Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Retro Space Hulk game

After our 40k game Sho3 and I were up for more retro action. So we waited like a blip lurking in a dark corridor for our turn on Nico's recently completed Space Hulk board. We were joined by comrade Pat making us a trio to be reckoned with.

Now, this wasn't just any old Space Hulk board. Oh no, sir. This was probably the best Space Hulk board I've seen. Ever. Nico had done an amazing job of fitting the modular board into carry cases so neatly it looked like a commercially-designed product. You can see the thing in all its glory below and read about it here.

Nico had painted fantastic collection of original lead Termis and 'Stealers (yes, lead 'Stealers!) to fight across this marvellous hellscape. But had even gone a step further. He'd created more profiles for other Oldhammer Chaos ner-do-wells so they could join in the action. Each of these was accompanied by a stat card designed to look like the original Citadel Combat Cards. It was a fine mash up!

Pat, Sho3 and I decided to use our own vintage Termis. After all, they had travelled from afar and hadn't been used in 20 years so we figured they deserved an outing. Here are my lot. Forgive the awful painting. I seemed to think no highlighting and gloss varnish was the way to go back in the 90s.

We deployed (actually we were allowed a total of10 Termis, so each used a subset of what we had brought) and Nico took control of the Hulk's denizens. This is when I remembered what a good game Space Hulk is. Really tight. Fantastic tactical play. Lots of pressure right from Turn 1. Good job on this GW.

Our aim was to defend a control panel. After some um-ing and ah-ing we arrayed one guy each in front of the panel to put up a good fight if any gribbly got close enough to twiddle the dials. Hey kids! Don't touch those dials!

Things started pretty badly for the heroic explorers (AKA fascist invaders). We'd done an OK job with the setup but made some rookie errors. We lost a few good Termis as Nico's lads bore down on us with teeth, claws and lots of saliva. Mainly saliva. As Nico delved into his custom blip pile more and more of the Chaos weirdo's crawled out of the pipework.  Suddenly crazy *&*%^£" started showing up. Which, frankly, terrified us all. I think at one point Pat had to lie down. Pretty sure Sho3 had to run to the loo.

However, we got our act together and started to pull things back. Mr Banner Man did a good job of repeatedly shredding anything which poked its nose down one fire corridor. Mr Flamer Guy suppressed Nico nearby, repeatedly wiping out anything that came into view.

Then @#*$ got real when a disco dancin' Slaanesh Champion rocked up. We all sang Stayin' Alive when his blip was converted. It was the nerves.

Things got tense and the Slaaneshi deviant took out Banner Man. But he pushed his luck too far and Flamer Guy toasted him. Take that, you naughty pink menace!

At this point it went down hill for Nico. His blips were depleted and his minions struggled to get close to the objective room. He put up a good fight though! In the end we agreed a narrow Marine victory and Pat and Sho3 retired for a mid-strength beer (I was driving). I say 'agreed' as we'd had two hours of excellent gaming and Nico needed to clear the board for the next session.  Much fun was had and I really have to take my hat off to Nico who ran a slick game on one of the best boards ever made.

Kudos, Nico! And may your blips avoid being involuntarily revealed!

Monday, 5 August 2019

Oldhammer battle report

I dusted off some Oldhammer minis this weekend and packed myself off to BOYL.

As preparation I painted this little fellow to lead my Eldar. He's a conscious attempt to make my collection less dull and grey. There'll be more colourful chaps like him in the future I hope. I dug out a couple of vintage paints too including Warlock Purple and Leviathan Purple which worked wonders on his robe. They really vibrate against his yellow helm so I'm pretty pleased.

Without further ado, here's a light-hearted report of the first battle on the fateful day...

In the morning I faced off against top-hobbyist Sho3box in our long-planned game of 2nd edition 40K. We both brought 'broken' armies. My Eldar are properly bent in that edition. Turns out his Necrons are as well. But while Jes Goodwin's original Eldar sculpts remain stunning miniatures to this day, Sho3 bravely chose to use the clunky first editions of the Necron minis. Back-handed complements like 'charming', 'endearing' and 'characterful' all describe these rivet-laden bad boys. Also 'telephone booths'.

Here's what happened:

My brave and beautiful children of Asuryan arrayed themselves ready for action. The bulk of the force are the Guardian militia. If they ever need to teach enemies how to do breaststroke, repair a broken pot or crochet a scarf, these lads have got it covered.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What do you mean Scarabs are Toughness 8???

Sho3 did an incredible job on painting all the terrain including these vintage pieces. We mimicked on of the first Necron battle reports in White Dwarf where players fight over an archaeological dig site. Kind of like Indiana Jones, but with a goofy story involving aliens. I mean, they would never make a movie that god-awful about Indy, right? Right?

My Eldar pranced into action. The Warlock kindly asked the Scorpions if they can stop revving their chainswords for, like, two seconds because he needed to think.

One Guardian squad hung back to ensure no one stole the hot yoga pod the Eldar had seen fit to pack. 'Glad we've got it, but did you also bring the extra ammo?' asked the Warlock? 'No' they replied, 'but we did bring all the essential oils.'

Despite looking (and sounding) like an industrial lawnmower this little rascal buzzed down one of my flanks. My stalwart weapon platform swung into action and slotted this chap good an' proper. The detailed (some might say 'overly detailed') 2nd edition vehicle rules lumbered into action. After half an hour of dice rolling and chart consultation, the result was that the deadly grounds maintenance vehicle exploded and scattered off the table. Ha ha! Take that, lawnmower!

The forward squad of Guardian performed admirably as a meat shield for the Scorpions. Their skills in clock mending, dog grooming and cat neutering will be sadly missed. But more importantly the Scorpions got to cross (chain)swords with the Necron Warriors. At this point Sho3 revealed that Necrons have dastardly rules which diminish the use of any mechanical kit. So my Aspect Warriors were forced to smack the Warriors repeatedly in their stupid faces with the butts of their shuriken pistols. Unsurprisingly this meant the two squads were locked in combat for the rest of the game.

After a nice session in the hot yoga pod, the second Guardian unit ran in to claim the objective. They discovered a Necron cat, called... Nefer-kitty. Groan. Well, she was worth 5 VPs so I took that one on the chin.

My Warlock spent much of the game trying to shake off a bunch of randy Scarabs from his (shapely) legs. No matter how much he swatted them with his Witchblade, they just kept coming at him. It was like a nightmarish version of Whack-a-Mole. Later he used the essential oils on his scratches, but didn't admit this to the Guardians in case they 'told him so'.

In the denouement of the game (AKA Turn 4), three cheeky Spiders materialised next to the Necron Lord to 'stick it up 'im' with their death spinners. Above you can see a photo of Sho3 after he managed to dodge or save his Lord from all three attacks. What I don't have a photo of is Sho3's expression a moment later, when my trusty Lascannon platform successfully unloaded into the Lord's face, melting his head and reducing him to a twitching pile of slag. Ha ha ha ha!

Turns out I won. Nefer-kitty was taken back to the Eldar camp where she acted like she owned the place, turned her nose up at all the food offered to her and, every time they tried to take her photo she would turn around and raise her tail giving them a fine view of her...

Sho3 was an excellent opponent and really pulled out the stops with the terrain. I'm sure we'll face off again. I just hope he can find more hilarious miniatures next time. In a subsequent (possibly next) post I'll do a report on an epic Space Hulk battle on what must be one of the best boards ever seen.