We here at the Berks-PA Gaming Club have been continuing to expand our network of friends and keeping relations good between other gaming clubs. Sure, other clubs can be different, run events differently, and also host different formats for tournaments. I have to say that our members really enjoy the diversity offered by other events and we enjoy meeting new players and broaden our horizions by meeting with other clubs and playing games against them.
As these hobbies are social ones, especially Warhammer 40K, what better way to make new friends than to play in a fun event with some like minded companions and share in our hobby even more. So, the first one of these events took place in August when 3 of us from Berks rolled into Willow Grove PA and played 3 of their members, including one of the personalities of Turn-8 Podcast. Our own Myke Moll drew up a scenerio along with Dave Setzmen (Brave New World's club president) and hosted us in a 3 vs 3 mega-battle. Each player had 1500 points with a standard force organization chart. It was a fun time and our team really played well as a team. Units were allowed to share transports and such things, so we split our units up and pulled some fun tricks on everyone. Our advantage was that it seemed to us that BNW players were fighting 3 separate battles instead of cooperating as well as we did.
All in all it was a good time and we left as victors, but made some new friends, which is what this was all about. We had such a good time we agreed to do it six months later. So now we roll into December 3, 2011. Our local store was inbetween locations due to lease issues so we had to comprimise and I hosted the event at my home. I was able to set up a 4' x 12' city scape that our own Angel Crespo expertly designed for us. When we first played BNW we did this on a 4' x 8' and it was a little tight. So we expanded to 4' x 10', but I had 2' extra if we needed it, so we just used that for placing models this time around.
I opted to not play in the event and work more as a Game Master and Referee. We also had 3 additional 4'x6' tables set up in my "Man Cave" for additional players to come and get in more 1vs1 games with other Berks club members.
Our local team consisted of our club Vice President, Darryl Hartman Jr running Dark Angels Deathwing terminators, John Tinney with his Imperial Guard, and Billy Schollkopf with his Space Marines (Void Grizzlies). They teamed up in a Cities of Death style fight against the combined forces of Dave Setzman's Hive Fleet Naga (Tyranids), with Chris Opdyke's (Opy on Turn-8 podcast) Eldar and Kevin's Space Marines. These guys were looking to avenge their club's name after the beating we gave them back in August, all in good fun.
The scenerio I created featured a full city scape, 2 rivers counting as dangerous terrain but offering a 5' cover save for being submerged. 2 intact impasable terrain buildings (one was a 9 story sky scraper). All the rest were ruins. You could shoot the ruins and make them Dangerous ruins, and if hit again, they could collapse and become rubble as per the Cities of Death rule book. Each team also received 3 tank trap strategems, 3 obstacle strategems, and 1 random strategem per player. The random strategems were drawn from a bucket, and the fun part was that no two players drew the same one.
To cap things off, each player would also draw a random personal mission. These were personal objectives to be completed in the process of the game and would earn each team additional points.
Scoring was going to be relatively simple. There were 5 main objectives pre-set on the table and they were pretty evenly spaced around the table. Each objective could be scored by having the most Victory Points worth of units with a Weapon Skill in 3 inches of an objective. Each objective was worth 1000 points. Personal objectives were worth 500 bonus points each, and than we would score also by straight victory points, so with 3 armies at 1500 points, that was another 4500 points. Total for a perfect score would be 11,000.
Players had the following objectives and strategems for their armies:
Berks Gaming Club Players:
Dark Angels: (Exiles of Caliban):
Strategem: Booby Traps:
You get 4 Booby Traps to set. Record these privately with the referee. These may be placed in ruins or obstacles NOT in the enemy deployment zone. If that ruin or obstacle would become destroyed the trap is lost. You may trigger the trap whenever an enemy unit passes through the ruin or area marked with your trap. The owner of the target unit selects a model in their unit to take a ST:8 AP:2 hit with no cover save allowed. Vehicles take the hit on their front armor.
Personal Objective: Purge the Heretic OR Capture the Psyker: Choose an enemy HQ Psyker. You must find a way to capture or kill this target. You can do it through shooting or close combat, but make sure that your target doesn’t survive. If the enemy has no psykers, than choose an enemy HQ unit and make sure they are dead before the battle is over. (He chose the Tyranid commander: Swarm Lord)
Imperial Guard (1st Terran Infantry):
Deep Strike Stratagem:
Allow any ONE unit to deepstrike. If giving to a unit that already has deepstrike, they may reroll the scatter dice, and also reduce the amount of scatter by 1d6”
Personal Objective: Demolition Man: You need to reduce at least 2 structures to destroyed ruins. One just isn’t enough, you must completely destroy 2 ruins to maintain your ‘reputation’ if you’re going to continue to be the Bad Ass you are when it comes to waging war.
Space Marines (Void Grizzlies):
Choose a building or ruin in your deployment zone. This structure offers +1 to cover saves, and also ignores the effects of grenades when it comes to assaulting units within it.
Personal Objective: Big Badda Boom: Choose one of your HQ units. They are tasked with destroying an enemy vehicle and causing it to explode. Wrecking it isn’t good enough. You need to make it blow up. This also must be done via close combat with a power weapon, grenade or melta bomb, or similar non-shooting, non-psychic attacks.
Brave New Worlds Players had the following strategems and personal objectives:
Tyranids (Hive Fleet Naga):
Give any ONE unit the ability to Infiltrate.
Personal Objective: Bounty Hunter: A price has been placed upon the head of an enemy HQ of your choice. Your goal is to seek this unit out and take him down in close combat with one of your units. As long as that unit survives the battle, you will have been considered successful in capturing your bounty.
