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Women’s Work Text by Kenton KilgorePosted April 2005
Thanks to Patrick Eibel for note-taking during the game and post-game analysis
Ultra-Good-Guy Yann Folange was in my neck of the woods recently for the Baltimore Grand Tournament. Yann has created many way-cool armies over the years, including a Star-Wars Space Marine army, an undead Tzeentch force, and a Blood Angels-successor detachment with lots of Dreadnoughts. His latest effort is an Banshee-heavy strikeforce. Yann and I have known each other for years but up ‘til now, never had the chance to play. We got together a week after the GT to finally move some figures and roll some dice.
Yann used his Banshee army in the GT and brought a scaled-down version to our game:
Points per Player: 1500
Vulnayvya’s agile mind raced faster than her hard, bare feet as she hurried through the dark, rough-hewn tunnels that formed the lair of the Ozone Scorpions. The messenger had given no reason as to why Archon Syryx Lynatharr wanted Vulnayvya, considered the least of the Kabal’s Haemonculi, nor why she should come alone—unless…. She shuddered, then reminded herself that it was an honor to serve the Archon and provide whatever pleasures he might demand.
“That’s right: more of these. I want them, Vulnayvya. If I swear to you that you will be safe when Fybze's treachery is exposed, will you get these for me?”
Women warriors: Vulnayvya (left) leads the Ozone Scorpions on behalf of Dr'zzllah (right)
A great hiss rose from the Dark Eldar line, but they held. Their Taloses and transport craft glided forward, the former hoping to close with the oncoming Banshees, the latter positioning themselves to fire. Two disintegrators from the Raiders lashed out at the Banshees, but the woman warriors were spread out: one fell from one squad, one from another.
Vulnayvya sensed that the battle was not going to go well….
But instead of continuing to race forwards, the Banshees slowed their pace and began firing their shuriken pistols—at the Raiders confronting them. Ridiculous, and yet…a group of green-plumed Banshees disabled the disintegrator of one craft, Banshees with purple plumes immobilized a second, and a gray-plumed squad shot down a third. One of the Wraithlords immobilized another Raider and stunned its crew, but Vulnayvya scarcely noticed: she was transfixed by the sight of Jain Zar hurling her Silent Death across the field, killing three Warriors before the weapon returned to her hand.
This can’t be, the Haemonculus thought. Her faith in her army was restored when the Banshees that had lost five of their number to Talos fire charged a Talos and were rewarded by two more members perishing to the mechanical beast’s pincers. The green-plumed Banshees charged the Raider they had shot at, but their blades were of no use against the craft’s armor, and their Exarch found no vulnerability with her Executioner.
The Raiders that were still mobile buzzed about, their pilots confused and angered at the losses their squadron had suffered. One fired its horrorfex at the green-plumed Banshees, who were closest to the Dark Eldar lines. Horrific hallucinations pinned them to the spot, and a nearby clump of Warriors moved up and opened up on them, killing six Banshees. Another Raider found a bead on a Vyper and its dark lance stunned the crew. Two Taloses fired at a squad of yellow-plumed Banshees, killing four. Both beasts were out of assault range, but the Talos already in combat killed the last of the blue-plumed Banshees, but not before suffering two grievous hurts.*
*Editor’s note: During the game, we erroneously assumed that Banshees (Str 3) could harm Taloses (T 7) with a roll of 6 “to wound.” The mistake wasn’t discovered until well after the game.
In hand-to-hand fighting, the squad of yellow-plumed Banshees charged a Talos and lost three of their members. Jain Zar and her Banshees attacked another Talos and the Phoenix Lord made swift work of the metal monster, carving it into scrap.
With most of their transports out of action, the Dark Eldar relied on their Warriors. One squad finished off the green-plumed Banshees while three Warrior squads and the Wyches moved up and combined their fire at close range to wipe out the purple-plumed Banshees. Jain Zar fell to a storm of splinter rifle fire: her armor crumpled and fell empty to the ground as her indomitable spirit left her.
Vulnayvya smiled—surely with the end of the Phoenix Lord, victory was at hand? Perhaps not, as the yellow-plumed Banshees managed to bring down the Talos they had been fighting and swept closer to the Dark Eldar lines.
The gray-plumed Banshees crashed into the Dark Eldar line, killing six Warriors. The yellow-plumed Banshees attacked the last Talos and all of them fell to the monster’s claws. Wordlessly, Vulnayvya signaled for the right side of her line to move towards a figurine, located atop a hill. The others she ordered to repel the gray-plumed Banshees.
The Wyches and the last Talos slammed into the gray-plumed Banshees, killing four of them. The Banshees slew two more of the Warriors they had attacked and then attempted to fall back. The Wyches caught them in their nets and stabbed them to death where they fell.
The Dark Eldar, led by Vulnayvya, got there first. Vulnayvya’s stinger shot went wide and the rest of their fire was ineffective. Further down the line, a Warrior squad destroyed a Vyper, but it was not the one with the figurine. The battle ended with the Eldar holding three of the ancient objects and the Dark Eldar holding two.
Outcome: Draw (Dark Eldar Victory Points: 1703; Eldar Victory Points: 1610)
by Patrick Eibel
This game was just about perfect.
Both armies looked fantastic. Yann had painted up his Eldar for the Grand Tournament, and the rank upon rank of Banshees in bone armor really was striking. To differentiate Banshee squads from one another, Yann had painted each squad’s hair plumes a different color. This made it easy during the battle to identify who was doing what (yellow plumes Fleet of Foot, purple plumes assault the Talos, etc.) Kenton’s purple, silver, and blue color scheme for the Ozone Scorpions made a nice visual contrast and clearly pointed out who were the “bad guys.”
The entire spirit of the game was of good fellowship and fun. While Kenton and Yann certainly wanted to win the game and were talking smack to each other, the atmosphere never became contentious or tense. The game was played at Dream Wizards in Rockville, Maryland, and there were plenty of other games going on at the same time (we will not discuss the kid at the next table who asked rules questions every five minutes). Both armies attracted onlookers from around the store, and several people remarked how nice it was to see two well-painted armies squaring off. The scenery for the table was typical gaming store hills and ruins, but there was plenty available.
At first, it looked like the game was going to be an easy win for Kenton, as he was playing mostly shooty and poor Yann’s Banshees had to slog over a lot of terrain. Once the Banshees neared assault range, it became clear the game would be closer than anticipated. In my book, the play of the game was the destruction of two Raiders by glancing hits from Banshee pistol fire. In close games, it is frequently the long shots (or in this case the short shots) that can make the difference.
In all, the game was thoroughly enjoyable
to be a part of (I compiled the notes), and I look forward to the next
time Yann can make his way down to the area so I can get in a game with
him. It’s battles like this one that remind me why, as I stumble into middle
age, I am still playing with toy soldiers.
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