Let’s start with a plethora of pictures from a game of Apocalypse I played against Ulf from GW Trier this Sunday. We ran 8.000 points Eldar vs Chaos and had a simple scenario: 3 Objectives, one in the centre of the table, the other two 24″ away from it on the central axis. We used the bidding time method to decide who got to go first, I bid 6 minutes, Ulf bid 12, so I went first, though I actually did not manage to deploy my Windrider Host in time. Actually, the table got a bit cramped so it was good that way. We decided to roll on the Disaster tables, using the Psychic Conjunction table for the first three turns, then switch to the Daemonic Incursion one for the last three, as this made sense in a Chaos vs Eldar match-up. One can imagine that massive use of psychic powers would eventually lead to a Warp Rift.
More pictures of my deployment.
More pictures of the Chaos line.
Turn of the Eldar army. I advanced, shot a couple of guys including a Land Raider full of Terminators, then charged some Cultists with the Revenant to tie them up.
The Chaos counterattack. Some Terminators dropped next to the Revenant and took some wounds off it, before the unit out of the destroyed Land Raider charged it and dropped it to 2 Hull Points.
I stopped taking more pictures as the game went on or only took them on the fly, so they are not that great. In essence, I got to return the Revenant thanks to the Reinforcement rule, then it came in, dropped 4 Destroyer shots on the Chaos Shadowsword to kill it, then got murdered by a unit of Chaos Space Marines with a Chaos Lord and Champion with combi-meltas as well as some Obliterators. The explosion DID end up killing most of the Marines including the Lord though. In the end, I managed to clean two objectives and hold them, while I managed to keep his guys off the last objectives, so the Eldar won a tight game with a final result of 13-11.
Some thoughts on Apocalypse:
– Don’t judge it too harshly based on store events. Most people make their first contact with Apocalypse in a store, but it doesn’t really work there that well. The main reasons are, in my opinion: people who register, then turn up late or not at all, forcing delays and frantic recalculations of points (or fail to come back in time after the food break), the timetable as most shops only open for 8-9 hours and getting a full game with lots of players in in that time is difficult at best or people who simply field their regular army and then wonder why they get vaporized by Titan guns. Apocalypse works best if you have a full day to play and are not rushed, with people you know and prepared armies. Ulf and I had a discussion how many super-heavy vehicles we would take and I think the balance was ok. He had more super-heavies in total with 5, though my Titan compensated for the three Knights easily. A showdown between the Knights and the Titan would have been great. However, his Seneshal did end up in combat with my Warmaster, the Avatar, killing it off rather easily.
– Keep it simple. We used the Disaster tables and for the first three turns, we rolled up the ‘Re-roll all 1s`result which doubled every die roll and thus cost a lot of time. Then after three turns of Ulf being the Master of Disaster, I won the die-off and promptly got to place 3 Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes on the battlefield under my control. It looks very cool as an idea, but it costs a lot of time and is very random in its effects.
– Don’t allow reinforcements. The rulebook allows each side to return one Apocalypse formation or unit to the battlefield after each break. However, whilst returning a Baneblade is ok, returning a Revenant Titan is not. So we will definitely not use that rule next time.
– Don’t use the 18″ or 24″ no-man’s land zones the book suggests. The old version only put 12″ between both armies and that means people get stuck in from turn 1 onwards and thus get to roll lots of dice to remove lots of models straight away. If armies deploy further away, they will spend the first couple of turns firing a few piddly shots that achieve nothing but wasting everyone’s time. A closer deployment also reduces the impact of super-heavies as they still die quickly when someone gets in grenade range.
– Apocalypse is FUN! Things explode, wiping out whole units with their explosions, Helbrutes end up as kings of the hill murdering one Wraithlord after the other because they have to charge into terrain, 9 Warp Spiders end up surviving half a Chaos army shooting them, then repel and wipe out a Marine unit charging them, and so forth. The scale of the game allows for lots of units that usually stay in the cupboard to get on the table and shine. The sheer number of models and combats also means that someone somewhere is going to do something insanely heroic or improbable to talk about. There is also a great dynamic with 3 objectives, as each side tries to rush the central one, resulting in a never-ending series of units wiping out the defenders, only to be wiped out in turn, trap meeting counter-trap and counter-trap meeting counter-counter-trap. And let’s not forget the aesthetics of Apocalypse: Just watching two teeming battle lines set up facing each other should let the heart of each wargamer beat faster.
In other gaming news, I had a nice game of Warhammer with Roland at his place. I unfortunately did not take many pictures, but it was a great game against a good opponent that ended up being decided on turn 5 when his Hierophant exploded, thus giving my magic supremacy and slowly grinding his last units down. Roland however has the distinction of being the first player to wipe out my Ghoul Horde (39 plus Vampire) through shooting. 60 Skeleton Archers with Queen Khalida and Multiple Shots is rather mean.
On the painting front, I did a lot of Warmachine stuff, as well as some Quad Mortars for my Imperial Guard allied detachment. Next up are a Hydra Flak Tank and the Forgeworld model of Kharn the Betrayer, Kharn of the Eighth. I like that one much better as it has no bunny ears.
A Stormclad Heavy Warjack. It was designed by Adept Nemo to go with Stormblade units and as such it gains a Focus Point when activating close to a Stormblade model. This means that it needs less focus from its ‘caster. It also hits quite hard with its Generator blade and has a lot of armour, especially with its shield adding another +2 to its ARM. It is quite expensive for a heavy warjack, being a full 10 points, but still a lot cheaper than the Stormwall colossal it might replace or alternate with.
A Stormblade Captain. A solo model that gives bonuses to itself and other Storm Knights, letting them see and move through each other or even charge through each other. He is the only non-unique Cygnar model with Weapon Master, so on a charge he does 13+4d6 damage with an elite MAT of 8 which should be enough to kill most solos or even a damaged Warjack. If he kills a model in combat, he can then shoot another model with a Lightning Bolt from his blade (he can also shoot people if he is not in combat, but in general it is better to get stuck in with him).
Lord Commander Coleman Stryker: Avid reader might remember my loss against a Stryker army. As my brother still had him kicking about, I painted him up and thus will now be able to bring the pain myself in combat. He also lets Stormblade Infantry move once before the game starts, thus offsetting their slightly slower speed.
Some pictures of the Stormblade Infantry unit Chris painted for me. Because after painting two guys who give bonuses to Stormblades, I should also include some Stormblades to benefit from them, shouldn’t I?
Arlan Strangewayes, Mechanic extraordinaire. I finished his paintjob with a wash of Nuln Oil to make him look greasy and dirty, as befits a mechanic who likes to get stuck in there and fix Warjacks while the bullets are flying.
Captain Jonas Murdoch: A unit attachment with the Ranking officer rule, which means that he can only be attached to Mercenary units that can join a Cygnar army, then turning them from a Mercenary unit to a Cygnar unit. This means that any rules or spells that can only target friendly Faction models as opposed to friendly models can be used/cast on this mercenary unit too. He also gives his unit the Assault order that lets them declare a charge, then shot the target of the charge after moving but before their melee attack. It even explicitly lets them shoot if they are out of charge range, so you can declare a charge to get the +3 movement bonus for charging but still get a shooting attack, which you would not get with a run move (double SPEED but no action after it). He will most often go with Boomhowler’s trolls, which you can see above behind Command Adept Nemo.
So, that’s what I did last week. This week will be a quiet one as I am going to Utrecht to play Magic: the Gathering this weekend to practise for next week’s World Magic Cup Qualifier, so I will probably spend less time painting and wargaming and more time with the family as they won’t see me over the weekend.