Sunday, April 29, 2012

PREDATOR 3: Battle Narrative, Part III

Conflict and Resolution...

In the middle of the battle field stands Logan Grimnar, the High King of Fenris, locked in combat with Harlequin leadership while the Avatar and Karandras with his scorpions speed to join the fray.  The Eldar Dark Reapers stand on a high platform, seemingly out of reach, Dire Avengers hold their ground, and Warp Spiders move in and out of realty, closing in on the Wolf Rune Priest who’s been casting the elements as weapons from afar.  In the far corner, the Long Fangs with their four missile launchers look for a new target...

(J's rockin' home-made Logan Grimnar)

The harlies are too quick for Logan, each dealing multiple blows with explosions of holographic color and leaving trace images of themselves behind to confuse the Wolf King.  Logan takes another wound but ignores the pain, slaughtering all but the harlie master with the next wave of his axe.  Long Fang frag missiles explode with wide bursts of shrapnel, claiming another scorpion or two as the sinister eldar warriors cross the field.  By the time Logan slays the last harlequin he is attacked by the towering Avatar, the Scorpion Lord Karandras and his nimble hunters.  The fighting becomes more furious.  After surviving a horrific amount of blood loss, Logan, fighting on until death, cleaves the burning eldar god with his smoldering frost axe, finally extinguishing the fire within it’s metal carapace, along with the last striking scorpion warrior.  Karadras had been crouching at the ready, his powerful scorpion’s claw clicking, waiting for the moment to strike (at Initiative 1, actually) and deals the final blow to the Space Wolf lord.  Among the pile of bodies—wolf king, grey hunters, harlequins, scorpions, and even the lifeless Avatar—only the master of scorpions remains alive.

(a pic of my Karandras and his boys in their stealthy blue helmets)

The Reapers, thinking themselves immune from the battle, are ambushed when the Wolf Scouts finally come into the game (reserve rolls were not working for J until about turn 4).  They climb the landing platform and fire their bolt pistols and melta gun (melta rolled a 1 to wound, I believe), killing all but the Reaper Exarch (I think one reaper had died from shooting earlier).  The reaper, rather than face 5 snarling space wolves whom he knew would defeat him, turned his tempest launcher skyward and fired two rounds straight up.  They soared above and then plummeted down on top of himself, a suicide of spectacular proportions.  (Okay, he fired at the wolves and deviated two cluster bombs right on top of his own head, but I prefer the noble suicide to the incompetent demise.)  The Dire Avengers then counter-attacked, spraying shurikens as they went.  The melee between scouts and avengers was long and painful (I have recently accepted that DAs are pretty much a purely shooty unit—I romanticized them thinking they were flexible and all-round good troops, but really, in melee they generally disappoint.  Asurmen gave them Defend and Shimmershields for a reason: they need them!), one Wulfen-afflicted scout dealing 7 attacks in one round, but ultimately the Dire Avengers won the bout.  (We actually misplayed ATSKNF for the wolves, who would have turned to fight instead of being wiped out in the DA sweeping advance—we’ll know better next time, but for now, I’ll take it.)

(awesome warp spider image lifted from artist VampireDGhost's website)

The warp spiders (suicide troops of little to no value in my previous games), now that their razor-sharp webbing wasn’t needed elsewhere, dispatched themselves to the role of assassins.  Making two teleport moves a turn, they popped in and out of reality until popping inside the bunker where the rune priest was holed up, lacing him up in so much monofilament webbing that his limbs were severed in the mere act of turning to fight.  They then proceeded to engage the long fangs, until then an unreachable thorn in the Eldar’s side.  With another round of webbing they routed the wolves, who climbed down from their tower, then rallied to fire back.  One warp spider was vaporized when a bunker-busting krak missile slammed into his abdomen.  Another round of webs failed to kill all the wolves, so the exarch, armed with two power blades, led his spiders into melee combat with the three remaining wolves.  (Again, these guys are SHOOTY units—twin power blades doesn’t make you Wolverine, spider-boy!)  At the end of Turn 7 this combat was still going on, neither side able to wipe out and route the other in that last turn of combat.  (Actually, I screwed up here too—had I teleported in within 6” of the wolves while they were still in route-mode I could have chased them off the board.  Again, not versed enough with the 40,000 rules yet.)

And so at the end of the battle there remained 3 long fangs, 1 warp spider exarch, Karadras, and the dire avenger exarch with one of his DAs.  Seven models lived.  So who won?  Tallying kill ponts, the Space Wolves had 6, and Eldar 7.  Eldar victory, but not by much!  Hell of a game.   

MVP:  I used to name an MVP for each battle from my army when I wrote up my little reports (which pretty much no one ever saw but me).  For this game I have a few candidates.  The Avatar is my first thought, having proven nigh invulnerable and sucked up a LOT of firepower, plus dealing plenty of death, including the only man who could take out the large-template-blasting vehicle in my midst.  The spiders and avengers get a nod too: the spiders stayed alive for a change and actually went about assassinating those at a “safe” distance once the major threats were under relative control; and the DAs actually defeated Marines in combat!  The last candidate is the well-deserving Karandras, scorpion phoenix lord.  He brought his boys in to help with the termies, helped kill the wolf cavalry, delivered the killing blow to Logan, and was still alive at the end of the game.  And the winner is...  The Avatar!  He died but accomplished so much and just took such an amazing beating--krak missiles, lightning, power weapons, plasma bolts... what a bad mutha!  

Boobie Prize:  For this game, a boobie prize is also warrented for the Eldar.  Again, multiple deserving candidates.  The night spinner tank that specialized in holiday tree decorations (though that was partially my fault for forgetting the twin-linked rolls).  The “suicidal” reaper exarch who fired two cluster bombs straight into the air and had them land on his own head (though he did some killing well before that shameful episode—plus that can still be passed off as an honorable bow-out before overwhelming odds).  No, the winner of the boobie prize has to be the goddamn cowardly jetbikers who ditched their friends at the first sign of trouble in turn one!  Congrats, you losers!!   


Wow, writing up a three-part report was a lot of work!  The game didn't take this long!  (and the worst part is only like 3 people will probably read it!)
I need a break...  

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