Abnett does these a lot. In Brothers of the Snake, one of the wildest moments in what is, basically, a series of over the top moments is the defense of an unnamed town on a backwater world. Fifty Space Marines from the Iron Snakes chapter fight a massive horde of orks. There's so many that the Marines know they are going to die- but they do it anyway, because they should try. What's really wild, and what makes this scene so touching, is that they pull it off- for, while all of them are hurt, some quite badly, and the equipment they brought is nothing but worn nubs and blunt spears, not one of them fell- and they killed every single ork. It's one hell of a moment.
Slightly less inspirational, but one of the few times a Space Marine Dreadnought is actually a character, the second excursion to the planet where it all started. A large group of Dark Eldar attempt to hide from the Dreadnought, which can still see them with its sensors. The Dreadnought calls them out on it, then brings down a stone building on top of them. The dreadnought stomps up to one still-living Dark Eldar and demands to know where the Space Marine commander of the mission is. The Dark Eldar spits a curse; the Dreadnought responds "Wrong answer." and proceeds to riddle the entire rubble pile with bolter shells.
In Graham McNeill's novel Storm of Iron, Castellan Vauban, the Imperial Guard commander duels Honsou, the de facto War Captain of an Iron Warriors Grand Company, shatters Honsou's sword, and then cuts his hand off. Considering the IGs are Badass Normals at most, and Chaos Marines are Super Soldiers with daemons in their heads, this is incredibly bad.
It's brought to a sudden halt when Honsou staggers, drawing Vauban into a hasty finishing blow, only to charge inside Vauban's swing and ram the shattered ruin of his sword straight through both Vauban's breastplate and his heart. Ouch.
An even better crowning moment goes to another guardsman, who manages to survive having the rest of the Red Shirts in his guard outpost slaughtered, makes his way back to the base with a Chaos Marine pursuing him the whole way, gets into a missile silo with the instruction of an Adeptus Mechanicus Techpriest, and manages to take out the Marine chasing him, and launch an anti-ship missile into the heart of the Chaos army at the same time.
Also in Storm of Iron, Forrix gets one when he takes out the Warhound Titan that he had been "hunting".
Only to be utterly obliterated by the other Warhound. This was the most delicious moment of the book, considering Forrix was on the cusp of his most magnificent victory.
On the subject of Honsou and company; his sieging of the Indomitable in "Iron Warrior" has to count for something. Not to mention the delicious irony in who M'kar chooses as his host
The Last frakking Chancers. Any and all of them. Constantly.
By the Emperor, the CantiCol Lancers of Henry Zou's novel, Emperor's Mercy. The CantiCol Lancers charge a Chaos War Lord to protect the inquisitor that has been fighting with them knowing full well the consequences of such an action, and they do it anyways. Keep note that said War Lord was jumping off of tank hulls, smashing an FPV from his own weight, and threw a fucking Siegfried super heavy siege tank into the air.
A random Guardsman from the same book gets his own moment as well. During the final battle to stop the forces of Chaos from reaching the Old Kings, he smashes in the faceplate of an Ironclad with the butt of his lasgun, turns and stabs another one in the face with his bayonet, gets shot multiple times, and still manages to strangle a third one to death before succumbing to his wounds.
While both the Fire Warrior game and novel are accused of ridiculous amounts of Beginner's Luck (and rightly so), one genuine moment shines through: Through effectively the second half of the novel, La'Kais has had an unexploded bolter shell (that is to say, a Rocket-propelled grenade) lodged in his helmet after a shootout with a Space Marine. At the end of the incident, Kais is faced with the task of stopping a Daemon Prince alone, with his only edge the chance to weaken his powers by destroying four altars in the chamber. One altar is left. Kais has no weapons, no ammunition, and he just lost an arm. With his remaining arm, he rips off his helmet and throws it. It skids to a stop at the foot of the final altar, where the energy and heat radiating from it cooks that bolter shell off.
"You are not Kharnus Kollidus. You were once something else, something majestic, something transcendent. I pity you. Tell me, before I kill you, what was your name, long ago?" It takes stones to call out a ten-thousand-year-old Reaver-class Titan on using the wrong name.
Albeit he is in a Warlord Titan.
Though in fairness, he had just blown through two more Reavers before attacking that one, and wound up finishing the fight basically unharmed... with three smoking ruins in front of him.
Lau, the Master of Legio Invictia's Skitarii. A gene-bulked cybernetic warrior who dresses like a tribal, hacks enemies apart with his Power Axe, fries them with a plasma pistol grafted to his arm, and rips out their throats with his surgically modified hydraulic jaws. And he goes into battle hopped up on Combat Drugs, yet has the mind of a master tactician.
The Dark Angels combat squad in "Angels of Darkness". While they are outwitted and outmaneuvered by the Falleninfo
Basically the Dark Angels Legion was split in two after the Horus Heresy, half of them remained loyal to the emperor and half of them supposedly fell to chaos, although it's somewhat implied not all Fallen are chaos marines
, which in fairness wasn't that surprising in that only one of the members of this squad knew about the existence of the Fallen at all, they choose to commit suicide within their own fortress rather than letting the entire planet they're on die of a failsafe-virus in sealed in there with them. They could have easily opened the door and left, condemning the world to doom. In the same novel they single handedly take out what amounts to a small warship. There are 6 of them.
In the same novel, the Fallen Angel Astelan, for his general resilience to the merecies of the Interrogator Chaplain. Put in perspective, beyond the Dark Eldar, the Interrogator Chaplains are possibly they best torturers in the galaxy. He lasts 14 days in total isolation. He's over 10,000 years old too.
Rynn's World, the Space Marine Battles novel, is chock full of these. How about Pedro Kantor beating the absolute shit out of the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon. He beat him up so badly, the Ork Warboss ran away. This is directly after one of the Captains got three of his limbs torn off by the Arsonist's lieutenant in the process of clearing a spaceport in order to save Rynn's World, by allowing reinforcements to arrive.
Helsreach, another Space Marine Battles novel, has it's own fair share. Notable examples include The death of the Godbreaker gargant. Two words: "Engine Kill"
Thunder from Fenris. The battle with the Plague spawn, the end battle and the challenge, "WULFEN!"
Raven's Flight Corax and his remaining Raven Guard fighting the Iron Warriors. You know you're awesome when you have a Powerwhip that can trisect terminator-armoured Space Marines.
Also, the Big Damn Heroes moment at the end, where the Imperial Army and Raven Guard save the rest of the Legion from the World Eaters and Angron
Legion of the Damned, by Rob Sanders, is filled with these. The best is by far one word. Punisher. The little Thunderfire cannon that could. When Khornate Daemons overrun the eastern flank of the city the Excoriators are defending Punisher was the only survivor and continued to hold them off, alone. It held off Khornate Daemons, Cultist Hordes and berserk Chaos Space Marines by itself. And it that wasn't enough when Zachariah Kersh, the protagonist, sends out a signal to fall back Punisher goes on a search-and-destroy mission through the city. Then it blows down a wall, saving the main characters from being overwhelmed by World Eaters and allowing them to escape, before opening fire into the traitors and killing many of them, including 10,000 year old World Eaters veterans who fought at Terra! They finally kill it by flanking it. Punisher died, but it absolutely owned some of the galaxy's fiercest killers before it died.
Then the Legion itself. The Legion of the Damned arrive and absolutely destroy the traitors. Best example is the fate of Umbragg of the Brazen Flesh. By his own admission Umbragg has fought in every single major battle involving the World Eaters. He fought at Istvaan, Terra, Armaggeddon and many other battles. And one lone Damned Legionary comes up behind him and slits his throat, leaving him to bleed out in an alley. One of the galaxy's deadliest warriors died like a common thug in "a street so small and insignificant to the galaxy around it that it didn't even name a name.".
The Legion don't stop there. They fill the city and slaughter the Cholercaust. Some scenes described are a World Eater Lord and his cultists being herded into an open space, only to be fried by the Legion's flamers; A traitor named Slorak the Undying empting an entire clip of ammo from his bolt pistol into the face of a Legionary, only to have his head cut in two; A traitor Techmarine being lured into a park and blown up by pre-placed grenades; Foresworn marines being lured into the catacombs beneath the city and actually being stalked and hunted one-by-one by the Damned Legionaries.
Then there's Scout Omar. During a mission outside the city Omar is ambushed and literally buried alive in a cultist horde after they force him into an open grave. He survives and makes it back to the city as the Cholercaust is siegeing it. Corpus-Captain Kersch rescues him, but Omar loses the lower half of his body to a gelatinous Daemon. That doesn't stop him from being a sniper spotter in the battle, and when his shooter is killed he takes the rifle and continues fighting. He is the last Excoriator to die, the bell tower he is firing on is swarmed by Furies. Even his death is awesome as Omar detonates the grenades he is wearing and takes the tower, and the Fury swarm, with him and the falling tower crushes a hell of a lot of cultists.
And in space... One lone ship is all that defends Certus Minor. They do better than anyone could have expected, taking down many ships with their sole lance cannon. But as they are being boarded a new ship appears. One that is actually visible in from the planet's surface, showing the massive size of the vessel. It then launches a single torpedo and destroys the Keeler Comet that the Cholercaust has been following, the comet was corrupted after passing through the Blood God's realm and had been travelling the galaxy for ten thousand years. And the Raptorous Rex destroyed it with a single torpedo. And then it goes on to annihilate the entire Chaos fleet which consists of hundreds of vessels.
Let's not forget the main character,Corpus-Captain Kersh, The Scourge, future Chapter Master of the Excoriators. He starts the book in stasis, suffering from debilitating nightmares and undergoes invasive brain surgery to stop him from being a drooling vegetable. Now, most of his brothers wouldn't be too bummed about leaving him to rot, so this procedure was only done because he was the only guy in the Chapter who might stand a chance at winning the Feast of Blades, a single combat tournament with no holds barred, and where the occasional death isn't uncommon. That's right, the guy goes from being comatose, straight into a series of brawls, with only a brief procedure bordering on lobotomy to prepare him for it. Obviously, he wins the tournament, reinforcing his reputation for being a ruthless bastard along the way, to the point where the final match is no longer a one-on one fight, but a three way showdown, because none of the other Chapters want to shame themselves by giving him a fair fight. Oh, and he loses an eye in the early matches of the tournament. He's then offered the chance to replace it with bionic enhancements, but turns it down, because he feels the adjustment time might cost him a fight. So he just fills his empty eye socket with a ball bearing.
A subtle and understated one, yet in hindsight one of the most epic moments in 40k literature has to be in Graham Mcneill's The Last Church a story set in the earliest days of the canon in which a man heavily implied to be the very last Christian priest, whom after having his faith verbally ripped to shreds by a mysterious visitor, and having his beloved Church set alight and desecrated by Proto Space Marines, manages to deliver an epic"The Reason You Suck" Speech to none other than the Emperor, beautifully calling him out on his hypocricy and brutality, as well as pointing out with perfect accuracy and foresight how utterly crapsack his vision is, before rejecting him entirely and deciding to burn with his Church rather than be any part of it.
The ending of Gunheads. After witnessing the death and suffering of numerous Cadian Regiments - all for a largely pointless suicide mission (in the eyes of the characters) - the reader is treated to this final line:
And men, forever after, would remember this day.
In one of the more recent books, Pariah, the POV protagonist Bequin is being chased by a Word Bearer Astartes. As she's being chased, an old man in an old black long coat emerges from the shadows, and bars the Astartes' way, armed only with an old long sword. He then proceeds to Cut the pursuing Traitor in two, deflect several bolter rounds, and then kill it with a single slash to the head, all while psychically screwing with it. The kicker? It's Eisenhorn, now a couple of hundred years old, and still as unflinchingly badass as he was in Thorn Wishes Talon.
