welcome to my 5th game of 8th edition 40k - this one was a 2000pt game of Dusk Knights Space Marines vs Night Lords, using matched play rules.
Bear with me on the photos - both armies wear Dark Blue armour!
Now I've not got written up notes about this game, so the battle report will focus mainly on the flow of action, and in particular highlight elements where we discovered significant effects of the rules as we were playing.
We also both used a fair few under construction or proxy models in the game due to the changes we were trying out - In particular on the Dusk Knight side what may look like a turretless predator was in fact a razorback with twin assault cannons.
Having played some very mobile armies under 7th edition, I went with the complete opposite on this occasion, taking a spearhead detachment with Kantor, and 4 devastator squads (lascannons, missile launchers, plasma cannons and grav cannons in a razorback), then backing that up with a vanguard detachment containing a cataphract captain, apothecary, 9 sternguard in a rhino, 5 cataphract terminators and a stormhawk.
Of course, my devastator squads monopolised the gantries, walkways and containers to make use of the cover save benefits, whilst the rhino with the sternguard sheltered behind a container and the razorback held back on turn 1. The cataphracts went in reserve and the stormhawk set up back in the corner of my deployment zone.
I was up against a very 'vehicle' heavy army, a maulerfiend, a forgefiend, two helbrutes, a heldrake and a pair of rhinos, plus some spawn, a couple of sorcerers on bikes, a squad of cultists and 2-3 of marines. The Night Lords Warlord was a warsmith.
The early turns saw me opening up with everything I had, first at the Heldrake on the right flank, and then the Maulerfiend on the left. The Heldrake was much reduced in effectiveness, and in the Night Lords turn it charged the Stormhawk, but failed to do any damage whilst taking a point of damage in return.
The Maulerfiend survived the initial volley of fire, but in turn 2 my grav devastators dismounted and crushed it with weight of fire (grav may only be S5, but when you're firing 16 shots and getting re-rolls from Kantor it's still very effective, especially against 3+ armoured targets where the damage gets increased.
I dithered a bit with the Sternguard, essentially wanting to force the Chaos Marines out of their own Rhinos before I took them on. When that happened, boy were these guys good - the -2AP on their special issue bolters might not be as flexible as it used to be, but it's great at putting down armoured infantry.
A second outing for my cataphracts. Much better this time round, but I most definitely learned an important lesson. Don't let your warlord wander off too close to the enemy - he got vapourised by the Helbrute's lascannon after squashing the metagun marine in this picture.
The devastators were a major thorn in my opponent's side all game - each squad had a few extra marines in there for soaking casualties, and I got a good 3 turns shooting from most of them before they lost any firepower thanks to the cover saves from the ruins they were on.
The pincers close - after clearing the backfield of all but the long-range dread, the Cataphracts closed in on the last marine squad. I'm not sold completely on these guys yet, they still dropped a bit quick to small arms fire, but that could easily have been my dice rolling! Of note here was the Rhino filled with sternguard - the apothecary had already brought 1 back to life (haha - take that Necrons!).
Heavy weapons took down the forgefiend eventually (seriously tough with the warpsmith in close, it gets to heal a wound by default each turn and the warpsmith can restore another D3 - plus it has a 5+ invun!). Nothing could hold back the sternguard though, their special issue bolters cutting through the Warsmith's 2+ armour sufficiently to take him down with ease.
The aftermath, Kantor had butchered his way up the left after the Maulerfiend was removed, taking out a pair of sorcerers and a spawn.
Points to remember / worthy incidents of note.
1. You don't always have to kill every model in a unit anymore - the cultists took 8 casualties in one turn, meaning that the remaining 2 couldn't possibly pass their morale check, so the unit actually finished itself off and I could target stuff elsewhere.
2. Damaged vehicles can end up being really crap, particularly flyers, so ignore them if you like. The Stormhawk got taken down to a single wound, and my opponent kept pouring fire into it to bring it down. At that point however thanks to its lowered BS and only mounting heavy weapons, I was only hitting on 6's, so it was combat ineffective by that point.
3. Dice are still fickle. I don't know exactly how much firepower I poured into various units on the table, but when I wounded I stripped a few wounds off only, and my opponent seemed remarkably capable of passing 5+ saves.
4. -2AP is the sweet spot. Definitely, the Sternguard being able to cut a marine armour save down to 5+ was huge, and their fire ripped through power armoured squads with little effort. Even the 2+ armour of the warsmith wasn't enough to stave off a 9-man squad rapid firing into his face.
5. Stuff dies quicker. Except vehicles.
See ya next time, when hopefully Sire Gabriel will be walking the field of conflict!