This is my 3rd and final part of my Golden Throne GT battle reports. This one has my final game against Reece Robbins and his Space Marines of dooooom!
As a general recap, anyone interested in my previous 4 games or tournament overview, can go here.
2000 points Eldar/Tau: 1999
Eldar Primary: 1226
-Wave Serpent:110(base)+5(Scatter Laser)+15(Holofields)=135
-Windrider Jetbike Squadron: 51
-Windrider Jetbike Squadron: 51
Fast Attack: 152
Heavy Support: 457
30(base)*5=150+32(4X Star Shot)+10(Exarch)+10(Eldar Missile Launcher)+10(Fast Shot)=212
-Wave Serpent:110(base)+5(Scatter Laser)=120
-Night Spinner: 125
Tau Allies: 688
85(base)+20(multi sensor suite)+15(puretide engram neruochip)+25(heavy Iridium)+5(vectored retro-thrusters)+20(velocity tracker)+5(early warning override)+15(Plasma)+24(2x Shield Drones)=214
180(base)+0(Fusion)+5(Ion Accelerator)+5(early warning override)+20(Velocity Tracker)=210
65(base)*2=130+10(Shas'vre)+40(2x Velocity Tracker)=180
My opponent this game brought the following SM Primary/SW Allies list:
-Librarian: Force Axe, Gate of Infinity, Null Zone
-Lycander: Can of kick butt
-Wolf priest: Force Axe, Jaws of the World Wolf, Living Lightning
-5x TH/SS Terminators in Land Raider Crusader
-10x Sternguard in a Drop Pod
-Iron Clad Dreadnaught
-5x Grey Hunters w/ Flamer in a Razorback w/ Assault Cannon
-10x Grey Hunters w/ Power Axe and Flamer in a Drop Pod
-FW Dreadnought Drop Pod for the Ironclad that allowed the Dread to charge when it drops in
-6x Long Fangs w/ 5 Missile Launchers
Reece's army had a decent number of scoring units and a good amount of synergy. For example, the Scouts with Teleport Homers could affect the Librarian's Gate of Infinity, Lycander buffed the Sternguard with Bolter Drill and you can't go wrong with Jaws of the World Wolf and a Rune Staff negating powers on a 4+. So, in Reece's own words, he wanted to take some cheesy/broken stuff before they got taken away and I don't blame him... I had a friend that brought 5 Warp Hunters to mess around with before FW nerfed them and sometimes it's just cool to throw down with what you think is a fun army.
For Warlord Traits Reece got something useless I think while I got Stealth for a turn in opponent's shooting phase. Reece kept his Codex powers while I generated Prescience, Guide, Forewarning on the Farseer and Renewer/Destructor, Protect/Jinx on the Spiritseer.
There are also 3 objectives this mission of which one was placed behind the green Ruins on Reece's side of the board, one was in the center of the board on the giant hill, one by the blue Ruins on my side of the board...All in all, pretty balanced set-up.
Reece won the roll to go first and deployed opposite of my Aegis with his 10x Grey Hunters, Rune Priest, Librarian in the bottom floor of the Ruins next to his Land Raider with the Terminators and the Long Fangs were on the top floor of the same Ruins. I deployed with the Broadsides/Commander by the Icarus and the Riptide, Wraithguard and Dark Reapers behind the Ruins in their Serpents. I kept my Spiders, Bikes and Kroot in reserves.
Reece ended up infiltrating some Scouts behind a rock formation/hill close to the Ruins I deployed my army in and kept a unit of Scouts, the empty Drop Pod (from the Grey Hunters), Grey Hunters in their Razorback and the Dread in the Drop Pod in reserves.
So all in all, I castled up and was not exactly sure what to expect from Reece's army though I did deploy my Night Spinner on the extreme left of my side of the board since I figured Reece would either dedicate some forces there and I would zoom away or Reece would ignore it and let me pelt his army from afar with impunity. Sadly, no Night Fight and no Seize for me so we move on with the game.
Starting off with a bang, my opponent casts Gate of Infinity on the Grey Hunter unit and ends up within 6" of Scouts so he doesn't scatter and since he doesn't count as coming in from Reserves, I can't shoot them with any of my Interceptor stuff =(. He then moves the Land Raider Crusader and Scouts up while continuing to Deep Strike the Sternguard with Lycander on my left and the Ironclad Dreadnought on my back right side and doesn't scatter. My Interceptor shooting from my Riptide scatters wildly off the Sternguard but manages to clip and blow up their Drop Pod for First Blood, woot.
Ultimately, he gets a nice Jaws off and kills my Tau Commander and a Broadside, not so woot. Reece then follows up by finishing off my Broadsides with his Sternguard shooting (I failed pretty much all of my saves lol) while Scouts run closer to me and the Land Raider goes a further 6" utilizing the nifty "Flat Out" rules all vehicles now get. His Dread shot at and took a HP off of the Serpent that my Wraithguard were in and his Longfangs finished the job by rolling a remarkable 4 penetrating hits of which I saved none despite even using my Warlord Trait to give it a 3+ cover save!
