Monday, December 9, 2013

1500 Point RTT Tournament Report - Dark Eldar are back!

Don't worry - this is an old picture of my army, not the one I brought!
Hey, what's up folks! This past weekend I went to a local RTT, and was at first quite disinterested in the notion of bringing my out-of-date Grey Knights + Tau Allies to another tournament. Still, it was the only army I had painted, and I wanted to get out of the house to play some games. So, I printed out my list with 3x Dreadknights and some Broadsides, got everything all packed up the night before, and went to bed early.

However, in the morning, a magical thought occurred to me: I could play Dark Eldar. I hadn't played Dark Eldar yet this edition, and have wanted to for a while, though they have some serious problems when trying to deal with Flyers and Wave Serpents. Still, the idea excited me enough that I wrote a list out with Army Builder, and decided that if I included a Farseer to the list, I could at least Guide and Prescience two Ravagers to shoot at Flyers/Serpents.

With this shaky conviction, I set about the arduous task of digging out models who hadn't seen the light of day for months - possibly even years. Still, I must say, they've been my favorite army for forever - love the play style, aesthetics, and (dare I say?) even the fluff!

I was suddenly extremely excited to head down to the tournament!

Here's my list:

1500 Points of Dark Eldar with Eldar Allies:

Dark Eldar (primary):

Baron Sathonyx (Warlord)

16x Hellions
3x Wracks // Venom w/ 2x Splinter Canons, Grisly Trophies
5x Warriors w/ Blaster // Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons, Grisly Trophies
5x Warriors w/ Blaster // Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons, Grisly Trophies
5x Warriors w/ Blaster // Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons, Grisly Trophies

Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances, Night Shield
Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances, Night Shield
Ravager w/ 3x Dark Lances, Night Shield

Eldar Allies:

Farseer w/ Jetbike, Spirit Stones of Anthalan (or however you spell them)

3x Jetbikes w/ 1x Splinter Cannon
3x Jetbikes w/ 1x Splinter Cannon

When I got there:

There were 10 total armies there, and to my surprise, nearly all of them were Chaos-themed. I believe the army breakdown was as follows:

4x Chaos Marines
2x Chaos Demons
1x Marines
1x Tau
1x Orks
1x Dark Eldar

I was immediately happy, as neither of my hard-counter armies were there: Wave Serpent Eldar or Night Scythe Necrons (mind you - with good terrain, I still had a chance to win vs. these types of armies, as I would never play in a tournament where I didn't have at least a chance to beat every army type out there)

They announced the pairings, and I was paired with a Chaos Marines player.

His list:

Chaos Lord w/ Burning Brand, Lightning Claw, Mark of Slannesh

8x Noise Marines w/ Blast Master // Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher
8x Noise Marines w/ Blast Master // Rhino w /Havoc Launcher
10x Chaos Marines w/ Mark of Nurgle, 2x Plasma Guns, Melta Bombs // Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher

5x Terminators w/ Veterans of the Long war, 5x Combi-Plasmas, Aspiring Champion

2x Obliterators w/ Mark of Nurgle
Predator w/ TL Las Cannon, 2x Las Cannon Sponsons
Predator w/ TL Las Cannon, 2x Las Cannon Sponsons

Deployment: Dawn of War

The Mission:

Primary (worth 15 maximum):

This was a throwback to old-school victory points. We calculated who had killed more of their opponent's points (only if full squad was removed, not including transports), and depending on the difference, we got a certain number of points, to a maximum of 15. I believe the "best" difference you could win by was 750 points.

Secondary (worth 10 maximum):

Modified Linebreaker - 5 points for being in opponent's half of the board with a scoring unit, 10 points for being in opponent's deployment zone with a scoring unit

Tertiary (worth 5 maximum):

Something about killing the enemy warlord

Night Fight: Yes

Farseer Powers: Guide, Prescience, Overwatch on Full Ballistic Skill (yay?)

**We rolled to see who went first, and I won, electing to go first**

Pre-game Thoughts:

This was one of the rare games that I thought going first would be best for me. Not only was it Night Fight, but it was also a non-objective mission, meaning there would be no 'last minute objective grabs' by the second player.

Instead, I needed to kill his Predators, and fast, or they would make quick work of my Ravagers. He actually had a lot of firepower in his list, with Havoc Launcher, Blast Masters (S8 blast), Oblits, etc. Going first would be a great move on my part!

However, I was used to playing using Coteaz, and I deployed a bit cocky. Bad idea....

See my cockiness here? Ravagers out in front, and not in the admittedly sparse cover they could have gotten. His squad of Marines were on the far right of his tank formation, and Noise Marines were on the left of them, and one squad stayed behind the tanks, with the Chaos Lord and Terminators.

