Friday 30 June 2017

Thoughts on 8th ed

So after a couple games and plenty of studying the new edition how do I feel about it? Well, it is certainly a lot of fun to play. I loved 7th edition even with it's flaws and there were times in the run up to the new edition where I didn't like the sound of where Games Workshop were taking the game that I love. But I did the right thing and waited and watched. I have not been disappointed.


When I say it is fun that covers so much of the positive elements. It is always easier to describe the negatives than the positives and that is the problem. Both games that I have played so far under the new edition have been so much more enjoyable than the recent games of 7th. Part of that is because of how much simpler Games Workshop have made the game. The system works well for Age of Sigmar but I think it works much better for 40K. So much smoother and easier to get your head around. There are some slight issues with that but give them time and those issues or questions will be answered. For now, you'll just have to bear with me when I say that is is fun.

The armies feel a lot more balanced towards one another now. Previously I may well have rolled my eyes and slumped my shoulders had an opponent turned up to a 7th ed game with tyranids, craftworld eldar, thousand sons, blood angels... you get the picture. Certain armies were far too good. That isn't the case now. Every army and faction looks to play nicely with each other. Each unit is now a potential option, where as before you only saw the same few units being played. Now I don't know what to expect my opponent to bring to the table and that is a good thing.

The psychic phase is much better. I'm not going to get stomped just because my opponent brought a psychic heavy army (eldar, thousand sons and tyranids, I'm looking at you!) and I may as well not have bothered turning up. Now, the system for using those powers is straight forward and the powers have been brought down to a more reasonable level, although on some occasions I feel that powers are a little underwhelming in how they play.

Vehicles are a lot more survivable now. Wounds and an armour saves have really helped there. Previously I would be very cautious about my vehicles but no longer. Now I can zoom them around the table taking the battle to the enemy.

Six deployment maps and something like 13 detachments is exactly what the game needed. The new deployment lay outs can help shape the basics of a game a lot by the look of things. Some favour shooty armies and some favour those who want to get up close and personal. The detachments are something that I've been suggesting for ages. Rather than just the basic HQ and troops, now the required units could be fast attack or heavy support. The variety will certainly have a strong impact on what certain armies could take and make the games more than just a forgone conclusion again.

Command points are a nice mechanic and seem balanced. I'd like to see some more abilities become available as the game advances and army specific ones as codexes are released.

Much more cinematic. I'm one for using my imagination regardless of the games that I play. With how 8th works I can much more easily see in my mind how something works and how it drives a narrative game playing experience. Part of the problem is that most players view 40K as just a game and crunch numbers. They miss out on the cool bits in their head as they complain about things.

Characters now seem to be a lot better across the board. I used to take Typhus purely for fluff reasons but now he's a HQ option I'll always take. Especially as he's cheaper than a Lord of Contagion and better.

No more templates or scatter dice! For one it is something else that I don't have to remember to bring but it also speeds up game play. A welcome change.


Not so convinced on the armour save modifiers. I find that a lot of weapons have been reduced in effectiveness because of it. Take Lightning Claws for instance. Previously they were AP3 and great for carving through power armour troops. Now they just give a -2 save modifier and doesn't seem to be worth the effort. I can live with it but it means that there are options that I probably won't bother with now.

Close combat seems to be making a comeback. A couple deployment maps are really geared for it and looking at some armies it is going to hurt when they come a' knocking. For a game that is all about who has the biggest gun I'd rather not see a return to over the top assault again.

I don't like the alternating combat system that comes from Age of Sigmar. It doesn't work for me. I'd rather the charging units go first but then the active player picks a combat and everyone fights simultaneously. I would find it a fairer then but I know that is just my opinion.

Re-rolls and then modifiers. Don't like this at all. Let me give you an example. A space marine with a heavy bolter hits on a 3+. He moved so he'll have a -1 to hit. Let's say that some effect gives him a re-roll. So, three shots fired and he gets 3, 4 and 6. Three hits. No need to re-roll so the modifier kicks in and only two shots hit but he can't now re-roll because that comes before modifiers. It needs to be modifiers and then re-rolls.

