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This is a part of the author's "Public Game" series. To view other battle reports in the series, click here.

APOCALYPSE TIME!!!

well, sort of. This game is a 4,000 pt. game where FOC doesn't matter. So it's kind of like apocalipse, but without the fancy rules, units, or templates. In any case, this was a 3v5: guard, blood angels, and elder VS ultramarines, tyranid, chaos, necron, and eldar. I'm obviously not entirely certain what everyone had, so I'll sort of paraphrase it here:

THE OPPONENTS: a coalition of the willing... ?

Big 'n scary:

Ezekiel, the dark angel of... darkness?
Nightbringer
2 tooled up space marine dudes (with tac squad)
necron lord with nasty upgrades (but not veil...)
broodlord with big mob of infiltrating genestealers
flyrant
tooled up chaos sorcerer (DoT, etc.)

Heavy hitters:

defiler
monolith
2 dev squads
lascannon razorback

Other stuff:

more stealers
more tac squads
big squad of immortals
techmarine

shooty chaos terminators (deepstrike)
monolith (deepstrike)
2 lictors (deepstrike)
mob of berzerkers of KHORNE!

THE DEFENDERS: We have Chuck Norris

Big N' Scary:

Mephiston, lord of choppiness
fist, eviscerator, priest HQ
autarch on jetbike

Heavy hitters:

Land Raider Crusader
Leman Russ Battle Tank
Basilisk
2 lascannon predators
2 dev squads

Fast stuff:

GIANT death company mob
2x assault marine squads
2 falcons full of avengers

Other stuff:

2 lascannon sentinels
brightlance vyper
2 missile launcher guard squads
plasma guard vet squad
2 war walkers
heavy bolter chimera
Pathfinder rangers

terminators (deepstrike) assault terminators (deepstrike) 3 meltagun vet marines (drop pod) dreadnought (drop pod)

They pulled a hat trick for pre-game rolling. At deployment, the field looked like this:

(note, I think a couple of things at the bottom had already moved by the time I'd taken the picture)

So my rudamentary plan was this: on the bottom (our right), we would put all of our shooty stuff, where there was a ton of terrain to slow down assaulters with the nice, tall building overlooking it all. Then, we'd put all of our mobile stuff on the top, where there wasn't so much intervening terrain and do a big, powerful, left handed hook to their lines.

And then we had to deploy first, and I put down my basilisk in the bottom corner.

This, of course, caused our opponents to throw absolutely everything at the bottom so that they could kill my basilisk, which of course, meant that we couldn't have our main attack force some 4 feet upfield, which meant that all of our upper stuff got brought down to the middle. Without anything threatening on the top, there wasn't a lot of deployment there either. Basically, this was going to devolve to a meat grinder in the middle of the board...

TURN 1

Sometimes Melchoir got everything he needed to know to make the right decisions well in advance.

Sometimes Melchoir got information, as other people saw fit to give it to him.

Sometimes Melchoir wasn't told anything.

This was one of those times.

The officer stood nervously behind a large group of death company. He and the blood angels had their... incidences in the past... several times. That didn't seem to matter, now. All the officer knew was what he could see: an impossible mix of armies across the field from him. Whatever it was that got this motley array of soldiers on the same side was beyond the small, mortal mind of the guardsmen. In any case, it needed to be stopped, and Melchoir was "volunteered" at the last minute to stop them.

"Relax," whispered Sanario to the officer.

"You've never been shot by a death company chaplain before, have you?"

The grand assault began!

Basically, their side took everything that they had and moved it forwards as far as they could. The only exceptions to this were the devastators and the defiler.

Shooting, as you could imagine, was fairly limited, given their list. Of note, my opponents went absolutely mad on the bottom side, trying to kill my squad in the building. Immortals, devestators, you name it, they shot it. In the end, the 4+ saves did their job (along with a few key weapons missing) and only 5 of my guys died. As well, they shot their defiler at one of our tightly packed assault squads, but it scattered... right onto my HQ. Thankfully, he missed some partials, and didn't wound with all the hits, and, after more 4+ saves, only one of my retinue fell.

Other than that, anything that was in range, but not able to draw LOS onto my squad in the building attacked one of the assault marine squads, killing most of it. As well, one of our predators went down.

After this point, the field looked like this:

"Shit!"

Melchoir frantically ran his hands over his body, looking for a wet pile of his own blood to soak his hands in. Surprisingly, all of his body parts were in order. The officer turned and looked at the priest, who returned his stunned look.

"Did..." the officer began, "Did anyone get hurt?"

"One of the Polidukee boys, sir!"

"That's it?" the officer replied, looking at the giant hole in the wall as best he could over the thick cloud of unphased death company.

