Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adepticon 2011, Part IV: Special Operations Killzone

In part IV of my Adepticon coverage, I'd like to tell you guys about my first games of Special Operations Killzone on one of the FANTASTIC tables that Brian from A Gentleman's Ones built and painted with the help of a few friends (with my buddy "Frozencore" Joe being one of them!).

Come on, now. Unless you have been living a rock for the past year or so you probably already know about Special Operations Killzone, but for your convenience and in case you don't know here are some quick links to the beautiful .pdf's:

a simple, cinematic skirmish version of Warhammer 40,000... of AWESOMENESS!!!
  • Rules: What is Special Operations Killzone? How do I get started? How do I write a list?
  • Army Errata: How does my army work in Special Operations Killzone? What units can I pick?
  • Missions: How much terrain do I need? What size are the tables? What are the deployments and missions?
  • Mission/Fate Cards: What is that?
The best way I can summarize Killzone is "a simple, cinematic skirmish version of Warhammer 40,000... of AWESOMENESS!!!" It is a great way of playing quick, fast-paced games of 40k that, while at a smaller scale, feel just as (if not even more) epic but it still requires lots of thinking, because in Killzone nothing is expandable....
 Okay.. Maybe Gretchin are. Just a little bit. And I.G Conscripts. And Penal Legions.  Okay, I'll shut up now.

Brian's increasing Special Operations Killzone WAAAAAAGH!
Killzone games are just around 250 points each with special upgrades included and it allows for a relatively cheap and easy participation. In many cases a single box of plastic dudemen or just some models you have laying around but never use are more than enough. Always wanted to be cool and play Orkz but never got around to it, intimidated by the throngs of guys you'd have to paint? So did Brian and look what he did!
It's also a great way to start an army: A warband here, a warband there and all of a sudden you'll have a nice collection of models and 1000 pt. games will be a piece of squigpie.

Also an opportunity to finally field "those" units. Got some Kroot or Vespids that you never use? Maybe one of those units that a new edition, codex or codex creep made less-than-desirable like.. Pariahs, Immortals, Wraiths, Necron Warriors, Destroyers, Scarab Swarms and Flayed Ones? Genestealers (in Killzone you can give them frag grenades for 1 pt.)? Ogryns and Ratlings.. and pretty much all I.G Elites Choices... Ork Flash Gitz, even! BAM, you got yourself a Warband that doesn't necessarily suck. Actually Necrons are kind of amazing in Killzone and I really, really WANT to have a Kroot or a Vostroyan-themed Warband in the future.

This is Special Operations Killzone in a nutshell, Ladies and Gentlemen's Ones...  Now follow me for my Adepticon 2011 Special Operations Killzone coverage!

Me and my buddy Vince managed to catch the last game of Killzone at the Sunday event! "Frozencore" Joe was supposed to be the ringer, but was exhausted and very, very sick so I volunteered to step in and field his army for the first time. But first..

++The Tables++
++Analyzing Schematics++
Brian and his crew went through a lot building them and as the unique aspect of the Killzone event at Adepticon 2011 they deserve a special mention. For the event there were SIX completely different and 100% unique 4x4 ft. tables. Each one with its own theme but as a whole they were a part of one massive scene. AND there were explosions to boot! Brian even went through a very detailed description of the assembling and painting process with trials and tribulations, sketches and materials included in 7 parts (--> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7!)

Terrainaholic's video coverage of the tables

There are a lot more pictures of the tables scattered all over the Internet and I am afraid that the couple I took really won't do them any justice. At all. Here goes nothing.. 
TOLD you there were explosions... !!!
Minotaurs? That's what I was told..
Man, those explosions sure are cool..
I really wish I got to play on all 6 tables, but unfortunately I only got to play in one. Fortunately for me.. it was JAWESOME! 

++The Special Operation Group: Deathwatch++
"Fronzencore" Joe's Deathwatch Team
Ultramarines Deathwatch Battle-Brother
Joe's Special Operation Group was based on the union of differently equipped members from various Adeptus Astartes Chapters, thus forming a Deathwatch team. He used the rules of the Space Marine Sternguard Veterans whose different types of ammunition were definitely very useful in Killzone as each member is a unit of his own and can prioritize different ammo for different targets. Joe gave each member a distinguishing right shoulder pad and while not completely finished the entire Deathwatch team looks pretty sweet. He even created his own bases using plasticard!

Here are some WIP picts for ya! And here's his list: 
(Ultramarine) Sternguard Veteran Sergeant with Power Weapon and Crack Shot*
(Blood Angel) Sternguard Veteran with Medipack (FNP and 1 FNP/turn in a 6'' AoE) and Crack Shot
(Space Wolf) SternguardBolter and Suspenders (gives Relentless) and Crack Shot
(Salamander) Sternguard Veteran with Combi-Flamer and Crack Shot
(Imperial Fist) Sternguard Veteran with Combi-Melta and Crack Shot
(Dark Angel) Sternguard Veteran with Combi-Plasma and Crack Shot
(Blood Raven) Sternguard Veteran and Crack Shot

The Crack Shot upgrade costs 5 pts./model is allows re-rolls to Hit OR To Wound while shooting. Definitely a nice combination with the Hellfire rounds (2+ poison, AP 5) when chosen to re-roll To Hit, basically becomes a 2+/2+ to force an armor or cover save. Also stacks nicely with the combi-flamer of the Salamander when re-rolling To Wound! The Suspenders on the Space Wolf "Long Fang" dude are also very useful as he can move to better positions or move back to avoid assaults AND still shoot. 
Also, as the Deathwatch's Leader, the Sergeant gets an extra Wound, putting him at 2 Wounds! :) 
So there ya go, a well-rounded Face-all-challengers list! 

