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Events and Battle Reports

A Hazy Shade of Winter II  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore
Longtime visitor Angelo Almeda recently requested (via the Jungle’s Facebook page) that Pat and I stage a battle with both sides using Allies.  Well, unlike some radio stations, we do take requests here at the Equatorial Rainforest.  Pat was itching to test-drive the recently-released new Codex: Eldar, and I’m always up for something new and different. 

Eldar and Imperial Guard (2500 points)  by Patrick Eibel
There are several reasons to include something in an army list, only one of which is its effectiveness.  When selecting units for this list, I was mindful of including lots of interesting units from Codex: Eldar.  I wanted my allied Guard units to reinforce my army concept while also providing some anti-Flyer support.  That’s a lot to accomplish, but fortunately I have 2500 points to play with.  Here is what I brought:

  • Avatar w/ Fast Shot
  • Farseer w/ Witchblade; Psyker Master Level 3 (1 Divination, 2 Runes of Fate powers)
  • 10 Guardian Defenders w/ scatter laser
  • 10 Guardian Defenders w/ scatter laser
  • 10 Guardian Defenders w/ bright lance
  • 10 Guardian Defenders w/ bright lance
  • 6 Rangers
  • 6 Jetbikes, including one w/ shuriken cannon
  • 10 Striking Scorpions, including Exarch w/ biting blade
  • 6 Wraithguard
  • 6 Warp Spiders, including Exarch w/ twin-linked spinner
  • 2 War Walkers, each w/ missile launcher + flakk missiles, bright lance
  • 6 Dark Reapers
  • Vaul’s Wrath Support Battery w/ two D-cannons
  • Imperial Guard Company Command Squad, including Company Commander, one w/ medipack, one lascannon team, Regimental Standard, Officer of the Fleet
  • Green Platoon Command Squad, including autocannon and plasma gun
  • Green Platoon Infantry Squad, including autocannon and plasma gun
  • Green Platoon Infantry Squad, including autocannon and plasma gun
  • 9 Ratlings
  • Vendetta
  • Aegis Defense Line w/ Icarus lascannon

The plan was fairly straightforward: the Avatar would “man” the Icarus lascannon where his BS of 10 would really come in handy and Fast Shot would give him an extra go.  I took the Icarus lascannon over the Quad gun because I was not impressed with the Quad gun’s ability to knock Scythes out of the sky in a previous battle.  The Avatar would also keep all the Guardians near him Fearless.  I brought bright lances to deal with Battlewagons, which are almost as hard to bring down as Flyers.  I normally don’t like taking small squads as they are easily eliminated, but for the sake of bringing a variety of Eldar units, I pared things down.  The Guard infantry blobbed together to maximize their firepower (and any Bring It Down orders).

 


Necrons and (proxied) Orks (2499 points)
  by Kenton Kilgore
It took a while for me to decide on which two armies of mine I’d bring: my Tigers are currently on hold pending the new Space Marine codex; I’ve recently used my Fearful Symmetry Chaos Space Marines; my Dark Eldar and (proxied) Tyranids don’t play well with others (according to the Allies chart in the main rulebook).  That left my Necrons—Yblis’ Centurions—and my proxied Orks—the Dvergar Steeljacks.  Both of which are ancient enemies of the Eldar.  Excellent!

