Apr 14, 2011

5th Edition: First game of Combat Squads

Yesterday I had the great fortune of having a good friend of mine, Morten, pay me a short visit before his trip to Corsica. So, as a farewell gesture of sorts, we geeked out till we dropped and played a couple of games worth of Combat Squads.

The games became somewhat jumbled as after the first game (from which there's a battlereport) we got into a craze of making up various Combat Squads; which was a big part of the fun as we both like to tinker around. The important bit, however, is that Morten hasn't played Wh40k since 3rd Edition, so the first game was all about learning the rules really...

First Match - Witch Hunters vs. Space Marines

In the very first game I wanted to try out the old 4th ed. Witch Hunter codex. I have an Imperial Guard army, themed around a Rogue Trader Captain, called Sebastian von Fintelmann and have had a lot of fun playing this army for a long time. However, the trouble with the Imperial Guard list, in my opinion, is that there's little in the way of characters, and he doesn't exactly feel like a Rogue Trader. But using him as an Inquisitor Lord on the other hand...

So I kitted him out, using the Inquisitor Lord entry (which we found was a bit too overpowered for Combat Squads after all). He had a Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, Digital Weapons and was all around kitted out for combat. As he was the Squad Leader he would normally gain +1 Wound, but seeing as he already had 3 Wounds he instead gained an additional attack - which meant 4 Attacks as basic! One lean, mean close combat machine!

He's accompanied by his Techpriest Issac Clarkson (count as Sage henchman), D4T4 servitor (gun servitor with a multi-melta and a suspensorfield, allowing him to move and fire!), Jim McCoy the ship shurgeon (count as Chirugeon henchman) and finally his honour guardian Decimus (count as Crusader henchman) with two Storm Trooper 'red shirts' in the rear, one with shotgun and the other with a flamer.

But I didn't know what Morten had planned...

Morten was lured by the Dreadnought. He really needed the Dreadnought. So, he brought a Dreadnought! It was kitted as you see here with an Assault Cannon. To further his cause, and not to put every single egg in a basket, he bought a Space Marine Devastator Sergeant (on the left) and a Devastator Marine (on the right). And for the last few points he figured that a Scout, with a sniper rifle would do the job just fine (for a bit of foreshadowing let's just say that those points could have been spent better elsewhere). 

Hold on - I hear you say - he brought a Dreadnought!

And yes, he did. However, Dreadnoughts have a special rule called Prime Target which means that upon deployment I roll a D3 and gain that many Tank Hunter skills which I can distribute to any model in my Combat Squad. That certainly helped. A lot. (more foreshadowing; the first game wasn't really my best...)

So, we tried to roll up a scenario for our first game, and rolled up Data Download. I like the basic idea behind the scenario, but I wasn't really fond of the deployment rules (so they're bound to change). The basic premise was that we needed to get into base to base contact with an objective, stay there for a whole turn and then extract from the field of battle with the data secured. Sounds easy, right?

Trying out a clever ploy; force the Overwatch marine into firing at my Techpriest whilst the Storm Trooper outflank him in preperation for a charge.

Sergeant Norax easily made it to the objective in time. He had to stand there for a whole turn in order to download it into his suit. Of course, things was a lot easier for him as the Dreadnought covered his rear (and mercilessly blasted poor D4T4 to pieces!)

Decimus bravely attempted a last ditch charge, locking the Sergeant in combat and hopefully delaying him in extracting with the data. Sebastian attempted to advance, but the Ancient Space Marine spotted him and promptly shot him to pieces. 

And thus our first outing ended. It wasn't really the Dreadnought that gave me trouble in this game, it was deployment! Basically, then Sebastian needed to be within 6" of his henchmen in order for him to gain their special rules. And since the Chirugeon was randomly deployed at the other end of the table, well, then he didn't stand a chance against the broadside from the Dreadnought. 

I wanted to see how much of an impact the random deployment made in this scenario, so we switched sides; I was the defender and had to retrieve the data - Morten had to kill me off, simple as that. 

Round Two - Witch Hunters vs. Space Marines

Deploying together really, really helped me out in this game. All of the henchmen was within 6" of Sebastian thus granting him their special abilities. The Chirugeon proved to be a bit too overpowered and will have a limit of 0-1 in the next update of Combat Squads

Making it to the download site with nearly no opposition...

"Uhm... my Lord, I think we have company!"

Luckily D4T4 had been lurking in the rear to prevent a sneak attack from any Marines - or Dreadnoughts as the case would be. And finally, having a Multi-Melta toting Servitor in my Combat Squad paid off! The Dreadnought went down with a 'woosh' and melted into a heap of slag. Justice was served!

Sgt. Norax and Sebastian face off over the download port as the Rogue Traders retuine provided covering fire as best as they could. In the end, however, they had to come to the aid of their Lord as he was simply incapable of wounding the Sgt!

Same setup as before; I got first turn and moved out as much as I could, trying to get into the all important cover before Mr. Assault Cannon showed up. I managed this with ease, aided by some good difficult terrain rolls - and Morten was severely hampered by the haphazard arrival of his troops.

It was a great testrun none the less. I no longer have any fear for the arrival of vehicles in Combat Squads; sure they're big and scary (and there's not supposed to be any of the big vehicles anyway; Dreadnoughts are as big as they come!) and if they are big and scary, just bring along a meltagunner, some meltabombs and you'll do just fine. Although we played a good deal of games, then this was one of the few with enough pictures for a battle report. 

I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't and thus I'm working on updating Combat Squads. Tonight is game night down at the club, and we're going to have another testrun. The most important part of the testrun for tonight is that I've made a new mission generator which I'm eager to test out. So expect an update later on; definately an update on the mission generator and hopefully another battlereport.

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

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