Monday, 23 September 2013

Battle Report - Space Marines vs Eldar - 3000pts

Here at 40 Warzone, we weren't entirely happy with the way the Battle Report played out in the latest White Dwarf with the Space Marines losing to Chaos (you need to use different armies WD guys). So, we decided to play our own with the two latest armies, Space Marines and Eldar.


Ruby had recently purchased his new Sternguard, Vanguard and Centurion squads and was keen to try them out. He is also now the proud owner of a Land Raider and Drop Pod for getting those all important Sternguard and Centurions into battle more quickly.

For me, I have played a few games recently but I've missed using a few of my favourite units - namely the Wraithlord, Howling Banshees and Fire Prism (not everyone's taste but I like them for their potential, not their actual use). I also wanted to try out the new Wraith units and flyers for more than one turn.

Board

We decided to play on our new 4' by 6' board (currently unpainted) with plenty of cover provided by hills and ruins (mostly painted). Ruby rolled for mission and got the Relic. I won the roll to pick sides and picked the side with slightly more cover, mainly to deny it to Ruby. I then won the roll for going first and immediately chose to go first for obvious reasons - too much firepower on the other side of the board.

Deployment

Eldar
I was very aware of the main dangers in Ruby's army, namely the Centurions, Vanguard and Sternguard. I also know that his Predator (and probably Land Raider) can be a real pain if left unattended so I would need to kill those quickly too.

With this in mind, I put my Land Raider killer (a.k.a. the Fire Prism) on my far right with the Wraithblades, Wraithlord and a squad of Dire Avengers.

In the centre of my deployment, I put the Wave Serpent with D-Scythes Wraithguard (a very scary unit), the Falcon with Fire Dragons and Eldrad (another scary unit) and the Wraithknight (third scary unit), giving these units access to both sides of the action as required.

On the left, I put the Howling Banshees with the Dire Avengers and the Wraithcannon Wraithguard with the Spiritseer for a good mix of shooting and combat, albeit at a very short range.

In reserve, I left the Crimson Hunter, Hemlock Wraithfighter, Jetbikes, Warp Spiders and Swooping Hawks with the Rangers infiltrating.

Space Marines
In response to my set-up, Ruby put his Vanguard and Land Raider opposite my Fire Prism which at the time seemed an unusual move. He then set-up his Aegis Defence Line along the centre of his deployment and put the two, 5-man Tactical squads behind it. His Rhino was also behind the barrier containing another 10-man Tactical squad.

To their right was the Quadgun manned by Cadre Fireblade, with another five Fire Warriors to his right. The Snipers and another squad of Fire Warriors were deployed opposite my Banshees and Dire Avengers while the Predator was placed in the far corner, almost out of reach.

The Battle

Pre-game
Ruby infiltrated his Stealth team into cover just 12" from my line while my Rangers infiltrated with Illic 6" forward. My Rangers then did their Scout move into the ruins for a 3+ cover save.


Turn One - Eldar
With Ruby failing to sieze the initiative, I went first getting Eldrad to guide the Falcon. Then, the moving began. The Banshees, Dire Avengers and Wraithguard started pushing up the left flank towards the Fire Warriors and Snipers. The Wraithknight jumped forward near the Relic and the Falcon moved up next to it to gain a better field of fire with the Guardians moving up behind.

The Fire Prism shifted slightly to get a jink save while the Wave Serpent raced forward towards the big group of Vanguard on Ruby's left. The Wraithblades moved forward in open ground hoping to get Ruby's attention alongside the Wraithlord. Finally, the Dire Avengers headed towards the big ruins and gain some cover.

After a lot of pre-match discussion, my first shot was almost as good as I had hoped. The Fire Prism fired the Lance shot at the Land Raider immobilising it immediately - so much for Ruby hoping to mobilise his Centurions. The Wave Serpent turbo-boosted an extra 18" right next to the Land Raider, my aim being to evacuate the Wraithguard and D-Scythe the Vanguard or Centurions into oblivion. Both the Wraithblades and Wraithlord ran forwards with the Dire Avengers heading up over the hill.