In the novel Blood of Asaheim one of the characters, Baldr Fjolnir, is infected by a Nurglite plague and enters a coma. Meanwhile across the battlefield the Space Wolf Blademaster Váltyr battles against the Chaos Plague Terminator Champioin Thorslax the Blighted and is killed fighting him. Immediately after that the remainder of the Pack attack him, the Wolf Guard Gunnlaugur Skullhewer and his brothers Jorundur the Old Dog and Olgeir Heavy-Hand, and Thorslax dominates them utterly. Just before he can finish Gunnlaugur though Baldr appears, completely corrupted by the plague. Thorslax approaches him and calls him brother, but can't even finish the word before Baldr blasts him with lightning. His armour breaks apart, his boils and blisters explode and his flesh melts; and all the while he is screaming. By the end all that remains of Thorslax the Blighted are a few charred chunks of ceramite and meat. The surrounding army is described as "being unable to decide whether or not they should bow down to Baldr or flee in terror."
Tabletop Game Background Material
Ork Mekboy/biker/Warboss/raving lunatic Wazdakka Gutzmek once found himself up against an Imperial Warlord Titan, a Humongous Mecha protected by powerful energy shields and armed with enough firepower to level entire cities. Undaunted, Wazdakka ramped his bike off a cliff and rammed the Titan with it, overloading the energy shields and setting both him and his bike on fire. The bike continued on its trajectory and slammed into the Titan's head, whereupon Wazdakka, still on fire, proceeded to butcher the Titan's pilot and bridge crew.
Say it with me: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!
That's not the best part. He kept the skulls of the Titan crew as trophies. To this day, they are still burning.
Hell, even without the sheer awesome of that story, Wazdakka gets a few. For example- he once fitted a scavenged Battle Cannon to his warbike. For reference- a Battle Cannon is the primary armament of a Leman Russ Main Battle Tank, and he had it bolted to his frickin' bike... Quite aside from the inherent ammunition problems of bike mounted tank guns (Battle Cannon shells being almost the size of a human torso); every time it fired the recoil not only slowed or even stopped him, but sent his bike hurtling backwards. Given the average speed and mass of a Speed Freek and his warbike (around 70mph is considered slow, and orks are both physically larger and proportionally more massive than humans, with bikes built in proportion), that implies the sheer scary awesome hugeness of his BFG.
Speaking of Orks, Warlord Grizgutz was prepared to launch his WAAAGH! into the Warp, however due to a freak Warp Storm him and his WAAGH! travel back in time before they set off. He then attacks his past self in order to have two sets of his favorite gun.
Perhaps the best Ork story ever: The Great Boss Tuska fought a demon, decided that the Warp would be fun, and lead a WAAAAGH!, first to Prosan, an Imperial hostile environment training world, for practise, and then into the Eye of Terror itself. While there, they demolished every world they came across, until they met a sentient world, which spawned creatures that were more than a match for the Orks. A Blood Prince came up and slaughtered what was left of the warband. Tuska's Weirdboyz threw pure psychic force at it, and it killed them "with a gesture". With his final breath, Tuska reached between the Blood Prince's legs with his power klaw and "made a gesture of his own". Now, every dawn, the Orks are returned to life, fighting-fit, and are set against opponents they can never beat. In essence, they'd found Ork Valhalla.
Just Orks. They invent a man portable teleportation device, and use it to shoot snotlings (smaller ork sub-species) inside people. They build spaceships so large they have their own gravity well, and shoot asteroids as small arms fire. They use nuclear reactors to power guns (kustom mega-blastas), armour (mega-armour) and just about everything else. In hand to hand they are the equal of a fully equiped space marine in power armour with boltgun (armour that surpasses most modern tanks, armed with a rapid fire grenade launcher) with only an axe and armour that's basically a leather jacket with bits of metal stapled to it. Also see Deffrollaz, Power Klaws and gargants. Oh, and did we mention that all of the above only works BECAUSE THE ORKS BELIEVE IT DOES?
The Ultramarines 1st company defending their chapter fortress from the Tyranids. They managed to hold them back long enough for the Imperial fleet to destroy the Tyranid bioships (by flying a battleship right into middle of them and detonating its warpdrive), but in doing do died to the last man.
Commander Shadowsun had a crowning moment when she managed, by leading several raids, to disrupt a Tyranid splinter fleet so badly that the Tau armada was able to destroy it without losing a SINGLE vessel.
When the World Eaters champion Kharn and his troops were fighting against a warband of Emperor's Children on a planet where during the night the temperatures would drop to lethal levels, even for space marines, he was disgusted because his men stopped fighting in order to escape the cold. So he grabbed a flamethrower and started running around, burning all shelters and slaughtering everybody, friend or foe. He pretty much singlehandedly caused both legions to fragment and earned the name "Betrayer".
Kharn is a pretty fun guy.
Primarchs were made to be awesome, but for this troper a few need to be mentioned here:
Sanguinus for breaking a Bloodthirster's spine on his knee.
He basically held back the entire invading army of Chaos at the gates to the Imperial Palace by himself.
That last part (and damaging Horus' armor in their fight) is the reason that Sanguinus ties with Roboute Guilliman for greatest Primarch in the eyes of the Imperium. And for most fans, Sanguinius beats Guilliman by miles.
Mortarion, for the time before he got found by the Emperor. We're talking about somebody who didn't stop helping people, despite being feared by them and eventually managed to single-handedly drive off invaders from said people armed only with a scythe.
Vulkan squaring off against an attacking force of technologically adept super-sadists with nothing but a pair of hammers. And winning.
Leman Russ is a genetically engineered super Space Viking. This alone makes him pretty awesome, even before mentioning he was Raised by Wolves - Horse-sized wolves with mean streaks a mile wide. The crowning moment, however, would be meeting the Emperor. Russ mocks this stranger, and then invites him to join in the feasting and competition. Russ defeats him in eating and drinking competitions. Let me say that again. Russ beats The Emperor - essentially a meaner version of Jesus - in a drinking competition. The Emperor is pretty pissed off by this point, so he punches Russ while wearing a Power Fist - an anti-tank weapon. After a second, Russ gets up, laughs, and hugs his papa.
He also claimed to have a mild headache after the fight, but caused by the amount of booze he drunk not the punch.
Leman Russ' first act when he emerged from his incubator pod after getting teleported out of the Emperor's laboratory was to climb out of a volcano. Let me repeat that: the first thing Leman Russ did as a newborn child was to CLIMB. OUT. OF. A. VOLCANO.Bad Ass personified.
There´s also the time he broke a glacier with a single punch. A GLACIER.
Nothing compared to the fact that the infant who would one day become Night Haunter to the people of Nostramo, CLIMBED OUT OF THE MOLTEN CORE OF HIS HOMEWORLD.
See Sanguinius's CMOA above? Yeah, Bloodthristers are pretty tough. But Russ? He picked up and broke Magnus the Red. Yeah, the same Magnus that was a Primarch frequently described as a "giant" with a gaze that can kill a man.
Angron apparently managed to slaughter a group of Eldar sent to assassinate him (apparently foreseeing his future as the Khornate Primarch) as an infant.
After the Horus Heresy, all the surviving Traitor Primarchs are content to remain in the Eye of Terror, delegating to their armies or warring against other Chaos forces, and even if they leave they don't do much. Except for Angron, who one day decided to leave the Eye of Terror accompanied with an enormous force of Chaos Marines and daemons, and proceeded to rampage across entire sectors, eventually banished when he was attacked by an entire company of Grey Knights.
Roboute Guilliman vs. Alpharius, no items, final destination. When Fulgrim fought Ferrus Manus, it took a vast number of blows. When Guilliman fought Alpharius, each took only one swing. Guilliman survived. Alpharius didn't. Though there are doubts even within the setting as to whether it actually happened, though if it did it was badass.
And not just for the battle itself: The only reason why the battle happened was because Guilliman broke with Codex Astartes protocol — the very document he had created and claimed to Alpharius was superior to any of the younger primarch's complicated plans and trickery — and directly assaulted the Alpha Legion command camp before deployment finished. In other words, the only way he won that battle was by proving Alpharius right — and he still lost the war for the planet because the Alpha Legion outfoxed him at every other turn.
The way the legion won was also a CMoA. Normally when you beat the leader and slaughter his command structure, the troops go into disarray. Guilliman lost because he was stunned that the Alpha Legion literally didn't care about the death of their primarch. He thought he'd taken out the tactical head of their legion, then he found out why their symbol is a Hydra...
There's also doubt amongst the fandom as to whether or not that the 'Alpharius' slain by Guilliman was the real deal... This is because that the very first thing that any member of the Legion says when they meet someone is "I am Alpharius."
Except it's all lies. The document that the whole account is based on was discovered in the archives of an Inquisitor who was later revealed to be an Alpha Legion spy, and the Ultramarines themselves claim to have no knowledge of it at all. What really happened may well have been awesome for the Ultramarines, for Alpharius, for Guilliman, for the Alphas...or it may never have happened. One theory is that Guilliman actually won a decisive and humiliating victory and the account is the Alpha Legion trying to cover it up. Or, he faked his death. Or he died and won. Or long games are being played by everyone concerned. And this mystery is what makes the franchise awesome in itself.
Night Haunter/Konrad Curze. Even in death he still manages to win. He's left the Imperium and sided with Horus, and assassins have been dispatched to kill him. His reaction? Have his men stand down, sit back, and let the assassin kill him, with the final words "Death is nothing compared to vindication", showing that the Emperor is just as bad, resorting to tactics that are just as heavy-handed to get things done. And that's in addition to being so terrifying that hardened criminals could be sent screaming at the thought that they'd caught his attention, and rogue systems instantly paying every outstanding tithe to the Imperium at the mention that Night Haunter even might be the one to come claim them.
Marneus Calgar in the Space Marines codex. He charges dozens of Eldar and an Avatar Of Khaine (the Eldar's giant avatar of their god of war) armed only with his powerfists and some super armor. He smashes any Eldar in his way out of his way, attacks the Avatar, grabs its sword when it tries to decapitate him and then smashes it in half with his next blow. Did I mention the avatar is over 20 feet tall and had been smashing away anything in its path for most of the battle with no trouble?
"Only his powerfists?" Come now, the Gauntlets of Ultramar are made of sterner stuff than that!
Canoness Praxedes single-handedly slew a Hive Tyrant in close combat and then led a group of Sisters of Battle in a hit and run campaign against a Tyranid invasion, letting a huge shrine world evacuate through their efforts. This is an ordinary human woman (not a Marine), single-handedly killing a two story tall creature designed to be a close combat killing machine. It is no wonder that she was posthumously given the title of Saint.
Granted, not as inspirational, but Khaine, after being repeatedly wounded and having all his soldiers die, striking down the Nightbringer, who was materialized for about a billionth of a second.
Pre-heresy Iron Warriors, who specialised in garrison and siege tactics. One instance had ten Iron Warriors in a garrison watching over a disgruntled population of 130 million. And they're still pretty badass in the 41st millennium too.
Captain Lysander of the Imperial Fists. After having a streak of bad luck, which culiminated with him getting caught by the Iron Warriors (who hate Imperial Fists), Lysander finally managed to demonstrate his awsome. After suffering a month of horrible torture, he managed to break free of his restrains and escape, armorless and weaponless.
Logan Grimnar. After the first war for Armageddon, when any witnesses to the armies of Chaos were shipped off-world to be worked to death, he was the only man in the entire Imperium who had the balls to stare down both the Inquisition and the High Lords of Terra, and call them on their shit, and the only one who could get away with it. Nearly anyone else would have been branded a heretic, nearly any other chapter would have been declared Excommunicate Traitoris. Not him, and not the Space Wolves. Ever since, the Inquisition has walked softly when the Great Wolf is in town. It didn't save the people of Armageddon unfortunately, but that moment of unshakable loyalty to the common men and women of the Imperium, rather then to the heartless machine known as the Administratum, was the closest thing this setting has ever gotten to a Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming.
The master of any first founding Chapter has the authority to do this. No Inquisitor is going to pick a fight without a damn fine reason because they'd essentially be starting a war with that Chapter, their successor Chapters, any Chapters they have solid alliances or a history with and any other Chapters who fear the same thing happening to them later, plus any human forces who ally with the Marines. Any Inquisitor who tried would likely be killed rather than allowed to precipitate a civil war second only to the Horus Heresy.
