Friday, July 15, 2011

Three Player Warhammer 40K

Last week, we had three people for game night and we had planned to play 40K. This meant that we would either have to play 2 vs. 1 (not that fun), have one person sit out (even worse), or play a three way battle (which sounded promising). What wasn't promising was figuring out how to set it up. Unfortunately, the scenario in the big book isn't all that fun (we've tried it twice already), so it came down to trying to figure out a relatively even way to divide up the board. The best solution I could come up with was to divide the board as follows:

The board is a typical 6' x 4' Realm of Battle board. With this kind of deployment, each player gets exactly 1152 square inches of board for deployment. That's exactly one third of the board each. Now, I tried to search online for other setups, but I didn't find any others that I liked. Every single one warned about the player in the "middle" of the board getting ganged up on by the other two players and then the other two fighting it out between themselves, but most of these maps used an area around the center of the board on one side and the areas around each corner on the other side. This seemed highly restrictive to me, so I split things exactly evenly (space-wise at least). I figured that Player C, at least with my setup, could choose a corner of his own if the other two players seemed intent on crushing him.


We played four objectives: one that was placed in the center of the board in a piece of wooded terrain, and one for each player to place within his deployment zone. In the event of a tie, kill points would be the tie breaker.

This was the initial board setup:
Actually, this is the initial board setup after scout moves. Unfortunately, this pic cuts out the two units of Eldar in the top right corner.
As the Eldar, deploying in the "Player C" area, I made a colossal mistake: I split my forces, which is something Eldar should almost never do. I had it in my head that a full unit of dire avengers and a unit of fire dragons could defend my objective while the rest of my army went out and fought for the center of the field. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the numbers or the durability to survive the onslaught of ork boyz. I had it in my head that I would get a good round of shooting off with my guardian defenders and then assault the mob with both my seer council and my storm guardians to mop up what was left.
The ork horde from the eldar point of view.

 It actually worked pretty well against the first wave, although the storm guardians dropped like flies. However, my seer council just didn't have the durability or the killing power to destroy the second wave... and my guardian defenders didn't have much of a chance without my assault units shielding them.
 Meanwhile, nobody was threatening my objective at all. The two units I left there just sat there for the most part. My fire dragon exarch did take out a dreadnought with a well-placed shot from his firepike, but for the better part of the game they just sat there.

 Deep striking terminators hit the center of the board around turn three or so, and wreaked havok on both orks and eldar with the cyclone missile launcher. Multiple templates is just tough for massed infantry to deal with. One ork got a bit of revenge, though. This sole survivor of an assault against the seer council recklessly threw himself at the oncoming terminators. His charge did little, but just before he charged, he fired a single shot with his pistol and managed to find a kink in the armor.
 For a time, it looked as though the space marines would win the day. They were the first to take control of the center of the board, and maintained it with hardy terminators.
 However, as the battle raged, the horde of orks descended upon them, and their storm bolters just couldn't kill quickly enough to stop the coming onslaught.

 In the end, the terminators were overwhelmed, and the orks controlled the center of the board as well as their own objective.
The eldar managed to maintain their own objective, but didn't have the strength or the mobility to be any danger to the others.

The space marines held their own objective and even managed to hold the center for a time, but in the end their dominance of the center crumbled and the orks were able to contest the space marine objective.

Final Count: Orks 2, Eldar 1, Space Marines 0

Overall, it was a blast. I have to admit that I lost some interest once I realized how badly I had messed up in deployment, but I still enjoyed the evening. Trying to figure out which of the other two players would win plus taking lots of pics (most of which were too blurry to post, unfortunately) kept me busy and entertained. Picking on Matt's terrible luck with the dice helped too.
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