The Falcon then shot at the Quad Gun destroying it with a Scatter Laser and leaving the Pulse Laser with nothing to do. The Rangers in the ruins shot at one of the small tactical squads killing two. The Wraithknight shot at the Predator's front Armour and caused two penetrating hits but Ruby managed both cover saves. Over on the left, the Banshees in close proximity to the Fire Warriors shot with their Shuriken pistols killing two.

I was fairly happy with the outcome of the first turn but I had a feeling I was about to be punished for not killing more.


Turn One - Space Marines
Not comfortable sitting in an immobilised Land Raider, the Centurions piled out of the front doors right in front of the advancing Wraiths while the Vanguard leapt forward to intercept the Wraithblades. The Stealth team boxed in my units clearly sensing the kill.

All the action in turn 1

The members of both Tactical squads rearranged themselves around the Missile Launcher and Grav gun to get within range of the Wraithknight. The Rhino passed a terrain test and raced forwards next to the ruins and the hiding Rangers. Then, the moment Ruby had been waiting for - he positioned the Drop-Pod full of Sternguard next to the Wraithguard hoping to wipe them all out in one shooting phase. Once again, Ruby's scatter dice displayed an arrow so the Drop-Pod dropped 1" from the ruins, between the Rhino and the Wraithguard (luckily for Ruby, Drop-Pods don't mishap) and the Sternguard piled out. On Ruby's right, the diminished Fire Warriors moved forward to challenge the Banshees (possibly in a suicidal show of defiance) while the Predator moved out of cover giving it a clear view of the middle of the board.

The shooting started with two of the Centurions targeting the Wraithlord, killing it several times over and gifting Ruby First Blood. The Centurion Sergeant used his split-fire to shoot at the Wraithknight taking two wounds - the Centurions now really had my attention. The Vanguard and Stealth team shot at the Wraithblades killing two while the Land Raider returned fire on the Fire Prism and managed to stun the crew.

In the middle of the board, both 5-man Tactical squads shot at the Wraithknight causing one wound leaving three. The Rhino, having nowhere to go stayed put and shot at the guardians failing to hit. Then the big one - the Sternguard opened fire on the Wraithguard with the AP3 ammunition. Luckily for me, the accompanying Spiritseer had granted the Wraithguard the Shrouded USR so they would still get a 5+ cover save. Ruby needed 6s to wound the Wraithguard and managed to get four from all 20 shots - I managed to save three of these so a single Wraithguard died.

Both squads of Fire Warriors and the Sniper team fired at the (now very close) Banshees and, after a lot of 4+ saves, killed all but the Exarch and two Banshees. The Predator shot at the Falcon in the middle of the board but failed to damage its side armour. Ruby really wanted to kill the Falcon so shot all three Hunter Killer missiles at it, managing to hit two and cause one glancing hit. As a final desperate act, Ruby brought down the orbital strike on the Falcon hoping to destroy it. Despite scattering, he managed to kill two Guardians and hit the side armour on the Falcon but rolled a 1 for armour penetration doing nothing.

The assault phase began and ended with the Vanguards assaulting the Wraithblades and wiping them out before they had the chance to fight back. Ruby then consolidated his Vanguard to make sure they wouldn't all be wiped out by the waiting D-Scythes.

Anti-D-Scythe consolidation


Turn Two - Eldar
OK, that hurt. I lost the Wraithlord again (one day it will do something amazing) and the Wraithblades, and the Wraithknight was half dead. I also had Sternguards and Tactical Marines far too close for comfort in the middle of the board. I needed to do something special.

I rolled for reserves and managed to bring in both Flyers, the Swooping Hawks and the Jetbikes. The Crimson Hunter headed straight for the Predator while the Hemlock Wraithfighter went after the Tactical Marines hiding behind the ADL. The Jetbikes arrived on my right to shoot at the Vanguard while the Hawks dropped down behind the Predator (I love the fact they no longer scatter).

