Monday, April 5, 2010

Battle Missions: Kill Team First Impressions

I was hoping to try out my new BA 1500pt lists this weekend with my friend Seth, but timing and space didn't allow it at his place. Instead, we opted to try out the new Battle Missions, specifically Kill Team. If you don't know the basics, it's a max 200pt game, played on a 4x4 or less table space. Every model acts independently and up to 3 different models can receive a different USR, to give the impression this is an elite scouting party or something. No HQ or HS choices are allowed, but you can be tricky to get HQ/HS type units into play with the new codexes like BA that have an Elite Librarian via the Furioso or the Fast Attack Baal Predator. For my first outing I tried out the Sternguard, as I've always heard they are awesome but I've never played them or seen them in action. I was able to fit 8 men on the board versus 11 genestealers, one of which was a Broodlord. Since range was king, but the board was a bit smaller than 3x3, I cornered up and let him come to me over the various buildings and walk ways we set up as terrain. He claimed cover where ever he could, but I always opted for the cover ignoring rounds, which was amazingly helpful since it still is AP5. Then when they are not in cover I can switch to the poisoned rounds that wound on 2+ and are still AP5. The only thing that was tricky was the Broodlord, where I can either wound on a 2+ but he gets his saves, or I wound on a 5+ but no saves allowed. It came down to a mass of both ammo types and a failed Psychic roll to take him down. But in the end, he was able to catch me with a loss to me. For schnitz and giggles I said "one more time" and put down a Librarian Furioso with a DCCW and HF and extra armor (equals 200 exactly). I did it so I could negate the Broodlord psychic powers and the front 13 armor in CC. I was able to assault the lord by himself and obliterate him first and then the swarm hit. It was basically an exercise in rolling dice then, as he immobilized and took off the force weapon before I eliminated all the genestealers.

The final game was his Plague Marines vs my Death Company. It was 7 vs 8 and one of his was a Champion. I took 3 power weapons and an Infernus pistol. I gave the Infernus Hit and Run, a power weapon guy Fleet and another one Preferred Enemy, and just a normal guy with a weapon to spread it out. I couldn't reach full potential since he had defensive grenades, but still with FC so I could wound on a 4+ instead of 5+ was handy. A bit of it came down to the fact he had 0 power weapons and I had 3 and a pistol that could pop armor as well. The increased WS also helped me inch forward as well in CC. He took me to half strength but I passed my Leadership test and then when I got him down to half he failed his first test and I won. I said let's play it out, but in the next assault phase I killed another 2 models, leaving 1 for the next phase so we called it for good.

All in all, the games only took a few minutes, tho a lot more checking for LOS and cover is done since you're trying to save as many models as possible from certain death. This is a quick and easy way to get some 40k time in, but not need to move your whole army to a friend's house or rush things. It felt like a 3D, brutal version of chess, having to move each piece in certain ways to get or avoid a charge, rapid fire range, etc. I also found it an easy way to check the abilities of a particular unit without having to give into a big commitment. It doesn't speak to how well it will work as part of a larger army, etc, but more to see if it has the abilities you like and are up to snuff or not worth it. I could see playing this a bunch more and using it as a way to get someone accustomed to 40k rules without saying "here's 1500pts, now try to remember every ability and stat while we play".


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