On Sunday I joined my local wargaming club for one last round of 5th Edition 40k. They had arranged 3 separate Apocalypse games for those who have had enough disposable income over the years to assemble large armies; Imperial vs Orks, Imperial vs Chaos and Imperial vs Tyranid. 3 guesses which game I was playing in. One of the criticisms leveled at Apocalypse is that it’s a game of “who brings the most wins”. Well the games that the club run are a little more organised than that. In the game I played there were 2 Tyranid players (myself and an ally) and on the opposing Imperial team 4 players with a mixture of Imperial Guard, Marines and Sisters of Battle. Despite the unevenness in players, both sides had between 18,000-20,000 points (it does get hard to tell in games that are that BIG). Amongst the usual squads of troops and the endless hoards of Termagants there was also 3 Paladin Titans, 2 Hierophant titans (Fluffy had a friend! – Fluffy is the name of my Bio-titan in case you were wondering), a number of Baneblades and their several variants, and who knows how many other types of tanks. There was also a massage mobile fortress/land ship thing that someone had made. I didn’t get a picture of it but it was about 20″ long, 12″ wide and sported one hell of a demolisher type cannon.
The organizers of the event have designated that each side had 30 minutes per turn. Because all the people on our table are veterans of more than one Apocalypse game (and were of a sensible disposition) we were allowed to monitor our own times. The organizers had set objectives for each side; in our case we designated one HQ (my main Tyrant) as the key Hive Node that we had to protect, we also had to protect 2 bio-stores in our deployment zone and we wound gain one objective point for every 30 enemy killed. We found out that our opponents had to capture two downed Rhinos that had data nodes, kill our Hive Node and hold the line.
The game was one of the most fun games I have ever had the pleasure of playing. There were mass explosions everywhere. Fluffy had a fantastic time; he blow off the turret of a Baneblade, downed a few Lemon Russ’, took out a Stormwind, and the best was when 6 Penitent Engines appeared in our rear and charged him. He had a wonderful game of ‘whack-a-mole’ as 4 were down in a matter of seconds whilst the other 2 were damaged. Almost the entirety of the Sister’s army deployed in our rear and managed to cut down a load of gaunts and finished off the Hive Node – points to them. The ‘barrage balloon’ spore mines took out 3 Valkyries and a pair of Carnifexes took down a Paladin Titan. There were battle cannon explosions and Warriors & Gaunts dying everywhere. Both my Trygon & Mawloc were shot to pieces after deep striking into the heart of the enemy. There were Genestealers taking down Baneblades and Exorcists whilst a lucky Ravener survived being stomped on by a titan. The two bio-titans advanced as one whilst the Swarmlord formed a Living Fortress (that’s an Apocalypse formation consisting of at least 3 Tyrants and 5 Tyrant Guard). With this mass having no trouble cutting up the Imperial centre, Fluffy turned around to deal with the Sisters as the last of my reinforcements came crashing in (Wing Tyrant, Gargoyles and plenty more Genestealers).
The game climaxed with the Swarmlord’s unit hitting that big landship and ripping it open. The thing suffered a cataclysmic explosion and its engine core went nuclear!!!! As the mushroom cloud lifted all that was left within 2 feet was what you see below.
It killed Tyrant Guard, tanks, Marines, Lictors, Genestealers…pretty much everything within 24″ except the Swarmlord, a Paladin titan and for some reason 2 Sisters who must have had the Emperor with them as they walked out of the blast. At this point we ran out of time and called the game. It had been 4 turns of fun and at the end a Tyranid victory had been attained – we’d managed to kill more than enough Imperials and had certainly crossed their lines. As for the other two games going on; Orks beat Imperials and Imperials beat Chaos.
As the mushroom cloud cleared and the fallout began we all agreed that that game had been one of the best any of us had ever played and that the climatic nuclear explosion was a fitting end for 5th Edition.