Here's a special report I'm happy to be able to share with all of you. As many are finishing out the last legs of 5th edition with one last super competitive tournament or with apathy towards the dying rule set, I had the fortune of playing a truly enjoyable game in a unique setting. ChrisP put together a day of wargaming, food, and fun for gamers and their families in Watkin's Glen state park. You'll notice the lighting changes on the table throughout the game. That's because we were playing outdoors and the passing clouds and sun shining through the foliage created some dramatic effects. The terrain is a new set I built last week just for this event with the help of my new foam cutter (thanks again MVB) and airbrush. It's not quite finished, but I was really happy with the way it turned out. I hope y'all enjoy reading about this game as much as I enjoyed playing it.
I decided to take my Dark Eldar as I haven't played the full army since March. My friend Kevin stepped up to the challenge with his Eldar for a fluffy good vs evil grudge match.
Kevin's List (approx):
Farseer + runes x2, ghost helm, doom, guide
Fire Dragons x5 + wave serpent w/ lasers
Dire Avengers x10 + exarch w/ bladestorm, wave serpent w/ lances
Guardians x10 + warlock w/ conceal, scatter laser
Warp Spiders x6 + exarch w/ withdrawl
Dark Reapers x5 + exarch w/ tempest launcher, crack shot
War Walkers x3 + EML's
Archon + blaster, agonizer, shadow field, haywire grenades, combat drugs, ghost plate
Haemonculi x2 + webway portals
Trueborn x3 + blasters
Trueborn x3 + blasters
Grotesques x10 + liquifier, aberration w/ flesh gauntlet
Warriors x5 + blaster
Warriors x5 + blaster
Wyches x6 + haywire grenades, hekatrix w/ agonizer
Scourges x5 + heat lances
Scourges x5 + blasters
Beastmasters x3 + khymera x5, razorwings x2, clawed fiend x1
Talos + heat lances, chain flails
Talos + heat lances, chain flails
We decided to play a mission from the Feast of Blades packet without the bonus points (no need in a casual game). Primary objective was 5 fixed objectives in a >< pattern. Secondary objective was kill points. Deployment was spearhead (DoW actually but we were both meh about that). Actually, this was the same mission I played against Shaun in our local FoB qualifier.
I won the roll and elected to go first. Combat drugs were "re-roll to wound". I deployed my standard grotesque-star with a haemi on either end and the archon in the center. I declare both scourges are deep striking (they are allowed to use the WWP also). Square bases are objectives.
Kevin castled up most of his army in the back corner. Warp spiders went on the far left flank and pathfinders infiltrated into the bottom right terrain.
Right now this doesn't look good for the dark eldar. That's a lot of firepower and the ability to put me in dangerous terrain every turn.
The eldar try to seize the initiative but fail. The grotesque-star shuffles up (very slowly ugh) and deploys one portal. Since I can come in on the long board edge also, I'd rather hold one portal and push it up further next turn.
The eldar force remains stationary except for the fire dragon's serpent moving towards my edge.
Warp spiders move across my left flank.
The entire army fires into the grotesques and I take several wounds spread across the 3 allocation pools and on 1 of the haemi's. The unit is also now covered in monofiliment wire from the night spinner. The warp spiders have lost one to the warp.
Dark eldar reinforcements begin to arrive in the form of warriors...
... wyches and both talos. I really wanted beasts and scourges, but such is the way of reserve lists.
Grotesques avance (slowly again) and suffer 3 wounds from the monofiliment wire. The second portal is deployed. Wyches and talos run to put the pressure on. It's right about here that I realized I should have picked a deployment zone that offered more cover in the center to advance behind.
The warriors actually succeed in wrecking the dragon's serpent with their blaster.
The dragons come out for revenge.
The other serpent advances and dumps out the avengers.
Warp spiders come up for another volley and another disappears as it teleports into solid rock.
The eldar unleash their full fury. The war walkers down one talos. The pathfinders down the second talos (that was 3 rends out of 5 shots). The dire avengers wipe out all 6 wyches in cover. Grotesques take a couple more wounds from reapers and the nightspinner.
The entire remainder of the dark eldar force arrives. Beasts come in from the flank edge near the dragons.
