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Battle report

I’m back with the second battle report from the opening weekend of the Fate of Konor campaign. This was a friendly game vs Dan and his T’au. Last time we played I crushed him at the end of 7th Ed with a similar list, so there was a little bit extra spice for this game. Sorry it took ages to publish this post, stuff at work piled up a little, then I was away for a couple days on holiday- the memories might be a little hazy.

We chose one of the missions from the main rule book; Secure and control (?), and ended up with Hammer and Anvil deployment. Dan’s list contained roughly the following in a Outrider detachment (4 CP);

Commander with Missile pods, Advance target lock
3 Crisis suits with Plasma rifles and Drone controller
3 Crisis suits with Plasma rifles and Drone controller
2 Broadsides with Heavy Rail rifles
Unit of Markerlight drones
3 Stealth suits
6 Gun drones (to go with a Suit squad)
6 Gun drones (to go with a Suit squad)
2 Missile drones (to go with a Broadside)
2 Missile drones (to go with a Broadside)
Unit of Kroot
Unit of Pathfinders

My list contained the following in a Battlion detachment (6 CP) and Ally Super-heavy detachment;

Captain with Thunder Hammer Storm Shield
Lieutenant with Combi-flamer and Power-fist
5 marines with a flamer and combi-flamer
5 marines with a flamer and combi-flamer
5 marines with meltagun and combi-melta
5 Terminators (stock)
Ironclad dreadnought with 2 Heavy flamers
Land Speeder with 2 Multi-meltas
Rhino

Imperial Knight Warden

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Actually this battle was somewhat special for a couple more reasons; it was the first game of 40k on Dan’s fold-up table (so useful in Tokyo), and I had Serena (my GF) come along as she had nothing else to do and would control the Imperial Knight. Also my list was restricted to painted models to honour the new table! It did add nicely to the visual spectacle.

We played the modified ITC rules for seize the initiative, which will now be in Chapter Approved or something, but I still went first as I had so few drops. Now, in turn 1 I secured first blood by wiping out the markerlight unit, but I failed to secure another point by underestimating the stealth suits- much tougher than they look. But it was a decent start. Dan dropped his suits in behind me to delete two of the 3 Tact squads. Fortunately for me, Dan parked them away for a few turns, allowing me back into the game.

I got pretty shafted for 2 turns on cards, whereas Dan raced ahead into a lead of about 5-6 points as he was gifted cards he could easily achieve. To make matters worse the cards I did get eventually forced me to stay in the middle of the board rather than close down the space between the enemy force. But, I was making in-roads into killing T’au; the Land Speeder managed to snipe a Broadside, the Pathfinders had taken a beating, the Kroot ended up roasted by a couple flamers and small arms fire.

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So as the game progressed it was a case of the Marines hunting down T’au, and them running away in order to survive. The Suits had a go at damaging the Knight but managed to do only 3 wounds. Dan’s army wasn’t really geared up to dealing with a Knight so I wasn’t surprised it waded through a lot of firepower.

The final turn of the game was really tense, I was up 9 points to 8 roughly, with Dan needing just to make a long charge with his drones to steal an objective from me that the Rhino was trying to deny. With that, and another simple card, Dan made the score 10-9 in favour of the T’au. Another agonising defeat to the fishmen was really annoying in what felt like cruel circumstances, but it was still a lot of fun. Dan is a really great guy and in some ways he got justice for the tabling he received from me last time.

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Overall the luck was balanced, Dan was unlucky with some massed firepower, but got lucky on clutch saves or advance rolls. Serena, controlling the Knight, consistently rolled below average; falling a 4″ charge (1 CP used to make up for that), always hitting at 50% across all weapons. Over the course of the game it added up significantly.

Reviewing my tactics, I felt the game did come down to a clutch couple of moments. My mistake not killing the Stealth suits meant I was drawing 1 less card for several turns, which could have given me more points from cards that were easier to obtain over the course of the game. Furthermore, this could have balanced out the 4 cards or so I did get that forced me to stay in the middle of the board. Second, the Imperial Knight, whilst tough, I forgot several rules (and below average dice) meant that the Commander managed to survive when he definitely should not of, denying me 2 points (Slay the Warlord and Kingslayer).

Now I have played against T’au in 4 games of 8th ed, I am getting familiar in how to play vs them- I look forward to the next game!

Finally, sorry it took longer to get this post up, and the fluidity of the report is definitely lacking due to the time that has past since. I’ll be back soon with some WIP from the paintstation.

 

 

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Welcome back readers, here is the battle report from the Fate of Konor week 1 campaign. This past weekend was also the release of the new Space Marine codex so I busted out the Sunbreakers (Salamanders) for a debut into 8th Ed. The Chapter tactics are pretty cool so wanted to try it out.

