We decided to keep things reasonably small as we knew we'd be spending just as much time flipping through the rules as we would pushing lead, so 1500 points seemed like a reasonable number. Neither of us took allies or fortifications for our first game out, though we both discussed the various pros and cons of both prior to the game.
Terminator Company Captain (Lightning Claw and Combi-Melta, makes Terminators Troops)
4 Cataphract Terminators (Lightning Claws and Combi-Meltas)
Bale, Berzerker Dreadnought (Drop Pod)
10-man Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher, Flamer)
16-man Berzerker Squad (Chainaxe, bolt pistol)
Land Raider Phobos
Storm Eagle (Lascannons, Heavy Bolter, Vengeance Launcher)
2x Sanguinary Priests
10-man Assault Squad
10-man Assault Squad
10-man Tactical Squad
Land Raider Redeemer
I decided to do a narrative table setup, with one side of the table being the ruined outskirts of a city, and the other side being more open hilly/forested terrain. I added a number of various scatter terrain pieces including a couple quad-cannons, some ammo and fuel dumps and a comms relay. I really like the fact that they've added in rules for all sorts of fun little terrain pieces, it really makes the battlefield more interactive and 'alive'.
We rolled off for deployment and Dave won the roll, choosing to go second. We also rolled for Warlord Traits with the World Eater Terminators getting Move Through Cover and the Blood Angels forcing the game to start using the Night Fighting rules. We also rolled for mission and table setup, coming up with The Relic mission, played long-ways on the table. We both agreed that the various missions all sounded pretty neat and dove in!
World Eaters Deployment
The World Eaters deployed their Tactical Squad and Land Raider in the ruins of the city, reserving the Drop Pod, Terminators and Storm Eagle.
Blood Angels Deployment
The Blood Angels invest the forest with the Redeemer, while the two predators lurk on the right flank. The two squads of Assault Marines remain in reserve.
World Eaters Turn 1
Bale Drop Pods in, behind the forest nearest the Redeemer. The Land Raider moves up and fires on the Baal Predator, failing to damage the vehicle while the Tactical Squad advance into the cover of the ruins.
Blood Angels Turn 1
Vehicles all advance, the Baal Predator flanks the tactical squad, killing the missile launcher - earning the first blood VP, and demonstrating more thought needs to be given to individual model placement, which I quite like. Of course, the shot also removed the unit's primary means of dealing with the Predator... The Redeemer's assault cannon fires on the tactical squad, but the combination of cover and the night fighting range modifiers, they are unscathed. Similarly, the machine spirit of the Redeemer fired the multi-melta also to no effect.
World Eaters Turn 2
No reserves arrive to support the World Eaters advance. Bale enters the mysterious forest, nothing remarkable occurs however, and the dreadnought thunders through the undergrowth. The Land Raider fired its lascannons, penetrating and destroying the 'vanilla' Predator. However, the ensuing explosion kills a further 2 tactical marines! Bale charges the Redeemer, but doesn't so much as scratch the paint.
Blood Angels Turn 2
Both of the Blood Angel assault squads arrived, but due to a wonky reading of the descent of angels rule combined with IC's with jump packs, one of the units suffered a deep strike mishap and was destroyed. In the after battle review, that misunderstanding was corrected, so in the future they take better advantage of the reduced scatter. The Baal Predator continued to lay waste to the tactical marines, killing a further 3 World Eaters. They steadfastly refuse to break under the withering firepower, however. In the forest, the Redeemer threw its drive into reverse, and focused its weapons on Bale. The multi-melta reduced the dreadnought to a molten pool.
World Eaters Turn 3
Reinforcements arrive! The Storm Eagle zooms across the board, while the Terminators teleport next to the locator beacon in the drop pod. I was hoping to be able to teleport more or less right on top of the Relic, but the fact that the fences were dangerous terrain kept me from attempting it. Instead they direct their bolter fire at the assault marines, slaying 2 of them. The Land Raider pivots in place and unloads a hail of lascannon and heavy bolter fire into the assault marines. When the dust settles, a single marine topples over dead. The remainder of the squad jeers at the ineffectualness of it all.
Blood Angels Turn 3
The Redeemer drives around to disgorge a unit of tactical marines, while the assault marines move to flank the Land Raider. The Baal Predator mercilessly annihilates the remainder of the World Eater tactical squad. This pales in comparison however to the Tactical squad, led by a Librarian.
They opened up on the Terminators with 14 bolter shots, a melta gun and a max roll Smite, which managed to kill all four of the Captain's terminator bodyguard - the final terminator leapt in front of the melta shot that would have killed the Captain. I thought that was definitely a fun mechanic. The Captain was unfazed by the carnage however.
World Eaters Turn 4
The Land Raider goes hunting for the Baal Predator, and manages to strip a hull point off of it. The Storm Eagle enters Hover mode and fires its Lascannons into the Redeemer, also removing a hull point. The Vengeance launchers miss pathetically. The Terminator Captain decides discretion is the better part of valor and moves with intent toward the Relic.
Blood Angels Turn 4
The Baal Predator moves to flank the Storm Eagle now that it's acting as a skimmer, but fails to damage it. The Redeemer however does manage to strip a hull point. The Tactical squad moves up and unleashes another torrent of fire into the Captain, reducing him down to a single wound.
World Eaters Turn 5
The Berzerkers disembark and move towards the Relic, while the now grievously wounded Captain takes refuge in the nearby Land Raider, which then pops smoke. The Storm Eagle pivots and obliterates the Baal Predator. Vengeance!
Blood Angels Turn 5
The Assault squad ignites their jump packs and land on the Relic, while the Redeemer moves up to unleash twin gouts of flame over the encroaching Berzerkers. 4 World Eaters are slain. The Tactical squad also unleash their frankly terrifying volume of fire into the Berzerkers, but Khorne protects the World Eaters and not a single wound is caused.
At this point the die is rolled for extra turns and turn 6 is played!
World Eaters Turn 6
The World Eaters had a chance to wrest the Relic from the hands of the assault squad, and though the Berzerkers roll a simply terrifying number of attack dice, they only manage to cut down 5 of the assault marines. The Assault marines manage to slay two of the Berzerkers in return. The morale check is passed and they fight on.
Blood Angels Turn 6
The assault marines are whittled down to a single battle brother, but manage to inflict so many casualties in return that it is the Berzerkers who must pass a Morale check. They do so and they remain locked in combat.
The final die is rolled to see if there is a turn 7... But there is not!
Tallying up the VPs, the game went 4-0 to the Blood Angels - First Blood (+1) and Control of the Relic (3) to the boys in red. Neither of us accomplished the Slay the Warlord objective however.
Overall, I had an absolute blast with the new rules! The game took us the better part of 5 hours, but that was primarily due to us going through the rules with a fine toothed comb for every phase and every question. There were a number of times we started to do something using the 5th ed. rules but stopped to double-check how it worked in the new edition. While many things remain the same, there are a lot of subtle changes as well. Now that I've had a chance to see how the game plays out, some of the little changes that seemed odd on their own make perfect sense in context with the other little changes here and there.
While I can see that the new edition may throw the competitive world into a frenzy, as far as just having a fun game with friends goes I definitely thing this new rule set is absolutely fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to playing more games in 6th edition!