Tag Archives: Chaos

Warhammer 40000: Chaos Gate: The Revival!

chaosgateThe rose tintedness of nostalgia!

I used to own this venerable PC game many years ago and remember it fondly. Since then I have changed computers and operating systems many times and it’s never worked properly since. The crash occurrence which plagued this game was in retrospect pretty funny; if any chaos cultists got close enough to shoot you with their laser pistols the game would immediately crash to desktop. Given that most levels contained more cultists than you had ammo this made game continuity pretty tricky.

I was digging through some old CDs and came across the Chaos Gate disc. I installed it, installed the patches and guess what? It freaking runs on Windows 7! The only change required was to run it in Windows 95 compatibility mode.

It’s still the tense, suspenseful game of all those years ago. It could be described as the tactical section of the original XCOM Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense set in the world of Warhammer 40k with a linear RPG campaign element. Obviously the graphics are blocky by today’s standards but still functional. The soundtrack is still pretty great, with plenty of monk-esque chanting tunes to lead your Ultramarines into battle with the forces of Chaos. If you can get your hands on this game it’s well worth checking out for fans of the genre.

The Battle of Scooby-Doo Lunchbox

As I drove home from my latest game of 40k on Friday night, the local radio station was just getting to the end of the countdown of what they described as the heaviest albums of all time. Immediately my dad’s 1970’s super deluxe vinyl edition of Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds sprang to mind. I remember it being a massive slab of cardboard and vinyl, with a whole array of discs, artwork and other very dense inserts. It was a hefty album indeed, but apparently not as heavy as the winner of the countdown which must have been sold in a concrete CD case with a steel ball and chain security tag. Anyway, the winner was ‘Raining Blood’ by Slayer. Now I like my metal as much as any other headbanger, but not to the Slayer end of the spectrum. I actually met Napalm Death in a bar once and completely did not get excited. Back to the story; the track the DJ decided to play off the previously mentioned supermassive album was called ‘Angel of Death’, an entirely suitable choice to end the evening!

The battle was myself versus J; an epic face off between the might of Vulkan He’Stan and his rampaging hordes of master-crafted-thunder-hammering-assault-terminator Space Marines and the power of their dark brothers, a spiky mob of Slaaneshy-Daemon-Princey-Lash-whipping-plasma-cannoning-and-more-plasma-gunning Chaos Space Marines. We lacked terrain, and in the end used J’s homemade bastion and other bits and pieces picked up in the kitchen, including a Scooby-Doo lunchbox, which was to become the focus of brutal slaughter.

The game was table quarters, seize ground with three objectives, including the bastion and lunchbox. Early on in the game Chaos had parked itself on two objectives, with a combat squad of Salamander loyalists holding the third. A Chaos Land Raider stuffed with khorne beserkers soon ejected the loyalists, allowing Chaos to grasp all objectives by mid-game. The loyalists attacking the bastion had become bogged down in heavy terrain, with their heavy support Vindicator throwing a track early on. The loyalists attempting to seize the lunchbox were taking withering fire from obliterators and plague marines on the objective and were making little progress.

Meanwhile, Vulkan He’Stan and his hammertime posse had driven their Crusader deep into the enemies back field and were busy mullering anything not on an objective, but having little impact on the game outcome. Whilst they were busy splattering non-scoring units, their Crusader returned to annihilate the khorne beserkers and destroy their Land Raider transport in a turn of furious firepower, leaving the objective vacant.

At this point the loyalists slowly trudging through rubble towards the bastion decided to abandon their prospects of ever capturing it this century and split up, a Space Marine combat squad heading to capture the now vacant third objective, and a squad of assault terminators heading off to mash a daemon prince who happened to fly by too close.

