Monday, January 30, 2012

1000 point tournament Battle Report:

This past Saturday (1-28-12), there was a 1,000 point tournament at the local Los Angeles Battle Bunker and this post will be an overview of the event as a whole as well as contain my battle reports for my three games.

First of all, a big thanks to James (the manager of the Battle Bunker) and his crew for throwing this event. This tournament was just one of many in an escalation league style set of tournaments. Each successive tournament will have a larger points limit, so the next one set for the end of February will be 1500 points, and so on. Your total points accumulated in the tournament carry over into the end so that after the final tournament the player with the most points gets a special sword with their name engraved on it, pretty cool huh? This first tournament had 38 players show up so this was a pretty big turnout for the store and there were quite a variety of armies present, I think only Sisters of Battle were not represented there. There was also quite a variety of player skill present from people that have been playing since 2nd edition to picking up the game a few months ago. So without further delay, I'll discuss the missions that were played along with an overview of my three games...

The missions:

Mission 1:
The first mission was with d3+2 objectives and Dawn of War deployment (table halves) with 6 turns. Bonus points were awarded for killing all of your opponent's dedicated transports (+1), having all of your dedicated transports alive at the end of the game (+1) and for having more Kill Points than your enemy (+3), you also got -1 for not having any objectives at the end of the game.

Mission 2:
The second mission was Kill Points with Spearhead (table quarters) deployment with 6 turns. Bonus points were awarded for killing all of your opponent's troops (+3), having all of your troops alive at the end (+1), having your HQ alive at the end and -1 for something random I forget.

Mission 3:
The third mission was 3 objectives with Spearhead (table quarters) with 6 turns. The objectives were placed with 1 in the middle of the table and 2 in the middle of the table quarters that were not our deployment zones. This mission had a special caveat where the whole game was Night Fight but at the end of each player turn, roll a D6 and on a 6 Night Fight ends. Bonus points were awarded for killing all of your opponent's troops (+3), having an HQ end within 3" of an objective (+1), having all of your troops alive and not fleeing at the end of the game (+1) and -1 for not having any objectives at all.

My army list:
Seeing as how this was a 1,000 point tournament, I opted to go for what I thought was one of the stronger builds for Eldar...Yes, Grav Tank spam! Sorry to all my readers who like seeing more off beat/different type of Eldar armies, 1,000 points is just so limiting (though I suppose Saim Han style would have done well too).

HQ: 80
-Autarch, Meltagun=80

Elites: 190
-5 Fire Dragons=80
Wave Serpent, Spirit Stones, Twin-linked Shiruken Cannon turret=110

Troops: 500
-5 Dire Avengers=60
Wave Serpent, Spirit Stones, Twin-linked Shiruken Cannon turret=110

-5 Dire Avengers=60
Wave Serpent, Spirit Stones, Twin-linked Shiruken Cannon turret=110

-5 Dire Avengers=60
Wave Serpent, Twin-linked Shiruken Cannon turret=100

Heavy Support: 230
-Fire Prism: 115
-Fire Prism: 115

1,000 points

Game 1:

This game was against a really nice and friendly guy, named Tony, who was trying out a list for a "doubles" tournament he was going to be in with a friend. He played Blood Angels and had the following:

-Librarian with The Sanguine Sword, Shield of Sanguinius
-Furioso Dread with 2X Blood Talons
-Assault Squad, 5 strong with a Power Sword in an Assault Cannon armed Razorback

-Assault Squad, 5 strong in an Assault Cannon armed Razorback
-Assault Squad, 5 strong in a Lascannon armed Razorback
-2XBaal Predators

The terrain was ok with a few places to hide behind. I won the roll to go first or second and chose to let him go first and just reserve everything.

Tony just moved up getting in position for when I came on.

Turn 2:

Tony moved up a bit, I came on with everything but a Dire Avenger Wave Serpent and my Fire Prisms. I made it a point to hide as much as possible behind that large bastion/building to minimize where I could be shot from. My shooting was pretty ineffective as nothing was in range and I just wanted to play it safe until I could get into a better position myself.

Turn 3:

Tony moves up towards objectives and goes for the throat! His shooting didn't do anything except for shake a skimmer, hooray for cover saves and Assault Cannons only being able to glance on a 6 (thanks to the Wave Serpent energy shield, and the FAQ, not only do Ordinance and Melta shots not get an extra D6 but you can't get that additional D3 from rending shots either). I got the rest of my army on and only managed to stun the lead Baal Predator with a focused Fire Prism shot.

