Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Other Games Store NOVA format Tournament 2k pts Dark Eldar

Vespera looked upon the vast expanse of the void, knowing that travelling back with almost a billion slaves in tow would be a perilous thing indeed. The void will always throw surprises at her without her even knowing. Perhaps it is the only thing that an Archon could never predict, for the slave trade have its share of slave liberations, slave piracy, or slave destruction. Everyone have something to gain from forced servitude, and Vespera will see to it that she will be the one who benefits from it all. Unfortunately for her, the bulk of slaves and the distance from the nearest Webway portal have forced her to travel much more slower. She have taken slaves on the magnitude of several million, but a billion? To make matters worse, she will have to allow the majority of her slaves to live long enough to be sold in the slave bazaars of Commoragh, and that means making pit stops throughout her route to gather supplies for her slaves to feed upon.

Without the certainty that she usually possess, she is forced to take things in strides.....

Heya all, I will be reporting soon about a tournament I entered the other day and suffice to say, it will be a big epic battle report with several battles.

The tournament rules for this tournament is the renowned NOVA format, a format only found in the US and I will be playing against a certain amount of opponents in games that incorporate three objectives within each round; kill points, objectives, and table quarters. The way the format goes is that, each round there will be a main objective, followed by secondary objectives and tertiary objectives as tiebreakers. The objectives will be rotated every round, it is encouraged to get as much of the objectives as possible in addition to the main objective. 

Here is the list that I have taken to the tournament

Archon with Agoniser, combat drugs, shadowfield, and haywire grenade
2 haemonculi with liquifier guns
3 squads of 3 Trueborns with blasters in Venom with two splinter cannons
1 squad of 7 wyches with haywire grenades and a hekatrix upgrade armed with an agoniser in a Raider with shock prow, torment grenade launcher and flickerfield
1 squad of 8 wyches with haywire grenades and a hekatrix upgrade armed with an agoniser in a Raider with shock prow and flickerfield
2 squads of 5 warriors with a blaster in a Venom with two splinter cannons
2 squad of 5 warriors with a blaster in a Raider with flickerfield
2 ravagers with 3 dark lances and flickerfield
1 Razorwing with two dark lancers, splinter cannon, 4 monoscythe missiles and flickerfield

I will warn you guys that my battle reports this time round is not as detailed as always as I am forced to keep myself to a 2 hour time limit and thus am unable to take enough pictures to describe the whole situation and only chose the pieces that are pivotal in the game. Funnily enough, in these battles I have a recurring circumstance that I am always getting hounded by all the armies that I have faced (both literally and metaphorically).

When I arrived in the location where the tournament is held, I could see that the players are slowly getting hyped about the battle ahead. When I see the choices that the people have taken to play in the tournament I could see why it is so.

The roster of armies played in the tournament is as follow;

2 Space Wolves
2 Imperial Guard
1 Eldar
1 Tyranid
1 Chaos
1 Grey Knight
1 Dark Eldar (me!!!!)
1 Necron (Ringer)

Apparently a ringer is present to prevent a by (bye? I don't know) to be present in the tournament. We all will play a total of three games, with each round having its specific way of winning.

Seeing the armies throughout the table, I already knew which armies I will have a troublesome time against, and an easy time against. Nonetheless, I am prepared to right to the end and never give up. So after giving in my army list and confirming my presence in the tournament I went on ahead and unpacked my army before the organizers gave us our pairings.

First Round
Vespera was forced to land upon Glaceau Minoris XII, one of the many moons of Glaceau Major. Her payload of slaves is such that she has to enter into the atmosphere of the planet itself with her entire fleet in order to facilitate the transfer of supplies. She does not like this one single bit, and in a world that is distinctively Imperial, the likelihood that some of her forces have already been detected by the Imperial defenses is very high, despite the cover of night on their side. To ascertain that no one reports out about their arrival, she had bombarded the isolated city of Angel's Hope to cinders. From the ashes of the city, she would be able to get her forces down and find the underground vaults that holds the food supply for the entire city and maybe more....

My first pairing is against an army that I consider as an equal to my Dark Eldar, as we both have enough firepower to kill each other violently; Space Wolves Razorspam-Longfangs.

Here is my opponent's list;

Wolf Lord with runic armour, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Thunderwolf mount and Saga of the Bear
Rune Priest with Storm Caller, Tempest's Wrath, and Chooser of the Slain
2 squads of 5 Wolf Scouts with meltaguns
1 squad of 3 Wolf Guard, 2 with powerfist and combimelta and 1 with bolt pistol and close combat weapon
4 squads of 5 Grey Hunters with meltaguns in a Lasplas Razorback
1 squad of 1 Thunderwolf Calvary with wolf claw and storm shield
3 squads of 6 Long Fangs with missile launchers in a Lasplas Razorback

The table that we have been assigned to is a city-like table with lots of tall ruins.
The first round is called Annihilation and here are the main gist about the round;
Table Deployment: Dawn of War
1) Primary : Kill Points (need to have 3 kill points more than your opponent to win the mission)
2) Secondary: Table Quarters
3)Tertiary: Objectives

Both of us knew what we wanted to do already; We want to rake as much shots as we could as soon as possible without giving away our army away a piece at a time. We rolled off to see who has the highest number and I managed to get the highest number. I decided to go first and be the one that will attempt the crippling alpha. I decided to let everything come in from the table edge, and he also opted to do the same thing. He attempted to seize, but he failed. With that we started out game.

