Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Da Boyz GT: T - 7 Weeks - Calypso2ts

Somehow the transition from 8 week left until the DA Boyz GT and 7 weeks seems like a big difference when it comes to finishing up painting.  Luckily, I am getting close to having the Flesh Hounds complete - which I will be showcasing in this post.  I also had another chance to get a game in with my GT list and had my first game against the new Eldar.

My opponent was Josh - we had arranged a game since I was going to be in town and he brought the following pure Eldar list:

Farseer w/ Shard, Runes of Witnessing

5x Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch and Scorpions Claw

8x Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent w/ Holo Fields, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
8x Dire Avengers in Wave Serpent w/ Holo Fields, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
10x Guardians w/ Scatter Laser in Wave Serpent w/ Holo Fields, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
5x Rangers

Fast Attack
5x Warp Spiders w/ Exarch
Vyper w/ 2x Shuriken Cannon

Heavy Support
5x Dark Reapers w/ Exarch, Tempest Launcher
Wraithlord w/ Bright Lance, Scatter Laser

Mission Parameters
Mission: Crusade
Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Pregame Thoughts
This deployment is a bit rough for me - it is not as bad as Hammer and Anvil, but there is a lot of space for the Eldar to fall back into in a Vanguard Strike deployment.  My army is fast, but I am going to need some luck to get into an assault by Turn 2.

There are two hard targets in this list and sadly they both have strength 10 shooting and/or assault.  I am going to need to be wary of both Wraith constructs - the only answer I really have to them is the Seekers and Daemonettes.  The Daemonettes will probably be too slow to engage the Wraithknight effectively but if I can get a Grimoire on the Seekers there is a good chance they will be able to hit the Wraightknight (or Lord) on Turn 2.

There is also a lot of firepower tied up in vehicles - which means knocking out Wave Serpents is critical.  I can also kill a significant amount of mobility in doing so leaving only the Wraightknight and Warp Spiders as fast units.  Finally, I want to get the Fiends into it near the Farseer if possible - but ideally far away from the Wraithbone models since they can easily Instant Death out the unit.  Their primary role this game is going to be in soaking up overwatch to be sure other units can make combat to do the real killing.

Psychic Powers/Daemonic Gifts
Fateweaver: Left Head (Forewarning/Spontaneous Combustion) : Right Head (Life Leech/Hallucination)
Herald of Khorne: Grimoire of True Names - an Axe here would have been REALLY nice
Horrors: Bolt of Tzeentch/Flickering Fire
Farseer: Guide, Eldritch Storm, Prescience

There is no Night Fight, which bums me out a bit since I think that if an army plans to shoot the snot out of me, it at least should start before breakfast.

I win the roll to place objectives and try to keep them clumped relatively close.  The Rangers can infiltrate obnoxiously on top of one that is out of the way or reserved Wave Serpents have a way of showing up on far out objectives too.  We end up with them weighted heavily to the left side of the board  - which is okay by me since I will either have them on my side or be sending my whole army at the Eldar anyway.

I also win the roll to deploy and choose a zone that denies Josh a building to put his Dark Reapers in while leaving me close to all the objectives.  Centrally located I put the Hounds with the Daemonettes ready to move up and sit on the objective.  The Fiends are slightly biased to the right flank with the Seekers, both are fast enough to maneuver across the board but with the Daemonettes so close on the left I expect the Wraithknight to deploy centrally or biased slightly to my right.  Cannons are set on both flanks so I can blow away Rangers if they choose to deploy and snag First Blood.

I reserve Fateweaver because there is no good LOS blocking terrain and I do not want to lose him before he can take flight, cast powers or otherwise hide from S10 shooting.  The Horrors join him in reserve so they can drop down near the objectives later.

The counter deployment puts the Wave Serpents in a line with the Scorpions infiltrating onto an objective.  The Dark Reapers are clumped in cover while the Warp Spiders sit in reserve to Deep Strike in.

I scout forward and slightly towards the center hill with my Flesh Hounds to be poised for a big Turn 2.

Turn 1-Daemons
Just kidding.