My opponent then rolled to seize the initiative and... succeeded.


Chaos Turn 1:

He rolled forward with his Rhinos excitedly, trudging up with his Terminators as well.

His Rhinos spotlit my Hellions and Ravagers, then he proceeded to destroy a Ravager, kill a few Hellions, and allow me the opportunity to make more than average 5+ cover/flickerfield saves.

When the smoke cleared, I was mostly unscathed, having lost some Hellions and a Ravager, but still capable of punching him back.

Yikes! I immediately wondered why I hadn't covered my Ravagers better. His Seize hadn't done as much as he (or I) had been expecting, and I was in good position to do some real damage to him next turn.
 DEldar Turn 1:

I casted Prescience and Guide on Ravagers, and jumped the Hellions up behind the big skull terrain.

(note: in 5th edition, my standard method of making Hellions 'worth it' was as follows: Baron starts with Wracks, Haemonculous starts with Hellions. On my Turn 1, I would have the Wracks leave the Baron by getting in their transport (but leave him with the Pain Token) and have the Haemonculous get in the Wrack transport, leaving the squad a Pain Token. I would then join the Baron to the Hellions, starting the game with two pain tokens.)

It must be noted that I tried this out during the tournament, and looks like it still works. Thus, every game I describe, please note that I did this.

The Ravagers got a bead on his Predators, and the Venoms got in range of his leftmost Noise Marines.

Shooting was alright - I managed to kill two Terminators with random Splinter Cannon shots from the Eldar Jetbikes, and killed about half of the Noise Marines, also plinking away at his Nurgle-Marked Marines with my Venoms on the right. The Ravagers managed to kill one Predator, and Stun the other. Whew!

My goal was to eliminate most of his shooting - I really only killed one Predator, and (hopefully) shut the other one up. Otherwise, he still had a lot of shooting. This next turn could go very poorly for me indeed.
 Chaos Turn 2:

He mostly stayed still, with the Terminators advancing once again, and shifted his Chaos Lord up to eventually be able to use his awesome torrent flamer Burning Brand.

His shooting killed a bunch of my Hellions (Havoc Launchers - who knew?) and his Stunned Predator managed to kill a Ravager, despite snap-firing and my 5+ save. His three terminators also shot their Combi-Plasma shots at a Venom on the left, Immobilizing it.

Well, Hellions passed all their pinning checks, due in large part to the Farseer joined to them (Ld. 10>Ld. 9) and got a re-roll on their failed Morale check from Grisly Trophies.

DEldar Turn 2:

I jumped the Hellions up onto the big piece of terrain, and targeted his stuff. I needed to kill his stupid Predator!

I failed both Guide and the Overwatch on full BS power with the Farseer, both rolling 11. Prescience went off on the Hellions.

Shooting again kind of sucked for me - I managed to kill all but 3 of the Nurgle Marines. I also killed the Noise Marines on the left down to 1, but it was the Blast Master. My Ravager mega-whiffed on his Predator. *gulp*

Not a good turn for me, as I failed to reduce his firepower. The only ray of light was that his 3 marines ran away, and would only be snap-firing their Plasma Guns.

Hellions are fully spread out, so as to keep the silly blast templates from ravaging them too hard.
 Chaos Turn 3:

He shot at my Ravager, and only took two hull points, shaking it. He also shot at Venoms, but I either made my saves or he missed. He left the Hellions alone, hoping to assault them with his Terminators, and needing the closest one to survive.

His assault failed, as my Hellions (Prescience) netted me 4 wounds on the charging Terminators, killing one, and essentially taking his charge through terrain from the realm of tough but possible, to likely impossible. He failed the charge, and my remaining couple Hellions could get ready to assault his lines.

Looks like at some point my Warriors in the left two Venoms took a hull point off of one of his Rhinos. Woo!
 DEldar Turn 3:

This was my all-or-nothing round.

I moved the Hellions up to charge the Predator and Oblits, while the remaining mobile Venoms moved forward to shoot at his troops.

I managed to kill his two Terminators early on, then moved on to kill his Blast Master and final 3 Nurgle Marines. The Hellions also managed to kill off one of the Oblits. I also managed to destroy one of his Rhinos, randomly.

In assault, the Hellions killed the remaining Oblit and exploded the Predator.

Excellent Turn for me, he was left with two Rhinos, his Lord, and 8 Noise Marines.

At this point, I think I had the game iced.

Close-up of the blurry Hellions doing their thing.