Turn 1
As her forces scour the surface of the obliterated ground, she could see that several of the underground supply depot are undamaged by her initial barrage, and she proceed to command her forces to loot those supplies. However a single beam of energy bolted through the night and barely miss one of the raiders in her scavenging party. As the dawn arrived, she could see that the presence of several vehicles that the humans call a Razorback are driving into the city, guns blazing. She needs to blunt their offensive in order to buy more time, and what would be a better move than to have a preemptive offensive?

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I just turboboosted everything around the 18” mark to allow myself to get a cover save while also keeping enough distance to force his forces to roll a big number on the nightfighting roll to get to my forces. In his turn, his forces came in and tried to shoot my forces, but only one razorback among his forces managed to reach me. But unfortunately, he did not managed to shoot down his intended target; one of my Kabalite Raider.

Turn 2
Her forces proceeded to move down the ruins to outflank their attackers and unleashed their own brand of firepower and managed to cause several of the vehicles to be stunned by the return fire. But it was then that Vespera's raider was shot by several hot beams that decapitated fully half of her raider before exploding. She proceed to just let her body go, and ride the wave of the explosion while her shadowfield dampens the majority of the concussive effect of the explosion. As she lands hard upon the ground, she noticed that the majority of her retinue are still alive, with the haemonculus responsible for the administration of their drugs losing one of his arms. It was then that she unconsciously dodged an attack while counterattacking her attacker with a wide lash of her agoniser. She knew then that she was being ambushed.

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In my turn, I decided to move my forces down my right flank and try to kill whatever I could see with an emphasis on Long Fangs if I could see them. Fortunately for me, I managed to gun down one of the long fangs squad down to two men, and managed to stun enough vehicles and destroy enough long-ranged weapons to prevent a retaliatory fire. In his turn, he rolled one of the Wolf scouts in and placed it behind my ravager and Archon’s raider. He moved some of his forces down my left flank, while the rest of his forces attempts to blunt my offensive. During the shooting phase he managed to gun down my Razorwing, and g Archon’s raider and shot it down,with two wyches biting the dust from the explosion before charging into the Archon’s entourage. The assault went to my favour despite the loss of my Haemonculus but the scouts remained in place.

Turn 3
The ambush was over as soon as it began, and immediately Vespera knew that she will have to find a way out of this place before everything was taken away, even her escape route. It was then that one of her Kabalite warriors told her that the fleet is being ambushed by several Imperial Cruisers with markings of an animal that he failed to recognize. As the image of the cruiser's marking visualizes in her visual feed, Vespera realized that the Imperial forces that are ambushing them are those damn Space Marines known as the Space Wolves. Once they have bitten on their target or sniff you, they will never let you go. Troublesome indeed. She will have to sacrifice her scavenging party away to let the rest of her fleet escape. It was then that something caught her eye.....

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During my turn, I moved my forces down and proceed wreck one Razorback while stunning and destroying the lascannon of another razorback. The close combat round sees that I killed the rest of the scouts and the archon and the wyches went on ahead to run back towards the objective. In response he moved the majority of his Razorbacks to my direction and managed to bring in another squad of Wolf scouts in the game. The shooting here saw that he shook the kabalite raider and destroying the wych raider. Once again, he charged the Wych squad with disasterous results, and my wyches consolidated into the closest terrain.

Turn 4
It seems that there is a human writing that says that whatever is in the vault is very dangerous. Her retinue may not know human wordings, but she knows that inside the vault there is enough explosive materials to make the place blow sky high. Immediately she asked her retinue to open the vault, and one of them threw their haywire grenade upon the vault's door. As the electrical energies of the haywire grenade destroyed the electronic system of the vault's door, the vault opens itself and immediately Vespera could see that this may be the only way to escape this nonsense and get to her flagship.

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During my turn, I tried to tank shock one of his razorback with the shaken Raider, but both of us failed to do anything to each other. I then proceed to gun down the Thunderwolf cavalry, leaving the Wolf Lord alive with some wounds, while shooting the rest of the Long Fangs that I could see and stunning a few more vehicles. Seeing my forces are shutting down one flank and preventing his other Long Fangs from providing cover fire, he used whatever firepower that his Razorbacks could muster to immobilize my Ravager and killed the other one, while wrecking one of the troop venoms. His Thunderwolf Lord charged into my Wyches and we are stuck there.

