Friday, November 19, 2010

Warhammer 40,000 - Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

It's been a really long time since I've played any sort of 40K. I mean a really long time, somewhere in the range of 15 plus years ago. I think I mentioned in a post when I began this blog a year ago that 40K was what really got me into the hobby in the first place. Sure I've obviously gone on to other games and miniatures, and sure the rules are showing a bit of age when compared to some of the newer miniature rulesets coming out, but 40K is something I've always remembered playing fondly.

So when the owner of my FLGS (Lionel of X Planet in Mississauga, ON) asked me if I wanted to get in a game, I jumped at the chance. My Chaos Space Marines have set idle in my cabinet while I've worked on other things, and the chance to pit two armies of wonderfully coloured models against each other was too good to pass up.

I'm not a competitive 40K player (though that might change with the X Planet league that's starting in the new year), so the army I brought consisted of 1000 pts of models I've enjoyed painting: a pimped-out Tzeentch Chaos Sorcerer, an old Chaos Dreadnaught, a unit of 10 Chaos Marines with plasma guns, a unit of 9 Thousand Sons, and two 5-man Lesser Daemons units.

We rolled Capture and Control and Dawn of War for deployment. Here's a picture of how we intially deployed. Note the card boxes are our respective objectives.

My Thousand Sons were to play guard for my objective, their lack of mobility and terrifying inferno bolts being my main reason to have them stuck in (the handsome gentleman in the back for those that don't know, is Lionel, owner of X Planet here in Mississauga).

So I began the game with my Chaos Sorcerer firing his plasma pistol at the Rhino before charging in on the stationary vehicle to assault with krak grenades.

I'm pretty sure you can tell how my assult turned out from the next picture. Not only is the Rhino unharmed, but his combat squad jumped out to shoot, but 3 land speeders and another combat squad in Rhino showed up on the far flank to bloster his defences around his objective. After all was said and done n his shooting phase, he managed to take out my Chaos Sorcerer with a well-timed hit with a lascannon, causing Instant Death much to my chagrin.

I advanced my Chaos Marine sqaud through the cover of rubble, hoping to use it to block LoS. He countered this by bringing the fight to me via the "Rhino Wall." The war of attrition begins to go in Lionel's favour, as his Combat Squads disembark to riddle my forces with Rapid Fire from his boltguns.

My Lesser Daemons arrive out of the warp in Turn 2. Those to the left were to bolster the decimated remains of my Chaos Marines, while those on the right were to make a break for the objective under his control.

My Chaos Marine squad wittled down to the Aspiring Champion, both he and my Lesser Daemons make a last stand and Charge his Combat Squad. This was one of my few successes throughout the game.

Lionel's pesky landspeeders fly up my left flank. To add further insult to injury, he attacked my Chaos Dreadnaught with the trio's assualt cannons, causing a "vehicle immobilized" on the damage table when it was a mere 6" onto the table.

The Rhinos have now enaged my Thousand Sons, just outside of the picture to the bottom righthand corner. His Combat Squads are now left with the simple task of mopping up my Lesser Daemons.So after the blood and dust had settled, did the old dog learn any new tricks? Well, considering I pretty much was dead in the water by the end of Turn 3, I sure did. Here are my thoughts:

  1. New Dice: I managed to get about 3 penetrating hits on his vehicles in the first 2 turns of the game, but could never roll better than a 2. Add in his extra armour and it makes it even worse! I've been told that crushing one die in a vice in front of the rest makes a great example of what happens to under-performers!
  2. Bodies are Better: In smaller games like the one we were playing, more models on the table is more advantageous. My pimped out 235 point Chaos Sorcerer was taken out by a well placed lascannon shot from a Marine, a mere 20 point upgrade in comparison. That really hurt when 25% of my force was taken out in one shot!
  3. Brick City: The "Rhino Wall" was what really helped Lionel win the day. For 50 points he gets a basic transport with extra armour, that can block both my movement and LoS. "A 50 point piece of terrain" it was accurately called. The good thing is my traitor marines will be able to pull off the same move in the future, much to my opponent's frustration.

Until next time!

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