Monday, December 13, 2010

Another tournament, another day:

So I recently played in a tournament at a local Games Workshop store (the LA Battle Bunker) and got some good practice in with my Jetbike Eldar. This was a 1500 point tournament with an added twist of having a 500 point side board you could swap into your army (you had to decide before seeing your opponent's army list but after you knew what your opponent's army would be). Another twist was that every game had spearhead deployment and a random mission objective. You had to set up objectives as per the 2 objective missions in the rulebook and then on turn 3, you would roll to see what mission you were playing for so it added a crazy tactical edge to the tournament and games that I enjoyed. Further adding to the craziness was the bonus points.

So a quick overview of the tournament:
-1500 with a 500 point side bar.
-Spearhead deployment with mission being played for rolled for at beginning of turn 3.
-Crazy Bonus points as follows: 3 (and only a max of 3) for killing an HQ, 2 for killing all enemy scoring units, 1 for having more units in opponent's deployment zone than they have in yours, 1 for each undamaged vehicle or unit you have at the end of the game.

My list and side bar:

Roll Call!

HQ: 280
Autarch: jetbike, Mandiblaster, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance: 140
Autarch: jetbike, Mandiblaster, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance: 140

Elites: 254
Fire Dragons: 7 Fire Dragons, Exarch, Crack Shot, Dragon's Breath Flamer: 129
Wave Serpent: Spirit Stones, Twin-Linked Shiruken Cannon, Star Engines: 125

Troops: 304
Guardian Jetbikes: 6 Jetbikes, 2 Shiruken Cannons: 152
Guardian Jetbikes: 6 Jetbikes, 2 Shiruken Cannons: 152

Fast Attack: 280
Vyper Squadron: 2 Vypers, Scatter Laser, Shiruken Cannon: 140
Vyper Squadron: 2 Vypers, Scatter Laser, Shiruken Cannon: 140

Heavy Support: 375
Fire Prism: Spirit Stones: 125
Fire Prism: Spirit Stones: 125
Night Spinner: Spirit Stones: 125

1493 points total

Side - Bar: 500 points

-Vyper Squadron: 2 Vypers, Scatter Laser, Shiruken Cannon: 140
-Fire Dragons: 5 Fire Dragons: 80
Wave Serpent: Spirit Stones, Shiruken Cannon: 110
-Dire Avengers: 5 Dire Avengers: 60
Wave Serpent: Spirit Stones, Shiruken Cannon: 110

-My first 2 games were not the most interesting or dynamic so while I played 3 games, I'll only post a detailed Battle Report of my 3rd game as it was the most interesting and challenging. 

Game 1:

-My first game was against a Dark Eldar player who took an Archon, Succubus, Bloodbride squad in a Raider (succubus went here), Incubi squad in a Raider (Archon went here), 1 10 man Dark Eldar warrior squad on foot, 2 Wych squads in Raiders. 

My opponent set up a Dark Eldar warrior squad in his Extreme corner on an objective and everything else zooms up behind buildings until I come on. When I came on, I pretty much shot up what I could  and continued to just shoot everything he had with my superior fire power. The only times he got into combat with me was when his Blood Bride squad moved out, fleeted and charged a Fire Dragon squad of mine that got out to flame a Wych squad to death. Everything else of his died to my shooting. In the end of the game, we ended up playing capture and control and all he had left at the end was a depleted Warrior squad holding his objective (that I couldn't hit with anything on my last turn of shooting) and I had everything left alive except my Fire Dragon squad. The game ended on turn 5 which took me from a win to a draw but I got 10 points from bonus points bringing me up to 3rd or 4th place. The top 2 finishers had 27 and 30 points (17 from a win and the rest from bonus points).
Opponent's deployment/first two turns of movement

I come on and destroy his closer Wych squad and stun the Blood Bride squad

Game ends turn 5 and he has his objective still and I have mine.

Game 2:

-My second game was against a Space Wolf player who fielded a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf, 5 Thunderwolf Calvary, 10 Bikes, 2 Bloodclaw squads on foot. I actually deployed my army since the longest range gun he had was 24" and I felt relatively safe from his shooting. I now prepared to shoot the fur off of him and hope he didn't make it to my lines to punch me in the face.

