I just had this battle on Saturday on my first trip to Knightfall Games along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. For the store, it is a nice store and it does have that feel that I really enjoy. As compared to Guardian Games, it feels more homely, and also the fact that there is a painting table that is just stocked with models in various stages of painting is quite a sight. The terrain in the store is quite interesting as well, as there is an ice world table (wished I played on that one), a very urban one, and a whole lot of other tables that I feel reminiscent of my old LGS which closed down a long time ago in Malaysia. The staff is quite nice and he actually allowed me to buy a OOP Urien Rakarth from the bunch of old DE for sale since it is my first time in the store. Happy times for me indeed.
I also managed to squeeze in a game with Mr. GK (I would not reveal his name as it is not my right to reveal his name without his consent), who owns a rather cool army but a strong one; a Draigowing. I have heard of its infamous ability to be a pain, and my opponent looked at my army and also said that my army would be a pain for his Draigowing as well.
So with that, we decided to play with each other to have a good time.
Once again, the greatest champion of the Grey Knights surges forward from the warp and he was greeted by his brothers. The warp is a fickle thing, for it only spits him out in the darkest hour of the Imperium. Without hesitation, the Librarian spoke to the champion.
"Welcome my Lord, and indeed I am the bearer of bad news. The foul Xenos are upon us, taking away our most holy relics and worse, they could be have their hands upon a foul grimoire that would cause the Imperium much harm."
Even though the silent champion of the Grey Knight stood silent, the rest of the Paladins and the Librarian knew what he was thinking; that this deed is sacrilegious. With the righeous fury of the Grey Knights they shall prove to the Xenos that no one messes with the Imperium.
"Milady, we detected several Space Marines coming our way to stop us from taking this place." Haemonculus Luriel hisses. Vespera could only sigh and beckons her forces to take them by force. She will not be opposed, and she will not be denied her prize.
My army list for 1850 pts
Archon with Agoniser, Shadowfield, combat drugs, haywire grenades
Haemonculus with Venom Blade and Liquifier Gun (this goes with the bunch of 8)
Haemonculus with liquifier gun (this goes with the bunch of 7)
2 squads of 4 Trueborn with blasters in a Venom with 2 splinter cannons
2 squads of 5 kabalites with a blaster in a raider with flickerfield
2 squads of 5 kabalites with a blaster in a Venom with 2 splinter cannons
1 squad of 7 wyches with a hekatrix with an agoniser in a raider with shock prow, torment grenade launchers, flickerfield and enhanced aethersail
1 squad of 8 wyches with a hekatrix with an agoniser in a raider with shock prow, torment grenade launchers, flickerfield and enhanced aethersail
3 Ravagers with flickerfield
Draigowing 1850 pts
Librarian with lots of powers (a power that gives stealth, might of titans, quickening, and a power that forces a lot of difficult and dangerous terrain on people)
1 squad of 10 paladins with apocethary, halberds, banners, 4 psycannons
1 squad of 5 with banner, 2 psycannons, halberds
2 Dreadnoughts with 2 twinlinked autocannons
The mission and deployment
The mission is 5 objectives and the deployment is dawn of war. He rolled and he got the higher roll, and elects to go first. He combat squads the large squad, with one squad with the Apothecary becoming the bodyguard to Draigo, while the psycannons all became the bodyguard for the Librarian (which I will refer as Cannon Paladins from now on).
He deployed the Vanilla squad and the Cannon Paladins on the table with the Librarian, and opt for the Dreadnoughts and the Draigoled squad to walk from the edge.
With the Grand Master Strategy, he made Draigo and the Dreadnoughts scoring units, leaving the Librarian as the only non-scoring unit in his army. Seeing this, I know that this will be a hard fight
I opt to come in from the table edge, and I did not bother to seize. I got the 1+ stregth drug roll whiich will help me.
In the cover of night, the forces of the Dark Eldar stalks the gleaming reflections of the Grey Knights, and the ambush is set. Vespera remembered fighting against these Space Marines, and could only imagine how she would take them for slaves in the pens of the gladitorial pits in Commorragh. She knows their strength, and she knows that they are dangerous.
She orders her forces to open fire, but by some cruel fate a wall of light blinds her forces, and causes her forces to misfire their shots. What sorcery is this, she wonders.....
