Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Battle Report : A little (not so) friendly competition...

So I played a few games against my good friend Nick from the other day and decided to post a Battle Report from one of our games that I think went well and really showcased some strengths and weaknesses of both our armies (Jetbike Eldar vs Dark Eldar).

So first off, the lists! The games were set at 2,000 points and the list I took was:

HQ: 310
Autarch: (bike), (mandiblaster), (laserlance), (reaper launcher)=155
Autarch: (bike), (mandiblaster), (laserlance), (reaper launcher)=155

Elites: 410
Fire Dragons: X5=80
Wave Serpent: (stones), (cannon),(star engines)=125
Fire Dragons: X5=80
Wave Serpent: (stones), (cannon),(star engines)=125

Troops: 474
Jetbikes: X6, (2Xcannons)=152
Jetbikes: X6, (2Xcannons)=152
Dire Avengers: X5-60
Wave Serpent: (stones), (cannon)=110

Fast Attack: 420
Vypers: (cannon upgrade)+(scatterlaser)=70*2=140
Vypers: (cannon upgrade)+(scatterlaser)=70*2=140
Vypers: (cannon upgrade)+(scatterlaser)=70*2=140

Heavy Support: 375
Night Spinner: (stones)=125
Fire Prism: (stones)=125
Fire Prism: (stones)=125


Compared to my 1850 list from earlier posts, I decided to take an extra scoring unit. A squad of Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent really added a lot to the army in terms of pressure being taken off of my Jetbikes as being a necessity for taking objectives and added another layer of fast objective grabbing that Jetbike Eldar excel at.

My opponent's list was (from memory):

Succubus  with agonizor and some other goodies
2 Homunculi with Liquifiers

3X trueborn in a Venom with Flicker/Night fields
3X trueborn in a Venom with Flicker/Night fields
3X trueborn in a Venom with Flicker/Night fields

9 Wyches with Agonizer in a Raider
9 Wyches with Agonizer in a Raider
5 Wracks in a Raider
5 Wracks in a Raider
5 Wracks in a Raider

Fast Attack:
6 Reaver Jetbikes with 2X Blasters

Heavy Support:
2XRavager with Darklances, Flicker/Nightfields
Ravager with Desintigraters, Flicker/Nightfields

The first game we played was an Annihilation, Dawn of War deployment game that went by really fast and I don't remember much of it other than it was brutal. I think I almost wiped the DE out while only giving up 4 KP myself and it was a learning experience for both of us in using our mobility and realizing what certain things can do to our armies. For me, I learned how nasty 36 poisoned shots (from the Venoms) being pumped into my scoring jetbike squads a turn can be as well as how scary it is being on the receiving end of a potential 22 S8 shots. For my friend, I think he learned how painful the S6 spam of Eldar can be as well as the importance of focus firing down av 12+ tanks because in the end, I think my av 12 tanks and cover saves from moving fast really frustrated his anti tank hopes and dreams.

The second game we played, I remembered to take pictures (and some of them turned out half decent) so the Battle Report will be for this game. It was Pitched Battle deployment with Capture and Control for objectives (the one where I place an objective in my deployment zone and the opponent places one in his).

So, going into this game, I was wondering how I was going to shut his mobility down and keep him from reaching my objective while having enough alive at the end of the game to contest or claim his objective. I am sure, given the nature of our armies, that my friend was thinking the same thing and with some valuable lessons learned from our previous game we set up our armies and went at it.

He won the roll to go first or second and chose for me to go first, being the crafty Craftworld Eldar player I am, I kept everything in reserves and let him deploy his army and hoped for opportunities to arise as I came on the board turn 2. He also rolled a 6 for combat drugs so that was pretty crazy!

Some pictures of our deployment:

Nothing deployed for me!
Our first turns saw no action other than Archon Nick shuffling some tanks around. Something noteworthy of his movement in the first turn was the fact that he kept his stuff back so that when I came on, my Shiruken Cannons would not be in range of his vehicles thus saving himself from a potential 39 S6 shots (from the 13  Cannons in my army). This forced me to be more conservative with how I moved onto the board and where. This was a good lesson for any Dark Eldar player to learn...Patience in moving up...



Wolf Pack the Wyches!

Everything but a Jetbike squad came on for me (hooray 2+ reserves on turn 2) and noticing that my opponent stayed back out of range of the bulk of my firepower I had to find a weakness to exploit as well as prepare a trap and luckily for me, I saw an opening and had some bait! In his movement phase, my opponent moved a Wych squad in their raider a little bit too far away from the bulk of his army so I came on that part of the table and focused my army on taking down that Wych Raider and hoped to do whatever else I can to his army given that he was behind some good cover. The moment I came on, Nick even said that he regretted moving the Wyches where he did.

I opted to turbo-boost the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and kick in the Star Engines getting me into a good position to either ram/tank shock things in his army or to be ready to pounce on his Ravagers if he let me (with the Fire Dragons inside). This was primarily a distraction/bait maneuver as I hoped he would move en mass to deal with this threat. The rest of my army downed the Wych Raider and with my Fire Prisms/Night Spinner I blew up a Wrack Raider and forced them to walk the rest of the game.


Nick responded to my Fire Dragons and shot as much as he could at them but the terrain and my turbo cover save negated much of what he could do.
- He turbo-boosted a Wrack squad up hoping to be able to get to my Jetbikes or objective the following turn. - He brought up the venoms in the middle to get the Trueborn into good firing positions while putting some wounds on my jetbike squad with those painful Splinter Cannons.
-He shot up a Vyper squad killing one and stunning the other with the Disintigrater armed Ravager.
-He moved the Wyches out of the Raider wreckage to engage my Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and moved a Homunculus with a Liquifier behind my tank hoping to be able to liquify the Fire Dagons, should they be forced out of their tank. The tank withstood the onslaught of shooting hurled at it so it came down to some Haywire grenades from the Wyches and they managed to get a penetrating 5 downing the transport.



Now the game gets interesting as we both have to deal some crippling blows to each other in order to gain an advantage. My "bait" brought my opponent's forces out but would I have enough shots to do the damage I need to do?
- My Fire Dragon Wave Serpent from the extreme left tankshocks a Wych squad and moves harmlessly past them. They are now behind some LOS blocking terrain from most of his army and in position to threaten everything he has so I hoped that this would keep him off my main forces for a bit. My other Fire Dragon squad moved up to one of his Ravagers and managed to stun and immobilize it with their shooting and blow off a weapon and stun it some more with their pitiful meltabomb rolls.
-I managed to down the other Wych raider with my Jetbikes and Dire Avenger Wave Serpent on the extreme left.
-With my Vypers on the extreme left I downed the Wrack squad's Raider that turbo boosted making it a crater and then charged them with an Autarch that detached itself from the Jetbike squad wiping them out.
-With the rest of my army, I focused on his Venoms and Desintigrater armed Ravager managing to immobilize 2 and stun and immobilize the Ravager.

I didn't do nearly as much damage to the Venoms as I wanted to and I was hoping to destroy the Ravagers I shot at but all in all, eliminating the Wrack squad that turbo boosted and wiping out the Wych transports was a very good turn of events. All my opponent had left that could score and come at me was a Wrack squad in a Raider hiding in the back and a walking Wrack Squad moving to his objective. Time to brace for impact from the inevitable counter-attack.

Now, as if my pictures weren't blurry enough (sorry) the pictures of the next few moves/turns came out so terrible that I couldn't use them so I'll just list a general summary of how the rest of the game went.


On his turn 3, my opponent got his Reaver Jetbikes in which subsequently got a few nice rear-armor shots on my functional Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and downed it with all the quick efficiency that a failed 4+ cover save from a penetrating hit would allow. With one Wych squad, he charged and mangled the Fire Dragons that stumbled out and with the other Wych squad he charged my other Fire Dragon squad and with the massacre move, crept towards my lines making it to a nice piece of cover in the middle. The venoms that could shoot shot up some more jetbikes and the trueborn got out and downed one Vyper squadron and took shots at some of my jetbikes that were in range downing 1 (yay cover).  


The Autarchs strike

At this point, things got messy. With whatever I could, I tried to down the remaining venoms managing to get 1 destroyed and continuing to do nothing to the other 2 and then with the rest of my army I tried to erase those Wyches that were coming towards me. Initially my opponent made virtually every cover save from my combined Fire Prism shot and Night Spinner shooting but the Vypers and my Dire Avengers that got out of their Wave Serpent (yes big mistake) managed to bring the squad down to 3 strong plus the homunculi and succubus. With the Dire Avenger Wave Serpent I saw an opening and took some shots at his Reaver jetbikes downing 3 with the cannon. My lone Autarch on the left side of the table charged and wiped out a trueborn squad and my other Autarch charged a Venom with his Jetbike squad (another mistake) and managed to blow it up. Go autarchs!


With most of his tanks disabled he tries to recover and mount a counterattack. His Wych squad from my left moves towards my Autarch that killed his Trueborn and cut him down in combat. His two remaining trueborn squads try to do what they can with the targets available and one manages to down a Vyper squadron and another puts 3 wounds on the Jetbike squad that charged their now wrecked Venom. His Ravagers stun my Night Spinner and put some more wounds on a Jetbike squad and he turbo-boosted his Reaver Jetbikes 36" in my face threatening my now nearly depleted Jetbike squad that is holding my objective. His Homunculus breaks from the Wych squad and charges my Dire Avenger squad.



Everything was pretty much settled at this point and it was now go time to make sure I had my objective and he didn't have his.
- I tried to tank shock his Jetbikes and a trueborn squad with my Fire Prism and Night Spinner but fail to break the bikes (the main target) but manage to break the Trueborn. The tanks then open fire on his wrack squad on his objective doing a few wounds.
-My other Fire Prism takes out one of his Ravagers with Bright Lances.
- My Autarch and the remnant of his Jetbike squad move up to be able to contest his objective and put some more wounds on his Wrack squad on his objective-the pressure is mounting!
-With a Vyper squadron, I wipe out the Wych squad that slew my Autarch last turn. 
- A lone Vyper stuns his Wrack Raider (his only mobile tank with a scoring unit).
-With some shooting from my remaining Jetbike on my objective and with whatever else I had, I BARELY took out his Reaver Jetbikes and I let out a sigh of relief.


So now its potentially the last turn of the game and something needs to be done about my jetbike squad on his objective. He doesn't have anything that can reach my objective so he is fighting for a draw.
-Since his Wracks are in a stunned raider, they get out and manage to run within reach of his objective-smooth move, now all he needs to do is disgourge my Autarch and pray the game ends!
-With whatever is left in his army, he shoots at my Autarch and in the end, he remains unscathed but his Jetbike companions are cut down. Anything else that happened is of no further importance on the game.

Dice is rolled to see if game goes on...It goes on!


All of my shooting took out his last mobile Raider and with a combination of shooting and a charge from my Autarch on his remaining Wrack squad, I wipe the only thing that can claim his objective and we call it.

Overview and thoughts:

So all in all, it was a brutal game that could have gone either way for the both of us. I noticed that Craftworld Eldar have a strong advantage against Dark Eldar in the sense that they have AV12 tanks that can tank shock and ram things like crazy effectively allowing you to "bully" the DE around. This game I used tank shock and ramming as often as I could and it accounted for several squads breaking (I didn't list every instance in this battle report but in hindsight probably should have). It also allows me to push his models off of objectives and present a solid wall for his guns to try and chew through. S6, as has been previously established, worked wonders against his tanks and once I was able to get him in the open or get a good line of fire on his tanks it was pretty much over.
Dark Eldar need to play crafty and part of that is knowing when to hide and when to drive your forces down your opponent's throat. In this game, I think if my friend were to turbo-boost both of his Wych squads and maybe 2 out of the 3 Wrack squads towards my objective it would have taken a lot of heat off of the rest of his army (allowing him to get into a better position for a second wave/counter attack) and force me to deal with the immediate threat of having my objective overrun. 

I am really pleased with the firepower and utility of my Vypers, every game they manage to stick around and pour out the hurt where its needed. My Fire Dragons are especially useful since I don't have much in terms of s8 anti tank or MC hunting and this unit is so scary that people often overreact to the threat of these guys allowing me to throw out a very tempting bait unit for luring units into bad situations. The Fire Prisms and Night Spinners are just extra utility and over the course of the game, they apply a lot of pressure and (hopefully) wounds when needed. They are also decent at taking out tanks when you don't scatter completely off the target! The Jetbikes with Autarchs work out nicely too as its a solid chunk of shooting (6 S6 and 2S5) as well as being mobile enough to get where they are needed and the Autarchs can always break off and hold up an incoming threat. I am still trying to learn how to use these guys better but I see a lot of potential and can't wait to try them out more.

Well, thanks for reading and feel free to post any comments or questions!


  1. Great write-up and analysis, Adam (I mean Yriel...). I agree that for Dark Eldar to succeed against your style of army, it's essential for them to get across the board early on. I think both games you neutralized a squad of Wyches by taking their transport out in my deployment zone.

    Tank shocking units with splinter weaponry is a good way of to force additional morale checks. Dark Eldar players: pay the 10 points to get a Ld9 squad leader! It's worth it.

    All in all I think Craftworld Eldar is one of the most efficient ways of dealing with Dark Eldar. Their ability to match mobility and tear up AV10 with massed S6 shots is unmatched by other armies.

    Fun games, can't wait for a re-match!

  2. yeah, I definitely do not want your Wyches anywhere near me and your Wracks are pretty stubborn too!
    Have you thought of giving your Wracks a leader with a power weapon and or even your Homunculi something like that too? I remember so many rounds of combat where a power weapon or even a nasty poisoned weapon on the Homunculi would have helped out-same with the Wracks.
    You also might want to try out some blast pistols on the Wyches. I can see how those would have helped a few times.