In our turn, we do pull off a bit of a wheeling action. Our middle went up, and our top side followed them up. Everything is a touch timid though. There will be no attempted first turn charge for the imperial forces.

Shooting begins with our blessed conqueror Armorus Geomidae, the Land Raider Crusader absolutely murdering the giant ball of infiltrating genestealers, leaving them with just the broodlord, and like one stealer.

Things continue with my basilisk taking a ~90" indirect fire shot at the assault marines on the other side of the board, scoring a 'hit' (huzzah!), but of the 5 wounds, I roll 3 1's. At least the squad was pinned. Then, my LRBT fires at his khorne, and scatter. I get a couple of hits, with another one of them failing to wound.

Meanwhile, our blood angel ally opened up with his devestators with opposite luck (to the tune of hitting with 4 plasma cannons), almost completely wiping the immortals. As well, a pair of lascannons from the thicket hit the defiler, immobilizing it, and knocking the battlecannon off.

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 2

Melchoir stood back and watched as the marines in front of him took off. The enemy was starting to close in, and the space marines were gloriously taking the fight.

Melchoir, on the other hand, preferred the more

lasses faire

form of mass carnage.

"We should be going out there, Melchoir," The priest started.

"Then who will command the forces at the rear?"

Sanario's face started to radiate upsettedness.

In their turn, both lictors make it in from reserves, along with the chaos terminators. Almost all of the immortals that fell down got back up.

Then, they continue to bowl their forces forwards, making it to just shy of mid-field.

In shooting, the bottom side of the board again blasts away at my squad. Again, cover saves shield my troops, leaving a lone guardsman, who stands his ground. To note, this has been some ~500 pts. of ickyness that has tried, unsuccessfully, to wipe out a 75 pt. guard squad with two turns of firing. Reminds me of shooting railguns at sentinels.

In assault, his sorcerer manages to charge an assault squad, and, in a fit of horrendous rolling (plus, he only had a power weapon), he manages to kill 0 assault marines. They ding a wound on him back.

As well, his lictor on the top charged into the eldar, with no success while the other lictor along with help from the broodlord, absolutely ate the pathfinders (in retrospect, they probably should NOT have hidden themselves in the same piece of terrain that a lictor was in).

After this point, the field looked like this:

Melchoir continued to watch as the enemies slowly, but relentlessly approached his part of the line on the right.

"Pagudro!" Melchoir shouted into the vox, "you have a cannon, use it!"

Moments later, the lumbering Leman Russ wheeled around the corner and took aim at the enemy infantry.

"Marshal Theleos," came the booming voice of the great hero Mephiston over the comm channels, "hold your fire until our reinforcements are on the ground."

The officer looked to his right.

Our turn began by getting in both groups of our terminators, which teleported straight into the thick of the bottom side. As well, my one, poor missile launcher dude ran away :'(

In movement, we generally moved forwards a little bit, while creating a pincer move on the top in order to be able to handle the inrushing tyranid.

Shooting began with my basilisk making another cross-board shot, and missing 6". Then my battlecannon opened up against his posessed space marines. The shot scattered... onto the terminators. I roll a 1 on the partial for the possessed. I roll to see how badly I hurt my three hit terminators. I roll three 1's to wound. Worst... battle cannon... ever...

My partner, on the other hand, showed how much of my luck he stole by targeting the nearby tac squad with his devestators and AGAIN hitting with all 4 of the plasma cannons. The entire tac squad was wiped. Unlike the immortals, they got no WWB...

Shooting continued with the avengers in the middle getting out of their falcon and bladestorming the khorne berserkers. Along with the crusader, and other assorted firepower, they managed to take them down. As well, despite passing several invul saves, we were able to put a wound on the nightbringer.

And we hit the defiler again, knocking off it's autocannon, leaving it an immobilized vehicle with a heavy flamer. Booyah.

In assault, the assault marines easily finished off the chaos sorcerer, while the eldar on top killed off their lictor. Mephiston beat the crap out of the broodlord / last stealer, but wasn't able to consolidate far enough to get to the lictor (who had run away after eating the pathfinders).

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 3

The officer watched in horror as a ancient necron tomb ship descended. A moment, later, the officer was met with a torrent of noise from all up and down the line: the grand melee had begun.

"Melchoir! It is my duty to remind you of your honor, bound to the king of Folera. We MUST come to the aid of our allies," Sanario shouted at the officer.

It wasn't so much that he was afraid, but...

"We don't move until they do," the officer replied, pointing to the death company which stood, almost motionless in front of the building.

... if death company didn't feel like charging, then neither did Melchoir.

They start by getting their monolith in.