Trueborn and warriors come out of the left portal. The second trueborn unit comes out of the central portal. I attempt to deep strike both scourge squads near the war walkers and both mishap back into reserves.
Grotesques advance and I take some crippling casualties. My normal wound allocation rotation from shooting is naked grotesque -> liquifier -> aberration. That way I can take all kinds of cover/FnP and rotate before having to take out models. At this point, both aberration and liquifier have suffered 2 wounds, and both roll 1's for dangerous terrain and die. The combined blasters on the left side wreck the avenger's serpent. Beasts roll a 6 for fleet so I decide to go for the pathfinders and multi onto the dragons.
But I can't roll better than a 3 on 2d6 so the beasts are left standing in the open. At least I've disabled both transports.
The eldar stand and fire with only the avatar coming out from the back. The grotesques suffer a few more wounds. Both haemi's also have a wound at this point. I lose nearly all the beasts from combined fire leaving only the clawed fiend (1 wound left), razorwings (5/1 wounds), and one beastmaster who passes pinning and morale. I lose 2 warriors from the bottom unit and 3 warriors from the left unit. I also lose 1 trueborn from each unit. The eldar really split fire this turn, but my army is so fragile I took massive casualties across the board. The dragons actually decide to assault the surviving beasts and kill all of them except a lone razorwing (full health) which wipes out the dragons and consolidates into the middle of the eldar army.
Both units of scourges arrive again from reserves, this time from the left portal to line up on the dire avengers. The grotesques continue to advance but won't make it into the fray this turn. The scourges shoot down about half of the avengers and one unit assaults in.
They actually win combat and sweep the survivors. The lone razorwing can assault pathfinders or guardians fairly safely with 5 wounds. I decide assaulting the pathfinders would probably leave me in the open next turn so I assault the guardians and enough survive to wrap around and prevent the avatar from joining in.
The avatar moves up.
The eldar split fire. I lose the warriors unit in the top left. The grotesques take a few more wounds (down to 4 models + 3 hq's). A couple scourges go down also. In assault, the razorwing kills several more guardians.
The game could end soon so I pull my last 3 scoring models up. Grotesques make the final push.
Two scourges that survived the avenger assault move on the reapers. The full squad jumps up to shoot them also.
The scourges are able to shoot down 2 reapers and assault in killing a 3rd (thanks to FnP).
The grotesques assault the pathfinders but fail to multi onto the guardians (last 2 scoring units). The kabalite warriors also join in thanks to fleet.
They wipe out the pathfinders. The grotesques consolidate around the guardians and the warriors consolidate back onto the objective.
The eldar shoot down 1 warrior (went to ground and passed 8+ saves). I lose the central trueborn. The missiles put a load of wounds on the grotesques and I lose a hami. The avatar assaults the razorwing and smashes it.
I move up for the final assault.
The unengaged scourges pull back to help in the shooting stalemate going on between 2 trueborn and 2 spiders.
I shoot down one spider and the exarch fails morale and cannot regroup. In the big multi-assault, the archon lands 3 hits on the avatar but fails to wound with the agonizer (forgot my combat drug reroll!!!). Grotesques smash a few guardians and we lock. The reapers finish off the two scourges despite 4+/4+'s.
The spiders fail to kill the trueborn. The reapers wipe out my last scoring unit with the tempest launcher. In assault, I knock the guardians down to the warlock and the avatar causes a few wounds but we remained locked (forgot combat drugs again).
And the game ends (bottom of 6). I have no scoring units and Kevin's warlock is contested by grotesques so we draw on objectives. Eldar take kill points 8-6.
I couldn't have asked for a more epic, fun, and close game to close out my 5th ed portfolio. I made many mistakes but that comes with neglecting the army for 3 months and playing other very different armies. Kevin played very well and capitalized on my mistakes. He's become a very solid player with his diversified eldar. The icing on the cake was playing outdoors on a beautiful day with friends, family, and good food. Here's a shot my wife took mid game.
And one she insisted on adding to the blog with my 5 month old son Lucian strapped in before we hiked the gorge.
Thanks for reading and all the support and comments over the past 2 years. I look forward to beginning a new chapter with 6th edition.