Mark and I played our first game of 8th edition Warhammer 40,000. It was Mark’s Iron Hands vs my Imperial Fists.

We decided to start really simple with a simple kill points mission so we could figure out all of the new rules.

Army Lists

We agreed to 100 Power Level.

I took my typical 7th edition list regardless if it was good for 8th edition. I wanted to use units I was familiar with and try out the new rules.

  • Lysander
  • 10 Assault terminators (5 with thunder hammer & storm shield & 5 with lightning claws)
  • 10 Legion of the damned
  • Tactical squad with grav cannon, flamer, & sergeant with powerfist
  • Rhino
  • Tactical squad with grav cannon, plasma gun, & sergeant
  • Rhino
  • Devastators with 2 lascannons & 2 missile launchers
  • Dreadnought with twin lascannon & missile launcher
  • Contemptor dreadnought

And Mark took a new type of list to try new things in 8th edition including a lot of the new units. And he used a spearhead detachment & a vanguard detachment to try a lot of new fast attacks & heavy support choices.

  • Primaris Captain
  • Ancient
  • Apothecary (non-primaris)
  • Vanguard veterans squad with thunder hammers & storm shields
  • Bike squad
  • 3 Inceptors
  • Hellblaster squad
  • Contemptor dreadnought
  • Devastator squad
  • Vindicator tank

The Battle

I setup with a tactical squad in rhino on each side of my deployment zone. The terminators were in the middle with Lysander. A contemptor was on the right flank and a devastator squad was in some ruins up high.

Imperial Fists Advance
At the end of my first movement phase

I moved up basically everything but the shooty dread. I take a few pot shots at Mark’s tanks. I fired at the Rhino that had his hellblaster squad.

(Rules wise it’s not possible for a Rhino to carry marines but Mark misread the Rhino Primaris entry. That’s why we did an easy mission for our first game)

I was able to inflict a lot of damage on the rhino with my devastators but the vindicator suffered almost no damage.

Dreadnought Fires
The shooty dreadnought with a twin lascannon & missile launcher fires at the vindicator doing almost no damage.

On my right flank my Contemptor moved up with a tactical squad and shot at Mark’s Inceptors & his dreadnought.

Contemptor Dreadnought Advances
My Contemptor dreadnought advances shooting at Mark’s dreadnought.

On Mark’s turn he used his devastators to blow up my rhino leaving a squad of tactical marines stranded in the open in front of a vanguard veterans squad. Uh-oh!

Tactical Squad Charged by Vanguard-veterands
Mark’s Vanguard veterans with thunder hammers & storm shields charges my tactical squad after blowing up their rhino.

He also moved his bikes up for a potential charge and unloaded all of their weapons into my terminators inflicting a few wounds.

And I think this is the first tipping point. I take the bait and charge Mark’s bike squad.

Terminators & Lysander Advance
Lysander & his terminators move up to charge the bikes.

And if this was a game of 7th edition I would have been able to hide in combat until all of the bikes were dead. But in 8th Mark just fell back and shot the terminators with EVERYTHING.

Iron Hands bikes retreat from Terminator assault
Iron Hands bikes retreat from Terminator assault

And this is where Mark starts using his Hellblasters with insane proficiency. They keep overcharging their shots to get -4 AP & 2 damage to each of their shots.

And with the captain nearby they can re-roll 1’s. And they also had an Apothecary for an effective feel-no-pain save. As well as the Ancient around so which I did manage to shoot one they’d get one last shot and take down another terminator.

I’ve learned that Hellblasters OWN terminator squads.

After the Hellblasters took down the terminators Mark shot everything at Lysander.

Iron Hands Devastators
Iron Hands Devastators with Lascannons take aim at Lysander.

Somehow Lysander survives the turn. He and a contemptor charge into the enemy lines and get gunned down.

Wrap Up

It was definitely a rough game for the Imperial Fists. I was able to take out a few targets right away with good rolls. Like Mark’s contemptor & a rhino.

I completely underestimated his Hellblaster squad. I need to get some long range firepower to take them down. Since they have 2 wounds each it doesn’t make sense to shoot bolters at them. Maybe Heavy bolters or even heavier weapons like missile launchers. Just to kill them and take them out of the game. They’re too dangerous around any unit. Especially units in rapid-fire range.

If I continue to play with imperials I’d like to include a Vindicare assassin or Scouts with sniper rifles to target characters like the Ancient, Apothecary, or Captain. That would have weakened the Hellblasters as well as possibly letting me take down his HQ.