By turn six Chaos still held the lunchbox and bastion, and loyalists were still struggling through the rubble to reach the third vacant objective. The last desperate gamble of turn six had been a final assault by a loyalist combat squad on the lunchbox in an attempt to remove its final defender, an aspiring plague marine champion with power fist. The assault failed as the single champion beat down all of the attackers. It looked set for a two to nothing victory for chaos until J rolled for end of game. Unluckily for him it went to turn seven. By this time Vulkan had been picked up by his Crusader and was busy speeding towards a final decisive battle atop the lunchbox. A final loyalist combat squad who had been walking to the box since their transport got destroyed in turn four finally arrived. The other squad who had done nothing all game other than struggle through rubble finally made a run for the uncontested objective, only just making it in turn seven. Vulkan scaled the lunchbox, and the final assault went in against the lone aspiring champion who up until this point had been winning the game. Vulkan had to employ both his master crafted relic blade and digital weapons to shift the stubborn defender, which allowed his supporting combat squad to seize the objective.

In conclusion, it was an extremely close game. The loyalists won 2-1 in the end, but only after being behind 2-0 at the end of turn six. The most effective units on each side were probably the loyalist’s Crusader, which survived the entire game playing a key role in the capture of two objectives, and Chaos’s Obliterators, who from turn one proved to be a menace and slowed any hopes of a swift loyalist advance and victory.

It was an enjoyable game, and showed the nail-biting tension a decent game of Warhammer 40k can bring. I find it a shame that the Sheriff is intent upon changing this great ruleset for something else in the next edition, probably to the benefit of no-one except shareholders. It just makes me hope that rather than going for codex creep, GW can actually concentrate on gameplay, good models, good balance and good fun rather than the need to release ever more all-conquering all-powerful armies. It is an interesting coincidence that this game was played on the day that Warpath released. If all games of 40k were this fun then Warpath wouldn’t stand a cat’s chance at a cacodaemon’s barbeque of being successful.

Something for the Weekend?

Far from being an invitation for an illicit triste, today’s post here at 6 Inch Move is a heads up for what the good folks of the floating citadel are planning for their Saturday afternoon!

Rather than throw down in a usual fashion we are going to be playing a large scale 40k battle, this will be showcasing Gribblin’s Tyranids, 4000pts of them to be exact. Against this collection of multi-limbed combat monstrosities will be the motley collection of allied forces from the rest of the 6 Inch Move crew plus a special guest. We’ll be showing off Chaos, Space Marines, Eldar, Tau and my own Dark Eldar to try and halt the planet-nomming menace in a custom scenario designed for the day.

I’m hoping that we can take some photos to show you what goes on and we’ll let you know next week how the game panned out. I wonder how many pain tokens I get for Fluffy the Bio-titan?

ZombiePirate takes his Dark Eldar for a spin

It’s been a long time since I last got to play some 40k. After selling my Green Tide in order to finance the Dark Eldar I’ve waited most of my adult life for, actually having the models has not propelled me onto the battlefield to use them. We’ve been enjoying many other games in the halls of the floating citadel instead.

So, the scene is set for Servitob telling the tale of his tutoring a new player in the ways of 40k and a second day of schooling was arranged for yesterday. The normal participants were invited and it was at this point that I am faced with the fact that all I actually have assembled are my HQ models and the tests for the Warriors and Wyches. Not quite the 750pts we were looking for. So it was that I perused the 1500pts list I’d made that was guiding my purchases to see what I could eek out. Queue a couple of nights of frenetic model building during what has been a very busy and challenging week.

However, I did manage to put together an army and waltz into the gaming halls with a typical army of little grey plastic men (and women). I’d had to buy a second Raider, which would be needed in my proper force anyway, but otherwise managed to create my army from stuff I already had. This would be the first outing for the Dark Eldar in my hands, my opponent was an 11yr old newcomer with two games under his belt. I have to say though that he performed very well and was a pleasure to game with. His Chaos Space Marines would be fighting me for possession of 4 objectives scattered across a battlefield devoid of a lot of terrain (Servitob set it up and put like two building at either end of the table and a river…. not quite the 25% I’d be wanting to shield my pathetic armour behind).