I will preface this article to say that overall the weekend was great fun (I had a second game on Sunday at a friends). So many small moments that could have changed the results of both battles. The luck was fairly average so if I seem like I am complaining, its more because those tended to be clutch moments. Furthermore I only wanted to use painted models this weekend, which was a self-imposed list building restriction I had on myself.

Fate of Konor;

Harajuku store in Tokyo saw the opening of the Fate of Konor campaign for the Sunbreakers. With roughly 1000 pts I rolled up with clear eyes and a full heart, to make things better I would be teaming up with an Cult Mech player to take on Necrons and Tau. Daniel, the store manager, suggested I give the Redemptor Dreadnought a shot, so it bumped up the 2000 pts battle to about 2500 pts per side as we all scrambled to add a couple things.

On the side of the Xenos was Pham (Tau) and James (Necrons), with some tasty units- definitely pretty tough together. Their army had roughly the following; (Pham) 3 commanders, Longstrike, 1 unit of Pathfinders, 2/3 units of Fire Warriors and 2 Devilfish transports. James had Nightbrighter, a Lord, unit of 20 warriors, 10 Immortals, Ghost Ark, Stalker thing and a 2 units of Scarabs.

Cult Mech (Jon) had Cawl (overall Warlord for the Imperium), a Datasmith, 2 units of 2 Robots, 2 units of Vanguard, and 2 of the tank walker guys.

The Sunbreakers consisted of a battalion detachment (6 CP);

Captain with TH/SS
Lieutenant with combi-flamer and PF
Tact squad (5) with a flamer and combi-flamer
Tact squad (5) with a flamer and combi-flamer
Tact squad (5) with meltagun and combi-melta
Razorback with twin lascannon
Dreadnought with AC and PF w/ HF
Ironclad with 2 heavy flamers
Redemptor Dreadnought with a bucketload of stuff

The campaign had a set scenario in which the Imperium are set as the defenders, and Chaos, or Xenos are the attackers. The defenders score points by killing enemy units, and the attackers score by having units in the defenders deployment zone at the end of the game. Hammer and Anvil was chosen (?) as the deployment type, and there was plenty of line of sight blocking terrain for the Xenos to approach our lines intact. Furthermore, the scenario also stipulated that the attackers are to go first unless the defenders can Seize the initiative (I think). This meant I was perhaps a little too defensive with my deployment as I kept my units hidden as much as possible down the right flank. Jon had set the robots up midfield surrounded by Cawl and the Datasmith, with a couple units sprinkled down the left flank.

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One thing I will say is that the Imperium forces did not really combine that well. The Cult Mech force was very elite, and I had a force better suited to a 4’x4′ table, which I thought was going to be the case for several 1000 pt games. It felt we didn’t quite have the mobility to really put pressure on what was a lot of infantry models. Anyway, I was there for a good time so onto the game.

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Turn 1 for the Xenos; they moved, or shuffled up some units closer to the Imperial deployment zone. The shooting phase saw the Xenos load up the blank shells causing very little damage to the Imperial Forces, with the exception of a Dunecrawler that survived on 1 wound. The Ironclad took a few wounds from the right flank by an approaching Devilfish.

We had a large debate about Line of Sight. Does this affect individual models or whole units? I think on reflection James was right, if a model can’t see a target then it can’t shoot. We played that if a model in a unit can see then another model that can not see is ok to shoot. I would have this clarified by Dan the next day. I don’t think this error affected the result of this game, but important to clarify during the infancy of 8th Ed.

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Imperium turn one saw us draw first blood (but didn’t score a point as per mission rules) by wrecking a Devilfish, then proceeded to wreck another Devilfish- one by the Ironclad in combat. The Ironclads rules, and Salamanders chapter tactics (CT) were key in this combat. I rolled 1, 1, 2, 2 to hit, Ironclad rules let me re-roll 1’s as I had two combat weapons, and CT lets me roll another- now I had 3 hits. CT secured me 3 wounds, and at 3 damage each the Devilfish was no more. Awesome! A few Firewarriors perished along with the vehicles, but overall the Xenos came out of the turn ok.

Xenos turn two saw the arrival of the third general. Some guy (who was known in the store) began to coach the Xenos players for every shooting attack, order by which they should occur etc. This dramatically increased the length of the turn, changed how James and Pham were going to play, and so the outcome of the turn. This guy, although very nice, ruined the flow of the battle. Several times Jon and I encouraged James and Pham to just play the game. I get that doing things correctly is important, but tactical mistakes and target priority is often how games of 40k are won. If the players cannot see that, then it is their mistake.

At the end of the turn both Robot squads had been nerfed, including 1 Robot blowing up causing a bunch of wounds to the surrounding units. The Dunecrawler was finally taken down, and the Ironclad dragged down thanks to more shooting, and then the Scarabs dragged it down in combat (although they took a beating from Overwatch).