++The Game++
Well, I was a Killzone noobie, but knew the basics well enough, I suppose. The game that I was ringer-ing for was a 2v2 Attackers vs. Defenders deal. I was on the Defensive, facing an all-Meganobz Ork Player and the old Daemonhunters Codex with two Grey Knight Terminators and a bunch of "henchmen" aka Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. I guess you could say I got to kill the last Inquisitorial Stormtroopers in existence, since they are no longer in the Grey Knights Codex! Yay! My teammate also played Daemonhunters. 

The mission had to do with escorting a VIP off the table as the Defenders and the Attackers had to stop us. My dudes basically served as the distraction as my teammate was in charge of securing the objective. I was practically cornered with Orkz and men attacking me from both sides, so I stood behind some LoS-blocking terrain which I occupied and slowly laid down some suppressing fire as the enemy was coming for me. 

Rated =I= for Inquisitorial!
You know how I mentioned that Killzone was VERY cinematic? Well, being able to play the Sterguard Veterans like an actual Deathwatch Kill Team in a game without tons of vehicles, HQ's and pie plates of DOOOM, while slowly laying covering and suppressing fire, overwatching and mowing down the advancing enemy on multiple fronts WITH just one "squad" felt.. super, super, SUPER awesome. The game becomes less of a rock-paper-scissors kinda deal, there are no vehicles to hide in, cover even though abundant is precious and every move, every model counts. Just like in a movie! 

"If you have a problem, 
if no one else can help, 
and if you can find them....
maybe you can hire 
The Deathwatch." 

The game was a blast! On turn one. two Meganobz entered through the doorway you see on the picture. They shot, but the power armor of the Deathwatch was too tough. Some Inquisitiorial Stormtroopers also advanced like lambs to a slaughter. On my turn the Salamander fried both Meganobz, the combi-melta was deflected by a 5+ Invulnerable and the combi-plasma killed one of them. 

The Medic stayed in between the two groups, hoping for some failed armor saves, but he never got to use his Medipac, because I never failed any. All game. Poor, poor Blood Angel. ;P The Space Wolf with the Heavy Bolter popped out of his hiding place and killed two =I= SS's. 

The Meganob then charged the Dark Angel member and well.. dismembered him. His "friends" decided to stay and watch and when the rain of gore and blood stopped flowing they gunned down the lumbering Ork in cold blood. In the meantime, the VIP was escorted to safety despite the dakka of the Meganobz or the hotshot lasguns of the =I= SS. As the Daemonhunters and one of the Paladins were advancing towards me I was back-pedaling and shooting at them just like a true Space Marine player. I even left the bodies of the dead Space Marines on the ground to add to the cinematic effect. They should totally count as difficult terrain! 

Things got rough when the GK Terminator Leader (2 wound Terminator!) got close to me. With my combi-melta and combi-plasma all used up I was stuck shooting hellfire rounds at him to no effect. His higher Initiative, Strength and more attacks quickly took care of my Leader who sacrificed himself and when it was safe to shoot at the shining Knight again I played my "Stay Down!" Fate Card, forcing him to re-roll and successful armor or Invulnerable saves. 
With some luck and tons of dakka on my part I managed to bring him down! 

In the meantime my teammate successfully saved the VIP from the power-klawy hands of the Meganobz which secured the victory for us!

What a great experience! Killzone has become my newest favorite 40k alternative! Big Jim, Brian and everyone who helped with writing, playtesting and polishing the rules, the tables and the event itself deserve a huuuuge round of applause. I am still in the process of creating my own Special Operations Group and have been talking non-stop about Killzone to my friends who also seem very interested. 
Again, many thanks! Can't wait for next year's Adepticon!


  1. What a great write up. You've totally captured the atmosphere of what must have been a really tense and exciting game. Makes me want to break out some killzone goodness myself.

  2. Thanks, Andy! Always nice to hear good comments. It's what keeps me going! Killzone is really worth it and you should give it a try, maybe write a post about it. Would love to read it.

  3. I definitely will do if I ever get the chance, sadly my only gaming location is an GW so not much chance there.

  4. That's where I'll be playing it. It's still using 40k models. ;P

  5. Great write up and thanks for the shout outs to everyone involved with Killzone!

    Brian and I are working hard on the next update, I promise things will only get better from here!

    Andy, there is a group of guys that are apparently playing Killzone weekly at Warhammer World. I have corresponded with them a few times.


  6. You're very welcome, Jim. Thanks for a great skirmish game! I'll be playing a game of Killzone this Saturday against someone who's currently reading the rules and if all goes well (We'll also be playing a 2500 "fun" Battle Missions game) I'll have a nifty battle report.

  7. Sorry I am late to this. Brilliant write up. Big Jim is correct. It is only going to get better and better.

  8. Thanks, Brian! You guys LET me KNOW if there's ANYTHING I can help you with. Pictures, writing stuff, coming up with ideas, play-testing. Seriously.

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