The time: last evening, Tuesday the 28th of October. The place: Gamescape North, in San Rafael, California, the New World. The opponents: TastyTaste (of Blood of Kittens infamy) vs. the Middling . The music: Tom Waits. The lighting: low, and poor for picture-craft. The terrain: pre-painted. The armies: Squats (counts as Space Marines and Astra Militarum) generelled by the Middling vs. orks, commanded ably by TastyTaste.
Stop. Tom Waits…Indeed! You read correctly. Waits, in spite of his talents and due place within the musical paradigm, did not (it needs stating) set an appropriate grimdark mood – merely a dark mood. Indeed, like the lighting too, (as some many photos attest)! It is a wonder the players did not end in tears before the roll for deployment.
The Middling (and Tasty as well) enjoy the Maelstrom of War missions, whereby the cards and round by round objectives shift, allowing for unpredictable and free-flowing game. The mission was Tactical Escalation (3 on the Maelstrom of War Table), and the orks won the roll for both choosing sides and deployment, choosing to deploy upon the field of battle first, with one the ork warboss’ two warlord traits allowing the green-skinned mastermind to infiltrate three different units normally unable to perform such subterfuge.
The Squats, fearful of Lootas on the left flank, and rather primed to get stuck in with the Ork battlewagon and its crew of meks, warboss and burna boyz (all bearing down the right flank) deployed behind their beer barrel aegis gun-line (sans gun, merely beer alone!) and awaited their fate, steel-eyed and adipose-bellied.
A mob of 30 ork boyz infiltrated in the central building of the battlescape. How one hides so many mouth-breathers within so small a building will defy the historians in perpetuity.
With little else to do but hide in terrain (and 54mm terrain no less), the squat boars (scouts) infiltrated to join their hearthguard brothers within a building that none save a bird could see their stunted frames.
As the battle was joined, the Squats cowered behind their wall-of-beloved-beverage and awaited the oncoming onslaught…
Which arrived all too quickly as a dozen rampaging burna boyz leapt across the wall of barrels – without taking so much as a sip!
Combat was joined and the lowly squat brotherhood warriors (veterans)
The two units of brotherhood warriors were annihilated, first by burnas, choppas and hate, and then by being run down as the unit broke under the sight of the carnage. Not a lone-fat abhuman of them remained alive.
The squat warlord (Commissar Yarrick) and living ancestor in exo-armour (librarian in terminator armor), accompanied by their exo-armour hearthguard (terminators) sat at a short remove, awaiting to launch their ferocious counter-attack. Even with being drunk and short limbed, it was unforseeable that such an assault through a wooded-crater, at the shortest possible distance between the doughy warriors and the targets of their vengeance was not inevitable.
And yet! The charge through the most difficult of terrain (represented by the below dice)… was a failure of the highest order, as they stumbled on roots, themselves, and unfortunate luck and failed to reach their foes.. Vengeance for their fallen brethren would slip from their pudgy-fingered grips for longer, again…
Emptied of its belligerent cargo, the battlewagon screamed forward to ram, and run through the squat’s termite (land speeder storm), but just as the tank was about to make contact, the termite ‘jinked’ underground, boring into the earth and escaping harm.
Having failed their counter-assault, prospects were looking grim for the squats, until finally, after removing themselves from the stool of their favorite pub, the squat’s gyrocopter air calvary finally appeared, bolstering morale, and began to turn the tide of war.
The gyrocopters set to systematically destroying the feared loota boyz, the blitza bommer screaming overhead on aching jets, and finally a strategically deployed unit of grots holding down a valuable objective –securing the victory for the stunties, and sending the greenskins back to return to fight another day. The warlord and hearthguard survived the orks assault, slaying Warboss, Big Mek and their retinue in a bloody melee that left only three abhumans standing and the greenskins absent from the battlefield.
Unfortunately, the war correspondent responsible for these (awful) photos was killed shortly thereafter, and the remaining documentation of this middling war are now lost to antiquity, the immaterium or whatever! You are surely tired of this recounting of carnage, so it is all for the best.
Things improved for the Middling squats, as they forced tasty in to an early surrender (so that food could be sought out and peace restored between the generals, and etc. and so forth).