Epicalypse 40K

My friend Vince and I decided to play Warhammer 40K Apocalypse at 6 mm scale.

It started with the annual Apoc-Luck

In December my local group conducted our annual Apocalypse wargame and holiday potluck event, “Apoc-luck” (Check out our events from 2017, 2018, and 2019).

Power level 1500

40K Apocalypse is my favorite Games Workshop product of the last dozen years. Designed to handle very large battles, the rules remind me of the out-of-production game Epic 40K, which was written for the same purpose using 6 mm scale miniatures.

Like true grognards, Vince and I waxed nostalgic about Epic between turns. We discovered we had both been collecting digital files of Epic-scale miniatures to 3D print, but hadn’t printed anything for lack of an opponent. By the end of the evening we each agreed to print and paint an Apocalypse army in 6 mm to try with Apocalypse 40K.

Teeny tiny tanks and itty bitty infantry

Since resin 3D print times depend mainly on the object’s height, I could crank out a 6 mm army in no time.

Tank production at capacity

I indulged my longstanding tread-head fantasy of fielding a fully armored and mechanized division, something I would not commit to at 28 mm scale.

Scale comparison – battle tank at 28 mm and 6 mm

Vince and I scheduled our game for the last Saturday in January, so I needed to paint my army fast. I used every speed painting trick I know to crank out a pair of tank detachments, a pair of mech infantry detachments, and an artillery battery to fill the agreed-upon 200 power rating army.

Armored fist, size XXS

Turbo terrain

We also needed scale-appropriate terrain to fight over. I tore up a half-inch thick EVA floor mat I’d bought cheaply from Harbor Freight months ago.

Torn turbo terrain

I spray painted them whatever brown colors I had to hand, then sponged on cheap acrylic craft paints to approximate the desert mat they would sit on. Last, I filed some chalk pastels into watered down PVA to add color variety and visual interest.

Desertification

The whole process took a single evening. After leaving to dry overnight, I had a decent collection of rocky outcroppings for an interesting desert engagement.

Not bad for an evening’s work

Game day

Meanwhile, Vince was preparing a stunning collection of space elves. His army featured flying jetbikes, hover tanks, and floating transports packed with infantry.

Flying tanks with giant laser crystals

We decided on a pincer attack scenario, with the human tank division defending some strategic bits of cork sheet against a crafty space elf surprise attack. We would score points each turn based on who held the most of those little skull objective markers.

Battle is joined

We played a tense, exciting game that lasted about three hours and ended in a razor-thin victory for my tank division.

Vanguard detachment presses an advantage opened by the thundering guns of supporting tanks

Casualties ran high on both sides, and we both felt like it was anybody’s game right up until the end.

Space elves obliterate a tank detachment in a hail of eldritch hellfire

After a delightful afternoon, we declared our Epicalypse experiment a resounding success.

Carnage everywhere: brought to you by a lovely afternoon in my garage

Smoke on the horizon

For our next game, I bought and printed some excellent desert buildings from The Lazy Forger to assemble into defensible terrain for infantry to hunker down in. I also printed a couple more artillery pieces and a flamethrower tank. I can always find a use for a flamethrower tank.

Waiting for paint

We plan to make Epicalypse a recurring feature of our game rotation. Vince is now producing a horde of alien bug monsters for Starship Troopers reenactments. Our friend Mark has acquired a very large collection of 6 mm space orcs to join in, and others in our group have also expressed interest in joining. The future is looking grimdark!

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