Grimnar's objections even forced a slight policy change within the Inquisition, something almost unheard of. He has also been known to wage Wars of Compassion against elements of the Imperium itself. This isn't just the actions of a few Space Marines, or a minor Chapter, or even the actions of a powerful Chapter within their own territory. This wasn't the kind of stuff that the Administratum could sweep under the rug or ignore. This was open treason, committed by one of the oldest and most experienced Chapter Masters, one of the oldest and most experienced Chapters, working outside their home territory.
That double bladed axe Logan carries? He got that off a Daemon Prince, one killed on its own homeworld in single-combat. That is more than just a challenge and a half. The weapon then tried, and failed completely, to corrupt him when he picked it up. Let me put that another way, Logan Grimnar is so Badass he made Chaos itself bitch down. Then, because he quite liked the weapon as a trophy, he had it reforged by the Wolf Priests so it wouldn't corrupt those around him.
The 13th Company of the Space Wolves have spent ten thousand years in the middle of a Negative Space Wedgie. Uncorrupted.
In additional to garden variety badassary, each ancient Space Marine Chapter has their own legendary warriors who are each worth an army (or twelve). Ultramarine Chief Librarian Tigurius can mindscrew the Tyranid hordes. Dante of the Blood Angels is prophesied to defend the Emperor at the Time of Ending and can kill daemons in a single blow. Bjorn the Fell-Handed has saved his entire chapter on countless occasions and was killing sorcerers even before he became a Dreadnought. One gets the sense that if/when the Imperium goes under, they're certainly capable of dragging their destroyers down with them.
The Imperial Guard is composed of just regular guys with bad guns (and, admittedly, awesome tanks). They routinely get involved in battles with eight foot tall fungus monsters, undead robots led by the god of death, satanists wearing a solid ton of armor, ravening swarmbeasts who exist solely to eat flesh, and space elves capable of ripping them apart with mind-bullets channeled from hell itself. And they don't always lose.
As a subset of this, a Commissar's job is to be even scarier than all the nasty beasties listed above. They are very good at their jobs.
Ollanius Pius, the guardsman who (before GW retconned him out of existence) faced down Horus himself to give the Emperor time to recover and kick Horus' ass. Having just seen Horus kill a primarch and beat the crap out of the Emperor. With nothing other than his flashlight and cardboard armor. He died, but he held the line for long enough for the Emperor to get it together and end it.
The awesome part is this: he, a lone Imperial Guardsmen, the type who are eaten alive in the millions by enemies across the galaxy, faces down an enemy who just ripped apart a Primarch. He fearlessly steps in between his Emperor and Horus with a flak jacket and a lasgun, while Horus wields a claw bigger than he is. When Horus swats him out of the way like a fly, the Emperor truly realizes he has gone entirely to Chaos, and rends Horus from existence.
1d4 Chan has an interesting account from his point of view, which makes it even more awesome. It ends with this line: Ollanius Pius does the duty his Emperor requires of him. He dies standing, and holding the fucking line.
The entire Astral Knights chapter. A Necron machine world (imagine the Death Star with hieroglyphs and flashy green Tron Lines) was ripping a new one to a huge human coalition. The Imperials couldn't pierce its shields, all the attempts of teleporting troops on the world failed... So what did the Astral Knights do? They pushed their main battlebarge at its full speed, rammed the machine world's shields so hard they shatter them for a brief moment, and began to destroy as many reactors and shield generators on the surface as possible before being wiped out by the vastly more numerous Necrons. The only Astral Knights who survived were those who were engaged in other battles hundreds of light years away, but those who fought and died made enough damage to the battleship to finally make it drop its shields and offering an easy victory to the Imperium.
Rynn's Might: A Land Raider of the Crimson Fists that, deprived of its crew, fought an Ork warband single-handedly to the end, on behalf of its machine spirits. After running out of ammo and gun barrels, it still tried running the orks over. And once disabled, it opened its hatches, the Warboss blindly stepped in, and...
Slaanesh defeating Khaine, the Eldar God of War and Murder who defeated the Nightbringer, and getting into a fight with Khorne, during which Khaine was accidentally shattered into a million pieces.
Battle of Hades Hive. In which Commisar Sebastian Yarrick stalled the entire Ork WAAAGH! long enough to turn the tide of the war, utilising a severely outnumbered force. During said battle he lost his arm, but stayed concious long enough to kill the offending Ork Warboss, cut off his bionic arm, hold it up as a trophy, urged on his troops, and finished off that attack wave. Not until the skirmish was over did he pass out. Then Yarrick replaced his arm with that of the Warboss. Yeah, CMOA for the Old Man of Armageddon.
And Yarrick has only gotten harder since then. He is probably the only human that can inspire honest-to-Emperor fear in Orks, Ghazghull (the single most powerful and admired Ork in the entire galaxy) considers Yarrick to be a Worthy Opponent, and he is still personally killing Orks despite being several centuries old. When he heard his enemies thought he could kill with a glance, he replaced his eye with a bionic one that could fire a laser specifically so he could do just that.
Nork Deddog was an Ogryn bodyguard to Catachan Colonel Greiss. When Greiss was hurt in combat, Deddog walked over to a downed Chimera vehicle with medicine inside and grabbed it - not the medicine, the Chimera. He then lugged it out of a ditch and twenty meters over to his colonel, showcasing both his badassery and his indomitable loyalty.
One moment of Imperial awesomeness happens when a demon of Slaanesh once tried to rip an entire section of the galaxy out of realspace and into the Warp, his plan being to set up a theocracy with him as its ruler, each major city on every world he ostensibly controlled being host to a giant golden statue in his likeness. When his gambit was about to succeed, he had all of his followers in every city gathered around the statues, worshiping him as he split himself up into enough pieces to be able to fill every statue so that he could feast on the souls of his worshipers. By this point the Imperium had found out and sent a fleet to deal with the place, and at the time where the gambit was about to succeed, they had a ship above every city, targeting every statue with a lance blast. At a predetermined time, every ship opened fire. Every statue was obliterated and every worshiper was killed, annihilating the demon and his followers in one fell swoop.
There's one moment in the Space Marine Battles novel Helsreach, while the commanders of Armageddon's defense are meeting. Commissar Yarrick is talking about how Hades Hive won't survive the week, when a Captain of the Angels of Fire Space Marines Chapter steps up and says that they should try and defend it, because it was where the Ork invasion was broken sixty years ago. Yarrick is adamant in his decision, and the Astartes laughs at him, saying that he's underestimating them and that any Astartes in the room has more military experience than he does. Yarrick doesn't reply, doesn't say anything. He doesn't get angry, doesn't break down. He just stares at the Space Marine, until eventually the arrogant sap realizes he's goofed up and sits back down.
Deff Skwadron. Back to front, cover to cover awesome. I mean, you've got Orks, and planes, and dakka, and putting those together automatically results in awesome, but Deff Skwadron just takes that awesome and ramps it up twelve times.
One of the issues' plots involves Deff Skwadron finding out their front lines are under attack, while their Fighta-Bommas are all in the middle of being repaired. After the Skwad commander guns down all the Meks repairing the Bommas (on grounds of suspected sabotage) they then proceed to chain the disassembled Bommas' engines to their Wartrukks and Warbikes and charge into battle. Let me say that again: they drove jet-propelled motorcycles into combat.
Heh, good ol' Killboy...
How about the issue "Sink Da Grimlug" where they're sent to take out a massive enemy battleship, get shot down, take the ship out from the inside, and fly away on a stolen Bommer... Which they decide to use to bomb the base of a rival skwadron.
Killboy wading into the ravenous Squig payload to open the bombing bay from the inside, because he's the only one with a cybork body. He survives the bombing, the landing, and the ensuing panic.
The Redeemer. A batshit crazy Priest from Necromunda. Picture Batman with his head on fire, a chainsaw sword, snappy one liners and henchmen who sing a modified version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic in his honor as he kills the alien, mutant, the heretic. Yeah, it's good. "IF IT DOESN'T HURT! IT DOESN'T COUNT!"
Behind The Scenes
Deathwatch is stated, by the developers, as encouraging these, with a link to the tropes page. That's somewhere.
Tabletop Game Battle Reports
This troper plays Imperial Guard. He went up against a 4th Ed. Codex Space Marine player and ended up with: 1 Basilisk with the cannon shot off, 1/2 squad with an autocannon, and little else. He had been whittled down to his Force Commander with one wound left and a few battle brothers scattered about the playing field. The Force Commander was within range of my autocannon and one lasgun. As a lark, I rolled for the lasgun first. It hit, it wounded, and then he MISSED HIS 2+ SAVE! To give you an idea of how awesome this was, a Guardsman has a 50/50 shot of hitting anything, and the lasgun had only a one-third chance of hurting the Force Commander. THEN he has only a one in six chance of not making his armor save. All I can imagine is the Guardsman shooting without looking and popping the Force Commander in the eye.
I tend to play Space Marines. My opponent played Necrons. I had two full squads of tactical marines, a devastator squad, one Assault Terminator Squad, and two Landraiders, both standard pattern, all led by my captain in terminator armor with a power sword and storm bolter. My opponent had SIXTY necron warriors, twelve destroyers, and two monoliths, and a single necron lord. My captain got into close combat on the third turn, and by himself created the biggest curpstomp possible, resulting in twenty six necron warriors dead, the necron lord crunched, two destroyers flattened, and a single monolith torn apart. To tis day, I still don't know how that last bit happened.
During a game of Space Marine (precursor of Epic 40.000), I had the dubious honor of taking the luckiest shot in history. Goliath ? Meet David - on steroids. My Orks vs. his Eldars, second turn. My opponent starts the shooting phase by making a single unit of Guardians shoot at my Mekka Dragster - an unarmed vehicle which projects a force field that has good chances of deflecting shots in a random direction, protecting the units inside it - on the off chance one or two might go through and destroy the lightly armored vehicle, thereby uncloaking my huge swarm of bikes for some real firepower. A single shot hits, but the dragster field works perfectly for once and the puny attack is redirected... to my nearby, fully shielded and undamaged Great Gargant. It passes right through the shields. Hits an ammo dump (highest save location). I fail the 1+ save (1 is always a failure). The ammo dump blows up instantly, the second worst possible result on the damage table. This causes damage rolls on all nearby locations, starting a number of light fires in minor locations, but inflicting critical damage on the boiler, again forcing damage rolls to all its adjacent locations. Said locations include (you guessed it) the other ammo dump. THAT one blows up even more catastrophically than the first, causing an immediate fire check (normally the check is done at the end of the turn and after the Ork player can make rolls for the gretchin engineers to extinguish the blazes) for yet another maximum roll on my opponent's part which, thanks to the high number of fires raging inside the Gargant at this point, vaporized it and pretty much everything around it. Let me restate that : an idle shot, from one of the weakest infantry units, in a game where infantry is canon fodder to begin with, took out one of the most durable super-units there is (and half of my infantry with it) and it wasn't even shooting at it. I had a good mind to forfeit the game right then and there, lemme tell you...
A half dozen years ago this troper was getting severely trounced in a battle between my Imperial Guard, and my friend's Space Marines. In the end, my opponent had at least half his force left, while I was left with a lone lieutenant. Said lieutenant very wisely, though not so heroically, decided to try and escape from the Space Marines. Over the next two turns all the firepower that the Space Marines had in range were hurled at the lone retreating guardsman. He was hit three times by krak (anti-tank) missiles, and by a single lascannon (even more anti-tank) shot, and still managed to escape the combat alive. Made of Iron?
This Troper was playing a game of dawn of war: Winter assault He happened to be playing as his own faction of the Imperial Guard, and was fighting the orks. This game was on hard mode, and I used a defensive paramiter and artillery strikes to soften 'em up for my infantry. The end result: Imperial Guard casulaties one, And that was because my pysker exploded. The Orks on the other hand lost 400 units. Epic Fail.
