Episode 33: Sixth edition showdown
July 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
I like Warhammer 40,000. I hope you do to, because this episode is all about the new 6th edition. I have been playing this game since I was in high school and desperately trying to cobble together a 2nd edition army. Played some Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and Tau over the years and even dominated a couple of years of local tournaments. So I like to think I know a bit about 40K and how it is played. That said I haven’t played a lot over the last few years being stuck down in Monterey. So when an old friend of mine Stacey Block asked if anyone out there wanted to try out the new edition of 40K I jumped at the chance. Stacey has been one of those top tier players that I would fear to go up against in any tourney, but loved to see in casual play as I always learned a lot.
So we headed down to out FLGS Ronin Games in Castro Valley to play. On the way I thought this would also be a great opportunity to do a podcast, that way not only could I learn all the differences and add on’s to the new version of the game… but so could our, literally, tens… of fans. So what you have here will be an audio podcast of talking about the new game and the changes, a narrated battle report with pics, and then the second half of the podcast is out after action report about how it played. We spare you the tedious (Although I have to admit, building an army list, getting it to the table and playing went surprisingly quick) process of listening to us play and just get you back to the important bits of rules and what not. So stay a while and listen… or don’t… no one else is.
For this game we played with Stacey’s Ork army Vs my friend Nick Vance’s Tau army which are on display at Ronin Games. We rolled The Scouring which put us facing off along the short table edges. We set up an urban warzone on a 6×4 foot table. We then set up 6 objective markers using pieces of paper. There was one paper marked 4, two marked 3, two marked 2, and finally one marked 1. This was the objectives victory point value. They could only be claimed by scoring units and contested by denying units within 3″. We randomly set them up with four of them in the center of the board in a diamond pattern and one in either deployment zone.
For deployment I won the roll and forced Stacey to deploy his army first. To help offset the advantage that playing long wise across the board gives the Tau he set up his Orks in a wide mob in the center of the board as close to me as he could get. I then set up only my Hammerhead Gunship, Devilfish transport and two squads of 12 Firewarriors along the back edge of the board around two sets of ruins. As Stacey set up first he also went first… allowing me the chance to let the Orks close in on my position and bring more firepower to bear down upon him. As expected the Orks advanced headlong and ran towards the entrenched position of the Tau. Once they had moved the Tau readied their targeting acquisition gear and opened fire. Spitting pulsing death out of their long range rifles at the grots who lead the orkish vanguard, who momentarily broke if not for the deadly intimidation of their brutish herder who drove them on. My Hammerhead in it’s only display of power for the game scored a penetrating hit upon the Ork Dreadnaught, removing a hull point and staggering the crew. Unfortunately for me the behemoth was heavily armored and while the shell disrupted it’s ability to fire, it did not deter it’s advance.
On the second turn my Warlords specialty came into play and delayed the arrival of the Ork Burna Bomba by a turn, more than likely turning the tide of the game. The Orks continued their advance unabated by the scourging fire coming from the Tau firelines. The Mob of Flash Gitz deplyed from their looted wagon and took up a position within the central ruins. Their fire proved to be ineffectual as they opened fire at long range with only partial numbers. Soon the Tau Warlord deepstricked into position behind the enemy lines. Unforgivably damaging his Crisis Suit as he careened into the ruins of an Imperial church during a hard landing, his fire was off on the rear armor of the Ork Dreadnought. The Firewarriors fared much better in their own shooting. Killing off two of the Ork Nobs in the Flash Gitz unit and devestating more of the grots that made up the forward line of impending green death, this time fully breaking the spirit of the last surviving grot and it’s herd master who turned and fled from the mechanized death that awaited them.
The third turn arrived and saw the emergence of the Ork Burna Bomba. A devastating bomber equipped with hellish incendiary missiles and bombs as well as a withering amount of dakka from it’s guns. As it flew onto the field of battle to support the ground forces the Flash Gitz retreated to the armored safety of their looted wagon and drove closer to the Tau. The Ork Dreadnought, now pincered between the Tau forces and their reserves attempted to turn it’s vulnerable rear armor out of the line of fire while still advancing. As the Firewarriors in the objective ruins took fire from the Flash Gitz, their looted wagon, and the fire from the bombmer, things seemed to be going better than expected with only minimal casualties. A moment of relief filled the trenches as one of the bombers missiles went wide and over shot them. Then, then everything went to hell. The second missile was able to lock onto it’s target and brought hellfire from the heavens onto the Tau position. Suffering 50% casualties in one shot as the fire left no where to hide in their cover and belted ceraplate armor and flesh in equal measure. Only four brave Firewarriors survived the onslaught, yet it was only the beginning of their agony. Escaping the burning ruins and evacuating to the safety of their Devilfish transport the survivors abandoned their strategic position in the hopes of deploying after the Ork Burna Bomba was dealt with. Luckily they wouldn’t have to wait long as the rest of the Tau battle suits arrived on the scene. 3 Crisis suits deepstriked in the path of the bombers position and 6 stealth suits outflanked the enemy from their own deployment zone. The squad of Crisis suits snap fired everything they had at the Burna Bomba… missing with all six mini-missiles but hitting with with 5 out of 6 of their plasma rifle blasts. The hail of plasma fire tore the bomber from the skies as its armor and structure were vaporized away. However, both the Tau warlord and Hammerhead failed to hit or penetrate the armor of the Orkish Dreadnought.
