22 February 2016

The Cleansing of Priestus Hive

A few months back, we played some Necromunda and had some spare time in the evening. We decided to throw a bunch of Genestealers into the hive (the results can be found here).

We had a great time and decided we should follow up the game with another scenario where Space Marine Terminators are sent in to flush out the hive. Unfortunately, not everyone could make our last games day so instead we send in some poor Imperial Guard and a handful of Marines to deal with the Genestealer Cult that had caused the infestation.

They met heavy resistance from cultists and purestrain genestealers

However, a single Guardsman and a Marine Captain were able to make it to a beleaguered Adeptus Arbites fort in the centre of the hive.

In our most recent game, the Terminators finally arrived to fend off the Genestealers and escort the Arbites, that surviving soldier and a Colonel out of the city. A secondary objective was to investigate a cryo-pod which had been left in the hive when the infestation escalated.

The Arbites, Colonel, soldier and Ultramarines Captain.

A squad of Ultramarines Terminators teleport in, locking onto their Captain's homer. They start taking out the purestrains attacking the fort.

They are quickly overwhelmed as aliens ascend to higher platforms. 

With his back up depleted, the Captain orders the Colonel and other humans to jump to a nearby platform rather than leaving the fort at ground level. Two Arbites slip and fall their deaths.

Fortunately, Termniators from two more Chapters (the Blood Angels and Dark Angels) arrive.

The Blood Angels appear right by a comms bunker allowing future squads to teleport in wherever they want.

This allows the Hawk Lords to lock on to the bridge next to the fort which was lost to the aliens. They succeed in taking back the bridge. 

Even so, stealers have hopped onto the fort from another walkway and leap again to catch up with the fleeing Colonel. He fights them off with help from the Hawk Lords and Judges.

At ground level, Angels Dark and Bloody team up to to clear the way for the POI to descend. Leaving at the higher level was probably a good idea as genestealers are still active around the fort... 

...including a brood lord.

While the Angels are busy dying on the ground, the Space Wolves make a surprise appearance. They find a Squat engineer in the cryo-pod and (slowly) help him to the exit. 

Elsewhere, purestrains mass up near the exit. One of the last Dark Angels unleashes a salvo from his cyclone and takes many of them out. This thins down the escape route at the base level.

Meanwhile, stealers have over run the fort and look to follow on the heals of the Colonel. The Hawk Lords, who have supplied much needed covering fire from above, bar their way.

The Colonel has now made it to the ground and his cyclone ally (the last of the Angels) fight through the much thinned ranks of stealers and cultists. Unfortunately, at this point, the Space Wolves and Squat are eliminated after a valiant fight. The Hawk Lords above are now gone.

But the fighting prowess of the Colonel and Ultramarines Captain ensures that the Colonel makes it to safety. The hive is still overrun and Exterminatus is ordered a while later to destroy all life on the hive world.

We used 40k 2nd Edition rules to play this out. The quirks of that edition's close combat rules meant that the Colonel was able to hold his own even against genestealers. We joked at one point that he could probably have walked out on his own without having 25 Terminators killed.

Even so, it's a good set of rules where different races seem distinct without special rules for each and overwatch mitigates the old-fashioned Igo Ugo turn sequence.

Oh...and there was a fleeting bromance between a Dark Angel and a Blood Angel.

19 August 2015

Protect the Patriarch

Last week we used the excellent Clash on the Fringe rules to set up a fight between some tyranids and a genestealer clan. I had just finished painting up my clan figures so I couldn't resist and James was happy to oblige.

We rolled up the objective "Monster" on the random scenario table and decided that the bloated Genestealer Patriarch was already starting to send a psychic beacon to attract his parent Hive Fleet to come and assimilate the world he had conquered. The invading nids, however, were from a different hive - the patriarch didn't want their fleet to come in place of his own. So, my mission was to capture one of the Tyranid Warriors to send a "false alarm" message so their fleet would pass us by. The invading tyranids had to capture the patriarch and alter his beacon to alert his fleet that the world was ripe for the taking.

The Magus boards his limo, ready to lead from (almost) the front.

My lascannon guards one of the long streets.

My full deployment.

The Tyranids deploy mostly to the centre and their right flank.

The Tyranid swarm surges forward, scuttling over buildings.

I spot a lone Tyranid Warrior on their left flank...

...so I focus the assault on my right. My hybrids move diagonally left (by the small dishes) to lend support. I also move a truckload of Brood Brothers up. It's risky as fierce gaunts are nearby but allows them to get support where it may be needed.