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The Imperium was in a tough spot as the large amount of Dakka we had was now gone. The Redemptor dreadnought was not having a great day, some of our damage rolls were terrible, and we still had the unkillable phalanx of Necrons bearing down, Tau commanders to drop in and Longstrike chucking out chunks of damage. We managed to clean up more Scarab bases including a beastly overwatch from the Ironclad, and kill off more Fire Warriors.

Xenos turn 3 saw the Commanders come down and compound our misery. More wounds going in on the final Robot, the other Dreadnought was hurt, the Redemptors bad day got worse, and the Necrons were now coming into rapid fire distance to heap more shots onto anything within range. Our rebutal was swift; we hurt the C’Tan with Lascannon shots from the Razorback, killed a few drones with bolters and 1 Commander in the backfield was hurt.

Turn 4 saw the Xenos really swing the game as they finished of both remaining Dreadnoughts, killed the Datasmith, killed a bunch of Vanguard and moved into scoring positions. Jon and I knew we had kill as many units as possible to give ourselves a chance to draw, or steal a win. We finally killed the Commnader in the backfield, killed the C’Tan, killed more small units like Drones or Fire Warriors. At the end of the turn we didn’t have much left but we had about 8/9 points to a maximum potential of 11 including Slay the Warlord for the Xenos.

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At this point the details are hazy, and this post is becoming very long so I will wrap up now. The Xenos had 10 units at the beginning of our turn 5, so we have to try to kill two units to draw it up, 3 would give us 11 points. We managed to kill 2, Jon got unlucky with his damage rolls vs another Commander with Cawls meltagun thing. Instead of the game ending on a draw, it continued with the Xenos managing to kill Cawl for the decisive point. 11-10 to the Xenos.

Overall, it was a good game. Plenty of fun, and cool things happened from a narrative point of view. Everybody had a good time and I enjoyed using the new Salamanders Chapter tactics, they helped a lot without feeling overpowered. I know my army was limited by mobility, something I have to address by painting more, but it was fun nonetheless. I didn’t make use of the buffs the Captain etc gave as much as I should- something I have to work on tactically in the future. Perhaps I will detail more about tactics in another post but for now that’s me signing off, hope you enjoyed reading this.

Cheers

Wow, so its been a while since I have been able to sit and breathe. Sadly I have neglected the blog, partly because of work but also because I didn’t want to comment too much on 8th Ed 40k without trying it first. Spoiler season was just crazy so whatever I had wrote would probably have been lost to the warp the very next day.

Alas, I managed to get two games in over the weekend (using modified ITC) with my Craftworld Eldar. The event was Save vs Summer at Camp Zama, Japan. The restrictions were 1250 pts using only 1 detachment. Also models had to be as close to WYSIWYG as possible. I had a patrol detachment (3 command points, CP) and my list was as follows;

Avatar of Khaine
Autarch with Warp jump generator and Death Spinner
Guardians (10) with Shuriken Cannon platform
Wraithguard (5) with D-Scythes
Wave Serpent with Twin Bright Lance
Warp Spiders (6)
Vyper with two Shuriken Cannons
2 War Walkers each with a Scatter Laser and Star Cannon

Not very powerful or efficient but I wanted to try out things. I had never used Wraithguard or a Wave Serpent so I was interested in their resilience. The Avatar was an experiment also, mobility hurt him last edition so I wanted to see if this still existed. I knew this list was better in midrange distances, and I didnt have much high strength weaponry as I would like. S6 is ok, but not vs many T7 vehicles. Overall, my aim was to have fun, try new units and get to grips with the rules- these were my first games of 8th!

I won’t go into too many details of the games but I played vs Tau (Longstrike) and codex Marines. I lost vs Tau and table the Marine player (who I think was fairly new to 40k). A word about CPs, I only had 3. I would have loved more especially in a tight game. So I clearly made an error choosing the patrol detachment instead of the Fast Attack detachment for an extra 2 CP (duh!). The CP’s I used didn’t change a huge amount, but they at least gave me or my opponent a chance to change the odds. For example I needed a 3+ to kill a crisis suit but rolled a 2 then a 1. Or a hammerhead doing an extra 3 damage. Having the chance is better than not having the chance at all.

So I lost vs Tau. Now I can accept losing, however I made things difficult for myself by not taking the chance to move the 1 piece of LOS blocking terrain we had before the game started. Therefore, my opponent (Julian) could castle up at the back with a large killing field in front of him. This really affected how I deployed and acted in turns 1 and 2 as I didn’t know how deadly things were- I was too conservative and didn’t put pressure on when I should have. Even then I had a couple chances to steal it had a couple rolls went my way. The final score was 5-11 mission points which was perhaps a fair reflection of my naivety, but overall an enjoyable game given how close it was.

