Tuesday, 15 August 2017

8th Edition 40k game - Flesh Tearers v Deathwing

After 4 wins on the bounce my Flesh Tearers were challenged to a 100 power game against a very elite force - the Deathwing!

This I was not looking forward to as I was running my normal super mobile themed army - remember this is not a power build but a Flesh Tearer army I have slowly painted up over about 3 years that, in my eyes, totally fits their background. Mostly jump pack assault troops with a sizeable death company and a few terminators to bulk it out. The Land Raider and Baal Predator have no long range effectiveness being equipped with flamestorm cannons! Basically the army does what Flesh Tearers do - run at the enemy and hope for the best!!

The problem is that although my army is themed for in your face close combat, it's not particularly good at it. I have got assault marines after all! So coming up against about 30 terminators, a land raider and some knights who will literally walk into my lines and shout "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" Scares me rather a lot!
The Deathwing assemble

Setup, mission and deployment

I was running my normal list of Mephiston, 2 assault squads, tactical squad, terminator squad, death company, death company dreadnought, librarian, shooty dreadnought and Death Company Chaplain.

We rolled for the five objective mission and Mike chose the front line assault deployment which I quite liked although it did funnel me into a killing area near the centre of the board right where I didn't want to be! This also stopped me deploying down one flank to overwhelm one side of my enemy which I quite like to do - especially against elite armies.

I had already set the board up to be very terrain heavy as there were few vehicles and so a confined close combat board seemed appropriate.

Table setup
Mike only deployed his venerable dreadnought and his knights, chaplain and captain in a land raider in the centre of the board leaving all of his terminators in the teleportarium - gulp!

I deployed nearly all of my force for a change only leaving an assault squad in orbit. I did this as I have a massive mobility advantage and there is no point deep striking and charging a terminator squad with 1 unit of marines - I'll get my ass handed to me! So I thought with all of the deep striking coming in I would limit where he could teleport. In the end I denied the Deathwing my left hand side of the board and left 1 assault squad hanging out to dry. I did this to keep the terminators as far away from my force as possible in the first turn and I hoped that the cover from being in the trees would give them enough of a save to last a full turn and save the rest of my army from shooting and assault.

Tactical approach
Mike's tactics were to try to control the board and contain me in a corner and use his overwhelming close combat potential to grind me down.

My tactics were to stay as far away from Mike's terminators for as long as possible! I would try to take out his mobility (Land Raider) and then use my superior mobility to outrun his terminators to try to isolate single squads that I could assault, wipe out and get away again without being counter charged. I would use my terminators and death company dreadnought as speed bumps to tie up the middle of the board while my jump packs moved around and hunted their targets! I could then use the squad in orbit to come in and either claim an objective turn 3 or support a locked in combat later in the game. Overall I needed to stay away from the 10 man terminator squad to have any chance at all...

