Sunday, July 28, 2013

1850 Feast of Blades qualifier tournament:

I recently played in an 1850 Feast of Blades qualifier event for the Feast of Blades invitational tournament which I hope to be able to go to in October. Below the break you'll see the list I took, how it did and my thoughts on the list and Eldar with Tau allies.

The event I went to was down at a game store in Poway (San Diego County) called At Ease Games. The store had a decent amount of space (about room for 10 tables) with decent terrain so if anyone is in that area and looking for a gaming store they should check it out! However, watch for the crazy senior citizens driving around that parking lot, they WILL run you over and not even notice...

My List:

1850 points Eldar/Tau: 1850
Eldar Primary: 1101

HQ: 170
-Farseer: 100
-Spiritseer: 70

Troops: 447
5x w/ D-Scythes
-Wave Serpent w/Scatter Laser, Holofields

-Windrider Jetbike Squadron: 51
3x Bikes

-Windrider Jetbike Squadron: 51
3x Bikes

Fast Attack: 152
-Warp Spiders:152
8x Spiders

Heavy Support: 332
-Dark Reapers:212
5x w/ Exarch, Fast Shot, Eldar Missile Launcher, 4x Starshot
-Wave Serpent w/ Scatter Laser

Fortification: 85
-Aegis w/ Icarus: 85

Tau Allies:664
-Commander: 190
w/ Multi Sensor Suit, Puretide Engram Neruochip, Heavy Iridium Armor, Vectored Retro-thrusters, Velocity Tracker, Early Warning Override, Fusion Gun

w/ Fusion Gun, Ion Accelerator, Early Warning Override, Velocity Tracker 

10x Kroot

2x w/ Shas'vre, Velocity Tracker, 2x Missile Drones


The missions packet for the Feast of Blades qualifiers can be found here, however, the missions were essentially Big Guns never tire with Dawn of War deployment for the first game; The Scouring with Hammer and Anvil deployment for the second game; Crusade with Vanguard Strike deployment for the third game. All games had 5 objectives in play. Overall winner was determined by pure win/loss ratio with tie breakers going to best overall (paint+sports) and total battle points (how many objectives/seconaries) obtained.

Game 1:

This game was against someone I played before with my Thousand Sons against his Sisters of Battle/Grey Knight's list at a Midnight Madness tournament a while ago so it was good to get a rematch in against a decent player (he took first at the last Midnight Madness tournament). The list he took this game had the following:

Librarian in Terminator armor with Storm Shield; Pedro Cantor; 5 Sternguard w/Combi-Meltas in a Razorback w/ Assault Cannon; 5x Tac Marines with nothing but scoring goodness; 2x5 Scouts including Telion in one unit; Contemptor Dreadnought w/2x Twin-linked Lascannon and Cyclone Missile Launcher; 5x Legion of the Damned w/ Plasma gun/Cannon; St. Celestine; 5x Seraphim; 10xBattle Sisters w/2x Meltas in a Rhino; 6x Retributors w/ Heavy Bolters; Aegis w/ Quad Gun.

My deployment
My opponent's deployment

My opponent's deployment after
infiltraiters (the Scouts)

My opponent won the roll to go first and there was no Nightfight for the first turn. He deployed his Aegis centrally while I counter-deployed mine next to some good LOS blocking terrain. My opponent then placed his Contemptor/Retributors centrally while Pedro was in the Razorback with the Sternguard well hidden by a Ruins flanked by Celestine, Seraphim and the Librarian. Finally, the Battle Sisters were deployed in a Rhino to the extreme left while the Scouts eventually infiltrated to a central ruins and by the Aegis in the back.

I deployed the Broadsides completely out of sight along with the Tau Commander/Riptide and only the Icarus/Wave Serpents were visable but they were out of range of his weapons. The Dark Reapers, Farseer and Spiritseer were in the closer Serpent while the Wraithguard were in the back one.

Nightfight: No
Sieze the initiative: No

For Psychic Powers, my opponent generated Dominate and Puppet Master while I generated Guide, Prescience and Doom with the Farseer and Conceal/something useless with the Spiritseer.

