It was a 2v2 game and we played the mission Big Guns Never Tire.
We built armies to a Power Level of 60.
It was my Iron Warriors and Seti's Eldar versus Xtine's Sisters of Battle and Derling's Space Marines.
I will talk a bit about 8th edition and my feelings towards it first and then do the battle report and then give some my new opinions about 8th edition afterwards.
Some background before I get into the bat rep:
I had been rather annoyed and hesitant to play 8th edition since it had been announced for several reasons.
- One reason is that I was convinced it would interrupt my foray into the Age of Darkness 30k Horus Heresy-era game I had been playing. I figured they would be messing up all of the rules for the Legions and that everything Forgeworld had so meticulously crafted would fall apart.
(I am still convinced that GW prime and Forgeworld do not communicate the way they should. I believe Forgeworld is not privy to what GW prime does and that they are jealous of Forgeworld's success and attempt to sabotage a lot of the things Forgeworld does. Either that or GW is incompetent at running their own company.)
And then something very unexpected was announced at WarhammerFest: The Horus Heresy rules would continue on with 7th Edition and that they would actually release their own rule book designed specifically for the Horus Heresy setting! To say I was surprised would be an understatement.
I was simultaneously relieved and worried. I was relieved because at least one game that I played that I felt was balanced and fun would remain so regardless of what GW did and I was worried because this would potentially cause a rift in the player base because now you would either be played Horus Heresy or 40k, the two games will not be able to played together. Only time will tell how this will pan out. For me I am playing in a summer Horus Heresy campaign so I will still get my games in with the IVth Legion but I am nervous about the long term future of the game.
- Another reason I didn't want to like 8th edition was that GW said it was the game we all wanted. It was the Ultimate 40k game. It was the best thing in the universe of all time! And it was so great because GW said it was.
If you know me you know that I don't just like to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. I also don't like to be told what to do. That's one reason why I HATE pop music. Everyone either likes it or is ok with it existing. I will not listen to Britney or Pink or Katy Perry. I will change the station and I will complain about the music. Just because its on TV or the radio doesn't mean its good and people shouldn't settle for what is pushed down their throat by the powers that be.
So with the above attitude I immediately pushed back against 8th edition. I just hate it when things are forced on me.
- This third reason ties in with the last reason. I was annoyed with 8th edition because not only did GW TELL me it was the greatest thing ever but for some reason everyone else was saying the same thing. They were simply following what GW was saying and not even waiting for the rules to come out or play the game. People were insanely excited and just exploding with optimism about 8th edition a month or more before it was even released only because GW said it was good!
If there is one thing that that everyone in the world should understand in today's day and age its that you should think for yourself. Do not just accept what those in power say. Evaluate and make up your own mind. The divisions in our country and around the world I feel are largely based on people not thinking for themselves. They hear something which is meant to outrage and they get outraged and then they just assume things are that way without investigating.
I will not start talking politics but I think all of you out there reading this should understand what I mean.
And this is the crazy thing about the lead up to 8th edition. It became like a political debate. There were people on both sides who were really passionate arguing and demonizing the other side and this was before anyone had even played 8th edition.
I decided at one point that I needed to play the game before I make up my mind as to whether it is a good game or not. And finally this past weekend I got the chance.
Warsmith Morgoth was sent to parlay with an Eldar Farseer. The Imperials were approaching with a massed army and while the Eldar and the forces of Chaos don't normally get along. The Farseer had seen the future and knew that if the Imperials were to take this planet then the Eldar would be in dire straits in this sector.
The Farseer allowed Morgoth to speak.
"We are here because we require the Iron Ore deep in this planets mountains and we will leave as soon as we have completed our mining operations. As we both know, the Imperials have claimed this world and are sending a task force to wipe out our mining operations. I was sure we would be forced to leave but then I received a communique from your ship. Normally your people won't help followers of the Dark Gods and yet you have requested a meeting. Why?"
The Farseer replied,
"There are dark tidings for the Eldar in the future and we must make alliances from time to time with unsavory beings to ensure our continued existence. Some believe the Imperials have done a great thing in waking up one of their Demigods. I do am not one of them. I see only fire and death in the future. The Imperium must be stopped and this will be the first battle ground."
Immediately the Dominions advance and destroy the Warpsmith's rhino.
The Warwalkers advance and the Marine flyer flies on to the board.
The Chaos Marines disembark from their rhino and help the Warpsmith's squad destroy the Immolator. The Warpsmith charges into the Dominions and 2 escape. A squad of Space Marines then deepstrike behind the sisters thanks to their Chapter Master, Lias Issodon's special abilities.
