+ inload: Intrigue at Warehouse CCLIX – Part II +

+ A Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition battle report – part II+

This inload leads on from an earlier one – Part I of this battle report can be found here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded++

Fireworks proved the perfect distraction for the Hangman's Rope, as the ill-disciplined warders of the Church all seemed to turn away from the approaching Inquisitorial team.
+ [APPEND] A real stroke of luck for me – or inauspicious dice for Bob Hunk as the scatter dice (used to determine the direction the sentries would end up facing) nearly all seemed to fall facing the opposite long board edge. +

The soldiers of Blenheim, along with Ferlinghetti, crept along the overway with their autorifles trained on the nearby Church sentries. 

Veck gently opened the door to the old house and crept in to find a more commanding viewpoint while his warriors advanced. Arcimboldo showed the preternatural fieldcraft skills of the Astartes in staying hidden, despite his bulk and wargear.
+ This raised a good-natured question about whether Arcimboldo – in his bright orange power armour and flaming swords and candles  – could hide (in the 2nd ed. sense) behind the hedge, which came up to his chest. We looked it up, and the text had the following extract, which had a neat answer to our question:
+ For the purposes of this game, then, we decided Arcimboldo could hide behind the large hedge – but I wanted to point out a broader point, which is that gaming is a dialogue between two (or more) players. Later editions of 40k – and many more modern games – have tried to tighten up the rules to reduce the chances of arguments; but to me that misses the point which 2nd edition made explicit: 'Common sense is required here'. + 
+ Ultimately, any set of rules is going have at least some gap for interpretation (as that's what gives players agency to make decisions), and so rather than putting the onus on the rules to marshal the players, we should expect players to act in a way that advances the purpose of the game – the enjoyable exploration and advancement of a story. +

At a word from Veck, the time came to strike. Arcimboldo leapt over the hedge and in just three bounding steps, closed the distance to the Leavelooker's covered stall, where a sentry had taken shelter to light a furtive lho-stick. Reaching out, Arcimboldo closed his great armoured hand over the lurking sentry's head, silencing him as he snatched the man backwards over the stall.

The Astartes twisted slightly and broke the man's neck in a clean stroke – raising no alarm. He took in the dead man's appearance – and his twin hearts began to race as he saw the tell-tale signs of xenos interference.
"Genethieves!" he murmured to himself.

The remaining three sentries were oblivious; their cargo stored and ready to go. Atticus, an aspiring zealot who was nominally in charge of the duty, shifted his honour-staff into the crook of his elbow so he could rub his hands together to warm them.

Northgrass crawled across the ground to the low wall, then looked back up to the overpass, where Cymgin and Toria were lining up shots.

Two stuttering barks rang out, one after another. The first punched into the sentry, who stumbled confusedly before the second spread his brains across the cold earth. Again, the alarm remained pointedly silent.

+ With two sentries down, the field is looking well in Veck's control. +

Atticus shifted his staff back into his grip – and happened to take a glance to his left as he did so. What in the...?

The fourth sentry's form was too hunched and distorted to allow him to pass unnoticed in crowds – but his metahuman 'blessings' made him invaluable as a sentry, enhancing his vision slightly. As a result, at a brief gesture from Atticus, he was quickly able to make out the shape of the Space Marine.

Unfortunately for the sentry, it didn't make him invulnerable to mass-reactive shells. Whipping the boltgun round, Arcimboldo's snap shot detonated with a ear-splitting crack that spread the cultist across a wide area.

With that, the chance for stealth was over – Atticus frantically began ringing the hand bell he carried, raising the alarm. Arcimboldo's brow creased as he unsheathed his power sword and ignited it with a fiery flourish. He began to advance on Atticus as unstoppably and inevitably as the wrath of the God-Emperor.


+ To be continued +

Part III can be found here + [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +


+ Why a Space Marine? +

+ This part of the report mostly looked at the Astartes' point of view, and I wanted to add a few notes about the army lists. The atmosphere of the game we were creating owed much more to Dan Abnett's sublime Eisenhorn and Ravenor series and the more modern interpretation of the Astartes that has sprung up. To represent this, I ended up cooking up a statline based on a Master Inquisitor as a basis – giving Arcimboldo 3 Wounds and 3 Attacks, as well as elevating his physical statline far above a regular human. +

+ Making decisions like this obviously requires prior discussion and approval with the other player – fortunately Bob Hunk's an easygoing soul who was quite happy to see a 'movie marine' approach in terms of rules. +

+ While it's fun to see a powerhouse romp through opposition once or twice, they're a bit one-dimensional. For the sort of undercover operation that games of this style – narrative explorations – offer, I might have been better off with some hired muscle, local beggars or bribed officials. They offer equal modelling and painting opportunities, and precisely because they're a bit less reliable, they're more fun for both sides. +

+ Certainly Ferlinghetti, a cowardly scribe, and Atticus, a minor zealot of the Church, started to develop and become more memorable characters; and started cogs turning in both players' minds as to where the narrative can go next. +

+ Generally speaking, I'm not sure on the value Astartes bring to games of this scale. At this early stage of the game, I was a bit concerned that he was going to waltz through the poor genestealers and give Bob Hunk a bit of a sour taste. As you'll see in the following inloads, that's not quite what happened in this game, but it is well worth asking yourself the motivation behind wanting to include characters of this 'power level' in your own group. In my case, it was a wish to get a model I was proud of on the table; but I'm unsure if Arcimboldo will appear next time without a pressing narrative need. + 



  1. nice read, look forward to reading the next instalment

  2. Hee hee, 2nd ed must have been so fun; you actually can use common sense. Bumping up the Astartes' stats suits his scale; I wonder what monsters he will encounter next...

  3. I think that having one space marine is probably be something that the other player could deal with, and can add something to the story. (Unstopable man machine ended by a lowly ganger with a stubgun!)

    A squad on the other hand would destroy the game pretty quickly, even at regular 40k stat level.

  4. As before, fun read again - I like the turn of phrase around the hybrid spotting the marine and the marine spotting the hybrid.

    As for Movie Marines - I used have a squad necormunda style but with their commlinks, autosenses, stat lines and so on - when one was wounded, he was still formidable and generally could survive two wounds and operate semi-effectively (albiet if hit by a heavy weapon.. well..)

    Their staying power made them great for my gaming group - not so much charging about like captains; but being marines we read about. Yet open to being blasted down.

    Scouts were actually a really fun War-Munda force; essentially special forces going into the favelas of the underhive.

    Look forward to part 3 :)

  5. Looks like a really fun ruleset to use. Were you using set points values or just playing with warbands?


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