This Troper has become infamous among his group of players for close-combat Tau. That's right, the squishy blue aliens that go down when attack by Grots in CQC? Well, some of the most hilarious moments include:
A Shield Drone decapitating a Chaos Terminator
A Crisis Suit team punching out a Tyranid Trygon
A group of Stealth Suits pistol-whipping a charging Assault Marine squad (this was in my first match no less)
Commander Farsight taking down Warboss Ghazghkull on the WAAAAGH
An Ethereal, after having his entire honor guard squad slaughtered by a team of Assault Terminators, STABBING THE TERMINATOR SARGENT IN THE FACE, and running off the board. That's right, the biggest joke model since Chaos Spawn killed a Terminator in close-combat, failed his leadership save, broke and ran off the board, and the Termies couldn't even chase him down.
Some years ago, this troper was fighting his friend's Chaos Space Marines with a combined force of Imperial Guard and Space Marines, and was not doing so well. He had a Leman Russ with all its guns blown off facing a Bloodthirster Greater Daemon of Khorne. Thinking he had nothing to lose, he proceeded to Tank Shock said Greater Daemon of Khorne. My friend decided on Death or Glory, expecting his Daemon to make scrap metal of the Leman Russ...only to fail and have the Greater Daemon run down and ground under the tracks of the rampaging Leman Russ. That's right, the physical manifestation of bloody death...was run over.
This troper's Chaos Space Marine army was facing an Eldar force lead by an avatar of Khaine. Somewhere near the end of the battle, the avatar was charged by my Daemon Prince from one side and a single Khorne berserker from the other, with the victory of the battle depending on the outcome. Choosing to focus on the Daemon prince, the avatar proceeded to rip him apart before he could do anything... only to lose its last two wounds to the berserker (I like to imagine him climbing on top of it and taking his chainaxe to its head with a cry of "SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!")
This Troper was present for perhaps the least lucky roll ever made made in a Battlefleet Gothic game, where he watched a lone Black Templars Battle Barge facing certain annihilation against three Scythe-class Harvest Ships that had just trashed the rest of the Space Marine Fleet. Unfortunately for them, a Scythe failed its inertialess drive roll while right next to the Battle Barge. Boarding action ensued, the Scythe lost and was captured for 500% of its points value, effectively ending the game. Necrons across the galaxy must have done a massive collective Face Palm.
This Troper has two big ones. 1) I was playing a game against my friend, he had tyranids, I had space marines. I was winning, but he had a carnifex that was still taking out a few guys a turn with its gun. my scout squad had one soldier left, and the Carnifex had all 4 wounds, the really good armor, etc etc. first, the scout shoots it with his pistol, wounds it, and then I charged the carnifex. The scout won. it was amazing. 2) I was playing a game of Rogue Trader with a friend. It was a small battle, about twenty guys against twenty guys. we both had mixed forces of eldar, space marines, and imperial guard. we both had a minor hero as well, mine being a psychic eldar ranger. with a Bad Ass Long Coat. now, i had a few more marines, but he had two land speeders, so it evened out. first my ranger guy takes out a squad of IG with a force sword, and then, using his psychic powers, grabs the two landspeeders and throws them at the enemy hero. BIG EXPLOSION.
Unfortunately, one of my OPPONENTS had a CMOA against me. Long story short: After a volley of Pulse Rifle fire hit a squad of his Tactical Marines, only one was left, and he had a power sword. Through a series of terrible rolls on my part and some really lucky rolls on his, it tore through three of my Tau Crisis Suits and reached a Fire Warrior squad on the other side of them, managing to wipe them all out in the second round of melee combat. Sure, he was obliterated by a Broadside shot the next shooting phase, but still, he was quite the badass there.
My only CMOA comes from a game against my cousin. After my Firewarriors had decimated his attack bikes he charged the remainingone into close combat with a Firewarrior. The dice were with me and the bike was destroyed in HAND TO HAND COMBAT BY THE WORST MELEE FIGHTER IN THE GAME! Granted this probably has something to do with the fact we treat the rules as guidelines and generally make it up as we go along.
This troper's cousin had a CMOA in a game in which the last man standing his Space Marine Chapter Master, who ran across the board through a hail of gunfire, provided by a Shokk Attack Gun, to smash through the Big Mek wielding it and his buddy. The Chapter Master then turned and crushed the final foe, a Nob who had run across the board and back trying to catch him. Not unexpected, as the Chapter Master is arguably the best not-special character in the Marine codex and it was a small game, but it was still very cinematic.
The ork warboss known appropriately as Killaboss had not one, but TWO massive CMOAs in the most recent White Dwarf's apocalypse battle report. His first was taking down a warhound scout titan with what was described as a "classic right haymaker against the somewhat higher chin of the titan". Killaboss then survived a DIRECT HIT from a Kill Sat fired at him by the warboss whose position he was trying to usurp, and was only taken down when a good deal of the combined remaining imperial forces, including super-heavy tanks all opened fire on him.
This troper was on the wrong side of a CMOA. Full squad of Necron Pariahs versus a half-strength unit of Fire Warriors in close combat. The Fire Warriors won. Granted, the Tau still lost the battle, but...
One eight man stormtrooper squad with melta-bombs and plasma guns flank marching up next to a baneblade and blowing it up with melta-bombs. Then the next turn blowing up a second baneblade the same way, and the third and final turn then strolled up behind a heavily damaged warhound titan and shot it with plasma guns. It blew up. 150ish points of stormtroopers 1750ish points of superheavy tanks. And the stormtroopers only lost two guys.
This troper saw a game where an Avatar of Khaine waded into melee with an Imperial Guard platoon. The platoon proceeded to beat down the motherfucking Avatar of Khaine, a piece of the Eldar God of War, with the butts of their lasguns. Then, they went on to slaughter an entire squad of Dire Avengers the next round with their lasguns. Imperial Guard, killing Dire Avengers, the cripplingly overspecialized troops designed to slaughter light infantry. From that point on, the Guard player designated that squad as the "Balls and Bayonets Brigade."
Two more that are truly awesome. The first one involved a Space Marines vs. Tau fight with me as the Space Marines. At one point in the battle, after the Marines having slugged their way across the table, my Force Commander armed with a plasma pistol, a weapon that is mostly designed for melting heavy infantry and dinging the back armor of tanks, one-shotted a Hammerhead Gunship. To give an idea of the odds he had to first hit (not that hard) then had a one in six chance of glancing the armor then a one in six chance of getting a destroyed result. The second involved a single Plague Marine Champion with a Plague Sword surviving five rounds of hand to hand combat with 30 Necron Warriors. The amazing part was when he went down if he managed to kill another six he would have forced phase-out and won the game!
This troper was playing a special daemons vs grey knights game as the grey knights. The aim was to prevent the daemons claiming the temple. Last turn: enemies had: 1 Flesh Hound (wolf) and one Bloodthirster (god of war) on one wound. I had a Grand Master and a Justicar (sergeant). My GM was fighting the FLESH HOUND and the justicar was against the god. The GM killed the hound, but was left stranded, watching as...the bloodthirser missed/failed to wound with everything, and my Justicar stabbed it in the eye. The justicar was then promoted to Supreme Grand Master.
A friend of mine's Imperial Guard army went up against an equal strength Space Marine force, and took precisely two casulties.Both of them were caused by overheated plasma guns.
Playing Blood Angels I was up against an Eldar Army containing 3 wraithlords. My death company, led by a chaplain covered roughly 20 inches of movement and charged into the closest one. Thanks to special rules they actually stood a chance of hurting the thing (wounding on a 6) and I had hopes that perhaps I might take it down by weight of numbers. The Chaplain was having none of that and killed the thing himself. Despite only hitting 3 times and wounding on a 6. The random number God was kind that night.
Playing as the Tyranids, I watched a large group of guants get decimated down to one during the shooting phase. For lack of a better target, this lone guant was charged by six Khornate Berserkers. He killed them all.
Playing Battlefleet Gothic, using Imperial Navy against Eldar. For those who don't play, the Eldar fleet(s) are sufficiently fast and agile to fly rings around virtually every other fleet in the game, and thanks to their holofields are pretty much invulnerable to lances and torpedoes. Knowing this, I parked a Gothic class cruiser (armed purely with lances and torpedoes) inside an asteroid field orbiting a planet. Eventually, my opponent forgot it was there (as it was the only ship on the table that didn't have to call attention to itself by moving), and decided to hide his battleship from my fleet behind the asteroid field. Perfect line up for me to accelerate my Gothic out to directly behind it and launch a volley of torpedoes right up his tailpipe. It didn't do much, but the fact that I managed to 'outmanoeuvre' an eldar ship? Pure win.
Sounds more like a missed moment of awesome to me, why didn't you ram it?
Because I would have had to go on AAF to ram, and even with the free 45 degree turn from the gravity well, that still would have put my Gothic on a beautiful course that wouldn't intersect with his battleship (as the All Ahead Full special order prohibits any turns except those bestowed by gravity wells). As it was, I'd had to turn through greater than 60 degrees to line up my shot. If I'd had her facing just 20 degrees further to starboard I might've been able to pull it off, and you're right, that would have been far more awesome.
In one game This Troper played, a lone terminator, having just lost his squad mates (and the rest of the army), marched through difficult terrain for three turns while enduring the full firepower of a 600 point Tau force. Hundreds of pulse rounds, multiple railgun rounds, everything just bounced off. On the fourth turn, this seemingly invincible marine charged out of cover to assault a squad of Fire Warriors. He only got into base contact with one. Who promptly cut him down effortlessly. To add to that, none of This Troper's Tau died or were wounded.
Playing Emperor's Children against Necrons, fourth-edition. It was a tough fight. I was outgunned and out maneuvered, not to mention my opponent had a monolith in our 1000 point game. It was the end. After six turns of intense fighting and horrific casualties on both sides, the only model I had left on the board was a Rhino that had gotten it's gun blown off in a previous turn, versus swarms of Necrons, Immortals, and the damn monolith. There was only one thing I could do (literally, I didn't have any guns, or men), so my rhino drove towards a convenient squad of immortals at full speed, Tank Shock! The dice fell, and thanks only to the wailing of the Doom Sirens mounted to the hull of the transport I broke the Immortals. The hulking metal men turned and ran from the oncoming vehicle, the dice fell again, yes it was far enough, the squad reached the edge of the table, another morale check, another failure again only because of the Doom Sirens and the Immortals fled the battlefield. With mounting horror my opponent counted the models left on the board, and confirmed that with the loss of those Immortals he had only 23% of his force remaining. As he removed his remaining models from the board, phasing them out one at a time, I sat back in my chair, picturing this lone, empty, damaged rhino driving around the empty battlefield, the gunner having been free from his duties for a few turns already already has the holy Bong of Slaanesh loaded and as blue smoke billows out the hatches the driver activates the hydraulics on the tracks and connects an iPod to the Doom Sirens. They won the battle.
This Troper, playing DOW, Had a single Kasrkin squad defending the cathedral on a game in Kasyr Lutien. Long story short, chaos attacks and murders the entire squad bar the sergeant. This LONE sergeant breaks morale, manages to escape through the chaos army, flee back to my base; and just as the chaos army follows him rallies, turns and starts firing just as the rest of the army rolls out across the bridge and gives him covering fire. CMOA?
This troper has next to no luck when it comes to rolling dice, so the time his Dreadnought blew a Hellhammer super-heavy tank to bits was a very pleasant surprise. Turn one, after everything had clanked forward a little bit, the Dreadnought takes aim at the Hellhammer with its twin-linked lascannnon. The shot hits and, expecting not a lot, this troper rolls for armour penetration - requiring a six to get through the armour, it turns up a six. Since the Hellhammer has three structure points that must all be eliminated before it is destroyed, this troper figured that the shot might take off one or do some weapon damage. The first roll comes up as another six - knocking off one structure point and causing a chain reaction that allows a second damage roll. The second roll is another six - reducing the Hellhammer to a single structure point. The third roll is a five - removing the final structure point and causing an explosive detonation of the tank's engines that took out a full squad of Guardsmen standing a little too close for comfort. It was AWESOME.
This Troper plays the tabletop game with one of his friends (he owns it, not me,) and my Orks have not lost a single battle against his Space Marines regardless of numbers. Notable bits are my band of Slugga Boyz led by one Nob against his Force Commander, one Terminator Squad, and one Space Marine squad with melta weapons and a flamethrower. We were playing a Skirmish with an objective and a time limit of 10 turns. I proceeded to wipe out his force in 3 turns.