Finally, Reece tries to charge my Wraithguard with his Dread (since he shot at their dedicated transport he can charge the unit) and I manage to get 2 Penetrating hits from Overwatch but Reece didn't realize D-Scythes Penetrate Vehicles on a 6 and thought it was only a Glancing hit so he asks if he can take the charge back and I let him, no biggie =).
Well, I got First Blood but my Wraithguard are in a bad position so I can't simply move up and flame the heck out of any of his units and Reece has a lot of what he affectionately called "his best men" basically a few inches from my army. Losing my Tau Commander, Broadsides AND the Wraithguard's Serpent really hurt!
So to start my turn off, I cast Prescience, Forewarning and Protect on the Reapers and since they were in a Transport, the Rune Priest's Rune Staff couldn't stop the powah! Other than that, the Riptide successfully Nova-charges for 2x Fusion Gun shots and moves into position to take out the Ironclad (especially since he can't fire the Ion Accelerator since he shot it using the Interceptor rules previously). My Dark Reapers move with their Serpent and disembark to hopefully do some damage before they inevitably get charged and the Wraithguard move through the wreckage of their old Serpent to Embark in the Serpent the Dark Reapers just Disembarked from...and I lose a couple to Dangerous Terrain, ahh!
After the dust settles from my turn, I manage to take out a few Sternguard from the Night Spinner, all but 1 Longfang from the Reapers, and the Riptide immobilizes the Ironclad then promptly fails his charge. In hind sight, I should have targeted the Scouts or Grey Hunters with my Reapers but I was afraid of some Long Fang shooting for some reason...I guess I didn't have much faith in my 2+ armor saves? Other than that, I hope that next turn my Wraithguard and their new Serpent survive and that Reece doesn't hurt my Reapers too much...
This turn Reece casts Null Zone then moves his army mans up into forward positions while his Land Raider moves up and unloads his Terminators. His other Scout unit comes in and Reece moves them up near an objective behind the green ruins on his side of the board.
His shooting manages to take off some wounds from my Riptide and barely scratched my Serpent with the Wraithguard. The Scouts then combo charge the remaining Serpent and the Dark Reapers managing to take down the Serpent and tie up the Reapers in combat despite losing 3 Scouts. Of note was that the TH/SS Terminators failed their charge because the Riptide's Overwatch killed 2 of them just barely bringing them out of range...Go Riptide!
My Riptide fails his charge against the Terminators, my Wraithguard do some damage to the Grey Hunters but get chopped down by triple Power Axe action and my Reapers manage to finish off the Scouts and consolidate into terrain to hopefully make the Terminator charge more difficult.
This turn Reece gets his last Grey Hunter unit in and they promptly get out and flame the heck out of my Kroot but I pass my Ld test. He also moves up with Lycander, Sternguard and the Librarian and Runepriest joins them-their shooting and combat does a few wounds to the Riptide who promptly fails his Ld test and moves just a hair too close to the board edge and is off the board. The Terminators fail their charge once again thanks to difficult terrain and his lone Grey Hunter which was left over from my Wraithguard flame/charge damage Embarked into the Land Raider Crusader who then moved towards the central objective.
One thing to note here is that neither Reece nor I caught that the Land Raider Crusader was a part of the Space Marine detachment while the lone Grey Hunter was part of the Space Wolf detachment so Reece Embarking the Grey Hunter in the Land raider was an illegal move. Oh well, it didn't make a difference in the game ultimately!
This turn I manage to get Prescience off and get my remaining Jetbike unit and Warp Spiders in. My Spiders scatter wildly off course and fail to do anything while my Night Spinner continued plinking away at the Sternguard killing the Rune Priest due to a failed Look Out Sir test and subsequently failed Armor save (both the Librarian and Runepriest were already wounded from the Wraithguard shooting). My Reapers shoot and charge the Ironclad as to get some extra movement away from Lycander and friends and hopefully kill the Dread but I only manage to get a single glancing hit and take no damage in return from the Dread.
Of note was that my Kroot managed to force Reece's Scouts to fail their Ld and fall back but Reece fell back just an inch or so short of going off the table =(. Sadly, they will regroup next turn and come back for more!
This turn Reece moves the regrouped unit of Grey Hunters to finish off my Kroot and mercilessly slays them with Bolters and Razorback shooting while the Sternguard move towards my Spiders and combined with the Land Raider's shooting brings them down to a single model but I pass my Ld test. His Terminators fail to charge my Reapers once again due to terrain and my Reapers survive combat with the Ironclad as nothing eventful happens there.
On my turn, I continue to plink away at things with the Night Spinner but do nothing meaningful while my Reapers continue to plink away at the Ironclad and make some interesting Jamaican music as can be heard here (special thank's to Ironclad productions). I also manage to move my Warp Spider in such a way that he is hiding behind a Ruins wall completely out of LOS of everything that can shoot at him.
