The other night I got to experience how Maelstrom of War worked in 8th edition, thanks very much to a frequent opponent of mine: Nathan.  Amazingly, Nathan and I figured out that this whole time that I’d been playing against him, he was one of my former students from when I was a teacher!

We put together a game to help introduce me to how Maelstrom missions transferred over to 8th edition.  We played Cloak and Shadows, and it was a blast!


Bozeman – Azure Flames

  • Captain Antonius of the 4th Company, Armour Indomitus, Power Axe, Plasma Pistol, WT: Rites of war (auto pass Morale within 6″)
  • Librarian Ory-Hara, Force Sword, Smite, Veil of Time, Might of Heroes
  • Tactical Squad x10, Combi-Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer, Multi-Melta
    • Rhino
  • Tactical Squad x10, Combi-Flamer, Power Fist, Flamer, Multi-Melta
    • Rhino
  • Scouts x10, 9x Sniper Rifle, 1x Missile Launcher
  • Assault Squad x10, Jump Packs, 2x Flamer, Power Fist
  • Devastator Squad x10, 4x Lascannon
  • Ironclad Dreadnought, Ironclad Assault Launchers, Chainfist, Meltagun, Hurricane Bolter, 2x Hunter Killer Missile

Nathan – Imperial Guard

  • Company Commander, WT: (on giving an order, on a 4+ can issue another order)
  • Tank Commander in Leman Russ with Battle Cannon, Lascannon, 2x Heavy Bolter
  • Leman Russ with Punisher Gatling Cannon, 3x Heavy Bolter
  • Command Squad, Vox-Caster, Lascannon
    • Chimera, 2x Heavy Bolter
  • Infantry Squad, Plasmagun, Lascannon
  • Infantry Squad, Plasmagun, Lascannon
  • Infantry Squad, Plasmagun, Lascannon
  • Veteran Squad, Plasmagun, Lascannon
    • Chimera, 2x Heavy Bolter
  • Armoured Sentinels, 3x Hunter Killer Missile, 2x Plasma Cannon, 1x Lascannon
  • Hellhound, hull Heavy Flamer
  • Hellhound, hull Heavy Flamer
  • Basilisk


Mission: Cloak and Shadows (shooting over 18″ is at -1 to hit, each player generates up to a maximum of 3 Maelstrom objectives at the start of each turn)

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil (short board edges, 24″ deployment zone)

Setup: Our setup was not pictured.  I fortified scouts, and 1/2 the devastators in a large building, while the other Devastators and the characters sheltered in another.  One Rhino went up each side.  The Dreadnought hid in some ruins.  Nathan created a gunline with most tanks in the front.


Turn 1 – Azure Flames

Rhinos and Ironclad advance and pop smoke.  Antonius falls back toward objective 3 near my board edge, and secures it till the end of the game (eventually scoring 3 points doing this).  Assault Squad deep strikes.  Librarian uses Might of Heroes and Veil of Time on the Assault Squad, but they can’t charge, even with a re-roll!  Other shots do a wound or two here and there to some tanks.



Turn 1 – Imperial Guard

Shooting kills eight Assault Marines, and the rest flee.  The central Rhino is destroyed.  Pot shots put a wound on the Ironclad.


Turn 2 – Azure Flames

Tactical squad charges the Sentinels, one goes down.  Other tactical squad charges one of the Hellhounds, putting 8 wounds on it.  Fire from other sources is surprisingly ineffective due to miraculous saves and rolls of 1 to wound all around.



Turn 2 – Imperial Guard

Hellhounds drive away from combat and the Tactical Squad is destroyed.  One more Sentinel bites the dust.  Fire strips all but one wound from the Ironclad.



Turn 3 – Azure Flames

Ironclad charges a Chimera full of veterans.  Poor rolls reduce the surviving veterans to 2.  Sentinels are taken out and the Tactical squad consolidates into the Leman Russes.  Librarian charges the wounded Hellhound and whiffs.  Lascannon fire puts 10 wounds on the un-damaged Hellhound.  To score points, Devastator squad charges to kill it in close combat.  4/5 Devastators die, and the last one is locked with the Hellhound, unable to hurt it.



Turn 3 – Imperial Guard

Leman Russ tanks retreat from the Tactical Squad.  Ironclad is wrecked.  Librarian finishes off the Hellhound and advances into the forest.



Turn 4 – Azure Flames

Tactical squad charges around the corner to try to kill the Commander for an objective, but power fist whiffs keep him alive.  Librarian charges the Leman Russ and even with comand point re-rolls just barely dies.  Scouts come out of the building and assault the Hellhound, killing it.



Turn 4 – Imperial Guard

Commander dies, even though the surviving veterans try to charge to save him.  Shots kill a bolter Devastator and a few scouts.


Turn 5 – Azure Flames

Pistol fire the close combat in the shooting phase kills the sergeant of the Veteran squad, and then the Tactical Squad charges another Guard squad.  Overwatch reduces them to the Sergeant, who kills one guardsman.  Devastator Sergeant moves 1″ to control objective 4.



Turn 5 – Imperial Guard

Fire eliminates the Devastators and reduces the Scouts.  Combat against the Tactical Sergeant ends with one more dead guardsman.  Game over.


Final Score:

Azure Flames: 11 plus Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord = 13

Imperial Guard: 5 plus First Blood = 6


Final thoughts: Maelstrom still rewards mobile armies over gunlines.  Of all of the objectives I generated, less than a quarter were unattainable.  The rest were possible if not even fortuitous.

In the end I had Antonius, a Bolter from a Devastator Squad, 3 Scouts, and a Tactical Sergeant, while Nathan’s army was mostly intact.  Yet, I still won by more than twice his points.  Maelstrom is all about getting shit done.  Nathan DEFINITELY killed stuff.  He was VERY good at that.  But he didn’t move out to claim objectives or accomplish anything else.  For example, Leman Russes that move less than 1/2 their movement can fire their turret gun twice and because they are Cadians, re-roll 1s if they stay still.  The Punisher Leman Russ pumped out 40 shots re-rolling 1s which killed several things.  But it didn’t score points.

Soon: More painting and games, plus more Big Game 6 fiction!

By Bozeman

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