Monday, March 14, 2011

Sprue Posse mini GT battle reports PART 3:

My army in all of its glory.

This is the third and final part of my Sprue Posse mini GT battle reports. This will have my final game as well as commentary on the army, my games and the tournament in general. 

So going into game 5 I have 3 wins and a loss which leaves me in a position where I need to win my last game to pull out second or maybe get third with a tie.

Game 5:

My last opponent was just one of the many, many Space Wolf players at the tournament. The list my opponent took was:

-Bjorn (Sage of Majesty)
-Rune Priest (Jaws of the World Wolf, Living Lightning)
-Rune Priest (Living Lightning, Storm Caller)

-Dreadnought (HF and TL Lascannon)
-Dreadnought (HF and CCW)

-Grey Hunters x5 (Melta) w Rhino
-Grey Hunters x5 (Flamer)
-Grey Hunters x5 (Flamer) w Razorback (Lascannon and TL Plasma)

Fast Attack
-Land Speeder (Typhoon)
-Land Speeder (Typhoon)

Heavy Support
-Long Fangs x6 (Missile Launcher x4, Lascannon x1) w Razorback (Lascannon and TL Plasmagun)
-Long Fangs x6 (Missile Launcher x5) w Razorback (Lascannon and TL Heavy Bolter)
-Long Fangs x6 (Missile Launcher x4, Lascannon x1)

Deployment/Turn 1:

My opponent won the roll to go first or second and chose to let me go first. Since it was Dawn of War, he deployed  Bjorn on my left flank with a squad of Greyhunters in their Razorback on an objective in the middle. The rest of his army walked on/ran and waited for turn 2. I was surprised with how much of his army he deployed on my right side of the board, so far away from the objectives and with such limited LOS, though I think he wanted to have stuff everywhere to be able to shoot at me.

Turn 2:

Seeing as how the majority of the objectives are on my left flank (opponent's right) and that he deployed relatively spread out, I opted to focus my army in the extreme left and try to secure the 2 objectives there and weather the storm. For my reserves rolls, I got 1 Fire Dragon squad which I moved flat out (24") towards Bjorn in hopes of maybe popping him and taking out some other razorbacks, my 2 Jetbike squads which put some wounds on the left most Longfang squad with the Autarch's Reaper Launchers, my Vyper squads that nearly finished off the left most Longfangs, a Dire Avenger squad that stunned a Razorback with their Wave Serpent's EML and my Fire Prism and Night Spinner which stunned/shook a Dread and both Razorbacks on the left. 

Since my army was focusing on my left side of the board, he now started to move/run the Longfangs and everything else on my right side of the board up to hopefully have LOS on me. The majority of his shooting wasn't in LOS of anything and what shooting was in LOS was able to destroy my Fire Dragon's WS (and pin them) and take out a few Jetbikes and Immobilize my Dire Avenger tank. 

Turn 3:

The rest of my army comes on and I move my Jetbikes up a bit more, move my other Fire Dragons up 24" towards the middle and shuffle my other tanks around a bit. With my shooting I manage to take out the Long Fang squad on my left, their Razorback, the Greyhunter's Razorback's turret and in the middle I bring the Long Fangs down to 2 models and stun the Land Speeder. Overall, a pretty solid round of shooting that more or less continued to secure my position in the left flank while forcing his units on my Right to move to meet me.

He moves up and disembarks the Greyhunters onto an objective and rapid fires into a Jetbike squad, and with some other shooting, brings it down to 3 Jetbikes and my Autarch (who took a wound). The rest of his army moves up to get into a better field of fire and not much else happens.

Turn 4:

My camera died so no more pictures =(.

At this point, I try to get into position to be able to grab the 2 objectives while contesting his and I try to take out as much as possible on the left flank to ensure this. My Fire Dragons move up, shoot at Bjorn and take out his CC weapon then charge and stun him with a well placed Grenade holding in combat. An Autarch breaks off from the damaged Jet Bike squad and shoots/charges and wipes out the Grey Hunters on an objective while the rest of my shooting wipes out the Long Fang squad in the middle, A Greyhunter's Razorback near the back of the board that was working its way to an objective as well as immobilizing a Speeder in the middle. I also killed that Runepriest on my left with random shooting and pinned the Grey Hunters that were shot out of their Razorback with the Night Spinner.

