Kill Team Tournament @ Star Stores, Scunthorpe.

A couple of Saturdays ago around lunch time a small group of us met up in the back room of Star Stores for the inaugural Kill Team Tournament… 4 of us were regular players against each other, myself (Plague Marines), Nicola (Death Watch), Adam (Necrons) and Andy (Tau); joining us was Dave (Plague Marines too).

tournament 2

My Kill Team for the tournament.

Given the odd numbers one of us got a pass through the first round- luckily that was me, so I settled down to watch the first round. My gf Nicola took on Adam, the winner then taking on me.. The Death Watch put up a good fight but the close combat specialists of the Necrons proved too tough.

tournament 1

Nicola’s Death Watch versus Adam’s Necrons.

The second watch up was Dave versus Andy, this time the Tau suffered badly against the toughness of the Plague Marines giving Dave the win. That meant Dave went on to fight in the final and Andy would play the loser of mine and Adam’s game.

tournament 3

The Kill Zone for my first game.

When it came to my game against Adam we had to fight for control of 4 objectives. Here my lack of numbers proved to be my undoing, I had the smallest team in the tournament… I couldn’t taken enough ground and put fire down where it was needed so whilst I was trading shots with the ranged Necron models their close combat specialists whittled me down.

tournament 4

Adam’s Necrons move up.

tournament 5

My plague Marines locked in combat and doing badly out of it.

This meant I was to face Andy in the battle for Bronze. We played on the dungeon board and had to break through to the opposing board edge. A slow and steady advance played into my hands; this added to some very lucky dice rolls meant I shot away the Tau pretty easily. Deciding to concentrate on the better models first helped too. A fun game that gave me the Bronze.

Meanwhile Dave battled Adam for the win, a brutal game saw Adam scrape a win; this was thoroughly well deserved as he had won three games in a row.

tournament 6

Adam’s Necrons (Gold).

tournament 7

Nicola’s Death Watch (5th)

tournament 8

Dave’s Plague Marines (Silver).

tournament 9

Andy’s Tau (4th)

tournament 10

My team and my bronze medal.

A very big thanks too for Adam for being the driving force behind the organisation of the tournament and providing all the Kill Zones we fought over.

The medals were really nice- hefty bits of metal… looking forward to the next competition already.

Cheers,

Pete.

Kill Team

Several years ago I played through the PC game ‘Dawn of War 2’ (2009, Relic Entertainment) and said to my friend at the time that ‘if Warhammer 40,000 was this much fun I’d still be playing it’ as it featured the low level infantry battles rather than the bloated, win at all costs, 100s of troops crammed onto a tiny table mess it became as it moved further away from its ‘Rogue Trader’ days…

Kill team 1

kill team 2

… Roll on a few years and I get back into Necromunda on something of a nostaligia trip and to fulfil my love of skirmish games. GW then go and release ‘Kill Team’ allowing skirmish games to be played in the wider 40,000 universe, Brian bought the starter set and we played a few games. Whilst it share some similarities with Necromunda it is a different game but has delivered on a version of 40k that I want to play.

kill team 3

As a result I’ve assembled a few kill teams and got some scenery together. Given a team is 6-15 models it appeals to the fickle collector in me (I currently have 4 different teams in various stages of construction…)

kill team 4

Games are nice and short and have a small footprint allowing them to be easily fitted in an evening, even allowing a couple to be played in an evening. With this in mind I’ve plans for a narrative campaign brewing. The online tool Battle Scribe makes creating and managing your Kill Teams a breeze too.

kill team 5

Better still everyone seems to have been getting involved too- either digging out old models or buying new ones. My girl friend has been collecting some teams too, it has been really nice helping her with her painting. The local to her games shop ran a tournament that we both entered a bit back too.

kill team 6

Next: my tournament kill team.

Cheers,

Pete.

My First Matrix game. The Peninsular War 1808-1809.

Although I’ve read about them since the 1990s, and have reviewed books on them here I hadn’t managed to actually play one until quite recently.

