Introduction. We got our first game of Warhammer 40k yesterday and it was a hoot.
I had a 1,500 point Marine army and my opponent had a 1,500 point Chaos Marine army.
We played a random mission on a random deployment map and ended up with Big Guns Never Tire on the Dawn of War map.
Playing a whole new system, which has very detailed and varied weapon load outs and numerous complex units, is mind boggling for the first game. Which is great. Nice and fresh.
So rather than give a detailed turn by turn report I think you’ll get more out of it if I give a high level overview of the game and then discuss a few units in particular.
The Mission – Big Guns Never Tire. There are four objectives placed on the table and there are five different types of victory conditions or ways to win victory points which are: a) by capturing the objectives, b) by destroying an opponent’s heavy support unit (which is where the mission gets its name from, ie destroying the big guns), c) killing the opponents war lord, d) being the first player to eliminate an enemy unit and e) getting into the enemy’s deployment zone.
Having so many different mission objectives enables you a lot of ways to win. Nice. GW seemed to have put a fair bit of thought into the new missions and that is very welcome.
The Deployment – Dawn of War. A pretty standard deployment with both sides able to deploy 12” in from their table edge, which is one of the long edges on a standard 6” x 4” table.
The Space Marine Army. Lead by a Captain in power armour and a Librarian in terminator armour, I also had three Tactical Squads, two Ironclad Dreadnaughts, a Dreadnaught and a Predator which had side sponsons with lascannons and a twin linked lascannon in the turret.
Not really knowing what my opponent would have and how effective it would be, I took a mixture of assault and heavy weapons in the Tactical Squads including two plasma guns, one melta gun, one lascannon, one missile launcher and one plasma cannon.
Similarly, the Ironclad Dreadnaughts and the Dreadnaught took a mixture of weapons including an assault cannon, meltas, stormbolters, chainfists and dreadnaught close combat weapons.
The Chaos Marine Army. The details on my opponent are a little more sketchy for me but he took a named character, Lucius to lead his Slaanesh army, a Demon Prince, two large units of cultists (20 members each), Havocs, Noise Marines, three Chaos Dreadnaughts and some other weird stuff that I cannot remember. “Wouldn’t matter”, I thought to myself, “Victory will go the righteous.” Yeah well, I probably should have paid a bit more attention.
The Game. The game was fast and furious with both sides advancing quickly across the table. There was so much carnage it was all over in three turns. I don’t think either of us really even tried to capture the victory points but rather we just focused on annihilating each other. In the end, I’d lost about 75% of my army and my opponent had lost about 60% of his and whilst this margin might not sound like much it was and the Chaos Marines were the victors on the day.
There isn’t much that slows down the game anymore. Movement is quick, as is the psychic, shooting and hand to hand phases. Morale is dead simple and because the units are stateless in terms of their morale (ie units don’t break, just models do and when they do they are removed from the table) there is not a lot of double handling of miniatures. Because there is flexibility in shooting, that is that you can split fire, and that there are no templates, then movement is quicker too because players aren’t finessing model placement. There are some pro’s and con’s with this but overall our impression was that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.
All in all, it was a great and quick game.
Feature Unit – Ironclad Dreadnaughts. Ohh baby. Now these little bad boys costs a few points but are they fun to run with. I used two on the day. One kitted out with a dreadnaught chainfist, melta gun, storm bolter, dreadnaught close combat weapon and ironclad assault launchers and the other with the same load out except he had two hunter killer missiles instead of the ironclad assault launchers.
Now what can I say? The toughness of 8 is great, the damage rating of 4 for the chainfist is outstanding (two unsaved hits and the opponents dreadnaught is dead) and the melta just adds insult to injury. Whilst they are fairly expensive at about 200 points each they are a lot of fun and I’ll be taking them again.
Feature Unit – The Librarian. Now I must admit I don’t think I got the best out of my Librarian but he is a cracker of a model so he’ll be used again, and that’s a fact. Having a psychic on the table is a must I think and unfortunately for me I held him off table awaiting a deep strike for far too long before I deployed him. This gave my opponent’s psychic free range during the psyche phase
The Might of Heroes psychic power is great and I used it to great effect in a hand to hand improving the strength, toughness and attack characteristics of some Tactical Marines that were held up in melee. The extra attack, in particular, was useful as it effectively doubled the Marines attacks.
I kitted him out with terminator armour and a storm shield to improve his survivability, which it duly did. He is no monster in hand to hand but he is very difficult to kill and he’ll be back again to seek vengeance for yesterday’s loss.
Feature Unit – Tactical Marines. I took three 10-man strong marine units and they performed admirably. Their toughness of 4 and armour save of 3 made them every bit as hard as they’ve been in previous editions. Their ballistic skill of 3 together with the flexibility of the bolter meant that they are as dangerous as ever before as well. The new ability in the rules to split fire means that you can be pretty fearless in their load out. I was providing supporting fire from almost right across the table to snipe at enemy Dreadnaughts on more than one occasion.
Against cultists there was no competition with the marines smashing them with bolter fire initially and then following up in hand to hand.
Great unit. Don’t think I could go into a game without all 30 of them.
End Note. So that’s it for the report. I hope you found it useful. I’ll leave you with one more picture. The devilishly deadly Chaos Dreadnaught.