Monday, August 4, 2014

RECAP: 1,500pt Four Player Battle

The forces of the Imperium take on the zenos threat in another lopsided Maelstrom of War game.

Finally got together with Deet and two other friends to play a casual, battle brothers style, two on two game. We hadn't played in a while, and it was nice to have a hobby room full of good friends.

Due to a hard stop time, we decided to play 750 points per player to ensure the game wouldn't be overly long. While a 1,500 point game usually allows a wide variety of vehicles, characters and infantry, with the points divided, each player had to be creative in how they crafted their force.


HQ: levl 2 Librarian with jump pack and force axe
Troop: 5 man tactical squad with missile launcher
Troop: 5 man tactical squad with missile launcher
Heavy: 6 man devastator squad with 2 heavy bolters and 2 missile launchers
Heavy: 6 man devastator squad with 2 plasma cannons and 2 lascannons
Fortification: Aegis defense line with quad gun emplacement

HQ: Canis Wolfborn
Troop: 7 fenrisian wolves with cyber wolf
Elite: 5 Wolfguard in terminator armor with Arjac Rockfist
Fast Attack: 3 thunderwolf cavalry


HQ: Crisis Commander with bodyguard
HQ: Ethereal
Troop: 12 man fire warrior squad
Troop: 10 Man Kroot squad with hound
Heavy: Hammerhead with longstrike and Ion Cannon
Heavy: Skyray gunship

HQ: Autarch with mandiblasters, fusion gun & shard of Anaris
Troop: 10 Dire Avengers
Troop: 10 Dire Avengers
Elite: 5 wraithguard
Elite: 10 striking scorpions

We rolled the Maelstrom mission "Cloak and Shadows" and used the included Hammer and Anvil deployment. Each army occupied a city, with a blasted no mans' land between them. The imperial forces deployed first, and the Taudar failed to sieze the initiative. Here are a few of the highlights.

Although he periled, my psyker cast invisibility on graymantle's thunderwolves, and a cloaked Canis and his riders sprinted across the barren midlands toward the eldar lines. Following shortly behind the riders, the fenrisian wolves claimed a tactical objective as they passed through the wrecked lander.

My devastator squad, shrouded by the psyker's telepathic powers, manned the quadgun, and hammered the kroot who had infiltrated into a manufactorum on the other side of the wasteland. Sustained fire eventually destroyed the carnivores to net three victory points due to first blood and overlapping tactical objective cards.

My second devastator squad took up position on an objective at the base of an imperial monument. Unfortunately, it was rigged to detonate, and killed two of the marines.

Fox's striking scorpions, custom kit-bashed from fantasy witch elves, formed a defensive line near the refinery and waited for the thunderwolves to come within range.

Deet's fire warriors, high atop the Shrine of the Aquilla, rained fire down on the advancing fenrisian wolves, felling half the squad.

And Fox's Dire Avengers took up position within the pumping station, and finished them off to net a tactical objective for the zenos.

Longstrike moved to the edge of the city to pound the Imperial forces with his ion cannon, but was kept on his heels due to constant devastator weapons fire. Forced to snap fire, his effectiveness was greatly reduced, to the relief of the advancing tactical squads and wolfguard.

Moving forward with his jump pack, my psyker once again cast invisibility on Canis and the riders, and the nearly imperceptible beasts slammed into the scorpions at full force.

Canis accepted the Autarch's challenge, and what would have a been an instant death for the wolf lord was avoided due to the psyker's telepathic deception. Seizing the opportunity, Canis struck down his foe ruthlessly in return.

Weary of the constant devastator fire from the entrenched squad, and in need of the tactical objective they were positioned on, Deet used his warlord trait to drop his commander directly into their midst. Close range plasma fire saw the unit nearly destroyed.

But the inability to charge in the turn he landed, combined with a failure to counter charge by the devastators the following turn, saw the units staring at each other awkwardly within close proximity.

As the thunderwolves finished off the scorpions, Fox's wraithguard and dire avengers moved into position to hammer them with massed firepower.


With the Imperium at 7 and Zenos at 3, Deet and Fox conceded the game in turn four, realizing that due to the score difference, the game was unwinnable. Thus ended an enjoyable, but familiarly lopsided Maelstrom of War game.

We discussed this as a group after, and all seemed to have a similar experience; maelstrom games are commonly uneven affairs. Looking at the table, an observer would think the game was closely matched, but the randomness of the tactical objective cards almost always leads to a runaway victory for one team.

We agreed that future matches would use an Eternal War mission type, with the inclusion of a single tactical objective card each turn (ignoring "Claim objective X" cards). This would allow the fun of the random objectives, but limit the bonus scoring to one point per turn, maximum.

Have you played a battle brothers style match lately? Have suggestions for better game types? Share in the comments below.


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