horde!

Hurtling forward, pedal to the metal, the Evil Sunz crash into the veterans of No. 1 company and the Nobz warbikes demolish a squadron of Land Raiders.

Carnage!!!!

As turn 1 ends, the orks have broken the Veteran and Land Raider companies in exchange for the Evil Sunz and the Skullhamma but superior Imperial manoeuvrability means  more Imperial held objectives – Imperials lead 36 VPs to 26.

Turn 2:

The second wave hits! Goffs assault the buildings held by the remains of the veteran company whilst the few surviving Evil Sunz add their firepower in support. Meanwhile the Slasher lines up the Warlord and the surviving Imperial armour moves up in the centre.

Guard Vindicators pour their fire into the murderous close quarter battle in the streets as the Marine veterans fight desperate hand to hand combats in the buildings!

Devastator fire blows up the Skullhamma but Big Red watches on, impervious… (note the building reduced to rubble by a ball round, taking most of a Devastator detachment with it!)

Destruction up close and personal!

This turn broke the Devastators on top of the Veterans and Land Raiders, but the Goffs were teetering on the brink after the spectacularly bloody battle for the town that had also shattered the Evil Sunz, the Slasher and the Warlord  had both taken chunks out of each other and both sides were teetering on the edge of collapse…

Turn 3:

 

With the last veterans massacred by rampaging Goffs, Whirlwind artillery fire, combined with the barrage weapons on the Leviathan and Warlord, collapses the building they captured. Meanwhile, a lucky volcano cannon shot from the Warlord causes a flashback to the magazine, destroying the Slasher!

With the Slasher gone (and Big Red on the other flank damaged by fire from the Devastators), the Goffs now broken, the battered Imperial forces stand bloodied but victorious! 58-44 to the Redeemers with their Hazzard PDF allies – WAAAGH-BOZZHOG is denied once again…

Epilogue:

Whew, that was close – had I not got lucky with the Warlord’s volcano cannon in turn 3, that could have gone very differently.. I’ve also realised how ineptly I handled the veterans, rushing them forward to take on the Ork horde in close combat whilst moving support up behind them – what I should have done is kept them in their transports in reserve and allow the Orks to face long range fire from whatever Devastators I could spare from sparring with the Gargant, let the Whirlwinds and the barrage weapons on the Titan do their thing and then unleashed the elite close combat troops. And I should group the Terminators with them, as they accomplished squat where they were, until they were largely squashed by a ball round… must remember, it’s not how many points you have at the start of the game, it’s how many you have on the last turn that count!

___________________

 

Zog it! Well, I stuck to the plan – so maybe that’s the problem.. I’m thinking of putting the Goffs in battlewagons to keep up with the Sunz and maybe paint up a Death Skull warband to best use the Goff armour. That way the assault wave can hit all at once for truly devastating effect.. hmm.. either way, we definitely have escalation!

Till next time, stay thrifty out there!

Another Epic Scratchbuild! DIY Great Gargant

Yeah, so the other day we were meant to be working on our entry for the DakkaDakka League Of Extraordinary Riveters terrain competition… and then something went wrong..

(by the way – if you’re reading this, Wyloch, then this is for YOU! 😉 )

Must.. glue.. things…

Must.. glue..more.. things.. yoghurt pot, bottle caps, glue lid, cardboard

Armour plating complete

“Eyes” done with green stuff, rivets done with fast drying PVA applied with a cocktail stick

Chainsword and gatling cannon added

More rivets….

Feet! Actually carved from foamboard and then wrapped in cardboard… then more rivets added

Primed! Now it’s looking like a model…

Attempt at zenithal highlighting… yeah….

And prewash with Vallejo black ink – didn’t quite go to plan…

…..aaaand who wants to see it in red?

Red basecoat, smokey ink pin was – white undercoat for the yellow areas, which then got a thin wash of Vallejo Skin Wash.. weathering was sponge chipping, first black and then boltgun metal

Side view

Pipework on the rear, courtesy of some sprue offcuts 

Chainsaw arm reinforced with more sprue offcuts

Hmm… what could make a Warlord princeps think “oh, sh*t” 

Yeah, I’m going to have to go and build my Imperator after all

Hmm… something of a scale issue…

But there again, weren’t gargants and titans always undersized? I’m sure we’ll figure something out..

