Monday, July 1, 2013

Hyv3mynd vs Calypso2ts - Parkhammer Slugfest

Leading up to The Grand Strategery (TGS) Parkhammer event (link to the TGS board here) I challenged Hyv3 (or did I accept his challenge..) to a 1500 point game.  This game was in preparation for the 1500 points tournament at Millennium Games on July 5.  To make things more interesting I proposed a wager for the game.  A Hyv3 victory meant I would purchase and wire LED boards for him to incorporate into one of his newest terrain projects.  A victory on my part meant I would be the recipient of some of Hyv3's great looking terrain - a sample is shown here.  The sample is actually the same board we played on for our Mandulian Chapel Feature Match.

Hyv3 outlined his list - Dark Eldar/Eldar last week in his battle report.  This gave me a little bit of a sneak peak at how his army worked and a bit of a chill as he utterly dismantled a Tyranid army.

For the game I brought a different list than I usually play - it emphasized some hard hitting hard target that really took huge point investments.

Keeper of Secrets - 2x Greater Gift, Mastery 3
Lord of Change - Exalted Gift, Greater Gift, Mastery 3
CSM Sorcerer - Mastery 3, Spell Familiar

5x Bloodcrushers - Blood Hunter w/ Lesser Gift

10x Horrors
10x Horrors
14x Cultists

Fast Attack

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Slaanesh, Baleful Torrent
Soul Grinder - Slaanesh, Baleful Torrent

A lot this game was going to rest on the mission and psychic powers I managed to roll.  I know if I can get into CC I should be able to roll most of his army - but I need to take out the Beastmaster Pack by hitting it hard and breaking it in combat.  Otherwise it will simply slip away and start to take out vulnerable troop units, or even worse the buffing CSM Sorcerer.


We rolled up Vanguard Strike deployment with Purge the Alien.  The mission meant that I was going to have to come straight at his gunline and could not count on his more fragile troops trying to advance in my direction.

Terrain Placement

We started by placing terrain in the alternating fashion outlined in the book.  I wanted a few line of sight blockers or at least cover save generators between myself and his Aegis.  I made a mistake here and placed the large tree when I really should have used the rock wall - it was easier to hide behind and I could have smashed right through it with the Keeper and Crushers, rather than having to go around.

The relevant part of the battlefield has most of the LOS blocking terrain near it - mainly since I know I am going to have to advance in that direction.  In the meantime Hyv3 gave himself some areas to Battle Focus behind with the Walkers.

Warlord Traits/Psychic Powers

Dark Eldar Warlord - Archon - Princeps of Deceit: Redeploy 3d6"
Farseer - Guide, Prescience, Psychic Scream

Daemon Warlord - Lord of Change - Herald of Doom: -1 on Fear tests
Lord of Change - Dark Blessing (reroll invulns), Grimoire of True Names (rolled a 1 and received Staff of Change), Forewarning, Misfortune, Precognition
Keeper of Secrets - Dark Blessing, Hellfire Gaze, Invisibility, Puppet Master, Terrify
CSM Sorcerer - Mental Fortitude, Puppet Master, Invisibility
Horrors - 2x Flickering Fire

Hyv3 grabbe decent powers, but my rolls could not have gone much better.  I like Daemonic Resilience and Unbreakable Hide on my greater daemons, but I there are some brutal combinations possible with this configuration.  I have enough Invisibility to protect the Greater Daemons and/or the Crushers.  Forewarning with a Grimoire yields a 2++ save but the Keeper can also get a 2++ rerollable due to Dark Blessing.  Also, Precognition is nuts on a Lord of Change in general - providing everything Warp Time used to for CSM Daemon Princes and then some.

To top it all off, I also snag the first turn so I can get my psychic powers up and going from the start.


I deploy with the Horrors on the left to shoot his flyer when it arrives and to work forward over the game.  I want to leave the option to go to ground in area terrain for a 3+ reroll 1's if I need to conserve victory points.

