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Monday, May 09, 2005

Treasure Hunt - A Warhammer 40K Game AAR

We played WH40K on Saturday – but the game got off to a late start, due to the foul traffic here in Northern Virginia.

Carl had the plan and the terrain. My son, David, and I arrived 10 minutes late, and Bill was waiting patiently for us.

Bill had a table staked out for us at a local game shop, a place where the owner had an odd flight of fancy and provided us with blue tables to play on.

I don’t know too many gamers that want their troops marching across water.

We waited nearly two hours for Carl, but the traffic wouldn’t loosen it’s grip on him, and his precious cargo of terrain; I ran next door to Hancock Fabrics and bought some mottled brown cloth to throw on top of the blue tabletop.

With that, we started unpacking our figures and preparing for battle.

Then Carl arrived. Nice. I think the key to breaking Evil Traffic’s grip on a fellow gamer is to go ahead and prepare to play, as if you are going to play without them – the Voila! They show up!

We divvied up into two teams. David and I on one side – David’s Blood Angels in all their gleaming red glory alongside my Tau in their camouflaged, high-tech beauty. The thought that my firepower would supplement his superior hand-to-hand capabilities was like dancing sugar plumbs in our little pea-brains.

Across from us was Carl’s Road Warriors – a battle-tested Ork Speed Freaks army, and Bills Chaos. A brutal army, those Chaos guys. His newest bit for his army was a Defiler that may have cost us the game.

The table had six buildings on it; four of the buildings had “secret markers” – that was the treasure hunt part of the game – and two more “secret markers” were in an underground labyrinth.

There were also openings to the labyrinth in all six of the buildings. Each opening corresponded to a spot in the underground labyrinth, where your troops would come out after climbing down ladders and such.

The game went badly for David and I from the first turn. Bills Defiler fired its huge canon and killed a vehicle of mine, which snookered one of my Broadside Battlesuits. Trapped behind the burning vehicle, it could only fire its Smart Missile system – if I moved it, the entire unit would count as moving, and lose an entire turn of firing. I needed every shot I could take at this point!

To add insult to injury, Carl’s Speed Freaks entered a building close to them and found the “hidden Treasure!”

Well, it wasn’t “game over” just yet.

Since we were running low on time, I took my shots while David marched across the board. His Death Company and Assault Marines jumped into hand-to-hand with a unit of Chaos space marines and decimated them. Unfortunately on the very next turn, two units of Chaos blokes assaulted the Death Company, at least one of them was a unit of Berserkers, and the Death Company died gloriously.

I got one good hit on the Defiler with the one rail gun that had a clear shot – I destroyed the huge canon on it that took out my grav-tank earlier. Unfortunately, it kept trudging across the board.

If you’ve every played the computer game Dawn of War, you’ll well know how evil a Chaos Defiler is in close combat!

My surviving scouts, who had bailed out of the destroyed grav-tank started taking fire from a machine on one of Carl’s Ork War-Truks. I took a couple of casualties but not enough to cause a morale test. The three lads with rail rifles fired at a Chaos troop transport that was trying to get across the board and charge into our foot troops, causing tank shock. The heavily armed scouts managed to immobilize it for the rest of the game.

My army general and his bodyguard saw an opportunity to go after the win by jumping down a rabbit hole and popping up in the rear of Carl’s Orks. Unfortunately for me, Carl had the same idea, so popped his Orks down some rabbit holes too. By the time my general and his bodyguard arrived, there were two solid units of Orks in the labyrinth.

At this point we were out of time. Unfortunately, on top of us starting two hours early, I had promised Lovely Wife that we would be home by 6pm-ish. We failed to count on the fact that two strong hand-to-hand armies would take a lot of time to figure out combats, so while David and Bill were rolling die and figuring out attacks, Carl and I were chatting about old movies and such. We started packing our gear at 6:15. Lovely Wife was not happy. And the day before Mothers Day too! Good thing I bought flowers! ;-)

My general and his bodyguard jumped down the rabbit hole, ran straight to the nearest group of Orks and started hammering them. Unfortunately, the Orks only lost two lads on the first attack, and then they attacked back and caused a three wounds on the commander – I saved all but one. Since I lost combat, I tested for leadership, and passed with no problem. Next turn, the commander attacked and caused 3 wounds, but their retaliatory attacks caused him a further 4 wounds – and I failed to save 3 of them, resulting in the death of the commander.

At this point we called the game, not because there was a clear victor due to combat, but we were just plain out of time.

Carl and Bill won, due to the fact that Carl’s Orks held the “hidden treasure” chit when the game ended.

It was a nice re-introduction to WH40K and as always, a nice time to hang out with the lads and just talk ‘guy-stuff.’

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