Greetings Terrans! Well, finally it is done. The Wolf Time is over, and the dust is settling on another superb BOYL. As a reminder, here is the context:
“Five years ago, Commander Enoch, with nine of the ten warrior companies that comprised the Spacewolves, had joyously begun the chapter’s five hundred and nineteenth crusade. There were few warrior-brethren left now. The crusade was almost at an end. Soon they would return to their own world of Lucan and the formidable fortress-monastery that was their ancient home. Xit would be their final challenge – the last campaign of a five year mission to cleanse the recently discovered worlds of alien occupation.
The years had taken their toll on the chapter’s resources – both human and otherwise. The Restitution’s sister ship, the Vengeance, had been lost in the fighting around Tulwa. Her brave crew and half the fighting contingent died in the burning hulk. Most of the transport still lay immobile and rusting in the swamps of Jytor. It was doubtful if the Restitution was in any condition to fight, twenty seven percent of her hold capacity and thirty four percent of habitable areas were sealed pending major repairs. Over a hundred men had been trapped in the damaged sections when the threat of depressurisation forced the decision to seal. The Imperial edict that began the crusade was an inestimable honour, but its completion would allow much-needed time to rebuild the weary and depleted Spacewolves.”
Here is the account of their final challenge on the planet Xit::
1st game: Temple Mountain
Ork forces: Commander Alug (power armour, heavy flamer, power glove), 3 Ork combat units (4 bolters & 1 heavy bolter per unit), 5 Ork Technicians with pistols & swords
Marine forces: Commander Enoch, Librarian Edrigar, Recon unit (jet bikes), 2 Spacewolf combat units (Yellow & Red), 1 Support Squad (Red)
A bold start from the Spacewolves – they committed a strong force to recon the mountain top temple and locate the energy source that delivered power to Kulo’s Castle. The jet bikers flew in to the midst of the Ork camp, while the remainder slogged their way up the mountainside on foot. The Jetbikes suffered a hail of fire, resulting in all 5 bikes down on turn 1! The ancient machines crashed spectacularly, killing an Ork and disturbing a nest of squigs in the Ork dunny (toilet). Two of the jetbike riders managed to roll out of the crash, but were immediately set upon by angry (and shitty) squigs. However, the distraction was enough to allow the remaining Marines to make short work of the disorganised Ork force, and to notice that the retreating Technicians seemed to disappear into the temple through a hole in the floor! A squad investigated, and found a grav lift to a hidden control room, where the power source could be deactivated. Unfortunately, once the power was out, the grav lift ceased to work, so the enterprising Marines mined the place with explosive canisters and blew the room to pieces. Meanwhile, Commander Enoch and another squad tracked down the Ork commander and remaining boys. They were dispatched with brutal efficiency. Marine casualties are light, and most of the injured make a full recovery on their way to the rendezvous at Kulo’s castle.
2nd game: Into the Pit
Ork forces: Commander Thrallgash (power armour, hand flamer, plasma gun, power glove, jump pack), 4 Ork combat units (4 bolters & 1 heavy bolter per unit), 5 Ork Technicians with plasma guns & swords
Marine forces: Capt. Greylock, Capt. Inferno, 2 Spacewolf combat units (Orange & Green), 1 Support Squad (White)
The Marines arrive to find alarms blaring and the Orks running around like headless squigs. What they don’t realise is that the Ork generator is moments from overloading and blowing itself to pieces! The Ork’s only hope is for the technicians to control the pressure build-up while the troops open the safety valves in each corner of the board. Surprisingly, the Marines opt to trip one of the safety valves themselves, while the Orks manage to trip another two… Things are looking good for the Orks, but their plans are dashed within a few turns, as the Marine support squad sits back and blows the generator doors off before firing a missile directly into the building! Miraculously, the generator itself is unscathed, but the supporting technicians are wiped out. Commander Thrallgash acts decisively, using his jump pack to get within plasma range of the support squad before opening fire and almost wiping out the entire squad in a single round of shooting. Enraged, Captain Inferno charges the Ork Commander, and a protracted combat ensues, while the remaining Marines push on to the generator compound. The Marines slowly gain the upper hand and Inferno eventually dispatches Thrallgash, allowing the Marines to destroy the second generator. Again, many of the Marine casualties make a recovery in time for the final scenario.
