A little while ago I had the privilege of playing George Mason who won best overall and best Blood Angels at the Throne of Skulls tournament. This is that game.
How I got around to playing George was that he was in the running to take the SCGWL (Southern California Games Workshop League) championship but got knocked out by another random Eldar player who I ended up playing and beating to take the championship. George was around after my game and felt that he should have been the one to play me (because the only reason he lost to the other Eldar player, according to him, was that his shooting BA were outshot by a close combat Eldar army, so terrible dice FTL). So as not to deny him the opportunity of seeing how the game would have gone between us, I thought it would be fitting to have a match against him and see how I fair, you know, just to see what would have happened =)...
So first of all, the army lists:
My list, to the best of my memory was:
Fortuneseer, 8 Harlequins (Shadow Seer, 8 Kisses), 2X5 Fire Dragons in Wave Serpents with Star Engines, 2X5 Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, 10XWraithguard with Enhance, 2 Wraithlords with EML/BL and a Falcon (the Fire Prism is a Falcon in this game). I also had a DA squad in the Falcon.
George had the following:
Mephiston, 4 Assault Marine squads, 1 Tactical Marine squad with a Lascannon Razorback, 2 Landspeeders, 1 Storm Raven, 2 4XMissile Dev squads, A Tech Marine.
The mission we played was a standard Seize Ground with 3 objectives which were all placed pretty central in the table (they can be seen throughout the pictures as beacons/markers).
First off, all of the terrain was randomly generated and placed so the table was pretty interesting, nobody picked anything in particular to make one side of the table more favorable than any other.
George won the roll to go first and decided to deploy his Devastators in a ruins in his extreme left (my right) and fortify it (thanks to the Tech Marine) with some Assault Marines behind them for some late game objective grabbing and then deployed the rest of his army more centrally behind a large ruined building in the center.
I thought long and hard about how to deploy my army since he had a lot of firepower and I was strategerizing the best way to approach his army and get the objectives. I decided to deploy everything except 2 DAVU Wave Serpents in my extreme left behind a largish Ruins with most everything out of LOS (I checked with him to see what he could see and all he really had LOS to was a Wave Serpent). With that said, I was hoping to be out of range of his Devastators (which I was for most of the game) but to be able to engage his central force with all of my army.
George starts off the turn by destroying one of my Fire Dragon Wave Serpents but other than that fails to do anything meaningful.
To recover from my downed Fire Dragon Wave Serpent, I get my Dire Avengers out of my Falcon and move my Fire Dragons in the Falcon so they have some mobility to get to one of his tanks/units if they need to (Fire Dragons should be in transports until ready to be used). I also Fortuned a Wave Serpent (that had my other Fire Dragon squad) and moved flat out towards his Storm Raven (which was my primary target). I don't think I had any meaningful shooting this turn. I shuffle my Wraithguard/Harlequins up and move my Dire Avengers out of LOS behind the ruins (they were close to an objective so I could just move/run late game to get to it).
Not much happens this turn, his shooting bounces off of my army (namely my fortuned Wave Serpent) and my shooting does the same though I think I managed to shake his Razorback. Also, my Fortune Seer rolled a 6, 6 and a 5 to cast fortune, it was awesome!
This turn we both continue to roll poorly for shooting, he doesn't manage to do anything meaningful but he does move some Assault Marines up to get into position to get some objectives. I had a more productive turn as I managed to destroy a Land Speeder with my Falcon and stun another with some Wraithlords which was a nice break for me. Everything I shot at his Storm Raven bounced off. I moved my forward Fire Dragons up to take out his Storm Raven but I failed horribly and did absolutely nothing-oh well (I think I hit with 2 and didn't do anything after that). I also had a Wave Serpent with Dire Avengers come in which I should have moved flat out but didn't in hopes of getting some shots off at his Razorback (I was a few inches short). I also shuffled my Wraithguard forward with my Harlequins.
|I hate the Storm Raven|
As far as my turn goes, I moved my Wraithguard up, my Fire Dragons got out to engage his Storm Raven, My Wraithlords move up to engage the Storm Raven and between all of that, I managed to do absolutely NOTHING, ouch-that was a really tough break for me and potentially game changing depending on how things went down later in the game. I honestly thought I lost the game from that point on since my Wraithlords were so exposed along with my Wraithguard and Harlequins, I should have moved my Harlequins back more just incase I failed to kill the Storm Raven with 7 Wraithguard shots, 4 S8 shots from Wraithlords, 5 Melta shots and a charge from Wraithlords. On a positive note, I think I got another Dire Avenger squad in and shook the Razorback some more.
