Monday, 21 August 2017

The Only Good Bug is a Dead Bug... WH40K 2nd ed at BOYL 2017

Another day, another planet, another futile struggle against the overwhelming hordes of the Hive Mind!

Told you there was a bit of a theme for me this year!

Sunday is always a special day at BOYL. The combination of a two day hangover, lack of sleep thanks to fininshing drinking at 2am, the shock of paying your hotel bill and bar tab and the realisation that there is only a matter of hours between you and the end of this magical event before you habve to drag your sorry carcass home to the real world all combine to create a bitter sweet melancholia.

My thanks then go to Nik and Paul for stepping in to provide me with opponents when poor old Ollie couldn't make it and my apologies for being a little less than the life and soul of the party - Sunday morning was a bit of a struggle which was definitely nothing to do with the company or the excellent game of 40K 2nd ed we played!

For this game I had crudely constructed a board that was roughly 6x4' - I say roughly as it was literally done a  couple of days before BOYL! Not too bad for a freebie - the insulation boards were left over from my Mum and Dad's house renovation, the sand came from the local beach gathered by my lovely wife (got enough left over to give me free basing material for life!) and the ruined trucks were free miscasts given ojut by the ever generous Curtis of Ramshackle games!

The reason I had wanted to bring my own table was that we were setting the game on Tallarn to match Ollie's Imperial Guard army. Obviously they would need some cover and something to defend so I thought why not make it some kind of ruined remains from the great tank battles of the Horus Heresy. Not having loads of old tanks to litter the battlefield with, I went with these Ramshackle trucks to represent an ancient supply column come to grief!

We opted to play a very simplified version of the Glazer's Creek game that featured in White Dwarf 222 with a meagre Imperial Guard force defending a central strongpoint against successive waves of Tyranids.

For days the defenders of Planet Q had cowered in bunkers and foxholes as spore mines and worse had laid waste to the major population centres. Supply lines were cut and the chain of command was in tatters. Then they came.

Great bio-engineered landing pods disgorged their foul Xeno cargo on to the planet surface and the surviving elements of the Imperial Army and PDF found themselves surrounded and overwhelmed. Colonel Dienes of the 7th Necromundan Infantry Regiment curled his lip in the vague parody of a humourless grin at the irony of his own unit's nickname - the Lucky Sevens. Luck, along with men and ammunition was in increasingly short supply.

He and the rag tag bunch of survivors he had scraped together from the ruins of the planet's former capital, Fairwind, had finally made it to a defensible position. He cast a critical eye over the make shift fortifications his men had patched together from some ill fated convoy destroyed in a past conflict. It would have to do. Christening it Outpost Nine may only have made it easier to record the place where its defenders fell but at least it was something for the men to identify with. Something for them to defend. No one wanted to die futilely and forgotten in a place with no name.

He had lost contact with High Command, the Fleet and the rest of his regiment. His men's morale hung by a thread and they faced an implacable foe who vastly outnumbered them and would give them no quarter in battle. His speech to the soldiers assembled before him was short and simple -

"I have only one rule. Everyone fights. no one quits."

It's not long before the first wave of Tyranids are bearing down on the outpost. Despite a hail of Lasgun bolts, the first wave of Hormagaunts make it to the West wall. Behind them lurk bigger things...

Over on the East wall, Sergeant Zim supervises a scavenged Lascannon while Space Marines of the Executioners chapter open up on Hormagaunts approaching their position.

A Screamer Killer shrugs off the intense fire and bears down on the Lascannon!

The combat on the West Wall is short and bloody. The few survivors of 2nd Squad and the Heavy Weapons Squad pull back to get a better shot at the remaining Tyranid threatening them.

The Executioners meet the Hormagaunts head on as the Screamer Killer looms closer.

Surprisingly quickly, the huge creature lumbers past the defenses and engages Colonel Dienes, Luckily his modified Grox mount doesn't flinch at the terrifying sight.

The Space Marine sergeant fends off multiple Gaunts.

In a quieter spot of the battlefield an Ambul ambles off in search of somewhere more peaceful to chew rocks...

As one, 1st Squad spring to the defense of their Colonel, as does Sergeant Zim. The hail of Crak grenades barely scratches the hard chitinous plates of the Xeno monstrosity.

