Monday, November 30, 2015

40K – First Contact

I have not played Warhammer 40000 in… oh… 25 years? Last time I played it said “Rogue Trader” on the cover (and I will forever kick myself for selling my copy when I decided I’d had enough with Games Workshop and walked away).

My kids (and some of their friends) have shown an interst in playing so I dug out some Imperial guard I’ve been collecting up over the years for various purposes (Assorted skirmish games and role-playing games – and more recently for the Only War and Rogue Trader role-playing games from FFG that I’ve been wanting to try out. I set the kids up with a few figures I had from the forces they were interested in playing (Orks for The Boy, Eldar for The Girl) and picked up a few other things to fill out the beginnings of a force and we’ve all been working away on our respective forces.

The Boy and I have had enough stuff ready for a while but a combination of being busy and flagging interest have kept us from getting the toys on the table. I’m not sure what got us on this again… Probably because a friend expressed an interest in playing Rogue Trader a few weeks back and that got me reading the fluff again… and I’m sure Millsy’s Mad Mega-post of the Astra Militarum’s Military Might had at least a little to do with it (got me painting this guys again and thinking about it….).


The situation on Kleeglass has been dire. A highly populated planet with considerable resources (promethium and archeotech being the most prominent) has recently (in the past decade) seen invasion forces of numerous species of Xenos – Orks, primarily, but there has been rumours of a Tyranid hiveship landing, and even Eldar craft have been sighted flitting about the system. The Imperial Administratum have finally wakened to the situation and started sending Guard their way. One of the first regiments to arrive was the newly raised 222nd Guaiacan Commando Regiment. This would be their baptism of fire.

The regiment made a fairly quiet and easy planetfall and has established a base on the main continent of Bralwarn near where most of the fighting has been taking place between the Orks and the Planetary Defence Forces. In the past weeks they have been expanding their operational area into a heavily forested area where one of the Ork Warhosts have been operating. Recconaisance patrols have been sent out to make contact with the enemy.


We played a pretty bog-standard Purge the Xeno Scenario – with a minimum of special rules and such – just to try out the system.

We played with forces that were about 300 points each.


5 Troop, #1 Commando, 222nd Guaiacan Commando Regiment

Troop Headquarters (30 Points)
Lieutenant Proxnaz (Powerfist and Bolt Gun +17 points)
Sergeant Rozchance (Sniper rifle +5 points)
Corporal Bitterind (Heavy Flamer +20 points)
Troopers Malwax and Conway (Autocannon + 10)

First Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Fury (Bolt Pistol and Chainsword +2 points)
Trooper Rentworth (Flamer +5 points)
Troopers Thorn and Volnair (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Second Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Squath (Laspistol and Chainsword)
Trooper Festunal (Grenade launcher +5 points)
Troopers Morgan and Baird (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Third Section (50 Points)
Sergeant Narduar (Bolt Pistol and Chainsword +2 points)
Trooper Withnail (Grenade launcher +5 points)
Troopers  Bogstrop and Fairweather (Missile Launcher +15)
6 Troopers with Lasgun

Dossgoff’s Clawz

Warboss Dossgoff (Powerclaw, Shoota, ‘eavy Armour, Stickbomz) 90 points

4 Lootas (Deffgun) 60 points
Lootamek (Kustom Megabalsta, Meks toolz) 15

Ork Nob (Slugga, Powerklaw) 41 points
12 Orkboyz (Slugga and Choppa) 72 points
Orkboy (Big Shoota and Choppa) 11 points


The Boy wanted to play his Orks all on his own, so Amanda and The Girl joined my side, each taking one section of Imperial Guardsmen.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

We set things up and then the Guard went first…


The Boy and his Boyz

All the Guard moved up through the cover of small stands of trees, consolidated their positions, and had a look out for the enemy.

Sergeant Squath’s Second Section (played by Amanda). I’m not sure why everyone but the Missile Launcher team was deployed in the woods… Maybe they figured it might be a better firing position out in the open…?

Squath’s Section, on the right flank, spotted some heavily armed Xenos to their front and lit them up!

A stream of deadly lasgun fire and a couple of dead-on shot from the Grenadier took out three of the Lootas and sent the remaining two fleeing off the table and out of the area of operations.

(As it turned out the Missile Team could spot no targets from their position and were unable to fire…)

This was a good first contact for the Guard. Things were looking up indeed!

Over on the other flank Sergeant Narduar’s Third Section spotted a rather HUGE Xeno cresting a hill followed by a horde of other angry looking beasties. The squad rained down fire upon them – but despite some direct hits on the big one… the shots only seemed to make him angrier.

Unchecked by the fire from the Guard, the Orks storm over the hill and the Warboss and Big Shoota laid down some withering fire at the run. Troopers Withnail, Bogstrop and Fairweather (the Grenadier and Missile Launcher Team!) were wounded by the fire and taken out of action.