The truck also spotted for my mortar which won a lucky hit on the gargoyles in the distance (along with some gaunts bunched up with them)! 

The surviving gargoyles leapt from building to building posing a serious threat.

Below them, out of shot to the right, another warrior with gaunt support were harassing the brood brothers by the three tanks.

The brothers were ultimately killed leaving the gaunts free to look for the Patriarch. They were no longer much of a threat, though.

The remaining brood brothers disembark in the middle of the table to prevent anyone hindering the final advance on the lone warrior.

That said, the warrior is no pushover and takes out all but one of the advancing genestealers.

As the brothers from the truck move in, their small arms prove useless against the warrior. The last genestealer tries to take it down in close combat but is pushed back. The Magus arrives in his limo to watch the battle.

It is ended as a hybrid armed with a plasma gun downs the beast. The clan is safe for now.

Thanks to James for a fantastic game. I think we possibly had too many figures on the table and, if I'm honest, I probably had a slightly more powerful force. It was also James's first time with the rules and we are both going to revise the build of our forces now we've had a chance to use them with CotF.

16 August 2015

The Yellow Rose of Messier 67

Last week we used Gruntz for the first time in ages. There were four of us playing an ambitious set of linked games with a central theme. The setting was our own background using our Messier 67 forces.

Each player fought in two games with the winner of each earning a token (marked either R, O, S or E for reasons that will become clear). What follows is not so much an AAR, since I was only properly following my own games, but will follow the linked scenarios and report how it played out.

The Yellow Rose of M67

The overarching plot is the quest for a rare plant. It was described in the notes of a famous deceased botanist who had visited the planet Hillier. It is thought that she planted the flower in an area of the planet (or its moon) with specific environmental conditions. Each location is the setting for a game but only one of the settings contained the real "Yellow Rose".


Aslan (Dave): Although they have not been seen on the world since the arrival of the human ark ships, the Aslan claim it is theirs. The plant matches the description of a known specimen from their own history. If they can find the plant and validate it is the same, it will justify their claim.

Anarcho Communist Commonality (Me): Under its environmental protection laws, the rare plant must be retrieved, protected and cultivated.

New Commonwealth (Anthony): The flower looks stunning and will make a fortune!

2nd Confederacy (Ross): The botanist once visited a 2nd Confederacy fringe world whose population was primarily of Texan descent. As well as hinting at the plant having healing properties, she allegedly joked that it looks like a yellow rose.

Slot 1, Game 1 - Aslan v 2nd Confederacy

A dense jungle has formed at ground zero of a terraforming pod. Indigenous locals have advised that they have seen a yellow plant along the banks of a river. Due to translation problems, the exact spot has not been described properly but three locations fit the description.

The tribe refused to act as guides in this area of the jungle. When asked why, the answer was difficult to understand. However, in needing to ask about the flower, the offworlders had learned the local words for different colours. The natives were scared of “something pink” in the trees.

Three markers are placed along the river which runs from corner to corner; one in the centre and the others 12” either side.

Forces start within 12” of the other corners and must examine the markers. An action is spent to check for the plant. Only one marker is actually the plant which must then be removed via one of the table edges adjacent to your starting corner.

When passing through area terrain, a skill check is needed to avoid disturbing a pack of Terrorformed. Activation is by card...draw a card for each unit on the table then assign each to any unit. Activate in descending order. When Terrorformed units are in play, they get a card too.

Both forces advance on the river

Dave's Aslan sent drones ahead to disturb the creatures near the 2nd Confederacy. This strategy pinned them down for most of the game. You can see the Aslan crossing the river to two of the possible locations (yellow flowers).

The Aslan found the flower (Token R) at the first location but that didn't stop them pretending they were still looking leaving Ross to stay on mission and leaving his Texans knee deep in pink horror.

Slot 1, Game 2 - Anarcho Communist Commonality v New Commonwealth

A small colony on the barren moon of Charlie fled when they heard about the Aslan fleet. At the centre of their colony is a biosphere. The plant might be located here.

Retrieve the plant from the dome and take it off your table edge. When infantry are hit and the damage check exactly equals their armour, they must take a skill check (12) as the toxic atmosphere tears at their body and they try to patch their suit.

The target flower was in the dome on the left.

Ant's Commonwealth sped up and started harassing my powered armour. To the left, my Boudicca APC is finding somewhere to drop two fireteams under the cover of the hab units.

