|Most disturbing result on a search for "first timers"? Could be.|
may have noticed my gaming pendulum has swung back towards 40k lately and today was the maiden voyage of 6th edition. This game has been a while in the making but the stars aligned properly so that EV and I could throw down, tabletop style
Normally I'd have some preamble to the lists, but not so much this time. You can imagine me being eloquent here if you like. EV ran this list, or at least something that looked close enough to it that I can't tell the difference. The big stuff (Helbrutes, Daemon Prince) were worrisome, but the overall lack of Marines was pleasant to see across the table. After some finagling I came up with the following:
Librarian (level 2)
2 * 5 Deathwing with Assault Cannon and Chainfist
2 * 10 Tacticals with Plasma Cannon, Plasmagun, and Plasma Pistol
6 Ravenwing with 2 Plasmaguns, Multimelta Attack Bike, and Mulitmelta Land Speeder
10 Devastators with 4 Missile Launchers
One of these items is a holdover from my 5th edition Blood Angels. If you squint real hard you can probably spot which one it is. The main factor in what I took was what I had: two Dark Vengeance boxes worth of stuff. (I have a box of Deathwing as well, but it has yet to be assembled.) When I first started nurturing the idea of a Dark Angels army I wanted nothing but Terminators and maybe bikes. I've softened on that stance since, but the basic theme is still the same: shoot a lot. I've run Blood Angels, off and on, for more than 10 years, so it's well past time for a change. While sitting still and shooting instead of charging into glorious melee feels weird, the shoot first approach has been working well for my Axis forces and it'd be silly to try and make a melee-centric force out of Tacticals and Scouts as Dark Angels can't take Assault squads as troops choices. The contents of Dark Vengeance, once I had them in hand, hammered these ideas into a workable shape: power armor firebase with bikes as mobile firepower and Terminators as advancing doom. HQ was easy: the internet says to take a DA Librarian with Divination, so I did.
For this first time with the new rules we kept it simple: kill points with the standard long edge deployment. Terrain setup was entertaining as I could put pieces right up against each other, something I always want to do in Dust but can't with the 4" between pieces thing. I won the roll to go first and was going to defer, with the idea that EV would move up into range of my guns during his first turn. EV suggested I mull the idea over while we put out terrain, which allowed me time to discover that there would be a mere 24" of dead space between our deployment zones, which would put most everything in range of the big guns from the beginning. Armed with this knowledge I set up a couple ruins as a place to put my immobile shooters, then proceeded to make a corral on EV's side of the board by plugging gaps between buildings with tank traps and cargo containers.
|Dark Angels deployment|
Just before beginning my turn I remembered I could Scout the bikers forward, so I did. The squad went up the flank while the Attack Bike rolled up the center towards the Helbrutes (not pictured).
|Essential photograph here.|
|The face of the enemy.|
My actual movement phase was remarkable in that it didn't involve shoving all my troops forward. The bikes continued their loop around the flank, eying a spot behind the woods to call in the thunder (aka Terminators) on the next turn (when I had decided they would come on. Deathwing get to make a flashy entrance), while the Attack Bike rolled up to some cover and lined up a shot on a Helbrute. After much measuring and rules contemplation I sent the Speeder up the middle, then moved it up again in the Shooting phase behind a cargo container. The last bit of movement was the Terminators, who began their advance.
|My (limited) advance.|
Shooting was much more engaging. I learned that both my powers (I picked the main one that gives rerolls on attacks, then rolled up another that forced rerolls on successful armor saves on a target enemy) worked at the beginning of my movement phase, made a note of it for next turn, then started shooting. First up was a Plasma Cannon, which hit the mark in the middle of a knot of Chaos Marines, though the cover they were in meant I only killed a couple of the seven (!) that I hit with the blast.
|They're down there. Or were...|
|There's a target out there somewhere, honest.|
Remember what I said about inconsistent photography? Here it is. Not only did I miss the end of my turn, the first shot I have of EV's turn is a closeup of where my Land Speeder used to be. Turns out they're not very resilient and can easily be gunned down by an Autocannon.