In an effort to kill both of the danger squads, namely the Vanguard and Centurions, I disembarked the Wraithguard with D-Scythes and lined them up to toast the Centurions. The Wave Serpent then turned to shoot everything at the Vanguard and I brought the Dire Avengers across to do the same.

In the middle near the ruins, the Fire Dragons disembarked from the Falcon before it moved forwards next to the Rhino. The Guardians pushed forwards to support the Fire Dragons while on the other side of the ruins, the Wraithguard cleared the ruins to fire at the Sternguard with their S10 weapons. The Wraithknight jumped backwards out of range of the remaining Grav weapons.

On the left, the remaining Banshees closed to within 2" of the Fire Warriors while the Dire Avengers pushed across towards the Sternguard.

I started the shooting with the D-Scythes and managed to get 12 hits on the Centurions and four on the Land Raider. For the Land Raider, I got a single 6 then rolled 5 on the damage chart to destroy the hobbled tank. The remaining hits against the Centurions killed all but one leaving it with a single wound. The Wave Serpent then shot everything at the Vanguard (including two shots from a very poor serpent shield roll) and managed to kill nothing. The Jetbikes in my deployment zone also shot at the Vanguard and managed to kill two with bladestorm. Hoping to force a morale test, the Dire Avengers shot at the Vanguard but failed to kill any. The Hemlock Wraithfighter overhead failed to terrify the Tactical Marines and both Heavy D-Scythes scattered wildly doing no damage.

In the middle of the board, the Rangers fired at the tactical marines and killed another two, taking out the Grav Gun. The Falcon fired its Scatter Laser into the side of the Rhino causing an explosion and killing three Tactical Marines inside. Eldrad used the opportunity to drop an Eldritch Storm on the newly exposed Tactical Marines killing another two. Finally, the Guardians fired their Starcannon and Shuriken Catapults into the Tactical Marines leaving just two. The Fire Dragons, Dire Avengers and Wraithguard then fired into the Sternguard killing all but two of Ruby's prized unit. The Wraithknight tried shooting at the Predator again but failed to do any damage.



On the left, the Crimson Hunter also fired at the Predator managing a single glancing hit while the Hawks caused a second with a Haywire Grenade. The Banshees shot at the Fire Warriors killing none.

In the assault phase, the Banshees charged, weathering the overwatch from both sets of Fire Warriors with a single casualty. They had more than enough attacks to wipe out the squad and consolidate towards the Predator.

Overall, a very bad turn for Ruby, and things were about to get worse.


Turn Two - Space Marines
Ruby successfully rolled for the Assault Terminators to arrive, but then he had a decision to make. His Drop-Pod was equipped with a Homing Beacon meaning that a scatter was impossible - but it also meant that the Terminators would be dropping into the middle of lots of S8+ AP2 weapons. Ruby decided that rather than sending them to their doom, he would risk the scatter and deep strike them next to the Wraithknight. He rolled for scatter and managed to land them two inches off the board. Then disaster! A roll of 1 on the Mishap table destroyed Ruby's 450pt unit. Things had suddenly become an uphill battle for Ruby.

The movement phase saw the Vanguard advance on the Jetbikes and stricken Fire Prism aiming to destroy one of them. The Stealth team moved into range of the Dire Avengers and the lone Centurion shuffled a bit but kept his eyes fixed on the Wraithguard who had wiped out the rest of his squad.



In the middle of the board, the remaining Tactical squad members behind the ADL again stayed put while the two Tactical Marines and two Sternguard moved towards the Fire Dragons and Eldrad. On Ruby's right flank, the Fire Warriors, Predator and Snipers all remained stationary eying up their targets.

