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Friday, November 28, 2014

Battle Report: Eldar vs Astra Militarum and Grey Knights




I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I've got a battle report here for some Black Friday reading while you digest.

I’m trying to get some more experience with my Eldar, now that they’re better painted and a more balanced army. I brought it to my FLGS for a 2,000 point game. My list wasn’t the strongest, but it used some of my newly painted models. I was somewhat restricted as my Eldar collection is just barely above 2,000 points in total.

Here’s my list:

Asurmen

Karandras

10 Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch w/ Scorpion’s Claw, Crushing Blow

5 Fire Dragons w/ Wave Serpent w/ Twin-linked Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holofield

10 Dire Avengers w/ Exarch w/ power sword, shimmershield w/ Wave Serpent w/ Twin-linked Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holofield

10 Dire Avengers w/ Exarch w/ Twin-linked Avenger Catapult w/ Wave Serpent w/ Twin-linked Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holofield

10 Warp Spiders

10 Warp Spiders

6 Swooping Hawks


My opponent was the Grey Knights player from my previous battle reports. I swear I play other people, but I only seem to remember to bring my camera when I play him. He was playing:

Astra Militarum CAD

Pask in Leman Rush Punisher, leading 2 more Punishers, all with hull-mounted lascannons and sponson Multi-meltas

10 Veterans w/ 2 meltaguns

10 Veterans w/ 2 meltaguns

2 Wyverns

Grey Knights Nemesis Strike Force

Librarian
5 Grey Knight Terminators w/ Incinerator, Daemon Hammer

5 Grey Knight Terminators w/ Incinerator, Daemon Hammer

5 Grey Knight Terminators w/ Incinerator, Daemon Hammer

Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator

Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator

Rhino

Rhino

We rolled up The Emperor’s Will with Hammer and Anvil deployment.

Aspect Warriors of four temples gathered in the great antechamber of the Chamber of the Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine. Even gathered together in one room, the differing personalities of each temple were obvious. Two squads of Dire Avengers stood rigid in the front of the room, every inch noble and disciplined warriors. Two squads of Warp Spiders stood in loose formation behind them, their jump generators humming almost musically. A small squad of Swooping Hawks flitted around the upper chamber, never staying still. Finally, a squad of Striking Scorpions skulked in the shadows at the edge of the chamber, almost hidden in the shadows.

The main entrance of the chamber thudded open, drawing all eyes to the recent entrants. Two legends walked into the room. The first walked tall and proud, resplendent in royal blue armor, with a bright red cape flowing behind him. The second wore dark green and brown armor, and walked with barely concealed menace. Unlike his companion, Karandras carried his weapons in hand rather than sheathed at his waist, as if he expected battle even in the hallowed halls of the craftworld. It was Asurmen that addressed the assembled Aspect Warriors.

“Mon-keigh warriors are excavating on of the maiden worlds under your craftworld’s protection. If left to their own devices, they will undoubtedly blunder into to one of the blocked entrances to the webway, unleashing a wave of daemons onto the world. We will exterminate them to prevent such a tragedy.”

I deployed my three Wave Serpents in the center of my deployment zone, mostly hidden by the large hill in the center of the battlefield. Asurmen was my Warlord and got 3 traits: Ambush of Blades (units within 12” re-roll 1s to wound for one turn), Fate’s Messenger (re-roll 1s for any saves), and Seer of the Shifting Vector (basically a teleport homer). I was really happy about Fate’s Messenger, as that gives Asurmen a re-rollable 2+ save. Because of his teleport homer ability, I kept both squads of Warp Spiders and the Swooping Hawks in reserve to Deep Strike. The Striking Scorpions and Karandras infiltrated on my right, out of sight of the enemy.


My opponent set up with Pask’s unit in the center, flanked by the Veterans in Rhinos. The Wyverns were hidden in the rear, while the Librarian and a squad of Terminators were just behind Pask’s tanks. Finally, a Dreadknight held either flank.



Turn 1

I ran my Wave Serpents forward into the central terrain. I was relying on jinking and holofields to keep them safe. The Wave Serpents opened fire and destroyed both Rhinos, so at least I earned First Blood. The Striking Scorpions advanced onto the hill they were hiding behind, lamenting the fact that they can’t charge in the first turn.

My Wave Serpents move into the center of the board.

The Wave Serpents destroy the Rhinos while the Striking Scorpions move forward.
My opponent started by dropping a squad of Terminators on my objective, where I had nothing to contest them. The Leman Russes rolled up, and the Librarian gave them Ignore Cover and a 4+ invulnerable save. The Leman Russes opened fire and wrecked the Wave Serpent carrying the Fire Dragons. One of the Dreadknights jumped toward the center, torching the Fire Dragons and wiping them out. The Veterans and Terminators on the right shot at the Striking Scorpions, killing two.

Terminators land on my objective, only to be met by the chirping of crickets.

