Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apocalyptic 25th Anniversary

This past Saturday, February 25th, a bunch of us got together to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of 40k with a crazy fun Apocalypse game. And, I don't think "crazy fun" is even accurate enough, it was, like seriously, "insanely fun". A big thanks to the Suzanne and Chris for letting us do battle in their basement!

Before the game, I showed up with a camera and pad of paper, completely intent on trying to capture the magic in a play-by-play battle report. This worked out pretty good for the first turn, then was quickly abandoned in lieu of insane laughter, dice rolling, beer drinking, and whining about assets. So, I apologize that this epic story isn't relayed with complete accuracy. But hell, it is Apocalypse, how can anyone keep track of the sheer amount of explosions and slaughtered troops.

There were 8 of us, divided into two teams of 4 players:

Greg Ritchie, Chad Rutherford, Christian Augst, and Jeremy Lennon-Gibson made up the 10,000 point Imperial side. Bringing about 2500 points each, the team was highlighted by 3 Baneblades, an Emperor's Fist formation (10 Leman Russ tanks!!!), 10 Thunderhammer Terminators in a Ceastus Assault Ram, a Masters of the Chapter formation in a Land Raider Redeemer, Vulcan, and supported by some Space Marines, and countless Guardsmen with Chimeras, Basilisks, and more Leman Russ. Needless to say, there was so much Guard that they were forced to put most of the infantry in reserve because they couldn't fit the whole army in their deployment zone.

Chris Brown, Fabio "I work out" Fiorentino, Dustin Fricker, and myself made up the mish mash of "antagonist" forces. Bringining about 2500 points each, the team included a very balanced 2500 point Necron army with a little of everthing, a balanced 2500 point Tyranid army with a little of everything, 7 Deamon Princes, 11 Obliterators, 3 Vindicators, some assorted Chaos infantry, and a Thunderhawk Gunship. We didn't have any formations at all.

Each side was able to to pick 4 assets. We chose "Deamon Shelll (from Reload)", "Vital Objective", "Scheduled Bombardment", and "Flank March". The Deamon Shell was used prematurely and only killed a small handful of Guardsmen (yay, great use of a large Str D template....), Flank March was supposed to be great for the Nids, but was totally fucked by the "Disruptor Beacon" taken by the Imperials. And of course, Chad was using a die that had a "4" on all six sides, because every time Chris tried to sneak some bugs in the back door, Chad would roll his Beacon and move the bugs to a far, useless corner of the board. I would say Chris lost the usefulness of at least 3/4 his army, and hence, Flank March was a uselss pick as well. The Scheduled Bombardment was picked for some great locations, but was forgotten about at least once. The Vital Objective was really the only good pick, but we will get to that in a bit...

As mentioned, the Imperials took "Disruptor Beacon". As well, they took the "Null Field Generator", and my Thunderhawk's personal favorite: "Long Range Ack Ack". I forget the fourth one they picked... However, due to the amount of formations they took, they were granted a handfull of additional assets (mostly from the Masters of the Chapter). These extra assets proved to be huge in the game. "Surgical Raids" and "Ambush" both put massive dents in our army and made a big mess of Chris's bugs. Remember when I said that the Disruptor Beacon messed up the Tyranid reserves? Well, the ones that made it through were ripped up by sniper fire from the Ambush asset. Another one that made a mess was "Precision Strike" which was aimed at a Trygon. That Trygon lasted about 5 seconds... It was a very bad day to be a Tyranid.

The table was an 8' x 6' surface made up of 2 Realm of Battle boards (thanks Christian). It was probably one of the nicest tables I have ever played on.

The "antagonists" got first turn and pick of deployment. We of course took the large area to force the Imperials into a corner. Deployment basically looked like this:

Ya, "Imperails"... Shut up, you know what I mean.

We took the opportunity to set up a long line of Monstrous Creatures and keep the Imperials pushed back from turn 1. Every 8 inches or so, there was either a Daemon Prince, a Trygon, or a Swarmlord. It was pretty awesome, and it must have been a pretty intimidating sight from the other side of the board. But when the Imperials set up, the sheer amount of armour blew my mind. Every square inch of their deplyment zone was filled with a tank, and each tank had a huge gun aimed at our line of Monsters...

As mentioned before, my attempt to do a formal battle report failed. But in essence, this is what happened...

Before the game started, we lost a bunch of wounds from Surgical Raids. Awesome... We made a push, but they set up very carefully as to stay out of a first turn assault from our flying Deamon Princes. On the Imperial first turn, the tanks opened fire. Holy shit, I have never seen so many scatter dice rolled in my life. Needless to say, the line of Monstrous Creatures started to fall, one at a time. Behind the Monstrous Creatures, a rather intimidating force of Necrons lurched forward. But the Imperials were smart not to disregard them, and large templates slowly started to take chunks out of them. But Dustin was having some pretty good luck with Reanimation Protocols, and a lot of them were able to get back up.

