Sunday, 18 June 2017

40K 8th Ed. First Game

In all my years of playing Games Workshop games (well over 30) never have I ever queued outside a GW shop on release day.
Until this year.
The Gaming Heir was particularly keen to be at Warhammer World when it opened to secure himself a copy of the new Imperial Codex so he could find out how hard High Marshall Helbrecht and the Emperor's Champion were in the new rules.
So we queued up, grabbed a copy of the Codex and a couple of copies of the hand-out version of the rules and he was sat down reading by five past ten.
Then we went home,

Stephen had also acquired various 40K goodies so was in touch to see if we fancied a game, so GH and I ventured over to the Hucknall Palais des Jeux for a quick run through to get us all familiar with the game.

In the end I played against the Gaming Heir while Steve frantically flicked back and forth through various publications.
The new rules allow you to pick forces to a broad rather than individually costed limit. So a unit of ten Ork boys is 5 points regardless of whether you take nobs or heavy weapons, making the unit 20 strong adds 4 points. A single Deffkopta is 5 points and it costs an additional 8 points to make the unit 3 strong.

The chap at WW in the morning had said 75 power level was a good size for a game, so we went with 50 as we were bedding in. This gave us forces at around the 700 point mark under the previous version of the rules.

Then we played the game using the basic All Out War scenario from the pamphlet.

Burny Boyz holdin a objective

The (randomly generated) object of the exercise was to hold objectives. There were 4 and you had a point for each one you held at the end of a turn So we started by holding two each.
The the Marines (who were somehow the underdogs) went first.

Klanky Kans

Beardy Gaming Heir had taken a Land Raider Crusader containing non other than High Marshall Helbrecht and some mates.
I was pretty sure I had nothing that could deal with them, so sent my Deff Dredd and Killa Kanz to test the behemoth out.

Gruzzkup and da Ladz

Freshly painted jump pack marines duly bounded across the field and attacked the Burna boys.
And here came our first rules question.
Models on overwatch need sixes to hit. But burnas don't roll to hit - they just do D3 automatic hits.
So we scratched heads and then decided D3 automatic S4 hits wasn't really going to do much anyway, so we went with that. 3 hits, 1 wound and a save later we decided that was fine.
However given you can take units of 10 Burna Boyz....

Coo-er! Bouncy tinny ladz!

The assault marines then killed all the Orks before they could fight back (Chargers on one side go first, then, when all charging units have fought the attacking player picks a unit to fight with and only then do you start alternating. I expect there's considerable tactical nuance and decision making to be had in working out the optimum order. So I'll never be any good at that.

Right, letgs get dem bikez!

As I'd now lost an objective I sent some boys from their Trukk to reclaim it. Meanwhile my Warboss secured the other one and drove off some bikers (who seemed quite frisky, firing two boltguns (plus rapid fire if close enough) as well as any other weapons they're holding (apart from pistols).
They did a fair bit of damage, but then Gruzzkup and the lads demonstrated that Orks are, if anything, even better in hand to hand than they were.

Da Boyz havin a pop where da Burnaz failed

There's a bike in there somewhere!

On it grindz

However over on the opposite side of the table the Land Raider was proving every bit as tough as I'd feared. You've more chance of wounding it than before, but it has 16 wounds and a 2+ save. And I just didn't have the tools.
Then the doors opened, Helbrecht came out and everyone died.

By this stage I was running out of green bodies and sent Gruzzkup and the boys on a Waaagh powered charge toward the Marines sitting on the nearest objective.
As you can't actually add characters to units he first of all out paced the rest of the lads, and then was targeted by lots of firepower. So he arrived with but a single wound remaining, killed a Marine or two and then took a chainsword to the face and died.

Gruzzakup to da Rescue!

This left me with only a Trukk left alive and the Black Templars in control of the field.

So, how was new 40K?
In truth, although some things have been streamlined it didn't feel a lot different to the previous version of 40K.
Moving, Running and shooting is pretty much the same as it was (though some values have changed and vehicles are much easier to work out).
Fighting is very similar, though less fussy.
The ability to wound anything made vehicles and walkers feel more vulnerable - right up until you realised how many hits you were going to have to do.

Now, bear in mind that I'm very much a casual gamer who just like to throw down pretty soldiers, drink beer and roll dice.
I'm sure for the Tournament/Points Match playing types there's all sorts of synergies and stratagems to exploit.
But as I find that the least interesting aspect of the game I'm left feeling that it's a bit quicker (at the moment) and clearer (mostly) than 40K, but really not that much of a leap.
I also suspect that as the Codexes and datasheets get released and more and more special rules and chrome get piled on it'll soon start to bloat back up to its previous size.
I liked the Power Level approach - much quicker an easier for a simpleton (though now doubt ripe for abuse by the kind of people who shouldn't be playing Power Level games and should instead be doing pure points match).
And the big rulebook looks good - I may crack and get that just to explore all the additional scenarios and things in Narrative play.
So a qualified success for me.

But it remains a game for children, deviants and accountants.


  1. Not a child or an accountant so that's places me in the middle gamer type. :) I'm having my first new 40K wednesday so I can find out has my strictly unoptimal in 1995 imperial Guard army have fared over the decades.

  2. I think that while you rules will come with units they will be just for those units so the game will remain strong