  • Lucifer 1.1. Necron Overlord w/ staff of light, resurrection orb
  • Royal Court of 5 Crypteks, all w/ eldritch lances (one has solar pulse)
  • 14 Necron Warriors; Night Scythe
  • 14 Necron Warriors; Night Scythe
  • 14 Necron Warriors; Night Scythe
  • 9 Immortals w/ tesla carbines; Night Scythe
  • 10 Immortals w/ gauss blasters; Night Scythe
  • Doom Scythe
  • Doom Scythe
  • Dvergar Engineer.  Counts as Ork Big Mek w/ Mek’s tools, power klaw, kustom force field
  • Dvergar Regulars, Squad Black.  Count as 27 Ork Boyz w/ shootas and 3 w/ big shootas
  • Dvergar Regulars, Squad Gold.  Count as 23 Ork Boyz w/ shootas and 2 w/ big shootas
Ordinarily, I field my Dvergar as hand-to-hand monsters mounted in Battlewagons, but given the limits on the number of Allied units one can take, I opted for them to supplement the Necrons’ numbers, serve as an inexpensive screen (the kustom force field is just gravy), and discourage assaults on my robots.  Accordingly, I took lots of cheap, shooty guys who can nevertheless slap around any Guardsmen (and almost any Eldar) that get too close.

Set-Up
We played at my house, on an 8' x 4' table I had set up ahead of time with “winter” scenery and my recently-completed ruined archeotech lab as the centerpiece.  Pat’s Eldar and my ‘bots had fought on a similar table a few years ago, hence the name for this battle report. 

Rolling for Warlord Traits, I received “Conqueror of Cities” for Lucifer, my Necron Lord.  Pat used the Traits in the new Codex: Eldar, and received “Fate’s Messenger,” which would allow his Avatar to re-roll failed saving throws of “1.”

We rolled for mission—“The Scouring”—and deployment (“Vanguard,” with Night Fighting TBD starting on Turn 5).  I abhor “Vanguard Deployment,” as I never got higher than a “C” in Geometry, and that was 30 years ago.  Per the mission parameters, we placed objectives around the board, with the most-desirable 4-point counter smack in the middle of the ruined lab, and then rolled to see what “mysterious” qualities they’d have:

  • 1-point objective: Targeting Relay
  • 2-point objective: Targeting Relay
  • 2-point objective: Grav Wave Generator
  • 3-point objectives (both): Scatterfield
  • 4-point objective: Targeting Relay
I won the die toss to deploy and go first, and clumped my fellows betwixt some trees and the lab, claiming a 3-point objective and not far from a 2-pointer.  The Dvergar cannon fodder were in front with the Engineer/Big Mek, my Necron Warriors, Immortals, and Lucifer nearby to gain the benefit of his kustom force field.  My seven (!) Flyers started, of course, off the board.


Necron/Dvergar deployment

Pat put down in his Aegis Defense Line roughly parallel to my forces, then put Guardians, Dark Reapers, Wraithguard, Warp Spiders, and D-cannons behind it.  He put his Imperial Guardsmen on his right flank, along with his Jetbikes, and parked his Rangers atop a hill at the end of his deployment zone.  Right at the start, the Rangers held a 3-point objective, a squad of Guardsmen held a 2-pointer, and the Wraithguard a 1-pointer.  More serious was that he had put the Avatar, with his BS 10, behind the Icarus lascannon, and had purchased Fast Shot so that our flaming friend could fire said mucho-macho cannon twice a round.  Swell.

 
Pat's deployment, with Striking Scorpions and Ratlings infiltrating the ruined lab.  The IG squads are just out of the frame of the photo, on the left

Pat’s infiltrating Scorpions and Ratlings took up positions in the lab.  Too late, I realized that I should have put all but two squads (or so) of Necrons where I originally had and deployed the rest behind the archeotech lab, completely out of sight of almost all of Pat’s army so as to deny him easy shooting.  As it was, most of his guys had clear shots at mine.  Yikes.



Guardsmen and Eldar Jetbikes on Pat's right flank

Pat failed to seize the initiative, and the turkey shoot was underway. 


Turn 1
Fast as their stumpy legs could carry them, Regulars Squad Black (“Shoota” Boyz) clambered into the ruined lab.  The others followed, attempting to maneuver out of line of sight of the Eldar.  One Cryptek fired his eldritch lance at a D-cannon, knocking a Wound off it.



