Another Bug Hunt ... Warhammer 40K 8th Edition Battle Report

Warhammer 40,000 – 8th edition continues to shine as my group tries playing through various size battle and themes to see what we like best in 8th. I've owned Fantasy Arc's Bug Hunt Corridors for some time now and I will eventually complete all the parts I have so i can justify picking up some of his cool new rooms and specialty corridors.

With templates removed from the game playing an 8th edition zone mortalis game isn't really that much different than playing a normal game. The most important thing is that both players build forces geared toward fighting a close quarter battle. To keep things simple we limited the forces to either (1) Vanguard Detachment or a Highlander Style of any other detachement (only one of any datasheet) We also put a cap of a maximum of 60 models per detachment. As the space is fairly cramped having things boil down to a few clogged hallways wouldn't be fun for anyone. My opponent John, whipped together this mission sheet just so we had some thing on paper for the next time we fought in the corridors. Units can open or close doors at the end of their movement if they are within 1" of a door.

Initially we were going to have 6 people playing but due to unexpected complications the game was a standard 1v1 battle.  You can see the mission objectives on the image above. Doing shared Maelstrom is interesting as it adds another level of tactics and deciding what to spend your command points on becomes much harder. With the smaller forces there are less of them to go around so it becomes clutch to use the few command points you have at the right time.

I opted to play my Genestealer Cult list using the single Vanguard force.
HQ – Patriarch
HQ – Primus
Elite – 10 Purestrain Genestealers
Elite – 10 Purestrain Genestealers
Elite – 10 Purestrain Genestealers
Troop – 5 Acolyte Hybrids (Mining Drill)
Troop - 5 Acolyte Hybrids (Rock Cutter)

Keeping with the theme, John opted to run a Highlander Patrol of Deathwatch:
HQ – Chaplain
Elite – Venerable Dreadnought
Troop – 10 Deathwatch Veterans
Fast – 5 Deathwatch Vanguard

After we set up the objectives the Deathwatch chose which entry points each unit would be coming in from in secret. I then deployed the Genstealer Cult, holding the Primus and one unit of Purestrain Genestealers in reserve for Cult Ambush.

As the attacker the Deathwatch got first turn (no point on attempting to seize when they have nothing on the board right?). The three objectives were going to be difficult for him to score so he spent 2CP to draw three more for our shared stack. The objectives that were revealed didn't help the Deathwatch much, but I had a plan to score some quick points when my turn came up.

I immediately saw my mistake as the veterans and vanguard appeared on either side of the board right next to my Purestrain units. The Frag Cannons and shotguns make quick work of the Genestealers who couldn't make a single save. On my turn The Patriarch moved to avenge his fallen sons and the Primus came in on top of one of the objectives that needed to be defended with his brood of ten Purestrains. The Dreadnought stomping down the hall towards them would be a problem but the quicker I could get ahead on points the more likely I was to be able to squeak out a win. In assault the Patriarch destroyed theVeterans and was able to consolidate close enough to an objective to score it.

Using a command point to hack the doors the Deathwatch was able to clear the way, but the sneaky Acolytes were hiding to far down a hall for they alien hunters to get off a clear shot. Knowing their time was short the Acolytes ran out to close the doors the Deathwatch had just opened in an attempt to hold them back. The other acolyte squad burst out of a room guns blazing to tie up the Venerable Dreadnought, things went poorly for them when they attempted to assault, with only the rockdrill surviving to engage his target. The deformed broods sacrifice was no in vain however as the Purestrains coming down the hallway were then able to assault the metallic beast without feeling the cleansing flame of the emperor's wrath. The resulting slap fight failed to scratch the paint on the venerable machine, but it was able to smash several of the 'stealers and the sole rock drill into paste. On the other side of the table the Patriarch gutted the chaplain and began his long march to save the rest of his brood from the interlopers.

At the end of the game I had 8vp to John's 2vp. I had to hide the Patriarch to avoid being tabled by the remaining Frag Cannons and Venerable Dreadnought. But a win is a win and they've been so few and far between for me lately I'll take what I can get.

The rules and mission worked really well with this terrain set. It felt super thematic when the Deathwatch burst into a room and splatter aliens all over the walls. On the flip side when the door hack works and you suddenly are able to shoot or assault a unit you couldn't before it feels like a real no win situation.

I'm still learning how to play the Genestealer Cult as well as getting my head around the nuances of 8th edition. In particular how to make the most out of Characters. The buffs they apply are so important that you can't really run them around alone. It seems like running all three of my big characters behind some massive mobs of genestealers is the better option rather than running a bunch of small units like I have been.