So several days ago I decided to take the plunge and actually PLAY my first game of 40k. It is a bit early for several reasons. There is a new edition I do not have the rules for, I do not have certain key models painted up (heavy weapons), etc. But I wanted to play and had the time, so I asked on a local game board for someone wanting to play a 500 point game.
My theory was at 500 I would not run into super heavies, land raiders, stuff I flat out could not handle and plus I just wanted a really basic move/shoot/save get to know the rules type game.I could throw in a couple units of Grey Hunters, a basic Wolf Leader, maybe a dreadnought which are supposed to not be overly good right now and learn the basics.
Instead I got an answer from a guy wanting to play 1000 points. Whoops. I know already that at most I can muster 2 Lascannons and at 1000 points I might see something like an Imperial Knight, or Land Raider or other stuff like that I flat-out could not handle. So I know going in it will not be a game I have a chance of winning but I don't really care, I want to play so I agreed.
I furiously painted up Njal Stormcaller on the theory Jaws of the World Wolf could give me a 3rd weapon against stuff I could not otherwise handle. Unfortunately, he sucked up a third of my points right there. I also threw in a Vindicator to give myself a Lascannon, though that meant I needed a 6-man unit of Grey Hunters. A dreadnought gave me a 2nd Lascannon and a unit of 10 Grey Hunters rounded out my selections. They did have Melta guns...but with a 12" range.
I rounded it out with a unit of Terminators; 3 with Storm Shield and Thunder Hammer, 1 with Assault cannon and 1 with Storm Bolter. They could tear open just about anything...IF they could get in close.
So I had a slow-moving army with only very little that was hard to crack.
He showed up with a list full of Forgeworld, allies and armor...he had 3 assorted Rhinos (Lascanonns, Las-Plas, another tough one), a Mortise Dreadnought, although not the one I can find rules for as his had cannons spewing out 12 shots apiece in addition to the missile launchers...when the game started all he had on the table was armor I would struggle to crack open. Oh, and a unit of Devastators...the long fangs I did not have.
In other words...the very thing I had not wanted to play against. Also, what with portions from Inquisition, Space Marines and some third faction, I am not sure how it was battle-forged...here is where not having the rules handy hurts a bit. Had I really cared I would have asked to see his list, but I did not and do not...I just wanted to experience the basics rather than reading about them.
He was playing a "siege army" which meant in addition to the regular three objectives he had another one he had to control at the end of the game to win. So I planted my terminators right next to it, my lascannon vindicator behind a hill close by, the other rhino and 10 grey hunters and dreadnought off to the right.
It has been a few days since the game so some of the details are a bit hazy now.
My first turn my lascannons both hit, one glanced, the other failed to wound. I bounced the far right rhino forward 6", not realizing I could go 12" since I completely forgot the Storm Bolter on it and never fired it once, nor used either firing point. so that was a mistake.
Then I found out Njal could not take Jaws, he had to use rulebook powers. Then I was told that something with say...warp charge 2, you had to get at least 2 "4s" and every die you rolled had to be a 4. So after the first turn I did not even bother trying Psychic stuff, making my most expensive unit and a quarter of my points wasted.
Meanwhile, he took out one of my Storm Shield terminators. this was bad as they were hiding out waiting for mid game to move out and seize the only objective that mattered when he got close to it, close enough for me to go can-opener him with my thunder hammers. This was the side of the field that would determine the game.
On the far side, I moved the rhino forward and sideways to give my Grey Hunters cover as they seized the objective in the center of the field. He blue up his own Rhino when his Rhino plasma got hot and killed it, giving me first blood.
I also popped my 6 grey hunters out. The guys on the right were going to wipe out 5 Imperial Guard, then advance to take the linbreaker and his backfield objective while the 6 grey hunters would advance to take out his 3 remaining space marines and take the objective in the center of the field.
My twin-linked lascannons proceeded to immobilize one rhino and spent the rest of the game either missing entirely (3 to hit with a re-roll :-() or failing to wound (2+ on d6).
On the bright side, it forced him to get out. On the dark side he had a Storm Shield Centurion with a 2" save I could not touch that started heading towards the key objective
Meanwhile, he turned his Devastators on my Dreadnought, penetrated, and blew it up on the 2nd or 3rd turn. I now had 1 lascannon and 2 thunder hammers to take out 2 rhinos and the dreadnought.
His 5 Imperial Guard proceeded to destroy my advancing Grey Hunters so bad that when I finally took them out I had 2 guys left. My 6 guys could only take out 1 of his 3 space marines. My Terminators failed 2+ saves at such a frenetic rate that I lost all 3 thunder hammers by turn 4.
I did manage to get a penetrating hit on the dreadnought with my Assault Cannon (?) and rolled a 6 on the damage chart. I was pretty excited thinking I would blow it up...but for some reason I am unsure of it had no appreciable effect.
I ran my 2 remaining marines toward the center objective, my rhino died shortly after tank-shocking his Imperial Guard and ramming his Rhino, and threw everything else toward the siege objective, but the firepower disparity was just too much. He killed my 5 grey hunters on the far left, the terminators, blew up my Lascannon Rhino and when the game ended I had 1 Grey Hunter locked in combat with his 2 marines.
I got crushed, essentially tabled, but as soon as I saw the point levels that we were going to play at. No big deal, I learned the basics, got some stuff done (he ended the game with 2 rhinos immobilized and another with 2 hull points left, I did wipe out 1 5-man unit and almost another) and enjoyed the game.
Looking back I know a couple of things I could...and should...have done different, and with slightly better rolls it is possible I could have dealt with more of his armor, but I simply did not have enough heavy weaponry to do well in the game. I will be back with painted Long Fangs...
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