His deployment
He deployed the Blood Claws in positions to capture objectives and his Bike and Thunderwolf squads (loaded with Melta guns) were in position to hurtle themselves down my throat... But I seized initiative (one of the most garbage rules in 5th) and took the opportunity to lay down some devastating fire.

My deployment

I was able to get his Bike and Thunderwolf squad with the Night Spinner (putting them in dangerous and difficult terrain) and brought the closer Blood Claw squad down to 1 man with the combined fire of my army. From then on, it was a matter of me getting good angles of fire and just picking his army apart at range.

The only thing he damaged or killed the entire game was a Fire Dragon squad that got out to put some wounds on the Thunder Wolf squad and his lone Thunderwolf Lord cut them down only to be slain in return by practically my whole armies shooting.

This guy was a great sport though, and to be fair to him, he had a lot of things stacked against him making this an extremely uphill battle.
An example of his rolling...
-I stole the initiative
-His dice rolls were bad.
-My army was particularly well suited to taking his out at range.

Getting 33 points (17 for win and 16 from bonus) I am now in second.

Game 3:

The true Sisters of Battle.

Going into game 3, I was down 10 points from my opponent and everyone else was behind me by a bit so I needed a win and a good number of bonus points to have a shot at winning overall or even placing. My 3rd round opponent was also a rather good general with a lot of experience so this game was tough and rewarding.

My 3rd round opponent took the following list:

2 Canonesses: jump pack, Eviscerater, book, 2+ save; one had the mantle

2 battle Sister squads with Melta guns in Rhinos

Fast Attack:
5 strong Seraphim squad with Eviscerater and 2 hand flamers
Dominion Squad with 4 Melta guns in an Immolater

Heavy Support:
2 Exorcists

-I used my Side Board options and changed my army the following way:
I dropped an Autarch, Night Spinner and my Fire Dragon squad /W Exarch for a 3rd Vyper squadron, Dire Avenger squad in a Wave Serpent and a plain 5 man Fire Dragon squad.

Opponents deployment and first 2 turns:

He won the roll to go first and chose to take it. Anticipating the game to be an objective related game, he got a Battle Sister squad out onto his capture and control objective and moved the rest of his army towards mine.
Opponent's deployment.
Opponent's movement at end of turn 2.

My turn 2:

Seeing as how My opponent is now on both major objectives and in a position to get any of the other ones, should the mission rolled be an objective one, I was in a tough spot. I had the Exorcists to worry about as well as the Seraphim/Cannoness and Dominion squads in the middle of the board ready to pounce on my army and he was pretty well secured on my left side of the board. I chose to come on in the extreme righ side of the board where he had the least of his army and where the Exorcists had some big LOS blocking terrain to deal with. Only a Jetbike squad and my Fire Dragons fail to come on.
-I start off by shooting at the Dominion Immolater and manage to immobilize it, I'm happy with that result.
-Seeing as how the Seraphim and Cannoness are so mobile and dangerous, they had to be dealt with. I shoot almost everything into them and manage to get him down to a couple Seraphim and a Cannoness.
-My Fire Prisms combine fire and place a s6 ap3 template on a Battle Sister squad in cover forcing him to go to ground, doing a few wounds.
-My Autarch turbo boosts up hoping to get a shot off or be in range of threatening his Exorcists next turn or two.
Now to see how close he can get with the Seraphim and how the Exorcists do.

A "shootisfactory" turn for the Eldar.

opponent's and my turn 3:

*The mission type rolled for was annihilation, few!*
*I forgot to take pictures this turn, sorry!*
At this point, my opponent:
-Gets his Domonions out of the Immolater and gets in range of my Dire Avenger Wave serpent with them then shoots it down.
-Moves his Exorcists up to down a Vyper squadron and stun a Fire Prism.
-Seraphim and both cannoneses get closer to my army and flame some Dire Avengers but fail to be in charge range of anything.
-His Battle Sister squad in the extreme left on the board get into their rhino and get closer to me.

