Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BLOOD ANGELS versus Eldar

Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition
Mission: Secure and Control
1st turn:
Blood Angels

Blood Angels

  • Dante
  • Chaplain with plasma pistol and jump pack
  • 9 Death company
  • 5 Assault marines, plasma pistol
  • 5 Assault marines, plasma pistol
  • 5 Veteran assault marines, plasma pistol, powerfist
  • 5 Tactical marines, flamer, veteran with power fist, in Razorback with lascannon
  • Venerable Furioso Dreadnought
  • Predator destructor with heavy bolter sponsors
  • Farseer and retinue, Fortune and Doom
  • Dire Avengers, Exarch with Diresword
  • Falcon
  • Howling Banshees in Wave Serpent
  • Wraithlord
  • Guardians with Starcannon
  • Guardians with 2 fusion guns
  • Fire Dragons
  • Vyper with brightlance
  • Warp Spiders, Exarch with withdraw
Terrain and deployment
Due to the sheer number of players in the store we couldn't get a 40k table and had to settle for a fantasy one instead. We decided that it was a fight on an Eldar maiden world which had recently been settled by the Imperium for use as an Agriworld. The Space marines had been drawn to the planet after whispers of Chaos worship. The Eldar show up to drive off the Mon-Keigh and discover to their horror that they have built a temple to Slaanesh. The three loot counters were the leaders of the Chaos cult.

We classed the intact buildings as impassable terrain, the large temple as area 3 and the rocks were what you see is what you get.

As you can see, apart from the large terrain pieces which were a fair distance apart, there was no other cover. A bit problematic for my Blood Angels.

The game
I won choice of first turn and gave it to my opponent. With no models of mine on the table it effectively wasted an Eldar turn but more importantly gave me last turn for objective grabbing. I also wanted to see where the Eldar reserves would be committed before I rolled for my own.

Gary moved up to the objectives and got decent reserve rolls, with the Wraithlord, Warp Spiders and Howling Banshees in the Wave Serpent appearing. I got the Tac squad in the Razorback, the Death Company and Chaplain, Dreadnought and an Assault squad. I decided my main attack would be on the right where I could leap from one objective to the other making the best use of cover.

Gary rolled failed his other reserve rolls and nothing else arrived. That was good for him but bad for me. Especially as I got Dante and the second Assault squad and had to commit them to the right. There was no doubt what my plan was now. The Eldar moved accordingly with the Howling Banshees dismounting behind the temple and the Warp Spiders and Wraithlord manoeuvring to form a second assault wave.

I boldly broke cover with the Death Company and only just failed to assault the Dire Avengers in the temple (I needed a 5+ difficult terrain check). The whole Eldar army shot at the doomed marines, including the newly arrived Falcon. Five died.

My survivors charged the Warp Spiders. The combat was brutal, with two Death Company going down to the Exarch's power blades in exchange for two Warp Spiders croaking at the Chaplain's hands. The Warp Spiders withdrew so I consolidated into the Howling Banshees. I knew I would die, but at least I'd stop the pointy ears from charging me. In the event I took out all but two of the Banshees which effectively put them out of the game.

Following in the wake of the Death Company, Dante and his Assault squad contacted the Dire Avengers. An almighty combat broke out as the Farseer and his cronies barrelled in to help out. The Dire Avengers were broken for the loss of all the Assault marines (I failed four saves from five while the fortuned Farseer squad passed eight out of nine saves). That meant a morale check for Dante which I failed. I rolled a six for his initiative retreat but then so did the Farseer. Dante was killed.

So my main attack had been halted. On the right, my Tactical squad had moved in behind the objective in the rocks while the Razorback traded fire with the ineffectually with the Vyper. The stalemate was broken when the Warp Spiders popped the transport. My predator had rolled on in the fourth turn and I used it to kill four of the Fire Dragons. I wanted to use it as rolling cover for the Assault squad to advance behind but this proved impossible when the Falcon immobilised it. The Assault squad then had to break cover and try to drive the Guardians out of the temple. I luckily only lost two marines on the way in and then they easily slaughtered the Eldar. Just as they were about to dance a victory jig the Falcon swooped in to contest the objective. The objective on my far left was in Eldar hands and I had no units to challenge them with so the last fight was on the right.

The Warp Spiders were getting very cocky so they charged into the rocky terrain to drive off my Tactical squad. I wiped out the entire Warp Spider unit with some good dice rolling. I swept down the hill six inches which put the Veteran sergeant within 12" of the Falcon. In a last ditch ploy to win the game he tried to drag the Falcon out of the sky with his powerfist but failed. Meanwhile, the Farseer unit charged my Dreadnought and blew it up, only to be counter charged by my Veterans. Three warlocks died to the initial charge so it was the Farseer's turn to run. The Veterans consolidated back toward the objective and claimed it.

Result: Loss (1 objective each plus 1 contested, Eldar win on victory points)

  • Blood Angels - The Death Company and Chaplain
  • Eldar - Farseer and retinue
Turning point
The death of Dante

Learning points
  • This Blood Angel army is very fragile. It needs more warm bodies to absorb the inevitable casualties when the terrain is patchy.
  • Dante is very tough but vulnerable in a unit where he loses his fearless rule. However, he would also be vulnerable to enemy shooting on his own. He is probably too expensive for a 1500 point game where a regular Captain would do just as well for fewer points.
  • Escalation is playing havoc with my plans. I can't launch a co-ordinated attack because I keep getting my jump packers arriving across three turns. I don't really know how I can improve this other than buying new dice!

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