Turn 5
"Milady, we are pushing the Mon-keigh back. Permission to..." Vespera cuts the Kabalite Trueborn and commanded him to do whatever he liked. She knows that winning a small battle will not win the war, and personally she just want to get out before she is cornered by these uncouth creatures. Seeing that the vault may provide a big enough distraction to let her escape, she looked around for something that could prove to be of use to make this whole thing work, and a yelp causes her to fix her gaze upon a creature called a dog. With her lightning reflexes, she captured the creature and proceed to make it fear her with relative ease. She needs it to create her distraction.

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Seeing that I am making my opponent reconsider his deployment of his parking lot, I pressed on the advantage and decided to use it to rake myself a few more kill points via shooting and in close combat I managed to kill off the Wolf Lord and further consolidate towards the objective. In this turn, he managed to do something I did not expect; he managed to kill the majority of my vehicles with pinpoint accuracy in the manner of a ‘one shot, one kill’ adage. To make matters worse, he managed to pin two of my trueborns. Somehow this threw a wrench in my plans and blunted the advantage that I initially got on him and that is when I knew that the tide had turned against me. Only thing I could do is survive long enough to get some points to lessen the blow in the tournament standing.

Turn 6
"ALL OF YOU GIVE ME YOUR GRENADE BELT!!!!" Vespera barks with an overwhelming commanding presence and the rest of her retinue gave her the belt. Before long, the belts are all strapped upon the dog and as fear take over the dog's mind, she let's him go into the vault. The creature runs frantically towards the vault to escape her. But not before she activates one of the plasma and haywire grenades to detonate after a predetermined time. It was then that she noticed a raider hovering a few feet away from her, and she proceed to run towards the raider, and several screams nearby only made her look and notice that one of the Space Marine leaders running towards her, trying to capture her. As she jumped upon the raider along with the rest of her retinue, she proceed to command the steersperson to get out from the area to her flagship.

In this turn, with most of my firepower being gutted out of me, I attempted a few attempts to shoot down his vehicles with my trueborns and a few fickle lance shots, and did not manage to do much to his forces. Seeing that he has the upper hand now at all fronts, my opponent pushes on his advantage and assaulted the Trueborns with his librarian and bunch of grey hunters.
Seeing that our battle is all but over, I now look upon the dice roll and hope that it ends, preventing his forces from tabling me. Thankfully the dice gods are merciful enough to let me survive to lick my wounds.

Post-game and Afterthought
Just as she expected, the battle have turned for the worse in seconds, and a number of her fleet craf are shot down, bring some of her captured slaves with them. A regrettable loss, but nonetheless her fleet is fast enough to get out from the area and the suppression fire from her fleet is causing the Space Wolf cruisers to a standstill. As the raider entered into her flagship,The Grief of Isha, She immediately gave the command to leave the planet. It was then that a rather large explosion erupted from the city, causing the cruisers to take notice of the explosion. The explosion is such that both fleets are forced to speed away despite the presence of their void shields. Her fleet made haste and sped away into the void, unable to secure enough supplies for her captives....

Primary: Space Wolf Win (10 KP gained) Dark Eldar Loss (7 KP gained)
Secondary: Tied (2 table quarters each)
Tertiatry: Space Wolf win (3 Space Wolves, 2 Dark Eldar)

In this battle, I do not think that I did anything wrong and my dice were very hot initially causing my opponent to react to me for the initial 4 rounds, but then suddenly when the dice went hot for him in the 5th and 6th turn, my advantage collapsed and I am forced to fight for my life. My opponent did point out about why I did not detach Vespera and let her ride towards the battlefield to press her advantage during the second and third turn, and indeed after he mentioned it to me, I also wondered why as she could actually help me in that front just a little more. But otherwise, both of us played to the best of my ability and I am glad that I have this battle as it allowed me to wipe away some of my optimism and think about a contingency plan the next time this occurs.

Second Game
After her initial run with the Space Wolves, she realizes that she now have a contingent of Space Wolves on her tail, and she was forced to navigate through a section of space that is entirely unfamiliar to her. Due to her fleet's hasty escape, she was forced to divert away from her predetermined path and must now attempt to find the closest webway portal in addition to keeping most of her slaves alive. Her journey brought her to a planet named Tornelico where she realized that a small fleet of Space Wolves in in the area but luckily for her forces this one does not bear the markings of the one that is now hunting her fleet. Despite their oblivious innocence to what their fellow battle brothers have wrought upon her forces, she is prepared to gain back the morale of her Kabal by destroying this particular group of Space Wolves, and spiting her pursuers as well. As her fleet splits into two, one to engage with the Space Wolf fleet while the other will engage a planetary invasion of this particular planet to assault it of its resources and exact her revenge....

