Colin and I unexpectedly got in a quick game of 40k yesterday. And by “quick” I mean we spent 5 or 6 hours playing a 1000 point game… But we did talk about a lot of strategy and rules changes with the new edition.
A few more photos are in the Flickr gallery.
Colin changed things up and brought his Iron Warriors out of storage. I believe he had something like:
- Chosen x8 w/ Marks of Khorne, 2x Meltaguns, Rhino
- Chosen x5 w/ 2x Plasmaguns, Rhino
- Chosen x5 w/ Autocannon, Rhino
- Chosen x5 w/ Autocannon, Rhino
- Predator w/ Autocannon, Lascannon sponsons
He’s using Black Legion here, so all those Chosen are troops and that is a combined arms detachment for a battle forged army.
I brought my exact same list as last month’s Redcap’s tournament:
- Capt Angholan—Vulkan
- Ghost Squad Harmon—Sternguard x5 w/ 3x Combi-Meltas, Poweraxe, Drop Pod
- Squad Scolirus—Tacticals x10 w/ Vet Sgt, Powerfist+Boltgun, Flamer, Multimelta, Drop Pod
- Squad Titus—Tacticals x10 w/ Vet Sgt, Chainsword+Bolt Pistol, Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Rhino
- Scouts x5 w/ Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles
- Imperial Bunker w/ Quadgun
The quadgun I knew is less valuable in 7th, particularly against Colin with no flyers, but I partly didn’t make time to create a new list, partly wanted to see just how useless the quadgun would be. The answer is: Very.
One small note about that composition, because Colin asked, is why are the Tacticals jumbled up, why not the multimelta with the meltagun and missile launcher with the flamer? Partly it’s historical, fluffy, and aesthetically picky: Tactical 2 (Titus) got a missile launcher when it was painted because they were free for Tacticals at the time, and the squad’s either moving in the Rhino, so the heavies couldn’t shoot at all at that time, or it combat squads and the heavy half sits in the back, where I’ve generally found multimeltas to not have enough range. My squads do have different rim colors (to differentiate them in combats/mass advances) and in some cases slightly different base terrain, so they stand out from each other a bit when mixed & matched. Plus, that’s what Squad Titus has always been, so I generally just keep rolling them that way. Previously Tactical 1 (Scolirus) also had a missile launcher for the same reasons, but lately I’ve been experimenting with the multimelta; Tactical 1 actually now has a bunch of weapons options painted & based the same way. As my guys shift back out of Rhinos and return to Drop Pods, the multimelta might have more utility for creating a midfield melta bubble. Beyond all that though, lately all my Tacticals have basically always been breaking up into combat squads, and I expect that trend to definitely continue in 7th, so it doesn’t really matter which heavy weapon is with who.
We rolled for Crusade with 4 objectives and whatever deployment has you playing across the long axis. The main note here is that the new game startup sequence definitely changes things. I’m hoping to have another post on that later, but there’s both new strategic considerations and weird rules stuff. The big one in our match is that in 7th edition, for Crusade, Scouring, and Big Guns, you place objectives before you even know what style deployment you’ll be playing, let alone who has which zone. That makes it really hard to place objectives with any kind of strategy.
One thought about placing objectives though is that if you’re facing a bunch of vehicles and don’t have many of your own, you may want to put them on top of buildings or on the very tops of ruins. You are explicitly allowed to do both now. That way vehicles won’t be able to reach them and claim or contest.
I wound up choosing deployment zones and deploying second but going first, after Colin opted to play second.
After the Imperial Navy has failed to interdict a small band of traitors landing on an uninhabited winter planet, the Kingbreakers dispatch to secure the area around an Iron Warriors landing party before the latter can truly dig in and construct fortifications. The loyalists take a more defensive stance than usual, approaching the encircled traitor vehicles cautiously. A bunker is airlifted into position over a critical point, while Scouts infiltrate into another. Captain Angholan holds back in reserve with Tacticals to shore up any weak areas, while the main thrust goes after a third objective near the Iron Warriors’ landing point. Sgt Harmon and his Ghosts drop into an overlooking blindspot, hiding among the shipping containers left over from the planet’s most recent failed colonization. Titus and his Tacticals drive forward through the ruins on the flanks, into cover alongside the objective. A multimelta combat squad creeps along the ruin tops to a back position covering the approaches to the endangered objective.