Fortunately Tim invited me down to Sheffield to play in a game he was running, naturally I jumped at the chance. Although the period in question, Napoleonics, isn’t one I’m quite clue up on I thought I should be able to manage OK- besides my friend Jerry said he’d support me and team up.

For the uninitiated a matrix game is a game where by the players make arguments on the likely hood of how successful what they want to do will be (the original iteration of the game had a matrix of prompts to choose from hence the name). An umpire then decides the odds and you roll to see if it it is successful or not. The system, invented by Chris Engle, has been much developed over the years and is a go to tool for professional gamers. The scenario Tim had decided to run was an old one dating back to 1992, as such the system relied on the player stating and action with an intended outcome and three supporting reasons why it should happen, players were given prompt cards to help them think up supporting argument, we had to use one a turn ideally.

20190731_202020

I was given the role of Gen. Moore, who started in England and basically had to stop Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) doing well. With a full set of players, 2 British, 2 Spanish, 3 French, and month long turns we covered a big chunk of game time.

20190731_210929

 

As I was familiar with the basic concepts I flatter myself that I picked it up fairly quickly. Most of my arguments consisted of trying to stymie Wellesley rather than doing much fighting of my own and carefully trying to manoeuvre my forces to walk in at the last moment to take Madrid. This would have worked apart from an abysmal dice throw which resulted in me getting lost on the way….

20190731_190156

All in all I really enjoyed the game- I can see the potential of the concept but also I can see how some people that I had spoken to previously didn’t like it. The game relies entirely on the skill, knowledge and judgement of the umpire; in this regard it is more akin to a tabletop RPG rather than a standard wargame. This means someone like me who only really has a rudimentary knowledge of the Peninsular War can take part in a way that I’d find difficult in a more conventional wargame. There are other versions of the game and more info can be found herehere and here.

Tim has done his own write up of the game here and Martin, another of the players has done his here.

I left the game thinking up my own scenarios and I hope to be able to have another crack at a Matrix game soon.

Cheers,

Pete.

More beating around the Bush (Horizons)

A bit ago Bill and I went to see his friend Nick to playtest the latest army lists developed for Nick’s ruleset ‘Bush Horizons’. See the earlier game here.

There was a new amphibious assault army list as well as an air assault list; Bill went for the naval options whilst I was left with the helicopters. We both generated our forces and then got Nick’s wonderful toys organised.

We didn’t bother with any of the campaign systems as we wanted to just test the combat.

20190731_141124

The helicopters allowed me the sieze the airfield objective in a coup de main assault very early. After that I just used my helicopters and aircraft to try and whilttle down Bill’s units as he approached… to be fair there wasn’t that much he could do be slowly approach and weather the storm, opposed beach landings are never good for the attacking troops.

20190731_141140

20190731_141134

20190731_144529

A bit more cover on the table would have helped but Bill was unlucky not to down anything with his AA as I pushed my attacks quite aggresively.

20190731_144652

20190731_142721

As usual it wasa pleasure to use Nick’s models and i look forward to getting another chance to play.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Necromunda Campaign 2: Game 3

20190527_170353

 

After the last, rather disastrous, game I needed to rebuild my gang and get it back up to strength. In the campaign game most fighters who ‘die’ in the game tend to miss the next game, each fighter that is taken out during the game has to roll on an injuries table, very few results are beneficial, most result in missing the next game or worse, ability losses…. In the campaign that we are playing in you are allowed to challenge that cycle’s GM once every 2 games either to have a quick game getting out early to rebuild your gang or to push your luck and try to get a win.

20190527_170400

I was going for the former option. I was going to play until the earliest opportunity to quit came up then flee the battlefield, I told J this, so he wasn’t expecting a long game- he had already thought as much and has arranged another game for the evening.

20190527_170426

20190527_172408

For a bit of a change we played on a different set of boards made up of tight corridors; the scenario was a simple one too, I just had to defile a shrine belong to his Cawdor gang.