We’ve really got the bug for scratchbuilding Epic stuff now, so stay tuned for more! Till next time, keep hoarding that recycling….

Cheaphammer 40k FINALE! – the 2nd Ed Revival Project : Battle For The Bridge

And lo, it has come to pass – ALL DA LADZ against Dan’s thin red (well, black) line of Space Marines in the climactic game from the 1993 2nd Ed box set Battle For Armageddon mini campaign.

On the Marine side – two tactical squads of Space Marines, each comprising a Sergeant with bolt pistol and chainsword, a Marine with a missile launcher, a Marine with flamer, and 7 Marines with bolters. For the Orks, it was the Dread, twenty Boyz armed with bolt pistols, axes and stikkbomz and no fewer than FORTY Gretchin, all armed with autoguns – quite the horde!

Forces were organised as follows:

Marines (all Space Marines have Mk7 power armour, bolt pistol, frag and krak grenades):

Squad Raphael (red shoulder pads):

Sergeant Raphael – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – flamer

Squad Mephisto (blue shoulder pads):

Brother Mephisto – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)

Squad Lazarus (grey shoulder pads):

Sergeant Lazarus – bolt pistol, chainsword

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – flamer

Squad Cleon (cream shoulder pads):

Brother Cleon – boltgun

3 Space Marines – boltgun

1 Space Marine – Missile launcher (targeter, frag and krak grenades)

MarinesDone

Orks (All Orks and Gretchin wear flak armour):

Da Krusher – Ork Dreadnought armed with two power klaws, heavy bolter and lascannon.

Grugnat’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.

Snikbog’s Mob – ten Orks armed with bolt pistols, axes and frag stikkbomz.

Grit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Grot’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Scumbo’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

Fergit’s Mob – ten Gretchin armed with autoguns.

OrkzOnParade

The Marines got points for wiping out as many Greenskin mobs as possible, while the Orks got a 5 point bonus for getting a mob of six models or the Dread into the Marine deployment zone. Game length was four turns.

Turn 1

To everyone’s surprise, the Orks won the first turn and barrelled forward, Gretchin screening the boyz who were hugging the available cover until they could get within bolt pistol range.

Gretchin fire patters ineffectively off Marine power armour..

..meanwhile, Da Krusher’s lascannon stabs out and downs a marine from Squad Lazarus

Marines hunker down and fire wherever possible, bolters and frag missiles downing an Ork and 7 Grots

And with a Leadership of only 5, it should be no surprise that Scumbo’s Mob break and run for it

Turn 2

This time probability reasserted itself and the Marines scored first turn.

Squads Lazarus and Raphael venture out into the open, hoping to close the range and bring their flamers into play

Krak missile from Squad Mephisto smashes into Da Krusha, sending it out of control – it promptly barrels into the nearest unit, the Gretchin of Grot’s Mob!

Marine fire take its toll on the Greenskin horde…

But humie isn’t having it all his own way! Da Boyz close the range to the exposed Marine combat squads, and three of humanity’s finest fall to bolt pistol fire.

Turn 3

Once again, the Marines won the first turn and the missile launcher teams desperately pumped bolter fire and frag missiles into the oncoming greenskins, while the flamer teams attempted to manouevre in to use their devastating short range weapons to better effect..

Marines pump fire into the oncoming horde, but will it be enough?

Seeing Da Krusha out of control, missile launcher teams focus on thinning out the greenskins with frag missiles.. this proves to be a mistake, as the pilot promptly has a change of heart, wheels around and barrels into the Marine lines, vapourising a brother with its’ lascannon.

“It’s too much!” Gretchin take shelter in a ruin after losing seven of their squad to Marine fire

Turn 4

First turn passed back to the Orks and the boyz burst from behind the screen of Grots to engage the Marines at point blank range!

“WAAAAARRRGH!”  Boyz charge forward, gunning down Squad Lazarus in a hail of bolt pistol fire

It gets up close and personal in the games’ closing moments..