A quick reason why this is especially bad for an assault army without Night Fight.  Although Turn 1 assaults are prohibited for units that Scouted - on Turn 2 the assault army will have had 2 movement phases to get into position and had to endure 1 shooting phase.  For an army like mine with 12" movement on all the primary threats - there are not many units that can stay out of striking distance.  Add in a 12" Scout and a run move, and that Turn 2 Assault is almost a sure thing.  Furthermore, there are several protective buffs this my relies on - okay it is really 1 buffs plus the possibility of a Warp Storm result.  I had planned to give the Seekers a 3++ save, which would have made them an extremely obnoxious target.  No more of that.

Turn 1-Eldar
The Eldar move up slightly to bring the Fiends and Seekers into their field of view.  I think to myself that I am a really good player for not putting Fateweaver into the line of fire.  The Farseer casts Guide on the Dark Reapers and Prescience on the Wraithknight.  He will do so unless otherwise specified each turn.

The Eldar unload their massive Twin Linked shooting on the Seekers and the Serpent Shields snag a ridiculous number of shots - 7 for the first two.  I cannot make a save for the life of me - I may have made 3 or 4 total saves the entire turn.  I lose the Skull Cannon for First Blood to the Wraightknight - in spite of using Fateweaver's one reroll a turn.  I lose the large unit of 5 Fiends (they're not dead yet in this picture.  they're getting better...) and I lose 7 seekers.  I also lose 4 Daemonettes.

This game looks uphill already and there is an intimidating amount of firepower looking at me from across the field.

Turn 1-Daemons
I do what I had originally planned on and move just about everything forward in order to charge.  I want to try to grab a multi-assault into the transports and use the Khorne Herald to blow a Wave Serpent, then the hounds to glance out the others.  With 36 strength 4 attacks I have a pretty good chance to take down a few serpents - especially if the herald can manage one on his own at I6.

I am also going to take down the Scorpions with my Daemonettes to claim the side objective.  The really debated running the Seekers behind cover in this picture, but decided to go for the gutsy charge on the Wave Serpent at 11".

My shooting only produced a glance on the Vyper - which was taken out later.  Luckily though the Chaos Gods favored me with a natural 10 to increase the resilience of my models for the next turns shooting.  The Flesh Hounds, Herald and Fiends made their charge though and I put a big dent in Josh's shooting.  His dire Avengers are then pinned in the wreckage.

The Seekers in this picture are soon to be dead - they failed their charge even with a fleet reroll.  I knew that if I had made it, it would have been a hammer blow against my opponent and potentially won the game right there - unfortunately someone will pay for this bold move (hint - the Seekers are the ones who pay).

Turn 2-Eldar
The Farseer casts Prescience on the pinned Dire Avengers - lacking any other good targets - and the Warp Spiders decide to chill out at the bar instead of coming to fight.  They must have heard how good the Eldar Turn 1 was and decided to have another.

The Seekers weathered an incredible amount of firepower due to their improved save - I regret not giving them the Grimoire - the unit seemed so small at the time, but it still had 33 Rending attacks in it.  Luckily, it takes almost his entire army to wipe them out.

This is the rest of the Seekers wiped out.  I have lost a lot of my punch - an have almost no way to deal with the Wraith Knight - but it can only contest one objective at a time.

In the meantime, the Daemonettes finished off the Striking Scorpions and decided to hide in the ruins.

Turn 2-Daemons
Is it only Turn 2?  The rest of my army decided to arrive - I wanted to keep Fateweaver out another turn, but it was not to be.

My scatters are good and I put the Horrors out of line of sight to the Dark Reapers but in range to knock out some Dire Avengers.  Fateweaver scatters forward so she gets the Grimoire this turn - I do not want to lose her to a Suncannon.  Finally, the Horrors with the beam lineup a rear armor shot on the remaining Wave Serpent.

I move everything forward and although multi-assaults are not as potent as they used to be, they are still a great way to clear multiple units. At the least I can try to get some Fiends near that Farseer.  In shooting I fail to cast my beam power, but Fate is barely in range to wreck the serpent in shooting while the Horrors knock the Dire Avengers to three models after Warpfire.

To top it off, I roll another natural 10 for the Warp Storm and get 4+ saves all over the place.