Game two was a bit of a blow out. I played vs Bruce who had a Marine army consisting of two Rhinos filled with dudes, a Dreadnought, then a large assault squad and terminator squad to Deep Strike. Now there is nothing wrong with Deep Strike, but you have to be sure that it will pay off otherwise the counterstrike will be hard as your army is now split. Unfortunately for Bruce he only succeeded in heavily damaging the Wave Serpent. In my turn I deleted both his deep strike units, was fortunate with the maelstrom to go ahead. It didn’t get better for Bruce as by turn 5 he was table and I had only lost a couple Wraithguard and a Vyper. I am certain we was new to 40k so I chatted with him at the end about little things he could have done differently to break up my army better. This game we had LOS blocking terrain and it made a huge difference to me- crucial part of 8th Ed I feel.

This comes to my first unit review. The Avatar of Khaine. This guy is a bruiser. He chops stuff up easily in combat, has a meltagun, a 12″ fearless bubble and is extra resilient. However, he is still slow. Vs Bruce I couldn’t get him where I wanted because I cannot Advance and Charge meaning he can only move 7″ plus 2d6 if you want to charge (re-rollable). Therefore for him to work well the enemy has to come to you. Is this a guarantee in a tournament setting? No, as he got blasted off the table vs Tau thanks to my poor positioning and bad saving dice. If a tournament had a side board then I would consider taking him but otherwise he will be relegated to casual games vs an army I know.

The Autarch was great, he flew across the table thanks to the jump generator (so did the Warp Spiders), and the re-rolls of 1 was an excellent bonus. The Wave Serpent was tough, and Twin bright lances are good, the S8 -4 AP did a lot of good work. The Wraighguard were great, so tough, great weapons (unless you roll a 1 or 2), but underwhelming in combat with only 1 A. The Vyper and War Walkers were solid as they are fast, but the mass S6 weapons wasn’t that good. On the Vyper 2 Shuriken Cannons was good as there are no penalties to moving and advancing thanks to Battle Focus, and the -3 AP on a 6 to wound is nice. The War Walkers can be a little tricky, -1 to hit if they move, and with S6 weapons they are suited to killing infantry/T6 vehicles. Maybe I will try Missile Launchers or more Bright Lances.

Overall Craftworld Eldar are solid and fun to use. The army list should be built to take advantage of Battle Focus. I will try to get a couple more games in with a similar list to really get the hang of Eldar- and use the correct detachment!

Thanks for stopping by, and I will try to get all the painting updates on here in the next few days.

 

Floorhammer 40k fans, we are back with two short battle reports for you! Actually, these battles took place on the tables of GW Ikebukuro, Tokyo, rather than the floors of a suburban Tokyo home in true Floorhammer battle style. Alas, games were played, models were picked up from the table- blood for the blood god, right?

My opponent was Kyle, a fairly new arrival to Tokyo and has thrown himself into the wargaming community around Tokyo. I have a huge amount of respect for him considering I know how tough it can be moving to Tokyo. Kyle has settled with Thousand Sons, and I had played him before- Rubric marines are scary as hell with a 3+/4++ and AP3 bolters. However, several constraints have meant Kyle hasn’t had the chance to expand his force yet. I knew  roughly what models his force would be comprised of, and perhaps I had this in the back of mind when I made my lists. I didn’t specifically tailor my lists against him to counter what he could do, but I’m saying a bias could exist. Alas, Kyle said he had a great time and thats the main thing.

I decided to take my Space Marines out for their first battle. Named the Sunbreakers, akin to the Salamanders chapter, they use flamecraft to purge the enemies of the Emperor. If you have seen any of the blog before you can see how they look.

We played two games, Purge the Alien and the Relic on a 4′ x 4′ table as it was only 500 pts. Sadly I didn’t take pictures, I will do better next time. Kyle took first turn in both games, which was perhaps a slight advantage for my Pod coming down to pick off an isolated unit.

My lists were as follows;

Purge the Alien

Techmarine; Servo-harness (with Centurions)

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer, Drop pod

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer

Centurion Devastators; Twin-linked lascannons, Hurricane bolters

The Relic

Techmarine; Servo-harness (with Pod unit)

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer, Powerfist, Drop pod

Tactical squad; Combi-flamer, flamer

Land Speeder; Multi-melta

Dreadnought; Assault cannon, heavy flamer

Game 1; Purge the Alien

Kyle had roughly a Chaos lord with Mark of Tzeentch plus some wargear, Rubric marines, Cultists and a Helbrute. These units are solid and caused plenty of problems, however the lack of mobility and heavy weapons are issues that can be exploited. Something like Obliterators and Warp Talons would go a long way to resolving these problems. Alas, onto the games!

