Thursday, May 5, 2011

First Warhammer 40k Game Battle Report: Training Mission 1

Well, the title sort of lies a bit, this won't be a real battle report - we're still learning the rules!

It plays very differently to the Lord of the Rings. There are bigger distances for starters! You get to move a lot more, and with guns you deal damage so much further away!

It's a much faster paced game in a way because of that. Some of the guns have a range of 48"! That's the whole width of the board! Without really knowing what we were doing we probably made lots of mistakes, but we tried our hardest to read through the books as we were going.

The rulebook is actually really useful (at least we found it was) as it goes through the rules in the order that you play the game. I had what, to me, was a huge advantage. My Space Wolves are (at our level of playing - total newb) point and click devices, you run them at the enemy and then smash them in close combat. No subtlety required, they play essentially the same way as my dwarves! My brother, however, with his Imperial Guard has lots of rules, different types of units and a completely different playstyle is required!

So my learning curve won't be anywhere near as steep as his. And I know that these are all total newbie statements, but that's okay, 'cos that's what we are! Please don't be insulted if you're a 40k player and I'm oversimplifying things too much =) I'm sure we'll get the hang of it all eventually.

Anyway, onto the game. I didn't take notes as I had a small baby in my arms a lot of the time and, as I said, we didn't really know what we were doing.

The Space Wolves force, lead by Skodi, has met up with the Imperial Guard remnants on a remote planetoid. Colonel Ivanski is leading his squad back to his home sector on a mission of revenge and liberation. Skodi finds this to be a completely honorable task and, knowing that there will be plenty of fighting to be had, offers to engage in training missions as Ivanski is leading a group from different squads and trying to knit them into a cohesive force.

The first training mission will be a simple all out attack to test weapons (non-lethal at this stage) and allow Ivanski and his men to get used to receiving and carrying out orders.

Most of the troops aren't in proper uniform (ie. we haven't finished painting them yet). The Space Wolves split their forces into two marine squads (with Skodi leading one) and Loki all covering a different part of the field.

Squad A, a pack of eight. One Mark of the Wulfen, one Wolf Standard, one Meltagun, one with Power Weapon and four with the standard layout.

Squad B, another pack of eight, same as A but with no power weapon, Skodi attaches himself to this unit with his Tactical Dreadnought Armour and Dual Wolf Claws (and a melta bomb - the five points made our squads both 715 points).

Loki sets up on the far side.

The guard also spread themselves out. Some infiltrators move to outflank Loki, who is up against them, a Sentinel with armour and a laser cannon and a squad of 10 guard. Squad B and Skodi have no-one near them, so they just move up towards the center. Squad A heads forwards towards some stormtroopers, a squad of 10 guard and the command squad. Their boltgun fire "kills" a couple of stormtroopers, the return fire from them and the guard take out a couple of the pack.

Loki finds out why it's a good idea to be venerable! He is hit by the sentinel's lascannon, it hits, penetrates the armour and would have made him explode (rolled a 6!) but his venerable rule makes for a reroll and it's a 1! Yay, Loki keeps on going =)

Squad B shoots at the stormtroopers, killing one, Squad B then assaults into them, wipes them out and consolidates towards more Imperial Guard. The "casualties" help each other up and head to the sidelines to cheer on their squads and open a keg of beer, thoughtfully supplied by Skodi's pack.

We learned from this just how devastating a charge of Space Wolves can be, wow that's a lot of dice to roll! Even good armour can't save from that many rolls!

Here, assuming we've been doing things correctly, we find out that a venerable dreadnought is immune to most of the Imperial Guard weaponry. There's a single melta-gunner in the squad (who missed) and the lascannon on the sentinel did exactly the same as last time! (A hit, a wound, a six, then a 1 after the reroll! - thank goodness I payed that extra 60 points for venerableness.)

Loki's heavy flamer, meltagun and close combat weapon sent the entire squad off to the sidelines in a couple of turns of combat. We learned that having your guys in a long line is a bad idea when the enemy has a flamethrower!

Here's the end of turn 3, oh, that's something else different... in the Lord of the Rings SBG you do your moves each, then both shoot, then both do close combat. Here one person does all three phases before the next person gets a turn. It's quite dramatic to move, shoot and charge into assault in a short span of time while your opponent just has to sit there!

After the Imperial Guard received orders to First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire and something like 21 lasergun shots, a heavy flamer etc. all I had left were two marines. They passed their leadership test so didn't run away, although space marines have some rule that we didn't get to about that. These two are a Wulfen guy (lots of close combat attacks) and a power weapon guy (ignores enemy armour).

The two marines took out almost all of the Guard, but on the next turn they were shot too many times to recover. Instead Skodi detached from his pack and took out the remaining Guard himself. Not before taking a wound from a random laser gun. On the other side of the field, Loki multi-meltad the sentinel.

Amusingly, the Guard fired six plasma shots that game, of them, four of them overheated and killed their users, one of them overheated but was saved. Such incredibly bad luck from the powerful weapons!

Here's the last photo of the day. My squad charging the command unit. Another oddity here as you move as squads, so with the majority of my guys in the squad in difficult terrain, we played that the unit still had to make a terrain roll to get into close combat. Which they did, and made it, and wiped out the last of the Guard.

Well it was fun, and quick compared to an SBG game with the same number of models. I learned that the Imperial Guard shooting, especially under orders, can be really devastating due to the sheer number of dice being rolled. The Guard learned that charging towards Space Wolves isn't the best move, which, again, is very different tactically to playing LotR SBG. 

We also have to learn the distances etc. I kept moving way closer than I needed to sometimes just because I was unsure of distances. Not a big problem seeing as how I wanted to be in close combat, but something to think about when wanting to shoot.

Also we found out how tough vehicles are to common troops, you really need some heavy weapons to crack them open!

Anyway, we'll be playing again for sure, and hopefully getting better with time and practice!


  1. Cool! I'm mainly an LoTR fan just because I have read the books and watched the movies and know everything inside out, but Warhammer looks pretty cool too! And is this Warhammer 40k or just plain Warhammer?

  2. This was 40k, the one in the future with guns and aliens and stuff.
    My brother will be collecting Imperial Guard (future army men) and Tyranids (aliens).
    Hopefully we'll get better and put more stuff up here soon!

  3. Thanks, I was looking at the Tyranids too, but right now I will stick with LoTR because nobody else has 40k lol But maybe sometime I will get it.