Everything except the defiler, a lone, footslogging tech marine, and a devestator squad charged.

Four major assaults erupted.

Battle began on the top with the assault marines making it into the fire dragons. Though they were few in numbers, they were able to defeat the dragons, catching them in a sweeping advance. They then consolidated into the dire avengers.

Down the line, the lictor charged into Mephiston. The stealers did as well, but I think there was some kind of funny psychic power that wouldn't let them, or something. In any case, Mephiston brought the lictor down to one wound, but the lictor, surprisingly, returned the favor, seriously injuring the space marine hero.

In the center, their terminators (one armed with a chainfist) failed to hit the falcon. The nightbringer, tooled up ultramarines, and a squad of tac marines got into a massive fight with a squad and a half of assault marines. Some tac squad members were taken down, but in the end, they were not successful. The ultramarines command squad consolidated straight into the dire avengers. The nightbringer consolidated into the side of the falcon for some reason.

On the bottom, Ezekiel and the necron lord, along with a big pile of immortals and possessed slammed into the terminators (who numbered 3 after the shooting they took earlier in the turn). Despite the absolute torrent of attacks, the ancient armor held very strong, and the storm shields fended off even the most arcane attacks. In the end, they weren't able to kill a single terminator (wow). The terminators replied by wiping the possessed marines off the table in a flurry of thunder hammer attacks.

After this point, the field looked like this:

"We MUST go help our allies!" shouted the priest.

"Not yet!"

"Dammit, Melchoir! If you're not going to do it, then I will!"

The priest turned and started sprinting up the field. A moment later one of his retinue followed him, shouting. The standard bearer gave a nervous look towards the officer.

Melchoir sighed and turned on his powerfist.

At the beginning of this turn, two of the players' rides showed up, so they had to pack it up and leave. Thankfully, they were the eldar player on our side and the marine player on their side at the top of the board. As neither player had much remaining, and that part of the field wasn't tactically significant by this point, we didn't feel that either side was at a loss so as not to continue.

As well, the remainder of our deepstrikers arrived (the melta squad and the dreadnought).

In movement, the forces in the middle back away from the melee a little bit, putting the final pincers on what was left of the center top. Meanwhile, the death company guns it towards the fight with the immortals. I lead a charge out of the building with my command squad, getting fairly close to the combat in the center.

In shooting, the land raider crusader and the heavy bolter chimera make short work of the stealers, effectively clearing the top half of the board.

meanwhile, I'm able to get a little shooting in at the terminators in the middle. between a rocket and half a platoon of lasgun fire, one lasgun hits... and kills a terminator (woot!)

The remainder of the shooting involved the drop pod meltagunners blasting the monolith silly, while the terminators et. al. managed to kill all but one dev squad member.

In combat, I rolled really badly to get over the tiny piece of difficult terrain seperating me from the center combat, stranding my HQ squad. Meanwhile, the avengers got beat the snot out of, letting the ultramarine command (who rolled really well) to consolidate straight into my command squad.

Meanwhile, in the bottom combat, his death company charged in for something like 12 rending attacks and 20+ other hits. Needless to say, the immortals were wiped. Likewise, the thunder hammer terminators killed ezekiel. This just left the lord in this combat.

Then, as a final accent, Mephiston and the lictor both managed to knock each other out...

After this point, the field looked like this:

TURN 4

In their turn, the last straggler of their deepstriking units (some assault vet marines with plasma pistols) shows up behind my guard squad (why the hate?). As well, given that there were no other immortals on the table, and all of them had been killed, none of them get back up.

With basically only a lone devestator, a pair of terminators, and the ultramarine HQ left, there isn't a whole lot of movement.

In close combat, his terminators easily make it up to the land raider. The chainfist did it's job well, chewing through the ancient construct's armor, shutting the vehicle down.

Sanario watched as the enemy suddenly bore down on them.

There was hacking and slashing, yes, but it really felt like their was more tackling and pushing. The marines didn't even care that the command squad was there, much less waste precious time on it. Sanario tried to frantically swing his eviscerator at one of the charging marines. The shot missed, right before he was stiff-armed to the face.

Without even slowing tempo, the marines went straight through the squad and up onto the building.

Basically, he ran me over. Both of my eviscerator attacks missed. My squad (at this point, only Sanario) ran, and successfully evaded a sweeping advance. It didn't stop them from consolidating 3" into the dev squad right behind me.

In combat on the bottom, the remaining forces made puddy out of the lord and consolidate away. At this point, someone makes a comment to the extent of "what's the phase out of those necrons?" Realising that he only has a 1 wound Nightbringer on the table, he graciously phased out ;)

After this point, the field looked like this:

In our turn, we consolidate back into the remaining few units.