Sensing the end of the game is near, he moves up what he can and finally gets his Long Fangs into a position to be able to draw fire on me next turn and the Land Speeder on the extreme right gets a few shots off and downs a Dire Avenger WS. The rest of his army moves up (the dreads and Greyhunters) and he tries to get into a position to hang onto his only objective while hopefully denying my objectives. 

Turn 5:

Since this could potentially be the last turn, I boost my 3 man Jetbike squad onto the middle objective (the one in between the other two) and boost my Vypers and some tanks up to surround the Jetbikes so that they can't be charged. My full Jetbike Squad moves onto the other objective and I boost a Fire Prism onto his objective while the rest of my shooting doesn't do anything worth mentioning other than immobilizing his Dread towards the middle.

He moves the dread up on the left and his shooting bounces off of my Vypers, the rest of his shooting takes out my Fire Dragon's tank with my Fire Dragons and the Grey Hunters that were claiming an objective get out, move up and rapid fire down my 3 Jetbikes leaving me with 1 objective and none for him. 

listening skills are helpful =(.

Something to note for this turn was that our time for the round was almost up and the tournament organizer was watching our game and I thought I heard him tell us this would be our last turn so to wrap it up so I was not really concerned about the game going on but after we finished turn 5 the tournament organizer told us to go on another turn and that he would extend our time so the game goes on (we rolled to see and it did). This was nothing more than a misunderstanding but still, had I thought the game could have gone on I would have used my Jetbike Assault move to move my Jetbikes on the left back 6" so that they would still have been 3" from the objective claiming the left objective which would have brought them farther away from any enemy units. 

So the game goes on another turn and I realize that his Dread is the only thing that can contest the objective that my Jetbikes are on so I shoot everything I can at it but fail to do anything allowing him to just walk up, charge my Jetbike squad that was barley in charge range (allowing him to contest my objective) and we tie.

And the final score is...

Well, with the last game being a tie I was still in the running for placing so it came down to a few strength of schedule tie breakers as there ended up being a 4 way tie for 3rd place. After all of the tiebreakers were settled I was nudged into 5th place with the IG player I beat (I was the only one to beat him that tournament) placing in second, the Space Wolf player that beat me in my 4th game placing 3rd and the Space Wolf player that I tied placing 4th. Overall winner went to a Nurgle CSM player and the official results can be found on the Sprue Posse web page.

Coming out of the tournament, I feel like I learned a lot of lessons with this type of army and I played some good games. Some general hindsight observations from my games are as follows:

Game 1: I probably could have started my whole army on the board, seeing how the first turn was Night Fight and I could have used my mobility to focus on one flank, drawing his army there then boosting to the other, leaving his units in the dust. Overall, the game went pretty well since I was able to slow down and distract his Wolfstar effectively and pick off the kill points from his other units with relative ease. This game was a pretty classic example of how to fight that type of SW army and come out on top, imo.

Game 2: This game, I probably could have kept everything in reserves, put my objective in a corner in a far corner and just had one tank come on tank shocking whatever would have been near it and focus the rest of my army on his objective or visa versa. I had the firepower/range advantage but seeing how the game turned out I think my strategy to just huddle up in a corner and take the Tyranid advance worked out considering the amount of nids I killed per turn. Aside from some dice fails with my Fire Dragons, taking out over 20 nids a turn with an MC here and there turned the tide for me.

Game 3: This game was brutal. I think I played it well where I focused down the Vendettas and the left flank pretty fast but I should have hid my scoring units way better and focused down the Psyker Battle squads or just kept out of sight from them. This was the one game where the lack of Runes of Warding was sorely missed. Other than that, towards the end of the game my firepower and mobility pulled me out a win.

