40k: 1500pts Versus Chaos Marines

kingbreakers-iconLast 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.

Alternate Thunderfire Cannon in an Imperial Fists army.

Pretty cool third-party Thunderfire Cannon model in somebody’s Imperial Fists army.

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.

Tom blowin' things up!

Tom blowin’ things up!


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.

The line awaits.

The line awaits.



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.

Hold the line!

Hold the line!


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!

And the beast strode amongst them as though a god!

And the beast strode amongst them as though a god!


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 tjkopena@gmail.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.

Hey guys!  Let's play!  Guys?  Guys!!!

Hey guys! Let’s play! Guys? Guys!!!

Redcap’s February 40k 1250pt Doubles!

kingbreakers-iconFor their February 40k tournament, Redcap’s ran a great doubles competition.  Jason and I paired up as TEAM WOLFKOPF to hunt the fallen and purge the tainted.  With such a badass name we basically had it in the bag beforehand and confidently approached the event as such, with a complete lack of pre-planning.  Fortunately he’s pretty much got his set list caveat some detail quibbles, and I’ve got my set list, and away we go!

Turnout was really good, many armies were painted, and final standings evenly spread:

  1. Montgomery Shelmach (IG+Orks) 21
  2. Wolf Kop (SM+DA) 17 [Jason and Joe]
  3. Kielick Kielick (CM+CD) 14 [Colin and Brett]
  4. Harmon McCole (N+CM) 13 [Lovell and Tom]
  5. Culver O’Branty (GK) 12 [Buford and Lorenzo]
  6. Maroulis Wash 11
  7. D’Andrea Warrick (CM) 9
  8. Roe Barnhart 7 [Benn]
  9. Cook Mousen 6
  10. Dang Hinds 5
  11. Wolfson Lydon 4
"Overkill" has no meaning to the Guard.

“Overkill” has no meaning to the Guard.

As usual the missions were fairly straightup, though with very difficult bonus point conditions.  E.g., a point in the middle round went to tabling your opponent in or before Turn 4.  In the last round a point went toward securing effectively all of the secondary objectives.  I’m actually a fan of that difficulty though as in theory it really helps differentiate the teams.

This was actually the first doubles tournament I’ve played, and I thought it was super awesome.  Though I was too busy to coordinate well with Jason beforehand, once I sat down to get ready I was actually pretty excited.  For one thing, doubles means you’re guaranteed to spend the day with someone you like rather than just a string of random and potentially less cool opponents (though the community at Redcap’s is pretty good).  It also lets you unfocus here and there to regroup, take pictures, etc..  Having a partner also helps mitigate gaps and weaknesses.  It’s pretty neat to see PAGE guys all over the top of these standings.  Having all played together for so long and being both friendly and familiar with each other’s armies and styles, we’re well set to fare well as doubles.

Iron within, iron without.

Iron within, iron without.

Redcap’s has also increasingly dialed in their tournament format.  Yesterday ran very smooth, had some extra time to account a bit for everyone playing slow, and had straightforward but good missions.  The players are all pretty cool, and the terrain tables really good.  Even the little touches are coming together, like having the relevant page numbers in the mission briefs.


I brought my standard Kingbreakers: Capt Angholan (Vulkan), Rorschach (Librarian), Sternguard in Drop Pod, Tactical w/ Razorback, Tactical w/ Rhino, 2x Landspeeders.  Jason brought what appears to be his now-standard army: Huge group of dudes dropping with Belial, smaller group of dudes dropping on their own, 2x Combat Squads w/ Plasmacannons.

I contemplated changing things up, e.g., switching to a more defensive role with some Predators and other stand-back-and-shoot units.  However: 1) That’s my best painted force.  2) With Belial and friends coming down Turn 1 and reliably targeted, it seemed not unreasonable to build on top of that with yet more first turn attacks, Drop Podding away as usual.  On that line, I considered going all-Drop Pod for a pure alpha strike combined force, but point (1) overrode that idea.

Round 1

The first game we went against Aaron and Bob’s Death Guard and Tau army in a Purge the Alien mission.  I was particularly happy with this pairing for this mission.  Annihilation is neither my nor my army’s strong suit, and I would have been more nervous against a more robust or assault-ready army.  In this pairing though we were the harder, more assault oriented army.  This pairing took away some potential stress in our weakest mission.  On the downside, it was then unfortunate for us that the round was a Hammer and Anvil deployment, playing on the short edges.

