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Game Five: Apocalypse On Malinche IX

Scenario

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my best friend and good-natured nemesis Justin had to move out of state. He decided we should skip ahead to the very last game of the Malinche IX campaign as a sort of going away party. Since it'll probably be a while before we play again, so I was all up for the big Apocalypse-scale game. Justin asked me to tally my painted Cult (Traitor Guard) and Genestealers and he would match. My total (without my Baneblade) came to 5095 points. In order for him to match that, he needed help. Enter the reknowned AshHammer and his UltraMarines.
The amount of models involved was staggering. I had almost 200 models and 10 of those were tanks. I was bolstering my Cultists with 30 Genestealers, a Patriarch (Swarmlord rules) with two Tyrant Guard, and a smattering of spore mines for fun. Justin's force was mostly tactical squads but they had support in the form of two dreadnaughts, an annihilator, a whirlwind, a chapter-master, Chaplain Tristan, and a fearsome land raider. AshHammer's force was four drop pods of marines, an assault squad led by Ultra-Shrike, scouts with shotguns, landspeeders, and a chaplain (in Terminator armor) with assault Terminator bodyguards in a freakin' land raider crusader.
As far as the storyline goes, the wounded Inquisitor Locke was taken to the Black Dragons cruiser and sent out a distress signal. The Black Dragons marshalled their forces and made a siege of the Cult's headquarters. An assault force of UltraMarines near the Malinche system answered Locke's signal.
The sheer size of the game made a round-by-round play-by-play impossible. Instead, this page is more of a "highlights reel". The photos are in order, so you can get a sense of how the whole thing went down. Enjoy!
UltraMarines enter deep into enemy territory via drop pods.
The Chaplain and his bodyguards flee the destroyed land raider.
Knife-fighter Penal Legionnaires charge the UltraMarine Sternguard.
Purestrain Genestealers enter the fray.
Chaplain Tristan and the chapter master force march across the no-man's land.
UltraMarine land speeders swoop in to hopefully disable the manticore tank behind the Genestealers.
Ultra-Shrike and his Assault Marines go toe-to-toe with Genestealers while a well concealed Primaris Psyker uses her powers on the land speeders.
The Terminators make short work of Menace.
A view of the carnage.
Squad Drakkar assaults the newly arrived Scout Sentinels.
Sgt Galahad is the only survivor after one round of shooting from Hellhound Theta-One: Scorch.
The Patriarch's Hand takes a moment to savor the results of his demolition charge. Surprisingly, he lived to see the end of the game.
The Tyran Devils (led by "Steelclaw" Harkonnen) appear on the Black Dragon's flank.
The Storm Troopers of Sigma Force deepstrike right next to Tristan's unit and fire with furious hot-shot lasguns.
Ironically, the damage caused by the exploding Sentinels was worse than anything the Sentinels could have done in close combat.
Amazingly, the Penal Legionnaires actual defeat the Sternguard.
UltraMarine scouts arrive and finish off the Tyran Devils.
Black Dragons and Storm Troopers clash in close combat. The Black Dragons ended up killing them to the last man.
The Patriarch and the Terminator Chaplain's close combat ends in a stalemate.

Reflections

Wow... Just, wow. I have never played a miniature game that big ever in my life! When everything was said and done, I won by a meager 200 points. I actually beat Justin and AshHammer! I never thought that would happen. My MVP was definitely my manticore. Between the manticore, master of ordnance, basilisk, The Patriarch's Hand, and Leman Russ with battle-cannon, I was dropping ordnance like mad and rolling HITs on my scatter dice more often than not! Most of Justin's army was hugging terrain in his deployment zone. I was able to successfully destroy both (yes BOTH) landraiders, the whirlwind, and the annihilator. If I didn't screw up with my Vendetta Gunship and The Tyran Devils, I would have had a lot more solid victory. Still, a win is a win and I would have had just as much fun in this insane game even if I lost. Suffice to say, the Patriarch and his Cult remain a dangerous threat in the Malinche system.
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