My first games of Warhammer 40k
- 13 min
Last year, I set myself the goal of playing at least one 1k-point game of 40k. This seemed like a reasonable goal at the time, but I didn't really start it till pretty late in the year.
It became a sprint towards the finish line, with me finishing the last of the painting the day before my first game. But the pressure was good, as it forced me to accept "good enough," rather than spending hours chasing perfection.
While I ultimately missed my goal of 1k points, with me painting only about 500 points. I did end up playing two games, so overall, that's 1k 🤣.
Apologies for the lack of proper photos and battle reports. As I'll cover, it was a little overwhelming, and I forgot to take photos most of the time. Also, I know I've made mistakes, so the battle reports wouldn't be particularly "accurate".
I intend to cover this in more detail on a dedicated army page. Here's some lore/background on my army in the meantime.
I like purple and wanted to use it as a colour in one of my armies. But for a long time, I wrestled with the fact that the Emperor's Children pre-heresy wore purple and I didn't want to be caught up in that. So I dabbled with the Imperial Fists for a while before giving up because painting yellow is painful.
After lamenting my choices with my friend, he convinced me to try doubling down on the "totally not Emperor's Children" angle. So I did. This then spawned "The Confessors". A Chapter who hunts the enemies of The Emperor and makes them "confess" their crimes and then pay for their sins.
The Confessors are led by Chapter Master Edward (another of my friend's brilliant suggestions), with each Captain taking a
Ed name. For example, the name of my Terminator Captain featured here is
Edwin. Their lore is still mostly under construction, but it's filled with many tongue-in-cheek references, such as they practice excellent (not perfect) warfare and focus on looking their best (again, not perfect).
My first game was an "introduction to 40k" session at my local Warhammer shop. This wasn't a real battle in any real sense of the word. This was more of a "check I know the basic mechanics" sort of session. I was playing against a similarly sized force of Nerons.
As this was my first game and I knew Necron weapons could be pretty scary, I didn't want to get wiped, so I played it pretty cagey. This was my first mistake of many.
The Necron player got the first turn, but all they could really do was move up towards me (to the positions in the photo above). If I had asked more about their units before deploying, I would've found out that they had shorter-range weapon options and couldn't do much to me anyway.
It was then my turn. This revealed my second and third blunders. My Infernus Marines (left) did 0 damage to the Skorpekh Destroyers (left) as I grossly misunderstood how tough they were. Then my Terminators (right) did some damage to the Necron Warriors (upper middle), but due to hiding in a building, I prevented some of my models having a line of sight and being able to shoot.
I knew at this point I'd made some serious errors. I assumed my Infernus Marines would do more damage and that the Necrons would've been scarier. What I should've done is move both my units towards the centre of the board and lay down some heavy fire on the Necron Warriors while I had the chance. What was going to happen next was obvious.
The Necron player advanced their Warriors to the centre and then charged the Skorpekhs into my Infernus Marines. To say the Skorpekhs wiped my Marines would be an understatement. They were overkilled by a hilarious margin. After that, I was ready for my Terminators to also take a beating, but it turns out their armour is much better than I thought, and they just shrugged off the 20-odd shots, taking only a single wound.
It was then my turn to exact my revenge. On the advice of my opponent to trust in my Terminator's melee strength, I shot at the Warriors, taking a few out and then charged the Skorpekhs. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. The high strength and armour penetration of the Power Fists is awesome. They took out 2 of the Skorpekh and left another low for my Captain to finish off with his sword.
This very quickly turned from what I thought was an easy loss into a clear win. The Necrons continued to fail to shoot me off the table while I simply shot and then followed up with melee attacks that saw them die. The Necron Overlord (robot with the tall spear) did manage to kill off one of my Terminators with his Tachyon Arrow, which, while very deadly, only has one attack so could only kill one model.
While I know the opponent made some intentional "blunders" to ensure I didn't automatically lose the game, I was thoroughly impressed by how powerful my Terminators were and had a great time.
It was overwhelming though. While I thought I knew the game well enough to play, actually doing it and being required to remember everything the instant I needed it proved much more difficult than I expected. However, some of it was already becoming easier by the end of this first game.