All hail the Death Guard!

All hail the Death Guard!

Target acquired, vectoring in!

Target acquired, vectoring in!

The Tau rolled on the warlord traits to invoke Nightfighting, which would have been great for them with their Blacksun Filters were it not for our alpha strike already being up in their grill.  The strike went fairly well and we started the game with a lot of energy.  In the middle we lost some momentum as units began to flee the mobility limited alpha strike units.  Playing across the length of the table, my oncoming mobile Tacticals had too far to go to get in contact with the squishy bits, particularly while getting shot up by Tau railguns.  At the last though we pulled out a victory through a combo of Belial’s mega blob wiping out several units at once in the last turn and some Kingbreakers Tacticals ganging up to cut apart the Death Guard biker warlord in close combat.

The Tau/Death Guard combo is an interesting doubles or allied army:  Plague Marines and standard Chaos troopers provide a hardish outer shell with a lot of durability, enabling the Tau to sit behind and ping away with heavier firepower.  I don’t think Aaron and Bob’s particular lists were super optimized to that effect, in particular it needed more focus on Tau shooting and less on mobility to play that role, but I think the general combo has high potential.

The Emperor protects!

The Emperor protects!

There will be blood!

There will be blood!

Round 2

Next we faced Walter’s Dark Eldar in the Scouring.  This was an interesting matchup in that both armies are pretty mobile, in slightly different ways: He comes on slow but then can move a lot to wherever he needs to be.  We come on hard wherever we need to be, but can’t move much after that.  With six objectives on the table, all of varying worth, and a lot of mobility, the board wound up a sprawling mess with units everywhere.  One downside for us is that the DE don’t really have high-value units to alpha strike, which was exacerbated by Walter reserving much of his force.  On the upside, between the Deep Striking units and the mobilized Tacticals, we were able to be on, contesting, or immediately threatening all of the opposing Dark Eldar objectives on Turn 1.

Fly, my pretties!

Fly, my pretties!

The home front situation though was less rosy.  One mistake we made in setup was falling into the easy trap of “playing fair” with our objectives.  I think many people have some innate urge to spread objectives apart or put them in “reasonable” places.  Ours were certainly spread across too much of a line in our deployment zone; we should have put them into a tighter triangle.  As it was, we wound up with a bunch of small Combat Squads trying to hold a very thinly spread deployment zone.  Most of them got rolled by large, mobile DE squads of Helions and Jetbikes.

When Terminators---let alone Belial---are going to ground, you've got problems.

When Terminators—let alone Belial—are going to ground, you’ve got problems.

Deep problems.

Deep problems.

Consequently, the middle of the game looked very grim for us, but we actually turned it around for a crushing victory.  Once we recovered from significant early losses and lost objectives, we got back into what for me is the standard mode of play: Focus on the objectives, nothing else matters.  You can bleed and bleed and bleed, but in the end if you’re holding the ground, you’re going to win.

That’s pretty much what happened.  We lost almost everything, but in the end had a scoring unit—really just scoring dudes, the remainder of the units being obliterated—on the mid value objectives, contested the high value objective, kept troops off another, and had taken enough secondary objectives to completely swing the results.  Excitingly, Belial even managed to slay the enemy warlord, netting us two victory points—one for standard secondary objective, the other for the Dark Angel leader’s personal Hunt.

Round 3

Finally we faced Chris and Dante’s Chaos Marines in a contest over the Emperor’s Will.  This was another super bloody confrontation and the atmosphere in TEAM WOLFKOPF HQ was pretty bleak for the bulk of it.  In the end though it was another crushing victory for the good guys, driven by a trademark very bloody exchange of units for time and ground.

We come in peace?

We come in peace?

One thing we did right here was just straightup putting our home objective as hard into a corner as the rules allow, and building a dense block of Terminators and Tacticals around it.  In the opposing corner, Chris did a good job of building a bubble wrap defense around his hard hitting units—a Vindicator and Rhino-mobilized maxed out sorcerers—to prevent the alpha strike from wiping them out.  Critically though, he put that hard in the opposing corner.  This made it really tough to hit effectively, but as it turned out did enable us to basically pin them in against that corner.

Into the valley of death rode the 600...

