Dante stood on the surface of Astaramis. His sense of dread deepened when he realized his Blood Angels 5th Company would be holding the line against some strange Space Wolf - Eldar strike force. Issuing commands over the helmet bead, he ordered the assault. Strange or not, the xenos and their allies must be purged.
Week One - Konor Campaign
OK, not your typical battle report.
I was looking to get in week 1 playing against some wily Chaos Marine Scum (CMS), but a few days before game night I got a text. A guy I know and his two sons wanted to have a game with me, specifically so they could learn more about 8th edition, and so I could give the kids particular encouragement and pointers on getting to be better players. The dad is about 38 years old, and the kids probably 13 and 11. The kids have been to our FLGS before, but have only really played each other in 7th (or played magic). The kids each had their own armies - but the dad had yet to get one but was being encouraged to go for Blood Angels. I decided it was the coolest thing I could do for the evening, and made the plans to get there. Although my plans were to play Ultramarines, I stayed with the Blood Angels so the dad could get the experience with them.
On arrival, I met the group! The first thing we did was secure a table space in the back of th our FLGS, and then start setting up terrain. I got the kids to help out, and told them I really liked making tables set for the battle - in a narrative way. Our table was soon a geothermal station in a volcanic terrain. We decided to ignore the molten rivers of magma. We had a good mix of LOS and area terrain. We went through the rules as they are) on how they might get cover.
I was set on using the list I've been deploying recently - Dante and Mephiston, assault marines, death co, tac marines, razorbacks and Baal Pred. The other dad and I split that - all I needed was Dante, Mephiston and the assault marines and death co...the dad was going to roll lots of shooty dice.
The kids played the collections they had. Not bad as starters, and apparently they have more models being constructed and painted. I really have no idea how much stuff they played. The only critical issue was that they did not have the 8th edition index yet covering the eldar, so we needed to just work that out as we went, translating reasonable changes from the 7th edition codex they carried.
We deployed alternating units. The kids had more units. The kids were the attackers.
We went over the mission conditions and I expressed that they really needed to pay attention to them - the Defenders got points for each attacker unit eliminated. The attackers got points for units in the defender deployment zone at the end of the game.
Then we got busy!
Four game turns later (time goes slow when you are helping three players at once, AND, the kids want pizza), we all shook hands and everyone agreed the game had been a lot of fun.
Certainly the game was fun. The Blood Angels took a beating, but at the end, the score was about 6 to 1. The best moment for the kids was seeing Mephiston dragged down in a mosh pit of eldar and thunder cav fighters. I think they finally got him with a thunder hammer...I made sure they celebrated the little victories along the way. Razorbacks wrecked, stuff like that.
Was the game perfect? No. But the best part was the joy. Overall it took me back to the days when my own kids were that age and I was teaching them Epic or 40K. At times it was also like herding cats. Attention spans can be short.
When all the terrain was put away I reminded them of some good advice - put the copy of the rules next to their beds and read them every night. Get updates of the rules and codexes. Focus on building a complete basic list before trying to get the higher powered stuff. Remember the story line and fluff. Concentrate on the game. Build their on story. Most importantly have a good time doing it.
We all left smiling and happy. The kids anxious to get more models. The dad wondering what army should he collect.
Looking forward to week 2 of the campaign. Still need to get a list built for the Ultramarines. I have a few ideas. I think we are still doing power levels. Hmmm....