By turn two, we had made contact. But, our assault force had been significantly picked apart by that Imperial shooting phase and the stupid Imperial assets. The Thunderhawk was supposed to make it's appearance, but was forced back into reserve by Long Range Ack Ack. And as mentioned earlier, the Tryranid reserve wave was bum raped by Disruption. In conclusion, our second turn push back was severly interrupted by the Tyranid's disruption crisis. The Imperials brought in their first wave of reserves and loaded up the right flank with Chimeras and some troops. This area also had 3 objectives within close proximity (strategically placed away from the Baneblades), so it became evident to the Imperials that this area need to be reinforced. And reinforced is sure was... A mix of Leman Russ and Basilisk fire took more and more chunks out of our game plan to push that flank.

Turn three, the Thunderhawk entered play, but the long anticipated Tyranid wave was brutally mangled by more Disruption and an Ambush asset. The Imeperials were able to hold their fort and prevent the Tyranid assault. That was huge for them. It meant they only had to deal with the advancing battle line. And the advancing battle line started to show some progress. The Thunderhawk did what is does best and blew up a few Leman Russ tanks and got rid of the Null Field Generator. Ah ha, now we can start using our Wind of Chaos. The Swarmlord and a unit of Lychgaurd with an Overlord also managed to break the line and start causing havoc. A Necon Destroyer Lord also ripped apart a Baneblad with his Warscythe. Oh man, best thing I have ever seen. Auto hits beccause the Baneblade was stunned, rolled 3 pens, then rolled a 5, 5, and 6. Stucture point, structure point, BOOOM! Abosolutely amazing... Things were starting to look up, but then the Imperials brought in the rest of their army. Bascially, Jeremy just lined up the entire table edge with fucking army men. It was disgusting... Lots more shots, and the antagonist forces were again heavily outnumbered.

Turn four. The Necrons make one final push on the left flank where there was now a big hole where there used to be a Baneblade. A sneaky Space Marine Rhino is all of the sudden close to capturing an objective, supported by the fire of the two remaining Baneblades. The Necrons are really all that remains on the left flank, with a few Chaos Havocs carrying Autocannons. But how good are Autocannons at dealing with Baneblades? Do the math... The right flank is looking alright, but there are just soooo many damn Guardsmen now. We opened up a few Chimeras, and A Necron Overlord with Mindshackle Scarabs made Vulcan cry and run off the table. Fabio's Obliterators must have been drunk because they couldn't open a can of beans if they wanted to. The sheer number of Guardsmen answers back. And to make things worse, the right flank's Guardsmen force is being led by Yarrick, who just really doesn't like to die in close combat.

Turn five. We decided to end the game after this game turn. If you look at the time stamps on the pictures, you will see that it was a long day. So, we make one last effort to hold the right flank where 3 objectives are just critical for victory. However, we just don't have the numbers to hold the area. On the left flank, we make one last attempt to hold off the Space Marines. We were able to deal with the Tactical Squad with a nicely landed Vindicator shell, but the Caestus Assault Ram was able to swoop in for the objective. The Assault Ram was immobolized earlier in the game, but some asshole brought a Techmarine...

The Imperials were able to pull a few tanks into tactical positions at the end of turn five. This allowed them to scoop up 5 out of 6 objectives on the board. A few of those objectives were also held by us, but they had stronger units and were able to claim them on Victory Points. The 6th objective was held at the back of our deployment zone by us. It was our Vital Objective (the only asset that was any good for us). And surrounding that objective was about 1500 points of Tryanids that had been place there by the Disruptor Beacon. Oh my lord, I hate Disruptor Beacons.

Final Score, 5 to 2 for the Imperials. What an awesome game. I absolutely love Apocalypse.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Darkstar interview

After the Darkstar tournament was all packed up and wrapped up, we had the opportunity to interview the organizers.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Darkstar GT

We came, we saw we (Chris) conquered.
The Darkstar tournament was a blast! Here's a few pictures to tide you over until I get the rest of them up. We also recorded an interview with the organizers of the tourney which I will post shortly. Congrats to Chris for winning best opponent!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dark Star Feature: Chris Brown

The boys are heading out this Friday, so we had to sneak in one more Dark Star Feature. Chris Brown will be heading back to his homeland to take his Grey Knights into battle. Being the oldest in the car full of nerds, he will be tasked with making sure the other boys behave themselves (hahaha, ya right!). Take it away Chris:

My name is Christopher Brown and I started playing 40K (the only GW system I really play) in October 2007, after other members of my family started playing before me. I started by playing Tyranids (still have a fondness for them) as I loved the idea of bugs as my army; oh and I wouldn't have to paint faces. I have a spreadsheet of my games and I have logged over 333 games so far. No, I won't put my wins/losses here as I play several armies and that would be too nerdy to divulge. Suffice it to say I am nerdy enough to keep track. My second army was Dark Eldar when I was given a 2000+ point army by my wife's ex-husband. Nice, I know. I loved the army, the rules were ok (needing updating), and only some of the models were cool. Still have fun playing them and the newest codex is pretty awesome. I then moved on and bought a Chaos Space Marines army (which I recently gave to my lovely wife as she plays them still). Their newest codex was a disappointment, but I never played them on the old one. I also play Eldar, fun army to play, but very technical and unforgiving. I still enjoy them, but haven`t really expanded that army. Then as I was contemplating a Space Marines army, (like Salamanders or Kayvaan Shrike or Space Wolves), along came this new Grey Knights codex with awesome models and really awesome rules. I am just beginning a Necrons army. Don`t ask me why.