Purge the Alien started with me Podding in close to the Cultists and burning them off the board to score 1st Blood and a kill point. The Centurions and the Rubrics+Lord were doing a Waltz around the main line of sight blocking terrain in the middle to avoid each others line of site. Turn 2 saw the Hellbrute kill a Marine from the Podded squad, and the Lord jumped close to  assault the Pod. In the assault phase the Lord’s melta bomb immobilized the Pod again to reduce it to 1 HP. On my turn the Centurions blew up the Helbrute.

In Kyle’s Turn 3, the Lord failed to finished the Pod- the 1st of about 4/5 snake eyes Kyle rolled over the course of the afternoon. Horrendous luck. The Rubrics took out a couple more marines from the Podded squad but they held morale. At this stage, the second Tactical squad were in support of the first squad and hid in cover to get in better position for next turn. The Lord finally wrecked the Pod scoring Kyle a kill point.

The next turn saw the Lord reduced to 1 wound from Lascannons (he had Eternal warrior) and rapid firing bolters. Another flamer killed 3 Rubrics in a crazy combo of Salamander chapter tactics rerolls, and some awful armour save rolling. The coup de grace was on turn 5; the Chaos Lord was killed in overwatch to more flamer fire. At this point we called the game with the final score 5-1 to the Sunbreakers.

Game 2; The Relic

With a changed list, I wanted to mix up the tactics a little to see what worked and what didn’t. 1 of my marines was killed by the Cultists heavy stubber. Kyle jumped the Rubrics onto the Relic, however the Pod came down with the Techmarine and deleted them off the board. Between 3 flamers and a few rapid firing boltguns the squad caused about 15 wounds. The Land speeder jinked from the Helbrute’s multi-melta.

Turn 2 saw the Cultists managing to take down the Powerfist Sarge and the Lord charged the Dreadnought. The Dreadnought caused 2 wounds that would instant kill the Lord, however both were saved thanks to the Lord’s 3++. The Lord’s meltabomb penetrated the Dreadnought but Kyle rolled a 1 on the damage table, taken to 3 thanks to AP1.

On my turn 2 the Tactical squad targeted the Helbrute missed 2 Krak grenades (shooting and assault phase), and the Techmarine’s plasma cutter, and powerfist attacks all did nothing. The Hellbrute squished a guy and the squad fell back. The other tactical squad charged the Lord to support the Dreadnought. The Lord has to issue challenges so it meant the Dreadnought was safe for a turn. The Lord cut up two marines, and the Dreadnought missed all its attacks. The remaining two marines failed morale and ran.

Turn 3 was a turning point. Having the momentum turn favourably for the Thousand Sons, the screw was there to be turned. In hindsight, Kyle could have moved the Cultists out of the fortification to try to close down the Relic and at least try to down my Marines in volume of fire. However, the Helbrute missed with its Multi-melta. This was extremely crucial as when it charged the Hellbrute caused 3 wounds- enough to kill the remaining Marines with the Techmarine but leaving the Techmarine alive. If the Multi-melta had hit, and likely killed, then the Techmarine would have been dead too. In response, the Techmarine proceeded to wreck the Hellbrute with its Servo-harness. To compound the misery, my Dreadnought instant killed the Lord. In my turn, the Techmarine moved onto the Relic.

The next couple of turns were a forgone conclusion, and with the Sunbreakers scoring Linebreaker, Slay the warlord, 1st blood and the Relic for a final score of 6-0.

Redux

Both games were a lot of fun, and had a plenty of tough tactical decisions. The balance of luck was definitely in my favour. Kyle was a great sport about it and a pleasure to play him. Once his army takes on a couple more units, the games will get tougher and more interesting. The scores belie how both games were on a knife-edge during the middle turns. Also in such small points games, the effect of luck becomes more pronounced. We each have so few units that the loss of a couple means the game can completely swing against you.

Some specific learning points. I learnt that Space marines are really quite average at combat, especially vs a Chaos lord who prefers combat (whoops). In this case, they saved the Dreadnought but its something to keep in mind. On the other hand, the Salamanders chapter tactics are awesome, and a lot of fun. The rerolls are definitely nice, and catch people out- its turns the humble flamer into a devastating force. But I can imagine against higher toughness units, or units with Feel no Pain the effectiveness will drop significantly.

Moving forward, I really want to get some WIP for a bunch of models I’ve been working on. Also I want to get my Dark Angels showcase up too as there are some cool models in there. If time permits I will try to get one of these up by the end of the week.

For now, I’m signing out, and happy wargaming.

 

 

Floorhammer 40k fans, we are back with another battle report! This past Saturday saw me take the forces of the Ynnari vs the Dark Eldar under the control of my good friend Will. I have probably mentioned before that Will is a good player, and so I needed to be at my best. I didn’t go into the details last time, but his Tau whooped me 8-0 on the maelstrom two weekends ago on my first outing with the Ynnari. Though I came close to tabling him, the maelstrom points is what counted on that day.

