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The Orcboy's Most Excellent Adventure

20 April to 22 April, 2001

On the 19th of April, I headed out of New York City, toward Borderlands of Greenville, in South Carolina -- about as Deep South as I've ever gone (excluding Atlanta and Miami, of course). My mission, to rendezvous with approximately a dozen hard-core gamers, denizens of the Millenium Gate Forum, in a friendly little weekend get-together we called: Spring Offensive.

I took with me my Rebel Grots (2000 points of them, approximately half-painted), my latest flavorful 40K army, based on the Imperial Guard codex. It features two notable differences from my usual gun-heavy Guard armies: first, a full complement of Fast Attack choices (including two full units of Rough Riders), and second, two units of Mortars -- weapons I usually avoid. It would be interesting to see how it would fare against the many and varied armies I was sure I would meet (and the styles and tactics of players I had never before faced).

HQ The Red Gobbo
Col. (75), Plasma Pistol (10), Power Weapon (10), Trademark (5), Targeter (1), Banner (10), Commlink (15), Lascannon (20)
640
146
  Big Gunz Teams
  • Anti-Tank Squad (3 Missile Launchers)
  • Fire-Support Squad (3 Heavy Bolters)
  • Fire-Support Squad (3 Heavy Bolters)
  • Mortar Squad (3 Mortars)
  • Mortar Squad (3 Mortars)

95
80
80
95
95
  Rebel Grot Mega-Armor
Sentinel (35) w/Multilaser (10), Searchlight (1), Smoke (3)
49
Elite Rebel Fanatic
Eversor Assassin
95
Troop Rebel Grot Mob - Head Honcho and three Skwads
  • Lieutenant (35), Bolter (2), 2 Plasmas (16) Lascannon (20), Targeter (1), Trademark (5)
  • Infantry Squad with Melta (8), Autocannon (15)
  • Infantry Squad with Melta (8), Autocannon (15)
  • Infantry Squad with Flamer (3), Heavy Bolter (10)
318
79
83
83
73
  Rebel Grot Mob - Head Honcho and two Skwads
  • Lieutenant (35), Bolter (2), 2 Plasmas (16) Lascannon (20), Targeter (1), Trademark (5)
  • Infantry Squad with Flamer (3), Missile Launcher (15)
  • Infantry Squad with Flamer (3), Missile Launcher (15)
235
79
78
78
  Big Lugga Mob with Kommittee Demogogue
  • Armored Fist w/Melta (8), Comms (5), Missile Launcher (15)
  • Preacher (5) with Rosarius (10) and Powerfist (15)
  • Chimera (85) w/ Heavy Bolter & Heavy Flamer, Improved Comms (20), PM Stormbolter (10), Track Guards (10), Extra Armor (5), Smoke Launchers (3), Searchlight (1)
25288
30
134
Fast Grot Outrider Band
10 Rough Riders w/Lances (12/e), 9 Lasguns (9), Flamer (1), Commlink (5)
139
  Grot Outrider Band
10 Rough Riders w/Lances (12/e), 9 Lasguns (9), Flamer (1), Commlink (5)
139
  Grot Mega-Skorcha
Hellhound (70) w/Searchlight (1), Smoke (3), Extra Armor (5), Trackguards (10)
89
Heavy Grot Squigchukka Trukk
Griffon (75) with Seige Shells (5)
80


Rebel Grots vs. Deathwing (2000 pts)

My first opponent of the weekend was Aaron (a.k.a. Heretic), a cheerful fellow who had traveled down from upstate New York, trapped in a minivan with a couple of other crazed gamers for far too many hours in a row, to be there. Between his Deathwing (a Terminator army that also included two Land Raiders and three Dreadnoughts) and my Rebel Grots, it would be a game of massed bodies set against rock-hard armor.

We played a Recon mission on a 4x8 table with scattered buildings and ruins and stands of trees, dominated by a shallow river that flowed down the middle of the board. With the edge in units, I set up my army in two wings, a good thirty-six inches away from each other, and spent the first two turns crippling Aaron's Dreadnoughts. Then, after Aaron had committed his Terminators and Land Raiders to attacking one of my wings, I simply moved the other forward "across" the river, while the rest of my army kept the Deathwing occupied. My tactics were more successful than I could have hoped -- my left wing (with a preponderance of heavy weapons) managed not only to immobilize both Land Raiders, but also to kill almost every last one of the Deathwing terminators before finally succumbing to the close-combat prowess of Aaron's librarian. Final score, approximately 1800 to 800, in favor of the Grots.


Left: Heretic, trying to look harmless.
Right: WolfTyrant decides that Lictors are a tremendous waste of points.


Rebel Grots vs. Tyranids (2000 pts)

Grayson (a.k.a. WolfTyrant) and I had driven down together, and I knew he was looking forward to trying his Tyranids using the newly released third-edition Codex. I was "fortunate" enough to be his first play-test victim, and found myself facing two sizable swarms of Hormagaunts, backed by some Genestealers and a selection of Big Bugs (Lictors, Zoanthropes, Tyrants, a Carnifex, and a Biovore).

We played a Cleanse mission on the desert table at Borderlands, a challenging board featuring vertical rock formations that serve to nicely break up LOS on an otherwise featureless table! The Hormogaunts quickly swarmed my guardsmen, rushing some 20 inches forward in a single turn to assault my hapless Guardsmen, but badly overextended; massed lasgun fire and a Hellhound served to wipe out both broods in a single turn...! That left the game in the hands of Grayson's Big Guys (and Genestealers), and despite the efforts of his Lictors and Biovore, my superior ranged firepower dropped two Zoanthropes and his Carnifex in another two turns, and with almost nothing left on the board, my opponent conceded.

