Well, we made it to Baltimore MD, to the Inner Harbor at the Baltimore Convention Center for Games Day 2010. Quite a few members of our local gaming club, Berks-PA Gaming Club made the trip as well. It was also good to see friends from other gaming clubs like Rich D and the guys from the Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg, and Tony, Doug and the gang from the Gaming Garage, who will be hosting the Mechanicon-GT in West Chester PA this November.
I took my son along, Ethan, who is now 8 years old and building an Imperial Guard army as well as a combined Space Marine army with me. This would be his first ever Games Day. We took time to review the events list and think about what we wanted to do the night before.
We decided to make this a special Father/Son getaway and booked a hotel room at the Days Inn right across the street from the venue. Funny how many of the folks working there, especially staff from GW and Forge World were staying in our hotel.
I recall from Games Days in the past that there is so much going on, not to get bogged down in a big tournament. However, we did want to make sure that we played at least a game or two, get to see what was there, view models, buy stuff, and just enjoy the day.
Last year I was very dissapointed that there was no open gaming. Thankfully that was corrected this year. It seemed that many of the gaming clubs picked up on this as well and sponsored their own tables for games. I must say that this was perhaps one of the best features of Games Day for us.
We were drawn to the tables by Ineptus Astartes, a club based locally in Colombia MD, and their comical signs of "special forces" featuring a space marine dropping a hand grenade.
One of their game tables was "Da Hunt for Red Orktoba", a play off of the movie, where an Ork Warboss steals an imperial submarine and bursts through the snow and ice to launch a death missle. You could command Ork forces or Imperial Guard forces and try to destroy the submarine before the Orks launch the missle.
My son substituted 500 points of his Cadian 17th Imperial Guard for 500 points of the game club's Vostroyans. Sure they looked a tad out of place, but it added the personal touch of having some of your own forces.
We played with 2 players running the IG (us and another player) and 2 players running the orks. Hosts from the Game Club acted as referrees. The game was solid, the Submarine was very well built. The mission was fun. We had 5 turns to destroy the submarine by taking away all structure points. The sub was broken down into 4 sections, each with 2 structure points: Front: Armor:13, Sail: Armor:14. Middle/Hangar: Armor:12 and Rear: Armor: 12.
We all started with a few forces on the table and other units in reserve. We got to use one of their Valkyries, placing my son's stormtroopers inside and also a Thunderbolt fighter. In the end, a very tense fight (with a battle report to follow!), my son scored vicotry combining fire with our comrade and the Guard took away the last 2 structure points at the top of Turn 5.
We had incredible fun, and leaving that game with my son feeling really proud of himself, we made our way to the Forge World line of goods. Thankfully FW fixed their issues from last year, as they had no bar coding on any items last year, and had to tally items up by hand. Instead of having to wait 2+ hours for an item, I think we waited 5 minutes and walked away with some goodies, including our own Thunderbolt fighter. :-)
We made our way to view the Big Game, and than took part in a Mega-Battle of Superheavies and Gargantuan models run by Showcase Comics. The scenery was immense, and my son Ethan got to run a squadron of Vendetta gunships and a Warhound Titan in a battle against orks.
After that we made sure to get a chance to try out the Remote Control Tanks. Ethan got his hands on a R/C Baneblade and had fun with that.
We made our way past there to the Scenery Make & Take. I love this event, and we both made a sizable GW building to add to our collection. After the Make & Take, we helped texture some GW battle boards for another give away.
This one was really nice, and I wish we would have done more with this. In 5 sessions througout the day, people got to paint and texture complete boards. Your name got entered into a raffle for each time you helped. At the end of the day, they raffled off all 3 boards complete with about 8-12 pieces of terrain to go with them. This event was just an extra donation by GW, and I feel was a great one. Sadly we didnt' win, but I still think that it was a wonderful concept, and all of the boards looked terrific.
Finally, as Games Day winded to a close, we met up with some of our friends and went to Hard Rock Cafe and enjoyed a great dinner and swapped our tales of our adventures for the day. Back at our hotel, my son and I ran into a group of fellas from GW and Forge World, including Gav Thorpe! That just made a wonderful weekend even better.