Gretchin blaze away with their autoguns as da boyz get stuck in! Meanwhile, Da Krusha savages Squad Mephisto

 

The weight of fire batters through the Marine power armour..

 

Squad Mephisto marines fall to assault saw and power klaw!

 

Greenskins rampage across the battlefield, overwhelming the remaining Marines!

At the end of the turn, we totted up the points – Orks 4, Marines 1 – a solid win for the Greenskins!

Dan owned up to a lack of concentrating fire on single mobs, as he caused a solid amount of casualties but not actually wiping out or seriously damaging complete units. I did get pretty lucky with Da Krusha’s lunatic rampage not just taking down three Marines from Squad Mephisto but also taking him squarely into the Marine deployment zone! However if Dan’s flamer teams could have gotten in range, or if he’d finished off Da Krusha with a couple of extra krak missiles, things could easily have gone the other way..

So if you’re keeping score, that’s 2-1 to the Orks, so a Greenskin victory in this mini campaign! Props to Dan for a brilliant job on his Marines (whatever he may claim to the contrary) and being a gentlemanly and sporting (if perennially unlucky) opponent.

This project has been a blast, but it doesn’t have to end here – we’re toying with adding a few bits to make these forces 8th ed legal, and just maybe to take them on a pilgrimage to Warhammer World itself, for a game on the hallowed tables themselves! A great way touch base with the roots of what got us into this hobby in the first place.

Till next time, stay thrifty out there, yo 😉

CheapHammer 40k: The 2nd Ed Revival Project Pt. 7 – Da Boyz On Parade!

….aaaaaaaaand DONE!

Wiping the sweat from my brow, allow me to present the remaining members of my Ork force – 5 more Boyz and 10 more Grots! I figured as there really wasn’t much point just rehashing stuff you’ve already seen as I haven’t changed my painting strategy, but this is the perfect opportunity to get the ladz out on parade in force. So lots of pics but very few words this week!

The whole force – 4 mobs of 10 Grots apiece, 2 mobs of 10 Boyz and a scratchbuilt Dread!

Boyz up close and personal! Note the conversion – an RTB 01 Space Marine torso in the second rank with Ork head and arm glued on – nice work, anonymous-eBay-guy-I-bought-these from..

Grots – autoguns aren’t much cop individually, but 40 of them are pretty much guaranteed to do some damage

More ladz – spot the genuine 2nd Ed sculpt in there!

Group shot

Da Dread

And the rest of the Grots – they’ll do OK as fire support/ meat shield for the Boyz to get stuck in

I’m really pleased with these guys, they’re never going to win a Golden Demon but from two feet away they look pretty damn tidy. Certainly far better than anything I managed as a sprog back in the early 90s! Next up is pitting them against Dan’s Marines in the climactic final battle of our mini campaign.. stay tuned!

 

CheapHammer 40k: The 2nd Ed Revival Project Pt. 4 – Da Boyz Are Back!

Bloody hell, it’s still January. All the fun of winter without Christmas to look forward to.. still, could be worse. I could be PM.

Anyway, having spent the run up to Christmas listening to Dan whinge about having to edge highlight a whole 20 Space Marines, I feel inclined to redress the balance a bit – 30 Grots, you idle bastard! For one game!!

And for our next one, I have to get 15 Boyz ready!

#FirstWorldProblems – I know… 😉

Our accidental eBay haul was somewhat lacking in Boyz – there were two, with three arms between them – so I’ve had to dig about on eBay to stock up and managed to pick up a couple of good deals.. unfortunately one is still en route from Poland, ten days late so far… Hmmm. Watch this space.

Anyway, using what I’d learned from the Grots, I set to business:

Home made texture paste on the bases, then primed white. Forgot to prewash this mob, but it didn’t seem to matter too much. Mixed a fair approximation of the old GW Bilious Green – go bright and wash down, that works for me!

Decided to rough out a prototype colour scheme with this guy – basically Evil Sunz-esque, red with camo trousers. I did the first mob with a scheme based on Crye Multicam, the second mob with a scheme based on the old 90’s British Army DPM camo. Next mob will be using US Army “mint choc chip” 90s desert camo.

