Wednesday 14 August 2013

Katyusha Lootas

All the boring bits are already done.  I just need to accessorise and Orkify

As usual, I was complaining to my fellow gamer Chris about Nids the other day.  

He, of course, maintains that it is generals who win games, not armies.  This can't be right, otherwise that would make me a bad player...  no wait.  Anyway, Chris suggested that his Squiggoth spam Ork army would struggle against me given only a few tweaks.  Namely: taking 9 Hive Guard.  I scoffed at this so he offered to swap lists and play each other's armies for a game.  He took the Mawloc out of my list, replaced it with 3 Hive Guard and buffed up Gertie the Tervigon with the spare points.  He could have switched Swarmy and Fido out for another 3 Hive Guard plus another Tervigon but I didn't have the models and his point was to show just how easily Hive Guard can kill Squiggoths, so he stayed with 6.

We played Big Guns Never Tire and Vanguard Strike. I got first turn and figured this would win it for me.  Chris's army is very shooty.  Centering around 3 units of Lootas all transported in Big Squiggoths (a hard nut to crack I argued), he also runs 2 Dakka Jets and has made all his Ork boys Shootas.  His Deff Rolla Battlewagon with Meganobs and Kustom Force Field Mek is the sting in the lashing tail.  I carefully set up the Squiggoths so that they were blanketed by the Kustom Force Field and gained a 5+ cover save.  Then I remembered that Hive Guard ignore Kustom Force Fields.  For the first time in my life I thought, "Well thats just cheesy and broken" about my own, beloved Nids.  Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Pumping out up to 90 Str 7 shots with a 48" range in Turn 1 is fairly decent alpha strike imho.  In the internal soundtrack of my mind, the sound of Lootas firing is like Katyusha Rocket Launchers .  Tyranid monstrous creatures rightly fear this  ‘StalinOrgel’ torrent of fire.   In fact, thinking about it, Warhammer 40k Orks could well be based on the Soviet Army of WWII.  Their technology is unsophisticated but brutally effective when mass produced.  They can field seemingly numberless and fearless troops on the battlefield and woe betide you if you try to engage them in hand to hand combat in the ruins of Stalingrad.  The thing is, Orks aren't terribly good marksmen (unlike Soviet WWII Snipers.  Watch the film, ‘Enemy at the Gates’) and their customised weapons tend not to penetrate armour too well.  I focus fired the Swarmlord with every Loota I had and only managed to cause 4 wounds. Statistically, this was about right and demonstrates just how inaccurate Lootas are (Just like Katyushas).

In Chris's turn 1 he killed a Squiggoth outright with 1 unit of Hive Guard.  In turn 2, he killed another and then dropped a spore mine on top of the Lootas which spilled out of it, making them run off the board.  Smarmy git.

I’m not going to give a full battle report.  The game devolved into the usual close combat grind and we never made it past turn 3.   Horde on horde action is not all its cracked up to be.  The highlight of the game was probably when Chris took the ‘Gate of Infinity’ power for his Tervigon and tried to teleport the poor old girl into my Ork gunline.  Gertie took exception to this most unladylike behaviour and mishapped off the board in a huff  (she did forgive him later on and came back in from reserve).  

There were a couple of take home points: 

9 Hive Guard and 9 Biovores can be terrifying to an Ork army.  Against Space Marines in a Land Raider however?  Meh.

Close combat is utterly shite in 6th edition.  I counted 4 failed charges in the game.  In one game turn, two opposing units both tried to charge each other and failed due to overwatch and random charge distance.  Carefully setting up a charge and failing it, losing ¼ of your models in the process is not fun.  No really.  It isn’t.  I’m not even saying you should change the core rulebook.  Just add the ‘Fleet’ rule to close combat units and it’s a bit more palatable.  You still get overwatch and random charges but it mitigates the teeth grinding frustration of doing nothing in your assault phase except dying. 

Thats a fair bit of kit, that is

On the plus side, at the end of the game Chris gave me enough plastic crack to make a grown man weak at the knees.  Well, he didn’t actually give it to me.  He has started to build a looted manufactorum which would be used for the creation of Ork Stompas and suchlike.   He never got round to finishing it and wants me to complete the project.  A couple of months ago, he gifted an absolute bucket load of Ork boys to my youngest son for his first army and would not take any money from me.  As payment, he wants me to finish converting the manufactorum and provided two(!) Shrine of the Aquilas, a Skyshield Landing Pad, an Imperial Sector(!), a Realm of Battle tile and two boxes of assorted goodies from 3rd party vendors.  My only brief is that he wants me to build a crane and incorporate the landing pad into the building.  Apart from that, I can go nuts.  Good times, bro.

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