|Scary huh? And me with no anti-aircraft...|
Last Thursday night I decided it was time to try out the new 40K rules - the seventh edition that just landed about three weeks ago. I'd bought the rules on the release weekend and of course have been reading the forums to get a sense of their reception. It seemed like the biggest changes were in the new "Psychic Phase" and with the new "Tactical Objectives" that spice up the game somewhat. So I got ahold of Conscript Greg to solicit a game. He brought his fully airborne Elysian army
to face off against my Nurgle Chaos Space Marines.
You saw Greg's six (!) flyers in the first picture - here's the guys that ride in them.
And here's what I brought - three squads of seven Plague Marines each in a Rhino, a Blight Drone, Sorceror, Chaos Lord in Terminator armour, six Terminators, and...
...a Land Raider
:-) 1500 points.
We randomly generated a mission and got the one where you lay out six objectives, and VPs are determined solely by accomplishing the Tactical Objectives. Fortunately I'd bought a set of the spiffy Tactical Objective cards so we didn't need to faff around with rolling dice. Thank God for that because we each started with six Tactical Objectives...
We took turns placing the objectives. I took care not to repeat my typical mistake of putting objectives close to or in my own deployment zone. I intend to be moving towards the enemy during the game, so putting objectives in my own zone is counter-productive. I'd either have to leave a unit behind to hold it, or move something back to get it at the end of the game. Either way I'd get screwed, because the enemy will overwhelm my single holding unit, or I'll be abandoning other objectives to retake that one! Better to place them not where you are starting out, but where you intend to end up...
I was scared witless of all those flyers and me without any AAA. Undeterred, however, I got the first turn and stroked off for the objective markers. I held some crappy cards (kill the enemy psyker, destroy an enemy fortification) that were impossible to achieve (he had no psyker or fort), but some good ones too - take three objectives for d3 VPs, and take Objective 1. Fortunately the new rules provide that any unit (in a normal force-comp army anyway) is scoring, so I could roll the Land Raider, Rhinos and Drone up to objectives and control them. Very handy, and I did so. Greg had deployed a squad and some heavy weapons in the Skyshield landing pad and shot at me in his turn.
In turn two I redeployed a bit and grabbed another objective. They were "Mysterious" and the roll was lucky, it got the controlling unit the "Skyfire" AA ability. I also almost wiped out the squad on the pad for another VP but that would have to wait until my turn 3, getting me a VP for First Blood. But on the bottom of turn 2 "Hell was unleashed" and six flyers appeared...
It could've been worse for sure. Two Rhinos got knocked out and their occupants Pinned (it just occurred to me now that their Fearless rule might have rendered the Plague Marines immune from Pinning, I'll need to check that). Lots of shots from the Punisher cannons but not a ton of damage. I managed to knock down a random flyer and it turned out well for me - it was about the only one with a gun that could hurt the Land Raider.
Meanwhile the infamous "Bile Cyclist of Nurgle"
worked his way around to the Elysian command squad and puked up all over the lot. This gained me a VP from a card ("slay an enemy character") plus two more: one each for Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord.
Long faces on the Imperial side got longer when the Sorceror succeeded in summoning 10 Plaguebearers who landed close to the Elysian missile launchers...
The Elysian flyers circled overhead but lacked any real punch to deal with the tough Nurgle dudes. We decided to call the game at the bottom of turn 4.
The Nurgle lads ended up with 8 VPs to the Elysians' 2. A pretty tough outing for Greg as his boys are overmatched against MEQs - let alone the T5-Feel-No-Pain Nurgle crew. He's contemplating more anti-armour stuff and that would be a good idea. Me, I would recommend reducing the Elysian component to a detachment, and adding a detachment of leg Guardsmen supported by armour. I've faced that combo before and it is brutal.
I enjoyed seventh edition, but that's not surprising because I liked sixth and this edition is not much different. The one thing I worry about a bit is how the changes in the Psychic rules will affect armies like Eldar that field buffed out psykers already... it seems like seventh has pumped up psykers even more, and it remains to be seen how this may affect game balance.