For the skin tones, I washed the DIY Bilious Green mix with Army Painter Green Tone, then drybrushed the original colour and then pure yellow over the top. Red and brown and camo areas washed with thinned Vallejo Smokey Ink.

Metallic areas undercoated black and then painted with Vallejo Mithril Silver before washing heavily with mixed black and brown Vallejo inks. Leftover silver was used for sponge chipping. Thinned down tan and then bone craft paint for highlighting the teeth.

Final touches included an all over bone drybrush – very light – with bone, followed by basing. Painted brown, drybrushed with two layers of highlights, and then flock added before varnishing – and here are the results!

These ladz will be rolling out against the marines for Game 2 of our Armageddon mini- campaign – see you soon for that one!

CheapHammer 40k- the 2nd Ed Revival Project! Pt. 3 – Wotta Lotta Grots

The plot thickens! Just as Dan’s Marines have got themselves fly new Deathwatch paintjobs, I’ve not been idle with my share of our Ebay booty – first out of the blocks, the Grots! Now, as it turns out there are 36 of these little buggers and to do the mini campaign properly I’m going to need 40, so I may be taking to eBay again pretty soon.. oh, the irony! This is how wargamers end up with houses full of tiny plastic figures… but enough of that for now.

I spread some home made texture paste (filler powder, sand, PVA and water) on the base and hit the whole thing with cheap pound shop white primer, before giving all the figures a prewash with thinned Vallejo brown ink.

I’ve got two mobs of ten painted up so far, with a pretty straightforward three colour scheme – dark grey, bone and red. To differentiate, Furst Mob has grey and red blocked out with a camo scheme (of grey and red) over the bone areas, while Secund Mob has the bone and grey blocked in and a bone and grey camo  scheme layered over the red. Thurd Mob, when I get round to them, will have bone and red camo layered over the grey and blocked in red and bone. and Uvver Mob will either have a whole load of camo or none!

I used Vallejo German Grey, a cheap acrylic red and a craft paint bone. Black ink wash, thinned, over the grey and thinned brown ink over the red and bone.

For skin tones I went with a thinned light green, washed with Army Painter Green Tone and then highlighted up with green mixed with yellow, and a touch of bone for the teeth and a dash of red for the eyes. After that, I added a unifying light drybrush of bone, and then on to the metallics – block in black and then boltgun metal highlighted with silver, and then washed with brown ink to give a rusty metal vibe.

Then, basing! I used the same brown craft paint I used for the leather part, then drybrushed with bone, before drizzling flock and Garage Floor TM dust, and then a final edge of brown to touch the whole thing up.. and then, varnish and done!

Grots frontally engage the Deathwatch!

Furst Mob

 

Note the red autogun – he’s the mob leader

Secund Mob

More Secund Mob!

 

Secund Mob WIP

CheapHammer 40k -The 2nd Ed Revival Project! Pt. 1 The Plan

So, hands up who remembers this?

20171109_205218

As it happens, we don’t either – don’t drink and eBay, kids! So, we were wondering what we should do with this haul – loads of Grots, a full complement of 20 Marines, and a couple of Orks in various states of repair… not to mention the cardboard cutout Dreadnaught, plus the very brightly coloured Codex Imperialis and campaign book.

 

In the grim darkness of the far future, there are only bold primary colours

Now, this raises an interesting, almost paradoxical conundrum – because we can’t afford proper 40k minis, we’d got sunk deep into 20mm (aka 1/72 or 1/76 or HO) gaming, meaning all our terrain was designed and sized for this. So getting our hands on actual 40k minis kind of threw the plans out a bit. As discussed before, we planned on using them as proxies for OOP systems like Firefight, Space Crusade etc (not to mention freely downloadable ones like Deadzone), but with all this… stuff… it was more or less a given that at some point we’d end up giving 40k a try again, and we’ve had a couple of little skirmishes with our new skirmish board.