20190527_180236

I set up as close as I could, I wanted to get a few shots in for dignity’s sake if nothing else but the dice really favoured me. J’s men dropped quite quickly or else ran around on fire due to my flamer whilst my guys stayed on their feet. His leader tried to sneak up on mine to take him out in close combat but some judicious card play and a melta blast put paid to that.

20190527_180313

Although I never came close to the shrine objective it ended up taking me a full 7 turns to lose the game. So much so that J didn’t have time for his other game.

20190527_181458

It was a pretty tense game, I wasn’t having it easy, and didn’t expect to, so tried to give as good as I got. It was a close fought game, helped that I managed to redirect some of J’s reinforcements but most importantly it was great fun.

20190527_184125

Even though I lost (a tactical decision if you will) it set me up nicely for the next campaign game.

Cheers,

Pete.

Necromunda Campaign 2: Games 1 and 2.

The next Necromunda campaign has started at the club, I decided to build on what I learnt from the previous campaign and run a Van Saar gang again. I decided to go with a completely new gang rather than bring anyone over from the last one so it is a case of good- bye Tech Noir, hello Korova… Based upon how the previous games went down I decided to buy more hard hitting short ranged weapons, lasguns are cheap and I could get a lot of gangers with them but I struggled to covert the hits I got with them into damage given the low weapon strength. Also, anything with the blaze trait is worth taking so my gang has both a hand flamer and a standard flamer in it. Having been on the receiving end of flame- based weapons many times myself I wanted to dish it back out this time.

20190422_133434

This time there are 9 of us in the campaign so it will take longer to play out, I expect it will last almost until xmas time. Each cycle I’ll be paired off with another gang to fight out that cycle’s scenario; every other cycle you will be allowed to fight a challenge game, useful to build your gang back up if you need to after a defeat. The difference between this campaign and the last one is that each cycle a different player will take the lead and decide upon the scenario everyone will play, this stops one person just running the whole thing and missing out on the chance to run a gang too.

20190422_133420

Game 1:

Mark was the first up to decide the scenario and given the campaign was kicking off just after Easter he came up with an appropriate game: an egg hunt. The board was set up with three clusters of xenos eggs which we were to collect for the cash as a researcher wants them. Obviously, it wouldn’t be as straight forward as that. Every time a figure approached within 2” of the egg cluster they had a 50/50 chance of getting an egg or of being attacked (1-6 attacks of low strength), this also applied to everyone within the 2” radius too.

20190422_140450

I was drawn against Jonathan for my first match again, he was running House Cawdor this campaign rather than the Goliaths he ran last time. In the rules Cawdor gangers are cheap, very cheap so even his starting gang had 16 gangers against my 10. I fully expected to be on the receiving end of a lot of autogun hits this game.

20190422_142924

Fortunately, my opponent got greedy and thought with his massive gang he would be able to grab a large amount of eggs… this didn’t work out well. Whilst his gangers collected 12 eggs or so far more were felled by their attacks, I think 10 in all. Accordingly, I stood back and shot him up as he ran to the eggs, right at the end of the end of the game I rushed forward a few of my well armoured gangers to grab a few eggs, after seeing the unarmoured Cawdor fall like flies I learnt from this and sent the heavies to grab them.

20190422_161823

With all these losses the Cawdor gang bottled and gave me the win, picking up a nice bone shrine territory. I spent my earnings of a pair of extra gangers and awaited the next game.

 

Game 2:

Now it was the turn of Jonathan to be the arbitrator of the campaign, his scenario was for one gang to be tasked with escorting a group of pilgrims through the hive whilst another gang attacked them.

20190520_180626

I was drawn against Joe and his Ork Venators gang, you may remember was my nemesis in the last campaign, we randomly determined who the attacker would be and who would escort the pilgrims. I drew the short straw and had to escort the party of 5 religious zealots from one edge of the board to the others. The game started badly when Joe played a tactics card and sent my Leader home, missing the fight completely.

20190520_180628

I set up either side of the pilgrims with a pair of lasgun armed gangers above on a walkway to provide some covering fire, Joe then set up very close in ambush positions, which made me little nervous as I knew he be going straight into close combat which isn’t a Van Saar specialty.

