While I am still building and painting my scenery for Shadow War Armageddon, I had an opportunity for a quick lunch-time game at my local Games Workshop store.
Isn’t it nice to have „lunch-time games“?!
I took a few Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists from my box of Execution Force and pitched them against a Kill Team of Dark Eldar Wyches.
Some first impressions and thoughts.
Strategic Movement and Hiding
We played the basic Kill Team Fight mission to ease me into the game.
The battle began with a long build-up phase, where both kill teams slowly approached each other. Dark Eldar mainly stayed towards their table edge and in hiding, forcing me to come close (and leave behind some unfortunately placed gunmen on overwatch, effectively taking them out of the battle).
It was a tense build-up. Certainly very different from 40K (still 7th Edition as of this moment), where the 1st turn is, as often as not, one of the most eventful.
However, I do feel hiding is very powerful (at least for close-combat oriented Dark Eldar). I could not target or shoot them without getting into 3 or 4″ (and easy charge range), effectively negating the shooty aspects of my Kill Team.
Another thing I had to get used to (or re-think compared to contemporary 40k) was the requirement to charge first thing in the movement phase, making pre-charge shooting by the charging or any other unit impossible (unless you fire into a melee).
The result, as noted, was a slow crawl by my Kill Team across the board. Lots of hiding to negate the Dark Eldars 12″ charge range (which is massive compared to miniatures moving 4″) and overlapping overwatch.
It will probably not be news to you, but close combat is very, very different in Shadow War Armageddon.
Once I got close enough to the craven Eldar hiding in ruins and attacked one, all Wyches inevitable jumped into the grand melee.
Overall, I thought the combat was fun – my Aspiring Champion managed to fend off quite a few Wyches in a big brawl before he was eventually taken down. However, it does take a long time and it is easy to see why Games Workshop got rid of that particular system when they updated Warhammer 40K to … 3rd Edition?
Admittedly, it was also very random (which is fine by me, but expect hilarious results in fights between highly uneven combatants).
Despite taking the less-than-wise approach of charging into the Dark Eldar’s trap, I managed to inflict just enough casualties on the Dark Eldar Wyches to force them to bottle out (failing their very first roll, no less, or I likely would’ve been dead).
However, the Xenos did carry off my Aspiring Champion for ransom!
- The randomness of the game seems high, even by Games Workshop standards, with the game won and lost on wonky roles.
- Hiding turned this game into a tense simmer ending in an explosive bloody climax, but I can see how hiding rules could also spoil the fun (especially for shooty Kill Teams).
- I hope other missions provide a few more incentives to move towards the center (it appears they do). Without me taking the stupid tactical choice to „run in“ for the sake of some action, it could’ve been a never-ending game.
Long story short, I look forward to the next Shadow War Battle.