Too much negativity from the community. A lot of it is coming from players who liked 7th and don't want to change or they didn't like Age of Sigmar and think 8th will ruin the game. They won't even try it and that really gets on my nerves. If it's not that then it is the players who feel hurt because they army isn't what it was under the previous edition. They need to understand that the game is a whole new animal and that they must unlearn everything they new and instead, embrace the new.

On the Fence:

Games Workshop copied over the summoning rules from Age of Sigmar. In other words you have to set aside some of your points to try and summon anything. I hate this as it just feels like wasting your points. Since games are limited in game length anyway so if you just make summoning something you can do once per turn then where is the damage? As I stopped summoning under 7th ages ago anyway I just consider it a nuisance and put it in the grey space between pro and con.

Power levels over points is an interesting addition to the rules. It looks like most players want to play under a points system and I can see why as it more accurately reflects unit strength and balance but I'd like to be able to try a points level game or two just to see.

It looks like Games Workshop have sped up the game by introducing high levels of model death. A mix of armour modifiers, multiple wounds and mortal wounds sees lots of models being removed as casualties. This is part of the new game but I want my armies to survive dagnamit!

Death Guard:

Disappointed that there are units that I can't take as Death Guard. I guess that it is because when the Codex: Death Guard comes out we'll have our own versions, but for now I can't field terminators, bikes, raptors, heldrakes and most daemon engines without breaking the pure Death Guard legion.

Disgustingly Resilient is a nice approximation of the old Feel No Pain, but it is also a bit of a curse. No longer a 3+ armour save and then a 5+ FNP. Armour save modifiers are reducing our saves and if the damage causes multiple wounds we have to roll for all of them meaning we are still likely to lose the model. I see what Games Workshop are doing but it rubs me the wrong way a little bit.

And so...

Overall, 8th edition gets a big old thumbs up from me. I hope that it is going to change the direction that 40K has gone in the last few years and will draw in new players and reinvigorate established players.  Now is the time to seize the galaxy by the horns and take what is yours!

The Balantine Massacre - Cerberus

Planet: Cerberus.
Region: Cerberus Sector.

Death Guard vs Blood Angels.
1250 points.
Mission: Only War
Deployment: Front-Line Assault.

The Balantine Massacre was an event at the start of the Cerberus campaign named after the Balantine peninsula where the Imperium had set up a small resupply point for the larger war effort. Considered to be outside the main lines of engagement the site had been left largely undefended. It was only when the Death Guard led a surprise attack that the Imperial command realized that on this world there was no safe zone. The Death Guard massacred the small garrison and ground staff after subjecting them to massive chemical and biological attack. It was ended only by the swift arrival of a Blood Angels response team which drove the traitor's back but by then the damage had been done..

Second game of 8th edition and this time it was a rematch against Michael Y's Blood Angels. This was his first game of 8th edition so we went for a small-ish game. We were going to try power levels but decided to stick to points. I found it quite tough building a 1250 point list. Couldn't take what I wanted but in the end I was happy with my list.

We rolled and got the Front-Line Assault deployment. We could be very close to one another but we actually deployed further back closer to out table edges. Not having to worry about facings makes a big difference when placing vehicles and that was something Michael was getting used to here.

I got the first turn and grabbed two objectives straight away and decided to keep those plague marines sitting on them. If I couldn't win then I could at least hope to snatch a draw. The poxwalkers on the other hand, were advancing up the table at full speed and soon outran both Typhus and the Lord of Contagion who were supposed to be supporting them. The predator managed an awesome shot which knocked six wounds off of one of Michael's razorbacks.

Michael's first turn was not as effective as I recall. I either made armour saves or my disgustingly resilient rolls. I think he dropped two poxwalkers and that was it. Mephiston emerged from hiding but it put him square in the path of my poxwalker hoard, who on my next turn surged into him clamoring for his flesh. They would then tie him up in combat for the next three turns. They failed to wound but they did their job by keeping him busy.

As the game progressed my predator blow it's target razorback away and moved up to the table to start hounding a second tank. That was a new experience for me as previously unless it was a land raider, i would have held the predator back under cover to keep it alive. Now I have no fear of zooming it up the table.