The Raptor's Space Marines using experimental armour.
The flyer destroys the anti-air Quad Gun that the Iron Warriors brought.
The Sisters advance on the left flank and the Penitent Engines charge the Eldar Avatar.
The large Guardian squad charges the Primaris Marines.
Chapter Master Issodon
The Primaris Marines advance over some Chaos ruins.
The Warpsmith's Chosen squad get utterly destroyed by the Primaris Marine's plasmaguns.
The battle so far.
The Avatar kills a Penitent Engine.
A Sisters of Battle Rhino charges into a squad of Guadians.
The Warpsmith teams up with the ten man marine squad to eliminate the two remaining Dominions and the 5 man loyalist marine squad.
The Primaris lieutenant advances behind a rhino.
The Predator moves from on top of the hill down to the ground and over to the Aegis Line.
The flyer flies over to assist on the left flank.
The Avatar goes down! The Penitent Engines have won the fight albeit with only one remaining.
The Iron Warrior Rhino and the ten man marine squad fire upton the Primaris Marines on the Chaos Ruins and kill two of them!
The flyer going into Hover Mode and turns around to shoot at the Predator, stripping its wounds down to 2 and decreasing its ability to affect the battle.
The Marines rhino advances forward revealing the lieutenant. The Primaris marines with plasma continue to rain death into the Iron Warriors marine squad in the woods.
The Space Marine rhino moves in front of the Aegis line to block the Ion Warriors' movement.
The left flank of the Chaos/Eldar alliance has crumbled.
At the end of the battle Chaos/Eldar had 1st blood and we had killed a heavy support choice giving us 2 points. The Imperials had 3 out of 4 objectives and had linebreaker, giving them 10 points.
The Imperials win.
"The Eldar are crumbling my lord."
"I can see that Sargeant." said Warsmith Morgoth.
"We must retreat for the time being. Although the Imperial lackeys haven't seen the last of us."
Warsmith Morgoth wasn't pleased with the outcome and worried how his new master, the Daemon/Marine hybrid Boratheon would react. In the past as Lord Boroth he would have tempered his anger and looked at the situation logically and analytically. This new being, however, is unpredictable. Much of Boroth's logic has been lost and Boratheon is unpredictable.
Whatever Boratheon's opinion is on this battle, the outcome will be that the Iron Warriors will be pushed back closer to their mining operations further limiting their defensive options.
Post-1st game opinions
Now that I have played a game I can say that a few things about the 8th edition rules.
Things I like:
- I like all of the detachments available. Having all of the different ways to build your army without using formations is nice and also having it in the main rulebook is really nice so that no matter who has a codex or what the rules are in the codex, there is always a flexible way to build your army using the detachments. I can take 4 heavy support for example if I want.
- I like Command Points. Everyone starts with 3 and then you get additional ones depending on the detachment you have. There is also a detachment that subtracts them which is an interesting idea as well. I think this is a great start and also that in the future you could create new uses for command points maybe based on army. Also in codexes you could have new detachments that add or subtract command points giving you more options.
- I like the Aura effects. (This is something I thought I'd hate.) I think its pretty neat and it makes up for the fact that Independent Characters (now called just Characters) can't join units anymore.
- Owning player removes casualties. I've always preferred this as this was the way 3rd ed worked. It isn't as realistic as 7th ed was but it is easier to figure out.
- Removing whole models first. Its really dumb to shoot at a unit where every model has multiple wounds and it takes forever to kill them because the owning player just spreads the wounds around to models that have wounds remaining. This way is much faster.
- All of the scenarios in the main book. There are a ton of scenarios! I am looking forward to playing them along with the Cities of Death rules. Its nice that GW put so much into the new rulebook since they took out so many pages of actual rules.
Things I dislike:
- No armor facings. The fact that every side of a vehicle is the same armour rating (I mean toughness) takes away any need for getting to the side or rear of a vehicle. It removes an element of the game that was tactically interesting.
- No weapon arcs or line of sight needed for said weapons. I could easily move my Predator tank facing my own deployment board edge the entire game and it wouldn't matter one bit. It takes away a bit of realism for me.
- The fact that I can shoot all of my weapons on a single model at multiple enemy units. My warpsmith can target 4 different units. Its really stupid.