|X marks the spot where I used to have a Land Speeder.|
Remember that last paragraph where I implied I had more than one picture of EV's turn? Not so much. What I do have is an end of turn shot, where you can see how his Daemon Prince flew screaming across the table to flap about above/next to the Tactical squad on the hill. Most of the Chaotic army moved forward, albeit slowly as most of it was busy forcing their way through trees and over barriers.
|End of turn one.|
Sometime during EV's turn I found out that Deep Striking happens at the beginning of the movement phase, which shot down my plan to drop my reserve Deathwing in the back right corner. Instead of showing up behind the Helbrutes, they popped out right in front of them.
|Not quite how I drew it up in the huddle.|
After that slightly dispiriting start things turned in my favor. My Librarian got both of his powers off, giving the Devastators he had joined re-rolls for missed attacks and cursing EV's Daemon Prince with having to re-roll successful saves. (Go ahead and mentally insert the Oprah "You get a ___" meme here.) The Devastators were...devastating (rimshot), putting a couple wounds on the DP and more importantly grounding it, which caused another wound. When it hit the ground the Tactical squad on the hill opened up, rapid fire style, and put the thing out of its misery. I decided against the Plasma Cannon here for fear of drifting into my own squad, so the heavy weapon Marine pulled out his Bolt Pistol instead.
|Taking out the Daemon Prince sure opened up some space.|
Then the other Tactical squad shot down field and again took out a handful of Chaos Marines.
|An expensive, but effective, Plasma Cannon.|
Hot on the heels of my success against the DP, my right flank blasted away at one of the Helbrutes, blowing off its Power Fist before finishing the beast off for good. See that die by the Attack Bike? That's the wound it took after EV convinced me that difficult terrain tests for bikes aren't so bad as you only fail on a one (check) and now get an armor save against it (failed). At least the bike has two wounds.
|Big gribblies not so worrisome now.|
|Whittling down that squad.|
No end of turn shot again, instead straight into the Chaos turn. The remaining Helbrute advanced and shot up the central Deathwing squad. scoring a pair of wounds with its Autocannon. No worries since I got a 2+ against the wounds, so it only makes sense that I'd fail both.
|This is why we always roll the dice.|
|Actual red smear. (note: it's fake)|
|New edition, same sissy slapfight.|
|End of turn two.|
My movement phase was short again with just my right flank advancing. I couldn't shoot the Helbrute since it was engaged in melee, so I turned my attention to the (small) Marine squad and Cultists that made up the rest of the flank. Between the Terminators and the bikers the flank was swept clean.
|Who knew rapid fire and Storm Bolters did so much work?|
|Slow and steady wins the (shooting) race.|
|How does this happen? Power Fists don't work.|
Things were more or less decided at the end of my turn. All of EV's big nasties were down, his right flank had evaporated, and he was down to a one trooper squad, another dinged up squad, plus some hiding cultists. Meanwhile I had lost two Terminators, a Land Speeder, and a wound from my Attack Bike.
|Dark Angel turn three.|
|Overwatch is back and it is fantastic.|
|End of game.|
Hard for me to find much to nitpick in this one as I got to do most everything I wanted and had it all work out. The Land Speeder was the obvious failure, but I expected that going in. A single AV 10 vehicle with a pair of hull points was never going to last long, but since this was my first time fielding a Land Speeder I would have liked to shoot it once or twice before it flamed out. The Deep Strike gaffe was unfortunate as well, but that's on me for insufficient attention to detail. Failing the only two saves my Terminators had to make was unfortunate as well, but aside from that they performed well. I'm sure I've played Terminators before, but it's been long enough that they would have still been on regular bases instead of the "new" 40mm Terminator bases. The shooting first approach worked well, this time at least, and was a pleasant departure from my usual melee horde. The bikes had a particularly strong showing, both shooting and melee, which will make me consider a Ravenwing heavy force more than I already was.
|Dark Eldar poster boy. I think.|
A successful first outing in the new edition for the good guys. I expect next time to be far more difficult as EV has already promised (threatened?) to pull out his Dark Eldar for the next game. Nothing is more entertaining than taking a dozen Dark Lances to the face each turn, plus approximately one billion splinter shots, all while watching the poncy elves flit around in their fancy boats. We'll see how well the shoot first approach works against a different foe.