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Test Driving the New
Rules: Dvergar vs. Eldar & Allies by Kenton Kilgore and Patrick Eibel
(1995 points) by Kenton Kilgore
I viewed this game as an experiment, and my army was going to be the control: they would not avail themselves of Allies, psykers (with their new powers), flyers, fortifications, or any other hoopiness that 6th Edition had brought. Instead, they would answer the question of whether a 5e army could still compete under the new rules, or would I have to drastically re-think it to keep it viable.
Lotus Storm of
Impossible Contemplation & Allies (1995 points) by Patrick Eibel
I really liked the list I put together, as it would offer the opportunity to try a lot of stuff out. My basic idea was to have a shooty element and a fast element. The shooty guys would thin out the Orks and grab close objectives, while the fast guys would wreak havoc in the back of the board. Since Eldar and Guard are Allies of Convenience, I had no problem letting the Imperials fly around on their own.
Setting Up by Kenton Kilgore
We rolled for mission and came up with The Scouring; deployment turned out to be Dawn of War. We then placed the objectives as instructed under the write-up for The Scouring. One objective (worth 4 points) went on the landing pad just outside my deployment zone; one (worth 3 points) went atop a bastion just outside Pat’s zone; the other was on a bridge near the center of the board. The objectives for 2 points each went onto a little power-station thingy in the left side of my zone, and some rocks on Pat’s side of the board, respectively. The 1-point counter went among some ruins on Pat’s side of the board, on my right.
Because Pat had won the roll of what table side he had wanted, he set up first, placing his Aegis Defense Line on his right flank and putting two squads of Guardians, the Farseer, and the Avatar behind it. Next to them were another Guardian Squad and both War Walkers. On his left flank, he placed his Dire Avengers. He infiltrated his Rangers atop the bastion (holding an objective) and kept everything else in Reserve.
I put the Crawler (Battle Wagon) loaded with Regulars (Shoota Boyz) on my right, behind the landing pad. The Crawler with the Steel Troopers (‘Ard Boyz) deployed to the Shoota Boyz’s left, to move up and seize the bridge. I put the Warspar (Warboss) with the Flametongues (Burna Boyz) together and put all three remaining Crawlers (with the Warboss/Burna Boyz and both Nobz Mobs) on my left, to barrel up the field and rip Pat’s wimpy little Eldar into moist, Twinkie-flavored shreds.
As I had the Night Fight Warlord ability, those rules would take effect at the start of the game and last through Turn 1. I rolled to Seize the Initiative and succeeded. And with that, the brutality began.
Turn 1 by Kenton Kilgore
Dvergar Crawlers with Marauders and Flametongues (center) rush the Eldar line
While the missile launchers of the Guardians did what they do best—“miss”—the Guided War Walker’s launcher and brightlance effortlessly sliced through the front of one Crawler, exploding it (“6” on the Vehicle Damage Table) and causing one of the Gold Squad Marauders aboard to take a Wound. The other War Walker fired on the ersatz Nobz, finishing off the wounded fellow. The Rangers rained on them as well, getting a Precision Shot on the Painboy and making him take a Wound. The squad failed its Pin check (rolled a “10,” needed a “9” or lower) and they hit the dirt.
At the other end of the battle, the Dire Avengers moved up and unloaded a Bladestorm on the Regulars, but thanks to intervening cover, only three of my guys died.
The Flametongues unlimbered their burnas on one of the Guardian squads behind the wall, incinerating them and leaving only the squad’s Warlock and the attached Farseer. I rolled to see if my guys were in Assault range, and they were, even with the penalty for having to go through difficult terrain (i.e., over the Aegis wall). Overwatch from the Warlock and the Farseer did exactly skadoosh, and my Dvergar made the acquaintance of the pointy-ears.
The Farseer challenged the Warspar, who, of course, accepted. Striking first, the Farseer wounded the Warspar, but the Mallet O’ Understanding (read: power klaw) of the Dvergar leader was too much for the Farseer to withstand. Likewise, the Warlock swung first against the swarming Flametongues, and after he missed, they stamped him into the dust.
Not far away, the Black Marauders announced a charge on the Blue Guardian squad on Pat’s right flank, and Overwatch fire took down one proxied Nob. Then the survivors charged and the Guardians who had not been engaged Piled In and attacked, one of them slapping a Wound on one of my fighters. The Warlock challenged the Marauder with the power klaw, taking a Wound off him. After patiently enduring all this, my guys hacked down the Warlock and all but 4 Guardians. The Eldars’ nerve broke and they successfully extricated themselves from the fight, falling back towards their board edge. The surviving Dvergar took cover for the inevitable Eldar Shooty-Shoot Revenge Phase.
First, however, the Vendetta and its passengers, the Veteran Troopers and military advisors, came on the board from Reserves, rocketing across the table towards the landing pad, under which my Regulars still skulked.
The Guardians that had survived the Marauders’ attacks regrouped (under the generous new rules for doing so) and fired at the Flametongues, who successfully hugged cover. The Walker that had taken out the Crawler on Turn 1 vaporized a Black Marauder with its brightlance. The Purple Guardians (who had watched the Guardians to their right get barbecued by the Flametongues) opened up on the poseur Burna Boyz, killing four, and the other War Walker (kitted out for anti-infantry) took down three more.