Into the valley of death rode the 600…

On the one hand we wasted ridiculous amounts of points there.  Belial’s entire unit, almost 800 points, was wiped out after multiple sorcerers cast Feeble on it, debuffing them down weaker than Guardsmen.  Almost 500 points of Sternguard and Librarian Rorschach were similarly wiped out after being decimated largely through our own fire: Scattered plasma blasts coming in from the back defenses, and—in the final insult—Rorschach obliterating a 35pt Rhino with an extremely risky but well placed Vortex of Doom, only to have the vehicle explosion wipe out ~150pts of Sternguard…  This was all especially unfortunate as in some sense we hadn’t accomplished much, the Kingbreakers having failed to break open Rhinos and expose the contents for Belial to crush.

On the other hand, that’s what won the game.  Though they eliminated little, all those burned points bought us precious time and ground pinning the enemy’s core into that corner. Sure, it looked really bad when that Rhino wiped out a ton of my guys.  But as soon as it blew up, the enemy had basically zero chance of getting ground units anywhere near our home objective.  In contrast, while all this had been going on, the Kingbreakers’ mobile Tac Squads had been bashing through the center of the table, again taking extravagant casualties, but getting in place to contest the Chaos objective at the end of the game.  Combined with putting just enough focus on the secondary objectives and a couple lucky shots—e.g., a Demon Prince being Insta-gibbed in Turn 1 by a scattered Vortex of Doom!—and we carried the day.

Forward men, into the breach!

Forward men, into the breach!

General Analysis

Jason and I are both still weak against psychers and flyers. The sorcerers in Round 3 did an incredible amount of damage by debuffing Belial’s blob.  This was a bit of an oversight on our part, we should have kept the Librarian closer to at least have a better shot to Deny the Witch or not put so many points quite so close to the sorcerers; we knew Belial would be in trouble, didn’t think it’d be that much trouble.  Against the flyers I’m not sure what to do.  We’d probably have to bring in some allied units with Skyfire so it’s at least realistic to shoot at them.

Huh... They've brought a dragon.

Huh… They’ve brought a dragon.

And they’ve brought a bomber. Great.

It helped us a lot that the games tended to play slow.  Counter-intuitively, doubles games are probably naturally slower than standard play unless both teams really focus on acting in parallel.  It also sneakily increases the number of points in play.  In this case everybody approached it as a standard relaxed pace tournament, but in reality it was 2500pts in 2.5 hours, plus required coordination time with your partner.  It really needed a ‘Ard Boyz/Apocalypse style focus on getting it done, but that wasn’t the initial mindset so nearly all tables and games wound up playing few rounds.  With our alpha strike approach and insistence on giving away tons of units in exchange for ground, short games worked out to our benefit.  In many cases we would not have been able to hold or contest objectives for much longer.

My Landspeeders did even worse than usual.  They generally accomplished little and straight up gave away a couple victory points in one or two of the scenarios (First Blood, VP for FA Kill, etc).  The one big caveat is that one of them did secure the second round win by being able to zip pretty far over and claim an open objective on the last move (Fast Attack being scoring units in the Scouring).  Similarly to the point above, I really should have approached this more like the 2500pt tournament it was and been more careful with them, in contrast with a 1250pt tournament where there would be less things on the table capable of killing them.

Skimmers we fear not at all...

Skimmers we fear not at all…

Clearly the most important lesson of the day though, something I have to periodically remind myself: Don’t play with plasmacannons and Vortices of Doom in enclosed spaces!

As usual, there are more photos, with many more very nice armies, in the Flickr gallery.

Redcap’s 40k 1000pt December Tournament

kingbreakers-iconColin, Jason, Justin, Lovell, and I went out for Redcap’s December monthly tournament yesterday.  Three games, 1000pts, standard missions and force organization.  Final standings:

  • Chaos Marines (Chris)—16
  • Tyranid (Byron)—11
  • Tie: Chaos Marines (Colin) and Chaos Marines (James)—10
  • Space Marines (Joe)—9
  • Eldar (Justin)—8
  • Dark Angels (Jason)—7
  • Tyranid (Lovell)—4

Missions were drawn from the standard rulebook with straightforward bonuses:

  • Big Guns Never Tire/Hammer and Anvil/Bonus: No enemy units in their deployment zone.
  • Crusade/Dawn of War/Bonus: Warlord ends game in enemy deployment zone.
  • Relic/Vanguard Strike/Bonus: Your warlord slays enemy warlord.