Since his Storm Raven was fully operational (like the Death Star in Star Wars =( ), he moved 12" up towards my Wraithguard, got out and took some pot shots at my woefully exposed Harlequins doing some good damage with his flamers and bolt pistols. He also moved Mephiston up, passed the psychic test to move as jump infantry and got really close to my Wraith Guard with a nice fleet roll and he sent 2 Assault Marine squads to engage my Wraith Lords. After that he charged my Wraith Lords (after putting some wounds on them from Melta), Charged Mephiston into Wraithguard, Charged my Harlequins with his Tactical squad and when the dust cleared I actually came out ok-My Wraith Lords managed to do some good damage and hung in there with like 1 left with 1 wound and the other with 2 while Mephiston only took out like 2 Wraithguard (thank you Warlock Fortune saves) and my Harlequins took out a good chunk of his Tactical squad and at the end of combat had 2 Harlequins left which I Hit & Run out.
This turn I had to recover as best as possible and still make a break for the objectives. I move my Falcon and Dire Avengers to the closest objective while moving another DAVU unit up to his closest Objective and moved my Fire Dragons up towards his Storm Raven. From my shooting, I actually manage to blow up his Storm Raven this time and it explodes, killing a Harlequin and I fail their break check-Oh well so much for them being useful anymore. I then blow up some more of his Tactical squad with my shooting and bring them down to 2 models. In combat, my Wraithlords hold out as do my Wraithguard.
The game sofar is a tie with my DAVU Wave Serpent contesting his objective and his 2 man Tac squad contesting mine, we roll to see if the game goes on and it does.
|I guess they all decided to run away this turn...|
Since pretty much everything but a few tanks were in combat, his shooting was focused on my DAVU vehicles and he destroyed the Wave Serpent and DA squad that were on his objective, he moves his Razorback up to try and contest the middle objective and his Land Speeder moves towards his objective to take some pot shots which fail to do anything. In close combat, however, the game really swung in my favor as my Wraithlords didn't take any wounds and broke both Assault Marine squads (they lost by like 3 so at LD 8-3 it was not terribly unlikely) but the wraithlords failed to catch them so that was great, my Wraithguard also put a wound on Meph without taking any in return (thanks again to Fortuned Warlock save and t6) and Meph broke from combat rolling a 10 (I was shocked to find out he was not fearless) So with my Massacre moves, I was in position to retake my objectives and do something about the other ones.
So in my turn, I managed to kill the 2 man tac squad on my objective, kill his Razorback in the midde (and take it with my DAVU Falcon) and was in a position to pounce on his objective next turn if the game went on so the game really swung in my favor thanks to those combats. All that George had left by this time was 2 Assault Marine squads and 2 Devastator squads with a Tech Marine while I had 2 Wraithlords with 1 wound each, a beefy Wraithguard unit, 2 Dire Avenger units (one in the Falcon) a Falcon and my Fortuneseer.
The game ended here and I don't think George could have done anything to recover from that last turn so it was a pretty solid victory for the Eldar. I think that had the combats gone more poorly, it would have come down to my Falcon moving to contest his objective while my Dire Avengers moved to try and secure the middle objective and the one closer to my initial deployment position which was still very doable as I don't think that Meph would have killed 6 Wraithguard in a round of combat. All in all, we both had abysmal dice and luck all game but I managed to pull out the win and it felt pretty good =).
So looking over this game, I think that keeping key units in reserve (like scoring units in objective missions, specifically my DAVU Wave Serpents) and having the rest of the army pretty much out of LOS/range of the majority of the enemy shooting was key and probably the reason why I did so well initially. When the opponent got closer, the nature of a Wraithguard type army (it being so resilient) along with having so many different and dangerous targets (Harlequins/Wraithlords and Fire Dragons) forces the opponent to really think long and hard on how to engage your forces and I think that this game George probably spread his might too thin but I think he almost had to due to the nature of the game and position my army was in VS his. He had to deal with my Harlequins and Wraithlords to be able to ensure killing my Wraithgaurd in a reasonable manner but in doing so I think it cost him the game as he just got bogged down in combats that didn't end up going his way.
Well, that's that, let me know what you guys think and feel free to ask any questions/give feedback.