Rest of the Game:

He burned a coupe of my Jetbikes who had wandered too close, and I managed to kill his Lord and Noise Marines in their entirety. Had I wanted, I likely could have also killed his Rhinos, but we decided to call it there.

Results: 30-0 Win for the DEldar!

Postgame thoughts:

Well, this was a classic shootout - there wasn't much in the way of terrain on the table for me to hide behind, and it came down to who could do the most damage to the other more quickly. My Hellions turned out to save the day, killing the Predator, most of the Nurgle Marines, and the Oblits, as well as finishing off his Chaos Lord and Noise Marines.

Game 2: DEldar vs. Tony Scott's Black Templar Ultramarines!

His List (from memory):

Captain w/ Bike, Flaming Blade (forget what it's called), Artificer Armor

5 or 6 bikes w/ 2x Grav Guns
5x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-Melta // Drop Pod
5x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-Melta // Drop Pod
5x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-Melta // Drop Pod
5x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Combi-Melta // Drop Pod

3x Centurions w/ Grav, Hurricane Bolters // Land Raider Crusader
Thunderfire Cannon
Thunderfire Cannon

The Mission:

Primary: Modified Scouring: fast attack weren't scoring
Secondary: Kill a FOC choice from each slot, each worth some points
Tertiary: Something about close combat

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Night Fight: Yes

**We rolled off to see who would go first, and Tony won, giving me first turn**

Powers:  Prescience, Guide, Forewarning

Pregame thoughts:

Well, it all came down to whether or not I could kill his Land Raider and Thunderfire Cannons quickly or not. I would be mostly safe from his TFCs on Turn 1 due to Night Fight, but his Centurions would kill a unit of mine per turn.

I was also worried about the Tactical Marines coming in from Deep Strike. They would be able to hurt my vehicles as much as they wanted, and it would turn out that all the "good" objectives were in my table quarter anyways. I needed to use the ruins to my advantage and just focus on his Land Raider and Thunderfires. Hellions would eat whatever Tactical Marines and Bikes he had.

Here's his deployment. Note that he hid his Thunderfire behind the building to the left - I used my redeploy power for my Venoms to be able to get LOS to that Thunderfire on Turn 1. Also note that his Bikes are all in regular reserves.
 Note: I'm just going to comment on the pictures now - should be enough

My Ravagers jumped up over some Ruins for clear shots at his Land Raider and killed it immediately, shaking the Centurions inside. Venoms also managed to kill one of his TFCs. Big turn for me!

Here's a closeup of the lone Techmarine, hanging out without his big gun. Gotta love that Poison shots somehow murdered his big metal gun. silly :)

Tony's first two pods came in, and predictably killed two Venoms. Centurions hunkered in their Crater, hoping to stay out of the way.

His marines at this point are like, "uh... what to do now?"

The Hellions spread out so they could choose which Marines to charge. My army evaporated most of the Marines, though two of them went to ground then ran away, re-setting their pinned status. Hellions destroyed his other Tacs. 

Tony's Pods both came in, but the Bikes did not. He landed over by the Ravagers this time, and destroyed one of them, and failed to hurt a Venom. Other shots glanced a Venom on the left (Techmarine awesomeness) and the TFC scattered off-target wildly, instead killing an Eldar Jetbike on the far left.

Hellions got ready to assault another Tac squad, and other shooting killed most of his other marines. I also managed to kill the lone Techmarine and final Thunderfire Cannon. Also, a random Drop Pod went down to a Blaster shot. When the Hellions were done assaulting, I had managed to kill all but one marine, one drop pod, and one Techmarine. His Centurions were mostly unscathed as well, having only taken two separate wounds.

His Bikes finally came in, and failed to kill a Ravager, hunkering behind the far-right building.

Rest of game:

I managed to kill all of his Bikes in the shooting phase, as well as his final Tac Marine, and assaulted (and killed) the Captain in combat with the Hellions. The game ended on Turn 4, with his Centurions, a Techmarine in the corner, and one healthy Drop Pod still alive.

Results: 30-8 Win for the DEldar!!

Post-game thoughts:

I wasn't sure what to think - Tony had not expected to lose his Land Raider Turn 1 in Night Fight, and I think that threw the rest of his game off. The Bikes didn't come in when he wanted them to come in, and the Tacs weren't able to kill enough things before they were brought down to Volume Fire. I was able to kill his stuff piecemeal, and as such, the game kind of skewed in my favor.

However, if his Raider had survived Turn 1, I don't know how the game would have played out. The Centurions were mostly a non-factor this whole game, and made it difficult for Tony to claw his way back in.

Game 3: DEldar vs. CJ Young's Daemon Flying Circus!