Necrons and Dvergar tramp through the snow towards--and into--the lab

The Farseer bricked a “Perils of the Warp” test as he attempted to cast Guide in the War Walkers, taking a Wound.  The Striking Scorpions moved to intercept the Regulars Black who had invaded their space, and Jetbikes zoomed up towards the lab. 

D-cannons fired on the Regulars Squad Gold, hitting 14 and killing 7; a scatter laser from a Guardian squad took down two more.  The War Walkers and the Avatar/Icarus combo took out two from the same squad as well (a waste of firepower, but they were just getting warmed up). 

 

Dark Reapers fired on Immortals, dropping two.  Ratlings and Scorpions shot dead six Regular Black, with the Scorpions dropping back 6" after firing—a nifty trick, thanks to Battle Focus. 

 
Turn 2
Pat’s Officer of the Fleet messed with my Reserve rolls (simply rude), so I had to settle for only three Night Scythes and a Doom Scythe coming on the board this turn.  Why is my life so hard?

 

As the Flyers come on the board...

The Avatar took advantage of the Icarus cannon’s Interceptor and Skyfire abilities to take a potshot at my Doom Scythe, forcing it to jink away one of the two hits; fortunately, the one that struck was a mere glancing blow, knocking off a Hull Point.  As most of my infantry continued towards the lab, one squad of Warriors went through the nearby woods and took a 2-point objective (the Targeting Relay). 

 

...the Necrons and Dvergar infantry continue to advance.  The Jetbikes and Warp Spiders try to persuade them otherwise.

I concentrated shooting from my Flyers’ tesla destructors at the Icarus—I had to get rid of that thing tout de suite, or this appalling “turkey shoot” I was in was going to get even worse.  I managed only 1 Wound off the Icarus (curse it’s T7 and 3+ save), but follow-on arc hits struck down three nearby Guardians and gave me some wicked satisfaction (for some reason, Pat does not share my fondness for tesla weapons). 

Not far away, Regulars Squad Black fired on the Ratlings (as they could not see the Scorpions), killing four.  The Ratlings’ nerve held, and as my Dvergar were not close enough to assault them, it was Pat’s turn.

 
The Vendetta--and its sweet, sweet twin-linked lascannons--crashes the party already in progress

The Vendetta came on to engage my Flyers as the Scorpions advanced on the Dvergar Black, the Warp Spiders moved on the Gold, and the Jetbikes flew around the lab to target Warriors.  The Farseer successfully Guided the War Walkers and Misfortuned my Doom Scythe.  The IG Company Commander ordered his men to put their weapons at a nearby Night Scythe and Bring It Down!  They succeeded in making it jink and shaking it, knocking off a Hull Point. 

Wraith Guard fired on the Doom Scythe, locking its velocity and tagging it for another Hull Point.  Lascannon blasts from the Vendetta forced another Night Scythe to jink.  The Guided War Walkers hit the Doom Scythe three times, wrecking it: it crashed into some nearby Guardians, killing three.  The Avatar tried to hit a Night Scythe with the Wailing Doom, but missed, and fire from scatter lasers and Dark Reapers did nothing to the Scythes, either. 

Jetbikes fired on some nearby Necron Warriors, to no avail.  The Spiders were more successful, killing four Dvergar Gold members, then running back 5" around the corner of the lab.  D-cannons fired on the Warriors that had just seized the 2-point objective, knocking down 5 of them.  Ratling sniper shots did nada against my Immortals, and neither did the pistol fire of the Scorpions against my Dvergar Black.

The Scorpions failed their charge against my proxied Shoota Boyz, and my fellows were kind enough to fire Overwatch snap shots at them, dropping two Scorps.

Turn 3
Reanimation Protocols raised my fallen Cryptek from the Warriors brought down from D-cannons, and another Night Scythe came on from reserves.  As the Necrons and Dvergar continued advancing, the Avatar fired the Icarus lascannon at the newly-arrived Scythe, forcing it to jink.