Turn 4:
Tony's turn 4
My turn 4

This turn, Tony moves up even further to get a better angle on my tanks and only manages to shake another vehicle-needing 6s and only having a 24" range is killing him...My turn went a lot better as I was able to destroy the Lascannon Razorback and kill 2 of the marines inside. My Fire Prism's combined fire to stun another Baal Predator...

Turn 5:

This turn Tony moves up into the center more and tries to shoot up my tanks some more but only glances a few with some 6s. My turn I Stun and blow the Assault Cannon off of one Razorback while once again stunning a Baal with focused Prism shooting.

Turn 6:
Tony's turn 6
My turn 6

This turn Tony did what he could to pull out either a tie or a win. He got out and onto an objective close to his deployment zone with a unit as well as sending out two squads with his Libby to the objective by my deployment zone (where a DAVU wave serpent was claiming it). He failed to do anything meaningful from shooting but managed to blow the turret off of my DAVU Serpent from the Sanguine Sword.

My turn 6, I just zoom a Wave Serpent to a free objective, shoot a ton of stuff at his Libby and only manage to kill it with a Fire Prism shot, tank shock his Marines off of the objective close to my board edge and try to contest his only objective with a Wave Serpent. On a side note, I managed to get my Autarch and Fire Dragons up near his only remaining Razorbacks to try and pop them with their melta goodness for those extra bonus points and succeed (but barely...).

At the end of the game I had 2 objectives and he had 1. After talking with him about his list, Tony agreed that the Assault Marine squads probably could have used some Melta Guns and the Dread didn't offer anything to his army. I think his army lacked any real ranged threat (24" isn't that hot) and S6 can only do so much. I think he'll be adding some predators with Autocannon turrets, those are always solid for BA vehicle spam.

Game 2:
Well, of all the people in the 38 that were present, I get pitted against my friend Nick from The Dice Abide. He is a good Dark Eldar player with the following army:

3X5 Wracks, 2 in Venoms and 1 in a Ravager with a Dark Lance
2X5 Warriors with Blasters in Venoms
3 Ravagers with Dark Lances

Deployment/Turn 1-2:
Nick's deployment
Turn 1 and 2

I won the roll to go first and after thinking about the best way to approach this game, I decided to let Nick go first and pick his quarter wile I held things in reserves and come on later to pick off easy Kill Points. With that said, Nick just zoomed his tanks around the first few turns to try to be in as good of a position as possible for when I came on. When I did come on, everything but a Fire Prism and a Dire Avenger squad made it. I managed to get a penetrating hit on a Ravager with the Fire Prism but Nick saved it and now I was to just wait and hope his return fire wasn't going to ruin my hobby.

Turn 3:

This turn Nick moved up to engage my forces with as much as he could and managed to destroy that naughty Fire Prism and shake the Wave Serpent with my Autarch in it. In my turn, I got the rest of my army on and destroyed a Ravager with my shooting as well as his only Raider with a nice Ram maneuver from the shaken Wave Serpent. He also failed his pin check with his Homunculus and friends.

Turn 4:

This turn Nick managed to blow off the turret from my other Fire Prism with a Ravager while shaking my Fire Dragon's Wave Serpent from the other Ravager and Blasters that moved up to engage me. On my turn, I zoom my Fire Prism towards his Ravager, Tank Shock his Homunculi (but he passes) and destroy a Venom with a Ram from my shaken Fire Dragon Wave Serpent. From shooting, I manage to stun his other Venom with a Blaster inside as well as blow up another Ravager.

Turn 5:

Nick tries to recover as much as possible and shoots everything he can at my Fire Dragon Wave Serpent but only manages to shake it while his homunculus and friends charge the nearby Wave Serpent and don't manage to do anything. I tank shock his Homunculus unit and he fails and runs off the board. I also ram his last Ravager with my Fire Prism and in the ensuing impact both tanks blow each other up, truly epic. My Fire Dragon Wave Serpent also rams another Venom and blows it up. The rest of my shooting forces both Warrior squads with Blasters to go to ground to avoid dying in a hail of Dire Avenger frisbee launchers and I shake both of his venoms from Shiruken Cannons.

Turn 6: 

This game went from bad to worse pretty fast for Nick, especially because of his dice. So in an attempt to ruin my day he just runs and hides what he can to avoid giving me the satisfaction of getting all of the battle points. On my turn I tank shock his disembarked Wrack squad and he fails this test and runs (this is 4/5 tests he failed this game by the way). Other than that I finish off his Warrior squads from shooting and fail horribly to destroy his remaining Venoms from either Shiruken Cannon shots and Fire Dragons.