He decides to let the Paladins led by Draigo and also the Dreads to walk in from the edge and since he got nothing to lose, he runs with the rest of the army.
As for me I decide to come in from the flank that has the most cover and decide to try and shoot them to kingdom come. But alas, my night fighting rolls and also my horrible rolling killed only one Paladin.
Before she even knew what is happening, all the ravagers in her forces are crashing down in flames. She had but one choice; charge forward and neutralize them before they do the same to her forces. With her wyches and Luriel, she went ahead and charged into the squad. But suddenly the ground beneath them scorches with an intense heat, and a wail signaled the demise of the Hekatirx leading the squad. She fought with the Space Marines, but these Space Marines are unlike the others she fought. They are surrounded by a halo of light which blinded her, and in a blink of an eye, she knew that this is a fight she could not win. The death of the Haemonculus only served to prove things. She opted to run away to save her hide.....
His forces marched on ahead,, and with the combined might of 6 psycannons and 4 twin-linked autocannons, he obliterated all my Ravagers. A big blow for me, a big blow for me indeed.
Sensing that those dreads and those 4 psycannons needed to go, I went ahead and boosted a Trueborn and a Kabalite unit in the Venom and the Kabalite unit in the raider to the flank and hoped for the best. The wych squad led by the Haemonculus and the Archon got out from their vehicle and prepared themselves for the kill
The rest of my army focuses in upon the Paladins and the Dreadnoughts up front and tried to kill as much as I could. The Paladin from the second squad bit the dust, but the dreadnoughts are unfazed. The Haemonculus from the Archon-led wyches attempted to burn them but failed to do anything much.
During my assault phase I charged my wyches with the archon and (foolishly to test out the liquifier gun) the Haemonculi into the mix. His powers killed my hekatrix via dangerous terrain, and lessened the blow of my agoniser-totting squad. Despite wounding them like hell, I lost combat (damn hammerhands and I10) and I was forced to run.
Despite her best efforts, the Space Marines gunned down everyone, save herself. But alas, due in part to her shadowfield she survived. But this is not to last, for the squd of silver giants slammed upon her like an avalanche, and knocked out her down. She was stabbed by a halberd, and felt her life being forcefully ripped out of her body. By sheer force of will she kept her soul in, but alas she was mortally wounded. Her breathing is slow and ponderous, and this is the first time she is experiencing what most Dark Eldar dread; death upon themselves.
As she crawled upon the bloodied floors of the battlefield, she could only look upon the huge giants surrounding her. The one with the most ornate armour looked at her with contempt and chanted. She could her his chant,
"I, Lexicanium Raziel shall now proclaim the slaying of the foul Xenos Lord and banish her soul into the fiery light of the light of the Emperor." But before the Space Marine could carry out his threat, a howling echoes the sky and Vespera could see the head of the Space Marine toppled down like a rock. The stump showers her with blood.
Before long an orgy of violence rages before her eyes, as the knives of the wyches stabs through the spaces between the armor of the Space Marines. One of the Wyches took Vespera up and throws her into their Raider. She could only wonder why before another Haemonculus by the name of Zhellien approaches her.
"Milady, how nice to see you here."
During his turn, he proceeded to use the Paladins to wipe out the disembarked Trueborns and also shot the other trueborn venom to pieces, killing two trueborn in the process. He also managed to kill all the wyches from the archon squad, leaving the Archon as the only survivor. The lone archon was duly charged by the Paladins and was killed in the process alongside some warriors.
Due to the fact that somehow, I had balls of diamonds out of nowhere, I decided on a great gambit that would turn the game to my favour to an extent. I moved the surviving trueborns, the two kabalite squads, the venom and the raider to make a wall of sorts to fulfill two things; to kill the dreadnoughts, and to somehow rely on a mass of wrecks to block the approaching Paladins led by Draigo.
With a duly administered monologue and a cackling laughter, I charged the wyches into the remaining Cannon Paladins and managed to kill a little bit more. But I also suffered some casualties due to that dangerous terrain power. In the end we tied and we continued on bashing each other brains out.
As she was helped up by Zhellien, the Haemonculus explained to her the apparent altruistic nature of the Wyches.