The Fire Dragons' Wave Serpent is destroyed and the Fire Dragons wiped out.
Turn 2

One of my Warp Spider squads showed up from reserve, teleporting just behind the Leman Russes. I had two goals this turn: take down the Russes and kill the Dreadknight in my lines. I moved one Wave Serpent to target the Dreadknight, but it immobilized itself on the hill.

Asurmen's Wave Serpent immobilizes itself on a tree.

The other Wave Serpent deployed its Dire Avengers and shot at the Veterans on the left, killing most of the squad. The immobilized Wave Serpent and Dire Avengers blasted the Dreadknight, but left it with a single wound. The Warp Spiders opened fire on the rear armor of the Leman Russes, inflicting 9 glancing and penetrating hits. Unfortunately, the 4+ invulnerable save blocked all but two. The Striking Scorpions and Karandras then charged the Leman Russes. I was pretty sure they would deal with the tanks, but Karandras flubbed his hit rolls, only doing a glancing and penetrating hit. The Exarch didn’t manage anything.

I launch my pincer attack on the Leman Russes.

My overwhelming attack on the enemy tanks had failed pretty miserably. I had shaken two tanks, but hadn’t destroyed any.

My opponent dropped another Terminator squad near my Dire Avengers, and shunted his other Dreadknight on top of the hill. The Dreadknight that I had damaged incinerated my last mobile Wave Serpent, splashing damage onto the Dire Avengers. Along with the other Dreadknight and Terminators, this wiped out my Dire Avengers. The wounded Dreadknight then charged my mobile Wave Serpent and destroyed it.

The wounded Dreadknight bashes my mobile Wave Serpent.
 The Leman Russes circled so that their rear armor was completely protected. Leman Russes split their fire, with Pask shooting at the Striking Scorpions. Along with the Terminators and Veterans, they killed all but Karandras and two Scorpions. The Terminators then charged the Scorpions. I was confident that Karandras could deal with them, but he only killed two Terminators before falling to the squads daemon hammer. The other Terminators easily killed the last two Scorpions with their power swords.

The Terminators celebrate wiping out a Pheonix Lord in his element.
The other Leman Russes put their fire into the Warp Spiders, but only killed three with their snap shots. However, the Wyverns managed to kill 5 more Warp Spiders. 

Turn 3

My reserves failed to show up at all. My last squad of Dire Avengers, along with Asurmen, disembarked and opened fire on the Terminators, killing 3. 

My Dire Avengers try to take revenge for my other lost squad.

My immobilized Wave Serpent did a single wound to the Dreadknight standing just in front of it. The last 3 Warp Spiders jumped over to shoot the Wyverns, doing a glancing and penetrating hit on their side armor.

My opponent’s turn was basically wiping up my army. The Wyverns blasted the Warp Spiders to oblivion, while the Terminators, Dreadknights, and Veterans poured fire into my Dire Avengers, killing all of them except Asurmen. At this point, we called the game so we would have enough time to play another.

The Wyverns blast my Warp Spiders.
The Grey Knights and Imperial Guard close on the remaining Eldar, with bloody results.

The Warp Spiders appeared on the battlefield with a flash of light, as the Swooping Hawks arrowed down from the sky nearby. They swiftly moved into battle formation, before surveying the battlefield. They had arrived just in time to see the Dire Avengers cut down by bolt and flame.

The Warp Spider Exarch shared a look with the Swooping Hawk Exarch, before silently moving toward the webway extraction point. The Autarch would not be pleased with the outcome of their tardiness.

Lessons Learned:

1) Well, Eldar definitely aren’t as strong as everyone seems to say they are, at least not if you don’t know what you’re doing. I think I have a good idea of how fragile the units are, but I continually overestimated the damage they would do. I never applied enough firepower to a target to wipe it out, meaning that they were always left facing an enemy. Even the weakened remnants left were able to maul my squads.

2) Pask and his three Punishers were impressive. I never was that concerned with Punishers in small numbers, but three produce too much firepower to ignore. Arming them with multi-meltas and lascannons enabled them to deal with armor very well.

3) This is related to point 2. I need more ranged anti-armor. The Wave Serpents can’t deal with AV 14, and my Fire Dragons are too obvious a target. With just one squad, they are the first unit targeted by my opponent in order to protect their tanks. I think a Wraithknight would be the best option as it will also draw fire away from my Wave Serpents.

4) I need some sort of backfield units to give me some ability to hold objectives. They could also help with my aforementioned lack of anti-tank firepower.

5) I had high hopes for Karandras, and I got him in assault with a juicy target as soon as possible. In general, I think I was just cursed with poor rolls to hit for him. Could just be new model syndrome.

6) I think some psychic powers will help my units deal the damage that they need to. A Farseer will definitely be added to my next army. 

7) My Wave Serpents need Ghostwalk Matrices. They are too expensive to lose to a dangerous terrain test, but the task of delivering their contents mean that they absolutely need to go through terrain sometimes. 




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