In my normal fashion we’ll be assessing my army list and how it did. I certainly did not perform flawlessly and Dark Eldar don’t take making mistakes lightly, when the dust settled at the end of turn six I held two objectives to the Chaos one, some well made cover saves and armour saves having protected the one guy left defending the objective from the Chaos side.

The Chaos team was made up of a Daemon Prince and sorcerer, several squads of Marines with Power Fist Champions and a Defiler.

My list was as  follows;

  • Succubus – Agoniser
  • 5 Incubi w/ Raider
  • 10 Kabalite Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon
  • 8 Wyches w/ Raider, Hekatrix w/ Agoniser
  • 6 Reaver Jetbikes w/ 2 Blasters

Archons are a little pricey when geared and therefore I thought I’d take the much cheaper Succubus. Agonisers get around my puny strength and importantly deny armour saves. The Wyches need the Raider to get into combat quickly and then it can go tank hunting. The Kabalites were to provide covering fire while the Reavers either popped tanks with Blasters or joined in combat. The Incubi were there to assault stuff and support the Wyches.

Let’s look at their performance, as I said I was playing a newcomer and therefore got away with more than I should have with the mistakes I made, I still got punished though, staying to the objectives of the battle was really the only thing that won me the game, just goes to show how important staying on mission can be.

Succubus – OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! I love this model, equipped with nothing but an Agoniser this is a ridiculously cheap HQ choice. Drop her in a unit of Wyches as well and it really multiplies the potential for pain. Six attacks on the charge at a huge initiative means you’re probably going to kill whatever you’re in base contact with. When I rolled my combat drugs I got re-roll failed to wound, probably the best result for this points level to be honest. She almost single-handedly took down the Daemon Prince, what she left over the Wyches finished off. This HQ is in my 1500pts list and I am really glad she is, this also helps me to realise the potential of a Wych Cult force and my proper list does have a heavy Wych focus. For 85pts it doesn’t get any better than this.

Incubi – Got sent against the wrong target, I should have gone in against a larger squad, instead I sent them into the enemy HQ. They were all in contact with the sorcerer and ripped him apart to get their first pain token but over the course of combat the Power Fist ripped them apart. I think these guys definitely need an Archon to back them up as those extra attacks would have made a mess of the unit too. At this level though I’d have been better off taking another unit of Wyches. Same price and higher survivability due to their Dodge.

Wyches – I love this unit so much. This unit is like a guided missile, I took 8 including a Hekatrix with Agoniser, the Raider gives them their mobility and they back up the Succubus wonderfully. They carved through more then their points worth of stuff and finished the game with 2 pain tokens, although they did get shot due to how fast they were carving through the enemy. The Feel No Pain from killing the Daemon Prince first did save a lot of them though. Not bad at all, they were awesome.

Kabalite Warriors – Due to the distinct lack of terrain it took them a few turns to get into one of the buildings for cover. The slowly whittled down the Marine unit occupying the Chaos objective until at the end of the game there was but 1 chap left. They didn’t get to rapid fire but held an objective so did their job for a small points outlay.

Reavers – Again due to lack of terrain these guys were out in the open at deployment, the Defiler saw them flee turn 1 from shooting but they rallied. I’m not sure about these guys, they helped with killing the Defiler due to their blasters but go shot to pieces (would have been better to turbo-boost them turn two I think rather than plink the Defiler). They got shot to pieces overall but one guy left was instrumental in dropping Chaos Marines with his Blaster denying them that tasty 3+ save they enjoy so much. I need more practice to learn how to use them to the best of their abilities.

Raiders – while primarily used to ferry their charges to combat one got decked pretty quickly the other totalled the Defiler and then started picking off Marines.

Overall I was really impressed with my Dark Eldar and they are a lot of fun to play and really appeal to the way I like to play. They are insanely fast as most things have at least a 20″+ threat range for reaching combat, my opponent was amazed at just how quickly I could get very close to his stuff and tie him up in combat turn 1. If we play at this points level again I think the Incubi would be best switched out for more Wyches and I may have to look into the Reavers, they may work better in bigger games but I’d need something else to deal with armour as otherwise I’d only have the Dark Lances of the Raiders.

