Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Testing tables and 40k armies!

So with some free time due to the Easter holidays I thought it a good opportunity to test out the new table and mats I received from 4thWar. Three games of 40k (and a lot to bumping and shuffling) later how did they do?

Having had the opportunity to set up the table in the office/studio due to my good lady wife being in Itly for five days I thought it a good test of the tables durability to see how it coped with being set up for a few days running. Here is the set up on Sunday night:
Yes I did spend more time playing with the position of the roads than the terrain despite the fact they have zero impact on the game play, but it really is so much fun!
The tables went up well enough once I got the hang of aligning the velcro strips in the centre of the long edges of the legs (failure to do this properly leaves un even sides). My first observation was that either the tables or my floor were not horizontal (probably the floor to be fair) so the board had amusing, yet oddly natural, slopes in places. The second thing that I noticed was that due to the design of the folding legs the table is strongest in the centre of the long edge and springs on the short, meaning you really can't lean on it. I'm working on a fix but It's not really an issue at the moment.

First game up was my Blood Angels vs Rob's Orks. Sorry no pictures as I was way too excited! I had Alan as my random number generator (or Dice-Bitch) so poor Rob had to cope with the silliness punctuated each of my turns. It was a pitched battle deployment with five normal objectives and I had first turn. Despite some good fortune with a Droppod full of flamer wielding Tactical marines taking out the Mega nob Trukk and immobilising another Rob managed to weather the first few turns well. He used his Lootas and Grots to force me to split my army, and due to my Captain getting  tar pitted by the Lootas for a few too many turns (damn you stupid Mob Rule table of random crap!) plus a continual demising return from my random number generator (who knew all you had to do to kill of Alan's mojo was to fill him full of Pizza?) The last turn saw me having to hope for either a failed charge or a failed leadership test from Rob's Trukk boys who had got across to my objective to try to tie the game. Sadly it was not to be and when the Dust settled Rob a pretty convincing win. One of the benefits of the mat gaming surface is that it gave use a really nice surface to roll the dice on, plus they have a satisfying bounce.

After this we played some Sheriff of Nottingham and Elder Sign, both very fun.

Tuesday brought with it the arrival of Rich's Dark Eldar and he wanted to try out a new list which consists of three units and two characters. Yep, that's right two Haemonculi with web way portals joined to two units of nine Grotesques (27, T5, Feel No Pain wounds in each unit!) and a unit of five Talos. the trick with the army is that the portals mean that the Grotesques do not scatter when they Deep Strike allowing Rich to effectively encircle units with his run moves and then grind the poop out of them (turns out Grotesques have Rampage meaning that they get between 5-7 attacks when out numbered at Str5 Poison 4+) which is rather effective at killing Marines. Always game for a laugh I gave it a go and here are some snaps of the game:
It is hard to know where to deploy when most of your opponent's army is off the board and guaranteed to come on where they want!

The game forced me to play my army completely differently to my normal strategy as I had to combat squad my Tactical squads to spread them across the six objectives to counter the fact that Rich only had three units.

It also meant I put the Death Company in the drop pod at the back of the board to allow me to distract Rich or claim /contest objectives later in the game.

This fight started in Turn 2 and went on for most of the game until there was only one assault marine, the Sanguinary Priest and three Tac Marines left (who ran away to regroup) leaving one Grotesque alive.

Rich had just failed a 6" charge to hit my Vindicator with the second unit of Grotesques and I felt confident the Demolisher canon would finish the squad but the dice gods balanced the scales by sending the shot off in to no-man's land.
As the dust settled I had managed to whether the storm and use of lots of small fast units allowed me to claim a 9-5 victory (no way was I getting first blood off of this army!). A very fun game that didn't seem to have any horrid swings of fortune either way that weren't balanced out in the next turn.

For our second game (sorry forgot the pictures again) Rich tested out splitting his five Talos unit into one unit of three and one unit of two upgraded to have Heat lances to deal with the tanks. We also tried out a scenario from the Coven codex where each objective marker is worth 3 points but you only place the when one of the non Dark Eldar units is destroyed. I'll give you a minute to work that one out. That's right every time one of my units is destroyed it becomes an objective marker for the game.At first I struggled to think of how I should deal with this as if I bunched up I'd get minced but Rich still had the upper hand of his accurate Deep Strikes. So I deployed no models on the board, relying on the Drop pod and Tactical squad inside to come down turn one to avoid me losing the game due to not having any models.

I pushed these far to the left hoping to give Rich as little information as possible as to where to deep strike his units, as it happened he failed both rolls turn two and all bar my Death Company turned up so he still got to deep strike where he wanted! I had brought rest of my army in on the far right trying to force Rich to abandon the two objectives created on the left or to sit on them and waste his units. Another humongous scrum ensued when Rich's two Grotesque units came down around the my army and I had to use my bikes bait to lure one unit away from combat for a turbot slow Rich down (or the bikes would race around the board to claim objectives).

Come turn five and my Assault squad had finally killed the Warlord and Grotesque unit, then ran off the board from the two standard Talos that charged them after they (plus my Captain) completely whiffed after the Talos attacks only kill done Marine, but I had managed to keep three bikes alive and my Death Company (who deep struck in to Rich's deployment zone) had worked their way into a position to hold an objective. Rich held one, I held one and Rich rolled a 2 for the game to end! Curses, I was sure I had it with one or more turns as Rich had scored First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker but had Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord meaning he won by one. So we played on just to see what would have happened and I could have held out to claim another objective and win by two points, such a close game.

It turned out to be a great scenario that had me really thinking about where and when I could afford to sacrifice or lose units, I'd love to play it again with other armies to see how it works out as you can totally see marine units harvesting been seed or Tyranids collecting biomass!

Rich's army on paper looked horrid but it balances well as you have ways to force it into making choices and hopefully winning through the mission, though his units hit like a sledge hammer!

By the end of the two days the table seems to be just as sturdy and didn't need any adjustment or tlc to ensure it was sturdy. I'm not sure how many years service I would get out of it if I were putting up multiple times a week as the most stress it suffers is in the opening and packing away but it seems like a decent solution for those that don't have a dining table to put some boards on or those that want to take a table to a friends. I'm sold on the mats as a surface to play 40k etc on but I now just need one that is actually 6'x4' and a darker brown to match my scenery. All in all not a bad first run out for the new gaming set.

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