Thursday, July 25, 2013

Differences - Dark Eldar vs Eldar 1750 pts

Heya all and welcome to the webway!

It has been a while since I have thrown out a battle report, due to being busy with life and getting to reestablish my contacts back in Malaysia and also getting ready for job-related stuff. However I managed to get a game with a dear friend of mine, who is an avid Eldar player and this battle marks our first battle in over two years. 

Without further ado, here is the report.

Vespera has been rather dominant in her battles with the Imperials within the Argalus sector and the Emperor's Finest (or at least that is what they call themselves in their own barbarous tongue) are proving more a nuisance than a true challenge. Indeed, she is rather perplexed by the sudden lack of quality of Imperial opposition, for it felt like they are weakened not because of their endemic inferiority but by external forces. 

However, she is not truly complaining about the current state of affairs and decided to take the opportunity to raid as much as she wants. Her eyes are now upon a particular Mon-Keigh city known as Kapersk, the capital of the Argalus sector. The slave shall be hers for the taking.

My opponent's army list is quite a mix of things, but they are meant to create a more well-rounded approach to a lot of things, and below is the things that he took;

1 Farseer on Jetbike with Singing Spear
3 Warlocks, two on jetbikes with spears and one on foot
1 Spiritseer
5 Wraithguard in Wave Serpent with Twinlinked Scatter lasers, Shuriken Cannon and Holofield
2 squads of 6 jetbikes with 2 Shuriken cannons 
1 Crimson Hunter
7 Dark Reapers with all the missile options and the Exarch upgrades
1 Fire Prism with holofields
3 Warwalkers with scatter laser and Starcannon
Aegis defense line with Icarus lascannon

My list is somewhat my fun/balanced list against all opposition.

1 Archon with venom blade, combat drugs, phantasm grenade launcher, shadowfield
1 Haemonculus with liquifier gun
5 incubi in a raider with nightshield
2 squads of 3 Blasterborns in a Venom with second splinter cannon 
3 squads of 5 Warriors with a blaster in a Venom with second splinter cannon and nightshields
2 squads of 5 Warriors with a blaster in a Raider with nightshields
2 Ravagers with 3 Lances and nightshields
1 Voidraven with Flickerfield and 2 shatterfield missiles

The mission is Emperor's Will, and the deployment is Hammer and Anvil with Nightfighting on for the first turn.  My opponent manages to get the the placing of objectives and the deployment , and he deployed his objective and his troops. He hid his objective behind the solid LOS blocking building (Where he puts his embarked Wraithguard on). He rolled for his psychic powers and he managed to get Guide, Prescience, and the power that allows him to reroll everything on himself, while his Spiritseer gets Conceal/Reveal and Protect/Jinx, while his warlocks all got Conceal/Reveal. His Warwalkers and Crimson Hunter are in reserves.

 For me, I decided to stay the heck back and use the cover as much as I could and using the nightshields to the best of my ability. For my objective I place it on the hill at the center of my deployment zone, and my drug roll came out and I get to reroll failed to wounds. I decided to nnot bother seizing the initiative and the game begin.

Turn 1
Farseer Alathis commanded his forces upon this particular location to take the relic that he had predicted would be used against the Eldar of his craftworld by the Imperial forces. The Evernight. For that he had mounted many raids upon the entire sector, weakening them so that they could never strike against his craftworld. Alas, the last piece of the puzzle brought him here to the ruins of the city known as Kapersk to retrive the item that would cause great suffering upon his people. His strike force is small, but mobile enough to take advantage of the Mon-Keigh's weak defenses. Alas when he arrived it seemed that the defenders had left their positions in a hurry.

Sensing the great unease in his heart, he cast several wraithbone runes in the air to forecast the probabilities of success in their mission to retrieve the artifact. His forecast came up with a rather odd result; There shall be differences that will lead to a great amount off turmoil, but understanding shall light the way. He tried to pry the message behind the runes, but he is unable to do so. Everything is a deep shade of grey for the seer, and the grey area is never a good sign. 

Suddenly the Dark Reaper Exarch who had taken the initiative to command the primitive Mon-keigh weaponry fired the weapon and a loud explosion could be seen and heard throughout the ruins of the battlefield. As his eyes looked upon the explosion, he could see several ship-like crafts speeding past the ruins and soon enough the Dark Reapers were taking casualties. 