(He selected the Dark Angels comamnder: Belial)
Eldar (Craftworld Iyanden):
Strategem: Plunging Fire:
This may be used by any unit on your team. When used during your shooting phase, cover saves taken from shooting within 18” suffer a -1 penalty, so long as the firer is higher elevation than the target.
Personal Objective: Fear Factor: Your army commander wants to make sure that others know that they are here to fight and mean business. The best way to accomplish this is to defeat an opponent and make them run off the table. All you must do is make sure that one of the enemy’s units flees off the table. You must make them flee, you can not run them down from an assault. Do this and the enemy will know and fear your name!
Strategem: Ammunition Store:
This stratagem is used during your shooting phase. Place this in a piece of area terrain. ONE unit that you control may re-roll any failed to hit rolls.
Personal Objective: Friendly Fire: You have a bit of a rivalry with one of your allies. You must make sure that somehow you cause a friendly fire accident. This can be done by scattering a blast weapon onto one of their units, destroying a ruin, or catching them in the range of an exploding vehicle. Make sure you kill at least one of your allies models to “Teach them a lesson”.
While I am not going to go to any great lengths on a battle report here, I will highlight a few key points of the battle. No one achieved their personal objectives. Some came close, but no one sought to try it out. Once we all got together I made sure to have everyone read through the "rules packet" with me, to clearly explain the rules and objectives of the mission. We had very few challenges with any of that since we all went over it together asked questions and got clear answers on all of that.
Brave New Worlds players won the roll off and selected their side of the table. We kept it to a simple Pitched Battle deployment, 12 inches in from each long table edge. Berks players than set up their forces.
The first thing to take note of was that the BNW Space Marine player set up a Devestator squad with 4 missle launchers and they made use of the Ammunition Store strategem. This allowed them to reroll their attacks. This was huge because the Dark Angels terminators were bunched up in tight groups in buildings, and even though they had 2+ armor saves, they took a LOT of fire during the game.
Combined attacks of Eldar War Walkers, 2 Night Spinners, Pathfinders and anything else the BNW team had that could shoot targeted the 28-man Dark Angels army all game long. Both the Tyranid player and Dark Angel players set up in the center of the battlerfield and in the center of all of the boards, the middle of the 10' stretch was an objective. Terminators don't like moving after being hit by Night Spinners, not wanting to take the dangerous terrain tests. (***Take Note Eldar Players, this is a good trick that would work against those pesky Grey Knights!).
BNW dropped an Iron Clad dreadnought deep on the Berks team's right side. Berks had a chance to hit it with a Land Raider Crusader, missing with the multimelta, but rending with the Assault Cannon and did score a penetrating hit on it, but failed to stop the machine. The dreadnought would go on a rampage and wreck the Land Raider and cause some mayhem for the Imperial Guard on that side of the board.
When the genestealers outflanked on the right, the Imperial guard met them with lots of fire. Flamers took out like 18 of a 20 man unit along with supporting fire. However, despite multiple attempts to finish off a lone gene stealer and a Brood lord, they kept making their armor and cover saves and eventually got to the IG commander and cut them down. All I can say for the IG player is that for a long time he had some extremely bad dice rolls, and even law of averages should have seen some success come his way.
The Berks space marine player on the far left of the board had his hands full with Eldar and marine units, and actually took out some Eldar units until eventually he too became overwhelmed. At least he had units left on the board by the end of the game.
There was a huge clash in the middle that came down eventualy to a Death Star unit of a Tyranid Swarmlord and tyrant guards as well as an Eldar Farseer or Autarch with a Librarian. They also had a Biovore there and a venomthrope. The funny thing here was that the Guard player had a unit he affectionately referred to as "Three Blind Mice"...which was made up of 3 ratling snipers. The funny thing here is that for 30 points, these "blind mice" put the final blows on many units including a Tyrant Guard, a Trygon, and the Venomthrope.
The epic fight came as Belial took on the Swarmlord and when it came down to it he and his unit failed to put it down with their thunderhammers. They in turn were stuck in combat and before the Swarmlord could take out Belial and claim the Tyranid Personal Objective, the eldar player struck him down, not realizing that he robbed his companion of bonus victory points.
In the end it was a total routing of the Berks armies by Brave New Wolrds. Brave New Worlds held 4 objectives and Berks had Zero. No one completed their personal objectives, but the final victory points told the final tally: BNW scored around 4000 Victory points, leaving Berks will less than 500 points total in units on the board. Berks scored about 2400, leaving BNW with half of their total armies on the table. the total score was like 6400 to 500, a total Massacre by my standards.
Brave New Worlds did well and as was the original plan, had a good time. One of their other players, Nick, a Chaos Space Marines player took on one of our own with a similar army, both dedicated to Khorne, the blood god. They had a blast duking it out and bonding over a fun game.
And that is really what all this was about. Getting players together from two other clubs, creating a scenerio and letting everyone have a fair shot at seeing what happens. Its games like this, not timed, not stressed, just fun and over food and drink that make the hobby what it is. As much as I and many others enjoy giong to and competing in tournaments, it is hard to really get a chance to bond with someone when you are playing in a timed or scheduled event. You have to do that between rounds, when you can sit down and grab a bite to eat together. But in this environment, we got to do just that. Some players from both clubs came along to support their club teams and spectate the game and just enjoy the overall atmosphere of the event. We look forward to doing this again with these guys in another 6 months and also setting up similar events with other gaming clubs.