- No Independent Characters. I really liked the whole idea of characters and independent characters in past editions. Now Independent Characters are simply characters and they can't join units. It was really strange when I had my Warpsmith right behind my chosen squad in the game on Saturday and the Chosen squad got shot up with plasma and all of them were killed and my Warpsmith was un touched because he was a separate unit even though he was within 1" of the chosen squad.
- Movement stats. Everything has its own number of inches it can move. I hate that I don't know how fast things move anymore. It once again adds a barrier to entry. In the past you only needed to know what type of unit it was and then you knew how fast it moved, now you have no idea.
- No Universal Special Rules. I know a lot of people out there apparently HATED USRs but I really think they are overstating their case. There were always a number of USRs that were used the most and they were mostly unchanged from years ago. Fearless is a good example. Since every unit now has its own special rules listed on its data sheet its just a mess. I ask my opponent in a game what his unit can do and they say that they are Bloated or something. I have no idea what that does because no other unit in the game does that or maybe another unit does but its a different name. Before someone could say they have "Feel No Pain 4+" and I would know what that was.
In the game on Saturday Derling had several squads of regular Space Marines deepstrike. Except it wasn't called that. It was some other special rule that the Forgeworld character Lias Issodon gramnts to unit of Space Marines in his army. Derling told me that the units had a special infiltration rule before the game started so I figured it was like the old Infiltrate Special Rule. I was wrong. If the rule said they gain Deep Strike I would have known what was going to happen.
Before games with people you don't know or before games against armies you aren't familiar with you will need to scour the opponents datasheet to know what in the world that unit does and it is going to take a long time.
I think once codexes start coming out this game is going to suffer from rules bloat way faster than 7th ed did.
Things I am not sure on yet:
- Power Levels seem like a good idea. We played a power level 60 game on Saturday and it was fun to make an army a new way. After I made the list I felt like I didn't have very much stuff. My list was 59 points not 60 and I feel that is a bigger issue than 1999 instead of 2000points because 1 point in a power level game represents much more stuff than 1 point in a 2000point game.
- Morale is strange. Its the same as 7th in that my 10 man Chaos Marine Squad don't need to worry about it until they lose 3 or more models. But that was the same as in 7th. I don't know if I like the taking casualties from leadership part yet but I feel like trading that for being able to remain in play might be a fair tradeoff. Only time will tell. I need to get a leadership 10 unit or find Characters who bestow their leadership or increase leadership to units around them.
- Terrain interaction is less than what I want and yet its easier to maneuver within it so its better for positioning models into the right place. I used to be ok with rolling 2d6 and picking the higher for infantry movement through difficult terrain before but now I don't have to do that, everything just moves normally through difficult terrain.
- Modifiers are a thing again. Hitting and save modifiers are nice. I like what they do because I have always liked how Necromunda does it. I don't think they speed up the game. I feel they slow the game back down where other parts of the rules speed it up.
- I don't know if this game is faster than 7th. I feel that the better my friends and I get at playing it the faster it will go and it has the potential to be faster than 7th. Our game on Saturday went 4 turns and lasted 4 and a half hours. I am not sure what that says about the speed of 8th.
- Removing Initiative and making chargers go first. I thought I'd hate it but as long as I can pick my fights which I have always put an emphasis on in my games in the past, I don't think this will be an issue for me.
Final thoughts for now:
I think AoS and 8th ed 40k actually secretly cater to tournament players. (It was playtested by the people who run the largest tournaments in the USA) The tightening up of the rules and the removal of realistic elements of the game to make it streamlined makes it more like chess. Don't get me wrong I WANT tight rules and some realism in wargaming is not appreciated. But in chess, the basic rules are pretty simple: You move your pieces on the squares, you and your opponent take turns moving one piece at a time and you have to take your opponents king. Each piece in chess has its own movement rules. Kind of like the new 40k. Each unit in 8th has its own rules and the main rules are fairly compact. Chess is a tournament, competitive game not a narrative game.
40k is moving towards a competitive tournament game with some lip service to narrative players, like fluffy-sounding special rules for each unit, many scenarios and campaign ideas that are ultimately fairly thin in their rules 'crunch'.
I hope I am wrong and I will be playing lots more 8th ed in the future but my buying of 40k things is going to slow way down I have a feeling.
Luckily I have lots of models that need to get assembled and painted and lots of projects that aren't done. I also have Shadow War Armageddon, Horus Heresy and Tactical Strike just in case 8th ed 40k bores me.
Anyways, I won't stop blogging anytime soon and I am sure my opinions will morph as I continue to play more.
Until next time...