Next time, he decides he'll really crush me, so I have 2 Slugga Boy Squads, 1 Nob Squad, 2 Choppas and a Warboss, versus his full army of Space Marines. First casualty of the game? His Rhino: taken out by my choppa with the second shot of his twin-linked weapon. Second casualty? He failed his Deep Strike, losing all his Terminators. I then cornered his force commander and eviscerated it with my Warboss in a 1-on-1. We ended up calling it a draw, when we ran out of time.
Another story: Playing Dawn of War on a Lan Party, Lost Hope, 4 Human vs me, 2 human allies and an insane computer. The insane got wiped out first 20 minutes, and the enemies dominated all the external relics and strategic points, we were losing quite badly. Then, one of my allies had to go home, so his army vanishes, leaving our other flank exposed. My friend and I decided it was time to turn the tables, so We led our armies, and captured a relic, and reestablished our bases there. I then took my army and proceeded to clean out every enemy strategic point, then took my army and its Squiggoth (the army and the squiggoth had been rebuilt like 5 times by then) and with my ally, pincered the opposing 4 armies, and WON. Best Dawn of War comback I've ever experienced. Oh yeah, and during my assault, a strike force (3 tanks, 2 squads) attacked my old base, and somehow, it got destroyed by 2 Waaagh!! towers, with no damage to the base.
This Troper played the Kaurava campaign featured in Soulstorm as the Imperial Guard, at one point one of the territories I have previously conquered was attacked by brother captain Indrick Boreale and his SPESS MEHRENS!, consider The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard so I had to deflect an assault force supported by two computers, having twice as popcap as me and backed up by tier 3 units and Boreale himself fully upgraded. Well I say to myself instead of grinding my guardsmen I should digg in so I welcomed the spess mehrens with my heavy weapon teams, lots of bolter turrets and my trusty guardsmen, so I repelled the attack, and this is ok. The problem? the entire map was held by the enemy, they had most of the strategic points ensuring to flow in cash for more and more cannon fodder while I had limited resources, so I opted to do what every IG player who respect himself and the life of his troops would do, I tech up to tier 3 and built three Basilisks then, with the help of a Vindicare realing me the enemy's position, a Karskin squad and two Leman Russ I grinded step by step my way into Boreale's two bases, while at the same time avoided the AI trigger which would have made them charge in full force into my base with fatal consequences for me, thus taking almost no casualites despict the IG being the Red Shirt Army until the point I could get access to the Baneblade and trench my Heavy Weapons teams in front of the access of the computer's base, the rest was a matter of more Earthshaker ordinance, it took me hours, but I must recognize something, SPESS MEHRENS make a beautiful carpet when their corpses are covering most of the map, and all the more gratifying when saving the emphatic guardsmen to be coffin fodder!
By the way I did something quite similar with the Tau, even with two greater knarlocs and some Krootoxupgraded with Improved Metallurgy assaulting my forces, guess the Fanatism ability of my command squad helped a lot, in the end I eliminated them and their respective bases with the help of my Baneblade and 2 Leman Russ, more long ours of pushing them, but the victory was particularly exilarating.
This Troper has two CMOA, one with Battlefleet Gothic Necron, and the other with a 3rd edition Chaos Lord. With the Necron, I had a Scythe Cruiser that had been badly damaged while fighting both Eldar and Space Marines. It Braced for Impact as a massive wave of bombers attacked. 60 attacks hit, each requiring a 2+ save (because Necron ships are beardy). Two failed saves would have destroyed the Cruiser. Every save was made. With the Chaos Lord, back when the 'Nids got their 3rd edition codex, there was the "Hunt For Old One Eye" game, with six non-'Nid players (four Space Marine, one Eldar, and my Thousand Sons) vs. a huge swarm of 'Nids. After genestealers swarmed and annihilated the rest of my force, my Lord (in Terminator armor and twin Lightning Claws) singlehandedly killed 18 Hormogaunts, 5 Genestealers, and one Tyranid Warrior (wounding a second) before finally dying. The Red Terror (which can swallow models whole) turned and went after a tank that was immobilized with all its weapons blown off rather than risk being killed by this Lord.
I have to ask, was there a photoreport of that on dakkadakka? I swear I read about that C Haos Lord carnage.
This troper loves his Sisters of battle to death due to the incredibly high amount of Crowning moments of awesome they get.
The first is 1 cannoness (A good leader for the sisters, but still very human and squishy) taking out an entire squad of nobs and thier warboss and Big Mek...In close combat.
The second involves the same cannoness surviving 3 rounds of fire from a full squadron of leman russes in order for her to get into close combat and blow them up with meltabombs. She had to do this because she was the only thing left on my side of the board. She then proceeded to take out the two remaining squads of guardsman by never staying down (Yay bionics). She has been named and is the first target by most of the people I know due to her terminator-like qualities. Cannoness Iofiel, you are a living saint.
This Troper has the now named Brother Badass of the Space Wolves. A lone wolf (Last survivor of his pack on a suicide mission), held off a Trygon (Tyranid killing machine) 1 on 1 in close combat for 4 turns without taking a wound.
This troper makes extensive use of uber-psyker Ahriman, who gets many CMoAs. Highlights include destroying a Leman Russ tank with only his mind and turning a Space Marine sergeant into a Chaos Spawn, who then proceeds to rip the last man in the squad to shreds. My Chaos Terminators also get many CMoAs by surviving rather large amounts of firepower, as a 2+ Armor Save combined with a 4+ Invulnerable Save translates into does not frakking die.
This troper's imperial guard sergeants seem rather prone to CMoAs, one such moment which comes to mind involves a sergeant of a basic infantry squad running into combat (his squad was dead, not much else to do with him) with 5 Wraithguard and a warlock. I can't help but assume he was relaying his coordinates to the basilisk batteries sitting off the battlefield, because in the following shooting phase, my Master of Ordnance managed to scatter his artillery barrage halfway across the frickin' board, onto the aforementioned combat, killing everyone but said sergeant, who proceeded to claim an objective which my opponent had no chance of reaching.
This Troper had several crowning moments of awesome in one of his games:
First: A Veteran guardsmen (Without a power weapon) killing a Terminator in Close combat. Second: Tech Priest Enginseer, one of the least combat capable units (WS 3) in the game, destroying a Venerable Dreadnought (WS 5) with one Servo Arm Attack, and finally: Pedro Kantor (on the enemy team) taking a Rending Sniper shot to the face and dying. Win.
This Troper had a CMoA with an outdated Chaos Predator. Said Tank was from the 2nd edition, and was very dated in its appearance, so everyone laughed at it when I brought it to the field. During the battle, the entire army was wiped out to the last man by the opposing space marine force, and they suffered no serious casualties. However, Awesomeness ensued as the predator backed itself to a table side (thus making its rear armor impervious) and laid waste to the entire 1000 point army on its own, destroying a dreadnought and a whole Terminator squad through sheer firepower. The battle quickly turned and I won. From that day after, everyone learned to fear that predator, which has not been damage (in-game at least) at all, ever.
This Troper has several CMoA to share.
First, just last week, three Plague Marines were the only models left on my side, having survived three turns worth of close combat with a squad of bikers. Please note that I had achieved nine kill points at this stage, to my opponent's seven, but if I was tabled, he won anyway. Khosarro Khan himself charged in to break the stalemate, but despite having Furious Charge, he only killed two. The champion then proceeded to bitchslap Khan with his powerfist, bringing me up to ten killpoints with one model still standing as the game ended. I plan on converting that champion to celebrate his badassery, maybe renaming him Chuck Norris.
Next is the case of Brother Sergeant Mentos, the Freshmaker. Once a lowly scout with a heavy bolter, this epitome of awesome stood before a Baneblade and a full platoon of Guardsmen and even after the rest of his squad died, he took the firepower of fifty flashlights and one of the scariest tanks in the game for two turns with nothing more than a camo cloak to protect him and just kept potting away with his bolter. He was the only model actually holding an objective when the game ended, scoring a win. He now uses the rules and model of Telion.
Finally, a platoon of gaurd with no heavy weapons has made a habit of soloing Daemon Princes, once through attrition in combat, and later with one volley of fire from 14 lasguns using First Rank Fire, as the meltagun missed. I'll eventually add a stantard bearer to the platoon command squad bearing an honorific relating to being Daemon Slayers.
This troper, to get used to the game, played a little trial game with a friend. At one point, said friend sent a big squad full of Nobs and the Warboss into melee combat (as orks) into a bunch of Terminators (me as spess mahreens). The Terminators ripped half of them to shreds, causing the Warboss and the Nobs to run in terror. Not the epic, the epic is that they ran past a near-dead half-slaughtered ork squad, said ork squad then succeeded in their morale roll and did not run. I just love the image of the biggest, baddest orks in the entire army running in fear, for these two shattered Orks to say "Fuck dem, we'z da orks". We both agreed that, after the battle the orks in that squad killed the Warboss and took his place for being a coward.
Your Milage May Vary A LOT on this one, but this troper had one just this morning that proved quite funny as well. A warboss from the orks slew a squad of 5 death company (along with the captain who had joined them), but was reduced to two wounds. In the space marine turn, he survived a shot from a lascannon and charged into a combat with a sergeant and five other marines (who were already fighting about 7 orks. The sergeant was armed with just a bolter, if you were wondering)..only to die with two attacks from the sergeant and a extra one from a fellow battle-brother. On the battle field, he had charged the sergeant, so I imagined the sergeant uppercutting the warboss without turning to see him. The remaining four marines slew two other orks, at the cost of one brother. The surviving orks tried to flee, but were caught in a sweeping advance that left the orks with nothing left on the table.
The first such of these come in one of my first games. I was playing against a Chaos Space Marine army. His Daemon Prince, who had just utterly murdered an entire squad whilst taking one wound, charged my command squad and killed all but my commander (Thank the Emperor for refractor shields). My commander, with naught more than a power fist and sheer moxie, then promptly scored 3 wounds on the thing, killing it. Let's just go over that: A Daemon Prince, a Chaos Lord so powerful and strong willed he/it became an enormous demonic killing machine, was punched to death by a Commander in theImperial Guard!
An Vindicare assassin took a shot at the Commander. It missed, and he promptly called in an artillery bombardment on the hapless sniper.
Similar to the example up there, he blew up an Ork Deff Dread with a plasma pistol.
A trio of tanks came at a group of infantry. The Commander, not having that, charged them. He ripped them all apart.
His most recent involved a Tyranid swarm, two personal Carnifex kills and, to seemingly solidify the above father to his men tendencies, charged into the flank of 12 genestealers attacking a commissar led infantry squad, killing 3 and aiding in driving them off.
This dude deserves a Star of Terra.
Now he can add the head of Vargard Obyron of the Necrons to his collection, in a duel that lasted most of the game. The God-Emperor smiles upon the dice thrown for this man.
A sort of meta one. During a game at my local GW I was watching, the two players, and Ork and Imperial Guard player, were asked to improv a Rousing Speech to their men as delivered by the Warboss/Colonel. The Ork player kept it short and sweet, along the lines of "Get 'em, ya gitz! WAAAAAGH!". The Imperial Guard player, on the other hand, thought for about a minute then came out with this:
Colonel: If you go to the Emperor on this field of battle, then ensure that you take a score of the enemy with you! If you should fall now, then make them pay for every inch of ground they gain! If you must die, then die standing! For we are the Guard AND THEY SHALL NOT PASS!
May I ask if the colonel was nicknamed Gandalf?