He looked upon the battlefield and understood immediately that a great turmoil between the two halves of the Eldar race are upon them.

As a result of nightfighting and also the nightshields, his forces were unable to shoot upon my own forces and thus his Dark Reaper Exarch which has Night fighting is the only one that could fire on anything. With a single precise shot, he blew up my raider and with that, First Blood belongs to my opponent.

In return, I moved my forces as close as possible while taking advantage of cover saves from the ruins, jinking and also blocking LOS using my raiders and killed 3 Reapers off. It seems that in my caution I also have overestimated the range of my own weapons and thus I am unable to do much as well. The passengers from the destroyed raider ran towards the objective and securing it for the time being.

Turn 2
Vespera could finally see what is going on and it seems that the meddling distant cousins of theirs had been up to their old tricks once more. With nothing to lose, she could only smile as the destruction around them become even more violent. Soon enough she could hear a loud roaring sound from above her and before she could even discern the nature of the sound, her craft was hit by two bright lights. A lifetime of surviving through the battlefields of the galaxy allowed her to leap out from her aircraft fast enough to avoid being a victim, but one of her retinue was not as fortunate. Seeing that her prized Raider was destroyed, she could only curse as she make a run towards the nearest ruin. Her heart is now boiling with rage, and she will see to it that someone will suffer for this.

My opponent manages to bring in both of his reserves and his Crimson Hunter flies towards the center of the battlefield while his warwalkers flanked from the sides. After doing the compulsary casting of powers (which he succeeded) and also the movement to gain the saves from the holofields and jink for his bikers and skimmers, he fired upon my forces. During that round of shooting, one of my Trueborn Venoms and my remaining Raiders bit the dust. In the wave of explosions, one warrior, one incubi and two Trueborns were incinerated. In the assault phase he decided to try and jump back to cover with his Jetbikes, and he succeeded in doing so.

After his round is done, I realized that I have several threats to my entire army both in the short-term and also the long-term. For the short term, the Reapers with their buffed armor and cover saves, the War Walkers, the skimmers and the Aircraft are pressuring my forces. For the log-term, those bikers will be able to rush in on my objectives and also gun down my vehicles.

During my turn, my Voidraven decided not to come in and I breathed a sigh of relief, for the Icarus can utterly decimate my Voidraven, especially with the Exarch manning it. After moving my infantry units into cover, I realized that I need to take out that Icarus quickly to achieve air parity with the Crimson Hunter and with the combination of Venoms, I brought that Icarus down and one more Dark Reaper down. With that down, I tried my best to take potshots at the Crimson Hunter to see if I could bring it down, but alas I failed to do so. With those targets down, I decided to turn my attention to the two things that will bug me in the next few rounds if I let them live; the Wave Serpent and the Fire Prism. To my amazement, My two Ravagers managed to destroy the Wave Serpent and also Immobilized the Fire Prism thereby cutting down the threat level of my opponent considerably. The question now is how do I deal with those jetbikers, the Crimson Hunter and the War Walkers?

Turn 3
Farseer Alathis did not anticipate the lost or immobilization of all his skimmers within one fell swoop. His Dark Reapers are slowly being mauled by the poisoned weapons of their Dark Kin despite the psychic assistance and protection from the Mon-Keigh structure. It is a wonder that the Dark Reapers were still alive, for the hail of poisoned shards were such that the Mon-Keigh weapon was rendered useless.

As he cast his runes in the air once more, he hoped for a sign that would be the bearer of good news. Alas what he got was the same omen once more. Seeing that staying still would only put them at the mercy of the Dark Kin, he ordered his forces to take the initiative away from them. With a cry, he led his forces into the unknown. Immediately he took notice of a group of Dark Kin that were different from the rest and amongst them he felt a presence. It seems that the presence also noticed him, and soon enough from the ruins charged the Dark Kin.

Seeing that I am striping him of his ability to strike on my vehicles, my opponent decided to push onwards to break through my cordon. Surprisingly his Farseer suffered Perils, and he used his ghosthelm, thereby denying him from casting any more powers. His Warlocks and Spiritseer have some mixed results as well, as one of his warlocks failed to cast his power.

Realizing that my squad of warriors are unmolested, he decided to unload the firepower of the War Walkers on the poor unfortunate souls and wiped them out of existence. Meanwhile his bikers attempted to shoot at my Venoms and managed to kill one of the Venoms off, causing the Warriors to be pinned. One of my Ravagers was shot down by the Crimson Hunter, and his Dark Reapers killed off the other Ravager. He attempted to jump back, but unfortunately one of his jetbiker squad were left out in the open.