My helbrute managed to knock some wounds off of my opponent's vindicator before that same tank blew it away. The vindicator then starting picking off one plague marine squad sitting on an objective. This was quite worrying as the loss of that objective would scupper my plans. I had then bend the rules the little and stretch one unit of plague marines so that they claimed two objectives.

On his third turn Michael brought his reinforcements in. A unit of assault marines and a unit of death company assault marines. They helped Mephiston bring down the remaining poxwalkers. The assault marines then leapt away to steal the objective from that one remaining plague marine. The death company and Mephiston charged into Typhus and the Lord of Contagion. My Lord had taken a few wounds and was swiftly cut down but Typhus gained revenge by cutting down the death company in one mighty swing. His foul miasma and psychic powers then aiding in dropping Mephiston.

The game ended turn five and we counted up the victory points. Michael held two objectives and I held two but also got the warlord kill. Victory to the Death Guard 7 points to his 4. Another really good game against Michael. I'm really enjoying our games. We still made a couple mistakes but nothing that we won't soon fix as we play.

Lord of Contagion.
10 man Plague Marine squad. Champion with plasma pistol and power weapon. Unit had two meltaguns and an icon of despair.
10 man Plague Marine squad. Champion with plasma pistol and power weapon. Unit had a meltagun, a plasmagun, and an icon of despair.
20 Poxwalkers.
Helbrute with multi-melta and power fist.
Predator with twin-linked lascannon and heavy bolter sponsons.

Plague Marines advance down the battlefield.

Typhus and a Lord of Contagion heard the flesh-eating dead.

Blood Angel scouts hiding in the ruins.

Mephiston surrounded by the dead.

Friday 23 June 2017

Outpost Raid - Cerberus

Planet: Cerberus.
Region: Cerberus Sector.

Death Guard vs Grey Knights.
2000 points.
Mission: Only War.
Deployment: Search and Destroy.

While the majority of the Imperial forces engage the Death Guard across the surface of Cerberus, a small task force deploys to the northern polar region and begin to construct a communications station to better assist the invasion. It did not take the traitor legion long to detect it's presence. A force of plague marines and Nurgle daemons led by Typhus himself soon captured the base, slaughtering the serfs and taking several Mechanicus personnel prisoner to interrogate. When a final call of help is recieved followed by silence on the comm relay, Guilliman dispatches a force of Grey Knights to investigate and retake the outpost. When it was revealed what horrors stood before them, the Grey Knights were blessed with the arrival of Kaldor Draigo. Cutting his way back into the real universe, he came to lead his brothers against the hated foe.

My first ever game of 8th edition Warhammer 40K. My friend Mike wanted to try out his Grey Knights, and as another army I rarely get to face these days I agreed. We agreed to do a nice casual game to try out the units we have. To keep it simple we played the basic Only War mission.

Neither of us really started with anything on the table as I had three units, including Typhus, in reserve and two units of plague marines in rhinos. Mike had a huge chunk of his army in reserve waiting to teleport in.

One of the things with this edition is that until you start playing you don't realise how in your face the game has become. Mike had turn one and before I had done anything he had teleported in behind my lines and gunned down one rhino with about 80 dice of rapid fire stormbolter fire! He was also across the centre point of the table and holding one objective. My turn one saw the daemons advance slowly and the renegade knight blasting a chunk out of his stormraven and then assaulting the squad atop the landing platform at the centre of the table. Titanic feet is awesome! 12 attack dice. The knight crushed six of the squad to bloody pulp!

As the game advanced Mike was straight into combat. I had expected the Great Unclean One to do a lot better but all my dice wanted to do was roll 1's on everything and over two rounds he cut the greater daemon into little bits. I tried to back it up with the plaguebearers but even with the daemonic icon they didn't last long.

Combat is very brutal now. My Knight found itself crushed by the remains of the squad it had trodden on, a dreadnought and a dreadknight tore it down in I think one round of combat. No mini-nuke explosion though sadly. I think if it had gone nuclear it would have helped me a lot more by taking out the tougher units.