Unfortunately detecting the imminent threat to the ground around them, the Iron Warriors begin slowly unfolding their forces. A pair of mechanized Chosen squads head toward the Kingbreakers’ weak flank, while their Warpsmith leader, Predator, and a band of Chosen begin a mini-siege on the loyalists’ advance. The Predator claims first blood by cutting Titus’ Rhino into pieces despite heavy cover, ghoulishly grinning at slaying a fellow vehicle. Ghosts intercept the outflanking Chosen and break one transport, but are in turn caught in an effective pincer directed by the Warpsmith and crippled in plasma/melta crossfire.
On the flank, Angholan and Scolirus drop to easily tackle the Chosen that have broken free and charged on the Scouts’ objective. This leaves Angholan and Scolirus out of position to assist the midfield fight however, so they run for better ground. The loyalist captain absent, the Warpsmith haughtily marches his squads forward onto the midground, grinding up the remaining Ghosts, Titus, and Tacticals.
Iron Warriors win via first blood, both sides claiming two objectives and linebreaker.
Colin started out with all his dudes in vehicles parked right by one objective, so I basically gave up on that right away. Ditto him and my Imperial Bunker in the far corner. The Scouts could have been rolled pretty easily by the Chosen, but once Angholan and Tactical 1 landed near them it wasn’t a serious concern. I also took early dibs on the third objective by dropping a Pod directly on top of it and having Tacticals approach on it pretty quickly. Unfortunately, my bunker with a missile launcher and quadgun just didn’t have any kind of useful line of sight on that objective, and ditto on the Scouts. That basically left 10 Tacticals and 5 Sternguard to go up against 18 Chosen, a Warpsmith, and an auto/las Predator, which doesn’t look good for the Imperials. My guys basically cleaned out two full squads, but that still left the ‘Smith and his 8-man coterie so toward the end I was seriously outnumbered and wiped off the objective. Unfortunately I came close but was unable to block Colin’s last forward Rhino from dashing for linebreaker, which would have tied things up for me.
I have mixed feelings about my more defensive Sternguard play here, though they achieved a fair bit. Not going hard for first blood like I usually would wound up costing me the game in the end. But, the Ghosts did keep Colin to advancing only 5 Chosen onto the Scouts’ objective, forced a demobilized and crippled Chosen squad to run for home, eliminated a second scoring Rhino, helped fight a third squad of Chosen, and generally helped create a bubble around the third objective that kept Colin back for a couple turns.
7th edition: Scouts’ time to shine?! On the downside for the Scouts, the new sniper rifle rules mean that they’re completely unable to even glance a Rhino coming at them… But, infiltrating could be much more useful in this edition than previously given that you really have no idea where objectives might be. It was definitely useful here to be able to put Scouts on an objective well outside my deployment zone. That is a particularly critical consideration in going for Redcap’s optional alternate cumulative scoring. On that note, previously I had been thinking you should almost always go for alternate scoring. But the new blind objectives setup might have made choosing between normal and alternate a closer call.
The quadgun emplacement is basically out of my list at this point. It was already tenuous but not overwhelmingly useful. There are some flyers and flying monstrous creatures in our community, but not a ton of them. Further, Redcap’s has so much blocking terrain that it’s actually pretty hard to put it somewhere with a broad firing lane. That’s particularly true if you’re trying to put it by an objective like I do with my bunker. Now that it can’t shoot effectively at ground targets though its utility is even more questionable. On a very small upside though, it’s now efficient to put Scouts, Guardsmen, or other low BS models on a quadgun since it’s always hitting on 6s against ground targets regardless.
Before playing any 7e games, my first thoughts about Objective Secured were that it’s clearly important, but I wasn’t convinced that it’s super critical. After this game and Thursday’s, however, I’m continually increasing my view on how important it is. In this game, my last remaining Sternguard, an Elites selection, were essentially irrelevant because Colin’s Chosen, made troops via Black Legion, trumped them on claiming the objective. My first thoughts were that most objectives are outright claimed or not anyway, so Objective Secured wasn’t a game changer. But it does allow you to basically completely ignore that lingering enemy Drop Pod, Dreadnought, Terminator, etc., in the endgame, which is a big deal.
That said, basically no one should not have Objective Secured on their troops. Despite GW’s pretenses, the distinction between unbound and battle forged armies is essentially a false one. Given how loose the battle forged restrictions actually are, there’s almost no army you can’t construct just by paying some small tax on an HQ+troop for a new detachment. This will undoubtedly change as tournaments lock things down, but for straight by-the-book play, unbound armies may as well not exist for how little is actually prohibited even without it.
Again, a few more photos are in the Flickr gallery. More thoughts on 7th to come.