So my final practice night against Barra MacNiocaill’s Blood Angels, great list for the ETC by the way, Barra’s list was the four Land Raider shield list Team RoI are bringing. We also got our dice and t-shirts from Captain Richard Flood (for a price…):
So R0ot entertained me with a practice game this week also. I used the game as a method of getting back to guessing ranges accurately and opted for a heavy deep striking deployment. This was obviously the wrong deployment but as I said I was using this as an opportunity to get back some eagle eye range guessing I haven’t had with this list since last year’s ETC.
I heavy reserved and everything that could deep strike (apart from the Prince) was going to, with some lucky rolls I wanted to see what overwhelming the Templar line would look like but also how well the force could cope with a non-typical deployment.
Shane used a massive piece of terrain on his side to pop his home objective (which counted for primary and secondary remember, mine was close to my table edge in the centre, just right for my walking on troops to grab while hustled in a Land Raider.
My T2 and finally I get to do something! My icon of Chaos Glory and one marine survive Shane’s second turn of fire to act as a homing beacon for my deep striking units, I roll and get one Land Raider, 5 Chaos Space Marines, 1 Obliterator unit and both my Terminator units, not the worst!
Shane’s remaining speeder from one squad attempts a multi melta shot at my Land Raider but is foiled by a faithful Warhead dice. My Lash Prince decides to show up on Turn 4 to Lash Shane’s unit off his objective and into a nice neat little bunch on top of the building his objective is in (I didn’t get enough to get them out of the building so opted for the next best option, plasma death).
And as you can see, 1 Obliterator survived! Unfortunately he needed a 5 on 2D6 to assault the unit on Shane’s middle ground objective and he didn’t get it, even if he had it wouldn’t have made a difference as he had me well and truly goosed.
Hey all! Well it’s finally here; ETC 2011!
For those of you unaware the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be sending four teams this year to the European Team Championships, two teams for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and two for Warhammer 40,000.
While Northern Ireland has competed for a few years now in the massive event (hailed as a step towards a World Cup by some) this is the Republic’s second year only attending. 2010 was the Republic’s first year and also our first year attending the “Home Nations” event (in which Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Barbarians were the other teams attending) at which we took first place, unfortunately the ETC proper proved a harder beast to subdue and is by far the greatest test of 40k players in Ireland (that I know of!).
Necromunda remains one of Games Workshop’s (many) gravely under-used IPs and this is apparent in their Black Library releases. Necromunda has been particularly poorly served in this area. Like all Black Library releases, the quality of Necromunda fiction can vary dramatically. Some of the direr Kal Jericho books, in particular, makes a strong effort to force the standard down. But have hope, ragged hivers, there is non-flamer-related light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll look at the three best in the series, in no particular order.
Fleshworks by Lucien Soulban
Fleshworks is the baseline by which all other books in the series should be judged. Lucien Soulban appears to have made more of an effort than the typical Black library author, in producing an entertaining but non-typical Necromunda book.
The author seems to grasp that the setting is sufficiently characterful and doesn’t resort to the tired premise of an western plot in an predominantly dystopian setting. The book melds elements of cyber-punk and film noir with a deep respect for the source material that shines through.
The choice to set the book in Hive City and amongst the squabbling of the Houses proper proves astute as this allows the author the freedom required to tell his story to full effect. The Houses come across as functioning entities rather than the charicatures some works depict them as.
The characters manage to attain a measure of realism which is rare in Black Library products and the sheer likeability of the main character persuades the reader to suspend his disbelief during his various death-defying escapes. Some of the antagonists veer dangerously close to the traditional hackneyed gang sterotypes but by and large, he steers clear of that danger.
Commendably, the author resists any temptation to undercut the secretive, cutthroat theme of the book by forcing a clear and unambigious ending. I heartily recommend.
Outlander by Matt Keefe
This second book makes the list despite falling into the space-western pattern which blights much of the Necromunda books. Rather than using the format as a crutch, it surpasses it, providing a breathing living Necromunda which comes across as plausible. Every stereotypical character, from the drifter, to the cowardly mayor, to the hooker with a heart appears but are granted depth and a charm normally lacking.
The author jumps between multiple viewpoints and while initially jarring, this does produce an interesting work without a clear-cut protagonist. The jumps are poorly executed at times but the fault is forgiveable.
Fans of the Good, the Bad and Ugly will adore this.
Junktion by Matthew Farrer
Completing our trilogy, this book places its plot firmly in the Underhive. It manages to depict the impact of constant gang warfare and the unrelenting harshness of the setting without the clumsy comedic overtones of the Donne Ulanti and Jericho series.
The unfortunate protagonist is pitted against immovable objects and irresistable forces and buffeted viciously by cruel fate as he just tries to do his damned job. The backdrop of an Underhive settlement partially besieged is the closest to the “traditional” Necromunda fluff but retains a certain strangeness. The author’s greatest success is in projecting the truely bizarre and alien nature of life in the Hive. The inevitable slide towards anarchy that blights any attempt to improve life for the huddled masses is adeptedly highlighted.
It may be third in the list but certainly equal to any of the preceding works.
So there you have it, the unofficial trilogy of Necromunda. Entirely accidentally, they give a brillant snapshot of the Necromunda setting. They collectively set their action in Hive City, the Ashwastes (kinda) and the Underhive. Next up, a forty-two part review of all White Dwarfs since 1988.
Here is my personal tracker for the games, on the right is the table number for the game being played (since the player that is bid gets to choose the table giving them a slight tactical edge in an even matchup) and in the top right of each match my estimated scores we could achieve.
So how did the matches compare with my predictions, well as I showed earlier on my match tracker I predicted our Blood Angels player could get 7 points against codex marines, so I predicted a weak draw on our behalf. This was mostly due to the fact that we hadn’t tested this list thoroughly and Sam was relatively new to competitive 40k but low and behold he netted us 10 points!!