Our little team of EPIC-enthusiasts had the opportunity of appearing at the Hungarian Games Day event held on the 9th of December this year. We were given a double table to display our models and fight a battle there. Nothing special, just a small battle fitting for small models.
There is something catching about a grandiose battle-scene. Waves after waves of infantry attack, hundreds of tanks shooting each other, fighters flying by, peppering the land-based formations and one another with missiles: it looks good in films, it looks good on the table-top. The effect is further strengthened in the world of 40K, where things like warmachines and Titans are added. A huge, action-packed 40K warzone is really impressive, as it was clearly demonstrated on the Apocalypse board a few tables away from us.
Of course, impressive though it was, we could not help comparing it in scale to our board, and we decided that the entire 40K table could have been covered by two A4-sheets on our own board.
A general problem with 40K Apocalypse is that all those models cannot move and do any outmanoeuvring due to the board being packed with things. Well, it turned out that the same problem can occur in EPIC. We never even tried to count the points properly, but we estimated about 50 thousand points’ worth of armies present at the table. The board was choked with all the formations present, and it was obvious right away that this battle would be about massive shooting instead of tactical movement decisions; not that any of us minded it.
In the scenario, an Imperial-Space Marine army was attempting a landing on the beach of an enemy-held industrial coastal city currently held by an Ork-Chaos alliance (Chaos itself consisting of World Eaters and Iron Warriors). Starting at 8.00, it took us about two hours only to deploy all the formations, and it quickly dawned on us that we would not be able to finish the game by the end of the day – not if we wanted to walk around the hall and see the other boards as well. This meant that we could just go crazy for the remainder of the time and decide to pull the formations together so they can shoot each other properly.
This idea proved to be a good one. The formations started to shoot each other, and – although there were surprisingly few casualties in the game – a lot of warmachines were broken and chased away on both sides of the beach. As it would be pointless to give a step-by step report of the various actions, it may be worth to concentrate on some key points. Here are some of the great moments of the battle, accompanied by pictures:
Can you count the number or Titans on the table, Gargants included? (Answer: 20+2 hiding on the side).
Units with a white marker have already been activated; units with a red marker are broken.
The Banelord is under heavy fire, forcing it to marshal (don’t worry, the Imperial forces will shoot down all its shields again soon).
Khorne Towers of Skulls and Cauldrons f Blood attacking a group of Imperial Knights (forgetting to pull the nearby Khorne Berzerkers with them, promptly losing the engagement).
Space Marines bravely deploying in the middle of the enemy camp (to be slaughtered, dyeing a brave man’s death. Honestly, what were they thinking attacking a Titan?).
Orks counter-deploying among the Imperial tank units (with the same predictable results).
Bulba’s two Imperial ships firing into the enemy.
Aircraft attacking in numbers.
By the end, it seemed that the two sides were destroying each other at more or less the same rate. Chaos took some pounding, but they managed to break almost all Imperial Warhounds, leaving their Titan forces somewhat depleted. The Imperial tanks generally still had to shoot, but the majority of the Ork forces had not moved either, so those forces were balanced as well. The Imperium had more planes left, but in a real scenario, the Imperials had to achieve something besides shooting at things from the beach, and fighting their way into the city would have taken more than just three turns. All in all, it was a fun two-thirds of a turn, with lots of shooting, attacking and shield-popping. There was no winner because we all had fun, and this was the important thing.
(Of course, a war this ferocious would have only fed Khorne, and I was playing with the Khorne forces, so let’s face it, the real winner was me).