Turn 1:

This is what the game looked like after turn 1.
The trees were our objectives btw and did not block LOS.

Opponent's turn:
When all was said and done, all that my opponent was able to shoot at was the Icarus Gun Emplacement because everything else of mine was either out of LOS or out of range (my opponent was surprised to learn that the Quad Gun was only 48" hehe). After shooting the Retributors, Scouts and Quadgun at my Icarus, he only managed to take a wound off of it (the Contemptor was deployed out of LOS of the Icarus).

My turn:
After effectively negating much of his alpha-strike potential, I cast Prescience/Conceal on the Dark Reapers then moved my Tau Commander over by the Icarus while my Serpents/Riptide moved around and my Dark Reapers got out to join the Tau Commander and set-up a firebase. Shooting from my Dark Reapers wiped out the Retributor squad (thank's to ignoring cover from the Tau Commander) while my Serpents/Broadsides/Riptide took out all but 2 of his Scouts (the remaining 2 were in the central ruins). I think the backfield Scouts died because they failed their Ld and ran off the board as they were 3" from the edge. First Blood goes to the Eldar, yay.

Turn 2:

Opponent's turn:

This turn my opponent's Tac squad comes on and he moves them behind the ruins on his side while the Contemptor moves over a bit and his Battle Sisters move to hide behind a building to lie in wait for a late game objective grab. His major movement was his Seraphim moving/running with the Razorback doing the same (moving 12" then a 6" Flat-out); both units moving towards my lines. His Librarian moved out of terrain and cast puppet master on my gun emplacement (though I am not sure this was legal because I don't think a Gun Emplacement counts as an "enemy model" but meh) and failed to do anything. His Contemptor shot at the Dark Reapers but the Tau Commander tanked everything with his 2+ Cover Save (Conceal+Aegis) so overall, this turn did not see much of anything happen.

My turn:

This turn my Warp Spiders and Kroot came on but my Spiders mishapped and got placed back into reserves while my Kroot came on some useless part of the table and hoped not to die too badly this game. I then cast Prescience/Conceal on the Dark Reapers and Guide on the Riptide then prepare to engage the incoming threats.

I started out by moving my Wraithguard up and getting out in a position to flame Celestine and her Seraphim while my Serpents moved to take out the Razorback holding the Sternguard. The Broadsides stayed where they were as I didn't want to bother making Snap-shots while the Reapers/Tau Commander moved around to get a bead on the Contemptor.

The fireworks started by flaming Celestine's unit into oblivion (with nothing left) while the Broadsides finish off the Scouts. The Serpents/Riptide blew up the Razorback and brought the Sternguard down to 2. The Dark Reapers only managed to get 2 HP off of the Contemptor as his Invul saves helped mitigate some of the damage (saving 3/5 times). In hindsight, I should have blown up the Razorback first so that my Wraithguard could have hit some of them with their templates as well but overall, a solid turn as I wiped out Celestine/Seraphim and much of the Sternguard along with their Razorback.

Turn 3:

Opponent's turn:
Celestine failed to get up this turn while the Battle Sisters moved up to engage my Kroot but didn't do anything and his Sternguard shot at my Serpent but I made my Jink saves. His Contemptor put a wound on my Tau Comander while the Librarian cast Puppet Master on a Wraithguard model placing the template to hit all my WG and failed to do anything because being T6 rocks. He then charged my WG with his Librarian/Pedro but they died horribly to my overwatch of D-Scythe doom (perhaps if he kept the characters separate and did 2 charges it would have been better but oh well...Slay the Warlord for free is always nice).

My turn:
My Spiders come on this turn but scatter into a useless location while a unit of Jetbikes also comes on. I then cast Prescience, Guide and Conceal on the usual suspects while my Wraithguard get back into their Serpent and I wipe out the Sternguard/Contemptor Dread and just shuffle around a bit with the rest of my army.

