Mission: Pitched Battle
Background: 976.M41. Under advisement from Cypher, Captain Kennell leads an Imperial assault on the small community of Eldar Exodites living upon Habour. Before the native Eldar can be attacked, the Cadian 271st are confronted by Eldar from an unknown Craftworld.
1st turn: Eldar
- Command Platoon 77, Captain Kennell (Junior Officer), Company Standard, 2 Meltaguns
- Anti tank squad, 3 Lascannons
- 5 Stormtroopers, 2 meltaguns, deep strike
- Infantry Platoon 1
- Command Squad 36, Junior Officer with power weapon and plasma pistol, medic, 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
- Heavy Support
- Basilisk, Indirect fire
- Farseer with Guide and Witchblade
- Wraithlord with Starcannon
- Wave Serpent with Starcannons carrying 5 Howling Banshees and Exarch
- Falcon carrying 5 Striking Scorpions and Exarch
- 8 Dire Avengers with Exarch
- 8 Storm Guardians with 2 fusion guns
- 8 Guardians with scatter laser
This game was played on the store 6x4 table which has a massive hill modelled on the centre of the table (completely screwing lines of sight). The terrain was fairly sparse and I won the choice of table edge, so I took the side with a large building to try and hide my basilisk.
I had to set my Guardsmen up further forward than I would have liked, just so they would be on the hill and have some lines of sight. Virtually all of them were in the middle, as was Cypher.
Gary placed most of his infantry directly opposite with his two skimmers on my left flank threatening the basilisk. In response I put my lascannons out there to target the Eldar vehicles.
We both knew that first turn would be crucial and a number of people came over to our table to watch the roll. I threw a two. Gary rolled a two. Phew! I got a five on the re-roll. Get in! Gary beat me with a six. Boo!
Gary had a superb first turn.
He raced the skimmers out to my extreme left and hit the basilisk with a glancing star cannon shot which destroyed it. Every other element in his army raced forward. He didn't roll less than a five for fleet of foot or difficult terrain. A second turn charge was now a distinct possibility.
I needed an equally good first turn. I didn't get it. I scored several hits on the vehicles but only took the scatter laser off the Falcon. The rest of my army killed two Guardians.
The skimmers zoomed 24" around my left flank and now stood right in front of my lascannons (which were only screened by a single infantry squad). Gulp.
The Guardians and Dire Avengers continued their advance up the centre and decimated two guard squads with their shuriken catapults. The Wraithlord was in amongst them and getting closer to my lines.
I was screwed but I was determined to take as many Eldar scum down with me as I could. My entire army, bar one infantry squad, shot at the vehicles. I took down the Falcon. That was it. On the bright side I took out all the Scorpions with my last unit (three went down to a frag missile shot!). That left the Banshees in the Falcon and the Farseer free in my lines. Oh, and I got a one for the Stormtroopers reserve roll.
Gary tank shocked my infantry squad with his Wave Serpent, hoping to dismount the banshees behind to get at the lascannon squad. With nothing to lose I chose death or glory and fired the Grenade launcher first. Two rolls of sixes later and the skimmer was a smoking wreck! Now the Banshees had to dismount from the rear of the wreck and could only hit the infantry squad. Maybe I was back in the game.
Of course my optimism was short lived.
The Banshees hit the infantry squad and the Exarch leapt acrobatically over the Guardsmen to put her within consolidation range of the lascannons for next turn. The Farseer charged another infantry squad nearer the centre. That squad lost one model and failed it's morale roll (despite using Kennell's leadership with a re-roll for the standard), ran and was chopped down by the Farseer. Righto.
The Guardians and Avengers swarmed forward and began to eye my command squads.
I still vowed to fight on. I knew I had taken out a big chunk of points of the Eldar army in those vehicles and could still put some hurt on the fragile pointy ears.
My first priority was to kill the Farseer who had swept into my plasma command squad. Kennell stepped up and directed his two melta gunners to vape the psyker. Double one. Okay.
Cypher took two wounds off him. Better.
A command squad targeted him with their missile launcher and lasguns. Nothing.
Now I was forced to rapid fire the plasma squad at him (I'd been saving them for the Wraithlord) six plasma shots and four lasgun shots didn't hurt him. Holy hell. I had one chance left to take him down with a missile launcher and finally downed the bastard. Oh, and I got a one for the Stormtroopers reserve roll.
I staggered on for one more turn as first the lascannons were slaughtered by the banshees, then Kennell's command section. They went on to combat Cypher who actually took four of them out, including the Exarch. It was far too little too late. The rest of the army evaporated under heavy shuriken catapult fire. Oh, and I got a one for the Stormtroopers reserve roll.
We didn't work out the victory points as it was painfully clear that the Eldar were massively ahead on victory points. Gary still had enough units over half strength to claim all four table quarters. Ouch.
Imperial Control: Reduced 5%
Kennell's Commendation: I was tempted to go for Cypher because of his combat with the Banshees, but on the other hand he is a 150 point special character. Instead I'll go for the 6 point trooper with the 8 point Grenade Launcher who destroyed a 120+ point Wave Serpent. Bull's-eye!
- I lost this game for two reasons which were beyond my control; Gary won first turn, and I had poor shooting phases. If I had won first turn I feel sure I would have shot down one, if not both, Eldar skimmers. This would have meant the surviving assault troops slogging over the board to get to my lines, under fire, and it would also have meant my basilisk surviving and getting some shots off. My shooting was poor because I underachieved every time. It took my entire army shooting to take down just one skimmer (although I did get lucky with eath or glory subsequently). Similarly it took my entire army to kill just the Farseer, when I could have instantly killed him with a single meltagun shot. I just never had any shots spare to hit the Guardians or Dire Avengers, which allowed them to get into my deployment zone. Contrast this with Gary's first shot of the game which destroyed the basilisk. It meant he could shoot all of the rest of his star cannons and scatter lasers at my Guardsmen.
- I rolled a 1 for the Stormtroopers reserves roll four times! What is it with me and reserve rolls lately?
- Cypher was only included in this game because I wanted a break from painting Guardsmen. He didn't really add enough to my army to make him a must-have choice, so he'll be going back on the shelf for a while.