Sensing that the momentum had changed, I hoped that my Voidraven was able to enter into the game to let me take advantage of it. Alas, my Voidraven managed to come in and as it entered in it dropped a void mine and exploded two of the War Walkers. I tried to kill his Dark Reapers but they were utterly invincible My Voidraven managed to destroy the pulse laser from the Crimson hunter and my blasters also managed to kill off another Dark Reaper and also glanced a hull point off the Fire Prism. I also managed to kill one jetbiker off from the Seer squad using the lone blaster from the last standing trueborn.

I charged in the other squad with my Incubi squad and Archon but I failed the charge. For some reason I am not liking this turn of events.

Turn 4
Vespera is utterly furious,  but her rage was cut short by the array of fire coming towards her from both sides. As her Incubi died one by once, her supernatural reflexes are the only thing keeping her alive and as she darts towards the jetbikes, her eyes are set on one target and one target alone; the Farseer. With a single throw of her Vennom blade she managed to bring down the Farseer down from his jetbike and jumped on him with a fury like no other. With a roll, the Farseer barely dodges her other attacks and  soon enough both of them are now staring to each other; one filled with rage while the other filled with confusion.

Realizing that the survival of his only way of winning the game is under threat from all my venoms, he decided to move forward and attempt to engage those that will stand in his way. His firepower against my venom was very dismal and he only managed to kill only one of my Venoms. Unfortunately for me, all the passengers perished with their vehicle.  However, his Crimson Hunter managed to immobilized my Voidraven. His shooting towards my Archon and Incubi however was a little more successful as he managed to kill off the Haemonculus and also 3 incubi. Luckily for me, they did not flee.

Seeing that I have a chance to make things hard for him, I decided to fire all my Venoms on one of the Jetbiker squads, killing the Warlock and also 3 jetbikers. His weakened biker squad failed their leadership test and started fleeing, but did not went off the board. I tried to gun down the aircraft with no avail and I decided that I need the Voidraven to live and thus I flew him off the board for a sneaky tactic.

I then tried to charge once more, and this time I managed to make it to the jetbiker squad.  I issued a challenge with my Archon, and to my surprise, he send in his Farseer to combat my own. Nonetheless the combat phase was quite odd, as we could not roll enough to do any significant damage to one another, with one Jetbiker and one Incubi being the casualties of the day.

Turn 5
Both combatants were evenly matched, and both of them knew why. Vespera was the more powerful and agile of the two, however Alathis was the more experienced and was assisted by his psychic gifts. Both their skills and abilities are such that both are unable to touch each other, and they both knew that if they were to achieve victory on this battlefield, one of them must perish under the blade of the other. However the Farseer was careless and for all his psychic ability, he was injured by Vespera's weapon.

"You are on borrowed time, Farseer. You better find aid less the venom takes over your body..." Vespera said coldly.
"If that is meant to scare me, you have a long way to go Archon."

Realizing that his only means of winning the game is in a very precarious situation, my opponent could only hope that he could rally his biker squad and rush them towards the objective on his side of the table. He managed to regrouped them and they went about and sit on their objective.

His shooting phase was not the one he was hoping for, as he only managed to bring down another venom rather than killing all of them in one turn. As for close combat......we are utterly horrible and we failed to even do anything.

In my turn my Voidraven returns, and managed to see the three jetbikes that were holding the objectives and with a fire volley, I managed to wipe them off and preventing him from taking the win. My Venoms managed to cause enough casualties on the Dark Reapers to break them and force them to run once more, and the passengers of my destroyed Venom went ahead and ran into his deployment zone.

In the close combat phase, I managed to wound his Farseer once, but alas his squad failed to break.

It was then that we rolled to see if the game goes on, and we get our turn 6.

Turn 6
Before they could continue on with their duel, they could hear a thundering sound that are familiar to to their ears; the descending roar of Space Marine drop pods.Looking upwards, both leaders realized that their time is up and their conflict with each other only served to let the Mon-keigh muster their forces to repel them. Both Alathis and Vespera looked at each other and despite not saying any words to each other, they both knew that in their current state they would perish. As reluctant as they come, both of them stopped their duel and walked away. Both had a bitter taste in their mouth, knowing that if they had continued on a little longer they would have known the victor and be the one who will reap the rewards of the Everlight.

