Today I got my first game of 40k 8th, the local GW organized a small battle event with 500pts armies, and there I headed with a patrol detachment of custodes and Pask on leman russ punisher
My opponent brought lots of guard and a russ
I got first turn and my punisher erradicated a squad of guards
The enemy tank soon closed in and gave me some hurt with... heavy flamers!
The custodes got into range and dropped some guards with the sword-pistols (no point on taking halberds when sentinel blades and shields cost much the same and are better)
Then charged the russ and sliced it up badly
The damaged tank reversed desperately so the rest could fire on the praetorians
While massed guard firepower killed a wounded custodian
In the next turn pask eliminated the last squad while the custodes destroyed the russ
An amazing game, both Pask and the custodes cut their way through squad after squad of guards.
The enemy russ proved the worth of carrying 3 heavy flamers: since they hit automatically each turn and wound my tank at 5+ they are a guarnatee of sucess. The guard orders with lasers firing twice were also cool and would have been more effective against a less armoured foe. So the optimal combination for a russ is 3 flamers and punisher on turret. One shot weapons aren't as useful as autohits or dice spams: my lascannon and his battlecannon did little.
The game plays smoothly, long gone are the days of spending hours leafing through the nightmarish 7th rulebook, we got less rules, true, but gained more playability, losing none of the flavour.
From what I've seen from the guard veteran squads would be more benefitted from the orders, and specialists squads with flamers on a transport would pack the punch, also tanks are very hard to kill.
Consider however that my opponent got the moral victory: a custodian is dead, and long and mournful will be the tolling of the Bell of Lost Souls at the passing of such a hero
We then played a second game, he got out his blood angels while I picked the VIP army: the store's chaos guys from dark vengeance. I got pasted by the blood angels tactical squad and sergeants with powerfist, they resurrect at 4+ after dying if they have a sanguinary priest around, a charatcher far more useful than his captian. Since I got some BA termis it would be nice to give them one.
We also tested the reserves rules, with his assault squad appering in turn 2, not much since you have to drop 9" away from the enemy in a cluttered table, unless you roll 11 for the charge like he did...
Summing up I'm all out for 8th, there will be cheesebuilds and OP codexes as always, but the game is much more enjoyable and fun than it was before.
PS. Flamer: your best friend