Turn 4:

Opponent's turn:
This turn Celestine got up and his Legion of the Damned come on and deepstrike right behind my lines to try and take out my Broadsides but Interceptor shooting from my Riptide/Icarus/Tau Commander brings the unit down to 3 as he passed many of his 3++ saves and the Plasma Gun/Cannon models survived =(. His Battle Sisters got out and shot up some Kroot but they passed their Ld while Celestine flamed/charged my Dark Reapers and the Legion of the Damned brought my Broadsides down to 1 wounded model who subsequently passed their Ld. In combat I challenged Celestine with my Dark Reaper Exarch (only character in range) and pass my test then proceed to Hit & Run out of there.

My turn:
My other Jetbike unit comes on and I cast Guide/Prescience/Conceal on the usual targets with Doom on Celestine but she Denies. I move my Spiders along with Kroot and some Bikes to shoot up the Battle Sisters and after doing some wounds he fails the Ld test and breaks. The rest of my shooting kills Celestine and the remaining Legion of the Damned before I shuffle some stuff around for objective grabbing including moving the Wraithguard in position to flame the 5 man Tac squad and get the objective near them.

Turn 5:

Opponent's turn:
Celestine gets up again this turn and rather than deal with my Dark Reapers again she goes after a vulnerable Jetbike unit I left wide open and kills one with her flamer but I fail my Ld test and run off the board. His Battle Sisters regroup and with the Rhino (that immobilizes itself on the ruins) finish off my other jetbike unit I left open, ouch-bad play on my part! His Tac Squad charges my Serpent but fails to do anything except shake it a few times with their Krack Grenades.

My turn:
I cast Fortune/Guide/Conceal again with Doom on Celestine and no deny this time. My Spiders move up to contest the objective his Battle Sisters were now occupying but their shooting manages to make them fall back again off of the objective while my Kroot run to claim an objective of their own. My Dark Reapers head towards another objective while my Broadside moves into position to do the same should the game go on. My Wraithguard get out and head towards an objective as well while my Serpents instant-kill Celestine and whittle down the Tac squad. At this point, my opponent calls it but in order to let me get all the battle points I am entitled to we roll to see if the game would have gone on (and it did) so I moved into place to get more objectives and snag a total of 4.

Game ends with 17 points for the Eldar (4 objectives, 3 from all of the secondaries and 2 from Heavy Supports killed). Opponent scored 0 as all he killed were my 2 Jetbike units =(.

I think deploying the Broadsides completely out of sight was a good move as their SMS did a lot of the damage and the Missile Pods were not necessary though I could have had the Commander/Broadsides deployed out behind the Aeigis but I didn't want to risk all of his shooting though I don't think they would have done any meaningful damage...I think I learn from this and place them more aggressively in my later games. Overall, I think the firepower of the Eldar/Tau was just too much and sending his army where my D-Scythes could pounce on it was a critical part of the game tantamount to sticking your hand in a blender IMO. This is one reason why I love the D-Scythe, they can reach out and devastate anything coming at your gun-line and work very well with the First Warlord trait or Doom. Also, I think better play with the Jetbikes was definitely in order this game, I practically threw them away though invariably, they were a decent bait for Celestine/Battle Sisters.

Game 2:

This game was against a super efficient Tyranid army that had the following:
2x Flyrants w/ dual Devourers, one had Hive Commander; 2x2 Hive Guard; 10x Ymargl Stealers; 2x10 Guants; 2x Tervigons; 2x Trygons.


My opponent's set-up

My set-up

My opponent won the roll to go first and deployed his army as close as possible with a perfectly symmetrical formation of 1 of everything on each side of the board. I deploy pretty far back but in hindsight wish I was even farther back, can't afford to have a bunch of Nids tearing me up in combat!

Nightfight: No
Sieze the initiative: No

The Psychic Powers I generated was Fortune, Misfortune and Prescience on my Farseer with Renewer/Protect on my Spiritseer while my opponent generated a bunch of random ones from Biomancy but only his Warlord managed to get Iron Arm.

Turn 1:

End of turn 1 for both players

Opponent's turn:

My opponent starts off the game by casting Iron Arm on his Warlord (Raising his T to 8) thenflying his full 24" and unloading all of his shots into my Broadsides but I only take 1 wound. The rest of his army moves/runs up at my army.

