Wednesday 8 May 2024

MAC Attack x Epic 40k

MAC Attack is back on the menu!

Well, it was never really off for me. I've been tinkering away at it behind the scenes since I last wrote about it. Since my brain has latched back onto wargames for a little while I thought I'd try an experiment with the game.

Can MAC Attack do Epic 40k?

It started out with wanting to test an all-AU (Auxiliary Units, basically anything not a big robot) force against an all-MAC force. This isn't strictly legal in the rules-as-written but who cares?

This reminded me of the very first scenario presented to players of Epic 40k 3rd Edition.

Yeah, in there. 

The opening scenario in the book pitches a small Space Marine force against a lone Ork Gargant. Hearsay tells me that this battle was pretty unfair on the Marines, but I think it's a commendable choice as it brings a big scary war engine to the table right away, rather than holding it back as an option for advanced play down the line. It gets the players engaging with one of the key selling points of this scale (BIG unit) from the off, instead of putting them in the shallow end with some infantry vs infantry tutorial. 

So I set about recreating the two forces using MAC Attack rules.

Space Marines (55pts)

4x Land Raiders (16pts)
LP2 Lascannons

5x Devastators (15pts)
LP1 Heavy Weapons

6x Tactical Marines (24pts)
SB1 Boltguns
Transport (can Rush)

Next I built the Gargant as a Class 3 MAC, and with points left to spare I added a handful of Stompas to fill out the force.


Gargant (20pts)
Class 3 MAC
1: LB3 MegaCannon
2: LB2 BigGun
3: LB2 BigGun
4: Assault Weapon
5: Plate
6: Plate

3x Stompas (12pts each)
Class 1 MAC
1: LB2 BigGun
2: SB1 DakkaGuns
3: Assault Weapon
4: Radiator
5: Radiator
6: Plate

As per the scenario I deploy one Marine formation in the central ruins (this battlefield is all ruins, as the Epic 40k starter box intended). The remaining Marines will enter from their board edge on Turn 1. 

The Gargant and Stompas start over on their edge. 

The Orks home in on the devastators. Cover is extra-beneficial to Infantry in MAC Attack, so the initial Ork salvo is underwhelming, knocking out a single base of Marines. 

Meanwhile, the Tactical Marines and Land Raiders race onto the board, the former skirting up the flank to try to find a good piece of cover. 

The Stompas break formation and put pressure on the other Marine formations. The Tactical formation hold firm while one of the Land Raiders ends up crushed beneath the green Stompa. 

The full weight of fire from the Tactical formation is too much for the blue Stompa, who gets blown apart, suffering critical internal damage. 

With supporting fire from the Gargant, the Stompa blasts away two more of the Land Raiders.

The remaining Land Radier flees into the open field and blasts the Stompa with it's Lascannons, causing it to meltdown and explode. The last remaining Stompa charges into the ruins and crushes the remnants of the devastator formation. 

As the dust clears, the Tactical Formation race into cover amongst the ruins, facing off against the Gargant. The isolated Land Raider does its best to line up a long ranged shot at the Gargant. 

The forces trade fire, the Marines holding up against the big guns, chipping away at the terrible war machines. The Land Raider's lascannon sears into the Gargant's back, rupturing the engine, but it still stands. 

The Gargant and Stompa lurch into the ruins, crushing marines beneath their feet, forcing the infantry to abandon the cover to avoid being wiped out in close combat. 

Meanwhile the Land Raider lines up another shot and lands it with perfect precision, triggering an explosion in the Gargant's grinding core. The giant collapses to the ground, its reactor in meltdown, as the Ork crew flee into the open ground. 

The final Stompa is disarmed, its guns silenced under mass fire, its reactor exposed, and with the Land Raider swooping in to support I call this as a somewhat pyrrhic Marine victory. 

Does MAC Attack work as a quick-running alternative to a more typical Epic system? 

I think it does alright! Of course you can't simulate every unit in exactly the same way as in the original game, but it gave me an excuse to crack out those lovely 6mm armies again. 

In terms of AUs vs MACs it felt about right. The MACs felt powerful, able to cut through the formations when things lined up well, but the mass fire of the infantry and powerful anti-tank gun of the tanks never felt futile, taking a steady toll and eventually breaking through. 

All of the Marine AUs had Armour, essentially a 4+ Save, so it would be interesting to try a similar battle with some unarmoured units as a contrast.  

Maybe next time I'll try a full-on Epic clash... big formations of tanks and infantry on each side... maybe bring in the aircraft too. 

Perhaps even put a forest on the table. 


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  1. Very cool! I had been day-dreaming about MAC Attack Epic 40k since I first read the rules a couple months ago. I'd be really interested to see your suggestions on building other Epic 40k units with the system, like full on Titans for example!

  2. Bonus points for connecting with the often-maligned but delightful 3rd edition of old Epic! :-) As someone getting more Epic forces ready for summer, I'd love to see you develop this further.