Alright, due to the fact that the first battle have caused my tournament ratings in the tournament to drop, I know I will have to win this one to even have a chance to get a decent ranking. My opponent pairing for the round is another Space Wolves player, but with a much more gentler list than my previous opponent. Here is his list;

Wolf Lord with Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Frost Weapon, Thunderwolf Mount, Fenrisian Wolf, and Saga of the Beastslayer
Wolf Lord with Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Wolf Claw, Thunderwolf Mount, Fenrisian Wolf, and Saga of the Warrior Born
1 squad of 5 Wolf Guard armed with Powerfists and Combil-meltaguns
1 squad of 5 wolf scouts with a meltagun
4 squads of Grey Hunters with Meltagun and Wolf Standard in a Rhino 
1 squad of 2 Thunderwolf Calvary with 2 Storm Shields and a Thunder Hammer
3 squads of 5 Long fangs with 4 Missile Launchers

The mission for the second round is called Seize Ground and here are the main gist about the round;
Table Deployment: Pitched Battle
1) Primary : Objectives 
2) Secondary: Kill Points
3)Tertiary: Table Quarters

The terrain is quite bare, with the main terrain is the big mountain in the middle. The terrain I am not too fond off, but I am glad that my first battle did not happen on this table with my previous opponent. For this battle, I hold an unique advantage of having superior ranged firepower and I plan to take advantage of it.

We rolled off to see who gets the higher number and he gets the number and proceed to take first turn. He deployed his forces on the table as evenly spread out as possible, with the Wolf Scouts being in reserve. In return I decided to reserve everything in my army as there is no point for me to get shot at if I do not get first turn. I do not even bother to seize and the game begins.

Turn 1 and 2
The Space Wolves are training upon this particular world, and they also find the need to resupply upon this particular world for their Thunderwolves and Fenrisian Wolves as the beast are unlike their genetically modified masters. As they venture around the small town to reinforce its defenses, suddenly Harald Deathwolf received word that they are under attack. Immediately after the first incoming vox of the attack, one of his Long Fangs squad is wiped out. The Wolf Lord marshalled the defense of his forces upon the small garrison.

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For his first two turns, he just moved his Rhinos around and his thunderwolves marched down towards my deployment zone. During my second turn, everything but the Razorwing, a single Trueborn squad and the Archon's raider did not come in. Taking advantage of the big gigantic terrain, I decided to push hard on his right flank (my left flank) and gut it apart. I managed to neuter two squads of long fangs, forcing the one in the center to run, but it managed to stay within a few inches of the table board edge.

Turn 3
The Space Wolves are now in a deep disadvantage as fully two of their long fangs pack have been mauled apart, Harald Deathwolf and his retinue of Thunderwolf cavalry attempted to attack the left flank of the invading forces. However his forces came under heavy fire from a screaming jet and a vehicle that the venerable Wolf Lord recognize as those of Eldar reavers. The incoming fire caused the Wolf Lord to make a tactical retreat for now. He must prevent the Eldar from overwhelming his forces....

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During his turn, his wolves moved forward attempting to counter my forces, but realized that as a whole his rhinos are the only things close enough to try and blunt the offensive. So with that he tried to shoot with his rhinos, but are unable to do anything. My 3rd turn saw that the razorwing and the trueborn squad enter in, and I decided to push them towards the thunderwolf cavalry's direction. The Razorwing and the Trueborn venom caused enough casualties on the Thunderwolves to cause the squad to fall back to its original position before it moved out.

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At the same time, the rest of my forces pushes in towards the left flank and my trueborn venoms decided to move towards my right flank to further pressure the Thunderwolves if they ever come back. The Wyches deployed out with the initial plan to hunt down the rhinos. My shooting phase at this flank is also quite successful, with me finally killing the last Long Fang in the forest and also exploding the Rhino, causing his guys to be exposed for my wyches to charge into them. Despite combat going to my favour, but nonetheless his grey hunters held their ground.

Turn 4
Reports from every front confirmed the Wolf Lord's evaluation of the situation; the Eldar are flanking his forces and are encircling his forces. even though it is an unwise decision, but his thunderwolves will need to get out into oncoming fire once again to hold them off. Right now his forces are at an extreme disadvantage .

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He managed to bring in his Wolf Scouts and they appeared on my right flank. , so he decided let the Grey Hunters in the center to disembark out of their transport and moved towards the melee to support their brothers. The shooting phase saw him shooting down my Razorwing with his long fangs and grey hunters. His grey Hunters charged into the melee and also the Wych raider and caused some casualties, but not before the Wyches killed off a number of the assaulting squad. He lost combat, but his guys managed to hold their ground. The raider is stunned.