A fairly awesome one came back when I was testing a space wolves army with some friends (basically, I used a space wolf army I had planned to take to a local tournament. They got swapped out for Orks later). We were playing a three way battle. I was using the space wolves (as I've just said), my best friend was using space marines and another friend was using Dark Eldar. During the last turn of the battle, it was my best friends turn and he was last (I was in joint first). Determined to regain the lead (he was in last by one kill point), he had a dreadnought shoot at my wolf lord in a blood claw unit, causing no damage, then charged the space wolves. I failed my counter attack roll and my wolf lord tried to destroy the dreadnought with melta bombs, but failed. The dreadnought attacked the unit, directing one attack at my wolf lord, which was saved thanks to his storm shield, but took down all but one blood claw (who was armed with a power fist and plasma pistol). Said blood claw then proceeded to attack the dreadnought. To my amazement, he wrecked the dreadnought. I could mentally imagine the wolf lord throwing the melta bomb over the dreadnought's armour in an attempt to destroy it, the dreadnought swinging it's power fist round in a circle, killing the blood claws and sending the wolf lord sprawling on the ground, when the final blood claw leapt onto the arm of the dreadnought, pulled himself onto the roof of the dreadnought and punching straight through the roof, taking the old space marine hero's head off, before leaping clean of the sarcophicous as it collapsed onto the floor before short circuiting and exploding. Since then, said battle brother earnt the nickname "Brother Badass" and has performed just as well when he gets a chance (which is fairly rare, since I managed to misplace the space wolves codex).
Had a couple of CMoAs back in 2nd edition as Blood Angels. First was my Chief Librarian gets jumped by a Lord of Change (Greater Daemon of Tzeentch) which are supposed to be the most powerful psychics in the game in that edition. The Librarian takes a wound from the ensueing close combat. On my turn, in the psychic phase, he proceeds to drop a Warp Vortex on the Greater Daemon, who promptly gets banished to the warp instantly. I like to think that the Librarian ignored the attack and just lobbed the warp Vortex behind him almost like an afterthought. Second CMoA was with a Rhino (APC) up against a Chaos Dreadnought. I've fired everything at it and not really done anything to it, so I decide to ram the dreadnought with the Rhino. It promptly (without taking a scratch in return) manages to rip the Dreadnought's legs off and destroy it.
This troper has never had the money to get into the tabletop game, but had a decidedly splendid CMoA not too long ago. Fighting as the IG in Dark Crusade, in an 8-way free for all random map. The computer, being the inexplicably smart and lucky commander, somehow has the two forces on either side of me attack at the same Throne-blasted time very early in the game. I get all of a single Techpriest and one squad of Guardsmen out of there and get a new command post set up off in the corner of the map. Despite being on hard, *nobody* followed me, they just crashed against each other. This continues on for quite a while, all of the AI forces smacking futilely against each other, while I'm off on my lonesome, picking up the pieces in the snow... Until finally two Leman Russ tanks, two Basilisks, a Baneblade, one squad of Ogryn and my trusty general and his squad come to the field. With that SAME Techpriest in tow like a lucky charm. And we rolled in a great big circle around the map, only slowing down to make sure the earth was very, very thoroughly scorched. Sweet Emperor that was satisfying..
This Troper had an apocalypse game where his 10,000 point Tyranid army, and two other tyranid playing friends with 10,000 point armies (I had an army balanced between Nidzilla and Nid Blob, while one guy went all out Nidzilla and the other went all out blob) fought three friend's 10,000 point tau armies. Each player had ten destructible points (the tyranids had towers that were as well armed as two heirophants stuck together with 10 wounds and 10 toughness, while the Tau had landing zone forts as armed as dual manta destroyers though how durable they were escapes me) that would generate 250 points each per turn that could be spent on reinforcement. The crowning moment of awesome was when ten of my screamer killers, five of my trygons, two of my heirophants, four of my heirodules, my swarmlord and two other hive tyrants and their tyrant guards, twenty five squads of hormagaunts, ten squads of melee warriors, twenty squads of termagaunts and their tervigons, eight squads of ranged warriors, eight ranged carnifexes, two ranged hive tyrants and their tyrant gaurds, eight hive guards, three tyrannofexes, eight zoanthropes, a ranged Heirophant, twenty gargoyles, fifteen bivores, ten venomthropes, six squads of ranged raveners, six squads of melee raveners, five squads of ymgarl genestealers, seven harridans and twenty five squads of one of my friend's genestealers, fifteen squads of ymgarl genestealers five broodlords, forty squads of hormagaunts, forty termagaunt squads and their tervigons, fifteen melee warrior squads, ten biovores, fifteen ranged warrior squads, twenty four ravener squads, thirty five gargoyle squads, five hive tyrants and their tyrant guards, forty of my nidzilla friend's carnifexes, all six of his heirophants, old one eye, twenty trygons, twenty ravener squads, thirty warrior squads, six hive tyrants and their tyrant guard, twenty hive guards, thirty biovores, twenty venomthropes, thirty zoanthropes, ten heirodules, ten tyrannofexes, and twenty harridans (pretty much our entire armies, though others were coming up) charged into a tau line as a single mass under a hail of fire from everything the tau had and the out of ammo sarge rule worked it's magic quickly and hardly a single tau could fire a single shot as we tore into their ranks and tore their reinforcement points down. It was a battle worthy of a novel. On the second battle of the campaign however which had an additional player for each side (So 4 vs 4) , the Tau were ready for us and annhialated our masses of cheap units with well thought out placement of blast markers, blowing up our synapse creatures left and right. The real CMOA of this fight for the tau was when Farsight and his Battlesuit enterouge took on my Swarmlord and his Tyrant Guard, he got a lucky roll and cut the swarmlord to pieces and killed four of his Tyrant Guard. Mind you the Swarmlord has four instant death weapons, an 4+ invulnerable save in close combat, and ignores armor saves and Farsight killed him...in close combat.——
This Troper was in a large-scale non-Apocalypse game which ran over the length of three gaming tables. There were at least twenty players - each brought their own army and was added to one of two teams, Imperials or Xenos (This Troper ended up on the Xenos side due to "balancing issues"). The game was too large to take everything in, but the Crowning Moment of Awesome came when a player for the Imperial side lost all of his troops except for one Rhino. Said Rhino then rammed the Nightbringer and killed it. The worst tank available for the Space Marines hit the Necron god of death and killed it.
Another moment on behalf of this troper's Assault Marine sergeant, a fairly standard power fist-toting Marine. In a game with my Space Marines against Imperial Guardsmen (which had been going fairly badly for both sides, a teleport mishap claiming the lives of my entire Terminator squad, and an unlucky morale check causing the Imperial Guard command squad to flee from the board), a Basilisk bombardment from across the board destroyed my entire Assault squad, barring the aforementioned sergeant. Said sergeant proceeded to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, killing off twenty-eight guardsmen, nearly three full squads, the Basilisk that killed his squad, and an unlucky Sentinel that happened to get in the way. While this was happening, he also survived two heavy artillery bombardments, Emperor-knows-how-many lasgun shots, and a full salvo from a Leman Russ battle tank. ...Granted, he ended that game having been brought down by the last lowly Guard on the field, but his legacy goes untarnished (we both chose to believe that he had just been tired out at this point and given up in order to rejoin his fallen Battle Brothers).
In one of This Troper's early games, he was playing a game as Space Marine vs Orks. A massive horde of Ork Boyz got into close combat with my Terminator squad. My Assault squad tried to help out but got brutally murdered by the Warboss. The Chapter master eventually took the warboss out with a relic blade before being torn apart by the Ork horde. The Terminators fought on for a long, long time, until eventually only the sergeant was left. Said sergeant then survived several rounds of more and more Orks joining in the close combat before finally being laid to rest by the combined might of eighty dice. The Terminator sergeant became a hero amongst the group I played with, and sponsored the club slogan of "If this was a tie-in novel, I'd have fucked those guys up."
This troper recently played his first real game with his Ork Speed Freek list (deisgned for a tournament). His opponenets were Space Marines, several CMoAs came out from that game.
The 5 man Nob Mob revved their bikes and slammed into Marneus Clagar, cutting him and his Honor Guard down without taking so much as a single wound.
The 9 Rokkit Buggies unleashing a blistering payload and utterly destroying a Land Raider just before it could disgorge its Vanguard Veterans into the Trukker Boyz holding the Objective.
Wazdakka Gutsmek carrens from a hill with one wound left, passes his difficult terrain test, ubnleashes his Dakkakannons into the Assault Terminators, killing 2, rams the remaining 8 and weathers all of their attacks before utterly destroying them with his Power Klaw, then chasing down the ones who ran... when the Terminators were 1 turn away from attacking the Trukker Boyz holding the objective, yes, the same Trukkers the Rokkit Buggies saved.
It's rarely ever disputed that Tau suck at close combat. And their gun drones are widely accepted as even worse than the average Fire Warrior. Now this troper is constantly amused by how frequently a single, unremarkable gun drone is a constant exception to this firmly cast role. Lying behind him in bloody tatters is a string of precise melee kills, including but not limited to a deadly mega-armoured Ork Warboss, an ancient Eldar farseer and even the Skulltaker of Khorne himself. This drone has been christened by this troper's bemused foes as "OHMYGODWHATTHEFUCKWASTHAT".
This troper has a poor memory, and so does not remember much of this one battle he had long ago. What I do remember, however, is that I was allied to the Imperial Guard, and there were some Grey Knight Terminators working for the opposing side. The Terminators were rampaging through the army, destroying everything from commanders to tanks - when the 4 men left of one Guard Squad shot at them. The 3 normal squaddies all missed, presumably due to their fear, but the Sergeant calmly lowered his laspistol and shot one of the Grey Knights directly in the back of the neck, punching right through what must have been a weak point in his armour and instantly killing him. One of the most durable models in the entire game... killed by the pistol variant of a flashlight.
Playing as Tyranids, my enemy had cannily set up Space Marine devestator squads in two corners of the table (that's four in total). So as my army advanced, he got high powered pot shots at my snapse creatures and mowed down the hordes with his heavy bolters. Well, I say mowed. This lasted until my second turn, at which point I brought in twenty genestealers on each side of the board, and massacred all the heavy weapons my enemy owned in a single turn. Just to put this in context, the remainder of the army was infantry designed for mid range combat and a single tank. Which was now faced with two flanks of slavering monstrosities about to begin chewing their arms off, as well as a much larger force running straight at them from the front, with no hope of thinning down their ranks before they got here. At this point, my opponent decided to have a little fun and proposed duel between our HQ choices, a space marine Captain and my Hive Tyrant. So these two charged their armies into an epic close combat battle spanning over a third of the board. Amazingly, the Hive Tyrant and the Captain were the last things left fighting by the end. The entire space marine force was wiped out, and now surrounded by enemies, the Captain fought on. The best part? The Captain won.
This tropers brother once took out half an army using his only surviving model, a Chaos lord with a jetpack and melta bombs. It should be noted that this wasn't a small 500 point skirmish but 3'000 point battle, where the opponent accidentally went over the cap because he miscalculated his points. It was a campaign game too, so it should be noted that Lord Maximillian Schwarzschild had an incredibly unsuccessful military career both before and after that battle. (Though he did become the planetary governor of an Imperial world. Which has to be worth something for a chaos lord.)
I was once playing a tau vs ork game against my friend. My broadside battlesuit got assaulted by a squad of burna-boys, all of whom had power weapons. My broadside killed all of them. In close combat. My fire warrior commander also got a CMOA in a different battle, where he killed a Necron Lord. Again, in close combat. After the necron lord killed off the rest of his squad.
In this tropers store there is a well documented phenomenon known as Kharn syndrome. In Apocalypse games Kharn The Betrayer will lose his first two wounds two lasguns, He will proceed to take a level in badass (Very hard i will admit) and walk through titan levelling firepower and proceed to cut entire armies in half, Example: Upon losing his first two wounds (and the rest of his unit) to boltguns (on the fist turn) he shouted "i'm coming for you!!" and procceded to shrug of 3 linebreaker hits and 4 lascannon hits (Impressive seeing as he only gets a 5+ save from these and failing one would kill him) and finishes the game alive with a higher kill count than any other model on the board.
This troper was playing with Imperial Guard against ~1000pts of Tyranid hordeness. Including the Doom of Malan'Tai. Second turn, the Doom Deep-Striked into the middle of the IG army. Half of them ran away instantly, the other half were reduced to about two men remaining. Per ten-man squad. After a few turns of frantic flashlights attempting to blind Doom, the troper finally gave up and rammed it with a Bane Wolf. Knowing it could easily destroy the Bane Wolf, the Doom (Strength 10) opted for Death or Glory,... failed,... and was promptly squished by 35 tons ofTank Goodness.
