Yesterday I finished playing my first game of 7th edition 40k. It was only a 1500 point game and it still took forever, so we played it out over a couple of days. That was a good idea as it turned out. It really mitigated the twitchiness that sets in when I play pretty much anything for longer than a couple of hours.
This was my list, the Kings of St. Arkham and the Fallingstar Cadre:
Company command squad (Nork Deddog, camo, autocannon, melta gun, medic)
Lt. Col. Winter (primaris psyker level 2)
The Kings (Veterans)
Forward sentries, autocannon, 2 plasma guns, grenade launcher
Cadian Deserters (Veterans)
Grenadiers, power fist, heavy flamer, 2 melta guns, chimera
The Rats (3 ratlings)
Battle Angel (Vendetta gunship)
Storm Giant (Leman Russ executioner with multi-meltas)
Hanzo, Commander Fallingstar (detailed here)
Fallingstar Cadre (12 fire warriors, shas’ui with markerlight + carbine)
The Blue Lady (Hammerhead gunship)
You’ll notice that the veterans have odd load-outs by the old “specialisation or death!” standards of 5th edition, which was when I last played properly. I’m really just trying some new things here. They worked out really well actually so I don’t think I’d change them much, if at all.
The game was mostly a lot of fun. I was winning for a good part of it, but ended up losing by 3 points. Which leads me neatly into the things I like and don’t like about this new edition…
I don’t like the “tactical” objectives. I could see where they were going with this, but it just got ridiculous. By the end of the game we had six objectives each on top of the mission ones, they kept changing, and then my opponent randomly picked some that gave him D3 points rather than 1 for basically doing nothing; hence his sudden seizing of the game at the end. It felt really gamey, and ruined my immersion. At one point Hanzo was pogo-ing between two objectives for three turns because I kept getting the cards telling me to seize first one, then the other. So that sucked.
I liked the Psychic stuff. I didnt think I would, but I did. Although Invisibility is a bit rich; Tigurius charged in with one marine sidekick and annihilated my command squad, including Nork Dedogg, without taking a scratch because him and his mate were invisible. Right at the end, he ran across the table and invisibly charged my Fire warriors. It took four rounds of rapid firing twelve pulse rifles(!) to remove his last wound.
Aside from the objectives whackiness, I found the game very immersive. I don’t know what they’ve done, but it felt… right. Everything seemed able to do what I imagine it could do in the background fiction* for the first time I can remember, and it was very satisfying. My list performed well, everything did what I wanted. The psychic stuff just increased the sense I had that I was in the 40k universe. There were plenty of epic cinematic moments – too many to mention. The only thing that messed with me was the chaotic objectives.
My final verdict is that this is basically Rogue Trader again. That’s what it feels like, all the wormholes of chart after random chart and the sense that you might see anything across the table. Rogue Trader; but on a bigger scale, and thirty odd years later, and so there are many more models and ranges to go nuts with. I have to grudgingly say I like it.
Have a good one,
*Except for the ratlings. They just can’t seem to get snipers to feel right. I like the new “shoot straight and scarper” rule, it allowed me to take an objective at the end, but seriously, snipers never kill anything. I only took them because I had 30 points and they fit my theme. They were useful, yeah, but not useful for doing what they’re meant to do, i.e. snipe things.