As for my turn, my Archon's Raider decides to come in, and I proceed to move it down the left as well. , and I just continued on with my initial plan. I managed to kill off the remaining Long Fang from the center squad, and I moved my ravager behind his forces to take some shots and managed to stun and destroy the storm bolters of a Rhino. The combined firepower of three Venoms and a Razorwing allowed me to collapse his left flank as well, with the a single long fang surviving, and causing enough wounds on all the Thunderwolves. The assault phase saw that my Wyches suffering a lot of casualties, but my lone Hekatrix managed to hold the line for me. Once again the raider is stunned.

Turn 5
To his relief, a squad of Wolf Scouts have appeared and managed to gun down the straffling aircraft with a well-placed Melta shot. With that, he gave the command to his thunderwolf cavalry to charge towards his enemies and support his flanks.

"Unlin, Firlan, go and support our right flank while Falangirm and I will hold them off!!! MOVE!!!!"

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His forces on my left decided to make a move for it and moved aggressively down my flank and he moved a rhino up the hill. His thunderwolves decided to split ways and his HQs ran towards my lines, while his other Thunderwolves have my ravager in sights. In the assault phase his Thunderwolf charged my Ravager while both his lords are out of charging range. He mamaned to get one Thunderhammer through and killed my Ravager. As for the epic melee, I managed to somehow win this and caused a squad to run.

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I disembarked my Archon and the wych and moved them up the hill while their raider went on ahead and get closer to the melee.
My shooting is uneventful and I am unable to get more than a few more stunned rhinos and more wounds on the Wolf Lords. But then suddenly the combined flaming awesomeness of two haemonculus burned every grey hunter that they could see, and managing to kill off a few of the one in combat with my wych, without touching my wych at all. In my assault phase I killed off the lone grey hunter and proceed to go towards the objective. My Archon proceed to try and kill the Rhino up on the hill but failed.

Turn 6
Despite the charge, the situation has become even grimmer with more and more of the Eldar reavers descending upon his location. It becomes apparent that by now, his apprentice is dead and his forces are now in shambles. And to his immense horror, he noticed that on the hill in the center of the battlefield, a group of reavers are climbing up the hill to take the rhino that is defending the top of the hill. The rhino attempts to tank shock the reavers, but they just moved aside only for several lance shots to penetrate the vehicle and wrecking it on the hill. It was then that the wolf Lord knew that the battle is lost...

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In his turn, he moved the rhino forward and disembarked his troops to try and capture the objective on my right deployment zone, while his wolves moved to try to engage as much targets as they could. His Rhino attempted to tank shock my archon and wyches, but they passed and moved around the Rhino to get closet to the objective on the hill. His Long fang failed to shoot anything down, and thus he was forced to charge the Wolf Lords on my transports. Nonetheless they are unable to hit my transports. As for the epic melee, I finally won and one squad broke away.

In my turn, I just moved my forces accordingly, with one kabalite raider turboboosting to contest the ones that he is holding in his zone, while the wych raider went on to ram the rhino on the hill, but failed to do so. The combined Kabalite Trueborn forces decided to unload themselves towards the grey hunters in my deployment zone and proceed to shoot the grey hunters to death, with the help of a Venom, while several venoms managed to kill off the Wolf Lord closest to my objective. Th combined fire from the ravager and the other Kabalite raider killed the Rhino on the hill allowing my Archon and the Wyches to hold the hill.

We are unable to roll for a turn 7, as our match is the last one to finish and we have to conclude it there and then. Nonetheless the outcome of the battle is crystal clear to both of us since turn 5.

Post-game and Afterthoughts
Harald Deathwolf could only grit his teeth as the Archon looks upon him from the hill as the carnage of battle is around him. From her stare alone, he could see that he is the only one of his forces to be granted the dishonour of living though this humilation. His call for a lance battery went unheard and it was then that he realized that his fleet has also been crippled by the Eldar Reaver's strike. It was then that he could see the entire Eldar fleet entering the atmosphere like rapiers from the sky, and he knew that the world is lost......

Primary: Dark Eldar win (4 objectives captured), Space Wolves Loss (0 objectives held)
Secondary: Dark Eldar win (8 KP gained), Space Wolves loss (2 KP gained)
Tertiary: Dark Eldarwin (3 Table Quarters gained), Space Wolves loss (1 quarter gained)

This battle went very well for me, due to the sole fact that I have negated all his long-range anti-tank and also corner his forces in such a way that he have to make very bad choices. His Thunderwolves could do something to me, but the combination of almost all the venoms caused it to be pushed back quite a lot. It was then when I asked him about the game that he admitted to me that it is his first time fighting against Dark Eldar. That and his list only serves to make this battle a tough one for him. Nonetheless due to the extreme turnover of my current situation, I managed to push myself up to be in the running for at least the top few. 