3rd game: Miasma at Trembling Teeth
Ork forces: Commander Kalug (power armour, bolt gun, bolt pistol, chainsword, heavy plasma gun), 4 Ork combat units (4 bolters & 1 heavy bolter per unit), Additional combat unit (bolters, leader has a hand flamer)
Marine forces: Capt. Storm, Navigator Ocellati, 2 Spacewolf combat units (Blue & Purple), 1 assault unit
The Marines arrive to find their approach is shrouded by a thick cloud of fumes and smoke. They cautiously begin to make their way towards the Ork compound before discovering just how dangerous the Trembling Teeth are as a number Marines disappear through the thin crust of cooled lava and are instantly killed. Meanwhile the Orks peer into the gloom, looking for any trace of danger. Eventually, the Marines get within firing range, but find that their shooting is relatively ineffective and serves only to give away their positions. The Orks let rip with abandon, and begin to thin out the Marines as they scramble for some secure footing away from the treacherously thin lava crust. Slowly, the Marine firepower manage to even the odds, but the battle becomes a grinding war of attrition. Eventually, Navigator Ocellati and Captain Storm are the only surviving members of the task force, and the remaining Ork sentries & Commander continue to push them hard. Finally, only Ocellati remains, and after punching the door of one of the generator towers, he takes cover and fires his digi-lasers into the exposed machinery. This sets off a chain reaction that destroys the generator, and when the dust settles, only Ocellati remains standing. This was the closes battle so far, but Ocellati’s survival allows the Marines to claim the field and recover their wounded for the final battle*.
*This proved decisive, as the recovery of these injured Marines increased the amount of available troops by a third for the final game
4th game part 1: Kulo’s Castle – Spaceship level
Ork forces: 1 Ork warrior unit (bolters, bolt pistols, hand weapons), 5 Ork Scumbo units (pistols & swords), 5 Ork guards (power armour, bolter, chainsword)
Marine forces: Cmdr Enoch, Librarian Edrigar, Capt. Storm, Inferno & Greylock, Navigator Ocellati, 2 Assault Marines, 5 Support Marines, 25 Tactical Marines, Phase Field Generator
The Marines finally arrive at Kulo’s Castle – they had successfully disabled all power to the fortress, but their late arrival allowed the Orks to intercept their supply cache and steal their Plasma and Melta grenades. The Marine phase field generator had also been vandalised and no longer worked reliably. Undeterred, the Marines entered the first level of Kulo’s Castle from the north and south, and began a slow advance through the complex. The Ork guards seemed more interested in retreat, while the Scumbos fought (and died) bravely. The Marine advance looked unstoppable, but the northern assault had surged ahead and found themselves exposed to concentrated overwatch fire – this was not helped when a swarm of angry squigs erupted from the dunny, pinning a squad of Marines in place while a mob of Skumbos gleefully lobbed their looted melta grenades into the melee. Librarian Edrigar lost his life in the struggle, as did many other Marines, but eventually only one Ork Warrior squad remained behind a makeshift barricade with Capt. Greylock pushing the assault. The Orks managed to hold the line for a short time, but were utterly crushed when Navigator Ocellati flanked them thanks to the cunning use of the phase field generator to tear a hole in a wall & allow the Navigator to get behind the defenders. The remaining Marines discovered the main stairs and a hidden ladder that led to the dungeon level, and prepared for the final assault.
4th game part 2: Kulo’s Castle – Dungeon level
Ork forces: Governor Kulo (2 bolt pistols, power glove, neuro disruptor), Captain of the Guard Rulko (power armour, flamer, bolt pistol, chainsword), Navigator Fogg (bolt gun, 2 bolt pistols, vortex grenade), Doc Spleenripper (bolt pistol, bionic arm – power glove, shainsword, 4 digilasers), Cook Ram’s-Eye (hand weapon, swarm of squigs), 2 Guard squads and 5 individual guards (power armour, bolter, chainsword), 2 warrior squads (bolt pistol, bolter, hand weapon)
Marine forces: Cmdr Enoch, Capt. Storm, Inferno & Greylock, Navigator Ocellati, 2 Assault Marines, 4 Support Marines, 15 Tactical Marines, Phase Field Generator
The final assault was brutal – the Marines ignored the more obvious approach down the staircase, and proceeded to mass a beachhead at the foot of the secret ladder in the north-west corner of the compound. The Orks scrambled to respond to this threat, but their efforts were hampered by a surprise incursion of local primitive humans who seemed hell-bent on killing as many greenskins as they could*. In addition, the Ork defence was strangely disjointed, as various characters held back and failed to commit fully to the fight**. Navigator Fogg unleashed the fearsome power of his Vortex Grenade, but rather than target the Marines, he used it to block their progress and force them to fight Kulo and his guards. Cook Ram’s-Eye held back, but Doc Spleenripper and the Ork warrior squads were cut down by the rampaging natives! Navigator Fogg was also cornered by the natives and was duly massacred, while Rulko managed to slow the Marine advance with his flamer. Cook Ram’s-Eye went down fighting, his loyal squigs snapping and snarling at the Marines to the end. Only 18 Marines remained, and Capt. Storm and Greylock were lost, but finally, Kulo was cornered. Commander Enoch fought the warlord hand to hand, but was displaced out of combat by his displacer field. Eventually, Navigator Ocellati managed to land the killing blow on the Ork Warlord – the Spacewolves had triumphed, but the cost was high… Only 20 Marines remained from the entire Spacewolf chapter, including Enoch and Inferno. Navigator Ocellati also survived – less than a third of the starting force.
*I introduced a small force of natives who were trying to rescue their shaman. However, the shaman died before he could even move, so they settled for some vengeance on the greenskins.
**I had added some political infighting subplots for the Ork players, meaning that each was also trying to be the last Ork character standing!
Well, what a campaign!! I am so chuffed with how it went, but there are definitely some things I would correct/do differently next time. I think the Marine recovery rolls could do with being a bit tougher, and I made a rules gaff on the third game which would’ve prevented the Marines from doing recovery rolls (digi-laser are cc only, so Ocellati should not have been able to stand off and fire!). That said, I think the game could’ve handled those mistakes, but I fatally unbalanced the last game with the introduction of the native humans… They easily accounted for about half of the defending Orks, and it made for a very one-sided final battle… this was a let-down for the poor Ork players, and that is entirely on me. Otherwise, the campaign was extremely well constructed and very nicely balanced. At one point, Rick Priestly himself came over to see what was going on, (along with Nigel Stillman), and his first question was ‘does it work’… I think the answer is a resounding YES!!
I got a lot of really nice comments about the terrain and the quality of the minis over the weekend, so that was awesome, but the most important thing for me is that the players really enjoyed themselves. I take no credit for that, it was entirely down to how well they bought in to it, and their enthusiasm really brought the games to life. Huge shout out to Jesper, and variously, Paul McW, Paul E, Chris & Garth on the Marine side, and to the J-team (Jochen, Joel & Julien) on the Ork side – you guys took something good, and you made it awesome. Special mention to Colin and his expert handling of the Azmaa too, (native humans – vengeance has been served!).
Also I want to say a massive thanks to Mark @ Heresyofus for pulling out all the stops to make the the superb 3D printed spaceship/dungeon, and to those who loaned bits of scatter to dress the set, (JB and James), and particularly to Curtis for making me a kitchen from scratch! I also want to thank everyone who liked, commented and supported me on the road – it was a long slog, and you guys kept me going way past the point where a sane person would’ve called it a day. Finally, as always, the biggest thank you goes to the Ansell clan & Garth for making the event possible. BOYL is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of the Oldhammer scene, but it wouldn’t be possible without them.
Well, that’s all for now folks – I’m going to take a break from hobby and blogging for a few weeks while I recharge the old batteries. I’ve got the post-BOYL blues at the moment, and I need to find something to get my juices flowing! Catch you all soon :-)
Cheers dude – it certainly was :-)
You owned this Alex! All other Wolf Times are pale imitations. Everything about the build up to the event was flawless, and you ran a spectacular game all weekend. Congratulations!
Cheers matey, that is certainly a major item on the hobby bucket list ticked! I’m delighted that it all came together so well :-)
Absolutely an amazing accomplishment, and well deserved praise. It was a joy to follow along with the project and see it in person. You’ve set a standard for sure.
Thanks dude, I enjoyed every moment of it & so glad you guys got a kick out of it too! It’d be pretty shit doing stuff like that in a vacuum, so the community has had a massive part to play. Looking forward to next year already bro!