On the other flank I place the cultists - in retrospect I should have reversed this in case I was seized on.  That way if I was forced to take morale before Mental Fortitude went off I would have had some distance to my board edge.  I have reserved both grinders to Deep Strike - I want to neutralize the Wyches and then flame/assault away from there.

Hyv3 deploys back to stay out of charge range and shooting range from my Horrors - or Misfortune range.  The Beasts are screening the units I really want to assault and I have to deal with them early.  The Farseer and Baron join the beasts giving them a Deny the Witch on a 5+, plus Stealth and Hit and Run.

Turn 1 - Daemons

Luckily, hyv3 does not Seize so my cultists mistake is cleansed.  I cast Forewarning on the Keeper, Invisibility on the Crushers and the Lord of Change and Mental Fortitude on the Cultists before moving up aggressively.   I will cast Mental Fortitude each turn on the Cultists.  I also peril here on double 1's to take a wound casting Precognition.

The Warp Storm all game is inconsequential so I am summarizing the results as: Dark Prince Thirsts, Dark Prince Thirsts, Storm of Fire, Nothing, Nothing.

I move up aggressively with my units - I know I am asking for the Lord of Change to be charged but first it needs to be grounded.  Even if that happens, I think I can crush the Beasts in the next turn with the Keeper and Crushers piling into them.

 After runs the Lord of Change has more company and the Keeper advanced into the open - daring someone to shoot at him.  At this point I have 2+ crushers, 2+ Keeper w/ reroll, 2+ Lord of Change w/ Reroll.

Daemons - 0
Dark Eldar - 0

Turn 1 - Dark Eldar

The Walkers get Guide and the Beasts get Prescience as they lineup the Lord of Change for a charge.  Barring the Lord of Change I assume they will try for the Crushers.  I made a miscalculation here - forgetting Prescience works in CC and made my invisible Lord of Change MUCH easier to hit.

With movement done it is obvious the Grimoire bearing Lord of Change is the primary target.

I get grounded - although hyv3 rolls a 1 to wound me on the test.  Luckily I am in area terrain against the only wound I take - and then promptly roll double 1's for my rerollable 2+ cover save! The remainder of the shooting fails to do any damage other than to put a single wound on one of the Crushers and kills another due to poor placement on my part.

The Lord of Change individually eats an assault from the Beast Squad.  I challenge and hyv3 declines so The Baron is not going to get to swing this turn.  When all is said and done due to Dark Blessing and some superb luck on my part I only take 2 more wounds.  

In return Precognition allows me to kill off 1 dog, strip 3 wounds from a Clawed Fiend and Ace 1 Razorwing Swarm.  In retrospect is a clawed Fiend T4, because I was S8 for this one but completely forgot to check.  I think they are T5.

Leadership did not go well on this one as a 9 means the Beast Pack is running....

Daemons - 4
Dark Eldar - 0

Turn 2 - Daemons

Missing from this picture is the Beast Pack that the Lord of Change ran down before moving up into terrain. That was a dead Baron, Farseer, Beastpack and First Blood all in one Turn!  I am feeling pretty good at this point and one Grinder comes in from reserve.  Luckily for Hyv3 it scatters back 11" and keeps it out of shooting/assault ranges for the following turn.  It gets hit with an Interceptor shot - but the lascannon fails to penetrate its thick armor.

I fail Precog on the Lord of Change on an 11 here!  Almost the best Perils Ever?  However, I do get the Grimoire and Invisiblities off.  I make another mistake here and instead of moving towards the Talos to take it down I instead head for the Aegis Line.  I was thinking the Talos would ID the Crushers - when they really could have dealt with it and remained near cover.

Moving through cover here would have been a great idea for the Crushers to reach the Talos and stay safe.

I measure out for Puppet Master on the Talos, but I am short and instead I shoot at the Venom and simply strip a Hull Point.  I should have run the Keeper straight ahead here towards the Aegis and dared them to take him out - instead...

