Sunday, July 2, 2017

8th Edition - First Impressions of Chaos (or a small subset thereof)

Got round two of 8th edition in, and at my comrade's request I brought the chaos!  We tried out 1500 again.

World Eaters (Battalion Detachment)
Chaos Lord in Terminator Armor (Power Axe, combi-bolter)
5 Chaos Terminators (axes, combi-bolters)
Hellbrute (Reaper autocannon, power flail)
10 Berserkers (power maul on leader)
10 Berserkers (power maul on leader)
10 Cultists (heavy stubber)
2 Heldrakes (flamers)

Imperial Scum (Battalion Detachment)
Command Squad
2 Commissars
Vindicare Assassin
5 Terminators (Assault Cannon)
20 Conscripts
20 Conscripts
20 Conscripts
10 Militarum Tempestus Scions (4 meltaguns)
2 Hellhounds (hull multi-meltas)
Leman Russ (Nova cannon, 3x heavy bolters)
Leman Russ (Battle cannon, lascannon, 2x heavy bolters)

Scenario - 
Try to take the other guy's objective in his DZ - 3 points per objective; 1 point for first blood, 1 point for slaying the warlord, and Linebreaker (wind up in the other guy's DZ)

Short Version
I managed to cross the field, but just didn't have the attacks and bodies to counter it.  Heldrakes ended up with first-turn charges, burning the command squad to death (largely for first blood) and charging hellhounds (because everything else was screened).  One of the helldrakes ended up getting a good angle on a commissar and smoked it as well.

I held off on turn 1 teleportation assaults, mostly because he had more units and could react to whatever I did.  Maybe that wasn't the best call - but the Hellbrute managed to handle the terminators (turns out that seven attacks with solid AP and 2 damage per swing is kinda painful for terminators).  Seriously though, terminators with rapid fire 2 combi-bolters (or storm bolters) can put out an absurd number of shots.

Also - the definition of hilarity is charging with Rhinos ( sure it's not something that'll murder it with overwatch, mind you).  The enemy has to waste time breaking off, and you get extra distance.

End Result
We called it around turn 4 - I was down to cultists, warpsmith, and the Hellbrute, while he still had a conscript blob and a half, and some beat-up tanks.  I wasn't going to make it across the field, and chances were good he'd be able to shoot me off my own objective.

Lessons -

1) Murdering Characters is Important - 
Some characters offer nastier buffs than others - plenty of guys offer re-rolls on 1's (or re-rolls in general), but others offer much more significant buffs - like commissars making sure that if you do fail morale, you lose only one guy.

So, there are two ways to kill characters at range without tons of guns, given the whole "may not shoot characters unless they're the closest target" restriction -

i) Snipers
If they can see it, they can shoot it.

ii) Fast units
Some units (IE - Helldrakes, or perhaps something like a Coldstar Commander) have the speed to get around screens.  It depends on the type of screen (are they hiding out of LoS, or behind a unit?), but if you've got the speed to get around it and make sure the character is the closest...suddenly it's a legal target.

2) Transport Charges!
Remember that your transports can charge.  It's a potential extra 2d6 of movement, and on the bright side your transport does get to get a few (hilariously ineffectual) attacks in.  But there are a few caveats -

i) Beware overwatch
You are going to give the opponent a chance to take overwatch shots.  Be especially mindful of folks with S5+ auto-hitting weapons - even moreso if you've taken hits on the way in.

ii) Beware of the other guy's ability to punch you
Charging other tanks is one thing.  Charging a bunch of shooty troops probably won't kill you either.  But, you may not want to charge things like Dreadnoughts or monstrous melee creatures.

iii) Beware of the target's friends
So, some folks have large armies - and while your charge target may break off, you may be very close to other folks with guns.  Who will then shoot you.

3) Quantity is its own quality (sometimes)
i) Screens
Having a heap of bodies is useful as a screen, if nothing else - plenty of folks have the ability to drop troops on your head, but they also have to be 9" away.  If you've got enough bodies, you've got board control from deep strikes, and an expendable charge screen.

ii) Filling in Force Org charts
Also if the bodies are cheap enough, you can get into a Battalion Detachment easily - chances are you'll have a few buff HQs you want to take.  +3 CP can be quite useful.

iii) Buffs
Most blobs of bodies can seriously benefit from buffs. (assuming the other guy doesn't snipe your HQs) Examples include -
-Conscript Blobs - Commissars get around morale issues, and guard orders like First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire! get absolutely ridiculously with 20+ guns benefiting from said orders.
-Pox Walkers - add Typhus (+1S, +1T) for durability and a Noxious Blightbringer (roll 2d6 for the advance and take the higher) and suddenly they turn into a more dangerous screen.

Addendum - most of the armies now have access to large quantities of body - if they aren't explicitly part of your faction (IE - Space Marines) then you've probably got a faction keyword in common with them (IE-- IMPERIUM)

4) Army Size - pros/cons
The more units you have, the less likely you are to have first turn.  However, you've also got the ability to react to the other guy - drop some less-crucial units first, let them make decisions, and then once the other side deploys get to react to that.

5) Math-hammer got different
This will be a follow-on post, but there are some new dimensions to math in this game - giving everything T and W values (and sometimes a degrading statline) provides for a much finer gradient of durability.

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