We had an Apocalypse game at the local GW
today. The teams were divided Imperials vs Xenos, with each team member being able to field 1,500 points of models. Needless to say, the field got EXTREMELY cramped really quickly... Sorry if my descriptions aren't perfect, it was a huge game and I was only really paying attention to half the field so I can't give a full account. Units are probably going to appear/disappear out of nowhere during the descriptions too, but I'll do my best to keep everything straight.
The teams were:
-2 Imperial Guard (I'll refer to one as Imperial Super-Heavies and Imperial Infantry, since that's the composition of the 2 armies anyway)
-1 Crimson Fists
-2 Space Wolves (I'll refer to one as Logan's Space Wolves and the other as Andilus' Space Wolves)
-2 Tyranids (I'll refer to one as Red Tyranids and the other as Purple Tyranids, since that's their colours)
-2 Orks (I'll refer to one as the Mek Orks and the other as the Warboss' Orks)
The majority of the Imperials' firepower (Baneblades, Shadowswords, a Warhound Titan, etc) was placed on one flank to deal with 3 Stompas and a Skullhamma. After that, 4 Marine armies and the Imperial Infantry tried to squeeze into their deployment zone, facing off against Ork Warbuggies, Tyranid monstrous creatures and a unit of Eldar aspect warriors.
There were 4 objectives, 2 of which were controlled at the game's outset - 1 (a ruined building) in the Imperial zone, and 1 (a bell tower) in the Xenos zone. The other 2 were in the center of the field (a landing pad and a statue).
TURN 1 - IMPERIALS
The Imperials got the first move, and a column of Land Raiders shot down the center of the field to assault the Red Tyrands, which were being forced to single-handedly secure the landing pad (the table was cut diagonally, and the Nid player was unfortunately on the short table edge, and therefore was all on his own). The 2 Space Wolf Land Raiders vomited forth a squad of Terminators each (1 led by the Logan Grimnar player and 1 led by my Wolf Lord, Andilus Greatsword). Meanwhile, the Ultramarines Assault Terminators made their way towards the landing pad, supported by a Dreadnought. A Crimson Fist tactical squad also moved forward and secured the statue objective in the name of the Emperor!
A unit of Red Tyranid Genestealers that had infiltrated onto the landing pad were cut to ribbons by the Imperial Infantry's heavy bolter fire, a Baneblade and the Ultramarine's Devestator Squad, leaving a handful of survivors. In addition, the Eldar warriors and Fire Dragons were completely annihilated by the combined fire of the 2 Imperial Guard armies, with the exception of a single stalwart Fire Dragon who held strong.
The Wolf Lord's Terminators charged a unit of 2 Carnifexes, while Logan attacked a Hive Tyrant and his Tyrant Guard (all belonging to the Red Nids). The Wolf Lord and his unit cut down one of the Fexes and put a wound on the other, while Logan and his squad annihilated the Hive Tyrant on the first turn (much
to the Red Nid's chagrin).
So, at the end of the first Imperial Turn, the Red Tyranids were in serious danger of being overwhelmed, suffering severe losses as the combined might of Logan Grimnar and Andilus Greatsword were making mincemeat of their Carnifexes. With the statue in Imperial hands, the Imperium look the early lead.
TURN 1 - XENOS
Things were looking bad on the Red Tyranid's flank. Luckily, he received some help from a large unit of Khorne Berzerkers who charged Andilus Greatsword and his Terminator retinue (to be honest, I don't really know where these Berzerkers came from, since it was too early in the game for them to come from reserves, but I let it slide cuz I'm cool like that). In addition, the Genestealers regrouped as a unit of Termagaunts came to reinforce them, securing the landing pad for the Xenos! In addition, the Ork players moved their Stompas toward the Imperial Super-Heavies (completely ignoring the Red Tyranid's serious need for help), and the Purple Tyranids moved to flank.
Remember that single Fire Dragon? He fired at the Ultramarine Dreadnought just for the hell of it, and succeeded to blow the crap out of it! In addition, an Ork Big Mek's Stompa used it's lifta grabba to pick up the Crimson Fists' Land Raider and threw it at the Imperial Infantry's squad of Ogryns. Miraculously, only 1 was killed, as the others (as he put it) caught
the Land Raider in a spectacular show of athleticism!
During the assault phase, Logan and his squad were assaulted by a unit of Eldar warriors and Rending Claw/Scything Talon armed Tyranid Warriors, but they still managed to destroy the unit, freeing themselves up. Meanwhile, another unit of Warriors and the newly introduced Khorne Berzerkers lived up to their name, putting out an insane number of wounds on Andilus' Wolf Guard Terminators, wiping them all out and putting 1 wound on Andilus himself. Andilus killed 4 Berzerkers himself, but he was in serious trouble.
