Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 2 of 4

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap presents select treasures from yesteryear for the enjoyment of my readers and the easing of my creative duties. 

This one is dated 15 October 2007: 

Learning Lessons
Derek had arrived earlier and given some color commentary towards the end, but it was a new familiarity with the rules and Terry's analysis (and the equipment that he used to kill me) that let me retool The Earls of Sandwiche to be less than a jet pack-enhanced suicide squad.

Terry still hadn't explained the mechanics to me(about strength/toughness, Ballistic Skills, Weapon Skills), but I had picked up enough from memory and watching that I was comfortable with how things rolled.

Derek also ran his army through the Army Builder program, and he and Terry argued quite a bit, flipping through the Codex (a list of all the different options an army for a certain faction has) of Derek's faction--the space-American Tau--and talking about point costs and special abilities and the program. I left, not because the conversation was heated (it wasn't), not because it was annoying (it was), and not because it was irrelevant (Derek's army composition was very relevant to me), but because I knew it would end with Derek relenting because he didn't know the rules as well and just using the army builder anyway because he didn't want the faint chance of dishonesty associated with making his army by hand.

Image courtesy of Requiem (Francisco Salinas)
You can check out more of his stuff on his deviantart at: 

We hung out for a bit, assembling more Space Marine minis for Terry while we waited for Richard to get off work at nine.
Yeah, I had some doubts about that timetable myself. I knew that if Richard did get off at nine, then it'd probably be another thirty minutes to an hour before he got with us. The one-on-one game that Terry and I played took a while, and I wasn't sure how much longer--given Derek's contemplative nature and Richard's plodding, min/max mindset--a four-way game would take. Earlier, Terry offered 1AM as an end time for the game, but that had been for a 1:1 game between him and Derek, a much smaller scale. I was not optimistic for several reasons, and as it turns out, all those reasons were the wrong ones.
I knew Derek was going to be playing a Tau army. The Tau--and Derek's units specifically--are known for their deadly, long-range firepower. Terry had lamented that he'd previously lost to Derek because of his own overconfidence and Derek's blistering, projected death. Indeed, even expecting that, I was surprised when Derek's army actually hit the table. 
Terry's army was to be the same one he'd used against me earlier, dug-in Space Marine squads with a handful of long-ranged weapons and another handful of close-in weapons with two artillery vehicles holding the back of his line.

Richard's army-I was told by the both of them--was an Imperial Guard army. Regular, human joes in massive, massive numbers. I was told that their strength was also in their range; that through sheer numbers, even ineffective ranged weapons were deadly. They mathematically wore down enemies. It sounded like the faction of our resident munchkin, even if there was something out of place about it I couldn't quite identify.

The Earls of Sandwiche was a space marine unit. I had jumping guys with power suits to take cover from long-ranged attacks, then to swoop in from 18"(hopefully) to mix it up in close combat where they'd be 'immune' to enemy weapons fire(it's only now I wish I had the wit to declare, at any point, "Your squad is homebase."). The other half of my army consisted of scout squads randomly deployed behind enemy lines mid-game to lock up (and hopefully kill) their snipers in melee combat. The Earls were really designed around weathering the fire of a long-range unit before charging in and taking them down in brutal, close-range combat. 

So Richard arrived and we set up four folding tables, using a Tyrannid Digestion Pit to cover the large hole where the tables met. The game objective wasn't the straight-up brawl of my previous match against Terry. It was a take and hold ground scenario, where each of us placed a little tiki-thing randomly on the board. The player with the most unopposed guys within six inches of the most tiki-things at the end of the game would be the winner.

We took turns setting up terrain, which became another funny issue for me. We—well, I say "we," but Terry, Derek, and I set up terrain and periodically nudged Richard so he'd stop playing Final Fantasy Tactics on his PSP and slap something onto the board—simply kept placing shit until we ran out of stuff or we collectively deemed that 25% of the table was covered. In retrospect, I think we went overboard, but the fridge pack box of diet cherry pepsi I ripped in half and dubbed the SS Space-Titanicship was probably a bit much (To my defense, one half provided great cover and the other half was a really awesome place for Derek's Tau to deploy from.).

We rolled, and, luckily, I got dibs on which eighth of the board edge would contain my deployment zone. I opted for the side very close to the tiki-objective I'd placed by the edge, Richard took the edge to my right and facing me, Derek--as his ally--was taking the edge next to him, and Terry took the edge opposite Derek.

As we began deploying guys, Richard pulled out a stapled-up, computer printed Codex, a handwritten army list, and a group of minis about the same size as mine. 
What's all this then?

He had to flip through his Codex before even deploying his guys, trying to get the rules for each one. He asked if we were using some optional rules found only in that Codex, one of which allowed his units to remain untargetable as long as they were in jungle terrain. In discussing this logjam, Terry mentioned offhand that Richard's Codex was several years old and hadn't seen a revised ruleset for the latest edition of the game. In the end, he got exasperated that we rejected his optional rules out of hand because the time to discuss that would have been before we positioned jungle terrain and our deployment relative to that, but he preferred to play his PSP.

1 comment:

Derek said...

Enjoying this series, I remember this weekend. It is neat to see those events through someone else's eyes.