Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekly Battle Report #7: Salamanders vs. New Dark Eldar

Hey there folks, whats up!  Today's battle report sees my Salamanders face off against a skimmer-heavy Dark Eldar army.  Fun times had by all, this was only my second time playing this army.  It's somewhat apparent that I'm grossly inexperienced in using Land Raiders, as you'll soon see.  Still, it's for sure a good game, and as you'll see, it turned into a pretty good battle.

Alright, first, here's a link to my battle reports page, with links to my other various battle reports.  Here's a link to my first game using the Salamanders.  Alright, cool.  Now that that's out of the way, lets get on to the report!

So, first, here's my list:

Librarian w/ Null Zone/Avenger

10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-flamer, Missile Launcher, Rhino
10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-flamer, Missile Launcher, HB Razorback
10x Tactical Marines w/ Melta, Combi-melta, Multi-melta, Power Fist, Rhino

Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer, Drop Pod
5x Terminators w/ 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield

2x Attack Bikes w/ Multi-Meltas
2x Speeders w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer
1x Speeder w/ Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer

Land Raider Redeemer w/ Multi-melta, Extra Armor

Here's his list:

The Duke (Sliscus?) (goes with the Grotesques)
3x Haemonculi (one goes in each of the Wych squads)

9x Wyches w/ Agonizer, Raider
9x Wyches w/ Agonizer, Raider
9x Wyches w/ Agonizer, Raider
10x Wracks w/ 2x Liquifiers
10x Wracks w/ 2x Liquifiers

4x Grotesques w/ Raider (maybe some liquifiers too? they didn't come into play)

Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances
Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances
Voidraven Fighter w/ 2x Dark Lances, all kinds of S6 Missiles

So, to recap, he has 6 Raiders and 3 other (more deadly) skimmers.  Madness :)

We rolled a mission, and got capture and control, with Dawn of War deployment.  We didn't discuss if we were going to only go for 6 game turns or do random game length, and so we each assumed we were doing the other (I thought 6 turns, he thought random).  Since random is the default, we ended up playing it that way, which was fine.  Kinda messed with me, but I'm not convinced it would have mattered a lot anyways.

So, we rolled for first turn, and he made me go first.  Sad face :(

Here's my deployment: (as per usual:  IF YOU WANT BIGGER PICTURES, CLICK ON THEM!)

He decided to reserve everything.  Some of it deepstriking, some of it regular reserves.  Fine enough with me, I suppose.  You can see the green flags marking the bases.  There's a random green glowy thing in the middle, which wasn't anything, but might be confusing to you.
The Gameplan:

Well, I wanted to kill his skimmers ASAP.  I didn't see anything that really impressed me in terms of 'uber-units', and I needed to make sure to use flamers where I could on his wyches.  In the end, protect my objective, and contest his with vehicles if they were alive, was the main gameplan, since after his skimmers are gone, he has no anti-tank.

Combined Turn 1:

I rolled onto the table.  I think this was one of the more fail parts of my game, especially the out-of-place Land Raider.  Why was it there instead of crashing his objective?  I really don't have a good answer.  You'll see in the picture.  He was fully reserved, and so I got 2 turns in a row.

See... Land Raider isn't in a great place.  Notice that the dread walked on instead of podding on.  Ironically, the pod scattered 12" off the table, and mishap-one'd it up (died).  So, no picture of my pod, lol.  Also, notice that I kept my speeders in deepstrike reserve.  Useful.
Salamanders Turn 2:

Well, moved up some more, popped some smoke, except on Vulkan's ride, for some reason.  I apparently thought that the raider was giving him cover enough.  Another fail :)

You'll notice throughout the game that I have little green tokens everywhere on my vehicles.  My opponent loves to use them, and though I can't read them, I figured let him do it heh..  The little grey blotches on my vehicles denote smoke.
Dark Eldar Turn 2:

Rolling for reserves, he got 2 squads of wyches from deepstrike, a single ravager, and a single squad of Wracks.  His shooting ended up immobilizing Vulkan's rhino.  Fail on my part, smart move on his.

Not much more to say, really.  No other damage ocurred, and it was my turn.

See Vulkan's ride on the right?  Told ya he liked using the little tokens, lol.  On the far left (on his objective) is his wracks, and the middle two squads are his deepstruck Wyches.  The Duke lets them disembark from their vehicle the turn they arrive, apparently.

