Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Wednesday Night Gaming: Thawn’s New Dawn

Terminator spam ahoy!

Loyal readers, I present to you the very 1st game of 6th Edition 40K as played by the Wednesday Night Gaming crew (myself & Laur) here on the 512th Cadian. Read on to see how well did Justicar Thawn fare against Belial's big boys.

New hefty rulebook read and re-read, we aim to play a 1k point army game in which I’ve announced an attempt at a ‘Thawn-wing’ army, this being a footslogging Terminator armour, with a Psycannon-Inquisitor and Justicar Thawn at the helm, very much a ‘classic Grey Knight’ sort of flavour as it were.

As a counterpoint, Laur decides to try out a Dark Angel Deathwing army instead of his usual vanilla Space Marine list, so here are the rosters.


The idea behind this list is to fit as many Terminator bodies as possible under 1k. I note that I’ve personally found Thawn to be worth his points in his ability to resurrect, and the Vindicare is there to add anti-vehicle and anti-building ability instead of a Psyfleman which I usually opt for. The Inquisitor tops it all off nicely with an added Psycannon.
I then announced to Laurence that a GK termie-spam list was what I was intending to bring to the table to give him a chance to either rectify an inadequate list (e.g. an all-scout army with bolters) or go full throttle and come up with a Terminator-beating force (e.g. plasma & melta spam). His choice was to bring the Dark Angels, with Belial making 2 squads of Hammer & Shield totin’ Deathwing, and 2 squads of Devastators with Plasma cannons and Multi-meltas. Nice.


We play in strict accordance to the rulebook, rolling off for missions (Crusade: 4 objectives), deployment (Hammer & Anvil: Long table edges) and alternating terrain rules, which resulted in the terrain as seen above. Note that we elected NOT to use Mysterious Objectives.
The terrain I feel is just right for this sort of small-scale, heavily-armoured game. We have few units each, and a couple of buildings and some scattered ruins littered round the table. Objectives have been placed concentrated round the middle to ensure a good fight develops.

We also roll off for Warlord abilities, my Inquisitor gets Tenacity (FNP 3” of an objective), and Belial gets Immovable Object (scoring Warlord).


Laur wins the roll-off for going first so places his Devastator units entrenched in a ruin and a building, with a squad of Deathwing upfront and centre with his Dreadnought coming up to the side, while elected to put Belial and a squad in reserve to Deepstrike.
I place a squad of Terminators on the northernmost ruin with intention to secure that objective but remaining out of distance and LOS from Laurence’s plasma cannons, and I split Thawn’s group into 2 at the southern part of the map mostly hidden behind a piece of ruined terrain.

My Vindicare is placed within the ruins, to ensure that I get a good shot of either the Dreadnought or the building in which the Devastators are sitting on the battlements.
While Laurence lacks small arms fire, he has plenty of heavy firepower with the plasma cannons and I am well aware of the reputation of Thunder Hammer / Storm Shield terminators tearing chunks through other Terminators (in which my Ap3 halberds are of little use, and my Daemonhammers can be made safe by the 3++ storm shield save. Perhaps I should’ve brought more Force Swords!).

I fail to seize the Initiative so away we go!
*Note: Sadly, no photographs taken during the battle.


1.  Night-fighting comes into effect.
2.  Belial and his squad Deepstrike in according to his rules, but scatter slightly. Laur’s other Deathwing squad and Dread surge forward, running where needed.

3. Devastators fire at the Vindicare. While the plasma blasts scatter away, and even with a 2+ cover save (Shrouded due to Night fighting, and the Vindicare’s innate Stealth) I roll snakeeyes and he is killed, giving First Blood to Laurence.

1. My Terminators pull back to put some distance between Belial and his charge-hungry Thunderers. With any luck, some difficult terrain can slow down and dampen the potential assault. With 24 storm bolter shots and 16 Psycannon shots, I manage to only fell a single Deathwing terminator ( I think statistically I would’ve expected to kill at least 3) as my to-hit and to-wound rolls were a bit underpar, even with Psybolt ammo.
1. Laurence elects to do the same, pulling Belial back behind the elevated ruin to provide LOS-blocking elements, reasoning that he too would be quite happy to camp behind an objective and do a last minute surge where required.
2. Devastators let rip but to no effect as Terminators make all their saves. The Dark Angel Dreadnought pulls back a bit too and manages to kill a single one of my Terminators. If only it was Thawn!


1. The northernmost squad surges forward to the ruin to secure the objective, peppering Belial with ineffective bolterfire.
2. Thawn and his combat squads align themselves to gain Psycannon shots against the Dread.  On a good round of rolling, I manage 2 Glancing shots and 4 Penetrating shots, which strips away the 3no. Hullpoints of the Dread along with an Explode! Result, leaving a smoking crater.

1. Belial elects to leave his squad since he is a scoring element on his own, and a Devastator squad leaves their building to close the distance between themselves and the Grey Knights.
2. Devastators manage to kill a GK Terminator with plasma cannon fire, failing it’s cover save.


1. The Terminator squad in the ruins entrench themselves further and fire what they can at the Devastators, killing the Sergeant.
2. One half of Thawn’s squad peppers Belial with fire, failing to kill any. Thawn with the Inquisitor and his squad, charge headfirst to Belial’s bodyguard remnants skulking behind the ruin. Thawn issues a challenge, which is taken up by the Deathwing sergeant but results in a stalemate. The Grey Knights kill 3, but lose 2 of their own (the Halberdiers) but Deathwing holds steady.