Things look grim on the West Wall as one of the last survivors of the Heavy Weapons squad stares up at his impending doom...

Another wave of Hormagaunts slams in to the hard pressed 2nd Squad.

They weather the charge, fix bayonets and prepare to sell their lives dearly!

Flickering beams of Lascannon fire merge with the roar of the Landspeeder's Heavy Plasma cannon, piercing another Screamer Killer's thick hide and incinerating the foul creature's innards.

With the loss of 1st squad and the brave Sergeant Zim falling in battle, Colonel Dienes finally puts paid to his gigantic foe with some assistance from Space Marine Captain Reiko.

The rest of the Executioners blow a clear path through the oncoming Genestealers enabling the Servitor to score a direct hit on the Hive Tyrant behind them. The Synapse creature goes down with a howl.

There is no let up on the other side of the compound as Tyranid warriors rush in behind the fallen Screamer Killer. Again the Heavy weapons of the Imperial Guard roar and more Xenos arte exterminated.

Wearied by his ordeal with the Sreamer Killer, Colonel Dienes bravely faces his next foe. However the wiley Hive Tyrant is too much for him and the brave warrior is felled by the thrust of a huge bone sword.

As more and more Tyranids pour in to the compound, the defenders' last hope is swarmed by Genestealers. Captain Reiko fights resolutely on but the inevitable comes all too quickly and with that the fate of Outpost Nine is sealed...

Well another very enjoyable game of 40K 2nd ed and I must admit there is something about playing desperate last stands that really appeals to me. Thanks to the game I played the day before and Paul's guiding hand, we had the close combat rules down to a tee and despite my fuzzy head everything went very smoothly. Thanks again to my excellent gaming companions and I look forward to combining my and Nik's Tyranid hordes to take on Ollie's Tallarn forces later in the year...

And yet my time at BOYL was still not done. In the dying hours of Sunday afternoon I had one more game to play and it was a special one!

Stay tuned!


  1. You are on a roll, these reports have been great! The Tyranid force in particular has a cool paint scheme and conversions from what I can see, and always a pleasure to sight the rare Executioners on the field.

    1. Cheers Ragsta - got to strike while the iron is hot! The Tyranids are my mate Nik's and very nice they are too. I'm not that familiar with the newer models to have spotted the conversions you mention but I do love the colour scheme - based on the Xenomorphs from the Alien films I believe. Maybe I should have been referencing that franchise in my report rather than Starship Troopers!

      The Executioners are an old favourite of mine - I still toy from time to time with the idea of gaming the Badab Wars in 6mm...

  2. Probably the best ever battle report; an excellent homage 😎😎😎

    1. That's quite an accolade Kym - thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Fabulous, I just read it excited as a child. Absolutely cool, we want more!

  4. Top stuff! Shame I missed the Sunday! The whole thing looks very reminiscent of Starship Troopers mate!

    1. Cheers bud - Sunday is usually a whole lot more subdued thanks to everyone's gaming fatigue. Managed to squeeze a couple in all the same!

      I knew I got those references from somewhere!

  5. Looked like your were having a blast whenever I walked past.

    1. That we were bud - a very entertaining game! Good to see you (albeit briefly!) down at BOYL again.

  6. A fun report. I can't say as I ever played much second edition, but it seems you made the most out of it. And the story is compelling, if woeful. One can only hope that the fleet fares better and that someday someone will avenge the fallen. Wait, were you playing the bugs? Oh, very good then! Looks like it was a great game. :)

    Yes, that last day of gaming at a good convention does always seem a bit more relaxed. But at the same time, if everyone has fun and enjoys their tea (or coffee) then all's well as ends well. I really need to make a better effort to get to this thing. My thanks to you and all the other BOYLers for the glorious temptations.

    1. Thanks Composer - I'm afraid I was playing the Guard but I must admit I do enjoy playing the part of the overwhelmed defenders in a desperate last stand! I'll definitely be playing more 2nd ed in the future and hopefully we'll be playing a similar scenario later this year with my buddy who wasn't able to make BOYL, although this time I'll be controlling the bugs!

      See you down there next year - it's well worth the trip!