Seeing that his chances of victory lies with his Wraithguard reaching his objective in time, and also freeing his jetbikes from the persistent Archon he moved his aircraft and other elements to gun down the remaining Venom and also Voidraven, while his Wraithguard make a run for it. His shooting phase brought down my last Venom and despite the twinlinking, his War Walker is unable to do anything. His regrouped Dark Reapers attempted to gun down the Voidraven, but he failed to do so.

The close combat phase was dismal once more, and we are stuck.

With the time not being on my side, I rushed a number of my troop to the objectives. My Warriors towards my deployment zone failed to do anything. My shooting against the Wraithguard was a little more successful than I thought it would be, managing to kill 2 out of 5 of them. In the end the other squad of Warriors charged the Dark Reapers, but they are utterly routed.

By this time, my opponent has First Blood while I have Linebreaker and with neither of us having the main objective, it all goes down to whoever gets Slay the Warlord. We rolled with all our lives to get that last secondary objective and.........

We failed to do anything to each other.

With that we wondered if there would be a next turn. However, when we rolled the dice, the dice gods decided that it is over.

Post-Game Thoughts
With the prize slipping away from her hands, Vespera could not help but to be utterly enraged by the turn of events.Her mood was poorly disguised as she sat on her throne upon the bridge of her flagship, The Venom's Intrigue.

Her minions on the bridge knew that to enraged her further is tantamount to a fate worse than death, for her fury would not allow them to have a simple death. Not one of them dared to even move a muscle. It as then that one of them received in incoming transmission.

"Who is it?" Vespera asked the communications officer.
"It is.......from an Eldar ship." Immediately, the helmsperson regretted his words. He should have said something else, but now his fate was sealed.
"Open the link." Vespera said calmly, surprising everyone on the bridge. Without any hesitation, the communications line was opened between the two Eldar. 

To her surprise, the Farseer whom she was fighting moments ago is now on the screen. The Farseer removes his helm and immediately the pale, youthful complexion of the Eldar Farseer surprised her for she was expecting a withered old Eldar. He stared at her with his brilliant magenta eyes and combing his raven hair, he begins to speak.

"We are as different to each other as day is to the night, but as with difference there is always a sense of balance. We both had gone off to a rather bad start, but I am now here to propose something else; I seek an alliance."
"An alliance?" Vespera asked.
"Yes, we have different goals but our goals can be accomplished if we are willing to understand and work with each other. You have skills that I need, and I have skills that you need. You scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Of course, once we are done we could go on our separate ways. Deal or no deal?"
"I will contact you for further details." Vespera said, and she shuts the communications off. 

Looks like she will have an unique resource she could utilize for the future.

Damn.....this game was fought all the way to the last second, and the rolls in this game was just ridiculous.

In this game, I have underestimated the capabilities of both the Warlocks and the Spiritseer, and I paid for it in the wrecks and craters of destroyed vehicles. The Dark Reapers were a tough lot to kill due to the Spiritseer and that damn Warlock making the squad essentially Assault Terminators with missiles. Taking out the Serpent was a god-sent for me, as that thing will kill all my vehicles senseless if given the opportunity. However, given the circumstances, I played to the best of my ability and took advantage of everything that I could taken advantage of. Nightshields proved to be a boon for all my games these days, and especially in this match as it prevented his jetbikes and Wraithguards from making themselves any useful even as I was playing within his deployment zone.

I also made the foolish mistake of trying to shoot the Dark Reapers instead of the Wraithguard that are out in the open, as I was a little too paranoid about their missiles. Should have cut down all his avenues of scoring before I kill off the Dark Reapers. Nonetheless, I knew that the Dark Reapers are almost impossible to kill once I found out that they have a 2+ armour save and also a 3+ cover save and those missiles are hard for me to ignore.

As for my opponent, I clearly believed that if he had just used his bikers a little more aggressively early on, he would have put me in a very tough situation. In addition, the War Walkers killing off the little squad of warriors on my objective is somewhat wasted as I believed that he could have killed another Venom and cause my anti-infantry firepower to be significantly reduced. Also I was wondering why he did not just take out his wraithguard and just let them sit there from the get go as he knows that the nightshields would render them almost useless to begin with.

A very intense game indeed, and this is the best kind of battle.

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