Once or twice in your gaming lifetime, much as in real life, an incident occurs that defies belief. An incident so outrageous, unlikely or just plain heroic that you're not sure whether it just happened or whether you dreamed it up!
This is the story of one such incident.
It was one of my first evenings at a new gaming club, back when 3rd Edition ruled the world. I was playing my Dark Templar marines against a rather crafty, if barely painted, Eldar army. We became bitter gaming rivals over the years, but this may have been one of the incidents that contributed towards this.
I had a Land Raider Crusader full of marines and initiates (the first Black Templar list) parked next to a ruined building, on its way to unload death on the Eldar battle line consisting of a large unit of Reapers backed up by a Guide/Fortune wielding Farseer.
A Falcon performed a drive-by, incinerating the Crusader with a Brightlance. The marines fell out into the ruins, taking a couple of casualties in the explosion, and were promply gunned to pieces by the Reapers and Starcannon-armed Vypers. It was carnage, only one marine survived – the melta gun guy. He passed his 'on his own' test, ran up to the edge of the ruins and blew a hole in the side of the falcon, barely surviving the explosion. The Vypers and Reapers had moved their attention elsewhere, considering the job done.
Next turn 'the melta guy' (the man with no name), leaped over the wall and took a pot shot at a small unit of Guardians, downing one. He then charged into the unit killing a single Eldar trooper – the attacks back, including those from a spear wielding Warlock, all missed. Despite being outnumbered 'the melta guy' had won the combat! The Guardians failed their test and rolled 6" fallback, which was beaten by the marine who promptly wiped them out on the follow up. Diving into cover, it was time to weather the enemy backlash.
Strangely, the Eldar paid no attention, despite the bizarre dice rolls and the loss of a unit. Now 'the melta guy' was within inches of the Eldar line, and tried one last audacious act. He ran through the cover he was hiding in, and fired a melta shot straight at the Farseer not 5" in front of him. Despite casting fortune on himself, and having more saves than an entire Terminator Company (so it seemed), he failed all his rolls and was instant-deathed!!
His reward for the sheer cheek of it was to be gunned down mercilessly by 5 Reapers, but the damage was done, and the rest of the Dark Templar army mopped up.
Needless to say I have never had anything like that happen to me since, but it goes to show – you've got to be in it to win it – sometimes it's worth taking risks. As for 'the melta guy' he got a couple of new shoulder pads to mark the occasion, but his cards were marked and he was taken out early on in every game after that.
To honour the deeds of such a hero and legend, I decided to induct 'the melta guy' into the ranks of the Blood Angels so that he can once again run riot through enemy battle lines and vehicles. I wouldn't normally have bare heads for regular troops but this guy has earned the right. Same legs/arms/body/head/backpack. He may have lost his skull shoulder pad, but we put a skull at his feet to remember his deeds of the past.
All hail 'the melta guy'!