Daemons - 4
Dark Eldar - 0

Turn 2 - Dark Eldar

Hyve fails his reserve roll for the Fighter, but make a great move blocking me out with his Wyches.

The Talos moved ahead to go for the Crushers while the Wyches make eyes at the Lord of Change.  I get grounded again - but pass my saves.

The Wyches assault the Lord of Change and in spite of hitting on 5's and wounding on 6's they manage to put her down!  There goes my Grimoire and Divination powers - I played this one way too aggressively and should have flown her far enough away to provide buffs but be safe for the rest of the game.

The good news is the Talos fails his charge - so the crushers are safe for now.

Daemons - 4
Dark Eldar - 2

Turn 3 - Daemons

I get my second Grinder in and Deep Strike in range to Flamer and Shoot the War Walkers - but scatter back 11" again because my Grinders do not like to be near the enemy apparently!  Invisibility goes off on the Keeper and Crushers this turn.

The most relevant part of my shooting phase is the Soul Grinder fires its Torrent Weapon and Autocannon at the Warriors.  Hyv3 had moved up the Archon to tank some of the shots - and promptly fails his first save against the autocannon!  The Archon goes splat netting Slay the Warlord and a Victory Point - and then losing 4 Warriors too.  I also shoot down the Wyches to one model - pictured below - after Soul Blaze and Warp Flame.

Missing form this picture is the Talos the Keeper had originally planned to Assault.  Instead the Crushers had to do the job since I had planned to get cover for him with the consolidation move.  I try to cover the Keeper as best I can with the Crushers - but I am really out of position at this point.

There is a reason the Keeper is missing here...

Daemons - 7
Dark Eldar - 2

Turn 3 - Dark Eldar

Things are moving fast now - the flyer comes in but Stuns the Grinder - which is Promptly ignored.  The Keeper eats a plethora of shooting and goes down early due to the Venom and Rangers.  A single crusher is left due to my poor positioning.
In spite of being weakened the Eldar still have a lot of firepower left to throw around.  I need to wipe out the walkers quickly or they are going to start knocking out kill points.

Daemons - 7
Dark Eldar - 3

Turn 4 - Daemons

I give Invisibility to the Crusher since I have no other good targets and want to conserve Kill Points. The Venom managed to block the Grinder again - so it can incinerate only a few Warriors but it does get the Blaster.  I cannot though kill that last Wych!

In assault the Grinder gets into the War Walkers thanks to its Fleet Roll while the Crusher murders four of the Warriors - who make their leadership.  The real damage though is the Grinder taking down 2 of 3 Walkers and ready to move into the Warriors next turn.

Daemons - 7
Dark Eldar - 3

Turn 4 - Dark Eldar

We call the game here since Hyv3 has no real way to deal with the Grinders at this point.  It was a hard fought game - I think Hyv3 played very well and I played terribly.

Postgame Thoughts

I made a ton of mistakes with my units and due to some overconfidence I ended up really powering through Hyv3 rather than winning through superior generalship.  This is not the style of list I usually play and it really showed in some of my decision making.  I prefer to have a large number of more diffuse threats rather than 2-3 very strong individual units.  Synergy between the units helped make them stronger but I played them too aggressively as a whole and made some big movement mistakes.

The Grinder scatters really hurt - but if I had kept the Lord of Change back after combat swooping behind terrain to avoid giving up points, position the Keeper in area terrain instead of shooting and charged the Warriors to annihilate the unit rather than the Talos it would have made a big difference. I did some other experimenting at Parkhammer with lists - I will share those games next week along with some list thoughts.  I think a GT list is starting to come together for me that will be fun, thematic and very interesting to play.


  1. I thought this was a great and very fun game. Very challenging indeed.

    I made my share of mistakes too though. I could have accepted the challenge with the baron and taken 4 rerolls since I outnumbered you 22-1. Or I could have assaulted the crushers and gotten first blood while denying it to you.

