Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rock-Con 2011: Gentleman's Grand Tournament, Game 3 vs. Steve Ingham's Dark Eldar

More Gentleman's Grand Tournament! I have not forgotten about it, thankyouverymuch

With game 3 and my victory against Clay's incredibly shooty and pesky Dark Eldar, it was time to meet my 4th opponent on Sunday. I was feeling pretty good and quite confident with my 2-1 record, but was now expecting to face something scary - perhaps a Grey Knights army.. or even more I.G?

I was wrong, though. Fate put me up against yet another Dark Eldar army, which was interesting considering there were only 3 Dark Eldar armies at the Gentleman's Grant Tournament to begin with. Well, this time I had some experience with the sinister Dark Elves from Outer Space and was going to do my best in order to keep winning.

Steve's list was very different from Clay's Dark Eldar. It still packed quite the punch in the Shooting phase, but its potency was all about Close Combat, baby.

A very potent Archon with all the goodies needed to kill my Thunderwolves, leading a 5-man Incubi unit in a Raider. A small 3-man unit of shooty Trueborn. For troops there were x3 identical Kabalite Wariors in Venoms with the usual poison crap and Nightshields. x2 Wyches with all the goodies in Raiders with Flicker Field and Night Shields. For Fast Attack - a bigass Beast Master squad with x10 Khymeras and 4 Razorwings. For Heavy Support - x3 Ravagers with Flickerfields and Night Shields. 

Overall a very balanced list with enough shooting and plenty of close combat craziness to be problematic for me.
Round 4
Five by Five
This mission follows all the normal rules for games of Warhammer 40,000 as outlined in the Organizing a Battle chapter of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook (e.g, Ending the Game [p. 90], Seize the Initiative! [p.92], Mission Special Rules [pp.94-95], etc.), except as already noted in your tournament rules packed and described below.
Overview of the table.. Pretty legit when ti comes to tournament terrain...
This mission employs the Pitched Battle deployment. (See p. 92 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.)

Primary Objective (4 points)
Marked for Death: To sum it up.. You choose 5 unit from your opponent's list and they are the only thing that count as Kill Points. Your opponent then does the same to your units. Whoever has the most KP wins the Primary.

Secondary Objective (3 points)
Follow the Seize Ground standard mission rules defined on p. 91 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, except that you must employ 5 objective markers.

Tertiary Objective (2 points)
Victory Points: Accumulate at least 250 Victory Points more than your opponent. Employ the Victory Points rules from p. 300 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook Reference. 
 To be honest.. this mission was very bad for my opponent. Very, very bad. Limited Kill Points is bad.. as if KP was not bad enough for Dark Eldar. I marked the Raider of the Incubi and the two Wyches units AND their Raiders for my Kill Points. Why? Because those squads had to come to me to do anything effective, which would expose them to my shooting and Grey Hunters. Besides, that gave me yet another reason to wreck their Raiders, because they would be practically useless on the field.
Steve marked my two Long Fang squads, my Thunderwolves and two of my Rhinos.

I had the first turn!

And here is my deployment. You can see that I chose the side with the best places for my Long Fangs. Not that they really need the cover, but if just feels right, haha. I had pretty good fire lanes. I deployed everything except the Thunderwolves and the Marked for Death Rhinos. My idea was to move the two Rhinos I had in position to where the objectives are and then to reinforce them with the Rhinos in Reserve. The Thunderwolves were there to counter-attack from Reserve as well. I knew that he would rush me with the Best Masters, so I had to think of ways to deal with them without allocating too much firepower.

Steve had a solid deployment. He positioned his Beasts as close as possible in a way that he could move them without going through difficult terrain and his Raiders were positioned as far as possible behind cover and giving each other cover as well. He was doing his best to avoid the range of my Long Fangs.
His x3 Ravagers were on the other side of the board doing their thing and staying out of range of my Long Fangs with their Night Shields and Flickerfields.

His Venoms were out of LoS behind a building. He had the small Trueborn squad in the middle, behind some ruins.

My Turn 1
Priorities had to be set. I was going to have to ignore the Ravagers for a while and do my best to slow his advance by destroying the Raiders. The Venoms were going to be a pain in the ass, but at least my Thunderwolves were not in play yet, so he would have to close in and shoot at the closest Long Fangs squad. I was okay with that..
My movement was limited. The Vindicator got inside the building and I can't quite remember if he managed to get a shot at the Beasts or not, but he really didn't do anything too spectacular. He was going to be my fire magnet. The Rhino on the left side, containing my Rune Priest moved 6'' to get a better LoS.
Setting the Trap! Here is what I know about Beast units - They are scary, with tons of attacks at low-to-medium Strength. They have some trouble dealing with vehicles especially if those vehicles need 6's to be hit. The Rhino on the right was going to be bait and with some luck it was going to provoke Steve to assault it with the Beasts. My hopes were that he was going to roll low or average with his fleet move and then only be able to get in his Razorwing Flocks in there to do any damage. After that I was going to have him all clumped up for some template love and close enough to my table edge to assault him with my Thunderwolves from reserve. So I moved my Rhino the full 12'' towards his Beasts, but slightly at an angle and popped Smoke. Was the risk going to be worth it?

The Rune Priest inside the Rhino cast Living Lightning at the middle Raider, because I knew that only the front one would be in range for my Long Fangs. And what do you know, I made it explode! The Wyches poured out and most of them died to the explosion. 1 Kill Point for me. Second Raider got hit by five rockets and also exploded, killing a bunch of Wyches who then failed their Pinning check. 2 Kill Points for me.