Warhammer 40k: Loyalist Space Marines vs Chaos Space Marines

To the casual observer the power armoured brothers of the loyalist and chaos space marines seem similar. But which is superior? 6InchMove takes a definitive look:

Armour: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 5/10

The power armour is what makes the space marine. Unfortunately the average loyalist is happy to wear whatever he can get at Walmart 40,000. If he’s feeling adventurous he may stick a purity seal to his leg. His chaos brother is meanwhile busy adding fashionable tonnes of dangerous spikes, plates, ridges, skulls and helmets of defeated foes to his armour which wouldn’t look out of place on any catwalk. A definite win for the chaos boys.

Team Names: Loyalist 3/10 Chaos 5/10

With names like ‘World Eaters’ and ‘Thousand Sons’ you know that the chaos boys were built to party. The loyalist chapters have either boring or frankly rude names like ‘Crimson Fists’. ‘Iron Hands’? How do they wipe? Imperial records also show a chapter named ‘Rainbow Warriors’. Enough said, the forces of the dark gods win this one!

Close Combat Ability: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 7/10

Your average loyalist is happy to thump his opponent repeatedly with his bolt pistol, which works when squishing small things like frogs and newts. The chaos boys are ready for a good punch up at a moments notice, and have been known to take clubs, knives, chainswords and brass knuckles on bouncy castles, the rebellious lot! Yet another triumph for the forces of chaos.

Musical Talent: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 6/10

Loyalists are happy with chanting and the occasional barbershop quartet number, which frankly is never going to get them anywhere on American Idol. On the other hand, chaos marines are like perpetually power armoured Metallica fans, ready to headbang and form a mosh pit anytime their noise marines wail on their stupendously big guitars. A rocking victory here for the spikey boys!

Vehicles: Loyalist 5/10 Chaos 6/10

The average chaos warrior gets to ride around in the spikiest tanks in the universe, which has got to be cool. They also get help from Defilers, which essentially are demonic kick-ass ants on steroids. Loyalists get to ride in melta magnet Land Raiders and four hundred Rhino variants. Beep beep!

Ability To Know No Fear: Loyalist 10/10 Chaos 0/10

Even faced with certain painful death or being eaten by a carnifex your average loyalist will still be thinking about tax returns, kittens, puppies and onions. Faced with similar peril, a chaos marine will be busy thinking about soiling his power armour, running away and screaming like a little girl. Wussies. A resounding win for the loyalists in this category!

Overall: Loyalist 30 Chaos 29

So if you are a busy Emperor Of Mankind and have an uprising of orks or influx of bugs to squish, then you don’t want to mess about. Our definitive assessment shows that the guys to send are the loyalists. Despite ‘talking the talk’ the chaos boys will not be ‘walking the walk’ in the heat of battle because they will be too busy squealing and running away from everything. Wimps.

Noticing a Trend

The fantasy environment is filled with sterotypes, it’s a part of parcel of the genre that has established itself from its beginnings in the primordial soup of works like Robert E. Howards Conan through to Tolkien’s masterworks and more modern pieces like Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time”. What these pieces of literature have done is to expand upon age old mythology and craft tales of heroism against vile beasties of all descriptions, whether it’s a hellish demon or sorcerer, right through to Trolls and Myrdraal. Otherworldy monsters with amazing strength/magical abilities could often be singled out as appropriate bad guys for our protagonist to fight against due to the fact they are largely alien to the real world in which we live. Therefore if the (typically) normal person can overcome these seemingly impossible beasts then the dramatic effect of that victory is magnified as we can understand the limits placed upon a normal human frame.

It is unsurprising then that when this medium is translated into the realms of the tabletop wargame those monsters that captured our imaginations in literature come to life across dining table the world over. Fantasy games especially are festooned with dragons, treemen, trolls, minotaurs, giants and other creatures born of fevered imaginations. For our purposes today we will be looking at the Warhammer world, a land not without more than its fair share of fearsome unnatural creatures.