So, in the end, we are saddened to hear that Games Day will not be in Baltimore next year, but regardless of that, we all agree that this year was by far the BEST Games Day event all of us had attended.
Space Marines vs. Orks: Strike Force Steel Thunder vs. Blood Axe Mercenaries
Another encounter with the Blood Axes (Orks in training) with my friend Colin. He is still learning how to play orks, an army i've been playing for the past 4 years, and at times, competetively. So, as the Blood Axes are building a Shooty-Style Army of Ork Lootas, I allowed him access to my models and this gave me another chance to field my Space Marines, a new project I have been working on lately.
Our encounter takes us into the Asoria sub-sector, where the Blood Axes at this point, led by the boss Bullet-Bita, have been spearheading an assault into this region under orders from Ork Warlord Krogg Satogg of Krogg's Karnage.
Strike Force Steel Thunder is a unified force of Space Marines from two Chapters. The rebuilding Lamenters 5th Company allong with allies of the Salamanders 6th company. So far this list is still my 1000 point list from our local "Tale of 4 Gamers" in the Berks-PA Gaming Club. My list is pretty standard but has given me some fun options as I continue to complete painting them.
Space Marine Turn 1: Opening up fire into the battle, the Dreadnought Honorable Brother Val'Deez only managed to melt a tree in front of him with his multi-melta. The Whirlwind Hailfire scored a direct hit upon the orks wartrukk, but failed to damage it. All in all, a very ineffective round of shooting for the Space Marines.
Ork turn 1: Wartrukk with Nobs in it races down the Western flank. The Nobs crest the hill and are just barely in range of assaulting the Lamenter's Rhino. On the other side of the field, the Ork's looted wagon with battle cannon ( a looted Vindicator tank) scattered it's shot and it landed directly upon the Salamanders Rhino and a few scouts. The scouts avoided damage thanks to their camo cloaks. The advancing ork Ork Lootas and shoota boyz pumped some rokkit launchas into the Stunned Rhino and subsequently wrecked it, forcing the Salamander tactical squad to disembark.
Space Marine turn 2: The Landspeeder Storm arrived, outflanking from the East, allowing the Assault Scouts to come in behind the Looted Wagon. Shooting was more effective this turn, combined shooting scoring 3 wounds on the Nobs, (unsaved by Feel No Pain). Assault scouts with their transport pur their fire into the Looted Wagon, stunning it and than destroying it with Krak grenades and a melta-bomb from the Sgt. The Lamenters disembarked from their shaken transport, drew bolt pistols and than assaulted the Nobs. They scored 2 wounds, leaving just 3 Nobs left: the Pain-doc, one with a power claw and one other Nob.
Ork turn 2: More Outflanking! Ork Kommandos arrive on the South Eastern flank behind the Dreadnought and near the Whirlwind. The empty Wartrukk moved full speed ahead, attempting to tank-shock the Captain and his tactical 5-man squad. The Lamenters avoid the tank-shock and move aside. More orks advance, now in range of their shootas (18 inches) and start pouring dakka-dakka fire from their slug throwing guns into Space Marine units. They manage to kill 1 marine. Lootas fire their deffguns at the Assault scouts, who manage to avoid injury due to range and cover.
The Warboss calls a "Waaagh!", and rolls a 6 for the closest mob of boyz. They join in the fight with the Lamenters and Nobs and eventually the 5-man squad is finished off as the Warboss joins in the fun. Kommandos assault the dread, hoping to get the Nob with the Powerclaw leading the pack into the fight. He misses. Honorable Brother Val'Deez kills 2 Kommandos with his Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon.
Space Marine turn 3: As the Warboss and his troops are closing in, Ork teams fire into the squad of shoota boyz in the central objective area of the board. Combined fire takes out half the squad, killing 10 of the 20 orks. Other shooting stuns the Wartrukk. The Assault scouts Manuver around, trying to get an angle near the orks in the center of the battle field. The Battle of the Dreadnought and the Kommandos was still at a stand still.