My terminators and Typhus teleported in, but the terminators didn't do much good. They soon died to massed firepower. Two got through to kill a couple grey knights but then died. Typhus and Draigo decided to go man to man and I have to say that was one of the best bits of the game. Both characters hammered away at one another. He halved Typhus' wounds and I left Draigo on one wound. The following round I tried to smite the grey knight leader but it failed and then I remembered that Typhus has a start of turn area effect that caused a mortal wound killing Draigo out right! Sadly Typhus was then defeated by combined fire from the stormraven.

By the end of turn four I had little left. One squad of plague marines had been reduced to two models and another was wiped out by concentrated fire. We were running out of time at the venue anyway so I called time. Mike had 8 victory points and I had 2/

8th is definitely a very different animal and one that will take time to adapt to but I thoroughly enjoyed our game. I have to remember the new rules. The amount of times I forgot about "Death to the False Emperor" was painful and might have helped save the day. However it was a great game am looking forward to my next one.

With the enemy dead and banished the clean up process began. Draigo had been dispatched back to the Warp by Typhus but the Traveller's body was never found in the icy wasteland. The comms station was back in Imperial hands although the Mechanicus survivours were never heard from again following their "debriefing" with the Ordos Malleus.


A stormraven prowls the skies.

Daemons of Nurgle and a renegade knight advance.

A strike force of Grey Knights prepares to attack.

An unexpected force teleports in behind my lines.


The ruins of the comms station host a mighty battle.

Crushing the foolish minions of the false emperor!

Friday 16 June 2017

Wager of the Gods - Susperia

Planet: Susperia.
Region: Eye of Terror.
Time has no meaning in the Warp.

Death Guard vs World Eaters.
2000 points.
Mission: Purge the Alien.

There are no stars in the skies above Susperia. Instead the sky is a swirling storm of psychedelic colours in which leering daemonic faces and reaching talons frequently appear. Below those skies two armies have come together at the will of their patrons to fight for the honour of their god.

When my expected opponent had to drop out of last night's game Mark offered to take over and challenge my Death Guard. Normally he plays Thousand Sons but I know he has other chaos marine armies so I asked him to play his World Eaters as I don't think I've played against them since 6th edition. We decided to be thematic and play the basic kill point mission with the across table deployment. Kill! Maim! Burn!

Mark had the first turn, which coupled with the World Eater legion rules meant that he was half way across the table and bearing down on me straight away. My first turn saw just a single wound being taken off of a chaos spawn but I don't think I caused any other injuries due to Mark making his night fight stealth saves. Turn two and one unit reached one of my chaos marine squads and combat was joined. He also destroyed a rhino with a lucky shot from a plasma pistol.

From this point on the game started to bog down into close combat. I was lucky enough to keep one rhino intact for a while allowing me to fire my meltaguns and plasma pistol out the top. It forced Mark to drop my rhino giving me the chance to assault him. Combat was quite nasty from this point. I didn't manage to get anywhere in challenges as Marks chaos lords on juggernauts each had a powerful relic preventing me from making armour saves for the most part, and my FNP rolls were shockingly bad again. My helbrute, which I wanted to support my marines was crushed by a mighty daemon prince of Khorne.

When my heldrake came in it was able to melt half a squad of berzerkers. Next turn I had to risk it and put it into hover mode and while it did take out the rest of the khorne warriors, it was assaulted by Kharn the Betrayer and the daemon prince. They ripped it to the ground but I was happy with what it did.

When my land raider went boom, the terminators and my terminator lord moved out of the burning wreckage to attack a chaos lord on juggernaut. Again though I just couldn't score wounds on him and he just hacked through them. The World Eaters were living up to their reputation.

Come turn four and I realsied that I had completely forgotten about my raptors waiting to come in from reserve. With pretty much everything else I had reduced to a pile of headless corpses, I dropped them down into Mark's deployment zone. If nothing else I could snatch a point at the end of the game. Unfortunately they ended up in charge range of a chaos lord on juggernaut and promptly slaughtered to a man.

Game ended turn five with a complete table wipe for my poor Nurgle marines. Mark had won 15 victory points to my one. He had claimed every available victory point that he could have scored. Impressive.