These were my first games in 6th edition after a good length hiatus in general.  In addition to the PAGE guys going, this tournament worked out well as a re-introduction.  The low points limit kept out crazy units and complicated rules, as well as giving plenty of time to play.



I took a pretty simple list, inspired by two criterion:

  • I was willing to bend on this, but I really wanted to take a fully painted force.
  • I wanted to keep everything super simple and familiar to me so I could just focus on the core 6ed rule changes.

I wound up taking 1000pts exactly:

  • Captain Angholan (Vulkan)
  • Sternguard x10 w/ Powersword, 6xCombi-Meltas, Multi-Melta, Drop Pod
  • Tactical x10 w/ Powerfist, Plasmagun, Missile Launcher, Razorback w/ Hunter-Killer
  • Tactical x10 w/ Chainsword, Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Rhino w/ Hunter-Killer

In the end everything was painted except the magnetized hunter-killers and two guys’ bases.

Round 1

First I faced Justin and his Eldar.  All four objectives wound up tightly clustered near the center of the table.  For my part, I’d encouraged this because I figured it would lead to more close combat scraps over objectives, which I figured my stalwart Marines would tend to win.

In the end I claimed a massacre, but it was super bloody.  I only had five guys plus the captain and a Rhino left, facing fifteen or more Eldar.  However, the Eldar had all been pushed away from the objectives and had not claimed any bonuses.  One interesting thing about this was that much of it was done by tank shocking the Eldar away from objectives.  This was done a couple times, but a late game charge by the remaining empty Rhino cleared the Eldar off their last objective, swinging the Kingbreakers from a major victory to a massacre.  Also of note was that my captain’s Warlord Trait made him a scoring unit.  In the end it didn’t matter in some sense as a single tactical Marine was left standing on the central objective with him, but it seemed powerful that the highly robust (2+/3++) Angholan would have been able to hold that objective all by himself.

Usually you should try to *not* be completely surrounded...

Usually you should try to *not* be completely surrounded…

Round 2

Next came Chris, the eventual winner, and his Chaos Marines.  He was able to tightly cluster three objectives in his zone.  I put my two pretty far away, more or less tucked into a relatively remote corner.  The final score on victory points wound up being 10–8, Chaos.

For the most part this was a fairly close game.  Other than three Rhinos, Chris didn’t have a ton of mobility, so I felt fairly safe leaving just a combat squad each to guard my two home objectives, and they indeed wound up unmolested the whole game.  The Sternguard dropped into the heart of the Chaos objective cluster and did a reasonable job of gumming up everything in there.  Between pressure from them and a flanking sweep from the remaining Tac Marines, the Chaos right side was rolling up and at least a third objective definitely achievable, if not a fourth.  As expected though, a pair of Obliterators came down behind that flank and I decided to fight them.  On the one hand, they got pretty lucky and rolled a large number of 5+ saves for several turns, stalling out my entire offensive.  On the other hand, I maybe should have just ignored them; it was probably a mistake to fight them rather than just roll on.  They would have been lethal, but if the push had just kept going it may have been able to gain enough distance to settle on the objective and effectively ignore them.  Contrarily though, they’re not as slow as they used to be with the changes to Slow + Purposeful, so that would not have been as effective a move as in 5e.

Oblits begin to stall out the Kingbreakers' flanking rush.

Oblits begin to stall out the Kingbreakers’ flanking rush.

One other thought about the mission was that allowing the first player to place an uneven number of objectives seems like a significant advantage.  Especially when they’re playing armies that want to get into a close quarters fight, it seems unfortunate for the first player to be given a significant lead from the get-go and be able to play more defensively.

Also, between all the Traits, Boons, and Demon Weapons, even fairly standard Chaos Lords seem to be able to throw down an astounding number of close combat attacks now.

Chaos hunkers down around the local watering hole...