Shooting saw the Vanguard kill two Jetbikes and the Stealth team kill two Dire Avengers, causing them to flee. The Centurion opened up with his Grav weapon and killed all but a single Wraithguard. The Tactical squad fired their Bolters at the Wraithfighter but none hit - the Missile Launcher however had Flakk missiles so fired at full ballistic skill, and still missed. The Sternguard and two Tactical Marines killed two Fire Dragons (with Sternguard AP3 rounds) and the Drop-Pod shot at the Wraithguard but failed to wound. The Fire Warriors easily killed off the remaining two Banshees and the Predator again fired at the Falcon but again failed to damage it. Ruby's final shooting saw the Snipers shoot a Flakk missile at the Crimson Hunter. I was feeling confident so decided not to evade and of course it exploded killing a Dire Avenger but failing to wound the Wraithguard underneath.

In the assault phase, Ruby charged and killed all the Jetbikes without loss then consolidated towards the Wraithknight.


Turn Three - Eldar
A few of my units had been destroyed by Ruby's previous round of shooting but I still had plenty on the table. The Warp Spiders also arrived from reserve so I decided to do a test - I placed them on the edge of the board behind the Snipers and rolled Ruby's scatter dice - HIT - must be the way you roll them...

The Swooping Hawks moved closer to the Predator preparing for the charge while the Dire Avengers moved up towards the Snipers hoping to catch them in a crossfire. The Wraithfighter headed towards the Fire Warriors and the Falcon skimmed over the ADL and lined up the remaining Tactical Marines. In the middle of the board, the Wraithguard, Guardians and Fire Dragons all prepared to finish off the Tactical Marines and Sternguard while the Wraithknight jumped towards the Vanguard hoping to kill them in close combat. On the right, the Wave Serpent and Wraithguard moved towards the Centurion and the Fire Prism moved forwards, ready to take aim at the Vanguard. The Dire Avengers stopped running on the hill above the Stealth team.



The shooting started with the Wraithguard's D-Scythe failing to wound the Centurion; the Wave Serpent made up for this by finishing it off with the Scatter Laser. The Fire Prism made a dispersed shot at the Vanguard killing (three thanks to it being upgraded to AP3 in the latest codex). The Wraithknight also shot at the Vanguard killing another one. The recovered Dire Avengers made snapshots at the Stealth Team and killed one, causing them to run.

In the middle, the Guardians, Wraithguard and Fire Dragons finished off the Sternguard and Tactical Marines while the Rangers killed all but one of the Tactical squad they had been shooting at all game. The Falcon now ignoring cover killed all of the other Tactical Marines squad behind the ADL. Above, the Wraithfighter used the Terrify power on the Fire Warriors and Ruby rolled 6s - they were running. Ruby then did something amazing - he rolled 6s again for distance! I've not seen rolling like that since, well, the Assault Terminators in turn 2... As the Fire Warriors (with Cadre Fireblade) hadn't moved since deployment, they were off the board and the Wraithfighter no longer had any targets to shoot the Heavy D-Scythes at.

Over on the left, the Warp Spiders and Dire Avengers opened up on the Snipers killing all but one thanks to another 6 from Ruby for his cover save. Finally, the Swooping Hawk Exarch fired his Hawk's Talon into the side of the Predator causing a glancing hit and wrecking it (no need to Haywire overkill after all).

In the assault phase, I decided to do something a little silly - I charged the Vanguard with the Wraithknight. I made the distance ignoring the puny Bolt Pistols and managed to kill a single Vanguard. However, the Vanguard did two wounds in return so the Wraithknight lost the combat with a single wound remaining.




Turn Three - Space Marines
Ruby didn't have much to do this turn. After passing all the necessary morale checks, he had a single Sniper, a single Tactical Marine with a Bolter, two Stealth Suits and three Vanguard with the Company Commander. He moved nothing and went straight to shooting.

The Sniper shot at the Warp Spiders but missed his only shot while the Tactical Marine shot at the Fire Dragons but failed to wound. The Stealth Team made snapshots at the Dire Avengers but didn't hit anything either. Not the best shooting phase.