Ork Turn 3: The Ork Wartrukk was attempting to ram the Whirlwind Hailfire, but it just didn't have enough speed. Still it pulled in close enough to get it's wrecking ball into range, but the deadly weapon missed. The Ork Warboss Bullet-Bita lead his mob closer to Captain Octavious. Their gunfire killed 3 of his Lamenters and the good Captain had the sense to pull his troops back (falling back 8 inches) and taking them out of assault range of the intruding Orks.
As shooting continued, the Salamander tactical squad lost 4 men, including the Sergeant, and they wisely pulled back. The Salamander Dreadnought, Honorable-Brother Val'Deez continued to hold his ground against the ork kommandos, killing another of their number.
Space Marine turn 4: This time the Marines concentrated their efforts on the weakened shoota boy mob in by the central objective towards the North. Shooting from the Landspeeder Storm, the Assault scouts and the surviving Salamanders combined to soften them up. A combined assault of the Scouts and Salamanders saw the orks get wiped out. Salamanders consolodated South, trying to block off the objective while the Assault Scouts claimed the objective.
Scout Snipers and the Whirlwind continued to pour fire into the closing mob of orks, killing a few more. The Dreadnought was still locked in a tied combat with the Kommandos.
Ork turn 4: Ork Lootas managed to shoot and kill one of the assault scouts, who were hunkered down in a copse of trees. The larger ork mob closes in on the Salamanders, shoots and than assaults them, killing a couple but loosing men in return.
The Dreadnought was still holding its ground, despite being shaken up a bit by the Nob with the Power Claw. The Wartrukk continued to try to hit the Whirlwind with its wrecking ball, but still managed to not hit the missle tank.
Space Marine turn 5: Captain Octavious stepped up and left Battle-Brother Heath Gulther, the last man of the 5-man combat squad still standing, who was just behind the Whirlwind and brought his Missle Launcher to bear. The Missle takes out the truck where it was sitting.
Where the Salamanders were tied up in an assault, the Sniper Scouts broke free from the ruined building and join into the assault. They managed to inflict some casualties and take a few of their own, but help hold the combat away from the other objectives.
The Landspeeder Storm zipped away flat out, moving into position to contest the objective where the 3 nobs were still camped out on the hill.
Ork turn 5: The Lootas managed to shoot down the Landspeeder Storm. They claim the Western objective. The large mob of boys finish off the lone Salamander and sniper scouts, and move to claim the southeast objective, but Captain Octavious is there to contest it. In the Center area of the field of battle, the Assault Scouts stand vicotrious on their objective, thus securing a 1-1 tie.
End Game: Objectives count: 1-1. Going to victory points is as follows: Orks: 549 points. Space Marines: 500. As this is in the 10% rule, (100 points in this case), the end result is a solid draw. The Lamenters and Salamanders of Strike Force Steel Thunder hold their ground, but fail to stop the Ork assault into the sector.
This was a very fun game. Colin is learning to play orks (my main army) and I'm helping him at what I call "Kamp Karnage" named after my own ork Army: Krogg's Karnage. His experimentation with a shooty style of ork army is starting to take off. I just heard that he defeated a cagey Space Wolf player recently. I look forward to more games with him as I help him join the WAAAGH!
I'm also enjoying learning how to run my Space Marines too, but I'm an Ork player at heart. :-)
Strike Force Steel Thunder vs. Kalderian Tomb World (Necrons) [Mark VH]
1000 Points Annihilation. Deployment: Pitched Battle
+++REDACTED BY THE INQUISITION+++
On the planet of Greavalex in the Havaria Subsector, Captain Octavius Glabius, newly appointed to the Lamenters 5th company brought back another small scout force to investigate increased troop movements of reported greenskin incursions in the sector.
What they didn’t expect to find was yet another force. As they moved into the region of a torn and damaged industrial district, sensor readings indicated increased EMF emissions. +++REDACTED BY THE INQUISITION+++ These readings became evident as a large structure appeared, and from it, beings of steel death emerged from its eerie glowing green lights.
