Sunday 10 September 2017

40K: Sons of Sanguinius vs Crimson Slaughter

Local Sam generously offered to use her Chaos force against me in a learning game of 40K 8th edition today. We had 47 power level each (about 1000 points). We played the starter scenario "Only War".

My force was: 
  • Terminator Captain
  • Terminator Squad (5) with Assault Cannon
  • Terminator Squad (5) with Assault Cannon
  • Terminator Assault Squad (5) with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shield

Chaos Force was:
  • Chaos Hero
  • Chaos Hero
  • Chosen Squad (6)
  • Bike Squad (3)
  • Raptor Squad (5)
  • Cultist Squad (10)
  • Cultist Squad (10)
  • Hellbrute
  • Rhino

The Game

Here's deployment. There are 4 objectives (the black dice), each worth a victory point each turn you hold it (to hold it you have to have more models within 3" of it than the enemy does).

I deploy only the Captain and one squad, waiting to see where the Chaos goes so I can teleport in the other two squads in reaction to them.

Sam's Chaos Cultists and her Hellbrute, with Chosen and Bikers in background.

Sam moves first and all her Chaos moves forward. All her shooting bounces off my Terminator armour, but she gains one victory point.

My turn, I decide to just try and hold the line, and teleport in my two other squads nearby.

My two Squads and the Captain shoot down one of the Cultist squads killing them all.

And my Hammer Terminators (Hammernators?) charge the bikes, and manage to wreck one of them for no loss. I gain one victory point.

 Chaos moves forward again.

 The Raptors fly across to the tower...

 ...and swoop down and attack my Captain, though he kills one with overwatch.

The Chaos gang up on my Hammernators.

First Terminator falls to the Hellbrute's multi-melta.

But my Captain kills two of the Raptors, taking one wound in return. And my Hammernators kill the remaining two bikes, also taking one wound in return. Chaos gets 2 victory points this turn.

The combat continues, my Hammernators managing to swat down all the Chosen, but then losing two of their number as the Chaos Hero's join the fray.

I realise I need to move and capture objectives, as the Chaos are capturing two per turn and I'm only getting one. I try to charge the Hellbrute but fail. It kills another two Terminators and I damage it with return fire. 

I charge another Squad in to help the Hammernators, and Sam throws her Cultists in too. But my Hammernators and squad are cut down, mainly by the Power Weapons of the Chaos Heros. My Captain kills the Hellbrute though. 

Somehow I've gone from having lots of invincible seeming Terminators to only 4 out of 16 left... Chaos have also lost heaps but they have been holding 2 or 3 objectives each turn and I've only been holding one. Oops.

My Captain manages to kill the Chaos hero, but it's not enough to turn the tide, Chaos win on 10 victory points to 6. 


Thanks to Sam and her Chaos for the game! In the first two turns I was almost feeling bad at how easily my Terminators seemed to be annihilating her units and thinking it would be a walkover... But then over the next three turns Terminators were falling and she was getting lots of victory points for holding objectives too. I realised it wasn't going to be so easy! Well done to Sam.  

A few things I took away:
  • Hammernators are cool with their 3+ invulnerable save and big hurty hammers. But other Terminators don't resist power weapons very well in close combat.
  • It's hard to take down vehicles with Storm Bolters and Assault Cannons.
  • Pay attention to victory conditions...!!
  • Game plays very smoothly.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Sons of Sanguinius

One of the first board games I played was Space Hulk, over twenty years ago. A classic asymmetric battle between heavily armoured humans with guns (Terminators), and lightning fast teeth and claw aliens (Genestealers) in claustrophobic ship corridors. Excellent simple rules. When GW re-released this game with superbly re-sculpted figures a few years back I picked up a copy. 

I also added a few more Terminator figures to the Space Hulk collection. I've just finished painting them up as a short diversion from painting hundreds of Napoleonics. This will let me play a big game of Space Hulk, or together with a couple of tanks I added in there's also enough for about 2000 points under the new 40K 8th edition rules. 

I haven't played 40k for well over a decade, and not really much at all since Rogue Trader 1st edition (yes I'm that old). So no idea how well an army like this would perform now. It doesn't have many units to hold objectives and so on but I figure each unit must be pretty awesome (but who knows). As to why I'd even consider giving it a go, general feedback I've heard on 8th edition 40k is that is a big improvement over previous editions (not that this would take much of course...). See this review for example, for a summary of the change in direction and philosophy 8th edition represents. Sounds like it might be worth an occasional diversion, or maybe even as a gateway drug to introduce people to other wargames.

I'm also not sure about the basing for 40k, as I see Terminators are sold with 40mm round bases these days. I bought some 40mm bases for these, but then realised I wouldn't be able to still use them for Space Hulk if I put them on those bases so that's a no-go. I think I still have Rogue Trader era Terminators on 25mm bases somewhere too. Hopefully there's no rules about bases having to be a certain size in 8th edition or else they'll just have to face off against my Genestealer Cult. 

Anyway, onwards with a few more close up pics of these models. They are certainly not painted to the standard you see some players paint their models to these days, but I'm happy with them and the way they look as a force.

The Headquarters: Librarian, Captain, and Chapter Ancient.

1st Squad with Cyclone Missile Launcher and Powerfists.

2nd Squad, Assault with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields.

3rd Squad with Assault Cannon and Chainfists.

4th Squad with Assault Cannon and Powerfists.

Extras: Flamers to replace the Assault Cannons or Cyclone if desired. Plus a Terminator with Lightning Claws, and four Teleport Homers.

And lastly the two Landraiders. Standard configuration, which I figure will give the rest of the force some long range anti-tank capability. The hatches are loose so they can be swapped around.

I know it's 40k so this is a stupid thing to say, but it's always bugged me a bit that the design seems such a poor one for an actual tank. It's a weird combination of tank destroyer and shock assault transport. An anti-tank round trap with setup of the central Heavy Bolter turret.  Side turrets with limited fields of fire like a World War One tank (though at least I didn't put them at the back where they also block the access doors like the standard setup!). You'd think humanities finest could do better really - and indeed they seem to have done so with the new 8th edition Repulsor Tank which at least has a top turret. Of course humanity is also trapped by superstition and tradition in the background, so why not stick with this World War One design. Plus I painted them bright red as well so who am I to criticise. :)  

Having painted them up though, I actually quite like the look of them.

Some rear views. Could do with some Blood Angels vehicle iconography being added, but not sure where to get them from.

These models have turrets and front doors that are designed to be moveable after the model is built. And as you pull down the assault ramp, the upper part of this also lifts up due to a clever little mechanism hidden inside the model.  Kind of neat in a big kid kind of way. 

Alright, thanks for looking! I also have a bunch of the Genestealer Cult figures to make a suitably impressive force to oppose these Terminators, but not sure when they will be done.