In my turn:
-My second Jetbike squad comes on but my Fire Dragons roll a 1 (again) and remain out of the game.
-My Autarch moved up and was able to blow the gun off of an Exorcist with his Melta and moved back out of range of the Battle Sister squad and any other shooting that might come his way.
-A Fire Prism stuns his other Exorcist.
-My Vypers destroy his Seraphim squad and Dominion squads.
-My Jetbike shooting bounced off the 2+ armored Cannonesseseses.

Opponent's turn 4:

-His Canonesses of doom are all that remains of the mobile threats and they mean business! One charges and wipes out my Dire Avenger squad and the other charges and wipes out my closer Vyper squad that only moved 6" and a resulting 6 on the pen table put a wound on the Mantle equipped Canoness.
-His stunned Exorcist sits there while the weapon destroyed one moves 12" away from my Autarch.
-His Battle Sister squad closest to me tries to get some shots with their Meltas on my Fire Prism but fail to do anything.
-His Battle Sister squad in their Rhino as well as the empty Rhino get closer to my main force.

My turn 4:

My Fire Dragons come on.
-My Autarch moves up to try to damage the stunned Exorcist and manages to take the weapon off.
-The Fire Dragons come up and unload on the Canoness without the mantle and kill her.
-Everything but my Fire Prisms shoots at his Mantle equipped Canoness and it takes everything shooting at her to fail her remaining 2 2++ save wounds.
-My Fire Prisms put more wounds on the Battle Sister squad still in cover and destroy his empty Rhino.

Our turn 5 and end of game:

Right now I have 5 KP and he has 4 so he needs to do some damage as soon as possible.
-He moves his Exorcists away to prevent me from getting any more KP from them.
-His Battle Sister squads try to shoot up my Fire Dragons but fail to do anything.

Seeing as how I have an advantage in KP, I consolidate my army and wipe out the Battle Sister squad in the building and put some more wounds on his other Battle Sister squad while failing to do anything to any of his tanks.

Game ends on turn 5, 6 KP for the Eldar and 4 KP for the Sisters of Battle.

Tournament results/thoughts:

Having won my 3rd game against the highest scoring player and getting a good number of bonus points put me in first place. There were 2 Dark Eldar players in the tournament and the one I didn't play against made it in second and I think my opponent in the 3rd game might have pulled out 3rd since he was already so far ahead of most other people in battle points.

I learned valuable lessons in regards to being more gutsy with my movement when I have an advantage (like in the first game, I had the option of tank shocking into dangerous terrain and opted to just shoot and play it safe hoping for a 6th turn) and to use my range more effectively as I feel like I got way too close for comfort in my 3rd game. I also didn't use terrain as best as possible in my games and could have cut down on unnecessary losses had I stayed back more using cover better.

Some things about my army that I noticed:
-I am still liking my Vypers, every game they did a ton of damage. I can't see myself not taking at least 2 squadrons.
-Fire Prisms, while good at killing tanks, seem to be better at killing infantry models. I've found myself saving their shots until the end of my turns to see if I need their firepower more for taking out tanks or infantry squads.
-Night Spinner is very Niche but is still a very solid Heavy Support choice. I plan on getting more games in without the Night Spinner to see if it will be missed or can be replaced with something better.
-Fire Dragons are still great general anti tank and add a lot of umph to a shooting phase where needed, I am going to try changing my list to have 2 squads and am contemplating the usefulness of an Exarch with a Dragon's Breath flamer as my army lacks any template weapons and it can be very useful against dug in squads like Wyches and so on.
-Jetbikes surprised me with the effectiveness of their firepower at close range as they, together, managed to down a cannoness and Battle Sister squad.
-The Fusion gun on my Autarchs was so short ranged and situational to be worth taking for me, I wished I took the Reaper Launcher on them in all of my games.

Future plans:

I want to try out Shining Spears and Warlocks on my Jetbike squads (I used to take Warlocks but dropped them to save points) as well as more Fire Dragon squads. I will post battle reports and what I have noticed with these units in my type of army in another post.

Alright, hope you enjoyed the Battle Report and feel free to post comments or questions and even any requests for things you'd like to see on this blog or things you'd like to see tested out!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on another tournament win. I must agree that in my experiences Fire Prisms are much better at dealing with infantry than tanks, which probably means you could use some extra anti-tank. A second Fire Dragon squad would be good, but maybe even adding Bright Lances to your Avenger Serpent.