Sunday, 10 April 2016

Epic... It was a simple epic!

Who plays that anymore? Well, me... and Martin... at least on Saturday.

The "Epic" version of Warhammer 40K was one of Games Workshop's best games, in my opinion. For whatever obscure/obtuse business reasons, GW discontinued the game or sent it down to the minor leagues, along with some of their other great games, like Warmaster and Man-of-War. Before my move to Canada, my buddies and I played Epic a lot and we had most of the usual armies covered - Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Eldar, Squats, Orks, and Tyranids. I have a Tyranid army but I feel I should shower whenever I touch it. We had a few great games. Then GW changed the rules and I found the game unplayable. (Again personal opinion.)

A while ago, Kevin, one of the Panjandrums of the Hamilton Road Gaming Group, told me of the Net Epic discussion group on-line. The rules seemed to be a slight variation of what I considered the classic Epic rules. The usual armies were available, but they added a few others - including the Ecclesarchy (The Church of the Emprie), Slann, "Evil creatures" (somewhat weird, I think), and Tau. Oh, Tau! I've been converting and dummying them up.

Finally, Martin and I agreed to try the rules. We laid out small forces - Dark Angel Space Marines vs. an Imperial Guard force. The Marines were outnumbered but were of much better quality. The IG was wave upon wave of expendable infantry with heavy armour support and loads of artillery. We weren't sure how the game would be, but it ended up to be a real nail-biter of a see-saw battle - quite satisfying all around. (Martin grasps rules very quickly and we're both quite amiable at the table, so we have fun.

The objectives included a small town and a large power-plant. The Guard was to hold both and the Marines were to take both. Simple goals for a simple game. (Martin and I took the photos.)

Your humble blogger measures something or at least appears to.

The massive power plant, where the power-techs burn compost, leftovers, and old manuscripts
to provide power for the masses. (An end-of-game photo)

It ended up that only Martin and I played a game.
The rest of the group discussed the merits of sand-bagging heavy machine guns,
the M3 Lee, the Deuce-and-a-Half, pulled pork, and how to run a hobby shop.
In other words, the usual conversation.
We also bid farewell to a member of the library staff who was always helpful to us.

Early in the game, the Big McLargehuge* Memorial Power Plant was held by an Imperial Guard
heavy weapons section, backed up with a company of infantry.
Martin attacked and noted that because of the size of the forces, he should have defended. He kept up that chant until he saw how easily my troops were taken out. The Imperial Guard infantry have no saving throw! Neither of us could throw good dice for the entire game. Martin sent the Dark Angels infantry (two sections) toward the power plant, supported by three sections of Land Speeders and four Dreadnoughts. Another Marine tactical section, a section of Terminators, and a section of Assault Marines in Razorback APCs headed for the town backed by bikers, heavy weapons, and a battery of Whirlwind missile launchers. I had a heavy weapons section in the town and another in the power plant. Two companies of tactical infantry were in support, one to each heavy weapons section. A third company took the far right flank with a Baneblade super-heavy tank in support, to preclude a Land Speeder end run. In the centre, an entire company of Leman Russ tanks were set to move forward. Three artillery batteries - Whirlwinds, Basilisk cannons, and big rocket launchers - supported the entire force. Three helicopter gunships ("Death Pigeons") and bomber planes ("Vultures") could come on to support as well.

My third infantry company moves forward to engage the Land Speeders.

An early game photo of the heavy weapons guarding the Big McLargehuge* Power Plant.
The building is a chunk of wood with two old film canisters attaches as cooling towers
or maybe deep fryers. 

Heavy weapons in town, setting up in the post office or some other official building.

Leman Russ tanks with company HQ and a Commissar's tank.

Razorbacks! Land Raiders! Rhinos!

Land Speeders.

Dark Angels Devastators/Heavy Weapons.
Martin's advance came on quick and hurt my heavy weapons sections. His Razorbacks smashed my Rough Rider cavalry and cut up an armoured infantry detachment. I was able to hurt the Space Marines that were advancing toward the power plant, taking out about half of them before they could dismount from the APCs. His Land Speeders actually destroyed the Baneblade super-heavy tank and wiped out the heavy weapons section in the power plant, using their Flamers which ignore cover. When my Leman Russ tanks came up, they really damaged the advancing Space Marines and the Terminators' Land Raiders, although those big tanks gave as good as they got. The Space Marine advance supported by the Dreadnoughts finally took the power plant, and I was sure I'd never dig them out of that place. Just for a trial run, I brought up a company of infantry and after shooting for two turns, I charged the place... and re-took it! Not without losses, however.

Baneblade on the rubber road. Now you see it.

Now you don't. I've got to remember to pack cotton balls to show brewed-up vehicles.

The Leman Russ company come forward.

Dark Angels Whirlwinds.
These models were always among my favourites,

Slowly taking losses, the armour still advance.
The real strengths of the Imperial Guard troops in this game are the armour and the artillery.
I almost felt that the infantry was a side-show... until they retook the power plant!

There they are! Fighting hand to hand with Rhinos and an HQ stand.
The figures are from a BattleTech range. Not totally "orthodox", I know, but they add so much variation.
AND they're cheaper!
By the end of our time, I had lost and retaken the power plant. Martin had troops in the town and was grinding up my infantry there. My bombers and helicopter gun ships were doing damage and had taken losses from AA fire. The Dreadnoughts had been firing on the rear of the Leman Russ tanks and had done plenty of damage to the company, about two platoons worth. The bombers and the artillery finally did them in.

In the end we called it a "bloody draw", which I don't consider a bad thing, since I hadn't played there rules before and the figures hadn't seen the light of day in almost 10 years. I left both of us with an appetite to play again, and do do micro-armour moderns.

As Martin moves his Razorbacks, you get a good idea about the size of these models.

One of my infantry companies prepares to enter the forest and defend the power plant.

Helicopter gun ships... with a news chopper from the local news Tri-vid outlet.

I have fun painting flags, mostly free-hand.

Another infantry company in the town. Again BattleTech figs in the Russian green-and-cream cammo.

Martin's Terminators, Tactical Marines, and Assault Marines de-bus to annoy my peaceful town.

As to the name of my power plant, you can find it here in an MST3K rif.
* The origin of the Big McLargehuge Memorial Power Plant*
Thanks, MST3K!
Next week - Casserine Pass in 15mm.


  1. Epic. The game that made me fall in live with wargaming. Nice Batrep!

    1. Thank you! This game rekindled my liking of the system and the figs.