The game served as a learning experience of the new rules for both of us. For one, Hive Tyrants are now capable of grabbing table corners; also, firing Biovores clearly does not require guess-ranges anymore. Finally, Lictors are simply worrisome at worst -- no longer as fearsome as they once were. Unless I use tanks, that is. One thing is sure, however, the next time I face Tyranids with my Guard, I will both spread out a little bit more (damn Spore Mines!) and set up much further away from the bug lines (damn Hormogaunts!).

Rebel Grots vs. Iyanden (2000 pts)

After a brief break to catch some sleep, take a shower, and grab some breakfast, the madness continued! My third game was against Freddy, a laid-back Greenville local with a fast-moving, hard-hitting Iyanden army. I would be facing three units of Wraithguard in Wave Serpents, three Wraithlords, a Falcon or two, an Avatar, and some Support Weapons (Vibrocannons). If the enemy got to my lines, my goose was cooked -- those Iyanden might not be able to kill things very quickly, but they would be virtually impossible for my Grots to stop in a melee!


Freddy, about half-way through the game (looking a little harried)

I found myself back on the Desert board, with its tall spires of LOS-blocking rocks, playing a Patrol mission (and thus, much of my firepower would be starting off the board!). Like the cowardly, ruthless Grot that I am, I therefore set up as far back as possible, with my starting mobs of Grots ready to provide living screens for the units (and especially heavy weapons) that would be reserving onto the board. And, as it turned out, my tactics worked perfectly. I was able to drop every Wave Serpent that wandered into my line of sight (autocannons are wonderful for dropping those Eldar vehicles!), forcing Freddy's Wraithguard to spend at least two turns in open terrain to get to me. I had a bit of a scare when the game started to drag on a bit (in all, it lasted a full eight turns!), and I had two rounds of truly abominable shooting, and was savaged a bit by Freddy's last few Wraith-thingies, but my Assassin (backed by the Rough Riders) was able to take care of that threat nicely. Final score, Grots 1260, Iyanden 890.

Rebel Grots vs. Eldar (1000 pts)

My next opponent was another local friendly, an Eldar player named James. As his army was still fairly small and new, I dropped half my points to face him on even footing, preserving the two Rough Rider units (though at half-size) and one unit of Mortars. Facing me was a mixed bag of Eldar units; some Guardians, a unit of Reapers, Scorpions in a Falcon, a Wraithlord, a Farseer, and two Warlocks.


James seems confident about his decision to move into the open...

We played a Recon mission on the River board I had seen the previous evening in my game against Aaron. My grots set up in two supporting wings (with an open center), with my Rough Riders held well back as my "mobile reserve". Across the river, James began in the cover of some ruined buildings, and grabbing the first turn, ran his army forward (leading with his Falcon). Unfortunately, he hadn't taken into account the sheer volume of firepower I could throw at him, even in 1000 points, and he lost his Falcon and Reapers in a single turn, and his Scorpions were dragged down by Roughriders and two squads of Guardsmen by the end of the second turn. Meanwhile, the other units blew apart James' Guardians as they stepped into the open, then threw Krak Missile after Krak Missile at the slow-moving Wraithlord. The carnage was incredibly one-sided, and mercifully over by the fifth turn. Final score: Grots 1200 pts, Eldar 161 pts.

Bughunt Special Scenario

For most of the afternoon Saturday (21 April), Aaron (Heretic), Grayson (WolfTyrant) and Mike ( Inquisitor Ryjak) had been running a special Tyranid scenario that they had thought up in the months and weeks leading up to Spring Offensive. In essence, players would be allowed to bring 300 points worth of "stuff" onto the tabletop, and compete to see how many scenario points they could rack up (by killing Tyranids) before being wiped out by the neverending swarms of bugs...

I set down on the table in the second "round", and had both the benefit of seeing what tactics had worked well for others, as well as the drawback of facing smarter, more experienced bugs (in other words, the three fellows running the scenario had a better idea of what would work). With numerous flamers and a mass of bodies, I was hoping to rack up at least a half-respectable amount of points before being wiped out, but I hadn't counted on the incredible lack of close-combat-effectiveness exhibited by Grots (even when used as Guard). Despite several successful flamer attacks, I recorded the second lowest score over-all (46 points for killing 38 Gaunts and 4 'Stealers). Unsurprisingly, the players with Power Armor did much better, although it was the Orks that did the best -- I suppose having it helps to have both numbers and close-combat skillz (and audaciously good fortune, in the case of the Ork with Choppa that took out a Hive Tyrant in close combat!).


It must be nice to have power armor: Tigers of Veda Space Marines (top) and Sisters of Battle (bottom, in the middle of the mass of Gaunts) rack up kills against some hapless bugs.

Out-of-State Gamers vs. Greenville Sheriff's Department

Possibly the most amusing part of my adventure came during the mass migration Saturday evening, from Borderlands to a nearby Ribs & Pork joint known as Mutts (highly recommended!) for a quick dinner break. Approximately fifteen minutes after a half- dozen or so wild-eyed, "dangerous-looking" young punk/goth/long-haired hippy freaks walked into the obviously family-oriented establishment, four police cruisers pulled into the parking lot, and a dozen or so fine, upstanding members of the local constabulary casually wandered through and around the restaurant, before talking with a worried-looking senior manager, grabbing a few food items (undoubtedly on the house), and wandering off, leaving a token presence (one cruiser) at the location.

"Nice to know that gamers can strike such fear into the hearts of men," Orcboy says, rolling his eyes.



Created by: ZiggyQubert. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 02:40:31 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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