This turn Reece manages to charge my Reapers with his Terminators and embarks his Grey Hunters into their Razorback while moving the depleted Scouts onto the objective by the Green Ruins. In combat, my Reapers hold, but barely as I tank some nice 4++ saves on my Spiritseer. He also moved his Sternguard to man my Icarus and shoots at my Night Spinner but fails to do anything because I am awesome. He also moves his Land Raider onto the Central objective but not enough to prevent my Bikes from being able to claim it. Sofar Reece has 1 objective with this Scout unit and Line Breaker while I have nothing.
Well, it is turn 5 and this game has not been going well for me at all! Reece has been tearing up all of my stuff while I have been unable to mount a meaningful counter-attack. Therefore, I do what any good Eldar player with 2 units of Jetbikes does...I prepare to go for a turn 5 objective grab and hope the game ends!
Ultimately, I Tank Shock the Scouts to try and get them off their objective but fail to do so and the Tank's shooting fails to do anything as well. My Bikes then Turbo to deny Reece his 1 objective and claim the central one for my very own since there are no denial units nearby and hope the game ends right here. Before we roll the all important "does the game go on" roll, my Reapers manage to blow up the Ironclad but take 2 wounds from the Terminators and lose combat by 1 and promptly fail their Ld9 test and run off the board so Reece just picked up Slay the Warlord!
So there you have it, the championship game came down to a single die roll to see if the game would have ended or not, so rolling 1s all game long really helped here! =)
(1) Reece should not have had that lone Grey Hunter in the Land Raider Crusader which meant that that one model would have been cut down by my Spiders on the turn they came in (as he would have had to have been in range). Ultimately, the lone Grey Hunter didn't make a difference as he stayed in the tank and didn't contribute any further to the game so no biggie there.
(2) Regarding how my Farseer ran from combat, I think we played the rules all wrong in this instance. Ultimately, I got several hits on the Ironclad between my Farseer and Spiritseer and I rolled a Glancing hit followed by a Penetrating hit and the Dread had only 1 HP left so Reece counted as if I did only 1 wound towards combat (because I rolled the Glance first and he said that one applied first). Reece then did 2 wounds back to me so I lost combat by 1 and failed my Ld test by 1 and ran off the board...However, since it was my turn and I was rolling for the damage, I could have chosen to apply the Penetrating hit first (especially since both hits were at the same Initiative step) and since Penetrating hits count as 2 wounds for Combat Res, I would have drawn combat and not fallen back ultimately denying Reece Slay the Warlord.
All in all, minor issues that didn't have any bearing on the game since it came down to if the game would go on so I am merely discussing these things for the sake of discussing them.
This was a really good game against a good opponent as I think most everyone on the internet knows and respects Reece's play and skill. That means this win meant more than if I had played and beaten some no name guy so a special thank you to Reece if he is reading this =).
Looking back at this game and how it went down, I have to admit that after my first turn, I died a little bit on the inside as pretty much my ability to mount an effective counter attack was neutered lol... But I didn't give up hope because I knew that since this was an objectives game, if I could get Reece to over commit to one side of the board with enough of his army and if I was able to take out enough of his scoring units I could still win with my Jetbikes and Kroot by making a run for the objectives on the other side of the board. Therefore, I kept moving my army farther and farther towards the bottom right, away from the objectives, while Reece kept following suit.
Ultimately, his Scouts and Grey Hunters/Razorback on the left side of the board (by the green Ruins) was something I had to deal with and by the end of the game he had 2 Grey Hunters and 1 Scout left which made it relatively safe for my Jetbikes and the fact that Reece effectively didn't have any other scoring units anywhere else on the board meant I could win the game.
One thing to note was that IF the game had gone on, it still wasn't a guarantee that Reece could have taken out my Jetbikes because the objectives that were generated were +1 cover save so they had 3+ armor/cover (thank's to Tubo-Boosting) and all Reece would have had to shoot with was a Land Raider, a Scout and a few Grey Hunters embarked on an immobilized Razorback along with a Drop Pod-His Sternguard were out of range though the Icarus might have done something. It would have come down to dice either way IMO.
So with all of that said, this game goes to show that as long as you are able to make sure there are some open objectives and you have some mobile scoring units, it's anyone's game because of what people refer to as "the punchers chance" because you can always land that hopefully last turn objective grab if all else fails. Had this game been a Kill Point mission, however, I would have lost horribly!
Looking at how certain units did this game, I have to admit that so much went wrong that I am not sure what worked for me and what didn't! The Night Spinner killing the Librarian was pretty clutch as that prevented Reece from using Gate of Infinity to contest objectives and prevented his Sternguard from being a very mobile force. Obviously, keeping my Jetbikes hidden all game from where the fighting was going on turned out to be a game winning strategy that Jim (JY2) from Dakka would be proud of. Finally, I think that my Wraithguard actually did quite alright as they effectively almost wiped out the Rune Priest, Librarian and Grey Hunters-had I not lost 2 to Difficult Terrain earlier I probably would have wiped them all out.
So yeah, there you have it, my final game which lead to me being the overall tournament champ going 6-0 against some solid players and armies. Thanks to all of my opponents and everyone that put the Golden Throne GT together. Also, a special thanks to everyone who reads my blog, I love your comments and feedback so feel free to drop me a line or two!