With the weak grots on the run after soaking up the majority of the Tau fire, the true Orks moved into position with their shootas and rokkit launchers to unleash hell upon the Tau. Luckily their battle excitement distracted their fire from doing any real harm. That is until the Ork Dreadnought brought it’s mega blastas to bear upon the Tau Warlord and vaporized him in a single shot. The Flash Gitz Nobs emerged from their looted wagon and charged in on the Hammerhead gunship, tearing at it’s sensitive aeronautics from below and behind crashing it into the ground with the fury of their close quarters assault. Witnessing the awesome fury and destructive power of the Ork Nobs when they are allowed to close to assault range had the pilot of the Devilfish desperately try to maneuver them away up and over a small hill in the middle of the battlefield. Turning it’s weapons upon the Ork boys to help clear a path of escape. The hail of miniature explosions and pulse fire tore into the mob of Ork boys, but each loss only fueled their desire to close with their enemy and rend them asunder. They did not even flinch.
As night fell around them the struggle continued as the Ork Dreadnought turned it’s full attention to the two squads of battle suits that had flanked the Ork position. More threatening for it’s gnashing claws than for it’s accuracy. Sensing victory well within their grasp the Ork boys turned to their rear flank and fired upon the Crisis suits, felling one with their massed firepower. The Flash Gits and their looted wagon continued to pursue the Devilfish and the harried survivors of the Firewarriors that had escaped within it. Their potent weapons Struck home and caused the lightly armored transport to crash and explode into the rocky hill it was cresting. Only three Firewarriors emerged from the flaming wreckage. With only moments left to live these Firwarriors did not shirk from their duty to the Greater Good. They readied their rifles and fired upon the mob of nearby Ork Boys. Combining fire from the entrenched Firwarriors in the ruins and the Stealth suits taking a risky gamble in closing to the Ork Dreadnought to wither the Ork boys under the heavy rate of fire of their pulse cannons. In a desperate, yet futile, attempt to stop the Ork Dreadnought the Crisis suits fired what they could and then jumped in pursuit of the Ork Boys, while the Stealth suits leaped for their lives into the ruins that had also cost their Warlord dearly… losing two of their team members to damage and malfunction from the dangerous gambit.
As the game continued on into the 6th turn the fight looked desperate for both sides. The Ork boys had suffered tremendous losses over the last few turns and were reduced to only a single Boy and his Big Mek Warlord. With some odd sense of self preservation the Big Mek Warlord drew back behind some strategic cover in order to avoid the worst of the Tau firepower. Finally the Flash Gitz moved to finish off their quarry, the final three Firewarriors who held the strategically significant central hill. First the looted wagon brough it’s big skorcha to bear and despite it’s powerful gouts of flame only a single Firwarrior perished. In frustration the Flash Gitz unloaded everything they had into the final pair… taking only a single life. Then in a fit of dumbfounded astonishment at this turn of events, the Orks couldn’t decide who was to blame and missed their chance to storm the hill as they turned on each other. While the brave Firewarriros fought to keep themselves and their brothers alive despite overwhelming odds the squad of Stealth suits were not as lucky as the Ork Dreadnought barreled through the ruins, smashing masonry, armor, and blue skinned Tau with every swing of it’s mighty mechanical arms. In the final moments the Tau rallied after coming soo close to defeat. The Crisis suits jumped forward and finished off the last of the Ork Boys to force the Big Mek Warlord to surrender in defeat as reinforcements moved in and the Tau with a lone soldier held the high ground against the enemy and secured the front. An exultant victory from the jaws of defeat… paid for dearly in the blood of his brothers in battle. How these few meters of blasted, ruined earth that they took provided for the Greater Good they may never know, but to question it was a sin.
In the end the Tau won the game 7 (1 for destroying the first unit [Grots], 1 for each Fast Attack choice destroyed [Burna Bomba], 3 for an objective held and 1 for getting an unit into the enemy deployment zone.) victory points to 2 (1 for destroying the enemy commander, 1 for getting an unit into the enemy deployment zone) for the Orks. It was a truly close game that the score does not depict well. If I had lost the unit of Firewarriors on the hill and Stacey had held onto at least one Boy or Grot then this game would have been a lot different. In the end this game taught us the importance of taking troop choices, as they are generally the only scoring units in the game. The more you have, the more likely you are to claim objective and earn victory points. So now go back and listen to the rest of the show and take in the rest of our thoughts on our first game and review of Warhammer 40,ooo Sixth Edition.
Thanks for reading,