The Tauron Mining company was running weapons and benzinium for the notable drug lord Dolke Gabana on Khardashian Prime. As they were heading into the deserted refinery at O.K. Kwag’lunde they suddenly found themselves fighting in an ambush with the Blood Skulls, an infamous Chaos Space Marine gang.
We played a bog standard 40k 2nd ed game. Each of us drew a random mission and the Squats got the and the Chaos Marines got Guerilla Warfare. Originally I had intended to do a special scenario and play Orks to please Jonas, but mental carry over from real life did not allow me enough energy to follow through with these plans. After all the point of gaming is to have fun and relax, so bringing in constraints and setting up bars isn’t always the best idea.
Well, there is not so much to state on the deployment. Having recently seen a lot of videos by Richard Babbage from Bring and Battle Wargaming on YouTube, I had been inspired to reenlist my Traitor Guardsmen in the army. They would serve as a protective meat shield for my more valuable troops. Somehow, this tactic had escaped me in earlier games, but it is pretty obvious and also works OK. But especially pleasing, it really feels like just the way Chaos Marines would employ guardsmen.
The pesky Squats had of course been back in their mine trying to figure out a way to break the rules, and what they had come up with was bringing a Leman Russ Battle Tank. What a stinker!
They deployed on the hill to the north west of the board. Opposite them I placed my Predator and my heavy weapons squad (2nd ed. CSM don’t have Havocs, but you can field small squads with 3 heavy weapons). The tank and the marines were my best hope of knocking out the leman russ. Alternatively I should have used my Chaos Lord on Juggernaut, but there was too many Squat guns aimed at the ground in between… so I opted not to.
Most of the Squats were on the hill otherwise. They had a unit of Ogryns which I could see causing some havoc and a unit of exo armour that traditionally needs to be handled in H2H.
Battle Turn 1
As my Chaos Lord conferred me with a Strategy rating of 5 versus the Squat rating of 2, they had to deploy first and I was pretty sure to get the first turn. My turn 1 was quick, moving the meat shields and shielded units forward at running pace, while blasting the Leman Russ with the rest.
The bikes also increased their speed to combat speed and set up to wreak havoc. The Predator moved forward and shot the Leman Russ to little avail. The Marine squad had more luck and penetrated the left sponson, rolling a 6 on the table, causing internal explosions and taking out the hull lascannon. Hooray!
The Squats turn 1 managed to take out a few guardsmen and otherwise just moved forward. The Leman Russ moved forwards and otherwise didn’t do any damage. The Squat bikers also moved forward at combat speed and managed to ruin the controls of the lead CSM biker.
Battle Turn 2
The CSM bike leader who was now out of control set the course for the rest of the squad. They headed towards the main Squat line. It wasn’t terribly bad, and might still cause some fun I thought. They trained their guns at the Squat commander, but as he was wearing a Displacer Field he bounced all over, and ended up next to the Leman Russ.
My Predator didn’t do anything this turn, and neither did the Tank Hunter squad. . The Leman Russ was starting to bombard the Tank Hunters with its battle cannon without hitting but they suffered their first casualty to Squat heavy weapons squad. In addition to the Leman Russ, the Squats had another trick up their sleeve: they had brought a Psyker. The Chaos Marines didn’t have any Psyker so the overall Warp Flux would be just 1d6, which was too much.
Casting his foul magicks the Squat Living Ancestor placed a weird bubble on my Predator. I would have to try and break out of it if I were to use the tank again. Pretty much nothing I could do about it.
At the far East, the Chaos troops were moving forward steadily. I did manage to shoot one Exo Armour Squat with small arms fire, but other than that it was all advancing.
Battle Turn 3
In turn three I started to turn my attention towards the bikers. The predator struggled to get out of the magic bubble, but to little avail. A LOT of rolls (first one for each location, and then for results IF hit) later on the damage chart from self-collision, nothing had happened to it. The heavy weapon marines fired at the bikers. Nothing happened at all as they were incapable of hitting. The leman russ took a hit, but the laser cannon couldn’t penetrate neither the sponson or hull or whatever.
Instead, what happened, was that the Leman Russ landed a big ass shell on the head of the unit champ and blew up both that guy and his friend with the ‘Fucking’ autocannon. The bikers rolled around the rear of the predator and tried to fire at it with a meltagun, but thankfully to little avail.
The Chaos Bikers directed their whitewalled tyres towards the Squat infantry and went for a full on hit-and-run attack. This is such a cool feature in 2nd – all bikes are allowed to perform an H2H on a single model they pass in the movement phase (but lose their shooting that turn). Probably, I would have been better off just shooting the twin-linked bolters but hey – it is hit-and-run!
In the centre of the table the Plague Marines had just about used up their Meat Shield and were getting ready to charge. They just had to survive one round of fire… literally! The Squats pulled out their incenerators and hosed the Nurgle enthusiasts with hot fire! Two guys caught fire and one died.
At the other end of the table Harkonn The Slayer on his mighty juggernaut demon had managed to get into a good position for a charge. He was close to the Squats wearing Exo Armour, henceforth known as the exotic amour Squats.
close combat with the remaining exoarmour Squats. To our amusement the Squats FAILED their fear roll TWICE and thus would fight with ½WS. This was pretty lucky, as all things being equal, riding a juggernaut is pretty much a surefire way to get killed. The juggernaut has WS3 and normally it just loses in close combat. It is pretty good for tank hunting though. But you can’t deny a Chaos Lord on Juggernaut – it is too cool, so I will keep on using it.
The fight was brief and Harkonn easily sliced upon one of the little tin cans. Two tin cans remained and the fight continued for the next turn. (I even forgot my frenzy bonus). [I also forgot my strategy card “Craven Cowardice” – I could have wiped the Squat Exo-armour before even engaging).
After their hit-and-run daring-do the bikers had exposed themselves to a charge by Ogryns. It was a massacre. The Ogryns mauled the bikers easily and then proceeded to sent the bikes spinning off Out of Control.
Battle Turn 4,
But Chaos is a force to be reckoned with, and even a bike with a dead rider can easily kill a Squat. Both bikes diverted to the same side, but one of them ran directly into a heavy weapon Squat who failed his I test and died – SPLAT!
Harkonn the Slayer maimed the rest of the exotic amour Squats assisted by the Craven Cowardice card, which I now remembered. Oh, yeah, and also greatly assisted by the Squats failing their THIRD leadership test. The theory is that they were so startled by anything getting through their impregnable armour, that they lost their cool.
The last few movements of the game didn’t turn things much except for one thing: I managed to get my predator out of the bubble. Together with the heavy weapon marines it then offed more than 50% the Squat bikes, which caused the game to be a draw.
At the conclusion of the battle both sides had 6 VP. I had managed to kill 6 models in H2H, which gave me an additional 2 VP from the Guerilla mission. We ruled that vehicle squadrons did not constitute multiple vehicles, but counted as one squad as for the mission VP. Jonas didn’t manage to get a >50% squad into my deployment zone because I managed to take out 3 bikes in the last turn. However, there is a big “aber dabei” to this, as Jonas actually held the strategy card “Saved”. Now, he could have used it multiple times during the game, and several times it could have changed the outcome, but as he did not remember that he had it, the events were never changed. It is always a pickle with these things, but I am generally against retconning later in the turn, as it simply is up to the player to remember the things they should do.
It was super fun playing 2nd edition again, and I definitely look forward to the next go. Where should our story go next?