Monday, September 17, 2012

My First Game of 40K

The last month or so has not been kind to me gaming-wise.  I've been trying to get down to my FLGS on Tuesday nights for Warhammer 40K but I've been out of town working for the last 4 Tuesdays in a row.  I finally managed to make it down last Sunday (the other day o the week GW games are often played at Armored Ogre) and was able to get in a quick learning game of 40K against Jeremy, another local Tau player.

We each too around 600 points of forces since that's right around as many as I have painted up currently.  My forces included:

  • Tau Commander Crisis Suit + 2 bodyguard Crisis Suits (all with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod & Multtracker).
  • 1 Squad of 12 Fire Warriors with Pulse Rifles including Shas'ui with Markerlight (which I forgot to use the entire game - Doh!)
  • 2 Squads of 12 Kroot with Kroot Rifles (these guys were assembled & primed white, so I'm calling them albino Kroot for now).
  • 3 XV25 Stealth Suits - Shas'ui with Fusion Blaster, other 2 with Burst Cannon

Jeremy's Forces included:
  • Tau Commander with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multitracker & drone Conroller with two shield drones.
  • Squad of 3 Crisis Suits with Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, & Multitracker (Commander had two shield drones)
  • Two squads of 8 fire warriors with Pulse Rifles, each with 2 shield drones
  • Sniper team with 3 railgun sniper drones.
As the astute reader noticed, Jeremy took a lot of shield drones and I took none, mostly because I didn't have any painted up and I only had 1 shield drone at home.  

We rolled for the mission and came up with "The Emperor's Will", basically with each side having to try and secure an objective on the other side with 5 turns.  We played on a 4x4 board with two hills in the middle, a forest on my side and a forest/crater/difficult ground area on the opposing side's deployment area.  My objective was placed in the forest while Jeremy's was in the difficult ground area.   Overall a very symmetrical layout for both the terrain and the objectives.

Here's a picture of the game as it started.  I deployed Fire Warriors on the right, one squad of albino Kroot in the forest, guarding the objective, the other one on my left flank (out of this picture) and my drone-less Crisis suits cowering in the rear behind the forest using the Kroot as a convenient meat shield.  The Stealth Suits were kept off board as reserves.  Jeremy deployed with a squad of Fire Warriors on either end of his line, the sniper squad in the rough terrain (with a clear field of fire all the way across the table) and all 4 Crisis suits in a Wedge formation, led by 4 shield drones.
The game started off pretty well as both sides advanced towards each other.  Mindful of the sniper squad and the Crisis Suit mob in front of me, I chose to keep my Crisis suits alive and spent most of the game moving out from behind the forest, firing at the Crisis Suits as needed, and then jumping back behind the forest to save myself from a LOT of high strength firepower.  The Greater Good would be served by surviving.   My left-hand Kroot squad started taking losses from the opposing Fire Warriors quickly, so to keep them alive I brought in my Stealth Suits on turn 2 behind that FW squad.  The Stealth Suits killed off three of the 8 fire warriors but then paid the ultimate price next turn when pretty much every OpFor Tau unit fired on them in the second half of Turn 2, leaving a dark black scorch mark where the heroes of the Greater Good had previously stood.  

On the other flank my Fire Warriors crested the hill and opened up on the OpFor FW squad, taking out both shield drones and putting those pulse rifles to good use.  I can see the advantages of several squads of Fire Warriors massing fire on a target and doing some serious damage.  My Fire Warriors ended up stuck on the hill for the rest of the game thanks to the OpFor sniper team and the pinning tests that they incurred each time they took out a trooper.

Fire Warriors on the Hill - OpFor Objection in Upper Left
In the middle my Crisis Suits played cat & mouse with the enemy Crisis Suit team, eventually picking off all the shield drones and then taking out the entire team thanks to the firepower provided by the 'Fireknife' configuration (plasma Rifle/Missile Pod/Multitracker).

Crisis Suits sneaking around behind the forest.
The game ended in a draw.  Neither of us had the ability to capture the other's objective, I killed the enemy commander, and Jeremy drew first blood by wiping out my Stealth Suit team.  Here's a picture from the end of the game.  All of Jeremy's remaining figures had hunkered down around their objective - How I wish I had some blast template weapons!

Overall I enjoyed myself.  It was a quick game, and even with the smaller table it moved well.  I made plenty of mistakes in the game but Jeremy was a gracious and patient teacher.  Thanks to him for helping me learn the basics of the game.  It was a great feeling to get a brand new army on the table for the first time in many years.  

For future lessons:  I definitely need shield drones. The Crisis Suits will be the mobile striking force of my army and they are not armored enough to survive against most other armies' heavy support.  To keep them alive I need to take advantage of their jet packs and use shield drones to burn off (hopefully) enough wounds to keep them operational for an additional turn.   

I need more Fire Warriors.  The pulse rifles are a very good weapon, and I can see that a few squads of them, with markerlight support, can put an extremely high volume of good anti-infantry fire out.  S5 is good, and with enough wounds your enemy will eventually roll a '1.'   

The Kroot were fun to play, and with a forest on the table they always have some place to go.  They are not great troops but they have their uses, and since I have 24 of them and a Krootox right now I'll find ways to get them on the table.  They died in droves, but at least the Tau had fried chicken for dinner that night.  

I have plenty left to learn but overall I'm very pleased with my first game of 40K.  

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