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Conflict: Baltimore 2004
Conflict in Charm City <> In Search of the Perfect Gaming Event
Conflict in Charm City
So what was Conflict like? Like a smaller, more casual, less frantic Games Day. GW provided figures, paints, and tables where you could paint (and keep) your own miniature; materials and space where you could make (and keep) your own terrain; and plenty of cool tables for open gaming. All for only $5 for the whole weekend. It was the open gaming that brought me and my new Necron army to play.
Conflict seemed to be the perfect venue to try out my new army, which I’ve named Yblis’ Marauders. It was with a mixture of excitement and nervousness that I went into the first games I had ever played with my Necrons.
Opponent: Kult of Speed
Points per Player: 1650
What happened? We set up on a “volcanic” table consisting of islands of rock separated by streams of lava. The rules for our table stated that stands of boulders counted as woods for firing purposes; i.e., if you were behind a clump of boulders, you couldn’t be shot at. Lava streams counted as difficult terrain. Pat and I also agreed that a model or a vehicle could not end its move in a lava stream, lest it be destroyed.
One would think that a Kult of Speed would come roaring across the table, but not so. Pat carefully maneuvered his buggies, trukks, and Looted Rhinos behind and around the numerous clumps of boulders, limiting what my Necrons could fire at.
He also made excellent use of his vehicle-mounted big shootas and rokkit launchas and capitalized on my newbie errors. During one round, he pasted an entire unit of Destroyers and they stayed down because my Lord and his Resurrection Orb were 7" away, not 6".
One would also expect any battle with Orks to involve lots of close combat, but the only scrapping occurred when my Scarabs zipped ahead to intercept the Orks before they got to my lines. Pat’s Burna Boyz and a unit of Trukk Boyz obligingly got out of their rides, unleashed torrents of burna-template death in the Shooting Phase, then charged the single swarm left. While the Scarabs didn’t so much as nibble on a single greenskin, at least they slowed down two units.
We played cat-and-mouse, with Pat avoiding my fire and me avoiding any movement that would take me closer to his Orks, for six turns, until the Random Game Length rule brought a halt to the game. Pat had managed to kill more ‘bots than I had greenies, which confronted me with a preposterous proposition: my Necrons had been defeated by Ork shooting. Shameful, but true.
Outcome: Orks win (320 Victory Points to 180 Victory Points)
Wrath of the Swordwind
For story purposes, we decided that the objective of the “Rescue” mission was a Farseer, one of the few survivors of a vessel destroyed during a spaceborne battle between orbiting Necron and Eldar fleets. Wounded as his escape pod crashed–landed on a nearby planet, the Farseer could only psychically call out to his kin as the Marauders hunted him down to fulfill the Deceiver’s orders to kill “all” Eldar they found.
Abraham won the roll to go first and zipped his Wave Serpents up the board, disgorging Dark Reapers to take up firing positions and other Aspect Warriors to find the Farseer. One Serpent crashed (despite vectored engines) while maneuvering over a crater, killing two of the Fire Dragons aboard. Another Serpent flew to the correct counter (located by the ruin of a Leman Russ battle tank) and the Striking Scorpions hauled the poor Farseer to his feet.
I had been concerned about my Necrons’ ability to reach the counters before the Eldar, but now that the objective had been found, my mission became easier: take it from the pointy-ears. The four Warrior Squads I started on the board began firing at the closest Eldar as I waited for reinforcements to arrive.
Reinforcements arrived, all right—Abraham’s. At the start of Turn 2, the rest of his army came on the board from Reserves and now I was seriously outclassed. Ever try to fight 2000 points worth of Biel-Tan with 1080 points of Necrons? Me either, up until that point. And remember, this was only my second game with this new army.
The Howling Banshees dismounted from their Wave Serpent and assaulted two of my Warrior Squads. Without Lucifer’s Resurrection Orb, my ‘bots couldn’t get up from those power weapon attacks. On my turn, two Heavy Destroyers came on and I began to send some fire into the Eldar. It was too late to stop the Banshees, I didn’t have line of sight to the Scorpions, but I could go after the advancing Fire Dragons: 5 out of 8 of them dropped.
On Turn 3, the Striking Scorpions handed off the objective to Abraham’s jetbike-mounted Farseer, who began moving back towards the Dark Reapers (who, meanwhile, were taking potshots that my Warriors shrugged off—man, I love the We’ll Be Back rule).
The Scorpions, meanwhile, attacked one of my unengaged Warrior Squads. Swell. So now I had 3 out of 4 Warrior units stuck in hand-to-hand combat. Fortunately, Centurion Lucifer, a squadron of Destroyers, and the Scarabs came in from Reserves on my third turn, and Abraham had a good clump of his army very close to my board edge. Payback time!
The Destroyers shot the Banshees’ Wave Serpent from behind, damaging it, and the unengaged Warrior Squad gunned down the Scorpions’ Serpent. Lucifer and the Scarabs (sounds like a good name for a doo-wop group, doesn’t it?) counterattacked the Aspect Warriors, killing the Banshee Exarch and causing the Scorpions to flee.
On Turn 4, the jetbike Farseer tried some funky mind powers and suffered a wound from a Perils of the Warp attack. Nevertheless, he handed off the objective to the Dark Reapers. The Banshees, despite being massively outnumbered, won the combat and forced Lucifer and a Warrior Squad to retreat: highly unlikely, but that’s what happened. Still, the Banshees had to contend with the tenacious Scarabs, who were rapidly becoming my favorite unit: fast, mean, and too dumb to run away—what’s not to like?
As my turn began, the second Destroyer Squadron came on and Lucifer rallied. Lucifer and all the Destroyers zipped up the field, firing on the fleeing Striking Scorpions. My Destroyer Lord attacked the two remaining Scorpions, killing the Exarch. The Scarabs devoured the last of the Banshees and swept towards the Scorpions. The old assault rules were definitely working to my favor.
On Turn 5, Abraham threw the Fire Dragons at Lucifer to tie him up, which served only to allow the Destroyer Lord to hack down another Exarch. The Scarabs then munched the rest of the Dragons. The lone Scorpion ran, and the Destroyers moved further up the field, using the trees to block line of sight between themselves and the Dark Reapers. Meanwhile, my surviving Warriors also used cover to shield themselves—no sense getting Phased Out just as the battle was starting to swing my way. To prove the point, a Heavy Destroyer nuked the Banshees’ Wave Serpent. Take that!
On the last turn, the Rangers advanced on Lucifer to keep him from reaching the Dark Reapers and the objective. Lucifer and the Scarabs (there’s that name again) sped forward, with the Scarabs soaking up incoming fire from the Dark Reapers. It seemed strange to Abraham and me that they should be able to do so, seeing as how they were so small, but we couldn’t find any ruling that said they couldn’t, and Lucifer was within 6" of them and not the closest target, so….
The Rangers charged my Destroyer Lord and clubbed him down with their rifles (he had already taken two wounds from the Banshees and Scorpions). But that didn’t matter too much, as my third Heavy Destroyer finally came on the board. All of my Destroyers and Heavy Destroyers opened up on the Dark Reapers, annihilating them. Without them to hold onto the objective, the game ended in a tie.
The End of the Day and the Beginning
of the Marauders
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© Copyright Kenton
Kilgore, April 2004
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