Steve's Turn 1
He moved his Wyches in cover and then moved his last Raider as far as possible, hugging his long table edge. I guess he panicked and realized that only my Living Lightning was going to reach it? The Venoms quickly flanked me on my right like a swarm of pesky little flies and were clearly going to unleash their splinter whatevers at my Long Fangs. Ravagers moved a little and as I predicted, his Beast Masters were going after my Rhino.
His shooting phase was not very impressive. A lot of his shooting went into that one Rhino with the Smoke, but a series of misses, bad rolls to pen with Dark Lances, and lucky 4+ cover saves on my part left the Rhino unscathed. I thin kthat some Lances were fired at the Vindicator, but I don't remember what happened there. Then he fired hundreds of shots at my Long Fangs and only 1 was left. But he didn't run. It was actually the exact same model that was left from the previous game against Clay's Dark Eldar!
Spring the Trap! His Beasts then rolled average for their Fleet moved and charged my Rhino. As predicted only 3 of the Birds and some Khymeras managed to get in the fun. He was going to need 6's to hit, 6's to glance with the Khymeras. The Birds were S3 Rending.. So what happened? Only a single "Crew Shaken" result, which didn't bother me at all! Everything was working according to plan..

My Turn 2
This was going be pretty pivotal. I was either going to find a way to deal with the Beast unit on time, or I was going to get bogged down by 'em. All of my Reserves arrived, except a Rhino. The Thunderwolves moved towards the Beasts ready to assault them. I moved my Rune Priest's Rhino another 6''.
I figured.. hey.. why not.. and tank shocked the Beast Masters.
In quite possibly the luckiest, craziest turn of events.. the Beasts failed their Morale check and ran 11'' away from the Rhino!!! Yeah.. I know. Crazy, right? Without allocating any firepower or assaulting I was able to win some precious time, and that was pretty darn important. I actually felt kind of bad, because clearly luck was on my side. Was it a good tactical decision? Yes. But then again.. The best part of the whole ordeal was that the Beast Squad was still within 6'' of my Rhino and was going to continue running on Steve's turn.
The Grey Hunters disembarked, ready to unleash their bolters on the Wyches that were not pinned.
The Thunderwolves were sad and just kind of shuffled around, expecting the poison next turn.
Rune Priest cast Living Lightning and wrecked the Raider of the Archon's Incubi. Oh, what a glorious thing you are, Living Lightning... Indeed.
Rockets were then fired at the Venoms and one was wrecked, another immobilized and one was stunned.
The Grey Hunters then opened fire at the Wyches, who went to ground for a 3+ cover save and actually one one of them died.
No assaults.. ;(
Here's what happened..

Steve's Turn 2
The Beasts had to automatically run away from the Rhino and Steve rolled 11'' for their fleeing distance.
From here on the game is becoming fuzzy, but not a whole lot of things change.
Steve shot at my units. A lot. He also fired tons of lances at the dangerous Rhino but they all missed and/or failed to even glance. One actually did glance, but it was a Weapon Destroyed result!
The Archon and Incubi got behind the building and some of the Wyches took positions.

My Turn 3
At this point I knew I had the Primary. All three Marked for Death Raiders were dead already and the two Wyches squad were damaged and too far from to assault my Long Fangs and too fragile to kill my Thunderwolves. Not to mention the two Marked for Death Rhinos. They were going to be taken care of. The Ravagers would be my next target to prevent the destruction of my Rhinos..
The Rhino in the middle moved 12'' - next to the Beasts. I felt like a total douchebag but the big pile o' feathers was going to evanesce. The Thunderwolves and Skarvald split and moved forward, both units getting great Fleet results. I threw one pack of Grey Hunters towards a Wych squad and Skarvald towards another one while the Thunderwolves were going to crush some Venoms!
My Shooting Phase was only so-so. I really don't remember much.
Skarvald almost squished the entire Wych squad but some lucky 4+ dodge saves saved the squad and it actually stayed in combat. The Venoms were wrecked as well by the Thunderwolves.

Steve's Turn 3
The Beasts ran away! Not a whole lot of moving for Steve's Dark Eldar. He kind of copied my maneuver and split his Archon and Incubi. The Archon was going after Skarvald while the Incubi - towards the Thunderwolves.
Shooting destroyed some Grey Hunters but it was not going to be enough. The Grey Hunters and their transports were not going to move from their objectives!

In the Assault phase the Archon failed to wound Skarvald and the infamous Wolf Lord wiped out the Wyches. He was now stuck in a duel against the scary Dark Eldar elf dude! The Incubi had to go through difficult terrain to assault my Thunderwolves and their lack of grenades spelled their doom. Literally every single Incubus died before they could even strike.

My Turn 4
This turn I dedicated to the Ravagers. I didn't want them to contest any objectives! So blah-blah shooting, they got glanced/penned. Basically were not a threat. I think maybe I had a squad of Grey Hunters in the Rhino.. maybe it went somewhere? I dunno..
Then the Dark Eldar Archon kind of had his way with Skarvald.. ;_;

Steve's Turn 4
At this point we were ready to call it, but I insisted on Steve to at least charge my Thunderwolves with his Archon. And he did! And he killed all of them! Hahaha... Stupid Archon. <_<


This was my biggest victory in the Tournament. I won all three Objectives! Getting rid of the painful Beast squad without the need of any firepower was sooo lucky. I think it was what tipped the scales in my favor. That and just the fact that the mission was too mean for the Dark Eldar player. The experience I got from the previous Dark Eldar opponent definitely helped me. It was a great game, though. Every time I play against Dark Eldar the games are just a blast. Always bloody, always gimmicky, always requiring extra preparation and thought behind every move! Just goes to prove that Phil Kelly really is the best codex author in Games Workshop!  

Here's some battle rep-inspired music for you to listen to as well... I guess:
Game 5 had me facing a codex that I had never had to face before, but was prepared to anyways.. 
Space Wolves! 

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