1. Devastators kill another 2 Terminators, who again fail their cover save, while the other group moves forward too.
2. Belial rejoins a group of Deathwing to lend them his power, and they charge forward losing none of their number, but killing off Thawn’s squad and my Warlord giving another Victory point to Laurence. Thawn remains locked in combat with the Deathwing Sergeant.


1. My Terminator squad in the ruins roll snake eyes in their attempt to remain in coherency, while my last full-squad of Terminators surge forward but fail to close in their charge distance in an attempt to tackle Belial.
2. Thawn manages to slay his chalengee, and remains locked in combat with Belial.


1.Devastators fire but to no effect, Thawn re-issues a new challenge but is refused, so a Deathwing sergeant is elected to remain out of combat.  Nevertheless Thawn is beaten to a pulp by the the mass Thunderhammer attacks, and Belial and co. consolidate back towards an objective. A graveyard marker is left behind to represent Thawn’s final ‘resting spot’.


1. Thawn fails to re-spawn, preferring his dirtnap.
2. As this could potentially be the last turn. Both remaining groups of Terminators secure their objectives where possible.
3. The last die is rolled, and it’s game on for another turn!


1. Belial and his boys secure the objective within the ruins, pulling back further and further to remain out of possible charge range.
2. Devastators fire away with their multi-melta and heavy bolter shots, managing to fell 2 of my Terminators. Ouch.


1. Lady luck smiles upon Thawn, as he re-spawns on a roll of 4 (he needs a 4+ per game turn to resurrect), and runs forward to deny Belial his objective. Re-sult!
2. My group of Terminator in the elevated ruin re-arrange themselves and fire away ineffectually, but remain on top of their objective.

3. A further die roll is cast, and the game has ended.

Final Score: Dark Angels have 2 VPs, due to First Blood and Slay the Warlord. Grey Knights have 6 VPs, due to 2no. objectives held.

Grey Knights win, FTW!


Both Laurence and I have been playing our first ever 6th edition game with a 5th edition mentality. We both really thought of the game as being a Draw result, due to us incorrectly assuming that each Objective is worth only 1 Victory point each (in reality, each Primary Objective is actually 3 Objectives each). Both our jaws dropped after we shook hands on a good (assumed) draw game, checked the rulebook, and proved ourselves wrong.
Therefore, even if Thawn did NOT re-spawn and deny Laurence his objective, the Grey Knights would’ve STILL won on a score of 6 VPs to 5 VPs.

In hindsight, should Laurence and I both knew of the immense strategic importance of the objectives, the game would’ve been played very differently. The Deathwing would have been run even more aggressively, worked the squads in tandem and would’ve attempted to trounce Thawn and his Terminators as they were more than adequately able to due to their Stormshield saves.
Also Laurence hesitated in departing Belial to secure yet another objective by himself (the one in the middle) which would’ve applied even more pressure on me, for fear of being shot at, or possibly assaulted by my other group of Terminators. This was definitely a mistake on Laurence’s part, as by the later stages of the game I only had 2 Terminators in the northernmost ruin who remained hidden out of LOS, and if only he had not ignored the central objective, things would've been very different. In this regard, it was also a mistake on Laurence’s part to not re-deploy his Devastators to apply pressure on my forces camping on objectives.

Laurence did concede that my shooting has been lacklustre and should’ve killed more of his troops, and likewise Laurence’s own rolling has been above average, but we both played a cautious game, testing each other’s strikes and feints.
Roll that 4+ to Re-spawn Thawn
What Laurence really didn’t like was Thawn’s re-spawn ability (this was his first time facing Thawn). A game that was previously a loss in which a draw can be clawed back from, or a draw turning into a victory on a roll of 4+ is pretty cheesy. But is it any cheesier than Zogwort's insta-squig gaze, or a Space Marine Librarian's non-Deny-the-Witchable Null Zone? :)

Grey Knights are now an army with low model count but plenty of sneaky tricks, and in future Laurence would do well to adjust his tactics and model positioning in such a way to deny me this advantage.

A good, yet tough game. Terminator Vs. Terminator has always been a matchup I’ve longed to see and I got it. Deathwing are surely an opponent that demands respect, and with the new impending Dark Vengeance release, can see a resurgence in popularity.

Ultimately I knew I was outmatched due to the devastating wargear combo of the Deathwing, and had to rely on putting distance between me and Laurence and wear them down with as much small arms fire as I could. I would argue that I did NOT succeed on this basis and would have been pancaked by the unstoppable force of the Deathwing, but I had *accidentally* won the game by both our misassumptions with the Mission rules, and Laurence’s equally cautious and hesitant strategy.

Despite bad shooting and save rolls, luck *won* me the game as my opponent’s strategy had been misinformed. Really it should’ve been a draw, even with Thawn’s interference.

Welcome to 6th Edition 40K everybody! Thanks for reading, and comments as ever, are welcome.


  1. Interesting stuff! And yes, it is a significant shift from 5th Ed mentalities...

  2. Indeed the shift is significant. As vehicles can no longer score OR deny objectives (even with troops transported in them) the game now relies on survivable, hard-as-nails troops, or a last minute objective grab, to win games.

    Hard-as-nails-troops. I wonder if Terminators fit that description? :)

    On the plus side, while they have downgraded area terrain (now 5+) you get a 2+ increase to your cover when going to ground (now a 3+), so make sure objectives are firmly placed within area terrain and have a few cheap guardsmen hold the line.