Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Game: Warhammer 40,000 4th edition, Gauntlet Tournament 2005 game 2
Opponent: Scott Waugh
Mission: Cleanse - Gamma level
1st turn: Dark Eldar
Points: 1000

Again, apologies for the quality of the photographs.

Dark Eldar
  • Archon with Shadowfield, Punisher Helm, 5 Incubi, 2 Warriors with Splinter cannons in Raider
  • 2 x 5 Warriors with 2 Splinter cannons in Raiders
  • 5 Jetbikes
  • 6 Hellions
  • Ravager
Terrain and deployment
Scott won the dice off to chose table quarters, naturally, so he picked the one with lots of terrain.

Dark Eldar deployment

We had classified the domed buildings as area 3 terrain (remember that, because it crops up again later in the game), so it meant he could hide his Raiders behind them. He had his Ravager out on my left, his three Raiders pointed toward the middle of my army and his Jetbikes on my right. His Hellions started in reserve and would deep strike in.

Exigator deployment

I used Squad Abraxar as a push-back unit once again, but they couldn't see the Dark Eldar army as they were hidden behind a large terrain piece in the centre of the board. Squad Krall and squad Infractis deployed centrally on a large rocky hill. This gave me some cover to shoot out of and a decent counter charge position. I fully expected the pointy ears to rush me in the centre, so I placed my other units in supporting positions.

Squad Profuge went on the left, threatening the Ravager but also available to provide suppressing fire to the middle. I dropped Squad Imber on my extreme right, principally to face off the Jetbikes, but they could also cover the centre if required. Ferocitor started deep in my starting quarter. With his high movement, along with the Dark Eldar speed, I knew he would still contribute to the battle.

My Obliterators were to teleport in later.

Turn 1

The Dark Eldar zoom forward on turn 1

The Dark Eldar won first turn and, as I thought, rushed my lines. Fortunately for me Scott rolled appalling dice (and I rolled lucky cover saves) and I escaped with only two casualties to Squad Profuge. In a risky move, Scott skirted his Jetbikes round the central terrain to snipe at Squad Abraxar. He fluffed his rolls and they were now in clear view of my heavy bolter Havocs.

Squad Infractis counter-charges...

I blew the Dark Eldar Jetbikes out of the sky with Squad Imber and then stunned the Ravager with Squad Profuge. In the centre Squad Infractis broke cover and slaughtered the foremost Raider squad, while covering fire from Squad Krall popped their ride. I had pretty much won the game with this awesome first turn, I hoped, but I was still wary of the Archon. I have seen these Shadowfield equipped characters in action and know that they can be deadly if the dice don't come up 1's.

Turn 2

...and is massacred

Squad Infractis paid for their sally forth; they were assaulted by the Archon and Incubi and reduced to a single model who failed his morale check and ran away. This was actually fortuitous for me as it left the Dark Eldar HQ sitting out in the open in front of all my guns. It was my turn to roll poorly, though, and the Archon and a couple of Incubi survived my shooting phase. I still managed to take down the Ravager with a lascannon using Squad Profuge, though, so it wasn't all bad.

Turn 3

The Archon loses her Shadowfield in a torrent of Fury attacks

Squad Abraxar received the charge from the Archon and bodyguard but a couple of Marines survived and the Dark Eldar were locked in combat. Both my Obliterators and Furies passed their reserve rolls this turn.

I brought the Obliterators on in the Dark Eldar deployment zone, to shoot down the last Raider and claim the table quarter. The flaw in my plan was the heavy terrain. I scattered on top of a domed building, and my opponent declared I was automatically destroyed.

Remember how we classified the terrain at the start of the game? Area 3. Not impassable. I pondered for a second and then decided to pull the Oblits. This was for a couple of reasons. First, was for sportsmanship - I didn't want to get into an argument. Second, I was winning comfortably anyway and I thought I could manage without them. I hoped I wouldn't regret my decision.

I summoned the Furies off Squad Krall, and even though they scattered wildly, they still made combat with the Archon. Ferocitor hit the Incubi and wiped them out, then the Furies forced five saves on the Archon. Scott rolled a crucial 1, and the Shadowfield went out - along with any flickering hope of a Dark Eldar comeback.

Turn 4

Ferocitor delivers the killing blow

Predictably, the Archon was slaughtered by Ferocitor and the Furies moved out to capture the Dark Eldar deployment zone. Game over, pretty much, but there was one footnote.

The Hellions finally arrive...right in front of the Havocs

In a final cruel twist of fate by the Dice Gods, Scott's Hellions finally arrived on turn 4, only to scatter right in front of my Havocs. They didn't kill a single Marine with their shooting. You can probably imagine the carnage I caused in the following shooting phase.

Scott survived the game with a single Raider.

I captured the three scoring quarters and picked up another massacre.

Result: Win- You massacred 'im

Learning points
  • I know how dangerous Dark Eldar can be, but I also know they depend on a good first couple of turns. They either win big or lose big, depending on the early game, and Scott had appalling luck in the first turn. He gambled on a very aggressive start and it didn't pay off. Them's the breaks.
  • I was having a few bad dice rolls myself. I had lost all the rolls for table quarters and first turn, and I hadn't gotten any reserves before the third turn. With two massacres under my belt and the army playing well, I was praying for better dice in my third and final game. I would need them as I knew I'd be playing a tough army; they would also have scored two massacres and we would meet on the top table.

No comments:

Post a Comment