Ah, here's a closer picture of his guys who came in.  Wyches in the middle, Wracks on his objective.
Salamanders Turn 3:

Well, drove my razorback up and got my dudes out, ready to flamer some Wyches.  Vulkan got out, and joined the combat squad nearby, because he wanted to get into the Land Raider eventually.  My two speeders came in from reserve, and got close enough to shoot at one of his raiders.  Attack bikes got close enough to melta one of his raiders as well.  Basically, everything moved into a position to kill a raider.  And then I went and did something stupid with my Land Raider. I moved it even more out of position, to get a shot at his Ravager.  Wicked, stupid boy that I am.

In shooting, my repair roll worked on my Rhino!  Cool.  My shooting went very well, killing all 3 raiders, but not touching his Ravager.  Flamers with the Librarian went well too, killing an entire unit of Wyches with some below average rolling by my opponent.

No combats, his turn!

You see... Land Raider is now in a place where it's of no real use to challenge his objective, which was my plan to start with.  /sigh

Here's a closer picture of the damage I did.  Where there were 3 raiders and 3 squads here, there are now only 1.5 squads, after lots of shooting.  Notice his Haemonculi from the burned wych squad is still alive.

Dark Eldar Turn 3:

He rolled for reserves and got his 2nd squad of Wracks, as well as his 2nd raider.

Shooting commenced, and he took my assault cannon off my Land Raider.  Otherwise, not much happened.  Tough to hurt even AV12 with dark lances.  He also killed a few of my Librarian Tactical squad with some shooting, before charging (killing the sergeant and the Libby)

He assaulted my 3-man tac squad with 5 wyches and... he killed one of mine, I killed one of his.  Drawn combat with charging Wyches (with re-roll wounds combat drug) vs. 3 regular tac marines, lolz.  I told you wyches suck, didn't I?  Just wait til later, when they have their chance to redeem themselves.  heh

A fun overview.  His ravagers are on the far right, and in the middle/right.  The wracks came in where the wyches died earlier.  Notice that his 'free' haemonculi joined them.

Here's a fun picture of his proxied wracks surrounding the raider.  Tactcial marines are lol'ing at the Wyches they're fighting.
Salamanders Turn 4:

So, I needed to kill his latest batch of transports and ships.  I moved my Raider back to a more defensive position, to guard my objective, since he wouldn't be of any other use.  Vulkan got into the Raider.  The speeders moved over to shoot his ravager on the right, and the attack bikes decided to sacrifice themselves to kill the wracks raider.  Also, my Dread decided that he needed to get closer to my objective, and headed that way.

Shooting commenced, and my speeders killed his ravager, my attack bikes killed his raider.  I don't remember if I did any sort of damage to his other ravager, but he for sure survived.  Hm... bad memory.

In combat, my TWO tactical marines held again, losing nobody.  Wyches are good though you guys :)

Notice my sad attack bikes on the far left, about to get smushed.  It was worth it to get rid of his raider though.  Only 2 more to go, and 2 other skimmers!  I can do it... right?
Dark Eldar Turn 4:

His remaining reserves came in.  He deepstruck the wyches on the far left side of my deployment zone, and the grotesques w/ Duke close to my objective.  You'll see in the pictures :)  His fighter came on next to his other ravager.

So, he started shooting, and killed my Attack Bikes.  He shot everything else, but didn't do much (shook/stunned some rhinos maybe?).  His last shot with the Duke however, ended up popping my Land Raider.  Lucky bastard, lol.

In combat, the wyches finally kill off my tacticals.

Termies are getting ready for some action on the hill? that was created by the exploded Raider.
Salamanders Turn 5:

Well, this is about where I realized that we weren't playing to turn 6 guaranteed (instead, we were going to play random game length).  I didn't really have a way to contest his objective though, so pretty much no matter what, we draw, unless he can contest my objective.  So, I needed a way to kill his guys who could do that.

My flamer tactical squad got out, ready to flamer his grotesques.  Termies got ready to assault, and Vulkan got ready to assault the duke 1v1.  The speeders (my last speeder finally came in) got as close to his objective as they dared.  The Multi-melta squad disembarked from their ride, ready to try and melta his wych's ride, despite the fact that they would get charged next turn for sure.  Take one for the team, ya know.  My Razorback on the left prepped for the objective contest over there.

