Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ard Boyz, Round 1, Battle 1

Battle 1, "Illusions in the woods"
The first pairing of the day saw me facing a guy named Chris and his Crimson Fist army. My first thought was "Ugh, this will be ugly." Of the 22 entrants, Chris was one of the three other guys at the tournament that I consider "GT quality"; ie skilled enough to have a serious shot at taking Best General or Overall at a 60 person GT. I was going to have to do something special to pull this one off. Thankfully, it was an objectives mission and mech Eldar excel at those.

He brought:
Pedro Kantor
Master of the Forge w a Conversion Beamer
9x Scouts with Sniper Rifles & Cameleoline
2x Dreadnaughts w Multi-Meltas & Heavy Flamers
Venerable Dread w Multi-Melta & Heavy Flamers, in Drop Pod
7x Assault Teminators, 5 w T-Hammer/S-Shield and 2 w Lightning Claws, in Land Raider Crusader w Multi-Melta
2x 10 Sternguard, Sgt w Power Fist, in Rhinos
2x 10 Tactical Marines, Sgt w Power Fist, Multi-Melta, Meltagun, in Razorback w Heavy Bolters

Now here's why I label this report as having "Tricks": I knew that my force had superior mobility, but less Scoring units. All that really mattered was that I controlled more objectives while also killing more squads.
So the first trick was regarding the objectives. One went in the center and the other two went in our deployment zones. He won the roll for first turn and chose to go first. Looking at his list, I figured he was going to come hard and fast at my lines, especially if I gave him some bait. So after I saw him put an objective way to the left, I went ahead and clustered my two as close to the front and center as possible.

Deployment looked like this:

Guys off the board are in Reserves or in tanks. Guys tallied to the left are kills.
The Tacs Combat squadded; 3 Bolters, meltagun and Sgt into the Razorbacks and 4 guys and MM both going into his center forest objective. Master of the Forge and Scouts on the left objective. Pedro and Termies in the Land Raider. Dreads frontal to Screen the APCs in case I swung deep.
I put Eldrad, Wraithguard, and Wraithlords central. Some of the Wraithguard spilled out of the cover to sweeten the bait. Dragons are the red Serpents and Banshees the yellow.

Turn 1 was pretty uneventful.
He Deep Struck the Ven Dread, advanced and popped a few Wraithguard. He tried several shots into my Serpents, but their shield were proof against the puny melta weapons.
I managed to blow the Powerfist off the Ven Dread, reducing him to S6 but he was proof versus my blows in CC and shooting. I did make a mistake at this point by forgetting to declare an assault on the Dread with my Wraithguard. This would have pulled my guys out of range for his Termie charge... I think this was a mixed bag mistake since it eventually cost me my Wraithguard, but also kept him from shifting them to protect a flank.

Turn 2 was a little more bloody. His Land Raider pushed forward to sit just off the middle objective while also unleashing his Termies into my Wraithguard. Thanks to Enhance I popped 2 of them on the way in and Fortuned Rune Armour absorbed a couple Wounds, but I still lost half the squad. He also advanced his APC line and popped Smoke on all of them. Wave Serpent fields again saved the day versus those pesky melta weapons.
My turn saw the Banshees zipping into position, Dragons blasting some Scouts and a unit of jetbikes entering play. Spider fire proved superior on the right and popped a Rhino, killing 4 guys inside. Spider fire proved mediocre on the other and only got a Weapon Destroyed on the Razorback. Fickle dice included Immobilizing his Land Raider with a Bright Lance, only to merely stun it with all three Penetrating hits. I still couldn't kill that damned Ven Dread either... he finally caused a Wound and No Retreat popped another! Only Eldrad and the Spirit Seer were left at this point and my charging Wraithlord had failed to hit Kantor with all three attacks...

Turn 3 saw his Dreads whip back around to try and stop the Banshees, but speed and fields again saw proof, resulting only in a double Shaken thanks to Spirit Stones. The girls were safe to wreak havoc on my turn... His only other Shooting was a squad of Sternguard blowing away a Wraithlord several times over. Damnably, CC went poorly this turn, with me failing to kill any Termies while losing my Spirit Seer and Wraithlord. Eldrad broke and ran, fleeing off the table at the start of my turn. That bloody Ven Dread again shrugged off all blows and managed to fell the Wraithlord! GAH! But in my favor, the Master of the Forge and his Scouts had learned to fear the DB Flamer... so they broke cover, shooting and CC wiping the Dragons, but Consolidate not giving them enough move to return to safety.
My turn saw the left squad of Spiders jump forward and blast several Scouts. They then charged the MotF and killed him, but failed to drop the last two Scouts. The other Spiders wiped the small Sternguard while the Banshees took the Tac Marines to town. That damnable Ven Dread weathered the Fire Dragon shooting with only an Immobilized, but finally went down to meltabombs in CC! I also risked a unit of jetbikes up the right side to make him think about that objective there. Here's where I made my second mistake of the game, I forgot to move them back away from the Termies... but surely he'd flub the Difficult Terrain, right?

Turn 4 ended up being our last turn due to time. Neither of us was slow-playing, but Chris' has several unfortunate interruptions during the course of the battle. I'm sure this helped throw him off his game. We both knew it was the last turn and the push for the objectives was on!
Chris' Termies didn't flub and went on to massacre the Jetbikes. He encircled my right objective with a Rhino and Razorback as well as the Termies. The Sternguard ran to jump just onto the edge of my left objective. But the Warp Spiders and Banshees finished off the Marines guarding both of his objectives. He also tried Tank Shock on my jetbikes, but they laughed and moved aside.
Going into the final turn, I didn't hold a single objective to his two. I also thought we were tied for KP... So I resorted to mech Eldar trickery again! The Spiders on the left jumped out to threaten his Razorback while the Jetbikes grabbed the objective. The right Dragon Serpent then jumped his lines to contest the right objective. He was solidly on the other objective, so I Tank Shocked with my Serpent. Even if I lost it to Death or glory, I'd still push them back enough to allow the Jetbikes in to Contest. The DoG was tried and failed; the Sergeant reduced to a fine paste. As they were going to be Fleeing at the end of the game, they were removed to give me yet another KP. We ended the game at this point as it was clear I had the victory.

Final result was 2 objectives for me, 1 contested, and 2 unclaimed. With 9 KP to 7, I had managed to Massacre him. I didn't realize until today, but I probably should have pushed to shoot with the Dragons and Spiders on the right. Had I popped his Razorback and the guys inside, I could have pulled down an extra Battle Point. I think had we gone the full 6 turns, I still would have won. By turn 3 he was so commited to the center that there was no going back... He realized this too and says he's not going to fall for that sort of thing again. :-p

Final result: 20 Battle Points to 0.

P.S. Thanks to the crew at Vassal for providing such a great battle report tool for those of us to lazy or ashamed to take pictures! I hear you can even play games with it too...

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