Chaos hunkers down around the local watering hole…

Round 3

After that slight loss I went against Byron and his Tyranid.  To some extent I was starting to fade here.  Between getting up super early to cram for a few hours on the new rules and already playing for 4 hours, it was a fair bit of 40k from a cold start.  Compounding that, I don’t have a ton of experience against the latest Tyranid codex.  It seems like it has fared well with the new rulebook.  I thought it also well suited for the Relic mission.  A Tervigon with Iron Arm cast on it is a pretty imposing scoring unit for carrying the relic around…

Oh yeah, you bad!  (this Tervigon's actually in Lovell's army)

Oh yeah, you bad! (this Tervigon’s actually in Lovell’s army)

I think my biggest problem though was not having any psychic protection.  It’s tough to fit two Marine HQs into 1000pts and Vulkan’s so useful that I’m not sure I’d have taken a librarian even if I hadn’t consciously set him aside as I wouldn’t have been really up on the new rules for using him.  However, a hood or something would be really useful.  Most of the Tyranid spent the game walking around covered by a Telekine Dome, both making them extraordinarily harder to kill than they usually are, and hurting my own guys as shots bounced back.  If I’d been able to counter that at least once in a while things could have turned out much differently from the massacre it wound up.

Generally, this kind of scene won't end well for humanity...

Generally, this kind of scene won’t end well for humanity…

General Analysis

I knew this going on and ignored it in favor of a simple and familiar army, but my list had really a lot of points spent on Sternguard for this size game.  There generally aren’t enough juicy units lying around for them to recoup points in the alpha-strike fashion I tend to play them.  They did ok, but for this size battle there just aren’t big enough targets for them to be really effective in that way.

As noted, I’ll probably have to reevaluate my tradeoffs on different HQs at different point levels.  Vulkan was definitely very useful throughout the day, as usual.  But a librarian would have dramatically altered the final round.  I haven’t fully digested the new rules and tables, but I could believe 6ed will accelerate the already strong resurgence of psychers as something you need to be able to at least counter.

The new missions also place even more emphasis on scoring units.  Even setting aside inevitable casualties, if you don’t have the ability to credibly hold at least three objectives, you’re probably not going to be competitive.  It would be good for me to work in one or two cheap rearguard scoring units, potentially Guard or Tau allies.

In general I’ll have to really study the missions.  For example, in the Relic mission, it almost seems not worth really worrying about the Relic and instead focusing on taking and denying the bonuses as together they’re worth just as much.  I’ll also have to think about the tournament format Redcap’s has converged on.  Being able to take that single tournament bonus point in just a mission or two could really make the difference.

6th Edition

Overall I’m super happy with sixth edition 40k as I learn more about it.  Continuing the vast improvements made in 5th, the rulebook seems even better written and less ambiguous.

I’m very excited about the changes to vehicles, I think they got cut down quite a bit but without clearly going too far.  Even if nothing else, it’s great to have a much more predictable idea of when a vehicle will go down, based on chipping away at hull points.

I’m also pretty excited about Allies.  I think it can lead to a bit of gameyness and some hard-to-justify fluff.  However, it does open up a lot of options for mixing and matching to counter strengths and weaknesses.  It’ll also allow a lot more modeling without the commitment to fielding an entire army.  I’ll never field a full Guard or Tau force anytime soon, but I’m pretty excited to now have a realistic reason to put some together.

Allies = Interdimensional BFFs?

Allies = Interdimensional BFFs?

I have mixed feelings about putting wounds on the closest models.  It’s more intuitive to newcomers than the previous wound pools, but certainly didn’t speed up gameplay—repeatedly rolling individual wounds in cases where it matters can be extremely slow.  In thematic ways it’s unfortunate now that there’s a lot of incentive to not have your sergeants or whatnot leading the group.  It also slows things down as much more care now has to be placed on very precise model placement, where everybody is in the unit.  To me this is unfortunate as I don’t generally find it that interested, and often problematic: There’s only so much precision you can have with these kinds of games, between terrain, eyeballing tape measures, and so on.  That focus on precise placement is a big part of what I really don’t like about Warmachine/Hordes and Battlefleet Gothic, both otherwise excellent games.  On the other hand, it can bring a lot of strategy and narrative to movement.  For example: Do you put Vulkan and his crazy armor up front, shielding the way for a tac squad as they rush headlong into torrents of fire?  That’s a thought provoking tradeoff to have to make, in addition to having a great dramatic component.

All in all though, things seem even more streamlined and yet more strategic, and I was already pretty happy with 5th edition 40k.

There are a few more photos from the day in my Flickr gallery.

Not typically what you want to see over the castle walls, no...

Not typically what you want to see over the castle walls, no…