Saturday, 7 June 2014

Trying out the new rules

Reinbowarrior had recently purchased the new shiny 7th edition rule books for 40k. Whilst I have to admit that the production is nice, and the split into three books works well for what actually is needed (and probably better on the spines) I will wait for the a5 book of only rules to become available. Whilst a book of fluff and a book of pictures are nice: they are not worth the extra expense. Plus I really don't 40k with many people and they probably have books already.

So what's changed... well it's hard to tell. I kept getting confused by fantasy rules, so if there was a change from 6th to 7th I may have missed it. One that was hard to miss was the psychic phase.

I was umming and arring between playing tau and daemons (they are my two 40k choices), and I had played nurgle quite a bit, so I knew it would not be them. Reinbow then requested that I took daemons to make sure we could play test the psychic rules, so tau were out. He took 'nids, so that he could do the same. I had tried a Tzeentch list previously once in 40k and played so badly and was utterly annihilated, I thought I would give it another go... I didn't realise how good it could have been.

My army

Lord of change (lvl 3) with gifts
Daemon prince of Tzeentch (lvl 3) with gifts
4 heralds of Tzeentch (lvl 3)
44 pink horrors of Tzeentch (4 units of 11... each count as lvl 2)
6 Screamers of Tzeentch

Reinbow's army

I've asked, as I don't know all the names/options.

Psychic phase
It turned out that whilst I had little combat skills, and no shooting, I could dominate the new psychic phase.

Logic for psychic phase.. add up all your mastery levels (26 in my case) and add d6. Reinbow would do the same, he had a solid 8 add the same d6 result.
When casting spell it has a number of success required.. an example spell high powered flickering fire (4d6 s4 shots) requires 3 successes.
I can pick up any number of my dice and I need three 4s to cast it.
Reinbow can pick up any number of dice and needs 6s to cancel a success.... if a spell is cast directly on a psyker then 5s, if cast on a higher level psyker 4.

If I played again I would roll my spells differently, I did not know the new lores, and so had played to give myself a well rounded lot of shooting spells from the Tzeentch list and the daemon prince was going to go on biomancy (which I always used to do for Nurgle prince).

In 40k you can choose from multiple lists (great)... but if you roll all 3 on the same list, you get the signature for free.
What I did not play, but a chaos dedicated psyker gets the chaos god signature for free... (I swapped a lot of my slots to this, and would not need to again which was a case of not knowing the rules).

There is also a new daemonology lore, that I put a couple of rolls on across the army (and all three on the lord of change). This new lore lets you create new troops. I should have rolled more.

Create a unit of 10 basic troops (3 successes)
Create a unit of 3 elites (3 success)... I did not get this on
Create a herald (3 successes)... I never tried this one
Sacrifice a herald/unit and gain a greater daemon... Oh yes!... although if you fail: suffer a miscast.

I realise now that if I had spent more dice on the above, I could have created more psychic generating units, then potentially sacrifice for GDs.
But a) I didn't take the spells. b) it did not summon more horrors (even though I realised that would be good) as I did not have the models. c) spent dice each phase trying to shoot too

Unbound vs "Legal"
There was a lot of noise about unbound vs legal armies.

My army was foc legal, which meant two things:
I could reroll my warlord's trait
unbound units could not deny my right to an objective if I was standing on it (Reinbow was also foc)

Whilst I talk objectives, now all units can hold a unit (not just troops... this is good news)

We also played a mission with the new tactical objectives.

Instead of kill the warlord, kill first unit, be unopposed in opponent's deployment at end of game, and hold X locations at end the game; the victory points and scoring conditions change each turn... actually that's not strictly true, in the mission we played there were always three objectives, but as soon as one was fulfilled you scored the points and found out the new objective.

These could be hold objective 3 at end of round; kill a flyer; have three units in deployment zone; have one unit in enemy deployment etc...

I really liked this.

The game

Reinbow got first turn, but I stole the initiate (roll a 6 at start of game)

I ran forward to claim some objectives, I cast a lot of spells, but he had managed to give several of his units a 2+ cover save; I took out a small unit however, summoned 10 bloodletters and tried to turn a herald into a greater daemon (failing in the process). I moved my units into cover as best I could ready for the onslaught....

Whilst Reinbow had gone for the fast nid army, he had built one with two massive flyers, a huge weapon festooned carnifex, and some mass gun lines; all of which were hiding behind a nid structure.

Reinbow summoned 12 more gaunts from one creature with a big belly (apparently this t6 beast with a 2+ save was going to do this each turn until he rolled a double which it finally did in turn 3). The nids split their fire concentrating on multiple units. (Killing one horror would take each the unit from a lvl2 to a lvl1). I was happy with my placing with a -2 to hit from the cover... but this is 40k and that's not the rule! You get cover or armour or ward save; and behind cover is a 5+ save - the same as my daemon save if i had just moved to where I wanted to in the open. *shrug*. I lost a few horrors in one unit, and one in another, some of the letters; but the others passed their saves. The large flyers moved forward ready to swoop next time.