At the end of the turn, Logan Grimnar and his squad were poised to wreak some havok, while Andilus Greatsword was in dire straights. The capture of the landing pad by the Red Tyranids meant that the game was once again at a draw... but for how long?
TURN 2 - IMPERIALS
With the game now in a tie, the Ultramarines, Imperial Infantry and Andilus Greatsword's Space Wolves moved into position to wrestle the objective out of the Red Tyranid's hands. Each of these armies moved all their troops forward, while Andilus' Venerable Dreadnought and a Lone Wolf hurried to save their Wolf Lord. Maneuvering was tricky - Logan's Land Raider and an Imperial Fist Land Raider were blocking any units from moving around them (more on that
at the summary...).
During the shooting phase, the Imperial Super-heavies fired a Vortex missile but it completely fizzled out, making the entire unit absolutely useless and causing the Xenos to breathe a huge sigh of relief. In addition, he fired his Baneblade at the Termagaunts/Genestealers holed up in the landing pad, but the shot missed - in what was one of the defining moments of the game, the 10" blast marker scattered on top of the Ultramarines Terminators, killing all but 3 of them (and only killing a very small number of Termaguants)!! It was a stunningly humiliating blow.
During the assault phase, Andilus' Venerable Dreadnought and Lone Wolf came to reinforce their Lord, but it was to no avail - despite killing 3 of the Berzerkers, Andilus and the Lone Wolf were brought down under a torrent of Berzerker attacks, leaving only the Venerable Dreadnought to carry on the fight with the Berzerkers and Warriors (the Carnifex became unengaged with Lone Wolf's death). As if that wasn't bad enough, Logan Grimnar and his squad fell beneath the claws of a Trygon. The only good news for the Imperials that assault phase was that the 3 surviving Ultramarines Terminators cut a swathe through the Termaguants, but plenty of them remained to fight on.
After an absolutely brutal turn for the Imperials, the game was still tied, but the momentum was beginning to shift to the Xenos...
TURN 2 - XENOS
As if things weren't going bad enough for the Imperials trying to capture the landing pad, they were about to get much
worse. A unit of Ork Boyz, Nobs and a Warboss came out of reserves right in position to strike at the forces desperately trying to reach the landing pad. On the opposite side of the board, Chaos Space Marines began to move into position to flank the Imperial Super-Heavies. On top of all this, 3 Red Tyranid Lictors appeared on the board - 2 were deployed at the statue objective, while the 3rd deployed at the landing pad.
The shooting phase kicked off as a Fighta-Bommer dropped its payload on Andilus' Grey Hunters, a squad of Imperial Infantry and the Ultramarines Command Squad and Techmarine, which had been forced to clump together due to the lack of room to maneuver. Approximately 40% of the models caught in the blast were killed. Things didn't get better as the Chaos Space Marines wiped out a squad of Ratlings holed up in a ruined building, wrestling it from Imperial control (luckily, it wasn't housing an objective).
During the assault phase, the Carnifex tried to charge the Venerable Dreadnought to destroy it, but the Dreadnought turned its attacks to it, slaughtering the behemoth. The Warriors and Berzerkers failed to destroy the Dreadnought, only managing to roll "Crew Shaken" results, and so the combat dragged on. Meanwhile, the Warboss' Orks charged a lone Ultramarines Tactical Squad, which was quickly obliterated in the attack. Finally the Trygon, fresh from its slaughtering of Logan, turned its sights to the Wolf Scouts which were defending the statue objective marker. They were annihilated in the attack. Also, the Ultramarines Terminators continued to kill Guants in the landing pad.
Things were looking grim for the Imperials as their offense was crumbling on all sides - if they could only capture an objective they might have a chance...
TURN 3 - IMPERIALS
Knowing that this would be our last turn (the game would be called at 4:30, and this turn started at 3:30), the Imperials made a beeline for the objectives - it was all or nothing now. But first they had to deal with the Ork threat that was encroaching on their territory. Andilus' Land Raider Crusader shot across the table, tank shocking the Ork Boyz who passed their Leadership test and dove out of the way. A Stormsword did the same, tank shocking the Warboss and his Nobs - however, the Ork player decided that his Warboss would do Death or Glory! on the Stormsword (despite the fact that the odds of him surviving were astronomical), which resulted in his extremely pointless sacrifice. Logan's Space Wolves decided to follow suit, ramming a Carnifex with an empty Rhino which actually managed to kill the Carnifex who rolled a 1 to wound the tank. While this happened, the survivors of the Bommer run rushed forward to assault the Termaguants that were holding the landing pad. Finally, a Crimson Fists Tactical Squad zoomed over to the statue objective from their Rhino and began a desperate fight for control of it.