Guard Troop Headquarters commanded by Lieutenant Proxnaz held a position on a low rise and from there directed the actions against the Xeno enemy.

Section One and Three shared a position in a stand of jungle trees. (this is before Third Section took their initial casualties)


First and Second Sections move out! First section advanced towards the cover of the woods to their front while Second Section began a flanking maneuver – having determined the Xenos threat to their immediate front had been neutralized.

Third section consolidated their position in the woods and spread out to the area vacated by First Section’s departure, and cleared their wounded comrades from their firing positions.

Third Section’s Missile Team got a shot off and blew an Ork to bitz.

Third Section and the Ork Mob exchanged wild ineffective shots. The Orks attempted an assault – but it failed as they couldn’t close the distance.


Amanda commanding Third Squad pours fire down on the Orks before they disappear from view behind the woods.

First squad consolidates it’s position in the woods, but doesn’t want to move to the front of the woods lest they be assaulted. They stayed on at the back side of the woods hoping to pour flanking fire on the Orks should they assault Third Section’s position.

The Troop Headquarters Autocannon pumped a few shots into the mob, but failed take any down. And Sergeant Rozchance… y’know, with the Sniper Rifle… turns out he’s a pretty piss-poor shot… (he should probably leave the sniping to the abhuman Ratlings…)

Third Section ineffectively fired on the Orks. The Orks returned fire and took down another two guardsmen.

And then the Orks assaulted Third Section’s position… and wiped them out! The Guard were a little shaken by this turn of events!

The Orks then consolidated their position in the woods, hoping to turn around and assault their way through the rest of the troop…


Five of the Orks died in a storm of fire from the two remaining Sections and the HQ team… First Section’s flamer doing most of the work, but a well placed missile from Third Section did it’s fair share of the work…

The Orks returned fire and prepared to assault First section – THREE MORE Orks were taken down in Overwatch fire and then their assault FAILED (I think The Boy rolled snake-eyes for their assault distance!)


The remaining Orks die in a repeat of the previous turn’s fury of fire…

When the firing from the woods the Orks occupied stopped Lieutenant Proxnaz called for his guardsmen to cease firing. First section was ordered into the woods and they stormed into the position – finishing off wounded Orks and checking for survivors among Third Section - though there was no sign of the hulking mamoth of a Xeno that had been leading them. There was a blood trail... but no one seemed to anxious to go chasing off after it when there was wounded to deal with.

Third Section was gutted, four were killed in action (including the grenadier loader for the missile launcher team) Two others had to be evacuated to the hospital facilities in the rear and will need extensive cybernetic replacement parts if they’re to fight again. Sergeant Narduar and the three other survivors, though wounded, refused to be evacuated. Instead they were patched up and finished the patrol. The Section, with it’s heavy losses will likely be rotated out of the line and have to work up some new replacements from the Reserve Commandos.

For the most part everyone seemed to have fun. The rules are wildly different from the other miniature systems we have played together as a family (Savage Worlds, Force on Force, Ambush Z, all the “Song of…” games, Frostgrave, etc). Most are a bit more dynamic – play going back and forth between players more quickly. Even in Hordes of the Things/DBA – which is the most U-go-I-go-ish type game we’ve played – there’s still an element of activation and the possibility of elements NOT doing anything on any given turn. The idea that ALL units on one side move, and then ALL those same units can fire, and then all those same units that are close enough could do ANOTHER move and fight in a close assault seemed CrAzY to these guys… But I think we’ll be playing it again – especially when their friends get some of their forces together.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Last of the Jungle Fighter Infantry coming up… Then a couple of Heavy Bolter teams and a Sentinel Walker and that force will be complete… 


  1. Looking good. Which edition of the rules were you using? One variant I've seen is to make up cards for each unit, shuffle them up and use that to govern activations. Adds more of the dynamism you mentioned.

    1. I have the most recent version of the rules - though I think the Ork and Imperial Guard codexes I have are from the previous. I don't have any of the fancy commercially made unit cards (but I suppose I could make my own).

      That sounds interesting... so when you draw a card the unit drawn would go through all the steps (move, psychic, shooting, assault) and then another card would be drawn? And the draw deck would have cards from both sides..? Huh. Yeah, that does sound kind of cool!


    2. Yes, that's how it works. I haven't played it myself (I must have played my last 40k game a couple of years after yours!). However I read a report a while ago and thought it sounded a great modification. Brings a whole lot of uncertainty into what you do with your troops - you can't guarantee that your support will be there if you move too aggressively (similar to the SoBH stable, I suppose).

  2. What a great report - makes me glad I haven't ditched my W40K stuff. Great to see your family involved.
    I would encourage you to try card activation for each unit and steal an idea from Too Fat lardies by adding cards for key leaders who can also activTe units near them if they have not already been activated.
    Favourite phrase of this post - "blown to bitz".

    1. Thanks Padre!

      (and I was very happy to read last night the Mdme. Padre was done with Chemo! I hope you both have a happy and healthy holiday season!)