Last weekend I brought the grim darkness of the far future to my dining table for my first game of Warhammer 40,000 6th edition.
I wanted to keep things simple and let the new rules emerge naturally over the course of the game. So it was Eldar vs Space Wolves, 600 points in the Battleforce Recon mission.
It being a relatively small battlefield, the Farseer moved in close enough in his first turn to use one of the new psychic powers. “Puppet Master”, from the Telepathy discipline allows a psyker to take control of a target and make a shooting attack with it. It is also a "Focussed Witchfire" ability which means that if the psychic test is passed with a total of 5 or less, the Psyker can choose which member of the target unit he takes control of. In this instance, the Eldar Farseer commanded the plasma gun-toting marine to fire on his comrades, killing one.
It was a great start to the game and things were only going to get better. The Rangers fired on the Wolf Lord and Blood Claw pack from their high vantage point in the Basilica. They would have wounded the Lord twice (him being the closest model, had it not being for the “Look Out, Sir!” attempt by one of the young marines. When a wound is allocated to one of your characters and there is another model from the same unit within 6", you are allowed a "Look Out, Sir!" attempt. On the roll of a 4+ you can take the wound on another model instead.
In the Space Wolf turn the Wolf Lord set off up the field and thanks to the new charge distance rolls, managed to get in close combat with the Eldar War Walker on his first turn! The new Overwatch rule allows the unit being charged to fire on the enemy in an attempt to slow the advance. Representing the desperate nature of this volley, the unit can only fire using Ballistic Skill 1. On this occasion, the Wolf Lord made it through unscathed and ploughed into the walker. This was also my first game with the Space Wolves and knowing the Wolf Lord had an oath to keep and a Saga to add to, I charged him in without fear of the consequences. While his wolf companion was killed, the Lord came out triumphant and set his sights on the Eldar Farseer.
Characters can now issue challenges to a unit in close combat, to face an enemy character one-on-one and it was my intention for the Wolf Lord to issue such a challenge to the Farseer.
Sadly, the challenge never happened as the Wolf Lord was brought down by mass shuriken catapult fire from the Dire Avengers using the Exarch’s Bladestorm power.
The Eldar went on to win the game 7-6 and the greater number and variety of ways you can now score points is a great addition to 40K. Not only do you get points for destroyed units and capturing objectives, but also being the first to destroy an enemy unit (First Blood), kill the opposing player’s Warlord (Slay the Warlord) and by having a unit in the enemy's deployment at the end of the game (Linebreaker).
My first game of 6th edition Warhammer 40,000 was a fast and viscious affair and I can’t wait to try out the new rules in a bigger game.