During the shooting phase, the Baneblade, a Leman Russ, the Land Raider Crusader and the Ultramarines Command Squad all opened fire on the Orks, blowing them all to green mush, thereby eliminating the threat in one fell swoop. The Imperial Infantry fired a team of missile launcher at the Trygon, killing the beast under a hail of rockets, and leaving the statue objective up for grabs. Another Guard squad of Heavy Bolters tried to gun down the Fighta-Bommer, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, all of the survivors of the Bommer run charged the Termaguants, Genestealers and Hive Guard defending the landing pad. Despite almost wiping out the Termaguants, they failed to clear it out and so the landing pad was still contested. The Venerable Dreadnought killed 2 more Berzerkers and had its close combat weapon blown off before it was finally brought down by the combined might of the Berzerkers, freeing them and the Tyranid Warriors.
Having failed to secure the landing pad or the statue, it looked as if the best the Imperials could hope for was a tie as they desperately held on...
TURN 3 - XENOS
Having freed themselves from combat with the Venerable Dreadnought, the Red Tyranid Warriors and the Khorne Berzerkers charged onto the landing pad in a last-ditch effort to secure it.
There wasn't much shooting that could be done, aside from a few half-hearted attempted by the super-heavies on the other side's super-heavies. The only thing of note that happened was that the Fighta-Bommer returned for another bombing run, this time on the Imperial objective in their deployment zone! The station was manned by an Imperial Guard Heavy Weapons team, and a small squad of Logan's Grey Hunters. The Bommer dropped its payload, putting all the squads below half strength, causing all those units to lose their scoring status! Unfortunately for the Xenos, a small contingent of Imperial Guard were close enough to the objective that it was still secured - but just barely.
During the assault phase, the Khorne Berzerkers struck, cutting down the Techmarine and his servitors, and killing all but 3 of Andilus' Grey Hunters. However, the 3 Ultramarines Terminators fought on as a couple squads of Imperial Guardsmen waited below, contesting the objective.
With the game now finished, the score was tallied - 1 objective for the Xenos, 1 objective for the Imperials and 2 contested resulting in a draw - but just barely...
Hoo boy, I've got a few things I can say about this match... First off, the Red Tyranid player was the match MVP imho
- he held the landing pad with minimal help against 4 other players who ganged up on him, and he managed to almost wipe 1 of those players out single-handedly (that'd be Logan's Space Wolves, who lost all but a handful of Grey Hunters and a Rhino).
Now for some deciding moments of the game. I think that the most critical action of the whole game was when the Baneblade's blast scattered and killed the 7 Ultramarine Terminators. For one thing, it killed hardly any Guants. For another, the Terminators were in a position to assault, and if they had not been killed then they would have done far
more damage than the Baneblade did, they could have cleared out the landing pad by the end of the second turn, and the Imperials very well could have won the game. Similarly, the fact that the Vortex Missile completely fizzled out was a serious blow, making the tank an over-glorified obstacle from there on out. Another critical moment was the (probably illegal) arrival of the Khorne Berzerkers - if they had not arrived, Andilus Greatsword and 5 Terminators would have been available to attack the landing pad, making up for the Ultramarine's losses and (again) possibly winning the game. Finally, the Fighta-Bommer's first bombing run may also have cost the Imperials the game - had ~40% of the troops caught in the blast been available at the landing pad, the battle might have swung the other way (this is a less likely scenario than the other deciding moments though).
Finally, complaints. I'm friends with the Imperial Infantry and Ultramarines players, and we agreed that Logan's Space Wolves were a serious detriment to us in the game. During deployment he decided to create an armoured column of Land Raiders to attack the Red Tyranid's monstrous creatures, but this trapped half of the Imperial Team's army on 1/3 of the board, preventing them from being able to reach the statue objective and boxing us in tightly (and thereby making us a tempting target for a bombing run...). In fact, the Imperial Infantry tried to send troops to capture the statue on the last turn, but the Space Wolves Land Raider was in the way, and the player decided that he didn't want to move it, regardless of objectives. He was just TFG
, and literally did nothing towards securing objectives (with the exception of having a unit of Grey Hunters uselessly sitting in our deployment zone, but they did nothing in the game). To be fair though, he did kill the Tyrant which was admittedly impressive.
Anyway, I was also disappointed by the super-heavies in the game. Only 1 Baneblade was blown up, and the Warhound Titan only moved 12" in the whole game. Literally 1/3 of the board was covered with super-heavies, but they spent the whole time just taking turns shooting at each other. The way I see it our team basically defeated itself, and it's a miracle that we were able to tie the game - we really didn't deserve it, especially after the disastrous 2nd turn. I had fun despite all the complaints though, but next time I'm going to work on team coordination.