Sadly those were my opponent’s dice.
I was lucky enough to get a walkthrough game of the new edition of Warhammer 40k at Warhammer Fest this weekend. Games Workshop had a room full of demo games going on and it was packed with gamers checking out the new slightly-taller marines.
As a quick summary, it’s quick and it’s slick. From a miniatures perspective, both factions are stunning, perfectly in line with the quality coming out of Games Workshop these last years. The system reminds me of 2nd edition Warhammer 40k meets Age of Sigmar in all the good ways. Here’s how it went.
Based on them happening to be the closest models, I used the shiny new Primaris Space Marines consisting of a Hellblaster squad with 5 plasma incinerator-wielding badasses, a squad of 3 Inceptors with jump packs and 2 assault bolters each, along with a Captain. My opponent took control of the grimy Death Guard, a rag-tag bunch of diseased rust buckets and traitors. The servant of Nurgle fielded 5 Plague Marines, a Foetid Bloat-Drone and a Lord of Contagion. This was going to be easy – their armour was held together by rust and most of them already started with their intestines hanging out.
Quick off the mark, I won the initiative roll for the first turn. My Captain already started in close combat with the Lord of Contagion and my Hellblasters were already in rapid fire range of the Plague Marines so the movement phase consisted of the Inceptors making a meteoric descent behind enemy lines, guns blazing into the back of the Plague Marines. The Hellblasters focused on the same target with a hail of plasma, every round of firepower levelled at the squad…felling 2 of them. Nurgle servants are tough. On top of their armour save, they gain a second save of 5+ like the old Feel No Pain. Incensed by his force’s lack of effectiveness, he smashed his Boltstorm Gauntlet into the Lord of Contagion’s face, dropping him to a single wound.
Before the Lord of Contagion chopped the Captain in half with his axe.
The Forces of Nurgle hit back and on their first turn, the Foetid Bloat-Drone unleashed a withering storm of fire before joining the Lord of Contagion in charging the Hellblaster squad. Irked by the bolters from behind, the Plague Marines melted an Inceptor with plasma and charged into them, fighting to a stalemate. During overwatch, 2 of the Space Marine Hellblasters died as their own plasma weapons exploded before the Lord of Contagion wiped out the rest.
Thirsty to avenge their leader, Inceptors make a “tactical redeployment” away from the Plague Marines and unleash their assault bolters upon them. Their army thin on the ground, a squad of Space Marine Intercessors arrived from reserve (the staff member guiding our game felt sorry for my lack of army after such a short time) and unleashed hell with rapid firing bolt rifles…and failed to inflict a single wound on the Lord of Contagion. The Inceptor had much the same effectiveness against the sturdy Plague Marines.
Records of the Death Guard’s turn have been expunged from Imperial archives, although rumour suggests that only a single Space Marine Intercessor survived the turn.
Despite the absolute whitewash, the game was fast, easy to pick up and lots of fun. I checked the other tables around ours and noticed much the same story – lots of dead Space Marines and “healthy” Nurgle forces. I shan’t call balance into question as they were small tables and the armies started very close which favours the Death Guard since the Space Marine force is very shooty.
All in all, the game was a blast. And the Space Marines shall have their revenge!