My turn:

On my turn I cast Prescience/Fortune and Protect on the Dark Reapers then get out of the Wave Serpent and man the Icarus while the Tau Commander moves over to join the Reapers to give them Monster Hunter. My Kroot spread out a bit and my Serpents/Riptide move around to get some good shots off on his Flyrants.

In the shooting phase I shoot virtually everything at his Iron Arm Flyrant (who was his Warlord) and barely kill it as he passed every Grounding Check but the Dark Reapers finally took him down I was hoping to ground the Tyrant with other shooting to not have to take Snap-shots at it). Broadsides shoot at the other Flyrant but only do a single wound...And only because my opponent failed his Grounding Check for this Tyrant. Looks like I am getting charged next turn, yay!

Turn 2:

Opponent's turn:

He moves up with everything, including his Ymargl Stealers, who come out to play from the only piece of Area Terrain near my lines. His Tyrant shoots at/charges my Broadsides because I was dumb and didn't screen them with Kroot while the Ymargl Stealers charge my Serpent containing my Wraithguard because I was even dumber and forgot their threat range...Ymargls blow up the Serpent and the blast kills 2 of them while the Tyrant takes 2 wounds from Overwatch and wipes the floor with my poor Broadsides...At least he is out in the open for me to shoot up on my turn.

My turn:

I cast fail to cast anything except Prescience because the "Shadow in the Warp" ability kills my soul. Also, I only get one unit of Jetbikes in from my reserves and they try to take off the remaining Flyrant's wound but fail so my Serpents do it for them. My Riptide/Wraithguard/Kroot take out out the remaining Ymargl Stealers (hooray for no Shaken/Stunned results) and my Dark Reapers take out the closer Trygon thanks to Prescience/Monster Hunter. I now have some breathing room and the Tyranids are going to have to come at me piecemeal while I shoot them to death.

Turn 3-end:

Opponent's turn:

He continues to come at me with everything moving as fast as he can with runs and such. His Hive Guard manage to take a HP off of my remaining Serpent but otherwise he focuses on getting closer.

My turn:

The turkey shoot continues as my Spiders come in and my shooting wipes out the remaining Trygon and a unit of Hive Guard.

Pretty much the following turns consisted of me killing an MC a turn while my other shooting kills everything else. Worth mentioning is how a Fortuned unit of Warp Spiders gets taken down to 3 models who then charge a unit of Guants losing one to overwatch and another to combat while failing to do anything in return...At least they passed their save and denied an objective. Incidentally, that was the only unit my opponent had at the end of the game.

Game ends with 13 points for the Eldar (10 from objectives and 3 from secondaries) and 0 points for the Tyranids.

This game, I should have had my Kroot out front of my Broadsides to protect them from the inevitable charge and I was actually thrown off by the 24" flight of the Tyrants (I expected them to only move 12"). Will definitely have to keep Tyranid threat ranges in mind going forward as they can pack quite the initial punch though once they lose momentum they are easy pickin =(. They really need a new dex IMO.

Game 3:

This game was against a guy I met on Dakka who goes by the name of QBallony and who managed to get 2nd place/best general with his Eldar at the tournament Reece and the Frontline guys held at Comicon earlier this month so it should be some good Eldar on Eldar action. The army he brought had the following:

Farseer w/ Mantle, Jetbike; 2x10 Guardians in Serpents w/ Scatter/Holofields; 2x3 Jetbikes; 2x9 Warp Spiders; 2x2 War Walkers w/ dual Bright Lances; Archon w/ Shadowfield, Husk Blade and goodies; 9 Harlequins w/ Goodies; 10 Kabalite Warriors w/ Dark Lance in a Raider w/ Dark Lance.

My opponent's setup
My setup

I win the roll to go first but I decide to let him to go first to see how he deploys so I can counter-deploy and have the last move for objectives. Plus, Eldrad called me and told me I would seize the initiative...

My opponent deploys his army in an aggressive way banking on first turn alpha strike courtesy of yours truly and places his Warp Spiders/War Walkers as close as possible while the rest of his army is behind a ruins ready to move out and pounce on me.

