Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 4 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: 

>My Assault Marines, despite being under lots of enemy fire, managed to totally decimate a pair of Tau Crisis Suits that Derek dropped in front of me to help out his ally. They got off a really good turn of fire before my Marines tackled them and ripped them into Taufetti.

>Terry's dudes didn't move very much. He sat back and made about four long range attacks each turn after his first advancing squad got wiped out. Derek's Tau moved a bit (a bit like a glacier) and managed to thin my ally's ranks. Most of this kept them from interfering with the Richard/Kris side of the map. 

>And the Tau really are spectacular at range.

>Terry's artillery consumed units wholesale. They destroyed all but a single member of Derek's Fire Warrior squad in the first turn, with the last guy sprinting off of the map afterwards. Artillery likewise decimated his unit of pro-Tau humans in turn three. That was also the turn that Tau units (some sort of 'looks like a sundial' unit) shot one of his artillery vehicles dead and the friendly-happy sky fire stopped.

>I managed to lose one of my Space Marines--impossibly--on difficult terrain when I jumped into the wedge of two barely-standing walls, making that the second game in which I've lost a heavily-armored war machine from the distant future by charging into a half-destroyed building and falling on a piece of rubble.

>Had the game progressed, I would have had all of Richard's units, save snipers, in close combat with a unit of space marines, with enough units close enough to each of my units to daisy-chain to the snipers with the followup move you get when you finish off an opposing squad in close combat. I can still have fun winning an unfair fight. I'm not above that.

>Terry deployed a unit infiltrated onto my map. I have no idea why, but it was far enough back in an area with little enough cover that they got shot at by Derek's units when he didn't have a better target. Pretty soon, the hearty squad too far away to hurt anyone became known as the 501st Bullet Sponge Platoon, and took every hit that another squad didn't want to. I don't know how Derek missed it, but he wasted a lot of turns of shooting on plinking members off of a useless squad while I marched three squads of marines into Richard's home base and Terry's marines simply stood and delivered, sanding away Derek's forces.

>Richard infiltrated a squad of, like, eight guys, on Terry's map. Terry forgot they were there and rounded the corner of the SS Space TitanicShip's aft end with a full squad of Space Marines. While I had enough time to take a nap and run a 5K while they looked up the different weapon loadouts and special abilities of every unique character in Richard's squad, when I came back, only one of Terry's eight squad members were left, and that guy was running like hell. It was pretty cool. I was also really happy those guys were on the other side of the battlefield.

We've recreated the SS Space Titanicship and the last two EoS jet pack squads using an advanced computer model, a box of diet doctor pepper, and a sharpie.

>When Richard left, the tiki-prize at my base was held by Captain Jesus, the objective on Derek's board by the Tyrannid Digestive Pit was left alone, Terry was close to the objective on his board(if not close enough to take it), and Richard and I both had units contesting the tiki-prize in the jungle of his home map.

All-in-all, not a fun game. Things were snappy. Derek and Richard didn't know their squads. Terry wasn't transparent with the rules (*rolls* "I hit. You lose four guys."). I didn't get any deeper satisfaction out of fighting a hobbled, ignorant opponent. Richard was frustrated. Derek ended up being somewhat ambivalent, but still amenable. Terry seemed to be having fun, but I can't for the life of me see how, since his entire strategy was just to drop a handful of missiles and artillery on Derek every turn and watch the 501st Bullet Sponge Platoon get whittled away. We were poorly coordinated, and it really seemed that a lot of work, but very little effort went into getting the game underway. In fact, if I hadn't pushed for playing a practice game with Terry that morning/afternoon, or even stuck with a basic, no-frills unit I couldn't even imagine what kind of painful and seemingly arbitrary spectacle it would have been for me.

don't think 40k sucks. Really, this was a failure of the home team more than anything else. An example of why we don't push harder for some things than we do. I'm not fond of 40k, but if we do get our shit together (and if Richard ever wants to play again [and even if he doesn't]) I think it might be fun to have another night where The Earls of Sandwiche suit up.

I'd still much rather play Battletech, and I can say that with a renewed conviction now.

But here, in the distant future of 2012, I can safely say I don't want to play Battletech anymore either.

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