In combat, the Wraithknight killed two more Vanguard but was killed in the process leaving the Company Command and a single Vanguard with Storm Shield on the board - oh and the Drop Pod that, until this point, both Ruby and I had forgotten about.


Turn Four - Eldar
Any unit that could possibly make it within range of the Vanguard was moved while everything else stayed where it was.

The Wraithguard used their Wraithcannons to finish off the Drop-Pod three times over. On the other side of the board, the Fire Prism, Wave Serpent, Fire Dragons and Guardians all shot at the Company Commander and Vanguard and, when the dust settled, the Company Commander was left on his own with a single wound remaining. "You should challenge with Eldrad" was Ruby's opinion and I always like a dramatic ending so I agreed.



Both strike at initiative 5 but Ruby had four attacks to my three. Ruby's bad luck really held out until the end as he rolled 2s and 1s to hit. Eldrad on the other hand managed to score a single wound - all Ruby had to do was change his luck and not roll a 1...

Eldar Win!

Conclusion

3-Colours - Eldar
This was the biggest game that either of us have played and we were surprised at how quickly it was over. Obviously, I was happy with the way the game went and I think I made mostly good decisions. In hindsight, I should have used Eldrad's redeployment rule and moved the Wraithlord (and possibly Wraithblades) to the other side of the board away from the Vanguard and Centurions. That said, something needs to face-off against them and it was unfortunate that both units were destroyed in the first turn.

For me, both sets of Wraithguard were great with the D-Scythes taking out the Land Raider and 5 wounds from the Centurions - I felt a bit unlucky not to wipe them out completely. The Wraithcannon Wraithguard also did well killing off the Sternguard and their Drop-Pod and absorbing lots of shooting. Another unlikely star unit was the Howling Banshees - they only killed a single squad of Fire Warriors but they absorbed all the Fire Warriors shooting for two turns which gave me superiority in the middle of the board. Finally the Fire Prism - I love it and GW have made it better with the latest rules - having a S9 Lance weapon is insane, especially mounted on a fast skimmer. All that plus a S5 AP3 Large Blast weapon is great.

The Jury's still out for me on the Flyers - on the one hand I love having them but they failed to do anything amazing. I guess I'll just have to keep playing them until they do.

On the other side of the table, I think Ruby's Vanguard were great and they killed a lot of my units. His Centurions also did really well and were definitely worth their points. For future reference, Grav weapons are scary and should be destroyed immediately, unless you're playing as Orks. The rest of his army was a bit disappointing - the much touted (by Ruby) Sternguard failed to deliver and both the Predator and Land Raider did very little. That said, units seldom perform well on their first outing so maybe I should be scared for next time.


Ruby - Space Marines
Ok. My luck deep striking is gonna be know world wide eventually. My most expensive unit, 10 Termies with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields was completely wiped out, and that really hurt. On the other side, my decision about using the Drop Pod in the middle of the field was completely wrong, but it was my first time using the Drop Pod... I learnt the hard way.
It is true that I had terrible luck rolling, but Chris played one of his best games so far, strategically talking. He managed perfectly his army, which is a pain in the ass, as he finally knows how to play Eldars.

I was complaining about how expensive the Vanguard Veterans were before the game, but after this game, I think they might be worth it. Still, I think paying an extra 30 points for a pair of claws is freaking ridiculous, as it raises to 52 points per model if you get the jump pack. 
On the other side, it was my first time trying a Chapter Master as HQ, and I was surprised. Yeah, expensive, but with an artificier armor, Eternal Shield and Terra's Teeth (or relic blade) he becomes a Lysander that can do sweeping advances and has an extra attack. Those 4 wounds, 2+ and 3++ with Eternal Warrior USR makes him hard to kill, and fearsome for challenges (not this time though). I will be using him again, for sure. On a Jump Pack or a Bike. 

1 comment:

  1. Damn you Chris, third time you table me...
    Well played tho. My revenge will be painful.

    ReplyDelete

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