In all of the games of 8th edition I’ve played, I’ve used points.  They’re familiar, but Games Workshop’s new design philosopy hasn’t made it easy.  Chris brought his Blood Angels again, and suggested that we give Power Levels a try to make army selection easier.  We decided on the Eternal War mission: Big Guns Never Tire at 100 Power Level.  I decided on an… unorthodox list.  See below!


Bozeman – Azure Flames (Salamanders)

  • Techmarine on Bike with Conversion Beamer, Thunder Hammer
  • Land Raider
  • Land Raider Crusader
  • Land Raider Redeemer
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Vindicator
  • Ironclad Dreadnought
  • Servitors, 2x Heavy Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun

Chris – Blood Angels

  • Captain, Power Sword, Plasma Pistol
  • Librarian in Terminator Armor
  • Tactical Squad x5, Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun
  • Tactical Squad x5, Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter
    • Razorback, Lacannon and Twin Plasma Gun
  • Scouts x5, 4x Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks, Missile Launcher
  • Predator, Lascannons
  • Baal Predator, Flamestorm Cannon, Heavy Flamers
  • Land Raider
  • Terminators x5, Assault Cannon
  • Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons


Mission – Big Guns Never Tire

  • Four objectives, each worth 3 victory points
    • Heavy Support choices holding objectives ignore enemy non-Heavy Support choices
  • Destroyed enemy Heavy Support choices are worth one victory point
  • Slay the Warlord: 1 victory point
  • First Blood: 1 victory point
  • Linebreaker: 1 victory point

Setup: Chris chose the Spearhead Assault deployment.





Turn 1 – Azure Flames

Crusader and Redeemer move up and pop smoke.  Other tanks advance, firing.  The Blood Angel Lascannon Predator is destroyed, and one of the Razorbacks is damaged.



Turn 1 – Blood Angels

The Baal Predator charges forward, popping smoke.  Vindicators fire on the Land Raider, doing 7 wounds!  The Terminator Librarian deep strikes behind the Azure Flames.  He casts Bloodlance, which is ineffective, but suffers a Perils of the Warp and takes a wound!




Turn 2 – Azure Flames

Servitors pile out of the Razorback, scale the ruined fortress, and charge the Terminator Librarian!  He cuts two of them down, but the other two tie him up.  Most other tanks move up.  Lascannon fire kills one Vindicator and wounds the second.  The Crusader and Redeemer do a few wounds to the Land Raider, and their regular guns kill all the Scouts except the missile launcher.  The Vindicator fires on the Baal Predator, doing 10 of its 11 wounds with the cannon, and then does one more wound with its Storm Bolter!




Turn 2 – Blood Angels

The Librarian cleaves another Servitor in half.  Land Raider moves up and causes 6 wounds to the Crusader.  Furioso Dreadnought moves up to fire its Meltagun at the Land Raider, but misses.  Other fire is ineffective.



Turn 3 – Azure Flames

The Ironclad charges the Furioso, annihilating it in one burst of attacks!  The Land Raider finishes the Vindicator.  Combined fire from the rest of the army kills the Land Raider, but the Terminators inside are unharmed.  Techmarine approaches to help the last Servitor, but rolls a 4 to charge when he needed a 5!  The Librarian has worse luck, failing to kill the Servitor!  The last scout falls to some fire from the Land Raiders.




Turn 3 – Blood Angels

Terminators charge the Crusader, reducing it to 5 wounds.  A stray lascannon puts one wound on the Redeemer.  The Librarian finishes the Servitor and moves to exactly 1″ away from the Techmarine, daring him to charge.



Turn 4 – Azure Flames

Techmarine shoots the Librarian to no effect, but kills him on the charge.  The entire rest of the army fire on the Terminators and the tactical squad hiding in the ruins, killing them.  Game ceded.




When I made this list, it was for fun.  It was also with the very real fear of being tabled in a few turns by opportune lascannons and melta weaponry.  A land raider is worth 1.5-2 Tactical Squads, which are much more durable to extreme fire.  However Chris’ dice betrayed him once again, so badly in fact that he purchased brand new dice from AFK games MID BATTLE!  The new dice have flat edges, no pips (printed blood drops) and no rounded corners.  They performed a bit better late battle.

Chris also correctly concluded that the Terminators should have been held in reserve with the Librarian and thrown at my backfield.  The Librarian was ineffective because of poor rolls and annoying servitors tying him up.  Had five more Terminators shown up, I would have had to divert significant resources to dealing with them, probably man of the lascannons that were meant for enemy tanks!

Finally, I’d like to address the elephant in the room: power level.

Not really mentioned in the battle above (because they did an incidental number of wounds) was the fact that ALL of Chris’ tanks had Hunter Killer Missiles!  I chose not to do this (except for the Ironclad) because I did not have them modeled and wanted to be WYSIWYG.  This incurred no addition to the power levels of his tanks.  Is this important?  I’m not sure.

What I do know is that a 19 power Land Raider in a 100 power list is 19% of the list, whereas a 378 point Land Raider in a 2000 point list is closer to 17%.  It’s actually CHEAPER in points, in a way! (assuming that 100 power = 2000 points)

To this end, I’m not sure Power is as game breaking as I’ve heard.  Some units are made to abuse it (such as Ork Nobs who can all take Power Klaws and Kombi-weapons) but because of the new minimalist design philosophy there’s not a huge amount of units that can be very different.

The Predator is an exception.  The four-lascannon predators we took are the same power as a sponson-free Autocannon Predator.  My suggestion is to lower the power of a Predator by two, and make adding Sponsons +2 power.  However this could lead to sponsonless Predator spam, flooding the board with a bunch of wounds that block line of sight.

I am now seriously considering suggesting that Big Game 6 use power instead of points.  We have a lot of old dogs who are used to points, but because they have no experience in 8th ed, Power would not be much of a jump, especially because it’s so easy.

Next: more games!

By Bozeman

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