Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Death Guard Bloodied - Epic 30k Battle Report

Super heavy tanks from the 14th Legion prepare to bring hope and change to another world in the so-called "Imperium"
I was very pleased to host some more Epic 30k carnage last week! The game was notable for a couple of reasons.  For one, my great friend, Fawcett Avenue Conscript founding member and Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge host Curt was in town for a quick visit.  Curt loves 30k and loves Epic, so I knew an Epic 30k game would be a fitting way to mark his appearance here in Winnipeg. A further bonus is the game offered the chance for Byron to get his Epic 30k Death Guard force out on to the table for the first time.  Byron completed a Death Guard force during his mad-cap participation in the most recent edition of Curt's Painting Challenge (see here for example of this work, including his Epic Death Guard).

We all know what happens to newly-painted figures when they hit the table for the first time...I wanted a scenario that would ensure the baptism-by-fire happened in a fun and orderly fashion.  So the basics were simple...seize three objectives, or cause six formation breaks on the opposing force.  Byron had painted some drop pods for his troops, so I set up a drop-pod assault, backed by Titans and heavy armour.  The Sons of Barbarus would confront the loyalist dupes of the Imperial Fists, with both sides backed by Titans!

A view of the table as hostilities commenced

There was one other wrinkle - only infantry stands could capture an objective.  Even if you slaughtered all the infantry, you would not win it back unless you sent your own foot-sloggers into the breach.  I hoped this might balance things a little...both sides had oodles of firepower, but the loyalists had only two infantry detachments, giving the rebels a slight advantage in terms of grabbing the objectives, and forcing both sides to consider the use of their Marines carefully with Titans and super heavy tanks all over the place...

Drop assault! The Death Guard grab one objective...
I set the game for six turns, but with so many big guns on the table, we kind of knew it wouldn't last that long...Byron and Mike F took command of the Death Guard forces, while Curt and Dallas commanded the deluded loyalists fighting on behalf of the so-called "Emperor".

The engines of Legio Gryphonicus prepare to move out
Legio Mortis makes ready to bring hope and change...

Byron's Death Guard landed three detachments via deep strike - two tactical detachments landed in drop pods, while an assault detachment landed via jump pack.  They captured two of the three objectives, and plotted to use a detachment of Terminators riding in Spartan APCs to capture the third one.

Another drop pod landing...the Sons of Barbarus prepare to capture the objective
Curt and Dallas knew the Death Guard might capture that third objective at any moment, and so took very prompt action to, er, "liberate" one of them, using a Reaver and a Warhound to absolutely ventilate the relevant building.  Fight for the 14th Legion they said...anyway, it was a tough go for that tactical detachment as they disappeared beneath templates fired by the apocalypse launchers, and then the gatling cannons, and then the volcano cannon, and then the plasma blastgun, and then the vulcan mega bolters...you get the idea...

Forces clash in Epic 30k - note the Spartan and surviving Imperial Fists fleeing in the top right of the photo after the Death Guard assault detachment saw them off...
Note the pending retribution for the Death Guard assault detachment...lots of firepower prepared to exact revenge...ouch!
Byron and Mike did not quit, however, but they doubled down instead! They sent the assault detachment forward to confront an Imperial Fist tactical detachment mounted in Spartan APCs, routing them before they could even dismount! Mortarion would have been proud, and would have promoted the lot of them...if any had survived the follow-up counter-blow from the Legio Gryphonicus engines...wow, the Horus Heresy is brutal!

Death Guard armour and dreadnoughts move forward

The Loyalists buckled down and focused on another objective, concentrating fire on one of the Legio Mortis Reavers and destroying it, and then capturing an objective back from the Death Guard thanks to the support of Titans and a Glaive super-heavy tank.  For their part Byron and Mike suffered from some bad luck on the command rolls, and could not get their Terminators to the third objective in time.  By the time they did, concentrated fire from Dallas' and Curt's formations broke a sufficient number of rebel formations to cause the Death Guard to fall back, and plot their revenge...

"Great job! We captured an objective!"

Somehow the loyalist fools have captured an objective back! That Titan was soon to be at an end as the loyalists concentrated their fire...

In all, a hard-won victory for the loyalist side.  The objectives were tempting to seize, but not easy to hold, particularly with lethal firepower stalking all over the table. I absolutely love the 30k setting (as you can tell with a brief search of this blog) and I have to say that the Epic rules engine is an absolutely marvelous match for it.  The scale allows for the large sweep of troop types, vehicles and Titans to appear on a 6' x 4' table in a way that is hard to achieve with 28mm figures, and the rules mechanics are just excellent for offering the flavour of the setting, along with brutally efficient combat resolution.  Players must make decisions and can't do everything they want, creating some command tension without undue complication.  Epic really was a fantastic set of rules...

This poor tactical detachment from the 14th Legion was broken a second time, sealing the fate of the Death Guard attack...note the Glaive in the top right of the photo - the Volkite Carronade is a heck of a thing to come up against...
A big thanks to Dallas, Byron and Mike F for joining the game, and thanks to Byron for bringing his awesome Death Guard models out to the game.  Was great to see them on the table! It was a lot of fun to game with our friend Curt once again. 

Now that the Death Guard has endured their "first game" blooding, watch for them to appear in more menacing fashion in further Epic 30k action on the Fawcett Avenue tables...

7 comments:

Curt C said...

It was a terrific game, Greg!

Having six (6!) titans battling it out was amazingly good fun. Those bad boys sure can lay waste to any infantry units that are unfortunate enough to get in the way. It doesn't matter whether you're wearing Terminator armour or animal hides, you'll still end up as a carbon shadow on the ground when these things open up. Yeesh!

tim said...

What a great looking game! You have quite the collection!

Moiterei_1984 said...

Excellent looking game with all those lovely toys on the table! Must have been a blast of a game too, judging by your write up and Curts enthusiastic comment.

ByronM said...

Excellent game and tons of fun, thanks for hosting Greg.

The one issue with the game though (if we ever run that scenario again) was that both sides need a LOT more infantry. Having 4 detachments on the DG side and 3 (I think) on the loyalist side, with all the firepower on the table meant that there really was never going to be a chance for either side to win via the primary conditions and it was going to fall to break point to determine the winner. While still a lot of fun, I think having at least 6 inf detachments (maybe only 3 dropping in) on the one side and 4-5 on the other side would make it better. Just my take though.

john de terre neuve said...

Very nice Greg. It is the first Epic AR I have seen, great looking models and report. I finally have found your blog and added it to my blogroll so I will be able to follow with ease now.

John

JamieM said...

What a great looking game and must be nice to get all the models out and play a decent sized game! Having played a few games of epic, I'm really enjoying the brutality and decisive nature of actions.

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