Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Epic 40K HOTT - Marines vs Chaos

I'm in a funny mood at the moment. I have a whole mass of games whirling around in my head that I want to play, or at least develop ideas for, but I don't seem to be able to summon up enough energy or enthusiasm to get on and actually focus on one. As usually happens when I'm offered too much choice I become paralysed and choose nothing. This is great when I'm shopping (it's the reason I generally buy very little at wargames shows) but a pain when you just want to play something.

Anyway, I forced myself to play something last night just so that I didn't spend another evening regretting not doing so. Since my Epic 40K stuff was still around after our recent camping trip, I set up a 24AP HOTT game - Space Marines vs Chaos.

I selected the makeup of each army randomly, assigning each a core force of 12AP of troops, then grouping some remaining elements into six groups of 4AP each and dicing for which three the army would get.

The Marines got 8 Blades (including the general), covering the Marines, Terminators and Dreadnoughts, plus two Knights (Land-Raiders) and a Hero (Chaplain). Chaos (represented by the forces of Slaanesh, in their fetching hot pink), got a God (Greater Demon), a Behemoth (Hellstrider), two Blades (Chaos Marines), four Hordes (Beastmen, Cultists and Traitor Guard), two Riders (Beasts of Slaanesh) and a Magician General (Chaos Sorcerer)

The Marines defended. I used terrain placement derived from DBA 3.0 and got an odd setup with four small areas of bad going along one diagonal - fields at one end and woods at the other. The Forces of Slaanesh found themselves attacking through the woods.

They quickly slipped the Riders through, hoping to harass the Marine's flank whilst the rest of the army came up. The Marines moved up the Land-Raiders to cover this attack.

They engaged.

Traitor Guard moved through the woods in support, as the Greater Demon of Slaanesh arrived.

The Marines had been doing well until the Demon arrived, but this changed. The hideous creature set to work dismembering the Imperium's elite.

The woods were creating a command issue for the Chaos troops, so the Sorcerer entered the fray directly, as it was now obvious that what was originally the diversionary attack was, in fact, going to be the main action.

The Sorcerer destroyed a Land-Raider as the Marines tried to form a line to meet the Chaos attack. They held some Marines in reserve in the centre, since Chaos had troops ready to advance on their stronghold if a gap were left. In the distance the Dreadnoughts and some marines faced what was actually a diversion; the Hellstrider.

The Hellstrider attacked the Dreadnoughts and destroyed them before the supporting Marines could swing onto its flank.

The Demon was now engaged with the Chaplain in a titanic, but fruitless, struggle. This continued until the Chaos Sorcerer blasted the Chaplain with eldritch energies, ensorcelling him.

The Marines were in trouble. They formed a new line, but the Demon, unwilling to quit the battle because of the fun it was having, was behind it in a moment. The Marines awaited the onslaught of the other Chaos troops ...

... but the battle was lost on the other flank as the Hellstrider and Marines fought in the fields. The Marines were wiped out and the rest of the army broke.

This was the end. The only permanent Chaos losses were an element of Riders. Some Hordes were destroyed, but quickly replaced. The Marines lost their Chaplain, the Dreadnoughts, a Land-Raider and two elements of Marines.

As with many games featuring one, the battle hinged on the God and the fact that it never went away. They are not that good at killing elements directly, but they can pin powerful enemy elements in stalemated combats or block recoils of less powerful ones, allowing other troops to secure the victory. The fact that the Marines army was extremely heavy on Blades also didn't help, as it left them too slow to respond to the rapidly developing Chaos attack on their flank.

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