Have two games under my belt now. First of all was a 1000 point battle against Dark Angels Ravenwing with Scout Support to make them a Battalion.
I -think- I won on VP, but all I had left was one Sentinel and my Dreadnought. He had two scout squads with 5 men each. The Sniper mortal wounds was just devastating to me. My own list was far from ideal, since it was using models built for my 30k and 40k as of the Index rules. So it was a lot of Sword and Board. (I had, IIRc
, Allarus SC, normal SC, two 3 man Sword & Board squads, a 3 man Spear squad, and a Dread with Multimelta - I may be one or two normal guys off, but roughly that)
That said, even the so called 'not worth it' Sword and Board dudes are murder machines. His Ravenwing, Sammael included, melted before my troops.
My other game was 2k against Khorne Daemons. I was CRUSHED in VP, but that's as much the vagaries of the tactical objectives I drew for the Maelstrom mission as anything else.
On the other hand, I was pretty much crushed in battle too. 30 strong units of Bloodletters are no joke. My luck wasn't great, and his luck with those 5++ invuls was. but still, the lack of any kind of explosiveness leaves us very vulnerable. My 5 man spear squad managed to kill all of like 8 of them, I believe, before all being killed.
By contrast, my two 4 man S&B squads had weird ones. The first just got slaughtered by a flesh hound charge, thanks to bad rolls. The second lasted a long time against Fleshhounds AND a 30 strong Bloodletter squad (with a little help from a Shield Captain and Vexilla) thanks to their 3++ saves working out very well for a long time, and the fact they weren't the ones getting charged.
It was, however, hilarious how easily I took down his Bloodthirster and Skarbarand. Neither had a huge impact on the battle. Skar in particular only managed to hold an objective for some VP and then got killed by 5 Allarus Termies on the charge, like, twice over if such things mattered. Those dudes are no joke. The poor Shield Captain never even got to swing.
It's possible, with some careful play I could've still tabled him with my remaining 5 man Allarus squad and the Allarus shield captain. But everything else died. But I think it would've been tough, and if I messed up and he was able to get a charge on me before I whittled enough away with my shooting and managed a charge on them they'd have died too.
(Rough list: Allarus SC, SC, Vexilla, 2 Contemptors, 5 man Allarus squad, 2x4 man S&B, 5 man Spear)
So yeah, Khorne is freaking terrifying, just sooooooo many high strength attacks that ignore armor saves. I imagine a 'nid list with lots of Stealers would be similarly rough for us.
Now, as I said, in neither battle was my list even close to ideal, they were hastily made lists based on what I had assembled. Hence no Jetbikes and more Sword & Board than I'd have liked. But it did give me a good base to test out.
One takeaway is I'm not even sold on Contemptors in this army. They're oddly, just way too vulnerable to large units in melee. Sure they took down a Bloodthirster. But with only 4 attacks and that's it? They won't do much to a large infantry melee unit, and most lists that use those will easily get said Dreads into close combat too... On the other hand, the Kheres is one of our best shooty options, and the Melta can't hurt versus big stuff either. So it's sort of crappy. I really hope our FW
options are better choices. Because I can't help but feel a similar points value of Allarus or regular Guardians is going to do just as much damage to big things (especially up close), if not more, and frankly, gonna be a much more effective thing against regular troops too.
The other takeaway? Even Sword and Board is brutal. Sure, they're mathematically worse than Spears and Axes. But ANY Custodian is a murder machine. So they're worse choices for sure, just not bad choices. And that 3++ invul can really save your bacon.
The final takeaway? Just as before there's no explosively 'good' turn for custodes, with the slight exception of doing really well on your damage rolls against things that don't die to 1 wound. You're gonna kill "X" models every turn no matter what you're fighting, Gretchin or MEQs. Period. You can't do better. Your expected result is basically your best result too... so it only gets worse. That hurts, a lot.