THE FOLLOWING TAKES PLACE WITH UNPAINTED MODELS, IF THAT’S A PROBLEM TURN BACK NOW, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
There was a new edition for 40k and I didn’t play much seventh edition, it was very similar to sixth. This however, was no longer the case. Eighth edition of Warhammer 40,000 proved to be a completely different beast. I’d not gotten on this soon simply because I wanted the dust to settle (sort of speak) and I was quite happily curled up in my WarhammerQuest/AoS blanket. So when a friend of mine wanted to get his buddy into 40k, who wanted to play tyranids, I had a bunch I hadn’t touched in half a decade, I decided to blow the dust off them and give them one last whirl. Plus I’d be able to try the new edition all in one swoop.
In this new edition, there is a lot more to go off from the get go. Open, Narrative or Matched, with subdivisions of play under these three types. It was a lot to digest, but we decided to keep it old school. Matched play with points (power-levels to me, at least for now seem to punish armies that have less options), and we decided to keep command points and detachments off the table to keep it as simple as possible for our first game. We rolled Search and Destroy for deployment and the Relic for the objective. Which basically means we had a single movable objective in the center of the board, who ever had it at the end of the game won. Oh and obviously I stole the initiative off my opponent.
With the first turn I did what any self respecting horde army would do given my sole objective, I threw every single model into a manic frenzied charge into the center of the board. Hoping to use the numbers of my thirty strong termagant brood to simply body block the objective. Other then my Hive Tyrant popping off Biocannon fire into the Necrons Vehicles the rest of my units purpose was to stop the Necrons from bringing their superior firepower to bear down on the termagants, as well as the Tervigon replenishing casualties. Me stealing the initiative really hurt my opponent in this game especially. The Necrons advanced up the field as best they could, but they are not known for their mobility. The armored aspects of their force attempting to outflank. The Deathmarks enter play in a position to unleash their maximum firepower along with the flanking Nercon warriors onto the Gants but even both units opening fire at rapid fire range, they inflict to few casualties and the hive mind continues to close in on the objective.
At the beginning of the second turn my termagant get ten of their bodies replenished as the Tervigon slowly accompanies the units, Gants bursting out of Tervigons birthing sack. They successfully claim the objective while the Genestealers flank around to charge the Triarch Praetorians to prevent them from contesting the objective while the gargoyles use their leathery wings to fly up into the ruin and cut off the Deathmarks. Unfortunately for me the Genestealers roll terribly on their charging dice and in a panic I try to redeploy my gargoyles to cut off the Praetorians, who also fails their charge and rather foolishly leaves the Deathmarks uncontested. However, when things looked to be turning up for the Necrons, the Warriors fire into the Genestealers left in the the open and roll absolutely terribly. My opponent then opted to unload his second unit of Warriors before sending off the Ghost to help fight for the Relic in the center. Still there was no resistance to the Triarch Praetorians who were able to charge into the Termagants preventing them from escaping with the objective and slicing down a bunch of them in the process. Unexpectedly the Scarabs charge into my gargoyles and with them hitting on a 3+ and having 4 attacks a piece they tore the flying Tyranids into ribbons before they could even fight back.
With the pressure building on the center objective I used some of my reinforcement points to spawn a fresh unit of Termagants and have the unit charge up at the Deathmarks, I pressed on with the central combat hoping to drown the Triarch Praetorians in bodies, my remaining Genestealers at the Necrons Overlord, dealing a couple of wounds to the Warlord. My Tyranid Warriors opened fire onto the scarabs and charged, my Hive Tyrant engaged the Triarch Stalker and my Carnifex lowed its head and charged into the Ghost ark. This is where the game became incredibly dry, other then the warriors who swiftly crushed the remaining Genestealers by charging from the forest to engage in hand to hand combat to aid their (over)Lord. The next three turns became a giant scrum in the center of the board as our units proceed to just chip at each other slowly with no sign of either giving an inch. The large number of wounds combined with Necron’s “we will be back” special rule (which allows his dead models to come back to life at the beginning of each of their turns) and lower damage output of both our armies had grind us into a stalemate.
At the potential end of the game, all the combats were unresolved. my Termagants decided to make a break with the relic, they made a withdrawal while their monstrous mother beast charged into the Triarch Praetorians to prevent their pursuit. The Hive Tyrant had managed to destroy the Triarch Stalker but had found itself charged by the Necron warriors before it was able to do so, and thus was still pinned in combat. A single Deathmark was holding off my second Termagant brood, and had been for along time. I’d still win if the game ended as I had control of the relic. Hoping the game would continue my opponent redeployed his Necron warriors which were not getting mauled on by a Hive Tyrant to try and shoot down the Termagants and make off with the Relic for their own. The game didn’t end. In-fact the game would continue for its maximum duration (Three extra rounds).
The Termagants continued to flee with the relic, the Warrior in hot pursuit. They open fire twice, inflicting decent damage on turn five and six. However the power of the hive-mind is strong, and despite being out of Synapse range I rolled a 1 both for my moral tests at the end of those rounds. (you can practically feel the salt of my opponent through your computer monitor) The Hive Tyrant, Carnifex and Warriors finally win their respective combats after six entire turn (that’s TWELVE rounds of combat) but are unable to make it over to the objective in any meaningful way. Thankfully my Termagant stragglers are able hold up the Overlord for one last turn preventing him from reaching my brood controlling the objective.
With the Eighth and final turn I manage to safely stash my unit out of line of sight of any Necron and within Synapse range of my Warriors, and for final dramatic effect charged my Hive Tyrant into his Necron Overlord. This was it, a warlord vs warlord. and…
My opponent took the last two photos because my phone died so you can get on to him about that focus job. Still, to talk about the match I have very mixed feelings about it, on paper I really like the changes to 40k, I really do. Plus a lot of the issues we faced in the game can be chalked up into neither of us playing the rule-set before, and also I think the deployment and objective did not do us any favors. It forced us to fight very densely packed into the center over a single objective and that combined with the two armies made for a very drawn out and frankly boring game. The match took hours (4-5) and neither of us left it feeling particularly happy. Compare this to a 1000pt Game (the same amount of points as this game) of Age of Sigmar me and the same guy played at a club last week,and you can’t help but look at this unfavorably. That game was over in less then two hours, and that game was incredibly fun. I only make the comparison because there is clearly a lot of aspects of AoS that has been borrowed for this new version of 40K, but (in this game at least) they don’t seem to do the system many favors in simplifying or speeding up the game. Still, like I said at the beginning I am selling off my Tyranids anyway, and will definitely be giving Warhammer 40k another chance. Next time with a different army, deployment and objective! I really do hope that I enjoy my next experience with the system as it will always hold a special place in my heart as a gamer.