On Sunday I played my first game of 8th Edition at a local FLGS, Hall of Heroes. I have been recommending Hall of Heroes to gamers for years, but had never actually stepped inside the store before the game; their customer service had impressed me a while back when I had some issues with miscast miniatures. Walking in there with three of my closest friends (shout out to The Trooper, Sgt Waz and BennyW), I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of the place. It was buzzing. The store had four large boards set up for Warhammer, a massive table with a historical game in progress and other smaller tables at the back for card and board games. The store was packed to the gills by the time we reached Turn 2 of our game, with 40k games being played all around us. With toilets out the back, drinks in the fridge and access to food, we didn't need to go anywhere else for the rest of the afternoon. Finding space to pack your dead was a little hard, but everyone was very respectful and gave people space when they needed it.
|By the looks of those beards, these guys were serious.|
For the battle, the Trooper took his usual eclectic mix of... Blood Angels assault units. Death Company: Check! Sanguinary Guard: Check! Sanguinor: Check! Assault Squad: Check! Death Company Dreadnought: Check! Corbulo: Check! Death Company Chaplain: Check! Transports: Check! Vindicare assassin: ...sure, why not!?
Knowing this, I tried to even the force out with some fire support. I took a Captain in Gravis Armour (with the usual), two Tactical Squads with Plasma/Lascannon and Flamer/Multimelta, a Devastator Squad with two Heavy Bolters and two Plasma Cannons and two Dreadnoughts, one with twin-linked Lascannons and one with an Assault Cannon. Taking a look at the board I thought to myself "Yeah, this looks pretty good for or first dip in the 8th Ed. pool.
Then I looked at the other side of the table...
Guilliman, 10 Custodes, 4 Imperial Assassins (one of each), Primaris Intercessors, Reavers and Hellblasters, Thunderfire cannon and Landraider Excelsior + a large squad of scouts. This was going to hurt.
We placed 6 objectives, with both the superior and inferior objectives randomly generating the closest to Sgt Waz's and BennyW's end of the board. I set up to the right side of our board edge, providing a clear field of fire for my Devastators. I set up a screen of Tactical marines for my Captain, backed up by the Dreadnoughts, and snuck a Lascannon combat squad into a sniping position to start picking off Custodes. The Blood Angels set up in reserve, with the Death Company in a Landraider Crusader and an Assault Squad in a Rhino.
The Ultramarines and Imperial Agents took the first turn and advanced on the center of the board, unleashing on one of my tactical squads, wiping it out immediately. The Thunderfire cannon bombarded my Devastator squad, taking out all of my ablative marines in one round of firing. The Dreadnoughts managed to get through the turn unscathed, whilst the Blood Angels Rhino lost a wound to a plucky Eversor Assassin.
In response we started to whittle away at the Intercessors screening the Hellblasters and put some wounds on the Custodes. The Landraider also advanced on the center, ready to take on whatever it could (for as long as it could). The Sanguinary Guard and Sanguinor dropped behind the Custodes to try and split them off the objective and an Assault Squad dropped next to the Primaris marines to distract them from the mission as well.
|Before the shooting phase.|
We also engaged in some counter-sniper fire against the enemy Vindicare, though in hindsight, those shots would have been better spent against Roboute.
The jump pack equipped Assault Squad made their charge against the Primaris marines, but copped a beating in overwatch against the Hellblasters. the Sanguinary Guard failed their charge, and prepared for the inevitable Custodes onslaught. The Blood Angels squad in the Rhino charged the Eversor, which popped off a few shots with its pistol on overwatch.
With our opening gambits played, it was time for the Ultramarines and Imperials to bring on some reinforcements. A Culexis Assassin appeared next to my Devastators and opened fire, causing more damage than it probably had any right to (curse my ham-fisted dice rolling!). Between it and the Thunderfire I was left with one lonely plasma gunner.
A Callidus Assassin appeared right behind by Captain and some Reivers dropped next to my Lascannon combat squad holding an objective.
The concentrated fire of the Excelsior and Hellblasters took out The Trooper's Landraider. The Death Company piled out, ready to charge the Primaris marines next turn.
Meanwhile, the Sanguinary Guard took a pounding, leaving only the Sanguinor alive to seek some kind of revenge. The Callidus was taken down to one wound before she killed my Captain, thanks to some judicious use of command points.
The Sanguinor broke from combat and joined the Death Company blob in charging Roboute. We wanted to see just how tough he was (stupid idea, really...). We managed to get him down to 3 wounds.
With nothing better to do, I sent my Dreadnoughts to hunt down the assassins that had been plaguing my backfield. First on the hit list was the Callidus, which I crushed in a brutal round of close combat.
The Culexus was a little bit harder to do away with, as I needed sixes to hit it. These two were bogged down in combat until the end of the game!
To complete the Dreadnought rampage, the Death Company Dreadnought ignored the faltering charge in the center of the battlefield and maneuvered to charge the Reivers. Making the charge, it started rolling them up like a burrito. A very dangerous, multi-wound burrito that hits back.
The Blood Angel Assault Squad finally managed to kill the Eversor, with only one model remaining. He charged the scouts that were, by now, giving the Rhino a bad time. Frankly, I was really impressed that it lasted so long!
After 5 hours of pouring over the rulebooks and learning the ropes, we all agreed to finish one last round of combat and call it quits. Predictably, Roboute carved a sizeable piece out of the surviving models. What a beast!
And that was that. Between us, The Trooper and I managed to kill 10 Primaris marines, 5 Custodes (gosh, even that was a triumph), 2 Imperial Assassins and a couple of scouts, whilst putting 6 wounds on the big man himself. In return, we lost the good part of two Assault Squads, a Death Company Squad, a Sanguinary Guard Squad, a Tactical Squad, a Devastator Squad, Landraider, Chaplain and Captain. At the end we were in control of one objective, but the Ultramarines were in control of the superior and inferior objectives, as well as two others. On victory points we had been absolutely walloped! It didn't matter though; lessons were learned and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a sunny winter afternoon. Bring on game two... preferably with a few less Custodes/Primarchs.
See you across the table,