Sunday, January 4, 2009

IMPERIAL GUARD versus Eldar - Ulthwé Strike Force

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: Jamie
Mission: Pitched Battle
Location: Habour
Background: 976.M41 After intervention from an unidentified Eldar Craftworld, Kennell's Cadians are attacked from the webway by more Eldar from a second Craftworld: Ulthwé. The Eldar really must have something to hide upon Habour.
1st turn: Eldar - Ulthwé Strike Force
Points: 1000

Imperial Guard
  • Command Platoon 77 Captain Kennell, Junior Officer, Honorifica Imperialis, Company Standard, Medic, Missile Launcher
  • Anti tank squad, 3 Lascannons
  • 8 Stormtroopers, 1 meltagun, 1 plasma gun, deep strike
  • Infantry Platoon 1
  • Command Squad 36, Junior Officer with power weapon and plasma pistol, 2 meltaguns, 2 plasma guns
  • Infantry Squad 501, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 541, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Platoon 2
  • Command Squad, Missile Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 609, Missile Launcher, Grenade Launcher
  • Infantry Squad 812, Flamer
  • 20 Conscripts
  • Basilisk Indirect fire

Eldar - Ulthwé Strike Force

  • Spear of Khaine (Avatar + several Exarchs)
  • 3 Dark Reapers with Exarch
  • Small Seer Council
  • 5 Striking Scorpions and Exarch
  • 5 Howling Banshees and Exarch
  • 10 Storm Guardians with 2 fusion guns
  • 12 Guardians with star cannon
  • 5 scouts

Terrain and Deployment
Jamie is a good player with very well painted and converted models so games against him are always enjoyable.

This game was played on a 6x4 table with moderate terrain. I put most of my army on my right flank, carefully layered and screened and with good fields of fire to the centre and left of the board. Jamie began with his Reapers on my left and the Seer Council and the Defender squad to my centre left, desperately hugging terrain. Everything else for him would arrive from the webway, once opened. I had the Stormtroopers coming in from deep strike.

The Game
The Eldar went first and decimated my conscript screen, killing 16 of them (mostly through the fast shot Dark Reaper Exarch with plasma missiles). The last four conscripts stuck around, though, and actually had a big effect later on in the game. The Reapers were wiped out quickly with return fire.

The game really got going when the Seer Council (which had taken several casualties) activated the webway portal near my frontlines in the rightish centre. All of the Eldar close combat units poured out and smacked into my foremost Guard squads, tearing them apart. With the use of Kennell and the standard bearer, though, I managed to control the combats and leave the Scorpions and Banshees unengaged in my shooting phase, so they quickly went down for the cost of two infantry squads.

The Spear of Khaine was much more problematic as my firepower was needed elsewhere and they would be free to roam my lines (probably attacking Kennell's Command Squad). In desperation I threw in the surviving conscripts and withdrew Kennell. The Eldar only killed three in combat and the last conscript passed his morale check to hold them up for another turn.

My Stormtroopers landed on the board in turn 4 and I brought them on behind Jamie's scouts, in his deployment zone. I was quite confident they could kill them off, their hellguns actually being powerful against Eldar because they negated the Eldar 5+ save. Of course I fluffed my rolls and the snipers killed six of the stormtroopers over two turns while I killed two Eldar. That left this table quarter in enemy hands.

The Guardian Defenders managed to work their way over into my right flank and hit the Basilisk with their starcannon, destroying it. Everyone on the right flank was either wiped out or reduced to under 50% so that the table quarter could not be claimed; the Avatar finally went down to a lasgun shot from Kennell's squad, the command section itself was mashed up by the last Farseer and the Guardians with starcannon were locked in a mutually destructive combat with a Guard infantry squad.

That left Jamie's scouts to claim one quarter and the command squad and an infantry squad from platoon 2 to claim another (on my left) leaving us with a draw.

Result: Draw

Imperial Control: Unchanged

Kennell's Commendation: It has to be the conscripts who took very heavy casualties but still managed to do a job for me, holding up the Avatar and chums (pity all the conscripts died in the event!).

Learning points
  • This was my first run out against the strike force, and it was a fun battle to play. The web portal makes for a very different type of game.
  • I was pleased that for once my morale checks behaved and it let me destroy the Eldar close combat contingent in a straightforward way.
  • I would have won the game if it wasn't for those bloody scouts vs my stormtroopers. Back to the firing ranges!

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