Order matters in assault and I put the Fiends into the Dark Reapers first - and manage to make it in.  I then multicharge into both Dire Avengers and the Dark Reapers - the closest models are some hounds but I do not take any wounds.  I then build a bridge on a REALLY good charge roll on 11 all the way to the Dark Reapers.  I do not issue any challenges and the Herald in conjunction with the Fiends wreck the reapers and force a really really horrible combat resolution on Josh.

All three units are swept off the board netting me Slay the Warlord and turning the game around.

Turn 3-Eldar
The Warp Spiders come in and the Exarch promptly kills himself in terrain on a bad scatter.  They try to knock down the Skull Cannon but only manage to take off its gun, which makes it angry.

No other pictures this turn as units advance and shoot but my saves are hot and nothing interesting happens.

Turn 3-Daemons

The Horrors spread out and shoot the Guardians but only give them Feel No Pain.  Daemonettes take it into their hands and smash the unit.

The Skull Cannon is looking for revenge and moves towards the Warp Spiders.

I attempt to Hallucinate the Wraithknight but he denies it on a 6 out of spite.  Both beams manage only  single wound on the Wraithknight.  I figure Fate can sacrifice herself if need be now (she has a 2++) to keep the Knight busy.

I get a 6-2 on the Warp Storm and reroll the 2 trying for a 10 or 12 but only manage to fail harder with a 1.

The Skull Cannon makes its charge distance and kills off 2  Warp Spiders.  They fail leadership and start to flee into the hands of the Daemonettes.

I put the Hounds into the Wraithlord along with the remaining Fiend sitting on 1 Wound.  I put 2 wounds on the Wraithlord and plan to kill it eventually with the Khorne Herald.

At this point we call it, I have 2 objectives and might be able to run the Horrors to get 3 plus Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker in my reach.

Final Score is Daemons 8 Eldar 1

Victory for the Daemons!

Game Thoughts
This was a really really fun game against a great opponent.  I happened to be in town for a game and Josh volunteered to get me a chance against the new Eldar.  I was stunned at how much firepower they could put out - and that is without War Walkers in the list - although the Dark Reapers were brutal as well.

I know there will be some critiques about list optimization - but I think the Eldar was put together pretty well.  The Scorpions and Wraithlord may have been 'less optimal' choices, but there was not much fat to trim from the list.  I made a few mistakes in this game, but they were relatively minor - like not giving the Seekers a Grimoire hit and my Fiend placement on the right Flank left something to be desired - they should have gone on the left to benefit from LOS blocking and to be closer to the objective.

Josh asked for some feedback on the game right after and I provided some but on reflection I think moving his Serpents 12" back instead of 6" was the biggest change I would have made on Turn 1.  It would sacrifice some shooting, but then Turn 2 becomes the do or die alpha strike turn and provides some additional shooting for a fighting retreat.  That said, doing so also leaves those units way out of position if the Wave Serpents die and may have made it impossible for him to claim objectives.  I am sure the Eldar experts will weigh in on this one, as I am not familiar with their playstyle.  Thanks again to Josh for the game, it was one of the closer games I have played with this list and has really made me consider a few changes.

I like the Fiends, but I think a units of 6 Flamers for the unit of 4 Fiends might be a positive change.  I feel a bit cramped for points in this list - but I really feel like my shooting is inadequate in this list.  Maybe several Horror units can make appearances to add to the troop count - that change though requires more painting which is out of the question for the time being!


  1. Hey Calypso,

    I've read it before in other reports, but what's the reasoning for using Fateweavers re-roll when he's still in reserves? It seems to me that it's connected to a piece of wargear, that - when not on the table - could not be used? Or have I overlooked a rule?

    Thanks, Cilithan

    1. Good question on this - the wording for Staff of Tomorrow is that "You may reroll one dice per turn..." and then it adds some specifics about when rolling 2d6 or 3d6. Although Fateweaver is not on the battlefield, I always treated it similar to his Lord of Unreality ability that enables "You to reroll results on the Warp Storm Table" or Corbulo's All Seeing Eye ability. Since these reference the player in their rules - in spite of coming from equipment in the case of Fateweaver - they stand so long as the model is alive - even if it is not on the battlefield.

      I know it is a permissive rule set, but I have not seen any reason it would not be allowed. Especially since it is not 'activating' or using equipment - the artifact simply gives the player the ability until Fateweaver is removed from play (i.e. dead okay not dead he is a daemon, banished back to the Warp).