20190520_180631

The first turn was little short of a massacre with his gangers outshooting me and slaughtering me in the melee combats. The second turn was worse, and all my best gangers and champions were down, so when I ended the turn with only 3 men of the starting 9 still standing I voluntarily bottled as it was the sensible thing to do.

20190520_185349

Interestingly when the other gamers were played the defender escorting the pilgrims only won once, with the longest game only go 3 turns… The scenario in all honesty needed some fine tuning but at least it was unfair to everyone.

With so few gangers I quickly arranged a challenge game with Jonathan to rebuild my gang….

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Inquisimunda game 1, narrative 40k

J, who had invited me down to the game, was in charge of the scenario for the game. The basic proviso was his Inquisitor character had stared into the abyss too long and had been drawn to chaos, in the last game- involving combat set on a damaged space ship – he had come to grief that resulted in him being rebuilt with a snake body/ tail for his lower half by dark Adeptus Mechanicus who were also tainted by chaos. This group had a gate to the chaos realm that they were trying to open to unleash all sorts of demonic entities into the world. My cultists were local muscle that were brought in to help defend the chaos gate. Against us were Grey Knight Space Marines, two Rogue Trader bands as well as some Dark Eldar who had been betrayed by J’s crew in the previous game. At least that is my understanding of the starting points, I think it was the fifth game for the others in the campaign… oh and parts of the damaged- now blown up – space ship were falling on to the planet’s surface randomly throughout the game.

20190408_190224

The table. The globe in the middle was the chaos gate I was to help defend.

I built a 1500 point force using the yaktribe website, going for the quantity rather than quality approach. In the end I was able to field 13 of the 15 cultist I own, I just left out the webber and one of the autogun armed ones.

20190408_190229

20190408_190535

The scenario dictated a close in defence of the gate- it did leave us a little exposed.

The chaos aligned forces set up around the chaos gate in the centre, whilst the varied opposition entered from the board edges. Pretty quickly I was assailed by the Dark Eldar, tearing through my lightly armed cultist, still I figured I was there to provide the cannon fodder so was happy with that. Joe’s Rogue Trader force entered from my left; using the more freeform roleplay aspects of the game he tried to make radio contact with any faction on the board, he got me, going with the theme I claimed to be local forces/ planetary defence force and needed help against a xenos incursion. This succeeded and meant I didn’t have to fight two forces at once.

20190408_191053

20190408_201832

Chaos Cultist and dark Ad Mech start to fall from being assailed by the various forces.

This reprieve only lasted a turn as contact was made between the two Rogue Trader teams and the really situation explained.

20190408_201837

20190408_201840

The casualties mount, sacrficed to protect the precious thing.

Given the 2 to 1 outnumbering and exposed position we started in my and J’s forces dropped like flies. His attempts to open the chaos gate came to nought when his leader figures dropped. At this point he tried to persuade my forces to sacrifice ourselves whilst he fled. However, as he failed this roll I decided for narrative purposes to take umbrage with this and attempt to open the chaos gate myself.

20190408_211637

The Dark Eldar witch makes it to the centre and dispatches the chaotic leader.

This I did, but rather incompetently, spew dangerous energy everywhere and having one my fighters sucked into it. It seems that my cultist keenness is in inverse proportion to their competence.

20190408_213627

However the follow- up att ack into my heavy stubber amed cultist didn’t go as well. He promptly turned around and killed the witch.

With the main chaos personalities down and the gate open dangerously spewing random effects into the area the other forces beat a retreat. Thus, the game ended with my cultist in possession of the gate. It will make for an interesting jump off point for the next game. It was suggested that I come up with the next game which will be fun.

 

Again, it was another great game down at the clubs. I really enjoyed getting my chaos force on the table; I wouldn’t mind expanding it a bit with some of the new plastics from the Blackstone Fortress boxset that GW have just put out. Playing a narrative, non- competitive 40k where you could go deep into the backstory/ fluff and create your own is something that has been on my to do list for a while now and it didn’t disappoint.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.