A week ago today, the Right and Honorable Referee Pitmann slid round for an increasingly rare and lamentably brief bit of gaming glory. We played 1400 points with an additionally quirky deployment, either of which might leave some of you scratching your heads.
A note on that last bit: Pitmann and I have been playing 40K almost exclusively against one another for about 11 years now. I would estimate that I have played at least 20 games vs. Pitmann to every one game of 40K that I have played against someone else. In that sense, we are the dearest of frienemies.
I should also add that in all this time, Pitmann has always (always!) played his Iron Warriors. I, on the other hand, have played whichever army a-go-go I could muster: Inquisition, IG, SM, Inquisition v2.0, IG v2.0, new SM chapter, new new SM chapter, Necrons (yes, it is true), and yet another SM chapter (the Onorevoli, whom you will likely have seen on these pages), and now my beloved devotees of Nurgle… the Arrugginiti.
All of the above means that we are not even remotely beholden to the game in a competitive sense. Certainly, we are competitive when glaring across the tabletop at the other, but we have played enough games that we are really quite free and easy to bend the structure of the game to our disposition without a second of hesitation.
The game in question. We arrived at the significantly less than standard 1400 points after first attempting to work toward the conventional 1250. Pitmann wanted to add a bit more flair to the tune of 150, and there you have it.
Pitmann’s Iron Warriors came to the table with the following (roughly):
Daemon Prince, Khorne
x2 Berzerkers x10 on foot. PP (I am always happy to see these guys on foot so that I have a proper chance of running away from them).
For my part, the Arrugginiti mustered the following:
Chaos Lord, Terminator, Daemon Weapon (this will be important later)
Terminators x5 Nurgle
x2 Plague Marines x7 –one with PF, the other with Melta- in Rhinos
Raptors x7 Nurgle
So the forces were nearly mirror images of one another with Pitmann emphasizing his favorite Khorne, while the Arrugginiti pandered shamelessly to the god of decay.
For the deployment, we opted for something new (to us). Instead of the normal book deployment or a simple and informal game of smash-mouth, we thought about how we could get our guys into the mix immediately –this is at least in some small part to the late start and the usual time crunch. So. Mix it up immediately.
As it turns out, this was much easier to do than we imagined.
Each of us had six units to place, so we took turns doing so but imagined that every unit had the Infiltrators USR. Nothing was allowed to reserve, so that every single unit began somewhere/anywhere on the table, under the usual restrictions (12” in cover, 18” in plain sight, etc). As expected, we began more or less on top of one another in an ominous manner.
Naturally, this was bound to accelerate certain aspects of the game our HQs, for example, found themselves squared off in the very first turn –which was brilliant, as it turns out.
More importantly, this moment of levity has given us the inspiration for our annual mini-campaign. As mentioned elsewhere, I initially conceived of the Arrugginiti as a sect that branched off from the Iron Warriors once they had completely cast their lot with Nurgle –hence the rust. The, forgive me, chaotic nature of this battle suggested that precise moment of schism, in which a single intermingled force of Chaos becomes irreconcilably two antagonistic forces of Chaos. The table seemed to suggest that there was a good deal more happening just outside the edges, and we were/are quite happy to work that out –as well as tell the specific story of this schism- in the coming months. Already, several models have made themselves worthy of more attention.
Mayhem ensued. See you Sunday for part two and a proper summary of the evening’s events.