End of the game I have 10 KP to his 2 =(. Like I said, Nick's dice were pretty bad this game so there really isn't much you can do when that happens. One thing I noticed though, was that Ramming Dark Eldar vehicles is fun and effective (ramming accounted for 4/8 vehicle kills) and Tank Shock can be huge (ld 8 fails all the time apparently)!

Game 3:
The glorious back-side of a Space Wolf army
This game was against the guy with the second most points (I had the most points sofar). He was playing a pretty balanced Space Wolf army with the following:

-5 Terminators equipped for CC
-2 Grey Hunters, 1 had 2 Melta guns and the other had a banner, P-Fist, Melta/Combi-melta and Rhino
-6 Long fangs with 5 Missile Launchers and a Lascannon

My opponent won the roll to go first and chose first along with his quarter.

Turn 1/2:

Not much happened early on as I held everything in reserves, he just moved on and when it was my turn I got everything except a Dire Avenger Wave Serpent and Fire Prism on. My shooting allowed me to pick off a Long Fang through Night Fight but otherwise nothing else was in range.

Turn 3:

This turn I got lucky as nothing was in spotting distance of my opponent (even with the acute senses re-roll), his terminators move closer and his Grey Hunters head towards objectives. On top of that, he rolls a 6 and Night Fight ends, how convenient... The rest of my army comes on and I manage to pick off another Long Fang but nothing else happens.

Turn 4:

This turn my opponent continues to move up with his Terminators and Grey Hunters while his Vindicator and Long Fangs fail to do anything short of shaking my Fire Dragon Wave Serpent. On my turn I turbo my Wave Serpent up behind his Long Fangs and move away with the rest of my army while taking pot shots here and there failing to do anything.

Turn 5:

Seeing as how the game is almost over, my opponent makes a dash for objectives with his Grey Hunters while trying to contest my only one with his terminators. His shooting fails to do anything to my tanks. On my turn, my Fire Dragons get out and put 4 wounds on the Long Fangs which pass every save (bummer) and my other tanks maneuver around a bit to take some pot shots at the Longfangs (taking 1 down) and his Rhino ridin' Grey Hunters but don't do much. My Fire Prisms combine fire to take out that juicy Grey Hunter squad in the open but a bad scatter only lets me kill 3. He fails their LD test and they fall back just within 6" of my Wave Serpent I moved up after dropping off my Fire Dragons...Just as I planned, right?

Turn 6:

The final turn saw my opponent try to take out the Wave Serpent as he falls back but only manages to immobilize it. The remaining Grey Hunters get out of the Rhino and hunker down on the objective while the Vindicator moves onto the middle objective to contest it. His terminator squad manages to charge a Wave Serpent but only shake it.

My turn I turbo a DAVU Serpent near the middle objective while a lone Fire Dragon manages to get in range and blow up the Vindicator with a nice melta shot giving me one objective. Now, all I need to do to win is turbo boost either my Fire Prism or other DAVU Serpent to contest his surviving Grey Hunter squad's objective but like a fool I only moved my Fire Prism 12" up and tank shocked his Grey Hunters with my Serpent which gets immobilized and unable to contest his objective...Du-umb! In a last ditch effort I run my disembark and the Dire Avengers towards the objective and force 8 cover saves from a Prism shot which he passes all but 1 and I end up being literally less than a quarter inch from contesting his only objective. Game ends in a tie, drats. Next time, when I have the win in my hands, I'll just do what it takes to win and worry about the fancy stuff later =(. Well, it was a good and close game in the end and the opponent was a good sport so good luck to him in the next few tournaments.

Tournament results:
Victory never tasted so good...

Well, after the dust settled from all of the fighting, due to me having more battle points+bonus points than anyone else, I managed to pull out best overall and some random Ork player who won all three games but got little to no bonus points got best general. Go Eldar!

I think that taking as many Grav Tanks as you can in such a small points limit is pretty strong and possibly OP since not many other players had much anti mech aside from some IG players but even then they didn't have the points to get an ideal setup.