"Well Milady, I knew something like this would happen so I actually made a deal with the Wyches; They save you in return for my unconditional ressurection of their wretched souls if they ever passed across the veil of death. They took the offer without hesitation. Amazing I might add. I would love to talk more but excuse me while I kill some of these things.
With a liquifier gun, he hosed the Space Marines with his acidic blood, causing them much suffering.
While then his smaller squad of vanilla paladins, shot at the remaining Warriors and forced them to run like there is no tomorrow, with the squad being below half-strength.
In this phase he effectively killed or neuteured every scoring Kabalites I have, leaving the wyches as the only scoring unit.
I decided to tankshocked draigo, and cut him away from his buddies. I shot even more at the Paladins and burn it, and finally the vanilla squad buckled, and the bodyguards suffering some casualties of their own for the first time.
I decided that it is now or never and charged the wyches into Draigo. We essentially tied combat, as he killed two wyches and I inflicted two wounds.
Vespera's vision is nothing short of foggy, for she is feeling very little strength coming out from herself. She is going to die from her wounds apparently, and she resents that. Despite the fact that she had made the Haemonculus pact, she never would have expected such suffering. Her breathing becomes more strenuous, and she could not take it anymore. She just want to close her eyes.
Furious, the Bodyguards decide to just multicharge my Trueborns, a Kabalite raider and a wych raider. The charged resulted in my Trueborn slaughtered and the Kabalite Raider being destroyed.
My wyches are destroyed save for the Hekatrii, and I managed to inflict another wound on Draigo. Somehow I managed to pass my leadership and stick on Draigo.
With his units being contested, and me having no scoring units, the best he could do is to have a draw, while the best for me is to just table him.
The random game length turn dice is rolled and the game goes on.
"Wake up my dear, for I need your voice." Zhellien sang to her. Vespera opened her eyes a little and realized that the Haemonculi is quite cheerful.
"What do you want, Zhellien?"
"Well I would love to kill more, but in the rate that this is going no one will pick up my dead body when I am dead. I need you to tell your forces to back away. Besides, I already gotten something interesting from this place."
Vespera could only agree in her delirium, and called off the attack.
He attempted to multiple charge both my raider and the wych, and managed to kill them both.
We rolled if there is a turn 7 but unfortunately, there is no turn 7 for me. With me having no scoring units, and his scoring units being too far away, the game draws to a nail-biting draw.
"Now my pretty, this will hurt a lot, but you will feel slightly better after that...." The Haemonculus took out several syringes and stabs them into Vespera. The pain is excruciating, but slowly but surely she felt more energy within her now broken frame.
"Good girl.....this is a placeholder my dear. Once we are back in Commorragh, we will fix you up good and proper, and maybe give you a new body if this body fails to live on. We of the Giggling Suffering believe that our customers deserve a stellar service."
Draigo, severely wounded looked upon the retreating Xenos, and cursed and again and again. Despite stopping the alien menace, but they managed to kill or wounded many of his battle brothers to such an extent that they lost one of their most prized relic; the Grimoire of the Untold. He could only wonder how the Imperium would suffer the lost of such a tome as he dissolved into the warp from which he came......
This game is brutal. We lost almost everything. The fight for the objectives is just downright messy, and both of us threw our gambits and they worked at the precise moments where we want them to be. The initial fire from his army ripped my army apart, but in return I ripped his.
The mistakes I made were plentiful;
1) I actually believe that my Night Fighting rolls would be excellent, but I failed and I paid the price.
2)My gambit during turn 3 ripped his army, but in return, I sacrificed almost all my scoring units in one go.
3)Underestimating the range of the psycannons and also the weird abilities of the Librarian to impose dangerous and difficult terrain upon my forces.
As for my opponent, I believed that his main mistake would be to put all his psycannons into one basket, where he should have spread them out a little more. His forces deploying that far forward may also be unwise, but at the same time he needs it to put his psycannons in range which is kinda a calculated risk for him.
My opponent later told me that he wanted to put the pressure on me to make tough choices, and allowing his draigo-led squad to move unscathed across the battlefield. And in that I would agree on one thing; he managed to not get a single shot on the Draigo-led squad till much later in the game.
This game proved to me that I should never ever rely on nightfighting despite the Dark Eldar's ability to reroll the spotting distance in nightfighting. It also showed me why a Draigowing is indeed a tough army despite its number. Two wounds and cover is a nasty thing indeed.