And yeah, compared to modern systems, this old girl is a bit clunky. But we got to thinking – both me and Dan got into 40k in 1991 (albeit independently of each other and hundreds of miles apart) and by then the 1st edition Rogue Trader had evolved massively from it’s origins as an almost unplayable (in practical terms) RPG/ skirmish game and was heading towards the slick and shiny and GLORIOUSLY colourful subsequent editions. Dan and I both remember getting the 40k box set – and be aware, a 40k box set was a brand new thing back then, never been done before! – for Christmas 1993, and working our way through the mini campaign missions given in the book. If you’re unfamiliar, this set focused heavily on the 2nd War For Armageddon, and featured a three (four?) mission campaign of Blood Angels vs Orks.

Then Dan reminded me that 1993 was 25 years ago exactly.

Hmm. We should mark this occasion.

We did something similar last year, commemorating 30 years of 40k by playing The Battle At The Farm from Rogue Trader using 8th Edition rules, and had a blast, but we figured, you know what? 2nd Ed was our edition. Goblin Green bases, primary colours – the grim darkness of the far future had never looked so appealing. Army lists existed from the drop, rather than being gradually added over six years of White Dwarf articles.

Or  Warhammer 40000 Compilations.

Or Warhammer 40000 Compendiums.

Or Warhammer 40000 Battle Manuals.

You have to figure by this point, the game had evolved quite away from it’s origins, and was badly in need of a rewrite! And so it was…

You bought wargear with cards rather than having a 15 % chance of having it. The thing had been tested, and many mechanics from 2nd Ed actually form the backbone of 40k as we know it now, love it or loathe it. We may not have had Tau or Necrons, but we had Squats, dammit! (at least for a while..) And so begins our new project for the remains of 2018 – painting up the contents of our unwitting haul to replicate those halcyon days gone by – we began with the Marines, and Dan has a load of Grots ready for the camera – then there’s the scenery to make… lots of ruins (which we’ll make 3″ by 3″ to also be Deadzone compatible – muy Skinflint).. plus we have found a very cool papercraft of an Ork Deff Dread… And then come Christmas, we’ll run the whole campaign!

So, here’s raising a glass to our “origin story” within the hobby – we may not be the seasoned grognards in at the birth of it all with Rogue Trader, but we were there for 40k to find it’s feet and become what it is today. And for all it’s (many many ) faults-  it will always have a place in our hearts.

CheapHammer 40k Battle Report – First Blood!

The time has finally arrived! After an eBay accident, a few tricky builds and the final completion of a project which has been kicked around since 2015, Dan and I were finally ready to try our first proper foray into CheapHammer 40k!

For those of you uncertain as to what this is all about, basically it boils down to two Midlands drunks wondering if you can truly replicate the visual spectacle of those awesome battle reports we used to see in White Dwarf without incurring the mind blowing expense of GW’s (and others) 28mm figures – everything you see here is super cheap and cheerful 1/72 scale, both armies came in at less than £15 and all terrain is scratchbuilt from household junk.

For this battle, Dan was adamant that he wanted to roll with the Guard, as he felt the building and painting process which had at times threatened his sanity meant he was due some serious tabletop karma, and I was more than happy to roll out the little red and green dudes.

Our scenario revolved around capturing a pair of plasma reactors located in the centre of the table, with a ruined village and woods on the eastern side and more open hilly country on the western side. I won the roll off and took the southern board edge, planning to use the cover of the ruins to shield the Boyz’ advance.

Under 2nd Ed rules, the player with the lowest Strategy Rating had to deploy first, and with the Guard’s rating being 2 to my 3, that meant Dan had to set up first along the northern edge.

He placed his Heavy Weapons teams (Squad Cletus) on the central hill with the Leman Russ, Chimera on the western side with the Command squad inside ready to leap out and secure the objective and secure it with serious short range firepower and his best close combat troops. Meantime the Russ would punch forward into the main body of the Orks and the Chimera provide supporting fire, while the two infantry squads advanced through the forest, each providing covering fire for the other.

I went for a straightforward Orkish approach – hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle! I loaded up Big Red with my elite assault units – the Warboss, the Bigboss and the Nobz – and placed it where it should have a covered approach to the objective. Warbuggies Red 5 and Red 7 would attempt a flanking manoeuvre on the west side of the table, charge round and catch humie from behind. Meanwhile, da Boyz and the Dread would move up in short order behind the Nobz and Warboss, keeping humie’s head down. Doc Nikki Louda and Mek Mikael Schumorker would provide fire support with lascannon and Kustom Blasta.