I learned that playing to the objectives is key for Eldar at any points level and taking advantage of an opponent's weaknesses while playing to your army's strengths is vital. For example, in my first game, I capitalized on my opponent's limited range to hold back until he got close enough to where I could spring on him with my higher mobility and I was able to take out his tanks fairly easily when I focused on them. In my second game, I came on in one concentrated area and forced my opponent to come to me and seeing as how Skimmers can't dodge other Skimmers and that DE vehicles have low armor, I took advantage of being able to Ram left and right. In my third game, I took advantage of his lack of Anti Tank and focused down his Longfang squad as best as I could to allow the rest of my army free reign over the battlefield. All in all, just pick out your opponent's weak spots and go for the throat.

Well, let me know any questions or comments you guys might have! There were actually quite a bit of Eldar players there but they all had all kinds of random lists from lotsa Guardians to just a little bit of everything.


  1. Good job man. I play a lot of games in the 1k bracket and I really enjoyed these battle reports as a result. I like your list and I think I'm going to steal/modify it for my next game at my LFGS. I'm thinking something along the lines of this:

    (2) Autarch's with fusion guns

    (2) 5 Dire Avengers - wave serpents, shuriken cannons, stones

    5 Dragons - wave serpent, shuriken cannons, stone

    (2) fire prisms
    2 warwalkers with shurken cannons

    A couple of questions with respect to your list, did you find the extra avenger unit was needed? Also, I'm wondering if you ever opt for the extra shuriken cannon over the stone on your wave serpents?

  2. Thanks for the comments.

    In the end, the extra Dire Avenger unit wasn't really essential though it did make objective missions much easier so I liked having them there, especially for the extra tank. I mainly wanted to get 6 grav tanks, though you can just take a third Fire Prism or a Night Spinner and spend the remainder points elsewhere.

    Regarding Spirit Stones, I view that upgrade as almost mandatory on any tank you need mobile...Getting stunned is basically a death sentence in certain situations for the tanks. The only tanks I don't put any upgrades on are my Fire Prisms or Night Spinners to keep the cheap, they won't be in harms way like the other tanks and their movement isn't critical.

    In 1k points, having the extra autarch is a waste IMO, the extra +1 is a luxury you can't really afford in 1k and becomes unimportant after turn 2. I'd rather spend the points on getting Scatter Lasers on the tanks or upgrading the FIre Dragon unit to have an exarch with crackshot/firepike.

    One thing I did notice was how much I WISHED I had Scatter Lasers on my Wave Serpents, the extra range is HUGE. 2 War Walkers with cannons may be cheap and good firepower but they are not that mobile and are easy targets, I'd rather take another tank or spend the points on something else, you might be better off with a unit of Warp Spiders, for example.

  3. I figured you would want the extra autarch to prevent your army from coming in piecemeal. My idea was that at 160 points you get +2 to reserve rolls and 2 suicide melta shots. But I think you're right its just too much to pay for a 1k list.

    What do you think about dropping the stones and taking EML's? The 48" range might mitigate stunned results.

  4. Yeah, I hear you on the +2 to reserves but if you think about it, you won't really be coming in piecemeal with a 3+/2+ unless you roll THAT bad, chances are you'll get everything on by turn 3 and 4 the latest. In my 1500 point list, I am thinking of sticking with 1 Autarch as it worked out just fine and the extra points can be used elsewhere-I have taken 2 Autarchs on jetbikes in my Saim Hamm style list, they add a lot more in that context (great CC punch/mobility).

    My thought on EMLs are mixed. First of all, you need a 4+ to hit (twin linked IS nice though), then typically another 4+ to do anything to AV 12 and then maybe have to deal with a cover save...They have been mediocre at best for me. Fire Prisms and Fire Dragons will do SO much better what a few EMLs will do for you on Wave Serpents, I think Scatter Lasers or bust, honestly. That is probably the perfect gun for Vypers/Wave Serpents =).

    I am just saying this from my experiences in the past, I made an army with as many EMLs on Wave Serpents as possible in an Eldar vs Eldar game and thought that Scatter Lasers would actually have been so much better..

  5. Great Report! I've been playing since Rogue Trader days and have been off and on since. I've had an Iyanden Army sitting in storage for 10 years and finally I'm bringing them out so your BR's are very helpful to get the tactics right. I have a ton of miniatures but it looks like I need more Wave Serpents. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Iyanden was my second army after tyranids back in 3rd edition. It is such a fun army and the game was so different back then so I understand the sitting in storage bit.

      I did not own a single grav tank, only wraithguard and wraithlords and some guardians back in the day but lately I've been discovering the utility and versatility of having a few mech units. Basically, all of that anti tank focusing on your Wraith units gets poured into grav tanks and it really adds another level of survivability to your wraithguard units =).

      Everything can change with 6th edition so we will see how it all works out!