The new Scythe returned the favor, failing to harm the cannon but killing three Guardians.  Another Scythe fired on a War Walker, shaking it.  Scythes also fired on the Vendetta, scoring two penetrating strikes after Pat managed to jink away a third hit.  Alas for Team Robot/Stunty, all that happened was the Vendetta lost a lascannon sponson on the right wing and suffered Locked Velocity (the two Hull Points lost were appreciated, however).

Immortals fired on the Striking Scorpions, killing 6 and leaving 2 alive.  Dvergar Regulars Black managed 11 Wounds by shooting at Ratlings, but only 2 fell.  Necron Warriors shot at the Warp Spiders, killing 2, and other Warriors took out both D-cannons and one of their crew. 



What's missing from this picture?  Warp Spiders and D-Cannons, that's what.  For which, I was very, very happy.


Regulars Squad Gold fired at the Spiders, killing two, then charged, losing one of their own to Overwatch.  The Exarch sliced up a Dvergar before the rest of my ersatz Ork Boyz pwned the Warp jumpers. 

At the start of Pat’s turn, the Farseer successfully cast Guide on the War Walkers and Misfortuned a Night Scythe: fire from them stunned the robotic crew of the Flyer.  Dark Reapers focused their fire on Necron Warriors out in the open near the 3-point objective, dropping four of them.  The Vendetta and Guardian fire from scatter lasers and bright lance dropped five Warriors from the squad on the 2-point objective.   

The Guardsmen again heeded their leader’s exhortation to Bring It Down, blasting a Night Scythe so that it had to jink to save itself.  The Wraithguard also hit the same Scythe, locking its velocity. 

Ratlings shot at the Dvergar Regulars Black, killing two.  The Jetbikes turbo-boosted 36" towards the other end of the board, intending an end-around my mass of Warriors.  In the Assault Phase, the Striking Scorpions charged Dvergar Black, losing one of their own to Overwatch fire.  The Evil Space Dwarves (don’t call them Squats!) hacked down the Exarch (the last of his squad) and advanced.

Turn 4
My other Doom Scythe and my last Night Scythe came on from reserves as my two larger Night Scythes (tasked to the Immortals, because when you’re that frosty, you get the pimpin’ ride) left the board (as Flyers are wont—and allowed—to do). 

I made various Reanimation rolls to get some Warriors and Immortals to stand back up.  Said troops continued to hold their two objectives while Immortals and Dvergar Regulars pushed further into the lab, taking the 4-point objective.  The Avatar fired the Icarus at the Doomer as it chased after the Jetbikes, scoring glancing (-1 Hull Point) and penetrating hits (-1 Hull Point and Locked Velocity) as my jinking failed. 

 
No mas Icarus: the Night Scythe takes out the big gun that had held the center of Pat's line

In the Shooting Phase, my newly-arrived Night Scythe finally took out the Icarus.  The Doom Scythe, unable, thanks to jinking, to use its heat ray and needing “6’s” to hit with its tesla destructor, whiffed against the Jetbikes.  Regular Squad Black blasted the Ratlings, wiping them out.  Immortals fired on the Dark Reapers across from them, killing one; the “mine cannon” (read: “big shoota”) from Regulars Gold took out another Reaper.  In a bit of mop-up (and because no other targets were in range), the Warriors on the 2-point objective in the woods polished off the three Guardians left from the defunct D-cannon unit.

 
Jetbikes pursued by the recently-arrived Doom Scythe

On Pat’s turn, his Farseer successfully Guided his War Walkers again, but had a brain cramp and suffered a Peril of the Warp (and thus, another lost Wound) while trying to Misfortune the Dvergar Regulars Squad Black.  The Jetbikes swooshed around a stand of trees, headed for the Warriors on the 3-point objective and the hill it was located (the hill becomes significant in Turn 5).  The Vendetta moved to engage the newly-arrived Night Scythe in a dogfight.