Game 4: This game made me sad. Generally, this was a pretty big dice fail game but in hindsight, I can see certain tactical decisions that would have definitely made it a lot closer. For starters, I should have hugged the board edge a lot more, keeping his Wolfstar farther away and buying me some more time. I also should have just zoomed away when he got closer and tried to pick off what I could have as I withdrew. Honestly, though, he just made most every save and hit my tanks like they were baby Tau when he needed 6s so even if I boosted away I probably would have lost the tanks and their contents. He also played his Wolfstar pretty well as he split it up and spread out covering a lot of ground so since I couldn't kill even the smallest portions of his Wolfstar, he was able to engage a lot of targets and I was definitely was stuck between a rock and a hard place this game.

Game 5: This game could have been a win but I let it slip through my fingers. The biggest thing for me was not using my Jetbike move my last turn but I could have just boosted the 6 man Jetbike squad onto the middle objective and held the 3 man squad back on the other one which would have been a guarantee win there but I Got greedy wanting the extra shooting from the 6 man squad to take out the Razorback on the left most objective. Another huge blunder was that I completely forgot that I had a full 5 man DA squad in an immobilized Wave Serpent near the left most objective. I could have easily gotten out 2", moved 6 and fleeted and been in range of that objective so really the tie was my fault. 

Using the army list that I did, I feel like I came out of this tournament with a much stronger grasp of how to play this army and how to tweak it to make it even slightly better. I feel that the biggest challenge with my army is AV12+ vehicles as needing 6s to just glance with all of my S6 shots is not exactly reliable, especially if my Fire Dragons get shot down or I roll horrendously (I've been known to consistently miss with all 5 shots, even in the same game so figure that out lol). With that in mind, I think having Fusion Guns on my Autarchs and Singing Spears on Warlocks in my Guardian Jetbikes would be a worthwhile change since while I love the Reaper Launchers on my Autarhcs, the anti tank aspect of the Fusion guns add so much more to the army if it is needed. Case in point would have been my last game where the Reaper Launcher on my Autarch was useless against his Dread and the Fusion gun may verywell have been a game winner for me. A general rundown of the units I took and how they performed are as follows:

Autarch: I feel that the Autarch allows the army to effectively play a reserves denial game (which my army list was built around) while adding a specialized punch to any unit and they can also be used to effectively deliver game winning blows to the enemy.  In game 4, for example, I was able to charge and eventually wipe a Long Fang squad with an Autarch, denying my opponent turns of shooting at me and picking up a kill point. In game 5 I was able to shoot up, charge, and wipe a scoring Grey Hunter unit from an objective which made a huge difference in the long run. Autarchs are great for doing these kinds of things as a well placed charge/melta shot can definitely win you games.

Fire Dragons: These guys, if you don't roll exceptionally poorly, will do wonders for your army. I like how versatile they are as they always have something they can kill for you. In all of my games, they were able to take out key targets with their deadly, focused fire power. Specifically, I see them very useful in 2 major ways. First, for throwing them at high priority targets, like a Land Raider coming at you or an MC that you need dead (like the Hive Tyrant and Tervigons in game 2 or Vendettas in game 3) and secondly, for sending them down a weak flank where the enemy doesn't have much they can throw at them to pick up some easy killpoints or targets (like in game 1). I was glad I had these guys every game.

Guardian Jetbikes: These guys are fast, solid, surprisingly shooty scoring units. They are very fragile as every wound they take hurts but that can easily be mitigated by keeping them in reserves or using their 6" assault move to keep them hidden behind cover. Adding an Autarch or Warlock with Embolden/Singing Spear will really add a lot to this unit's survivability and capabilities but in a nutshell, these guys are just there to throw out some pot shots and then zoom late game to grab objectives. They are better suited for grabbing isolated objectives not near enemy models rather than moving headlong into occupied territory. They also suck in close combat so you definitely want to avoid that. My only regret with these guys has been my overly aggressive play with them but otherwise they are a great unit.

