Sunday, November 16, 2008

All Hail the Nightbringer!

Marine Terminators bathe the Nightbringer in green chemical flame.

...also known as Aw Hell, the Nightbringer! We played another multi-player 40k battle, and the above pic, begins our report with the literal (and proverbial) end.

40k Battle #3
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Size: 1,500 points
Forces: Allied Necron / Tyranid Contingent
vs. Allied Space Marines / Imperial Guard

Tomb worlds are called such for a reason, but rarely (if ever) do they contain the essence of an elder, ancient, and malevolent C'Tan. Above are Andy's Necrons of the Shattered Sphere.

Chris' Tyranid forces of Hive Klendathu. In a war-torn universe that doesn't make sense, the Necron / Tyranid alliance is about the only thing that seems logical. The Tyranids outright ignore the metal undead (there's no point in eating them), and the Necrons ignore the Tyranids because, well, they're not on the menu.

The anvil of the Emperor, the Imperial Guard. Ray's Cadian force is growing more and more every day. Added since last time are more heavy weapons, and a Sentinel walker.

If the Imperial Guard are the anvil, then the Space Marines are the hammer. Here are some of the Emperor's Finest, the Ultramarines. As a house rule, you can't field anything unpainted, so here I'm using my brother-in-law's expertly painted Marines. They're the older 2nd edition figs, and he's never played a single game of 40k, but he definitely has a preternatural skill at painting.

Biovores launch across the skies, landing amid the Cadians.

Turn 1:
Hammer and Anvil: The forces of good began the turn slowly at first, with Imperial Guard wounding the massive Carnifex only once with heavy weapons fire, and guardsmen eliminating only a single leaping Hormagaunt.

Claw and Steel: The Necrons stayed hunkered down in cover while the Tyranids surged forth; they launched Biovore spores which missed their mark, and a trio of Tyranid Warriros fired upon the Guard, killing two.

Not quite "Hamburger Hill", more like "Snack Cake Hill".

Heads swaying back and forth looking for food, the 'Gaunts are on the move.

Infiltrated Scouts try to dent the carapce of the Carnifex with Heavy Bolter fire.

Turn 2:
Hammer and Anvil: A completely uneventful turn for the allied forces as Marines failed to cause wounds on the Necrons. The assault cannon on the Dreadnought failed to wound anything as well. Around the Shrine of Gideon, the Marine Scouts saw a marginal victory as they engaged Ripper swarms in melee, killing one of the scuttling hordes.

Claw and Steel: Where the human and superhuman fell short, the unnatural and supernatural really poured it on. The Nightbringer, in its cold and otherworldly horror, phased into view, lashing out with a lightning arc and completely annihilating the venerable Ultramarine Dreadnought, Ferox. Speaking of large based terrors destroying vehicles, on the other side of the battlefield, the Carnifex rushed the Guard's Chimera, destroying its tank treads, immobilizing it, and ripped its multi-laser from the turret housing.

A target-rich environment, except for the high toughness and wound values.


Imagine what the Imperial Guard look like in the eyes of a ravening Tyranid. It would be something like a bunch of little chicken legs with green Imperial-issue helmet and lasguns. The Hive Tyrant saw this as it flew into the center of them, unaware that some of those chicken legs were senior and veteran command troops armed with power fists and power swords.

A quagmire of combat.

"They shall know no fear." Whatever!

Turn 3:

Hammer and Anvil: Guard claimed a moral victory as they wounded the Hive Tyrant and more guard escaped out the back hatch of the burning Chimera while they could. The tactical squad of Marines stepped forth to fire bolters at the incoming Nightbringer, to no avail.

Claw and Steel: The large based models stole the show while the 25mm based troops of the enemy were barely a factor (or even noticeable) in the fight. The Nightbringer swept forward, destroying 70% of the tactical Marines in a single turn, sending the rest running.

"I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say KILL THEM ALL!"

Turn 4:
Hammer and Anvil: Especially in a Pitched battle I will never deep strike my Terminators, ugh. Even though turn four is about when they should be expected to turn up, they could've been a lot more effective early on. Well they did show up, thanks to the teleport homer the fleeing Marine sergeant had, they lined up to square off with the Nightbringer. The Imperial Guard command squad shocked the Hive Tyrant by turning the tide on it and besting it in combat. The commander's power fist (and yes, he is from Buenos Aires) cracked and smashed its armored shell bringing the beast down.

Claw and Steel: Well, at this point it was pushes midnight, we got off to a very late start, and it was a work night for all of us. There would be no turn four for the enemy troops.

Conclusion: Tie.

Again, it looked like a foregone conclusion for the enemy at this point, but you can never tell the outcome of the battle until the last turn is played. I think this speaks positively of the new edition of the rules too, it keeps battle close and interesting. In the Annihilation scenario, your goal is to wipe out enemy units, at the end of turn four it was dead even. True, the Nightbringer more than likely would've destroyed the Temrinator squad, but, they are Terminators in the end, so maybe not. At the same time however, the Carnifex would very likely have fallen next turn, as would have the Ripper swarms, so by the end of turn five we might still have a tie game, or maybe a marginal lead by the forces of good. You never know until that last turn has played out.


  1. Looking in the rules, which I don't have at hand, you should have been able to always rally without a test (They Shall Know No Fear?). You can also CHOOSE to fail certain LD tests (Chapter Tactics, I think?), which could make tactical sense since you will automatically rally. Kind of a tactical fallback.

  2. [insert witty comeback here]