Not falling for the Steel Troopers’ amateurish “Hey! Look at us!” bit, the Rangers also fired on the Burnas, killing one and forcing a Pin test, which they passed. The Vendetta’s lascannons struck a glancing blow to the Regulars’ Crawler, and Pat was dismayed to learn that Battlewagons have 4 Hull Points.
The Avatar challenged the Warspar, but because Giant Volcano Elf had to step over the Aegis line to reach my Redheaded Stumpy, they struck blows at the same time. The Warspar suffered some wretched “to hit” rolls but knocked a Wound off the Avatar, then was simultaneously hacked to pieces and lit on fire. Because that’s what the Avatar does. Stupidly, my Flametongues kept their nerve and stuck around to fight next turn.
In any event, the surviving Black Marauders boarded the Crawler that had not tank shocked, and the Gold Marauders—no longer pinned—took the objective among the rocks. My Regulars gunned down two Dire Avengers, and the Steel Troopers shot dead a Ranger. In the Assault Phase, the Avatar hacked down the last of the Flametongues, to no one’s great surprise.
At the start of Pat’s turn, the Jetbikes and Vyper came on from Reserves. The Vendetta went into Hover mode and the Veterans leapt from it, advancing on the Regulars. The Bikes, Vyper, and Rangers combined their fire on my Steel Troopers, taking out 10 of them and pinning them: “YOI!” The Veterans—with their three flamers—and the Dire Avengers opened up on the Regulars, killing 11 of them: “DOUBLE YOI!” The two surviving Shoota Boyz fell back 8".
The Jetbikes needed a “12” to Assault the ersatz ‘Ard Boyz they had been shooting at, and, to be expected, they did not make the roll. The Avatar, however, charged the Crawler (Battle Wagon) that the Black Marauders (Nobz) had just boarded, getting two penetrating hits. The vehicle exploded, pinning the Nobz.
On Pat’s turn, the Vendetta zoomed away and the Vyper fired at the rear of the Crawler that had tried to take out the flyer. BOOM went the transport—another penetrating hit and another “Destroyed” result, and I was starting to wonder if I had fielded burly Battlewagons or weedy Dark Eldar Raiders. The Veterans (who lost two guys when the nearby Crawler went up like a Roman candle) fired at the Steel Troopers, but the ‘Ard Boyz’ armor held. However, the Steelers lost three to the verdamnt Rangers. Finally, the Jetbikes fired on the back of another Crawler, taking two hull points off it and stunning the crew.
In the Assault Phase, the Avatar charged the pinned Black Marauders whose ride he had destroyed in the previous turn. The Nobz were struck by Fear (a new special rule that Monstrous Creatures have), but as they needed 5+ to hit the Avatar in close combat anyway (thanks to his WS 10), it wasn’t as big a deal as I thought it would be. Striking first against the Flaming Elf God (because he was charging into the crater their tank had left), the Marauders slapped a Wound on him. One of them took one himself from the return swing.
The Vets fired on the Steel Troopers, killing two, and the Jetbikes polished them off with a fusillade of shuriken catapults. The rammed War Walker fired on the Crawler all up in its grill, doing a glancing blow. The Vendetta unleashed its lascannons at the Black Marauders, evaporating one. We rolled Pat’s Loyal Green Die ™ to see if the game would end, and mercifully, it did.
Victory Points, Eldar
& Allies: 9
Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
I will discuss my thoughts about the rules below, so I will focus on how the game played here. The army performed pretty much as I intended, although I am not sure if the Aegis Defense Line was worth the points as the Orks had charged past it rather quickly. My star players were the Avatar, who brought some much needed close combat punch, and the allied Veterans unit, who brought three flamers. Honorable mention goes to the surviving Guardian squad who made it all the way to the end of the fight.
In this game, I found some things did not meet my preconceived notions. The flyer, supposedly a game breaker, really did not do much other than deliver its passengers. Vehicles in general were more survivable that I thought given hull points and glancing hits. The random assault distance was not as big a factor as I thought as I think there was only one failed charge. Overall, I was really pleased with how the army performed and I am excited to play another game.
Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
6e Rule Analysis by Patrick Eibel
I was worried that the rules would be cumbersome and difficult to assimilate. However, this battle took about as long as our usual games, and things moved faster as we learned the rules. In general, I liked how most of the rules changes affected the game. The hardest thing to deal with was remembering to remove the closest dudes (and figuring out which figure that was.) I have played every edition of the game, so I often get rules confused. I was happy to have a friendly opponent who was willing to take the time to get the rule right.
I think 6th Edition will give the game a much-needed shot in the arm. Is there potential for the rules to be abused? Sure, but that existed before.
6e Rule Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
“What about Flyers? What about Allies?” Well, what about them? Maybe I’ll change my mind after playing more games, but I wasn’t torqued about either of them. Pat’s Vendetta pretty much was just a delivery vehicle, and while the Veteran Squad and their flamers were bad news, it wasn’t like they won the battle all by themselves. I do wish we had been able to do more testing on Psychic rules: maybe next time. Also, we forgot to do the Mysterious Objectives thing, which would have added another dimension to the game.
I’ve read that a lot of competitive players are unhappy with the new rules, and I can see why: the new version seems to move away from “competitive” play and much more towards “casual” gaming. As for me, the new version has really stoked my interest in the game, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the next Counter Offensive in August.
Posted August 2012
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