+++REDACTED BY THE INQUISITION+++
….Assembled his strike teams to counter this new threat. Captain Octavius Glabius ordered a scout strike team to outflank the new threat. As Sgt. Runat led his team around the Western flank, two tactical squads in Rhino transports prepared to engage the enemy forces. It was clearly evident that these new forces were not friendly.
Tactical squad Lamda consisting of Lamenters from the 5th company rolled North East. Tactical squad Epsilon consisting of a squad of Salamander Marines from the 6th company took position along the North West. The Salamander Whilwind “Hailfire” Took up position in the South East by Captain Octavius Glabius. Joining them was the Dreadnought, Honorable-Brother Va’Deez of the Salamander’s 6th company. In a 4 story ruined structure in the Southwest, Sgt Vidikas took a team of Lamenter scout snipers and a missle launcher into firing position.
Space Marine turn 1: Marines moved troops. Lamenters Rhino with Tactical squad Lamda rolled forth along the Eastern flank taking position behind a power converter structure. Honorable-Brother Val’Deez strode forward, hoping to bring his Multi-melta to bear upon the Monolithic structure that loomed before him. The white-hot rays from his weapon dissipated harmlessly around the pyramid-like machine.
Salamander Tactical squad moved north along the Western flank and the Rhino popped off its smoke launchers. Scout snipers gunned down a destroyer, only to see it repair itself with a “We’ll Be Back” (WBB) roll.
Necron Turn 1: Moving troops forward, the Necrons moved into position to fire at the Space Marines. As fate would have it, the large Monolith failed it’s dangerous terrain roll and got wedged between two of the structures as it was too big to move through the ruined buildings in the town square.
All necron weapons were stopped by cover and/or smoke launchers by the Space Marines. Scout snipers dug deep into cover, their camo-cloaks providing ample cover.
Space Marine turn 2: The Hailfire opened up with a massive salvo from its missle launchers, raining down pain on a collective group of Necron warriors. Out of 9 hits, all of them were either saved, or later regenerated by WBB rolls.
Much of the Space Marine fire was ineffective this turn, but Honorable-Brother Val’Deez rumbled through some rough terrain around a central structure and was able to bring his dreadnought close combat weapon to bear onto the immobile Monolith. He started to rip off some type of pintle mounted weaponry, weakening the structures attacks.
Necron turn 2: Concentrated fire from the Monolith and Necron warriors managed to stun the dreadnought and damage the leg-servos of Honorable-Brother Val’Deez. The remaining squad of Necron Warriors and Destroyers brought their weapons to bear upon the Salamander Rhino arriving on the Western flank. Eventually the vehicle was destroyed by heavy gauss fire, but tactical squad Epsilon managed to disembark their vehicle without any trouble.
Space Marine turn 3: This turn started to prove promising for the combined Lamenter and Salamander teams. Sgt. Runat and his assault scouts arrived on the West in their Land Speeder Storm. Laying down a heavy round of fire from the Heavy Bolter and their bolt pistols and the combined fire from the snipers and Salamander tactical squad, several Necron warriors were gunned down. Those units would then combine their efforts and assault the Necrons, hoping to see them off all together. Sgt Kal’Dey of the Salamanders scored a damaging hit upon the Necron lord with his powerfist.
On the Eastern flank, The Lamenter’s Rhino advanced under cover of smoke and unleashed tactical squad Lamda, who took their weapons to the Necrons. Honorable-Brother Val’Deez, his legs motionless, started to scale the side of the Necron Monolith, attempting to rip weaponry off as he made his ascent.
Necron turn 3: Seeing their forces being pulled down, the Necron troops recycled and stood back up, combining their attacks with their lord and eventually gunned down the Salamanders with combined fire from the Monolith and the Destroyers. This left Sgt Runat and just 2 men from his squad all alone facing a fully regenerated band of Necrons and a squad of 5 destroyers.
The Lamenters and Necrons were locked in a tough assault that kept seeing each squad whittle each other down.
