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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Warhammer 40K Social Contract in Action

Hey there Chaos Cultists, great and small! Summer is upon us, which means I'm going to try to get in a ton of Warhammer 40K stuff done- models painted, games played, and even, yes... a campaign. I'll blog about that at another point, but it looks like that I'll be having a campaign with my friend and my brother... a nice 3 force campaign of my own devising. Like I said, I'll get into that in the next posting or two...

The Lord of Skulls prepares for battle

At any rate, I played a game last week at my local store. My opponent was a younger person (younger than me, at any rate). I have played him before at the store- fun opponent, serious player but willing to laugh off mistakes. He is also a good modeller and painter, in my opinion.

This thing is huge! It is inevitable that GW will make plastic Titans sooner or later...
Well, we had decided the week before that we would fight, and yes, we would go with a Lord of War. I was very excited, as I have never gotten to use my Lord of Skulls before. The day of the battle, the guy tells me that he has a Leviathan brand "Knight" (and damn it, that it is a huge model- very nice, although it lacks the finer details of a GW model). I was fine with this (I don't care if it isn't GW). However, he had a special request- could it instead count as a Lord of Skulls as well?

This was an odd combination, and it didn't work that well.
Now, he has Black Templars and Dark Angels. There should be no way that they can have a Lord of Skulls without it being "Come the Apocalypse". AT LEAST. Plus, the model is radically different from a Lord of Skulls. The Leviathan model could pass as a Knight (A big one, to be sure), but I don't know about a Lord of Skulls... However, thinking that I have played this guy before, and the fact that he was very excited about it (he even had a backstory for it)... how could I say no? So I agreed. Then, he asked if we could go up to 3K points. Now, I only brought a few extra things with me... so I ended up with a squad of Spawn, a Dark Apostle, and a Bloodthirster. Again, not what I planned, but hey, its all in fun.

Kill! Maim! Burn! Indeed

Right there is what I think GW is getting at with 7th (unbounded and the like). We talked about it beforehand, and came to an agreement. Plus, he even had a storyline in mind. This is the type of thing that a Tournament would go beszerk over, but in a friendly game, why not? Besides, now we would be evenly matched- no way to complain that taking a LoW was unfair or anything. I now envisioned that this game would be brutal, and it would be anybodies game. I won for placement, and put my LoS on the far side of the board with a Maulerfiend and a Warpsmith in Rhino for support. My opponent placed his LoS opposite mine- he said that he was dying to see them fight, and that the Emperor was blessing him... The guy wanted to play straight up kill points, and that's all, again I agreed. Ultimately, our lists were almost 3K points

Well painted, with subtle conversions and nice winter basing.
The game, as it turns out, did not go as either of us predicted. In my first turn, my LoS did some damage to the nearby Centurions (those are tough bastards). My Helbrute destroyed his pesky thunderfire cannon quickly. I then advanced my rhino and Maulerfiend on with the LoS. On the other side, I drove up my other rhino (containing Kharn) and a squad of Spawn with a Dark Apostle.

The Black Templar Lord of War has its sights set on single combat.
Then, my opponent went. The first thing he did was advance his LoS so that it was literally face to face with mine. He really wanted this up close. So, he charged. When he rolled with his destroyer weapon, he rolled poorly, rolling mostly ones and a 4. I lost 3 hull points. He was not happy. Then I rolled. I rolled a couple of ones myself, but also a 6. Then, on the D table, I rolled a 6 again. I killed his LoS outright. One blow. Gone. Even his cataclysmic explosion did little, though it took a HP from my Maulerfiend. I laughed and said how crazy that was...

I rolled well on the Destroyer table- praise Khorne and the Skull Throne!
Sadly, the guy was upset. Angry. Mad that he lost his LoS so early- and it was on his charge besides. Because he was so pissed, the rest of the game wasn't as fun. I  and some other guys tried to tell him to buck up, as the dice could have easily gone the other way, but it was no use. He was mad and that was that.

The forces of Khorne advance!

The rest of the game was interesting, though not surprising. His Chapter Master and squad tore through the Spawns. My Maulerfiend finished off the Centurions up close. And my LoS began to take out chunks of his army as he moved toward the center of the field.

And they both bite the dust!

That Contemptor is awesome, even if it cleaved me in twain.
Then, his Chapter Master gets to Kharn, and they duel. Interestingly, both died simultaneously- the legend of my Kharn continues, as this is how he has met his end in several games recently. His  Contemptor Dred tore my Helbrute apart in spectacular fashion. Then, my 2 Heldrakes came on the board, and began to incinerate things (I only take 2 Heldrakes IF I know my opponent is fielding lots of flyers or if it is well over 2K points), and the Templar/Bezerker battle ended with but a handful of Templars left. The Maulerfiend was destroyed by shots from his Devastator squad.

A major moment in the game in  my view...
The Templars did have a Stormtalon, and it zeroed in on one Heldrake. I took Jink, but it wasn't needed as he failed to hit. Yikes- bad rolls. My other Heldrake would later vector strike him and actually destroy it (my rolls were dead on for most of the game when it counted). That meant my Heldrakes were the masters of the sky. My Lord of Skulls was now nearing the center, killing off what was left (including those Devastators). Finally, my Bloodthirster appeared. He shot at him and grounded him, then he had the Contemptor and Terminators charge him. The Contemptor rolled poorly, and again the guy was pissed. My Bloodthirster then killed some terminators.

... since it meant that I could do this in later turns.
At this point, my opponent decided to concede. With the Lord of Skulls dominating, he couldn't win. He killed several of my units, but I had killed more, and that killing would continue unabated, while he had less and less to kill my units. Ultimately, I had 2 Heldrakes, the Lord of Skulls, a Warpsmith and 9 Bezerkers, and a Rhino. He had his Land Raider, and the terminators and conemptor locked with the Bloodthirster. Even IF he had killed the Daemon, the Lord of Skulls was ready to smash that Contemptor to pieces and shoot the terminators.

He made some mistakes. Once his LoS was dead, he decided to pretty much ignore mine. His Centurions were killed before they could act, true, but he had a Landraider, Storm Talon, and Devastators. They should have shot all they had at the thing. But he didn't. Thus, my Lord of Skulls could strike with impunity.

The Heldrake's point of view
His anger had gotten the better of him. Once the game was done he said that Lords of War were stupid and that his army sucks. I told him a single die roll of 6 was what changed everything. I said that I play Khorne Bezerkers- everyone says they suck due to the difficulty of CC armies in 7th- and yet I won. There are many factors, and that next time or the time after he would win. It was to no avail. He was upset and that was it.

Look, it happens sometimes- every player loses their cool at one point or another. In my younger days I would get pissed (Red Terror, Pete?). I understand. But even in my worst moments, I was still sportsmanlike. Shake hands. Have a laugh. Swear revenge.

I felt bad for him, but at the same time... if HE rolled that 6 on the Destroyer table- would he have felt bad for me? And besides, I agreed to every request he made- can it be a Lord of Skulls? Can we just play kill points? Can you increase your list to 3K? As far as I'm concerned, I lived up to my end of the social contract. I hope that he will put this loss in perspective and laugh it off at some point.

Other than that, I have a 2K point game tomorrow against Ultramarines, and I will be looking forward to starting the campaign soon. And I finished some models that I plan on showing soon. And I have mini- movie reviews. And... wow... when did it get so busy here at the Chaos Corner?

Until next time...

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