Shooting went somewhat well for me.  My tacticals killed his wych raider, my Dreadnought killed his Grotesque Raider, and I stunned his fighter.  I shook his ravager, and killed a grotesque.  The Duke took 2 wounds from flamer hits, and failed his shadowfield roll.  Excellent :)

In combat, I killed another Grotesque + a few wounds, and the Duke, and he killed a single Terminator.  They lost combat, and ran, and I walked behind them, to keep them from rallying.

So, nothing of his can contest my objective this turn.  If it ends turn 5, we draw for sure.

Here's a picture of my might victory against the ugly grotesques (you can see them running away).
Dark Eldar Turn 5:

He knew he couldn't contest my stuff, so he settled for threatening it next turn.  He basically moved his ravager into range to contest next turn, and charged with his Wracks at my razorback (since they got FC from killing the attack bikes, and the other squad was joined by a Haemonculi to give them FC.

No shooting, so he charged me with his Wyches on the bottom left, and my razorback on the top left.  His other wyches assaulted my speeders.  The wracks whiffed, the wyches whiffed vs. my speeder squadron, and the wyches who assaulted my tactical marines... did nothing.  They killed one guy, and I killed one wych.  And then I *could* have won combat if my sergeant hadn't whiffed horribly against his haemonculi.  If he hit once, I win combat by 2.  As it is, I'm content with a drawn combat.

We roll to see if the game ends and... no.  It keeps going!

I apparently didn't take a picture of the end of his turn.  Whoops.

Salamanders Turn 6:

To win, I needed to contest his objective, and kill his two gunboats.  So, I moved my razorback next to his objective.  My speeder squadron would clearly not be able to contest this turn, so I moved them 12" so I could flamer lots of Wracks instead.  One of them landed in terrain, rolled a 1, and killed himself.  Doh!  Other things shuffled around, so I could kill his ravager, the only real threat to contest my objective (or so I thought).

In shooting, I was able to kill his ravager, but couldn't knock down his fighter.  I killed a bunch of wracks with my heavy flamer on the speeder.  Not much else happened.  We decided to just skip the Wych combat, heh.

This picture is somewhat confusing.  His ravager had been right next to the termies, and got killed, and he placed it next to his other dead ravager on the top of the screen, out of the way.  That's what was interesting at the end of this turn.

My Razor is on his objective.  He'll charge me next turn, and try to glance me to death.  If it stays alive, I win.  Or so I think.
Dark Eldar Turn 6:

He first off informed me that his Fighter can flat-out 36", which I had forgotten entirely about, and moved his jet to contest my objective.  Then he charged my Razor, and failed to kill it.  So, if the game ends here, it's a draw.  If it goes to Turn 7, I'm confident I'll win for sure.

Here's what the situation looks like, at the end of turn 6:

The inconsequential combat, that matters not.

His plane, who is contesting my objective because I'm stupid and forgot about it.
My Razor, who is weapon-destroyed and immobilized, but not dead.

We rolled to see if it ended and... it did.  Game over, tie game! 

To recap, he didn't really have much left, and he hadn't really killed much of my stuff.  In reality, I think I could have won this game had I played a little better.  Pains of using a new army, you make a lot of mistakes.  But you gotta learn somehow- you don't just wake up one day and know how to use a Land Raider perfectly.  Well, maybe you do, but I certainly don't.

Some stuff to think about:

  • This game felt like I was playing 3 different games at the same time.  I think that's the craziness Dark Eldar speed can bring.  Also, it was capture and control, with objective way away from each other.
  • I should have supported my guys better.  Seriously, a single combat squad in a razorback, and a couple melta bikes were going to threaten his base?  They did, but I really can't ever depend on that sort of support working out for me.  I needed to be more centralized.  Ah well.
  • Dark Eldar skimmers die REALLY REALLY easy.  Long range melta is all that is needed.
  • Wyches suck.  They seriously can't even beat marines in combat with the re-roll to wound drug.  If I had won combat at any time somehow, the wyches would have a good chance of running away
  • Grotesques are a lot of points, and don't match up well vs. TH/SS termies (or any solid close combat unit).  If they lose combat, they'll fail leadership easy (Ld. 4 without a character with them),  they get to go away.  I think this unit is a waste of points, honestly.  A 6+/4+ FNP roll isn't much protection.  T5 is nice, but they don't have enough attacks to really make them worth it, in my opinion.  16 S5 at WS4 isn't good.
  • Dark Lances don't do a whole lot.  They're basically glorified missile launchers.  You need like 15 missile launchers to 'guarantee' the death of an AV12 vehicle, and the same goes with Dark Lances vs. a Land Raider (or a chimera for that matter, lol).  Can't depend on them, I don't think.  Melta is needed somewhere.
So, that was the game.  It was my 2nd ever with the Salamanders, and it showed.  My opponent had played a few games with his Dark Eldar, but not a ton.  He's generally a very good player however, and was no slouch this game.  His list wasn't optimized, and that hurt him quite a bit.

