Thursday, March 7, 2013


I dug this one out from storage. I bought it ages ago at a flea market to use as a Marine Dreadnought in 28mm.  Turns out to be a decent sized mech in 15mm

A 15mm Dreadnought (a Clockwork Goblin Mech) in the foreground.

Why a black and white livery?

When I started Rogue Trader I tried out painting standard chapters, but I ended up wanting my own livery.  I ended up picking a Knights Templar/Maltese cross-inspired symbol and a black and white livery variant.  I called them "Knights Emporum", intending it to mean Knights of the Empire, but given my laziness in checking actual Latin its more likely Knights of the Shopping mall!

KIL! KIL! KIL! For the Emperor

OK, maybe over the top but its in-keeping with the theme for this post.  Retro-Hammer.

Back when I was in college in 1987 I'd finished all of my autumn mid-term exams while my housemates were still beavering away with theirs.  I was kind of bored and kicking around looking for something to do, so I thought I'd visit the local model shop to see if they had any cool kits to build.  It turns out that the shop had just received a box with a bunch of stuff from 'Games Workshop', this was around the time of the release of Warhammer 40K Rogue Trader.  I asked the guy what it was, he had no idea, so we opened the shrinkwrap from a rulebook and a box of RTB01 marines.  I was hooked, in exchange for a significant number of drinking vouchers (pound notes), I bought the marines, a rulebook and what turned out to be a pre-release of a Marine Dreadnought. 

My college friends and I played a lot of RT.  We had a blast, it was a really fun game, with improvised terrain  (books and cassette boxes for hills, torn sponge for bushes and pens for fences!) and kit-bashed vehicles - long live the deodorant container/medicine spoon tank.  I played on after college, both in the GW shop/leagues and at home with a small group.  The game morphed and changed as GW released more toys and bolted more rules on.  Before the release of 2nd Ed we were wading through several rulebooks and a stack of White Dwarfs just to be able to play a basic game.  Second Ed 40k was a bust for us, we all disliked it from the start so we drifted into other game systems.

Why the revisit?  Two reasons:  First, RT turned 25.  I was talking to a friend who plays 40k and he mentioned it, I'd just never given it any thought.  As we talked about it I realized I use to have a lot of fun with just the first rule book.  The second reason is more long term, I hope my boys will enjoy playing soldiers like I do.  If its scifi I'm sure it'll be battle-game type version of 40K-nth edition, as a bridge between editions I'm curious if RT could be a version of 40K we can all can enjoy.  One of the nicer aspects of gaming for a while is having toys to hand to try ideas out.  Even though I've sold off, or given away, most of my old 28mm RT collection I have all the figures,vehicles and scenery props I would need in 15mm.

Enough preamble on with the game:  A mildly modified "Battle at the Farm":

Battle at the Temple
Marine Objective: Kill Orks, esp the two leaders to prevent them calling in reinforcements.  If they do so,  move on to support the defenders of New Rynn City
Ork objective: Get at least one of their two leaders to the temple, dig for their loot and run!  If there are too many casualties call for help on a communicator)

Marine Bronx Drop Legions preps.
These are old Laserburn (now inspired by Brian Ansel.  Smart-grenade launcher (=missiles) on the LHS.  NCO on the RHS

The Bronx Drop Legion were originally tasked with the Wars of Princess Ryan.  They are an assault oriented troop.  NCO RHS
 Vs.  the Orks.  GZG figs given to me as birthday/Xmas presents etc.  Thrugg on the RHS leading from behind an effective wall of ablative armour...
 The battlefield.  The Ork treasure is buried in an old ruined temple.
 The Ork horde Orks  Led by their hero Thrugg
 Orks win initiative and advance on the temple
 Marines moving forwards
Marines deploy into cover (in the original the Marines were already in place)
 Marines gun down some Orks, the Orks lose their nerve and run
Orks reply, Marine down, Ouch!
 Hrukk leads a squad of Orks forwards
Orks lurk into fire positions, oops, an unlucky one gets shot through head while peeking through the bushes
 Woosh, KaPow.  Plasma missile fires and deviates
 Missile deviated right on top of the Ork leader Thrugg

And Broil!
 Splatt! That smarts, Thrugg is down
 More Orks down, Orks run
Orks kill more Marines
A lot of Ork casualties, things not looking so great for the Orks
However, just in time more Orks arrive
Next turn, Hrukk takes charge, moves forwards ready to launch an assault on the Marines
Zoom in, getting ready to jump through the bushes
Missile out, deviates wildly off course
Ka-Splatt! Marines gun down all the Orks
Doh!  Its now I realize my mistake...  ...I've been rolling to hit and save, but forgot to roll to damage!
So these Orks get to stand up and keep playing
After re-rolling only two Orks go down
Hrukk takes the initiative and leads an assault on the Marines
The second Ork team joins in
The Marine leader guns down Hrukk with his bolt pistols
Victory dance!
On the other side another Ork goes down
Survivors run for it
As do the remainder of Hrukk's Orks 

Game over Man! Marines win!
The Marine commander reorgs his men and moves on to reinforce New Rynn City

That was a blast from the past, and quite fun too.  Even though I made a mistake with damage rolls the Marines were still gunning Orks down after I fixed that.  Having no saving roll (after mods) really made a big difference.

Back in the day even though Orks were pitched as the big Marine foe I never played against them.  Now I see why, you need a horde of them to match up with Marines.  This was 21 Orks vs 11 Marines (the original BatF was 21 Orks vs 16 Marines), even then it was a walk over for the Marines.  Ah well, lesson learned, next time it will be fewer Marines battling the greenskin tide.

I'm not sure I want play the New Rynn City scenario next.  I always enjoyed the 'Deathworld' fluff and since I now have a bunch of plants and animals to use I may just have to do that.