We had another crack at Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition) on Saturday. I had hoped to write a fluff-filled reproof the desperate defence on Tractabon IV or a hopeless assault on Fwick's World... But then things ended up running late and we started the game late and were playing with too many things with too many people who had not read any of the rules or their Indices and we ran out of time just after finishing the FIRST TURN?! So... I'm not going to bother with fluff... But here are a few pictures of how the game went.
We'd invited a friend of the kids over to play (we shall call him "General Beavis"). General Beavis is pretty excited about 40K and had been painting away at not one, but TWO armies for the last couple of years, but never really got to PLAY with them. His brother and dad both have armies, but neither are motivated enough or seem to be able to find the time to paint or play with their armies. So I invited General Beavis to come over hand play with us on Saturday and told him to pick one of his armies and bring anything he wanted that was painted - we'd have something to match it. What he ended upbringing was 71 Power Level of Necrons. Finnegan doesn't quite have enough Orks to match that so I rolled out with my Guaiacan Commandoes.
We took way too much time going over the rules and differences between 7th and 8th edition and then trying to figure out a scenario to play that wouldn't be too unbalanced for one side or the other (which was pretty much a hopeless endeavour in itself) and eventually settled on the "Meat Grinder" scenario - largely because the name and object (utterly destroy every last one of your foes!) was more appealing to 11-year-old boy than the "Ambush" scenario where the object is to escape and evade your foes!
Elements of B Squadron, 4 Commando, 222nd Guaiacan Commando Regiment
Brigade Detachment +9 Command Points
1x Company Commander PL3 + Command Squad PL3 = PL 6
1x Lord Commissar PL 4
1x Primaris Psyker PL 2
6x Infantry Squad @3 = PL 18
2x Platoon Commander @PL 2 + 2 Command Squads @PL3 = PL 10
3x Special Weapons Squad @PL 2 = PL 6
1x Railing Squad -10 - PL 4
1x Ogryn Squad PL 5
3x Scout Sentinel @2 = PL 6
3x Heavy Weapon Squads @3 = PL9
Power Level 70
Command Points 12
Necrons under the Command of General Beavis and Tarzan the Invincible (or... something like that...)
Patrol Detachment +0 Command Points
1x Tarzan the Infinite - HQ - PL 7
1x Overlord (General Beavis) - HQ - PL 7
1x Necron Warriors (10) - PL 6
1x Deathmarks (3) - PL5
1x Canoptek Scarabs (3) - PL 2
1x Monolith - PL 19
1x Annihilation Barge - PL 7
1x Doom Scythe - PL 10
1x Ghost Ark - PL 8
Power Level 71
1x Annihilation Barge - PL 7
1x Doom Scythe - PL 10
1x Ghost Ark - PL 8
Power Level 71
Command Points 3
Basically an almost entirely infantry force (126 infantry, to be precise, and 3 walkers) versus a bunch of high powered characters and vehicles. Kind of felt like I'd brought I knife to a tank fight...
We played the Meat Grinder scenario straight out of the 40K 8th rulebook.
The Necrons were attacking and got to drop a preliminary bombardment on the defending forces of the Astra Militarum. They also got the Sustained Assault rule - which means if any of their forces were destroyed, they would roll for them on their next turn and come back on. Not that that was all that useful or necessary as the Necrons just keep reanimating on their own anyway.
The Necrons had a variable amount of turns 5-7 to utterly wipe out their opponents. If there was a single Astra Militarum soldier standing on the battlefield at the end of the last turn the Astra Militarum would call it a major victory and the Necrons would be defeated...!? There was no doubt my force was out gunned by a way more powerful force - but could they kill all of my guys fast enough!?
I set up a PILE of markers to show where my 25 units were starting...
Then the Necrons set up - General Beavis let Finnegan play half of his force (Tarzan the Impudent, the Deathmarks, the Scarabs, and the Annihilation Barge).
Then I revealed my force - The Girl decided to help me out and took control of the Scout Sentinels and the Ratling snipers.
I really had no idea how to deal with this mess - I had kind of hoped to concentrate fire on the Monolith and snipe at the characters - hoping to damage the Monolith Enough damage would lower it's Movement and Ballistic Skill - making it less effective. Killing it would simply mean a new one comes back on the next turn (well... 50% chance of a replacement coming on each turn). I was also hoping to maybe draw them into the jungle and then unleash some Catachan Vicious Traps on them...
