Luckily I got Monday off from my day job and played my buddy Ryan in a small 1,500 game with my Astral Claws vs. his mixed Imperium. It was his first game as well and we were both excited to get our dolls on the table top.
I brought: 1 Battalion
Chaplain in Termie armor
1 Tac Squad in a Rhino
1 Scout Squad in a Land Speeder
4 Rifle dreads
1 Shootie Termie Squad
Ryan brought a mix of Blood Angels, Primaris Marines and Guard - mostly just to try out the various armies he wanted to play.
We played Big Guns never tire on a Dawn of War map. It was a blast!
|Astral Claws - a good leader stands behind his men!|
A good opponent always helps but I liked the game and had a great time. We both spent a lot of time with our noses in the rule book and indexes double checking stats and rules; but that's to be expected with any new game.
Normally, I'm not a fan of such simple games that 40k has become but there's still a lot of complexity within the units that makes it more robust than it first appears.
Going back to the unit specific movement stat is going to take a while to get used to. My termies only moving 5 is a bit of a surprise but I don't hate the idea. At least now the various terminator armor units have a more distinct feel.
The psychic phase is far more simple - and deadly. Ryan had only one psyker so I didn't get to test things out firsthand but I did not like taking mortal wounds on a roll of 5+. I'm considering taking a psyker myself now and except for my Grey Knights, I was going to skip psykers in my other armies.
The shooting phase is far deadlier as well, especially coupled with HQ units camping near the shooty units and granting those free re-rolls. My captain stayed nearly motionless the entire game and directed the fire of my rifle dreads from a safe spot behind his multi-wound brothers.
The new way HQ choices interact with units reminds me of the old Warzone rules. "A good leader stands behind his men," was the best quote to remind players to keep those valuable leaders "in cover" and behind their squads. Of course, if you think you can tank shots, by all means keep your bosses in front, but even with just one game under my belt, you won't be successfully tanking any fire in this edition.
The close-combat phase is the part I like the least. I know it'll take a while to get used to, but it seems the clunkiest of all of the phases. The you-go-I-go selection seems to actually slow things down and I imagine that keeping track of which units have been activated will be challenging in larger games. I don't care for the idea of players being able to fight half of a battle between units and then come back to it later in the phase. I think a lot of skirmishes will be forgotten in the frenzy of game play, especially in a tournament.
The morale phase is OK, but I think if you won a close combat fight, you shouldn't have to take a morale test. I guess it's slightly more realistic if you took heavy casualties that you might run away from the fight ... even if you wiped out your opponent.
Despite my nitpicks, I enjoyed my first game of 8th and I can't wait for the next battle!