Tuesdays have kind of become "warhammer day" around here, since my work demands most of my time from Wednesdays through to Mondays, leaving Tuesday mornings free for the occasional match. This week, I had scheduled a 1k match against a friend who plays Necrons and loves Canoptek units.
We agreed to play the CROSSFIRE scenario from the basic book, and agreed upon the design for a table in advance
We even shared our lists beforehand as well, with him going with a combination of Spyders and Wraiths, led by a Technomancer and a Plasmancer, with Warriors on a Barge and some Immortals to fill up the ranks
, and me going with BIkes with Melta weapons led by a Captain and Lieutenant Jump Pack Team, supported with a big Devastator Squad and a Dread, and with some Tactical Squads to hold down the objectives
What made this fight special, despite it being just a random match with a regular opponent, comes from something that happened at my house the night before the match.
This might feel like a weird side story, but bear with me, it all feeds into the actual story of the match.
So, my daughter, who is four years old, has grown up watching me have regular games of Warhammer 40k. She always joins me on the table when I play (and, since I am host for the games in my group like 99 out of 100 times, this is often... or used to be, before the COVID thing, but never mind that). She likes to help me build boards, and loves playing with the terrain and my dice.
So, she is quite involved in my hobby, in her own way. She understands that I play "knights" who are "the good guys" (just... the purposes of this story, there are good guys in the setting, let's just go with that). She understands that all of my friends play "monsters" (Tyranids), or "bad guys" (Death Guard), or "robots" (T'au).
Also relevant to this story, is that she, being four years old (a few months still from five), is getting into the inevitable phase in which she is beginning to be scared of the dark. Prone to having bad dreams, about monsters and stuff. The kind of thing every kid goes through, and you as a parent try your best to help with, but are basically useless against. Beyond providing comfort at night and encouraging them to face their fears with bravery.
Well, last night we were having dinner. My daughter knew I had this game coming up, since I had mentioned it during the day, and so in the middle of dinner —completely unprompted— she turns to me all serious and says (and I am quoting as close as I can to verbatim here): "Dad, you have to kill all the monsters. You have to win your game. Because you can't let the monsters kill you. So you have to kill them. So you can win. And, if you win, I will give you a medal, because you will have killed all the monsters."
My wife and I just looked at each other, and she goes "Well, you better win now, huh?", and that kinda shook me a bit. But, I figured, she is just rambling on, she is being cute (despite all the killing talk, you know?), she will forget by morning. Only, she didn't.
Tuesday comes along, and mid breakfast she turns to me and, again, goes: "Dad, remember you have to win, because then I will give you my medal. Because you will kill all the monsters, and they won't get you.". She goes off to daycare for the day, and I stay home to greet my opponent.
It was weird... She was so fixated on this.
So, the time for the match comes, and my opponent places his models on the board. We deploy, he wins the roll off, and we get into it, when I suddenly get this idea of what my daughter is going to say if she gets home and I have lost.
With that in my head, we got into the match...
My opponent gets to go first. With four points blocking line of sight and one objective in each building, he immediately makes a run for both corners of the board.
His Plasmancer summons his meteor-like blast in the middle of my deployed force, trying to force me to break rank. Meanwhile, his Spyders and Immortals take shots at my tacticals. While he only manages to kill a couple of marines, what has me most worried is the block of units at the edge of my deployment zone, comprised of Wraiths, Spiders and a Technomancer. Which means, if these things get a charge in next turn, they will slice and dice through my entire army in one fell swoop.
So, for my turn, I decide to go in as much of an offensive as I can.
I move my bikes up into melta range of the Spyders. My Master as close to a charge as he can go. My lieutenant gets screened by a tactical squad, away from the Plasmancer's meteorite, but still in range to buff the bikes; just in case the Wraiths manage to break through and get to my units, so that he can then countercharge them. My dread pulls back, but brings up his aura of rerolls to hit for the Devastators, which are the only guys who stay put. Ready to brave the blast.
I fire everything at the Spyders. All my melta, and all my plasma, with some Hellfire Shells to go along with it all. It takes all of that, but the Spyders get blown off Turn One. Then, my Master goes for the charge. I had brought him about to take on whichever spyders survived the shooting phase, but with them gone, he can now go towards the wraiths. I need a 7" charge with rerolls from Imperium's Sword.
I get an 11" on the charge, first try, and in he goes for the kill.
He makes his attacks. Lands 5, wounds with all, and my opponent fails 4 of his saves. He cannot save the wraiths, even with a command reroll. The things are gone in 5 swings of my Thunder Hammer.
The Necrons have limited options.
The blast of the Plasmancer manages to take out a biker, and one Devastator, but not much else. Then, he brings the barge about to the objective on the other side of the board, which is uncontested. The Thralls of the Technomancer go for my captain. The Immortals take shots at my Devastators.
The amazing part was how these tiny robot things hit. My master survives with just one wound, with a lucky armor save through a command reroll on my part.
In my turn, I move my bikes down the center of the board, and move my dread up to charge range of the barge. I move my lieutenant up as well, seeing an opportunity against the Technomancer, while my Master holds the Thralls.
I fire everything at the transport, but only manage to bring it down to four wounds. Still, my Dread makes its charge easily, and with a flurry of blows, he destroys it entirely.
Meanwhile, my lieutenant makes his own charge, and with some very good rolls, kills the Technomancer outirght, while my master slays the thralls.
The end of the round comes, and score is 15 to 12 in favor of my side. My opponent realizes I still have almost a full squad of plasma cannon devastators, 5 bikers carrying 5 melta shots, both characters with enough movement to cross the map in less than two rounds, as well as a Dread to hold down one quarter of the board on his own.
With that, and the point difference, he is forced to concede at the top of round three. The battle ends quickly, and swiftly, with a bloody parade of living metal all over the ruins.
And, at the end of the day, after I picked up my daughter, wouldn't you know it. She had a special surprise for me, from her toy box.
This was a very, very special battle, indeed. So much so, that I felt compelled to share it with you guys.
Hope it was a fun read.
For to the Lion!
P.S.: I'm sharing these pictures of me and my daughter, so you can see the end result of the whole thing. Due to privacy concerns, though, I have set the upload of the images to last only 24 hours. Just, in case you read this afterwards, and the links show up as broken; that's why.