Friday, 9 November 2018

A Walk on the Dark Side - A Warhammer 40K Tutorial (Adult Beginner)

Taking a leaf from a very respected ex-soldier who is avidly and earnestly promoting wargaming as a professional science to aid the military and political planners of the present and the future; when he said, "sneer at nothing!" I looked at the Warhammer 40K Core Rules, and in the same vein as the mouse in "The Gruffalo" - I looked at the rules and the rules looked good! So it was time for my Tyranids to fulfil their wargaming destiny against the deadly (and I mean deadly) Space marine Primaris of the Ultra Marines [the opposition provided by the GW shop, fresh from the demo table]. I took the opportunity of enlisting in an adults beginner's class which meant I took on the local shop's resident rule "doyen and GW Jedi Master" to me, playing the part of the novice "Padawan" (see below, my Tyranid Hormagaunts rush to seek cover behind some ruins [wargaming destiny fulfilled] - I was pleased to draw some very praiseworthy comments on my painting style from my Jedi 40K Master and we exchanged painting tips all night):

The enemy, these dudes are the "Space Marines Primaris" (SMP) [singleton figures of which are] currently being given away as an introductory offering to entice new blood (or in my case "old blood" lured back in a different direction) into the hobby. The thing to bear in mind is that the SMP are tough hombres taking two hits [traditional Space Marines only had one], shoot well and don't run away (see below, a sergeant and four troopers alongside a "hero" - Lieutenant [4 HPs]):

About that shooting! Six of my brood fall to a deadly hail of lead from the Space Marine Primaris' powerful bolters - despite my Gaunts being in cover. Well this looks like it is going to be a short introductory game - but I was informed much to my relief that the Tyranids are one of the 40K races that can ignore normal morale rolls due to in their case the 'hive mind' effect, that is until the 'mind node' (monster) is killed. This as an army or race of pure killing machines, which makes them very, very dangerous and respected by their opponents (see below, the "devastation" wrought on me and I had just been complemented for "not getting caught out in the open" by my Jedi master - then he rolled really good dice, still the show must go on):

Undaunted I charged out and just got enough distance to take it to the Lieutenant Tyranid fashion "tooth and [rending] claw" with my two surviving Hormagaunts [aka "grunts"] and my leader a pumped-up Tyranid Warrior acting as a Tyranid Prime. The attack seems to be successful as we hear the Lieutenant emit several painful grunting noises  (see below, the game seems already loaded with several satisfying player moments, even if I have a nagging sense of doom about what is coming next):

In pile the Space Marine Primaris to help their leader in his "hour of need" but mercifully "all the attacks" (and there were many a dice thrown) manage only "one hit" on my 6 HP Tyranid Prime (see below):

I "rend" back and rip the Lieutenant to pieces - "Man Down!" (I think I am getting into the mind set of the Tyranids nicely here) and earn myself a VP for the "first unit" kill [the "hero" counting as a unit]. Nevertheless the Space Marine Primaris' are throwing a lot of close combat dice again (see below, it is amazing to see that the lowly Hormagaunt is still alive):

Again those deadly "rending claws" show no mercy and this time a lowly Space Marine Primaris succumbs (see below, again the last Hormagaunt is frantically weaving and taunting the Space Marine Primaris Sergeant who is throwing a successive string of 1's an 2's which are just plain misses - too bad):

As the shop was about to close the game had to be called. The last Space Marine Primaris Sergeant attack kills my remaining Hormagaunt (boo hoo!), but I don't care as I am a Tyranid Prime [the local manifestation of the "Hive Mind"] and I am in the middle of eating a bunch of Space Marine Primaris and they taste good (see below):

I am down to half hit points [3] but think I would at least take another two Space Marine Primaris with me if the fight continued. I was awarded a respectable 2:1 win by my Jedi 40K Master, but more importantly, I was very pleased with "how" the rules played - although until you played them you don't know them. I thought on reading them I knew them but the run through highlighted some very important parts - some coming from the relative weighting effects of the troop stats. There were few (that I could see) opportunities for "wargaming cheesiness" and the fun element was coming through nicely. The pedigree of eight rule revisions shows. We ended the night in a discussion of where to take my armies next. It was very, very soft sell (I was fearing walking away with several more boxes of expensive models at a loss to explain why?) but rather the opposite I was encouraged to paint more of what I already had and come back for another lesson - which I will do! My next task is to try to explain the rules to the kids!


No comments: