Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reaping the whirlwind: 1850 tournament BR/Results.

I played in an 1850 tournament this weekend using the Dark Reaper themed list I mentioned in my last blog post. The army was fun to use and this post is a rundown of how it did, what I learned and some mini battle reports.

As a refresher, the list I took was the following:

HQ: 195

-Maugen Ra: 195

Elites: 212

-Harlequins: X8, Shadowseer, 7X kisses, Death Jester: 212

Troops: 416

-Dire Avengers: X5: 60
Wave Serpent: Spirit Stones, Shiruken Cannon: 110
-Dire Avengers: X5: 60
Wave Serpent: Spirit Stones, Shiruken Cannon: 110
-Jetbikes: X3, Shiruken Cannon: 76

Heavy Support: 1026

-Dark Reapers: X5, Exarch, Tempest Launcher, Crack Shot: 217
Wave Serpent: Stones, Bright Lance: 145
-Dark Reapers: X5, Exarch, Tempest Launcher, Crack Shot: 217
Wave Serpent: Stones, Bright Lance: 145
-Dark Reapers: X3, Eldar Missile Launcher, Crack Shot, Fast Shot: 157
Wave Serpent: Stones, Bright Lance: 145


Missions played:

The first mission was Seize Ground Spearhead (table quarters) deployment, 5 objectives with the kicker that you rolled for scatter for every objective and if it landed off the board or within 6" of another objective, you removed it from the game. To get a major victory, you needed 2 more objectives than your opponent with bonus points being for killing an enemy HQ (that you nominated before game started) and for having your HQ (that the enemy nominated to kill) alive at the end of the game.

The second mission was modified Kill Points with Pitched Battle deployment where HQ was worth 3, Troops were worth 2 and everything else (including dedicated transports) were worth 1. Major victory was for having double or more KP than your opponent, if just more KP than opponent you got minor victory and bonus points for having more units alive at the end of the game and for having a scoring unit in opponent's deployment zone.

The third mission was another Seize Ground with 3 objectives and Spearhead (table quarters) deployment. Major victory for having ALL of the objectives, minor for having more objectives and bonus points for having scoring units that were not used to claim an objective in table quarters with no objectives in them.

Game 1:

My first game was against a friend of mine who played Dark Eldar (it seems like all my friends play Dark Eldar these days). His list had an Archon, Homonculi in an Incubi squad and Raider, 2 Wych squads, 3 Warrior squads and a Wrack squad all 10 strong in raiders as well as 3 Ravagers with Dark Lances.

The terrain

We started the game on the above table and with the Dark Eldar player going first, he zoomed his units to the extreme board edge on the left and kind of just hid and tried to stay out of the range of my Reapers as best he could.  The building in the middle was the ultimate LOS blocking piece of terrain so he kept a unit of Wyches in a Raider there but I managed to move Maugen Ra and my Harlequins up enough to get a nice shot off and down the tank by turn 2. I also moved some of my reapers up to be able to cover the table and Crack Shot from my EML armed Dark Reaper Exarch and Maugen Ra took down a tank a turn so there literally was no where to hide and it is a sad day when AV10 gets no cover vs S6 and S8 shooting.

The highlight of the game ( for me) was when he turbo boosted his Archon/incubi squad up 30" in my face (aether sails) and I blew it up with Maugen's crack shot, then I got the squad to below half from my Tempest Launchers and he failed a break test basically taking his uber CC unit out of the game and away from any objectives he might contest. In the end, I managed to hold 2 objectives while contesting his and got a Major Victory. I also killed the HQ I chose and had Maugen left alive so I got another 3 bringing me up to 20 points.

What the objectives looked like in the end

Game 2:

The second game was against a brutal IG army. It had 2 Manticores, 3 Hydras, 5 Vets in Chimeras, 1 HQ squad in Chimeras and 2 Vendettas. He got to go first so deployment was as follows:

I kept my Dire Avengers and Jetbikes in reserves since they would most likely end up easy KP and with that, his first turn shooting immobilized 2 tanks (1 of which also lost all weapons), Destroyed 1 WS completely and shook the other 2 and generally demonstrated that this game would not be easy! My return fire was at best 2 EML shots from my Dark Reaper exarch, some random shooting from Maugen Ra and a BL from one of my immobilized Wave Serpents which did nothing. 

In short, all game long I was taking crazy fire and I simply could not kill any of his tanks with my shooting except from a random side armor shot from Maugen Ra and side armor shots from my Dark Reapers. Once anything of his got out of a transport, though, my Reapers destroyed those units. A low point in the game was when a Chimera threatening my Dark Reapers didn't take any damage from my shooting so I had to use Maugen Ra to take the tank out which unfortunately left my Harlequins as flamer bait (since I thought it would be a good idea to have Maugen in there). It ended with my Harlequins dying and Maugen failing every armor save. 

This is what my tanks looked like by turn 2

Overall, it came down to me not being able to roll well enough to take out tanks and his brutal (and effective) firepower that just made this game super difficult. Highlights of the game for me was my Jetbike squad taking a lot of saves and actually passing them and my last Dark Reaper squads actually killing what they shot at (infantry wise). The game ended in a minor loss for me with no bonus points and minor win for my opponent with 3 bonus points. 7 Turns of IG shooting later, it was something like 9KP to 13 which was a surprisingly close game. Had I been able to focus on and down some Chimeras I think could have taken out those juicy troops squads left and right with the Reapers. 

Game 3:

My last game was against an Ork player who took 5 battle wagons, 2 Nob squads, Ghaz, KFF Big Mech, war buggies and some Ork boy squads. This game was fast and brutal for both players as I deployed too close and got charged earlier than I wanted.

The game started with my opponent going first and zooming up 13" towards me. I managed to take out 2 warbuggies and immobilize a Battle Wagon and moved some tanks up. He then zoomed up another 13", got out, called a Whaaaag and charged my harlequins tearing them up horribly with only Maugen surviving but I managed to take out a few orks and meganobz. Next turn, the Meganob squad with Ghaz got taken down to 1 wound on 1 meganob and Ghaz unwounded (stupid Maugen couldn't roll to wound that last nob) and my reapers taking out that entire ork squad that charged my Harlequins. From then on, it was just a matter of him trying to charge my tanks and keep me off of objectives.

The game was mainly a downward spiral as he kept blowing up/immobilizing my tanks with glancing 6s of doom and there was nothing I could really do against all of those battlewagons with cover saves (KFF) from the position I was in. I was able to avoid rams/tank shocks on my tanks for a while and kept shooting his orks up while on hills and behind my wave serpents and eventually he managed to down every single one of my tanks. 

While my Dark Reapers were safe behind my Wave Serpent wall, any Orks outside of their tanks took heavy losses and the Reapers took out 1.75 large ork boy squads (the end of the game one had 6 guys) and a Nob squad. Then my Wave Serpents died, the Reapers got into combat and it was a sad day.

The end of the game involved me taking a squad of Dire Avengers that got out of their wrecked Wave Serpent the previous turn and got into another empty one my Dark Reapers weren't using along with my surviving Reaper squad getting in a Wave Serpent as well; then just moving 12" away. My jetbikes hid behind trees most of the game taking potshots at an AV 10 warbuggie slowly doing nothing every turn. Of interesting note was that on turn 4, he popped the tank my last Dark Reaper squad was in so when they got out they could shoot next turn. They took out 14 orks, pinning the squad that opened up a door for my jetbikes to zoom up and grab an objective. With my other tank, I contested the only other objective he was on and had the game ended turn 5, I would have won. The game ended up going on to turn 6 and 7 and I called it on turn 6 seeing as how Ghaz was in charge range of my jetbikes and I only had another 4 DA left in the open but had we played the game out (we rolled through it for fun) I would have had 1 DA dude alive who survived a tank shock and with a move and fleet onto an objective, I would have tied the game! How silly, lol...

Final thoughts:

So coming out of a rough few games, I learned a lot about Dark Reapers and about incorporating them into your army. I also learned a lot about Maugen and how amazing his shooting can be. Some quick points about Dark Reapers:

-You can't let the enemy focus on them, a failed pinning or leadership test can hose their usefulness. Excessive shots poured into the Reapers will find your Exarch dead.
-The Exarch is the reason to take this squad, the rest of the guys just throw out S5 AP3 wounds and are at the mercy of the other guy's cover saves.
-Tempest Launcher decimates units clumped up.
-EML is a great buy on the Exarch if you have crack and or fast shot, it is a very reliable source of anti tank for a reletively low points cost.
-Maugen Ra is great for stand and shoot armies, his weapon is superb for taking out transports and putting a few wounds on weak units.

I think I might try putting 1 unit of Reapers in my army as when you do manage to pop transports, they will seriously mow down the squads that get out with the Exarch alone. One weakness I found with my army and play this tournament was a lack of being able to pop AV 12+ armor and if you take Reapers, make sure to take a good supply of anti tank weapons.

Feel free to post any comments, questions or concerns. Sorry about the lack of detailed battle reports/pictures but I did what I could with what I had.


  1. This will be a bit random, but I'll try to at least make it coherent:

    -Did you find any of the t/l Brightlances worth the points? I can see some value against Land Raiders, otherwise, why not EML?

    -I think the list demonstrates the need for some Farseer buffs. Fortune and/or Guide appears to be quite useful with Reapers. Trimming down some points on the Harlies and/or Wave Serpents could garner a cheap Farseer (Rune of Warding, Fortune for example).

    -My other army is a Ghaz/Battlewagon Ork army and your last game was one of those where you may not have recognized just how far a Ghaz led assault can be. Definitely lining up on the back edges of the tables as well as trying to go to either side of the Orks in Spearhead works well. BW spam will tend to group together in a huge central push. This allows you to get some side armor shots (however, you had a lot of Brightlances, so it really didn't matter).

    -I concur that 3 Reaper units appears to imbalance the army. 1 Unit may have more balance, which will also allow you the other key choices in the HS slots. However, with one unit of Reapers, I'd probably bump the squad up to 5 strong and give the Exarch the Tempest Launcher with Crack Shot.

    -Against an IG tank fest and going last, I'd probably just put my whole army in reserves and come onto the table via Flat Out. Afterwards, just pray. It's such a bad matchup for me. Shoot and Ram your way through the armor; get in close to make Manticores useless and make your opponent worry about his own template shots scattering.

    -Thanks for the reports. They've been a good read and food for thought.

  2. I took the BL because I was worried about AB 13+. I didn't really have much to deal with battle tanks, battle wagons, land raiders so this seemed to be the best solution. The only game I needed them was in the last game and even then, I was able to get a lot of side armor shots so in hindsight, EML would have been better. Maybe a squad of Fire Dragons would have been a better buy.

    I don't think a Farseer would have helped in any of my games, actually. I didn't need re-rolls to hit and I failed saves so badly re-rolling saves wouldn't have mattered. In all of my games, I needed more anti tank than anything else. This isn't to say that a Farseer isn't generally a good idea but in this list I went for an extreme for "research" purposes =). I don't plan on regularly fielding this kind of list ever again.

    In regards to the ork list, I truly misjudged the charge distance of battlewagons and should definitely have stayed farther back. It was just poor play on my part.

    In regards to the IG list, I don't know if coming on piecemeal would have been much better but perhaps. It was a learning experience in anycase on the importance of having enough anti tank. =)

    I am working on a list that has dark reapers, shining spears and a seer council to see how that army might synergise, just an experiment, so keep your eyes pealed for that in a month or so.

    Thanks for reading my blog, always great to have your comments!