Last night I made it out for Thursday 40k at Redcap’s. One thing that blew me away immediately was the ~12 people there for 40k (and a little Warmachine)! Quite a change from years past. It was particularly awesome to have a solid PAGE crew on hand: Lovell, Tom, Buford, James, and myself were all battling it out.
Tom and I got in a 1500pt round of Chaos versus Kingbreakers, basically a refresher game. I haven’t played since January, and that three game tournament made up my entire play experience with 6th edition before tonight!
For the most part my list was constrained to be entirely fully painted, WYSIWYG models. Well, caveat a base-painted Techmarine, but his Thunderfire Cannon is painted! Pretty standard Kingbreakers, slightly less Drop-Poddy than usual:
- Capt Angholan—Vulkan
- Librarian Rorschach—Librarian w/ Terminator Armor, Storm Shield
- Sternguard x5 w/ Drop Pod, 3x Combi-Meltas
- Tacticals x5 w/ Razorback, Powerfist
- Tacticals x10 w/ Rhino, Missile Laucher, Meltagun
- Tacticals x10 w/ Missile Launcher, Flamer
- Devastators x7 w/ 2x Plasmacannons, 2x Heavy Bolters
- Thunderfire Cannon
- Landspeeders x3
Tom had Chaos Marines with Daemons friends, something like a Chaos Marine Demon Prince, Daemon Prince, Lord + Berzerkers w/ Rhino, Chaos Space Marines, Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, Obliterators, Maulerfiend, Soul Grinder.
Deployment came up Vanguard or whatever the cross-corners setup is called these days. The mission was Big Guns Never Tire. This was actually important because we both had Heavy Support units that wound up mattering due to the mission rule counting them for scoring.
We basically implicitly conspired to stack up three of the four objectives in my corner. This was a mistake on my part, especially on this deployment style. It’s not so awesome essentially sitting there on three objectives, staring at a slavering horde of Khorne’s faithful looking at you hungrily.
Tom Infiltrated and Scouted his Hounds basically right in my face, ready for a Turn 1 assault on my corner objective. I knew I should just ignore the beasts. But I was worried about that whole Tactical Squad getting swept right away. I was also thinking about trying to use my Sternguard less aggressively, keeping them alive for longer. So I dropped my Pod on the Hounds, hoping to shoot them away quickly and then turn around to Combi-Melta the Soul Grinder next turn as it advanced out of the rear terrain toward my line. The hounds though did not die. Half my army wound up shooting at them and still one remained on the board. After my Sternguard got pummeled by heavy shooting that one hound turned out to be one of Khorne’s favorite pets or something, because he tied up my Librarian and a Sternguard for ~4 turns in a piss-poor display of Space Marine close combat skills.
After that the Chaos guys basically came at my guys while my guys tried to blast away at them. Landspeeders went after the mobile troops, including a nice combo-attack popping the Rhino and frying the guys inside. The Thunderfire dumped some shots into the troops hidden way back on the Chaos corner objective, and some into the oncoming horde. Eventually the troops got mangled pretty well, but the big guys can soak up a ton of damage and proceeded to do so while my guys all braced for impact. Vulkan leapt out of his quickly retreating command Razorback to shield a Tactical Squad bravely standing their ground and wound up in mortal combat with the traitor Daemon Prince. Kingbreakers everywhere looked for their usual Drop Pod reinforcements but today it was not to be.
For a while it looked like it was going to be a close one, with Tom all over my guys but not able to claim enough objectives. In the end though he locked it up pretty well, able to keep fragments of squads on two objectives while contesting another to leave me with just one. He also managed to sweep the bonus points, popping a Landspeeder before I could wipe out the Hounds, eventually killing Vulkan, and being in my deployment zone. CHAOS!
Both of us were kind of rusty but I think played fairly correctly and not terribly terribly slowly. I forgot my characters all got a Mastercrafted upgrade, Tom incorrectly thought his Prince was forced to Challenge, and I think we rolled a couple vehicle assaults incorrectly, but otherwise clean.
In general I think I failed to utilize what mobility I had, and should have brought more. I let myself got boxed in to close quarters, something I’m usually trying to do to others, and even though I didn’t actually lose a ton of guys, they couldn’t do much either. NEEDS MOAH DROP PODS!
Following discussion from last week, my Librarian of course rolled a stupid power on the Telekinesis chart and I opted for the base power (Assail, a beam attack). Though I keep repeating myself on this I’ll say it again: These random powers are just annoying and unfortunate.
Afterward Tom and I were talking about why I roll Vulkan, even without excessive amounts of Melta. Basically, even without taking serious advantage of his buffs, I think he’s still a pretty good bargan. Not that many Marines can stand up at all to an angry Daemon Prince, and Vulkan’s one of them. His 3++ is huge and the Relic Blade + Mastercrafted + Digital Weapons is just enough to get in a couple good shots on a big guy. In addition to committing you to other Chapter Tactics, the other Marine heavies like Lysander and Marneus are more points and somewhat less flexible: Lysander can’t Sweeping Advance, they can’t get into Rhinos, etc..
With the Landspeeders I’m always torn about whether to fly them individually or as a squad. Generally I do the latter to not give away kills so easily. In this case I ran them separately, which made it tougher for Tom’s small army since he had to spread shots and assaults across them.
In the previous edition the Thunderfire Cannon was obviously asking for Barrage and/or Large Blast to be really useful. So obviously that I don’t know what the hell GW’s designers were thinking debuting it without them. Direct fire only for a fragile artillery piece made it a questionable selection. This edition it got Barrage, which makes it much more appealing and fills a hole in the Marine codex—there’s never been much/any indirect fire in there. Against an elite-ish Power Armour army like CSM the Cannon’s not super amazing, there’s too few guys to reap a ton of hits, but I was ok with its performance. Faced with weaker, more numerous infantry it’d be a reasonable purchase for clearing backfield objectives. Large Blast would still be nice, and not obviously overpowered—with the full 2D6 scatter you couldn’t easily drop shots anywhere near your own guys—but overall it’s useful. It’s more or less competing for army points though against the Hunter/Stalker, and the latter probably gets the nod for combatting flyers.
Finally, the more I see them, the more Challenges come up a bit short rules-wise. I’d be totally down for HQs being able to challenge other HQs or something like that. Then you could even have cool fluff, like some special HQs being cowardly/strategic and able to reject a challenge, or Company Champions being uniquely able to take the challenge for their HQ, etc. But it’s pretty dumb and not even remotely fluffy for a Sergeant to be able to enter a challenge with a Demon Prince, locking up all of the latter’s killing ability, potentially while the Marines’ weak ass HQ pummels any squad with the Prince. The Demon Prince should be all “DA FUQ?” and swat that guy out of the way before cleaving into the squad or HQ. Games Workshop! My email address is email@example.com. You get a good draft going of 7e, you send it to me and I’ll fix it up real good. For free even.
More photos are in the Flickr gallery.