I had hoped to do better but a mix of his relic wielding juggernaut lords and my inability to roll feel no pain meant that this was never going to go my way.

However, on a good note, this was potentially my last game of 7th edition. Next week I have my first 8th edition game. Looking forward to it big time.

Nurgle's champions had failed and Khorne gathered their skulls for his throne. The Death Guard were not living up to their name. Nurgle would have to look elsewhere for a champion if he was to dominate the battlefields of Susperia.

Blood for the Blood God!

A horde of mutated spawn surge through the ruins.

Death Guard deployment.

A mighty daemon prince of Khorne.

Berzerkers charge across the battlefield.

My heldrake vomits over a unit of berzerkers.

Monday 12 June 2017

The Ritual - Cerberus

Planet: Cerberus.
Region: Cerberus Sector.

Death Guard vs Blood Angels.
2000 points.
Mission: Purge the Alien.

The sudden attack upon the Death Guard held world has come as a surprise. Territory has been lost but the sons of Mortarion have enacted a strong counter attack but for now the war has bogged down into a stale mate.
In an attempt to bolster their forces with daemonic allies, the Death Guard blightcasters attempt an powerful ritual to bring forth a host of plaguebearers and great unclean ones. 
Alerted to this by the divinations of his chapter's librarians, Guilliman dispatches an assault force of Blood Angels to thwart the plans of the Death Guard.

Tonight's game was against one of our club's newer players Michael Y. Always good to play against someone new so I was really looking forward to this game. I had forgotten that he played Blood Angels so I built a basic combined-arms detachment list. I had considered playing my Chaos Knight but decided against it as I didn't know whether he had ever played against such before and I wanted to be nice. We decided on the night to go with a basic kill mission and we played the usual across table deployment.

His list was a librarian dreadnought and sternguard in a stormraven, some scouts, two units of bikes, a land raider redeemer, two flamer predators and an assault cannon predator. He also took a fortification to hold a devastator squad. Haven't played against a Blood Angels army like this for ages so I had forgotten that they were fast. His tanks were across the table and in my face straight away from turn one. Had not expected that and it put me on the back foot.

Quite quickly I lost my rhino's and Michael was three victory points up. I was convinced that he was going to win this straight away. I tried to focus all my lascannon and heavy weapons fire upon his land raider but if I did cause a hull point of damage Michael has a tech marine inside fixing things. Quite frustrating. I did manage to knock some hull points of his predators and my helbrute charged and knocked one into twisted scrap.

As the game progressed my marines were getting burnt to death and blasted away by sniper fire with rending hits. Not getting an army save first and failing quite a few FNP rolls was hurting my ability to mount a counter attack. The helbrute soon exploded removing my easy means of taking his tanks down. My Heldrake soon came in and was able to eradicate one bike squad and slay most of a scout squad that had been causing me trouble. It didn't do me much more use though .

The last few turns of the game were spent with my marines trying to tank hunt on foot with an autocannon and meltagun, or desperately trying to avoid the flamestorm cannons on my opponent's land raider.

When Michael's stormraven came in it dropped off the sternguard and librarian dreadnought, and blasted my land raider to bits. This actually helped me as it freed up my terminators and terminator lord. Combat quickly ensued and my chaos lord did very well. The dreadnought failed to wound him and with a fantastic roll my lord dropped a meltabomb on it and blew the dreadnought away. The sternguard did nothing and then died to lots of lightning claw hits. I grabbed myself a good few victory points on that last turn.

Turn 5 the game ended and I thought it was going to be close. I had clawed my way back and had achieved a draw. That was until it was pointed out that Michael's surviving bike squad was within my deployment zone and gave him one more victory point. My opponent had won 8vp to my 7vp.

We both agreed afterwards that this was one of the best games either of us had had for a long time. Looking forward now to our rematch.

The Blood Angels strike against the ritual site came as a shock for the defending Death Guard. The traitor marines put up a strong defence but were cut down with righteous fury/ The Blood Angels then disrupted the warp magics and massacred the blightcasters. For now the Death Guard would fight their own fight against the invaders.