The armies line up, Orks at the bottom (southern) table edge, Guard at the top (north)

Da Boyz deply in the ruins, all sneaky like, while the Dread leads the Skarboyz towards the objective

Doc Nikki Louda takes aim with lascannon as Big Red guns it’s engines

Kimi Rorkonnen leads the warbuggy flank manouevre

The Guard deploy – the Leman Russ (The General) anchors the centre with heavy weapons teams in support, while the Chimera prepares a dash forward with the Command squad

Guard infantry prepare to advance through the woods

The General surveys the battlefield..

Much to everyone’s surprise, the Guard got first turn and rolled forward!

The General leads the advance, with Squad Beauregard running close behind using the terrain for cover

Command squad deploy from the Chimera – note the psyker in the purple cloak

First blood to the Guard – a Krak missile from Squad Cletus destroys Big Red, taking out all passengers… that’s Warboss, Bigboss and Nobz Mob!!!!

..and moments later, the General’s battlecannon smashed the Dread apart!

Noticing the lascannon wielded by the Doc, the Adeptus psyker  casts Hellfire, missing his target but bathing a nearby bush in the cleansing fire of the Emperor’s wrath.

With Da Boss and Nobz fried to a crisp, Big Mek Mikael Schumorker leads his remaining ladz towards the enemy, Skarboyz to the fore!

Meanwhile, in accordance with Da Plan, Seb & Kimi begin their flanking manouevre, buggies racing through the gulleys. Blazing autocannons from Red 5 take down Squad Cletus’ lascanoon operator.

The General barrels forward into Ork lines, battle cannon, heavy bolters and lascannon wipe out five of the six Skarboyz, causing the last survivor to flee!

With Seb in Red 5 immobilised by another krak missile, it’s up to Kimi Rorkonnen and Felipe Masha to save the day! Kimi drifts the buggy while Felipe ignites the multi melta and a healthy chunk of Guard HQ is turned into steam…

The tide may be very much against the Orks by this point, but the Doc isn’t going to let the boyz go down without a fight – taking cover in a ruined building, an expert lascannon shot immobilises the Chimera

The Guard infantry element secure the plasma reactors

The surviving members of the Guard HQ squad – Lieutenant and Commissar assault Red 5. Power sword and chainsword flash as they avenge their fallen comrades!

The General’s firepower guts the Boyz mobs, with the survivors forced to flee

The righteous fury of the Commissar and Lieutenant eviscerates Kimi and Felipe and brings Red 5 to a shuddering halt

Final charge of Da Skooderia – a shot from the Doc’s lascannon goes wide and it’s up to Da (remaining) Boyz to try and take down the General in close combat

After four turns, the Guard were firmly in control of the plasma reactors, and had suffered the loss of a lascannon gunner, most of the HQ and an immobilised Chimera. I, on the other had, was down to Doc Nicky Louda and half a boyz mob – a pretty comprehensive defeat!

Conclusions:

So most of our battle reports have ended with me pulling a narrow or Pyrrhic victory against Dan, but in this one he handed my arse to me fair and square! That said, I could point to the lucky shots that roasted ALL my elite troops and then destroyed my Dread.. but there again, a certain parable about eggs and baskets comes to mind. Maybe next time they start off on foot before boarding the transport..

Other than that, my plan can’t have been that bad as Dan had more or less the same one! Da Boyz did their best in very difficult circumstances and the Charge Of The Warbuggies went more or less as well as could be expected, Kimi and Seb getting a lick each in.

Hats off to Dan’s Guard though, that was a fair and square victory, the Leman Russ was an unstoppable linebreaker, heavy weapons teams took their toll and the infantry brought in to hold the line after the heavies had done their work. An army well researched and understood, and a battle fairly won.

Still not sold on IGOUGO, and there’s some things I’d change about the close assault mechanic, but a fun game nevertheless. AND a few things learned for “Future Force Warrior”, our sci fi sister game for “Apocalypse: Earth” – more on that to come!

So stay tuned, stay thrifty, see you soon!