Fantastic to see the whole thing finally playvput after such incredible build up, and I *love* the notion that Rick P asked *you* if it worked.
I fully understand post-BOYL blues, but you can hold your head particularly high afterthis.
See you soon!
Cheers mate, and yeah, Rick was really lovely to chat with! We discussed the lack of models at one point, and he said that the writers were trying to force the sculptors to make stuff to fit their narratives, but that it usually didn’t work out :-/ It’s all good though, because it forces us to push ourselves.
The post-BOYL blues definitely suck cock, but it’ll pass :-)
Seems like an absolute blast, congratulations on completing an awesome project. Post-event blues is definitely a thing, but I usually find that once it passes, it’s replaced by a new wave of inspiration. Again, great job and take care!
Cheers dude, it was a superb weekend, and I’m so chuffed with how this all came together… I’ll get over this slump & then back to it – I already have a few ideas starting to fizz ;-)
Paul McWhirter said:
Mate – this was an absolute joy and a privilege to play in! I’ve taken the post BOYL blues and turned them into a post BOYL buzz by playing a few games of 40k 2nd ed with my sons and my mate this week – heavily inspired by having had such a great time playing a more narrative driven RT campaign so masterfully GM’d by your good self. I tip my hat sir.
AH, thanks to you too mate – great to a) meet you finally, and b) have you play! Got to keep the narrative approach alive dude ;-)
Pete S/ SP said:
Fantastic- it is wonderful to have followed your efforts over the months and see it come together likle this. It is really superb.
Thanks Pete, it means a lot to me that folks have enjoyed ‘the journey’! I know I have :-)
Brilliant! Great to see it all come together for you, from early stuff through to the final bitz getting done right up to the last minute! All nicely set up and looking impressive! Well done!
Thank you sir *doffs cap*, I done my best :-)
Well you sound like you had a blast mate! So very happy it all came together and carnage was had :) Have a well deserved rest dude and I’ll look forward to a meet up soon.
Yeah mate, it was a total blast – and was all over in a flash!
The terrain went down very well – Kulo’s Castle was a big draw. The guys all pitched in to build the various levels for me, so I have some real world experience to share with you :-) Exciting times dude!
That’s awesome mate, I can’t wait for a catch up 🤘🏻
Glad it went well for you mate and look forward to catching up with you after your well deserved break! 😊
Cheers dude – yeah, it was an absolute blast! I’m enjoying recharging the batteries a bit, but feeling the urge to paint more stuff already! Can’t keep an obsessive painter down eh? ;-)
Wow, just wow! The board pics just look amazing. Seeing all your hard work pay off must of been great well done!
Thanks mate :-) Honestly, I didn’t really take a step back that often – to busy GMing the games and being engrossed in the action! I did take the odd moment here and there though, and yeah, felt good to see it all come together and the chat with Rick was pure gold. Good times :-)
So I’ll try and do all your hard work justice here. First of all, the sheer size of the project is mind boggling and daunting. The way you approached it and stuck to it as well is impressive to say the least.
The minis are spot on. And the fact that you learnt to sculpt and than proceeded to actually to sculpt an enormous amount of stuff. Wow! Dedication. The painting is brilliant too.
On to the terrain and again I’m knocked by effort you have put into it. So much stuff, true to the original campaign and done at such a high level.
It looks and sounds like the campaign ran good. A few hiccups are expected. But what an awesome experience it must have been to play in the campaign. An honour. Humbling.
Aw, thanks man, that means a lot to me. I aimed to do the best job I possibly could, and I’m really pleased with how it all came together. Being very organised and disciplined helped a lot, and all the encouragement kept me going… even when I didn’t feel like it! The sculpting was an interesting aspect – we often don’t know what we can do until we try, and this was definitely a high point for me. I’m sure I’ll get to run the game again in the future, so plenty of opportunity to iron out any issues there ;-)
Oh, I forgot on thing, mate! Rick Priestley! That’s so freaking cool. Mind blown!
Oh mate, he was so cool! I tried to get him to throw a dice or two with us, but he didn’t have time :-)
impressive sceario and display Alex. You really surpassed yourself ! Gratz
Thanks mate! I’m delighted with the results ;-)
Daniel Ottalini said:
Lovely! Was a blast to read!