The Death Guard east flank falls to the Imperial advance.

The Blood Angels dominate the air war.

Death Guard marines seek to avoid the flames of death (crusader proxying as a redeemer).

A mighty heldrake brings fiery doom to the Blood Angels.

The Blood Angels bring fire and flame to slay the sons of Mortarion.

Saturday 3 June 2017

8th edition battle report

Those cool guys over at Tabletop Tactics have got their hands on some preview copies of the new 8th edition rules and Indexes, and have put up a big battle report to show off how the game works. Enjoy.

Now I have been naughty and seen the leaked copies of the rules and the chaos index. Death Guard have taken a little hit. They can't play terminators, raptors/warp talons, bikes and daemon engines. I don't know why and that has irked me a little. As my army will be built using the Chaos and Nurgle keywords I'm just going to use them still but give them a different legion name so that I can include them.

Friday 2 June 2017

Hunt the Enemy - Tethys Ultima

Planet: Tethys Ultima.
Region: Ghoul Stars.
Date: 905.M41

Death Guard vs Necrons.
1500 points.
Mission: Purge the Alien.

Following their initial defeat the Necron forces on Tethys Ultima have begun a series of fast hard hitting raids to test the defences of the Death Guard fortress base. In each instance they have been repulsed and forced back into the deserts of that dead world.
After a week of constant raids Typhus decides that his forces have been reacting instead of attacking, and so orders his warlords to scour the deserts for the machines. Find their commanders and destroy them utterly. With no command structure the Necron warriors will fall to the wrath of the legion!

For a while now I have been trying to organize a game against my friend Andrew E and last night we finally got to bring the pain. Initially he was going to play an Armies of the Imperium list with Guilliman but decided to field a Necron army instead. Always one for facing that rare army I was pleased to test their mettle once more. We decided to go for a simple kill point mission and rolled for deployment. This game we would be playing from the short ends down the length of the table.

He set up first and for a moment I was quite shocked to see a Monolith getting played, as around here I don't think I've seen one fielded for a few years. I set up everything as much behind cover as possible and decided not to steal the initiative just so that he had to walk everything down the table to me. My plan being to bring down the monolith with lascannon and meltagun fire, while my raptors and jump pack lord went after the other units and hopefully his war lord.

The first couple turns went quickly. Andrew just marched his forces forward and I did likewise. First turn of the game and one Rhino got itself immobilized in the mud. Just my luck! But it would prove a fair place to do so once that Monolith came down from the heavens. Turn two he got his Monolith and his Flayed Ones in from reserve. I would soon immobilize the Monolith and although he kept getting hull points back it never really posed a threat for the rest of the game. The Flayed Ones ended up in combat with my Raptors and although they held me up for a couple turns they soon were crushed.

Turn three saw his Deathmarks arrive in behind my lines and they took out the Chaos Marine squad with the lascannon. They lost one in return fire but that was all they did. They would earn him the Linebreaker point though.

The next couple turns were basically him shooting largely ineffectively at my guys but he was up with victory points simply by wrecking my Rhinos and Land Raider with gauss fire. My terminators held up his wraiths and the Raptors tried smashing through his warrior squad to little effect. The challenge between by jump pack lord and his overlord was basically a stalemate. I couldn't seem to hit him but I was making all my feel no pain rolls. I think we took a wound of each other and that was it.

The game came to an end turn 5 and we counted the cost. Thanks to him scoring linebreaker and first blood Andrew snatched victory. 5vp to 3. The problem was simply that neither of us could hurt each other. My FNP rolls were just amazing and Andrew's reanimation protecol rolls were likewise fantastic. A good close game.

I think part of my problem was that for the last few years we have around here upped our games to 2000 points which left me feeling unsure as to what to take at 1500. The Knight is too expensive to take even though i would have liked to and the formations require too many points as a minimum.

Necron forces advance down the battlefield.

A mighty Monolith descends from the clouds upon a column of green light.

The Death Guard defence near the start of the game.

Battle is joined!

Crusade Battles catchup

 It's been a few weeks since I last updated and in that time I have played a further three Crusade games. I am really enjoying playing C...