Got together with an old gaming friend at Huzzah Hobbies this past Friday for a game of 40k 7th edition. We used the new Maelstrom of War rules utilizing random objective cards during the battle to determine victory points.
I took my Black Legion in a pretty vanilla configuration:
1 Chaos Lord with Spineshiver Blade, Mark of Khorne
1 Sorcerer, Level 3, Force Sword
5 Terminators, 2 combi-metlas, assorted CC weapons, reaper autocannon
9 CSMarines with Mark of Khorne, CC weapons and a melta.
10 CSMarines with Rhino, melta and heavy bolter, power sword for champion
10 CSMarines with melta and heavy bolter, power sword for champion
1 Heldrake with baleflamer
1 Land Raider
1 Aegis Defense line with Quad-gun
His list, as best I recall, was:
Destroyer Lord, Mindscackle scarabs and big scythe.
3 Tomb Spyders w/scarabs
1 Annihilation Barge
1 Flyer (Night scythe?)
We played the first Maelstrom mission, Cleanse and Control. There was a lot going on as we both started the game with three objective cards, on top of which we could score points for killing the warlord, first blood, and line-breaker (occupying the enemy's deployment zone). But the objectives changed every round as we drew new cards and discarded others per the rules. As a result and because I did not take notes, I won't make this a blow-by-blow report but more of an annotated photo-dump with a conclusion!
Chaos setup with fortification
View from the Chaos side. Not pictured is my left flank where a unit of CSMs held a building and an objective. As you can see below the little green sword markers are the objectives, of which there were 6.
Necrons advance very rapidly!!!
Chaos loses some men to fire.
Look! A Psychic phase! The Sorceror tries to lower the morale of the Wraiths and then Smite them, but causes no wounds.
Three Wraiths have been killed on the way in, but here comes a nasty charge anyway.
The Monolith immobilizes itself on rough terrain. It would stay that way for two turns and generally killed nothing this game. I believe my opponent took it to handicap himself out of consideration for me. :)
Scarabs decide to eat a Sorceror!
Wraiths and Lord do in fact eat a full squad of Chaos marines.
The Sorceror somehow survives the onslaught, but does no wounds. I think I made 8 armor saves.
Chaos reinforcements all arrive on turn 3. Their mission was to gun down the wraiths and the lord to get the Kingslayer objective (d3 points) and the Slay the Warlord point in one go.
The Heldrake vector strikes the Nightscythe but only does one point of damage. It had previously taken a hit from my quad-gun.
I also had the "Harness the Warp" objective, and only needed one successful spell to get a VP. I went for the d3, but my opponent Denied one power and then I failed the next two! See lack of 4+ rolls below.
The Heldrake flames a unit of warriors, but most will stand back up as Necrons are wont to do.
All my shooting only downs two Wraiths and wounds a third.
The Scarabs kill my ineffectual Sorceror.
The Nightscythe drops off its deadly cargo. They proceed to reduce my Chaos Space Marines in the building to one model! I really should have shot down that flyer...
One CSM, "Bob". remains in the ruins after some impressive Necron shooting.
Here comes the Wraith and Lord. How will 9 Khornate Marines and a Chaos Lord fare?
Despite inflicting two wounds while losing one of their number, the Obliterators run away from combat!
The Scarabs ate my Rhino so the Necrons could claim that objective for a victory point. In 7th edition, dedicated troop transports are scoring and can hold the objective against anything other than enemy troop choices. So this one had to go, and it did...
And here is what one Wraith and a Lord can do to a Chaos close combat squad. Mindshackle scarabs made on of my guys kill a buddy. The rest of my attacks did nothing despite my lord's demon weapon. Low strength was the problem as the lord was toughness 6.
In my turn 4 the Obliterators rallied and the Terminators maneuvered to charge the Necron lord.
The Heldrake saw a chance to take this objective and flew over to bathe the robots in unrighteous chaotic flame.
The battle is joined! Terminators have the strength to kill the Necron Lord...
...and they succeed! My opponent generously helps me form a ring wide enough that the Lord cannot return to life due to lack of space. This netted me a tidy 4 Victory points, plus 2 for destroying two units in assault, thanks to my objective cards. The game is pretty close at this point but I have little manpower left.
Finally the Tomb Spyders repair the Monolith and pose for an impressive photo.
The Necrons abandon one objective to score another. This kind of crazy maneuvering is common as the objective cards give you different missions to accomplish on the fly.
The Scarabs advance on my remaining Land Raider while the warriors take aim at the Rhino.
The warriors destroy the Rhino with gauss rounds while the Scarabs advance.
The Scarabs make short work of the mighty Land Raider!
The C'tan charges the Chaos Lord, who rolls a bucket of dice but cannot manage to put the final wound on the C'tan thanks to its toughness of 7! The C'tan easily slices through the paltry powered armor of my ill-equipped lord, netting my opponent 3 victory points due to his objective card and the universal Slay the Warlord objective of this mission.
The Terminators decide someone must stop this infestation of metal roaches. Also being stuck in will protect them from getting shot to death by the large group of warriors approaching their position.
The Obliterators gun down the C'tan, netting my no victory points but giving me a moral victory nonetheless.
Terminators chow down on yummy beetles but stay stuck in.
Heldrake, having lost his weapon, goes to hover mode and scores a VP for my by holding the objective the Necrons had abandoned. I just happened to pull the right card at the right time.
The Obliterators take another casualty from the Annihilation barge and the last one skedaddles off the table! The Heldrake, in hover mode, is easily brought down by Necron fire.
The Terminators finish off the scarabs and claim the objective for me as their final act. Again I got a good card. Necrons to the left of me...
...Necrons straight ahead...
...and Necrons to the right. I have only 4 models on the table and decide to concede before we roll for a 6th turn.
Final VP Score: Necrons-15 Chaos-13
Thanks to the randomized objectives, I was able to complete a number of missions and keep the game competitive by the official tally despite being almost tabled by my opponent. If the game had continued another round or two I would not have been able to score much if anything, however. Whereas with board control the Necrons probably would have been able to run the score up a bit. That said, had I been a little luckier with a few other missions it could have been a tie or better going into the die roll for the 6th turn. So the game could really have gone either way despite my overall losses being much higher than my Necron opponent. To put things in perspective, by the end of the game all I had left was 4 terminators, whereas all the Necrons had lost was their Lord, the C'tan, the Wraiths, and the Scarabs.
I really enjoyed the game and would like to thank my opponent for teaching me the ropes of the new edition. As a casual player, it totally works for me. I know I could not compete at a tournament but that's not where I am with 40k anyway. Overall, I think the basic rules of 7th are quite sound, and if you are playing a reasonable opponent the lists and missions work. I suspect the tournament players could make the game work for them by using one force org chart, allowing no allies, and sticking to the Eternal War missions. But for me, it all works and I am enjoying it as much or more as I have since I started playing 40k at age 14. Looking forward to more!