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Starting to sound like the war poetry of Pte. S. Baldrick!)
The preliminary bombardment took out 15% of my force! I lost a lascannon, the entire special weapon section armed with snipers, 2 members of the demolition team, BOTH platoon command sections - less one Heavy Flamer (but not the platoon commanders themselves - who are, in 8th edition, independent characters), and a few grunts from regular Infantry Sections.
The first time a platoon command team got hit I used a command point to used a scenario stratagem that would lower the number of mortal wounds cause from d6 to d3 - he still rolled a 6 and three of the four-man team were wiped out anyway, after that I didn't waste anymore command points on trying to save any of the. I suppose I could have had some of the guys in the rear that were hit got to ground (which also reduce the number of wounds taken). Ah well...
From the outset I knew there was NO WAY we were going to finish this game. we started two hours later than I'd intended and had a little over an hour to play before I needed to call it and get to work on some other stuff.
the Necron leaders plot the DOOM OF HUMANITY!
The Necron force went first and on their turn they trundled forward and lit up the AM front line!
The Doom Scythe took out another lascannon and hit the Company command Squad (but they miraculously saved at hits!?) The Ghost Ark shot at an Infantry squad and knocked out half the squad. The Warriors shot up another infantry squad and knocked another 6 out of action. The Deathmarks shot up yet another infantry squad causing four casualties. The crew of the Annihilation Barge were apparently playing Candy Crush on their smartphones, because they couldn't hit a damned thing!? The Monolith wiped out another 7 infantry in various squads it targeted as well as causing a wound on the remaining lascannon team!
Two squads lost another 4 due to morale roles (effectively finishing off two squads), a third squad WOULD have, but they were close enough to the Lord Commissar and so he shot one with his bolt pistol and the rest of the squad stayed put!
On my turn this fellow, being the sole survivor of his unit, charged out in a suicidal attempt to get within 12" of the Annihilation Barge and unleashed a blast of supercharged plasma (risking self-immolation if he rolled a 1). Her rolled a pair of twos. I suppose at this point I should have used some command points to re-roll one (or both) of those... ah well..
I did use command points in the Psychic Phase. My Primaris Psyker tried to charge up a Smite on the Doom Scythe flying over head and rolled a 3 and a 1 - it's got a warp charge of 5 all I needed to do was re-roll that on and get ANYTHING BUT A ONE. I rolled another one...
Between that wounded lascannon team and assorted surviving missile launchers we did cause 12 wounds on the Monolith... (and took out two neurone Warriors). I just could not roll.... The Mortar Squad fired three Heavy d6 weapons firing - I rolled 13 for the number of attacks I got to make (slightly better than average) hitting on 4+ I should have scored six hits... I got two... neither wounded their target...
We had to call it at that point - we'd already gone way longer than I'd intended as I still needed to prepare and review some stuff for the role-playing game I was running in the evening.
I do like the game better than the few games of 7th edition we played. So much stuff is streamlined, by comparison. It does still suffer from a lot of problems all editions have suffered from - long ponderous turns where one side moves and shoots and charges and fights with ALL of their stuff... (Okay there wasn't any charging and fighting in THIS game). And I feel the whole I-bring-my-stuff-and-you-bring-your stuff-and-let's-battle style of play leads has a sort of rock-paper-scissors situation where he brought his rock army and I've got a scissors army and pretty much no matter how you play it rock is always going to beat down scissors...
I think it will go quicker when everyone has actually READ all the rules and knows what all of their stuff does. It was a mistake to play with such large forces while we're still (re)learning the game. We need to go back and do what we did with first game and play with 20-25 Power Level forces. Although I'm not sure if Tarzan + Monolith versus Astra Militarum Infantry platoon is going to be any different (other than we might actually FINISH the game...).
We'll have to get General Beavis to bring over his Tyranids - at least with that army he has a FEW more troops...
Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:
I have another squad of Tallarn Special Weapons on the workbench along with the last Heavy Weapons Squad for the Guaiacan Commandoes. Expect pictures of those in the not-too-distant future.