Monday, September 19, 2011

Dark EldArrrrrr battle report

Ahoy there, Mateys, today is "Talk like a Pirate Day" and while this particular post won't be written in like I am a drunken sailor, it will involve my favorite 40k pirates, the Dark Eldar. I played a game at a different store than the one I normally go to, and this seemed like the perfect day to write a battle report for that game.

Now my phone does not take the greatest pictures, but it does do a good job performing actual phone-like tasks. When I am on the go and without a fancy digital camera it does take blurry images where I can make out shapes that can help me remember what exactly happened turn to turn. Hopefully the pictures I created later on the computer can be a good stand in for actually being there, and give you all an idea of what happened despite not being perfect.

This particular game was played against Grey Knights, with no actual knights to speak of. My opponent instead used a bunch of Inquisitorial Retinue squads with Coteaz to make them troops. I'm a man of tradition, so I used my standard list that hasn't changed much since its creation pre-Phil Kelly rework aside from the addition of Wracks instead of Jetbikes. At 1500 points I run nothing but Raiders and Ravagers to create a theme that fits my fast and furious slave-taking playstyle. My opponent asked me what particular army I would be playing, and then proceeded to take the next half hour writing up a list. You always know that it is going to be "fun" when that happens.

I had: Archon + Incubi + Haemoculus in a Raider, Wracks + Heamonculus in a Raider, Warriors in a Raider, Warriors in a Raider, Wyches in a Raider, Ravager 3 Disintigrator, Ravager 3 Disintigrator, and a Ravager 3 Dark Lance

He had: Coteaz + Plasma Acolytes + Deamonhosts in a Chimera, Vindicare Assassin, Techmarine + Death cult Assassins + Crusaders in a Stormraven, Psykers in a Rhino, Psykers in a Rhino, Acolytes + Gun Servitors + Damn Dirty Apes, and a Dreadknight

We rolled up a random mission and deployment and got Dawn of War with Capture and Control. He asked how I felt about dawn of war and I responded with "Well if the dice gods say--" and he cut me off with a "fine." Many people are anti-DoW, so I didn't think much of it at the time, but it is in the book for a reason so why not plan for it happening a third of the time?

 He won the roll to go first but chose to defer. Right away he complained that a Raider counted as a troops choice, oh boy you are a few years late for that debate. After conferring with everyone else around, and not believing until everyone told him he was wrong, he finally let me set up. I deployed a Raider of warriors on the left and a Raider with Wracks and a Haemonculus on the right behind a big circular dome/hill. He placed his Coteaz and Chimera behind a rectangular formation and his his big shooting unit of anti-tank monkeys in a ruin that he chose to fortify. Both of our objectives were in the ruins across from each other in the middle (they will appear in the pictures in later rounds when I remembered about them).
He failed both his rolls to steal the initiative, so I moved my units on to the field. On the far left a Warrior Raider and my Incubi Raider moved in behind a large ruin, my wracks moved forward and disembarked, the Wyches moved flat out and took the place of the wracks, my other warrior Raider moved slightly to get further behind cover and my 3 Ravagers filled in behind. In the shooting phase my Raider shot at the Chimera but failed to do anything, and then I assaulted with my Wracks. I rolled well and wiped the squad not taking a single casualty.
On his turn all of his stuff moved on the board, including the shunt moving Dreadknight. His shooting was ineffective due to night fight and rolling poorly, but he managed to assault my Wracks with his Techmarine and Power weapon mega squad killing them easily.

