Battle Bros is an ongoing bi-weekly column where Drew (PantsOptional) teaches his brother Chris (head58) how to play Warhammer 40,000 but somewhere along the line they lost that thread and this is what we ended up with instead. Catch up on their past adventures in season one here.
Meet the Battle Bros
The older of the two brothers, but new to the game. Learning to play Iron Hands and – after only three games – building an army of Bostonian Orks, kehd. The Sickness is in him.
The younger brother, now adrift in a strange and foreign land painted in the myriad hues of nostalgia (but mostly black).
CHRIS: Last time we played our first games of the Crusade against our friends Josh and Allan, and we both won our matches. This time Drew and I go head to head to see whose cuisine shall reign supreme! This is what you read this garbage column for folks – the Bros slamming hams and backing up our perennial trash talking.
DREW: Wait, I thought they read it for the great relationship tips. Is… is this not Cosmo?
Before the game I spent two Requisition Points to add a pair of new Slaaneshi units: the plasma-toting Bikers known as the Hounds of the Prince, and some big boys with some big toys, the Havocs who absolutely played Locobazooka back in ‘01 as the Ecstasy of Destruction. (The big toys are missile launchers, not like the Great American Challenge or some Bad Dragon merch. Just ’cause they’re Slaanesh you got your mind in the gutter?)
CHRIS: (Don’t Google those from your work computer.) I spent 1 RP to add in this glorious Trukk.
For those of you outside the greater Boston area, here’s a primer on The Great Boston Tradition of Storrowing.
DREW: They should have sent a poet…
Assassinate is a very straightforward mission: one of us has to kill the other one’s Warlord. Trick is, we don’t know which one of us is the target until we start the mission. So for the last few weeks we’ve both been weighing the choice of CHARACTER to use as Warlord. As a reminder – even if no one has Warlord Traits the CHARACTER with the highest Leadership score is automatically the Warlord for the purposes of this mission. For Orks, that’s not saying much.
CHRIS:: I’ll have you know that my Warboss has a Leadership of 8. Or 20 when he’s got a bunch of buddies nearby. But yeah I poured too many RPs into him at the start and didn’t use him in my game against Josh so he’s definitely seeing the table this game. My only other option is my Weirdboy, whomst is squishier than a dude in a red shirt beaming down with Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty.
DREW: I’m not ashamed to say that the number of bullets that I’ve been sweating over this is about as many as are in that minigun scene from Terminator 2. Let’s all go watch that movie again, yeah? You can’t pretend it was anything but dope as hell especially when they flew that helicopter under the bridge, and since I mentioned that scene I am mandated by law to now be the 3,567,785th mediocre white guy to say something about practical effects.
Anyway, my problem is simple: both my HQ units are about as tough as cotton candy. The Sorcerer blows away in a stiff wind with only 4 Wounds and a 3+ to its name, and the Lord isn’t much better off even with an extra Wound and a 4++. Granted, the Defender can regenerate Wounds and has a chance to ignore them on a 6, but If he drops to a mob of 40+ attacks from charging Boyz those odds are dogshit. On the other hand, if I’m the Attacker, that Lord could do a lot against any of his HQ choices, and the Sorcerer could hand out his party drugs psychic buffs to a lot of my options.
CHRIS: I’m actually feeling pretty good about the scenario whichever side I’m on. Or at least equally bad about both options. Looks like your HQ could be at most about 19” off my deployment line which isn’t great news for Boyz, but the 10” gap between deployment zones means maybe something will be in charge range. And if I’m defender you’ll just have to chew through a lot of green plant-based meat substitute to get to me.
I should probably take a look at which of your units can deep strike, it now occurs to me.
DREW: No, you definitely shouldn’t worry about that. Nothing in my list stands out, honest.
CHRIS: My biggest dilemma going into this match was whether to keep the Weirdboy in for Da Jump or to go with the Trukk. Da Jump has more flexibility and would let me give you a little backfield surprise (Don’t. Just don’t.) but I don’t trust my luck to get the 9” charge. The Trukk has to actually get upfield but can, theoretically, dump its passengers closer in. Plus it’s a good barricade if I’m the defender. In a PL 25 list there’s no room for both the Trukk and the Weirdboy so I hope I choose wisely.