What do you think?  How would you have played it?  What do you think of the new Dark Eldar codex?  Sort of crazy.  Seems fun though at least, and adds new (faster!) dynamics to the game overall that weren't there before.  Let me know what you think!  I'm interested :)


Anonymous said...

He should have swapped his Grotesques for some Incubi. Those guys are the best cc MEQ killers in the codex. Also, some Haywire grenades on his Wyches would have gone a long way. It seems to me, though, that you were somewhat lacking in long-ranged firepower. Had he taken the first turn and deployed everything, he could have hung back and peppered you with DL fire for the first couple of turns, especially if he had night shields.

Bully said...

Not a bad effort for a 2nd game with an army and a 1st game vs a new army, your sort of balancing two different things the whole time, not surprising you had a couple of "oh I forgot that ...".

Raider being central to treaten his lines would have been good, but they can be defensive monsters as well - shame that AC didnt stay on it.

I played vs a tri-raider list last thurs and yeah - they go down easy, pretty much garanteed to shake them each turn. Ravagers I've not faced but I feel much the same way. Being open topped makes life so easy vs them.

I am not enamoured with Wychs either, I wiped out a squad w/ 2 speeders that weren't even vulkanised - and that included the non-leilith woman special character as well (melta to the face!). They die so easy if they get knocked out of the transport.

Michael said...

Anon was right. Incubi kill marines in droves. If you put them with a character with combat drugs then they get even worse, especially with the strength drug, or wound re-rolls.

Also, the deep-striking was a mistake I think as well. He neutered his army by not blasting you with everything he had for a round or two. He wins a shootout with you in the first two turns for sure, instead he let you get close and personal, and eliminated his long range advantage.

But such is 40k with a new army.

Xaereth said...

Anon: Haywire grenades are kind of a mixed thing. If a vehicle moved over 6", that means you'll only be getting a pen result 1/36 of the time. Even against something that only moved 6", it's only a pen 1/12 of the time. Plus, then wyches are are clumped up ready to be flamered. On the other hand, it's one of the few ways to consistently damage vehicles in CC for DE.

Bully: Thanks for your forgiveness of my tactics. I need a few more games before I actually start doing well, I think. It's good to play new armies sometimes though, since it helps you grow overall as a player.

Michael: Yeah, I can see where you line of reasoning is going. He can for sure out-shoot me in the long-range battle. I think his main concern was that I'd have a turn to pop smoke before he got to fire a single shot, due to Dawn of War (which GREATLY reduces their effectiveness, especially against AV12+)

I think he was aiming more for me only having 3-4 rounds of shooting, rather than the full 5-6. This worked well for him I think, though it's not readily apparent in the Battle Report.

Thanks everyone for reading, I have another one vs. Dark Eldar in the pipes...

Commander_Vimes said...

I think that Grotesques are pretty solid, but I think their real strength is using their Str5 (6 if they can pick up a pain token from a Haemonoculi, which also solves the leadership problem somewhat) and decent number of attacks to kill vehicles. They are great against a Guard parking lot because there isn't a lot that instant kills them. Even melta-and plasma aren't great just because they only deal one wound.

You are right that they shouldn't try to take on combat specialists though. That's the Incubi's job, and they're awesome at it.

Kris said...

You might want to mention to your opponent that Duke Sliscus must be deployed with a unit of Kabbalite Warriors or Trueborn to start the game - it's a special rule of his. So he couldn't have deployed with the Grotesques.

Xaereth said...

Kris: Yeah, he knew. The problem is, he didn't have a squad that he *had* to deploy with in his army, and so he was able to deploy with whoever he wanted.

They didn't gain his fun ability or anything- it's kind of a big rules debate right now, though I personally think he should be able to deploy with whatever squad he wants to if he doesn't have one of his 'required' squads in the list.

You'll see in the next report, that my opponent did exactly this.