ApOrkalypse

By Mike Popay 

The Players : Paul Davies, Mike Popay, Steve Young, Alex Draper, Neil McJannet and Chris Thompson

Supported by Wayland Games

“..Imperial Transmission, Armageddon sector 2376:2187, 892.344.M41: Expedite dispatch of Dark Angel Task Force to planet Maya, to bolster local Squat auxiliaries and quell rising Waaargh incoming. Believed to be the successors of Nazdreg’s forces.”

“...the spirit of Eldrad Ulthran was disturbed by what he saw in the runes, reaching out from the Infinity Circuit, he felt for the minds of his farseers: ‘send forth a Strike Force to aid the Squat Monkeigh populace on Maya. The shrine they have worshipped at for a millennia is about to be desecrated by rampaging Orks. This must not happen! For its true purpose is to contain the principle components of the Doomsday Ark. If the Orks divine even half their original purpose, it will mean the end for all of us.’”

“...Warlord Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub looked up from the crude scanners his Weidboyz had devised: ‘told ya! Didn’t I promise you snivellers a good fight? Ay? D’em Squats may be li’le, but dey dun alf pack a punch! And now we ‘ave pansies to deal wif too!! D’is al’ be a good dayz work out ladz!’ This pronouncement seemed to excite the gathered leaders of the larger clans, who all grinned and nodded excitedly. “

If you’re a Warhammer 40,000 player like me, I expect you’ve always wanted to get all your toys out and play with them together. And I don’t just mean the occasional Apocalypse game with 3 to 5000 pts either. This is what I had in mind when I originally came up with the idea, though originally I wanted to go for 20,000pts a side. That quickly got curtailed when I realised how many extra models I would need before April 2012. Currently we’re thinking 15,000pts a side, but even that is probably too much for a 15’ table – but it’s the spectacle we want!

The theme “ApORKalypse” was easy, I’ve always had way too many Orks (I love ‘em) and we were discussing a Salute theme on Committee around the Mayan Calendar which ends in December 2012. My original idea was for a large Ork invasion with Space Marines and Eldar defending. There was a twist, in that I wanted us to awaken a Necron force from a pyramid in the middle of the table but it was decided that that didn’t fit with the City terrain planned (see terrain article next). So it became the same Ork invasion but with Space Marine, Eldar and Imperial Guard defending.

Orks are the quintessential assault force, none of these ‘soffistimakated Tictacs’ they just go for it from the off. As anybody who knows me will tell you, this suits my playing style to a tee! It maybe that my entire force will be wiped out by all the apocalyptic barrages that tend to appear when you have ‘heroic units’ around. But who cares, there’s plenty more where they came from!

Not that all the Orks are going to be mine at the end of the day. The left Flank will belong to Alex Draper’s Evil Suns – the right flank will feature Adam Jenkins’s Speed Freeks (though I might mix it up on the day, I like to keep my opponent’s guessing!). And no they are not both the same (as any aficionado will tell you), because although Speed Freeks have to be Evil Suns according to the background, Evil Suns aren’t necessarily Speed Freeks. I’m sure many of you nut cases out there have far more than the measly 10,000 pts of Orks I will bring to play. My contribution will include Orks of the Bad Moon clan mostly; I like their tendency to use more expensive and sophisticated equipment (because they’re richer obviously). But I also have Goffs for their love of close combat and brutality, Deff Skulls because of their preponderance of Meks and Lootas, Snakebites for their feral tendencies and Speed Freeks of course because of their love of speed! Some of the forces can be seen in the accompanying photos whilst others will have to wait for the day – mainly because they’re unfinished! They include Stompas, Squiggoths, a Skullhamma and a Battle Fortress to name but a few.

As you can probably tell, I’m captivated by the Warhammer 40,000 background. It, more even than the figures themselves, was the reason I got into ‘40k’ more than 20 years ago. (I still have some of those figures too {I seem to enlarge their numbers and re-organise with each new Codex, but they’re still essentially the same}). The dark atmosphere, the oppressive regime of the Imperium and its lackeys are all part of this mythos and help you feel that you’re fighting for right whichever side you’re on. I even heard someone describe one of the races, theTau, as the only good army in the game, because they’re the only ones that rely purely on technology – hah what do they know! Small wonder Games Workshop have been able to launch so many games out of this vast universe of ideas: Battle Fleet Gothic, Epic, Necromunda, Space Hulk etc. The possibilities are endless, as Fantasy Flight is now proving with an amazing array of new board games based on the 40k background.

The game itself is a different matter, each new edition we 40k players face with some trepidation, because Games Workshop doesn’t seem to get it right despite many attempts. The yo-yoing from good to bad encompasses every edition. The High points appear to be 2nd edition (indeed some of my fellow Warlords still play this edition in preference to anything subsequently) and the current (5th) edition. The 3rd edition appears to be the worst in most people’s minds. Even now most of us are not too happy with the ‘line-of-sight’ rules which appear to have taken a retrograde step in this edition. And to top it all we have a new edition expected in July so most of us are getting a bit anxious at this stage (what will they do with our baby this time?).

Mike Popay

ApORKalypse Terrain

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ApORKalypse Pictures

Some of the Models used in the Game

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