Last week's space hulk kill team game was the club's evolution for mass participation small games, but I have never played a 'traditional' kill team game with GW sanctioned rules. Until now. Armed with a copy of GW's newly released rules and a few models, Dave G. (Inquisitorial Henchmen) and myself (Iron Hand Scouts) gave it a go.
Above: [No caption required]
The battlefield for the game is smaller than the traditional 40K format, and is pleasingly the same as Infinity N3. The game also seems to benefit from more terrain on the table; again, not a negative mark for me.
Above: Our 4 foot by 4 foot playing area.
Some of the restrictions for army composition are:
- No more than 200 points.
- A maximum of 2 troop choices, 1 elite choice and 1 fast attack choice.
- No vehicles with more than 33 combined armour value (front + side + rear).
- No 2+ armour saves.
- No model or vehicle with more than 3 wounds or hull points.
Above: Inquisitorial henchmen doing an impersonation of Imperial Guard Armoured Fist Platoon.
Although the game has no warlords, you still need to nominate a leader who is allowed a trait. As well as this, you can nominate three of your models to be specialists who can receive additional abilities or skills. You chose which model gets which skill. Probably the most thematic rule for the game is that all your models act independently.
However, the most devastating rule relates to army break tests. Once your force exceeds half casualties, every model, at the beginning of the movement phase takes a leadership test. If passed, that model can act as normal. However, if the leadership test is failed, it is removed from the table as a casualty (none of this running away stuff).
Above: The Scouts take up their positions. A good old fashion western. The good guys await the arrival of the baddies.
The first mission we played from the rule book was Infiltrate the Camp. In this, your little force plays the role of attacker or defender. We decided to play it twice, taking turns with the two roles. The attacker scores points for getting models off their opponents board edge. The defender needs to stop them by inflicting casualties. Like the game's bigger brother there are secondary objectives that also score points.
For this particular mission the description explains that the attacker can not use the turbo-boost ability or the outflank special rule to enter the battlefield from either of the table sides, but weirdly, it didn't mention the infiltration rule. We assumed that this was an oversight and decided that this would be unfair and disallowed it.
Above: Close combat one on one. This particular combat went on for a month of Sundays. It only ended once I sent two more scouts round to help out.
Above: 'Let's stop messing about and end this right now'.
For the first game Dave was the attacker, and I played the defender. I think the latter is probably easier, as the attacker has the difficult choice of shoot or run in the shooting phase. Shooting will cause casualties, but it will not win you this mission if you are the attacker. This lead us to a question; if you get tabled as the defender in the mission do you automatically take the loss? We thought not.
In the first game Dave was very kind with his deployment. He could have put all his models in the Chimera and drove it off the other side of the table for the win. Admittedly, he would have needed faith in the tank's armour ten sides and rear. Before we started playing we discussed this strategy and thought it would lead to a dull game. Now that I have had time to think, perhaps a break for freedom by the tank taxi, trying to avoid the incoming missiles, bolter fire, grenades and anything else the enemy could throw at it, would be quite a sight.
Above: Dave's henchmen make a bid for the table edge in our first game, but my bikers put pay to their plans. Poor run moves didn't help.
With the game nearing the end Dave casualties began to mount up, and with only eleven starting figures, the break point arrived far to soon. The Henchmen leadership of 8 sounds good, but Dave's dice decided that 8 was small fry. Victory came to the Marines. Dave got one model off my table edge, but by the final turn, everything else, including the Chimera, had been brought low by Scout Bolter fire.
Game two, and we swapped roles. It was my turn to risk not shooting for running.
Above: My scouts lined up ready to bolt across the table. Dave's models were pretty much hidden from view, apart from the Chimera on the top left.
This second game suited my heavy weapons a lot better. Instead of having to move to get good firing positions, and as a result, only shooting snap shots, both Heavy Bolter and Missile Launcher could set up in good spots and provide fire support for those other scouts bombing it down the table. Although, the Chimera easily took out the Missile Launcher, my Heavy Bolter, with a +1 to his BS due to his specialist skill became a real thorn in the Henchmen's sides.
Above: The Scouts make their push on the right flank, avoiding the annoying tank, and overwhelming Dave's forces.
Above: Turn five ends with the Scouts tantalisingly close to their goal, and only the Chimera and a henchman firing from the hatch, to impede their movement.
Due to secondary objectives Dave was still ahead on points. As long as the game ended on turn five he would still win. Unfortunately, the dice decided that there would be a turn 6 and half a dozen of the Marines left the table for the win.
Safe to say we had a very enjoyable evening and there were enough moments in our games to keep us giggling like idiots. Dave will definitely change his force for our next outing.
For choosing future armies, anything that can target multiple models, such as templates, seemed to be strong. Getting the enemy to roll more armour saves is a good thing. Only having a small number of models makes each one so valuable with respect to the break test rule. Having a six up feel no pain roll because my scouts were Iron Hands was very helpful for me and occasionally super annoying for Dave. Tanks are very strong, but the question is; could one quarter of your points be better spent?
As usual, a happy wargaming to you all.