I tried to counter deploy as much as possible by hiding my Serpents as best as I could while everything else was as out of LOS as best as possible or just in a decent place to tank damage from what could be coming my way from his Alpha Strike...I figured that I could survive his initial volley well enough (I was actually only worried about his Serpents shooting down mine as they ignored my cover) and come back with overwhelming firepower. Well, after all was said and done I rolled to seize the initiative and rolled a 6!

Nightfight: No
Sieze the initiative: YES!

The Pyschic Powers I generated were Guide, Prescience and Doom while my Spirit Seer generated Conceal/Renewer. My opponent generated Fortune, Guide, Prescience.

Turn 1:

My turn:

So I seized the initiative...Well, I cast Prescience/Conceal and moved up with everything to see what damage I could do. I ended up wiping out both War Walker units and both Warp Spider units so that basically meant my opponent was starting the game with around a 700+ point handicap. I guess that also meant I got first blood!

Opponent's turn:

Not losing hope, my opponent casts Fortune on the Harlequins who then get in the Raider and move Flat-Out towards my lines in hopes of getting into combat and wrecking my face something awful. He also manages to move his Serpents around a bit and blows up my Serpent containing the Wraithguard.

Turn 2-end:

My turn:

I cast Prescience/Guide on appropriate units then moved my Spiders/Riptide up to completely surround the Raider so that if I blow it up, he can't disembark and they all die. Well, my shooting blows up the Raider and nothing can be placed within 1" of my models so the Harlequins and Archon go down with the ship =(. At that point my opponent concedes and agree that I would have 4 objectives with my scoring units by the end of the game and all of the secondaries as well and.

Game ends with 15 points for my Eldar (12 from objectives and 3 from secondaries) while my opponent had 3 (a single objective we decided his Guardians could keep at the end of the game).

Shame I seized the initiative as it made the game very one-sided but that is something everyone should be prepared for. I think that had I not seized, I would have lost a Serpent and maybe my Kroot and taken a few wounds on my Tau Commander but otherwise would have been able to do the same amount of damage back to him that I did this game but who knows?


So yeah, 3 games against solid players and I went 3-0. Another Eldar player was at another top table and he managed to go 3-0 as well barely pulling out a win against a brutal gun-line IG list so I ended up winning on tie breakers for 1st place with 2nd going to the other Eldar player. Incidentally enough, my 3rd round opponent did well enough overall to place 3rd so Eldar took the top 3 spots!

I won a free entry into the Feast of Blades invitational and a free night at the Hyatt Regency, not bad, eh? So with that said, I hope to make it to the Feast of Blades this year and throw down with my Eldar/Tau and see how I do...

Other than that, I think the firepower that Eldar with a pinch of Tau put out is top-notch. You really can take the best of both worlds and the changes I made from the last tournament to this one were really good ones IMO. Essentially, I dropped a unit of Dire Avengers in a Serpent for a unit of Broadsides and I am very glad I did.

Going forward, I think the list I took this game will be my standard 1850 one while I might change up  a few things:

-The Tau Commander will probably get a Plasma Rifle. Also, having Hit & Run added a lot of flexibility (as seen in my first game) and with the other support systems, the occational Plasma shots will be more useful as he can still threaten things via Skyfire/Interceptor.

-The Riptide is a great utility piece thank's to a S8 Ap2 large Blast Interceptor shot and the Fusion gun doesn't hurt either when considering he also has Skyfire. Must not forget that late game he can move 4d6 (if he passes the Nova Charge test) to contest objectives reliably.

-The Broadsides were a recent addition and their Skyfire really helped against flying MCs and did a lot of damage in general, they simply put out so much firepower it's insane so trading a DAVU Serpent for them was definitely a good move IMO.

-The Warp Spiders and Jetbikes are amazing and never cease to amaze me, as usual. Their mobility is second to none and the Warp Spiders especially put out so many shots it's great. Ultimately, very good objective grabbers/deniers.

So yeah, going forward to the Golden Throne GT (which is 2000 instead of 1850), I was going to drop a unit of Jetbikes for a DAVU Serpent but I think I will keep the list the way it is and probably just add more Spiders or Dark Reapers...Essentially I have 150 points to work with, what do you guys think?


