Today was a quiet day at Sentry Box but Gord and I managed to get in a game of 40K Second Edition. After the devastation that was his all Harlequin list, Gord switched over to a more conventional force with Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders, Rangers, a Warlock and a Level 4 Farseer. My force was two Tactical squads (flamer and missile launcher and Melta Gun and Lascannon) as well as my Captain and a Librarian (Level 2). We decided to include the Psyker rules from Dark Millennium.
I drew the Dawn Raid mission and decided to keep on squad intact in order to try to drive it across the board and score. Gord drew the Engage and Destroy mission. We were playing on a trench board with some additional fortifications so it was quite possible to cross most of the board while still remaining in cover. The other squad was split into two to cover more of the board with a five-man squad with the Lascannon put into cover to do Overwatch.
To say that Gord ripped me apart is an understatement. After four turns I had my Librarian and two Marines left. I barely dented his Eldar. His Warp Spiders fired down a trench and chewed up one Tactical squad. My Captain used his Combat Drugs to charge in the next turn and was well on his way to eating through the Spiders until the Farseer used Mind War to hit the Captain with three wounds.
The Swooping Hawks were annoying but really useless in close combat. Their shooting wasn’t all that good this game either. I can see how they would be deadly against a force that wasn’t in Powered Armour. The Warp Spiders as well were effective due to me being caught in a trench. When Gord used them against a more spread out formation I was able to make my armour saves and limit the impact of them. If I was using Guard I would have been really, really worried about them.
The psychic phase was an interesting addition. It is utterly random and one’s ability to predict and strategize are pretty limited. Thankfully your opponent suffers from the same problems so it does balance out in the long term but it strikes me that the lack of predictability is what really drove people nuts with these rules. They are a hoot though if you are just looking for something crazy and fun. It does strike me though that having half or fewer Psyker levels that your opponent is no fun so its probably good to co-ordinate that prior to your game.
With his Farseer and Warlock Gord was able to put more powers into effect but I did managed to use Reflection (in the last turn) to strip two powers away from his Farseer by bouncing back a Mind War attempt.
Despite getting ripped in shreds I did have a fairly good time and unlike a lot of other games where I have been steamrolled I saw ways to counter the problem either with my army composition or other factors. I could have kept my main Tactical squad hidden which would have saved them from a round of fire and I really should have positioned my Lascannon squad better so it could have started in Overwatch and perhaps capped a few Warp Spiders sooner.
Next game will most assuredly have some vehicles and I am hoping to get a Leman Russ assembled and painted for the next game or perhaps I will bring in a Rhino and a Predator. A Dreadnought might also be a useful addition :-)