Way back when I first started in the hobby Warhammer had a Bestiary, a list of all the different monsters than existed in the world and any army had access to them. Empire with Giant Scorpions, you got it, Dark Elves with a Cockatrice, there you go, Undead with a Silverback Gorilla, not a chance. Now, as the game has matured through several versions since those heady days of my misspent youth things have been refined a little. While these same beasts still exist out there in the Warhammer world (except the Gorilla of course) those available for recruitment by the various armed factions have become limited. No longer do we have a laundry list of monsters that any army can pick from, things are a little more tailored now that we get available monsters in the core lists for each army. Personally, I have to admit that I prefer this way of constructing one’s army as some of the choices didn’t really make sense alongside the force they were chosen with. Yet, there is a new trend that is appearing throughout the books, or, at the least, there appears to be and I’m not sure I like it.

Being an adherent to the Warhammer world I look over each army release, I’m not a fanatical collector of all the army books *cough*Gribblin*cough* but I do tend to enjoy looking at the new models and whathaveyou. The Daemons release obviously caused an uproar for how amazingly overpowered it was claimed to be, then we had Warriors of Chaos which took half of the Beastmen list and crammed it alongside the less mutated mortal servants of the Dark Gods. While before this they still had access to monsters it wasn’t as normal to have a proper Warriors list backed up by Dragon Ogres, Shaggoths and Giants. The new Lizardmen book added more power to the Stegadons and the Dark Elf book gave the Hydra a major boost too. Then we come to the last book to be released and the next one on the horizon. People decry the power of Greater Daemons and the undercosted Hydra and then we receive the confirmation of the aptly named Hell Pit Abomination. Never before have Skaven had something that equates to the scale and power of this individual beast, it takes half the special rules from the book and lumps them into one model just shy of 300pts. This monster is rightly feared across the battlefield.

I have followed rumours around the Beastmen book and finally got to have a quick preview of it last week as I was visiting my local game store. From memory I can recall three beasts of giant size coming around the 275pts mark, similar to the Abomination. Now, while I appreciate out of all the armies out there Beasts probably have more right to a horde of large-base monstrosities it is not just their size that is the problem. While I won’t release any spoilers here suffice to say that each of these monsters has some fairly evil rules to match. Just like the Abomination and Hydra are not pushovers for their cost neither are the new Beasts. I wonder if this trend is going to continue in the next releases, current internet rumours suggest we’ll either be seeing the Ogres of Tomb Kings being refreshed, I think the Undead require more of an update than the Ogres but then I am not really all that into the Ogre army.

I’m not sure I agree with the big beasty in every army that seems to be the route GW are going down. While I can see that some armies fit the idea (Beasts for instance) I don’t think that you can “standardise” these things across the whole segment. What really winds me up is that out of these new monsters the only one with a model is the giant and hydra, all the new ones do not have a model available. While this gives players a change to show off their creativity one of my largest bugbears regarding GW is the fact they will often release options in army books that never get a model released. I remember the previous edition of the Dark Elf book where there was no model for a Dreadlord or Noble available throughout the whole time the book was current. I think this is inexcusable for a miniatures company to not have a model for something that everyone is going to have at least one of to use.

So, Internetz, do you think I’m seeing something that isn’t there, or is our fantasy game becoming Monsterhammer? I can guarantee we’ll see lots of them in tournaments over the coming year.

Games Day Miniature 2010 Revealed

Games Workshop have released details of this year’s Games Day miniature. This is a “freebie” they throw in with your tickets, although as the tickets cost £4billion each I hardly class it as free. These things normally end up on eBay with someone asking way over the odds for them. Personally I’ve never been to the GW ultimate geek-day as it clashes with other things, but, here we have a pic of the 2010 Games Day Chaos Sorceror for your viewing pleasure. I think it’s quite good.