Da Masta Cheef and I were able to find a moment to get in a game of Warhammer 40,000 10th edition. This is only my second game of this edition and I'm still shakey on some of the rules changes. But the best way to learn a game is to play a game. We chose 1,000 points to play with and mustered our forces at The Outpost.

This time I decided to try out the Deathwatch. Led by a Librarian, two units of Deathwatch Terminators with three plasma cannons and thunderhammers and stormshields on the remaining guy and the Sergeant. Six DW Vet Bikers, a squad of DW Vets with a Razorback and a boxnaught fresh from the ashes of dreadtober.
They seemed like a solid tough nut of an army. 

The Cheef returned with his Black Dragons, still gleaming with the ichor of slaughtered xenos. This force outnumbers mine considerably, but then they're all fairly basic units. The army was led by the Chaplain who was attached to a unit of Assault Intercessors. A Primaris Lieutenant was attached to a 10-man unit of Intercessors. The units were a squad of Hellblasters accompanied by an Apothecary, an Infernus squad,  a smaller unit of Intercessors and finally the mighty Ballistus Dreadnought rounded out the force. 

Deathwatch deployment.

Black Dragons deployment.

We decided to play the Only War scenario from the main rulebook. It's simple and to the point, and that appeals to us currently. After set-up I won the role-off to go first. 

Deathwatch Turn One. 

I  believe this first turn set me up for a brutal uphill climb all thanks to my dice. During my movement phase I had the DW Vets jump out of the Razorback and take an Objective.  The Razorback move up and took some shots at the Black Dragons Dreadnought. Now, my first mistake was forgetting Oath of .Moment. (Oops) which might have made a difference. My dice were so cold that I have doubts that OOM would've made a huge difference, but it's worth noting anyway.  The Razorback fired it's twin-linked Las Cannons and rolled a 1. Ok, so it fired the storm bolter and rolled double-twos. Rolled a two for the Hunter Killer Missile, which actually hits, and rolled another 2 foe the Toughness test. I was laughing at how spectacularly these rolls were...surely this was just a fluke? The DW Vet Bikers fired into the Hellblasters but only killed a single guy. So, at the end of my turn, after the smoke cleared, I only had a single casualty to my credit. 

The dice say no.

Black Dragons Turn one. 

The Apothecary revives the one guy I had killed. We had a food laugh over that. And so far we had been laughing at the hilarity of my poor die rolls. Although my ability to make saves was definitely an improvement over my ability to hit and damage, Cheef's dice were comparatively HOT! The Razorback was blown apart with ease, and 1/3 of the DW Vet Bikers, the Black Dragon Oath Of Moment target for this turn*, were killed by the massive attack sent their way. 

Slicing and dicing. 

The Chaplain and his Assault Intercessors surged forth and engaged the bikers in close quarter combat, leaving just two alive and taking the nearby objective. A strong first turn for the Black Dragons. 

My Turn 2, and I received 2 VPs for holding objectives.  As lI looked over my Deathwatch assets I realized I forgot to execute my plan to bring in the DW Terminators in the Black Dragon movement phase via the teleport homers. In the pic above you can see the homers next to both objectives on the left side of the photo..

Even this early into the game I realized that this just was not going to work.  I could see that the Black Dragons were going to out pace me on objectives and if I just kept the boxnaught and the DW Vets in the back field holding on to them that they would be quickly over ran.  So I moved them up to try to get closer to the ememy.

I really was distracted by the Ballistus Dreadnought and declared it to be the Deathwatch Oath Of Moment target for the round.  The Terminators were brought in, and in my typically ballsy/suicidal way, I placed on close to the enemy fire lines on the hill in their deployment zone and the other close to where the Razorback was destroyed. These guys led the shooting and despite the OOM rerolls they only managed to hurt the Ballistus. 

During my turn Chaplain Swink of the Black Dragons and his Assault Intercessors wiped out the DW Vet Bikers and consolidated onto the objective in the ruins. 

The worst blow against the DW Terminators was the Gernade Stratagem that resulted in a few dea Terminators. That thing is brutal! 

The Black Dragons Turn 2, and every foot soldier within range turned on the Terminators on hill behind them, declared Oath Of Moment on them and threw everything they had at them. Despite my bad dice, I only lost two Terminators. 

New target acquired.

On the other side, the second group of Terminators were tangling with the Reivers who proved to be far more annoying than they ever were to my nids.  By the time the Reivers had engaged them they were down to just two models and Battleshocked.

Damn those scary masks!

Turn three, and finally I was able to get the Deathwatch to kill off a unit. The boxnaught and the DW Vets with the Librarian eliminated the Chaplain and his Assault Intercessors. 

Objective cleared.

This was a short lived triumph however as the Black Dragons defense continued to stymie the Deathwatch, even taking out a Deathwatch Terminator with Overwatch as they charged into the Infernus Marines. 

They seemed less scary without paint...

On the following turn, the Black Dragons maneuvered into tactical position to maximize their fire potential. It's also worth noting that I stopped tracking VPs, it was clear that the Deathwatch were not going to win with VPs as the Black Dragons soured into an unsurmountable lead. It was all about the attrition at this point! 

The Ballistus Dreadnought, from the other side of the board, lanced the boxnaught with his twin-linked Las Cannons, bringing it's stompy existence to a sudden end. 

It's a generational comment ultimately.

With the dice against me, and Infernus Squad having eliminated the Terminators (and my ability to roll an extraordinarily amount of static defying  1's) I had the death or glory approach to final round of the game. My DW Vets moved forward and obliterated the small Intercessors unit. 

The crater is clear!

...only to have the remaining Infernus and Hellblasters units surround them and bathe them in deadly heat! 

Just add a Whoosh! onomatopoeia.

But it was the last DW Terminator who held on, vainly, with the last of the Black Dragons firing at him with everything  they had. It was a total victory for the Black Dragons! 

Total victory.

Wow. Again, my dice were cold, and Cheef's were hot. Particularly when he had to  make saves. With a week to think about this game as I pecked and poked at writing this report, I clearly made some Tactical blunders. A lot of which I feel come from the learning pains of this edition change, but some were just errors on part. I think I should have realized the amount of firepower was going to overwhelm my ability to make saves. Even with bad dice rolling, the math wasn't going to  be on my side, and slapping  my Terminators down with a "bring it" attitude in front of a force that can absolutely bring it, well, you end up with dead Marines. 

Forgetting to take advantage of my teleport homers was also a big blunder on my part, but I am not sure how well the outcome would have changed. 

I think really, my biggest blunder was not keeping my force close and tight focused, instead of spread out and thin. I was using a force that didn't have a lot of long ranged firepower, and  I needed to get them closer to maximize their effectiveness. I think in hindsight I should have  thrown everything at one side of his army and focused on eliminating units as opposed to being distracted by the Ballistus, who ultimately wasn't hampered by the wounds it received. 

Flare for the flare god.

Cheef's strategy was flawless. All he had to do was react to my feeble dice flailing and hold onto objectives.  Well done indeed. 

This was my second game of 40k 10th edition, and my second tabled fight in a row. Interestingly my nids did far more damage to the Black Dragons than the Deathwatch although they too were tabled.  I need to get a few more games in to work out my edition-change kinks. Oh, and I need new dice.