Friday, February 17, 2012

Success is measured in blood, yours or your enemies'

War. War never changes.

Wait a minute, wrong game. My good friend Mike and I recently played a game of 40k and the barren wasteland of the battlefield gave the game an apocalyptic feel. 1250 points of my Dark Angels clashed with his Raptors Space Marines in what was clearly a failure to communicate.

The Raptors stand firm against the Deathwing assault.
Mike wanted a refresher on the rules, so we played a standard Annihilation mission, explaining things as we went. He won the roll to deploy and wisely chose to deploy second. I held my Deathwing units in reserve and placed a tactical squad in a rhino behind a low hill for some cover and sent the Ravenwing to the center of the table to act as a teleport anchor. Mike deployed in a strong gun line position with some fast-moving elements on his right flank and a tactical squad with a drop pod in reserve.
My Deathwing assaulted into the center of the board, immediately in front of the Vindicator. This was a calculated risk on my part and proved a poor decision for the sacrificial terminator squad, but in the end it worked. In retrospect, there was a much better way to suppress the Vindicator so the blood of the First Company is on my hands.

Mike sent some of his agile units to hold up the Deathwing advance, but Belial's men made short work of them. At the same time, the Ravenwing bikers assaulted Mike's left flank, taking out a Razorback and getting their teleport homers into position behind the Raptors' lines. Meanwhile, the relatively shooty Raptors defense (led by a Master of the Forge with his trusty Conversion Beamer) poured fire into the tactical squad, discouraging them from covering ground and keeping them firmly behind cover. Ultimately, it wasn't enough, and when the Raptors tactical squad in a drop pod finally made it down to the table behind the Deathwing advance, the Dark Angels' Rhino redeployed in response, leaving the Deathwing free to reach the Raptors' position with predictable results.

The Deathwing advance into the teeth of the Raptors heavy weapons.

Raptors skirmishers engage the Deathwing command squad.

In the end, the Raptors rallied and nabbed a handful of additional kill points, but ultimately, it wasn't enough to swing the game and the Dark Angels carried the day. This was one of the most enjoyable games of 40k I've played recently (forgetting that I haven't played 40k since the summer, of course). Fighting was happening in every corner of the board, and there was a lot of maneuvering. It didn't feel like the game came down to a bunch of separate little punch-ups, and ultimately I remembered that 40k really is a lot of fun. So thanks, Mike, for the game, and thanks, 40k, for waiting patiently while I was off in the land of the wizards.

Like I said, war never changes.

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