Thus, I wanted to try the Ynnari again, and Will wanted to give his Dark Eldar a spin so the game had a nice little fluff thing going on. We upped the points a little to 1500pts to give our lists a little more flexibility. Will’s army consisted of a CAD and a Real Space raiders detachments; comprised of something like 3 raiders filled with Kabalites and Wyches, Archon, Succubus, 3 units of Scourges, a unit of mandrakes and a heaps of MSUs of Reaver jetbikes. A mobile, close quarters army.

I had predicted something like this so went with a shooty Reborn Warhost with an Aspect host. Pretty dirty as they all fall under the Ynnari faction, benefitting from Strength from Death. Furthermore, I wanted plenty of units to benefit from Strength from Death.

Reborn Warhost;

Autarch; Shard of Anaris, Lost Shroud, Hawk wings and Banshee mask.

Farseer; Singing spear, Spirit stone relic (powers; guide, prescience and psychic shriek)

Guardians (10); Shuriken Cannon platform

Kabalites (5); Blaster, Venom with Splinter cannon upgrade

Vyper; 2 Shuriken cannons

Falcon; Pulse laser, Scatter laser, Shuriken cannon

War-walker squadron (2 walkers); 2 Scatter lasers

Avatar of Ynnead (Rolled on Revenant; Spirit hook, Word of the Phoenix, plus two others I didn’t use)

Aspect host; +1 BS selected (of course)

Dire avengers (7);  Exarch with diresword and pistol

Warp spiders (7); Exarch with Spinnert rifle

Dark reapers (5); Exarch. Starswarm and starshot missiles

Two crucial things went my way; 1 deployment was Hammer and Anvil, and 2, I had first turn (if Will didn’t seize the initiative). I deployed deep in my zone knowing Will would want to bomb up the board on the first turn to get his combat units into range. Alas, Will failed to seize so the Ynnari went first. The scenario was tactical escalation.

The main thing I had to was eliminate any fast threats; the Reapers and Falcon exploded a Raider each, a huge result. The war walkers softened up a unit of scourges (4/5 dead). This meant Will’s mobility was crippled and could only advance in pieces to my castled up force. However, I only scored 1st blood with my maelstrom card being useless. Even though the Dark Eldar took a beating in turn 1, they were not out of the fight with so many jetbikes that could get into my face. Will was a little shocked at losing his transports so quickly, and could only harass a couple units on his turn. However he managed to score his maelstrom card, 1-1.

Turn two saw more of the same pain with scores of Dark Eldar being felled from all the heavy weapons I had. The amount of S6 shots was frightening, but this turn Will saved tons of models thanks to being in cover and going to ground with Mandrakes, Scourges and Warriors. Again the maelstrom wasn’t kind to me so the score remained 1-1, but I Deep struck the Avatar into my lines to give me a Feel no Pain bubble. On his turn Will changed his tactics a little by turbo-boosting some jetbikes to get in close to me. We was also able to score two more maelstrom cards taking the score to 1-3 in favour of the Dark Eldar.

On my turn 3 the Autarch moved into assault range of one jetbike unit, the avatar and kabalites closed in on another, and the Falcon took on the final jetbike unit in my lines. Two bikes squads were reduced to 1 bike, with one holding morale, and the other falling back. The last jetbike unit lost 1 member to assault with the Autarch. The Autarch wiffed a huge amount of rolls. The bikes hit and run closer to the Venom. Will decided to charge the Falcon with the Caltrops biker, charge the Venom with the other unit (still had caltrops) and fell back with the final biker. The Falcon lost 2 hull points, and was very lucky not to have been wrecked. However, the venom was wrecked (only wrecked) and the Kabalites shot at the aggressors for their Soulburst action. The Avatar tried to charge but rolled 1 short of what was needed. The score after turn 3 was 6-3 in favour of the Dark Eldar. Will kept drawing objectives in his deployment zone.

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At this stage the flow of the game was clear. The Ynnari were blasting anything off the board that came close. I had only lost a Venom at this point whereas Will was reduced to 1/3 or less of his whole army. The best thing about the game was that Will was still winning the maelstrom and playing tactically given how a lot went against him in the early turns.

Turn 4 for me was about trying to get maelstrom points. I wrecked the Raider with the Archon in it, the remaining bikers in my lines were cleaned up (he still had another unit plus the 1 biker in his deployment zone). The Autarch was in a position to finish off the Mandrakes. In the shooting phase I wiped some scourges allowing the Avatar to pop up beside the Autarch. In assault the Autarch wiffed again so was locked in combat for the turn. On Will turn he could only shuffle a few units around to capture some objectives, including Hold the Line. He was set to achieve this until we resolved the combat, and Soulburst action from the Autarch prevented him from doing so. Dirty. The end of the turn the score was now about 6-6.