 
A good look at Pat's line, with Dark Reapers (at bottom center, in silver) and Guardians (blue and purple armor).  War Walkers bring up the rear; IG hold the right

In the Shooting Phase, the Imperial Guardsmen again obeyed the order to Bring It Down, and carried it out this time, wrecking the previously stunned Night Scythe.  Lascannon blasts from the Vendetta struck all Hull Point off the newbie Scythe and locked its velocity.  Dark Reapers dropped two Immortals, and the War Walkers killed two Dvergar Black. 

Scatter lasers and bright lances from the Guardians dispatched two of Dvergar Gold, one Cryptek, and one Warrior on the 2-point objective.  The Jetbikes fired on the Warriors on the 3-point objective, downing four of them, but failed their charge roll and retreated a few inches.

Turn 5
Per the mission parameters, we rolled to see if Night Fighting would take effect, but twilight was not coming yet.  Rid of that irritating Avatar + Icarus combo, the Night Scythes that had flown off the turn before returned to wreck some [poop], while the Doom Scythe excused itself temporarily from the battle. 

After Reanimation rolls, Warriors and Immortals inside the lab arranged themselves into better firing positions (such as atop the walls) against the line of Eldar outside, targeting the Dark Reapers, to no avail.  A returning Scythe and the Warriors on the 3-point objective fired on the Jetbikes, crashing two of them.  Another Scythe wrecked the Vendetta, and the third killed two Rangers in a vain attempt to oust them from their 3-point objective.  After learning that said Rangers had a 2+ cover save, I abandoned pursuing this course of action any further.

Dvergar Regulars Black had moved up to engage the encroaching Wraithguard, who were right outside the lab.  Fire from the proxied Shoota Boyz brought down one Elfbot, and my lads (ladz?) charged, surviving Overwatch and dragging down another while losing one of their own.  With the fight tied, it would continue into Pat’s turn.



One can't just let Wraithguard go wandering around loose with their Zappy Guns o' Death.  
Not when one has expendable, plentiful, and choppy proxied Ork Boyz at the ready...


Pat’s Farseer Guided the War Walkers again: maybe Walkers should just come with that standard, the way cars have radios and seat belts.  The Farseer also Mind Warred an Immortal, making him fall-down-go-boom.  The Immortal, that is.  

The Avatar, the Guardians, and the Dark Reapers sallied forth from the protection of their Aegis Defense Line (nicely loaned to them by those Imperial chaps, one may assume).  Dark Reapers dropped two Warriors on the 2-point objective in the woods, whereupon I decided that they would Go To Ground for the rest of the show. 



The Avatar leads the Guardians out to face the Necrons in a do-or-die showdown

Seemingly weary of hearing the same order over and over again, Pat’s Guardsmen did not respond to Bring It Down, but still wrecked a Night Scythe and shook another.  The Guided War Walkers wrecked another Scythe. 



Jetbikes about to charge the Warriors, before Overwatch and Dangerous Terrain Checks take their toll....

The Jetbikes moved up, fired on the Warriors atop the hill (and the 3-point objective), but didn’t bag a single Toaster.  The ‘bikes charged, losing one of their number to Overwatch fire and another to dangerous terrain (I told you that the hill was significant).  For all that, the Jetbikes didn’t kill any Warriors in close combat, but they lost no more members and at least they were safe from return fire from other ‘bot units.

At the center of the board, the Avatar charged Dvergar Regulars Black, easily hacking down five.  The Wraithguard killed another.  The pseudo-Steelers killed a Wraithguard and kept their nerve, thanks to the Mob rule.  The fight would continue—but would the game?

Turn 6
Why, yes—yes, it would!  And Night Fighting would commence as well, though our forces were so close together that it made no difference.  My Doom Scythe returned and took out all but one of the Dark Reapers, finally getting to use its heat ray to pinpoint and carve through Pat’s guys in that way I know he hates more than Duke’s basketball team.  After making several Reanimation rolls, Immortals and Warriors (and Night Scythes) sprayed fire into Guardians, zorching many. 



