Spearhead – compromise between 40k and Apocalypse

Lacking any sense of urgency to try the latest 40k expansion, I finally played my first game(s) of Spearhead last night. We followed loose format as found in the Into the Maelstrom campaign pack by Tempus Fugitives:

  • 1,000 points
  • No FOC minimums
  • Spearhead formation(s) within points limit

I put together three quick (and silly!) lists to learn the hard way:

Orks

  • Big Mek with Shock Attack Gun
  • 3 Killer Kanz
  • 20 Boys including Power Klaw Nob
  • Stompa as superheavy spearhead
  • Warbuggy

Space Marines

  • Master of the Forge with conversion beamer
  • 2 venerable, 1 normal Dreadnought as ambush spearhead
  • 1 Tactical Terminator squad
  • 1 Assault Terminator squad

Imperial Guard

  • Veteran squad, 3 melta guns, Chimera
  • Leman Russ Demoliser
  • Manticore
  • Hellhammer as superheavy spearhead

We also had an Eldar player use two lists:

  • Revenant Titan
  • Wraithlord / Avatar

Suffice to say, the titans dominated the games they played in, with the Revenant coming top in all games. Twin Pulsar lances are absolutely horrific to face!

After playing these short, but fun games, it occurred to me how well the Spearhead rules fit as an in-between for regular 40k and Apocalypse.  At our club, we struggle to find a balance that allows human endurance to survive more- ambitious battles. Everyone likes the idea of placing several thousand points on models on the table, but spending over an hour for a single player turn quickly grinds player patience and focus. We tend to find that army composition and a few ‘broken’ stratagems can quickly unbalance a game, leaving a bit of frustration as a result.

Spearhead provides some quick and easy means to ‘plug in’ aspects of Apocalypse, with a certain amount of control. By allowing a number of Spearheads and/or types, you can provide a structure for armies to build to without one side overdoing the super heavies and titans. The use of apocalypse formations could also sit in as a limited slot, but personally I prefer to avoid formations and stratagems.

As an experiment, we’ll be trying out some larger games of 40k, using Spearheads to add in some extra mechanised and super heavy weight to the game, rather than plunging right into Apocalypse. Perhaps time to dig out the old Epic rosters!

Whitehorn

Aint nothing but a horn

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