More BOYL reminiscing! The Saturday was a busy one for epic gaming and the afternoon saw me and Steve Casey facing off against each other with 3000 points of tanks and infantry and 3000 points of Titans and a fist full of rules in the form of Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine 1st edition.
The battle lines were drawn with my Space Wolves (also featured here in close up) and Fire Wasp Titans advancing on Steve's Death Guard Marines and brilliantly converted Nurgle Titans. Setting up was the easy bit - the tricky bit was getting our heads around the rules spread over several books and White Dwarfs! The basic set up was that the forces of the Imperium were rushing to stop the despicable rituals being performed in a desecrated Imperial cathedral and prevent the summoning of whatever Daemonic monstrosity heeded the cultists cries. Steve's Nurgle forces were intent on allowing the summoning to take place by holding off the attacking Space Wolves...
Space Wolf Assault and Biker detachments advance in the shadow of a Night Gaunt Warlord of the Fire Wasps.
The pestilent forces of the Death Guard and their Nurgle Titan support are preceded by an unholy stench.
Long Fang Devastator marines deploy in vantage points overlooking the desecrated church as Space Wolf Tactical detachments press forward.
The Death Guard press forward with an intimidating show of strength supported by squadrons of Land Raiders on their flanks.
The impetuous Blood Claws find their foes just out of charge range and peer nervously down the barrels of a frightening number of Lascannon as the Death Guard Land Raiders bring their guns to bear.
Fighting erupts in the centre as the Long Fangs exchange fire with the oncoming traitor Land Raiders, supported by Whirlwind and Tactical detachments.
Seeing the demise of their Biker brethren, the Blood Claw Assault Marines take cover behind a ruined building!
The forces of Chaos march ever onwards...
The firefight for control of the centre rages on with heavy casualties in both sides.
The first salvo of off table artillery barrage from the Death Guard rear lines is called in by lead command elements of the Death Guard Tactical Detachments skulking in the ruins. Unfortunately the bombardment drifts off target - severely denting Steve's excitement at using the off table artillery support rules!
Nurgle Titans secure the desecrated church enabling the Daemon summoning to begin. I had brought the old White Dwarf that detailed all sorts of cool rules for summoning Daemons and other 1st ed Chaos fun but we decided we had enough on our plate in terms of rules and agreed that rolling a double on 2 D6 would successfully complete the ritual!
The Fire Wasp Night Gaunt charges into close combat with a Nurgle Night Gaunt while the Long Fangs continue to pour fire in to the waves of Death Guard armour.
A Fire Wasp Death Bringer trades fire the Nurgle Nemesis Titan - an uneven match on paper but the plucky Fire Wasp begins to whittle the heavier Titans shields down.
Unable to cope with the sheer weight of fire from the Space Wolf lines, the Nurgle heavy weight goes down!
However, not all was to go in the Imperium's favour as the Fire Wasp Night Gaunt is floored by its brutal Nurgle opponent.
The fighting around the cathedral intensifies as the Fire Wasp Nemesis Titan opens up on the three Nurgle Night Gaunts facing it. As the sky is lit up above them by plasma fire, Space Wolf Tactical MArines storm the ruined church, supported as ever by their Long Fang brothers.
The tide seems to be turning in the Imperium's favour as Tactical Marines begin rolling up the Death Guard's left flank, supported by the Fire Wasp Death Bringer.
The battlefield is seemingly lit up by the light of a new sun as one of the traitor Night Gaunt Titan's reactor goes critical under the relentless pounding of the Fire Wasp Nemesis' guns. A second Nurlge Titan is caught in the blast but survives with superficial damage. Bitter hand to hand combat rages in front of the desecrated cathedral as infernal voices ring out from its ruined walls.
The Fire Wasp Nemesis doesn't escape unharmed however - its Plasma Cannon is destroyed by the hail of return fire.
The traitor forces on the left flank don't stand a chance as the Death Bringer strides through their ranks - we just had to get the rules for Titans stomping on infantry and vehicles in to play!
The sonorous chanting reaches a fever pitch and the very fabric of reality is torn apart as the Dameon summoning ritual is finally successful - unfortunatel I forgot to bring my Nurgle army and Great Unclean One so we had to make do with this Bloodthirster!
Papa Nurgle must have smiling on his children as they finally landed a heavy artillery barrage on their enemies!
The "weirdly mutated" Great Unclean One vomits forth a stream of corruption on the Space Wolves attacking the cathedral while the opposing Titans blast each other at close range.
Neither Titan survives the hail of fire and the maelstrom subsudes to the relative quiet of the crackle of bolter fire and the cries of the dying.
That is until scream of ramjets rends the sky as a squadron of Thunderhawk Gunships of the Executioner Chapter roar in to support their brother Marines. They were a bit newfangled to be included in the 1st ed. rules so we played them as flying Land Raiders!
In a desperate bid to hurl the Daemon back in to the Warp a massed Rhino charge crashes in to the towering monster.
Fighting erupts in the Nurgle rear lines as the Space Wolves finally get to grips with the Death Guard artillery observers.
The Daemon swats aside the Rhinos with contemptuous ease and charges in to the Fire Wasp Death Bringer. In a literally titanic struggle, sinew and piston are pitted against each other. Gears scream and unearthly howls fill the air until the Daemon thrusts a taloned fist deep into the Titan's reactor core. The resulting meltdown is too much for the beast however and its tenuous grasp on reality is rent asunder before it is dragged back in to the Warp from whence it came.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable game - Thanks obviously in great part for having such a genial opponent (always a pleasure to game with you Steve!) but also thanks to the game itself. Similar to my experience with Adeptus Titanicus, I found Space Marine 1st ed to be a very playable game with surprisingly smooth mechanics. The only real obstacle at first was mine and Steve's inexperience with the rules and the fact that we were sifting through the Adeptus Titanicus, Codex Titanicus and Space Marine 1st ed rules as well as several editions of White Dwarf! This is definitely a game I intend to play again as soon as I get a few more chapters painted up to go with my Space Wolves and Sons of Horus...