That went badly wrong. After the first team deployed, a push move (move, move, shoot) saw one of Ant's units round the corner and kill my men with a well placed rocket! The second team disembarked and I returned the favour.

The APC had an exchange with a couple of Ant's vehicles amid the huts but was ultimately removed. At this point, we only had a few stragglers on each side. Our commanders, pictured here, had a rumble with Ant's leader heading off to the dome. Luckily, the remainder of my powered armour took him out.

The remainder of the commonwealth infantry used the other dome to get safely past my tank. They knew they had no hope of escape, though, so surrendered humiliatingly amongst the cabbages.

My last trooper entered the dome and collected the yellow flower (Token O).

Slot 2, Game 1 - New Commonwealth v Aslan

The botanist left some plant samples with an old farmer for safekeeping. The farmer has since died and the ownership of the holding has changed. The new owners know nothing of the agreement and likely ploughed the field where the plant was growing.

Some of his animals are behaving strangely...one in particular.

Both human forces must attempt to kill (or use a tranquilliser round) the cow and spend a turn at its body removing the contents of its stomachs. The sample must be removed from the table.

The cow starts near the centre of the table and moves 6” in a random direction each turn. Its herd of 5 other cows surround it (radius 3ish”) and will attack anyone that come within charge range.

Daisy and her bodyguard at the centre of the table.

The Aslan and New Commonwealth forces are both fast so there was a rush to the centre to fight over the cow. At this point, Daisy is still alive but some of her herd are dead.

Ant's forces include missile defence and devices that hinder targeters in close proximity which gave Dave some problems. Daisy's stomachs (Token S) changed hands a couple of times but, in the end, the New Commonwealth won. Not before one of the cows killed a grenadier, though!

Slot 2, Game 2 - Anarcho Communist Commonality v 2nd Confederacy

The botanist’s original lab was located somewhere in Dimmock City. The city was destroyed by a WMD and is now deserted. Although the rough area of the lab is known, its exact location is not. The plant is still in the remains of the lab.

At the end of six turns, the location of the lab is randomly determined as being in one of several buildings. Whoever has the nearest unit is the winner.

Deployment: Players assign a number to each unit and list which of the 16 imaginary grid squares each unit is in. Where a player is the sole occupant of a square, that square is locked and belongs to them. Where two players are in a square, they roll a d6 for each unit and keep the highest. The player with the highest dice locks and owns the square. The loser must retreat to one of the surrounding squares that is not yet locked.

Dimmock City ruins.

This Confederacy gunship buzzed round the table for most of the game. Luckily for me, Ross rolled poorly for it throughout and it did nothing! Unluckily for me, The "cube" building below it had two of my fireteams inside. They were caught in crossfire between Ross's men in the two adjacent buildings and a third, closer to the camera (out of shot).

My actions at this brick building were also a disaster. I should have stayed in there and held it but I got greedy and tried to string men out to the crashed dropship to control more ground. To the right was another building housing Ross's bots. I was hoping to spot them and rocket them from my tank. Yet another crossfire with the bots and a unit in the central building wiping the team out.

I had better luck with Commander. He fired in through the windows of a small building (just in front of the green truck), killed the unit inside and held his ground. Although Ross held 6 buildings against my 3 (effectively half the table was uncontested for him!), the lab turned out to be the building my commander was in (Token E).


Aslan Dave: Token R
Anarcho Commie Me: Tokens O and E
British Ant: Token S

With that, we went out to the missus' flower bed were I'd sealed the identity of the real Yellow Rose in a box. But it was dark by then so, Ironically given the ACC environmental laws, I probably crushed a load of flowers!

And the winner was my Arnarcho Communists. The Rose was token O and had been in the Bio Dome on the rocky moon. Yay!


Loads more happened than I can remember or write (or you could stand to read). It was an ambitious day but we all agreed it worked well and was fun (or the others are just humouring me!). Four different types of game with a central theme. Gruntz allowed us to put some diverse forces of our own devising on the table.

The missus is back from France tomorrow. I think the garden is still alive thanks to another British summer.

Other pics as requested by MrHarold:

Reverse angle on the domes
Slightly wider shot of the city. Here you can see the building housing Ross's bots (bottom left) and all three buildings surrounding my units and pinning them in the "cube" building.
Better shots of the jungle terrain can be seen here where we played the original version of this scenario in January.