The game
In the beginning there were terminators...
Turn 1 - Deathwing deep strike
And so it began...the Land raider rolled forward full of terminators while the rest of the force teleported down to my right flank and wiped the assault squad from the face of the earth. I few wounds on the death company dreadnought and the Dark Angels had begun their assault winning first blood in the process.
I have to say that Storm Bolters are now amazing! Rapid fire 2 has made them the weapon they should be and has made shoot terminators viable again! 4 shots within 12 inches is terrifying. Thankfully I had out the whole assault squad in cover giving them a 2+ save or my army would have been in real trouble.
However my tactics were working as now his Land raider was in striking distance and the terminators were quite a way away...
The Flesh Tearers move into midfield
My main thoughts for this turn were to take the Land raider down which would isolate his knights for next turn hopefully and then move my death company and tactical squad into cover on the left away from the horde. I need to control the black rage and pick the right time to unleash the death company into the fray...
Meanwhile I was going to throw the terminators and death company dreadnought forwards to tempt the knights in if I could destroy the Land raider....which luckily I did!! Every bit of shooting and smite went into that thing and I managed to get it with the last rolls of the dice - phew!
Plan still intact!
Deathwing turn 2
The knights duly charged but for fear of execution the chaplain and captain  wimped out and stayed back! For their efforts they only took down 3 terminators due to some great storm shields blessed by the Emperor himself!
The Death Company dreadnought somehow survived the withering fire of storm bolter shots as the terminators trudged across the board like Napoleon's armies...
Flesh Tearers turn 2
The main aim in this turn was to get rid of the knights, the 2 characters and the venerable dreadnought. If i could do that Mike would only have 3 units left with 4 objectives to hold...
Mephiston jumped in with the Flesh Tearer terminators and sorted out the knights not even getting his hands dirty!
The Death Company dreadnought charged forward to dispatch both characters and lost his remaining wound in the process.
I ended up using all my firepower to ensure the deaths of those characters rather than go for the venerable dreadnought. That would have to wait until next turn although my librarian and chaplain may get hurt because of this.
I left my death company in cover again too as I cannot risk them getting counter attacked by a 10 man terminator squad - they will have to wait for their moment...
Deathwing turn 3
This would be the crunch turn for both armies as the terminators are striding into range...
Mike started pouring fire into the shooty dreadnought and the tactical squad holding the objective in the building as he advanced while the venerable dreadnought charged my 2 characters somehow not getting through the chaplains rosarius!! This was a massive stroke of luck as the dreadnought only has 3 wounds left and both characters have inferno pistols!!!
Meanwhile 5 of the Deathwing charged Mephiston and the last 2 terminators wiping them out.
Flesh Tearers turn 3 & Deathwing turn 4
 The chaplain and librarian just had enough to kill the venerable dreadnought and consolidated close enough to the middle of the table to give the Death Company their chance of glory as they charged into the 5 terminators in the middle - Gah a fluffed charge with my death company again!!!
This left me in quite a precarious position as my chaplain, librarian and death company were all out in the open with a squad of 10 terminators bearing down on them...
My other assault squad arrived from reserve and landed away from the action securing an objective at the top of the table. These guys would have no bearing on the action now except to claim an objective but it was a risk I was willing to take. Thinking back I should have combat squadded these marines and used 5 of them to help out but never mind!

As the Deathwing turn 4 came around I think Mike made a mistake here. He focused all of his shooting on the tactical marines in cover and then charged them with the 10 man squad to wipe them off the objective. Meanwhile the 5 man squad retreated to the bottom objective in the trees.
I think he should have used the 10 man terminator squad and shot the tactical squad and then charged the death company securing the middle objective while ignoring the bottom objective and moving and charging the tactical squad with the 5 man terminator squad. If he'd made these moves and rolled successful charges, he would have cleared the middle of the table easily and I would have been struggling.
Deathwing end of turn 4
 As it was Mike now held the left objective after shifting the tactical squad and also held the bottom objective with his 5 man squad. He also had first blood, linebreaker and warlord giving him 9 vp's.
I had the top middle objective held by my librarian, top right objective held by my assault squad middle objective (In the Deathwing turn 4 assault phase my Death Company finally dispatched the last of the terminators in the middle), warlord and linebreaker. This gave me 11 vp's. If I wanted to win this turn I had to use my Chaplain to hold the middle objective and fly the Death Company down to the bottom objective. If I could win that combat I would have the game...
The end of the game
At last the Death Company came through for me!! True enough they jumped down into the squad of terminators and, after my shooty dreadnought had softened them up, wiped them out claiming the bottom objective for the win.

Game reflection
The game was so much fun. Facing down such an elite, tough force was horrific but I had a game plan and stuck to it. The game swung back and forth throughout and really could have gone either way. To be honest I think that I got lucky at certain points. Destroying the Land raider in one turn and my chaplain keeping both himself and the librarian alive in combat with a venerable dreadnought were both some pretty lucky dice rolls!
The amount of firepower that terminators can put out now is incredible! Storm bolters and assault cannons can really decimate units. I really think that non-storm shield terminators are a really good option to take now in 8th edition.
I think that because both armies are themed it really made the game more interesting too. I have discovered that the best kind of games I play now are more narrative and story or theme driven. I do believe that 8th edition lends itself to this style too with all of the detachment that you can take building a theme of your army for you.

I would quite like to know if anyone is running particularly themed armies or small elite armies and how they play in this new edition. If you are then let me know.

All the best and I hope you enjoyed the game as much as I did.

fourdadsoftheapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads


  1. Thanks for the report dude, a really interesting read, I have only got a few small games of 8th under my belt so far too so it is really useful to read about facing down that kind of force, congrats on the hard won victory !

  2. Thanks Carl, appreciate it. I quite like writing about our experiences, it helps me to remember what happened and learn from plans made, whether they went well or not.