In shooting, the last devestator is killed, and the defiler is finally put out of its misery. Both terminators in the middle are killed.

Then, I finally get my chance for my leman russ to redeem itself. It shoots, and it hits! I roll 5 to-wound rolls. FOUR of them are 1's. WORST... BATTLE CANNON... EVER!!!

The space marines graciously lay into them, killing all but one. That one eats a krak missle to the face from like 5 feet away.

In close combat, the death company charge into the remaining ultramarine command. The dev squad is shooed off the table, but the death company retaliate. The only thing that is left is a single-wound ultramarine commander, left to instigate one final heroic charge against the enemy:

Which promptly fails to do much at the top of turn 5.

FINAL RESULTS:

We wiped them off the board for 4000 pts. They killed a lot of stuff (crusader, 2 groups of avengers with exarchs (and one of their falcons), a war walker, an autarch on bike, 2 assault marine squads, my HQ, and a predator), for a fair number of points, but not nearly enough to stave off a massive victory of some sort.

- I am quite impressed with the performance of the blood angels in this game. Sure, they made up 2250+ pts. of our side, but they really kicked ass. The crusader basically handled the nid player by itself, while the death company, and a single squad of assault terminators completely neutralized the bottom. Makes me feel worthless by contrast.

- But to be fair, my luck was comically poor. I shot with my 1000 pts. of imperial guard as I was able and I got 5 lousy, stinking, hits. Two of those hits were from absolutely worthless ordnance. In fact, my ordnance hit a total of 13 models this game, NINE of those hits rolled 1's in their two-wound. Why can't shadowfields go down like that? ;) At least my luck transfered up the field, allowing my partner's devastators to do with plasma cannons the kind of damage that my ordnance should have done.

- I'm not sure why, but it seemed like we brought a lot more stuff to the table. I suppose a part of it was that they were putting down some pretty darn expensive units (the chaos guy had a super sorcerer and tooled up terminators, the necron guy had basically a monolith, a lord, and a nightbringer, etc.) In the end, they were all thwarted by a couple of units that had a specific job that they were able to complete at a specific place at just the right time.

- Despite the utter chaos, this game actually ran pretty smoothly. For having 8 players with an average age of like 15 over 4000 pts. this game only took like 4 hours. We definitely had to be a bit... flexible (like me taking the hits for some of my partner's units, while he was handling other things, and allowing the phases to go a touch out of order (as in, when all of the movement on one side of the board was done, we'd let them start shooting at each other, even though there was still some movement left on the other end of the board)).

MVP: Hands down, the giant death company mob with the attending chaplain. Death company indeed. If I had to draw from just my own units, I guess I'd take the infantry squad in the lower building for being such a good distraction.

Hero of the Game: This one for sure goes to my infantry squad in the lower building. If it hadn't held it's ground as it did, there could have been some serious fire thrown on either the devastators or the death company, causing the balance of force to shift in favor of the other side, which just might have been enough for us to not win the bottom (or, at least not as well).

Melchoir looked up from his papers to see Sanario approaching his bedside. The priest had a giant welt on the left side of his face.

"Having a little trouble with the missus?"

"Oh, har, har," Sanario replied. The priest sat down.

"Do you remember, Melchoir, why I was originally assigned to you?"

"Umm, was there a specific reason?"

"Yeah. You remember Popsides Teller?"

"Right, I remember Pops."

"When he took the bolter hit, they probably could have put him back in, but they decided not to. They were concerned with his performance; thought he was a coward. Took his detachment away and gave it to you. They put me in to make sure you wouldn't be a coward like Teller."

"Huh." The officer stared off into the distance for a moment. "Well?"

"I don't know, Melchoir, I just don't get you. I mean, you're not a coward, but for some reason, I get this feeling that the scale of bravery and cowardice doesn't exist in your world."

The officer smiled. "I've noticed," he replied, "That the Foleran Army tries to simplify things to the maximum. It all falls down to easy to understand words that blanket everything. All a complicated man can do, is to try and find the right simplification, and he can go far."

"Oh yeah? and how do you cut it?"

"On a line of failure and results."

Silence fell over the medicae room as Sanario began to ponder Melchoir's words.

"You know," Melchoir said, scratching a few last things on a piece of paper before closing an old book on his lap, "With all this time I get to spend in medicae, I've been brushing up on my ancient Foleran."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah." The officer cleared his throat as he quickly read over his complicated notes sprawled on the bed. "There is not a sea the... passenger more... pukes... in, that... uhhh... turns over more stormy... breakers than the Euxine."

The officer put down the paper with a smile.

"Heh, you're quite the romantic, Melchoir. What's the Euxine?"

The officer shrugged.