DREW: If it wasn’t obvious enough, this week’s column is divided between anxiety-posting the week before the game, and regret-posting the week after the game. Let’s cut to it!
+ HQ +
Banga Yuey – Warboss: Kombi-weapon with rokkit launcha, Da Killa Klaw, Brutal but Kunnin (PL 4, 2 Crusade points)
+ Troops +
Allston Ratz– Boyz (20): Sluggas, choppas, rokkit launcha, tankbusta bombs, ‘Ard Boyz (PL 8, 1 Crusade Point). Battle Honor: Veteran Warriors
+ Elites +
Lucky’s Krew – Meganobz (3): Double Killsaws (PL 6)
+ Heavy Support +
Ol’ Ironsidez – Mek Gunz (1): Smasha gun (PL3)
Stor-O Speshul – Trukk (1): Wrecking Ball (PL4)
+ HQ +
Kaothol Naxos – Sorcerer: Force axe, jump pack, no Chaos Mark, Prescience, Warptime (PL 6)
+ Troops +
Shame’s Blade – Chaos Space Marines (5): Boltguns, autocannon, no Chaos Mark, Aspiring Champion with chainsword and bolt pistol (PL 4)
+ Fast Attack +
Hounds of the Prince – Bikers (3): Plasma guns, Mark of Slaanesh, Champion with combi-plasma (PL 5)
+ Heavy Support +
Panoply of Pleasure – Obliterators (2): Mark of Slaanesh (PL 10)
CHRIS: I did not, dear reader, choose wisely. At least as far as lunch went. You see, there’s a really good ramen place near me and I mentioned to Drew they had a great spicy ramen with 3 levels of heat. The level 2, which is made with ghost peppers, had pushed the edge of my heat tolerance before. I’d sworn to not get it again. But then Drew said he wanted the Level 2 so I had no choice but to order it! If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time you will realize this.
DREW: I will refer you to the coat of arms of our family.
CHRIS: I used to really be able to handle spice but like so many things that has faded as I got on in years. My brain actually revolted against me at one point – I meant to say the word “milk” but for some reason said “yellow.” No, I have no idea either.
Thankfully my amazingly wonderful wife (who relished the opportunity to mock me for ordering this again) had bought soothing ice cream sandwiches which rebooted the language center of my brain and got me back in ham slammin’ shape.
DREW: Which is to say, “out of”. This is pickles on parade for both of us, mind you.
CHRIS: We knew the mission was Assassinate but didn’t know which of us would be the attacker or the defender when we had to pick Agendas. That made it kind of tricky. Also the fact that this mission has no objectives – that eliminated more than half the Agendas right there. I picked “Survivor” figuring that my big blob of Orks might be able to hang on, and planning to Unstoppable Green Tide them if it started to look bad.
We rolled off, and I won. Honestly I had no idea whether I’d do better as attacker or defender here. But I looked over Drew’s list and especially at his squishy Sorcerer and guessed that he was hoping to be the attacker. So that’s what I chose, because few things in life are as sweet as depriving my dear brother of something he wants. After deployment I decided to let Drew go first, thinking he might come closer to me so I could charge him. Of course, he had no incentive at all to come toward me, being the defender, so that was really dumb. Instead he just one-shotted my glorious Trukk! Asshole!
DREW: It’s almost like I’ve played against Orks before. And yet I’m never fully prepared for how fast they are even on foot.
CHRIS: Without their Trukk to deliver them my Meganobz had to waddle up the board but they eventually got to Drew’s Bikers and did some work. But PL 6 for the Meganobz plus 4 for the trukk to take out a PL 5 unit? Not a great trade. But I really didn’t want those plasma guns anywhere near my Warboss.