On my turn two I shuffled everything around to get a good view on as much as possible. I had never played against a Dreadknight before, but I have heard horror stories, so I allocated way more resources to take it down then I needed. My opponent was very picky about my movement and shooting, which was getting annoying. I tend to not give people any slack in a tournament, but it takes a certain kind of balls to argue about quarters of an inch when you don't have a codex and I even allowed you to go back and move units you forgot to the turn before. Anyway, My warriors shot his PW mega squad killing almost half of them, my two Disintigrator Ravagers easily kill the Dreadknight, two of my raiders manage to blow up his Chimera but all the other lances fail to do anything of note.
He shuffles his units around rembarking into the Stormraven, and moving his Vindicare into position on the edge of the ruin with his objective. His Stormraven destroys one of my Warrior Raiders, and his Psyker Rhinos fail their checks and do nothing.
More big movement from me, I love how fast a Dark Eldar assault is out of their vehicles.  My Incubi went from being well on my half of the board to deep into his territory to take down Coteaz a massive 25" charge! My warriors who had their Raider explode moved forward towards his objective. Upon seeing this he boasted that his Vindicare had an impressive 2+ cover save from my Warrior's shooting. To which I responded "Shooting? Heck no, I am going to take him as my slave." After being annoyed again with his over-analyzing of everything  was doing I started taking some more pictures and casually mentioned about this game might end on a blog sometime in the future. Magically he seemed much more friendly and lenient from there on out. A slew of my things manage to immobilize the Rhino close to his objective, which was pretty important, but the rest would do nothing again thanks to Fortitude. My incubi killed half of his Coteaz squad including Coteaz, but they held. My warriors captured the Vindicare for Commoragh taking only a single casualty.
The only thing that moves for him is his Stormraven, which proceeded to wreck my Raider with Wyches in it and immobilize and stun my 3 lance Ravager. That thing is pretty insane with Fortitude, Power of the Machine Spirit, and being a fast vehicle. His psyker squads kill only 2 Warriors thanks to bolstered cover and scattering.
My Wyches run for cover and my objective and everything else tries to take out his other rhino to no avail only managing to stun/shake (read nothing) and weapon destroy.
Turns are really starting to speed up now as he only shoots with his Stormraven, destroying another Raider with Warriors inside. I have to make a decision on whether or not I think I can hold my objective or if I should just overload his. If I try and take both objectives I might end up with neither, and if I put two on his objective I can create a large bubble of warriors so he can't get within 3". I just have to make sure that I contest my objective with my remaining vehicles. Having decided to go for his objective completely I place my warrior squad facing that side when they emergency disembark. His rhino that isn't immobile tank shocks my Incubi to clump them up, but he fails his psychic check to shoot. His other psyker squad runs into the cover trying to clear me off the objective in the assault. He kills nothing thanks to Feel no Pain from his Vindicare and I Kill 5 Psykers and he runs off the board.
My second Warrior squad runs toward his objective, and my other Warrios space themselves out. My one Dis Ravager moves flat-out to contest with my Wyches. My other Ravager moves slightly to be in position to contest in a later turn. I fire some lances at his Stromraven but only manage to shake it. My Incubi explode the last Rhino causing the Psykers to panic off the board from casualties. He only has one objective grabber left, I just have to hope my gambit pays off.
At the end of Turn 5 the Stormraven manages to kill all but 3 Wyches and my Ravager, that thing is truly a beast. We roll to see if the game continues and it does. So far so good with contesting.
On my turn 6 I boost my last Raider onto the objective. My 3 Dark Lance Ravager finally kills the stormraven, and the 3 Disintigrator Ravager kills the majority of his squad inside it.

He manages to kill the remaining Wyches and my Raider on his turn 6 and we end up going into turn 7 where I finish off the rest of his squad.

In the end the Dark Eldar are victorious! I learned quite a bit this game about Grey Knights. Fortitude is just as dumb as I thought it would be considering it is better than extra armor for a third the cost. Allowing his vehicles to keep shooting me despite being shaken and stunned really hurts. Usually I only ever expect to stop something from shooting because S8 tends to get a lot more glances than pens. Taking that away from me mean I am getting hit a lot more than I would normally have to deal with. In continuing with that theme the Stromraven is truly outrageous. The ability to shoot that much at two different targets, be that fast, and be an assault transport is silly. I now have faced the infamous shunt move Dreadknight and have lived to tell the tale, and honestly I wasn't that impressed because of all my firepower. In a future game I may have to modify my list to have 2 dark lance Ravagers instead of disintigrators as I just seemed to lack enough good anti-tank because of poor rolling and S8. I have been able to do alright before, but with Fortitude you need to completely kill the vehicle and I just couldn't do that reliably enough. The last thing I learned was that if someone is being a bad sport you should start taking pictures and tell them you will post your game on the internet and they will suddenly become a lot more friendly.

Time to plan out what to do with all my slaves from that raid, see you next time.


  1. Aargh , I have crappy lances too ! its so annoying. usually I can content myself with stun-locking everything but vs GK lnces are almost useless on the vehicles , it has taken me 2-3 turns shooting 12+ lance weps at a storm raven to get it down, all the time it carries on like you are not expending over half your AT on it every turn .....

    I played a game VS guard mech spam last night , I won in the end , but had only actually killed 4 out of 12 vehicles, everything of his spent the game stun locked or being immobilised or having the guns shot off , DE have great anti infantry and CC ability but whats the point if you struggle to open even ONE transport per turn ?

    It's the glaring weakness of the book hopefully in 6th Lances will see a fix coz they are just bad atm considering they are just a short ranged more expensive ML vs the majority of targets AND essentially DE's only real source of ranged AT, I have found melta lances to be worse than real melta too , seems it's impossible to wrote a list that mitigates the lance shit-fest

    All you can do is spam as many as possible and hope the dice gods smile, the last storm raven I killed was on the 20th of 20 darkmatter weps I shot at it for the second turn in a row ......

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  3. Nice battlereport!
    Very interesting! :)
    With posts like this ill taking experience and knowledge of tactics at the time of going to the battlefield.
    Greetings from Spain!!


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