Saturday, 7 June 2014

Grunting Not-Marines

Project "15mm Rouge Trader" got dragged out for a game last night, under the Gruntz 15mm rules that we've been messing around with lately. We had a three-way bash, probably too big for the number of players and the usual relaxed pace which mixed dice throwing with a lot of yakking but hey, getting anything resembling anything so horridly uncouth as a "result" is not a particularly desirable outcome when the intention is just to push lead around all evening and have a bit of laugh.

As a three-way, everyone warred on each other. Not sure quite why this would happen, but as I had my Blood Drinkers and faced two "conventional human" forces I assume that the Popular People's Front and People's Popular Front were at it again and the Marines had been dispatched to impose the old Pax Imperium again by shooting people in the face with bolt guns and then virus-bombing what remains.

My Not-Space Marine Not-Blood Drinkers (Critical Mass Games) with an APC which came from the toy department of Wilkinsons in a £4 army set. Actually a 1:87-ish scale four wheel French V√©hicule de l'Avant Blind√©. You'll notice that we have lots of these because they are cheap - clearly the Merchants of Death of the Wilko star system don't care where the money comes from and will quite happily supply both all three sides. The Battle Brothers are about to blast the shit out of those two building skips full of rubble. Just in case. You can't be too careful on the battlefields of the GRIM FUTURE WHERE THERE IS ONLY WAR!

Occupying part of a ruined de Vauban star-fort. I set the table up as a being in the ruins of a shattered fortress from several millenia ago that had been left to return to nature and a shanty town had grown up in the area. Hence the broken masonry, shallow river, woods and improvised shacks.

When planning a table I always try to ensure that each terrain item relates to it's neighbours such that buildings and road networks tie in to each other, swamp is found near river etc. and the whole thing looks like a real place. I can't stand what I call "paintball arenas" that just have a random mis-match of small items slapped down with no rhyme or reason such that you see walls that serve no purpose, tiny circular copses of trees, and a statue in the middle of nowhere. Both 40K and Warmahordes/Hormachine seem very prone to this. Stop it! Rant over!

My tank starts to ford the river. Not sure which theatre of operations requires a splinter camo pattern of green, yellow and bright pink (IT SAID VALLEJO GERMAN ORANGE ON THE BOTTLE SO SHUT THE FUCK UP) but there you go. In reality this is an Israeli Merkava 2 tank that comes in the same pack as the Wilkinsons APCs (oh look, there's another one behind it) so unsurprisingly we all own several of the things.

In the background is a grey hovercraft. This is an actually a proxy for YET ANOTHER WILKINSONS VAB APC and is transporting more Not-Marines on an attempt to outflank James. This didn't work very well. More later.

Railgun-equipped Space Merkava close up. Pink isn't it?

Some of Gary's forces advancing on my right flank. These are Ground Zero Games New Anglian Confederation, basically cliched Anglosphere-in-Space Little Mans. I want some for a 1987-era Imperial Army project as I like their helmets (fnar fnar). This is Gary's cheaty unit with SHOOT 7, basically the equivalent of a BS6 in 40K terms. I Frag grenaded the fuck out of them later on - they had it coming to be honest.

A close-up. Painting your helmet high visibility red gets you shot doesn't it Gary?

Oh look, Gary's been to Wilkinsons and bought some toy VABs. And is that a Merkava 2 poking it's nose around the shack in the background? Gary's forces advance through the shanty town.

Bit of an overview shot here. Blue tiddly winks mean troops on overwatch or, to be honest, troops prepared to sit on their arse and sacrifice the initiative, trading it instead for pointless long range shots at distant targets with no real hope of hitting anything. Enemy in the distance are all Webb's but completely harmless as he equipped them all with the worst sidearms in the game and proceeded to roll appallingly.

Pinkie again.

Webb's walkers. Critical Mass Games. Apart from one man with a missile launcher these were the only things that Webb had that could touch armour. What's that in the background? Could it be Wilkinsons-sourced VABs? Somebody is making a small fortune of blood-soaked Imperial Megacredit bank notes here. 

Getting a bit too close for comfort. We decided that the "half move to cross" shallow river wasn't deep enough to worry Mecha so they seemed to close on my position worryingly quickly.

Not visible here - the giblets and bloody shreds of uniform fatigues left behind by dropping grenades over the parapet to sort out the cheaty SHOOT 7 bastards. Result. In theory there should have been one almighty firefight going on in the background but Webb couldn't roll dice.

Left building - scumbag rebels of Faction Webb. Right building - scumbag rebels of Faction Gary. More Wilko tanks. No point picking that die up Webb, it will do fuck all to help.

World's Shittiest Area Effect shoot.

Firer - The tan-coloured Space Merkava
Target - The Not-Marine heavy weapons chappie with the yellow and blue tiddlywinks (prone and overwatch)
Actual blast point - The purple d6.

This makes me feel slightly better about Gary rolling at least three snake eyes for suppressions tests (low results always better in this game).

Some unpleasantness is occuring on the other side of the ancient wall. A bold and dynamic thrusting outflanking move undertaken by a young, dashing and charismatic Space Marine officer (me) saw an APC (which wasn't actually a Wilkos VAB but only because I accidentally wrote more into the army list than I owned) drop a squad of Not-Marines on James' flank with the intention of getting into firing positions on that parapet.

Unfortunately due to an oversight (look, I've had hayfever all week and haven't had a decent nights sleep for about ten days) said officer failed to note the breach in the facing wall allowing easy ingress for, say, something tall with long legs. This meant that the Marines debussed into a dead end with 15' walls and two Mecha/Gears at short range...

Because overwatch was just so damn good I decided to put some APCs on some more overwatch. This serves no purpose whatsoever other than to allow to you act like a dick when you keep interrupting everyone else's go in order to calculate the odds of a hit at extreme range and then miss because it basically needs the double six to even think about doing something. I intend to do this more often in future. It makes me feel as if I am actually contributing towards the battle but without the risk associated with actually doing something concrete.

This bit was like dodgeball but with hand grenades.

You may be "the home of family value" but there's blood on your hands Wilkinsons.


  1. Great report, it looked like a fun game. If it's any consolation it looks orange to me.

  2. Excellent report. Like Dwarf back in the day, only entertaining and with lots of swearing.

  3. There was a bit of controversy a bit back when it turned out that Wilkos was using prison labour, so to find out they they are interplanetary arms dealings with an interest in maintaining a future in which there is ONLY WAR does not surprise me.

    The game looked really good. Co-incidentally,as I was searching for basing tips for my 15mm DBA Saxons (already thinking about the extent to which I could use them for some WFB in 15mm...), I found this line: "[in 15mm] 40k at least starts to look like a conflict over open terrain instead of "sudden battle inside the Marine motor pool". Looking at your table, it looks like a much more lively and interesting game than the tables in my local GW.