    Either way, having 2+ refillable saves on your greater daemons is no joke. You didn't fail any psy tests on invis or grimoire checks so I couldn't capitalize on any weakness.

    1. The Baron may have had a chance to push through some wounds - the downside being the combined Crushers and Keeper may have been able to do a lot of damage the next turn. It was a bad situation either way - with all the 2++ saves running around it was hard to weaken anything and the Lord was going to be in your ranks next turn no matter what.

    2. Idk man, it's a combat I'd love to do over. Baron has str6 on the charge and 4 rerolls from outnumbering you. I use 2 to wound and 2 for saves. If crushers jump in, my entire pack strikes at higher init and I have better invulns on the khymerae. It would be a closer fight than my initial choice. That's why I enjoy losing casual games becuse my mistakes make me more aware in tournament games.

  2. Playing for keeps, huh? Looks like you're in for some new terrain. Nice bat rep, as can always be expected from this blog.

    1. It seems like all I ever play are tournaments, so when I have a casual game I like to have a little added motivation behind it. The great thing is this evens the series between Hyv3 and I at 1-1. We keep dodging one another at tournaments, my last game against him was 2 years ago (more?) with Sisters.

  3. I was personally disgusted by this battle report! I mean really?! Pabst Blue Ribbon guys? but then again I did drink coors light all weekend. Oh and the battle repot part of this article was very nice too.

    1. I saw the PBR when I was writing last night, but could not think of anything clever to add to it. I am going to talk about the Horrors + Tzeentch Herald 'Deathstar' next week though.

    2. excellent....the first time seeing it really made me rethink my gt lists in a big way. And I think that Screamers used that way may replace my heldrakes since they are a denial unit.

    3. I really like Screamers in both a harassment and denial role. I plan to incorporate a unit of 9 into my lists again - a 4+ turbo boost with potential for 3+ or 2+ due to Night Fight is a great innate defense. On top of that they can benefit greatly from the Grimoire or Invis.

  4. Great report Calypso, thanks for sharing!

    I missed the contribution from the Horrors and the Cultists to the battle in the repport. Did they have an impact on the game? I ask because I'm struggling with my troopsselection in a CSM/Daemon hybrid list:

    Cheers, Cilithan

    1. Thanks for reading Cilithan. The cultists are there to just got to ground and play bodyguard for the Sorcerer - whom I have used since CSM came out as a general purpose buffer. With the Cultists it comes in at around 200 points for a ML 3 psyker that scores with the cultists.

      As for troops, I have struggled with Daemon troops as well. I have run Horrors in multiple sizes, plagues and Daemonettes. I think the configuration I liked the most was a large unit of Daemonettes outflanking with a Herald on a Mount (along with a unit of Seekers outflanking) so I could overwhelm a flank with threats. A 6" move coupled with 4"-9" of running lets them put a lot of pressure on any army and they get acute senses from the herald.

      From your list I would be inclined to lose the Lord of Change - they are monsters but there is not target saturation there to really take advantage of them. Instead I would grab a CSM Sorcerer (ML3, Spell Familiar) and Herald of Tzeentch (ML 3, Grimoire). This is the only way to access Divination in CSM, and Presience, Misfortune, and Forewarning provide outstanding buffs. To go with the Sorcer I would add in Horrors - they can crack open transports or take Prescience guided shots at Flyers. I do like them as a nice firebase, and they are fairly durable.

      I like your Daemonettes infiltrating with Huron and I think adding more hounds is a great idea to go with them. Their Scout move puts them very close to an adversary - along with the Daemonettes. If you get turn 1 you can throw your buffs onto them - if not then you can pull off an assault. A Third option is to run Karanak with a small unit of Crushers so you can Scout the Crushers up with the Hounds and Infiltrating Daemonettes for some massive Turn 1 pressure.