My Orks were going head to head with a huge Necron force and had just smashed into their front lines, my Warboss personally leading the charge in one of the Boyz squads. Before they could finish off the squad of Necron warriors they get hit from behind then none other than the Nightbringer, who begins slicing through my Boyz like a hot knife through butter. Despite finishing off the Warriors by Warboss got killed despite wounding it once, forcing the survivors to break and run. This hurt as the Warboss was the only thing that could have taken the Star God on due to his Power Klaw. Despite being perused by the god the Boyz manage to reform and decide to perform a Suicide Attack to allow other units a chance to get some distance to finish it off at range. By Gork and Mork the Furious Charge special rule allowed one additional strength point, enough to wound it on a 6. Although my friend needed a 2+ to save his Star God, he somehow rolled three 1's!. That's right, the living personification of Death in the history of 40k was killed, by choppa's from regular Boyz!
One of this troper's Imperial Guard sergeants had a CMOA against Tau. In a Cities of Death game, he lead his squad up an external staircase and was charged by a unit of Kroot with a Shaper. He killed the entire unit by himself (well, nearly, the guardsman behind him killed one), only to be charged by a second Kroot unit when they reached the top of the stairs, in the resulting combat only 2 guardsmen fell.
Also, had an equally impressive one when a squad of Grey Knight terminators deep-striked next to a unit of guardsmen with a commisar, the wave of stormbolter fire killed every guardsman in the squad but left the commissar intact. He then proceeded to charge the Grey Knights with the intention of, hopefully, keeping them occupied for a turn whilst I repositioned. He then beat all of the Grey Knights (including a Justicar) to death with a riding crop. CMOA?
This troper in a tournament had a fun time using the new Dark Angels. The first round was against a Necron Flier list, which almost tabled him. The two models left were Belial (who died at the last minute) and a Deathwing Champion, who survived to the end. They were both given capes for their honour (and luck). The second round versus Blood Angels ended up with a tabling of the foe, thanks to the Black Knights softening up a few Assault Marine, and the Deathwing Command Squad holding up an Honour Guard squad and a ten man assault squad. Meanwhile, Belial and his Knights took hold of the Quadgun that the Blood Angels had, and finished off most of the army. Third and final round ended up as a win, as Belial slayed a Khorne Lord with the Axe of Blind Fury, with only one scratch, and wiped the floor with a somewhat weakened Chaos Marine squad. Perhaps what could REALLY count are two Marines finishing off a Crisis Suit with overwatch with just 2 bolters.
In this fan video, the scene where the Dreadnought comes out. The scene where they first meet the genestealers could also count.
In this there are at least two or three every minute. Especially when the Dreadnought from Dawn of War 2 breaks through the wall and kills the Eldar, and when the Blood Raven (wearing Force Commander armor, but has Tarkus' face) beats down an Ork Warboss with his Thunder Hammer. Heck, just the music alone is badass enough.
The Tvtropes entry for Everything Trying to Kill You once contained a Crowning Moment for all of 40k. To quote: "If the scenery is trying to kill you, that's a case of Malevolent Architecture. If the entire planet is trying to kill you, you are on the dreaded Death World. If the entire universe is trying to kill you, you're fucked." The phrase "you're fucked" contained a link directly to the Warhammer 40000 page. Sadly, the page appears to have been edited.
This Troper recently had an Apocalypse game of Orks vs Space Marines. Space Marines had a few Thunderfire Cannons (basically artillery guns) that are constantly screwing over the Boyz. Ghazghkull doesn't like this. He promptly starts dropping Roks on them from orbit. After a turn of asteroid bombardment.... the entire marine army has been destroyed by the excellent aim of the Orks in orbit.
There have been a couple of excellent moments for this troper. In Warhammer 40k: my Grey Knigh Justicar (sergeant) beat a Bloodthirser on half wounds (War God) one on one. The opponent acutally accuesed me of usig weighed die on the second combat round. Also in 40k: my Brother-Captain getting surrouned by Khorne Beserkers, only to use Holocaust and wipe out half the squad. Then he died... In Warhammer: High Elf vs Skaven/Chaos. 1st turn skaven took aim at my swordmasters with the warp-lightning cannon, which proceeded to misfire and explode. This unit went on to destroy a Rat Ogre unit, a unit of Chosen, and finally helped my dragon princes an Tyrion attack the Chaos Cavalry with Archaon. This might not be supposed to go here, but I once had a hobbit archer, in warhammer LOTR, which killed a Warg Chieftan. In Combat. After the Chieftan had taken only one wound before killing about 20 hobbit Sherrifs and a hero. Owned with the pointy stick of death!
This Troper once played an Imperial Guard vs Eldar game where most of his tanks and artillery support bit the dust due to trick maneuvering by his xenos opponent, only to have his infantry carry the day. To elaborate: the Eldar player still had a wraithlord, a unit of wraithguard, a fire prism, several walkers, and guardians(the basic infantry). This Troper had a basilisk and three units of conscripts left. Pwnage by the basilisk and puny conscripts ensue. The face on his opponent was amazing.
This Troper played Khorne. Once, his entire battalion of Berserkers was wiped down to the champion due to Tau Fire, but the lone berserker managed to not only survive a full turn of Pulsar fire, but also charge the Tau fire warriors and systematically destroy the opposing 500 point army (the Berserker himself was only worth a meager 30 points or so). The Berserker was eventually fell by a Battlesuit gauntlet to the face, but not before taking down the rest of the army and badly damaging the battle suit (he only had one wound left). The Tau player was so traumatized that he renounced playing Tau and started playing Black Legion Chaos Marines, frequently using Berserkers.
This troper played a game of Space Marines against Orks, in which there was a double Crowning Moment of Awesome. After decimating most of the Orks on the board, the last Ork standing proceeded to tear through entire platoons of Space Marines, singlehandedly taking out more than half my forces. In addition to this, due to a few bad rolls on my part, the Orc survived being hit by several rounds of sniper fire, three rockets, and a flamethrower. After he had decimated nearly my entire force, one single marine took the guy out. With a pistol. He wasn't even a special unit, he was a cannon fodder "mook." Badass Normal" indeed.
This troper will always enjoy the moment, in his first 1500pt game, in which his Falcon (Glass Cannon, very fast, good firepower, sucks in the durability department) scooted along the sidelines and blasted the Scout squad holding the Marines' home objective so badly the rest broke and ran, netting him a 2 objectives to none victory.
Apocalypse battle, 4,000pts Chaos and Eldar (hey, we were trying to use all of our miniatures!) against 4,000pts Space Marines and Imperial Guard. Chaos Terminator squad pops up in the middle of the field, charges the Space Marine Command Squad, proceeds to demolish them without taking any casualties. Striking Scorpions pop up behind the Land Raider, Exarch with Biting Blade rips it to shreds. Daemon Prince (which, by the way, is green stuff modeled and painted to be Monty Python's Killer Rabbit on a flying base) charges the Dreadnaught and rips it to shreds. Chosen squad unleashes a barrage of chaotic fury on a Scout squad and they break and run (the same scout squad that broke in the above example, as a matter of fact). Eldrad Mind Wars the Imperial Guard general, who bricks his Morale test and dies, and then Eldrad uses his second Mind War on the Commissar, who also bricks his Morale test and dies. The Imperials conceded after another three turns of being pounded into scrap without inflicting significant damage.
A Marine has killed five Imperial Guards with a teacup - then proceeded to finish his cuppa.
A Marine squad has fought its way to the top of a mile-high tower, found nothing at the top, then had half its members take the quick way down by jumping out of the nearest window
First trooper to do the above bowls into the Chaos-decieved Guards at the bottom, killing ten by simply being a very fast metal object.
Those who jumped taking shelter in an office and arming themselves with stationary. Then proceeding to attack Chaos Demons with a staple gun and flying CDs.
Turning demons into pretzels kills them. This has been proven.
The squad sergeant single-handedly attacking a Eldar fire prism... and winning.
Most Epic Kill Ever. A Wraith Guard, attacking the squad, is attacked by a single marine who jumps up onto one of its black-hole cannon arms. Said trooper then proceeds to cut through the arm he is sitting on as well as most of the Wraith's torso. As both fall to the ground he leaps out of the way, the gun fires, creating a mini black hole that the disabled Wraith Guard then proceeds to fall in to. Such shit is impossible to make up.
This troper had his Imperial Guard Officer get into combat with Typhus on the second turn of a game. He spent the next four turns being 'killed' by Typhus, getting back up due to bionics and then beating the Chaos marine senseless with his power fist. On the fifth turn of the game he finally ran with two remaining guardsmen from the two squads which had attacked Typus, boarded the Chimera he had arrived in and promptly finished the Typus off by running him over. Let me just repeat that, he repeatly got back up from death then turned the champion of Nurgle into road kill.
Warhammer40000: A unit of Sternguard veterans from this troper's homebrewed Chapter, mounted in a Land Raider Redeemer (the variant with the big fuck-off flamethrowers on the sponsons), coming to about 500 points, wasted just over 1300 points by themselves. This troper was very proud.
This troper has only just taken up playing 40K (after spending several months mocking it on /tg/) by playing two games with another just-starter; Tau vs. Tyranids, then swap. The first game, at 2000pts (of DnD figures, because we already have hundreds of them), featured the Crowning Moment of Awesome: Tau were able to beat off genestealers in close combat. The Tau suck at close combat. Granted, it was by piling in, but a narrow loss to a worthy opponent. (Then, when we swapped with 1500pts, this troper's single squad of minimum-cost Broadsides nailed no less than three monstrous creatures).
This not-troper's space marine command squad managed to take down an entire 1500 point genestealer army in combat (over several turns of course), my terminators got brutally murdered (as they usually do) and the shooty squads I have for support missed every shot. The command squad just sat on a gap between 2 walls and made mincmeat of the oncoming 'stealers
This troper's Tau fought an Ork army is a wide, mostly open desert. Getting shafted with cover, the Orks were shot to pieces before they could even get close, with the exception of his lumbering mega-armored warboss. Figuring he'd go out in a blaze of Orky glory, he waddled straight at my defensive line. 36 pulse rounds later... and he's fine. And another barrage. And another. Three squads of troops blazing away could not drop him, probability be damned. He stomped forward implacably, powerklaw in the air, until finally reaching (and decimating) my entire army.
Strangely, this troper has had almost the exact opposite experience: in the third round of the game, his squad of Fire Warriors charged a mega-armoured warboss with all its wounds intact, and rolled well enough to kill it before it could react. You've never seen a gamer so angry.
One about modelling, from a fellow 40k player. Said player, who is the Butt Monkey of our group, was basing some Chaos Terminators with sand, when he decided to try a simple 'sealing' technique (50% PVA glue and water, dunk base into it, let it dry overnight) He did so, then after a few minutes, got bored. So he did the most logical thing you can do- put them in the freezer. However, this wasn't enough, since he left them in there for a few hours (we think he got distracted by something shiny) and he made another highly logical jump for how to thaw them... put them in the microwave.
Unsuprisingly, the models melted. However, the icing on the cake is that the Termies themselves were fine, only their shins and feet had melted, which gave the effect that they were trying to walk through tar or lava, and looked damn awesome. It was a shining example of how fine a line there is between genius and madness.
This troper's pride and joy have always been his vehicles and two of them qualified in an Apocalypse game.
With nearly the first shot of the game, the Dreadnought Solaria took careful aim with it's twin-linked lascannon at a Hellhammer super-heavy tank. The chances of knocking off one of the structure points were good - the first roll saw it hit. The second saw it punch through the armour. The third roll, a six, knocked off a structure point and let me roll again. The fourth roll, another six, knocked off a structure point and let me roll again. The fifth roll, a five, knocked off the final structure point and made the Hellhammer explode.
Maybe it was a bit gloaty, but the line was too good to pass up: "Diana Ross was right. You just experienced...a chain reaction" Complete with the replacing of the glasses. I've rarely been more proud of myself.
