Even hunched the Commissar towered over the Squat Command Squad. Flexing the fingers of his deactivated Power Fist, Commissar Gustav scowled at the enemy advance. Gustav had been reassigned from Imperial Commander Jordan's stable of Guard disciplinarians to an observational post with the Furnace Valley Brotherhood - and what he saw of the Squats' tactics would make for unpleasant reading.
"Why the scowl Gustav?" asked Colt, one of the squad's veteran troopers. "Your brow isn't hairy enough to pull off that sour expression."
"I'm troubled we're fighting Astartes Renegades so much these days. It's as though the entire galaxy is populated by Space Marines. And I'm troubled by today's choice of allies - Dark Eldar and Necrons."
"We're a pragmatic race Gustav, we do the job with whatever's at hand. Anyway, that's not what we called them in my day." Colt sighed. "To us they're Eldar Renegades and Chaos Androids."
With the Golem Impressive Miniature Painting Syndicate in its third month we set aside an evening for a celebratory parade game. With uneven numbers we drew teams along the Golem/non-Golem lines. Matt Turpin (Blood Angels) and Si Jenkins (Shadow Scorpions) were on Team Collar - look at them with their proper jobs and fancy dress codes.
Team Golem was Chris "Curis" Webb (Squats), Luke "Hand Cool" Jordan (Dark Eldar) and Mike "Turbodanger" Mee (Necrons). You can tell they're commission painters based on the hearty caffeinated drinks.
With uneven numbers team Golem slimmed their 750 lists to 500. We placed six objectives across the field and assigned them random points (1-3) which we decided to leave hidden until the end of the game for maximum excitement. As we've all been painting Fast Attack this month, we decided Fast Attack choices would be scoring as well as Troops.
With Mike Mee in charge, Team Golem elected to set up and go second. The Marines drove a tanky spearhead forward.
But instead of chewing up the Dark Eldar and Squat infantry immediately in front, the Baal picked on the Necron Wraiths on the right flank - to Luke's delight.
Simon looked on unimpressed, taking the game all very seriously.
Mike Mee's Wraiths weathered the storm and were ready to mete out some vengeful destruction.
The Squat gunline blew up its plasma gunner trying to harm the Baal.
But the Wraiths were unharmed and charged the Baal, blowing it up in a way that was meant to look smokey and fiery but just looks orange and fluffy.
Shadow Scorpions reserves arrived with outflank, and the Master Jeridian's personal Rhino proceeded to crush trees and add Friend of the Earth to his long list of enemies.
The Blood Angels counter-counter-charged with their Assault Squad, wanting control of this central objective (blue barrels and green fuel can).Â But the Squats counter-counter-counter-charged with their Command Squad. And then the Death Company counter-counter-counter-counter-charged and it became a big ruck in the middle of the table. Ahhh, 40K.
Jeridian's Rhino had decided to join in, but unable to disembark and assault he felt very left out (you can see it in the corner in the above photo).Â Jeridian's Rhino was counter-Rhinoed by the Squat Berserkers and their plethora of special weapons. Melting, burning and shurikening Marines down, they dared the Command Squad to charge into them so they could take some overwatch fire with their arsenal.
Luke's Eldarites mercilessly gunned down Simon's lone Chaplain.Â This Chaplain has a long history of getting caught out while running around unaccompanied.
Meanwhile, Luke's racks were being slowly mangled by Captain Games Day Captain in the Forest of Colour.
Mike Mee was failing Reserve rolls for his Necrons something chronic, and his Lord and Immortals in a Night Scythe had yet to appear. These Jonny-Come-Latelies attempted an eleventh hour push to battle Jeridian's Command Squad off the corpse-strewn barrel objective. A challenge was issued and the opposing commanders duelled atop the tree-crushing Rhino.
Sadly, the Necron Supreme Commander was killed and his Immortals lost the combat and were mercilessly chased down. The Night Scythe, in hover mode, was then taken out by a lone Death Company. Team Golem were looking thin on the ground with just Chris' Exo-Armour to cause objective problems.
With few models left, Chris used his time to construct a Keytar (half keyboard, half guitar) to intimidate Simon.Â Unfortunately he got a bit mixed up with the name of this hybrid instrument and labelled it a Keyano (half keyboard, half piano).Â Simon adopted an ignore strategy.
These Hearthguard wiped out the Angels Tactical Squad on the objective, meaning at the end of seven bloody turns (damn those random game lengths) there were no Fast Attacks and no Troops anywhere on the board, with the exception of a solitary fleeing Shadow Scorpion. No primary objectives for anyone.
Chris was massively proud of his paintjobs so that's why there are loads of photos of them.
So with nothing left alive to claim primary objectives it came down to secondary objectives.Â Team Golem had killed the Shadow Scorpions Chaplain (1), Captain Games Day Captain (1) and had got First Blood with the Baal Predator.
Team Collar had killed Squat Warmaster Curiz (1), Luke's Dark Eldar Warmaster (1), Mike Mee's Necron Warmaster (1) and had also had Master Jeridian's Command Squad in the Golem deployment zone. Victory for Team Collar 4-3. Cue Captain Games Day Captain from Matt and Simon sighing at all the energy and idiocy he's been enduring while trying to play tactically.