Dire Avengers: These guys, in the capacity of being just a 5 man scoring unit in a vehicle, are great for what they do. In a Wave Serpent, these guys can be sent into a heavily protected area/objective, maybe even tank shocking whatever was on top of said objective off of it so you get it and on top of that they can be expected to survive. This is pretty much your prime, front line objective grabbing unit since they are impervious to assault while in their tank and the tank itself has a lot going for it with the energy shield, 4+ cover save from moving over 12" on top of only being hit by 6s in combat. Once out of the tank, they die really fast so this is to be avoided but their shooting can tip the scales in your favor in a pinch. In non objective related missions, they are there for just the Fire Support they and their tank can put out which isn't always impressive but is none the less useful. In my games, I feel that I should have been more defensive with my Dire Avenger tanks initially and then saved them for late game objective grabs but in general I was pleased with their survivability and utility as I did pull out a win in my second game because of this unit's ability to stay on and claim an objective.

Vypers: These guys are amazing. Every game they always do SOMETHING useful and they put out so many shots, I can't see myself not taking these guys. A simple unit of 2 will put out 14 S6 shots and have the mobility/utility of being able to contest objectives or form a protective wall from assault units that will only hit them on 6s and then you can later move away and just shoot some more. I was pleased with all the shooting they put out every game, even when rolls were kind of sub par and I was especially pleased with them in game 2 and 5 where in game 2 one Vyper was able to contest a key objective, pulling out a win for me and in game 5, my Vypers formed a protective wall that prevented my opponent from getting near my objective or Jetbikes. I am starting to see a strong benefit in taking a turn to move a flat out 24" to get into a better position for side/rear shots as I have been using this tactic a bit more in more recent games. Have I mentioned I love Vypers?

Fire Prism: The Fire Prism is an amazing tank. Every game it did (or had the potential to) do some seriously amazing and game changing things. In my first and fourth game, I used the S10 ap1 shot to instant kill some T5 models while putting some hurt on regular infantry with S6 ap3 shots and in my other games, the large blast shot really added a nice added punch to my infantry killing potential while the S9 AP2 shot was very useful in taking out some tanks and MCs. A great tank to have and should definitely be taken in pairs.

Night Spinner: I've heard many different things from many different people about this tank. For me, personal experience has shown this tank to be an amazing anti infantry weapon that adds a lot of added utility in slowing down and annoying units from the Difficult and Dangerous terrain rules added to its shot. Against tanks, the Night Spinner leaves much to be desired and is clearly not a solid anti tank platform unless you manage to get a lot of side armor 10 tanks or Dark Eldar tanks to deal with. Of particular value is the ability to ensnare Bike units ensuring that they can't turbo boost next turn (units can't turbo in or through difficult terrain). In all of my games, the tank was able to apply a lot of pressure and annoyance with its special rules and of particular note was game 3 where it almost single handedly wiped out an IG squad off of a key objective. 

Well, this pretty much ends my coverage of this battle report series and I hope you enjoyed the read. Please post any feedback or comments on what you think of Eldar, this type of army or how I can improve  in my play, blog or even just general observations. 


  1. Nice write-ups, Adam, er, umm Yriel. Your tactics even in hindsight seem pretty solid. Your list looks pretty good overall and I'm not sure there's much I would change in it. One suggestion would be to replace the Jetbike squads with more Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, but you lose the flavor of having a Jetbike-based army. You would be able to free up some points by putting the Autarchs with Dire Avengers, and maybe throw in some extra vehicle upgrades.

    I think that doing as well as you did with Eldar in such a competitive tournament is an accomplishment in its own right. Congrats on the good performance.

  2. Good reports all around. It's interesting to see other players work to make the Autarchs useful in an army (however, not having a Farseer makes be very nervous). Being a long time Eldar player, it's been fun to read blogs like yours and look at my own army and try some different units to see how they fare. Plus, it gets me going with my painting backlog. Great showing with what is considered a bit of an outdated codex. Looking forward to reading more from your blog.

    Just one note of constructive criticism: paint your models ;)

  3. Yeah, I am working on that lol. I have most everything primed white at least now. I think what is intimidating me is the sheer freedom to paint my tanks/models however I want (and I've never fully painted Eldar tanks, they should be works of art IMO) and I am just not settled on the "perfect" scheme. I'll probably post some test models up soon and see what people think, though!