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Turn 5 was crucial. I scored two more points (including Linebreaker and First blood) to take my total to 8. In my turn, the Farseer suffered a Perils on a 1, but past her leadership test to only suffer a wound. Will turbo boosted his last bike unit to get Linebreaker for himself. Now if the game ended, it would have been a draw. However, luck truly had deserted Will and the game continued. At that point if the game had ended, I would not have been disappointed. Given how the game went, Will gave himself a fighting chance to win the game given both the Linebreaker and Perils situations). It was a huge effort by him.

The cards I drew on turn 6 was the god draw I had been waiting for all game. I could get 6 points minimum, putting the game well out of the Dark Eldar’s reach. At this point Will had only killed the Venom, the Vyper and a Kabalite warrior so he conceded the game to me. The final score was 15-8 to the Ynnari.

We felt the game scenario, deployment and first turn all went against the Dark Eldar. Will couldn’t get close enough with all his combat units to trouble my lines, and I had castled up in the event he did manage to break through. I had Dire Avengers and Warp Spiders on hand in case he did. Alas they did nothing all game. My strategy was to keep my distance from his units, and chain my units along so that I could always Soulburst. This definitely affected the way Will thought out his moves. Having actions on my opponents turn is truly dirty. My list wasn’t exactly OP, but I can imagine Windriders and Wraithknights would be oppressive. Going forward as I add more to the army, I have to be careful not to ruin my opponents day with some Soulburst shenanigans. Else, they play much more powerful armies.

Will said that he wanted to try a CC DE army to shut me down, but on this showing we both felt that the shooty version of DE are much better. Ravagers are decent, lots of shots with the extra bit of armour makes them much more appealing than the paper boat Raiders. Will didn’t get the best out of the Reavers in this game, but when used well they are so hard to deal with. I’m sure once Will has regrouped, he will be handing me a kicking again!

Some specific points about my army. The Avatar of Ynnead was good, but acted more as a buffing/Soulburst unit than a combat monster. I was able to perform at least 3 more Soulburst actions thanks to the Word of the Phoenix psychic power. Given that the Autarch can move 18″, it was silly. Plus the ability to pop up is powerful, but has to performed with care. Like any monster, it could go down in a volume of fire. A word on the Autarch, the Lost Shroud proved again to be amazing, with the Autarch growing back 2 wounds. At this stage the Autarch has consistently been one of my best units.

I had mentioned the Ulthwe strike force last time, but I hadn’t built the models I needed to be able to run a Reborn warhost with an Ulthwe strike force. As a separate detachment they  don’t get Strength from Death, but Battle Focus. Its an interesting choice to make but with the correct support, they can compliment the Ynnari very well.

In the future I will try to take a photo of the armies before the battle, just helps the readers understanding a little more. But until next time, happy wargaming!

I said I was back, but that was now some ago. Life continues to prevent me from spending too much time in the grim dark future. That said I’ve got a small written report today. Also as I am more about the hobby, writing my thoughts/summary will help me improve as a player.

Alas, the date was 25/3/2017 at Ikebukuro GW, Tokyo, Japan. I turned up without an opponent but the store manager, Sven, is a total hero so I thought I’d go anyway to pick up  Gathering Storm 2 and some hobby supplies. On arrival Sven informs me that somebody needs a game, Bryan, so I accepted. I took about 1000 points of Dark Angels so I was ready in the event a pick up game could be found. Bryan is also more into the hobby but wants to get into the gaming side more. He had Cult Mech/Skitarii from the Start Collecting box. I had about 10 minutes to get my army sorted :/

Mission type; Purge the Alien

Dark Angels; 590pts

Interrogator Chaplain; bike, auspex

Tactical squad (5); veteran, plasma gun, Razorback with twin linked lascannon

Tactical squad (5); plasma cannon

Black knights (3); no upgrades

Darkshroud

Cult Mech; 590pts

Techpriest Dominus; Power axe, data spike, a bunch of other crap

Skitarii rangers (10); sniper rifle, some other stuff on the squad leader

Kataphron Destroyers (3); Heavy Grav cannons, flamers

Onager Dunecrawler (1); Neutron gun, heavy stubber.

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I win the roll-off and get him to deploy first. Bryan splits his force up with the rangers alone on the right and the rest of his army in the middle. So I castle up on the left with the plan to send the bikes and Darkshroud to flank his slow but dangerous units. Razorback is in ruins with the plasma gun squad, and the plasma cannon squad in sitting above in the ruins too. Bryan decides to go first.