His List (from memory):

Tz. Herald w/ Lvl. 1, Portal - Glyph
Tx. Herald w/ Lvl. 1, Grimoire of True Names

10x Pink Horrors, Unit Champion
10x Pink Horrors, Unit Champion

Soul Grinder w/ Flamer
Daemon Prince of Tz. w/ Lvl. 3, Wings, lots of gifts, etc.
Daemon Prince of Tz. w/ Lvl. 3, Wings, lots of gifts, etc.

The mission:

Primary: 3 Objectives
Secondary: Some bullshit thing where a non-HQ character was designated by each player to stay alive. If you don't have one, you can't get the points. Awful mission. Seriously, just stupid. When asked, TO said it was to "encourage people to start bringing different kinds of lists" - because it's fluffy to have squad sergeants in some books that are auto-included? Dumb dumb dumb.
Tertiary: Something about killing troop choices.

Deployment: Dawn of War

Night fight: Yes

**We rolled to go first, and I won, electing to go first**

Powers:  Prescience, Guide, Forewarning

Pre-game thoughts:

I was pretty sure I had the game in the bag. I didn't want to be cocky, but I had so many units to shoot at CJ with, I would be able to drag down his FMCs and kill them with volume firepower. His powers were all decent, but not really enough to destroy my army, or so I thought...

See his Daemon Princes hiding behind the Metal-Painted Gatorade Mix Cylinder to the left. They were still both in range of my army, and I was going first...
 **CJ rolled to seize the initiative, and... did it!! That's right, 2/2 of Seizing the Initiative for my opponents this tournament!**

CJ flew his FMCs at me, and shot at stuff. He didn't manage to do much damage though, glancing a Venom due to his lack of real firepower. Night Fight spared me from other ranged attacks, and the Farseer helped me to Deny the Witch at least once with the Hellions.

I managed to kill one of his Daemon Princes with shooting, and assaulted his other Daemon Prince with Hellions, multi-assaulting some Horrors who had come out of the Portal in the middle. Horrors died, and I won combat, though the Prince got a "3" for leadership and stuck around. Note that Fateweaver is still in Reserves.

He shot some, but didn't do much. I got a lucky deny the witch roll vs. a beam shot from some portal-glyph horrors which would have hit three of my vehicles (poor placement by me). Hellions killed the Daemon Prince in combat, saving 4/5 of their 4++ Invulnerable saves against him. Fateweaver is still in Reserves, though his other unit of Horrors deep struck in near the center. His only good part of the turn was that Khorne's Fury managed to kill one of my Venoms!

I took 3 HPs off the Soul Grinder, and shot up the Portal-Glyph Horrors. Hellions assaulted his 10-man horrors and destroyed them. CJ had also randomly put the Grimoire on his Portal-Glyph, giving it a 3++ save, which my random Blaster firepower failed to hurt.

Rest of the Game:

Fateweaver came in, failed to kill anything, and died in my next turn. Had the game continued to Turn 4, CJ would not have had a model on the table, likely. Not a good match-up for Flying Circus Daemons :-/

Results: 30-0 Win for the DEldar!!

Post-game thoughts:

Man, me and CJ are great friends. I hated to do this to him, though he just seemed relieved that I hadn't taken my Grey Knights to the tourney. It was a fun game, though we did get into a big rules debate - he tried to cast a blessing with Fateweaver on himself the turn he came in, and I fought him on it until we realized it didn't matter for what he was intending to do anyways.

Could someone tell me what the precedent is that he isn't allowed to? For some reason, we couldn't find it, though I know for a fact that it's been ruled (against) that way in both Adepticon and the Nova.

CJ ended the tourney with a well-deserved Best Painted award for his efforts on a very cool Adeptus Mechanicus converted army.

As for me...

Tournament Results:

I ended with 90/90 possible battle points, and won Best Overall. I was awarded a broken trophy and $40 in store credit for my efforts.

Cool that the dice are the 'gift certificates'! The guy who made the trophy promised to send me an engraved piece of brass to glue to the trophy. This may be the first RTT I've actually won a trophy at, so awesome!
Final Notes:

I won't pretend that my army would have won a GT, though I was happy with the results. I got seized on by two very capable armies, and came out victorious with extremely strong wins.

Moving forward, I may play around more with the idea of strengthening the army with the inclusion of more Eldar allies - couple Wave Serpents might be just the thing to make this army more resilient! Loved playing with my blast-from-the-past Dark Eldar, and I'm hoping I can actually turn them into something tournament-worthy.

Thoughts? Questions? Angst-filled opinions that I got super lucky? Let me know!

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