  1. 150 points worth of fire Prism gets you alot of versatility and firepower, I wouldn't invest to much more into the reapers there a few lists that could get behind and ignore your tanking commander.
    I've been play a similar list but with a Wraithknight rather then broadsides.

    1. Thank's for the comment, though I find Fire Prisms to be kind of lack-luster and prefer the Night Spinner over them lately =(.

      I might add 1 or 2 Dark Reapers and then maybe some Warp Spiders or a Night Spinner or an extra Broadside...I'll definitely think about other options though and move some stuff around. I do like the Wraithknight idea as well but don't have one painted yet.

    2. Well the other thing that can be worthwhile is shield drones for your Commander, gives you something alot cheaper to LOS to rather then a reaper if you do get hit by something big / instant death, also gives you a wider range of cover/ ablative wounds to keep shots off of the reapers.

    3. I agree that the Shield Drones might be a good idea and will probably add a few to the Commander. Thank's for reminding me =).

  2. Awesome. Congrats on first place. I love your list. The Dark Reapers seemed to rock in each battle. I hope you go to Feast of Blades, I'd love to read the bat-reps. Good luck!

  3. Great to see that you'll be joining us in Denver!

  4. Outstanding list and wins. Hopefully I'll pull a first in my local tournament so I can join you for the feast.

    My recommendation for the 150 would be to drop 15 points from somewhere to take a wraithlord which can contribute to your firepower, soak up some wounds and mainly provide you with some counter charge.. Otherwise you might as well take more tau ranged support or just buff the units already in play, maybe some added cheap scoring somewhere.

    1. Maybe I will add some Shield Drones, add a Dark Reaper (so I can be more likely to kill a Wraithknight in one volley) and add more Jetbikes, though more scoring is not too needed based on the mission formats (missions which are not scouring/big guns only have 3 objectives to worry about).

  5. Cool! Your list rocks! There were no losses last battles! I am really amazed! :)
    I like spiders, they are really cool! Can't wait to see wraithknight in work! Reapers? Now I see them more and more in my ulthwe list.
    Well, fire prisms last time I played against emperor children, space marines and necrons were awesome, I almost never missed! Generally they were taking everything with T5 and lower. Also they are pretty good against tanks. I think, that you should try them again (maybe tzeench tricked you earlier :).
    And I think, that you and your opponents can create some kind of history and special scenario, and maybe sometimes grande battalia with great story :).

  6. Fire Prisms are rather meh, even when they hit alot, but if your playing against footsloggers and only then, they definitely make their points back, but they just don't kill enough reliably..

    Shield drones ftw.

    Personally I take 5 scoring units as my minimum..I feel like most of the feast of blades missions are multiple objectives and I figure if your going to spam anything, why not troops? But I'm sure you have plenty. Long Live the Eldar!

  7. Good read. Enjoy reading how to advance the Eldar and Tau alliance... how to best abuse the game play control elements like denying easy first blood like getting fire prism and not having first turn is giving an easy first blood as all armies bring options for it. But using MCs and serpents is a realy good way to make first blood hard.

    Reason for current list is at where it is.. you putting what you got on table or would you consider more options like Wraithknight option to be aggresive as fire magnet and put less presure on rest of units, also bring more serpents to put in opponents face while rest of army just shoot down what ever comes along.

    I'm experimenting alot on solid builds and next test is going with Tau as main to field 3 riptides for ultimate control on any reserves coming in not giving opponents good options to place them and still putting an Wraithknight in opponents face ontop of that bringing 3 serpents and that for an 1850pts game so room for more if looking for 2000pts.

    Another option is to consider Vaul's Wrath Support Battery 90pts for 3 small blast that with ease handle tanks and good place to hide chars to give them 7 toughness and most ppl just don't bother to look at this unit but solid pick for 90pts as only need to kill 1 tank/unit to make up for it's points but most often i tripple there points with ease.

    Just my thought..

  8. I know how you feel on that Sister's player. Lost against him at the last Midnight Madness too(he used a rhino to man my quad gun :(