Cheers mate, glad you enjoyed it :-)
Anything I could say would be such an understatament. I’m so terribly happy to see this achievement fulfilled. Way much better than my puny attempt. You are a true hero. I’m sorry my bits didn’t arrive in time for the show, every pic I see makes me drool all over!
Thanks mate – for all your support and all the inspiration you provided!
It’s taken me a while to properly sit down and read this but it was well worth it. Really glad to hear it went well, especially given the time and effort you put in to making it happen . No wonder you’re needing a bit of a break after all that though, hard earned mate! All that care and attention looks like it really came together, some of those pictures look more like a living diorama than a game board.
Must have been amazing for Rick Priestly to see it not just being played still, but how much effort you’ve put in to make it just so – bet he was thrilled.
Anyway – I’m off to drool over those pictures some more! :-D
Thanks dude, I reckon all the effort paid off 😉
Feels weird not having a project on the go though – I’m going to have to paint something soon just to keep my eye in!
Mark A. Morin said:
Just reread this unbelievably epic post with enough eye candy to cause a global ocular diabetes pandemic!!
So great to see and read. Happy to have been following your progress, and hopefully you get to run this game again.
Cheers dude, I hope so too! It’s a 2 day event so not a trivial thing to run, but great fun :-)
Wow, what a terrific post. I enjoyed just reading it, and it must have been a blast to actually play in. My inner 6-year-old particularly loved the imagery of the jetbikers crashing into the toilets, then escaping long enough to be eaten by poo-squigs. Keep up the great work!
Cheers mate, it was certainly a blast to run & everyone seemed to be enjoying it for the most part – poo-squigs included! :-)
Wow, what a grand campaign. As others have said, the miniatures and terrain were great and having Rick Priestly wander over to see what was going on is something too. :)
Cheers Ann, it was a hell of a weekend, and Rick was the icing on the cake :-)
Finally, I’ve gotten here – the first time I saw this post was on my phone on the bus to work, so suffice to say I ended up skipping it because a tiny phone screen had no chance to do the post justice. By the same token, there’s so much to see and read and drool over, that I needed a bit of proper sit-down time to fully digest this particular post.
So congratulations, Alex – not only have you completed 2 opposing forces – which is an achievement in itself (hell, one is!) but the models are filled with conversions as well, and on top of that, they’re all proper old-school Oldhammer models, and so for people like me who remember those days with an amazing fondness, there’s just so much to see here, with those original orks and those Original Crimson Fists standing alongside one another. I think a great many of us have wanted to create such forces (including myself, and I’ve had them planned for a decade and have actually started on them) but to see it actually done – just bloody amazing.
And then the terrain to top it off.
Just like the models are that perfect mix of old-school models with modern painting, the terrain has that same quality – in many ways much of the best of the old ways of doing things mixed with current techniques, and even the new GW kits made to fit in with the original aesthetics, and of course the layout and fit for the Wolf Time campaign.
My biggest congratulations, Alex – you’ve outdone yourself witht his project – and most of us to boot!
Aw, cheers mate, I’m blushing 😊
I can’t believe this was all only 4 weeks ago – feels like months! Still struggling for motivation to paint much at the moment though, which is an unexpected hangover from the project… Still, not a bad one to sit back and relax on 😉
And yes – Having Priestly and Stillman come over really does have to be the entirely appropriate icing on the cake – and a kind of karmic reward for all the hard work creating it!
This was such a spectacle of a game and the highlight of the weekend! The work that went into this was phenomenal, and I was thrilled with the sustained attention to detail you pulled off with the conversion work and weapon swaps and painting touches. Thanks for letting me take part, it was glorious to see all the figures so close up. I particularly like the Nobs in Power Armour unit, the Ork Chef, the Navigator conversion, the support weapon conversion, the Jetbike unit and the Marine Missile Launcher conversions. It was epic.
Ah, cheers dude – feels like a lifetime ago! I’ve barely touched a brush since though… must get that sorted :-/
Wow, I don’t even know where to start?! I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement haha. I love everything about this. All your hard work really paid off and your determination to get it all done is inspiring. The action came thick and fast and the scatter terrain looks amazing along with all the minis of course. Is the fluff at the beginning all from your own mind? So good Alex, you should be proud.
Cheers mate – it was well worth all the effort. There were a few things I wish I had done differently of course, but overall it was a great success 😊
All the fluff is Rick’s, and is from the good book.