The second was less awesome, but despite being immobilised the Land Raider Crusader Kara still registered a full thirty-three kills before being wrecked; it didn't hurt that a squad of Daemons scattered far too close to the flamestorm cannons and nine died.
A game of 3rd Edition Warhammer 40000 involved pitting his Eldar with a single unit Harlequin allies up against a Blood Angels force; with the Eldar woefully outgunned. The game ended in a narrow Eldar victory, thanks to the Harlequins, who destroyed a land raider and obliterated a unit of deep-striking assault terminators, before taking out half of a unit of assault marines, effectively tying up the other half for the last couple of turns. Far outperforming any other unit on the board At the same time, a unit of Warp Spiders managed to keep 2 Rhinos and a unit of SMurfs pinned down and ineffective for half the game, immobilizing one Rhino and stunning the other, until the Vypers could come in and clean up.
This Troper once played a game of bloodbowl with an Ogre team against Norse. The Norse were about to score a touchdown and had the ball well defended. None of the Ogres could move close enough to tackle the Norse and the snotling were too weak to do anything worthwhile. So in a fit of desperation an ogre ran up to a snotling, picked him up and threw him at the enemies holding the ball, the snotling missed and flew into the crowd killing himself. This didn't phase the ogre team however and they proceeded to throw another snotling, this one hits a friendly ogre and kills him instantly. More snotlings are thrown and eventually the anyone around the general area of the ball was either dead, stunned or knocked out. The ogres managed to barely win that game and cause more damage to themselves than the Norse could ever dream of
Some of these actions may have caused a turnover but not all rules were being used
During a 1st level game of Dark Heresy, this troper's team of acolytes were tasked with holding a cathedral against demonically-possessed gang members. What followed was nothing short of a large Crowning Game of Awesome. At one point, we were attacked by a man holding a bomb large enough to destroy a whole building. He sprinted towards our squad, who promptly blew apart his kneecaps with multiple revolver shots. He landed on his bomb, which went off. Our assassin, who was standing little more than 5 meters away from the man, suffered only minor burns on his leg due to amazingly low damage rolls. Our cleric lost a leg, our thief had his entire respiratory system blown out, and I got pieces of our cleric's leg stuck inside me. Our tech-priest went permanently deaf and suffered extreme scarring to his face. We recovered pretty well, thanks to a series of poor quality robotic parts. When we returned to the cathedral, we found the priest was being possessed by a greater daemon. Acting fast, this troper's guardsman dashed within 5 meters, close range, and got the highest critical possible with his shotgun, blowing the priest/daemon's face off. This was a greater daemon, intended to be a long, drawn out boss battle. They were then airlifted inside the team's 18-wheeler truck to their secret base, where they were greeted with...well, no praise, but certainly a lot of money.
This not-troper recently had an Apocalypse game: Orkz versus Nurgle Chaos. One of the Nurgle characters, Epidemius, gives the entire Nurgle army bonuses depending on how many theyve killed. After a single turn of shooting they had all the bonuses possible and were ripping orkz apart. The only way to survive was the take out Epidemius, thus taking away the bonuses. Uber Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka gives the order "Rok 'em Boyz!" This means that Thraka's spacefleet, high above the battlefield, starts dropping asteroids on things. These scatter in feet, not inches. All three Roks land dead on Epidemius, squashing him flat. It was a draw in the end, but this not-troper took a moral victory for sniping someone with a chunk of space-rock.
This troper had a game with Imperial Guard versus Chaos Daemons, 750points. Some two platoons of red shirt guardsmen and a Basilisk against a horde of daemons made out squick. Few turns of shooting, smokes clears. All of the daemons lie dead and 7 guardsmen have died. There's a reason this troper's army is called Daemonslayers.
This Troper played an apocolipse game with Space Wolves against Tyranids and chaos (among other things). As a side mission there was a breach in the wall on anouther table, if the enimy broke thorugh they could outflank our possition. So we placed all of our dreadnoughts, 6 including Bjorn the fell handed. And our opponants placed ALL their carnifexes, and antitank guns on that flank rather than attacking our main force (which got annialted because of the CMoA). In short after 8 rounds of combat and 4 of shooting, two dreds were dead and the rest were damaged, but Bjorn wasnt scratched. We then dubbed it "The Iron Wall" and we won because it never fell.
This troper had once a game of Warhammer40000 in which his Looted Basilisk, firing blindly, deviated from the intended target of two Space Marine squads and landed square on a squad of Terminators halfway across the table, obliterating four out of five members and causing the remaining one to flee in terror. To put it into perspective, the Terminators have the best armor save in the game of 2+ , meaning you have to roll a 1 on a six-sided die to fail. In another game a Grot Bomb (one-shot "guided" rocket) landed directly on top of a Space Marine Dreadnaught, blowing it up and proceeding to slice two nearby squads with shrapnel from the walker. None survived.
During a search through /tg/ two threads appeared containing a GM asking for help from people about Dark Heresy. He stated that his entire party was about to rip itself to pieces over a matter because the group’s Adept had just leapt from a second story window and beaten a Dark Eldar to death with the splinter cannon the Eldar had been carrying. A player with an Arbite character regarded using a xenos weapon as a club to be heresy and had leveled his heavy bolter threatening to shoot the Adept… Only to have a third player with a Guardsman threaten to shoot him in turn if he pulled the trigger. The GM had come to /tg/ to ask for help if this was heresy or not. After others in /tg/ agreed that only an incredibly [[Knight Templar puritain ]] Inquisitor would agree to this, the GM decided that the Adept would most likely only have to perform penance at worst. One person asked him why he had posted two threads. His answer:
“Yeah, it was seriously goddamn stupid for me to think I had somehow failed to post this but i'm being kept mobile by sugar and caffeine at the moment. I'm more focused on trying to finish this session than anything else”
It gave a short glimpse into one epic session which had been going on for so long and had been so tiring that it was giving the GM a Heroic RROD.
The first time this troper played Tabletop Game/Deathwatch, his Devastator Marine wasn't rolling so hot, completely missing or just nicking the Tyranid hordes. Then came a turn where his exploding dice completely ripped apart the flying horde coming at them. The squad was so impressed that it translated in-game, where the Assault Marine and the Warrior he was fighting pause and look up to watch it rain gore and body parts.
During our first Dark Heresy campaign, we had a Guardsman in our group by the name of Dorn. He'd sold his shotgun, lasgun AND flak armour to purchase an upgrade for his starting axe, to improve it to Best-Quality with a mono-molecular edge. Said axe was fashioned in the likeness of an Aquila. We laughed at the sheer silliness of the weapon, but then we got into a bar fight. Hefting his axe and yelling "FOR THE EMPEROR!", Dorn cut a guy in half, which resulted in the floor being so slick with blood that two of the other combatants tripped and fell. The other Acolytes looked on nervously as Dorn proceeded to carve up the rest of the bar's clientele, singing a battle hymn from his Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer. Any axes purchased since have been upgraded similarly.
This troper has had a couple in their time, though they are sadly semi-retired from this. The first was in a mostly abysmal game against the Blood Angels, in which Mephiston, a Blood Angels character, charged my Scout unit. Being in cover, they got the first strike and got two wounds, much to my surprise and the surprise of the other player. He failed both armour saves. Cue a surprised look on the other guy's face- they still died but he was quite impressed. The second would be when playing against an Ork army (the game doubles as a Crowning Moment of Awesome itself as I lose to Orks most of the time) and my Predator recovered from stunning to deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown onto the enemy predator tank (Orks can loot tanks so they have equal firepower, read their codex)(Note from another troper: Orks COULD do this, in the 3rd edition codex, not any more). Cue an explosion with three other orks incinerated, quickly followed by an entire Ork Squad being carved up by my Dreadnought. The guy conceded and packed up after. At a tournament my new Vindicator also blew up a Dreadnought and a Leman Russ tank, without which I would have been overwhelmed. We won the game because the explosions from both took out half a squad of infantry.
This troper had a double in an apoc game. the opponent was playing orks and had a stompa and a four strong mob of deff dreads. Deciding these could be problematic, I charged the deff dreads with one carnifex and managed to destroy all of them with three exploading taking out a nearby mob of stormboyz while the carnifex was compleatly unharmed. The stompa was taken care of by a outflanking winged CC optimised hive tyrant. The stompa missed with all its attacks but the hive tyrant struck back with four attacks and destroyed the stompa with a massive explosion that took out a truk carrying a tankhunter squad. Once more the tyranid was unharmed while orks burned all around.
This troper entered the local hobby shop as a game was coming to its close; in the final round of combat, three squads of various sizes of Ork Lootas were shooting at six Space Marines who had the Feel No Pain special rule for whichever reason. The Lootas, being the embodiment of More Dakka, had sixty twin-linked attacks to fire off; the needed 4 to hit (50% chance) and 5 to wound (33%) chance. Every single one hit and wounded. Quote the Ork player: "Looks like I finally found enough dakka." The Space Marine player figured it was the end, but rolled his various saves anyway. Between armor and Feel No Pain, he suffered one wound. For giggles, the Ork player rolled initiative against the Lootas freaking out at the sight and LOST all three times; quote the Space Marine player as the orks run screaming off the board, "With the Emperor by my side, there is NEVER enough dakka!"
Same troper as above, playing Dawn of War 2: Retribution, running the Chaos campaign. Due to... Poor planning and a bad choice of war-gear, the assembled warband has been thoroughly wrecked with only the Aspiring Champion, Kain, still standing against an incoming swarm of Eldar. Kain is currently carrying a Heavy Bolter, with the bonus that each shot does a burst of AOE when it fires, and he also has an ability that, the longer he stays rooted in one spot, the faster he fires. Kain single-handedly held a staircase against what seemed to be an entire Craft World long enough for the other "heroes" to be rezzed at the nearest shrine and return to battle. There's only one explanation for why he was still only an "aspiring" champion after that.
A berzerker champion in this troper's 3.5k warband used a powerfist to kill a vindicator after the demolisher cannon killed his entire squad and his rhino, hitting it with a penetrating hit and an expodes result, next turn he one shotted a razorback before dying to a predator ahnihilator, surviving 2 hits, the third shot only got him because of the twin link. that's right, he survived hails of bolts, a demolisher cannon shot (S10 AP 1), another hail of bolts, and two anti tank weapons before finally dying.
One from the Black Crusade roleplaying game; Ax'Senaea the Thrice-Possessed, the Executis Primaris of Laodomida and the sample Daemon Prince character, mentioned on the page's entry for "The Baroness", and arguable as a triumphant example of the Badass Normal. In short, this was a woman who so refined her sheer willpower that she was convinced by a sorcerer she could "reverse" a case of Demonic Possession, allowing her to leech off of the daemon's energy to sustain herself instead of being consumed. So she promptly did so... and, to the sorcerer's own surprise (he was expecting her to die), she actually succeeded. Over the course of decades, the daemon trapped inside her soul was painfully drained of power, unable to lift a finger, until she sucked it dry and cast it back into the Warp. Then, as her name suggests, she did it twice more, and digested the next two. This is an awesome moment in itself; whilst some similar cases of symbiotic or human-controlled daemonic possessions get mentioned, it's generally accepted that possession is a Fate Worse Than Death, that leads to the inevitable destruction of the human as their mind is snuffed out and their body becomes a tool. But that's not where Ax'Senaea's awesomeness ends: the very first daemon she captured in this way? A Keeper of Secrets. That's right, the biggest, baddest daemon Slaanesh has in hir army; a monster so terrible that most people lose their souls just looking at it. And it wasn't a fluke; she basically beat down and atethreeEldritch Abominations. She was about to go for number four when Slaanesh hirself showed up and turned her into a Daemon Princess out of a combination of sheer interest in her skills, to make her stop lunching on hir greater daemons, and as a huge "f*** you" to hir greater daemons for not being able to stop her.
Virtually all Golden Demon winners.
One White Dwarf issue a few years back featured someone who had built a diorama of a Tau Stealth Suit (page 2 of this PDF) which blends in so well with the backdrop from the right angle that you can barely see it. Bear in mind that the backdrop isn't just some vague shape; it's a pretty heavily detailed Imperial-made wall, with panels, grilles and even skulls. Now that is stealth.