My Dark Star list comprises the following:

Lord Kaldor Draigo - because he kicks almost everyone`s ass
Librarian - support choice and I had the points
5 Paladins - troops choice with halberds, swords, a hammer, and a psycannon
6 Paladins - more of the same
10 Purifiers - please come closer horde armies, I have something for you
Dreadnight - with Personal Teleporter and Heavy Incinerator, enough said
Landraider Crusader - to keep the infantry units up close and personal

and at 1850 points that`s it, 25 models yeah!! win or lose I will have a great time - thanks




Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dark Star Feature: Greg Ritchie

Hey there folks. I’m Greg Ritchie, Co-Founder of the 40kegger. I’ve been collecting 40k on and off since the mid 90’s. Back then, one of my high school buddies got a box set of 2nd or 3rd edition of 40k. I’m not too sure which one. My buddy had a bunch of Tactical Space Marines and Eldar Guardians. Each army was listed in ONE codex. We had so much fun “playing” with those 30 or 40 minis. I think each one of those space marines has been proxied for every other model available at the time. After a while I decided to collect Chaos. Right around the same time, my other buddy lost interest and stopped playing. I would buy random chaos models, paint them and then never do anything with them and then sell them. Wait a few years and repeat. In 2005 I started to really get into the 40k novels. In 2006 I told myself “Damnit, collect an army, actually learn how to play and convince others to learn and play as well!” So I started collecting Tau. I loved the Tau models, especially the Fire Warriors. They just looked so cool (minus their hoofed feet). I collected and played Tau for a few years. In 2010 I finally started getting fed up with how bad the Tau were at close combat, especially the Crisis suits. There is nothing worse than having a large squad of suits take a single wound in an assault phase, and since their leadership isn’t great and their initiative sucks, you loose the entire squad like that! This was really beginning to piss me off! “I WANT TO START SPACE MARINES SO I NEVER HAVE TO GET SWEEPING ADVANCED AGAIN!”

At the beginning of 2010, JP and I flipped a coin to see who would get the first set of days off that summer. As it turns out I didn’t get to work a single day off that entire summer, and JP had the opportunity to work many of them (Including 3 days during Folk Fest). As JP is such a great guy and had been able to work a ton of his days off (Double time) and I hadn’t, he went out and bought me my first box of Space Marines. Thus the Greg Ritchie brand of Salamander Space Marines was born.

If there were ever a “Good guys” of the Imperium, more specifically the Space Marines, it is the Salamanders. They actually care about protecting the citizens at all costs and do not just see them as collateral damage. This is why I like them. Also cuz they’re green and burning shit with flamers and meltas is pretty cool too!


Vulkan (hangs out with lightning claw sgt Termies)
Assault Terminators (Sgt /w claws)
Land Raider Redeemer (as dedicated transport for Assault Termies)
Librarian (Termie armour, Storm Shield, Null Zone, Machine Curse. Hangs out with 2nd assault terminator squad)
Assault Terminators (all hammers and shields)
Land Raider Redeemer (Heavy support, but used by 2nd terminator squad and librarian)
Tac squad 1 (Melta, Multi Melta, power fist, drop pod)
Tac squad 2 (Flamer, multi melta, power sword, rhino)
Dreadnought (2 x twin linked autocannons)

Like Charles, I like to build my army based on the back story. I didn’t start Salamanders just because I like the colour green, and I think it’s total cheese to use Vulkan in another chapter just to abuse his Chapter Tactics. I tend to want to punch people in the throat who have Imperial Fists or Ultra Marines with Vulkan and land speeders.

Maybe that is why I lose all the time?

I had a very hard time coming up with a competitive list from all the models I have. I currently own about 5000 points of Salamanders, but I had difficulty making a good 1850 point list! The main problem is that Darkstar doesn’t allow Imperial Armour models and rules. I have all sorts of awesome Forge World stuff that I would have loved to bring and show off. I’d still probably lose, but at least I would have a great time using a fluffy army. Anyways, I decided to really utilize Vulkans Chapter Tactics and some winning Salamanders tools, I went out and bought a second squad of assault terminators and a second Land Raider Redeemer.

10 terminators riding around the board in Redeemers each with master crafted hammers is enough to scare the shit out of anybody. Having Vulkan and a Librarian doesn’t hurt either. The 2 tactical squads are solely for objective gathering and to fill the required 2 troops choices. The dreadnought is there just cuz I have a huge crush on dreadnoughts (especially my lovely Ironclads… WRAITHBONER!) I would have taken more if I could!

I don’t care if I win or lose every game at Darkstar (winning would be cool though). I am there to show up with an awesomely painted, fluffy army, spread the word of the 40kegger and remind people that the purpose of Warhammer 40, 000 is about the hobby, the history and having fun. It was never created to see who can make the doucheyest list to win every tournament. Shame on you for bringing unpainted models to a tournament! Go play Starcraft II if you’re not interested in anything other than winning.

<End rant>


Greg Ritchie