It had been a few weeks since the Tauron Mining Company had fought the Blood Skulls in Kwag’Lunde. Their bikes had been repaired but the Leman Russ battle tank had lost a track and still needed repairs. The leader of the Squats, Rusk II, was a entrepreneur at heart and had aquired a detailed map of the Southern part of Kruaine. According to the legends, these lands had been bustling with industry until the ‘great accident’. Now, they were covered in lead grey radioactive clouds, and strange beings emmanating neon lights could be seen at night. The only functional industry still in the area is the Chernogood plant, from where recently reds lights have been spotted in the sky above. Using the map of the anceint industrial area Rusk II hoped to uncover great treasures, natural resources and archeotech.
The Squats rode out.
Soon they found themselves surrounded by a rolling green fog smelling worse than ever. They would have to rely on their leaders to get anywhere. Strange putrid beings started appearing on the horizon, and it was clear that these beings were after their leaders too. Feeding on the psychic energy. One especially foul creature was identified as the shot-caller and Rusk II demanded that his troops put all emphasis on bringing down this demon.
We played on a 6×4′ board and used more or loss only home made scenery. We both drew the “witch hunt” mission, which we thought made for an interesting twist.
Plaegius Maximus, Chaos Lord, powerfist, flies, rot, bolter
The White Plague – 6 x Plague Marines, 1x melta + 1 Aspiring Champion (Rot, Powerfist)
The Green Pox – 6 x Plague Marines, 1x melta + 1 Aspiring Champion ( Powerfist)
The Brown Bubboes – 6 x Plague Marines, 1x plasma + 1 Aspiring Champion (Flies, Powerfist)
Peter the Dreadnought (twin las, thunderhammer)
Ketchstool’s Bearers 7 x Plaguebearers
Squibbly Jim’s Swarm 3 x Nurglings
Squat Warlord, Exo Armour, Thunder Hammer, Displacer Field, Combat Drugs. Battle Standard.
Living Ancestor, Conversion Field, Psychic Hood
5 x Blue Helmet Squat Warriors, 1 x plasma gun 1 x hand flamer.
5 x Yellow Helmet Squat Warriors, 1x flamer, 1 x power glove, 1 x bolter + 1 Hearthguard, plasma pistol, power glove 5 x Orange Helmet Squat Warriors, 1 x flamer, 1 x chainsword
5 x Exo-Armour Squats.
5 x Ogryns, ripper guns.
5 x Squat Bikers, 1 x meltagun
5 x Thunderers, 2 x Las Cannon, 2 x Heavy Bolters, 1 x boltgun
Thudd Gun + 2 crew
The Squats deployed first (strategy rating 3) and they chose to hug the hills and rocks and get into as much cover as possible. This was sensible since they more or less could count on not getting the first turn either.
In the first turn, most things just went straight forward, and nothing really happened other than the Squats hitting the Dreadnought in the arm and causing an explosion, that made it (more) difficult to control. Next, they put down the dreaded bubble of nothing – The Force dome. This effectively cut off the Dreadnought completely.
The craters were providing ample cover and most of the shooting therefore ended up being inconclusive. In 2nd edition the primary benefit from cover is the modifier that the enemy suffers. Therefore even an armoured suit will benefit from cover. IN this case it meant that the Nurgle Marines with their 3+ save, -2 hard cover modifier, and toughness 5 were hard to put down.
The Squats took a page out of the Nurgle playbook and advanced towards the cover themselves. The Exo Armour would be neigh indestructible once the safety of hard cover was reached.
At the western narrow end of the table the Nurgle Marines were splitting their fire between the Blue Squat squad and the Exo Amour in hard cover. The Plague Marines are armed with bolters – this means that they can rapid fire. In 2nd edition the rapid fire rules state that you can fire your weapon twice, if you do not move at all. (turning doesn’t count as movement). The Nurgle strategy was to put so much fire on the Exo Armour that sooner or later they would budge. It didn’t work though.
The Thudd gun stared homing in. The green d4 in the image above is the indirect marker from the Thudd gun. The chaos Dreadnought had failed every roll to activate so far… the damage result it had, stated that every turn it had to roll 4+ to activate. It never happened.
At the Eastern end of the board, the Squat bikers were going for a scuffle against the White Plague. The screen of Nurgling in front of the White Plague was not really doing much of anything, but at least it kept the Ogryn Rippergun fire off… The Nurglings are “small” which means that normally you may ignore them for targeting purposes. In 2nd edition you always have to fire at the nearest target (you may choose vehicles over infantry though). But once the Nurglings are within 6” you have to prioritise them even if they’re small.
The Thudd gun barrage started falling. Amazingly it scattered in the wrong direction and ended up taking out an Exo Armour Squat! Incredulous! The Chaos Dreadnought was still just a spectator and couldn’t be animated by anything happening on the battlefield.
Before charging into hand to hand combat, the White Plague had been used as the focus for 5 Plaguebearers who entered the battlefield directly from the Warp. The rules for demon summoning are very complex in 2nd edition – for each power you gather summoning points by various means. For Nurgle, every wound inflicted gives you 1 summoning point. If it is inflicted by a Nurgle follower it grants you 2 points. Every demon costs 2 points to summon. For Khorne it is based on how many hits you score (which is somewhat easier I would dare).
Since the Plaguebearers were summoned in the Squat turn psychic phase, the precious demons could go directly for the charge in the following Nurgle turn. They jumped straight into the Ogryn squad. This was an especially suitably target since it would allow them to use their Plagueswords on the multiwound Ogryns (on 4+ a wounding hit takes out the whole model irrespective of how many wounds it has left).
The following psychic phase saw two more Plaguebearers appear, but as they charged a squad of Squats were quick to use their overwatch and gun them down. The Living Ancestor can be gleaned in the background here. The Forces of Chaos were never even close to getting the guy.
The Exo Armour managed to take out more than half of Westward Nurgle squad, while the White Plague beat up Squat bikers. The Plaguebearers succesfully mauled the Ogryns and the game was then called as the 4th turn ended.
Rusk II grumbled inside his Exo-Armour, he had to turn off his communicator to avoid saying things “on air” he would later regret. “What a bunch of drunken excuses for “Squat Warriors” he had to deal with” he thought to himself while cursing and grinding his teeth. But what really angered him most was the fact the battle was over so quickly and he never managed to pound his mighty thunderhammer down on any of the chaos scum.
Another great game of 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000. I really enjoyed playing a Nurgle themed army. It was a bit of an impulse, and half the models were based just minutes before Jonas arrived with his Squats. I will definitely elaborate on this army in the future.
The game ended 6-4 in favour of Nurgle. The ONLY reason this was possible was because the Ogryns were beaten. This was 3 VP in itself. There were many close-calls on the table. One more plaguebearer dead, and that would have been 2 VP more for the Squats. Same goes for the Nurglings, that would have tipped the game if the last remaining base had been taken out.
With regards to the mission the Squats managed to take out one aspiring champion, which gave them 2 VP (1 for a character, and 1 for the mission). The Nurgle troops were never close to getting the Living Ancestor. I think that in the future we will start to develop the missions for our games a bit more. The standard mission are nice, but often have an undue effect on the outcome, as for instance if one side gets Engage and Destroy, while the other gets Witch Hunt there isn’t much game to be had.