Third Game
Alright, now that I got a very solid win under my belt, I am apparently quite well-off (this is viewed in hindsight of course) and in the end I was paired off against an opponent that also shared my current situation of one win and one loss under his belt. Unfortunately for me, that opponent turned out to be an Imperial Guard army. To my surprise, my opponent is also not too fond of this particular matchup as he is a good sport and hate shooting fishes in a barrel. Fortunately for me however, both of us are quite tired from having three games one after the other and we decided to take this battle in a less competitive stride. So with that our battle begins.

Deeps in the jungles of Currahee Prime, her forces have managed to find an ancient webway portal that would allow her forces to go back to Commorragh. Everything is set with the portal being reactivated by her Kabalite engineers, and slowly but surely the portal opens itself to become large enough for her entire fleet to pass through. As she sees here fleet enter into the portal she knew then that her quest is almost over. But suddenly several of her fleet ships are destroyed in midair and as she looked in horror, she could see that the Imperial Navy had entered into the atmosphere trying to shoot down her fleet. To make matters worse, she could see that the Imperial Navy is sending its Imperial Guard content down upon the planet to stop the portal from working. This must be stopped, and she commanded several of her Kabalite warhost to descend down upon the planet to hold the Imperial Guard at bay.....

Here is his list;

Company Command squad with 4 plasmaguns and a powerfirst in a Chimera with hull heavy flamer
Platoon Command squad with 4 flamers and a powerfirst in a Chimeara with hull heavy flamer
30 man infantry squad with 3 autocannons, 3 grenade launchers, 4 power weapons, meltabombs and commisar
1 special weapons team with 3 meltaguns
1 special weapons team with 3 flamers
1 veteran squad with 3 meltaguns and a powerfist in a Chimera with hull heavy flamer
1 veteran squad with 3 meltaguns in a Chimera with hull heavy flamer
2 vendettas
1 Leman Russ exterminator with sponson heavy bolters
1 Leman Russ exterminator with sponson heavy bolters
2 Leman Russ Demolishers with 2 hull lascannons

Our mission is called Battlefield control with these objectives in mind
Primary: Table Quarters
Secondary: Objectives
Tertiary: Kill Points

Deployment is pitched battle. My opponent managed to get first turn and decided to deploy everything but the infantry blob. As for me I am in a situation where reserving everything is not an option as he will push into my deployment zone and kill me off there. That and reserves tend to be an erratic thing. So with that I decided to deploy everything but my razorwing and hide them the best I could. I then attempted to seize the initiative, but I failed. With that I am now in a game for my life....

Turn 1
As soon as Vespera's forces entered into the fray, she was being ambushed by several Imperial elements which caused heavy casualties from her forces. She cursed as the overwhelming firepower that the Imperial Guard had brought upon them slowly bleeds her force away.

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He moved his forces to engage me on both flanks with the chimeras going down my left flank, while the rest attempted to get towards my right flank. His vendettas opened fire and downed one of my Ravagers and immobilized a raider. For my turn, I moved my forces straight up alongside my right flank and tried to engage the vendettas, managing to kill one vendetta and all its passengers.

Turn 2
The arrival of several of the tanks only served to make matters worse and the only option that Vespera could think about is to hold the tanks at bay. She commanded her retinue to descend from their raider and charged the tanks. But despite her best efforts, the armoured behemoth are impervious to her grenades. It was then that when the behemoths moved aside that she could see that they are indeed in deep trouble; several dozen barrels of doom pointed at her direction.

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His infantry blob came in, and he further pushes into my left. His shooting phase begins, and he managed to immobilize my wych transport and kill off the second Kabalite warrior squad and their raider transport. During my turn, my Razorwing did not come in, and I pushed further down the salient. I attempt to shoot the Leman Russ squadron and also shoot the vendettas, and I managed to immobilize the Vendetta. My Archon and wyches assaulted the Leman Russes but did not do too much at it.

Turn 3
It was then that her shadowfield activated itself, as the unholy firepower of the Imperial guard descended upon her. A loud battlecry from behind their location only served to alert Vespera of their desperate situation. Immediately after the battlecry, a sea of flame descended upon them and as her retinue suffered a horrific death she could only wonder how long she could survive in this hail of beam, shell and fire. It was then that a single bolt shell collapsed her shadowfield and several volleys of heavy bolt shells descended upon her. She was forced to make a run for it, and one of the bolters ripped away her arm, causing her to lose much blood. But then she saw that one of her haemonculus is running towards her direction and before long passed by her. She turned around and she noticed the Haemonculus is jumping into one of the Trueborn venoms that is flying pass her. 

Smart move...., The archon decided to do the same and leaped into the Trueborn Venom. 

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His turn, his forces decided to move very little, his leman russ squadron giving way for his infantry platoon and his Executioners in line of sight to my Wyches. His chimera managed to strip two guns away from my Ravager.He also decided to disembark the is flamer squad from the vendetta and burned all my wyches leaving the archon alone in the open. With the combined might of a 30 man platoon he attempted to kill off my archon but my archon survived all the shots without a single wound. He then committed another Leman Russ Exterminator, but my archon still takes no wound. It is with the last Leman Russ executioner that he managed to break my shadowfield, but my archon managed to block off the Instakillable shots and take the heavy bolters instead. After the dust is settled, my archon has one remaining wound from the awesome firepower. On the other side, he managed to immobilize one of the trueborn venom and and destroyed the other Troop venom, causing its contents to come out and get pinned.