Hey diddle, diddle: Necrons up the middle.  Or something like that.

In the Assault Phase, the Avatar cleaned the clocks of three Dvergar, the Wraithguard one more.  The Space Dwarves elected to do take a long shot by throwing everything they had against the Avatar, which, resulted in exactly “jack” and “squat” (I’m here all week—try the veal).  Breaking, the Dvergar were caught by the Giant Elf Enfuego and destroyed, with the two Wraithguard plodding closer to my deployment zone and the Avatar headed towards the front of the ruined lab to deal with my fellows there.

On the other end of the board, the skirmish between the Jetbikes and my Warriors continued, with both sides flapping their hands ineffectually at each other.

On Pat’s turn, his Farseer Guided the War Walkers—where have I heard this before?—but I managed to Deny the Witch and blocked his attempted Misfortune on my Doom Scythe.  After a brief “come-to-Jesus” meeting between the IG Commander and the men under him, the Guardsmen obeyed the order to Bring It Down, crashing a Night Scythe on some remaining Guardians. 

War Walkers and a Guardian bright lance fired on the Doom Scythe, to no real avail besides making it jink and suffering a glancing hit (-1 Hull Point).  The scatter laser of a Guardian squad dropped one Warrior on the 2-point objective; Guardians and the Avatar (with his Wailing Doom) fired on Warriors out front of the ruined lab, dropping three.


The Avatar moves against the mass of Necrons holding the center, as a Doom Scythe zooms not far overhead 

In the Assault Phase, the Avatar attempted to charge said Warriors, but failed; fortunately, he was not wounded by the Overwatch fire.  Over at the other slapfight, my Warriors struck down a Jetbike, but the survivor held.  Pat rolled to see if the game would continue, but his Loyal Green Die ™ had had enough for one day, and the battle came to a close.

Final Score
Necrons/Dvergar: 8 Victory Points
(4-point objective held by Immortals + 2-point objective held by Warriors + 1 for eliminating Warp Spiders [Fast Attack unit] + 1 for destroying Vendetta [Fast Attack unit])

Eldar/Imperial Guard: 7 Victory Points (3-point objective held by Rangers + 2-point objective held by IG + 1-point objective held by Guardians + 1 for First Blood)

Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
Now that was a lot of fun.  The Necron “Flying Circus” is no joke, and Kenton’s version has seven – S-E-V-E-N – Flyers to deal with.  In the past, I have had serious problems dealing with the combination of super-fast Flyers with large infantry squads of Necron Warriors.  I was very pleased with the anti-Flyer units I brought at not letting the Scythes dominate the game.  

Not everything I brought excelled.  The Warp Spiders needed to be more than 6 to survive for too long.  The Striking Scorpions, while a nice idea, were not going to be able to get any traction against the large blobs of Warriors and Boyz.  I probably should have dropped the Scorpions in favor of more Spiders, or dropped both in favor of more Jetbikes (they rock!)  Still, there is no shame in losing by one point when facing one of the best armies currently in the game.  Anybody want to question whether Eldar can be competitive now?

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
I have lost track of how many games I have lost or almost lost (like this one) because of stupid deployment.  Frankly, I just suck at it.  The patently obvious deployment was to stash almost all my guys behind the lab and march into it, then use it for cover as I firefought the Eldar at close range.  To fend off the Avatar, I could have fed him cheap, expendable, and nigh-Fearless (Mob Rule) Ork Boyz.

To add on to the stupidity, it wasn’t until I started writing up this report that I realized that one of my Crypteks had a solar pulse, which I could have used on Turn 1 to create Night Fighting conditions and mitigate Pat’s shooting.  So even though I had deployed stupidly, I had the means at had to alleviate much of the problem.  And I overlooked it.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I need to play smarter if I hope to do well at Counter Offensive 10, coming in August.  

 
Posted  July 2013
 

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