My bloodletters charged up the hill, losing two to stand and shoot. They forgot to each have a second attack on the charge (I was furiously looking in the daemon book to work out why they were not as good as fantasy and as this was a main rulebook thing, my error was missed). I caused a couple of wounds still and held in the combat with one letter alive.

My screamers tried to overfly the zoanthropes, my lord of change flew forward trying to take out the venomthrope (which was granting part of the 2+ cover save) and my daemon prince started to harrass the flying tyrant.

I tried for the GD again, and as the lord of change was on the field, popped one herald and turned him into a bloodthirster (Note: I can only imagine now the hate if you had the dice, and models to create a herald using one spell, then if you are lucky enough to roll the right spell, pop the herald into a GD with the other; as they are both with 12" of the previous you can move a GD well into the action (which makes the slow, never running, but tough, great unclean one look like a good option)...I did not do this though... but will try next time!

I still don't get the rules for running, shooting, flying and facing, it seems sometimes it matters, and sometimes it doesn't. One reason to get the book!

The screamers were no match for his cover ignoring, shoot round corner s8 guns, nor his 12 shot reroll misses s6 guns, and went down very quickly. I think they still make good tank hunters, but when there are no tanks, they were pretty naff (I would still take mind).

30 models fired 50 low strength shots at the bloodthirster, and caused two wounds. The blood letter fell; and another unit of 10 popped into existence.

I concentrated on shooting the tyrant with spells, eventually doing a wound, which he regained at the end of the turn... gah... it was a waste of magic dice.

More horrors slowly fell, and the nid flyers ran over targets shooting and killing many. I still had all four units, and although 3 now depleted, they still were capable of generating dice. My bloodthirster and daemon prince danced over the large (non-tyrant nid) and eventually took him out. The horrors, concentrated fire on the tyrant, causing another couple of wounds (I tried a different tactic - but still going for the glancing to death approach). The mummy nid, spouted out another 12 guants to replace those just blasted

The lord of change charged into combat with 30 gaunts, and killed 9. Before the elite nids charged in. The Lord was on one wound, and knew his days were numbered, but he was relying on a 3+ ward and t6. He made the only save needed and then took out the elite warriors. The daemon prince cast a spell on the gaunts reducing their strength so that they could not hurt the lord... but they were tying him up.... damn immune to psychology unbreakable unit... it would take at least 2 more turns to kill the remainder.

Reinbow knew he was on the ropes, looking at the victory points and threw everything at the lord of change, but could not shake that last wound.

At midnight and the end of turn 5 we rolled for the next turn and were glad the die told us to stop.

It did not matter what was left on the board; as the winner is based on the victory points. I had got first blood, neither of us took linebreaker or killed the other warlord, but the end result 11:5 to Kasfunatu.


  • Psychic phase was interesting. I liked the concept of roll so many and get 4+ rather than roll ld test (which was always 10 for Tzeentch last edition for casting).
  • I would use the daemon spells more if I thought about it (worth noting, any army can take them, but miscasts on any double not just double 6)
  • I need to learn how to maneuver when saves and to hit are not the same as fantasy... I don't like that a lot of things hit on 2/3 and then get saves... psychologically, if not mathematically, I would rather have less hit and less save, than more hit and more save... and I don't think that that is the daemon player in me talking... I am pretty sure my comment would be the same for tau despite not getting the 5+ normally.
  • I liked the random objectives a lot. Previous 40k was all about keeping troops and running for objectives at end; this gives a more fluid feel.
  • Nids will win the psychic phase against a normal marine army 
  • Nids can make quite a formidable gun line
  • Flying creatures are less powerful than before and I definitely did not play mine right in that game.
  • It is also worth saying that the warp chaos table was nothing thrice, affected all enemy and all tzeentch twice. So whilst I know this could have changed this further, it did not play any unbalanced part to the victory.
  • I will be up for another 40k, and keen to try a non-Tzeentch daemon and my tau army (as well as retrying something like this again when I understand the rules a bit more)
  • But I am not rushing it


  1. Very interesting! 40K was always my favourite game back in the day, the battles were more dynamic and captured the small scale of skirmish represented by the troops on the table very well. WFB feels more epic, even if you've really only got tiny skirmishes going on most of the time, but I much preferred the down-and-dirty war film feel of 40K.

    I'm quite interested in the new rules, although having neither army nor money means its basically a no-go for me at the moment. In theory I could put together a small Grey Knights army for not too much, especially if I don't have to follow codex (foc = following official codex, right?)

    I didn't know you had a Tau army! Which branch of their tech tree are you favouring, the crazy carnivorous dinosaur side or the super jet tank side?

  2. FOC was Force Organization Chart... but your version works just as well!

    Cool, if and when I get a rulebook we could try a game? Even if there are a few proxies going on.

    Tau: I do have a handful of Kroot, which I never plan on fielding. Equally I only currently have one tank. Currently I am favouring the mech suits though.... 7 crisis, 2 broadside and a riptide.

  3. I've got around 150 old metal Orks at the back of the painting queue (from the days when they loomed like mischievous imps, not green gorillas).

    They haven't a hope of seeing paint this decade, but a W40KBoot tournament might bump them up the priority list...