What the flip?! Narrative play?! GW is like some insidious infection convincing us of 'new ways to play'. Well we will do a narrative game but we'll do it with good old fashioned matched play points values thank you very much! Ben had suggested the Mwat Grinder mission, he had 1,500pts of Astra Millitarum and Otty and I had 1,000pts of nids each to set up on Ben's new Winter terrain board. First up my Carnifex went down in the stream bed - why not, it's not like it hampers movement anymore.
Ben countered with his rather well-endowed Basilisk provocatively placed in the woods, ooh,er.
Tervigon next, followed by Hellhound.
Termagants and Wyverns.
Otty laid down the three Hive Guard.
Snipers in the tree line.
And this is the way you deploy in 8th - everyone in the foxhole - BUNDLE!
Otty deploys Genestealers, Tyrannofex and Broodlord in the centre.
Valkyrie holds the guard centre.
Tfex and Broodlord ready to kick off, bear with me I started to enjoy taking pics as they looked pretty cool.
Ratlings in the trees. I realised pretty quickly Ben's trees are probably the best way to represent woods in 8th. A big base to show the area, tall trunks so you have plenty of scope to arrange miniatures underneath and full foliage at the top to give the 'tree' structure. I was super impressed.
Ben is going first but I roll to seize, fail and we rashly expend a command point to re-roll and we snatch the initiative back!
Everything bundles forward, with most of the terrain in our DZ offering
no impediment - although watch out for all that tanglewire in front of
the guard line later in the game.
My Hive Guard try to take out one of the Wyverns, I do a few damage but not enough to impact it's performance.
The Biovore also tries, hitting on 5s because it moved.
But I got a 1 for it's Mortal Wound roll...
As the narrative mission rules allow for any of our number to come back on if they die - what is our disadvantage in this game? I throw caution to the wind and deploy the Trygon and Genestealers.
Otty's Hive Guard take 9 wounds off the Valkyrie!
Given how far forward the Hellhound deployed it then paid the price.
It was swamped with Stealers - illustrating that the streamlined play gets extremely finickity - Genestealers tipping over or their claws holding each other at bay and preventing you positioning them as close you can so not all the brood get within that 1"+1" of a model. It's far from streamlined and then you'll have your opponents saying some aren't in because those stealers will just wreck pretty much anything with weight of numbers...
Which they did! End of turn 1, one hour of play done!
Ben's turn the Valkyrie moves up and deploys his Vets, they take a few wounds off the Tfex[?].
My Tervigon became a prime target, taking 10 wounds. An artllery bombardment did some serious damage in this respect. So much for it's armour save and Tenacious Survivor - I need Venomthropes/Malanthrope. Another hour to fit in Ben's turn 1 and he only moved the Valkyrie and vets!
The Tfex moves to take out the vets.
The Trygon slithered through the woods but out of Synapse it would shoot/charge the Ratlings without intervention. The Genestleaers also were going to have to negotiate the tangle wire, halving their charge...
I don't know whether this was a good idea or not but the Termagants with their re-roll 1's to hit and wound took the Ratlings down to their last [half]man, the Carnifex blasted him to pieces with Bio-plasma.
This allowed the Trygon to focus on the snipers but left the Genestealers witout a target in range. Meanwhile the Biovore hit and rolled 1 for Mortal Wounds AGAIN!
Tfex and Warriors removed all but one of the Vets from the battlefield, thr Valkyrie suffered some more wounds but was still flying by the end of the turn.
My Hive Guard were out of Synapse so they had to fire on the squad in the right hand fox hole - killing five! Otty's Genestealers meanwhile slaughtered everything in the remaining foxholes, Ben's Warlord, and Commisar, then consolidated forwards.
The Trygon managed to scythe through the Snipers with ease and moved up towards the Basilisk.
The Valkyrie snuck up behind my Hive Guard and Biovore.
He took half the wounds off the Biovore.
But it was the Tervigon on only 4 wounds he could secure a pyrrhic victory with.
While the Trygon and Genestealers were about to inflict horrible damage on his artillery.
The Tervigon had to go.
And perhaps the Stealers [OK I was just taking pics now, not even relevant to the order of play]
The Tfex and Warriors surrounded the last Veteran.
The Left flank was about to be over-run
So finally the Tervigon was targeted
And I had to make 3 saves!
She could not survive.
He popped, taking six Termagants with her.
And at 12:30am we called it. Ben had wanted to stop earlier but with the Tervigon so close to popping I wante dsome satisfaction for him. Ultimately he was outnumbered from the off, we also got an orbital bombardment which wounded a few at the start of the game and although we never returned any models we had that advantage too.
But we still had a good game, it was Otty's first and we're still discovering how certain things make little sense or contradict the 'streamlined' headline we're being beaten about the face with - see the difficulties regarding assault mentioned above. I'm definitely beginning to get a better feel for my nids - replacing my choice of a Trygon with a Trygon Prime seems sensible - that synapse will really important.
I'm also looking forward to playing against a more mobile force instead of a static gun-line. I know it's pretty much the narrative mission but even with our enhance movement there were still a lot of models who did very little during the game because they never got into range. Even so how would that have impacted the length of the game... So much for quicker games too. Maybe it's still early days and we're referencing the rule book quite a lot to try and get it right but things are really slow, even if a lot is actually happening.
Anyway, bring on game 3