During my turn, my Razorwing came and my wyches from the downed raider came out to hunt down the exposed flamer squad. The trueborn also came out from another venom to allow myself to fire upon the vendetta. The trueborn from the immobilized venom came out and attempt to hunt the leman russ squadron. My archon and exposed haemonculi decided to jump into another Trueborn Venom and attach themselves in that squad as the Trueborn venom moved 6" to allow its trueborns to shoot the chimera. My shooting saw that the infantry blob almost getting destroyed thanks to the razorwing, while my immobilized raiders stunned one of the Leman russes. The walking trueborns managed to kill one of the Demolishers (the stunned demolisher thanks to the squadron rules) with their lances. My wyches then assaulted the vendetta and the flamer squad, killing both targets. They tried to consolidate into the crater, but they failed.

Turn 4
Unfortunately for Vespera as soon as she jumped into the Venom, several shots came by and ripped the Venom apart, causing her to be ricochet into the canyon networks of this peculiar forest. Her injuries were further aggravated by her very rough landing which broke a few of her ribs and also her hip. As she roared in agony, she realized that perhaps this is the day she will really lose it. This is the day that she will lose herself and pass through the veil of death into the deadly embrace of She Who Thirst.

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IN this turn, my opponent moved his chimeras closer to my Razorwing and gunned it down. On the other side, he managed to kill off the Trueborn venom that has the Archon and the haemonculus in it, and my Archon died from the explosion. ONce the squad is exposed, the Chimera and the remaining infantry blob fired upon my exposed trueborns and killed them off with the haemonculus. His Demolishers saw off my Wyches easily, and his executioners killed off my other squad of Trueborn.

By now, I am essentially losing in more ways than one. So the only way I could have go about the game is to just capture the objectives to allow myself a lesser blow to my standing in the tournament. So the kabalites moved into the canyon and take control of the objectives there. The Ravager went on ahead and try to do something to the other Demolisher but failed.

Turn 5 and 6
It was then that she could hear some chatter from inside the canyon network, and she realized that perhaps this could her ticket out. She crawled her way towards the sound of the chatter, her remaining arm, pulling the entire limp bulk of her body little by little. There is nothing she could have done otherwise as her will to survive overrides her agonizing slow descent to death. Her malice for death is what driving her inhuman strength to move forward. It felt like an eternity to her, as her mind slowly figures out the pain and suffering within. It was then that she realized that this is perhaps an interesting experience indeed. Being in a state of being neither dead or alive is quite fun, and she entertained the thought. It was then that she noticed that time flies quickly and before she knew it she is now at the squad hiding among the ruins. It turned out to be a squad of Kabalites that she detested and wanted to leave them for dead as her fleet returned home.

"Milady?!?! Wha....." The Kabalites were surprised to see their Archite crawling towards them.

"Shut up. Have the fleet passed through?" Vespera's commanding presence is still overwhelming despite her rather pathetic state.

"Yes Milady. We managed to get all the slave ships into the portal. Only the rearguard remains."

"Since you fools are with me, carry me towards the portal and I will promote you all into dracons. If you do not, I will personally ensure that you die with me now." Vespera proceed to pull out one of her grenades and the Kabalites looked at each other nervously.The Kabalites decided that running towards safety with a dying Archon is better than being stuck here to die in a jungle world, or dying with a crazy Archon.

"Yes m....milady." The Kabalites carried their Archon while she held the grenade up for all of them to see. 

Since he had superior battlefield superiority my opponent, my opponent moved on to try and get as much quarters as he could before the game is up, but seeing that my guys have more objectives than his own forces he tried to contest me on some of them, but with an immobilized Chimera attempting to contest the Kabalite's position and the oddity of the canyon layout he could not kill much of my Kabalites. The Ravager was finally killed by the Executioner. In my last two turns, I just moved my forces to such an extent that they are out of reach and on the last turn I boosted the remaining venom with troops in it onto the upper right objective while my kabalites from the immobilized raider ran out and captured the last one. My shooting is essentially from two immobilized raiders upon the leman russ and they failed to do anything.

We rolled to see if there is a turn 7 and the roll is not high enough to allow my opponent to have a turn 7. With that the game concluded.

Post-game and Afterthought
As the Kabalites run with all their might with their Archon in tow, Vespera could see that the portal is slowly closing up. With the whole Imperial Guard regiment behind their tails she could only wonder if this stupid plan works. The portal shrinks even further rapidly, causing the rearguard of her fleet to be trapped, while those halfway through the portal being sliced in half. It was apparent that Vespera needs these fools to run faster and finally she activated her grenade.

