40k 8th: First Patrol


If I'm going to have a shot at forming a real opinion on 8th Edition, I'm going to have to start playing some games. And given that I'm moving from First Strike up, the next step has to be that old classic of the 40k of yore: Combat Patrol! We even have an actual detachment that works as such. So let's use it...

Alright, so this is gonna be a scrap of around 400 points. I say around because this edition's wargear rates can give you some weird unit costs. Given that I only own one Index, I will be commanding the classic Kabal of the Stolen Soul, whilst my unseen opponent will direct their Necrons from the tomb world of Yllinois. Lists are as follows:

Master Bryss' Kabal of the Stolen Soul - 396/24
1x Archon
-Huskblade
10x Kabalite Warriors
-9x Splinter Rifle, 1x Dark Lance
6x Kabalite Warriors  
-6x Splinter Rifle
5x Kabalite Trueborn
-3x Splinter Rifle, 2x Splinter Cannon 
1x Raider
-1x Dark Lance, 1x Bladevanes

EscapeToTheSea's Nihilakh Dynasty - 393/20 
1x Necron Lord
-1x Warscythe
10x Warriors
-10x Gauss Flayer
5x Immortals
-5x Gauss Blasters
1x Destroyer
-1x Gauss Cannon
3x Canoptek Scarabs
-3x Feeder Mandibles

Unless otherwise noted, <Kabal> and <Dynasty> treated as <Stolen Soul> and <Nihilakh> (since Trazyn the Infinite is my only Unique Overlord). For this battle, Command Points and Warlord Traits will not be used because I forgot about them entirely, but our respective HQ units are still our Warlords.

Both of these lists were built by me beforehand with no knowledge of what will work, and kinda sorta work as parallels of each other. Both have an HQ suited for combat but without any combat support, both have a basic firebase made of Warriors plus a slightly smaller eliter firebase, both have a zippy option. With hindsight, a second Destroyer in place of the Scarabs and a few Warriors would have created a tighter Necron list, allowing a surviving Destroyer to actually roll for We'll Be Protocol-Bound To Call This Something Legally Sound.

Game-Wide Misplays: For this game we were still rolling 2D6 for Morale. This mattered all of once, since the Necrons have enough Leadership for it not to be relevant to them most of the time.

Setup
My usual gaming table is currently MIA due to the games room being damaged by water leaks a year back. As such, here's a pair of drawers cobbled together into a 38" by 30" basic arena. The middle objective markers are our deployment lines that I forgot to remove because I'm a derp.

Using the Only War basic mission, I rolled for the Tactical Objective and got the four objectives one. Meanwhile, Escape began the deployment phase and, as the Underdog, decided which of us got the first turn (me because they're still learning the game and don't generally like going first for some reason). By the end of deployment, things looked like this, with the Archon and Trueborn beginning in the Raider (since Transports can accept more than one unit so long as they don't go over capacity). The skull tokens with dice in them are the four objectives here. And so it begins.

Turn 1
Not pictured: Me forgetting about Power From Pain until Turn 3. We'll get back into this.
The filthy soul stealers get off to a decent start here, the 6-man Warrior squad putting two wounds on the Scarab Swarms whilst the collective firepower of everything bar the Raider (read: the return of 'I fire a single Dark Lance and miss') downs a single Immortal. The Raider's single Dark Lance hits! And causes 4 damage to the 3-wound Destroyer! At this point Escape regrets conceding first turn.

In return, the Necrons fail to repair their single casualty (after a forgotten but posthumously passed Morale test), but there will be other chances. Shooting from the Warrior unit depletes my 6-man Kabalite squad to 3 (a later check revealed Pain would not have helped here), and in the Charge phase the Scarabs successfully engage with the Raider, each unit wounding the other a grand total of once. Another forgotten but later passed Morale test ensues.

Those higher Move values sure gel with small battlegrounds, right?
Turn 2
Usefully, I can still disembark from the Raider because there is no such term as being 'engaged' here. This allows the Archon and Trueborn to alight 3" away from the Raider and then move ANOTHER 7 to 8 inches to get where they want to be (cover for Trueborn, 2 inches from the Immortals for the Archon). What I forgot here was that the Raider's Fly keyword means it can Fall Back from being 1" away from enemy units and still fire its weapons. As such, it stays in combat and another 1-for-1 exchange happens. Meanwhile, the Archon charges the otherwise unscathed-from-shooting (2+ saves behind the cover piece on rifle/cannon fire) Immortals and I realise that AP -2 on the Huskblade isn't that great when you only wound on 5+. Fortunately, she takes no damage in return for her single kill.
Again, no Immortals rise up, so we get another 1-for-1 combat out of the Raider and Scarabs and a dud round for everyone else. At this stage, the Necron Lord is angling to engage either the Trueborn or the small Warrior unit but 5" isn't great range.

Turn 3

At this point things get hazy, but I'm pretty sure now is when the Raider falls back and allows the Warriors to gun down the Scarabs. Meanwhile, another Immortal goes down and then gets back up again in the Necron turn.

That taped-up Scythe Lord was my first ever miniature. And now he finally gets to be a real HQ again!
The Lord reaches the Trueborn and cuts them up with its Warscythe. The Warriors get serious, too, killing 3 of my big Kabalite unit... who then fail their Morale check in the relevant phase by 4 and so lose even more troopers. And to think that next round they'd have become effectively Fearless. Damn.

Turn 4
Chargeboat is good boat.
 
Sure, the Dark Eldar are down to eight models, but at the end of this I can contest two to three objectives. I say I. I mean 'Scape, who has tagged in for me due to me being waylaid. The Lord gets Lanced, Warriors get charged, very little really happens now to change the game state. With the Warriors tied up in combat, they can't disrupt my claiming other objectives.

Turn 5
 
The end state. A metalbath. Oilbath?


With the Archon finally finishing up combat, three of the four objectives belong to the Stolen Soul. There is very little the Warriors can do now. And the Shadow Field somehow never broke...

End results: Major Drukhari Victory

Thoughts: Two Destroyers next time. Definitely. Weirdly, that would have put power levels on par even though the points wouldn't be.

This battle really showed me how Movement values can have an impact. The superior mobility of the Dark Eldar allowed them to pick where all the major battlegrounds were, whilst those that stayed put tended to get gunned down by the far more durable Necron force. The Scarabs might have done better against infantry units due to their much-improved accuracy and large volume of attacks and wounds per model, which means their battlefield role has changed again. Great.

I think for our next attempt I'm going to try a similarly tough and slow army and see how that fares against the Necrons. How about... Death Guard? 

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