Monday, 21 January 2013

The Fate of the Daemon-Prince

Last weekend we played a game of 40k at the club, and I(we?) had a blast. After our 2000 point grand mĂȘlee of a few weeks ago we decided to pick slightly smaller forces, so we could actually finish the game. Erik fielded a small detachment of his guard army, and I took my revamped (thanks to the new codex) Sons of Malice chaos space marine warband. We played 750 point game, with The Relic as the mission (a important piece of equipment lies at the centre of the field, the side that claims it at the end of the battle wins. It can be moved, albeit rather slowly.
The Relic
 Erik fielded an infantry platoon, reinforced with a griffon heavy mortar and hellhound flametank, and some rowdy penal legionairs. I had a winged deamon prince, 3 chaos spawn, two small units of Raptors (jump-troops), a 5 man squad of Chaos Marines and two units of chaos cultists.

The guard patrol returns in full force
The table had an outpost of cargo containers in one corner, with some barricades and barbed wire surrounding it. diagonally across the table were a number of obviously eldar ruins, some of which infested with strange green crystals (random archeotech). I won the roll for table halves and picked the side with the outpost, mainly to deny it to Erik, and give my deamon prince some cover. Obviously the guard had send out a patrol in force, looking for the chaos marines preying on the eldar remains, only to return empty handed and finding their left behind comrades turned traitor.

The Chaos warband emerges from the compound
The First turn saw my forces attempt a heavy assault on the left flank, with the deamon prince, spawn and a unit of raptors advancing quickly. Seeing a large deamon prince land right before them  Erik's guard opened up on it with all available firepower. I thought my prince would be relatively save swooping high in the sky, unfortunately there is a change that a flying creature hit by fire while flying is brought crashing to the ground….The mighty prince of chaos was brought low by a humble imperial guard flashlight lasgun, and subsequently vaporised by close range firing of most guard units. So much for the Might of Chaos and 2 vp’s for the Imperial guard (Kill the warlord and First blood)… The Griffon meanwhile started pounding my cultists who were cautiously advancing towards the objective.

'Comrade, take that relic and let's split...'
The rather early demise of my deamonprince coupled with a few bad dice rolls on the charge saw my advance on the left flank falter. On the right flank however my raptors charged the Hellhound, and the Aspiring champion tore into it with his power maul, wrecking it. Subsequently they bounced over intervening guard infantry squad and assaulted the platoon command. Another round of appalling dice rolling saw my champion stranded in a challenge with the guard lieutenant and my spawn stuck in a never ending battle with Erik's lone armoured sentinel. In the mean time my troops did manage to reach the relic and started carrying it of, all the while being pounded by the Griffon. With both flank attacks grinding to a halt and casualties amongst my relic bearing cultists mounting fast I needed a miracle to turn the tide.

The Eternal Struggle
The next round Erik had his infantry squad come to the aid of the beleaguered lieutenant,and saw his penal guard emerge from the flank.  They took down the last remaining raptors on my left flank and started to advance towards the relic toting cultists, who quickly handed it over to the nearby chaos marines. Combat dice rolling was abysmal, but my Champion managed to defeat the lieutenant, and was granted a roll on the chaos boon table, and was promptly rewarded with deamon hood! The defeated prince (minus the wings) returned to the battlefield, and promptly slaughtered the entire squad, only to reap into the Griffon, flipping it over with a single blow. 

Apotheosis of the Prince
The emergence of the prince completely turned the tables (and than to think just moments before I was muttering that the table is nice, but doesn’t really influence any games.. O how fickle the dice gods are…)
My prince and continue to destroy Erik’s units, the command squad and sentinel dying in rapid succession. In the mean time the squad of penal legionnaires chased down the Relic, destroying the remaining cultists and forcing the last two marines to hide inside the compound. 

The dirty half-a-dozen
A Marine to far
 In the end it came down to a few tense dice rolls. The penal legionnaires managed to shoot down the chaos marine sergeant, but the last remaining marine refused to fall back. Before they could launch a charge the spawn crashed into the penal legionnaires, whom held the legionnaires long enough for the prince to arrive and slaughter the remaining legionnaires to the last man…

The final verdict of the Legionnaires...
That was a very exciting game, which I should have lost i fit wasn’t for the return of the Prince…I’m not sure about the prince; the grounded rule makes it a bit to vulnerable for my liking. The week before I tried a similar list but with a Dark Apostle carrying Skalathrax instead. It was vapourised by the necron army and the dark Apostle killed only a few skeleton robots. There just isn’t enough speed and staying power in my list, maybe I need bikes…..

Aspiring champion Prince of the Match

Monday, 14 January 2013

On Magic, and other random musings...

Back when I started fantasy-gaming the Magic the Gathering CCG became hugely popular. It quickly turned out that other people were able to invest a whole lot more money in the game than I was. And the problem with collectible card games is that if you are able to invest more money, you get significantly better cards and thus greatly increase the odds of you winning. So my small collection of cards was doomed to spend the next decade-and-a-half in an old wooden wine bottle box......
My Magic collection never came close to being this size, my miniatures however...

Until some during the last year some of my friends started to play again, largely because of an internetstore opening a venue in town where they organised weekly and monthly small scale tournaments, most significantly boosterdrafts. The concept of a boosterdraft tournament is that at the start ot the game every player gets a couple of boosters, and through clever system of passing the hands of newly acquired cards along the group they are divided amongst the players. This allows you to select which cards you want, but eliminates the possibility of large, preconstructed decks with loads of expensive cards.

For the last couple of months we have been playing  boosterdraft now and again, and it has been a blast! for less than the price of going to the movies, we have a evening worth's of fun, and get to take an newly gained deck of cards home. It was such good fun that it made me look up my old cards, where I discovered that magic had also suffered from the 'power creep' that seems to be associated with GW codexes and armybooks. Most of the (rather mundane) cards I own are nowhere near as good as the current common cards. The acquisition of new cards has had us playing regular games of magic as well, but this has quickly revealed that still those of us who (again) spend the most money on it get the best decks. And not all of us enjoy the multiplayer games that tend to mitigate the power-imbalance somewhat.

Then I stumbled upon a small amount of Shadowfist cards, hidden in the same wooden winebox, which had been a freebee at the spellen-spektakel game show somewhere in the nineties. I remembered it being fun as well as especially suited for multiple player games. It's theme is stolen form the 80's and 90's action flicks: oriental martial artists and triads, mixed with some good old fashioned Godfather-goons and hightech genetically puritan Germans form the future. To my surprise the game has recently been revived through a kickstarter project, so when the cards are on sale maybe I'll try to convince some of my friends to start it as well. But first I have to get them to play Saga, otherwise I'll have a hard time convincing anyone why I really needed those Anglo-Danes/Saxons....