The already running Kabalites have now become extremely frantic, and not bothering to drop her they ran like they have gravmotors under their feet. The portal have shrunk down considerably until it is the height of a raider. It was then that a Venom is flying past them, and the Kabalites with an unnaturally driven desire to live threw themselves and their Archon upon the Venom. The speed in which they entered the Venom caused Vespera to drop her activated grenade. Just as they landed upon the Venom, the portal closed behind them. Above them they could see the last cruiser that made it past the portal a distance away from them.

"Kabalites.....get me on that cruiser now. Or I will blow all of you up." Vespera produced several grenades and the Kabalites knew that her reactions are much faster than all of theirs. They could try to throw her abroad, but her agility and speed will activate the grenades with a 1-second fuse before they could even react only served to force the Kabalites to obey her commands. No Kabalite want to overthrow the Archon while dying with her.....

Primary: IG win (3 quarters), Dark Eldar loss (1 quarter)
Secondary: Dark Eldar Win (3 objectives), IG loss (1 objective)
Tertiary: IG win (GAzillion lol! Razz ), Dark Eldar loss (Not enough)

Well this is one of those games where I tried, but nonetheless my efforts were not enough to break through his flank. 

We both asked each other about our reasoning for our deployment, with me asking about his vendettas not outflanking while he asked me why I did not went into full reserve. He told me that since he is getting the first turn, the vendettas might as well lend their firepower into the fray instead of randomly pooping out to be shot down which I agree once he told me about the sucky part of the vendetta having to move a full 12" and lose most of its firepower when it enters the table via outflanking. When I told him about my deployment being a counter for his camping upon the whole of the long table edge to shoot me down at ease, he actually said that he wanted to do so. But my deployment with my entire force forced him to take a different approach and perhaps a less wiser move as he told me as he is forced to split his more vulnerable section to my forces. 

My opponent commended me on my tactics and said that he would do the exact same thing to kill him off while using the canyon in the center to prevent him from utilizing everything. Only thing he said that prevented my idea from working is my dismal dice roll, and his army's unfortunate ability to be an anathema to all my stuff. I would also agree, as his dice rolls are quite average, but mine fell below average (missing 3 out of 5 shots as my dice average). He however said that my aggressiveness even in this situation is interesting as no Dark Eldar player he knew would still press on the offensive in this state, and I told him that if I retreated he would still gun me down anyway on which he agreed.

I think of all the battles throughout the whole tournament this battle is the one that opened my eyes a lot as both myself and my opponent actually managed to talk in length about our reasoning behind our battles. In addition, with both of us being less competitive than the first two rounds, we could actually play it in a casual way. 

Immediately as they entered into the cruiser, The SoulSlicer, Vespera immediately commanded that the Haemonculus on the ship attended to her. No one dare to take advantage of her situation as she is crazy enough to kill anyone who dares to kill her. To make matters worse, somehow the Venom landed nearby several cells of Darkmatter canisters meant for the Viodravens. Anyone who dared to kill her would cause her to throw the grenade to the darkmatter and everyone in the ship will die due to a miniature blackhole forming in the ship. After the Haemonculi arrived to take the Archite away to be restored, the tense situation subsided. Vespera could only commend herself on her luck that somehow the conditions that she threatened the rest of her Kabalites are such that it is extremely effective.

As Vespera is recuperating in her restoration sarcophagus, a familiar face came by to talk to her.

"So Vespera, bitten off more than you could chew huh? No worries, I do not plan to kill you here, as it would not be fun. I rather take the Kabal via more honorable means." Archdracon Ranisold mused to her. Her condition prevented her from having a verbal comeback.

"Without you around, it will be extremely boring. While you are recuperating I will enforce your will upon the rest of them. At least I could promise you that. So rest now my dear, as your are more beautiful when you are in a dominating position." Ranisold walks away from the sarchophagus and out of the recuperating bay. Vespera could only stay in this room and take it all in strides.....

With that the tournament concluded, and the winners are announced after all players are asked to rate the sportsmanship of the players that they have faced. 

The best general is the Space Wolves that I faced during the first turn, while the Best Overall went to my IG opponent. The best sportsmanship went to the Grey Knight player, and the Last Man Standing went to the Chaos Player.

As for me, I managed to get 4th place (thus tieing with another player) out of 9 participants. In the end, I had a blast playing against other people in my first NOVA format tournament and getting 4th sounds mighty good for me! ;D

And here are some of the armies that participated in the tournament.

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  1. Well done Vespera and her puppetmaster.:)

  2. Thanks. The only game I am a little frustrated with is my first game as I was in a good lead until the last few rounds. I underestimated the remaining firepower that the wolves could dish out and combined with some stellar rolls from my opponent it closed the deal.

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