Had my first game of 9th edition today - unfortunately no pictures so I’ll keep the run down brief and then give some quick thoughts.
My army (1000 points) Patrol detachment
5 caraphractii terminators
9 black knights
Landspeeder with heavy Bolter
Engage on all fronts (recon for the old ITC
Abhor the witch
My opponent’s army (1000 points - Grey Knights- Patrol)
Engage on all fronts
Grind them down (kill more)
We played centre ground, which had 4 objectives, two down the middle (“north” and “south”) and two on the edge of the respective deployment zones.
I put my cataphractii squad in deep strike, and my opponent did the same with his two strike squads
I grabbed first turn and spread out, putting my scouts on my home objective, the landspeeder out of LoS on the “south” objective and my blob of black knights and characters on the north objective. The paladins were my only valid target so I took a few shots and got a bit lucky to kill 3 of them.
I didn’t quite have the spread to get recon (doing so would have left me too vulnerable), so the score was 0-0
My opponents T1 he moved towards my blob, put the apothecary on his home objective and cast a few spells. Shooting took down 1 or 2 black knights before preparing for a devastating charge with the paladins. I spent a CP
to over watch (what a strange feeling) and managed to kill another paladin. He rerolled an armour save to try and keep the pally alive but didn’t succeed, and then fluffed the charge roll and couldn’t re roll it! Unfortunately the game was essentially lost in that moment.
My opponent didn’t score any points so the score is still 0-0
T2 I started my command phase on 3 objectives to 1, so scored a full 15 on the primary.
I swung my black knights around the paladins to make voldus the closest model, and hopped the landspeeder off the south objective to contest the objective the GK apothecary was on. I then deepstruck my terminators onto the south objective and took a few potshots at the apothecary (did 3 wounds). The black knights shot at voldus taking him down to 2 wounds, and sammael and the talon master killed some more paladins (took the squad down to about 2 or 3 at this point).
In the assault phase I charge voldus with the black knights and killed him (only just - again my opponent failed just enough saves and then failed on a reroll)
At the end of turn I’d scored a round of recon, a character kill for assassinate and a character kill for abhor the witch, putting me on 26-0
My opponents T2 he had no objectives (I was contesting the only one he was on). He deep struck his strike squads onto the north objective and 9” away from the scouts on my home objective. The paladins killed a few more black knights between shooting and assault, the apothecary took a few wounds off the landspeeder and the strike squads took a few wounds off sammael. Crucially, the other strike squad only killed 3 scouts and failed their charge, leaving me on the objective.
At the end of T2 my opponent got 2 points for recon, putting the score on 26-2.
T3 i got another 15 points on the primary before falling my black knights and landspeeder out of their respective combats. I killed the strike squad on the north objective, netting me more abhor the witch points, and scored full recon points again, putting me at 47-2 at the end of my turn 3.
At that point we decided to call the game - I had too big a lead and my opponent had too few units to make up the difference. It was a shame that bad luck played such a big role in the outcome of the game. I know it’s a game of dice, but just a few really key rolls going my way made a disproportionate difference in the result. But having said that, I normally have pretty poor luck, so I feel like the dice gods owed me this one!
What did I learn about 9th Ed?
The board size made a huge difference. I’ve usually played 1000 points on a 4ft x 4ft board, so going down to 44x30” was a massive difference. With advancing and charging through speed of the Raven, the black knights covered a blistering amount of ground and meant they could be pretty much wherever I needed them to be.
As playing 9th begins to become more common, I think the debate about secondaries will evolve (and then shift again when codexes start giving unique secondaries) but for now I think any list has to give serious thought to taking recon or domination in just about any game. You’re spreading out to capture objectives anyway, so why not get rewarded for it twice? Beyond that the choices are less obvious. Abhor the witch is a no brainer, but against non-psyker armies we have to look elsewhere. I took assassinate because I knew I’d be aiming to kill characters anyway, but again it doesn’t feel like an auto take.
For ravenwing and deathraven armies, grind them down will be popular I think, and some of the action ones might be a surprising dark horse pick for the right list.