Friday I tried to set up a quick game of 40K 8th Edition for the kids to play.
To start with we cranked some Bolt Thrower....
Okay so none of us are playing chaos... but Dark Millennium...? Eternal War...? Eye of Terror...? That's all 40K themed, right?
Then I set up some jungly terrain for them to play on (actually, I set up the terrain first, and initially I set it up thinking my jungle-fighting' Guaiacan Commandoes would be facing off against Finnegan's Ork Horde... but then I decided maybe it would be better if the two kids played their own forces against each other and I just played the Games Master...).
Both rolled out with forces at Power Level 17. I knew from the get-go that they would be horribly mis-matched (and warned The Girl that her pretty Eldar would likely be slaughtered...).
Finnegan took a Warboss named Garrnogg (Power Level 4) and a mob of thirty (30!) Boyz - lead by a Bossnob named Algor (Power Level 13). They're cheaper by the dozen those Boyz - a group of 10 is Power Level 5 and a group of 20 is Power Level 9. They have significant advantages in numbers as well - they can use the number of guys left in the unit as their Leadership value, and if there are more than 20 in the unit during the fight phase they get +1 attack (which is crazy because they start with 2 to begin with and already bet +1 if they're using choppas!?)
The Girl took her Farseer named J'Ade (Power Level 6), a unit of Howling Banshees - lead by Banshee named Threece (Power Level 4), and a Troupe of Harlequins (Power Level 7). The harlequins all had individual names. Unfortunately, in their native Aeldari, they're almost impossible to pronounce, but can be roughly translated as Jazzy, Emerald Lightning, Bubblegum, Stabpants, and Polkastripe... She can tell them apart. I have no idea...
We decided to quickly play one of the narrative scenarios out of the book. I'd suggested Patrol or Ambush. I tried to convince them to try ambush with the Orks ambushing the Eldar, which I thought might actually give the Eldar a chance, but for some reason they went with the Patrol. The patrol scenario is essentially a meeting engagement between two patrols which, if playing with larger forces, escalates into a larger engagement as reinforcements arrive. Both sides are to start with only three units on the table and the rest in reserve. As these guys only HAD three (or less) units, it basically just became a rather boring meeting engagement with no objective other than to kill the other guys... yawn-o... ah, well... we're just trying things out and learning the rules, right?
Anyway, sides were chosen, units were set up and The Girl took the first move.
The Howling Banshees and the Farseer flanked around one side of the ancient ruin in the middle of the battleground.
The Harlequins, always wanting to do their own thing, flanked around the other side - directly towards the massive mob of Orks.
On the Orks turn they surged forwards and let loose with some Dakka - one hit wounded a harlequin, but it was saved...
"Jazzy" led the harlequins out of cover in front of the Ork mob in preparation to shoot at them and charge them later in the turn.
J'Ade the Farseer couldn't see far enough to smite the Orks, but successfully manifested a Guide power allowing the harlequins to re-roll ranged attacks for the turn. The Harlequins then shot up the Ork mob, downing three of them.
In the Charge Phase they indicated their desire to charge the Orks.
The Ork overwatch fire took down two of them.
Then they failed their charge roll... So... No charging... No slice and dice...
Then the Orks went.
They surged forwards and unleashed another torrent of dakka at the Harlequins. 30+ shots, 8 hits, 6 wounds, 1 saved. When the dust cleared, there were no harlequins to be seen. Perhaps they were reduced to a fine red mist. Perhaps they just said "Eff this Shite" (or something to that effect in Aeldari) and scarpered along the webways to some place a little more pleasant to be. Perhaps we'll never know...
J'Ade the Farseer and the Howling Banshees advanced again. J'Ade crackled with arcane energy and blasted the Orks with a Smite and one of the Ork's head exploded with a "POP" and a bit of splattering of goo. The Banshees let loose with their Shuriken Pistols and chopped down a bunch of trees to clear the way for the Orks to charge them in the following turn. The Farseer then zapped a couple more with her Singing Spear...
All this really did was get their attention and they surged through the jungle towards the Eldar.
They unleashed some more dakka at the elder and took down one of the Howling Banshees.
Then they charged in. The Banshees overwatch fire did nothing. The only thing they really had going for them at this point was the fact that there were so few of them only 8 of the 20+ Orks could actually count as being in the fight... of course with 2 attacks to begin with, +1 for using Choppas, and +1 for having more than 20 in their units, and hitting on 3+... well... that was the end of the Howling Banshees...
The Farseer faired a little better. She was in combat only with the Warboss and they traded blows - each causing 3 wounds on the other... This was not really sustainable so the Farseer decided discretion was the better part of valour and split...
Ork Hordes are nasty... I'm not really sure how she could have dealt with them. the Harlequins and howling Banshees would have been nasty in close combat - if they'd ever been able to GET into close combat and have a chance to HIT the orgs, but even so, I'm not sure they could possibly have killed enough of them fast enough... I guess The Girl just needs to get some more long-range-shooty Eldar painted to beat them up a bit first and THEN charge in with the Harlequins and Banshees to finish them off...?
I was worried the game might have discouraged her, but it kind of did the opposite - she's now determined to get back to painting her Eldar and do exactly as I had figured - paint some of the long-range-shooty units! Although the only thing I think she owns that comes close is guardians (whose shrunken catapults aren't all THAT long ranged!? 12"!? that's the same as PISTOLS!?) but they do have a couple of heavy weapon platforms...?
This went better for the Orks than our last couple attempts (with 7th edition). Although Finnegan felt a little bad about utterly destroying his sisters forces and was worried they might be a little TOO good... I'm sure once we play a few other scenarios which don't just involved trying to overrun and kill everything he may find they're a bit of a one-trick-pony... thought for now it does seem like one REALLY GOOD trick!
I am interested to get my own Guard on the table - perhaps in slightly larger formations and see how they fare against the Green Tide!
But for now I probably need to get back to work on my Jet Bikes and other stuff I need to prepare for the games I am running at ToonCon just ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!