My next game was against my friend who got me into 40k and made many of the lore suggestions for the Confessors. He was playing his Genestealer Cult.
I thought I knew this army and how it operated from our numerous hours discussing our units and all the cool things they can do. As we both only really have the Combat Patrol's to play with, so we did that.
You'll also see that we each have our Red Gobbo's in our armies. They don't belong in our armies, but there's an option to play a game with them to get some free festive dice, and as we both had one, there were no real advantages to either player.
This was both my and my friend's first non-store-led games, so it was very slow and full of mistakes and uncertainties about the rules. These games are supposed to last about an hour. This turned into a three-hour slogfest.
We both seemed rather afraid of what could happen, so we both decided to make use of our deep-strike rules (start with some models off the board and have them appear later) and have some of the models start in reserve. I then got the first turn and teleported my Terminators on top of the centre objective. (Hidden behind my Captain). The sellotape was acting as my marker, but I forgot to remove it before I took the picture.
I knew that with most of the Neophyte Hybrids being in reserve, I needed to protect my home objectives, so I chose not to move the Infernus Marines or the Gobbo (he's off to the right corner of the board). This left me only shooting at the Goliath Rockgrinder with my Terminators. I vastly underestimated the Rockgrinder's toughness, and all of my shots did a single wound.
Things only got worse from here. My opponent moved his Rockgrinder up to near Terminators and disembarked his Aberrants (or as he affectionally calls them, "muscle beach") right in my face.
The Rockgrinder then shot, and it slapped hard. Thankfully, my Terminators have a 4+ (on a D6 roll equal or better than a 4) invulnerable save, or they've been toast. I rolled pretty well and only lost a single Terminator, but damn. Muscle Beach then charged, laid down the pain and took out another Terminator.
Thanks to being able to respond in my opponent's fight phase and then again in my turn, I managed to take out a few of the beachgoers before taking any more losses. Unfortunately, I made another mistake when removing my dead models, leaving the sergeant with a sword rather than keeping another power fist. I should've kept the power fist instead, as it has much higher strength, and it would've been much more effective against these enemies. Though, as I didn't kill the unit, it meant that the Rockgrinder could not shoot at my Terminators, which probably saved their lives (this is how we interpreted the rules; I think we're wrong, but oh well).
I did move my Infernus Marines around the corner to the left, trying to keep away from the Rockgrinder as it was obviously going to make the charge against them, but it didn't work.
As predicted, he moved his Rockgrinder up to my Infernus Marines on my opponent's turn. He also deployed his Neophytes on his home objective and dropped his Acolyte Hybrids as close as possible to my Terminators.
The Acolytes and Rockgrinder then charged respectively. The Acolytes did nothing to my Terminators, but the Rockgrinder decimated my Infernus Marines.
Enter the Red Gobbo.
On my next turn, as a somewhat last-ditch effort, I got my Gobbo involved and tagged him into combat with the Rock grinder. Astonishingly, he managed to do a wound to it. However, his primary goal was to pin the Rockgrinder down.
I then finished off the final Aberrant and moved my Terminators towards his home objectives. From here, it was a bit of a grind with us each taking out models, though he has the annoying ability to bring back a fair few models from the dead. This led to my Terminators being surrounded again. He also tagged his Gobbo into the fray.
Eventually, the Rockgrinder got through the Infernus Marines, Librarian and Gobbo and caught up with my Terminators.
My opponent then played a genius move of retreating his Neophytes so that the Rockgrinder could fire on my Terminators. This then left Captain Edwin all by himself to face the enemy.
I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. Despite his heroic last stand, he eventually was overwhelmed.
This was great. I had a feeling I'd enjoy this, and I did. I made a lot of mistakes that I hope I've learned from and won't make again. None of the mistakes feel bad, which is good, I feel I can correct them with more experience rather than it being insurmountable.
There's a lot of information to process, and reading/flipping through the books is far too clunky. I/we used a fair bit of time just finding useful information. So I need to make myself some cheat/crib sheets to take along, which should help with that too.