Space Marine turn 4: Seeing the Necron warriors collected together, the Hailfire unleashed hell, blasting the entire squad with the Necron Lord and wounding 9 out of 11 of them with missle fire. The Necrons somehow managed to save 8 of the 9 wounds!
In an act of desperation, Sgt. Runat led his squad into a foolish assault and tried to hold the Necron Lord up long enough for help to arrive. It was a folly as they were cut down, but not before the Sgt took down one more Necron warrior with him.
The Lamenters were still engaged with the Necrons and Captain Octavius now embarked upon the Lamenter Rhino and moved forward hoping to either support his men or pull some of them back. As he did such, Honorable-Brother Val’Deez in his armored sarcophogas, continued to scale the side of the Monolith, pulling off more Necron weaponry as he climbed to the top where the crystal lay.
Necron turn 4: The Necrons continued to take the fight to the Space Marines. The Necron Lord used the power of the Monolith to pull his squad back through and they warped to the other side of the Monolith, bringing their troops to attack the Lamenters who were starting to win their fight with the other Necron squad.
The Destroyers took out the Land Speeder Storm, immobilizing it and now surged forward to engage targets of the sniper squad hunkered down in the tall building. So far, the Space Marines were down a 5-man squad of snipers, a Rhino, and a full tactical squad and now a Land Speeder Storm.
Space Marine turn 5: Realizing that this foe was not going to be able to be stopped, Captain Octavious had urged his driver to surge forward and get near the fallen men of Lamda squad . He was able to pull a few of them to safety, grievously wounded as they were, and attempt to escape the implacable foe.
The Whirlwind combined fire with the scouts and finally obliterated 2 of the destroyers. The Salamander Dreadnought, Honorable-Brother Val’Deez finally made his ascent and with his dreadnought close combat weapon, smashed the glowing green crystal atop the Necron Monlith, effectively wrecking it.
Necron turn 5: With the Space marine captain out of his Rhino and collecting men, The destroyers had turned their guns to the Rhino. They managed to wreck the Lamenter Rhino. With their great Monolith destroyed, the Necron squads finished off what was left of the Lamenters squad Lamda, and reacted negatively to their loss of the strange machine. The two squads engaged in the assault finished it off, taking down the last of Lamda squad.
Game ended on turn 5. Going by the rule book (broken!), Necrons won this Annihilation mission 5-1. Going by Victory Points, they won 535-235. The unbelievable amount of armor and WBB saves that Mark made for his Necrons was nothing short of miraculous. He must have made 90% of his save rolls. I’ve never seen anything like it. In the end, I did get a moral victory with the destruction of the Monolith, as I’ve never wrecked one before , and this is only my 3rd time facing Necrons.
Post game fluff:
Captain Octavius was able to pull some of his men to safety. The destruction of the Monolith caused enough mayhem, disrupting enemy forces to allow him to gather some of his wounded men to safety. The Sniper team and Whirlwind provided covering fire. Sgt. Kal’Dey was dead, but thankfully with the distractions to the Necron forces, his body and most of his squad was able to be recovered for extraction of their progeniod glands. Some of his squad will survive their wounds.
+++REDACTED BY THE INQUISITION+++
The losses were high for the Space Marines, but the destruction of the Monlith was a moral victory. Reinforcements are on their way, as a new threat has appeared on Greavalxx in subsector: Havaria.
I'm a 30-something gamer who's been involved in gaming for many years, in fact for over 25+ years in a variety of games, and have shifted from RPGs to mainly table top wargaming. I do still participate in an online version of GURPS RPG with friends around the USA, as well as playing some games on the computer.
Currently I am also expanding into running Warhammer 40K tournaments and playing 40K competetively, continue to expand our game club and network, and just enjoy life.
Other games I currently play are: Blood Bowl, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Flames of War, GURPS RPG, and Battletech.
Former games I used to play inlcude: Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars RPG (West End Games, Rolemaster RPG, Magic the Gathering CCG, Paranoia, Various board games, Star Frontiers, and Marvel Heroes.