Turn 1;

Bryan moves the skitarii down from the right and runs them as they are a bit far from anything. The Dunecrawler blows up a couple of the plasma cannon marines but they make their moral check. The Destroyers shuffle around a bit but their cannons are still out of range.

On my turn, I turbo boost the bikes, Chaplain and Darkshroud behind cover on the left. The plasma cannon tries to hurt the Crawler but nothing happened. The Razorback missed to hit completely.

Turn 2;

Bryan continues to march forward and the strength of the Cult Mech/Skitarii becomes more apparent. Good guns and relentless, but slow. He snips the Razorback with the sniper rifle but I make my cover save. His Destroyers are a bit scared and distracted by the Bikes on the left so pulls them back. Plus he didn’t have line of sight to bring the Grav pain train. The Dunecrawler tries to blast more marines away but scatters onto the razorback, and it gets stunned. He was unlucky to only stun the vehicle.

My turn I move the bikes into a threatening flanking position and just out range of the Dunecrawler side arc. The plasma cannon does a wound to the Destroyers. The stunned Razorback pulls magic out of the bag and destroys the Dunecrawler! A series of lucky 6’s and a failed save from Bryan saw the Dunecrawler blown up. This scored me first blood and a kill point. 2-0 to the Dark Angels.. The tactical squad inside got out in case anything worse happened to the transport.

Turn 3;

Bryan’s is now on the backfoot having lost his big gun and with the bikes looming he acts defensively. The Grav Destroyers kill a Biker with a huge volley of grav. Another marine is downed by the Skitarii rangers.. The rangers again plod up and take pot shots at the marines that just got out, killing 2.

The bikes moved up and tried to plasma stuff but the only thing they did was kill themselves and kill off the first Destroyer. 1 bike down to plasma is sad. The plasma cannon did another wound to the Destroyers. The tactical squad continued to move up through the middle beside the Skyshield landing pad. The remaining biker and Chaplain make it into combat with the Destroyers and the Chaplain wipes them away without any damage back. 3-0. The Razorback could move now so it went to support with weakened tactical squad.

Turn 4;

The Skitarii continue to try to remove the tactical squad in the middle but no damage was done. The Techpriest Dominus charges the Chaplain and Biker to reclaim the data from the Destroyers. He tanks a bunch of wounds thanks to his 2+ save, and then does two wounds on the Chaplain as I fail two 4+ rosarius saves. I then fail hit and run so they are resigned to their fate.

My turn I kill a couple skitarii from a combination of Darkshroud heavy bolter and twin linked lascannon fire. The combat goes well for me doing two wounds on the Dominus. In return he does only 1 wound and I decide to risk it on the Chaplain. He fails again and that gives him Slay the Warlord and an extra kill point. 3-2. The last biker was successful at hit and run.

Turn 5;

The Techpriest Dominus pursues the biker and almost dies to overwatch from the plasma talon. He made his refractor field save. The bike is killed by the data spike. Meh. Score now 3-3. The Skitarii are unlucky again not to finish the tactical squad.

My turn is looking bleak after a flurry of fail saves. I pour everything I have into the Techpriest. But he tanks 3 or 4 2+ saves and then fails a refractor field save but make the feel no pain. Squeaky bum time for the Dark Angels.

The game continues…

Turn 6;

The invincible Techpriest manages to put a hull point on the poorly positioned Darkshroud. The Skitarii wipe the rest of the tactical squad putting the score 3-4 in favour of the Cult Mech.

My turn I tubro boost the Darkshroud miles away from the Techpriest, but it didnt matter as the plasma cannon guy finally killed him! Giving me two kill points the score swung back in my favour at 5-4. The Darkshroud had secured linebreaker if the game ended.

We decided to call the game there there was only a few rangers left on the Cult Mech side.

The final score was 6-4 to the Dark Angels.

This was a close win. It certainly gave me plenty of food for thought. I had to take the cheesiest combo in the Darkshroud and Blackknights in order to compete. The Darkshroud was new in the army and I wanted to try it. At first I felt bad, especially once the Dunecrawler and Destroyers were killed off. But the Techpriest completely turned the game around. I perhaps positioned the bike unit poorly, but I didn’t realise the killing power in combat of the Dominus. Dark Angels have an old codex and its shows. I thought I had enough AP2 weapons, but plasma talons are either excellent or they kill you. I can see why at competitive levels Blackknights are often run as the command squad for the Feel no Pain. Still, it was a fun and tense game.

Cult Mech/Skitarii are cool, and the first time I have played against them. I can only imagine it becomes more difficult as more units are added giving even more sweet benefits, as well as Bryan’s experience grows. I want to say how cool Bryan was, and say how awesome his models looked. The Cult Mech will be back and better than before. A scary prospect, but one i’ll meet head-on.

Thanks for tuning in.

Chris