My blob of 20 Boyz swarmed up the left side of the field and ran over some chaos space marines, but when it came to dealing with the obliterators or the sorcerer who had decent saves they were trash. Thankfully Drew generously spent a CP to reroll a failed psychic test and Perils of the Warped himself! Glorious!
DREW: No one likes to be that guy who talks about the time he rolled a twenty like it was some kind of mark of genius, but this right here – this was karmic retribution. Earlier in the game the Mek Gun had shot some sort of ultra death laser at my Bikers who needed a pair of 6s in order not to be reduced to a soup-like homogenate, and lo and behold if I didn’t get exactly that. What Chris is talking about here is that I rolled a three on two dice, spent a final “fuck it” CP to reroll it, and got snake eyes. Some other math-knowing person can work out just how unlikely that is (edit: I was later told it was a 1 in 648 chance, so fuck me) but I consider it to be a petard-based hoisting.
CHRIS: My warboss, Banga Yuey, was clearly my Marked for Greatness model, and he gained the free Battle Trait “Swift and Agile” which increases his Move and gives a bonus to Advance and Charge rolls. Pretty much the best option on the list I could have rolled for him. I look forward to him blendering enemies in future games!
But sadly Lucky’s Krew, my Meganobz, took a battle Scar. They’re “Fatigued” and can’t control objective markers. Poor guys – that big heavy armor just makes them super sleepy. Very sad that this counters their Zog Off ability.
DREW: Their Trukk got shredded and they have the same reaction that anyone who gets Storrowed does – they get out, and stand around looking at it going “wellp, that’s bad” and doing nothing to try to fix the problem. That or they’ve had one too many Dunkaccinos, which is to say one.
On my end, I somehow managed to pass all my Out of Action tests, and the Obliterators even leveled up because they were the clear winners and also I picked Reaper for them. They ended up with… Veteran Warriors. Oh dear. So now since I’m likely to cast Prescience on them, they’re going to hit on 2s and reroll 1s. I’d say I’m sorry but I’m not.
CHRIS: That is going to be disgusting, and I’m going to stay as far away from those assholes as I can. So looking back I’m surprised that my blob of Boyz lasted as long as it did. I figured they’d just get shredded on the approach, but instead I cleverly drew your fire with my Trukk and Meganobz rather than the cannon fodder troops. Genius tactics right there. Would I have been better with the weird boy to Da Jump folks up the board? Couldn’t have been worse!
DREW: In the end, this mission went exactly like I thought and feared it would. I think this would have been a really different match if I had been Attacker – I would indeed have met you partway down the table but the Bikers might actually have been worth something. I had initially taken them with the intent of zooming across the board and plasma-murdering your Warlord, but when I became Defender it made more sense to hang back and pour fire which left me in a much more reactive role. I guess what I’m trying to say here is I don’t want to be topped?
I think the other problem that I had is that this is basically the second half of my more complete army, and it just does not work on its own. It’s meant to be a support fire and backfield objective section for the melee half, and it doesn’t have enough oomph to be the primary focus of a list. Maybe the Havocs will help with that? I also really need to look at bringing in some Cultists to blob up the midfield and tie up chargers like your Orks, but there we run into the great Chaos dilemma/opportunity (dilemmatunity?): the existing models kind of suck, so I’m going to need to do a boatload of conversions. Goodbye, Biden Bucks!
One final note: you may have won the actual match, but I claim the moral and intellectual victory as you not only tapped out on the firemurder noodles, but you also later managed to touch your eye and self-administer an impromptu pepper spray. The day, I say, is mine.
CHRIS: I’ve grown to a place of maturity where I can accept the fact that I’ve now beat you three out of three games and concede the moral high ground. But fuck, that stuff hurt! And it was hours later, and I’d washed my hands multiple times. And we will not discuss the next day’s pooping situation.
Join us next time folks when we play against Allan and Josh again and we up the game to 50 PL, aka “how many Boyz can Chris fit on a 44”x30” board?”
DREW: Too many.
Next Time: I Promise Not To Bring Abbadon
We play a 50 PL match with a custom-made house rule. Will it be balanced? “LOL”, the children say.
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